Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Packed meetings and tracting surprises :D

Dear Family,

The rain decided to return to Aberdeen, but it isn't nearly as bad as before and with almost a whole week of sunshine, I think I'm good to go for another 50 days of no sunshine, lets just hope I don't have to. We had a beautiful week all the way til Easter Sunday, where we woke up to cloudy gray skies with the usual mist. The rain here is so fine that often it just feels like we're standing under those mister things that they have for the lines in Disneyland to keep people cool. My hair has not handled it well.

In spite of the weather, we had a wonderful Easter. I love that Easter is always on Sunday. It helps to remember the true meaning of Easter. We spent the whole week inviting all of Aberdeen to a special Easter service. We're not quite sure what happened, but Sacrament Meeting was PACKED! The bishop when he stood up said that half the congragation was new faces and that before the end of the meeting he asked everyone to meet one new person. If I had to guess I would say there were well over 30 non members, but we couldn't even begin to talk to them all. Not to mention all of the out of towners that came to visit family. I just tried to talk to as many people as I could.

Eden and Davis were both there. They are SO amazing. Eden asks for more chapters to read in the Book of Mormon every time we see her, last time she just said that she wanted to start from the begining and has been cruising through the Book of Mormon. She and Davis both stayed for the whole three hours. Her little 8 month old Holton was relatively well behaved except for the closing prayer. Eden's grandparents are very much against her joining the church and she receives anti from them almost on a daily basis. She already has such a strong testimony and knows how to recognize the spirt. Every time she talks to her grandma she says she just doesn't like the way it makes her feel. We're still working to get permission from Eden and Davis' mom to allow Davis to get baptized as he is only 11. That might take a miracle.

I love being a missionary, but especially at this time of year. I love knocking doors and sharing my testimony of Jesus Christ and His restored gospel. People expect it this time of year and I feel as though there hearts are softened by the season. Our companionship spent the last week reading talks from the apostles on the atonement and sharing atonement and Christ centered messages with everyone we met with. I felt the spirit lots this week.

It was also really exciting to see Toby sustained and ordained to the priesthood this last Sunday as well. He's definitely here to stay. I'm doing well and loving my companions, we laugh together everyday, mostly at me. They are teaching me lots, but I still have lots to learn and so little time to learn it. I love and pray for you all!

p.s. While tracting this week we met a man in the street with his 18 foot python... I may or may not have held it ;D Enjoy the pics!

Love Sister Bradley

Monday, April 25, 2011

Brings all things to your remembrance

April 18, 2011
What a week!

The last two days have been spent basking in the fact that we've been able to do the work in SUNSHINE! Thats right, there was lttle to no gray in Grays Harbor this weekend. I went tracting yesterday with out a rain coat. It felt pretty amazing. I was told yesterday that Aberdeen went for 39 straight days with NO sun, and it that it rained all 39 of them. But as amazing as the sunshine has been that wasn't even the greatest part of our week.

On Wednesday the Spanish elders gave us a call and told us that they set up a church tour for us with a young mom named Eden. We weren't sure how solid it was, but happily followed up with her. We called Eden the next day to confirm the appointment and she actually sounded way excited. As we were on our way to her house I wasn't paying much attention until I realized that I had tracted Eden's street just 3 weeks earlier. Elder Hardy (the spanish elder) told me that he was on Eden's street and he felt he really needed to knock on her door. He knew that there were no Spanish people living inside, but he said the feeling was strong enough that he knocked on the door anyway. Eden agreed almost immediately to come on a tour. When we knocked on her door a day later, she was all ready and brought her 8 month old son and her 11 year old little brother with her. They LOVED the tour. We were a little bit worried about getting them to church as it was stake conference this week, but she came! She drove 30 miles to come to church her first Sunday. Not to mention she did it with an infant. She's incredible. She was on date for baptism for May 1st, but her husband is currently in Utah and she wants him to be there with her. He is taking the class to become a licensed truck driver. We're hoping her little brother Davis will be able to be baptized on the first though. It's amazing that Elder Hardy knocked on her door. I don't know if I would have gone back to Eden's street so soon.

We're excited for the coming weeks. I feel like there are so many people who are prepared and ready and that we just need to find them. I especially enjoyed atteding Stake Conference in Elma this Sunday. Its only the second stake conference I've been to on my mission. There were some incredible talks. One was a young adult who just returned from his mission in Henderson NV :) He shared a great message from Alma 8 about how members can make all the difference in missionary work, just as Amulek made all the difference when Alma went back to the city of Ammonihah.

I was talking to Sister Bowles and Sister Field this week and I realized as I discussed my mission with them how grateful I am for the lessons I've learned out here. There are undoubtedly things that I've learned in the mission field because of the situations I've been in that I could have never learned otherwise. I will be different for the rest of my life because of the incredible lessons the Lord has taught me here. Now comes the responsibilty to remember those things I've learned and to apply them not only here, but forever. I have a great desire to become better and better each day. The promise given in John 14:26 becomes ever more important as I learn more and more about the gospel. I NEED to remember these things! The Lord in his infinite wisdom has provided a way that we all can remember the things he has taught us. We just need to remain worthy of the Holy Ghost. What a blessing!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Hello family,

Another week has come and gone and I can hardly believe that its been seven days since I last sent an email. Our time to actually be out proselyting went out the window this past week as Monday was our preparation day, Tuesday was spent in a new missionary meeting for Sister Field, Wednesday was a zone conference in Olympia, Thursday was our zone meeting in Elma, and Friday we did our weekly planning all morning. Although I feel like I learned a lot of great things, I feel like I've forgotten so many as we've had little to no time to apply them. This next week shouldn't be as bad, but we do have our Return and Reports, gratefully, they've decided to combine them with our zone meeting, which will allow us to be in our area a whole extra morning. Poor Aberdeen has been a bit neglected.

Sadly it shows, as we stopped by one of our investigators, Mike, he told us he would definitely be at church but then called us the next day to tell us that he hadn't been able to sleep all night and that he didn't feel good about coming. I think thats been the hardest thing for me to see on my mission. To know that I've done everything I could have done and to still have people commit and then to have them fall back. I just have to keep reminding myself that everyone has their agency and to just pray for them. It's SO hard though.

Right now Sister Bowles, Field and I are really praying for a family to teach. We are working hard and it seems like the harder we work, the greater the opposition we face and the littler success we see. Gratefully, we've been able to eliminate discouragement. Whenever one of us seems to get down the other two are always right there to pick the other one up. I'm so happy to be here serving with these girls in Aberdeen. We know there are people out there, we just have to find them.

I'll leave you this week with a slightly humorous story that everyone should get a kick out of. Yesterday night we were leaving our dinner appointment (The Barnes family) and I may have lost my footing on the way down the stairs. I was three steps down when I saw that I had gotten spaghetti sauce on my blouse and after that my world went upside down as I slipped on the very wet, moss covered wooden stairs. My two companions were behind me, and luckily the two spanish elders were already down the stairs as I proceeded to slip down the remaining 10 stairs. My skirt balooned up like a parachute as my right shoe flew off my foot. There was a priceless look of horror on the elders faces, gratefully, because it is so stinking cold here, I've been wearing black capri spandex under my skirt for months. I have an intense bruise on my forarm, but other than that the only damage was humilation. My companions were laughing so hard at the top of the stair case that one of them almost wet her pants. I had a good laugh at the bottom of the stairs as well. Once the elders saw me laughing, they proceeded to also laugh histerically. Definitely a humorous end to a busy week.

Thanks for all your prayers and emails. Love you all!

Sister Bradley

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Spanish Miracles

I'm sorry this is going to be such a short one. I don't know where all my time goes. My companions and I have had an incredible week. We've focused on inviting EVERY single person we see on a church tour and we've seen a lot of success! Sister Bowles is an incredible missionary and Sister Field already is working like a pro. I have to work hard to keep up with them :)

I loved general conference this week. However I got the stomach flu and was grounded for the second session on Sunday and I sadly missed most of President Monson's talk. I heard Elder Scott's was good lol. I'll just have to read em all in the Ensign when it comes. I especially loved Elder Richards talk on opposition.

Funny story for the week. Neither of my companions speak any spanish and since being here with the Spanish elders and Sister Oehler I've picked up quite a bit. Enough to know how to get a referral for the spanish Elders at least. My companions and I were street contacting and we met a hispanic woman with lots of little kids with her. She quickly said she didn't speak English and so I began to introduce who we were in Spanish and asked if she would be interested in learning more. My comps jaws dropped and as soon as the woman left Sister Bowles blurts out "ARE YOU BILINGUAL?" I about died of laughter. My rudimentary spanish skills alsmost passed for fluency. I was on cloud nine. Unfortunately the woman wasn't interested.

I love you all and pray for you daily. My testimony grows ever stronger each day. Til Next week.

Love Sister Bradley