Monday, April 25, 2016

"Opportunities within Opposition" - Week 94

April 25th, 2016

     The Lord is a God of miracles. I've never seen so many blessings amongst so much adversity; so many trials yet so many miracles. Sometimes we tend to forget just who is running the show here. Sometimes we ask ourselves if it's really worth it. It IS worth it. Saturday, we had a baptism planned for Benny. The day before, we lost all communication with her. Long story short, her family from outside the country arrived, and she was affected by what they had to say about the Church. She didn't show up to go to the temple, so we went with the other investigators without her. Canceling the baptism last minute, we went with our ward mission leader to see if we could go rescue her. She wasn't home. Anytime a date falls it's a bit discouraging. I've felt perhaps just a sliver of what our Heavenly Father feels when His children choose the wrong path, or stray away after having received testimony of the truth. Instead, our mission leader showed us the house of some less actives, sealed in the temple, that haven't been to church in a long time. I've never seen so much opposition against such a great cause. We had a very powerful lesson with them. The man crying during the lesson, told us they would be at church the next day without doubt, and they were. Perhaps Benny wasn't ready for baptism, but the Ramos family was ready to return to the fold of God.

     The next day, at church we found out that a member, Sister Lurdes, had passed away of a stroke that very morning. It was sudden, and many were affected by her death. The sacrament meeting was very solemn and there was a very sober yet sacred feeling in the air that day. It's been an emotional weekend and things just seemed to keep piling up. Later, we wanted to go through the ward directory with the bishop to find investigators that attend church and could possibly be baptized this week, however, the entire ward went to the sister's funeral. Instead we went with a brother to Amalia to try and visit Benny. She wasn't there again. We said a prayer, and decided to visit some other investigators that have had baptismal dates in the past. We gave ourselves to the Lord, and put the work in His hands. That same night, we were able to talk with Maryleidy, the brother's daughter that we're actually teaching and have been trying to marry, she also went to the temple with us the day before. After a good conversation, we set the date that she would be married this Friday, and baptized the next day Saturday. We've spent today getting all of the papers ready, copies of IDs and birth certificates. We went with our second counselor, who will be one of the witnesses along with the relief society president, to the oficiala and got everything taken care of and set up for their marriage Friday at 9:00 in the morning. The Lord takes care of His children, and when our best efforts just aren't enough, He steps in with grace and works miracles. We were also able to speak with an elderly lady who is the mother of the former stake president, who is currently in Cuba serving a mission with his wife. We set a date with her for the 14th of May, and will have dates for other families soon. Every trial and every set back has only made room for greater blessings. Every day of our lives can be a testimony builder if we let it. I have no doubt that this is the Lord's work, and it is glorious.

Have a great week!

Elder Brady

My companion found a metal spoke on the ground about a week ago.
He bought a file and started to sharpen it,
saying it was his "Juker" which is Grenadian for shank.
Needless to say, I was worried.
Then one day he surprised me with a fully sewn shoe
 (the sole was coming off and disconnected from the leather).
It was a great surprise!

The formerly inactive family Ramos!

Couple o' Gs

​Robo Cop 2016

Monday, April 18, 2016

" Al Monte del Señor" - Week 93

April 18th, 2016

     A splendid week here in sunny Dom Rep! We were able to go to the temple with some investigators, renting another bus as a zone. It was a great experience and the MTC counselor gave a little lesson there. We'll also have another lesson in the temple this Saturday, and immediately following, a baptism. Her name is Benny, and she's awesome. Very prepared. As always there is constant opposition, but we try to count the blessings instead.
     Sometimes our efforts seem fruitless, and sometimes we work hard only to meet failure and ask ourselves, "what's the use?". But we are always rewarded in some way, even if we can't see the results of our labor in the time we think we ought to. But that's where faith comes into play, and everything within us is tested. We are all in the storm at sea, thrown overboard and tossed by the waves. At times we're struggling to help others get to the raft safely, and at other times we're the ones in need of help just to stay afloat. But the most comforting thought is that we're not out there alone. We have a rescuer that walks on water, who's voice the rain and sea obey. We are never alone, for He who suffered all our afflictions offers for us to take up His yolk, and with His help, side by side we can make it to safety. His yolk is easy, and His burden light.

Have a great week!

Elder Brady

Maryleidi and Luisa with us at the temple

The gua gua to the temple, and Elder Call's face...

Monday, April 11, 2016

"To' Ta' Bien! (Dominicano para "Todo Esta Bien")" - Week 92

April 10th, 2016

     Well, we're playing the juggling game. Trying to balance and manage our time between areas Amalia and Los Solares is a challenge, but I like it a lot. It's been fun getting to know new people. Really there isn't much new, just pressing forward. Several investigators have dates to get married, and we're hoping their partner is willing to go through with it. Elder Charles is coming along with the language and is beginning to understand a little more each day. The members here are starting to get really excited about missionary work and ward activities. They've had me talk like three times in sacrament meeting recently and things are starting to get rolling. We're receiving more referrals and they're going out to visit people with us daily, so things are lookin up. Thanks for everything, I love you all!

Sorry its just a quick report, not much time, and not too eventful this week.

Elder Brady

"You put the Lime in da Coconut and drink um bo' up" -Harry Nilson
Lets just say I was a little excited to find a place
that actually puts the lime in the coconut!
It was delicious, and I'll be calling the doctor in the morning...

At the Conde with the guys eating pizza outside
in a bistro with the oldest cathedral in the Americas in sight.
It was a beautiful day.

Four buds
Los Padres de la Patria!

Monday, April 4, 2016

"Revelation" - Week 91

April 4th, 2016

     Things are well. Conference was wonderful! I remember President Corbitt saying that whenever you hear the word "conference", think "revelation". What a proven truth. This weekend was full of inspiration and revelation for me. Our area must be very important to our prophets and seers, because in many instances they spoke directly to me. I love General Conference, and my appreciation for it and our leaders has only grown with my time on the mission.

     Elder Charles is doing well. Our biggest challenge right now is trying to get him to participate in the lessons more. He has a hard time understanding and memorizing certain elements of the language, but has a much stronger base now than he did a month ago. Reading is going well. He does much better in english because he's familiar with the words and can sight read them. He's been improving in both languages.

Life is good and God is great
Elder Brady