most insane bus ride ever
HERE IT IS
...it's like a big zoo, hahaso, this week we set a baptism date for the 16th of january!! this saturday, a girl named milka will be baptized. :) she's 17 years old and has been investigating the church for a few years now. we've only taught her a few times, but i think she's finally reached the point where she's ready to commit! super excited for her!!
we had a multi-zone conference with elder uceda this week! he's in charge of the northeastern missions of south america, and he is super cool!!! we listened to him talk for three hours on saturday, and i was like a sponge. everything he said was gold. he talked about being "exactly obedient" and how to truly search the scriptures. we spent like an hour on one verse of scripture! i put it to practice this morning in personal study and found some awesome "hidden messages," as he calls them. also, he speaks english, so he threw in some jokes and translations for the gringos, which is always great. :)
on wednesday of last week, we did service in karen's house (her mom is a less-active member of the church). we helped her wash dishes and make lunch, which was chicken soup and rice, and she said as she was chopping the chicken that she'd killed it herself. as the three of us talked, she threw the hacked pieces to three other chickens (cannibals), a dog, and a cat that were waiting anxiously at her feet. there was much growling, squawking, and gnashing of teeth.
while the chicken meat (including feet) simmered next to me, i skinned potatoes for karen in the very dimly lit kitchen/bedroom. she told us a little about herself; that this is what she did basically every day, and that she liked to stay in her house and keep to herself. so, i got to experience a few hours in the daily routine of her life, and truly, it was wonderful to see and be a part of. it's a life i will never live or even be closely associated with once i leave, but it was very real to me. it was not glamorous, but humble. it wasn't exciting, but it was somehow refreshing. it was an experience i'll never forget.
icing on the cake - a puppy fell asleep on me!
i'm so grateful for the knowledge that this is a gospel of eternal progression in which we can change, become better, and begin again. love you all!!
More from this week's message to Hermana Wood's mom:
so, i'm on the top bunk, right, which means the fan does not reach hermana wood and my pillow gets covered in sweat every night. :) but last night, i woke up at 12:20am and literally COULD NOT. i had to get up and put my desk chair on our balcony and just sit outside and breathe. IT WAS SO HOT. our room is like a sauna!!! i stuck my face in the freezer and put a cold water bottle on the back of my neck and, by some miracle of heaven, was able to get back to sleep.
we're teaching a recent convert named rebecca who is from a tribe!! she learned spanish just living here in iquitos. her family kicked her out for some reason, and somehow she's living with a member family; i honestly have no idea what's going on or how she got there, but she's the sweetest ever. she's 15 years old, and we have to teach every lesson SUPER SLOW. when we read the BOM and ask "did you understand what we read?" every time the answer is "no," haha. so, she's teaching me patience; but truly, i'm learning to love her even if she can't really speak or understand what we teach!!
love you, mommy. :)