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


Monday, June 27, 2016

The Power of an Apology

this past wednesday, our service project was cleaning the mission offices - because our new mission president arrives tomorrow!!! i was sent to buy floor cleaner, and while at the supermarket, i found a bag of squeezable fudge (which i definitely bought). then, last night, i definitely sucked that fudge straight out of the pouch. no regrets!

the amazon river

also this week, i learned how to say "candy cane" in spanish. and, i listened to christmas music - because christmas is now less than six months away, people. :)

speaking of holidays, last weekend we celebrated "san juan" (john the baptist) by eating "juanes!!" a "juan" is a large ball of rice (with meat) surrounding a hard-boiled egg; each one is decorated with two kalamata olives and wrapped in an enormous green leaf before being boiled. the resulting dish is meant to symbolize the head of john the baptist (when he was beheaded) – the olives are his eyes. three different people gave us juanes!! mostly, the meat is chicken, but leny (a sister in our ward) gave us one that was made with liver. DELICIOUS.

our pensionista, hermana ermita,
preparing juanes for our lunch!

also this week, i learned the power of an apology. we were having a rough night, and (as the senior companion) i was feeling stressed and frustrated. prior to teaching one of our lessons that evening, both my comp and i could feel that the spirit just wasn't present. but, the lord is merciful and provided a way for us to teach effectively. before we began, our investigators needed to step out of the room for a minute, giving me time to apologize to my companion for being upset and stressed. after that, the spirit literally filled the room, and we had an amazing lesson with karola and edwin. we were going to teach the ten commandments, but the spirit guided us to teach eternal marriage, instead, which turned out to be the perfect message that night.

random: "monster house"

in other news, our investigator, rocio, is doing well! she and her son, samuel, are getting baptized together on july 9th! also, we had another FHE with rocio's family, and her husband, juan, joined us!!! we were so excited, and juan had a ton of fun!!! PROGRESS.

I love you all!!!

hermana wood

Monday, June 20, 2016

Open Thy Mouth!

this last tuesday [at district meetings], i gave a training presentation on contacting potential investigators. i think they asked me to present because the other week we had 11 new investigators. i LOVE talking to these people!! knocking on doors, talking to them in the park, commenting on their dogs and then inviting them to church (it works). it's so important that we open our mouths or nothing will get done! so, that was my training message - probs more "mess" than message, but it was fun!! :)

(literally always opening my mouth)
our pensionista, deysi, sells food almost every day from her house

this weekend, my companion and i went to a baptism our sister leaders had, because president gómez was going to be there, and we wanted to invite our investigators. the sister being baptized was a woman i had helped teach on a recent work visit with sister montgomery (one of the leaders) about a month ago. i was shocked that this investigator was getting baptized so quickly! it pushed me to more hard reflection (kind of happens a lot here) about why the investigators we've been working with for so long aren't progressing at the same rate. i'll admit, i started feeling a little discouraged (even frustrated) that day, despite understanding that success isn't measured by baptisms.

tender mercy: later that evening, as we were walking to make one last visit, the mission president's car passed us! it pulled up to the exact house we were going to, and president gómez and elder uceda (of the seventy) stepped out of the car!! this amazing general authority extended his hand directly to me and said, "Hermana Wood!! A POWERFUL missionary." i've only met elder uceda once before, but i KNOW he was guided by the spirit to offer those simple words of encouragement - he knew exactly what i needed in that moment! pretty incredible to hear a member of the seventy tell you that you're "powerful" when you feel otherwise!! the lord knows us and is aware of how we feel, i testify of that.


hermana wood

look who snuck in and crashed our father's day party :)

More from this week's message to Hermana Wood's dad:
HAPPY FATHER'S DAY TO THE GREATEST DAD I'VE EVER HAD!!!! seriously, thank you so much for everything you do for me and for everything you did to get me out in the field!! i wouldn't be the woman i am today without you as my father. i love you so much!!!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Living Like a Queen!

here are some photos of our last zone conference with president gómez, who leaves on june 28th!
zona iquitos!

selfie with pres and hermana gómez

some sisters at zone conference

some elders at zone conference

pres took us out to eat (two zones)
after our last zone conference with him

in other news, let me tell you about our new apartment! we moved last monday morning, so it's been a full week!! where we moved from was basically like living on 114th south [in sandy] - so many motokars! we practically had to yell during comp study just to hear each other. but now, we are living in SILENCE!!! is this what life was like before coming here? i don't remember. :)

our new apartment (room) is at the back of this lady's house, and we have a great view of her garden. it's also very bright! i don't need my desk flashlight for personal study now. i'm basically living like a queen here! on the downside, mosquitoes enter constantly, because the screens over the windows are not finely knit; the shower comes out in one freezing trickle, so you have to position yourself just under it; the sink faucet moves when you turn on the water, and it's a wonder it hasn't snapped off like our shower curtain bar did this morning when i was mopping. but, the mirror in the bathroom is tall enough that i can see my head! so grateful!!

investigator update: rocio is a go for getting baptized on july 2nd with her son, samuel!! we're so excited! also, diomedes had his interview with president gómez this week, and pres says in 2-3 weeks diomedes can be ready for baptism. we're praying for him so hard!

goodbye, president gómez!

you reach a point living in south america, when the sink is so small
(and you're so done) that you wash your dishes in the shower :)

what else? i bought a pack of oreos for the equivalent of 23 cents; i ate toast with butter and jam; i broke out the hot chocolate mom sent me for christmas (still good); then, on saturday, we had the best FHE [family home evening] ever in the history of FHE. we watched "meet the mormons!!" i thought i had the DVD - well no, i definitely had the DVD (i bought it in lima), but 5 minutes before leaving the apartment, i realized that it had become lost in the black hole that is perú. so, we had to run to the church to start the 3-hour download (very grateful that was made possible the exact week we needed it). :) hashtag blessings and miracles all week!

the most successful FHE ever!!!

another great family home evening
with some investigators and ward members!!
(the fam on the right is the investigator fam)


hermana wood

More from this week's message to Hermana Wood's youngest brother:
this week, we taught a less-active member named sandra who reminds me of all the wood aunts combined into one person who speaks spanish. she is so cool!! i could sit and talk to her forever! she wants her family to receive the gospel - she's the only member. the other day, she was thinking and said she felt so afraid because her family isn't going to be together forever - they aren't sealed in the temple. her husband is very catholic and only argues with her; but, she loves him, and wants him to be baptized. her husband has visited with 3-4 sets of missionaries and still hasn't accepted the challenge to be baptized. SO excited to teach this family!! LOVE YOU.

More from this week's message to Hermana Wood's mom:
the lady whose house we live in isn't a member or our pensionista. our new pensionista (for lunch, breakfast, and laundry) lives a 10-minute walk away, and her name is ermita. she's like a combination of you and mimi - but crazier. :) she's soo funny and reminds me of you guys a lot!! so loving and just the greatest. :) she gives us salad every day!!!

i haven't gotten my package, yet, but i saw an office elder last night, and he told me there is a package for me in the mission offices!! so, i'm going to pick it up today. :) LOVE YOU.

Monday, June 6, 2016


hermana vazquez and i (same district)!
she's not my current companion, but we've known each other
since my first area (pucallpa)! :)

hey, all! do you want to know what happened with transfers?! do you really want to know?!? okay, then I'll really tell you: I DIDN'T GET TRANSFERRED. NOT EVEN A LITTLE (well, maybe a little, because we changed apartments). but, we're still here in iquitos!!! my companion, hermana osorio, and i are SO HAPPY!!!!!

JUST THIS MORNING, we moved to a different apartment!!! our new place is sliiiiightly bigger than our old room. not by much, but it's cool. it's actually in the back of this lady's house. hermana and president gómez called us last saturday and were like "we found you a house, come now and see it!" so, we immediately left the lesson we were teaching to see the new house and were informed we'd be moving on MONDAY!! that was a little stressful, but we made the move in four hours (with the elders' help), and we actually really like our new home!

the zone and district leaders arrived this morning to help us move!

it's so weird that i'm never going back to this little room again!!
it was my home for almost seven months!!

this is just outside of our new house!
not sure if you can tell, but we're right next to the chapel

move complete!!!

in other exciting news: our investigator, rocio, has a new date for baptism!! it is set for the 1st of july. please continue praying for her (a lot depends on her husband). also, we started teaching rocio's son, samuel, this week, because i was like "you know what, let's teach your son, too!" he's always in and out of the lessons we have with rocio, but he never sits down. so, we taught him about the restoration, and he said he wants to be like joseph smith; he wants to pray and receive an answer!!

also, we were teaching a lesson on the apostasy when all of perú found out who won the tie-breaking, second presidential election; the street sort of erupted with the news, and the couple we were teaching got a little distracted. the husband looked out at the street, back at his "lesson 1" pamphlet, out at the street, then back at the pamphlet and said "OKAY, so here's what 'apostasy' means," and continued explaining it to his wife. haha, i love these people. :)

one of our favorite ward members made us PIZZA! 

thanks, leny!!! :)

anyway, because of the presidential election on sunday, we weren't allowed to attend church meetings, but we DID have the blessing of proselyting for 8 hours instead. ha! we felt the spirit, though, and overall life is good. i'm so happy to have stayed in this area (going on seven months next week)! wooooot!! love you all so much!!!

hermana wood

More from this week's message to Hermana Wood's dad:
there's a young single adult sister in my ward named scarlet who's going to utah at the end of june, and i'm sending a package home with her! it will contain some things i don't need (that are just weighing down my suitcases) and also a few surprises for you guys. :) i'm sending the video logs i made, as well as a USB (backup) with every picture i've taken thus far on my mission. enjoy!!

also, scarlet is going to be touring BYU, so she'll get to meet mom! :) i gave her mom's number, but she doesn't speak hardly any english!!

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