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


Monday, March 28, 2016

Going with the Flow!!

where do i begin with this week? i have no words. no words!!!

first off, i need to mention that last monday i ate a burger. with a slice of apple pie. and then, i bought an ice cream cone. i regret nothing. #leaveitinthefield


second, i used a real potato peeler this week, instead of just a plain knife (still managed to cut myself and draw blood), and i peeled potatoes until i was sweating!! which is sort of a joke, because i was sweating, anyway. moral of the story is: i felt reeeeally sophisticated. :)

we found a member who has a boat in his front yard

also this week, i've learned the importance of going with the flow!! sometimes things don't go our way; well, most of the time (i'm coming to find) things don't go our way. and, if we're swimming against the current, we're fighting a losing battle!! especially in the mission field. appointments fall through, but then you end up teaching someone the Lord has prepared, or you end up being in the right place at the right time (like in the house of a recent convert at the exact moment his wife loses her job - then being able to be there for that family). going with the flow allows us to have moments like that! we can build so many good memories and help so many people if we just go with the flow in life and follow God's will.

important event of the week: president called last monday night to inform us that my comp, hermana garcia, was being transferred (to alleviate an emergency situation in another companionship). apparently, a sister who had only been in the mission field for TWO WEEKS became ill and was coming back to the mission home in iquitos (from pucallpa) before returning home! :( my comp, garcia, was transferred to pucallpa (my first area) to serve with hermana brotherson (the sick sister's previous companion). so, i'm now with hermana osorio, age 22 (from chiclayo, perú), who just barely finished her training. (going with the flow!!)

new comp

speaking of surprises, easter was practically uncelebrated here; no easter hymns, no happy pascua - nada! but, the missionaries got to share the church's 2016 easter initiative video ("hallelujah"), so we celebrated!! hope it was so great for all of you!!!

my zone

that's all for this week. love you all!!

hermana madera

More from this week's message to Hermana Wood's youngest brother:
this last week we had zone conference, and we got to eat pizza!! guess which sister ate FIVE PIECES? :) i felt so good afterwards!! we can't really eat a lot here, because the food our pensionista gives us isn't very good, haha. so, i was very happy!!

More from this week's message to Hermana Wood's dad:
hey, daddy!! guess what? today is my cumple mes; i've now been serving for exactly eight months. i'm almost halfway done!! WHAAAT!?! also, we watched the general women's session of conference in ENGLISHHH!!! #woot (it was so good and spiritually uplifting!!)

what happens when you leave your altoids out in the amazon :)

Monday, March 21, 2016

This Never Happens!!

hellooooo!!! how are you all?! we had such a good week!

first of all, we had FOUR investigators attend church and stay for all three hours. this never happens!! miracles are so real!!! also, some really cool, less-active members are starting to attend again. the work is rolling along! and, we started teaching seven new investigators this week, in addition to setting a baptismal date for the 9th of april! the baptism will be bruce, the little boy who's 11-years-old. he is so funny (reminds me of you, ry-guy), and he's so excited; last night he told us the exact number of days until his baptism. :)

we made a cake with hermana lupe!!

in other exciting news, we went on some adventures this week searching for "unknowns" in our area!! we used a list from lima of members the church needs updated information on; for example, where they live, if they've passed away, or anything else we can learn about them to update their records. so, we walked around for three hours trying to find some of these people. many had already died and several had moved, but there are TWO who are still here in our area!!! which gives us a couple of golden opportunities!!!

#stpatricksday fridge decoration on point

two of our NEW investigators, celica and leti, are from the "pueblos" (villages) and live in the city (iquitos) because they're working together as maids in a suuuper nice house. they're both very slow learners, and it's hard for them to remember what we say. but celica, who's 21, told us she feels like what we're teaching is true!! it's so incredible to teach the gospel in such simple terms, but it also requires every ounce of patience that i have. i think i actually prefer doing it this way, though; it helps me see the beauty and simplicity of the gospel message.

a little closer to the original apple nachos!

life is really great. :) i'm feeling the speed of the mission now! in fact, since i hit six months, i haven't even noticed the time passing - it just flies by! be home in like two seconds!! love and miss you all!!!

hermana maderita

More from this week's message to Hermana Wood's youngest brother:
hey, goober!! whoa, your green st. patrick's day breakfast looks so good! i don't remember what i ate for breakfast that thursday, but i think it was this rice tortilla andra makes (which is basically a bunch of rice mashed together and fried). i'm pretty sure you'd love it. :) congrats to mckay on the shrek performance; i hope someone filmed that, because i want to watch his musical when i get back!!

guess what? this week we got a text from our zone leaders at 10:28pm (we have to be asleep by 10:30pm, so we were already in bed) saying that we had to be at the mission offices at 5am the next morning to do exercise as a zone. WHAAAAAAAT, NOOOOOOO!!!! oh man, we were so tired that day. my companion barely got up and out of bed. but, i actually had a lot of energy the rest of the day, so it was good!! i slept like a rock that night, though. :)

Answer to this week's questions from Hermana Wood's dad:
1. Will you be needing more contact lenses?
2. Does it ever get cool? Are you always hot?
3. Do you take showers both morning and night?
4. How often do you eat fish?
5. Do they have any strange fruits you've never heard of or seen before?

1. i recently counted my contact lenses, and i have enough even if i decide to extend my mission to next march!!
2. i'm always hot!! haha, always sweating. there is no hot and cold in iquitos; there's only sweltering and less sweltering.
3. i wish i could shower morning and night, but the water is so loaded with chemicals here in the city that i only shower in the morning (which is what nurse hermana alberta recommended). also, i know of at least one sister who got a skin fungus because she showered too much. it's awful for my hair, though; i have about 50% of the hair i came with, because it all falls out. :)
4. i eat fish a couple of times a week!! it's all from the amazon river and all tastes the same.
5. yeah, there's maricuja, aguaje, camu camu, grandilla, and lots more. they're all super good and make some awesome juices!!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Revelation Is Real

so, transfers were last monday night!! but, i'm still in this beautiful area [iquitos]. sadly, my "other half," hermana arteaga, was sent far, far away. actually, only about 20 minutes away. ;)

on the bright side, i'm now with hermana garcia! she's from lima and has been serving for almost 5 months. how to describe garcia? she has the driest humor ever, and she kills me every day! so funny!! she's a little shy with the investigators, but it already feels like we've been comps forever. :)

we got pedicures!!!
(and, apparently, a face mask was necessary for my filthy feet)

because...st. patrick's day, people :)

hermana arteaga's departure means i'm now directing the area!! it's been pretty easy so far, but there's a lot i have to work on. for example, arteaga knew where all the members live (me, not so much).

rosa with her "money to go to church jar"
...it had some coins!

another "fun fact" about garcia - she loves cats. we were contacting in the street one night and saw the fattest "gato" EVER. hermana garcia goes, "i have to touch that cat," but like, so quietly. then, the next thing i knew, i looked to my right and she was gone! i was like "the flip! where?!" - and she'd gone to touch the cat. we got to contact the fat cat's owner, though, so it worked out!!

the garcia stare

in other, very exciting news: our investigator, DIOMEDES, has set a date for baptism!!! but, the knucklehead didn't make it to church on sunday. ;) he's so ready for the gospel and, after reading 3 nephi 18, literally told us he doesn't want to partake of the sacrament prematurely, because "he hasn't fully repented and he's not yet baptized." he's the best - he understands!!! another "investigator," bruce (an 11-year-old whose family is less active), also has a baptismal date!!! working on getting him to come to church, as well!!!

fan / finger accident

last and very least, our bathroom flooded our room this week. happily, though, it served as hermana garcia and i's first bonding experience. we spent a good hour mopping the floor, which also worked out great, because i needed some arm exercise. :)

love you so much, fam! more faith, less fear. more protein, less carbs.

hermana madera

More from this week's message to Hermana Wood's dad:
i had a work visit this week with a new sister leader, hermana inca, who told me she thinks i'm ready to train!! she says i'm a good missionary; i'm diligent, love my area, etc., which was super cool to hear. :) also, we had stake conference this week!! i met president gomez's 2nd counselor and his wife (the nelsons), who are from utah!!


More from this week's message to Hermana Wood's mom:
nope, peruvians do not know what saint patrick's day is. :) i tried explaining it to my comp, but i didn't know how to say "leprechaun" in spanish. also, I GOT THE PACKAGE!!! oh my gosh, mom, dad, fam, you guys are so amazing!!! thank you so much for the CHOCOLATE!! and, how did you know i was craving chocolate chips?? and, the pretzel m&m's?? seriously, you knew exactly what i needed - revelation is real. :) love you, mommy!!!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Parasites and Pensionistas

so, my companion had a pretty wicked case of parasites this week. we got to spend four hours in the clinica while she was hooked up to an IV to replenish the nutrients she's been losing.

we also spent a few days inside, but i was able to go out to work with a member (while my comp stayed with another sister), which was fun! we're still trying to get hermana arteaga better, because she can't keep anything down. :( i practically had to force her to call our mission president's wife, haha - my comp's a trooper and wanted to keep working!!

it didn't help that andra, our pensionista, had a less-than-compassionate reaction to our unfortunate situation this week. we let andra know what's been happening, so she could prepare food for hermana arteaga that's "suave," and at one point during the week, andra did ask "how's your stomach?" my comp said (more or less), "not so great," and andra literally just turned around and walked away.

but this, friends, is aji de gallina.
basically, god's gift to peruvian missionaries.

also this last week, i was able to eat a hot dog and a chocolate donut, so that was super great!! on my receipt, it showed up as "chocolate donas." sometimes the phonetic spelling of english words here just makes me happy, haha.

and finally, since it was fast sunday yesterday, i had an opportunity to share my testimony both in sacrament meeting and relief society! what i said was probably just a huge jumble of words, but in RS jeni nodded a couple of times, so at least one person understood me. :)

this says "dinero para irnos a la iglesia,"
because our 72-year-old less active always uses the excuse:
"there's no money to get a moto kar" to take her to church.
now she can save up all week. :)
(she bopped me on the head when i gave it to her.)

also, transfers are tonight - pray for me!!! my comp has been serving in this area for 6 months, and i've been here for 3, so anything could happen. love you all!!

hermana wood

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