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 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 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!


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 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 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, 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 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.


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 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

Monday, August 4, 2014

Amazing Week

Hello Family

Sounds like you all had an awesome week this week....Temples, mountains, Tetons, motorcycles, that all sounds awesome!  I am a little bit jealous, but not much, because we literally had such an awesome week.  I can’t even describe it.  Elder Romero is the best companion I have ever had...and I bet the best one I will ever have.  Starting right after I sent my last email home, we started working working and working, and we have been working till now.  I am so tired and we both have crashed so hard, but it's been such a great week. area has been a pretty hard one.  Mainly because we didn’t have too many people to teach.  Investigators, less actives, or converts...we only had just a few people that would listen to us.  We worked with those people during the last transfer, but after that, there wasn’t much to do.  This week...using the ward directory, asking for referrals, and searching part member families, we found SO MANY PEOPLE.  Starting with MA  (less actives)....this week we found the Familia Hinostroza.  The mom has been to the temple but her husband hasn’t, and they are both inactive.  We found them and started teaching them.  We met with them like 4 times this week, they are reading everything we give them, and they even came to church yesterday!  They are progressing so much and I am so happy for them.  We also found another MA, Roberto Vidal...Hes a less active son of an active member.  We found him a couple of weeks back, and he has already read like 12 chapters in the BOM.  The other Less actives that we are teaching, almost all of them are progressing, and this week, we had 7 MA that attended church, and we taught 15 lessons with MA!  Maybe it won’t end up with a baptism, but its my goal and my dream that one day they can all make it to the temple.  Sorry to ramble on a bit and shoot out tons of numbers and stuff, but for me...after a really really slow have seen this much success in one week...I am just so happy.

One day, we passed by to teach another new Less active and we entered the house and the MAs daughter was sitting there with her two kids.  We taught a super powerful lesson to the two MA and the three new investigators that were there, and took out another appointment.  A couple of days later, we returned and when we entered the house, they already had the seats set up, they were there waiting, and had even invited their dad to be there.  We taught a super powerful lesson of the Restauracion...Restoration....sorry...and it was so awesome.  Its such a great family.  They are called, the Dios Vilela family....Which translated into English would be the ‘God’ family....So thats pretty funny!  I am so excited to teach them...the dad is Carlos, with his wife...Rosa, their kids...Rosa and Marlon....SO Excited for them.

So in one week, we went from 5 people to teach, to like 20 or more.  It really was soooooooo crazy.  And the ward is starting to change and support us lots too!  We are super excited, and so tired!  But I am happier, and really excited.  Starting to fall in love with Puyango.

I remember how Taylor described one of his areas using the Quote from General Yamamoto before the attack on Pearl Harbor.  And I was telling my companion about this and relating it to our area...”Andres Araujo 1 (our area) is like a sleeping giant, we just need to find a way to wake it up.”   and after, my companion said....than I think we just dropped pearl harbor!  Really, it’s been such a successful week. 

Peanut Butter Pancakes last week.  Cooked to perfection.

What was your most spiritual moment this week...
We had an awesome lesson with Hno Hinostroza.  It was our first lesson with him and it was so powerful.  His family were all in tears and he realized what he was missing and decided to change.  Super cool.  We have also had tons more lessons that were awesome with him.

How is your ward doing? 
It’s improving, there has really been a huge change in these few weeks.  The members are getting more and more excited.  Still a little sleepy, but were hacking away at it.

What have you been studying lately...
I’m reading right now in Helaman.  Super cool.  I'm also study for the lessons that we have each day.   So, mostly the Restoration.

Any great new recipes you’ve tried? 
Today I cut up a papaya with a banana.  We hardly cook.  Usually eggs, sandwiches, and fruit.

Who are you teaching?
The Hinostroza Family, Juan Garcia, the Visitacion family (converts recently), Rosa Granda, the Dios family, Roberto Vidal, the family Vidal Quiroz, and more!

Did you ever clean your room? 
We have got plans for that, but we have been working full bore.

Did you do anything fun for P-day? 
We played some games, then at 3 we have to go to Piura...but we got tickets on the nice bus :)

I am happy, and doing super good.  Elder Romero is a super hard worker and hes teaching me tons.  I feel more and more comfortable as a zone leader, and am so happy to be where I am right now.  Everything is going well!   

Thanks for everything and I love you all sooooooo much!

Elder Bradshaw