July 25, 2011

A Rainy Drought

Querida Familia y Amigos,

Que tal? Hope you all had a nice 24th full of barbeques and fireworks...the land of the DR unfortunately does not celebrate our dear pioneers. I actually forgot about it until ironically Elder Castro, who's in my district and is from El Salvador, wished me a happy pioneer day. What has happened to my Utah pride? I am ashamed...lol. Anyways, this weekend has been yet another long one of trial as we've been living without water for the last 4 days. Can I tell you all the honest truth? I am STINKING tired of not having water in my apartment. No matter what area I am in...what house I live in...what companion I have...I always have to pass through at least a few days without water. Heavenly Father must really want to try me, because I am about ready to throw a giant tantrum. LoL. Supposedly they're fixing the water today, but we will see. Ironically enough it's been raining lots and I'm pretty sure the plants in front of our apartment building have received a better bath than me in the past week. Haha. Ok enough complaining...on to the good news.

This weekend we had the baptism of Yanell and it went great. A good number of members showed up despite the rain and we had a nice spiritual service. I'm sad though as she is moving out of the ward with her mother to the other side of the city, but I know her and her family will greatly strengthen the church wherever they go. Also have a good anecdote this week from contacting. Hermana Vera and I were knocking doors when an elderly woman opened her door and insisted we enter when we said repeatedly that we were just passing by. She then told us "Oh Clara is in the back in her bed, recooperating, go and see her", assuming that we were friends of Clara's. Well my companion just burst out with "Oh Clara, is she still recooperating from her operation?" as if we had known her for ages. Haha. So the family all shooed us to the back to meet Clara, supposing we were old friends. It was slightly awkward...but we got a return visit out of it so I can't complain!

Next weekend we have Gustavo's baptism planned, FINALLY, as he got to church yesterday, dressed up in his white shirt and tie like he's been a member for ages. Celeste is also set to get baptized within the next few weeks, and we are working hard with a few young single adults as well. The ward of Villa Carmen has some really wonderful members that go out with us on a weekly basis and I am again reminded of how much better of a member missionary I need to be when I get home. Anyways, hope you all have a great week, love and miss you!
Hermana Bradley

July 18, 2011


So this week was a wonderful blessing as I not only got to meet my new mission president and his wife, but also see the baptism and confirmation of Elix! Interviews with President and Hermana Hernandez were wonderful and I am really excited to work with them for this last part of my mission. There are lots of things to put into practice, and the first is a focus on the attributes of Christ and how we can cultivate them to better meet the need of our investigators. Elix´s baptism on Saturday was great and we had a good number of people show up, some of which were from the English Class and saw a baptism for the first time. Then on Sunday, it was great to see her confirmed. Afterwards she came and sat down beside me and leaned over very seriously to ask me ¨Is it alright for me to take the sacrament now?¨ Of course!!!! LoL. Then she went out with us in the afternoon to visit some investigators and we had an incredible visit with Ana, the investigator that Felix met the other week on her porch and brought her to church. It´s amazing to see how much she´s changed in just the 2 weeks we´ve known her. She has lots of trials to overcome, but she´s excited to make the church part of her life and is praying about the Book of Mormon. Yanell received her interview yesterday and will be baptized next week, and the week after that we have more baptisms planned. The work is moving forward and we´re just trying to keep up. I love seeing the gospel light up the lives of these people and my testimony grows stronger each day as I see their examples of faith and determination. I hope you all have a wonderful week!
Hermana Bradley
P.S. Happy One Year Mark To Me!!!!!! (Don´t worry though...I´m not trunky or anything lol)

July 11, 2011

Protest Monday

Hello Fam!
So turns out today is a special day...aside from Slurpee Day (which I hope you are all taking advantage of since I can´t lol), the reason being that the entire country of the Dominican Republic is protesting the abuse of the government with gas prices and other things. Supposedly by the afternoon every business and public transport will be closed. It will be interesting to see what type of ¨protests¨ come out in the afternoon. Anyways, this week has been pretty normal. Sunshine, sweat, random downporing of rain, and lots of mission work! Although Hna Vera and I did take advantage of the Saturday night rain and ran around like little girls for a few minutes. Sometimes you just have to do things like that. Also had the chance to try out another delicious Dominican fruit called Limoncillo...wow are we missing out in the states! As for the work, we are busy prepping Elix for her baptism and helping our other investigators overcome their impedimientos...can´t remember that word in English! Elix, who has my same name even though it´s spelled different, is amazing! Her aunt Maria was baptized a few weeks before I got here and now she is ready to follow. When we walked out of relief society yesterday she came up to me and asked very earnestly ¨One day can I go out and preach with you guys? For like the entire day?¨ Of course my answer was ABSOLUTELY! :) In sacrament meeting I was again given the ¨privilege¨ of giving a talk on missionary work...although I think it was quickly forgotten as my companion proceeded to give a boche...oh darn I can´t even remember the word for that...reprimand I think?...anyways, her talk was fuerte as she reprimanded the ward for not treating sacred things with reverence. It was great. We also had 3 new investigators show up to church yesterday, so that´s always encouraging. Right now I´m just trying to focus on being as obedient as I can so the Lord can bless us in the work. The longer I´m out here the more I realize that the blessings of heaven really are predicated upon obedience, and even though sometimes it seems like the rules are endless out here, I know that we have them for a reason. Rationalizing disobedience only leads to laziness and dissatisfaction, and neither of the two are conducive to missionary work. I am determined to remain dedicated and focused until my last day, and I refuse to let other people´s disobedience affect my own commitment. I remember in one of the past general conferences one of the apostles explained that it´s easier to be obedient100% of the time rather than just 99%. I am so grateful for this opportunity to preach the gospel and renew my own commitment to living the commandments as I teach these eternal truths to others. Seeing the gospel change lives inspires me to be a better person and overcome my own endless weaknesses. I love the gospel and the power of the atonement in our lives when we truly repent and recommit to following the footsteps of our Savior. Much love!
Hermana Bradley

July 5, 2011

Happy 4th of July!!!

Hello Family!
I hope you are all having a wonderful toasty 4th of July with BBQ and fireworks. Dont worry...its just raining cats and dogs here in the D.R. Oh well...better rain than scorching sun in my opinion. Anyways, my first week in Villa Carmen has flown by and I can tell from here on out my time in the mission is going to fly. Hermana Vera and I have lots of work to do in this area as we have 3 baptismal dates set for the 16th, Gustavo, Yanell, and Eli. Im really excited to work with them and see progress in this area. One thing different about Villa Carmen is that the majority of the area are apartment buildings, and all of them are basically identical, so I am having a fun time trying to memorize the area. We climb lots of stairs each day, and every house we enter is identical in floor plan, so its a little strange. We are also working right now with a young man named Cesar who has lots of questions and wants to be baptized, but due to some mission rules has to attend church for 3 months first, so we are pushing forward and hoping to help prepare him for baptism next month. Hermana Vera and I are enjoying eachothers company as I teach her English, which she is actually interested in, and is also helping me perfect my grammar, which is in sore need of some improvement. Its always interesting coming to a new area as everyone immediately asks "What happened to the other sister?" and are hesitant to accept a new sister, but Im used to it by now. Basically all is well and I am feeling good. Sorry I dont have any more stories of running into walls to report, but if any new disasters befall me, I will be sure to write them in the next letter. LoL. Have a wonderful week!
Hermana Bradley