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

Monday, October 7, 2013

Last Week in the CCM!

Hola Familia! 
So this week has been kind of a blur, I feel like I dont have anything inspiring to write but I will try to keep you updated on what is happening. Last night we had to say goodbye to one of our teachers ( we only have two) Hermano Bejar and it was really hard for our district. We sang " God be with you til we meet again" in spanish and we all lost it. Our elders were bawling like babies and it was super sad. Hermano Bejar bore his testimony to us and his cute fiance did as well and it was so touching. He is one of the most amazing people I have ever met and he has brought the spirit into our lives so strongly and definitely helped us to be better missionaries. I have only known him for 6 weeks but he is definitely someone who has changed my life. It is going to be weird going to this last week of class without him as our teacher. So this morning for P-day, since we won the tree last week, we had a little christmas party with our district. It was so fun because last night was christmas eve and we sang christmas songs and everything and then this morning we went down to our class room and opened presents and sang around the christmas tree and it was such a blast! I absolutely love my district, they are my best friends! So we had to go to the immigration office this week in Central Lima and it was kind of a cool experience but it was a really long day. The city was beautiful and it had really big huge buildings that looked  european and everything was super nice! We were at the immigration office for almost 6 hours and then we had another 1.5 hours on the bus getting home because of traffic.... ya it was a long day but the good news is that everything should be good with my Visa! Today was our last P-day in the CCM and it was kind of sad because it was also the last time that we are going to be able to go to the temple until we finish our missions but está bien because I am super excited for Iquitos! I cant believe that I have already been out here for almost a month! They aren´t kidding when they say that time flies. I don´t feel like I have been here for that long and I don´t feel totally prepared but I know it will be amazing! Sad day for everyone, I won´t be able to email you next week. I leave for my mission on Tuesday morning sometime and won´t be able to send an email but you should be getting an email from the mission president at least. I will get to email you the next Monday though. This is my last letter for a couple of weeks so everyone enjoy General Conference, we are all super excited about it here in the CCM! It is going to be so fun to watch it with all of the missionaries :) I love you all, wish me luck next week! Voy a Iquitos en 6 días!
Hermana Allphin

This is our fun christmas party!