Monday, October 28, 2013

Best Week So Far

Hola Familia!

This week was really good.  Much much better.  Actually, the best week of my mission!  So I guess I will just get started!

This week we worked pretty darn hard and we were pretty darn successful.  Our focus has definitely been Omar and Maria Elena and Juan Antonio and America Marlene (yes...that is her name).  ´merica.  J.A. (or otherwise known as Toto) and ´Merica were confirmed this Sunday so that was pretty awesome!  We have been visiting them often, and they are wonderful people.  They have such strong testimonies of the church and are going to get married on the 7 of December.  Can't wait!!! ...And after that will be their baptism!  Can't wait even more!!!  I love love love this family and they are truly converted and not just numbers.  Marlene told us yesterday that she is a member for the rest of her life.  Tonight we are going over to talk about temples and make a goal for here to go!  Today I studied a little bit about the temple to help explain it to her...and I realized what a great blessing it is in our lives.  The covenants, the blessings, the Spirit, the knowledge, and the power of the endowment.  I am so grateful I've had that opportunity, and it is sooooooo wonderful.  I can't wait for her to experience that!  Also this week, it was Said Tomas' birthday.  He is their crazy 6 year old kid. Like, seriously CRAZY.  Like one of my little cousins on red bull packed into a little 6 year old Latino body.  Insane.  The family invited us over for a party and cake and it was so fun.  I love this family so much.

Our other investigators are wonderful but there are only a few that are really progressing.  We've been looking for this 14 year-old girl that we couldn't find for quite some time, and she is going to get baptized on the first week of November or so.  Also, we have some others that we plan on working real hard with.

This week President gave us an article to read, which is called The Fourth Missionary... I loved it and it completely changed my outlook of my mission.  (I'm sure anyone could look it up.)  The whole thing is based on how the desires of our hearts help decide what we do and the blessings we receive.  So, this week I have been trying hard to put my heart into the heavens and let the Lord do whatever he wants with me.  In the short time that I have studied this, and done this, it has helped me quite a bit!   I've felt the Spirit soooo strong this week, and I really feel like it is guiding me in my speaking and my teaching.  I am really starting to enjoy this.

Things with my companion have been going much better.  I can feel your prayers and see the results of those prayers in my life right NOW.   He told me that I finally have his respect, so its all good!

I received a package from G and G Bradshaw and tons of mail this week!  Yay! and thank you means so much to hear from each of you.  I love you all and I am almost out of time. 

Sharing American candy with the Zone Leaders and having banana splits.
Have a wonderful week and know that I pray for you everyday. 

Lexi...keep doing whats right, and be a friend to everyone...because everyone deserves it!

Love all you so much!

Elder Bradshaw

Monday, October 21, 2013


Hello Family! 

This week was a lot better. 

I felt the Spirit so much more...and worked really really hard.  I always don’t know where to start.  It's pretty difficult because all of the days seem the same sometimes.  I loved reading your letters, I had teary eyes, and I can really feel your love super strong right now.  And sometimes I just need to feel that.  Gracias.

Last week, I forgot to say that I got a package from Ihrkes!  THANK YOU so much!  We use the cards with the kids and the gum is delicious!  I also hear that I have another one, so thanks sooooo much!

This week, and the last, we worked really hard in our finding efforts.  And good is really paying off.  We found lots of investigators who are completely ready to hear the gospel, including some families!  Right now, we have 11 investigators with baptismal date for the 17 de Noviembre, and we are going to do all that is possible to make that happen.  We are super pumped for them!  

Elders Bradshaw and Mamani  at the baptism of Juan Antonio and his grandmother, Marlene

We also had the baptisms of Marlene (the grandma in the photo) y Juan Antonio (the 9 year old).  I was able to baptize Juan Antonio and it was a great experience.  He is really my bud and we are pretty tight.  I am pretty sure I have done over 100 thumb wars with him, and he is quite the cool kid.  Also in the photo, there is one with Omar and Maria Elena, and they are going to do all that is possible a marry this November.  We talked with them yesterday, and they are pumped to do whatever is possible to find the money and papers for their marriage.

Zack with the beautiful Familia de Omar that he loves...with Omar and Maria Elena, Juan Antonio...and Marlene

We also found another family.  La familia Guerrero.  They are awesome and we are working hard with them.

Something really funny happened this week!  We were walking down the road, and started talking with this guy.  He was a little loopy and like 75 years old, but we sacamos un cita (sorry don’t really know how to say that in English) and went to his house,.  At his house (which was horribly filthy and dark and smelly.  We tried to teach him, but I don’t really even know what was happeneing.  He spoke Spanish like an Italian (with the little sing) and didn’t understand anything at all.  The closest thing I cant think of is Golem on Lord of the Rings.  He was exactly like golem..  Quite the experience.

This week I really gained a testimony of work...hard work...and hard work with the Spirit.  I really like my area, and I love the people.  We've got a power packed four weeks ahead of us...and I am learning oh so much. 

Sorry that this is a little shorter letter this week, but I wanted a chance to write to some friends...and to Taylor specifically.

Thanks so much for your support and for your love.  I love you soooooo much.  All of you.

Elder Bradshaw 2

Monday, October 14, 2013


Buenas tardes familia!

My keyboard is so messed up so I am so sorry if this letter is feo.  This week was a quite a week.  I don’t even know really how to explain it.  So I guess I'll just jump into it. 

This week was pretty regular.  We have been working tons with Omar's family.  Juan Antonio, the nine year old, and Marlene, the 65-ish year old abuela (grandmother), will be baptized this Sunday, so were preparing them.  Omar and Maria Elena need to marry first, so were hoping that that will go ok for them.  It's kind of a pain for most people to marry, and it takes a long we are praying for them lots!  They attended church this week and appeared to really like it.  Juan Antonio actually bore his Testimony!!!  That was quite a shock but it was wonderful.  They all are doing wonderful, and these two will be baptized this Sunday. 

This week we worked really hard to find some new investigators.  We found two families and they are both seem to be really prepared.  I don’t want to spend too much time talking about them, because we don’t know too much about them, but I am sure that at least one of them “seguirá el ejemplo de JesuCristo al ser bautizado”.  Pero vamos a ver. (will follow the example of Jesus Christ by being baptized. But we'll see.)

This week wasn’t really that exciting, but it's all good.  This Friday, my companion went to Piura (which is a two hour drive in a tour bus)  for a training for the Lidres de Distritos (District Leaders), so I was left in my area with a missionary from my group, and one that arrived 3 days before… That was quite the experience.  They were both latinos, so we could function, but it was quite the test!  It was good to see that I am picking this up a little bit, and that I can do it.  It was also pretty fun.  

Zack in front of the Talara Cathedral.

It really sounds like you guys have had a wonderful week.  Park City (I don’t even want to see pictures;), yard work, and the Music and the Spoken word!  Sounds wonderful! 


Best part of the week: 

Funniest part of the week?  
My daily Spanish failures are pretty funny.  Like yesterday an investigator fed us, and I told him thanks, but he said “give thanks to God”, then I told him “thanks” again, I don’t know why, but it happened.

Not this week.
Do you ever feel like you are in danger?  
I feel pretty safe most of the time.  My area is way chill!  It's kind of like the 'St George' of this region,  no one is out at nights, it's pretty good.

Do you ever speak in church?  You could be a cheerleader for ward members to invite their friends to church! 
I have spoken in church like 3 times.  We are trying to work with the members, but there isn’t much of a response.

How's the cooking.   
If you could send me some way basic recipes.  I usually eat some hamburger meat, some hotdog, noodles and ketchup for dinner.  Breakfast is usually an egg or two, oatmeal, and some fruit.

Gaining weight or losing weight?
Think I'm gaining. 

I am doing really good now, don’t worry about me.  I am going to work sooooo hard this week to learn all I can.  I am so grateful for the loving family I have at home cheering and praying for me.  I love you all sooooo much.  Tengan una buena semana! (Have a good week!)

Elder Bradshaw

Monday, October 7, 2013

Week of Conferences

October 7, 2013

(Editors note:  We are assuming that Zack is thinking more in Spanish due to some of the bad English found in this least we are hoping that is the reason!)

Hola familia,

Tal vez yo quiero a escribir total mi carta en Español.  Pero no pienso que ustedes les gustaría eso mucho, entonces, ingles. (No...we don't understand what he's saying here...)

Sounds like everything is going well at home.  I am so proud of Lexi!  First place dance trio at the Shakespeare Festival...that’s awesome.  My years in competitions were solid 2nds, so that’s pretty impressive.  Fall break sounds awesome too!  It is comforting just to hear that everyone is ok. 

Before I forget, um, My companion keeps on asking me to ask you to send him sunglasses like mine. Don’t send them, I'm only asking so I can tell him that I asked.  He also asks me to present him a gringa, so…ladies...the offer is out, check and check.  I can pass both those off with him.

This week was good.  

One highlight was my improvement in teaching!  I actually really taught this week and I am excited to work more on that.  I really liked it actually.  

It's been super busy, but everything is going smoothly.  I have basically adjusted now, after 6 weeks, and I am doing well.  

Zack with Elder Michael Smith...from Alpine

The highlight this week was definitely going to Piura for a 5 week training with all of the newbies.  We went on Wednesday and it was so wonderful to see all of my MTC buds.  I sent one pic with Michael Smith.  All of my friends are doing well, and it was fun to see their progress in Spanish as well as everything else.  Everyone had a kind of “what just happened” look on their face.  Everyone talked a little quieter, and everyone was just so full of stories and pictures.  It was just wonderful.  I loved it.  

Zack's MTC group gathered for 5-week training

We also had a Zone Conference the next day, which was fun.  There is a lot of “less active” work here, and were starting a new type of program to help with that.  My zone is pretty awesome and I love to spend some time with them.  

We also had General Conference this weekend and we watched it LIVE.  Same time as you guys!  We were in Talara both days...all it was super exhausting.  I watched the first session in English, and then the rest in Spanish.  I didn’t really get too much out of that part conference, which is kind of a bummer, but I did learn some. 

One thing that I learned is the importance of member missionary work.  I don’t really like the phrase “full-time  missionary.”  In reality, God has 15,000,000 “full time missionaries” and 80,000 two-year devoted missionaries.  We have all been so blessed with this gospel, and part of this gospel and our baptismal covenant is to share it.  It might be kinda hard in Alpine, but always, we can spread it! 

Things with my companion are doing good now.  Sometimes I still get “zack-thrashed”.  He tells me that I don’t know anything, or offends me pretty bad lots, but I have learned to push it aside.  Everyday is a rollercoaster, but for the most part...we're good.  Today we are buying matching ties, so I'm thinking that’s a good sign.  I pray for patience everyday, and then I hope that I don’t run out. We are starting to become friends, tell stories, and joke more.  Transfers are today and tomorrow.  It’s a twelve week training thing, so I am half way done!  Both of us are staying in this area, and its all good.  I think I can do one more.  I think I will be here until Christmas.  My companion will leave this area in November.  It's pretty sure that this will happen, but we will see.

Omar family? 
They are wonderful!  We did a family night with them, and Omar bore a really strong testimony of the Gospel which made me happy.  I took over some Swedish fish and they loved them!  This week, they attended conference with us (Sunday morning)...and everything went perfectly.  Members came and sat by them, the talks were exactly what they needed, and it was great.  Only, they kept on falling asleep. Jaja.  We have a baptismal date with them on the 20th of Octubre, but they need to marry first... (no one here is married, Chastity is a HUGE problem).  So I think their baptism may come a little later.  They are doing wonderful.

Most spiritual time of the week?
Omar's testimony, Elder Uchtdorf's talk Saturday morning (I listened in English), and the last song at conference (Tis eventide).  I don’t know, I just felt the Spirit so strongly.  I thought about you guys lots this weekend and all the fun memories we have had on conference weekend.

Best time of the week? 
5 week training

Not this week!

Learn anything from Conference?
I loved Elder Dubes talk about looking forward.  That’s a big help for me right now.

Are transfers next week...isn't training a 12 week program?  
I'm staying here.  I'll finish my training and probably have one more transfer here.  I like my area most of the time. 

Zack likes his area 'most of the time'.

Keeping your room clean?
As clean as Peru can be.

P day fun stuff? 
Going to play a little bit of soccer with the ZL's...and buy matching ties.

I loved writing you guys!  I love you so much and hope that everything is going good there.  Tenga una semana muy Buena!

Love Elder Bradshaw!

...I always hate closing the email window