May 13, 2013
So great to talk to all of you last night! But, I still have tons to say. I was really scatter brained last week, so I want to tell you about my trip down here.
When we started to descend below the clouds into Atlanta, my heart sunk a little bit as I saw bits and pieces of it and I realized it was nothing like home, this was the furthest I´d ever been from home, and I was only one third of the way to Peru. I prayed for comfort and right then, no joke, a little area of the clouds parted and I saw a track. I know it sounds so stupid and such a small thing, but it was such a great tender mercy. It was the Lord´s way of telling me that he hears my prayers.
The Elders I travelled with were also a huge comfort to me!
I had been told I would meet my mission president at the airport and they told us again and again at the MTC to look our best and make a great impression on him. I went into the bathroom during the flight to touch up my hair and make up. I had on my best outfit and smile. Well, I didn´t meet him until the next morning. The morning where I couldn´t figure out the shower and couldn´t iron my clothes and didn´t have a mirror.
I was scared to death by that point, so my smile was totally forced and, completely against my character, I broke down in tears in our interview. Total opposite of what I wanted, but he seemed to still genuinely care about me.
I had to get rid of a bunch of stuff before I could fly to Tarapoto (I was THRILLED to be assigned to the Iquitos Mission, yay for the Jungle!) and I was sad to leave behind my beloved cardigans, my hair straightener, and several outfits. But, I guess it means I´ll have clothes to come back to in 18 months!
I love the Jungle. I feel like I was made for this place. I don´t even mind that my face is always shiny and my hair is always curly. I can even handle the cold showers (thanks to 2 years of cold post-morning-practice locker room showers).
I LOVE THIS PLACE. I love that me and my companion are the only Sisters. I love that my District is small. I love MotoCars. I love my mission already.
Jadde: Age 10, was actually baptized Yesterday! She is so sweet. I only taught her two lessons this week, but I love her so much.
Bessy: Age 17, is living with a member family, is being Baptized on Saturday. I have taught her four lessons already and she laughs at my accent, but likes the lessons. She passed her interview yesterday.
LuisMiguel: We had contacted his brother in the Plaza and given him a Restoration Pamphlet. When we went to visit him, he wasn´t very interested, but Luis Miguel had read the whole thing and had tons of questions. It was awesome. He and his mom thought our message was beautiful and invited us back. We have taught them both two lessons now.
Bridget: I think she is mostly just meeting with us out of curiosity, she doesn´t seems to have desires to change a whole lot, but Hermana Vasquez says that people in the Jungle are just slow learners. We taught a lesson to her and her friend and both liked it and invited us back.
LuzClarita:16, has a baby and lives in a plywood hut with her boyfriend. Hna V has been teaching her for a very long time, she is learning slowly but surely. She has a Baptism date, but needs to get married first and we are having problems contacting her mom to get the things that we need.
Deysi and Family: Deysi´s 10 year old Daughter walked into the place where we were having lunch and said she wanted to introduce us to her mom. We met the family and they firmly believe in the Bible and Jesus Christ, but are looking for the true church. There are 4 daughters and 1 son and our first lesson was great! We are meeting with them again tonight.
It was getting late and we had two choices, walk to Luz Clarita´s house the long way in the Dark, or go for a hike straight up to it. My adventure side, of course, was up for a climb in the jungle. We got to the top and I stopped to take a picture. A lady in the house and the top of the cliff came out and we started talking about who we were. She lit up and invited us in. I taught most of the lesson and it was amazing and I thought wow, I knew I was inspired to climb up this way. She loved it. We set up an appointment for another time and she went to go check with her husband on the time, and then came back and said her husband wouldn´t allow her to meet with Mormons and he had asked us to leave. She was embarrassed and I was heartbroken. Hna V says it happens all the time.
We met a girl named Estepani that wanted to meet with us. We came back the next day to teach her and her mom and it was frustrating becuse both were very preoccupied the whole time with phones and questions about America and other things. The mom loved the lesson and said she believed it was correct, but said she didn´t want to change her life right now, but if she did she would call us and invite us back. We asked why she´d want to put the blessings off, and she kindly asked us to leave. So frustrating!
Oh, by the way, HAPPY MOTHER´S DAY! I forgot the whole reason that I was calling yesterday. We invited the Elders from our District, Elder Gondara and Turley, over for cookies and Inca Cola to celebrate Mother´s Day. I guess they´re my family for now, but it´s a whole lot better than nothing!!!
I love you all so much!!!!! I miss you tons, but am having the time of my life right now. I have been homesick, but I know that just means I need to get lost in the work more this week.
I LOVE YOU. See you soon, write you sooner (next week).