Friday, September 27, 2013

Bed Bugs or Fleas?

Mommy thanks so much for what you said!  That is exactly what I needed to hear.  It{s super easy to get discouraged.  I feel like we{ve been working super hard without success.  The Lord is definitely trying my patience.  i was reading the talk that elder Uchtdorf gave a few years ago about patience and I realized that everything is done in the Lords timing and it is our purpose to develop the faith and confidence in His will according to His timing.  and like you said, through these difficult times, we grow the most and the Lord mold us in His hands to be able to reach our maximum potentials.  It{s just hard sometimes though because the zone leaders are always like Hermana Bytheway, your numbers are super low and have been for the past 3 weeks,  you need to work harder, you need to have fechas, you need to have more people at church.  I{m honestly trying to be patient but all the pressure from the zls make it super hard.  Our leaders are super awesome and are trying to help us but at the same time they make me a bit  crazy.

OH and our zone split, so now there are 2 zones in Loja.  And hermana lopez, the hermana leader, is in the other zone.  So I{m going to be the new hermana leader of our zone.......  what in the world.  I am completely inadequate to be a leader but that{s why the Lord gives us callings right?  Not so much that we are the best fit for it but because we need to learn something.  So yeah, things are crazy but i{m just keepin on goin.

I{m not sure what kind of creatures are in my bed.  but i think it{s better now.  I washed my sheets and blankets and everything so I think we{re alright.  and I put the flea collar in there so no worries.  And I was already planning on giving away all my clothes before i came home.  there{s no way in heck i am putting on any of these blasted skirts or shirts one more day of my life after i finish my mission.

hahahahaha i dont know what people think about my accent or my whiteness.  some people think i{m from brazil or europe though.  and some people believe me when i tell them i{m from ecuador.  haahaha so who knows.

hahahahahahahahaha sounds like your stats class is super fun.  dont stress about it, just keep going.  read what you wrote to me about being patient with yourself :)  haha but youre not too old!  dont give up!  You dont have to get 100% on everything.

i know i am suuuuper sad about grandmas package!!  i was really looking forward to getting it!  but there is still hope that i{ll get it!  another hermana said she didnt get one of her packages until ike 3 or 4 months after it was sent.  so dont lose hope, grandma!!

hahahahaha i loved the story about the dogs.  i miss them!  i{ve grown to hate dogs here.  they smell and poop all over the streets and make more dogs all over the  streets and follow us and bark when i try to talk to people.

ohhhhhh my heck that video of brenden was the cutest thing ever!!!! (i especially loved rachel snorting at the end) keep sending me videos of him!!  but that{s happy about big brenden{s seizures!  what do they do at the alternative medicine place?  hahaha of course you bought the baby more clothes.  i  hope you spoil my children as much as you spoil him.

so cute... dallin in his marching band uniform!  how is he liking that?  hahahah the color guard girls always ruin everything.  byu{s are awful too.  oh but the U{s were good!  so maybe they{re not all bad.

yayyyy happy birhtday to cameron!!!!!!!!!!!  are you going to do something to celebrate before he leaves? or when he gets back from south carolina?  take a picture of the festivites and send it to me!  you should go to tucanos.  mmmmm that sounds super good right now.  and eat a chicken heart!  oh i ate a chicken heart here the other day.  in my noodle soup.  it was just randomly floating there.  and i{m pretty sure my bowl was the only one with with a heart.  but yeah, i just ate it. but i had to take off the artery.  couldnt get myself to eat that part.

today at the supermaxi i got a shoppers card sort of thing.  It was super exciting!  it says my name and everything!  so we{ll get 5% off every time we buy!  woo hoo!

oh it sounds like the conferences were good!  ummm crazy conference is in just a few weeks!  so weird. especially because last conference in october was when i decided to serve a mission and here i am!  with less than a year left.... it{s crazy how time passes suuuper fast but suuuuuuper slow at the same time.  anyway.

i hope things are going well back at home.  know each and every one of you are always in my prayers, morning and night, and more throughout the day.  I love you all so so much!

Hermana Bytheway

Pictures from Ecuador

me and the hansens--  they are the cutest!!!!  They totally remind me of grandma and grandpa solum.  today we went to their house and they made us pizza.  and tell grandma solum i did exactly what she said-- let them feed us and tell us about their grandkids.  

hermana lopez says hi to the fam.  shes the one in the white shirt and black coat next to me.  hahah she is a hoot.  we live with her and her new gringa companion..... hahahahah bless their hearts.  i have to translate for them all the time.  they{re definitely learning lots of patience together. 

Greetings from Ecuador...


Thanks so much for sending those pictures!!!  Ohhh my goodness they are the cutest!  It sounds like the blessing went really well!  It makes me super super sad I wasnt there to hear it though!!!!!  Scary to hear about Dallin eating peanut butter though!  I{m glad it turned out to be okay though.

We traveled with elders on the bus so I think we were safe.  I dunno, I just do what I{m told and go where they tell me and when.

Ohhh the temple was GORGEOUS!!!!  it reminded me a lot of Timp.  I think.  The celestial room was super similar to one of the temples in Utah.  and the furninshings are a lot the same too.

The Spanish is good.  I can basically understand everything.  Except my companion.  hahahah no, just sometimes she speaks really fast and unclearly so I have a hard time but for the most part, i can communicate with the people so it{s all good.  They have to repeat things a lot and sometimes i just smile and pretend like i understood and sometimes they dont understnad me with my gringo accent but other than that, i{m basically latina.  ecuatoreana.

Still haven{t gotten Grandmas package. Maybe it is stuck in customs. But thanks so much to Grandma and Grandpa Solum for the extra money!!  You are the sweetest!

sounds like the Tab Choir concert was fun!  tell cameron to write me about his life.

ohhh and tell brenden if he wants to send me music (like efy and such.  any church music) then that would be happy.  on one of those mini sd cards to put into my sansa?  would that be too expensive to send?  i{ll pay him back if he wants.  and i{ll make him cookies when i get home.

Loja is in the mountains but it{s not as cold as Cuenca.  the weather is super nice.  warm during the day, cool at night.  it{s rained a couple of times but not super hard.  tranquila.  i think the people are more educated here than in guayaquil but less than in cuenca.  i dunno though.  oh but the bug bites.  not sure from what but my body is COVERED!!!  aaaaall over my legs, on my stomach, on my lower back, on my wrists and arms.  it{s ridiculous.  we{re thinking maybe i have bed bugs....????  so i sent my sheets to be washed.  and i put bug repellent on but i{m thinkin that doesnt do anything because i still get eaten alive.  yeah, anyway.  it{s fine.

Mmkay well I think that{s all.  Thanks so much to everyone for all your love and support!  I{m so grateful for this sacred opportunity i have to be serving the Lord here and for all the things i{m learning.   I know that the church is true and that Christ Himself directs it.  I know that the Book of Mormon is truly the word of God and we can receive personal revelation by reading it each and every day.  We are so blessed to have the knowledge of the gospel and we should take every opportunity we have to share it with those who don{t have it.

I love you all so so much!!!!

Hermana Bytheway

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Re: Labor Day


So remember how last week I thought I was staying in Cuenca?  Well Monday night at like 10:45 we get a call from the zone leaders and he told Hna May and I that we have to be at the terminal at 1:00 AM because we are going to train in Guayaquil.  SURPRISE!!!!!  Oh we were running around like crazies trying to shower and pack and get everything ready.  I was actually sad to be leaving there because I am going to miss the members and my converts and investigators there.  But yeah, so we took the bus to Guayaquil which is like a 5 hour bus ride and I couldnt sleep at all.  Most uncomfortable bus ever.  But it was fine because at 8:00 that morning we went to the TEMPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I was SO.  HAPPY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Presidente Torres started a new tradition that all the trainers do a session before they get their new companions.  How happy is that??  So happy.  I cannot even explain how happy it was.

But yeah then we had our training all day Tuesday which was great.  Acually no, we had to wait for about 5 hours before all the new people came.  And then we had our training.  Oh and then they told me I was actually going to Loja.  The capital of the Virgen del Cisne.  Yay.  And then we stayed the night at the nurses house and then took our 9 hour bus ride to Loja.  So that was fun.  But I met Elder Moreno who lives in the 24th ward in Sandy.  Do you know him?  I feel like you know everyone in that ward.

Anyway so I{m in Loja training.  Mi hija is Hermana YnoƱan from Lima, Peru.  She{s 21 and the sweetest ever.  But her accent is crazy and I have a hard time understanding her.  But she{s awesome and has a super strong testimony.  I feel bad though because we{re opening a sector here and it{s been really rough.  We are literally starting from nothing.  We dont even have an area book.  But we share the area with the zone leaders and they{ve been helping us.  But the area is hUUUUUUUUUGEEEEE and it{s not even a ward, it{s a branch.  But the members are super excited to have us because they really want to be a ward.  So it will be good.  It{s just going to be really really hard.  And my poor companion wants out.  Today she had a meltdown and said she misses her family and wants to go home.  I told her I know exactly how she feels and that all missionaries feel the same way at first but it gets better and that all of the hard times here help us learn and grow.  So hopefully I was able to help her a little bit.  I{ts hard enough trying to comfort someone in english, let alone spanish.  But anyway, that{s what{s been going down this past week.  Oh but happy news!  The senior couple from the states is in our zone!  And apparently they always make us really yummy american food!  And our house is super super nice.  We have a microwave, a washing machine, a boatload of storage space, an oven, and an ironing board, none of which I have ever had in the mission.  So thats happy.

Oh the package was PERFECT!!  I loved everything!  The shrink wrap worked really well.  But I still havent gotten Grandma Bye{s package.  There{s a possibility I{ll get it today though?  I{ll let you know as soon as I get it.

Uhh I definitly havnet had baptisms every week I´ve been here.  I{ve had 9 total, 3 of which were on the smae day.  And I{ve been here for a lot more than 9 weeks.  But Presidente has a lot of hope for Loja so we just need to work hard to find the people who are waiting for us.  Apparently they are sending the best missionaries to Loja to explotarlo and quitar la tapa that{s been on Loja.  So I{m not sure why I{m here but I{m just gonna go for it and remember that the Lord trusts us and will help us.

Ohhhh I{m super jealous of your BBQ!  Take pictures and send them to me!  Ohh and especially take pictures of Brenden at his blessing!  Are you still going to do that at the house?  Let me know how that goes.

Oh remember my 6th grade teacher Mrs. Baker??  The other hermana that lives with us totally looks like her!!!  hahahaha it{s hilarious.  Bless her heart, she just got here and she doesn{t know any spanish.  But she{s super determined to learn it so i{ve been trying to help her.  Hahahaha but when we{re all in the house in the morning and at night i just interpret for her and her companion.  Bless their hearts.

So on all the bus rides, i{ve been reading Our Heritage.  It{s super good!  Everyone should read it!  There were a lot of stories and history that I had never heard before so it was super interesting to read about it.  It{s incredible what the early saints sacrificed in order to build up the kingdom of God.

Mmkay well I think that{s about it.  I hope all is well back at home!  Know you all are always in my prayers!

Always remember that the only way to true happiness is living the gospel principles and keeping the commanments.  We have been so blessed with Christ{s Atonement- the invitation to repent is always there, we just need to reach out and take it.

Love you all!

Hermana Bytheway