Brennen’s Fourth Week

Aug 20, 2014

Hola family! I love you guys so much! It’s seriously so hard to email cuz I only get an hour every week to do it! I feel so rushed every time! Sorry if I don’t answer all your questions. It’s hard to keep track of all of them in this limited time. I’m trying my best though! And it’s so hard to think of things to tell you guys cuz in the MTC every day is almost exactly the same haha. I can’`t believe I’ve been here for four weeks already! It’s going by so fast. I like it here a lot but its kinda boring at the same time haha… I’m so excited to get out to the field!

HOLLY’S GETTING MARRIED THIS WEEK!!!! What the heck??!! That’s so awesome. I wish I could be there for the wedding but I’m so happy to be out here doing this work.

I’ll tell u guys about my P days. So on P day we wake up at 6:20 and go to breakfast at 7. Then we have personal study from 7:30 to 8:30. Then we have til 5 to do laundry and any other chores we need to get done and email and we spend a lot of the time playing sports so its really fun! Last week I played cage soccer, field soccer, basketball, and touch rugby. So far today I’ve played basketball and volleyball and worked out in the weight room and did laundry. At 5 we plan our studies for the next day, and then we have dinner at 5:30. We have class at 6:15 and we finish at 9:30 and go back to our apartments. P day is da best!! It’s a really nice break from the daily routine. I only have one left and then I’ll be in McAllen! Woot woot!!

Sundays are awesome too. On Sunday we have priesthood meeting, a district meeting (which is basically just Sunday School, and every companionship teaches part of the lesson) and then we have sacrament meeting, which is in Spanish. Everyone writes a talk in Spanish every week and in sacrament meeting our branch president picks people to give their talks. So far I haven’t gotten picked but I have a feeling I’ll get picked this week cuz we are the oldest district in our branch now. Every week one district leaves and a new one comes, but the week before we came our branch didn’t get a new district. By the way my district has 11 people in it. Four sets of elders and a trio of sisters.

On Sunday we have two devotionals and they are always really good. They are usually taught by people who have or have had pretty high callings in the church, like members of quorums of the seventy and ex mission presidents and what not. And sometimes they are videos of old MTC devotionals given by some of the twelve apostles. And every Sunday we watch a gospel related video in the evening. To end the day we all meet with our districts and talk about the things we learned. I always feel the spirit really strong on Sunday.

Well I love you guys so so so much and I miss you a ton! I wanna hear from Katelyn and Kk! How is school going? What teachers do u have? Give me the deets!

Brennen’s Third Week

Aug 13, 2014

Hola familia! I’m setting records here at the MTC!  No one has been to the hospital twice!  Just trying to leave my mark ;D.  Ya it was crazy the salmonella got me super dehydrated and that caused a chemical imbalance in my body and I was moving around uncontrollably like a crazy person!  I had so much energy I felt like I could sprint for days!  But I’m ok now.  This week flew by!  It’s cray cray!  I’m halfway done already!  I’m so excited for the field its ridiculous, but I still have a ton to learn. I’m learning so much.

Yesterday I learned how to introduce someone to the Book of Mormon by using the introduction. I never knew how awesome the introduction is!  It explains so clearly what the Book of Mormon is about, who wrote it and how we can gain a testimony of it. It also explains that by gaining a testimony of the Book of Mormon we can also come to know that Jesus is our Savior, that Joseph Smith was truly a prophet, and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is truly Christ´s restored church.

I’m getting pretty good at teaching in Spanish and having basic conversations but I’m still having a really hard time understanding Latinos, their Spanish is so fast! But I know ill get it.  I’m honestly really happy here and I’m really enjoying all the awesome things I’m learning.

Last night was awesome cuz a lot of people in my district have been kinda distracted this week and haven’t been working as hard as they should, so we had a meeting and we all recommitted to work as hard as we can and do our best to be exactly obedient. We´re gunnu accomplish some EPIC things! I’m so excited cuz I’ve been praying so hard for my district this week.  Last night was a miracle!

Well I’m glad everything’s going well there! It sounds like the bridal shower was fun!  And way to go for giving a Book of Mormon to someone Mama!  Tell me the deets when you get a chance! I love you all so much and I miss you all a TON. Eat some watermelon for me!

Interesting Week 3 comments from www.eldercolesantana@blogspot.com :

After class one day we had a Spanish rap battle, it was pretty good. Elder Eisenhut got sick again, so we walk into the classroom and Elder Baum wrote on the whiteboard, “Elder Eisenhut is dead so Elder Baum needs a new companion (we are at the apartment)”. And it was the start of the new plague that is going around here, so we can’t shake hands anymore and we wash our hands constantly. And guess who went to the hospital again? Elder Eisenhut, poor guy. But I think he is the current record holder here for the most hospital trips!

We love the time when we are doing laundry, they got new couches for the laundry room and they are very comfortable! We think we are all going slowly insane though, today we had a conversation about how graceful dress shirts look when they are going through the dryer, it was pretty funny.

Brennen’s Second Week

Aug 6, 2014

¡hola familia! Sounds like the Utah trip was great! That’s awesome!

This week started out pretty rough but the last few days have been awesome!  There’s a lot of work to do at the MTC. We do pretty much the same thing every day. We wake up at 6:20 and go to breakfast at 7. then we do personal study for about an hour. then a teacher teaches us Spanish and teaching skills for about three hours. Then we have Additional Study, which can be personal, companion, or language study. That’s for a half hour. Then we go to lunch. Then we do language study for an hour (without a teacher). Then we have gym time for an hour. Then we go to the computer lab to do TALL, which is technology assisted language learning.  That is for one hour. Then we have additional study for a half hour and daily planning session for a half hour. Then we go to dinner. Then we have more additional study for an hour. Then we have three more hours of language and teaching study with a teacher. and we teach an investigator a full lesson in Spanish every day. in the morning every other day and in the evening every other day.  We go to our dorms at nine thirty and bedtime is at 10:30.  Then we wake up and do it again!

So I was feeling overwhelmed, but then on Sunday morning I had my companion, Elder Baum give me a blessing to enjoy the MTC and learn the language and I’ve felt great ever since! This is the hardest I’ve ever worked but it’s a lot of fun. I love practicing my Spanish and learning how to be a good teacher. I’m slowly starting to understand how to connect with my investigators and make them feel loved and adjust the lesson to meet their specific needs. I’ve realized this week that it is super duper flippin important to teach through conversation instead of just preaching on and on about the doctrine. So I’m gunnu try to improve on that a lot this week!

brensmission mexico city view
brensmission 2
brensmission 1

This week two sisters in my district asked me and my companion to give them blessings to learn the language and enjoy the MTC. It was sooo cool that they asked us and it was so awesome to be able to do it for them.  Also this week the Latino elders in our apartment, Elder Aguilar and Elder Flores, left and we were so sad! They are so fun to be around. But Elder Aguilar said he wants to become my brother in law so watch out girls! I told him Holly’s getting married at the end of this month but he said its not too late til she gets sealed in the temple.  So watch out Holly you might be getting some emails from a random Latino missionary!  We have new Latino missionaries in our apartment now and they are really cool too. It’s so fun to practice Spanish with Latinos!

And about my stitches- I got four of them and the doctor at the MTC took them out on Monday. I’m as good as new!  And ya mama you can send me what Elder Santana wrote on his blog and what you wrote on my blog! I miss you guys so much. but I’m doing my best to get lost in the work and im really enjoying it. I have a ton of fun with my companion and my district. We´re always laughing!  I love you guys so so so flippin much!  Holly I know ur seminar is gunnu be great!  You are so good at public speaking and Heavenly Father will be with you every step of the way! I love you all! I’ll type ya next week!

Below is what Elder Santana wrote in his blog this week that included Brennen.  Funny story!  Elder Aguliar is a Latino, Spanish speaking missionary trying to learn English haha. 🙂

‘Elder Aguliar moved out of the apartment and into a house on Sunday, it was very sad for us all. He is so much fun to have around and we always have the strangest conversations. During lunch with him, he took a picture of all of us and said that it looked like the last supper because he is leaving on his mission Tuesday. He said Elder Eisenhut was his disciple and that one day he could be the master, it was really funny! He also said that Eisenhut would be The Pope, we were all confused by that one. At dinner Aguilar was asking us what “holy crap” was, so Elder Baum told him what crap was. Then a little while later, Elder Eisenhut gets some peanut butter, and apparently Aguilar has never seen peanut butter before, so as soon as he saw it he said sort of loudly, “What the (heck) is that! Is that holy crap?!”