Monday, May 30, 2016

DC Trip

     Hey hey everybody, I hope you had a great week this past week and were able to see some blessings in your life. My week was pretty good and I was able to see some blessings in my own life. Anyway transfers are this week and I'll be staying for sure because my companion, Elder Chan, has finished his mission and is headed home to Hong Kong. It's pretty crazy, anyway I'll let you in on what happened this last week.
At the Zoo with Lovelace from "Happy Feet"
(Me, Elder Hardy, Elder Bunn, Elder Hudson)
     Monday I went into DC with the Braddock elders and we went to the National Zoo and to China Town. It was pretty sweet and we saw some animals, it was just a ton of walking. China Town was way cool too, it was just a cool place to be. When we got back Elder Chan and I went to a dinner that a member set up for us at a non-member's home. It was really good, they were an older couple from Hong Kong and Mongolia, so they really connected with Elder Chan really well. It was also cool to see the member doing missionary work like that. After dinner we shared a message about family history and temple work and how our families can be sealed together forever, throughout the generations. They seemed pretty excited about it and said they will work on their genealogy, and that we could come back.
     Tuesday we had our Zone Training and it was pretty good. It was one of the shorter ones I've had, but at the end they opened it up to testimonies and it was a good way to end it. Afterwards we went to the office and Elder Chan had his departing interview with President. We stayed at the office the rest of the night doing a bunch of work there.
     Wednesday we were at the office for most of the day again. We were working on the Mission History, both for last year and this year, so both of us were typing and clicking away as fast as we could, for a long time. We also got everything ready for Return and Report tomorrow so it was a busy office day. In the evening we did have a lesson with a less-active, Tony Piro, and read he Book of Mormon with him. It was really good and he said he will come to a fireside this Sunday. Woot woot!
     Thursday was Return and Report and it took a while longer than they usually do, but I don't know why it was so much longer. We played a game of lightning after lunch and it was President and I as the last two, we were running and shooting and running, but my ball took a bad bounce and he got me out so he won. Oh well. We went to the office and worked until dinner, which an office couple (The Lowe's) took us out to dinner. After dinner we had exchanges and I was with Elder Tapusoa who is Samoan, but he is from Utah....still a cool guy though. We went and tried some people, but no one was home for the most part.
     Friday morning we went to the storage sheds, for the first time in a long time, and grabbed a vacuum for Elder Andersen in the office. At the office we worked on baptism pictures for the 300 and some more Mission History. Back at the apartment we had our weekly planning and then we had to hustle to a first lesson with a family! Butttt they weren't there so that was a bummer. We went to Annandale then, so Elder Chan could meet with the Fagan's (senior couple) who are the employment specialists and he got some good info from them on finding a job when he gets home. Then we went to dinner at a Vietnamese restaurant that Elder Chan wanted to eat at and it was good, not too bad. After dinner it was back to the office to work on the Mission History some more.
     Saturday we spent all day doing service! Woo hoo! It was awesome! We went to a member's home, the Hodgdon's, and spent the day there working in the yard and helping them. We put a foundation down for a new shed they are getting, cut trees, and fixed some more of their bikes. It was tons of fun and we got dinner from them, they are great.
Service at the Hodgdon's!!!!

     Sunday was good, church was great and it always is now. It's a wonder I never noticed how great it was when I was younger....... Church was awesome and there was a lot of good talks given. After church we had ward council and then we had dinner with the Bishop and his family. We swapped mission stories for most of the time, and it was really funny to hear some of the things that had happened or that he had done on his mission. After dinner we went down to the Mt. Vernon chapel, my first chapel I went to on my mission, for the New and Returning Member Fireside. Tony came and it was really good so I hope it was good for him, it was good for me that's for sure. All these people who have just been baptized or are returning to the church have such a love for the Gospel and a desire to do better, it's incredible.
     Anyway it was a good week out here in Virginia and it only rained one day, so it's getting a lot better than it was. I hope y'all have a great week and do something for someone else. Service is the key to happiness!
     ~ Elder Brady
Taking a break from doing service at the Hodgdon's.
Elder Sanders, me, Elder Frew.
Almost the only ones left from our MTC group.

Monday, May 23, 2016


     Well this week there was a ton of rain and it was pretty gray and dark, but it was still pretty good. We finished up zone conferences and got back into somewhat of a regular routine. We had some pretty funny/crazy experiences this week too.
     Monday Elder Chan and I went to the office and finished sending in numbers that had somehow gotten lost the night before. Then we went to the stake center and played some basketball and that was pretty fun. In the evening we had a lesson with a less-active's 8 year old son which went pretty well. We took one of the Priests with us because her husband wasn't home so we needed another male in the house and he was awesome with Will (the son). Then we went to the Kinard's and Orton's, a senior couple, for dinner.
     Tuesday we went up to Alexandria and had their zone conference which was good. Elder Chan and I couldn't find the cord to plug in all our equipment for the videos so we had to hustle to the store and buy a cord and make it work. Afterwards we went to the office to do some work there and then we had dinner with the the Buss family.
     Wednesday was our last zone conference and it was in Annandale. It's kind of nice to be done, but I learned a lot from them and I liked going so it's kind of a bummer too. After the conference, it was back to the office to work and then dinner at the Blaine's. The Blaine's are sweet and feed us quite a bit, they're great. After dinner we went to the Centreville stake center to look for the cord we couldn't find, so we were talking to a guy asking if he'd seen it and Elder Chan was trying to explain what it looked like and then we both saw it and said "like that one!" It was pretty funny, the guy was cracking up anyway.
Springfield Zone Service Project
     On Thursday we had a zone service project for a non member which was pretty cool. We were doing yard work for her and it was awesome. We had to catch a snake and Elder Hudson raked it up and swung it around which flung it at Elder Mecham. Elder Hudson raked it back up and Elder Hall was trying to cut off the snake's head with hedge clippers, but Elder Hudson wouldn't let him and ran the snake to the woods, it was hilarious. We had district meeting after that and then Chan and I had exchanges with the AP's. We both went to their area and I got to go with Elder Jones, we were biking and tried contacting potentials all night and then went to the Kough's! It was great to see them again, they're the best.
Elder & Sister Andersen
     Friday we had an office staff meeting and then the senior couples fed us lunch. Elder and Sister Andersen brought the food in Budweiser and Bud Light boxes, it was awesome haha. Then we had service at the Hodgdon's and did a lot yard work, which was sweet, and we fixed some of their bikes as well. We had dinner at the Groth's, who are a super sweet young couple and then Elder Chan didn't feel good so we went back to the apartment.
     Saturday morning we went to the office and Elder Chan worked on his "My Plan" for when he goes home, all the missionaries have to do it their last transfer. We went to our ward picnic and even though it was raining it was pretty sweet. After that we tracted and no one wanted anything to do with us and then we met up with the Braddock elders to blitz. Elder Hudson and I were knocking doors in apartment buildings and we were on our last building when we just got rocked. We had three people yelling and cussing at us from three different doors and two of them were at the same time. Talk about getting attacked from all sides haha they were telling us to "stop selling Jesus!" I've never heard that one before, I think someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed. It was crazy and they all called the cops on us because we were "soliciting" which of course we aren't, so we just kept doing our thing and no cops showed up. Turns out the other elders got told to leave and not to solicit too so I guess that's just a rough neighborhood.
Elder Brady & Elder Jones
     Sunday we went to the Chinese Branch for church so Elder Chan could give a talk there before he goes home. It was pretty cool, there were like 20 some people there and I didn't understand very much, but it was pretty sweet. Elder Chan translated for me when he was sitting next to me so that was cool too. After church the Chinese elders had a baptism and we stayed for that as well so Elder Chan could be a witness. It was sweet they had three languages going the whole time (Mandarin, Cantonese, English). President Huntsman even came and spoke Mandarin so that was pretty cool. We went to dinner at the Torgersen's and then went to the church, the sisters were there and asked us to give Sister Laughbon a blessing. I got to give her the blessing and it was a pretty cool experience, giving blessings always is. After that we checked on a less-active, Brother Hew Len, but he wasn't very happy to see us, he did say come back Thursday so that's good. We went to the office to do numbers and I talked with Elder Jones and got a picture with him because it's probably the last time I'll see him before he goes home on Tuesday. I'm gonna miss that guy.
     So this week was good, really rainy but good. Going to the Chinese Branch was cool and it was like being in a different part of the world. They only had a few people there and I couldn't understand what was being said for the most part, but it was great. It's something I'll remember for awhile that's for sure. Well I hope y'all had a great week and are enjoying life. There's a little quote that says "Don't just endure, thrive." Live everyday to make yourself better and to help those around you become better.
     ~ Elder Brady

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

More Zone Conferences

     I hope everyone had a good week and is enjoying life. Things are going good over here in Virginia. We have been getting a lot of rain lately so everything is always wet but it is super green! It is something else but I think I'm still more of a mountains person. Anyway this week was good and busy.
Front : Elder Severe, Jones, Chan. 
Back : Elder Blanchard, Hall, Me
     Monday morning Elder Hudson came with me to the office to put in some numbers that didn't get reported last night and then we went shopping. We met the other guys back at the apartment then Elder Chan and I went and played sand volleyball with the APs and Ft. Belvoir elders. We played in this sweet place by a lake and totally surrounded by trees, it was pretty cool. There was also a little drizzle of rain so that was super fun to play in, we had a blast. At the beginning we were all trash talking a little bit and diving around all over the place but at the end there was no diving and pretty much no talking, we were tired. After dinner we met with a less-active named Tony and had a lesson with him about the Restoration. It was really good and we are meeting with him again and he is coming to church! Then we went to the office so we could do the Warrior Report.
Happy Birthday surprise to Sister Orr!
Elder Tapusoa, Chan, Hudson, Me, Bunn,
Hardy and Sister Laughbon and Johnson
     Tuesday we had he Oakton Zone Conference and then after that we went and tried to finish cleaning out an apartment they are closing up there. For dinner we met a member who is from Kentucky, named Brother Carr, who took us out to eat at this fancy restaurant. Probably the fanciest place I'll ever eat in my life, it was ridiculous! Plus we were the only ones in the whole place so that was interesting. After dinner Brother Carr worked with us the rest of the night on exchanges and we tried to see some recent converts and less-actives.
     Wednesday was our zone conference, the Springfield zone. After zone conference we went back up to Oakton and finished cleaning out the apartment that we had started yesterday. We had dinner at the Ehler's and then we took some of the stuff we had taken from the apartment in Oakton to an apartment that is reopening. We then tried some potentials and then went to the office and did some work there. When we got back to the apartment Elder Bunn and I got all the missionaries in the complex (us, Braddock elders, Burke elders, Rolling Valley sisters) and surprised Sister Orr because it was her birthday. We all had on party hats and had a half gallon of ice cream with candles in it and Elder Bunn had a big confetti party popper thing. We knocked on the door and when she opened it Elder Bunn shot the popper and we all yelled happy birthday, then we gave her the ice cram and sang happy birthday!
Got to see Barrett when I was up in
Leesburg! It was great to see him again.
     Thursday we went up to Leesburg for the zone conference and right after zone conference I got to see Barrett and talk with him for awhile. We even got to give him a little short tour of the church. He wants me to come listen to him give a sermon before I leave which would be pretty cool. When we were done we went to the office and did some work there and then had dinner. After dinner we went to a lesson we had with a less-active named Brother Hew-Len but he didn't answer so that was a bummer. Then I called everyone in our area book who has a number and most didn't answer but there were a couple who said call back later.
     Friday was the Centreville zone conference and then weekly planning. We planned pretty well for next week and it took us a little bit but it was good. We had dinner with the Lagerberg's and after dinner we shared Alma 13:24 with them and challenged them to give out a Book of Mormon with their testimony in it. We've decided we are going to do this at every member meal, challenge them to give out a Book of Mormon and see what happens because of it. After we went on exchanges with the Braddock elders, Elder Hudson and I spent the whole night shocking on potentials and taught a lesson on the doorstep of one and got in to talk to another so it wasn't a bad night really.
     Saturday President came and borrowed the truck to pick up a new ping pong table so we got President's car! Woo hoo! We went to The mission home when President and Dan got back with the ping pong table and helped them get it out of the truck and then we set it up. We also went to the storage sheds and helped the Torgersen's unload a big china cabinet. When we were done with that we took the old ping ping table to the dump. After dinner Elder Chan and I went to the Weber's (a part member/less-active family) and set up a time to come back and teach their 8 year old son, Will, so that was really good.
     Sunday was a good day, church was good and it was all about the Priesthood because today was the day it was restored to the earth 187 years ago. The Weber's came to church so that was exciting and the dad even came and he isn't a member. We had dinner at the Gillespie's and did the Book of Mormon challenge with them and they agreed to do it. Then we had a lesson with Tony Piro and we talked about studying the scriptures and missionary work, we also did the Book of Mormon challenge with him too so it's going good so far. We are hoping to get more referrals by doing this challenge but it is going to take a couple weeks to really get moving. After the lesson we went to the office to do numbers and half of them just disappeared after we had almost finished so we have to come back in tomorrow, oh well.
     So this week was pretty good and pretty busy and things are starting to turn around and go better so we are pretty excited. This is the scripture we are using for our Book of Mormon challenge with all the members, Alma 13:24

24 For behold, angels are declaring it unto many at this time in our land; and this is for the purpose of preparing the hearts of the children of men to receive his word at the time of his coming in his glory.

     There are angels all around us preparing people to hear the message of the Gospel. God will lead us to them or he will lead them to us, that's a promise we have in Preach my Gospel. We need to trust in the Lord and show our faith by always being ready to share the Gospel. This Gospel is truly great and we have it because God loves us.
      I hope you all have a great week and look to help those around you in any way you can. It will make a difference in their life as well as yours. Keep smiling.      ~Elder Brady
Happy Birthday Surprise to Sister Orr!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Mother's Day!

Missionary Leadership Conference
(All the Zone Leaders, Sister Training Leaders,
Assistants to the President, Elder Chan and I)
     Hey hey everyone, I hope you had a great week and to all the mothers out there, Happy Mother's Day! Yesterday. Anyway I hope y'all are doing good and enjoying life. This week was a pretty busy week, we were in meetings most of the week so, yep lots of fun.
     Monday morning Elder Chan gave me a haircut and then we went into the office and talked to President Lowe about what we needed to have for all the zone conferences and then it was P-day! We did our regular shopping and then went to the stake center and played some basketball, it was pretty fun and there were quite a few people there too. Sometimes the games get pretty serious and some people get mad, but uh oh well. After dinner Elder Chan and I went to the office to do some work there and to do the warrior report. President Huntsman was there, so we talked to him for a little bit and that's always fun, he's a great guy.
     Tuesday we went down to Manassas to the zone conference down there. It's the start of all 9 zone conferences, which basically means 3 weeks of straight meetings for us. Woo hoo! It was good though, this time through President is talking about faith in the Lord and faith in our missionary work. The Assistants are talking about baptismal calendars and the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders are talking about finding and working with members, so it's going to be a lot of good meetings. Lots to learn.
      On Wednesday we went up to McLean for their zone conference which was the same as yesterday's pretty much but still way good. After zone conference Elder Chan and I went to an apartment we are cleaning out and got a load out of there and took it back to the storage sheds. We barely made it to the Jones' for dinner on time and then after dinner we went to the office to get ready for MLC (Missionary Leadership Conference) tomorrow.
      Thursday morning was MLC and that was pretty good. President talked about leadership and what makes us good leaders. (It's always serving others, that's what makes good leaders) Then President talked about the Sabbath Day and how we can keep it holy because it really just feels like another day as a missionary. You do the same things for the most part everyday, except church, so sometimes it doesn't feel any different. He talked about how we can make it special to us and it was really good. The Assistants talked about attitude and the role it plays in all we do, it can make all the difference in the world. After MLC we went to the office and did some work there and then went to the William's for dinner. They are a super sweet young family and it was a lot of fun at their place. Then we had a lesson with a less-active named Brother Hew-Len. It was an interesting lesson, he kept saying he knows he needs to do all these things like come to church and read the scriptures, but since his wife died 10 years ago he just doesn't have the desire to. He said it feels empty. It's really sad, I wish he could see that the Gospel will help, but hopefully soon he will see it. He's a super nice, funny older gentleman and seems to like us coming by, so that's good.
      Friday was the Mt. Vernon zone conference and during this one we had to make a copy of one of the sets of missionaries key so we have a copy. After the conference we went to the office and we were on the phone with Salt Lake for awhile fixing the computers. Not my forte. We picked up our dinner from a member's and went back to the office to eat it so we could do some work there at the same time. Then we tried some potentials, but no one was home and so we knocked doors the rest of the night but got nothing.
      On Saturday we went up to Leesburg to take a desk and a whiteboard to two sets of sisters up there, I always like going up there. It takes awhile and we barely got back in time for dinner, again. We had dinner with the Wadsworth's who are great, they feed us quite a bit. After dinner we spent the evening trying potentials in the area book and doing some tracting. We did have one guy (he's a referral from the Braddock elders) say he was reading the Book of Mormon and to come back in a month, ok dude.
      Sunday was good. HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!! I hope it was a great day for all the mothers! Elder Chan skyped before church so I got to sit and listen to him speak Chinese with his mom haha that was cool. Church was good, we always have good lessons and the people are great. After church we had an early dinner at the Hodgdon's and it was so good! Roast beef and potatoes and gravy and biscuits and it was just really good. They're an awesome family. After dinner Elder Chan and I made thank you cards for all the families who have fed us and then we went to the office and I skyped my family! Whoop whoop!! It was great to see them and talk to them, they're awesome and I miss them a ton. Well this past week was fun and super busy, lots of meetings and lots of work to do but it's great. Elder Chan and I are really trying to even out the work we are doing in the office and in the area so hopefully that goes pretty well. I hope y'all are doing good and have a great week this week! Life is Good.      ~ Elder Brady
We be driving the truck!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Life is Crazy

P-dayyyyyyy!! Elders Tapusoa, Hudson,
 Me, Hardy, Bunn, Chan

     Hey everyone I hope you're doing good and had an awesome week! Live life, that's what's up. My week was pretty good, there were a couple of days that things got interesting, but it was fun. We did lots of driving around the mission this week which is a really cool part of what we get to do, we get to see the whole mission. It's awesome.
     Anyway on Monday we went down to Ft. Belvoir and played some rugby and soccer with a bunch of elders, it was pretty fun. Soccer is pretty tiring, you run a ton and that's just backyard soccer. It was a pretty warm day too, so everyone was pretty tired at the end. Then we emailed at the Ox Road chapel and then went back to the apartment. We went to the Fleming's and met a recent convert there named Brian Short, talked a bit and had a good spiritual/lesson with them. Then Brian left but the Fleming's little girl, Isla, asked Elder Chan and I to stay for family home evening which she was teaching, so we did. It was good, she taught about daring to choose the right and then we played a little game like chutes and ladders. It was great! After that we went to the office and did the Warrior Report. We messed up twice so we had to send three of them, haha woo hoo!
Tractors at Juan Pine's house,he has a ton of cool stuff
     Tuesday morning we went to the mission home for a District Leader meeting with all the district leaders in the mission. President and the AP's talked about how they can be the best district leaders they can be and gave them some ideas. After that we had to go into the office so we could get Tiwi installed in the van, oh how I hate Tiwi. Tiwi monitors a bunch of things, but basically if you speed or drive "aggressively" and so on you get a violation, after a certain amount of violations you get your driving privileges taken away. It's a real distraction when you're driving at least to me, but I guess it's supposed to help. We had dinner at the Wadsworth's and then went on splits with Dallin Hodgdon who is a priest in our ward. We met with a less-active named Brother Hew-Len and it was good. We are going back next week.
      Wednesday we went to the office and spent most of the afternoon there. Then we took the old van to the shop so it can get all prettied up and ready to sell. We had dinner with the Blaine's and then went on splits with Brother Bold. We went and talked to his next door neighbor, Juan Pine, and talked about temples and families being together forever and then a little bit about the restoration and Joseph Smith. It was good and he said we can come back so that's awesome!
     Today (Thursday) again we spent most of the afternoon in the office setting up iPads for some of the new missionaries. When we finished that we went to the shop and picked up the van and took it back to the office, then met Brother Bold and Brian Short for dinner at a diner. After dinner we went on splits with Brother Johnson and ended up talking with the Weber's who are a less-active/part-member family. She said she wants us to come teach her son and that they are going to start coming to church. Yeahhhhh buddy! Then we had to go back to the office and set up another iPad for a new missionary.
     Friday we went on exchanges with the Braddock elders. Elder Hudson and I went and helped a guy move. It wasn't too bad because it was just from one apartment building to the next one right by each other. The guy's name was Michael and he is pretty cool, he played college football too. We met Elder Bunn and Elder Chan and a couple of members from the YSA ward at Ill Mee for lunch because it was Elder Bunn's birthday so that was fun. Then we went back to the office and set up more iPads for the new missionaries. The Kinard's, a senior couple, took us to dinner and then we went back to the office and finished up some work there.
     Saturday we ran around a lot. We got a call in the morning from the Torgersen's (senior couple), asking for help moving so we went down to Ft. Belvoir and and spent the afternoon doing that. We set up an iPad for a new missionary down there too. While we were finishing that move up, we got a call and some elders had locked their car keys in their car so we had to go to the office, get the spare key, and drive over to Centreville and unlock it for them. At Centreville we set up an iPad for a new missionary and while we were doing that we got a call saying that an apartment was closing today and we needed to have it cleaned out. Great. We booked it up to Herndon and start cleaning out the apartment, some elders helped us and we got it all done. Then we decided to run up to Leesburg and set up an iPad for a new missionary because we were so far up there already.
     Sunday was a good day. We went to church and had an awesome lesson on Temples and family history work, it was great. Then we went to the combined young men and young women testimony meeting they do and that was really good, there are a ton of youth here. Sunday evening we drove up to Arlington to get the last two iPads set up and to the missionaries so they could have them for Mothers Day.
     Well it was a bit of a crazy week there towards the end, but that's life. I've learned God will help us no matter what and when life just seems to get crazy we need to rely on Him all the more, He will make us strong and we will be able to do what we need to do. I hope y'all have a great week and never give up on yourself!
     ~ Elder Brady