Monday, December 30, 2013

Twas the night before transfers...

Hola Familia
Wow this week was actually way good!! I hope you all had an awesome
Christmas, I know that I sure did. So Christmas Eve we went caroling
as a district and it was super fun and we got to meet a lot of really
cool people. Christmas is a little different here in Peru, everyone
waits until midnight and then at midnight they eat this huge dinner
and light off fireworks. We were sleeping and then when midnight came
I literally thought I was in the middle of a war zone because there
were so many fireworks going off. We climbed up onto something and we
were watching out the window as the sky lit up with fireworks. I have
never seen so many in my life it was so amazing. Definitely the
hottest Christmas I have ever experienced. A huge Christmas tradition
here is that the eat this thing called Panetòn which is pretty much
this really dry fruit bread and it is disgusting! The sad thing is
that everyone was feeding it to us and we had to eat it but really, it
is not good. So on Christmas day after we skyped and everything we
went to eat lunch with everyone and guess what I had for lunch? An
alligator sandwich! I was so proud of myself that I actually ate it
and it is actually really yummy but it has a different taste to it.
After that, the mission put on a Christmas program and all the
missionaries were in it and we had to sing and people played
instruments and it was really really pretty and it was so fun to be
with everyone on Christmas. President gave a really good talk and
everyone loved our program! That night we went to a member´s house and
made the brownies mom sent me and they were so good! It really was
such an awesome Christmas.
So we had a baptism this week and it really was a miracle. This kid we
baptized is named Jian Francis and he just turned 14. He has been
going to church by himself for a little while and the elders just
passed us the reference because he lives out of our area but his mom
is a single mom with five kids. We started teaching him and we were so
impressed at how prepared he was. The next week he told us that he has
an aunt that is totally anti-mormon and does not want him to get
baptized.  He kept telling us about her and really I was so scared
that he wasn’t going to get baptized because he doesn’t have a dad,
his mom doesn’t want to come to church and his aunt doesn’t like the
church. We went and taught him the other night and I had so many
doubts. I really thought that he was going to tell us that he wasn’t
going to get baptized and that would be it. We sat down and started
talking to him and I asked him about his aunt and he was like “Ya she
really doesn’t want me to get baptized.” I then asked him what he
wanted to do about his baptism and he was like “The only I can do is
keep going.  I know this gospel is true and my aunt… ya she doesn’t
matter.” I really have never been so impressed with someone`s faith.
He really just knows how important this gospel is and that it will
bless his life. He wants to serve a mission one day and I know that
when he does he will bring many people to the church because of his
undoubting faith. I realized this week as I have been thinking about
my family a lot and Christmas that sometimes it is hard to be away but
there is really nowhere else in the world that I would rather be right
now. I love these people and I love this place and I am so happy.
Missionary work is hard because people have agency but I am so
grateful that I can be here and that I have met so many wonderful
people and will meet many more. I love you all so much. Wish me luck
with transfers! I think that I am going to start training this week 
I am absolutely terrified but I guess we will see what happens. Love
Hermana Allphin

Monday, December 16, 2013

Merry Christmas from the Amazon :)

Hola Familia!

Wow this week went by super fast but it was kind of long at the same
time. First of all we had our mission Christmas party on Friday with
all the missionaries in Iquitos and it was seriously so fun! We sang
christmas songs and got to see all of our friends and President and
Hermana Góme spoke to us and we ate at a way cool place and all
together it was just an uplifting day that everyone needed. Christmas
is coming up quick and this is the last time I will be writing you
before Christmas so I just want to say Merry Christmas from the selva
:) Christmas is definitely celebrated a little bit different here in
Peru but it has been fun to be part of the experience :) This week was
a little bit difficult for us me and my companion ran into a lot of
problems with all of our investigators and it was super frustrating.
My companion is awesome and we get along really well but we are both
still really new and we still have a lot to learn. It felt like we ran
into obstacle after obstacle and we worked so hard to try and fix all
of the problems but we just kept finding more. It was really
interesting that in the training that we recieved from President Gòmez
on friday he talked a lot about opposition and how we can turn our
opposition into a blessing. We have really been trying to focus on
that this week. We didnt have anyone come to church yesterday and we
are having a lot of problems with the people who have baptismal dates.
All of the families that we are teaching cant progress right now and
sometimes it is a real bummer. I know there are people here who are
ready to hear the gospel we just have to come up with new ways to find
them. President said that in times of opposition we find the greatest
opportunities to trust in the Lord. We are going to put every ounce of
trust that we have in him this week and hope and pray that things go
well. I hope that you are all enjoying this christmas season and
remember the reason why we celebrate this holiday. Christ came for us
and offers us the greatest gift of all, to be able to live with our
father in heaven once more. Remember to serve those around and look
for those who are in need of comfort or help. I love you all so much
and hope you have the best Christmas ever :) I love you!

Hermana Allphin

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Another week in the Selva!

Wow this week was super interesting. I was a little bit sick in the beginning of the week but I am much better now. It is really really hot here in Iquitos and I really have the funniest tan lines ever from the sun J I don’t feel like I have anything spectacular to tell you about this week but we did have a baptism on Saturday that was way cool! This little girl´s name is Julesi and her older brother got baptized about a month ago. Her parents were really hesitant to let her get baptized because she is only 11 but they finally agreed to let her get baptized and it was such a special experience for everyone. Her parents are not members yet and when I was talking to her dad after the baptism he told me that he wanted to get baptized and we were super excited! The problem is that he left for Bolivia today for his work and he is going to be gone for 2 months…. Hopefully I am still here when he gets back to we can keep teaching their family. The Christmas devotional from the first presidency was so good last night! They let all of the North American missionaries watch the devotional in English in a different room so that was so nice. Christmas is a lot different here and it was so good to listen to Christmas music and to the talks. I am so excited to talk to you all in a couple weeks and here about all of your Christmas plans! Well that is really all I have to tell you this week, talk to you all soon! Love you!
Hermana Allphin

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Lord Works in Mysterious Ways!

Hola Familia!

Okay so I really dont have a lot of time this week to write because
the internet cafe is really really crowded but I want to tell you all
about a way cool experience that we had this week. So we have this
investigator named Lita and she has a ton of family problems. Last
week she had an interview with President Gomez so that he could assess
the situation because at this point we cant do anything else. After
her interview, President told us that he was going to come the next
week to our area to visit Lita. We were a little bit in shock because
that is very rare for your mission president to come visit with your
investigators but we didnt really think about it. Saturday came and we
remembered that this was the day President was planning on coming. We
asked our District leader what the plan was and he was like
,"President is coming to visit your investigator??" Haha and he had no
idea so he told us to call the Zone Leaders. We call them and they
were super shocked and surprised as well and they didnt know what the
plan was either so they called the assistants and the assistants told
us to call President!! Hermana Dickey and I were like..... ugh you
want us to call president directly? We called and set up an apointment
and that night we met up with him and Hermana Gomez. We went to her
house and President was talking to her for a while and asking her
questions and stuff and then after he was like okay Hermana´s what do
you want to teach? I was so nervous! I was like oh my goodness I cant
teach a lesson with my mission president and his wife here! But we
started teaching the lesson and it actually went really well! The
spirit was really strong and it was exactly what she needed! After our
lesson he told us that we did a good job and that he is going to come
to our ward tomorrow for church! He came for church and our only
investigators at church were Lita and her kids :( Sometimes it is
really hard to motivate people to come to church! But anyway it was a
way cool experience and I am so grateful for all the help we recieved!
One more thing, we got a reference from a girl today who is from
Belgium and she wants us to come teach her. The problem is that she
only speaks English and when I was trying to talk to her I was having
trouble speaking english, I kept lapsing back into spanish! How cool
is it that the missionaries in her area are two gringas that speak
English? The Lord works in mysterious ways and it will definitely be
interesting to teach in English! I have been speaking spanish for 3
months and it is honestly harder to speak english sometimes. Wish me
luck!! I love you all !
Hermana Allphin


Hola Familia!

Alright so this week was seriously absolutely crazy! So Monday after I
emailed you guys we went to the offices to find out about transfers
and guess what?? I got transfered!! I was seriously in shock because I
was only in Secada for 6 weeks. When my Zone Leader called my name for
transfers I was literally so surprised. I got transferred to Zona 9 de
Octubre and I am serving in Barrio Internacional. It was honestly a
little bit hard for me because I had to leave all of my investigators
and I wasnt able to go to their baptisms this weekend :( Want to know
the craziest part about all of this? My new companion is Hermana
Dickey! Remember the girl I met on facebook before I left on my
mission? Ya we both have six weeks in the mission feild, we are both
white, and we are co-companions because we dont have a senior
companion or a junior companion. We both havent finished our training
so for the next six weeks we have to train eachother! This area is
really new and so we worked really really hard this week to try and
find new investigators and less- active families to teach. We have a
few really good people that we are teaching but no one has accepted a
baptism date yet and so we are kind of bummed out about that. Everyone
was seriously so surprised that they put two gringas together who only
have 6 weeks in the mission. No one believed it until they saw it! We
were all freaking out and President was just sitting there laughing at
all of the looks of shock on everyone`s faces!  Funny story of the
week: We were sitting in church yesterday and this woman gets up to
give a talk. At the end of her talk she says, Okay now I am going to
sing a special musical number to end. So a man gets up to play the
piano and he is wearing a bright blue jewish cap...and then she starts
singing and it sounded absolutely horrible and she was belting as loud
as she could and flailing her arms around as she was singing "Redeemer
of Isreal." Hermana Dickey and I were trying so hard not to laugh it
was so hilarious! The only thought in my mind was that, "Our
investigators are going to think that church is so weird!" It was a
pretty fun time! I hope Thanksgiving was super fun and that you ate a
big turkey!  My spanish is coming a long really really well and the
lord has really blessed me! Here in Iquitos they speak with a really
funny accent called Charapa and it is like when they talk they are
singing because they move their voices so much. Now everytime I am
teaching a lesson or talking with someone they are always like. " Wow
you speak really good Charapa! You have an Iquitos accent!" Haha so
when I call you in a month at Christmas dont make fune of my funny
voice! Wish me luck this week, have fun getting ready for Christmas!
Love you!
Hermana Allphin

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Lots of Weddings!

Hola Familia!

Wow this week seriously went by sooo fast. We had a really good week
but we also had a lot of problems. Interesting story number one: Our
Zone Leaders called us on Tuesday night (we serve in the same ward as
our ZLs) and they told us that the massive wedding that is free got
cancelled. The problem with that is that our zone has 5 families that
need to get married on Friday so that they can get baptized on
Saturday. We immediately started preparing papers and  other stuff so
that we could organize our own wedding for this Friday so that
everyone doesnt lose their baptismal dates. The next morning we were
coming back from the Municipalidad (wedding papers) and we had been
trying to call our Zone Leaders all morning and they hadnt answered
and so finally someone answered the phone and it was some weird guy
that said he bought this phone for 20 soles.... we were like Oh no the
zone leaders lost their phone! Sure enough they show up at our house
an hour later and tell us that they lost their phone at the airport.
Obviously they cant survive without a phone because they have a lot to
do so we had to give them our phone. It was so hard to be so
disconnected from the world for three days because we couldnt contact
anyone! But we have our phone back so everything is good :) Our
baptism on Saturday was so crazy! We show up at 7:00 and there were
tons of people in the chapel. We found out that there was a marriage
going on but the person that was coming to marry the people hadnt
shown up yet. All of our investigators were waiting in the Chapel and
we had to wait til the wedding was over to start the baptisms. So
remember Hna. Lupe? Ya she got baptized this Saturday and honestly the
moment she entered the water I felt such a huge relief! It has been a
huge struggle to get her to baptism and we had a lot of opposition but
in the end it all turned out okay. Our other baptism was Carlos
Torres. He is an old man and his wife died a long time ago. His
son-in-law baptized him and his daughter was watching and when he came
out of the water he gave his son-in-law the biggest hug and it was
soooo sweet. Alright one more funny story: After the baptism, everyone
went back in the chapel for testimonies and the closing song and
prayer. There was  enough people that we filled up the whole chapel
because everyone stayed after the wedding. I got up to lead the
closing hymn and we start going and nobody was singing.... I was
singing, my companion was singing and the two Elders were singing and
that was it. Nobody knew the song and no one had hymn books and I am
just standing there awkardly leading the song in front of like 100
people.... ya it was super awkard! I definitely have lots of
adventures every week but I love it! Transfers are today and I am
really nervous, honestly anything could happen but I am pretty sure I
will be staying in Secada for a few more months! Enjoy your
Thanksgiving holiday! Love you all!
Hermana Allphin

this is hna. Lupe and hno. Carlos at the baptism... They are awesome!

Monday, November 11, 2013

When it pours!

Hola Familia!

Wow this week went by so fast! I cant believe that it is already
Monday again. So nothing spectacular happened this week, just taught
lots of lessons and the sun is my worst enemy. We did have a really
funny experience this week with the rain. We left our house at about
10:00 in the morning and the sun was blazing. We decided to go teach
some families in a little invasion town in our area that is kind of
far away from our house. Invasion towns are little villages in the
middle of nowhere with plywood bridges and stick houses.....anyway we
were teaching our recent convert Vanessa and her family and all of the
sudden the sky got dark and we heard lots of thunder. We opened the
door and it was the craziest thing because we could literally see the
rain coming right for us in huge sheets. We saw it getting closer and
closer so we closed the door as tight as we could and waited. There
was a huge flash of lighting and then the floods came. The thunder was
so loud that it was shaking the house and we couldnt hear eachother
because the rain was so loud. Keep in mind that we are sitting in a
little shack with a piece of metal for a roof and their is lightning
everywhere. The wall to the house started falling down and the water
started coming in. I seriously thought we were gonna die but it was
kind of fun at the same time. When the lightning stopped we knew we
had to go because we had lunch with a member. As we were running out
of the down we had to be super careful walking over the bridges
because they are not sturdy at all and the river was really deep and
really fast. All of the houses were completely flooded with water.
When we got back to our house we found out that our house was
completely flooded too! Luckily the members that we live with put all
of our suitcases and stuff on top of our beds so none of our things
were wet. But there was no electricity and a lake of water in our
house and the house of the members... ugh it was awful! Our house
smelt so bad! As we were walking to our lunch appointment we had to
take the long way because the streets had literally turned into
rivers. Also my shoe got stuck in the toxic slime mud and I had to
wash my foot in the gross over flow water.... ya it was definitely an
adventure but the good news is that everyone was fine and the rain
eventually stopped. We have two baptisms this saturday that I am
really  excited for. Hna Lupe is excited for her baptism but sometimes
when we go visit her she seems like really hesitant. I am hoping we
can keep her excited until Saturday. Our other baptism is Carlos and
he is an old man whose wife died and his daughter gave us the
referral. He loves everything about the gospel and is really excited
about his baptism. Oh and Estafita! She is my favorite. She is a
single mom and we started teaching her last week. She was so receptive
to our message and she is going to get baptized on the 23rd! Her
little boy Justin is soo cute! Well that is all I have for you this
week, I hope that you all enjoy your week and I will talk to you again
next Monday! Love you!

Hermana Allphin

Monday, November 4, 2013

Happy Halloween :)

So this week was super good but to tell you the truth I cant remember
most of what happened. The days seem to blur together. So Halloween
was this week and I was super excited for it but the sad thing is that
here, nobody celebrates Halloween :( no decorations, no costumes, no
candy....nada. That was kind of a bummer but we did have a fun
experience that night. We are teaching a family right now that I love!
They are getting married this month and they have two little kids
named Rodrigo and Carla. This family is always so fascinated whenever
I talk about my culture and the U.S. I was telling them about what we
do on Halloween and Rodrigo was dying, he was like " What! You get
candy on Halloween?" Haha my mom sent me a package for Halloween that
had like Skittles and some other candy and some fake spiders in it so
I decided to give this kid a fun Halloween. That night I put the candy
and the spiders in a bag and brought it with me to the lesson. At the
end of the lesson I was like okay Rodrigo I know you wanted to know
what Halloween is like the States so I brought you a present. I pulled
out the bag of candy and he literally couldnt contain his joy! He was
jumping around and he was like "Mom look look!" They were all so happy
and they put the fake spiders all over their house. They had no idea
what skittles were because they have never tried them but they all
loved them soooo much! It was a pretty fun experience. So one thing
that I have neglected to mention in my past emails is that we use
these things called motokars to get where we need  to go. It is a
little carriage strapped onto the back of a motorcylce and we use them
to travel long distances... super sketchy but fun :) It has been
raining a ton here in the past few weeks and the mud is crazy bad but
està bien! We have transfers in a couple week and we think we are
going to be put in a trio because we have a lot of new hermana´s that
need trainers. Right now I am the baby of the mission because I am the
youngest girl but not for very much longer. That is all I have for you
this week, I love you all! Talk to you next week!
Hermana Allphin

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Another week in the Selva :)

Hola Familia!

So I actually have some time to write a decent letter this week! I
have so much that I want to tell you all. First off I want to tell you
about our baptism on Saturday! It was so awesome :) The girl that got
baptized is named Gimena and she is so great. She is 17 years old and
she lives with the Diaz Family. I love the Diaz family except for one
thing..... their dogs!! They have this dog that is seriously the
living image of death. It has some kind of disease and doesnt have any
hair and it has been in so many fights with other dogs that its throat
is falling out.... ya it is so gross!! and the best part is that this
dog lives in the house with the people. The house doesnt smell great
but we do love Gimena and for this reason we go into their house to
teach her. She was kind of a miracle for us. We met her on the second
day that we were in Iquitos and she accepted a baptismal date on the
first lesson. She had a lot of problems that were holding her back
from baptism but in the end it all worked out. She was super nervous
on Saturday but after she was baptized she couldnt stop smiling. We
had problems with the water again at the baptism because a pipe was
broken. So what did we do ? We duct taped it and shoved a stick in it
:) Yes, duct tape was sent from heaven. There were 3 baptisms on
Saturday because the Elders had baptisms as well so there was a lot of
people and everything about it was really fun!
Okay I want to tell you about Lupe. We met Lupe on the first night
that we arrived in Secada. My companion and I are brand new to this
area and so we were walking around getting to know the streets and I
saw her sitting outside her house and decided to go and talk to her.
We found out that her husband had joined the church about 5 months
ago. He came out and joined us in our lesson. We started teaching and
she was super uninterested and had lots of doubts but at the end of
the lesson she invited us back. We went back a few days later and
taught a lesson again and invited her to church. At that point she
starts telling us that she really doesnt like the church or anything
about it. She doesnt like going, she doesnt like the people and she
doesnt like having the obligation of having to go to church. Pretty
much she told us that she hated everything about it. The whole lesson
I was super bummed because I could tell that she really didnt like it.
At the end we both bore testimonies of the blessings that come from
going to church. After the lesson me and my companion were talking and
we decided that we werent going to visit her anymore because obviously
she wasnt interested. She had told the previous Elders that had taught
her to go away and never come back so we didnt have much hope for her.
That next Sunday we were waiting outside for one of our investigators
and Lupe walks in with Carlos ( husband) My jaw dropped to the
pavement. Me and my companion were so shocked. We welcomed her in and
the meeting started. I had to give a talk in sacrament that day (
worst thing of my life!) and so did my companion. After our talks we
looked over and she was crying. We visited her after church that day
and she told us that she really enjoyed church and wanted to go again
next week. We were both super scared but we decided to invite her to
be baptized... and she said yes!! Next we invited her to read and pray
about the Book of Mormon....and she did!! She told us that when she
started reading it her whole body was filled with warmth. In our last
lesson, Carlos (husband) started crying because he was so happy the
sisters had finally come to teach his wife because she really didnt
like the Elders. She is getting baptized on November 16th. It is truly
amazing how the Lord has the power to change hearts. It was a
testimony builder for sure.
We are teaching another really great family but we are waiting for
their marriage papers before they can get baptized. There have been a
lot of problems with thier papers but we are praying that everything
will work out for them to get baptized this month.
I wish I had time to tell you about all of our investigators but time
is short as always. My new favorite food in the entire world is
Maduras Fritos. It is bananas that are sliced the long way and fried
in a skillet.....seriously heaven on earth! Also I love Inca Kola! It
is 10,000 degrees here as always and there is mud everywhere but its
whatever. I got the worst sunburn the other day haha and my companion
told me I looked like the Peruvian flag, red and white:) I love you
all and hope that you have an awesome week! Happy Halloween! We dont
have Halloween here in Peru so you all have to celebrate for me! Love
you, talk to you next week :)
Love Hermana Allphin

This is me in the entry to my house :) pretty different right?

Monday, October 21, 2013

Bug Spray, Baptisms....and lots of Bananas!

Hola Familia! 
Okay so I have like no time to write an email today because the
internet is really slow. So I had my first baptism on Saturday and it
was super cool but we had so many problems. We got to the chapel half
an hour early and the mission leader told us there was a problem.
There was no water in the chapel and we had no way to fill the font
up....kind of a problem. So plan B was to get buckets of water and
fill it up by hand haha and that is what we did. The only problem with
that was it takes a lot of water to fill up a font! Next problem was
that the Elder that was supposed to come and baptize her was super
late becasue he had to come from far away and we didnt know if he was
going to make it.... the only problem with that was he was the only
one who had baptism clothes besides our zone leaders and they had an
appointment. We had no priesthood and no water and everyone was
waiting. The baptism was supposed to start as 7 but it started at
8:45! We ran to our house to make it by 9:30. The most important thing
though is that she got baptized. We have another baptism next saturday
and hopefully we dont run into as many problems! This week was really
good but it is extremely hot! Like unbelievably hot and humid. Oh and
random fact, we eat so many bananas. Fried bananas, boiled bananas,
banana chips, salted bananas, sweet bananas, banana smoothies, you
name it and I have probably had it! We are teaching some really great
people and we had a lot of our investigators come to church yesterday.
This is a huge adjustment because everything is so different but I am
getting used to it and the work is going great! Sorry I dont have time
to write more. I will send you pictures of everything next week. Love
you all!
Hermana Allphin

Monday, October 14, 2013

Bienvenida a la Selva!

Hola Familia!

Okay so I have sooo much to tell you and not a lot of time but I will try my best. So after we got to the mission office last Tuesday we had interviews (in spanish) and then we got assigned to our areas and our companions and then we were off. My companions name is Hermana Salinas and she is from Paraguay. She has helped me a lot these past few days and she is an awesome trainer. It is kind of hard sometimes because she speaks absolutely no english but I am getting used to it. Our area that we are serving in is called Secada. Pretty much it is just straight jungle! The first day I arrived we were out walking visiting members and I just kept thinking "I just got dropped in the middle of the Jungle Book!" Haha the houses here have roofs made of sticks and branches and the majority of the houses have mud and dirt floors. The house we live in has cement floors though and a real roof so that is way nice. We live with a wonderful member family and the wife of the family is our pensionista so she cooks us breakfast and dinner. I absoluetly love the food here! There hasnt been one meal that I havent liked so far. All of the food is super weird though, I havent eaten anything yet that I have known what is was before I ate it... so that is kind of sketchy sometimes but oh well. Something really cool about our area is that this area has never had sister missionaries....ever! We are the first sisters in this area and everyone is so excited. We were warmly welcomed to this area :) There is an neighborhood in our area called Mama Irene and it is the poorest place I have ever seen. I call it a shack town because all of the houses are shacks built on the side of the road with muddy rivers running through the town and stray animals wandering everywhere. Not gonna lie I have walked over some pretty sketchy bridges! The bridges here literally are pieces of plywood thrown over these huge trenches! Not my favorite. We have a baptism this saturday of a girl from Mama Irene named Vanessa. I really love her and am super excited for her baptism. The Elders baptized her mom and sister and now we are finishing her lessons. She is 18 and super cute and she is so enthusiastic about the church! We have a lot of weddings coming up! These families have to be married before they can be baptized and we have a lot of families that want to be baptized and so we have tons of weddings! I will have lots to tell you in the letters to come. I dont have a lot of time but we are teaching a bunch of families right now and I absolutely adore them! Hopefully we can get them all to baptism. That is all I have time to write this week, I will try to send pictures next week. I love you all, Iquitos is very different but there is lots of work to be done! Les Amo!

Hermana Allphin