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So I'm relatively new to working on stuff and don't know what this is.  I bought the car cheap knowing it was stuck in first and the shifter was freely moving, not connected.  I looked underneath and saw this part broke but I don't know what to call it in order to replace it.


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You've got a big problem there.  The shaft going into the transmission is broken.  It should look something like this.  The arrow on the right points to the part that appears to have broken off your input shaft on your transmission.


And like this when it's disassembled.



I doubt you can buy that shaft from Mazda anymore.  And even if you could, you would have to remove the transmission and split the cases to install it.  Your best bet is to find a used/junkyard transmission and swap it in.  You should be able to find one for around $200.  That's what I have paid for a used transmission here in Dallas.

Another option would be to weld a piece of small tubular pipe that fits inside the yoke of the linkage to the end of the shaft.

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