Erica's Missionary Adventures

Erica's Missionary Adventures
Merry Christmas from Mesa!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

December 7, 2015

Celebrating our 18 month mark with Lunch at Barros!

Such Pretty Missionaries!!
 Dear Mom,

I'm really emotional, so when you said that you cry randomly about Katrina and Gordon leaving, I burst into tears. Or when you cry because all of your children have moved so far away, I burst into tears again. When you cry, I cry. I just love you so much.

We had MLC this week and Sister Jenkins got up at the end to say something and she stood next to President and then she started getting choked up and then President started getting choked up and he said "I've learned in my marriage that when she cries, I cry. If she is happy or sad or upset, I just cry with her." And now I have a new level of sensitivity that I want in my future husband. I want him to
make me laugh and the moment that I start crying about something, I want him to cry with me.

Where are Kevin and Kara going to live? What about Emma? Where does she want to live? Will anyone live by you and Dad?

Wow, I am such a good aunt to have gotten Estela and Sebastian iPads. ;) [She got them talking books – Estela calls them Ipads . . . NOT really Ipads!!] hahaha. Thank you mom!!! And I am glad Tessa likes the book!

I will put the music in the mail today!!! Sorry!! I forgot!

Congrats to Emma getting the lead!!! What is the one act called? Finally, after 4 other siblings, a Brady gets a lead again... Way to go Emma! Wow!! I never kissed a boy until I had to kiss Erik [in a play!]!

I am just going to share a bedroom with Emily when I get home. I don't need the spare bedroom (I don't know if that's why you were cleaning out the spare bedroom, I just wanted to let you know :))

I love the movie Elf!!!!! I hope dad is okay with watching it again!! Also, will he buy me a giant bag of peanut butter m&m's?

I loved that article on the first sister missionaries :)

I will totally help you with your Aunt Martha lines! I don't even know what this play is about!! I've never seen it!!! [Arsenic and Old Lace – BYU-Hawaii 2016].

Alright, here are some highlights from my week:

We had the temple excursion!! It was wonderful! We had a chapel session with President and Sister Jenkins and it was wonderful. At the end of President's devotional, he paused and got all choked up and said "There are a few missionaries here.... Who... In a few weeks... Will be finishing up their mission..." And then he talked about how grateful he is for us and how we should always remember this day as the last time we attend a session in the temple as a full time missionary. He had me crying pretty good. There was a river coming from my eyeballs. And consequently I was weepy during the whole temple session and in the celestial room. And then we all had lunch together and we practiced singing (for the Christmas Night Christmas Lights at the Mesa Temple). After that, President spoke to us again and then he had me and two elders share our testimonies. It was a good day. 

Last Hike!
Pointing to our Heavenly Home!
Mesa Arizona Missionaries!
We had a ward breakfast Christmas party, and 4 of our investigators came! And one of them came to church the next morning after being invited by a member!! Miracles! Member missionary work!!

I saw quite a few members from my last area at Christmas Lights this week, so that was a tender mercy to be able to say goodbye to some of them!

Also, we were finally invited into the home of a potential investigator after weeks of only talking to them on her front porch. We were fed dinner by an investigator after she found out that our dinner canceled. Another non member called us and said she had a Christmas treat for us and asked us to stop by. Another investigator called us and asked us to come over and pray with her. We have had so
many little miracles this week, and I know that there are going to be many more this week :)

I love you Mom!

Sister Brady

Mesa Community College
Mesa Community College
I love Mesa!! Hearts!!

Dear Dad,

Yeah, it was really cold at the beginning of last week. It's gotten a bit warmer now :)

Yes, just remind me if I'm talking too much and with too much detail. I don't want to be a chatty cathy :)

Uncle Keith and Aunt Shirley always ask about Uncle Steve and Uncle Rick. And Grandma :) We are supposed to see him tomorrow :)

Wow! So many family gatherings! At first I thought they were for me, then I realized that they are for Christmas...

Football!!! We are going to have some real fun... in August!! [Not August . . .

Are you going to watch Elf with me again? It is my favorite Christmas movie... But if you don't want to watch it again, we can watch another one! It's okay!!

I love you too Dad!

Sister Brady :)

Christmas Lights
I love it here!
Arizona Beauties! (Sister Tippery's former MTC Companion!)!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

November 30. 2015

"My Gift to Christ"

Dear Mom,

Oh man! I can't believe Katrina and Gordon are going to DC in January!! How exciting!! How long will they be there? I wish they were going to be there in the summer so that I could go and visit them and also go to New York. But they will probably be in their country by then, right? I want to go to New York so bad!! Well, congratulations Gordon!! I am just happy I will get to see them before they leave :)

Here's what my week was:

Tuesday – We had a lesson with N*** and T! It was their anniversary last Sunday so they pulled out their cake from the freezer and we ate some of it! It was really good!! I love them :)

Wednesday – We did some service trying to help one of the Laurels learn how to ride a bike so that she can get a job. It was fun! And I finished MyPlan!!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday – Happy Thanksgiving!! We played Football, volleyball, apples to apples, had thanksgiving lunch and dinner, brought thanksgiving lunch to a foster home for teenage mothers and their babies, and we had a thanksgiving devotional. They asked me to give a thought and so I talked about how grateful I am for the atonement. I cried. It was a lot of fun playing volleyball!

Friday – Early Friday morning, I got up and registered for classes!! It all worked! :D and we had a great lesson with N**** and T. We watched the Hope of God's lights. One of my favorite Mormon Messages, based on one of my favorite Uchtdorf talks.

Saturday – Our first night of Christmas Lights!! I was tired and cold, and my back was aching, but it was beautiful and I felt the spirit. I love being on temple grounds and I love serving the Lord. I'll embrace the cold and the standing around for 2 hours if it means I get to serve the Lord for a few more nights. Months..... You know... Cause I don't get home till JUNE!!!

Sunday – Church! All of the talks were inspired! Each speaker said so something that I needed to hear. The Lord is SO aware.

I am so glad you had a great Thanksgiving! How fun that you got to be with Tess and Dan!! I am glad they liked my gifts.

Josh's work place sounds like Disneyland. Can I go? I still love my mission more than Disneyland. .... But I also definitely miss Disneyland. It's been 2 years. But seriously, I want to work at Epic. What exactly does he do there besides make $$ and have fun?

Poor Estela!! That sounds like a really cool clock. Too bad her dad broke it :/ hahahaha and poor Dan!! [Sidenote – I told Erica that Estela kept telling everyone that her dad broke her clock . . . he only unplugged it!! And also I told her that the pumpkin pie fell the day after thanksgiving – landed upside down on the saran wrap but looked very unappetizing after that :(.] That actually makes me really sad that he couldn't eat his favorite, ridiculously good looking, pumpkin pie anymore. Hahaha... :(

Okay, I might not need to send a package home. We'll see. When should I send it by? If I don't need to send a full package home, I will just send a large envelope thing. Whatever is cheapest.

The 3 part would be really fun!!!! Let's do it!! I will send it home!! (I will send both versions home :))

I will take a picture with Uncle Keith when I see him!!!! Cross fit is a blast. We should find someone who does it and just do a weeks worth of it so that you can try it. It is AMAZING!!!

I wanted to take an exercise class!! But they conflicted with my other class schedules. Except for the Life Saving one. So maybe I will get some exercise in for that. I need to buy a super modest swimsuit for that class... Where am I going to get a swimsuit in January and February....?

Oh! Being in the right place would have been great to put down on MyPlan!! But, I already turned it in. Eek!! That means I will have my interview with President soon ?

I love how you and Dad met. I love you guys. You guys are perfect.

Wow, thank you for praying for me and Emma to find a temple worthy spouse. I think it would be beautiful to have all of my siblings in temple with me at my wedding. So, Emma needs to get married first. Hahahahah!! The good news is that if she does get married before me, all of her siblings can still be there for her!!! :D Or I can just get married after she gets home from her mission (or in the window where she has been endowed but hasn't left on her mission yet). Cause then she could come to my wedding without needing to be married. #myplan #winning

Oh, yeah, did Dad tell you I got extended? It's definitely June now.

No, only the Mesa temple has an Easter pageant. And only Mesa has Christmas lights. Gilbert might have put a few lights on some trees, but it's got nothing on Mesa's Christmas Lights.

Alaska is nice. I like Hawaiian air too. But the last couple times I went on Hawaiian I got motion sickness because we hit so much turbulence :/

What?!?? Tess and Dan couldn't come see me in Hawaii for Millie, but now they can go to Hawaii?? What's up with that?? I just want to sing with my sister Tess!!!

I know Michelle can't travel because of her pregnancy, but if I can't make it to them in January or February, hopefully I can see them soon!! They should come to Hawaii. :)

Wow, I am just so full of love right now for my family. I love you all so much. I remember really missing you last year on Thanksgiving (Thanksgiving was harder than Christmas last year), but this year I just have this feeling of love. You do so much for me mom and I just wish I could repay you somehow. I wish I could take back every hurtful thing I've ever done to you or to dad or to my siblings. I wish that I could have shown more gratitude and that I could be better at expressing it right now. I am so grateful for your unwavering example in following the gospel. I hope that I can be a mom like you someday. I really, really love you.

I love what Jeffrey R. Holland said in his talk "Behold thy Mother" in the last General Conference. He said, "To all mothers in every circumstance... I say, “Be peaceful. Believe in God and yourself. You are doing better than you think you are. In fact, you are saviors on Mount Zion, and like the Master you follow, your love ‘never faileth.’ ” I can pay no higher tribute to anyone."

I also like this quote from his talk: "How is it that a human being can love a child so deeply that you willingly give up a major portion of your freedom for it? How can mortal love be so strong that you
voluntarily subject yourself to responsibility, vulnerability, anxiety, and heartache and just keep coming back for more of the same? What kind of mortal love can make you feel, once you have a child, that your life is never, ever your own again? Maternal love has to be divine. There is no other explanation for it."

I love you Mom. I love you for loving me.

Sister Brady

Dear Dad,

Oh wow, you met my future husband! Can you tell me his name? How old is he? You said he returned from his mission "some time ago" but that could mean it was 20 or 30 years ago! That's wonderful that he loves the temple! I am looking for someone who loves the temple.

What's the difference between a heat pump and a gas furnace?

Brrrrr.... 30 degrees. It was 33 degrees this morning when we went to play zone sports. (We play inside, but we have to walk from our car to the building). So cold. The high is supposed to be 60 today. But it is going to get in the 70s again on Thursday and Friday!!!! SO GRATEFUL!!

You do two letters because you love me!! It's exciting for me to open more than 4 emails every week. (2 from mom, 1 from Cherisse, and now 2 from you :)) Oh! And Sister Taylor has written me every week since she left the mission :) i love her!!!!

(Mom, do you remember when Grandpa Brown surprised us at Costco!!)

I love talking all night. And all day. Bahahahahaha!!! Are you excited to hear all the details of all my mission stories!!!?? Hahahahahaha!! (In August.)

So Emily only had school on Tuesday? Lucky duck.

Bahahahahahaha dad!! "I took Emily to the Howerton Smith's for a party, went home, and sat around looking dumb for the rest of the evening" .... That made me laugh out loud!! Dad, you're funny!! I have this mental image of you sitting in a blue chair in the living room , wearing your blue plaid pajama bottoms and your long sleeved pajama top, just staring at nothing with your mouth open a little bit.

I love you Dad :) you make me laugh!

Sister Brady

Mesa Temple Christmas Lights!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

November 23, 2015

Dear Mom,

So... Do you want me to send you the sheet music of Mary's Lullaby? Like in a package? I might need to send a small package home anyway of clothes and books.... Will you pay for it? Haha... But really.

Actually, no. I have decided on what I really want for Christmas. What I REALLY want for Christmas.... Is dance lessons in the month of January. I know it's just one month but I really want to take tap, jazz, and ballet classes for one month. So.... that is what I really want for Christmas.  But if it doesn't work out for Christmas, that is okay. Seriously. I just wanted to throw the idea out there. I have no idea how much something like that would even cost. Can you look into it for me? It would be really cool if it was four or five times a week and if it was private lessons so that I could get more attention. But I would be so grateful for anything. What do you even think of my crazy idea?

Tuesday – I went on the greatest exchange of my life. It was with Sister R** and Sister R** and oh my goodness they are so funny. And of course it was so fun to be with Sister R** again! (She was one of my past companions). Also, they are serving in Uncle Keith's ward. We weren't able to stop because they had back to back appointments all day. But we are going to go on a short miniature exchange again sometime this transfer so that we can all go see Uncle Keith!! I want them to meet him, since they are the sisters who are working in his ward! It's so exciting :) oh also, I went to cross fit and on Tuesday morning and I loved it. LOVED IT!!

Wednesday – Crazy busy day. I had interviews with President and Sister Jenkins. I love them. I talked with President about what things I want to say on my last day of the mission (mind you, this was not my exit interview, President asked ALL of the missionaries this same question for interviews this transfer). I told him that I want to continue become a disciple of Jesus Christ. He told me that was something I can put on my "to be" list. Unlike a "to do" list, you don't check things off of your "to be" list. He said I should always strive to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. Also we had a Christmas Lights training today!!

CHRISTMAS!! And we practiced our song for the Christmas Member Missionary Fireside. So excited. Three of us our singing "Mary's Lullaby". You, me, and Emma could do that if you want, instead of Me singing a solo! I forgot that I had an arrangement of it (the SSA version)! So if you guys wanna do that! Yeah! But I also know that it will be a crazy week and there might not be enough time for you guys to learn it. So don't feel like you have to do it, but if you want to I'd be totally down for it!

Thursday – I did the "Dating and Temple Marriage" section of MyPlan. It asked me to write down my goals for dating when I am home. I sat there with nothing coming to my mind, and eventually one of the senior couples said "Sister Brady... you look a little concerned...." So then I asked for advice from the senior couples in the mission office and they all gave me some pretty good advice! They pretty much saved my day :)

Friday – One of the Bishops wives tried to set me up with her younger brother.

Saturday – We gave out a lot of invitations for people to come see the Mesa Temple Christmas Lights! We should go this year...... ;)

Sunday – I love these wards that I am serving in. :) <3
Oh my goodness mom!!!! Stahp!! It will be a long time before I even have a spouse to give me a blessing!!

You got new United airline credit cards? What did you have before? I remember when you had Alaska. But what was that one airline that you had that isn't very good?

I love Joseph and the amazing technicolor dream coat!! How did Alec Anderson do!!?

I love you Mom :) enjoy being at Tessa's!!

Sister Brady

Dear Dad,

What is the United Club!? I've never even heard of that... All I can picture in my mind is Clifford waiting on the couch in the airport playing his recorder waiting for his Uncle to pick him up and take him to Dinosaur World... [From the Movie Clifford – NO, not Clifford the Big Red Dog.]

I don't miss snow. Half of me hopes it does snow, and the other half hopes it doesn't snow. It's beautiful, but oh so inconvenient.

Singing and speaking!! Wow!! That's a lot of Sister Brady!

Hey do you think it would be appropriate to invite people to that talk via a Facebook event?

Okay, April is coming way to soon. I'm extending to June.

I love you Dad! See you in June!

Sister Brady