Erica's Missionary Adventures

Erica's Missionary Adventures
Merry Christmas from Mesa!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

August 11, 2014

Dear mom and dad,

Mom, your letters are fantastic. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
Seriously. I loved reading about your walk to Butler Creek Park and back!

I think it's rained maybe 3 times here in Mesa. And the first 2 times were
sprinkles that lasted about a minute. The third time had lightning and
thunder and it lasted a whole five minutes :)

Is uncle Keith's wife a member of the church?

I got Emily's letter about EFY!! She shared a beautiful testimony at
the end :) haha I sang Travlin' Soldier when I went to EFY too :)
also, she made no mention of a "cow". What's up with that Emma?? And
how did you like "Wicked"!?!? Tell me your favorite part Emily!!!

I really don't need anything in a package except any CDs that you can
send. But if you can't send it right away it's seriously okay. Oh and if it's one of those
boxes where it doesn't matter how much it costs it would be cool if
you sent some sheet music of songs I've sung or can play on the piano
(like arrangements of hymns, or women at the well, or anything else
that would bring people closer to Christ).

I was just telling sister T****** that story about Elder Hales the
other day!!!! Wasn't he also the one who "borrowed" dad's scriptures
during stake conference and then blew on them and a ton of dust went
flying off? Or was that one of the general authorities? And who was
the one who made the joke about raising the dating age to 17, but then
followed up with "the good news is I saved 15 percent or more on car
insurance by switching to geico..." Hahaha! 
**Note from Shelly – NO that was not Elder Hales!

And who did Emily throw grass at at Philmont? Haha, sorry Emma, but
you were the main topic of conversation this week :)
Speaking of Philmont, all the teachers and priests in our ward got to
go in a 2 week hike at the Philmont camp!!! So cool!!! I seriously
want to go there again! I loved Philmont!

I remember painting the deck on Nancy drive. Ugh that was the worst
and it took forever. Also I was like 10. But it was fun cause I
remember we all listened to the Beatles and sang along, and then our
neighbors were out on their deck and they saw us and said "a family
that paints together, stays together, right? Haha!" And then it
totally could have segued into one of those old Mormon commercials
"family, isn't it about..... Time?" (PS those old commercials are all on
the gospel library app and I watched all of them one lunch hour)...

I love the zoo! And it would be super cool if you worked at Lynch Wood mom!

How is grandpa doing? (I got the update! Thanks!) Did grandma and
grandpa get the letter I sent them a few weeks ago? If they're okay
with it, I would love if you could make a copy of my letter that I
sent to them. I'm glad you are all spending as much time with him as
you can! I will try to send them more letters :) and I'm always
praying for my family. But I understand that death is also a part of
the plan of salvation. I have such a deep testimony of the plan of
salvation. I have no doubt that our families can be together forever. 
I have absolute faith that because of God's plan for happiness, and 
because of Christ's triumph over death, we can live again, return to 
our Heavenly Father, and be with our families for eternity.

I love you all and I hope you have a wonderful week!!!!!

Sister Brady

P.s. I was asked to sing in the other ward I serve in this week!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

August 4, 2014

Dear Mom and Dad,

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!!! :D What are your plans for your birthday?

Chris wrote me this week!

Tell Katrina I met sister E********!!! :D she is a missionary serving
here in Mesa, but she is from N******* and in Katrina's ward! She also
told me Gordon was her mission prep teacher - hahahaha!!
Mesa isn't too bad temperature and humidity wise. One time it got up to
117. Now 102 feels like a nice cool breeze. Also, We're in monsoon
season, so some days are more humid than others. And you can feel a
significant difference when it's humid. I'm just grateful that we have
a car :).

Yeah let's go to New York and DC together!! Or Disneyworld. I'm fine
with either. Or maybe Prince Edward Island! We ate dinner with the
last night, and brother B******** told us he served in that
area!!! After his mission, he and his mom toured the Island and they
tried raspberry cordial! I told them about how you and Emily came home
with an empty bottle of raspberry cordial.... Close enough, eh?

Walking around a lot will be good practice for a mission Emma :)

We have gotten 2 new investigators this week:
P*** is from L******** and is really interested in the church. She came
to church yesterday :)

T*** is a referral from our zone leaders. We just got his information
and have yet to meet him, but he has had quite a few discussions.
Yes Sister T********and I are still together :)

Uncle K****** and D******* are not in my area right now. And we're really
not supposed to call people outside our area unless they are recent
converts or investigators that we have been working with. But if I get
well into my mission and I still haven't met Uncle K******, I will see
what I can do to receive permission to meet him maybe. 

Kara is the best!!!!!! I just love her!! December 31!! Yayyyyyy!!!!
Weddings!!!!!!! How much help are you going to put into the wedding
then? Is it probably different since is is your first (and only) son
getting married? How does that all work? Have you even talked with
Kara's mom yet? I'M SO EXCITED!!!!!

Of course Arizona won the baseball game!! AZ pride!! Haha :)

That's cool that Tessa is gonna come visit!!!

I had a really weird dream last night. I dreamed Tessa and Estela were
in my apartment (here on my mission), and she was helping me pack
because we were all going to Disneyland. And then Dad and Emily showed
up (not sure where Tessa went), and we started driving. In the car I
started singing Disney songs and then dad said "aren't you not
supposed to sing Disney songs on your mission?" I totally felt guilty
cause he was right. we stopped at a restaurant where you and Kevin were
inside waiting. While dad was gone from the car I quickly opened up
the laptop and started playing Disney songs on Pandora and singing
along to them, even though I knew I wasn't supposed to. Emily didn't
stop me. Then I woke up.

What I don't understand is why dad was so concerned with me singing
Disney as a missionary (cause I still was a missionary), but he was
totally fine with me leaving the mission area!!!! That's kind of a
huge deal!!! We do not go outside of our mission! Ever! So don't plan
on coming and taking me to Disneyland. I highly doubt you'll receive
permission from President Jenkins!

I love that quote from Neil L. Anderson! He gives such great talks!
I've been studying the priesthood recently, and his morning I listened
to Dallin H. Oaks talk "the keys and authority of the priesthood" I've
studied that talk a ton before I came out on my mission, but when
listening to it this time, especially after studying priesthood
authority in the scriptures, I had so many new insights. I love
studying the scriptures and listening to general conference addresses!
I listening to talks every morning when I get ready :) it's great!

Being a missionary is THE best thing that has ever happened to me (Kip voice).

Have you ever seen TheTestaments? It just happens to be the best
movie there is!

Okay I love you so much!!!!!!!!!

Love, sister Brady

P.s. I have NOT been out on my mission for 3 months. Only 2!! You're
giving me anxiety mom! I have a full 16 months left! Do not cheat me
any of those months! :) also sister T******'s family totally sent her a
"happy 9 months" email when she had only been out 8 months, haha DO
NOT do that to me!!!!! But the days of the week thought was very sweet
:) I love you very much :))

Letter #2 from Erica
August 4, 2014

Dear mom,

Happy birthday!! I hope you have some good plans!! I am putting a card
in the mail today, so I really hope it gets there in time :) also
I really hope you like the card choice ;)

Thank you so much for sending the pictures!!!!!!! The pictures load
just great on my iPad (heehee we are such cool missionaries :)) so if
you want to send them exactly the way you did (with the explanation at
the the top and the picture attached) that would be fantastic! And if
you could just send as many as you have time for, that would be great
:) Are you also sending them to other people or something? That's fine
too :)

We have been asked to not have a ton of pictures on our Facebook, so
it would probably be a good idea if you didn't tag me in any pictures
you post on Facebook :) you are welcome to post pictures of me, just
don't tag me :)

Sister Brady

Letter #3
August 4, 2014

I just found out from President Jenkins that one of the Twelve (we
don't know who) will be coming to the mission on September 20th!! He
has also requested to shake each and everyone of our hands before the
meeting!! And we will be meeting with the Scottsdale missionaries for
a two hour conference with this apostle!! Cool right??

Monday, August 4, 2014

July 28, 2014

So we met a 9 year old girl in he ward this week and she loves
American girl and knows everything about it (think of my obsession
with Disneyland and that is how much she loves American girl), and she
told us that they are going to build an American girl here in Arizona!
Cool right?

You all got to see Wicked!!!!! Yayyyy!! I know Emily has been wanting
to see that for forever!!!!! I loved it when it came to Hawaii (thanks
grandma and grandpa Ferre!!) and aunt Rosanna is sooo sweet to have
done that for Emily (Aren't strong willed people the best? Haha)!! And
to connect dad to that CFO guy!!

Sounds like New York was so fun!!!! I love New York!! And Mesa! Mesa
is good too ;)

Oooh I've always wanted to see the Liberty Bell!!! (Or maybe I've
already seen it? Like when I was 4?) and all the other sites of
Washington, D.C.! I think my only memories of that trip are just the
pictures I've seen of me there.... So I should probably go again....

I love getting to have personal study every day. I was studying D&C
section 76 this morning, it talks about the three kingdoms of glory
and what we have to do to receive them, and what blessings/lack of
blessings we receive in each of them. One of the requirements to make
it to the celestial kingdom is to be valiant in our testimony of Jesus
Christ! Here is what Bruce r. McConkie said about being valiant in our

To be valiant in the testimony of Jesus is to believe in Christ and
his gospel with unshakable conviction. …

But this is not all. It is more than believing and knowing. We must
be doers of the word and not hearers only. It is more than lip
service; it is not simply confessing with the mouth the divine Sonship
of the Savior. It is obedience and conformity and personal
righteousness. …

To be valiant in the testimony of Jesus is to … ‘endure to the end.’
(2 Ne. 31:20.) It is to live our religion, to practice what we preach,
to keep the commandments” ( Ensign, Nov. 1974, 35).

It is not an easy task, what steps we have to take to become celestial
beings, but that is because The Lord wants us to grow to become like
Him! He does not want us to become mediocre, or just average, He wants
us to become glorious beings who will be able to do glorious things!
And he has a plan that allows us to do just that. As we follow His
commandments, have faith In Jesus Christ, repent of sins when we make
mistakes, and endure to the end, we can become heirs of God's
celestial glory. I testify to you that this is true!!

N****** has accepted the invitation to be baptized and we have set a
goal for August 30th. She also wants her son to be
baptized (he will be moving in to live with her for the year in a few
days). Please keep her in your prayers :)

We got transfer news and I will be in this area for another 6 weeks
and sister T********* is now a sister training leader!

GETTING MARRIED!!!!??? AHHHHHHHHH!!!! I did this weird little jog in
place when I found out and then I fell on the floor and then I was
crying. Wow I'm rather dramatic, huh? Also at one point I inhaled and
started coughing really hard and Sister T******* thought I was choking.
It was great. YAYYY FOR KEVIN AND KARA!!!!!

I love you all so much!! (Please ask Katrina if she got the
picture/letter I really want to make sure she got it cause if not I
will draw her another one!)

Sister Brady

July 21, 2014

Dear mom and dad,

Dad, Why aren't you in Times Square with mom and Emma?? Haha i still
remember what you said about NYC the last time we were there...
I don't know why I suddenly started to like exercise!!! But I loovvee
it! And yeah I remember telling Michelle about how I didn't like
exercise. I really never exercised at the MTC. But here I look forward
to it. Haha I don't know what changed!
There are around 250 missionaries in this mission. I don't know how
many sisters in the mission. But in our zone we have the same amount
of sisters as we have elders.
I got Emma's letter! It made me cry!!! And all the letters from girls
camp!! Tell Susan and everyone thank you so much!!! I cried while I
was reading them because they were sooo sweet! I remember writing
missionaries at youth activities and I always thought it was weird
cause I rarely knew he missionaries. But let me tell you, it means
sooooo much to the missionary who is receiving he notes!
I also got grandma Brady's letter about grandpa!!!!!!! That was the
coolest story I've ever heard!!! Sister T*********'s dad is in the air
force and she said that it was super unique for someone to enlist in
the military before world war 2 officially started in the USA. Tell
grandma and grandpa I love them! (I haven't been able to write them a
letter yet. Just ask Michelle and Kevin, you get very little extra
time on a mission) :))

hat books are on Emily's list?? Twilight?!
Are you going to take Emma to American girl store? Haha I loved that
when we went there!! I was just thinking about Central Park the other
day! It's so beautiful and green!
I don't remember if they put the umbrellas down at the Hill Cumorah
pageant because I'm pretty sure I fell asleep....
Paint the house pink.
I'm glad Michelle found her phone!! I saw the picture on FB. (Weird right?)
They are showing the third movie at the Gilbert temple!!!!! But who
knows how long it will be till the Mesa temple gets it!
I also got your conversion story (well the part you sent me). It's so
crazy hearing about these things and hearing about your testimony now
that I'm a missionary! I have a whole new perspective on the church!
I led my first lesson last night! We taught 9 year old ******* about the
restoration. I have been sooooo nervous to lead a discussion and so I
have been praying for courage and comfort and finally i was able to do
it last night! Heavenly Father hears our pleas and he will answer our
prayers in his time!
Will you scan some pictures of me when I was 3 and 4? I am starting a
blog and I wanted it to focus on gospel principles I learned in my
youth. I thought it would be a cute idea. I also wanted to share
stories about my family and gospel principles you have all learned in
your youth. So when you can (I know you won't be home for a while),
but if you could scan a few pictures every week? And only if you have
time. Seriously. Because if I don't do this on my mission, I will just
do the same thing when I get home a million light years from now ;) oh
and you can't just mail me pictures cause then I won't have any way of
connecting it to my blog....
There is a cute boy with Down syndrome who was sitting with his family
on The pew in front of us one Sunday. He kept turning back to me and
waving, and finally one time he said "guess what..... You're cute"
hahaha he was so sweet!!!!!! He made me miss Jamie pokorny. :)
I sang in church yesterday! I sang “Come thou Fount” with another sister
in the ward. It went really well!!
Did Katrina get the picture I drew of her family? Haha..... Have you
seen it? Haaaa......
One of our investigators has three younger siblings who just got
baptized on Saturday. (Her siblings are in a different ward). We all
got to go see the baptism and she told us that the baptism made her
want to smile from ear to ear. :) she is reading the Book of Mormon
right now, and she says she wants to finish it before she decides to
get baptized.
Missionary work is the very best thing. If Emma decides she wants to
serve she would have my full support. I hope all my nephews and nieces
choose to serve!! I am so happy here all the time!!!! And I am
learning so much! MISSIONS!!!
One last cute story: one of our investigator has a little boy and when
we went to pick him up from nursery (he LOVED nursery and the nursery
leaders loved him! They said he was super polite!) then we all (my
companion and the investigator) started walking down he hall. We
walked 6 feet when suddenly the boy froze and went "AHHHH!" We all
stopped and were like – what's up bud? And then he just started running
down the hall. Hahahaha it made us laugh really hard. He's a cute kid!
Okay that's all for now! I love you all and hope you have a fantastic
week!! Have fun in New York/DC!
Love sister Brady

Sent from my iPad

Actually I supposed if you really wanted to you could mail me a bunch
of pictures and I could take pictures of the pictures. :)

Sister Brady

July 14th 2014

Hi mom and dad!

I keep having CRAZY dreams! They're kind of scary!

For workouts I will run for ten minutes, do some crunches and
lunges/squats, and then Lift weights. (I am getting some muscles in my
arms!!!) whoooo!!

I LOVE seeing people from the MTC around the area. I am always running
into sister s****** and she is just a sweetheart!

I also LOVE getting letters from everyone. Thank you for your tips on
artichokes! Can you send recipes for scotcharoos please? Also can you
ask around to see if anyone has access to handles messiah? I would
love to be able to listen to that! But I don't want you to have to buy
it cause it would probably be expensive. I don't know how it works for
music, but I know for books once they've been around for a certain
amount of time they are free to the public... But I'll let you look
into all that please :)

I am starting personal progress over again! The relief society women
in my ward are doing it and I wanted to support them! Also my
companion has never done it so I am kind of doing it with her. I
started with the first value in faith and I LOVE IT! Read alma
32:17-43. It's great!! Is Emma still doing personal progress? She
still hasn't written me about girls camp... ;)

What does Emmy have to read for honors English? Does she like the
books on the list? If I were an English teacher I would have my kids
read Orson Scott Card and jk Rowling. Always.

Okay. New York is kiiinnndd of a big deal. How long have you been
planning the trip? Why haven't I heard about it until now? If I had
billions of dollars I would send you all to Broadway shows! Will you
at least buy a hot dog from the street vendor? I loved going to the
American girls store. It was great!

Also technically, if my memory serves, I too have never seen the hill
Comoran pageant because five old ladies sat directly in front of us
and opened up there huge umbrellas blocking the entire thing from
view. But I'm super excited for Emily to see it! In Easter I will be
able to see the Mesa temple Easter pageant! And someday I will be in
both pageants.

Have fun at uncle Chris and aunt Rosanna's!! I still need to meet my
cousins!! Tell them I say hello and I love them and I LOVE aunt
Rosanna's comments on FB!!

Have fun painting the house! What color are you painting it?

I will leave you with one last thing. I was reading Neil L. Anderson's
talk "trial of your faith" from the October 2012 general conference
this morning. Here are some of the quotes I loved.

"fiery trials are designed to make you stronger, but they have the
potential to diminish or even destroy your trust in the Son of God and
to weaken your resolve to keep your promises to Him...
How do you remain “steadfast and immovable”during a trial of faith?
You immerse yourself in the very things that helped build your core of
faith: you exercise faith in Christ, you pray, you ponder the
scriptures, you repent, you keep the commandments, and you serve
others.... whatever you do, you don’t step away from the Church!...
By definition, trials will be trying. There may be anguish, confusion,
sleepless nights, and pillows wet with tears. But our trials need not
be spiritually fatal. They need not take us from our covenants or from
the household of God...
Like the intense fire that transforms iron into steel, as we remain
faithful during the fiery trial of our faith, we are spiritually
refined and strengthened....
With faith come trials of faith, bringing increased faith. The Lord’s
comforting assurance to the Prophet Joseph Smith is the very same
promise He makes to you in your trial of faith: 'Hold on … , fear not
, for God shall be with you forever and ever.'"

These were my favorite parts of the talk. We go through trials to make
us stronger. We will be given hard, "fiery" trials. But as we turn to
The Lord we will grow from them!! And the church can help us through
our trials! We can receive strength from our bishop and friends we
have in the ward. We receive peace and comfort when we go to church.
That's why elder Nelson exhorts us to not step away from the church!
And god will always be with us if we allow his spirit to abide within
us. This talk was amazing!! Read the whole thing! I love studying the
scriptures and the words of our prophets and apostles. I'm so grateful
for the gospel. And I am so grateful to be serving a mission.

Sister Brady

P.s. Pass this on, it's very important. ask the missionaries in the
ward how you can help. Make yourselves as available as possible to
help them. We are talking about the salvation of people's souls here!!
Whether it means becoming a reliable friend to an investigator or new
convert, or going with the missionaries on splits, this work is
ssssooooo important!! And I'm not the first person to be saying this!
Read the prophets quotes on missionary work in the first chapter of
preach my gospel! There is almost always a whole talk on missionary
work in each conference, if not at least some mention of it! We full
time missionaries can not do this work without the members! And as you
help us, your faith and testimony will be strengthened!! Do your part!