MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Hello My Favorite People!

So It’s 2015, and This week I come to my 15 month mark, which is super scary and I am in denial.
Tender subject.

Also, It’s the week before transfers. So if you send me a letter or package or anything, make sure it can get here before Monday, because we receive transfer calls on Monday. So I’d be sad if I was transferred and didn’t get a letter from ya because it was left in Arlington.

we have almost 30 missionaries leaving from our mission this transfer and our mission only has 160 missionaries as is…so we are getting SO small. and we only have 1 missionary coming in…and then in February we have 32 missionaries leaving and then it’s my time to come home and we have like 22 or something leaving….So our mission is getting SO small!!
So President said that in many wards we are only going to have senior couples and in many companionship’s they will be covering over 2 wards…which in Utah isn’t hard…but here where towns are like here and there….it’ll be a big change.

Speaking of transfers….am I going to go or stay? If I go, it’ll probably be my last move, because I only have 12 weeks left. And if I stay….I’ll probably die here. So I’m pretty cool with either..>i am here to serve the Lord 🙂

Also. RJ has his Baptism interview this week! And then he will be baptized on the 17th…I am so blessed that I have had at least 1 baptism each transfer of my mission.
RJ’s brother is funny….he’s super into conspiracy theories….the latest is that we are going to melt from radiation. I’m not afraid of death….

This week, our diligence as a companionship was much better. Still room for improvement.

But hey….it’s PDAY! I mean….Preparation Day. (white handbook)
So I’m going to have a great day and yeah…..

Anywho…LOVE YOU ALL!
Sista Lyman

we had new years eve dinner with recent convert laura….shes so funny!

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Dearest ones!

Dearest ones!

This week was good!
We are working hard, and transfers are coming up next week! We get transfer calls on Monday….sad news though, our library will be close on Monday so I think we will have to email again next Tuesday…boo. But i’m just grateful we will get to email!

This week we have really started trying to work through members, they all have so many fears of missionary work, so we try to role-play and help as much as we can, as well as seek referrals from them. Because like Preach my Gospel says, the best way is working through members.

Also, I love this area! It’s huge, and I still don’t know everyone but it’s the best area and the members are awesome! yesterday we had a BBQ at a members house …(the Dicksons) and it was so fun, it felt a lot like home, they even have a bouncy house thingy haha. The stake president was there and he just had a son leave on a mission, he is in the Mexico MTC, and so it was super fun getting to talk about that with them.

I’m hoping that I get to stay English for a while, because it’s so fun…maybe because English is my native language hahah jk. I love them both!
But who knows… 🙂
There is a woman in the ward who does some crazy body energy thingy….she like “zones” your body or something crazy like that and she did that I have seriously never slept better…but I can’t decide if it was all physiological or real?

The doctor appt went great….and I found a cool bible book….I also learned that there is a method to opening canned peaches…but I havent quiet figured it out. tips anyone? because this is the 2nd jar that has opened on my clothes…i need help!
I go to bed super early…well as early as i can…sister vaha trys to wake me up with theflash of the camera…but I am doing awesome!
nothing super exciting this week….
write me letters….it’s sad not getting anything for 8 whole days…I’m thinking of writing myself letters. 🙂 LOVE YOU ALL! hope you like my model pose…it was a lot of work to get that double chin.

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English!

Dear Loved ones….

I don’t even know where to start this week, well these past 2 weeks have been CRAZY! Last pday wasn’t really a pday because Of our weird transfers and everything. But I got all unpacked and we had a wonderful dinner with a family, it was so weird to be back in a real family home. I couldn’t believe how big and spacious the house was. I was so used to tiny apartments and trailers with coolers as fridges and sitting on the floor, and then in a blinks eye I was in a gorgeous huge home with stainless steel and granite and beautiful wood. I felt so spoiled, and so overly blessed.

I was a hard adjustment to not pray in Spanish or really…look for Spanish people. We knocked doors like crazy this week. The circumstances have sure been hard this week but I haven’t gotten discouraged. I was used to going to neighborhoods and stereotyping houses and leaving the rest to the English missionaries….which is now me hah. So now door after door…English people just like to fight and bicker and I just tell them to have a great day and I smile at them big, wave, and then we go to the next door.

Also, I am totally in the country, so we have to walk a long ways from 1 house to the other, and we have to deal with a lot of big dogs….I’m getting used to big mean pit bulls and german shepherds. Sister Vaha is good with dogs and I just walk really close to her and I have only screamed a few times. 🙂
We met this man named Steven, his wife was recently baptized but then just stopped coming to church, so we stopped by to check up on her, little did we know about Steve…he asks “can I ask you a question?” we say “of course!”
he says “does god get everything he wants”…..then I think to myself…oh no…we’ve got a basher. So then he goes on to tell me about Buddha and how he taught people to live above the mortal mind and all of this stuff. He kept bringing up how god controls everything so naturally…he gets whatever he wants. My companion was trying to make a point very boldly. As I was listening I knew no one was been loved and there was no spirit. Then I thought of Aaron in the Book of Mormon was he was teaching in the sinagouge and a man approached him and started asking similar questions like “how do you know we need to repent? blah blah blah…” and how Aaron responded so simply to see if the man was really interested and was truly willing to repent. So then I asked Steve “How do you feel when you pray?” It kind of caught him off guard and he responded that he feels good and he feels peace and other things. Then I went on an quoted the bible dictionary description of prayer…that its not a way of controlling god, or God controlling us. But a way for us to align our will with Gods. So after a while he stopped and he said….” Your the first missionary that has ever cared to help me…rather than fight with me…the first missionary in 20 years..” So that’s not the whole story…just a little review. But, it’s a cool experience to feel love for a crazy person and to feel the spirit bring things to remembrance.

Going to church in English this week was crazy. I missed the humbleness of the Hispanics and other things I did miss, but I know that the Lord has a plan for me here!
I came from a thriving spanish area with Loads of investigators and people everywhere and here in Arlington…I came to an area that had 0 investigators and there are 77 less active families in the ward.
But it’s okay because I am ready to work and I am ready to put my best foot forward for the Lord!
Also this week, I picked my 1st wild blackberries! I couldnt stop picking and eating them! they are SO good! and they are literally EVERYWHERE!

Lastly, we had the 1st CSFY (come see for yourself) fireside. Its a missionwide fireside, it was so beautfiul! they had people young and old bear testimony and share their conversion stories. They had videos and musical numbers! And the best news ever…my investigator from Lynnwood, cenobio is GETTING BAPTIZED THIS SATURDAY! yay! He was for sure the hardest gator I have had and to know that he is walking into the waters of baptism warms my heart! I teared up!

So….crazy week. I am tired.

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what?!

News of the mission.

I am getting transferred today at noon.
I got a call 2 nights ago from the assistants saying I was being moved ENGLISH.
he said “hey sister I have some news…..drum roll….SISTER LYMAN IS BEING TRANSFERRED!” I was like …WHAT!

Which is so weird because I was for sure staying spanish then President decided he wanted me to go english, and its only 2 weeks into the transfer. So I am really confused.

Sorry for the lame email, but I have to finish packing and shopping and getting everything together so I can meet my new comp at the mission office.
Crazy. I am so sad to be leaving…..

Next week is sure to be crazy.

my last week and goodbyes in Lynnwood:

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Let’s hope he doesn’t have a knife..

Dear Family,

So this week was crazy. As always. It was so nice to finally have the same companion for more than 6 weeks. President Bonham treats me well.

I thankfully had no horrible autocorrect experiences this week, but we had an awesome time biking up every hill in our area. We biked so much! Then on the way down from a super fun hill I went off of a big curb I didn’t know was there and….broke a few essential parts of my bike. So we slowly rode our bikes to Sports and Authority and I got told by a scary bike fixer man to ” you stay away from those curbs now ya hear…” only to ride out of the store and ride off the ONLY curb haha. My bad.

We contacted a whole lot this week and found some pretty solid potentials. We found this beautiful 9 year old girl named Janette and she loves hearing about God. She loves church and she is so mature for her age! Her mom was totally cool with us teaching her and said she’d even drive her to church and bring her to activity days and all. how cool! The Lord truly has prepared people 🙂

This week we were on our way to a lesson, the woman has been pleading with God for years to help her husband who is an alcoholic and is addicted to many things, and sometimes when we go over and she’s not home, it’s just really ery. So we prayed that we would be protected and be okay, then Hermana Brunsdale says….”lets hope he doesn’t have a knife…” she was all joking. So we start walking up to the door and he is sitting outside with a beer and he starts talking to us and I look around….and what do I see on his seat by his hand…. a KNIFE!
I nudged hermana Brusndale and then we left….so funny. But just weird.

Then this week I was praying a lot, because I was searching for an answer from the Lord. Then as I was praying and I wasn’t feeling anything, so I just decided to be patient with the Lord. I was praying to feel if staying Spanish is right or if trying english for a transfer would be beneficial. That night Hermana Brusndale and I went to Mongolian Grill and I open up my fortune cookie and it says ” Now is the time to try something new…” I was like woah…. just kidding I didn’t take that seriously. But during my interview with President Bonham I did share that with him and he laughed so hard!

I am learning so much on my mission. I love it. I can’t imagine being “normal
” again.
These past 10 months have the greatest ever, I hope that I keep learning new things each day! Thanks for all of the letters and packages this week. I love them! and I love you!

Untill Next week 🙂

Hna L.

1. The wild blackberries!
2. the biggest sunflower ever!
3.I guess the spanish catholics pray to the chipmunks now too?
4. doormats of all kind.
5. SPIDERS EVERYWHERE.
6. Sister millet! Related to Amber! 🙂

 

Lynnwood Week 7

So here I am in Lynnwood, Transfer day….still no transfer information.
I really HOPE that I stay here in Lynnwood at least 1 more transfer with Hermana Brusndale…I think the Lord knows that. *fingers crossed

This week has been a hard week.
I feel like I am going crazy. I believe that missions are the hardest thing. But then It reminds me of Joseph Smith and how he basically never had a break, and how the Prophet and the Apostles never have a break, and then I realize that my leg of the race is only a portion compared to them.

But this week, with all of the doctors appts and crazy meetings and stuff, we were pretty busy. But some of the cool things that I love that did happen were wonderful!

First- I spoke in church for a whoppin 5 1/2 minutes! WOW! I call that improvement. I spoke about being grateful in any circumstance and that when we have gratitude, we develop a testimony of conversion.
But sad news, our district leader went home, because he is sick. It makes me sad when people go home.

But my favorite lesson this weeks was when we were teaching this family who is so hard to find, and we started the Restoration and the Oldest daughter Alondra is super open and when we read the 1st vision she said “wow, that’s amazing…that God answers” and then we asked “do you believe God will answer you” and she said “if I asked sincerely, yes.”
So sweet. But her younger sister Jocelyn is and atheist….doesn’t believe in God.
At the end of the lesson we invited them to all pray. So each member of the family took a turn praying, at the end if was Jocelyns turn and she didn’t want to, but we promised her she would feel the spirit and know there was a God and would feel his love. She she prayed and in the middle of her prayer she said “dear god, thank you for my family. Especially my mom. She’s amazing…..then she broke down crying. we all sat there for a moment because the spirit was so strong, then her mom said “why are you crying? and said “because I realized that I never tell you that I love you….”
So it’s true that God loves us! He has given us families to cherish and to grow. We learn the basic principles within the family. Families are the pattern of Heaven.

on another note I AM NOT GETTING MOVED! YAY! 6 MORE WEEKS IN LYNNWOOD WITH BRUSNDALE. # word.

sorry for such a small email. next week will be better.
write me!
p.s. Washington has a million spiders. they are EVERYWHERE.
and hna brunsdale tossed a lotion bottle to me and i missed it and sliced my head….whoops.

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Bonsai!!

Dear Loved ones,

Another week has come and gone! Wow! Weird. I don’t know how or where the time flies.
This week we added a new addition to our companionship…a.k.a… a brand new 2014 grand caravan minivan…yup. thats right.
We had a minivan but it was up to 50,000 miles, and that’s when the church sells cars, so we got a call from the mission office saying we had to bring out car in….so we pull up and we see this beautiful minivan callin’ our name. I told Hermana Brunsdale that the mission is preparing us in more ways than one haha. But it’s awesome because we can still fit out bikes in the back, so when we drive then park, we can still bike everywhere! We are super blessed to have a car and bikes.

We also have recently received a new phone, and I think I have lost the touch, because I have totally battered every text with autocorrect fails!
The other day instead of saying President Bonham I have called him President Bonsai, President Gotham….I called a man in our ward Brother Pinklebottom…I called an elder, Elder Snack….all via text and now I make Hermana Brunsdale text haha.

But now for the good stuff, this week I have renewed my devotion to my mission! Especially after I had another interview with President, I was just ready to go and preach and teach. I have been reading a lot about the covenants we make with God throughout our lives, and I feel like God gave me awesome opportunities to teach people about why we are baptized, what it means, what the convents mean and why they are so important. Truly each day we live we keep our baptism covenants when we smile, hug, help and cry with gods children. It’s something i have learned well on my mission. This week we mourned for an investigator who seems to be slipping away. Sometimes I mourn for people at home, but Then I remember the talk by Richard G. Scott, after the death of his 2 children he reminded his wife that they were born into the covenant. So they need not fear because If they kept their covenants, then God would keep his part too.

We are trying really hard to strengthen the branch, it seems to be kind of crumbling and it’s sad, I just want to be able to bring an investigator to church and have the members say “HI!” or to sit by them or to fellowship them in anyway!
It’s something we are working on. I know that we need members, but more importantly, we need CONVERTED members. #generalconference

So this week was awesome. I am excited for the lessons and things the Lord has in store this week. 🙂 Stay strong. LOVE YOU ALL!

sorry no photos this week, I lost my camera for a bit. but I found it!

this is a member house. yup. 15 people live here.

 

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Lynnwood

Dear Family!
How to even start out this week.

HOT! It was a pretty hot week in Washington…not one drop of rain! WAH!
I know. rude.

We biked so much and I’ve never loved biking so much. But when it’s over 90 degress….wearing a skirt isn’t always the funnest. So i have invested in a wonder pair of underamor capris that have changed my life.

This week was certainly busy and great, and the funnest part was we celebrated our 9 month birthday! So at district mtg Hna Brusndale, Maama and I took a “9 month” picture.

So, for the real stuff….my moto for this past week was ” We need to do all that is in our power to accomplish our goals, and the Lord will make up the difference.”
Joseph B. Wirthlin

So Each time I felt myself feeling scared to speak or bear testimony I remembred this quote and Prayed for help to conquer my fear and I would speak. I found that not only was my mouth filled but the spirit waxed strong within me and I knew that the people felt it as well. It reminded me of Ether 12:27″ If men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness that they may be humbled…” The Lord has surely humbled me, in more ways that I ever thought were possible.

Also, we had zone meeting this week, we learned about the power of hope. Which I love and which I needed greatly this week. Since the plan of salvation has been on my mind more than usual this week, I found myself seeking for the hope of a greater future, hope for a future, and hope for the eternities. In zone meeting I loved how hope was described. In the world we use hope and something that may be uncertain…like ” I hope my friend comes…” or “I hope so….”
but when used in the gospel it is something certain and sure. So the next day I was studying about the 1st prinicple we teach….God is our loving heavenly father… and It directed me to Alma 22:14 ” that the sting of death should be swallowed up in the hopes of glory…” then later on in verse 16 “call on his name in faith, believing that ye shall receive, then salt thought receive the hope which though desirest…”

So basically….I just really love how powerful hope is…it’s like the will to survive, never giving up and pushing when you feel like you can’t….treading water when you feel you can’t tread anymore.

The will of God is powerful and when we figure out how to align ours with his…(in the words of Hermana Maama) “aint nuttin gunna stop us!”

So this week was awesome! And we only took the right/wrong bus out of the mission once…..

Our conversation with the assistants…

Us: Hey Elder Merill….so what had happened was we we are going to be out of the mission for a red hot second…are we going to be struck down…or are we good?
Elder M: where are you guys at?
Us:….umm…Seattle.
Elder M: just pray 7 times and close your eyes until your back…
Us:…whew…okay. We were just trying to use our marshmallows effectively!

But it’s okay….we are back in mission area and are safe and sound…
LOVE YOU!

Oh yeah…and some little girl named Miley tickled us with a feather…that I’m pretty sure was NOT sanitary hahah.

!Merica!

Dear dear ones,

Happy belated 4th of July to you all!!

This week was a good and a hot week!
We biked everywhere and made it up every hill and I loved it!

It was super fun this week to teach some formers I taught before and get them going again! But It was sad because we had to drop Enedelia….she just isn’t ready. But I know that God has a plan. He always provides a way for his children.

We had a great pday last week, we played sand volleyball on the beach and watched the ferry’s come in and out. Then to everyone’s awesome suprise a beautiful navy ship started cruisin on by. It was so hot that day we walked over to Ivars and got a baby cone which was actually HUGE! Then we had a shopping spree at Dollar Tree and bought the things we needed for our awesome 4th of July picture!

So this past week we recieved a call from the Zone Leaders, they said ” we have a meeting with the stake next week and we wanted to get together and talk about the branch and what they need…” we said….”yeah for sure! ” then they say….”we were thinking about, discusing it over dinner…”
us- “wait…what.”
They said they are just trying to be mature adutls…so looks like we are having dinner with the ZL’s tomorrow at some random BBQ place HAHA. not biggie just a funny story.

But this week I learned a lot. Hermana Brusndale and I were talking and I really realized how much I have learned. How much more I have learned about the Plan of Salvacion. I was watching the bible videos and I just saw and felt the atonement so strongly. Then as I have been reading Jesus the Christ, I have felt his love and perfect plan deeper. All we want is to be like Jesus. We work, we cry, we life, we depend on Christ….our perfect older Brother.

Another change, we got a letter from the 1st presidency saying that we as missionaries are now supposed the leach lesson 5, the new member lessons. Have you guys had any changes with this?

Well, overall….this week was awesome. I love you all!

p.s. Write me letters.

This cat’s name is Toby. Coolest cat there is….
I dunno man…why’d the pug life chose me….
Happy 4th of July!

 

True law of the fast

Dear ones,

This week I have learned so much! I have pushed myself really hard to get on track and get things done!

One thing I have seen undoubtedly this week is the pure loving hand of the Lord, in all things. I have finally began to again break out of my shell and push myself to truly preach the gospel.
We have been pruning the vineyard still, and have been really seeking for those whom the Lord has prepared for us, and whom we are prepared to teach as week.
I don’t remember if I wrote about this last week….but Its been a true sign when we have to drop someone we follow the promptings we receive and then the Lord has always placed a prepared person in our path the replace the one we just lost.

We found 7 new investigators this week, and we knocked a lot of doors to find them and biked up countless hills to find more! which I love!

We also fasted on Wednesday for missionary work, and we ended up finding 2 prepared people, it was so cool to see the Lord give us strength to complete our food less day on bike and to also find prepared children. I also pushed myself super hard this day to speak as much as I could and to rely on the spirit to hear them and discern what they needed, very cool experiences. Also I read in Isaiah 58 about the true law of the fast…..I loved learning that in the true fast the people “take delight in approaching to God…” and as we honor the Sabbath day and the day of fast we honor him we are promised that “the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.” I love this because it’s like our spiritual drink, but also, I don’t doubt that it could be taken literally in the case of the drought at home…pure sincere fasting brings miracles and opens the windows of heaven.

But no matter how it seemed that this week was “tract ghost town” week because no one was home! we still had success in finding the right people! I swear we knocked a billion doors, and door after door after door was empty, but the cool thing was that the spirit of hope was never lost.

We have been focusing on a new part of the area that hasn’t ever been really touched and it’s been amazing to see that each time we go there we find at least 1 new child of god! we were biking down this new road and I see this boy I remember…I stop and say…”hermana! that’s Enedelia’s family!” so we bike up there to see them because I remembered her from December and she has been on my mind alot….they moved and we didn’t know where they had gone and we found them! As we reviewed the 1st vision I asked her look at the picture and read as if this experience was happening to her…after Hermana Brusndale asked her “how would you feel if you could recieve an answer from God, about which church is true?” Enedelia said….”it would change my life.”
It will change any life. As I have learned from the conference reports that the Restoration is is an ongoing process! How cool that our lives can continue to be changed by the beautiful knowledge that God loves us, He has given families and scriptures and profetas to guide those families, and like Jesus Christ, God called Joseph Smith to be a prophet and with the power and authority of God, he translated the Book of Mormon. Through prayer, Reading in the Book of Mormon and Attending church, we can receive revelation we need each day to more fully fulfill our purpose here on earth.

On a happy funny note….as we were finishing companionship invetory in the car (because we didnt have time at home) we are driving through and intersection and i had just thanked Hna Brunsdale for her patience and all and as I was about to read of the next thing a man races through the intersection and Hna Brusndale yells “Man child! What the heck are you doing Idiot?!” then I say….Im grateful for you compassion and understanding…….hahahaha.

All in all….I’m learning alot….more and more I learn to love and be happy.

Hna Brusndale is an animal whisperer…
We have fun!