Monday, January 26, 2015

It's all about ups and downs...

Today, in the morning, while we were eating breakfast, my companion looked at me and said, “well, we survived hell week”.

I don’t know what it was, or what could have happened, but we just felt sooooo bad all week long.  For me, starting Sunday night, I just started feeling really tired, emotionally, spiritually, and physically.  I just felt done with everything.  I don’t know what happened, but I just felt sooooo off.  Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and a little bit of Friday, I just hated.  It was so hard.  I was super stressed out and just tired.  It was really horrible, and one of the hardest weeks of my mission.  And to make it worse...Elder Smith just felt the same.  Sometimes we would just sit down on the dirty curb, and just talk about what we could do better to feel better.  So horrible.

But everything happens for a reason.

Even though I tried so hard to get rid of the horrible feeling. I couldn’t.  It was no good.   One night, we got home and we both were just soooo exhausted and down.  We planned and made something small to eat, and just started talking. After that, when it was time to go to bed, I just prayed, prayed and prayed.  It really was a miracle.  I couple of ideas came into my head, and when I tried to apply these ideas, I was guided to a happier week! 

I love the scripture that is in Alma 26:22.

22 Yea, he that repenteth and exerciseth faith, and bringeth forth good works, and prayeth 
continually without ceasing—unto such it is given to know the mysteries of God; yea, unto 
such it shall be given to reveal things which never have been revealed; yea, and it shall be 
given unto such to bring thousands of souls to repentance, even as it has been given unto 
us to bring these our brethren to repentance.

I know that God answers my prayers and He will answer yours!

After that, it was a great week.  I realized something....I am always happy, when I feel the Spirit, and when I teach by the Spirit.  Teaching is my favorite thing to do, and I even love teaching more when the people are so prepared. 

I love teaching.

I’m doing fine now...Even though it was the worst week ever. I’m happy now. And Elder Smith is too.

We helped with apartment inspections with the Pres. today, so that is why I’m so late with the email.  Have ants and mice in our apartment at the moment.  One touched my foot today and it was horrible!

Elder Bradshaw today on the bridge that crosses the Rio de Piura.

-How is the man you found last week...Paul?
Bad News, Paul had to go work in another City, so we couldn't contact him.  But hopefully we will be able to soon. 

We found another guy who is named William.  He is 29 years old and is super prepared.  We had our second and third lessons this week with him, and he is eating it all up.  The people who are prepared, better understand the message, and act upon the invitations we invite them to do.  We had an AWESOME lesson sitting on a hand made picnic table in a huge open sandy plain under the shade of a huge tree, as the sun slightly slid beneath the clouds and lighted them up. It was beautiful...that was my tender mercy this week.

 -How are your contacts going? 
We figured that out of 100 contacts, we find two or three good people.  So we are trying to find the chosen families.

-More pictures this week?  Please say yes. 

Lunch today...cow heart, sausage, chicken, and french fries, with Inca Kola
-Best part of the week? 
The lesson with William under the tree in the huge sand park. 

-Cool Peruvian stuff? 
Mice and ants in my room, sand in the eyes, chicken and rice.  Same old, same old.

-Something you learn from your companion.
The need to listen to the spirit, under every circumstance, in every moment.

Love you all a lot! 

Elder Bradshaw

Monday, January 19, 2015

Tired Tired Tired

Well....I am so tired...tired tired tired...

Things have been awesome with Elder Smith.  We have soooo much fun, and we are working so. dang. hard.  We finish our mission with each other so we both really want to finish our missions strongly.  And that is what we have been doing....Working working and working.  We spoke with lots of people, and found lots of new people too.  It was really strange for me.  Almost all of the doors we knocked...opened.  And almost all of the street contacts we had...received us too.  It’s been super cool. 

We were walking down the road, when all of our appointments fell through.  So we decided to just start talking with people.  We knocked one door, and met a lady who didn’t want anything.  Then the second door, a 29 year old guy, Paul, opened up and let us come in.  We sat down and started teaching the Restoration.  It was a super great lesson, and when we got to the end, we decided to invite him to be baptized....We asked him and he said...”yep, sounds good, when is it?  Because the afternoon is better than the morning.  Will you two be there?”  Wow!  what a great experience.  He told us that he wants to find God because he wants to fix up  his life.  SUPER COOL DUDE!  We can help you with that!  Hes got a baptismal date for the 21 of February.  Excited to work with him.  We also found two new families, and a couple more wonderful people.

Don’t know what it was, but everything was going our way...which doesn't always happen. 

Elder Smith is super funny, but also super spiritual.  He has taught me so much, and the only problem we have is that we both want to do so much to help that is why we are so stinking tired. But he really is an awesome guy.  I feel more accepted in this area now, and am really excited to keep going.

What’s the biggest thing you are working on for this area? 
I want to baptize families.  So to do that, we are contacting, searching, and looking for a great family.

What’s the greatest challenge in this area? 
Wind, dust, heat, sand, and sun...and wind.  and sand. and sun.

What do you love about this area? 
I love the helpful ward. I love the humble families, I love the awesome little kids that say ‘hi’ to you as you pass, I LOVE the American food.  I love the quiteness.  And I really really love the wonderful, funny, humble, loving people that are here.

Loving KFC with his district plus a few more!
Anything interesting coming up? 
Yes.  More WORK!

Did you complete the ‘roof-raising’ project last week? How did that go? 
We finished it.  That was a hard time.   All the roofs are made out of sheet metal, and bamboo sticks.  So it was interesting to learn how to work with things like that.  I liked it though.

Are you healthy? 
I think so...this week a little less, because with Elder Smith...we had quite a bit of AMERICAN FOOD.  KFC, Papa John’s, hamburgers, and all..  But we are doing exercises, eating fruit and veggies, and doing better.  This week will be more relaxed with the food.

Crazy Peruvian stuff?? 
jaja we entered this house with a family of oldies, and started teaching them.  They were so nice and humble and really wanted to listen and learn.  But after I talk about Joseph Smith’s Vision, and I start bearing my testimony, the old guy yells out “¿and who baptized Jesus?”  just out of the no where...jaja I just kinda lost it!  soooooo funny.
This other crazy guy in the street started talking to us like “¿Por que TENÉIS muchas iglesias, y porque ESTÁIS en ésta?”  (its basically like saying “Why art thee in that church” just super weird. jaja you probably have no clue why that’s funny for me...but it was! jaja

Best part of your week?
Finding so many wonderful people to teach.

Best food of the week?
Probably the “all meats” pizza that a member bought us from Papa Johns.

Tender mercies? 
Inviting Paul to be baptized and to just see a nice improvements in our area.

I’m super excited.We found a guy who lived in the States, and knows English really well, but he wants to practice it with us....So today we are going to teach the Restoration in English....I’ve actually never ever done that!  Then we have an awesome FHE planned for tonight with new investigators.

Well, I am excited...working hard and super happy.  I kinda realized....Wow.  Wow, I have 18 months I’ll be home really weird.  Kinda hit me this week.

I hope you are all still reading together and I would love to hear about your family scripture study too!

Elder Bradshaw

The photo is when we went to KFC as a district and a few elders more.


Monday, January 12, 2015

Goodbye to one Companion...Hello to another!

I’ll just say that I wanted to send more pics this week, but the computer I have today truly is from 1498.  So maybe next week would work better!

Well, we had transfers this week!  It was super hard to see Elder Cortijo go.  He has truly been one of my favorite companions, and is such a humble, great person.  I will miss him so much and it was kinda hard to see him finish. new companion is ELDER SMITH from LA California.  He is one of my best friends from my mission and I am SO EXCITED TO work with him!  He is a great missionary, and really could be the funniest guy ever!  I am super excited to teach with him.  We were in the same district before, so we have worked together before.  (I sent a few photos home a while ago, with a guitar, and with cotton candy.  super cool guy)  We’re still in ‘Little Sahara’ (Miguel Grau Zone) and I am super excited to keep it going here.  Lots of great people were also transferred  into the zone, and it’s going to be the best transfer ever.

So I will just tell you the best parts of the week.

Tuesday...we had the Zone Leader training, so it was fun to be able to talk a little bit with Elder Mulford.  He is still in Puyango, and his new companion is Elder Rodriguez (I trained him!)  It was nice to talk with him for a little, and I got a letter from the Familia Romero Nava which really motivated me!  I learned a bunch of things in the Zone-Leader training which are going to help me alot with my zone.

Thursday we had our Zone Conference.  We planned everything good and we thought everything was fine, but when we got to the church, the keys had disappeared!  The members who had the keys weren’t home and there was nothing we could have done to enter.  We waited and waited outside, but no one could bring us the keys....Don’t worry, it’s not our fault, we made the plans and’s just that they all fell through....But then we had to take the whole zone (26 missionaries) to a different church to have the conference.  It kinda stressed me out...ugh!  But it all finished well...  After that, we went to our pension, and we were going to eat.  And since Elder Cortijo was leaving, and it was another missionaries b-day, they decided to break eggs on their heads, through flour at them, and even a little bit of paint....Peruvian traditions...jaja  it was funny and we had a good time, but I am still trying to take out some stains. 

Saturday...We had a service project which was supposed to go from 7am till 11 or so.  The guy we were helping is injured...and he wanted to raise the roof of his house....Which is made of bamboo and sheet metal.  We started out well, but it just keep going and going and going...the sun was DESTROYING us, and I got fried!  We left at 2 for a lunch break, and then we had to return to help him finish it (because his house was without a roof) we left at 6:30 pm.... It had to seriously be the longest and hardest service project in the history of the tough....and...we are going back to help him finish I hope it goes well... As an added bonus...I am getting to be a great construction worker when it comes to bamboo, sand, bricks, and sheet metal.

Sunday, It was hard to see Elder Cortijo go, but he worked 100% to the very last day.  What a great example for me and for everyone.  Super awesome guy.  I will miss him a lot. 

Well, question time!

Did you receive a package from G&G Bradshaw and one from us? 
I got the two of them!!!!!! thanks sooooo omuch I have the best family.  I also go lots of letters from ward members and friends!  Thank you much.

Did your tests result in anything? 
I am fine.  Sister Rowley gave me the next package...could you send me some multi-vitamins?

Best thing this week? 
Just working and teaching.

Tender Mercies this week? 
My new comp!

Being Golden? 
Trying my best.

I love you all sooooo much!  Talk to you next week.

Elder Bradshaw


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Feliz año nuevo!!!!

Feliz año nuevo!!!!

I hope you had a great week.  TARGHEE sounds awesome, and I was super jealous for that for a few minutes...  But I had a great New Year’s here.  I loved it.  A little bit Peruvian-crazy...but it was good.

SO I will just start with Tuesday, and go on from there...

Tuesday, nothing really happened that was too good, jaja...I guess I’ll just move on to Wednesday!

Wednesday.  So we were studying when the AP's called us.  Since we are so close to the mission office, sometimes missionaries stick around with us because our room is so big.  They told us that Elder Ceballos, from Mexico was going to be with us, and since Wednesday, we have been working in a trio. So he has been sticking around with us, and it has been fun to be with him.

Zack with Elder Cortijo and Elder Ceballos

So it’s been a fun week. It’s been super fun to be with my two comps, and we were able to pass the 31 together.  IT WAS SO CRAZY.  So many sketchy fireworks launching off and flying all around.  I sent a picture of what our road looked like the 31 in the night.  Everyone just lit up the streets with shooting homemade 3 cent fireworks and into huge dummies filled with straw!  It. Was. Crazy!

Zack's street with burning dummies stuffed with hay...and fireworks...
Thursday was just a regular fun day.  Went to bed listening to the music from the parties, and woke up listening to the same music.  EVERYONE WAS DRUNK.  We really enjoyed contacting them.  We contacted one guy, and he was telling us that he honors his name “Angel Gabriel”.  He was just soooooo drunk.  We started laughing so hard, and I gave him a Law of Chastity pamphlet because I didn’t have the WOW (Work of Wisdom) pamphlet, which is really what he needed.   He kept on asking us “why are you laughing, why are you laughing!”  It was really funny.  Other people when we started talking with them...would start confessing and asking us for was really funny.  The whole day was a testimony builder of the WoW. It was good day though.  We also had a killer lesson with Jesus and Vasilica.  The two are basically members because they always attend church and read.  But we had an awesome lesson about goals, repentance, and baptism, using ALma 34:31-35.  Super awesome...and now they are really excited about their marriage date and their baptism....they have a baptismal date for January we are hoping / praying / working for that.

Friday.  Friday was a good day. Everyone was still drunk,  So we went to Tambo Grande. Where they produce TONS of mangos....not I mango like I’ve tried before...but a mango so sweet it makes you cry.  We went there and did a couple of baptismal interviews of a great family that was baptized Saturday.  It was a great opportunity for me to see a great family like them with so much faith.  But as nice as Friday was...Friday was also a hard day, because it was SOOOOOOO HOT.  I kinda lost my mind.  Its like those Sundays at Lake Powell, where everyone is so groggy, and you just have got to go jump in the lake to wake up.  But here there is no way to cool down.  You are out side, HOT, you go inside, HOT, in the shade HOT, and AC doesn’t really exist here.  HOT HOT HOT.

Saturday we had a service project where we painted a house.  It got a little messy, because everyone cornered me and started painting me.   It was a good time, and we goofed off but we painted the house nicely.

Painting...a house...and friends
Yesterday and Saturday night were just nice, good days, good lessons, good people.  

One more experience,,,

Yesterday (Sunday)... we passed by an investigators house to make an appointment and say hi, and the daughter and her fiancee were there.  The fiancee was onery and started bashing the Book of Mormon.  He had read a fair amount of it, and was really well informed on the points he chose to bash.  He wasn't interested in letting us talk, and we weren't interested in engaging in an argument.  He offended us, and basically said that everything we do is garbage.  At the end, I finally had a little bit of time to talk, and I decided to squeeze in my testimony.  I defended my point, and we invited him to read and pray.  He told me that my testimony wasn't valid and that...really offended me. 

Well, long story short.  Even though he offended me, he did not touch my testimony.  I know without doubt that the BOM of true, and no one or anything can change that.  I know what I am doing is right and wonderful. 

I don't was just a weird experience for me.  

I am doing fine, I just feel  little discouraged and a little bit down after that experience this week.  We have been working, but its just been slow and its just been hard physically and mentally, but I am looking forward to a good week.

It kinda scares me when I think of the many things that can destroy families.  I've seen it happen due to sin, disrespect, and not taking care of oneself.  It seems to be more common in the world...just so many broken families.  It seems like everyone would just want to work together to make it work.  It just makes me so sad.

I love my companion Elder Cortijo, and will be sad to see him go but I’m glad he gets to go home and see his family. He’s a super great guy!  I am excited to see who will be my next comp too! Saturday night I will know!

Love you all! and hope that all goes well!

Elder Bradshaw