Sunday, August 31, 2014

61st A final decision has been made… sorry this is so late…. February 9th B Day is back in Maine

My Dearest Fffaaaammmmmmiiillllyyyyyy!!!

How y'all doin?! It's so nice to hear from you all, as always. Thanks for writing me so diligently. There are so many missionaries who never hear from their family on the mission, snail mail or email, and who never recieve packages. I am a blessed missionary. I went back this past week and read all of your letters... I laughed and cried. Thankyou all for your efforts and love.

14 months in the mission this week!! :) The Hermanas made meat/cheese sandwiches and ice cream sandwiches one night. It was yummy even though we were all dying from exhaustion. We kinda just sat there in moments of silence and then 5 seconds later burst into laughter over the stupidest stuff. Welcome to being a missionary. :)

I have both of my packages for my birthday. Thanks so much for trying to make it a special day. I know it was expensive. But I'm worth it right? ;) Just kidding. Really, thanks. I will send you a whole bunch of pictures next week!!!

Two weeks ago we talked with a young single adult in our area. He explained to us that he had waited for a missionary to come home from the mission in order to ask her to marry him. They wrote every week for the past 18 months. He supported her on the mission and even before, in every way possible. He was so excited to have her come home and was waiting at the airport with her... Only for her to tell him they were 'just friends' 3 days later. This poor guys heart, soul, and everything was crushed. We talked with him when he was at rock bottom. He was upset, bitter, lonely, tired, etc. He just felt it was the end to the relationship world and saw his future as a negative doom. I learned many things from the conversation which we had with him, of which I want to remember for when I get home. When this happens to me: (1) Go to the temple immediately - no questions asked. (2) Forgive and forget. (3) Stay positive with a grateful attitude. (4) Get back on your feet and go try again. (5) Remember who you are and that Heavenly Father has 'prepared' someone specifically for you. (6) Don't make comparisons between the previous relationship and the next one - that's just unfair. (7) Don't make an unrealistic list of expectations of who the perfect companion should be. (8) Have fun shopping around! :) (9) Think of what you've learned or gained from it, not what you've lost. (10) There's lots of fish in the sea, don't expect the first catch to be the one.

So I might have done something really stupid. I switched out from my boots because it's starting to get warm here and boots are just way too hot and heavy to walk around in all day. So I put on my shoes... my flats that I used all last summer. Bad idea. They're warn out and just not supportive in my arches. So I sprained the muscle on the bottom of my foot. Well I thought it would be a good idea to try a different pare of shoes with better support that I brought with me. They're wonderful shoes, but a little right on my truck wide feet. I thought 'nah they'll stretch out'. They did stretch out, the bottom of my foot felt better, but the next morning I woke up to two numb toes. Dr. Johnson informs me that I have compressed and inflammed a nerve in the bottom of my foot. I'm just getting old, in the mission. :) Oh and don't worry I said 'choa' to the shoes. It's been gradually getting better with wrapping it, ibuprofen, hot soaks, etc. I'll be better than new in no time. Don't forget that it exists. Remember it's the easiest, cheapest, and best way for me to get an in-the-hand letter. Go to the website and follow the instructions. I'm in the Chile Santiago East Mission. You guys send your email and the office down here in the mission gets the letters, prints them out, and sends them to me.... It's free. :)

Typical missionary story. Past story: we knocked on the door of the familia B one day trying to find someone else. The father came outside to tell us the person we were trying to find does not live there. So we contacted him anyway. He was super nice and invites us to come back. So we did; 2-3 times. His wife was nicer, but very hard and really didn't want to listen to us. We had one lesson with her when she was cutting my hair; and she seemed maybe interested. Their young son is the sweetest thing ever. We continued to try to contact the father because we could see something extremely special in him. He felt the Spirit; I know he did. He had a desire to the read The Book of Mormon and had so many good questions. They were some of the best lessons, full of the Spirit and excitement. Then, one day we couldn't get a hold of him; he was not answering his phone and was not at the appointments we had set up. It was so weird. Ya, present day: we ran into his son and his wife this past week in the park. She's nice and talks to us. Then I asked of we could stop by sometime. Ohhhh, then the real person came out. She attacked us! Saying that crazy Joseph Smith made everything up, that we tell people they have no faith in God or Christ, that we are trying to take people's convictions away, and it goes on. Oh the anger in my body was to the point that I wanted to explode on her. She's lucky her son was with her and I remembered the Savior's name on my nametag. I will never understand why people find it necessary to offend or bash someone else to just say, 'Ya know what, I'm not interested in learning what you have to teach.' I tell you what she did help me increase my humility, patience, and convictions that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the restored church of Christ with Him at the head, that Joseph Smith (as was Moses, Noah, etc) was a true prophet of God, that the priesthood of God is on the earth today to perform the miracles of Him, that The Book of Mormon is another testament of Christ, that the Bible is the word of God as long as it is translated correctly, that God loves us and sent His Son to suffer and die for us, that I am here sacrificing all I am and have to preach something that isn't false or not of God. Sooo, in the end, it was a positive experience; I just wish it could have happened in a less abrasive way.

Fun mission fact ---> Chile Santiago East Mission is the best mission in our area for retention of recent converts (1 year after baptism) with a percentage of 76%. :) We try to make 100% sure that those we are baptize understand the covenant with God that they are making. That's a focus of this mission. Not just to baptize people because they think it's a good idea. And it shows. Go Chile Santiago Este!!!

An adorable story full of love (quite the opposite from above). So there's this lady (in her 50's) who has been serving this community for over 7 years. She owns 5 dogs that she took off of the street and for the past 7 years she has been feeding the stray dogs in the community. Now when you think about how many stray dogs there are in Chile, it's a wonder she hasn't gone to the homeless shelter due to not having money to eat. She walks with her dogs twice a day and takes a bag of food to like 10 dogs. We walked with her and the dogs the other day; it was the most relaxing experience.... We are teaching her right now and she actually was almost baptized 20 years ago when the Elders taught her. She has a desire to feel again what she felt before. So we're praying that she will.

Now that I'm in the ghetto I am seeing how dirty it's going to be in Summer. With the warm weather (it's like an early spring and is wonderful) we are having right now, the smells of dogs, drugs, urine, etc is getting stronger. Also, there's lots of stupid house flies; they just fly in circles mostly in the living rooms and just are there to drive you crazy. Ewwww. Mom and Joy, the next box, please send a bug zapper and lots of batteries. ;)

I went back to El Golf (my old ward) this past week. It was so weird, but wonderful at the same time. I was with Hermana Tingey! Whoohooo! We had such a good day. We went to a old folks rest home and sang a few songs; they were a bit mad because we didnt sing any Catholic songs that they knew. We were contacted by a very short guy who spoke 3/4 Spanish and 1/4 English and kept telling Hermana Tingey 'Ju ar bery beutifull'. I'm pretty sure he's got some mental challenges because he stopped us to ask for a cigaret and kept telling us that he knew he was short. Hahaha. I gotta say my life would change drastically if I had a Gringa companion. I already get many daily comments, but my divisions with Hermana Tingey were more than crazy. Another man in the metro walked past us, looked intently at us both, turned back slightly and said, "my duchess". Like who says these things?!?!?? Welcome to the live of a Gringa in Chile. *smh and rolling my eyes*
 I ate brussles for the first time... not to bad...

two ladies from our ward... Hermana Tax's last Sunday in J.P. Alessandri

Leaving one companion behind and picking up another! 

Hermana Tingey... meet my first Gringa companion! (never in my life, did I think this was going to happen hahahaha)

Okay, are you all ready for a really funny/creative Brooklyn moment? Don't pee your pants.... :) So we're trying to find a guy, who is a member; who we've never seen in the chapel. We go to the house that it says in the church records; a crazy, high guy whose belly is hanging out of his shirt says he doesn't live there. Okay whatever... So we go to the house next door to see if someone knows where he lives and they tell us no, but to go ask the lady who owns the mini store 2 houses down. So we go to the store... no one's there... but there's a man outside of the house which is attached to the market. He looks busy, but I ask anyway....
Me: "Can I ask you a question?"
Man: "No, I'm busy."
Me: Oh really now? ... I see the mini store attached to his house and think, I've got to get him to talk to us... "and in the store?"
Man: "Oh in the store, ya." and he comes around to the store. What a brat.
Me: I don't want to buy anything. Now what do I do? Okay, I've got to ask him about something in the store in order to ask him the real question. I'm looking around.... but dang it everything has a price sticker.... except for a large bottle of oil... that's it! "um, sir, how much is the large bottle of oil?"
Man: "Super8?" (a candy bar)
Me: "No, the oil."
Man: looking so confused... "this?" and shows me another candy bar...
Me: "OIL!!"
Finally he gets it... but only after Hermana Tax says it 3 times too. So he brings the large bottle of oil and gives it to me.
Me: "How much does it cost?"
Man: "1,300 pesos"
Me: "Nope, it's too expensive. How much is the little bottle of oil?" I'm having fun now... shame on me.
Man: "Um...." He goes and searches for it (it's right next to the large bottle dummy...) "500 pesos."
Me: "No, not that either. Sorry."
Hermana Tax at this point is almost dying of laughter, but manages to get out the real reason why we're there. "Do you know where so and so lives?"
Man: "No, I don't know him."
Us: "Thanks. Bye!"
We both leave laughing our heads off thinking 'well, that was a waste of time', but it was a good tactic. Hahahaha.

We had changes today!!! Hermana Tax left me :( and Hermana Tingey came to me. :) I tell you what, we're gonna have some fun! I can't wait to be with her again. It was just this past week that we were together for divisions and just a few months ago that we lived in the same house. Wow. She's a goof ball so I'm gonna have some good stories to tell.

Mom, just so you know. ;) There was an earthquake on Saturday. It was a 6.4 for 30-40 seconds. We were in the street when I felt it, saw the power lines swaying, and heard the metal roofs shaking. I stopped and told Hermana Tax to stop walking. We literally swayed. Lucky, as I've said before, Chile is prepared; it was just a good scare, as the Chileans say. :)

Love you all. Be creative this week. ;)
Brooklyn Talbox (one of my names here; the combination of Tax and Talbot)

P.S. What are some of the little sacrifices you're willing to make for the Lord? Time enough to pray, read your scriptures, serve someone else, or go to church? Money for tithing? Obedience to His commandments? I read in Preach My Gospel: "I trust the Savior enough to accept His will and do whatever He asks." As of today, it is official..... I'll be staying until February. I talked to President Wright today about it, in person. I asked him what he thought of me going home in February or in December and he said "I would love for you to stay until February, but you need to make the decision and not feel obligated to stay". I told him that I will be staying until February and he asked me if I was sure. I told him yes; it's the least I can do. :D

Monday, August 18, 2014

60th B-Day.... Okay so I guess her mother jumped the gun... Or it could just be Brooklyn's roller coaster life...

Hey! Hi! Hello! What's up!
my beautiful mishunmerry as her brother Brandon calls her..

Another week has gone by. How fast it flies. The days, at times, are slow, but the weeks are really fast.

A bird totally popped on my scriptures this week. We were sitting in a park and plop... Hello bird crap! I was so disgusted. Thank goodness I had a tissue in my bag and spit in my mouth. How gross is that!? But no worries I washed them off when I got to a members house. :)

I got your package, Mom. It's for my birthday right? Do I have to wait to open it? ;) Okay, I decided to wait to open it... It will make August 27th a little more special; I am hoping the package from Dad and the boys comes in time too! What a surprise that will be!
Happy Birthday parcel all the way from Banggeerr, Maine

I had popusas and orchata this past week. They are both from El Salvador. Popusas are tortillas with cheese on the inside with a combination of cabbage, carrots, and vinegar on top. Orchata is a rice and cinnamon powder that you put in milk, water, ice, and sugar. It was a treat to say the least. Hermana Tax made the popusas from corn flour that they also use in Guatemala and another Hermana sent us the orchata powder upon the request of Hermana Tax. :)
must be P-day (preparation day) or she'd be wearin' a dress...

So I think, Mom, that you spilled the beans about me probably staying longer in the mission. It's not official yet! Haha. I have to talk to President Wright about it. But being that people are emailing me about me extending, here's a little bit more information for you all. I told you all that there's a new "nurse" coming to the mission. Well... Hermana Wright called me the other day and said that she now knows the missionary is coming in November. I leave in December right? Meaning that gives me 6 weeks to train her in Spanish, missionary teaching, the sector we teach in, the missionary lessons, and nursing. Supperrrrr hard. I thought she was coming in December; hence I said to Hermana Wright, "ya I'm going home then cause she won't get here in time for me to train her". Until... Her phone call about her coming in November and Hermana Wright asked me if I'd thought about extending further and I honestly told her that no I hadn't. I know the decision I need to make is simple. Stay longer or not. I wrote out a list of pros and cons because I was fighting within myself as to if I was willing to stay longer or not. I know ill be supported either way by you all, but still...... I told President last week that I am willing to stay another change; however, it still needs to be approved by him and by the church headquarters. Anyway, If I extended more to come home on the next change date, I will be coming home in the beginning of February (the change is the 9th); however, I could leave before the change... It doesn't have to be a whole 6 weeks. It all just depends on President Wright and the church offices say. I'll let you know when I know. :D
what every mother wants to see her mishunmerry daughter's selfie with a toilet in the background... LOL

I have been putting together a mission nurse binder. It's been an interesting project. I had never thought of it before until this past week as I was thinking of the new nurse. I've written a letter for the binder and realized it was more for me than for her. One of encouragement and a reminder of who I am, here in the mission... a servant of the Lord as a missionary and mission nurse. How many people can say that? :)

Hermana Tax and Talbot

Hermana Tax and I were reminiscing this past week about our first moments together. Well, our friendship began with quite a story. (Backstory: as missionaries, we are not allowed to leave our companion alone. We're practically hitched at the hip. And if we are ever left alone, we are to call the mission president immediately.) Anyway, we got to our apartment building (I'm following like a lost puppy dog.) and were waiting for the elevator. Hermana Tax said to me, "We live on floor 14." I thought oh ya that's great, but didn't think it was important. So the elevator comes, Hermana Tax goes in with one of my bags, and I'm getting ready to walk inside the door and the door shuts right in front of my face. Hermana Tax's shock and I am gonna be in trouble face was hilarious! So I'm thinking at this point, it's okay, she'll open the door in a few seconds and I'll get on. Nope. Didn't happen. I just watched the numbers go up and up and up. I shook my head and pressed the button for the other elevator to come get me. :) I jumped in the other one and went up to floor 14 by my lonesome without an idea of if she'd be there in the end. I thought, now what if she's coming back down and I'm going up at the same time? ... at least we have 2 cellphones (only because I have my own phone as the mission nurse) and I can call her. So when I got to then 14th floor, Hermana Tax was waiting right there. She saw me and immediately started laughing like a hyena from the Lion King. Hahaha. We laughed so hard together and shrugged the moment off. She said to me this past week: first impression of you... you're pretty quick and take initiative. And my first impression of her: she had no idea how to work the elevator door open button and she laughed at the instant she saw me after abandoning me. The first memory in this companionship: in the first 20 minutes as companions in a completely new place for me, Hermana Tax abandoned me!!! Hahaha.
Sunday dressin up. Hermana's Tax. Mabel. Vania. Me

I was reading about 'gratitude' this week and came across many things that helped me realize all that I have. "The Lord has promises, 'He who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious' (D&C 78:19). Gratitude is an uplifting, exalting attitude. You can probably say from experience that you are happier when you have gratitude in your heart. You cannot be bitter, resentful, or mean-spirited when you are grateful. Be thankful for the wonderful blessings that are yours. Be grateful for the tremendous opportunities you have. Be thankful to your parents. Let them know of your gratitude. Thank your friends and your teachers. Express appreciation to everyone who does you a favor or assists you in any way. Thank your Heavenly Father for His goodness to you. Let the spirit of thanksgiving guide and bless your days and nights. Work at being grateful. You will find that it yields wonderful results." I always try to work on having a 'positive attitude', but i think its time to work on having a 'grateful attitude'. Once again to all of you: thank-you for all you do for me to support and uplift me here on the mission. Love you Mom and Dad; thanks for all you two do for me. Bryan, Brandon, Brett: I guess I love you guys too. ;) Thanks always for the letters, packages, and emails. To all those friends and leaders: thank-you for your support and emails. :) I truly am very blessed and very grateful. Oh and I guess I'll be grateful that the bird only pooped on my scripture case and not the actual paper. Haha.

With a mountain of LOVE,
Hermana Talbot

Monday, August 11, 2014

59th B-Day Blog as she drops a BOMB SHELL on her family She won't be home in December

59th B-Day 
                           NOTHING I mean NOTHING is status quo with Brooklyn Talbot

Hey family! :)

Exciting happenings this week! We spent 3 hours with Hermana Rhoades from the CCM this week. It was wonderful to be in a trio with her. She's getting ready to leave the MTC and head to Santiago North Mission. Her Spanish is really good and she's just a sweetheart. Everyone kept telling us that we look like sisters. Haha. There's a picture attached of us 3. You can judge for yourself. :)


Okay, so I don't really understand what is happening in this companionship, but we are enjoying more and more our time together and our lessons are becoming much better and more spiritual. I love this Hermana Tax girl. We've become friends for life and I think you can see it in our teachings.

We are teaching a 10 year old, but not just an ordinary 10 year old. The family was a reference from a member who is a neighbor (member references literally are the only way to do missionary work). The 10 year old (Sebastian) lives with his mom (Jackeline), Dad (Daniel), younger brother (Martin) and Grandfather. Jackeline wants Sebastian to learn about God and Jesus Christ. She does too; however, finds it difficult to take time to listen to us. The father and grandfather listen when asked but haven't shown great interest. Anyway, so we focus in Jackeline and Sebastian, hoping to plant a seed that can grow to the whole family. This past week we had a lesson just with Sebastian; and I learned that he doesn't need knowledge but that he came with knowledge. This 10 year old has a spiritual hunger that have never see before, especially in a child. Jackeline states that he teaches her the Bible. Example: we taught about prophets, why they're important, that they hold the priesthood, that God and God alone can call a prophet, etc. When we reached the point to talk about the priesthood, we explained its a power or authority from God to act in his name. Sebastian immediately says: "And there are two types, an older and a younger. The younger job is to help the older. Right?". We're talking about a 10 year old here that's never been to church. I'm not even sure were he learned this, but we testified that yes it is true and that this priesthood exists on the earth today. He was so happy and content to know and pray about it. I felt shocked and content to know that there's a 10 year old boy searching for answers... and we can help him find them. Welcome to being a missionary. :) And they came to a ward activity Saturday night to learn to make cupcakes. Jackeline after told us she already knew how, but wanted to see how weird Mormons were. LoL. She left the activity quite shocked and stated we were rather white normal. Hahaha.

I had another health conference this past week with Hermana Wright and the mission health personnel in Chile. Dr. Johnson tries to get all of us together to talk and receive some tips. It's the 3rd one I've been to since I've been here... and this conference was a bit special. I had an assignment to talk about my relationship with Hermana Wright (haha, I thought 'okay, how interesting'). Well, I decided it would be better if we both talked from the two perspectives rather than just me talking and she agreed. We stood together and talked about how we are able to work together for the benefit of the missionaries here in the mission. It was wonderful to stand in the conference beside her and to feel proud to be the nurse of this mission... to be proud to be the mission nurse of President and Hermana Wright. They have become much more than an authority in the mission to have interviews with and set rules. Today, I saw them truly as friends, which made me content and more committed to give them all I am in service of this mission. Time. Love. Hard work. Brain power. Sacrifice. Etc. I couldn't ask for better mission parents, so I will serve with all I am and have, until I become the best mission nurse I can be. Even if that means I will be staying longer than December 29, 2014 to train the new nurse or spending more than 2-3 hours a day in phone calls. I'm here and all I can give is 150% right? :)

I am so grateful for all I have. Wonderful parents. Amazing brothers. Marvelous friends. Shoes on my feet. The gospel and church principles. A phone. A healthy body. A camera. Chocolate. The sacrifice for others on my behalf. 2 hands with 10 fingers each. Good hearing. Straight teeth. My scriptures. Prayer. Missionary work. Music. Love. My Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost. Soap and a shower. A washer and dryer. Clothes. Feet (even though they're pretty stinky). My companion. A bed and pillow. Ibuprofen. Hot water. My education. A bathroom. AND SO MUCH MORE. I truly am blessed and should be more grateful for all that's been handed to me.

Love you all tons. Thanks for all of the support, emails, packages, letter, etc. You don't know what it means to me. Have a great week!!!

P.S. Got a call at 1:30am this week. It was the companion of an Hermana who was complaining of numbness in her face (by the end, it wasn't true). I told her to take some pills and go to bed. As far as I know, she didn't die. :) It was quite an adrenaline pumping experience to wake out of my sleep to my phone ringing across the room... and then to try to sleep after.... Hahaha. Yay 150%. LoL.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

58th B-Day Oh my soul she is hasn't changed!!!