Friday, August 26, 2016

Returning Home

Today about noon, Elder Zachary Brady returned home from serving for 2 years in the Washington DC South Mission. Everyone was very excited to see him again. His brother Tanner, was not able to come to the airport with the family as he chose to go with his high school football team to a game in Coeur d'alene, Idaho, since it was his senior year.

This evening I was released as a full-time missionary by our stake president, President Willie Teuscher. I had mixed feelings as I removed my missionary name tag that I had worn for over 2 years while serving my Heavenly Father.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Last Email... 🛫🛬

     Well here it is, my last email as a missionary. The only way I can explain how it feels is just weird. This past week I've been saying goodbye to people and finishing out strong as a missionary. Saying goodbye is hard, I've really come to care about the people I've met out here and it's hard to leave now. I really can't put how I feel into words. The past two years of my life have been spent helping others and trying to help them along there path to becoming closer to Christ. I've met some awesome people and had some awesome experiences and now that it's time to go I don't know if I want to. I know my time as a missionary in the Washington DC South Mission is almost over though so it's time to move on to the next thing.
     I've learned a lot over the course of my mission, but one of the biggest things I've learned is to trust in our Heavenly Father. He knows what we need and is willing to help us in any way he can. He can make so much more of our lives than we can for ourselves, we just need to be willing to do what he asks us to do. We are where we are for a reason and we are there when we are there for a reason. Turning our lives over to God can be difficult, but it is the best thing we could ever do with our life.
     I am so excited to get home and see my family and friends again, but it's going to be really hard to leave this place. The people I've met here have made this a second home to me and seeing people change their lives and come unto Christ brings you closer to them as well. I've loved serving a mission here in Virginia and even though I thoroughly hate traffic, this place has become special to me now. I can't wait to come back out to Virginia and see all my friends out here, it's going to be awesome. First I get to go home and see my family though and I'm overly psyched about that, I can't wait!
     I love the Gospel and I love my Savior, Jesus Christ. He performed the Atonement for all of us so that we could repent, change, and make it back to him again. He does so much for us and I hope to continue to serve him and those around me in any way that I can. Thank you for all the support, the letters, emails, and packages have been awesome and have helped keep me going. Well I guess it's on to the next phase in life. Goodbye for now Virginia, helloooooo Idaho! I'll be seeing you in a couple of days!
     ~Elder Brady

Saying goodbye to people

Ashley, Tony, and Sylkia

Monday, August 15, 2016

Last One Standing

The Concert! Meet the Dropoutz!
     Hey everybody I hope y'all had a great week and something special happened for you. My week was pretty good but before I go into that I'm going to explain the subject line, Last One Standing. I am the last missionary that came out in my group that is still out here on a mission, the rest have gone home early for school. I miss them, but wish them the best. It's a little weird to be the "oldest" missionary in the mission but kind of cool, anyway I'll tell you about my week.
     On Monday we did our shopping and emailing and then we had our Zone Activity which was over in Arlington. We played spike ball and sand volleyball and it was a lot of fun. Elder Horman lost in "What are the odds" and had to race Sister Tankersley, he was winning but all of a sudden he tripped and rolled and she cruised to the finish for the win. It was pretty funny! We had dinner at the Rhee's, their son (Andrew) leaves for his mission in 8 days so they were asking a lot of questions about getting ready to leave and really just missions as a whole. After dinner we went to the Favero's and they did a little concert for us and their family, it was awesome! Their band is named The Dropoutz.
     Tuesday we had our Zone Training and the Zone Leaders asked me to talk a little bit about working with members. It's super important as missionaries to work with members because that's who actually does the best missionary work, the members. They have their friends and they are setting an example everyday which leads to opportunities to share the gospel with someone who knows they care about them. It works a lot better than what we can do as missionaries. After Zone Training we took Elder Strawn to the Apple Store to fix his iPad and then when that was done we grabbed some dinner and Elder Horman and I went to the Hamilton's to feed their fish and water their plants.
     Wednesday was National S'mores day! We went to a diner and got some s'mores milkshakes, which were pretty good, and then we went to the leasing office to do some online work. We had dinner with the Landes's and we ate outside so it was kind of like a picnic, it was fun. In the evening we met up with the McLean elders and sisters and we made s'mores, it was sweet!
     Thursday we checked up on the Favero's dogs (they have 3) because we are dog watching for them, while there we shot some hoops and Blue (a Doberman Pinscher) would try and get the ball from it us, it was pretty funny! We got my bike taken care of and ready to be sent home and then we went to do service at the Lewinsville Retirement Home. We had dinner with the Merrill's and then we checked on some potentials but no one was home.
Sitting in a Mini Cooper. Brady & I

     Friday Elder Strawn had the Endure to the End meeting so we took him to that and then I had my temple recommend interview with President. After the meeting we went to see the Hodgdon's, a family in my last Ward, and lunch with them. It was good to see them again and talk with them about things. When we got back we went and checked on the dogs at the Favero's and then we had sand volleyball with Marysusan, Daniel, and Danielle. That was super fun like always and we set up another lesson with them. They are awesome!

     Saturday morning I had my departing temple trip, usually we do it the day of transfers but the temple is closing and today was the last day it was open until after I leave so we went to today. There are a couple missionaries that are going home with me from the group behind me for school so I'm not the only one going home this transfer. The temple was amazing like always and I love going, it was kind of weird though because I was thinking that this would be my last time going through the temple as a missionary.....just a weird feeling.
Me, Brayden Funn, Brady Richardson, & Elder Horman
     Sunday was a good day, Andrew Rhee gave his farewell talk because he leaves on Tuesday and he did really good. After church we were asked to be in the circle for another priest getting ordained to be an elder, that was awesome. Then we went to the Rhee's for the "missionary luncheon" they had going on, there were a bunch of nonmember there so it was really good. We had dinner with the Sutton's, who are an awesome family, and we gave their daughter a blessing. Gabby is 17 and asked us to give her a blessing right before we left, it was sweet being able to do that. She texted us later in the evening and said how much it helped her, it was great. Then we went to the Richardson's and were there for a bit with the priests, they are an awesome group of young men.
     Well I hope you all had a great week and are seeing God's hand in your lives. Focus on the good instead of the bad and keep your head up, keep smiling! This next week is my last full week in the mission so if you are going to send me a letter send it in the next couple of days so I can get it before I go home, thanks! Have a great week!
     ~Elder Brady

Monday, August 8, 2016

Meghan got Baptized!!!

     Hey everybody! This past week was a super awesome week! We had some big things happen and got to be a part of some special things. But before I get into that I wanted to share a scripture with you that was shared with me this week.

Doctrine and Covenants 68:6
6 Wherefore, be of good cheer, and do not fear, for I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you; and ye shall bear record of me, even Jesus Christ, that I am the Son of the living God, that I was, that I am, and that I am to come.

$200 tie at Gucci

     This scripture says it all, we don't have any reason to fear anything because the Lord is with us and is on our side. He is our best friend and will help us in anything that we happen to go through in this life. Okay, now onto the week.
     Monday was our p-day and we did the usual shopping and emailing with the McLean elders and then we went and played mini golf with them, glow in the dark mini golf, it was awesome! After that we went to a mall called Tysons Galleria and it is sooooo nice! We were walking around in shorts and t-shirts and everyone else was dressed up all fancy and nice. It was crazy, everything was super expensive! A tie was $200 or more and a suit was over $1300. It was ridiculous. It was funny though because every store we went into someone that worked there followed us around and had their eye on us pretty good. I guess we looked suspicious. Elder Horman and I had dinner with the Funn's and they are sweet! After dinner we helped someone move into the Ward with a bunch of other guys from the Ward.
     Tuesday was district meeting and I talked about working with members. Working with members is the best way we can possibly do missionary work and it is the most effective. After district meeting Elder Bigelow lost a "what are the odds" so he had to eat half a cake, it was pretty funny. We had dinner with the Robertson's and they are awesome as well, we talked a lot of football because Brother Robertson played in college so that was cool. After dinner we picked up one of the priests, Matt Favero, and went to a lesson with Meghan Torres.
Does anyone know what time it is?
     Wednesday we went to Brayden Funn's birthday party and there were a ton of non-members there. It was super fun and Sister Funn was bringing food out of the house like crazy! There was a lot of it. After that a bunch of the guys there wanted to play basketball so we went and played with them because they had non-members there.
     Thursday Elder Strawn and I went to Mission Leadership Council because we are district leaders and for some reason they invited district leaders to this MLC. They talked about training for success, using time wisely, patience, adding to your strength, and unity. It was really good but really long, at one point I had 8 watches on my arm because people kept giving them to me to put on, it was pretty funny. After lunch we went and picked up my bike from my last apartment and picked up Jonesy's bike from Ft. Belvoir. We got back and had dinner with the Robert's and then had a lesson with a less-active, Jonathon, about prayer.
Meghan's baptism!! Matt Favero baptized her.
     Friday was a good day! We did some service in the morning for a lady who is moving into our ward from New York and then we picked the McLean elders up and went to lunch. It was a little picnic at a park with three of our investigators and a member. It was MarySusan and her son, Daniel and his girlfriend, Danielle. After lunch we went and played sand volleyball with them and that was a ton of fun! After that we buzzed over to the church to start filling the font and then we went to the apartment and got cleaned up and changed into our suits. Meghan Torres got baptized and it was great! Matt Favero baptized her and the Bishop confirmed her right after because she is going out of town tomorrow. Elder Horman and I got to stand in the Confirmation circle and that was really cool. She's an awesome person and it was great to see her get baptized. It has been a long time coming for her.
     Saturday we had to clean and then we did weekly planning. We had dinner and then the priests wanted to bring more friends and play some basketball so we went and did that with them. It was super fun and got kind of intense, but it's been good because they bring their friends out and we get to meet them.
Some of the guys.
Dave and Matt Favero & Brayden Funn
     Sunday was Fast and Testimony meeting in Sacrament and it was really good, I love hearing other people's testimonies. I bore my testimony as well and I hope it helped somebody though I can't even remember what I said, hopefully that means I was being guided by the spirit. Anyway, second hour class was all about repentance and third hour was about the oath and covenant of the priesthood. It was a really good day at church. After church one of the priests, Brayden Funn, got ordained to be an Elder and asked us to be part of the circle for that, so that was cool. He's a super awesome kid and he's going to the San Francisco California Mission, speaking Tongan. How cool is that? He is half Hawaiian but that's still pretty sweet! After that we hustled to a lesson with Daniel and we taught him the Plan of Salvation. He really liked it and he said he is becoming more and more converted, but he wants to read the whole Book of Mormon before he is baptized, so I might not get to see him be baptized. He's awesome though and he really likes the church and what he is learning. Then we had dinner with the Robertson's and we played some Pirate Dice with them, it was super fun! They're great! After that we went to the Nielson's so I could see them before they leave to go on vacation because I will be gone when they get back. They had a lot of family there just like last time so it was a lot of fun.
     Well this week was an awesome week! We had a baptism which is always awesome and exciting and we got to have fun with a lot of the priest age boys. It was just a really good week and I hope you all have a great week this week! I am so blessed to be serving where I am and to be around the people that I am around, I learn and grow from them and the experiences I have every day. Trials and lessons are what shape us into who we are and how we react to them shows who we are. Then come the blessings from our Father in Heaven, he has so many he is waiting to give us, but it is up to us if we receive them or not. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is so important in my life and has helped me so much. I love my Heavenly Father and I love Jesus Christ.     ~Elder Brady

Tuesday, August 2, 2016


     Well another week is down and gone and it was a pretty awesome one. I hope y'all had a great week and did at least something fun. We did a lot of service and we had some sweet things happen! We definitely received some blessings from God.
Thugs, we dem boyz!
(Me, Elder Strawn, Elder Hart, Elder Horman)

     On Monday we did our usual shopping and then we met up with the Favero boys, members of our ward, and went to lunch with hem and then the batting cages! We got to take a couple rounds of hits and it felt way nice to swing a bat. It's been about three years now since I've taken some hacks and it was nice! After that we went back to their house, emailed and hung out with them. They have a sweet band setup in their basement and they played for us so we basically got a free we got to play a little too and it was awesome! After that Sister Martinson gave us both haircuts, looking fresh.
     Tuesday we went with the McLean elders to help them with some service. We filled wheel-barrows full of gravel, pushed them a half mile down a trail, and dumped them on the trail to make it nice. It was a killer shoulder and forearm workout for sure, we were all pretty dead  afterwards. After that we washed our car for zone conference tomorrow, we got it all shined up and looking good! Then we had dinner with the Newman's, a sweet part member family. Tom is not a member so after dinner we taught a little short lesson and hopefully we can continue to teach him.
Elder Horman, Elder Hart, Nadia,
(Marichy's daughter) Me, Marichy, Elder Strawn
     Wednesday morning we finished cleaning the car and then headed to Zone Training, we won the clean car award! Heck yeah!! Anyway President talked about missionary work and using technology to better it, the AP's talked about helping people make and keep commitments. At lunch we played lightning and Dan (Huntsman boy) won and everyone went crazy, it was awesome! Then we had dinner with an investigator, Marysusan and her son (Daniel) and his girlfriend (Danielle) and we taught Daniel and Danielle a lesson afterwards. They both have become new investigators whoop whoop! They are super sweet!
     Thursday we cleaned our apartment and then went to the Lewinsville Retirement Center to do our service there. We helped a couple people who came in with their technology, but it was a slower day, not very many people came. We had dinner with the Hamilton's and they asked us to house sit for them because they are going on vacation. We water their plants and feed their fishies and eat their food, haha it's a pretty sweet deal.
     Friday we were with the McLean elders most of the day. We went to the leasing office and did some online work and then we were supposed to help someone move, but that didn't work out, they are moving a different day, so we all went to dinner at a members home in our ward, the Parker's who are super sweet. They have a crazy dog though, his name is Rufus. Elder Strawn and I were petting him and he was super nice, but then they put him outside and it's like he was a different dog. He was barking and snarling at us and trying to bite us through the glass. It was pretty crazy.
Helping Marichy move
     Saturday we had our Stake Missionary breakfast where all the missionaries in the Stake meet at the Stake President's house for breakfast. We did service afterwards for a lady the McLean sisters have taught, her name is Marichy. We were there all day helping her move stuff and pack and it was a lot of work. She was super cool though and fed us lunch and dinner, and we prayed with her before we left so that was cool.
     Sunday was a good day, church was way good. They talked about Family History and Genealogy in sacrament meeting, then Faith in Jesus Christ in our second hour class, and opposition during the third hour class. It was a really good one. After lunch we went back and helped Marichy again until dinner. While we were helping her we got a text from a girl that has been investigating for years, but because she was under 18 her parents wouldn't let her get baptized, she still comes to church but we don't really teach her. Anyway she texted us and said she thinks she's ready (she's 18 now) and that she wants to be baptized this Thursday! Yeah buddy! So we are going to have to run through the lessons quick and make sure she's ready and then get it all set up, but it's going to be awesome! Her name is Meghan Torres. Then we had dinner at the Hartt's and then back to Marichy's to help her some more.
Helping Marichy get her sunglasses out of her hair
     This past week has been sweet! We did a ton of service and taught a few lessons, got a few new investigators, and had someone say they want to get baptized out of nowhere! That's a first for me, I guess it adds to my testimony that service brings blessings. When we focus on others instead of ourselves things tend to work out a lot better then if we focused on just ourselves. That's just how things work, God can do more with our lives than we ever could. We are super stoked to help Meghan get baptized and to help our other investigators progress to baptism. It's been a good, exciting week for sure. I hope y'all have a great week this next week and see the blessings in your life because they are there, sometimes it's just hard to see them. Trust in God and his plan, it's far greater than ours.     ~Elder Brady
Elder Horman broke the doorknob of our
member's door. (Not really it was already broke)

Monday, July 25, 2016

Good, Solid Week!

     Hey everyone this past week was pretty good and we had some good things happen. It's still a little different being a "regular" missionary, but it's been fun. We have a couple people we are working with and hope to see some baptisms soon, I guess we will have to justwait and see, but I'm sure something will happen soon.
     Anyway Monday was p-day and we went shopping at a fancy shmancy Wal-Mart. It had an escalator and part of it was for the shopping carts! It was crazy haha. After shopping we want to the Centreville Stake Center to play some basketball. There were quite a fewmissionaries there so it was pretty fun, there were some good games. We had dinner at a member's home tonight, so that was kind of nice.
     Tuesday we had a quick Zone Portion before our District Meetings, then we had our District Meeting. I talked about our purpose as missionaries, the powers and authority we have in our calling, and how we know we are successful missionaries. My district is pretty sweet, so it went pretty well and then afterwards we got lunch at Cafe Rio. After Lunch Elder Horman and I had service at the Jansen's. We helped Brother Jansen put a screen up around his porch and pull a bunch of nails out of boards, so he could put them back up on the porch. Then we had dinner at the Bywater's, our Ward Mission Leader, with Mary Susanand her son and another member her son is living with. Mary Susan is going to get baptized as soon as we get permission from the First Presidency and we are going to start teaching her son (he has graduated college) this week. His name is Daniel and he's cool.
At Barrett's church, Cornerstone
Chapel, at the pulpit! Woot Woot!
     On Wednesday we had a pass-off lesson with the Oakton sisters with someone they found. Her name is Alphonsia and in the lesson we talked about the Book of Mormon mostly. After that we did some service and then we drove to Leesburg and saw Barrett. We got to watch him give a sermon in his church which was pretty cool, he talked about Joseph(coat of many colors) and forgiveness. He did way good and it was good to see him again. Afterwards we went to Dairy Queen with him, his sister, and his girlfriend and got ice cream. We had a good conversation then, they had a bunch of questions about what we believe and we tried to answer them the best we could. It was awesome.
     Thursday morning we went to the leasing office and did some online work and then grabbed some lunch and went to do service. We went to an Assisted Living Center kind of place with the McLean elders and helped people with technology. If they are having a problem and can't figure it out they bring it to us and we fix it for them. After dinner we hada lesson with a less-active named Jonathon, we talked about faith and looking to the future and it went pretty well. Then we checked a potential and knocked some doors, but no one would even let us talk so that was a bummer, but oh well.
     Friday morning we went to the Food Bank to do service there with a bunch of missionaries. We unloaded and sorted a truck full of food, but because there was so many of us there it only took an hour or so. After lunch we cleaned the apartment and did our weekly planning and then we had dinner at the Martinson's. They are a young family with some funny kids full of energy. Then we checked on some potentials but didn't get anything, like none of them were even home. Today is Elder Horman's year mark so we met up with some other elders and they burned their shirts. It was pretty fun.
     Saturday morning we did some online stuff in the morning and then had lunch. After lunch we tried a bunch of potentials, but had nothing and then we had dinner. After dinner we checked on more potentials but again got nothing and then we headed home.
Broke and beggin'
     Sunday we had Ward Council and then church. The talks in sacrament were all about pioneers and what they went through. It was really good. Elder Horman and I taught the lesson in second hour, Gospel Principles class about The Church of Jesus Christ Today. It went pretty well and most everyone contributed even Mary Susan, our investigator. In third hour we went to the Priest's class and they did some role play teaching of the Restoration. I got to go with one of them named Nick and he did a pretty good job even if he was a little nervous at first. After church we did our studies and made a mini golf course in our apartment, it was awesome! Then we went to dinner at the Nielson's, they're an awesome family and their whole family was there plus a non-member family. We played games with them and had a BBQ, a couple of the guys there had recently returned from their missions so it was cool to talk to them about things.
     Well this week was pretty fun and we had some good lessons. The members in this ward are pretty sweet and I'm enjoying being here. We have some good people we are teaching too, so it's been good so far. I hope y'all have a great week and remember Christ in all you do!
     ~ Elder Brady

Monday, July 18, 2016

Last Transfer....

At the Mall!
     Hey hey everybody, I hope y'all are doing good and having a great summer! It hasn't been too hot out here all though there have been some scorchers, altogether it hasn't been that bad. I'm pretty thankful for that for sure. Anyway this last week was transfers and I got transferred to a new area. My new address is :  7338 Dartford Dr.  #8, McLean, VA 22102
      Well I already wrote a little about this last Monday in my last email but I'll do it again, on Monday we went into the office to do some work there before we went and met the mission leadership. (Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders) We had MLC today and for it we all went into DC and met with Senator Orrin Hatch. We got to ask him questions and listen to him talk about his mission, it was pretty cool. It took forever to get back from that because of traffic but it was still a pretty fun day.
Saying bye to the Hodgdon's

     Tuesday was our p-day and we went into DC with the Braddock elders. We went to China Town and then went to the Mall to see the monuments. It's always sweet going to the Mall and seeing all the monuments and memorials. We got a couple things from the street vendors there too. After dinner Elder Rammell and I went to the Hodgdon's so I could say goodbye. They are a great family and I got to help them with a lot of service through my 6 moths there so I had to go say goodbye to them haha. Then I stayed up late packing because I wasn't gonna have much time the next day.
     Wednesday we went into the office to get ready for transfers, we went with Elder Andersen to pick up the U-haul and then grabbed some lunch. After lunch we headed to the airport and picked up the new missionaries. We drove in quite a few circles waiting for them because their plane was late, almost two hours, I was getting pretty tired. Finally got all the missionaries and their luggage and got into DC to see the Lincoln Memorial. President and Sister Huntsman took pictures with each of the new missionaries to send to their parents and then we headed back to the Mission Home. We had dinner, President interviewed the newbies and then we took them to the hotel. When we got back to the apartment I had to finish packing a little.
     Thursday was transfers, at transfers I helped with the training meeting and then getting luggage of the missionaries going home into the U-haul and then I found my new comp. My new area is Great Falls ward in McLean and my companion is Elder Horman from Friendswood, Texas. He has been out for a year and he's pretty cool, should be a good transfer, even if it is a one and done for me.
     Friday we did weekly planning and then did service. We helped the Robert's move some stuff for Renette, a lady living with them. She's from Cameroon and is way nice. It took longer than we expected and we were there for most of the day, we got all the stuff moved though so that's good. After we grabbed a quick bite to eat we went to the Ward Mission Leader's house so I could meet him, his name is Brother Bywater and he's pretty cool. He is a hugger though haha. He will pull you right in and hug you good.
High five!

     Saturday we did more service that again took longer than we expected. We went with Brother Jansen to pick up a swing-set. A big one. We had to take it apart just to fit it in the 17 foot Uhaul he had rented, it was ridiculous. On the way back Brother Jansen all of a sudden saw a 7/11 out of the corner of his eye, behind a gas station, in a shopping center and slammed on his brakes and turned around on a dime. He wanted a slurpee. I asked how he saw the 7/11 and he said "My Slurpee senses were tingling." Haha it was awesome! We got back to his house and they fed us dinner and after dinner we saw a baby deer in their backyard so Elder Horman and I decided to catch it. We didn't get it fast enough though and it found a hole in the fence and bounded away.
     Sunday we had Ward Council before church and then we had church. We had three investigators at church, which was awesome! I haven't had that in a long time so it was nice. We taught part of the lesson in the young women's class in third hour and it was interesting. They  didn't answer any of our questions, I guess we were intimidating or something. After church we went with Brother Rhee to give a blessing to Brother Taylor who is beginning to have dementia, it's super sad. Then we had dinner at the Rhee's and played 5 Crowns (a card game) with them, it was super fun and I won! Whooo buddy! Then we checked on a potential and while doing that we got a call from Sister Roberts asking us to come get a queen bed set out of her house and to the curb to throw away because there was bugs all over it.
     Well this week was pretty good, I'm sad I got transferred out of the office but it's kind of nice as well. I'm just a regular missionary, well almost I'm the District Leader but that's alright. I just got to learn how to be a missionary again haha, it'll be good. This area seems pretty good, the only downside is they don't have a gym! We go to the high school every morning and do stuff there on the track and football field so it's really not all that bad. I hope everyone is doing awesome and has a great week! Keep smiling.     ~ Elder Brady