Monday, May 25, 2015


 Flor is now a member of the Church of Jesus Christ. It's so wonderful! She was awesome! So she hates public speaking, but got up and bore an amazing pure, powerful testimony. (Instead of the normal new convert thanking everyone for coming a million times) She testified she knows the Book of Mormon is true, and it was amazing. Small miracle- she had a cold earlier in the week, Thursday and Friday. So she, my comp, and I all prayed about it so she could enjoy her baptism. It went mostly away, and she felt a ton better on Saturday. Then got a cough on Sunday. So seriously,she was better just for her baptism. SO cool. :) Beforehand she was super nervous, but afterwards when we asked how she felt, she just kept saying feliz. With a big smile. She already has a small assignment in church to be the class greeter for Sunday School. She just welcomes everyone and assigns prayers. But it's perfect for her to get comfortable speaking in front of people. She is going to be such a strong convert!

So we set a fecha de rescate with Hermana Esther today for the 28th of June. She's completely ready to come back- she just needs her testimony strengthened, a review of all the lessons, and that's about it. She had a dream the other week that it's time for her. She used to be a pension for the missionaries in Bagua (which is currently a closed area), and Relief Society president. And she was sealed in the temple. So, she knows a lot. It's just been time. She comes to every meeting (including activities) and never drops an appointment. So she's gold. I'm excited to have a rescue. We have cambios next week. We're both pretty sure I'm staying and will be getting a Latina comp and Hermana Favero will be going. But she only has three weeks on me. And of course we can never be sure.

So another story of reporting last night. 'Bautismos.' Uno. 'Confirmaciones.' Uno. '¡Cómo se llama?' Elder! 'Como se llama?' Elder. Enserio. 'Sí hermana.' Bueno. Hermana Flor. 'Hermana Four? Cuatro?' No! Hermana Flor! 'Four? Cuatro?' Silence on my end. Looks like he's been practicing his english. 'Hallo?' Hola elder. 'No, como se llama?' Hermana Flower. 'Oh! Hermana Flower Alverca Castillo (talking on the other end) castle' Si elder.

Um, so I had to teach about humility at this last district meeting. I started out with thank you Elder Miranda for asking me to speak on humility. We all know I'm the perfect example of it, so I figured I'd just talk a bit about myself. I, Hermana Brogan, was born of goodly parents in the year 1805. In 1820... Etc. Yeah, I've been in this district for a while. But it actually ended up being a super good lesson! I learned a lot! We all have different perspectives of what helps us be humble (I focused a lot on the how to of humility). It was cool. We talked a lot about knowing who we really are, and that everyone is our own brothers and sisters. And how from that knowledge and recognizing the hand of God in our lives, we can really become more humble.

So we broke our mirror accidentally (it fell while we were gone). So we called the zone leaders, and they just went and got one for us. After district meeting, really excitedly they told us they had a present. They actually wrapped it! In wrapping paper! Too funny.

Also, we found a marble on the ground and Elder Otivo told us that he has always found a marble every time he has a baptism. We told him we have one on Saturday. So that was neat. Shared tender mercy!

A fun contact this week. Puedo regalarle una tarjeta? Si... Como se llama? Jesús. Uh... sí, pero cómo se llama Usted? contact continues...

That's all! Love you all! thanks for your prayers and support!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Mission President came for a visit....

Alright, my week. So the sister leaders are now sacrificing the rest of their fasting for their lives to fast for my personal fame as a rap artist, pianist, professional dancer. :P  No, but last night, for daily planning (we had nothing left to plan for), I wrote a rap for the sister leaders asking them to go to the market with us today and asking about Hermana Kennedy's health. Too funny.

But let's see.  So we had a noche misional this week, and had Hermana Esther come. She was suuuuper reflective. It is so time for her to come back to the church. She made picarones for us today! They were yummy. She used to be a pensionista back when she lived in Bagua (I hope I wrote about her last week, if not, somebody email me and tell me so I can give you the story!

Oh, and *F* baptismal date is the 23rd. Happy 8 month mark to myself! I am SO excited for her though. She is so ready, and already acting like a member. She just gets it. I love that I won't need to worry about her staying strong in the church (at least how it is now). She's amazing.

Then I had an intercambio with Hermana Chandler this week. She's got 14 months or so in the mission, and she's the best! She's so funny, and we just had a blast- contacting and teaching. So we went to a lesson with this street contact, *Y*, and we were just going to go in, explain more about what we do and maybe teach a short thing about prayer. So before the lesson we decided, (since I want to work on using the scriptures more when I teach), k one of us gets the scripture, and one does the baptismal invitation. So I ended up with the scripture of course. Well (oh, and we were in my area again. I LOVE directing my area), we go in with this plan, but then she tells us she just wants to know which of all the churches is true. Well, I figured we're missionaries, not movie writers, so we have no need to leave her with a cliffhanger. So I told her, yeah, we're going to tell you about a boy named José who had this same question and teach her all of the first lesson. It was the best! She got super excited and wants to baptize herself and her whole family in the church (we'll have to tell her about the whole marriage thing next time we go. So many convivientes here). But she's super neat. We also had to tell her she can't baptize her 2 year old. She asked if it was bad, and Hermana Chandler was like,' well...' And I cut in and just said yes. (Reference the book of mormon). But explained why too of course. Mostly that children are innocent, and she said, yeah, that makes sense. So Suuuper neat! Hermana Chandler told me that Hermana Kennedy told her to prepare for the most spiritual day of her mission with me. Talk about high expectations. But it was mostly just super fun. Spiritual, sure, normal, but super fun! Hermana Kennedy just said that because she's super spiritual and pretty much gave me the most spiritual day of my mission on our intercambio a while back. :)

The next day, President and wife came up for interviews. So we did those. President was super nice, told me I'm a good person and that I'm changing the mission. So that was neat. :) Aside from that, just an interview. I don't know him too well only seeing him every three months, so I have a hard time just talking (despite emailing him every week), so he just kinda talked to me. Told me the mission is going to bless my marriage and future callings. I'm not even in my last interview yet and he already mentions marriage! Yikes!

Afterwards, Hermana Williams had nothing to do, so she decided to come with us in our area for a couple hours. We went and taught *N*. And of course her family was insane! Her kids are crazy, and *N* gets super distracted. But anyways, we just retaught the first lesson since they didn't get it the last time. I asked Hermana Williams to bear her testimony, and her Spanish is getting so much better! When she bore her testimony though, the spirit was just SO strong. It was cool. Afterwards, she told us that was one of the better lessons she had seen since we use scriptures and don't get thrown by questions, and both speak Spanish well. So that was a high compliment.

The next day was zone conference. President came up and told us his wife told him we taught perfectly. We said, well, there's always room to improve. He said, 'if my wife said it was perfect, then it was perfect.' President has really changed a lot from cracking down on the rules to showing us a ton of love and lifting up a ton since last multizone. It was suuuper uplifting! We discussed Jacob 5 at the end, and he told us we are the 'other' workers. He gave us the statistic of what percent of the world missionaries are, and it really is few. I don't have the number on me though. It's like .002%. Something like that. Maybe another 0. But he focused a lot on how we're here to get the 'fruit' that's ripe. He wants us to refocus on baptisms a lot. In the middle, we did a little game where we had to find ten hidden objects in the room. Well, Elder Miranda ALWAYS points at nothing to get us to look. As a joke. So, I realized this was the perfect opportunity. I called to him, and pointed. He looked. Hah! Victory!

Oh, also little joke in our district is that we call the elders princesas. Because they are always getting free moto rides from the ward around the area, to church, etc. Well, they went with president and got to go in his CAR. Princesses indeed.

I played my song I wrote before my mission for the sister leaders. They both loved it and Hermana Chandler wanted to record it. Made me feel good. I'm also glad I still remember it. Also, that's why I am going to become a famous pianist. ;) (See joke above)

AND, por fin, *F's* daughter, 15, wants nothing to do with us but she showed up to church for stake conference yesterday! I am amazed! We'll talk to * F* about it tonight. Super neat though. Also, at conference, President shared the parable in Matthew 29 of the mototaxista. He's like Christ who knows the path and all the holes and turns and perils of the road. We just have to trust Him, and we'll get to the Celestial Kingdom safely. (In the parable being the church).

K, it's long. I'll stop there. I love you all! Have a great week!

Hermana Brogan

Monday, May 11, 2015

Just talked yesterday.

* Note from Haley's mom: We Skyped with Haley yesterday and she looks very happy and content. Still loving Peru and her companion. She says the only problem with her companion is that they have been together too long they've run out of stories to tell each other about their lives. I never considered that could be a problem, but I guess so. She insisted on writing today after I told her she didn't need to since we just talked yesterday so here you go.........Haley:

Yeah, so to tell the world about *F*: She appeared one week in
sacrament meeting. And a member introduced us. Her husband is a menos
activo (and coming back strong to the church), and they've been
married for two months. She is genuinely interested for herself, not
for her spouse, and that first Sunday made a comment in Sunday School
about knowing how not drinking coffee is a commandment, and it's hard,
but she has to do it.  So testimony about prophets. Check. But then we
met with her, tried to set  baptismal date for two weeks out, but she
said no. A few days later we presented her with May 16th (at the time
a month out) She said she'd pray about it. The third visit. We asked.
She said she prayed. We waited for the LONGEST moment, and she told us
that felt right. Due to her husband being in Lima though, we're
actually moving it again to the end of May- probably the 30th...
Before transfers so that her husband can be there, and to avoid stake
conference on the 16th which we hadn't known about. But her testimony
is so strong. She literally just needs the information, and just
absorbs it and has a testimony. She is also SO obedient. We've done
most of the lessons now, and are just working on commandments. She
accepts every single one. It's amazing. She is so willing to change
because she knows it's true. She is so amazing. And she has so much
light in her eyes! And she and her husband already have goals to get
to the temple. :)
So this week. We had a noche de hogar (FHE) for all our investigators
with baptismal dates. At the end, we played games including cat and
mouse. Where you have two ties (or whatever) and start them at
different point in the circle. The cat has to tie one knot and undo it
and pass it on, the mouse has to do two. I have NEVER had so much fear
of a tie before in my life. I lost. I knew it when we started that
round too. I thought, I'm losing this one. It's because *F* let her 7
year old daughter escape. No fair Michel! Also, Michel has a weird
habit of grabbing people's earlobe when saying hi or bye. Only people
she's close to though. It's weird. And funny.
We also played la papa se quema, which is the better version of hot
potato because you can't predict the end. A person (who lost the last
round) goes out of the circle and faces away and says 'la papa se
quema' however many times, and then ¡la papa se quemó!. The person with the
eraser (or whatever you use) lands on loses. Fun stuff!

That moment when you can't find an investigator because their house
has become a bar.

We had a very intense conversation about tongue twisters in a day full
of NO lessons because they all fell through. I still need to learn the
mi padre compro poco coco one... BUT I did learn Tres tristes tigres
and Peter Piper. :D Yeah, we get bored.

I celebrated cinco de mayo by... speaking Spanish?
Pretty unexciting week though.

Fun story that is not my own. Outside the chapel, a guy came up to the
Elders and asked them if they could help him get baptized. Elder
Nordhoff told us he was thinking, well, MAYBE we can help you with
that. YES. But really, he's a lot like *F*. Appeared out of nowhere
and is going STRONG. So our district is being blessed. :)
Okay, that's all for the week! I love you all!
Hermana Brogan

Monday, May 4, 2015

Rumors are kind of fun!

So for this week. Cool things. First off, a little funny story. Back in the days of my first comp in the field, we were at the Christmas party. My comp makes some comment about how the skits we were watching at the time are so immature. Little did I know that my future comp was in the seat right ahead of me. She heard the comment and thought it was me who made it. She leans over to her comp and comments on how she can't believe I just said that! Well, fast forward to intercambios. She hears I'm going to be her comp so she tells Hermana Fairchild along with two other sisters that she thought I was so stuck up and now karma is getting her and we're going to be comps. Then she realizes my real personality and feels bad about it for about three transfers until she tells me. I think it is TOO funny. :P She felt so bad she held it in for over 4 months. She told me and I just laughed. Reminds me of middle school when a rumor circulated about me crying over getting a math problem wrong (I was really just upset Becky had left for college). That one got back to me too. Also made me laugh. Rumors are kinda fun!

Yesterday we had a really boring lesson in sunday school about the sabbath day for like the third time since I've been in this ward. I say that with all honesty because ironically, it was the thing that saved our lesson with two adventistas who asked why we keep Sunday and not Saturday holy. Well, thanks to the elders in church, I knew to pull out Hebrews 8 and Matthew 26. Perfect! But really, this couple is really neat! They're humble about listening to us instead of trying to convert us like the last adventista couple we taught. They also don't lie or make excuses as is common in this culture. So I know when they said they'd pray about Joseph Smith that they really would. I really am praying they get an answer.

We met Deysi yesterday! She has a son who is three but is still learning to talk because he was really sick for a while as a baby. He just recently started walking. Well, we're all excited that she's in a state of life where the gospel will really help her out! Well, we didn't know just how prepared she was until later when we learned she used to live with a Mormon family and go to mutual a veces. She has also received the missionaries before. We invited her to baptism when she knows our message is true. She said yes, once she knows more. Perfect! I'm so excited to get started with her. Also, in the background of this lesson, her nine year old had already picked up the plan of salvation folleto and was reading it. So cool!

The sister leaders had a very important question for me the other day. What kind of music I listen to at home. They told me they had it down to rap or opera. Glad they don't think I'm a just like everyone else. :P Too funny. I never know how to answer that question, though, because I really just go through phases... But no worries out here. I just listen to what my comps have. For five months straight... Have I mentioned how long three and a half transfers is? I'm really grateful I like my companion a lot. But there comes a point where we just have the same conversations all the time.
So at district meeting, Elder Miranda asked if we had been inviting people to noche misional. Hermana Kennedy: Màs o menos. Bueno... Menos que màs.

We headed to dinner Tuesday night I think it was and found a lovely note from the elders saying sorry for eating our dinner, but the empanadas were really delicious. They left us one. But they reassured us it was delicious. I don't get why the elders eat at our pension sometimes... But then Hermana Doris made us more. It was just super funny.

Well, those are my stories! The work's going.
Hermana Brogan