Monday, July 7, 2014

Last one.

Dear family,

3 John 1:13-14

love you much,


No lie.
That was it.
That is how he ended it.

To save you some time and to satisfy your curiosity...I will put the scripture below.

 3 John 1: 

 13 I had many things to write, but I will not with ink and pen write unto thee:

 14 But I trust I shall shortly see thee, and we shall speak face to face. Peace be to thee. 

Monday, June 30, 2014

One Week

Dear family,

Time is running out..and I’m still unable to really put my thoughts together on how I really feel....  It’s kinda like two years ago leaving home all over again.  No idea what to expect, no idea what the future holds, no idea what is up next....  It’s hard to describe, and to think when I first started my mission all I wanted to do was finish it...and then this week...the most said sentence I have said is, “I just am so so so so glad that I came.  I can’t imagine where I would be if I hadn’t.” Coming to Ghana has been the best decision that I have ever made.  There is nothing in this world that should stop people from choosing to serve a mission.

(So...some background for this next paragraph.)  Someone visiting our ward last Sunday brought a guest with them.  It turns out that he serves in the Ghana Accra mission presidency and was here for some training.  He knew Taylor and told me that he would be at the Mission office next Tuesday to tell Taylor goodbye.  I so badly wanted to hand him something that was obviously from our house for him to give to Taylor as he was leaving to shock Taylor...but I couldn’t get him anything fast enough.  Good thought though!  So, I just sent Taylor this photo this morning.)

Mom with Brother Labinjo in Alpine!! Mom, that picture was crazy!  I can’t believe that you met him!  What are the chances?  I see him like every week, he lives down the road from us.  Anyway that’s really funny because that week we were in quite the predicament because of him.  Some things require an interview by the mission presidency before they can be baptized, so he was scheduled to do one for the sisters on Wednesday.....then we get a call from a 801 number.....”yeah I’m in America”....kinda funny...but I realized then that he was in Utah.  He is a cool guy:).


What are your plans for this week?
-well we didn’t get to go to the ‘art market’ last week because we had some people to go and visit, so we are going this week.  Other than that lots of finding, maybe some packing.  I don't know...try and make it as normal of a week as I can.

What happens when you go home? Do you go to the office for a night?
-well I have an interview with President Heid, we go to the temple, have a going home dinner/testimony meeting, then to the air port.  No over night unless you are in a far area, which I’m not.

How is the new President?
-never met him...I will just meet him for that interview and then tell him good bye.

How was it having President Judd leave?
-strange....  President Heid got in on Saturday afternoon, so President Judd was no longer the president. Sunday Pres. Judd came to our ward for sacrament meeting. That was cool and really pretty strange though.  Just a different feeling talking with him.  We keep telling ourselves that he liked us the thats why he came to  our ward ;)

Did you have a good time at the art market?
-didn’t go last week...going this week though.

Will you get a p-day next week?
-yeah, it will be the day before I go.  No real plans yet, hopefully something kinda fun though.  Met this guy that is super in to biking and wants me to come with him.  But where he wants to go is kinda far, so I don't think we can make it.

Taylor with Elder Clarke
Planning a dinner for you when you get home...any suggestions?  Zack told me that there better not be one piece of rice in the house when he gets home, so we will not be having rice.
-yeah no rice, anything else sounds fine.   I want a chocolate chip cookie though.  A soft one.

Is there food that you would like to have when you get here?  Anything you are craving?
- I have no idea.  Maybe you should just give me some money and the car keys and I’ll go shopping for food :)

How were you able to serve someone this week?
-well I fixed someones chairs...  They had a couple of rusty stools that they had found over the weeks so that was kinda fun.  They didn't think I could do it... totally proved them wrong.

Spiritual moments this week:
-kinda reflecting on my mission during study time.  Again I’m drawn to Ammon, and I think the way he closes his first mission is about as closely as I can relate about how I currently feel.....”Now if this is boasting, even so will I boast; for this is my life and my light, my joy and my salvation, and my redemption from everlasting wo. Yea, blessed is the name of my God, who has been mindful of this people, who are a branch of the tree of Israel, and has been lost from its body in a strange land (you can say that again); yea, I say, blessed be the name of my God, who has been mindful of us, wanderers in a strange land.

Now my brethren, we see that God is mindful of every people, whatsoever land they may be in; yea, he numbereth his people, and his bowels of mercy are over all the earth. Now this is my joy, and my great thanksgiving; yea, and I will give thanks unto my God forever. Amen.

Funny stuff:
-I attached a picture that may make you laugh...I hope it’s ok...I don't know...

Well, I love you all so much.  It’s strange to be done.  It’s crazy and weird, but also pretty darn awesome!  I don’t really have the option of staying in Ghana and continuing to serve, but I do really look forward to returning to my home and striving to be a blessing to my family and to others by continuing to do all that I can to “bring the souls of men unto [Christ]” (3 Nephi 28:10).

I don’t want to return home and “rest.”  Rest is lame, rest is always for latter and I am excited to see whats next. 

Love you all so much,

Elder Bradshaw
Soon to be Taylor:)

Monday, June 16, 2014

Another week in Ghana

Dear Family,

It seems as if we are kind of in a pattern week of things to write and then the next week nothing....Sorry that we are on the off week this week.  Time seems to be blending together, and just flying by, and I don’t even know what to write about!  I still can’t believe that its coming to an end.  I feel like just last week I was sitting in the car sick from my doxy (Doxy is the malaria medicine he had to take before he left.) with no food on the way to the Salt Lake City three weeks from Wednesday I’ll be in the car on my way back from the Salt Lake airport...crazy! 

Yeah...I’m really not feeling the writing you will have to forgive me. 

Anyway, things are going well.  Kinda starting to slow down but it still going well.  I was sick a day this week, throwing up and all that good stuff.  Ghana couldn’t let me get out of here without one more go of it...ha ha.  But I’m good now, things are good, kinda been hard to realize I am going to be leaving all these awesome people here in this area.  I guess it happens every time you get transferred.  You just start to worry a bit about whether or not these people that you have come to love so much will be ok. It will be a bit scary to leave, because so many are so close...but I guess if the Lord wants these people in his church matter what they will get there.  It really isn’t us that do anything, so it doesn’t matter who is here, as long as they try their best, God can use whoever is here to do his work.  Like lets get real...He has used me for good.  If He can use me, then who can’t He use?!  That’s one thing I have really learned so much about since being here, really about my own nothingness.  We are nothing without the Lord.  He is our everything and nothing is done here without Him. 

Guess I’ll hit your questions....

How are things with K?
-still going well, kinda slow moving since we can only see him once a week.  Since out dinner lesson he really has had a lot more interest.  He can see us as who we really are, and now has a desire for himself to be as we are.  I think before he was like, “this church is crazy, I don’t want to be like that”, but now he can really see how the church and its members are.

Things with J./A.?
- James was out of town this week with some family meeting.  But, we talked with his cousin this week and he told us that he had spent a lot of time talking with J. after church last week and his words were, “he is finally coming home, he will definitely be baptized!”  So that was comforting!  We had a lesson with him earlier in the week though before he traveled, and we were able to get his wife involved in the lesson as well.  She is a bit more dedicated to their current church than J. is, but just judging how close their family is...I think there is no question that when J. comes, the wife and remainder of the family will soon follow.

You mentioned some new families last week...any thing great with them?
-nope, lots of finding this week....

World Cup stuff? What is the feeling like there?  Do you have mission rules?
-There is just more energy in the air, nothing heated at all.  Everyone watches every single match which is a downer for teaching, but nothing violent at all.  Ghana is like the worlds most peaceful country ever!  I don’t think there is anything that could get them fired up enough to actually do something, we’ll besides theft....The Ghana vs. US game doesn’t start until 10 so we will be long inside.  No rules though, nothing to be worried about.

What’s going on with campus?
-not much, it’s kinda dead.  It’s summer vacation so there isn’t much going on.

How have you seen the hand of the Lord in your work this week?
-he is still making me feel like I have a lot of time left in my mission so that I don't just die:).  I still feel like I am never coming home.

Getting good food?
-sometimes.  Lately I have started to eat more of the local food...the few things I actually enjoy at least.  Trying to get my last few tastes of Ghana food before its gone forever. 

You seemed excited about your haircut last week...was it everything you wanted it to be?
-half and half, ha ha, he used scissors, but kinda messed it up.  Its pretty uneven, but it’s not horrible.

Well I love you all so so much. you are one awesome family! 

Dad your an awesome Dad, happy late Father’s Day, we’ll do something for it in a few weeks, maybe some more fishing? 

Hope you all have an awesome week.  Be safe, love you all...


Monday, June 9, 2014

One More Month

Dear family,

Things this week are going pretty darn good, found some cool people, got them to church, healthy, so what is there to complain about? 

Well it rained a lot, that was kind of annoying...

Lake Powell sounds like a ton of fun though! 

Guess I’ll just get into the questions...

In what ways have you seen the Hand of the Lord in your work this week?
-kinda had two things this week.

First one was with Kay, that investigator that I told you about over the phone.  He and I are super similar in our personalities, but the tie and tag were speaking a bit too loud for him to see that I was a normal guy like he was.  Yes, I love God enough to leave everything and live in a crazy country for two years, but I still am not too crazy and I am a lot like him....  Anyway I was praying that he would be able to see how I was when I wasn't a missionary.  I wanted him to see that I am a religious guy, trying to do what is right, but that I am also “normal”.  I don’t know if you understand what I’m saying here... Nothing really was coming to me, and I was concerned.  But then we had an appointment with him scheduled for Saturday night, and he called and asked if we wanted to go get pizza with him for our lesson that night?  Of course...we said yes!  We went with him and with one of his best friends who was visiting from Canada and got some pizza at a restaurant in our area.  It was awesome!  We talked a lot about the gospel with him, but at the same time he was definitely able to see my true personality, it was sweet!  Super fun dinner, and a definite answer to my prayers.

-Second, had someone use a passage of scripture from the Bible that I wasn’t familiar with to shut me down this week... I was super lost.  I had no idea what to say at all!  I was totally stumped, just sat there for a second while my companion tried to talk about something.  I just continued to look down at the page again and it was almost as if there was a new word in the passage that was bolder than the rest, jumping off the page to me...and it literally just clicked. I felt like I knew everything that I needed to know about that passage of scripture to finish this conversation.  I found that I was able to teach this man for about ten minutes about this scripture that 30 seconds before, I had no idea about.  It was pretty sweet!

What is one way that you feel like you have changed while on your mission?
-I love God more than anything and I am giving my life to him.

Fun things for Pday this week?
-hair cut.  I finally found a place here that uses scissors and can cut a ‘white man’s’ hair.  They just usually have clippers with no change in length so they just try to wing it...and then your hair cut looks like some just winged-it with some clippers.  I’m actually pretty excited about this.  Silly.

How are you helping your companion this week?  How is he helping you?
-I have really tried to turn as much over to him that I can.  I have figured the more I can get him to do in the area now... the more that I will be able to leave in peace knowing that he knows what he is doing with these people that I love so much!  And...he is helping me to ‘keep going’ even though my time is short.

Something that you are learning.
-I did some study this week on ‘the immediate consequences of sin’ and I promise I now have a greater understanding of why sin is such a big deal.  I found so much that I didn’t comprehend before.  I have also been studying about “viewing His death” from Jacob 1:8.  From what I have been able to take from it is that I need to view the full spectrum of what His death made possible.  I never before realized the depth of the meaning of Christ’s death and all that it empowers us to be able to do.  Recently, the spirit has been with me more than I think I have ever before experienced, in guidance, in answers, everything.  And when this week I didn’t have it as much as I did last week... I really was able to better understand how much the spirit dwelling in us always (made possible by his death) really affects literally all aspects of our daily living.  I know sin, trials, afflictions, times of loneliness, etc are never desirable but I have learned so much from my falls, trials and troubles and I know that God really can, when we let him, consecrate our afflictions for our gain.

Some advice for us at home?
-Read your Book of Mormon every single day...not new advice...but just do it.

What are you excited about in your mission right now?
-right now I am super excited about a guy named James and his son Abraham.....This week we had one of the sweetest experiences I think of my entire mission.  We are currently teaching a man right now named James.  We contacted him some weeks back as were were doing some finding.  I think I have mentioned him before.  Turns out that when he came to church for the first time, he found that his long lost cousin/brother was a member and in the other ward that meets in our same building.  They grew up together as best friends but have not been in contact with each other for man years.  They didn’t even know where one another were.  Anyway, this week we had an incredibly spiritual lesson with both James and his son.  We were able to extend to them baptismal dates for the 6th of July, which just happens to be my last Sunday in Ghana and my Birthday so that would be pretty sweet. 

Anyway...Sunday rolled around, and we saw James brother from the other ward.  He came over to greet us and say hello.  We told him of our lesson that week and he threw his arms around me and just started crying.  It was so unexpected, but so sweet.  He just kept saying, “thank you, thank you, I have waited for this day for so long”, it was so awesome to be a part of that.  I know that it wasn’t anything we said in that lesson that touched the heart of our dear brother James, it wasn’t us that decided to continue finding on a street that for a whole week had not yielded any success, only to find him on our last hour proselyting on a Saturday evening, nothing we do is through our own strength, but it is such a blessing to be a part of it all. 

I sat pondering over the time that’s left here in Africa last night and it about killed me, it hurt so much to just see how useless I was back home.  I did a lot, but not for really anyone but myself.  I was never to concerned with helping others around me. I wasn’t a bad kid, I did good things most of the time, but I really didn’t ever do really great things.  Everyday that passes, I am reminded of how many more I don’t have as an official representative of the church and more especially the Lord Jesus Christ, how those feeling of overwhelming happiness realizing that you have been a tool that the Lord has been able to use for his purposes and I already miss it.  Something president said in our last zone conference really hit me, he said, “from the time I was first set apart to be a missionary, I never really stopped”  So, I am making that my goal, never stop being a missionary, never stop serving the Lord and his church.  Whatever I am  called to do, I will do.  Whatever I am blessed with to sacrifice...its already His.  Whatever it takes...I am ready to do it.  Whether as a full time missionary, or as a nursery leader...I will do all that I can to help the Lords kingdom to grow.  This week I was filled with so much desire to have my life never be what it never stop the good that the Lord has been able to use me for over the last two years, I want to continue to be a blessing unto others.  I want more than just to be happy, I want others to be happy as well. I know it will be difficult and not always fun, but it’s all I want.

Well I love you all so much. 

See you all so so soon.

Well...except Zack... but really...I’ll even see him relatively soon :). 

Well have a great week!

Love you all so much,

Elder Bradshaw

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

One of those weeks that just 'Come and Go'

Dear family,

Not quite sure what to say this week.....  It was one of those weeks that kinda just come and go... 

Its crazy how some weeks you seem to have so much to say then the very next week it feels as if nothing has happened at all.  Honestly I have no idea what to sorry thing is so lame. 

Really nothing too interesting happened this week.  My companion was sick so we were in the house quite a bit this week which absolute kills me!  It actually got me in a really really bad mood this week, It took me lower than I have been in a while.  It was tough, but it was great to see that my foundation is beginning to change.  One of my favorite things that I have learned on my mission is about our spiritual foundations.....  Helaman 5:12

 "And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall."

I didn't understand the scripture all that much, or I guess it didn't really mean all that much to me until I found a way to find out my spiritual foundation.....  When we really look at it we are all built upon a foundation, some it may be family, others food, money, sports, music whatever it is, we are all built on something, that something above all else is what brings us comfort and solace in our times of need.  President Judd once told me, "we can find out our spiritual foundations by when we are having a hard day, where we turn for peace." 

Over the last months and even getting to years now I have learned a lot of counterfeit foundations that I formerly been built on, things that took that precious spot of Christ in my life where I would turn on a hard day.  In my opinion one of the biggest reasons that we are asked to come on missions is to first learn our counterfeit foundations and then most importantly, learn to remove those foundations and replace them with the sure and flawless foundation of Christ.  I am where I am, doing what I am, to first learn how to rely on God and then to help others to do the same. 

There is nothing in life, no matter how good it is that can or ought to replace the foundation of Christ that we all so desperately need, not our families, even thought they are awesome, not our friends, not anything.  It took me a long time to figure out, and I am still not all that good with it, but Christ is the only thing that can fill that position at all times and in all things.  Friends change, money is lost or taken, family is on the other half of the world, food is turned into a gelatinous blob and named fu-fu, eventually there is nothing left but Christ.....but I know with all my heart that he is always there, and that he always will be there.  He helps in all aspects of everything we pass through, no matter the size.  This week I can't tell you why I was in a downer mood, I just was.  Nothing seemed to cheer me up....  No matter what I did, I still seemed under the weather.  The only that was there for me to turn to was my knees and my scriptures, as I did though...He built me up, He lifted me, He strengthened me, and He helped me to be happy.  I love my Heavenly Father. I know he is there, and everyday he gives and does all that he can to help me to make him more of what I am built upon.  

Transfers:  nothing really happened, still in Haatso, five more weeks to go....

 I think the funniest part of my week was getting his symptoms for his "sickness",
and I quote...

Me:  man how you feelin?
Elder:  you know in Terminator when he punches that guy so hard in the chest that his heart stops
Me: "well no",
Elder:  huhhhh, well he did, and it feels like he did the same to me only he missed my heart so it didn't kill me Me: okay, anything else?
Elder: yeah it feels like either a small snake slid down my throat and bit it or that someone slid a sword down there and cut the whole thing open   
me: Okay no problem, I'll report it then.
Man I about died!  That was the best way ever to call and describe how your companion is feeling sick ha ha. 

Well things are going well, next week should be a little more interesting of an email.

Love you all so so much, you're one awesome family!

Love you all,

Elder Bradshaw

Monday, May 26, 2014

Last Transfer...

Dear Family,

This week seems to have never happened!  Time is flying by faster than I can even believe.  This is transfer week, I don’t think much will happen considering my ‘guaranteed transfer’ next time, so I think I’ll stay put.  I think Elder Clarke will stay, he is making a lot of progress, so I think the Lord will leave him here for another lap around the park.

The area is going okay.  Highlight of the week was Kay came to church on Sunday, and loved it!  Sacrament meeting was an absolute flop, I can’t even lie to you about that one...but I sat there praying the entire time that he could feel something...and I think he did.  I prayed, “God, I know this church is true, I know these people are trying, and I am so sorry, but they just aren’t cutting it this time...please, please just give him a little bit of something like I feel when I am here.”  I don’t think it came in Sacrament meeting, but he seemed to love the other two hours!  I had to step out and do some interviews so I wasn’t there, but Elder Clarke says it was great!  Seems to have gotten him hooked, and he said he will be there next hopefully!  I really clicked with this guy, and I really want him to be baptized.  Its my goal...before I go home, he would be one really really good one. 

Things in the area are going pretty well though, not incredible, but good.  We have a lot of people coming to church but they seem to be new people each week.  We are struggling to get people back for round two.  Got some cool people though.

Toward the beginning of this week I was getting a bit discouraged, Elder Clarke and I have contacted more over the last six weeks than I think I have in the whole first year of my mission.  We continually contact and nothing just seems to be happening.  I felt almost like we were making no difference and that we were not really accomplishing our purpose as missionaries.  Just as I was hitting the peak of my pity party...we had quite and incredible experience with one of our investigators. 

She is a Nigerian student from the University of Wisconsin.  We have been teaching her for a few weeks now and its just been incredible to see the progress that she has already made in changing her life to what she needs to be.  The other night when we went to visit her we sat down and as we did I had a distinct impression to teach her the ‘Law of Chastity’.  My first thought was, “no way”, it just didn’t seem, to me, the right time, nevertheless we proceeded to teach her the law of chastity.  We had a great lesson...nothing very notable...just a normal lesson.  A few days later we came back for our next visit.  As soon as we sat down, she was already freaking out, she was so excited, you could see a change in her that was incredible.  We sat down and she proceeded to tell us how the past week the university had called her and said that they had upped the cost of tuition after she had already graduated, by the way.  They told her that if she didn’t pay it soon...they wouldn’t let her graduate.....  To make a long story short she told us that her and her friends had, in a last ditch effort, decided to do something horrible to make money, something that if she did she would never be able to forgive herself for.  The told us that the night when we had come and taught her the Law of Chastity, was the first night that she had decided to go out.  When we were there...we told her that after she had promised to live this new law that Satan would try and do all that he could to get her to go against what she had just promised to do.  Even that he would try in ways that he had never before tried. 

She told us that that night she went into her room and told her roommates about what we had said, one of them tried to throw the book away.  Another disagreed.  But she told them, “the missionaries told me this would happen, God has asked me to do this, and if he has asked me to do it, then he will make a way.  You do what you want...but I will leave mine to God.”  She said instead of going out that night she stayed in her room all night and read the books we had given her and prayed that God would help her to find another way.  The next day she organized, not a riot, but a ‘stand up’ to the university.  Which, after just one day, they brought the cost back down and she wasn’t required to pay any more!  It was amazing! 

I left the lesson that day with just so much amazement that God could bring two little white guys from California and Utah half way around the world...put them right in the right place at the right time...and then inspire them to teach exactly what someone needed to hear in order to continue on their path to Christ.  I know that I am nothing, but I also know that with God and I can do so much.  I know the spirit gives us what we need.  I know that if we are trying our matter what...we are always being used, no matter how much we can’t see it, to do the things that God needs us to do at that time!  God lives!  He is there!  He cares so much about each and every one of us.  I know perfectly well that as I turn myself to God, as our investigator did, God has already prepared me a way to overcome my own temptations and hardships. 

Yeah...Chief Booty is doing good, he is in Nigeria on business right now, but he called us the other day and told us, “I’ll make it up to you when I get back”, so that should be interesting. ha ha.

Lexi you are crazy!  That is too many performances!  I can’t believe how good my two sisters are getting at dance.  I am actually pretty excited to come and watch when I get home!


How was golfing? 
-Didn’t go.  Went and played rugby with the other zone leaders from the zone next to ours.  Later the sisters came and we all made lunch together.  I am so sore right  now...I don’t know if I can even walk out of here.  I did pretty good with Rugby...even though I’m the old man around here now.

Healthy this week?
-doing great!

Great things about your week?
-the experience in the story above was pretty cool. 

Also, the my last transfer is starting.....I’m next!

Healthy.  I can eat rice again, I was so sick of it so I detoxed for a while...and now it's good again. 

Spiritual things?
-had some really good studies this week, some that I just really enjoyed.  I finished the Book of Mormon a few weeks ago so now I am kinda just going trough doing some random studies.

Things you learned.
-I learned truly how God can consecrate our afflictions, our mistakes and our infirmities for our gain, if we let him of course.  That was a bit of my study this week, dealing with Ammon in particular.  I think he and I were kinda similar.  In our bad days, we both liked money, we were not as excited about church stuff, we were really good with words...especially when using them to get what we wanted in a (somewhat) conniving way, we were the sons of some pretty awesome parents, who we caused a lot of pain at first to...then we changed, loved missionary work, used our tongues for righteous works, became poor servants...{and personally I think the people in Ishmael lived in round houses, around dark skinned people, had some hard times, but turned out alright:). }

Well I'm not really sure what else to really say.....  Things are good, I am working hard, I’m healthy, I’m happy, I’m getting along with my companion, getting ready to get home, not overly but yeah, I think thats really about it.

Well I love you all so much, thanks for being awesome.  Sorry I was like the lame Ammon for a while...hopefully I will be more like the cool Ammon when I come home.

Love you all,

Elder Bradshaw

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Chief Booty

Dear Family,

This week was awesome!  I had one of my best weeks in a long time!  We finally got to go to the temple again......I made it all the way through this time...AND...I finally got to see the new temple video, which is awesome!  It was just a really good day. 

There were a few things I thought were interesting.  Honestly, I think Satan was the best done part.  During the whole session I was a bit frustrated with myself, I was thinking, “Man...I’m really not supposed to like this guy, but he looks like he’s pretty cool.”  Looking at him(Satan)...he seemed like the coolest one in the bunch to go and hang out with. 

It really bothered me, and then it hit me....”duh!  That’s how I am in life as well.  Satan looks like a pretty cool guy, looks fun, looks nice, doesn’t seem too bad...but then he is, and we are in trouble.”  It was something simple, but I thought they did a really good job with that part.  The added emotion shed a lot of interesting insight, for me, that I really liked.  So, that was a really sweet day!  After the temple we had kind of a ‘going home’ zone conference for President and Sister Judd.  It was super small, super personal so it was sweet.  It’s starting to feel a bit more real, but not really.... 

Dad, I thought your story was hilarious about Jeff and the new boat ha ha.  How sweet for them to have a boat!  That’s awesome!  Hopefully next time it will be a bit smoother for them.

Elli...Congrats on the elections!  Thats so sweet!  I’m the only one that wasnt a student council-or I guess....


Spiritual Stuff:
- Temple was really really sweet!  Then the next day we went and helped out a recent convert on their garden/farm so that she could have time to read the book of mormon, it was super sweet!  Only one problem...I worked for like an hour and I have five blisters on my hand...I’m a softie now, I guess.

Companion stuff:
-He is doing well.  We get along fine.  He is good though.

Health stuff:
-doing great, rash is just about gone

P-day stuff:
-next week we have a district activity with the sisters....going golfing...ha ha, so pray for us that day.....

Great Story Stuff:
-Okay we have this investigator named Chief Booty.  Yep, that’s really his name, and we call him that.  Anyway he is a big time Nigerian chief, super loaded, but a really cool guy.  We contacted him and taught a quick lesson one night and then went back for our official first lesson.  When we went in and Arsenal (his team) was planning in some big final of some cup.... so we just decided not to try and butt heads with we kinda just sat there and got to know him a bit while he watched the match.  It went really well, he really likes us.  We started teaching his son and it was all good.  We were getting ready to go and he walked up stairs, so we waited.  He comes back down and hands me this envelope, and says, “just a little something now that we are friends”. 

I explained that we couldn’t take money and all that...he countered it with all this cultural stuff that he was obliged to do.  Anyway...we exhausted all of our excuses very quickly, and were late for a meeting with the bishop so we took it, he told us just to go and get dinner and that he would pay for it.  So...we somehow justified it.   We left, and I opened it up, 200 cedis!  That’s what the mission gives me for an entire month of living expenses!  It was crazy!  We talked a lot about it, talked it over with Elder Honour and his companion...and I guess determined that it was okay...since it was for dinner....  So...we picked the nicest place in town and went to get some food. We sat down and it just hit me that it was so wrong.  So I cancelled the order and went straight to give it back to him. We went there, he let us in, and I just told him, “Chief we appreciate it, but I really cant take this, I feel like I’m sinning.”  God really helped us out on this one, and he was a bit drunk so it was all good :).  Crazy experience thought!

Lessons Learning:
1. don’t take money from investigators.  ever.
2. Don’t let my kids play video games
3. Rely on Heavenly Father.

Well I love you all so much!  Be safe, have fun, read your scriptures.


Elder Bradshaw

Monday, May 5, 2014

University Missionaries

Hello all:

I had a little chat time with Taylor this morning.  He needed some information for someone to make his release arrangements.  Yay!! He said we could expect his itinerary in an email this week!  As you can guess, we are super excited about that little bit of information. 

I asked him if he can turn the 'trunky' off when he leaves the internet cafe and this was his reply:

"I am working like crazy!  I am in the center of my President's 'focus area' right now, so I am around a bunch of experienced missionaries and we are just working so hard!! I find it easier to think about home now than it was before, but at the same time I just have so much desire to finish strong that it isn't really on my mind too much. To tell you the truth it doesn't really feel like I'm coming home...There just isn't anyway that it can be so close!"



Dear family,

I really am not sure what to write about this week.  Things are going good, I feel like there isn’t all that much to report on. 

I guess we could talk about the rash.  It’s on my chest.  I am taking some pills and have some cream, but it doesn’t really seem to be working all that well.  It isn’t horrible...but when I sweat it really stings and itches.  I have a return appointment next Monday in Accra if it's not gone by next week.


How’s the investigator hunting?
-tons of it!  Basically, all we have been doing is contacting, which makes for some long days, but we have also met some really cool people!

What are you working on with your awesome new companion?
-don’t be a know it all!  I had a little revelation, I guess you could say, the other day.  I was super nervous about letting him speak in lessons and I was praying about what to do and I had a thought come into my head...almost like a voice that said, “allow room for others to speak, both for you and for him. It will teach you to rely less on yourself and more on me.”  That was kinda cool. 

Love that you are loving the campus.  How is  it going?
-it’s really cool to teach there, but we’re finding that there’s not much drive for them to come to church!

Funny stuff.
-we were playing dodge ball in the other Elder’s really long hallway and Elder Honour got smashed in the face and got a black eye...sounds bad to laugh, but it was all in fun. ha ha.

-letter from Chelsea...thanks!

Spiritual moments this week
-sustaining the prophet

Sorry out of time, love you all!  Be safe,


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Dear family,

So sorry about the slag on the email this week.....things got pretty busy yesterday.

I had to go to Accra to a dermatologist to get a rash checked out, not a big deal really they just want to make sure that it didn’t become something bigger than it needed to be.  Not the most ideal situation but Sister Judd is taking good care of me.

Anyway this was a really good week, one of both the best as well as worst that I have had in a long time.   Elder Clarke was sick for about half of the week.  He is a good guy, we get along pretty well.

Taylor with Elder their 'round house'.  Thank you to the office couple for sending us this pic! (like the yard!)
 The days that we were able to get out though were awesome, we have really made the university a focus lately which has been a ton of fun.  Probably some of the most fun that I have had teaching on my mission!  Each lesson is so different, they have real questions and concerns, we really get to teach them which is really cool.  We didn’t get anyone from the ‘uni’ to church this week which was a bummer...but they had a good excuse, someone called “thief” on the floor which basically means they were all on lock down.  Ghanaians really don’t appreciate a thief so when they find one, they seem to usually take it to the extreme!  This week though, while we were contacting one of the dorm blocks, we stumbled upon a member that is super stoked to work with us.  He got all the numbers of the people that were around the campus and promised to be calling and bringing them to church and what not which is a massive help!  I have really learned a lot about the type of member that I will be when I go home.  I’m really excited to be that guy for the missionaries.  I have seen the incredible effect it has on the work here and have promised myself to be that kind of help when I go home!  I’ll be first in line!

I am so tired this week!  It’s been a week full of work outs....’spiritual work outs’ as strange as that sounds.  I know I had experienced that before, especially at the start of my mission, but this week...every night I literally felt like King Lamoni, “And now, when he had did this, he fell unto the earth, as if he were dead.”  There were times when we would get out of a lesson and I would literally have to go and sit down for a rest before I could teach another lesson, it’s difficult to explain and comprehend probably unless you have experienced it, but it was literally like the spirit just drained me of all the energy I had.  I can honestly say that this week was the week when I have been able to teach through the spirit more than I ever have in my entire life!  It was crazy!  Things to say, examples to use, doctrines to teach just came out of my mouth like I knew them perfectly, while I was talking.  I would learn as much as the one that was listening.  It’s super strange, but I know perfectly that as we study, learn all that we can and try our best to do what is right that he  will definitely open our mouths to speak the words that that person needs to hear.  Anyway I’m getting a bit more ‘in shape’ now I think, so hopefully this week will be a bit better.  I don’t feel like I can really complain about spiritual tiredness though, in my opinion...that’s a pretty good kind of tired.

We’ve got some sweet investigators right now.... I’d say my favorite is James.  We have taught James just once now because he is so busy, but Sunday just showed up for church and he absolutely loved it!  He came to church realized that his brother is in our ward!  He works at the area office,  now what  are the chances of that?!!! James was that golden contact where you contact like 100 people throughout the week and he was literally the last person that we contacted on Saturday night! It was crazy! His wife had been given a Book of Mormon a few years back and over that time has read half of it! He is so cool.  James is some sort of producer of a big-time African magazine called ‘Agoo’, it’s sold throughout the U.S.  and England and the rest of the world.  His kids are either in their last year of university or are doing their national service.  He and his wife are a real family, a family that really love each other, so it’s really fun to go and see them.

Next is Oti. Oti is a retired BBC documentary director and a really good guy.  He came to church this week as well, has a pet parrot which is pretty cool! I tried to pick it up this week, but it tried to bite me and it’s beak was huge so I let it be...and kept my fingers ha ha.  We actually have a very very good teaching pool right now.  I’m very happy with the people that The Lord has put into our path! He is definitely at the helm of this work, I just keep the decks clean and make sure the paperwork gets filled out.

Well I love you all so much!  You’re one awesome family. I couldn’t ask for anything more. time is going quick, I have an unidentified rash, and I am so happy!

Again love you all so much!

See you soon,
The elder-Elder Bradshaw

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Week in Ghana

Dear Family,

This week was a bit of both good and bad....  I am now with Elder Clarke from
California, cool guy, totally reminds me of Chris Hall.  He is super nice...
likes long boarding a lot, so that kinda gives us something
cool to talk about in the down time.  He really likes discussing that’s been really good.  He was trained by Elder
Honour, been out about 7 months, he works super hard but humble enough
to learn.  Things look like they will be pretty good between us.  I
ts kinda strange now that the transfers have come and gone, this is probably
how it will end, here in Haatso with Elder Clarke, which is great.  I am happy with how it all
turned out though.  Elder Honour is still around, Elder Crandal (was with him in Koforidua)
came to replace Elder Kidd, things are going well.  Just weird to be at
this point now....never really thought I would....

Well, this week was actually really good.  All we did all week was
contact, which kills us physically but is really quite fun when we
find some good people.  This was probably my favorite week in Madina. 
We have really shifted our focus from where we were the past few weeks.
We moved into some areas that we’ve never been to, and
lets just say that I now know what its like to be a missionary in the
U.S.  Huge houses, gates that are about 4 times as tall as I am, guard
dogs the size of a deer, sweet cars, education levels higher than
mine, it was really fun!  I am super sunburned.  I die at nights when
my head hits the pillow.  We didn’t teach nearly the number of people
that we normally do, but I loved it!  We literally contacted roads
where every single person on that road had lived abroad for like 30+
years.  We taught at a totally different level than we have in the past...
and it was so fun!  Yes, I am SO grateful to be serving here, I
wouldn’t have it any other way.  Now I am getting the best of both worlds, the humility
and love of God of a Ghanaian and the education of an American!
Haatso is becoming my favorite area by far.  I have loved all of my
areas for their various reasons, but Hattso, I think, will take the

Next good thing this week.....Comfort and the boys were confirmed!
It was awesome, like really awesome!  It wasn’t anything different or
more special than ones in the past, but there was just something about
it.  Something so powerful, something that really hit me!  They were
confirmed and then the two boys were given the Priesthood.  It was a
great Sunday.  Besides them though, we didn’t have anyone at church
which is a bummer!  We have a ton of work to do to prepare for next
month, but I’m surprisingly really excited to do it!  I was loosing my
energy to contact...but I am so excited to get going.  I am ready to work, ready to
find, and so excited to do it all!


How was Easter?
-kinda boring, really the only  thing that was different was that we
got to sing some Easter hymns which was really great, because I love those
hymns.  My Easter count was a bit off, so I kinda had my own little
celebration a few weeks ago.

Transfer check:
-In Haatso with Elder Clarke.

Health check:
-doing well.

Food check:
-still eating some good stuff.  It makes such a huge difference!

Companion check:
- kinda already said it, things are going well though!

Best part of the week:
-Comforts family being confirmed/ordained was just so great!

Investigator check:
-starting over right now, found a few cool people, but we haven’t progressed too far yet,
kinda just first lessons hoping/working for more.

-we had cleaning checks today by the office couple, thats about it.

Need anything check:
-nope, I’m good, I should be good until I am done.  We can get most stuff here.

Spiritual moments:
-besides the confirmation not really.  I’ll pay closer attention this week.

Also.  I’m are all dying that you said that you don’t know what you would take pictures of.  Are you crazy?
-yeah sorry about pictures, things just seem pretty normal now, I'll try and do better.

Mom, my classes look great!  I trust your judgment, so really anything I
am fine with that you think would be beneficial.  The ones you sent me
look good though.

Well, I love you all so much.  I am not feeling all that well so I think
I’ll end it here.  It's nothing serious...don’t get all worried, just an upset stomach. 
Keep it up.  You're an awesome family!

Much love,

Elder Bradshaw

Monday, April 14, 2014

It's Rainy Season Again

Dear family,

This week was pretty good.  Not all that bad ha ha. 

We had a lot of rain this week.  We are starting to get to the rainy season which has been nice, things are starting to grow and get green again, the dust isn’t in piles on the side of the road as much, which has been nice.  The rain is really nice but then at the same time it makes it difficult to teach....the people of Ghana HATE the rain so when it rains things kinda shut down. 

This week we got stuck in the rain again, it was like a hurricane, it was raining so hard!  Homes were destroyed, roads were rivers. It was cool, but kinda scary at the same time.  We were huddled under a little shack watching sheet metal, signboards, and small homes fly through the air.  ha ha.  One of those experiences that you don’t have everyday.

Taylor with Joshua and Jonathan and Elder Johnson
Good, I am glad that you got the pictures, the one of us with the two boys was Joshua and Johnathan.

We forgot to take a picture on their baptism day so we got one yesterday.  Which by the way, they both received the priesthood yesterday, that was cool!

Taylor and Elder Johnson with Comfort and her sons Winston and Joseph on their baptism day.

The one with the Mom and the two smaller boys...that is Comfort and her family.  They were all baptized yesterday.  Comfort is 47, Winston is 14, and Joseph is 13.  They are a really sweet family!  I love them like crazy. 

When we met them, during one of our first lessons we felt prompted to talk about temples and “forever families”...and Comfort went crazy!  She is desperate to go to the temple.  She owns a bar for work, but the bar now has a picture of the Accra temple hanging on the door and she has a stack of pamphlets that she hands out to her friends and customers.  She is in the process of now converting it from a drinking bar to a restaurant.  After we taught her about temples...she took a taxi all the way to Accra on her own just to walk around the temple and be there by it.  I have no idea how, but she knows tons about the temple, and just cannot wait to go!  Comfort doesn’t speak English all that well so our lessons are simple so that she can understand our American English. But she is so smart, the simplified version of “eternal families” has now been dubbed “forever families” :).  Comfort was divorced a few years ago from what sounds like a real jerk, she has an 18 year old son who is attending school in Koforidua but is planning on being baptized when he comes home for summer vacation.  Anyway they are just a really awesome family!

Is it a transfer week...any news about that?
-we'll find out tomorrow

Do you take more pictures than you are sending to us?  If not...start now!!!
-I don’t really know what to take pictures of....

Fun pday?
-we are having a district activity telling one of the sisters goodbye a bit later today, that should be kinda fun.

Spiritual times:
-When I first came to this area I remember discussing with Elder Honour about the things that we observed the ward was in need of when it came to new membership.  The two areas that we observed were struggling the most were the young men and the priesthood brethren that could soon serve in leadership.  We noticed those needs, and the four of us started praying to be led and guided to the places where we would be able to find those that could help to strengthen the weak areas in the ward. 

I know perfectly that the Lord is at the helm of this work.  He leads and guides his servants to those who are prepared, ready, and fit to strengthen his kingdom in the areas in which we serve.  Between the two companionship’s in the ward...all of the baptisms have been directly linked to the areas in which we knew needed help.  Families with young men, future leaders, missionaries, all those in which we could have never baptized on our own.  We don’t do this work, we just invite the spirit and fill out the paper work.  I know that so much better than I did a few months ago and I see just how much the Lord loves and cares about each and individual member of his church here on the earth.  He wants it to succeed, he wants it to be strong, and he will do all that is in His power to get it there, and I am so happy to be my small part of it.  It was a good realization to have again, it was just amazing to see exactly how much the Lord has led us over the last few weeks.  Sometimes...actually most of the time I don’t really realize how much we are being led by the spirit.  I don't always feel an overwhelming sense of direction in where I walk or hear a little voice that tells me who to talk to, but its times like this where I really realize just how much the Lord directs our paths as missionaries.  It’s been kind of a cool thing to realize that its happening.
Funny times...any shoe-poo this week?
-nope, not this week ha ha.

Any fun mission stuff coming up?
 transfers this week, then besides that I don’t know of anything.

You ask a lot about getting ready to go home, or “trunky”, yeah its happening definitely, its something that I’m not going to let happen too much, but its so hard lately.  Mostly the things I struggle with is that I am just getting really tired of things like no power, no water, and rice rice rice.  I do love missionary work though, I really enjoy teaching and working with the people.  That’s my extent of trunkiness so far.

You celebrated Easter two weeks early!! concept of time and holidays has kinda just gone out the window.  I have a calendar from Grandma Palmer but it doesn’t have any holidays on it so I kinda just guess to the best of my knowledge ha ha.  It was a good experience though, one I really enjoyed, and felt the spirit during my study.   I kinda realized I got it wrong yesterday when the streets were full of Catholics and palm leaves....

Well I better get going.  I love you all so much.  You’re one awesome family.  I’m glad that we have a “forever family” and I am so happy to be here to help others have the same.

Love you all,

Elder Bradshaw

Monday, March 31, 2014

Love my family!!!

Dear family,

I have to apologize in advance.  This is going to be a pretty lame letter.  I am just not in the mood to write I guess.  I don't know why, just not.  I am good though.  I feel the spirit like crazy, it’s the prevailing thought in my mind.  I am happy, healthy, and doing so good.

Well, I love you all so much, I hope you all know that.  Its really important for you all to know that I love you so much!  I can’t imagine where I would be without a family like you.

This week was a bit of a tougher one, but not all bad.  Transfers are again coming up, then only two more to go.  The time is going to fast!  I still really can’t believe that I am coming home so soon, it doesn’t feel right ha ha.

This week we had a baptism for three awesome men!  The first is Joshua, he is 23 years old, super smart man.  He’s trying to work now to save so he can go to school, and then we also baptized his brother Jonathan.  They are both Nigerian, Joshua grew up in Ghana and Jonathan in Nigeria.  They are brothers but you can hardly even tell, they are about as different as could be.  Both great guys though!  The third is named Prince.  Prince is friends with a member, also a great great guy.  He is 2 months older than I am, so we are shooting for missionary service now!  It was a great baptism, President and Sister Judd came.  That was cool.  It was very spiritual and I was very happy with how it went!

Well, not much more I can think of to write about.  I just want you all to know how much I love you and how much you all mean to me.  Lately, more than ever, I have really realized what an awesome family I have.

I got the Valentine’s package from you, and I got an Easter one from Grandma and Grandpa Bradshaw, as well as a letter...also I got one from Sister C.B. and the Lund's.  Thank you all so much!

Well gotta go, I’ll get you a better letter next week.

Love you all,

Elder Bradshaw

Monday, March 10, 2014

Pushing cars...

Dear family,

Again so sorry.  Today has been a mad house trying to get the
opportunity to email.  The cafe's are really messed up this week....
Its taken me about 45 minutes to load my in-box.....  So I am lucky I
at least got to read your email and try and send you a quick one.

Well...this week we had kind of a cool experience, we were walking down
the road and a tro tro (basically a Mercedes sprinter bus) stalled and
needed a push start to get going again.  There were some men trying to
get it rolling, and we of course hopped on back and gave them some help.
It started...drove away...and then we just kept walking.  And then...I didn’t really think
all that much about it. 

A few minutes later a silver CRV pulled over
and asked if they could give us a ride somewhere.  We were just going
right up the road...but for some reason we ended up in the back seat, I
think it was half ‘the spirit’ and half just because I wanted to ride in
my old car again! 

But...anyway I just thought it was some members that picked us up. We
told them, “We were headed to the chapel.” 
And they said, “okay which
“Wait, what? You’re not members?” 
“So, what made you want to pick us up then?”
“Well, we saw you push that dirty car up the road in your nice white shirts...
you were not a part of the car...nor did you have anything to do with it after it started...
you just kept walking...they didn't ask you to help...but you just did.  When we
saw that...we knew Christ was with you and that he would have done the
same.  And we wanted to be a part of you.” 

Wow!  I was blown away!
I didn’t think twice at all about helping to push that car, but it
touched someones heart and now they are meeting with Elder Honour and
his companion (they were not in our area).  This experience really affirmed the family
theme to me that, “by small and simple things, are great things
brought to pass.” 

It was really so cool.

On a funnier note, Elder Honour and I were asked to preside and conduct
a baptism the other day because the Bishop and all his counselors are
out of town.  So, we were at the chapel preparing and there was a bunch
of little kids that kept running into and around the chapel, so Elder
Honour closed the steel gate that goes over the doors.....Only
problem was that we didn't have keys, and our phone was dead....  So, we
were locked in the chapel that night...not all night.  Finally someone
came by and was able to let us out, but that was pretty funny!

Anyway, I’m still with Elder Johnson...but I gotta go.

Love you all so much, miss you like crazy,

Elder Bradshaw

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Ants in Pants...

Dear family,

I can’t even fathom how time is going as fast as is is!  I didn’t even realize it was March until last night.  I thought I just slept on my watch wrong and changed the date!  Time really is going so so fast!  Anyway we had an okay week, not really a great one, but one where I learned quite a bit.  I am feeling pretty good this week.  Kinda looking forward to transfers, I think there may be some big changes this week, so that will be kinda fun to see.  Not so much for least I don’t think...but we’ll see.  Hoping for a new companion, and some more people to join the apartment.  Living with only two of you is kinda rough.  It’s nice to talk with someone else at the end of the day sometimes. was another one of those weeks where it went by so fast that I don’t really know what happened.

In my study right now, I am studying both the atonement and the 3 Nephi chapters where Christ visits the people in America.  I have very much enjoyed it!  The thing that all my study boils down to is how much God really does love us.  He loves each of us at an individual level that is so incredible.  It is just amazing!  These chapters in the Book of Mormon are some of my favorites. I started studying them when I was in Tema, and I am still I think only on chapter 17 (they start on 11).  I say that just because it blows my mind how much there is to be learned and such a seemingly small amount of words.  I can spend hours, or even days on one word at a time...and I love it so much!  Honestly, if I didn’t have such a desire to have a family...I think I would study ancient language and religion...move to the Middle East or Central America and devote my life to proving that the Book of Mormon is true using concrete evidence and with more than just the spirit.  Elder Honour and I, on Mondays, listen to this guy, Daniel C. Peterson.  I don’t know...I just get so much satisfaction by how perfect the Book of Mormon is.  It’s awesome!  I wouldn’t ever really do that...but I guess I say it just because of how much I love the Book of Mormon.  It’s the most incredible thing, and everyone needs to read it more!

Is it transfers this week?  Any news about that?
-I don't think I’ll go anywhere, but I guess we will see tomorrow.

-sorry, my card is still messed up.  I’ll try and fix it today.

Funny stuff?
-Ok...ready for this? 
I was teaching a man on a bench under a tree.  During the conversation...he kept doing this horribly painful face.  He looked shocked out of his mind and then would grab his hum-hum...then say, “okay, go ahead”...He would give it another minute...then the same thing again.  Finally he says, “I’m sorry...I have so many ants in my pants that are worrying me too much, and they’re biting! Can we make it another time?!”

Holy cow! It was hilarious. I felt for the guy though...those ant bites hurt...I’m sure especially where he was having them...

Service this week?
-not really, I wish we had more opportunities to serve.

Any special mission activities?
-not right now, I hope we have a temple trip soon though...its been way too long!

Okay so sorry!  Time is out.  Sorry its a short one.  I had to email a few others today so thats why its short.  Anyway, I love you all so much.  I am safe.  I am happy.  I am doing well.  Weston emailed me this week and it looks like we will most likely be rooming together up at USU...still not for sure.  When would we need to have that figured that out?

Love you all so much,


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Tired Eyes

Dear Family,

I honestly can’t even describe to you how fast time goes by!  I really can’t even comprehend how quickly time is going.  Some weeks especially...I’ll sit down on Monday and realize I don’t even remember most of the past week.  I can hardly keep my eyes open, I have a mirror in front of me right now and I am pretty sure you guys wouldn’t even recognize me.  I am pretty healthy for the most part, but I think what has changed the most is my eyes.  I have realized that when I feel the spirit I get really tired, kinda like Lehi, that he cast himself on his bed, I know how he feels...  Physically I am pretty well off, spiritually and mentally...I am exhausted.  My mind is constantly going at a rate that it never has gone before, and its so sweet!  I love it!  I am so busy all the time, always preparing some lesson, studying some topic, teaching, interviewing, exchanges...sleeping and eating if I get time;), its actually quite fun.  I like the feeling of having such a purpose. I guess you could say, it makes you feel good, like you're doing something that is good, and in the process your making yourself into something good.....I can’t really think of anything better.  I love the work I am currently involved in, but I can understand what missionaries mean by they get tired.  But I am still excited to do the work that I have been called to do.  Things are going well.  I am learning so much, and growing so much that I almost don’t want to come home.

Questions from Mom:

Loved your story about the dad working with his sons.  How is Derrick and his family doing?
-yeah turns out that Derrick lives in Cape Coast.... So we will never see him again.  Its a downer...but even more so because I have a strange suspicion that he really DOES live HERE...but is just trying to ditch us...

Better luck on campus? 
-Yeah the process of working with the ward has begun, we got a list yesterday of the members that live on campus, and have started going to their family home evening on Monday nights so that is helping quite a bit.  The university is a tough one though, as of now not a lot of success, nevertheless it looks like a bright future.

Most spiritual time?
-I am struggling putting my finger on a specific spiritual experience, but this week I really re-realized how much God loves me. There were times when I was feeling unnecessarily sad, times when I didn’t know where to search for our next person, how to push through to the next day, how to keep going when times became increasingly bleak, etc...and in all of those times the Lord comforted me and gave me exactly what I needed to move forward. I am learning more and more perfectly the love that my Father in Heaven has for me and in return I am loving Him more than ever before.

Are you working with the ward mission leader? 
-yeah we work with him.  We work with him every once in a while.  Our ward right now is struggling a bit, right now.  No one from our bishopric is even in the obviously, our coordinating efforts with them is a bit down right now.

Fun p-day stuff?
-we found a driving range this this morning we went out and hit a bucket of balls,,,and that was a ton of fun!  I really enjoyed that one.

Did you get yourself some good food?
-I got a bit of good food this week, but mostly I got it from more local places, making it more expensive so I didn’t get all that much.  I need to go to this shopping center this week and I’ll be able to get some good stuff.  I’ll be taking out some money this week, part of it will be for food.

Health stuff?
-Doing good:).

Wow!  I was glad to hear that you have been taking care of yourselves there, sounds like the healthy house is still going strong!  I actually got an opportunity to weigh myself a week or so ago, and I have lost some weight as well..... 26 pounds......  I don’t think I want to have lost the weight where I did arms are super skinny, and my stomach really isn’t all that flat...not fat...just not all that great.  So I’ll have some work to do when I get home in the gym.  Keep up the good work...that’s awesome!

Well just about out of time.  Love you all so much, can’t wait to talk to you all next week.

Love you all,

Elder Bradshaw

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

I'm singing

Dear Family,

Weeks are just flying by!  Still not quite sure when I'll be back, but I am thinking that by the next two weeks we should most definitely know.  If you could get the exact date that the Fall semester at Utah State will start it would be much appreciated! 

Anyway I had a pretty sweet week!  A lot of really spiritual days, lots of work this past week but it was a good one. 

Monday we didn't really do much.

Tuesday we had a zone meeting, leadership council, and then a half day exchange to take some people to an interview, which I'll talk more about in a minute.

Wednesday I was on an exchange all day with Elder Kidd to evaluate some stuff.

Thursday another half day exchange to open up the university. 

Friday was a pretty normal day.

Saturday we had a wedding to attend at the chapel for a little bit, then all of our usual P.E.C. meetings in the evening.

Man I am tired, but it was also a really good week.  I am happy with the work that we were able to get done in our area.  Still not all that pleased with our people...but I think I pretty well know by now that right before I leave well find some good ones;). Ha ha. 

We actually found a really cool family this past that I was really prompted to contact, and it was one of those investigators that you just instantly fall in love with.  I know that sounds weird, but it happens sometimes.  They are a family of five boys, all out there working with their father to sell the pineapples that they had just harvested off their family farm.  They are dirt poor, but they had so much pride in their work.  Each of the five boys had their own personal assignment.  One to take the money, one to pick the pineapple, one to hold the bag while the dad cut the pineapple into it. It was refreshing to see someone, no matter how un-glamorous the job was...taking pride in it and doing it to the best of their ability.  It was a father who was teaching his kids the importance of work.  It reminded me of my father, and it really hit me hard.  Anyway keep Derrick and the boys in your prayers:).
- I got a dear Elder from Grandma and Grandpa Bradshaw
Spiritual time of the week?
This week after our leadership council finished,  Elder Kidd and Elder Johnson were deep into our area, and far from being able to quickly come back.  So, while they did I had the opportunity to spend a bit of time teaching again with Elder Honour. This specific night they had scheduled special interviews for a few of their candidates and we had the great opportunity to stay with them while they waited for their turn to talk with President Labinjo. While we waited in the chapel, we decided to sing some hymns with the missionaries and investigators that were also waiting.  We would pick a song, for example, 'We thank Thee of God for a Prophet', teach about prophets and then sing the song. I am a horrible singer...but that night I about skipped the entire way home. The spirit filled that room with a force that really hit home for me.

It was amazing to see the subtle anxiety that each of the investigators had before they went to meet with President and as they came out...that anxiety being completely gone, and only the look of the purest joy on their faces. Some of them came out crying.  Others came and bore their testimony of how true the church was and how they were so happy and grateful for the chance they had been given to become a member.  Others explained quietly that for the first time in years they finally felt released from a prison that they had prayed every night to be released from. It was such an incredible experience.  It was such a blessing to be there!  It was such a testimony builder of how much the atonement of Jesus Christ truly does work.  I know it does, I have seen it in my life, and in the lives of countless others. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to share that news with them that I know to be true!

Campus experience?
-its hard!  This was our first week of working there and it was tough!  The people are there, but they don't care to talk to you.  They are all too busy at all the campus parties stuff like that. 

Taking care of yourself?
-yeah, Im trying to:)

tonight we have FHE on campus with all the members that are also students.  So that will be weird, but also really good.  Working with members is absolutely essential on campus.

What are you learning right now?
-I am studying a lot about pure knowledge right now.  How to obtain that knowledge independent of any other source, things like that.  I feel really prompted to study it, and even when I don't really want to study it.  I want to study something else because my mind hurts so much I start reading somewhere else...and it takes me right back to the same topic.

Well sorry for such a lame letter this week.  My mind feels fried!  I am doing well though and I love you all so much!

Love you all,

Elder Bradshaw

Monday, February 10, 2014

'Hit the wall' week

Dear Family,

This week was kinda like the week that Zack just explained last week.  It's been kinda been like that for a while now, but this week it was probably the worst....I am so dead!  On the bright side though, I had no trouble getting to sleep;).  We have been going crazy lately!  Things are so critical right now, there is so much to do. So many people to find.  So many things to learn and study.  So much to improve on. Some weeks it just hits you and you die! haha.  This week I did pretty good until about Friday...then I died. 

Mom it was funny to see that you had mentioned a lot about health and rest this week, because it seems that both Zack and I hit the same wall this week.  My theory that I formulated is that I am just so sick of rice that I am getting sick, either from skipping meals, or eating things that are different, but not all that healthy.  We did find...a few days ago, a supermarket that is literally straight out of the states!  Like, I saw my first tub of actual ice cream in 18 months!  We are planning to go back today and get some real hopes that it will bring me back up physically to where I need to be.  Elder Honour bought some roast there the other day, and then would just eat like 3 bite sized pieces of it with his dinner and he said it made an incredible difference in how much energy he had, and how good he felt.  I think I will go get some today and see how that goes.  Its a bit pricey so I obviously won't do all that much shopping there, but I think I should be able to find a few things to get me back up to where I need to be. this.  I am not dying, or anything...I've just been a bit sick the last few days.  Like I said, I think it came from lack of good food and absolute exhaustion, but I am okay:).  


Spiritual high?
-really had a good lesson with a man named George the other day.  He has been studying with the Jehovah’s Witnesses as well.  (which by the way...are my least favorite) but we had a really good lesson about how his answer and testimony will be based on The Book of Mormon.  We then knelt down with him, and had him pray for an answer right then.  After he prayed, we all knelt there for a few minutes with our eyes closed and the spirit was just most definitely there!  It was so strong, and George definitely felt it!  HE knows that The Book of Mormon is true, but is still a bit confused about which church to join.  Which completely baffles me...but then again, Satan is good at what he does... unfortunately.....

Do you still wash your clothes by hand?
-yes :(

Serving others this week?
-helped resolve a bunch of issues between the sisters and some other missionary that had offended them, that was fun, but they are good now.  ....Sister Missionaries can be stubborn.

A lesson you learned this week?
-I finally had it confirmed to me of just how important the 'small and simple things' were in my continuing progression toward Christ.  Due to my absolute exhaustion I was a bit lax in a few of the small things that I had been doing to have the spirit in my life and as I forgot, or rather, neglected those small and simple acts I felt my progression decline at an alarming pace.  I am back on track now of course, but it was almost an exact copy of the paradigm used in Alma 37 in comparison to Lehi’s family and the use of the liahona. 

Verse 41 says;  “Nevertheless, because those miracles were worked by small means it did show unto them marvelous works. They were slothful, and forgot to exercise their faith and diligence and then those marvelous works ceased, and they did not progress in their journey.” 

I became slothful, I trusted too much in my own 'self confidence' and I wasn’t as diligent as I had been in the past with the small things...and those marvelous works began to cease.  I was quickly awakened to my own nothingness, but it was a great experience.  One that really taught me the principle, as well as at the same time confirmed the power of 'small and simple things', in helping us all on our journey to where we need to be.

How are those college kids doing?  Making progress there?
-the semester started today, so this week will be my first week really focusing on the university.

Do you ride a bike?
-we have them, but I don’t like using them.  The best people I have been able to work with on my mission, literally all of them, would have been passed by, had I been on a bike.  When I walk, I feel like I am more a part of the people, which makes me a bit more inclined to spiritual guidance on who I should talk to, or who even will talk to us. 

Can you plan a fun p-day with your district or zone...
 I spend quite a bit of time around Elder Honour and Elder Kidd when we have free time, but to tell you the truth...we really don't have enough time as it is to do all that we have to do on p-day.

Have you had a chance to share the bracelets that Elli sent you for Christmas? 
-yes, but I haven't handed out all that many, I'll send some pictures when I do.

Okay out of time, love you all.  I am somewhat healthy, but doing well, I am safe, and most of all... happy.

Love you all,


Taylor with his new companion, Elder Johnson...whose family lives in American Fork!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Precious Bits of Revelation

Hey sorry, another short week.....  I had a long email to President and I wrote Zack.  So sorry this one will be short.

I want to start off with the questions, because I think they will help me to get the most info I can in the least amount of time.  But this week was killer!  I am exhausted!


How’s Elder J?
-He is doing well.  Great desire to be better, which is so great. 

Mission conference with Elder Bednar?
-three hour question and answer session!  It was AMAZING!  He asked us a bunch of questions and we asked him questions as well.  The spirit was so so strong, it was great!

Fun to see missionary friends at mission conference?
-It was a lot of fun.  It was a joint mission conference, so I got to see Elder Thornhill again which was really great.  He is doing great, going back up to Utah State when he gets back.  He offered me a possible spot in his house up there, which is still up in the air right now, but would be so fun, and such a great option.  So keep your fingers crossed!

I heard that Elder Johnson is a basketball player...are you two getting to exercise together more now?  -nope, I can hardly move with my current work load, I havent even thought of trying to add more,.

Is this the first time you have lived with only one person on your mission?  Is that weird?
-weird but nice, well its nice because we get along so well, otherwise it would be not so nice! 

New investigators?
-not yet...

Most spiritual time of the week?
- the conference was great!

A time you were influenced by the Holy Ghost?
- Elder Bednar asked us to make our notes more like the “small plates” notes and not “large plates” notes.  He taught us to basically only to record spiritual promptings from the conference and not what he says.  It was a different idea but so rewarding!  I had a lot of little bits of revelation that are so precious.

Well, I love you all so much.  I hope you know that!  I am so tired, so stressed, and just absolutely exhausted...but I'm learning so much.  I know good times are ahead, nevertheless times now are not bad.  As long as I am learning and growing, and more importantly helping those around me to grow then things are all okay.  I love you all more than I can say.  You're the best family.  I hope you know how much I love and miss you.  Thanks for always writing me, it keeps me going!

Love you all,

Elder Bradshaw

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Hello Haatso!!

Dear Family,

Goodbye Tema! 

Taylor saying goodbye to  'Fat Albert'...

Taylor with Godwin...he reminds Taylor of 'Grandpa Bradshaw'

Honestly I really wasn’t sad to leave Tema. 
Yes, I was sad to leave my investigators...but I was ready for a change. 

Tema was a great area, and I had a great opportunity to find and teach some incredible people there.  I have never worked and looked so hard for something.  It was so difficult to find those people, and it literally hot and cold, black and white, there was no middle ground.  You were awesome or you were not, and often we were not. 

I would have been willing to stay...but at the same time I am happy to go.  Hatsso seems to be a blessed area.  It is full of potential...a whole lot of people like Godwin.  Even in just the few days I have been here I have seen that the potential of this area is unlike anything I have previously experienced! 

My companion is great!  He just finished his training and now is so willing to learn and work.  He sucks up all that I throw at him, which is totally different than my last companion, its nice to be appreciated.  It definitely makes me a whole lot more excited to share what I have learned.  His name is Elder Johnson, he grew up in Oregon, did a semester at BYU before he came, and his family now lives in American Fork!  Small world isn’t it!  You will have to see if you guys can go to dinner with them sometime or something, they seem like great people.   (From Kim:  Our doorbell rang last night and there was this super sweet lady, holding a plate of cookies that said...'Hello my name is Emily Johnson...and our sons are companions!'  She stayed to talk for about 30 minutes and we love her...I think Taylor and her son Alex will get along great!)

This area is full of just incredible people and they haven't been taught or even talked to in nine months!  I am so excited to see what is out there for us to find in the upcoming weeks. 

Okay, so before I left, do you remember how I told you that no matter what I didn't want to serve on a college campus?  I thought that in Ghana I was pretty safe. careful what you say...because yep...starting on the 5th of February, Elder Johnson and I are not only responsible for the huge cities of Haatso and Madina...but we are also responsible for 50,000 University students from the University of Ghana!  Aaah!  Stressful, and overwhelming for sure...but also I am now so excited! 

I previously thought it would just be so hard to be walking around talking to a bunch of people that are my same age, let alone they are probably the most uninterested age group of people toward the message that we share.  But now that I look at's a collection of the smartest and most educated people in Ghana!  The University of Ghana is to Ghana what Harvard is to the U.S.  Pretty sweet. 

President asked us to make it one of the main focuses of our teaching, and to really focus more on it than it has been in the past.  Apparently, the same council has been given for some time now, but due to, I guess a desire to get numbers, or to avoid the tough investigators, it has been severely neglected.  Our ward is great!  They are willing to work with us.  They are excited with our game plan of looking for those that are elect, rather than those who just join and fall away...and we have the right team for the job.  Elder Honour and I are back together! Not the same apartment, but the same district and ward, which has been kinda fun!  It's been so amazing to see where we were when we were together a year ago...and to be away for so much time...but then still be able to come together and have learned a lot of the same things.  We've been able to teach together even thought its been so different than when we were together in Koforidua.  It's a difficult thing to explain, but it really built my testimony of how the Spirit is really what teaches us.  Yes, we have our separate experiences, our different companions, but we have the same love for The Book of Mormon, and having based our testimony and our teaching on that, has allowed the spirit to bring us to the same place. 

I feel so scatter brained today, like my email didn’t make any sense, but I am just excited to be where I am!  The area is sweet, my companion is a great guy, my apartment is literally a circle which is a bummer, but I am excited to see where things go.  I have a lot of work to do, a lot of different things to worry about now, but its going to be so great.  I finally have people that understand at a level that makes it fun to teach, not the normal, “does your church drink blood” kind of questions but I can actually share scriptures to prove a point, and they understand!  It's really strange, but so great! are you feeling about this transfer.
-so happy about it!   

What’s your companionship situation?

Apartment situation?
-believe me's about the size of Elli's room....But it doesn't stop there, its a circle.  Like not even kidding!  We can't both be in the kitchen at one time.  You have to open a door, step in, get behind it and then close it.  There isn't even enough room to step to either side ha ha.  It's not bad though, so we can keep it nice and clean.  Which, by the way, I didn't just clean my last apartment like crazy when inspections were coming, I always live like that now.  I told you I was different now. (From Kim:  Taylor sent a picture of a very official-looking certificate signed by his president awarding him and his flat-mates the 'clean apartment award' for the 4th quarter last year!)

Any special reason or instructions from the President for this transfer?
-I'm here for the university, and to change the focus from teaching those in 4x4ft. shacks to 4 story homes.  I'm here to help Elder Johnson to get where he needs to be after a difficult training experience, which again makes me so grateful for my training again.  I have an opportunity to try and by an 'Elder Larsen' in the life of Elder Johnson. And also, I am here to split the ward.

What happened to Elder Nondala and Elder Halavaka?
-Elder Halavaka stayed with Elder Mabizela, and Elder Nondala is with another Elder Johnson still in Tema.

Well I love you all so much!

out of time