Monday, November 25, 2013

Week One in the Mission

First, about m missionary plaque, go ahead and put Ether 12:4 on it. It's a scripture I've come back to many times on the mission so far, and it pretty much goes hand in hand with why I'm here and what message I want to share with others. You got a name from Peru in the temple? That's cool! I got one from Germany once here in the Lima temple. And another time, Hermana R got one with my birthday! Woot woot!

Yeah, I heard about the typhoon in the Philippines! That's nuts! I also heard some stories of the missionaries there. Crazy stories, but they all ended up being okay. Yep, the Lord looks out for us. Fun fact, in a park today, we had a mini earthquake. Like, mini mini. Just a tremble. We had at least one of those in the CCM as well, but it was during the night and I slept through it. I went to see some Incan architecture today too! That was pretty cool! I'll have to send pictures next time. No time today. :(

So, Peru has some pretty spastic birds. They're annoying. First of all, a bunch of them hoot all the live long day like owls. Also, their flapping is so loud. There are some that like to run around and freak out on the top of our roof. They're loud. Oh, funny story: this week I was working out outside our room (our apartment is just a room with a bathroom), and I saw a couple birds freaking out, fly away, and one of them lost a bunch of feathers, flew into a window on a nearby house, fell and died. All really fast. Well, I'm pretty sure it died. Both thumps, hitting the window and hitting the ground, were loud so....yeah. Okay, maybe that's not such a funny story. Kinda morbid. ...Well, no. If you saw it, you probably would've laughed. Also, there are a million and five dogs here.  Hahaha the other day, a 17 year old girl in the ward, Nicole, was wearing a shirt English. Misspelled English too. It had a picture of a bike and it said, "I love my bicyle, I love the bicyle, let me so freely so happy, do you have yourself?" Que en el mundo?! Also, everyday here there are men, usually in cars, who either wolf whistle at us, make kissy noises at us, or hiss at us. Literally everyday. In the CCM, Hermana E said she heard that the hissing means something along the lines of them wanting you for prostitution or something. Welp...ew. It's nothing though. You just don't look at them. And nothing's ever happened. It's a common thing here. Oh I met a really cute little 5 year old girl yesterday at a member family's home for lunch. Her name's Abish, like from the Book of Mormon! By the way, I haven't had church here yet. Church was cancelled yesterday because yesterday was some sort of Peruvian election. So, next week!

I want to punch Spanish in the face. I get so frustrated with it. All the time. My 3rd day here we ate at a member's house, and I was so jealous of their 2 year old daughter. She spoke so well! My companion tries to help me understand things the best she can. And I'm grateful for that.

Hahaha this is funny: so the ward has English classes on...Thursday nights I believe? And at this last one, I felt like the teacher (some man from Canada) was making things a little hard to understand, or things weren't really proper, so I chimed in in English and tried to help. Well, one of the members at the class said he thinks I sound like Princess Diana. I've heard this before. Not the Princess Diana thing, but that apparently I sound British. Uh...yeah...no way. I do not sound British. I asked Hermana R about that, and she said, "Well, maybe not British, but you just sound very proper." I've actually gotten that a lot. Not just here, but in life in general. We had a great lesson with a non member family (unfortunately they don't live in the area. They were just visiting a lady we teach). But I got to participate and the Spirit was totally there! My Spanish wasn't perfect, but I could tell they felt the Spirit. It really is the universal language. We were going to give them a BoM too, but we didn't have one on us at the moment. I still feel guilty about that because right before we left the house, I almost brought a BoM, but thought, "No, my companion always has some." Always hearken to spiritual promptings people! No matter how small!

Ah, I feel like I have so much more to share, but I didn't get to it this time. Also, I have to send you pictures next time. Sorry for doing this again. I just have no time. But I promise next time!

I love you all.
Hermana Hymas

 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Week 6

 

Oh, mama. Le amo mucho. So, I left for the field yesterday morning. Oh. my. gosh. I'm only on my second day in, and I am super overwhelmed and scared and yeah. I'm actually writing from a member's home right now. Okay, so soooo many emotions. I'll get to that in a minute though. Oh by the way, my P-days are Monday now. But I get to write you today since I didn't get to yesterday.
 
Proselyting on Saturday. Such a great experience. I had a Latina companion from Colombia named Hermana A. Again, knows no English. She was cool. And she let me teach! Yay! We had a good conversation on the bus to....dang it, I cannot remember the name of where we served that day. It started with a B... Anyway, she's 26, loves American names, has a list of like 20 names she's considering for her future children. American names. Haha I thought that was funny. Her top boy and girl names are Derek and Allison. Probably spelled Alison though, but still, shout out to Allison! She also loves music, so I asked if she knows any American music, and she said she only knows Avril Lavigne's Complicated and Sk8er Boy. She started singing Complicated because she was trying to tell me which ones she knew, and so I joined in, then other Hermana's heard us, joined in as well. Then out of nowhere, 2 Elders sitting behind me bust in, singing, "WHY'D YOU HAVE TO GO AND MAKE THINGS SO COMPLICATED!" Naturally, we were all surprised, so we stopped and turned to see which Elders were singing. They stopped because they were doing a duo. Then in English, with a funny Latino accent, one of the Latinos said "Sisters...what happened?!" It was funny. But yeah, it was fun to go out proselyting. We met with a couple less actives with a local grandma member and her 6 year old granddaughter. The 6 year old girl was cute, but NOISY! I swear, Satan didn't want anyone to hear our messages. We first contacted this really friendly police man who said he wants to come to our church but doesn't have time right now because of his work. Of course I didn't catch any of that because my Spanish is still bad and he mumbled, so I found out all of this after we left. I was pretty mad we didn't go back and get his information. I kept telling my group we should go back, but they insisted not to. Ugh, it made me mad. But oh well. Then we met with a lady who's active but her children are not. She also has some health problems, so we got to talk about enduring to the end and what that means. Then we met with a less active woman and talked about the importance of church. I got to share my testimony, a scripture, and a personal story. I asked my comp how I did afterwards, and she said very good! Although she's really nice, so... But I was struggling with my Spanish a bit that day, so when I started talking I was slow and struggling to find a word or two. Then the lady was like, "You can speak in English if you want." I was like, what the... Yeah, she knows some English. I only said like 1 or 2 words in English, then I just spewed out Spanish. My comp said she was shocked. And proud. She said my Spanish was fast and perfect. I still have a hard time believing that, but whatevs. I also didn't understand much of what was being spoken after I reminded my comp to extend a commitment, so when we left in another mototaxi (rode 2 that day. still scary.) I asked my comp if the lady had a way to get to church the next day (she committed to coming). She said no, but she said she's sure she'll come because I did such a good job with inviting the Spirit. I was like, well I hope so, but I don't know if it'll happen. She could just say she'll go, but not actually go, ya know? Anyway, I wonder how that turned out.
 
Okay, so feelings lately. I feel way inadequate here. I honestly don't know how I'm gonna do it. Sometimes I just want to cry. I don't understand much. I don't speak much. Everything's such an adjustment. Oh man. I met the Borg's yesterday. Presidente's cool. His wife is awesome! I love her already. Oh and you know that one girl's blog you look at sometimes? I met her too. Talked with her this morning actually. She's in my zone. Also, my CCM companion, Hermana R is in my district. She and her comp live right below us. My companion is Hermana N from Peru. Iquitos area, pero I don't remember exactly where. She's nice and patient with me. We taught a couple people last night and we're teaching a few tonight too. I nervous about that, since I have to teach some things. I just feel kinda awful right now. I don't know how I'm gonna do this. And I just really, really want to be able to teach and express myself and say whatever I want in Spanish! Dad was right, it's kinda a lonely time right now. It stinks. I just don't want these feelings for a long time, pero no se. It could happen. Oh, and I'm in a really nice part of the city right now. Some parts, not so nice, but for the most part, it's nice. Can't remember the name of it right now though...haha. And I don't have time to send pics today, so Monday I promise!
 
It was sad saying goodbye to everyone at the CCM. I keep thinking about my friends and how they're doing in their missions. Mainly in Iquitos and Cuzco. It was way fun talking and laughing with everyone the night before we all left though. Two of the Hermanas came into my room to say goodbye to me at 2am yesterday morning. I was way out of it, so that must have been funny. But yeah, I miss them and talking to them (especially in English) so much. I just miss my CCM life so much right now. I wonder if they're scared and struggling like me and Hermana R are. I'm sure they have the same feelings right now. I pray for them. I'm starting to do this thing where I pray for specific people, but also talk about why they're awesome and what impact they've had on my life. Just kinda thanking Heavenly Father for the gifts I've seen in these people. Yeah, I guess relationships are important to me. Very, actually. I realize how grateful I am for all those who have walked into my life. Friends and family. Especially grateful for such an amazing family. That's very flattering that you want to be more like me. Like, you don't even know. Thanks, Mom.
 
Oh guess what! Elder RUSSELL M. NELSON, Elder C. Scott Grow, and Elder Rasband and their wives came to the CCM to speak to us on Friday! I since we're such a small MTC, we all got to meet them! So I shook all their hands! Pretty cool! I'm also pretty sure Elder Nelson smiled at me and looked me in the eyes a few times during the meeting. I was only in the 3rd row. And we ran into Elder Rasband at the mission office yesterday too! Anyway, I was beaming during the whole meeting on Friday. It was crazy good and the Spirit was strong. I for some reason especially felt the Spirit with something Elder Rasband talked about. He talked about how they visited the Lima temple and ran into Presidente Borg and a missionary, Elder W who I met yesterday (he flew home yesterday too). Elder W was there to see a family he taught go through the temple together. I hear stories like this all the time, but for some reason, this one really hit me. I started tearing up, and I just kept thinking to myself, "This is why I am here." Oh! And Elder Russell M. Nelson is so cool and so funny! The funniest thing he said was, "I want you all to learn Spanish if you speak English, English if you speak Spanish, and I want you to learn the language of the Lord. If you can become trilingual in English, Spanish, and Lordish....that might've been sacrilegious, I don't know." Haha. Man, that was such a good day.
 
I have to go! But talk to you next week! And keep me in your prayers! Especially for my safety (almost got hit by a car today) and my health (lots of missionaries get sick from the food here). Also, just because I need some prayers. I need some comfort right now. Oh, I got a blessing from one of the Elders in my district before leaving the CCM! That was really nice. It was very much for me, too. So awesome how much Heavenly Father knows us personally.
 
Much love, ya'll!
Hermana Hymas
 
P.S. - Congrats to Dylan and to Sienna!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Week 5

¿Que pasa, calabaza? ¡Nada, nada, limonada! It means "What's up, pumpkin?" "Nothing, nothing, lemonade!" Kinda like a "What's up, buttercup?" Anyway, I love it. Haha yeah, I'm sure we'll just be taking a bus into Lima Central next week. Oh my goodness, I cannot believe it's only a week away. This is nuts. Oh gosh, I miss my cello! Haha I'm such a dork for saying that. I also miss doing the Messiah. That's cool that Brian and Grace are doing that again. Wait, M's friend that's applying to BYU, is she a non-member?
 
Today was my last time to go to the temple here in Lima. Kinda weird. Oh, and I met a couple at the temple in my session from PA! They're here doing a...service mission of some sort I believe? Brother and Sister F. They're from the Scranton stake near Bethlehem and Sister F was like, "Do you know the C family?" I said yeah and that my sister's actually good friends with L. C. Small world. Also, my translation thing stopped working during my session, so at least half of it was just in pure Spanish for me. But I understood almost everything! Also, remember when I said we have real investigators come to the CCM? Well...apparently that's not totally true. Yes, our teachers lied to us. So yesterday morning, our teacher told me and my companion to go the auditorium and meet with a "real" investigator and teach him. We didn't know that he wasn't real at the time, so I was a little bit nervous, but it went well. I still do most of the talking in our lessons. My companion said she knows she needs to speak up, and she admitted that sometimes she doesn't speak that much because she's been relying on my Spanish. But we had a really really good lesson with our investigator L last night too! Again, I did most of the talking, but it was way good...for my bad Spanish that is. We taught about faith in Christ, and at one point, he said he feels like he needs to read the whole BoM before baptism (he's getting baptized this Saturday). So then I was like, "Well, I have a personal story for you!" And then I told him about how when I was 15 years old, I gained the real desire to know for myself if all of this was true. I went to church all the time, but I never actually really had a true testimony. I told about how I prayed and asked for the truth, studied the BoM, and just pushed forth with faith. I said that I eventually received my answer, but I didn't finish the BoM by that point. The Spirit testified to me even though I didn't finish the BoM yet. That helped out L and made him feel better about it (even though he's not a real investigator). After our lesson, my teacher kept saying that our lesson was very, very good. That felt pretty great. Some people here, especially Hermana F, have said that they've seen my Spanish improve more and more.
 
Yep, Peru is progressively getting hotter and hotter, although we had a couple of days here that were cold all day. My mission's pretty cool! There are tons of people there. And it's cool to see some of the more European-looking buildings. On our drive there, we saw people walk out into the street and start selling stuff. Like, really lame stuff. Like, rats. We weren't sure if they were real or not, but they could've been. It would not surprise us at this point. I didn't get very good pictures though. For migration, we just had to go sign a couple forms and give a couple fingerprints. It's just passport and legal document stuff. It wasn't much, but for some reason it took a couple hours. I met up with some of the missionaries I knew here at the CCM, but are now in the field. I asked them all about it. They said it's really hard, but it gets better and better.
 
The Spirit is so cool. I don't know why exactly, but for some reason, I felt the Spirit during one of our lessons. It was completely in Spanish, like every lesson, and it was just about getting to know your investigators more and teaching people, not lessons. It wasn't like really spiritual or anything, but I just really felt the Spirit during it. I got so pumped to go serve. I'm thinking I felt the Spirit as a reminder that this is the true reason I'm here. This is what I need to do. And I love people and talking to people and getting to know people, so this is the right sort of thing for me. It was just kinda weird, but cool. My companion wasn't feeling very well one morning here, so the elders in my district gave her a priesthood blessing, and I've witnessed many priesthood blessings, but for some reason I really felt the Spirit during the one they gave her. I love it here.
 
I'm enjoying it here, but I am a little sad to leave so soon. I should stop, and write some other emails. Oh and I am so excited to go out proselyting again on Saturday! I wonder if I'll be paired with a Latina again. We'll see! It's weird to think that I'll be writing my next letter from el campo misional!
Yo se que Jesucristo es mi Salvador. El evangelio de Jesucristo es perfecto. Estoy muy feliz a ser aqui en Peru y por el opportunidad a apprendir mas y servir mas en mi mision. Estoy lista.
 
Hermana Hymas
 
P.S. - I have to remember to tell you the funniest story I heard from Hermana C next week!
 
Lima Central pics:



 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Week 4

Aw it's always nice to know that people are praying for me. I got a nice little email from Grandma and Grandpa and Sienna Hawkins and a nice little dearelder.com letter from Aunt Kelly on Sunday. I love it when people write me! I don't have too much time to write today because I have to leave right after this and go into the LIMA CENTRAL MISSION for migration work! So excited to go see it. I'll send pics next week. Some friends from other districts went on Tuesday and they came back and were like "Your mission's so cool!" So I'm excited to go see it. Unfortunately today is pretty cloudy, so that stinks, but yeah, should be fun! It's not always cloudy here like I thought it would be. It's usually cloudy and cold in the morning, but around 1pm, it warms up a lot. It actually gets pretty hot and sunny. It's usually pretty beautiful, at least where I am. Blue skies and sunshine. We're all getting darker (except for the Latinos obviously haha). I don't tan very easily, so I don't feel like I'm that much darker, but I probably am compared to when I first came here. I've got a nice watch tan-line going on. Oh, so when a bunch of other people went to migration on Tuesday, my companion had to go do it too for some reason, so I had no companion and had to stay with the elders in my district for a few hours until they all got back. The elders in my district are all so funny. Since I was the only girl with them, they decided to surround me as I walked (they only did this for like a minute, but it was funny), and held their ears like they were my secret service and had earpieces, and kept saying things like, "Okay we need someone on the front left! Front left! There could be a sniper!" There are also so so so so many hilarious things they do and say, I'll have to write them down and tell you some other time. Elder A probably makes me laugh the most.
 
Wow! Sounds like everyone's doing well! Good for Brian for almost being done with his Eagle! And congrats for Allison getting a new publisher! Good luck!
 
Things are actually getting better with my companion. I've come to learn that we are different people, but there are really great things about her and we help each other out. We were actually talking about this yesterday. The past few days have been hard for me. I'll get into that later. But my companion is like the best listener and the most supportive person ever. She's been down as well a few times, but she said she's grateful for me because she said I make her laugh every day. Oh how I love making people laugh here haha! And just making people laugh in general. It's way fun. I'm gonna miss the people here so much when we leave in a couple weeks. My comp, my Hermana friends, and I were all talking last night, and we just all get along so well and laugh and have fun so much! Hahaha okay, so this is a couple weeks old, but I thought it was funny: This is gonna sound a little sketchy, but I promise it's not. One time at lunch, we were talking about weird things we could do with our tongues (roll it, flip it over, 4 leaf clover, touch it to nose, etc.). I was the only one who could do all of them, so Hermana F goes, "Wow you have a pretty talented tongue." Then Hermana E just says, "Hehe, gift of tongues..."
 
So lately, I've been really bothered by the fact that I feel like I haven't been able to feel the Spirit like, once here. Or at least not that I can remember. I'm like, am I doing something wrong? It sounds silly, but it really bothered me, and I felt jealous of others who did feel the Spirit. I talked with a couple friends about it, and they feel the same way though. Hermana L's actually the best. She and I had a nice little chat and she's a really great, loving friend. So Sunday was pretty good though. We had testimony meeting, and I thought to myself maybe I'll feel better if I share my testimony, because sometimes that happens. So I did. Actually a couple times since our whole RS  was a testimony meeting too. I don't know if I really felt the Spirit, but what I got out of it was just feeling so grateful. So much. For everything. Everything I have, everything I've been given, the chance to serve a mission, being a Mormon, etc. So that was nice. And then we watched an MTC devotional by Elder Bednar and it was perfect for me. Honestly, every devo we've heard so far has been exactly what I need at that moment. He basically just talked about the Spirit and how it's not always this big thing. Sometimes the Spirit speaks to you and you don't even know it. He gave 3 life experiences about that. I know, perfect for how I was feeling, right? He said, keep the commandments, be a good boy/girl, and the Spirit will guide you.
 
Proselyting was so great! I went to Santa Fe in the Lima North Mission, and was split from my newbee companion. I went out with a female member and the local bishop. They talked a lot to the less actives we visited, so I ended up asking them if I could please share a message or a testimony or something. They said sure, so I got to share my testimony of the Church and how it makes me feel with a less active. That was pretty cool. But what I loved was the fact that I was able to speak to the member and bishop I was with the whole time! In Spanish too since they didn't know any English! That was way cool. On our way back to the CCM, Hermana F said this time she felt it was more like "Wow, look at how much Spanish I actually know!" I had to agree. That's exactly how I felt. Oh and have you seen pics of the houses in Peru that are built into the mountains? A lot are colorful. Yeah, well I got to go up into those on Saturday! One of the less actives lives up there.  Oh! I got to ride in 3 mototaxi's that day! I'm sending pics. It looks like I motor bike meets an American smart car. And I've told you about the streets here. It was friggin terrifying to ride in those little things. We were just a hair away from hitting everything on the road. You know that scene in the 3rd Harry Potter where he's on the night bus and they're weaving in and out of everything really fast and just barely missing everything on the road. That's exactly what it was like. What an experience though!
 
Hermana Hymas





 
Pics: The view from up the mountain; Me and the member, Hermana D, I was with;  Houses up the mountain; The family's youngest daughter (if you zoom in on the mug she's holding, it should be a Spanish version of a mug I think we have at home!); Up the mountain we go!; More houses;