Tuesday, May 31, 2011
This week was packed with stuff to write home about. I even made a list last night so I wouldn't forget all the funny, wonderful, one unfortunate, and spiritual experiences I had this week. It was an incredible week. It got off to a rough start, as many weeks that turn miraculous do. Sister Bowles and I were stopping by several potential investigators homes when a small dog bolted into the street. It was a pretty scarring experience for Sis. Bowles, as she was driving and the small dog went under the car. She was a bit histerical as she got out of the car. The little dog didn't make it and she called our district leader looking for sympathy and he couldn't help but laugh at how histerical she was. It somehow how spread like wild fire thru the mission. Poor Sis. Bowles.
We had an incredible time in the temple on Thursday. A little over half the mission filled a session, using everysingle chair and even then some. It's an experience I will not soon forget, nor will I likely ever have the opportunity to experience such a thing again. Two of my favorite things in the whole world combined into one: temple work and missionary work :) Our mission president invited us to go to the temple with a specific question and to seek for the answers as we were there. As I pondered on what I wanted to learn, I decided that after hearing so many talks in conference about knowing vs. becomming, I wanted to know how you could know when you are becomming and not just simply knowing and doing. I didn't get the answer until the end and while sitting in the temple the scripture Moroni 7:48 came to my mind so clearly. "when he shall come, we shall be like him, for we shall see Him as He is..." It was evident as I sat and looked at the dozens of missionaries there in the temple who was becomming and who was simply doing. The only difference between doing and becomming is consistency. Those who "do" and "know" consistently, become like Christ. Those who "do" and "know" only some of the time are simply pretending. I'm striving daily not to be the latter.
Eden was baptized this last Sunday! It was such an incredible service. After she was baptized she was about to walk out of the font when she turned around and looked at her husband and her 9 mo. old son, smiled and waved at them both. I wouldn't trade seeing that smile for ten thousand free trips to Disneyland. She has made such an incredible change in her life, and her husband can see it. At first he told us that he really wanted to support his wife, but that he wasn't even a little interested in converting. After teaching the word of wisdom, he discovered he would have to quit chewing, which drove him even further away from the idea. And yet by small and simple things are great things brought to pass. He's come to church twice now, and he definitely felt something at Eden's baptism. Just a few days ago he informed us that he had bought his last can of chewing tobacco. The gospel of Jesus Christ can empower people to overcome things they ordinarily could not. I truly have seen that for God, nothing is impossible.
The week ended with an incredible crazy miracle. A sister in our mission had to go home last Saturday because of stress fractures in her foot. It's thrown everything a little crazy. President was going to have to close an area to missionaries all together. Sunday the thought came to my mind that I should ask a YSA girl in our ward if she'd want to go to Tacoma for a while and help out. I mentioned it to her and she got so stoked for it. So I called my mission president who thought it was a great idea. From mentioning it to her on Sunday afternoon. She was set apart by the stake president here in Elma Monday at noon. We took her to Tacoma with her new companion, where she will be serving as a temporary full time missionary for the next nine weeks! She has a name tag and everything. She's only 18 and is by far one of the most incredible people I've met on my mission. What an opportunity! It's amazing what the Lord can do in such a short amount of time. In just 24 hours she prepared for a mission for nine weeks! She's so cool!
Our little friend Adrianna came to us this Sunday and told us that she had prayed and that she was excited that she got a yes this time. She's getting baptized June 8th, next week! Because she's twelve they are having her baptism be the actual mutual activity! How cool is that? We're so excited for her! Things are going great. Despite the rain that is here today, we are in high spirits and excited to do the work! I hope you are all well! Love you!
Posted by Laurie at 3:05 PM
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
I don't have much time this week as I spent it all writing small short emails, but I've had a wonderful week in Aberdeen. I've also learned that I really am the clumsiest person in the whole Washington Tacoma Mission, and maybe in the whole world. I totally face planted it coming down some concrete stairs while tracting earlier this week. Have an intense bruise on my knee to show for it and I split my thumb open in the process. Not two days later I'm coming down our investigator Eden's stairs and I procede to roll my other ankle and tank it down her stairs. Don't worry, no severe lasting damage, once again just any pride and dignity. I sure have had a lot of physically humbling experiences. When Sister Field found out she just paused stunned and told me that I needed to have a full body examination when I got home... she was serious. I can't figure out why I can't keep my head about my shoulders. lol oh well.
This week was busy and a little crazy as I was asked to speak in the Ocean Shores branch and Sister Bowles was asked to speak here in the Grays Harbor ward. We both spoke on member missionary work, although if I had had my way, I would have had Sister Bowles give her talk in both places, but unfortunately, the wards run at the same time. She's an incredible speaker and teacher. She is so much further than where I was when I'd been out a year. I'm jealous of the remaining six months she has.
We're excited this coming week for Eden's baptism. This last week for the first time she said the prayer in front of us. We were on splits so I wasn't there, but I was so proud of her. She can be pretty shy. We are also really excited for Adrianna, she is 12 and will be getting baptized in two weeks. She's been waiting for her dad to reactivate so he could baptize her, but she wants to go to the temple now and wants to be baptized. She knows everything though and basically teaches us the lessons. We're excited for her baptism in the upcomming weeks.
I'm grateful for all your prayers and letters! Love you!
Posted by Laurie at 12:29 PM
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
It was so good to get to hear all of your voices! It feels a bit surreal to remember and think about anything before my mission, and for that matter anything afterwards. Transfers were yesterday and Sister Bowles and I felt like over protective parents watching their daughter go off to college, as Sister Field was sent to Tacoma. She's in the same ward I served in for several months last year. I'm not too worried about her, but I miss having her with us dearly. It all feels so quiet with out her around. Sis Bowles and I will be recovering for some time.
We are very excited as we had some amazing milagros this week. The spanish elders taught me that one :) I went out to Ocean Shores ( a small branch of about 50 people that we cover) for Sunday service, and two investigators that we had found the previous week were both there! Joyce came with her less active husband Tom and she loved the sacrament meeting. Which was all centered around mothers. The young men all brought out corsages? lol flowers that women pin to there dresses. And Joyce absolutely love everything about it. We excpect to have her on date for baptism in just a couple weeks. Dina also came to church and brought with her, her non member daughter who was just visiting. Dina was a referral from the ward mission leader up there and I was FLOORED when I looked back and saw her sitting there. She is going to Beliz this summer for work and even asked if we could help her find a chapel in Beliz! How cool is that?
As for Aberdeen, I didn't even wear a coat today! The weather is pretty glorious and I am basking in the sunshine. I've been able to ponder so much on my Savior and the symbolism of the actual sun that He is in our lives. Being one who went with out sunshine for several months, I can't even fathom what it would be like to travel in darkness with out the knowledge of the literal Son of God. Aberdeen seems so lost and the worst part is I often feel that they don't even care. If they only knew what it was that Christ is offering. If they only kept there door open long enough to hear it. I want it for them so badly! I never thought I could be so frustrated with agency until I've seen people use it so unrighteously. But my testimony grows stronger as I see those that do grasp the message of the restored gospel. How grateful I am for those moments. I love you all!
Love Sister Bradley
Posted by Laurie at 7:48 PM
Monday, May 2, 2011
The weeks seem to pass in a blink of an eye. Not a day goes by that I'm not aware of how quickly time is passing. We had an incredible week here in Aberdeen. We've been really struggling as of late to find new people to teach. So we decided to trek it out to Ocean Shores. There is a little branch of 40 members out there that don't have missionaries right now. Its quite the distance from Aberdeen and we didn't really have the miles, but the spirit led us there. He always knows what He is doing. As we were able to tract on the street where the church was and we found two different people to come on a tour. One was a young girl whose mom wanted her to come with us. She is only 13, but her grandparents are mormon, and her mother has wanted her to get involved. She's a sweet girl who already has so much light in her eyes. The other was a mom with her son. She has met with missionaries in the past, but had some serious misunderstandings about what we believed. Unfortunately she works on Sundays. It's hard for us to teach them as they're 30 miles away from us but I'm confident God will provide a way.
The weather here is a little bi-polar, but yesterday it almost reached 70 and the sun was out! Dare I say I almost got hot lol. I am however doing my best to be grateful, because I know I will be coming home to a blazing hot Utah. I'll be sad to leave Washington at this time of year, as June, July, and August are GLORIOUS months here.
I look forward to getting to talk to you on Sunday! Not sure what time we'll be calling yet, but I'll let you know on Saturday. I love you all! Have a wonderful week!
Love Sister Bradley
p.s. We saw a rather large beached whale when we went to ocean shores, it was HUGE. Pictures to come next week when I remember to bring my attachement! Love you!
Posted by Laurie at 6:57 PM