Monday, October 26, 2015

"Opening Our Eyes, and Elevating Our Perspective" - Week 68

October 26th, 2015

  So this week, we had our zone meeting. A week earlier Elder Ruiz, the Sister Leaders and I were talking about some of the zone's needs, and how to address them. We revised the area books of all the missionaries, and this way we were able to have a bit more information in order to help them in their individual areas. Well, the Desarollo went super well, and was very spiritual. Elder Gee spoke about developing missionary skills, and talked about how Christ is the perfect example of an excellent, capable, and apt teacher, so we analyzed a lot of attributes of Christ. Then Elder Ruiz talked about how to study effectively, and it was precisely what we all needed to hear. After an excellent practice-capacitation on filling out teaching records in the area book by Elder Quintero, we had a break, and Elder Lemus and I set up these flag like things taped on bamboo sticks stuck in foam cups filled with rocks. We had set it up the night before, trying to see if it would work. They were set up in various points around the room, and it made no sense whatsoever to anyone else. I started by telling a story I remembered from Art History. In the Early Renaissance, the artist Donatelo, was commissioned to sculpt from marble a statue of St. Mark. He worked on this statue for months and months, slowly chipping away with a hammer and chisel, according to the plans he had made for his masterpiece. When he was finally done, he invited those that commissioned him to see the finished piece. When they saw it, they were sorely disappointed. They told him that the torso of St. Mark was completely out of proportion, that it was way too long. They were furious, and would not accept it. So, Donatelo, being very wise, simply told them to come back the next day and he would have it fixed. You see, he knew what the commissioners were forgetting. He knew that the statue would be placed upon a high pedestal next to a cathedral, and that passers by would see it from below. So when they came back the next day, he hadn't touched the marble. He only put it on a higher platform, forcing them to elevate their sight, and change their perspective. He had planned that, and acted accordingly from the very beginning of making the sculpture, purposefully making the torso a little bit longer. Thats the key- Perspective. God's ways are higher than ours, and so are His thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9. We talked about how we are the chisels in the hands of the sculptor, and we only need to be willing to change our point of view, and try to see things the way the Lord does. This way, we'll be able to receive the revelation necessary to help sculpt the Lord's work the way He wants it in our individual areas. We talked about how this relates to faith, and how raising our perspective can help us cultivate greater faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Then I asked them what they thought the weird flag-like things were that were still there from the beginning. Then I had them all go to the stage behind us, with the curtains still closed. On the stage, behind the curtains, we talked about 2 Kings 6:15-17. They are more those that are with us, than those against us. We just need to open our eyes and see God's army in chariots of fire swirling around us, ready to help us fight our battles. At that point, I opened the curtains, and had them each stand on a point I had marked X on the floor of the stage. From that point they saw those same flags, but from a different perspective. And when they looked at them from that point of view, they spelled the word Fe (Faith). It's all about perspective. After that, the Hermanas shared some excellent temas about goal setting, and keeping a positive attitude. I was able to really get a lot out of those two, they came super prepared. Afterward, we had several elders and sisters share their testimonies, a musical number from Hermana Hinrichsen on the violin, and we ended. It was a very spiritual meeting, and an animo booster for sure.
Anywho, all is well in Zion. Love you all!

Elder Brady
* Yes, the last several photos are from previous emails...
the computers in his new area do not have the ability to upload photos. :(
So for now I am adding some repeats! :)

Monday, October 19, 2015

"Come on in Boys! The Water is Fine!" - Week 67

October 19th, 2015

     This weekend, Hermano Pedro Hernandez (Padilla), was baptized in Vista Bella and I had the privilege to attend and perform the ordinance. I've had five months working with him, and several months before that he was contacted by missionaries. I've witnessed for five months, ups and downs, highs and lows, first his baptismal dates fall, goals met, goals failed, week after week, month after month, good days bad days, failures and triumphs, invitations declined, and invitations accepted. I've had the blessing of seeing the Lord work in the lives of this family, witnessing the conversions and baptisms of first his daughter, then his wife, and now him. It's been a long and arduous road, but one most worth taking. I can't believe the change he's made in his life with divine aid. If you could see who he was when I first met him, and who he is now, you'd have the same testimony in the healing power of the atonement and the process of repentance as I do. It's incredible. He's left drinking, coffee, and has repented of past infidelities in his marriage. This man is my brother, and this family my family. Missionaries don't often get to see the fruits of their labor like this, so I'm counting my blessings and walking on clouds. I know it was the Lord who truly prepared the way for him to make this covenant. If it weren't for obedience to the opposite sex rule, and the new policy of minors and spouses, I know he wouldn't be where he is today. We never would have been able to involve him in the lessons. In a year from now, the Hernandez family will enter into the temple of the Lord and be sealed for all eternity!Que asombroso es!

     Other than that, things are going well in El Eden. We're finding more and more members, and more and more families. This week we didn't spend as much time in the area as I would have liked due to the meetings we've had, but we'll be making up for that this week. The zone is swell. This week will be our desarollo meeting, and we'll be talking about chapters 2, 8, and 10 of PMG, so we're excited. I'll also be taking some time to talk a bit about faith. I've really been searching for some external remedies to treat internal sources of discouragement. It's not that the zone is discouraged... not at all. But we could all be a bit more invigorated about missionary work, and I'm thinking that faith is attribute we can develop more. Drawing upon that same source of faith in Jesus Christ will give us more confidence, making us more powerful messengers of the gospel, thus finding more success in the field. External to internal, and visa versa. I've always thought it was a question of perspective, and that concept has been reassured many a time. Other than that, Elder Lemus is progressing very well. He's learning a ton, and gaining more and more experience.

Anywho, Love you all!

Elder Brady

Monday, October 12, 2015

"All is well, All is... wait, is that Pica Pollo?" - Week 66

October 12th, 2015

     New area , and new everything! "La vaina ta buena paka!" as they say in dominican... -"thing's are all good over here!" We made it safe and sound to El Eden, and I receive my little boy this Tuesday. His name is Elder Lemus, from El Salvador. He's a real good guy, and we have a pretty good time together. He's learning a lot about the mission, and it brings me back to my early times, the first weeks in the mission, adjusting to all the new and strange cultural aspects of a completely foreign experience. He's battling some very common homesickness, but he's soldiering on quite well.
     The ward here is better than I thought it would be, but still very apparent that there's some "heating up" to do with the missionary work. The Bishop is basically a psychopath, but as they say, "Entre locos, se entienden" and I believe I can get into his mind and carry out the plans he has for the ward. I've dealt with a lot of different types of people, but this is a whole new species, so it'll be fun to discover what makes things tick here in El Eden. Things are swell here. With a positive attitude, hard work, tried and tested strategies, creativity, obedience, and revelation from the Lord, miracles come to pass. I'm a firm believer in said miracles, and we'll be seeing many of them soon. Our first night in the area we put a date with a man who has 4 months receiving the missionaries, but just hasn't been able to commit himself to baptism. He's now preparing to be baptized the 5th of November. I know this was gift from God, for him, for the ward, and for the work. Things are a bit complicated, what with being in a different house than the other Zone Leader and what not... the communication is fun! But things are going really well. Other than that, I thought I'd end on a high note, stating that the runs I've had these past several days from some pica pollo I ate have now come and gone. All is well in Zion. Thanks for all your prayers everyone!

Elder Brady

Monday, October 5, 2015

"She'll promise you more than the garden of Eden..." - Week 65

October 5th, 2015

     Well, transfers are in... Some interesting news! I'm staying in the same zone as zone leader, but this time I'm going to El Eden, another area in the zone. I'm white washing, and training... So that's a lot. But I'm super excited about it! It'll be interesting, to be zone leader, while not living with my old companion. I'm gonna have at least 10 and a half months in this same zone... But it's really good. I love the zone, and I'll just get to know more of it. Sorry guys... no time today. But everything is great! I love you all!

Elder Brady