Wednesday, July 31, 2013

WEEK 2 -- Peru MTC

Hey familia!

So the internet is crazy slow today so I am writing my letter in a notepad while I wait for the computer to connect to he internet so I can see what you said.

Week two complete! Things are going well in the CCM. It has really sped up from the first week and I am doing great. This week was largely full of just classes and learning, classes and learning, classes and learning but we had some really cool things happen which I will talk about soon. Email time is what I really look forward to...but it is also the hardest time too.

So...our daily schedule here is mostly, wake up, be really tired, eat a really gross breakfast, sit in class until lunch, eat a bland solid lunch usually meat, rice, and potatoes. After lunch, we sit and study personally for language and gospel stuff, then PHYSICAL ACTIVITY, some class, dinner...and then teach a lesson to our teacher (hmo. Bejar or Lester for the lessons), then eat some fruit and go to bed. It gets really tiring but I am adapted to the schedule so I am just trucking through.
Peru MTC (CCM)
I love my distrito soooooo much! They are some of my best friends ever. We are diverse, but we are strong together and have soooo much fun. It is kinda bad, cause we easily get distracted during study time, but we are working on that. jaja (thats how they laugh in spanish) Elder Rogers is just like Joey Hyer, from how he looks to how he acts. We have such a great time, and we have felt the Spirit so strong. Other times...we just die laughing.

The first group of latinos left this morning at that was early...and sad. All of the experienced gringos left as well so the CCM is basically empty and it's the perfect day for a p-day. The temple is closed so we had three hours of shopping time. I just basically got 35 soles of cookies and soda, that's about ten bucks. And yes I bought a coin bag, because no one uses bills here...(wallet with pocket-mom) jaja. No churros today though. I love  going outside of the CCM because we get to see a little of Peru. Where we are is in a really wealthy area, so its like downtown provo without the big buildings or any trafic sketchy. Peruvians are insane...and tiny. the average man comes up to my shoulder, so thanks for feeding me well mom. Looks like my internet loaded, but I won't be able to share any pics today.

So...the highlight of this week was definitely Sabado.  On Sabado, we got to go proselyting!!! Holy cow! we loaded onto five buses and the drove us an hour away. I thought we were going to die on the way there...the streets were so crazy and packed. I was teamed up with a latino who I could not even understand. They dropped us off in the middle of a town that had one paved road down the middle, and the rest were just dirt roads like Lambert Park.  It was like Lambert roads with little brick shacks with plywood roofs.  You have to know that I loved it. We taught two lessons and had quite a few contacts. The people are really humble and accepting.  We had such a great experience. Teaching real lessons to real people in real Peru. BEAT THAT PROVO MTC!  

Elder B from Bountiful who is also going to Piura, was on a bus where we went and this big fat drunk guy came up to him and started slapping his face and rambling off in Spanish. So funny! We call Elder B, Elder Passion because he freaks out really fast and gets really passionate really easy. But I really like him. Proselyting was so awesome.

Today we managed our time perfectly so we had one and a half hours of futbol time, a nap, three hours of shopping, and then, of course, all of the laundry. So fun! The MTC is empty so it is wonderful not to have lines anywhere. It is a really beautiful campus, but the weather is frustrating, its always mildly warm and always cloudy. It can be a little cold...but I am from Utah and can handle it.

This week was a little hard just because I got pretty sick. On Sunday I got a cold for several days, then on Tuesday, I got the 'siempres' for like five days. No bueno. I am doing better now, but it is still on close watch. It is no fun. Cold and siempres are no good. I don´t know if its the food or a bug, but I think I got rid of it.

Elder Wilkinson and I are doing great. We get along really well and have only argued when we talk about 'Books of Mormon' or 'Book of Mormons'. We settled on copies of the Book of Mormon. 

I am so happy that Lexi is going to EFY, I really wanted to wish her a happy half birthday, but I know you just sent her away so there wouldn't be any "it's my half birthday tomorrow" jaja.

I have been doing really well homesickness wise...mainly because I am so busy that there is no time to think about it. I miss you, but I am doing well. I love you all so much, from family to friends...and truly I wish you could be here with me. But this is awesome!

If you happen to feel the same way, feel free to visit 'dearelder' or pouchmail to send me something. PLEASE!! jaja! 

I just got called down to the admin I have got to run!

Love you all sooooo much. Have a happy time. And keep doing good!

Love Elder Bradshaw

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Hola familia!

Well it looks like my P-days are on Tuesday!  holy cow! was a really long, really exhausting, and amazing week!  So much has happened that  I can't get it all into one letter, but I'll try. 
First of all...thanks so much for all of the emails, I loved reading them.  I only have one hour to write and read, so it would be best for people or pouchmail.  That way I could spend more time on my letters.  Also, don't send me any packages here, its kinda a pain if you do.  But letters are wonderful

So, I'll just explain a little of what has happened.  So Elder Wilkinson and I are already such great friends.  We clicked right when we met each other and we have been getting along really really great.  We have a great time together.  In our room, we have 4 Latinos.  Three are from Peru and one is from Paraguay.  Only one of them speaks English, like at all. They are probably our best friends here.  Some of my favorite time of the day is from 9:30 to 10:30 because that is when we get ready for bed, so we get to hang out with them.  Elder Wilkinson and I are trying to teach elder Diaz some English words.  It is so funny. He is a convert who was baptized 14 months ago and he is the funniest guy ever.  We have tried to teach him to say "investigator" and he pronounces it like "in-beast-e-gautuur".  Elder Wilkinson and I were dying laughing.  Last night, they were all trying to switch nuevo soles for dollars, and they were trying to cheat  us, so we called them 'robadores', all in good fun.  I really am going to miss them when they leave in a while. Teaching them English is like the hamnurger scene on Pink Panther.  We call them gringos and they call us Latinos, so it is pretty fun.  

A couple of days ago, we were assigned a distrito and I was named the District Leader.  I have really enjoyed to get to know each of them a little bit better and we have so much fun in class together.  Our distrito is soooo diverse its crazy.  We eat our meals almost everyday together and we are such close friends.  We each taught our first lesson last night with our very very very limited knowledge of Spanish.  Elder Wilkinson some how filled up a whole lesson, but we both came out of there exhausted and confused.  I felt the Spirit, but I am almost sure the investigator didn't know what was happening.  Elder Wilkinson and I know about the same amount of Spanish, and it basically doubles everyday.  I am so glad for that base I had in high school. 

Ahora por la comida.... the food here is actually really really good.  I am eating whatever I want, and I feel really good.  For desayuno, we usually only have one egg, a single slice of bacon, some really runny yogurt and a little bread.  Breakfast is the worst, and I am always starving after.  For almuerzo, we eat like kings.  We usually have a really good bowl of sopa (once I had bones in mine), some rice, fried potatoes, and a big thing of meat with some good sauce on it.  Then there is a side which is pretty good, like a salad, emplandoes (bolivian hot pockets) and some dessert. 

The juice we have every meal is real juice from fruits like cantaloupe, fresas, apples, purple corn, mango, and granadia.  Granadia is my favorite. look it up.  I think it's passion fruit.  So the shell is like a some plastic that you can break through.  Then, under the shell, there is a weird coating that looks, feels, and tastes like dry bread.  once you peal all of those away, there is a greenish gray color flesh surrounding tons of seeds.  It's like a mix between mucus and a pomegranate.  It tastes really good though.  I eat at least two a day.  Look it up. 

The Elders here say the food and bathroom relationship is "siempre o nunca"...meaning "always or never"...and that is true...I was a nunca for a while, but I'm normal now. 

At four o'clock cada dia, we have physical activity. And holy is fun!  They have a turf soccer field here so we play soccer all the time.  I like it most when it is just norteamericanos, porque the Latinos are so good.  None of them are really great players, but they have such a good ball handling and passing techniques, and us gringos just kinda kick and run.  A couple of days ago, I scored a goal.  Once there was a concert and barbeque going on just outside of the walls, so it was so fun to play and listen some awesome live Peruvian guitar while playing futbol.  Too bad no one has an interest in basketball, cause we could beat the Latinos in that...

There are two spots in the CCM that we can see outside of the walls, so sometimes we just go up there and look at the outside world to see cars, people, and a little bit of Peru.  The 28th is their Independence day, so I'm pumped so see fireworks and stuff.  

When they let us out to go to the temple today, everyone was soooooo excited...and we have only been here a week.  We stepped outside and it was crazy.  We caught a packed bus for a ride and it was only like 50 centimos which is like 15 cents.  The temple was soooo cool, I was kinda tired during the session, but I loved doing the talking stuff in Spanish. (we had English headsets though).  The most spiritual moment this week was when I said a prayer in Spanish in the celestial room.  It was so cool and I could really feel the spirit strongly.  The most I have felt the spirit this week was every time in Spanish.  Cool how that works.  So far, I know how to bear my testimony, pray, and contact in Spanish.  The rest is kinda my old knowledge and what I can pick of from the Latinos.  I love the Latinos, each one of them is so happy and so friendly.  If the people are like that in my mission, I scored!  (actually i heard a story about my mission that a guy baptized 108 people during his mission in Piura).  I really think this is the best part of the world for missionary work.

After the temple, we had an hour to go to some stores.  We went to a distribution center and bought some decorations for our room.  Everything is sooooo cheap.  I could buy a book of Mormon for about a dollar, a bag for five, and a picture of Christ for 10 cents.  We then went to Metro which is like Walmart.  There we got some Inca Kola...and by-the-way...its way better here.  Then we went and bought some churros (I'm working on rolling my rr´s) off the street.  SO GOOD.  Better than Mexico.  Here, the churros aren't as covered in sugar, but they are filled with caramel!  Holy cow, they are celestial.  Lima is so awesome, but I am so glad that I am going to Piura.  I can't wait to get there.  Spanish is so fun to learn, but I am super jealous of Miles and my other friends going English speaking, because they are able to teach right away, and I really feel bad for my friends speaking Russian, Chinese, and anything else. 

I love the CCM, it is kinda like a Hawaiian hotel, the weather is perfect everyday, even though it is cloudy everyday. And, actually, I am really sorry that you are all still stuck in Alpine!
Everything is going so well here and I love it.  We are busy and working hard every second from wake to sleep so I haven't had anytime to really think about anything at home.  I am so happy, even though it is so hard.  The only time I am not happy is from 6:30am to 7:00am.  But I am adjusting.  Mom, our room is clean and Elder Wilkinson and I have a goal for Obedencia Con Exactitud.  I pray almost every time in Spanish, and it is going well.  I really love you all at home.  And I hope you do well this week.  I will try to send some pics, but I don't know if I can.

I love you!

Elder Bradshaw II
July 18, 2013
to start off, know that i am using a spanish keyboard, so i dont quite know how to capitalize and stuff.  
so, everything has been so good.  immediately following leaving you, i linked right up with elder smith.  it was really nice to have someone there to walk to the gate with.  we both did great and we met up with some other elders going to las vegas for visas then mexico later.  It was great to talk with them and as we waited, five more elders came who were also going to Piura.  We are all really good friends already and it was fun to be with them.  Our flight was delayed, but only for an hour and a half, so we were good because of our long layover in LAX.  In LAX our flight was packed with 25 or more elders.  
I sat with elder Holmes (a SBO from bingham) and elder jones from Wyoming.  we had a great time, but we did not even sleep because we talked for such a long time.  Elder Holmes and I were able to hand out two BoM´s and we really clicked.  I hope we get some time as compaƱeros in the future.  The airline had good food, awesome service, and little ipads with games on them.  We played games together like chess and battleship which was really fun.   When we landed it was really really late.  It was one in the morning and we were all really tired.  We actually got all of our stuff, and had no problem getting into the country. We loaded onto two huge buses and then drove through Lima to the MTC which is about 45 minutes.  It was the middle of the night, but i just watched out the window the whole time.  So cool. 
We got to the CCM and were assigned our companions and our rooms.  I was paired with Elder Wilkinson who is from Los Angeles.  He is a really cool guy and will be serving in Santa Cruz Bolivia.  He is a year older than me, and he studied guitar at Berkeley College of Music in Boston (where John Mayer went, BTW).  Him and I really get a long well and we are having such a great time.  we both have no clue  what is going on with the spanish, but we love talking to the janitors and hispanic elders (or at least the ones that won´t make too much fun of us :).  We are paired with four other native elders whom I really like and talked to for like 10 minutes this morning.  We haven't had any classes yet, but I have already learned so much Spanish because we are so lost in it that we need to get as much from it as possible.  
I exchanged my money today, which was cool, and I got my name tag as well.  Which rocks, I'll try to send some pics.  Elder Wilkinson and I had a party with the tags.  The weather here is really really cloudy and misty all day. Its really humid, but not really that cold.  Probalby like Canon Beach or so.  The CCM is really beautiful, when you get within the huge intimidating walls.  The outskirts of it look like a prison.  Especially the bball courts, but the rooms and courtyard is awesome.  The food this morning was great.  We had eggs, bacon, yogurt (like barely solidified milk), some pineapple orange juice, and this nasty chocolate drink.  It was like the consistency of cream of wheat, was mildly warm, and tasted of rotten not even semi sweet chocolate that had been in a cupboard for the longest time.  I considered it a test of will power, so I drank it...somehow.  My companion saw, so he chugged it as well.  So we are a pretty willful companionship.
Funny story time, we went to take showers this morning, so I tried to balance the water, but it was so tempermental.  It would switch from frigid water from the glacier to ancient incan lava summond up from the Incan Gods.  It switched quickly when I was in it and I actually got burned on my shoulder.  I looked like I had been in the sun all day.  It was fried!  So funny.  Its better now!
Sorry, but I am running out of time.  I can´t wait to start with the language because we got like 50 lbs of learning material.  Please know that I am doing great here, and know that I love you.  I am so happy and can´t wait for what is next!
love you,
Elder Bradshaw
could you send this to Taylor, I can't figure out the at sign