Monday, August 3, 2015

One Week...


Well, as you probably know, this will most likely be my last letter home as a full time missionary. This week has been a time of reflection, which I have really enjoyed. I remember sitting at my desk, in Negreiros, my first area, Looking at a picture of Christ, contemplating the next two years and how I could possibly see the end of those seemingly endless months ahead. Now I'm at the end, and weirdly enough...sometimes I wish I could have a little bit more time.

This week has been a week of reflection, and starting last Monday, I really started to feel how fast it is coming to an end. I still feel like it's just a joke, and I still feel like there is still a possibility that I will be here forever. I feel like there is nothing else outside of my little world in Paita. It really hurts sometimes to think too much about it, and sometimes I think I try to hide that pain behind the excitement that I feel to return. When I think about the past two years, sometimes I feel really overwhelmed, but when I think about everyday of those two years, I can honestly say that I did my 100% best everyone of those days. Right now...I feel happy and relaxed. I can't believe the personal change that I have had, and I am so excited to see the change in all of my family and friends.

Yesterday was a tender mercy for me. For my last Fast and Testimony Meeting, Francis Navarro (who recently was re-activated and baptized his wife Mirium) was called to be the first councilor in the YM presidency, and his wife, Mirium, the 2nd councilor in the Primary. Anderson was ordained a Priest and called to serve as a secretary of the YM Presidency. And top it off, Francis, who before is a little bit reserved, stood up to share his testimony. He bore his testimony and thanked us a lot for all that we did for them with tears in his eyes. Right after, Anderson did the same thing, with tears in his eyes. The branch is falling in love with the recent converts and is really excited to help them out. I feel really loved in this branch it will be hard for me to leave. The branch president came up to me and said “Elder Bradshaw, you've only got a little bit of time left, but I would like that every missionary is like you.” Then he invited us to dinner tonight. I really am not trying to brag...but just like a nicely cut lawn, it is nice to see the fruits of the harvest after the work.

Zack and Elder Butron with members of their branch in Piata

This week I was pretty sick, not too bad to stay in, but just annoying stomach problems and a cough, but I’ll be fine. I feel SUPER SUPER tired everyday, but I think that just comes from the work.

I love my mission, and even though I am soooo sad to leave....I AM SOOOOO EXCITED TO COME HOME! I can’t believe that these two years have passed, and I can't believe that I’ve gotten to this point. I love this work and I love my Savior, and I am so grateful for His Gospel in my life!

How were you able to serve someone this week?
This week, I have been trying to help all I can. Basically just trying to do all I can for the area, the branch and others before I go.

What are your plans for this week?
Work, enjoy it, learn to cook little bit.

Anything fun for p-day today?
We went to the beach and played volleyball. It was super fun

Last Pday...ever!

Will you be able to write to us again before you leave?
Not sure...I might be able to from the office Monday night...but I don’t know...

Are you trying to take a lot of pictures before you leave?
Yes...I am trying to take a lot of pictures and to write a lot in my journal.

Any more requests for when you come home?
Just lots of food that I like. And chocolate chip cookies. That’d be awesome!

Spiritual moments this week:
We watched the Jose Smith movie with Anderson and it was a wonderful time. I felt the Spirit testify to me the truth of all that I have been teaching. It was incredible. Tonight we are going to watch it with Francis and Mirium!!! Also, we’re doing some Family history with some Converts, and I just got super excited about that. I really really really want to work hard in that area when I get home. I feel like I need to learn how to do that!

Funny stuff:
I ate something that didn’t agree with my stomach and I was sent running about a mile to the bathroom this week.  I almost gave up...that was horrible. jaja

Well, I love you all tons! I hope that you have a wonderful week.  The next time you hear from me, it will be my own words...from my own mouth. Whatttt.....????

Elder Bradshaw

Monday, July 27, 2015



I hope that all is going well at home. Sounds like it is with all of the wonderful letters. Thanks for always making me feel loved. I have been so blessed here.

To start things off....ANDERSON WAS BAPTIZED!!!!! This guy is a rock star. Hes got goals to go on a mission, and he is preparing to recieve the priesthood. He passed through tons of hard hard things this week, but he was really strong and was able to be baptized Saturday. Paita is a desert and our church doesn't usually have
running water, so we had to bring the water in from another area.  So...They filled up a huge tank of water and they brought it in to fill up the font. And guess who was there in front helping the most....ANDERSON. I have
never seen a convert carry his own water to fill up his own font! He wasn’t baptized in the ocean, but in the church. He is a wonderful convert, and I am so excited to see his progress here in a couple of years. I am sure he’s going to go on a mission...and he will be great.

Zack at the baptism of one of his favorite people, Anderson!

Other than the baptism, this week was a little rough. Honestly...some of it was pretty hard. We had two service projects....1)carrying over 100 buckets of sand and 2) carrying a ton of rocks. And I don’t feel like I have really recovered from that bit of service. I somehow hurt my back in all of that lifting and it’s been bothering me since then. On top of that, I’ve had a wicked-mean cough for the past week, and a giant head ache now for two days. I still don’t feel like I am all the way done with it, but I am feeling better. After the baptism, I just fell on the bed and we just called it a day, because my whole body was just hurting so much. I feel better, and am recovering a little by little. On top of that....NO ONE HAS BEEN HOME for these two weeks...where is everybody?????....Seriously, we haven’t been able to teach too much, which makes everything pretty rough as well.  I’m always happier when we get to teach.

Is it bad to say that there have been a couple days when I look at the sky, and think of the “ding....Thank you for flying with Delta, I hope you have enjoyed your flight...” or the escalator...or Mc Muffins...or stuff like that. jaja

I’m trying to keep on going. I really do feel happy, it’s just been a little rough.

My favorite scripture from my studies this week.... 3 Nefi 18:35
“And now I go unto the Father, because it is expedient that I should go unto the Father for your sakes.”

I have to go home, and I wouldn’t be obedient if I didn’t go home. I LOVE the Peruvian people and its going to break my heart to leave them to go home, but I am so happy to see you all. I love this place, and this people. Just thinking about leaving them hurts me.

So…here’s some questions (FROM MOM)...

-What did you admire most about President Rowley?
His example of work, simplicity, and love. He is one of the greatest priesthood leaders I have ever met.

-What lessons have you learned from him?
They are countless.

-How are your new converts progressing?
The family Navarro Ruiz is getting started on their Family History.

-What do you think you’ve contributed to this area and this branch?
I feel like I have finally been able to create a lot of trust between the members and the missionaries, and we have found more ways to work better with the members.

-How have you noticed the Hand of the Lord in your work this week?
The Lord guided Anderson to prepare for his baptism. Sometimes I just feel so much love from the Lord.

-What is something you’ve learned recently?
I have learned that it is necessary that we prioritize EVERYTHING everyday.

-How have you felt God’s love personally this week?
Reading the account of Christ in the America’s. That’s my favorite part of the Book of Mormon....especially 3 Nefi17.  I can see a wonderful example of Christ’s love
there and it helps me feel it and recognize it more in my own life.

-How do you keep yourself going during these last couple weeks?
The baptisms are really helping’s super exciting!

Here’s some more ‘home’ based questions… We’ve been wondering a few things…

Are there certain foods that you have really been thinking about and
craving? (home or restaurant)

Just desserts and stuff with bastante (??) chocolate caramel and ice cream.  Taco’s and hamburgers too.  Also...could we have waffles with peaches and all that stuff???

Is there a meal you would like to request?
I’m good with whatever.  I’ve already made plans to get a few sausage Mc Muffins in LAX

Is there anything you would like to request for Lake Powell?
My guitar.

This week has been fun because it’s the Peruvian Independence day tomorrow, so everything everywhere is red and white! It's crazy fun. Today we saw a parade. It’s crazy because this is my third time being here for this particular holiday.

Today for pday...we went EVERYWHERE to find some cool Peruvian stuff to bring home.  Um...there isn't really anything here in Piata for me to bring home.  I did buy like four CD's of Peruvian music to share with my family all day every day!

Pday...searching for souvenirs!

Oh, since you asked about another baptism, you are probably thinking about.....Gisela.  She was going to be baptized this week, but she works in a factory of giant squid packaging.....what?.....and they keep on changing her hours so she hasn’t been able to attend enough...nor have we taught her enough...but this week we will teach her a ton and help her preparations to be baptized. I don’t know for sure if i will be here for it.

I love you all a lot. I am still just so super happy for Anderson, the Nevarro Ruiz family and for this whole 'bonus' part of my mission. I love you all so much!  Please make sure you tell everyone that.   Have a nice week.

Elder Bradshaw

Monday, July 20, 2015



I’ve completed TWO FULL YEARS! I’m not a Returned Missionary yet, but I am an old missionary....jaja   No just kidding.

I’m doing good. This week had some real highs, and some real lows. But, as it usually happens for me...the highs were REALLY high, and the lows, were really low. But I guess that is what the mission is about. It’s a roller coaster...

Mirium was baptized Thursday and confirmed Sunday! It was a great baptism and the members helped a TON and really stuck out a warm hand of fellowship. Brigham, her eight year old boy was also able to be baptized. The most incredible part is that her husband baptized the two of them. It was incredible. I felt a great spirit in the baptism and it was a great day. I loved it and will always remember it. It was kinda funny, because we had interviews that day, and President Rasmussen just finished, so he passed by to see the baptism. It was awesome...half the zone was  there. It was a great day.

Baptism of Mirium and Brigham

I think what made it so wonderful was just being able to see the change in this family. They have changed 180 degrees, and I have never ever worked so hard to help a family. Seriously, we worked super hard with them, but it’s been so wonderful blessing to see them married and baptized.

Other then them, this week was really mas o menos, seriously, all of the appointments fell through, not many people came to church and it was just kinda a bummer. jaja We did do a service project with Gilmar (hes a member that was baptized about a year ago, and he’s a great friend) where we built a wall out of bamboo and stuff. It was fun because we did it with some members.  We were handy...and it was awesome.

Building a bamboo wall with Gilmar and friends...

To be honest.....when I hit the two year mark...I just felt a HUGE drain of energy. I don’t know if it’s myself saying that or if it really is a problem, but I just feel dead. jaja I knew this would happen and all, but its tough. Sometimes I am just super dead, physically and mentally. And it doesn’t help that I am on my way to getting sick. jaja My whole world just kinda came crashing down on Friday, so it wasn’t much of a celebration day...But it’s all good. I know I can do it. I’m getting pumped to come home, but I’ll be super super sad too. But it’s all normal emotions, I think.

Moms questions....

Baptisms this week... above

This guy is incredible, he is always with the YSA in our branch and almost every night he is with us or with them. He is really eating it all up. He will be baptized this Saturday....and he asked me to baptize him! He also asked to be baptized in the that would be awesome....we even got permission to do it with Pres Rasmussen. But today we are going to figure that out.

How are you feeling about 2 years time.

Exciting things in your life...
Just working, trying to keep on going.

Awesomeness of the week...
the baptism.

New things with a new president...
we had interviews this week.. I really like him, he is a great guy. they are really fun and different from Pres Rowley, but the two are both wonderful presidents. 

Any questions you have about coming home...
when do we go to Lake Powell, and what is it going to be like the first day I get home...

I teach next week on “receiving the Holy Ghost”…if you have any stories or suggestions
I don't know, but I love that chapter 4 of PMG.  It’s incredible.

Well, I don't know if there is too much more to tell...

I love ya lots....

Pray for me please!

Elder Bradshaw

Monday, July 13, 2015


Habla familia!

How's it going?  I am super good this week. In fact...I don't think I have ever had a better week in my two years of mission life. I don't know, it was just incredible and I'm so happy. I loved it. I'm in bonus time now, and I feel like God has blessed me a ton! On the other hand, I have never been soooo tired in my life.  I go to bed, and when I wake up, I am more tired that I was when I went to bed. It's a crazy life I lead.

Well, I'm happy that you all had a great time in Lake Powell. Sounds like you had a blast. Mom, I did receive your email from the lake, so it's all didn't stand me up!

Our Zone got to meet with President and Sister Rasmussen this week...

Super Blurry pic of Zack's zone with their new President...President and Sister Rasmussen...Zack's the giant on the left front.
 So, I'll just start in with the people I get to work with right now...

Francis Navarro and Mirium Ruiz- Francis is a less active who hasn’t been active for 8 years. Mirium is his wife who has attended for years, but to another branch, even though they live in our area.  Francis´ family are members and really active in the other branch. They have two kids...Brigham (eight years) and Paolo (2...this kid is so crazy jaja I'll send a video the next week) At the beginning, they generally have been quiet with us and a little reserved, but we have worked SO hard with them and to see them get married was wonderful. Mirium passed her baptismal interview this week and is doing awesome!  They (Mirium and Brigham) will be baptized this Thursday. Yesterday, the branch president interviewed Francis and gave him a calling and let him bless the sacrament! That was a great experience for the whole family. The members have received them wonderfully and it's been so fun. They are really excited for Thursday. Now we are great friends with them.  I’ll be sure to send some pics this week. I am so happy that she will be baptized this week. She has been waiting for years! And now...Francis will be able to baptize them both!

This guy is completely awesome. He is just eating everything up. With his uncle, Franklin, they went to go clean the church this weekend, he's attending all of the activities, and is just loving it all. The members love him and treat him basically like a member now. It's awesome! He's got a baptismal date the 25th of July, and he's pumped for it!

She is a referral from the Relief Society's actually her sister.  We went and taught her this week and she is golden! Seriously. She has already attended church twice, and is just eating it up as well.  The members look at her as a sure baptism. We are also teaching her two little kids (April 10, Astrid 8) And are working to teach her husband. the best part...wait for it...wait for it...THEY ARE MARRIED. After the first visit, we invited them to be baptized, and at this point...they have a baptismal date for the 2nd of August.

I have felt so blessed in these past few weeks. I now see why God wanted me to extend. If I wouldn't have extended, I would never have come to Paita, or trained/worked with Elder Butron, or met all of these wonderful people!  I truly feel so blessed.

So, I have four weeks left in my mission, and for three of those weeks, We've got baptisms planned. Were trying to get a fourth week of baptisms planned as well, but we will see about that. I have never had this many people ready to be baptized and I really hope that everything continues to go well.

What would have happened if I wouldn't have extended?  I am so happy to be here!

I love it here and everything is going so well. I love my mission, I love Piura, I love Paita. I am so excited to see you all too, but when I leave...I think it's going to feel like my heart is being ripped out. I am just trying to take most advantage of the time that I have left.

Now, In my BOM study, I am in Helaman 8. I’m on track to finish before I come home and I’m loving it.

I could never have chosen a better area to finish my mission. I love the members, the branch, and the people here. I feel at home.

In my pics, I've got one with president Rasmussen and his wife, and another with Elder Nosa, and Elder Butron (two of my three hijos (sons) missionary slang for those Elder's that they train!)

Zack with Elder Burton (left) and Elder Nosa (right)...his sons!

 I love you all, and...Mom...I hope this was an exciting enough letter for you...since you requested that.

 Elder Bradshaw

Monday, June 29, 2015


IT'S THE FINAL COUNTDOWN! do do doo dooooooo

I can’t believe I am in my last transfer.  It’s so crazy. I feel like If I were going home right now, it wouldn’t be right. I know I’m doing what God wants me to do, and this past week I could really see why I’m still here.  I know that I need to be here, and I am excited to see what little gems will be hidden in these next 6 weeks.

Ok, well this week was a solid week and I am happy.

FAMILIA NAVARRO- THEY GOT MARRIED! It was awesome. We helped them a lot this week, and they were married Friday. We were able to see it, but it started really late, so we were only there for a moment, but we could see them sign the papers and all. It was awesome. We also had the lesson and we invited them to come to our branch, and they accepted! Yesterday we went to visit them and they were like new people, seriously, it was incredible to see the change in their lives.  Keeping the commandments opens doors! We couldn't teach too much this week, but we changed her baptismal date to the 16th of July. They are doing really well.

Zack and Elder Butron with Francis day!

ANDERSON- This guy is awesome. Seriously, he’s already making plans to go on a mission and is super super excited. His family, himself, and the members are super excited with him. His baptismal date is basically in concrete. It’s incredible to see his change and excitement. He has had some incredible experiences with prayer and he is super excited to keep on progressing. He didn’t go to church this week, because he was sick and didn’t have any clothes....ugh so frustrating! ...But this next week he’s going!

Zack and Elder Butron with Anderson (green shirt) and Victor...and RM from their ward.

SO know, I am seeing my purpose here in Paita for July and August....Family Navarro Ruiz and Anderson. We have received another reference or a mother with her two kids from a member who wants to be baptized, so we have a possibility of 5 baptisms soon! So excited.

Paita and Puyango have been my favorite areas. I love it here. The members, the branch, the dirt, everything! It’s a great area!

It’s weird thinking that in 6weeks I enter into a whole new stage of life and that is something that is really crazy for me to think about!

Things are going great with my companion. He’s a great guy and I have had a blast with him.  He has taught me so much! Our new mission President is Pres Rasmussen from California. Starting Wednesday, I am the oldest missionary in the whole mission, with the other two guys that extended!

I love my mission and am so happy for the opportunity which I have had to be here.

Love ya!

Elder Bradshaw

Thursday, May 28, 2015

A Time to Train


I can’t believe that you are almost all in Summer vacation now! It’s crazy to me because it just started getting a little bit cooler here...just a little bit...not too much.

It was a good week. I am tired, and have been running for like 7 days straight. But it was one of those real good, hard working kind of I’m happy!

My companions name is Elder Butron. He is from Lima and is 24 years old. He is a wonderful person. He is so kind and loving and has lots of desires to keep on working and to help everyone. He is really really shy, but is slowly breaking out of that shell, especially with the investigators and people in the street. In this week, he has grown so much and I know he will really be a great missionary. I do love him, he is a great guy. I am excited to be able to be working with him.

Elder Bradshaw and his new companion Elder Butron, from Lima, Peru.

This week was a real successful week.....we found plenty of new people, and they are wonderful!!! I am so pumped. I try not to get over excited about a first visit, but we found another INCREDIBLE family.  Now we are teaching like 5 Families. and I am pretty sure we will baptize at least two of them in these two transfers. Super excited.

One of these families, la familia Roque Heche (pronounced Rocky) incredible! One day we were walking down the road, and started knocking random doors. We talked to a lady and ended up giving her a Book of Mormon. She seemed excited so we took out another appointment. We went back the next day, and her Husband was there.  Felix has never listened to missionaries from whatever church and we are the first ones he is listening too. He asked us a ton of questions about the different churches and how is the original church, and why there are so many, and said that he has never found an answer. We taught him and his wife the lesson and it went really well. His wife told us of a vision that she had a long time ago when she walked into a really old temple and a figure in white picked her up, and comforted her in her problems. After her vision, she talked to a pastor of another church and he told her that she needs to look for a church, and that it doesn't necessarily needs to be his own. She told us that she had been looking for a church for lots of years but has never found one that makes her feel good. The both received answers and light and the both felt the spirit. Elder Butron asked them to be baptized and they decided that they need to wait a little bit longer. I am so excited to teach them tomorrow. I hope it all goes well!  Pray for them!

The others are good, but not as prepared as the family Roque. We are still teaching the people I have told you about before, and one of those half-member families even went to Truijillo to the Open Doors in the lets hope that that was a good experience for them....They just need to get married, they have the plans, but there goal is in September....and we really want them to get married in we are working on that....jaja

The only problem with the 5 families that we are so excited about that NONE of them are Married.....sigh....

K.  I don’t really know what more to write....

But I am super super super excited to keep working....I have never had a greater desire for a good baptism...And right now is the time to do it. The goal is two new families baptized before August.....Let’s see how it goes.

Now is the time to act with our branch. Whenever there is a change up in leadership, then people are ready to work hard.  So we are super super excited and the members and super super excited too.  And we are here, ready to work!

Of course...HOW’S THE TRAINING???
It’s going well.... I am learning a ton and reviewing these basic things helps me, as well as him, to be better companions and better missionaries We get a long well. He is a great dude.

What are some thoughts going through your head as you have this training experience again?
“His first 12 weeks are my last 12 weeks”...jk

Tender mercies this week?
I feel like my tender mercies were the families that we found.

How’s your personal Book of Mormon Challenge going?
I am doing well...A little bit behind where I thought I would be, but I’m in Jacob, and loving it!

Everyday with the jump rope that Sister Ihrke sent me. jaja

Pday fun?
We went to the beach.  We always go to the beach, and I'm glad.

Pday with Elder Butron at the beach.

LOVE YOU ALL And I hope that all goes well!

Have a great week!

Elder Bradshaw

Monday, May 11, 2015

Blue walls with pink edging...

Hey hey hey!

How’s it going? I’ve never understood questions like that in letters...because you won’t even answer it until a long time after I ask you it...then I won’t even read your answer for another week, so...jaja.

So....basically I told you everything in my life yesterday...but it was such a great time speaking with you all and seeing you through skype. I can’t believe that was my last call! It was so nice to see you all.  It didn’t destroy me like it did my first call. And I was fine after. I am still excited to keep going and I am doing well here! I love seeing how much you have all changed, especially Elli. What?  She’s grown like a foot since I have been home.

Today for pday, we went to a little beach/fishing town and kinda just walked around. We climbed a mountain with huge cliffs looking over the ocean which was super awesome. The beaches here are incredible beautiful, blue water, huge cliffs, beautiful sand....But no one takes care of the beach area, so they can be kinda ugly. But its been a nice time just being around the ocean. In the morning we played some Bball with the other gringos which was pretty fun.

Hanging over the cliffs at the beach hike today.

So a couple of awesome experiences I had....About a week ago, I was praying and while I was praying, I thought of a blue wall with pink edging. During that whole day, I kept looking for it, and we actually found it! We knocked on the door, but no one came out. So a week later, we were walking by the same place, and I decided to knock the door again. When we knocked on it, a guy opened it up, looked at us, smiled and let us in. Turns out he was an old investigator, and a brother of a good member. He let us in but didn’t have much time, so we just got to know him a bit. Also, it turns out that his dad was baptized just this weekend in another branch...And he’s one of two of the family that aren’t I think it’s his time! We are going to keep looking for him.

We also found another family of less actives that has progressed a ton. so I am pretty excited about them....turns out that they are also family of the other guy we found....small world huh? They’ve recently read like 5 chapters in the BOM since the first time that we visited them, and they attended church AND the baptism of his dad! Pretty cool!  I hope they can progress. It was interesting, because right after we started visiting them, they didn’t have basically anything to eat....but after that, the lady won two huge raffle tickets and won two big baskets of food....Mosiah 2:41. jaja

 Mosiah 2:41 And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual

This past week, a couple of eight year old girls asked us to baptize them, so that explains the picture. It was a fun experience.

Branch baptism this past weekend.
I am super excited for the dedication of Trujillo TEMPLE. It’s going to be so AWESOME!!!! I can’t wait! One month more!  We don’t get to go, but we get to see the transmission of the dedication AND the cultural celebration that the youth do.  I’m so glad that I’m here for that.

I’m sorry, it’s a little shorter letter, but I’m kinda brain-dead right now. I said...I said it all yesterday!

Love you all a ton!

Elder Bradshaw