Monday, June 13, 2011


Sara will be home one week from tomorrow on June 21st 2011. Her flight arrives at 4:08pm, a Delta flight from Seattle. She will be speaking in church on the June 26th at 10:50 (if you don't want to sit on hard chairs in the cultural hall be there at 10:30) at the Holladay North stake center- 4395 Albright Dr. (2145 East).

Monday, June 6, 2011

Subject: Milagros.... that's Spanish for miracles :)




We had such an incredible week here in Aberdeen! Our whole zone has been struggling to find people to teach, so we decided at our zone meeting on Tuesday that we were going to fast together as a zone. I've certainly gained a stronger testimony of fasting on my mission... because the miracles came quickly. While tracting Sister Bowles and I met a woman named Christy who has to boys. She was graduating from college on Sunday and needed help for a service project she was doing. She's part native american and had to bead 200 of these necklaces over the weekend. Sis. Bowles and I offered our ametuer beading skills and she quickly enlisted us. She asked us lots of questions and is coming on a church tour with her boys this week! So cool.

Eden was confirmed yesterday! Both she and her husband were at church. This ward has just taken them in. It was pretty awesome to see how much support she had there and how many people just love her. Mike her husband also officially agreed to take the discussions. I've loved seeing the change in Eden just over the last month and a half. I was watching her walk down the hall on Sunday and it was just amazing to see how different she looks. It never ceases to amaze me how much the gospel can change a person. Everytime is a miracle.

Adrianna our little 12 year old investigator is pretty amazing. We invited her to pray about her baptismal date and she decided to first pray about July 8th. A few days later we asked her how her prayers were coming and she said that she felt that wasn't when she was supposed to get baptized. So we decided on June 8th (she wants to get baptized on a day with the number 8 in it lol :) and when she prayed about it she came to us and told us that she knew when she was supposed to get baptized. June 8th is this Wednesday and instead of having a youth activity, all the youth are coming in their Sunday best for Adrianna's baptism. How cool is that?

Just on Sunday we met the Ashley family, we tracted into them last transfer. Bro. Ashley was baptized 10 years ago while in college, but hasn't been back since. He's now married with two little kids and working as a pharmacist at the hospital here. It took us almost 6 weeks to find a time to come over, but it was amazing as we sat down with them in their home. They are also coming on a church tour this week. It seems like we've had so many solid people to work with just come out of no where this week. I told the Spanish elders that we were having milagros and they both looked at me a little blankly and I said that that was spanish for miracles. They both laughed as if I would know a spanish word that they didn't.

The next two weeks in Grays Harbor will be busy ones and I'm looking forward to working hard. I love you all!

p.s. Speaking of milagros, my comp and I went to Forks today with some members here and the sun was out in FORKS! Now thats a miracle :)

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I LOVE TO SEE THE TEMPLE



Hello family,

This week was packed with stuff to write home about. I even made a list last night so I wouldn't forget all the funny, wonderful, one unfortunate, and spiritual experiences I had this week. It was an incredible week. It got off to a rough start, as many weeks that turn miraculous do. Sister Bowles and I were stopping by several potential investigators homes when a small dog bolted into the street. It was a pretty scarring experience for Sis. Bowles, as she was driving and the small dog went under the car. She was a bit histerical as she got out of the car. The little dog didn't make it and she called our district leader looking for sympathy and he couldn't help but laugh at how histerical she was. It somehow how spread like wild fire thru the mission. Poor Sis. Bowles.

We had an incredible time in the temple on Thursday. A little over half the mission filled a session, using everysingle chair and even then some. It's an experience I will not soon forget, nor will I likely ever have the opportunity to experience such a thing again. Two of my favorite things in the whole world combined into one: temple work and missionary work :) Our mission president invited us to go to the temple with a specific question and to seek for the answers as we were there. As I pondered on what I wanted to learn, I decided that after hearing so many talks in conference about knowing vs. becomming, I wanted to know how you could know when you are becomming and not just simply knowing and doing. I didn't get the answer until the end and while sitting in the temple the scripture Moroni 7:48 came to my mind so clearly. "when he shall come, we shall be like him, for we shall see Him as He is..." It was evident as I sat and looked at the dozens of missionaries there in the temple who was becomming and who was simply doing. The only difference between doing and becomming is consistency. Those who "do" and "know" consistently, become like Christ. Those who "do" and "know" only some of the time are simply pretending. I'm striving daily not to be the latter.

Eden was baptized this last Sunday! It was such an incredible service. After she was baptized she was about to walk out of the font when she turned around and looked at her husband and her 9 mo. old son, smiled and waved at them both. I wouldn't trade seeing that smile for ten thousand free trips to Disneyland. She has made such an incredible change in her life, and her husband can see it. At first he told us that he really wanted to support his wife, but that he wasn't even a little interested in converting. After teaching the word of wisdom, he discovered he would have to quit chewing, which drove him even further away from the idea. And yet by small and simple things are great things brought to pass. He's come to church twice now, and he definitely felt something at Eden's baptism. Just a few days ago he informed us that he had bought his last can of chewing tobacco. The gospel of Jesus Christ can empower people to overcome things they ordinarily could not. I truly have seen that for God, nothing is impossible.

The week ended with an incredible crazy miracle. A sister in our mission had to go home last Saturday because of stress fractures in her foot. It's thrown everything a little crazy. President was going to have to close an area to missionaries all together. Sunday the thought came to my mind that I should ask a YSA girl in our ward if she'd want to go to Tacoma for a while and help out. I mentioned it to her and she got so stoked for it. So I called my mission president who thought it was a great idea. From mentioning it to her on Sunday afternoon. She was set apart by the stake president here in Elma Monday at noon. We took her to Tacoma with her new companion, where she will be serving as a temporary full time missionary for the next nine weeks! She has a name tag and everything. She's only 18 and is by far one of the most incredible people I've met on my mission. What an opportunity! It's amazing what the Lord can do in such a short amount of time. In just 24 hours she prepared for a mission for nine weeks! She's so cool!

Our little friend Adrianna came to us this Sunday and told us that she had prayed and that she was excited that she got a yes this time. She's getting baptized June 8th, next week! Because she's twelve they are having her baptism be the actual mutual activity! How cool is that? We're so excited for her! Things are going great. Despite the rain that is here today, we are in high spirits and excited to do the work! I hope you are all well! Love you!

Sister Bradley

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Talks and Falls


hello!

I don't have much time this week as I spent it all writing small short emails, but I've had a wonderful week in Aberdeen. I've also learned that I really am the clumsiest person in the whole Washington Tacoma Mission, and maybe in the whole world. I totally face planted it coming down some concrete stairs while tracting earlier this week. Have an intense bruise on my knee to show for it and I split my thumb open in the process. Not two days later I'm coming down our investigator Eden's stairs and I procede to roll my other ankle and tank it down her stairs. Don't worry, no severe lasting damage, once again just any pride and dignity. I sure have had a lot of physically humbling experiences. When Sister Field found out she just paused stunned and told me that I needed to have a full body examination when I got home... she was serious. I can't figure out why I can't keep my head about my shoulders. lol oh well.

This week was busy and a little crazy as I was asked to speak in the Ocean Shores branch and Sister Bowles was asked to speak here in the Grays Harbor ward. We both spoke on member missionary work, although if I had had my way, I would have had Sister Bowles give her talk in both places, but unfortunately, the wards run at the same time. She's an incredible speaker and teacher. She is so much further than where I was when I'd been out a year. I'm jealous of the remaining six months she has.

We're excited this coming week for Eden's baptism. This last week for the first time she said the prayer in front of us. We were on splits so I wasn't there, but I was so proud of her. She can be pretty shy. We are also really excited for Adrianna, she is 12 and will be getting baptized in two weeks. She's been waiting for her dad to reactivate so he could baptize her, but she wants to go to the temple now and wants to be baptized. She knows everything though and basically teaches us the lessons. We're excited for her baptism in the upcomming weeks.

I'm grateful for all your prayers and letters! Love you!

Sister Bradley

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Agency


Family,

It was so good to get to hear all of your voices! It feels a bit surreal to remember and think about anything before my mission, and for that matter anything afterwards. Transfers were yesterday and Sister Bowles and I felt like over protective parents watching their daughter go off to college, as Sister Field was sent to Tacoma. She's in the same ward I served in for several months last year. I'm not too worried about her, but I miss having her with us dearly. It all feels so quiet with out her around. Sis Bowles and I will be recovering for some time.

We are very excited as we had some amazing milagros this week. The spanish elders taught me that one :) I went out to Ocean Shores ( a small branch of about 50 people that we cover) for Sunday service, and two investigators that we had found the previous week were both there! Joyce came with her less active husband Tom and she loved the sacrament meeting. Which was all centered around mothers. The young men all brought out corsages? lol flowers that women pin to there dresses. And Joyce absolutely love everything about it. We excpect to have her on date for baptism in just a couple weeks. Dina also came to church and brought with her, her non member daughter who was just visiting. Dina was a referral from the ward mission leader up there and I was FLOORED when I looked back and saw her sitting there. She is going to Beliz this summer for work and even asked if we could help her find a chapel in Beliz! How cool is that?

As for Aberdeen, I didn't even wear a coat today! The weather is pretty glorious and I am basking in the sunshine. I've been able to ponder so much on my Savior and the symbolism of the actual sun that He is in our lives. Being one who went with out sunshine for several months, I can't even fathom what it would be like to travel in darkness with out the knowledge of the literal Son of God. Aberdeen seems so lost and the worst part is I often feel that they don't even care. If they only knew what it was that Christ is offering. If they only kept there door open long enough to hear it. I want it for them so badly! I never thought I could be so frustrated with agency until I've seen people use it so unrighteously. But my testimony grows stronger as I see those that do grasp the message of the restored gospel. How grateful I am for those moments. I love you all!

Love Sister Bradley

Monday, May 2, 2011

OCEAN SHORES



Hello!

The weeks seem to pass in a blink of an eye. Not a day goes by that I'm not aware of how quickly time is passing. We had an incredible week here in Aberdeen. We've been really struggling as of late to find new people to teach. So we decided to trek it out to Ocean Shores. There is a little branch of 40 members out there that don't have missionaries right now. Its quite the distance from Aberdeen and we didn't really have the miles, but the spirit led us there. He always knows what He is doing. As we were able to tract on the street where the church was and we found two different people to come on a tour. One was a young girl whose mom wanted her to come with us. She is only 13, but her grandparents are mormon, and her mother has wanted her to get involved. She's a sweet girl who already has so much light in her eyes. The other was a mom with her son. She has met with missionaries in the past, but had some serious misunderstandings about what we believed. Unfortunately she works on Sundays. It's hard for us to teach them as they're 30 miles away from us but I'm confident God will provide a way.

The weather here is a little bi-polar, but yesterday it almost reached 70 and the sun was out! Dare I say I almost got hot lol. I am however doing my best to be grateful, because I know I will be coming home to a blazing hot Utah. I'll be sad to leave Washington at this time of year, as June, July, and August are GLORIOUS months here.

I look forward to getting to talk to you on Sunday! Not sure what time we'll be calling yet, but I'll let you know on Saturday. I love you all! Have a wonderful week!

Love Sister Bradley

p.s. We saw a rather large beached whale when we went to ocean shores, it was HUGE. Pictures to come next week when I remember to bring my attachement! Love you!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Packed meetings and tracting surprises :D



Dear Family,

The rain decided to return to Aberdeen, but it isn't nearly as bad as before and with almost a whole week of sunshine, I think I'm good to go for another 50 days of no sunshine, lets just hope I don't have to. We had a beautiful week all the way til Easter Sunday, where we woke up to cloudy gray skies with the usual mist. The rain here is so fine that often it just feels like we're standing under those mister things that they have for the lines in Disneyland to keep people cool. My hair has not handled it well.

In spite of the weather, we had a wonderful Easter. I love that Easter is always on Sunday. It helps to remember the true meaning of Easter. We spent the whole week inviting all of Aberdeen to a special Easter service. We're not quite sure what happened, but Sacrament Meeting was PACKED! The bishop when he stood up said that half the congragation was new faces and that before the end of the meeting he asked everyone to meet one new person. If I had to guess I would say there were well over 30 non members, but we couldn't even begin to talk to them all. Not to mention all of the out of towners that came to visit family. I just tried to talk to as many people as I could.

Eden and Davis were both there. They are SO amazing. Eden asks for more chapters to read in the Book of Mormon every time we see her, last time she just said that she wanted to start from the begining and has been cruising through the Book of Mormon. She and Davis both stayed for the whole three hours. Her little 8 month old Holton was relatively well behaved except for the closing prayer. Eden's grandparents are very much against her joining the church and she receives anti from them almost on a daily basis. She already has such a strong testimony and knows how to recognize the spirt. Every time she talks to her grandma she says she just doesn't like the way it makes her feel. We're still working to get permission from Eden and Davis' mom to allow Davis to get baptized as he is only 11. That might take a miracle.

I love being a missionary, but especially at this time of year. I love knocking doors and sharing my testimony of Jesus Christ and His restored gospel. People expect it this time of year and I feel as though there hearts are softened by the season. Our companionship spent the last week reading talks from the apostles on the atonement and sharing atonement and Christ centered messages with everyone we met with. I felt the spirit lots this week.

It was also really exciting to see Toby sustained and ordained to the priesthood this last Sunday as well. He's definitely here to stay. I'm doing well and loving my companions, we laugh together everyday, mostly at me. They are teaching me lots, but I still have lots to learn and so little time to learn it. I love and pray for you all!

p.s. While tracting this week we met a man in the street with his 18 foot python... I may or may not have held it ;D Enjoy the pics!

Love Sister Bradley

Monday, April 25, 2011

Brings all things to your remembrance

April 18, 2011
What a week!

The last two days have been spent basking in the fact that we've been able to do the work in SUNSHINE! Thats right, there was lttle to no gray in Grays Harbor this weekend. I went tracting yesterday with out a rain coat. It felt pretty amazing. I was told yesterday that Aberdeen went for 39 straight days with NO sun, and it that it rained all 39 of them. But as amazing as the sunshine has been that wasn't even the greatest part of our week.

On Wednesday the Spanish elders gave us a call and told us that they set up a church tour for us with a young mom named Eden. We weren't sure how solid it was, but happily followed up with her. We called Eden the next day to confirm the appointment and she actually sounded way excited. As we were on our way to her house I wasn't paying much attention until I realized that I had tracted Eden's street just 3 weeks earlier. Elder Hardy (the spanish elder) told me that he was on Eden's street and he felt he really needed to knock on her door. He knew that there were no Spanish people living inside, but he said the feeling was strong enough that he knocked on the door anyway. Eden agreed almost immediately to come on a tour. When we knocked on her door a day later, she was all ready and brought her 8 month old son and her 11 year old little brother with her. They LOVED the tour. We were a little bit worried about getting them to church as it was stake conference this week, but she came! She drove 30 miles to come to church her first Sunday. Not to mention she did it with an infant. She's incredible. She was on date for baptism for May 1st, but her husband is currently in Utah and she wants him to be there with her. He is taking the class to become a licensed truck driver. We're hoping her little brother Davis will be able to be baptized on the first though. It's amazing that Elder Hardy knocked on her door. I don't know if I would have gone back to Eden's street so soon.

We're excited for the coming weeks. I feel like there are so many people who are prepared and ready and that we just need to find them. I especially enjoyed atteding Stake Conference in Elma this Sunday. Its only the second stake conference I've been to on my mission. There were some incredible talks. One was a young adult who just returned from his mission in Henderson NV :) He shared a great message from Alma 8 about how members can make all the difference in missionary work, just as Amulek made all the difference when Alma went back to the city of Ammonihah.

I was talking to Sister Bowles and Sister Field this week and I realized as I discussed my mission with them how grateful I am for the lessons I've learned out here. There are undoubtedly things that I've learned in the mission field because of the situations I've been in that I could have never learned otherwise. I will be different for the rest of my life because of the incredible lessons the Lord has taught me here. Now comes the responsibilty to remember those things I've learned and to apply them not only here, but forever. I have a great desire to become better and better each day. The promise given in John 14:26 becomes ever more important as I learn more and more about the gospel. I NEED to remember these things! The Lord in his infinite wisdom has provided a way that we all can remember the things he has taught us. We just need to remain worthy of the Holy Ghost. What a blessing!

Monday, April 11, 2011


Hello family,

Another week has come and gone and I can hardly believe that its been seven days since I last sent an email. Our time to actually be out proselyting went out the window this past week as Monday was our preparation day, Tuesday was spent in a new missionary meeting for Sister Field, Wednesday was a zone conference in Olympia, Thursday was our zone meeting in Elma, and Friday we did our weekly planning all morning. Although I feel like I learned a lot of great things, I feel like I've forgotten so many as we've had little to no time to apply them. This next week shouldn't be as bad, but we do have our Return and Reports, gratefully, they've decided to combine them with our zone meeting, which will allow us to be in our area a whole extra morning. Poor Aberdeen has been a bit neglected.

Sadly it shows, as we stopped by one of our investigators, Mike, he told us he would definitely be at church but then called us the next day to tell us that he hadn't been able to sleep all night and that he didn't feel good about coming. I think thats been the hardest thing for me to see on my mission. To know that I've done everything I could have done and to still have people commit and then to have them fall back. I just have to keep reminding myself that everyone has their agency and to just pray for them. It's SO hard though.

Right now Sister Bowles, Field and I are really praying for a family to teach. We are working hard and it seems like the harder we work, the greater the opposition we face and the littler success we see. Gratefully, we've been able to eliminate discouragement. Whenever one of us seems to get down the other two are always right there to pick the other one up. I'm so happy to be here serving with these girls in Aberdeen. We know there are people out there, we just have to find them.

I'll leave you this week with a slightly humorous story that everyone should get a kick out of. Yesterday night we were leaving our dinner appointment (The Barnes family) and I may have lost my footing on the way down the stairs. I was three steps down when I saw that I had gotten spaghetti sauce on my blouse and after that my world went upside down as I slipped on the very wet, moss covered wooden stairs. My two companions were behind me, and luckily the two spanish elders were already down the stairs as I proceeded to slip down the remaining 10 stairs. My skirt balooned up like a parachute as my right shoe flew off my foot. There was a priceless look of horror on the elders faces, gratefully, because it is so stinking cold here, I've been wearing black capri spandex under my skirt for months. I have an intense bruise on my forarm, but other than that the only damage was humilation. My companions were laughing so hard at the top of the stair case that one of them almost wet her pants. I had a good laugh at the bottom of the stairs as well. Once the elders saw me laughing, they proceeded to also laugh histerically. Definitely a humorous end to a busy week.

Thanks for all your prayers and emails. Love you all!

Sister Bradley

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Spanish Miracles

I'm sorry this is going to be such a short one. I don't know where all my time goes. My companions and I have had an incredible week. We've focused on inviting EVERY single person we see on a church tour and we've seen a lot of success! Sister Bowles is an incredible missionary and Sister Field already is working like a pro. I have to work hard to keep up with them :)

I loved general conference this week. However I got the stomach flu and was grounded for the second session on Sunday and I sadly missed most of President Monson's talk. I heard Elder Scott's was good lol. I'll just have to read em all in the Ensign when it comes. I especially loved Elder Richards talk on opposition.

Funny story for the week. Neither of my companions speak any spanish and since being here with the Spanish elders and Sister Oehler I've picked up quite a bit. Enough to know how to get a referral for the spanish Elders at least. My companions and I were street contacting and we met a hispanic woman with lots of little kids with her. She quickly said she didn't speak English and so I began to introduce who we were in Spanish and asked if she would be interested in learning more. My comps jaws dropped and as soon as the woman left Sister Bowles blurts out "ARE YOU BILINGUAL?" I about died of laughter. My rudimentary spanish skills alsmost passed for fluency. I was on cloud nine. Unfortunately the woman wasn't interested.

I love you all and pray for you daily. My testimony grows ever stronger each day. Til Next week.

Love Sister Bradley

Thursday, March 31, 2011

As I live the Gospel Reply


Sara Bradley


Hello!

Our emails are a day late today because we had transfers yesterday... they always catch me by surprise now, and I never have time to warn you. The good news is I got to stay in Aberdeen. I was sad as Sister Oehler was sent to the lovely Gig Harbor after our short six week companionship. I was sad to see her leave, but I know the Lord has things in plan for us both. She did so much good for me and will be a life long friend.

In her place I was sent two sisters! Sister Bowles came from Steilacoom, she's spent the last 6 months there, so its been fun to catch up on all my converts that are there. Along with her we are with a brand new missionary from the MTC. Her name is Sister Field. She has fire red hair and is from AUSTRALIA. She's only been in the Washington for a day now, and we are loving her accent. We make her pray all the time because we love hearing her voice. This will be my third trio, which is always a different dynamic, but Aberdeen definitely needs the help. We're over the biggest ward in probably all of Washington. Lots of work to do here.

Our zone conference with Elder Richards was absolutely amazing! I was able to spend 4 solid hours learning from him and his wife. They are wonderful people. I learned a lot and I have a renewed sense of desire to just me better in all aspects of missionary work and in life. President Bowen selected a few missionaries to be interviewed by Elder Richards and I was able to be with him one on one for fifteen minutes. He taught me a lot about what I can do to balance humilty and confidence in my calling. I love him. He and his wife are such inspired instruments of the Lord. He also taught me a lot about setting righteous patterns in my life and then sticking with them. He actually knows President Marriott and told me to make sure that he knew that I had met him :) Pass it along to him will you.

The work in Aberdeen continues onward. Toby and Chandler were confirmed this last Sunday. Before Sister Oehler left she "let it slip" to Toby that I was trying to read the Book of Mormon in 2 months. Toby is so determined to beat me and said that he just finished the first 100 pages today. He has an interview with Bishop this week to get the priesthood. I'm so excited for what he will do in the church. All the rest of our potential investigators have seemed to slip away. We're working hard to find more people to teach. I'm excited to be with Sister Bowles! She is an amazing missionary. Just today we were driving to an appointment and she just rolled down the window and invited a passerby on a church tour! That is URGENCY! I love her excitement for the work! Together I feel like the Lord can work miracles through us in this little town.

Just this week I had a neat experience as my companion was teaching about faith. I was able to learn from her experiences and the spirit helped me to understand my own faith better. I've come to understand that my faith is perfect in some aspects of the Gospel. While I am far from perfect and I still have so much to learn, there are certain things that I have come to know, and my faith has become like Enos, unshaken. That is why when we share our testimony we say, "I know.." and not "I believe.." because although we aren't perfect, our faith can be. I love this work. I love the person I'm becoming as I better live the gospel of Jesus Christ. I wish the world could know and feel what I feel. I love you all and pray for you! Welcome to Utah Mark and Caitlin. I look forward to having you close by :)

Love Sister Bradley

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Expect a Miracle

Hello from Grays Harbor,

What a week it has been here! We almost got sunshine on Sunday. I've started to pray more steadfastly for it :) We had a week full of miracles and tender mercies. I don't know if I could have even planned it better. God is definitely a better master planner than I am. Our little Chandler was baptized yesterday. Her dad was baptized a few months ago, the day after Christmas actually. We've been working with her since we got the area. She's one of the smartest little girls I've ever met. She pretends to be all tough, but the girl is a total softy on the inside :) Don't tell her though lol. She told us this last week that it was all our fault that she was getting baptized and that if we had never come and challenged her to pray she would have never gotten an answer and had to do it lol. She keeps lamenting that she'll have to have "old man hands" put on her head. lol, she was here when her dad was confirmed in Sacrament Meeting several months ago. And yet after all that, in church on Sunday she sat next to me hardly able to keep from bouncing off her seat. She leaned over to be and began to stare at the clock, counting out loud and said, "Only six more hours til I get baptized!" Her older sister Hunter (17) who we're still working with, said that she's been driving her insane. Chandler told Hunter that she didn't sleep at all the night before her baptism. When Hunter told me that, I looked at Chandler and smiled and she folded her arms and said "Na-Uh!" I love their family. I even got Hunter to wear a skirt and sing "When I am baptized" at the baptism. Which if you knew Hunter, you'd understand what a miracle it was. She did an amazing job.

Toby was also baptized! He's been such an amazing person to teach. I don't think we ever extended a commitment that he didn't keep. Saturday we were doing a run through with him and he was telling us how he felt when we brought him on the church tour for the first time. We had told him there would be a baptism on March 20th and that he could come, but as he learned more and prayed about it, that he could participate in it. He didn't think much about it then. He said it wasnt' til the next few times that he met with us that he realized the baptism on March 20th was his lol. He will do amazing things for this ward here and for the Church. I can see the conversion in his eyes and its steadfast and permanent.

I have an amazing story to tell you. Its become an incredibly sacred story to me. I haven't told you yet because it began as a really sad one and only turned into a miracle yesterday. So Mom sent me that silver ring that Brother Lucy made for me several weeks ago. I was stoked when I realized that it actually fit. It was a little big, but not really. The very first day I wore it I went tracting in a neighborhood in west Aberdeen. We met this amazing man named Mike who came on a church tour later that week. We played with his dog for a little while and then went on to the next house. A few houses down we met a really sweet single mom by the name of Steph. Her and her daughter were unloading fire wood from the back of their truck. We asked if we could help and spent several minutes talking with her and unloading wood with her five year old daughter. She seemed really interested and gave us her number. It was at this point I realized that my silver ring was gone. At first I was devastated, but my mission has really helped me to understand that things are just things. We looked for it for a few minutes and told both Steph and Mike to look for it, but I felt certain it was gone. I forgot all about it for several weeks, until last night durring dinner we received a text from Steph, who we hadn't been in contact with since the day I lost my ring several weeks ago. She told us that she had found my ring in her wood pile! When we went by to pick it up, she invited us in and spent a half an hour talking with her. We learned of her good friend Andrea, who had passed away several years ago (don't ask me why she told us about her, but she just opened up) and for maybe the second time in my life I felt the presence of an angel. I knew Andrea was there. I knew that she had been the culprit for me losing my ring, and had been the angel that helped Steph's 7 year old son find it. Steph is coming on a church tour this week. As we left to go back to our car I felt blown away. As I turned on the car, our lights flashed on to the bumper of the car in front of us, and there in bright shimmery blue and silver letters was a bumper with sticker, saying the words "EXPECT A MIRACLE". We truly have a loving Heavenly Father who I can testify is a God of miracles, today, yesterday and forever. He can do extraordinary things for those who have faith and believe in Him. I'll be eternally gratefull for the faith He's helped me develop over the last year of my life. I love this Gospel, I love my Savior, Jesus Christ, and I love my Heavenly Father. I pray that I might continue to increase my faith to expect such miracles! I love you all!

Love Sister Bradley

Monday, March 14, 2011

Pray for Sunshine :)

Hello from Aberdeen! Haha. Elyse always gets to say hello from the DR and it sounds so exciting, but as a member reminded me this week, I guess its only a 15 hour drive from Aberdeen to Salt Lake and now I don't feel like its so exciting. Things are wonderful here in the Grays Harbor. Although my companion and I have discovered why its really called Gray's Harbor. The locals swear to us that its because Captain Gray discovered it, but my comp and I have decided its because this little port town never sees the sun. Sister Oehler and I have been here for four weeks now, and have only seen the sun, literally for two days... and that was several weeks ago. I'm thinking I'm going to go buy some vitamin D lol. But all is well, most days I even like the gray rainy weather.

Speaking of the weather, my companion and I received a call from my mission president early Friday morning asking us if we we're drowning lol. The tsunami was anticipated to hit the west coast pretty bad, but turned out to only raise the sea level about 18 inches, but because it was low tide when it happened, it didn't really effect anything here in the Harbor. My comp and I even went out to Ocean Shores to work with the branch out there, half the town there had evacuated, but everything ended up being alright. The funny thing is that there are tsunami evacuation signs EVERYWHERE in this little town and I lauged at them when I first got here, but I guess they really do need them... sort of :)

This week had some pretty exciting miracles. I received a phone call on Wednesday night from a companion I served with in Steilacoom a year ago. She told me that Sheila, the wife of Brian (I talked about him in my early letters home sometime last summer) was going to the temple and she really wanted me to be there. Brian was baptized just a few weeks after I left Steilacoom and was just this last Sunday ordained an Elder! Their family has come a LONG way. Brian was drinking and smoking and totally agoraphobic when I started meeting with their family. Sheila told me in the temple that he gave his testimony in front of the everybody just last Sunday. It's so amazing to see what the gospel can help you over come. There isn't anything it can't. Sister Oehler has a quote on her wall that says, "Because He can do all things, I can do hard things." I've definitely needed to be reminded of that these past few weeks. I loved being in the temple. I was able to be there with four other sisters who've worked with Sheila and Brian. Sister Anthony, my relief society president from Tacoma even treked it all the way out from Tacoma to pick me up and take me to Seatle. It was one of my greatest joys to see Sheila in the temple. Brian is excited and will go through the first week of August. They're planning on being sealed then as well.

Toby is ever amazing. We just taught him the word of wisdom and I wish I could have taken a picture of his face when we told him he could no longer drink coffee. At first he was incredulous, then sad, and then excited in the time of just a few seconds. He's getting baptized next Sunday at 4! It's been amazing to teach him. He's made really close friends with a couple in the ward and they talk often about the gospel. It seems whenever he has a concern and he shares it with them, its the exact thing we teach him that night. His jaw always drops when we start teaching and he says 'I was just asking them about this!' So AMAZING! His testimony is already so strong. He will do great things for the ward here.

Chandler our little 10 year old investigator has been praying about her baptism for several weeks. This Sunday she came up to us and told us that she had good news. She always waits to tell us til both my companion and I bend down so that our eyes our at the same level. She said that she got her answer and she prayed about it more than once and that she wants to get baptized. She's such a funny little girl. She's only ten but I swear she's a 20 year old stuck in a 10 year olds body. She is so smart and spiritually I feel like her and I are on the same level. She will be an amazing missionary some day. She's still waiting on permission from her mom, but we're hoping to see her baptism this Sunday as well. Keep her mom in your prayers as it all really hinges on her saying yes.

My companion and I were talking this week about the greatest changes that we've seen in ourselves since we came out. As I lay awake in bed the other night I pondered on the greatest change I've seen, and as she told me the greatest change she'd seen in her, I had to agree that it was the greatest change I'd seen in myself. I didn't recognize what it was when I'd seen it in so many return missionaries until I could feel it in myself. I feel like my eyes are so much brighter. I've spent the last year doing everything I can to become more like Christ and just like any other missionary who strives to do so, it reflects in your eyes. But its only there when were obedient and listening to the spirit. I'm so grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and this time that I have to conescrate everything to become more like Him. I hope you all have an amazing week! Pray for sunshine!

Monday, March 7, 2011

God Will Provide

Sara Bradley

Hello everybody!

It's certainly been an incredible week to be a missionary. Sister Oehler and I have been really blessed to see so many miracles this week. After two weeks of trying to get our bearings... (I feel as though I had missionary vertigo) we've finally caught our pace. This week we had some pretty amazing tracting miracles. On Tuesday we tracted an obscure little street in Cosmopolis, we had little success, except for one door. We could hear people playing the guitar inside. We knocked twice, but they didn't hear us. We almost turned to leave when I felt like we just needed to knock again louder. With hesitation we knocked one more time, (we sounded a bit like the police as it came off like we were banging down their door) the music stopped and two men came to the door. At first I didn't think anything would come of it, as the person whose house it was, wasn't interested at all. But his friend Toby, stayed with us at the door and said he would come down on a tour of the church. We set it up for a few days later and sure enough Toby was at the church, early waiting for us. He's an incredibly prepared individual. We've met with him almost everyday and when he came to church on Sunday, he loved it. He said something that made me and my companion both laugh. After coming out of Priesthood class he was elated and said "Guess what I just learned? If I don't get married in this life, but am faithful, God will provide a way for me in the next life!" He was so excited. He reads the Book of Mormon everyday and seems to retain everything we teach him. His baptism is set for March 20th.

Another tender mercy of the Lord, was we were were able to see little 10 year old Yessica confirmed on Sunday. She was baptized two weeks before we got here, but wasn't ever able to be confirmed until this Sunday. She was really nervous to go up in front of everybody. The night before we went over and did a run through with her, and showed her how to shake everyones hands. After she was confirmed she came down and whispered "I felt like someone was holding my hand the whole time." Her younger 8 year old sister Alli, who was confirmed several weeks earlier, smiled and said a little louder than a whisper "Yeah, and I felt like someone was giving me a big hug!" I love little children! They remind me what the gospel really is all about.

It seems like this week blessings just poured in from all sides. We are teaching a lot of people and are having a hard time fitting in all our appointments. The ward is doing a great job with splits though and we've been able to get a lot more done. We're also teaching a part member family that came into the church 20 years ago when there were last sister missionaries in the area. They've been less active for about 19 years now and their family has grown from 2 to 6. We were excited as when we knocked on their door, they let us right in because they were so excited to see sisters in the area again. We're now teaching their kids and hoping to get the whole family back to church in the coming months.

I wish I had more time to tell you about everyone else we are working with! But we have to get back to working with them :) I'm glad to hear everyone is healthy and well. I tried to get pictures uploaded today, but the computer is proving to be more difficult than I thought, so pictures will have to wait til next week. Love you all!

Love Sister Bradley

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Monday, February 28, 2011

Love through trials

Another week here in Aberdeen has come and gone. Aberdeen has proven to be quite the adventure. There is a different feeling here. There are a lot of what my companion and I have classified as "feelers" living here... as opposed to "thinkers." There's nothing wrong with being a feeler, but its definitely an extreme here. We have hard time getting appointments to stick, often our investigators forget. But alas, there is a good side to feelers. All you have to do is really love them. If you love them, they'll come. More importantly, if you show them the love they can feel from the Savior at church, they'll not only come, but they'll stay.

I'm learning a lot about love here. The Lord and President Bowen knew that there were a lot of things the people of Aberdeen could teach me. People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care. Someone said that to me early on in my mission, but it hasn't really sunk in til Aberdeen. It's been easy for me to love the people on my mission, but as I've reflected back, the people I've loved on my mission have loved me back, and often have loved me first. It's harder to love the people, when collectively they don't really seem to love you at all. The Savior, however is the master teacher, and He is showing me how to love unconditionally. I have an extraordinary companion, who exemplifies what the pure love of Christ really is. I'm grateful the Lord has me here right now.

Although it's been a challenging place for me, and will continue to be I know when it's hard that I'm growing and learning the most. That's when I really feel the most loved, not through the successes, rather through the trials. That's when I know that He loves me enough to let me struggle through and learn on my own. Which I'm realizing is a lot harder than just letting me be blissfully happy with success. I have so much to learn. I love you all and hope you have a wondeful week!

Love Sister Bradley

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Adventures in Aberdeen

Family

There's so much to tell you about Aberdeen! There are actually three cities we cover, Aberdeen, Cosmopolis (which is called "Cauzy" by everyone here) and Hoquiam. We cover a lot of ground! There are so many people and doors to knock that I think I could have served my whole mission in this town and never reached them all. There is only one ward here and it is bigger than any other ward I've served over... seriously the ward list is about two of my last wards put together. There are lots and lots of part member families and a lot of members who are less active.

Right now were not working with too many people, cause we hardly know anyone yet, but we're getting there. We're working with a recent converts teenage daughters, Hunter and Chandler. They both came to church on Sunday and we had a powerful lesson in there home about what it means to be converted. The little one, Chandler had a way cool experience with getting an answer to her prayers, but Hunter still doesn't know that she has a Heavenly Father. She'll get there though, if she wants to.

It was pretty amazing to see some of the miracles the Lord has let us see. The other night after dinner we were heading to our tracting spot, I had spent a good amount of time looking at the map the night before and finally came to Morgan St. I didn't really know how to get there, so the Spanish Elders actually let us follow them there. They stopped right in front of a house in the middle of the street. Sister Oehler and I thought it was a bit strange, but they were going to see someone accross the street so we said a quick prayer and got out to knock on the first door in the middle of the street. We met 19 year old Alberto, a young kid who just barely enlisted in the Marines. He came with us on a church tour right then. He definitely felt the spirit in the chapel. Unfortunately, his brother told him not to come, but we still have hope for him. It's amazing to see how the Lord puts us right where we are supposed to be, if we had knocked on Alberto's door any later he wouldn't have been able to come, he had to pick up his brother in just a half an hour. God is SO aware of each of us individually.

I have to end with something funny thing that happened to Sister O and I this week. We were out in Hoquiam looking for a partmember family in the ward. We were on the right street but couldn't seem to find the right number, (not everyone here feels the need to have their address on their actual house) we picked a numberless house in the middle of the street that appeared to be the one we were looking for. We knocked on the door with no answer. I looked in the side window to see it wasn't a house at all, but a storage unit that used to be a house... a long... long... time ago. All of a sudden I hear a loud thud and turn around to find Sister Oehler waist deep in their front porch. I was in so much shock that it took me a second to realize what had just happened, between trying not to laugh I did my best to pull her out of the deck when the wood beneath me gave way and I went down with her. So there we are standing in two rather large holes that we created in their porch, both of us waist deep. We finally got out and between laughter and pictures carefully crawled our way off their front porch. Moral of the story... there is A TON of rain in Aberdeen and along with the wet rain comes rotting wood. I have a lovely scar on my shin that I'll be able to forever remember the moment by.

My time here Aberdeen and in Washington this past year has been full of priceless memories. I honestly don't know if I'll be able to leave it all. I love it with everything. But I still love and miss you all! Hope you are all well :)

Love Sister Bradley

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Baptisms and Transfers

Where to begin? I'm writing a day later than usual because we had transfers yesterday, I think I forgot to mention that last week... it creeps up on me sooo fast. I was shocked... completely floored with my new assignment. I've been transferred into an Elders area with Sister Ohler (she's the one that moved into the Deseret Rose ward a few months before we moved out) and they've taken the Elders out, its actually a zone leader area. In the mission we call it being "white washed" or "doubled in". Yesterday was total chaos in getting ALL of the elders stuff out of the house and getting our stuff in. Its actually the basement of a members home and the elders have been living there for as long as they can remember... needless to say it was quite the mess. But alas all is well and Sister Ohler and I are happy to be serving the good people of the Grays Harbor ward in Aberdeen Washington. It's on the coast about 70 miles south of Forks. Its the largest ward in the mission with a ward list of well over 900 families, only 250 of which are active. We have a LOT of work to do and are SO excited to be the ones to do it. I haven't opened an area since my first transfer with Sister Jang, so lets pray for some amazing miracles.

Speaking of miracles! My last week in Sequim was nothing short of miraculous. Kristy and Zarah were finally baptized on Sunday night... quite literally 12 hours before I left. It was probably the sweetest baptism I've ever been to. The whole ward showed up as Kristy and Zarah have been working towards baptism for about 6 months now. It was amazing to see all that Kristy was able to overcome. Smoking, coffee, changing jobs so she could attend church on sunday. It was one of the greatest tender mercies of my mission to get to see them both baptized and confirmed my last night in Sequim. And believe me when I say Satan did everything he could, short of causing an earthquake, to get us all there. But it doesn't matter the opposition we face, as long as we push through it. It was Sister Balmforths first baptism and my last in Sequim :) She's now there serving with S. Directo and S. Nybo. They will do great things there. I was sad to go, 12 weeks has been my shortest time in an area, but I know that there are people here in Aberdeen to help, and I am more than excited to get to be the one to find them. I was however told by several elders to do my best to not get shot... I thought they were joking, until I saw that even the public library here has security guards that carry weapons. Don't worry mom, all will be well. Sisters haven't been in Aberdeen for well over 20 years.

I have a new address so don't send any more mail to Sequim... I might get it before I go home lol, but don't count on it. Send my mail to the mission home at

Sister Sara H. Bradley
Washington Tacoma Mission
4007 Bridgeport Way W. Ste D
University Place, WA 98466-4330

It might take me longer to reply to you now, but I promise when I finally get your letters I will write back. I love you all lots! Keep me in your prayers this week.. it should prove to be interesting!

Love Sister Bradley

Monday, February 7, 2011

Know, Declare, Do, and Become

Another week has come and gone here in Sequim. This has been the fastest transfer of my mission. I don't know where the last five weeks went. We just received some very exciting news. Elder Kent Richards of the seventy will be coming to our mission next month. We're pretty excited. Elder Sitati of the seventy came last year.

Sequim has hit a rough patch, as all but two of our investigators decided to miss church. Thats one of the hardest things as a missionary, is to get people to actually come to church. Two weeks ago, they were all coming and now they're all not. It's wierd how its kind of either all of them or none of them... you'd think they all orchestrated it or something.

This week we did have a lot of neat things happen. We were tracting doors early in the week when a woman opened her door and yelled "I'm really interested, but I can't talk right now" and then slammed the door. We went back a few days later and she came on a tour of the church. Turns out her sister has been attending the church in San Diego for years and she's always wanted to. She knows a lot about the church and accepted an invitation to prepare for baptism on Feb. 20th. Unfortunately she didn't come to church because she had to take her brother to the airport. We're excited to really start teaching her. Truly, 'The field is white, already to harvest'.

Sister Balmforth, Directo, and I are all on edge hoping we get to stay together for one more transfer, but I don't know if we'll be so lucky. Whatever happens I know the Lord knows best, but that doesn't change the fact THAT I WANT to stay with them lol. It's a good thing we don't decide our own transfer calls, or I'd have a hard time. I trust President Bowen more than I could ever really write in words. I'm working my way through the Docterine and Covenents and am so close to finishing the Book of Mormon again. I love the scriptures. They have been a rock in my life and especially in my mission. They make bad days good and good days better. My testimony grows each day of the prophet Joseph Smith. The Book of Mormon is such an amazing book, I don't know of anyone who could have written that book, let alone a 21 yearold young man with a third grade education. Most of our investigators know that the Book of Mormon is true. KNOWING its true hasn't been a battle for many people, its the DOING that they struggle with. So many know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, they just are to afraid to actually follow it for whatever reason. That seems to be the case with our current teaching pool. Moroni was serious when he talked about that real intent business. Its a struggle for some. I'm doing my best to not only know and declare, but to do and become, like my Savior Jesus Christ. I love you all! Have a wonderful Valentines Day :)

Love Sister Bradley

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

I Know Why I Am Here

It's warmed up quite a bit here in Sequim... actually I think its about the same temps, but the air isn't so wet, which makes it a lot more bearable. This transfer has gone by way too fast for me. We're already in week five and we only get six weeks. The words of President Bowen said to me in my very first transfer keep coming back to me. He told me that if I would truely have my eye single to the glory of God, time would go by too fast. Time is going by WAY too fast, and even the rough days and the tough weeks won't slow time down. I'm just praying to be able to work harder.

We went to La Push today, and got lots more fun pictures, it really is a beautiful beach. We played ultimate frisbee. The sun even came out for us, which truely is a miracle in Forks. Our zone is really unified. I hope there aren't too many changes in the upcomming transfer. But whatever happens the Lord is in it. THANK you for sending me the memory card! I wasn't able to see the videos on the camera, but a sweet family let me watch them on their computer! Ethan is a little boy already and it sounds like Scotti talks! I can't believe how BIG the girls are lol. Riya looks SO grown up and Lia, my goodness she's grown so tall. I loved hearing you guys sing! Will you let me sing with you when I get home? Promise I'm lots better lol. Lia, I loved hearing you sing that song from Rigaletto?! It really made my week. I actually just got my jeans today too! Thank you so much! I also got Lia's letter with the boondoggle key chain, its now on the Sequim keys lol :) I hope you got the pictures I sent to you this last week.

We had almost all or our investigators at church this Sunday. We're seeing Brett's parents tonight and are putting them on date for baptism this Saturday. Brett is going back to Myrtle Creek a week from today and he won't be back in Sequim before he goes on his mission, so it really is his last chance to baptize his mom and dad before he goes. Keep them in your prayers. I know they're both ready, sometimes people let fear of little things drown out their faith. If only we could lend our investigators our faith. I've wished for that so often, but I'm realizing that its more rewarding to help them gain there own. Despite the adversity that they face, they grow from each trial, just as I do. I wouldn't want to take that opportunity of growth away from them.

Kristy, Mik, and Zarah are on date for this weekend too! Kristy came to church for the first time since I came to Sequim, she got off Sundays now, and she went 3 days with out smoking a cigarette! I love watching people triumph over addictions. She is so strong. I loved seeing her on Sunday, her eyes were so bright. She's been through so much, and I was able to see hope in her eyes on Sunday. She was happy, truely happy and although she didn't get baptized as planned, seeing her progress and the light of Christ that has come into her eyes made it so much better.

I've learned so much in this area about myself. When I was first assigned here President Bowen told me something he'd never said to me before, he said "Sister Bradley, you HAVE to find out why the Lord sent you to Sequim. Pray! Find out why you are here." At first I didn't know at all what he meant... I figured it would be like any other area. The field is white everywhere right? I've now come to understand that there were things that I could only learn here. There were people, memebers and non-members who had important lessons to teach me. I know why I came to Sequim. I know exactly why I came to the Washington Tacoma Mission, and I know why I came on a mission. I'm so grateful to be here. The Lord knows me so well... as there is no where else in the world I would rather be than right where I am. Thanks for all your love and support!

Love Sister Bradley

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Blessings Always Come


Familia,

It's been a wonderfully cold week here in Sequim. I wish some one would have warned me how cold it really is here. All I was told to bring a rain coat. HAH... its colder than Utah here. But no matter the weather, rain, sleet, snow or shine we go out... and we love it. My cheeks have a tendency to turn a lovely shade of dark bluish purple when the weather is damp and cold enough. It looks like I'm in the begining stages of hypo thermia, gratefully I'm not and its just this wierd thing my cheeks do, however, lots of people invite us in for a second, because apparently I look frozen. I've never been so happy to have my pale cheeks :)

Another week of firsts, as I've been on mission now over a year, but this Sunday was the first time I've been asked to speak in Sacrament Meeting. I didn't have a thing prepared as it was a last minute request, but the Bishop was inspired and I shared a story about member missionary work. Hopefully it went alright.

This week was dissapointing, and yet not discouraging. As we were working with Mik, Kristy, and Zarah to be baptized on Sunday, Mik was unable to find a place to move out. I don't know if I've ever applied more faith in my whole life. Unfortunately none of them were able to be baptized, but because of all the sacrifice and faith we applied the blessings came from other places. We set up three church tours on Saturday, and gave three church tours... one right after the other. I don't know if I've ever done that my whole mission. It was pretty amazing. Mik still came to church on Sunday and he's really hoping to be able to be baptized this next weekend. The experience taught me a valuable lesson that Elder Holland spoke on many years ago when he said, "Some blessings may come late, some might not come til Heaven, but they always come." I've never sacrificed so much for a family, nor spent so much time on my knees for an investigator, and although the blessing of their baptism hasn't happened yet, I saw blessings come so much that there almost wasn't room enough to recieve them.

The promise in D & C 82:10 is real..."I the Lord am bound when you do what I say." I've gained an unfailing trust in the Lord. He's perfect and cannot fail us. I'm so grateful that I can rely on Him. Love you all. Until next week.

Love Sister Bradley

Monday, January 17, 2011

Sacrifice brings forth blessings

I feel like every week I write home and tell you of all the wonderful miracles, and I wonder if you tire of me using the world miracle, but theres just no other way to describe this work. We had such a challanging, spiritual, and successfull week. So excited as last week our whole teaching pool dropped us, this week they all decided to come to church instead. We're excited as we have a family of three, the Frantz' on date for this weekend. They just need to have faith, daily contact with them is very important.

We finally were able to begin teaching the Moan family, I could write for hours about them. The Moans are from Myrtle Creek Oregon and have moved up here for just a year or two before Russell Moan retires. Brett, their son, joined the church a year ago this last October. He is 19 and just recieved his mission call to Berlin Germany. He's a spiritual giant, I stand in awe of him when he teaches. He has a brilliant mind and is the youngest of Russell and Lynn's three kids. We've been meeting off and on with Russell and Lynn since I got to Sequim, but since Brett got his call this last week he's returned from BYU-I and is now living with his parents in Sequim. They had us over for dinner and agreed to let us teach the discussions on the pretense, that it would be good practice for Brett and they would get to see what he would be going to to do for two years. As we began the lesson on the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ the spirit was so strong, it intensified as Brett taught his parents about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon, I don't know if I've ever heard such a powerful testimony in my whole life. I think he might just convert all of Berlin. Russell and Lynn committed to read and pray about the Book of Mormon and they came to church this Sunday. Russell is ready to accept the gospel, Lynn is being a little bit of a tough cookie, she really doesn't want to see Brett leave, especially all the way to Germany. I know she'll come around though. We're taking them on a church tour tonight :D.

We're also working with 17 year old Clay who is the little brother of our recent convert Joni. Clay has been to church twice but is worried that he already has too many commitments and doesn't want the responsibilty that comes with membership in the church. He's such a sincere just good kid. The good news is he met Brett Moan who joined the church right at about Clays age and he's helping out a TON. I love the way the Lord prepares people for other people. We're actually working with a lot of other people, including a young adult named Aiden who comes from a strict Catholic back ground. He too is coming around as we continue to teach him. He also came to church on Sunday.

The lesson in one of our wards Relief Society was on Sacrifice. The sisters listed a bunch of things that we sacrifice as members of the church, whether it be time, talents, money, missions, or motherhood. I listened to the sisters and spent a lot of time pondering on the word Sacrifice. To give something up, or offer up something of great worth. As I thought on it I've decided that sacrifice is just another word for blessing. Harder than giving up our time, talents or money would be NOT being able to sacrifice those things. Without the sacrifices that come with the gospel of Jesus Christ I certain I would be totally miserable. What if I didn't share my talents, what if I couldn't serve a mission, what of those who never have the opportunity to "sacrifice" their time and energy for motherhood, through no fault of their own? I'm so grateful I have the opportunity to sacrfice all that I am, because I know there are those who can't and many who won't because they don't understand the blessing it really is. What an example our Savior truely is as he's sacrificed more than we can truely understand. I love this work and am grateful everyday of it.

Love Sister Bradley

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I CAN SEE CANADA

It's been a week of cold feet for lots of people. Literally. It snowed again yesterday in Sequim. It wasn't as bad this last time though, at least the whole town didn't shut down like last time. We we're tracting in a really far north part of our area that we didn't know existed when we found the Juan De Fuca, its HUGE, I hadn't really seen it yet, I'd only seen Sequim Bay, but we totally saw Canada, its literally only a couple miles across the water from us. Kind of crazy. Hopefully I'll print off some pictures in the next week or so, and I'll send some home :) Today was A LOT of fun, as we played basketball as a zone. Sister Balmforth has some impressive skills, and my basketball skills have greatly improved. I'm excited for the first time to have someone that will play with me. Best work out since I came on my mission.

This week was a challanging week for us as one of our wards was canceled due to the snow and the other one had about 30% attendence because of the snow. Its only three inches, but the people here in Sequim are just not used to it. I'm grateful I learned to drive in the snow many many moons ago, or we wouldn't be able to go out either. Despite our trials we did see a lot of miracles. There is a man by the name of Tim that we had a really neat experience with. He is his father-in-laws caregiver who is a way less active member. We went to go teach the grandfather the discussions per his request. But he can't really hear and he doesn't really have the comprehension for it anymore. As we walked into their small little relocatable home with the TV blaring some zombie movie and Tim playing NFL Madden on the computer, I was anything but excited. I asked if we could turn of the TV, and then miracles happened. We started to teach Donald (the grandpa) as Tim sat there on the computer in the same room. Before we got even five minutes into the lesson Tim had turned off the computer turned his chair around and was listening with such real intent. He started to ask a BUNCH of questions. It was so amazing, you could see the spirit in his eyes. I loved it. When we prayed after the discussion he said that he believed that everything happens for a reason, and that maybe we were there for him. His wife and 16 year old son came in at the end too! We are so excited to start teaching them. But Tim still has lots to overcome.

None of our investigators made it to church, which is always discouraging, but the Mission as a whole is experiencing some of the best numbers and success since President Bowen has been here. My companions and I have a great desire to be a part of that success. We're working on our faith to find those prepared people. I know we will. I love it here and pray for you all everyday. Thanks for all you do!

Love Sister Bradley

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

SWEET

Happy New Year!

Where to begin! I could spend days and write volumes of things I need to share, but alas there is much work to be done here in Sequim. We had transfers yesterday, and my dear Sister Burgess was sent away :( She is now serving in Silverdale. Sister Directo and I recieved a brand new companion from the missionary training center. Her name is Sister Balmforth and she is from Taylorsville Utah. She's my first companion that is younger than me! She's actually a whole year younger than me and I'm still trying to figure out how a year has gone by. I still feel like I am one of the youngest sisters in the mission and now there are sisters out that are lots younger than me. She's amazing and actually played college basketball for Salt Lake Community College for a year before she came out. I got so excited when they announced that in transfer meeting that I said "SWEET" really loud and all the elders had a good laugh. She's a hard worker, has a strong testimony, and is so humble. I'm so excited to get to serve with her.

Another crazy thing I did that you'll never believe. I sang in a trio in front of the whole mission in a special musical number with Sister Fox and Amanda Garcia our recent convert. We sang Be Still My Soul acapella. I swear I was tone def once upon a time, but serving and singing with so many musically talented sisters my voice has seriously improved. I even had a small solo. I was told by several missionaries and Sister Bowen that I have a beautiful voice. Miracles happen... seriously lol. I loved it, but wont be doing a repeat anytime soon. I was shaking like a leaf.

The work here in Sequim is ever increasing. Paul was ordained to the office of priest on Sunday and is doing great. We are trying to teach his little sister Clarissa, but the mom is hessitant because Clarissa is only 12 and she doesn't feel she's ready to make that kind of a choice. We keep them in our prayers and are hoping for a miracle softening of her heart. The ward here is interesting. There are half a dozen couples in the ward that are 60+ where the wife is a solid member that is very active and the husbad isn't a member but comes to church every Sunday. Try as we might to teach them, they are unwilling to be baptized but they will come to church. Its crazy how many of them there are. Each one unique, we're trying to figure out what to do.

My testimony grows ever stronger with each passing day. Your letters and emails bring me so much strength and grattitude. You are all FAR to generous with your kind words of encouragement. This work is miraculous in it self and only takes someone whose willing to work hard and be humble. I love to work hard, when I get home at night and finish planning for the next day I take comfort even though I'm exhausted, I know I did everything I could that day. Humility is a life time pursuit that I'm constantly seeking. Learning to balance confidence in the Lord and in my calling while eliminating pride is difficult. But I'm striving to be better everyday. I love you all and am so grateful for everything you do. Til next week!

Love Sister Bradley

Friday, December 31, 2010

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Everyday is Priceless

Family and Friends,

I need to say Thank you for all the fun letters, emails and packages you all sent. Please send my love to the Valley View 8th ward. They were so kind to send me so many Christmas cards. We are all doing fantastically well here in Sequim. Today we went to Port Townsend as a zone. We played capture the flag in an old military bunker. It was a lot of fun, but one of the Elders tore his Achilles tendon an hour into it. He was just running on flat ground, it was kind of weird. He's in the hospital now. I'll let you know what happens. This is the last week of the transfer here in the WA-TAC and I'm way nervous for change. We are really loving the progress we're making here together, but at the same time I know that whatever happens is what the Lord wants and although it might be sad at first, will ultimately be the best. I love that I can trust Him like that. I wish I had gained that sooner in life. It makes every trial and every challenge part of the plan for me and my personal growth.

Christmas was probably the best day of not only my mission but my life. It began with an overwhelming amount of generosity from friends, family, ward members from here and from home. We then got to go to the chapel to fill the font. I was able to talk to most of you and miracle of miracles I was able to talk to Elyse for about 20 minutes. I don't think I've ever been so happy to hear your voices and that your all doing so well. As if that wasn't already amazing enough, it doesn't even compare to what happened later.

Paul Preston arrived to his baptism promptly a half an hour before it started. The font was full. He was dressed in white. His whole family (most of which aren't members) came to support him. They felt the spirit I'm certain. Paul looked a little nervous before. So much of the ward came out to support him, even though it was Christmas. When he came out of the water he gasped for air and I felt really bad, because we tried to make the water warm, but the water heater for our little chapel isn't the greatest, making baptisms a little chilly, but when I asked him after wards he said the water was pretty warm and he just gasped because it felt like it was the first time he had ever really breathed. I wish I could bottle his smile. He was glowing after his baptism, quite literally glowing. I can't believe the change I've seen in him from the first time I knocked on his door. Step by step, day by day, he changed. He'll continue to change. I hope I continue to change too. We get so caught up in the progression of others that we forget sometimes that we're on the same path they are, but by focusing on getting others through the gate, we go so much further than we ever could if we just focused on ourselves. I love this work. Everyday is priceless, no matter how hard it is. I love you all lots and lots.

Love Sister Bradley

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Miracles are wrought by faith :)

My family and friends,

Crazy week here in the WA-TAC. We had our Christmas party as a mission, which was amazing. I love the spirit of Christmas. We have a goal as a mission to see 200 people enter the waters of baptism in the month of December. We are well on our way. I did get packages for Christmas so thank you! They are now sitting under our little tree that a member let us borrow. Mom I did buy some boots at wal-mart, so no worries :)

Some news! President Bowen called Sister Burgess and I early last week and told us we would be getting a third companion last week. Sister Directo is from the Phillipines and is a sister missionariy that is at Temple Square but gets to visit us in the WA-TAC for 3 months. We LOVE her! And she has brought a great spirit to our companionship... along with many miracles.

What an extraordinary week it has been here in Sequim. Sharing all the miracle we witnessed this week would fill volumes. I wish I had the time to share them all with you. You'll have to be satisfied with some of my favorites. The first is a story about a man named Raj Singh. He's a very kind hindu man. The three of us prayed so hard that we could find a family of angels to put on the tree in the mission office (the angels represent people baptized this month, It looks like Washington is going to have a white christmas after all). We started our evening of tracting with little success. Every door seemed to be vacant on the other end. And it was cold, very cold. It was an hour into knocking doors when we met Raj. The smell of Indian food flooded out his warm home when he opened the door. He began not being interested at all. But something changed as we shared why we'd come to his door. He agreed to come on a tour of the church. He has a family with two children and his wife. Unfortunately he had some family come in from out of town unexpectedly, but he called us and told us he still really wanted to bring his family to the church. It's an amazing thing to see the spirit work on somebody in such a short time. This man was not interested, but the spirit can soften hearts so quickly if they are humble and prepared. I love seeing the change in theire eyes. This work is real. The spirit is there.

Another amazing miracle we found by the name of Paul Preston. His dad, Mike was baptized as a child but hasn't gone to church since he was a child. We stopped by to meet Mike, but his son Paul answered the door, Mike wasn't home. We talked to Paul for a brief second and then left. As we were in the car I felt like the spirit was almost yelling at me for not talking to Paul more. He seemed so sad, but we'd already left his door. The next 24 hours were almost torture as I felt an imense amount of urgency to go back to see Paul. We went back on Saturday night. Paul opened up to us immediately as he shared that just last week he had tried to take his own life for the 7th time. We had a member pick him up and we brought him down to the church almost immediately. It was one of the most sacred experiences of my mission and one of the most miraculous. Words came out of my mouth that I had never said, words that were not mine. Paul commited to be baptized on Christmas day. He came to church on Sunday and left smiling, saying he really felt something different. He went to the Young Single Adult family home evening last night and we taught a lesson on modern day prophets and apostles and what peace they bring into our lives. Again he left smiling. I don't think Paul has smiled much in his life. We met again with him today and had a powerfull discussion in the home of some members about how he can know of the truth for him self. There is a light in his eyes that wasn't there before. He's changing before our very own eyes. We are fasting with him and the Johnson family this Sunday. This work changes people.... No its not the work that changes people, the work changes us, but the Savior changes people. He makes them whole. The joy of seeing that change is beyond words. It is in fact miraculous. Serving a mission isn't a sacrifice. I've never been so happy in my life. Most days I wish I could do this forever.

I'm so blessed this Christmas season to know that Jesus Christ lives. That he speaks to us today through his prophets and apostles. Not only that but he speaks to us personally and individually as we pray and read the scriptures. The Book of Mormon has become my best friend. I rely on it daily for strength and guidance. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is on the earth in its fullness! What an exciting time it is. We know the happiness that the world seeks. We just need the courage to open our mouths and share it! I LOVE sharing it with the people here in Sequim. I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week.

Monday, December 6, 2010

FAITH TO MOVE MOUNTAINS

Hey Family,

The weeks seem to fly by so quickly here in Sequim. The snow is finally melted and we are now in the low 40's, but with the water so close by, I freeze anyway. There is something about the dampness in the air that just chills you to the bone. Sister Burgess and I have been working harder then ever. We love being together again after almost a year and seeing the progress we've made, we can really tell the strengths that we've gained because we knew eachother from the begining. It's always good to know that you're growing.

The Frantz family missed church for the second week in a row, which was devestating. They are a family of four. The mom and the dad really want to get baptized along with their 12 year old daughter. Unfortunately the daughter isn't the dad's biological daughter and if they were to get married they would lose a lot of child support which is keeping them above water right now. We had an amazing story about Christ and the five loaves and two fishes. We talked about not being afraid to do what the Lord asks of us and that he will provide a way if we are only obedient to his commandments. I wish I could just lend them my faith for a day. If they only knew what the Lord could do for them. They are so sincere and the gospel has already blessed their lives. I realized that sometimes our mission president probably feels the same way about us. Sometimes as missionaries we lack the faith to see miracles. I'm sure President Bowen would love to lend us his faith sometimes. However, when its gained on our own through dilligent prayer and study of the Book of Mormon and when we take that leap and expect success and expect to see angels in this work, then our faith becomes stronger. Then we can move mountains. I love learning to move mountains.

Thanks for all your prayers and support. Sorry for all the short emails, one day I'll send a long one. Hope your all having a wonderful week!

Love Sister Bradley

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Power of Prayer

Dear Family,

I'm so sorry if you didn't get an email from me today, I will make it up next week I hope. It's been a crazy few days as I did get transferred from my dear Tacoma to a small little town very close to Canada called Sequim (pronounced Squim) It is literally a town right out of a story book and the perfect place to spend Christmas lol. Especially as there are 8 inches of snow on the ground. I was ready for rain but not snow! My wardrobe is not quite fitting lol. Apparently this is the most snow Sequim has had in 25 years. The whole town is in a buzz. It took us 5 hours to get here from Tacoma, they aren't prepared to deal with snowy conditions like Utah is. But alas we are here and we are out meeting the people. I'm over to wards here, Sequim Bay and Happy Valley wards. I'm about 20 minutes out of Port Angeles and an hour or so from Forks. Quite excited to go there for a P-day sometime :) I'm serving with Sister Burgess, she was my mtc companion almost 11 months ago! We are SO excited to back together! We've been hoping for it for sometime! Sequim is wonderful and the work is pushing forth here. I'm so excited to get to be here. There are 5,000 people in Sequim so I figure lots of people are gonna want to be baptized.

It was hard to leave Tacoma. A sweet sweet part member family through me a surprise birthday part with party favors and cake and all. It was one of the sweetest things anyone has ever done for me I think. It was hard to say good bye to them in the same day. Cameron did indeed get baptized on Sunday! It was a pretty amazing service as the ward totally rallied around him and his lest active and non member family. He will be such a blessing to his family. His non member grand parents came down to take him out for dinner and he insisted that they do it at home so that he wouldn't have to break the sabbath right after his baptism. What an amazing eight year old!

My testimony of personal prayer has grown so much over the past few days! I was a little terrified to be coming to Sequim as I've served my whole mission in the city. I got here and although I was charmed by this picturesque town, reality sunk in and I was so scared. I spent a lot of time on my knees. The Lord answers prayers. Humility is key as we sincerely ask for his help, but I can testify that it most assuredly comes as we are humble and seek for it diligently. I'm so excited to be here. I do have a new address for letters, packages are still sent to the one in University place but my new one is

Sister Bradley
812 N. Bakehouse Ct.
Sequim, WA 98382

Thank you for all your emails, Mark I promise to write you next week! I loved your email! Thank you for writting. I hope you all have the most amazing Thanksgiving! So grateful for you all!

Love Sister Bradly

p.s. My dear dear Sister Fox is now training a greenie in Tacoma! I'm so excited for her!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Miracles are still there

Dear Family,

The weather here has taken a turn to colder than cold. I thinking I have more vitamin C in my system than water. I always remember Mom saying I couldn't overdose on vitamin C lol so I'm not too woried about it.

Things were hard this week, but also rewarding. It was one of those weeks where the worst possible thing happens, and yet somehow the Lord strengthens us to bear it. My dear friend Sally has been progressing AMAZINGLY as we've met with her every other day at the chaple with the PERFECT fellowship. She's had three seperate sisters, including the Relief Society President. On Saturday night we commited Sally to baptism for the 21st and she more than just accepted, but was excited! She loved the plan of salvation and we had just taught her the doctering of baptism. However Sunday morning a half an hour before church she called and told us that she was no longer interested and that she's decided to stay with her episcopal church. I neither wish to express in words or want you to know how many pieces my heart broke into as she told us. It wasn't about numbers, or baptisms. I saw the light of Christ shine in Sally's eyes as we taught her. I saw her commitment and excitement to enter into Christ's church. It was a hard day at church as with each lesson I realized was perfect for Sally and just what she needed to prepare her further.

However the Lord has blessed us with a tender mercy as a young boy of an excommunicated mother commited for baptism and his mother gave her consent last night to be baptized next Sunday. I honestly couldn't see this ever happening until he was an adult as his mother didn't seem like she would EVER be willing to consent. But we've been teaching them in her home and at the church for several months now and just this Saturday we took them on a church tour and her heart was softened. Tom didn't get baptized yesterday unfortunately, but he's promised to give it "maximum effort" this next Sunday, he's such a funny old man.

As always I'm realizing reguardless of what I do or share, people will always have their agency. I'm also continually learning that no matter what happens the Lord is in it. I'm motivated to do all I can and let Heaven do the rest. Heaven must certainly be busy here in Tacoma, as despite my many short commings, miracles can be found whenever we sincerely look for them. I love you all!

Love Sister Bradley

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

November 9th 2010

Dear family,

I only have four minutes left! But I have to write! What a week it has been. We've found some really amazing hidden miracles in our area book. We went over all the former investigators and decided to stop by a few of them. Two being Tom and Sally. Tom is an 80 year old man retired from the navy and an intense and devout Catholic. He is always willing to come to service but we loose him at baptism as he always says he's already been baptized. Sister Fox and I stopped by and after not comming to church for 3 months he came after our short visit. So we eagerly prepared a lesson on baptsm focusing on Christ's baptism from Matthew and the spirit was so strong as we taught Tom about the proper baptism. He really likes the idea of being able to choose to be baptized as he was baptized as an infant. As we left we commited him to pray about baptism for the 14th of November and he said yes! He started asking all these questions like what he had to wear and who would be there! He's been an eternal investigator for many missionaries in the Skyline Ward and here is actually commiting to pray about baptism. We're very excited for Tom.

Sally is a woman ironically enough that Sister Fox and I tracted into four months ago. She said she used to meet with the elders but had decided to stay with her church. When we knocked into her we hadn't known she was a former in our area book. As we went through we decided to stop by and when we went by her house four months later, we realized that we had been there before. She invited us in imediately and told us that last time we had stopped by (when we had just tracted into her) she took out the Book of Mormon and tried to read it again, but she has a really hard time with it. We gave her a childrens Book of Mormon to go along with it and now she's just cruizing through it. Unfortunately she was unable to come to church on Sunday, but we hope for next Sunday. She's very smart and in tune with the spirit. As we commited her to read and pray about the Book of Mormon she knew what it would mean if she got the answer that it was true. She knows that she'll have to leave her church (an episcopl church, she's very religious), but she is really excited about baptism, as she was baptised as an infant, without it being her choice. She really wants to follow Christ's example. Please pray that her fears won't prevent her from taking that leap of faith.

I'm learning so much. The past transfer has been a hard one for me, I would say full of highs and lows, but its been mostly lows. I am indeed gratefull for those lows, as my mission has been full of high highs. It makes them so much more special. Most importantly I'm learning to rely on my Savior in all that I do. Sometimes its easy to let yourself feel alone, and the adversary is really good at making us feel that way. Its always a choice that we make though. Ultimatly we can choose to look to the Savior and be happy or look away. Any other way leads us to saddness and ultimatly misery. I'm so happy to be sharing His message with His people. I'm grateful for Him. I know that He lives and He loves us so much. If we could only really understand how infinite that love is the world would be so much eager to share it. WE would be more eager to share it, because the world is in great need of the precious knowledge that we have. I love you all.

Love Sister Bradley