the fastest week to date // 1.18.16

this really was the fastest week of my mission i think! i’m just trying to enjoy everyday and soak up every minute i have left in the mission and in the phils. as a lot of my friends are preparing to go home in the next week, i’m started to realize how my days are really numbered! it sounds cliche, but i’m not counting the days, just making the days count! my companion and i have made it a goal to wear ourselves out in the work to go home at the end of the day with nothing else to give! because even though we’re so tired, its the most satisfying feeling ever! we have had a good week:

  • awesome: interviews. every 3 months we get an interview with president maurer. i love and respect him so much. he receives revelation for our mission for sure. i was really lucky to be able to talk to him for a long time, and to be able to ask him some questions that have been on my mind as well. he told me that he really doesn’t know what to do with me…if he should transfer me, or not. transfer announcements are a week from today so i guess by then we’ll see what has been decided. he said he’ll really have to seek revelation for where i should be and with who, for my last cycle. at this point, even if i were able to choose, i don’t know what i would choose for myself! so i’m grateful for a truly inspired and in-tune mission president who will really seek what heavenly father wants. i find so much comfort in that. i’m not even worried about this coming cycle because wherever i end up, it really will be where heavenly father wants me to be!
  • awkward: mis-using expressions and having other americans correct me. haha. i’m slowly losing my mind i feel! yesterday i used the expression “pop a cap” instead of “flip a lid” (which is what i really meant!) haha i’ve been the only american around for so long that i really didn’t realize how i’ve lost the ability to keep up a normal english conversation. ugh. so yeah. don’t judge me haha.
  • awkward 2/scary: witnessing a power line explode this week. did i think that someone set of fireworks? yes i did. haha
  • apartment update: still haven’t moved….we’re waiting for screens to be put on the windows of the new apartment first! i keep saying “next week” but at this point i don’t really know when we’ll move haha. keep you posted 🙂
  • i am slowly learning tagalog….who knew! seriously though. i should probably include this in the awkward section of my email. because this week, pretty much everyone we meet speaks tagalog to us! and i just pretend like i fully understand them when really i only partially understand them! i wish i could focus my language study on tagalog and just learn it and use it..but then it wouldn’t be fulfilling D&C 90:11. so i will keep learning and using waray waray and continue to only have a basic understanding of tagalog! not to mention i don’t think my brain can handle learning a 3rd language out here on the mission.
  • oh my goodness just realized i’m out of time!
the church is true! and i love it! i’m sorry that my emails are so short and don’t even contain 1/1000 of what has actually happened, what i really think, what things are really like, etc. i do my best in the short time we have! just know that the church is true and that this is the most important work ever! i love you all!
sister brereton

pics // 1.18.16


zone activity


budol fight! aka eating with your hands off a banana leaf with a bunch of people haha


my comp


our zone!


i love sis. papasin! she’s going home next week


love these sisters. they’ve committed to take me shopping if i come back to visit in manila haha


the many faces of fish (p.s. i love fish and will really miss fresh fish when i come home)



hello all! and how are you? here’s to hoping that i can type fast in this email! i’ve got lots to say, but not loads of time!

i’m so glad to hear that all is going well! that friends and family are having fun birthdays, homecomings, mission call receivings, etc! life is so fun!
things are going well here! the past week flew by and i’m still processing what happened!
  • awesome: this past fast sunday i prayed and fasted that we would be able to focus on our area more. we never get to really work in our own area because we’re always traveling and having exchanges with the other sisters, which i love, but its kinda unfair to the people in our area who are so so very neglected. our area has lots of potential, but we’re rarely here. well the awesome thing is that the church has determined new standards for exchanges! they want the regular missionaries to be traveling to the leaders’ area to learn from the leader in their own area. so from now on, we don’t have to travel anymore!! from now on, all the other sisters will be coming to us! its so cool to see that my prayers and fasting were answered in a very literal way!
  • awkward: finding 4 dead snakes in front of our apartment. we literally can’t figure our why they’re there, where they came from, or why they’re dead. my theory: the chamber of secrets has been opened.
  • awkward 2: me trying to email on this windows 7 computer. in my defense, i’m a mac user. but still, technology has advanced far beyond my skill set. me trying to use this computer is like watching a cave woman who’s been given a new iphone #i’msooutoftouch #missionbubble
  • p.s. i sent some christmas cards a few weeks ago….and the mail service takes so long that maybe i will get to the usa before they do! so keep your eyes out for some christmas greetings via snail mail
  • its been a way good week. we traveled to tacloban on tuesday for MLC. it was super uplifting and awesome! the mission is changing. not only because of the new protocol for exchanges, but because there will no longer be transfer day meetings in tacloban! we’ll just travel straight to our new areas…so that will be an adventure for sure. but yeah a great mlc! afterwards we had exchanges with the borongan sisters, which was wonderful. i was with sister davis from park city and it was so fun to talk about american things haha!
  • sorry for the lack of pics this week! i’ll do better. p.s. i found a random email of pics i never sent from a few weeks back so i’ll send that to make up for this haah
  • we’ve been able to work in our area that last few days and its wonderful. i really love the feeling of finding and teaching and inviting people to be baptized. its the only way to really have them makes steps towards eternal life! i am still (and always will be) learning waray waray, but its incredible to see that even though my grammar is imperfect (except warary doesn’t really have grammar actually #unwrittenlanguageprobs) and i don’t speak like a native speaker, the people can still understand because the spirit makes up for my imperfections.
  • tomorrow we have zone interviews and zone training meeting. my comp and i are giving our zone a training about having more faith in setting goals. because sometimes we limit ourselves. but i know that our faith coupled with good works can produce incredible miracles in our lives and lives of others. all we have to do is trust in Jesus Christ, and rely on His Atonement to make whatever seems impossible, possible. and that is pretty awesome!
  • we found 2 really awesome investigator families last night. i love teaching the message of restoration. it really is the message that makes us unique. its so cool to see the spirit soften the hearts of those who we find and teach!
  • in other news, we still haven’t moved! but hopefully will get to move either the end of this week or the beginning of next. hopefully! if not next week…it will be after i am transferred (i am just assuming that i’ll transfer i don’t really know haha). but if thats the case its so ok! i’m just happy that the future sisters won’t have to endure that apt. its been a long process and a long trial to be honest, but as long as the future sisters get to live in a better place, i’m happy!
sorry for the lack of big news, and super lack of pics! i just forgot to take pics this week! but i’ll do better starting now 🙂 i’m so grateful to have this opportunity to serve the lord! its a once in lifetime experience that i do not regret in the least bit. if there is anyone sitting on the fence about serving a mission, email me haha. and i’ll tell you why you should go on one!
i love you all!! thanks for you love, help, support, emails, letters, packages, and prayers!
sister brereton

welcome, welcome 2016 // 1.4.16


how are you all? thanks for the emails. you’re all the we had a good week here! happy new year by the way! new years is super big here in the phils (way bigger than christmas) so it made the work a little slower since so many people were really busy preparing and such. but its all good! sorry this email will probably be short too. so sorry.
  • awesome: finding a new investigator that has super awesome potential!
  • awkward: being invited to a member’s house for new years. her husband is from australia and spoke to us in english. its safe to say that i struggle keeping up a normal english conversation. haha. and at one point i answered back in waraywaray without even realizing it until the brother said, “what? you can speak to me in english you know!” haha so yeah good luck to me when i come home!
  • email to president: Hello President Maurer,How are you? Hope things are well in Tacloban. I am looking forward to MLC this week! Life is good here in Catbalogan. The week started out kind of slow because so many people were busy with preparations for New Years and we didn’t get to teach much. It was really the first time that I’ve been punted in this area! Usually we’re really blessed to be able to visit all those we plan, but this week was an exception. I had forgotten how frustrating and discouraging it is to be punted! However, we were really blessed to find a really exceptional family this week that made all the punting worth it! We are very hopeful that they will progress because the father of the family has a solid Christian background, but also has lots of questions that so far we have been able to answer. Sister Abitria and I actually made a goal during our weekly planning to find a family with a tatay this week, but unfortunately we both forgot we made this goal! I was shocked to look back at my planner and be reminded of this, and then see that Heavenly Father helped us to achieve this goal even though we forgot we had made it! If He will help us achieve goals we’ve forgotten we’ve made, how much more He will help us achieve the goals that we’re really striving for!We also had exchanges this week with the Calbayog Sisters. I got to work with Sister ….. She is really turning into a great missionary. I really like her teaching style. She really listens to the spirit to know what to say. She is still adjusting to the strenuous mission life, but she is doing well. She will make a great leader someday.Overall we’ve had a good week! We’ve been searching for the relatives of Sister Abitria this week as well. I’m excited to see what is in store in the next few weeks!Thank you for all that you and Sister Maurer do for us. We so appreciate you.Love,Sister Brereton
  • we haven’t moved yet. we were to supposed to move this week but the apt owner is still getting things in order, we’re waiting for the official manila approval for the apt, and the contracts and money stuff is a headache. so at the rate we’re going, maybe i’ll transfer by the time we actually move! but its ok. i’m alright with that just as long as the future sisters are in a better apt.
  • what else. we have a busy week coming up. we have MLC tomorrow and then exchanges in the furthest place we go to, borongan. then the next week more exchanges and then some more. the same for the next week. nothing super new
  • oh no have a reached the point in a missionary’s mission that there’s nothing exciting to report on?
  • the work continues to progress and we continue to work day in and day out! its incredible to see the tender mercies of the Lord that are just abundant on our lives and the lives of those we meet each day. i’m getting excited with our area because there are some less actives that have decided to make church their priority in 2016. we’ve been having oyming as well and asking people what their resolutions are. we’re getting some pretty interesting answers!
  • my new years resolutions: 1-preserve mission memories through writing in my journal daily, 2-preserving mission memories by taking more pictures, and 3-preserving my parents investment in my teeth by wearing my retainers every night  🙂
  • i’m wracking my brain to think of what else happened this week! not really that much! i’ll do better this week to take more pictures to send for next week 🙂
i love you all and i’m so grateful for your love and support of me. there is nothing better than opening my email weekly to see emails from those i love so dearly! thank you!
i hope that 2016 will be a great year. i know that as we trust in our Heavenly Father He will guide our paths!
sister brereton

pics // 1.4.16

exchanges with sister erandio. if i come back to the phils she promises to take me shopping in manila haha


to market, to market to buy a fat pig


investigators kids


celebrating new years on our rooftop


cooking out of our rice cooker since we’re out of gas haha


an awesome new bruise to add to the collection of ugly i’m accumulating on my leg haha