Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Hola Familia :)

This week has been so busy but it has been really good. We got to go to the park for pday which was super fun and I got to see a bunch of animals. It was like I was in Tarzan! There were so many trees and we had a monkey folling us around thew whole time which I thought was really fun. It was great to be able to see some of the jungle. 
We had a lesson with the stake president this week and I was terrified. He brought his friend who is a nonmember and we taught him at the stake presidents house. It was intimidating to have him there but the lesson went so well. Its the best lesson hermana prince and I have ever had together. The spirit was so special and I really see progress in him. Were excited to meet with him again this week. :) 
One of my favorite experiences from this week was teaching a family whos dad has recently passed away. They are all really sad and when we found them we felt like we should teach them a lesson. They kindly invited us in and we talked about the plan of salvation and how their family can be together forever and it was really special. They had so much hope in their eyes and it felt so good to be able to help them have some more hope during this hard time for their family. We have the special opportunity to be the family history missionaries for pucallpa so were always teaching people about the plan of salvation wich is my very favorite thing to teach about. I am so grateful to have this opportunity every week to teach people how they can bring their names to the temple. I just keep thinking about how special it is that we get to be wioth our families forever through the gospel! Its a real motivation for me to try to be better everyday. :) 
This week was a little rough with our investigators. None of them came to church but were hoping that they will this week and that they can keep progressing! Im excited to work hard this week to keep helping Isabel and Luisa get ready for their baptisms :)
I love you all so much and I love hearing from you. Thank you for your kind thoughts and prayers. :)
Con Amor, 
Hermana Toponce

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Feliz Pascua (Happy Easter)

Hello Evereyone! 
Things are going really well here in beautiful Pucallpa. It was so great to be able to celebrate easter here in the mission and teach people about how important Christ is. It was a really special opportunity. Here they celebrate the whole week before easter and its called the semana santa. Its pretty much spring break. For la semana santa people only eat fish and our pensionista still made us chicken so when I told people thats what we had for lunch they looked at me like I was a sinner! Now I know dont tell people that youre eating chicken during the semana santa. Anyways, easter was great and I hope everyone had a lovely weekend with their families!
This week I got to see the river Ucayali and it was beautiful! We went on our pday to see some tourist sights and the river was one of them. Its still crazy for me to think that Im in Peru. I reall love it so much :) 
On tuesday we had a district meeting and on Monday night I got asked to give the training for the meeting. I was terrified to teach a bunch of missionaries who know the language and the gospel, but I accepted and taught about the importance of the Book of MOrmon. It went really really well but I cant believe they had me do that. Haha! The mission is always giving me new opportunities to learn and grow. 
It rained for the first time in three weeks and it was aweome!! I love the rain so much. We had to wear rainboots because there was so much mud and we were soaked during all of out lessons. It felt so nice to have some cool rain after three weeks of super hot weather. Everyone is in a better mood here when its raining :)
For service this week we helped the Bishops sister clean her house and for mops here they just take a broom and wrap an old tshirt on the bottom! Its amazing how resourceful people are when they dont have much. I always love doing service! It makes me happy and the people I serve happy :) 
This week we were praying that ur investigators would accept a baptisimal date. We have three that are progressing so much and we were hoping for them to commit to a date. One is Isabel and Jack. They are a sweet couple with and adorable son and the other is Luisa a mother of two beautiful daughters. After praying and working hard to teach them about the gospel I am pleased to say that Luisa is going to be baptised on the 13 of MAy and Jack and Isabel will be baptised on the 27th of May! I am so excited to keep helping them to prepare for baptism. It makes me so happy to see this beautiful gospel changing peoples lives. 
I know without a doubt that this church is true. I know that because of Jesus Christ our lives have a purpose and through His gospel we have the opportinity to live with our families forever. Life is so good :)
I love you all and I hope that you have an amazing week. 
Con Amor, 
Hermana Toponce

Tuesday, April 11, 2017


Three weeks here in Pucallpa, Two months into the mission, and one baptism down! I love being a missionary. :)
Luceros baptism was so great. She was so excited to become a member of this beautiful church. Saturday was such a busy day because she had her baptism, Wedding, and baby Shower all in the same day. I got to be a witness for the wedding which was pretty cool. I sighned their wedding papers. Weddings here in peru are super efficient. The whole thing only took five minutes. The wedding was in the overflow of the chapel that we made look all nice and cleaned just for Lucero. Then right after the wedding ended, we got Lucero ready for the bapstism and headed straight for the Baptisimal font. Her whole family came to support her and none of them are members of the church so we got to explain the importance of baptism to all of them and it was really a special  meeting. Lucero was glowing and her new Husband Benito (Who is a member of the church) was so happy for her too. It was really a special day. 
So my companion is a Sister leader for the mission here in Pucallpa and she had to go to a meeting in Iquitos this week for three days. I had the terrifying, and testimony growing opportunity to work in our area with a member of the ward. I dont know spanish very well, I dont know the area, and somehow we were able to visit every investigator without any of our appointments falling through! It was a miracle. I was so worried about leading lessons but with them Help of the spirit I was able to give full lessons that made some sense. Hermana Prince (My companion) said that they never make missionaries work solo after only two weeks on the mission but they knew I would be able to handle it. It was really a confidence boost for me to know that I can teach people. Im super excited to keep teaching people about the gospel! I know that I can only imporove from here :)
We cant make our own food on the mission anymore. We need a pensionista for every meal which means no more cereal for me! Im pretty bummed about that, but Im glad we have a good pensionista! Hermana Rubi always makes the best food. I have tried so many new things this week! Theres a fruit called guaba that looks like a vine and another one called Zapote that I like a lot. It looks like a giant tulip bulb. I still eat a lot of chicken and rice but I really like all of it.

This week I had an experience teaching our new investigator Mindy. She is 22 and is really interested in the gospel! ying to get her parents to listen to the discussions too :) I had the opportunity to teach her about Joseph Smith and when I shared the first vision with her she was speachless. She was so happy to hear that God is still calling prophets to lead and guide us. I am so grateful that we have a prophet and that we can hear exactly what god wants his church to do. Its really a special gift that God has given us :) My invitation to everyone this week is to re-read/ re-watch the talks from general conference because they are divine!
Con Amor, 
Hermana Toponce

Monday, April 3, 2017

There is Sunshine in My Soul Today

Hello everyone! Its summertime here in pucallpa and Ive never experienced more heat in my life.! Even when the sun isnt out its hot. Its definitely going to take some getting used to and a lot of sunscreen! haha! I thought the subject of the email was appropriate to go along with my feelings.
I cant believe that Im already dont with my second wek here. Time is so weird on a mission. We worked a lot this week to get everything done for Luceros baptism on the 8th. We are so excited for her! She has so much going on in her life and were glad that getting baptised is one of those things :)
I got to use a machete for the first time in my life this week! We did service for our pensionista Rubi and cut her weeds... WITH A MACHETE! It was so much work but it felt really good to do service. One thing I learned is that Ill never ciomplain about weeding at home again. Its nothing compared to jungle weeding!
They take their dreams really seriously here. People tell us their weird dreams all the time hoping we can tell them what they mean and its really funny. The people also believe a lot of myths. Theres a story that the pink dolphins in the river take girls and turn them into mermaids so they totally believe that there are mermaids in the amazon river! I love learning about the culture of the jungle. 
I had a few special experiences this week. We got to visit a less active member named Cynthia. She is a sweet lady and she loves the gospel but her husband isnt interested anymore and its breaking her heart because she wants whats best for her family. She wants to live the gospel so badly but its causing contention between her and her husband. During our lesson with her, I felt the spirit so strongly telling me that I needed to talk about agancy and share my favorite scripture (Alma 37:6-7) When I did this, there was a stilness in the room and we both started to cry because we were touched by the spirit. I never want to forget this special moment. Everyone has challenges, weaknesses, and doubts but HEavenly FAther knows us so well and knows exactly what we need to grow. He also lovs us so much that he provided us with a Savior who experienced every one of those weaknesses and challenges so we can overcome them. If christ could overcome the pains of the whole world, we can overcome anything with his help. My second special experience was during the saturday afternoon session of conference. I went into conference with a lot of questions and as soon as I started thinking about a specific question, Elder Holland started speaking. I hear people say all the time, "THat talk was for me!" and I didnt elieve them until I had that experience when he started talking. I knew it was an answer to my prayers. He talked about the Hymn there is sunshine in my soul today and a specific line that says, "Jesus listening can hear the songs I cannot sing." He focused on this line because some days are just hard and we really dont feel like singing. He then related to church to a choir (my favorite thing in the world) and said that every voice in the choir is important, unique, and irreplaceable. I just felt such a reassurance that the work Im doing is important nd that Christ really does need MY voice to help share his gospel. 
I am so grateful for the opportunity to recieve guidance from the leaders of the church every six months. Heavenly Father really does answer prayers :)
I love you all with all of my heart. You are in my prayers!
Have a lovely lovely week!
Con Amor, 
Hermana Toponce