Monday, June 29, 2015

Change is good, right?

Okay, not THE dedication in Trujillo, but at the stake center. I did not leave Jaen. Just clarifying. But it was amazing. The talks were so good! Elder Bednar hit SUPER hard on the importance of family history work. How we do it for OUR dead, not THE dead. And the salvation of our antepasados is in our hands. As is theirs. We're responsible for this work. President Uchtdorf spoke on a story by Tolstoy about a man named Martin who served a bunch of strangers and how we need to be kind to all those around us and not judge them. It's so important to see everyone as our own brothers and sisters and just be kind to them. The temple was BEAUTIFUL, and it was so spiritual being in the dedication. It was a blessing to listen to all three dedications.

Now speaking of the Trujillo temple. Well, there's a new mission being formed, and I'm kinda sorta getting emergency transferred (I leave in style. Forget the transfer timeline) to the Trujillo Norte mission. The mission with the temple in it. So I leave today. And am leaving the too good to be true companionship of Hermana Waite and I who walk through the streets singing tacky 90s music and Taylor swift and go to cemeteries for fun and jump on trampolines. I'm SO sad to leave here. I called Flor last night (she's in Lima), and she sounded SO sad I was leaving. It broke my heart. She thanked me so much for teaching her and asked why we had to get so close and then I have to go. I almost cried after that call. Her daughter came to church despite her migraine yesterday (Alexandra), and she's going to be baptized hopefully in three or so months. She truly wants it! I will miss that family more than I can express. They are so great to me! Hopefully they can get sealed one day, as a whole family! :) But more than anything, I'm grateful to have been here. I'll miss my district a TON and the ward members. One girl gave me earrings as a going away present so that I'd pierce my ears. That may be something I do when I go home... ;) We watched 17 miracles last p-day. I cried the entire second half. The amazing part is the reality of these miracles. The pioneers were truly amazing- and the Lord's tender mercies to them are so BIG. I was so full of the Spirit after that weekend of the dedication and that movie. So amazing!

One of the other sisters' investigators got baptized, and we brought our other great investigator Leyla, who wants to be baptized. So it was awesome. Michelle, who got baptized, is dating a ward member Fausto. He baptized her. And brought her a cake. And they both wore white. And we ended singing families can be together forever. A preview? I think so. ;) He wants to marry her, but she doesn't want anything serious. But who knows now. Last I heard that was the news a few months ago!

Okay, so Hermana Kennedy (also emergency transferring with me) had a dream two nights ago that she was going to get transferred and not have time to say bye to anyone. She LOVES this area and her comp, so it was a terrible dream for her. The worst part is that's exactly what happened the following morning. Poor girl. Hermana Chandler also said she was feeling like I'd be transferred and be a trainer. Haha, we'll see about that one. (After what Pres said though- it's plausible. Yikes!!!)

Ummm, that's about it. No crazy stories this week that I can think of. Just working hard and loving the life! (And eating popcorn from a primary activity after the baptism was over! :) )

But next week I'll be writing from a new mission! Look out Peru!
I love you all, sorry if this wasn't the most interesting email!
Hermana Brogan

Random museum picture.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Picnic in the cemetery

Hello world! Thanks for writing me and supporting me out here! This week was another great one! (It helps to have a great companion!) But, we are scared our time together will be short. President has told her twice to learn her area fast, so I think I may be out of here after this transfer. He also just wrote and reassured me that I'm a great missionary (not saying this out of pride, just hold on a sec), and that I need to prepare myself for change and for leadership. YIKES! That either means training or sister leader. Either one sounds way too far out of my reach. He then thanked me for my faith. Yeah, my weak little faith that I have, I'm terrified. But also secretly excited. It cracks me up- when I was in training, I thought, that would be so fun! I really want to train! And the further I get into my mission, the happier I am being a normal missionary. But... I know I can do whatever the Lord asks of me. (#stillscared) (#hopefullynotnexttransfer) (#wethinkweresocoolusinghashtagsasmissionariesinemailsandtalkingtoeachother) (#weallknowwerelame)

So speaking of us having zero pride with our interests- Hermana Waite helped me remember a song from the Lizzie McGuire movie! (all the shame). But it was hilarious. We called the sisters in Miraflores about going to have a picnic in the cemetery today, and when they picked up, we just started singing it. When I was with them for a day waiting for hermana Waite, we talked about that song, and I was able to come up with the chorus. Hermana Waite completes me. :P
No, but as for the cemetery, we randomly decided to go because there's next to nothing to do in Jaen, so why not? So that may be a little weird to us, but when we called our zone leaders (both Latino), told our pension, etc, they all acted like it was the most normal thing to do. Our pensionista got really excited about it actually and started telling us how pretty it is with benches and trees, and what kind of food they like to take, and all that stuff! Too funny!

Random story from last week. The zone eladers got permission to do a pday as a zone at the chapel (we can almost never do anything with the elders) to play volleyball and pingpong. And how many of the sisters went? Zero. Sorry elders.

Also, we did end up going to the trampolines. We got there right as they were disassembling everything! So they let us jump for like 20 minutes. But they were two awkward joevenes and just watched us (not creepily, just being bored). It was plenty awkward. I love having a companion who doesn't mind awkward.

So we taught Yolanda, who is really slow on the learning (and big with her faith), but she read the intro to the Book of Mormon, and when she asked what she got out of it, she said leer, meditar, y orar. Miracle. She got exactly what we always try to get at! Most people who learn faster don't understand it that clearly! The Spirit rocks! Just saying. :) Also, did I tell this one last week?
Also set a date with Alexandra. But it won't be for a while. Rules in the mission about youth getting baptized are strict. She could've gotten baptized at the same time as her mom, but she didn't have a testimony then, so she has to wait three months now, go to seminary, and read the entire Book of Mormon. But that will just make her a strong member. :) She also gave the perfect example of the atonement. She compared it to her dad having already paid for college, but that she still has to put in her part to get the grades. So true! If we want eternal life, we must live the gospel with faith and repentance, and baptism. She's a smart one. :)

Hermana Flor invited us to hot chocolate after a lesson, and the gave us paneton too! It was like Christmas! It was awesome! Also, I see a future missionary in Michelle (her eight year old). Hermana Flor's already talking about it as a possibility with her. Sweet! Also, free food follows Hermana Waite. People give us food all the time in lessons now- even first lessons. What in the world? She said it's always like that for her. I do not mind.

I got to go to the dedication and the cultural celebration. They were both amazing, and I felt the spirit so strong these last couple days. The Trujillo temple is beautiful. Hopefully I can go one day in the far future. ... ...President Uchtdorf was there as was Elder Bednar. They were funny. :)
Okay, out of time, wish I could've expanded more. But I love you all and miss you! Temples rock! I miss the temple. Satan has less power here now! Sweet! #Hasteningofthework

Hermana Brogan

Monday, June 15, 2015

An investigator with A/C!

Sorry, little time to write! I got so excited about all the emails and lost track of time.

So first off, Happy Father's day Dad! And to all the fathers out there who read this (maybe Dallin?)

So we taught Alexandra this week and invited her to baptism without a date. She said yes. She's made a complete 180. It's amazing. But then she did the whole teenager thing and didn't wake up for 8am church. (I, of all people, totally understand, but at the same time- not okay.) So that was disappointing. We also got another girl we've been teaching, Leyla, to agree to pray about a date. Hopefully she gets an answer! She's had a quiet conversion- no loud answers, but she recognizes the truth with everything except hasn't gotten (or recognized I think) an answer about Joseph Smith yet. But we'll see what happens.

Our investigator Yolanda, is really slow to understand, but has desires to be baptized and remain in the church. But she doesn't get that there can only be one true church yet. I've told her like 5 times... But she isn't married to her husband, and they have a girl. She says she'd separate from him to get baptized- but of course that is not preferred. (and we aren't encouraging that) Hopefully we can get him to convert and baptize the family! We met him for the first time last week, and he gets what we're saying a lot easier- but also is super confused about what he believes. She prayed at the end of the lesson that God would change him so they could all be baptized. I thought that was funny. But I also know God hears prayers. We'll see what happens. :) Her desire is so there though!

We found a neat family this week, a single mom and daughter. They live in a nicer house with AC! and she's totally receptive and understands what we're saying. Hermana Waite and I were discussing this week how people here pretty much all say the same thing. ie Have you prayed to know if Joseph Smith is a prophet? Oh, yes. I pray. Every night. I pray. Yes. But, specifically about Joseph Smith? no. I cannot tell you how many times we have that conversation. But with Katherine, it's totally different (and all our progressing investigators).

Esther didn't come to church this week (we called and asked if she was getting ready). We went and taught her last night and she told us she came, but the doors were closed for sacrament and then her friend called cause she had a baby. Well, fair enough. Also another menos activa gave birth this week. All the babies!

We taught some testigos de jehovah and we asked if they could say the last prayer. The grandma says: We don't pray outdoors. So we offered to go inside. So she said, no, out here. but just a short one.  Oh please! Too funny.

We found our adventista couple Elmer y Sarai this week. Elmer is so interested and his wife isn't. but he's a start. He gave us a reference too! He's going to read and pray about the Book of Mormon! It's so nice that he doesn't try to convert us!

Flor came with us to teach, and I feel like a proud parent watching her testify and help others out! So amazing!

Aside from that, life is funny, and amazing, and I love my companion so much! She's a lot less shy about being weird. We're going to jump on these random trampolines that appeared in our area a month or two ago today. :)

Oh, and we figured out "lo siento" best translates to "I feel ya".

Love you all!
Hope you have a good week!
Thanks for the support!
Hermana Brogan

Monday, June 8, 2015

New Companion... Still in Jaen

Okay, first off, everyone needs to start emailing me again. I really love hearing from you and dad, but when that's all I get when I open my email, it's kinda a boring hour.

 My new companion is Hermana Waite. She's from Arizona, she's in Hermana Favero's group (in fact she, Hermana Favero, and Hermana Kennedy were a trio in the CCM. I know all the girls in their group except for Hermana Dodson now. Crazy stuff!) Hermana Waite and the rest have 14 months in the mission. So old! (I asked where her companion had served and where she was from) Areas... uh, in Chiclayo. She's been in the same district as the office elders and APs, and says we're stricter in Jaen than they were there with all the rules. It's just because we're far from the mission. Elder Nordhoff is now district leader and his comp is a transfer behind me. Elder Mecham I think? So President apparently told Hermana Waite to learn the area fast, so I think I'm leaving this next transfer. He also told me in my last interview after commenting on how long Hermana Favero and I had been comps that I have a lot of people to get to know still.  I don't think I'll do three transfers again any time soon with one comp. But we never know. All just guessing.

Let's see, the gorgeous sky (especially when I'm up on the roof) and all the greenery everywhere make me grateful for my eyes. :) (Our Sunbeam lesson was on thankful for eyes so I asked her what she sees in Jaen that she is thankful for?)

So we had a lesson with Alexandra and Flor this week, and we taught the restoration. Well, Alexandra used to tell us that she already has her community and wouldn't sit in lessons with us, but after watching the testaments with her, she's super curious. So after the lesson we asked her how she felt. She told us confused. It's a lot of new information she hasn't heard before. So I testified of the restoration and the power of prayer. She agreed to pray, so hopefully she has, and hopefully she's there tonight! I can really see her changing though!

Our menos activa Ester told us yesterday night that in the morning she was planning on going to work in the market, but then saw a painting of Christ and just couldn't do it. She went to church. That makes me so happy! I just want her to be 100% committed though! Her rescue date is this month though, so hopefully we can get her there!

Romans 12:20 made me laugh. A really merciful view of loving your enemy.

That's about all for this week. Also, Jaen is really quiet at midnight. I had to go get my comp from the bus station at midnight! (ward members rocked and drove us all around that evening. They were supposed to get in at around 8, but then got delayed, so we were between my area, the sisters in Miraflores' area, and the terminal and it was just crazy! Fun adventures though. Made me way tired.

Okay, love you all!

Hermana Brogan

sorry it's a short email.

Monday, June 1, 2015

June is here.

So I didn't really plan out what to say this week, so it will be more spaztic than it normally is. Sorry!

We taught a new girl, Carmen on Monday. She's never prayed, only recited. So we taught her that prayer is like a conversation. Well, we have her say the closing prayer. She says, "Hola Padre Celestial.¿Cómo estás?" And literally just talked to Him. That was one of the most powerful prayers I have heard in a lesson with an investigator before! It was so cool! I wish everyone would grasp it as well as she did. I could tell she really knew he was listening. :) Beautiful moments on the mission. :)

MIRACLE: On Tuesday, we went to Hermana Flor's house. We brought the movie The Testaments with us (talks about Jesus' life and about the same time in the Americas up until He comes). Well, Flor's oldest, Alexandra, wants nothing to do with us. She wouldn't even come to Flor's baptism. Well, she sat through the whole movie with us. Hermana Favero, Kathy (our member who came with us), and I all bore our testimonies right after it finished. Then we asked for questions or comments, so Flor bears her testimony. Well, then Alexandra says she has a comment. She says that during the movie, she thought "no, this isn't true, this didn't happen". But when it got to the end, she said she just knows it happened. That it's true. Christ did come to the Americas. She also told us that she's felt a change since her mom got baptized. She's really recognizing the Spirit! She also said the closing prayer, and it was amazing. We'll start teaching her once they all get back from Lima. I can't believe how fast she turned around once Flor got baptized. I've known it would happen though. Things the Spirit has told me to tell her and what was said in her confirmation about her strength, example, and family. I just knew and know that Alexandra will be converted with time. It's amazing to watch the start of it. :)

Wednesday. District meeting! Well, Elder Miranda is dying today (from the mission- don't worry!) and left from Jaen yesterday. Which means Wednesday was his last district meeting. We may have taken pictures killing him with lightsabers and other random stuff. He also brought us like four full pacakges of cookies (oreos and MILO!). Of course he hands me the bag holding them and tells me to open it. Yeah, I'm the one who likes to eat. :P Then after, all the districts went into the gym to take a zone picture. Well, I got a letter from home, and little bookmarks fell out of it. So Hermana Kennedy shouts, "A ring? What? I want to marry you! What? TWO rings?!" Yeah real funny. And then right before we went to leave, I  went up to the sister leaders and told them that I saw a miracle yesterday. So Hermana Kennedy repeats it in a super girly voice blinking her eyes a bunch, and Hermana Chandler puts her hands in a halo over her head. They make me laugh SO much sometimes! Also, Hermana Kennedy gave me the funniest recuerdo that I'll have to show you guys when I get home.  I'm going to miss this district big time. This may be my favorite district ever. Later that night, Hermana Favero gave me the hugest compliment and told me that when I teach that you can really see the love I have for these people in my eyes and the Spirit, and my desire to share with them. She said it's just normal to her so she hasn't told me before since she sees it every day. Way sweet.

I learned from the Liahona magazine that fracaso means failure.

On Saturday, the Zone Leaders called telling me that my comp has cambios. I just said, okay. We've known from the way president talked to us in our interviews and the fact that we've been companions for a quarter of my mission!
That night we had correlation. Well since Elder Miranda is going home, Hermana Favero's getting changed, and it's Hermana Kennedy's birthday on Monday, that means it turned into a party. The pictures won't load, but due to peruvian tradition, we all ended up being attacked with eggs. So that was WAY fun! The elder's pension is the wife of our ward mission leader. So it's pretty easy to get parties like that going. ;) Also, Elder Nordhoff is apparently Justin Bieber, so Elder Miranda has been singing Baby all week. Too funny. But that got that song stuck in my head, so I wrote a parody for my comp and then wrote a parody to Apologize for the sister leaders and sang both of those at our correlation party thing. Whatever it is.
And then Yesterday Elder Miranda left and despite being suuuper annoyed, Elder Nordhoff sang him the opening 'oh's' of the song Baby for him. That's companionship love right there. But hey, now that he's gone, there will be many less jokes in our district. So sad. Also, I'm the next 'prophet' after Hermana Favero.

So there's my week! I love all of you so much! Have a great week. Peace out til the next pday with news on my comp!
Hermana Brogan