also, it was fast sunday this past weekend, and on a whim i decided to fast for tatiana and her little sister, stela (because they both need to attend church). and, guess who we picked up sunday morning? and then, guess who stayed for all three hours [of the meeting block]? THAT'S RIGHT!!!! it was super cool. :) and, the best thing was that the ward members were so incredible with our investigators - i was impressed!! everyone was all smiles, tatiana and stela got a warm welcome from the bishop at the beginning of sacrament meeting, and the young women were really nice to stela (12). we were sooo grateful for the members' help!
random vista in the amazon
we're also teaching a 70-year-old lady named judith, who happened to find us on the street this week. she said "come with me; there's someone you need to share your message with!!" and she took us to a member's house, where we shared a lesson with a family. and then, this past weekend, judith HERSELF came to church!!! what??!! she only stayed for sacrament meeting, but progress is progress. :)
in other crazy news (as all of you in south america know), this month is CARNIVAL. here in perú, they celebrate it by getting everyone wet - but, not just with water! i've heard they also fill water balloons with rocks/liquid, throw the water they cook with, and hermana arteaga said they even throw urine!!! EW!!!!
also for carnival, they hoist up palms in baskets
...and tie on a bunch of random stuff
due to the festivities on sunday, we had to stay in our house (with the exception of going to church) for EIGHT HOURS. we were antsy, but productive! i cleaned, read every church magazine ever, and made valentines for 22 lucky souls (among other activities). it was kinda fun!!
a look into the secret life of hermana wood and hermana arteaga
More from this week's message to Hermana Wood's dad:
hi, daddy!! i'm good, haha - yes, i'm as happy as i sound in my e-mails, i promise. :) but, thank you so much for your prayers - they carry me through every week!! yeah, time has been flyyyying. january was so so slow, but the first week of february is already over, and i can't even believe it!! the past few weeks, my focus has been developing charity and being truly kind in every moment - which is actually much harder than it sounds! dallin h. oaks says that the most difficult commandment we have is loving others, and now i know why. when you consciously try to be kind and love everyone ALL the time, satan starts pushing against you. my friend (patrick) describes it like "forces" - you can't know the strength of a force until you push against it. but, the act of pushing makes you stronger. so, it's a continual process of repentance every day, then waking up and trying again - i know i'm getting stronger!! love you, daddy!!! :)
More from this week's message to Hermana Wood's mom:
remember rebecca from the tribe, who lives with our pensionista? well, we're teaching her brother, juan (who is exactly like she used to be). rebecca has come out of her shell, and she's reading the BOM every day, but we're starting from ground zero with juan. he's slowly learning; we had to describe to him in the last lesson what the word "purpose" means. and the word "plan." oy, it's hard. but, i've been given the gift of tongues!! i can define words in spanish!! it's so cool, and i'm so amazed at what the spirit can do. also, juan accepted a baptismal date for the 27th, so that's super cool!! i hope he knows what the word "baptism" means. when we gave him the fecha [date], he whispered to the dad of our pensionista's family that the pastor in his village told him he needed to "think and really mediate before being baptized." which is true, haha - and exactly what we want! love you, mommy!! HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!!!