Monday, July 28, 2014

My Companion Speaks English!!

Hello Family!

Well I had a great week here in Peru.  It was just a fun week and I had a good time.  It was the last week of the transfer, and it was a little bit hard to say goodbye to my friends here in the Zone, but transfers are always a good thing.  Elder Castro was a great companion and I really learned tons from him.  He is definitely one of my great comps that I have had and the past transfer was probably the most fun one I have had.  

So I stayed in my Area here in Puyango, and My new companion is Elder Romero.  He was born in Honduras, but has lived in the states for a really long time.  We got to know each other a year ago in Talara, and is one of my really good friends, so I am super pumped!  He is a super good missionary and this is his last transfer in his mission!  Its also the first time that I have ever seen two English speaking companions HUZAAAAAH

So......This week....This transfer I have really had such an awesome district.  WE are all just super good friends and we always did fun things together.  It was a district a little bit crazy, but we had a great time.  Tuesday was our last district meeting so it was kinda fun.  

Wednesday was just a regular day.  Nothing too exiting.  Thursday I had a work visit with Elder Cortijo, (from Lima) and we worked soooooo hard.  Such a great time.  We were looking for some Less Actives and we knocked on a door to ask where one person lived, and this 17 year old left and we started talking with him.  He invited us in and we started talking a little bit about the restoration of the gospel, and he had tons of Questions.  He seems to be 25 years old and he was just railing off on the questions.  And we were able to answer every single one.  SO COOL.   He really is a guy that wants to learn so much.  It was a really powerful lesson and I had a blast.  We have passed by again, but we haven't found him.  But we will keep on looking.  His name is Jorge, so were going to keep on looking for him.

Saturday they told us the transfers and we didn't know at what time we were going to have them, so while we were waiting, with the elders from our district, we went to one of their rooms and made pancakes.  Elder Miller (from New Mexico) and I cooked banana peanut butter pancakes, and chocolate pancakes too.  Then everyone mooched off of us, but it was a good time.  We cook them to perfection.  I want to send pictures, but I hooked up my camera, and when I did, everything shut down, so its better to wait till next week.  WE were there cooking and then we got a call that the transfers were ready.  They weren't really anything which we expected but it was good.  Later Saturday we went around and bought all of the bus tickets and prepared for the transfers and all. Then in the night as a district we went out for chicken and french fries....Don't know why that is soo big here, but its ok.  

Sunday was just a regular day, filled with my comp saying goodbye to everyone and preparing a little.  
Interesting fact:  this week I talked to two people that had been, worked, and lived in Utah (one was wearing a USU hat), and found a penny on the street.  guess they were just signs of my having an English speaking comp!  Its crazy because here in Tumbes is basically the middle of NO WHERE, and the only things which are white is basically me and my other gringo friends.  
Then today I sent off my comp, played soccer and got my new comp.  

Eating out a lot still or cooking more?  
I don't usually cook.  We just don't have too much time, and I am super tired.  I have goals to eat better, and I really am not eating too bad.  Just want more fruit.

Next trip to Piura? 
NEXT week.

Is the weather a little less hot right now or not?  My phone weather app says it's 80 with 69%humidity
Its a little less hot now,  still in the 90s I think, but there is a little breeze and all, so its all good.  not too bad.

Is your area a tourist destination for other Peruvians that are colder right now?
I don't know why anyone would vacation here in Tumbes, other than the beaches.  The beaches are beautiful I love them, but other than that, its basically just a deserted city.

What is a typical Sunday for you?  
wake up, eat, shower, study, ward council, church, eat with members, study Spanish a bit, then off to work.  Then in the night we have to report the numbers and all, so its a little bit more time to rest.

Any interesting mission activities coming up?  
Interviews are coming up.

Any national holiday's this summer?  
Today is the National Independence day, but all the parties were yesterday.  Today nothing really has happened, just beer beer and more beer. 

I'm doing really good, happy, excited and can really feel the blessings coming from your prayers.  We are seeing changes here in Andres Araujo and its really getting better.  thanks for everything and I love you all a ton!

Elder Bradshaw

ps, thanks dad for your letter.....I loved it.  So cool!  I am excited for part two!

12 months in Peru

What a week!

And wow!  I have a whole year here in the mission....That is so crazy.  It really kind of scares me how fast a year can pass by.  

Well this week was really a good solid week.  Just a good happy week.  This week we saw a little bit of success, but its not coming from finding new people, or baptizing them, its coming from working with Less Actives.  This week I just felt more successful and felt like we were working really hard, even though we are stuck in a hole.  And when I am working, I am happy!  Thats the secret to the mission.

I don't know where to start....

So Tuesday was the birthday of Elder Evans, a missionary from my group who is in my district.  We are really good friends, and for that day, we planned a little party for him, and after the District meeting, we had cake and soda with them (photo).  Turns out that later that day, we also had cake two more times for his birthday, so it was a fun day!
Elder Evan's Birthday Cake...take 1.

Wednesday was basically regular,  I had a work visit with Elder Campo (Ecuador) and we had a good day.  We did visits with our Ward Mission Leader, Ricardo, who served in Mexico and finished recently.  He is the best, seriously he is so funny and we have such a good time with him.  He also helps us out so much!  In moms email, she gave me some ideas to find new people and one of them was work with the ward council....but our ward council is what is so cold! So our real only help we have is Ricardo, the bishop, and the other two sister missionaries in the ward.  So thats one of the blocks in the path that we are working on too.  The ward is a little bit cold, but thats just my shower every morning....and there is always an end to a cold shower.

Jueves...  This was my One Year Mark Day!  It was a good day and I really liked it. It was kind fun because President was doing room revisions this day....So we had to go with them to see a couple of the rooms in the morning, and I just like to be around President....He is a really cool guy.  Then in the afternoon my companion was a sick so I had some study time, then President did our Room check.  Our room was clean, and really it was a good experience.  Then that night we had a lesson with JG.  I just love JG!  I am really so happy for him, and I just want to do everything I can to help him.  His son left on the mission and after that, things just started changing...He is more open with us, he had the opportunity to talk with President Rowley when his son left, and he is progressing tons!  He was his three necessary Church attendances, is reading the BOM, and is praying....He just wont put down a baptismal date yet.  He is our only investigator, but there is nothing more that I want than to help him be baptized!  I know he will, its just a little bit more of time....Including, when Presidente Rowley was here he said "J... will be a REAL convert when he gets baptized!"  so were working hard!

Friday, just a regular day. 

Saturday...A couple of weeks ago, we planned with our Lider misional, and with the sister missionaries to do service every saturday in the morning. So thats what we are doing.  We have started with leaders, and now we are serving what ever moves.  So that was a good time.  And later we did a "team fast" to find the way to find success!  We really are seeing changes in the ward.  Its gotten better from when I first got here.  I like to think of it like Megatron en Transformers one....He was frozen for a long time, then by coincidence, when that old guy fell through the ice hole and touched his nose, he woke up...We found the ice whole, but we just are missing the "nose touch".

I just really like Sundays....It was just really good day.  I gave a talk in church which was kinda like that Huge giant german baloon that blew up, but it was fine, I hope that someone got the point.  

This week, in the night, I was watching a little bit of that movie "One Good Man". ( don't worry, its approved) My companion has It and I remember watching it in Lake Powell, and just being so bored.  But it was kinda interesting this time I watched it.  It really reminded me a lot about home and a lot about the culture, homes, and everything there, but I realized one thing when I was watching it.....I don't know If I will ever want to come home.  Its not like I am scared of what I will find, its just that I love it so much here.  Do be truthful, I am sick of the heat sometimes, and a couple of other culture glitches, but I just love being where I am, doing what I am doing, and feeling so close to the Savior.  The other day we were talking about Young Adult activities and Institute, and I said to myself...Going to Institute and learning doctrine sounds more fun than a dance....I just love it so much here and am so happy to have a whole year more!

Transfers are this week, and its a solid 100% that I will be getting a new companion.  I have loved my time with Elder Castro and we are really great friends.  I will miss him but It will be interesting to see who my next comp is.  Its kinda sad because half our our zone will be transfered.  I have so many great friends here and I am really sad to see some of them go.  but  its all good.

Any different thoughts running though your mind as you've been out a year?  I DON'T WANT TO EVER GO HOME!

How is Juan Garcia Progressing?  So pumped for him,  just hoping that all goes well!

Less Active Family? Turned their backs on the miracles which they saw....Really kinda sad to see.

Any new contacts this week?  We are talking with people, but no really good ones.

How many missionaries in your ward?4, us and the sisters.

P-day fun? in the morning, played soccer, in the afternoon, played basketball and volleyball, then went to the border to buy stuff.  jaja

How have you seen the hand of the Lord this past week?   In the Life of Juan Garcia.  We also took the Sacrament to a Less Active who is confined to her home and it was a really spiritual experience.  Just like with Sister TImms...(how is she by the way?)

Health? Every Monday Wednesday and Friday we play soccer with the other 2 companionships in the morning from 6 to 7.  So I feel really healthy...Also I made 6 goals today!

I'm going to start gathering things for a package...any requests?  Oh, I got a package from G and G bradshaw. And I loved it!  hmmmmmm I am really getting kinda bored of my music.  If you could send me some CD'S.  The rule is "whatever brings the spirit"  so some nice quite piano music, Piano Guys, guitar quite stuff...You can judge, but it doesn't have to be from the church. 

Something you learned this week?  That there is a whole lot more to learn!

Funny stuff?  Today when we were playing soccer, I set down our cell phone (only the ZLs can take them our of the apartments) and someone came and stole it!  Alone with my super cool peruvian coin, and my wallet with 11 soles (3 dollars).  Super ticked off!  Welcome to PERU

Well I am doing super good.  I am really happy and going strong.  The next week I will let you know how its going with my NEW companion, and all.  Love you so much and I hope that it rains the whole time in Lake powell and that you cant find a good spot and that you all fill up the sewer tanks so you have to finish the trip earlier!  (just joking!)  I hope that it all goes sooooooooooo well!  Be safe and careful and know that I pray and love you all so much!

Elder Bradshaw

Monday, July 14, 2014

Welcome Home! #oneyearstime

Hello family!

Well, I was in the Airport in the same time.

Getting off an airplane in the same time as he was.

But I was half a world away.

I am happy for you guys and I really wanted to send this from the airport...but I didn’t have time...and there wasn’t internet.

And don’t worry about me, I am really happy

Zack, giving Taylor a 'Welcome Home'...just from the Lima airport instead of Salt Lake!!

Well, I am kinda glad that that last week is done.  It was a tough one. 

Well....I guess I’ll just give a little run down of what has happened...Monday was an awesome P-day, and Tuesday was pretty good.

We really aren’t teaching many people, but the people that we are teaching, are progressing, so hey. We have a family of LA’s which we are visiting which has really built my testimony.  We started teaching them, and our first lesson (with me here) I went with our Mission Leader from the ward.  And we invited them to Read, attend church, pray together, and to speak to each other about their problems....(because they had lots!)  They did what we asked them to do, (just menos the attending church and reading), and when we visited them Tuesday, they were so much better!  From their little bit of faithful obedience...they received tons of blessings...Really cool!  that was my highlight Tuesday.

Lima......So we left from Tumbes with 4 other missionaries Tuesday at night.  And we got there at 12 in the morning!  And the missionaries that picked us up there, were like... ‘lets go for Pizza’ so they took us out for Pizza at midnight...jaja...then we all felt really sick! 

Zack with Elder Smith..."While we were waiting, a guy came by selling, of course, we bought some!"

All of our friends from Piura had arrived earlier, so the hotel that all of the other missionaries were in was full...So they took us to another hotel and they put us 4 Elders in the same room.  It was so fun!  We stayed up till 3 talking and it. was. a. blast.  The best part about going to Lima is the 1)friends.  2)food... and 3) its not 100 degrees.  For the first time in one whole year, I wrapped myself up in a blanket in a cold room and went to sleep....and it felt so good. 

The next day, we were just doing paper work the whole day....It was the worst mix of Disneyland-lines the DMV and Peru.  But it was awesome to chill with all of my friends.  My good friend (Elder Smith, from California who I sent of photo of with the guitar) was there and we had a good 4 or 5 hours to talk.  It was a good trip.  But I kinda feel like we got robbed...because we didn't get to go to the temple!  We had time...but they didn’t take us there.  :(

But, I bought donuts it was cool.

The next couple of days were just filled with walking, closed doors, heat and no success...But thats how it goes,  Like I’s just really slow.  We do have one investigator that is progressing.  His name is J.  He reads, attends, and is awesome, just doesn't want to put down a baptismal date.  It was cool because he has a son that is leaving on his mission TODAY.  Yesterday we passed by to teach and the son was there.  It hurt me to see his mom and his family in his last day there.  Made me think of my time at home one year ago...And I haven’t opened that dusty box for a while.

Other than the less actives (the family V Q) and J, we are stuck.  Just need more work and more things to try.  It's all good.  It just feels like when I am eating a PBJ sandwich without milk.  It's so hard to chew because its so dry, that it doesn't taste too good because your too worried about how hard it is to eat it.  That's exactly how I feel right now.  jaja

This Sunday was Election day here, and it strengthened my testimony of the our voting system in the USA.  Freaking, it was so bad!  It was about as organized as a high school student council election.  Cars driving up and down the roads, blasting music, (think Modern Family with Cam and the other guy).  Horrible!

Also, this week we did a service activity for a member family.  We were cleaning the room where the 5 girls live and it really was quite the humbling activity.  The 5 girls (the oldest is 9) all lived in a dirt floor very small room.  The walls were tarps and bamboo and mud and we basically dedicated the whole time to killing spiders...including the one as big as a McDouble at McDonalds.  So sad...and never again will I complain.

Oh...and for my one year anniversary, we had some great plans...but we just found out that President Rowley is coming to inspect our rooms and in the night he is going to accompany us. Soooooo there goes all of our plans....There is an other elder from my group in our we are going to do something fun at some point!

I am good today.....super tired....because we played soccer in the morning, then we went to the beach,....and played more....I'm sooooo tired.

I really am all good, just looking forward for a little bit of a boost this week.  I am really happy that you all had a great week and I hope that everything continues to be good there.  There isn't much I can do from here, but I am always here to help you guys. 

Have a good time and be safe!

Love you all!

Elder Bradshaw

Monday, July 7, 2014

Excited for Taylor

This is the first week that I haven't put down Taylor on my list to email!  Weird!!!

Well, it is kinda hard for me to see him finish his mission, probably because these few weeks have been pretty tough.  All of the other missionaries laugh at me when I talk about Taylor and all, but it’s all good.  I am super excited for him and for you guys.  Don’t get me wrong...I am happy, and I am so happy to have a whole year left.  I have got work to do, and quite frankly, I wouldn't want to be home right now!  (in a good way)  It’s weird to see my mission in the past year, and to think about whats going to be happening in the next year.  Right now, I just want to work work work  and work.  There is so much to do.  You will need to send me tons of pictures...TONS!!!  I want to see everything that you guys do next Monday when I open my email!

I am really happy today, it’s been a great p-day.  We live super close to the church, and super close to two other companionships, so my p-days have kinda become like we are just hanging out.  With the young men today, we played soccer for like 3 fun!... then we ate lunch, messed around a bit, then took off.  We went to a super cool city that is divided by a river.  Half the city is in Ecuador and half in Peru.  It’s kinda like Tijuana en Mexico....Just full of stuff to buy.  So I finally bought a USA soccer jersey and a Peruvian one too.  We had an awesome day. Super fun.

In the city of Aguas Verdes for p-day.

So with my companion....We are super chill.  He is the coolest guy.  We are super good friends, and we get along great.  This week he thanked me for wanting to work hard.  We are having an awesome time.  In my letter to president, I expressed a little frustration with the area, and when he came for a multi zone conference, he asked to speak with me for a moment.  I got super scared, but I haven't done anything wrong!  jaja But we just talked a little and he asked me about my frustration, and I said that my area is a “little slow”...and he said...” Its probably a LOT slow”...jaja so there is a ton of work to do and I am ready to do it.  The ward is basically frozen, and whats not frozen is dead.  the only help we have is from our RM Ward Mission leader and the Bishop...but we are working with them a ton to get it a little bit better.  We are also working tons with the husband of a member, and wants to change his life, and has a son who is leaving on a mission, but he doesn’t want to commit to a baptismal date...but before, he never attended church, but has attended the last two weeks!  So we are pumped...Just hoping that he accepts a date...Baptismal date that is!

So thats basically my week.  To be serious,  I have never felt really trunky in my mission, but right now, quite frankly, I do.  I am sorry.  I am still working and doing everything.  It's just with Taylor coming home, a companion that is a little bit more fun, it’s just a little bit hard, and sometimes I get down, but its all good.  I am super happy, and then sad and then’s just the deal...  Just got to keep on going. 

Getting to know the area better? 
Yeah I basically know it....We have one I’ve got that part down...It’s also a tiny area so it’s all good.

How are things with the companion? 
Super good.

What things are you learning from him? 
Tons!  He’s really smart and a really good guy.  Really respectful of me and I really enjoy being with him.

How is your old area...did those families that you were excited about work out? 
So one of them is going really well....I called Elder Nosa this week to have him send me something, and one of them is progressing a like crazy!  They have plans to get married, and to be baptized....Soooo that’s the Bradshaw way to finish a transfer....Find the golden family and then pack your bag.

Looking forward to what coming up? 
GOING TO LIMA TOMORROW NIGHT!!!! WITH TONS OF MY FRIENDS!  So pumped!  There is an airport in this city so we just get to fly down instead of taking the bus to Piura then the airplane...which will be awesome.  It will be for just one day in Lima... I think I might get to go to Temple if there is time!  Pray for it.  We are going just for visa stuff so it's all good.  But I'll get to see my friends.

Good food?
In Aguas Verdes (the city that we went to today), I found a pomegranate!  So I am pumped to eat it!

Well I am on a high right now, and this week will be good too.  I fasted to a) find a family and b) find the way to get the ward moving...So if you’ve got some good advice, I am open for it.

Sometimes I get discouraged because I don’t feel like I have really had tons of success in my mission.  I feel like I try try try and try and work and am obedient, but don’t really have any fruits.  I have baptized like 8 or 9 people, but I don’t feel like any of them have been ‘Golden’, or ‘Waiting for the gospel’, or having ‘a mighty change’ because of the gospel.  They are great people, but I just want to find a family the NEEDS the gospel so bad.  That is really all I want.  And its a little discouraging to finally get one, then to be transfered...But there is only one way to improve that, and I know what it is....WORK.

Don’t worry about me, I really am super happy and good.  Excited for the week, and in the next week I will have a whole year!  So pumped....We are planning something fun to do!

I'm out of time.  Have a great time and send me tons of PICS on MONDAY!  I want to see everything!

Love you all so much and send my love to everyone!

Elder Bradshaw