November 30, 2010

Another try at the correct address for letters only

Hermana Elyse Bradley
SDQ 4102
2250 NW 114th Ave Unit 1A
Miami FL 33172

package address

Sister Elyse Bradley
8532 NW 66th St.
Miami, FL 33166

November 22, 2010


Hola Familia,

So this week I was able to witness yet another wonderful blessing as the son of one of our converts, Matthew, was baptized yesterday. It was quite the miracle as there had been miscommunication with the ward over the week and alot of things had to fall into place to get it worked out, but just as the scriptures say, all things work together for those who love the Lord and this week I got to see it. I was also grateful that we are currently serving in our ward with the office elders, who helped us out big time by getting hoses and buckets to fill the font at the last minute. Mission adventures I tell you!

Another really neat experience happened earlier this week when we went to an appointment with Jaquelin. Everyone here lives in apartment buildings for the most part that are fenced in, so often times you have to buzz through an intercom to be let in. So when we went to visit Jaquelin and buzzed her apartment, we were disappointed to find no answer. Despite this, the Lord always provides a way. Within a few minutes two other women walked up to visit someone else in the complex and let us in through the gate. However, we had another problem when they headed for a different apartment building because the door to Jaquelin's building was also locked. We buzzed her house again but no answer. Then another tenant walked out and held the door open for us, so we decided to go and try knocking her door, but to no avail. So we knocked the rest of the doors in the building and in the process found another very sweet woman named Mari who is interested in visiting with us. After visiting Mari we again knocked Jaquelin's door and to our surprise she opened is as she had just gotten home. We taught a powerful lesson on the gospel and atonement, and left the appointment feeling profoundly blessed. How amazing the Lord's hand is in everything!!

This week I must admit I got hit with a wicked bout of homesickness and found myself lacking in motivation, but I find that those days that are the hardest I learn the most and often have the most spiritual experiences. Being a missionary is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life and it doesn't get easier. It's just hard. But at the same time I get to be part of the Lord's work and see the gospel change people's lives, so it's a trade-off. One thing I'm always eternally grateful for however is the family, friends, and experiences I have been blessed with. I know everything in my life has helped prepare me to share the gospel with these people, and even though I am weak and flawed, the Lord still manages to make use of me. I'm so grateful for the restored gospel of Jesus Christ in my life. Love and miss you guys lots!!!!

Hermana Bradley

November 15, 2010

Counting the Blessings

Saludos Querida Familia y Amigos!
This week has been full of many wonderful blessings and I am continually amazed by how much the Lord gives each of us every day. Firstly, I had zone conference this week where I got to hear one of our area seventies, Elder Coleman, speak to us. I always feel so pumped and ready to go out and share the gospel after meetings like that. Sometimes I think we get so caught up in numbers, streets, appointments, and such that we forget what the real purpose invite others to come unto Christ. And that can be done in almost every moment through the words we say and actions we take. One of our new focal points of the mission is to teach investigators the importance of prayer and their opportunity to receive a personal confirmation through the Spirit. It´s been wonderful to see how that has impacted our work as we put it into focus. It reminded me of one of the general conference talks...I think it was Elder Bednar....who referenced the importance of both personal revelation as well as revelation by church leadership. In the Lord´s kingdom, truly both work together for the good of all. I also received letters this week from Grandpa Joe, Kellie, Lisa, Maren, Brittany, and Julie Tanner. If any of you are reading this, THANK YOU! Every one of your letters had words I needed to hear and only made my week that much better. :-)
As for the work, we again got to teach Matthew this weekend as he prepares for baptism. It was so neat because his aunt was telling us how he was adamant in telling his grandparents (whom he lives with during the week) that he HAD to go to his mom´s house this week for "church class" with the missionaries (our lessons) and so he could attend church. I love the pure intentions of children! We also were blessed to see five other investigators attend church along with Matthew, all of which were cousins or friends of Baya. Both us and Baya were grinning from ear to ear all block. I also had the chance to go on splits this last week for the first time ever. Generally splits aren´t allowed in our mission for a myriad of reasons, but we got special permission from the president for me to go out with Irina, a young woman who´s going to El Salvador on her mission in a few weeks and wanted some extra prep. We had a wonderful afternoon proselyting and teaching lessons! She´s going to make an amazing missionary!
Anyways, things are going well and I am enjoying the challenges and blessings out here in the field. The Lord is blessing my companionship as we continue to learn and grow together, and my testimony is strengthened everyday. As I´ve sometimes battled with discouragement, I have found myself relying on the support I receive through letters and email, which has helped tremendously. I can´t say enough how blessed I feel to have such wonderful family and friends supporting me. Thank you to every one of you for the ways you have done so and continue to do so. It´s hard to get discouraged when I think of all of you cheering me on from home. :-) Have a wonderful week and I love you all!
Hermana Bradley

November 9, 2010

Well Worth the View

Hello Hello Family!
It´s been another long and eventful week for me here in the tropics...and I have been reminded yet again that I AM in the tropics. Thanks to the storm that passed through Haiti and parts of the D.R. last week we´ve had lots of rain and wind. I have actually gotten cold the past few nights...never thought that would happen! It´s been nice to have a change of pace though, and not gonna lie, I don´t miss sweating in the hot hot sun. But it´s bound to come back soon so I´m trying to just enjoy it lol. I can´t believe it snowed at home! I miss snow!

Anyways, aside from the weather, Hna Ward, Mejia, and I have been busy working with investigators, both new and old. Right now we are teaching 9 year old Matthew. He´s the son of Grace, who was our baptism from last transfer. It´s a totally different experience teaching children from adults, but it´s incredible to see the impact of Grace´s example on her children. Having the opportunity to be there and listen to her teach him how to pray as well as bear her own simple Awesome. We also are still teaching some family members of Baya. Baya sells fruit on a corner a block from our apartment and he´s such a great member missionary! He is always sharing his testimony with others and setting a wonderful example in church by arriving early and fulfilling his assignments. Now we´re teaching his two brothers and sister in law, and hope to see them baptized by the end of the transfer. Yesterday we had the opportunity to visit a less active member in the ward who´s a single mother. We just stopped by and I shared a scripture from 2 Nephi 4...the one Sara sent to me a few months ago, but our visit was an answer to her prayers and she expressed that to us. Such a neat experience to be a tool in the hands of the Lord!

Basically, the work is going very well. Apparently my Spanish is improving as I´ve had many members of the ward tell me so in the last few weeks...although I feel like I´m the same, but I don´t know when I´m speaking correctly or not so I guess I´m not a good judge lol. I did have an elderly gentleman ask me yesterday while we were contacting if I was Espanola. He said I looked and sounded like I was from Spain. So even though I´m pretty sure he was a little drunk, it made me feel better about my Spanish haha. My testimony grows stronger and stronger every day as I learn to put my faith in the Lord and rely on His guidance in this work. I am nothing without Him, but I can do everything through Him. I remember someone saying to me before I left that a mission makes the rest of your life possible. I feel that each day is a mountain to climb, but the Lord helps me through it every time and I know by the end I will look back from the top and think to myself that while the view was well worth it, the climb was what I´ll remember most. Thank you for all your prayers and support. I love you guys!!!!
Hermana Bradley

November 1, 2010

Hombre or Hambre

Saludos Familia y Amigos!

Como esta todo? Todo es bien aqui en la republica dominicana! Haha well mostly good, except for apparently a big storm is brewing and we´re going to get hit tonight or tomorrow. Who knows? Maybe I´ll get to swim in the streets in the mission after all! Really though, this week has been spectacular. Since Hermana Ward´s arrival on Tuesday we´ve been working hard and walking lots. I get to now speak both Spanish AND English as I help translate for Hna Ward. I feel like I´ve turned a corner in being able to understand the Dominican Spanish now and can get by mostly on my own. Although there still are moments of langauge my subject line suggests haha. Hermana Ward made that mistake earlier this week and I was almost rolling on the floor with laughter. Big difference between ´¨I have man¨ and ¨I have hunger¨haha.

Anywho, we´ve had a good week as we had 5 new investigators come to church yesterday and are hoping to finally baptize Ronaldo in the coming weeks, who we´ve been teaching since I got here but wanted to wait til November to be baptized. We´re also now teaching more of Ronaldo and Baya´s cousins who seem really receptive and willing to make an effort, which is refreshing. We also are continuing teaching Juan and Rudy who have such a desire to overcome their trials and addictions, but at the same time it´s a long road to recovery. It´s inspiring though to see people with such desire. Grace also came to church yesterday and continues to amaze me with her willingness to stay on the strait and narrow despite negative influences. Nothing in this world is better than seeing someone change their life around and embrace the blessings that come from repentance and baptism.

Basically this week has been full of blessings and I am again reminded of how aware our Heavenly Father is of each and every one of us. Yo se que este evangelio es verdadero, sin duda. Mi testiminio crece mas fuerte y firme cada dia y cuando compartamos nuestros testiminios, recibimos gran bendiciones. Dios es nuestro amoroso padre celestial y el tiene un plan por cada uno de nosotros. Estoy agradecida por esta oportunidad para compartir esta mensaje de amor y esperanza con todos. Por favor, comparta su testimonio en cada momento con todos!

Con Amor,
Hermana Bradley