I'm very grateful to still be here in Tacoma. Sister Fox and I are now serving our third transfer together and couldn't be happier. Very little changed in our district and our zone, which we are all really happy about. We've been really successful and unified. I'm learning more and more everyday that having unity with the Lord is essential, unity with your companion is pivotal, unity with your district helpful, and unity with your zone encouraging. Unity is really important. We've had a great month here this August, and we're so excited for September, miracles seem to be found in every corner of Tacoma.
We had a wonderful week this last week with a miracle of our own. Bo was indeed baptized, and her daughter Cheyenne (12 years old) was as well. It was sort of an interesting situation. Bo is SO amazing and one of the Lords elect prepared people, but her daughter wasn't quite sure yet. She'd come to church and we had taught her a several times but she really seemed indifferent towards baptism, other than the fact that Bo really wanted her to get baptized. The night before the baptism we talked to Cheyenne after she had told us that she wanted to get baptized with her mother. Normally we'd be way excited, but we thought she was just saying because she felt forced to by her mom. We spent several minutes trying to tell her that she could wait til next week or a few weeks until she was more ready, but she was insistent. I fought with myself all night and the next day about whether I should really let it happen. We didn't want her to make a commitment before she was prepared to keep it. But every time I prayed about it, I felt like we should press forward with it. Then the baptism came and Cheyenne seemed like she didn't want to be there at all. I felt terrible. There she was frowning in her white jump suit. But again I prayed about it and got the feeling to press forward, but I was so unsure. Cheyenne and Bo were both baptized, but afterwards when I asked Cheyenne if we'd see her at church tomorrow, she said she didn't know! I wanted to cumple into pieces on the floor. I left the baptism with a heavy heart. Later Bo told us that when Cheyenne and her were changing after the baptism Cheyenne had refused to be confirmed on Sunday and was not coming to churh. But the next 24 hours seemed to be miraculous as the Lord softened Cheyenne's heart. That night she asked her mom if she would make her a dress, as she didn't have any nice clothes to wear to church. Her mom spent a large part of the evening making Cheynne the cutest dress I've ever seen. As church started on Sunday morning I was floored to see Cheyenne in the door way of the chapel with a cute little dress and the biggest, purest smile on her face. She was excited and happy to be there! I really felt so stunned, it was a wide eyed, jaw dropping experience. This baptism was Sister Fox's and I first experience of seeing a family that we found through tracting get baptized. It was actually our first family as well! I feel like Ammon when he says "I cannot say the smallest part which I feel." (Alma 26:16)
I feel a renewed sense of desire to work even harder. The Lord blesses as we sacrifice even more. I've been pondering much the scripture in Mosiah 4:27 "It is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength." But I heard a wonderful quote from Elder Oaks. He shared this scripture with the Tacoma stake here, and afterwards he laughed and said, "But it does say run!" I'm so excited to be running for the Lord. This is the greatest work and I intend to do it forever. I love you all and pray for you!
It's been a crazy pday, so this won't be a long email. So I'll apologize in advance. What a week it has been! We've continued to meet with Bo and she came to church this sunday. Unfortunately her children didn't come, so she'll be getting baptized alone this Saturday, but we hope that her children will follow in the comming weeks, sometimes its easier after they see they're mom or dad go first. Bo is already so integrated into the ward that half the people think she's already a member. I love people like that! Transfers are coming up this Monday, so I'll let you know what happens, but its likely that I'll be staying still her in Tacoma, but you never really know with President Bowen.
Thanks for all your letters and emails, I feel like I've got a ton in the last few weeks. Things are going really well. The weather has cooled down a LOT, I'm excited for fall/winter/really its just rain. I don't know how I would survive in the DR, way to go Elyse! I'm learning and growing so much more than I ever thought I could. You know how when you're in the temple and everything is clear and you just know how to work things out. I feel like there is a lot of clarity in my mind right now. I know exactly what I want to do and who I want to be, which is a real blessing. I've been missing the temple because of the peace and clarity it brings and the Lord is blessing me. I love you all and promise to make up for the short email next week! (actually probably in 2 weeks as next week will be transfer day, which totally kills our pday, forgive me ;)
Love Sister Bradley