Friday, December 31, 2010

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Everyday is Priceless

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

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Miracles are wrought by faith :)

My family and friends,

Crazy week here in the WA-TAC. We had our Christmas party as a mission, which was amazing. I love the spirit of Christmas. We have a goal as a mission to see 200 people enter the waters of baptism in the month of December. We are well on our way. I did get packages for Christmas so thank you! They are now sitting under our little tree that a member let us borrow. Mom I did buy some boots at wal-mart, so no worries :)

Some news! President Bowen called Sister Burgess and I early last week and told us we would be getting a third companion last week. Sister Directo is from the Phillipines and is a sister missionariy that is at Temple Square but gets to visit us in the WA-TAC for 3 months. We LOVE her! And she has brought a great spirit to our companionship... along with many miracles.

What an extraordinary week it has been here in Sequim. Sharing all the miracle we witnessed this week would fill volumes. I wish I had the time to share them all with you. You'll have to be satisfied with some of my favorites. The first is a story about a man named Raj Singh. He's a very kind hindu man. The three of us prayed so hard that we could find a family of angels to put on the tree in the mission office (the angels represent people baptized this month, It looks like Washington is going to have a white christmas after all). We started our evening of tracting with little success. Every door seemed to be vacant on the other end. And it was cold, very cold. It was an hour into knocking doors when we met Raj. The smell of Indian food flooded out his warm home when he opened the door. He began not being interested at all. But something changed as we shared why we'd come to his door. He agreed to come on a tour of the church. He has a family with two children and his wife. Unfortunately he had some family come in from out of town unexpectedly, but he called us and told us he still really wanted to bring his family to the church. It's an amazing thing to see the spirit work on somebody in such a short time. This man was not interested, but the spirit can soften hearts so quickly if they are humble and prepared. I love seeing the change in theire eyes. This work is real. The spirit is there.

Another amazing miracle we found by the name of Paul Preston. His dad, Mike was baptized as a child but hasn't gone to church since he was a child. We stopped by to meet Mike, but his son Paul answered the door, Mike wasn't home. We talked to Paul for a brief second and then left. As we were in the car I felt like the spirit was almost yelling at me for not talking to Paul more. He seemed so sad, but we'd already left his door. The next 24 hours were almost torture as I felt an imense amount of urgency to go back to see Paul. We went back on Saturday night. Paul opened up to us immediately as he shared that just last week he had tried to take his own life for the 7th time. We had a member pick him up and we brought him down to the church almost immediately. It was one of the most sacred experiences of my mission and one of the most miraculous. Words came out of my mouth that I had never said, words that were not mine. Paul commited to be baptized on Christmas day. He came to church on Sunday and left smiling, saying he really felt something different. He went to the Young Single Adult family home evening last night and we taught a lesson on modern day prophets and apostles and what peace they bring into our lives. Again he left smiling. I don't think Paul has smiled much in his life. We met again with him today and had a powerfull discussion in the home of some members about how he can know of the truth for him self. There is a light in his eyes that wasn't there before. He's changing before our very own eyes. We are fasting with him and the Johnson family this Sunday. This work changes people.... No its not the work that changes people, the work changes us, but the Savior changes people. He makes them whole. The joy of seeing that change is beyond words. It is in fact miraculous. Serving a mission isn't a sacrifice. I've never been so happy in my life. Most days I wish I could do this forever.

I'm so blessed this Christmas season to know that Jesus Christ lives. That he speaks to us today through his prophets and apostles. Not only that but he speaks to us personally and individually as we pray and read the scriptures. The Book of Mormon has become my best friend. I rely on it daily for strength and guidance. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is on the earth in its fullness! What an exciting time it is. We know the happiness that the world seeks. We just need the courage to open our mouths and share it! I LOVE sharing it with the people here in Sequim. I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week.

Monday, December 6, 2010


Hey Family,

The weeks seem to fly by so quickly here in Sequim. The snow is finally melted and we are now in the low 40's, but with the water so close by, I freeze anyway. There is something about the dampness in the air that just chills you to the bone. Sister Burgess and I have been working harder then ever. We love being together again after almost a year and seeing the progress we've made, we can really tell the strengths that we've gained because we knew eachother from the begining. It's always good to know that you're growing.

The Frantz family missed church for the second week in a row, which was devestating. They are a family of four. The mom and the dad really want to get baptized along with their 12 year old daughter. Unfortunately the daughter isn't the dad's biological daughter and if they were to get married they would lose a lot of child support which is keeping them above water right now. We had an amazing story about Christ and the five loaves and two fishes. We talked about not being afraid to do what the Lord asks of us and that he will provide a way if we are only obedient to his commandments. I wish I could just lend them my faith for a day. If they only knew what the Lord could do for them. They are so sincere and the gospel has already blessed their lives. I realized that sometimes our mission president probably feels the same way about us. Sometimes as missionaries we lack the faith to see miracles. I'm sure President Bowen would love to lend us his faith sometimes. However, when its gained on our own through dilligent prayer and study of the Book of Mormon and when we take that leap and expect success and expect to see angels in this work, then our faith becomes stronger. Then we can move mountains. I love learning to move mountains.

Thanks for all your prayers and support. Sorry for all the short emails, one day I'll send a long one. Hope your all having a wonderful week!

Love Sister Bradley