Tuesday, April 27, 2010

April Showers Bring May Flowers


How are you all? Things are as wonderful as ever here in Steilacoom. Transfers did indeed come and go! Sadly Sister Conger was sent to Centralia and that was a sad goodbye. Gratefully I did get to stay in Steilacoom. My new companion is Sister Fox, she is from North Salt Lake and just arrived in Washington on Monday! She was the only sister to come in with 5 other Elders but she was a trooper through it all. She is ready to work and Steilacoom is the place to be to learn how. This week was really good! Do you remember Nicole? I think I've mentioned her before. We've been working with her since I got to Steilacoom 12 weeks ago. She is 29 and has a sweet 3 year old daughter named Kaila. She is from Hawaii and married a member but he is no longer active in the church and they are going through a seperation. I instantly loved Nicole. I don't know what it was but I had such a desire to see her accept the gospel. But my past companions have all been doubtful, She's been meeting with missionaries since last summer and had yet to come to church or keep any commitments! This last transfer she finally came to church TWICE! And she set her own date for her baptism on Mothers Day! I'm so excited for her. That will be an amazing day for me as I've been here for some time working with her for what seemed impossible. At transfer meeting, my departing district leader bore his testimony and taught me a beautiful lesson. He quoted amazing grace "I once was blind, but now can see." He said that his mission was a constant battle of trying to see things as How they really are. I learned that the most important thing we can pray for is the Lord to help US see things as they REALLY are and then to ask how we can do whats best. I'll have to send you his final report, it was really good. I'm in a constant state of learning as I'm always with new missionaries. I have yet to have a transfer where one of us isn't a greenie! But I think I'm learning best that way. I love the energy that missionaries have when they get here there first transfer. My favorite thing to do is work hard. I don't know how to do everything, I'm not the best teacher, and definitely have a lot to work on, but I LOVE to work hard and the Lord is blessing Steilacoom as we do just that. Thank you so much for all your letters and prayers. I'll be calling home on Mothers Day, probably in the evening, I'll give you a time next week. Keep praying for missionary opportunites, they are everywhere. I love you all!

Love Sister Bradley

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Albertson's Miracle

Dear Family,

This is going to have to be a short one, I don't have a lot of time. But I want to share the most amazing miracle! They seem to be a constant occurance here. So the other day Sister Conger and I ran into Albertson's to go pick up a few things for some kids that we were meeting with that night, when we walked in we saw an older couple looking at the flowers. We went up and talked to them and introduced ourselves. We learned that Maria was german and her husband was military. He didn't like us at all and walked away almost as soon as we started talking to Maria. She was kind and we offered to help her plant flowers and left her with our card. The next day Sister Conger really felt like we should go tracting in a certain area and that we should start with the Gamez family and that we should have them pray for us to find some one. So we started at their home with a great prayer of faith and went off to knock doors. The people were so kind and we were able to leave our card, but no one really seemed to interested. We were so busy knocking doors that we completely lost track of time and were 10 minutes late for an appointment, so I took the keys and started to run down the street back to get the car so we wouldn't be too late. (Of course staying with in sight at sound of my companion ;) We got in the car and ran to our next appointment. The next day the Gamez family had us over for dinner and asked us about tracting in their neighborhood and we were able to tell them a little of our success. After dinner they gave us a plate of brownies and said we should go visit there neighbor across the street. We took the plate of brownies and a finding faith dvd and went to knock there door. When who else answered the door, but sweet Maria's (Nice women from Albertsons) husband Jim. He said "We already know you!" and wasn't too excited to see us, but miraculously Bro. Gamez was walking over to bring Sis. Conger her scriptures that she had forgotten. Apparently Jim LOVES Bro. Gamez and was soon out on his front step talking to us as if we were his own grand children. We gave him the plate of brownies and finding faith, which he said he was excited to watch and confessed that he saw me running down the street the other day and thought that we had followed him hom from Albertsons! CRAZY! The Lord was working miracles left and right and no one was aware of it. Jim did say that he was impressed with how fast I could run. We were able to set up to give them a tour of the church this week with the Gamez family! How AMAZING is that! There was no way Jim would have ever listened to us had things not gone EXACTLY the way the Lord planned it to. I'm so grateful that Sis. Conger was listening to the spirit and knowing WHERE we should tract! This work is so important and the Lord is preparing people everywhere, even back home! Be prepared to share the gospel when the Lord prepares others to listen! I love this work! Transfers are next Monday, so I won't be emailing til Tuesday! I could be anywhere! Love you all so much thank you for all your support and prayers!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Baptism is the Way

Dear Family,
I've been going crazy since Wednesday waiting for the news of Elyse's call! The Domincan Republic! AH! I'm so excited for her! I'm sad she has to wait til July to leave. That was the hardest part, waiting. I can't believe Kevin Curtis is already going! Time is a crazy thing, it seems to go by faster and faster. This past week has been an AMAZING week in Steilacoom Washington! Although I'm slightly bias, I do feel like any week in Steilacoom is an amazing week, but thats because I'm starting to realize that my days are numbered here with these people. Transfers are in two weeks and I'm working feverishly to accomplish all that the Lord wants. I may be staying I may be going, I won't know til the Saturday before transfer day, but I'm already nervous. I want to go wherever the Lord needs be, it will just be hard to leave the people here, they've become home and family. My stake president is an uncanny twin of Uncle Matt and every time I see him I just want to give him a big hug... but alas I can't. Give Uncle Matt a hug for me! Elisia Atlas Tuilagi was baptized this last Saturday! It was an amazing service. We've been working with Elisia for several weeks now. He is amazing. He is 19 and a week before his baptism we gave him a copy of preach my gospel and he was so excited about it that he just couldn't listen to the lesson we had planned. Note to self: don't give out anything exciting prior to the lesson :) When he bore his testimony at his baptism he said he was already working to go on a mission in a year and that he couldn't wait. This last Sunday he was ordained to the Aaronic Priesthood and sustained to the office of Priest! I'm so excited to hear him bless the sacrament! This thursday he is going with the ward on a temple baptisms trip up in Seattle! He's such an amazing example to me. His parents didn't come to his baptism and aren't speaking with him. But Saia is determined. I wish I could explain in words how amazing he is. The miracles continue to pour in. On Sunday, Milton, an 81 year old investigator that I've been meeting with since my first week in Washington, finally came to church this last Sunday! His wife has been inactive all her life and we've been teaching him the lessons for weeks now. We finally got the courage and asked him to be baptized on the 18th of this month and he actually came to church! Sometimes people just need the goal in front of them and no matter how impossible it may seem to you, they go for it. I can't tell you how much I adore and love this couple they've become family to me. To see him come to church for the first time was more than words can describe. Ariana is a nine year old little girl and the grandaughter of a less active Hawaiin women in the ward. We started meeting with her a few weeks ago and Arianna came to church with her grandma for the first time in months. While sitting next to Ariana I asked her how her book of mormon reading was going. She leaned over excited and said she only have five chapters left! She has read the whole childrens book of mormon in a matter of weeks. We're going to have her start reading the real BOM this week. She's so smart and remembers everything we teach! I wish I had her capacity to learn! She is set to be baptized this Sunday (18th) as well! My companion has been hit with a cold of death and has been such a sport through all of it. We just hope its not strep, but she's been sick for a whole week now. Keep Sis. Conger in your prayers. We're seeing amazing things happen as we work hard. We're really struggling to find new people to teach, but we're barely able to handle the teaching appointments we have now, so we're not really sure what to do. I'm finding new ways each day to more fully apply the atonement of Jesus Christ into my life. We've been studying the atonement as a mission the past couple weeks, and I've grown so much. I think I will study it all my life. There are great blessings in understanding what our Savior has truely done for us. I'm finding greater strength to tract, teach, and find as I apply the atonement in my life. I know Easter has just gone by, but I would encourage all of you to study some part of the atonement this week. We can never fully understand, but there are wonderful blessings as we strive to learn more. I'm running out of time but, I love you all and am so grateful for all that you do. Thank you for your personal emails, letters and prayers. They do SO much for me. Thank the ward for their support as well! Give everyone a hug from me! Love you all!
Sister Bradley

Monday, April 5, 2010

Never Enough Time

Dear Family,

Everyday seems to be too short. There are never enough hours in the day to do all that we need to and the nights come too quickly. Especially on P-day. I'm sorry if there are those who haven't received hand written letters in sometime, its not just you. I haven't had time to write any written letters to anyone in the last 3 weeks! I don't know where the time goes. The work here is amazing as ever. I can't believe how many miracles were seeing. I keep thinking that one day they'll stop and yet miracle after miracle happens every day. This is the true gospel of Jesus Christ. "No unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing." I have seen that to be true. The Lord is so aware of me in a small town in Washington and he is aware of all the people I'm working with. What a comfort to know that I don't have to stress about anything as long as I'm doing what the Lord wants. Thats what the gospel brings, comfort. Thats why I'm out here. I want to share the comfort and happiness with everyone. The knowledge that Jesus Christ has died for all of mankind and that he lives again and that its through him that we too will live is a message beyond price. Even greater is the knowledge that He has modern day prophets and that the same church he organized almost two thousand years ago is here right now. The spirt of this work is URGENCY! I feel like I can't do enough fast enough! I think the greatest change of my life is not the lives that I'm able to help now, but the lives I can help for the rest of my life. I would have never gained the understanding of member missionary work until I had come out and been on the other side. Elder Bednar said something in a fireside that I watched in the MTC that has stayed with me. He said, "By all means go back to your homes after two years (18 months), but never leave the mission field." I'm never have to leave the mission field! How exciting is that. It brings a whole new meaning to D + C 4! I had to come out and receive a mission call to realize that long ago I had the desire to serve and had already been called to his work. This Saturday we're having our first baptism of the transfer! Saia is a 19 year old Somoan whe Sis. Conger and I have grown to love dearly. He is already talking about a mission and when we brought him a copy of Preach My Gospel he wouldn't even put it down long enough for us to share a lesson ;) He's going to be a rock in the church! Unfortunatly his family is very unsupportive and will likely kick him out of their home after his baptism. I'm in awe of his unwavering faith and desire to be baptized. It makes me realize the sacrifices I've made to be a member and to serve the Lord are very little. We have another 4 investigators set to be baptized in the coming three weeks. Specifically Nicole, Arianna, Matt, and Milton. Milton and his member wife Liane are in there 70's and tell me I remind them of their grandaughter :) It makes me feel like I'm not far from family. Keep Milton in your prayers, he's still got a ways to go. Jakki (baptized last transfer) is amazing as ever and attends church weekly and is very active in the Relief Society. I love her. I love these people! I'm already mourning the days when I'll have to leave the city of Steilacoom. What wonderful people are her, members and non members alike. I'm so excited for Elyse and I love you all. Thanks for all your prayers and letters. I'll do better to write next week I promise! Love you!

Love Sister Bradley