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?

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.

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