Sister Bradley

Sister Bradley

Monday, September 18, 2017

We have arrived Transfer 9

Hello!

Transfers were this week, and I was blessed with a wonderful new companion. Her name is Sister Alapa and is from Bountiful, Utah. Her heritage is from Hawaii, Samoa, and Tonga! I guess Mishawaka needs all the Polynesian missionaries :)

This week we did a TON of finding. We have been seeing a lot of turnover in the investigators we have, and are looking for God's elect. It used to really bother me and would make me incredibly sad when people would reject our message because I know and experience all the blessings they are currently missing, not having the fullness of the truth. However, I have come to learn there is no benefit in wasting time on those who are not prepared and will not listen right now, for "God is mindful of every people, whatsoever land they may be in; yea, he numbereth his people, and his bowels of mercy are over all the earth." I have learned to trust in the Lord's timing for these people more, and know that He loves them more than I ever could at this time, and for this reason, " I will give thanks unto my God forever." (Alma 26:37)
This is one of our encounters this week :)
*knock knock*
*opens door*
 Lady: "Are you selling something?"
 Us: "No."
 Lady: "Who do you represent?"
 Us: "Jesus Christ"
*shuts door*
lol

One of the speakers in church yesterday talked about trials and tribulation and his message rang really true to me. He first asked us to think about the results of our lives if we were to only experience complete success: so pride, impatience with others, unsympathetic, laziness because everything is handed to us, no depth of character, intolerance with others and their incompetence, selfishness, and the list goes on.
What are the results of  trials and rejection and challenges in our lives? 
C h r i s t l i k e    A t t r i b u t e s.
Yep. Humility, empathy, compassion, charity, depth in our character, kindness to others who are struggling, a strengthened desire to work hard to progress, and a greater resolve to turn to God and rely on Him. Trials and failure have the capability of molding and shaping us into Christlike individuals, if we allow it to. I have seen time and time again in my life and on my mission that the hardest experiences produce the greatest results. Just the same happened to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The hardest and most excruciating moment of His life, the Atonement, produced  S A L V A T I O N  for  A L L  those who would follow Him. And that very event or "challenge" so to speak, that Jesus Christ so willingly and lovingly performed and endured was for US. All the trials we go through are primarily for ourselves, and maybe close individuals, but His Atonement was for us. The most difficult experience our Savior pursued and successfully committed is the center of every blessing we receive, and how grateful we are for that. Trials bring the greatest blessings.

Serving with a Smile,
Sister Bradley

Pictures:
 1. Making Pupusas with Luz and the Stiths :)

 2. Aiden and I on chef duty

3. Taaaadaaaaah!

4. Also, GUESS WHO I MET?? The one and only Emily Day's *cough cough, Emily Diamond's* sister-in-law!!! (I'm still not used to the name change haha) I know I know, crazy right?? Welcome to the mission Sister Dimond!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Irreplaceable - Email from Jenny Sept. 11

Friends and family, I know this is Jesus Christ's church. I know it with all my heart. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the absolute only way to sure peace, complete joy, and lasting happiness and I was privileged to witness it first hand this week.

On Saturday, the lives of all who witnessed the baptism of Ryan, Janet, and Aiden Stith were changed. The room was packed with supportive members who were anxious to welcome them into the fold. The Spirit grew stronger and stronger throughout the program until that final moment when they entered into the waters of baptism to make a covenant and witness unto our Father that they individually, and as a family were prepared to follow Jesus Christ's example throughout their lives, to keep His commandments, and always remember Him.

The next day, they received the gift of the Holy Ghost, and I honestly didn't think it could get any better, but wow was I wrong. During Sacrament meeting when each of them individually went up to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost I was touch more and more by the Spirit and the gravity of what was happening. They all were so grateful and touched by their experience of receiving one of the most precious gifts our Heavenly Father has to offer us. Janet leaned over to us after she sat down and  said with a HUGE smile on her face, "I feel different! I feel so good! What a bummer you guys weren't able to experience this as an adult." Ryan said, "I feel like I could go to Disney World!! Except right now it's raining there..." Aiden said, "I feel different, I don't know how to describe it!" Sister Soloa'i and I were overcome with so many emotions. Never in my life have I felt that incredible of a joy before. This I believe is what the Brethren were talking about when they tell us:
"There is no more compelling work than this, nor any which brings greater satisfaction...The Lord will reward and richly bless you as you humbly and prayerfully serve Him. More happiness awaits you than you have ever experienced as you labor among His children." (First Presidency, PMG)
What I believe is more beautiful than this experience is what the future holds for the Stith family. This is only the beginning. God has so many more blessings in store for them as they prepare for the temple to seal their family unit so their marriage is not just "death do you part" but for "time and for all eternity" with their children.
 For a while, I couldn't figure out how I could possess so much love for a family that I knew so little about. It wasn't just surface or shallow, but deep and pure. But then my dear companion opened my eyes. We were feeling Charity, the pure love of Christ for them. I feel so blessed to be able to feel a fraction of the love that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ has for them. 
 God is so good. His love is so great. His blessings are endless to those who follow Him.

Serving with a Smile,
Sister Bradley

Pictures!

 1. We went around to ward members and had them write notes to the Stiths and then Heart attacked them the day before their baptism :)
 2. The one, the only, STITH FAMILY 

 3. Left to right: Aiden, Janet, Ryan and in front is Mark (he turned 7 on their baptism day, next year, Ryan will be able to baptize him!!!! :) Happy Birthday Mark!)
4. Best day of my mission.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Text Message Treasures

Sister Bradley's mom received this video and follow text from a ward member:

"Thank you so much for sharing your daughter Sister Bradley with us.  This was yesterday at the Stith Family's baptism.  We are so glad she will be staying in our ward this transfer.  My husband is the Ward Mission leader and is so impressed with our sisters.  She is a dedicated missionary and a great example to our ward.  Thank you for sharing your daughter with us!  The Sammons"

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Indianan Facebook Page - Zone Conference

An inspiring zone conference with these missionaries of the South Bend and Elkhart zones who know their purpose! Tuesday, September 5, 2017.











Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Hola - Email from Jenny Sept 5

Buenos Dias!

I went on a Spanish Exchange, and because the sisters were in a trio I was rockin' it as a third wheel, who spoke very broken EspaƱol :) apparently we got told the Book of Mormon is "death"...whatever that means, and I had no clue! Also, you want to know how many people I kissed that day?? LIKE AT LEAST 15 (on the cheek of course haha) apparently if you don't greet or say goodbye that way they think you have a hidden agenda. I learned pretty quickly to not feel awkward about it! Also, we had a very interesting dinner. We ate tostadas with spanish rice, which sounds all nice and normal, but then we added mash potatoes to it...weird right? It was pretty good though still :)

We also went on an exchange with the sisters in Warsaw. Sister Soloa'i had been dying to go to Warsaw her whole mission and her dream was finally coming true! Apparently Ben Higgens from the Bachelor is from Warsaw, Indiana and they totally went and tracked in his neighborhood trying to meet his family. Sadly, they didn't get to meet him. Meanwhile, while they were in a booshie, high class neighborhood. We were livin' the dream in a trailer park :) to be honest that was the first time I tracted in a trailer park and it was very interesting. We tried talking to everyone without much success. But of course, the very last people we talked to happened to be interested, had just barely moved and were looking for a church. Once again a testimony that God rewards us for our diligence :) We had a lesson with them later that week and they even came to church!!! :)

The Stith family...I don't even know where to start with them. They only have one lesson left, and THEY ARE SO READY!!! Last week, they were feeling kinda nervous, questioning if they were really ready for baptism, but as they pressed forward and kept learning, kept reading the scriptures, and kept choosing to keep the commandments, they now feel excited and ready to be members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Yesterday, in church, Janet even stood up and bore her testimony and told her story. I think the way I felt might be the equivalent of what a proud mom would feel as their child stood up for the first time to share their testimony :)

This week I have pondered the concept of consecration. I feel that on my mission I discover something I can do every day to be more consecrated. Looking at where I began my mission versus now, I am a completely different missionary. Our missionary handbook says "righteous conduct with influence your effectiveness as a missionary and your personal salvation." (page 7) If we can't be as obedient as possible for just 18 months or 2 years, why would God trust us with anything bigger in the next life. The first law of Heaven is obedience. To be with God, we must perfectly obey His laws. Am I perfect? Nope. Far from it actually. But, there is repentance, and the Atonement of Jesus Christ to carry us through our imperfections and allow us to change to become better, more consecrated, and more like the Savior, until we are perfect as He is. Neal A. Maxwell sums it up perfectly:

"So many of us are kept from eventual consecration because we mistakenly think that, somehow, by letting our will be swallowed up in the will of God, we lose our individuality (see Mosiah 15:7). What we are really worried about, of course, is not giving up self, but selfish things—like our roles, our time, our preeminence, and our possessions. No wonder we are instructed by the Savior to lose ourselves (see Luke 9:24). He is only asking us to lose the old self in order to find the new self. It is not a question of one’s losing identity but of finding his true identity! Ironically, so many people already lose themselves anyway in their consuming hobbies and preoccupations but with far, far lesser things...

Thus our deepest desires determine our degree of “obedience to the unenforceable.” God seeks to have us become more consecrated by giving everything. Then, when we come home to Him, He will generously give us “all that [He] hath” (D&C 84:38).

In conclusion, the submission of one’s will is really the only uniquely personal thing we have to place on God’s altar. The many other things we “give,” brothers and sisters, are actually the things He has already given or loaned to us. However, when you and I finally submit ourselves, by letting our individual wills be swallowed up in God’s will, then we are really giving something to Him! It is the only possession which is truly ours to give!" (Swallowed up in the will of the Father Neal A. Maxwell)

Serving with a Smile,
Sister Bradley


amo a las hermanas espaƱolas! Can you spot all the mosquitoes?? 

Monday, September 4, 2017

Monday, August 28, 2017

I don't even know what to name these anymore... - Email from Jenny Aug. 28

Hello hello!!!

The ward has finally stepped up their game and started fellowshipping the Stith family! This week they had 3 dinners with different families in our ward!! We told them they are almost getting fed as much as us! :)  We are so grateful the ward is starting to love them as much as we do!!! At one family's home we taught the commandments of prayer and scripture study to the Stiths and Aiden Stith said the cutest thing! He said "when I read my scriptures, I feel like God is standing next to me." Aiden is 10 years old, and I thought it was so sweet how even at that young of an age, he could feel the power that comes into our lives as we read the word of God.

We had a cool experience this week as we went finding. These two ladies were sitting outside of this house so we decided to start talking to them, they both immediately told us not to waste our time because they weren't interested. We asked if we could serve them in anyway, one lady named Stefanie told us that she had some kittens she was trying to find a home for and asked if we wanted to see them. We excitedly told her yes and she brought out two little kittens! This gave us more time to talk to her and get to know her. She told us that she met with missionaries before 20 years ago, but wasn't interested in what they had to say because she had her own beliefs, she told us they kept trying to get her to read a book (the Book of Mormon) but she wouldn't. We told her more about the Book of Mormon and after explaining it she wanted one and was excited to read it!!! This experience  gave me hope for people who I have taught on my mission but weren't ready to accept the doctrines. Who knows, maybe in 20 years a missionary will run into them :)

Also, we had another funny tracting experience. We knocked on this door (remember you never know who is going to answer the door) and this old man answered the door. He smiled at us while he said, "CONGRATULATIONS!" We were pretty surprised and taken back #1 because you never know if they are being genuine or sarcastic and #2 he said "congratulations" like we had just won the lottery or graduated college or something haha all we were doing was trying to help him increase his faith in Christ. Anyway, with surprise on our faces, he proceeded to say, " I have never met another religion as faithful as you in evangelizing and spreading God's word." So, this man was Roman Catholic and very comfortable in his religion, but he appreciated what we do and told us if we were in the neighborhood and ever needed anything that we could stop by. Like I said, you never know what's going to happen :)

Lastly, I have been studying the principle of faith quite a bit lately and I have developed such a great appreciation for it. Sometimes I feel that we think we know enough about the "basics", but I have learned quite the opposite on my mission. I feel that as I have studied the "basics" my testimony has deepened and matured much more than when I have studied the appendages to Christ's doctrine. I have learned that having faith and then a confirming witness of the Spirit means so much more than having proof. Yesterday in sacrament meeting, there was a talk on the word of wisdom and on the Book of Mormon, both talks were great, but both speakers relied on tangible proof or evidence to back up what they were saying. Don't understand me wrong, it is really nice when scientific evidence backs up what we believe and I used to be really excited about evidence, but the Holy Ghost's witness is way more powerful to me than anything else. When the Spirit bears witness of a principle, it is ingrained upon your soul, so much so that when " the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo" and why will the adversary have no power over you?  "because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall." (Hel 5:12) Jesus Christ is our foundation and is the only sure foundation that we can build on to bring us peace and joy in this life. He alone is the "author and finisher of our faith" (Heb. 12:2).
“The gift of the Holy Ghost comes after one repents and becomes worthy. … The Holy Ghost bears witness of the truth and impresses upon the soul the reality of God the Father and the Son Jesus Christ so deeply that no earthly power or authority can separate him from that knowledge.”  (Preach My Gospel)

Serving with a Smile,
Sister Bradley

Pictures!
1 & 2: Sister Soloa'i had her 18 month mark this week and one of the people she worked with in her last area came to take us to dinner to celebrate! Left to right: Soloa'i, Ashley, Me :)