rocio and samuel :))))
rocio and her 15-year-old son, samuel, were baptized this week, and it was one of the most spectacular events of my mission!! the day was perfect - not a single thing went wrong! we also baptized a little 8-year-old boy named cleber, who was going to turn 9 this month [children of member families are traditionally baptized at age 8]; so, we said to his parents "HE NEEDS TO BE BAPTIZED ON SATURDAY," and they were like "yeah okay." :) of course, the triple baptism was amazing! i teared up big time when samuel was baptized. and, rocio's testimony afterwards was the best i've ever heard. she thanked like a dozen ward members by name and basically said to her husband she knew he'd get baptized soon - which is true, btw, because we taught him for the FIRST TIME, and he accepted the invitation to be baptized! miracles are real!! i know without a doubt that i stayed in this zone for as long as i have to see rocio baptized, absolutely. and, i'm so happy for her sweet son, samuel.
the most prized photo i own
in other exciting news, we met our new mission president and his wife, president and hermana li, this week! they are from lima and are suuuper short, haha. but, so so sweet!! hermana li is very very loving and will definitely be like a mother to us! we had a great meeting with president and hermana li, and they told us their conversion story. i'm really excited to work with them!!
new pres! that's his wife next to me
i love missionary work, what can i say more?! i have no words to describe the joy i've felt this week; it has been truly indescribable! all you who are on the fence about serving, just go. trust me, just go, because it will be the best experience of your life!! LOVE YOU ALL!!!
More from this week's message to Hermana Wood's dad:
so, the day after rocio was baptized (the sunday she was confirmed), she attended one of our weekly "rescue activities" (every sunday we go and visit "less actives" with our ward, and the missionaries do splits with the members). and, rocio was my companion!!! finally, now that she's a member, she can accompany us - she's always wanted to and was so excited! :) unfortunately, we went to the elders' area, which has the river in it, and we went down by "the bridges." as in down to the river, where the people live on stilted houses. rocio has lived in iquitos her whole life and has never gone down there, because she said it scares her. (ha, "welcome to the ward, let's go to the bridges!!!!") she was fine, though, and she loved it! in fact, she wants to send samuel on a mission, so i was giving her some tips. it was another perfect day. ;)
rocio was my companion the day she was confirmed!
More from this week's message to Hermana Wood's mom:MOTHER, I GOT THE PACKAGES!!! ALL of them!! the birthday ones came last week!! i love EVERYTHING!!! thank you so much!!! i know sending packages is not cheap, and i am so grateful! i'm going to make the no-bake brownies today (can't wait). :) and yes, scarlett hand-delivered the gift bag from the monterey bay aquarium this morning (and, i opened it)!! haha, is it weird that i was hoping you'd send me an octopus tentacle (among other things)? thank you!! #tradition
Photo sent via Facebook Messenger by Scarlett - THANK YOU!
oh ps, fourth of july!! we ate hamburgers and hot dogs (yes, both) as a district, and i had chocolate cake and ate ice cream on three different occasions during the day (because i am an american and i'm proud). other than that, not much happened! my comp gave me a hug and told me "happy fourth of july." :) also, the zone sang to me and hermana brigs (who lived next door in pucallpa as willes's comp and is now vazquez's comp here in iquitos) and also elder lopez (our district leader) for our birthdays in july. since our zone has all been here for like 5 transfers (and we are practically family), we had to sing to each other before we leave!! I LOVE YOU!!!
More from this week's message to Hermana Wood's youngest brother:
this week, our pensionista has been out of town, so her son and daughter-in-law have been cooking for us, and the portion sizes are bigger - so is my waistline, but also so is my happiness level. :) and, a member named cesar took us out to lunch this week! it was super nice of him; we went to portales (a little cafe), and i bought a hamburger, obviously. the elders in our ward (the zone leaders, haymond and espionza) came too, and it was a party!!
speaking of pensionistas, ours was telling us stories about mermaids. evvveryone here thinks they exist. deysi was saying her mother-in-law has seen them when she lived in a village by the river, and that they call her out to the water. the people say they steal babies and children. CREEPY.
Hermana Wood's sister selecting the perfect
octopus tentacle from the Monterey Bay Aquarium!
octopus tentacle from the Monterey Bay Aquarium!