Monday, September 30, 2013

Week 25: All I Could Have Asked For

Dear Family and Friends,

WOW, what a week. Seriously, it's been nuts but a very good week all things considered. First off, I'm going to talk about my kid and my experience getting him:

So Tuesday morning, I and Elder Pineda (an Elder that I was doing splits with) headed for the mission office to go pick up our kids. We were pretty silent on the way over...we were both pretty thoughtful as to whom we would be training. Anyways, we were the first missionaries there so we waited for the rest of the trainers to come until finally the mission president told us all the trainees had arrived and we were needed to help take all the bags into the church. As we did, I was looking at all the faces trying to determine who would be my kid...didn't work, ha! Fortunately, President Wright assigned us our companions right away so we weren't waiting in anticipation too much. My companion is a gringo named Elder Kern. He is from Provo, Utah, is 18 years old and reminds me a bit of myself when I came into the mission field (I'll explain why a little later). I felt an instant love and connection to him right after our names were read and I am so excited to be able to teach him how to be a missionary, teach him Spanish, and have some success. Anyways, we were trained on a lot of good things and it was neat to see the things that my old companion and I didn't do as well last change that we are going to be better about now. Anyways, we started out for our sector and I noticed some things that reminded me of myself: Elder Kern wants to be very obedient and has been hoping and praying for an obedient companion. As we were riding the bus to the metro, he was flying all over the place with his suitcases! We dropped off his suitcases at home which we left to be unpacked later that day. We went to lunch at the Quezada family's house. E' Frost and I ate there on my first day too and just like me, Elder Kern didn't understand anything that Hermano or Hermana Quezada were saying! It was a little comical because I remember being there 4 months ago and as he told me his struggles and his despairing belief that he would never learn Spanish, I was reminded of myself and how I thought the exact same things!!! :) Haha, his legs hurt from walking all day and he was dead from the whole day's work. Anyways, I love Elder Kern, he's a good missionary, he's working hard, and we're being obedient which is all I could have asked for :)

We're working really hard with an investigator named F. We've taught him the first three lessons and he has agreed to be baptized if God helps him quit smoking. Anyways, we started focusing on that! :) He has a big smoking a BIG smoking problem! He usually smokes about 30-40 cigarettes a day and he says he can remember smoking like 60 cigarettes in a day before... It is NUTS! So, we created a plan for him to drop cigarettes each day! He agreed to the plan and we told him that the only way he can drop the habit is by reading the BofM each day, praying each day, and going to church every week. We're also calling him every day at 1:00 p.m. to check up on him. So far, Friday he smoked 6 cigarettes, Saturday he smoked 5, and we're still waiting to find out about yesterday. So far he is doing pretty good :) Haha, we're going to ask him about his wife and son and about teaching them. I was a bit nervous about it at the start but then it donned on me that this is the BEST way! Hope it goes well :D

Yesterday for Sunday School, the missionaries and the ward mission leader out here taught the ward about how to share the gospel. We taught using the talk: I taught the part about service. Conversion is all about feeling the spirit and recognizing it. Non-members usually don't feel the influence of the spirit because they are around a lot of non-members generally. Service is a way to bring the spirit and when there are a lot of people with the Gift of the Holy Ghost around non-members in an environment that brings the spirit, they're going to feel different...they are going to feel something good, something they want to feel again and they are going to ask members about it and right there is how we can start sharing the gospel. I would encourage you all to take the talk and read it in your families and start planning activities with your non-member friends and begin to share the gospel with them. Then call up the missionaries with a referral and help the missionaries get to know the people and help them through the process. 

Anyways, that's the basic run-down for the week! My companion and I are going to try and rock it like crazy this week! Hope it all goes well! :)

Love you all!

Elder Adam Bushman

Zone Conference: I Spy Elder Bushman....4th row (2nd from the Right)
"The missionary work of the Latter-day Saints is the greatest of all the great works in all the world."
 - Heber J. Grant

Monday, September 23, 2013

Week 24: I Alone Cannot, but with Him I CAN

Dear Family and Friends,

Wow, this week has been CRAZY... Honestly, that's the only way to describe it. It's insane at how fast things change in the mission and how quick you find out that things will be A LOT different from here on out. Anyways, I'm going to start with the most crazy changes and things from this week and just go down the line:

First off, my companion and good friend Elder Frost has been transferred. He just completed a year in the mission and Friday night during a visit we got a call from President Wright. Elder Frost has been moved to a sector called La Florida 3 in the stake La Florida. He is going to be the senior companion to an Elder Deal who has one change less than me in the mission (just six weeks). President has called me to train, so tomorrow I'm going to receive my kid! I'm going to have a SON :) (It's a boy, ha!). Haha, I'm excited but nervous as well. In a few weeks we are going to get our whole posterity together to take a 4 generation photo, here's the family tree so far:ç

Elder Cofré -- Elder Frost -- Elder Bushman -- ??? 

I'll send the photo when we take it :) Also, President said that I will be serving as a district leader in my zone. Wow, that calling has brought even more humility than I had already had... Haha, honestly, I don't understand how I'm supposed to do this... My district is full of Elders who have more than a years worth of experience in the mission and I am their leader. I feel very young and incapable. I do, however, know that this is a calling from God and that He knows I can do this. I alone cannot, but with Him I can. President said, "Elder Bushman, I have a lot of confidence in you." I want to make my Heavenly Father proud of me and I'm going to do the best I can. I hope my companion is a Latino and is from Venezuela! For those of you who don't know, one of my best friends is from that country and I would love to learn more about him through a Venezuelan companion. But, I'll accept the will of God, whatever it may be. :)

So a report on the Zone Conference. The song me and my companion were supposed to do went well. I was SOOO nervous, as was Elder Frost, so we began to pray that we would invite the spirit, plany/sing well, and that people would like the song and be inspired. The song felt a bit choppy, I felt like I didn't sing as well as I could of and Elder Frost thought the same about his playing. We were both a bit down thinking about how we failed but when people started talking about how it sounded good and how we really brought the spirit, I realized that we succeeded :) After that I was content and very happy with the job we did!!
Thank you for sending me the video, unfortunately, I cannot watch any videos that aren't directly related to the Church. Anyways, I'll just wait 18 more months to watch it, it's nothing, honestly :) Thanks so much though!
Yesterday O. was confirmed a member of the church.When visiting his house afterward, his non-member mom said she felt so good during the confirmation and that she opened her eyes to see what looks like swirling light around us and she couldn't believe it. We told her that the feeling she felt was the Holy Ghost and that the light she saw might have been some outward manifestation. Anyways, she is getting a lot more interested in the Church and hopefully she will be an investigator soon. Osvaldo can't wait to turn 12 so he can receive the priesthood and pass the sacrament! :) Everything is looking up really well; I'm so very excited!!!!
Well that's all for this week, everything is good, lots of changes, but what's new, life is full of them :) Love you all, take care!

Elder Adam Bushman

"The servants of God have truth, and nothing but truth, to present to the world, that the world may be sanctified by the truth. The truth needeth no polish to make it lovely and desirable to those who love it." - Brigham Young

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Week 23: We had our Baptism on Sunday! :) Whoohoo!!!

Dear Family and Friends,

First off, my mom sent me a few questions through email today that I'm going to respond to, and after that I'll talk about the week and how it all went:

My siblings wanted to know if I still sing in the shower...and the answer is yes but not as much as I used to. I've forgotten so many of the songs I knew before the mission and now I just sing songs from MoTab... But the thing is that my comps don't like constant singing, so I'm dropping that... And yes, I get bugged about the mmmming. I guess it is something I need to change so ... I'll work on it! Tell Trustin to tell me where he goes when he knows! :) Tell him I'm super proud of him and that he is a stud! :D Christmas is coming soon so it won't be too long until we can all Skype! We just had lunch with a young couple in the ward and they said we could Skype there if we wanted. I think I'm going to do that, and I'll introduce you to the husband, he knows TONS of English. He could carry a conversation on EASY CHEESE! You guys would like him! :)  

Well guess what everyone ... We had our baptism on Sunday! :) Whoohoo!!! Little Osvaldo finally was able to get baptized this last Sunday. Last week we finished teaching him everything and then we set up an interview with the Zone Leaders. I was a bit nervous for him to go into the interview. I was confident that we taught him everything he needed to know but I was concerned that he would forget. My worrying wasn't helped when Osvaldo and the ZL, Elder Schwartz, came out of the room. He and Osvaldo were laughing but he turned to me with a serious face and gave the sweeping of the hand across the neck motion saying, "It didn't go well, we got to stop filling out the paper work, he can't get baptized." Fortunately afterwards he smiled and said JK before I started breathing into a brown paper bag (totally joking people, wouldn't happen!). Anyways, the worst thing was trying to find pants for him. We called everyone, searched everywhere, and got tons of pairs but it wasn't until an hour before his baptism that we were able to find pants that would fit his waist (yes he is short but he's a bit large around the middle...yeah). Anyways, he wanted me to baptize him so that was a neat experience. The water was warm and I was able to memorize his name (five separate names...HOLY). It was fantastic and we had amazing support from his family and the ward. The baptistry room was filled and there were even people out in the hall. They all congratulated him and welcomed him into the ward but the best thing was when he told us he felt happy after his baptism :D Unfortunately, I don't have my cable with me to send photos but I promise I took them and I'll send some next week!!!

Another thing that went on this week was we had a CVC or a Centro de Visitantes de la Capilla (Visitors Center for the Chapel). It was for less actives and non-members to come and learn about the church and how we do things. There were little mini tours that went on throughout the building. Elder Frost and I were dressed in white outside the baptismal font talking about baptism. By the end of the day, Elders Pagalo and Cuadros got 22 references and Elder Frost and I got 2. But it was a very successful event and the ward helped out a TON :D The youth and everybody were excited to be out on the street in front of the chapel inviting people to come inside and take a mini tour. It was so awesome and we felt the spirit so strong! I can't wait until we do it again!!!

Right now we are teaching a guy named Francisco. We contacted him in the street and he told us we could come by. Each time we did he wasn't home. We had almost given up on us but one day we decided to pass by out of the blew. We did and he was there. We found out he liked learning English so we said we would help him. We have been sharing our message and helping him with English for about a month now and he is amazing. We found out that before we talked to him he had stopped believing in God and everything. We've taught him the first 3 lessons and he is now a believer in God, wants to increase his relationship with him, and wants to quit smoking. We asked him if he would be baptized when he knows that these things are true and when God helps him quit smoking. He said he would! :) We are stoked for him! He has a wife and a son and I'm sure they would get baptized if he did :) Elder Frost and I love this guy!!! 

So those are the big things that happened this week! Thanks for everything, love you all, ciao!!!

Elder Adam Bushman

PS - YES, I got mail - 29 letters :) Haha, everyone started FREAKING out, seriously :D It was fantastic! I especially loved the Choir Tour letter! How neat! I miss Mr. Swenson, say hi to him for me!

"We say to our friends of the world, we love and admire you. We are grateful for your resolve to be righteous in an increasingly wicked world. Bring all that you have that is good and wholesome with you, and let us add to all that you have, that which we have-the fullness of the gospel and the even greater blessings that can follow unto you through membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints!" - Spencer W. Kimball

Monday, September 9, 2013

Week 22: We're Working Hard

Hey family and friends! 

Things went well this week! ... All except the baptism we were going to have. That was the bummer of the week. More on that below. It's getting quite hot now with the weather changing a ton and the time change. It's 5:00 p.m. here now so when we Skype for Christmas, there will be a 4 hour time difference... But everything is good! :) We're working hard and helping lots of people so that's really good!

Congratulations to Allyson on her mission call! Independence Missouri, wow, my companion's mom went there on her mission. What a coincidence :) Mom, when does she leave? Give her my best :D Haha, yup, technically 5 months out into the mission today...the time is flying when I look at it from behind, but slightly intimidating when I look at it into the future. I try not to think about the time but it's hard sometimes. Oh well, I'm enjoying myself and I'm concentrated on the work! :) Wow, crazy about Ben P's mission! How's he doing? How is Hannah P doing? She's coming up on 9 months, halfway through her mission!!!! CRAZY :S Haha! Nope...I didn't get any mail, no letters, packages, nothing :( Hopefully this week. I did talk to Sister Wright and she told me to get some stuff from the pharmacy, so I did. I haven't seen many results yet from the stuff she told me to do but I'm just trying to be patient. (Problems with his feet) There is only one sector that uses bikes in my mission and it is where my buddy is, Elder Paxman. In my sector we walk everywhere. Often times when going to district classes or other places of that nature we use the Micro (or the bus) and the Metro (the Subway). Public transportation is very nice and updated here but the drivers are nuts and there are SOOOOO many's crazy at times! I've almost fallen over in buses before :S Elder Frost is doing good! He hits one year in three days!!! He's pretty excited for that! Spanish is okay... I'm not dreaming in Spanish yet. Elder Frost says I'm getting better and that I would cruise through Spanish classes back home, but every day there is something new I didn't understand, someone new I didn't understand, and something new I messed up on and didn't know. But I'm working hard to learn it so maybe I'm just not meant to have a very expansive knowledge of Spanish... Idk... but if they have any questions, tell them to email me and I'll do my best (his siblings) :) Yeah I'm warm...too warm, haha! The shoes and clothes and everything are great! The hardest thing is to keep my white shirts clean. But I might have found a really good way to wash them... We'll see! :)

So we were all set for the baptism of J. this week but on Monday when we did a family home evening she said she didn't feel prepared, ready, or that she had received an answer to her prayer...the complete OPPOSITE of what she said the last time we went to her house. We tried to work through it with her but in the end we just told her she's going to have to make the decision. We haven't talked to her since (she hasn't been home) but we're going to try again today! Anyways, after that lesson I felt very discouraged because I was wondering what I did wrong in teaching her...what I need to work on and could've done better to help her get baptized. Then I realized that Elder Frost and I taught her everything she would have to know and do to be baptized, she just didn't put in all of the work necessary... Hopefully people will be better prepared in the future.

One funny thing that happened today was when a dog almost gobbled me up. We were walking down the sidewalk and all of the sudden a big German Shepherd stuck his head and arms through the bars of the fence and about took off my right arm. Whew, it was scary. I jumped back and mumbled, "Judas Priest!" My comp busted out laughing because the same thing happened to him about a week before, haha! The dogs down here are CRAZY! 

Well, that's about all for the week! Take care everyone, love you!

Elder Adam Bushman
And more personally he wrote in response to our letters:

HHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!! I was laughing so hard during the letter! The letter was awesome! I love reading the weekly letters :) The Jell-O story is classic, freaking John, hahaha! Ben is just soooooo hilarious! Ah, how cool, you all are doing so very well it makes me so happy that my prayers are being answered :) Love you all! Well mom, count on my help for lots of stuff when I get back. I've been getting a much clearer view of things out here and I feel very bad for some of the grief that I gave you guys about doing stuff and that I didn't help out more... I guarantee you'll see a difference in me when I come back home :) A difference for the better! Keep on trucking mom, you are soooo great!

"Missionary activity is the responsibility of all members. My brothers and sisters, I call upon you to organize yourselves and your families and bring the gospel to your neighbors and your friends."  - Spencer W. Kimball

Monday, September 2, 2013

Week 21: I got Some Inspiration

Dear Family and Friends,

Whoot! We're halfway through my third change. Remember, a change is a 6 week period of time. So not counting the MTC, I'm almost done with my third change in the mission field. Usually missionaries only have 17 changes in their mission, including the I am 13 changes away from going home...WOW!!!! :) Time is flying!

This week was a much, much better week from the last week. We have found some new investigators, some futures, and are really working hard out here. We didn't have any investigators at the chapel today but if our two most serious investigators come next week, both will be good as gold for their baptisms. Which, brings me to the highlight of my week!

We met with our investigator J. the other day. She is the investigator who has been having trouble getting over her addiction of drinking coffee. We had a good lesson with her 3 weeks ago in which she said she would obey the Word of Wisdom. She hasn't drinken (Spanish getting to you, Elder??)  a drop since :) We're stoked about that! Also, the other day we talked to her about baptism. She is scared to fix a date because she is worried that she hasn't received an answer to her prayers yet. Anyways, we talked to her about how the Spirit works and we asked her to pray right then and there and ask if September 8th was when God wanted her to be baptized. She accepted and prayed. We told her to stay put and quiet until she received her answer from God and was ready to tell us. We were kneeling for a long, long time after the prayer. Close to 10 minutes, no joke. Finally, after my legs almost gave out, she said, "Yeah, I'll be baptized then." We were stoked. Obviously I don't want to count my chickens before they are hatched but I also want to have faith that everything will work out. I'll let you all know how it goes :)

We also found a guy named F. We contacted him in the street and he said we could come by his house. We came by three times but he wasn't there a single time. We went by once more about a week later and he was there. We found out that he LOVES English and enjoys learning it. We said we would help him if he liked! He readily accepted. We went by and helped him for a whole hour and he was soooooo grateful. He asked if we would come back to teach him more and also share our message. We did both and it is so cool. He said he doesn't believe in God anymore because of some things in his past but he said he would listen to us, understand, and do the things we invite him to do because he wants to believe in God again. He trusts us A LOT. He is a great investigator and it is really awesome to see the doors that open up when people trust you :)

We were also teaching our 10 year old investigator O. about baptism. He said he didn't want to be baptized until he was 11, because he wouldn't be as busy (please!) and he would be a lot older. We kept on trying to convince him that we shouldn't wait to be baptized but have faith in God before but he got a little frustrated. Then, I got some inspiration. I pulled out a photo of Bethany and talked about when she was preparing for baptism and how she was so excited. I testified, Elder Frost testified, and Cristian Tani (the brother of David) testified as well. His Dad was very forward but loving as well and in the end, he said he changed his mind and wanted to be baptized. He has a date for the 15th of September :) We're really excited!!! BTW, his parents both said that Bethany was SUPER cute and they loved her smile and eyes (props Bet!)!!

So those were the great experiences we've had this week! It's really awesome to see people progress. The key I've realized is to have the patience at the beginning in order to see the progress later. :)

Today we had to go and pick up my Carnet (Chilean Identification Card). Anwyay, we went to a place called the Registro Civil in downtown Santiago but we then found out that they were on strike too. So we got up at 5:00 a.m. for nothing... At like 11:00 a.m. one of the people working in the office called to tell us not to go today... About 7 hours too late... Oh well :) I'm tired but we're going to go back home and nap a little! 
Anyways, so that's my week! Take care, LOVE YOU ALL!

Elder Adam Bushman

Downtown Santiago - From a Bridge

And more Downtown Santiago

And a weirdo Elder on a bridge in Downtown Santiago
"You are called to represent the Savior. Your voice to testify becomes the same as His voice, your hands to lift the same as His hands." - Henry B. Eyring