Monday, November 25, 2013

Zack...the Trainer that Trains...

Hello All:

Wow!  What a craaaazy week!  I'll just jump right in because I know mom is dying to hear! (guilty!)

So...I spent Monday night with some other Elders in a different apartment and then we took off to Piura, to pick up my new companion, in the morning.  It's a two hour bus ride which is kind of a pain.  When we got there, we had a little bit of a training with President to learn what kind of trainers we should be.  Presidente Rowley is quite the guy and I am so grateful that he is my president!  We talked a little bit, then they opened up the divider in the stake center and called out names...I am with Elder Rodriguez.  He is a 18 year old from Lima, who studied to be an English teacher, so he speaks pretty good English...which, I have to say, is nice in some cases.  He is a good missionary and has a great love for the work, I am excited to work with him more and more during these next 12 weeks in Negreiros.
Zack's new companion Elder Rodriguez...Zack...Zack's trainer.  He called this picture...'The Family Tree'

After that meeting, we jumped on a bus, and went directly back to Talara.  Had twenty minutes in the apartment.  We left his stuff in our apartment, and then left to the Zone Leaders room to sleep.  We had to do that because our room is soooo far away from the rest and we had to be at the bus at 4 in the morning the next day. 
So...the next day, at four in the morning, we jumped on a bus...again...and went to Piura...again.  It really was pretty miserable.  Starting that Saturday and Sunday night, I was averaging like 5 hours of sleep.  I didn't sleep at all on Monday night, and not too much on Tuesday night.  Because of this and all of the traveling, my body just started to shut down.  I had ehem...some 'stomach' issues, a horrible cold, and my body just ached for a couple days.  The good news is that this didn't stop me from having an awesome experience.  

From Piura on Wednesday, we left to Chiclayo, which is about 3 hours on a bus.  There, we had the oportunidad a listen to Elder Nelson, Elder Waddell, and the Presidentes of the Piura Mission and the Chiclayo mission.  Right now, there is a huge reform in the mission, with a shift of focus onto 'less actives', and using the Ward councils.  So, this was the prevelent theme during the entire conference.  I loved one comment that Elder Nelson made...He said that we are never alone.  We will always have the ancestors of the people we are contacting cheering us on to help their living decendents, so they can help them.  I loved that and can see that happening here.  It was really cool to be in a room with 400+ missionaries, and a couple general authorities.  When we shook their hands, I could feel their power, happiness, and love. Mom said that Elder Nelson always speaks with love, and I felt that here!  

After that, we returned home.  So, in two days, 14 hours of bus travel... and 10 of that was sleep for me!  It was a great opportunity.  

It is so different working as trainer!  I now have a say in what we do and I don't have to worry about getting chewed out after.  Because of this, I can feel the Spirit so much more. I am really loving the mission right now.  I am so happy!  It is a harsh transistion going from a little personal responsibility to 100 responsibility for myself, a companion, and an area.  But during this part my life, I can feel the Lords hand even more.  I am so happy!  I can feel myself growing much more now.  And, I am able to really feel the Spirit in everything I do.  I love love love it right now.  I do know that, of course, hard times are going to come, and that there is a ton of stress that is just waiting to fall down on me, but I know the Lord will help me!
Monument in Zack's town of Negreiros


Most Spiritual part of the week? 
This entire week has been a spiritual experience and I have learned so much from it.  

Yesterday, we had a training for us and all of the ward council about the new program, that I mentioned...with less actives and ward councils in Talara.  But, for some reason, the President of the Branch invited the whole branch. So, he went and borrowed this huge combi (a huge ghetto van) and we went to pick everyone up.  We filled the van with kids, less actives, investigators, teenagers, babies, you name it...and went to this training in Talara. So, there we were, pulling up to the chapel, storming into the meeting.  Late.  With the whole army of Negreiros.  Kids, babies, less actives and all. 

It must have been the most boring thing in the world for them...but It was a great meeting for me.  After the meeting, we all repacked into the van, all twenty of us (we usually have 40 attend church every week) then we left.  On the way home, they pulled up to a bakery and people started jumping out of the van to buy bread.  I was just stuck in the back,  packed in like a sardine...yelling,  "No compra! No compra! Guarda el Dia de Reposo!  No compra!!!"  (
No purchase!  No purchase!  Keep the Sabbath Day! No purchase!)  I saved about half the van from sinning, but was too late for the rest.  It was pretty funny, and we all had a good laugh.  

How's the new family that you 'accidentally met when you had the wrong address? 
They are doing good, we met with them once this week, and they were great.  We have a meeting with them today at 6:30.
Bought some potatoes.  And some chicken.  We're going to cook something.  I'll figure something else out

P-day fun? 
I bought a new backpack today, because the one is too big, and my side bag is starting to do harm to my back.  Nothing to worry about...but I needed to change it!
Exercising?  Yes siree!

What are you grateful for this week? 
My oportunity to train.  I have learned a lot, and grown so much in this time.  I'm so grateful for this time I have to train.  Also, I am so grateful for the Libro de Mormón.  I love reading it and finding all of the little secrets that it holds. And sooooo much more!
Some way that you served someone this week? 
I have been helping out Elder Rodriguez quite a bit this week.  I bought him his food, cooked for him, and just been trying to helping him out.
Where are you in your 'water ski turn' this week? 
(In relation to the water skiing analogy included at the end of this letter...)
Right now, I'm carving an awesome turn...shooting sprays on the red rocks...on the perfect glass water...2 'S' turns before Good Hope Bay at Lake Powell.

I love you all sooooo much!  I am doing soooo good and am so grateful for your prayers and I am praying for you too.

Elder Bradshaw
The 'Water-skiing' analogy of a mission that we sent to Zack last week...adapted from Shauna Anderson...
This mission can be related to a water skier...actually more like Grandpa Bradshaw water skiing, you'll see what I mean here in a minute.  When you was like when you jump into the cold water at Lake takes a minute to be able to breathe (in my case) and you move around and warm-up and soon your are comfortable...that was you at the MTC.  Little bit of a shock...but you adapted and were comfortable. 

When you left for the 'real' was like when you say "hit it!" when you are holding on to the end of the rope behind the boat.  First thing that happens after that is that you get pulled under water and have to fight it for a while, water going up your nose...getting sprayed and pulling with all the strength that you have...and then finally coming up out of the water, still a little unstable and shaky...and then finally, you begin to plane...and you begin to look around and see the scenery and it becomes a little easier just staying behind the boat.  Now...I'm going to add here that there will be times when you make a deep cut and have to hold on tighter because there will be more pressure and more resistance, but then will come out of that deep cut and fly again.  And that, my my analogy of your far.  You are up and behind the are just in a really deep cut right out...the wake is coming up!

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