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