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 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 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

Monday, November 4, 2013

Week 30: We Need to Build on the Doctrine of Christ

Dear Family and Friends,

Wow....the change is over!!! I've just finished by 4th change in the mission field, wow, the time is going by so very quick... :) Haha! My companion Elder Kern is also half way done with his training program as well! Things went really well and really quick this week. Here are some of the highlights and everything:

Ever since the start of October we have been teaching D, O's older brother. He has been progressing so very well. He understands the endure to the end and all of the aspects of the Doctrine of Jesus Christ. He understands that going to church is essential. Last week he went to Stake Conference all by himself. We waited at the church and he had to walk for 20-25 minutes in order to get there but he came and we were so very excited. He has a baptismal date for the 17 of November and we are really, really excited for him! He is reading everything we leave for him, he understands the Plan of Salvation and the other day we showed him the video of John Rowe Moyle and afterwards he prayed that he would be able to keep going and endure to the end through his trials... He ended the prayer with some subtle tears which really let us know that he was sincere. We are dedicating these last two weeks to teaching the commandments and helping him know more members of the ward.

B's girlfriend, O, has been quite good. She came to church yesterday and participated very, very actively in the Principles of the Gospel class (which I had to teach yesterday on the spot). She agreed to be baptized when she finds out that the Book of Mormon is true...but, she wants to read the whole BofM beforehand....that'll take a while. It's a really awesome goal and we are encouraging her to do it, but this next lesson we have with here will primarily be about taking the leap of faith in order to follow Christ's example. She is progressing very nicely :)

Halloween was quite boring here. We heard so much about how it is just as big as the states and how they do all these different things...well, P.S., it was a bust. Totally lame! Everyone dressed up as scary/morbid stuff and I missed how our family focuses on the uplifting costumes :) Anyways, we were actually able to get a lot done that night, which was my biggest worry...that we wouldn't be able to have ANY lessons!  

Congrats to Andrew Horsley on the call, that is sooooooo awesome :) I'm so excited for him! Also, Jordan Paskett is home?!?! WOW, that was SOOOOOOO quick... Haha! 

Elder Kern is doing good. He thinks he's not progressing and I tell him all the time he is. Starting today he gets the cell phone but he is concerned about it...which I completely understand, I did the same thing because I was scared I wouldn't understand anything...but, being the good companion Elder Frost was, he stuck to it and I learned. I'm trying to do the same thing with Elder Kern.

One of my gospel thoughts comes from 3 Nephi 11:40...we need to build on the Doctrine of Christ if we want to be that reminded me of Helaman 5:12...It's interesting that all of troubles and all that we pass through in life can be dealt with through the help of the Atonement and the 5 simple principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. A few days later I read in 3 Nephi 18:12-13 and noticed that he talks about a sandy foundation and a rock again...then, I noticed that he talked about that RIGHT after talking about the Sacrament. The way we are going to endure through these last days is if we are rooted in His doctrine and if we renew our baptismal covenants regularly, preparing for the TEMPLE :D

So the last few little Christmas things: cookie mixes!!! (me and Elder Kern just want the cookie dough :), and some Christmas cards! :D

That's pretty much all for this week, haha! :) Things are going great! In just two and a half weeks Elder Lee and I will mark 8 I guarantee that when the new year comes around it will be surreal at how FAST the time has flown. :D Haha, I'm really excited to Skype you all! Make sure Cole and Eden are there when we do it! I can't send any photos this week but I will have TONS this coming MONDAY :) FOR SURE! :)

Elder Bushman
"Missionary work is a work of love and trust, and it has to be done on that basis." - Gordon B. Hinckley