Sister Bradley

Sister Bradley

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!

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!!!

Monday, July 10, 2017

The St. Joseph County fair :) -Pictures from Jenny July 10



Baptism, Chitpotle, Jesus book, Planning (I'm super bad at coming up with titles) - Email from Jenny July 10

DOUG GOT BAPTIZED!!! It was such a special experience!! Both of his daughters got to be there (one of them is a non-member and apparently the other is a super inactive member!) Doug was so happy and he is so ready for his journey to keep going! It is really interesting how God works in our lives. The day we found Doug I will have to be honest, I wasn't super excited about working. I wasn't feeling very good and kind of had a headache because I was fasting. But, we kept working, because that is what we are supposed to do. It was on that day that I wanted to work that least, that God blessed us to find Doug in the perfect circumstance. I have learned that usually when we want to endure the least is when we need to do it the most!!! I am so grateful to have the privilege of finding and teaching Doug. We all have so much to learn from one another!

After the baptism, we went to Chipotle for a treat! God was still blessing us though! While I was in line waiting to pay for my food, one of the workers looked at my tag and said, "I need to go to that church." really casually, like I almost didn't catch it. I said, "Pardon?" just to make sure I heard her right and she repeated herself! I told her I could give her our card with our number on it and that we'd love to see her! She told me to give it to the cashier because people dealing with food aren't allowed to take things, so I asked the cashier to give it to her for me and she said, "hey I need to go to church too. I'll come with you!" WOW! 2 for 1! haha then we sat down and ate our food and when we were almost done, I noticed this man who was sitting with his wife staring at us. I awkwardly made eye contact with him 2 times within 30 seconds and was thinking to myself, okay, what do we do about this? I told Sister Murray and we weren't exactly sure what to say or how to approach this man. I ended up just walking up to him and asking him if he wanted a card. His face lit up and he was so excited that we talked to him! His English wasn't very good since he is from Mexico, but he was ecstatic to talk to us! He took the card and held it like it was the best things he'd ever been given! He also told us we were his "greatest gift that day." I concluded from this experience that we obviously need to go to Chipotle more often! haha

We have been teaching a lady named Jackie, and we discovered she knows next to nothing about Jesus, just that he is really important for some reason.It has been so cool to introduce her to Him by telling her about his birth and how he was baptized and we are still going to continue to teach her more! It is really fantastic because I feel that most of the time when we go over she is in a foul mood because her life is pretty hard. She is having marital problems, she is pretty much bound to a wheelchair, she is overweight and financially tight, but every time we leave she is always so happy and almost in tears because of the joy that she feels! "...Men are that they might have JOY" (2 Nephi 2:25) and true joy comes from God.

We tracted into this super interesting lady who told us about this book Jesus was writing through her. She was so grateful we came and said we were an answer to her prayers because sometimes she struggles to find the motivation to keep writing. She said she'd give us a copy when she finishes :) she also told us she could see Jesus in our eyes so I guess that was cool haha

At a Leadership Council I went to this week, we had a training on planning, and usually those can be pretty boring but this one offered super cool insights! Planning is a tool we have to be effective and a way to become more like Heavenly Father. Now, I know you are probably thinking, "how does planning make me more like God?'' Well, Heavenly Father was the ULTIMATE planner. He created a PERFECT plan for us, where everything was thought through. We were given His Son, Jesus Christ as the ultimate sacrifice to make this plan possible, and now it is up to us to choose what we want to let this plan make of us. It can allow us to become our full potential and enter into the Celestial Kingdom or not, it is our choice. Plan well friends :)

Serving with a Smile,
Sister Bradley

P.S. just in case you were wondering what we did on the 4th, we had our preparation day until 6, so we got to go to the County Fair and played soccer, and then talked to people until dusk and then sat with our neighbors as they lit off fireworks :)

Pictures!
1. We went chalking!

2. It was pretty messy...

3. Doug's baptism!!! :) Me, Doug, Bro. Jefferson, Sister Murray


1. Happy Independence Day!

2. Doug had his daughter do a fancy braid in his hair like the main character from the movie Willow :) (a movie probably only he has seen haha)

Monday, July 3, 2017

Show me your evidence - Email from Jenny July 3

Happy 4th of July!!!

Doug is doing super well and is completely prepared to be baptized this Saturday!!! It is amazing to see what is possible in life with God on our side. Doug has been to numerous addiction programs throughout his years (some of them for 11 years at a time), but a lot of his addictions he was never able to fully get rid of. He has overcome all of them, including smoking which was the hardest for him in a matter of 2 months with God on his side!!! It we have enough faith and our desires are in the right place, God can work miracles in our lives! Please keep praying for him to stay strong!

We taught a lady named Stephanie we met a while ago and she was able to help me understand something I have known, but never truly seen the significance of. She said she walked away from God when she was 16, and hasn't really known Him since, yet she does believe in Him. She, at 28, is not in the place she wants to be. She feels that she has failed in a lot of the roles that she has like mother, sister, friend, daughter girlfriend, and  that she is not the person that she wants to be. She says she wants to figure herself out. As she was telling us all of this, I kept thinking "Stephanie!! It is only through God that you will come to know yourself, love yourself and become who you are meant to be!!"  She thought she needed to figure out who she was before coming to know God but it is only through coming to know God that we can figure out who we truly are.

We taught Raymond and his wife and two kids (the family from Kenya) and they are such a wise, spiritual people! They asked very good questions and are very curious about the doctrine of the church! Raymond said he would have lots of questions prepared for us when we go back!! Also, after the lesson at 8:30pm they invited us to stay for dinner...we were a little confused and asked if they were having dinner right then and they said yes of course, like everyone did that! We said we already had dinner, and they asked what time, so we told them 5 and they were blown away! haha they told us not to eat dinner next time we came and they would feed us Kenyan food! 

We taught a man named Matthew and his wife who are from India. They both study different religions and were very intrigued by us. Matthew was super big on objective evidence, verses the subjective evidence that we receive individually. We talked to him about how the Gospel of Jesus Christ was restored to the earth through a prophet and we have the Book of Mormon as evidence of that. He said there needed to be more objective evidence of the Book of Mormon before he would read it though (this is after we had already given him plenty of objective evidence in our opinion, not to mention the fact that he had bookcases lined and labeled about other religions in his basement) I asked him how he knew the Bible was true and he said it is because there are so many different witnesses to Jesus Christ's life and spouted off all these different facts and references to support that. As Sister Murray and I reflected on that experience a scripture came to mind in Matthew 16 which says:
 
"13 ¶ When Jesus came into the coasts of C├Žsarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?

14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.

15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?

16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

Peter knew Jesus Christ as his Savior not because of evidence or the miracles he had seen, but he knew it because he had faith and it was revealed to him by Heavenly Father. Evidence is not enough to have a sure foundation on Jesus Christ. It is the combination of Faith and then evidence that produces pure knowledge. 

Faith + Evidence = Pure Knowledge

Have a great week!

Serving with a Smile,
Sister Bradley

Pictures
1. Sister Murray and I being dorks in our comp unity shirts :)

2. Yali's son is AMAZING at making paper airplanes!! This is one he gave me!