Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Feliz Año Nuevo!

Dear Family,

It was so fun to talk to everyone this week!  Hope you had a great Christmas.

This week we had three baptisms planned but two fell through, Maryori and Britany.  Maryori read things on the internet about the church and so told us that she didn't want anything more to do with the church, however that's not the only reason.  Maryori understands everything that we say but is a little unsettled in her mind and so sometimes freaks out about something little and interprets it wrong.  She said she doesn't want us to teach her more, but I still have hope that she'll change her mind because she's said that before to us and the next day we were still teaching her.  She and her daughter are really great people, but need some extra love!

I lost our cell phone again!  That's 2 in three weeks.  Although technically it was stolen.  I somehow left it on the bus, although I checked when we were getting off to make sure I hadn't left anything.  Two minutes I realized I didn't have our phone.  We returned right away but it was already gone.  I have no idea how though because we were the second to last to get off and the man behind us gave a phone to a other boy that had left his.  I miss Utah in this respect because so many people that don't have the gospel are dishonest and lie to us. Bleh.  

We traveled to San Jose this week because the office said I had a package, but when we went it was the same package of Tiffany's that I had already picked up the week before.  6 mil colones for nothing!  I received a package from Grandma. Thank you!!!!

Today Hna Samayoa and I taught district meeting, I don't know how well we did, but I definitely learned something for myself while I was teaching!

Thank you for the Christmas presents!  My companion loved her gifts and I, of course, loved mine.  We woke up early Christmas morning to open them.  The 24th we ate with Elio and Paty and with the 2nd counselor in the bishopric and his family.  It was super yummy.  The 25th we didn't do much more than try to find people to teach because no one was at home.

Feliz Año Nuevo!

Hermana Bratt

Christmas Morning

My New Outfit. Thanks Mom!

Baptism of Diana With Her Family

Christmas Weather in Costa Rica.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014


Dear Family,

First off Feliz Navidad!  And secondly, they are splitting the mission!  Next June/July Costa Rica is going to be 2 missions!  We are all super excited, and I'm going to be here to see it!  President Wilkinson said that a member of the Twelve is going to reassigning each missionary personally to Costa Rica East or Costa Rica West mission.  OOOSH  (That's what we say here when something awesome or cool happens)

Well I mailed mom already about this, but I'm going to call home TOMORROW at 12 pm my time.  I hope that works for you all.  I'll be using Skype.   

I received your tape yesterday.  It was fun to listen to it, although EVERYONE had very deep voices and you all sounded like strangers.  The only one that sounded normal was Kash because is voice is so high.

Well, this week in Sacrement Meeting Axel was confirmed.  We have 3 baptisms planned next week.  Maryori, Britani, and Diana.  Maryori and Britani are family.  Britani is 9 years old and is so so special.  She is so sweet and good.  She's had to go through a ton with her mom and so she is really mature for her age.  When Elder Sub, our district leader talked to her Saturday he started crying!  This Saturday we had our ward Christmas party and during it Britani said that nothing, nothing, nothing, was going to stop her from coming to church the next day.  Sunday morning Britani, her mom, and her grandma had to move houses early in the morning, but they made it to church!

Right now are trying to concentrate a lot on the Mom of our recent convert Axel.  She's Evangelical/Cristiana and likes her church so doesn't want to leave it, but we know she's been prepared by the Lord.  We feel like we are in a tug-o-war with Satan over her, because one day are lesson is so great and the Spirit is testifying so much and the next lessons Lin is against everything we are saying.  But I know she's going to be baptized someday.  I just hope it's before I leave Turrialba.

Another miracle we had this week is that we received a referral from a soon to be missionary, Justin.   The referral was a family that lives behind Justin's house, Luis, who was inactive and his wife Evelyn.  One day Justin went to tell them about his mission call (to Guatemala) and then started talking about the church. Last week we showed up to their house and Justin had already taught them almost all five lessons.  We didn't know what to say the whole lesson!  Evelyn is excited to be baptized and marry in the temple, but she has to divorce and marry first so it's going to be about 3 months before she can be baptized.  We entered their house and Evelyn had a bunch of LDS pictures up on her wall.  She's had a super rough life but already knows the gospel is true and we haven't even taught her anything!  She can't go to church this month because of work, but starting next month she's worked it out that she'll always be able to go to church.  It's amazing how the Lord has prepared his children to receive the gospel.

We had 10 lessons one day this week! We were super happy.   Although a few of the lessons were short because we were showing the video of He is the Gift.  If you haven't seen it go to LDS.org and watch it.  It's great.

This week I've learned how important it is to demonstrate love to your investigators.  One of our investigators, Marjorie, has a few problems emotionally and wasn't progressing much, but one day we were teaching the lesson and in the middle of it I just stopped, got up, and went and hugged her for five minutes, speaking softly about Jesus Christ and the Atonement.  She has improved so much since then and is really changing her life around, albeit slowly, in order to be baptized.  There are so many people in this world that don't feel like they are special in any way.  But if we can show them how special they are then we unlock the door of eternal life for them.  After that all they have to do is push it open!
I'll end with this scripture: Moroni 9:25 

"My son, be faithful in Christ; and may not the things which I have written grieve thee, to weigh thee down unto death; but may Christ lift thee up, and may his sufferings and death, and the showing his body unto our fathers, and his mercy and long-suffering, and the hope of his glory and of eternal life, rest in your mind forever."

I know that there are always disappointments in the mission and in life, but Christ can lift us up if we are faithful in Him. That He must rest in our minds forever!

Hasta mañana,

Hermana Bratt

Maryori, Britani y Yo

Picture I Drew for Sister Wilkinson 
A Birthday Cake From Rosa!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Week 23

Dear Family,

Thank you for all the birthday wishes! Yesterday we ended up not having a p-day because tomorrow we are going to the temple and celebrating Christmas as a mission.  We didn't do much, just taught lessons and I opened my birthday package.  Thanks for the outfit mom!  It's really cute! I think Rosa has a surprise planned for me tonight though.

Before I forget, I'll be calling home next Tuesday, the 23rd, I think. I'm not sure at what time, I think what I'm going to try and do is tell Justin what time and he can message Talmage during the week.  Or if you have a specific time have Tal message Justin.  Or just email me actually because my zone leader just told me we are going to be able to write you Tuesday before we call.

Well this week Axel was baptized!  He was really happy, although his mom almost withdrew her permission because he wasn't obeying her.  Marjorie and Britani didn't come to church because Marjori misunderstood a member and thought the member said something bad about her.  We're working to correct that problem though.  Hopefully they will still be baptized the 28th of December.  We also have investigators of 3 years, Elio and Paty who have a daughter that's about to turn 8.  We are planning her baptism for the 28th as well.  Elio has to be divorced before he can be married and to do that he was to return to Nicaragua for three months so they haven't been able to be baptized, but their children have been.

I was just told we have 5 more minutes! I should have 40 but I guess they are going to kick us off the computers (We are in a library and there are other people waiting to use the computers) :(  Sorry my email is super short!

We had 35 lessons this week!

Love you all!  Thank you for everything!

Hermana Bratt

Axel! :)

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Week 22

Dear Family,

Thank you for all the birthday wishes!  Thank you for all remembering (Even if  mom reminded you first) ;)  Hehe.

These last two weeks we've seen a lot of miracles.  I told you early how I gave a talk in church and that later a member came up to us wanting to introducing a less active to us.  Well she went with us last week and while the less active brother didn't seem very enthusiastic to come to church his aunt and cousin that live with him, Marjorie and Britani did!  They've already come to church once and endured the three hours of meetings, even though Marjori felt awful and had to be rushed to the hospital afterwards. This last Sunday they missed the bus and walked to church in the pouring rain, however they were so soaked that returned home before the meetings started.They are going to be baptized the 21st of December.  They are so excited!  

Another small miracle is that we gain the permission of the mom of one of our investigators to baptize her son Axel.  When we first came to her house she was very guarded and didn't want us to teach her, but now we visit her three time a week and teach her boyfriend as well!

We didn't have a phone all this week as I left ours on the bus.  Two days later I left my brand new 20 dollar umbrella on the bus too!  Then yesterday my companion's umbrella was stolen while we were teaching a lesson.  Luckily it's the only thing that's been stolen of ours here.

Yesterday we had transfers...but I'm still here in Turrialba.  I was a little bummed at first, I love Turrialba but was ready for a change.  However, I know this is where I need to be.  I'm happy that I'll be here for Christmas!  I forgot to tell you but I forgot it was Thanksgiving the day of Thanksgiving until around 6 o clock when Rosa and her daughter gave us rotisserie chicken, sparkling grape juice, and mashed potatoes for dinner.  I felt so special, especially since I'd forgotten and they hadn't, even though they don't celebrate Thanksgiving here.

Yesterday we put up the Christmas tree you all sent along with some lights we bought.  It's so cute/awesome, thank you!  I love it!

Hermana Cook is a sister training leader!  Woot!  She's going to bless soooo many lives.  

I have at least two more months here in Turrialba, and I'm determined more than ever to leave it a much stronger ward.  There are a lot of members that don't fulfill there callings or are only more or less active.  They don't support the activities or service projects either, but we already have plans about how we are going to help.

Yesterday we went to the Mission President's house as a zone to eat breakfast as a reward for meeting our baptism goal. Our district leader told us the wrong time to arrive so we got there an hour and a half early, but it was fun helping make chocolate chip pancakes with Hermana Wilkinson.

Thank you for sending me dad's blessing, It's so amazing! It was weird talking to mom and dad last Friday.  I felt so awkward, I didn't feel that I'd changed to be that awkward missionary yet, but I guess I have.  I couldn't figure out how to greet them.

I'm so happy to be a missionary!   I know that this work is so important.  Please do all you can to contribute in the missionary work where you are!

Les Quiero,

Hermana Bratt

Our Trip Last Week to Tapanti

Me Making Eggs at the Mission Home

Our Christmas Tree

Tuesday, December 2, 2014


Dear Fam,

Well this week Melba and Alejandro were confirmed!  We had a goal as a mission to have 200 confirmations this month and we had....exactly 200!  It's so amazing how many miracles occurred in the mission this last week for us to reach our goal.  The last confirmation was last night by the assistants to the president.

Yesterday as a reward for the 200 baptisms we went as a zone to Tapanti, the second largest reservation forest, if that's what it's called. Sadly we didn't have much time to explore, but it was fun, though we only saw some weird raccoon/ferret animals.  There was a waterfall and river as well. I also meet an Elder Patterson that knows Ammon Loveless and Megan Cook.  We found out we went to the same birthday party (Megan Cook's) four years ago. What a small world sometimes.

Transfers are next week!  I don't want to leave Turrialba!  Hopefully I'll get another 2 months here. The next transfer is going to be 8 weeks.  I don't know all of the details about calling home for Christmas yet. I know that it will be through Skype.  I'll email you more about that after transfers, because I don't know anything really yet.  But I'm pretty sure we can choose the time to call home.

I can't think of anything else to write!  Ahh!   

Today we saw vultures in Turrialba, which was cool, but weird.  They were eating garbage in the street.  

A new investigator came to church with her daughter.  She stayed for the three hours but didn't look very happy.  I was afraid she wasn't enjoying her self, but right after the block she asked my companion to call the ambulance.  A ward member ended up taking her to the hospital.  She didn't feel good, but she's okay now, just dehydration and a virus I think.  Hermana Samayo asked her about what she thought about church and she, Marjorie, told her she wanted her and her daughter to be baptized!  One Wednesday we are going to put a baptism date.

I'm out of time, but I'll write more next week.  Don't worry mom, I'm doing great!  And thank you all for you emails!

Lots of Love

Hermana Bratt

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Week 20!

Dear Family,

Well, from now on my emails are going to be on Tusedays!  My mission president changed the day on us and now P-days end at 5.  It's a little weird, but not to bad of a difference.  We have a little more free time now Monday as we don't have to write our families.

This week, through a little bit of peer pressure from my district leader, I gave a talk in sacrament meeting!   I only had two days to prepare, two days full of missionary work, but luckily my companion helped me translate it correctly from English to Spanish.  Ahh, it was a little bit nerve wracking, but I think we are seeing a couple fruits from it, as one member wants us to go visit a less active with her that we've never met.

We had to go to San Jose two days this week, one day fore a multizone conference and another day to get my companions cedula.  Both days we returned home with out any time to do missionary work.  Thus, a ton of low numbers for this week , well all of our numbers plummeted. Though we can't use our days in San Jose as a complete excuse.  But we are determined to change things around this week.  

Tuesday we woke up at 3:00 am.  We had plans to travel 45 mins in bus to a member's house to do service.  Our district leader told us we had to wake up at 3 am in order to have our 4 hours of study first.  Around 6 am he texted us to ask what time we woke up.  We said 3 and then he told us "Sorry!  I was kidding when I said you had to wake up at 3, I forgot to tell you."  Ai!  Elderes!  Fortunately I didn't get mad, just shook my head, not surprised.  Our district leader likes to joke a lot.

We were planning on tiling a building for service, but in the end we just ended up washing chairs.  I was a bit disappointed.  I miss doing construction in Mexico! Dad you'll have to tell everyone "hi" for me there.  The next December save room for me please!  :)

We had a baptism this Sunday!  The mom of Gretel, Melba,  was baptized, she was so sweet and happy to be baptized.  Although Gretel didn't come to church which was weird.  She told us she'd explain why later.  I think she's having problems with her husband.  Alejandro wasn't confirmed, but we are still trying!  His brother is trying to confuse him a ton. Alejandro wants us to preach to his entire street using a microphone! He also doesn't want any members to visit him, only us.  It's a bit difficult.  Raquel and her children are practically begging in the streets now.  It's a little bit sad.  We want to help them, but's there's not anything we can do.  I feel bad for her daughters mostly, they are already taking after their mom's example.  Parent's have such a big responsibility to teach their children the right ways!   Thank you Mom and Dad for the amazing example you have always been to me!

Hermana Samayoa loves to laugh, she just laughs and laughs and laughs.  Though sometimes I have no idea why she's laughing it helps keep the stress down, which is nice!

In 3 days I'll have 6 months in the mission!  CRAZY.

Les quiero, les quiero, les quiero!

Hermana Bratt

Melba's Baptism

Me With an Avocado

Monday, November 17, 2014

I'm a Tica!

Dear Family,

This week we had to go to San Jose or Cartago three times, it was awful! Because when we return we always feel tired or sick from the curves in the bus.  The trip to Turrialba is like an amusement ride...only not so amusing!

This week we had a lot of problems with our investigators and I just kept on thinking "I'm only 19!  How am I supposed to solve all of these crisis'?" A little lost about what to do I decided to read my notes about Captain Moroni and how to be a leader (an assignment from my mission president that he gave us).  The first thing I read was that he was called to be the captain of the entire army at age 25!  It was a light slap in the face from Heavenly Father I think :)

Wednesday Alejandro called us and said that he'd had a really bad day, but realized why and that we was going to be confirmed Sunday.  We were super happy and he was too...until he called us Friday during a weekly planning session and said that he wasn't going to be confirmed anymore because he wasn't going to live in Turrialba anymore and he had to work, etc., and that if we wanted to talk to him we had to go to his house right then.  Frustrated we dropped what we were doing to visit him.  His reasons for not coming to church were good excuses, but they were still excuses.  And well, I got so frustrated with him that I started crying and yelling at him at the same time!  Okay, I wasn't exactly yelling, only practically.  After five minutes of pounding him with my words I turned to my companion and said "Do you have anything to say?  No?  Okay then we share this in the name of Jesus Christ amen.  Hermana Gretel can you  offer the prayer?"  And then we booked it out of there!

I also said things like "I didn't waste four months of my mission for you not to be confirmed" and "If you don't get confirmed you won't enter the kingdom of God!"  It was pretty bad.  He called us yesterday and apologized for his attitude, I apologized too, but I don't really feel bad for what I did.  I was so frustrated with him!  But that's why I still have a year left on my mission, to learn to have more Christlike attributes.  Obviously I'm still working on having patience.

Other quick things that happened:
  • We had five investigators in church.  Yay!
  • We have a new investigator that keeps breaking out in religious songs when we teach him.
  • I received my cedula!  I'm a Tica!
  • Gretel's mom is going to be baptized this coming Sunday!  She used to be Evangelist?  Evangelica, and even though we've taught her how to pray correctly she still bursts out with "Sí Señor, Sí!  Bendicelo Señor, Bendicelo!" during  all our prayes, including the ones said during sacrament meeting!

One thing I love is about my life is that more and more often my companion and I are speaking with the Spirit and in unity.  The feelings I get when the Spirit is testifying through me are amazing!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!!!!!!!!!!! I love you, love you, love you!  Thank you for EVERYTHING!

Hermana Bratt

My Companion...well she's trying to cook panqueques!

Soy Tica!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Week 17? I Need to Have Better Title Than This.

Dear Family,

Today we went to the president's home for P-day.  It was my companions "Cheque de Mez". When we were on our way back a car in front of us got in an accident and so we had to wait for forever!  We were in the bus for four hours, and definitely stir crazy by the time we arrived in Turrialba!  I don't have much time as P-day ended 40 minutes ago, but here's a quick update:

About two weeks ago my companion and I contacted almost all of the less actives in a part of our area.  We were kind of discouraged when we only found one person of about15 houses willing to let us in.  However on Friday we were trying to find the house of an LPE in the same area when we took a wrong turn.  When we were about to retrace our steps a woman shouted something like: "Hey don't be afraid, you can pass us. We aren't bad"   We turned back and started talking to her and the group of people she was with.  They were drinking beer and I wasn't exactly thrilled to be talking to them, but my companion started  up a conversation.  It turns out that this woman, Keren, is a less active of eight years and that she's not in our ward directory because before she lived in San Jose.  She was drinking beer but my companion said very directly "You can change, you need to come to church, you shouldn't be drinking beer."  And Keren agreed with my companion and accepted us into her home.  Though she hasn't been to church in eight years she told us that she is ready to change her life around and fix it up a bit.  She also has two daughters, one of which is really interested in our message.  It was definitely a miracle!

I love my companion!  She's growing a lot and we are having a lot of great experiences together.  I don't want the next transfer to come!

Gretel was baptized Sunday!  But Alejandro arrived too late to be confirmed.  He's also having problems because his brother is against us and is trying to confuse him.  He doesn't want to return to church, but we have faith.

If the whole mission has 200 baptisms this month they are going to split the mission next year!  Yay!

Love you all, thank you for all your emails I received a ton, but don't have time to respond this week.

Les Quiero
Hermana Bratt.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Week 16...I think.

Dear Family, how are you all?

Esta semana yo tuve mi segundo baptismo!  Estoy feliz que nuestro investigador fue baptizado, pero un otro investigador no pudia se baptizada porgue su hija estaba in el hospital.  Estabamos un poquito triste, nuestra investigador tambien, pero estamos planiando el bautismo por este domingo.

It takes me a while to write in español, so i'll finish my letter in English.  Also I know i make a thousand mistakes, I'm just glad most of you cant read Spanish!   This week  was a bit stressful because we were organizing the wedding of Gretel, but the ceremony turned out great.  There were a lot of people there, which we were worried about because the ward in Turrialba doesn't support  many activities on Saturday as a lot of the members live far away.  The wedding was scheduled for 5 o'clock but at the last minute Gretel realized she forgot her cedula and so she had to hurry back to her house, which is 10-15 minutes away by car.  However it all turned out okay, except for my nails that are a little too short from biting them...heh.  When Gretel and Juan, her husband entered the chapel I played "Here comes the bride"  I was nervous because i was playing it by ear, but I didn't mess up.  Phew.

While the wedding was great, we were all a little sad yesterday because Gretel's daughter was sick and had to go to the hospital.  Consequently, Gretel couldn't be baptized.  We were all bummed, including her, but the baptism is scheduled for next week.  On the other hand Alejandro was baptized yesterday!  Along with two investigators of the elders.  The baptism service was really nice.  We have to have the services after the block, otherwise members don't attend, so the elders filled up the font Saturday night after the wedding.  However, they still needed to fill it up a little Sunday morning and they gave some youth the job of doing it.  The young men forgot about the water and the baptism font overflowed during Sunday school and we all had to wait for about 10 minutes while they mopped up the water. I had to play all the hymns during the baptism, luckily I didn't mess up too bad!

This week I've been a little bit frustrated because some of our investigators make commitments but never keep them, but we are working with them.

My companion from what I can tell is doing great!  We get along together, but we also are learning things at the same time, such as patience, and selflessness.  We've started living celestial time, something I learned in the MTC.  Celestial time simply means that we try to be five minutes early to everything, including our studies, getting up in the morning, and going to sleep at night.  This week the lights have been off by 10:2510:27 instead of 10:3010:32.  We are trying to be exactly exactly obedient.

Sorry my email is a little short, you can blame it on mom since I am chatting with her!

Hermana Bratt

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Week 15

Dear Family,

This week we've been focusing a lot on finding new less actives. Previously, we only taught 5 or 6 different MARCs (less actives or recent converts) a week, but we are trying to expand and bring more people back to the church.  One day my companion and I spent three hours just contacting all the members in a zone of our area.   Most of them wanted nothing to do with us.  The work was tiring, a bit depressing, and it was raining really hard.  The directions of their houses were hard to find, even though we had a map to guide us.  After about 2 and a half hours without any one letting us in I told my companion that maybe we should stop for the day and we can visit a recent convert who is growing a lot in the gospel.  However, we decided to knock on about three more houses that were close before we gave up.  I'm so glad we did!  Because the last house we visited the woman who answered let us in without us asking.  Her name's Grace, and she hasn't been to church in twenty years, but she was happy to chat with us and we gave her a new Book of Mormon as she didn't have one. She also invited us back, and so we are happy with the fact that our efforts weren't in vain!

Gretel is going to be married the end of this week!  She is so excited for her wedding as well as her baptism.  Alejandro as well is going to be baptized Sunday!  Yay!

Hermana Samayoa is growing a lot!  I was a little worried the first week about her teaching skills as well as mine, especially because I don't know the language perfectly yet, however she's already teaching with the Spirit a lot more and I'm really excited for the growth I've seen in her!

I love, love, love reading the Book of Mormon every day.  This week I finished the Book of Jacob and one of my favorite scriptures on faith that I've found is Jacob 3:1 that says:

"But behold, I, Jacob, would speak unto you that are pure in heart. Look unto God with firmness of mind, and pray unto him with exceeding faith, and he will console you in your afflictions, and he will plead your cause..."

I love this scripture, and I only hope that my mind is firm and that the Lord can plead my cause (to bring people unto Christ) to the people of Costa Rica!  I know that he will plead the cause of Unlce Kyrk as well. I'm sad that I'm not at home to give mom and grandma a great big hug!  I love you both so much!

Today we had to travel to San Jose because my companion needed to get her finger prints taken in order to start the process of having a cedula (Green card in English I believe). Hermana Cook, who is also a trainer was there as well.  Afterwards the four of us ate lunch together.  It was fun to see her again!

We found 14 new investigators this week.  I'm pretty excited about that.  It's kind of tough being in charge and having to be responsible about everything.  There are still things that I don't know about the mission, rules, processes we have to do for baptisms, etc, however I keep learning everyday.  In one week I'll have 5 months in the mission! 

Costa Rica is so pretty, but I miss the seasons already.  I'm ready for the trees to change colors, though they never will!  Tiff's cousin is the new nurse in the mission field.  I'm happy not to be her!  But I know she'll do a great job taking care of all of us.  She is training with the sister training leaders that are over my zone.  I'm almost over my cold mom!  Don't worry!  But if you send a new package can you send some more airborne?  Other than that I think i'm covered on medical supplies.  I haven't seen anything of the packages mom or Tiff sent.  Sister Wilkinson said that there's still hope, but that I should have gotten them by now, even with the old address that was one them.  Make sure if you send more packages to put pictures of catholic saints on the box as well as make the package as small as possible.  The bigger it is the more likely it will be opened.  Supposedly it only takes 2 to 3 weeks now to receive packages.

Thank you for all your love, emails, jokes, letters, etc!  I miss each one of you, but am happy to be a missionary!

Hermana Bratt

Me an my companion with Justin, a ward member waiting for his mission call! His badge says, "Future Missionary". 

Me with Hermana Cook!!! Yay! I love her!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Week 14

Dear Family,

This week we´ve been working hard to find new investigators, ones that live closer to the church.  In doing so we've seen a lot of miracles.  We  had 152 LPE's (Where we talk to people in the street and ask for a reference and ask if we can share a message with them) this week, more than I've ever had so far, but still so little!  I was a bit shocked by how many people invited us into there homes or said we could return and teach them.  This coming week our agendas are already filled with lessons for new investigators.  I'm praying that they will be in the houses when we visit them!

We are a little bit sad about Raquel and Alejandro. They've had a lot of problems and though they are progressing slowly, we aren't sure if we are going to need to drop them or not.  I was a little bit put down that we had spent so much time on them, had so many prayers, but they are still letting Satan win.  However, through them we have found a new investigator named Gretel.  Gretel is their sister in law and though we've only taught her for a week and a half is already living the Word of Wisdom, reading the Book of Mormon more than I do each day, and fasting.  We are planning her wedding for the 25th of October and her baptism the 26th.  All I can say is that Gretel was already prepared by the Lord before we met her.  In fact, her husband found a Book of Mormon on the bus one morning and she was already reading it before we meet her!  We've started teaching her husband as well, and when we asked Gretel what her feelings were about the Book of Mormon I was shocked by how powerful her testimony of it was.

Alejandro's baptism is scheduled for the 26th of October, but he and Raquel have separated.  I feel sorry for their children!  I only hope they are being taken after properly!  I know that Raquel doesn't have money.

Well this week my companion and I both had colds and my cold moved from my head to my throat.  After one day of teaching my voice was so hoarse I couldn't talk when we returned to the apartment.  Yesterday I could barely talk in the lessons.  I've been a little bit nervous depending on Hna Samayoa to teach most of the doctrines, as she's only been a member for three years and has so much enthusiasm to preach the gospel that sometimes gives too much information all at once, or throws in a fact that isn't quite true.  However, you can be sure that I've been praying a lot more for my companion, and i've seen how much it's helped.  She's already a great missionary, just needs a little polish which will come from studying and more practice in teaching.

This week we had division with the sister trainer leaders.  I wasn't the most pleased that we had to wake up at 3:30 two days in a row to travel to their area, however I learned sooooooo much so I can't complain :)  

I don't have much more time to write, we have to make invitations for Gretel's wedding! (She's getting married the 25th of this month and her baptism is scheduled for the 26th!)

Uncle Kirk is in my prayers!  As are all of you!  Specially Grandma!  I'm so glad we have the gospel and know that there is a life after this and that through the Atonement all of us can live with Heavenly Father and have perfect, sinless, bodies.

With a billion hugs,

Hermana Bratt

Me, Hna Samayoa, and Jazmin, a recent convert, eating lunch in Gretel's house!

Me with Tiff's Cousin

Monday, October 6, 2014

Week 13

Dear Family,

Last week I was hoping that this week would be different and that my life would change up a bit.  My hopes have definitely been fulfilled!

First things first,  Hna Samayoa is amazing!  She's from Guatemala and is in reality training me. She is ALWAYS excited to do missionary work and I haven't seen her the least bit down or tired. She's had gripe, what people here call a cold, this week but I don't think her energy will ever stop. She has a ton of faith, which is helping me as well. I know I'm going to learn a lot from her, and am excited for that! Every time something disappointing happens or I tell her we need to do something that isn't fun she just says "ok, esta bien!"

President Wilkinson gave us the homework to study Alma 43-63 and write down all the attributes of Captain Moroni that make him a great leader.   WOW. I always knew that Captain Moroni was amazing, but now I have a super long list of all the things that make him amazing.  There's a TON.   One of the things that I've noticed is that he is ALWAYS preparing and that he takes breaks from battling to prepare better. My companion and I have started getting up at 6:15 every morning so that we can be ready by 7:30 and have an extra half hour of study. I usually use this time to read from the Book of Mormon. This week I've had a real thirst/hunger to simply read the words of God.  I love the Book of Mormon!

The health department here has been spraying for mosquitoes that have Dange and so one day this week they were in our neighborhood. They sprayed our apartment, so we had to wait outside for about a half hour until the chemical smell was gone.  What we didn't know though was that everything that was out in the open when they sprayed had to be washed so that we wouldn't breathe in the chemicals.  We not only had to wash all of our dishes, clothes, and bedding, but there were also a bunch of dead cockroaches as well as live ones on the floor and climbing up the walls.  Ah!  It was a nightmare!  I knew there were cockroaches in our house, but I had no idea there were so many!  I definitely have not been sleeping as well lately ;).

We taught a new investigator this week who is the sister in law to Raquel.  Her name's Gretel and she has already accepted a baptism date for the 26 of October.  The cool thing is that her husband found a Book of Mormon in the street one day and she'd already read a lot of it before we taught her! She's practically ready to be baptized, we just need to get her married...which is always difficult, especially when our investigators don't have a lot of money.

Another small miracle this week is that we were trying to find the house of a less active, but it turns out that she's moved away.  However, we asked Cindy, the person that lives in the house now, if she knew anyone that needed a message of Jesus Christ.  She said "I want to hear it"  and we were able to teach her as well as put a date for her baptism!
It's a lot of pressure being in charge, but it's kind of nice too...hehe.  I only hope I'm a good trainer.  I guess time will tell!

I wasn't able to get much out of conference, as I was either tending to Raquel's kids, or trying not to fall asleep...hehe.  I don't know why I was so tired this week!  Also, it was in Spanish, which I could understand most of, but only if I gave it all my attention.  However I'm excited to read it when it comes out!

Raquel and Gretel walked all the way to the church again with their children.  They are sacrificing so much!  This week we visited Raquel without her kids or Alejandro.  She's changed a lot and was talking about a bunch of things in the gospel. Before it was hard to get her to give an answer or say a prayer, but not now!  Yay!  She really wants to be baptized, but she has to marry Alejandro or separate from him first.

Love you all!  I received a bunch of letters/packages from Emily and Grandma.  Thank you!!!!!!!!

Les Quiero,

Hermana Bratt