Monday, November 26, 2018

Week 69 - "We're gonna light this place up" -Sister Blair

Hello!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!

This week was good! We found a lot of new people again! We just want to keep them all and help them progress so we don't just pick people up and not help them progress.

Good news!...Jayne and Dana came to church!!!!!! Dana is on date for the end of December! Please pray for him! 

We had an incredible lesson with Jayne! She pointed out that she felt the spirit and she said she wanted to know if Joseph Smith was a prophet and she wanted to find out for herself by the Spirit!... What!?...It is like right out of the Preach My Gospel manual! And then she loved church!!!

We got to go to the Joseph Smith Birthplace memorial for the Christmas Lights lighting ceremony! 

President pulled some strings and made it so that was the night we happened to be volunteering there! They light it up like Temple Square! It was SO COLD! But really fun! We got to talk to people as they came through the visitor's center and gave them doughnuts and hot chocolate. We mostly only met members. But tender mercy....the Atwater family from Topsham came!!!  I was there with them a year ago! Wow! It felt like seeing family again. So special!

We had a fun staff meeting today!....haha...kind of fun I guess. It is so amazing how much work goes into running a mission. All this so we can see the miracles of people coming to Christ and see their lives change when they turn towards Him!

Thanksgiving was great! But I am the absolute worst!!!..I didn't take any pictures!!! (arrgg) We went with the Springers (Dana and his family) We then had a second meal at the Reicher's. Then had dessert with the office couples. 

We then took the Larsen's granddaughter and went finding at Walmart because we weren't allowed to knock on doors. Most stores were closed but Walmart was craziness! We had a dance party with this one lady and then prayed with this African couple. It was a blast! haha! 

I had a little teaching moment with the Spirit the other day: we have a person we are teaching that had questions about faith and works. So I was studying about that and I learned that as we strive to keep the commandments and serve others, we don't do so only because we are concerned about the eternal state of our soul, but because when we turn to Christ, our hearts change and we desire to keep the commandments - I thought that was really cool.

I Love You all!!

Love, Sister Brady

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Week 67/68 - Feast or Famine!

Hellllooo everyone!

So sorry I didn't write a weekly last week! I honestly totally forgot until I had about 2 minutes left.

But I have a lot of pictures to make up for it!

Wow, it has been a big week!

We had a lot of good Light the World/ Sister Holmes goodbye visits. Some fun finding and running around town inviting people to Christmas parties, and all the other usual fun missionary stuff. Sister Holmes was just soaking in every minute of it. Lots of high and low emotions for her as she said her good-byes. 

She has grown some amazing relationships here and has changed a lot of lives....including mine! Linda wrote her the sweetest card that was not only full of gratitude, but full of testimony! 

When I brought my new companion Sister Ross over to meet Linda, we taught the Restoration and then Linda just testified of all that she has learned...about prophets, authority, and baptism. Seriously so amazing!

I am so glad that Sister Ross is here! She is an incredible missionary and so fun to find and teach with! 

We have seen so many miracles already! Our first day together was transfer meeting day and was really crazy. We then went finding for 2 hours and nobody said yes. It was unusual for the patterns lately. We met a lot of cool people and had a lot of cool conversations, but it just didn't happen and they didn't want return appointments. I was getting pretty discouraged and wondered what was wrong.

The next day there was a local parade. Our participation almost didn't happen and then we pulled together a float last minute. We were hoping to pull together a hot chocolate stand. I put so much work into planning it and trying to figure out all the logistics. But, we didn't know our way around the city very well and the other missionaries didn't get the chance to select a spot for us. We had all these jugs of hot water that we had spent all morning boiling.....

....then the car we were in made a wrong turn where the city had blocked off the road for the parade... so our booth failed.... and I was pretty bummed. I felt a lot of personal responsibility for it even though I know I tried my best. I tried so hard to put on a happy face and just contact people. We ended up running up the parade route and found our float and got to walk beside that was fun!

BUT!...the next couple days the miracles just rolled in for Sister Ross and I! We found 13 incredible people! God's timing is so good. Alissa, Bo, Kayla, John, Lindsay, Lindsey, Luis, Meme, Patricia, Pete and Sabrina. Three of those people have said they have been looking for a church. I am so grateful for the opportunity to go out and talk to God's children each day.

On Sunday, Stake conference was really hard for our people to get too - even Linda. But we had a lesson with her and re-taught the Restoration from the new-member lessons and she testified to us about prophets, the priesthood, and baptism - Amazing!

We have tried a lot of contacts with members present - it worked okay last week but I want it to be better.....which is another ball I am trying to juggle and stay on top of!

Sister Ross is really calm and helpful! I am grateful for her. 

I am striving to keep us both on the same page. I don't want her to feel overwhelmed with her new responsibilities and I don't want to take over. I am praying and working for a good balance. I know we will see amazing things!!!

I am very grateful for the miracles we have seen. Although I have had to teach Sister Ross a lot about her new calling - I feel like I have been able to focus my heart and thoughts and study on those people we are teaching even more. I am striving to be open and honest about my weaknesses - especially to the Lord, so He can help me. Right now I feel like He is helping me stay on top of it.

ALSO...........HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

I am simply so grateful for my relationship with Christ and I know that no matter what we are going through, good or bad, He will never leave us alone.

Sister Brady

OH!....And my Parents got to see both Sister Holmes AND Sister Anderson at Sister Holme's missionary homecoming!!!

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Week 67 - IT'S ALL WORTH IT!

Hello! So I am writing Saturday instead if Monday because we went to the temple with the Foleys today and had to change my preparation day. 

WOW. It was an amazing week!!! We spent a lot of time in the car with our road trips, but so many amazing things happened!  

So we started out the week with a pretty normal preparation day, then we had Mission Leadership Council (MLC) and didn't leave the church until 8:15pm because of the Trunk-or-Treat.

We then had to settle everything to help out a sister missionary that we had to help get ready to go home early. We are going to miss her. She looked so tired and so sad to be leaving. We continue to pray for her.

But that night we had an awesome miracle! Johanna and her family came to the Trunk or Treat and they LOVED it! They were so excited to come to church on Sunday. And they made some great connections with the ward members, and I actually got to make some great connections with the ward members too!

Then deep clean Halloween!!! Wow, Sisters have left SO MUCH STUFF in this apartment. It was terrible!!!

Then we stayed with the Yarmouth Sisters and had Zone conference! It was fun to see a lot of people! Afterwords though we had to stay for a long time talking to and listening and helping Sisters that are having a hard time. I love them.

On the way home, Sister Holmes and I were so tired we had to pull over and take a little bit of dinner hour to take a nap. I still feel some exhaustion about once or twice a day and have a lot of head pressure. Sister Holmes is still coughing but a lot less frequent and deep. I am going to the Dr. Again on Monday.

We got to finally see Linda since her baptism! We were worried because we hadn't seen her in a while cause we were in Maine. But guess what?! While we were gone, the ward took care of her! She was invited over to do family history and got her names for her family!!!!! Exactly how it is supposed to be! And she shared her journal entries from her baptism and confirmation day and they were so sweet. 

She shared with us as she was sitting in the parking lot right before her baptism that she prayed and then randomly opened her scriptures, and this is what she was led to:

Philippians 1:6 - "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ."

 Amazing!! She said she feels so light and happy. And she has always been full of light and joy, but now she has a beautiful peace about her. Oh my it is amazing! I love her so much!

Then today WAS THE BEST DAY! Really! Between this Saturday and last Saturday..... I could just cry. Everyone, all we strive and try to do really does make a difference in people's lives. And it is because it is God's plan and He consecrated our efforts and is kind enough to let us be part in His work of bringing to pass immortality and eternal life of His children.

This morning went to the temple with Brother and Sister Foley for their first time. And tender mercy, their best friends from the church just happened to be there! And Sister Stevenson was there and helped them so wonderfully! And then Sister Holmes and I sat there hugging each other as Brother Foley exercised the priesthood for the first time and baptized his wife in the temple font. And afterwords he expressed that doing those baptisms he felt the joy of his own baptism return.

And then we drove to Portsmouth and saw MY WARD FAMILY. Because I consider the Portsmouth Ward my ward family. And I could cry because TOM FALK IS BAPTIZED!!!!!!!!!

Jacob Gong and Tom

 Ben Gong, Tom's Siblings: Don, Peg, Anne. TOM! Sue Gong, Jacob Gong, Brian Gong, Gloria Jean Gong and her daughter.

He looked so happy. I truly desire salvation for him and I still can't believe this at is real! Those people are so wonderful and everyone was fantastic and it was so good to see them. And I just love Tom so much. Brian was there too and he is also all baptized and confirmed and doing well!!

Afterwords we were sitting there and Brian pointed out how amazing it is that in the baptismal ordinance the first line after their name is stated is: "Having been commissioned of Jesus Christ"...and he pointed out how extremely powerful that is. And it is. 

I cried holding these...... 
Brian's baptism program, Tom's Baptism program and a picture of Linda's Baptism!

 God is good. This work is real. I love these people. IT'S ALL WORTH IT! 

Sister Brady