This email is going to missionaries and families. We had the great privilege today to have many of the missionaries in the Jackson area, along with their new mission president, President and Sister McDonough, in our home for a 4th of July bar-b-que. We had a wonderful time and always look forward to having these wonderful missionaries around us. They are all such wonderful examples to my family and their dedicated service and sacrifice to help out here in Jackson is so greatly appreciated. For those families who allowed your missionary to be with us this July 4th, THANK YOU!!!!
Attached is a picture of the group so that you can share the day with us too!
Jon, Janeal, Michael, Brandon, and Hallie Steadman
"Hello everyone it is Nick! I am doing very well. These past couple weeks have been really amazing and have really opened up my eyes to different things I need to work on as a person and also enduring through tough times.
We had the special opportunity to go to a funeral with our bishop. It was a great experience. Me and Elder Milligan said the prayers. As I was at the funeral I pondered a lot about the plan of salvation and that knowing this is not the end just another step forward. There were many non members at the funeral and I wondered if they knew if there was life after this one. Many people down here do but I just thought how grateful I am to know the plan of salvation and all the key elements in it and what I need to do to get to the top of the celestial kingdom. I was also reading in Teachings of the Prophets (like usual) and I read the chapter on lifer after this and in the eternities. It really made me understand it better. Especially outer darkness. Many people down here believe hell is a place of fire and brimstone as it says in the Bible. Well Joseph Smith has said that its not actual fire and brimstone but it is in your minds. When you are in outer darkness you will have so much regret and sorrow for not listening and following the gospel. I mean I hate when my mind is guilty and always worried over something, it drives you insane. You try to explain that to people down here and they dont get it hahah.
I had the amazing opportunity to give an elder lady a blessing. She found out she has cancer, her second time having it. We set up an appointment and we first off, prayed with her then I just felt so strongly to give her a blessing. I was able to preform the blessing and it was very powerful. Not remembering what I said of course and we closed and everyone in the room felt so peaceful. Very powerful.
Another amazing opportunity I had was to be able to bless the home of an kinda older lady taking care of her sick mother. We taught her the restoration last week and also the plan of salvation. This time we wanted to bless her home. I had the great privelage of doing so. It was a very powerful blessing on the home. I felt the spirit so strongly. After I closed you could just tell the whole mood of everyone changed and also the feeling of the home just changed in an instant. Haha nobody felt like talking when we left because we felt the spirit so strongly. It just goes to show that this work is true and the priesthood is very powerful and can change one's feelings in an instant.
We had a great time on the 4th we got fed twice that day. Really yummy food! That night around 5 we had a water fight at a members home haha and I got my "Coffin sized" haha it was a funny experience. We had to be in by 6 P.M. that night so that nothing bad could happen to us! All in all a good 4th of July!
Our new Mission President came in this past week. He is a very kind man. I had the opportunity to meet him and get to know him. Amazing guy. He cares so much about us. His wife is the same way too. Just incredible. They are going to be great mission presidents!! I am very excited to work with them.
Some of the people in Pearl are coming a long. Yesterday we got rejected hardcore by a guy that was progessing. It was just random. We are hoping by the end of the month we can get at least one baptism.
Haha it is so fun to just saddle up on your bike and take off. Ride past the people and talk to them and either see them run back into their homes or tell us to keep riding. I love just singing songs as I am riding. You hear many songs down here that bring back the good ol' memories. This week I just started singing Adele randomly as I am biking or 3 doors down haha very entertaining.
Coming on to my 3rd month almost has been great I am really enjoying it and it gets better. Rough at first but then it gets WAY better! Just got to endure! Mhhmmmmmm :)
Well yall I am fixin to leave have a good week and be good!
Love Elder Bradshaw
This past week Justin & I have been in Virginia. I got together a little "Virginia" package for Nick. Not too exciting, but it's all there was haha.
"Well haro everyone! What a very rewarding week it has been! This week has seem to be the service week for us missionaries. We have been doing service a lot lately and it has been a great experience for us!
So to start one part of the service week off, we helped one of our investigators with his girlfriends burnt down trailor. We gathered the big sheets of paneling and put them in a big trailor to be sent to the dump. It was great to be able to help them out. It was a pretty big trailor and we got half of the pile done. It reminded me of my job I had before I came out here, at Alpine Cleaning and Restoration. It was great to apply the skills that I had learned to this service project. It was way fun and I only stepped on a few nails :)!! But it was all good. We then had a mini lesson and then we were done for the day.
The second service project we did this week was helping a new couple and there baby boy move into their new apartment. So around 3 o clock he comes and picks us up from our apartment and takes us to his apartment. He had a big semi trailer out from of the complex that we started packing out. The awesome thing was, we had to go up 2 flights of stairs to get to his apartment haha.... and it was about 100 degrees outside and the humdity was pretty great :)! So we chugged along making good progress... We ended up finishing in about an hour and a half. We had a good fast pace even though it was scorching hot..
We finished up that project and he took us back home and we were able to shower off a couple layers of sweat haha.. but it was another great experience.
The third and final service project we did this week was another moving project.... It was us and 2 guys in the Elders Quorum that were helping this lady move her whole house... At first we had to rent a 24 foot truck (the biggest one you can get) we were shocked when we thought that she had that much stuff to fill up this big truck but when we got to her home our thoughts became real haha.. We filled that whole truck up bin 5 hours... haha It was the hottest day on record for this year in my area... haha It went pretty well though and like I said in the first service project, The skills I learned from Alpine helped me. We filled that truck full and I remember how we used to pack peoples homes at work helped me know where to put things. We got done packing her house out at 3 (started at 10). She was polite enough to gives us bottled water often which was a blessing haha!! And so after we filled the truck we took it to her storage unit about an hour away. When we got there we loaded the truck out. She was kind and got us Mcdonalds. We all had a small hamburger and water. After not eating since 8 that morning it was pretty tough until we got fed. So after we got fed we went back to work chugging a long and packed out the truck in about 2 hours. It went by fast and it was a great experience!!
So this past Sunday I looked back on all the service projects we did... And I remember so well that everytime we were done with these projects, I always had a smile on my face. That really stuck out to me. Even though it was freaking hot and humid and tiring, it was always worth it in the end and it always made me smile and have joy. As I was doing these projects I kept repeating to myself when I started slowing down or getting tired "When you are in the service of your fellow beings, you are only in the service of your God" I kept saying that time after time. It brought so much peace to my mind and it made me want to work harder and harder. How comforting is it to know that when you help someone out you are helping your Father who is in Heaven. A man that creates worlds and everything in them. You are serving that person. It blew my mind when I thought of it like that. Of course me I complain at times and say this sucks often haha. But lately after feeling how great you feel after.. It made me change my mind in an instant.
So I challenge whoever reads this, give service to someone, Even opening the door for someone or mowing your neighbors lawn. Yeah it may be like uhh this sucks but I promise you that after you do it, you will feel so much better!!! Promise!!! :) :)
Another thing that has caught my attention even more this week is how much people talk down here... When we are trying to teach it is tough because they will go off saying something different or talking about their life story to us.. Like seriously we will be there an extra hour sometimes till we finish. I dont know if its me being selfish but it is tough to handle. I have been trying my best to be very patient and just endure through it but there have been times when I have chuckled in front of them cause it is driving me nuts haha I dont know how else to get my impatience out haha. I have been thinking also that the Lord is preparing me for the future and maybe strengthening my patients with my future wife or something of that nature haha ;). When we are teaching someone this is sometimes how it goes. It is like those times in the mall when your with a girl and they see one of their friends and they just talk and talk and your legs are hurting cause your standing for so long and your just dreaming about riding a motorcycle or something haha. Ya see what i am talking about? and all I can do is laugh haha..... But I am praying for strength! :)
I have been reading Teachings of the Prophets of the Church, Joseph Smith edition and that has been so incredible to read that book. Oh my I encourage everyone to. One thing that really stuck out to me was Joseph was talking about God and he said that God was once like us. That hit me like a car would here in Mississippi. Just to know for a fact that God was once like you should give you so much comfort and peace. It made me so happy that he knows us for a fact!!! Aww it was so incredible to read and to know this. :) Amazing literature we have in the church!!!
Well everyone I am fixin to end this Captains log today. I love everyone of you so much! Stay strong and know that the Lord is with you and will not let you down!!!
Love Elder Bradshaw :)"
Nick's 4th of July package!
For my BDay, Nick sent me a Bass Pro Shop hat haha! It matches my husbands red one. Thanks Nick!