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,