Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Week 5-Peru MTC

Hola familia!

This was another great week!  And in one more of those great weeks...I'll be on a plane to Piura!  I CANT WAIT!  I am so excited!  I'll just tell you some cool things that happened for a little bit.  As usual, nothing too unique, but still...some cool things.

So, I haven't changed that much here...I am still a nerd.  As I was going over goals with Elder Wilkinson, I remembered the 'intermediate value theorem' (i think) which in calculus basically states that you can't get to two points with a continuous line without hitting all of the points between it.  I realized that that is a perfect example of the CCM.  We get here, green as can be, with only hopes, goals, and humility, and we try to be the best missionaries possible.  But we can't just jump to the next point, we've got to go the whole way to improve...or hit all the points in-between.  It gets really frustrating and annoying sometimes, when you're stuttering after every word in a Spanish lesson, or maybe goof around a little during personal study time, but I am working and working away at it.  This past week I have probably seen the biggest jump in my progress.  I am really scared to report to Piura, cause my Spanish is only at level: survival, but I know that I need to keep on trucking!  I fasted yesterday to be able to prepare and be able to function when I get to Piura, and that was a great experience.  My faith is growing like crazy, my language is coming along, and I am becoming the missionary I want to become, poco a poco.

Here is what I have been learning.  See why I needed to fast a little bit?
I had a cool spiritual thought,  but I forgot my scripture references.  But...I will tell it anyway.  It is in Alma 20 and 22 when Ammon and Aaron are teaching Lamoni's father.  In chapter 20,  The king promises half of his kingdom for Ammon to spare his life.  I was thinking about this, and why he would only sacrifice half his kingdom to be spared.  Only two chapters later when Aaron is teaching him,  the king promises that he will give away his whole kingdom to feel Christ's redeeming love and to be a part of the gospel!  How cool is that?!  It really puts a perspective on how important the gospel is.  We are nothing without it.

We got some more roommates.  Elders Zomalloa from Cuzco and Cabellero from Lima.  There are some others going to Piura, but I don't know them too well...yet.  We are going to the temple and shopping right after this, so I'll search for a calling card.  I really hope I can call.  Just note that it would probably be next Tuesday morning at 6:00AM PERU TIME.  I think that is 5 AM there.  Sorry....

When does school start?  I am so excited for the girls.  It looks like they are having a great time.  Snowbird sounds so fun! Yesterday, Elder Baker (Piura) and I talked about Targhee and snowboarding for like 30 minutes.  It was really fun.

Coolest part of the week....So it was our last lesson with our investigator Lester.  (not a real investigator) We had a goal to commit him to baptism, and we had a lesson on faith prepared, but as soon as we entered the room and sat down...the Spirit took it a whole different way.  Our teacher (also investigator) had his fake member-wife (and real fiancee) in there too.  We sat down and just talked about how baptism would bless their life and their marriage.  I think we even made the wife cry, or rather...the spirit did.  Our mouths were filled with spanish, and with scriptures. We committed him to baptism!  Real cool!  It really shows how much the Spirit is a part of this work.  Every thing from my learning, to my teaching, and everything else...is totally directed with the Spirit.

Cool news this week!  ELDER COOK is coming on Sunday to the CCM.  What a way to end the CCM!  Since there is only like 170 missionaries here or so, I'm hoping to get to meet him and shake his hand.  Can't wait!  Also, last week for that CCM broadcast, I don't think I was able to see any friends, but Richard G Scott gave an awesome talk on prayer.

The most fun part of this week was definitely the gringo game of soccer we played as a district.  You would have thought it was basketball with all of the hands flailing and weird goals, but it. was. so. fun.

Also, I got my first letters this week! They were through 'dearelder' from Connor C, Emily J, Sunny, Connors Mom, and Adam Goff.  Thank you all.  It's hard to know how good that feels until you are 4000 or so miles away from you fam and friends.  Also, in any future letters, please send it with your email and address included, so I can write back.  I would love to write back.

Well, I am trying to think if there is anything else, but I think that is it!

I love you family!

Elder Bradshaw II

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


Hola Familia!
I love P-day...mostly because I get to talk with you...also, for churros.  The more I am at the CCM, the more I love it.  It really has become my home, even though I am living in like 20 ft sq, sit in a desk for 10 hrs a day, and don´t get my hourly sugar candy-fix every hour...like at home, but it really is a great place here.  Nothing really awesome happened this week, but we did get to go proselyting which is always fun.  I have learned that for the CCM to be even more fun, I need to have stuff to look forward to, so Saturdays, Sundays, and Tuesdays get me through those super-long language days.

Zack's playground
So, we are in-between transfers here, so we just lost some more awesome roommates.  Elder Renteria and Elder Pluas were the coolest guys.  We would hang out with them all the time.  We taught them to say some fun phrases like "get that corn out of my face", "what in the world?", "what's happenin'?" and a couple days later, we could walk down the hall and hear "get that corn out of my face" 100 times.  jaja.  So much fun.  They were really good missionaries with really strong testimonies.  They were great friends and we will really miss them.  But, since we are on our last two week transfer now, the Latinos who come tomorrow will be going to our missions!  I am really excited for them!  I am now itching to get out of here though.  It's been a really long journey but we are two thirds done now.  My distrito is so close, so it will be sad...but I can not wait to be walking down some dirt roads in the steaming heat.  Can't wait.
Zack and Elder Wilkinson with Elder Pluas and Elder Renteria
Proselyting:  Proselyting is so much fun!  I love it.  This time, since there were less Latinos, they placed Elder Wilkinson and yo together.  yikes!  They bussed us to Verenteria, and we started proselyting.  We had a teacher with us, so we would do the initial contact, and teach as much as we could...until they either asked a question or their speaking speed broke 100 MPH.  It was a fairly successful day.  We had a nice area. 

The highlight was definitely the first house we talked to.  It was a mom, una abuela, and three cute little kids that LOVED our English...and our watches.  I couldn't get too much of what was going on, but I was able to pitch in a little bit, and I could really feel the Spirit.  They seemed to really like it, and I could really see them converting at some point. They were a wonderful family.  I wish we could have just played with the kids.  Other than that, we tried to teach a guy with two teeth and a whole lot of mumbling...who told us that we have destroyed the gospel.  Always a great time.  A highlight.

So now for some questions.  Mom, I have been studying lots of PMG.  I have been going throughout it all looking for how to become a better missionary.  This past week, I really feel like Elder Wilkinson and I figured out companion study and our lessons.  We are clicking as a companionship and are adjusting to every little thing and helping each other out.  I studied lots about how to teach, how to invite the Spirit, and lots of other things like that.  I have also been studying lots of Español and its going pretty good.  I am understanding it and trying to be better...but its difficult.  I have read lots out of the Book of Mormon (before I forget, I used some money to buy some nice Spanish scriptures out of my account).  The BOM is my favorite thing to use, because it contains an answer for every little thing, ranging from temporal matters...to spiritual questions...to anything else.  Or it invites the Spirit to answer those questions.  I am getting excited just thinking about it.  I have learned so much about how it can be applied, and used, and taught.  The other day, we were going in to teach a investigator, and I felt like we should completely change our lesson plan...from Plan de Salvación to Personal revelation...because of his question.  That was a cool experience for us to swap in another language.  Spanish is amazing, but amazingly difficult as well. 

We have had the opportunity to watch DVD recordings of Apostoles on Sundays and I love them!  I have really learned so much from them because they are like General conference talks for missionaries.  Tonight we get to watch a streamed talk from the Provo MTC.  When I heard about it I was so pumped!  I may get to see some of my friends!

Everything is going well here.  It's always cloudy.  Always.  But once, we had a whole day of sun, so it was glorious.  The temple finally reopened so it was wonderful to go.  I have also been thinking lots about "administer" versus "minister" this past week as I have focused my study on being and becoming a missionary, more than what to teach as a missionary.  Thanks Dad, I loved that email.

I am sooooo glad that some of my friends stopped by to see you.  I really miss them, not as much as I miss the family though.  I can't really convey how close I was to my friends at home to my friends here.  But I love to hear about them in your email, and I really hope that they are all doing great.  If any more come over...or if you see the somewhere...make sure to tell them 'Hi' for me.  They truly are some great people.

End of another great week.  But looking forward to another great one.  Love you all sooooooo much.  I am so grateful for everything you have all taught me.  I gave a fist pump to the air when I heard about Lexi´s silly picture.  Keep on putting yourself out there...you too Elli.  Out of you comfort zone is where you will grow and where you will have fun.  
 Love you all sooooo much, miss you lots, but I love it here too!  Can't wait to get to Piura!

Elder Bradshaw
ps, I also heard that I might (might) get to call from the airport.  Don't get your hopes up too high, but there is a slight possibility.  So...no more rejecting unknown numbers for the next little bit!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Week 3 - Peru MTC

I am replying to write back so maybe I can send some pics!  I am sorry if they are bad, they were pretty small on the screen.  I might have a hard time writing today.  Everyday in the CCM is basically the same, so I'll try  to just describe some of it I guess. 
Elder Bradshaw and Elder Wilkinson's room in the Peru CCM
 So...time is just flying by here!  Our whole distrito (which is only norteamericanos) just freaks out once a day becuase is is going by so fast, so that is really good.  I really like it here, and it is going well.  It does really drag on sometimes, and its pretty hard...but we are starting to learn things in class now that I don't know, so it is a little more exciting.  I have learned the most by just listening to the latinos and teachers and practicing.  Elder Wilkinson and I this week really worked hard during our comp study time and our lessons that we teach improved dramatically.  It is coming slowly but surely.   Everyday I just get more excited to go to Piura, but I try not to think about it too much, or it is really hard. 
This week I was healthier,  but I had Siempre Wars Episode III Revenge of the Siempres last night.  I feel good than it only comes around every once in a while.  But I just keep on truckin'.  Also, I haven't been unhealthily homesick yet, which is good.  I love looking at the pictures I brought  and showing them to my roommates.  The Latinos think some of my friends are pretty cute jajaja. We got a new shipment of latinos and gringos in.  The latinos are not as crazy, and a little more reserved...except the ones in our room.  They are still crazy, so its real fun.  We also got two gringos in our room.  Elder Barker from Hurricane, and Elder Aoki from SLC.  I swam against Elder Aoki, and I knew of him, so that is kinda cool.  I know a Elder Nielson from LP, Hermana Moe from LP, and Michael Smith, and I have met two others from highland alpine region who I didn't know prior to coming here.  It is really cool.  I am already such great friends with basically everyone here.  Its kinda like a friday night party at home, because I am getting to know everyone and we are such great friends. 
Soccer Soccer Soccer.   That's the light at the end of the 3 plus hours of classes.  I am horrible, but not the worst.  It is sooooo fun.  Especially with only gringos playing, so we have a chance.  So random note...I was on LDS.com and they said James Taylor is doing a concert with Mo-Tab, so definetly check that out.  
With my district at the Lima Temple
Today's Pday was among the greatest yet.  We woke up early to secure the laundry machine to get an early start.  Then we had a real tranquilo morning.  Enjoyed a long 10 minute shower, and just chilled.  Then we went shopping.  I basically just by tons of comfort food. My favorite is the caramel filled churros, or the caramel oreos with poprocks in them...Strange, but it is good. As we were walking, some Elders told us about a guitar store, so we went and found that!  SO FUN.  Me and Elder Wilkinson and Elder Rogers all play (except that they are really good) so we just chilled and passed around the guitar.  We walked out of there with the biggest grin.  It was nice to get a little bit of james taylor, john mayer, and jack johnson in.  Most fun thing here yet.  It has been a really chill day and I really like it.  We might even get a nap in.
I have really learned lots about the gospel this week, and I really love my study time.  I did a really in-depth study of the Book of Mormon, utilizing the chapter in preach my gospel.  I would recommend to you to definitely do that sometime.  Look up the scriptures, especially the ones in the Bible, and research that.  Really quite amazing.  I really don't have hardly anything else left to say... Oh, and yes, I will have Elder Wilkinson for my companion for the whole time. 
We get to go proselyting again on Saturday!  Can't wait, that is the most fun thing ever.  Hopefully I can understand a little more this time. I think that temple will open up next week so I am really excited for that.  How is the new movie, I probably won't get to see it here, but my fingers are crossed. 
I am so happy that Lexi got to go to EFY, sounds like she is growing up.  I loved EFY.  the MTC is like EFY, except without the flaring teenage hormones, the COWS, the Mormon pop music dances, and the all-nighters.  Instead, we go to bed on time, wake up early, sit in class all day, and play soccer.  That basically sums it up.  jaja My testimony has been growing as I learn more and more.  I have loved to throw myself into the scriptures and to see them come alive.  It is a blast.  All of our classes are in Spanish, so I am sure they are good too.  From what I understand, they are good!  Love it here...it's a great thing.
So I am half way done!   Things are great with my companion, we joke around, have a good time,  I am doing wonderful.  Can't wait to get out there though.  I am sorry this email was scattered and short, I really don't really know what to talk about.  I love you all, and am so happy that you are enjoying your summer.
I love you all,

Elder Bradshaw (or how the Latinos say it Elder Braundshoughhhhh)

Mormon store near temple...no one wanted to tell them that they had it wrong!
Nacho Libre
Elder Bradshaw is excited about new name tags.