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


Monday, October 26, 2015

Missionary Menus and Other "Supersized" Things

hey, everyone! :) i hope you all had a great week! this week, we had interviews with [our mission] president – my first one since being here! president's a very nice guy. he encouraged my companion and i to try to look for the good in each other and asked us to name something we like about the other. my companion apparently likes that i write in my journal every night. interviews were good!

i got a request from my dad to tell more about the food i eat, so see the attached pics! we eat very well! have you ever heard of "ecco?" it's this nestle drink, and i think it's toasted barley and caramel. so weird, but i think it's good for you??? maybe we're just lying to ourselves, ha.

lunch! ask me if i ate the rice. yes, i ate some. :)

me and my pensionista, isabel, in her little house! this room is all she's got.

her kitchen! in the same room.

the bananas, granola, and liquid yogurt will never ever get old. :)
but, the portion sizes are getting larger....

this is a basic dinner for us! hot chocolate, scrambled eggs, and bread.
so so good - i freaking love it!

the reasoning behind things here sometimes doesn't make sense. for instance, i found out this week from my companion that we have so many spiders in our house because "there's so much dust outside" - and that's the only explanation. also, whenever someone's sick or has a headache, it's because "it either rained, or it's going to rain." haha, i'm slowly figuring things out. ;)

this cambio [transfer] ends next week! i have learned so so so so much. i think this cambio was meant to teach me how to really love people and also how to communicate openly. it had little to do with numbers, baptizing, etc. (because none of our investigators seem to be progressing right now); this cambio has been about loving my companion and has taught me who i'm going to be for the rest of my mission. i feel so blessed to have struggled - how else would i grow? i'd do it over again, but i am very, very glad it's ending.

also, we cleaned our house and killed EVERY SINGLE SPIDER. all the webs were gone - everything, but the spiders were back after one day! and i swear they're supersized, like 234Xs bigger than the last ones! probably need to start naming them.

this week, we watched a cool conference broadcast from salt lake city to stakes in bolivia and perú. elder neil l. anderson spoke in spanish!! that part was hilarious (because he pronounces his r's like a frenchman and the rest like a gringo), but i absolutely loved the message!!!

i love you all and hope you're all doing amazing. :) you wouldn't believe how often i think of you and pray for you! stay strong, everyone! :)

hermana wood

Monday, October 19, 2015

We Are Moving Forward!

hey, lovely people. i survived another week - nothing ate me! :)

so, we have some investigators! we're teaching a really young couple, rosa and andres (she's like 7 months pregnant!!), who are progressing pretty well! we gave them a libro de mormon (LDM) and asked them to read moroni 10 before our next visit. when we came back and looked in their book, they had read and marked moroni 10, and they said they'd also read the testimony of Joseph Smith! no one does that here - we were like, "WHAT? THANK YOU!" it made my day!!

we also taught our gringo, daniel, last week! he's actually going back to cali in two months, but we're teaching him. and he came to church for the second time on sunday!!! which is a big deal! our problem right now is no one will come to church. we haven't had investigators attend for two weeks now, and the week before it was like two people. my comp says it's because the ward is so "frio," but honestly idk if we're teaching the doctrine of sabbath day observance well enough. we're getting a lot of help from our district leader and sister leader (hermana jackson) - jackson actually sat in on our weekly planning session on thursday. the leaders' input has helped a lot, and we are moving forward! :)

these are all the sisters who live in our building. :)
mucha is on the left, and willes is training briggs (on the right).

also, we had the primary program in sacrament meeting this week, and they asked me to play a couple of songs (last minute). one of them was a mess, because they weren't used to the piano parts in between the singing; they also didn't sing the notes in the book, and they didn't know the timing. BUT HEY, it was cute. :) i also found out that i'd be performing a solo piece when a nine-year-old announced it at the pulpit! so, i played "come follow me," and it was so fun. :)

this is our room! all decorated for halloween. :)

my spooky night. :)

i love you all so much! until next week!!! :)

hermana wood

Monday, October 12, 2015

1st Cold Day, 1st Tarantula, 1st Baptism Date!

hey, everyone! oh my gosh, where do i even begin with this week - SO much has happened. to quote my darling amiga: "i'm outside for 15 minutes, and i have 5 awesome stories!!" to start off, we found a ton of less active FAMILIES this week, which is really awesome!! they were all chance encounters! we found one less active woman, who hasn't been going to church for a year (because she had surgery and now only has one leg); and she lost her libro de mormon, so she hasn't been able to read! it was heartbreaking, but we're getting her back on track, and she's been reading the scriptures again. :)

also, we have a GRINGO investigator!!! he's from california and speaks english, and we're going to be teaching him! mucha is worried, but i told her i'd translate. I'M SO EXCITED. it's hard, though - talking about the gospel in english. i'm so not used to it, and i almost wish it were in spanish. but then again, i don't at all. :) we also found and taught a latina woman who lives in tulsa, oklahoma! she was so sweet and spoke english, as well. :) we gave her a libro de mormon, and she´s going to continue investigating the church in the states. tender mercies!

so, luz's baptism date fell through. she somehow didn't mention to us that she's traveling to lima in a week, and she's going to be there until february. OKAY. we talked with her dad, and he said that was the main reason he didn't sign [her permission slip]! BUT we got another date with yurico - she's so awesome! hopefully she can be baptized on november 6th, and hopefully i'll still be here to see it (if i don't get transferred)! :)

 it was freezing for the first time ever!!! so i wrapped up in my sheet. :)

still thinking about general conference, because how could you not be, right? elder bednar basically summed it all up for me at the end when he said, "when you can't do what you've always done, you only do what matters most." he was talking about old age, but it so applies to missionaries! we are ONLY doing what matters most, which is the Lord's work. and it requires everything we have, but i know it'll be worth it.

HALLOWEEN IS COMING. i bought a jack-o-lantern thing - they even sell candy and all that!! apparently, the kids here dress up and knock on doors and say "halloween!" and get candy. :) my comp is in love with the phrase "trick or treat," and i hear it about 4 times a day. but she confuses it with the words "chocolate chip," so i get both.

my first tarantula! it was about as big as my hand. (i am alive.)

i'm doing so well. :) i feel so much stronger, and i've learned a lot about who i am and what i stand for. and what i don't want to be. prayer is real, and we are never ever alone. i'm happy here, grateful to be serving, and think of you all often! 

"do not let us be slothful because of the easiness of the way; for so was it with our fathers; for so was it prepared for them, that if they would look they might live; even so it is with us. the way is prepared, and if we will look we may live forever" (alma 37:46). remember how simple the gospel is - all we have to do is look and live, because our plan of salvation is already in place!! :) love you all!!!

hermana wood

More from this week's message to Hermana Wood's youngest brother:
you make me laugh so hard!! keep working on that math, dude - it'll come, i promise. i saw a tarantula this week!!! a real one and it was poisonous!!! and the big bug we found in our house a couple of weeks ago was alive. it's the second one like that we found!

you HAVE to send me pictures of your halloween costume - go you, being something spooky! i'm going to do my own form of trick or treating this year - we're gonna give out candy to people, then give them the best treat of all - THE GOSPEL. haha, ill let you know how it goes. love you, goober!!

Monday, October 5, 2015

General Conference: "Like Being in Heaven!"

hellooooo! how are you all? tell me everything! :) my week was good - another one down!! :) it was hard, but i got through it!! the biggest highlight was watching general conference. all the gringo missionaries got to watch all four sessions in ENGLISH, and it was like being in heaven! it's so interesting to watch general conference as a missionary - i felt like i needed ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING. at home, sure i'd have one or two talks i liked the most, but here every message felt like it was catered directly to my needs. and there were TONS of relevant themes! just goes to show the insane amount of spiritual strength we need as missionaries!

all the gringa sisters in my zone watching general conference!
(right to left) willes, brigs, me, jackson, and vasquez. 

we found a less active member this week! we were walking to meet with one of our other investigators, and i felt like we should go down another street. that made our walk a little longer, but we were able to contact this girl (who's about 14), and she introduced us to her dad - who has been less active for like 15 years! so, we taught them a short lesson and later were able to teach the dad and his wife. and they came to a session of conference this weekend!! so cool! i haven't had a prompting like that since i've been here, so i was like WHAAAAT?! misionary work. :)

we found a cool river! looks like the jungle. :)

another of our investigators, marialena, is doing well. :) she told us she knows our message is true! and her mom passed away this week, which is so sad, but also awesome because we got to teach the plan of salvation and really apply it to her circumstances! her daughter is special needs, so it's a struggle to get them to church, but she's progressing! :)

so, luz...who had the baptism date, remember her? her dad is refusing to sign her permission slip. AND I DON'T KNOW WHAT to do. so we're going to be praying for her, because she wants to be baptized so badly! she has a testimony, and she loves the youth in the ward.

we did service in this house and they are HOARDERS.
ahhhh, they have so much stuff!!

this week had its hard moments. i was feeling low at one point, and i felt like nothing could help - i just felt alone. then i thought about the savior - how he's the only one who can make all things right, and he's really the only one who's going to get me through this cambio [transfer] and this mission. that helped a lot, and i felt better. i resolved to always keep a quiet, spiritual strength and not worry about the details of what my comp may be doing or not doing. it's hard, but i got this!

the big bug!!! for carson. :)

so sad i'm missing halloween. SO SAD!!! but it's okay, because actually everything's spooky here. :) cobwebs and stray black cats - i'm basically living halloween every day, and i love it. i'd just like to see a pumpkin - so, if anyone has the means to send me one before october 31st, i will pay you in soles. :)

also this week, we ate fried white bread. i'm going to die - it was a heart attack on a plate, but the lord watches over his missionaries. :) i love you all! keep being strong in the gospel! this week i've learned to trust in his promises to us, because they are sure!! we always having something to hope for in christ! pray every day, and go eat "in 'n out" for me! :)

hermana wood

More from this week's message to Hermana Wood's mom:
conference made me so homesick, haha - seeing all those images of salt lake and the conference center and the temple....it felt like being at home, and it was so weird to go right back to being a missionary. i felt like i couldn't do it, but i prayed for strength and it totally came!! so, this monday i am verrrry grateful to be writing and reading your emails. :) also, um holland's talk - my heart went flying straight home. i thought of you the whole time and truly how amazing you are! you carried me for 9 months and then every day after! i don't know what i'd do without you! also, the "ponderize" thing - i've sort of been doing that with the scriptures you send at the end of your e-mails, so keep them coming! :)

one more thing: i asked president if he thinks i should help my area or work on my relationship with my companion, and he said my loyalty is first to the lord! so, i should focus on missionary work, but also try to help my comp. so yeah, i love you so much - talk to you next week! i'd love pics every week from all of you - like in every e-mail from every member of the family! love you so much!

p.s. here are more random pics. sorry they didn't come sooner - these were sent to me by the zone leaders [posted here chronologically by date stamp: day/month/year]. but yeah, pretty cool! :)

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