Monday, February 26, 2018

Week 31 - Wings like Eagles! 🦅

It has been a solid week here in Keene!

We didn't find a million people because our appointments didn't fall through as much - so that was wonderful! We are finding some more potential kingdom builders that may progress a little slower, but once they gain a testimony, they will be awesome!

I am so grateful for all the miracles and people we have here and my wonderful companions!

I have felt thus last week that I should be more selfless and so I am setting daily goals of complimenting people, asking about their lives or opinions more and just trying to not talk about myself.

My companions are wonderful! Sister Allen is trying to learn all the Spanish she can in her free time. Sister Haner is also progressing well. She spoke in church yesterday and did wonderful!! She is getting more comfortable with role plays and is excited to try new things!

My weekly goal is to become more selfless by studying the Savior' s example and setting daily goals to "TURN OUTWARDS"

We were blessed with an opportunity to put social media group messaging training into practice and had a really cool message lesson with pictures and voice recordings. Kelly, our recent convert was in the group message bearing testimony and promising blessings to others...It was so cool!

One of our investigators is now homeless, so that is hard. She was with her sister over the weekend so she couldn't attend Church, but texted us and told us that she attended her sister's church today with Joseph Smith in mind!....So cute.

Okay and of course I'll list of the crazy happenings of the week!!!!! 
  • We are still living with the Schillemat's because of the bed bugs! Basically we are all named Sister Schillemat now because we have been adopted. It is actually really fun because we feel like we have parents again to tell about our day! They have taken such good care of us.
  • To kill the bed bugs, they have had to heat up our apartment to 130 degrees!!!!!! And basically burn them up for a few days! haha!! We will be going back to our apartment in the next day or two. 
  • IT WAS 70 DEGREES OUTSIDE ONE DAY THIS WEEK!!!! IT WAS AMAZING! Then it snowed the next day! Warm temperatures were fun while it lasted.
  • Dropped the pipe guy because of scary vibes!
  • Had 2 lessons in coffee shops!!???
  • Had French food for a meal appointment. 
  • Cancelled the last 2 hours of church because of weather - but honestly it was fine and we just kept doing our missionary work! haha

The lesson with our Liberian Investigator was crazy!! We were having a pretty good lesson about Christ and our personal relationship with Him. He is still is not reading the Book of Mormon so it's frustrating. But he gives us missionary tips because he just loves what we do! And then at the end he said he had a scripture for us:
             Isaiah 40:31-  But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.  

......then he starts preaching to us (with his awesome thick accent) about how we can fly like Eagles with the Lord. And then we prayed and he had us all hold each others' hands and he was SO passionate in his prayer. He was yelling blessings at us - literally YELLING! It was crazy!!!! He was yelling all nice good spiritual things and stuff about us flying like Eagles....but yelling!! hahaha.....We left and we were like - "What just happened!?" 

But, the experience did inspire me to make my prayers more meaningful....Not that I am going to start yelling in my prayers, but to have that zeal and excitement and feeling because we are literally talking to our Father in Heaven. I want to do some prayerful study on prayers this week and I would like to invite you to do the same. I hope to deepen the meaning of my prayers and really use that tool and gift God has given us. 

Well I love you all!! Have a wonderful week!!



Monday, February 19, 2018

Week 30 - I don't even know what to title this email.... haha

Hi hi hi!!!!

If you thought missionary work in New England was boring......then guess again!! Craziness all around! 

Most of the week can be explained in the pictures I sent.  But I will just name some of the great/fun/crazy stuff! 😁

Here are some other highlights:
  • We wrote love letters to Heavenly Father for Valentines Day FHE and it was amazing and super spiritual. Highly recommended!
  • We had a Zone Conference themed on Love and the Atonement of Jesus Christ. 
  • We then had exchanges with Sister Magoon. 
  • We then had some crazy downtown finding because we accidentally stole the Sister Training Leader's phone. So while they drove 2 hours to come back and get it, we took selfies with random couples and tried to make them investigators. 
  • Then...MY DAD IS THE BEST!!! And got me surprise Valentines Flowers!! ❤❤❤❤ I love him!! 

  • We showed the "Prince of Peace" Easter video to this guy Ben while he loaded his pipe with probably some illegal drug. 
  • We went to a dinner appointment clear out in the boonies and drove through crazy fog through a narrow icy one-way road in the middle of the deep dark woods. It was amazing.

  • Went to the most hippie town with the nicest, craziest people. Brattleboro, Vermont...Loved it.

....Then it happened!.....We told one of the mission leaders about the itchy bites we were getting. They then told us to wash every single item of clothing we owned, 

.....and in the process we found it!.......One. Dead. Bedbug! 

When we called to tell the leaders, Elder Smith said, "This changes everything!" they had us pack everything up and moved out!! 

We are now living with the Schillemats, who are the best members ever, and they have basically adopted us. I am so so grateful to them!!

We visit so many homes, but we are pretty sure it is one of two different homes that gave the bed bugs to us.... 

But guess what!! While doing all our laundry for 4 hours.....Miracle!...we found 2 new Investigators, gave 2 Books of Mormon, found 2 really solid potentials, and taught a restoration lessons. Wahoo! The Lord works in mysterious ways! this case, Bedbugs! 😂

Investigators: We have two female investigators on date for baptism. One is progressing well, but we want to make sure she really understands everything. The other we may have to drop soon... She just lost keeping commitments. Bret and Paul are both in the same boat where they're so close but just being really analytical. John is a young single adult who is really hot and cold so we are still checking for real intent but he comes to church with his aunt each week. Still not much with Claud's son but we stopped by yesterday to show the "Prince of Peace" video and had a great discussion with some of the girls in the homes and Claude and his son came and sat in. 

Also we have an investigator Don that is surprisingly progressing pretty well! He kind of reminds me of Gene! And I still need to send a pic of him!

Anyway we are having a blast.....but we are also drained! haha!

But on a spiritual note. I highly recommend writing a Valentine's letter to our Heavenly Father. Because He is a God of Love and He has given us Everything! When I wrote out my letter, it deepened my love for Him and if was a really special experience.

Love you all!!

Goodnight sleep tight, don't let the bedbug bite HAHAHA  😂😂😂😂😂😂 I crack myself up sometimes😂😂😂

Monday, February 12, 2018

Week 29 - "I'm looking for a wife".... what!?!?!

Hi family!

So this week had it's ups and downs. Miracles and heartbreaks. Funny moments and hard moments.

So here we go!

Gene got confirmed yesterday!!! Wahoo!! We are so happy for him, and he seems to be doing great! He is sad that we only will meet with him once a week now, but he understands. The ward is taking great care of him as well and he should be getting the priesthood here in a couple weeks!

Also, Chris went to the temple to do baptisms for the dead. We haven't really gotten to talk to him much about it yet, but it is super exciting! Because I guess there is a stat that says if converts get to the temple within 60 days of baptism they are a certain percentage more likely to stay active.

And on that note, Kelly is going to be getting interviewed for her temple recommend soon! 

The saddest news of of the week.... I will just get it out of the way. So we went to go teach Claude on Saturday and walking up to his door I felt a sinking feeling...but just ignored it because earlier that day a lady had yelled at us in the store for inviting her to learn and we were a little shaken by it. But while we were there, Claude's son told us that he was no longer going to be coming to our church and that we didn't need to teach him anymore. This is what they meant by heartbreak on your mission.... Just last Sunday he was so so excited for his baptism on March 3, and we still aren't sure the reasoning. He said he was married in the Catholic Church so he was going to stay there, but there has to be more... really sad.

Then we had to drop a couple other people on date because they kept not being able to meet, so they aren't progressing and on track for their dates... ugh!

Also one of the reasons one of our appointments fell through was because our investigator got arrested for car vandalism right before we got there... yikes!

Okay! Enough with all the sad stuff!.............I will talk about happy/funny stuff because life always gets better!

Sister Haner's Birthday Dinner!

We did some Valentine's finding which was a blast! We had these little emoji chocolates and had people pick one and then we asked a question with it and then got into conversations and got a couple new investigators! Here are the emojis and the questions we asked:

😍 What do you love most? 
😎 What's the coolest thing you've ever done?
😜 What is your craziest story? 
What makes you happy? 
😗 Who do you admire most? 
😛 What is your funniest story?

One of the people we asked these questions to was the Parker family who are really nice, super classic new Englanders, with accents and all. I love it!

And we got a referral!!! Wahoo!! Her name is Meah. She is a Mom of 4 and is so cool! We talked to her on her porch for a long time! We are putting on a big family night tonight and we are hoping she can come!

Okay 2 funny things then I will let you go! Haha! 

So #1: We were getting in the car to drive to church........

 ..........and I said, "I feel like I am forgetting something" and Sister Allen said, "We probably are!" Then we just laughed and went to church. Then, as we were walking in to ward council, Sister Haner said, "Aren't you two speaking today?".....AHHHHH YES!    So we frantically wrote talks and ended up both going over way to long...Awkward!.. But really funny! 

#2: Finally, for my title. We were eating dinner in our apartment one night and we got a call from one of our Liberian friends who moved to Lebanon, NH. And he said "Hi is this Nicole?" and I said , "No, this is Sister Brady." Then he said, "Oh, okay, so I have a question for you. Do you have a boyfriend?" We were all shocked and I said, "yes?" And he said, "Oh okay, well that doesn't matter. I got a message from my mom and she says I need to find a wife. I'm not looking for a girlfriend. I am looking for a wife. I want a church girl, so what do you think?" HAHAHAHAHAHA! I explained that we are missionaries and so we just share the gospel and don't date or anything on our missions. He then said, "Okay, well can you find me another church girl? Doesn't matter, black or white. I just need an honest woman!" hahah! We told him that he could go to church and maybe find a wife. And then we asked how his Book of Mormon reading was going and he said that he reads it every night... don't know if that's true but it would be cool if it is! Then we got a call from the Elders in Lebanon....... turns out they met him on the street there and are now teaching him! So funny. 

Now on to a spiritual note. I just want to put in a little plug about how God does answer prayers. One of our investigators has gotten into a bit of anti-Mormon stuff and is bringing up all these things. I really wanted my testimony of Joseph Smith to not be shaken. So I came to God again in prayer asking if Joseph Smith was a prophet. It took a couple days, but God had it work out so I could answer my own question. We were re-teaching the Restoration to Gene, and as I shared the story of the First Vision, I told him that I know that it is true because of the Book of Mormon and the joy it brings me. And I know its true because of the undeniable spirit that fills the room and my heart every time the First Vision is shared. It is so true - I cannot deny that. Really cool.

Well,  I love you all! Have a fantastic week!!!

Sister Jenna-bug Brady

Monday, February 5, 2018

Week 28 ' "The font is falling apart!"

Hi hi!

So a counselor in the Bishopric came up to us and told us that some of the tiles on the font fell off and joked that it was because we were using it too much because KELLY AND GENE GOT BAPTIZED!!!!! AHHHHHHH!!! I am so happy! It was amazing (and pretty stressful) but mostly amazing! haha!

This was our first week with Sister Haner!!! She is the sweetest!! She is from Ogden Utah and is the middle of 9 girls! She is doing fantastic!

Literally the first day we took her out finding and the first 2 people we talked to became new investigators! By the end of the evening she was asking people "if they were religious". Then the next day we had an emphasis on teaching! We did some role plays before some lessons and then did some 'setting expectations' in a lesson and she boldly testified and rocked it! Then the third day we had Kelly's baptism!.....So finding, teaching and baptizing all in the first 3 days!

Sister Haner is so genuine, and prays so sincerely and it melts my heart! She is already doing so fantastic. If my mission started out with some of these experiences, I wonder what a difference it would have made! She is not only learning how to be a missionary, but a successful missionary! And I am so proud of her already!

With the 3 of us, there has been so much laughter and fun during meal hours and in the evenings. We are having a blast being obedient and truly finding joy in the work. And being so excited about all the miracles that happen!!

Okay so Kelly's baptism!.......

Once we got her in her jumpsuit, we had some great talks and then we got to the service. She just gracefully slipped right under the water and up! haha! She came out and I hugged her with the towel and she was just smiling her cute little no-teeth smile. Her eyes were so clear and bright and she said she felt "Awesome" :) ah!!! That night she texted us and said: "Thank you so much ladies for everything, you helped me get where I am now".

Gene was on his way to come support Kelly at her baptism, but Satan is the worst! On his way to her baptism his truck broke down- which is a huge hard thing for him because life is already hard. But he has too much faith to let that deter him!....Because the next day was Gene's baptism!

In the morning we texted him to ask how he was doing and he said "Hungry, but good"......because two days earlier we had taught him about fasting! So he was fasting for his baptism!!! So aweseome! He invited family and friends and it was amazing! Can't wait to see him again!
....and pictures with Gene disappeared!!!! I am heartbroken!!!   :(:(:(

Okay and one last thing, funny story. So last week we contacted this guy Micheal on the street and then he totally stood us up for his return appointment. But then a couple days ago we went to visit George (our Liberian friend)and guess who had just moved in with him earlier that day???!!!!.... Micheal!...hahahahah!!!! You can't hide!!!!! haha! God has a sense of humor I can tell you that!

Anyway, life is good. Trios are great! And missions are the best!

Love you all!!

Sister Brady