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!!

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.)


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