August 4, 2010

Voy a La Republica Dominicana!

Dear Family & Friends,
So in a little less than 24 hours I will be on my way to the beautiful country of the Domincan Republic! I can't wait!!!! Today we went to the temple again and as I walked out I just felt all the silly stress leave me and I realized I don't need to fear about anything, because I have the Lord to back me up. Such a good feeling. I'm especially excited to get there and visit the Santo Domingo temple, which I just learned is right next to the MTC! Dream come true. Although going to the temple and having everyone speak Spanish, that could be a challenge, but I'm looking forward to it.
This week has been full of ups and downs, like always. But just as Hermana Petty and I were discussing, the lower the lows the higher the highs. There must needs be opposition in all things, and I'm learning that lesson good and well. :-) Something that I've been trying to focus on this week is how to plan better. We've been taught quite a few times on the importance of setting goals and challenging ourselves. I love that quote that says "People rarely change unless invited to do so. " Well I've been invited to change about a million different ways in the past few weeks, and I'm still getting the hang of it. But I think I'm making progress. Hopefully.
As for my foot problems, last week proved exciting with a trip off to the podiatrist. Getting out of the MTC was kind of nice...and weird. Being in Provo where I've lived for the past 5 years of my life while having a black badge on felt stranger than I thought it would. Suddenly I was out around real people and was strange. Anyways, the podiatrist said I had a pre-existing condition in my foot where a bone in the back of my heel protrudes slightly, which was agitated by my new shoes. Because of this, my heel started to swell a little and now is pinching my achilles tendon. Luckily he said it wasn't that serious and just gave me some inserts for my shoes so that it doesn't pinch the tendon. I've been wearing for almost a week now and they work well in every pair of shoes except one. Plus I'll get to wear sandals once I get to the D.R. So...todo bien.
Another thing I've been reminded of A LOT this week....well every week really, is that I can't do this. At least not by myself. Everytime I try to speak spanish, share a lesson, or even bear my testimony, I fail miserably if I simply rely on my own knowledge and ability. The Lord has supported me so much these past few weeks, and yet I still seem to forget on a daily basis that it's HIM that's doing all of this, not me. But just like everything else, I'm still learning.
Yesterday Hma Petty and I taught our first lesson in Spanish. It was crazy! I was saying things in Spanish I didn't even know I could say! Suddenly Spanish makes sense and I can just string the words together to makes sentences that are actually understandable. I don't think I ever really understood what the gift of tongues was until I got here, but I sure do now! It's amazing to be sitting there thinking things in your head in English and then have them come out of your mouth in another language! I feel blessed to have that experience and just hope that as I continue to study and put faith in the Lord, He will bless me.
I'm so happy to be out here serving a mission and I am learning new things about this gospel, the Lord, and myself each and every day. I know now more than ever that this is where I'm supposed to be and I wouldn't trade it for anything. I'm grateful to have so many incredible people in my life that love and support me. I feel the support of your prayers constantly, so thank you! So long for now, and the next email you get will be coming from the Caribbean!
Hermana Bradley

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