Monday, December 15, 2014

'He' is the Gift...

Wow, December 15...10 days till Christmas.  That’s crazy to me.

Well, I am doing a lot better than I was the last week.  I’ve gotten to know the people a little bit better, the area a little more...and...I’m growing to love the sand!  Sometimes in the lessons, I let my hands play through the sand, kinda like the beach.  I really like it here.  My companion is awesome, and I am having a great time. 

Tuesday, Elder Salcedo, who was with us for a week, received his transfer, so were just two now.  I loved being in a trio, but its nice to be able to just relax a bit now, and work in the regular way. 

So I got rid of my cold that I had, but I pick up some hard core diarrhea  So that's been a little interesting for the time being.   Life here seems to be just hill after hill after hill.  But other than that...I am doing good. 

Today for p-day, we got the almost the whole zone together and played a little soccer.  It was soooooo hot....soooooooooo hot.  So hot.  About died.

Time for Mom Questions:

Did you arrive to your new area with a current teaching pool…or are you starting from scratch? 
This area has been worked super hard with great missionaries for a long time...So we already had a good teaching pool.  As always we can do better, and we are looking more and more, but the missionaries here have done a good job.

Do you have some investigators that you are working with? 
So...Jesus and Vasilica....their kids are members, and they are now attending church every week.  They want to get baptized, but they just need to get married....so were in that situation again.  Great people.  Julia and Henry....basically the same deal.  And this week, we were walking down the road, and contacted a single mom with her three kids.  We invited here to sees “He is the gift”, then we went back another day.  I personally wasn’t there the second time (I was on a work visit, splits.) But my comp invited her to the church...and she came!  SUPER COOL.  Her name is Maria. thats super rare that someone goes like that.  We are really excited.  We also recently found a new guy named Wilder...Pretty cool... 27 years old, good young man.

What new discoveries have you found in your new area?
In the ward boundaries...(in the area of the sister missionaries) there is a KFC.  And for some reason, I think that is pretty cool.  Also, my area has a huge canal, drain thing....super super ugly.  Its  filled with green water (neon green water) and there was a cat that fell into it...for like 3 days it was meowing and all.  jaja

Companions? 
only one now...super cool guy.  Super obedient and hard working.  Loves to work and help the people.  We work really well together.  I feel like he is helping me be a better person.

Are you cooking more or do you use the Pensionista? 
We always eat with our Pensionista.  For lunch at least... breakfast and dinner, we’re on our own...but mom, you would be super proud of me....I stocked up on tons of food, fruits and good things like that. and I have been doing lots of exercises

Anything interesting coming up for your mission? 
just multi zone conferences....so nothing too cool.

Does your mission have plans for Christmas? 
President wants us to have a special Christmas....more than just a party...but a Christmas Season of service and stuff....so we are thinking of what we can do.

Did the plans for the orphanage or the hospital work out for your zone for Christmas? 
we are still working on it...we found a place and we are going to work out all of our plans for it this week.

I am doing good.  Right now, I would really like to talk a little bit a bout the new video “Él es la Dádiva”, or “He is the gift”.  Right now, we are inviting EVERYONE we know to go and to watch it.  and we have found tons of people using it.  Its a great tool to be able to find people.  This December, I really feel like I have grown closer to Christ. I have gotten to know him more, through the scriptures, my experiences, and my prayers.  I invite you all to watch the video and to do what the video asks you to do....discover, accept, and share it...  Understand the purpose of this Christmas season...not just all the stuff. 

Mom, I love the letter countdown everyday.  I love it so much...and the pictures of Christ that you included with each letter.  All the missionaries that come by our room always say, “oh wow!  You have new ones!”.  love the photos.  Special awesome thanks to all that contributed to those notes.  You have really lifted me up quite a bit...and helped to make it a wonderful Christmas Season.  Thank you.

Love you all!

Elder Bradshaw

Monday, December 8, 2014

Mom, I will try to do my best with your request, I know you wished for a super long letter full of lots of details of my new area....But my computer is junk today, so have patience with my spelling and all.  Everything is a struggle in this cafe today.

Well...I do like my new area.  Go to 'google', and type in Piura....
You'll see a huge church, with a big beautiful park and a couple cool buildings....This is like 15 or 20 minutes walking from my room.  My area is 100% dust and sand, (it’s more of an outskirt of town) but in the ward boundries, there is a KFC...so its pretty cool.  I’m 100% sure I will be going there. 

But seriously, sometimes I’ll just be walking through sand just like at the beach, just huge and deep.  When there is wind, we just get caked.  Its cool through, I really really like it. Its more relaxed and a little less crazy than Puyango. And the blessing of this area is that the sand in the night light...looks like a groomed ski track.  Makes me smile.

The ward here is super awesome.  It amazes me to see members so involved with us and so willing to help us.  The members love the  missionaries and are great people.  Around 100 attend church...it's going to be great!

I will be in a tri-panionship for a while. So I am with Elder Salcedo  (from Ecuador, 6 months in the mission), and Elder Cortijo  (Lima, 23 months).  The two are awesome guys.  They both want to work really hard, and are a  really obedient.  We all get along perfectly well.  Elder Cortijo is going to finish soon, but he doesn't even talk about it, and just works and works and works.  It’s fun to be in a trio, because we can do divisions a lot, and its always fun to just have more people to talk to.  Downside is that you don t have to adjust to a new work style....but two new work styles... And I don’t feel like I have really made a great connection with the two of them quite yet.  But we are growing and all together....Elder Salcedo will be with us for like 2 weeks more I think.

I got to meet my whole zone this week!  Its HUGE.  Some awesome missionaries though. (pic attached)  Good people, excited to work with them. We had a zone conference this week with them which went pretty well.  Right now we have 26 missionaries...HUGE.  More people = more fun.


Zack's new zone in Piura

 Today For pday, we had a  huge service project in the morning, with all of Piura.  Pretty fun.  We just scraped off the signs that had been posted on the posts.  Fun.  Then after, our trio and two more companionships came to our room and we made tacos.  In the most humble way I’ll say that I basically nailed the pico de gallo, and the hot sauce.   No...seriously I nailed those.  Then the missionary from El Salvador nailed the chicken.  Then with the tortillas that you sent me....it was heaven for me.



Nailed it!
My room is awesome.  It’s basically a whole house....we have a family room (with couches), a kitchen, a guest room, and our room.  It’s really dirty with the transfers and dirt and all, but we are going to clean it.  The bathroom is not connected to the house, so we have a small patio out back.  It’s nice.  It’s just so hot inside sometimes....I always wake up soaked in sweat.

So this year as a zone, for a Christmas activity, we are looking for a hospital or orphanage to sponsor as a zone to be able to have a special Christmas.  More details will come next week.  I am going to coordinate with our Pensionista and my comps to see if we can call at 3 my time on Christmas Day.  Put that one in your calendar!

I am doing good.  It was a hard week.  I really did struggle quite a bit.  Just with the whole change and all.  I am doing better now, just need to keep on going.  That’s it.  I have just been sick, tired, and kinda lost this week, but I fully expect that next week will be better.

With ‘He is the Gift’, we are working a lot with that.  Seriously...a ton!  I am just about to fill about a report with it, and download it on my USB to share it with families!  I love it so much!

Well I am fine and all- just a little bit TUMBES HOMESICK.

But, as always...I will be fine.  I love you all a ton

Elder Bradshaw

Monday, December 1, 2014

Taking it to the big city...

Hey there!!  25 days till christmas!  I can’t wait to call you all!

Well, I did get transferred.  I am now in Piura, Piura! More or less the central part of my mission.

Now, I am in Miguel Grau 1 (my area), in the Zone Algarrobos (the mission office is in my zone).  I am with two missionaries right now.  My real companion is Elder Cortijo (from Lima, and has one transfer left) and another missionary (Elder Salcedo, Ecuador) is chilling with us for a bit.  I have known Elder Cortijo for a while, and he is a really cool guy.  I am super excited to work here with him.  I am still Zone Leader, and my zone is basically the capital of the mission.  Pretty cool.  This is the land where there is “Chile’s” “Papa Johns”, the Peruvian WALMART, and basically everything else you could want.  Super excited to keep on working here in this new area.  From what I can tell is that it is full of sand and wonderful members.  I’ve never really served in a big city, so this is a new adventure for me. 

So I guess I will just continue on with what happened this week.

This week was relatively relaxed.  We were working and having a good time as usual.  I loved my time with Elder Mulford, he is a great guy.  We worked hard, and witnessed a few small miracles.

Saturday, we started from the first off the morning....We started cleaning the baptismal font, and helping a couple of missionaries to move.  Then we went back to wait for the transfers....and they never came....Since we are so far away from everyone, we usually get them early, but this time, for some reason, we had to wait a while.  We waited and waited, and just started working regularly....At around 6 we got the transfers.  The baptism of Ana was at 7.  So in the hour, we had to go buy the bus tickets, then come back....(See Lexi, sometimes everything kinda falls on your head all at once, and then you just have to take it one step at a time.  We got back to the baptism, just in time, and we had a really spiritual awesome baptism!  So cool to watch Christian baptism his aunt.  They really are a chosen family.  I love them so much.  The baptism was wonderful, and Ana will be a wonderful member.  After that, we went to go eat some Peruvian burgers....which were actually pretty good.

Zack with Ana that was baptized by her nephew Christian (who was baptized last month.)  Zack adores this family.

Sunday morning was an adventure.  Our sacrament meeting started at 10, and we had ward council at 9.  We went to half of ward council, then at 9:30, we left running to go pick up the family Laban Galvez.  We went, and they actually attended church!  SO cool.  As we helped them get into church, we realized that we needed to go pick up another less active (M. Monja, who I have talked about before.)  He has been less active for a while, and is a RM, so he is talked about kind of like a legend in the ward....Just a crazy hard smart dude.  So at 9:55, we left running...I kid you not....Running.  We ran from the church to the opposite end of our area.  We ran under that hot blazing sun for like 5 minutes, sprinting.  So funny.  We got to his house, and we were just sweating like crazy....They told us to not wait for them, but we insisted on going with him, and we ended up taking him to church.  It was really fun to walk in to church with two new families. And one of them the legendary Monja. Super funny.

Later that day, we went over to the Familia Romero Nava to have lunch.  They had prepared my favorite Peruvian plates, and we spent a nice time with them.  For almost two hours we were there.  Then it came time to say goodbye....Wow that was so hard.  There was no one there who wasn't crying.  Super hard time for me. I just love them so much.  I really feel like they are my family, and it was almost as hard for me to leave them as it was for me to leave you all.  But...as I left their home, I just felt successful.  Not in a cocky, prideful way. Not at all.  Just a pure, charitable, loving way.  I reflected over my mission, and was really overcome with a comforting feeling, that I am doing the right thing, and that I am making a difference. 

That night, we also said goodbye to a few more people, then I started packing my bags.  I am pretty sick right now, with congestion, sore throat, and so many aches and hurts.  So, as you can guess...the 5 hours in bus was a really, really long 5 hours...

Well my new room is an awesome room, we’ve got couches and all.  My area looks pretty cool, my comp is an awesome guy, and I am just ready to keep on going...after a quick nap of course.

Thanks for everything!  Love you all.  I hope I answered all of your questions...

Elder Bradshaw

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Miracles, Seventy's, toads, and busses...

Wow family!  This week I have 16 months in my mission, and 5 months in Tumbes.  Things are going good, but they are passing by way too fast...I am scared that I may be coming in on my last two weeks in Tumbes with Elder Mulford. Love my area, love my comp, love serving here, love the ward, love the people, its really all going good, menos the mosquitos...and the heat! jaja

Well, this week was full of adventures.  So I will just start in with the stories.

There is a new missionary from St George that is in my district.  I had a work visit with him, so I was in his area working with him for a day.  That day, we taught a lesson at 4 in the afternoon, then we never entered another house.  We walked and talked and walked and talked more and some more.  SO LONG!  We talked with lots of people and just kept on walking and walking.  At eight o clock, we went over to a LA (less active) to finish the day off with a lesson. And as we were walking to that house, I saw a orange house.   I don’t know what it was, but it just stood out to me.  All the houses here all touch each other and it look s like a storage garage place, but when I saw this door, I just felt the need to knock on it.  We went up, tired and all, knocked on the door, and a lady came out.  We started talking, and then she invited us in.  We got in, and the whole family of 5 was there.  Already sitting down.  Ready to listen!  It was sooooo cool!  It really was just a mind blowing experience.  We shared a quick lesson, then I returned to my area.  The Elders in that area have now taught that family a couple of more times, and I really am hoping/praying that they progress!  I treasure the experience of seeing miracles everyday through the guidance of the spirit!

Another lesson, we were visiting a recently re-activated family/converts, and  out side of their house, there were tons! of frogs.  some small ones, and some huge ones.  We found one the size of my hand, and Elder Mulford picked it up, then he through it up in the air, and I punted it into the road, then a moto-taxi ran over it.  It just one of those crazy Peruvian things that happen every day.

We also had the opportunity to take the whole zone to Piura this week.  The bus rides are soooooooo bad.  So bad.  When I say so bad.....I mean it.  Just bumps, curves, heat, congestion, not enough space and everything....So the traveling was super super long.  There is no way to sleep.  But, really, it was fun, because I was able to get to know a couple of missionaries a little bit better.  We got there, slept, then first thing in the morning, we had an awesome, meeting with Elder Evans (of the Seventy), then lunch, then another short meeting with him, then straight to the bus...Without dinner or breakfast....Man, I wanted to die!  We were all suffering soooooo bad. We got back at 11 at night.  So tired, hungry, and sick.  I did buy food, but it wasn’t sufficient.  Awesome conference, but so hard to travel and all.

This week, we have just been looking for more people to teach.  And it’s been a long long time.  We have been having a great time, and I love it, especially being with Elder Mulford.  We are working super super hard, and are find some awesome people to teach.  We found a new family, and everything is going great!


K…How about some questions…

How’s the Romero Nava family doing?  Is Ana getting baptized soon?
Ana’s baptism is scheduled in two weeks... The Romero Family is progressing like none other...The wife, Madelaine, is the new 1st counselor in the Relief Society, and yesterday Christian (husband) was given the calling as ward librarian.  He also receive the Priesthood yesterday!

How’s the Laban Galvez family doing?  Are these two families that could be friends? 
That’s the plan! 

How was your meetings with Elder Evans of the Seventy?
He is a super cool guy.  I learned a ton!  We also had a special meeting with the other Zone Leaders, and its just so cool to get to know these guys!

Best part of your trip to Piura?
Seeing all my friends that I haven’t seen for a long time!

Did you seek out any LP boys now serving in your mission?
I saw Elder Harris, and Elder Smith.

Did you have any packages waiting for you when you got to Piura…(please say yes!) 
Nope!  But I think they come this week!

Please tell me you didn’t eat pizza 5 days this week… 
Just twice...

Fun stuff you do with other missionaries…
Today we played Uno in the church, then went to buy pizza (of course), and now we are just chilling in internet with them.

Tender Mercies you’ve seen this week…
We found a wonderful new family that is just so open and awesome.  Leonel and Nancy...We are hoping/praying that all goes well with them! 

I love my area and love my time here.  Everything is going so well.  I love being with Elder Mulford, he is a great guy, love spending my time with him.  We are basically just super chill and working super hard!

Love you all!  Have a wonderful week!

Elder Bradshaw

Bonus of the week:  Zack sent a tour of his apartment...in Spanish...enjoy...we did!!


video



Ps...editors note:  We finally figured out which ward/building Zack was serving in and we found it on Google Earth...so here is a lousy picture of a great chapel.  We know he lives in the area so we 'Google-flew' around for a while, but haven't quite figured out exactly where he lives...but we now know his neighborhood!


Monday, November 10, 2014

Hey, Slick!


Sorry...there is this crazy gringo that lives in Puyango that we ALWAYS see.  He’s super redneck, and he said that to us the other day and it was funny.  We have been laughing about that for a while.


Well, I have never had a more stressful week than this week.  I’ll just start in with a list…


1)  Interviews with President for the whole Zone.
2) We had to review all of the area books.
3) Two work visits.
4) Planning and buying the tickets to take the WHOLE ZONE to Piura this weekend! I’ll tell you more in a bit.
5) Being a little sick, and going through some medical testing.
6) Ward Activities.
7) Stake conference
8) Sending missionaries to Lima to fix their visa stuff.
9) and the regular Zone leader and missionary duties.


I think we were pretty close to just locking ourselves in the room a couple times this week! Just hoping that things would calm down a bit.


But I am doing good, I feel successful after all of that busy-ness and it was  a good week. 


I’ll just go into a little bit more depth now...It sounds like you are all anxious to hear about my health, so I’ll jump into that... I don’t have parasites which is great. So, I’m healthy and all.  I always feel a little bit ‘off’...but it’s all good.


This is the week that Elder Evans (70) is coming to our mission, so we have the privilege to go with the whole zone to Piura on a bus this Friday, then we come back to Tumbes on Saturday.  I felt pretty cool buying 18 bus tickets.   We basically got a whole bus for the two zones!  It should pretty cool.  The whole mission gets to go so everyone will be there, and then we will also be able to have a special conference with the Zone leaders of the whole mission!  It's going to be awesome!  I’m getting pretty pumped.  Kinda scared to lead 18 people, but it should be good.


This week we had the interviews with President, and I really can’t explain how awesome they were.  I loved it.  Our mission is focusing TONS on families right now...And so my interview was focused on families.  I had a picture of my family in there, and of Jesus Christ, and we just started off and talked TONS about how we can baptize a family every month.  It really was what I needed.  I felt like it really helped me find a way to direct the area and the zone a little better. And now, Elder Mulford and I are soooooo pumped to look and baptize another family.  In President Rowley's talk in Stake Conference, he gave a little shout-out to the family Romero Nava!  Pretty cool.  President is the coolest guy, and I know that he is the perfect President for me to be working with! 


We are working really hard and the work is really going well.  we are pretty excited at this time and I have really grown to love my area.  I love being here in Puyango.  Like dad said, transfers are coming up  1-December, and there’s always a possibility that I’ll get transfered.  Usually a missionary has 4 transfers in an area, or 2 transfers with a comp, before he gets transfered, and I have both….BUT!!!! there are two missionaries in the mission in their 5th transfer in their area.  So it’s always possibility that I’ll be transferred…or not, but who knows???...so I will work until I get the call.


I love being here and the people we are working with are awesome.


We found a new family and they are doing great. The wife has attended twice all by herself, but here husband is always sooooo busy!  But that’s how it goes.  They are the family Laban Galvez (and for that reason alone, they have a particular interest in the BOM jaja.)  Ana Cabrera is also getting ready for her baptism, the plan is that Christian Romero Nava (her nephew that we just baptized last month) will baptize her....Should be cool!


I think we beat the world missionary-pizza record....We ate PIZZA 5 times this week.  And I know what you're thinking…but don’t freak out, you don’t know the value of pizza until you have eaten rice and chicken for 16 months straight.  (By the way...a huge THANK YOU shout out to my awesome neighbor, Sister Borden, for buying us a pizza next week!!! Thank you VERY MUCH!)


 I have never been so excited to work and to find and teach, and I know that these next 8months are going to be some of my most prized times ever, but 16 months is a long time, and I am starting to feel the gap between me and my family...I sure do miss you guys!


Well I am doing great, and am really excited for these next few couple of weeks. 


I don’t really have anything to complain about, other than the usual rice rice rice, and unstoppable heat…but complaining won't fix it, so...


Love you all!


Elder Bradshaw

Monday, November 3, 2014

A regular Peruvian Week

Well, I don’t have too much to write this week....A couple of cool things, and a couple of not cool things... It really was just a regular week, nothing really too exciting.  Just a regular Peruvian week: 60 bug bites on my legs, ants in my bed, sick stomaches, knocking doors, having a good time, and trying to throw down plates and plates of rice.  Just regular.

This week, I just felt kinda down.  Its always super hard to keep awake during the day, and just hard to get going.  We didn’t see too much success this week, and we were just trying to keep on going.  I think that’s the key. 

Everything was just kinda so so, until Sunday.  Sunday, I got up to usher or 'guard' the door during the sacrament because there weren’t any young men to do it.  When I stood up there, I started counting all of the people that were there at church that I had been working with....and there was 17 people.  Less actives, converts, members, and investigators.  It was one of the moments when I really felt like I am fulfilling my duty.  I’m not saying it’s my success, it’s success for the Lord...but man!  I loved to see these people in the church!  Almost every person which we are working with heavily came to church!  Almost all of them! So awesome...people just were flowing in.

This week, we gave a new tie and white shirt to Christian, and it was so awesome to see him in church...He’s already looking like a bishop!  He has lots of fear of people, but he got up to bear his testimony, and it was just so strong.  He was testifying of the power of the BOM and of the church.  Every week they surprise me more and more.  The gospel has taking full charge of their family and they are just cruising along.  So fun to work with them.  This next week Christian will receive the Aaronic priesthood and then in a couple more weeks...the plan is that he will baptize his aunt!

Saturday in the afternoon, I was just thinking about the week and how crummy I felt.  I really just felt tired, discouraged, and a little bit frustrated.  I was thinking a lot about who I am, what I am doing, and the changes I had seen in my life in this year, and what I want to become.  I realized that I needed to change a few things about my attitude, my way to work, and few more things.  I just made up my mind, and just changed, and have been striving to form my character a little bit more.  Starting that same day, I felt better, and until now, I feel better!  Everything is going great.  I don’t know...in these last few weeks, I have just felt a little “off”.  I don’t know exactly where it was coming from, but I am feeling better now.

Just one little side note, I think I am filled with parasites. 
(Not happy about this bit of information...but fatigue, we have learned after ‘googling’ all day is actually one of the symptoms of parasites.)

QUESTIONS:

So, without the pensionista…what are you guys doing for food in this apartment? 
SO...recently we found a new pensionista!  She is awesome and gives us lots of food.  Once or twice a week, she gives us a plate filled with veggies...so it's going good.  Usually in the night, we eat something small, or someone invites us to eat.



But...oh man...guess what???  They just opened a DOMINO'S pizza in Tumbes so today, we ate pizza and played bball!  so fun!!  And its 15 soles a pizza (5 bucks)...and 2x1 every Tuesday and Thursday....so we are pretty happy about that bit of news!


What things that you are learning in your mission do you think you would incorporate into your life at home? 
I don’t know, its just an overall change.  I think one of the biggest things I have learned is how real the gospel is.  And how it applies to everything.  When at home, I thought about church, mutual, school, swim, and everything, and always read and prayed...but I didn’t really pay much attention to it or the blessings or the “why”.  Now I know the why, and can see the reason and importance of following all of the commandments.  Also, I feel like my Spanish will help me a ton.  I’ve developed a ‘work-hard’ attitude.  I just feel more aware, and more calm.

What are some of your ‘aha’ moments?
This week I read 2 Nefi 9 and I just really had an “aha moment” of the consequences of sin.  And really...the eternal blessings of the gospel.

Are you remembering to ‘Be Golden’? 
I am trying to!  With everyone I meet! 

How was Halloween there? 
To dress up...we just switched name tags and just said HAPPY HALLOWEEN to everyone.  Here, they don’t do anything with Halloween, just a couple of parties for the kids.  A family that we visit was really mad at the whole world about Halloween, because it’s not a “Peruvian holiday” jaja

And hey...when is Thanksgiving?

Well, I am fine, just going good and strong, looking and talking and teaching, and striving to be the best I can.  I REALLY REALLY LOVE TEACHING.  Seriously I just love doing it so much.  It’s the best.  Especially when the people understand, and act upon the principles we teach them!

Hope that everything is going well at home and that you are not all too trunky!

Elder Bradshaw

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Full-speed ahead!

Well, I am sitting next to a new gringo who just started his mission on Wednesday, which causes me to say....Wow how have these 15 months passed by so dang fast!???

Well I am happy.  I’m doing good.  Just I’m soooooooo tired. 

It’s really been full-speed ahead with work this week.... I don’t think I have ever been so tired and have worked so hard.  After the baptism of the Familia Romero Nava, Elder Mulford and I have just been extremely motivated to find another family so we have just been going full speed, all day err day.  We found a couple new people to teach, and even a new family, but its a little too early to see if they will choose to progress.  On that note, I am doing fine.....Just 6:30...workworkworkworkworkworkworkworkwork...10:30 totally knocked out!.

I’m so TIRED!!!! (have I said that yet?)

Nothing really super awesome has happened this week, but I’ll hit some highlights.

The Familia Romero Nava: so we are still visiting them, reviewing the lessons and teaching their aunt (who is in Mosiah 20 in the Book of Mormon and pays her tithing regularly...wow and wow!)  Every night, they give us food...But its not Peruvian food (rice, chicken, and soup). It’s food from Venezuela (which has more of an American influence I guess), so we are eating hot dogs, spaghetti, pizza, and hamburgers.  IT IS SO GOOD.  They are still progressing  so well!  Madelaine (wife) is now reading in DyC 60 or so (after finishing the BoM), and everyone is just going so good.  They share the gospel, teach in the lessons, and are just so awesome!

So this week, I was looking for like 90 soles (30 dollars) and I just could not find it.  I was looking looking and looking because I remembered that I left it on my desk, but I just could not find it.  I tore apart everything, and still couldn't find it.  I walked into the kitchen and desperately said a little prayer, and got the idea to look into the garbage....and there it was!  Wow, once again I’m shown that God answers prayers!  Don’t know how it got into there.

I have been growing so much lately.  I can feel my testimony growing.  In particular, I can really see how I am learning to follow the holy ghost.  And I now feel like I am finally a capable missionary!  jaja after 15 months.

Sorry, I really don’t know what to write.  I think you guys are running out of ideas too, because dad wrote to me in his letter about him and Elli moving the harp....so it must be pretty boring at home. jaja (It actually was a big deal for Mike and Elli to be able to transport that thing around last weekend...but he may be right...things may be pretty boring here!)

Sorry...I don't really have new pictures either!  It was just more of a work week.

Sorry, I am also just really empty headed right now.

But, I will say this...we are going to go get fresh passion fruit slushies right now....SO HA!

Hope you have a great week and that you are all doing good.  Read the Book of Mormon everyday and just keep on going!  Good luck moving that harp around. Love you all so much!

Elder Bradshaw



Monday, October 20, 2014

Life is Good...

Well, I don't think I have ever been happier.

I am just so good with everything which is happening right now.  Nothing really bad happened this week.  Its just been up and up and up!  I just feel so calm and happy, and just so ready dig in and to keep going.

So I guess I will start out with the best part!

Baptism of Christian, Madelaine and David Romero Nava

The baptism of the Romero Nava Family.  Hands Down the best.  This week, on Friday, they got married, but we were in Piura, so we couldn't really participate in that.  The sister missionaries went to the wedding and they said it was awesome.  On Thursday, Madelaine finished the Book of Mormon, and Christian is in Jacob or beyond.    The later, Saturday was their baptism. So awesome.  Other than the temple, I think that was the closest I have ever felt to Heaven.  The Spirit was just so strong!  Lots of the members were all red eyed and all.  I was super stressed out, because many people were super late and it was super slow, and I was frustrated with the baptismal clothing and all.  But little by little, I was calmed and in the moment when I baptized Christian,  the spirit was just so strong. 

I feel happy right now just thinking about it!  We all waited on the stairs as Madelaine and David were baptized and in that moment I was just so happy for their whole family and all that had happened!  Later Sunday, they were confirmed and they are just going to be the best members.  Madelaine is even doing all her family history work...can you believe it! ...and today we are going to put down a goal for them to do baptisms for the dead in a month in Ecuador.  So cool!

 I will just answer the questions that mom sent me.

What was their wedding like?
Heard it was cool!  It would have been nice to have been there...but it happened!

Did you end up getting them something? 
CD of the hymns, and we are going to buy a picture frame and a white shirt for Christian.

Was your ward supportive of that baptism?
We focused on inviting the whole ward to the baptism and we ended up filling up the room and they were really great with welcoming them into the ward.

Are the missionaries in charge of the baptism or is the ward? 
We did it with our Ward Mission leader.

Any details...we would love to hear. 
It was just soooooo wonderful.  I really really really loved it.  That is something I will never ever forget.

So...other than the baptism, we were working with that less active RM.  Well, we ended up being super good friends with him and yesterday he invited us to lunch AND dinner!  jaja  He has progressed a lot and is changing slowly and surely...And it turns out, he’s high school friends with Christian (who just got baptized) so we are planning some hard core retention and reactivation with these guys.

So this week, Thursday, we went to Piura and it was so awesome! Everyone was soooooo scared of Elder Grow, even President, and everyone! jaja But it turned out to be the most spiritual meeting in the whole world.  Seriously, the best meeting I have ever been in. He was just such a super cool guy.  When he shook my hand, he only said,”I remember you”.  (from past visits) and that really scared me bad!  But he didn’t burn me at all, it was just super awesome. (Zack was a little concerned because he thought his zone would be called out for not having any baptisms recently.) I also got to eat lunch with Elder Michael Smith (from Alpine) which was super fun.

Two great missionaries from Alpine, Utah!  Elder Bradshaw and Elder Smith.

This week was super fun, and all went super well.

So transfers.......I’m sticking around in Puyango for another transfer.  But really...I am sooooo excited.  Its going to be super chill.  I’m pumped to be with Elder Mulford again, he’s the bomb. No friends came to the zone this time....really I don’t know one of them!  But it will be great.

Pictures.....so one with Elder Smith...and an other with the Romero Nava family...they invited us to eat “anticuchos” after the baptism.....BBQ Peru Style....cow hearts, cow stomach, chicken stomach or pancreas or something, chicken, beef and all.  Super cool...I like it all, but not the cow stomach....It’s sooo gross....It's called pancito.  Look it up.

Celebration after the baptism of the Romero Nava family...out for anticuchos!


Funny stories....today we were eating smoothies in a restaurant, and this lady just took out her phone and told us to smile and started taking pictures of us, we don’t even know why...I wanted to say...”Have you never seen a white man before?!?!”.....Sometimes at night, we go up top of our house and throw water balloons at the ugly dogs that walk past.  jaja  We’re just two kids having a good time.

Well all is going super well, I am happy and super tranquilo.  All is giong awesome.  hope that all is well with you guys...So right now, Peru’s mail system is on strike so if you are going to send stuff, its probably better to wait, or just its going to take a long time. 

Love you all!

Elder Bradshaw



Monday, October 13, 2014

Wow, so this week I have 15 months in the mission!  Its flying past...and I am loving every minute.

So, this week was a better week, We worked hard, and saw some success. 

I’ll just start in with the familia Romero Nava....So they didn’t get married this week, but they will be getting married THIS Friday, and then they will get baptized THIS Saturday.  I’M SO EXCITED.  In my area, there hasn’t been a baptism for 11 months, and I, myself, haven’t baptized for 7.  I am so excited.  Last night they passed their interviews and are ready to be baptized...They’ve got attendance, lessons, and everything.  Madelaine is finishing 3 Nephi right now.  I think she will finish before her baptism.  Christian is also just eating up everything that we throw his way.  The only bad part of all of this awesomeness, is this this week we’ve got to go to Piura and won’t be able to be at their wedding!  But its all good.  We’ve got the baptism.  I’m so happy for them. They are going to be a positive asset to the church anywhere they go.

Other than them, this week has just been normal work.  We did have the chance to watch conference, but on that particular day, the Church gave 270 wheelchairs to Tumbes, so me, Elder Mulford, and the other ZL had to go and help them...It was kinda cool to help them all, but it was crazy.  jaja.

Zack and Elder Mulford helping with the 270 wheelchairs donated by the church.

...and because of helping with the wheelchairs...we missed the first two sessions.  Sunday morning, the Romero Nava family came, so I was stressed out about the kids, the members talking really loudly and everything that I had a hard time listening!  But I loved the real direct talk of Elder Scott, Elder Uchtdorf (priesthood session) and Elder Bednar, and President Monson Sunday morming...about following Christ.  This week I really really tried to live more like Jesus Christ... and it was hard.....I tried to be more patient, more gracious, more happy, more devout...and it was a great experience. 

So in the past two weeks, I have seen a police shootout with the gasoline smugglers and heard gunshots in the night....so #waymoreexcitingthanalpine.

This week we go to Piura on Thursday, so that will be fun.  It’s always a fun ROAD TRIP. 

This week I’m short on time and short on cool experiences so my apl....

Tell us about the familia Romero Nava...
They are doing so good.  They are so fun.  They have literally accepted every gospel principle without problem.  They are so wonderful...They recently came from Venezuela because it’s horrible there, and are progressing so much!

Send us more pictures cuz it makes us smile and we love it so much! 
So here’s a picture of a moto taxi with two huge pigs, just going down the road which is just a normal thing I guess.  yes, that is a pig just hanging off the side.



Moto taxi with pigs...everyday stuff.


What other things are happening with your ward or your investigators...
We don’t have any other investigators, but are talking with lots of people, knocking on lots of doors, and working tons with less actives.  We have seen lots of miracles with them, which is great.

What things you are doing with your zone/district/companion...
For Pday we played basketball and it was a blast.  Everything is going well, as mission, now we DO NOT pass a couple in the street without talking with them. Kinda a cool rule.  Transfers are next week...don't really know what will happen there...I guess I'll tell you next week!

Suggestions for Christmas?
caramels, photos, letters, and love.

Traveling this week?
yes!

Any news about transfers?  So transfers are this weekend, and its really up in the air right now for me.  I could stay, or I could go.  But i dont know If I want to stay or go.  I like Puyango, but I am kinda burning out a little bit.  I have worked so hard here, and have seen so much success, in so many differenet ways!  Love being with Mulford, and we are a great team, but dont know what will ahppen.

Love you all!  have a great week! 

Elder Bradshaw

Monday, October 6, 2014

We have a Wedding Date!!!

Well, family...I really hope that all is going well with you.

This week was a classic missionary up and down kind of week.  Some great things, and some bad things.  The good things were awesome, but the bad things were really bad and really long and really stretched out.  So....Good or bad first....I think I’ll go with the bad.

So this week was Election week.  There were cars driving around 24-7 blasting music and posters, and crazy things all week long.  And...it's been going on for like 1 month now.  I don’t know if it was due to that or something else, but it seemed like no one was ever home or willing to listen to us...This was just one week basically filled with walking and walking.  We really didn’t see any real progress in anyone, besides the family Romero Nava.  I just felt bad this week...just off my game, just straight off.  I don’t know really what it was. I just felt bad and unmotivated for the longest time.  I don’t really know what happened.  I felt really overwhelmed, stressed out, and worthless.  It was a long week of learning and growing.  Sunday, I put down some goals to be more positive, to love more, and to strive harder, and today I am feeling better.  It was just hard to work under circumstances like this for a long time.  Just the kind of days when its hard to kick yourself out of bed.  I know what I need to change, and there is lots to do.  It’s completely awesome having a Utah comp, but sometimes we have to watch ourselves and not let our minds drift into thinking about home or allowing ourselves to complain about some of the crazy things here.  I am doing better and still have so much more to do.  It was just a hard week, but it’s done and we’ve got some awesome things coming up!

So the good things...

The familia Romero Nava is going to get married!!!!!!!!!!!!  Thank you for so many prayers in their behalf...This week, they saw many miracles.  Christian went to look for a place to be approved, and had the idea to check it out in Puyango.  The lady there started looking around on the papers and saw the thing they were missing.  She looked at it for a while.  And in this moment, Christian started praying.  After a few minutes, the lady said “You are missing this paper....but.....I’  ll get you guys married anyways”...It was the last day that they could have done it, and the lady just helped them out so much.  I know that this was a miracle!

They have progressed sooooo much!  Madelaine is finishing Alma and Christian is still reading on too!  They talk of plans to do temple work, and even to go on a mission when their kids are out of the house...I’m telling you...they are awesome!!!  The other day, we passed by their house to just see how they were doing.  They invited us in, gave us food, and told us “We feel so happy when we see you guys”...I really can’t describe my love for this family....Friday (10-10) they are going to get married, and Saturday 18, they are going to get baptized.  So excited for them....Their aunt is also progressing a ton, and we have got a lesson with their friend tonight! They are so awesome.



Elder's Bradshaw and Mulford with their great friends the familia Romero Nava, their aunt and grandfather.

-Photos?  Haven’t seen any for a while!!! We miss seeing you!
K...I sent two...I hope you got them.

P-day?
Had a great lunch with Elder Mulford (left), Elder Wirthin (center in back, Cottonwood heights), and Elder Maravi (Huancayo Peru).  We are eating Chicarron de pecado (fish and chips, but with octopus, giant squid, fish, and shrimp) Hands down, my favorite plate here in Peru.


Zack's pday with his favorite food.  Elder Mulford (Orem), Elder Worthin (Cottonwood Heights), and Elder Maravi (Huancayo Peru)

-Is it a travel week?
Next week!  Thursday and Friday we travel.

-How’s the work going this week?
Bad. jaja  Lots to do, but it is just really moving  so slow.  We have seen so many miracles in my time here, there is always more to be done.

-Any weddings on your calendar? 
10 de Octubre!

-Tender Mercies this week?
Of course, the marriage!

-Best ever moment of the week? 
Hearing Christian tell us about the miracle of his marriage!  So happy.

Well I am doing all right this week, just hoping for a better week, and I know what I need to do to do that!

Elder Bradshaw

Monday, September 29, 2014

We need a wedding to happen!

Hello Fam.

Wow, its kinda crazy how fast the time is passing.  With the way transfers line up and all...I think I will be home in a little bit more than 9 months.  It scares me how fast it all goes by.

Well, this week was a more or less kind of week.  It was great in some parts and just bad in others.  So, I will start out with the good.

LA FAMILIA R. N. ....They have progressed sooooooo much.  I have never ever ever seen anyone like them.  They have a baptismal date in 3 weeks, the 18 of October, and they have almost done all of the requirements, only need one more church attendance,  a couple more lessons, a pair of white clothing, and a of course, a marriage.  We usually teach them officially three times a week, but we see them or speak with them almost daily.  The highlight of this week was definitely teaching them about tithing and fasting.  It was a great lesson, and everything went well for them.  The best part is when we saw them Sunday, they were fasting and had brought their tithing to pay in church.  I have never seen more faith!  Paying tithing and fasting, three days after you learn about it.  Thats amazing to me!

Later that week, we were talking about the Book of Mormon and I asked them if they thought it was true.  They both told me YES!  That answer, faith, obedience, they have got it all!.  In less than two weeks, Madeleine has read to Mosiah 28, and Christian has read up to 1 Nephi 22!  It’s so fun to teach them because they eat it all up AND they understand, AND they have good questions.  They are going to be such good members in the church here, such good leaders and more.  

The only problem is their marriage.  Madeleine is a lawyer from Venezuela, and when she came here a month ago...she brought all of here papers, but they weren’t stamped with the official stamp of the country in the capital.  So they are looking for a place where its a little bit more relaxed to get married.  Here in Peru, about 5% of the laws are enforced, and those 5% of the laws that are enforced are the ones about marriage.  Who cares about the murderers, gangs, and the thieves...that’s just everyday stuff...then when there are people who want to get married to have a strong family...CALL THE POLICE!!!  It’s really frustrating, and it’s driving me crazy.  Why is everything against families?? They are really looking to get married, but its just a matter of time and place.  If anyone is out there reading this...please keep praying for them!

Other than all the great stuff with them, it was a regular week.  We had a multi zone conference with President Rowley this week, so that is always cool.  And other than that, it’s just work...walking, and talking!

Funny things happening in Peru:
In a week, its Election week for the State of Tumbes....So its basically Student Council elections on steroids.  Every five minutes, a car with huge speakers passes by blurting things with music and there are posters everywhere.  There is a law that you can’t have meetings of any type that day, so they canceled General Conference for the elections.....so we have to wait a whole week longer before I will be able to watch it.

Best moment with companion this week:
He is just the coolest guy-  Right now he is really sick, he got sick because he ate at HAPPY BURGER...jaja  so we have spent quite a bit of time down today.

Most spiritual moment?
I have had my testimony for a long time about the BOM but this week I was able to finish reading it again.  That book has really changed my life and I know for sure that it is 100% true.  This time I read it completely in Spanish and it was such a great experience.  I love it so much and its crazy how much help I have received from it as I have been reading it this last couple of months.

Spiritual truth learned this week?
More about the neccesity of the BOM.  It’s the keystone to everything.  I have realized that If I could just teach in a way that could help people want to read the BOM and pray about it...then they could know that what I teach is true.  SO ESSENTIAL.  SO READ EVERYDAY.  please.

Pday fun?
My comp is sick, so we played a little bit of BBALL, and cooked pancakes and all.

Most grateful for what this week?
BOM and this sweet family we are teaching.....So awesome!  I love them both.

Well I am fine, doing good and going strong, looking for ways to improve.

Love you all and hope that everything goes well!

Elder Bradshaw

Monday, September 22, 2014

Missionary Pranks

Habla Familia!
Hows it been going this week? Shout out to Elli...Happy Birthday little one.  12!??? That's crazy.
This week was a pretty chill week.  Nothing really awesome or crazy happened but I do have a couple of good stories.
So we were cleaning our apartment the other day, and we found a pair of keys for almost all of the apartments of the zone.  Later, we got a call from the office and we had to go meet with a few Elders to tell them about a change of plans.  So Elder Mulford and I planned to go a little bit early to play a trick on him.  So we went over, opened their apartment, then just kinda messed it up, opening suitcases, putting clothes all over, just making it look like someone had ran through there and robbed them.  We then left the door open and waited until they got back...We waited and waited and then we heard them start running and freaking out.  It was really really funny, we had a good time.  Don't worry, it wasn't to bad of a prank or anything...but it was super fun.
So...The R N Family.....I can't even explain them.  It's so crazy!  Their progress has been so fast.  We invited Madelaine to read the Book of Mormon and the first time she read 18 chapters, and the second she read 14.  She is just flying through the Book of Mormon and it's so awesome.  The whole family has a baptismal date for the 18 of October, but we are still waiting for the marriage.  If you could pray for that one!  They are soooooo awesome and wonderful.  We already have great trust in them, and them in us.  They are so awesome.  Hope everything keeps going the way it's going.  There are 5 in the family, but 3 above 8.  And they all attended church this week!
This week has just been kinda long, not really too much progress.  The area is getting better, but we still spend like 3 hours everyday walking around looking for people to teach, because everything falls through.

Tell us about the people you are working with...
So we are working tons with the R. N. Family.  There are 5...Christian (dad), Madelaine (mom), David (10 años), Andrea (4 anos), Alessandra (2 anos). 

We are also doing tons of reactivating...with R. C..  He's progressed a ton too.  He's like 60 years old, baptized a while ago but its hard for him to go to church because he works in a shrimp farm and he works soooooo much, all through the night and all.  But he is the coolest guy, super simple and humble, but so awesome.  He is now attending and reading!

Marcos Hinostroza, hes a LA we found with Elder Romero, he's super awesome too. 

We are working toooooooons with LA. 

ohhhhhh and the V. family....So the parents were recently reactivated and their daughters were recently baptized....And they lloooooooooooove us.  The girls are 12, 10 and 5 and they live in really really humble circumstances, but they are so receptive to us.  Including they wrote "Elders" on the front door.  They are super awesome.

How's p-day today?
Super cool, relaxed today.
 
Traveling to Piura when??
In two weeks, I think.  This week is a Multi-zone conference so President and his wife are coming here.

In what ways are you better than when you left... 
I guess you'll just have to wait 10 months more.

Best thing about this week?
Teaching the R. N. Family.  So awesome....They are the family that gets me up in the morning.

How's the comp?
Super awesome!  Getting along super super well.

Have you done anything nice for him this week?
Bought him lunch today! and shined his shoes.

How's your allergies?
I eat what ever I want and I'm fine. 
I am doing super well here in Peru.  A mission is the hardest thing in the world, and nothing comes easily, except for diarrhea and exhaustion...but I am getting used to it! 

Love you all so much and really hope that you have a good week this week!

Elder Bradshaw

Monday, September 15, 2014

Work, Faith, Obedience, and Miracles.

I really don’t know where to start this week. 

It has been on of the best weeks of my mission and I don’t know if I have ever felt the Spirit so much.  I feel like the Lord has seen my faith and hard work for these long months, and now finally...and now finally we are seeing some great results.  I will just tell a couple of stories about what has happened and a couple of the miracles that I have seen.

First off, Elder Mulford is one of the coolest guys ever.  It’s always nice to really connect with a companion.  Just the Utah=Utah connection is just awesome.  He wants to work and wants to help a ton in the area.  I am super happy with my comp.

So there is a RM in our ward that returned like 7 or so years ago.  He got married, the missionaries baptized his wife and all was good.  They later went inactive and haven’t really done anything spiritually for maybe 2 years, without reading, praying or anything.   The guy has always been a little prideful and hard hearted when I have met with him.  Yesterday we went to a lesson and just started talking with him about him mission and everything...for like 30 to 45 minutes...We told stories about good and bad companions and everything and it was a good time.  We built up lots of trust.  Then after, we asked him if we could share a small message.  Right before the prayer, a thought came to my mind to have him share one of his favorite scriptures with us.  I have never experienced a prompting in this way, but I trusted it and asked him to share a scripture that he likes.  He opened up to Alma 30 and read a scripture about Alma, Korihor, and mostly about testimonies.  As he explained it, and the importance of a testimony, his eyes began to swell up and a couple of tears rolled down his face.  I feel like lots of times, as missionaries and members, we always are looking for the perfect scripture, or the perfect thing to say, but really the Spirit is always willing to guide us, and if he follow Him...the experience will always be successful.  The guy completely changed.  180 degrees.  He bore his testimony and we bore ours.  All we did was listen and nothing more.  I have been thinking lots about this lesson because it really impacted me.  Really interesting.

And now, let me tell you a little bit about the biggest miracle I have seen...ever. 

As I said, we contacted this guy last week, and last Monday we stopped by his house and had a lesson with them.  We got to know Christian, his wife, Madelaine, and their three kids, David, Andrea, and Alessandra.  As we explained the message of the Restoration, they just ate it up, and just absorbed it like a sponge.  They accepted a baptismal date for the 11 October. (!!!) We invited them to read 3 Nephi 11 and Madelaine read 7 chapters.  Christian has told us that he has received his answer and knows that this is all true (after the first lesson).  We told our WML that we found the family of ‘gold’, but we have know changed it to the family of ‘Diamonds’. When they attended church, they got there a little late but they were there for Gospel Principles class.  This day, the class was about Eternal Families.  The sister missionaries were teaching, and at one point they asked Madelaine about what she thought about it.  Madelaine just broke down in tears and said “this is so wonderful, who wouldn’t want to be with their families forever?”  Its been a long 14 months of walking, talking, and teaching, but I feel I may have found the people that I was sent to find.  I really just can’t find the right words to describe them.  They are just so wonderful. 

They recently came from Venezuela like a month ago, and are searching the true church, and we know that they know that they found it.  They aren’t married, but they brought all of their papers from Venezuela with them and it shouldn’t be hard for them at all to get married.  SO EXCITED!  I just hope that I don’t get transferred.  I might even ask president to not transfer me...if it’s ok with him!

We have seen so many other miracles and the area is really changing,  I am so happy to be here...and we are working hard. 

With 4 extra missionaries in your zone...did you have to go find accommodations for them to get them set up?
No, they were all in the other established zone and everything, but President just changed them to our zone.

You always seem so positive about whatever district or zone you are in...do you have many issues or problems to resolve with them?

Not really, they are good missionaries.  All of them.

What’s been on your mind this week?
This family that we found. I’m so excited for the family that we found. 

Best thing about this week?
The FAMILY.  (again)

Tender mercies?
So many, and just the Spirit that guided us so much this week.  It’s been crazy.

Gringo cravings this week? 
We've just been talking about JCW, Tucanos, and everything in Utah...so basically everything. 

I am doing really well.  I hope I have given you a little look into the amazing family that we have found.  They are already super excited for everything and have goals to get married and baptized.  We have an appointment tonight with them.  Pray that it goes well, please!  The family is named Romero Nava

Love you all so much!  Have a good week and send me some pics!

Elder Bradshaw

Monday, September 8, 2014

The Lord blesses those who strive to do their best!!

¡Habla familia!  ¿Como están?

This week was a good week, just a little more relaxed, and nice.  Elder Romero left yesterday in the afternoon, and now I am with my new companion, Elder Mulford from OREM, UTAH!!!!  I am super pumped to work with him and excited to see how it goes.  It’s going to be awesome, I think.
#801   #happyvalleyboys

It was a bit sad to see Elder Romero go, but its all good.  It was nice to have him as such an awesome companion here in Puyango...Tons of missionaries and members have noted the difference that has happened here recently and the zone is improving a ton.  I am excited to continue working with Elder Mulford to change that even more.  Its going to be an awesome transfer. There weren’t many transfers in my zone, but it grew from 14 missionaries to 18, and I’m still with many of my great friends.  I’m excited to continue the work.

SUPER AWESOME STORY:  So Elder Romero left yesterday in the afternoon, and after he left I was with a young man in my area.  He’s going on his mission soon, and we were searching for a couple referrals.  We knocked on a door, and this guy came out.  30 years old with 3 kids and a wife...Not married, but we will work on that.  We started talking because he sent his oldest son to the activity that we had, to do some investigating....They had recently moved from Venezuela because he wants to protect his family.  He told us that he is looking for the true church to put his family in.  So tonight we have a lesson with him and his family and his other family members that he is going to present to us!  Sooooo  super awesome!   The Lord blesses those who strive to do their best, and they are really trying. If you could all send out a quick prayer for them please!

What tender mercies have you seen this week? 
The way that the Lord drove us to find that family.  I am so excited for our lesson today.  I really hope that all goes well!

Celebrations for Elder Romero’s last week? 
We ate out, and just spent a lot of time with the other missionaries.  We still worked and did tons of service and all.

What are you learning as you study? 
Tons about the BOM.  I am in Mormon right now and its amazing!  Keep reading.

Mission activities coming up? 
Multi  zone conference in these coming weeks.

Will you have any contact with the family of Omar?  It would be fun to see them again! 
I probably won't be able to see them again, but I am going to call them soon.

Do you need to do zone training now that you went to Piura last week? 
Yeah we trained them and all.  I feel like it went really well.  It's always fun because I love my zone

Was there a moment this week when you knew you were being led by Heavenly Father? 
To find that awesome family!

What’s your apartment like? 
You walk into a big room where we study and all...then weve got a kitchen, a bathroom, and another room to sleep in,  Its big and comfy.  And we are cleaning it!

Did you eat a vegetable this week?
Yes I did.  On my hamburger....I had a cucumber, tomato, and cabbage.

How’s your soccer skills?  I bet they are sweet! 
I am getting pretty good.  I think of it as training for my inter-mural soccer league.

I am happy and ready to work hard.  I’m excited.  Sorry its a little shorter today, but I love you all and hope that everything goes well!

Elder Bradshaw

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

THIS IS GAMES!

Wellllllll family.

I'm back from my trip to Piura...sorry I didn't get to write on Monday but it's been fun to look forward to writing today.  Although, I don’t really know what to write this week.  All was good, so I guess I will just send a little small recap of the best parts.

This week, we planned a huge ward activity.  In Peru, there is a show called “Esto Es Guerra” or “This is War”.  Everyone here basically worships it.  It’s basically just a bunch of inappropriately dressed girls and stupid guys dancing around and doing silly things like making cup towers and other stupid games.  Really is the most ridiculous thing in the world.  So...we decided to do a knock-off  of it for a ward party.  Our ward is super cold and is less active than the other branches I have been in.  We get about 80 attend church each week and we had a little bit over 80 attending the ward activity.  It was crazy and but it turned out super well.  We called it ‘THIS IS GAMES’, and it was a blast.  It was super fun though, awesome!  We worked a ton with that this week, making everything for it..so I’m glad it turned out so well.

Our teaching pool is still small, and filled with Less Actives.  Its crazy that we almost have 0 investigators, but we have tons of LA that come to church and that are progressing nicely!  It’s pretty awesome.  The family H. is going super well.  Oh!  But at the zone leader training, I was talking with my friend, who is a ZL in Talara, and he said that O. & M E got married and also baptized!!!!!  (remember my first area, the family that I taught!)  Also, in Querecotillo, they have baptized two more people, that I also taught.  Even though I may not have baptized for 6 months, I am feeling like my work has been worth it.  I'm so hopeful that those people will be able to feel the happiness that the gospel will bring into their lives.  True happiness. 

Things are going good with Elder Romero...he gets to go home next week!  We are just going to have a good week! He is going to Provo when he goes home, so I told him to give you guys a call, and maybe you can take him out to eat or something.  It would be kinda cool.  He really is the coolest guy, and its been a bomb to work with him.  The zone is improving and everything is going really well.  Transfers are Monday morning, but Elder Romero leaves here Sunday afternoon.  (We just bought his ticket!) and I will know who my comp is on Saturday.  Elder Romero told President that I need a good-hard working comp, so...we will see what happens.


P-day sight-seeing...before Elder Romero finishes his mission and heads home next week.


All of the office elders told me that they always read my blog....So...here's a shout out to them!

We made t-shirts for the whole zone and they turned out super sweet! I’ll send a pic.


Puyango zone t-shirts...notice the number Zack chose for his shorts...jaja!


We went to Piura this week, and all is well.  It’s a little bit tiring and all, but I always like to go for training and to see some friends.


1.  How have you been “Golden” this week? 
I’m trying to be a little nicer with the people, by knowing their names and really listening to them.  And its working!


3.  What are you loving about dad today? 
All of the things that he taught me!  Really I value it all sooo much.

I saw a weed-whacker yesterday and I got jealous.

4.  I’ve noticed that when you are struggling or having a hard time...you seem to learn some great lessons...what are you learning through this dry spell in your mission. 
Just more work work work and work.  The Lord works in mysterious ways, and we just have to be ready to do what He wants.

5.  Are there things that we can do that would be helpful to you? 
Just send me more pics and letters and emails!  :)

6.  Coolest thing about your week. 
How the activity I talked about above turned out.  It really was a miracle.

I am doing good.  I love you all so much!  Have an awesome week!

Elder Bradshaw

Monday, August 25, 2014

Me and dogs...not good.

Wow, we have almost finished August.  Dad...Happy Birthday on Sunday!

This week was a little bit interesting and all, lots of good stories, but actually just a really boring week.  Other than a few good lessons and all, nothing very awesome really happened.  I guess I will just kinda fly through my week to see how it goes. 

Monday in the night, we actually found a little taco restaurant!  It was the absolute worst taco I have ever eaten and I felt so sick after, but it was a TACO!  A taco in Tumbes is more rare than a gringo! 

Tuesday... Elder Romero and I put on a small zone training on family history and on how a ward council should work.  In the afternoon, I had a work visit with our DL Elder Garay from Paraguay.  He’s a cool guy and we had a successful day.  We worked hard and walked soooooo much but it all went really well.  We even found a new FAMILY to teach. (I’ll explain them a little bit more ahead)  But we taught the Restoration really well in my opinion and we left feeling pretty awesome.  I feel like now, I have started to see all of my preparation pay off.  I know spanish decently, I can teach fluidly, and everything is going pretty well.

Miercoles...I was back with Elder Romero and we walked and walked and walked and walked....We visited like 5000 people and no one could or would listen to us.  We then bought ourselved a Gatorade and just sat down wondering what to do.  We remembered a small small town that by the beach that is part of our area.  Its a tiny town that is hidden in the “everglades”.   It’s a mix of salt water and fresh water so there is tons of animals...Including alligators....It’s also where Francisco Pizarro landed for the first time before he took over the Incas....or at least that is what I am told.  So....we got the idea to call our Ward mission leader Ricardo how we can get there.  We call him and he tells us...”Dont go, it's almost night, and it's dangerous...don’t go....”

So...we went.

We got there and it was all super cool, super beautiful and all.  We started walking down the streets looking for some less actives, and it’s super humble.  Were walking down the road, and for some reason Elder Romero is filming it.  There was a little girl using the restroom in the road, a boat just in the middle of no where, then I turn my head...and this HUGE German Shepherd starts running after me.  I saw “battle” in its eyes as it barreled toward me showing its white teeth.  Our of desperation...trying to show him my strength...I try to kick him.  I think I may have misjudged it somehow, and I ended up on my back in the middle of the dirt road.  Elder Romero is pulling my sleeve saying “get up get up get up get up” and the dog is flipping a U turn to bring on the second strike.   But, then, for some reason...it changed directions and went off calmly.    Holy crap I almost messed my pants.  I hate hate hate dogs so much.  The dogs here are so dirty, they don’t have hair and they are all diseased, and they just chase you and bark at you and drive you crazy.  I hate hate hate dogs. And I will never change. 

Jueves, de nuevo, todas las cita se nos cayeron.  (Thursday, also our appointments fell) We walked and walked and walked and no one had time for us.  Until it was night time.  We had another appointment with the family we found so we went to visit him.  He had read the BoM, but we started talking to him, and...He´s A HARD CORE ATHEIST.  Just our luck! jaja I have been here 13 months and have talked to so many people and he is the first atheist I have ever seen.  He had read and deeply studied the introduction of the BoM, and it was fun to try to answer him questions and all. He is a good guy, just hard core atheist good guy.  Bradshaw luck! jaja

Nothing really happened Friday.  I just started feeling a little bit down about the slowness of the week, but it was all good.

Saturday was just a regular day.  We had really bad luck this week!  jaja

And Sunday was a good day.  We left the room at 9 in the morning for church and didn’t come back until like 6 in the evening to pick up some things.  We worked super hard and saw a little bit of success.  We found another Less Active that I really think is going to progress.  It’s weird.  I’m thinking my job is not to baptize right now.  It’s to rescue.  Mission work now is reactivation, retention, and baptizing.  And my calling now is the reactivation. 


Zack.  Elder Romero. Someone else.

It was a little bit of a slow week, but it was fun. Some funny things happened and I am enjoying working with Elder Romero. 

By the way, I love the new family theme!  That’s awesome.  It’s already written on the front page of my agenda!  Good choice.  ...and I love the reasons behind it, and I will do my best to do that.

How are you seeing the hand of the Lord in your life? 
He has helped me feel better when I am down, and has guided me to the people that really need what I have to offer. 

P-day fun...
Played basketball (third time in a year) and soccer for maybe 3 hours. Saw this statue...is that ok?




What things you are learning as a zone leader...
Different kinds of leadership and the importance of serving.  As Jesus Christ said (don’t know in English) “he whom who wants to be the best among you, will be your servant” 

Are you able to exercise?
Yes!  We play soccer from 6 to 7 in the mornings Mon, Wed, and Fri.

Are you going to sing in church when you get home, I can arrange that for you....
I was thinking about that lately.  I have absolutely lost all fear of talking with people, of singing, of speaking in church, of doing what ever in public.  Kinda strange.  But no...I will not sing in church.

I am doing good and all, happy and ready for a good week.  Right now we found a REAL Mexican food restaurant, so we are going to go and eat there. 

I love you all and know that I am here for you all too if you need my help or anything.  I am far away but I can try!

Love

Elder Bradshaw

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

PERU...I have something for you...


P-day exploring.

Ahhhhh...This week was a little bit long, and a little bit frustrating.  I am doing fine, just a little bit tired, as always.  This week, we basically lost all investigators, and are at basically “0”,  almost literally.  jaja with investigators.  I feel like the canteen is getting a little bit empty.  I love my mission and I love everything, but it’s just a little bit frustrating.  Thanks for all the letters they have really helped.

This last week, we had a lesson with Juan Garcia, our investigator of “gold”, and we kind of contended a bit about baptism because he never accepts a baptismal date.  After that we kinda lost contact with him, until yesterday.  He still reads the BoM, but he didn’t accept to have a lesson.  I don’t think he will progress, and that makes me feel bad.  Satan has worked hard on him, and its hard to see him go, especially when we have put so much time and work into him, but his time with come.  We are still going to visit him and all...we just don’t really know what to do.  We have another family that we found  2 weeks ago, but we haven't be able to find them all together for the longest time, but I’m sure it’ll get better....we can improve!

I just want to say...”Peru!  I have the greatest thing in my hands and I just want to share it with all of you. Just listen to me for a second and I promise that everything will get better!”

This week we had interviews with President Rowley, and he really helped me realize that, contrary to my recent thoughts, I am a successful missionary.   I may not have been called to baptize, but I feel that I am doing my part rescuing. 

Two weeks ago, we found the family Hinostroza.  The sister has always been half-active, but her husband has been inactive for 14 years...at least.  He had always rejected the missioneros and everything, but for some reason that day...he changed.  We have taught him a lot, and he has kept every commitment that we have given him.  Every lesson we have had with them, has just been filled with the Spirit and with this family, it’s one of the first that I have really seen fruits of the work.  This week, we put a temple date.  They have plans to go to the temple 21 and 2 of November so I am hoping that everything goes well until then.  I am so happy for them and it has been incredible to see the power of the gospel in his life.  I love them tons!



With a child from a family they were teaching...photo look familiar???


Zack's brother in Ghana one year ago...
This week was filled with tons of crazy things so I will just put them in a list.

1.) We had to go pick up the District leaders from the bus station, and they were getting in so late...So while we were waiting for them in the center of Tumbes, at midnight...we just sat down on the bench and played Skipbo....Don't worry, we weren’t disobedient.  We had to pick them up, and they got home super late because were so far away from Piura, but it was a fun time. jaja

2.)  A little kid I was sitting next to yesterday at church just blew chunks all over the place. My companion was giving a talk, and when He came back, I had ditched that place, and the little kid was sitting there covered in barf....jajaja


At the beach for p-day with Elder Romero

3.) Today we went to the beach and played football americano....AWESOME!  Super fun!  Later we bought a huge plate of Chicharron de Pescado....My new favorite plate...fried fish, shrimp, giant squid, and sometimes octopus!  SOOOOO GOOD....Picture included.



Zack's new favorite food...yum
4.) There was a huge ‘family history fair’ in the Stake Center so Elder Romero and I helped a ton there and we taught like 200 people all about familysearch.org, and “my family” (little booklets) and everything......SO FUN! Loved it!

Can you find the paper crane??

5.) The sisters had a baptism this week, and I interviewed the lady, so she asked me to give a talk...so I did...and we also sang a special music number....I also gave a talk in church yesterday!

6.)We have been teaching a family Less Active that has two twins...I think they are like 2 years old because they cant talk.  But one of them always comes over and when he wants something, he just looks, points, and just groans, and groans until he gets what he wants...Better than crying i guess.

I am doing well, there is just more to do.  I am having a blast with my companion and I do love what I am doing.  My testimony is growing so much and I love love love the Book Of Mormon.  Read it everyday, and if you don't, I will be sad.

QUESTIONS:

Have you seen any ‘tender mercies’ this week? 
This week....a couple....mainly my interview with Pres and the Familia Hinostroza.  I feel like I am improving as a missionary and as a Zone leader, so its all chill.

Did your mission get a lot of new missionaries over the summer...the second wave of younger missionaries... 
We didn't get too many, I think this transfer that is coming we get a whole bunch.  I was in the office when we went to Piura and I saw all of their stuff.  There is one from Alpine....I hope he comes to Puyango!

Something that made you laugh this week.... 
The kid barfing all over during church and all....So funny! 

You said your companion has been great for you...how so? 
He is such a great missionary.  Works hard, smart, and a planner.  He just does everything at the moment you ask him and he is awesome.  My Spanish is also getting better with him...even though he speaks awesome English.

How do you help him? 
I help him not be so trunky....He finishes his mission in three weeks, and I can tell its getting hard for him...but he’s super cool.


I am doing great this week, all is well, just more to do and more people to find!

Love Elder Bradshaw