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Hermana Brimley

Last Letter

Here is Alex’s last letter:

hey. see you guys on Friday.
I guess she figures she can just talk to us on Friday. Thank you all for reading her letters. We certainly have enjoyed hearing about her adventures in Ecuador. From the city to the Galapagos Islands, to the jungle, she has had some memorable experiences. We have enjoyed hearing her stories of struggles and success. She has loved being a missionary so I’m sure it will take some time to adjust to civilian life and speaking English. We are excited to have her home.
She arrives Friday night. Her homecoming is Sunday at 9:00. If you are planning to be there please come early. There is a farewell that same day so it’s a good guess that the Chapel will be packed.
Thanks again for all your support, concern, and prayers for her.
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Missionaries can’t dance

Hey family!

What a quick week. I can’t believe it is already Lunes again! BUT HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Nah, we didn’t celebrate because we are a too broke. But if money comes tomorrow, we make go a little crazy and buy some pizza. Nice. But Thanksgiving looked like a blast. And how fun, it is snowing again. I just can’t believe it is winter again. Today I got pretty sunburned so we will see how the transition goes.

Anyways, I think I mentioned last week that I would be going to Guayaquil for an autosuficiencia (self sufficient) class. It was pretty interesting. They called us all by our first names, which was kind of bizarre. They also had us put metas (goals) for our futures studies and jobs and…our marriage goals. So that was kind of strange. But now I have a goal haha.

The fun part of this week was the activity we did as a rama. (ward) A noche de talentos.(talent night) As missionaries we did a sketch where we got all dressed up to do a dance, super cool, with super cool music, every one was like “what the missionaries are going to dance?” but then we just did like one dance move and then danced like idiots and a member came up and was like “no no no, the missionaries can’t dance. Get off!” And it was funny. Did that even come across as funny? No, I just re-read it. It doesn’t. Haha.

What else what else. Not too much! We are working our booties off, but igua creo que van a cerrar la rama. There just isn’t too much progress here. Which is super super sad. But what can you do, if the members don’t care, we can’t force them to care. But I just wish they would care! I was reading Jacob 5 today and I just know, I KNOW, that el Señor de a viña esta aqui con nosotros. I also know that he is putting his part in, and we are putting our part it, and it just breaks my heart that the members don’t put their part in. That they can’t progress. Ah, gosh, it’s so frustrating. But it will all work out.

Sorry. That was probably a rant. But I just want every one to understand how important the gospel is. It is absolutely the most important thing that there is. I love the church. I love being a missionary and being able to testify of Christ every day. We are so so blessed to have the gospel in our lives.

I love you guys.

I so love love being a missionary

Familia,  (last weeks letter)

This week was alright. Probably the hardest week I have had on my mission. But I guess it just means that the Lord wants me to learn something that I haven’t quite learned yet. But that’s kind of a good thing. Like the Lord never tests us or sends us trials or hardships because he is mad. It’s because he wants to help us. So even though sometimes life isn’t SUPER easy, we should also remember that life was never meant to be easy. It’s meant to be a test. It is meant to help us prepare for a better future. So that is what I am trying to do. Try to look at the trials as a blessing and as an opportunity to learn and get better.

I hope every one is doing super well! I love you a lot!

Love, Hermana Brimley

Hey familia!

How is everyone? Sounds like a fun Fakesgiving you guys had. And I am sure it will be a great Thanksgiving on Thursday. Man I am jealous, playing soccer and football and stuff. That’ll be a party. But I think we are going to ask permission to do something as a zone for Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, Thanksgiving doesn’t mean much to the Latins, so I am really pushing it. But either way I won’t be in Loja on Thursday because I need to travel to Guayaquil do a  “autosuficiencia” class. (self sufficiency)

But this week was great! A little weird because on Wednesday we traveled to Cuenca at like 1 in the morning. Elder Godoy, the President of the Area here came to speak to us. He is from Brazil. He taught us to work like an army with love for the people we teach. It was awesome! My mission president ask me to share testimony to the whole mission and I don’t think I have ever been so nervous. But it was great!

And then straight from Cuenca we had to travel for consejo de lideres to Guayaquil with Elder Godoy again. Super awesome. And I got to do two sessions in the temple! And by coincidence I was there when MY FAVORITE MEMBER was receiving her endowments so I got to help with that. Wow, what a blessing. It was incredible.

Then pretty much I got back to Loja on Saturday night, went to church on Sunday, and now I am here. I can’t believe it is P-day again. Time is incredible.

Everything is great here! I so love love being a missionary. It has been such a privilege to be able to be here. I love the people here and I love my companions and all the Hermanas and Elders. Obviously things are hard, but life was never meant to be easy. We only go through what we can handle, and we only go through it because Dios has something better  in store for us. I love the mission. I love what I have the opportunity to learn. I love the church.

Thanks you guys for everything. All the support and prayers. It is so appreciated.

Love, Hermana Brimley

He had been waiting for this moment

Hey,

How is every one doing? I hope things are still going super well in the United States. I hope the election goes well. You are entering Pumpkin season, which is the most delicious season, so that is very fun.

Anywho. This week was great. We got to work and it was so much fun. Actually let me just tell you the highlight of the week…since our branch is SUPER struggling, the branch president asked our mission president if we could have permission to play soccer on Friday with the members. That, jamas, happens. We haven’t played soccer in this mission for like 10 years. I was so so so so so excited. And we played for like 5 hours and then the next day I couldn’t walk. But they called me Hermana Messi so vale la pena. Then we actually got permission to play soccer for our P day today with the zone and it rocked. Again, I won’t be able to move tomorrow and I got super sun burned but it was great.

Spiritual experience: so my companion and I were contacting on Sunday night. And here in Loja, there is NO ONE outside on Sunday night. Absolutely no one. And worse because this week was vacations for them and so EVERYONE was gone. Except for the people that were drinking. It was kind of a rough week. But anyways, we were outside at like 8:30pm “contacting” (putting pamphlets on people’s cars). When finally I saw this super mean looking guy, whom I was initially afraid of, but I ran up to him (literally ran to him), gave him a pamphlet of the Plan de Salvacion and told him that this message was specifically for him, it was specifically going to bless his life and that God loves him. And he kind of started to cry, but then got really excited and said he had been waiting for this moment. And it was just beautiful. God seriously is preparing people every where. And it is like Elder Uchtdorf said in his talk, fourth floor last door. Just keep knocking. My companion and I just felt done trying to find people to talk to that night and wanted to go home. But we kept working and in those last moments God really blessed us. It’s like the scripture says, it’s AFTER the trial of your faith that you will see the blessings. So just keep going.

What else…what else. The virgen left this week. Silly doll. Some drunk people thought we were prostitutes and when I explained to them that we are missionaries they started crying and asking for help for a long time. But then when I was trying to leave they kissed my arms and ugh I am so done with that kind of nonsense. Pero sigamos.

Mom you asked how my Spanish was, well I had to make a call for the mission nurse in english and I was trying to speak english and the lady was like “oh you don’t speak english. I will transfer you to the Spanish call lady.” haha

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Anyway. I hope every thing is great back in America. Ecuador is doing well. The church is the best. The gospel is real and God really does love us. I am realizing that more and more every day.

Love you guys.

Hermana Brimley

The election sounds kind of horrible

Hey!

Nate’s concert looked so cute! And sydni’s concert looked fantastic. What talent we have in the family. Bien hecho, todos.
I am not going to lie. I am so bored of writing letters. So I am just going to give you a rundown of what happened this week:
-conferencia de zona con presidente morena and hermana moreno. They spoke about the doctrine of christ, our objective as missionaries (BAPTISM) and the unity between companionships (they even showed a clip from the pìnk panther). Then they took us out to lunch.
-Interviews with Presidente. Which was greaaat. He is so wonderful and humble. He taught me a lot about the justice and mercy. And the humility. I had so many questions for him. I ended up being in my interview for like an hour. But he’s wonderful, and told me how much he loves me and how grateful he is for me and what I do. Always a confidence booster.
-District conference. So much fun because I got to see everyone from zamora! The familia jensen and my old mamita and stuff. They are great. But, by the lack of assistence and the lack of progress here in loja I think that are going to take missionaries out and put some of the branches together. Kind of like…a punishment. No, better said, a tiempo de probación.
-HALLOWEEN. As a zone we had a bbq and we played volleyball and it was so much fun. I love the zone.
Other than that we are just working on finding new people. We have found some awesome investigators that are preparing for baptism. Which is a miracle. We also have been in a lot of doctor’s appointments and stuff for my comp. So that is…something. I am not sure what the lord wants me to learn from all of my companions getting sick. But there has got to be something.
Anywho. Love you guys! Have a great week. Sorry the election sounds kind of horrible. Glad I am missing it. But read your scriptures and say you prayers and go to church. Even with all the crazy things that go on in the world, we will be so so so much better off if we keep humble and we just live the life that the Lord wants us to live. We can do life in 2 ways: the man’s way or God’s way. Man’s way leads to problems and God’s way leads to blessings. But it is very much up to us to choose.
Love, Hermana Brimley

I guess that city is pretty magical

Hey!

Wow Disneyland only looked like a dream. Every one’s costumes were on point. Nice work guys. Disneyland at Halloween! So much fun. I also went on a little vacation this week. To Guayaquil!!!!!! Pretty much the same. Bueno, I actually think there couldn’t be more opposite places. I’ll never forget that guy that Scott met on his mission that was from Guayaquil and just shouted over and over “GUAYAQUIL. GUAYAQUIL.” Hahaha. Also I saw a cat in Guayaquil that was sitting on his bum with his hands folded in his lap. Wow. So I guess that city is pretty magical too.
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BUT ANYWAY. Yep, this week I pretty much was traveling the whole time. We left on Tuesday morning, had the consejo (leadership training) on Wednesday (went to the temple after!!) and then left Thursday afternoon, arrived here on Friday. But it is so much fun to be in consejo and see all of my missionary friends and listen to our President and his wife. Everyone is just so awesome.
 I have horribly bad luck! Seriously I don’t know what I do but every companion I have gets sick. Even Hermana Morena (President’s wife) was like asking about my work ethic and stuff because everyone ends up with knee or leg problems after being with me. So right now my comp has a weird ankle problem. She can’t actually walk. Her poor ankle is like the size of Nate’s biceps (when did Nate get so muscular…?). So this will be a fun time of recovery for her. I dunno.
Did you guys know that I am only coming home with one other Elder? No one else. Guess who that Elder is. Elder Humble! haha. How funny is that. You ask about the crazy things I have eaten…Nothing too crazy, I have had frog legs and guinea pig which tastes like chicken.
Okay love you guys. I hope you are all having the best of weeks. I miss you all a lot but I love being here. Even when it is hard and times are tough the mission is just the best.
Love Hermana Brimley

Thank you for the hermana that was born on a Wednesday in the month of September that made me a dress in 1985

Hey!

Wow Aunt Lori’s party looked like so much fun, Every one’s costumes looked really really cool. It’s incredible how Lorin really just is Luna Lovegood. But every one was very clever with their costumes. I showed the picture of Mom and dad to my companion and we cracked up. You looked hilarious. I’m excited to go to the party one day. Also, dad, Florida sounds great. Also I cannot believe Nate dyed his hair orange. Also did you plant a new tree in the front yard…?
This week has been great. We are working on updating the lists of the ward members here, because we really have nothing else to go off of. So we are just searching for members but most of the names that appear are people that have moved or have died. It’s always kind of uncomfortable when they have to tell us that their loved one has already passed away and they get all upset. But we have found some super awesome investigators! We have this one, named Berta. She came to church yesterday. I was teaching the class on obedience and she for some reason when up on a rant about how she hates Loja and she is trying to escape (she’s like 50). And then she wanted to give the prayer at the end, and she starting saying the weirdest things like “thank you God that all of my children came out naturally, and I didn’t have to do a C-section” and “thank you for the hermana that was born on a Wednesday in the month of September that made me a dress in 1985″ and she was like praying for 10 or 15 minutes until finally I had to help her finish. But anyways, little by little, am I right?
But life is good. We are having a blast here in Loja. I forgot that it is fun to live with 4 hermanas! We are all learning a lot together and it’s fun because we all have the same goal…to help Loja get a lot stronger. It’s really really struggling right now. We just got a new branch president and they had to call him from a different branch because there really wasn’t anyone else. But yeah, we are doing activities and English classes and bible classes (they love the bible here) and piano classes to try and help. And we’ll get there. I am going to a leadership training tomorrow, traveling to Guayaquil and should be back here on Thursday night.
Any who. I love you guys! You are the best. Stay strong with this election. It sounds horrible. But luckily we have the knowledge that if we keep strong with the gospel, we will be well off in the end. Even with all the changing principals and morals of the world, we can be so so so much happier and blessed if we keep faithful to the laws and principals that GOD has set. Not a man.
Love you.
Hermana Brimley

I can’t do more rice

Hey guys!

I can’t believe you played Halloween Bingo without me! Thinking about it now, our obedience ghost story doesn’t make TOO much sense. But either way it’s fun and I miss peanut butter M&Ms. But I digress. And Cornbellys. Crazy that it is that time of the year again. Last year, I really didn’t know what was going on here on my mission, but this year I am totally going to celebrate Halloween.
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This week has been great! We are super super busy in trying to find everything. Like pretty much just getting lost and contacting on the street trying to find our way around. Opening a new sector is a lot more fun when I can actually speak the language. But the members are super super awesome here. Though…well there aren’t a lot. Like it is kind of like Zamora when I first got there. Yesterday we had 8 people in church. And the President of the branch and his family moved to Quito today. So now we have…well we aren’t working with much. But that is okay, we are going to start to do activities and bible classes and English classes. It will all get better. I know that if the Lord wanted me to come here, there is a reason for it. And that’s how it was in Zamora and when I left that branch 70 people were coming to church. Those members are super great. So are the people here.
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Speaking of Zamora! I got to go back this week because my investigator got baptized! It was so awesome. Zamora is the coolest. The elder that baptized is a gringo that started his mission this week and pretty much arrived to the area just to baptize. He was super grateful and the baptism was awesome. Ya mismo tendremos uno aca.
What else…my mamita is really awesome. The first day I got here, I was like “Hermana I am not going to eat rice. I love you. You cook wonderfully. But I can’t do more rice”. (I have become super direct). And she was like “That’s true hermana, we eat TOO much rice here. Lets change that.” So she’s an angel.
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Today we got to play volleyball as a zone! Whoo! It was so fun. I am so bad and got hit a lot, but still so fun. And then we ate tacos.
So this week I have been studying a lot in Isaiah. And it is so so cool (even if it is hard to understand). I love seeing how God is the same today as He always has been. Like even as the world changes, politics change, things become morally acceptable and unacceptable, the laws of God are always the same. Somehow that really comforts me. Like we don’t have to guess what is right and what is wrong. God has told us exactly what is right and wrong, and even if we don’t understand it, or we want to question it, we should always know that when God does something, He does it because he loves us. He wants us to live happily and He wants us to return to him. Very interesting. Very Comforting.
Anyways, I love you guys so much! I hope you guys are enjoying fall. Cuidense mucho.
Hermana Brimley

Are we praying, or just saying prayers?

Hey guys!

Well. I had transfers. I am a little bit broken-hearted about it, I am not going to lie. The worst part is, I just can’t see the reason for this transfer! And as I was thinking about that during conference, what really stuck out to me was when people talked about doing the will of the Lord, rather than your own. And when we do…we will be able to realize our full potential. So as much as I am upset about leaving Zamora and coming to Loja, I know that it is for a reason.
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Loja is 2 hours away from Zamora. It is in the mountains and is pretty. There are a lot of cows and llamas. I have gotten lost about 25 times today.

Our president is making a ton of changes in the mission, though. Like he just combined two zones and made one giant zone (I was made Hermana Leader so I think that is why I had transfers). My companion got transferred to Guayaquil in the office. I  think because of her knee. My new companion is named Hermana Tonoto (I think). She has got like…4 months in the mission. Something like that. And is from Quito. So my wonderful gringa days are over. We are working in Loja, opening a sector. White washing? I think that is called. So I am a little nervous. Like 25 people attend church here. Ugh! I feel so sad because that is how it was when I got to Zamora but by the end we had like 60 or 70 people coming. Now I feel like we are starting over again. But that is okay. I know it will be great.
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WASN’T CONFERENCE AWESOME!!!? There wasn’t internet in the church so we got to watch it with the Jensen family (an American family that is living in Zamora until December) And it was just like being at home. We ate hamburgers after. I could have cried. But seriously that conference was just the most fantastic thing. A few things that stuck out “Are we praying, or just saying prayers?” I just loved the way that was phrased.. And President Uchtdorf’s talk was awesome. Same with Elder Bednar’s. Wow how lucky are we to be able to listen to our prophets. And President Monson. It was short what he said, but so powerful. Plan of Salvation. I felt like they talked a lot about how we need to trust in the Lord. Like even when we don’t understand things, just trust in what we know to be true. I also really like “Do we BELIEVE what we know?” Super awesome.
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Other things…bueno,  last week we were in Guayaquil until Thursday. It was awesome.We were able to go to the temple!  We arrived back to Zamora and then we were told that we would both be leaving. But we have 2 baptisms next week so I think I will go back for those.
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Okay I love you guys. Sounds like the weather is crazy there, since every one talked about it in their letters..
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Love you guys!

Hermana Brimley

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