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

Monday, October 2, 2017

The work continues to move forward!

Hello my fellow friends in Christ!
First off, my heart goes out to the Robbins family and the Vegas Valley, my prayers are with you!

This week we had a pleasant surprise when tracting. We had a little time before our appointment and we decided to tract a street. We talked to two people, both of which were not interested, but  pointing us to a house that had "11 people" living in it. After 2 people telling us we decided to knock on the door. A teenage girl answered the door and invited us in. . .so we walked in, and the neighbors were right, there were tons of people in that house! One lady who identified herself as Niki asked us if we were in the Mishawaka Ward...Members? Wait what? We thought we knew where all the Mormons were haha turns out she had just moved in 3 months ago and her records hadn't been moved yet. She is living with her sister and her family, her dad, and a friend is staying with them (hence all the people) and we found out she is a convert so none of her family members are Mormon! They were super friendly so hopefully there is some potential there!

We have really been trying to work with the part-member families here in Mishawaka and by some miracle (see they are everywhere!) we were able to find this lady after loads of finding (and talking to her ex-husbands grandma haha yeah, we get pretty creative)! We were able to go to her home right when she was leaving and meet her!! I think I am starting to understand what it is like to be the Shepherd looking for His lost sheep in the wilderness because to Him "none of them are lost." (3 Nephi 27:31)

Last but not least I am grateful for the words of the Prophet and Apostles this past weekend. It is truly inspiring to know we have men called of God on earth to lead us in these tumultuous times. We saw blessings as we watched it in the home of the Garay family and with a Less-Active. The Garay home was busy, little children running around, but the messages of the Prophets sounded clear and the messages sunk into their hearts. Sara started quoting the talk about serving those around us to her children, inviting them to love one another. Luz who told us in times past always had to be doing something during conference, sat with us to take notes :) We showed a talk to a less-active who's 9 year old daughter goes to church by herself, and she was encouraged by this talk and opened up to us about her reservations when it comes to church. We were able to invite her to pray about those things and she was able to learn from herself by the Spirit that it is so important for her to be an example to her daughters. 

Something that stood out to me in particular was the countless speakers who shared stories of following the counsel of the messages last conference. Totally reminds me of what we do as missionaries when we extend a commitment, we follow up! It is so special to know that even the apostles follow the counsel of the Prophet, Thomas S. Monson and they experience the blessings he promises and more. If you have not watched all the sessions of General Conference, I invite you to do so! You will be blessed by the messages, you will have more peace, the Spirit will be able to inspire you, and you will draw closer to God and in the words of Elder Uchtdorf "your life will be better." What greater things could we want?

Serving with a Smile,
Sister Bradley


Pictures:

 And they say missionaries are boring...

 Our district is 1/2 new missionaries!!! It's a good time!

Lesson with the Elkhart sisters! We passed off one of our investigators to them!

Someone decided to set off fireworks Saturday night, we figured it was probably in celebration of conference :) 

Monday, September 25, 2017

The unexpected proselyting tool: Air Hockey

Hello!!!!

We have had a stellar week!! (sorry, it's a lengthy one, but worth the read.)
1. We attended a conference in Indianapolis with Elder S. Gifford Nielson who added gasoline to our flame of faith.
2. I hit my year mark!!!! September 21 has come and gone! (Happy Moroni Day by the way!) ;)
3. We saw a miracle.

Can I just say first that God's timing is so perfect? Alright alright, it all starts Sunday. We planned to go the the Stith's home and to teach them a lesson that day. Later in church, we saw Luz and she asked when she could come out with us (she is a returning less-active member and is getting super excited about the gospel and wanted to go knocking on doors with us!!) We told her that we were going to be in the neighborhood because the Stith family is in the same neighborhood as Luz and that we were planning on tracting anyway after their lesson!!
We got a call from Luz during the lesson and she wasn't sure she could come because her family was having a birthday party for her little brother Ben, but then she said her mom, Sara, said she could come, but her dad, Obento, didn't want her to be gone when they started the party. We asked Obento for permission and he gave us permission to take her! Obento is not a member and hasn't ever been interested in learning either.
We went tracting and no one was home! Maybe it was siesta time? I don't know. The very last door we knocked on was a man we were able to teach the Restoration and give a Book of Mormon to. Right when we were about to leave, Luz asked if she could tell him something. Now, before I tell you what she says, you need to know that she is a very animated, loud person. She loves messing with people and says what she thinks and her personality is exuberant, definitely has a dominant (red) personality. She told this man, that she was in the same situation as him not knowing whether or not the Book of Mormon was true, but that she had us come to her  home and she read and prayed about it and knew it was true and that it would help him in his life. She bore this testimony so humbly, I myself was touched by her sincerity. We left and she was pumped!!! She said "tracting is great!! Missionary work is great!!!!" haha
Her mom invited us to stay for Ben's birthday dinner, and so while we waited for the food we taught Luz the Word of Wisdom, something that she expressed was hard for her to keep because she LOVES coffee. We testified of her to the blessings but she wasn't sure if she would be able to keep it.
They had recently gotten an air hockey table and they were super excited about it and wanted to play us. Luz claimed she was the champion of it and wanted to show us her mad skills. Sis. Alapa played a couple minutes and then it was my turn. Luz was surprised at my defense and how I kept up with her. The score was 3 - 3 and she wanted to make it interesting by "betting something" I told her missionaries don't bet. She said, "It can be for church stuff! What is something that you've asked me to do but I'm not doing??" I looked at my comp and she nodded. I said, "Okay, if I win, you have to quit coffee." She said "WHAT??? Okay okay, you aren't going to win, so deal and if I win, you give me chocolate" (which is something I do already so I was okay with that haha)
The game was super intense and as we both progressed closer to 10 Luz started to freak out. I told her that God was on my side, and I really hoped He was. I was playing for a righteous cause, and I silently prayed for His help. The score was 7 - 7 and then boom, 3 in a row and Luz was defeated. She said, "I'm going through withdrawals already!!" haha and please note, that I am not even good at air hockey! I haven't played for probably 10 years!!!
But then, it gets better. She started playing her little 11 year old brother betting him that if she won, he had to come to church for a month, (I think she learned that when we pursue righteous endeavors God will bless us) they were tied and then Obento came and insisted that he played. Luz was upset because she was in the middle of a bet with her little brother so she extended that bet to Obento. If she won, the whole family had to come to church for 1 month. Obento seemed confident in himself and they proceeded to play. By some miracle Luz won the game. Obento was in denial haha but a deal is a deal.
Sorry folks the story is not over yet. We were eating dinner and Obento was playing trivia with us all, asking about who was president in what year (he is from Liberia) so he himself doesn't know haha) Luz kept trying to bring it back to Joseph Smith saying, "You know who else lived in the 1800s, Joseph Smith..." and talked about the Book of Mormon, eventually is was us, Obento and Luz and Luz straight up just started teaching Obento about Joseph Smith and what happened to him, we helped Luz teach and told him Joseph Smith's story and what the Book of Mormon is. Obento had never wanted to take the lessons and frankly hadn't been interested but his heart was softened and he told us that he had so many questions. He agreed to take the lessons. By this point, Sara came and sat down and she told us all how this was an answer to her prayers, that she had been praying he would just listen to the missionaries. God is a God of miracles. The evening lined up perfectly, Ben's birthday party had been postponed to that week. Their friends they invited to the party were really late, providing us the opportunity to teach, Luz had become excited about church and was there to encourage their family. They got an air hockey table two days before. We happened to plan to teach the Stiths that day so we were in her neighborhood. God is a God of miracles.

Hartman Rector Jr. in his talk "Following Christ to Victory" says this so well:
"Expect a miracle. All too often we really don’t expect a miracle. We are not looking for it, and so don’t recognize it when it comes. The Lord has commanded that we take the gospel to “every nation, kindred, tongue, and people” (D&C 77:8). So we pray for the Lord to cause a miracle which will break down those barriers that prohibit us from entering the nations where we are presently excluded...we must not overlook our need for help—the help we must have from the Lord—to hurdle the hedge to our next-door neighbor...

When the Lord said, “Lengthen your stride, quicken your pace, heighten your reach, widen your vision, and stretch your capacity,” he was in reality saying “expect a miracle,” for these are the stuff from which miracles are made.

The prophet says, “DO IT,” and he indicates the time is NOW. And expect the miracle."

Look for the miracles in your lives brothers and sisters. I promise they are there.

Serving with a smile,
Sister Bradley

Pictures:
 The only time we will get to see the temple!

Happy 1 year :)

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 :)