15 Ways to Survive a Mission to Ecuador
1. Prayer, because there are definitely days that I feel like I don’t understand anyone speaking Spanish. But what is awesome is God speaks all languages!
2. Study time, every morning I have 1 hour of personal study, 1 hour of companionship study and 1 hour of language study. These 3 hours are precious to me. I learn so much in this time every day!
3. No fear! I am always afraid of saying the wrong words, but honestly, the only way to survive is by having no fear with the language, but often I don’t make any sense to people.
4. LOVE rice. I eat more rice here than I have in my entire life, but I have grown to absolutely love it! They don’t have soy sauce so I have to eat it plain!
5. Don’t ask! I have learned it is a ton easier to eat food if you don’t know what you are eating. This week I ate the stomach of a cow and if no one had told me what it was I probably would have enjoyed it more. If you’re wondering what it tasted like, it is like chicken skin. Haha!
6. Hold on! Buses here are crazy! If you don’t hold onto something you may end up on the floor or smashed into another person. Haha! It may have happened to me once or twice.
7. Get used to staring. Believe me, you will be stared at. Something about having light colored hair and white skin makes everyone and their dog stare.
8. Learn how to wash your clothes. You wash everything by hand. Believe me washing your clothes in ice water is not enjoyable…But you will learn to wash them quick!
9. Learn to laugh at yourself. I laugh at myself more than ever and it is necessary. I would be crazy in my head if I didn’t laugh. Life in general is just crazy here.
10. Pretend. All I can say is smile and nod because a good 85% of the time I have NO idea what is going on or what we are doing or why we are doing it! Fake it till you make it!
11. Ketchup and Mayo. I’ve never in my life had a desire to put ketchup or mayonnaise on anything but I’ve had to eat it on so many things I am actually starting to like it.
12. Carry your own toilet paper. I use a ton of public restrooms, but I can promise you that none of them have toilet paper. Hence the reason I carry it with me at all times!
13. Nobody can sing. And when I say nobody, I really mean NOBODY! It breaks my heart. You know how much I love music. Sometimes all I can do is laugh.
14. Don’t worry about time. This has probably been one of the most frustrating things. I can’t stand to be late but the culture here is to be late to EVERYTHING!!
15. Charity. Charity is the pure love of Christ and Christ loved everyone and everything. When you have divine love for others, everything else just seems to fall into place. It really is amazing to me that the more we try to be like Christ, the more blessings we receive.