Wednesday, October 28, 2015

October 26

Well.. this week was pretty crazy for me. We went on divisions to get
them out of the way, and me not knowing the area super well, i was the
one to leave. Which isnt that bad but i basically spent a week living
out of a bucket xD (I travel with a 5 gallon bucket... they are easier
to carry than a bag, and they can work as a seat if you need one, and
they float.. so my luggage wont sink with the boat)

Anyways :) Tuesday morning I got on my way out to Nargana! I stayed
out there with Elder Taylor. Things were pretty good out there.
Nargana is a good island, and like Ive said in the past, its a little
more city than the rest. there arent many traditions, the people dont
walk around in traditional clothing, and they dont speak the language.
But I have some friends out there so it was nice to be there for a

That day we worked in their area, and we contacted a less active
member sometime that afternoon when we helped him dump water out of
his sunken canoe (canoes dont sink.. they just fill with water and
float under the surface..) and he said we could go back to teach him
later that night. We went back later, and that lesson was amazing :)
him and his family were like the postercard of a happy, church going
family :) the only problem is he works in the city  ( although he
attends church there) and his family is inactive. but he doesnt spend
enough time around home to be able to take them to church :/ it was
great though.

in the lesson, they gave us a corn flake drink, and afterwards taylors
stomach started to feel bad. So we ended our night there, and he ended
up throwing up later that night. Needless to say, he wasnt feeling
well enough the next day to go out and work. So we hung around close
to home and talked about our missions and life and our families :)

Then, on Thursday, I took a boat back to Playon, to take another boat
with Barker to head back to Irgandi. Ive never been out there
before... first thing we did when we got there, was bathe, In Irgandi,
the missionaries bathe in the river. so does everyone else in the
village. so you can imagine the difficulty of that... When we were
there, a man named Crespo was there. Crespo is an old wheel chair
ridden man that the missionaries help bathe and get dressed and
everything. He wasked us to come by later and play dominoes with him
before we got him ready for bed. so after we bathed, we ate dinner,
and then went to talke with Crespo :) Hes a cool guy.

In spanish, the word "ganar" means to win. you conjugate it like this
in past tense I- gane. you- ganaste. he-gano. we- ganamos. yall-
ganaron. and every time Crespo won at dominoes he would yell
"ganaste!!" xD he was a cool guy.

Friday morning we made the long long walk to Ukupa. basically, we
walked along the beach for an hour hauling our luggage to the other
village. Ukupa, and irgandi, are both basically camping lifestyle.
they live in the church, but the churches there are a little run down.
when you have to go to the bathrrom (irgandi had working toilets) you
pop a squat behind the building, over near a hole in the trees and
stuff. some mysterious way, the poop disappears before the next time
someone uses the bathroom.. we think its the crabs...

Friday we worked hard. Ukupa and Irgandi are both very traditional,
and friday night there was congress at 5, so we had to stop teaching
early :/ but we were able to visit some great people. including a man
that let me play his guitar :)

xD my flips flops are falling apart (they actually broke this morning)
and they have holes in them and just look bad. and an investigator
told me "elder. you have money. buy yourself some better flip flops"
xD it was really funny.half the time i go barefoot because the flips
flops dont do much. but now they broke.. so i guess im forced to buy
some new ones.

Saturday, was District Conference in Ustupu (the equivalent of stake
conference). soooo.. we all headed out there. From Ukupa... we took a
canoe with a 15 horsepower motor on it. with like 25 people in the
canoe. plus luggage. The poor driver thought we were going to sink. So
did I. Buuuut. eventually we made it. after 5 hours. In a normal boat,
which has at least 135 horsepower, it takes like an hour and a half.

Once in Ustupu, all my old people there basically attacked me running
down the street :) it was like a mosh pit with me in the middle :) Man
I missed everyone there.  Conference went well, and it was sad to
leave, but Im glad I got to see everyone again :) It was also nice
getting to talk with President Carmack about stuff with the zone and
everything. hes a great guy.

we left sunday afternoon, and they literally had to drag me into the
boat because all the people from ustupu wouldnt let me leave xD they
kept holding me back. Im hoping ill get to visit again later :)

Anywways. thats pretty much my week :) It was crazy busy, a lot of
fun, and all over the place. buuuut. im glad to be on my own island,
in my own area, and able to work with my own companion for the whole
week. We have no plans until next week :) its great.

Im so very greatful for the opportunities that the Lord gives me to
serve him, and his children who need to be brought unto Christ. Im
greatful I can share the gospel with so many people and bring a light
to their lives :) Im also greatful for the opportunity I have to help
the other missionaries in my zone, and help them work in their areas
and help them with any problems they have. Its just great :)

Ani nuedi :) Pab dummad an bendaisa bastante :) love you all! yall
have a great week, and dont forget to pray. or go to church. or to
read your scriptures. or any of the other commandments. It will bless
your lives :) I promise. Ive seen it in a lot of peoples lives :) talk
to you all next week! chauuu! nadeeee

-Elder Bradburn
AKA Elder Braboon or Machi Siniqua

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

October 19 - Playon Chico

Well... This was the city week. Not a whole lot of missionary
interesting things happened, but we were super busy all week. We flew
in on Tuesday, and I was able to email, but the craziness started
Wednesday. Wednesday all the new guys in the zone showed up to the
Assisstants house, and we gathered all the money for the zone and
divied it out to the elders. We luckily had a representative for every
island in the zone, except Ustupu, so the burden was a little lighter
on our heads this change :)

Wednesday, we went to buy everything we needed in Albrook. Albrook is
the Bus terminal for the entire country, but its also the country´s
biggest mall. Normally, missionaries are not allowed to enter, but we
have an exception because thats the easiest place to find all the
stories we need in an easy place. (I hate going there anyways... its
all worldy in there xD) We helped all the new guys get around Albrook
(that place is huge.. and easy to get lost in if you dont know where
you a re going).

Thursday, we got in all the last minute shopping. We went to
Abernathys to buy fishing stuff, knives, flashlights, etc. (personal
items) and to the distribution center to buy scriptures, white ties
for mola, etc. That night we didnt get any sleep (referring to me and
my companion) because we had to make sure everything was packed and
ready to go, and I had to pack my own bag and then we cleaned the
whole house, because we were 6 missionaries living there, and it got
pretty messy. We finally got to bed around 3, and the car showed up to
take us back to Blas at 5 Friday morning.

It was awesome seeing the wonder and awe in the Elders´ faces as we
drove out there and got on the ponga (the boats that take us out
there) and passing by all the islands and things :) It was really
cool. Reminded me not to take for granted that i have the opportunity
to be working here with these people.

Friday we basically died once we got home. We unpacked and slept. The
travel is hard and the trip is stressful. I fell asleep around 4pm and
woke up to my alarm at 530 am the next morning. crazy xD I remember
answering a phone call from Ustupu at 930 but I think I fell asleep
during the phone call xD

Saturday was a rough day because we were still super tired xD we took
the day easy, and set up appointments for our next week, and decided
to plan out our change for the zone (including divisions) Nothing too
exciting happend.

Sunday We got back to working hard :) We had a few lessons with some
less active members, some really cool people that ive come to love. We
also had a lesson with a new investigator named Ceda. She was a cool
lady. We needed to bring a member named Igwa to translate the lesson
for us, because she didnt speak any spanish, and we dont know enough
Tulegaya to teach a full on lesson. We ended up going back to the
house early to take numbers :/ numbers always turns into a long
process xD even though we only have 2 districts in our zone it seems
like the phone calls end up going way too long.

Today, well, today was a normal day. We have a bunch of divisions set
up for this week, so we have been getting pongas for travel. Because i
still dont know the island super well, my companion and i decided that
for this round of divisions ill leave, but the next time i get to stay
:) this week I go to Nargana on Tuesday, and to Ukupa on Thursday. And
then we have a District Conference in Ustupu on Saturday/sunday so ill
get to see all my old friends and recent converts there :) Im super
excited for that :)

Im so very thankful for the many blessings that I have in my life. Im
grateful that im able to serve the Lord and that Im able to do so here
ina a place so beautiful and learn from a totally different culture.
Im so grateful for that. Im grateful for family and friends that ive
made so far, and that i still have more time left of my journey (of
the mission, and of my life) and Im not going to take a single moment
for granted :)

I love you all! talk to you next week!

-Elder Bradburn

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

October 13 - with photos!

Well. this week is officially my first full week as a Zone Leader. it has definitely been a long one. but I definitely have enjoyed it :)

Basically my week started off with My first day of work in my area on Tuesday. That went really well. I really like the people we are teaching. There are definitely some great people who have a lot of potential if we can keep them coming to church and everything :) 

Wednesday, we had divisions scheduled with Nargana, and I didnt feel comfortable with the area yet, so I went to Nargana, which was fine with me because I have a lot of friends and stuff there :) So I headed out there. MY time there was pretty good. The Elders were working pretty well there. I enjoyed being there for a couple of days :)

Friday, me and Elder Perkes (my companion... the crazy bald guy in my photos) did surprise divisions with Carti and with Ustupu. He went to Ustupu and I went out to Carti. Carti was a little bit in ponga... Theyve had some bad circumstances including chicha fuerte (a tradition where basically everyone on the island gets drunk from homemade alcohol) and stuff that affected the work and the laziness kind of stayed around. 

I headed back to my area and we were able to get a couple of good days of work on saturday and sunday :) I dont have a lot of time to go into a lot of details. One of the people we are teaching is named Igwa. He is married and they are both baptized, but his wife is kind of dragging him down... We are trying to strengthen them both and keep them coming :)

Another guy we are teaching is named Dini. His family is really cool. they are starting to come back to activity and their 2 daughters are going to get baptized soon (they have 9 and 10 years)

Sunday Irgandi came to our island because both elders had to travel to the city with us. Laird is headed home and Sharp needed to do immigrations work. 

Monday, we were going to write, but they are reconstructing the chapel and destroyed the room with internet... so we waited until today to write :)

As the Zone Leaders here, we travel to the city every change to buy food for the zone and bring the new people out to Kuna Yala. We got here today and this week we will be working to get everything bought and bringing new people out. 

Last night was super stressful with the phone because basically every area in the zone had changes, and some elders were out of money. and travel is expensive here in Blas. So we had to figure all of that out. We are bringing 3 new elders out with us :) 

Sorry this isnt as detailed as i would like it to be. I guess they never are :P I need to be less busy xD Im greatful to be busy though :) its better than doing nothing! I love you all and thanks for continuing to red my emails :) Take care everyone!

Bap Dummad be bendake

Thursday, October 8, 2015

October 5 - Playon Chico

This week has definitely been.. full of surprises. excitement, and
sadness. Basically, we got back from Nargana on tuesday afternoon. so
we werent able to get a whole lot done. Tuesday night president called
me to ask me a few questions, which i thought was a little weird.

To give a little background, Elder Teichert, my ex comp and now ex
Zone Leader, went home last wednesday.

Wednesday morning ( I assume through no coincidence with the phone
call the night before) the Assistants called me and Bartleson. Crap. I
was worried I was in trouble for something. annnnndd.... they let me
know I was the new Zone Leader. I thought it was a joke, but seeing as
im currently writing my email from Playon Chico, It wasnt a joke.

We spent the end of that week saying good bye to everyone :/ I got the
call Wednesday and left Saturday at 5 am :/

we went throug the island taking photos and getting contact info of
everyone i know. The nice part of living on an island, is that it isnt
too hard to say goodbye to everyone in just a couple of days xD

So, jump forward in time, Its now saturday. We struggled to set up
conference here on playon chico for the afternoon session (could work
for morning :/) but luckily we were able to see all other sessions. I
absolutely love conference :) Hearing from out Living prohpet and
apostles is something so unique that only we have :) God really talks
to his prophet who leads and guides the true church of Christ. Not
that Im not fluent in spanish, I dont like listening to conference in
spanish. I just like hearing the emotion in the original speakers
voice. Its sooo nice. If a speaker speaks english, i wanna listen in
english. If they speak spanish, i wanna listen in spanish. its just
hard to pay attention to the translator xD

Greatful for that :) The rest of our sunday night was spent collecting
numbers from the zone and making sure there were no problems in the
zone- luckkily nothing too major :)

Im hoping this week ill get to know the members and investigators a
little better on our island :) hope that Ill be able to have something
a little more real and interesting to talk about.

Next Tuesday we travel to the city for changes to bring the new guys
out to Blas, so that will be exciting :)

Everybody take care! Sorry I didnt have much time to organize this
email too well, but thats pretty much the summary of my week. Dont
forget to start ponderizing! its such a great idea :) Me and my
companion, Elder Perkes (the bald guy in my photos in the past) are
going to do it on our whiteboard :)

Remember to be greatful for everything that we have :) for the
prophets and apostles that speak to us today, and the gospel we are so
lucky to have in our lives. Always help those around you- here in kuna
yala a huge part of our time is spent in service. We help people in
any way we can and its amazing :) sometimes the people dont speak
spanish and all i can say is "An bendake" which means "I help" but at
least they know that there are 2 gringos on the island that are always
willing to help :)

TAke care of yourselves this week! Talk to you all later! love ya!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Sept 28

Sooooo... a close friend of mine recently let me know that all of my emails start with "Well" soooo... i thought i would change things up :) (Sarah) This week, I spent in Nargana. It was pretty fun, but I am so glad to be able to go back to my island tomorrow!!

This week wasnt super interesting so Im not going to make this super long. Ill just give a general overview. 

Monday- we had Zone Conference, and Interviews with PResident :) I love getting to talk with president. Hes an amazing guy :) We had some cool talks and stuff and a great conference. We also got to see the movie Freetown. That movie, for those who ahvent seen it, is SUPER GOOD. We got to see it in Conference :)

Tuesday- Bartleson had his appointment in the city, so I went to Nargana to stay with Elder Taylor. Since Mondays they normally get water from the river, There was no drinking water. Nor bathing water. The Elders here, normally go in a ponga up the river to get water. its like a 30 minutes trip. BUT- the ponga driver was gone, and we arent allowed to drive motors. sooo.... we took the ponga, took off the motor, and paddled what was essentially a motorboat withough a motor as if it were a canoe. 6 hours, aching muscles, and 300 mosquito bites later, we got home. Basically.... We died until wednesday night. We were in such p´pain that we had to call the mission nurse xD I thought I threw out my back paddling. I also tore up my hands with blisters. a week later and they are still bleeding xD

Wednesday- DEAD

Thursday- We started leaving. but Elder Taylor got sick so we werent able to do a ton... he couldnt stay away from the bathroom long enough to do any real work, but we did walk around a bit to say hey to everyone :)

Friday- Copy and paste from thursday, but add a few lessons

Saturday- the day i packed to leave. Turns out, due to a few complaining customers, the caars to transport my comp from the city got there late. so, they got there too late for most pongas. but they found a special ponga that only went to nargana. so we got stuck until Monday (today)

Sunday- Church, etc, todo cool with sacrament and everything :) The District President showed up too. Cool stuff. I like him when he isnt angry XD

Monday- wellllll... long story short.. no ponga. however, i think it might partially be Heavenly Faathers will because we got to teach lessons to the columbian boats at the docks as well. It was cool. We spent 6 hours talking to them about gospel topics and answering questions and stuff :) we even got one guy to download Gospel Library on his phone :) They were cool guys. half of them were drunk but maybe something stuck.

Andddd thats pretty much my week :) Bartleson has the OK to start working full boar now, so we are going to hit this week RUNNING because im dieing to start doing SOMETHING. we should be showing up tomorrow :)

Hey, and nobody forget that we get to hear from our dear Prophet and the modern day apostles and prophets this coming weekend :) im super excited- hoping we get our computer fixed so we can watch it... im confident the Lord will make it happen :)  Love yall! have a good week!

Bap Dummad be bendake