punted kaayo/very punted 1/26/15

hello! that subject line really sums up the week here in sogod: very punted!

how are you all? thanks for all the emails! i love you all! thanks for your efforts in emailing me so diligently!

we’re going to tacloban today! and we’ll be there until tuesday/wednesday, depende. my companion goes home in 30 days and so she has to go to manila to do fingerprinting. i’ve already done it- we did it when at the manila mtc. but they didn’t start doing it like that until lately, so she still needs to do it! so i’ll be left in tacloban while she goes to manila with some other sisters! i will work with the sisters in tacloban although i won’t be much help because i don’t speak waray! i guess now i’ll get to learn some!!! i’m excited!

this week was kinda rough. because we hardly got to teach at all! that’s what we call ” being punted” i don’t know if that is a term used in all missions, or just in ours? anyways. there was a day we didn’t even teach any lessons! but its ok! my companion and i are having a good time, despite seeing few fruits for all of our efforts. for example, this week we re-wrote the mission song to describe our feelings about losing thousands of hairs, instead of what the song is really about: saving thousands of souls. haha we make our own fun! but this week was good overall! i’ve never had a bad week and i never plan to! here are the highlights:

  • awesome: we had zone interviews with president on monday! he is so wonderful and so approachable. i talk to him just like i talk to you mom and dad! its really cool. he’s awesome. i got advice from him about what to do with some of our investigators (more on that later) and he asked me to work hard in our branch building good relationships with the leaders here since my last companion burned some bridges in a serious way, aka saying “i don’t know care, i’m going home soon” when they didn’t like her opinion and a branch council meeting, and then saying to me, “come on sister, let’s go we have an appointment now” and storming out of the room with me embarrassingly leaving to follow after her. so yeah. my new companion and are being missionaries/PR people now haha.
  • awkward: being a repeat outfit offender. i wore an outfit at district meeting, then wore it again 4 days later in another district meeting…didn’t realize it until later. oh well. i’m not here to be fashionable! although i do kinda miss wearing normal clothes, jewelry, statement necklaces, etc. but my best accessory is my missionary badge!
  • heartbreak of the week: our investigators showing up to church (we just happened to be there because we were having district meeting) and asking us for $$$. i was so sad. one of them has health challenges and needs an operation. they then said “we’re willing to become mormons” but they just want money. the branch/district presidents talked with them and were able to help them a little bit financially. we’re still teaching them, but relying on the spirit to help us discern if their intent is real or if they’re just in it for the money 😦
  • happy of the week: my companion and i are having fun! we just joke and laugh a lot. i feel waaaaaay more like myself with this companion than i did with my last companion! its nice not to be walking on egg shells all the time!!!!
  • i encountered my first rotten egg this week. i cracked it open and it started to cook in the pan before i could stop it……GROSS.
  • i’m still losing hair, but trying not to think about it!!! when i interviewed with president he commented how my hair is different than my mission photo (no bangs) and i agreed and casually mentioned “and its falling out too! i guess that’s a thing here in the phils” and he said, “its only a thing if you make it a thing” so i’m working on not thinking about it and not letting it get me down! i seriously can’t believe its happening but there’s nothing i can do right now. so like he said, i’m trying to not make it a thing despite the fact that my hairbrush looks like 2 weeks of hair is in it after 1 day of brushing. my hair is waaaaay thinner now. its so sad. but my goal is to not make it a thing!! anyways.
  • this week was good for exploring our area more! we found lots of secret paths and cool shortcuts that will save us time now that we know about them! don’t worry mom, they’re totally safe, but we still don’t go on them when its dark  🙂
  • random question: when will the city center temple be completed?
  • the language is FINALLY COMING! i am so grateful! i can understand what people are saying now! and that is such a blessing. i can’t say everything i want to say yet, but soon i hope. let me just say the gift of tongues is very real. and it works according to our efforts. zero effort, zero gift. lots of effort, a lot of gift!
  • food. its good. i’m so grateful for my physical health everyday. i’ve been cooking hardcore the last few weeks, trying to each more vegetables. i make what i like to call “faux-dobo” my own version of chicken adobo becuase i’ve never officially learned how to make it haha. boom. still punny. last night we were fed TWICE. it rocked. usually we are fed 3-4 times a week but last night we had 2 appointments. we went to the first dinner and i ate like normal. then we went to the 2nd and i ate like normal. packed in two meals like a champ. it was both awesome, and delicious.
  • wow i can’t think of much else to say right now. i know there is more.
  • here’s something. i really love my companion! she is samoan, but its like she’s an american kinda. at least theres waaaay less cultural difference than with my last companion. so we just relate to each other a lot better. we were talking the other day about our families and how much we miss them! we came to the conclusion that we aren’t homesick, no way! but you just NEVER stop missing your family. its so true though. i’m not homesick at all, but i just miss you all a ton! its a good thing that families are forever, right?! ok i’m getting cheesy and starting to tear up, i’m stopping now! love you!!!!

ok, ok. i gotta get going now! just know that i know that this gospel is TRUE! i love that i can declare that all day everyday to the people here in sogod!!! its an honor and a privilege to serve!!!!

love you all!

love, j/sister brereton

pic 1: buying eggs on the way home
pic 2: a funny sign on side of the road
pic 3: action shot of me getting head butted by a cow when trying to get a photo by it hahaha!
pic 4: our investigators little girls: siren and daisy


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