Monday, February 29, 2016

Mt. Vernon

     Hey Hey, I hope y'all are doing good and had a good week. This week for me was good, but it had a down or two in there along with all the ups that there were. What would life be without all those downs though? We could never learn and grow if we never had anything we had to work to overcome or get through. It builds character as my Dad would say. Anyway I'll tell you a bit about my week.
     Monday was a pretty good day. Elder Frew and I went on exchanges for P-Day because Elder Bunn and Elder Finlayson wanted to go play basketball but Elder Frew and I wanted to go to Mt. Vernon, the home of George Washington. Anyway we went there and it was super sick! It was way pretty and so cool to be on a part of history like that, it was something else. We just walked around the grounds for a couple of hours trying to soak it all in, it was a sweet place. For dinner we ate at a recent convert of Elder Frew's and then we headed back to switch companions back. Elder Finlayson and I then went around to see members and we ended up giving a blessing to one which is always a cool experience.
     Tuesday we went up to Hamilton/Catoctin to move the sisters up there into a new place. They are actually moving into the basement of a member's home and it is on a farm! It was a super sweet place, I really wanted to be moving myself there instead. Came back and we had dinner with the Aplanalp's and then taught their little 7-year-old girl the Restoration because they want her to have all the lessons before she is baptized. We then went and had a lesson with our investigator, Raymond, and we put him on date for March 19th! It was a way good lesson even though it didn't go as planned but it all worked out. We are pretty excited for him.
     Wednesday we helped a member family who are moving load up a U-haul, it didn't take too long because it wasn't a huge one. After lunch we went to the office to get some things done, like putting pictures of people baptized on the big 300. When we were at dinner there was a tornado watch and it started to rain and hail like crazy! We stayed there for a bit and then went to a less actives house, we didn't stay too long though because they were just sitting down to dinner. We got a text from some elders about a glitchy iPad so we met them at the office and got the iPad so we could get it fixed.
     Thursday we had Return and Report meeting for all the trainers and trainees. Basically we split them up and talk about any questions either of them, the trainers or the trainees, have. There were some interesting ones that's for sure. President asked us to meet him at the office to be on a call with him so we went to the office after Return and Report. The call was about the mission and iPads, our mission is going to be a trial mission for tablets. The new missionaries that come out, not this transfer but next, are going to have tablets instead of iPads so that will be kind of cool. Then we had to go jump a missionaries car. After dinner we went to see some members.
     Friday we went down to the Mt. Vernon zone and moved a set of elders from their apartment to a member's basement. That took most of the afternoon and then we had lunch with a member that Elder Finlayson is really good friends with. Went and did some more of the moving then headed back to our area for a dinner. On our way back there was a wreck that we came upon, the traffic was terrible and so was the wreck. There were three cars on it and one was standing up on its side with the top ripped off, it was crazy! At dinner they had us log onto Relative Finder and we found out the Elder Finlayson and I are 10th cousins so that's cool. After dinner we went back and finished moving the elders.
     Saturday we spent most of the day cleaning our other storage shed and getting an inventory. It was just Elder Finlayson and I for a bit then Elder Frew and Elder Bunn came and helped us. Elder Finlayson was whacking an old elliptical with a golf club and it broke off and almost hit me in the head! It was pretty funny actually. We took all the junk to the dump and did some more whacking and smacking and breaking things there. It's a really fun thing to do and I'm sure it's a good stress reliever as well just so y'all know. After dinner we tracted the rest of the night and didn't have much happen, but we found two potentials so it was alright.
     Sunday we went to church and Raymond was 
supposed to show up and bring his family but he didn't. Elder Finlayson and I taught Gospel Principles and it was about, surprise, mission work. We didn't volunteer we got assigned to teach that one haha. After church we had ward council and then missionary correlation. Then we did some weekly planning before dinner and then went to dinner at a member's. After dinner we went to the NARMF (New And Returning Member Fireside) which is where new members and returning members pretty much bore their testimony, it's pretty cool. Then we went to the office and did number reporting. We also got an email from Raymond and we think he may have dropped us and doesn't want to meet with us anymore but we aren't 100% sure yet. My heart dropped when I read the email, hopefully we can still see him at least one more time.
     Well this week, like I said had some downs with all the ups but we are still working on things. That's all we can really do is keep pushing through because if you stop it takes a lot more effort to get going again. A mission is one of the best things I've ever done and I'm so grateful I have the opportunity to serve the Lord. Do all you can to help those around you because everyone needs help with something, be it big or small. Anyway I hope y'all have a great week!
     ~ Elder Brady

Mt. Vernon
At the Wharf at Mt. Vernon

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

18 Months

Springfield Zone
     Hey everybody, how are things going? I hope y'all are doing good and living life to the fullest. This past week started out on a dreary kind of note, but it has been a good week anyway. It feels like it has been a little roller coaster going up and down, but it's been good.
     Monday was a bummer of a day. It snowed the night before so President said no driving, but we had to keep our P-Day on Monday which kinda stunk. I'm glad I'm in an apartment with three other missionaries because that made things a little bit easier. We played some Monopoly, Uno, and Scrabble and then went to the gym to workout for awhile (probably the highlight of the day). At about dinner time we were told we could drive again, just in time for P-Day to be over, so we headed over to the office because we had to get some things done. One of those was the Warrior Report, our missions' little newsletter thing, but right as we were saving it something happened and the computer had a spazz attack or something and we lost the whole thing! Then we got a call from the AP's saying they needed us to run them a key because someone had locked their keys in the car while the car was still running....I don't know how you can do that, but it takes skill.
     Tuesday morning we headed into the office to finish the Warrior Report, finally got it done. Then we picked up Elder Frew and Elder Bunn and we went shopping because we couldn't yesterday. Elder Finlayson and I had dinner with a family, the Griffin's, and their little girls even played some violin and piano for us. It was pretty cool. Then we had a lesson with an investigator named Raymond, neither of us had met him before so we went in guns blazin! No not really, but he's a sweet guy and we had a good lesson with him, he said he'd be baptized so that's pretty cool.
     Wednesday was our Zone Training and it was pretty good, they said some good things and it didn't take forever. It was a lot easier to learn from and take things away from it because of the length it was. Went to lunch with the AP's and switched vehicles because we had to pick up some mattresses that don't fit in the van, dang queen mattresses. We didn't finish so after dinner we went back down to Alexandria to finish up, but we didn't even finish then, switched back vehicles with the AP's and headed home.
     On Thursday we went into the office to catch up on some work that has piled up a little bit and we got most of it done. We have this big printout of the number 300 and everyone that gets baptized we put a picture of them up on it, 300 is our mission baptism goal, we have missed doing that the last two weeks so we had to get that done. After that we drove down to the Mt. Vernon Zone and did some work picking things up at one apartment and dropping some off at another. We have these lists from apartment inspections of stuff people need and stuff we need to take out of apartments, so that was what we were doing most of the day. We also checked by a member's home who wants to rent their basement to the church for a missionary apartment and the senior couple that is in charge of handling that sort of thing, asked us to go by and check it out and see how we felt about it, and see if we thought it would work or not.
     Friday we went up to Reston and moved the Hermanas there to a new apartment. It took a couple of trips and a little longer than we were planning on, but that's alright. There was a REALLY heavy desk that we had to move, we got it over to their new apartment and we all decided it would be better if we didn't try to take it up the stairs because it wouldn't fit through the door of their study room anyway (We measured!). Elder Finlayson and I decided to take it to a set of elders who were close that lived on the bottom level so we could just lug it in their back door, way easier that way. When we were done with that we headed back to the office to do more work there. After dinner we tried to see four former investigators but none of them were home, I guess it just wasn't a good night. We had stuff in the van from the move we needed to take to the storage shed anyway, so that's how we ended the night. I tried to do some ab wheel roll-outs in the back of the van on the way out of the storage units and it was super hard! Elder Finlayson was driving like a maniac trying to make me fall over and I almost did a couple times, it was hilarious!
     Saturday Elder Frew and I went on exchanges together because it was our 18 month mark. Crazy crazy. We went to Manassas and then we went over to Alexandria to finish cleaning out an apartment of a senior couple who have gone home. Loaded up and headed to the storage shed, unloaded and went to dinner with the Maeger's who are awesome. Sister Maeger cut my hair after dinner and while that was happening Elder Frew, Justin (Maeger's son, he's 9 or 10) and Brother Maeger were in the other room trying to shoot a moth with dart guns. It was super funny and every once in a while a dart would come flying into the kitchen where we were. Anyway we headed back to finish the apartment for sure and we did, we got it done. Our van also got towed so that wasn't too fun, it was late at night too so that was a bummer, we got it back though and finally got home.
Plan of Salvation we drew for Primary
     Sunday was good, church was tough for me because I was super tired, but it was still pretty good. After church we had missionary correlation and then ward council so I was even more tired after that. We got a call from Elder Frew and Elder Bunn saying they needed some help, they had two lessons scheduled for the same time, so we went on exchanges again and Elder Frew and I headed down to Manassas for one of them. It didn't end up working out because the guy wasn't there but we had fun. We met up with the other guys and went to the office because Elder Finlayson and I had to do key indicator reporting with the AP's. It went good and we got done the earliest we have since I've been here so that was nice.
     Well it was another busy week and I don't think I'm going to have one that isn't busy the whole time I'm in the office, that's okay though it's good to be busy. Things have been looking up in our area too, so God knows how hard we are working. I hope y'all are doing well and staying happy! Thanks for all the help and support, it means a lot. Sorry for the late email we went to Mt. Vernon and then dinner, so I didn't really have time to send emails, my bad! Anyway have a great week!
     ~ Elder Brady

Monday, February 15, 2016

Zone Conferences/Stake Conference

     Hey everyone I hope y'all are doing well, I'm doing good but we are just sitting in the apartment because it snowed again and we can't drive. Woo hoo. We are playing Monopoly actually, minus Elder Bunn and I because we lost. We are stuck inside playing board games and stuff all P-day and we are running out of games but anyway I'll tell ya how this last week was.
     Monday was awesome! We went shopping at Costco and then went to Wakefield Park and played some football! There were enough missionaries there that we had some pretty good games. It was a ton of fun. After everyone got tired and stopped playing Elder Jones and I started running routes and throwing passes to each other, got to get back into it. When we got too tired we just sat on the field and talked about Utah State and maybe about us working out and training when we both get back. It would be super sweet. After dinner we went on an exchange, Elder Merrill came to my area and we went and tried to see some members. One of the members didn't live at that address, but the people that did let us in and we had a discussion with them so that was cool.
     On Tuesday it was the Mt. Vernon Zone's zone conference. It was pretty good but we have done a bunch of them the last two weeks and they're always he same so we know what's coming. Elder Finlayson and I always get to set up the tables and help the Relief Society with the food though so it's all good. When the conference was over we went to the office and did some work there and then went to the storage shed to drop some stuff off. We spent the rest of the night meeting with member families.
     Wednesday was Oakton's Zone Conference. When the conference was over we went to Alexandria to clean out a senior couple's apartment who have gone home. We met another senior couple there so they could tell us the things they wanted and then we loaded the van with everything they wanted and took the stuff to their place.
     Thursday we had an office staff meeting with all the senior couples, President, and the Assistants. When that was done we went to lunch with President and the Assistants, it was super cool to get to talk to President about things other than mission and office work. After lunch we hand washed the van in 20 degree weather! Elder Finlayson would soap it down, I'd come right behind him with a rinse towel and then he'd come right behind me with a towel to dry so the water wouldn't freeze on the van. It froze a couple times though. When we finished the outside we vacuumed the inside and detailed the inside as well. We have Zone Conference the next day and the cleanest car wins. The van has never won because it's so big and because of all the things we do with it but we wanted to win bad.
     Friday we had Springfield's (our) Zone Conference and we won the clean car award! After President announced we won we played "We Are The Champions" through the speakers that we have for a presentation and everyone thought it was hilarious. After the conference we went to the office and did some work there and then went to dinner with the Knight family. They are super funny and way nice, it was a lot of fun. We were then supposed to have a lesson with an investigator named Raymond but he had to reschedule to next week. A member had called us earlier in the day asking for a Spanish Book of Mormon to give to someone at work so we took it to him and talked about the missionary work he was doing. It was cool to see how excited he was to do missionary work even when he's been off his mission for a while.
     On Saturday we went to the storage sheds to do an inventory and clean them out but we only got one done. We had the Braddock elders (Elder Frew and Elder Bunn) the Ft. Belvoir elders (Elder Severe and Elder Anderson) the AP's and us there so it went decently fast but it still took awhile. We took everything out, took an inventory of what we had, put the useful stuff back in and trashed the junk. We took the junk to a landfill and we busted everything uptight we had brought, it was way fun and we were helping them out so it was good. When we were done destroying things Elder Finlayson and I went to do some stuff at the office, then we had dinner and went to our Stake Conference. Stake Conference was way good, they talked about problem solving and some other things but it was just really good.
     Sunday Morning was Stake Conference and this time the whole two hours was people bearing their testimonies, it was wayyy good! Elder Finlayson fell asleep though and started snoring so I had to jab him to wake him up, it was super funny. We are both tired, tired. After lunch we did our weekly planning and then went to the advice to send some reports. After dinner we went around and met with some member families and talked about member missionary work and how they can do that. It was really good and everyone is more or less wanting to do missionary work, sometimes they just don't know how.
     This week has been pretty good, we have been meeting with a lot of members and talking about member missionary work. We are showing them the video "I'll Go Where You Want Me To Go" (on the Gospel Library app) and then inviting them to create a family mission plan and pray for missionary opportunities everyday. It is way cool and seems to be working because we have got a couple referrals lately. Missionary work doesn't have to be hard and it doesn't have to be something huge, it is the small and simple things that make a difference. Christ lived his life for others, not one second did he live for himself, the best way for members to be missionaries is to serve those around us and always be looking for those opportunities that are put in our path to share the gospel. We will be blessed with them.
     I hope everyone is doing well and staying safe. Thank you for all the support you give me, it means a lot. Hearing from everyone is the best too it really is special to us as missionaries. Have a great week his week!
     ~ Elder Brady

Monday, February 8, 2016


     Hey everyone I hope you are doing well and staying busy. I'm super busy all the time now and that's good, keeps me out of trouble. We have been doing a lot of driving around the mission and moving missionaries from one apartment to the next, some because they got a new apartment and some because a missionary went home and now there are some trios. We have been doing a lot of driving, we have almost gone 1,000 miles in a week! It's been crazy but fun.
     Well anyway on Monday we went to Costco to go shopping and we got a ton of food! I felt like I was shopping with my mom again. Then we went and emailed and played some basketball, there was a lot of missionaries there, people from all over the mission had come so it was pretty fun. After dinner Elder Finlayson and I went to the office to do some work there but didn't quite finish before we had to take some furniture up to McLean and pick some stuff up as well. We had to go back to the office and finish afterwards.
     Tuesday was the Centreville Zone Conference, I think it was our fourth one so far, we have five left. We almost caught a goose before the Zone Conference, it was just sitting there so we went and tried to catch it and almost got it. Elder Finlayson, Elder Jones, and I were running after this goose and Elder Blanchard was just laughing and filming. It's pretty funny. It's a transfer goal of Elder Finlayson and I to catch a goose, we're gonna get it! After the Conference we took a couple things to the Tall Cedars elders and then went up to Leesburg to move a couple things for some spanish elders who are now in a trio. Then we buzzed over to Alexandria to drop off a vacuum to some sisters whose vacuum had blown up. While we were there we stopped by a recent convert that Elder Finlayson had taught and talked with him for awhile, his name is Jarod and he seems like a pretty cool guy.
     Wednesday was the Manassas Zone Conference, it was cool Manassas is like the country part of the mission, you are almost out to Warrenton and that is the country. After the Conference we got a bed and a desk for some Hermanas who are now in a trio and then went and moved another set of Spanish elders to a brand new apartment ... it's super nice. Then we had to drive to the other side of the mission and pick up a keyboard and some Conga drums that one of the senior missionaries wanted us to put in the storage shed for some reason. We had dinner at the Baker's but they had forgotten we were coming so when we got there they weren't ready, solo we put some aprons on and helped make some pizzas! After dinner we went to the Aplanalp's and had a lesson with their family about gratitude and it went really well. Then we went to the office to put a slideshow together for MLC (Mission Leadership Council) tomorrow.
     MLC was Thursday morning and it was alright, kind of interesting because no one could agree on anyone really, until President stepped in. Elder Finlayson and I almost caught another goose! Actually we think it was the same one we tried to catch earlier this week but we almost got it. After MLC we went to the office and did some work there then we got a microwave for some elders who said their microwave wasn't working anymore. We had an English lesson with Brother Badrusev and this time his daughter (she's like 5) was playing games and playing with me catch part of the time so it was a little hard to focus but it was good, he's a cool guy. After that we went and checked on potentials for the rest of the night and met some nice people but no one really seems interested yet.
     Friday was the McLean Zone Conference and on the way there traffic was pretty bad because it is close to DC but we still got there just in time. During the conference we got everyone's house keys and went to Home Depot to get copies made because we are supposed to have a copy of every apartment in the mission. After the Zone Conference we came back and moved the sisters in our ward from another complex into our complex and that took most of the day. We were finishing up at about 8:30 when we got a call from the Braddock sisters saying they needed to get into the office to print some baptism programs. I guess their investigator had told them today that she wanted to get baptized tomorrow so they were scrambling a little to get it pulled together but they got it done.
     Saturday morning we went into the office to get a little work done and then headed to Arlington to have lunch with he Ito's. (One of the senior couples) We talked about the apartment inspections that are doing and how we are getting swamped with stuff that missionaries apparently need so we figured out a system to make it easier and less of a hassle, hopefully. Then we drove to Leesburg and got a mattress and a desk and a couple of little night stands/dressers for some sisters who are now in a trio. It took longer than we thought but we finished up and then got back to our area and tried some potentials, we also saw a recent convert named Brian. He is a pretty cool guy, but he's an accountant and so he is super busy all the time but we got to talk to him for a little bit.
     Sunday was Fast Sunday and I really enjoyed it, I enjoy Fast Sunday's more now than I used to when I was younger. There are a lot of good people with great testimonies out there to share.  After church we met with the sisters, Sister Johnson and Sister Malafau, and came up with a plan to help the ward with their missionary efforts. It took us a couple of hours to come up with what we are going to do and how we are going to do it but we are super hyped about it so it should be good. One of the things we are doing is seeing every member once in the transfer, because the transfer is almost half over we only have about three weeks to do it so it's going to be hard but we are going to give it a shot. When we see them we are inviting the, to pray for missionary opportunities and to invite someone to an activity so hopefully we get some people coming to things with the members. It's gonna be good! In the evening we went with Elder Bunn and Elder Frew down to Woodbridge to check on some people down there. Woodbridge isn't in our mission anymore but they are in the singles ward that covers it so we got to go out of the mission for the night. Woooo, rebels!
     Anyway things have been going good and we have been super busy. I swear we have been running from one thing to the next and sleep....what's that? We have a lot of late nights and early mornings so we don't get a ton of sleep which makes things interesting....especially on the long drives. We have driven almost 1,000 miles this week which is crazy! It's been fun though, I like all the work we have and the things we get to do so it's been good. I hope y'all are doing good and living life to the fullest! Stay happy people, it's the only way to go.
     ~ Elder Brady

Monday, February 1, 2016

Kough's went to the Temple!!!!

     Hey everyone hope you had a good week! This email will be a little shorter but this is one of my favorite weeks that has happened out here. My week was pretty good the big thing that happened is I got to go to the temple with a family! They are one of my favorite families I've met out here, I met them in my first area, Ft. Belvoir.
     Anyway their name is the Kough's and they are great! Matt got baptized right before I came out on my mission so he was a recent convert we saw all the time when I first came out. They went to the temple this week and received their endowments and got sealed as a family and I got to go! I got to go through with them and it was amazing!
     When they were getting sealed and they brought their little daughter in, Alma, it was the cutest thing, she was all smiles and just happy. I don't even really now how to explain how great it was or how happy and excited I felt. It was probably one of the best days of my life for sure. I just love that family a ton!
     I really don't know what else to write because I can't portray how great of a day it was and the rest of the week couldn't compare to it. I guess I'll just say this was one of the best weeks ever and being a missionary is sweet! I hope y'all have a great week.
     ~ Elder Brady