Erica's Missionary Adventures

Erica's Missionary Adventures
Merry Christmas from Mesa!

Friday, June 27, 2014

June 23, 2014

June 23, 2014
Letter from Erica

It was way cool to talk with you on the phone!! [Erica called us from the airport on her way to Mesa.]

I love telling everyone about how my brother is dating my [former] roommate.

Mesa is hot. There is no denying that...... But it's realllyyyyy not that bad. I would rather be out here than in than Hawaii 85 degrees humidity (although in Hawaii I do get to go to the beach). But seriously, I love Mesa and I've decided that I might live here someday. But I should probably make it through this summer before I fully decide that.

Mesa is beautiful. It has quite a different beauty from Hawaii or Oregon, but it really is beautiful. When I would go hiking in Oregon I would look over the edge and see tons of Evergreen trees and typical Oregon trees. I went hiking this morning with my zone (such a great hike), and I looked over at the top and saw hundreds of cacti. And death. Just kidding there was no death. It was actually a great hike because we left at 5am and so it was super cool. I even wished I had brought a sweater when we were near the top and stopped for a devotional.

I've acclimated very quickly to the heat and I now have to take a sweater with me if I know I'm going to be inside for long amounts of time. And when Sister T****** (my companion) and I do personal/companion study, I just wrap myself up in my comforter in our 79 degree apartment.

A day in Mesa:

Wake up
Get ready/Breakfast
Dinner at 5pm
Home by 9
Bed by 10:30 (I've been getting into bed by 10 every night though because I've been so exhausted, but now I am really getting my energy back :))

Every day has been very different. Sister T***** and I are white washing [covering the whole area, meeting people, etc.] the area so she knows as much as I do about the people and we are still trying to figure things out, but so far we have mostly been contacting potential investigators and less active members to see where they are at.

Companionship studies are great!! Sister T***** is a fantastic trainer and I really am glad she is my companion! When we are in the car we have great conversations. Oh yes, we have a car and I feel so fortunate!! It is probably part of the reason why I haven't had such a problem with the heat. :)

I love working with the ward members. Sister W****** is my favorite person in the ********** ward. She has 6 kids and 12 grandchildren(2 or 3 of her kids live close by) and she is a widow now (I'm not sure how long ago she lost her husband). We had dinner with her last night and I think at first she must not have been sure what to expect by having the missionaries over, but at the end of dinner and our lesson when we told her we had to go she exclaimed, "I have really enjoyed this!" I was so happy to have made a new friend and to have brightened her evening. We watched "Good things to come" the Mormon message by Jefferey R. Holland and it really touched all of us.

Henry is the funniest person in the world. I love him so much! Haha I love to tell people in the ward stories about my nieces and nephews!

Yes! Please send letters! Michelle sent me a letter via Dear Elder and it was so sweet!!

Whose funeral was it??

I heard about the shooting at Reynolds. One of the young Men's leaders in the ********** ward served in the Portland mission about 5 years ago (He even served in one of the wards in our stake!) and then he said "Oh yeah! did you hear about he shooting?" And I said "" and then he felt bad for even saying anything (I think he realized there was probably a reason a missionary hadn't heard about a shooting from their home town), but of course I wanted to know what had happened so he told me. I don't think I knew the boy, but the family name sounds familiar. If you could tell me more I would really appreciate it, but obviously if you don't think I should hear something about it I will leave it up to you whether or not you say anything.

I love the zoo. The zoo in Arizona is in Phoenix so I will probably not get to go to it on the mission. But I get to go to the temple on Friday! Yay! And we will most likely get to go to the Phoenix temple open house at the end of this year :)

I love the Silver Falls hike! Sorry you had to do an extra long drive!

Did Sarah like Napoleon Dynamite??

I hope she has fun at camp!! She told me about her skit and it sounds funny! Are you going to go see it? You should record it and save it so I can see it in a year and a half.... :)

How is the job searching going?

Mailing address:
Sister Erica Brady (make sure you put my first name in there too!)
[message Shelly – me – for her address]

I don't know my actual apartment address! But it's on the corner of **** and *****. The apartment complex is called "***********"

Today during companionship study I had a profound experience where I really came to understand the Atonement more fully. 

Sister T******** and I were talking about how it was necessary for Christ to suffer our sins so that we could be forgiven of them if we turned to Christ and eventually return to Heavenly Father. This is something I understand. I also understand that Christ has felt all of out pains and sorrows. But suddenly I wondered why He had to suffer those pains as well. When we stub a toe or lose a loved one, we feel pain that Christ has also felt, but those aren't pains that come from sin! Those are just pains we experience as human beings! I was getting a little frustrated that Christ had to suffer those pains as well, because I can't understand how it would be necessary for Him to suffer those kind of pains in order for us to return to Heavenly Father. 

Then Sister T****** turned to Alma 7:11-12 (I think those were the vs.) and we read about how Christ suffered those pains because He had mercy on us and He wanted to fully understand us so that He could know how to take care of us and have compassion on us. 

We read the verses and there was just silence between us for a moment.

Finally I just kind of laid down on the floor and started weeping. 

I had understood before that Christ felt our sorrows, but I had never questioned why He did that for us.

Now I know. It is because He loves us. Christ loves us so much. He loves us so much that He paid the price for our sins. He loves us so much that He experienced our sorrows and sicknesses so that he might better understand us and love us even more. I cannot even comprehend how full the love the Savior has for us all, but in that moment, this morning, I certainly felt His love for me.

And I love all of you so very much!!

I hope you have a great week and I will talk to all soon!

Sister Erica Brady

p.s. mom, if you don't forward this right away to my siblings I might just put them on the list because they like to read it as soon as possible.....

p.p.s. mom, will you friend Wendy Cornelison on Facebook and ask her for Chris's email address so I can email him?! I won't be on Facebook for another 2 weeks, and even then I might not really be able to message him. Okay thanks :)

Thursday, June 26, 2014

June 16, 2014

Letter from Erica
June 16, 2014

Dear Mom and Dad,

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY DADDY!!!!!!! I am sorry that I have missed it two years now, and I will miss it a third one :( But I hope you liked my gift :) [Erica purchased a box of See's Candies and left them here for John before she left - with a note saying she almost ate the chocolates herself but refrained!]

I'm too busy to be homesick. And also I'm going to allow myself to be stubborn in this area, I will not allow myself to get homesick. I will just look homesickness in the face and say "no".

Typical day at the MTC:
6:30 Wake up/prepare (that's getting harder and harder every day....)
7am Personal Study
7:45 Breakfast
8:15 Classroom (Brother Ferguson)
11:30 Lunch
12:15 Classroom (Brother Hilton/Brett)
Companion Study/Doctrinal Study
5:30 Dinner
TRC (Guest investigators who work at the MTC.)
9pm Daily Planning
9:30 Prepare for night
10:15 Quiet Time
10:30 Lights out/Bed

So I think my supposed real investigator is actually my old EFY councilor just pretending to be a real investigator.... She has the same name (that's not a common name) She is from Oregon (the EFY was in Forest Grove), she looks super familiar and very much like my efy councilor (but it has been 5 years...). Anyway, I haven't asked her yet if it's her because they can get in big trouble if they really tell missionaries who they are, but I will ask her today since it's my last. Try to look up ***** on Facebook.... or maybe have Emily look through my old scrapbooks (in our bedroom closet) and try to find some pictures from when I went to Forest Grove EFY. And then, if you can, scan me a picture of my EFY councilor. I know I will have already left the MTC by the time I get the picture, but just in case she really can't tell me if it's her I just have to know.

Quienten L. Cook came and spoke at the Tuesday devotional. He told us to cast aside any thoughts of incapability. He pointed out that when the savior was resurrected, in all 5 accounts in the New Testament, the thing he told his disciples in all accounts was to go preach the gospel. That's how important missionary work is. It is the thing he made sure his disciples would remember after he was resurrected. He told us that not only is our purpose to bring people to be baptized, but it is also to bring ward members to the temple. Are assignment is to build the branch in NUMBERS and in STRENGTH.

I love my companion so much! We took some pictures the other day and in one of them we were both making that face that I make that looks like Chris. I will miss her so much tomorrow and I hope we will be companions again :)

I love all the sisters in my zone and I am trying so hard to love all the Elders... I just think boys are . . . . well . . . enough said. But there are some Elders in my zone who are super mature and living up to the name on their tag!

I miss Grandma and Grandpa so much!! Tell them I say hello!!

I miss happy meal Tuesday.

I won the Outstanding Overall Eagle award too!!! And chance linn won it too.

I used to love Oaks Park. Now I just have this desire to work at Disneyland. All of the missionaries in my zone think I would be a perfect Disney princess and they are sad that I'm not tall enough to be one. But they think that if I work hard enough on my mission and if I do exact obedience there will be a miracle and I will grow two more inches hahahaha....haha...ha.... *starts crying*

How did Pippi Longstocking go? (Grandpa Ferre's play) And what is he doing this fall? Tell Grandma and Grandpa Ferre I say hello!!

Emily's bracket fell off!! While eating soft bread!!? Oh no!! How did they react when she explained that it was because of soft bread?!

I got one of my dresses altered so that the length would be longer yay :) I'm so excited for Arizona. It's gonna be crazy hot.

What song did Emma sing for Portland Teen Idol? Who won? And were they really good?

I love caramel corn and want some.

I love food.

OH I have a story about tender mercies. So last week I was really not liking the cafeteria food (some of it's okay but for the most part I really don't like it), and when I was saying my prayers I wasn't even praying about the food or thinking about it, but then the brief thought about how good pancakes sounded went through my head, and then I immediately tried to take it back cause it was kind of a silly thing to ask for and the tiniest bit selfish. But the next morning... guess what was in the cafeteria!! 
Eggs and bacon. 
Haha no just kidding. 
There were Blueberry Pancakes and syrup!!!! I thought it was a sweet moment (it's punny cause syrup is sweet ha) and it was certainly a tender mercy because I really hadn't been eating much for a few days.

Bradley is married!! Bah that is so weird cause he is still that goofy teenager to me!! I am so happy for him and Marisa!! Yay marriage!!!

Okay I can't think of anything else (I lost my small notebook in which I took notes on what things I wanted to write to you about)

I love you Mom and Dad!! (And Family and Friends when you pass this on)

Sister Brady

p.s. send me hand written letters too because I get those faster than emails since I'll just be in AZ. And even though I can't write letters every day I can still read letters at night :)

p.p.s. we had to teach the law of chastity to our teacher Brother Hilton (he was role-playing as the investigator Brett) and it wasn't until that moment that I realized how AWKWARD it will be trying to explain the law of chastity to investigators. We tried handing him the pamphlet on the law of chastity and "Brett" just kept making fun of the pictures in the pamphlet saying things like "there's no way those people are really in love" (all of the pictures are super posed). Seriously, try to find a pamphlet on the law of chastity (the ones the missionaries use (it's called "Chasity")) and look through the posed pictures and try to imagine teaching an investigator using those pictures.

p.s. it costs money to upload pictures here at the MTC so I will send you pictures next week :) Oh and I see Sister Emma Tippery here at the MTC! We have meals together :)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

June 9, 2014

June 9, 2014
Letter from Erica

Hi Mom and Dad!!

This first almost week at the MTC has been amazing! Such an eye opener for me in so many accounts.

Okay first up, hold up. KEVIN IS IN A RELATIONSHIP!!!!!!!!!! Whoooooppppp!!! I am so happy! After I read it I told all the sisters who were in the room and they were all worried saying things like, "OH no! He'll get married while you're gone" or "oh no! what if you don't like the girl"

And I'm all jumping up and down responding "no it's okay! She was my roommate and I love her!" and "I wouldn't want him to wait for me to get married!" 

But yes I also know the other way this could end. :) Here's hoping for the very best though!

I think about you guys everyday too! I love you all so much and I'm so happy to get emails :) But I'm also grateful for the two years away from home cause it's allowed me to skip the homesickness part of the mission (unless it hasn't hit me yet). Haha, but seriously I'm feeling great.

Tell Sister Timmons I'm so grateful for the journal and that I'm using it every night! I only wish I could have a little more time to write more! I want to remember everything and you know how I love to talk :)

Seeing Tessa was so fun! Estela will be the last baby I hold for 18 MONTHS!! Ahh! I was feeling so funny when I was walking around holding Estela before I entered the MTC on Wednesday cause I looked like (and was) a missionary already, even without the tag!

Speaking of the tag, it was so surreal to put that on on Wednesday! Now it feels super normal.

I love the gospel too!! I have learned SO MUCH in these past 5 days! I can't even believe it! I've also learned how to keep things simple so that we don't overload our investigators with information!

It's cool that you learned about being better Disciples of Jesus Christ on Sunday! Last night we watched an MTC talk by David A. Bednar on Christmas a few years ago about the Characteristics of Christ and how we need to develop those in our lives. The most important characteristic was that we needed to turn outward and be selfless as opposed to turning inward and being selfish.

I love my companion. Like I said, she was on the flight with me to the MTC at the Portland Airport and yes she is going to Mesa Arizona, so we could totally be companions again!!

We listened to Music and the Spoken word on Sunday morning through the BYU-TV channel and it was AMAZING! I loved it!!

My favorite scripture is 2 Nephi 31:20. You can pass that on to to put on the plaque.

I went to the temple this morning. An Elder in my district, Elder **********, went through for the first time today! He initially was going to go on Thursday, but after our Branch Presidency heard how much we wanted to be with him the first time, they asked Elder ****** how he felt about waiting. I'm glad he decided to because he obviously doesn't have family with him here at the MTC, so we got to be like a family for him :)

You guys love Costco.

I love Yoga. We have a 6am class once a week for yoga. I wish it was 6 days a week.

I met Elder ******** (no relation to my companion, but yes it is Aunt Dianne's neighbor!)

I am feeling a little anxious when it comes to meeting with our role-playing investigators here at the MTC. but I need to have faith that if I prepare, the Holy Ghost will put words into my mouth and most importantly will help the investigator to feel the truth of what we teach them.

I'm so grateful for everything you guys have taught me as I've grown up. It has helped a ton here.

I am also grateful for the gift of being able to focus. We're taking in a lot of information in these two weeks (I leave for Mesa on June 17th Tuesday morning) and these are long days, so I'm grateful that I'm able to keep focusing (although I did start to fall asleep in the temple today)...........

Also, Sister ***** and I were called to be the Sister Training Leaders (which is exactly like the Zone leaders, except we are over the sisters.)

That's cool that you met J******* ! Yeah she was in the musical with Kevin and I! She's a sweet girl!

I still can't get over the fact that Kevin is dating Kara. I'm freaking out with excitement and I want to shout it to the world. If they break up, I might be the most sad. (don't tell kevin that haha I don't want him to feel pressured.

I've got to go finish my laundry now but I have more time for emails, so I will send you some pictures next :)

I love you so much!!


Sister Brady

June 4, 2014

June 4, 2014
First email from Erica

I made it to the MTC and I had a long but wonderful day here! My companion is Sister ****, the sister I met this morning at the airport (we were on the same flight). She is such a sweetheart and I'm happy she's my companion!

My P-day is on Monday so I will send something a little longer then! I love you and I'll talk to you later!


Sister Brady