Monday, January 26, 2015


We did intercambios this week. I went with Hermana Escobedo. She's latina. So a full day of no english. But it really wasn't that hard. I'm pretty sure I've switched from being someone who just is learning spanish to someone who speaks it. I can even talk on the phone without getting stressed. (For those who don't know, I really struggle in english speaking over the phone. So this is big). But it was an insane day. We taught NINE lessons. NINE. That's a lot. Hermana Favero and I usually max out at four. It's because we're both really new, and the area was left alone for about two weeks because of Hermana Fairchild's foot, so we're building it back up. But basically, Hermana Escobedo told me I need to talk more in lessons, and when she looks at me to teach for more than just a minute or two, but to actually let the Spirit speak through me. So I did with all those lessons. And it's amazing how much better I got as a missionary in just one day. I had some amazing moments with investigators I don't even know. I forget how much revelation I really am entitled to as a missionary. So the next day, Hermana Favero and I were teaching out on the street, a lady Carmen, and I just taught and taught (like actually half of the time like I should), and afterwards, Hermana Favero looked at me and asked, "What happened to my companion? I was thinking, Who even is this girl?" She was really impressed and really happy. So I now feel about a thousand times better. I LOVE teaching. I love being a missionary. It's so fun helping people and watching them change.
We had a lesson with José again, and so I was in charge of figuring out what to teach him, because he already has all the missionary lessons. So I made a really long timeline out of just paper, and put a tiny dot on it, and told him that was earth life. everything before, and everything after and more is la vida preterrenal, and life after death. I ended up just kinda confusing him at first, so we kept trying to explain it... I need to make a better visual. But anyways, we shared scriptures from Abraham with him (he's practically a member, so it's not confusing for him), and really discussed eternity with him. We also told him he has three choices, and told him that he could be sealed to his deceased spouse if he separates from his pareja. He and his pareja don't even love each other, but he still loves his deceased wife a ton. So it's really just down to him making a decision. He's an amazing person though. I hope to see him get baptized one day.
So we teach some really wonderful people- at an old folks home. We do it partly for service, but they all keep converting!!! So we have three members, and a recent convert there. We now have two baptismal dates for the end of February with two of them. They all hobble to church (the members) each week. They're the best. Then we tried to commit another one to baptism, and he said (like every peruvian) I'm Catholic. So all the viajitos (as we call them) said, don't worry, he's just new. I swear, that place is a place of conversion. It's the best!
We also committed Elsi, who's married to a menos activo of many many years (he fell away with his bishop as a youth, they both started drinking together!) So anyways, he has his testimony still, and Elsi LOVES the family a proclamation to the world. And so we just have to get them married (marriage is expensive here, which is why nobody is married btw). But then she can get baptized,a nd he can be rescued. Man, I love seeing little miracles happen down here! :)
So the spanish word for attend (like to attend church) is asistir. So EVERY missionary ever, says assistances when we're counting how many church attendances we got of investigators each week. And it really bothered me at first. I swore I'd never say assistances, because it's not a word. But I said it this week. So sorry if my english is really a lot weirder than it already is when I go back home.
Also, I read a scripture in 3 Nephi 5:13 this week. It was very powerful to me and my calling. Y'all should read it. I love that I have literally been called of God to help people gain eternal life. And that's so much more than what I can even comprehend what I'm doing. And I literally have power and authority given me from God to do this work. It's just amazing to me. And that's how I'm seeing all these little miracles so often. And it's how people change their hearts. It's why people, like our investigator Sandi, dream about two white girls showing up with a blue book that changes her life before ever meeting the missioanries or hearing about the book of Mormon. Yo sé que esta obra es la obra de Dios. Y todo lo que estoy haciendo es de gran importancia. Yo sé que en este mundo, que no cree en Dios ni Jesucristo, que ellos son reales.  Y he sentido el poder de Dios en bendiciones, en el templo, y en mi obra. Yo sé que hay más después de esta vida. Y estoy más feliz y gozoso que antes mi mision.
Still loving life as always. Pictures next week if the internet is faster. Sorry for slacking on that.
Hermana Brogan

Monday, January 19, 2015

Hiking through the Garden of Eden

Okay, so I have ten minutes to type this up because the internet on my computer didn't work.
This week was the BEST! So today, we went on a hike with two districts, in the most beautiful area of the world I have ever seen. It was so green and lush and absolutely beautiful! The trail went back and forth across the stream the whole time! It was so peaceful, except when I fell down a boulder, only about a foot, that the elders were helping me get up. We found another way. Then on the way back down, Elder Lopez, Hermana Favero, and I played carnival, or our version, by throwing rocks into the river trying to slpash each other. So in Jaen, and Moreso in Cajamarca, everyone ever plays carnivales where they throw water balloons, or water at anyone and everyone. But they have a lot of respect for us so it isn't a big deal.

So the work this week was Amazing. AMAZING people! We have a man who is in a really complicated situation with his girlfriend he lives with, but they're super poor so they can't separate. She won't marry him because she thinks he's still married to his dead spouse, but they don't even love each other anymore. But he has ALL the lessons, and REALLY wants to be baptized, he brings it up every lesson. And this last lesson we had was awesome! He realizes he has to make a decision. But it's still really complicated. So I pray for him. He comes to church every week though. He's practically Mormon.

Then there's Leydi, who is a 17 year old menos activo, and she's so sweet. She always smiles at me, and she says she loves the sacrament.

Okay I wanted to write more in depth about everyone but..

We got notice the night before church that we had to speak. So I wrote a 7 minutes talk in Spanish in one hour. Poor Hermana Favero hates speaking though, so the comments after were, Hermana Brogan, you're Spanish is improving! Hermana Favero, what happened? You looked so nervous! Poor girl. I love my comp so much, we talk about gospel stuff all the time. She did my hair last night for fun. And we just work really hard together. :)

I studied in Helamnn 5 this week, and read about Nephi and Lehi, who preach to a bunch of Lamanites even though they want to kill them, and then the Lord works miracles. Such a neat story! You all should read it.

As for how transfers worked, we take busses between Jaen and Chiclayo, so Hermana Fairchild came down first, then I went to Jaen with the hermana leaders. And the transfer was because of Hermana Fairchilds foot, not my companiopnship.

My email was a ton longer, but computer issues, so more next week!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Change is good.

So this week...
I had an emergency transfer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is so wonderful! I have a new area and a new companion and everything! I'm in Jaen (One of the more loved areas of the mission) and my companion's name is Hermana Favero. She is seriously the best. She's the kind of missionary I want to be and I don't have to fight her to participate in lessons. In fact, she actually expects me to teach and contact and all the wonderful missionary things and she actually wants to be here. And she's so obedient. And sweet, and kind, and I'm basically just very relieved to have had a cambio. :) And Jaen is BEAUTIFUL! There are green hills surrounding us, and there are plants everywhere. Our area is really small, but nonetheless there are cows and only motos here, no taxis. And it actually rains here. And it's theoretically really hot here, but it's been cool since I've come. And it's how I imagined Peru when I got my call. Some of the roads are dirt roads, and everyone gives us fruit! This lady in the ward called out to us on the street and went inside her house just to give us mangos. And that's it. She genuinely just wanted to give us fruit. And contacting is so much easier here. People are respectful and listen to us talk, and are so much more patient with my spanish, and will just drop whatever they're doing to come talk to us. And the lessons I've had are awesome! One investigator already has a very sure testimony. Her name is Sandi. We have a menos activo who is almost a rescate- Roxana. And we have one investigator José who is older, and cohabitating with a lady who refuses to get married to him. (She believes he's still married to his deceased wife). So he can't get baptized. But he has all the lessons and goes to church every week. He's basically Mormon without being Mormon. He asked us about the last three verses in Revelations 13. And that's how his lessons go now because he regularaly reads the scriptures and has all the missionary lessons. So it's sad he can't progress right now... Oh, and we also teach at a rest home. We call them the viajitos. They're basically just these really old 80 or 90 year old men, and one's a recent convert, and there's a couople members, and the rest are investigators. But as long as we talk loud, they can function fine. :) And the members hobble to church every week. It's really cute. I love it! And the street I live on has tons of members so it's nicknamed "Utah". I live in Utah. Again. And here I thought I escaped. But the real name of the street in San Francisco. And there's also a street San josé. And there's a bunch of others too... But basically my life is following me around here. ;) My new cuarto is HUGE! (Cold shower, but it's okay cause it's so hot).
So that's my week in summary. Just loving life here!
Hermana Brogan

My apartment in Jaen

 "Utah" street, in Jaen

Monday, January 5, 2015

Investigators *

Okay, so we've had a total of five days. So not much has happened. 
One story: yesterday, after getting straight up rejected after knocking on a door, this guy in the street, Danny, talked to us with a big smile on his face. He used what little English he knew, and said we could come back in a half hour or so when the rest of his family got home. He seemed genuinely interested and curious in our message. So we come back, RIGHT when the rest of his family is coming home. So his dad, super confrontational, says "Who is this standing in front of my house?" So we try to introduce ourselves, and he says, "So when can I invite you to church?" And basically my comp and him were going back and forth, and she eventually said something like, "Well, I don't feel the respect". And that's just too much confrontation for me, so I turn to the wife, and with a smile ask her what her name is because I don't want to listen to this conversation. She was kind taken aback, and said what? So I asked her again (sometimes people just don't understand my accent). And she told me her name. I said nice to meet you. I'm Hermana Brogan. Then Hermana Kingsford was ready to leave. So we turned to leave, and I turned back and told her to have a good night. Way to make that situation really weird and awkward. :) But it was fun. Thanks to working as a security guard, I am not remotely phased by people being confrontational. I think it's kinda funny they get so insulted by these really young North American girls. But I'm also really sad we won't be able to teach Danny. :(
I got to teach one of our awesome menos activos this week! My comp actually let me take charge of a lesson for once. Yay! Anyways, we're on the fourth lesson with her. So I just taught her the commandment of tithing. It went so well that she committed herself to pay tithing before I even got to that point in the lesson. Victory! But she didn't come to church this week. It's so frustrating when they start to come, and then decide not to come. She came to sacrament meeting the last two weeks. We'll get her there though. She is making real progress though. I love going and teaching her! She always is so welcoming!
One of our investigators invited us to a dance party. We said no, of course. But what the heck? She doesn't really let us teach when we visit though, so we're going to drop her.
We had this one really good investigator except for she won't keep her commitments. But we've made it most of the way through the third lesson with her. And she keeps letting us come back to teach her. (She's the one with a four year old daughter, who this one lady asked if she was my daughter). But when we went to invite her to church on Saturday, she seemed really annoyed with us, and said maybe she would and maybe she wouldn't. The struggles though!
Um, we have one investigator who has doubts with that members aren't always good people. This is a problem we have with another one of our investigators too. So we're helping them build their testimonies, and we're trying to help them realize we don't go to church for the people, but for our devotion to God and keeping His commandments. But, their doubts are based in some real problems, so it's a bit more of a process than that. 
We have two investigators, Romina and her mom (I forgot her name), who we've only taught a couple times, but they let us in, and listen well to our whole lessons. They're SUPER Catholic, and say they won't change. But then again, that's everyone in Peru. I like teaching them though. Probably because they listen. Hopefully they'll pray about the restoration. 
So that's some of what's going on here. It was a rough week, and nobody's been home, or everyone has had visitors, so most of our citas have been dropping. Oh well. That's why we contact and all that exciting stuff.
Hope all is going well at home.
Love you and miss you!
Hermana Brogan

Friday, January 2, 2015

After Christmas

Christmas was actually tons of fun. The weekend before, pres organized a ton of missionaries to sing in a park in our area. It was So much fun. We watched the He is the Gift video, and other Spanish Mormon Messages of Christmas. It was awesome!! And so fun to see all the other missionaries. So all new missionaries kinda go through the first few weeks being extremely hard, and lonely. So it's nice to not be there anymore, but there were two gringa sisters a few days out of the CCM, and it was awesome to meet them and give them love and encouragement. They will be lovely missionaries. :) But it really was such a fun night, just singing and contacting in a park. Also, one of the members in our ward who always accompanies us, Virignia, gave us Santa hats to wear! 
When we gathered on Christmas day as a zone at the stake building, we played the game Mafia, in Spanish! (Of course, but still, I feel accomplished!) I ended up being mafia the first round, and WON! In Spanish! Okay, I guess I'm not as bad at Spanish as I think. I really can function okay. As long as it isn't old people who slur a ton.
Today we also gathered in the stake building for New Years, and while waiting outside for everyone else to show up, this random Peruvian guy came up to us and told us his life story about how he was a drug addict and used to mug people, but thirty years ago God intervened and changed his life around, and how he loves God and then he went on his way. Randomly fitting New Years story. I love this time to remind us that we can change, and we can have a better year full of wonderful change! It's also cool looking back and seeing how I've come so far this year, from school and working, to going through the temple, and living in a different country as a missionary! I hope you guys are coming up with goals or reflecting on the year past. OH, and yeah, Happy New Year!
Apparently it was crazy last night with fireworks and burning dolls in the street (weird Peruvian tradition I don't know anything about). And my comp couldn't sleep. And she said it sounded like a bomb shelter. I, of course, slept right through it and woke up at 6:30 this morning!
Also, my comp beatboxes, so sometimes she beatboxes while I sing primary songs and it rocks.
Also, sometime elder Wilson picks a random feather off the street and makes us use it to conduct music in district meetings. Also, sometimes we have to relocate district meetings, because there was confusion and my district leader got the day wrong, so the chapel the zone leaders have the keys to was locked. (And by sometimes I mean once). And I'm creating this awesome picture wall in my room! From pictures in the Liahona of course. It's going to look so cool!
Okay, I have had Becky ask to talk about investigators, but my time is short! Next week I promise I'll tell you more! But for this week:
We met an awesome girl Karla, by knocking doors, who totally let us in, listened and participated in the lesson, and kept her commitment, and read further int he Book of Mormon! She rocks! I can't wait to see where this goes.
I love you all!
Hermana Brogan