Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Week 12 - Still in Provo

Dad's Prologue:

Blake's mom and I are so proud of him. We can see his growth through what shares with us. He has handled challenges and disappointments so well. Blake continues to run into people who knows him or his family. This week it was Brady Adams. Brady was an older youth when Blake was just starting in our church youth program and I was the Young Men's President. Blake looked up to was cool for me to see the two of them a returned missionary and one serving. Both a lot more grown up than the last time they were together 4 plus year ago. And don't blame Blake for the dishwasher mishap. His dad still hadn't learned that until much later in his 30's :). Also, Blake has always loved's hoping his latest creation photographed below brought as many smiles to his face as it did to ours.

Week 12

Well, I just got some news this morning. I am being transferred to a new area, and I will finish out my time here in Provo in a trio! 

Alright- The news of this week. 

Monday- We went to the temple before emailing :) I love going to the temple. The feeling inside :) I know that it is the right place to be, and it was definitely a huge stress relief for me. After I left I felt so much better about everything that is going on. We had piano lessons after emailing. We were an hour late.... Our ride bailed on us so we had to walk 40 blocks to piano. Sister Sikes was mad we didn't call and ask for a ride XD She gave me 4 songs that I will hopefully pass off today :)

Tuesday- We had exchanges... My companion is District Leader so we exchanged with another set of elders in the district. He decided to put me and another greenie together in our area. I basically had to run the area and The Lord helped me so much- I was able to speak spanish to everyone. Probably the biggest time I have seen the gift of tongues in my mission so far. We had service with Brother Moore. We had to shovel manure for him. So gross, and hard work but it was fun. He bought me and my companion new tennis shoes. 

Later we had dinner with Hno Inga. He is a super cool guy, and that is the biggest time the gift of tongues helped me. We talked the entire time in spanish, and the elder I was with never said a word, so I had to keep the conversation the whole time. It turns out he is applying to Medical School. 

We got lost trying to find a referral that the AP's gave us. Here is what we were told "this is her address. We don't know her name, what language she speaks, or if she is a member. go see what she needs" XD it was interesting. They NEVER gave us an apartment number! So we went and stood outside, late after being lost, staring at the doors. Randomly a lady runs out "Misioneros! estuve esparando! Yo necesito un bendicion" So... I got to give a blessing in Spanish haha. que bien.

Wednesday- We were walking down the street and this lady saw us, and we said hello, and she looked at me in the eyes, and sprinted past us. I'm still confused haha. Elder Sanchez finally got an email from his family that night- they are fine and everything is good :) gracias a Dios

Thursday- We went to eat dinner with a super sweet old lady, but there wasn't a man there, so we had to take the food she made us to the old people home dining room XD it was interesting. We were preparing for exchanges the next day- I was so nervous and preoccupied by that.

I also learned the hard way- DO NOT PUT REGULAR DISH SOAP IN THE DISHWASHER. Will attatch pictures haha

Friday- Exchanges- I had to do an exchange with one of the Zone Leaders. they were so great. probably the hardest day of work we have had so far. I was SO exhausted but it was an absolutely amazing day. We literally got handed a $100 bill in the street, and free haircut coupons. It was such a blessing because we were completely out of food at the house.

Our recent convert got new about her cancer... Her first doctor did not surgically remove all of it, and the rest of her lungs have been taken over by the cancer. It is too bad for surgery, and the doctors outright told her that they will do chemo, but they don't think it will work. We are taking her to the temple next week :) 
I definitely learned a lot from Elder Taylor.

Saturday- This morning, we helped a hoarder pack a few boxes. We packed like... 8 or 9 big boxes, and we barely made a dent. the door still didn't open all the way. Just so you know mom, some people have messier rooms than me ;)  I also started making a Paper Bird :) I'll add a picture, because I finished it this morning :) 

Sunday- We had an amazing lesson with a referral named scott. It is amazing to see how the Lord prepares people! He said that he was impressed because our religion doesn't throw it in peoples faces. We taught a Book of Mormon lesson, and invited him to pray and read to know that it is true for himself. I was totally blown away by that response. He has a baptismal date for the 12th of October.

We also walked a TON contacting different referrals before lunch. We have 2 new investigators (including Scott) and 1 potential :)

Monday (today)- I bought ink and a new fountain pen on the way here.. they are so beautiful.. we are in a trio right now because Elder kepoo left to Costa Rica this morning. 

Also, we are finally going to deseret book today. haha.. I hope. Well, thats all the time that I have.

I just want to share my testimony about a few things. I KNOW that our savior and heavenly father are there for each and every one of us. I have felt his love and guidance for me specifically these last few weeks. Everybody struggles, and this gospel, and our savior and father in heaven, can help anybody through anything. The other day during the Temple Dedication I felt a prompting, and a thought from our father in heaven- Christ did not suffer for all of mankind. He suffered for each person individually. It wasn't one event for everyone who did and will ever live, it was for each person, individually. I know that if you turn to our father in heaven, he will comfort you. Like the scripture in Mosiah 24 that talks about Christ making our struggles light, and that he does that so we can stand as a witness for him hereafter. I am here to stand as a witness that our Father and Christ are REAL people who love everyone, and I stand as a witness of this church and this gospel. I know that it was restored by Christ, through Joseph Smith.

HAve a good week :)

Elder Blake Bradburn

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Week 11 - Provo Utah Spanish Mission

Week 11

This was definitely a difficult week! It was very interesting. 

Last Pday was definitely fun :) We went to piano lessons at Hma Sikes house :) She is super awesome. I passed off my song, and my companion didn't. hehe. I get to learn left hand today :) we also met with our first refferal that i have been a part of :) there ended up being 2 investigators, us, and 3 RMs in the lesson... insane.

Tuesday- Last Pday I received some work outs from my old gym teacher! They are crazy hard XD I'll attatch one to this email if I remember at thend end. I almost died and this was day 1. I also had a meeting with president Mccune just to talk about stuff :) it went really well :) actually, while we were waiting, it turned out I had two packages arrive. the first.... gummies! and pistachios! from Gramma :) she is super sweet :) I love seeing the gummies.... they are almost gone. they dissappear so quickly. The Second- A frisbee from mom :) 

Wednesday- Basically, this day I realized how quickly the time actually goes by SO fast. its insane. for dinner today, we had to eat at home :( we called the lady and told her we were the missaries and she sighed and hung up the phone... we are still confused what happened. 

Thursday- Today, we didn't have dinner, but somebody thought they had us, and called and yelled at us. We are confused what happened then as well. IDK why that keeps happening XD oh well.

Friday- We had DTM :) this is where the fun part of the week starts... We went to DTM, and it actually went really well. Afterwards, we went out for district lunch to a chinese restaurant. After we ate my stomach started to hurt. and my companion was already sick, so we had to go back to the house. By that point, I could barely walk. after a call to the nurse, we were confined to our apartment for 24 hours. Turned out my comp probly had the flu, and I probably had food poisoning. I was throwing up all night. It really makes you homesick when you realize you're sick and don't have your mom to feel bad for you XD oh well. So... basically the next few days nothing happened. 

Saturday- We were allowed to sleep in! YES. Basically we showered and then studied and played games all day because we couldn't leave... although we disobeyed the nurse once to go run temple booth because we felt guilty not doing it (elders take turns running the info booth for the new provo temple). We almost died of nausea walking the 1 block from our house to the temple.
To get out of the house, we went out to eat. Someone bought our food, and then on the way back to the apartment, Aunt Sarah came running down the street! That was so awesome :) I loved seeing her :) made my day. Love you aunt sarah!

Sundayyyy- Good day :) I was feeling well enough to get up on time, but my companion slept in. I was so excited for the Ogden Temple Rededication I wanted to go to all 3 sessions of the dedication, but elder sanchez didn't feel well enough to go to the first one. turns out that President Monson went to the first one. would have been cool. (We go to our stake center and it is broadcasted from the temple- The chapels become extensions of the temple and you have to show a reccomend to enter. They say "welcome to the temple" when you walk in. super cool)

They talked about a lot of great things, but what stood out to me the most, was the importance of your temple recommend. Your temple recommends are NOT a ticket to enter the temple. They are a symbol of your willingness to follow the commandments and the covenants that you have made. It is so important to keep a temple reccomend even if you cannot attend the temple. 

One of the apostles related to a story of his grandparents, who were old, and not physically capable of making a trip to the temple. He was the bishop. Once a year he would get a call from them- a call that was different. A call where they called him bishop, to ask for a temple recommend. Remember that our temple recommends are SACRED. ALWAYS know where it is and keep it safe. There was a story of a sister who lost it and was forcefully prompted that she needed to not take it lightly. So my message for the week- Do not take it lightly. It is a privilege and a blessing to hold a temple recommend. 

I love you all and I love hearing from you! Talk to you next week :) anybody can send me email and I'll respond on monday :) love you

-Elder Blake Bradburn

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Week 10 - Provo Utah Mission

Dad's prologue:

We got in touch with the FBI to check on Blake's background check and it is being processed...which is much better than wondering if it got there after it was mailed to them in the middle of August. We are hoping he is 2 weeks or less from heading out to Panama. In the meantime, we can tell he is learning and stretching himself. Send him a quick email...he gets the everyday so, today, you can make Elder Bradburn smile with just a couple minutes of your time!

Week 10

This week has definitely been an interesting one! For those who haven't heard- it looks like my visa and everything is about 2 weeks out. I could get a call any day that I'm leaving. Super excited! This week involved seeing 2 friends, someone who knew my mom, and a few strange homeless people.

Alright! so monday we went to the pawn shop- FINALLY it was open. I walked in and I hear from the desk "Are you the son of Cynthia Lunkley?" turns out one of the managers of the pawn shop is a high school friend of my mother- it is the third time someone has recognized me because I "look like a Lunkley" haha. That was cool. We walk by just about every day and see him. I got a super sweet fountain pen that I am now obsessed with using. I don't even know how fountain pens work but they are super cool. 

We went grocery shopping to buy food for 2 weeks. It was almost $70 worth of groceries and the man in front of us just pushed my companion out of the way and swiped his own card. The people or Provo are super nice to us. People try to give us money and buy things for us all the time. We always get stopped by people offering to feed us or give us rides :P its super cool.

Tuesday- My companion had to go to a leadership meeting... and so what does that mean? They leave me and another greenie in OUR area without our trainers. So me and this greenie had to run our area until 3pm. The other Elder doesn't speak Spanish so it was really interesting. We had a meeting with the Elders Quorum President of our ward to discuss missionary work, and thankfully he wanted to speak in english so that the other elder could understand and offer input. He tried to take us out for lunch, but it turns out elders were free at the restaurant we went to. 

After, a homeless man approached us, and his friend said that he needed a blessing and the man said "no. no. I just need a prayer." and proceeded to kneel at our feet. It was really strange. In the middle of center street in provo, we prayed aloud for a man kneeling at our feet. I'm still confused what happened. Provo is not an exception when it comes to crazy people.

We were late to dinner because of a lesson, and so Hermana Garcia left the food on our door step :) she is super nice. but my companion decided to agree to have a second dinner with a family who took us to mcdonalds. Halfway through dinner, we got a call from the ZLs who said my companion needed to be at a baptismal interview like right then. So... I went on splits with a ZL for teh second half of dinner and the appointment after. I was super nervous but it really wasn't that bad. The Lord qualifies us and helps us in moments of need :) I learned that I am learning and I am new. I can't expect myself to be the perfect elder already. The Lord is helping me to grow. 

Wednesday, we had a district meeting about a possible finding activity (really didn't go well) and wasted a large chunk of our time, and we succeeded in planning nothing. We had to go to the mission office after that to pick up a package. 

NOW- I did not know how bad this was. We got back to the apartment, and I noticed my companion was limping. So I asked him and he said he was fine... I looked at his shoes. turns our he has been walking for 2 weeks with shoes that have huge holes in the bottom and his feet are swollen. I had to FORCE him to call the mission nurse. We were confined to the apartment for the rest of the day and to visit the nurse the next morning. 

Thursday: We went to the mission office and the ZLs were there but someone was already seeing the nurse. Elder Palomares noticed Elder Sanchezs shoes (this shoes the love of our ZLs) and forced him to trade shoes for the day. it didn't end up being that big of a deal, because the mission nurse took us to purchase new shoes. Shoes are so expensive! while we were at the office it turned out that two packages arrived for me while we were there.. a frisbee and gummies from gramma :)

Friday- Zone Training meeting! super awesome. We talked a lot about becoming the Lord's missionaries and how every one we teach, the Lord trusted US individually with. he trusts us individually with their salvation.

It was after that meeting that I realized- I miss Les Mis and Wicked! AHHH. so I've been listening to some of the most "appropriate": music from those musicals. 

Saturday- We met Jack Sparrow at the BYU stadium! We have a picture giving him a BOM. Super cool :) Also, it happened to be the BYU Autumn Classic, the very same high school invitational I ran in 2 years ago! so I was able to pick up a shirt that I wasn't able to get when I ran in the race :) We were given the opportunity to bear out testimonies and the Sharon East YSA Stake- Shout out to Bethany Brimhall- turns out that is her stake :) 

Sunday, the only thing that happened that was really exceptional was taht we talked to a homeless man. although I think he is just "Nomadic" and not homeless. He told us that he is a man of God, and needs to teach us another night XD He said he is a man of God and that We are sinners haha. 

Thank you everybody for your emails and everything :) Remember, as sister Lani always tells us- Faith in every footstep. The Lord is always willing to help us. I've seen so many blessings in my life already. I'm so excited to see the work in Panama :) Love you all! Remember prayer and scripture study. 

-Elder Bradburn

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Week 9

Well.. this week has been a good one. One thing I have learned- when you are in Provo, everybody who is LDS gives you free food or wants to give you a ride! It is super crazy. Me and Elder Sanchez were walking down the road and a Kolache shop (similar to Danishes) called us in and gave us all of the Kolache thingies that they had left on stock! How crazy. 

So starting on.. I think Monday last week, my eye started to get swollen and red and it hurt a lot. We called the nurse and she told me it was probably a sty and that my eye would continue to swell and to put hot packs on it until it got better. I felt so silly walking around and taking pictures with one swollen eye XD I will add some pictures of that at the end.

On Tuesday, I got a camera and a new panama flag :) super cool. The mission office has gotten to know me really well because I'm in there every other day to get mail, drop off my shirts, get new shirts, or to talk to president. We were also informed that the mission had purchased replacement spanish scriptures since mine were ruined when the APs left my luggage in the rain. Sister Caldwell told us to go to the MTC to go retrieve the scriptures. Well, we had a few appointments and things, and then we went to the MTC. When we got there we were informed that the bookstore was closed, so we had to come back another day. It was literally like an hour long walk from our house. We were so upset haha. We were late for an appointment for a baptismal interview because of it. My companion is the Dsitrict Leader so he has to interview all the convert baptisms :) My blister grew 3 sizes that day.

Wednesday! We had a trainer's meeting. It was super cool and president had a lot of good advice for us. A lot of things that will definitely help me now in the mission, and will also help me serve in callings for the rest of my life. He told us a few things about transfers and areas and things and that we are NOT being picked on by him or by the Lord. We are needed for specific tasks. One Elder might lead by being the junior companion his whole mission. Another might be leadership and be Zone leaders and APs their whole mision, while other elders might be area builders and ALWAYS put in struggling areas. Nothing will ever be perfect. We won't always be in the perfect area with the perfect companion. Our struggles help us to grow.
He told us to KNOW WHO WE ARE- and don't compare yourself with others. Have confidence in yourself, because everybody has different talents and skills. But my favorite piece of advice that he gave was this: Be the kind of missionary that your mother things that you are. 

Wednesday we also finally got into the MTC! for all of you who do not know these two facts: I am serving in an ipad mission, so I have an ipad. and second, wednesday is the day of new arrival missionaries to the MTC. Me and my companion were taking a few pictures on our way to the book store with the ipads and one of the sisters with a dork dot (the orange missionary dot that they give new missionaries) ran up and screamed "oh my goodness! Do I get on of those? Is that in here?" I felt so bad having to explain taht we were from the Provo mission and NOT in the MTC XD It was seriously one of the funniest moments ever. 

Thursday was great! We met a guy from Panama who gave me a bunch of advice about how to survive in Panama- including the fact that Panamanians talk REALLY fast. He also said the people are really friendly and like to touch you when they talk haha. I will have to get used to that. 

Friday was a HUGE struggle. We have a baby who lives underneath us who has never cried the entire time I have been here EXCEPT THURSDAY NIGHT. He cried ALL night long. I am SO excited to hve kids now. It is s a struggle to work when you are so totally exhausted. We also had a district lunch on friday :) that was super fun.I also got fish for dinner... fish is the only food that I can't stand, like I almost throw up when I eat it. But I am not mean enough to say I don't like it so I forced myself to eat it. It wasn't that bad, but I still didn't LIKE it. It reminds me that before my mission my dad told me: Once you are set apart as a missionary, you gain the ability to eat anything. I am so very thankful for that gift.

Alright! So saturday. THE BIG DAY. We started out going to do service for Hma Tapia. We helped her build a couch. it took 2 hours and a lot of confusion. however, when we walked in the door, ONE OF OUR INVESTIGATORS WAS THERE. Turns out that they are related. So we got to talk to him a lot while helping him build the couch for hma Tapia. was a really cool experience. One of our investigators got baptizedsaturday night :) It was so amazing. My first baptism. It is amazing to see the change in people after they are baptized! My companion did the ordinance and I gave the talk on baptism- in Spanish. It surprised me how well I was able to communicate the things I knew were important in a language that I barely know. It was amazing to see how happy Maria was after getting baptized :) I'm happy i was able to be a part of that. 

Sunday! we bore our testimonies in church. I was so nervous about the spanish but It always surprises me how the spirit helps me communicate. 

That is all the time that I have for today! I love y ou all so much! enjoy your week :) don't forget to pray :) As we follow the commandments, our father in heaven will help us with our challenges. I have seen that in my spanish and with our investigators. 

Love, Elder Bradburn

Monday, September 1, 2014

Week 8 - Provo Utah Mission

Dad's Prologue:

Okay, if you've clicked the link to follow Blake, you care enough to drop him a quick email at Whether you are a friend, neighbor or just know the family, even a quick note to say hello can mean the world to a missionary. Thanks for reading his blog and please keep Blake in your prayers. Regardless of one's personal faith, we believe in the power of prayer to change lives and uplift people. I'm sure things like this will happen from time to time, but we just heard today from Blake's former Scoutmaster and Deacons Quorum Advisor when we lived in Riverton, Utah. He saw Blake today on the streets of Provo and was able to give him a quick shout. I'm sure that meant a lot to Blake.

Week 8

This week has been great. We had splits with the zone leaders on thursday. Something that I thought was cool (that the Zone Leaders did) and I have started doing is my "small plates". I have my daily journal which is like my personal "Large Plates", and then just a small journal of major life moments and spiritual things, the "small plates".
After Last Pday- So much fun haha. We had to carry our groceries like 2 miles back home. We cleaned up the apartment and we wanted to play ping pong. We had to take apart our studying table and move it to the living room to have space to play. I wish I had been able to get a picture of that. The other Elders came over and we played 4 way chess. Craziest game I have played in my life. There is too much going on to eve nthink about it.
Throughout the week a few tings have happened. I forgot my journal today so I will do my best to remember and keep it in chronological order.
We have an investigator getting baptized this week! I'm excited :) It'll be awesome. On Thursday we had exchanges and I went to the Zone Leaders area. It was super cool. Elder Taylor is crazy inspired. He was just like "Let's walk around the block. I feel like we should." and we got 2 referrals and a subway sandwich. the ZLs get a car, and their area is smaller than ours! I'm jealous. But apparently I might be getting a car, and my comp doens't have a license so they made me a designated driver on Friday. I learned a lot from Elder Taylor. Him and Elder Palomares have a daily miracle board, so I have started one on the bathroom mirror :) It is such a cool idea.
The Moore's have a garden in their backyard and they gave us a TON of grapes and cucumbers from their garden last time we visited :) They are such a blessing. super cool.
On Friday we had zone conference. It was super cool to hear about the things that we learned! We learned a lot about how to use social media because social media is huge in this mission. We also learned a lot about the importance of member missionaries and TEACHING members to help with missinary work. They are a huge part of it. Without the members involvement, our investigators wouldn't go to church. So we learned a lot about administering and teaching members to minister. Don't be afraid to help the missionaries! They need your help! I also had a talk with president about some things that have been bothering me, homesickness in particular. I have a testimony of our priesthood leadership. They have the keys to help us take care of our problems. I haven't been homesick since. So USE YOUR PRIESTHOOD LEADERSHIP. They can help :)
Sunday was an important day. My companion came down sick, but made me wait to call the nurse until AFTER church. So... we went to church. Church is amazing. I cannot understand a word that anybody says in the talks, but somehow I feel like i am wanted there :) It's amazing the spirit that is at church. I have always born my testimony about the importance of going to church and how I would never miss church for any reason. Church is SO important. I love it. Me and Elder Sanchez say hello to every single member every single sunday by my request :) I want to get to know everyone and let them no that the crazy white boy who doesn't speak spanish is their missionary.. haha. It is amazing how patient everybody is with my spanish! It makes me feel better. I feel like I can talk AT people, but I don't understand what anybody else says. but the Lord will help me learn.
After church, we went home and called the nurse and we were given a very strict command: Elder Sanchez needs to rest, so we couldn't go proselyting. So- while he rested, I got a bunch of extra study time, and since we have ipads, we watched The Restoration and some Joseph Smith Papers. Joseph Smith Papers are super interesting! I wonder if I will ever have the opportunity to read them.
Well, it looks like I am just about out of time. I love you all, and I hope you all have a good week. Remember to pray, and read. have your personal "sacred grove" every morning. (sacred grove is what elder taylor called his "personal study time" since actual personal study is intended to study for lessons. I love the idea) We need to be filled daily by the word and guidance of our Father in Heaven. I can see emails every day so dont be afraid to send me little messages or update me on things! Me and Elder Sanchez are going to go pawn shopping.. haha. I'll let you know what I find next week!
Love, Elder Bradburn

P.S. I forgot to add this- I had a huge pick me up this week! We went to go talk to a non member earlier this week. He lives with a member. We walked in, and My old TRC investigator, Jose, was sitting on the couch! It made me so happy. He told me that he appreciates the things that I helped him with and that TRC is not fake- Some of them might be members, but we are actually helping them with real life things. We cried a little bit together. I was so happy to see him. Jose seriously helped me so much. more than I could ever write. He told me some cool things that helped me learn a lot about missionary work and my purpose. He is an amazing guy :)
*This is soooo Blake - wandering the streets of Provo and enjoying nature and God's creations - A little rainbow to make him smile...

Monday, August 25, 2014

Week 6 and 7 - Provo West MTC to the Utah Provo Mission

Dad's Summary:

I think you get about all you need to know from Blake's email below. Blake is doing great and having some cool experiences he wouldn't have it he would have gone immediately to Panama. The best part is that he has a native Mexican companion and that he is able to work on his spanish while he's waiting for his visa to go through. We are grateful to everyone who is praying for Blake. The support that he can get from prayer is like wind in his sail. Drop him an email at He can only respond on p-days but will get emails periodically during the week.

Week 7

alright. First week in the field... it has been interesting. So I'll skip the beginning of the week since that isn't interesting. Basically my entire district left and I had to room with some other Elders...
So TUESDAY! I left at 4pm, and we learned a lot about the mission right off. We were introduced to the president, president mccune. It turns out, it is an ipad mission! super cool. I get my ipad this week :) And I'm allowed to use facebook for MISSIONARY PURPOSES. interesting. I can teach anyone in the world through facebook except people in China (they actually had a chinese elder teaching family in China and the Chinese government got mad).Provo Utah is the mission that they use for experimenting new ideas. So that is why we have facebook and ipads. And they have just released a new initiative in our mission and salt lake, it is only for spanish speaking people. the church has polled spanish non members in our area about things that are important to them and the questions they have. So in provo and salt lake we have NEW pass along cards. they have a question of the soul (who am i, why am i here, how can I be a better father, etc) it is super cool and so effective for spanish people.

I got into the mission with a super bad cold. So I was miserable but excited to be starting.I left my flag behind at the mtc :/ hoping The mission office will work hard to find it. it is important to me. 
Here is the biggest challenge so far- I did not receive any information about my mission ebcause they were not allwoed to contact me. So I didn't know that I needed an overnight bag to take with me. So the solution from the APs- leave it in the truck bed so I can have access to it. Turns out that it rained that night. so here I am, with a really bad cold, not knowing anyone, and everybody else is still with their MTC companion. I wasn't able to check my luggage till wednesday night. I pulled out all my things to discover that the water had gotten into my bags and ruined most of my things. Everything is now dried out but my scriptures, all my letters, and anything made o paper is damaged, but still usable. now to the clothing- Every single white shirt I own (except 2) is stained purple, yellow, and black from the letters and everything that had ink in my suitccase. I didd laundry this morning, and bleach did not solve that problem! so that was difficult to deal with. 

Now on to the missionary work- I met my companion. He is Elder Sanchez. He is from Mexico. We basically dropped off my luggage and went straight to work. The first house we came to, we were looking for a man who was not home, and we invited his grandfather to hear a message about the church, and he just sttarted yelling at us! in spanish! my comp argued with him and i tried to testify several times but could never fnish. That is when I figured out, the very hard way, that I do not understand a word of this language. I am praying for the Lord's help. I can speak to people I just can't understand what THEY say.

Thursday- That was a crazy day. We got up and did our studies and everything, and we had to go to a baptismal interview because my companion is the district leader. We had to WALK to a chapel that was about.... 30 minute walk away. Anyways, after that, we had to run the temple booth (little info booth out front of the new provo temple being built) and we were really late. We hadn't eaten lunch yet, and we didn't have much money. So my companion says he knows a cheap place. For those who speak Spanish- Mi companero es de Mexico y nosotros fuemos a un restaurente mexicano. Yo no supe que to order, and I let him order for me... nosotros comimos tripa y buche.. IN PROVO! what is going on with the world haha. Something that I have also figured out, I am in the UTAH PROVO mission. I didn't realize quite what that means. I got honked at by every other car that drives by, and we walk into places and either get a big discount or they just tell us to take it. Every 30 minutes somebody stops and asks if we need a ride or if we have eaten yet. It is just so crazy!

Friday- We had a district meeting. It was my companions first time as a DL! it was interesting and fun. Later, the hermanas aren't allowed to be inthe building alone, so we had to go to the church building to be with them (we just couldn't be in the same room.. so it seemed kind of pointless to me) and we did weekly planning for almost 4 hours. crazy. We had dinenr that night with the Woores... or Moores... I'm not sure. It is interesting because they are in our ward (it is a spanish ward) and brother woore does NOT speak spanish. so we didn't have to speak spanish. which was nice for me because I'm always dead silent if we speak spanish because I can't communicate. Although it is the opposite in english because my companion doesn't know english very well. But basically, I've decided that they are my family away from home. They are awesome. We are going over totheir house again tonight for a followup meeting :) brother woore is hawiian, and his wife is from.. I'm not sure. but she is latina.

Later we got stopped by a man who wanted to give us a ride.. it was kinda crazy. He is a pizza deliverer/wanne be missionary. He was crazy and had facial hair and like "Hey lets go on splits" it was super awkward. also, later we got to meet with an investigator we have been trying to get in touch with. We taught him for forever and he said that he was hungry for truth, and he said he would pray about getting baptized. we were almost super late that night.

Basically the rest of the week... I have lost my camera. It was in my bag, and now it just isn't. Super sad! I miss those pictures. also, We went to church. I could not understand any of the speakers, and I couldn't understand the classes, but the psirit was awesome and the members were so understanding when I couldn't understand or when I tried to talk. They are so amazing. Also- It was my first time going to Elders Quorum, and we had to teach. in spanish. So crazy. but ya. I finally realize what my dad meant when he told me you will be so frustated about not being able to communicate. It is so much worse than i imagined XD I am trying though.

I love you all! thank you for keeping up on me! The Lord is there for you, to help you through your issues. Our Savior is waiting to comfort us, we just have to ask. I am so very thankful to be our serving the Lord. It is amazing the comfort I've found when I'm feeling down. anyways.. I have to go because we have to go buy groceries. But I love you all! have a good week! talk to you next monday :)

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Week 5 - Provo West MTC

Dad's Prologue:

Well, the biggest news is that we discovered last week that there was a mistake in paperwork submitted, for the second time, that delays Blake being able to get to Panama as scheduled. The Lord wants him in Panama, so he'll get there, it is just going to be another 4-6 weeks. They have temporarily reassigned him to the Provo, Utah Mission. We don't have any more details than that. He wasn't told yet for sure if he will be spanish thinking. We think so and there are a lot of Spanish speaking missionaries in the Provo mission. We sure hope so. He leaves the MTC on Tuesday, August 19 and won't likely have another p-day to write home until Monday, August 25. We won't probably get any additional details about where he is until then.

With all of the problems with his travel plans, we were able to chat via email with him a few times this week. Elder Bradburn sounds overall in pretty good spirits and very excited to leave the MTC and be out in the mission field, regardless of the location, but he is hoping and praying that his paperwork gets sped along somehow. It was clear to us that he is frustrated and disappointed...I imagine when his whole district heads to Panama without him on Tuesday, that will be a hard day. But he said he knows The Lord expects him to work hard wherever he is and he is ready to do just that. He hopes he will understand during the time he spends in Provo, why he was wanted there first.

I know he would love to get some letters so shoot him an email at

August 14, 2014

This week has been interesting! I don't even know what week it is. On Monday, our teachers changed. It isn't supposed to happen, but they decided to swap teachers in every class. So that was saddening. I loved my teachers. I have a pictures of some of them included with this blog.

Anyways... the really dissaponting news. On Friday, (the 8th) I found out that my FBI background check was never completed. Which means... I am not going to Panama. Yet. I have been officially temporarily reassigned to the...... Provo Utah Mission! So I'm not going far. I get my travel info tonight or tomorrow morning. I know that this must be where the Lord needs me. I am needed here to help someone, or there is someone here who can help me. The Lord always has a reason for doing things. I say goodbye to my district on monday. They leave at 4am on tuesday morning, which means I have to be reassigned companions and stay in a different room that night. 

This last week goes by so quickly but so slow at the same time.. We leave in 5 days! (assuming I go to the Provo mission on the same day). It is so crazy. We have in-field orientation tomorrow... which means a very long meeting that goes from after breaktfast until dinner and nobody knows what it is- how exciting. 

I am so excited to start serving real people. Even though I am not starting out where I originally intended, I am absolutely excited. Hopefully, still in spanish. I am hoping one of my first companions is Latino/doesn't speak english. that would help my spanish grow so much.

This week the Zone Leaders had to help out a group of missionaries who arrived last week (on the 6th). They were very dissfunctional, fighting, not staying with companions, swearing, etc. I won't find out until our meeting on sunday if they are doing better now.
I'm adding pictures of our old teachers, on the day we said goodbye, the latino man is Jose, our old "investigator" and some pictures of me and the others.

Bye for now...

Elder Bradburn

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Week 4 - Provo West MTC

Dad's Prologue: In Blake's blog this week and our other communications with him, he is getting so very excited to head out to Panama. He is having trouble with his Visa and so he did not get his travel plans as he thought he would. We are sure he is very bummed about that. If he is unable to leave for Panama on his scheduled date, he has been told he will serve temporarily in Provo until it is completed. 

In his blog this week, Blake mentions his Afton Strong bracelet. For those who don't know, Afton Wallace is a friend of his from Vicksburg, Mississippi who is valiantly battling cancer. Well, here is Blake's Week 4 blog!
Well, this has been an interesting week. I enjoy the MTC, but there is only so much you can learn. I am just so anxious to get to Panama! I get my travel information tomorrow afternoon! So exciting. Man... Spanish is coming along pretty well, but I know that I will not be able to understand anything once I get to Panama. 

Monday we had our first Skype TRC lesson. CRAZY! Me and Elder McGraw taught a man who is currently living in Mexico (sorry dad... I asked if he was in Mexico City and he said he was in the part under california). It was really interesting. I don't like skype lessons... they're just different.
We have our LAST LESSON WITH JOSE TOMORROW! so sad. I love that man. although.... the other day we found out he was a member :( however, I believe his problems are real. He isn't acting.

On Tuesday, we had a devotional review. OH before I go on, I was called to be the District Leader! Anyways... President Pickering pointed out to me that I was wearing an "afton strong bracelet" and asked if I have read the missionary handbook. I said that I have, and explained what the bracelet was and why I wore it, and he said "It doesn't matter how good the bracelet is. You cannot wear it". So, my afton strong bracelet is now around my Missionary Planner. Which I think bothered him a little but he didn't say anything. Now I have to take it off to write in my planner haha. 

At this point I'm just trying to get through one day at a time, because I'm so excited. 11 days to go! Can't wait! 

Also- for those of you who have access to a spanish hymn book, I have discovered a new hymn. hymn number 88 is so so pretty. But it doesn't exist in english!
Well... It is just about time for me to get off the computers. It is crazy how fast time flies! I'm leaving so soon and I feel like I just got here. I know that the work I'm doing is important and I absolutely have a testimony of it. I have a bigger testimony of prayer. I have seen how prayers can be answered, even in this short time. We counted the other day, we say close to 15 prayers everyday. Just try to be sincere in your prayers. We recently had a devotional that said you CAN use the Lord's name in vain even if you are praying. Take your time and sincerely close your prayer. A lot of people just rush through the ending. Remember in whose name you are praying, and ponder it. 

I love all of you! I miss everyone. The next time you hear from me I will be packing my suitcase to get ready to leave! Have a good week!

Elder Bradburn

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Week 3

This past week has been a good one! Our teachers have been concerned about us getting into a "groove" now that we are half way and have started getting a little harder on us. I just can't wait to get out there in the field! It's going to be amazing. I mentioned that to another elder and he said "don't think that way. we are here to prepare to be better missionaries" but I disagree a little. I mean obviously that's true, but I didn't go on a mission to learn in the MTC. I came on a mission to bring others unto Christ and that's what will happen in the field. More learning will happen out there than it ever could in the MTC.

Last thursday we couldn't go to the temple because the temple was closed for pioneer day. So that was sad but we were able to kinda hang out the rest of the day until class. Pdays are SO much needed. And I've realized that pdays are almost just as busy. 

Class days... I just don't think I have enough time for personal study! We usually get about 2-3 hours a day and it just isn't enough. At home I could never have read scriptures for that long. It's just crazy. 

Well.... Sunday we had a devo from... well I forgot. But sunday was the first time we had films AFTER the devo. We watched characteristics of christ by Bednar. It's an absolutely amazing talk. 
Tuesday we had a devo from Elder Groberg! You know, THE groberg from the other side of heaven movies? Crazy cool! Our MTC campus has first dibs on front row seats so its awesome :)
we have passed the halfway point. We only have 19 days left here in the mtc. I can't wait to get to the field. One of our elders is super upset about the fact that we don't learn about our country's culture. Which i agree is dissapointing but we will learn that eventually :) I have to memorize the First vision in spanish.... so far I have " vi una columna de luz, mas brillante que el sol, directamente arriba de mi cabeza. esta luz descendio hasta descansar sobre de mi. al r" and that is all I remember. That's only like the first half.

We got our first "real" investigator earlier this week. It's interesting because they are supposed to be actors or whatever pretending to be investigators, and some of them are members and some aren't. So it is like a game to try and guess whether your investigator is or not. I don't think my investigator is a member. We have such spiritual talks with him, it's amazing. I want to baptize him haha.

Things are going well. I started a study journal which is AMAZING. such a good idea. It's not just like a regular take notes of everything. You color pictures and stuff of spiritual things and its super cool. I will post some pictures so that everybody can see an example. My personal goals for the mission are in the first page, and they will be in order. 

It is crazy how often I feel the spirit. It's just... it isn't home. It is so much different. Everything I do is focused on Christ, or helping others to come unto him. I am TIRED ALL THE TIME. I get more sleep than i got at home! It's "brain work" and that is why its difficult. Teachers NEVER speak in english, so im constantly translating in my head. 

Another teacher said that the difficult languages don't have teachers in that language. The teachers are assigned to that class, if they can't find someone who speaks that language. They say "I don't know this language, so I can't teach it" and the response from the MTC is "then teach in english". Our teachers tells us all the time that his purpose is NOT to teach us spanish. It is to help us realize our purpose which is to "invitar a las personas a venir a cristo al ayudarlas a que reciben el evangelio restaurado mediante la fe en jesucristo y su expiacion, el arrepentimiento, el bautismo, la recepcion del don del espiritu santo, y el perseverar hasta el fin" I don't know what it is in english, but that literally translates to "invite all people to come unto christ by helping them recieve the restored gospel through faith in jesus christ and his atonement, repentance, baptism, recieving the gift of the holy ghost, and perservering to the end".

I know why I am here, and I know what I'm doing, and I know what kind of missionary I want to be. I am doing the Lord's work. I don't know spanish very well, but that is absolutely ok because I am not the teacher. The spirit is. I am a vessel for the spirit to touch people's hearts and bring them to the truth of this gospel. 

I miss everyone, but I know that I am doing something important. I am devoting my life right now to the Lord and there is nothing I would rather do.

Elder Bradburn

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Week 2: Provo West MTC

Dad's summary: Blake sounds like he is doing well in all his emails. It looks as if he will stay in Provo for all of his MTC experience and not go to Mexico. 

WELL, Things I've discovered so far: Workout clothing is important. We get an hour to workout everyday and I only have 2 pairs of workout clothing. I've also discovered there are a few different kinds of missionaries here. 

1: the type who follow every rule and shun you if you start singing a song or tell a joke, 
2: the kind who don't study whatsoever because they say that "the Lord will bless me and I'll magically be able to speak spanish without doing my part" and 
3: the kind of missionary who maybe doesn't follow every but still knows to study and get his work done. 
Our teacher said last night and I paraphrase, "Don't get complacent. You can see the 4 or 5 week missionaries who think they know everything and that they don't need to study or whatever, but really, they are brand new missionaries just like you. They don't know ANYTHING. Follow the rules, but don't be sticklers on every little thing. On my mission, I followed every rule exactly, and I never had any fun. I was miserable for the first few months of my mission."

This last week has been pretty good. It's hard to remember every little thing that goes on, because there is so much that happens, and our days are so long. After the update last week, I went to the Provo Temple and it was GREAT. I love the temple so much, and its so much different going through for someone else. 

That weekend, we had church and a devotional. TC CHRISTENSEN CAME TO GIVE THE DEVOTIONAL. Coolest thing ever. He talked a lot about certain scenes from the moves he has directed, and give insight about some of the behind-the-scenes. He said he didn't direct Testaments, but here is a story about it.  He said Gordon B Hinkley told the director that he wanted ONLY worthy church members to be in the movie. and the director, of course, said ok. I'll do it. and he tried, and it was hard, because there are so few church members, who are active and worthy, who are also actors. but he did it. and he gave President Hinkley a showing of it, and at the end, he said, Pres Hinkley... I tried so hard... I found a worthy church member for every part but 1. He said " I just couldn't find an active, worthy church member who could play a part that evil and sinister" ....

If you sit down for more than 20 minutes here, it is a struggle not to fall asleep because WE ARE TIRED ALL THE TIME. La obra de misional. Not trabajo. La obra. Our teacher described the difference but I didn't quite get it. Trabajo is like... manual labor work and obra is more like... like missionary work. I love love love church. The way they do talks is EVERYBODY writes a talk and you don't know who is going to speak until they announce it in sacrament meeting. Two missionaries give 5 minute talks in spanish and then one of the church presidency members give a talk to fill the rest of the time. One of the other branch presidents gave a talk about missionary work and he put it into such easy terms. I wish I had my notes with me, because it was a great talk. He essentially broke down every lesson into this "1. everybody has the knowledge of right and wrong. YES EVERYONE. 2: Everybody must repent. EVERYONE. 3: EVERYONE must be baptized 4. Everyone must receive the gift of the holy ghost and 5. YOU ARE CONDEMNED IF YOU DON'T DO THESE THINGS. But we don't teach the last point. The spirit teaches it." His words are obviously more eloquent than mine.

Monday was just another long day. When you go back to school, you get those "mondays" that are so horrible, but here there is no such thing. Everyday is the same, except sunday. Eat, class, study, eat, class, study, eat, class, study, daily planning, go to bed. And we throw a game of uno in there sometimes before bed.

Yesterday, we talked a lot about what kind of misisonaries we wanted to be. It was very spiritual and I loved it. 

Elder Bradburn

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Week 1 - Provo West MTC

Dad summary: Week 1 is in the books! Clearly, this is harder on Blake's parents than on him. Here is a summary of his letters and emails this week. For those who want to contact him, using appears to be the best right now as long as he stays in the Provo West MTC. He said in his most recent letter that he may be transferred to the Mexico City MTC in two weeks. Any email sent through by noon Utah time, he will get that same evening. Use his unit number, 839, in the space where that is asked for. I know he would love to hear from you!

Week 1 - Provo West MTC

Hola Familia! My first two days have been amazing. Me and my companion, Elder McGraw, is awesome and we get along very well. Really, our entire district gets along very well. I have already witnessed the gift of tongues. A couple of Elders in our district were stressing about making a perfect lesson for our investigator. We have to teach una mujer named Alma and she doesn't speak English. They were looking up so many different words. I was prompted to share with them that we didn't need to do that. We would have no idea what what we were saying. I suggest that the four of us have a prayer and testimony meeting completely in spanish and it was a little difficult at first but it went very well. We also read the first vision in spanish and english. It helped a lot, and I can tell the four of us have started seaking a lot better since then.

Me and my companion have organized several group prayers and I think it helps a lot to pray as a district. Back to the spanish - I just think it is so important that we focus on the words we know, and studying the Gospel. I think that as we follow and learn about Christ, the faster we will speak spanish and be blessed. As we do that, in spanish, I thin kwe will catch on to teaching and the language a lot easier. Rather than trying to develop the perfect message, we need to focus on the Spirit and our Savior in spanish AND in English, and as we do, we will grow.

As I said, the MTC is great. A few of the other Elders are a little stressed but I am absolutely loving it.

There are these huge inflatable domes that have sports fields in them. I'll send pictures on P-day. We get an hour everyday to play basketball/life weights/run, but if you want to shower before class, you have to leave early.

Ayer fue muy dificil pero nosotros volvemos al apartamentos anoche y nosotros decimos much sobre familia. Nosotros tambien comemeos cinnamon rolls!

The MTC is pretty great. Dear Elders are awesome and I love getting them! 
Wednesday was an interesting day, being brand new. I missed orientation and literally just went straight to class without any material or anything. We were given orange dots on your name tags so they could see who was new, but we got to take them off that night. Thursday was day two of orientation, and that's when I realized the days were SO LONG. We work 16 hours a day, except on Tuesdays, we get up an extra hour early to do service at 6 am. 

Friday- I am super lucky I already knew a little bit about spanish because on Friday we had to teach our first spanish investigator who didn't know english. We taught her friday, saturday, monday, tuesday, and wednesday was our last day. We get a new investigator on monday. Friday I kinda fell into how things worked. The days ARE SUPER LONG, but the weeks go by fast. It made me SO happy to see all the new elders arrive yesterday because I didn't feel so new anymore. 

Sunday was great, we didn't have any real 'work' to do, but we were super busy with churchy activities all day. It was a nice difference from breakfast, class, lunch, teach investigator, class, dinner, class. Although a lot of the time class turns into personal study time. 

Today I'm super excited because it's our first PDAY. We are planning to go to the Main Campus book store because its bigger than the one here, and then we are going to go to the temple, which will be AWESOME. but then we have class again after dinner.

Our district gets along super well. Especially the elders who stay in our apartment. We were talking about girls and stuff past bedtime last night. I think thats two rules broken XD. Don't tell anyone.

We got called to the main campus travel office but we didn't realize and we went to the West Campus travel office and they didn't really know any info... All the Panama people had to show their passports to make sure they were correct and legal. The hermanas found out from Emily that IF our FBI background checks clear in the next 2 weeks we WILL get transferred to the Mexico MTC. So fingers crossed. Don't get me wrong, I love my district, they're awesome, I love the food, I just feel like it would be a much neater experience to be able to go to Mexico. I haven't used all my emailing time so I'm hoping that Ill be able to find some time to come and post a few pictures on here because I forgot my camera cord.

We had an awesome devotional about loving the people we teach.  And how important it is listening to the hymns. Watching the sign language missionaries try to sing in sign language, I realized what I really am. I am a missionary. I never really thought about it. I am the person who everybody is praying for when they pray for the missionaries. It is a super humbling feeling.

Until next Thursday, 

Elder Bradburn

Monday, July 7, 2014

        For those who don't know, I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Throughout my High School career I have prepared in many ways to serve a mission for my church. I have been called to serve a 2 year mission in the country of Panama (a small country in Central America) and I will preach the gospel of Christ in the Spanish language.
        I am so excited to serve the Savior in Panama. It's crazy to me how fast time has flown and how much I've grown in preparing to serve. I first got my call almost 90 days ago, and in what seems to be the blink of an eye, I am now only 38 hours away from leaving my home and family. It still hasn't quite hit me that I am actually going to be a missionary! I am absolutely excited to serve the people of Panama. I am excited to put everything aside and devote my life completely to the Savior and his work. It is going to be a very difficult but very uplifting and spiritual two years.
        As I will not be allowed access to social media, my dad will copy and paste my weekly emails home to this blog.
        All of my contact info will be on the right side of these posts. Please feel free to write emails or send me letters :)
        Good luck to all family and friends over the next two years :) The Lord will bless you in everything you do. Goodbye for 2 years! :D