Sister Bradley

Sister Bradley

Monday, December 18, 2017

Hello hello! :) - Email from Jenny



M E R R Y   C H R I S T M A S !

We have had a lot of blessings this wonderful week of December!

We met some really awesome people on Monday while we were tracting, so much so, that my companion who doesn't particularly like talking to strangers said that it was her tender mercy for that day!!! Flash forward to Saturday, I really felt like we needed to see some of those people again that night. So we drove to the neighborhood and knocked on the door of a man named Nick who had told us he and his wife were in between churches. He laughed when he opened the door and said, "You're back already!" Yep :) he told us he looked us up on Wikipedia and and was "comfortable" with where he was at... too bad we don't take that for an answer. We kept talking and eventually his wife came and joined us and we got a return appointment with them! We then remembered this lady who said she was busy because she was making meatloaf and to try back another time and knocked on her door. She had met missionaries at the place she had worked and enjoyed their company, and after briefly talking about the Restoration, she said we could come back as well! "Meatloaf lady" as we called her, is named Kat :) Please pray for these people!

Random fact about Indiana: You can't buy beer on Sunday from the store.
You may wonder how I know that? Don't worry I don't speak from experience! We were knocking on doors and met this Catholic man named Nicholas. I could smell the alcohol on his breath. We talked to him about our beliefs and ended up giving a Book of Mormon. He said, "Will you do me one favor?" Uh, I never know how to respond to this anymore...haha he asked if we could raise the alcohol limit in Utah...I guess he missed the fact that we were not from Utah, and then proceeded to tell us this random law about Indiana haha

We also were able to participate in zone caroling where all of us missionaries sang Christmas songs on the back of a trailer and sang while 4 missionaries sprinted from house to house letting people know we were out there. This one lady sprinted across the street and knocked on the door across the street to let all this kids having a Christmas party come and listen to us :)

I feel like tracting is all we do sometimes, but it sure gives some funny stories, here are 2 more for you!
#1 We knock on door, man answers, "Hi! We are the missionaries in the area!.."
man: "Ooh, you're THE missionaries, huh?"
us *a little taken aback*: Uh, yeah, we are with the Church of Jesus Christ..."
Yeah, this sassy man wasn't very interested....we got a good laugh out of it though.
#2 We knock on door, we hear "hold on one minute" from inside, so we wait and this man throws open the door and with a bunch of dollar bills in his hand looks shocked. He starts laughing and says, "You're not Papa Johns!" 
us: "Nope, we are the missionaries! :)" we talked to him a little while, I don't think he ever quite got over how surprised he was that we weren't the pizza delivery guy. I wish I could video some things and show them to you! 

As I have been pondering the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ, I read in the Book of Mormon the story of a group of people who were anxiously awaiting His birth. You see, 5 years earlier, a prophet had said "Behold, I give unto you a sign; for five years more cometh, and behold, then cometh the Son of God" the people were very wicked at this time and remembered this great prophecy. They began to mock the believers saying, "Behold the time is past, and the words of Samuel are not fulfilled; therefore, your joy and your faith concerning this thing hath been vain." They made "a great uproar throughout the land" and the Saints at that time began to be "very sorrowful" and worried that their sign would not come. However, "they did watch steadfastly for that day and that night and that day which should be as one day as if there were no night, that they might know that their faith had not been vain." But then, the unthinkable happened, " it came to pass that there was a day set apart by the unbelievers, that all those who believed in those traditions should be put to death except the sign should come to pass, which had been given by Samuel the prophet." Needless to say, things were getting a little urgent. Nephi, a very faithful servant "went out and bowed himself down upon the earth, and cried mightily to his God in behalf of his people, yea, those who were about to be destroyed because of their faith in the tradition of their fathers. And it came to pass that he cried mightily unto the Lord all that day;" And after praying all day, he received a glorious answer in response to his faith, "Lift up your head and be of good cheer; for behold, the time is at hand, and on this night shall the sign be given, and on the morrow come I into the world, to show unto the world that I will fulfil all that which I have caused to be spoken by the mouth of my holy prophets." What a glorious answer!
As I reflected on this passage, and the miracle of Jesus Christ's birth, I found a deeper meaning to this story. You see, because Jesus Christ was born that day, all of those people literally had their lives saved, and just the same with us, because Jesus Christ came into the world, we too, will not suffer physical and spiritual death if we come unto Him. Look at all the blessings that come into our lives because He lived! We can repent, we can forgive, we can see our loved ones who have passed on, and the list could go on for miles. I invite each of you to reflect on the blessings you have received in your life because Jesus Christ lived, and ask yourself, "what can I give back to Him?"

Serving with a Smile,
Sister Bradley

 1. This elderly lady needed help decorating her tree :)

2. "The stocking were hung by {their desks} with care" :)

Monday, December 11, 2017

Lots of Love - Email from Jenny

Well ladies and gents, your girl in Indy has shook the hand of a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: Elder Neil L. Anderson. This is like having James or John from the New Testament come and meet you!! What a special experience!! Elder Anderson talked about how he served with my mission president, President Carlson, in France! It was so cool to see how he joked around and made little side comments about how President Carlson was "living it up in the mission home" as an Assistant to the President while he was freezing on the streets of France as a "normal missionary." haha okay okay, I know you are dying to know what he talked to us about, as you should be! Elder Anderson devoted a great portion of the time he spoke to us about the principle of Faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ. He addressed keeping our faith in the Lord, in ourselves and in the fact that the Lord has prepared people for us to bring closer to Christ at the forefront of our minds, making our faith more active than dormant. He invited us to "make substance of our faith" over and over and over again and invited us to not be satisfied with where we are but to be constantly and continuously striving to be better. He had us pull up scriptures about miracles, and not surprisingly, the majority of the scriptures that talked about miracles were "according to their faith." There is great strength and faith involved with memorizing scripture and recalling it in time of need, it is yet another way to strengthen our faith. Our Father is ready and willing to bless, strengthen, uplift, and help us as we exercise our faith in His beloved Son, Jesus Christ who has shown us the way and performed miracles Himself according to the Father's will. He told us not to fret when our Faith struggles, because it means that we are growing, and becoming, as long as we press forward and keep moving toward the Savior. The power of our faith can never be underestimated, and "no effort we give will go unnoticed" to our Father in Heaven. (Elder Anderson)

I was able to Facetime into my brother Tyler's funeral on Saturday (shout out to Skyler for taking charge of that!), and friends and family, there was a lot of love felt there. Though I was not present physically, the experience was indeed very special, and I am not sure I could have felt anymore love than if I were there. I loved what my brother in law Ben said "We all come from different Faiths, backgrounds, and are diverse, but the one thing we all have in common is love." (hopefully I got that pretty close Ben!) It was definitely not an easy experience, but one that will be dear to my heart the rest of my life.

We have been putting great effort this week in working with the members this week to find and teach people, the process is a bit longer, but we know that the fruits will be great once harvested. Some sisters invited their friends to the Relief Society party, and we were able to socialize and explain who we are :) One of the ladies who came with a friend loved talking with us! She was a cute, old Catholic lady, who we will hopefully be eating dinner with this week! Pray for her heart to be soft please!!

Random experience: We were trying to find a member in an apartment complex, when this lady looked at us and we waved to her, but she kept walking. She did three double takes and then yelled "Are you the Mormon Sisters???" We replied "yes!!" and she said "my son is in my apartment, he would love to see you!" and she proceeded to tell us where she lived. We hurried over to her apartment :) Her son went to Southern Utah University and is very familiar with our church, we asked him why he chose SUU and he said one of the reasons was because of the good morals! We can teach you more about why we have good morals :) haha hopefully there is potential there!

Brothers and Sisters, I am so grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ, without Him, I would be nothing. Without Him, I would never see Tyler again. Without Him, I would never see any one of my family members and friends again or my dear Father in Heaven. I am incredibly grateful to be representing His name this season that we celebrate His miraculous birth. Let us praise Him in all that we do this season, and share His divine light with all that we meet.

"Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." (John 8:12)

Serving with a Smile,
Sister Bradley

Pictures:
 1. Posterity Pic! Me and my two "babies" Sisters Degener and Bitter, then Sister Bitter's "baby" Sister Arlint and then Sister Arlint's "baby" Sister Burrell :) hopefully you followed that! All of that non-sense means that I am a great grandma! :)
2. It Snowed! :)

3. #LightTheWorld

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Indiana Facebook Page - Meeting with Elder and Sister Andersen

Our missionaries were so blessed to have a special two hour meeting with Elder and Sister Andersen. They inspired us to have better FAITH - the substance and the evidence of faith. They taught us about the importance of goals and the power of scriptures, especially the Book of Mormon, in our own personal conversion and the conversion of our investigators. We also appreciated the testimonies of Elder David L. Buckner and Paul Sinclair, of the Seventy. It was a really good day!

Here is a good quality photo of the entire mission from yesterday's meeting with Elder and Sister Andersen. Thank you to our wonderful photographers Brother Chapital and Sister Davis for their willingness to provide this service to the mission. Also posted here are some snapshots of the missionaries singing as they waited and then as Elder and Sister Andersen arrived. We will print the photo of the mission group and give each missionary a copy. Enjoy! Aren't they a beautiful and handsome sight? We love these missionaries.


Monday, December 4, 2017

The Lord's hand is in all things - Email from Jenny

God's timing is so unpredictable, so perfect, and so confusing all at the same time, and I wouldn't have it any other way. This past week my dear brother Tyler left this world of trial and hardship and joined all of our other loved ones who have passed on. This has not been easy, but I have witnessed so many tender mercies from the Lord throughout this experience, and learned so many things about myself and about the glory of God's great plan, I know it couldn't have happened any other way.

I have learned more deeply the power of Heavenly Father's love. I love Tyler, and then I thought of the love my Mother has for Tyler, and then I realized how much love Heavenly Father has for my brother, and I knew he would be okay. Heavenly Father knows him perfectly, as well as me, and I have been able to apply that into numerous aspects of my work as a missionary. It can apply to my companion who has been struggling, the people we meet who aren't very nice to us, the strangers we get to serve and love as the Savior would.

The power of service is incredible. I felt incredible joy through the many service opportunities Heavenly Father provided for us even through the sorrow I felt. I have been told time and time again that when things get hard, you need to serve others, but you know, I am not sure if I ever believed that, but WOW do I ever have a strong testimony of that now. We had a moment of impromptu service when we were driving into our apartment complex and saw a lady in her 50s and a lady in her 70s trying to wheel this massive mattress to the dumpster. We immediately pulled over and offered to help, it brought such smiles to their faces and a sigh of relief to the 70 year old haha, we then offered to help them move later that week, which was not only a blessing to them, but an even GREATER blessing to me in my time of need. We then passed off our investigators Chantise and Jordan (the 13 year old girl and 7 year old boy) to the sisters in Indianapolis, and were blessed to help them move as well. Not only did they feel a burden of relief but my burdens were lifted as well. They are now passed off to the Indianapolis sisters who will take good care of them :) on top of all of this we have been sharing #LightTheWorld with as many people as we can which is all based on service and sharing Christ's light with others. "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." (Matt 25:40)

We were also blessed to have the son of a Part member family become one of our new investigators. The only hold up for him might be his dad not wanting him to be baptized, but he is 11 now, and hopefully his dad can respect his decision. Please pray that his heart will be soft!!

Last, but not least, I received a priesthood blessing during all of this and word for word Heavenly Father told me, "You are exactly where you need to be." I know this is true, there is no other place I could've learned these precious lessons. I am so grateful to an all knowing, all wise Father in Heaven who has blessed me beyond measure for serving Him these past 14 months. Come what may, and LOVE it.

Serving with a smile,
Sister Bradley

Pictures :)
 1. These Elders were pretty proud of this picture...and the King size mattress they somehow managed to cram up the stairs.

2. The moving crew! Jordan, Amelia, and Chantise are to the right of me and Sister Degener :)

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Indiana Facebook Post - Zone Conference

Last of the zone conferences for this transfer was a combined meeting with the Indy North and Indy West zones today (November 29, 2017).

Monday, November 27, 2017

Count Your Blessings - Email from Jenny

Hello! This was a very interesting week with a lot of peaks and valleys.

To start it off, we had Specialized Training for new missionaries. They give suggestions on ways to overcome fear, how to effectively contact people, those sorts of things. Soooo, I thought I'd be funny, and the day before the training, I told Sister Degener that we were going to have to do a role play with our mission president in front of everyone. She started freaking out like crazy! Seriously, I've never seen her act this way the whole time I've known her (a whole 5 weeks haha). So, me being the person I am, I kept going and told her she'd have to recite the first vision in front of everyone and that we'd have microphones too. She was so stressed, she looked ready to quit. So, after this went on for a good 20 minutes, I told her I was joking and that she wouldn't have to do any of those things and then she didn't believe that I was joking! So I told her what we were actually going to do, and she calmed down a little bit. :) Flash forward to the next day, we walk in and I told the Assistants to the President about the joke, but then during their training that day they totally called her out!!! They said, "We will now have Sister Degener role play to President Carlson." The room was silent. And Sister Degener had a deer in the headlights look on her face. It was probably only 30 seconds, but it felt like an hour of silence. They then said they were joking and then said that I told them to do it! I guess I deserved that haha at least she was able to be waaay more open with me about her fears and now I know what she needs help with! :) blessings in disguise?

We were able to deliver some items to the lady named Janelle that we helped a couple of weeks ago. Ward members donated items that she was in need of and it was such a privilege to be able to deliver them!

We taught a Part member family's son named Ryland. He is 11 and has not been baptized yet, hopefully we can start teaching him and help him on his way to becoming a member of the Church!!!

We met a less active family from India, who were actually converts from Hinduism and we are hoping to do some family history work with them to make their way back into activity and to the temple!!

We met some interesting people, this boy who is a senior in high school told us he was athiest, so we kept talking to him and this kid was seriously convinced that the world was flat. He said the government doesn't want us to know it's flat and are conspiring with NASA to deceive us lolololol We also met this lady who we talked to for quite a while, she said I reminded her of this guy (she said his name but I can't remember it) I asked who he was and she looked shocked I didn't know him, after checking several times to make sure I really didn't know who he was, she told me he was a tv preacher!!!! LOL I asked if that was a good thing and she said she really liked him soooo, I guess that is a compliment? haha

Brad dropped us the day before we were supposed to meet with him. He just isn't ready yet, he looked up things online... Someday he will be ready though. :)

Thanksgiving was our Pday, so we ate lots of food and got to do our shopping :) We ate dinner with some families in our ward, and played some games with them too. 

Sorry my email is everywhere, I guess that reflects the state of my brain right now. Family and Friends, often life gives us some really tough challenges. My family is facing one of those challenges right now. My dear brother is in the hospital, and is really struggling for his life. This has been a very difficult couple of days, but what a comforting thought to know God is in charge and not us. When times get hard, I often recall this hymn:

When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed, When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost, Count your many blessings; name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.

Are you ever burdened with a load of care? Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear? Count your many blessings; ev’ry doubt will fly, And you will be singing as the days go by.

When you look at others with their lands and gold, Think that Christ has promised you his wealth untold. Count your many blessings; money cannot buy
Your reward in heaven nor your home on high.

So amid the conflict, whether great or small, Do not be discouraged; God is over all. Count your many blessings; angels will attend, Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.

Count your blessings; Name them one by one. Count your blessings; See what God hath done. Count your blessings; Name them one by one. Count your many blessings; See what God hath done.

Serving with a Smile,
Sister Bradley

Pictures!
 1. Specialized Training!

 2. The District

 3. What a righteous treat! :)

4. Our cute, tiny Christmas tree!!!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Indiana Facebook Post - Specialized Training

Specialized Training for the October arrivals was yesterday (November 21, 2017). We discussed Adjusting to Missionary Life, how to be a powerful missionary and practiced how to improve our personal contacting. This is a great group of missionaries and trainers.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!! - email from Jenny

The more significant things that happened this week:

#1 We finally got a return appointment with Brad! And when we were eating dinner with a family, I had a prompting during the prayer to ask if they knew Brad's family and they had totally been his neighbors several years ago and had a good relationship with his family! Coincidence? I think not!

#2 It is the most amazing feeling to know you were in the right place at the right time, this was something we felt several times this week. We tried contacting a potential from our Area book and a cute lady named Amber answered the door, not the potential. She had just moved in the week before and invited us into her home. We talked about Jesus Christ and how much He helps us in our life, and as we are talking, she started crying. She had been struggling with an addiction and was praying for help, and then we came. She told us she normally doesn't answer the door either but felt prompted to that night! We told her about the Addiction Recovery Program and expressed how proud God was of her to have a desire to change and she expressed her gratitude to us for coming to her home that night. 

#3 This is another right place right time moment. We were early to an appointment and were going to try and contact another potential down the street and as we were walking this girl next to her car was in distress. We walked over and asked if she needed help, and she told us that her car door wouldn't shut. Something happened to the thing that latches on to the car (like my car lingo? It's pretty professional huh? :) and we definitely knew what we were doing too haha) So we poked and prodded at the latch with our fingers and bobby pins and a screw driver and keys until somehow by some miracle we fixed it! hah! Yeah, God had to be on our side for this one to work out. Oh, and then they asked us for cards haha funny what a little service will do!

#4 We had a lesson with Chantise and Jordan about the Book of Mormon and we showed them some of the Bible videos of Jesus Christ performing miracles. They loved it! and meanwhile, while we were teaching, Amelia was reading the For the Strength of Youth pamphlet, she told us she loved it after the lesson haha but, there are some conflicts in the home they are staying in so they said it might be easiest to teach them after they move...she said she'd pay us to teach them too hahahaha I don't quite think she understands how this works.

#5 We were tracting in a downpour of rain and this family told us we could step in their house. They are originally from India and a part of the Sikh religion. They are completely different from Muslim and Hindu, they essentially just believe in God, not Christ or anything else. We asked them about their beliefs and they loved to share and talk about it, and then they (it was a dad, son and daughter) started asking us about what we do. With every question we answered they became more and more flabbergasted! You leave your home for how long? You only call them how many times?? You don't watch TV??? They were amazed by our dedication and commitment to God and our religion. We spent a fairly good amount of time answering questions and we ended up giving them a Book of Mormon (which they thought was a Bible, so we had to explain the difference). They told us when we left that they were incredibly grateful we stopped by and that we have made them better people by visiting them that day. We brought these people closer to Christ and they didn't even know it or have a belief in Him! They had a desire to do good and to be better and to use their time here more wisely. You can touch people's lives in such odd ways :)

Okay, now here's a funny tracting experience for ya: We knock on this door and we can hear a black man yelling "Who is it?? Who is it??" 
us: "It's the missionaries!"
him: "WHO? WHO? "
us: "The missionaries!"
*door opens and then all of a sudden a cat  comes on the porch and he immediately closes the door so only a crack of it is open* 
us: "is this your cat?" 
him: "nope, nope, that is not my cat!"
*cat starts acting like it's cute, laying on the ground and purring etc.*
us:.....uhhh, what? so we ended up shooing the cat away so we could talk to this guy haha man, the randomest stuff happens to us. 

Friends and family, it is so important to show gratitude to God and to one another. We have been sharing a story from Ether 6 where they ventured onto a barge into really scary, faith testing situation which says: 
"5 And it came to pass that the Lord God caused that there should be a furious wind blow upon the face of the waters, towards the promised land; and thus they were tossed upon the waves of the sea before the wind.

6 And it came to pass that they were many times buried in the depths of the sea, because of the mountain waves which broke upon them, and also the great and terrible tempests which were caused by the fierceness of the wind.

7 And it came to pass that when they were buried in the deep there was no water that could hurt them, their vessels being tight like unto a dish, and also they were tight like unto the ark of Noah; therefore when they were encompassed about by many waters they did cry unto the Lord, and he did bring them forth again upon the top of the waters.

8 And it came to pass that the wind did never cease to blow towards the promised land while they were upon the waters; and thus they were driven forth before the wind.

9 And they did sing praises unto the Lord; yea, the brother of Jared did sing praises unto the Lord, and he did thank and praise the Lord all the day long; and when the night came, they did not cease to praise the Lord.

10 And thus they were driven forth; and no monster of the sea could break them, neither whale that could mar them; and they did have light continually, whether it was above the water or under the water.

11 And thus they were driven forth, three hundred and forty and four days upon the water.

12 And they did land upon the shore of the promised land. And when they had set their feet upon the shores of the promised land they bowed themselves down upon the face of the land, and did humble themselves before the Lord, and did shed tears of joy before the Lord, because of the multitude of his tender mercies over them."
Sometimes our trials can bury us, and it seems the wind never stops blowing, and that all these trials are so terrible, and I am sure these people at times felt afraid and felt like these trials would never end. But what did they do? They sang praises and gave thanks for their blessings and recognized the tender mercies of the Lord throughout this entire experience. "Gratitude is the catalyst of all Christlike attributes" (Dieter Uchtdorf) The Lord is so good to us, let us give thanks for the "light" we have "continually" (vs. 10) in our lives. The Light of the World: Jesus Christ. Also, notice where the winds and waves were bringing them, that's right, to the Promised Land.

Serving with a Smile,
Sister Bradley

Pictures!
 1.This is probably the craziest tattoo I've ever seen.

 2.Exchange with Sister Barnett! Last one I had with her we were up north!

 3.Exchanges left to right: Degener, me :), Barnett, Muhlestein

4.These are the types of puddles we were walking in!!! It poured seriously all day!!!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Test Taking 101 - Email from Jenny

Hello!!!

This week, we had a lot of really amazing experiences!

First off, a little background. Indiana gets dark at 6pm in the Winter, which makes knocking on doors at 6 super weird because by 6:30 it feels like it is 9pm, and we have to squint and use street light to see in our planners (no tablets just yet...the running joke of getting them in 3 months is still going and has been for years haha) anyway, after a dinner we planned to find in the neighborhood. So, I drove until I saw a street stick out to me and we started knocking on doors. We found some good potentials and then knocked on the door of this lady who was on the phone. She was very animated. We knocked twice and then she started coming towards the door, but instead of opening it she locked the door and turned on the lights on her porch....that we were standing on....we were really confused, so we stood there for another good minute and she walked by again and you could see the surprise on her face when she saw us at her door. She quickly said "It's the missionaries!!! I have to go!!!" She opened the door and said "Sisters! Come in!!!" Okay, so by this point I know she's gotta be a member, but I have NO CLUE who she is.... I ask her for her name and she tells us and my companion THANK GOODNESS knew her last name. We had a lovely discussion and she told her amazing story of how her husband came to be a member and all the adversity she had been facing and we shared a scripture with her that came to mind and this sister was in tears, thanking us profusely for coming and sharing that, she said that she really needed it. We then told her that we didn't actually know who she was at first and had no idea she lived on that street. She was FLOORED! We told her we were inspired to knock her street and she was blown away that God would send her the missionaries when she needed them. God is in the details of our lives.

We got a text from a random number asking if we were the Fishers 1 sisters. We told them yes and asked what we could do for them. They told us they were a member in the ward and that their mom who was baptized 16 years ago but hadn't been active since due to the circumstances of where she lived. She now lives in Fishers and that he told us he would like us to teach her all of the lessons again because she knew next to nothing about the church or gospel. She has a super unique background because she has lived as a mountaineer her whole life where the culture hasn't really changed in over 200 years. She lived in a hollow (pronounced holler) and has to get use to the "real world." She hadn't watched tv in years and says that everything is so interesting to her! 

We stopped by Brad this week and found out he got a new CEO and had been on call all week, so he wasn't able to meet with us, but we are praying that this week we can meet with him!

One day at the end of studies, we received a call from an unknown number. I answered and it was a lady named Amelia. Flashback to a couple days before, we were trying to contact a recent convert (RC) and a 13 year old girl named Chantise opened the door, she told us the the RC wasn't there and that they were only temporarily living there and were moving soon. We offered our help to moved and gave her our card. So Amelia, her mom, was calling us and asking us if we helped people move and how much we charge! We told her nothing, and that we were happy to help! She was so excited! (and even more amazed that missionaries could help her unpack too!) She then asked if she could bring her kids to church! We told her of course and that we would love to teach them in her home too!!! So we are now teaching Chantise and her little brother Jordan! We will have to hand them off when they move, but we are so happy they get to learn about the Gospel now!

Lately I have been reading Alma, and these verses stood out to me in a very different way this time. They are in Alma 34:
"31 Yea, I would that ye would come forth and harden not your hearts any longer; for behold, now is the time and the day of your salvation; and therefore, if ye will repent and harden not your hearts, immediately shall the great plan of redemption be brought about unto you.
32 For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors."

So, I got to thinking about how life is a test, with everything we do leading up to the moment we stand before God to be judged according to our works and the desires of our hearts. To make this a little bit understandable I related this to tests we take in school that are REALLY important like final exams. We typically:
-go to class every day
-study every day (not procrastinating)
-talk about or teach it to others
-memorize flashcards
-ask the teacher questions
-THINK about it A LOT! 
Now, if standing before God to be judged is the ultimate final exam and literally our entire eternity is based off of it, you would think that we would put a little more effort to preparing for it right?  Every one of the things we do to prepare for school exams can be related to the Gospel.
-->instead of going to a class, we go to church to learn every week and partake of the Sacrament.
-->instead of studying a science or history textbook we study God's handbook: the scriptures and words of prophets and apostles, every day.
-->we share the Gospel with others and talk about it in our homes and with our friends (be a missionary!)
-->we memorize scriptures that we can call upon in times of temptation or need
-->we can talk to the ultimate teacher: God, and He can help us find answers to our questions every day in prayer.
-->Think and ponder about the Gospel and our Savior, Jesus Christ A LOT. The scriptures say, "Look unto me in EVERY thought" (D&C 6:36)
As I put these thoughts together in my studies, I gained a stronger appreciation for the mercy and love of God and the perfectness of His plan. He asks a lot of us as any good parent would of their child, but we know it isn't to make us miserable or to overburden us with things to do, but it is to enable us to have the most fulfilling and happy present life and the BEST future possible. Not just a good future or a better future, but the greatest future we could possibly imagine and then some. God loves us friends. Take some time to examine what you are doing with your time. How are you preparing to meet God?

Serving with a Smile,


Sister Bradley

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Indiana Facebook Page - Why I Believe Fireside

What a wonderful fireside tonight! Indy North and Indy West stakes "Why I Believe" made these missionaries happy. We heard some inspiring stories.

Monday, November 6, 2017

HELLO - Email from Jenny

Happy Halloween!!! It's been a great week!!!

To start off, we were tracting the day before Halloween (you know because we can't exactly do it on Halloween because of the trick or treat-ers) and we met the nicest lady!! She was very Catholic, but her children's piano teacher was LDS and had exposed her a bit, and that always makes a HUGE difference! We were able to give her a Book of Mormon which she gladly accepted and told us she would read :) she made a joke about how we chose a good night to come out since the next day was Halloween and then we parted ways, as we were walking to leave her house, she comes running out of her house yelling "WAIT! I have a treat for you!!" and she gave us some Halloween candy anyway :) members, your relationships with others make a huge difference in missionary work!

We went to a Halloween Party some members were throwing and we got to  meet some non-members which was awesome because we were still able to talk with others not of our faith and build relationships with them!

So, we figured out the details of the no-soliciting laws and we now have an intelligent answer to tell people when they threaten to call the police because we are exempt from the non-solicitation ordinance. It's kinda more comforting now, to know how to tell people we are not breaking the law.

We did have a funny experience with that though this week! 
-->So, we went on a wild goose chase to find this referral we were given by the Spanish Elders, they had a really hard time telling us the correct address. So...we went to a neighborhood where she supposedly could've lived. When we realized her house number didn't exist on the street, we pulled in front of a random house to tell them we couldn't find her, and asked for further clarification. As we were waiting for the Elders to get back with us, this man walked passed our car, then turned around came back and knock on our window. Which no big deal right? That isn't the first time that has happened to me. He asked if we were the HOA. So we told him no, that we were missionaries and we were looking for someone who requested a book from us. We asked if he had met missionaries and he said yes, so we told him we would love to meet with him if he wanted. He said no, haha worth a shot and then asked for our card. We gave him our card and watched him walk back to this other man who was standing in the street. The other man called our number. He started asking for information from us, and so we asked him if we could know the reason, and he told us "There is a suspicious looking maroon car in a residential neighborhood associated with your church, and we don't know if you are the people sitting in that car, but there is no-soliciting in this neighborhood and there have been a lot of break-ins in this neighborhood lately, and the police will be called if it doesn't leave." 
LOL
We told him that we were in fact the people in the car and asked if he'd like to speak to us personally, and he told us no. We informed him we were delivering a Book of Mormon to someone who may or not be in his neighborhood and we waiting to receive more information. He told us that he knew for a fact that the person's home we were sitting in front of would not be requesting a Book of Mormon and once again told us there was no soliciting in his neighborhood. We informed him that we were exempt from the no solicitation ordinance because we were not selling anything and thanked him for his concern as a citizen for his neighbors. He then told us that if the car didn't leave soon that the police would be called just to "check things out," if not by him, then by someone else. The entire time this conversation was happening, the Spanish elders were trying to call us, so we told him that the people we were waiting to contact us had been calling us and that we needed to speak with them so we could leave. He was like "oh, okay. Bye!"
Moral of the story: we can't even sit on a public road without the police being called on us haha poor police. I think people call them for everything here. They are like the mom of the city people call when something seems out of place.

We did see a miracle while finding! We had a prompting to knock on a door, so we knock and a lady answers and tells us to come in and that she was actually in fact LDS. Wait what? She was baptized when she was 9 with her grandma, and then she moved and her records were never moved with her. So flash forward, she is 42, a member and hasn't been active since! CRAZY!!! She told us we could get her records moved and that we could also come over and teach her the lessons! We found a lost sheep! :)

We had a lesson with Brad, and wow this guy has been prepared! He told us that the Baptist church turned him off because he didn't feel like his grandma would go to hell because she was a good person even though she wasn't very religious and that he had always wondered why there were so many different churches! It was a great lesson, the Spirit was there, the member had great insight and he really seemed to understand. PLEASE PRAY FOR HIM!!! We are struggling to get a return appointment with him and we need the faith of all for God's work to be brought forth!

A Sister Bradley blonde moment: So we found out right before bed Saturday that it was daylight savings that night, my companion had already gone to sleep so I tried figuring out what time to change the alarm to because our phone doesn't change the time automatically. Soooo...I set the alarm for 5:15 which ended up being 4:15 in reality...HAHAHA my companion was so confused that morning! At least we got to sleep for 2 more hours though :)

I found a Spiritual gem in my studies this week. I was reading Matt 22:36-39 which says:
"36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

38 This is the first and great commandment.

39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."
I've shared this scripture with many people over my lifetime and receive this response several times, "What if I don't love myself?" That always puzzled me, and I never quite knew how to respond appropriately. But, as I studied these verses, it hit me. First, we LOVE GOD with EVERYTHING that we have. This comes first for a very specific reason because once we have done this, we come to know the the DIVINE and ETERNAL love that God has for us. Once we understand that love, our lives are changed forever, and we in turn can love ourselves that same way. This leads to the second commandment to love others with that love that you have come to have for yourself, all from the understanding of love that God has for you. We can then see others this same way, and help them understand the love that God has for them.

Serving with a Smile,
Sister Bradley

Pictures:
1. Found some INDIANA swag at Target 
2. Our favorite sign to see :) at least it's cute.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Indiana Facebook Post - Interviews

Indy North zone interviews today (November 1, 2017). There was a chill in the air but not in the Fisher's Building.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Hello Fishers! - Email from Jenny

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! - Email from Jenny

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 :)