Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are enjoying the chilly weather! Down here in the Dominican Republic, neither of those exist. Hahaha. However, they make up for the lack of Thanksgiving here with extra Christmas spirit, for which I am grateful. Mom´s love of Christmas lights lives on in me and I can´t help but feel my spirits lift everytime we get to pass the presidential palace which is decked out with tons of lights and a nativity. I love Christmas! Not to mention I had the wonderful surprise of receiving a Christmas stocking from Richelle, hand delivered by her parents this week! Thank you Richelle and your family! That present made my week!!! The other wonderful blessing of this week was watching Matthew get confirmed yesterday in church. Words cannot express how much I love this family, and Matthew is such a strong little boy! His family has many challenges that lie ahead, but he is unafraid to tell his mom and grandma when they need to change something for the better, and I love that! Children are amazing. I was pondering on the scripture this week in Mosiah 3:19 where it talks about man being a natural enemy to God and how we need to become like children, willing to submit to the will of the father. Truly we all need to become like childlike in that manner! Today I had the wonderful blessing of receiving a conference edition of the Engisn and I am so so excited to study the words of our prophet and apostles all over again! It´s like food for the soul reading those! I´ve drawn alot of strength over the past week from old Liahona articles and things from the missionary reference library. Still plowing through Jesus the Christ and loving every minute of it! I can´t wait to start Our Search for Happiness again too. Truly we have inspired leaders of this church! As for the work in Gazcue...it´s still a little bit slow right now. Honestly, this last week as tried me physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. The Lord requires all of it, but in return He blesses us. I´m learning the meaning of HARD in a whole new light. But I have confidence in the Lord´s plan for me and I draw strength from the knowledge that He will never give me more than I can bear. I love this gospel and I know with every part of me that it is true. I know I wouldn´t be able to last one day on the streets of the D.R. if it weren´t true. Just as Alma 26:12 says, I know that I am nothing, but through Him I can do all things. He loves every one of us more than we could ever fathom. We just have to open our minds and hearts to realize that. So, even on those days when I feel like I don´t accomplish anything or I didn´t do something perfectly, I know that I am still at least trying to do the Lord´s work. As I was reading Sister Wixom´s talk this morning, we don´t have to be perfect, we just have to be honest and sincere. How true that is! So I will continue to strive for the strait and narrow path with my imperfect self. Thank you for all of your love and prayers!
P.S. Sorry for the confusion over my address for letters, here it is again...
Hermana Elyse Bradley
2250 NW 114th Ave Unita 1A
Miami, FL 33172