April 26, 2011

Semana Santa

Querida Familia,
Happy Easter! I wish I could say Easter here was pretty special, but the D.R. has an interesting way of celebrating the last week of the Savior´s life. It´s called the Semana Santa and everyone gets off work and school for almost the whole week. Then everyone either goes to the campo to visit family or drags out baby wading pools into the streets to ¨swim¨ and get over the heat. There´s lots of drinking and loud music and eating...and very little of remembering the Savior. It made me a little sad, but it was comforting also to meet other people during the week that did recognize what semana santa is really about...resulting in 13 investigators at church yesterday. We were floored as this past week was a little slow in the work. However, we are moving forward with faith and determined to see at least one baptism before the end of this transfer. Last Monday we also got to meet some of the new sister missionaries and it turns out one is from Paraguay...Sister Vera...and actually knows Uncle Matt from when he was mission president there. I love how small the world is. This week I also had my first taste of a Dominican Semana Santa classic drink...called habichuelas con dulce. I was pretty iffy at first considering it´s raw black beans ground up and put into coconut milk with cinnamon and other sweet things, but it turns out I liked it. One more interesting recipe to take home. Hermana Reay and I had a wonderful finding experience yesterday as well. Last Sunday we were out contacting and were walking down a street that I had already knocked about a million times. But there was a woman standing outside her gate that I had never talked to before, so we invited her to church and promised to pass by the following week. So yesterday we headed back, a little later in the day than planned, and were floored to meet the twin daughters of the lady we contacted. They are 16 yr old twins who told us they´d always wanted to visit the church along with their dad, but never knew the schedule. They also explained that they had always wondered why every other church had knocked on the door before and never us, because they have friends at their Catholic school that are also members and frequently talk about the missionaries. It was an incredibly simple but spirit filled lesson with them both and Hermana Reay and I are really excited to go back. Just another testimony that the Lord truly does prepare people and you never know when or where He´ll guide you to them. Lately Hermana Reay and I have also devised ways to help us overcome the negative aspects of our living situations. Tactics range from eating chocolate daily and singing high school musical songs on crowded buses to telling eachother made up bedtime stories and putting disney princess stickers all over our (and our district elders) planners. Sometimes I wonder if I´m growing older or younger in the mission. Haha. Anyways, love and miss you all! Til next week!
Hermana Bradley

April 25, 2011

Weak Things Become Strong

Apr 18 (6 days ago)
How are you all doing? So even though I´m still recovering from the loss of my camera card last week, things are moving right along here in Los Frailes. I´m learning alot right now about patience and obedience, as our investigator pool seems to decrease each week whereas at the beginning of last transfer the area has so much potential. But I know that we are doing all we can to help prepare this people. Sometimes we just have accept that everyone has their agency, but it can still hurt sometimes. We had another baptismal date fall through this past week, and it can just be hard. But the good news is we heard from someone who heard from someone else from the office that we MIGHT be moving. I love living at the bottom of the communication chain. However, if we move at least that will mean normal water. I´m sorry I don´t have much else to write today, it´s been a pretty uneventful week. Just trying to press forward and find those people that are waiting for the gospel. I did however have to opportunity to see one of my baptisms from last transfer, Englibert, receive a calling into the young men´s presidency. Even though we haven´t seen alot of success lately, it still brings me joy to know I was able to be a part of his conversion and that I still get to see the wonderful effects of the changes made in his life through the gospel. Lately Hermana Reay and I have been reading in the Pearl of Great Price and I´m learning all sorts of new things from a different perspective. I love learning more everyday and overcoming my weaknesses. As I´ve passed time out here in the mission field I´ve been able to become better acquainted with my weaknesse.,However, I´ve also learned that is through our weaknesses we come closer to Christ. I can´t be the perfect missionary, but I can press forward with faith and put the work in the hands of the Lord as I allow Him to mold me into the instrument He needs. Love and miss you all, and thank you so much for the emails, letters, and encouragement!

Hermana Bradley

April 11, 2011


Dear Family,
Sorry but today is going to be a short one. It has been another long week and while it really wasn´t all that bad, today was awful enough to ruin my attitude for a good while. I stupidly managed to lose my camera card today which pretty much contained all my pictures from the first half of my mission. I have spent the majority of the day trying not to be upset about it, but I´m not very good at that sort of thing as you all know, especially when it comes to things like photos and memories. But anyways, if I sent pictures in the mail to any of you over the past 9 months, please take good care of them for me so that I can make copies when I get home.
The work this week has been busy. Hermana Reay and I hardly have enough time to visit all of our investigators and we are a little overwhelmed. But we received transfer calls last night and were happy to hear that we are staying for another one together. Saturday we were able to help the Elders coordinate their baptism of Patrick, a deportee from the states who has completely changed his life through the gospel. We even got to sing Nearer My God to Thee as a quartet during the service in English. I love bearing testimony through song. Anywho, we had a baptismal date set with Evelyn for next Saturday, but she didn´t make it to church yesterday so sadly it will have to be postponed. Please keep her in your prayers. We continue to visit with a number of families each week and see more progress as they come to church and feel of the Spirit there. It really is a wonderful blessing to see the Lord prepare people. Anyways, hope you all have a good week and are enjoying the cold weather!
Hermana Bradley

April 5, 2011

Conference High

Hola Hola
Well this letter should be interesting as the space bar doesn´t really want to work. But at least you´ll all be getting pictures this week. Let´s just face it though, internet in the DR is basically lame lol. I´m sweating my body weight in this place. Anyways, onto happier things. This week we had interviews with the president and I was happy to hear from him that there will most likely be no changes in our area this transfer! Wahoo! I´m excited to get some more time here with our investigators and especially work with Hna Reay. Even though we definitely aren´t the perfect companionship, we are having alot of fun and working hard together. Although, would you believe we still haven´t moved? Sometimes trials try our patience lol. I guess why they´re called TRIals. However, today was a nice escape as our zone got to visit Los Tres Ojos, a beautiful natural reserve place where they have amazing caves. I felt like I was in Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter. So fun! This weekend was also fantastic as we got to listen to conference and hear the voice of our prophet! Due to some technical difficulties I got to watch the first session in French with English captions. I may or may not be considering a third language already for when I return home lol. I was also giddy with excitement to see the special they had between sessions about the Messiah in the Holy Land. So cool! It made me miss Jeru and all my friends so much!
Anyways, aside from conference, we also had a very good week of work. On Thursday we visited Ludmilla, who just got over a really bad virus and hadn´t been able to attend church for a few weeks. But she did start reading her homework in her French Book of Mormon (she´s Haitian) and was SO excited about the plan of salvation. She couldn´t stop grinning and the Spirit was so strong throughout the lesson. We were led to pùt down a baptismal date, and although some other road blocks have appeared since, we are confident she will be baptized within April and receive all of those blessings she is anxiously awaiting. We´ve also been visiting with Evelyn for the last few weeks and after attending church the week before conference and recognizing the special Spirit the gospel has brought into her life, she also committed to be baptized this month. She´s anxious to bring her children to church next time and has already begun to share what´s she´s learned with her neighbors. We all had to chuckle at our last visit when she asked if she could include herself using ¨us¨ when sharing things about the church and members lol. I love this work and even though the days are long and hard and I´m still imperfect as ever, I know it is true. Alot of the speakers in conference this week spoke about ¨becoming¨ instead of just ¨doing¨, and I am determined now more than ever to become that disciple of Christ my Heavenly Father needs me to be. We can´t just ¨do¨ the gospel, as I´ve often found myself explaining to investigators. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints isn´t a hobby or a just Sunday thing. It´s a way of life, and as Elder Robbins explained, we don´t ever cross off a to do list ¨to be¨ because it is NEVER done. So let us all move forward and center our desires on becoming more like our Savior! Love you all!
Hermana Bradley