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
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!
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.....????