Hermana Wood's Missionary Adventures in the "Capital of the Peruvian Amazon"


Monday, September 28, 2015


SO! everyone got phone calls last monday night about cambios [changes, or transfers], and there were quite a few. i'm still here in pucallpa with hermana mucha, and i will survive!!! haha, but really, we had a pretty good talk that night, and at the end i straight up asked my companion (who has been extremely difficult to work with) if we could be friends. she didn’t turn me down, so that's a start. :) i feel most of the time like i'm training myself, though, which is why we haven’t seen a lot of progress in our area. basically, i have to get myself acquainted with everything and then learn how to help my companion. so, this will continue to be a challenge for sure, and it'll likely be the hardest cambio of my mission. but, i've got this - i'm up for anything this place throws at me!

IT RAINED FOR REAL! this is me knee deep. :)

 another one of me in the street. :)

this was my day with hermana jackson, btw - so we played a little. :)

anyway, hermana snyder was transferred, and i'm so sad!!! because we don't get despedidas [goodbyes] - they call at night, and you leave early the next morning! HOWEVER, there are seven new GRINGAS and two of them are in my zone - one is my new neighbor! they're both adorable, and i'm just so happy to not be the baby anymore. :)

so, after one cambio here, let me finally tell you about this mission! hmm, where to begin. contacting here is very easy - everyone literally just sits outside their houses because it's so hot. and obviously, they're all waiting for the gospel, right? yes. that’s how we've gotten most of our investigators, the rest are referrals. :) everyone is willing to listen - it's very rare that we get rejected, but only about 1 in 10 contacts will progress to baptism. remember luz, our investigator with a baptismal date? her mom was a contact. :) lots of the rest are bomba [dead ends].

 one of the families in our ward raises turtles?? 

we found a huge room full of chickens with no one around!
now we know where lunch came from. :)

the people here are very unique, very simple - because i mean, we are in the amazon jungle. so, we teach everything very simply and carefully. what's also interesting is that almost all of them are catholic or evangelico, but they know little to nothing about their religions or about bible stories. we usually ask them, before teaching about prophets, if they can remember any ancient prophets, like "who opened the sea?" or "who built the ark?" and more often than not they don't know! so. everything must be kept muy basico. :)

love you all so much! alma 56:46 says, "our god is with us, and he will not suffer that we should fall; then let us go forth." and verse 47 says, "they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, god would deliver them." so everyone, learn this week to be grateful to your mothers, because they are AMAZING! shout out to mine for being the best. ;)

hermana wood

More from this week's message to Hermana Wood's dad:
the food is FABULOUS. :) our pensionista is the best cook in pucallpa! we get salad, veggies, fruit, meat, quinoa, oatmeal, eggs, hot chocolate, pasta, WHEAT bread (which is a big deal), smoothies, and juice. :) i haven't come across anything i don't like!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Humbled and Amazed

HI, EVERYONE! another week in the mission, and i'm still alive. :) i found out this week that there are [more than] ten missions in perú and that the iquitos mission is the poorest. the area i'm in now is the nicest in the mission, so i'm really lucky to be able to adjust slowly, hah. but still, we teach people who live in shacks with dirt floors, and it is so humbling and amazing! it makes me appreciate the states, but even more it makes me appreciate these people.

this week i had a "work visit" with hermana jackson (my sister leader), where i stayed at her house/in her area for one day/night. we talked for soo long and it was really helpful! she told me very few north american sisters are called to this mission, so even though she didn't know me that well, she knows i'm strong because i'm here. so that was a confidence boost!! she said i'm on the right track with my attitude and to keep pushing on!

our investigator, luz, who's 16, has a baptism date! we just need her dad to sign the baptism permission slip, which he should because he's chill. we want to teach her parents, too, but for now she'll be the first to be baptized in her family. :) she's seriously the sweetest, and i love her! the youth here are SO receptive to the gospel and so willing to listen to the missionaries. amazing stuff, people!

we had a zone service project on wednesday, where we helped clear out someone's backyard, and they had this big coconut tree that one of our elders climbed. he threw down coconuts and almost killed people (not a joke), then we got to eat them! i drank the coconut water (which is terrible, never do it), but the actual flesh of the fruit is so good!!

 zone activity last pday - water balloons and paint!
this is me with willes (gringa) and arteaga - they're our neighbors.

also, i found out i'll be training fairly quickly (after my own 12 weeks of training), because all of the old sisters are dying [going home] in like december. i'm going to be one of the older ones, just behind the couple of sisters who have like 6 months currently. so THAT will be an adventure. :)

this is me in our first rain storm!

keep the e-mails coming! literally love you all so much!

hermana wood

More from this week's message to Hermana Wood's mom:

the best time to send any christmas packages will be mid-october! that way (says jackson) they'll get here mid-november, and when the leaders go to iquitos at the first of the month (like always) in december, they'll bring them for me! in general, packages take about a month to arrive.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Lima Sweet Lima

I WENT TO LIMA THIS WEEK. which is the biggest deal ever - it was so fun, like a day of vacation!! i needed to go to get my peruvian ID card, and i went with another sister from my zone, hermana snyder. she is the chillest person ever. okay, so the day in lima was top 10 - definitely one of the best days of my life. steffensen (district leader) called us in the morning and said "wood is going to lima at 4"....WHAT. and with hermana snyder! snyder's comp, jackson (who's my sister leader), was in iquitos, so snyder was with our neighbors, willes and arteaga, and we were able to discuss everything that was happening - there was straight up excitement buzzing.

we picked up dinner from isabel, our pensionista, then said bye to mucha and were in a motokar to the airport. as soon as we left, snyder and i looked at each other and were like "YESSS, LET IT BEGIN." like hallelujah!!!! getting on that plane at sunset was incredible, and the plane snacks here are freaking bomb - so good.

we got there and waited at the lima airport forever, but we found a dunkin' donuts!!! i got this caramel-filled powdered sugar creation, and it was bliss. also, we found out there was a group of missionaries going to lima, and all four of them were in my district at the CCM!!

dinner was at the airport. papa john's had this deal - one pizza for 50 soles and the second one for ONE SOLE. so snyder and i bought these two huge pizzas, because obviously we're not going to pass that up. ate basically all of it.

our hotel…where do i begin, people. it was like the freaking marriott. they gave us free drinks when we got there, and we sat on COUCHES. they had a waterfall shower, big beds with big pillows, and soft blankets and air conditioning!!!! i took a hot shower that night and felt like a literal princess. and i haven't had a pillow for 4 weeks, so that was nice, too.

the next day, we had a breakfast buffet. okay. every type of fruit imaginable, eggs, toast, granola, yogurt - basically the celestial kingdom. hermana poma was really confused at snyder's and my excitement…the night before she said "i've never been anywhere like this before and i feel fine. why are you two so excited? i don’t understand." and we were like "uhh ha." we had to explain that being there was like being home and that was why we were happy - because it really felt like the states!

we got our ID cards, then we got footlongs at SUBWAY! this was all so dangerous because snyder and i were slowly feeling like we were at home, but we had to go back in a few hours…but so then, we went to the temple grounds! which is a big deal because we won't be able to go to the temple again until we're in the states. we couldn't do a session because snyder and i didn’t have our temple recommends with us. but we got to go to the distribution center there! it's in the basement of the temple sort of, below the cafeteria. i bought a bunch of posters for the house and some church DVDs.

from there we went to the TEMPLE STORE!!! dad and papa: i bought you BYU peruvian ties and they are sweet. :) also bought MEET THE MORMONS. who knows how many times i'll watch that movie - i love it. while we were there, we met a girl who has her [mission] call to the SLC visitors center! last name: mosquera. i told her to look for the wood family at christmas time. :)

we headed to the airport and we thought we were super late, so we sprinted through security. i walked through the metal detector literally holding an ice cream cone, and this explains my life in one sentence. :) we can do whatever we want in these airports! on the way to lima, i put a half-eaten mango through the conveyor belt and it passed.

on the plane ride (which was about an hour) and whenever else we had time, snyder and i talked and talked and talked. which doesn’t seem like a big deal, but to be able to say anything in english for a day and a half was insanely beautiful. on the way back we talked about how it'd been like a vacation and we were kind of sad to leave. like it was really hard - because it felt like being home!!

anyway, i love you all! word of the week is "pajara," because according to my dictionary it means "paper rooster" or "crafty female." hahah but really, i hope you guys have a great week! love you so much. you're all in my prayers!

hermana wood

Random Details (from this week's e-mails to family):
  • life as a missionary has felt normal since week 3ish. :)
  • we're not allowed to buy things from the streets!
  • THANK YOU FOR THE PACKAGE [it arrived in less than a month via USPS]. literally it had everything i needed! i was going to ask you for those socks and the shoes are the most brilliant thing ever. when you send packages, you should throw in whatever's in the pantry at the time, haha. like trail mix or a nature valley granola bar! nothing big, like just one. :)
  • sleeping underneath bug nets is good, but it's really hot. better than being covered in spiders! there was a huge cockroach in our house!! but i had to kill it so fast and then i threw it out the window, so i forgot to take a picture!!!!! hahah i'm sorry, goob - next time i'll take one for you.
zoo time

Monday, September 7, 2015

Chocolate Cake, Tuna Fish, and a BAPTISM!

hi, lovelies. :) how are you all? is north america still standing? all is well in south america!!

one of my tender mercies this week: i'd been having insane cravings for chocolate cake and tuna fish - okay it was a real problem (also grilled cheese and cookie dough, we won't go there). and guess who got cake AND tuna on tuesday? this girl!!!!! the lord is aware of his missionaries! i was so thankful.

so, we have this investigator, luz (16), who's incredible. when we asked her if she'd be baptized, she said "of course!!" and she came to church sunday, which is a big deal here!! i'll keep you posted on her, we just need her parents to sign a baptism form before she can progress.....

hmm i think it was thursday, we couldn't get a lesson bc everyone was either busy or not home. just not having the best morning, and we hadn't taught with a member all day. then out of nowhere, one of our ward members came up to us in the street and was like "let's go!" so she taught with us, and we were able to finally find people and start making our goals! 

if you know any latinas who are still working on their english, please ask them to say "refridgerator." you won't regret it and please report back to me. :) spanish phrase of the week that i found in my insanely weird dictionary: "peloton de los torpes" = "awkward squad." such a useful phrase, people.

i love you all! keep praying always, and remember the lord is aware of you! the plan he has for us is real, and i'm so happy i have the chance to get to know the doctrines of christ even more out here. :) you're never alone because you have the savior! lean on him! just do it - nike. :)

hermana wood

service with hermana angela, who's a member

the mall!

stake activity
(left to right: hermanas willes, jackson, snyder, arteaga, and mucha.
jackson is my sister leader)

our candlelit dinner cuz the electricity and water were out
in pucallpa for a day :)

so romantic, right?

Random Details (from this week's e-mails to family):
  • i'll be playing piano the second sunday in september! they also ask me to play when the pianist doesn't know a hymn. :)
  • we have a decent-sized dresser, but that's it!
  • i don't think we're allowed to eat guinea pig! :)
  • my companion's favorite food is rice!!! it's so funny. i don't eat rice tho, bc people gain like 20 pounds here. no joke.
  • it does not rain often! i've used my rain boots once. we never have thunder or lightning in pucallpa!
  • i use a bag the mission gave me; i left the brown messenger bag in iquitos, i'll use it when this one breaks!
  • not a lot of mosquitoes! even if i don't use repellent i'm fine.
  • straightener and curling iron are totally unnecessary.
  • also, this is a cup with bananas and granola and yogurt, and quite possibly one of the best things i've had in my mouth in over a month:

From Hermana Wood's dad: Is this your house? Based on the street name and two-story description you gave us, we narrowed it down to this one using Google Street View:

THAT'S IT!! our window is the one in the middle, and we enter the door on the right!

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