Erica's Missionary Adventures

Erica's Missionary Adventures
Merry Christmas from Mesa!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

December 21, 2014


Merry Christmas!! Shout out from
Erica and her former companion!
Letter from Erica to Dad

Merry Christmas Dad!!!

I can't wait to talk to you too!!! I told a story about you to some Potential Investigators... and now they are "New Investigators" :) I will tell you more about it on Christmas!!

I love you Dad!

Love,
Sister Brady

Letter to Mom
December 21, 2014

Dear Mom,

Okay, just a shortish letter today!! I will talk to you on THURSDAY!!!


I have a few options for skype: I could start the skype any time from 9-9:30 or I could start the skype any time from 12:30-2:30. I would prefer the 12:30 time, but let me know what works better for you and everyone else. I can skype for 40 min. MAX!!

I would love to have everyone there if they can skype in... but only if it works for them :) President said this time should mostly be devoted to our parents and siblings at home :)

No, don't tag me in things please. [Mission rule - no tagging of Erica while she is on her mission - Facebook Tags.]  I take off the tags when I catch them.

Hmmm... probably no on the videos (definitely no to the Winter Wonderland song :( sorry!)}  But I Think that's just a personal thing. I am excited to Skype you, but I think it would be weird to keep seeing videos from you guys... :).
No, haven't seen the Charlie cast list yet :)

Does Mrs. Voorhies even remember me? She used to love me!

The person I will marry will remain fully unnamed. For story tellings sake though, I will call him "Tom H". No- no. "T Hiddleston." :)) Bahahahahaha.. I'm so funny!! [Don't worry - Erica's heart is locked . . . we are doing some friendly bantering. And she will NOT be marrying Tom Hiddleston - (AKA Loki).]


[I wrote to Erica about how her dad and I met – singing in a Young Single Adult choir that sang at a missionary Christmas party. One of the songs we sang was “I'll be Home for Christmas”] BAHAHAHAHAHA!!! "I'll be home for Christmas!!!!" I am going to ask President for permission to listen/sing that song the night before I come home 23 years from now :).

Please tell Uncle Gary and Aunt Diane that I got there Christmas Card and thank you sooooooo much for the money!! That was so sweet! I also, loved reading up on the family :) Christmas Cards are the best!

Being a missionary is THE BEST!!! Seriously though. You get assigned a Best Friend to spend 24/7 with, and then you are assigned a small family (your district) and cousins as well! (the rest of the zone). and you get a mom and a dad (President and Sister Jenkins) and another mom (your trainer).

I LOVE YOU MOM AND I CANT WAIT TO SKYPE WITH YOU!!!

Love,
Sister Brady


p.s. When we skype, don't forget to ask me about the H*********** CHRISTMAS MIRACLE!!



video
Singing with the Garners! The first voice is me :).
I was the Bass (an 
octave higher hahaha)!!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

December 15, 2015

We are so cute! This was unplanned! 

And the elder in the back was mad
because we had photo bombed his picture moments earlier,
 so he was 
getting back at us.. ha!







Letter from Erica #1 (sent to Katrina)


WHOOOOOOOOOO!!!! I HAVE BEEN WAITING MONTHS FOR THIS NEWS!!!! [Erica just found out her sister is expecting!!]

I keep telling people here that my best friend is pregnant (oops, don't pass that on maybe.... I don't know if that's a thing yet.... she gave me permission to tell people in Mesa, but you two are from Oregon) but that none of my sisters are having babies yet!!!!!

BABY NUMBER 4!! And the baby will be a cute 4 months old by the time I meet it! That was so perfectly planned!

Okay, are Michelle and Tessa pregnant yet?? Today, I accidentally said to the missionaries "Now I just wish the rest of my sisters would get pregnant..." and then I paused because I realized one of them is most definitely not married and far to young to have babies.... bahahahahah!! Emily had better not be pregnant!!!

But it would be so great if you [Katrina], Michelle, and Tessa would all have a baby around the same time again!! How fun!!! And then also Kara too, once kev and she are married of course :) BABIES!!!!!

yayyyyyy!! i am so excited!!!!

Keep working at inviting people, and reaching out to your neighbors. Offer ways to serve. I know its sooo crazy when you are a mom of three (AND PREGNANT WITH A FOURTH!!), okay, I dont reallllyyy know cause im
not there yet. But remember that "When ye are in the service of your fellow beings, ye are only in the service of your God!"

I LOVE YOU KATRINA!!! And I hope you have a great week!!!

love,
Sister Brady

I have a big head . . . and little arms!
Seriously, I have no idea why my right hand looks so small in this

picture! Ha! But the Thai food was so good!!!

#2 to Mom (responding to cast list of Mary Poppins)

You are THE BEST for sending this!!! And because of the rule that we can open our emails at any time, I was able to look at this when you sent it!! :D Pass on the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as soon as possible :) I am SO excited for Kaden!! I was just thinking about the Moss family this week :) I miss them!!

Love,
Sister Brady

Here is "cutout" Erica with her niece and nephews.
Nick was afraid at first and Charlotte just wanted to give her lots of  hugs!
Henry though cutout Aunty Erica was great!


#3 To Mom (responding to picture of Platt kids with cutout)

Bahahahahaha!! No I hadn't seen this yet!!! Nick hides under the piano and Charlotte keeps touching it!! Hahahaha!! And I am SO shocked that Hank didn't want to watch Toy Story Christmas!! :( He is getting old! But he is still too young to start throwing fits about Toy Story :((( Nooooo!!! Hes growing up!!! What is this!?!?

I sent this picture to Erica and her response is below:
#4 to Mom (responding to a picture of Emily I sent to her)

WHOA! Why is she looking so gorgeous!? My baby sister is growing up too fast too!! NOOOOO!!! Stop!! Is this for that concert thing?? That's so sad that she couldn't even be in the high school concert! What did Mrs. Voorhies say when Emma told her she couldn't be in it? And I always loved the mutual caroling activity! Although one year, we didn't do it, and I was really sad. I think that was my last year there too :( Anyway, I guess that's what happens when you start becoming so famous from being Portland Teen Idol. Keep at it Emma! But don't forget where your talent comes from. We were learning bout Talents in Gospel Principles this week, and the scripture "let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your god which is in heaven" (Matthew 5:16). When we use our talents, it should never be to bring glory to us, but so that we can bring glory to God.

#5 (second response regarding Katrina's pregnancy)

Seriously, I'm dying from excitement!!

#6 (Erica has a lot of short letters today)

I FORGOT TO SAY HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO HENRY LAST WEEK!! I am the worst!!! Happy Birthday Henry!! I hope your birthday was swell! I can't believe you are 6 already!! Wow you are so old! I thought about you all day on the 9th (I think that is your birthday... right?) and I felt so sad that I had forgotten to say Happy Birthday!! I love you Hank!!

Love,
Aunt Erica

This will be what my house looks like someday :)It was glorious!!

#7 (to mom)

This is such a great Christmas Quote I read this morning:
"Finding the real joy of Christmas comes not in the hurrying and the scurrying to get more done, nor is it found in the purchasing of gifts. We find real joy when we make the Savior the focus of the season. We can keep Him in our thoughts and in our lives as we go about the work He would have us perform here on earth" Thomas S. Monson

I hope to use this every year for the rest of my life!!

I'm sorry Saturday was a bad day for you :( I love you and remember that things always get better.

Kevin is home and getting married!!! Emma is up next!!

Okay got to go!! I love you mom!! I hope you have a great week!!

Love,
Sister Brady

#8 (to dad)

Dear Dad,

I hope you are doing well and having a good week! :D

A few questions:
-Where do you work?
-What do you do?

People keep asking me about that and I'm just like... uh.... good question?

Anyway, I love you so much Dad!! Merry Christmas!!

Love,
Sister Brady

Got your package Katrina!!
[Erica might not appreciate me posting this picture . . .
But I love it when she makes this face!!!]

#9 (to everyone!)

Dear Family,

I love you all so much! Do I start most letters with this? Okay, well, its cause its true!!

This week we went to the temple with one third of our mission and our Mission President and his wife. While in the Chapel session, the temple president compared our mission to Oliver Cowdrey's words "These were days never to be forgotten" And its so true!! I will never forget these amazing and incredible days!!

We went to share a video with one of our investigators, and half way through the video she goes "I've already seen this one!" haha... apparently her past missionaries had the same idea as us... but they failed to put it in the area book! To quote from one of "The District"'s more blunt characters: "If you don't update the area book, you don't understand the atonement!" Seriously. They were probably Elders ;)

After the temple we had a big Christmas Activity with one third of the mission. I hope that they have this next year early in the month of December :) President gave us all a great gift!! He gave us all a copy of the book "Lectures on Faith"... I assume this also means we have his permission to read it... :)

On Sunday, night we sang at President's missionary fireside for investigators and members. It was so fantastic!! One recent convert told a story of how he had met a group of missionaries and they gave him their number. Of course he tossed it aside as soon as he got home. Months later he was sitting at his kitchen table with a bottle of pills in front of him. (He had depression and was contemplating ending his life). Feeling frustrated with those feelings, he threw the bottle and it broke at the top of the refrigerator. But again the feelings and thoughts returned and he began to gather the scattered pills from on top of the fridge. While doing so he accidentally knocked off a card from a top the fridge. It was the card with the missionaries number on it. He decided to all the number and quickly thereafter was visited by two elders. He described everything after that as a wonderful journey that he is excited to continue.... and then!! He invited EVERY SINGLE PERSON in the audience to write down their full time missionaries number in a copy of the Book of Mormon and to give it out to one person before Christmas! The Elders sitting by me pumped their fist and were like "yes!! He is the coolest!!" and then they looked at my tear soaked face and suddenly felt super awkward... But the guy was pretty cool!! What a great missionary!!!

I love you all so much family!!!

Love,
Sister Brady!


Our Tree Topper!
We are so creative!! And poor!
Actually, I think it turned out great :)


If you ever decide to make quiet books again . . .
This would be a life saver!!!!
I wish someone here would do this for

us! You can bet your bottom dollar
I will do it for the missionaries 
next year!!


Friday, December 19, 2014

December 8, 2014

December 8, 2014
Letter from Erica #1

Mom do you know what the results are for Mary Poppins [At BYU-Hawaii]?! Or have they even been decided?! Bahhh please let me know when you find out!!



Our Zone!

December 8, 2014
Letter from Erica #2

Dear Mom,

I love you so much!! And I love reading your letters!!

I had the most wonderful surprise this week!! I was pulling out the presents in the box to put them under the tree, and I found at the bottom of the box an unwrapped bag. :) Inside was a picture of grandpa, us on splash mountain, Emily's play program, and a folder FULL of uplifting quotes!!! Oh how i needed that mom!! You are the best for putting those in there. I look at the quotes every day. 

My only question is: what is the solution to that puzzle from Emma's play [Emily's play Bonechillers was all about solving a Rebus Puzzle]?

My letters are getting  shorter because I really don't  have much to  say..... I will try to be better about writing  my letters. :)

Thank-you SSOOOOO much for putting that money in the bank! I really appreciate it!!!

Okay, so this Sunday is the Motab singing in their Christmas fireside thing.... and guess who is singing with them........ SESAME STREET AND SANTINO FANTANO!!!! (He is prince  Hans on Frozen  :)) I know you don't  have byutv [we do] but make sure you get somewhere to watch it, cause it's gonna be awesome!!

I changed my mind about the arranged marriage. I wouldn't like any of the boys you and dad choose for me.

I am not sure yet what time we will do the skype call... it also depends on my companion. If she is calling her parents the day before (on their Christmas day in New Zealand) then that will give us more options. :) I assume we will be following  the same morning schedule on Christmas, so probably sometime after  10am my time (9am your time) but  I will give you an official time  next week :D

HOLLY MOOLY BENADRYL.... it has given me some vivid dreams. I wrote about most of them in Dad's  email.

FACEBOOK IS THE BEST!! I have unfollowed every friend I have except for missionaries. It  has helped me to keep things spiritual if I fall into the trap of scrolling. My end goal is for me to break  the habit of scrolling completely. Someone bore their testimony on online proselyting. #HeWasntAFullTimeMissionary It was the best. I was grinning from ear to ear.

But yeah, education is where its at :) 

hahahaha No one wants to hear my weird dreams!! Unless they're in it! Fine, you can post the dreams if you want.

Oh yeah, Dad is  the best at following the manual. Remember when I read the whole thing [church handbook] and then started whipping it out at the multistake youth activities committee meetings. hahahahahaha

bahaha remember the time I forgot the words to the national anthem...... it is forever burned into my memory...

Merry Christmas from me!!! Hahaha I'm sooo glad you like the cut out. I Sent it thinking it would be funny cause we joked about having a cut out of Michelle at Kat's wedding. But then a week after i sent it i had nightmares of dad being like "this is so tacky!!! We will not bring it to the wedding!!" Hahaha so I am glad you guys are happy!!

I love Elder Holland and especially this quote that you shared with me:

 "Imperfect people are all God has to work with. That must be terribly frustrating to Him but He works with it."

I must be the MOST frustrating person he has to work with. I am ridiculous and dramatic. Its nice to keep that in perspective, it makes me want to be better!

Thank you for taking and completing the PMG challenge!! I love that book!!

AND I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!!!!

Love,
Sister Brady

P.s. Is this letter long enough? 

We set up our Christmas Tree!

December 8, 2014
Letter from Erica #3

Dear daddy,

I have been having more weird dreams!!! You were in one of them.

I keep having dreams that Kevin is my little brother (like about 7 years old). In the first dream (a few nights ago), Kevin was locked in a room that had a spell cast over it by Maleficent. He was freaking out, and I tried to calm him down by knocking on the window of his room, but it freaked him out even more.

Then last night, I dreamed that I took Kevin (still in little brother form) to a science museum with my investigators. And later dad met up with us there (but he looked like the dad from the middle). And then we all got McDonalds. The one across the street from Safeway.

And two nights ago, I had a dream that I was a ballerina, and I really wanted to go see "Into the Woods" but we could only go if we had someone come with us... But NO ONE would go with me!! I think I tried to sneak in by myself at the 3pm show, but they kicked me out. It was sad. I just wanted to watch Meryl Streep as the witch. Also, I was SO tired (cause being a ballerina is hard work) and people kept talking to me, and I just wanted to sleep, and then my alarm went off...

I think I am having all of these dreams due to the fact that I have been taking benedryl this last week. It has a crazy effect on my dreams. Does it help me sleep? It did the first few nights, but now I'm used to it so it doesn't affect me anymore.

The Joseph Smith papers are on the gospel library app under videos. You have to watch it!! My favorite episode so far is episode 5: the setting of the first vision. You could watch them on Sundays!!


I think its so amazing that you are the stake patriarch! And that Sam was the first person you gave a blessing to!! When our new bishop got called two weeks ago he told us that one of his sons thought it meant that "we're gonna be rich!!" Haha. When you were first called to be stake president, I was about five and I thought it meant that you had been called to be the prophet.... Bahahahaha!!

Hmmmm... Interstellar? Who is in it? This may be the first movie someone has mentioned of which i had not heard about pre-mission!

Remember that time our home teacher knocked on the door but I didn't know who he was and you weren't home so I didn't answer (I was 10)... But then he proceeded to hang around outside our house and I tried calling but you guys wouldn't answer, and he stayed there for like 15 minutes, so I finally called Dawn Hinton (cause it was super sketch for this random guy to be hanging outside our house and it was freaking me out) and she said she would be right there, but it took about 15 minutes for her to get there and before she showed up you guys arrived home and came in, and then Dawn knocked on the door with the home teacher and the whole thing was cleared up and I was soooooo embarrassed. I didn't want to sit in for the lesson, but you guys made me. I still don't know who that guy was.

Hey that's cool that Uncle Steve lived here [in Mesa]!! I did not know that!

Dad, I love you. I love how much you stick to the rules!

I love this quote from an article I read today by Orson F. Whitney: "to know [God and Jesus Christ], and to act consistently with that knowledge, is to lay hold upon eternal life"

If we are keeping his commandments, and working to better ourselves everyday, we will gain eternal life!! It is so simple! Its not always easy, but it's simple.

I love the gospel and I love you!!

Love,
Sister Brady

P.s. DAD!! Someone had a copy of "The Garden" CD and they gave it to us!! Its the one that you sang in that fireside that one time! "I am the landlord here, I've owned this place for years, I want you out of here, I'm not in need of your assistance..." Hahahaha some of the songs are weird and we've decided they don't fulfill our purpose, but we like the last song!

With the Spanish Elders!

December 8, 2014
Letter from Erica #4

Dear Family,

This week president called us to repentance in a lengthy email. He told us of the new goal for the Arizona Mesa mission this upcoming year. The vision is that members and missionaries will work together to increase our efforts in missionary work. And the goal is to have 100 baptisms in the month of March! And then he told us that the first step we have to take is to strengthen our testimony and conversion in the Lord Jesus Christ, and become more committed to Him. He told us we needed to use this month to fully repent and change. I am ready to take this step!!

Funny story: we tried to stop by a potential investigator's home, but their YSA son answered the door........ In his pajama pants and bathrobe!!!!! AND THEN his cat got out, so all three of us tried to chase it down and catch it, but we were unsuccessful because it hopped a fence... it was incredibly awkward.... 

We met the sweetest old man at Christmas lights. His name was Ron and he's not a member.  He decided to move down to Arizona for the winter after his mom passed away last year. I bore my testimony about the plan of salvation and He said he loves the Mormon church, but he belongs to another church. And he said he has met with missionaries before. I just wanted so much for him to understand the plan of salvation and I wanted him to know that he really could be with his family forever!! He said he really thought we were great and that he would be back to the lights a couple times this season and he promised to go into the visitors center :)

We are going to the temple on Thursday!! We are going with president and a few other zones in the mission. I'm so excited!!! And then after the temple we will have our Christmas activity!!! Yaaayyyy!!!!

I wish I could wear my Christmas sweater :)

I love being a missionary! It is THE BEST!! 

I love you all!!!

Love,
Sister Brady

With our Investigator!

December 8, 2014
Letter from Erica #5

Dear Emmy,

The mission life is great. I highly recommend it! 

I'm not gonna lie, I'm really excited to see you at Christmas [on Skype]:) be prepared to do some kind of monologue or something!!

Also, feel free to email me. I have plenty of time, and even if I don't get to reply to you, I can read your email all week (just like a handwritten letter).

I love you Emma! I hope school is going well for you!! Good luck in all the shows you're doing! 

Love,

Sister Brady

Sunday, December 7, 2014

December 1, 2014


"Look who I met!!
I asked if she had met "Shelly Brady" at the
Portland Time Out for Women and she

said "yes! I did!"  So i said "that's my mom!!" And then she told
us to keep our beautiful smiles and to keep the sparkles in our eyes.
😇 What a sweetheart!! Sister Brady and her companion with
Sister Elaine Dalton at the Mesa Temple.

It is true! I did meet Elaine Dalton just a few weeks ago at
our Portland TOFW event! I even gave her a ride back
to her hotel with my dear friend, LaRene Garlock!


Emily met her too! Here they are:
Emily, Abby Garlock
and Sister Elaine Dalton!
Dear Dad,

You were in one of my dreams this week. This one wasn't as clear as other dreams I have had, but I do remember that you were wearing a very nice scarf, you were marrying a couple, and you were holding a chicken. And it was all taking place at our old house on Nancy Drive out on the deck.

I came to realize something this week about you and mom. You two are exactly obedient. And you two have used the Atonement to become even better parents throughout your years. Not to say that you were bad parents when raising your younger kids, but you know how you hear from people "my younger siblings get it easy because my parents got more relaxed as they got older" well, you two did not do that! You have consistently followed the words of the prophets and raised us kids without backing down or "going easy" on us. I remember in later years mom deciding that we should only read church appropriate material on the Sabbath. I couldn't understand why we had to make that rule NOW!! But I see now it was mom wanting to become a little bit better! And both you and mom decided that 14 was too young for boy girl parties once I hit age 14. I hated it then, but I see now that you wanted to protect me and only allow me into the safest of situations. And I LOVE you two for that!! It is exactly how I want to raise my kids!!

Whew that was a mouthful. Sorry. I hope that all made sense.

Anyway, I have been giving a lot of thought about one thing you said last week, "beware of pride." I hadn't realized it, but it has slowly been creeping its way back to me this last transfer. I'm grateful you said something because I wouldn't have noticed it otherwise. I am still struggling very much in that area and I have a lot of humbling that I need to be doing. I just tend to feel so deserving of everything and I often feel very entitled. Its terrible. Humility is the attribute that I am going to focus on this week.

I have been watching some of the episodes of "the Joseph Smith Papers" during lunch. Have you seen that series?! It is fascinating!! I love it!! I am hype- focused on learning about the restoration. :)

I love you so much Dad :). I have no idea if any of this letter made sense. But I love you!!

Love,
Sister Brady

Letter # 2

Dear Mom,

This has been a great week!! I especially loved yesterday when someone gave a talk at church that addressed my exact concerns at the moment!  Also, I received a few letters this week from friends, and all of them addressed the same problem!! God is so very aware of us and our needs.

I got the Christmas package!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE CHRISTMAS SWEATER!! I have worn it every day :) 

 I keep trying to hide the box so that I am not tempted to open the presents. I will forget about it for a few days, but then i accidentally find it again and then I'm tempted to open it :/ ESPECIALLY when I am feeling grumpy :( hahahaha so then I go and hide it again. Its been working so far! Only 25 days to Christmas!!

I am excited about you working with the missionaries. I too can feel something powerful is about to happen. And it all probably started because of a diligent woman who faithfully did her visiting teaching every month.

Nope, dating is the scariest thing I will ever have to face. Scarier than spiders and scorpions and waves. Is there any way I can avoid it? I hereby give you and dad permission to set up an arranged marriage for me. [YES!!!!! - Shelly speaking here :)!!!]

Yes I think we will skype for our Christmas phone call!

I forgot to get Benadryl last week, so I will try it this week. I think I am most grumpy when I can't sleep at night. Ugh.

Will someone (Emily) kindly keep a list of all the movies I need to see when I get back in seven and a half years? I am not going to because that would be totally inappropriate, but I would appreciate it if someone (Emily) would. :)

Wow, and thank you for those quotes!! Especially the first two. I have been feeling mildly gloomy this week, so those were all perfect!

OH and i had the most wonderful thought of inspiration this morning. Education is going to be a huge part of my life. I already know that. But I am convinced that if I am always allowing myself to learn new things (both about the gospel and temporal things), I will be given the strength I need to endure. Learning makes me happy and it makes me feel uplifted. So right now, as a missionary, I will focus on the spiritual learning side of things, but I will make a goal to ALWAYS be learning spiritual and temporal things when I get home in five years.
I love you mom!!

Love,
Sister Brady (bahaha I almost signed it "Shelly Brady")

Letter # 3

Dear family,
Guess who i saw at the visitor's center on Tuesday?!?! ELDER LINN!! It was so crazy!! I walked out of the bathroom, saw him, froze for about 5 seconds, and then finally went "Elder Linn!!" And I walked over to him, shook his hand and then he said "Como Esta!?" And I didn't know how to respond cause my brain was trying to process both Spanish and the fact that Elder Linn was right there, and then I realized he was sort of in the middle of a lesson, so I walked away slowly with a huge grin on my face. It was great and it made my whole night! Seriously, seeing someone from home was kind of a Christmas miracle!
And another Christmas miracle was when we went to go visit a less-active member of ours. He invited us to the backyard (cause there was no third female with us) and just when we were about to share our message (the He is the gift video).... Out walked one of the non-members who is living in his basement!!! We invited him to watch
the video with us and he pulled up a chair! After the video we bore our testimonies and we were able to talk with both of them about their thoughts on god. It was very good because we have been praying to know if we should quit teaching this investigator. This was God's way of saying "don't give up on him yet!!"
THANKSGIVING WAS SO FUN!!! We played chair soccer as a zone, and I owned it!! (Bahaha, well, my team owned it) We won all three rounds!! And then we went to play turkey bowl with another ward. That's right! I
played football for the first time in my life!! And I wore my Christmas sweater the whole time! And I scored a touchdown!!! Dad, add that to the list of sports we will play when I get back in six years!
Then we ate a lot of dinners, and in the evening we got to watch "The Work and the Glory" with all the Sisters in our zone. (With permission from president) Bahahaha there is WAY too much kissing in that movie!!!! I love that movie.
It was a fun week. I know that God hears our prayers and is mindful of us. I am so grateful for people who act on promptings they receive! Because this week i was on the receiving end of a lot of promptings acted on. It has inspired me to be more aware of the spirit and what things Heavenly Father needs me to do for his children.
Happy Christmas everyone!!
Love,
Sister Brady



November 24, 2014

Dear mum [must be the influence of her companion from New Zealand],

I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!! I feel so happy!! I got the wedding invitation! It looks great! I'm so excited for them!!!

"I wanted to show you all what my typical outfit is these days...
Sometimes i have an extra coat on and a snow cap."
 I have been FREEZING!! YES!! After my mission, we should go to Mesa to see the Christmas lights and then to to DISNEYLAND!!!

I look forward to the Christmas package! Thanks mom!!

I have been dreaming about you a ton this week! Its kind of a little upsetting... Like, I'm not homesick, but it's kind of startling to be with you and then wake up to the alarm clock and realize I'm states away :/ but I'm happy where I am and I'm loving being a missionary :)

I am so happy for all my Black Swan Youth Theater friends [that were cast in Barlow's play]!!!! I bet everyone was great too!!

I started tearing up at your story about the YSA boy!! That is the best!!
Anyway, I really love you mom. I am happy This is my first Christmas away from home so please keep me in your prayers this holiday season. I will be fine, but I also know the power of prayers and I am sure I will need that power this next month.

Sorry it took me so long to email!!! I will explain next week!

Love,
Sister Brady

Letter # 2

Dear dad,

Thank you thank you thank you for the advice. For now it is going out of my mind [after mission concerns] till the last three months.

Hahah So i think I might have sleep apnea... Both Sister T**** and T***** and I have noticed that I stop breathing when I sleep. I usually notice because I wake myself up with a huge gasp for air! It hasn't been bad the last few days though. Sister J***** called the doctor though and he told me to try Benadryl to see if that helps. She said "if anything, you'll get a really good night's sleep!"

This will be the third thanksgiving away from home for me... So its no big deal. I'm used to it :) also, our members here are really sweet. I am eating with three families the S******* family, the G family, and the F family... Its going to be a full thanksgiving!! 

P.s. Thanksgiving at Disneyland was probably my favorite thanksgiving

Letter # 3

Dear family,

I walked a 5k this morning. Well, i ran some of it... I cheered on Sister T***** the whole time. I think she was embarrassed... Bahahahaha.

Also, i wore my Rudolph sweater the entire time!! I'm glad i had it!!

I HAVE BEEN FEELING IN THE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT!! 

"Also, i realize i look utterly unimpressed in this picture, but in my
defense i was on the brink of getting sick so i didn't feel very
well... But i love the tree!!"


And i am so excited for thanksgiving! We have three dinner appointments! Bahahaha! Good thing I ran/walked a 5k today!

The church has a new video on gospel library! It is called "He is the gift" go watch it right now! It is under "Holiday videos!” It is fantastic! 

I feel happy and grateful to be a missionary. This is the best time of my life!!

I hope everyone has a good thanksgiving :)

Love,
Sister Brady



Sunday, November 23, 2014

November 17, 2014

Not a missionary picture . . . just a throwback!
A couple of weeks before Erica left to go on her mission!


Dear mom,

On Tuesday, Sister T******** and I taught ******** over facetime!!! We taught the message of the restoration and we are going to hopefully teach again this week. It was super crazy to see their face! And to know they were in Oregon! [Facebook missionaries can teach worldwide!]

I got the insurance card and letters!! Hahaha I loved the old Halloween letter story.
N****** told me that "I'm friends with your mom on Facebook!" She was super excited haha! The wedding is on Saturday!! Yayyy! I. So excited for them!

Yeah, I've been pretty cold here lately....

YOU LOVE DISNEYLAND?!!? Oh we are SO going to go there when i go back! (Haha, probably not immediately, because I would rather take you and dad (and Emma) back here with me to see Christmas lights..... Maybe think about it? For next Christmas? (We could do it the week after Christmas)

And I love what you picked out for Hank, Chuck, and Nick! [I did a little Christmas shopping for Erica].

Sister T******** really appreciates that you still send her emails, thank you for doing that, it means a lot to her (and me). We will be life long friends. We are kindred spirits. So are sister T******* and I. I love her so much!!

Maybe an Oregon t-shirt for my companion? But I've no idea what size to get. But she might not be my companion for Christmas. Ugh, I don't know. Maybe some hot chocolate mixes? You choose. I don't need anything but maybe socks. And gloves. But I will probably have to buy gloves and a hat and scarf and black leggings next week cause I'm dying already. Oh, will my tacky Christmas sweater fit in the box? If no, that's okay.

I glad things are going well back home!! I wish that it would snow here. I mean, I hate the cold, but if I have to deal with it, Iwish there could be some snow to go a long with it!

I AM SO EXCITED FOR TESSA!!!!! YAYYYYY!!!!! And she gets paid for it! That's cool! [Tessa auditioned for a play in Wisconsin and was offered a role].

I helped to direct the musical number for zone conference this transfer.

I liked those thoughts on goals. I need to do a better job of following up on goals... Also, i have decided that I want to be a more accountable person, so that is my goal for the week and I will be using the list in chapter 8 of PMG [Preach My Gospel].

I am really feeling in the Christmas spirit these days!! I wear my Rudolph sweater when I work out, and refuse to take it off the entire 30 minutes.

Also, sister T******* likes to quote jingle all the way... Bahahahahaha.... 

I love you mom!!

Love,
Sister Brady 

Letter #2
Not a missionary picture . . . just a throwback!
Dole Pineapple Plantation 2 years ago! 

Dear family,

I've watched Joseph smith: Prophet of a Restoration, sooooo many times this week. I think I can quote the whole movie. Its great.

I have such a strong testimony that Joseph Smith was called to be a prophet of god, and that it was through him that the gospel was restored.

I love being in a mission with so many temples and a visitors center! The dedication was so great to be a part of. Thomas s. Monson is so funny!!! Before the cornerstone ceremony, the wind was blowing president Monson's tie everywhere, so he suddenly shouted out "George! George (referring to his tie)!! Down George! Stay put!" And then he tucked in his tie, buttoned up his suit coat, and smiled at the camera. Bahahaha it was great!!

We had a great night yesterday. We stopped by one investigator's house and watched a general conference talk. We watched "the temple standard" and talked about how important it is to keep the temple in our sights. We talked about how they were both taking the steps they needed to get there. They are fantastic!!!

Then we went to our YSA investigators home and watched David a Bednars "come and see". And a miracle happened!! Our investigators brother and friend both decided to watch it with us!!!! Then we were able to share our testimony with them! Yayy!! We have been trying to connect with that brother for so many weeks!

I love being a missionary!! I am so happy!

Its easy to take things for granted when they are right in front of you. I feel that way now that I am away from my trainer. She is a fantastic missionary and friend, and sometimes I didn't let her know that. In fact sometimes I was a little bit rude to her... Fortunately she is still in my zone and I make sure to give her a hug and tell her how much I love her every time I see her. Remember to be grateful in the moment.

Love,
Sister Brady




Sunday, November 16, 2014

November 10, 2014

Sooooooo Happy!
Dear Mom,

[After feeling a little stressed] So things are definitely better and I'm grateful for the prayers :) I am feeling peace and joy and comfort! I feel strength and I am sooo happy!!

Oh, i need you to send the new insurance card. Because i might be going to the doctors this week. So if you can send that as soon as possible, that would be great!

I will be sure to sing twinkle twinkle little stars to nick over skype :) hahahhaa hes a cute kid!! [Nick – Katrina's little boy love's that song but only wants Thomas the Train to sing it . . . he cries really hard if any of us try and sing it to him – which we find amusing].

What is a rebus puzzle? [Emily was in the CHS mystery play that involved a rebus puzzle – I answered her question!].

I love my combat boots. I wear them every day :) [This “thrills” her father!]

I am so glad you enjoy reading Preach my Gospel (PMG)! I really want to make sure I read it at least once every year when I am home from my mission!

Time Out For Women sounds like it was fun!!
I LOVE ONLINE MISSIONARY WORK!! It is the best!! I am so glad they spoke about it in stake conference!!!

I know that dad is going to do well in his new calling. I have no doubt that it is a calling from God.

I am excited for Maddy!! And i had no idea Jenna was even applying!!!!! Yayyy!! That is so crazy exciting! Mongolia! Wow!!!


I love you mom!!

Love,
Sister Brady

Sisters powered from on high!

Letter #2 from Erica

Dear family,

I love you all!!! 

I was reading in PMG this week, and I LOVED this quote from Boyd K. Packer: "Pray for a vision of how the Book of Mormon can be used more effectively in your mission." And then he promises that we will receive understanding! That is incredible to me! My challenge to you family is to pray for a vision of how the Book of Mormon can be used to help those you know come closer to Christ. I promise that if you do so, you will receive an understanding of "the direction you should take". Let me know what impressions you received and what happened when you acted on it!
Let's agree to never again talk about how fast the mission is going... Or how long I've been out :) it makes me feel sick.

We had a really good lesson with one of our YSA investigators! He came to see "Joseph Smith: Prophet of a Restoration" movie with us this week, and then we taught him about the restoration a few days later. The Spirit was strong and at the end of the lesson.... He prayed!!!! He also wants to be baptized :)) yayyyy!!!

I love being a missionary.

We are working on talking with everyone! And guess what?! I am getting better at that!! I have found that I actually enjoy talking with random strangers every where I go! Today at Walmart I met someone who was visiting Mesa for 4 days... And he's from Portland! And then we started talking to a group of old men and they really thought we missionaries were "something". But they were really touched by our message and one of them pulled me into a hug.... Bahahahaha!! It was both sweet and awkward all at the same time!!

I love you family! Don't forget to invite people to ward activities and to not be afraid to declare the gospel to everyone you know! There are amazing blessings that come from doing so! Also, if you are not reading PMG with us yet, you are welcome to join in at any time!! 

The gospel is the only way to be with our family forever and the only way back to our Heavenly Father! Never forget that!

I love you all!!!

Love,
Sister Brady

Letter #3 from Erica to Dad 


Dear Dad,

I have felt a great improvement this week! I am so grateful to you and mom, and the rest of the family for praying for me! It really helped!

One thing i am excited about seeing you in a year is all the time we will have to just talk about the Gospel and how incredible it is. I really do look forward to it. But that is the last time i want to talk about post mission life. Please no more mentioning how long i have been out or when i will be home. I realize i just did that... Haha. But seriously, it makes me feel anxious and nervous. I wish sisters had the option to serve for two years.

I am SO glad you are reading PMG! Thank you for accepting and acting on my invitation :) I appreciate that dad. :)

Dad, as you continue to trust in the Lord, and are exactly obedient, you will be strengthened by the Lord and you will grow to become exactly who God wants you to be.

I don't know when i will go to uncle Keith's again... My worst fear is that it will be a distraction and i will break down again... But I will keep praying to know when or if I should go. What do you think I should do?

I love you so much dad!

Love,
Sister Brady

P.s. I had a great dream about you!! Haha you showed up at my door again to pick me up and take me somewhere (not sure this time, but definitely not Disneyland). You were kind of annoyed and so was Sister Harris (she was in my dream and apparently coming with us?) because i wasn't packed or ready yet. At one point you said "grab the mattress, lets go" ...... So i picked up the mattress that i sleep on and we shoved it into the car.... Bahahahah!!! It was great :)


And then my dad said "grab the mattress, let's go!"


Christmas lights!