Tuesday, February 28, 2017

CCM Week Three!

This week has been so busy. Its been a good busy though. I love getting more to do. It helps me grow faster!
Here at the CCM we have Avanzados- the people who have been here for three weeks already. They are the ones who help us who help us with everything we could possibly need. Today they all left to go into the mission field and I am so excited for them. Since they left we are now the avanzados and I cant wait to meet all of the missionaries we will be training! Its crazy how close we get to people after only three weeks here.
Another few other big things happened this week. Hermana Felshaw and I got called as sister leaders. It´s a huge honor because they only call one companionship. I am so excited for the opportunity to serve more here at the CCM. The other big thing is that I got asked to teach relief society next week. I have never taught a full church class before so this will be interesting. I'm just grateful that I get to teach it in English. haha!
Yesterday when I was playing soccer I hurt my knee pretty badly. Its feeling a lot better today but it was bad enough that I had to sit out of soccer yesterday. I was sad because I wanted to play, but as things usually work out here in the ccm I had a better opportunity come up. I went to play ping pong with the latinos and it was so fun to get to know them and speak only Spanish. One of the elders kindly told me that my Spanish was almost perfect. He was so surprised that I had only been speaking for three weeks. I am nowhere near perfect but I'm glad to see that getting hurt was a blessing in disguise.
They have this really interesting fruit here called granadia and it looks really gross but its my favorite! I wish I had a picture but you all should look it up!!
I have learned so ,much about the plan of salvation this week. It is such a precious gift to know where were from and where were going after this life. My testimony of the plan grew especially after an experience at the temple today. I met a beautiful woman from Lima and when I told her that I was from Utah her face lit up and she said, "My elder lives in Utah" she was converted to the church by an elder walker who is currently attending byu and I could tell that she was so grateful for him. Today she got to go through the temple for her parents. This gospel answers all of life's questions and gives us so much hope. I'm so glad that I got to talk to her and hear how the church has blessed her life. I so hope that I can help at least one person know about this special gift we have been given!
Thank you all so much for your emails, your thoughts, and prayers. They help me everyday and I couldn't be more grateful for your excellent example to me. I wish I could email all of you individually but I don't have enough time. Just know that I love everyone and I hope you have a great week. Take a moment this week to realize what blessings you have and thank heavenly father for the gifts he has given you. I promise you will find at least one thing to thank him for!

Here is the fruit she told us to look up!!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Family Hi!

Did you say you had to bus from the airport to the MTC? Was it a two hour ride? Is the picture of the white building the view outside of your room?
So the view from outside of my room is literally a brick wall haha. but we don't spend much time in there so I don't mind. The white building I sent a picture of is one of three buildings here. It has a chapel and an auditorium in it and we go there for devotionals and on Sunday. The bus ride to the mtc took two hours and it was dark so we couldn't see much but we did see a lot of people sleeping on the street which made me sad and on the ride from the airport I couldn't understand anything on the signs but I think I would be able to now. 

 How many sister in your district? Just you and Taylor?
In my district there are eight people in total. We have Hermana Felshaw and I, another companionship of sisters Hermana Griffith from Idaho, and Hermana Tons from California. The boys are Elder Letham and Elder Flores, and Elder Barnes and Elder Cloud. They are all so nice and they just make me laugh all the time. The names of the scriptures are different in Spanish so when Elder Barnes was trying to share James 1:5 in his lesson, he accidentally shared john 1:5. Now we all know that Santiago means James. We were all laughing so hard because he didn't notice until after he read it because he doesn't understand Spanish. Man, I was laughing so hard.

 How is the Spanish coming? You said in your other email that you have been learning so much. Do you try to speak it already every day?
I try to speak some Spanish every day. Some days are better than others. That's why I really like teaching lessons. They force me to see how much Spanish I really know, and I feel like I really know a lot already. Im trying to learn a hundred words a day and so far I've been doing great with that goal!! I really love to talk to the Latina sisters because they help me learn faster. They laugh at my Spanish sometimes but they love that I'm working to get better.

How bad are the bugs where you are? Do you already have to wear bug spray every day?
I don't have to wear bug spray everyday I haven't put any on here at the ccm. The only bugs that bite us are some weird ants in a certain section of our study area so we try not to sit there anymore. I've only seen like two spiders and they're little. I keep hearing it will be so so much worse with bugs in Iquitos.

I get to play soccer a lot and I think its so fun. Playing with the latinos is great because they are SO good and they help me get better at that too. I had four assists this week while playing so its fun to see that I'm getting better at soccer. The latino elders think Im cute so they keep trying to say my name whenever they can. Every time I touch the ball they all yell "HERMANA TOPONCE" and it makes me feel really loved.

I am so happy to hear about Kylie being engaged. That is seriously so fun! And Hallie I am SO proud of you for making it past the first part. I cant wait to hear how the rest of it goes. you are Awesome!! Jace good job on your award. Keeping working on all of your things so you can get your eagle someday.

I miss you all every day but I know you're safe at home. Thank you for all of your love and prayers. They really are helping me so much. When I say that I love the ccm I'm not lying. I am so happy here and I know that this is where I need to be. I don't think I need anything right now. I am set with all of the things I brought. Just keep reading the book of Mormon. It is seriously so helpful and has so many answers to life's problems.

 I cant wait to hear from you next week!!!
Con amor,
Hermana Toponce :) :)

CCM Semana #2

Somehow everyday here gets better and better. I am loving every second at the CCM and I'm so excited to use what I learn in Iquitos. Everyday is about the same. We eat food, have Spanish classes, study time, physical activity, more food, more classes, and then dinner. I thought it would get boring after a while but I think learning is fun so the days fly by!
My favorite thing to do is to teach lessons in Spanish. We got two new investigators that we get to practice teaching with this week. Luci and David. David gave everyone in our district a hard time for the first lesson! He was on his phone, not listening, and looking out the window. Hermana Felshaw and I then went in to teach him and he didn't use his phone or seem bored once! It was amazing. It was the best lesson we've had so far. Our Spanish was the best it has been so far and we could understand everything he was saying to us. The spirit in that lesson was so strong. It gave me a small glimpse of what I will get to do in the mission field and the love I will have for the people I´m teaching. I just love this so much!
This week we had the opportunity to go to the temple and it was so beautiful. Its a lot smaller than the temples in Utah, but it is really cool to me that the gospel is the same wherever you go in the world. Outside of the temple, there is a guy everyone calls the "tie guy" he sells ties and scripture cases outside of the temple that he makes by hand. He's not a member of the church but he really loves the missionaries! It was fun to have the chance to talk to him.
Hermana Felshaw and I had the opportunity to sing in church this Sunday. A few people in our district heard us singing and said we should sing in sacrament meeting sometime. We said we would do it the last week we were here if we did it at all. It turns out we were in charge of music this week so we got asked to sing. It was the first time Hermana Felshaw had sung in a duet but she did so good! Everyone told us that it was so fun to hear us sing and that we did a good job. We sang I need the every hour in Spanish!! Its so great that I have a companion who will sing with me.
One of my favorite things from this week was a talk we got to listen to on Sunday. Its a talk by Jeffrey R. Holland and all about Jesus Christ and His atonement. I love my savior so much and I am so grateful for everything he has done for us. Being here keeps reminding me of his great love for us and I'm excited to tell people all about it! I challenge everyone to find time to read it this week. Its called "Where Justice, Love, and Mercy Meet" and it was seriously so good.
Its is really fun to see the improvement I have made in just two weeks. I can pray, sing, share my testimony, and teach a fifteen minute lesson in Spanish and I'm improving everyday! But, I know that I couldn't do this without the help of my savior and the gift of tongues. It really is such a real gift.
I hope you all have an amazing week and seek to grow your relationship with Jesus Christ. You are in my thoughts and prayers and I love you all so much!
Con Amor,
Hermana Toponce

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Family Extras week 1

We hid a valentines package in her bag, because you can't send packages to the CCM so here's what she said.

Hello guys! Oh my goodness I am so grateful for your sweet notes in my valentines day package and I definitely shared my treats with the girls in my room and they say thank you too. The mtc is so much fun and I'm loving it so much. The first day was so so hard. I felt really sick and I threw up!! I think it was because of the heat and being completely exhausted but after that I felt completely fine and I've been healthy ever since. Prayers work!!
You asked about meeting up with the missionaries in Atlanta. I met up with everyone there and we all sat on the plane by each other. There was a lady on the plane who needed a blessing because she had a medical emergency and the elders gave her one. I am already so close to everyone here and its so fun. There are only 120 of us at the mtc so its been easy to get to know all of the people. My district is my favorite! Our district leaders name is elder Letham and he just barely turned 18 and graduated from high school and he is the most mature person I have ever met in my life. He is so fun to work with. Man, I love my district.

Getting settled into the mtc took about a week but I think I'm finally good. All of the stuff I brought works so well and I think I'm really prepare. I already have two bug bites and a few blisters. They don't hurt though! They just make me feel like a missionary. My hair is so funny in humidity. I really will be wearing a braid most of the time I think.

I've only seen one spider so far and it was tiny. There are a lot of pretty birds that sing to us in the morning and I think its fun to listen to them.

Peruvian Spanish is so pretty and I really think that I am getting better every day!

Hallie you looked absolutely stunning for sweethearts! IM glad you had fun with him. Also good luck with all of the student government things!! I am praying for you for all of the fun stuff you have coming up.

I seriously love you all so much and I hope you guys are doing alright!! I pray for you everyday!! Please have a safe and fun week.
Hermana Toponce :)
Ps my pday is on wednesday while im at the mtc. My schedule is wake up at 6:30 and then mostly classes and food every day.

CCM Semana #1

Hello everyone! I cant believe that I have already been at the CCM (MTC) for a whole week. It seriously went by so fast. The CCM is such a beautiful place. It has so many flowers and trees and everything is tile, there is no carpet anywhere! My first few days here were really crazy. After getting to the CCM early in the morning on wednesday, we still got up and got to work. We were exhausted but so happy to finally be in peru. I am in district Mormon and I have the coolest people.

There are only eight of us in my district so it gives us a lot of time to learn.

Getting used to the heat and humidity was pretty hard, but now Im totally used to it here. I already love peru so much!

My companions name is Hermana Felshaw and she is from Kansas. She is so sweet and hardworking and I am so excited to learn at the ccm with her. People keep saying that were only as good as our companions and that gives me so much hope. We are already such good friends! One funny story, this week we got a little lost and ended up in the Elders hall. We realized and turned to leave and one of the teachers saw us and yelled "Hermanas!" and started laughing so hard. I explained that we got lost and she seriously could not stop laughing. We really need to work on not getting lost.

 After only being here for two days, we started teaching lessons in spanish to fake investigators. Our investigators name is "Sophie"  Weve had the chance to have three lessons with her already completely in spanish. The first one was really rough but the next two went so well. I was so suprised that they had us missionaries teaching already but its really good practice!

I feel like I have learned more spanish this week than I did in all of highschool. We try to learn about 30 words a day and 6 phrases. Its so nice to be able to use the spanish I}m learning every day. I love talking to the native sisters here because they help me improve my spanish skills. They always laugh at me but then kindly help me fix my mistakes. It is SO hard to learn a new language, but it is definitely coming faster than I thought it would :)

The food here is delicious. Who knew there were so many variations of chicken and rice?! My favorite food this week was when they had soup, fish, and soft served icecream for dinner!! I was so stinking happy! Soup is my very favorite thing in the world. haha!

I hope everyone had a fantastic Valentine´s Day! Being away from everyone for my first holliday was weird, but I love being here. What better way to spend valentines day than by sharing the love that Jesus Christ has for everyone. I am so grateful for my savior and for his atonement. He gave us the opportunity to be happy, and perfect, and to be better every day! I love that!

Thank you for the thoughts and prayers sent my way! I can totally feel the strength that they´re giving me! I want to challenge everyone this week to start to grow a deeper love for Jesus Christ and everything He has done for us. Start with the scripture Omni 1:26. It´s a good one :)

Con amor,

Hermana Toponce