Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Hey everyone! This is week 2 in the CCM!

My nametag and the Lima Peru Temple

So last Wed. we got to go to the Lima Peru temple!! Is was small but awesome!! I had to speak in spanish there and I fell asleep a bit but it was still great!! And when we got out we could go by stuff from the distribution center but there's also this guy that pulls his car up to the curb outside the gates and sells all these Peruvian themed things for missionaries, like ties, notebook ,scripture cover, shirts and little llama keychains that are super adorable. (I got a black llama keychain and I named him Juan Noches I--love him--forgot to take a picture though will do that next week).  Oh also there was a wedding outside the temple when we got there which was really sweet.

Happy Thanksgiving!
I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!!! We had a devotional with Niel L.Anderson speaking (braodcasted from the provo MTC) and it was really good, then we were suprised by the lovly cafeteria workers who made us a thanksgiving lunch!!! They even had cranberry sauce! (although the pataoes were more "pureed" than "mashed") but they had warm apple pie to which was so good! It made everyone so happy!

So it finally reached me, the stress built up and I had a small breakdown sesh where I cried a bit into my companion's shoulder. but crying made me feel better so I'm okay now. I think everyone needs to lose it a little bit every once in a while. Im not gonna lie. It's really super hard sometimes but you gotta just cry it out and then focus on how far you've already come and see the love that surrounds you.

WE GOT HAMBURGERS ON SATURDAY! It made everyone's day--it was like a wonderful miracle! The salad bar was super crowded with evryoine actually trying to get to the ketchup for once (ketchup isnt usually very good on our regular diet of rice, potatoes and chicken) and it was hilarious to see the many Utahens /plus me making fry sauce for the fries. It made us feel at home and it was really good. Anyways moving on to not food things.

This Sunday was so great! I felt the spirit so much! We had a great lesson on repentence and I just read the chapter in Alma with Captain Moroni and the Title of Liberty. I never really  understood why everyone liked that bit so much but now I totally do. Moroni is AWESOME, favorite chapter now. I'm kinda weided out because now during personal story I'll be like "sweet--I get to read my scriptures for an hour!" cuz the wars in Alma are pretty epic, then sometimes I feel bad like"wow I'm just relaxing and reading my scriptures I should probably get to work." which is so funny because I used to stuggle reading my scriptures all the time, but they are my favorite thing now! Anyways on Sunday. We also had a great relief society lesson and a FANASTIC devotional from Bednar and his talk "be good boys, and good girls". I urge everyone to go find it and listen to it because it answered questions that I didnt even know I had.  Oh, also I read Uchdorf's "his hands" talk and that was great and we watched Holland's mercy meet talk which is one of my favorites.
Pointing to my mission area

All of us pointing to our mission areas

Page 33
I accidently ran into an Elder cuz I stepped outta the door and he wasn't looking and I couldn't move anywhere so I just tucked my arms in and went "ahhhhh!" as he ran right into me. Elder Pond thought my reaction was pretty funny and another joked by yelling "page 33 " at me. (which is the page in then missionary handbook that talks about proper conduct between elders and hermanas and stuff) it was pretty funny.

Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas
So yesterday was the best day ever! We had a realxing day and didn't have to teach then, we had hambiurgers again and then we had a wonderful christmas devotional with a seventy member! and we sang as a missionary choir and it was beautiful. but the english speaker-- had to have a translator and it was really annoying cuz the guy didn't know how to use a microphone and the sensitivity was to  high so we could here him breathing and a lot of "p" sounds into our headphones. But afterwards the lit the christmas light outside for the first time and it was beautiful!!!!!! I didn't realize there would be so many! there was a little party with food and really good hot chocolate! and I met the Lima East

mission president and he was super cool. and we all just had a really good time socializing and stuff it was the relaxing fun day everyone needed tbh. also honorable mention to my adorable teacher Hermana Ferro, who is litterally awesome and called my other teacher Hermano Princessa, becuase his name is Palasio which is "palace".

I really likeplaying volley ball at physical activity right now! It's fun!

 alright guys! outta time and gotta go! Love yall!!

-Hermana Brown

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

CCM Life

My District

Hermana Messenger and Me

Packing and Traveling

packing with a tired mom 
the dogs are suspicious

airport fun 

outside the crazy bus 
why, thank you

inside the crazy bus

at the CCM--finally

Vote For Pedro!

Buenos Dias!
 So today is P day! Its only been a week but i feel like Ive been here for years its been the longest week of my life! my first day we arrived at 3 am to the MTC or as we call it here the CCM (say, say, emay) its cute cuz it rhymes. so there wasn't much sleeping that night. the next day they herded us around to get all sorts of paper work done, and then we jumped right on into Spanish classes. we did have a chance to unpack at one point but when i was almost all the way unpacked, they moved me to a different room because one hermana was switching from the 3 week to the 6 week program. So i had to move everything and change companions. but I know the change was meant to be, I love my roommates!!! My new compenera is Hermana Messenger. Shes from Utah and I'm only a few months older than her. The other hermana in my room are Hermana Berg (shes super funny and sarcastic and we get a long great) hermana Heartline (she is fresh outta high school and says shes not athletic but is totally fit), hermana Braisher (super sweet and chill), and Hermana Staihli (she is fantastic. she is the creep master. we both do this eyebrow thing its super funny). The only problem is hermanas Staihli and Braishers are in a different district (class) than us so we only really see them at night before bed and we all wanna talk and stuff but we all also have to write in our journals and for a couple times we were a bit late to turn the lights out. 

Our District
We have 6 elders and 4 hermanas in our district. it was funny because the first few days all the elders didn't really know how to act around the hermanas so it was kinda awkward, but we eventually got them to talk to us and now we have a great time chatting about superheros, movies, devotional and other things. 

Our schedule
its crazy busy here! I don't think I've ever had every moment of the day filled up with so much stuff to do. We wake up at 6:30, breakfast at 7:15, then personal study, then we sit in class for usually about 3-4 hours learning Spanish and fundamentals. Our morning teacher is Hermana Ferro and she is the sweetest thing ever. Shes a great teacher and helps me a ton with the language. after our first block of classes we have lunch and then physical activity, there's volleyball, soccer, ping pong, basketball, and there those workout machines that are disguised as playground toys. Their interesting because there's no way you can add weight to it, so if you want resistance for a better work out you've gotta get creative in having a friend like stand on the bar or hold it for you. after wards we have more classes. we have Hermano Palasio teach us. He is interesting. its hard to tell if he likes us at all because his face always kinda looks bored. also he doesn't speak much English so there was quite a language barrier the first few days. so that's another few hours of classes and Spanish, until we have dinner around 6. Then we usually have an investigator lesson.

So like the third day we were here we had to plan our first lesson. what they do is they have us do a sort of simulation. they've got these little "casitas" that our teachers while act out as an investigator. So our investigator is "Pedro Suaves"(aka hermano Palasio). I was seriously so nervous the first lesson because i hardly know how to to teach a lesson in English! and wed only been learning Spanish for two days! so it was kind of awkward our first time (especially because we didn't plan on figuring out how to get in the door, like they go full out like we gotta introduce ourselves and everything!) and he gave us a "maybe" to our invitation/commitment. Again its super nerve wracking to be in there because here you are hardly knowing 100 words in Spanish and Pedro has this constantly hard to read face and you have to try to not remember that its actually just your teacher. But the 2nd lesson we kinda knew what to expect so our plan was much better and went a lot smoother and i was proud of the Spanish that i was able to speak! finally we had our third lesson on Monday and me and my compenera were really worried about not being able to bring that strong feeling of the Spirit into our last lessons so we decided that that was our main goal and focus. and that's what we prayed for before we went in. And Wow, it worked. while my companion was talking I got this prompting of exactly what to say, and when i started talking,I almost couldn't stopped, I was saying words that I didn't even realize I knew and I was able to address Pedro's concerns and bear my testimony to him really well. and we got a yes to our invitation at the end. after me and my companion walked around and talked about how awesome we had felt and how freshly motivated we were to work harder. but while we were talking our teacher came out of the casita and said that "Pedro" could feel the same spirit we did and he told us it was a great lesson. !!!!that made us so happy!!! the next day Hermana Ferro also told us that Palasio had called her and told her how awesome the spirit was in our lesson and that was cool too! anyways me and my companion are super grateful for that expierience because we both really needed to feel that strong spirit just then.


Its been crazy how much I've already leaned, but also insanely stressful. its hard not to compare yourself to other. and we all are getting stressed out about not being fluent already, but that's when we have to step back and be like wait its only bee a few days and we already know this much? The Gift of Tongues is real. and I pray for it every day. but that blessing definitely does not come without a lot of hard work on our part.
one challenge we had was to bear our testimony to the Latinas, so one night in the bathroom while everyone was getting ready for my my roommates and I did just that. and they were so kind and supportive and helped to correct us. and actually it seemed to have inspired on of them , because a Latina hermana came up to me and asked how to bear her testimony in English! so I got to teach her! then ANOTHER hermana came up and asked if I could sing child's prayer for her in English. they loved it and I heard her humming the tune later. They are super sweet people and I cant wait to be able to have better conversations with them.

I am so tired all the time and I'm working all day, but for some reason I'm also amazingly happy. Although the CCM feels like a beautiful prison sometimes, I love it here. (but I still am really excited to escape the walls when we go to the temple later today) my hermanas are so funny and we joke all the time about pulling pranks on the elders and hiding butter under the tables in the cafeteria (an ancient Hermana tradition in the CCM). Mom and Dad, Peru is beautiful from the small bit that I've seen. but theres a lot of trash and stray dogs. I cant wait to go to the temple today and see it! I wish you could try the food. Yogurt and cereal is a thing here and its very interesting. the ice cream is always good though. lots and lots of rice.

My testimony

I know what I'm doing is so very important. The Gospel is so  so true. This church is true. God loves us so very much and wants all of his children to have the happiness that the restoration gives me. I am so grateful for the blessings I've already received here. I was reading in Alma and he spoke about the story of Nephi's family and the Liahona. And I learned that, we all have a liahona, the gift of the holy spirit is very much real. but like the liahona it works on faith. We need faith in order to receive guidance. the greater our faith, the clearer that guidance is. Without faith, we cannot receive that guidance and we will be lost like Nephi and his family in the wilderness. Have faith. Move Forward, and don't be afraid to feel uncomfortable, because that when you may learn the most. 

some great scriptures from this week were Alma 35 and 36. 36 is especially cool because its a special kind of poem called a Chiasmus and its the very center of the book of Mormon. D&C 31 helped me a lot with homesickness. 

I love the Book of Mormon. I am so very grateful for it in my life.

and as hermans Berg would say, she loves it because it has a lot of death scenes. ha ha

fun facts

Mi Prima Hermana Eliason is our avencado! or "avocados" we call them per tradition. 

the food here is either "interesting" or really really good. The soft serve they have sometimes is the BEST and I was really happy when I found the spicy sauce at the salad bar. I basically put it on everything now.

the CCM is much much smaller than the Provo MTC. I'm never more than a short walking distance and a couple of staircases from my bed really.

okay running outta time so gotta go! I love you all!
Hasta Luego!!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Grandma Nora and the Christmas Tree at the Spectrum

Family Pics Before I Leave for Peru and Bolivia1

All in the family--except Lyla

Zen Masters

Bro-ny, little Bro-ny, Bro-man, Me and  Bro-Dog

American Gothic
Spread the Love with a 'Tude

Arriving in Peru! Whew!

Leaving John Wayne Airport

I am at the MTC and I got my name tag about 10 min ago. So its official! The flight from atlanta wasnt to bad but my little tv broke so I couldnt even play my chess game! but I sat next to this very cool girl named Maisey she was from Amsterdam! and she was traveling on her own just for fun. she has like three jobs to be able to do so. she wasnt that much older than me! that was cool. We got into the MTC at around 3 am and didnt get to sleep until 4. so I've got a bit of a sleep headache and I'm really dehydrated and still kinda queasy from travel, but its realy awesome so far. I did make riends with some other sister pretty fast like you saud. My compainion is Sister Gardner. But I also have been having a fun time talking to Sister Birg. I keep wanting to call her sister Briggs for some reason, idk why. I met Avery Eliason!
She and her companion have already been here for three weeks and they are our guides in the "dorm rooms" I guess. They told us that the food here is very diffrent and for the first bit when you start eating it it will either give you diarhea or constipation and if it last more than 5 days then you should ask for help. so that'll be fun. I cant find the return key on this keyboard so I cant make new paragraphs???

Oh btw, I changed my mind about my favorite scripture. I dont remember which scripture it is but the words came to me last night while I was trying to fall asleep and worrying if I had everything. It's the "trust in the lord with all thy heart, and lean not upon your own understanding." one. Could you find that scripture and I kinda want a long scripture so if the verses around that quoted bit work I'd like those included on the plaque too. Anyways, so when we were all waiting to get are bags and baggage claim last night I got super nervous because everyone else had their bags before me, but mine came at the very end so that was a relief. I've been taking pictures already and I'll try to figure out how to send them. Oh we all were transported from the airport to the MTC on a big coach bus, and holy cow the drivers here are crazy. Our driver kept having the bus beep at him because he would keep going over 90 kl/hr and I'm pretty sure he was in between to lanes like the whole time. There were other incidents of just real close calls to passing other cars and people getting out of taxis in the middle of the street and strolling through traffic,  we almost crashed into the back corner of another long cargo truck. and we sped through some very small neighborhood street. some drunk people cheered at us. Ok they are telling me I've gotta o now, will email more next week. I love you very much!!! tell everyone I love them and miss them a lot. Love you more than tounges can tel. <3<3<3<3<3<3 Hermana Brown