Monday, August 10, 2015

More Watermelon

The scenery in Cayhuayna looks a lot like the drive down to St. George and a bit like Idaho. There are mountains, but there is a lot of dust and it gets hot during the day, but not as hot as they say the jungle gets. I like that we have blue skies here. The ward is pretty good here. We go to an actual chapel, but it is far for us and so it is hard to get investigators to come to church. I forgot to tell you last week that my ward here meets from 3 to 6. I guess it can get later than my 2:30 to 5:30 time at BYU. We do have a container of water in our room. We just call a water person when we run out. It is usually the older people who wear more traditional dress, mostly older women. They wear big skirts and they usually have hats with a couple flowers stuck in them. They carry things on their backs like their babies and their groceries in rainbow cloths similar to the patterns on Chrisanne's bag. I see a few people dressed like that in Cayhuayna, but I see more people like that when we go to do internet in Huanuco.

So our pension is the best. For breakfast we have rolls with some sort of meat or avocado and sometimes cheese, but I try not to eat dairy here because it made me pretty sick in the CCM. My pension was nice enough to buy milk without lactose. She is the best. She makes really good banana smoothies and for dinner we have Peruvian cereal, so like some sort of grain, with fruit and yogurt, This yogurt does not make me sick. She puts watermelon in this dish though, so I just wear a smile and eat it, but my companion and the other two elders know I do not like watermelon. They laugh about it and one time they were talking with the pension and saying that she should get some watermelon, but they used the Spanish word for watermelon so that I would not know what it was. I think the word sundia or something like that. Anyway, they all turn to me and say that I have to try this fruit because it is so good. They all laughed and told me that they were talking about watermelon. There was one day during lunch where I think I ate a fish eye in my soup, which actually is not as gross as you would think. This usually does not happen, but I also had ants floating around in my juice. Luckily I could pick some out and the others sank to the bottom so I could avoid them. After that I had ahi de gallina, which is really good.Chrisanne can probably tell you about it. They put a really strong olive on it though. The Americans call it the gringo killer. I could tell it was stronger than the usual olive, but I did not think it was horrible. I wouldn't go looking for it either.
We have had some good lessons this week, and some less actives and recent converts came to church and only one investigator came, but at least he brought a friend. 

I also forgot to say that we had to teach gospel principles on Sunday. I only talked a little bit, but it was still pretty stressful.

Also good luck to Stephen and Matt! I hope they do well!

My old roommates started a group email so every so often we can share things from our missions. I really like that idea. I love you all and I hope you have a good time in Utah. That is great that Grace liked her job shadow!

Elder Brian Hymas

Monday, August 3, 2015


You can except the requests from Ashlen  and Hermano A.   I do not think that I ever studied with Josh M.  If I did I cannot remember. That is sad though.

So at the CCM pretty much everyone caught a cold and I have gotten over it now. On Tuesday we took an 8 hour bus ride to Huancayo. The first few hours of the ride were bad because it winds a bit and it seems like we just kept going up, kind of like El Tigre and El Diablo on trek last year. I could feel it a bit in my head. Once we started going down I felt better and it is cool to see a little bit more culture here. There are farms and people, mainly women, wear more traditional  dress with hats and skirts. Chrisanne can probably describe what that looks like. We stayed at the Assistants house for two nights because we had a training on Wednesday and my area is further away. After the training we contacted in Huancayo. Huancayo is a nice city. My  trainer is Elder C from Cache Valley, Utah. He is my age and he has 11 months in the mission.  My area is Cayhuayna 2 which is in Huanuco. It is six hours north of Huancayo. We have a pretty nice room and a good pensionista, which is good. I was very happy to find out that all rooms have big things of clean water. I feel that the Lord is taking care of me. Cayhuayna is pretty dusty and it is only a little chilly in the mornings and nights. I feel like Pigpen from the Peanuts because I always have dirt on my clothes, in my hair, and in my eyes. There are chickens everywhere, sometimes I see sheep and an occasional cow outside a house. There are some pretty annoying roosters that crow every morning at about 5:45. Every day. We hear roosters crow during the day too. There are two other American elders in Cayhuayna 1 and they are also in our  ward. 5 out of six Huancayo missionaries from my CCM  district went to Huanuco and  two of them are in my zone, one of whom is Elder Ch. The food is pretty good. I have not had to eat anything too weird yet, but I think I am doing well at eating what is given to me because I have already had to eat watermelon and drink Pepsi. (Brian does not like watermelon!)
We are teaching an 18 year old named A and he wants to be baptized, but his parents say he needs their permission. We started teaching a man named Frank, who is going to start praying to know if the Church is true and he has accepted a baptismal date. We met an unmarried couple, and the woman wants her family to be together and protected. I am most interested in  those investigators right now.
I found out that before I left, my former roommate Andrew got his call to the Washington Spokane mission and enters the MTC August 12th. That sounds like Grace will like her job shadow, and that sounds like a very good CAS project! I cannot think of anything I need, just your prayers. I love you all very much!

Elder Brian Hymas

CCM District


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Last Week in the CCM

So this past week has been a little rough, but there have also been some good times. The CCM is pretty crowded, but we are making friends with the new missionaries. One of the new Latinos is named Elder Jaimes.  Guess how it is pronounced? (Hymas) We both thought it was funny. Our roommates are nice and they are also pretty funny. One of them loves to crack jokes and say American phrases, so for example, he will say things like "what's up man", "what's up bro", or "you want to fight?" to which his companion replied with a "no" which sounded more like nah. I don't know if the nah was intentional but it sounded pretty funny. I can probably borrow someone else's shoe shine kit.

I think I know which drink Chrisanne is talking about. I have not had it enough to tell. If I'm thinking of the right thing, when I first tried it, I thought it kind of tasted like cider. I'll have to try it again though to see! I know people think that the fruit loops are gross because they taste like gummi vitamins. I have not tried those yet. I have been kind of sick this week. My stomach was churning a bit at the beginning of the week, and I am getting over a sore throat now. It was funny though because our investigator is supposed to be sad all the time because his mother is dying of cancer, so our last visit with him was very serious and quiet, and as I was right in the middle of saying something very important, my stomach lets out this HUGE rumble. I saw my teacher crack a smile and then we all started laughing. My teacher was like, "'It's fine, I needed something to make me smile!" As district leader I assign people to do prayers and scriptures for our morning and night routines. My companions are responsible for getting the meetings set up though.
I feel that Spanish is as good as it will get in the CCM, but we are learning grammar lesson after grammar lesson. I will definitely be studying verb conjugations for a while. Today was our last time at the temple. It was a good time though. Our group was only Avanzados, which was kind of fun. Our bus ride back to the CCM wins most memorable bus ride. Since our group only had us three elders and 14 hermanas, we all had to be on the same bus because our companionship couldn't separate and the hermanas cannot be without elders. As usual, there were people already standing on the bus when it stopped, and then they put all of us on. Elder Co and I standing right next to the open door with the bus worker. My former roommate Stephen messaged me, and I think Ben is entering the MTC the week that I leave. I'm excited for Huancayo!
I have a charger for my camera right? Also, how does it work if I run out of money? I still have a bit more and I know things are different in the field, but I'm just wondering.
I love you all and I hope you have a great week!

Elder Brian Hymas
Doug's letter from Brian : My companions are also excited for Huancayo. Everyone keeps saying how pretty it is and how good the food is. I am also ready to meet the people. I am excited to see where I will go for my first area. Tell mom that I probably will not be writing next week, but I will probably have pictures and a lot to say the week after that. I love you all! Have a great week!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015


So a lot happened this week. We went to the Lima East mission to go proselyting. Elder Ch and I  were paired with an American elder who has been out for 7 months. I did not do a lot of talking, but Elder Ch was pretty good at saying hi to people on the sidewalk. We helped out with one lesson about the restoration. We met a man who spoke a little English from working on a cruise, and he allowed us to come back to his house to teach him. He started talking to us about his sister who lives there too and showed us some pictures from his cruise travels. He had on this half-English half-Spanish game show. It was kind of funny because we didn't realize that he also had the radio on, so when our companion asked if he could turn off the TV it was funny to hear the radio still going. We were able to teach a lesson though, and Elder Ch and I were able to help out a little. We told Elder Co about the house, and after hearing Elder Ch's description, I realized that there was a lot more I was oblivious to, and I am pretty grateful that I felt protected from seeing those things. I felt the Spirit there though and they were pretty receptive. It really shook my mind though after seeing it.

So here at the CCM, we all have to prepare 4-5 minute talks in Spanish every week and then they call up people to give their talks. Everyone always gets a little nervous when they announce who is giving their talk that Sunday. I have only have had to write two so far because we had the Trujillo temple dedication and then another Sunday was the first Sunday of the month. This past Sunday I was picked to give my talk. Our branch presidency said that I did a good job and they were surprise at how my Spanish has come along because I had a bit of a hard time at the beginning of the CCM.

We are now avanzados! Since we are the only American elders who are avanzados, we all knew that two of us were going to be zone leaders. Elder Ch and Elder Co are the new zone leaders, and I took over the position of district leader from Elder Ch. The Spanish is starting to come along, but I get a little confused with verb conjugations. Our teachers are starting to talk faster in Spanish. One of the supervisors here was telling us about Huancayo and Lima, and we learned that people in Huancayo tend to talk faster, quieter, and with a higher voice than people in Lima. It already seems like the people in Lima talk that way, so these next few months are going to be pretty interesting. It will also be interesting to compare Spanish with Chrisanne and Dad. We stopped teaching an investigator who had an alcohol problem because our teacher is now taking on another role of someone who has met with multiple sets of missionaries before and has member family members. It is a little tricky.

We miss our roommates who have left on their missions, but now we have Latino roommates who don't speak much English. We have even more missionaries in the CCM than we did before. My FHE sister Hermana Kelly arrived this week. It was good to see a friend from school. That is pretty cool about Michelle and Jordan's nephew. I will definitely keep an eye out for him! The weather here is usually cool in the mornings and nights, and then kind of warm in the day. It is funny when we start to feel even the teeniest water droplets because people joke and say things like, "There's a storm, quick, everyone inside!" or something about that that is the most rain we have seen since we have been here. I keep hearing things about bonita Huancayo and I am starting to get ready to leave the CCM. We are starting to see that teaching in a trio can be a struggle sometimes because sometimes we cut someone off or someone gets left out. I think we are doing pretty well though. If you don't have a scripture for my mission plaque I think I want D&C 128:22. It should say something about going forward and not backward.

I hope you are doing better mom. Please let Dad know that I did read his email and I do thank him for writing me. I may need Lactaid pills if I can't find them. Am I allowed to wash my suit pants? I did it once already. Also, do you know where my shoeshine kit is packed? I love you all and I hope you all have a great week!
Elder Brian Hymas

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

4th of July

So I felt pretty happy to be an American on Saturday. For lunch we had hamburgers, fries, and pie. They decorated the cafeteria with red, white, and blue banners and flags. Everyone was excited to have hamburgers. Since I have started to put lime on everything, I put lime on my burger. I am envious of you all going to the beach. That is funny that you brought up sayings because there are times when I want to say "I think the bigger question is..." There was one time where a Hermana in my district was talking to her companion and she said "What word did I want to know?" and I started thinking, "I think the bigger question is, what word DIDN'T you want to know?"

We have not gone proselyting yet, but we will go this Saturday. We only go one time in the CCM. Yesterday we had to give a lesson to another teacher where he was a new investigator and then he gave us feedback. It was kind of stressful, but we did our best. So we are teaching both our teachers about the Word of Wisdom in the investigator lessons, and one of them is pretending to have a coffee addiction. The day after we committed him to give up coffee we followed up, and he was like, "Yeah, I'm trying, I usually drink about 8-9 cups a day, but yesterday I only drank 7." We had to show disappointment, but I had a little bit of a hard time not cracking a smile. Luckily Elder Checketts was able to talk to him with a straight face. Both of my teachers are great. I have to say, I am pretty happy that I was not assigned to a Lima mission. We were in charge of leading a new group of missionaries to the temple and the stores today. I am happy that my companions knew what they were doing, because it really stressed me out. It took a while before we could catch a bus, and then we had to split and take two buses. The bus I was on was WAY crowded. Elder Cornilles and I were pressed up against each other. It was pretty much my worst nightmare, but I made it to the temple. It also stresses me out when we cross the streets because pedestrians do not have the right of way here. Walking in New York looks like nothing compared to this. I am pretty excited for the field for that reason and I am also excited to meet the people of Huancayo.

That's cool that Stephen got called to Japan. I can imagine how excited he is. I bet he will do great! Our companionship is doing pretty well. We actually have roommates now. One is a Lima native who is visa waiting to go to Spain. He learned a bit of English when he went to study in London. His companion is an American of Hispanic descent and he speaks pretty fluent Spanish. They are both pretty nice. I have thought that it is weird that David will have graduated and Grace will be in college by the time I get back. I like the food here, and I like the views of the mountains and the palm trees. I sleep on the top bunk in my room and when I climb up and look out the window, the view looks pretty cool with the lights from the city. The weather is pretty good here. I bought a little Spanish Himnos today at the distribution center. Sometimes people will joke and call me Elder Himnos. They do say Elder Eemaas here, and sometimes when we practice contacting, I introduce myself just because it flows better.

That is great that you are all doing well and having a good time! Congratulations to Grace! I'll have to hear more about what's going on with Allison and David. The Spanish is starting to get better. One of our teachers told our companionship that he can tell we are improving. That made us feel pretty good. I also had to give the closing prayer in Spanish after a fireside on Sunday. We are learning more about how to plan lessons, and I feel that that has helped us out a lot. That is pretty interesting about Thomas Knowlton. It looks like he was fighting so that his descendents could join the church!  Thanks for your prayers. I love you.
Elder Brian Hymas

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

We are now intermedios!

Though I hope you are all safe, it is funny hearing about all the rain because we just get really misty air here. It is pretty cloudy most of the time though. This week we have been focusing a lot more on teaching. Our teachers are our investigators and we go teach them in little casas. We taught one "investigator" for the past couple weeks, but our teacher wanted the district to start over with another investigator. We teach in the morning and in the afternoon.

I was thinking about Matt and I wonder how he is doing as he enters the MTC. We have a ton of new missionaries right now. One of the new districts has 18 people. We have heard that the CCM is at full capacity right now. It was sad to see all the Latinos go, we had made friends with a lot of them. I am kind of looking forward to Huancayo just so I can get away from the crazy city. We ran into a couple today at the temple today, and when we told them our missions, they were like, "Huancayo is so beautiful!" I think that I will just buy a coat when I am in the field. I am sure that I will have to adjust to their rural life though. The small temple is beautiful, but it does make me miss D.C. a lot because of its size. I have not seen all of Lima, but there are some places where we run into some nice little parks. I am sure Chrisanne has been to a few of them!

For breakfast we just usually have a lot of bread and sometimes eggs and meat. I stopped eating the bowls of fruit for now, but I eat fruit at my other meals. If they have milk out I eat cereal. Because we eat a lot of bread here, some missionaries say that CCM stands for Carbs, Carbs, and Missionaries. They have some pretty good juices here. I like their orange juice and pineapple juice, but I really, really like their maracuya juice. It kind of tastes like mango, but it is a little different. It is really good though. Lunch and dinner are pretty good. Sometimes they give us ice cream for dessert. Their ice cream has a little bit of a coconut taste.
The learning is still pretty difficult, but I think that I am improving.  German words come into my mind first, and since I really have to concentrate, I sometimes lose my chance to say something in our lessons. I think that my Spanish accent is better than my German accent though! I also learned this week that Presidente Gonzales lived in West Berlin for a time. Elder Riddick also took German in high school and was talking about that with him, so that is how I found out about it.

I forgot to tell you all that we went to grocery stores for Pday.Chrisanne probably knows which two grocery stores I am talking about, Totos y Metro!

I am glad that Grace's rash is doing better and that her school work is going well. I cannot wait to here what you all do over these next couple weeks. I am sorry that this email is shorter than last week but I hope more goes on this week. Thanks mom for that bit from Brad Wilcox talk! I love you all!

P.S. I learned that the Quechua word for baby is wawa. I believe it was one of our relatives who was trying to find a wawa and said it sounds like baby talk, well they were very right about that!

Pictures  1. My district in front of the temple. 2. My trio. Elder Ch is the tall one and Elder Co is the other. 3. The little casas where we teach our "investigators".


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

First Week

Hola Family!
First night we had about 2.5 hours of sleep and a very long day. One of Chrisanne's teachers is still here in the CCM and teaches us sometimes. We all made it through the airport okay. There were some people who flew out who spoke Spanish at home so they were able to translate for us. The weather is pretty nice, but it feels more humid. Every time Latinos talk about Huancayo, they always say it is cold, but beautiful. I am not quite sure about the coat situation. My companions are both good. They are both going to Huancayo as well. It is interesting that we are the only elders in our district, and the other district that flew out with us does not have any elders at all! We get along alright. My district is pretty great. Three other Hermanas are going to Huancayo, two are going to Bolivia and then one is going to Lima South.
This week we did some immigration work and it takes up about half the day just to go out and get a couple papers signed. The roads here are CRAZY. No rules at all. The first time we went out for immigration work the other van of missionaries got sideswiped. The food here is pretty good. I am not usually really hungry in the mornings and their breakfasts are not really that good, but I love going to lunch and dinner. I did not try anything too weird, but I did get to try liver. It was pretty salty tasting. In their fruitbowls they put this little red fruit that kind of looks like a banana in it, and it tastes and feels like watermelon. Since we are not allowed to waste food, I try to swallow it as fast as I can. Last night I tried the fruit that looks like alien eggs. It was weird.
The Spanish is starting to come along, but my main problem with it right now is that I'm having a hard time keeping Spanish and German straight. There I times where I know that I have to try not to speak English, but all the German words for all non-Gospel things come into my mind first. At the beginning of the week I thought that it would have been easier to speak a mix of German and Spanish than it would have been to speak Spanglish. Weird huh? I am trying to remember Spanish words though. It will come along sometime. I will definitely remember that promise from Jack's mission president. Before I left I remember reading a scripture about those who go out and serve God will obtain forgiveness of their sins. I am looking forward to my mission president because the CCM president does not smile very much. Probably has to do with the fact that he does not speak a lot of English and he has to take care of all these missionaries.
This was a great week for temples. We watched the broadcasting of the Trujillo temple dedication. It was a great day and I think the times that I felt the Spirit most, surprisingly, were when the organ started playing. They showed the sealing of the cornerstone and President Uchtdorf was pretty funny during that. Elder Bednar was also at the dedication. I only wish that Chrisanne was able to come see this, so it makes me very happy to hear that she will be able to stay for Laura Osnes. We went to the Lima temple today and I really liked it. It makes me miss the D.C. temple though. I'm excited to come home to the Philadelphia temple though!
Funny moment of the week- During a meeting where the advanced missionaries were helping us learn how to teach, we had to pick team names for our little missionary/investigator groups. Elder Riddick and his companion (they are my zone leaders), were in my group, Elder Riddick's companion wanted our team name to be team filth, but as he tried to say this in Spanish, he must of said something with a bad connotation because the teachers both stopped talking and writing on the board and stared at him. He changed our team name.
That is too bad for Grace and I hope she gets better. I love you all and I am grateful for all of your prayers. I do not have enough time to put pictures up, but I will next week, and I will probably have better pictures too. Have a great week everyone.
Elder Brian Hymas