Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Sisters Campbell and Cottrell had Sisters Ladd and Rodio over to the mansion!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tuesday Sept. 28th

Happy Birthday Piggy! Wish I could be there for my baby sister's 14th birthday!

And happy birtday to Grandma, Aunt Nancy, Uncle John, Leslie and Michael! Sorry I am way late on most but I didn't remember whose was when until Grandma reminded me, so thanks :)

Another week has come and gone. You know, it is a blessing to be on bikes, because the weeks seem longer! This is probably, however, the hottest September of my life. I'm sure last year was just as hot, because I wasn't used to it, but being in the VC and in a car helped a lot. I can't believe that October is here. This weekend is going to be so great. First of all, there is a baptism, and then right after the second session on Saturday we are having a baptism. His name is Jesus and it is amazing to see the change the gospel has brought to his life. When he was younger he was studying to be a priest, so he already understands a lot and it wasn't hard to add in the truth he had been missing. One of the coolest was when he decided to stop wearing crosses. He came in to his cita at the VC one day and was wearing probably about 20 crosses. We didn't want to tell him that he shouldn't wear crosses, but were unsure about how to address it. We talked about the baptismal covenant and how when we get baptized we are able to be the example or the symbol of our faith. We didn't, however, mention anything specifically about crosses. After teaching him, we weren't sure if he would understand the way it was meant, but hoped that he would change that habit. The next time we saw him at the VC we taught him about Pres. Monson and how he has lived his life following Christ. At the end of the lesson, he brought up the crosses, which was a surprise to us. He said that something that I had said in the last lesson made him think about how he didn't need to wear crosses, and he told us that after his baptism he would take them off. We were so happy and it was such a blessing to see how the Spirit had taught him through us.

We recently received a referral from some members. Her name is Betty and she is renting the side apartment of their house. Last week we had a really cool lesson with her. She marks everything that we read with her in the Book of Mormon and told us that she is confused about religion and really wants to know the truth. She is so sincere and I know that she will accept the gospel. Yesterday when we taught her, we gave her a list of questions of the soul that the Book of Mormon answers and asked her to choose one and that we would study it together. She chose "Why does God allow suffering to occur?" We studied with her out of 2nd Nephi and she was able to see how the Book of Mormon answers her questions. We left her with another question to study and answer on her own (How can my family be more united?) and we are excited to be able to discuss what she has learned. I love using the Book of Mormon in teaching. That book really is a testimony to the Restoration because it was written for our time. It answers the questions everyone has. Yesterday we actually did that activity with all of our lessons (meaning at the end each one chose a question to study) and it was so neat that every single one chose a different question. This helps us to understand better the needs of our investigators and how to help them meet them through the gospel.

We had our interviews with Pres. Ellsworth last week and were able to receive a lot of neat training that is coming down from Salt Lake. As always I am excited for the progression of the mission but sad that I didn't learn some of this at the beginning of my mission to have all 18 months to apply it!

Desde Mesa con amor,
Hermana Ladd

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

21 Sep 2010

I've got a lot of individual emails to write this weeks so this will be a shorter one. I don't remember if I mentioned this last week, but 2 weeks ago we painted a fence for the son-in-law of an investigator (the one who talked about toilets being white). He was shocked that we wanted to do service and kept looking at us shocked and asking why we were doing it. He said "I'm a nice guy and all, and I like to help people, but only when they ask me to." Anyways, we painted the fence, whether he believed we wanted to or not. Last Tuesday, after pday, we were driving by his house and he was in a Uhaul truck outside. We jumped out and asked what he was doing. He told us that he had to clean out the shop (his boss just closed their car shop). Then he looked at us and said, you know, it you like helping, this would be a good time to do it. We jumped in the car and followed him over to the shop, where we spent a good while loading all the scrap metal into the Uhaul to be taken to a scrap metal shop. We were so happy that we had gained his trust enough that he asked us for help. After we cleaned it up, they took us to get "Mexican" fried ice cream. I say "Mexican" because it was from one of those American "Mexican" restaurants and was just ice cream rolled in corn flakes. But we enjoyed the time together and were able to have some good gospel talks. On Wednesday and Thursday we helped Sister Alvarez again in preparation for their "restaurant" on the weekends. They are less active and while they have testimonies and know they should go back to church they don't really listen when we bring it up, so rather than pound them with invitations to church we just do service. However, last week, as we were leaving, Hno. Alvarez said "you know, if you want you can leave us with a prayer before you go. And sometimes you could even share a scripture if you want to, we'll listen." That was exactly what we wanted. We wanted them to show the desires. And then of course we got to eat their amazing food that weekend. Hna. Alvarez has promised to teach me some recipes before I go home, so get ready! Thursday we had a lesson with a new investigator. She is renting an apartment on the side one of our member's houses. Hno. Ayala is in the branch presidency and Hna. Ayala in the RS presidency. Betty is a young mother and was really sweet. We are excited to teach her again. Bikes are a little trying, and are wearing off their charm. Sunday morning we had to bike from our house to Gilbert Rd and the 60 (which if going straight there is about a 45 minute ride). At least we know we can make it now, though we usually borrow a car when we have to go that far. Sunday night there was a mission president fireside in Phoenix. I had never been in Phoenix before but it was super nice! Too bad it is hotter there than in Mesa, otherwise it looked like a really nice area to live. Hna. Rodio and I are very curious about what there is to do there, becuase every one is always going to Phoenix. Yesterday we say 3 of the Franco sons. We were able to see 2 of them on Friday. We had a really great lesson with them. We asked the sons what were some of the things that they had learned from their parents. Then we asked them what their children would say if we asked them. It was really cool the things they said, but what was funniest was when Hna. Franco said "why don't we ask them?" and got up to get her grandchildren. They haven't been in American for very long so they are these cute little Domincan kids, just barely learning English. Luis has 2 sons, Luis del Sol and Juan Luis. Juan Luis is home all day, he is only 4, and he goes by "blondie." We asked Luis del Sol, the kindergartener, what he learns from his dad and it was hilarious, because he started spouting off all the English phrases he could remember. "What's your name? Just a second. Hold on. How can I help you" etc. He has the cutest little accent. Then Rubio shouted at the top of his lungs "1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8!" It was hilarious and all of us were laughing. However, the best part of the lesson came later when Tomas was answering a question. He looked at us and referred the church as "your church" but then paused, looked at us again and said "I mean, our church..." It was so awesome!
I love these people and the things I learn from them each day and hope I can learn many more in the next few months!

Desde Mesa, con amor,
Hermana Ladd

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Did you ever notice that toilets are white?

The title for my email this week comes from a conversation we had with an investigators son-in-law the other day. It made me realize how much we take for granted. He was telling us about is life. When he was little they lived in Mexico and his mother left them with his grandpartents and she came to America. When he was young, this strange woman showed up at his home, and it turns out it was his mother coming to bring them to the states. He told us the trip from his perspective as a little boy. He said that when he got here, the first house they came to just after the border seemed like an entirely different world. "The toilets were white!" he told us. Have you every noticed that toilets are white, instead of concrete? I don't think I had ever taken much thought to that before, but now I will be forever grateful that they are. It is amazing how much we take for granted. He pointed out that the pictures on the walls were amazing to him because in Mexico, the walls were made of cardboard and would fall down if you put anything on them. It is amazing to me the humility of the people we visit, and the humble circumstances they live in. Many of them have small homes, that are almost empty of all furniture, but I never thought to compare it to their former circumstances. To them, just to have four sturdy walls and a strong roof is enough for happiness. We are so blessed to be here and I hope never to take our freedoms and liberties for granted. Romina and Marcelo might have to move back to Argentina to take over his family's business, which actually does well. However ,as they were talking to us last night about all the struggles they've been through here, Marcelo said "we would rather be poor here than rich there."

On Saturday we had a 9-year-old baptism. Jacob was baptized by his dad which was such a miracle. The Garcias had been a little less active, I don't know for how long, but when Sister Rodio was first in the area she an Sister Lopez really worked hard so that Hno. Garcia could pass the sacrament, which he did I think their last week in the area. With that background, I think it was especially touching for Sister Rodio to see him be able to baptize his son. I have been studying the talks from last conference and am so often reminded of the talks about the priesthood and the truth that the father presides over his household, no matter who else is present.

Yesterday we had another great miracle. When I came to the area, we were teaching 2 adult sons of a less-active couple, who had accepted baptism but were coming to church as regularly as we would like. When Sister Rodio came we went to see them and I met one of the other sons, that she had been teaching before. There are 4 sons and Sisters Rodio and Lopez were teaching 2 of them, while the other 2 were still in the Dominican Repulic. Then The area was whitewashed and the sister started teaching the other 2 when they came, but for some reason didn't continue teaching the first 2. So she knew 2 (Tomas and Ermino) and I knew the other 2 (Luis and Gabriel). Anyways, we went over and I met Ermino and set up an appointment around his schedule (the other three werent there). When we got to the appointment yesterday, Hno. Franco (who is always there) went to get Ermino and it turns out Luis and Gabriel were also there. We started teaching all of them and partly through the lesson Tomas came home from work. There we were with Hno. Franco and his four sons. It was a powerful lesson and the first time either of us had taught all 4, in fact, it was the first time all four had been taught together. And all four of them accepted a baptismal date! I can't really express in an email just how miraculous it was to have all 4 of them there, and after the lesson Hno. Franco looked at his sons and thanked is for teaching them.

We have seen many miracles in this last week. When Sister Rodio was here the area was split in 2, then whitewashed after that transfer by the sisters in the north area, so when I got here (and still) it was the 2 areas combined. For some reason when it was whitewashed the north sister didn't contact many of the investigators in the south area, so Sister Rodio and I are going back to these people. So many of them are ready for the gospel but haven't been contacted in 12 weeks! So many of our miracles are coming from those people in the south area. One of them said to us yesterday "I've been thinking a lot about you lately, and I guess it is because you were going to come today." I love serving with Sister Rodio, because we are alike and different enough that we just work great together. She loves the people from the south area so much that I can't help but love them the first time I meet them. And likewise, I love the people she doesn't know in the north so much and just love introducing her to them because I know she will love them too.

In latest news, the temporary bike situation from last email has become a permanent circumstance. So many missionaries came in last transfer and there are a few elders that can't ride bikes, so they asked us if we were willing to give up our car. What else could we say but yes? It hasn't been too hard, but there are days that we struggle and we come home exhausted every night. We have a fairly large area compared to some others (actually quite large, it takes us 30 minutes to get from the middle part home, and we haven't even tried biking from the far reaches) but we make due. The only thing that is frustrating is the fact that since it takes us forever to get anywhere we can no longer have appointments ever hour, but we are learning to plan timing better and when really necessary, we can borrow cars from the sisters serving at the VC.

Oh, and I promised to talk about the surprise from the VC! On Saturday at our preparation meeting we got to meet someone really awesome... Joseph Smith! :) Okay, actually it was just the actor that plays Joseph Smith in the Joseph Smith movie and in the Restoration movie, but that movie is such a big part of our mission that it was really neat. He lives here in Mesa and Elder White invited him to come down. My favorite thing he said was in response to the question of whether or not he felt pressure to continually live up to that role, since (especially in Mesa) many recognize him as playing Joseph Smith. I loved his response. He said that while many would think he would feel a lot of pressure it really doesn't matter, because he has taken on a more sacred covenant, one that is to represent the Savior as a member of His church. He also said that Joseph Smith wouldn't ever want us to mention him without speaking of the Savior. I loved that because really, all of us have taken on that covenant, first at baptism, to represent the Savior and take His name upon our heart. All of us should feel that type of pressure to live up to our "role". I am so grateful that not only do I have His name written on my heart, but that I have the blessing of wearing His name next to mine on my nametag for 18 months!

I hope that every one is having a great week and that every one will have a great upcoming week too!

Desde Mesa, con amor,
Hermana Ladd

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Transfers have brought a few surprises, some great, some okay...

So I don't know if y'all want the great surprise or the "still figuring out how I feel" surprise. I'll start with the later - I am staying in Ellsworth but... I am going full-field again. Don't have much comment on that since I wasn't even expecting that as a possibility and was excited to spend the rest of the mission in the VC. Actually, in all honesty, I was not excited about it at all, because I love the VC. At least mom you know my pday will be every Tuesday again...

However, this is where the great news comes in, luckily to outweigh the not so great... you ready for it... my new companion is a super awesome sister from California named... HERMANA RODIO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes Hna. Ladd and Hna. Rodio have been reunited again! I'll go full-field again even if the only reason is so she can have her second full-field. So pretty much, I am super super excited and 6 weeks of emails won't ever be enough to show how much I love Sis. Rodio and how excited I am to be her comp. I love Sis. Dewitt, but she is going to Sis. Lopez. At least we will still be in the same zone, because she was also one of my greatest companions.

In other news, we are on bike until Wednesday or Thursday, because our car broke on Friday and the dealership didn't have the part to fix it. I must say (and yes this really is Sister Brynn Ladd writing this) that I love riding bikes! It is a blast! And Mom, I don't plan on getting a little vespa in Morocco, but I am thinking about a bike! :P
Ok, enough with transfer news, now onto missionary stuff :) Sis. Dewitt and I have been studying a lot from last April's conference Ensign (super good, can't wait for October). It is amazing how specifically these things apply to our investigators and I love having a modern day prophet! We finally were able to see Romina and Marcelo (speaking of, Dad - which cities in Argentina did you serve in? Marcelo is from northern Argentina) on Tuesday and as we talked to Romina it seemed like everything she said was actually a question her soul had, and the answered were found in the talks we had been studying. It was amazing, it was as if the general authorities and been given her questions and concerns and asked to give talks on those subjects. We brought her a copy of the Liahona and then on Sunday night we shared a talk with them. I felt like it was a powerful lesson because it was from the talk We Follow Christ by Elder Cook and pretty much we just shared and testified, shared and testified. Also, I had Sis. Dewitt lead the lesson which I hope was good for her to give her the confidence she needs to speak the Spanish she knows. She has such a strong testimony that it shines through no matter what words she says. Conference seems to be a theme lately, and I hope it will help our investigators take the opportunity to see it next month. We shared a talk with 2 recent converts last week and this week they are studying a talk and are going to share with us. It is wonderful to see the modern application of eternal principles and again, I am so grateful for a living prophet. I would hate to even imagine my life with out a prophet to help guide it.

Desde Mesa, con amor,
Hermana Ladd