1 Nephi 1:20 // Read all about it! // 2/16/15

hello all!
where to begin with what happened this week??? i don’t know, but i can say that like nephi says, the tender mercies of the Lord are ALL OVER. and I saw that multiple, big times this week.

so let me tell you the full and complete story. pictures are attached, you’re welcome 😉 i took videos during this too. but those will have to wait (too big to email)

  • background story: a few weeks ago, my comp and i were walking past a hospital and i expressed how i NEVER want to have to go to a phils hospital EVER. so yeah. how ironic when i end up in one just days later? be careful what you say out loud!
  • so our activity at this farm place was way fun. and here is the hilarious part. and i already gave you the general idea of what happened last week, so i’ll just pick up from there. while waiting at the farm for the elders to get us transportation to the hospital, i was deciding how i would get to the transportation. i decided that i should hop on my other leg as to not put pressure on the wood, that could possibly go deeper into my leg. so i start hopping along. i had to hop along a bridge, over the water. i was about to raise up my hands (in a rocky type of way) as my whole zone watches us go towards to motor, to show that i was fine, and victorious, and whatever trying to be funny. i’m hopping along when BOOM my foot totally breaks a slat in the bridge and my foot starts to fall through. luckily the elders by me grabbed me quickly and i continued to hobble off to the motor. don’t worry, i was fine. it was just HILARIOUS. seriously, so funny. my whole zone thinks i’m handicapped now haha.
  • last monday i spent the WHOLE day in the hospital. the ww2 looking hospital. it was so filthy and so not clean. ironically, all this time i was wearing my intermountain shirt, and wishing that i was in an intermountain facility! they had me on an iv, which i was so mad about. they insisted i have it, said i was refusing medical treatment if i didn’t let them put it in. so i let them. they numbed my leg with local anesthetic, made a 2 inch slice in my calf, spread apart the skin, and removed the wickedly sharp piece of wood. it was pretty deep in. then they sewed me up with 2 stiches only. then they sent to to my hospital room, with my 2 other roommates. sister mortensen was the one with me the whole day and boy am i grateful for her! i’m also so grateful for the elders who were with us. all of us were americans, so it was a relief that we could really express how we all feel about philippines healthcare without offending anyone! haha
  • so i was stuck, sitting on this bed indefinitely. that’s when they said that they wanted to keep me overnight. i was like, “you have got to be kidding me!” so after counseling with our zone leader elder burton and sister maurer, i signed a paper that would allow me to leave at 8pm that. oh, that paper was me signing against medical advice. so yeah, i can check that off my bucket list now haha. such a rebel!
  • at 8pm they let me leave. which was a relief. my comp and i (hobbling) went to the pharmacy to get my prescriptions- an antibiotic and nsaid. ok i’m taking to long and writing too many unnecessary details so i will skip ahead!
  • tuesday morning we had zone training meeting. it was super good, and i was so glad that i didn’t have to stay in the hospital so that i could be there! after that we left to tacloban because 1) we had a sisters training the next day and 2) my companion had to take her english test since she’s going home soon. while we were at the mission home i emailed last week. and was under sister maurers watchful care. which was good because the redness surrounding my wound was spreading. sister maurer was communicating with the doc in manila about what to do. he prescribed more antibiotics and told me to keep off it. luckily we were at the mission home the whole next day so sister maurer could keep an eye on it with me! meanwhile, president maurer was making jokes about amputating my leg. going so far as to grab a knife from the kitchen asking, “do you think this one is big enough?” haha. it was really incredible timing. not coincidental that we happened to be in tacloban at this time.
  • wednesday we had the sisters training which was awesome. i was still hobbling around and trying to sit as much as possible. shoutout to mom! sister maurer came and gave me hug after the training. she said that you messaged her mom! she said the hug was from you and i teared up, just a little 🙂 wednesday night we spent in tacloban because there were no rides home to sogod. it was so wonderful because for other random circumstances, the sisters that i’m closest with with in tacloban that night! the ones i was with during ruby! it was so fun! just another tender mercy!
  • Thursday morning my leg was looking really good! i had the green light from sister maurer to go home, but strict instructions that i could NOT WORK. i oymed to guys on our travel back to sogod. here’s my story there (copied from my email to president) Although I spent most of my time in our apartment this week, I had a neat experience. On our travel from Tacloban to Sogod, I was talking to my two seatmates. They were professional billiard players, traveling to a competition. Many of the things they said highlighted gospel truths that I was able to testify of. I really experienced the gift of tongues. I understood everything that they were saying, until one of them said something inappropriate to me. Suddenly I couldn’t understand anything they were saying. I don’t know what was said, but the Spirit withdrew and I no longer understood. I could truthfully respond back to them, “I don’t understand what you’re saying,” and soon they quit saying such things. I am so grateful for the Spirit and the gift of tongues!
  • after we got home, my foot/ankle swelled up BIG TIME. so i just kept off it. members brought us food, it was awesome. i napped, wrote letters, and was SO BORED. i hate not being able to work. its the worst. meanwhile the redness on my leg is increasing, then decreasing, then increasing, back and forth.
  • friday morning i woke up WORRIED. the redness was getting bigger. it hurt so bad. i texted sister maurer and she didn’t respond so i called. she told me to have the zone leaders go and get the extra prescriptions and for me to take them asap and to see if i have a fever then text her back. she said “we’re waving right now. we’re driving through sogod on our way to a district conference. wish we had time to stop and say hello!” after that, i hobbled upstairs to get my thermometer and as i was coming back downstairs my comp said “why is president maurer here?” we looked outside and the maurers and the newly arrived sr missionary couple got out of the car and came into our apt! sister maurer said she felt like they should come and check on me. and it is no coincidence that sister hansen, the new sr missionary sister is a NURSE. she took one look at my leg and said, “this could be cellulitis” then drew a boundary around the redness so we could track how quickly it was increasing. President Maurer gave me a blessing! this timing was INSPIRED. i feel sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo blessed.
  • the wonderful elders went to get my prescriptions and i’ve started to take them!

currently: i’m still taking them, the redness is still going back and forth though. so i’m still not allowed to work. pray that the antibiotics can knock this infection out! don’t worry, i’m not worried.

overall, i’ve been soooooooo bored this week. a member has sat with me while my companion goes out to work with a branch missionary (lucky!!). i’ve been so bored but i feel SO BLESSED. the hand of the Lord has been in this completely. i guess i just need to learn the Christlike attribute of patience 🙂

i love you all! i’m totally fine! don’t worry 🙂

love, j/sister brereton

pic 1: sisters waiting for elders (typical) so we could start the activity
pic 2: my leg
pic 3: i was so calm during the whole thing #thespirit
pic 4: them putting in the iv (which i fought so hard not to have) does my face say “i don’t trust you people”? because that’s what i was thinking.






i’m fine 2/10/15

hello all!

i’m sorry that i didn’t email like normal yesterday! i had the most eventful pday of my life yesterday haha and against all the seasoned missionaries’ advice, i’m going to tell you about it! but before i do, i need mom to promise that she won’t book herself a flight and fly here to rescue me hahaha. we’re in tacloban right now! we have a sisters training thing at the mission home tomorrow! so i’m emailing from sister maurer’s laptop right now! its so nice to be here…it feels like so good to be in an actual home. it feels like america hahah!
ok. first of all, i’m totally fine! yesterday was our zone activity going to a “farm” to look around, play capture the flag, have lunch, and return home. we were playing capture the flag and i was running and jumped over a pile of wood. i felt a scratch, but when i looked down i saw that there was a piece of wood stuck in me…naturally the elders were all impressed saying things like “whoa! you kept running through the pain?” and stuff like that haha. i thought it was just a scratch until i looked down! but they thought i was super tough. haha. our zone leader wanted to pull it out but of course i wouldn’t let him! let me just say i’m grateful for all my medical knowledge.
there are so many details that i don’t have time to write! so i’ll tell you more next week! but here’s the gist of it: rode a motorcycle to the sketchiest hospital ever, got admitted to the hospital (because this is the philippines and outpatient procedures are unheard of), and spent 8 hours chatting in a communal hospital room with my hospital roommates. forgot to mention that the doctor removed the piece of wood, which was the size of….oh i don’t know. the thickness of a pencil and about 1.5 inches long with a local anesthetic while 3 other missionaries watched it happen. BUT DON’T WORRY I’M FINE. it hurts to walk. and i’m gonna have a wicked scar on the front of my calf, but this is the price of a mission. i’m on an antibiotic and doing great. so don’t worry about me!
it was cool to see the DIRECT hand of the Lord throughout the experience. random promptings i had the morning before i left that morning helped me in the day later on.
i’ll send pics next week.
sorry i don’t have much time to write! the lovely missionary, sister mortensen from lehi, who was with me during the whole ordeal still has to email her fam!
this week will be a good one for us missionaries! and this past week was good for the work as well!
i love you all! sorry for the short email!!! this gospel is TRUE.
love, sister brereton

good food in tacloban city 2/2/15


how are you all? i’ve been trying to send lots of pics lately, have you noticed? and do they turn out ok? they’re from my comp’s camera and i’m not sure if they are fuzzy or not. anyways.

this week was interesting. we spent the first part of the week in tacloban, then returned to our area on Wednesday. here are the highlights:

  • awesome: the food in tacloban. aka we went to mcdonalds. i hadn’t had beef in months. it was so awesome! the food was good, but just not quite the same. the first thing i want to do upon going home in stop are hires big h on the way home from the airport! also, i bought a package of donut holes. there were 35 of them in the package and i’m proud to say i ate 20 the first day, 10 the next day and shared with my comp too. sidenote: this morning i finally opened the lucky charms from christmas and it was awesome.
  • tacloban: i worked with the downtown sisters for a day! they are so cool! i loved working with them. the city is SOOOOO different from my area. and it was incredible to be in tac. you can still see the damage from yolanda. most things have been fixed but not all. we were in some of the poorest houses i have ever been in that day. i thought my area was poor, but the city is even worse. i tried to keep up with the language, but there’s no denying that i don’t know waray-waray haha. so i just taught in cebuano. waray speakers understand cebuano, but cebuano speakers don’t understand waray so well, interesting, right?
  • awkward: me buying “men’s hair retain” shampoo that i came across at the store. so far no results, but i’ve only used it twice haha. it was “for him” stamped all over it. hilarious. anything for my hair!
  • my hair: still falling out. i seriously have fasted and prayed over this but it continues to fall. my prayers haven’t been answered in the fact that my hair stays in, but instead i have been blessed to stop caring about it. i seriously just DON’T CARE about it anymore. its a liberating feeling. whatever happens, happens. i’ve done all i can do! its out of my hands now.
  • i got the first airmail package! thanks mom! it came at the perfect time- while i was in tacloban! thank you!!!!
  • i can safely say that i have a testimony about wellness formula. its saved me from getting sick twice now. thanks for sending it!!!
  • you know me….highly logical, research based so you can imagine how it KILLS me when sisters tell me to do/not do certain things based off of old wives tales. about 90% of them have to do with food/health so you can imagine how that gets to me! for example, “don’t drink too much cold water, it will make you fat.” yeah. don’t worry i set these sisters straight! in a nice way, of course!
  • i have seriously been blessed with the gift of tongues in the past few weeks. its incredible. i used to get so discouraged because PMG makes is sound so simple to learn, just “write down what you hear” and then find out the meaning. i used to get discouraged by this because all i’d hear was “lskdjf;lsdkjf;lsdkfj;sld” but with hard work and most importantly the help of the Spirit, i am a testament that you can learn your mission language! i still have SO much left to learn, and i don’t understand everything, but i’m doing ok with cebuano now!
  • pray for us to find new investigators! finding has been rough lately
  • true colors are coming out with my companion…lets just say that the warnings i heard about kleptomania were legitimate haha. don’t worry though haha.
  • the coolest thing that happened this week was a random guy we OYMed (Opened your/our mouths) coming to church! it was shocking! his name is Mario, 81 years old. we will teach him this week!
  • this week was rough for us. but i know this next week will be better. so many of our investigators have dropped us the last few weeks and so our teaching pool is down. so we have been trying to find. but that wasn’t as productive as i thought either! but we continue on, always trying to fulfill the work of the Lord to the best of our ability. but its not our ability that matters so much as its our willingness to let the Lord increase our ability. He will provide a way for us to do whatever he needs us to do. we just have to be willing and obedient!
  • i am learning so much each and everyday. i’m sorry that i focus my emails so much on the temporal things that happen each day. i’ll do better to share more spiritual experiences from now on!

i love you all so much! thank you for your constant love and support! i am grateful to be here and to serve with all my heart, will, might, and strength! and its not easy. but we’re not doing this work alone, because its not our work, its HIS work. we’re just lucky enough to get to help HIS work!

love you all,

love, sister brereton!

pic 1: us in tacloban. i worked with these sisters while my comp (the one in front) was in manila for fingerprinting
pic 2: i’m sorry i broke the “don’t touch animals” pact that we made mom. this puppy was sooooooooooo cute!
pic 3: YW new beginnings dinner at the church! so yummy