October 31, 2011
So this week was yet another one of ups and downs, but we ended it with an up! Elicia, after almost 3 transfers of teaching, was finally baptized this Saturday and confirmed on Sunday. It was so adorable as she just started giving everyone up on the stand hugs after her confirmation. I just love her so much! We were also able to attend ward council with our new Bishop Diaz, who´s the 26 yr old return missionary, and it was AWESOME! I can´t wait to see the ward grow under his care. The new relief society president Hermana Tejada is great too and and know we are going to see some miracles. In other news, we found some new families this week, including Anthony and Carla, a young married couple who visit the Catholic Church but are very sociable and willing to share with us. Anthony was actually a contact from about 2 months ago that we never could find home before, so about a week ago I suddenly remembered him and we decided to drop by one last time. I LOVE when the Spirit guides us! We also found Jessica, who´s a less active of more than 10 years and has children who are very interested in learning more about the church their mother was baptized in, so we´ll see. Unfortunately, we´ve also had to drop a few people, such as Richard and Kary, which makes me really sad because they now pretend that no one´s home when we pass by. :( Why can´t people just say things to your face? Sure it´s harsh, but at least you know where you stand and you don´t have to wonder. Oh well. Maybe some other missionaries in the future can pick up where we left off... As for everything else, all is well! Transfer calls come before next pday, so we´ll see where I get to spend my last transfer. I think I´ll be staying here, but who knows? And for the humorous experience of the week....so yesterday Hermana McEntire and I went to visit Michael, one of the recent converts who complete one year as a member. So we sit down to share and just chat for a minute about look alikes. Well Michael suddenly tells us to wait so he can go get a magazine where there´s a movie star that he insists looks alot like Hermana McEntire. So while he´s looking for it we try to guess who, maybe Lindsey Lohan or someone like that... but know, it was even better. When he finally finds the picture and passes it to us, I just BURST out laughing, literally until I was crying...as it was a picture of an OLD and WRINKLY Mel Gibson. Hahaha. Poor Hermana McEntire was a good sport but I couldn´t even control myself as Michael insisted it was just his eyes that reminded him of her. LoL. I haven´t laughed so hard in a very long time. Anyways, as for today, Hermana McEntire and I decided to wear eachother´s clothes and nametags to ¨be in costume¨, but it hasn´t proved very entertaining as none of the other missionaries have noticed. Oh well. It´s been funny to just see eachother in our clothes and nametags. Well, I hope you all have a nice chilly Halloween! Love you guys!!!!
Posted by Laurie at 5:19 PM
October 28, 2011
So I´ve officially run out of clever salutations and subject matter. Sorry. You all know I was never very good at the creativity thing anyway. BUT, I do however feel the need to thank ALL of you for the birthday love you sent via mail...because it all finally arrived today at the office and I got so much chocolate they´ll probably have to purchase two seats on my plane home just to fit me. Hope you all still love me when I come home fatter than I left lol. No but really, thanks everyone for thinking of me and making me feel loved...it makes all the difference. Anywho, this week was pretty much the same as the week before. We seem to be stuck in a rut lately of finding new promising people and then having them stand us up, which doesn´t exactly give us warm fuzzies, but oh well. On the brightside, Esperanza...our shining ray of hope...went to church again yesterday and told us after we watched the Restoration DVD (which by the way is officially my favorite movie even though I´ve seen a bajillion times, I am going to be such and RM nerd when I get home) that she´s felt more peace in her life since we started visiting her. :D I love when people actually like our visits instead of rolling their eyes when we show up...which is what seems to be happening with everyone else. Struggles. However another tender mercy was Diana and Melhissa showing up to Friendship Night on Tuesday when we thought no one was going to even come. We watched a short video on the ten virgins and then played Big Booty and it turned out really great. Another thing that is constantly blessing me and helping stay focused are the Conference Addresses that I keep reading from the past two conferences. This morning I got to read President Monson´s talk about gratitude and it really just brightened my day to remember all the wonderful blessings I have received here in the mission and the little daily miracles. Life really is so much better when you focus on what you DO have. Hermana McEntire and I are also trying to cultivate more humility as we are putting President Uchtdorf´s advice from a past conference into practice: Humility isn´t thinking less OF yourself, but rather thinking less ABOUT yourself. I just love that advice...and as we all know Hermana Bradley still has alot of humbling to do. LoL. Anyways, this Saturday we´ve got Elicia´s baptism planned and we´re praying our little hearts out that it all goes smoothly as this has been in the works for months. So please keep Elicia in your prayers! As for everything else...lo mismo. :) Love and miss you all! Til next week...
Posted by Laurie at 1:04 PM
October 19, 2011
Hope this email finds you all when in our lovely Utah! I can´t tell you all how excited I am to see those mountains and snow! All in good time though...Anyways, this week in the work was a little rough. Multiple times during the week members fell through on going out with us which was really frustrating...note to self...do not do that to the missionaries when I get home. Not cool. But it´s ok because the work still goes on.
We are now teaching quite a few families and some really receptive jovenes that we hope to see progress. We also found Esperanza last Sunday and yesterday she came to church with us! She told us when we met her last week that she´s always wanted to visit the church but was too timid to just come alone, so she prayed and told the Lord unless he sent someone to her door she wouldn´t go. Well...He sent us alright and she went for all 3 hours and really liked it! It was so neat to have one of the recent converts explain how he visited so many other churches but just didn´t feel right until he found the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. She looked right over at my companion at that moment and said, ´That´s how I feel!´ Love it!
I also got to give my third (and hopefully last) talk in Spanish on Sunday where I was able to invite the ward to participate more in la obra misional, so it was good.
My birthday this week turned out to be another trial of patience as we woke up to not only rain, but a lack of public transportation because the buses decided to go on strike last minute. Needless to say, the DR sure knows how to celebrate my birthday lol. Oh well. Other than that, things are pretty much the same here. Workin and sweatin! I can hardly believe how fast the time is flying though!
Today we had fast p-day as we went to the botanical gardens with Hna Hernandez and had a picnic lunch, so fun! Well sorry this is a shorty, but I hope you all have a wonderful week, and thanks again for all the birthday wishes!
Posted by Laurie at 6:57 AM
October 10, 2011
Well, don´t know what to tell you all this week since things are pretty much the same. Up days, down days, and everything in between. On the upside, today I got to play Ticket to Ride with my district for pday and it made me miss game nights at the Haycocks SO much and I can´t WAIT to play with you all again! I also realized that I am one very big nerd, because nobody knows about half the games and movies I play since I´m older than everyone and apparently a home body. Haha. Oh well.
Yesterday at church we had a hard Sunday as very few of our investigators and new members were there. However, our new bishop is really open to working with us on lots of things and we are excited to have a new mission leader in the coming weeks.
In other news, this last week I saw a little miracle that I thought was so cool. Hna McEntire and I were sitting on the bus on the way home from a meeting when I young woman got on who for some reason immediately caught my attention even though the bus was full of people. I felt the need to invite her to church, but didn´t see how I could do it since I was sitting a few rows behind on the inside and she was standing up by the door. So I said a little prayer and asked the Lord to help me find a way. Literally a minute or two later the woman sitting by me got up to get off and all the other people in the aisle moved, so this woman plopped down right next to me! So of course I struck up a conversation and invited her to church. She hasn´t come yet, but I know the Lord wanted her to have the invitation and it was so neat to see my prayer answered so fast!
Another little miracle happened a few nights ago while we were walking home. I decided to follow my stomach to an empanada stand, and low and behold but who finds us there is a brand new family that just moved into the ward and needed to know the meeting schedule! Wow. Isn´t the Lord amazing?
Anyways, teaching right now is getting harder as we are having to drop lots of people that aren´t progressing. It can be frustrating, but it is necessary to spend time looking for people who are willing to make changes in their lives and ACT. I´m just trying to stay focused here on the work...but trunky thoughts are ever present! Haha. Well, hope you all have a great week, and if it snows again please go play in it for me!!!!
Posted by Laurie at 2:27 PM
October 3, 2011
¿Que Tal Familia?
Ok first of all, let me just say that conference was the HIGHLIGHT of my week and I wanted to cry when President Eyring started to say ¨And to conclude this conference...¨ But I consoled myself with the thought that I will be home with all you lovely people to see it next year, so it´s ok. I was also absolutely beside myself with glee when President Monson announced the new Provo temple. I can´t wait! And when he said ¨We´re all in this together¨ in his final talk I had to seriously restrain myself from breaking into High School Musical singing. Haha. He was so funny this session and it just made me love him even more. We are so blessed to be a part of this wonderful gospel and have an inspired man leading us! I especially loved President Uchtdorf´s talk on how the Lord loves us as individuals and Elder Carl Cook´s talk on ´looking up'. I´m now just trying to put all of their amazing counsel into practice.
We were also blessed to have 5 different investigators attend the various sessions, which was a tender mercy and a great blessing. Basically, I have nothing I can complain about this week...except for maybe the heat, which has been especially fuerte lately, but that´s nothing new. For the moment we still have running water so I just count my blessings. Haha. We also had a really spiritual lesson with Richard these week, a 14 yr old young man whose family we´re teaching. We got to meet with him one on one though and he shared with us that he prayed to know if the Book of Mormon was true and felt his heart skip! He wasn´t sure what that meant, so we´ve encouraged him to keep praying, but he´s really motivated to read the Book of Mormon and pray, so we´re really excited for him.
This week we got to go out with a bunch of members we´ve never gone out with before as well which was amazing. Emmanuel is an RM who served in Florida and shared a powerful testimony with one of our new investigators, Raquel, who´s husband is less active and who has been investigating the church for years but has yet to be baptized. The Spirit was so strong and it was incredible! Then we have continued to find new families and new people to teach, so much to the point that I feel out of breathe all the time! But work is good.
Hna McEntire continues to make me laugh as well...the other day as we were door contacting a woman said ¨Encantada¨ after Hna McEntire introduced herself and poor Hna McEntire thought that was her name and said, ¨Oh nice to meet you Encantada¨. Haha. Oh the mission.
Anywho, today we got to visit the Parque del Este and see all the missionaries in the capital and everyone is now coming up to me and saying ¨Hermana Bradley, you´re STILL here?!?¨ Sheesh...you´d think I was an elder or something. And it doesn´t make things better that another Elder felt the need to yell out today that I´m turning 25. When did I get so old? All of this elders are like 5 years younger than me!!! Oh well, I guess I´ll just be the grandma of the mission for the next 12 weeks. Anywho, love and miss you all, hope you have a nice breezy week!
Posted by Laurie at 4:34 PM