Tuesday, January 26, 2016

"The Golden Days" - Week 81

January 26th, 2016

     Well, this week was great. We changed our P-day so that we could go to a couple of museums, thus the reason I'm writing today. I have a lot of photo's for this week, so I'll just send those.

Recognize him?

Carlos Marroquin came back to the country,
and was sealed in the Santo Domingo Temple.
He served in the same area that I'm serving in right now as well,
and came back to visit. It was amazing!

Wouldn't be him without the peace sign

Love this guy

Bunch of hooligans in church

King of the Hill!

Service project in our ward mission leader's house

Found a great place to eat downtown today

From Utah to the DR!

The assistants were able to come to the museum with us

Tarantula... gross...

He was hungrier than I was

I just happened to be taking a phone call
while at the same time taking pictures

The Elk is my spirit animal

My brother bear and I
enjoying a peaceful session of meditation

My pal and former companion Elder Romero and I

My companion and I... oh, wait...

Blood thirsty

These rebellious Elder's left their mission boundaries...

Museum of Modern Art

Blown away. Honestly... wow.

Last Sacrilege... I mean Supper...


Green sleeves isn't just a cherished Christmas folk song

T'was a fun day

Love you all!
Elder Brady

Monday, January 18, 2016

" The Plan of Happiness Truly Brings Happiness' - Week 80

January 18th, 2016

     This week, we met with one of our progressing investigators to teach the plan of salvation. Her name is Vilma, and has recently lost her baby boy. She has truly been prepared by the Lord. She reads every pamphlet and every chapter of the Book of Mormon that we leave with her. One night, we visited her with a member, Rigoberto, who is actually in charge of the stake missionary work.

     Now, in my mission, many times have I met someone contacting, or have knocked on a door when someone comes out, and almost instantly, I know that I knew them before in our pre-mortal life. I've come to recognize these situations quickly and unmistakably. I've also felt the presence of those who have already passed on while sharing about how the family can be together, connected forever through family history, but never quite like this.

      During the lesson, she asked several questions about baptism and her child that passed had away, and where he is now. We were able to answer the questions, and the Spirit was incredibly strong. At one point, the Spirit was so strong and so clear, that I knew I had to voice and testify of what I felt right then and there. I began to explain that at times, the Lord permits for the veil to be very thin so that we may feel the presence of those on the other side. When I said that, Rigoberto, our member present, began to smile and just shook his head saying, "wow"... he felt it too. I continued, and was prompted to tell her with absolute asurety that her son was in that room with us at that very moment. Rigoberto testified that he had felt the same, and my companion followed saying the same. There is no doubt in my mind that Vilma had felt her son's presence as well.

     I left that lesson with a stronger testimony that truly the Lord allows visitations from our loved ones to strengthen us and cheer us on to important decisions in this life.

     Vilma studies every weekend and will not graduate until May. Thus she has never attended church. However, this Sunday to our surprise, she was able to come. She chose to see what church is like instead of going to her university. With more spiritual experiences like this, I know that she will be able to be baptized and continue in her life as a faithful member in the Lord's church, with help from both sides of the veil.

Thanks for all the love,
Elder Brady

* Another photo from the past...

Monday, January 11, 2016

"It's a Small World After All" - Week 79

January 11th, 2016

     About a month ago, Elder Gaitan and I were walking one night on the side of a fairly busy road in our area. Very unexpectedly, someone from a motorcycle passing by shouted out to us, "Elderes! Elderes!" Surely he must be a member, we thought. Nobody calls us Elder unless they're a member. Well, he drove on over to us, and began to explain his story. His wife and one of his daughters are members. Four years ago they were contacted by missionaries, taught as a family, married as a couple in court of law, and his wife was baptized. He wasn't quite "into that" at the time, and was never baptized. Soon after the baptism of his wife, she became inactive without the support of her husband.

     Four years later, he decides that he's done with the street life, and wants to preserve his family before he loses it. His name is Felix Ramos, and his wife's is Yirenny. They have three children, one of which is now 11 years old, and eligible for baptism. They're an absolutely beautiful family. That night on the side of the street, he told us that he wanted to find the "Elderes" again, but had no idea how to come in contact with them, so he prayed for a sign from God, and God responded. We were shocked. That almost never happens in the mission. Now is his time, when back then, it simply wasn't. We've been visiting them frequently, and Felix and his daughter Natalia will be baptized the 30th of this month. Now that's a miracle.

     As though it weren't enough with this "family of gold", yesterday they all showed up to church for the first time in almost four years. But someone else arrived as well. Perhaps its just a small world because this is a relatively small island, and the Church is still young in the DR... or perhaps fate is a concept much more intertwined than we may think. One of the missionaries that contacted, taught and baptized the Ramos family four years ago is none other than my dear friend and former MTC teacher Alwin Nuñez, who apparently served in my current area during his mission. What was planted long ago, will be reaped for more to sow.

     My friends, there is no such thing as coincidence. The Lord is ever mindful of His Children, and He loves us enough to have provided His Son, Jesus Christ, to make this great work possible. I love the mission. I love these people. I love this gospel. And I love my God.

Much love,
Elder Brady

Jose Rodriguez, me, and Alwin Nuñez

* This last week I was delighted to receive a message from a family in the DR. Elder Brady and Elder Gaitan were able to help her prepare flowers for her daughters marriage just days before she and her husband left to serve as the only missionaries currently serving in Cuba. Looks like I found my new "floral assistant"! :)

Monday, January 4, 2016

"All Is Well" - Week 78

January 4th, 2016

       So Sorry, not much time. I've been trying to battle a virus on my camera memory, which is somethin fierce, but no worries. I'll come out victorious. The battle has waged on long enough. This week was good, not much to tell, pretty regular. The good news is that the bishopric has been thinking quite a bit about my suggestion with the references, and we'll have another meeting to get the plans all hashed out. A lot of people left the ward counsel really excited for the missionary work, so we're taking advantage of that. And for new years, I kind of accidentally fell asleep early, and wasn't awake to celebrate the new year... Ya, I know... I'm lame. Oh well. There's nothing to do and nowhere to go anyway. Hope all is well over there! Love ya!

Elder Brady

Photos next week! Sorry Mom!

* Had to throw something in here from his previous photo's! :)