Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Joining the Church for Right Reasons


The days are passing by so quickly and my brain hurts. Haha! The language is my major obstacle but it's been good besides that. Today we hiked up to the Tops to the huge cross it was kind of creepy but kind of cool at the same time. It was a district activity!

Yesterday we had a CSP where we cleaned up this basketball court for this neighborhood in Sister Robison's area. Speaking of Sister Robison she has a blog its caricebu.blogspot.comAnyways this place had so much trash we burned it in a big pile of grass and weeds and trash. There is trash everywhere here. I don't think
they have littering laws or anything.

We meet with this old lady she is a member her name is Susima she has an amputated foot and she is having a  hard time. We saw four investigators at church this week it was awesome it made me feel like we are doing something. We met with Elicio yesterday and his kids cussed at their mom about chores and the mom yelled back and Elicio is not a member so he was like if this is how members act I don't want to join. We had to do major damage control.

We met with Emerson for the first time. He is 16. His father is a member but his mother is not. He seemed really interested in the lesson and he said he wanted us to come back. He is a cute kid and super nice. He is the  brother of the little 3 year old that can just look at the temple and tell you what temple it is. He is only 3 years old. He is a super smart kid.

Elsie and Sally went to church on Sunday. They live by each other and are friends. I hope they continue to go to church here. You need to go to church 4 times in order to be baptized. They want to make sure the people are not joining only for financial support because I guess it has been a problem because the church is seen as only wealthy people go.

It's really hot here and I love it! It's an adventure every week!

Love you all. How was Midnight mass. HAHA. I was so happy to talk to you on Christmas.

Challenges of Listening to Music in Mission Field

From: Annika Bruno <>
Date: Wed, Dec 29, 2010 at 2:51 PM
Subject: Week!!

Dear President!

I have been doing well this week on talking to people more and I have been teaching lessons!  My companions are both doing well and we are starting to get into the swing of things.  Emely Pardillo seems to be really ready for baptism but I haven't seen her at church yet. We need to figure out a way to have her keep commitments. We continue to follow up and encourage her and hopefully that will make her want to keep her commitments.  We had 3 investigators at church this Sunday it was awesome.  We are praying for diligence this week and I am trying to stay away from the music that is constantly playing everywhere. It's not fun when music starts playing in the background during a lesson. I'm starting to hate music!  Elicio Arinasa had a trial this week when his family had a dispute and he sees them as representing the church since they are members. And now we need to do damage control to earn back his trust. I thought my companions dealt with the situation awesomely! I am striving daily to learn this language and to have the spirit.

Sister Bruno

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Progress of the Work in Cebu City Philippines

So the Philippines is great I'm hot and sweaty all the time but it's an adventure for sure. During lessons ants crawl all over everywhere because most houses are bamboo huts. Some are one room. Some are two. Then we have the regular houses. I'm in the city zone Talamban so its kind of like America except not. We have a McDonalds and can get food imported but it's more expensive. I'm not adjusted to the food yet but I figure it will only be a matter of time.

Today I was riding in the Jeepney and a truck passed by and one of the guys stared at me and poked his friend next to him. They both stared at me. I just smiled and waved. I'm the minority here and when I walk by everyone stares. I just say maayong buntag or maayong hapon or maayong gabbii (good morning, good afternoon, good night). Their jaws drop and they say stuff like you know my language or where are you from!

The kids are the cutest ever they all just stare at me and laugh but probably because I sound like a child when I speak their language. Haha!

Funny story

I was walking down this alley way which they have a lot of those here and a bunch of guys asked hey where are you going in Cebuano and I thought they asked me where I was from and I was like AMERICA! Haha sooo funny but I made it into a contacting experience. My companions died laughing!

My companion Sister Ramos is my trainer. She is really nice and my other companion is Sister Williams. She translates for me. Sister Ramos's English is pretty good but not always the best. So I get confused sometimes. We talk some in English while in the apartment because it's mission rules to help each other if you have a native companion. English in the apartment and Cebuano when not in the apartment. Sister Robison has a blog her mom keeps up for her dad. You should try to find it. I don't have the URL right now but I can get it next Monday during district meeting.

I had my first baptism his name is Danilo Ymbing. He is 36 years old and has a really strong conviction to follow the church.

We have Sally Abella as an investigator. She has a live-in and has a baby from him. She is also married but separated. It's hard to get a divorce in the Philippines and so I think maybe we are continuing the lessons for baptism. It's a weird situation.

We also have Elicio Arinasa. His two girls just got baptized and his wife is a member. We are encouraging the two girls Ann Marie who is 8 and Jayann who is 10 to encourage their father to read the Book of Mormon and to come to church. Thus far every time we have gone to visit him he is not home. He is usually at work.

We have an investigator Grace Hardy whose husband is an American from Utah and a member. She comes to church with him every Sunday. She says she wants to be baptized. The only thing we need to do is find times to visit her when she doesn't have school or work to teach her the lessons. She is gone for the holidays but we hope to get her baptized in the next month or two.

We went to visit with a man named Lone Denoso yesterday. He has thought about suicide because he had a stroke and the left side of his body is paralyzed. When we visited him yesterday his wife was home and we taught them both. It was a hard lesson because he kept making inappropriate comments.

It's hard to teach lessons because every lesson they have Hip Hop music playing in the background and instead of talking louder over the music the people talk quietly. The favorite song right now in the Philippines is Justin Bieber BABY. It's way funny! Elder Holley who is from my district in the MTC is in my district here in the Philippines and everyone thinks he looks like Justin Bieber so they call him Justin. It's way funny but I think he might be able to use it to his advantage during contacting!!

So I am planning on Skyping probably on the 24th your time around 5PM-7PM. I'm not for sure!!

Learning the Language in the Field

From: Annika Bruno
Date: Wed, Dec 15, 2010 at 3:35 PM
Subject: First Week

Dear President,

This week I am getting used to the culture, and still working on the language. The companionship is doing well and they are helping me a lot to get used to the field. I am in good health. Our investigators seem to be doing well. Danilo is getting baptized on Saturday, and what I know about him he seems more than ready to be baptized. We have been visiting the members in the ward and orienting ourselves to who is in the ward. I'm not sure exactly what is being said in the lessons but I bear my testimony when told to or when I feel like it is right. I'm working hard to do the work I just wish I knew the language so I could really teach. But I say as much as I can that I know in Vasayan,so hopefully I will pick it up soon. My studies are going well this week. As a companionship we are working on charity and love. I am studying the titles of Christ from the index in the Book of Mormon. I try to find things that apply to the investigator. I will get this down soon. I love it here it's just going to take some getting used to.

Sister Bruno

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

First Philippines Missionary Area: Experiencing the Custom of Alom Pulos

So I'm finally in the Philippines. It's pretty interesting. It's made me realize how much I have in the States. I miss the luxuries of life :) Today we went to the temple I love going because its a place to relax your mind for a couple of hours.

This morning we woke up at 4:30am to go play basketball with the district before it got too hot. But I am way tired now. I don't want to get up that early again, but my companions like to go. It's way good exercise. It's way hot here and I'm constantly sweating. It's some good times. If you couldn't tell by the pictures, I gained a ton in the MTC but its all good. I predict that I will sweat those off. haha...

We went to teach this woman who has a Catholic background. And on the way we passed by like 8 little kids and they all greeted us with "HELLO" and wanted to shake our hands. They were so cute they shook our hands and did the sign of respect by bringing our hands to their forehead. I do this thing called alom pulos where you poke the back of their heads and say alom pulos and they laugh or look up at you annoyed. Haha. Its fun our teacher in the MTC Brother Christensen taught us that game.

Elder Holley is in my district here. I am in the Talamban District. It's in the Cebu city zone. He was in my district in the MTC. its nice to have a familiar face around. In the city it's not too different you can still get a lot of American food and such and they have a mall.  I would send pictures but I forgot my cord I will send them next week. The camera I got takes really good pictures. I am scared to use it though in public because my companions make me all paranoid but I guess you just have to be careful with your belongings here.

We live in this three-story house and the stairs are super narrow and the bottom floor we just use as a room for our shoes and a work our room then upstairs on the second level is the kitchen we have a toaster oven and a refrigerator and a hot pan a sink and that's about it. We also have a kitchen table and three chairs their all plastic. We have two wooden desks to do our studies on. On the third level we have the bathroom and a closet with pop up closets. Then we have the bedroom with two beds. We are in a threesome Sister Williams, Sister Ramos and me. Sister Ramos is my "mom". We have a mattress on the floor. Sister Williams is sleeping on until they get us a third bed sometime this week.

It's not too bad living here. The only problem I have is not being able to understand the language. It's so frustrating. I am studying and yet I still don't understand. I can remotely communicate ideas and wish I was fluent in this language. They speak super fast and super soft.

I thought I would get away from music and TV and such but actually they blast American music all day long outside with the bass and it always seems to be blaring during a lesson. They listen to all American music here mostly hip hop. The music I would listen to at home. It's hard not to listen when its blasting everywhere. They also watch American TV shows so when we are at a house usually members' houses they are watching TV.

I am trying not to be discouraged but the language is hard but besides that it's not too bad of a place.

Love you all!


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Parent Letter

Missionary Name: Sister Annika Bruno
Mission: Philippines Cebu
Date Submitted: December 9

Hi Sister Bruno, I'm writing to see if this will work--is this the right Dear Elder address and will this get to you? I am sending it to Philippines Cebu Mission. We had some sad news about Genevieve's twins yesterday, she went for her ultrasound and the babies did not have a heartbeat. The doctor said they might just miscarry naturally or she might have to go in later this week for an operation. She is very upset about it. Stuart's car also broke down, and no one has any money. So we are going through some hard times. We are very lucky that you are on a mission, because the families of missionaries are supposed to be blessed. So we are waiting for some good blessings to come soon! Looking forward to Gigi and Deseret coming soon. Gigi says she isn't lazy like the rest of us and she will get a job within a couple of weeks of being here! So we will see how that works out, haha. Flora has a gig being Cinderella at a birthday party on Saturday. We have this beautiful blue prom dress that used to belong to Kelsey and Flora wore it and Gen did her hair like Cinderella for Chiara's birthday party and now all the little girls who were there want Flora for their parties. Jenny Swartz is having a princess tea party and Flora is going to go and make $25.00. I'm glad you got to the Philippines OK and I am looking forward to getting your email on Wednesday and hearing about your new companion and your first area. I will write you again after I hear from you.

Love, Mom

Monday, December 6, 2010

Parent Letter

Missionary Name: Sister Annika Bruno
Mission: Provo MTC
Date Submitted: December 6

Dear Annika,

You must be getting really excited to go to the Phillippines. I can't wait to hear from you. The time seemed to go by really fast for me, I don't know about you, though. I hope you enjoyed your time in the MTC, it was fun to hear about all of the GAs that you got to hear from. The Apostles don't come out to the Stakes very much any more, so I am glad to know that they are still visiting the MTC frequently.

I looked up the weather in Cebu City and it is 88 degrees with thunderstorms. I'm sure you will be glad to have the warmer weather, although you will need an umbrella and some boots, probably.

I put $100 more in your account so now you have 147 and Cherie just called me to go in to work so i have to go, will talk to you later.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Fooling the MTC Mail Room


Hey everyone I am leaving the MTC in two weeks and will probably go silent except for email when I get there I am not sure yet what it is like so everyone should pass on the emails to everyone so that they don't think i am ignoring them!! I heard mail takes like a month to get to the US!! I heard that North Korea is fighting South Korea right now is this true that is crazy if so... I never get real news in the MTC so when we hear something its crazy!! Also it was supposed to snow yesterday so all the teachers were sent home and we didn't have a teacher for the rest of the day and also the bookstore closed which everyone was annoyed about, but today is P-day and tomorrow is Thanksgiving so we get two chillax days which is cool!!

So dad asked for a funny story so here it is I have a story book and this is one I thought was kind of funny! Elder George got a package and it came with an orange slip. Turns out his dad tried to send him a chocolate cream pie. Elder George was super mad about it. He made a list of MTC villains one was the mail room, then juggernot (the security guy for the devotionals), the Spanish district that stole our comfy chair, and the others (the English district). They devised a plan of ordering poop from an animal then put it in a box with packing peanuts, and sent it to the mail room. When Brother Atagi found out he devised a plan of putting ex-lax in a pie and sending it then wait and watch until someone runs out of the mail room. Elder English was like "YOU ATE MY PIE"

Elder George and Elder Holleys dads are always trying to smuggle them in food from take out places and their packing has become elaborate!! Like one of their dads packed the food in a crazy way so that the mail room couldn't smell the food! Basically hilarious but the elders get super excited when the food gets through its like Christmas to them! The elders always get a lot of packages Elder Holley gets a package every day from someone!! They don't open them until the dorms. They gather everyone's packages and open them like Christmas presents. Elders are so interesting!!

I am super excited for the twins and I loved KIKIs pictures soooooooo cute me and Sister Brand was like awwwwwww and everyone came and looked!

The new Cebubus are awesome we love them like our children or something. My new companion Sister Brand is awesome she is super fun. We all laugh in our room at night including Sister Walker, Sister Barney, Sister Nerdin and Sister Whipple. We all have a lot of fun. It's basically amazing love. I'm here but ready to leave in two weeks AHHHH!!

Nahigugma Ko kanimo!!

Sister Bruno

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Parent Letter

Missionary Name: Sister Annika Bruno
Mission: Provo MTC
Date Submitted: December 2

Hi Annika,

You have $108 in your account when I checked this morning. I have been putting as much in as I can, but we are having troubles lately. So you have more money than I do right now!! My secret account is just about gone!! so sad. We know you are supposed to have at least $400 in there when you leave for the Philippines, so we will try to put more in, but I don't know how much we will be able to manage. I have to go to work now but I hope you enjoy your last week in the MTC. I bet you are really excited that you are going to be going out into the field soon. It will be fun to see if you can communicate with people in Cebuano when you get there!!

Sorry this is so short but I wanted you to have that bank account info, and I will write you more when I get home.

Love you!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Missionary Excited to Leave MTC and Go to Philippines


Yeah the light saber pictures I first took weren't very good. We were still experimenting and also the flash on my camera doesn't do very well. But we took a bunch more today and they came out really good. So hopefully you think these are better. We took the Matrix one today but in our P-day clothing. We are going to take one in our dresses another day.

I am way excited to be going to the field. We got our flight plans today. It was more exciting then getting my mission call! Haha. We have been super intense in Cebuano and I have learned a lot in the MTC. I am having a way good experience in the MTC and will be sad to leave but I am ready to get out of here!

I'm sorry if my emails have been lame but we don't get much time to write. So it's not too interesting. Just updates! This week were were talking about the war at the end of the world. My teacher asked what we though the war would be like. My elders replied with Narnia and Lord of the Ring types of things. Then my teacher was like yeah I always think of animals fighting and such. I would want a bear next to me and be like I hope you are afraid of that guy. Then he was talking about how he would rather ride a lion because a lion can take a tiger anytime because one of my Elders said he wanted to ride a tiger. Then my teacher said if a lion smacked a tiger it would be knocked out. Brother Atagi is funny. He is basically my elders' favorite teacher.

Nahigugma ko kanimo

Love, Annika

PS: They closed the mail room yesterday and bookstore until Saturday and everyone was annoyed. They said it was because of the storm but there was no storm.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Parent Letter

Missionary Name: Sister Annika Bruno
Mission: Provo MTC
Date Submitted: November 10

Hi Annika,
We love getting your letters and emails. I know you can't write much on email because you don't have much time, but it is fun to get them anyway. I noticed you were wondering about the spelling of counselor, as in the counselor in a branch presidency. That is something a lot of Mormons get wrong and it bugs me. I even wrote a little spelling guide once, and I thought I could send it to you, here it is:

Counsel: advice; opinion or instruction given in directing the judgment or conduct of another.

Council: an assembly of persons summoned or convened for consultation, deliberation, or advice.

Notice that the Bishop or Church leader gives you COUNSEL, but you attend a COUNCIL meeting. On Wednesday nights you might need to go do some COUNSELING at your COUNCIL meeting. Many of us formed part of the COUNCIL in heaven. Our Apostles form the COUNCIL of the Twelve. They give COUNSEL to the members of the Church. Most of the acronyms use COUNCIL.
PEC=Priesthood Executive Council
BYC=Bishop/Youth Council
HC=High Council

Now it gets a little bit tricky. Please pay close attention.

High councilors--spelled this way because they are members of a COUNCIL.

First and Second counselors in presidencies--spelled this way because they give COUNSEL to the president or bishop.

haha I know you won't be speaking or writing English much for the next 18 months, but just thought I would share!!

So Franny is mad at me today because I went to pick her up at school, she was supposed to get off at 2 but at 2:30 she wasn't out yet. And she didn't answer her phone or texts. I had to leave her there because I had work at Wellness at 3 and I still had to go home and change. So she had to walk part of the way home and then Dad went and picked her up the rest of the way when he got home. She was very mad. I hope she will get over it.

I am not enjoying swim lessons now that it is COLD! I hate being wet.

Chiara's party was very fun. I will send pics on email. She didn't like the ponies. There were 3 of them. All of the little kids in the ward had fun. We had about 14 families here. It was wild.

Well, I will go and send an email now with pics. Too bad Dear Elder doesn't download pictures!

Love, Mom

Thursday, November 18, 2010

New Sister Missionaries in MTC Cebuano District

This week is so exciting not even kidding we get new Cebuano people and they are here today!! Our district is like little kids in a candy store that's how excited we are! Our devotional this week was from Kevin W. Pearson of the Seventy! Basically amazing talk! He said that we were set apart and we can not fail on our mission. He also talked about how we need to know who we are and then we will be able to do what we need to do. My new motto from him is the scripture 3 Nephi 5:13. I am a disciple of Christ.

Last Wednesday we got 4 new sisters and I love their guts. They are basically my favorite. We laugh so hard. My elders think we are so weird but really we are just like you are so young bahah. But no seriously my elders have a weird senses of humor! I am funny according to everyone except for them, not even cool elders, not even cool. No but we all laugh a lot of the time. Sister Whipple is so quiet sometimes she gets annoyed at us but I don't see why since we are so cool... :) But we love her guts anyway. We make her takes pictures with us and we will break her out of her shell soon enough! I got a third companion the sister is solo from the Cebuano district. Yeah I get to practice my language with her all night long. But I am super sad Sister Chang left Monday that was depressing. They finally found a new Cebuano teacher for us. We get him this week! We are loosing Brother Neilson. I'm so sad. He was basically amazing and my favorite teacher ever!! But he is giving us his address and email and all of that!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Notes Elder Kevin W. Pearson MTC Devotional

 Elder Kevin W. Pearson MTC Devotional
Quorum of the Seventy
Tuesday, November 16, 2010 7:00pm

Kevin W. Pearson

Spirit knows how to speak to your spirit not any language you might speak.

Will not fail.  This is the Lord's work so you will not fail.  You will succeed.

Faith to succeed?

True doctrine changes attitude & behaviors.

Agency & accountability

Moral choices
Lead to Christ

You get what you focus on constantly.  Mission makes it good or not good.  It's what you make it.

You get exactly what you choose to get.

Not set part to be average missionary.  No average person in heaven.

What's at stake?

Your mission is the future of your family.  Posterity praying for you in heaven.

Power of divine identity

You are not who you think you are

Motto--3 Nephi 5:13 I am a disciple of Jesus Christ!

I am going to give it all my might, mind and strength.  I have been called.

Am I a true disciple?  Am I no longer struggling?

A disciple does not try he/she does!

Do or do not there is no trying.

Lord does not say try.

I am done trying I need to do! Commit and move forward.

Just do best every day and not need to struggle but need to know who you are...

Want to change reality have to change what do/think to know who you really are

More become disciple of Christ become who you really are

Be 100% obedient.

  If I am a disciple I am no longer sleeping in... using my time wisely.


What is faith?

Faith is gift bestowed when obedient.  Faith comes from obedience.

Willingly aligning will with Father's will.

Willingness to consecrate life to Lord.

100% obedience.

What you want you will get what you focus on consistently.

Every day 100% obedience.

Faith is principle of power.  How much power do you want?

Prayer Bible Dictionary pages 752-753

Prayer is will of the Lord

Align will with Heavenly Father.

Prayer secures blessings.  God willing to give if just ASK.

When prayer not answered because selfishness of heart and not in name of Jesus Christ.

Everyone meet knows Jesus Christ learned in pre-existance. Locked in spirit that truth.  Mortal amnesia unlock knowledge through spiritual process=Holy Ghost (only).

Only Holy Ghost can teach our spirits.

Why 19 year old can unlock that knowledge.

We help people unlock those mysteries of heaven.  Key of knowledge.

Jesus is head of His work. You represent Father & Soin,  You represent doctrine of Christ.

Be a disciple.  They do work through us.

Do every day. 

Embrace principles of the gospel.

Maximized focus time of 16 hours.

Embrace principles of the gospel. 

Changes your reality=Potential Your Future.

Pay price become disciple.

Heavenly Father What is it that thou willst have me do?

Heavenly Father reserves most obedient missionaries for prepared children.

Remember who talking to when praying.  Ask for help to become disciple. Commit self to do everything in power so Father send full power of the Holy Ghost.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Lord's Plan for You is Happiness

Hello Ward!

I have been in the MTC now for 5 weeks. It has been an awesome experience. I suggest you all go on missions or continue to be missionaries.

Learning a language is hard but anything hard in life we are not alone but find strength in Christ. With Christ our burdens are lifted. Remember to pray for strength in your afflictions!

Being in the MTC is a unique experience. It really has strengthened my testimony and I am so grateful I was called to serve.

Remember the Lord's plan for you is happiness and joy. Stay positive and God will help you through all things.

Nahigugma ko kaninye

Sister Bruno

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Notes on Brother Mark J. Lusvarti MTC Fireside

 Brother Mark J. Lusvarti
MTC Fireside
Sunday, November 14, 2010

Divine love.

Teach with love changes motivations doing it because you love them.  It would be more powerful.

Pray mightily.

Your areas are your areas.

Write down every name, address of people you baptize. Write to them and keep encouraged.  Keep in scriptures.

Not something you are but something you become.

Commit to obedience.

Love of Savior changes routine obedience to life of love.

MTC District Meeting

 MTC District Meeting
Sunday, November 14, 2010

Jesus advocate turn to Bible Dictionary advocate.

Every time feel Holy Ghost atonement is working in your life

3 Nephi 23:11

Guilty feelings of the devil

John 3:16-17 Jesus sent not to condemn the world.

When God sends reprovement done in kind way John 15:7-8

2 Timothy 1:7

1 John 15:13-19

1 John 4:6 God's love

If answer loud you need to get out of there fast.

2 Nephi 28:30 learning language and Gospel

That which grows fast withers fast.  That which grows slow lasts.

More than one reason learning Cebuano.  Learn it well in time.

2 Nephi 13:13 Lord makes decree acting on cause when stands

Learn language of prayer.  Voice for group when praying in a group. Use thee, thine, Thou.

Focus. Pray more intently.  Do work with all heart, mind, might & strength.  Be 100% obedient.  Focus on being disciple and receiving Holy Ghost in every second of every day.

Take feeling.  Start working on goals of obedience.

Goal setting is an act of faith.

3 Nephi 5:15

Want to do it.

Set an example.

Always be ready to give an answer.

1 Peter 3:15

MTC Relief Socity Meeting

 MTC Relief Society Meeting
Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sister Mary Smith

Challenge to be messenger.  CTR.

Moral purity, majority of problems in world today.

Mark 5:24-34

Bible dictionary Grace.

For atonement to have more benefit I must . . .?

Be humble and sweet

Yield heart to God.  Trust Him.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Coordinating Sister & Four Apostles in a Row Speak at the MTC

So I have been in the MTC for 5 weeks now and its crazy I dont feel like it has been that long but I guess it has. I am slowly not liking the food at the MTC I feel like we have the same things all the time but its not bad food maybe I am just getting sick of eating all the time arg! Me and my companion Sister Chang go to the temple to eat lunch on P-days sometimes it's a change. This week has been pretty awesome because our guest speakers were both amazing for fireside and devotional this week. This Sunday we had Sister Sheri Dew come and speak and her main point was mortality in comparison to eternity is small even if it doesn't feel like it now. She talked about life being short and that we need to understand who we are. She said right now is the time to learn right now!

Then for devotional on Tuesday we had Elder David A. Bednar come and speak. That is count them 4 times apostles came and spoke. His wife spoke she said its going to be hard but God is with you. Elder Bednar spoke about defining what a doctrine, what a principle, and what an application is. I will send dad my notes again in the mail. Sorry if my emails don't sound very personal. I freak out as the red time box counts down the minutes that we can write.

This coming Monday everyone is going to be new and I will get a new companion. The only people not new will be my elders. The new district that we got this past wednesday are really cool they fit my personality well. I am the coordinating sister (like the relief society president in the MTC) and I am going to meet our new district tonight! We have 4 new sisters in our room so its going to be interesting but they are only here for 3 weeks so they will leave before I leave.

I love the MTC but am ready to leave I'm so tired all the time I feel like I'm more tired now than I was ever tired in the earlier weeks. Everyone says you get used to it but i think it just gets worse as the months go on. I am still going strong but there is only so much you can do in the MTC. This week my teacher told us that we need to get 10 contacts a day. Today P-day I have only gotten one I guess I'm going to be spending that hour before bed contacting!

This week I teach the first lesson in Cebuano for the first time. Ahhh I'm not sure how ready for that I am... hopefully me and my elders can come up with something to fill the whole 35 minutes of teaching in the language. I don't want to ask questions because we will all just spend 10 minutes trying to figure out what they said but maybe I will because that will take up time muhahah.

It's snowing here now it was warm and now its cold again really really cold. It was snowing yesterday and today nothing has stuck to the ground yet but it's only a matter of time.

One of the councilors in my branch told us to feel lucky because in the 18 months of being in the MTC there has never been an apostle come and speak 4 weeks in a row!! I hope they make it 5 next week!!

Nahigugma ko kaninyo


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Notes Elder David A. Bednar MTC Devotional

 Elder David A. Bednar MTC Devotional
Quorum of the 12 Apostles
November 9, 2010 7:00pm

Sister Bednar

Helaman 5:13 All creations denotes there is a Christ.

Going to be hard but God is with you.

Ephesians 4:5

Heavens not closed God speaks to Prophets.

Be faithful and obedient.

Matthew 20:18-20 

God is always with us always.

David A. Bednar

You are not teacher Holy Ghost is the teacher.  Pay attention to the Holy Ghost. Impressions.

If body is here but mind is not please come back.

More important for investigator to learn than for you to teach.

These are people teaching.  You first need to learn.  Doctrine.


Simple and fundamental.

Nature of Godhead=doctrine

Plan of happiness=doctrine

Atonement of Jesus Christ=doctrine

Doctrine always answers question. Why?

Understand what doctrine is.

The Answer is Always The Doctrine.

Guideline of Doctrine=principle.

13 Articles of Faith.

Principle guideline from Doctrine

Righteous exercise for moral agency=Govern yourself

Principle Answers Question What?


Principle not behavior not action it's a guideline.

Application=What we do

Application Answers Question How?

Repent=return to Christ.

Doctrine versus Principle versus Application

Life in Church focus on which of three?

We are drawn to applications to improve.

Doctrine of home teaching.  Watch over strengthen.  Be with members of the Church... Find in scriptures

If understand doctrine never miss answer always doctrine.

If I understand the doctrine maybe I would have a better attitude about the MTC...

Understanding=Revealed Result

Answer Always Doctrine

I need to start learning and stop procrastinating

Learn doctrine so I can change.

I need to go to bed early so I won't be so tired.

Mosiah 24:13 Focus on covenants

Know covenants so you can teach to 8 year old

Mosiah 24:14  My yoke easy burden light

I need to change for this to be easier.  I can't do this alone but with strength of Lord.

You can do it with the Lord.

Answer always Doctrine.

Need to study more effectively.

Holy Ghost will answer questions through you.


Answer Application question with Principle

Plural marriage God revealed to Joseph Smith and God discontinued plural marriage through another prophet & revelation.

If just give answer not as good as if guide to correct guideline and principle then will be brought to truth and will understand.

Parent=What doctrine if understood  can make them chaste in a world with few that are chaste. 

What doctrines if understood change attitude & behavior.

Use in own life what doctrine will help change your behaviors and attitudes.

Going to proclaim restored gospel.

Atonement help capacity beyond your own.

In strength of Lord I can Do All things in His Strength. Promise to all children.

Apostolic witness Father and Son live.  Witness Jesus is the Christ.  He is resurrected. I witness He lives and speaks.  He is the head.  He directs it.  I  witness it is true.

Blessing:  Diligent and faithful in study.

Doctrine of Jesus Christ brings understanding, direction, protection.  Will bless you and family throughout eternity.

Diligent in understanding doctrine magnified capacity enlarged to help others learn likewise...

Its not about me.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Notes on Sheri Dew MTC Fireside

Sheri Dew MTC Fireside
November 7, 2010

Write impressions.

Mortality in comparison to eternity is so small but it doesn't feel like that.

Mortality is small compared to eternity.

God puts you in the place where you need to be at that time.

God knows who you are.  Where you are.  What your mission is and what you need to accomplish your mission.

Life is short.

2300 missionaries in MTC influence the world.

Matthew 6:33

Living in latter part of the latter days.

Be fearless in building Zion.

Keep from fulfilling life mission--Identify confusion, Keep from understanding how Savior atoned.  Kee from receiving personal revelation.

Moroni 7:1-2  What need to know.

Developed talent of spirituality in premortal life qualified us to be born into House of Israel.

Here now because God trusts us.

I am a daughter of God

D&C 138 Read & Pray.

Understand who you are.

Luke 4:18 Savior heals us.

Ask Lord if teach/mentor.  How sounds. I feel for you when He is speaking to you.

Immerse self in word of Lord. Scriptures.

Right now is the time to learn. Right now.

MTC Mission Conference

MTC Mission Conference
November 7, 2010 10:00am

R. Lavar Cardon

We should be happiest people on this earth.

Overcome fear=keep eye on Christ.
Lord expects us to repent.

Susan Breinholt

Filled with light and power to accomplish Lord's work.

Scriptures. Anchor. Strength. Guide.

Lord speaks directly to us through the scriptures.

Pray before we read the scriptures.

Fear not for I am with you.

Mark F. Breinholt

Companionship of the Holy Ghost

Whisper, Truth, Listen

Qualify  D&C 121

Charity toward all men

Holy Ghost constant

Desire, Seek, Pray, Invite

Gift of the Holy Ghost. Heavenly Father's most precious gift.

Elizabeth Smith

Be thou humble.  D&C 112:10

Realize what you have

Teach with conviction

Be prompt  Search out those who have been waiting

You never know what the next door will bring.

Heed Holy Ghost promptly.

Ralph W. Smith

Accept correction

Don't defend incorrect behavior

It will harden your heart.

It requires repentance.

Become master of emotions, thoughts, actions.

Where do I fit in?


If close enough to touch sin.  You are too far down the slippery slope.

What we think about makes us who we are.

School your thoughts

Happily comply


Friday, November 5, 2010

Elder Ballard Advises MTC Missionaries to Smile

This week was pretty much the same. We study all day long and have class and eat and have class and eat and study and eat! I think I might puke we eat so much! But the MTC is still amazing I met some people this week from England and Italy and a couple of other places. I also met an elder going to Africa who speaks Portuguese, random I know right!

So this week we heard from Elder Ballard! This is the third week in a row that we have heard from an apostle, so basically that's the good thing about being in the MTC for so long. Elder Ballard talked about becoming a master communicator.He also said the most powerful thing we have is our smile. And that we need to have confidence in our message.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Parent Letter

Missionary Name: Sister Annika Bruno
Mission: Provo MTC
Date Submitted: November 3

Dear Annika,
It was fun reading your letter this week. I can't believe how cold it is in Provo and that it SNOWED! I still have my tan. The outdoor pool was open until Sunday and I worked there last Thursday all day in the sun. Now that it is closed, though, I'm sure my tan will fade quickly. So, I haven't lost any more weight but at least I feel like I am in good shape. I can run for 30 minutes without stopping now. I think that is pretty good for an old woman!

I didn't realize you were going to be in the Philippines for Christmas and that is awesome. In Saudi all the Filipinos loved Christmas and really partied and celebrated it and had so much fun with it. So I think it will be great. I hope you are not getting too cold and aren't you glad I sent you that black suit because even if you don't wear it when you go over there I bet it is good for wearing in the MTC in the winter. Tell me if you need or want anything because after you get out in the field I probably won't be able to send you things very often.

Well, it was good hearing from you, I will try to write more often.

Love you,


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Notes Elder M. Russell Ballard MTC Devotional

Elder M. Russell Ballard MTC Devotional
Quorum of the 12
November 2, 2010 7:00pm

Why people don't progress.

Not master teachers.

People don't understand what w are teaching.

Ask questions just taught them.

Unrelated questions--Ballardism say that companion will study and talk about next time. But what  do you understand about what he just taught.  Need to know... doctrine.

Become master communicator.

1948 in England. We knocked on door gave housewife pamphlets on apostasy.  They went right in trash.

Richard Anderson brought system to explain message and pointed out history.  Connect with people better.

Conducted street meeting on 2 ft. high stand and preached. Missionaries sing then preach.

President Boyer, Elder Mckay, Congressman

Let's go hold street meeting. There were two new missionaries.  Hugh West graduated from Stanford. He didn't do too good.  Then I had to go up.  Boyer said preach the gospel and speak on baptism.  There were 500 people.  I said everything I know in 1 1/2 minutes.  I was grateful to get off the stand.  I knelt down and apologized to the Lord and told him I was sorry I was bad.  I made a commitment to never happen again.
I spoke 715 times on street corners.  Learned I could communicate.

As treasure up then master skill to lead people along in the discussion.

Learn to be master communicator.  Get testimony down.

Assist us and let us know your understanding who is God.


4 I don't care
                                       3 There is no God all bad things happen
                2 Never thought about it
         2 God doesn't exist
  1 I don't know
                        1 I'm not religious. I'm a Jew.
            1 God universal spirit.
                             1 Personal God helps me to pray
1 God's cool.
              1 On fence if I believe.
1 Many gods.
1 Leader.       
                      1 God's idea created by man.
1 Power in life.
  1 Creates doubt.
 1 Good idea.    
          1 I believe in Jehovah.
   1 Supreme being.
1 Everything.     
           1 No problem it's good.

Learn to ask questions.

Talk to people wherever you find them.

Gospel is beautiful and simple.

Keep the message simple.

Conversation always starts with how people feel in the beginning.  How they feel about you.

  When come to know the Church is true.  What happened.  The missionary's teaching and I felt.  Reading in Book of Mormon and I felt.  In sacrament and I felt. Felt the power of the Holy Ghost.

Most powerful thing you have is your smile.

Attitude of success.  Confidence in message.  Testify in Joseph's own words.

Life Change

We are going to make Saints out of them.

Take people out of world of darkness.

Help us as we try to turn ourselves into master teachers. Spiritual communicator.  Many are searching but don't know where to find doctrine of Christ.

Cool Elders: Letter to Parent


I don't have a cord to upload pictures but I got a CD of some pictures. I can't see the pictures so I can't identify them for you right now but I am trying to SYL as much as I can.

I have the names of all the elders and sisters in all my pictures right now. We just figured out the Star Wars picture and I need to convince someone to do the matrix one with me. I don't even know where to look to find hidden things but maybe I can try.

Elder Ballard came and spoke this week. He spoke on how we need to become master communicators. Enclosed are my notes. When you are done can you send them back. Also my notes from Elder Scott and Elder Nelson's talks.

I guess I am super lucky to be getting so many apostles coming to talk to us.

The MTC is hard work but I have faith and that's all that matters I guess.

I met some cool elders from all over the world with all different stories.

One I met in the laundry room told me about an uncle that cut his finger off and didn't make it in enough time to reattach it so he pickled his finger and brings it out at family reunions.

Another Elder I met is from England. He spoke to me and Sister Chang in the sack breakfast line about being new and not having companions yet. We saw him walking alone later that day and asked him if he lost his companion. He said he wasn't assigned one yet and was on his way to the international office. Another cool thing today we ate at the temple cafeteria. Time for bed!

Nahigugma ko kanimo

Love Annika

Friday, October 29, 2010

Letter to Parent: Teach with the Spirit

October 29, 2010


So I have my camera and have been taking tons of pictures.  Turns out you can't take pictures in the gym or cafeteria but I took some for you anyways.  I have them on my memory card but on the computers they don't have a place to plug in your memory card so I can't send them in emails.  I'm going to try and develop a few or see if they can put them on a CD and send them home for you maybe tomorrow.

Elder Russell M. Nelson came and spoke at the devotional this week.  His message was that short powerful messages with the Spirit bring people unto the gospel as long drawn out messages.  I think the reason that we can't take pictures in the gym is because they have the devotionals in there so that's most likely why but anyways hope all is well at home.

My district is pretty good.  There are 6 elders in my district:  Elder English, Elder George, Elder Azerus, Elder Holley, Elder Andrus,  and Elder Ausban.  My teachers are still great.  I really like them a lot.  I love the messages you learn every day at the MTC and how easy it is to teach with the Spirit.

My Elders tear up but their eyes get red.  I am amazed that anyone falls away from the Church after being at the MTC.  There is no way you can deny the Holy Ghost or God or anything about the gospel after being at the MTC.

Love you and glad you taught me to go on a mission.  Its amazing and I love it.  Hope I can rely on God and have faith in learning the language.

Nhigugma ko kanimo.

Love Annika

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Elder Scott Invokes Apostolic Blessing on MTC Sisters and Sisters Who Go Home to Marry Given Honorable Releases

This week has been really crazy. The other Cebuano district left yesterday and its been really quiet without them. They were all amazing people. Basically everyone loved them! So in crazy news in the MTC Sister Russell left the other day the same day as Sister Brinton. Sister Brinton went to the field while Sister Russell went home to get married! She has a date set for December 6th. You forget there is a real world outside of the MTC sometimes and that people leave their missions.

I guess though that when girls leaves their missions they are considered as having served honorably. Their records say they served a full time mission even if she was only out for 2 weeks. It is weird how that happens.  I was sad because think of all those people that she would have met.  But I think she is happy about her decision about her going on a mission and. I think it was the best thing for her, because she is now getting married.

I am blessed though because Sister Chang is now my companion. God answered my prayers because I didn't want to be left without a sister and only elders. I might have gone crazy. Boys are hard to understand at least I don't get them, especially not 19 year old boys. Arg!! Anyways I love my district actually, so its not too bad. Their humor is just super random.

I got new companions this week Elder Holley and Elder Azerus. We have taught together once and we are still figuring it out. But we will get it right when its time to change companions again.

So the coolest news ever Elder Richard G. Scott came and spoke this week. That is 2 weeks in a row to hear an apostle speak which is so amazing. Elder Scott spoke about praying for guidance and how God will answer you in time. You just need to be patient. He invoked a protective shield on the sisters. He invoked the gift of tongues, and he invoked confidence all through the authority he has as an apostle of Jesus Christ! I love hearing from the apostles so cool!

So i probably sound ridiculus but im racing against the time clock here and its crazy so basically cant write too much so anyways the new sisters and elders are about to leave it seems like they just got here and they are about to leavee im pretty sure we have seen so many people come and go already and we still have 6 more weeks basically weird!!  Time here is so weird and it seems as if i have been here years!  But loving it still!

Nahigugma Ko Kanimo!

Sister Annika Bruno

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Notes Elder Richard G. Scott MTC Devotional

Elder Richard G. Scott Devotional
(Quorum of the 12)
October 26, 2010 7:00pm

Write down impressions.

Even if all is taken off this earth nothing will make me go against this gospel.

Pray for guidance.

Exercise faith, think, struggle, act. Answers come through process.

Walking home or something Holy Ghost gives prompting take a different route. Change it immediately.

Follow quiet promptings.

Protective Shield as obedient and be protected by the Lord.

Express gratitude for Help.

Lord always hears prayers.

Lord always answers while quiet and will be most powerfully touched.

Find time to ponder.

Just think and respond to guidance given by the Lord.

Pondering is not a waste of time.

Sisters here we love you. He knows you are here with no requirement.

Watch your health.

Take care of yourself don't need to put in as many hours as elders.

Don't worry about who has the prompting but follow it.

A proud person will never be guided by the Spirit.

Humility not weakness ability to be prompted by the Lord.

Evoke the gift of tongues.

From authority as long as you have faith.

Evoke confidence with guidance of the Spirit.

Lessons retained throughout life and use them.

Understanding of truths of the restored gospel.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Letter to Sibling: Random Talks at Sacrament in the MTC

October 22, 2010


Of course I will send Kiki a pony all the way from the Philippines if I ever get there!  The MTC time is so weirdI feel like I have been here for months.  I forgot you were a solo sister!  It's hard at times.

My sister companion is going to another mission Tacloban (sp?)  But in the Philippines too.  She is learning Cebuano also so we can keep in touch.  She leaves Monday.  I'm so sad.  Elder Andrus and Elder Ausban are going to Tacloban too like Sister Brinton.  Then the 4 other Elders are going to Cebu like me.  In my MTC ward we have an English district and our other Cebuano district and I think that's all.

Shock was on Sunday when I found out we need to write talks every week and they call people at random.  I haven't gotten called yet but I am nervous to get called.  My talks I have written have been amazing though!

Next time you write Dear Elder it then I can read it sooner!  And I want those talks!

I heard about your marathon from Gigi.  That's going to be awesome.  Wish I could do it.  We hardly get gym here at the MTC!  But I love GYM!

Well got to go to bed.  I'm bad at this rule arg!  Miss you and love you.  Write next week. Kiss Kiki (Bubbles) for me!

Nhigugma ko kanimo

Love Annika

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

MTC Experience: Loving Missionaries Differences

Kamusta Everyone and Hello Again!

This message comes to you from the world called the MTC. It feels like its own world we are here forever I am ready to leave and go out and speak Cebuano even though I don't know as much as I should. I love the MTC though it is an awesome experience! This week actually last night we had a devotional and guess who came! Elder Nelson so Cool. That's right one of the 12 apostles came and spoke to us pretty cool! I wish we could have been able to shake his hand, but I know that its because the flu buggy is going around in the MTC and as I sat in the devotional I just heard all sorts of coughs and nose blowing all over the place, but still I wish he would have shook our hands! This week has gone by so fast I have no idea what happened to it! Insane. Sister Brinton is leaving for the Philippines on Monday and its going to be a sad day I'm going to be lost without her, but I know its going to be awesome with a new "companion" when she leaves I will have to go to the office and get a new assigned sister... weird right most sisters get a companion the whole time they are here but it's okay I think its way better this way you get to change it up a lot and it's new every week!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Notes on Elder Russell M. Nelson MTC Devotional

October 19, 2010

Sister Wendy Nelson

14 million LDS pray for you morning, noon, and night. I'm going to battle for the Lord.

Russell M. Nelson

You are safer on a mission than those at home who have not been called. We are here to help establish the Lord's work or purpose.

2 Nephi 31:13--Take on the name of Christ.

Never talk about baptism negatively.

The pattern to follow in Moroni 6:4--Remember converts they're your children in the church. Keep connected with them. Be interested in investigator's children and grandchildren.

Only one chance to make a good first impression. When you meet people for the first time meet them with a smile. Don't get in the way. Don't be a distraction. He must increase but I must decrease.

Make eye contact. Look for ways to connect. Shake hands firmly.

Ask investigator what is your greatest concern. How can I be of help to you? You are sent forth to teach people. You have been sent by the Lord. Ask them to please listen to our message.

Be alert.  Listen attentively. Say I didn't hear your name how do you spell it. Ask where it comes from. Genealogy is popular today.

Always tell people who you are and where you are from.

Sharing a brief belief is a good place to start.

Tell them why you are here. We follow Jesus Christ.

Your purpose is to teach doctrine of Jesus Christ.

Study from the topical guide.

Let scriptures become core curriculum.

D&C 136:32--Humble self call unto God see & hear.

Spiritual batteries fully charged when leave MTC
  • Keep batteries charged
  • Run along road to keep batteries charged
D&C 76:5--armed with righteousness

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Third Parent Letter

Missionary Name: Sister Annika Bruno
Mission: Provo MTC
Date Submitted: October 17

Dear Annika,

Hi, hope you had a great weekend. I remember weekends in the MTC were great. Guess what I did this weekend? I finished your dress and I am sending it to you tomorrow. Also some footies and flip flops. So I hope you got all the books and things you need. I assume you got some journals, too. It looks like you have some money left in your account, so you can get a camera when you get over there to the Philippines. You should have someone in your district let you download a few pictures from their cameras and send them home on your Pday. It would be nice to have some pics of your district.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Missionary Letter: MTC Hard

 14 October 2010

Sister Annika Bruno
MTC Mailbox #169
Phi-CEB 1209
2005 N. 900 E.
Provo, UT 84604-1793


Thanks for the money not exactly sure how much I spent.  I have to total the receipts but I got a lot of things I needed.  I had a lot more to get than I had thought!

The MTC is hard at times but being solo is hard.  Not having a set person its hard to plan your days.  I am basically companions with 3 people, 2 elders in the district and my "companion" Sister Brinton until she leaves in 2 weeks!  The MTC doesn't really have rules for us solo sisters.  We kind of make our own based on the guidelines but at least I'm never alone even if I feel like I'm tagging along.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Reasons for Serving A Mission: Letter to Mission President

6 October 2010

Annika K. Bruno
2042 Thornhill Dr.
Summerville, SC 29485

Dear President Hansen,

I am happy to have received your letter, and am very excited to have the opportunity to serve in the Philippines Cebu Mission.

The gospel to me is who I am.  It defines my thoughts and actions.  Without the gospel I would be lost and would not know who I am or who I am to become.  With the gospel there is no guessing I know my purpose in this life is to live in such a way to bring people unto Christ.  By pondering and studying the Gospel it brings happiness to my life.  I have grown up in the gospel but I have had a personal conversion, and cannot doubt that this Church is the only Church that is true.

When reading that I was to serve in the Philippines Cebu Mission I was very shocked, but also very excited. The Lord knows me well and I believe that  it was divine guidance being sent to such a place as the Philippines.  Moving many times in my life I have discovered that I am much happier in warmer climates and I believe it is a perfect fit for me.  I believe serving in the Philippines will allow me to be blessed by the people I meet, and to shape me into a better me.  I am ready and willing to serve in the Philippines Cebu Mission.

I know that the Church is true.  I am ready to let go of myself to serve the Lord.  I know my purpose is to bring others unto Christ and I am prepared to do so throughout my life and my mission.  My father has taught me since I was a child that I should go on my mission and as I have gotten older I truly believe I need to serve my God in His purpose.  God has blessed my life and giving up 18 months of my life does not even begin to repay the debt.  I know that Jesus is my Savior.  I love Him with all my heart.  I believe that we have a living prophet on this earth Thomas S. Monson.  I am thankful that the Lord has called me to serve in the Philippines Cebu Mission and I won't let him down by forgetting Him and becoming wrapped up in myself on my mission.  I am fully giving my will over to the Lord to become an instrument in His hands.

Hope to see you soon. 


Annika Bruno

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Solo Sister: First Week at MTC

13 October 2010

Kamusta! (Hello) Everyone!!
So today Wednesday is my P-Day so expect an email from me on Wednesdays for now.  I found out my leave date right now is December 7, 2010.  My first week in the MTC has been all sorts of interesting!  I got to the MTC around 12:45pm and I was greeted by Host elders and they took my luggage and took me to stand by this other sister.  A bunch of new comers stood by me and I was taken by a host sister to my room to put my luggage away in my room. I found out I had 3 other sisters in my room. I was excited to meet my companion. Then we were taken to a big room and they had 5 lines. One to take a picture then to make sure information was right and to give the paper. Then we got an envelope with things we needed they gave us a name badge and I was told to go talk to another sister because a sticky note was on my envelope.  I felt like Iwas being sent to the principle's office.  I went over and the sister explained to me that I was going to be the only sister in my class so I was going to be a solo sister.  As a solo sister my situation is unique.  As a solo sister I will have a sister companion with whom I share a living quarters but I am not in the same class.  Our schedules are the same for meals, laundry, temple, and gym.  On my name tag we have a white sticker in the right hand corner of my badge.  When I am in class or studying having MDT missionary directed time I have to be with a pair of elders in my district!  I have to be with someone but I have more freedom with who I can be with. I can be with my sister companion or my elders at times.  I have a lot more freedom than other missionaries I have noticed! 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Second Parent Letter

Missionary Name: Sister Annika Bruno
Mission: Provo MTC
Date Submitted: October 11

Hi Annika!

So how do you like the MTC so far? Dad says today is your p-day and you get to write emails so I hope I will hear from you. I'll write you by email as soon as I get your email address. Mine is just in case you don't have it.

I always wonder what my girls' experiences in the MTC will be like. It seems like most missionaries either love it a lot or hate it. I really LOVED the MTC. I don't know why. It was just fun being around so many people who were committed to the gospel all day every day. And I liked meeting all the new people and learning French. How is the language going? Can you pray in Cebuano yet? Are they teaching you any Tagalog?

I'm sure you will tell us about your companion, where she is from and what she is like. I hope you are having fun with her. Did you get your scriptures, and all the books you need? Is it cold there?

So around here, let's see, nothing much is happening with me, as usual. This is why I have a hard time writing, because nothing new ever happens in my life. Dad and I went out to Cracker Barrel for dinner because he had free coupons. Also, I started running again, and I did 1 and a half miles, then walked another mile. That is all I did this week, boring, huh?

Well, have a great day, we are looking forward to hearing from you, send pics if you can.

Love you!


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

First Parent Letter

Missionary Name: Sister Annika Bruno
Mission: Provo MTC
Date Submitted: October 5

Hi Annika,

I put that money in your account, so you can get your scriptures, journal, and any books you need. Let me know next week how much you spend and if it was enough. How do you like the MTC?

So I hope you had a fun time with Sister Crain and with Gigi, and that you got to the MTC ok and you are enjoying it. I am looking forward to hearing from you and learning about your new companion and how you like it.

Love you and miss you.


Reflections on Being Called to Serve Before My Mission

I was set apart on October 3, 2010 at 6:00pm and up until that point it had not really hit me how close my mission really was.  I enter the MTC on October 6, 2010 at Noon.  I have one day to finish preparing to enter the MTC since I leave tomorrow the 5th of October at 8am.  I am excited to go to the MTC and meet everyone there and gain life long friends.  Right now its just a waiting game all I want to do is just be there and start learning what I need to learn for when I go to the Philippines!  I am excited for my dad to keep this blog and keep everyone updated on my adventure of being a missionary.  I know it is the only thing I want to be doing in my life at this time and it will shape me into the person I need to be.  These memories are forever and I will most likely reflect on these times even when I am elderly I believe I will state "ON MY MISSION..." and everyone will be like man you are so old they don't do that any more haha!!  Its time to give my self to the Lord see you in 18 months!!

Sister Annika Kamaleilani Bruno
Monday, 4 October 2010

Friday, October 1, 2010

Reporting to the MTC

From: Missionary Training Center <>
Date: Fri, Oct 1, 2010 at 12:00 AM
Subject: Letter from Provo MTC Presidency

Dear Sister Annika Kamaleilani Bruno ,

Congratulations on your call to serve!  We are excited about your arrival at the Provo Missionary Training Center next week and are grateful for your decision to serve the Lord.  We would like to share some important information about your stay at the MTC.

This will be your MTC mailing address:

Sister Annika Kamaleilani Bruno
MTC Mailbox # 169
PHI-CEB 1209
2005 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84604-1793

Please share this address with those who may want to write or send packages to you while you are in the MTC.  Please pay particular attention to the following items:

1. Your service begins the day you check into the MTC.  Remind your family that complete separation from loved ones is part of the sacrifice that families and missionaries contribute to the work.  For this reason, you should ask your family and friends not to attempt to see or visit with you while you are at the MTC, not even during your temple walks or at other places near the MTC.
2. All missionary mail must come through the US Mail or commercial delivery services.  These services should not be used to send pizzas, fast foods, ice-cream, or any items that will spoil if they are not refrigerated within 24 hours.  Missionaries are not called out of class to receive packages, nor do they have access to a refrigerator.  For security reasons, we cannot accept any items delivered by hand.
3. Communication with family can be done through your missionary email account on your weekly Preparation Day.  Communication to you from friends should be through letters mailed to the above address.  We cannot accept telephone calls for missionaries.
4. Families and friends should not visit missionaries as they depart to their field of labor, whether at the MTC or at the airport.

Please do not reply to this email.  If you need to communicate with the MTC, please call 801-422-2602.


Provo MTC Presidency

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Instructions Before Entering the MTC



2005 North 800 East
Provo, Utah 84604-1793
Phone: 1-801-422-2602

September 8, 2010

Dear Missionary:

Congratulations on your call to serve!  We are excited about your arrival at the Provo Missionary Training Center and are grateful for your decision to serve the Lord.  Please note the following:

  • Receive a flu shot as soon as possible before entering the MTC.
  • Prior to coming to the MTC, go to and watch the three episodes of The District 2 (approximately 35 minutes each).  You may also watch the three episodes of The District 1. The username is Lehonti and the password is Camed0wn.  They are both case sensitive.
  • Receive your MTC mailing address.  Your mailing address will be sent to your missionary email account the Friday before you enter the MTC.  It is your responsibility to give this mailing address to those who may want to write you while you are in the MTC.  If you have not yet logged onto your missionary email account, please visit  (Your LDS Account is the same user name and password you used to submit your missionary recommendation papers electronically).
  • Only one vehicle per missionary will be permitted to enter the MTC campus.  You will only be able to spend a brief moment with those who drop you off as your luggage is unloaded.  We ask that farewells and photos take place prior to our arrival at the MTC.
Call the MTC at 801-422-2602 if you have any questions.  We look forward to seeing you soon.


Ralph W. Smith
President, Provo Missionary Training Center

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Instructions for Sister Missionaries in Philippines Cebu Mission


Philippines Cebu Mission
August 17, 2010

Sister Annika Kamaleilani Bruno
2042 Thornhill Dr.
Summerville, SC 29485

Dear Sister Bruno, 

Welcome to the Philippines Cebu Mission! I am excited that you have been called to serve as part of our great missionary force here in the Visayas! I appreciate your preparation for this great work.  As you put forth the effort required, you will be blessed with many spiritual experiences as you serve in a rapidly growing area of Asia.  I encourage you to continue preparing for your missionary service through prayer and gospel study.  Through your ability to teach by the spirit, many people will be blessed by receiving the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Sister Bruno, will you please write a letter telling me how you feel about the Gospel and your desires to serve in the Phillipines Cebu Mission.  Also, please include a brief testimony.  In your letter please tell us your email address and that of your parents.

The Filipinos are very friendly, and many of them speak some English.  You will enjoy learning our mission language, Cebuano (Visayan).  The people will love you for your efforts.  Although this is a hot, humid climate, you will be fairly comfortable with electric fans, which are available in all the apartments.  You will never wear a sweater, and you will sleep under one sheet most of the time.

There are several specific things that you should do by way of preparation:
  1. Re-read the Book of Mormon.
  2. Spend time on exchanges with the missionaries in your area.
  3. If possible, obtain a copy of "Preach My Gospel from your local missionaries and copy at least Chapter 3 for your study.  Begin memorization of some of the key scriptures in this chapter.
  4. Carefully review the clothing list sent you by the missionary department in your call packet and the list from our mission that is included with this letter.
  5. Obtain your patriarchal blessing prior to your departure.
  6. Label your luggage with both the mission address and your home address.  The mission address is: Philippines Cebu Mission, Temple Complex CJCLDS, Gorordo Ave., Lahug, Cebu City, Cebu 6000, PHILIPPINES.  The mission office phone number is 011-63-32-230-1240.
Most international missionaries require, during their missions, some extra money from home for shoes, clothing, or dental work.  However, we encourage wisdom and prudence because additional money is often detrimental to the lessons of sacrifice and consecration.  It would be prudent if you have a major credit/debit card as a method to access any needed/authorized extra funds.  Cash money and stamps are not allowed to be mailed in the Church pouch system.  Checks are very difficult to cash.

Sister Hansen and I extend our love to you and are anxious for your arrival in the Philippines Cebu Mission.

Warmest regards,

President D. Parke Hansen
Philippines Cebu Mission


Monday, August 2, 2010

The Adventures of Sister Annika Kamaleilani Bruno

My fourth daughter Annika Kamaleilani Bruno received her mission call this week to the Phillipines Cebu Mission. She was very excited to receive her call to a foreign-speaking mission.  Having spent the last school year at BYU-Hawaii Annika has a love for the Polynesian people. None of us were able to guess that she would be called to the Phillipines.  Even though much of the Phillipines speak Tagalog this island province speaks Cebuano so she will be learning a very regional dialect at the MTC.  Annika is to report to the MTC on Wednesday, October 6,2010.  The Adventures of Sister Annika Kamaleilani Bruno will record her thoughts, and experiences while serving her mission.

Wikipedia describes Cebu where Annika is going as:

Cebu (Cebuano:Sugbo) is a province in the Philippines, consisting of Cebu Island and 167 surrounding islands. It is located to the east of Negros, to the west of Leyte and Bohol islands. Cebu is a long narrow island stretching 225 kilometers from north to south, surrounded by 167 neighbouring, smaller islands, which include Mactan, Bantayan, Malapascua, Olango and the Camotes Islands. Cebu has narrow coastlines, limestone plateaus and coastal plains. It also has rolling hills and rugged mountain ranges traversing the northern and southern lengths of the island. Cebu's highest mountains are over 1000 meters high. Flat tracts of land can be found in the towns of Bogo, San Remigio, Medellin and Daanbantayan at the northern region of the province. Its capital is Cebu City, the oldest city in the Philippines which forms part of the Cebu Metropolitan Area together with four neighboring cities which include Danao City, Lapu-Lapu City, Mandaue City and Talisay City and eight other municipalities. Mactan-Cebu International Airport, located in Mactan island, is the second busiest airport in the Philippines....
Cebu has a population of about 3,500,000 people.[2] Its largest city recorded a total population of 798,000 people.[3] Cebuano is the official language spoken in Cebu and it is also spoken in most areas of the central Philippines, including Bohol, western Leyte, Negros Oriental
This fourth calling continues my being able to continue providing my readers another eighteen months of what a missionary really does in the field.  During the last four years we have read about sister missionaries happenings in Korea, Italy, Taiwan and now the Phillipines.  I hope you will enjoy reading the Adventures of Sister Annika Kamaleilani Bruno as you have previous blogs from my other three daughters.