So back story for the subject heading: We have our gym time during the middle of the day, so it's so hard to transition from studying in the morning, then working out, and then going back to study. So Hermana Kimes said, "Man, I don't want to put on a skirt again!" So Hermana Obrigawitch told her that she had two choices in life . . . put on a skirt or go home. So that's their companionship motto :) Except they won't be a companionship for very much longer . . . Hermana Kimes got her visa!! So she is going to Peru on Tuesday to go to the MTC down there. She has to be at the travel office at 3 am, so we all get to take a midnight stroll to the travel office to say goodbye to her. But Hermana Obrigawitch's visa didn't go through yet. So she's stuck here with Hermana Hansen and I. She's having a pretty hard time accepting the fact that she could be in the states for another 6 weeks, she's more than ready to go to Peru. But I told her that she has to stay here because she is so hilarious! So we need her more than the Peruvians do at this time :)
Elder Boyd also got his travel plans to go to Salt Lake City this week . . . which is weird because that's only 3 weeks in the MTC. So we're wondering if they've switched him to English speaking or if it's just a mistake. The travel office still hasn't figured it out.
So this week some Elders in our zone, Elder Morales and Elder Knight, challenged me to an ice cream eating competition. They both went to Utah State and they found out that I cleaned the sink at Angie's by myself (except for the gross melted ice cream at the bottom). So Elder Morales told me that Elder Knight was on his 4th bowl of ice cream and that he wanted to see if I could beat him. So I caught up to him and ate 4 bowls of ice cream. On my 5th bowl the elders told me that Elder Knight was really only on his 2nd bowl. Those tricksters!! So on Sunday we're having a huge competition. We have a whiteboard in the hallway between all of the district's classrooms with the current standings for eating the most ice cream. Hermana Bragg is currently ranked as number one! So every Elder who sees the board say, "oh sweet, an ice cream competition!" and then they see my name at the top and they say, "What???!?!? It's an Hermana???" I've witnessed it a few times :) So all of the elders keep reminding me of Sunday and how they're "training" for the big competition. I'll let you know how it goes :)
Mom and Dad!! Thank you soooooo much for the package!! You wouldn't believe it, but Oreo's are $6 here!! And the air fresheners . . . genuis :) Our room smells SOOOO much better! All of the elders were jealous of my package :)
I also got letters from the Weiss's, Sarah (which was the best, she draws pictures for me!), Kaleb (he knows Hermana Kimes), Randi (she's such a sweet girl!), Jentry (I got two from her!!), Jay, Steve (don't worry, I haven't had the orange juice, but thanks for the heads up!), and Heather Peterson (my little sis!). I love, love, love getting letters. The days go so much better when I get mail from people I love :)
So surprise of the week: Pedro is really our teacher!! We have two teachers, Hermano Johnson and now Hermano Doxey (Pedro). It was so fun to see him show up to class and to hear him speak English!! He's such a great teacher, he loves his job, he loves what he teaches, and he has helped us all to improve. He interviewed me yesterday and he said that he always looks forward to mine and Hermana Hansen's lessons because we plan really, we ask questions, and we listen. He also told me that I could improve on bearing my testimony throughout the lesson and sharing life experiences that could be applied to the things I am teaching. I'm trying hard to incorporate those aspects of teaching into my lessons, but I guess I just hesitate because of the language barrier. But Spanish is getting so much better!! I love it. I'm so grateful for this chance that I have to learn it and to teach people using this language.
On Sunday we had our fireside and Jenny Oaks Baker, the violinist, came to speak/perform for us. She was so amazing! Her children even played for us. They were so cute :) I love it when people can express what they feel and what they know through their talents. After the fireside they play a movie, and the movie this week was Legacy. Hermana Hansen and I agreed that that movie had never been so funny and so romantic before. We're obviously in the MTC :)
On Tuesday we had Vaughan Featherstone speak to us. He was so funny and he would recite all of these poems and tell us stories, which kept the Elders' attention. One thing that he spoke of that could be applied to anyone right now is to bear testimony of the things you know every day. When people ask questions about your religion, just take advantage of that and share your testimony along with experience you've had in life.
Our lessons have gone so well. We taught four lessons yesterday, which totally wiped us out. We taught Pedro the law of tithing which was hard for him since he's saving up money for his sick father, we taught Victor the restoration and he's reading the Book of Mormon and praying about it, and then we taught in the Training Resource Center. The TRC is where we teach real members, so we couldn't really plan a lesson for it. We got to know them, found out what they were struggling with, and taught gospel principles that could be applied to their situation. Hermana Hansen kind of choked, but she said I carried the lessons really well.
Ok, so here's the embarrassing story of the MTC: Hermano Doxey went to meet with Hermana Hansen, and I didn't even realize that I was in a room full of elders by myself! So I was just studying for my lesson and chatting with the elders when all of a sudden, Elder Brown was like, "Hermana Bragg, aren't you not supposed to be in here??" The elders say my reaction was priceless. I was like, "OH MY GOSH!! WHAT ARE YOU ELDERS DOING TO ME??" I grabbed my stuff, and walked hastily out of the room. They were laughing so hard for the rest of the day :)
Hermana Hansen and I taught our district lesson about the Book of Mormon and how we can use it in our lessons and with our investigators. So our district's goal is to finish the Book of Mormon before we enter the field. The Book of Mormon is so awesome!! Everyone should read it, right now!! I don't care where you are in life or what religion you are, just read the Book of Mormon. I can guarantee that it will help you in life more than anything else can. It will give you guidance and direction in life and it will bring you so much happiness! I love it :) Hermana Hansen and I teach so well in English :)
I have the top bunk again. I'm so afraid I'm going to fall off in the middle of the night, so I mostly just sleep against the wall. They took my bed away because they need more beds for the elders.
Hermana Hansen and I have found the joy of watching Mormon Messages when our brains our fried from teaching and studying. My favorite one right now is the one about the British Falconer, I think it's called Coming to Christ? I don't remember, but look it up :) We just sit there and bawl when we watch those videos :)
Ok, I'd better go!! I love you sooo so much, but things are getting better here. I'm getting used to this schedule and to the things that are required of me. Love you!!
Hermana Jenny Bragg