the weirdest week of my mission // 8.31.15

remember how last week i was talking about how the week was SO BORING? well this week was so NOT boring. funny how that works! heres this week in a nutshell!

  • awesome: getting to see sister wilde this week when i was in ormoc for exchanges! she’s assigned there now. and i totally forgot to take a pic.but awesome nonetheless
  • awkward: a crazy man running by us and shining a light in my face. sounds not that crazy or weird. bu i’ll tell you the full version someday!
  • monday: had a great pday. went out to work at night and found a FAMILY! they’re so prepared. i hope and pray that they will progress!
  • tuesday: found ourselves in a bible discussion but not bash with the local Iglesia ni Cristo members who claim that Jesus Christ is not God. So i posed the question, if you say that Jesus Christ is not a God, why is His name the name of your church? they had some nonsensical bible verse to share. all i can say is that i’m grateful that we brought members with us for that lesson who know the bible well! haha i need to learn the bible better! it was cool to boldly testify to them the Jesus is the Christ and to proclaim the truth and divinity of the Book of Mormon. thats one lesson i’ll never forget!
  • wednesday: our STLs surprised us by randomly showing up at our apartment in the morning! for surprise exchanges! i got to work in ormoc (thats why i saw sister wilde!) which was awesome because for the past 2 cycle when we have exchanges i have worked in our area. which is great. but its nice to have a change of scene for a day! i worked with sis.papasin. shes awesome, from manila and we talked about how we miss shopping. and we forgot to take a pic together ooops.
  • thursday: traveled back from ormoc and ate donuts during our weekly planning!
  • friday: attended a viewing for a baby in the branch that died. super sad. but grateful for the plan of salvation!
  • saturday: attended another viewing at the home of our recent converts. their uncle who was old and died of TB. so yeah now i’ve been exposed to TB haha awesome. don’t worry i’m paranoid so i’ve got it under control!
so yeah that pretty much sums it up! it was a really fast week! the weeks just go faster and every week i get a little more intense as a missionary. a little more bold, a little bit more frustrated for the people who won’t keep commitments, a little more understanding of the BoM prophets/missionaries who literally just cried repentance to the people all day! i’m getting to a point where i just want to literally cry, “oh repent ye inhabitants of the earth! or else..” from the balcony of our apartment hahaa. i love being a missionary. its really hard. but its really rewarding. and there is no other work that is better than this is. pray for us here in the philippines as we continue to help establish the church here! its a great and marvelous work and nothing can stop it from progressing!
i love you all and i’m grateful for your love and support of me! i will probably be transferring the end of sept. so pray for me that i’m patient, loving, and successful in these last few weeks training! my anak is doing great. she’s totally ready to lead the area once i transfer! i’m grateful to have the opportunity to train. its stretching. and motivating. and wonderful. i’m learning so much everyday! i know that this gospel is true, the book of mormon is true, jesus is THE christ, joseph smith was called of God to restore the church here in the latter days, and we are led today by Thomas S. Monson because our loving Heavenly Father wants us to be guided in these great and last days here on the earth!
faithful partake of the sacrament. let it be a sanctifying experience. hold fhe. go to the temple.
sister brereton
1 // our district (the only american once again haha)
2 // phils bbq
3 // lucky charms (thanks mom!)
4 // proof that the world has moved on without me: there are new lucky charms i don’t recognize

pics // 8.31.15

1 // crossing a river. love my life.


2 // some cool tree. someone told us its a coffee tree? idk


3 // found a duncan donuts in ormoc!


1 // found a cute restaurant


2 // can i get your A-10-tion please? hahahah


I never knew the sun could be this hot // 8.24.15

but hey isn’t that one of the joys of living on the equator? its supposed to start raining all the time since its rainy season…but its not happening yet? its just incredibly hot and windy all the time. not what i expected of the ‘ppines. i expected hot and wet rain all the time. haha but it seems more like the weather of africa lately! anyways! i’m used to the weather. not a day goes by that i don’t sweat and believe it or not that is normal to me now! and i love it

this week was so fast! i don’t even know what really happened:
  • awesome: getting my awesome automatic umbrella that broke, fixed for 30 pesos. thats less than an american dollar people. is that awesome or is that awesome?
  • awkward: the filipino elders asking me, “sister what happened to your face?” when my face breaks out. haha love the boldness/bluntness of the filipino culture haha
  • big news alert: i experienced an earthquake! it was super tiny. i was writing in my journal just before bed and felt a little movement. my comp didn’t even feel it. it was that small. but hey, an earthquake nonetheless!
  • we had zone conference on friday! which was really great. the maurers are super inspired. the training was about how we can become better teachers. teaching is something that i’m always striving to improve. its hard teaching not in your native language. i’m grateful for the training and for the things that we learned! as my companion and i have been seeking to incorporate the things that we learned, we’re seeing differences in our investigators lives.
  • establishing the church is hard! that’s what we’re doing here in the ‘ppines. the church is still in its beginning stages here and it makes me grateful to come from a place where the church is so well established!
  • please pray for our investigators, recent converts, and less actives. the adversary seems to be working hard on them (and us) these days. but we just keep going! nothing can stop this work from progressing! its a great and a marvelous work and i love it! even on the days that are rough!
  • sorry that this is the most boring email to date! we just work and work and work and nothing too crazy has been happening lately! i guess its clear to tell that i’m reaching the time of my mission when the emails get boring haha.
  • but know this. the gospel is true. jesus christ is our savior. the atonement is oh so real. the enabling power of the atonement is real. the holy ghost is our guide. the sacrament is incredibly amazing if we let it be. joseph smith restored christ’s church. the power of the priesthood can cause miracles. strong faith can cause miracles. the book of mormon IS the most correct of any book on earth. and this gospel has the ability to change lives better than anything else in this whole world! i know this church is true and i love it more than anything else in this whole world!
love you all! thank you for the love and support!
sister brereton
1 // i ate durian fruit! its the most famous fruit of the phils
2 // our cute member that works with us but moved to manila now
3 // seeing my beloved sister mortensen at zone conf!
4 // my batch at zone conf! plus my comp (so i’m not a lone sis in the pic haha) so so fun to see them and reminisce about the MTC!

work, work, work that is the secret // 8.17.15

it feels like just yesterday i was sitting here sweating in a random internet cafe on a sketchy computer to email you all and say hello! haha. but really time is so fast.

and i’ve reached that point in a missionary’s life where the emails start to get BORING. sorry. i’ll try my best haha
  • awesome: teaching the kids of a less active family the plan of salvation and posing the question, “why do you think adam and eve ate the forbidden fruit?” the 10 y.o.’s response, “they were probably just starving and just went for it” hahaha
  • awesome 2: retail therapy is VERY REAL. last monday we went to ormoc for pday, where there is an actual mall. stepping inside the air conditioned, commercialized, shopping center was like coming home. my stress level literally decreased just from walking inside haha. oh how i’ve missed shopping. i’ve been in the bukid too long hahaha. on the bright side, i’m saving loads of money and maintaining plenty of open space in my suitcases by not being assigned in the city haha
  • awkward: that i will probably come home whiter than when i left. despite the fast that exposed to sunlight like all day long. all of the soaps, lotions, etc here have whitening properties in them. everyone here wants to be white. in america everyone wants to be tan! the grass is always greener on the other side. or should i say the skin is always better on the other side of the globe. ok ok bad joke i know
  • this week has been really good! i’m trying to teach my companion everything i can before our time together ends! its been a privilege to train! we’re on week 8 of the 12 weeks program. after i finish training sister balucos i’ll for sure transfer to my 3rd area! and i’ve got a feeling that it will be waray waray. but sige lang. i’ve loved my time in cebuano. and i’m loving life in this area. i don’t want to leave. we’re working to find lots of new progressing investigators. have some good potentials this week. i’m just grateful to be led by the spirit in all that we do. its the only way to survive in this work! im getting to be a crazy bold missionary. bold, but not overbearing. especially when it comes to less actives “not having time” to come to church because they need to work to make ends meet #seekyefirst #3nephi13
  • ummm what else. we have a specialized training this friday about becoming better teachers so that will be good! other than that just working working working here! i think this is the shortest email i’ve ever sent home…just not a super eventful week. which is so good because we just got to focus on the work! which I LOVE.
  • well. i’ll wrap this baby up. thank you all for your support of me! i couldn’t do this if there weren’t for your support. can’t believe i’m approaching the year mark. it literally feels like just yesterday i was crying about how scary my mission call was haha. i know this gospel is true. its the only thing that can true change the behavior of people. i know jesus christ is our savior and the enabling power of the atonement is REAL.
eat a real american hamburger and go to the temple for me,
sister brereton
1 // food spotlight: exotic fruit
2 // cat holding on for dear life
3 // from the rooftop of our less actives mansion haha
4 // sister brereton holds a baby goat round 2

pics // 8.17.15

1 // food spotlight: ube dice


2 // one of my fav fams here


3 // my fav investigators. promised them i’d come to cebu when they get sealed in the temple


4 // when these ripen we’re making banana splits 😉


1 // more exotic fruits


2 // found the only place in town that has brownies!


the miracles of exact obedience // 8.10.15

i literally feel like i was just emailing…the time goes so fast!!!! and speaking of the time going fast i’m almost out of email time already so i’ll get right to it

  • awesome: having a family baptism this week! its literally just a harvest for me and my companion. they were the elders invs before the elders got emergency transferred. i love them so much though and i’m grateful to be a part of their conversion process! they’re so awesome!
  • awesome 2: being so paranoid before the mission that i brought eye drops for pink eye….and now i’m grateful because i used it this week! everyone and their dog has pink eyes right now, its called “sore eyes” here. and i felt it coming on so i used the drops and BOOM gone now. all thanks to my paranoia. and don’t worry mom and dad i’m faithfully changing my contacts every month and being super cautious with my eyes don’t worry
  • awkward: its so windy here. it feels like i’m in lehi utah haha. just kidding, but seriously its so so so windy here lately. let me just paint you a picture in my broken english haha. wind. flowy skirts. in the wind. catch my drift? thank goodness i always wear a slip!
  • myth buster of the week: here’s an old wives tale i heart this week…seizures come from not spitting out all of your toothpaste when you brush your teeth and that seizures are contagious. oh you know how me and my highly logical, anatomically oriented self loves to here this stuff haha
  • i want to testify of the truthfulness of exact obedience. i’ve really stepped up my game in the past few weeks. i’ve always been obedient, but not exact. like did i always exercise for exactly 30 minutes every morning like the handbook says? no maybe more like 20. but i’ve since repenting of all my little “disobediences” and my companion and i are really seeing the miracles that come from our sacrifices. we had a really good training this week too about obedience,because outright disobedience is a problem in our mission…lots of getting sent home apparently. but i really testify of the miracles that come from our obedience. heavenly father sees our sacrifice and our faith and willingness to obey and rewards us openly. this isn’t just for missionaries but for everyone in the whole wide world! this week the miracles we’ve seen are: people welcoming us in to teach them all of of a sudden, the timing we need to work out, work out, baptisms, great investigators, and blessings kaayo! i’m so grateful!
  • can you believe that i’m sort of out of things to say??? my companion and i just work hard everyday. we’re halfway through her training now and she’s doing great. still adjusting to mission life and my walking pace haha. she’s exhausted out of her mind at the end of the day. but its all part of the process of adjusting! i realized that after this current cycle (the cycle in which i hit my year mark..weird) i only have 4 cycles left. which is really sad to think about! i hope i can become the type of person that heavenly father wants me to become in those 4 cycles. of course perfection is a process and i’ll be on an endless journey to that for the rest of my life. but still. its crazy to think that i don’t have endless time here on the mission. it motivates me to work harder, walk faster, teach better, and overall be a better advocate and messenger of the truth to the people here in our mission. i know that through exact obedience this can be achieved. that’s something that i’m really trying to drive home to my anak..that with faith and obedience here in the mission we really do see those miracles flow! i’m so grateful to have this opportunity to serve, to speak the cebuano language, to spend day after day sweating, to feel the spirit work through us, to really invite others to come unto christ and to see the changes, peace, and blessings that true faith and acceptance of the gospel of jesus christ brings into peoples lives. missionary work is just so fun! its hard but its fun too. it brings a kind of satisfaction that i’ve never felt in my entire life. thats why everyone always treasures their mission experience. its because its such a short time but such a wonderful rush too.
  • i laughed out loud at the pic that you all sent me crossing out my month marks. hahhaha. don’t be trunky for me! i’ll be home soon enough!
  • i know that this gospel is true. its the only thing that can truly bring peace and joy into our lives. go to the temple. have weekly fhe. keep the sabbath day holy.
sister brereton
1 // me and my comp!
2 // food spotlight of the week: fried fish
3 // food spotlight of the week 2: ube ice cream
4 // can’t believe how trunky my family is for me hahaha