Saturday, October 26, 2013

Settling In!

Dear Family and Friends,

Once again thank you so much for the letters, photos, and videos! It really makes my week and I love seeing and hearing how everyone is doing! So I am quite jealous to hear about the weather getting cooler. I would love to be able to even put on a cardigan for that matter. I forgot that fall and winter even exist so thanks for the reminder! I actually had a dream last night that Hermana Williams and I were proselyting in snow. How likely is it to snow at the equator? This makes me wonder if it has ever snowed in Ecuador outside of the Andes of course. It has actually been slightly cooler here at night getting down to what feels like the low 80´s with a nice cool breeze. Everyone has been wearing long sleeves and some even jackets at night time which is CRAZY! It is still warm! People have even been asking us why we aren't wearing long sleeves the few nights it has been cooler than the normal blasting heat.

My companion, Hermana Williams, was originally the nurse of the Guayaquil South mission but after they made the new West mission they sent her to the West. The President of the South Mission is actually a doctor so they sent her to the West. So I have been in my mission the entire time. Hermana Williams leaves to go home in a month, November 18th I believe. She has mixed emotions about it but for the most part she is not wanting to leave. I am going to be very sad as well when she leaves. She has been a great trainer and we get along great. I am surprised at how similar my companions have been. President Dennis talked with us yesterday about how things are going and what he is planning for when Hermana Williams leaves. He said he is thinking about putting me with someone who is bilingual so if I need someone to translate my companion will be able to help out. This will be nice since I am far from being fluent. But he told me I can always call him if I can´t understand etc. President Dennis is awesome! He is constantly making jokes and his wife is so sweet. I have actually been taking almost all of the phone calls from sick missionaries this week and have been able to communicate pretty well with the Spanish speakers. Just hope the stress does not overwhelm me when my companion leaves.

This week we ordered more medications for the new missionaries that will arrive next week, reinforcements for some of the zones in the mission, and the people that are going home. When missionaries go home we give them ¨La Bomba¨ or the bomb which consists of Albendazole and Tinidazol. This is just to kill any and everything that they could have gotten while in Ecuador such as a parasite or bacterial infection.

Last Sunday was quite an eventful day! Saturday night we went to the church to fill up the baptismal font for Rafael´s baptism that was planned for 8 am, an hour before church starts. Two of the young guys that always go out proselyting with us covered the drain to the font with a plastic bag and a large rock on top. The font was taking such a long time to fill up that we actually started hauling buckets of water from a spicket and dumping it unto the font. It took us two hours to fill the font! The next morning we showed up to the church and the water had completely drained over night. Apparently the drain hadn´t been covered correctly. So we turned on the water to fill the font 15 minutes before the baptism was suppose to start and once again began hauling buckets of water to fill the font! Rafael´s baptism started 15 minutes before church started and we ended up being late to sacrament meeting! Everyone was stressed but it ended up working out! I think we need to get a more effective top for the drain, but a plastic bag and rock is what the ward has always used. We have another baptism tomorrow morning before church so we are going to show up extra early to make sure the font will be filled in time since we can´t trust it to stay filled over night!

Last night the ward had a talent show which was actually a lot of fun! I got to see some Ecuadorian dancing and a lot of guitar playing and singing. The ward goes all out for their activities!

And the cat problems continue!

Love and Miss everyone,
Hermana Lyman

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Ecuador Updates

Sent Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Wish I could write more today but I just don´t have that much time....ever! This week was better. We had 2 people that were suppose to get baptized this Saturday but wont be able to until next Saturday. We also have another baptism planned for the 26 of October. He is GOLDEN!!! He is 30, married with one kid and so willing to follow commandments and progress. Our first lesson with him we taught him keeping the Sabbath day holy and he said then and there he would stop working on Sundays. We are very excited about him. The other 2 ladies that I told you about last week we ended up dropping as investigators because they can´t progress. It is very sad because they both want to be baptized but their men wont marry them. That is actually one of the biggest problems here, nobody is> married!!! Last night right before we returned home to the apartment we knocked on one last door. It was my turn to pick a house and I am SUPER excited about her.  It was late so we just invited her to church and set an appointment for today so I am excited to teach her. Something about her seems right and my companion as well is excited. I am out of time...wish I had more.

Con Amor,
Hermana Lyman

Sent Friday, October 18, 2013

So our P-Day is a day early because tomorrow is a ward activity where we deliver banana bread to a sector in efforts to receive referrals. President Dennis allowed us to have our P-Day today on Friday instead. I am reading the Book of Mormon and Preach my Gospel in Spanish which is actually going very well. I have found that speaking is more of an issue for me at this time. I am beginning to understand a lot more of what is being said! The ward is so awesome. We always have members wanting to got out proselyting with us and always have at least one member with us for every lesson. We have 3 great investigators at this time who all have baptismal dates. Rafael, 21, is getting baptized this Sunday. He has progressed so MUCH these past few weeks. Oswaldo and Milton are so GOLDEN! Everything we teach them they understand and recognize as truth. Oswaldo´s wife is a member but has been inactive for years. She is now reactivating and their family is just beaming and so happy! Milton is actually the bishop´s brother. We saw him sitting alone in sacrament meeting on Sunday and by the end of Church he told us, I am getting baptized in two weeks and I know this is the true church, being here makes me feel like a new person. We gave him a reading assignment in the Book of Mormon and he told us he read it 3 times to understand it. Can all of our Investigators follow suit? He also is getting married sometime within the next 2 weeks so he can be baptized. How faithful these men are! The difference in the countenances of these investigators has been such a blessing to be a part of. They are so eager to follow the commandments of the Lord and change their lives. It gives me such joy to teach someone to pray and hear them talking with their Heavenly Father for the first time in prayer.

Last week we went to the airport with President to pick up a new sister and we met the President of the south mission. I had actually met his daughter in the CCM in Mexico City. He is actually a doctor from Arizona and still working some for the practice he was at as far as managing etc. He gave us his number in case a question arises that we need medical help with. Dr. Piepgrass, the area medical adviser, lives in Bogotá, Colombia so we can only call him from our office phone. We are only in the office 3 times a week so this will be a wonderful source for us in Guayaquil for us. This week we had an Elder who had to get his wisdom teeth removed and he had some issues with payment but the Dentist has a lot of trust with the Church and went ahead and did they surgery. A lot of the doctors and dentists here have a lot of trust with the Church. They get plenty of business from all the sick missionaries and of course always get payed.

This morning we did a lot of cleaning before our land-lord came. The people that live on the floor below us have a cat and no litter-box. The cat has decided to use our balcony as it´s personal restroom. We cleaned up several piles of #2 and when I say several it was in the teens. This is the cat that got into the apartment one night and used the bathroom in the living room and got into the kitchen trash. We have covered the base of the bars that the cat comes through that separate the balcony from the stair case but he still gets through. The elders that lived here before had pizza boxes at the base of the bars but nothing is stopping Smokey the cat (we have named him.) If anyone has any suggestions on how to resolve this cat problem I would be more than happy to hear them, we are desperate. The land-lord came to fix the hot water in the apartment but was only able to fix it in the bathroom of Hermana Aramayo and Hermana Blas. I might be using their shower from now on because our water is FREEZING. Hermana Aramayo is from Bolivia and worked in a salon with her mom before the mish. She gave me a pedicure and manicure this morning! She did a great job and I have missed this luxury.

I will try and get some pictures of the city soon. It is not safe for me to carry my camera around so I have to be careful.

Con Amor,
Hermana Lyman

Monday, October 7, 2013

The Work Continues

Well 2 months have already past and I'm beginning to think this is all I've ever known. lol I´m still struggling with Spanish and it is hard not to get down about it. Even though I am getting used to things here, I am beginning to miss American food! One interesting thing about our apartment is that there are square holes in the walls that are open to the outside without windows... only metal bar things. This means that birds and even a cat got into our apartment one time and used the bathroom all over the living room! It's crazy that there is always bird feathers and dust all over the apt. We also don't have washing machines so I have been washing all of my clothes by hand. Things are going well though just wish I could speak SPANISH!!! We are having difficulty with people not being married here. We have 2 investigators that are so sweet, but one is pregnant with her 6th child and her spouse doesn't know if he wants to get married to her, and the
other is a 14 year old with a baby and its the same story. It is so sad because they are so eager to be baptized. The people here are very humble and accepting of the gospel. We are praying for these two so we will see what happens. 

This week we celebrated Sarah, the Mission President´s daughter, 15th birthday. She is such a sweet girl and very mature for her age. I wish I could send more pictures however we use public computers that we pay to use and my companion said that her camera card got a virus one time so I´m scared to try. However I only have a few pictures from Ecuador from our first baptism. It is not safe here to carry around a camera or anything of value. 

Love and miss everyone,
Hermana Lyman

Packages cant be over 4 pounds or I have to pay $80 or so to get them from the post office.
Hermana Trissa Michelle Lyman
Ecuador Guayaquil West Mission
Casilla De Correo 09-04-206
Guayaquil, Guayas Ecuador