Erica's Missionary Adventures

Erica's Missionary Adventures
Merry Christmas from Mesa!

Friday, October 16, 2015

October 12, 2015

 Ian the Olympian!

Sister Hall sprained her ankle at zone sports last week :( 

I took this picture a couple days ago
and the bruise has continued to spread. 
Dear Mom and Dad,

So this week the whole mission helped out at a Triathlon. Their were 3 shifts and me and my companions signed up for the 3rd shift which helps with giving out awards, the kids "splash and dash", and the final clean up. So we get to our shift and some of the fastest Triathlon athletes were finishing up and as I looked at their faces I felt this weird emotional wave come over me, but I let it slide because I mean... It's a triathlon!! Who even cries at a triathlon, right?

So then we start helping with the kids splash and dash. Pretty much the kids swim a couple laps in the pool and then they have to hop out and run a mile on the track! And some of these were really little kids! Like some looked like they were 3 and 4 years old! Anyway, so my job was to help the kids at the end of the swimming pool so that they knew where to hop out. The kids all lined up and then off they went! As soon as they finally got to the end of the pool I started clapping and cheering and saying "you can do it! Come on! All the way! Whoooo---" and then I suddenly got all choked up with emotion. And I actually started crying!!

Hahaha!! I am sure the parents thought I was the craziest volunteer/missionary. And when the kids were running the mile they did so good on the first two laps, but then you could see it start to wear on them and some of them had their parents out on the track with them encouraging and running the last two laps with them and I was just an emotional wreck. The Elders were like "... Um.... are you okay Sister Brady.....?

And then I continued to cry as the adults finished their triathlon. It was an emotional day for me.

And why did I cry at a triathlon, you ask? Maybe it's because it's incredible to see so many people accomplish something so hard. Maybe it's because I have just started running and I could literally feel
their pain. (But really it's probably because it was a certain time of the …. and if we had helped with this triathlon two weeks ago, I probably wouldn't have even been emotional.... #hormones.... But you can feel free to leave this part out of your forwarded letters ;)). [But I did leave it in . . . because it is kind of funny :/ plus I wonder if anyone even reads the blog . . . ] But I really don't know what the answer is because as far as I can remember this is the first time I've ever been to to a triathlon! I've never even seen the end of a marathon or been at the real live Olympics or anything!! I bet I would be emotional at one of those....

Okay, that was a lot. Sorry! Haha!!

This week I had an exchange with Sister P****. We helped someone pack boxes and we went to a mutual activity with a young woman who is getting baptized on Halloween (same as C****!) she is Samoan and the mutual activity was a talent show, so she did a Samoan dance!! It made me miss Hawaii!!!!!!

We also taught F***** the restoration this week! It was Sister H****'s first time leading a discussion!! She did great and F**** had some really great questions!

Yes! Move to NYC with me! I will take care of you guys!! And then you guys can walk Central Park every morning and you could even own your own hot dog cart and make a little extra money on the side! Haha! I might even hire you guys to be my agents if you want!

Hey - will you please set up a dentist appointment for me when I get back?

I heard about the angels story! How wonderful!! It reminds me of the amazing things that the children said when Christ visited the Nephites.

I can't be an actress in Oregon :/ there is nothing to act on there...

Sue (Heck from the Middle) is at college??!? What??? When did she graduate??? Who is she rooming with?? Do the teachers at college remember her?

Haha!! yes I love MyPlan....

 Muddy Buddies!!
A member made this for us!
It made me happy :)

Why did mutual get canceled??? Emily should do things with S**** on the weekend. Or you guys should invite her over for FHE. Her and her family if they want to come! I want to meet S**** during Christmas break! Emily should also make sure to personally invite S***** to the play Emily is in. You guys could even offer to give her a ride on one of the nights that you go. You guys could bring her cookies, or "heart attack" her door, or invite her to sing in the church choir with you on Sundays, etc. Does S**** play any sports or do anything extra curricular? Because that would also be a good way to fellowship her is by going to any of her special events. Like if she plays sports, Emma could bring some friends from mutual to go cheer S**** on, or if she is in a club Emma could bring friends to go to support S***** in any special events that she has! Things like that :) and then S****** would get to meet and become familiar with more friends from church :)

Hahahahahaha! Dad you make me laugh when you talked about getting all dressed up but still wearing your pajama bottoms!! Hahaha! I can just picture it! So when you guys teach online, does Emma skype in from a different computer, or does she just sit behind you in the video or something?

Wow! Two blessings! That's a lot!

Yes I have played skip-bo before!! Haha!!

So every night this week I have either had dreams about or just been kept up all night about things that are going to be stressful after my mission. So please pray for me specifically that I will be able to
continue to focus on the work and not let future stresses keep me up at night (or enter my dreams) :( it's really a bummer.

Also, this week I have been feeling like I might need to be somewhere else for my last area/transfer. But then at the same time I have been having a lot of people say small thank you's to things that I've done since I've been here and I can't tell if that means I should stay because I have been doing a lot, or if it's a confirmation that I should leave because I have done a lot.... I don't know!! Good thing it's really up to the Lord :)

OBOB [Oregon Battle of the Books – that I am teaching/running after school at the Middle School] sounds so fun!! What books are they reading?? Did you know that there is a 4th book in the Giver series??!? I didn't know that till I was on my mission! I read and loved the first 3 and I am excited to read the 4th one!

I have heard of the play Our Town but I have never seen it! Tell Emma to tell me about it!

Were the kittens alive?!??! What did you guys do with them??!? Are they okay???!?

I love the zoo!!!! I want to go to the zoo when I am home!!!!

Elder Johnson [our visiting general authority] sounds awesome! Good job, Emma for being ready at all times to share her testimony!

Good job on choosing to make the Sabbath day more holy.... But when am I supposed to catch up on movies when I am home? … Hahahahahahahaha!!! JUST KIDDING!!! ;D

Okay I love you so much mom and dad!!

Sister Brady

We met a potential/former investigator this week. He was quite the character...

But he invited us in and asked us a couple questions. He kept going
about how he's already been "recruited" and that he wasn't interested
(but he totally showed up for church last week.... Only problem was
that it was General Conference last week so no one was there :/) haha
His friend is an Olympian. He was in the 2012 Olympics in one of the
running events. The Olympians first name is Ian. I don't remember his
last name....

Our potential investigator also owns a movie studio so he had things
all over his house that came from movies. It was pretty cool!

PeeWee Herman's bicycle.
It stands for "I Am Not A Mormon" ...... Hahaha...

Saturday, October 10, 2015

October 5, 2015

District Meeting!
 Dear Mom and Dad,

So we had some AMAZING miracles this week! Do I say that every week?? Haha! Well we do! We expect and facilitate daily miracles!

Just last night we met with A*** for the first time. She is 13 years old and very good friends with a beehive (C***) in our ward. Her mom came to the lesson too (she is SUPER supportive! But doesn't want to be baptized herself). We taught the gospel of Jesus Christ (she has already had the first 2 lessons before we taught her) and as I was teaching about repentance I started crying!! I just had this overwhelming feeling of peace, love, joy, and gratitude for the gift of repentance! How gracious our Father in Heaven is! How loving He is! How merciful! As I started crying I could see both A**** and D*** tear up, and even Brother F**** (the Elder's Quorum President and C***'s dad) was teary eyed!! It was a sweet lesson. We invited A*** to get baptized and she accepted and both she and her mom had big smiles on their faces. I am sure that D*** will accept the invitation to be baptized very soon. A****is getting baptized on November 14th. Keep her in your prayers!!

We also taught C*** this week on Monday and we taught the plan of Salvation. Before we even started the lesson he asked "now, what do you have to do to become a member of the church?" I love it when investigators ask that question. He is getting baptized on October 31st which happens to be exactly a year from the date that he first met missionaries!! #halloweenbaptism

He had so many wonderful questions about the Plan of Salvation and he LOVED hearing about the kingdoms of Glory! He also said at the end of the lesson how much he loved seeing us smile as we taught. He said that he can see the excitement and happiness we have in the gospel.

Oh and he even brought up the Law of Chastity and asked if we really only have certain relations when we are married, and we said that we do and he paused and said "Yes, my mom mentioned you believed that. I told her I didn't think you did, but it really makes so much since to wait until you're married. And I am willing to do whatever God asks" C**** is amazing!!!

Okay, one more thing. C**** also asked "so when can I become a brother?" And we told him he already is one!! And so now we call him Brother R*****!

When we taught him on Friday, we talked about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and we also talked about Temples. He is SO excited to go to the temple in a year (and also to do baptisms soon after he is baptized).

I love being a missionary.

Companionship Unity.
Haha my head is being eaten by sunshine.
We taught B**** about the Word of Wisdom. She asked why we can't have tea and coffee and we talked about how Prophets are inspired and also how God see's the big picture and understands things that sometimes we can't understand yet. It was a great lesson.

I too got to sleep in on Sunday!! I slept until 6:30am!! I have typically been getting up at 5am this week to go running or do crossfit. Crazy, right? Yeah, I ran 3 miles on Friday and a 5k on Saturday!! And I even like running now!! What the what?! Who am I even?

My finger is all better pretty much! I can bend it almost all the way and it's only a little purple still :)

Move to New York with me, and then you guys will be close to one of your married children!!!
How many temples... 5? 6? I don't know!!!! Tell me!!

We should go on a church history tour!!

President and sister Jenkins finish their mission in June.

Yeah, plus Emma probably won't be Wendy cause Susan will probably cast a younger actor. [Black Swan Youth Theater is doing Peter Pan – Erica is casting the play – in her mind . . .] Emma will have so much fun in the Adams Family [Centennial High School is doing The Adams Family the Musical]. I wish I would be home to see it!!

I loved Elder Hollands talk too!! I cried too!! It was the only talk I cried during!! I love you mom!! And Dad! Conference was amazing!!!!! Oh wait, I got pretty teary eyed when President Monson was speaking. Yes, he is getting old, but I think that is partially what makes his testimony and talks even more amazing. He doesn't care that it is hard for him to stand there for so long. He doesn't care how tired and old he is. He just wants God's children to hear the message that God has for them. I love and sustain our prophet.

I cried during this whole talk.
I love Sally and Polly. I will go on walks with you when I am home! And runs! But it will be so cold!! Can I run on the treadmill when I am home? I have to stay fit. Fit or fat. Haha remember when Emily asked Elder Hales to read her that book? [Funny story. When John was Stake President, we had the privilege of serving lunch to Elder Hales in our home. Emily asked him to read her a story – she was only about 3 years old. She ran and grabbed a book from our bookshelf. It was “Fit or Fat.” We all had a good laugh about that. Then he flipped through the pages and saw the chapter heading “Fasting is bad for your body.” He read it out loud and then paused and said, “Hmmm . . . I will have to speak to the brethren about this.” *For our non-LDS friends, Mormons fast once a month, and donate to funds that help others in need.

Wasn't it sweet when all of the apostles gave the new apostles hugs?

Sorry about Friday :(

Yes! I have a new Nephew!! Sebastian is an adorable name!! I love him already and can't wait to hold him. Haha jk, I can wait, but I really look forward to it!!

Wow I am excited for Katrina and Gordon!! Honestly, I will probably live in Oregon. I love Oregon. It's sweater weather year round. Except that I also really want to be an actress.. Would you guys please move to New York with me??? I would love to have parent support! Maybe when you retire, Dad! Haha and Mom! I forget that you work now too!

Haha I love the Middle. Why did Emily burst into tears? How could she relate to Brick? Haha I never thought that would happen!! [Funny story: We watch a show called the Middle . . . even though the couple on the show still have one child “Brick” at home they refer to themselves as emptynesters – I think Emily feels that way sometimes :/.]

I am so sorry that you missed the temple this week, Dad! That makes me want to cry!! I would cry if I missed the temple! I cry when I go to the temple!! I am just a very emotional person!

At the temple <3

I love to see the Temple!!

I am so glad your foot is doing better, Dad! Next summer we will run together!!

You guys are both so busy!! It's actually giving me heart palpitations reading your letters... #anxiety 

Speaking of anxiety. I received an email saying I need to start doing the "MyPlan" program. It's a new program out out by the church that helps missionaries who are near the end of their mission to plan for their post mission life. #anxiety

GREAT MISSIONARY WORK, FAMILY!!!! I AM SO PROUD OF YOU ALL!! EMILY GOOD JOB AT BEING NICE TO SONIED!!!! Seriously, I am so happy that the missionaries noticed you reaching out to her, and I am so happy that you guys agreed to let them come watch conference at your home! You guys will be so blessed for that! Keep reaching out to her! Does she have a place to have the lessons at? You guys should offer your home to have one of the lessons at! Emily, keep being her friend and fellowshipper. It is SO important for investigators to have good member friends before AND after baptism! Does she have a date? Has she been taking he lessons? What all is happening???

Haha thanks for all of the pictures!! I love pictures! Wow, I look so real! I was so confused how someone I have never met had taken a picture with me! Haha and then I remembered! [We took a picture of one of our ward Sister Missionaries that reminds us of Erica – next to the cut out of Erica – it threw Erica off a little!!]



We are so cool -- hahahahahahahaha!

PS - I got your letter!! Thanks mom!!

Do you remember when I read “the water closet” for part of my student
council speech? Hahahahaha I won!!!

[Need a laugh?? Read this! I am not kidding . . .you will laugh!!]

Friday, October 2, 2015

September 28, 2015

Look! Look at my hair!!! So blonde!!

One of our member's daughter got a new stuffed animal.
It's an owl 
The member thought it was really weird.
I thought it was 
 Dear Mom and Dad,

I jammed my finger at zone sports. I am a little grumpy today and I just want to cry. I don't normally start my letter like that but I just am really sad and I just want a hug. But I'm okay. I'm really just stressed. :/ I promise I will be over this in two days though! :)

 I ran into Sister Rasheed!
First Answer:

We just had transfers. On Wednesday. I serve in the H*** V***** Stake in the M******, L******, and H********* wards :) 

My first area was the V***** and A********* wards in the A***** stake. 

My second area was the C***** and M**** wards in the C*** Stake as well as the H***** ward in the M****** YSA Stake. 

I am currently still in my third area :)

 Saying goodbye to my companion Sister beach 😢
All of my wards are my favorite ;). I actually sometimes think "maybe I should move back to Arizona!" But then it's really hard because I'm not sure which ward I would want to move into! But then I remember that I've only ever served in well-to-do wards, and I probably wouldn't ever be able to afford to live in any of the wards I've served in...

Yes we have our new companion!! Her name is Sister H***! She is actually a visa waiter. She is headed to New Calidonia speaking French! Her dad was in the air force so she grew up all over the country. She is super sweet and an amazing teacher!!

This cute little girl wanted to wear my tag! So cute!
Okay we had an INCREDIBLE lesson with B**** this week. We taught her the law of chastity and the spirit was super strong. God has given us this commandment for our own happiness and so that we can have better relationships with those around us! B**** also told us about some sad news in her family and Sister M***** testified of the Plan of Salvation and I testified that we can find peace and answers in the Book of Mormon. We were all in tears. The spirit was strong! I love being a missionary!

Second Answer:

They are closing the Temple Visitor Center because they are doing some major renovations. New carpet, new wall coverings, all new displays. The only thing staying the same is the Christus statue.
Yes let's go to the temple! I love the temple!

THROWBACK! My first district!
Also my first temple trip on the mission!
That story about Michelle and Katrina made me cry! So sweet! [I shared with Erica the story of how Katrina got to see Michelle for 1 day in Korea when Michelle was serving her mission in Korea and the BYU-Hawaii choir had just stopped in Korea for one day while on tour in Asia. Michelle had permission from her mission president to eat lunch with Katrina and go to the temple with her and to see the BYU-Hawaii choir perform to the Korean Latter-Day Saints and friends. Michelle and Katrina cried when they saw each other and hugged and cried and then half the choir cried – they were rehearsing and had to stop! It was a tender mercy for the girls.]

Dad, funny stories!! I love Nick even though he probably has no idea who I am... And I love the primary program story haha did anyone else pick up on that?

Centennial Middle school has two floors too...

Yeah I guess it hasn't been a very good week for football games.. :/ sad...

I will watch the football games with you when I am home! I love football now!!

Trio Life!
My mission president is from Idaho! Haha so he loves anyone who is from Idaho and often at big mission meetings he will say, "okay let's take a picture with all the mission leaders" and then after that he will say "alright, now one with all the Idahoans!" Hahaha!!

So how big is Emily's role in the play? Also, I saw that Susan is doing Peter Pan in the spring!! When are the performances?!

Haha I loved Dieter F. Uchtdorf's description of the "Stalker Cat." It was a great start to General Conference! Did you know that it is actually considered a part of General Conference now? It is officially called the General Women's Session and you can now find it at the top of the list in the General Conference section in your Gospel Library app. Cool stuff!

Okay, I love you Mom and Dad!!! Have a great day!!

Sister Brady

Oh PS. By the time I finished this letter and sent it I am feeling MUCH BETTER already :). I had a long prayer and talk with God and I am feeling a lot less overwhelmed and a lot more happier. Which is why my subject title says "Missions are my favorite." I really do feel that :)

To Emily:

Hey will you please send me the cast list for Leaving Iowa?  

We are so cute!!

September 21st, 2015 Pictures!

Nothing but pictures from September 21st!!

We went to have breakfast for a birthday party!

I love my zone!

I love my zone so much!

Loving my zone!!


 We went to the temple with B*****!

I ran into a family from my last area while visiting a member in my
current area! So fun! So cute!

After one of our lessons with M*** she wanted to take a selfie with
us! I love her so much! Please excuse my huge eyes in that second
picture! I don't know what's up with that…

 It was a long day...

Painting service!!


Really tired from painting…

Zone Sports!

Jamba with the Zone!