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Hermana Brimley

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August 2015

I found a family of lizards in our apartment.

HOLA FAMILIA

How is everyone doing? I am glad to hear that Riley and Sierra were married! Congratulations guys! Garrett, way to save the day with the speakers and also I hope your stomach is feeling better (lol). Also Ali and Derek oh my gosh your poem was so funny. I was dying. Babies (nate and Anna) congratulations on school.
So this week was cool! Many blessings. This week I was put in a trio with Hermana Nuñez and Hermana Bradley. She is a norte which is cool because ENGLISH WHOO.  But actually she rarely will speak to me in English, which is good but also a little sad. Mostly because Nortes here seriously cannot remember English. They try and totally fail. So maybe I will get there someday, but at this point it everything I can do just to understand and speak a little. By the end of the day my brain is like so exhausting because right now I am trying to directly translate everything in my head, and I think after a while I will get to the point of just hearing and understanding. Does that make sense? Anyways.
To answer a few questions- At this point I only live with my companions. The food is primarily arroz and maybe some hot dogs or chicken (lol the hot dogs never end I don’t understand). Drink is always juice. Which is good because we are definitely not allowed to drink the water here. The people here live in these tiny little shacks. Some have dirt floors but some have cementish floors. I would say generally they are as big as our living room. Its really crazy. My spanish is coming but like I said it is still really hard. haha but give me a few weeks and I will get there I swear. Sundays are just like any other day except we start out at church and then just go from lesson to lesson. People LOVE americans (and by people I mean creepy men). I have never got so many disgusting comments. But my self-esteem has never been higher haha. We do have a cell phone.
A few funny things this week- I found a family of lizards in our apartment. In a way it was cute, in a more real way it was horrible. I saw a guy kill and eat a cat. No comment there. I saw a naked women walking around. Shameless. Apparently that is normal here. Oh crazy thing! (Listen up brother Garvin and also Uncle Logan (though I don’t know if he served in Machala)). In my ward there are 2,000 members! Haha thats crazy. Only like 300 are active but still. Wow.
I am not sure about other thing…this week really has been cool. Its like I am actually a missionary! Wow! Just living the life, teaching people this gospel. Its pretty cool. Spiritual experiences? Its like, everything I do I attribute to the spirit. Like sometimes I am so tired and not willing to try and understand but I will say a prayer and be like please help me focus just for like 5 minutes and BAM I am ready to go. There spirit is just always there for me and its really the greatest blessing.
Okay guys. I love you all! Thank you for your letters and your prayers because you cannot imagine how much they help. Love you!!!
Love, Hermana Brimley
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The bugs. are. disgusting.

Hola Familia! Welcome to Ecuador , the best mission in the world! Seriously. So cool here. Not literally, it really could not be hotter. Ah so much to say but so little time because, yes, I am one of the few lucky missionaries that still only has an hour to write. So dang it.

Okay, though let me start from the beginning. First things first I am so sorry that I never called back at the airport. I felt so bad because I knew you guys were waiting but I had no more change and we were already running super late for our flight. But talking for just a few minutes was awesome so I am glad we got to do at least that. The flight was good. Nice and smooth. And then the President and his wife and the APs picked us up and immediately went to the Guayaquil temple. We didn’t do a session, but it was cool to see the outside! All the rest of the day we were in safety meetings and stuff, which was really awesome information but like…i was running on 1 hour of sleep so actually not my favorite.
My area is Machala which is like the coolest area. I am not quite sure what pictures you looked at but Machala is not nice. It is extremely poor. Like most of the roads here are dirt and it has mostly cane shacks with dirt floors and tin roofs and no door–which is different but the people are so fun. And humble. And just ready for the gospel. Like we can talk to someone for like 2 minutes and then they want to be baptized. So that is cool. The taxi ride over here I invited someone to be baptized and he said of course and then we got out and my companion was like…yeah no…he was just flirting with you. So you win some and you lose some.
My companion is AWESOME. She is from Peru and knows like no English so WHOO to full immersion because English is just really not a thing here. Who would have thought. But she is so patient and such an awesome missionary so I was super super blessed.
The bugs. are. disgusting. Our apartment is pretty nasty and infested with cockroaches which is just lovely. But it is okay because I sleep under a mosquito net so they cant get me at night. And you know what? It just really makes me appreciate the cleanliness of America so it really is a blessing. The mosquito net is tough because we don’t have air conditioning in our apartment which means I literally wake up in a pool of sweat every morning. But it is okay because everyone is sweaty here!
We do our laundry in the sink. Our water hasn’t been working so that means that the toilet doesn’t work, but there aren’t public bathrooms, and we aren’t allowed to use any other bathrooms. Needless to say our bathroom smells like an outhouse.
Every day we eat lunch at someones house. The food is…good. Sometimes. Again, you win some and you lose some. Lots of rice which is great but also lots of….weird stuff–like plantain balls and lima beans with mayonnaise. Luckily our President is a doctor so he is super strict on what we can and cant eat. So so far I have not gotten sick.
My Spanish has for sure improved but that pretty much means nothing. I can understand quite a bit, and I can pretty much say anything I want, but I have to say it in the most round about kind of ways, generally. So pretty much I am just a 5 year old.
I feel safe here. It is kind of weird how many people stare at me, though. It’s like…I am not THAT white am I? But apparently I am.
Okay I love you guys! I am pretty much an idiot and forgot the wire to my camera but luckily I have p days every week now!! WHOO. So I will for sure send lots of pictures next week. OKay i love you!!
Love, Hermana Brimley

Alex Arrives in Ecuador (letter from Mission President)

8/12/2015

Dear Brother and Sister Brimley:

It was a very special experience to personally greet your daughter, Sister Brimley, at the airport upon her arrival in Guayaquil. We were impressed by her great spirit and desire to serve. We are grateful and humbled to have her serving here with us.

From the airport we took her and the other missionaries downtown to the Guayaquil Temple for a picture. We then went to a stake center to meet the office staff and take care of some paperwork, and orientation. We enjoyed a great Ecuadorian dinner after which it was my privilege to interview your daughter as well as the other arriving missionaries. What a nice experience it was to get to know your daughter and feel her outstanding missionary spirit!

Later in the day, they were assigned companions for their first assignment. The next morning they traveled to their new area. Your daughter was assigned to the Machala Zone with Sister Nuñez as her companion. The address for the mission office is Ecuador Guayaquil South Mission, Casilla 09-04-566, Guayaquil, Guayas, Ecuador. If, in case of emergency, you need to contact your daughter, please call the mission office at 593-04-228-2454.

Your help in encouraging her in your letters to continue to serve faithfully, being completely obedient throughout her mission will be greatly appreciated. We know that she and the Ecuador Guayaquil South Mission will be in your prayers. We also know that the coming months will bring many blessings into your lives by your daughter´s faithful service and the sacrifice you are making for her to serve the Lord.

Thank you very much for having prepared your daughter to withstand the rigors of missionary life and to now be serving with us.

May God bless you for your consecration towards furthering the Lord´s work. We send our love and appreciation.

Ecuador Guayaquil South Mission

President Maxsimo C Torres Sister Blanca T. Torres

Colombia is da bomb

Hello Family!

So I just got back from tour which was AMAZING. Bogota is both the prettiest and ugliest place in the world. The mountains are so beautiful and green and huge but the streets look like the ghetto of chinatown. So there you go. How is CALIFORNIA? Geez. I can not believe you guys are there without me. I mean I can believe it, but still. I hope you guys are having fun! I have been praying for you guys to enjoy yourself every day because I am just super mature that way. I have never been to Magic Mountain so I hope that was fun. As you might remember I am not a huge roller coaster person, so it is alright that you went without me. Disneyland on the otherhand…wow. Jk. Colombia is da bomb.
So this week we got to go proselyting. It was pretty cool and also hard and it kind of blew. We went out to this random part of the city for three hours and the goal was to get 8 referals. Which is tough. Like a million people came up to me and tried to speak English and they were very kind and told me how beautiful I was and gave me kisses and hugs but then I would try and bring up the gospel and nope. They said adios. Or they would be like “it is great that you believe in god, so do I” and then give me a kiss and run away. Also boys would touch my cheeks and play with my hair and kiss my cheeks and like I dont know enough spanish to tell them to stop but i didnt want to like punch them so I learned this cool ducking mechanism. You learn so much in the CCM.
So I am going to get my Latina companion tonight. Which is cool and also super scary seeing as all the Nortes went crazy with theirs last week. But esta bien because I need to learn spanish and this will force me to learn, even though it is very VERY sad to leave my companion and my district. Like I am pretty heart broken about that.
So tour! So cool. We went to the top of these mountains in Bogota…I think they said it was like 16000 feet above sea level. It was beautiful. And we got to go into this crazy Cathedral on the top of the mountain. And also some guy gave me a free bracelet so NICE. And I got a cool soccer jersey and a sweater. And some candy. Though we are not allowed to eat anything in our rooms. Which is an annoying rule and they told us why this week. Are you ready? It is because the Latins eat too much in their rooms and they get too fat. Dang latins. But it is okay.
Alrighty. This was a boring email. But it was a good week! I am learning a ton about the gospel and spanish and it is really really cool. We watched this video about missionary work, narrated by Elder Holland. I had never heard it. But it was talking about how missionary work isnt easy and it was never meant to be easy because Salvation wasnt a cheap experiece. I dunno, it was just one of those things that like really hit home. Needless to say, I was a wreck.
Alright have fun on your super cool vacation. I will continue to learn the lovely spanish language. Wish me luck with my Latina! It will be very interesting. haha. I love you guys!!
Love, Hermana Brimley

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