Monday, November 24, 2014

Loved to death by emails

Aaaaaaaaaaaahhhh! I have never felt so overwhelmed with so many emails! People actually love me! :D But now I have no time to write...

SO weird things I've seen this week: A llama on a leash coming out of a moto. I really want to ride a moto one of these days. I haven't yet... Two people walking down the street in a cardboard box. (The top and bottom were open...) And a creepy mannequin with teeth. Sometimes I just wish I had my camera on me...
I did intercambios this week, and it was SO needed. I'm honestly having a hard time with my comp, but my sister leader is SO amazing. Her name is Hermana Larson, and she is just the missionary I want to be. She's on her last transfer right now. :) She's really funny too. She asks the most random questions. Like if my thighs are the same size as hers and then has me measure. (Almost is the answer). I told her how I really appreciate how I can see the light of the gospel in her countenance and how loving she is, and how I want to be a missionary like her one day, and she told me that I just fulfilled prophecy. She had a sister leader she totally admired at some point in her mission, and told her sister leader the same thing, and said someday someone would tell her that. And so I did, so she told me someday somebody would tell me the same thing. :) So sweet. And funny.
I got a letter from the ward this week. Random people, most of who I should know but don't... But it was super nice! I really appreciate it. I love hand written letters because then I can read them all week long. 
Culture fun fact: When you knock on a door, people will answer from a random window. So imagine answering from our upstairs window or the living room window to talk to someone who rang the doorbell. Weird, but it actually makes sense. Less work for the person in the house!
A ward member bought me a King Kong this week. it's like a delicious cookie thing filled with what's called manjar blanco (internet it, I don't know how to describe it). But it's SO good!
We found a menos activo this week who hasn't been in like 15 years or more, and doesn't really know anything about the church! But she's baptized! Crazy! She even went to Jehovah's Witness church for four years... But she's cool and listens very receptively. :)
I just want to talk more about Hermana Larson, and how she is always in pain for certain medical reasons. And how she's always so happy despite this. Or when she contacts and people just say no very rudely, she just keeps smiling and trying to the last second. Man, she's just cool! I told her I wish I could be sweet like that when contacting, but she misheard me and thought I said I wanted to be like the people who said no. Yes, I totally want to become totally rude and cold to the world. That's JUST what I meant. Ah, it was nice to be with someone who gets sarcasm. :)
Be of good cheer! Christ overcame the world!
Hermana Brogan

Monday, November 17, 2014

Mission President and wife when chocolate is involved!

So I was trying to come up with things to write about the culture, and it's such a city, there really isn't too much difference. Just the language. But what I did come up with:
People don't all avoid eye contact. People actually say hi to each other. But not everyone...
Little shops are the thing here. You buy everything at a little store on the road instead of a supermarket. It's cute. But it always makes me want food. One of my favorite things is Lucuma. It's a fruit made into a popsicle. And it kinda tastes like bread dough. And I think it's sooo delicious!
Everyone is Catholic. Like ever. Or Jehovah's witness, or MMM, which I'm still trying to figure out what it is...
The driving is insane. And traffic cops stand at intersections trying to make the traffic go FASTER sometimes. Yeah, that's new.
I'm so gringa here. Everyone just stares at us.
AND, there's this cart of grapes that these guys push around in the street. And they always say something along the lines of "Uvas. Que Ricas. Que deliciosos. Uvas. Uvas." It's pretty funny.
So little kids are the best. Sometimes we knock doors, and kids answer. We had this little girl who was so excited to see us, and she ran to get her mom saying They speak English they speak english!!!
Then this other day, a boy about 7 or 8, Ricardo, answered the door and said his parents weren't home and then proceeded to shower us with questions for like 15minutes, from why are you so tall? (to my comp), to why do you speak funny? to Is that a Bible? Can I see it? It was just funny. It brightened my day a ton!
We're also helping with the music for the primary program because nobody here sings or leads music (almost). So that's funny. Kids have such angelic voices. I love it!
There's this one girl in our ward who's about 20, named Jenny, who speaks a little bit of English. So she's a good friend for me to have. We took her along to a lesson, and I taught a principle or two, and afterwards she was so shocked I spoke so good, because we've met with her a few times, but I'm just shy about my Spanish. So then we had a whole conversation walking down the street. But she speaks SO fast when she speaks Spanish (like how I speak English), so we can't understand each other in our native tongues. So she spoke English and I spoke Spanish, and then it worked just fine. :) I'll get a picture with her one of these days.
I forgot my camera! So pictures next week. :)
Oh, and Jenny also fed us (members feed us on weekends),and it was SOOO good. My comp is trying to lose weight, so our pensionista doesn't feed us rice. Jenny gave us both a mountain of rice! Yum!!!
Oh yeah, so I gave that See's candies* to Hermana Williams when I first got here. (I think I forgot to write about this). And she was SO happy. She was amazed I made it six weeks without eating it all! She kept asking if I wanted any, but I said no,because I'd be back in California before she would be.So then she went and told President Williams, and they bickered about it. President was jealous and asked if she had to share. I said it was sent specifically to her, and it's hers so she can decide. So Hermana Williams told Presidente that she must have left a better first impression with me at the Provo MTC and told my mom so. :P They're cute. I love when older couples still interact that way.
So I was talking with my pensionista this week, and she said a Quechua phrase, and I didn't understand. So then she asked why I don't speak they're language. I told her it all made sense. That in fact, my Spanish is already perfect, but the language they speak is Quechua. I was just confused, and it's really not my fault they had me learn Spanish and not quechua.
And that was the conversation where my personality was finally born in Spanish. :D Hurray! I'm human!
We committed a girl of 13 years to baptism this week, but in the mission we can't baptize them without they're parents if they're younger than 18. So we just need to commit their mom. :) She's almost there.
We tried sugar cane this week! You chew it and then spit it out. It's really weird. Definitely a one time thing. But that was pretty fun!
Okay, that's about all this week. Uh, contacting is hard. Teaching is hard. Spanish is hard. But it's coming. And I've only been here two weeks. :)
Love you all!
Hermana Brogan

* Sister Williams mentions in her mission blog that she missed having chocolate, especially See's candy, in Peru so Haley took some down to her in her suitcase.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Pictures, finally!

My comp is great. She's 22 and SO tall, but yeah. Our personalities are a little different, and we approach missionary work differently, but I just go along with her for now since I don't really speak Spanish. But we find plenty of things to laugh about. Being on my own isn't too fun. I REALLY miss my MTC district a ton. I miss being around all the immature 18 year old boys because it was always hilarious. Now I have to provide my own humor. Dang. I miss my old comps too. We had 12 people come from the CCM in my group, 6 North Americans, five of whom are sisters.

I have no clue how far I am from the mission home. The taxi ride didn't seem too long... Let's see, so our area is just split off from a bigger area. It's just a city. The buildings aren't as nice as in the states, but I like it. There's always people out and about so finding and teaching is easy. I'm blessed to be in a South American mission. Oh, but walking all day is SO draining, especially because my TALL comp walks twice as fast as me and expects me to keep up with her. 
Danny is leaving soon! Hurray! I'm so excited for him!
Okay, stories:
So when I got out of the taxi at our room, elders from our district where there to help us with our luggage. One of them, Elder Wilson, looked at me and asked, Are you white? I responded, what? He said, Yes! Good! It was strange. He's a goof. He and his comp had our area as part of their area before, so they've been helping us a ton this week. 
We have hot water!
Sometimes I agree to things without realizing it. Dang language barrier. Usually it's just saying the prayer.
My comp and I ALWAYS are singing. She loves it as much as me. SO that's fun!
My district leader, Elder Rojas, is Latino, so I was talking to him (barely) in Spanish, and he told me he was going to get me over my fear of speaking Spanish. And so he forced me to share a spiritual thought in my first district meeting. Oh boy!
That's really about it. I'll see if I can send some pics now. And I want some time to email my old district. Talk to you next week!
 my district from the mtc
 My trainer and  first apartment (with HOT WATER)
 Silly Haley

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

She's in Chiclayo.

Hey! So I get to write. Yay! Halloween came and went without much notice, but two of the sisters in my group wore the EXACT same outfit. And it was awesome. Chiclayo is so warm and wonderful! And I get to be in a normal companionship! I already love my companion. She loves singing, and it´s going to be so fun! She's so happy and kind too. Ummm, I don't really know what to say. Leaving the ccm was pretty tragic. I cried when I had to say goodbye to all the elders last night. (But not until after I was upstairs!) But my transfer journal is now one of my favorite things, and my district is so sweet and so good to me. They make me sound like a saint (which I'm not...) But as for stories, I don't really have any this week from memory. I didn't have time to prepare bullet point of things that happened. But basically Sunday was AMAZING. We had a district testimony, and we each bore our testimonies. My faith has grown so much since being at the mtc, and it's crazy seeing how quickly all my prayers are answered, and feeling the joy of the gospel and the spirit in my life at all times. It's just absolutely amazing. I love being a missionary, and I'm so excited to get to work!
Okay, well I love you all.
I ate pizza today. That was weird. I haven't had american food in a long time. It really isn't that great... I'll stick with my peruvian food.
My mission president remembered me*, and he took us to the beach for a few minutes. We made paper boats and then burned them. Like Hernán Cortés. So yeah! Oh, my new comps name is Hermana Kingsford, and we're opening a new area in Chiclayo, Latina, José Balta. So that's going to be really cool starting my mission out in the field in a brand new, untouched, area.
I love the work! Hopefully I'll have more stories next week or remember some from this past week.
Have a great week!
Con Amor,
Hermana Brogan
* Note from Haley's mom:
Haley was able to meet her mission president at the MTC in Provo when the new mission presidents came for training, even before the rest of the mission met him. Pretty cool.