Monday, August 3, 2015

One Week...

Family...

Well, as you probably know, this will most likely be my last letter home as a full time missionary. This week has been a time of reflection, which I have really enjoyed. I remember sitting at my desk, in Negreiros, my first area, Looking at a picture of Christ, contemplating the next two years and how I could possibly see the end of those seemingly endless months ahead. Now I'm at the end, and weirdly enough...sometimes I wish I could have a little bit more time.

This week has been a week of reflection, and starting last Monday, I really started to feel how fast it is coming to an end. I still feel like it's just a joke, and I still feel like there is still a possibility that I will be here forever. I feel like there is nothing else outside of my little world in Paita. It really hurts sometimes to think too much about it, and sometimes I think I try to hide that pain behind the excitement that I feel to return. When I think about the past two years, sometimes I feel really overwhelmed, but when I think about everyday of those two years, I can honestly say that I did my 100% best everyone of those days. Right now...I feel happy and relaxed. I can't believe the personal change that I have had, and I am so excited to see the change in all of my family and friends.

Yesterday was a tender mercy for me. For my last Fast and Testimony Meeting, Francis Navarro (who recently was re-activated and baptized his wife Mirium) was called to be the first councilor in the YM presidency, and his wife, Mirium, the 2nd councilor in the Primary. Anderson was ordained a Priest and called to serve as a secretary of the YM Presidency. And then...to top it off, Francis, who before is a little bit reserved, stood up to share his testimony. He bore his testimony and thanked us a lot for all that we did for them with tears in his eyes. Right after, Anderson did the same thing, with tears in his eyes. The branch is falling in love with the recent converts and is really excited to help them out. I feel really loved in this branch it will be hard for me to leave. The branch president came up to me and said “Elder Bradshaw, you've only got a little bit of time left, but I would like that every missionary is like you.” Then he invited us to dinner tonight. I really am not trying to brag...but just like a nicely cut lawn, it is nice to see the fruits of the harvest after the work.


Zack and Elder Butron with members of their branch in Piata

This week I was pretty sick, not too bad to stay in, but just annoying stomach problems and a cough, but I’ll be fine. I feel SUPER SUPER tired everyday, but I think that just comes from the work.

I love my mission, and even though I am soooo sad to leave....I AM SOOOOO EXCITED TO COME HOME! I can’t believe that these two years have passed, and I can't believe that I’ve gotten to this point. I love this work and I love my Savior, and I am so grateful for His Gospel in my life!

How were you able to serve someone this week?
This week, I have been trying to help all I can. Basically just trying to do all I can for the area, the branch and others before I go.

What are your plans for this week?
Work, enjoy it, learn to cook little bit.

Anything fun for p-day today?
We went to the beach and played volleyball. It was super fun


Last Pday...ever!

 
Will you be able to write to us again before you leave?
Not sure...I might be able to from the office Monday night...but I don’t know...


Are you trying to take a lot of pictures before you leave?
Yes...I am trying to take a lot of pictures and to write a lot in my journal.


Any more requests for when you come home?
Just lots of food that I like. And chocolate chip cookies. That’d be awesome!


Spiritual moments this week:
We watched the Jose Smith movie with Anderson and it was a wonderful time. I felt the Spirit testify to me the truth of all that I have been teaching. It was incredible. Tonight we are going to watch it with Francis and Mirium!!! Also, we’re doing some Family history with some Converts, and I just got super excited about that. I really really really want to work hard in that area when I get home. I feel like I need to learn how to do that!


Funny stuff:
I ate something that didn’t agree with my stomach and I was sent running about a mile to the bathroom this week.  I almost gave up...that was horrible. jaja

Well, I love you all tons! I hope that you have a wonderful week.  The next time you hear from me, it will be my own words...from my own mouth. Whatttt.....????

Elder Bradshaw

Monday, July 27, 2015

Anderson!!!

Hey!

I hope that all is going well at home. Sounds like it is with all of the wonderful letters. Thanks for always making me feel loved. I have been so blessed here.

To start things off....ANDERSON WAS BAPTIZED!!!!! This guy is a rock star. Hes got goals to go on a mission, and he is preparing to recieve the priesthood. He passed through tons of hard hard things this week, but he was really strong and was able to be baptized Saturday. Paita is a desert and our church doesn't usually have
running water, so we had to bring the water in from another area.  So...They filled up a huge tank of water and they brought it in to fill up the font. And guess who was there in front helping the most....ANDERSON. I have
never seen a convert carry his own water to fill up his own font! He wasn’t baptized in the ocean, but in the church. He is a wonderful convert, and I am so excited to see his progress here in a couple of years. I am sure he’s going to go on a mission...and he will be great.


Zack at the baptism of one of his favorite people, Anderson!

Other than the baptism, this week was a little rough. Honestly...some of it was pretty hard. We had two service projects....1)carrying over 100 buckets of sand and 2) carrying a ton of rocks. And I don’t feel like I have really recovered from that bit of service. I somehow hurt my back in all of that lifting and it’s been bothering me since then. On top of that, I’ve had a wicked-mean cough for the past week, and a giant head ache now for two days. I still don’t feel like I am all the way done with it, but I am feeling better. After the baptism, I just fell on the bed and we just called it a day, because my whole body was just hurting so much. I feel better, and am recovering a little by little. On top of that....NO ONE HAS BEEN HOME for these two weeks...where is everybody?????....Seriously, we haven’t been able to teach too much, which makes everything pretty rough as well.  I’m always happier when we get to teach.

Is it bad to say that there have been a couple days when I look at the sky, and think of the “ding....Thank you for flying with Delta, I hope you have enjoyed your flight...” or the escalator...or Mc Muffins...or stuff like that. jaja

I’m trying to keep on going. I really do feel happy, it’s just been a little rough.

My favorite scripture from my studies this week.... 3 Nefi 18:35
“And now I go unto the Father, because it is expedient that I should go unto the Father for your sakes.”

I have to go home, and I wouldn’t be obedient if I didn’t go home. I LOVE the Peruvian people and its going to break my heart to leave them to go home, but I am so happy to see you all. I love this place, and this people. Just thinking about leaving them hurts me.

So…here’s some questions (FROM MOM)...

-What did you admire most about President Rowley?
His example of work, simplicity, and love. He is one of the greatest priesthood leaders I have ever met.

-What lessons have you learned from him?
They are countless.

-How are your new converts progressing?
The family Navarro Ruiz is getting started on their Family History.

-What do you think you’ve contributed to this area and this branch?
I feel like I have finally been able to create a lot of trust between the members and the missionaries, and we have found more ways to work better with the members.

-How have you noticed the Hand of the Lord in your work this week?
The Lord guided Anderson to prepare for his baptism. Sometimes I just feel so much love from the Lord.

-What is something you’ve learned recently?
I have learned that it is necessary that we prioritize EVERYTHING everyday.

-How have you felt God’s love personally this week?
Reading the account of Christ in the America’s. That’s my favorite part of the Book of Mormon....especially 3 Nefi17.  I can see a wonderful example of Christ’s love
there and it helps me feel it and recognize it more in my own life.

-How do you keep yourself going during these last couple weeks?
The baptisms are really helping me...it’s super exciting!

Here’s some more ‘home’ based questions… We’ve been wondering a few things…

Are there certain foods that you have really been thinking about and
craving? (home or restaurant)

Just desserts and stuff with bastante (??) chocolate caramel and ice cream.  Taco’s and hamburgers too.  Also...could we have waffles with peaches and all that stuff???

Is there a meal you would like to request?
I’m good with whatever.  I’ve already made plans to get a few sausage Mc Muffins in LAX

Is there anything you would like to request for Lake Powell?
My guitar.

This week has been fun because it’s the Peruvian Independence day tomorrow, so everything everywhere is red and white! It's crazy fun. Today we saw a parade. It’s crazy because this is my third time being here for this particular holiday.


Today for pday...we went EVERYWHERE to find some cool Peruvian stuff to bring home.  Um...there isn't really anything here in Piata for me to bring home.  I did buy like four CD's of Peruvian music to share with my family all day every day!


Pday...searching for souvenirs!


Oh, since you asked about another baptism, you are probably thinking about.....Gisela.  She was going to be baptized this week, but she works in a factory of giant squid packaging.....what?.....and they keep on changing her hours so she hasn’t been able to attend enough...nor have we taught her enough...but this week we will teach her a ton and help her preparations to be baptized. I don’t know for sure if i will be here for it.

I love you all a lot. I am still just so super happy for Anderson, the Nevarro Ruiz family and for this whole 'bonus' part of my mission. I love you all so much!  Please make sure you tell everyone that.   Have a nice week.

Elder Bradshaw

Monday, July 20, 2015

Three

Wow!

I’ve completed TWO FULL YEARS! I’m not a Returned Missionary yet, but I am an old missionary....jaja   No just kidding.

I’m doing good. This week had some real highs, and some real lows. But, as it usually happens for me...the highs were REALLY high, and the lows, were really low. But I guess that is what the mission is about. It’s a roller coaster...

THE HIGHS!
Mirium was baptized Thursday and confirmed Sunday! It was a great baptism and the members helped a TON and really stuck out a warm hand of fellowship. Brigham, her eight year old boy was also able to be baptized. The most incredible part is that her husband baptized the two of them. It was incredible. I felt a great spirit in the baptism and it was a great day. I loved it and will always remember it. It was kinda funny, because we had interviews that day, and President Rasmussen just finished, so he passed by to see the baptism. It was awesome...half the zone was  there. It was a great day.


Baptism of Mirium and Brigham

I think what made it so wonderful was just being able to see the change in this family. They have changed 180 degrees, and I have never ever worked so hard to help a family. Seriously, we worked super hard with them, but it’s been so wonderful blessing to see them married and baptized.

Other then them, this week was really mas o menos, seriously, all of the appointments fell through, not many people came to church and it was just kinda a bummer. jaja We did do a service project with Gilmar (hes a member that was baptized about a year ago, and he’s a great friend) where we built a wall out of bamboo and stuff. It was fun because we did it with some members.  We were handy...and it was awesome.



Building a bamboo wall with Gilmar and friends...


To be honest.....when I hit the two year mark...I just felt a HUGE drain of energy. I don’t know if it’s myself saying that or if it really is a problem, but I just feel dead. jaja I knew this would happen and all, but its tough. Sometimes I am just super dead, physically and mentally. And it doesn’t help that I am on my way to getting sick. jaja My whole world just kinda came crashing down on Friday, so it wasn’t much of a celebration day...But it’s all good. I know I can do it. I’m getting pumped to come home, but I’ll be super super sad too. But it’s all normal emotions, I think.

Moms questions....

Baptisms this week...
Awesome...read above

Anderson...
This guy is incredible, he is always with the YSA in our branch and almost every night he is with us or with them. He is really eating it all up. He will be baptized this Saturday....and he asked me to baptize him! He also asked to be baptized in the beach.....so that would be awesome....we even got permission to do it with Pres Rasmussen. But today we are going to figure that out.

How are you feeling about 2 years time.
Above

Exciting things in your life...
Just working, trying to keep on going.

Awesomeness of the week...
the baptism.

New things with a new president...
we had interviews this week.. I really like him, he is a great guy. they are really fun and different from Pres Rowley, but the two are both wonderful presidents. 

Any questions you have about coming home...
when do we go to Lake Powell, and what is it going to be like the first day I get home...

I teach next week on “receiving the Holy Ghost”…if you have any stories or suggestions
I don't know, but I love that topic....study chapter 4 of PMG.  It’s incredible.

Well, I don't know if there is too much more to tell...

I love ya lots....

Pray for me please!

Elder Bradshaw

Monday, July 13, 2015

Four

Habla familia!

How's it going?  I am super good this week. In fact...I don't think I have ever had a better week in my two years of mission life. I don't know, it was just incredible and I'm so happy. I loved it. I'm in bonus time now, and I feel like God has blessed me a ton! On the other hand, I have never been soooo tired in my life.  I go to bed, and when I wake up, I am more tired that I was when I went to bed. It's a crazy life I lead.

Well, I'm happy that you all had a great time in Lake Powell. Sounds like you had a blast. Mom, I did receive your email from the lake, so it's all good...you didn't stand me up!



Our Zone got to meet with President and Sister Rasmussen this week...

Super Blurry pic of Zack's zone with their new President...President and Sister Rasmussen...Zack's the giant on the left front.
 So, I'll just start in with the people I get to work with right now...

FAMILIA NAVARRO RUIZ
Francis Navarro and Mirium Ruiz- Francis is a less active who hasn’t been active for 8 years. Mirium is his wife who has attended for years, but to another branch, even though they live in our area.  Francis´ family are members and really active in the other branch. They have two kids...Brigham (eight years) and Paolo (2...this kid is so crazy jaja I'll send a video the next week) At the beginning, they generally have been quiet with us and a little reserved, but we have worked SO hard with them and to see them get married was wonderful. Mirium passed her baptismal interview this week and is doing awesome!  They (Mirium and Brigham) will be baptized this Thursday. Yesterday, the branch president interviewed Francis and gave him a calling and let him bless the sacrament! That was a great experience for the whole family. The members have received them wonderfully and it's been so fun. They are really excited for Thursday. Now we are great friends with them.  I’ll be sure to send some pics this week. I am so happy that she will be baptized this week. She has been waiting for years! And now...Francis will be able to baptize them both!

ANDERSON!
This guy is completely awesome. He is just eating everything up. With his uncle, Franklin, they went to go clean the church this weekend, he's attending all of the activities, and is just loving it all. The members love him and treat him basically like a member now. It's awesome! He's got a baptismal date the 25th of July, and he's pumped for it!

GISELA
She is a referral from the Relief Society President...it's actually her sister.  We went and taught her this week and she is golden! Seriously. She has already attended church twice, and is just eating it up as well.  The members look at her as a sure baptism. We are also teaching her two little kids (April 10, Astrid 8) And are working to teach her husband. the best part...wait for it...wait for it...THEY ARE MARRIED. After the first visit, we invited them to be baptized, and at this point...they have a baptismal date for the 2nd of August.

I have felt so blessed in these past few weeks. I now see why God wanted me to extend. If I wouldn't have extended, I would never have come to Paita, or trained/worked with Elder Butron, or met all of these wonderful people!  I truly feel so blessed.

So, I have four weeks left in my mission, and for three of those weeks, We've got baptisms planned. Were trying to get a fourth week of baptisms planned as well, but we will see about that. I have never had this many people ready to be baptized and I really hope that everything continues to go well.

What would have happened if I wouldn't have extended?  I am so happy to be here!

I love it here and everything is going so well. I love my mission, I love Piura, I love Paita. I am so excited to see you all too, but when I leave...I think it's going to feel like my heart is being ripped out. I am just trying to take most advantage of the time that I have left.

Now, In my BOM study, I am in Helaman 8. I’m on track to finish before I come home and I’m loving it.

I could never have chosen a better area to finish my mission. I love the members, the branch, and the people here. I feel at home.

In my pics, I've got one with president Rasmussen and his wife, and another with Elder Nosa, and Elder Butron (two of my three hijos (sons) missionary slang for those Elder's that they train!)

Zack with Elder Burton (left) and Elder Nosa (right)...his sons!

 I love you all, and...Mom...I hope this was an exciting enough letter for you...since you requested that.

 Elder Bradshaw

Monday, June 29, 2015

Six

IT'S THE FINAL COUNTDOWN! do do doo dooooooo

I can’t believe I am in my last transfer.  It’s so crazy. I feel like If I were going home right now, it wouldn’t be right. I know I’m doing what God wants me to do, and this past week I could really see why I’m still here.  I know that I need to be here, and I am excited to see what little gems will be hidden in these next 6 weeks.

Ok, well this week was a solid week and I am happy.

FAMILIA NAVARRO- THEY GOT MARRIED! It was awesome. We helped them a lot this week, and they were married Friday. We were able to see it, but it started really late, so we were only there for a moment, but we could see them sign the papers and all. It was awesome. We also had the lesson and we invited them to come to our branch, and they accepted! Yesterday we went to visit them and they were like new people, seriously, it was incredible to see the change in their lives.  Keeping the commandments opens doors! We couldn't teach too much this week, but we changed her baptismal date to the 16th of July. They are doing really well.

Zack and Elder Butron with Francis Navarro...wedding day!

ANDERSON- This guy is awesome. Seriously, he’s already making plans to go on a mission and is super super excited. His family, himself, and the members are super excited with him. His baptismal date is basically in concrete. It’s incredible to see his change and excitement. He has had some incredible experiences with prayer and he is super excited to keep on progressing. He didn’t go to church this week, because he was sick and didn’t have any clothes....ugh so frustrating! ...But this next week he’s going!


Zack and Elder Butron with Anderson (green shirt) and Victor...and RM from their ward.


SO know, I am seeing my purpose here in Paita for July and August....Family Navarro Ruiz and Anderson. We have received another reference or a mother with her two kids from a member who wants to be baptized, so we have a possibility of 5 baptisms soon! So excited.

Paita and Puyango have been my favorite areas. I love it here. The members, the branch, the dirt, everything! It’s a great area!

It’s weird thinking that in 6weeks I enter into a whole new stage of life and that is something that is really crazy for me to think about!

Things are going great with my companion. He’s a great guy and I have had a blast with him.  He has taught me so much! Our new mission President is Pres Rasmussen from California. Starting Wednesday, I am the oldest missionary in the whole mission, with the other two guys that extended!

I love my mission and am so happy for the opportunity which I have had to be here.

Love ya!

Elder Bradshaw

Thursday, May 28, 2015

A Time to Train

Hey!

I can’t believe that you are almost all in Summer vacation now! It’s crazy to me because it just started getting a little bit cooler here...just a little bit...not too much.

It was a good week. I am tired, and have been running for like 7 days straight. But it was one of those real good, hard working kind of weeks...so I’m happy!

My companions name is Elder Butron. He is from Lima and is 24 years old. He is a wonderful person. He is so kind and loving and has lots of desires to keep on working and to help everyone. He is really really shy, but is slowly breaking out of that shell, especially with the investigators and people in the street. In this week, he has grown so much and I know he will really be a great missionary. I do love him, he is a great guy. I am excited to be able to be working with him.

Elder Bradshaw and his new companion Elder Butron, from Lima, Peru.

This week was a real successful week.....we found plenty of new people, and they are wonderful!!! I am so pumped. I try not to get over excited about a first visit, but we found another INCREDIBLE family.  Now we are teaching like 5 Families. and I am pretty sure we will baptize at least two of them in these two transfers. Super excited.

One of these families, la familia Roque Heche (pronounced Rocky)...is incredible! One day we were walking down the road, and started knocking random doors. We talked to a lady and ended up giving her a Book of Mormon. She seemed excited so we took out another appointment. We went back the next day, and her Husband was there.  Felix has never listened to missionaries from whatever church and we are the first ones he is listening too. He asked us a ton of questions about the different churches and how is the original church, and why there are so many, and said that he has never found an answer. We taught him and his wife the lesson and it went really well. His wife told us of a vision that she had a long time ago when she walked into a really old temple and a figure in white picked her up, and comforted her in her problems. After her vision, she talked to a pastor of another church and he told her that she needs to look for a church, and that it doesn't necessarily needs to be his own. She told us that she had been looking for a church for lots of years but has never found one that makes her feel good. The both received answers and light and the both felt the spirit. Elder Butron asked them to be baptized and they decided that they need to wait a little bit longer. I am so excited to teach them tomorrow. I hope it all goes well!  Pray for them!

The others are good, but not as prepared as the family Roque. We are still teaching the people I have told you about before, and one of those half-member families even went to Truijillo to the Open Doors in the Temple....so lets hope that that was a good experience for them....They just need to get married, they have the plans, but there goal is in September....and we really want them to get married in July......so we are working on that....jaja

The only problem with the 5 families that we are so excited about teaching...is that NONE of them are Married.....sigh....

K.  I don’t really know what more to write....

But I am super super super excited to keep working....I have never had a greater desire for a good baptism...And right now is the time to do it. The goal is two new families baptized before August.....Let’s see how it goes.

Now is the time to act with our branch. Whenever there is a change up in leadership, then people are ready to work hard.  So we are super super excited and the members and super super excited too.  And we are here, ready to work!

Of course...HOW’S THE TRAINING???
It’s going well.... I am learning a ton and reviewing these basic things helps me, as well as him, to be better companions and better missionaries We get a long well. He is a great dude.

What are some thoughts going through your head as you have this training experience again?
“His first 12 weeks are my last 12 weeks”...jk

Tender mercies this week?
I feel like my tender mercies were the families that we found.

How’s your personal Book of Mormon Challenge going?
I am doing well...A little bit behind where I thought I would be, but I’m in Jacob, and loving it!

Exercise?
Everyday with the jump rope that Sister Ihrke sent me. jaja

Pday fun?
We went to the beach.  We always go to the beach, and I'm glad.


Pday with Elder Butron at the beach.

LOVE YOU ALL And I hope that all goes well!

Have a great week!

Elder Bradshaw

Monday, May 11, 2015

Blue walls with pink edging...

Hey hey hey!

How’s it going? I’ve never understood questions like that in letters...because you won’t even answer it until a long time after I ask you it...then I won’t even read your answer for another week, so...jaja.

So....basically I told you everything in my life yesterday...but it was such a great time speaking with you all and seeing you through skype. I can’t believe that was my last call! It was so nice to see you all.  It didn’t destroy me like it did my first call. And I was fine after. I am still excited to keep going and I am doing well here! I love seeing how much you have all changed, especially Elli. What?  She’s grown like a foot since I have been home.

Today for pday, we went to a little beach/fishing town and kinda just walked around. We climbed a mountain with huge cliffs looking over the ocean which was super awesome. The beaches here are incredible beautiful, blue water, huge cliffs, beautiful sand....But no one takes care of the beach area, so they can be kinda ugly. But its been a nice time just being around the ocean. In the morning we played some Bball with the other gringos which was pretty fun.


Hanging over the cliffs at the beach hike today.


So a couple of awesome experiences I had....About a week ago, I was praying and while I was praying, I thought of a blue wall with pink edging. During that whole day, I kept looking for it, and we actually found it! We knocked on the door, but no one came out. So a week later, we were walking by the same place, and I decided to knock the door again. When we knocked on it, a guy opened it up, looked at us, smiled and let us in. Turns out he was an old investigator, and a brother of a good member. He let us in but didn’t have much time, so we just got to know him a bit. Also, it turns out that his dad was baptized just this weekend in another branch...And he’s one of two of the family that aren’t members....so I think it’s his time! We are going to keep looking for him.

We also found another family of less actives that has progressed a ton. so I am pretty excited about them....turns out that they are also family of the other guy we found....small world huh? They’ve recently read like 5 chapters in the BOM since the first time that we visited them, and they attended church AND the baptism of his dad! Pretty cool!  I hope they can progress. It was interesting, because right after we started visiting them, they didn’t have basically anything to eat....but after that, the lady won two huge raffle tickets and won two big baskets of food....Mosiah 2:41. jaja


 Mosiah 2:41 And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual

This past week, a couple of eight year old girls asked us to baptize them, so that explains the picture. It was a fun experience.


Branch baptism this past weekend.
I am super excited for the dedication of Trujillo TEMPLE. It’s going to be so AWESOME!!!! I can’t wait! One month more!  We don’t get to go, but we get to see the transmission of the dedication AND the cultural celebration that the youth do.  I’m so glad that I’m here for that.

I’m sorry, it’s a little shorter letter, but I’m kinda brain-dead right now. And...like I said...I said it all yesterday!

Love you all a ton!

Elder Bradshaw

Thursday, May 7, 2015

I'm A Rock in A Stream

Hey fam!

Well I am doing great! A little bit burnt, and a little tired, but thats how it is here in Piura.

I am actually doing pretty well. The week was a little bit tougher, but it all went well. I learned a lot. As I said the last week, my greatest joy comes from teaching the gospel! I can’t believe how fast the weeks pass. I swear that I close my eyes and when I open them it’s Monday again! And...I promise that I am not just sleeping the whole week.  :)

I was actually really discouraged this week until yesterday. Again, my companion was sick. Hes getting tested right now and we should know the cause today, but he seems to be getting better. But, due to the sickness, the week was just a little bit slower. I hope that starting tomorrow, he can be perfectly fine. That would be nice. It’s not his fault, I think hes got a parasite or something, because it
keeps coming back. The sickness discouraged my companion, and got me down a little bit. We couldn’t work as much as we wanted. But it’s all good.  I’ve had plenty of time to study, but it’s just so annoying when its 90 plus degrees in the room even with the fan on. (see pic). jaja




Zack proving how hot it is in his room.  93 degrees!
 So this week, everything was kinda just regular.

A couple of days ago, we were just walking down the street and I saw a little girl (3 years or so) run into her house where her dad was watching tv, I felt the need to talk with them, so we went and contacted the dad. He turned out to be a good guy and we took out an appointment for Sunday. Yesterday we went and started teaching him and his wife. They are so humble and so sincere. It was such a great lesson. I felt the Spirit so strongly, and it was such a great feeling to be with them last night. The name is la Familia Pazos Cordova. We have another appointment Wednesday. I hope they turn out to be ready.

With the other families there wasn’t too much progression with them. They both are sincere and have shown good fruits, and I am excited to work with them and am growing to love them more and more, but we could only teach them a couple of times this week, and there wasn’t any real incredible progress, but I am sure things will pick up and that they will progress more.

I really feel like I have continually been molded as a person while I have been here in the mission. I wasn't ever a real bad guy, or never did really bad things, but like a rock in a stream, the Lord has be carving and forming me little by little. I am so happy doing the things I do, and I know that all of these things that I am teaching here are true. I started the Book of Mormon a week ago, with the goal to look for different names of Christ, the Christlike attributes that He shows, and those attributes that other profets and people show. My goal is to finish before I go home. I am now in 1 Nephi 17. I am hauling! I love reading it and I have learned so much in these last few days.

Family updates? Going well?
Everything is going well, but nothing amazing. Not too many bad things happened this week, just not too many good things either.

Health and happiness update?
I am really healthy and happy!

Mission activities going on?
We have interviews with President Rowley (I’m sad because this will be my last one.  He goes home in July.)

Mother’s Day is in one week! Yay for me!........
So I will try calling at 4 (my time) but I am still looking for a place to do it. So if the time changes I will tell you.

Anything about school you want to talk about?
not too much

Tender Mercies this week?
The lesson with the new Famliy Pazos yesterday. It was a good time.

Best part of the week?
The lesson yesterday with the Familia Pazos.

Pday fun?
We played frisbee on the beach with a couple of other Elders.


The Baptism of Santos Silva...Zack's companion, Elder Nuñez, is the one dressed in white.
Well I am happy and all is going well. I am trying to be the best missionary that I can and I try my best everyday.  I am far from perfect but I am trying so hard!

Love you all!

Elder Bradshaw

Monday, April 27, 2015

Three Families

Its crazy how fast time flies by! We are already in half-transfer.

Well, I am happy. It was a good week. A hard week. A learning week.  But a good week. I learned lots, and can really see how the Lord is forming me to be a better person. I delight in the Gospel and delight in sharing it, which is something wonderful. I keep growing and molding, and struggling and learning, and am happy with whatever comes my way...well I try to be. I am far from perfect, but I am trying.

This week we did see some effects from our last week of knocking doors and all. We have got three families which we are teaching. Don’t know if any of them are a ‘golden’ family, but they all seem pretty good.

The Familia Navarro: Its a part member family that we found thanks to a reference from a member. We finally contacted and taught them. They are already attending church, but in another branch. They need to be married, but have the desire to do it. I asked the wife what her goals are and she told me “get married, get baptized, and get sealed”.  We are hoping that they really are as good as we think. We would only have to marry them, have them switch branches, and boom, ready!

The family Cardoso: They are another Part Member family that lives right next door to the family Navarro. They are wonderful too, but need to get married too. We’ve taught them too and they are great, The only problem is that the papers of the wife are like 12 hours away in bus, and there are not any ways to get them. I continue in my frustration that marriage is the basically the hardest thing to do in Peru. Which stinks.

The family Rumiche: Another Part member family. I don’t know them too well, because we’ve only taught them once, but they are still candidates!

Well, we are looking and working really hard. Hope that we can find a chosen family.

We also had a baptism this week. Santos Silva is the 75 year old grandma that was being taught before I got here. It was a super crazy day.  Super crazy.  And the baptism was crazy too. Because she is so old, my comp was scared about the water being cold, so we found two HUGE pots and heated up something like 50 gallons of water. It was a crazy crazy day, but its all good. She was baptized so it’s all good. I don’t really know her that well, but I’m happy for her and hope for her to be happy as well.

I just want that special family though. Special family...where are you?

The things I learned this week:

I FINISHED THE BOOK OF MORMON! And tomorrow, I will start it again.

I liked this...

Moroni 8

25 And the first fruits of repentance is baptism; and baptism cometh by
faith unto the fulfilling the commandments; and the fulfilling the
commandments bringeth remission of sins;

26 And the remission of sins bringeth meekness, and lowliness of
heart; and because of meekness and lowliness of heart cometh the
visitation of the Holy Ghost, which Comforter filleth with hope and
perfect love, which love endureth by diligence unto prayer, until the
end shall come, when all the saints shall dwell with God.

When we repent, we are forgiven, and it is necessary that we keep the commandments for the rest of our lives. The remission of sins is a process, and so is perfecting ourselves. When we keep the commandments, and serve other people, we retain that remission and help others receive theirs too.

I didn’t explain it well, but I invite everyone to study that scripture. Service is more important than we think.

Sorry that there aren’t any pics this week, I don’t have my camera because we had an activity and didn’t have enough time to go pick it
up.

I love you all, and am super excited for the call!

4 o'clock my time.

I will look for a computer to use...or whatever!  I’ll make it work.

Love ya!

Elder Bradshaw

Monday, April 20, 2015

Going to bed better than when we wake up

Sometimes it blows my mind to think that I have been here for almost two full years.  Two full years!!

That is so much time! Think about it! Two years....wow.

This week was a long long week. One of those ‘faith testers’.

I was sick with a cold, and my comp with the stomach bug, so it was just a little bit slower, but we did our best and when we could...we  worked SUPER hard.

Well, our area is basically bone dry of investigators, but that just means there are still a lot, but they are just hiding. :)  We knocked a lot of doors, and always came back to our room dead tired. But that is how its supposed to be. Mission work was never easy, nor will it ever be.

Even though I am tired, and whipped everyday....I feel satisfied every time I lay down to sleep. And that is what makes me happy.

Everyday is just a new challenge to make our circumstance, our area, our friendship, our family, our home, our work, our world better. And if we go to bed living in the same circumstances with what we woke up with, we failed. We have to act, and not just let the circumstances define our success and character. ...And that’s the thought that I had this morning, when I was in the moto taxi...going to go beach.

Its hard though sometimes, when the agenda is empty, and the rejection is full. But it’s all good.

We did find three possible families to teach. The three are PF, or part member families, and I feel that all three have a good chance to progress, even though the members that are in the families...at this point are inactive. We have taught one of them, and we have appointments planned for this week with the two others. Let’s PRAY they go well!

We have the baptism of Hna Santos. She is 75 years old, but is pretty excited for her baptism. I have only taught her for two weeks, so I am happy that she will be baptized.

The branch here is full of great members.  It’s kinda like an old car that was fixed with old parts of different cars...meaning that they all quite haven’t quite found the balance and ability to work all together, but they are wonderful people and I love them a lot.  We are working TONS with them to find new people. There is a family of members that live in our area, and they have a restaurant in their home...and every time we visit them, they give us some incredible food. And that...is super awesome.

Funny story?
...So this week, we all gave talks in sacrament meeting, and when the sister missionary was talking, a little girl just sneaks up, and stands right in front of the sister missionary...in between her and the pulpit. The sister just kept on talking, and the girl just started repeating the things she said. No one did anything for like2 full minutes, then some guy runs up and pulls the little girl away screaming in the middle of sacrament meeting. jaja just some of the funny things that happen when you are in a little branch.

How’s the finding going?
Pretty poorly, still in ‘finding mode’, and looking to find someone who is really prepared.

How’s your health?
Good, we eat really really healthy here.

Do you have a pensionista in this area?  Do they all cook the same type of things or are some better than others?
I love my pensionista here. It’s a young family, and they are just awesome. We get along great.  The food she cooks isn’t too tasty, but it’s super clean and healthy, so it’s all good. In Piura, the food was a mine field. jaja In Peru, the food is all really good, and there are only a  few plates that I truly don’t like. It’s just hard because they are all very similar, and it’s always just chicken and rice, chicken and rice, chicken and rice, fish and rice, chicken and rice...always. But it’s all good.

How’s the branch?
The branch is strong, and has like 100 people who attend!  They are just learning how to really work hard and getting themselves organized.

P-day fun?
We went fishing today and to an AWESOME beach...Super fun! We always go to the beach here for p-day, which I love.





What do most people there do for work?
If your from Paita...you fish.  Or you take the fish off the boat.  Or you work in the fish factories. Thats basically everything. jaja

Mission stuff going on?
Nothing really. With my transfer, there aren’t too many interesting things that happen, just work.

How can we support you in your work?
You can support me by reading the BOM everyday and doing your FHE every week.  Those things matter.

Love you all a lot!

You are all great. I cant wait to be at Lake Powell with you all.

Love you!

Elder Bradshaw

Monday, April 13, 2015

I Love Paita!!!!

Welllllllll.
Hooooooollllllllla FAMILIA!

I absolutely LOVE Paita.  My area is about 10 minutes from the beach and although we can not see the beach at all, every night, starting at six, we feel an ocean breeze that brings over the salty smell, and sometimes it smells like fish, shrimp, and clams.  It’s super cool and it’s a nice fresh breeze, which is a nice break from the killer sun that never seems to stop burning.


My area is basically on the outskirts of town, and it’s made up of all dirt roads.  It's a big area, and there aren’t many people in the streets (which is really strange for Peru).  The  people who live here don’t have running water...or a sewage system...So it’s pretty crazy. 

I serve in a branch, but there is a big church for the meetings.   It’s pretty crazy sometimes being in a branch.  But I really like it, it’s super chill.

When we get in our room at night, my comp has a thermometer, and its usually 90 degrees in our room at night....and the sad thing is, it doesn’t really even bug me that much anymore.  In the morning, with the breeze it gets down to 83 or so.  Which is pretty comfortable. jaja

The area is a good area.  The missionaries that have been here before have down a good job, and have worked a lot, and I feel like the branch is a good fit for me.  I have lots of personal goals for the branch, and a lot with my comp and I really hope that I can help where I can.  We don’t have any investigators, other than the 75 year old lady (hna. Santos) who will be baptized in two weeks.  So I feel like now is the time to find new people, and especially a family that can be baptized.  I think that is what the branch is missing. 

The goal for now is...MAY 16: BAPTISMS WITH A FAMILY AT THE BEACH.  (That is Zack’s birthday)

So, that's my personal goal, and the goal of our companionship.  I hope we can do it. 

And dad, I did not ask to be in this area...I really really wanted to be here, but I would never ask....in our mission this happens...those ZL who have lots of time, after having two areas of being zone leaders, are usually given another assignment and and allowed rest a little.  I had 7 transfers as a ZL (9-10 months) and its my turn to serve in another way for now.  Sometimes my zone leaders will call me and ask for advice, or if they have questions.  They call me the “purple heart”, or the “retired”.  I feel good doing what I am doing. 

It’s like when I ran cross country. I had been a good swimmer done good things there, but when I ran cross country...I was the worst one.  But, I had tons of friends and just tried to lift where I stood.  And I loved it.  Thats my job now...lift where I am, learn to follow, and to work like Shiblon.

I really am more relaxed and enjoying it more.  It’s been going great.

I am happy and liking my new area.  The members are awesome.  Everyone gives us food.  they are so loving, and it's going to be a great to end my mission.

In regards to my extension, interestingly enough, I didn’t extend for the list of Pros and Cons that I made, but rather, I extended because I really felt that God had answered my prayers and that I am needed here.  So help me remember that when times get tough.

Funny story...So we were walking down the road, and it was hot, and hard, and all the appointments fell through, and we were walking to go knock more doors.  (Do all missionary stories begin like this?) My comp LOVES Inca Kola.  And he started saying, “I want an inca kola right now, but it’s Sunday, so I can’t buy one!”, then in that moment, we walk around the corner, and theres a brand new bottle of Inca Kola, just there lying in the street.  It hadn’t been opened or anything....jaja I laughed my head off.  Blessing of the day!

Well, in the BOM I am in Mormon 9, about ready to finish again!  Excited!  And, tell me family...where are you?

Love you all, all is going well.  I am happy, and ready to keep on going.

Elder Bradshaw

Monday, April 6, 2015

A new place...Paita!

Hey!

Well,  I'm writing from............PAITA! 

I got transferred and now I am in PAITA.  Its a small port in a huge bay.  Looks like everyone fishes, and I live like 5 or 10 minutes from the beach.  The first thing we did today was go and play soccer on the beach.  Super cool!  My new comp is from Arequipa, Peru.  His name is Elder Nuñez, and I really think that we are going to have a wonderful time together.  He's a real humble dude, and I am pumped to work with him.

From the beginning of my mission, I have always wanted to finish in Paita.  Its an hour away from Piura, but its got more culture, and its right on the ocean.  The pic I sent is where we played soccer.  Then we ate in a restaurant looking over the ocean and where they load up the huge cargo barges.   SO COOL.  Its less hot here, and I am super pumped.


Played soccer here this morning and then ate lunch looking over the ocean...awesome. (Comp: Elder Nuñez)
 This week was pretty eventful...I extended my mission, had conference, received my transfer, and said goodbye to everyone.  Pretty crazy!

First off, with my decision to extend.  So...I told you all last week, but as soon as we left the internet cafe, I began to doubt, and had two or three days in serious doubts about what I should do.  I realized that I would rather be home, but then I realized that God had answered my prayers.  I got pretty stressed out, then I had a couple of great experiences were I truly realized that God wants me to stay.  Then I told president and he was happy with it.  I know that this is what God wants me to do.  I just need to remember that.  It's also what I want to do.  I feel really good about it, and am pumped to be here in my new area.  I know it's where I should be.  If you can help me out a bit....JULY 1 does not exist to me now!  It's all about August 10

Conference! 

Conference was incredible.  We were able to see it in our church building which was pretty awesome.  IT kinda stunk too, because the wi-fi kept on skipping out, and we had to watch it all in Español which is harder too.  My two favorites were the two Latino guys that spoke in the last sessions.  They really answered lots of questions for me and helped me realize a few things.  Loved it!  We didn't get to hear that of Holland or Uchtdorf because the wi-fi signal went out.  But I just downloaded them.

Transfers kinda stink in couple of ways, because you have to pack up everything, then you have to say goodbye to everyone, then you have to write a bunch of notes, then you are tired and have to travel, readjust to a new area, comp, and everything else.  It's going to be a little bit harder this week, but I am excited.  It'll be awesome.  Love Paita.  This week I had to say goodbye to everyone, but it wasn't too hard, because when it's my last day in the mission, they'll give me time to visit Miguel Grau and to say a final goodbye.  I never felt like I fit in as much in Miguel Grau as I did in Puyango, but I still liked it, and had a good experience.  And now...I'm on to a new stage.  Attached is a photo with the Family Seminario, my pensionista and her crazy family that I love.




I am doing wonderful!  I am happy to be where I am and to lift where I stand.  Love my area and my comp and am excited to see what's ahead this week!  Love you all soooooo much

ELder Bradshaw

Friday, April 3, 2015

Six More Weeks of Winter :)

Hello! 

I had a wonderful week this week.  I am really really happy right now.  At the beginning of last week, Elder Smith and I had a conversation, and we both came to the conclusion that we need to be more dedicated, consecrated, and obedient in the small and simple things.  It was a simple talk but we put it into practice, and we started talking less about home, or Lake Powell, or music, or anything like that.  It’s incredible the changes we saw.  We were both happier, both less tired, both more obedient, and more excited to work and teach, and we had a very successful week!  It was amazing!  It’s not like we were doing anything bad before, we just lacked a little bit of ‘heart’ in the work.  It’s amazing how I just feel better.

I love the phrase of Gordon B. Hinckley.  “Forget yourself and go to work”

Love it!  Work and service is the solution to so many of the problems we might have.  If you want to be happier...Serve more with your heart placed in the glory of God.

I have also been really stressed out with this extension...If I should do it, or not.  I have been thinking and praying a ton, and its been a big big decision for me.  I would be home August 13 instead of July 1. (Zack was asked last week to extend his mission by one transfer and then had a week to make the decision.)

A couple of thoughts that I have had...

Luke 12:48.
For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

Regrets....I don’t know how I would feel if I gave up the opportunity to extend.  I do know what will happen if I go home, but I will never know what will happen in these 6 weeks more in Peru, unless I stay.  I don’t want any regrets.  There is more work to do.

I have felt good about it…

I feel like I have received Divine guidance in this subject and I feel it is what I need to do.  It’s hard to trust in the Spirit sometimes when it’s a foggy day, but it’s what I need to do.  I am going to extend.  I really am really sorry to change up the plans you may have had.  But I feel like I am needed here, I don’t know why. I am going to stay.  Since it's winter down here (well, not the 'winter' that you are thinking of)... then like the groundhog says...I've got six more weeks of winter! :)

The best part of the week was the baptism of EDSON.  He was able to be baptized and I had the opportunity to baptize him.  He invited lots of his friends and his mom and sisters and it was such a great experience.  I hope that he will want to serve a mission.  He’s got a whole great life ahead of him.  He really is a sharp kid.  I have hope that he will keep going strong.

Elder Smith.  Edson.  Elder Bradshaw.
I really am happy here.  Sure, there are sometimes difficulties with things and it can be a hard time sometimes, but I really do love serving my mission and helping people know my Savior.  I love the Book of Mormon and it really has guided me so much.

I am really excited to see where I serve for my last area.  This Saturday they tell us the transfers and I think my time here in Miguel Grau is coming to an end.  I have really liked my comps here, and the people I've met here have been wonderful.  It's been a great few months here.

I am excited for conference and for Easter.  Here in Peru, its called Semana Santa, or Holy Week.  Yesterday all of the Catholics had palm leafs and all walking down the road, and now, they start showing tons of movies about Jesus Christ, Moses, and whatever else.  It’s pretty crazy....they have got cartoons and all about everything....It seems super strange...But its pretty fun.  Everyone is looking for a little bit more of Christ in their lives, and I am excited to help them find Him. 

The church released a new video called “Gracias a que El Vive”.  Don’t know in English.  I invite you all to find it, watch it, and to publish it on Facebook.  It is incredible.  Every missionary is and will be using it for a long time!  Take a look at it.

Today we watched ‘Meet the Mormons’...It was incredible!  I loved it.  Especially that part from Utah....jaja...I also loved seeing Costa Rica and Snowbird.

Before I log out, I just wanted to tell Mom Feliz Cumpleaños!  You are the best mom in the world and I am so grateful for everything which you have taught me.  I am who I am thanks to you and the things you have always taught me.  You taught me how to love, why to love, and how to make people feel special.  I am so grateful to have such a wonderful woman as my mother and I hope that you have a wonderful birthday.  You as well as the things you have taught me help motivate me to be able to share the gospel with other people.  I love you sooooo much.  Feliz cumpleaños!

I love you all.  And am so grateful for the great parents and family you are for me.  Thanks for always helping me and teaching me. Thank you for your support, I’ve needed it and I’ve felt it.  I love you all sooooo much.


Elder Bradshaw

Well...we are back to three transfers more!

Tender Mercies...

¡Hola familia!

This week was quite the week, as always there were ups and downs, but it was filled with lots of tender mercies.  I love being here and I love the gospel.  I would be nothing without it.  I love Perú and I love Piura.  Still don’t love the hot sun so much, but we are getting there.

Well, it actually rained the WHOLE week here.  Just kinda off and on in the nights, but it was amazing!  With that, everything has become a little bit more tranquilo.  Piura is a desert city, and even though it rains a little every once in a while, it is not prepared to receive it at all...so the streets were like rivers.  People had their houses caving in...I'm so sad for them, yet I can't do much to help.

This is what happens when it rains in Piura...


Things were a little bit slower this week.  There were not really any leaps of progression in the area or anything.  Just a steady progress.  Edson is doing awesome.  We only need the permission of his parents, and if not, he turns 18 April 2 so we will wait!  His baptismal date is the 28 de marzo.  He’s on track, and were just filling in a few small things.

Jorge Mio is also going like crazy.  We haven’t been able to teach him too much for a while but he still goes to church!  Super awesome.  We visited him yesterday and he really has desires to share the gospel with all of his family.  When we found him, he was a sad man, but little by little he’s changing.  I truly love seeing him change! 

So the cool story of the week....We had stake conference this week, and President stood up to give his talk.  Then he starts talking about a family in Tumbes that was baptized recently....and I was like “hey! I know them!”  So that was awesome so hear that wonderful story again.

After the conference I was happy and was thinking a lot about the familia Romero Nava.  In a couple of my prayers I asked God to help them and to bless them. Then I kept going on in my day.

Then we went to the super market to by some water today, and I am just standing there buying water bottles, then I look over and guess whose there....Madelaine Nava!  Totally serious...jaja I didn’t believe it!  It was kinda weird!  I waved to her then she came over and started talking with us for a while!  SO AWESOME.  When we were talking, she called Christian in Tumbes and I could talk a little with them.  This. Was. So. Awesome.

Christian now has the Melchizedek Priesthood, and is going to be the Ward Secretary.  Madelaine is a councilor in the Relief Society, and is looking into receiving her patriarchal blessing.  SO AWESOME.  They are such a support for the church where they live and all is going well.  Attached is a photo with her.  She also wants you to send it to her.  I am so happy that God answered my prayers!  Now that was a Tender Mercy.  They are also starting to prepare to be married in the temple in October...isn’t that awesome?!  So much good news for me today!

That was my tender mercy of a life time.  I have never seen anyone from an old area, but wow, that was awesome.


Zack's tender mercy...running into Madelaine in Piura
I love my area now, I love the members and the ward, because they are great.  I am also looking forward to a new area, because that is always exciting.  It will be interesting to see where I go.  But I’ve still got two weeks here in Miguel Grau, so I’ve got more time to enjoy here...

The harder I try, the more I realize that I am not perfect, and the more I learn that I need the Lord.  I know that God lives because he answers my prayers daily.  I know the Christ is the Savior for me and the whole world, and that only through him may I be saved.  I love the Book of Mormon.  I know it is true and that Jose Smith is a prophet of God.

I love you all sooooo much.  The more time I am here, the more I realize how much you have all taught me.  I am who I am thanks for the love which you all showed to me and continue to show me.  I love you all sooooo much.

Elder Bradshaw

PS.  Elder Romero wrote to me today and told me that he is getting married, and he asked me to be one of his best men!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Good Week...Good P-day

Hey!

I'm doing great this week.  It wasn't too awesome, but it was just solid...and I had a great pday.

Today for P-day, we went to the park and just sat there with another companionship and just talked for an hour or so, then we went and bought our food and made tacos with the sister missionaries in our ward, a member, and another companionship of Elders....They were soooooo good.  Thanks for sending me the ingredients and tortillas...we loved them!  LOVED them!

Zack's friends for Pday...making tacos.




Some sweet tacos.

Oh...and I got these sweet leather covers for my scriptures today.  I ordered the last week and picked them up today and I love them so much.






This week was a one of the slow ones.  My companion was really sick for a couple days, so there was some down time which kinda stunk.  It has been SUPER hot here for the longest time, and there is not any rest from the heat. So, if your inside, or outside...it always feels like you are slowly cooking which is the worst.  It's crazy how much I have adjusted so much to the heat.

My love for Peru, the people here, and the gospel have grown so much and they continue to grow.  I love these all these people so much and have really enjoyed my experience here in Piura, Peru, la ciudad de eterno calor.  (The City of Eternal Heat.)

This week was slower for me...but not in the progress of Jorge Mio and Edson.  I am pretty sure that the two of them will be baptized.  The two have attended to church three or more times and they both have made some amazing changes in their life.  Edson will be baptized  28 de March and Jorge Mio el 11 de April.  They will both be great members.  Love them!

We have had to drop some people in our area because they haven't made the decision to progress which has been hard, but it's all good...their time will come around, when they are ready.

QUESTIONS:

How about the family you met outside their house last week? 

Well, they live in the area of the Sister Missionaries...so we had to pass over the referral, but they are listening to the sisters! Still a little hard-hearted but are willing to listen...which I love.

Anything coming up for your mission?  
We have the a multi-zone conference this week which is good.  They are always fun.  Then, this is awesome...on March 30, for Pday, we get to watch MEET THE MORMONS!!!! whoooooooooooo.

What was the best part of your week?  
I don't know....There were lots of good things.  Basically just being with the people and learning from them.  I love teaching and the lessons are probably the things which I love the most each week.

Did you read that article I sent you last week? 
I loved it!

Anything else you want to tell us?  
I got my trunky letter this week!  With when, where, and how I go home....pretty crazy!  Is all of our ward and stake stuff the same as when I left? 

I'm doing well, I'm happy with the people we are teaching.  I love the members in our ward.  There are some incredible people.  I love and respect them a ton.  I love working with them.  My companion and I are great friends and always will be...we are working great together.  I am excited to keep on working and to keep on going...which is exactly what I'm going to do this week.

Love you all!

Elder Bradshaw

Monday, March 9, 2015

Love the Wonderful People here...

video

(Some Peruvian Culture by one of Zack's friends)


Hey hey hey It's Faaaaaaat Albert.

jaja! No se...(I don't know)... that just came into my head.

Well, it was a fine week, there weren't that many improvements in the area, or that many bad things...we'll just call this week kinda regular.  We had so many people with baptismal dates and now we are kinda narrowing them down.  This week we saw that a couple really didn't have real desires, so we are in the process of finding who really has true desires to be baptized, and who just likes to chat.  Its always sad to see someone without real desires.  Out of our eight, we have a few that are WONDERFUL people that I am sure will get baptized.  I don't know if it will be my during time or some other missionary's time, but it will happen.

The first is Jorge Mio...He came to church by himself this week and is starting to see blessings from living the gospel and to starting to have spiritual experiences.  Its incredible to see the gospel take hold in peoples lives like it has in his.  He lives a hard life, but its incredible to see the blessings of the Atonement slowly take hold in his drifty life.

Edson has 17 years and we contacted him through his Girlfriend (member).  At first, I think he only listened and attended to be with his girlfriend...but now he has come many times to church by himself and comes to the lessons alone too.  We have seen a great change with him and it's been real fun.  The people who actually make efforts to live the gospel really do make progress, and those who don't...don't.

I love having spiritual experiences with them.  Its incredible to see the difference of an open and sincere heart, and true intent, against someone who just wants to listen.  It really is an eye opener.

With Jorge and Yessenia, we are a little bit lost.  They are wonderful people, but we are trying to do all we can to help them, but we don't know where their hearts are.  This week we have two FHEs planned with them with different families, so we hope that we can help them. If you could keep them in your prayers, that would help. Thanks!

They filled in the holes in front of our house this week!  ...and then they dug them back up.   And then they filled them back up....don't worry UTAH CONSTRUCTION WORKERS....there are people who are less effective than you in this world!

That's super awesome that you got to go see Elder Mulford.  I just really liked him as my companion so much!  Did you get the package I sent home with him?  That is so awesome that you got to see his homecoming.  I hope you said 'hi' for me. 

And it sounds like you have a lot of fun things going on...good for you guys!

QUESTIONS: 

I think you had Zone Training and Zone Conference this week… how did that go?  
They went really well.  I learned a lot.  We are trying to work a lot with the members, and have a new program to help us with it...so we talked a lot about that.  What they teach us, we then teach to our whole zone. 

What was your favorite part of Zone Conference?
President came to our zone meeting, so that was cool.  I just love being with the zone (and President) and getting to know them.  They are all great missionaries.  We have a goal to do 1000 contacts this week!  Pretty fun.

What did you learn from the Zone Leader Training?
Members members members....there is no other way to work that is more effective than that...

Did you have an awesome P-day?  
We went to Catacaos, and I bought some sick leather cases for my scriptures....I sent them to be made, and the next week I will have them!

How did investigators do with coming to church Sunday?
Edson, and Jorge Mio, and another guy came!

Did you get that package.  I'm sending another one today…any requests??? 
Candy, photos, and letters....good candy!  like Skittles, and Reeses, and bit-o-honey, and good stuff like that.  Thanks for the vitamins, and the candy....I loooooooved that letter!  Made me laugh out load!  I was 'LOL'eando all day long. (We sent Zack a Valentine that was on a sheet of paper that read at the top..."I love Zack more than..." and then our family took turns writing things that we loved less than Zack...it got a little crazy and a little funny...happy to hear that he liked it!)

Noticed on my iphone weather app...that it said rain all week in Piura…was that true or not?  We were hoping it would cool down and wouldn't be so hot for you. 
LIES LIES LIES.

Best part of your week…
We had an awesome lesson with Jorge Mio yesterday...The spirit was strong and we really were guided and he understood.  Super cool.

Favorite color… 
Blue and Yellow.

Another cool experience....
we contacted a family that was sitting on the corner in front of their house.  During the contact, we talked a ton about everything from Jose Smith---to BOM---to temples and everything, and we took out an appointment.  They were Evangelicos (don't know the translation) but we ended up going again!  We entered their house and the first question they asked us was "show us in the Bible, where it says that Joseph Smith is possible." 

"Ok!"  So we jumped onto it and answered all of their questions with so much power....The spirit guided us both soooooo strongly.  We answered all their questions and doubts with lots of love under the direction of the Spirit.  We testified with lots of strength, and in the end, they accepted a Book of Mormon...and another appointment for this next Saturday.  They were great people and I hope that the BoM opens their eyes to even more questions!


I am happy. And doing good.  Love you all sooooo much and hope that all goes well for each of you!  Love you all!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Excited about the work this week!

March!

Things went really really well this week.  There were no cats involved.

Starting with Investigators... Right now, we have 8 investigators with baptismal dates!!!!...and they really are all progressing nicely.  They love listening to us (well...not necessarily ‘us’...but what we have to share with them) and many of them attended church yesterday.  Three attended church for the full three hours!   And there others that  attended for sacrament meeting.  We were so very super excited,  we even had some less actives there too!  We have seen progress in all of them and I really hope that they continue with their goals.  They just need to read and pray and attend, and I know they will feel it!  I am so mentally, physically, and emotionally tired because we are working so hard because we are so excited about their progress!

Jorge and Yessenia: So, they still are in...they didn't lose their interest, and they are going strong...HE FOUND WORK!  But, the problem is, that this work will make him work Sundays....He was really concerned about it, and asked us about if that is a bad thing.  We explained the importance of the commandments and the Sabbath Day really well, and even felt compelled to talk to them about fasting.  They got excited and desired to fast with us.  The next day, we stopped by and started our fast with them.  And, can you believe it... they fasted the whole 24 hours!  What an incredible act of faith!  They are so wonderful.  They read and have attended church twice.  Their baptismal date is the 28 of March...but then...as always...they need to get married :(

Jorge Mio....He’s a school teacher that just has a ton of problems, but he really wants to get out of them...He is super smart, so it’s so fun to teach him.  He attended church and is progressing really well.  He is single, and we just hope that he can keep going!

And guess what...The Book of Mormon is so key for everything, have you heard me say that before?  Conversion, revelation, testimony, and so much more....If you want to be happy, read, apply, and live the things taught in that book...
me is flying.  I can’t believe I have had twenty Fast Sundays here in Peru! And that I will only have three more.

And by the way,  how’s your family scripture study going?  My President challenged us to read the entire book before July 1....I think I am going to take that challenge. Pretty exciting!

Best Part of your week? 
Seeing the faith of Jorge and Yessenia.

Pday fun?
We played soccer on a turf field….And guess what?..it was so hot! Then we went out to eat with a member.

Three Elder's from Alpine...L-R Elder Harris, Zack, Elder Michael Smith

Zone Leader interesting facts?
This week we have our ZL training, then we give our zone conference Thursday...It’s a pretty crazy week.  I’m thinking that this may be my last transfer as a zone leader (I’ve got 7 now! jaja) and I am really really trying a lot harder to magnify my calling as a ZL and to really help the others.  Do you think it matters most what we do to help ourselves or more what we do to help others?  I’ve just watched how the mission seems to work and it seems like Elders usually don’t finish out their missions as Zone Leaders...more just like a trainer or a ‘regular’ missionary.

How was your Fast Sunday? 
It was really great...I felt really really close to the Spirit this Fast Sunday.

Received our package yet?
I just heard that it’s in the office....I’ll get it tomorrow. (Happy Valentine’s Day, Zack!)

Who do you miss the most?
Jaja...Everyone.

Did you decide to keep up your better diet, or did that go away? 
I seem to be able to eat really well the whole week, then I eat bad for one day....it’s just a pattern!  I think it’s working out ok.
 
Tender Mercies of the week? 
Just the feeling that I feel...I feel really spiritually in touch, and just feel good with my work that I am doing.  I received some spiritual guidance this week and I really feel like it’s going to help me!

So, as a missionary, I am in such a secluded world and when I hear things about the hard things going on at Lone Peak and stuff, it hurts in a different way.  It is so shocking for me.  And so very sad.  I feel so far away from that darkness, and that type of sadness, depression, and junk aren’t really a problem here in Peru.  I am sooooo sorry for all of those kids.

I'm sending some videos of our room....Every night, I sleep without sheets...without blankets...with the windows open...with a fan....and I always wake up sweating.  jaja... It is so hot! {spoiler alert:  he didn't clean it before he told the videos…}


video

video



I really love you all so much.  I love each and every one of you so much.  I am sorry if I have ever done anything that impeded you to feel that love. but I love you alllllll sooooo much!  Don’t forget that!

Love you all! That’s about all...until next week.


Elder Bradshaw