Monday, May 24, 2010
It's been a truely miraculous week here in Steilacoom. I don't know if I told you about Heather yet, but we've been meeting with her for some time now, about 6 weeks. She's been coming to church since September but because of a really scary situation with her ex boyfriend whose physically abusive, she hasn't been able to get baptized. About three weeks ago we knelt in prayer with her and Sister Johnson a sister from the ward. We said four prayers. First I said one, then Sister Fox, then Sister Johnson (who is German, so she said it in German) and than Heather, one after the other. We were all praying to know when Heather could get baptized. As my companion and I sat in a small classroom in the church with these two women I felt spirit fill the room. When Heather finished her prayer I asked her if she knew when she could be baptized and through tears all she could say was "I just feel like right now." Sister Fox and I looked at eachother and knew the 23rd of May was the soonest. So with faith filled prayers we sent Heather to look for an appartment on a meager salary, with two children to provide for. The Lord loves his children. Heather went through a valley of trials to get to this weekend and just four days ago we decided to push her baptism to the 29th, because she was unable to move out in time. With great faith Heather pushed forward and just two days ago she moved out of her ex's home with not much more than the clothes on her back and her two children with no place to go. Her first question as soon as she saw us was "Can I still be baptized on the 23rd?" She now has an appartment and is moving in on the first of the month. The ward has just taken her in and has basically provided the furnishings of her whole appartment. As I watched her be baptized yesterday I couldn't help but smile as I watched this woman, who has sacrificed so much, enter into the water, happier than anyone I've ever seen. She has a great understanding of sacrifice and what really matters in life. I'm finding her faith is strengthening my own. I learned a valuable lesson. When we ask the Lord for a miracle, we have to continue to press forward in faith not just believeing it will happen, but knowing it will. That's what hope is! Hope is trust that the promises we've made with the Lord will be honored. It's believing that despite how impossible it may be, trusting Him to the very end. Heather did just that! She is so amazing. I wish I could bottle up her faith and save it for when days get hard. I love this work! I love being in Washington and especially here in Steilacoom. I hope you're all doing well. I love you!
Love Sister Bradley
Monday, May 17, 2010
I can't believe another week has gone by . This week has been a little bit crazy but good. We're kind of in a rebuilding stage in Steilacoom right now. Our teaching pool seemed to evaporate in a matter of days. We're still working with Heather, she's on date for the 29th of May. Its been a long road for her. She's been coming to church since last September. We put her 14 year old daughter on date for the first weekend in June just this past week. We are excited for them. We have an appointment with Nicole this Tuesday for the first time since she pushed back her baptism so we're hoping to put her back on date for the 29th of May. Please keep her in your prayers. I was able to borrow a copy of the Miracle of Forgivness from one of the sisters in the ward and am trying to race through it. I should have read it years ago, but I'm grateful to be reading it now. I feel like it lifts my spirits every evening when I can actually get into it. I was able to get my own copy of the Ensign for conference and have been reading it everyday. I love the conference issues of the ensign. I'm so glad I brought the last couple of years with me. I use them often in teaching lessons. Sister Fox and I are doing marvelous, were both still healthy and working hard. We're excited for the coming weeks, we really feel some great miracles are going to happen as we pray for them. I've been learning alot about faith and miracles. I especially love D and C 63:8-10. Faith has to come first. Miracles don't happen to strengthen faith, but are caused by faith, and by cause and effect also strenghten it. We're working hard to strenghten our faith to see those miracles. Tell Amelia Rose happy Birthday from me! HAPPY BIRTHDAY LIA! There should be something coming in the mail just for you this week. (Still waiting on a b-day calandar mom, I can only remember so many birthdays ;) I love you all thanks for your prayers and support. Til next Monday :D
Love Sister Bradley
Monday, May 10, 2010
This will be a short one, I only have ten minutes! It was so good to get to hear all of your voices on Sunday! I can't believe we're already well into May! I'm worried that I'll be headed home before I know it. People don't even think of me as new anymore and it feels like I just got here. This week was a re-building week. Nicole's baptism fell through, but I'm hopeful that she'll be ready in a few weeks. We had one of our investigators come for the first time in about 10 weeks this last Sunday which was really good. He's actually a youth teacher at a Lutheran church and is very active in his faith. He has a testimony of the Book of Mormon, but he wants to know more before he's baptized. I can't tell you how many times we've gone over Alma 32 with him. He just needs to feel it. We should have several baptisms on the 23rd. We're super excited for Heather and her daughter Daysha! They are so ready to be baptized and have been coming to church for months and months but are just now making the changes for baptism! This week we found a women named Marie who has just adopted a little Chinese baby named Annali, she is SO adorable and the woman is so excited to learn more she even invited us over for lunch and asked us if she could have a Book of Mormon before we could even offer. She's an amazing woman and wants to adopt even more babies from China! I just love her and am so excited to see her accept the gospel, for some reason I can already picture her with her husband and that little baby girl getting sealed in the temple. I could see it so clearly! I'm so excited! I just got the Ensign conference issue and am SO excited to start reading it and to mark it up! I suggest you all do the same! Go get your own copy, and cover it if you can! I love reading through all the ones I brought and often use them when teaching lessons to recent converts! That is scriptrue! And its more frequently than not exactly what I need to hear. I especially loved Hollands talk from the May ensign! Read it it is so powerful! Love you all!
Love Sister Bradley
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Its been another great week in Steilacoom! We had a baptism this Saturday. Ariana Aiulopotea-Fisaga was baptized with two other kids from the ward. Ariana is the nine year old that Sister Conger and I started teaching 6 weeks ago. It was a lot of work and stress leading up to the baptism but it all went through great. A lot of Ariana's family are not members or less active so it was really neat to see them all come as she was confirmed in Sacrament Meeting this week. We've also been teaching another part member family in the ward, the Adkins. The dad isn't a member but as we've been working with the mom and Max the 8 year old to prepare him for baptism the dad has been coming to church and is so supportive of Max. We hope to see him baptized later this month. We had a really neat experience with Nicole this week. She's still set to be baptized this next weekend, we're thinkin we'll do it on Saturday though so it doesn't interfere with Mothers day stuff for the ward and individual families. Saia has been doing GREAT and actually blessed the sacrament this last Sunday! That was really neat to listen to and watch, and he did a great job. He was also able to baptize Max Adkins because his dad coudln't. It has been really neat to see him just taken in by the ward and using the priesthood as often as he can. I'm so excited for him. He goes out on splits with the Elders in the Lake City ward every week. He is going to be so prepared going into the MTC. His conversion story is a powerful one too. Today we had the opportunity to actually go to a park right on the beach of the Puget sound. It was CRAZY windy, but we were able to place a few cards. We even stopped the car in the middle of the road to talk to a woman who was walking her dog and she seemed so touched and told us that she had been looking for a church. It was just crazy. We had to stop the car right in the middle of a turn pike of sorts to talk to this woman and she gave us her address and told us to come by. The funny thing is she did not look like someone who would be interested. Sister Fox and I have just been working on talking to EVERYBODY which is really scary at first, even with a name tag. But my testimony is strengthened everyday as I see the people that Lord puts in our path. I wonder how many opportunites of prepared people pass us by because we're too scared to just open our mouths. The Lord is doing the same thing for you all. As a missionary we're more aware of it, but He is preparing people all over the world and all we have to do is just speak up and share what makes us happy. We get to go to the Bellvue temple this Wednesday and I couldn't be more excited! I've missed the temple. Take advantage that you have so many so close to you. There is spirtual strength to be gained as you go and serve for others no longer in this world. Its missionary work! I'm looking forward to calling home this Sunday (May 9th)! We'll be calling around 7pm your time, but it just depends on which one of us calls first! We get 40 whole minutes to talk so be ready! Thanks for all your love and support! I love you all!
Love Sister Bradley