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

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

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 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 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 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 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!!!!

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 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!


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 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 :)


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 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!