Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Week 38: Feliz Navidad y Año Nuevo!!!!

Dear Family and Friends,

Feliz Navidad y Año Nuevo!!!! :) I hope everybody had an amazing Christmas and received the Christmas spirit as we did down here. Everything was so amazing, so I'll just dive into our Christmas and our week and everything sweet! HAHAHA :)

So on Christmas Eve, Elder Kern and I went out to teach some lessons and we met with the family A. The mom is a less active member and the dad and their three sons are non-members. Anyways, the mom said hi to us in the street the other day and said "Hola Elder." We stopped and asked her if she was a member and she told us her story. Anyways, we met with the whole family on Christmas Eve and talked about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and how families can be together forever. It was a fantastic lesson and their three sons love us. We always see them in the street and they'll come running up to us just to say hi. It's really, really awesome!!! :D We then had some other lessons and went to the stake president's home for Christmas dinner. They made turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, salad, pie, and had sparkling cider :) IT was SOOOOO good. Their daughter is about to go to BYU and is going to live right by Wyview. Haha, anyways, it was fun to talk about BYU with her and Elder Cottrell. :) They gave us ties as a gift and we headed home.

On Christmas we woke up, opened presents, and then got ready for our district class. The class was half way just the districts and the other half was as a whole zone. As a whole zone we all had a Christmas program and it was so very neat. We all went and had a ton of treats and a little pot luck Christmas dessert bar :) Haha, super fun! Next, we went over to the V. family's home and Skyped our families. It was so fun. I felt really weird as I was talking, especially while talking in Spanish, but it was fun to see and talk to everyone! :D After that we headed to the C. family's house for a big barbeque. Anyways, after that we just hung out for a bit and then took around Christmas cards and candy canes to lots of the members and investigators in our area. It was suppppper fun and we had an enjoyable time :D WHOOT for CHRISTMAS!

Bad news: J's baptism didn't go through because of some work conflicts that came up. We are shooting for this Sunday coming up but we're not sure about that either. Basically her work is causing some problems... She is ready and some of her schooling problems are being taken care of so that is an answer to prayers :) Hopefully we can get everything sorted out :) She's READY!!!!

Here are some answers to questions:

I usually write the mission president about the district we are in, my companion, and then about me. I try and tell him about what's up in our sector and some of my personal spiritual experiences. It all depends on the zone how many districts are in a zone but in ours there are three districts. There is only one district leader, so Elder Kern isn't a co-district leader with me but there are two zone leaders and they do share the load of that calling. The white Christmas didn't turn out as well as we wanted. J. wasn't able to get baptized and neither were some other people. But, there were quite a few baptisms in the zone and we are looking at a lot for January. :) I believe that we will start being Facebook missionaries at the start of the new year....I think! Some of my goals are to study Spanish EVERY DAY so that when I get home I can test out of the Spanish classes at BYU and get all 16 credits in one test. Also, I want to read the Book of Mormon all the way through in Spanish, study preach my gospel all the way through, and to read Jesus the Christ and read all of the scriptures that he notes. Those are basically my goals :D I will for sure be in my sector up until the end of January and Elder Cottrell thinks that I will stay here one more change with Elder Kern before getting changed. That would put me at almost 10 months in my sector and almost a year into the mission. :S  Elder Kern and I are continually becoming better and better friends ... LOVE IT :D

Anyways, that's my peace for this week!
Love you all and take care!

Elder Bushman

Epic photo of my thumb and new tie!!!!
"This is a great labor; one of incalculable worth and benefit in Zion. In order to succeed, you must be on the Lord's side; you must have the co-operation of the Spirit of God. You must feel the importance of your mission, and that mission is to vitalize those who are charged with the responsibility and care of the young men of Israel. Your duty to teach them how to do their work effectively, and how best to accomplish the salvation of the young. Therefore, you must possess the spirit of the mission in your hearts; and, in order to do that, you must be prayerful and humble. Be genial and kind so that you may cope with all difficulties. Be not discouraged, but press on until all obstacles yield to your efforts." - Joseph F. Smith

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merry Christmas from Elder Bushman

He sent us a package of Chilean treats!!

Our personally designed Christmas Card from Elder Bushman. He also sent us one of his name tags!

There he is! Our video connection wasn't the best - not as clear as I had hoped, but we could hear just fine and had a great conversation! It was wonderful!!

Week 37: TWO DAYS! WHOOT!!!

Dear Family and Friends,

"It's beginning to look a lot like...SUMMER!!" Haha, I wish I could say it looked a lot like Christmas but everything that is around me tells me we are in like the end of June about to start July. Haha, anyways, I'm excited for Christmas and I am excited for you all and your traditional Christmases. :) Enjoy the holiday times!!! 

So this week has been a crazy one, fun, but crazy. I kept slipping in and out of having a slow and a fast week. Anyways, it was a good one and we are all really excited for everything to happen this week. Here's a cool experience from last week:

There is a young man, 18 years old, in our ward who has been inactive for a LONG time but all of the sudden, he came to church one day and he asked if he could start coming on visits with us. He has been to church for 3 days in a row and it has been fantastic. We also took him around two times last week to go visit some people. He says he wants to start preparing for a mission so we are working with the bishop on that. Anyways, he is a good kid, his name is I. He has a funny, slightly odd personality, but me and Elder Kern love having him come with us! :) We've been having a lot more success with member lessons and we are looking to get even better this week and the following. 

So, about our Christmas celebrations. So we have been invited by the Stake President's family to go and have dinner at their house on Christmas Eve but we're going to have to ask permission from President Wright to do it. He wants all four of the Elders to come and I'm a little nervous to ask President because it seems like he might say "No." Anyways, we'll see. (He did end up going to to the Stake Pres. house) On Christmas, our plans are to wake up early to open presents while listening to the Michael Bublé Christmas album, then going to our combined District/Zone class, then going to Skype, then going to have a barbeque, and then we are going to try and get some visits ... but I'm not sure how receptive they will be to having us come over and share something with them, and I don't feel very productive just hanging out. But, we'll see. :) Anyways, we are all really, really stoked for Christmas and it'll be really fun to celebrate it with four gringos :D Hahaha! 

Anyways, tomorrow I will be making Egg Nog, in CHILE! :) I'm going to be taking it to our whole district, which contains 5 latins that have never ever heard of Egg Nog .... well, they are about to find out!!! :D It's too bad Nutmeg doesn't exist here :( UGH!!!! Oh well, I got the eggs, whole milk, vanilla, sweet and condensed milk, and cream!!! Haha, now we just gotta whip her up! :D Will take pics!

So update on peeps: 
J: she is set to get baptized for this Sunday coming up. Hopefully everything works out. I wish she was more prepared but it will work out and she wants to be baptized, and she is willing to make the commitment and she can pass the interview so we can't really stop her :) But I think this is ready as does the V. family we've been working with! 

D: He left last week to go on a month long trip with his aunt from Spain to show her all of Chile and stuff...anyways, we hope everything is stable with him while he is gone. He was sure about himself going to church while on his trip and reading and praying so hopefully he does it all!!!

O: we had a sweet lesson with her but we haven't met in like a week and a half due to her extended vacation back home during the holidays. Anyways, we hope she is reading!

Anyways, that's about it for this week!

Love you all, talk to my good ol fam in TWO DAYS! WHOOT!!!

Elder Adam Bushman

Here is our zone with all of our jerseys on

My old district! From left to right:

Hermana Camacho, Hermana Lastra, Hermana Braun, Hermana Agle, Elder Mamani, Elder Bushman, Elder Kern, and Elder Asay :)

Check out my breakfast!!!!

This is a guy doing a graffiti in our sector. He works for the drama program at the University of Chile but did this graffiti to tell the story of the old indigenous people of Chile, the Mapuche, that were never conquered by the Spanish, just a broken people by the modernism of Chile.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Week 36: When you are Sharing the Gospel, ASK QUESTIONS!

Dear Family and Friends,

So just this last weekend was changes and the verdict is...I'm staying again, and so is Elder Kern, and so is Elder Lee, and so is Elder Cottrell :) YEAH!!!! WHITE TRASH PARTY FOR CHRISTMAS!!!! Haha, just a joke we use to describe our pension of 4 gringos! :D Congrats to my trainer, Elder Frost, who is going to be a ZONE LEADER IN LAS CONDES!!!! YEAHHH!!!!! :D 

So I am so glad everybody is well and that everybody is having the time of their lives and that everything is great. Lots of stuff happened this week so I'm just going to dive right in.

So today I made the sweetest lunch. I made spaghetti noodles, put two fried eggs on top, a hamburger patty, squirted cream cheese on top, poured spaghetti sauce with hot sauce mixed in over it, and put a huge dolop of mayo on top.!!!!! OH, it was fantastic, and to top it off with a big ol pitcher of Huesillo juice! :) I was in heaven. Pictures are coming shortly!

So one of our good lessons today was with O. We had planned to go in and teach the last part of the plan of salvation but when we got in there it didn't feel right and so we asked her questions and she opened up to us about some problems that she is having with here aunt that she lives with. We compared her burdens and trials to those of Alma and his people in Mosiah 22 when they are in bondage to the Lamanites under Amulon. Anyways, it was a really spiritual lesson because we applied it to her life. She is still a little wary about baptism but we found out that if she knew that the BofM was true, she said she would get baptized right away! :) So now we are working on that! We never would have known that if we didn't ask her questions. So when you are sharing the gospel, ASK QUESTIONS! :D

So on Sunday we did a zone Christmas choir. We all got together as a zone and practiced about 6 songs to sing and then we all went over to the nearby metro station and performed. Some of the choir members passed out cards and talked to people so it was really, really fun! Me, another elder, and two sister missionaries did a quartet to the song "Away in a Manger" (sent you guys the recording). The choir was really awesome and we all had fun and felt the spirit SOOOO much. It was so worth it and I am so glad we decided to do it. 

So some answers to questions:

My most spiritual lesson was probably last night when we visited a less active lady named N. She has been inactive for probably more than 20 years I would say and hasn't been inside the church in a very long time. She's pretty much forgotten everything. We talked to her last night about the Plan of Salvation, what will happen after death, and the love of God. We invited her to read a passage in the Book of Mormon and she said she would. Next lesson we are bringing her best friend, who is a member, to come help us out :) I'm super stoked!!!

A miracle that I saw this week was probably when we sang. There were a lot of people who stopped to listen and accepted cards but also a lot of people who straight up refused cards and walked right past. The people here in Santiago are tough and hard people but it was a miracle that lots of people were open and were soft and were Christ centered enough to take a few moments and be filled with the spirit :)

I have started the 12 ways and I LOVE IT! :) I'm implementing the things as much as I can! :) Thanks so much!!!

You want a recording in Spanish? Ugh, that is so embarrassing... Maybe next week...

My testimony was strengthened this week by studying the scriptures. I've really been dedicated to writing quotes and thoughts in my scriptures, really studying them :) I love it and I know they are powerful and change lives :) I could study for hours and today I was studying for about 2 hours!!! My favorite thing is talking with the elders in my pension right before going to bed about doctrine, scriptures, and experiences :) 

I saw God's hand when we left our pension and our appointments started to fall through but God put other people in our path so that we could meet our goals and have some really meaningful lessons :)

Elder Kern and I joke around and talk about things! I think that is probably our biggest strength, that we are good friends and we talk about things that bug us so we always have the spirit :D

That's all for this week!


Elder Adam Bushman
"The spirit of Christmas is indeed the Christ spirit."
. . . . . . . . ~ Thomas S. Monson 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Week 35: I Was Being Taught by the Spirit

Dear Friends and Family,

I hope everything has gone well for you all out there! Things are going well out here all though I am tuckered out from last week :) Ugh, I'm so tired. Anyways, this last week wasn't a very good week in terms of teaching or finding or making progress. It was kind of a frustrating week. During my whole time with Elder Kern we've been just doing GREAT...but this week we stumbled a little bit so that was pretty lame. But, we've set some goals and we're going to be doing things a lot better this week. So, I'm excited :) 

So, first off...a quick shoutout to my buddy Grayson Ercanbrack who will soon be joining me in Chile! :) Whoohoo, congrats boy!!!! Anyways, we are going to be doing a Christmas card, both Elder Kern and I, and we will be taking the photo, a card, and a candy cane over to all the people in the ward council and some other people in our sector. :) We are excited!!! 

So, a few other answers to some other questions: so that Peruvian family we found is being quite lazy and we've set up SEVERAL appointments but they are never there. I don't understand why people just keep playing this sort of game. Just tell us you don't want anything!!!  :) But oh well! So we've done a little bit of decorating but not much. I sent some photos of our tree, the tree Elder Kern got but that's about it :) It looks sweet!!! There are little tiny stores or businesses that people have all throughout my sector so you can walk down three or four houses and find basic cooking needs and ingredients and stuff. Also, there is a store called UniMarc that is just basically Kohlers but 1/4 of the size and there is a WalMart within a 10 minute walk of my pension. So my favorite food here is lentils with a big piece of sausage in the middle with a big link of homemade blood sausage with salad :) OH! It is amazing!!! You can buy American food but it's WAY expensive. Most of our investigators come from part member families and street contacting ... we don't get many member references. We hardly get any Mormon.org references. The ward council is pulling most of the weight and they are really working on the recent converts we have and doing activities to help out with our investigators. We write the mission president every week and it is included in our time of 90 minutes. He writes back if we ask him stuff. I'm not sure on the skype call. I know of several people who could hem and adjust my pants...I would just have to make some time to coordinate with the people. So about obedience! I am in charge of handing most things with the people in my district. If there is something I cannot do or if the things I'm doing are working or the situation is getting worse, I report to the Zone Leaders and directly to the president. Basically you just help them realize the blessings they can get for obedience, set goals, follow up, set new goals, follow up, and so forth. :) 

So not too much happened this week but when I went on divisions I had a great experience. We went to a family's house that is the mother, father, and their two daughters. The mother and father are not married so neither are members of the church. The two daughters are however. Anyways, we went there and I just loved it! The problem is the father needs to get a divorce from his old wife who is trying to hold out for lots of money he doesn't have. Anyways, it's a sad situation but the couple's outlook on the situation is just fantastic. Although they cannot get married and therefore cannot be baptized, they still go to church every week. They study the scriptures faithfully and they are so very strong. We had a very in depth gospel conversation at their home and it was amazing. I felt the spirit really strong as he bore his testimony of the Book of Mormon, Holy Ghost, Joseph Smith, Plan of Salvation, and his favorite topic, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He kept saying, "When we are able to be baptized..."  They are great people and they are so very strong where they are! :) They were a great testimony of being strong in the gospel, NO MATTER what your circumstance. There are lots of people who make excuses but it was nice to see that they remain doing the things they know are right when they have every excuse not to. :D I was very impressed with that appointment and lesson! 

(Elder Bushman has been recording some great insights on his digital recorder after lessons or while waiting for a bus, etc, etc. He emails the WMA files to us. It has been AWESOME! Here are a few this week that I really loved:)

Recording #1:
"We just got out of a really cool lesson with our investigator, J. She is having some problems with the university and she is just sick of it and about to leave - and she's asking herself why bad things happen to good people. So, we took the Prophet of the Restoration video and Ether 12:6, and tried to answer that question based on both those two things. When Elder Kern and I were bearing our testimonies at the end and teaching a little bit about the doctrine and the necessity of tests in our lives, it was so powerful...and we felt the spirit so strong. I honestly felt like I was being taught by the Spirit a whole lot during the lesson, while I was bearing my testimony - everything was making so much sense about the whole plan of salvation, why we're here on earth, why there's opposition in all things, why we have tests, how the great promise of if we are faithful to the end, all we have lost will be restored unto us and the promise that if we follow the doctrine of Christ and if we follow Jesus Christ and do all he has done and do the covenants necessary, we will become as our Father in Heaven and will receive all that he has. And so all those things, these different doctrinal principles, are making so much sense to me. It was really, really awesome and I felt the spirit so strong - and just watching the video from that perspective was just fantastic. Thinking about how Joseph Smith understood it all - and that's why he was willing to go through anything...and when he was in Liberty Jail and was about to give up, the promise that was given to him that if he endured it for just a small moment, he would be exalted on high. It really is just a small moment. It was so powerful...what I learned and how I was being taught by the spirit. J's mom was listening the whole time and I really think she needed to hear those two promises and the video we saw and comparing it to his life."

Recording #2:
"I'm doing divisions with Elder M right now...But me and Elder Kern had a good lesson with an investigator - J. and we had a lesson with him about the Book of Mormon and the Gospel of Jesus Christ and why it's important to enter into the path that leads to the Celestial Kingdom and why going through the door of baptism is so essential and how we can do that through knowing the Book of Mormon is true. I think that helped him realize that it's really important that he understands and knows that the Book of Mormon is true. Hopefully he'll be able to read and pray and things...I never realized how hard of a task it would be for people to remember to ask in their prayers if the Book of Mormon is true. I notice that lots of people are just like, "Bless me to know that it's true" or "I really want to know", instead of saying "Is the Book of Mormon true?". Because for us to gain a specific answer we  need to ask a specific question. So that's one of the things I've noticed out here - I'm trying to stress the fact that we need to ask specifically so we can receive a specific answer. And especially for people who are inexperienced with feeling the spirit, it's hard for them to realize complicated answers. And so to make it as simple as possible we need to ask a question to get a simple answer - a confirmation of if it's true or if it's not. Instead of asking "well I really want to know so help me know". So hopefully he can ask a specific question and work on that."
So that's all folks! Love you!

Elder Bushman

This is our little Thanksgiving feast from the Stake President: turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and corn! OH! So good! :)

This is our little tree all lit up!

This is our tree in real life

Monday, December 2, 2013

Week 34: A Great Spirit of Missionary Work

Dear Family and Friends,

Wow, this week was one of the fastest weeks I have ever had in my mission I think. Everything went by in a blur. It seemed like just yesterday we left this little internet place yet here we are, 7 days later, emailing again :) I love emailing!!! 

So, first off, to recognize a few mission calls. I wanted to give a little shout out to my buddy Birk Gundersen who will be heading to the MTC in about a week! :) I'm so very grateful for his example and for what a great kid he is!!! I'm going to miss him a lot but he is an amazing guy! :) Also, another friend of mine, Kennedy Blyle is heading to Texas. I am so surprised but so thrilled for her! Whayta go KEN!! :D Also, I'm getting really excited to hear about Grayson Ercanbrack's call! I'm feeling like Costa Rica or something; he is totally the type :D 

So I got all three packages and the people in my zone went NUTS, nuts I tell ya. Seriously, they were all saying, "Well looks like Elder Bushman's family loves him...Gosh, wish my family loved me...Why does Elder Bushman get so much stuff every week..." Haha, they were half joking half serious I imagine. I am very grateful for the blessings I've received and for all my family has done for me; now I just gotta wait 'til December 25th. BUT, I did already open the presents I had for the 1st of December. Thanks so much for all of the stories we got. Elder Lee is so excited for a Christmas story every night :) Thanks also to my lovely Grandma Bushman for the yummy treats! :D 

So here are some of the answers to your questions: 
     So with our mission money, I normally spend the majority of it on food, hygiene items, and public transportation. Every once in a while we go out to eat and that gobbles up some money. With the rest I usually use it for the gifts/souvenirs that I am bringing home. I've been slowing collecting several items over these 8 months so that I'm not scrambling right at the end. I've gotten lots of good things for siblings, parents, grandparents, cousins, friends, etc. I'm not done, but I'm being wise about the time and thought I put into these things :D Our ward is much more missionary minded, in fact, last week we did an activity where all the missionaries from the zone and the members paired up to have 25 companionships who went out looking for the less actives that we were not sure about, meaning we didn't know if they had moved, if they were interested, etc. It brought a great spirit of missionary work and it was VERY successful! We are meeting with the ward council but only our second meeting will take place tomorrow... The youth, or I should say, the boys play a lot of soccer and I don't know about the girls. We never go to mutual nor play with them due to the rules against it. 
Christmas traditions: people do a barbeque on Christmas day, lots of people go to the beach, they open their presents at 12:00 a.m. on Christmas day (LAME) and they call Santa Claus "Viejo Pascuero." Some people do decorations but so far we haven't seen many, nor many trees. In comparison to the US, Chile doesn't celebrate Christmas. It's not even going to feel like Christmas this year, ESPECIALLY with the heat :( UGH! I usually write to our family, Eliza Beeson, Trustin Chun, Kwinn Sutton, Ammon Haymond, Evan Peterson, my old latin comp from the MTC, and Elder Frost :D  You all are being so supportive, I honestly couldn't ask for anything more. I love all the photos, all the stories, all of the comments, all of the thoughtfulness, etc. :) Keep it up, I couldn't ask for a better support system EVER :) PMG is amazing, I really like it in that it teaches us missionaries the Gospel in simple terms which we then teach to investigators. We use it a lot but I want to start using it more!!! Our English class worked for a while when Elder Frost and I were together but it hasn't been very successful since he left. Anyways, most people just want to free ride our English class, meaning they aren't interested in our message nor do they come frequently and give us a good steady crowd. Pretty disappointing :S

D., our recent convert, just got confirmed yesterday! He is so great. He is super awesome, very nice, very genuine, and very excited. :) He's getting the priesthood next week and his goal is to read a chapter of the BofM, a chapter of the Principles of the Gospel book, and a section of the Doctrine and Covenants every day. :) His excitement and determination and example for his family is astounding!!! I hope he can get a calling in the Young Men's group or something, as there are lots of good kids and leaders. He would fit right it with the leaders as many of them are his age. :D

Anyways, not much is happening so far. Elder Asay and I went on splits the other day and that was a blast. :) Also, we did divisions with some kids in the MTC that are going to the south mission. It was really cool, as I wasn't able to do it when I was in the MTC. Also, we are getting ready to decorate the pension soon. Will send pics later :)

Love you all! Take care and I'm excited to see you all in three weeks! :)

Elder Adam Bushman
This is a photo of me and the stocking that Elder Kern's mom made for me :D WHOOHOO!!!

This is David with his new belt...he couldn't wait 'til Christmas! :) He is very, very, very grateful for the belt! Thanks mom!

David and I posing with the belt around us both :)

This is a photo of me standing in front of a house with it's Christmas lights all bright. Also, it plays the "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" tune :) Way cool and very rare to find here!

Here's me with my December 1st christmas presents :) THANKS SO MUCH EVERYONE!!!! :D :D
FROM MOM: Adam surprised us today with WMA files that he recorded on the digital recorder we sent him with his Christmas packages. It was the BEST day...listening to him talk to all of us, tell about his experiences, interact with his companion and other Elders in the pension, to hear his enthusiasm, his voice, and his HUMOR. We all LOVED it!!! 
"You will not suddenly or magically be transformed into a prepared and obedient missionary on the day you walk through the front door of the Missionary Training Center. What you have become in the days and months and years prior to your missionary service is what you will be in the MTC." - David A. Bednar

Monday, November 25, 2013

Week 33: I Want to...Make the Best of what God Needs me to do

Dear Family and Friends,

I'm happy that everyone is well and having such a fabulous time with the Thanksgiving holiday and Christmas which is right around the corner. We are all getting really excited for Christmas as we are 4 gringos in a pension and all will be getting lots of packages which we will share with all! :) Anyways, here are some things that happened this week:

So this week Elder Kern and I got our first baptism together! :D It was awesome, it was with D., O's older brother. It was a great baptism and D. felt fantastic and had a really really great experience. He prepared so well, reading almost all of 1 Nephi in the week before his baptism. He is doing well and the bishop is right on top of things, asking him to come in for an interview to receive the Aaronic Priesthood. We had some good support from a few families in the ward. The only sad thing is that (a few people) didn't come to the baptism. It was quite sad and it hurt D. a bit I believe. Also, the program was last minute so Elder Kern and I ended up doing both of the talks. In the end it turned out all right, it was just a message to me that we need to get the whole family involved a little more and having them over at member's homes. I sent some photos of the baptism. :) 

One crazy experience is that we started to teach a family, a young couple and two young girls. I'm trying to remember that they are children of God and my spiritual brothers and sisters, but it was a little hard not to judge them at first glance and say, "I don't think they'd be interested." We found out the dad of the family got shot in his hip and though it is healing, he is in a wheelchair right now...don't know why he was in a situation with gunfire but oh well. Also, the mom has tons of tattoos and is only 2 years older than me but has a child who is about 5 or 6 I believe. Anyways, she is quite interested and the dad is warming up to us. All we need to do is get them both together and start teaching them with some members. 

So about my Spanish. Ever since Elder Frost left and I had to train a gringo, I've noticed my Spanish and my accent have gotten better. I know more words, I am a lot faster and more fluid, and things make a lot more sense to me. I can read the Book of Mormon and understand practically 80 % of all the words I would say. It's very rare when I ask someone what a word means and I would say of all daily conversations that we have with people, I understand about 95 %... Anyways, it's been a great learning curve for me and I'm so very glad that God qualified me to train someone who did not know Spanish. Anyways, I think my next companion will be a latino but I'm not sure so I can't say that I hope for one either. But we'll see :D We still go to members homes every day to eat. The other day, our favorite family in the ward made BBQ ribs, french fries, and cole slaw :) Haha, they are so awesome! Hermano V. told me in English, "We tried to make like an Apple Bee's type lunch for you guys!" MMM! Soo yummy! :D Normally we have rice and chicken and for dessert...fruit :S Weird! So a few of my realizations are that I'm not going to mess around a lot when I get home. I've talked to lots of missionaries who say, "Yeah, I wanna wait like 4-5 years to get married and start a family and study, etc." Not me...I want to get started and make the best of what God needs me to do. I think I am leaning more and more to doing Accounting or another Business major. I've noticed that I have a thirst for learning now!!! I would say that I have grown the most in my testimony of the Book of Mormon. It is just soo important that we regularly are studying and learning and applying the things in the BofM. :) I don't really get homesick, but at times I just switch off thoughts between, "Wow, my mission is going really fast" to "Wow, I'm going to be out here for forever." :) Haha, but I don't get homesick really. Every other week I play the piano in Sacrament meeting. One sister, Hermana Volkert, plays the piano so we switch off playing every week. My favorite topic to teach about is the great apostasy. It just makes so much sense and it is really fun to use examples and object lessons to teach :D I haven't had to do a surprise talk yet...our ward is very organized and it would be strange if that happened. Our typical day is getting up at 7:30, exercise, preparation, eating, and starting personal study by 9:00. At 10:00, companionship study until 12:00 when we start our language study. We go and eat around 1:00 and by 3:00 we are proselyting until 10:00. We are in bed by 11:30...whoo...long day! :S So we have been taking it easy lately but in December we are going to be going on lots of sight seeing spots and going to hug flee markets and other kinds of stuff. Oh, and we are going to be going to the Jehova's Witness's Temple soon too...whoo! CRAZY! :D I'm not sure quite yet about Christmas but it should be at like 2:00 or so... Well, 10:00 a.m. your time! We are just going to be proselyting like normal on Christmas. We don't do anything special really...

So I sent a photo of me and a guy in my district who just came out of the MTC. His name is Elder Asay and we are real good friends, as we have a huge love for everything basketball and we just click really easy together. Anyways, I just found out that he lived right next to the Welch family's house in Highland and is really good friends with Taylor and Spencer :) Haha, who would've known. The other day the Welch's asked him if he had met an Elder Bushman in this mission yet. Elder Asay responded, "You aren't going to believe this, but he's my district leader!" :) Haha, he's a way good kid and I cannot wait to do divisions with him this weekend :) WHOOOHOO!

So that's all of this week, so long! Love you all!

Elder Bushman
Elder Bushman with Elder Asay

Excited to get his package - Elder Kern

The Encampamento
 "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature."  - Mark 16:15

Monday, November 18, 2013

Week 32: Are we God's Golden Investigators?

Dear Family and Friends,

What a week! In some ways it was crazy fast and in other ways it was a little slow. There were soooo many meetings, so many crazy experiences, etc. Anyways, it was been a week to remember :) Thank you soooo much mom for sending those packages to me! AH, I feel so blessed to have such an amazing and supportive family and I am looking forward to talking at Christmas =)

Haha, first off, I'll start to talk about Elder Holland's visit to Santiago, Chile :) So last Tuesday, Elder Lee, Elder Cottrell, Elder Kern, and I all got up at 4:00 a.m...we took showers the previous night so all we had to do was get dressed, call the taxi, and leave... We got to the stake center at 4:45 a.m...the meeting started at 10:00 :D Haha, the sector in which is located the church is called La Reina and there are two sister missionaries who are in my district that work there and had keys, so they opened it up at 4:30 and so we got front row seats right by the door Elder Holland would enter in through. So we waited a whole long time but it was so worth it. About an hour before Elder Holland showed up they told us we had to evacuate our bench because it was "reserved"...I thought, you got to be kidding me. So, the sisters in our district let us squeeze in on their bench...which was on the first row too. Anyways, Elder Holland showed up and it was fantastic!!!! :) He came quick and left quick so we didn't get handshakes or photos or anything. But, we got his words and the spirit, so that was dope! Here are some of his thoughts:

He opened his talk saying, "Wow, I'm really pumped up right now! I'm, I'm ready to go, I'm like bouncing off the walls and flying through the roof right now!" Haha, he gave us some good laughs! Some other things he said were, "I'm really old. I helped Noah build the Ark, okay. I got one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel, so, I don't have much time left!" HAHAHAHA!!!! He was talking a bit about how we do not stop the mission when the mission stops, we keep going. He said that if any of us stopped, he said, "I'll hunt you down, I'll let the air out of your tires, I'll put pepper in your empanadas, alright! You won't like it, I promise." :) haha, there were many, many more funny things he said and it was fantastic. Now, a couple of spiritual thoughts and inspirations: 

He said that the power to translate the Book of Mormon was the first great gift Joseph Smith received and he wasn't able to receive any more tools or gifts until he learned to appreciate, use, and complete the task of the girft of translating he received. It is the same way for us as members of the church. Until we learn to appreciate, use, and fulfill the purpose of the Book of Mormon in our own lives, we will not receive any more tools or gifts. He also said that the church is at a vertical slope right now, it's progressing, it's getting better at a vertical slope!!! We as members and missionaries need to progress and get better at the same slope or we will be left behind in the dust and will forfeit the blessings that come. He made us a promise that if we forfeit these blessings, chances are the Lord will never give us a second opportunity to receive and enjoy them. He talked a little bit about why it is so hard in the work of salvation and missionary work. Why don't people flock to the font? Why doesn't everyone just run to the missionaries? Why isn't the only worry we have in the mission field that of getting pneumonia from being in the water all of the time? The answer is this: "Salvation is not a cheap experience." He said, "How can we expect it to be easy for us if it was never easy for Christ. All of us will have to pass through Gethsemane, even for a moment, and experience a little bit of what Christ did." Elder Holland said that that is a price that most people aren't willing to pay. Just as we get frustrated with investigators who don't progress, we are God's investigators and He gets frustrated when we don't progress. We must ask ourselves: "Are we God's golden investigators??" It was a fantastic meeting and I have had a lot to think about and improve! It was amazing :)

After Elder Holland's talk we ended and I got to talk with Elder Frost for a bit, Elder Hunt (awesome guy who used to be in my pension and was Elder McGary's trainer), all the guys from the MTC especially Elder Paxman! He is training along with Elder Rice and are just amazing guys! They are doing so well in their missions :) Haha, it makes me soooo happy! Anyways, I also got to talk with Elder Cruz from the MTC, Elder Pagalo, Elder Cuadros, etc. Anyways, it was really, really fun but we've been dead this whole week from getting up so early on Tuesday. The good thing is we wake up on time every day and today I took a little nap so I could catch up. Haha, anyways, AWESOME!

So, in our news, I got my FIRST KISS in the mission field!!! Now don't get alarmed, I will explain. We went to a future investigator family's house and as well yelled at the gate, it swung open and this random guy walked out with a huge smile on and his arms out wide! He walked quickly toward me saying, "HOLA! ¿CÓMO ESTAI MI ROSITO?" -- That pretty much means he was asking how his little cute boy or something was. Anyways, wierd right...not even. He then grabbed my face and planted a huge, wet, drunk kiss right on my cheek and walked away laughing. UGH! Gross...... Anyways, that was lame :S Hahaha!!! But, it makes for a pretty good story I suppose.

Everything is going well for our baptism coming up on the 24th of November with D. so we are really excited about that! We had a sweet lesson with O. where we invited her to be baptized. Again she said she wanted to but she wasn't sure on the date...it was a fantastic lesson and Elder Kern and I are both convinced that she will accept a date very soon! :) Anyways, there wasn't much other stuff that went on this week, a few things here and there but not a TON of stuff. 

Anyways, right now I'm studying the goodness of God,or La Bondad de Dios and how that applies to the Book of Mormon and why we need to read it... Look up these scriptures and see what I've been studying: 1 Nephi 1:1, 1 Nephi 5:4, 1 Nephi 6:3-4, and Alma 26:3. :) Really cool stuff and it has been fun reading and studying and writing my thoughts in all Spanish and stuff!! :) Whohoo! 

Anyways, that's all for this week! Hope you all enjoy everything that's happened! Love you!

Elder Adam Bushman
PS - Wow...everyone is just getting so big and growing up! Haha, I'm excited to see everyone for our Skype call :). I got Susie's package! Haha, yup, it went through WW1, WW2, and WW3 on the way over...but I got it! The package was wrecked but the stuff inside was fine :)= WHOOHOO!!! Well, there are only one pair of pants that fit me really well...all the others are big on the waist. I feel like I've lost weight and muscle. I'm just a little shrimp out here, haha! :)

Elder Bushman and Elder Kern at 5:00 AM :D

The stake center with over 1,000 missionaries 

Four generations: Elder Kern, Bushman, Frost, and Cofré

Monday, November 11, 2013

Week 31: Elder Garcia was Using MY Suit Coat

Dear Family and Friends,

So this was the first week of changes and there were lots of changes in our zone and a little bit in our pension. Elder Pagalo was called to go train and be a DL in a stake called Javiera Carrera so he left but the cool thing is that Elder Rice (buddy from the MTC) was also training so he and Elder P did divisions and stayed the night with us on Monday. Haha, it was so much fun and it was so good to catch up with him after being in the field almost 6 months. It was so awesome to be with him and Elder Lee all together, haha! :) So Elder Lee's new companion's name is Elder Cottrell, good guy who went to BYU before the mission so it's really fun to talk about. Elder Kern lives right by BYU, Elder Lee went there too, as well as I, so we all just have so much fun talking. Also, he is a great missionary and really helping out! :) So our zone has changed soooooo much. There were roughly 9 new people in our zone, including two new district leaders and a new zone leader. Almost half of the zone left this change so it was super weird. Right now we got some really awesome, obedient leaders in the zone and really cool, seasoned missionaries who are just going to help us kill it this change as a zone. I'm so very excited :)

So in less than 2 weeks I will mark 6 months in my sector! Haha, crazy. The time has just flown. I really feel like it has not been that much time, but that I JUST got to this sector and began to work with these people :D I expect to be here for about 2 or 3 more months :) WHOOHOO!!!! I'm in no hurry to leave!

So our baptism that's coming up, D., O's older brother, is REALLY progressing. He is obeying the Word of Wisdom, reading and praying every day, going to church all three hours, and keeps on talking about how he can endure to the end. I cannot wait until after his baptism when we can ordain him to be a Priest and have him start blessing the sacrament and doing other things! :) Haha, I'm so very excited for him...but, on a sad note, we have to wait until the 24th of November for him to be baptized. He can't be baptized this Sunday because of the voting that will take place right after Sacrament Meeting. Ugh! He is progressing a lot right now! :) Our other investigators aren't really doing much right now. O. canceled...again, F. doesn't want to be so pressured, R. says he can't come to church, etc. etc. etc. We have a lot of investigators but not too many are progressing. It kinda stinks! That is why we are trying to find new investigators. We've been praying for the opportunity to find a family who is prepared to hear the gospel and accept it. We are praying, searching, and talking to a lot of people! We contacted 4 familes the other day and talked about the restored gospel and families. All of them accepted a return visit so we are praying that they will be there...at least one. 

So today we went to a sector called El Valle to play basketball with some other Elders and an investigator of some missionaries in my district. It was really fun but I was HORRIBLE. Ugh, I've gotten so bad. That was the first time I played basketball in over 7 months...ugh! Anyways, we played soccer after and that was really, really fun! :) It was soooooo hot today and I got sunburned a little bit so that wasn't too fun!...

So on the October Ensign, the one that has a latino on the front standing in front of the temple, that is my companion from the MTC, Elder Garcia from Colombia. Haha, Elder Gutierrez and I were standing right behind the photographer when he took that photo! Elder Garcia was using my suit coat :) Haha! Legit huh? I thought that was the coolest thing when I saw it! 

Elder Holland is coming tomorrow - we are going to get to the church way early because it is with 4 missions and over 1000 missionaries. And, it is at our stake center so we are the closest of the close pretty much! :)
So the other day we got a random call from an old investigator of mine...J. She called and asked if we could come by! We did and talked about some of her problems and how she could fix them. We taught an amazing lesson and the importance and role of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and how we can resolve the problems in our lives if we follow His docrine. Anyways, we talked about how everything else we teach helps us understand, follow, and know that the GofJesus Christ is true. Anyways, it was a fantastic lesson and we'll be going by her house tomorrow :)

So that's about everything for this week! Thanks so much for all of the Utah Jazz updates, the package, and the weekly letters! :) Love you all!!!

Elder Adam Bushman

Elder Kern, Elder Frost, and Elder Bushman (3 GENERATIONS :)

Elder Madox from Montana and I (both trainers, both DL's :)

Elder Kern and I defrosting the freezer and cleaning the refrigerator! Haha!

Me and Elder Pagalo doing a girly pic the day he left!

Elder Cottrell and I right before getting my cut :S


My old Zone right before changes...over half of the people left :'(

Elder Lee, Elder Rice, and Elder Bushman -- back together again, whoohoo! (more in my letter)
Elder Cottrell calling his district and taking the dats! :)

Elder Lee and Elder Kern...right before they got BUTCHED

Me cutting Elder Lee's hair for Elder Holland on Tuesday :) Haha, we didn't spend a single cent on our haircuts :) WHOOHOO!!!

"If you want your boys to go on missions, have them pray for the missionaries every time they pray. They will love the things they pray for." - Spencer W. Kimball