Monday, July 28, 2014

Week Three in Costa Rica!

Dear Family,

I can´t believe it's already been a week since my last email!  Time is going by so fast.  Do you realize I only have 16 months left on my mission!? Because I sure don´t. Wow.

Last Monday our district leader had his birthday so we played games at the church, and then had a picnic with ice cream and cake.  Sadly the ice cream here isn't delicious like in Mexico, and the cake is really bland and frosting is always coolwhip, but I had a fun time.

Tuesday we went to one of our investigators houses whom I hadn't met yet, but when we asked for "Fernanda" the lady who answered the door said no one by that name lived there.  After we left my companion told me that the lady WAS Fernanda.  Then we went to a different investigator's house and the investigator said she didn't want to be taught anymore because she saw a member do something bad!

Wednesday  I got to go to San Jose to do fingerprints for my cedula, which is like a green card here, and so I got to see Hermana Cook and Kugath again!  It was really nice to see them again.  I love Hermana Munoz but it would be so awesome if I got to be companions with one or both of them again!  That same day I woke up with a sore throat and felt achy during the day, but I took a bunch of medicine, including Doterra Ongaurd, and it disappeared!  Rosa had her baptism interview as well on Wednesday and is going to be baptized this Saturday!  Yay!

Thursday we taught 5 new investigators, which was nice.  Gloria and Priscilla´s family are super nice and friendly.  I have my hopes for them, but my companion thinks they probably won't progress after a couple lessons.  I guess we'll see.

Friday our branch did a activity at the church.  It was SO HOT and I had to play soccer with the relief society and yw´s.  I was definitely a liability, everyone playing was better than me, but maybe by the end of my mission i'll be able to come home and actually be semi-decent.  The Elders had a baptism as well but we were ten minutes late getting to it and missed it!  The member that gave us tomatoe and mayo sandwiches also fixed our water, so now we have warm water for showers!!! It's sooooo nice :)

Saturday we took a bunch of old clothes to a new family that's moved here from Nicaragua.  Five of them live in a house that's smaller than my bedroom at home.   The only things they had in there house were three bunk beds and a chnage of clothes, and a couple pots.  Most of the people in Turrialba have pretty nice homes, not as nice as homes in the US, but pretty nice nevertheless.  Every so often though  there are families that are really poor.  I feel really greatful for the life I have had in the US!

On Sunday we had 155 people at church!!! Usually we only have around 120, so that was really really awesome!  We saw the family from Nicaragua in church as well, they looked really nice in their "new" clothes.  We also ate at an abuela's house, Odeli, she's 80 years old and just as cute, talkative, and gordita as one can be.  She fed us so much food though.  Everyone here feeds you plates full of rice!  I've only actually had bean twice so far.

Before I forget here´s my address finally!

Camilee Gean Bratt
Misión San Jóse Costa Rica
Apartado Postal  249-2010
San Jóse, Costa Rica

Thank you everyone who writes me email!  I´m sorry if I don´t always write back, but I do always read them and love them!    Spanish is coming along, I definitely see improvement and can usually communicate what I want to say, though some days all I do is sit silently and listen to people babbling in a foreign tongue!

Love you all!

Hermana Bratt
Estefani, the girl the Elders baptized

The Baptismal Font

Dead Lizards in our Light

Me Playing Soccer...well, sort of. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Ants, Lizards, Dogs, Frogs and Men...Week Two in Costa Rica!

Dear Mom and Everyone!

Wow, there are so many things about Costa Rica I want to tell you and so little time!

First off the boring part, I'm doing great mom!  I bought another pair of shoes here already, and I think they will be much better.  I'm just sad we practically waisted $150. The addresses in Costa Rica are CRAZY.  For example the mission office address in like´turn right on the corner of mcdonalds and across from the super market...´´ So if you ever send packages (Which you don´t need to because it's really expensive, but thank you anyway!!!!) always send them to an address that I haven't given you yet...It's still at home a forgot again!  But I think it's the mission office address, though i'm not sure.  Sorry!  Next week i'll bring it for sure!

Okay now for news on Costa Rica!

The third or fourth day I was here I was about to climb in bed when I saw bird poo on it!  Turned out a bird had climbed underneath our shutters and taking shelter in our window shield.  Then about two days ago I turned on a light in our dressing-storage room to see two dead lizards in the light fixture!  There are also ants EVERYWHERE.  Yesterday there were 5 floating in a drink an investigator offered me.  I tried not to drink them, but I'm sure I drank some of them...There are also a bunch of dogs, and they always bark at you, but so far none have tried to bite us, which is a relief.  However there is dog poo everywhere, and I ALWAYS step in it.  Also there are a lot of frogs here and I see huge ones flattened and dried up on the road a lot! Lastly half the men here walk around with out shirts on all day!  It is not a pleasant picture!  They always cat call at me too because there are hardly any Americans.  That's another thing, I can't say I'm American because so are they, I have to say i'm from Estados Unidos :)

One thing are mission president challenged us to do is contact a bus.  Contacting a bus isn't very good to get new investigators, but it is great for erasing fear of talking to everyone.  When you contact a bus you are supposed to ask permission from the bus driver and then afterwards stand up and give a 3 min message about the gospel, then we are supposed to go and talk personally to as many people as possible, getting references, handing out pass along cards, etc.  I told my companion about it, because she had never heard of contacting a bus, and we decided to do it on Tuesday.  We were really excited, until the time came to actually contact it!  Ahh, so scary, but we stood up and she gave a short spiel about Christ. 

However, evidently she didn't understand my broken Spanish when I explained the concept because she hurried and gave people pass along cards and then sat down.  I just followed suit, and didn't talk to anyone.  So we didn't actually contact a bus, but we tried!  Next time we will do better hopefully :)

We haven't visited very many of our investigators yet because we've had to take trips to San Jose and Tuis for paper work or to have lunch with members, and it takes a lot of time out of our day.  However Rosa, our main investigator is progressing really well, and if all goes as planned will be baptized this Saturday!!  We aren't sure though because she still smokes two cigarettes a day, but we are praying she'll be able to stop completely.  She has a really humble heart and a desire to follow Christ.

We also taught a new family this week ´´Casa de Mapas´´ The father is a minister in the Catholic Church though, and the whole time dominated the lesson about christ, the crucifixion, etc.  Next lesson were are going to try and but in more.  They are really great people, but we aren't sure how long we'll teach them since they aren't to open to our message about the restoration, only want to hear about Christ.

I don't have much more time, but I have a request for you all!  When teaching it really helps if I have personal stories to tell, so any of you that want to, and they aren't too personal, please send me your conversion stories, whether you were born into the church or not!  Right now I can only share mine, and it's pretty boring when testifying.

Also Mom, could you send me our document of recipes?  That would be so great!  We have the option for someone to cook for us, but they would just feed us rice and beans, and my companion, who's been here 8 months, is sick of that.  So i've been cooking breakfast and lunch for us, since she doesn't know how, but I'm running out of things I know how to cook without a recipe.  I made the avocado and tomato dip, she LOVES it.  Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

I love you all, thank you for you support!

Happy Birthday Tiffany!

Hermana Bratt

MTC District and Branch Presidency

5 Packages! 
Our MTC Investigator Mercedes

Fishing in Costa Rica


Monday, July 14, 2014

First Week in Costa Rica!

Dear Mom (and everyone else),

Well, I'm here and safe! But before I tell you about my first week in Costa Rica I have to tell you about my last week in the MTC!!! (I know, a little boring, sorry).

Okay, I already told Mom this when I called her between flights, but my companions and I had the opportunity to speak in mission conference in the MTC in front of 2000 plus missionaries!  It was pretty nerve wracking, and it wasn't even a real talk, we were just on a panel with Presdient Nally and he asked us questions.  One of the times I answered I said I had two points and then I could only remember my first point once I started talking, so I had to say that I forgot what I was going to say!  A little embarrassing, as everyone laughed, but it was alright.  We had to get up at 2 am to catch our flight to Dallas and then to Costa Rica.  It was a long day, but I loved being able to talk to you all! (Some of you siblings I wanted to call because I had extra time, but i didn't have your numbers.)

My first night in Costa Rica, my companions and I stayed at another Hermana's house.  The Hermanas both were Latina.  One kind of spoke English, though, so that was good.  The next day we had to get up at 5 and after waiting around the mission office doing paperwork until 2ish we finally went out on divisions.  I was with the two Hermanas whose house I stayed at.  They were both really nice, though I did feel a little lost with all the new things and how nothing felt very organized.  The Hermanas are great missionaries, though, Hermana Piza was one of their names, I don't remember the other girls!  They took me to a neighborhood that in the past sisters that aren't Latinas aren't supposed to visit...I didn't know until after though.  But don't worry Mom! Nothing bad happened at all.  Then around six it got dark and I changed companions and went with a sister that probably has gone home by now, Hermana Pease.  We went to a park and contacted people.  It was kinda nerve wracking because she had me talk a lot more than the other Hermanas did, but it was great too.

The next day I had to get up at 5 again, I don't know why, because they took us to the mission office where we all sat around for two hours (or slept) until we walked to the president's house and had a yummy breakfast.  And then after breakfast I received my new companion!  Her name is Hermana Muñoz.  She is super sweet and has been a trainer before.  So far we've gotten along great!  She is from Mexico.  We then got on a bus to Turialba! (I hope I spelled that right).  Its a town in a valley of mountains about two hours away from San Jose.  The first few days all it did was rain!  Not until yesterday did I even see blue sky, and I still haven't seen the sun. 

We have only received one new investigator since I've been here, the daughter of an investigator, Rosa, that we visit every day.  Rosa would be baptized by now, but she has trouble smoking.  She used to smoke ten cigarettes a day and is down to 3 now, so that's progress!  The people here are all really great, and Turialba is really pretty.  Sometimes I can feel homesickness lurking in the back of my heart, but I brush it away!  Because its not going to help anyone if I'm homesick!  So thus far I haven't gotten too lonely or sad, which is good!  One thing that's kinda difficult getting used to is the culture.  The people of Costa Rica are so friendly, but they are definitely not from the US.  I haven't gotten sick yet miraculously, though i have eaten in some pretty sketchy places.

Another thing that is a work in progress is not wasting time, because when we eat in members houses we are only supposed to be there an hour, but what usually happens is we get there at the assigned time, and then we don't eat for two hours later!  For example, we were invited to the house of a member, Maria, so that we could eat dinner and then share a message with her neighbors that were going to come eat as well.  Well, her house was an hour away bus ride.  Most of the houses here are a lot nicer than I thought they would be, but her family live in a house made out of ply board (If that's how its called) with a tin roof.  Dirt was everywhere, their bathroom was outside underneath a tarp.  However the food, though probably filled with germs, was good!  And don't worry family, I ate it all without complaining and hopefully with a happy face on.  We didn't eat for two hours, though, and when the neighbors came the Elders turned on the John Tanner story for them.  Which was a little weird for me, since its a story that doesnt make too much sense if you aren't a member.  Plus everyone, even the member family was talking during the movie.  Satan was definitely working, because during the part of the movie that is the most powerful everyone stopped paying attention!  Twice!  Because we watched the movie again afterwards when new neighbors came over.  We did get one good referral, so the night wasn't a waste though.

Yesterday we were invited to eat with Hermano John.  I was excited at first because he is from the United States.  Little did I know that it was an hour bus ride and then a two mile HIKE to his house.  Since it wasSunday, I wore nice shoes (my dancecos).  Even though Hermano John gave me band aids by the time I got to his house I had really bad blisters.  And that hike was steep a lot of the way!  His wife wasn't home and so he made us dinner.  I was expecting something nice, but guess what we all got to eat? A sandwich with a bunch of mayo on it and tomatoes.  The Elders weren't too excited about that.  But my companion and I had been fasting for an investigator and a recent convert.  That combined with the two mile hike made it the best tomato and mayo sandwich I've ever had (and hopefully WILL ever have)!  The investigators didn't show up though, so we didn't get much done yesterday.

On the bus ride home I sat by a woman named Elizabeth, she was soooo cute and nice and strong in her faith of Jesus Christ.  I got her number and we are going to call her tomorrow.  I really hope she can be a new investigator, because we need more women like her in the church!

Today for Pday we went fishing!  It was sooo pretty, I felt like I was in the Amazon.  However the fish weren't biting too much.  I caught the most out of all the missionaries though!  I got five, Elder Acuna got 1, Elder Sorensen, the district leader, and my companion didn't catch any.

I forgot to bring my mailing address, so I can' leave you with that sorry!  But if you do send any packages in the mail later on make sure you send them through the regular post office not fedex or ups, because if you do there is a huge tax, and I might never get them.  Also if you send a package, only ever write that it contains missionary supplies or clothes.  Never anything about makeup or medical things, because they love taxing for those things.

I love you all, thank you for your emails and letters.  I received 5 packages at the same time at the MTC last Friday. Made me feel sooo Special, so thank you Mom, Grandma, and Julie, for those!  I'm well and doing great!  Sorry if things don't make sense, I'm typing on a Spanish keyboard and its really difficult!

Hermana Bratt

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Hermana Brätt Sighting at the MTC...

 Our Provo Canyon Ward friend, Laura Dunn, snapped this picture of Cam and her companions at the MTC just a few days before these ladies took off into the mission field. Glad to know she sees familiar faces...I'm sure we won't get many of these while she is in Costa Rica! 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Last Week in the MTC!!

Querido Everyone!

This week has been great!  I said in one of my first emails that I knew this is where I was supposed to be, but I was mostly just saying that to reassure mom, however I am being completely honest now when I say that I know I am supposed to be here!  This last week and a half and been filled with so many fun, marvelous, and spiritual things.  I love the MTC, but am SO excited to leave for Costa Rica in 4 days.

That's so cool that you got to see President Monson Dad, mom, etc.  Every week my companions always joke that the prophet is going to speak for devotional, but he never did.  Instead you guys got to hear and meet him!  
Talmage went on a date!?  Woohoo.  Did you take any pictures?  If so please email them to me!  Have you seen the new baby pictures of Celias baby?  They are so cute!  I'm so excited for them!

So I leave the MTC at 4:30am Monday.  Our flight leaves SLC at 8:25 and then we have a lay over in Dallas from 12:00 pm to 4:10 pm.  (Is dallas the same time as provo?) We are scheduled to arrive in San Jose at 7:10 pm on Monday!  I'm so excited!  I will be able to call, and they should have pay phones at the airport so don't worry.  I'll try first in the morning between 6ish and 8.  Hopefully I'll be able to talk to you then, but if not I'll try calling again between my lay overs.  I'm so excited!

Celia just made me a blog this week actually! It's at  And Liz said she'd update my facebook :) That would be cool to see Jason or the Pattens, I guess we'll see what happens.  That's so cool that Brett is going, He's going to love it.  I know I do!

Thank you for your package mom!  I love the shirt and necklace.  Also I got some brownies and pumpkin cookies this week, but there wasn't a note.  Were they from you?  They were delicious! Also I have to ask for one more thing this week.  My watch is already wearing out :(  it was a ten dollar one from target.  My companion got a 30 dollar TIMEX watch and it looks like it's goign to last.  I know they sold thouse at target to.  Do you mind sending me one?  Thank you for the chocolate!  Grandma sent me a sweet package to with some stories/quote, cute earrings, and money.  Thank you grandma!

For the 4 of July all the missionaries get to watch the fireworks!  I'm super excited, that will be fun.  We are also having a special devotional for the holiday as well.

Okay, now onto what happened this week:

Really not that much to be honest, just class, teaching investigators, and devotionals.  But they have all been great.  We received two new districts in our zone last Wednesday, so it has been fun getting to know them. The sisters are so sweet and elders really obedient.  We taught our last lessons to one of our investigators, Jose Luis, and had to say goodbye, which was sad.  Then two days later or so we saw him walking around.  He's really a teacher named Brother Matagi.  it was kinda surprising because we figured he was an actual member, but I didn't know he was a teacher!  He never spoke a single word of english to us and couldn't understand us when we spoke english.  All our other investigators have added an english word were or there to help us.  we also taught a lesson over skype to a member in Mexico.  That was cool, if a little awkward because usually the members just talk to us for twenty minutes and then we give a short ten minute lesson, but she, Laticia, didn't talk much.  On Thursday we invited Mercedes to be baptized again.  The Spirit was really powerful in our lesson and she ended up saying that she really wanted to, but needed to talk to her mom first.  i'm going to miss Mercedes when we leave!

Tuesday's devotional was really great, a former seventy Lowell Snow spoke.  Also mom, have you ever seen the lesson on teaching by Elder Holland?  It's really good you should watch it online if you can since you are a teacher! :)  Also on Sunday the speaker showed us a bunch of  the old Home Front videos that the church used to put out.  They were pretty cheesy, but still cute.  You should look them up on youtube!

Because it's our last week here we've decided that we can't say a single english word in class.  For every word we say we have to do 3 push ups. Yesterday I said 15 so now I have to do 45! (They will definitely be girl push ups today).  For anyone that's following the World Cup:  Costa Rica is totally going to win it!  

I love my companions so much, and I really hope that I get to be with them again during my mission, or at least in the same zone.  They are such great girls!

I saw brother and sister Loveless yesterday, thanks for the hug mom!  Also I got to see Ellie for a minute yesterday because she was working the grounds.  It was great! 

I love you all!  And reminder: These are my last four days at the MTC so if you want to send me any packages....wink wink. Also if you send letters do it soon so I get them by Saturday!  Thank you for your support everyone!  

Hermana Bratt

One of their two MTC teachers - Hermana Bosa

Hermana Brätt saw Ellie!

New Hermanas in the Zone!