Sister Bradley

Sister Bradley

Monday, June 26, 2017

LOADS of surprises - Email from Jenny, June 26

Hello friends and family!! Life has been nuts this past week! First off, we went to the temple with Linda!!! It was such a wonderful experience in the end, however, we encountered a bit of opposition when we saw Linda on Thursday (2 days before we were scheduled to go) and were having our last lesson of preparation before she went into the temple. We were telling her about the process and asked if we could see her recommend, to which she replied, "a recommend? I never got one of those....." oh dear. Sister Murray and I made contact with the Bishop very quickly to get everything sorted out. Turns out that it was never communicated to him on Sunday that he was supposed to interview her for a recommend! He was able to do the interview Saturday morning at 8am before our journey 2 1/2 hours south to the temple :) The Spirit was very strong there especially as she was able to bring her family names of her mother and sister to the temple.

We had a super weird experience tracting on Wednesday. We tried knocking on several doors. The first one a boy our age answered and seemed super interested and had just gotten out of jail and was ready for a fresh start and then his grandma came up to the door saying, "No no no..." she asked us if we were Pentecostal to we replied no, Jehovah Witnesses? no. Well, what are you? Mormons. Oh, well we don't want you either. We walked away from that super sad! This boy almost a chance! His grandma scolded him after we left too. Then people were pretty mean too us BUT THEN, we had the strangest experience that kinda made up for how awful the rest of the street was. We knocked on this guy's door and he said he was Hindu. He was really intrigued and had a lot of questions and then his friend came out and joined us. They were both totally drunk (apparently it is a tradition they have to play basketball and then drink cocktails after haha) so it made for an interesting conversation. We ended up giving them both a Book of Mormon and they said they would read it! Then they randomly gave us a Bhagavad Gita, a Petrarch selected poems book and then a tapestry of Jesus Christ and the last supper!!!

We have learned that we need to be better with our miles allotted for our car because we only had 9 miles left a day....yikes. Some members let us borrow their bikes and some elders let us borrow their helmets and a bike lock and we were set!!! We ended up biking 20 miles on Thursday...which is great and all except we weren't used to all the time we had to spend traveling! We had to get creative with the things we did. We ended up going to the Riverwalk which is a beautiful park in Mishawaka and doing some chalking. We drew the Plan of Salvation and left our information there too. That night at 10:21pm I saw we had a missed call from an unknown number so I decided that I might as well call it back since I had 9 minutes. I called back and it was a girl who saw our drawing and was interested in learning more!!! THAT LITERALLY NEVER HAPPENS!! It was hard to fall asleep that night I was so happy and excited!

Sunday, we relied on God all day (well, I guess we always do that, but today it was in a more temporal way). It was a very interesting experience. We got a ride to church and then another member drove us up to the top of our area for a young man's farewell lunch before he leaves for his mission. We left the luncheon walking, not really sure how we were going to get home (considering it'd be more than a 10 mile walk) and started contacting people we saw on the streets. These girls who were leaving the luncheon and heading south for Warsaw saw us and offered us a ride! We just saw God bless us so much for trying to still work to the best of our capacity for what we had been given at that certain moment. 

I found that being on bikes and on foot gave me a lot more opportunity to think  and ponder about life more deeply. I thought a lot about the decisions that we make, the simple choices, and how those are the sole influence of who we become. I will not lie, it did get very frustrating at times when things didn't go as we planned or when lessons we had already started biking to for 20 minutes would fall through and we would have to change plans, but then I realized I could let that bother me, or I could be proactive, more forward, and make the most of what I was given. This whole week has been full of new learning experiences and therefore a lot of new growth. As I was given this time to reflect all week I was reminded of President Monson's talk. He said, "It has been said by one, years ago, that history turns on small hinges, and so do people’s lives. Our lives will depend upon the decisions which we make—for decisions determine destiny." And now as I reflect on this even more I am reminded of a quote by Dieter Uchtdorf, "It is your reaction to adversity, not the adversity itself, that determines how your life’s story will develop."  The simple decisions we make everyday determine who we become, and it is the small decisions we make that allow it to be easier to make the right decision when we are faced with the big things. I know that I have a Savior to look to as my perfect example. I am far from perfect, but I know that I have His divine help as I strive to get there. Please examine the decisions you make daily and ask yourselves if they are shaping you into the person you want to become. If they aren't, today is a great day to change. :)
Love you all!!!

Serving with a Smile,
Sister Bradley

1. Free stuff from drunk guys...

 2. We made it!!! :)

 3. Bikin' for days

4. Indiana is pretty beautiful I guess ;)

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Indiana Facebook Post - Temple Baptisms

A beautiful summer day in Carmel, Indiana on Saturday, June 24, 2017. Taking photos after sweet temple baptisms was a good way to enjoy the lovely weather outside.

*Taken from the Indiana Indianapolis Mission "With Full Purpose of Heart" Facebook post.

Monday, June 19, 2017

I'm proud to be an American - Email from Jenny, June 19


The transfer news came AND........Sister Murray and Sister Bradley get to stay together for another 6 weeks! That means Sister Murray will be here half of her mission...but she rearranged the furniture today, so I guess she is good now. haha

Anyway, some news on Doug, he is on date to be baptized July 8 and has almost quit smoking! He started at like 8 cigarettes a day and he just started to try going a day without smoking! We shared this scripture with him as we helped him make goals "with men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible." (Matthew 19:26) AND God is so good and His timing is so perfect because his wife is house sitting their daughter's house and she smokes which makes it really hard for him to quit sometimes, so she won't be there to tempt him! :D please keep him in your prayers!

Next, I would just like to express how grateful I am to be an American. Talking with Yali is so eye-opening, she was very concerned because when she goes back to China she will have to live lots of laws that she doesn't think are fair, and she was asking us what we thought about the law and if we would break it or not. We told her it is a commandment to obey and honor the law, even when laws may not seem fair. She told us how she feels that she is a slave to the law, but we had to point out to her that there are members of the church in China and they are allowed to live the religion, even though it has to be within the parameters of the law. Yes the law may be limiting, but she would be even more bound if she were to break the law because she would have to suffer consequences that are even worse than the law. She has a great deal of patience to learn for God's timing!

We have been teaching this 8 year old girl named Ivy, and she is so sweet and darling! She told us she knows the church is true because she has prayed and God has answered her! She knows all the doctrine so well too! So we talked to her parents about being baptized, and her dad wanted her to be baptized BUT her mom wanted her to be baptized Catholic...well that's awkward. They said they'd think about it and when we went back, they said they might have her baptized Mormon but have her be Catholic (they don't want to sit through the Catechism classes with her)...hmmm, I just don't think it works like that. I'll let you know when the decision is made!

Also, on Sunday the Elders in our ward told us they wanted to give one of their family's they were teaching to us because they are both leaving! They are a sweet family who moved here from Kenya 2 years ago and seem super solid and prepared!!!

I wanted to share a spiritual thought we have been sharing with lots of people. It is in 3 Nephi 13 (also found in the Bible) verses 31-33:
31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
32 For your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.
We have found that a lot of people place priorities in temporal and physical things like cleaning the house and paying the bills and taking a nap, and they struggle with finding time to do things like pray and read the scriptures and go to church. However, God has a great promise for us. He is telling us that He knows ALL the things we need (probably better than we do) and that if we will take the time to put him first in our life, we will be blessed with all the things we need and more! Please take the time to feed yourselves Spiritually! It will bless you individually, it will bless your immediate family, and it will influence generations to come!!! Take God's word for it, not mine :) 

Serving with a Smile,
Sister Bradley


1. We got to visit Notre Dame Campus and see the famous "Touchdown Jesus"

2. Cheesin' it!

3. First down Moses was also the homie :)

4. In the Basilica, it was beautiful!

 1. We ran into some other missionaries in our zone on the Notre Dame campus! (also, we think there were more Mormons than Catholics because met 3 other Mormon families in the Basilica!)

2. Me, Murray, Elder Grieve, Elder Nielson So Elder Grieve and I are from the same place and Sister Murray and Elder Nielson are from the same place! Look at that! 

3. Exchanges with the Spanish Sisters! Pugmire, me, Murray, Rivera

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Indianan Facebook Post - Zone Conference

Last Tuesday (June 13, 2017) was zone conference with the South Bend and Elkhart zones in Mishawaka.

*Taken from the Indiana Indianapolis Mission "With Full Purpose of Heart" Facebook post.

Monday, June 12, 2017

I think I blinked...-Email from Jenny, June12

The weeks are just flying by! We saw a lot of miracles this week as we were diligent, showed our faith and were obedient. We met with Yali and taught her the message of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We were really lucky to have the Chinese sisters with Sister Luo who is from China facetime us to add or explain things and concepts that Yali had a hard time with! Yali has done so much searching on her own. In China they don't have YouTube and she has had a huge access here in America to so many things that she hadn't before! She had awful experiences in China that made her feel like she didn't belong. For example, she went to her pastor in China and told him that she wanted more children and that the Bible says "be fruitful" and "multiply and replenish the earth" and her pastor's response was shocking he said that her wanting more than 1 or 2 children is selfish and greedy and that those desires come from Satan. He also said that those commandments are "out of date." We sat there baffled when we heard this. She said she watched a talk by Elder Bednar that talked about this and that she felt peace and comfort in knowing she is not the only one who had those beliefs! In church, she sits there in complete joy as she hears all the children make noise and cry because everyone has big families and that is something that is so foreign to her. She told us after class (that was all about families, literally all the lessons we have had have been perfect for her) that she could only understand 30% of what everyone was saying because of the language barrier, but that she knows it is true and that it is from God. Yali feels the Spirit so strongly in the meetings because her heart is so open. She knows the Book of Mormon is true and she wants to be baptized as well as with her family. She considers it a gift to be able to come to America so that she could learn more about Jesus Christ's church and be baptized into it. What an inspiration.
We had a day this past week where we just weren't feeling very good and were kinda miserable and honestly, it would have been so easy to go and do something less productive than finding, but we pressed forward and tried contacting a man named Tyler. He wasn't home and his family was moving to Colorado so we decided to knock on a couple of houses next to him. The second door we knocked on a was a lady named Yilena. She was a little surprised and awkward, but after we told her that we desire to bring people closer to Christ, she allowed us to come back!!! Just goes to show that it is when we don't want to work (or pray, or read the scriptures, or go to church) that we need to the most and that we will receive the most blessings. We taught her the next day and she explained a little of the conflict she is facing in her life and we were able to show her that the Gospel is what will help her through all this conflict she is facing. I know I probably sound like a broken record, but I can't even describe how true it is that the Gospel has all the answers to life's trials and challenges!

Last week, we received a referral for a lady named Jackie. We visited her this week and taught her about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When we told her about Joseph Smith's first vision, she was astounded and couldn't believe that God actually heard his prayer and answered it! We assured her that not only did He do it for Joseph Smith, but that He answers all our prayers as well. As we approached the end of the lesson, we asked Jackie about her thoughts and feelings. She started to cry and told us that she hadn't felt loved by anyone in a long time, and we testified to her that she was feeling God's love right now, and told her how important she was to Him and to us.

Bouncing off of that thought, we taught Jessica and Josh (the family we met last week) and to be honest, it was super super awkward in the beginning. They both don't have a super strong Christian background, but the believe in Jesus Christ. We talked about the nature of God and Jesus Christ and their different roles that they play and the perfect plan that was given to us to allow us the chance to return to live with Them. They were pretty quiet and answered the questions we asked with very short statements, but then towards the end, Josh really surprised us. He said, "I have one question for you." And then we were 35 mins late to dinner....hahaha we repented, don't worry. Anyway, Josh started asking all these super deep questions about so many different doctrines. We thought to ourselves "Aha! You were paying attention!" One of his biggest concerns was that if God wants us to be happy, then why would he ask us not to do things that make us happy (like drink alcohol in his case). We realized the distinct difference there is between having happiness and having joy. Happiness is often associated with temporary things, like being comfortable and indulging in things of pleasure. However, real joy comes from tasting of the love of God. Lehi clearly states this in the Book of Mormon in when he says,
 "And as I partook of the fruit thereof (that represents the love of God) it filled my soul with exceedingly great joy...for I knew that it was desirable above all other fruit." (1 Nephi 8:12)
 Do "other fruit[s]" get in the way of the fruit that will fill us the most? Other fruits may temporarily make us happy and fill us for a short time, but none will last like that of the fruit Lehi spoke of. I promise that as you seek the Love of God, your soul will find peace, and all the other trials that you face in life will become much easier because of the support you know you have from the Almighty God.

Serving with a Smile,
Sister Bradley

We went on exchanges with the Warsaw Sisters this week :) Me, Murray, Boren, Hardy

Monday, June 5, 2017

"I want to know for myself" - Email from Jenny June 5

Seriously, time goes way too fast out here.

We had an AMAZING experience this week! We got on the computer Wednesday, which we NEVER do, and I noticed we had an alert, so we checked it out and it was a referral from Headquarters (also a pretty rare thing)! It was for a lady named Yali Hu, who spoke Chinese and English. We called her right then and there and set up an appointment to meet with her! It was such a cool conversation, she told us she was from China and very interested in the Mormon church. She had seen famous Mormons like John Huntsman and Mitt Romney and she said she was struck by their large families. They have a 1 child policy in China (recently changed to be a 2 child policy) and that has really affected her and her desire for a large family. She told us that people did not speak well about the Mormon church. They told her "Mormons are evil" "Mormons are heresy" but she said that she wanted to know for herself if those things were true. Woah. We met with her on Saturday and she had so much to say and so many questions! She told us about her experiences in China like when she wanted to have a 2nd child and the government wouldn't give her permission, or a birth certificate for her child! If you are caught pregnant with more than a first child, the patrol people will bring you straight to an abortion clinic. We were just blown out of the water by all these things. She told us she was talking with her Christian friends and they brought up how polygamy was practiced in the past and Yali had already researched it and said that under certain circumstances it is reasonable. Yali's opinions differ from her husbands though, he agrees with China's policies and laws. However, he is the only reason they are here in America for a year. He is doing research as a Mathematician at Notre Dame University. She told us "China needs your religion" and "I am eager to know you." What a wonderful experience! Their whole family came to church and she loved every second of it and is excited to come next week! I never thought I would get to teach people from China in Indiana. It is once again just so amazing to see how God is preparing people everywhere to hear the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.

We were going to a lesson with Jeff (the investigator we met on Easter) and he didn't end up being home, and instead of getting in the car, the Spirit prompted me to talk to the family who was outside of their house. I told Sister Murray that we should talk to the family and she said she got the same prompting! We walked up to them and they said that they would like to hear our message another time and we set a return appointment! We also walked by Paul (the man with the son who got in the crazy car accident right after he met us) and were able to set another time we could meet with him too. This just shows me that when we are earnestly seeking for opportunities to teach and showing God that effort, He will bless us. "...Seek and ye shall find..." (Luke 11:12) I think this applies to other things too. When we have questions we want answered or we have concerns about things or when we have something we want to improve, we can ask God, and start looking and He will show us. Sometimes it takes time and isn't as quick as we want it. "All as is one day with God, and time is only measured unto men." (Alma 40:8)
We got to teach Jeff later in the week about the Book of Mormon and he was excited to read it! He also said that he would change his work schedule to be able to come to church on Sunday too! 

Serving with a Smile,
Sister Bradley
We were reunited with the Zionsville sisters for a short time when we went to a Leadership Conference!!

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Indiana Mission Facebook Post - June Mission Leadership Council

Mission Leadership Council on Friday, June 2, 2017. Beautiful people in a beautiful place. We so appreciate the counsel and support of these great young people. The mission is in good hands here. They practiced how to ask good questions.

*Taken from the Indiana Indianapolis Mission "With Full Purpose of Heart" Facebook post.