Sister Aleta Bray

Aleta 25

Aleta 25
On my Birthday!

Worn Out!

Worn Out!
after pushing the car....okay it may have been slightly exaggerated....(explanation of car in July 18th letter)

Aleta Christmas Eve - Beunos Aires

Aleta Christmas Eve - Beunos Aires
Look at what I Got! Aleta Christmas Eve - Beunos Aires

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Time just flies! 9/24/2010

Dear everybody, and anybody, I'm not really sure who all recieves this email :)

So this week was a good one for me. First things first... Mom, yes I'm planning on sending home my ring alomg with a few other things. So don't worry about that. Go ahead and use my phone, although I wish I had a picture of you trying to figure out the touch screen :) My mental image is pretty good though. No, you did not send the batteries, and yes I did get a camera card. No I did not laugh at Aunt Janies atttempt at Spanish, when I got that letter she knew more than I did :) Okay I think that's all the questions. Oh Dad, your poetry thing sounds fun, I'm glad you are enjoying it.

Okay so this week was interesting with my comps. One of them has been really struggling with her testimony since she has been here. She had a tough week. She recieved a priesthood blessing yesterday and we went to the temple this morning so we'll see if she feels good about an answer to her questions. This place can be really trying on people, it's just go go go all the time, the thing that gets me through is that I know that Heavenly Father wants me here for a reason and that there are people in Argentina waiting to hear the message of the restored gospel through me!
My other companion had a really bad migraine for three days. So she also recieved a blessing, we teased that she was just trying to give the Elders someone to practice on. Anyway the doctor's office here was all full so we got to take a field trip down the street to the BYU student heath center. Ok I know that doesn't seem like a lot, but when you've been on the same block in the same four buildings for seven weeks you might understand how it was great. Oh she is doing better now though. So our week was a little un orginized and we kept having to move things around when something else came up. I guess maybe we learned to think on our feet a little better.

Okay so funny stories this week... My favorite was when we were talking about cognates between Spanish and English. there are a lot by the way. There also are false cognates, words that sound like a word in english, but mean something really different in Spanish. SO Hna. Olsen gave an example, emberazado (not sure if that's spelled right) anyway, it doesn't mean embaressed it means pregnant. So then Elder Robinson raised his hand and says, looking down at his desk a little ashamed, " Yeah, like aburrido, it doesn't mean "a burrito""" Then he shakes his head. Okay funniest thing ever!!!!!! I don't think it comes across in the email, but it was hilarious, and even more funny was our teacher Hno. Tingey's reaction. He throws back his head and laughs histerically for about 4 minutes. So not like him, and that's what made it even funnier. Then he leaves the classroom and starts looking down the hall for a class that he can share it with. Oh, good times. We asked him if he told his wife the next day and he said "yep, we laughed together for about seven minutes" so he REALLY thought it waas funny.

Oh, How could I forget1 The best thing of all! So yesterday we are sitting at dinner eating, and all of the sudden Elder Gochnour, our District leader, starts handing out pieces of paper, wierd. Well one gets put right infront of my face and you know what it says.... TRAVEL PLANS! ....AAAAAAAHHHHHH. Okay so I guess it's pretty official. I leave SLC on the 4th at 12. Then have a couple hour lay over in Atlanta, before our flight to Buenos Aires. we leave Atlanta at like 8 something PM and get to Argentina at 7 something the next moring. Yikes all night on an airplane. The great thing is my whole distict is on the same flight from Atlanta, ao we're all together. Yeah! Any way so that was a suprise last night, and then I realized I only have 10 more days here. then I said, "Aleta, take a deep breath, it's okay" so I did, and it is okay.

SO I'm not sure what else to say....Everything is great. I'm loving life. The lord blesses me so much, I know he blesses all of you as well. He loves us all and I'm glad to be here doing his work. Turn to the Lord when time gets rough and tough and he will strengthen you!

Love you all!


week ...oh sheesh I don't know anymore...there's not enough room in my brain for things like that ‏ 9/17/2010

Dear Family,
I can't believe how the time has flown by! I found Brittany the other day. Actually I've seen her several times in passing, but never long enough to say anything of note. So I'm gonna have to find sometime to say hi. I did see Eston Humphry on Wed. I don't know if you know him, he's from Oak Harbor. Any way things just keep plugging along down here. The spanish is coming, much better than it was. I still make tons of mistakes and am not very good, but I guess that's what the MTC is for right. So we actually exceeded our goal of 40 lessons in Spanish last week, we taught 43! It was great. One day we taught 9 I think and by the end of the day our brains were in pain from all the thinking:)
Oh thank you for the package! The Elders LOVE the markers. I pulled them out and their faces just lit up. Kind of funny the things we get excited about down here. Oh my teacher was even more excited than the Elders. The jackets are cute thank you.
Someone tell Jaime thanks for the email. I'll try and write her a letter this week!
Oh so something fun , our Relief Society speaker on Sunday was Sister Dalton. She is amazing, she talked a lot about what power we have because we know who we are. I know that I am a daughter of the Most high God. There is power that comes from that, I can use that power to teach and to help others know that they too are children of God. One of the other things she talked about that I liked a lot was to Smile. Ok so I think I've got this down pretty good. I do smile a lot. She reminded us that this is a happy gospel and we have so much to be happy about. Others will want to know what it is that causes us to be so happy.
Um let's see.. Oh I heard some one say this week that Missionaries are like Diamonds on black velvet. I thought that was prety cool. We are sent out to the world to teach the word of God, and that sets us apart. We stand in stark contrast to the things around us. We are a focal point, and others will be drawn to us and want to learn more. That is so true!
It's crazy to think that I only have 2 1/2 weeks left here before I'm out in Argentina doing all this for real. I'm kinda excited though. So what else....So this is so short, I'm writing kinda slow today.
Oh Mom, don't worry about a muffin, I've got plenty of goodies to last awhile. As you gather things together for another package can you get my spanish dictionary from my room, it's the picture one and also the verb book. I keep meaning to ask for them and always forget.
Oh so there is an Elder in my district, Elder Robinson from Gilbert, Az. It's really funny he reminds me a lot of Matt. Just the way he talks and a few mannerisms, so we were at dinner the other day and we talking and he said that I remind him of his sister Emily. So I thought that was pretty fun. The Elders are so entertaining. I don't remember If i told you about the time that we went up to the temple for a walk on Sunday and Elder Robinson had a back pack. Well he pulls out a bag of cookies, awesome, followed by....a pillow, genious. folllowed by an umbrella. So he lays out, takes off his shoes, falls a sleep on the pillow and uses the umbrella to block the sun. The things these Elders come up with.... I'm so glad I know them.

Well, that's it.
Love you all,

week 5, check ‏ 9/04/2010

Dear family,
Okay so another week has flown buy. Crazy. I'm over half way through here weird. Our goal of teaching 40 lessons this week is doing good, we are at 32 and we have all of them planned. If no one cancels on us we will be at 44 by tomorrow night. It's pretty exciting. No, I have not found Brittany yet. I looked all over for her on Wednesday, but then I had to go to lunch during the time she must have got here. lame. I think she must have a different meal time than me 'cause I have yet to find her. At least I will see her on Sunday for sure, since all the sisters in the MTC meet together for Relief Society.
Okay so YEAH! for Scott and Betsy, I had a feeling I'd be getting news like that sometime soon.
Okay Mom, so you have asked about the plaque several times now, and sorry it keeps getting pushed down the list of important things to tell you. So Yes, I know that there are two. I gave a different picture and scripture to each ward. the close up picture with the yellow sweater should have gone to the singles ward with I think Alma 26:16, then the other one and Alma 26:12 should have gone to the family ward. So I hope that helps some.
Okay so thank you so much to Mom, Dad, Sister Deighton, and Tamsin for your letters! Tamsin I'm glad you were able to have fun while writing me that letter. I read the part about Abbey and Travis out loud to my district, there were several laughs. So thanks.They were awesome and much appreciated. It's nice to know I'm still loved down here in Utah!
So lets see.... OH great story this week. So on Sunday nights we get to watch videos. So we can choose between some talks from Genereal Authorities and church films like The Testaments, Legacy, the Joseph Smith one. Any way so on Sunday we watched Legacy. Let me tell you there is nothing as entertaining as watching a church version of a pioneer love story with 2000 Elders. It was hilarious. Lots of "wait what are they doing....I don't think they are allowed to hold hands...." and comments like that. Oh and a lot of laughter. I hope you can imagine that. It was great.
We had a lesson on Tuesday about the Holy Ghost. It was so great, I took a lot of notes. I'm always so amazed at what God can do with you when you have the spirit to lead you. Several times this week while teaching we had a lot of missionaries tell us that that was just what they need to hear, or that was something they never would have thought of. It is really cool, and humbling, to be led by the Lord.
As far as anything in my room goes...just box it up. It doesn't have to be great, just stick it somewhere safe. Oh and mom, how is the car coming? Any bites yet? Did you get any work done on it? Just do what ever you feel is needed.
Oh and the language is SLOWLY coming. Every lesson we have taught this week has been in Spanish. So that's been a bit of a challenge for us. I'm glad that our teachers chose to do this to us this week though, a lot of districts don't have their teaching week till their very last week. We have one then too. Hopefully we'll be better by then though, and kinda ready for the natives....I hope so anyway.
As for things to send if you feel so inclind Mom, this is kinda random, but a set of fun colored expo markers the thick ones. The elders in my district really like drawing on the board and it would be fun for them. Also if you find any cute jacket/blazer thing. I feel a little out of place when I want to ware some sort of jacket and all the elders have their suits on and I've got nothin. If you don't find anything cute, that's okay too I've survived this long. I think I'm good on candy...but any other thing like yummy home made cookies would be appreciated. Ummm, I know there was something else, but I don't remember so I guess it will wait till next week.

I love you all, and think of you often. I hope every one is good. Hi to every one in the singles ward and Anacortes.
Love, Love, Love you!


week 4? 9/3/2010

Dear family and friends,

I can't believe I'm half way through. Way wierd. This week has been a really good one. As far a funny stories go I've finally remembered a few. The Elders in my district are awesome. Elder Gochnour sits across from me and is always making the most ridicoulis faces. So this story is about mistakes with Spanish. We were eating lunch the other day and Hna. Olsen says to Elder Gochnour (Gawkner) "Usar una servietta por favor" We all look at her and bust up laughing. Elder G. grabs a napkin and says "Fine" and wipes his mouth. So it dawns on Hna. Olsen that she said "use a napkin please" when she meant to say "pass the napkins please". *It was Hilarious. Stuff like that happens all the time. Another story for you, the other night just as i crawled into bed Hna. olsen comes running into the room with her hand over a cup squealing and running towards the window. Well it turns out there was a poor moth stuck in the bathroom and she was trying to let it outside. Well, about three minutes later in through the window comes the very same freed moth. It was huge! So it doesn't really bother me, but the other two refuse to go to sleep with it in the room. So needless to say many squeals and yelps later, and many attemps to get it down from the ceiling, they finally caught it and shut the window. I thought it was really funny.

So I left all my letters back in the room, so I can't really remember questions that any one had off the top of my head. I'm excited that Scott and Betsy are on their way back to Washington. I'm sure that will make Mom happy. Drive safe you two!
Thank you so much to Tamsin, Brother Bingham, Mom and the Johnson family for the letters. They were awesome! I'm going to try and write some back today, we'll see how it goes.

Our Devotional speaker on Tuesday was Elder Richard G. Hinckley. He is super awesome. He talked a lot about 9 steps to having a happy mission. So I've been working on being a little more optimistic. I don't think I should be a lot more, 'cause my comps might not be able to stand that much at one time:) Any way I love Tuesday's, always really good stuff.
Oh this next week should be really interesting... it is our first teaching week. We have one this week and one our last week. So basically we set up appointments with other companionships to teach them lessons. All week. Our goal is 40. So that means between today and next Friday we have to teach 40 1/2 hour lessons all in Spanish! It's gonna be intense. We have been teaching each other this week, during companionship study, in Spanish and we've gotten better, but are FAR from our goal. So hopefully by the end of the week I'll be pretty much fluent :) I wish.
I'm doing really good. I had couple rough spots last week, but I've decieded that that was done and that really it's in my control to let my self be bothered by things or not. So this week has been really good.

Something we've really been working on is asking inspired questions. I can't remember if I told you this already or not, but it is awesome. It's all about letting the Spirit guide you to teach the person. Focus on what they need to hear and not just getting through the doctrine in the lessons. I've had some really powerful experiences with this lately. Yesterday we taught this man and it was just Hna. Clark and I, it was one of the first times I was actually excited to talk, normally i'm under the feeling of" oh, no, my turn is next, I have to talk....I don't want to talk." Any way it was great.

I'm almost out of time, so Mom I'm gonna try to write you a letter today. That way I can actually tell you that you have asked about in detail with out that annoying red clock flashing at me in the corner of my screen. It's kinda gets under your skin, it keeps you on edge I guess.

So I love you ALLLLLLLLLL!
So excited to see Brittany next week, I have plans to hunt her down.
Love ya,


Week 3 08/27/2010

Dear everyone,

Man oh man has this week flown by. I can't believe that it is Friday again. This week has been full of ups and down, but I guess that is expected. The highlight of the week was probably our Tuesday night devotional. Why you may ask....cause Elder Holland was our speaker!!!! Awesome. Pure inspiration. Anyway, I just spent forever typing up an awesome email and it got deleted. So lame. So this is not going to be very long. Elder Holland was definatley the highlight. He said alot of things that I really needed to hear. It was so weird to look up from my notes and see a prophet of the Lord standing about 50 feet from me.

So how is everyone. Thank you to Mom, Aunt Janie, and Dawnstarr for your letters, it's nice to know that someone remembers me down here in the foriegn land of Utah.

I had a funny story for everyone, but it takes a while to tell so just know that it consisted of , a bug, silly girl who over reacted to said bug, a window, a flip flop, laughter and aa fire can put together the other details right. Use your imagiinations, that's probably better than the real story anyway.

I'm doing well and miss you all. I have been having a good time here. My classes are awesome.

got to go love you all,

the real week 2 ‏ 8/20/2010

Dear family and friends,

So I realized that I labeled last week's email week two when really I had only been here a week. So I hope that is not confusing. Hey could someone tell Brittany and Jenna that the rule of skirt lengths has changed. They only need to come below your knee when sitting. So jenna who is going to a hot palce might like to know that if she doesn't already, oh and there is no longer a requirement to wear nylons!!!! That is awesome and it's world wide.

Okay so this week just flew by. So funny story this week is the PA system. From the front desk they can just call any room in our residence hall. The voice comes over the speaker in the ceiling. The first time it happened was really funny. It's awesome cause it's a two way intercom so you just speak and they can hear you. cool...and creepy.

Spanish is coming along. We learned how to pray like the first day. How to bare our testimonies the second. Then it's just kinda up to us how much vocab we pick up. We have learned most of the verb tenses now and french is starting to help as we learn how to structure sentances. The first two weeks though.... I keep saying what I know in Spanish and then instead of using an english word for the ones I don't know, I stick in french, so then people REALLY don't know what I'm saying.
Oh thank you everyone for the letters, I feel loved. Dear is so awesome! Mom, don't worry about forwarding Heidi's letters.
I saw Chris Chord finally, yesterday actually as I was leaving breakfast. I told him to tell everyone Hi. Oh and yeah I was going to tell you that Hailey Radford is my next door neighbor. She is heading out to Tacoma of all places, so she's excited and she knows she likes it there.
One of the elders in my district was sent donuts the other day. Apparently there is something like MTC, where you buy it on line and they go out and pick it up. Crazy huh? Ummm, what else...Oh Thankyou for my package mom, everything is great. Thank you to Dawnstarr as well, the munchies are great.
Our district played softball for gym yesterday and that was really fun, It's one of the games we can do WITH the Elders so that was fun. I hit the ball everytime, I've just got to work on not making them line drives. It's kind of stinks when the pitcher is 6 foot and just reaches out and grabs it. I did make it home once though!
I have met so many nice peeople here. The other day two people came up and bore their testimonies to us in English, one was from Italy and the other Mexico. They sounded great for not knowing any english two weeks ago.
So our best friends here, District 44B, Iam in 44A, left this week to go to Chile! lame, for us, but awesome for them. Before they left they showed us their "secret Sunday room" which is a class room in the basement of our building that isn't used on Sundays, so we were able to play the piano and watch a few videos on That was fun and now we know about the room, it's way less busy than our classroom. Oh I ment to tell you we have more Sisters!!!! So the new district has 4 sisters in it, so now there are 7 girls and arround 50 elders at church, much better than the 3 of us before. For relief society our speaker was Virgina H Pearce who is Pres. Hinkleys daughter, she was awesome. Okay That's about all I got. I'am already 15 minutes late for dinner. Love you all, miss you all.
Mom, if there are any bad typos can you fix them before forwarding, I don't have time to read back through.

Love you,

week 2... 8/13/2010

Dear Family,
It's been a crazy week. I've been doing really well. My companions are a lot of fun-but we do have to tone down the laughter sometimes. It's funny 'cause one of them is really happy happy and one is more serious so I'm stuck in the middle to balance us out. We've been spending a lot of time this week focusing on the atonement and I have really gained a greater testimony of everything that it covers and how our lives are blessed throught the sacrifice of our savior.
Spanish is...coming. I think. I'll write more about it when;I have more time. The computer kicked me off earlier and took away five of my 30 minutes so I'm trying to go fast.:) I have a funny story to tell you though. So we sisters are vastly out numbered here. All of the sisters in the MTC meet together for Relief Society and that only takes up part of the gym. Anyway, my companians and I were walking out of Lunch the other day and we entered a "pack" of Elders. This happens quite often by the way. So all of the sudden one of them accidently bumps into us, well a normal person would say sorry or excuse me right? No, no, this elder YELPED...and jumped away. The funny thing is that that happened three times in the last two days. Sheesh Heaven forbid an Elder accidently bump into a girl. AHHHH. Anyway we all think it is fun, how they avoid us like the plague. So that is my funny story I thought you might like that.
Could you tell Brittany and Dawnstarr thanks for the letters they are great! Oh and assure everyone that no I don't have my phone and any texts they recieve are from you pretending to be me. Don't worry I foolow the rules:)
Oh and YES!!!! please use Dear It is the best. They print out the letter everyday and we get them in our hand so I don't have to use my time reading on the internet. It's awesome. I think you can use that while I'm in Argentina as well you just have to change the address to the "pouch" address in Salt lake.
Any way got to run. I love and miss everyone!!!!

Week 1....ahhhhh ‏ 8/07/2010

This palce is crazy! I am on the go 24/7. It's great though. I am learning a lot and am having fun. I can already say a few things in Spanish and hopefully that will come easier as I go. Mis Companieras are Hermana Clark and Hermana Olsen, ya I have two. It's pretty awesome sister Clark is from California and sister Olsen is from Manti, Ut.  We get along really well. I like the food, there are sooooo many choices, but it's all really good. Sister Clark is even more picky than me and she ends up mostly eating fruit. One really cool thing is that one of my teachers is actually from Buenos Aires Argentina! He is the only Argentine teacher here and our district gets him, cool huh. Oh and our other teacher's sister is serving is bahia blanca (i think) which is two missions right below mine.
Well, How did the family reunion go? Did you have fun and enjoy the HOT weather? It has been warm here, but not to bad because I sit right below the cooling vent in our class room.
We have eight elders in our district and they are all really great guys. They are all so quiet though. It seems like the sisters are always talking. Oh and we are the only sisters in the whole thats 60-70 Elders to the three of us. It is really werid being in the minority. At school there were around three girls to every guy in my ward, that's a bit of a difference I think.
We have been talking a lot about unity and how to become unified with Christ and Heavenly Father it has been very enlightening. We also talk a lot about listening and getting to know the people we teach and being genuinely interested in them before we start throwing doctrine at them, if you know what I mean.
I am doing good and I have been told if I make it till Sunday then I'll be fine, so that's tomorrow ya! I'm not quite sure how Relief Society will go if there is three of us, so stay tuned till next week. My P-days are on Friday so that's when I'll email next.
Oh I almost forgot, I just got your package THANK YOU! love it. mmmmmm chocolate. The skirts are really cute too. So I'm almost out of time, sorry I don't have too much to say. I'm not sure how Brandi has such long emails every week. I love you so much and tell everybody I say hi, especially everyone you see from the singles ward. Love you, miss you. And remember that you'll be alright and blessed too. Till next week!
PS. are you posting this somewhere or just getting emails to forward?

She has Arrived

She has Arrived
President & Sister Gulbrandsen & Aleta

Hermana Vargas, Gillum and me

burrrr, cold spell

burrrr, cold spell