Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Semana 57 in 9 de Octubre (February 23rd, 2015)

Well, this week I just finished out my third change in 9 de Octubre.  Transfers are today. I'll let you know what happens next week.  This week was weird. I kid you not it was hotter than Satan's Inferno and we lost a lot of time in our area because Hermana Hernandez went to Lima for her visa and the zone leaders asked me to stay with the sisters of another area to do a work visit and help them to find a new house before the end of the month.  So we house hunted all day, and when I tell you it was hot, I really mean it IT WAS SO HOTTTT. Iquitos is naturally hot and it's all relative really, but this was on a whole different level, it was cruel and unusual punishment style heat.  We walked allllllll day looking for houses and didnt find much and I think I sweat three buckets. And at night I had to sleep on a mattress on the floor, just below the reach of the fan. It was a straight up oven and I hardly slept all night.  Then at 2:30 I couldn't handle it anymore so I stood up and remembered the advice that mom would always give me when I complained that it was hot at night as a kid...but never actually did because it's weird....well, desperate times call for desperate measures. You bet I walked into the bathroom with pajamas on and all stepped in the shower, turned on the water, walked out sopping wet, collapsed on my bed and slept like a baby the rest of the night. Thank you mom for your weird advice, it actually came in handy, but only in a 3rd world country where A/C doesn't exist.
In other news we had a couple of cool experiences this week. In district meeting we talked about thge importance of doing inspired work and not just going through the motions. It made me think of one of the talks that mom sent me by Robert Millet that says ´´A Christ-centered life is a spirit-filled life.´´  Those words were resounding with me the whole week and made me reflect on if I truly have a christ-centered or spirit-filled life. Those special moments come and go, but in a truly Christ-centered life, they should be frequent and prominent.  I would like to have spiritual experiences every day for the rest of my mission. Well, life.
On tuesday we were teaching the second lesson to a 16 year old girl named Ingrid.  We were sharing the message of the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ when we were finishing up the lesson and I was writing in a Book of Mormon to give to her. Up unitl that moment, the lesson seemed nothing unusual to me and my companion asked her a question as I contined writing a note in the Book of Mormon we were about to give her. The question she asked her was ´Why do you want to know if these things are true?´´ She struggled a bit with the question and I thought she just didn't want to answer. Then all of a sudden I look up and see that she's crying and that's when the spirit kind of hit me. Up until that moment, I hadn't really felt much, it seemed just like a normal lesson to me. And she said ´´I'm sorry, it´s just I feel something right now that I can't explain, it just makes me want to cry. I feel like this is true and I want to change.´´ it was the sweetest, sincerest moment I have witnessed in a long time and it really caught me off guard, but when it happened, the spirit burned like a flame.  We told her that what she was feeling was the holy spirit testifying to ehr heart of the truthfulness of this message.  We invited her to be baptized on March 21st anbd she accepted. When we left the lesson she thanked us and gave each one of a us a gigantic hug. I walked out of that lesson on cloud 9, not even realizing what had just happened, and could not stop smiling for a good hour.
We did divisions on Sunday, my companion wanted to go stay with a sister in Secoya who was sick and accompany in her house, so I decided to do divisions and go work the day in our area with an Hermana from the ward named Miriam. She is awesome and accompanies us ALL the time! So grateful for her. The next most exciting thing that happened Sunday was that two of my best friends came to 9 de Octubre to say goodbye to everyone!! Hna Burrell my ex companion accompanied by Hna Linford! I was SOO happy to see them because they finished their missions in Pucallpa far from me.   So Hna Miriam and I ran into them going to visit our recent convert Hermana Laura, who is a widow that lives by herself.  Hna Burrell and I got to share together one last time with her and it was really sweet.  After the lesson came the dreadful goodbye of a missionary and their convert.  We took a picture the three of us together. All of the sudden sweet little Laura started to cry super hard.  She said how happy she was to have the gospel in her life and the peace it brings to her.  She used to be SUPER catholic and wanted nothing to do with the gospel, but now she is firm in the faith and in church every sunday without fail and reading her scriptures. She told Hna Burrell that she would never forget her and always have her in her heart. It was honestly one of the sweetest, yet saddest and most tender moments that just watching I started crying too.  It kind of hit me in that moment how much it actually must suck ending your mission.
Well, that's all for now. Miracles this week, more to come next week. 


Yes, I'm sorry to send more river photos....can you tell I'm running out of interesting things to take pictures of in my area

. Me and Miriam who is basically our best friend because she accompanies us to divisions ALL the time. She's awesome. To clarify, she's not asian she's peruvian.


Almendra and Miriam

Rio Itaya

Saying goodbye to my girls Hna Liford and Hna Burrell

One last lesson with Hna Laura

This last one's an added bonus for comic relief. A sister in our zone paid to have a portrait done of her family in Iquitos and this is how it turned out. I died for like 10 minutes. She was mad because they ´´look like cannibals´´

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