Monday, June 4, 2012

June 4

(Just so you know, our Dad's birthday is this week, as this email suggests. However, he is not turning 67, as this email also suggests... funny kid)

Well Hey There!

This week was so great! I am getting more and more settled in every day! I can truly say that I felt all your prayers of comfort, and I can't say enough thanks. You are the greatest dang family ever. Or in Kolby's words.. "You are the dang greatest family ever."

I want to tell you about some of our investigators! There are a lot.. So I will talk about a few of them. 

*Winifred: Winifred is a sweet middle-aged woman with two young kids. Her husband left her, and refuses to help them out, so she works every day from 6 in the morning til about 7 at night. She owns a little shop, and that's where we see her everyday. She has been so so receptive to our message. She asks the most wonderful and inspired questions, and listens to our answers intently. One thing that truly makes her special is that whenever we ask her to make and keep a commitment or a commandment, she responds ".... Of Course.." kind of like ..."Duh! Why wouldn't I!?" If only every person we talked to, in or outside of our church, had that same mentality.

*Doris: Doris is dating the Ward Clerk in our ward. She is a strong member of a different church, and is hesitant of what people in her other church (particularly her pastor guy) will think of her if she joins our church. On Thursday we had a very spiritual lesson with her about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and she committed to pray if the message was true or not. When we saw her on Saturday she humbly told us that she felt the spirit when she prayed, and that she knew it was true. She is going to be baptized on the 9th! This Saturday! 

*Brite: Brite is such a stud. He is about 23 years old, and is a barber. He told us in our first lesson "I want to join your church." It was quite the shock. We have seen him about four times since, and every time, he has had more and more awesome questions about how our church works.  He is keeping all of the commitments, except for coming to church.. He works on Sundays and says that he can't leave unless somebody takes his shift. He said he will keep praying for it to happen. We told him that when God gives a commandment, he always provides a way we can accomplish it. That gave him a lot of hope.

Those are just a few of the investigators we are teaching. 11 People (including these three) have committed to entering the waters of baptism. We are continually praying for all of them! 

The people of Ghana are very very God fearing. There are different churches everywhere! Tons of them! All claiming to be true. They love to hear and talk about God, and Jesus Christ. They all want to be saved! If you ask someone how they are, 85 percent of them will say "By God's grace." So when a missionary asks for a few minutes to share a message about Jesus Christ, they immediately say "Sure! Sure! Come sit down!" and they go on with a lesson. Many will be very interested and will want to be baptized as soon as possible. As soon as they are baptized they go inactive... That's how it has worked.. 

When President Judd became the Mission President he started to encourage missionaries to "Find the Elect", to find those that have truly been prepared by God to RECEIVE the Gospel. So as missionaries, we rely heavily on the Spirit. We pray that when we meet people, that we will be able to discern whether they are truly ready for the Gospel or not. It's very very cool, and I believe we are finding some truly elect people who will be leaders in this church til the end. Please pray for them.

Shaunski!.. (Shauni): Keep up the good work in Softball! I wish so badly I could see you play! I miss you like crazy my angel! Remember who you are! and remember to never forget the taste of cold chocolate milk running down your throat... Cause I have. 

Gageums!.. (Gage): Cross Country! Atta babe! That's so sweet! Let me know how it goes! Have such a fun week at Scout Camp! Obey all of your leaders and elders! They will keep you safe :)

Chanceums!.. (Chance): Good luck with Scout Camp this week! That is so fun! I wish I could be going with you. Remember to be an example to all the younger boys. I know you will :) Be safe! and... I feel inclined to say that since I've been on a mission, I have been given great powers that will affect the rest of my life... One of them being The Power of Super Smash. Be ready in two years for my wrath. 

Bridget! (Beegums) ... (Brady): Miss your humor. like bad! Remember to take good notes in Institute for me! And.. keep kicking trash in basketball. Don't let anger get the best of you.. Not good. 

Brinleyski and Chach: (I wouldn't put your real nickname on here): I am so excited for you two! Marriage is absolutely wonderful! I'm excited for two nephews when I get home! First one better be named Gerritt, and the Second one, Gerritt.  

Kadan, Trish, J, Moch, and Luke: I miss my Nephews!!! Just the other morning, I woke up to a baby crying at our front door, and I thought I was back home on a weekend! Bout made me cry! You are all so great. I dream about Trish's BBQ Baked Beans.. 

Shel, J'effe, and Jax!: Shelb.. I always knew you would see the light! Keep watching Avatar and teaching it to your family. Add the gospel as well. It is so great! I can't wait to see how big and grown up Jax will be when I get home. Thank you so much for the e-mail, and know that I love you three so much. Hopefully I will be loving you four soon...?

My Mommy: You are the greatest mom in the whole world. I will argue that till the bitter end. I miss your food like crazy!! 

Padre (Dad): Holy cow!! 67 this week!!!! I am so bummed I'm missing your birthday! I hope it is absolutely amazing! You will be getting a letter from me very soon! :)

I love you all so so much! More than you could know! I know the lord will continue to bless you as you strive to keep all the commandments. I pray for you all every night. The Church is so so so true!! It changes lives. Not just the lives of those that aren't members, but those already in the Church. Live it to the max my Family. As I know you have, and will.   

-Your Son, Brother, Friend, Punk, and Thing, 

Elder Bradley

May 28

Hey Hey Family!

Wow. This has been one of the craziest and most changing weeks of my whole life! I honestly don't know where to start!

The Food:
The only things I have eaten since I've been out in the field are Rice, Beans, some egg stew stuff, bread, and oatmeal. Oh, and some chicken gizzard. ("Who wants the gizzard?" "I do!" "Too Bad!") Love it. I will be experiencing my first real native food on Tuesday. Fufu... I'm.. Excited..?  
No fruits or vegetables yet! I heard the pineapple here is amazing though! Heard. No milk. It's pretty expensive I guess. I got a wonderful water bottle from Sister Grahm in the MTC that has a super filter in it, so that's really nice.

Living Quarters:
It's an apartment... Concrete. and.. yeah. Walking into it, I was immediately shocked. Not much there at all! I opened a cupboard in the kitchen and about cried... More cockroaches than I could ever imagine! Everywhere.  I also saw a massive spider on the wall, and again, almost cried. My companion and the other missionaries just laughed. There are 4 of us, 2 to a room. My companion is from Kenya, and the other two are from Kenya, and Etheopia. Our beds have these massive nets over them that tuck under the mattress. We have them to keep misquitos, and other insects out. As you can imagine, this has quickly become my sanctuary. My companion is super awesome though. He has been here for almost a year, and is very very enthusiastic! I love him so much already.

The Area:
I am currently serving in a place called Kasoa. It's almost two hours away from Accra, and it is absolutely amazing. The poverty here is crazy... I was IMMEDIATELY humbled. I no longer viewed our apartment as a crap poor place. On the contrary, our apartment is on the high high end of things. There are people everywhere. Walking, riding on top of cars, and laying on the ground. It's very sad.. We ride our bikes on the side of the road with cars and traffic completely around us. It was really scary the first time, but I constantly have a prayer in my heart, and I know the Lord will protect us. There are shacks all over the place. Most people sell out of them, but some people live in them. Our area is huge! We ride our bikes over pretty great distances to get to Investigators and what not. 

The People:
Black. I have seen a total of 3 white people not including the missionaries at the transfers. There are little naked black kids running everywhere! When I ride my bike past them, they all start crying "Obroni!" "Obroni!" It means White! Haha I love it! Everyone here speaks Twi. I am picking up some of it already, and am excited to learn more! Women don't care to cover up much.. It's just part of the culture here, and will take some serious getting used to. 3/4 of the women also walk around and work with a baby wrapped around them. It's super cool! 

The Work:
The work is absolutely amazing! We baptized 3 people on Saturday! It was so so sweet. I loved seeing them enter the waters of Baptism, and make that covenant.We are teaching a bunch of people right now though! Lack of Investigators is not the problem here in Kasoa. The problem is that everyone loves, and fears God. Walking down the street you will see shop names like: "Christ Salon", "By His Grace Clothing", or "God Market" It's very interesting stuff.  People love to sit down and hear about God, and Jesus Christ. So we as missionaries are strictly instructed to find the elect. We are told to search for the people who have been prepared by God. Those willing to change their lives by making sacred and everlasting covenants with him. I love teaching people! My companion is awesome! He is teaching me so much. I absolutely love seeing the change in people's hearts. Seeing their eyes light up with a new and serious hope. That's what it's all about!

I miss you all like crazy... I think about you all the time, and just wish you could be out here with me! That would be the only thing I would change. Know I'm praying for you! I pray that the Lord will bless our Family, and those that come in contact with you. I am excited to see the changes in all your lives. Continue to pray. Continue to read the scriptures. Especially the Book of Mormon. It is a huge part in conversion and repentance! It has all we need. Study it!! 

I love you all! I'm excited to start sharing some conversion stories with you! I know that this work is absolutely of God, and that he watches out for his missionaries. I am so thankful for the gospel in my life, and for the blessing it has been to grow up in the church. Can't wait to hear from you all again. 


-Elder Bradley

Thursday, May 24, 2012

May 20--Last Week in the MTC

Hey Everybody!!

This week has gone by so fast! I just have 2 more days in the MTC, and then I'm out of here and in the field!! I honestly can't wait! Wednesday morning, we are taken to the Mission home and the 5 of us serving in Accra will be able to meet the Mission President! I can't explain how excited I am to meet President and Sister Judd. There is a picture of them here in the MTC, and I can truly feel their spirit by just looking at them!

I had an interesting experience with the food this last week..  On tuesday, as my companion and I were getting ready to go to lunch, I said a quick prayer that I would be able to eat the food, and that my mind would allow me not to be so picky about it. I also remembered asking all of you to pray for me.. I felt your prayers.. and I can't explain the feeling, but I was all of a sudden hungry! I wanted to eat! and the food seemed appealing to me. Ever since this last Tuesday, I have not been worrying about the food here in the MTC. I don't think as a big old fish head on my plate as something disgusting. I am so thankful for the answered prayer, and I hope that same blessing will be with me when I go out in the field! But thank you for your prayers, and even though it was something silly like me being able to eat the food, it was a blessing. So thank you all.. :)

I love all the boys here. They are so amazing. I'm slowly getting better at understanding their African-English! Haha I'm trying to learn it too! I now pronounce wonderful "wondafoo".  All of the Africans wash their clothes by hand, even though we have some ladies that do our laundry, and they said that I better get used to doing it as well. I actually enjoy doing it! It makes me feel... cool. They also love to sing! Holy cow! from 6 in the morning to 10:30 at night, any chance they get, they are singing! They love when the white boys sing. Especially when I do my Chevy Chase voice from 3 Amigos. 

I just showed the boys those pictures of my long hair, and they laughed a lot! I am going to miss them all so much. There are quite a few of them that are leaving Tuesday night (My companion being one of them) and I know that will be a very lonely and sad night for all of us. We are so close, cause we're such a small group. I have made an amazing friend from Utah! We met some of his family at the airport, his name is Elder Tribe, and he is so funny! We will be friends after the mission for sure. The Africans don't understand my humor... I will say something that I think is funny.. and I get a bunch of Black people staring at me like.. whaaaaatt? I love it! Makes me laugh at least. 

I can't tell you how much I've learned since I've been out here! I would have been completely lost without the information I have learned here in the MTC, and I feel so blessed to have had such great teachers and such a great facility.

My e-mails should be much more exciting starting next week! But know I love you my dear Family. I pray for you every night and morning. I ask that you pray for me and my companion as well.. Pray for the people we will be coming in contact with, that they will be able to recognize the Spirit. I am so thankful for all of you. For teaching me, and helping me become the kid I am today.  

Love you with my whole heart, and my soul, and my feelings. too.

Elder Bradley-ski

 P.S. Shaunski, your e-mail made me cry. I bet if I had the opportunity to drink some chocolate milk out here, it wouldn't taste the same either! I miss your cute face and sweet hugs. Love you. 

P.S.S. Shelb, Keep studying The Last Airbender. It will bless your life. I know.. cause it has blessed mine. Love you and Jeffery and Jaxxx

MTC Pictures

Monday, May 14, 2012

First Week in Ghana

The schedule at the MTC allows Gerritt to write on both Sunday and Wednesday, so these are his two emails from his first week in the MTC. The first one is from Wednesday, and the second one is from yesterday. He also was able to call yesterday for Mother's Day! He sounds great.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


President said we could have a few minutes to write our Families really quick, so I don't have much time!

Today has been so crazy! We got up really early so that we could beat the traffic going into Accra, and it still beat us. We drove for about an hour and a half, in the MTC van.

The Accra Temple was absolutely amazing. The prettiest I have ever been to. It was one of the most incredible experiences I have ever had. Half of the missionaries here from Africa have never had the opportunity to go to a Temple before in their lives. My companion was one of them. He is a 23 year old from Sierra Leone, West Africa heading to Nigeria for his mission. I am taller than him!! He is indeed a spiritual giant. Seeing the passion and excitement he had to enter the Lords Holy Temple taught me a great deal.

We are super busy here in the MTC, studying all day long with a couple breaks. I'm pretty sure my mind is in overload. I am learning so much about how to be an effective missionary, and I am loving it.

It's really hard to understand all the Africans here, they talk very fast, and in a super hard core African accent. I have to ask them to slow down, and say the words slowly! They all laugh at us Americans because we can't understand them, but we share a deep deep love for each other all ready.

Momma, I miss you. I pray for you every night, and I feel your prayers as I'm doing so.

I love you all so so much!! Every missionary has comes into my apartment and looks at the picture of my family. They say we all look the same, and that we are a "mormon family"... It makes me very happy.

I don't have much time left, but know that I love you all, and that I am doing very well. Talk to you on Sunday!


Elder Bradley

Sunday, May 13, 2012


I absolutely loved hearing from you!! Bout made me cry..

I am doing so so great! I love being here in Ghana! There are 28 missionaries here in the MTC right now. All are African but 6 of us. 5 boys from the states, and one boy from England. The rest are kids from all over Africa including South Africa, Uganda, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Togo. There are 4 districts. I am in the "Moroni" district, and it is absolutely great. (there are 5 of us)

Our typical day is just like every missionaries in the MTC. We get up at 6:30 (or 5:30 according to my roommates) and we prepare for personal study at 7:00. We study for an hour then go to breakfast. Our breakfasts have been my favorite meals, we eat oatmeal, weird-tasting cream of wheat stuff, bread, and if we're lucky, we will get some african pancake things. After breakfast we go learn. I have learned so so much since i've been out here. I can't believe it! The teachers are extrememly hard to understand, but are super amazing. Lunch is typically rice (white, fried, or mexican-ishly spicy) along with either fish or some other meat, with a side of watermelon. After lunch we go learn some more! We have real (fake) investigators that we teach throughout the day so that we can learn how to teach. This has been my greatest learning tool thus far. Dinner is the same as lunch. rice, or dried yams with either fish, or a chicken leg.

Did I mention that the "fish"... is a big old fish head slapped down on the plate...? yeah. I feel like they are smiling at me with those sharp teeth and questioning my character with their eyes.. mmm.  As you can imagine, I'm having a bit of a hard time with the food here. I am continually praying that my mind and stomach will adapt to the food. Will you pray for me too..?

Exercise time is fun! We play soccer! and... I get completely owned. These africans know how to kick that thing. I was excited to show them how a little white boy can play, but... no.

But overall, this last week has been an amazing experience! I love all the boys. My companion is an absolute stud. He's a little black kid from Sierra Leone, and is shorter than me, but is a rock. Has the most simple yet most powerful testimony of the gospel I have ever heard. I will be very sad to part with him as he's going to Nigeria to preach.  These boys are awesome. They have taught me so much about how to be simple in everything I do! Just last night, I washed all my clothes by hand. They laughed at me. But it was so fun!

I love this Gospel!! Holy cow! I am so excited to go teach it to people! I know it blesses lives, and I can't wait to introduce it to them. I feel all of your prayers, and I miss you all so much. I hope you know how much I love you.

Pops- You are my hero. I can't believe how hard you are working, and I can't express my gratitude for all you do. I am praying for you all the time, and I know through your faithfulness, that God will continue to bless our Family.

Momma.. :( I miss you. and Love you so much. HAPPY MOTHERS DAY! I'm so thankful for you and all you have done for me. I tell all my companions about you and how you are the greatest mom in the whole world.

Beej- Keep up the hard work bro. I'm so glad Mattressezzz is doing well! The MTC here seriously needs some new ones... :/ But I love you, and miss you so much. The American Elders here also watched the first 4 episodes of the Legend of Korrah.. We had a bit of a bawl talking about it. 

Kolb/Brinleyski- Engaged!! Yes! I'm so happy for you two! I wish I could be there for the wedding! So excited. 2 more nephews!

Shelb/Jeff- Loveage so much! How's the new home coming along...?

Chance- Atta baby for singing your heart out! The next David Archuletta for sure. I miss your awkward hugs more than you know.

Gage- Miss you bro. I'm praying that you continue to make right decisions! (including the one to wrestle) no pressure.. Haha, I love you buddy, and i'm excited to see what you will be like in 2 years. Prolly a monster.

Shauni... :( The thought of you and Mom make me want to cry. I miss my two girls. keep up the hard work in softball! Holy cow I wish I could see you play!!

I look at the picture of you all every night, and pray for all of you. Continue to pray and read the scriptures together! The last week has tought me how I can learn more from what I read, and thats through the Spirit. I'm so thankful for all your testimonies! Know I'm working hard, and that I love you.


Elder Bradley

P.S. Mom.. don't worry about me eating fish heads and junk, once you get past the teeth and eyes, the brain isn't that bad. Loveage. 

P.S.S Tell Kadan, Trish, and the boys that I love them all so much too.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

First Email -- He Made It!


I am here in the Ghana MTC all safe and sound! It's so sweet! Super nice facility.

The plane rides were extremely long and boring. We flew for a combined total of about 15 hours!

I love all my companions and friends so far! I just got put in the "Moroni District". There are 5 of us. 3 of the Elders are from Ghana, and my first companion is from Sierra Leone. I get to meet them tonight when they fly in.

It is so hot and humid here!! I'm dripping sweat as I type! The ride from the airport was interesting. 13 of us crammed into a van and drove the 30 minutes to the MTC. The traffic was horrible, and there were people running around the streets and the cars selling stuff. I finally got to see some ladies carrying huge baskets on their heads as well ... Pretty cool stuff...

I can't tell you how lucky I feel to be here. I know it's exactly where I'm supposed to be. I love all my black friends. Their spirits are so so strong, and I am already learning so much from them.

Please continue to pray for me and the other missionaries that we will be safe, and that the spirit will touch the loves of the people we meet.

I love you all more than you can imagine! and I will write you more on Monday.


Elder Bradley :)

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Faring Well

A Monstrous Thank You! to all who came to support Elder Bradley. He sure is loved!

And then he became official. The days leading up to Gerritt flying to Accra, Ghana were bitter sweet. There were so many friends and family that wanted to spend as much time with him as possible. He sure is loved. As I got to spend time with him, it was apparent how ready he was to serve the Lord for two years as a full time missionary.

President Nelson came over on Wednesday night, May 2, to set Elder Gerritt Christian Bradley apart as a full time missionary to serve his two years in the Ghana Accra Mission. The Spirit was very strong, and the love in the room was powerful.

Our family masked our emotions by talking, joking, and playing the guitar.

And then he left us. Early Thursday morning, Gerritt was on his way to the greatest adventure of his life.

Look Out, Africa!!!