Monday, October 25, 2010

Pouring down Blessings

Dear Family

Wow what a week! Some pretty amazing things happened! I'm excited to get to share them all with you. First, we've been working with the Williams family for months now. Audreaona the 17 year old daughter was baptized earlier this year. But her mother who has met morman missionaries a ton through out her whole life has been incredibly resistant. She always loves the missionaries and will often have us over for dinner, but she's never come to church and never really progressed. She's promised us half a dozen times that she would come to church but this last week we found out that she's had some big concerns. She had always been told that mormons hate black people and that we have like 30 wives...(I wonder where those rumors come from?) Anyway, Tracy (the mom) comes from a baptist background and hasn't wanted to come to church, but has let her fears and concerns get in the way. It was really amazing as we brought Amanda, who just got baptized 2 weeks ago who was also baptist and who also happens to be black to a teaching appointment at Tracy's. It changed EVERYTHING. Tracy for the first time EVER came to church this week and sat with Amanda and her girls. She said it was different, but that she liked it and loved hearing others testimonies and would be back!

This week was also really exciting as Bo Chambers, (she was baptized back in August) received her patriarchal blessing this last Sunday. She asked us to go with her. I had never been to anyone's blessing other than my own and it was an incredibly neat experience to hear such amazing promised blessings. Sister Chambers is on the activities committee and the ward has just embraced her so much. Her conversion has been a beautiful thing to see.

The rain is POURING here in Tacoma, but I like to think that its just the Lord pouring out his blessings. My faith and testimony grow with each challenge and trial. I hope everyone is doing well. Send me pictures of the snow! I actually miss it lol. Love you Lots

Love Sister Bradley

Monday, October 18, 2010

life is hard, but life is simple

Dear Family,

What a crazy week full of highs and lows. The work was a little shaky this week as we went out we felt we didn't have the teaching pool we had a few weeks ago. People either were baptized or dropped. You truly have to be finding ALL THE TIME or else your going to hit a dry spot. It's not that Sister Fox and I stopped finding, but our teaching definitely took presidence, and now we don't have as many people to teach. The ebb and flow of missionary work. I really hope that one day I will be able to master finding, teaching, and baptizing, so that all three are a constant in the work.

This last week was Stake Conference in Tacoma and there was a really neat session for recent converts of the stake and investigators. A woman we've been working with for months came to the church for the first time in 40 years. She was baptized as a child, but never confirmed. It was kind of an open testimony meeting and this woman got up and shared an amazing testimony about how she was able to get back to church. She's actually really excited about her baptism.

I was listening to some old conference sessions that I have on my I-Pod and I was listening to a talk when I suddenly realized that someone was talking to me. It was someone in the seventy and he said. Life is Hard, but life is simple. The gospel isn't hard, life is hard. I've been thinking about that a lot this past week and it's really helped me as I've started to think that missionary work isn't hard life is hard. I'm grateful to be doing missionary work. Inspite of the many diffuclties and stresses, I know that it is some of the most important work I'll ever do. Thank you for all your support and love. I love you all.

Love Sister Bradley

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Excitement, laughter, and tears

Dear Family,

This is an email full of excitement and surprises. Sister Fox and I recieved our transfer calls late morning on Saturday while we were teaching Amanda her last discussion before baptism. Elder Hill (AP) gave me my assignment call first and told me to pack up all my things... and then to promptly unpack them because I would be staying in Tacoma! YAY! He then asked for Sister Fox and she looked sad as she said "I love change I'm excited!" It was at this point that I realized that Elder Hill didn't tell me who I would be serving with. I asked Sister Fox but she hung up the phone real fast, and I was slightly irritated. Thinking we'd have to call him back she laughed at me and said, "You don't know who your serving with?" exasperated I said no. She laughed again and said "Your stuck with me!" We about died. Amanda was sooo excited. Sister Fox and I will have served 6 months together next month! We joked at transfer meeting that President has made us eternal companions. However we couldn't be happier serving together. We've become best friends, they'll have to surgically seperate us when the time comes.

The exciting news doesn't end there! We had three baptisms on Sunday. The biggest baptism either of us have ever had! Amanda was amazing and Sister Fox and I were able to witness her and her now husband, Craig be married by the bishop just an hour before her baptism. One of our recent converts Bo Chambers is an excellent seamstress? and made Amanda's wedding dress. While we were take pictures we had them both stand in front of a picture of the Seattle temple in the church and take their wedding pictures. Craig, who has very little knowledge about the church asked why they were taking a picture with the funny looking building and Amanda hits him in the shoulder and says "Because we're gonna go get sealed!" I couldn't decide if I wanted to laugh, cry, or scream out of excitment. Craig came to church for the first time with all but two of their kids. He is now officially investigating and the Bishop is fellowshipping him.

The baptism was really neat. Sister Fox and Sister Lines sang Come thou Fount and the spirit was really strong. Ruth and Brandon Poirier were also baptized. They are two kids of a single mother who is a convert to the church as well. We saw a lot of tender mercies that lead to their baptism as well. We've been teaching their family for some time now, but the Lord really helped soften the mothers heart, she was worried they weren't ready. But as we spent week after week, month after month teaching them as family, those children truely have gained a testimony of the Gospel. I think they will do a lot to strengthen their mothers testimony.

Erin wasn't able to come to church, we haven't seen her in a few days, keep her in your prayers. We had a lot of miracles on Sunday as well, we had 5 investigators at church and 2 non members that we intend to make investigators this week! I'm thrilled to be in Tacoma and know this is right were I'm supposed to be and am excited to work hard. I'm learning a lot about hard work and always feel like I can work harder :D I love you all.

Love Sister Bradley

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Monday, October 4, 2010


Dear Family,

It's been a fast paced week here in Tacoma. The weather has really taken a turn and when it doesn't even get into the 60's with this humidity its down right freezing, but I kind of like it. It reminds me a lot of Northern California actually. Things are going really well. We had a wonderful turn out at conference. We got 5 investigators to different sessions between Saturday and Sunday, and thats not including the ones that watched from home, but the ones that actually came to the church to watch it with us and the ward. I love watching conference at the church, I have no problem staying awake and I'm able to take really great notes. I should have been watching conference at the church for years! I'm SO proud of Lia for watching all of it! I don't think I did that til I was an adult. Way to go Bug! Our investigators really LOVED conference. We have two baptisms this next weekend. Amanda and Brandon. We're excited for them both! Amanda is actually being married by the bishop just before her baptism! It would take pages and hours to write her whole story, mabye I'll try to write it all down and send you a hard copy. She truly has been tried beyond what I thought many could endure and her faith has grown SO strong.

We had a really neat miracle happen this week. Do you remember Craig, our investigator who passed away last month? Well I told you about his neighbor (Erin) who was the one who came out and told us what had happened to him when we were knocking at his door. Sister Fox felt prompted to stop by her place again when she was on a split, which is really inspired because I don't know if I could have walked up the stairs to the complex again just to say hello to a woman who I felt was certainly not interested and right next door to Craigs appartment. But she listened to that beautiful still small voice and WOW the Holy Ghost knows what he is doing. Erin came on a church tour the next evening and has been SO prepared for the message. She took a Book of MOrmon and is reading it faithfully. She even came to an afternoon session of conference and really liked it. Her WHOLE family is Jehova's Witness and she has felt really pressured to join that faith, so we haven't been pushy, but we've been really bold in testifying and teaching her and I can already see a change in her. We've since then walked up the stairs to her and Craig's appartment complex many times, and although each time I can't help but feel a heavy sadness in my heart, I also feel a contrasting joy that the Lord really is in charge of this work. I don't know if Erin would have ever come to church if we hadn't heard the sad news of Craigs passing from her.

I've thought a lot about the messages of confrerence and I keep thinking about the huge focus on agency and choice. We are agents unto ourselves and we are to act, not to be acted upon. I think its going to be much harder to that in the coming months and years. I loved the simple advice they gave us of reading our scriptures every day, praying, going to church, doing service, having family home evening and prayer etc. Nothing in their counsel has changed! But these things are beccoming increasingly important in a rapidly changing world. We must act now or the world will act for us and we become acted upon. I love conference! I love the Prophets voice! It brings peace to my soul. I love and miss you all!

Love Sister Bradley