Thursday, October 30, 2014

Headed out already?

Okay world (or whoever actually reads this), here's this week in review.
There's one hermana here, Hermana Christiansen who worked security at the MOA at BYU, so we serisouly spent the whole meal in which we first met each other, talking about work. It was strangely super fun! We both miss it a little. She's also one of my favorite people here. So that was a little bit of a blessing for me, meeting her. :)
So, there's been another mind game going around called, "Am I a witch?" It's dumb. So many games here. But it's finally died down a bit.
So one of our teachers told us we could switch up where we sit (because we used to, but the teachers took over because we talk to much.) Elder Rojoo denied the offer which surprised me. He said, "Aw, but I like sitting next to Hermana Brogan, she always answers all my questions!" It made me happy. I find I'm happiest in classes when I can help the other missionaries in my district with the language. Cause I get really bored... Nice to know I'm capable of making friends. It's weird, because every single person in my district, I never would have talked to or tried to be friends with in a different setting, but we all get along so well and it's so much fun being friends with them!
So on Saturday (I think), a bunch of primary kids came to the MTC to visit with the missionaries. They were all out playing on the soccer field, and when we went out there, they just all swarmed to us, running across the field to come meet us! It was so amazing. I have never felt that much love from strangers before! And they were all just little kids! So our job was to talk to them (in spanish obviously) about being a missionary and stuff. So I asked one of the girls if she wanted to serve a mission, and she said yeah, in the US, so I asked where, and she said California. So that made me happy! And it's so cute, because all the little girls would greet me with a kiss on the cheek. I still can't get over how cute they all are! About ten minutes after they left, a group of youth, just about our age, came (they went to the temple after meeting with us). So I talked to a bunch of the sisters, and aside from one of them getting married, they were all preparing to serve missions too. They were all so kind and funny and sweet! One of them asked me how I speak so fast, since Spanish isn't my first language, and the other missionaries don't speak as easily, so I just explained that I took three years in school, and one of my teachers forced us to do immersion in class.
So we prepare talks every week, and they just call us up to the pulpit right then and there, so that we all have to prepare. But only four people speak. But I prepared a really good talk on the Book of Mormon, so I was hoping they would call on me (and of course everyone thought I was kinda crazy for that). So the sister leaders caught word and told the Branch presidency before church I wanted to speak. Apparently they just laughed in reaction. But they ended up letting me speak. So that was fun! I love speaking in church. It's definitely one of my favorite things. The two elders after me fought over who had to speak next... (I promise I'm really not that fluent in Spanish). Later, the mission president's wife, Hna Gonzalez, came up and told me (in Spanish) that she couldn't believe how well I did. "¡No puedo creer!" She was so sweet. :)
So one day we ended up eating at a table just with our lone companionship, so the elders in our district made fun of us calling us outcasts. One of them, being a five year old, said it was because Hermana Marshall smelled. So she got really insulted, and so right after, they came back to the classroom with rolls as offerings (because she really really really really likes the rolls here- like 24 as her high for how many she's eaten in a day). It was Hilarious! I can't explain to you how much she loves those rolls.
Hermana Marshall straightened my hair two days ago and everyone was so shocked. Elder Monson saw me at breakfast, said "woah." then waited a second, said time out, and went and got juice before coming back to react. It was hilarious. Yeah, I really only straighten my hair to get reactions out of people. let's be real. The next day, one of the elders asked me if it just got curly again overnight. That was funny.
So my teacher hna Rivera, thinks Elder Monson looks like winnie the pooh, which he doesn't, and so she came up to him one day and asked, "¿Le gusta hunny?" That was hilarious. She always comments to me about how he loks like pooh bear. Too funny.
We went to immigrations again yesterday. I talked to a lady in line from Mexico for a bit, and she was super sweet, and patient with my language. But she's here for a month and a half with the catholic church, and we talked about how crazy the driving here is, and it was cool. I can have real conversations! (kinda). Also, one of the lady's who worked there got mad at me while I was waiting for my ID card to be printed. But while she was in the middle of lecturing me about how I don't understand, and other things I actually didn't undertand what she was saying, the card came, so I just grabbed it and left. Yeah, that was weird.
We had the MOST awkward lesson last night. Keep in mind that we really just teach the MTC teachers. But she opened the door, and told us how strange it was we decided to knock on her door, but she eventually let us in. Then she asked why were asking about her family and stuff and how it made her uncomfortable. Then it was just really awkward from there on out. So that was an experience. We taught the law of chastity the lesson after that, and that lesson was LESS awkward! How?
Also, my district loves hymn #146- sunshine in my soul (in spanish),and we sing it really loud and obnoxiously always. At least once a day. And the zone leaders are in my district so we sang it for sacrament meeting as well. It's weird, but hey, I have a spanish hymn memorized now!
I was so sad, this was my last week going to the temple, but it was an AMAZING session. I did it in english this time (first time since being here), and that was very nice to not worry about the language. I love the Lima temple. It's beautiful! I hope to come back one day. :)
Okay, that's about all this week. (mostly). Sorry again for the typos.
Love you all!
The church is true! I've never been happier than when I'm close to Heavenly Father and Christ!
Con Amor,
Hermana Brogan
*Note from Haley's mom- Pday was a day later this week, but the CCM at least sent an email letting us know it would be later. Also, Haley heads out next Tuesday to the mission field and she thinks their Pday is on Mondays, so probably won't get an email/post next week.  Enjoy.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Humility

Okay, so this one will be a little more spiritually centered...
So Sunday here is a wonderful thing. This week on Sunday, we just watched movies. We all watched Meet the Mormons and then later that night, all the intermedios watched Ephraim's rescue. Meet the Mormons was actually so good! I was amazed at how much I was feeling the Spirit when we finished it. I wasn't expecting that. (I undervalue anything technological for no real reason). It was cool just seeing different people's lives. :) Pretty cool stories. Everyone should watch it at some point if you haven't yet. It was very kind of presidente to let us watch it here.
Ephraim's rescue was amazing! I hadn't seen it before, and sometimes I laugh at parts I shouldn't (with all church movies...), but it's amazing the willingness all the pioneers had to give up everything, and the perserverance they had. It's crazy that it's based off of true stories, and I know miracles happen with the faithful. I'm excited to go out and see mircales happen on my mission. I know I will. The entire time I was watching the movie, I just had the Spirit whispering to me that I truly am a pioneer here. I just hope I can have the faith that they did. I never realized how much I've truly come to love our pioneer heritage.
So I had a day probably on Monday, where I was feeling like I wasn't progressing much with my language or as a person, which is a bit frustrating here, so I prayed for an opportunity to serve. So lo and behold, my teachers decided to make new seating arrangements, and stuck me next to Elder Redd, who I previously didn't like very much, and who struggles with the language (just because he came in with very little Spanish). So that was an answer, and now I actually can have a conversation with him, and I'm actually not bored in class because I get to help others learn! So, Heavenly Father answers prays.
Our Latina roommates left. I'm so sad about that. They were all so hilarious pretending to sprinkle us with Holy Water and trying to be like superman. (They were hilarious!) The one that I couldn't understand, Hermana Colquehuanca (For Mom: Coal-kay-wanka), was SO sweet, and gave me the longest hug and kiss on the cheek, and told me that we'd see each other again, and if not in this life, then in the eternities. She is SO sweet. I cannot even explain. Before she converted she was Catholic and wanted so bad to be a nun. But then the missionaries found her, and she knew this was the true church, so when she found out about missions, she got SO excited to come on one! So here she is a sister missionary. She is just so pure, and so humble! I want to be more like her! I just wish I spoke more Spanish so I could have learned more about her than that!
Another missionary here, Elder Fuentes, wanted to pay for his own mission, and he has worked for years (he's right before the cut off age for elders to come), making only 20 soles a day (less than 10 dollars a DAY), to be able to come on a mission. I am amazed by  the humility of some of the missionaries here, and it just touches me so much. I hope I can get some of that humility from all the missionaries here.
So in one of our lessons the other day, we planned to teach about baptism and the Holy Ghost (it was our last lesson), but one of the Hermanas in my companionship has a hard time wanting to teach the restoration or the creation, and always just wants to stick to the Bible and common ground (which is good to an extent), so we hadn't taught about Joseph Smith yet. But in the middle of the lesson the Spirit prompted me to talk about the restoration, (that looks so weird in English) and at the same time, she couldn't think of anything to say (she takes control of every lesson, so that was weird), and I taught the restoration, and we soft committed him to baptism! We only needed one more lesson, but sadly that was our last one with him. Good thing he's really just our teacher! :P
It was so sad when the advanzados flew out to their missions this week! I had gotten very used to them being around! They were all so loving! (I'm an advanzado now! Weird!) There is so much love here at the MTC. People will seriosuly never let you be sad. It's great! But anyways, the night before their flight, we have a tradition of singing hymns, so we all sang. And we have a locked door in the middle of the hallway that separates the elders from the sisters, so right after we finished they started up, so we just got to listen to a few more hymns. It's weird that we're actually in the same hallway. Pretty scandalous. (jk)
The temple today was awesome! I basically understand everything there in Spansih now! I love that I get to go every week. This was the best spanish session I've been to yet! (I'll use the headset next week for English though since it's my last week going to the temple for a rather long time). But it's so nice to feel the peace in the temple, and be able to receive revelation so easily.
Okay, funny story time! So every night our zone leaders would come in and talk to us for about five minutes. So one night they walk in and I looked at one of them and said, "I would adivse you to leave right now if you didn't bring any candy." He responded "Who do you think you are?" Then I said I was just joking. Then he gave me a piece of candy. It was the best thing. I did not expect him to actually have candy!
We all decided that we were going to have spirit animals one day. (We get really bored here). Hermana Marshall is a pirhanna because she's snappy and has a HUGE mouth. I'm a turtle. (We didn't pick our own. Everyone decided for us). One for the elders is an angry bunny. One is a baby bird. One is a racoon, Etc.
Our teacher, Hermano Janampa, got in a little bit of a disagreement with one of the other teachers the other night. So that was weird. We were supposed to teach, but they spent the entire hour with their supervisor fighting and talking it out. But when they came back, they were smiling. So... I guess that's good? for them at least.
Also, another day there were about four teachers in our room, and I thought it was really weird. So I asked Janampa why they were there. And he fakes not being able to speak english, but he does. One of the teachers said ¿por qué no? I said I wanted to know why. Then they left. Yeah, they're definitely just friends. Janampa was kinda irritated with me, but couldn't really do anything about it. Woops. I was just curious. They weren't like teaching us or anything. They were just hanging out...
So I had this one day this week where our district was ALL over the place. So it started with the elders teasing me (because almost everyone got the cold I had). So they drew a bell curve on the board which was kinda a "gripe" timeline as they titled it. Then they drew stick figure me. There were two different representations from two elders. So it was funny then, but they kept going at it even as we were teaching. I still didn't really care that much, because it was kinda true that they all got it from me, and they were just joking around, but Hermana Marshall got really irritated with them for being immature. So then she wouldn't even talk to any of them. And they didn't let us get our food first (which is a rule here for the hermanas), so then she told them that we were all upset. (I was fine). So after dinner, Elder Carter was super ashamed and wouldn't even make eye contact with me, and gave me and then all three of us hermanas the most sincere apology like ever. So I forgave him readily... Then LATER that night, Hermana Escobar got a blessing, and the day just ended on a very spiritual note. So that was an adventure.
We were reading some of the rules we have in one of our packets and one of them is how we are to sit with good posture in investigator's houses, and how it's custom to talk about family and work before moving on to the purpose of the visit. So then we all sat up really straight with frozen smiles on our faces kinda talking in really annoying robotic voices, with our hands clasped together. (We=me, H Marshall, E Monson). It drove everyone else nuts. We even had one of the elders from another district come in and join us. It was funny. Yeah, our humor is a lot less refined the longer we're here. There are an extremely high amount of jokes about pedos (farts) here.
Also, every night we do district bonding, so we play games like black magic or color wheel or snaps. Elder Carter started doing one last night called Bang. I hate it. I hate it SO much. I will never figure out the rules to that one! But it's actually really fun!
Okay, I don't know how I actually manage to make it this long every week, because I feel like nothing ever really happens here.
Uh, I love the MTC, I love the people here, and out in Lima! The Spirit is so strong and I know without a doubt that what I will be teaching IS the gospel of Jesus Christ. He really is our Savior, and He really just wants us to return home to live with our families and our Heavenly Father and Him forever.
I love you all!
Hope life in the States is good!
Sorry for terrible typos! (*Haley's mom thinks she got them all, but who knows. She did have TONS)
Hermana Brogan

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Halfway through!

It's already been three weeks here, and we only have three more to go! Our district is getting really close, and each day goes faster. But I love it so much! I already get a little sun burned being outside just one hour a day, so I don't know what I'll look like in Chiclayo... Just lot's of sunscreen! So... story time!
The new sisters in our room are some of my favorite people! Since they're Latinas, they always give me a hug and kiss on the cheek. I've never been kissed so much in such little time before! (But only sisters) The culture here is just so friendly and loving. One of them, Hna Cabaña is hilarious. She speaks English, but the other two don't. Last night she licked her nametag and stuck it on her forhead with the other magnet on the back of her head, and said that it works because she doesn't have a brain. One of the other ones, Hna. Ramirez was pretending to sprinkle us with holy water. Then we also kept stopping some of the sisters coming out of the showers in their towels and telling them that we have a message for them about the ley de castidad. It's almost out of hand. We have too much fun. Then the third sister, the really really beautiful one (I'll try to get a picture at some point), asked me to teach her ballet. But she doesn't speak a word of English, so I did my best to teach her plies and tondus. (sp?) So funny. Everyone calls that sister with the really long hard name Sacagawea or Pocahontas because she has such long hair, and she is SOOO pretty. Also, all the Latinos think all the gringa girls are so pretty. Probably just because we're white. I mean it kinda works in reverse like that in the states. We have one sister who is very blond (just her hair), who all the Latino elders always just stare at when she leads music for devos and other such things.
Also, Hna Ramirez always sings "never say never!" and then tells us how much she hates Justin Bieber. But in a really funny way. Also, sometimes Hna Cabaña swears and doesn't know it, so it's always fun to tell her, you really shouldn't say that. Though one word she did know... Yeah, she's funny. Hna Ramirez also always tells us we look like barbies, or me that I'm like a music box doll (because of ballet). It makes me happy inside.
Two days ago I did an English fast for the gift of tongues. I tried to convince my companions to do it with me for about two weeks, and they kept saying no, so I just did it on my own. It was rough, but now I'm speaking a lot better and my grammar improved a ton that day! Now my district is doing an English fast all day tomorrow. Go figure. I'm fine being the example! ;)
One night, Hna Cabaña was joking about coming in with a knife or something, so I decided I needed to plan an escape route. I sleep on the top bunk, so I planned on lifting up one of the ceiling tiles and just crawling over to the hallway and dropping back down. But when I lifted the ceiling tile up, the walls extended up as well! So I would still be trapped! I'm so upset about it! So I need a plan B.
The other night we had a lessons with someone we had never met before and had no prior info on, and it was the best lesson we had! I was having a not wonderful day, but after the lesson I was just so happy. It was such a joy to share the good news of the gospel with him. (He was in reality just one of teachers though.) But he gave us advice and said he loved how happy we were coming in. We just need to work on speaking as if we all have one voice. And I loved that phrasing so much. And if we're in tune with the Spirit, it should be that way. (Also, I've given up on correcting typos. I hope you don't mind)***note from Haley's mom-I am trying to catch them before I post.***

So one of the elders in our district, Elder Carter, decided we need to play these games where you don't know the rules and you have to figure it out. We've playing the camping game, black magic, and color wheel. They were so hard to figure out! I need a major hint for color wheel, and Hna Marshall finally told me Black Magic. I figured camping game out pretty easy though. It was really rough though!
Every once in a while I hear great things about Chiclayo! I hear the people are really humble, and it's really hot there, and the food is good (Lots of rice and chicken of course!) Then the rest of my district is going to Arequipa, and they keep getting told how proud the people there are... So yeah, I'll miss them, but I really got the better mission! ;)
We got a new teacher this week, so we have two in the morning now, but he gave our companionship some really good advice (because being in a trio is dang hard!), and since then, our trio has become a lot stronger, and I've accepted him as a new teacher. But Hna Rivera and Hno Janampa are still the best.
One day during personal study, we were being really good and really quiet for like the first time, and an Elder came bursting in with a story and was talking really loud. So I just looked at him and told him we were being quiet and studying (because there's two people in my district who hate how much our district talks, and I know they were appreciating this rare time), and this elders face just dropped when I told him that. I felt so bad!
One day after lunch or dinner, Hna Furness (Who I was with at immigration), told me how much my smile brightens her day. I was very happy at that, so hna Marshall told me it's just because I'm loveable. I was shocked. Hna Marshall never gives compliments. Never! (In her family, she and her sisters don't compliment each other so they don't get big heads). No, she's just really sarcastic. But it was such a rare moment that it had to go in the email. She is actually super nice though, so no worries!
We have this joke going on where we always say, "No tocan las hermanas!" to the elderes because they accidentally hit our foot or something. It a fun game. 
I don't know if I told this one last week- but one of the elders was playing around and totally threw a marker across the room which hit my eye. I'm a marker target or something because it's happened a few times since too. (They really aren't aiming at me, I promise!)
Last story, also may be a repeat, but I don't think it is! So one day Hermana Marshall and Elder Carter decided to act like I was dead (I seriosuly feel like I wrote this one already, so if I did, jsut ignore it.) and they pretended I was dead for about half an hour. They keep bringing it up every once ina while, and they talk about how great I was, and I how I used to do certain things. And Elder Carter actually got himself to cry at one point. 
Um, the gospel is true! I know it is with all my heart. I couldn't be this happy without it! I love being a missionary, and I can't wait to hit the field! The gift of tongues is real, and my Spanish is really coming along.
I love you all!
Hermana Brogan

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Having too much fun

(Note from Haley's mom..this is LOOOOONNGGG. enjoy, though!)
I thought I would start by describing an average day here at the CCM (although they're really all different...)
So pretty much I wake up at 6 am every morning to fight the hermanas for one of our three showers. They're also either lava temperature, or antarctica temperature, but it's okay, sometimes I find a happy middle! But luckily there aren't too many hermanas here! After we get ready we go to breakfast where we eat, every day without fail, eggs, yogurt (which is a little less thick here) with cereal, some kind of juice and rolls. After that we go study for an hour, which means we really goof off until breakfast time is over, and then keep goofing off because we never keep track of time. And then eventually realize what time it is and study. After that, we have our teacher Hermana Rivera for the morning, so we'll teach her (well, I suppose I should say Ary-her character for teaching), and then we have language or grammar class... After morning classes we eat lunch. Usually they have popcorn or ice cream or both with lunch, which is kinda fun. Then we go do an hour of study on a computer program called TALL, and go do physical activity. We basically just walk around the basketball court for the hour, since nobody uses it. Though one day some of the Latino elders came and wanted to actually played basketball with us, which I fail at miserably. I run a little, and my companion, hermana Escobar runs most of the time. After that we have more class and then dinner. After dinner we teach Hermano Janampa (aka Rodrigo) and then have class until planning time and then we go to bed.
So I don't remember what food I mentioned last week, but I still love granadillas, and they made churros again. They fed us tacos last night, so we got beans and rice and tacos, and it was so delicious! They also made pollo saltado too which was so delicious, and it made me think of Rachel because she made me lomo saltado. It's definitely one of my favorites!
Let's see what else... So teaching is fun, but it's really, really hard in a trio. Specifically because Hermana Marshall and I have both had plenty of Spanish and speak it pretty well, but Hermana Escobar doesn't really speak much (none on the first day). So our teachers are always telling us to let her teach more, but then she gets frustrated because she doesn't know where we are in the lesson. But it's okay, we're figuring some things out. It's just hard, because it's so easy for hermana Marshall and I to just start acting like a normal companionship and teaching by ourselves. But it's okay. The second lesson we had with "Rodrigo" was really good and we made some serious ground with him, so I went ahead and invited him to be baptized, and he said no of course. My companions thought I was crazy! After the lesson, they were all like, I can't believe you just did that! And then we went and told our whole district. It was fun. We invited him to be baptized again last night and he said he would like to but has to think about it because his family is Catholic. Our other investigator, Ary, is really tough, so we're still trying to figure that one out. No real progress there.
Hermano Janampa met us at the temple today (and we're only allowed to take pictures on pday which is why we asked), so that was really sweet of him. His friend was with him and he asked us to share something with him because he's a nonmember. We failed so hard. But it's okay because he really is a member and Janampa was just lying to us. The hermanas and I got a picture with him, so I'll send it home once I'm in the field. I buy way way too much stuff here, but that's okay because it's all dirt cheap. So I got Spanish scriptures and cases for them, and there's these really good cookies casinos (I probably mentioned them last week). That's really all I got today...
Okay, I totally lied to you guys, I thought I was getting better last week, but I totally broke down with a fever and ended up losing my voice completely. But it's back now, and I really am healthy now! The mission president's wife gave me medicine and everything, so I'm taken care of here. More about that in a minute. But Hermana Marshall wrote in her journal one day (jokingly), "Hermana Brogan deathly ill" Yeah... I promise it wasn't that bad!
We just got through two weeks here! I'm a third of the way done! We have a bunch of newbies here now, and they're all so sweet! Our old trio we shared a room with left last night, and they were soooooo funny, but now we have a Latina trio, and two of them don't speak any English, so we all sat down and talked a bunch last night about our families, and missions (I keep hearing Chiclayo is really hot!). It will be so nice to actually practice my Spanish!!!
One of the Elders in our district, Elder Monson, after I lost my voice told me he was wondering who in our district has the voice of an angel, and how he figured it out once I lost my voice. It was very sweet. I'm going to get really conceited here because I keep getting compliments on my singing voice from people, and all the Latina girls love my hair. So, I'll work on that whole humility thing.
I heard something about Obama declaring war on Syria? Is that true? What's that all about? 
Okay, so on Friday, we went to immigrations and that was basically just a whole day of doing nothing but standing in line. I went with one of the girls going to Chiclayo in the other companionship, Hermana Furness, and Elder Carter and Elder Monson. My companions went at a later time. Weird that they split our trio up, but whatever. I just do what they tell me to. That was also the day where I literally had NO voice. So that was exciting. I talked anyways... No wonder it took a while for it to get better. I just can't help it!!!
So that night, I finally broke down and decided that it had been a week of being sick and losing my voice and not being able to teach, so I asked our district leader for a blessing. It was so cool. I like having the boys my age give blessing because it's such a new thing to them and it just takes so much faith. But the Spirit was really strong in our district for like the whole next day! (one of the other companionships wanted to participate in the blessing as well, so I let them...) Anyways, my voice started getting better really fast after that, so just little miracles working in my life.
We also had a district testimony meeting after General Conference and heard everyone's stories. Every single person in my district has gone through some really hard stuff in their lives, which is personal so I won't share it, but we all basically told these stories because we were going off the question of why we're serving missions. Every. Single. One. of us is here for the right reason and has such a strong testimony because of things in their lives that pushed them to have faith. It's just really cool getting to know each other so well. It will be hard saying bye to them when they go to Arequipa, but compared to the other district, I know these are the people I need to be with here in the CCM. It really just makes sense to me.
There was an earthquake the other day, which was really fun! They have signs in all the buildings here marking safe spots in case of earthquakes. So they're really common here. California trained me well.
General conference was SO good! I don't really have any specific thoughts to share on the talks, but they were all so strong, and I love how this time it was very focused on following Christ and families. It was focused on the center of our gospel, and instead of having a lot of breadth, it had so much depth. I came to understand the sacrament even more, and it is just so cool! We also watched the women's meeting this weekend instead of last, and Uchtdorf's talk was sooooo good. It was such a good confidence builder, and gave me so much recognition of why God loves us, but also what He expects us to do because of that. I also like how they always emphasize that we're meeting together as covenant women. 
On Monday, we went to Interpol, and that was basically a lot of sitting around too. They fingerprinted us which was fun. We left at some random point in time to go take pictures for what we had to fill out. Weird.
Basically the driving here is SO chaotic. But everyone here has driven like this pretty much always, so nobody crashes. It's really freaky at first, but it gets a lot better. The buses are also still so crazy and fun!
Hermana Smith-one of the Sisters in my room, legit started spreading that rumor about me speaking Cantonese. (I assume I told that story last week. I'll check after I finish writing this). But about half of the advanced sisters here legitimately think I speak Cantonese. So maybe I'll go Cantonese speaking on a senior mission later on in life! ;) I miss her so much, she's such a goof!
Oh, another weird random thing, the elders and sisters have different tables for meals (they don't do that at the Provo MTC I think...), so it's kinda weird, but then you get to know all the hermanas really well! It's fun!
Another weird random story (I promise we feel the Spirit here too, but there just aren't good stories yet...) Hermana Marshall and Elder Carter one day decided to pretend to talk like I had died. They said I had died of the double headed dragons (Sorry to be gross, but that's what they call diarrhea and throwing up here). So then as I was sitting there in the room, they're going off about how they remembered when Hermana Brogan used to... or how she always said... And it was so funny. Elder Carter actually made himself cry. Weirdo. So they did that for about an hour. I thought it was funny for about ten minutes.
Also, Hermana Marshall is suuuuper sarcastic and sassy, and it's hilarious! (We taught Hermana Rivera the word sassy, because she is too.) Anyways, Hna Marshall has a bad habit of calling everyone by just their last names without hermana or elder. And so Elder Carter asked her to use Elder with his name. So then she started calling him Master Elder Carter. I love Hermana Marshall so much. She's kinda crazy. And it's great. We get along really well. She's also completely obsessed with bread.
Hermana Escobar is really sweet and quiet and introverted, so I don't know her to well despite being with her 24/7.
Okay, I think I hit everything!
Love you all! The CCM is wonderful!
Hermana Brogan

Thursday, October 2, 2014

You're in Peru, I hope

Hey everyone!
I made it safe and sound to the CCM and that flight was sooo long, and we got here super late, but the hermanas in our room woke up just to say hi to us (and sleep is so valuable here!) 
Okay, so first off, the food here is SOO good. It's chicken and rice with every meal except breakfast, but luckily that's more or less how I was raised, so it's all good. Granadías are the best fruit ever. They made us churros one night which were so good-better than America. I like food here better than in the US. Spanish keyboards are pretty cool, but sometimes I don't know where punctuation is... 
My district is awesome. My companionship are the only hermanas in our district, but it's great. All the elders are straight out of high school. Funny things are said almost daily. They were fighting over who's tie was better, and one elder used the argument that his tie brought in the Spirit. Every single person in my district, except me, is going to Arrequipa. All the Chiclayo people are in the other district. Not even fair.
Oh, also, we watched two old devotionals that were filmed at the MTC on Sunday. One was from mission president seminar. It´s so weird seeing the MTC and old coworkers. I miss it a bit. But being a missionary is better than working with missionaries.  Every. single. one. of the elders in my district laughed when I told them I worked security. I'm so insulted.
Um, I have the best teachers ever (so says every missionary ever), but they're sooo funny! Hermano Janampa always says ¿Que en el mundo? (what in the world), which is totally a Spanglish phrase that nobody uses outside the CCM. We also say Santa Vaca... Yeah, Spanglish here is bad.
Saturday night, my sister training leaders came in to ask me to say the prayer in relief society, and I asked which language. They said either, then one of the other hermanas in my room said, she could also say it in Cantanese, being totally serious. I started laughing, so she explained that (apparently), "I had a dream when I was 16 that I was supposed to go on a mission and the I got called to Hong Kong, so I started to learn Cantanese to the point where I was fluent". By that point I was red in the face and laughing so hard. She just said "I was really embarrassed about it". The sister leader totally believed her!
Pday is the best day. The Lima temple is beautiful. Pictures don't do it justice. Also, we got to shop around Lima today. We are definitely in a different coutnry, but we were all in one huge group. One creepy old guy commented ''Bonita hermanas'' as we walked by. Yeah, awkward. 
For activity time every day we've been playing volleyball, which I don't love, but I deal. Sometimes I just run around the court though. Everything is outside. We did ping pong yesterday though since I came down with a bit of a cold. I'm better now though, so it's okay. Sometimes I try to speak to the hermanas, and it's so hard. I always have to ask them to speak slower and repeat themselves. But it's okay, they're all so sweet and supportive! I speak Spanish really well with the gospel though, it's just the rest of the language that's hard.
We bought soccer jerseys today, so that's cool!
They don't really want us sending pictures here (plus the computers are so slow) so I'll send some once I'm in the field.
I teach my first lesson tonight!
Hno. Janampa told us that it usually takes norteamericanos about 6 months to learn Spanish, but it only takes the missionaries about 2-3 months, so the gift of tongues is real! (But you still gotta be patient).
We Hna Smith (the one who said I speak Cantanese) always says, ''that's filthy'' so my companion Hna Marshall and I always say ''está filthy'' It's probably funnier here than over email...
One elder in our district, Elder Monson (yeah, he gets a lot of questions, and they are related somehow...), had a birhtday this week. So our teachers brought all of us candy, and we sang happy birthday to him like eight thousand times.
So some food here that's really good is casinos- at type of cookie kinda like oreos and inca cola which tastes like bubble gum vanilla soda, but actually tastes good. It legit smells like bubble gum though.
I've started being able to speak sentences that are longer than like three words, which is pretty exciting! (In Spanish of course).
Hno. Janampa told us that he killed a cat using a plastic bag one time because they had to but it down, but the bag was cheaper. It horrified all of us, but was also kinda funny.
One of the elders brought jerkey from home- and it´s deer. My other teacher, Hna Rivera has never seen jerkey before so we were trying to say what it was, but we didn't know deer, so Hna Marshall said Bambi, and Hna Rivera was like, ''Oh, mi corazón!'' So funny.
Anyways, I´m in a trio, and both of my compañeras are awesome. Hna Marshall and I are more alike than Hna. Esobar, but I love both of them very much.
The CCM is tiny, so everyone knows each other and cares about each other which is great. So I'm very happy here! That's about all.
Con Amor, Hermana Brogan