(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!