Monday, April 27, 2015

Being contacted in English is really awkward

Family and friends,
Being contacted in English is really awkward. The Elders came over to get the leftover of the mission money I got for the doctors, and so Elder Nordhoff decided it would be fun to contact us... in English. Still using Spanish phrasing, but in English. So much awkward. He finally slipped at the end and said a word in Spanish. We really are only missionaries in Spanish... It was funny.

I met my new sister leader this week. Hermana Chandler. I don't know her well yet, but she's really funny and sweet. Apparently, now that el profeta has left, my comp is el profeta. Which makes me first counselor. And Estrella (my pension's dog) the second counselor. So much apostasy in this joke. So much. Also, it's Estrella because right before last cambios, Elder Miranda called us telling Hermana Favero that she had transfers to open up Bagua again (lie) and that I would be training... Estrella. Well our contacts would be up at least, she talks to everyone!

Yeah, so in district meeting, Elder Miranda brought one of those puzzles where two seemingly unconnectable pieces are supposed to be separated (they're like metal). So he gave us each 30 seconds to try. All the other sisters went first, and then it was my turn. I solved it. I kill object lessons sometimes. It's not my fault I was born into my family where we do these kind of things way too much! Everyone said of course it would be me who solved it. Too much attention! But really, I was pretty proud of myself.

Lessons this week were pretty normal. Yesterday, two lessons in a row had Titanic playing. So apparently it was on tv. Good thing we have the right to tell them to turn it off!
Sometimes I'm just really straightforward when I teach now, never thought that would happen. We invite almost everyone to baptism in the first lesson we have with them now, too. Tania and her daughter Billy yesterday said yes. They don't even know anything yet. Not really. So that was cool. That whole lesson was like a counseling session. Well, we just sat there and listened to their mother daughter problems for about half an hour and have decided we're going to start with the gospel. (Lesson 3). So it will cool teaching them. Billy told us she would love to be baptized, but has to forgive herself first and change. Well, she's kinda got the concept of the gospel down already!
That's really about it for this week.

Dad, the weather is hot. Not Venezuela, but hot. I am grateful for my sunscreen which I usually remember to wear. But sometimes it decides to rain, or rather, pour down hard! And then it dries up super fast. But it's green, and pretty, and California type humid, so I feel pretty much at home. Just a little hotter.
Well, love you all!
Hermana Brogan

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Cambios make me sad.....

Mi queridos familia y amigos,
So this week was super eventful. Another really bad internet day too
so sorry if this is all I send to anyone. But with the work, we had
some neat lessons, but nothing too crazy. I’ll tell you all about Flor
on mother’s day because she’s cool. Also, you guys need to come up
with questions for me, because I tell you pretty much everything I
have to say in my emails. So that’s your job.

First off, last Friday, this weird bump appeared on my left
shoulder-neck-back area. Weird. So it started getting worse, and made
all my muscles around it swell up and start hurting, so I went to the
doctor with Hermana Escobedo (sometimes it’s just easier to go with
the sister who’s been in Jaen for a solid year). Apparently it was
just an infection, so the doctor gave me antibiotics. Not only is the
bump significantly smaller and unpainful now, but it also got rid of
all the little infections on my legs from bug bites. Now I am just
left with my battle scars. ;) So I go to the doctor, and he tries to
speak in English to me. I don’t think he realized how well I
understood him because I am always quiet at the doctors even in the
US. And so he told me I have an infección de piel, and was trying to
figure out the translation, so I said, skin infection. Yeah that! It
made me laugh. Luckily he knew the word itch though, because I don’t
know that one in Spanish. So that would’ve taken a minute to figure
out… Peruvian doctors aren’t so sketchy after all.

So this was Hermana Escobedo’s last week. She’s headed home to Lima
tomorrow. So in our district meeting, the board with the outline of
the meeting was SO funny. Directing music: Hermana Escobedo. Opening
Prayer, Hermana Escobedo. Objective: Hna Escobedo Obedience
(scripture): Hermana Escobedo Tema: Hermana Escobedo (Hermana con
experiencia) (As said in the white handbook) Testimonio: Hna Escobedo
Closing prayer: Hna Escobedo She said the closing prayer in English
even. Also, we sang Loor al profeta (we call her el profeta since
she’s had more time in Jaen than the stake president), and then a song
about dying or finishing the work. It’s in the 170s in Spanish… Too
funny. The funnier part is she actually did all of it except for the
lesson. Our district is so fun. We’ve all gotten super close!
We had Noche Misional the next night, and we played a scripture search
game. We used scriptures as clues and they had to run around the
chapel to find the next clue. It was way fun. We took pictures after
that too. I think I’ll send these next week if I remember. Or maybe
you’ll just all see them after the mission. None are too exciting. I
just have a ton!

The Elders had a baptism this week! I was SO happy for them! It was
cool to go to. We brought Lucía, the 16 year old, and she had SO many
good questions. We showed her the chapel, and when we walked in there,
all empty and quiet, I felt the Spirit so strong. I don’t think I’ve
ever noticed the spirit like that in a chapel before, but it was
amazing to share it with her.Remind me to talk more about Lucía
on mother’s day too. We won’t be able to baptize her because of her
 age, but I really can hope to get her as an active investigator. She shared
 a neat experience with us though! Also, we went and taught her like a ten
 minute lesson before the baptism, and I asked her if she believes the plan of salvation. I
know she understands all of it, but I wanted to know where she was
testimony wise. (We haven’t done the restoration with her yet…) She
told us yes! So cool!
After the baptism, we went over to the Elders’ pension to have a mini
30 minute party for Elder Nordhoff’s birthday and a going away thing
for Hermana Escobedo.  They fed us dinner and a cake from a box from
the US ( that Elder Nordhoff’s family sent- so good!) And we ALL ended
up with flour all over us. Hermana Escobedo ended up with egg, flour,
and cake on her, even though it wasn’t her birthday. (And of course
Elder Nordhoff did too!) It was super fun. We also sang Loor al
profeta there. So sacreligious. It isn’t even funny. And THEN in
sacrament meeting, Hermana Escobedo had to lead the music and we sang
Praise to the man AGAIN, and God be with you til we meet again. She’s
such a good sport.
Also, we got 6 investigators at church. Let me repeat that. SIX! Three
families. :D

Not much happened lesson wise this week. We met Amelia’s son, and he’s
actually pretty cool. He asked us why we’re missionaries and what
Christ means to us (after showing them the gracias a que el vive
video. ) So hopefully we’ll be able to get them somewhere. Amelia is
doing it more for her son than for herself. But hopefully once we
teach the restoration that will change.
That’s about all. I love you all! Hope you have a good week! Peru
rocks. Cambios make me sad when people go. But we got off pretty good.
Our whole district is the same (HURRAY!), aside from Hermana Escobedo
leaving ( Boo).
Hermana Brogan

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Who needs water when you have baby wipes?

Friends and family,

Okay, so I find as we continue contacting, other numbers just naturally go up. So we had a lesson with a member today which was exactly how a lesson with member should be. We had a lesson with our investigator Clara and the member, Sidila, shared about her conversion experience using Alma 32. It was the best testimony I have ever heard from a member in a lesson. Clara said she had 'ganas' to read the Book of Mormon. I really hope to see her progress even more!

We found an investigator Amelia this week, who is having a hard time with her 14 year old son. A friend (nonmember) told her to talk to the elders. Then we appeared at her door a couple days later. So cool! But aside from immediately having us come in, I think it may actually take her a bit to progress. But I have hopes if she acts on her commitments.

We have a ton of cool people we're working with, including a lady who's husband is a member (and currently in Lima), and she was at church yesterday and told us to come visit her. So we'll start with her this week. And she made comments in Sunday school about knowing how even though she likes coffee, she knows it's a commandment, and needs to work on it. So basically she already has a testimony, and we'll try to set a baptismal date with her in the first visit if we can. (And see where she is really at with her testimony and all.)

So our area is growing a TON. I absolutely LOVE my area and being in Jaen. It's amazing seeing the Lord's hand here.

So now for talking about Lucía. So in our mission, we usually don't teach investigators under 18 (too many go inactive), but we just found this girl, Lucía, who is freakishly smart (especially for here in Jaen). And she is so cool! She wants to be a nun, but her dad won't let her. But she's also really confused about what she really believes. So we taught her the plan of salvation yesterday, and she completely understood it. But understanding doesn't necessarily equal testimony. We invited her to baptism (and are now talking to president about her), and she said yes when she knows it's true. Her dad was there, and sat and talked to us for a few minutes but when we started the lesson, he left the room. But he was TOTALLY listening around the corner. When we left he said that what we said was beautiful. He had told us we would have a hard time changing his beliefs. We'll see about that. And por lo menos, if we can't get Lucía baptized, she can just be an active investigator until she's 18.
So por fin, the funny stuff! One. It's time to let the world know. I absolutely love High School Musical way way too much. (Completely my guilty pleasure of all movies). So we talked about it like three times this week, and then we were at our pension's for lunch. Our pension's daughter, Lucía is always watching movies in the other room, and sometimes when it's Disney, we figure it out just from the background music, but we really are good and don't intentionally listen in. Well, despite all the Spanish talking, there was a scene from high school musical playing, and it made me crack up SO hard because I had brought it up so much this week. (I get trunky in really weird ways you guys.) But I just thought it was hilarious.

Now for the funnier story, So Hermana Favero told me something Hermana Escobedo told her last intercambios. Back when I was having a rough time for a couple weeks, our district was worried about me because I wasn't being super social with them, and I just looked kinda sad a lot. Well, the sister leaders figured out I really love food. And so the hermana lideres spoke with the elderes and told them to start bringing treats to district meeting because they thought that would help. And the elders really liked that idea too. So I got better because Hermana Williams talked to me on the phone for like 45 minutes and gave me tons of scriptures and hymns and advice. But I also got the wonderful blessing of getting chocolate chip cookies, or galletas de MILO (SO GOOD!), or whatever sweets they bring to every district meeting and correlation. Win win! So I didn't know that's why they brought treats until this week. When Hermana Favero told me that I cracked up for 5 minutes. My district really cares about me. So then, the elders always tell us when we have to go into their area to teach single women that we have to bring them chocolate as a tax or something. Which we almost never do. Then they tell us we need to be obedient to our leaders. But on Saturday, Elder Miranda called to let us know we had correlation. He told me to bring dulces twice, and I didn't understand him, so he finally said ¡chocolates! I said está bien and hung up. So we brought everyone chocolate. Then when I pulled them out of my bag, Hermana Escobedo disapprovingly asked the elders who told us to bring food, and got food out of her bag. Apparently they aren't supposed to ask us to bring food or something. I don't know, but the whole situation just makes me smile. I'll be sad when cambios come this next Tuesday. Hermana Escobedo is going home after a YEAR just in Jaen (two areas here, but still). Elder Miranda has another transfer until he goes home. And who knows who else will get transfers.

I'm really sorry to hear about Christine. I hope everyone's doing alright.

We still have very little running water here. It isn't fun to not have a reliable shower. Just saying.
So we went three days without running water.
 (note to the left our drinking water. No problem with being alive. Don't worry.) But man was I excited to fill up our storage buckets again! We have two buckets, and go through about one each day. So we had run out the middle of this day. And to tell you all the lovely details, my wet hair hides it, but it is also extremely oily from uh, baby wipe showers. It really isn't bad now that we're used to it though. And that's the longest we've had to go so far without water. So we're doing pretty well. Lesson learned: Emergency storage is important world!

Love you all!
Stay cool up there in the states (spring is hitting or has hit right?)

Write me please!

Hermana Brogan

Monday, April 6, 2015

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter! (Yesterday) Merry Christmas! (Today. If you have questions please refer to Jesus the Christ). And hope you all enjoyed (and watched) general conference! Mom, thanks for getting me out of Jury duty. At least for a year... I appreciate that. Seeing as I'm across the world. And can't do too much. Uh, so for Easter, I ate half a boiled egg, and two cadbury eggs. So it was very Easterly. But it really was. It's like an Easter egg hunt every day trying to find new investigators amongst the many who want nothing to do with us! Also got to contact using Christ being resurrected. So that was a really cool experience. (We've been doing that for the last bit with the whole He lives video going around). 

So conference rocked. It's like missionary holiday! I cannot even begin to explain just how much I got out of it! But I'll just mention one talk and comment in a non spiritual way on it. I LOVED the talk that compared music and dance to the Spirit and living the gospel. SO good. SO true. We really do need to be in tune with the Spirit and feel the beauty of the gospel. And it talked about dance. SO THEN, I remembered one summer of my high school life when I was up in Provo with Becky and we were stopped at a stoplight. With the music on. And dancing. And so a random Utah dad or something like that, started dancing when the light turned green as he passed us. Awkward? No. Funny? Yes. :)

But that isn't about my mission, so this week:
We found this girl, Luz, who's about 20 and isn't actually living with a boy. And we've just done como comenzar enseñar with her, and she told us that she feels like she needs something more. I am SO excited to start working with her! We're also making some progress with a new investigator from last week Clara. We couldn't find her this week to invite her to conference, but her response to baptism after the first lesson wasn't a flat out no. It was 'todavìa.' I just hope that I can continue to testify, teach and help the Spirit teach her! But she really feels the Spirit, and I can really imagine the change the gospel will bring into her life if she so chooses. So still finding and trying to get an investigator base, but we're also seeing small little miracles, even if it's just in the form of todavìa instead of a no. But the Spirit was so strong in the lesson with her, and I was prompted to just keep testifying, and I shared an experience with a priesthood blessing up to the point where we invited her. So it was just amazing.

Last pday, a random song from Rudolph came into my head. It's the sadder one with the lost toys. Hermana Favero totally thought that part was an entirely different claymation movie. SO I then relayed the entire plot of Rudolph to her. Yeah, I've seen that movie a ton. I cannot deny that I am excited to watch that and Annabelle's Wish in two Christmases. :P 

We also found Natali in the middle of the week. We just felt to pass by her house. I love going to an investigators house and them swinging the door open telling us to come in. It's so welcoming and warm, as opposed to us trying to get in doors most of the time. But she's awesome! She's been reading the Book of Mormon and praying (correctly even!) and still hasn't gotten a response. So she's being great and still trying, still searching. I love that she has patience. The Lord is trying her faith, but I know if she keeps doing the good things, and keeps adding on (next step is getting her to church), she'll get her answer. She's an example to me.

We were going strong with contacts this week (our mission is really contact focused- have I mentioned that?). We had 28 on pday and Tuesday. And then Wednesday, Hermana Favero randomly got a kink in her neck. She she was told by Hermana Williams to stay home, rest, and ice it, so we didn't get to do much work for two days.  And then with conference... yeah our numbers were low. But hey, it happens.

 Dad, yes, we do have snickers here, so no, I don't miss too much from the states. I do miss peanut butter, but I can honestly wait. I do miss being able to have the freedom to choose what to eat.
So we're friends with a store owner here. And she will sometimes randomly give us bananas. But this week she had guava on her counter, and we said we'd never had it before. So She gave us two. When I commented that we were going to take pictures to send home with them, she took them back and gave us bigger ones. Too funny. Anyways- here's a selfie I took with Guava. Shame. And also us tracting. (Did I already send this one home? No clue...)

Also, random fun fact, I got to watch conference in English. We all go to the stake center, and they give us our own classroom, pull a TV in there and give us the English channel. There's pictures somewhere. Maybe they'll appear on Facebook before I go home!

Haley and her companion tracting

Haley's Jaen district

Haley with her guavas