Monday, February 29, 2016

" A Token of that Same Price- Miracles" - Week 86

February 29th, 2016

     This week was both fruitful and challenging. Joselin, one of our investigators, had a baptismal date for the 20th, yesterday. She was interviewed the week before, and ready to go. She reads the Book of Mormon regularly, and attends church weekly. Her family are members, and she's been investigating on and off for about four years. Through many struggles, she accepted baptism, and was, and is, prepared mentally and spiritually. Sunday morning, when her sister, who is a strong member, came in without her, I turned back and mouthed "Y Joselin" And she responded, "No viene" (She's not coming). After sacrament meeting she told me that Joselin wouldn't be baptized that day, that she doesn't feel ready. She began to cry, and expressed a lot of other things she's been going through. It's impossible to comfort someone as much as you'd like with only a handshake. Luckily the Sisters saw from a distance and rescued her with hugs, saying "Vine a hacer lo que el Elder no puede" (I came to do what the Elder can't).  After church, we went over to speak with her. The adversary is basically just at it again, inspiring fear in the hearts of those who have received the truth. It was a very spiritual lesson, and we were able to share personal experiences of when we've received testimony AFTER the trial of our faith that really helped her I think. Its a bitter side of missionary work to taste, but it gives us greater perspective. Its sad, but she just needs time; time, and many more spiritual experiences to strengthen herself. Our enemy is working hard, we just have to make sure we're working harder. Elder Holland teaches us that we must pay at least a token of that same price that Christ suffered. It wouldn't be worth it if it were easy.

     Also, an interesting miracle I don't want to forget to tell you all- Over two months ago, I sent my scriptures to someone to put a leather cover on them. It takes about a week for him to do it, so I was deprived of my personal marked scriptures for the time being. That week I walked with a regular paperback Book of Mormon, the ones we give to investigators. Eager to get my scriptures back, the day he told he told me they'd be prepared by, I went ready to receive them. But they weren't ready. A little frustrated, I continued the day with my blank Book of Mormon.

     That very night we had arrived at a lesson with Joselin surprised to see our other investigator, Jhon Caro, there visiting the family. We didn't have an appointment with him that day, nor plans to even go to his house, but we took advantage of the situation, and taught them both. Jhon Caro told us that the night before, he had had a very strange dream, and that he wanted our help interpretating it. "I was walking with both of you," he started to explain, "when you both turned to me, and you Mr. Brady handed me some kind of Bible, some kind of book... The letters on the front were golden, and when I opened it, the letters on the inside were also golden and they glowed brightly. I didn't understand what the book said, it was in Hebrew or some other language I don't read. Then I looked up at your faces, and just saw you smiling at me. Those smiles have stayed with me ever since I dreamt it, and in that very moment I knew you had given me the word of God... What does this mean?"

      Almost speechless, I was able to bull out that little paper back Book of Mormon, and hand it to him. We testified of it's truth, but he had already received his testimony. "There's a divinity that shapes our ends, rough-hew them how we will." His dream would not have come true if I had received my scriptures that day. There is no coincidence, there is only plan. Jhon Caro was baptized last week and is going strong.

Love you all!
Thanks for everything,

Elder Brady

Movie night with the Anziani Family!
The Joe Smith movie always brings a couple o tears to those
who see it the first time after having received the lesson of the first vision.
Ward counselor's b-day

The lil' tike and I
The sisters in our ward are awesome!
Ward activity! Lots of fun!
E. Gaitan came to visit
He's been going to the gym...
Wouldn't be a party without Dominoes
The guys
Such a great couple
One awesome family
Lunch appointment

The old Los Solares group is back again!

Monday, February 22, 2016

"Fast Times at Los Solares" - Week 85

February 22nd, 2016

     The week was great! Not much time, but all is well. Much love!

Elder Brady

Family Home Evening with the Ramos family and some members!
All is well!

The sisters in our ward rock

Jhon Caro's baptism

His good friend that actually gave him to us as a referral baptized him.

"He bids us all to come unto Him.
His arms are extended ready for us
whenever we choose to truly accept him;
to truly accept that if we have the faith,
He will change our lives, mold us,
and use us as instruments to bless the lives of others."
                                                   -   Elder Brady

Monday, February 15, 2016

"Like unto a Child" - Week 84

February 15th, 2016

     Usually, at the training meeting, where the trainer meets and is assigned to his trainee, it works like this; Trainers on one side of the chapel, and trainees on the other side. The President reads the name of the trainee, and then that of the trainer, and they meet, hug, and sit down together. When they called my name after Elder Charles's, I went up to receive my companion. As I went in for a big hug, my six foot something companion picked me up and lifted me four feet off the ground. Everyone was laughing, but I was just afraid he was going to eat me!

     Things couldn't be better with Elder Charles! He's learned a lot already and will learn plenty more. He's bold and has no fear, which are qualities that will make him an outstanding missionary. He's lived a humble life. His study is a slow process, but he's consistent. The simple things, like planning and writing things in the agenda, take much more time, because he's learning something new, words, pronunciation, or spelling, all the time. I've put up a chalk board in the house where we practice daily, and it seems to help connect visuals with what he hears. Its a pleasure and a joy every day to work with him, and I couldn't ask the Lord for a greater learning opportunity. Love you all,

Elder Brady

"Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted,
and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven."

First day!

Studyin like a boss

Thought I might send you all just about the creepiest picture ever...
 Elder Smith locked himself out of his phone one day,
so they had to sleep at our house for a night.
As we were getting ready for bed, I went into the bathroom to take my contacts out,
and Elder Smith was hiding in my shower with two inflatable light sabers
 I received in my Christmas package.
As he yelled "Surprise attack!" and came charging out,
he hit his head on the top of the shower door,
 and with a loud bang, fell to the floor. After making sure he was alive,
 I couldn't contain myself from busting out into laughter...
 I spent the rest of the night dressing his head wound...

The boys

I was explaining a certain parable I've developed in the mission
to help teach the restoration,
involving a bus, keys, driver, manuals, radios
and some dominican things that apply to the culture of the dominican people.
 Too little time to do it justice in writing.

​The Familia Ramos, that just got baptized, has had some serious marital problems,
and the adversary has been working hard on attacking them.
But they went to a ward couples party Saturday, and danced and everything.
We've taught the family "A Proclamation to the World", and gave them a copy.
Tonight, we'll be implementing family home evening so that they can do it weekly.
Everything will be fine :)

Monday, February 8, 2016

" Two letter's this week" - Week 83

February 8th, 2016

* This week we've been blessed with two letter's from Elder Brady!

** First Letter

These are letter's from a good friend of mine. The first is from a long time ago when we were both in our training, and the second is recent. Thought  I'd share the story...

We talked to Yunior and his mom. She says we can go ahead with the interview but she is going to wait to see a change in him. Come on Yunior! We had interviews with President. I am pretty sure from my interview that I am staying and Elder Hanks is going. We will see in two weeks! We had a lesson with Adolfo that night about the Book of Mormon, he had a ton of questions! Wow. Hatians have such big hearts, they are so open to the truth. We did Noche Amistad on what God has given to us. I shared Mosiah 2:41 at the end. If we truly are greatful for all he has given us, then we will keep his commandments, and keeping this commandments make us happy.
We had ton of baptismal interviews. Including the one with Yunior. He passed with flying colors. Now we just need to get that signature. We had class of English and then we got a call from Adolfo. Adolfo doesnt have a job and was living with some people from his other church. Well aparently the pastor of this church found this out and kicked him out. He came to us begging to help him. As missionaries all we can do is refer him to the ward. It was so painful. I wanted to give him all of the money back at the appartment, but I couldnt. So hard. So we told him we would talk to the ward in ward council tomorrow. Our ward mission leader gave him some money to try and find somewhere to sleep. So hard.
We didnt have to many investigators at church. Its hard when they promise things but dont do them. Adolfo sat next to us in sacrament. He slept in a parking lot that night. It is so sad. So sad. We literally cant do anything to help him. We told him to wait till later after ward council. We then went up to Brisas and had a lesson with a lady we were pretty sure was drunk. She was going off. That or shes a firecracker. I dont know. I kept looking at Elder Hanks like, is that really just what she said? Haha. So funny. We had ward council and they were able to pitch in money for Adolfo and everyone is on the lookout for work and places for him to stay. They are all timid because hes new and nobody knows him, and hes a Haitian. They are so racisit towards these people here. So sad.
We had a talk with Adolfo later that night. He asked if there was anything we could do for him. We really cant, except for pray and check up on him. He has been sleeping in a parking lot and is really worried about his safety. He told us to not pray that he finds a job or a house, but that he is safe and if he dies, that he dies in peace. He started crying and so did we. I cant believe this. The ward wont do anything to help because of where he is from and I feel like we got him into this mess. He is so scared, yet I feel like they dont care. Makes me so angry."

Over one year later...

     "Beuno, so our baptisms in our area fell for the noche blanca. It was really sad and all week I was talking about how I never get to see people get baptized and how I always just leave tons of prepared people in my areas. Basically just complaining about life. I know, bad Elder Davis, but God taught me a really important lesson. The story starts a year and a half ago. Elder Hanks and I had an investigator named adolpho. He was a man from Haiti. We taught him in his house a couple of times and he started to come to church. Adolpho didnt have work and needed help finding a job because he was here to study. He was progressing really well and we became good friends with him. He came to church a couple of times and everything was great. Then we found out that the owner of his apartment had kicked him out. The owner was a pastor of an evangical church. I remember vividly sitting in the church foyer with Aldopho. All three of us were crying because the sitiuation looked so hopeless. The members of the church didnt want to take him in because of his race and it was really sad. Nobody would help him. He left up to villa mella to sleep in a parking lot everynight. I said he would cry himself to sleep every night because he was so scared. In this moment I was mad at the mission handbook. How could we let this man pass through this. If it wasnt for the mission handbook he would be sleeping in my bed at home, safe from harm. He ended up moving in friends in Villa Mella and his phone stopped working and that was the last we heard of him.
Saturday we got to the Noche Blanca. Elder Rios (My son in the mission) Had told me he was teaching a hatian man who had been investigating for a long time, and that he would be baptized on Saturday. I really didnt think much, I was so stressed because I know that this was a big night for the stake and I felt kind of incharge. I was rushing around everywhere making sure everyone was doing what they should. Suddenly I open the door and there standing was Adolpho... I hugged him and all he said was, oh my brother, God is good. I could not believe it. It was incredible. He was going to be baptized that night. I happened to have my white clothes for a special number we were going to do before the baptisms and he immediatley asked me to baptize him. I could not hold in the emotions. After my whole week of feeling down on my self I had witnessed a miracle. I felt like God was telling me that he was incharge and had a plan. Adolpho and I talked and he told me that he had been going to church for a while over there when Elder Rios finally asked him if he was a member. He said no, and they started teaching him. His progress report said that some other missionaries had taught him before, but obviously it was not the same that we had in Los Frailes. Elder Rios had no idea. Adolpho has given almost everything for this church. When he came up out of the water I just give him a big hug and said congrats my brother. It was the most amazing experience. My mission kind of turned full circle for me. I know that sometimes as missionaries our fruits of our labors are small, but they are much bigger than we will ever understand. I am so thankful for this work. I love it with all my heart. I wish I never had to go home. I thank the Lord for this opportunity that he has given me to serve. Miracles happen, daily, because he will never cease to be a God of miracles. I love you all!"
Elder Davis

**Second Letter

"Transfers... (don't judge, I've run out of creative titles)"

     The transfers are in! We received the news Saturday night with a phone call from the President. I'll be staying, and my companion will be companions with a missionary that's had some obedience issues as a special assignment. President then told me that I will be training starting tomorrow. He told me that it will be a special assignment as well.
      My companion is from a small island in the Caribbean called Grenada, (which is only about twice the size of Antelope Island in the Great Salt Lake for perspective) His name is Elder Charles, and has less than 14 months as a member of the church. He speaks English, but cannot read or write it.
     In the words of President Corbitt, "Since the very moment the MTC president told me of this Elder, I knew that you were going to be his trainer." -It's not an uncommon occurrence that president receives such clear revelation. He continued, "Elder Brady, you will be teaching your companion how to read and write English, how to speak Spanish, how to be member of the Church of Jesus Christ, and how to be a missionary... I'm not asking much!" -followed by my nervous laughter...
     If feels as though the Lord has given me the opportunity to greatly and directly impact the life of another individual. The funny thing is, a day earlier I had already met him at the MTC. We passed by the temple after a dentist appointment to buy some stuff from the distribution center, so we mooched off of the kitchen staff and just ate there. I talked with him before I knew I'd be training him, and didn't ever think that I would be training at all this transfer.
     I'm excited for the new experience, and only pray that I can receive the inspiration needed in order to not mess it up. It'll be fun. By the end of his training he'll be reading Shakespeare. Love you all!

Elder Brady

Isaiah 53
I gave this drawing to my trainer Elder Marroquin before he left

Did an intercambio with my buddy from the MTC
Elder Austil who is now zone leader

Our district

Our Zone

The sisters in our ward

I put up a chalk board

Monday, February 1, 2016

"I'm Dreaming of a Noche Blanca" - Week 82

February 1st, 2016

     Well, the day came. Before Christmas, President Corbbit received revelation, and nothing short of it, that every zone in the mission should have what's called a Noche Blanca, "White Night". It's basically a combined baptismal service from all the wards and branches in the stake. It was an incredible experience. Hainamosa is a pretty big zone, consisting of 30 missionaries. This Saturday, 19 people were baptized, including our dear family, Felix and his daughter Natalia Ramos.

     It was a beautiful experience we had the opportunity to participate in. The next day, they were confirmed as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in sacrament meeting. Afterward, Felix was interviewed, and received the Aaronic Priesthood. Felix also received a calling as the Ward Library Director, and his wife, Yilenis, will receive a calling within the Relief Society this next week. A complete family was both re-activated, and baptized, returned to and brought to the fold of Christ. There is no doubt that the heavens did indeed rejoiced that day.

     The Church is true, and I'm living and experiencing the Gospel on the front lines. We can all live it and experience it this way, we just have to be in the right place at the right time doing the right thing. The rest is simple, and the miracles come.

     Thanks for all the love!

     Elder Brady

Elder Ruiz and I

Nuñez was able to make it to the baptism

Familia Ramos

​Come on in boys! The water is fine!

Noche Blanca!

After the baptism we went to their house and celebrated with some pizza!

Lunch with some awesome members

Went to the house of another family of investigators (Familia Anziani)
 to celebrate like 5 birthdays they've had this month,
 and we brought them a cake

We watched "The other side of Heaven" as the activity.

We've made good friends with our favorite sandwich and juice vendor in town.
They have meat on the weekends. Super awesome group of guys.

La Zona Hainamosa! These are our zone t-shirts
Elder Call, Me, and Elder Orchard (who was my companion in the MTC)

My buddies the zone leaders. Such studs

The sisters and I from our ward

Ran into the ol Villa Mella clan