learning an unwritten language round 2 // 9.28.15

that is my way of saying that i’ve officially been transferred into this new area where i’m learning a totally new language. its called waray-waray. and if you translate that to english, it literally means, nothing-nothing hahah. which is fitting because there are literally no books, no nothing to study from. literally nothing. so yeah!

This week has just been a whirlwind! monday was our cleaning and pday and then tuesday was transfers! monday night i was last minute packing my bags when president maurer called! he asked me if i was ready to leave my area. i told him no, in hopes that he was going to tell me that i could stay! however, instead he asked me i would be willing to transfer to a new area and to become the sister training leader there…so now i’ve been transferred to Catbalogan, Samar. its a waray2x area and i’m once again relying heavily on the gift of tongues. its incredible because somehow i know what the people are saying. and that my friends, is the power of the gift of tongues AND interpretation. i’m excited to be working in this new area! i’m already learning a lot from my new companion, sister asug from bikol. its fun because we are both going home in march so we’ll be reunited again at the end of the mission. she’s so fun and good. i love her! and for the first time in the mission i we have kabalay. like roommates. ok not really but i’m finally assigned in a place with 2 sets of sisters instead of just one set! its fun. here’s this week in a nutshell:
  • awesome: being in the city! catbalogan is officially the biggest place i’ve ever been assigned. its an actual city. not a town or municipal. meaning that it has real stores…#watchoutwallet 🙂
  • awkward: the counselor of the branch presidency singing as part of his talk during sacrament meeting yesterday. i have a feeling that being in this branch will be a real adventure.
  • awkward 2: the electrical in our apartment being totally sketch. like flipping the switch for the light but it doesnt turn on for 5-10 minutes depending on the day. also, using a lantern in the bathroom because the light in the bathroom is like a flashy, sketchy. imagine a horror movie where the bad guy tries to murder someone in the creepy, flashing light of the parking garage. thats about how our bathroom light is. don’t worry i’m talking to our apartment owner tomorrow!
  • awkward 3: me trying to speak waray. and also how much i love cebuano. its hard to leave it behind and start at the beginning of learning to speak a new language!
  • our area is city! which makes me miss the bukid! but its ok. its a good change. the apartment is not the best ever, but its ok! i estimate i’ll be here for about 3 cycles. i’ll probably only have one more area than this! wow the mission goes fast. the apt is small so i have not even unpacked 1/4 of my stuff. haha #livingoutofasuitcase. haha i don’t even care anymore. its amazing how chill i am now. things that used to bug me don’t bug me anymore. its awesome. and such a blessing. if this area was my first area, i would have struggled, but not that i’ve got a little more experience under my belt, i’m better able to roll with the punches!
  • tomorrow we go to tacloban for missionary leadership council. its all the ZLs and STLs of the mission there with pres. and sister maurer. its my first one, should be interesting!
  • ummmm i’m really trying to think of what else to say…sorry for the non uplifting email…this week we haven’t had much of a chance to work because its catabalogan fiesta. which basically means that everyone is loud and partying and drunk or not home haha. but we continue gihapon! i’m grateful to work in this area and do the best i can with the Lord helping all along the way!
  • i know this gospel is true. jesus is the Christ. heavenly father loves us. love you all! thanks for your support!
until next week,
love you all so so so much,
sister brereton

pics // 9.28.15

the members who made native bags for me before i transferred!

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i’ve never liked packing

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last minutes with members in palompon!

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the catbalogan sisters at church

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companion nako. sister asug!

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district activity this morning. once again the only american haha 🙂

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last moments with my anak

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the sisters i live with now!

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i’m transferring // 9.21.15

hello! this is officially the last time i’ll be emailing you from Palompon, Leyte! i was saddened to receive the news yesterday that yes i am truly being transferred. its been an emotional week mentally preparing for transfers. i really love this area. i really love these people. i really love our apt. i really love my companion. i really love everything and i don’t want to transfer, but its time. i feel that feeling of peace and satisfaction that the spirit gave to my last time that i transferred affirming to me that i’ve done all the work that i was meant to do here. i’ve had a really good last week here! today is our pday and cleaning day. i’ve been packing. yucks. you know how i feel about packing. its the worst. i have never been good at traveling light! here’s this week in a nutshell:

  • awesome: that we got to harvest rice! shoutout to you ryan! our recent convert family has rice fields as their livelihood. a while back we weeding in the rice fields, but this week we got to actually harvest! sister balucos and i were jokingly quoting D&C 4 the whole time. we literally thrusted in our sickles with our might! harvesting rice is hard work. it takes so much effort to get enough rice for a sack. who knew!
  • awesome 2: also having a cool CSP finding shells (as in shells with little critters inside that the locals eat) for our investigators! it was really cool and i picked up some cool shells along the way! and a starfish (see pic)
  • awkward: being the crazy desert person scrambling at the beach to pick up cool shells haha. all the pinoys just laughed at me!
  • awkward 2: a drug bust in our area and 16 people were shot. google it. i bet its in the news. but don’t worry we are so safe and fine. i know that we’ll always be so protected when we’re obedient and smart!
  • awkward 3: a less active member telling us he isn’t sure if he can come to church because Jesus Christ might not “allow” him to go to church just quite yet….haha love being a missionary!
  • this week was really awesome. we were in our furthest area and suddenly there was a rain storm! hardcore rain. a lady randomly invited us into her house! she let us use her bathroom, we oymed her and her family, and they fed us! that is the filipino hospitality i’ve always heard about! they’re great future members of the church
  • i love oyming. the power of oym (open your mouth) is so underestimated. we have found some incredible families in this area who are so prepared for the gospel, just because the spirit compels us to talk to these people! i love talking to everyone!
  • well. thats about it. well not really there is always so much to say but there just isn’t enough time to write it all! i am really sad to be transferring but i know its the right thing. i really pray that i will stay in cebuano, but i have a feeling i’ll be in waray waray. i just know that i’ll go wherever heavenly father wants me to go! i’m so grateful to have this opportunity to serve! serving a mission is a true privilege.
  • tomorrow is transfer day. we’ll wake up early to get to tacloban by 10:30am! next time i email, i’ll be in my next area! sad to leave this area and my anak, but also excited to see what new adventure is in store for me!

love you all! thanks for the love and support!

love, sister brereton

pics // 9.21.15

a real life starfish! i want to bring him home…but he’s rotting and its gross so enjoy this picture! this is his true color, cool huh!

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but these fish are cooler. and yummier!

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conquered the fear of cockroaches!

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2 // sister brereton not holding a baby because its against the mission rules 😦

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rice fields

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its hard work!
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saying goodbye to the branch
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my fav investigators. so hard to say goodbye!
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finding shells
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some sort of prickly sea creature
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the Lord works in mysterious ways // 9.14.15

are we really halfway through september? goodness what is happening.

how are you all? thanks for the emails and the love! sorry i can’t quite get back to all of you in our short email time. but i appreciate your emails and you’re always in my thoughts! this week was good! life is kind of getting monotonous, but its the good kind of monotonous. i’ve been in such a rigid routine here for about 6 months and it will be rough to leave it all behind and readjust when transfer day rolls around next week! transfers are sept 22 and i’ll for sure transfer. i feel it. sister balucos and i are on week 12 of the 12 weeks program. so yeah! she’s scared for me to leave, doesn’t want to lead the area. but she can totally do it! she’ll get to keep working in this great area! as for me…by next week i’ll be able to tell you if i’m transferring for sure. but its basically for sure! i just feel it.
  • awesome: ever since i started training, there just hasn’t been time to write in my journal. its so sad because its days of thoughts, feelings, and miracles that i see that go unrecorded. this week, i was about 1 week behind in my journaling and i prayed that somehow there would be a way that i could somehow have the time to catch my journal up to speed. the lord works in mysterious ways, thats for sure! one night we were out teaching and suddenly the power went out. brown out. common here in the philippines. the rule for us is that if its nighttime and its a brown out we have to go home because its just not safe without lights on. we headed home and i was able to write in my journal! Heavenly father is so mindful of me!
  • awkward: how much i struggle speaking english. i truly can’t speak straight english anymore. i mix cebuano and english like crazy! and i sound weird when i speak english. i pronounce words weird now. haha the struggle is real.
  • we had a really uplifting zone conference this week! about how to use the powerful message of the restoration. it really is a powerful, unique message that we have to share with the world. i love testifying to people that the church of jesus christ that he himself established was lost, but has now been restored to the earth through a prophet of god. how cool is that?!? zone conference was really helpful in increasing my resolve and desire to flood the world even more with this message!
  • we had a really good turn out at church yesterday! its so rewarding to have the people that you taught that week show up to church! especially investigators!
  • this cycle my testimony has really been strengthened about how true it is that members really trust us when they know that we are obedient. we have some members who have literally opened their homes to us because they know that we are obedient and true to the mission rules. they give us referrals, work with us, etc, all because they trust us! so cool. and such a blessing. just one of the many blessings of obedience!
  • i’m out of time. love you all. the church is true! i’m sending lots of pics!
love,
jen

did you notice you haven’t seen me for 1 year? // 9.7.15

hello everyone! thanks for the emails! i don’t have tons of email time left but i’ll try to do my best to cover it all!

time sure flies by because before you know it your 1 YEAR in the mission. I had my mission birthday this week! extremely uneventful day, but i’m still shocked at the fact that i’m one of the old people in the mission now!!! so weird! i’ve been on my mission for a year now…thats one year of not using a microwave, one year of getting used to smaller portion sizes, one year of breathing in 2nd hand smoke daily, one year of humming i am a child of god to myself anytime i hear a non-church song, one year of wearing a skirt daily, one year of not ever being alone, one year of realizing i went overboard on the amount of pepto bismo i brought with me, one year of boldly declaring that Jesus is The Christ, one year of testifying of the truthfulness of the gospel to random strangers, and one year of feeling the weight of this badge on my chest and realizing i made the best choice i’ve ever made in my whole life to come on a mission! a mission is not easy. but its the most rewarding, most satisfying, most important work i’ve ever been a part of. What an honor, what a privilege it is to spend everyday of my life dedicated to the work of the Lord. so glad that i have 6 more months of this to enjoy!

  • awesome: finding families. we’re finding families!
  • awkward: being a part of the philippines census. they came to our door this week and insisted we be counted. i guess i can always claim now that i was part of the phils population for the year 2015!
  • awkward 2: on the day of my year mark, introducing myself as sister arais…my old companion. i really don’t know what happened. my current companion looked at my like i was insane. i felt insane. i guess its proof that after 1 year in the mission i truly lost my mind!
  • i got the packages! thank you so much diane and grandma! the chocolate came and its not melted AT ALL! its been so fun to introduce my companion to all the american things! thank you so much!
  • we had zone training meeting on friday which was really awesome! i can tell i’m old in the mission now. because i’m one of the people now who is always raising my hand and participating haha something that i used to never do. haha funny how thing change all in just one year!
and thats about all! we’re out of time folks. we just continue to work and work and work! i truly love being a missionary! i’m reaching the point of looking haggard and gross, but we just keep going! its only 18 months to give it everything i’ve got!! i know the church is true! Jesus Christ is our Savior!

read the book of mormon daily! it really is the most correct of any other book on earth! think about that for a minute! so cool!
love you all!
sister brereton
1 // walked down to the seashore which is a 1 min walk from our apt. if theres a tsunami we’re toast haha
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2 // ocean! you can take the girl out of utah, but you can’t the utah out of the girl
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3 // sis wilde and i are in the same zone!
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