First sister to serve in the Amazon Jungle

Well like the title says, we have transfers, and I’m going to the Oriente! I’m going to the city of Rio Coca, the closest city to the Amazon. Until now, only Elders have gone to the Oriente, but after talking with the members and missionaries, President decided that it´s safe enough to send sisters. 4 sisters are going to the orient, two in Rio Coca and 2 in Lago Agria. I’ll be pretty isolated out there, but I’m pretty excited. I’ve heard crazy things from the elders since I’ve been assigned to go there. Every single person on the planet has told me how hot it is there. I mean it’s rainforest, so it’s hot and humid all the time, and they say you sweat buckets every day. Also a lot of elders have told me that they were fed monkey, and giant worms that they call Mayones. And a whole lot of other weird food. My food adventures have not ended haha.

Mom, don’t be too scared, it’s all good haha.

So we have the leadership council meeting on Thursday, so I’m going to stay in Quito until then and travel on Friday, because it’s like an 8 hour bus ride. My new companion will be Hermana Chavez! She’s from Peru, and seems really cool. She has only a change and a half less time in the mission than me. So that’s my crazy news for the week, I{ll be sending lots of pictures for sure!

We had a great week in Carabuela. We had a Sister´s conference this week, all about faith, it was awesome. Since the conference, I’ve thought a lot about what President Murphy said about doing our part and then trusting in the Lord. It reminded me a lot of something Elder Bednar said in the worldwide training broadcast in January. He talked about how the scriptures say that we can work miracles and baptize thousands, if the Lord gives it to us. He talked about how success in the mission field is given, if it is the will of God. What I especially loved is when he said that a missionary becomes truly consecrated when they just do the right thing, in the right time, in the right place, because it is the right thing to do, even when the fruits of our efforts are not initially evident, even when the Lord doesn’t “give” us the success that we want in the moment that we want it. So I’ve been thinking a lot about that, just doing the right thing. Missionary work is actually really simple when we have the Spirit and we just try to do the right thing. This has helped me to contact more people, to study better, to be more obedient, and to love people more.

An experience that we had this week taught me even more about just doing our best and then letting God work His miracles. On Friday, we arrived at the house of a man that we had contacted a few days earlier. I was really excited to teach him because we had been praying to find new investigators but we were having difficulties. We start the lesson and everything, when suddenly a few of his friends showed up to cook a dinner for a party that they were going to host, and it all just went downhill from there and we weren´t able to teach him, and he told us to come back next week. As we left the appointment, I complained to my companion “Why is there always so much opposition when all we want to do is teach a 20 minute lesson to someone about the true and living church of God?” As we were leaving and walking down the road, a young man crossed our path and we started to contact him. He told us we could come to his house and teach him right then, so we followed him to his house, and taught him about the Restoration and the Book of Mormon. He had so many questions and such a sincere desire to learn more, to read the book of Mormon, to be baptized, and to attend church. As we left the appointment, my companion told me “and that’s why there is opposition in all things.” I realized that I had been so worried about doing what I wanted to do, and teaching who I wanted to teach, and saying what I wanted to say, that I didn’t recognize that the Spirit was guiding us and giving us opportunities to teach the people that the Lord wants us to teach, in the perfect moment. Two days later the young man attended church with us on Sunday, and liked it a lot. I’ve realized that we just have to try our best, and the Lord will guide us to those who are ready and willing to accept the Gospel of Christ.

Just finished Helaman in the Book of Mormon. The faith of Nephi is so inspiring, because he had so much faith, and his motives were so pure that he could ask anything and it was given to him. Imagine that!! I want to be like that!! Be an instrument of faith in the Lord´s hands.

Love you all,
Hermana Means

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