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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