Monday, November 24, 2014

Semana 43 in 9 de Octubre (November 17th, 2014)

This week was AWESOME because I got to be in a gringa trio!!! It was seriously the funnest thing ever. We got a new sister named Hermana T. She stayed with us for the week temporarily, but she's leaving today to go to her new area so we're pretty sad about that. Seriously love her so much, we're basically best friends already the three of us.  Also this week was mine AND Hermana Burrell's birthday so that was exciting too!!  
We are teaching a lovely family called Familia Papa, or as me and my companion like to say "Potato Family" (Warning: my sense of humor has gotten a lot lamer since my mission).  They are so sweet and inactivated basically immediately after they got baptized but they were so happy to receive us and expressed their desires to reactivate so we're gonna be workin pretty hard with them. The dad has problems with alcohol so he's gonna need a lot of support, but the mom told us that she had a dream about a big white lit up building where she felt that she should enter with her husband to married religiously. It was super cool and we taught her about eternal marriage and the temple and invited them to prepare to go to the temple as a family and be sealed for time and all eternity!! I just love helping families, and they came to church on sunday!!
On Saturday we did a really fun Tristake service activity with all of the members and missionaries in was super fun!!  We painted and cleaned up trash and cut the lawn with machetes. That is like my favorite and definitely the most inefficient thing ever. But there we were just like our whole zone of 20 missionaries and also President Gomez just hackin away at the grass with machetes.
One thing I learned this week is that sometimes we try to compartmentalize ourselves into little boxes and throw labels on things and say that we either are or aren't patient or kind or spiritual or successful and that honestly is insanity. I honestly think we need to just stop saying that we are anything because in certain situations the lord gives us certain qualities and characteristics and in others he doesn't. Maybe in some circumstances I'm a hard worker but in others I'm totally lazy! Or maybe in one campanionship I have a lot of patience but withj someone else I really have to learn patience. It's really cool how God gives and takes our spiritual gifts as we need them, or as He needs us to use them.  it really is a testament to how we are just tools in the hands of the Lord.  So I'm gonna stop over analyzing myself and deciding if I'm successful or not successful, spiritual or not spiritual, patient or not patient and just have peace in my life. We're all children of a Heavenly Father and that's all that we will ever need to be.

Love you all!
Hermana Benyo
1 &2 Hackin' away
2, 3, & 4  Frog we found in service! Sapaso!!
5. Me and my best girls
6. Hermana Burrell's birthday!! woohoo!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Semana 42 in 9 de Octubre (November, 10th, 2014)

Hey everybody!
This week was great!
Went to Lima and got my passport all taken care of. That was super weird because I was by myself the whole time which I havent dont for a good year. I was alone with the male Choffers from Lamoni Tours who work for the church there in Lima. I've gotten to know them pretty well now Cause I've had to go to Lima several times now.  The one that works during the day was named Hermano Elvis and he was cool, he basically just had to drive me around all day and took me to the embassy.  The embassy was super cool and we had to go in and it was the most American thing I've seen in a long time, walked out of there super trunky,was my first time in a while being on 'US soil'  but after 2 hours of waiting I had never been so happy to leave my country.  Then I went and stayed the night with the Hermanas from the Lima East mission, for real they are SO rich compared to Iquitos like their house is basically a palace.  Their mission is super super different that Iquitos because it's all gated communities and you have to buzz to enter or talk to the watchman to knock doors, so I mena I'll stick with Iquitos, but it was cool to see what another mission is like. Also ran into my friend Hermana Heiner from the MTC who is serving in Lima so that was a fun reunion!
Hermana Burrell and I had a baptism this week, our Investigator Laura got baptized, she is awesome and has a great testimony, There was a good turnout also at her baptism
Other than that we are working and trying to be more and more dilligent and have lessons every 30 minutes which is the new goal of the mission. I have found that when we use our time wisely and help as many people as humanly possible in the day we not only have more success but we have the constant companionship of the spirit and we are just plain HAPPY. 
Hermana Burrell's birthday is this week so were gonna celebrate. 
Not much more to say, but hope everything goes good with you guys this week!
This computer is rejecting my camera so I'll send photos of the baptism next week!
Hermana Benyo

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Semana 41 in 9 de Octubre (November, 3rd 2014)

This week was busy, busy, busy! 
On wednesday we had my first mission leadership council!  It happens at the beginning of every month and all of the zone leaders and sister leaders from Pucallpa, Tarapoto, and Moyobamba fly in, which is super fun to see friends that have been off in other cities in the jungle! There we present our zones results for the month, discuss the challenges and successes and as a council come up with solutions. Then President and the AP's give trainings so it basically lasts all day--it was pretty awesome. On thursday we had a work visit with the sisters from area Secoya, Hermana Rodriguez and Hermana Blackmore. Hermana Burrell went to their area and Hermana Blackmore came to 9 de Octubre with me. She is so so sweet and awesome! I think I got to help her a little bit with some of the challenges she's been facing so it was cool to have my first work visit and help the hermanas and set goals with them also. Later we had to visit the sisters in Secada and the next day we had to take the sisters in San Juan to the clinic, so they've been keeping us pretty busy this week.  
I'm loving loving loving our area, it smells bad and there's literally a river of garbage and yet to me it's the most beautiful place ever.  As far as work goes, were kind of trying to resucitate the area because we recently just split it and there weren't many people being taught on what is now our half, but it definitely has a ton of potential.  Our investigator Laura is getting baptized on Saturday, got postponed for stake conference and she is stoked!  She was telling us yesterday that people were saying bad things to her about the church and so she started having doubts, but then she always grabs her Book of Mormon and the spirit testifies to her that it's true. She is an exscellent lady and extremely prepared.
On Saturday and Sunday we had the 9 de Octubre Stake conference, which was so fun because I got to see everyone I love so much from Las Colinas ward. All the members and my convert families were in church (that's a victory here in Iquitos with the 30% convert retention rate) yay!!! I got to see me and Hermana Centeno's recent converts the Torres Amias Family and Guido and Betsi and the kids. I am filled with so much love for these people, honestly.  When I got there saturday night at the stake center Guido and Betsi were waiting there with the kids and the girls ran up when they saw me and it was so so sweet!! Mi leche!!!!! haha They were super sweet and gave me a stuffed turtle and a really really cute turtle necklace and 'em so much!  That was an awesome 'I love my mission' moment.
So not going to lie, I was starting to feel a bit burnt out.  Coming to a new area always exhausts me I don't know why. Like the thing is I have such huge desires to serve with all my might and I try to but sometimes we try to run a little bit faster than we can. After running on full speed for months and months and months it starts to wear down on you. I talked to Hermana Burrell (who has 14 months so she knows what I'm feeling too) and we were kind of on the same page. We'd been a bit more sluggish the last week walking a bit slower, walking past people without talking to them and it had affected the spirit.  We really got to talking in our conmpanion study and we both simultaneously received the same revelation through the Book of Mormon in our morning studies: Faith, Patience, and Diligence.  Like honestly I was reading the end part of Alma chapter 32 and it kept repeating the words faith patience and dilligence and I thoughbt back to a district leader of mine that would always make me repeat that when I was having a difficult time "Fe, Paciencia, Diligencia" and I would kind of just do it robotically like 'yeah whatever, Elder" but then up until this moment I don't think it ever got through to me. If I don't have faith we aren't going to have miracles, If I'm not dilligent we won't find people to teach, and If I'm not patient I'm gonna burn out. It was excellent for us and now thats our new motto "Fe, Paciencia, Diligencia".  I love the Book of Mormon, it is such a source of revelation, inspiration, and it feeds a weary soul. From that moment we jusat worked to have the spirit and that made all the difference. When we study well in the morning, the spirit accompanies us the rest of the day and we find the energy and power source to do so far beyond our own capacity. We're feelin' good now, ennabling power of the atonement.

Haz lo justo!

Hermana Benyo

1. 9 de Octubre on the river
2. Me and the tree of life
3. Me and the Itaya River
4. At stake conference with converts Guido and Betsi (they gave me the necklace and earrings I'm wearing, they are super cute, love 'em!)
5.  Me and Hermana Burrell at my first monthly mission leadership council