Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Week 3

Ah! Emails make me so so so happy! Yeah, I actually got your package on Friday! So it only took about a week to get here. It's not against the rules, you just have to be careful when sending stuff here. I worry about it too. Today I bought Brian, David, and Dad something. I don't know if I should say what they are. But they're really really popular among all the elders here. I'm wondering if I should try to send them, or if I should hang on to them until I come home. I've heard other missionaries say they'd rather hang onto things rather than send them. Yay for Sienna!!!! That's awesome! As for Jeannie and Lindsay's letters, uh, yeah I guess you can still send them to me. I haven't had time to read them yet though. I can probably file them away or something though. Best of luck to Hailey as she waits for her visa! Hey! The Vernon's are in the Houston Mission! Is she there speaking English? Hey, Pittsburgh, huh? That sounds fun! What did you all do there?
I'm loving the CCM. Yeah, I think part of that is that it's more intimate. You feel like you know everyone. There's only ever like 170-180 missionaries maximum here at one time. It's all very fun. I love the different experiences we get here too, just being in Peru. Like going out on the streets to teach on Saturdays, or just getting to speak with natives everyday. Spanish is rough. My biggest problem is with conjugations. It's hard to get it down, but I'm still progressing. We have a second investigator now. Her name's Z. She's my morning teacher. Things have been going well with her so far. She committed to coming to church with us, and we teach her on Thursday next, so we'll have to follow up with that. But, she and her boyfriend live together and have a son, so we're gonna have to teach her about the law of chastity next. We'll see how that goes. Yay. There's actually a song that a lot of the missionaries sing around here that gets stuck in your head. You won't know the tune until I can talk to you, but it just goes, "Castidad, castidad, castidad!!  We taught our district a lesson on the attributes of Christ in English on Sunday. There's a new batch of Latinos and Americans here, but I don't really know them. A bunch of Americans and all of the Latinos are leaving on Saturday, which is earlier than they were supposed to leave, so when we go out to teach on saturday, my group will be the most "experienced" missionaries. That's scary. I might be leading a newbee missionary. This might sound silly, but pray for my safety. There are car/bus crashes everyday here. And shady people. And we hear sirens quite a bit a outside the CCM. And we hear stupid birds. Doves or whatever they are. They sound like owls. They hoot all the time. All friggin day. It' so annoying.
Hmm...Christmas. Oh gosh I don't know! If anything, I wouldn't mind a skirt or cardigan or something. Something to add a little more variety. Yeah but I mean, whatever you want to send is fine by me! Not much has happened this week other than studying as always, and we got a new District Leader. Elder L. I am coming to love my district more and more. I have a lot of really hilarious elders in my district.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Week 2

¿Que en el mundo? What in the world? That's my favorite phrase in Spanish so far. My friends and I say it all the time. I'm sure it doesn't translate directly, but we hear it all the time around the CCM. Even from the latinos. Speaking of the latinos, they left this morning for the field. Sad...but we're all excited for them. We'll get a new batch of latinos and Americans early Thursday morning. I LOVE the latinos!!! They are honestly the sweetest people you will ever meet! And they are so patient with all our horrible Spanish. I'll miss my latina friends. They were so funny. One of them was hilarious. She loved my tiny hands haha. And she would always tell me to repeat after her, and in Spanish she'd say things like, "I want my boyfriend back" or "I want my pig". Yo quiero mi chanco. And after I say it, she and all the other latinas crack up. So we decided to teach some of them some English. Hearing that one Hermana try to say "curling iron" is one of the funniest things I've ever witnessed. She'll break it up, but it's not all that easy for her to say, so she'll twist her face up and make the funniest faces as she trys to make the different sounds. Another Peruvian Hermana says "Hasta la vista, baby" all the time. And then she pretends to shoot you.
Okay, so Saturday. We drove like an hour to areas in the Lima North Mission. Most of us got paired up with a latino(a) companion and a member of the church there. I was paired with Hermana B from Cusco. She speaks no English. I was able to communicate with her a bit though with the little Spanish I know. It was a cool experience, but I wish I got to speak more. The member we were with spoke a ton! Like all. the. time. Hermana B didn't even speak very much. On the way home I was talking with a couple of my friends, Hermana L and Hermana E, both from Utah. Both are at the same place in Spanish as I am, and they were paired up as companions, with a latina member. But, they said it went really well! They got to teach 4 people and had such a great experience! I was like what?! That's so awesome for them, but what?! I heard of other stories like that, so I was pretty disappointed I didn't get to speak like, at all. Oh well, we do this every 2 weeks, so I've got a couple more chances. Man oh man, I wish I was allowed to take pictures of the area I was in. I feel so spoiled in the USA. These were some really poor people. They really don't have much at all. Also, there was dust everywhere. Well, dirt I guess. It felt like my lungs filled with it. Since then, I've had a pretty bad cough. And today I got a cold. Oh listerine and cough drops, please help me.
I know this is like a week late, but yeah! That's so exciting about my BYU acceptance! I told my friends here, and they're all excited for me, especially the ones that live in Utah. ...Let's be real, that's just about all of them. We decided after the mission, we'll have to meet up and have a siesta fiesta (sleepover). It's crazy, we've been here for 2 weeks, but I feel so close to everyone here. Hermana F and I get along really well. We basically just laugh all the time. More like I've known them for 2 years or something. A lot of people are really cool, but there are some people here where I'm like, are you serious? Yeah, my companion's American. She's from Utah. We're very different teachers. We'll prepare lessons for our investigator, L, and we just have a different method of going about it. That's fine though. It all works out. But we're also just different as we teach. Our teacher, who is also our fake investigator L, told her not to be afraid to speak up, and he said I've been getting better and better with my Spanish. There have been a couple times where he'll give me a thumbs up after I say something or bear a testimony in our lessons. He did that yesterday after I told a personal story and bore my testimony. My companion afterwards told me I did really well and that it was probably the best part of our lesson. It's interesting, I started feeling more comfortable with Spanish the day after my last letter. I'm starting to retain more words as well. Thank you for your prayers. I'm still struggling quite a bit, but I'm also progressing. I'm really trying not to compare myself to others, but rather compare myself to myself. I'm getting better day by day, poco a poco. I find I'm getting better at expressing myself with the little Spanish I know. My English gets weird and I misspell things sometimes. I've heard the same from other missionaries. That's a good sign, I guess.
Our teachers have been really hard on us. We have like a million assignments a night, along with memorizing like 3 things a day too. Everyone in all the other districts are shocked. Nobody else gets pushed nearly as much as we do. It stinks because it's stressful, but we're also grateful for it, because it's pushing us with our Spanish. Our teachers know we can't always accomplish everything they assign with the little time we're given, but like I said, it pushes us with our Spanish. Yesterday I memorized Moroni 10:4-5 in Spanish! I was so happy!
I so wish I was allowed to take pictures of the food here for you guys. We have very strict rules of when and where we can take pictures though. But I do have pictures! I'll have to send them asap! I don't have a cord to do that right now though. I've been meaning to check with other missionaries to see if any of theirs will fit my camera. We basically eat cereal (sometimes in yogurt) for breakfast, and white rice, meat, and potatoes for lunch and dinner. Sometimes they switch it up, but we always have rice.  I'm getting sick of all the rice. I've started to request no rice. Oh and Mom, I tried accepting the blog invite thing, but it wouldn't let me right now. I don't know if there's another way around it...? I saw your Murder Mystery pics! Fun! Funny that dad was the murderer. Speaking of which, my district leader reminds me of a young uh...I don't know his name. The evil leader guy in The Mentalist. He's a Red John suspect. Or at least when he still was in the last episode I saw. Again, don't tell me anything about what's happening. But yeah. Coincidence? ...I think not...haha
Have a great week! Love you!
Hermana Hymas

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

First Week at the CCM!

Oh my gosh. So much to tell you, but unfortunately today, so little time. So I might only get like 20-30 mins... lame! Oh my goodness...I have never been so jealous of latinos in my life. I'll get to that later. Oh I'm also typing a little slower because their keyboards here are a little weird. So the plane ride. It was great! In Atlanta there were about 6 of us there, but then BAM! 30 missionaries from Utah! Haha. And only like 7 of us were Hermanas. So we get on the plane, I'm sitting next to a man from Ohio who does business in Lima and there are 2 elders behind me. Elder W and Elder H. Both cool, funny guys. So we 3 are talking a bit about church and missionary stuff, and then the guy sitting next to me, J, was like "Are you guys missionaries?" And I was like "Yeah, do you know about mormon missionaries?" So then we just started talking a little, and out of the corner of my eye I see W and H silently freaking out behind me. Elder H was joking around with me earlier kicking my seat and stuff, so I feel something hitting my arm as I'm talking to J, and then I look, and Elder H's pushing me a Book of Mormon. I thought that was a little funny. There's a time and a place to give out a BoM, so I went into it just letting things happen and not trying to push the book on him. But we had a really great conversation! We talked a lot about just different stuff, I showed him one of my favorite scriptures that ties in really nicely to what we were talking about (Ether 12:4), and I explaned the BoM and what we believe it to be and I drew that picture of the two circles, the bible and the BoM, and how when you add the BoM, it makes a straight line. You know? It was funny, I could see Elder W looking over my shoulder and watching me and listening to our conversation. So the whole conversation flowed really nicely and he accepted the book! Then Elder W went and told all the missionaries on tha plane and said I was famous for placing a BoM already. Too bad that was in English haha. So yeah. I've been here only a week, but it feels like it's been at least a month. Soooo much happening each day! I've made some really great friends here! Those two Elders are 2 of them, but there are a few Hermanas that I really enjoy talking with and hanging out with. Stinks none of them are in my mission, or in my district. We see each other at meals and anytime we can hang out together. So that's fun. My companion and I share our room with 2 other hermanas that have been here for 3 weeks. They're okay.
Oh, so this is kinda funny. Yesterday during a volleyball game, I jokingly called Elder W Satan, so he keeps bugging me about that. Apparently he was talking about it a little to his district, and Hermana E, one of my friends, was trying to say that she thinks I'm really funny in Spanish, but instead of saying comica (sp?), she said comeda (sp?). Anyway, she called me food. Oh and the food is...interesting. Sometimes it's way good, sometimes, well...yeah. Haha there was this one time they gave us this apple filling filled churro thing with our meal and it was AMAZING!!!! It was like Christmas to us Americans.
AHHH! There's so much I want to say! So little time! I might not get to Brian and Jeannie's emails this week :( So you'll have to let them know. But I still love them! Yeah, the weather's been pretty much the same. Sometimes we have blue skies, but that might just be for an afternoon. And it ranges. Sometimes it's pretty hot (like today), and sometimes it's pretty cool. Oh the Spanish.... I don't even know where to start. Yes, church is in Spanish, but only some meetings. Sometimes the latinos and the North Americans (what they call us here) split up. The only stressful thing though is that we have to prepare a short talk every week because you never know if they'll call you up from the pulpit to speak. Scary. Sunday was awesome! Partly because we didn't have classes and I got to be with my friends. We also watched an awesome devotional Elder Bednar gave on Christmas in 2011...I think...not sure... But yeah, it. was. so. incredibly. good. LOVED IT! Spanish has been hard though. Prayers for my learning the language would be appreciated. Especially for my retention rate. I swear I have like a 1 minute retention rate. We taught our first investigator, L, yesterday. Como se dice 'That was rough' en EspaƱol? Because that was rough. Ah well. A phrase we hear a lot here is 'Poco a poco'. Little by little. Which is fine. I get frustrated with Spanish, but I've already learned so much. I'm currently working on memorizing the first vision. But I can say simple phrases in Spanish, and I can pray in Spanish! We learned that on the second day. It's always so satisfying when I can hold a small conversation with a latina. They are so patient with us haha. Another phrase used a lot here, like all the time, is "Que es esto?" What is this? Again, we don't always know what we're eating. Oh hey! I ate that weird looking fruit we saw online! The one that looks like an alien! You kinda drink it/slurp it. Anyway it was good. Sort of tasted like orange jello.
I'm glad I'm here in Peru. It's interesting being here instead of the Provo MTC. 'MTC' here is 'CCM', by the way. I went to the temple today! We go every P-day I think. It's in the Lima East Mission, so I won't be able to go when I'm in the field. It was all in Spanish! There were parts where we were given headphones that translated for us though. It was such a cool experience. It's cool to see how the church is the same everywhere. We take a bus to and from the temple though and wow. Okay, so you are packed and I mean PACKED into those things like sardines. You feel like you are violating mission rules because you literally could not get any closer to everyone around you. Such a small bus, sooooo many people. Then we went into Lima to explore and shop and stuff. That was kinda cool. First of all, it was HOT. And Lima's basically just like a bigger, grungier NYC. Tons of people, tons of honking taxis, the only thing is, you have to be careful crossing the street because cars and buses don't stop for you. You don't have the right of way, the car does. So you could easily get hit.
Want to know what else is cool about being here? Real investigators from Lima will sometimes come to the CCM to get taught by us. Cool and scary. Something else that's cool and scary: this Saturday, I will be going out on the streets of Lima to teach. Yeah. We'll see how that goes. I'll tell you all out it next week, but I have to go now!
I love you all! Can't wait to talk to you next week!
Hermana Hymas

The Peru CCM

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Safe and sound

Hey!!!! I'm here and I'm safe! Things have gone well, and I've made some friends already. Also, I PLACED A BOOK OF MORMON WITHIN THE FIRST HOUR/HOUR AND A HALF INTO MY FLIGHT TO LIMA!!!! It was great! It was kinda funny actually, I'll tell you all about it when I write you on P-day (not exactly sure when that is yet). Anyway, hope you are well!
I love and miss you guys!
- Hermana Hymas (pronounced ee-mas here)