advance happy new year! // 12.28.15

i still can’t believe that 2015 is drawing to an end. the time just flies and flies. and then flies a little faster every week!

how are you? we’ve had a really great christmas week here and i’m so thankful for the wonderful technology that let me talk to and see my family! skype truly is the best invention since sliced bread haha
as usual, the week went by fast, and so has my email time! so i’ll do my best to report on the past week πŸ™‚
  • awesome: its official: we are moving! elder hansen the senior missionary in charge of apts drove us back to catbalogan after the christmas conference in tacloban on tuesday and came to look at the new apt we found! he approved it without any hesitation! i acted as translator for the business deal haha. and we’ll hopefully be moving in at the beginning of the new year if all goes according to plan! i’m so grateful! we have been fasting and praying for this for months πŸ™‚ heavenly father truly answers, just in his own time, not the time that we want or think we need. he truly knows best Β πŸ™‚
  • awkward: totally forgetting my awesome umbrella that has lasted me for almost my whole mission in tacloban. then buying a replacement umbrella and it snapping in half 3 days later. #merrychristmas haha. i’m on the umbrella search again!
  • awkward: an australian member on vactaion here in the philippines for the holidays came to church yesterday. i literally had the hardest time keeping up a coherent english conversation with him. what is happening to me?? his family invited us over for new years eve. they’re english speaking. so yeah good luck to me haha. i’ll keep you posted on that!
  • tender mercy of the week: getting to skype! i didn’t take the time to tell you about the all the trials that i went through to be able to skype on christmas day! ok maybe “trials” is being dramatic. but i did feel my heart breaking in my chest when we arrived at our usual internet place and they were closed when they had told us just days before that they would be open for christmas! we walked around asking people what other internet places were open on christmas and they told us every where was closed. my companion and i were beginning to walk back to our apt, depressed and dejected when we saw the lady who works at our usual internet place! you better believe i marched up to her and asked her where else we could go to email. haha. she referred a different internet shop to us and my a sheer miracle we found it! then when i got on the comp i couldn’t access my myldsmail to get the skype password that lauren emailed! by a sheer miracle i somehow remembered my skype account details from before the mission. wow! and then the connection was good. so yes. heavenly father is so mindful of me and my beautiful family and our desire to skype ever since hanging up from the mothers day skype in may!
  • so yeah. short email again. sorry.
love you all! thank you for your love and prayers and support! i’ll try to have a better email next week πŸ™‚
merry christmas and a happy new year!
love,
sister brereton

pics // 12.28.15

my fav people

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look annie! a cute puppy!

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sparklers on christmas eve. christmas fireworks are big here

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my cute new umbrella (with my initials!) that then snapped in half haha

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seeing my cute baby balucos at zone conference. she’s in her first waray area now!

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i created a christmas tree in our apt. and yes put the christmas gifts under the tree haha

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branch christmas party

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the sisters and their gifts πŸ™‚

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cute sis.sarah who is moving to manila 😦

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branch outing at the beach

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background of the computer i skyped from….ironic much? #utah

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the cute ysa

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smalll, medium, large

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merry christmas #asaviorisborn

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i’ll be home for christmas (next year) // 12.21.15

hello everyone! and merry christmas! can’t believe its really the christmas season..because when i think christmas i don’t think of drinking coconut juice and fanning mosquitoes away with a plan of salvation pamphlet! but this is how i started out this christmas week and i LOVE IT! i really do.

usually i make a list of things to write home about…but this week has passed by me and now i haven’t made a list! i’ll do my best to go from memory. and to send the pics from this week and last! but if all else fails…we still have SKYPE on christmas day. I’m so excited πŸ™‚
  • awesome: how my attitude of talking to everyone and OYMing (open your mouth) has really changed! it used to be that i talked to people out of obligation or fear that if i didn’t try to share the gospel with them i’d be held accountable at the last day! i don’t know exactly what’s changed, but now i do talk to everyone because i genuinely want them to have the peace and happiness of the gospel in their lives too! so interesting to see how my attitude of this has been changed, shaped, and molded over the course of my mission!
  • awesome 2: that its christmas and that a savior is born!
  • awkward: that i sometimes get cold in the air con at the church now. oh wow. now i’m just like the locals in that regard. good luck to me upon going home haha
  • this week has been good but not crazy eventful! we had the chance to work in our area! i’m grateful for my new companion because she is so smart. she is memorizing our area and the people so fast! its great. we had exchanges with the San Joaquin sisters (and i forgot my camera salamat) this week as well. and i love those sisters and i love their area so its always fun! if i ever get assigned to that area i won’t complain because the people literally line up for the missionaries to teach them! its so cool
lots more happened, but i can’t remember what! sorry for the short, lame email!
see you christmas day!
love,
sister brereton

what a wild week and a half // 12.16.15

hello!

to all those who heard about the typhoon: don’t worry i’m still alive and kicking! it came through here on monday mostly but so wasn’t a big deal. it was a signal 2 (meaning it was a moderate storm here, but nothing huge) so we got to stay in our apartment! if its a signal 3 we evacuate to the church. but oh man i’m so glad we didn’t have to do that because its so much work to evacuate haha! but oh my gulay this week and a half has been a wild ride! really busy! and just so many random things going on. we’re emailing later than usual because of transfer day, not because of the typhoon. anyways. i’ll try to give you a run down of the week although i’m not sure i’ll be able to get it all in writing! p.s. i’m not sending pics because we’re at a slow internet place.
  • awesome: we found a new apartment! thats probably the best news! its really perfect acutally. i think its the one Heavenly Father has prepared for us. BUT word on the street is that the mission is not as willing for us to move as was originally thought…so i’m working to let them know that yes it is necessary for both health and safety of future missionaries. i’m to the point where i’ve been here so long that a few more weeks here won’t kill me. but i just think of the future sisters that will be assigned here and it would be great if they didn’t have to endure the same apartment trials. haha so still trying to move! πŸ™‚
  • awkward: being in the mission office at the exact time they booked my airplane ticket home. i was standing on the opposite side of the office when i heard someone say, “jennifer beverly?” sure enough, they didn’t even realize that i was there…just happened to be muttering my name under their breathe while booking my flight. did i then get to double check that my information was correct? yes i did #awkward. p.s. i still don’t know the flight details just so you know you’ll probs know before i do
  • ok i’m just gonna do a run down of last week, day by day otherwise i will lose track of it all! will this email look like my journal? maybe
  • tuesday: we traveled to tacloban to have MLC with Elder and Sister Ardern. E. Ardern is the area president. it was such an uplifting meeting and i learned SO MUCH. seriously. did elder ardern comment on the tan line on my feet during the meeting? yes he did…more on that another day
  • wednesday: we had mission tour! the Arderns and Maurers trained us and it was so super fantastic. i can safely say that it was the best training meeting of my whole mission! so powerful and uplifting. i have so many news goals and things that i now want to improve on. after the meeting i went with my companion to an ENT for a check up (again) on her ear. ironically when we got the ENT there was no ear specialist there. just an eye specialist…. so we stayed in tacloban again that night
  • thursday: went to a different hospital, my companion got her ear checked and all was well! later that day we traveled 5 hours to Borongan to begin exchanges with the sisters there. i love to work there in that area, but since its a different dialect of waray-waray sometimes i don’t know what they’re saying! but that is the cool thing about the spirit. the spirit fills in the gaps so that even though i’m not 100% sure what the person is saying, somehow i can still feel what they’re saying. its hard to describe. but its so coo!
  • friday: i worked with sister davis in borongan! she’s brand new and she’s on fire! she’s from park city. did we reminisce about snow and how it feels to wear a winter coat while drinking hot chocolate? yes we did! we had a really good exchange! i learn so much from every sister i get to work with πŸ™‚
  • saturday: left at 4am (because that was the only van going to catbalogan) to go home! it was such a long and miserable drive! but we arrived safely. when we got home i wasn’t feeling so hot, so i slept for a little bit. before i tell you this next part (mom) just know that i’m totally fine now! anyways turned out i was pretty sick with a fever and body aches and that kind of fun stuff so i slept most of the day and didn’t do much at all.
  • sunday: woke up still not feeling good but the fever broke! my church attendance was sponsored by tylenol, ibuprogen, and imodium (tmi? haha). i’ve never missed a sunday on my mission and never plan to start! we had a good meeting and then after church i asked the elders to give me a blessing. i felt immediately better afterwards. but still didn’t work that night. that night we heard news that there was a typhoon, or as we call them here, a bagyo! i wasn’t worried
  • monday: cleaning day for the upcoming transfer day! however, the mission instructed us to not work that day since it was a signal 2 storm. we were supposed to clean, but only had a little drip drop of water for cleaning (still had drinking water don’t worry!). did we panic and buy our 72 hour kits that morning? yes we did. haha can’t believe i was so uptight last year with typhoon ruby and this year i’m so chill and not even phased to hear that there is a bagyo! i still didn’t feel good this day so it was actually perfect that we weren’t allowed to work! did i spend part of the day watching the new testaments seminary dvd that i found at our apt? you bet i did! highly entertaining for a sick person haha.
  • tuesday: the typhoon moved away just in time for us to still be able to have transfer day! i said goodbye to my dear companion sister asug and said hello to my new one, sister abitria! she’s so cute, from manila, and used to by companions with sister malu too! so thats fun! she’s really great. we’ll have a good cycle together! its her first time as STL so i get to show her the ropes! we’ll have another crazy busy cycle with 8 exchanges in 6 weeks! πŸ™‚ i’m excited
  • today: its been pday! and its been great. yes i am still taking my clothes to the laba place where they do if for me. still the best 125 pesos that i’ve spent all week hahaha. i’m looking forward to this new cycle. i know its going to go by so fast and before i know it i’ll be in the last few weeks of my mission. so i’m trying to soak up every minute!
i’m loving my life! even the hard stuff. heavenly father really provides a way through all of that! and i know he really knows me. that’s one great thing i’ve come to learn even more on my mission. he really is our father and he really is aware of each of us individually. i don’t know how he keeps track of all of us, but because of hisΒ omniscience, he does it! how lucky we are to be children of someone so kind, loving, thoughtful, merciful, aware, and all knowing? i love teaching people of these truths! i love my mission! πŸ™‚
and i’m so lucky to get to spread the good news of the gospel of jesus christ. especially during this christmas season! i’m so grateful that jesus christ was born!
love you all! thank you for your love and support of me. i am so grateful to have the support of all of you!
until next week….
love you,
sister brereton

a wild week // 12.7.15

i’m still shocked that its december. anyways. how is it going? hope life is treating you right! we had a crazy week with back to back exchanges. the days and week are starting to go faster and faster. i am loving loving loving my mission!

  • awesome: mormon.org/christmas. its awesome. also did you notice that christmas is in 18 days? am i on the christmas countdown? yes i am.
  • awkward: a member in this branch who has a new hobby of taking pictures of me, photoshopping them, and then printing them out for me… does my life just keeping getting weirder or what? haha
  • awkward 2: the group of elementary boys standing behind me in this internet shop, watching me type. are they reading what i’m writing? probably. hey, stay in school, don’t do drugs, go to church, ok?
  • tuesday: after our district meeting sister asug and i traveled to calbayog to begin exchanges! i love all the sisters there, so its always fun for me! we found some new investigators that night, then the next morning traveled to their real area where the mission has just recently gotten an apt for them.
  • wednesday: we worked with the sisters in the morning. i love their area for a variety of reasons! would i mind being assigned there? not at all! i worked with sister garcia who is brand new to the field, from florida, and is absolutely wonderful. we went home to their new house for lunch and then began CSP of cleaning the house so they could begin moving in! did i spend 4 hours cleaning the mold in between the tiles of the bathroom? yes i did. its so funny how the mission/the phils has really changed. things that really freaked me out before (like mold) don’t even phase me now hahah
  • thursday: began exchanges with the other sisters! i worked with sister erandio, a new missionary as well but from manila. did i pick her brain about the good places to shop in manila before i go home? yes i did. our exchange was cut short when we received word that my companion was having an asthma attack. i’m grateful for modern medicine and the priesthood power! all was well after a priesthood blessing from the elders.
  • friday: my companion and i traveled back to our area and then she slept for the rest of the day
  • saturday: i woke up feeling not so hot and spent the day sleeping and recovering from some little bug that totally sapped my energy. totally fine though don’t worry! just a one day thing! πŸ™‚
  • sunday: just a normal sunday!
  • i am so grateful to heavenly father working miracles in our area while we’re away on exchanges. as you can see, we don’t get to work in our area much. but its been incredible to see the incredible little “coincidences” that occur in our area while we’re gone. i don’t believe in coincidences. i know the Lord is in the handiwork or our area, and our lives. its such a blessing to be a full time missionary to have this time of my life to totally dedicate to the work of the Lord. i can without any reservation say that going on a mission is one of the best decisions i’ve ever made in my life. i’ve made a lot of pivotal choices in my short time here on earth, but this is one that has truly changed my life. for the better. and hopefully has changed others lives as well. i love my mission!
so yeah. thats about it. sorry for the boring email! tomorrow we are traveling to tacloban for meetings, then will go directly to borongan for exchanges again! we won’t get to work in our area until saturday! and then next week is transfers. was that a fast cycle or what? i think i’ll be staying in this area πŸ™‚ but hopefully not in this apt #thesearchcontinues
i love you all! thank you for your continued love and support of me. i love you!
love,
sister brereton

a wild week // 12.7.15

our district (#nottheonlyamerican)0.jpg

my hair is getting long, right?

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on exchanges with the san joaquin sisters

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the balay of the san joaquin sisters (that we cleaned for csp)

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exchanges with sister erandio

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how my desk looks right now haha #stugglesofatinydesk

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