Tuesday, March 24, 2015

March 16 and 23

March 16

I dont even know how many weeks I have in the mission... this is like.. week 10 in panama or something. I dont know. 9? Someone else do the math, I dont have the time right now XD 

Well... tuesday and Wednesday are one entry... I got a little distracted tuesday night and wasnt able to write in my journal. We started divisions! I went with Elder Ah Sue, probably my best friend in the mission right now. It was super fun XD 

Me and MArtinez set up a plan to just go contact for 6 hours of the day and Ah Sue didnt like that. He told me a new plan- We were going to say a prayer, and the first name that popped into my head, we would visit. So... for 6 hours we said prayers and then followed promptings to find people to talk to. That was so amazing! I dont think there was a lot of real success in that time, but I definitely helped me learn about the importance of the Spirit in the work that we do.

that night.... we went back home a little early because our area is a little dangerous, but not before we stopped buy a Chino to buy a gallon of ice cream and supplies for a milk shake.. and chips and cookies XD. and we proceeded to play Uno and drink milk shakes till lights out. 

sooo... the following didnt happen. Shhh. Those of you who know about missionary work, its a rule that lights out is 1030. But when 2 gringos get together for a while... we end up talking about life and deep doctrine until 3 or 4 AM XD and then wake up at 600 XD the next day was rough because of that.

Wednesday.. we found a very amazing thing called the Area Book. Everyone who has ever been taught in our area, has a teaching record in this magic book. Well... if the missionaries were good missionaries. and... low and behold... 6 months ago there were sister missionaries. sooo... we have a billion teaching records of people who were forgotten about in the swtich to Elders. so the work is cut out for me in this area :) We went searching for all the people, but its hard in panama because we have to follow hand drawn maps that missionaries drew in the teaching record, because panama doesnt use addresses. 

and then re read the previous statement about milk shakes and staying up late and re insert it here. 

Thursday- Ended divisions.. sadly. I had enough confidence sparked by Ah Sue to keep us working.. somewhat. My comp has been really down since then.. dont know why. But we did teach this girl named Linda! Shes an old investigator that we happened to contact and asked that we go teach her :) So we passed by on accident and taught an impromptu lesson. Shes super super prepared for the gospel! But.. I think her mom is going to cause complications.. She really likes to talk and isnt so enthusiastic about our message. So we will see :) 

Friday- There was a leaders meeting for my comp :) how fun. I hung out with all the other missionaries who dont have leadership callings XD I also recieved my mission card! finally! but... it doesnt have money on it. I talked with Elder Bird, my good friend in the office, and he forgot to put my quinsenna on the card. Soo.. Im broke till friday XD I can do hard things. 

Saturay- Super fun day! We had a zone service XD Everybody in the zone got sunburned... I didnt know latins could get sunburned! Not trying to be rascist I just didnt know XD My comp and Elder Ah Sue took turns with a hacha... uhm.. with an axe chopping a masive tree in half. it took them 6 hours XD holy cow. The rest of us made an assebly line to help move other wood into a pile in an area that was safe to burn the wood. It was sos much fun XD We finally finished at 3 and took a zone trip to the Mcdonalds. so fun XD Im still burned. On sunday all the members called me tomatoe because my face is super red XD 

That night at 5 we met up again to go on divisions to do a less active member rescue as a zone in someone elses area.. we went with members but I got put ina atrio of elders. Me, elder campos (ZL) and elder rodriguez. Super fun! It was nice to teach with other missionaries. 

Sunday- uhm.. the positive way to look at it.. I listened to a lot of conference talks and read like 10 chapters in the BOM. Also... our power went out XD twice in one day. How fun. 

But ya :)

Monday- Today was super fun! Me and my comp went to san carlos to go hiking :) It was super pretty :) I love hiking. Up in the mountains, its really cool. like climate wise. I hope at some point I get put in a cooler area XD 

Anyways.. I learned something this week that I want to share. Elder Eyring (I think) gave a talk about the challenges we go through. He says many of us make the mistake of asking for challenges to pass from us. But what we need to pray for us that "the cup might pass before us, but the will of the father be done, and drink the bitter cup". He will help us through any challenges we have. He knows what is best, and I know whatever happens this week, if we have transfers, that it is the will of the Lord. 

I love you all! have a great week :) 3 weeks till conference!

March 23

This week has been great! I got a new companion :) His name is Elder Mejia and he is a really hard worker, and really clean :) ya hes cool :)

Tuesday- We got the phone call for cambios at 1 AM. I have officially decided that there is no phone call, even that one, that the phone needs to be on at 1 am XD from now on Im turning the phoen off at bed time XD

We then spent the whole day in the temple :) I love going to the temple! And we got home at like 10 PM :)

Wednesday- Well... my companion left at 7, and I was left with the Elder Figueroa to wait for our companions. Sooo... We picked up my companion at 9 and then went to Figueroas house to help him clean up. LAter, we had a lunch and an apointment in my area that we had to go to, so we went back to our area, and dropped off my companions luggage. During lunch, we got a phone call that there was a missionary all by himself that we werent expecting because he took a bus to Chorerra, and not to the bus station. So we had to quickly go find him, because he didnt have a phone XD We spent like 30 minutes trying to find him, but we finally did! Elder Hoeft! from my district in the MTC :)

When we finally got home, My companion said the house was to messy. So whats the first thing he did? Took off his tie, his shirt, and told me to do the same. We then continued to take everything out of the houseand clean EVERYTHING. oooooh the house is so clean now. There was a rat living in my old companions droor... where he kept his clothes.... uhm... gross. Also, there was a dead bird under his dresser. GROSS!

Thursday- We had a zone meeting to  introduce the zone, and then we went back home. We had 2 lessons, but one fell through. The lesson we had was with a cool menos activo named Solustiano Arcia. He is a super cool guy :) He gave us some kind of strange fruit that Ive never heard of or seen in my life XD It was good though :)

After, back to work cleaning. And when we finally finished, (or so I thought) My companion said we needed to go buy supplies to clean. So we went and bought things to organize the apartment, and cleaning supplies. but we finally did finish cleaning.

Friday- We went getting to know the area all day, taking my companion to the houses of every member that I knew of who lived in our side of the area. Super fun, having short little lessons and talking with the members :) We really have a cool area :) We also had to rush to do a baptismal interview for the sisters.

Satuday- I realized... That when you goZ from not working, and studying a ton every day, to actually working hard, it really taxes you. Im super tired all the time, but Im glad we are working. Satuday and Sunday my spanish was super hard because I couldnt focus or think straight. Im super stressed, but working hard, and happily :)

We had another meeting in the stake center with al the missionaries, but we had to leave early for the baptism and to do the second baptismal interview for the sisters. But the mom wouldnt give permission for the girl to be baptized :/ entonces there was only one baptism. All the missionaries noticed something different about me and mentioned it- I look a lot happier now that Im working XD and me and my companion get along really well. I think he gets frustrated with my spanish, but we get along really well. 

Sunday- I was super exhausted. I couldnt stay awake through church. It was super crazy. Ive never been so tired in my entire life. I feel like Im not sleeping as well as I should be XD ITs just the stress and readjusting to actually working. I also talked members of the bishopric about the area, because I dont know it that well and they told me straight up- You really dont know the area that well. What did you do for 8 weeks with Martinez? and it was awkward to explain that my companion didnt want to work, but they essentially told me that now a lot of thinsg made sense and that they are here to help me get to know the area.  super cool :) I also went on divisions with members of the bishopric to get to know less actives who live in our ward :)

We finished our day going to the dinner. We heplped the hma cook, and talked all about mission stuff and her mission and everything. it was super fun :) We asked to sing a hymn but she said no because she didnt feel the spirit. I carefully asked if everything was ok, and she said no and started bawling. I still dont know whats wrong but she asked for a blessing. MY companion gave the blessing, and she seemed to feel better. 

I really love the members of our ward!

also today, super fun, we got a random call that changed our pday plans- President Carmack called the Zone Leaders and told them that he wanted to have a zone activity with us! Super fun :) We played capture the flag and everything :) we all got super tired out and sister carmack gave everyone cookies :) It was a lot of fun.

Anyways, thats all I have for today :) The Lord brings us blessings! Just remember- Do what you can to continue progressing in life. REading scriptures, going to church, and everything. Because sometimes you have to fight for your own spiritual time. and other times, like now, Im working hard. Our life is filled with roller coasters and our situations are always changing. Just remember the Lord is there for you :) 

I Love yall! talk to you next week :)

Monday, March 9, 2015

March 2 and 9

March 2

Well... Another week down. I cant believe its already march! Where does the time go? seriously. I hit my 5 month mark on thursday... Ive been here in panama for almost 2 months. Its hard to believe how fast time flies.

This week was a lot better for me, emotionally. It was still difficult though. I focused on changing my perspective. Im not here for myself, Im here for others. And with that change of thought, and forcing myself to think that way, I saw a lot of improvemtns in my attitude as I tried my hardest to serve my companion and focus on the people I was serving. 

Tuesday- We went to a service :) The Hma Kaira lives on this big hill that everyone always gets exhausted on... like halfway up. So me and my companion went to mae stairs in the hill! We worked hard for 2 hours picking stairs into the hill, and still didnt finish. We even went back wednesday, and there is still more to do eventually. 

We had a lesson that night with an investigator named Yohan. He is a super cool kid who is my age (18). Hes been investigating the church for over a year.. He comes to church, reads the BOM, but still doesnt feel ready for baptism. We talked with him about it. After talking with him, me and my companion both feel that it isnt his time for baptism. But it will come :) I hope Im here to see that day!

Wednesday- We recieved a call at 7 am... that president was coming to our stake center to conduct missionary interviews. Ahh! talk about a change of plans. We went to the service, and had to sprint home in order to shower and get ready on time. We lost our whole day from 11 until 5. It takes 6 hours to interview 22 missionaries XD well... our zone is half sisters... he finished sister missionaries at 330 XD (sisters always have emotional problem to talk about... I didnt say that XD)

We talked about my concerns and what Im doing to help my area. I also asked for a blessing of comfort. It was super cool, and Im thankful that I asked. President is definitely an amazing man. He told me that I could achieve some of the things I was working towards personally (I didnt tell him, but he specifically mentioned them in the blessing) and told me that I will be able to quickly dust myself off when I become discouraged. 

After, we lost the rest of our night because the sisters were sick and we had to take them medicine. I swear the whole missionary world is sick.

Thursday- We went to the house of Hma Kaira again... but we didnt make stairs. I was a one man video and photo taking crew for her instructional video on how to make empanadas and other things for a stake activity. I apparently have the best camera she has access to, and I take a lot of pictures so she asked me to stay and take the pictures and videos for her XD It turned out alright because we got empanadas and Chicheme out of it :)

Later, we went to visit Romero and Wrigley to do.... DIVISIONS. me and Wrigley came to our area. We werent able to get a lot of work done the two of us, because we started divisions so late in the day, but we were able to contact and find 2 new potential investigators :) We also met with a really cool blind lady named Hma Edith. She went blind 4 years ago due to a messed up eye surgery. super sad. There is a chance her vision will come back. sShe was baptized 2 years ago, but has gone inactive for the past year. She even went through the temple! she basically went to the temple and then went inactive after. Super sad, but she has a very strong testimony. Her life is very hard and its difficult for her to make the trip to the chapel without her sight.

Friday- Capacitaciones! and ending divisions. It was nice being with a gringo for a while XD not to be racist. It was just nice to be able to work with someone who speaks english.

We went to visit Joel :) He didnt feel ready for baptism, so we had to change his baptismal date to the 14th. He also showed us his telescope and we looked at the moon and the stars. Telescopes are super cool man! I want one XD 

Saturday- A little bit of a diffcult day. There was a lot of pereza (basically a disease called laziness) going around. We went with the Hmas to visit a few people and then our plans to break the pereza fell through... so the pereza continues XD 

At 2 we got a call from Romero that Wrigley was sick... So we had to go to their area to bring medicine and stuff. And when we arrived, my companion started to get sick XD So we were stuck there till 5. Me and Romero went to contact a little bit and to go buy medicine and dinner. After that We had an activity called "the Niht of White" basically, in all of the zone there were 15 baptisms in one day, so we did them all together. It was super spiritual and cool. It started 2 hours late XD hashtag latino culture. (spanish keyboards dont have hastgas)

Sunday- Sunday was awesome :) started of slow. I was sick in the morning so I slept in. I had the same thing that wrigley had the day before. Im starting to really feel comfortable in the ward that im serving in. I better not leave this change XD I dont think I will, as I only have one change here. 

Later we went to the temple :) We went as a zone, and were supposed to bring investigators and everyone who got baptized, but there were really only the missionaries, and 2 familes there. It was still spiritual though :)

MONDAY-- today we went to cosco antiguo again :) super fun. I spent more money than I should have XD I need to make a better habit of spending money. things I need and dont need... I also took a bunch of new pictures XD 

Well I think thats it for this week :) I was a good week even though it was a little slow. The Lord answers prayers :) I love yall! have a great week :)

Vaya con Dios :) 
Dios les bendiga :)
-Elder Blake Bradburn

March 9

ahhhh! I saw a sloth this week on divisions! super legit. they really do move really slow.. in spanish theyre called... something perezoso... something lazy. I dont remember the other word XD

anyways on to my tales of this week :) 

Tuesday... great day :) It started off a little frustrating, but got a lot better because we went on a ward temple trip :) man I love the temple :)Also in the morning my comp cut his own hair XD I helped cut the back... it doesnt look too bad but I dont have enough trust in him or myself to do that XD

we didnt get home till 10 so theres not much else to say about that day :)

Wednesday- we went in the morning to meet the leaders of the ward of hermana stuki because their area is struggling :) it was cool. later we went to pass out Proclamations to the world for contacting :) it was fun. people are very interested in a proclamation to help familes! annnd we had a ward volleyball match with the ward and some investigators later that night :)

thursday- we did divisions with the elders in our district again :) Romero came to my area. Super pritti maaaan. Hes a cool elder. He had to go home for health problems, so he and i went through some similar experiences with that. We get along very well. We got lost a few times but its all good XD we laughed about it. 

I never realized before how many missionaries have had very hard lives before the mission. Its sad but amazing that they are willing to sacrifice to help others in a mission :) 

friday- friday was weekly planning so there isnt a whole lot to talk about about that. we made plans.... or i made plans.. for the area and my companion either said yes or no. soo.. we have some interesting plans for the week. at least we have plans this time.. XD 

Saturday- we had service for Hermano miguel :) his yard was super dirty and he had scrap metal all over... we worked for probably 4 or 5 hours at his house. 
it was super fun :) I was worked id get cut by rusty metal and get tetanus... but ÇI didnt get cut.. so i live! nobody worry.

LAter we went to Los Altos area as a zone to do a less active saving activity... the branch attendance on sunday was... over 170. previously was in the 60s. huge change! team work man, team work :)

Sunday- Well... oh! sunday. There is a lady in our ward who grew up in the united states but has always moved around from country to country and state to state her whole life. she is spending her time in our ward right now, and saturday night she fell and sprained her ankle, and probably broke her nose and damaged her face pretty badly. She walked all the way to the church building from her house to ask for a blessing. Specifically, a blessing from me because I speak english, her strongest language. It was an amzing expereince. It was testimony building to see the transformation in the way she walked and even the expression on her face after the blessing I gave. The priesthood is real, and priesthood blessings are real! Im so very thankful that I hold the priesthood of God (or the power of God according to his will)  and that I can help other people like that :) 

I was able to find time to go through liahonas to find pictures to decorate the apartment and to find little games and toys to make :) Super cool :) I just need to find cardstock to mount some of the stuff :) Little projects like that help to destress me. I think Im going to start getting back into some origami 

Monday- today!!! we met as a zone in the stake center and all the mexicans in the zone cooked mexican food for lunch and we played a bunch of games and stuff :) I love doing stuff with the zone! 

Anyways.. thats all I have for this week. I love serving the people here! Im also learning how to work through my struggles. Things arent easy here, but life after the mission wont be so easy either, getting married and starting a family, college, and everything. Im learning how to work through things even when its tough. The key- PATIENCE AND FAITH. and scriptures study and prayer :) scripture study and prayer bring testimony and faith.. they build our faith do endure those trials :) 

Dont forget to read and pray!

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Dios les bendiga :)