Monday, December 30, 2013

A Christmas to remember...and to forget

Wow!  Quite the week.  

I want to remember it and I want to forget it too.  Wow.  

I loved talking with you guys so much.  It feels like a dream...but I loved it.  Every second was so precious and so wonderful.  I hope that you could understand a little bit of my struggling English.  It's quite the weird feeling, to start forgetting what you have always known.   
I loved the call so much.  But...after the call, it really stunk.  We returned to our room and I read all of the letters and just laid there on my bed.  I wish we would have left, but it was almost night and we didn't have too much time, so we just stayed there.  Oh it was horrible.  It felt like I just said goodbye again at the airport.  I read everything and opened everything...then put the candy with my food, and put everything else in a cupboard and I haven't looked at it again.  It really hurt.  But the day after, I was just fine.  Just a trunky overdose after the call.  ugly ugly ugly.

So after or crazy festive Peruvian Christmas Eve with fireworks, fruit cake, and a so-so dinner, on Christmas Day, we got to go to the beach which was awesome.  I loved that so much!  I loved my district so much  and we always had such a fun time.  We BBQ'd some chicken and played frisbee and soccer.  Oh it was soooo fun. The beach and the call were definitely my favorite things.  Quite the different Christmas...but it was great.  
Zack's Christmas Day BBQ on the Beach with his district and other members

The day after Christmas, it was our last District meeting before the transfer, so we went and ate at a chinese restaurant.  A Chinese Restaurant in Peru....I don't even know, but it was so fun.  My district was so awesome this transfer,  I love all of them so much! We have had our transfers, and practically the half the zone was transfered.  There were only two companionships of twenty that remained,  me and elder Rodriguez and one other.  I am excited to see who else came this transfer, but I am really sad because Elder Cardoso left.  He has been one of my best friends from the mission, so that kind of stinks.  But, one of my friends from the MTC came, so thats fun.  So I'm starting my 4th transfer in Negreiros, and I think my last.  I will have 6 months here which is a lot of time!  I love it, but I'm looking forward to seeing some other areas.  

Also this weekend, I had a work visit (I don't know what they are called in English) with Elder Cardoso, so I went to his area and we had an awesome time.   He has been an awesome District leader for me and we've become great friends.  We had a great day.  

We found a family of members who have five kids under the age of ten, and two of their daughters aren't baptized, so we are working with them to baptize them.  They are so awesome and are crazy.  All of the kids were running around the first time we went to their house screaming Hermano braaashaaaaaoo,  Hermano braaaashaaaaoooo.  Over and over and over.  Sounds like a Palmer family reunion!

This week with new year, I really don't know whats going to happen with another holiday.  All I have heard is to expect tons of drunks, and P day for three days. So, were going to see.  I don't really know whats going to happen.  We might go to the branch party, or buy a big soda and celebrate ourselves.

Interesting news...this week...I ate a huge fish ovary...looked like a cartoon witches nose, with blood veins and all, mixed with moon sand (that stuff that is always advertized on tv).  All I'm going to say is that it was horrible.  

Most Spiritual time: 
Today I prayed for an opportunity to find a new person to teach, and we left, walked 2 minutes and someone walked up and asked us to visit them.
Funny story time:
The fish ovary was horrible.  And, this isn't that funny to me...but our apartment hasn't had water in the sink or shower for 4 were hoping.  We filled a five gallon bucket and a couple of pans and stuff, but were struggling!  

Christmas thoughts?  
I loved it here, but it was really hard.  
What did you think of the phone call?  
So great, but so hard too.  After I was so trunky for a couple hours.
Have you enjoyed your packages?  
I loved the extra letters and thanks to every-single person who sent one
Have you enjoyed your ipod and speakers?
 sooooooooooooo much.  THanks sooooooooooo much.

Well my time is up.  
Love you sooooooo much!  
Have a wonderful week at Targhee!  Say Hi to everyone for me!  Sounds like a blast  and be safe, and Lexi, get better!

Elder Bradshaw

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Letter from last week!

Hola Familia!

Wow!  Christmas in one week and my five month mark tomorrow.  Quite the time.  

Ok everyone is getting pretty excited about all the Christmas things, so I'll jump into that first... The 23 of Diciembre (Monday)  we have a Multi Zona conferencia with two other zones, and Presidente Rowley, so that will be kinda fun.  Then Tuesday I will have my Pday. ( so expect emails to come a little later).  Then Wednesday is Navidad!  Wow!  I can call you guys at whatever time you want.  It would be good if you told me what time you would like, and Taylor too.  If you could, could you make me a Skype account and send me all of the info for it.  I would love to do 10 minutes with him. Since my Pday is Tuesday, you will have to coordinate, then tell me the time (and I don't know what time differences there are too for here Ghana and in the USA) and then Wednesday I call.  I am getting pretty excited!  Christmas packages aren't here yet, but I think this Monday I will get them.  

I am so happy for all of the great things that are happening at home.  Sounds like everything is going awesome!  Harp, dance, christmas,  freezing cold!  Wow!

Ok, now for the week......This week was quite the stretching week.  Lots of patience, lots of work, and lots of disappointment.  We worked super hard this week, and because of this, I am dead tired, but it seemed like we didn't get much done.  I felt like we were swimming in circles.  Tons of appointments fell through, and we didn't get tons of really awesome lessons with the people we are focusing on.  Our investigators right now aren't really progressing and I feel like we hit a concrete wall.   I am still happy, and love everyday, but its a little frustrating when your happiness is in the hands of others agency.   

The mission is focusing a bunch on less actives.  When we report our numbers, we report a new number for Rescued People.  This for us, and for the mission is as important as a baptism, so we are doing tons of menos activo work!  I love it though.  We have two families that are almost rescued, so that is pretty fun.  

Something funny that happened this week:  
We were walking through Negreiros yesterday in the night, and this crazy guy started after us.  I don't know if he was drunk, or if he was mentally challenged.  So, he started after us, and first of all, I have never ever dealt with a situation like this ever, and second...I had no clue what he was saying.  All I could get out of it was that he wanted our food, something about baptisms for the dead, something about  Jesus, and that he was from Ecuador.  Kinda weird, strange, but kinda funny. 
- Most spiritual part of the week:

1. I was on a Work Visit (I dont know if its called that in English), with another elder, and we went to a Recent convert, and he shared his testimony, and it was soooooooo strong.  I want all my converts, menos activos, and...heck!  I want everyone to have a testimony like him!
2. the more I work, the more I study, the more I teach, the more real this gospel becomes to me, and the more real Christ becomes as a brother, friend, Savior, and Redeemer.

- What are you loving about your ward?  
I have really grown close with them recently.  Especially with President Gaston and his family.  We live with them, and recently, we have really become awesome friends.  Its like they adopted us.  Yesterday was our Pensionista's Bday, so we ate lunch with them,  I shared my candy, and we had cake.  They are really awesome.  And because we are really becoming friends with them, we are working better with the members too!
Here's a super blurry picture of Zack with his Pensionista's family birthday celebration
- Any new successes this week?  
I confirmed someone a member of the church and gave them the gift of the holy ghost in spanish!
- How's your companion? 
Were killin' it.  Hes a great guy and a great friend.  Were learning tons together. We go to Piura tomorrow for his training!
- How do you feel like the language is coming?  
I guess you'll see on Christmas!
None this week

Mission Christmas Plans? 
the 23 we have a party, and a zone activity the 25

Ok, there is my letter.  
I am so sorry that its a little boring.  I have a lot going through my mind right now.  Nothing bad or sad, just lots happening.  Can't wait to talk next Wednesday!!!!!

Elder Bradshaw

Monday, December 9, 2013

Three Great Lessons

Wow Diciembre!

Before I forget, thanks soooooo much for the mail from Ali Ball, Madi Reese, Rachel Hubert (Arequipa!!!!!!!), Sister Richards, Sister Lund, Mom, and Emily Jorgenson, and the best sisters in the world.  I  Looooooooved them.  And thanks so much for the packages from Mom, Gma P, Gma B, and Ali ball.  I am pretty sure I have many cavities now.  But I'm happy!  So, thanks!

It is so crazy to hear that there is a place in this world that is cold.  We are entering summer here, and everyday its getting hotter.  And hotter. And hotter.  With a sun that cooks.  We have a lot of wind here, so that's helpful, but still.  oooooooooooohhhhh.

Dad, I just laughed out loud when I saw your comment telling us to get reservations at a nice restaurant.  jaja...but there is a good Chicken place that I will be sure to take Elder Rodroguez to.

I am so glad to here about some of the things that you are doing there.  That is soooooo cool and I love that you are enjoying it so much.  It makes me so happy to hear about that.  

This week was a really good week.  I can really feel the Spirit working within me.  We had three lessons this week that just rocked!
1.  With Hno Mumfry....We had a lesson with the brother of Marlene (the grandma of the Omar family who was baptized recently.)  He sat down, and it was like Ammon and Aaron.  It was like we knew his thoughts and questions before he even spoke.  The scriptures he read, were perfect, and we were able to answer his questions well.  All of the questions he had, were soooo perfect.  I loved it.  We put down his date for the 29 de Diciembre.  He is really quite the cool guy.  This I know...the words I said, weren't mine, but were from the Holy Ghost.  Quite the cool feeling...the feeling that comes when you're doing your best and the lord helps you.

2. With Hna Marlene.  We had a lesson where the guidance of the Spirit was so strong.  Scriptures came to mind, the words were there...and everything went super smooth!

3.With Hna Fiory (wife to Mumfry)  She is a super hard core Evangelico....and has been for lots of years,  she goes preaching, goes to her church tons, and knows the bible like crazy. We are the first missionaries to even enter her house, so that right already a small victory.  We sat down with her and started reading 2 Nephi 31 about the baptism of Christ. Then her questions started.  Boom boom boom.  Questions from all over the place.  But we have two things which she doesn't have...1...The Holy Ghost...and 2...the truth.   The holy Ghost helped us remember so many things, from the bible, BOM, and even more.  With the help of the Bible and the Holy Ghost, and many many many questions later...she now has doubts about her church.  We feel that she knows that we have the truth, but she doesn't want to leave her church. It was a real testimony builder for me...of the Holy Ghost and the other things that we taught that day. 


Most spiritual part of your week:
Just seeing the Holy Ghost work with me and Elder Rodriquez many. times.

We had a Mission Night for mutual...but someone cut the power, so we gave our talks in the dark outside of the casa capilla (chapel), and called it good.  It was pretty fun.

We went to the beach today with our district!  And it was super fun!

How are things with Elder Rodriquez? 
We are really doing well.  We are becoming great friends and I feel like his training is going well for him.  He's a good guy and it's pretty fun to be companions with him.

Did you hear that Nelson Mandela died this week?
No, but I did see a black person today.  

What are you studying right now? 
I study the lessons that we are going to teach that day.  Today I studied the Priesthood and the Great Apostasy! Quiet the deal there!  I loved studying that!

Ok, time for bad news. 
Omar and Maria Elena couldn't marry this week.  They had some problems with money and with their papers, so we're waiting a little longer!

I love you so much!  Keep doing what is right!

Elder B

Monday, December 2, 2013

Thanksgiving in Peru

Hola familia!

Most of the Piura Mission...they all traveled to by bus to see Elder Nelson speak...Zack is on the far left...smiling!

I don't know why, but I loved your emails this week!  It was super good to hear from you all.  I don't really know where to start, so it just jump to it.

This week was a good week, nothing really too special, nothing really bad.  It's kind of an adjusting stage for me right now, from a trainee, to a trainer and leading an area.  I am pretty sure that I am learning more than Elder Rodriguez from this experience, but everything is going really well!

Believe it or not...I didn't eat dinner this Thanksgiving. We had branch council, so we went to that, then didn't have time to eat anything.  Earlier that day, a member fried some fish for us...head, eyes, tail and all...for us, so I guess that will count as my Thanksgiving Day dinner. Luckily, I realized that we weren't going to be able to eat on Thursday.  My package hasn't arrive yet, so we improvised. Wednesday night, we bought a huge 2.5 liter Coke, and cooked up some Arroz Chaufa (basically fried rice).  We also had some cookies.  It was something small, the rice was burnt, and it was only halfway tasty...but it was a Thanksgiving I will always remember.  I didn't rest the whole day, I walked miles in the desert with the sand blowing in my face, and there was actually nothing resembling Thanksgiving at all...but it was something special.  I truly felt grateful for the blessings I have, which is basically the Gospel.  We knelt before we ate, and I offered a small prayer of thanks.  I don't know what was really different...I just felt sooooo grateful for everything.  So I guess the moral of the story is...on the mission, you realize what you are truly grateful for. 

Training is going really well.  Elder Rodriguez and I get along great, and we teach well together.  He is a great guy, and he's got real good intentions and all.  He's just really really green and sometimes I feel that I am with a 13 year old.  I have to remind myself that he really only has three weeks in all of his he will learn more.  I am just trying to help him out with whatever I can.  He is improving so fast, but I am still pretty sure that I am learning more than he is ;).  I am seeing a lot of the things that Elder Mamani would get mad at me for, and I am trying my best handle them in the way that I would like to be treated.  I am super grateful for this opportunity to work with him.  I wouldn't change anything about my situation, but wow, its just a time of stretching for me.  I am loving it though.  We are studying and doing everything to train him well.  Because he needs it...and actually, I do too!

I can truly feel myself becoming consecrated to the work.  I'm not counting down till Monday anymore.  I am constantly thinking of investigators, and what they need and how we can best help them.  I am truly finding so much joy here...everyday I love it more and more.  I can feel myself growing everyday, and I feel so much more mature right now than I did 4 months ago.  My love for the Savior, the gospel, and everything else has amplified these 2 weeks like one hundred and fifty percent.  I can feel myself growing into the missionary that the Lord wants me to be.

This week, my love for the Book of Mormon grew exponentially.  I love to read it with menos activos, investigators, members, my companion, and everything!  Today we have a lesson planned when we are going to give a Book of Mormon to an investigator, and I am sooooo excited to share it with him.  

Most Spiritual part of your week: We had a lesson yesterday with a Menos Activo and I could just feel the spirit working within us,  Words were just coming, we were answering all of their questions, and it was just really great!  

Funniest: I don't even know...

Best part of your week:  Everyday is just awesome.  Hard to choose.  

How's the training coming:  It's awesome, I love it.

How is Omar?  Is there a wedding coming up?  What are you doing for that? 
They are planning on getting married this week, but we are waiting for a responce from the government for their papers and everything.  we will find out today!  If they can marry, they will be baptized this sunday!  I love them so much!  We bought Omar a tie today, and Maria Elena a picture frame for their wedding!  Pray that they can marry!

How are you feeling?  Great,  finally got over that cold!

Mail? no mail, no packages yet.  Think this Thursday they will come.  I would like to email everyone and thank them for things, but seriously...I have no time for anything.  I wake up at 6:30 and work work work till 10:30.  No rest, no time to do anything personal.

Photos? Don't have my camera!

Pday?  Cut my hair, went to Talara, bought some wedding gifts (I never thought that I would do that)

What are you grateful for this week?  TODO. (all)

Mom, I searched today for something to send to you.  A nativity set or something,  Talara has NO CULTURE.  Only oil.  I am going to search more next week!

I love you sooooo much!  All of you.  I expect to know plans for how to CALL YOU for Christmas soon!.


Elder Bradshaw!