Monday, January 15, 2018

Pucallpa 2.0

Hello everyone!!! 
I got transfered... again! I cant seem to stay in one area for more than two transfers and it makes my heart sad to have to leave so many wonderful people behind, but I am super excited to start this new transfer! I am no going ot be in Pucallpa in area Yarinacocha. This area has a lot of farms, and it is a lot poorer than any of my other areas, but the people here are already great! 
My companion is Hermana Lazarte.She is from La Paz Bolivia, and she is 22. She only has two transfers left in the mission. She is awesome. We get along really well and we are teaching powerfully together! The lessons that weve taught together have been some of the most spirit filled Ive had here in the misison. 
We are opening our area, and this will make three times opening and area in my mission. The first week is always getting to know the streets and the people, but next week is going to be a lot more teaching and getting down to business. For being our first week here it was really successful! we already have a new investigator. 
His name is also Junior. He is the brother of a recent convert here named Emily and he wants to learn more about God. He had a really bad accident a month ago and fractured his skull but he got a priesthood blessing and has recovered remarkably fast and wants to do what is right to thank God. We taught him that he needs to come to church and he accepted and came! It was so great. I am excited to start teaching him and get to know the other poeple that are waiting for the gospel here. 
Prayer is so important. All of these changes could have been really hard, but I have learned so much about prayer. God knows everything. He knows where the investigators are who are waiting for the gospel and he knows excactly where we need to be and when. HE HELPS US KNOW THESE THINGS TOO. we just have to pray always and he will guide our steps. I know he loves us. I know he has a plan for us. I am so happy. I am loving the mission and I am excited to see what is going to happen here in Pucallpa :)
Love you all!
Con mucho amor, 
Hermana Toponce

Monday, January 8, 2018

11 Months Already?

Today I have 11 whole months in the mission and I cant believe it. Time goes by faster here in the mission. Its crazy! I am so happy to be here and I have loved this time so much! I cant wait to see what else is going to happen. This week we have transfers. We are going to find out tonight at 9 when they call us and its possible that Im going to get transfered. I dont really want to because I love this area so much, but we´ll see what happens. My companion doesnt want to have transfers either! We're just loving our time here and were finding families :)
The family that we found last week when I prayed in my heart is so wonderful. They are progressing and love the gospel. They want to be baptised as soon as possible, we just have to help them learn more, and get married. Its going to be a bit of work, but Im excited for them! 
We also found another family that is super awesome! It is the family of a less active member named Lucio .His wife Melissa isnt a member and we just started teaching them and they came to church this week with their whole family! It was so beautiful and hermana Melissa said that when we were teaching her she felt super happy and calm and we helped her to recognize the spirit for the first time. This is definitly one of my favorite things to be a part of. I hope Ill be able to be here for her baptism too :) 
Today on our way to the internet to write, a man stopped us in the street and asked us to say a prayer with him. He was headed to a job interview and knew that our prayer would help him be more ready. We were so happy to pray with him and he was so grateful. Im glad we were where we needed to be in the right time :) 
I gave a capacitation in our district meeting this week about the gospel and it went really well. I love teaching whenever I can! I got to train our district on the gospel of Jesus Christ and how they can teach in with power and clarity. It helped me to realize just how simple and powerful the gospel is. Im getting better and better teaching it clearly, but I know it because Im understanding it more and more. I got to work alone with a member for two days this week because my companion went to Iquitos, and I was so excited because I got to apply all of the things Ive learned so we coud be successful. Everything went so well and I was super happy! Im glad Ive had so many experiences here in these 11 months that have helped me grow my testimony and learn so many things. The mission helps missionaries grow so much. 
I hope you have all had a great first week of the year, and that the second is even better! I love you all!
Con Mucho amor, 
Hermana Toponce

Monday, January 1, 2018

2018 already? Feliz año nuevo!

Wow. This week has been so great. I keep thinking that the mission cant get any better and then it does! :) Its been raining a lot this week and its been super cold for me. I dont know what Im going to do in utah because even when its a little cold here I cant handle it haha. Luckily my parents sent me a sweater for christmas so i was nice and warm still :) Thanks parents! 

I had such a lovely birthday here in the jungle. I got to celebrate with my pensionista and her family and the Gomez family (the family of our relief society president.) We went to the river and ate pineapple cake and it was beautiful. There were even monkeys in the trees! I never in a million years thought that my birthday away from home would be so great. The only think that would make it better is if my family was there too. I then got to talk to my family and it was so good to hear their sweet vioces. Such a beautiful christmas! 

After chrismtas we got to working like normal again because our investigators were home, and it was great! We taught a ton this week because people are out of school and work, and our investigator PIlar is progressing. She is praying to accept a baptismal date this January. I am super excited for her. Also I heard that Hermana Teresa that we were teaching forever in Pucallpa finally got baptised!! Its the greatest christmas gift ever. It was so hard to teach her, but Im happy to hear that it was all worth it. :)

My favorite teaching ecperience from this week was when we were contacting and no one wanted to listen to us. I knew that there was SOMEONE who was waiting for us so I didnt feel too sad, but I decided to offer a prayer in my heart that we could find a family and right after my companion and I felt prompted to knock on the same door. We knocked on the door and sure enough a sweet family opened the door and let us in. We taught a spirit filled lesson and the accepted that we come back! It was such amiracle. I have such a strong testimony of prayer that keeps growing every day. I know that when we consult the Lord before we do anything, he will guide our steps. As we are starting a new year, I hope we can set a lot of goals and ask for Gods help in accomplishing them. I know he hears and answers our prayers. 

I am loving my time here in Peru. I am loving teaching the gospel. I cant believe that I have to say that I go home this year now. Its so crazy! Feliz año nuevo everyone! I love you all!!!!
Con mucho amor, 
Hermana Toponce


Monday, December 25, 2017

Fireworks and Fruitcake

Christmas here in Peru is definitly different, but i have loved every second of it. This week we were worried that we would be able to find any of our investigators and we were a little sad because everyone travels here, but we got to teach this week and they are all progressing. We are teaching an adorable family Christian and Poula and they have accepted baptism! All we have to do is keep teaching them :) they are a golden family and have desires to change. We also have two other sisters we are teaching. One is named Pilar and she is super sweet. She is 18 and here studying by herself and said that she wants to be baptised so she can have a happy future family, and we are teaching another sister named Mabel. I am so happy that we have been able to use this christmas time of year to fine new, and wonderful investigators!!

Here for christmas, most of the celebrating is on christmas eve (noche buena) everyone makes a ton of food, and hot chocolate, and fruitcake and at midnight there are fireworks everywhere!!! It is so beautiful. We got to pass this time with our sweet pensionista Luzmilla and she made everything look so nice, and she made turkey! I was so greatful that she wanted to help us have a happy night. 

We visited all of the members of our branch council to give them little gifts and share a christmas message and it helped us a lot to be able to strenghthen th leaders in our branch. They were all sograteful an even more excited to share their testimonies of Jesus Christ. 

My favorite experience from this week was getting to sing hymns at the plaza and help cute families take pictureswith Santa. We contacted a ton of cute families and we are so excited to teacht hem!!!!! It was such a lovely experience sharing Christs light through beautiful hymns. 

I know that Jesus Christ is our savior and our friend. I know that He was bornand that He lives again and that only through Him we can have eternal life. I love His gospel and I know that it is true. 

Thank you all for your love and your prayers. I pray that you all have a fantastic christmas and that youcan find a chance to share a little bit of Christs love with those around you. 
Con MUCHO amor, 
Hermana Toponce

Monday, December 18, 2017

Hot Sun and Hot Chocolate

Well this week we got the sad news that Piter wont be getting baptised this week. He needs some more time to prepare. We were really dissapointed about it, but I know that everything will work out how it is supposed too! Were just going to keep preparing him for his baptism. 
I have been teaching my companioin the 12 days of christmas song and she loves it! Its helping her learn english and a new christmas song. haha. She taught me one called ven a mi casa este navidad and I love it. It will definitly be one I listen to after my mission. 
One of my families got married and baptised in Iquitos and I am so happy!! Lila and Jairo. We found them and taught them and I wasnt able to be there for their baptism but I am still so happy. The gospel is so wonderful and it has changed them a lot. :)
There were two funerals in our branch this week and we spent alot of the week serving the families and giving them some comfort. We went and sang some hymns with them and drank hot chocolate and it was a great way to bring the spirit into their homes. I felt so sad for them especially at this time of year, but we had a great chance to share our testimonies of the plan of salvation. I know without a doubt that families can be together forever and its one of my favorite things to share with the people here!
This week while we were working and no one was home we found a Caimito tree. Caiminto is a fruit that has a nickname la fruta de los enamorados. (Lovers fruit) because when you eat it your lips get super sticky haha. and we used our lunchtime picking fruit off of the tree. I love fruit from the jungle!!!
I am loving my christmas time here in my favorite area, and I am so grateful for all of your sweet emails for christmas. I hope you all have a fantastic week and remember those who need a little love this Christmastime. 
Warm hugs from Peru, 
Hermana Toponce

Monday, December 11, 2017

Double digits

I have hit double digits in the number of months I have been in the mission! 10 MONTHS!!! I am starting to feel old a little. For my ten months, we had divisions and I got to work with my trainer Hermana Kachkachian again. It was so great! We got to share our mission experiences, and see all of the things we have learned since weve been companions. I loved having a chance to see how much weve grown. I have seriously changed so much, but I know that its a really good change! She said that Im ready to train now, and it was a really nice compliment from her. :)

I ate hamster (or guinea pig I dont remember the difference) this week and it was delicious. My pensionista and my companion couldnt believe that I was okay eating it because all of the other North Americans freak out. I thought it was awesome! I did feel a little bad because its a pet in the united states, but so is turtle and Ive eaten turtle too. Haha! 

We had our Christmas Conference this week and all four of the Zones that are here in Tarapoto got together with President LI and Hermana Li. It was amazing! We sang christmas hymns, and christmas songs, and acted out different scripture stories and everyone was so happy. They caatered a lovely christmas dinner for us and we ate a ton, and then we ate fruitcake and hot chocolate! I was so full. I loved being able to celebrate my favorite time of year with all of the missionaries and remember how important our job of teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ is. I hope you can all remember to keep Christ in christmas this year as you all celebrate with your families :) 

We taught a man named Hans this week who is recovering from a motercylce accident and we were directed to his home just when he needed to hear from us. He was really sad because God had saved his life, but he didnt know how to repay God. I loved being able to teach him how living the gospel can help him show God his love. It was such a special lesson and I know we where where we needed to be! I love teaching the restored gospel. It seriously changes lives and brings hope to those in need.

I know that this gospel is so true. I know that it has been restored so that we can live with God again. Please dont forget to share the best gift of all this Christmas, the gospel, with all of those you love!

(It started raining out of nowhere and the internet was slow again.... no photos...)

Con Amor, 

Hermana Toponce

she sent the pictures the next week that went with this post

Monday, December 4, 2017

Iluminar el Mundo (Light The World)

Transfers have come and gone and I am happy to say that I am still in Tarapoto! My companion is still hermana Quispe and we are loving this area and all of the people here so we were so happy that we get to stay here! This makes three and a half transfers with the same companion... 5 months!! I cant believe it but I am super grateful to be her companion because we get along really well and we teach really well too! Im learning a lot here in the mission. Especially how to love people for who they are. Everyday we meet new people and loving them is so important so they can feel our Saviors love when we teach them. The gift of charity is so beautiful especially this time of year! 
Im super excited for the light the world challenge because we as missionaries are doing it too and it is helping us to find new poeple to teach. This week taught a sweet Sister named Maria and we sung christmas hymns for her and her family and she said she felt the spirit of christmas so strongly in her home. I love this time of year and being a missionary I get the chance to share the true meaning of christmas with people every day!!!! 
Here in peru everyone loves christmas and they are all putting up their lights, the only big difference is that there isnt any snow and it feels like were celebrating christmas in July! One thing that people do here to celebrate is eat Paneton (fruitcake) and drink Chocolatada (Hot chocolate) and I already know Im going to have a full belly all of December! haha!
I am a lot healthier now and this week weve been able to work like normal again! Im so happy about it, the only not so happy thing is that Piter said that he isnt so sure about being baptised anymore and it broke our hearts a little, we are praying that he can recieve an answer again and be baptised this month!! 
I hope you all loved the christmas devotional as much as I did and remember the three gifts you can all five this season, Love, Service, and Forgiveness :)
Thank you all for your prayers, you are in mine!
Con amor, 
Hermana Toponce