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...