a week and a half later // 11.4.15

hello! sorry its been so long since i’ve emailed! all is well here, our week just got rearranged. transfer day was on tuesday and so they moved pday to today, wednesday! but no transfer here! me and my companion are here to stay for another 6 weeks! we thought she might transfer, but nope! i’m glad that we’ll be together still! we’re learning a lot from each other. its been a good week, but it feels like forevs since i emailed last! funny because its usually the opposite! here’s a quick run down of the week!

  • awesome: i literally had a dream come true! i dreamed that my old companion whom i love to death, sister arais, became a STL in biliran zone of the mission. how shocked was i when i heard that news that she is now the STL in biliran! WOW. in other news, mom and dad i dreamed that you came to pick me up from the mission…is that dream going to become true too? haha 🙂
  • awkward: being given a religious pamphlet by an AMERICAN. he came from lebanon, ohio to warn the philippines of the end of the world. literally the weirdest thing. we were in jollibee when he just came up to us and started handing us flyers. he handed my companion and the other filipina sisters fliers in tagalog, then said to me, “oh and here’s english for you.” oh thanks so much! so racist haha. how does he know that i even know english 😉 haha i forgot to take a pic of the pamphlet to send to you. its about the world ending. also, my companion and i have joked about teaching him the proper way to OYM because his strategy of giving fliers wasn’t very effective. it actually made me realize how important it is and how good it is that we talk to people and get to know them a little before just handing them a pamphlet and going away!
  • ponderize: jacob 4:10 how often do we seek to tell Heavenly Father what WE want, instead of asking that HIS will be done? what is your ponderize scripture this week? email it to me 🙂
  • we had exchanges this week! and i got to work with my batch, sister maico! she’s so awesome! now she’s transferred and is training!
  • my email to president this week: Hello President! How are you? Hope that you are doing well! We had a good week here in Catbalogan, and I’m grateful that neither Sister Asug and I were being transferred! Although we missed being in Tacloban for the excitement of transfer day, I’m grateful that we were able to stay here and work in our area. We really do have a wonderful area with lots of potential. Last week we had exchanges with the Catbalogan 2 sisters. I had the privilege of working with Sister Maico. She is diligent, hard working, a strong desire to be obedient, and is really a model missionary. I was so happy to hear the news that she will be training! She will be a wonderful example, influence, and teacher to her trainee. This week my testimony has been strengthened of the potential we have, as children of God, to progress in our journey. Sister Asug and I fasted for a few of our investigators this week, in hopes they will progress. We have been so happy to see the immediately blessings of our fast. Many of our IBDs who were floundering before have found great strength in reading the Book of Mormon and coming to church. As I look back on my mission, I notice great differences in myself. However, the changes come so gradually and discretely that they are almost undetectable over a short period of time. Sometimes I wonder how different things would be if I was the type of missionary earlier, than I am now. However, as I was reading Jesus the Christ this week during my personal study I came across a passage that really intrigued me.  I was grateful to learn that even Jesus Christ didn’t fully comprehend the full magnitude of His calling and purpose right at the beginning. This passage reads, “Christ’s realization that He was the chosen and foreordained Messiah came to Him gradually…a comprehension of the full purport of His earthly mission developed within Him only as He progressed step by step in wisdom” (chapter 10). I wish that I understood the missionary purpose at the beginning, as much as I understand it now. But its part of our progression in life to slowly and gradually learn and grow. Ultimately we will become the people that Heavenly Father wants us to become. But for now we just continue in our journey, progressing step by step as we gain more knowledge and wisdom. I am so grateful for this opportunity to serve. As the cycles pass by, my resolve to become a more dedicated, consecrated missionary only increases. I love my mission. Thank you for all that you do for us President! We sure do love you! Love, Sister Brereton
  • the senior couple the andersons came to look at our apartment this week! brought us a rat trap, and took inventory of what’s going on here! they’re happy for us to move if we can find somewhere else to move! everywhere we want to make has 0 vacancies. so pray for a miracle for us! the 4 of us sisters included finding a new apt in our fast this past sunday! i know we’ll find one if its what is meant to be
  • update on the rats: don’t let this freak you out mom. i actually considered not telling you this so that you don’t panic. just know that we are FINE! the rats are constricted to a small area of our apt. they can only get access to our bathroom and laba area. there are 3 of them, they exit in and out of the roof and drainage area. i’ve seen them and they are really big! its so yucks! i’ll try to get a pic for next week. they come in the night and chew on the wood in our roof and leave poop everywhere. its awesome! haha
  • update on the spiders: i’ve literally killed 4 of the biggest spiders this week. the sisters i live with here have a ron weasley attitude towards the 8 legged beasts so i find myself being the one to kill the spiders. and to clean up the rat poop too. the sooner we can move, the better! i don’t mean to complain by the way! its all totally fine.
  • as for the work: our work here is good! i’m finally getting the hang of waray waray and speak it pretty ok now. thanks to the gift of tongues. its the only way that any of this missionary work is possible! we have really been blessed to have progressing investigators this week. hopefully they’ll be able to enter into the covenant of baptism soon! its really cool to see the spirit work on people, to really change their will. the spirit works so subtly and quietly on these people that sometimes they don’t realize how far they’ve come unless we point it out to them! i’m sure heavenly father thinks the same thing for us!
  • food: i’m learning to cook filipino food. so get the rice ready for when i come  home. i can’t go a day without rice!
  • cool experience of the week: had a man call out to us “sister, sister!!!” on our way home one day. we were going a different route than usual. usually i don’t respond to this because its usually just someone who’s drunk hahah. but this time we stopped. the man came running up to us, explaining that he is member in a different stake but lives in catbalogan now for work. has been inactive for a long time. he started tearing up as he told us he needed guidance in his life. how happy were we to tell him when church was! said he had been searching for the church here in catbalogan but didn’t know how to find it until he saw us. so cool to see that heavenly father really puts us in the right place at the right time!
  • i love my mission. as the days go by i realize how important the gospel is. it truly is the only that matters. i know the church is true. god loves us. jesus christ atoned for us and his atonement is infinite. the book of mormon is the best book on earth, the most correct, the most uplifting, the most perfect. thomas s. monson is called of god and has the priesthood keys to lead and guide us. i love this gospel. i love being a missionary! its worth every bit of hair loss, every bit of sweating, every rat, every spider, its worth EVERYTHING. i love it!

love you all so much! thanks for the love and support!

love,
sister brereton
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