Monday, December 30, 2013

Estoy llena, si soy Jenna!

Happy New Year everyone!!
I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas, I know I did! Christmas Eve we helped a lady make tomales, I don't think she trusted me with making them though because my job was to wash the leaves.. That's okay, it was still way fun to help out :) A family invited us over for Noche Bueno dinner, that was way fun! But holy smokes, we got so much food, our fridge is packed! On Christmas Eve nobody really had time to listen to us, but if we passed a members house they would run out and give us food. We got tomales up the yin yang, coconuts, popsicles, TorTrix (basically doritos) and hot chocolate. At the end of the day Hermana De Leon kept saying ahh, estoy llena, and the double ll here sounds like a J so I would respond, si Soy Jenna! Maybe it's a 'you have to be there joke' but we are still laughing about it! I got the best Christmas present, being able to hear my favorite people's voices!! Ahhh, that was the best, getting to talk to my loves :) A few days before Christmas, Hermana De Leon and I decided that we were going to work really hard on Christmas so we wouldn't get homesick, and that we did! Christmas afternoon we had a few lessons, invited 7 people to be baptized and set 4 baptism dates :) Mmmhmm, we were flying high on Christmas! And it didn't stop there because on Saturday we had a baptism, so we've been on a high lately :) I love this work! I may get a little frustrated with the language, but I have so much love for the people here it doesn't even matter!
Can you believe I've been out for 2 months today, happy cumplimes to me! haha! We went to the Zoo today as a district which was way fun :) We got to wear jeans.. holy smokes that felt weird! I don't know which is more comfortable honestly, I'm getting used to wearing skirts and dresses everyday!
I hope you all have a wonderful new year! I have a goal for this week and the rest of my mission, I want to remember to throw my toilet paper in the trash can.. I forget sometimes and I don't want to know what we will have to do if the toilet gets clogged.. yikes.. Have a great week! Thank you for everything you do for me and have a wonderful new year! Love you all :)
Love, Hermana Brems

                                           Cleaning the tamale leaves
                                   I wasn't so coo coo for the coconut, but it was fun
                                                   Christmas Eve Dinner

                     Christmas day! My cute outfit bag and slippers! (Thanks momma!!)
                                                      Ashley's baptism!
                            I love this place! Pretty sky and background!

                                                     Today at the zoo!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Tres Tristes Tigres

Hola Family and Friends!
How are ya!? I hope you are all ready for Christmas, I know all of you are on Santa's nice list this year so if should be a good one for all of you :) We celebrated Christmas for our zone conference on Tuesday. It was way fun, President Curtiss and his wife gave a talk and we went over some business. They 'asked' me from the pulpit to say the prayer, so I didn't have a choice haha, that's alright, I don't mind practicing that good good spanish! They made us a delicious meal and then we watched Monsters University. Hermana De Leon and I had the most contacts that week so we got a box of cookies, way sweet of them haha!
This week when we were having language study, Hermana De Leon was having me say tongue twisters, hence tres tristes tigres, I have a hard time saying them in English, let alone spanish! It was a good laugh for her though so that's alright! Spanish is coming along, I'm understanding more and more and I'm talking more in the lessons. I need more confidence though, that's what everyone says! I just don't want to say anything wrong, but I have to learn some how and practice is the best way right?!
This week we contacted a ton and had several lessons. The people here are kinda funny, they seem so interested in our message when we give them a pamphlet and talk to them in the street. When we go back to give a lesson that we've prepared they tell us that they go to a different church, or they're busy, or we saw one guy run around to the back of his house and grab his bike.. he took off! Hermana De Leon was like, alright alright, we won't come back! Silly Pablo.. oh well! Oh and the other day I had a zit on my face.. it happens right? Well, I guy that didn't have teeth asked me what it was.. I was like, dude, you don't even have teeth, why point out my flaws?! That's okay, he has a sweet spirit I'm sure.. Yesterday was such a good day though! One of the ladies we taught, stopped cleaning to listen to us, we invited her to be baptized and she told us she was baptized in a different church, so we asked her to pray, I have hope! Anyway, after we were done teaching, we helped her clean her house because she kinda needed it.. I know she was very thankful and if felt SO good to serve her. Before we begin any lesson we always start with a Hymn. I thought it was a little strange the first 3 times and I felt awkward because I don't necessarily have the best singing voice, but after that, I absolutely love it! Music just brings the spirit into any home and the people usually enjoy it too! 
I hope you all have a wonderful week and have a very Merry Christmas :) I'll be thinking about you like always! Thank you for all of your prayers and your examples :) Talk to you next week!
Love always, Hermana Brems

Monday, December 16, 2013

Group pictures from 11/13 and 11/27

Ayi Aya, Aqui, Aqua

Hello hello hello!
All I can say about my first week in the field is.. WOW! Haha! I have seen things that I never thought were possible, in a spiritual sense and in a living condition sense.. hahah! My companion, Hermana De Leon is the best! She has trained 3 other hermanas so she knows what she's doing! She is very patient with me and always tell me that I'm doing so good with my spanish and with teaching. I'm getting used to our house, it's a little bit more cozy and we're adding our personal touches to it. We bought curtains the other day and I went to take old ones down and guess what scurried out of them??? A LIZARD!!! I jumped off the table and ran to the other side of the room. Holy smokes.. I haven't touched them since haha! We don't have a kitchen in our house, just a sink and a portable stove top, but even with that it is so nice to finally cook!! The CCM food was good, but I know those eggs were fake.. and I can finally have yogurt and food that I want! I'm living the dream :)
We have such a good branch here in Santa Elena, the people are so willing to help us out, give referrals, and go tractcing with us! We've had a member with us everyday, and the mission leader is awesome! We were walking down a street with a member and we were totally lost so we called him and he came to our rescue with a bottle of Gatorade for all of us! He's great! Our area is huge, I swear we walked 8 miles yesterday and it was raining most of the day too! Living the true missionary experience. When they people give directions, they just say, Ayi or aya or aqui or aqua. I'm already awful with directions and still get lost with a GPS, so I am so grateful Hermana De Leon knows what she's doing! haha! We had a lesson with some new Investigators the other day, Gerardo and Carolina, they were a referral from a member. We met with them and they had heard a little about the church, mostly about the Word of Wisdom so we talked about that. We went back the next day to give a real lesson and at the end he told us that he had had a dream the night before, that I was giving him a basket of fruit. He said he knew the fruit was the word of God. Ummm chilerro verdad?! They went to church yesterday and I have great hope for them :) In another lesson we were talking about families and the importance of them. I opened up my photo album and shared some pics of my awesome family and just told them how grateful I am for you guys and how much you mean to me! Yesterday we went tracting with a member, while we were waiting for her, her daughter was rolling out tortillas so we helped out. I'm basically a native, I can get those things in a perfect circle haha :)
I received a different address for you to send mail and packages, I guess this one is better! It is:
Mision Guatemala Coban
3ra Calle 2-20 Zona 3
Coban AV 16001
Guatemala CA
Mision Coban
Thank you for all of your love, support, and prayers! I really do feel them and I hope you all feel my love for you! I love you all and I love this work :)
Love, your hard working Guatemalan
Hermana Brems

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Where in the world is Hermana Brems?????

With very limited information, this is where we believe Jenna is calling home now.

Santa Elena!

Hola de Santa Elena!!
I made it safe and sound to my area, it's in Peten Santa Elena, where all the ruins are! Needless to say I'm super excited, pdays will be awesome! It's been so long since I've been able to write, lo siento! I got a new companion, her name is Hermana De Leon, she is from Guatemala, but she speaks pretty good English. I'm her first Norte to train so hopefully I represent the US well :)
The trip up here was interesting! So we had a 4 hour bus ride to Coban where we met the President and his wife, they are the BEST! I might have cried with Hermana Curtiss when she bore her testimony and I talked about my fam :) I miss you guys so much! Then she fed us tortilla soup with lots of rice, ahhh it was delicious! Then we stayed with some hermanas overnight because my area is abotu 7 hours away from Coban and we left yesterday morning. That trip was very interesting. We crossed a river on a 'ferry` had some luggage fall out of the van, but we recovered it and yeah.. it was just a long day! When we got to the house we were pretty disgusted.. the Elders that lived in it previously obviously didn't know houw to clean, Hermana De Leon said that that's the worst place she's lived in, so at least it can only get better from here, right?! After seeing some of the houses of members today I can't even begin to complain about the cold shower, bugs, or anything else because at least we have a floor and we don't have pigs and chickens pooping at our feet! Last night the mission leader took us around to some of the members houses, it was so fun! I couldn't understand everything, but they were very excited to have us in their home! One lady fed us, we were starving so it tasted really really good!
Today we went shopping for food because we had nothing and then went contacting. Ahh it's kinda surreal, but it's way fun! I wish I knew more spanish, but I keep telling  myself to be patient! The president told me he sent me to this area because he thinks that my energy is needed up here! Haha I'll bring all the energy and positivity I have! They only have a branch here, but the members seem to be very helpful!
I love you all so much and I will talk to you more on my P-day which is Monday. I got a call today and they told me that I had a very worried momma and I needed to write home :) Love you all, thank you for all of your support and prayers!
Love, Hermana Brems

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Down in the Paint!

Why hello everyone! This week was literally one of the best weeks of
my life!! I absolutely love my companion, Hermana To'a, we get along
so great and we teach so well together! Our spanish has imporved so
much because we talk more and we aren't afraid of messing up because
we realized we're both still learning and we've only been learning for
a few weeks! Since 4 of the 11 people in my district left, we've all
gotten super close. We do sports together so it's really fun! The
other day we were playing hand ball and I was getting ready to catch
the ball when all of a sudden one of the Elders tackled me to the
ground.. Needless to say I went down in the paint and he had to sit
out for a little bit. I felt bad because it was an accident, but I was
mostly just super embarrassed! I didn't get hurt, don't worry, I'm a
tough little Hermana! Thanksgiving here was so fun! They brought out
the table cloths and we got to use real plates instead of plastic
ones! We had the traditional Turkey day meal complete with my very
first piece of pecan pie (sorry dad, it was delicious!!) I ate for
this Thanksgiving and the next one.. :) heehee! After dinner we
watched a devo by Elder Nelson and his wife, it was so good! They told
us to find those people who's ancestors are praying for us to find
their posterity so they can get their temple work done. I had never
looked at it like that! So great! I was asked to be the music
coordinator for my branch so I get to pick the music for Sacrament
Meeting, devotionals and Relief Society! It's been so fun, I love
being able to serve and help out in any way I can! Last week they made
us put a little piece of paper on our plaquas that say 'No Hablo
Ingles' they Latinos have fun messing with all of us.. punks! They're
way nice though, they love to help us out. I can't believe I leave the
CCM in a week from today! I am so excited to get out to the field, I'm
a little nervous though! We watched Errand of Angels on Sunday, haha
that definitely didn't calm my nerves at all, but I know the Lord will
help me through all things if I am exactly obedient. I love this work
and I love being a missionary :) I'm not sure when I'll be able to
write you next, I'm hoping next Wednesday I'll be able to shoot out a
quick email, but I'm not 100% sure! lo siento! I love you all and I am
so thankful that I have this opportunity to serve a mission,
especially here in Guatemala! thank you for all of your prayers and
support! I am one happy gal! :) Love, your favorite hermana, Hermana

Monday, November 25, 2013

Don't Be Fubeca!

Hello Everyone! Well, the first month has been a success! All my skirts and dresses still fit, I haven't missed a day of writing in my journal, and Hermana Cabral and I still get along great! Whenever we start to get off task we look at each other and say 'Don't be fubeca!' which is portugese for a slacker! It definitely works :) haha For the last 2 weeks in the CCM, my district decided that we were only going to speak spanish from 9-5.. it'll be so helpful and I'm glad we're doing it, but classes will be a lot more quiet! We get a new batch of Latino missionaries on Wednesday, when they come in hermana Cabral and another hermana from my district are going to join one of their districts because they're really advanced in Spanish. I'll be companions with Hermana To'a, she's from Laie Hawaii, she's super fun so I'm excited. We're on the same level as far as the language is concerned so I think it'll be beneficial for all of us. We won't be able to depend on our companions spanish during lessons, we'll have to do all the talking! Oh, the funniest thing happened the other day! I was in need of a hug.. it was just one of those days.. so I told Hermana Cabral and she didn't think I was serious! We went upstairs to brush our teeth and I just kinda hugged my pillow for like 10 seconds and I felt a little better! haha Then yesterday she was like, wait, when you said you needed a hug, were you serious? I was like, YEAH! That's why I grabbed my pillow! She felt so bad.. esta bien though! Tomorrow for Pday we get to go to Wal Mart, we're all stoked to be able to get out of the gates of the CCM! Don't get me wrong the CCM is great and I am living it up and enjoying hot showers and good food, but it is kind of confining. We were talking to some native girls, about the different missions in Guatemala, they said that Coban is like a ranger mission. So basically only the tough survive.. they started laughing so hard because I guess my face looked as scared as I felt! haha! I'll come back loving camping, or I'll be really good at it, it's a win win in both situations! We watched a devotional by Elder Bednar again, at the end of his talk he was saying that he wishes he could shake all of our hands, look us in the eye and tell us that We Can Do This! Yeah, I started crying, that was exactly what I needed to hear! Again, it's just been one of those weeks.. but hearing that from one of the apostles of the Lord was like music to my ears! I love the gospel and I am so grateful for the opportuninty I have to bring it to other people's lives. In honor of Thanksgiving, I'll close this letter with 3 things that I'm thankful for, I can't not follow family traditions! 1. I am so thankful for my amazing family and knowing that families can be together forever. That is one of the greatest blessings in my life to know that I can always be with my amazing family. 2. I am so thankful for the gospel and the truth and happiness it has brought to my life. 3. I am so thankful for the opportunity I have to serve the Lord for 17 more months of my life. No matter how hard things get, I know He is always by my side, holding my hand and cheering me on. I love you all and I'm so thankful for you! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Love, Hermana Brems

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Happy Halfway!

Why hello friends and family! Again, the 'enter' key isn't working so I apologize! It's hump week in the CCM, woohoo! 3 weeks down, 3 to go. Last week literally flew by, I feel like it was Preparation day 2 days ago. Last week we went to the market, it was so much fun! They had stuff piled from the floor to the ceiling, lots and lots of colors, leather, cloth, ahh it was nuts! I love Guatemala, if I could only get the language down :) haha! Everyday we have 'investigators' to teach, they're just our teachers that pretend to be someone they taught on their mission. I was teaching Lucia Lopez, we were talking about families and what not. Oh my gosh I just started bawling!! I was a little frustrated because I wanted to be able to say what was in my heart in Spanish, but I didn't know how.. oh well.. but I sure do love my family and I love knowing that we can be together forever. We got a new batch of Hispanos last Wednesday. They are all really nice and super friendly. Our roommates are way sweet, I told one of them that everyday in the CCM gets better so don't worry! On Sunday her companion was not having a good day and just broke down crying after church, she said that she told her comp. what I had said and it brought comfort to her, I'm glad I could help a sista out! haha! Oh and the first few nights that they got here were awful, one of them has an infection in her throat and she snores SO loud! I swear the windows shake.. I pray everynight that I'll be able to sleep and the Lord really does bless me! When we got a new batch of missionaries our schedule changed so we have sports at 8 pm.. I didn't really like it at first because you're in a classroom all day and all of the North Americans work out then too, so it's super crowded. It's been nice to get to know the other hermanas better though and we have more time at night to write in our journals and shower, so it's not all bad! I realized I hadn't told you about my companera Hermana Cabral! She is from Brazil, and has 3 older sisters and a younger brother. She learned English and like 3 other languages in school then went to BYUI for 2 years, yes she definitely has the gift of tongues! She is 23 and is going to serve in Panama, she's the first Brazilian sister to ever serve in Panama which I think is way cool! Her dad is a mission president in Santus Brazil (I'm sure I spelt that wrong..) and all of her siblings have served a mission. We get along really really well and are already planning on meeting up sometime in Idaho when we get back! I got my scripture case today, ahhh it looks so sick!! I can't wait to send a picture of it :) Last P-day we got to take our cameras to the market, so I have gotten to document a few things, just 3 more weeks :) haha! Well I am doing really well, I love my job being a missionary! I miss all of you so much, not a day goes by that I don't think about each one of you! Take care! Love, your favorite hermana, Hermana Brems

Monday, November 11, 2013

I hope this works.. they took a picture of all the girls in the CCM, they do it every 2 weeks because we get new Latinos every 2 weeks.. anyway, I'm the first standing row, behind the lady wearing blue. She's the nurse, I'm so glad her and her husband are here, I tear up everytime they speak beecause they have the sweetest testimony and they understand! 
the second picture is of our district.. if I would have known we were taking a picture I would have actually done my hair, and worn a cuter outfit.. but what can you do..? haha!

No good or Si good

Hola Family and Friends!
I'm writing today because we get to go to the market tomorrow! I'm so stoked, every 2 weeks we get to do an activity outside of the CCM. We get our cameras back for the day too! It's been a great week here in Guatemala! I've learned so much and I'm always so happy and energetic! I think it drives Hermana Cabral a little crazy, but I'm just always way happy! I think it helped that one of my teachers said that 'With the Spirit you can speak Spanish' holy smokes, I was like dude you're totally right! I've been trying to study as much as I can and I know with work, patience, and help from the Lord I will be able to speak. I have been focusing mostly on getting the doctrine down and making sure everyone is happy haha!
I am learning pretty quickly that it's the little things in life that are the best. The other day we had Ghiardelli brownies for dessert... oh my gosh, I was like YES!! I can do this, life is good, just everything seemed possible in life because of that dang brownie! haha And we had cereal for breakfast yesterday... those good good Frosted Flakes were so bomb. haha! Since I'm talking about food, I'll explain my subject title. The Hispanas always ask if we like the food and we've been trying to help them with their spanish. One of them was like, Hermana Brems, su comida, no good or si good? Ahhhh I died laughing! Maybe it way a 'you had to be there moment' but I've been laughing about it all week!
Yesterday we had 'transfers' so we switched companions for a few hours. My temporary companion was from Mexico! We talked about that for a few minutes because I can only hold a very sad conversation for that long. She kinda got annoyed with trying to figure out what I was saying so she didn't really talk to me anymore.. esta bien.. haha! After we were done with transfers the Norteamericanos went to a different room and we watched 2 movies, the Legacy and The Testaments. There wasn't a dry eye in the room after we finished The Testaments movie. A little later we watched a broadcast that was held a few years ago in the Provo MTC by Elder Bednar, man he's the best. But we stood up and sang Called To Serve. Gosh, I get chills everytime we sing that, Theres probably 50 Nortes, so 50 young adults singing their hearts out about being called to serve a mission for the Lord. I feel very blessed every single day! I have the best job in the world.
Life in the CCM is great, well it gets better everyday! The first week was rough, but now it's pretty awesome. We wake up at 6:30 and are busy until 10:30 so it's a long day, but I always feel very very accomplished after, and very very tired! I sleep like a rock. The weather is so nice, but it's winter here so all of the locals are wearing jackets and scarves and what not, it's kinda funny. I'm surprised I don't notice the humidity as much, but then again I'm in a classroom all day and not trekking around outside! haha!
I hope you all have a wonderful week! Thank you so much for all of you support, even though I'm so far away, I feel very close and connected to you! I love you and miss you all :) Talk to you next Tuesday!
Hermana Brems

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Few, The Proud, The Missionaries

Why hello everyone! It was so good to hear from all of you, the first week in the CCM has been pretty good, it definitely gets better everyday! Guatemala is so beautiful, so green and flowers everywhere, I wish I could take pictures and send home, but they have a really strict rule about no pictures inside the building.. a little weird, it´s nice and all, but not anything fantastic haha! So there are Latinos up the yin yang here!! Like 3/4 of the missionaries here are Latino, they´re all really nice and love helping us out (mostly making fun of us) with our Spanish. We have a deal with them, we teach them one English word a day and they teach us one Spanish word a day. The first few days I was getting SO frustrated with myself because Spanish is not coming easily to me, but I figure I´ve only been here a week and I still have 18 months to learn, no rush! haha Hermana Cabral and I share a room with 4 other Latina´s, they wanted to be in charge of the alarm so I said, by all means go for it! Well, Friday they turned on the lights and I looked at my watch and it was 7:30!! I panicked!! We missed Sports, which is one of my favorite times of the day, and we were so tired all day long. We learned early to ALWAYS wake up at 6:30, the Lord really does bless those who are obedient! I guess the Hermanas felt bad for waking up at 7:30 so on Sunday they decided to wake up at 5:45... oyy Hermana Cabral and I just stayed in bed even though they were talking and had the lights on. They are really sweet though, and always are laughing and trying to help us with Espanish. Our whole district is teaching a guy named Jose, he is a cook in the kitchen so he´s like a legit investigator. The lessons have been going pretty well, it´s hard to teach as a district because sometimes he hears things like 5 times in one evening.. poor guy. I miss all of you so much and think about you all everyday! I feel so blessed to have a family that I miss so much, I know there are missionaries that aren´t so fortunate. Oh, they totally throw you into the fire in the CCM, we´re praying and testifying in Spanish and they have us write a minute talk every Sunday and you get called randomly.. how nerve wracking right? Sorry there are no paragraphs, that key on my keyboard isn´t working apparently.. Today we got to go to the temple, it was so lovely, I absolutely love the temple! After we were done with that I ordered my some custom made leather scriputure covers! I think they´ll be pretty good looking! Well, I love you all and I´m so thankful for this opportunity I have to serve the Lord, it is definitely the best decision I have made so far. At times it´s hard and frustrating but that´s life and it will only prepare me for the rest of my life! Have a wonderful week and I´ll talk to you next Tuesday! Adios :)      Love, Hermana Brems 

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Guatemala MTC


Hello everbody!
I made it to Guatemala!! There was about 32 of us coming from the states, it was a pretty cool sight, there were 7 hermanas and the rest Elders. It was funny, lots of people thought we were bankers haha. I only have 5 minutes to write so sorry this note is so short! Just know that I'm alive and learning the ropes of the MTC. They took our cameras so I won't be able to send pictures until I'm out in the field. They told us that in Coban there will be several different Indian dialects that we have to learn in order to communicate. We started working on Spanish and hearing that made me SO overwhelmed, but I know I will be blessed. The MTC President said that we are no longer in the world, but we have taken a higher name upon us. I thought that was a really cool way to think about being a missionary! My p-day is Tuesday and we get to go to the temple!!! It's like a 3 minute walk, so we'll get to go every week! My companion is from Brazil, her name is Hermana Cabral, she went to BYUI for 2 years and knows really good English! There are 10 of us in my District, 6 Elders and 4 Hermanas. The "seasoned" MTC missionaries are really nice and helpful, they are all super happy and bubbly and love it here! Very reassuring to me, the first day was a little hectic because we have no idea what to do or where to go! I have to go, but I love you all and I'm so thankful for all the support! Talk to you Tuesday :)
All my love,
Hermana Brems

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Monday, July 8, 2013

Guate Get Ready!

I am preparing to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I could not be more excited to do the Lord's work in an absolutely amazing country!