More pictures 3.30.15

pic 1 // district mates

pic 2 // the falls we hiked to

pic 3 // one of my fav fams here

pic 4 // its so pretty here!

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time flies when you’re having fun // 3.30.15

i seriously can’t believe that its almost april. its really true that the time goes by SO FAST on the mission. i’m quickly learning that everything that every RM has ever told me about missions is SO TRUE haha.

but hey. how are you all? thanks for the emails and pics. keep it coming! its so fun to have a full inbox haha love you all
this week was full of challenges. but it was still so good. the Lord is just so good to us!
  • awesome: finding cheese at the store. actually let me rephrase that: there being cheese at the store. trust me, i’ve looked before and magically last monday there was some there. and it was soooooo delicious we ate it all in 2 days!
  • awkward: today a 12 y.o. boy coming to our door and asking for a drink of water. so of course i gave him some! he said thanks and just walked away. sooooooo random. i love being on the mission
  • this week we got punted hard core. but we just kept working. so few lessons, but i know that we did everything in our power to invite everyone to come unto HIM and so i feel successful!
  • i had a teary moment this week when a less active member came to church. he is 30 y.o., RM. we met him by coincidence and when he got to church on sunday found out that his former companion from the mission just moved into the ward. the Lord works in mysterious ways!
  • i am for sure transferring. and it breaks my heart. i know it has to happen! i have been in sogod for 5 months now! but i don’t want to leave sister malu and i don’t want to leave this area! i feel like its the perfect area. the people are tough and hard hearted but the area itself is perfect. its got a little city, but a little bukid tooo! and its a great apt. i don’t want to transfer but i know its time. i ‘m just grateful that i’ve been able to spend as much time here as i have. being here is so cool to see how the Lord really knew that this would be such a good first area for me. i know the next area will be exactly what i need to help me learn and grow again. it could be a waray area. it could be in the bukid. i have no idea! but the Lord knows me and knows where He can best use me. i’ll go wherever He needs me to go. i’ve gotten to the point where i will hike a mountain to teach people. i will do anything that will help them come unto Him. the gospel is that important. no sacrifice is too big for this gospel. it sure will be hard to leave this area. there are some families i’ve gotten so close to. and its hard to know that i will probably never come back here again! but i know that i will leave this area better than i found it. i’ve given it everything i’ve got!
  • pray for me and my new area. next time i email i will be there!
  • wow so much more i could say but i’ll just leave it at this: this gospel is TRUE. HE LIVES. and i’ll do everything i possibly can to tell every person i come across about that. i never thought i’d love being a missionary as much as i do! its an incredible opportunity to serve. i learn so much every single day. i let the spirit work through me to become an instrument in His hands! I LOVE THIS GOSPEL!
love,
sister brereton
p.s. happy easter! eat some real chocolate for me 🙂 also go to the temple for me. also eat a real hamburger for me. be grateful for real beef people. and cheese! ok i’m done.love you!!
pic 1 // grilled cheese sandwich, REAL CHEESE. seriously. a tender mercy i found cheese after not having it for my whole mission!
pic 2 // happy birthday to dad this week!!!!!! tigulan na!!!!
pic 3 // hiking for our district activity today
pic 4 // crossing a river!!!!!!
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its summer in the philippines // 3/23/15

and i just don’t know how to put into words how hot it is! but don’t worry about me…it cools down at night. and i’m so used to sweating and then drinking like a million gallons of water every day so don’t worry! but it is HOT.

sorry for not replying to many individual emails this week. the computer i’m on is very special and slow. makes me miss my macbook haha. so i only have a few minutes to write, and i forgot the list i made of random things to tell you…so here we go!

this week was kinda rough. let me just say that the opposition is VERY REAL. and very aware of what good we are trying to do here. sister malu and i had some rocking weeks together, but this week it was like things just wouldn’t work. we’re working our behinds off and being the best missionaries we can be, and satan is trying to stop that! but all is well. we had some interesting experiences this week.
i like to call this one: everyone thinks i’m rich because i’m white. racist, yet SO TRUE. and so frustrating. i was approached by an investigator this week, asking for money to pay for hospital bills. this is the 2nd time an investigator has done this. for me, its not about the money. as much as i’d love to give them some $ to help with the bills, i can’t. its not good for the church, its not good for future missionaries, its SO not good for the work. and it breaks my heart. they always pull the “i promise to be baptized” if they’re helped financially. but sorry, conversion doesn’t work like that. it makes it really hard to be a missionary. are the investigators in it because they have a genuine yearning to know the truth…or because it connects them to a church with plenty of money? we’ve had to really rely on the spirit to help us to know if the intentions of some investigators are real. sometimes i really hate being a foreigner in this country. so often people are interested in me and not the gospel. white people are exotic here. and so i’m grateful for that spirit to help me discern if the interest is in ME or the GOSPEL. weewwww sorry for the rant!
awesome: being companions with one of my MTC besties. seriously. its the biggest blessing. we have so much fun all while working SO HARD. at the end of the day we just have nothing left to give. we walk SO FAR everyday. its so awesome i love it!
awkward: teaching less actives that are so out of it that when we asked, “What is the sacrament?” the brother answered us, “conference.” yeah. sad. yet hilarious. i’m grateful for the opportunity to teach lots of LAs here and help bring back their remembrance and testimony! its clear that the Lord is wanting us to focus on LAs more than investigators in this area. and honestly its a privilege to work with these people who know the truth, but have just forgotten.
another awesome: understanding and speaking cebuano. let me just tell you. its so not me. its the gift of tongues. i was told that my grammar is almost perfect. which i was surprised to hear but then quickly remembered that its not because of my own power!
summer in the phils (at least in our mission) is for march, april, may. then it cools down and becomes rainy before becoming rainy/typhoon season in oct, nov, dec. so pray for me to survive these next few hot months! its crazy hot.
i got word that i am “for sure” transferring this next transfer- april 7. so i have until then to enjoy this dream i’m living: being in my first area still and having the best companion ever! word on the street (being in tacloban for my leg was a good networking opportunity 😉 #bestieswiththeofficestaff) is that i’ll be in a cebuano area again. i hope and pray that is true so that i can perfect my language skills and become really good at cebuano before getting transferred to waray! pray for me!

i’m out of time but i just want to emphasize how much i LOVE THIS WORK. it took my a bit too long to get to this point, but i’m here now. its so hard. its so hard everyday. but its so rewarding and so worth it. overall, everything i’ve heard about missions is 100% true. and after living here in the philippines i feel like i can live anywhere now. being here is helping me to realize the future that heavenly father has ahead for me! but for now its wonderful to be here, serving with all my heart, might, mind and strength. I know this gospel is true!

love,
sister brereton

pic 1 // let me introduce you to my friend: the s’moreo. oreo, toblerone, marshmallow, oreo. we roast the mallows are our gas stove haha
pic 2 // from our hike this morning! we hiked up to the bukid to the branch presidents house. 1 hr hike. it was so hot! but so pretty! then we are coconuts and other fruit there
pic 3 // drinking out of coconuts!
pic 4 // view of the ocean! you can’t see it well in the pic though 😦 so pretty!

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this will be quick // 3/16/15

hello everyone!

sorry to not reply to individual emails as much today! i spent a lot of time reading and looking at pictures of RYAN and SHELBIE’S WEDDING! holy moly. can’t believe it happened and that I wasn’t there! but obviously i am supposed to be here instead! THANK YOU for sending pics. my heart was so full looking at them. i am so happy for ryan and shelbie. so many emotions i have that i just can’t quite put into words!

this week was good and today was fun! we had a zone activity! at gerona farm…does that sound familiar??? its the same place where i cut my leg open last zone activity!!!! but it was fun. we DID NOT play capture the flag this time…so that was good! no injuries this time!!!! which reminds me….

my leg: its good! its ugly! but its healing! i’ve stopped taking a daily pic of it. its gonna take a looooooooooong time to fully heal. but its good!
my companion: sister malu is the dream come true. we are mission best friends. we have the same brain basically. so we just have the best time together working so hard and being HILARIOUS about it. i love my life.
the work: its fantastic. our area is picking up. heavenly father is putting people in our path that HE has prepared for us. its incredible. we’ve had some incredible experiences this week finding less actives. we’ve stumbled on 2 LA homes this week. and it turns out that they’re related. there are so many “coincidence” everyday that we have as missionaries. but i know that they are not coincidences at all. and i’ve learned that as i pray and seek for the spirit and LISTEN that i am ALWAYS guided. if it weren’t for the spirit there would not be a chance that i’d be able to speak this language. the lord is so merciful to me. the gift of the holy ghost really is a GIFT.
i just realized i haven’t been pointing out the awkward/awesome of the week…
awesome: the gift of tongues…i can speak/understand this language but only with HIS help. its such a blessing. its true that the Lord will magnify our efforts. p.s. its the weirdest language ever. i have a feeling i’ll get transferred to a waray area next…..
awkward: trying to teach a lesson in english…long story short there’s a family here that’s half korean and they all speak english not cebuano…so they wanted us to teach them in english…i felt SO AWKWARD. it was so unnatural to me! i kept starting sentences in cebuano and then realizing “ooops sorry let me try to speak my native tongue!” so weird.

I LOVE MY LIFE. its as simple as that. don’t take this the wrong way…but i have kind of forgotten that i had a life before this. everyday we just work and work. we give it everything that we’ve got. i’m so tired and so dripping with sweat by the end of the day. but its ok because i know that i have given it my all that day. i’ve done everything in my power to invite others to come unto HIM. the HIM who made everything possible for us. i love boldly declaring the gospel to these people…no apologies, no hesitations because its 100% TRUE.

I LOVE being a missionary. I LOVE doing this work. its HIS work. and its hard. its so hard. its exhausting in every possible way but i love it so much. at the beginning of my mission i never thought that i would say that. but now i get it. i get it! you really do find yourself when you lose yourself!

i love you all! thank you for your continued love and support. i couldn’t do it without all of you! i love you i love you i love you!
until next week…

love,
sister brereton

p.s. i will try to make my email more interesting  next week!

pic 1 // my favorite people. at our zone activity
pic 2 // gerona farm….hard to believe some place so pretty could hurt my leg so bad haha
pic 3 // our zone
pic 4 // crazy monkey at the farm

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I’m feelin 22! // 3/9/15

…except i’m really not…i just feel the same, just like any other birthday!

how are you all? i CAN’T believe that the wedding is happening this week. what i really can’t believe is that i won’t be there for it. but i’ve accepted it, don’t worry! but seriously thank you to all who have had a part in the cardboard cut out. at least i can still “be there,” right? haha i can’t wait to see the pics! send me lots, ok? thanks.

by the way…did anyone realize that they haven’t seen me for 6 MONTHS? i hit 6 months the other day…weird. is it going by fast or slow? i think its fast. i feel like i should have more wisdom and knowledge at this point haha.

this week was BUSY. and it was AWESOME. it is such a blessing to be companions with my batch! Sister Malu and i have the same mindset about life. and how things should be done. and so we get along great, obviously. and we work HARD. we’re all about hard work. something that i can’t say my last (trunky) companion was very into… but i digress. this week wasn’t very monumental, but i’ll just break it down day by day

Monday: we had a good pday. busy as always. and that night taught 2 really nindot lessons! the spirit was so strong. its so cool because our language isn’t perfect. its so not perfect…i don’t know if i can emphasize that enough. but the people understand us. that really shows the power of the spirit and its role in teaching and testifying to these people who, without the spirit present, would scratch their heads in confusion trying to piece together the broken cebuano of two hopeful foreigners.
Tuesday: i honestly can’t really remember what happened haha. we did visit a less active return family that day though. and on sunday, brother was called to be the YM president! and i seriously started to tear up right there in sacrament meeting. we’ve been working with this family ever since i got here. and the dad is just the best. one lesson we taught about the priesthood and committed him to do whatever it took to be worthy of the priesthood. and BOOM a month later he was ordained. and now he’s the YM prez. these are the things that as a missionary just make your heart burst with happiness!
Wednesday: the most uneventful birthday of my life! it was just a normal day! it was good!
Thursday: we had exchanges with the STLs. I worked in my area still! and it was really good. i worked with sister besiera and i learned a lot! she was actually the one who trained sister malu! so that was good! i learned so much from here. she reminds me a lot of my trainer
Friday: i can’t remember. just a normal day
oh i give up on the day by day thing. there was one night that we belatedly went to get a pizza for my birthday. the only real pizza place in town that really doesn’t hold a candle to american pizza. i digress. we just talk to everyone of course, so we were talking to the owner and he kept saying how “cute” it is when we foreigners try to speak cebuano hahaha.
oh wow i’m almost out of time! well. overall this week i’d just say that we’ve really tried to consecrate ourselves. and the Lord TRUSTS US. i can tell. because we are literally being given people to teach. the lord just puts them in our path! its so cool!
the language is here! i can finally communicate and express myself and everything like that. the lord is so merciful
we have some really promising investigators right now
my leg continues to heal. took my last antibiotic this morning. i’ve been on 4 different antibiotics the past month. i would have literally died without them. seriously. my leg was bad. i’m so blessed.

just know this: I LOVE MY MISSION. honestly its taken me a while to get to the point where i can completely, truthfully, fully say that. but its true now! I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY. i understand what people have been saying about missions and why they’re so great. i get it now! (even though it took my longer than it probably should have)

pic 1 // my leg currently. ugly as ever, but healing.
pic 2 // me and sister besiera on exchanges!
pic 3 // sorry mom. i touched an animal.(shoutout to annie!) its a little chick if you can’t tell
pic 4 // sister malu and i exploring the bukid. we found a hermit man there! don’t worry, we’re being safe.

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Let loose in Tacloban // 3.2.15

HELLO!!!

oh my goodness. so much to tell. such little time!

like i said in my last week’s email…i was in tacloban on monday and was awaiting my CBC results from the hospital. The good news is that everything from the blood test was normal 🙂 however, Dr. Arner wanted me to stay in Tacloban until my leg looked better. Everyday we went to the mission home for Sister Maurer to take a pic of my leg and send it to Dr. Arner and await his reply. Everyday we were hoping he would say, “looks good! back to your area!” BUT NO. This is how our week went:

  • monday: transfer day, exciting, me with Sister Malu, living the dream basically.
  • tuesday: In the morning we went to have Sister Maurer look at my leg. she said that it looked good and that we were good to go back to our area! We went to pick up sister Malu’s luggage at the mission office and were almost on our way, when Sister Maurer called and said Dr. Arner called and is worried there was a abcess forming under the cut. he wanted me in Tacloban for 24 more hours. So there we were, let loose in Tacloban. Which is hard because neither of us speak waray-waray! All of the sisters in Tacloban were already out working for the day, so we couldn’t go on splits with them. Tuesday was the Elders transfer day, so we helped with work in the office and acted as the unofficial elders transfer day office greeting committee! it was super fun to see old friends. later in the day we went to the mission home to help sister maurer make bread pudding!
  • wednesday: after our studies, went to the mission home for the daily leg picture! Dr. Arner didn’t reply for a loooooong time, so we were just waiting and SO BORED. This day we worked in the office a lot! it was hilarious because the APs knew that we were bored out of minds, so they texted us to come help with a project. they kept calling us the “AP Sisters” haha it was so funny! we worked in president maurer’s office on the transfer board- the board that has everyone’s picture, area, companion, everything! it was cool. i’m so in the know about everything now! finally Dr. Arner responded with the classic, “looks good. but i want to see it in 24 hours again.” ugh we were dying, just wanting to go back to our area!
  • thursday: daily pic of my leg, then off to work with the STLs in Tacloban. which is hard. i never want to be assigned in the city! its cooking like an oven always. and i don’t speak waray-waray so i can only pick up a little of what is being said! contrary to popular belief waray and cebuano are not dialects of each other. they’re TOTALLY different languages! on this day we were hoping and praying that we could just go back to our area!
  • friday: we went to the tacloban district meeting, then mcdonalds for lunch! so i can’t complain about that. we were waiting for word that my leg was good enough to go back to sogod! finally Dr. Arner said that he didn’t love how it was looking, but if i went on another antibiotic he’d let us go back to our area!!! we arrived in sogod that night
  • saturday: weekly planning, getting our bearings, and out to work! it felt so good! Sunday was good as well. sister malu and i were a little interested to see how we’d actually do. we barely have a handle on the language, but we do GREAT teaching lessons and talking to people. we are so blessed with the gift of tongues and interpretation. i suddenly understand things i’ve never understood before, remember random words i once learned long ago, and can carry on conversations with people. its really true that people’s hearts are softened when we learn their language. President Maurer asked the area presidency if we could be changed to a Tagalog speaking mission as a standard, instead of having 2 mission languages and their dialects. because everyone here understands tagalog, its the national language. the area presidency answered NO. because its a fulfillment of prophecy when we speak in their language. every person should hear the gospel in their native tongue! and so our mission will continue to have 3 cebuano speaking zones, and 7 waray speaking zones with lots of other dialects within that! and ITS TRUE. people absolutely LOVE IT when there are 2 foreigners who can speak to them in their language. it really does soften hearts!

in other news, sister malu and i are loving our lives! we are living the dream! seriously. best friends doing the work of the Lord! we are on the same page about EVERYTHING and i think that really increases our effectiveness. Despite only working in our area for 2 days (and not full days either because of weekly planning on saturday and church on sunday) we have found 3 new investigator FAMILIES. and 2 out of the 3 are married. marriage is so uncommon here and keeps people from being about to be baptized. we are SO GRATEFUL. and so happy! and so blessed!

i am so grateful to be a missionary right now. I am SO blessed! and so grateful for the miracles and tender mercies every.single.day. I LOVE being a missionary. I LOVE IT. this is the first cycle that I feel like really talk to people and TEACH well. but its so not me that has the ability to do this. its ALL the spirit and the beautiful gift of tongues and interpretation. its so real. its incredible and i LOVE IT!

i love this gospel! i just realized the other day that TOMORROW i hit my 6 MONTHS MARK in the mission. my mission is 1/3 over. its so weird! i am so glad that i still have a year to do this incredible, amazing work! this gospel is TRUE!

love,

Sister Brereton

p.s. i haven’t been able to update you about my hair because my leg has been the biggest problem right now! but guess what! those vitamins really do work mom! MY HAIR IS STAYING IN MY HEAD! i’m not bald. i still have pretty thick hair. I’m so lucky! so blessed! thank you so much! (still can’t wait for the resurrection when all those hairs come back haha)

p.p.s. its my birthday this week and i don’t even care! haha. i’ve lost myself in this work. i notice the change in myself. sooooo different from how i was before!

1 // my leg currently. still not healing like it should. so please pray! and thanks for the prayers already
2 // sister malu and i waiting for our van to leave on our travel back to sogod!
3 // “AP Sisters” we got to meet the new batch of missionaries and they truly believe that we work in the office haha
4 // having dinner with the tacloban sisters! i’ve seen them so much lately with all my trips to tac haha
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