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