Sister Bradley

Sister Bradley

Monday, September 18, 2017

We have arrived Transfer 9

Hello!

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

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

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

Serving with a Smile,
Sister Bradley

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

 2. Aiden and I on chef duty

3. Taaaadaaaaah!

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

Monday, September 11, 2017

Irreplaceable - Email from Jenny Sept. 11

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

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

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

Serving with a Smile,
Sister Bradley

Pictures!

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

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

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Text Message Treasures

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

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

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Indianan Facebook Page - Zone Conference

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











Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Hola - Email from Jenny Sept 5

Buenos Dias!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Serving with a Smile,
Sister Bradley


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

Monday, September 4, 2017

Monday, August 28, 2017

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

Hello hello!!!

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

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

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

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

Serving with a Smile,
Sister Bradley

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


Monday, August 21, 2017

Blasphemy - Email from Jenny Aug. 21

Weeeelll, hello again :)

We saw Jackie again this week, and it seems that every single time we go over, she has a new problem. It's her phone or her neighbor or her husband or her health. I could go on for days :) anyway, that is not the point, the point is that as we recenter her on what is important which is Jesus Christ and His gospel, her worries seem to melt away. She is able to remember that her time here is so so short in the grand scheme of things and that all of her current concerns will resolve themselves one way or another. It's also crazy too because she texted us before the lesson telling us this might be our last visit just because of how hectic things have been. Those are always SUPER stressful lessons, because you kinda only have one chance, but I never cease to be amazed by what God's teachings can do to help us :)

We started teaching a 17 year old girl in a part member family named Stephanie. She has a ton of faith!! We asked her about how she came to have the desire to learn considering all of her immediate family she lives with are not religious and she told us that it was her grandpa. He devoted time to teaching her and sharing with her his testimony of the gospel, and now because of that devotion, she wants to take her faith to the next level. I have observed over and over again in so many different homes the influence that parents and grandparents can have on children. The examples they set are a model for their children's lives, whether they know it or not!

We met with the Stith family and shared the Word of Wisdom with them. We read the scripture in 1 Corinthians 6:19--20 which says,
 "19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s."  After we read this scripture, Ryan looked at us and said "OH NO!!! I desecrated my temple!" (he has tattoos) Woah. We were talking about was goes in our bodies, but Ryan was able to learn by the Spirit how special his body was, and that is is literally a gift from God. This family is waaaay different than when we first found them. They are experiencing the change that comes from learning and living Jesus Christ's gospel. On Sunday, this brother gave a talk about Grace and said something really insightful about Christ's ability to change. He talked about the significance of Jesus Christ's first miracle being to turn water into wine. To be honest, this miracle has always slightly annoyed me because people will try to justify wine with regards to the Word of Wisdom. But, he said that this miracle shows Christ's ability to transform. He took water which is plain, common, and average, and transformed it into wine, something refined, exquisite and pure. The wine was of the best quality, and so the same is promised for us. We can be made of the finest quality as we follow Jesus Christ's perfect example and strive to live as He lived.

Also, the Spirit help me realize the coolest thing this week! What do all these scriptures have in common? :
-"Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies?" (Mark 2:7)
-"The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy;" (John 10 :33)
-"Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy." (Matt 26:65)
-"And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, Who is this which speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?" (Luke 5:21)

How often are we, as members of Christ's church, accused of blasphemy by others? I found it ironic, that just as Jesus Christ we are scrutinized for the truths that we know and hold dear to our hearts. It is comforting to realize we are not alone!

Serving with a Smile,
Sister Bradley

Side note: So, I got asked out over the phone (thank goodness, so he couldn't see my expressions) by a 45 year old black man....a new level of creepy has been reached. Don't worry, I shut him down very quickly. :)

Pictures!
 Sister Soloa'i and I :)

 THE ECLIPSE!!! You can't really tell in the pic though haha

The Riverwalk

Monday, August 14, 2017

Good, Better, Best - Email from Jenny Aug. 14

Okay, I'm just going to get straight to the good stuff :)

We taught the Stith family yesterday, and I am not even sure I could adequately describe how much I love them!!! We taught them the Gospel of Jesus Christ yesterday and during the lesson they told us that they had actually already quit coffee for a week (and we haven't even taught them the Word of Wisdom yet)! This is coming from the man who made coffee out of a sock when he was in the Marines because he was so desperate to get his coffee and now a week later with no coffee pot on their counter, they both said that it wasn't even that hard!!! "And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible." (Mark 10:27) They originally thought we were crazy for not drinking coffee too. Our 2nd meeting with them they told us they looked up things about us online (always a scary moment for a missionary) and they asked if we really didn't drink coffee, and now they don't either :) This definitely strengthened my testimony that God is truly preparing people everywhere! There are those who are just waiting for the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to come into their lives! (Oh, and just a side note, they were stoked when they found out they could serve a mission as senior couple, and even more excited when they learned they could come out with us!)

When we taught Yali this week, she told us that she had an epiphany. You honestly never know what you are going to get with Yali :) She told us that after Jesus Christ, there was no Prophet on the earth, not until Joseph Smith saw God and Jesus Christ and was called to be a prophet! We definitely taught her that, but it is not until she pondered it herself and studied it out herself that she was able to realize the truth of the matter for herself. That is something that I have definitnely seen as I have served the Lord. I have been told Gospel truths my whole life, but a lot of them didn't make sense or "click" I guess you could say until my mission. "But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right." (D&C 9:8)

We taught Jozalyn, Reahlyn and Ethan Bryce about the Temple because they had some concerns about their family situation. They desperately desired their family to be together forever but felt sad that it didn't look promising for them. We talked about what the temples are for. They viewed the temple as more of a limiting thing, limiting their family from being together forever, when in reality it is the exact opposite. In civil marriage vows, they say "until death do you part" but in the temple we are promised "time and all eternity." What a special promise we are enabled to have through God's temples!

We have been trying a new way of counting new investigators. Instead of counting them as a new right after we set the return appointment, we are waiting until the return appointment happens, to ensure that they truly are a new investigator. It has been so wonderful to see how we are exactly where God needs us though. We have met around 3  new people this week that all said we were a sign from God that they were waiting for. 

Lately I have been thinking a lot about one of the greatest tools Satan uses to prevent us from doing the things that are the most important. We have seen out here in the field that if Satan can't get us to do anything bad, he will prevent us from doing good. Allowing us to think, "oh, I am too tired to study the scriptures" and then justifying it with"I won't get anything out of it anyway." Or "I don't have time for church on Sunday, I have to many other things I have to do." In our case it's "I'd love to meet with you, but I am just so busy, I don't have any time to." I don't doubt the validity of all of these statements, life is SUPER busy! But, it is a matter of what our priorities are. We all know the motto "good, better, best" and we can fill our time with all of these good things, but we should stop and ask ourselves if they are the BEST things we could be doing. Have we done our daily scripture study and filled our Spirit? Have we been to church and partaken of the sacrament to renew our covenants and our commitment to Christ? Have we fervently prayed to our Father in Heaven showing our gratitude and seeking His will for us in our lives? Have we taken a moment to serve another person, to lift another one of God's children who may be in need? Our mission president said something I thought was very profound. He said, "The enemy of the best, is the good."

Serving with a Smile,
Sister Bradley


P.S. This guy sitting next to me at the computers just called my name and said "sister Bradley, I have a picture of an authentic angel, can I show you??" He is so excited he is almost shaking, he is urgently trying to pull it up on Facebook. He told me that his brother took it and he thinks it is the angel Gabriel. He had to go to his car to get the picture for me, but he said I could keep it, and he encouraged me to show everyone I met. He also said that at least 4 Fathers from his church said that it was authentic. I simply told him that we definitely believe angels can minister to us today. He also told me he got in a car accident a while ago and has memory issues now, and is struggling with dementia.

Pictures!

 1. Mishawaka Riverwalk

 2. We found a cool road

3. I know I am pretty cheesy

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Overcoming Stumbling Blocks - Email from Jenny Aug. 10

Hello!!!! We had transfers and now Sister Soloa'i and I are here in Mishawaka!! She is a quarter Polynesian and is from Wyoming. She is also vegetarian (which should make dinners interesting) :) and this will be her last transfer!!

We had an awesome week too!!! :) We met with the Stith family and they are doing so great! They always have so many questions about the Book of Mormon and are trying to absorb as much as they can!! We invited them to be baptized on September 9th and all 3 of them accepted!!! It was so cute too because after we met with them, Janet texted us and asked us what she needed to be doing to prepare for her baptism next month! She is so excited! They take notes of all the things that we tell them and put a lot of effort into retaining it all!! Please keep them in your prayers!!!

We also had a lesson with a new investigator named Melissa. I asked her why she agreed to let us come back (because at first she seemed hesitant) and she said that she had been searching for a sign in her life and had actually been wanting to go back to church for several years and she took us to be that sign! We taught her the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and wow the Spirit was strong! She was hearing impaired but I definitely believe that the Spirit helped her understand!! She committed to be baptized if she came to know it was true and agreed to come to church!!! Please pray for Melissa to receive answers as she prays!

We met with a girl named Kelly Jeffers that was a referral from a girl visiting the Notre Dame ward!!! She is 17 and the last time we met with her I wasn't exactly sure how interested she was. We tried teaching her the Book of Mormon but she seemed super uncomfortable. Needless to say I had no idea what to expect this lesson! She sure surprised me when she said she read through 4 chapters and LOVED it!!! We went through the Restoration of the Gospel as she told us A LOT about the Catholic faith (seriously, I've never met a Catholic that knew as much as she does!) At the end of the lesson we asked her thoughts and feelings about what we had talked about and she said she was so confused! She said she just had a big question mark in her head because she didn't want to leave the comfort of the religion she knew, and she knew if she joined she wouldn't be able to have her family come to her wedding and all these different things were going through head. Sister Soloa'i gave her great advice. She said "It is just as dangerous to live in the future as it is in the past." We told her to focus on the here and now and just reading and finding out if it was true and that everything else would be fine. Kelly calmed right down! She said she felt so much better and agreed to meet again!

We met with Yali, and I was super impressed when she said that she had decided to put aside the trinity issue because she didn't want it to block her or stop her from learning more. Wow, not a lot of people we teach are able to do that.

We also saw Reahlyn and Ethan! They are two of our investigators we have been struggling to see for the past several months! #1 they loved sister Soloa'i because she is a Poly and #2 they expressed to us a lot of concerns that they had that we started to address then, and are going to completely address the next lesson! Hopefully they start progressing toward baptism again!! Lots of prayers would be greatly appreciated!! 

There have been several experiences with people and myself that have directed my thought to the different stumbling blocks we face in life. Yali had the stumbling block of the trinity, Reahlyn had a couple stumbling block preventing her from progressing, Jackie had the stumbling block of discouragement, I had a couple stumbling blocks preventing me from being the missionary I am capable of. Everyone of us faces these every day. Yes, it is no fun, but it comes with a choice. We can choose to let these blocks stand in our way, we can set that stumbling block aside somewhere it can be addressed later, or we can move forward with faith overcoming the stumbling block. I know that these stumbling blocks do not come from God, they come from the author of all confusion who doesn't want us to progress and doesn't want us to move forward. With God's help, these things can be overcome!!! I invite all of you to look at your own lives. What are some things that may be holding you back from reaching your full potential? I invite you to make a choice to not let that stumbling block affect you any longer. The scriptures promise that Jesus Christ can take them away: 
"And it shall come to pass, that if the Gentiles shall hearken unto the Lamb of God in that day that he shall manifest himself unto them in word, and also in power, in very deed, unto the taking away of their stumbling blocks" (1 Nephi 14:1)
Let Christ take your stumbling blocks away, all you have to do in return is to "hearken unto" Him.

Serving with a Smile,
Sister Bradley

Pictures!
Sister Soloa'i and our cute house!

Friday, August 4, 2017

Indiana Mission Facebook Page - Leadership Council

Mission Leadership Council on Friday August 4, 2017. Lots of new faces to this group. We welcome these exemplary leaders and look forward to some great mission leadership.

Monday, July 31, 2017

#blessed - Email from Jenny July 31

HOLA!! Transfer news came!!!! And....Sister Murray will be leaving and I will be getting a new companion!! It figures because she has been here for 9 months...haha my new companions name is Sister Soloa'i and I've heard she is a super good missionary so it should be a good time next transfer!

This week we finally found success in getting a wheelchair for Jackie to use at church!! Her wheelchair is super big and super heavy and she felt like an inconvenience bringing it to church, and after 3 weeks of searching we found one at the VFW. What is that you may ask? it the Veterans of Foreign Wars and they apparently loan out wheelchairs to Veterans or their families in need, but they happen to not have anyone using them at the time, so they let us take one :) Now she can come to church!! Definitely said a gratitude prayer after that one!!

Also, Yali is BACK!!!! They were on vacation for a super long time!! They also fed us dinner on Saturday and wow. American Chinese food is WAAAY different than authentic!!! We ate a huge bowl of soup and then she gave us a plate (because we are Americans and all Americans eat a lot I guess...) and then we picked a little more of the food she prepared and then after we put food on our plate, she started shoveling food on our plate! We told her "that's good! That's good!" but she kept going! She also gave us tons of meat because she thinks Americans eat so much meat and "Chinese don't eat much meat." Right now, she is very stuck on the trinity. She can't fathom anything else being true. Every time we see her she brings it up and we share something with her. She is slowly becoming more open to it...I think. We told her about the Nicene Creed and how man defined God and voted on it. She said in China that she would recite the Nicene Creed in church occasionally and that when she did that she would feel uncomfortable! We told her that was the Holy Spirit telling her that it wasn't true, but I am not sure if she completely understood what we were saying...darn language barrier.

The Stith family is still doing great!! We had a complete lesson on the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ with them and they were so excited! Ryan was taking good notes and they were understanding all the content well! Ryan and his son Aiden even came to chruch when Janet couldn't come because she had work! We were planning the next lesson and it looked like it'd have to be in the late evening at 8pm and Ryan was like "Ehhh, it's okay that it's late, I'll lose sleep for Jesus!!" Yes!!! "Seek ye first the kingdom of God... and all these things shall be added unto you." (Matt 6 :33)

This week we also had Zone conference, and Sister Murray and I were asked to give a training on planning. We realized some pretty cool things as we planned this training. In Preach My Gospel, almost every time it talks about planning, it always says, SET GOALS before make plans. After reading that seriously like 20 times, it dawned on us. Before making any plans for the day, the week, or lessons, anything, it is SO IMPORTANT TO MAKE GOALS FIRST! What would be the point of the plans made if there was no progress towards an end goal? Think of the perfect plan that was prepared for us. It was Heavenly Father's plan. He has a very specific goal for us: Exaltation. And He has a very specific plan for us to live while we are here on earth to achieve that: The Gospel of Jesus Christ. If we are to emulate His perfect planning and to become more like Him, we must prayerfully set goals and then seek Heavenly Father's guidance to work and make those goals come to pass. This week we had a goal of 3 new investigators and we only had 2 on Sunday, so we set a goal of 1, and then we made plans of where we wanted to go to try and make this goal come to pass. We prayed for this goal all day, and in the end, because of showing our faith, we found success. (This definitely applies to non-missionary life too ) God wants us to achieve our full potential! But, He can't help us if we don't set goals to improve and make plans to accomplish them. I invite you to re-evaluate the goals that you have. Are they moving you toward your ultimate goal? Do you have an end goal?

Love you!!

Serving with a Smile,
Sister Bradley

 1. President Carlson had a birthday and an Elder made him a pin!

 2. Exchange picture (because I forgot to take one when we exchanged with the Plymouth sisters)

 3. Kelly Roy and her daughter Shania, Kelly is a less active we work with!

4. Yali, and her son Yiheng :) they are so cute!!

Chinese food!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Indiana Mission Facebook Page - Zone Conference

The South Bend and Elkhart zones were nice enough to come to share President Carlson's birthday with him today (it was really their zone conference day - July 25, 2017). These are great missionaries and we love them a lot!


Monday, July 24, 2017

Bunnies - Picture from Jenny July 24



So, the Elders found baby bunnies outside the church building, so they took it upon themselves to catch them...but we got to hold them so it was all good :) and no, we have not gotten any diseases yet either (that is for you mom!).

"Are you more worried about global warming then Hell?" - Email from Jenny July 24

Hello! It is Monday again already!!!

We had a pretty intense experience with Jackie this week. We were going to meet with her that night and all of a sudden we get a text from her saying how confused she was because one of her friends came over and told her what horrible people were were and said all these negative, untrue things to her. Friends, this is what we missionaries call being "anti-ed". Jackie was so confused because of the lack of knowledge she has about religion in general. We happened to be in her neighborhood and the appointment we were going to fell through, so we were able to rush over! Jackie explained to us that her friend saw the Book of Mormon and freaked out and then just went off on this rant. She said that her friend wanted us to call her when we got there so she could talk to us, we didn't really want that but Jackie really wanted us to hear it from her. We told her to not mention that we were there because we didn't want there to be any contention or arguing, so she called her and put her on speaker and just asked her to remind her what she said. Now I've got to admit, I was a little bit nervous in this moment. Usually when people anti you, you aren't mentally prepared for it and it kinda just happens, but this time I had time to think about it beforehand. I was thinking to myself, "Is this going to shake me? Is my conversion deep enough?" Then I thought of Jacob in the Book of Mormon and when he was confronted with the Anti-Christ named Sherem. Jacob said, 
" And he had hope to shake me from the faith, notwithstanding the many revelations and the many things which I had seen concerning these things; for I truly had seen angels, and they had ministered unto me. And also, I had heard the voice of the Lord speaking unto me in very word, from time to time; wherefore, I could not be shaken." (Jacob 7:5)
As this lady retold all these horrible things Jackie I could feel that I, like Jacob, could not be shaken. In fact, these absurd things she was saying made me laugh because of the ignorance and lack of knowledge this lady had about our church. Now, I have not seen angels by any means, but I can say that I have felt the Spirit testify to me that these things are true and this witness is more powerful than Satan's lies and deceptions. I can say now with an even stronger conviction that I know this is Jesus Christ's church.

We have been working with a new family! There names are Ryan and Janet Stith and their sons name is Aiden! We had two lessons with them and they already found out we don't drink coffee but they were still willing to meet with us even though they love their coffee! (Like seriously though, in the Marines, Ryan made a coffee filter out of a sock so he could drink his coffee!) They came to church yesterday too and said they had a wonderful experience!! Please pray for them!!

So we met this man named Leon when we were tracting and he was really wanting to know more about Jesus and he had been reading the New Testament by himself. We texted him later in the week and he said he wanted to meet that day and he told us what park to meet him at. We came, and he said his high school sweetheart named Aqcuawna would be coming too which we though would be super awkward but it ended up being great! After we started teaching she asked, "How old are you two?" "20." "Wooow. That is amazing how dedicated you are at such a young age!" We taught them about the Book of Mormon and they both really wanted a copy, so we told them we'd bring them one the next time we meet. We all said a prayer together which was really interesting because we all stood in a circle and held hands and then they started praying to Jesus... and they other would say "amen" "yes Lord" "mmhmm" and all their kids started joining in and then they started going around the circle and letting everyone pray and I panicked and was like AH we don't pray like this! What do I do?! but then they stopped before it got to us!  #blessed

We were able to get in contact with a part member family!! The member's name is Michelle Covert, and her son isn't a member. We have been wanting to ask if we could teach her son for like 4 months! We dropped by and as we were writing a note, she pulled up in her car and let us in! This lady has a LOT of problems. Like, if you think your life is bad, you should talk to her. I won't name them all but she has a TON of health issues and is pretty much falling apart and is planning on moving to be with her mom so she can take care of her AND to top it off, her ex-husband's mom (who she was very close to) died and she was really struggling with that. Her son was really struggling with the death of his Grandma and she kept expressing how hard this was. It was really perfect though because I was able to relate to her because my father had passed away and I was able to testify of how much comfort the Plan of Salvation gave me at such a young age and was able to offer teaching that to her son so that he can feel the comfort that comes from knowing that plan. She expressed a lot of gratitude and said that she would ask him! It is amazing to see how we can bless the lives of others though the trials we have in life.

I have been thinking a lot about something that Acquawna told us she heard from her pastor. I think it was pretty profound. She talked about how in life, we go around and we can talk to anyone about our interests, for example, football. You say someone's favorite team and they can go on and on about the players and the statistics and all those details. But, how many people go up to people on the street and start talking about Jesus and they players on His team like Matthew and Noah and all the different things they learn in the scriptures (I mean besides us, we do that on a daily basis). It is definitely a good indicator of where your priorities are in life. If Christ is on your mind constantly, then that is who you will talk about. If other things are on your mind, those are the things you will talk about. I invite you to re-evaluate what your thoughts are preoccupied with, if they are not focused on the things that matter most in the grad scheme of things, don't worry, there is always repentance. :)

Serving with a Smile,
Sister Bradley

 1. We went on a "hike" at Baugo creek! (It was pretty much a walk haha)

 2. Finding my inner balance.

3. These Church signs may be my favorite part of Indiana!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Spanish, a break through and church struggles - Email from Jenny July 17

WOW! What a crazy week!!! To start it off, we had two exchanges back to back! My first exchange was in Goshen, IN with Hermana Pugmire! First off, I gotta say this girl is a champ. She is at the end of her mission and had the task of training the first Spanish Sister in the mission, all while she barely knows Spanish! It has been so cool to see her grow as she learns the language and the culture (especially with having me as her companion for a day who knows little Spanish...) We started off the day studying at the library but lo and behold we didn't make it too far because we got in a car accident...now before you freak out let me explain. I backed Hermana Pugmire out of the parking space, got in the car and then we jolted forward, someone backed their car into us! Everyone was completely fine though! We got out of the car to look at the damage and while the huge van that the lady was driving had a completely shattered tail-light with fiber glass all over the floor and her bumper hanging down, our car only had a cracked tail-light and barely had some paint scratched off of it! God protects his missionaries, that is for sure! It is funny because I forgot to tell my companion about this, and then I got a call from the mission nurse asking if I was okay after the accident. She was pretty surprised :) Anyway, if you are wondering what I did on the exchange, I said "hola" and then stood there and smiled and looked pretty while Hermana Pugmire talked to them. I tried listening to them intently though to see if I could figure out what they were saying. I understood like 1/3 of the things they were saying haha then when we left I would say "adios" and then ask Hermana Pugmire what happened exactly :)

A little update on the cute 8 year old girl we are teaching: Ivy has decided that she wants to be baptized into our church, but her mom Roxie wants her to be baptized Catholic, even though she doesn't have any of the beliefs of a Catholic! Roxie just ignores ivy when she tries to ask her mom about it :( Please pray for Ivy, this is really hard for her! She went crying to her neighbor who is a member, and doesn't know what to do. Also, pray that Roxie's heart will be softened!

We had a break through with Peggy and she finally understands what the Restoration of the Gospel means after 4 months!!! So much so, that she decided that she would come to church! Let me tell you, this was not an easy process. She needed to go to the ward that starts at 1pm (instead of ours at 9am) but none of the members were able to take her! They all had things they were doing! We finally found a couple to take her and it was perfect because they happened to be speaking in the 1pm ward that week! But then, we couldn't find someone to bring her home, we called SO many people and then when we finally found someone at like 10pm Saturday night, but then they texted us while we were asleep and told us they actually couldn't do it! Ah! Thank goodness the Relief Society President could do it (I finally understand why it is called the "relief" society! hah) We were relieved! But then, 30 minutes before that ward was going to start the couple that said they would take her said they actually couldn't do it! AH! We called them and I think they could tell how much we were freaking out so they said they'd take her. Not to mention how hard we prayed that Peggy's health would be good enough to get herself ready to come because on Saturday she said she felt awful. God answers prayers my friends. He knows when we are sincerely asking. He hears our pleas of desperation. And I want you to know that He is the only one that made Peggy coming to church possible.

To make Sunday even more crazy, Jackie was able to come to church too!!! But, this wasn't easy either! There were so many stumbling blocks in the way! Jackie has a HUGE mobile wheelchair and is a big lady. She has wanted to go to church so badly! She told us she couldn't go because she didn't have any clean clothes and was out of soap to wash them so, we brought her some hygiene supplies so she could wash out her clothes before church. Then we had the task of figure out how to get Jackie and her wheelchair to the church. Thank goodness we have an awesome member named Pule Moala! He is from Tonga and LOVES missionary work! He will do literally anything to help us! And he sure proved it yesterday! He and his son lifted her wheelchair into the back of his
Escalade and brought her to and from church!!! I am so grateful for the service they gave to us that day. Jackie was so excited to go to church, and it was all possible with the help of the Moala family!

In one of our meetings this past week, and Elder gave a training about fear and how that effects missionary work. He asked another Elder, "What would you do today if you knew you could find 3 people to baptize?" none of us expected a question like that and I hadn't ever actually thought about that before. The elder responded that he would pretty much do anything if he knew that. Then he asked, what holds us back from being able to find those 3 people everyday and working as hard as we can to find those people? A huge part of that seems to be fear. Then he proceed to talk about how to overcome fear. As I've been reflecting on this I remembered fear does not come from God. It comes from Satan. Satan is going to try and do everything he can to distract us or slow the work. I was thinking about how this applies to literally everyone though too. What are some things we have all wanted to do or achieve but have never really attempted because of fear? Our potential as sons and daughters of God are limitless. We shouldn't allow fear to stunt our growth and prevent us from becoming what Heavenly Father truly wants us to be!

Sorry for the long email! But I love you all! Have a stellar week!

Serving with a Smile,
Sister Bradley

 1. We went to a Blueberry Farm last Monday and got to pick our own blueberries!!! It was great! We got like 4 lbs for $8!


 2. We had a Free Lemonade stand to find people to teach! The purpose of it was to get people to come to us :) Pretty successful too!


 3. Jackie made it to church!!


4. Peggy made it to church too!!!