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 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

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 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 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, 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 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'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 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. 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