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