Sister Bradley

Sister Bradley

Monday, October 30, 2017

Hello Fishers!

Hello from Indiana!
Well it is officially winter here...seriously, and it hasn't even snowed yet! My new companion is named Sister Degener (yeah, no one can say her last name, it's German!) and she is from Southern California, so this weather has been a bit of a shock to her :) 

Little background on what Fishers is like:
  • It is a super wealthy area
  • We have 120 primary children in our ward :) (confirmed by Bishop)
  • There are some deaf people in the ward, so we had an ASL interpreter in our class, that was fun :)
  • There are no soliciting signs in almost every neighborhood
  • There is lots of potential :)
We did a TON of finding and had a lot of really amazing experiences :) We knocked on the door of a man named Brad and he was SO nice, he siad he wasn't super religious and would be totally willing to let us come back! He also has some teenage children, so they are potentials too :) We also ended up giving a Book of Mormon to a man named Barry who told us he was curious about the Book of Mormon and had always wanted to read one! He also told us that he is out of town a LOT (like 50% of the time) and had come home 15 minutes before we knocked on his door! :)

Our Saturday was a little rough, not going to lie. The very first door we knocked on a lady yelled at us and told us we were soliciting our religion and that she was going to call the police....sooooo, we moved to a different neighborhood, and met some nice people, and then we pushed a fancy doorbell that people have connected to their phones so they can still answer their door even if they are away. So this lady starts talking to us and then she also starts telling us that the police were going to be called on us...sooooo, we left that neighborhood too. My poor new companion, that definitely doesn't build your confidence. I told her that because we were facing so much opposition that must mean that something great must have been coming our way :)
We kept finding, and after a man gave us a sermon about how the democractic is of the devil and anyone who joins it is going to hell (this guy was kinda nuts) and a pastor's wife was really rude to us, we met a lady named Janelle.
Janelle was working in her garage on some dressers and told us she was on a time crunch. We offered to help her with her project, and she said, "Are you serious?" We told her yes and she said, "Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, I am going to cry, you have no idea how much this means to me." we rolled  up our sleeves and got to work :) She told us a lot about herself and this lady totally needs the gospel! She is recovering from some addictions and is trying to turn her life around :) she is moving and we offered help and service to her and she was so grateful! She has a lot of health problems so it is a miracle that she was even out that day! She called us her "angels" and profusely thanked us. God never ceases to amaze me. I had been praying in my heart for someone to be open and to talk to us, especially after what had happened earlier, and He answered my prayer.

The next day we went finding yet again, and thankfully, we only talked to nice people. My companion told me that she wasn't sure she could take another mean person, so Heavenly Father definitley blessed us once again.

This week I Iooked a little deeper in Moroni 10 to look at all the things Moroni "exhorts" us to do. And Moroni 10:32 stuck out to me in a way it never has before, it says:
" Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strengththen is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God."
First off, we have been given a pretty daunting commandment from God which is: "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." (Matt 5:48) At one point in my life, I thought that perfection was something I had to achieve all by myself which, now having more experience, I know is impossible. Perfection is only achieved through Jesus Christ, and just as Elder Holland said last conference, "perfection is pending." The process begins just as Moroni 10:32 says with denying all ungodliness and loving God with everything we have and are. I think the more we love God, the more we are willing to do what He asks of us and the more able and willing we will be to make and keep the covenants, or promises, we have made with Him. The more we love God, the more we will keep our covenants, and the more we keep our covenants the more the Holy Ghost can be with us to sanctify and purify us so that day by day we become more like God, just as He has commanded us. I came to the conclusion, that our covenants help us become perfect.

Serving with a Smile,
Sister Bradley

Pictures:
 1. Farewell Sister Murray!! I am going to miss her!!!

 2. Tracting in Fishers...jk jk we live in a city, this house was just hidden :)

 3. Tracting in the hail, yep, it's that cold

4. Hot cocoa is a staple :)

Monday, October 23, 2017

So long Mishawaka!

Well folks my time here in Mishawaka is coming to a close. I am going to be transferred down to Fishers, Indiana where I will be training a new missionary!!! :) President told me the ward is HUGE and that the primary has like 80 children...pray that I can remember all these people's names!! He also said this ward has a lot of potential that he'd like us to help them start reaching...no pressure or anything :) I am excited for a new challenge though and I am excited for all that God has in store for us!

We had a really great week! Here are some highlights:

Ryan Stith received the Priesthood on Sunday and it was such a special experience. Bishop told us a few things before he was ordained that were actually more directed at Janet, his wife, and I thought I would share them because I thought they were pretty cool :) He told Janet that the man and woman are equal partners in their relationship and responsibility, and that Heavenly Father has a very special place in His heart for His daughters. He told her that after a woman is baptized (and is above the age of 12) she is complete and ready to go to the temple right then and there. However, the man, is not yet complete and has to receive the Priesthood of God in order to be ready and prepared to enter the temple. I thought that was an interesting way to think about the Priesthood :) I can't wait to see all the blessings that come into their lives because of it!

We had a really fun lesson with Reahlyn and Ethan where we went to a park and took them through the obstacle course of life on the playground while blindfolded. We compared our voices to Jesus Christ's voice and how when we live the Gospel and follow Christ, there is no need to fear! We invited them, yet again, to be baptized and talked about how we were going to achieve that goal. We talked about their schedules and potential distractions that could prevent them from getting baptized and all agreed that November 11 would be a reasonable day since there is no sports or musicals or distractions to get in the way :) pray that they can make this date!!! They are such a sweet family and the Gospel will bless their lives so much!!

Tracting Experience: We knock on a door, and could see little children walking around through the screen door and they couldn't hear us because they were on their iPads! So we waited until they were right in our sight and knocked super loud and one of them looked up confused and then looked at us. So naturally we wave, and then both little boys come running up to us and one yelled "You're here!" haha yes, little boy, we know you've been waiting for us to come and bring the Gospel to your family :) haha we asked if their mom was home and he told us yeah, and to come in...man I love little kids haha, they are just so willing to trust! We told them that we would just wait outside while they got her. She was a super cute mom that had actually moved in not too long ago! She is a radio host in Indiana which is pretty cool except we don't listen to the radio so that doesn't mean a ton haha but, she said we could come back!

This week I have been thinking a lot about the impact that positivity can have in our lives, and I think one of the most prominent examples in my life is President Hinckley :)
President Russell M. Nelson [said]: “They do not waste time pondering the past or fretting about the future. And they persevere in spite of adversity.” 
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland...commented: “‘Things will work out’ may well be President Hinckley’s most repeated assurance to family, friends, and associates. ‘Keep trying,’ he will say. ‘Be believing. Be happy. Don’t get discouraged. Things will work out.’”
I have come to learn that happiness is not something you just stumble upon, it is more of a state of mind and is largely determined by our reactions to the different experiences we have in life. I have really been trying to focus on positivity and accepting reality with a smile on my face. This past week we had a TON of appointments fall through, 3 of which were with people who would have been new investigators and happened to all be in the same day...but that's alright because we had more time to spend trying to find God's elect, to find those that are truly ready for the Gospel!
I found this scripture this morning in my studies:
Alma 27:18 "Now was not this exceeding joy? Behold, this is joy which none receiveth save it be the truly penitent and humble seeker of happiness."
I love this scripture because it shows that happiness is something we have to seek actively, not something that we can just happen upon. Thomas Monson said "You don't find the happy life, you make it."
Let this be our motto this week:
"Those who move forward with a  h a p p y  s p i r i t  will find that things  a l w a y s  work out!"

Serving with a Smile,
Sister Bradley

Pictures!
1. I LOVE THE SPANISH HERMANAS!!!

 2. Also, I am going to miss them terribly!!! Brother and Sister Grifffey

 3. Chili Cook of Judges!

 4. Love the Stiths! Those are their legit uniforms from when they were in the military

 5. Yali's came to the trunk or treat! I guess they came, left to go to Target to get costumes, and this is what they came back with! Don't ask me how to spell their Chinese names :)

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Indiana Facebook Post - Misson tour

Mission tour day two (September 19, 2017) with the Elkhart, South Bend, Columbus, Indy, Bloomington and Terre Haute zones. It was another inspiring and instructional meeting taught by Elder and Sister Nielsen. As with yesterday, we were grateful to have in attendance some of the Stake Presidency members, their wives, and members of the Mission Presidency.


Monday, October 16, 2017

There's somethin' 'bout love

Well, this was one crazy week!

To start off, we had 2 exchanges, which means I wasn't even with my companion for 48 hours, and we had a Mission Leadership Council which means we were in Indy, or driving there, for more than 24 hours. Also, we got permission to drive with the Elders because we have like 0 miles this month and they have a mini-van (I know, weird right, missionaries driving a red mini-van, I thought that was a mom car haha) so around 7 of those 24 hours were spent in a smelly boy van haha great stuff, the things we do to save miles.

Anyway, first off in Plymouth we were able to contact some referrals from someone back home in Nevada. Wait what? Okay, so flash back to before my mission, I am sitting in my dermatologist's office getting everything figured out for my mission and my dermatologist is a member of the church. He asked where I was going and I told him Indiana and he was like "huh" so he leaves for a little while and then comes back into the office and says, "Well, I have your first two referrals!" and I was like "Great!" Except at that point, I was really confused and didn't really know what a referral was :) anyway, the referral was for Plymouth, Indiana which I happened not to serve in, but to go on an exchange in :) We were able to call them, and sadly one of them wasn't interested, but the other didn't answer so there is potential there still! I also, attempted to speak Spanish on this exchange to ask this family if we could send the Spanish missionaries, and by some miracle we were somewhat communicate enough for them to tell us they had a church and weren't interested, but hey, that was pretty cool!

On my second exchange, I stayed in Mishawaka and we had a super cool experience while finding before dinner. We saw this man sitting in a camping chair outside his house and decided we'd go talk to him. We told him who we were and what we did and he was very kind but very clear that he wasn't interested, but knowing how persistent we are, we pressed forward and kept him talking. :) We found out he doesn't like organized religion, and his wife drags him every week to the Methodist church. We asked him what he thought the purpose of life was and he told us the COOLEST thing. He said (and I am paraphrasing), "Well, you see, I was in the army when I was younger and I got injured, so I had to sit in a bed for x amount of time, and I took up reading the Bible. I read it 7 times all the way through, and this is what I got out of it. We existed before, and there were lots of spirits. Lucifer was there and wanted to be exalted above God, and a lot of spirits chose to follow him, you see we had free will in Heaven if some people chose him, and the other spirits that didn't choose Lucifer, varied in their devotion to God. So, we were sent here to this earth as a test to see if we will follow God or not." 
Woah.
I was floored because that is literally what we believe! It is so cool what the Spirit can teach to earnest pursuers of knowledge!
We excitedly told him that we actually believe that very thing and asked if we could come back another time and talk with him more about it. He told us no, because he likes to pursue knowledge on his own. So, we asked if we could give him something, and he being a nice guy said sure. I pulled a Book of Mormon out of my bag, we explained what it was and promised him that if he read it sincerely he would come to know Jesus Christ even more. He took the book and said, "You know what Sister Bradley, I am going to read this book cover to cover, I promise you that, and when I am done, I am going to call you. I've actually always wanted to read a Book of Mormon." 
Wow, there is nothing better than being an instrument in the Lord's hands.

We had a prompting to try by Jackie's house (I know it has been a while since I talked about her) and we hadn't really been able to get in contact for a couple weeks. We start driving down her street and THERE SHE WAS just rollin' down the sidewalk in her wheelchair! Caught her!! haha so we pull up and start talking to her and she said we could come back in the afternoon! Yay! So many blessings!

Last little thought, this week I have really been trying to study the attributes of Jesus Christ and I was able to do a self evaluation and see all the places I have to improve. I feel that as we are closer to the Spirit, we are more humble, and it is more easy to see where we lack and can improve. I have learned (among many other things) the power there is in truly loving those around you. I was struck a while ago as I was reading in Alma 20 where Ammon stops King Lamoni's father from killing both himself and King Lamoni, and how this was done out of pure Christlike love.
"26 And when he saw that Ammon had no desire to destroy him, and when he also saw the great love he had for his son Lamoni, he was astonished exceedingly, and said: Because this is all that thou hast desired, that I would release thy brethren, and suffer that my son Lamoni should retain his kingdom, behold, I will grant unto you that my son may retain his kingdom from this time and forever; and I will govern him no more—
27 And I will also grant unto thee that thy brethren may be cast out of prison, and thou and thy brethren may come unto me, in my kingdom; for I shall greatly desire to see thee. For the king was greatly astonished at the words which he had spoken, and also at the words which had been spoken by his son Lamoni, therefore he was desirous to learn them."
When King Lamoni's father saw the great love that Ammon had for his son that he literally tried to kill just minutes before, his heart was softened. Later, he and all his kingdom was converted and it all started from this Christlike love that Ammon had for his son. Now, extreme examples like this will not (hopefully) happen in our lives, but I think the Lord was very clear in His purpose for including this in the Book of Mormon. Pure Christlike love changes people. As we become like the Savior and show this love to others, our life is changed, those around us change, and that can cascade on in an infinite amount of ways. I have found this to be so true as I have served the Lord. There is only one way to do His work, and that is His way, the Christlike way.

I love you all!
Serving with a Smile,
Sister Bradley


Pictures!!
 Corn.

 More corn.

Sister Alapa and I in Indy

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Indiana Facebook Page - Extended Mission Leadership Council

Today (Thursday, October 12, 2017) we held an extended Mission Leadership Council at the Fishers Building with Zone Leaders, Sister Training Leaders and District Leaders. Here is a photo of that mighty group, including companions.

Monday, October 9, 2017

All the new people!

This week things started to pick up a lot more :)

We had a lesson with the Jehovah Witnesses, but I'm 100% positive that they were actually trying to convert us lol, yeah, that is going to end. They were very kind at least and the man was a recovering heroin addict, so props to him.

We had a really cool lesson with a man named Bob we found a couple weeks ago. He is a Buddhist in background, and agnostic now. He had so many good questions because he has a science background. He asked questions like: where do the dinosaurs fit into the creation, do you believe there is other life out there, and why are there so many denominations of Christianity because you all believe in the same God right? He was super fun to teach! People who have no pre-conceived notions of Christianity or God are the most fun to teach! I kind of felt like Ammon who was able to teach King Lamoni about God. We asked if Bob prayed and he said that he did, but he wasn't sure who he was talking to. We told him that he is talking to God, and that God loves him and hears every prayer that he offers, and we invited him to pray to know if the message we were sharing was true. We shared what the Holy Ghost feels like and invited him to pay attention to the feelings that he receives as he prays and reads. He was even more floored after when we told him we do this for 18 months straight and only talk to our families once a week by email. :)

Crazy tracting experience, and a good one :)
Us: "Do you have a faith or a belief in anything?" (typically we don't ask that, but it kinda just came out of my mouth.)
Man who called himself Mike: "No, I have a belief in myself. I don't think I'm the right person for you to be talking to."
"How do you find peace in your life?''
"I work hard for it, all the peace I have comes from things I do."
"What if we told you there was a way for your family to be together forever, would you be interested in that?"
*pause for a moment as he looked at his two little boys clinging to his legs*
"Yes."
"We'd love to meet with you and share a message about how that is possible for your family, what times..."
Now, I probably missed a lot of that conversation, but it is amazing to see how hearts can be softened when we are led by the Spirit. I had no idea what I was going to say the whole time, but as it is written, "open your mouths and they shall be filled." (D&C 33:8)

Last crazy...and very interesting tracting story:
We walk up the driveway and this man walks out obviously a little drunk,
"Ladies! What can I do for you?"
"We are the missionaries and we are sharing a message about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ"
"Girls, you are in the wrong neighborhood. You should be over there (referring to the hood, I'm pretty sure he is the only person that has ever told us to go to a sketchy place haha) we already have Jesus, I am a believer"
We proceeded to start to teach the Resoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and left him a pamphlet. He said that he would read it and to come back when we were done with the neighborhood. Oh, and I forgot to mention he called us "kiddos" and kept wanting to give us knuckles haha
We came back after tracting the neighborhood and he kept asking us what we wanted, he told us that he'd give us money. We kept pressing further and further and finally we asked him if we could come back and give him the most valuable thing we own. He was just floored by this point. He told us that we had a very good presentation and that he was intrigued by what we were doing and that he would gladly accept the book and that he would read it too. Mitch, your life is about to change :)

This week I've experienced many humbling events, and though it may not be the most enjoyable experience during the process, the results are definitely phenomenal and totally worth it. I realized there are only two options when experiencing these events: you can be hardened or softened. A couple of times I struggled, wanting to let my pride get in the way, thinking that I am right and that I know best, but, as I thought of the Savior and the way He reacted to adversity and realizing I wanted to be like Him, I changed the way I thought about the different situations I was in, and was able to work through them all with the Savior's help. This was the best decision I made all week.

The truths of these scriptures have been imprinted on my soul:
 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8-9)

"Be thou humble; and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand, and give thee answer to thy prayers." (D&C 112:10)

Serving with a Smile,
Sister Bradley

Pictures:
Serving in the rain!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017