Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Members are the Means...still

Dear Family,
What a week! I feel like so much has happened that it has to have been more than a week. I'll do my best to not forget anything. The week started out with an amazing miracle. On Monday after our p-day we went out tracting, which was turning out rather unproductive when Sister Quigley, a single mom in our ward invited us over for a bbq and told us she had invited her non-member neighbor Carey and her daughter Elicia. So we dutifully finished our 5 to 7 tracting and went over to have dinner and a family home evening with the Quigley family. It was amazing to find that when we got there we knew Elicia. Just two weeks prior Sister Fox and I had knocked on her door. But she told us they weren't interested and we left. But when we really got to know them in a members home Carey opened up and said they had been looking for a church that had her same morals! So we set up to give them a tour of the church the next day. After we had talked to Carey for a little bit at the church she told us that she felt an overwhelming sense of peace as she drove in to the parking lot. When we showed her the chaple and talked about the ward and the sense of always having a home wherever you were, she again said, "I feel like I'm at home"! It was an amazing tour! She and Elicia came to church and to the Paul Cardall fireside later that week. Elicia is leaving for 2 months this Wednesday, but Carey is set for baptism on July 11th! I can't stress how much of a difference it makes to have members get involved! WE had ALREADY met this woman and for whatever reason she told us she wasn't interested! But when a neighbor had the courage to invite us over and to introduce us she felt comfortable to tell us that she really was looking! If it hadn't been for Sister Quigley, this woman could still be searching forever! As missionaries, we play such a small role in this plan, the members are the real heros! Sister Quigley didn't ask this woman if she was interested in looking into the church, she just invited the missionaries over! I'm excited to be able to do the same for my friends when I get home. Please do the same now, I wish I could express in words how big of a difference it makes to have members involved.
You may have noticed I slipped in something about a Paul Cardall fireside. It was AMAZING one of the members in our stake served his mission with Paul and had him come to do a fireside/concert. It was funny because the day before the concert was the day we were giving Elicia and Carey a tour of the church, naturally it was empty on a weekday so Sister Fox and I were turning on lights in the chapel when two men walked in talking, neither of which we recognized. The piano was lifted onto the stage for the fireside and one of the men said "thats an interesting way to do it" I piped up and said "Oh thats for a paul cardall fireside tomorrow" Both the men silently chuckled and the one said, "This is actually Brother Cardall"! My jaw dropped and I was star struck for a few seconds. I was able to get a picture with him and he actually was amazing fellowship for Elicia and Carey! He mentioned them in the fireside the following evening which really touched Carey. Do you know that Paul Cardall grew up in our stake? He went to Olympus High School!
Sister Fox is back here in Steilacoom with me for a week or two on an exchange, she hasn't been feeling well and president was worried about her so he sent Sister Fisher to Tacoma and sent Sister Fox back for a little while. Please keep them both in your prayers. I'm really worried about the both of them. I'm doing well, the weather is getting warmer but it cools off every evening into the 60's, I love this place. I was so excited to hear about Elyse's farewell and was sad to have missed it! I can't believe she leaves in two weeks! Tell all the family I love and miss them! Have a BBQ and invite some neighbors! Invite the missionaries! You never know if there interested unless you ask! I love you all! Talk to you soon!
Love Sister Bradley

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Quick One

Hello family,
Do you tire of me telling you about Steilacoom? I love this place. I'm really nervous to ever have to leave. This was a great week. We met a young girl by the name of Deanna. She's back for the summer from school in Seattle. We've started teaching her and she's amazing. She's already such a strong Christian, she's super excited about the church and activites are were hoping to see her be baptized this transfer. People are waiting everywhere. It just makes me want to talk to everyone! I wish I could write more, but my time is up. I'll make up for such a short email next week I promise :) The weather hasn't changed much, its still in the 60's with lots and lots of rain. I love it. People are actually a lot nicer to us when were tracting in the rain. Being girls in skirts I think people take pitty on us. I'll write again soon! Love you!
Love Sister Bradley

Monday, June 14, 2010

Summer is here...sort of

Dear Family,

Its been an interesting week here in Steilacoom. I know the area and the ward really well so I sometimes feel like some of the less active families are sick of me just knocking on their door. Sister Fisher and I are learning that we're going to have to be very creative this transfer to use our time well. We're excited to go street contacting at the Farmers Market on Wednesdays for an hour or two. We've been looking for any sort of service opportunity in Steilacoom, but out side of schools there really isn't much we can do and because of legal complexities we aren't aloud to serve in schools, any ideas? The Adkins family is doing great. Matt has been away for the past two weeks for military training in So. Carolina but should be back this weekend, but the rest of the family came to church. We met a really neat woman named Sarai this last week while tracting in the only appartment complex I haven't knocked. She used to be a Jehovah's Witness, but hasn't been practicing in years. We taught her the message of the restoration on her door step and our excited to continue teaching her this week. We're really struggling to find people to teach. Our teaching pool is somehow on empty again... (we just need to stop baptizing all of them lol) and were working hard to find more people which is harder than you think when you consider that I've almost knocked on every door out here. But the Lord is still in charch of this work and I have complete trust that we'll continue to find through our owwn efforts and the wards. I've started reading the New Testament and will attempt to finish by mid July as a mission goal. It's amazing! Sister Fisher and I have also taken up Elder Pearson's (former mission pres, but now a seventy) challange to read all of Preach My Gospel in the transfer, its something like five pages a day. Sister Fisher and I have started to run together in the mornings which is a lot of fun. The weather is perfect here, Dad's ideal golfing tempuratures, in the high 60's low 70's with a nice breeze. I think of him and Mark and Jared whenever I pass the Oakbrook Golf Course, I think its a club so its not like I could ever play there but it looks way nice. I loved all the pictures you sent me mom! I can't believe how big the girls are looking. My companion saw the pic of the three of you on the water fountain and asked how tall and old Lia was, it looks like she's got legs for days in that pic. We're still working with Daisha, the daughter of one of our recent converts, but she seems content to move at her own pace. I wonder if Moriya might send me a letter to give to her, just sharing your testimony? Your the same age! :) Hopefully she'll be getting baptized within the next 3 weeks. The Steilacoom ward has been thinking about transferring my records here permanently (JK) :) It will be hard to leave this place, its become home. I'm excited to be here with Sister Fisher, she's pretty amazing and we expect to see a lot of miracles this transfer as we work hard and are obedient. I love you all!

Love Sister Bradley

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Round Four in Steilacoom

Hello Family,
Transfers came and went and I'm yet again blessed to be in the city of Steilacoom. I feel like this has become my home. Its going to be really hard to have to leave here. Sister Fox was sent to Tacoma, so she's only 15 minutes away but I was sad to see her go. I'm now with the wonderful Sister Fisher, she is from Fallin Nevada and just got to Tacoma Washington on Monday. She's exceptional and I feel like she's training me instead of the other way around. She's part Hawaiin and part Puerto Rican. There is only one elder left in the zone thats been here as long as I have, its been sad to say goodbye to a lot of good friends, but good to make new ones. Steilacoom is doing wonderful, I don't know if I mentioned this last week but we had a baptism this last Saturday! Do you tire of me telling yout that it was a miracle...? because it was a complete miracle. We've been meeting with the Adkins family for about 2 and a half months now. It started as a referral from the military missionaries. When we went to meet the family Amanda, the mom immediately said she wanted to get Max (her 8 year old son) ready for baptism. Because he wouldn't be a convert baptism we didn't really have permission to teach him, until we found out that Matt, the dad wasn't a member. So we started teaching the lessons to "Max", but Matt was there for every lesson and Max was baptized three weeks later. We continued to go over to the Adkins, but now with the focus on Matt. Since the begining he just kept telling us that he didn't have the faith, but that he was willing to come to church and to read any scripture assignments we gave him. To be honest, I didn't think I would ever see Matt get baptized. Every time we thought we were progressing he would just tell us he still didn't have the faith. The weeks went by and two weeks ago a miracle happened as we watched the Joseph Smith: The Prophet of the Restoration with Matt. Through some inspired homework assignments we saw a light go on, I felt like I physically saw this young father gain a testimony of the prophet Joseph Smith. He was baptized on Saturday but has left for two weeks for military training in South Carolina. Amanda and Matt are already talking about going to the temple in a year. I'm a little nervous to be in Steilacoom still. I LOVE this place and I love the people, but I just don't want to become complacent. I'll hit my six month mark in my first area! I feel like I've knocked all the doors and know all the less active families, but I know I'm here because its where the Lord wants me, so I know that we can see more success here. We're especially excited for the Agor family. They are a less active and part member family from Hawaii. The grandparents are members and live in a home with there three children and there spouses and their ten unbaptized grandchildren all over the age of 8. Last weekend some of their cousins were baptized in Tacoma and we're excited to work with them. Since I've met this family I've been amazed at the unity and love you can feel in there home, currently Bro. Agor, the grandfather is battling esophigeal? cancer. He's such a sweet man. The other night I dreamed that I saw all of the grandchildren dressed in white. We're going to work hard to see that become a reality this transfer. I loved reading Alyse's letter. I can't believe She's serving with Elder Wade in Korea! Small world. This week we have zone conference, so its going to be a busy week. Thanks for all the emails and prayers. I was especially grateful for the letter that had a letter from Moriya, Lia, mom and dad! That was a good day :) I love you all!
Love Sister Bradley