Monday, September 30, 2013

Week 3 in Ecuador!


This week has flown by unlike the first two weeks. Ecuador is beginning to feel like a reality and part of my life. I am beginning to love the people and the city more and more. The ward is great and shows us so much support. Our bishop is all about missionary work and even goes out with us tracting sometimes. Our baptism last week went very well. My companion and I actually sang a duet at his baptism which I would have NEVER done in the states. We sing all the time here and I actually enjoy it very much. He also asked me to give the closing prayer in English. Richard is a 19 year old who is attending school and working. We are the 2nd set of missionaries that he has gone through and he has progressed so much! He wants to learn English so badly and I have actually been teaching him these last two weeks. He now knows how to pray and bear his testimony in English. Today we have another baptism of an 11 year old boy Leyton.

This week we had a 2 day conference for the 17 new missionaries that arrived from the CCM in Mexico and in Colombia. My companion and I did preventative teaching and handed out first-aid kits and teaching charts that we had made. We have already had 5 of those missionaries call us with gastro-intestinal problems and sickness from the altitude changes etc. Due to the change of health insurance for the Church, we are having to have a list of Doctors, Clinics, Imaging, and Laboratories that we plan to use in the Guayaquil West mission for the insurance company by Sunday. If we do not have the Doctor or Clinic listed, we cannot receive insurance coverage for the future. Hermana Williams and I spent several hours yesterday going to various doctor offices and clinics in Guayaquil. Then we had to document all this information into the Church medical program, eMed log. It was neat to see the different offices and clinics and meet several doctors. It was a lot of stress due to the time constraint.

Wish I had more time, but we have a lot to do today!

With love,
Hermana Lyman

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Second Week in Ecuador!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,
Let me first start by thanking everyone for the much love and support!! I love getting e-mails and updates from home! I don't have much time this week to e-mail but know that I will reply ASAP. This week has been better than the first, I'm adjusting to the drastic change well. I can now pick out several words that people say to me instead of none! Everyone tells me not to stress that the language will come but it is so hard for me not to worry! I don't like not being able to understand what is being said or convey my feelings completely. It is definitely a humbling experience. I feel like my personality is fading! I can't interact as much, might be a good thing. Ha ha! But all is well and my Spanish is getting better. 
All of the boys in the ward call me Hermione from Harry Potter, it is quite funny! The ward is so great and actually just split so now there are 2 wards. There is no air conditioning in the chapel so I about died during sacrament meeting. I think the days just keep getting hotter and hotter. It doesn't help that our Mamita cooks us hot meals for lunch. We arrive around noon; she feeds us hot soup and then meat, rice, beans and vegetables. So we are sitting there sweating cats and dogs and she serves us hot soup. I want to DIE every time we eat with a member. Half the plate is rice....and it is offensive not to eat everything. My companion tells me that pretty much everyone here gets a rice baby (a nice round belly from all the rice.) I refuse to fall into the same fate! We have started running every morning and I’ve been doing some exercises in the apartment. Thank gosh we only eat with members 4 times a week. This morning we actually got lost running and ran for a good 40 minutes trying to find our way back! The city is fun to run through.
Hermana Williams and I have started making bags of common medications such as Tylenol, ibuprofen, Pepto-Bismol, decongestants, Nyquil, thermometers etc. for the missionaries in the mission. They are not selling it over the counter here in Ecuador at this time so it is way annoying that we have to order these common medications through the pharmacy etc. They are not selling ibuprofen due to dengue fever and Tylenol for the flu. Some days our phone rings NON-STOP! There have been a lot of sick missionaries this week and we have to make appointments for them, try and track down medical records, surgeons etc. We actually met the Area Medical Advisor this week, Dr. Piepgrass. He is living in Bogota, Colombia and is over several missions in Ecuador and Colombia. We also met the guy above him for the Region he is living in Lima, Peru. They both were so helpful and helped clear up questions. I feel comfortable calling them for things I might need in the future. They also informed us that the church is changing insurance coverage and companies for the missionaries so I will have to do some training for that in the near future. There will be 22 new missionaries from the CCM in Mexico arriving this week so we will actually do some preventative teaching at the conference for the new missionaries. I am actually attending that as a new missionary since I arrived 2 weeks before everyone else so it’s kind of funny that I will be teaching at a conference that is for me.  It will be nice to see some familiar faces from the CCM!
Wish I had more time to write!
Con Amor,
Hermana Lyman

Saturday, September 14, 2013


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Hola de Guayaquil!

I arrived here around 11:00 am this morning. Presidente Dennis and his wife picked me up from the airport and they are so sweet!  They took me out to eat at a Chinese restaurant here that was really nice. I also met their daughter Sara who is 15 and attending an American Academy in the city. The city is a lot different than I expected. I guess I thought it would look more like Mexico City, however it is a lot nicer.  It makes me excited for y'all to come pick me up. The mission office is way nice as well; it is in a new building right across from the temple. I have met my companion, she is 25, a nurse, and leaves in November. Hermana Williams is her name and she seems to be cool. However I miss Hermana Berrett :( It is so incredibly hot here and they say it is cool for Guayaquil. Feels like Houston in the middle of summer. The rest of the new missionaries actually arrive 2 weeks from now. There will be 22 new missionaries in my mission arriving. I am so incredibly TIRED!!! I was able to sleep on my flight to Bogota, Colombia which was 4 hours. I am looking forward to getting some sleep tonight. Presidente Dennis told me that they had 87 baptisms in my mission a few weeks ago but it usually is around 30. Well don't have much time left, but my P-days are now on Saturdays so I will write more then!

Con Amor,
Hermana Lyman

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Hola de Ecuador,
Saturdays will be my P-Days now because that is when the office has P-days which is nice. The few days I have been here have been quite different and well let’s just say a CULTURE SHOCK. The area of Guayaquil that I am in is called La Florida Norte. The people here are so sweet and open to the gospel of Jesus Christ. We already have a Baptism next Saturday and 3 more in the upcoming weeks. A few weekends ago the mission had 87 baptisms from what Presidente Dennis told me. All the women kiss our cheeks anytime you enter and leave a house or even at church, when someone walks through the door even if they don´t know you, they greet you with a kiss on the cheek before they pass.  

So far I have not seen a mosquito or any bugs....pure happiness there. However there is a serious bird, cat, and dog problem here. Our apartment is on the 3rd floor of an apartment building and there is a cat that will get on our balcony and use it as it´s personal liter box. Also there is this bird that perches itself on our window and makes the weirdest sound at 6 am. Some guys came to fix one of the showers in our apartment the other day and removed one of the bird´s next from our balcony. There were 2 baby birds that were big and ugly in the nest that he took home to EAT!!! How disgusting is that? He first put them on our floor in our apartment while he was cleaning out the balcony and while he was doing so the baby birds used the bathroom on our floor. They stink so badly. The little kids here like to play with the cats and kittens. They pick them up by their arms and swing them around and around. I feel so bad for the cats!  

We take the buses everywhere and it only costs 25 cents! I love that the currency here is American money but I am not use to using so many coins. We do not have warm water in our bathrooms so I am still getting use to the cold showers. There are 5 hermanas total in our apartment and they are all so sweet. My companion is from South Carolina and the other 3 Hermanas are from Bolivia and Colombia. It is so funny because I can barely communicate with them but they help me with my Spanish and I help them with their English. My companion is great, we get along well. She is also a nurse and training me in the office 3 times a week with medical records and documentation as well as the missionary life. I am nervous for her to leave in November. I'm trying my best to get the language down but it is so frustrating not being able to communicate much. In the lessons I pray and bare my testimony. I am able to follow what my companion is teaching however I have a hard time understanding the natives. They speak so fast and mumble. It doesn't help that my Spanish vocabulary is very limited. I am walking around with a hand-sized dictionary and doing as much language study as I can when there is a free minute or two. My companion is getting several calls a day with sick missionaries so it is quite a busy workload with proselyting and coordinating appointments and information to the missionaries and Hermana Dennis, the mission president´s wife.
The food here is pretty good, lots of bananas and rice. I am being extremely careful with things I eat and washing my hands and using hand sanitizer like crazy. I can't wait to be able to speak more and teach people.  So far things are going well just trying to keep the stress light which is very difficult at times.

Con Amor,
Hermana Lyman

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Terminal Semana in el CCM!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Hola de el Ciudad de México!

This is my last week here in the CCM! I will receive my flight itinerary tomorrow so as of now I believe I will be flying out the 12th. Most of the missionaries leave the CCM around 1:30 am so it would not surprise me if I leave sometime around then as well. There are quite a few Hermanas that will be flying to Ecuador with me which will be nice. I am not looking forward to packing all of my things back up. Wish you were here to help me with that again Mom and Grandma. I would be lying if I said I wasn't nervous. However I can't wait to serve the Lord and the people of Ecuador.

Hermana Berrett and I played tennis a few times this week and I have decided I might want to take lessons when I get back or when I'm old and want to play tennis with all the ladies. She is really good and fun to play with! She also likes to golf so we joke and say we are going to live near each other so when we are old we can just go play sports when we aren't working at the hospital. The longer I'm here the more I am convinced that I want to do traveling nursing when I get back. A few months in Spain would be so ideal and I find myself thinking about it a lot. We will see! There are so many things I want to do when I get back. I feel like being here has made my perspective of life that much bigger. I have a desire to learn and progress in so many things. The gospel is so fulfilling and I am so happy here. I know that there is nowhere else I am supposed to be and I am so grateful for this opportunity. 

This week we also discovered that Hermano Brown, one of our instructors, is 4 months YOUNGER than me. I am older than my teacher....that is definitely a first! He is such a great instructor and Hermano Sagers, our other instructor, reminds me a lot of Tanner. They both are so great and teach so well.  It is actually pretty chilly in the mornings and nights here. It is the rainy season right now so it gets chilly when it rains as well. 

We do not have air conditioning because we really don't need it. We use to open the windows at night and we still slept with a blanket. It is getting too cool now to have our windows open at night. I am trying to enjoy the cool while I can because Guayaquil will be HOT all year long.  While cleaning last preparation day we found 2 cockroaches! I am surprised that there really aren't that many bugs around here. There are about a billion mosquitos everywhere but luckily they don't like me here. The soda here has a crazy amount of sugar in them because they have no regulations on how much can be in them. I can only drink half a soda. I love these chocolate chip cookies called Chokis here; they taste just like Chips Ahoy. The Cheetos here also have a nice spice on them. Dad you will be proud of me, I eat salsa every day on my tacos at lunch! They have a different kind of salsa every day sometimes hot sometimes mild. My favorite is a verde salsa with avocado but they are all good. My tolerance for spicy has gone up a few notches.

Today we went to the temple again and it was such a wonderful experience. I love the all the workers in México they are so sweet and strong in the gospel. The temple is so beautiful and I am so glad we got to go again before we leave. My love for The Book of Mormon has grown so much! Every chapter, yea every verse is just so great. I have felt an increased closeness with Heavenly Father and can feel his love as I have read and prayed daily. I am a daughter of God! He loves me, he blesses me continuously. He wants me to be like him and enjoy a fullness of joy. This is why he sent me to earth. To learn, progress, obtain a physical body and have faith in him so I can return to live in his presence. Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer. Through him I can repent of my sins and follow in his footsteps. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. Our flesh is weak, but our souls willing to follow Christ. 

My challenge: Read 2 Nephi Ch 4 and read or sing the hymn "Be Still My Soul."
My favorite hymn with my favorite chapter.

Con Amor,
Hermana Lyman

Temple today!!! 

These are my 3 roommates, we are the only Hermanas in our district as well.  Hermana Berrett, my companion, is in the light pink and black polka dots