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)