Monday, September 4, 2017

Transfer Acomplished!

I have completed yet another transfer here in the beautiful Peru Iquitos mission. I am so beyond gratefu for everything that I have learned this transfer and I am So excited to see what adventures this next transfer will bring. Today we find out if we´ll be staying here or if well get moved to a new area. I cant wait to see whats going to happen! 
This week we had a few activities in the ward to help us get references and they were super fun, but we didnt recieve a single reference! I was dissapointed, but at least a family of Investigators came and they loved the activity. Its an activity that I want to organize in all of my wards here because Its stinking awesome! The activity is called viaje a hawaii and it started by giving everyone who came a certain amount of play money, and they were then told to use the play money to participate in the activieties that were set up around the church. There were cgams, a market, classes, a movie, a dance party, and they could use their money to do any of these things and us member in charge of the activity had to tept the to use their money, haha. After a ittle over an hour of fun and games, we announced that the fight to hawaii was about to eave and that they needed to board the plane. When everyone was in the plane, the chapel, we had the flight attendant welcome everyone to the flight and after a minute he got up an announced that there was turbulance and made noises like the plane was crashing. He then announced "Welcome to the final judgement" and according to the amout of money they had, the members were assigned to their kingdom of glory. The best part is that our investigators made it the the Celestia Kingdom! Woohoo!
The next day we had a lesson with Maritza and Luis, the investigators who came to the activity, and we shared the Plan of Salvation with them. They told us how happy they were to have made it to the celestial kingdom for the activity and their desire to make it there for real. We told them how its pssible and theyve accepted to be baptized!! I sure love them and their sweet family and I know without a doubt that they will make it to the real thing!
Its amazing to see the gospel changing lives. I remember when we first met Maritza when she was playing Bingo and when we asked, " Esta Hermana Maritza?" She told us that Maritza is in Lima. The third time we tried to find her, her neighbor finallyrold us that its been her all along! We finally set a tie to visit her and her family and met her husband and he was completely drunk! In my head I thught, "Were never going to be able to help this family" I WAS WRONG! They are now praying together, and they are starting to be more happy and united. The gospel has changed them and I cant wait to see how much more theyll be able to achieve before and after their baptism! Gods plan is so perfect. 
Life is filled with hard moments and sometimes we feel like we are too far from the path to ever get to God again. This is not true! We can always make it back. The gospel of Jesus Christ is perfect and can help us overcome what ever challenge this life throws at us. I know without a doubt that He lives and that his gospel blesses lives. I want to invite you all to watch the mormon message, "YOU NEVER KNOW" because it makes me happy and helped me to understand Gods plan a little better. 
Have a fantastic week! I love you all. You are in my prayers :) 
Hermana Toponce

Monday, August 28, 2017

Its raining, and I love it!

Hello sweet family, 
I am in a normal companionship again its just Hermana Gomez and I. Hermana Quispe has a mini missionary working with her until the end of this transfer and shes super sweet! Shes getting real life mission experience before she actually leaves on the mission! I have loved hearing about all of my sweet friends who have been choosing to go and serve missions. It is so fun to see that we are all around the world sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. Its just so awesome! :) 
This week we had a Zone conference with all of the zones in Iquitos, and it was super funny because there were about 100 elders, and just us 4 sisters! The other sisters are in Pucallpa, and Tarrapoto. It was awesome because right after the conference we got to have a catered lunch with President and Hermana Li and because there are only four sisters, we got to eat at the same table as president! This never happens! the only time we get to eat with president is at the beginning and end of our missions. I was so happy. The conference was great and we talked a lot about the importance of the atonement of Jesus Christ. It was awesome to be with all of the missionaries in this area of the mission :) 
I can tell that I have been in the mission for a while because one pair of shoes finally broke. I use them all of the time so I wasnt too suprised, but it made me realize how long Ive been here. Luckily I had some superglue from Grandma Toponce so I should be set with these shoes for another six months! thanks Grandma! 
Right now were starting to get into the rainy season in the mission and I love it, the mangos are growing, its a lot cooler, and the people are happier! Its crazy how much the weather changes peoples attitude. 
This week I got to eat alligator for the first time! I told my pensionista, the chicken is so good today, and she laughed and said, its because its alligator! It really does taste like chicken. really good chicken. 
We are teaching a few really awesome families right now and its so fun to teach families because they learn together and I am litterally seeing these families become happier and more united and they are applying the principles of the gospel. Ive always had a testimony that the gospel blesses families but there is something truly beautiful about seeing the gospel work in a family from the very beginning. 
I hope that you all have a great week and remember how truly important Jesus Christ is. He is the way. Living his gospel brings true joy. I love being able to share this joy here in Iquitos :)
Con Mucho amor, 
Hermana Toponce 

Monday, August 21, 2017

Iquitos week 4... Baptism!

This week has been so great. I have been able to see so many miracles and teach lots of lovely people the gospel. This week my dear friends from the CCM Hermana Felshaw and Hermana Griffith had to come to Iquitos to fill out some paperwork for their visas and they got to work in my area! I was so happy to be able to be with them for a day! We have all changed so much in just six short months. It was so great to hear their stories. Im excited to see how much we learn after another year in the mission! We are really good at speaking spanish now! haha.

We had our baptism for Junior and he was so excited. I am so happy that i was able to help him get ready for his baptism. He has gained such a stron testimony and he wants to serve a mission too! Im so excited to be able to help him prepare to serve a mission and learn even more about the gospel. His baptism was so great and there was so many members of our ward there to support him. He shared his testimony and it made me and the bishop cry because we felt the spirit so strongly! I know that Junior is going to do so many amazing things!

One funny story from this week is I was teaching a lesson and in the middle of sharing my testimony the chair I was sitting in bent and I fell on the ground. Everyone was freaking out because all of the sudden I was on the floor and they didnt know what do to. I was laughing super hard and to make everyone feel better I tole a food joke that I learned but I said it wrong and It didnt make any sense. But it made everyone laugh! 

We found a family that I am 100 percent sure are going to get baptised. Theri son is out serving a mission and they are so excited to learn what he is out teaching. They are super sweet! Ill be sending upsdates on how they are. 

I know that this church is true and that the gospel blesses families. I know that as we seek to become more like our savior we will be happy always. I love you all! Thank you so much for all of your love and support!

Con amor, 
Hermana Toponce

Monday, August 14, 2017

I'm in a trio again haha!

Again this week has been a little crazy but as great as ever. This monday we went to a jungle paradise named Quistacocha its a zoo and after walking through the zoo theres a beach and its so pretty. After the mission I want to come back again so that I can swim too. ;) It was super nice to have a relaxing pday and we got to ride in a bus to get there! Its been so long since Ive been in a closed vehicle. haha :)
I got to teach english class this tuesday and it was awesome. We had a lot of non members come this week and it was great because I taught everyone how to pray in english. Its been a long time since Ive prayed in english so when I offered the prayer in english at the end of the class I had an accent. I am so happy that I get to teach english and meet new people to teach the gospel to too. 
One of the sister here in Iquitos had to go home and now we are in a trio! I am still with Hermana Gomez but we now have a new companion named Hermana Quispe. Its been fun to be in a trio for the past few days. I have been able to learn so much from them both. 
This week weve been helping Hermana Junior get ready for his baptism this saturday. He is so excited and so prepared to be baptised. I have loved being able to teach him and I seriously cant wait for this saturday! 
We alsop have new investigators this week because Im a little crazy. We contacted a family this week and when we went to their house for our appointment a mand opened the door and angrily said, "Theyre not here" and slammed the door in our faces. I wasnt really in the mood for people slamming their door in my face so I knocked on the door again. My companions looked at me like I was crazy but when the door opened the second time it was the woman we had contacted. She let us in and we are now teaching her and her nephew Michael the gospel. I am so hapopy that I decided to knock on the door again. In life there are some days that are just really hard, and we have to try again and again to be able to reach our goals. This is normal! If we have to try again we´ll be able to learn even more! 
I hope you have a great week! Keep pressing forward and I know it will be a great week. 
Hermana Toponce 
Also sorry for no pictures. The computer is slow this week. 

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Wilderness. Iquanas. Coconuts. Six Months.

Hello Everyone, 
This week has been another crazy one! I love the mission here in Iqitos. We are starting to know our area better and weve gotten to know more of the members in our ward. There are so many good people here with lots of potential and I cant wait to start helping them to understand the gospel. We have a baptism coming up! We are teaching a boy named Junior and he has accepted to be baptised. He is 19 and he loves learning about the doctrine of Jesus Christ. It has been really fun teaching him and I cant wait to help him prepare for his baptism. 
This week I ate fish for the first time in my mission and it was delicious. The pensionistas here dont usually make fish because they think that the Americans are scared to eat it and my pensionista was really proud of me for eating it all! Shes the sweetest. 
We were walking by the river for pday and we saw an Iguana in the wilderness! It was climbing a tree and it made me so happy! Sometimes I forget that Im in the jungle until I see strange animals. 
I taught my first english class and it was awesome! There were a ton of people that came and I helped them to learn how to have a conversation in the airport. Were going to be having english classes every tuesday. I love teaching so I was really happy to hear that our ward wanted to have english classes :) 
This week we were looking for a reference whos name is Rosa. When we knocked on the door they told us that she had moved and gave us the direction of her new house, we finally found her new house and knocked on the door and a woman named rosa let us in to each her and her family. As it turns out it is a completely different Rosa that our reference, but we were able to find a super awesome family that is excited to live the gospel. 
I love that sometimes we have plans but god always has etter plans for us. He led us to this family because He know that they are prepared. 
I love the gospel. I love that I get to teach it everyday and I am so excited to see what fun things are coming up in this area. I love you all. See you in a year :)
Hermana Toponce

Monday, July 31, 2017

Hello from Punchana Iquitos

Hello Everyone,
Ive been transfered! I am now in Punchana in Iquitos in the ward Clavero. Its so much different than Pucallpa. Its right by the mission home and this area is pretty wealthy compared to the dirt roads in Pucallpa. It was really weird seeing real roads again! y new companion is Hermana Gomez. She is from La Paz Bolivia and she has been in the mission for nine months. Shes awesome! Im super excited that well be working together. This transfer is going to be a really fun one. We are opening not one... but two areas! We are in charge of a huge area here that was origionally two areas so weve been spending most of this week working with the members of the ward to get to know our new area! I am so excited that we have a big area! More people to teach!! 
The only downside of this new area is that our house doesnt have a working shower at the moment, so weve been showering with a bucket. Its pretty unfortunate but we should be fixing it soon. :) We have also recieved the assignment of Family History Missionaries for the whole mission. I seriously love family history so Im super excited for this new assignment. 
In Iquitos right now there are 60 elders and 4 sisters. In the other areas of the mission there are more but its crazy! I feel really outnumbered. The good thing is that the other sisters are really great :) 
We had  a miracle happen the day before transfers. I was with Hermana Kachkachian in a lesson with our investigator named Viviana and we were sitting outside of her house and she asked us if we could move the lesson inside. We of course agreed and moved inside. In the middle of our lesson we heard gunshots and we had to hide behind the couch! Everyone outside was freaking out and we were too so we decided to say a prayer that everyone would be safe. After a few minutes we didnt hear anything so we decided to look to see if everything was okay. Aparently there was a man with a gun who was trying to rob a kid in the street and tried to shoot him and they were exactly where we were sitting before we went inside! I am so grateful that Viviana felt the spirit that we should go inside. The good thing is no one got hurt and Im am no longer in that area. It was so crazy! (Dont worry parents this new area is a lot safer :) )
We had the special oportunity to hear from Elder Uceda of the seventy this week for a special zone conference. He only spoke here in Iquitos so Im grateful that I had transfers ;) He spoke about the importance of making disciples of Jesus Christ and helping people to truly become converted to the gospel. He talked about how important it is to read the book of mormon, pray, and go to church because these things will help us to have spiritual experiences and come closer to Christ. He taught with so much power and authority that when he finished, no one wanted to leave. The spirit was so strong! I have never felt so peaceful after a zone conference. It was amazing! I am so grateful that I got to hear from him. I am so excited to be here in Iquitos and for all of the adventures that Im going to have here and to help the people here become disciples of Jesus Christ. The church is so true and I love helping people find out that it is for themselves :) I hope you all have a fantastic week!!
Con mucho amor, 
Hermana Toponce

 This was her last day in Pucallpa!
 Her new Companion
This is the view from her new apartment in Iquitos. She says she has the same picture from the first day in her mission because she stayed in this apartment one night when she first arrived.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Soy Libre De Pecado

This week we had the chance to go to the baptism of Hermana Florita. She is and Investigator of the Elders in our district and we brought our investigator Flor so that she could see what a baptism is like. The baptism was beautifyl and there were so many people there to support Florita, when she came back into the room after being baptised, she exclaimed, "Im free from sin" and then took her seat. It was so sincere. She is 70 years old and she is so happy to finally be free from sin. Baptism is so essencial to live with God again and Im really happy that we got to go to her baptism. Our investigator Flor loved the baptism. She said that she felt really good and that she wants to be baptised too!! She is so awesome. She came to everything this week. She even sang with our ward choir for ward conference. I have loved being able to teach her and I am also so happy that she is so excited to be baptised. :)

The ward choir was awesome! It was the first time Ive ever been able to lead a choir and it might not have been MOTAB but it was wonderful! It was so fun to be able to hear everyones lovely voices and learn a new hymn together. It ended up sounding great and it brought the spirit into the meeting. After Sacrament meeting a bunch of the members thanked us for our choir! It was such a great experience :)

This week we also celebrated my companions birthday!! Hermana Kachkachian is now 26 and shes so happy! We celebrated her birthday by having lunch at the home of our Relief society President and she made Sarapatera... Turtle Soup! Its a delicacy here in Pucallpa and it was delicious! I have now eaten turtle and its true, it tastes like chicken! 

An Elder in our district named ELder Barnes has a hair accident this week and is now completely Bald... I couldnt stop laughing! Poor ELder. I really hope that his hair grows back soon. But in our Zone Meeting this week our Zone LEader shared a scripture that made us all laugh even more, 2 Kings 2:23-24!! Haha. I would write it out but I dont have my English Bible with me :) 

Overall this week has been great! I am so happy to be here in the mission! We have transfers tonight and Ill hear where my next area is. Im so happy that Ive been able to serve here in Pucallpa!! Missions are seriously awsome! I hope you all have a great week. Keep serving whereever you are because there are people that need you :) 

Con Amor, 

Hermana Toponce❤