Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Just Keep Teaching!

Weve been working so hard to help our investigators progress and its been a lot of hard work. Cynthia and Emmersons (Less Active family) Are coming to church now and it makes me really happy to see their sweet family enjoying the gospel. Now I just hope we can help our investigators too! We had one investigator named Lucia who weve been teaching for a while give us back her book of mormon because she doesnt want to read it. I was so sad that i started crying right there on her porch and pretty much begged her to change her mind but she stayed firm in her decision. One of our other investigators Hilda who asked us to teach her just recently got a job in lima so now we dont get to teach her. These two experiences were really dissapointing this week, but I know that we met them for a reason and I really hope that one day they can be baptised! They are such amazing people. 
We have two investigators that are really close to being able to be baptised!! One is Luisa she accepted a baptisimal date for this saturday but were going to keep working with her for the furst week of June so she can be more prepared. I am so excited for her!! We also have an investigator named Alfonso who is seriously so cool. Weve been teaching him and his mom for the past two weeks and he is so excited to be baptised. He had a dream after praying about to book of mormon and he told us that he knows that its true! He too is going to be baptised the first week of June. Alfonso and his mom are so special to me. I feel like Ive known them forever and Im so grateful to be having the chance to teach them about the gospel :) 
The people here always say that I look like different celebrities from the United states. They say I look like Taylor Swift, Barbie, like Im related to Donal Trump (haha) my favorite one that I get all the time is that I look like Mary or a Catholic Saint. People are always saying that I look like a saint haha! I dont know what they mean but I think that its really funny. Hilda asked me what my full name is and when I said that its Hermana Toponce she laughed and said... Im pretty sure your name is Mary. Im going to write Mary. I thought it was so funny! 
I love these people so much! There are a lot of disapointments in the misson but for every trail there are miriacles. I am so happy for the miracles that Ive seen and for the spirit that I have felt this week. I know that God is always helping me to do the things that are of most importance here. I know without a doubt that God answers prayers. I love you all so much! Thank you for your emails! I hope everytone has a lovely week!
Con amor, 
Hermana Toponce

pictures wouldn't upload this week :(

Monday, May 15, 2017

Mom, Music, and Monkeys

Hello everyone! 
This week was such a fantastic week. I got to talk to my lovely family for mothers day and it was just so great. I loved being able to see their faces and hear their voices for a little bit. Family is seriously so imprtant. I teach people about eternal families everyday and it helps me to realize how much time Ill be able to have with my family after my mission. Oh how I love Gods plan for us. Happy late mothers day to all of the wonderful mothers I know!!
This week we had Elder Montoya of the Seventy came for a combined zone conference and it was awesome. I learned so much from him about having a good attitude always and striving to help the people around us. There are so many people that we know that are in need and it was good to be reminded that we need to reach out and do service for our neighbors. As part of this reuinion I had the terrifying and rewarding opportunity of playing the piano. I dont play the piano. I had lessons when I was younger but Im not good at it by anymeans. I was asked to play because Im the only person in either zone who knows how to play at all. I played two hymns and it was a miracle. It was so intimidating! I loved this Zone conference and it was awesome having the chance to meet Elder MOntoya. He has such a strong testimony.
Because Im serving in the jungle I always see people with interesting pets, but this week I met two people with pet monkeys! One woman had a pet monkey and at the end of our lesson she asked me if I wanted to hold it. Of course I wanted to hold it! It was stinking adorable and it was part of my mission bucket list. The second person with a monkey was a driver of one of the motokars we took this week. He reached into his bag to get change and he had a monkey just chilling in his bag! I was so suprised. It made me laugh. I love gaining all of these experiences here and meeting so many people with different backgrounds and stories and lives. It makes me realize that every single one of us is here for a reason. We are all learning and growing and trying to become better. We all have the same special opportiunity to live with our father in heaven and our families forever! All we have to do is follow Jesus Christs example. I know that this church is true and Im so happy to be helping others to learn of its truthfullness too!
I love you all so much and I hope you have a fantastic week!!
Hermana Toponce

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Im getting better at charades!... and spanish too.

Hello Everyone!
Today marks three months in the mission. I cant believe Ive already been here for this long. It goes by so fast! We had transfers this week and Im still in Pucallpa!!! But I have a new companion. Her name is Hermana Kachkachian and she is from Argentina. She is 25 and she is stinking awesome. I dont think Ive ever met anyone more dedicated to the mission in my life. She only has five months in the mission and shes already training me! Its crazy but I seriously love working with her. We have found so many new people to teach this week and Im really excited to see what great things well do this transfer!
This week while we were out working we had a day where every single one of our appointments fell through. We were both really dissapointed and were thinking of who we could possibly visit for our last lesson of the night when out of nowhere a woman came up to us and asked, " What are you teaching?" I told her that we were teaching about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and she invited us into her house to share our message with her and her husband. We taught a lesson about Joseph Smith and the restauration and she loved all of it! I felt like I should extend an invitation for her to be baptised and SHE ACCEPTED! We will be having a baptism for Hermana Hilda on the 27 of this month. It was seriously a miracle! This experience was a testimony builder to me that there are people waiting to hear the gospel. I was so happy to have a lesson with her!
One crazy experience from this week, we recieved an accidental blessing from a lady during a lesson. We asked her to say the prayer at the end of the lesson and everything was going well when all of the sudden she put her hands on our heads and chanted a memorized blessing. We quickly said amen and went to our next lesson but it was definitely an interesting experience. 
I seriously love my mission. I am learning so much everyday and I am so grateful for all of these experiences that I am having. This week I had my testimony strenghened of the priesthood. I love that we have the power of god restored on the earth and that we can recieve so much help from the priesthood. I always love sharing the restored gospel with people because it makes sense! 
Thank you for all of your prayers, kind thoughts, testimonies, and help! I am so happy that I have such kind family and friends that are supporting me in my mission. I hope you all have a lovely week :)
Con amor, 
Hermana Toponce

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

A Few of My Favorite Things

What I miss most about utah: My Family, Milkshakes, and warm showers. What I love most about Pucallpa: Motokars, Fresh mango, lots of kisses (On the cheek). Peru is such abeautiful place and Im so blessed to have the priveledge of serving here! 
So Im pretty accustomed to spiders now. Theyre everywhere! The corners of every house have spiders. Its a common household chore to sweep the spiders off of the ceiling. Spiders that would normally make me cry at home are completely normal here. I just let them live. But this week I had the frightening experience of finding a spider as big as my hand. I was about to go into the bathroom and the spider was blocking my path. I screamed so loud! The thing was huge! We debated whether or not to kill it and I decided it would be better to capture it. I put on my rainboots grabbed a bucket and build up the courage to capture it and THE SPIDER JUMPED away from the bucket. Thats when I knew it had to die. It put up a good fight but it was no match for the broom... We had a funeral for it at our district meeting so I feel a little better about the whole thing. haha. spiders.
Both Luisa and Isabel have stopped progressing and we have to push back their baptisms. Were really sad about it but we really want to make sure that theyre prepared. Were praying that they can decide to come to church so they can be baptized! The good news of the week is that we have a new investigator! His name is Christian and his wife is a member. They are such a special family and Im excited to help them to have the gospel in their lives! We have a special family home everning planned for them tonight and IM excited about it :)
My favorite experience this week was with a less active family in our ward. Weve been trying to figure out what is keeping them from the church for a month. We went into the lesson without having anything prepared to say. I was prompted to ask a question that I cant even remember now, but they opened up and told us their worry. It was amazing! I have such a strong testimony of the spirit. We will  be guided in our lives is we live worthy of the spirit. I have noticed this so many times already on my mission. 
I love you all! I hope you have a wonderful week :)
Con Amor, 
Hermana Toponce