Erica's Missionary Adventures

Erica's Missionary Adventures
Merry Christmas from Mesa!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

January 26, 2015


We went hiking to the wind caves. the wind was strong that day...

Letter #1
Dear Mom,

Okay so have you ever asked the Elders who taught you what their experience was in teaching you? Like, what was there side of the story? I would love to hear that as a missionary!! I mean, maybe they had been praying and fasting for a family to teach and then suddenly this golden 12-year-old girl started coming to mutual every week and suddenly, a few months later, the entire family was baptized!! Maybe they had to face some trials of faith before or while they taught you and your family. Maybe a previous investigator that was so close to baptism had fallen into some anti stuff and dropped the lessons (that can be a hard blow and trial of faith). Or maybe they have a story where they almost didn't make it to a lesson of yours because one of the elders was struggling to stay motivated. Or perhaps you and your family were just perfect investigators and you were literally a miracle family!

Haha, who knows, but I would love to hear from both or at least one of the elders who taught you!!! Do you still keep in contact? Can I get their email? Or can you forward my request to hear from them?

Okay also can you ask Garrett Thornton what areas he served in while he was here? (He did serve in Arizona, yeah?) I want to know if I have served in any of his areas! I know the mission was a lot different then, and way bigger, but that would be so cool if he knows some of the people I'm working with!!

I am feeling all better now! Yay!! Thank you for the prayers!

Thank you for the package!!!! I loved the letters and I am so excited to read Grandmas story!!!! How awesome!!! 

I love Mrs. Schwindt!!!!! Oh my goodness!!! Hahaha!!! That is the cutest note ever!! I should volunteer for her again in the classroom :)

Oh my goodness, do you remember when I used to fight Personal Progress like the plague? And then I finally only started doing it because you took away Harry Potter and said I couldn't have it back until I had done at least 5 experiences... haha.

Make sure you drink a LOT of water. That will help your voice miost! Also make sure you warm up. I will send you a video of me  doing a warm up that you can practice, so that your voice will be more relaxed. And if your throat starts hurting, STOP singing (unless you're actually in class) and drink some hot tea or just hot water with some essential oil drops in it.

I like to tell the ward members about bills story, and I try to convince them to watch the movie. Most people say they will watch it (I don't know how many have), but one person said they've already seen it!!! and then they asked me how bill was doing.... 

Hey!! I loved one acts!!! I directed one at BYU Hawaii called "Check Please". People thought it was hilarious! Chris was in it :)

How did Hanks basketball game go? Did he win? I love the pictures!! I have the cutest nephews (and nieces) in the world!!!

Thank you for Nicks story!! I didn't know most of that!! Wow!

Tell me your dream!!! I had a dream last night that I had just gotten home and you and dad had moved to a new home while I was gone, so when I came home you were still unpacking.... and you were SO STRESSED!!! and It was stressing me out!!! And you were trying to put cups away, and I was helping, and you were getting so frustrated and I was feeling high levels of stress, and then I asked you to not be so stressed because you were stressing me out, and you said "you can't just ask someone to not be stressed when they're stressed. It doesn't help" and you made some comment about how I didn't really want to be home, but how I really just wanted to be back out on the field, and then we both burst into tears, and I told you how much I loved you and you said you were sorry and you didn't mean it, and then dad walked in from the garage (driving a fancy red truck) and he made some comment about how us women were always crying, and then the dream kind of faded away... haha it was a very stressful and funny dream!

Okay, I love you mom!!! 

Sister Brady

Letter #2
Dear DAD,

hahahahaha... haha.. ha. ;p very funny with the "grandmas painting", dad :)

This is the picture that John sent to Erica.
Grandmas painting . . .

Here is a real picture of Grandma's painting!
Painting by Harriette Hankel Ferre
(Erica's Grandma)

We had an awesome ward conference in the M***** ward yesterday. While President B**** was teaching the lesson, he was pacing about the room and it just reminded me so much of you!!! I loved getting to go to most of the ward conferences. It was always the same topic and lesson plan, but it always generated new and different ideas, and I always would come away with something different.

We talked a little bit about patriarchal blessings. He asked everyone to invite their youth age children to pray and learn about patriarchal blessings to find out if it was their time to receive one. He also told a story about a boy who had three specific questions that he had never discussed with anyone before. He talked to his stake patriarch about them before his blessing, and in the blessing God had addressed those questions very specifically to this young man. HOW BEAUTIFUL!! God hears our prayers and knows the desires of our hearts!!!

I want to teach my kids everything that I can!! And that makes me want to learn everything that I can!! I want my kids to be able to come to me with questions about their math and science homework, as well as questions about spiritual subjects, and I want to be able to answer them! Education is soooo important!! Especially because it not only blesses your personal life, but it will bless the lives of those
around you!!!

Yeah, I shared the handcart boy, but also the story about Great Grandpa and the bushels of wheat. And I told some of your childhood stories that you've told growing up (you and Kevin ripping the homework page, and the story about you buying the milk duds... hahah) Will you send those stories, I'm pretty sure I am forgetting parts of them. They are sooo funny!!!!

I love you dad!!! I still need to use the word rip snorter in a sentence. I am working on it :)


Sister Brady

Me and Sister C!
It was her birthday :)!!

Letter #3
Dear Family,


Every single day there have been miracles!!!!

On Friday we had dinner with a potential investigator. When I first got in the area he made it clear (and the members did too) that he was not interested right now, and did not want to be pushed. We started praying for him right away. We knocked on his door (his wife is a member) with cookies in December and he was very happy to talk with us for almost an hour (not about church stuff) and then we were invited to his granddaughters baptism and we were asked to speak on baptism. That was on Jan 10. And he felt the spirit and was crying. Then he personally invited us to his house afterwards for some light refreshments. 

And then we were invited to dinner with him on Friday. We were planning on inviting him to take the lessons. After dinner Sister T**** and I sang, and then we went around the room talking about some of the times we have felt God's love  in our life. When we got to him he said "I don't think I've experienced his love yet. But I think I would like to take some classes".............................. !!!!

He was crying. We were crying. His wife was shocked. The spirit was strong. We are having our first lesson with him this Wednesday.

In these last 3 days alone we have found 6 new investigators. Miracles!!

We had an awesome ward conference yesterday. We talked about how your thoughts will influence your actions and your actions will influence your thoughts. Which is so true!! President shared this scripture from proverbs "Commit thy works unto the lord and thy thoughts shall be established" and how this can be applied to ANY situation!

Also, this quote was fro President B*** and it is so true!!!

"One of the ways Satan seeks to destroy our agency is by making us feel like victims"

Don't let Satan fool you into thinking that someone else has to do something different in order for you to find happiness or receive blessings. Act today and depend upon the atonement of Jesus Christ!

I love you all!!!

Sister Brady

The hour between daily planning and bedtime.

Letter #4
Dear Emily,

Good job on the show!! What was your one act about?? Did you have to kiss anyone????!!!

Good job at your homecoming freshman skit!! You are the best!!! Also hahahaha about your dress. Oh well, nothing can be worse than the time that I lost my wig on stage :) bahahahahahahaha! #awkward #neverletitgo

Okay, go watch something fun and make sure you practice singing and piano everyday. Also, remember that High School is a great time to be social, so make sure you do that, but also make sure you are learning things in your classes and not just working to get A's. I got A's in all my classes, but I still feel like I missed out on so much learning. :/ Maybe I should go back to high school :)

I love you!

Sister Brady

p.s. nice shoes :)

[Emily sent a picture to Erica . . . but she was wearing a pair of Erica's shoes that Erica left here! Haha!]

Sister S***, Sister T****, and Me :) This was made up on the spot.

January 19, 2015

Moving in!!
I got a new roommate!!
Its Sister S*** from the MTC!!

Dear Mom,

Yeah, I'm sick. and I'm really cranky. Mostly because I have been forced inside since Friday night, and I really wanted to go out tonight but because I had a low (a suppperr low) fever last night, the mission nurse won't let me go out tonight till its been 24 hours. So. I'm cranky.

But yesterday we gave talks in the C********** Ward (it was an 8:30 am sacrament meeting). A few of the members suggested that I stay home from church all day, but I fought that like a fiery dragon. (Well, as fiery of a dragon as I could be while also fighting nausea and a headache). I had written that talk, and I was going to give it. I also thought I had done pretty well, but afterwards a few people made comments like "I sat there the whole time thinking 'She looks so white! i hope she doesn't pass out!!'" or "I thought she was going to throw up all over the podium".  I'm so glad they felt the spirit of my talk....

One member who was present for both talks (I gave one in the M******* ward last week) said "it seemed a little bit shorter...." Which makes sense, because I did shorten it when about 6 minutes into my talk the room started spinning.

Being sick is stupid. And if I was supposed to learn humility and patience because of it, I failed. Man, I need prayers for my heart to not be so upset.

Alright, so we had a good meeting with our mission president this week. We talked about how we can fast from other things than just food (i.e. tv (haha already doing that), mean thoughts, habits, facebook, etc.) I thought it was a pretty cool idea and I am going to try that this week!

I really like this quote, but I can't remember where I read it....

"More than 100 years ago, 18-year-old Robert Orson Gibson, who would become my grandfather, wrote the following for a college class: 'Some people want to become noble, others want to become wealthy, still others wise, and there are those who wish to become good. It would be very well to be any of these, but I would prefer, most of all, being known as good.'"

I want to be known as "good"!!! That is my new goal in life!!!

Okay, and I also like the article "Blessed by the Sabbath day" in the February Ensign. Read it!! 

Family History: I need to link up Grandma Ferre's parents, and I need to link up my other grandparents too. So those are the names I need. But I didn't know I could look up Grandpa Browns side of the family! That is exciting and I will do that next time!! Gonna find my cousins!!! (Cousins, cousins...!)
BAHAHAHAHAHA!!! I am so proud of my 6 year old Nephew!! Hahahahahahahaha that is so hilarious!!!

Is Angela Hjertstedt the one who did "grease"when Kevin was in middle school? and is she the one who helped with into the woods? And was she the one who was working at the High school before Mrs. Voorhies got the job?

I would love to have your calling! Haha, yeah when I get really nervous, my armpits start sweating, but I can do 45 minutes of Cross Fit and not break a sweat!

I loved all of your good creative ideas for the primary calling! man, I miss working with kids. and I LOVE those triplets!! I didn't know one of the triplets had autism. They are so cute!!! How old are the triplets now?

Send me a picture of Grandmas painting please!

Okay, so what is the story on Nick's kidney. I was just headed off to school when he was born, so I never got the full story.

Wow, okay right at this very moment, I am holding a beautiful little snake. I will send pictures.

I love primary songs!! They just teach such simple truths!

Okay, I love you mom!

Sister Brady

PS What is the movie that you said was really good?

Two Puppies!!
I thought the first one was a wind up toy when I first saw it walking
about. And the other dog was a rescue dog that thought I was very
suspicious, but LOVED Sister T****** haha :)

Dear Dad,

I told a ton of your (our?) family history stories this week!! It was so fun! I love family history!! I have definitely felt my heart turn to my fathers. Which is interesting because there is a section in my patriarchal blessing that talks about family history, and i never before saw how it applied to me until my mission! But I am feeling the spirit of Elijah!!!

Sister Brady

A Bird and A Snake!
These were at our new ward mission leaders house.
The bird (smokey) is 
there's, and the snake was a friend's.
I want a snake and a 
bird when I go home!

Dear Family,
This was a week of Animals!! I got to hold so many amazingly cool pets this week!

I also got sick this weekend. Not fun. But I received a great blessing which talked about how my wards here are an extension of my family. I totally feel that. I love the wards here.
C******* is an awesome new ward! This ward has not had a baptism is soooo long! And we already have 3 new investigators (and we've only been here 5 days!)!! The members are so great!

Sister T******i and I also got new roommates. Sister S***** (She was in the MTC with me and she is also from Oregon) and Sister C**** (I helped day train her! She is also super sassy in a good way!! Like me! haha! It's great fun!)

Okay, so being a missionary is the best! I was in a grumpy mood, but I spent the morning with our new ward mission leader's family and their boys are crack ups!! Hahaha! It was great!

Here are some great words from James E. Talmage in regards to the story of Christ raising Lazarus from the dead.

"The procedure throughout was characterized by deep solemnity and by the entire absence of every element of unnecessary display. Jesus, who when miles away and without any ordinary means of receiving the information knew that Lazarus was dead, doubtless could have found the tomb; yet He inquired: “Where have ye laid him?” He who could still the waves of the sea by a word could have miraculously effected the removal of the stone that sealed the mouth of the sepulchre; yet He said: “Take ye away the stone.” He who could reunite spirit and body could have loosened without hands the cerements by which the reanimated Lazarus was bound; yet He said: “Loose him, and let him go.” All that human agency could do was left to man. In no instance do we find that Christ used unnecessarily the superhuman powers of His Godship; the divine energy was never wasted."

Cool right? Christ left everyone (including Lazarus) their own agency. Of course Christ could make all those miraculous things happen, but he let the people act on their faith! Just like how God lets us act on our faith! It helps us to grow! Faith!!!

I am happy :)

Sister Brady

More Snake and Bird
It's okay that I can't hold babies for 18 months. I will just hold the
coolest animals ever.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

January 12, 2015

With Heather

Dinner! She made that really good
broccoli salad that you always make mom!! <3
*Note to readers from blog master Shelly
(here in Gresham Costco actually makes that salad).

Letter #1 (to mom)

Dear Mom,

Okay, so I need to link up some names to my family tree because your step-dad's parents and Grandma Ferre's parents are not connected. We don't do a ton of family history, but on the occasional FHE or training that we have, I would love to have their names so that I can work on that side of things as well.

I had a dream that you and I were in the kitchen and we were just having a casual conversation when all of the sudden you said something like, "yeah, all of my husbands have had that problem" and suddenly I "remembered" that you and Dad, after you had been married for so many years, had divorced and you got married to Two-face from The Dark Knight (I Think his name is Aaron Eckheart or something)?... any way and two-face was actually Emily's dad. You were married to Two-face for about 20 years, and then you got remarried to Dad. So, it all worked out :)

Man, I love those pictures of the wedding! And I love Tessa's hair! How did she get my Millie wig? :) hahaha... but seriously, its cute!

We had an AMAZING! lesson in relief society. It was from the Ezra Taft Benson manual. Here is what he said:

"If someone wants to marry you outside the temple, whom will you strive to please--God or a mortal? If you insist on a temple marriage, you will be pleasing the Lord and blessing the other party. Why? Because that person will either become worthy to go to the temple--which would be a blessing--or will leave--which could also be a blessing--because neither of you should want to be unequally yoked" (see 2 Corinthians 6:14).
Chapter 1: The Great Commandment—Love the Lord

And I just thought about how in my patriarchal blessing it specifically addresses that my husband and I will be equally yoked to each other throughout our life! That has been on my mind lately (being equally yoked to my future husband), but it is amazing to me that Heavenly Father already knew that 7 years after I got my patriarchal blessing that would be on my mind and He addressed it! He knows us so perfectly!!!

What was the story dad wanted to tell me about Henry on the Bus and what Charlotte said about Grandpa?

Yeah we do Just Serve as missionaries!!! But there aren't very many opportunities around here yet... :/

EMMA IS SO AWESOME!!! I loved going to drama competitions!! Tell me what you did Emma and what the judges said and everything!!!

I am excited about your new calling!! I would love that calling! But i think that the calling I want the most is nursery :)

Thank you for your words from Uchtdorf. I will make sure to catch up on the Family Home Evening talks tomorrow!!

I am SO HAPPY!!! Life is so amazing! God is so real! I have seen miracles every day and had many tender mercies. I love being a missionary. These are the best days of my life :)

I love you mom!!

Sister Brady

This is a beautiful dog!

Same dog . . . a few seconds later . . .
Bahaha this picture kills me!!!!

Letter #2 (to Dad)
Dear dad,

I FORGOT TO SAY "rip snorter!!!!!"!!!! Ugh! Haha and I had SO many opportunities to do so every day because there were so many rip snorting moments this week!! I was with two other sisters most of the week because my companion was sick with the stomach flu all week :p but i am not sick!! Yay!! #blessings

Wow, that is a lot of work hours!! Hey did I tell you I bumped into one of your former coworkers? I think her name was Teresa. We saw each other at Christmas lights and it turns out that she is actually the mom of one of the members in my ysa ward! Small world!!

I love you so much!

The quote is from "elf" :) such a good movie!! But jspr is better. Oh and Meet the Mormons is now playing at the visitors center!! Yay!!

Dad you are so wonderfully amazing! I love you!!

Sister Brady

Sleepover while my companion was sick!!!

My favorite quote right now!

Letter #3 (to the family)
Dear family,


This was a week of miracles!! So we have a mission goal in March to have 100 baptisms total. I am super excited about it, and I know it will happen!! .... But our ward council was showing some real concern about the reality of this goal... Specifically our goal to find 10 new investigators in the month of January. We have found two so far and because of the circumstances, they don't really count.

Someone asked in ward council asked "How many of you actually think we can find 10 new investigators in the next two weeks?" 

Three people (in a room of 15 people) raised there hands. And they were me, Sister T****, and our ward mission leader.

There was one particular person who kept saying this goal is so unreasonable (as though we had the ability to lower the Lord's goal for this mission). 

Another person said "I don't think its possible either, but that just means we need to pray for faith" yes!! I love that person!!

Anyway, so the person who was struggling the most (who had said "this is so unreasonable") was called upon to give the prayer, and in their prayer, they asked "please give us the faith necessary to reach this goal".

Not only did that take humility, it also showed that they had the faith to ask for faith!! Its so beautiful!!

And it gets better!!!

After ward council, we asked this person to make a phone call to someone who had just shown up on the updated ward list. A person who fell under their auxiliary. This person was nervous and kept saying "but what do I say to them?" We tried to coach the person a little, but then told them "you really just have to follow the Spirit" so they called the mysterious new name RIGHT THERE!! 

And guess what we now have? 4 potential new investigators!!! Two of which have met with missionaries before, and one of which has a baby blessing (that's why they showed up on our list).


If any of you feel you are struggling with a certain commandment, or with a trial of faith, or you just plain don't have the testimony that you want to have: I invite you to pray for your faith to be strengthened!!!

I have to do this every day! Missionary work is grueling, and it can be very discouraging. Every time I have prayed this month, I have asked for more faith. And I can bare witness that God hears our prayers and he strengthens our faith when we ask for it. 

I am so filled with the spirit right now!! I love being a missionary and seeing miracles and changes in the lives of those around me, and especially in my own life. These are days never to be forgotten.

I love you all!!!! 

Sister Brady

P.s. I got transfer news!! Sister T***** and I are staying together. We are keeping M******* ward, but losing the ysa ward. It is being replaced with the C****** ward.

Drawing by:
Erica Brady
(We are not sure who this supposed to be . . . )

January 5, 2015

Sports Night!
Me and Sister T*****

And the whole group! Fun!!

Letter #1 for DAD

Dear Daddy,

So we had our New Year's Day party with the mission this week. We had to do a skit with our zone and as we were brainstorming and practicing, people started shouting out random ideas. Like they were bouncing off the walls. Left and right everyone was shouting "Lets do this!" "yeah!! And this!" "and then we have to do this!" and finally I yell out "and if there's time: We'll snuggle!!" Half my zone laughed. The other half thought I was a super weird missionary... bahahaha. All in all I probably shouldn't have even been quoting from a Babylonian movie :)

I had the opportunity to teach the gospel principles class this Sunday. It was the first time I have EVER taught a church class (other than a 7 year old primary class).... AND I taught it all by myself because my companion and I were on splits due to the clashing church meeting times because of the new year. But I thiiinnkkk it went okay. I shared mom's conversion story, so that was good! And I showed them pictures of the family! The class was super good at participating which was wonderful.

Okay, but as soon as Sister T***** and I were together again, she exclaims "President called for you, he wants you to call back immediately." And one thing went through my mind: "my parents are traveling from Idaho to Oregon today. There is snow and ice. My parents are dead." Yeah, scariest moment of my life. Except that I also knew the idea was ridiculous, but we couldn't for the life of us figure out why else president could be calling (Sister T****** did think I might be receiving the calling of becoming the First Sister AP because this is transfer news week... bahahaha). Anyway, so we called president but he didn't answer. So the longer he didn't call back, the more I knew it was not an emergency. And then I saw mom's email come through later that night so I knew that you were all safe: THANK GOODNESS FOR THAT RULE!!!! [The rule that missionaries can now read emails daily – but still only respond once a week.] Cause president didn't call back till today. He asked me to be the new music coordinator for the mission! Yay! I'm using my talents on the mission!

I'm so glad Kevin's wedding went well!! And I'm glad I got to be there! Hahahah! [Cutout Erica was there! Real Erica was still in Mesa!]

I will try to use the word "rip-snorter" in my vocabulary at least twice this week :)

I love you dad!!!!

Sister Brady!!!!!!! <3

Me opening Sister T****'s gift to me. The first one is a body spray ...

And the next one is popcorn in a Frozen tin!!! :D
Letter #2 (for mommy)

Dear Mommy,

I am so glad you all made it home safe and sound! See dad's letter to understand why I thought maybe you hadn't made it home safely hahaha.... :/

Yay! Kevin is married!!! hahaa that is so crazy awesome!! I love Kara!!! And I love that she is my sister in law!!!
I LOVED the picture of the cupcakes!!! That is hilarious!! Bahahahaha!! So did Kara make everything? The cupcakes too?

Tad R. Callistar's nephew or something is in my ward here. He was our bishop but we just got a new one called. 

No worries mom!! I felt super comforted during the wedding. Seriously. I had no problems. I was even fine during Christmas. Haha I'm like a rock! But yeah, that was a ton of pictures.

BAHAHAHAH Thank you mom and Tessa for saving me from the Ninja Star throwing teenagers!!!!! [Some boys at the Spaghetti Factory wanted us to give cut-out Erica to them so they could throw Ninja Stars at her . . . ummmm! NO!]

Okay, so I love you so much mom!! I hope you have had a great week with Kevin getting married, and I hope you enjoy this week as Emily gets back to school (right)?

I love you !!!!!!

Sister Brady

P.S. Read The Lectures on Faith if you haven't already. IT IS MIND BLOWING!!!!! Seriously, I cant stop reading it!!!

Mesa Sister Missionaries! Love them!!

Letter #3 to the family

Dear Family,

Whew it has been a great week!!! There were a few crazy things happening today (stories for after the mission) so I don't have much time left, but I will type quickly.

We had a game night with some wonderful investigators. It was kind of a review of all of the lessons, and they did fantastic!!!! They really enjoyed the game too. T asked for a copy of the game so that he could play it with other people that he knew :) They are awesome!!!!!
I have a goal wall now!! It has inspiring quotes and goals that I have for myself!! It is kind of working! I have made my bed every day this year so far :)

My favorite talk right now is Jeffery R. Holland's talk "The First Great Commandment". It is amazing!! I want to throw away all of my nets and show my love for the Savior by feeding his sheep! Every time I listen to the talk I feel like its a great kick that motivates me like no other!!!

One of our YSA members is Brazilian, and so they gave us Brazilian food for dinner (and lots of leftovers) it has been amazing!!! I love Brazilian food!!!! yayy!!

Okay, got to go! I love you all!!!!!!!!


Sister Brady

December 29, 2014

A little Christmas Music
Mary Did You Know
Erica's favorite part (of the song)

A little Christmas Music
Mary Did You Know
The End (of the song)

Dear Mom,


I am soooo excited.

I love playing games! And watching movies haha!! But when I get home in 12 years (no I will not stop saying that) we will play more sports. I will teach you all the missionary sports and it will be amazing. And we will have a rule of NO COMPETITIVENESS!!

I hope everything goes smoothly for the wedding. DONT FORGET ME!!!

Oh, it will be a requirement for my future husband to get a pedicure before our wedding.

When are they going on honeymoon? Or are they? Where are they going for their honeymoon?

The Miracles just keep on coming!!!! We have had ANOTHER potential/former investigator invite us over for dinner this week!!!

Hey that is so awesome that David and Adriana got sealed!!! I am so excited for them! Where are they now? Isn't he in the Army or something?

BBAHAHAHAHAHHAHAAAAAAHAHA!! That Sweet Tomatoes story cracks me up!!! Dad is sure funny :) Poor Katrina though :( That was so mean!!!

I actually LOVE both of those talks :) And I read them frequently (well I've read the first one quite a few times). Did we meet Tad R. Callister? 

Okay, well I really don't have much to add because we talked on Christmas.... so I love you and I will write you next week!!


Sister Brady

p.s. sorry for the really really really short letter!! I will write more next week!