Monday, February 29, 2016

Week 12 Update - Hello 20!!!

 Brooke’s contact info:
Mailing address:  
Sister Brooke Gertsch
1122 Budapest
Hajnoczy Jozsef utca 14

Halo, Sziasztok!

First off, again, I just want to thank all of you and especially those that reach out and email me each week.  I have never felt so strong & capable in my life and I know it is because of you.  So, from the bottom of my heart, I sincerely thank you! Last P-day gave me such an emotional & spiritual boost that was really needed!  You guys are the very best and I love love love you!!!
Brooke is 2-0 !!!
So this week - THIRD week in Hungary.  Almost a month!  Crazy.  

I celebrated my birthday yesterday! Hard day being away from my other half & best friend on our 20th birthday, but I know we have plenty more in the future to look forward to! But the card & package were delivered on Friday and I DID wait to open it until my birthday!!!  THANK YOU FAM!!! I am so excited to sleep with my pillow (hand sewn by Courtney :) ) & wear my rain boots. We bought macaroons, my incredible comp. made me a cute little breakfast, and I got to spend my day with the amazing church members and elders in our district.  Overall, a really different, but special birthday! 
One I will never forget!  I still feel 15, haha…
Birthday Boots
Birthday Breakfast
ALMA 37:36 - “Yea and cry unto God for all thy support: yea, let all thy doings be unto the Lord, and whithersoever thou goest, let it be in the Lord; let thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord; yea, let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever.” 

I shared this scripture in a lesson we had this week, hoping it would touch the person’s heart and inspire an increase of faith in Christ, but I was so surprised when they read it and MY heart was so full- having a sure, absolute knowledge that I have someone to run to; that knows what the heartache of homesickness feels like and has experienced rejection - far worse rejection then I have experienced - and really knows me.  I have felt as I have tried my very best to put my focus on Christ and His work, my eyes are opened to the little tender mercies each day, I am a whole lot happier, and I know that comes from the Spirit.  As the cheesy missionary that I am, I challenge you guys to try to apply this scripture to your lives and i can promise you will see and feel a difference! 
Szeged, Hungary
This week, I prayed lots for a happy week and I got one! It was full of crazy adventures and experiences I wouldn’t have had any other place than on my mission here in Hungary.  I won’t go into detail about each story (for now) but this week, I had my first real Hungarian meal, was literally stuffed with food, but don’t regret it one  bit!  
We have started tracking Csaladihaz’s, or family neighborhoods, and are meeting a lot of interesting people!  We met a devil worshipper that creeped me out so bad, but I can laugh about it now! 
Tracting in Csaladihaz's

 I made a friend with a cat that we found 2 days in a row that would follow us down the street.  
Brooke makes friends everywhere she goes!
And I got SO many smiles this week!  Once Gillian Nover, my companion, was telling me a funny story and I was laughing and as I did, this old man I made eye contact and was taken aback and did the cutest shy smile!  It was so cute -  I wish I could have taken a picture!  I have decided to smile at babies and little kids every single time and always get a smile or wave back.  I have decided that it was silly of me to get so upset over the whole smiling thing.  People have hard lives and a hard and difficult past and are not used to interactions with strangers.  I am learning that once I let go of my own worries and continue smiling, I can look for opportunities to find those that need a little something to brighten their day.  I am trying the whole “looking outward instead of inward” thing and can truly attest that it’s a life-changer!  Even if a smile isn’t given in return, do I regret smiling?  Haha... NEVER!!! I feel like Buddy the Elf here, it’s hilarious. :) 

I tend to be an expectation-setter with pretty much everything in my life.  I couldn’t really set any expectations for the mission because it was all so unknown.  All I can say was this was/is nothing like I expected!  At first, that frustrated me.  I had no control of anything around me and that’s never happened to me before!  But after a few weeks of being here, it is not even a question that this was the right decision for me!  I LOVE HUNGARY, and I love my Heavenly Father more than anything and will do all he needs me to do here on my mission (& afterwards too).  Putting all my trust in Him has not been easy for me, but now that I have, my attitude and perspective has changed completely.  and I know that with it only being a few weeks, I’ve just started to scratch the surface!  Excited for the future!
Branch House in Szeged, Hungary
I cannot say it ENOUGH how much I love you all!  My heart is nothing but full at the thought of home.  I hope all is well with you and send you all my love!  Have an incredible week & smile at a stranger for me this week!!! :) 

Brooke :) - Gertsch Nover

and lastly - a BIRTHDAY SHOUT OUT to:

- Grandma Jeanne - Happy Birthday to you and Thank you for the card!  I love you!!!
- Happy Birthday to my babies - Ireland (cannot believe she is 1!!!) & Scarlett!!  
- of course - Alison Wendy!  I hope you partied hard for me!
- and to my big brother Scotty!  You are getting to be an old man… haha!

Sending you all extra birthday love!!!  XOXOXO

  • a GOURMET grilled cheese: smoked cheese in a croissant… Mom you would die, you have to come try one… haha!!!
  • sushi! Well… sort of.  It was little vegetables rolled in rice & seaweed and then some salmon.  Almost.  Might want to just wait for California sushi now that I think of it!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Week 11: This Little Light of Mine, I'm Gonna Let it Shine!!!

Brooke’s contact info:

Mailing address:  

Sister Brooke Gertsch
1122 Budapest
Hajnoczy Jozsef utca 14

AND I THOUGHT THE WHOLE TIME THING IN THE MTC WAS WEIRD! It felt like this week lasted a month. But some days felt like a blink. I am trying my best to stop looking at how long a year and a half is and to live in the now. Soooooo much easier said than done! But its always at the front of my mind when I start to freak out. 

This week I had a lot of internal contemplation. I let the homesickness and culture shock get the best of me and i will admit, I was miserable. And with nobody wanting to hear our message for a solid week, I was totally frustrated. And felt useless and super down and sad. Sometimes, for myself, but most of the time because it is obvious a lot of people do not seem happy and all we are trying to do is help them. I have never prayed so hard for people Ive never met before. Im hopeful though. Always hopeful. My motto for the week (and probably for my entire mission) is that attitude is everything. I could lay in bed all day crying because I miss everything and feel sorry for myself, or i can get some fresh air, admire this beautiful place, and just try my best. Two little experiences i had this week gave me the choice to choose positivity and I felt the Lords hand helping me out. One, was earlier in the week. We had a long day. But had to get our day in tracting so we were ringing doorbells and over the intercom, the man yelled, "GO TO FRANCE" and hung up. (I guess hungary and france dont get along, so instead of saying go to H-E-double hockeysticks, they say go to france haha) You see, the usual me would have lost it right then and there because I cant handle harsh confrontation in any sort of way. But for some reason, I was able to take it lightly and laugh super hard and joke about how I plan to go there some other time! I got such a kick out of it and i wish i could have said a witty comment back, but my comp advised me to be the bigger person, and I guess shes right!! But yeah. dont worry, those kind of people only come every so often! 

Second experience happened yesterday. After church we were tracting again. I had recently just had a pity party with my journal. The attitude thing is definitely a work in progess!!! So we started ringing at this 10 story. I straight up did not want to be there. Looking back, i do feel really bad for my negativity. But I swallowed my pride and took a turn ringing and saying the message when someone picked up. The lady let me finish my entire message ( first-off miracle) and then politely declined BUT let us in the building. which rarely happens haha. So we climbed up all the flights of stairs to the top floor and knocked on a few doors. The last one before we headed down was a man, and he was super friendly and nice and was polite as well as we talked about why we were here, and then before we knew it, 15 minutes had passed after a religious conversation my comp was having with him! I could not add really anything to the convo, but got that he was into levitating (ummm…weird!  haha) but I kept on smiling and picking out a few words every so often. We had to leave for a meeting, but he agreed to let us come back and talk some more with him!!! Not saying that he is going to become an investigator or anything, but this is an opportunity for us to share our testimonies and the gospel with someone and i am so freaking stoked! I have so much faith and hope that the people that are prepared to meet me are just around the corner. I love my Heavenly Father and am so thankful for his patience with me as I try to figure myself out and that he is always there for me with the ups and the downs. 

To keep my thoughts brief ( if thats even possible)
Angul Ora- English class! Its one of my favorites, because I can help out a lot and it is such a cool experience to see someone learn your native language! This week we taught them some grammar stuff and then some fun english sayings like "right off the bat" and "piece of cake" haha its so much fun.

CLEAN apartment! Mom and Dad, you would be so proud. I decided one day that our apartment needed some serious cleaning, and all of a sudden I became this OCD cleaner that was scrubbing gross growing things in corners and unclogging the drains! I hope this sticks with me and i can be like this at home!!! A clean house makes for a happy Brooke! I totally sound like Mom oh man. 

Zone Conference- Lucky me, Mason Nővér and I are in the same zone, and she came to Szeged for training and we had a little bff reunion! Love her so very much and it was so nice to exchange feelings and experiences and to be on the same page as someone! We went to lunch and a soda store that sells american sodas and i bought an Old Fashioned Mt. Dew and TOTALLY thought of Uncle Bear the whole time! I love those little moments that just make me smile. 

Mason Nover & Gertsch Nover 

Farsang Buli- This Saturday was the Hungarian holiday, where they try to "scare away the winter", so basically like Halloween. In february. haha I loved it though! I dressed up as Mickey Mouse and we ate a bunch of food and just partied. Hopefully the winter does get scared and go away so we can get some sunshine!

Church- Church is still very different for me. I do not understand like 90% of it, but always always always feeling the spirit. Its a way cool experience. And I loveeee singing the Hymns! I think I might be singing a song in sacrament meeting sometime soon? That would be a lot of fun. A little moment that touched my heart was in sacrament meeting, I was kinda stressing because I didnt know what was going on, and this little girl, Iszabella walks up to me and just crawls on my lap. She gave me a pen and started to tell me to draw a dog and a cat and a bus and a car. All of which are things I totally canNOT draw, but I attempted to anyways. She giggled as I totally failed to draw and I got such an overwhelming memory of having my little cousins always sitting on my lap! Im so thankful to have sweet little kids at church to fill the void while I am away from my favorite little kids!

The church members- The people here that are in the church are where my faith and hope is strengthened. I love to sit back and look at each individual. I have only heard of a few peoples stories, but each of them are involved with the church because they found the gospel and wanted it in their lives. They have to sacrifice so much and are on their own, standing strong in their callings and the church is their first priority. Their dedication and strength really strengthens me and I am constantly amazed by their examples.

And that is it for my week!!! Wish I could video and show you every second of every day, because I do not have the time to go into great detail! But I love you so much and will talk to you next week! Thanks for being you and all the love and support!

Sok szeretettel,

Monday, February 15, 2016

Week 10 - Mama...I MADE IT TO HUNGARY!!!

Brooke’s contact info:

Mailing address:  

Sister Brooke Gertsch
1122 Budapest
Hajnoczy Jozsef utca 14

I am about to burst with an overflow of information, so I apologize if this goes way too long or doesnt make sense! I know the fam wants to know every single detail, I will try my best haha.

DAY 1 - Travel.
SUCH a crazy and exciting day. We stayed up all night packing and at 3:30 AM, we left  the MTC and headed for the train. From the train, we took 2 buses and then finally made it to the airport. *keep in mind, there were 9 of us missionaries, all with 3 big suitcases. Chaos.

We had a flight from Salt Lake to Atlanta, and then from Atlanta to Amsterdam. We FINALLY got to call family for a little bit, wish I could have talked to every single person. But I missed their voices so bad! I also got to eat Panda Express and ride on some planes, so I was the happiest girl ever. As we got on the super small airplane at the Amsterdam airport, it was full of people- all speaking different languages. My district just sat there listening to the conversations. I had a moment of panic as i sat there wondering if everyone was speaking Hungarian, because if that was the case, I knew NOTHING and kinda wanted the plane to take me back to the MTC right then and there so I could learn some more! I looked out the window and saw clouds and was able to relax. I dont think it ever really hit me that I was actually going to Hungary until we flew over it and the flight attendant announced that we were about to land in Budapest. Hungary had always been such a distant idea and now I was about to take a first step in my mission! It was all about to officially start.

In Budapest Airport with President Szabadkai and his wife and the APs
We got into the airport and as we walked out of baggage claim, we were approached by two smiling faces (Our Mission President, President Szabadkai and his wife) and some much needed hugs! I had only known them for a minute, but knew I was going to be okay and I was totally going to love them. After the airport was the mission home in Budapest. So I pretty much died. WOW. Hungary is phenominal. We seriously had one minute there and then were taken by the APs to go exchange money for Hungarian money, forints. I was going to try to explain to you the difference, but I still have yet to figure that out but I can tell you is a whole lot different than money at home! I spent 1300 HUF on groceries if that helps ya haha. After we had interviews with Pres. Szabadkai. He is so amazing. He really is. So genuine and has the biggest heart. After the interview, it all sort of became a blurr. I went out with a Sister Training Leader and she had me start STREET CONTACTING. After 3 hours in the country. I was so nervous and exhausted I think I might’ve cried(?) This whole thing is so out of my comfort zone! But the Sister was so sweet and and encouraging and I gave out 3 cards!!! WOOHOO! We came back before dinner and I was so tired. They gave us papers where we were supposed to write our mission goals and I definitely fell asleep while writing. I dont even know what time it must’ve been back home, I didnt even know what day it was. 
Dinner at President Szabadkai's home on first night in Budapest
DINNER was bomb. Sister Szabadkai made it all by hand and it was so nice to have a homemade, hungarian meal. First course was fruit soup. It was kinda like a pear puree with cherries in it. I feel like Bri totally would have loved it and I cant wait to come home and make it for him! Then we had a casserole dish with like chicken, rice, cheese, and sour cream. All I can say is that I will be so fat by the end of the mish, no doubt! The 3 hours of "sleep" on the plane and the jetlag from the past 48 hours started to hit me. every time I blinked, my eyes would stay shut for at least 30 seconds. I probably wasnt even there after dinner! What a good impression. whoops... Anyway, so they took us up the hill to Buda Castle, which was absolutely breathtaking. Across the Danube, we had a beautiful view of Parliament and the entire city. As scared as I was to start this all, I couldnt help but feel so blessed to get to do this work in such an incredible place. After our intro to the city, we headed over to a really nice hotel and crashed the moment my head hit the pillow. 

First day touring Budapest
Buda Castle in Background 
DAY 2- A Whole Bunch of New. 
Started this day off with a few "lasts" and bunch of "firsts". Last breakfast with the district. I miss them so much. Spending 2 months, 24/7 together really made us family. and after the "sorting hat meeting" we all parted ways! :( I get to see them in 2 weeks though, so thats exciting. 
Of course, I am always being blessed. I was given a new companion, Giullian Nővér and we were assigned to serve in SZÉGED (aka the prettiest city ever). Giullian has only been out for 6 months and is already training- which shows you how smart and great she is with the language. She is so sweet and encouraging and optimistic and is exactly the person I need at this point in my life! I have been sick with a horrible cold and she has been so kind and thoughtful and let me sleep lots, so hopefully this next week I will be better! I just love her. Shes the best of the best.

McDonalds in Train Station 
I attached the picture of the McDonalds we went to at the train station. NICEST MCDONALDS EVER AHHH. like am i in heaven or something? I ordered my first meal in Hungarian and was super stoked about that. The McChicken tasted a little different, but they probably just used real chicken lol. 
When we arrived in Széged, we were met by the 4 Elders in our district, and they are Murdock, King, Martindale, and Bagely. All are so crazy and fun and I know that we are going to have so much fun together this transfer! Just a little note about our apartment- its super huge! and has a really nice bathtub. my room is up in the little loft and its so nice and cozy. 

I do not have an actual mattress- its a little mattress pad on a wooden frame, but I have been so tired, it feels great!

One thing that is crazy to me, is that I think its a European thing, but there is one room by the bedroom that has the sinks and shower in it and then the tinniest little room by the front door where the toilet is. The light in the toilet room is broken so when I have to go to the bathroom in the night, I have to grab my tiny little flashlight and stumble across the house. ANOTHER thing. haha. So you know how we have toilet "bowls"? Well the toilet we have is more like a toilet "plate". NO LIE. We joke and call it the "observation deck" haha and you pull a rope to flush. I would take a picture to help expain better, but I thought that wouldnt be very appropriate haha. It is an adventure to say the least:)

DAY 3- Exploring Széged.
My trainer and I have both never served in Széged before, so this first week we just tried to get to know the city and find our way around! Széged man. INSERT HEART EYE EMOJIS!!!!!! I dont know if I have ever been so obsessed with a city. Its definitely up there with San Fran! I just know that I will have a thousand pictures by the end of this transfer, so be ready. 

Brooke in 1st area - SZEGED
Now onto missionary stuff. haha. We are in charge of Új Széged, and are supposed to "white wash" the area. White washing is where there are two new missionaries in the area and they re-open a city that currently has no current investigators. It is really hard for me because we spend our days tracting and knocking on doors and getting constant rejection. I know it has only been a week, but it is starting to take its toll on me! BUT we do have a few activities we do during the week that get us involved with church members and investigators that are so much fun. Theres Angul Ora, where we get to teach english classes! Im super stoked because I CAN TOTALLY SPEAK ENGLISH! And sportnap, where we play soccer with anybody that shows up. I pulled out my "go-go-gadget" legs and skills from back in the day, and it was one the highlights of my week! 
Sveged Cathedral
This first week has been a real shock. I have not been able to understand what anyone is saying, not to mention all the signs and streets and foods. I know it is a part of the culture transition, it has just been a real hard adjustment that I am still working on! But I have learned that as long as I try to speak and try to understand what people say- instead of give up entirely- my experience and confidence in the language will progress. I just need to buy a shirt that says "work in progress" and wear it every day ahahah. 

2 familiar faces :) 
Okay so if i went into detail about every single day, this email would go on forever. and now I only have an hour and a half to email!

 But a few more things:

-PÉKSÉGS. AKA BAKERIES. will be the source of my obesity here in Hungary! There are like 3 on every corner and they smell so good every time we walk by them. I love bread. There is something about bread in Europe. It just tastes SO REAL. Wish I could send some home! 

-If anyone knows me, they know I love Top Ramen noodles. and I just so happened to find the hungarian version called SMACK and it is close enough. So ive had that on the rainy days and it is just like home:)

-Hungarian Toilet Paper is scented.

-If you dont wear tights in the cold, the nénis (grandmas) will yell at you and tell you that you will not be able to have babies… 

-there is no ice...I miss you would die….

-Smoking. Everywhere. I have never experienced so much second-hand smoke in my life. Makes me sad and scared that people will not be willing to give it up.

-The hardest thing Ive learned.
I love smiling. I usually am smiling like all the time. And because I cannot speak the language, I decided that I would just smile at everyone and make their day because thats all I could do! But I have been trying that since day one, and have yet to get someone to smile back at me. The Hungarian people are a very different people, with a lot that has happened to them and that is happening to them right now, and I totally get that. I just miss the random strangers that will walk by and smile back or be the first ones to smile at me back at home. No one can keep me from smiling though, its the only thing Ive got at the moment! 

All in all, I will not lie. This has been the hardest week of my life! On top of all of the chaos, I have been sick and really just wanting my mommy. And have legit thought about going home. I knew that it was going to be hard, I just didnt know how much. But although I have felt weak and scared and alone, Prayer has been my source of comfort! I am praying every second of every day and have seen tender mercies and "csodas" or miracles each day too. I know He is aware of me and I am going to power through the next few, hard weeks with His help. I love my Savior and know that I have been sent to a people that need to hear of his message and cant wait to see the Light of Christ be put in peoples lives. I miss you all so much, but feel your prayers and support always! This may have been a kind of negative email, but I am so happy and know that by being here, I am showing my Heavenly Father just how much I love Him! Have a great week and I will talk to you next week!!! 

Sending you the biggest hugs,
Gertsch Nővér

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

WEEK 9 - Last update from the MTC!!!

Family and Friends - as you read this, Brooke is probably sleeping her first night in Hungary!  We received a email from the church that she arrived there safely early this morning!  
This email was written on Sunday, the day before she left the MTC!  
Brooke would love emails from anyone willing to write her!  Even a quick note would be appreciated!  Her email will remain the same for her entire mission - 


quick note- as I go back and read my older emails. I sincerely apologize at HOW MUCH IT DOESN'T MAKE SENSE. When I try to put all my thoughts down into one place, it ends up being so hectic and crazy and I am so sorry, I am so embarassed!

Less than 48 hours and I will be finally stepping foot in where my home will be for the next year and a half! 

I thought I would write you my last day before we leave! I am not exactly sure when I will be able to email next, seeing that I am traveling all during PDay! But I am not complaining! This week was so bittersweet. One, being that my cousin FINALLY got in the MTC! Getting to see her and hug her, haha I can't even find the words. Yay for being cousins and being missionaries at the same time!!! It's the coolest experience. And having Emily here too (a friend from home). We are able to support each other in the ways we know one another needs it. It's like I have my little pieces of home with me for a couple days. Their hugs are not like any other<3 

Brooke and her cousin Summer Telford - Headed to Santa Rosa, Ca!
Brooke with Emily Grimsman - a friend from our ward
Headed to NY, NY!!! 
This week has been a crazy one. From teaching our last lessons, to saying goodbyes, I don't know if I want to leave the MTC! Our teachers have become family and I owe so much of the missionary that I am to them! As I type this I start to get emotional because they are the two people that have been our constants here in this crazy place. 
Köszönöm szépan Rupard Nővér és Robinson Testver mindenért. Saturday afternoon was our last class period with them. SUCH an emotional day.These two were so patient and loving from day one. We all were pretty much family. Are family. 
Brooke with her district (all going to Hungary together) with their teachers, Rupard Nover (in Red sweater next to Brooke - with the white tag - and Robinson Testver, the man to the far Left with the white shirt and red tie and glasses.
They had spoken only a few words in English to us throughout the entire 9 weeks, it had always been Hungarian nonstop, which seriously helped us leaps and bounds when it came to our progress with the language. Earlier on I had talked about how I had already started to feel the gift of tongues in my life with being able to understand my teachers and I have had moments where I just sit back while our teachers are talk to us, and I think "woah, I actually kinda totally know Hungarian!" I have witnessed this as such a miracle and it could not have happened without the dedication Rupard and Robinson gave to us every day and the spirit they brought into the class. After we had our last language instruction, they began bearing their testimonies in Hungarian and of course my eyes started to well up, but then half way through, they began speaking english. And I was so overcome with the spirit, probably the most I have ever felt being here in the MTC. They were just like us. And they have some of the strongest testimonies that have been influencing us since the very beginning. As I looked around the room at my district and my two incredible teachers my heart felt like it was going to burst I felt such gratitude. Being here, the Lord has shown me His love through SO many ways, but the one I have realized the most is the people he puts in my path. 

I have been blessed with the greatest family on the earth and friends. And coming to the MTC, he has given me companions that have become my best friends, as well as my district and teachers again, that are like family, and even the missionaries in our zone. the new Dutch and Albanian missionaries are such sweet and inspiring spirits and although we only got to spend a week and a half with them, we got to spend a week and a half with them. And I have a feeling that that is going to be the perspective I am going to need throughout my mission, and throughout my life! Because change is inevitable, I've always known that. But so far, the mission has shown me that if I stay strong and move through change with a positive hope, better things are just around the corner. I have really come to know my Savoir and put all my trust in Him because he knows my beginning to my end and he knows me better than I know myself! I have such a testimony that that is true for everyone. And it is such a comfort when you realize that! 

All of the Sister Missionaries in Brooke’s Zone - 2 of them going to Hungary, some Albania, some the Netherlands. 
I think there may be a few going to Korea too!

One thing that my teachers also helped us to keep in mind is that we are going to this specific mission because there are people there that, if not already, are being prepared for us to come and help them find joy and happiness in the gospel. That makes me want to get to Hungary right this second so I can find my friends that I had promised I would come and find before this life. So when people are asking if I'm ready to leave, I will say yes. Not because I am tired of the MTC food or the 10 hours of class a day, but because I want to get over there and start the work! I am going to miss the MTC with all my heart. It was the place that I found my simple testimony of this gospel and then over the 9 weeks strengthened it and refined all my knowledge that will help me when I bring others unto Christ. I wouldnt trade these past 9 weeks for anything in this world and I thank everyone who helped me to get here and supported me and lifted my spirit throughout my stay. My heart is full constantly for every one of you and for everyone here at the MTC, for the people I have yet to meet in Hungary, and of course, for a Szabaditom, my Savior. He is my best friend and I am so thankful for how patient he is with me and I feel his support in me that keeps me happy and positive on the days where I woke up thinking that I couldn't. I could keep going on and on but in short, He is always there for us. He loves us more than we can even comprehend, and wants nothing but pure happiness for us, but it is our duty to come unto him and desire to have that relationship with him and I can promise you, from experience, that it makes all the difference in your life. That is what I try to remember every day and am so excited to share with others extremely soon!!! AHHH!

Brooke with her MTC companions - Mason Nover and Roche Nover
Well, all in all, the MTC was a really important nine weeks for me. Sometimes I never thought it would end, but then most times, like right now, I can't believe how fast the time went!!! If you are ever in the MTC, don't take a second for granted! I am blessed with the best in every sense. I thank my teachers for everything. They will always hold such a special place in my heart. 

The next time you will hear from me will be when I am in HUNGARY! I can't even. Ah. I am so pumped. The unknown has never been so enticing. Never thought those words would come out of my mouth! 
Until next time, I love you all!!! 

(Gertsch Nővér)

Sneak Preview!!!!  Brooke in the Atlanta Airport on her way to Hungary!!! A wonderful girl noticed them and offered to take there picture!  Her mom is the admin on the “Missionary Mommas” Facebook page so I was able to see it and see her last few minutes on American soil!!!  

Budapest, Hungary- Here they come!!! 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Utolsó Hét Emberek! Last Week People!

Brooke’s email :

last week last week last week last week last week last week last week last week last week last week last week last week last week last week!!!! If you couldn't tell, I am a little bit excited to GET TO HUNGARY ALREADY. I have so many feelings going on- whats new- but the most common is curiosity and excitement. Because I have been in the same place doing the same thing for the past 8 weeks and I am ready for the new and unknown!! This week was nothing too crazy or new, except my companion got sick and we got to legit escape and go to the ER! 

Making every situation a happy, fun adventure! 

My companion, Sis. Roche had to go to the Emergency Room last night after dinner. It was such a crazy and hectic night. She had severe abdominal pains and it turns out that on top of some other issues,  she has ovarian cysts. I swear, I was paired with ALI. the symptoms were so similar to what Ali went through so it was nice to know what was going on. I dont know how big Ali’s cysts were, but Roche's one is 7 point something and they are so worried that it might take a lot of blood supply or something and continue to grow and would twist and cut off circulation to her ovary. So that was some scary news. She had a CT and an ultrasound and then they got her some meds and we didnt end up getting out of the ER until like 12:30 and then went to 3 different pharmacies to get her stuff. Besides feeling so bad for her that she was in a lot of pain, it was sooooo much fun haha. In the ER there was a lady totally strung out on drugs and in like withdrawls or something and we were so scared of the outside world and tv and music! But then we got to go to  the cafeteria and the nicest girl paid for our food because we were missionaries!!! I ate pretzels and hummus with a mountain dew. you know me- i was crying haha.

Charity: This week, I think my main theme was charity. And patience. I have been blessed with such incredible companions, but this week was a real tough one for me. With my companion sick and unable to go to class, I was feeling very stressed out seeing that we were leaving so soon and not getting enough practice. But today in the temple, I went in with that worry in my heart, but had a strong feeling come over me that if I can show the Lord my efforts with trying to be more patient and loving, more charitable, that he would find a way to make it all work out. Loving people is the number one thing I have learned thus far on the mission. 

All 10 of us headed to HUNGARY on Monday!!!

Orientation: This week we got NEW MISSIONARIES in our zone!!! And 14 of them are sisters! They are going to Belgium, Netherlands and Albania, and I absolutely love having girls around! I know it is going to be hard making all these new friends and having to say goodbye next week, but I love them so much and hope to stay in touch. Orientation and getting to know them was so much fun. I basically brought up orientation because I was in charge of games and I got to take it back to my PGY days playing getting to know you games! 

Vending Machine: soooooo there are vending machines in our residence hall, and one night I was really craving an orange-strawberry-banana juice. I noticed at the bottom of the machine, there were about 6 drinks stuck and no one could get their drinks out. I proceeded just as they did, to see if my drink would be the one to make the door drop, but of course mine didnt either. I sat on the floor sticking my arm up in the vending machine looking like the craziest person, all for an orange juice. A little crowd gathered around me and I couldnt tell you how, but I fixed it and all the drinks came crashing down and everyone cheered and I passed out the drinks to them feeling like the coolest kid on the block. Such a random and lame story, but it was one of my better moments this week! hahah

FLIGHT PLANS: So on friday reality hit. We finally got our flight information!!!!!!!!!!! We leave the MTC bright and early at 3:30 AM so basically I will probably be pulling an all nighter. Going from Utah, to Georgia, to AMSTERDAM and then finally Budapest. Everything is becoming so real and I am so ready. Did I say that already? 

THANK YOU to the POGGEMANN’S!!!  Thank you for the early Birthday cupcakes!!!  It was so awesome to get those and meant more to me than you will ever know!  I felt so loved!  THANK YOU!!!

Apologies if this is one of the shorter updates, NEXT TIME will be the most legit ever. I guess I will just finish with saying how much I love all of you and how much I love my Savior. Yesterday in church, we talked a lot about faith in Christ, which is the first principle of the gospel. and no wonder it is the first one, because it is the legfonotosabb (most important). Before the MTC I knew that he was a really important person. And that he atoned for our sins and is the perfect example. I never really felt its application in my life because I was a little oblivious and never really dealt with repentance except when I was mean to my siblings or watched a scary movie I shouldn't have. But now that I am here and have realized how incredible the actual process of repentance is and how it should be a daily thing, that in itself has made my love for my Savior grow more and more. As I read the scriptures and read their accounts of revelation they received from God, and to be able to apply it to my life in that very moment, I just want to scream from the top of the mountains how much I love my Heavenly Father because my eyes are opened and I can see the tender mercies in my life. Whether it be the opportunity to serve, the place and people I get to serve, the people around me, the people at home, the scriptures, the prophet, the list goes on and on. I love this gospel with all my heart and am so glad to be finishing my stay at the MTC with a strong, solid testimony, and I am so excited for it to continue to grow. I probably repeat so much in my emails, but I mean it more and more every week! Again, I love you all so much. And think about and pray for you every day! Thank you for being in my life and helping me to be the person that I am today! Have a great week, next time, the letter will be sent from Hungary!

Last Provo Temple trip

Sok szeretettel 
Sister Brooke (i miss my first name haha)

ps. since we are leaving next week, I am able to email every day this week, so email me anytime! I'd love to chat!!! xoxoxo