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 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

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