Monday, September 29, 2014

Week 12!

Dear Everyone,

We had transfers today and guess what!!!  I'm going to be a trainer!  AHH!!!!  I'm pretty scared. I don't know who my new companion will be.  She'll probably be a latina, but we don't find out until Wednesday.  Until then Hna. Muñoz and I we'll be together still.  Hna Muñoz is going to be a trainer again too and open a new area.  I'm excited for her!

I feel like my Spanish hasn't gotten any better for awhile, but from what I hear that's normal.  Usually there are a few months where the missionaries don't see progress and then it escalates really quickly, so I'm waiting and hoping for that!

There are a lot of problems with are investigators right now and when Hna Muñoz leaves I'm going to be the one that gets to straighten them all out.  I'll definitely be praying a lot more the coming weeks.

Tender Mercies of the Lord:
1. We cleaned our house
2. I bought Peanut Butter :)
3. I have at least 3 more months here in Turrialba!
4.  Hna Muñoz got more instrumental church music.  It's been nice listening to new tunes.  (We have a CD player if you ever want to send some...nudge nudge.)

Sad Things:
1.  Jazmin's baptism fell through.  She says she's not ready and doesn't want another baptism date.
2. We visited former investigators, Martin and Clara.  They showed real desire at first to learn and to know if what we were preaching was true.  But they still aren't interested, despite the fact that every time we teach them we feel the Spirit!
3. Rosa's aunt and brother both died in the same week.  

Happy Things:
1. Mainor and Maria are two investigators that won't accept a baptism date but that are reading the Book of Mormon.  We taught them a lesson about God's Plan this week and we felt the Spirit really strongly!  Also we had a Noche de Hogar with another family and the Dad is a convert of one year and was able to clear a lot of their doubts about the Book of Mormon.  
2.  We were out walking when a huge rain storm started. We tried to wait it out in two investigators houses, but the rain was so loud they could hear us calling from outside.  In the end we had to walk about ten minutes to the house of Martin and Clara.  The rain was so much our dirt path became a river (Okay, don't freak out mom it was really just a stream :) )

and we had to wade through it. We were soaked, but it was really fun.

Other than that I don't have much more to say.  Only that I'm still happy and working hard, trying to focus on this scripture in Jacob 1:19

And we did magnify our office unto the Lord, taking upon usthe responsibilityanswering the sins of the people upon our ownheads if we did not teach them the word of God with all diligence;wherefore, by laboring with our might their blood might not comeupon our garments; otherwise their blood would come upon ourgarments, and we would not be found spotless athe last day.

Les Quiero!
Hermana Bratt

Parte de nuestro distrito y Rosa

Maria y Jazmin, Hijas de Raquel

Monday, September 22, 2014

Week 11!

Dear Everyone,

We have electricity!  Yay!  Our last P-day a member dropped us off at our house and knew that we didn't have electricity and so took a look at our power line.  It turns out that we had had power for three days and didn't know about it.  All we had to do is flip a switch.  Ahh, I had forgotten how nice it is to have warm showers!

I only have one week until transfer, which here are called changes.  I'm almost done with my training! Yay!  My companion thinks i'll be a trainer, but that's what everyone tells the newbies.  It's rare for a missionary who only has 3 months to train, but it does happen.  I guess we'll see in a week!  Which reminds me, next Monday is transfers, so if you don't hear from me until late in the day don't worry!

Alejandro wasn't baptized this week.  My companion and I are kind of confused with his whole situation.  Saturday we visited him and he started talking about how Raquel has bad spirits in her and he needs us, who have authority, to pray with him and his brothers for the spirits to leave her.  We tried to explain what authority means and the lesson ended with him giving us his Book of Mormon and saying that he didn't believe in it.  It was sad, I wanted to cry but didn't. Yesterday Raquel came to church, but not Alejandro.  We visited them both afterwards however, and Alejandro apologized for what happened.  He and Raquel are also back together.  I saw him and Raquel hug yesterday and it was really weird for me, as I hadn't seen them be affectionate towards each other before.  We are planning for Raquel to be baptized the 5th of October, but we aren't sure about Alejandro yet.

Hopefully we will have a baptism this Sunday!  Jazmin is living the Word of Wisdom and not drinking coffee which is really hard for her.  Yay!  I'm so happy. She's a investigadora de oro!  

We had another baptism scheduled for yesterday, but the investigator and his girl

friend who is a recent convert aren't living the law of chastity.  That was a pretty sad day.

We've been teaching a family that we contacted in July.  There names are Kevin and Ali.  They have a lot of problems but really want to follow Christ.  On Saturday we hiked to Kevin's work and had lunch with him and Ali.  It was a beautiful hike/walk.  I felt like I was in a rain forest...minus the paved road and the cars :)  We also saw a real live stick bug!  The kind that's in bugs life.  (I don't know what it's really called).  It was really big and Kevin said it was harmless so I held it for a little bit and it climed up my arms.  Sadly I didn't have my camera so I don't have pictures.  May be one day I can get the pictures off of Kevin's phone.

This week we had 30 lessons! (Which has been our goal for forever)  I'm pretty happy, but not satisfied.  We can always do better!  I'm so grateful for the chance to be a missionary.  Please pray for me that I'll be able to always be exactly obedient and successful!

Alma 26:

 10 And it came to pass that when Ammon had said these words, his brother Aaron rebuked him, saying: Ammon, I fear that thy joy doth carry thee away unto boasting.
 11 But Ammon said unto him: I do not boast in my own strength, nor in my own wisdom; but behold, my joy is full, yea, my heart is brim with joy, and I will rejoice in my God.
 12 Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever.
I too want to boast of my God! Our life and our religion is amazing!
Hermana Bratt

Us with Debbie, a member on her birthday

Me calling home from the airport. I promise that skirt
has purple in it!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Week 10!

Dear Familia,

Well, this week wasn't as productive as the last, but I've had great experiences nevertheless.   If only I can remember them...jaja (H's are silent in Spanish and J's make the sound of H's)

My companion and I forgot to pay the electrical bill, and then when we did we accidentally paid our neighbors bill, so we've been without electricity for two and a half weeks!  It's pretty terrible.  Our fridge doesn't work, and we don't have light, so when we get home at nine we have to plan and get ready for bed with flash lights.  Luckily I bought two, because my companion doesn't have one.  Since we don't have a way to store food that's perishable, every morning we go across the street to a panderia and buy bread or yogurt for breakfast, and then if we want a snack we eat cereal without milk, bread and butter, etc.  It's getting a little old now that we've done it for two weeks, but that's the life of a missionary I guess!  (Well the life of forgetful missionaries).

One of our investigators, Jazmin, is really showing promise, and is a miracle in the making. She is the next door neighbor of our cook, a less active member. She is going through a separation with her spouse, and one day came to eat lunch with us. we shared a simple lesson with her and things have escalated from there. She's already reading more chapters from the Book of Mormon than we assigned her and having family home evenings. I'm so excited for her! I know she's going to be baptized!

As for Raquel and Alejandro...I don't know where to start, or end.  We aren't sure what's going to happen, as Alejandro says Raquel doesn't want anything to do with God anymore and doesn't want her children to learn about Him.  However, we visited Raquel after Alejandro said this, and she invited us into her home, asked if we were going to share a message, and said she was going to come to church the next day, without us instigating anything.  Also Raquel and Alejandro are separated right now because Alejandro was falsely accused of abusing his children and as a result can't live with them.  There's also more things going on, and mostly we are just really confused.  However, as of right now Alejandro is going to be baptized the 21st of September.  We aren't sure about Raquel yet, but I believe she's going to be baptized as well.

Today is Independence day here!  There's a parade going on right now and almost all of the stores are closed.  We had to go to three different internet places before we found one that was open.  I was worried we wouldn't be able to write home today again!!

This week I've really noticed how many excuses  missionaries make.  It's actually a bit irritating that we, representatives of the Lord, don't take responsibility!  I've made a effort just simply take the blame, but sometimes it's hard!

It's still summer's always summer here, and I'm starting to miss the changes of seasons!  I was stung by an insect about three days ago.  I think it was a bee, but can't be certain, as I didn't see it.  However relax Mom!  I'm completely fine...other than a little swelling and a rash.  I had my epi-pen with me, and benadryl, but I've just been using Doterra oils.  I called the nurse as well.  So there's absolutely no reason to worry!

I haven't received any more letters or your packages :( but they usually come all at once as we have to wait for our Zone leaders to travel to San Jose and retrieve them each month.

Thank you for all the emails!  I love love love receiving them....and pictures.  Hint Hint.  I'm loving my mission, and can't believe it's almost been four months!

Les Quiero!

Hermana Bratt

The Flour Game

Me Eating a Chicken Foot

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

I'm Alive!

Dear Everyone, but mainly Mom,

Don't worry!  I'm alive!  I'm sorry that I couldn't write to you on Monday.  Our P-day was changed toWednesday because we had the opportunity to go to the temple today. They told me I couldn't write you on Monday :( I have about five minutes to write you, so sorry for all the errors!

This week hasn't been as successful as the last, but at the moment we are planning the 5 baptism for the month of September.  Please pray for Dennis, Raquel, Alejandro, Daniela, and Jazmin.  They are all so wonderful, and want to be baptized, but I know Satan is going to try and throw something in their path He already has with Raquel and Alejandro, who may not be able to be married, and thus not baptized.  We are planning a wedding for them the 20th and their baptism the 21st! 

It was different going to the temple and having the endowment session be in spanish, but it was a cool experience!

That's so exciting about Brett!  Although accents from spain are really strange to me.  I've met quiet a few Spaniards?  (If that's the word)  here.

Miss you all so much!  I hope to send a much longer email next week.

Lot's of love

Hermana Bratt

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Week 8!

Dear Everyone,

This week was great!  I have faith in Jesus Christ, and that this gospel is true.  I know that with my whole soul.  However, I know my faith in my own missionary work (through Jesus Christ) needs to grow!  This week we taught 26 lessons, the most we've ever taught before.  I know there are other missionaries teaching 40 or 50 lessons a week, and on Friday I saw how one can teach that many.  I'm excited to start this week off working hard to get even higher numbers, and to have more success.

Earlier this week we had a multizone conference where I got to see Hermana Cook, yay!, and also learn a lot from President Wilkinson.  We also were taught by the doctor over the central america missions, about how we can eat healthy and take care of our bodies.  Afterwards they feed us chicken, potatoes, cooked vegetables, and pumpkin pie.  It was really good, but the next day my companion and I woke up feeling sick in our stomachs.  It was a miserable couple of hours.  We thought we were sick from some bread we had eaten the night before in a panderia, but we talked with the elders in our district and they were sick too.  Come to find out, it was the food at the multizone conference!  We'd been taught about how to avoid eating bad food and stay healthy, but next day about 60 missionaries were sick!  Haha :)

During the conference President Wilkinson talked about how we need to make sure the investigators can get to church on their own, and aren't going to become inactive after baptism.  And so after the conference my companion and I were worried, because Raquel and Alejandro are really poor and live about an hour and fifteen minutes away from the church walking distance.  The past Sunday we payed for a taxi for them, but realized that we couldn't do that anymore! This week we lined up for a member that lived close by to take them. We left our house early to get to their house early, as the other week they weren't ready when we came by and it took them 40 minutes to get their four children ready for church.  

We called them when we were about 15 minutes away from their house to make sure they were up and getting ready, and guess what!  All of them were ready and already on their way to the church!  What's more Alejandro was coming too, and he had refused to come the Sunday previous.  About 2 minutes later we met up with them.  They all looked so smart and handsome/pretty.  We had other investigators to pass by for, so they decided to continue walking on their own without us.  It was really hot yesterday, but they walked the whole way to church, an hour and fifteen minutes away!

It was such a miracle, but we visited them later and Alejandro was really really ill.  He can't be in the sun for very long or he get's migraines and other symptoms, that I don't know the name of in English.  The elders came over a gave him a blessing.  We are hoping he'll improve rapidly and still want to go to church next week.

We had nine investigators at church yesterday, and I have faith that all 9 of them can be baptized, they are really great investigators!

Our last lesson Friday was great and awful at the same time.  We passed by a family whose mother was sick, so we were only going to wish her well and be on our way, however the Spirit was so strong the minute we stepped into the house, and so we proceeded to teach a lesson.  This was a first lesson with them, and it was PERFECT.   Nelly, the mother that was sick, had her son and his family visiting as well.  Her grandson, was really attentive the whole lesson and though he's only 8 years old was contributing profound things about God, etc.  Both my companion and I had the prompting commit them to baptism, but we were scared, scared that we would ruin our perfect lesson.

We didn't put a date, we didn't ask them to be baptized.  And we feel so so bad!  The lesson was perfect, but it was also a failure.  Afterwards my companion and I were talking, and we know that Satan was rejoicing, rejoicing that we failed.  Because I know Heavenly Father wanted us to commit them to baptism! We promised ourselves that we will try our very very hardest to have the courage to ALWAYS follow the Spirit.  IT's so important that we do, the salvation of souls relies on it.

Nelly's son and daughter are moving to another city tomorrow, and though we called to try and teach them one last lesson, to try and make up in a small way for our mistake, they are too busy to meet with us.  We got their number and are going to give their names to the missionaries where they are going to live.  I only hope they receive them.

Saturday we were eating lunch at our cooks house when her neighbor, Jazmin, stopped by.  Carmen, our cook, had already given us Jazmin as a reference and so we asked if we could share a short message with her.  She said yes and we felt the Spirit really strongly!  It's weird, because when our lessons aren't that great we always ask them to be baptized, but when our lessons are perfect we always are scared to commit them!  However, we both remembered what had happened the day before and so asked her to be baptized and she said yes.  I then said something like"There's a baptism service the 28th of September, if you recieve an answer before then that the church is true, will you be baptized on that day?" 

She said yes, and we were super happy.  But Carmen said later that she understood what I was saying, but thinks that Jazmin thought I was saying that there was a baptism service the twenty eight, and will she attend it. Obviously my Spanish still needs some work!  

I received grandma's package, as well as cards from YW in the ward.  Thank you!  It made my day!  Costa Rica is so beautiful, and I am so happy!  Keep serving the Lord, that's all that matters.

Thank you for your love,

Hermana Bratt

Future Missionaries!