Monday, December 12, 2016

FUN pictures from her mission!








What a Mission!

Hi Everyone,


There is so much to be learned as a missionary. How to interact with other people, how to live with someone and be with someone 24/7, and how to be a real adult. I feel like I have been stretched near to my limits since being on a mission. It's great!

Because of the simple nature of our area, it's very difficult to find people to teach. As I might have mentioned before, our area covers one square mile and within that square mile there are 5 wards! Sis Holbrook and I only cover four of the wards, but still! There are soooo many members in our area that it's almost like we're celebrities when we bike through the neighborhood. Almost everyone says hi to us when we pass by, especially the kids that are out playing. It's so fun. But at the same time, this makes it difficult for us to find people who aren't members and are ready to hear and accept the gospel. We still go out and talk to everyone we see. Well, more like Sis Holbrook talks to everyone and I stand awkwardly and smile at them. I'm very good at that. 

Both Sis Holbrook and I have been getting sick the last few weeks so it's been kind of weird. We've spent more time than we would like at home sleeping because we've been so sick. Also our car has been having problems and the auto shop that we have a contract with is not known for its quickness and efficiency so we've spent a lot of time in car shops as well. This has made it even more difficult for us to go out and find people to teach. We really have to rely on the members of our wards to find those people for us. 

Something that I've learned over the last few weeks is to really truly rely on the Lord. There is absolutely no way that I would be able to do any of this if I didn't have the Lord on my side. I was reading Alma chapter 26 today and Ammon is giving praises to God for the success that they had in converting the Lamanites who were blood thirsty and extremely wicked. People had made fun of him for wanting to teach the Lamanites. They stoned him, scorned him, and threw him into prison! Right when Ammon and the others wanted to give up and go home, the Lord told them to go back and be patient in their afflictions. They went through rough times and struggled, and they did this all for the hopes of converting just a few. In the end, because of their faith in the Lord and their obedience to His commandment, they converted many! Also, in 2 Nephi 3:20-21 I read about Joseph of Egypt's prophecies of these Latter Days and how those who have faith would be given the words of the Lord. That their weakness in words would be made strong in the Lord.

These are things that I have been needing to hear lately. As I struggle to speak to new people and open my mouth, I now have comfort in knowing that if I have faith, God will help me to know what to say. I'm not alone. He won't desert me and I have His help. I can do hard things if I do them with the Lord's help. He knows what we need and He will answer our prayers. He's already answered so many of mine. As I study the scriptures each day, I feel closer to my Heavenly Father and to my Savior, Jesus Christ. 

I'm so grateful for the Savior and for the sacrifice He made for each and every one of us. He suffered so that He could know with perfectness everything that we will each go though individually. It brings me great comfort to know that as I go through difficult times, as I suffer heartaches and illness, frustrations and fears, that Christ knows exactly how I feel. I have someone that I can turn to in those times. Someone who understands and can provide peace and love for me. I know that He can do that for everyone, no matter what you are going through, Christ knows and is there for you. 

Happy Holidays! It's almost Christmas!

Love, 
Sister Conrad












Monday, November 21, 2016

First Week in the Mission field

Hi,

Life has been really good this week. We got into Arizona last Tuesday at about 10:30 and we were picked up by the mission president, his wife, and the APs. They carted us into Gilbert and fed us REAL FOOD! I was so excited you don't understand. Food at the MTC was awful and I felt like I couldn't eat anything after the first week. Sorry mom, but I may or may not have lived on cereal for about two weeks...So we spent all day going through New Missionary orientation and learned about bikes and cars and got interviewed by the president so he could better match us with our trainer. After that we went to the Mesa temple's visitor's center and learned about the resources we have there to work with investigators. Here's the cool thing though, Sister Thompson who was my branch president's wife in the MTC, she's a professional actress and has done a lot of videos for the church. She plays John Tanner's wife AND she also played the wife in the video that they played in the visitor's center! HOW COOL? I couldn't take it seriously though because I was stuck on the fact that she was in it. 

We went back to the church, ate even MORE food and then met our host families for the night. I stayed with the Holmes family? I don't quite remember honestly. But I stayed there with Sister Foster and another sister from Japan, Sister Ogawa. Yep, I'm pretty cool :) Wednesday we met our trainers and my trainer is Sister Holbrook. She's kind of the best. I love her so much and it's really nice because she's actually 25 so I can relate to her and not feel weird about being trained by someone younger than me. She's super sassy like me and really loud too. She loves people so much and loves to talk to them and be friends with everyone. She's helped me a lot in just the last few days of being my companion!

So there's this thing that the mission does I guess and they call it "A Sacrifice and a Covenant" I think. So what you do is choose something to sacrifice for the transfer and then you make a covenant with Heavenly Father. Sister Holbrook is sacrificing sugar so that we can have a baptism. Only two days later, we go to our first church meeting of the day (yesterday) and in our Gospel Principles class, a member had brought her non-member friend with her. In that class, this non-member (Sarah) bore her testimony of how church has changed her life and she'd only been to church ONE TIME!!! It was so cool! So afterwards, Sis. Holbrook and I went to talk to her and got an appointment with her for tonight! It's really cool to see how Heavenly Father keeps his promises when we make a covenant with Him and keep our end of the promise. I have decided to sacrifice naps and I may or may not cry over the next six weeks :( but it will be good and I'm excited!

In my personal study time in the morning, I started something new. I have a copy of the Book of Mormon that I am dedicating to the study of Faith. I spent about half an hour studying faith in the Bible Dictionary to get an idea of what I wanted to focus on and how I wanted to study. With that I have gotten through to 1 Nephi 11 and so far it has been awesome. I am seeing so many things that I never really thought of or noticed before! Like how much Nephi shows "actions" of faith before receiving anything in return. Most of the things that I highlight are Nephi or Lehi acting on faith and it's mind-blowing. Some of those actions I never really thought of as being actions of faith before. But I learned that faith is not just believing in things you cannot see, in the Bible Dictionary it's also described as a confidence in something or someone. That has changed my perspective on faith SO much! It's easier to have a confidence in someone, it's more solid and tangible to think of it as confidence. I feel  like I can have confidence in my Heavenly Father and in my Savior. When I say it that way, I feel like it's more real. I can really rely on them now. I'm not as scared or full of doubt like I used to be. 

It's amazing how much can change in a person when they truly understand something. When you truly understand faith, it's so much easier to have it. When you truly understand the atonement and repentance, it's so much easier to use it. When you truly understand the gospel and doctrines of Christ, it's so much easier to believe it and want to align your will and life with God's. 

I am so very grateful for this gospel and the beautiful blessings it has brought into my life and the lives of others. I know that this church is true and that Joseph Smith was a true prophet. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and that it is inspired by God. That the words it contains are there because God wanted it to be. I know that Heavenly Father loves each and every one of us and that He wants us to return to Him someday, and that Christ sacrificed himself so that we could. I love my Savior with all my heart and am most grateful for this opportunity to serve as a missionary, to bring the world His truth. 

I love you all and miss you! I hope all is well back at home and that everyone is safe and healthy.

Love, 
Sister Conrad

PS
I'm serving in Cortina which is in Queen Creek, AZ. My area is literally a square mile and there are five wards within our area. We cover four of them. My address is 19111 E Canary way, Queen Creek, AZ 85142.

The first picture is of Sister Holbrook and me

Second is of us with Sis Holbrook's last companion, Sis Smauch (in the blue), and her new companion

Third is of me in front of the fountain area that's next to the Mesa Temple's visitor center

Fourth is Sister Foster and I on the rooftop of the airport in Phoenix 

Fifth is Sis King being silly and adorable on the same roof








Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Safe Arrival in Arizona

11/15/2016

At 3am this morning Sister Conrad and her companion were up, packing, and took two trains and a bus to get to the Salt Lake City airport.  She was able to call us shortly after 6 o'clock am for a 10 minute call as she was about to board for Arizona.  She was in good spirits, excited, and cried because she missed us so much. So was so glad to finally get out into the field. Since her p-day at the MTC was on Tuesday, and she traveled that day, she didn't get to write us. She won't have another p-day until next Monday. But we received a lovely email from the mission home today explaining what their day was like yesterday leaving the MTC and arriving at the mission home, here is a portion of the email from the mission secretary:

"Their day began early morning at the MTC, so they had an early start and were worn out by afternoon.  Sister Zollinger prepared a lovely luncheon for them which they really enjoyed.  Our senior missionary couples oriented them on bikes, cars, referrals, housing, and the office. Each of them had an opportunity to meet and interview with President Wheeler.  Elder Ashton  introduced them to their bicycles, and by evening they looked forward to a good night’s rest.  They were housed in a host member’s home last night; then today they receive more training, meet their new companion, attend Transfer Meeting, and then head to their assigned areas of service.  We have attached a photo of group.  They are going to be great missionaries.  All the other missionaries in our mission are very excited to have the opportunity to get to know them."

Attached is a picture of their group, and will update when we get the individual picture sent to us shortly. She and her MTC companion and two other sister missionaries had all been together at the MTC and all 4 went together to AZ, she was so happy to have them to travel with.  She's become very close to these sisters and it's so fun for her to have them with her while she's adjusting to a new environment. 






Week 2 of the MTC

Hi everyone!

This last week was a bit more interesting than the week before. Everyone was on edge with stress. Halfway through the week we all just kind of broke and it was not uncommon for us to fall into hysterical laughing fits. I had some struggles of my own, learning about how to teach different people and personalities. Last Monday we started TRC visits (training resource center) where we would meet with two different investigators and try to teach them according to our purpose which is to bring others unto Christ. Both of our investigators (Sis Foster and I) didn't seem at all interested in coming closer to Christ and Heavenly father and were more interested in debating certain policies the church has given us. Well, one of them did that. The other investigator seemed more interested in the social aspect of the visit and didn't seem too keen about listening to what we had to share with her. I definitely felt like a therapist quite a bit last week. But I learned a little more about God and how to lean on him when I feel like I can't keep going anymore. I learned how to listen to Him more and rely on His love for His children when I would much rather turn and run the other way because it seemed too hard. I learned a little more about patience and humility. Things will almost never go my way, no matter how hard I try to control things. The Lord is all-knowing and I have to rely on His wisdom and not my own. I don't know everything, but I don't need to as long as I rely on the Lord. 

I also got sick on Sunday night and yesterday I just got worse and worse. The cool thing about being in a district is that I have access to the priesthood through eight Elders who hold the priesthood authority! Before Sis Foster and I went back to our room for the night, the Elders asked if I wanted a blessing. I wasn't too sure but I let them anyway. It was really weird to hear them say my full name (I almost forget that I have a name other than Sister Conrad sometimes).  But when they gave me the blessing it helped a lot. Some of the things that the Elder said to me were really comforting to hear. He reminded me that my Heavenly Father knew my worries and weaknesses and that He would strengthen me. He also told me that I would be well enough to start off my mission successfully by the time I leave the MTC next week and head down to Arizona. Knowing that I have that promise makes me feel better today, even though I am still sick. I know that I will be well again by next week and ready to serve my Heavenly Father. 

I am so excited to get into the mission field guys! I can't wait to leave this campus and get to start moving around and meeting people and learning more! I'm far from being totally prepare but I know that the Lord will help me in my preparations. I love you all and can't wait to hear from you all!

Love, 
Sis Conrad

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Her First Week in the MTC!

Mom! 

I have been absolutely loving my time here in the MTC. Much more than I ever thought I would! The schedule is so cram packed that they don't even give you time to walk between classes and buildings. They literally have every minute of the day planned for you. You were right about me loving the schedule. It's the best thing ever! 

So I met my companion after I sent my first email on Wednesday, Sister Foster. She is so great! We are getting along really well. She's from Georgia but really she's from California, she just recently moved Georgia. She's really laid back so she's been dealing with my obsessive need to be places on time and walk fast with grace. She also has a really calming energy which has helped me to relax and take things as they come instead of stressing about every little thing. She gets a kick out of the noises and faces that I make, especially when I hit my arm or shoulders on the toilet paper holders. So does everyone else 😄. It has been a great blessing to have Sister Foster as my first companion.

There are 6 companionships in my district. One of which is another set of sisters, Sister King and Sister Johnson. They are both so amazing and great. We all four share a room and we're all going to the same mission! I'm super excited about it, this means they might end up being my companion later on! Sister King is from Sacramento, CA and sister Johnson is from Great Falls, MT. We have all gotten very close in the last few days and become good friends. Not surprisingly, I have kind of taken on the role of a second mother to some of the missionaries in the district. I have been able to help some of the sisters here a lot and that has brought me great joy to know that I can do some good while here. 

Yes mom, there is one bathroom shared amongst the girls in my hall, but so far we haven't had any issues with the showers being full, and I take that as a great blessing. What the deal with the iPad is that we're a "pilot" district. I guess that means that they're trying out training missionaries on iPads and tablets and teaching them how to get the best use out of the technology that God has given to us and how to use it to preach the gospel. It's actually really cool. I don't know if this means we'll be getting iPads in the mission field or if it means that they might change it while we're out and let us use them. I'll find out when I get there I guess. 

Another great blessing is that I haven't struggled too much with being homesick yet. I think going off to college last year really helped me prepare for this part of the mission. Reading your last email about how you guys are doing and how Beau is made me a little homesick because I miss being with family and being able to talk to you whenever I want, but I have gained a second family here in my district. I think the homesick bug is going around within the missionaries in my district though. Some of these kids are struggling and it pains my heart to see them that way. 

I have been going through some intense changes and it's not even been a week. It seems like every day so far, I have had some big realization or some spiritual experience that I was in need of at that time. I get about 15 minutes in the evening to write about it in my personal journal and that is never enough time for me to write everything down that I wanted to. I'll share with you the first experience I had, which was on the first night I was here.

Wednesday night October 26th, my first night in the MTC, we did this thing called People and Your Purpose as a preparation thing. It was our first experience with teaching a lesson and as a large group of missionaries we met with three different investigators in big classrooms. A pair of missionaries "knocked" on the door and began teaching the investigator as a demonstration. What we as the observers were supposed to do was focus on our love for these three complete strangers. Knowing how I am and how hard that can be, to love freely and openly, I was shocked at what I felt. As I listened to these investigators talk about why they were there (they were all invited by a friend to come meet with us) and their stories and beliefs and confusions and fears, my view began to change. Suddenly I had related to every single one of these investigators in some way. I felt this unexplainable feeling for them. The thought that came to mind as I sat and listened was that what I was feeling and what I was seeing was Christ's love for these people. And at the same, I felt like God was telling me that that love I felt for these people was the same way he felt about me. It was such a strange and yet comforting feeling and realization. I felt like I was seeing these people not with my own eyes, but with God's. 

Oh I wish I could email you about everything that has been going on here but I just don't have the time. I will definitely be writing letters with the rest of the time that I have today so that I can tell you the rest. I love you all so very much. I know that this church is true! I know that God called Joseph Smith as a prophet to restore His true church back onto this earth. I know that the Book of Mormon is true! I know that God knows and loves each and every one of us. I know that he hears our prayers and answers them. He has been answering so many of mine and I feel Him closer to me every day. I love this gospel! I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Love, 
Sister Conrad ❤


                                          Sister Foster and Sister Conrad, first companions


                                                                    Sister Conrad's District at the MTC

Sister Conrad is off and on her way!

BreAnne was set apart last night as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Saints in the Arizona, Gilbert mission!  She bore fervent testimony of her knowledge and love of the gospel and her opportunity to share it with others.









Then this morning at 3:50am we left for the airport to send her off. Her brother and sister-in-law, Kelly and Tiahna will pick her up at the airport and take her to the MTC later in the afternoon. 



Beau had to say goodbye too:-)


It was an early flight, hopefully she will get some rest on the plane!









Saturday, October 15, 2016

BreAnne will be speaking in church on Sunday, October 16th at the LDS chapel on Jadwin Ave. in Richland, WA. She will be sharing her farewell talk prior to entering the Missionary Training Center on October 26th.  All are welcomed.