Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Finally in Piura


First week here is almost done!  Such an up and down week!  I don't even know where to start.  I would love to thank everyone who wrote an email to me this week!  I took pics of all of them and will read that later.  Don't worry family...I read all of your emails!  

So... I'll just start on last Tuesday.  Tuesday, we got on the plane after I called you.  On the flight, we flew over tatioone (star wars)...the set of "Holes"...and I think I may have seen the "3 Amigos" running around.  It was THAT dry and THAT flat.  All of a sudden we landed at this little tiny one building airport. The drive to the mission home was short but fun.  Somehow we had like 25 missionaries in one van.  Quite the deal.  Piura is like the perfect place of Peru.  It's colorful, it's green (where there is water), its clean, nice, and beautiful.  We met the President and his wife.  I really like Pres Rowley.  I am really excited to get to know him more.  That day was really fun to be with all of my friends, and to just see a little of the mission.  That night, Elder Baker and I slept in a hotel with some others and the APs brought in tons of Pizza hut pizza!  So good!

Zack with President Rowley and Elder Mamani

In the morning, we had a meeting in a stake center with the Pres. and all the newbies.  There, we got our companions.  My companion is Elder Mamani, a little Bolivian who goes home in two months or so.  He is very knowledgeable in the church and scriptures and English slang...actually strike that, NO English but "freaking", "how are you" and "Elder BRAUUUNCHAHA"  (I don't know how its so hard! :)  We left and got on a bus to go to our areas.  We drove about two hours from Piura to the Coast.  It is just outside of Talara (which is a coastal oil port).  Our area consists of Negreiros (where we live), and a couple other 3 Amigo-type towns.  Its pretty third world-like.  We live in an upstairs apartment of out pensionista.  It's a small room with bunk beds and a little bathroom.  It really isn't that bad.  Its clean and works well!  The area where I live is soooo dry.  It's flat on all sides, and the most desert-y thing ever.  It's the coldest part of the year right now and it's 80 degrees.  We have taught lessons in homes that are basically concrete blocks with plywood walls.  It is extremely humbling, but the people are happy.  I love all the members that I have met. 

This week has been the hardest week of my life.  And I am not over exaggerating. jaja  It's hard to really leave everything behind.  Basically, everything I have ever known is different.  I can't talk, I can't read, I can't understand,  I don't have any friends, I have no one to talk to, no one that understands how I feel or what I say.  It is quite the deal.  My companion and I get along, but I think he gets frustrated with my language ability.  I can't express any of my thoughts at I think he thinks that I don't know anything.  This morning he kind of railed on me for some miscommunication, and I don't like that kinda stuff...but I am over it.  I am learning and I am grateful for him.  Really the only things we have in common are the Gospel, the Scriptures, and the Spirit.  
I have grown incredibly close to Christ this week though.  Before this, I trusted in Christ, and had faith and knew that He is there and helping me.  But now,  I have never felt Him so close.  I have no doubt in my mind that He is there...crying with me, guiding me, teaching me, and directing me.  He has been the only friend to understand me.  I am sorry to vent, but I need to a little.  Sorry.  I am not going to lie...this week, I have wanted to come home.  I know I won't.  I love Him too much and I love you guys too much to do that. 

I modified the Missionary purpose this week to help me.  Here it is! "My purpose of as a missionary is to help others have a mom like mine, a dad like mine, an awesome brother like mine, two beautiful sisters like mine, a wonderful group of friends like mine, amazing grandparents like mine, an extended family like mine, a testimony like mine, a hope like mine, a love like mine, a salvation (pending), and a happiness like mine, by inviting others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end."  That is my purpose, and that is what I am trying to do.  The love I have for my family and friends has grown so much this past week.  It is incredible. I love you all sooo much.  I can't even express it.  And I mean it. Also, I was reading a little in Acts, about Saul, and his conversion.  There are some scriptures in there that have been so helpful to me.

I am so sorry to vent so much.  Honestly, up to this point in my life... I have never been homesick or so lonely.  Whenever we work, I feel better.  The problem is that we have 4 hours of studying which is sometimes hard to get through.  

So my area...We drive around in these little motorcycle things with three wheels.  They are super weird looking, but they everywhere.  They people always try to trick them out with decals and stuff and it kinda fun to ride in it.  There is always music playing...whether it is "another one bites the dust" or this horrible cover of the Celine Deon Titanic song that I am listening to know.  It is really fun.  They houses are all different colors and are all smashed into a tiny area.   

I am fine family.  I am sorry, I just needed to vent a little bit.  I am already feeling better.  I love you all so much.  I loved hearing about your trip!  Jackson Hole sounds so fun!  I am sorry, I couldn't upload any pictures.  I will figure that out next week.  I am excited to work more this week!

I love you and please know that I am fine.  Its an adjustment and learning process and I am just struggling like everyone else.  Its normal.  Ether 12:27.  I have learned so much already. 

I am out of time!  I love you so much!

Elder Bradshaw

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