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 Clarke...at 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. 

Well...my 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
investigators...so 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!!
Yeah...my 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