Monday, February 24, 2014

Week 46: I Felt Quite Close to my Dad

Dear Family and Friends,

I am so ready for WINTER!!!! :D Haha, fortunately we are only one week away from the school year and for everybody to be home again!! This summer has been really hard in terms of teaching people, finding new investigators, and having people go to church...oh, and baptisms! :S But it's all good! We are almost at the school year!
So a quick update on our investigators. We had a really great lesson with our investigator V. (baptismal date for March 9th) on Saturday. She has been reading and praying but she still has some issues to resolve. She committed to going to church yesterday but didn't go. We were really sad. Her parents said she had to stay and help take care of her grandson because her daughter left. We are a little worried that if she isn't going to church and if she doesn't take care of some things, all the plans we have made are going to go down the tubes. The other lady with a baptismal date got back from Peru last week and we found out yesterday so we are going to go by tonight. As for the A. family, they didn't go to church and they canceled the lesson for last night so we are a little worried about them too...:S

So I had an amazing experience this week. The sister missionaries in my district had a baptism last Sunday so I went over to do the interview on Friday. My companion and I got there and I asked the sisters if there was anything I should know about J. (the investigator) before the interview. They said there was only one thing...he was blind. When I heard that I felt a strange connection to him even though I hadn't even met him yet. We went inside and got to know him and everything. Throughout the whole experience I was reminded of my dad and it brought a strange feeling of home...that may sound strange but I felt quite close to my dad. Anyways when starting the interview he said the opening prayer and immediately I felt a very strong spirit in the room. It filled my whole body and carried out through the whole interview. He is a truly amazing man who was born partially blind and it has decreased ever since. He talked to me about how he wants to participate in church more, read scriptures when he is called upon, go on visits, etc. He feels a little bit behind everybody (as he is 70 years old and everything). I told him that he can play a huge role in the church and that he is needed. We closed the interview and before we left we got a photo together!! :) It was a really special experience.

I had a really cool experience with an investigator and the Book of Mormon. We asked T. if she could explain what is the Book of Mormon to someone who had never even seen it. She couldn't explain it, she was talking about how it was unique but similar to the bible but she couldn't explain what it was. We showed her a drawing that I made that explained the Book of Mormon and answered some of her questions. Afterwards, we asked her the same question that we asked at the start. She explained what the Book of Mormon was PERFECTLY. We then read the promise and talked about the Holy Ghost. We asked her if she had felt any of the fruits of the spirit that it talks about in Galatians. She said she had and that she believes the Book of Mormon to be true and that Joseph Smith was a prophet! :D At the end of the lesson we asked her if she would come to church and she said, "I've always wanted to go!!!" :) She and her mom are going to come with us next Sunday :D
Another sweet experience was when we were teaching a less active about doing hard things! We used 1 Nephi 3-4 and Nephi's example. Halfway during the lesson he said that I was really animated, like an actor or something, that I made the story really entertaining and interesting to follow! :) He meant it as a big compliment and I really felt good knowing that in that lesson in some way I helped the scriptures "come to life" :)
We have been teaching two inactives for about 6 weeks now inviting them to the chapel and teaching and helping. It's been a really awesome experience but we have been really sad because they have slept in or had some tough things happen on Saturday, etc. Finally they came to church!!! We were SOOOOO happy to see them and it made them laugh and smile! It's J. and C.! We took a photo! :D
Anyways, that's all for today! Love you all, talk next week!

Elder Bushman

"My Lunch on P-days"

"The investigator I interviewed"

"Found a dead cat...but it is okay - the plan of salvation!" (Mom cropped out the cat guts)

"Me and Elder Kern with some members"
"If you’re not a full-time missionary with a missionary badge pinned on your coat, now is the time to paint one on your heart—painted, as Paul said, “not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God.” - Elder Neil L. Andersen

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Week 45: When we put our Faith into Action, we get Results

Dear Family and Friends,
Sounds like many fantastic things are happening back home and out here! Congrats to the b-ball players for the championship :) That's really awesome! This week has been an interesting week...I would say that this change has been an interesting change. Elder Kern and I are learning many lessons out here that are coming from many different sources. It has been really interesting seeing a different purpose this change.
Workwise, this has been the toughest week of my whole mission. We only taught four lessons to investigators this week. From the start of the week we saw appointment after appointment fall through. We had previously invited members to these lessons so we brought them anyways. Unfortunately, we didn't receive much success on these attempts. We were able to meet with a lot of less-active members and two of them came back to church for the first time yesturday for Stake Conference... The batteries in my camera were dead so I wasn't able to take any photos. Anyways, despite the poor numbers and the lack of work, we did see several miracles this week that I want to share :)
I would say the first miracle for us happened this wednesday. For a few weeks now we have been teaching a woman named V. (she was taught many times by missionaries before hand). She has been hesitant to commit to a date for baptism for a variety of reasons. (chastity is probably the biggest problem we face out here). Anyways, we decided to invite her to be baptized so we planned out a good lesson, prayed for the spirit, and pleaded that if it be God's will, that we could set a baptismal date. We went and invited her...she declined and expressed her worries again. FORTUNATELY, we had planned for this and knew EXACLTY what we wanted to do. We followed our plan and by the end she accepted the invitation and we are all working together to get her baptized on March 9, the day before changes. :) Anyways, this was a miracle because she had rejected every other invitation we or the other missionaries had extended. Truly it was a testimony to me of when we put our faith into action, we get results :)
Another experience was yesterday. We were walking and walking and walking...we didn't have a single appointment so we just went by our plans, which quickly ran out. We kept on walking, visiting anybody we could think of. Finally, at 9:00, an hour before going home, we had no idea of what to do. So we sat down on a bench, said a prayer as a companionship asking for guidance, and then pondered for a bit. We were pondering for about 5 minutes and when we started to talk about where we should go, there were a LOT of different ideas. We felt as though we had a "stupor of thought." So we thought some more. Finally, I said, "Well, maybe if we act we will be guided." So we set out to visit a couple that aren't really investigators of ours, but they aren't members. Anyways, when we passed by and the husband came out, he said, "Come on in." WOW, we hadn't heard that in a long time. We went in and had a great conversation about what we do and why we do it. We invited them to hear our message about eternal marriage (this couple has been married for 39 years, quite rare here). They were really interested so we are going to show them "Together Forever." We left them with a pass along card with the temple on it and a brief description of what goes on inside. We weren't sure if we should do a prayer so we thought "Next time," but then the wife blurted out as we all stood up, "BUT WAIT, what about the prayer!" (angels sang)! Haha, it was a cool experience. Anyways, we are excited to visit them again soon :) Their names are L and L, a really nice couple; they'd be good for the church!!!
Another experience is that an investigator family of ours got back from vacation. We met with the mom (member) and she commented to us about how much her three boys (non-members) love us and love what we have shared so far. We talked with her about the temple and shared with her how baptism and preparation afterwards helps us qualify for the blessings that lie in the temple. We told her that one year after baptism, her family can go to the temple. She is really excited and we are going to present the plan to the rest of her family, the boys and her husband (non-member). We have been planning an amazing lesson for them and we plan to invite the boys and the husband to be baptized and set a date for them. :) We are really excited and we feel that it is the will of God that this happens. We'll let you know how it goes!!!!! :)
Elder Kern and I watched a video this week about Zion's Camp. We talked about how most of the participants had a different view of what their mission or purpose was in Zion's Camp. As we all know, their mission wasn't to reclaim their land and liberate the saints again, it was to prepare the future leaders of the church. I applied this principle to my missionary service. I don't know exactly what the purpose is or when I have done enough. What I do need to do is not complain, keep working hard, and prepare myself to be the best servant and leader in the mission and afterwards that I can. :)
That's all for this week; take care everyone!!!!

Love, Elder Adam Bushman

"We are all in this together. With fellow ward members and missionaries, we plan and pray and help one another. Please keep the full-time missionaries in your thoughts and prayers. Trust them with your family and friends. The Lord trusts them and has called them to teach and bless those who seek Him."
Elder Neil L. Andersen

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


Dear Family and Friends,

This week was a good week. I would say it has been a week full of PERSONAL SPIRITUAL GROWTH instead of spiritual growth for our investigators. But, haha, why should I complain. I've had lots of experiences this week in which the Lord has opened my eyes and my understanding has expanded so much. The scriptures and connections I made this week strengthened my testimony of the scriptures and the true power there is when we study, meditate, and apply! :)

So first with an insight of mine connected with an experience: we are teaching F. and he is living with his partner and his 10 year old son. The other day he got in an argument with his partner and he was having problems so he didn't go to church with us. I was a little fed up with everybody's excuses for not reading, praying, or going to church. Even if they were valid excuses, I was a bit fed up. Anyways, I was reading the scriptures and I found a scripture that taught me a lot about why many bad things happen to good people. The scripture is in Romans 8:17...It talks about how we need to suffer with Christ in order to be co-inheritors of the Kingdom of God with Christ. That taught me a lot about how I need to look at my struggles and also about how to teach people to not throw the blame at our Heavenly Father, rather thank Him for our hard times and pray for strength to keep going. Anyways, we talked to him yesterday and he had read the BofM and prayed that day and a lot of the situation had settled :) It was a neat miracle!!!
The next scripture that opened my eyes is a scripture in James 2:19-20... In this chapter, James teaches that faith without works is dead. In these two scriptures, James seals his teaching by saying devils and demons also believe in Christ, but they don't act or follow Him. Will we do likewise? In verse 20, he asks: "Do you need anymore proof that your faith means nothing if you don't act?" I love that! We see so many times here that people say, "Oh I believe in Christ. Yeah I don't go to church and I smoke and I don't agree with what my church teaches, but I believe in Christ." It's so sad because in the end, their so called "faith," isn't faith. It's what the Lord referred to when saying, "Not all who cry out, Lord, Lord, will enter into the kingdom of my Father. Rather those who do the will of my Father." I applied that to myself...If I really believe, why don't I show it by striving to do the things that are hard for me :)
So two weeks ago we received a referral from a priest in our ward, B. So we went by to visit and we had a great lesson with her mom this week. We taught the first part of the Restoration and really focused in on the Prophet, the Holy Ghost, the blessings of the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the Book of Mormon. Her husband returned from Peru yesterday so we are excited to see if he will be on board and if we will be able to progress rapidly with this family :) We are praying for them. There are three kids, a newborn baby, and little 4 year old girl, and the 12 year old. Hopefully everything turns out and we can get this family prepared and ready to be baptized soon!!!!
Anyways, that's about it for this week! =) Love you all, take care!
Elder Adam Bushman

“Missionary work isn’t the only thing we need to do in this big, wide, wonderful Church. But almost everything else we need to do depends on people first hearing the gospel of Jesus Christ and coming into the faith. … With all that there is to do along the path to eternal life, we need a lot more missionaries opening that gate and helping people through it.”
—Jeffrey R. Holland
“We Are All Enlisted,” Ensign, Nov. 2011, 46–47

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Week 43: If we do Good Things we are Happy, but if we do Bad Things we are Sad

Dear Family and Friends,

Wow, what a week. With all things considered, it was a good week. Like all weeks there were hectic and down times but also with relaxing and happy times. The biggest downer of the week are all the people on vacation. It seems like February is the month in which EVERYONE leaves. Our church building feels so empty and our weekly results are quite low. The happiest thing this week was that we found some more new people and we had lots of spiritual experiences. :) 

So to answer some of the questions that I received this week, our families are doing good...they are on vacation but they seem to be doing well. We invited one family to church two weeks ago and they said they would come...didn't. We found out their oldest son was hospitalized the night before but went home Sunday evening. Anyways, that was understandable. They told us they would be at church no questions about it...didn't come again. Ugh! That was a bummer. The little boys have been a little sporadic.  C. didn't go yesterday but another cousin, M. went and he had a blast. We asked them what they learned and they said, "About the good stuff and the bad stuff." So I asked them what happens when we do good things and what happens if we do bad things. They replied, "If we do good things we are happy but if we do bad things we are sad." :D That was pretty cool! They were a little bored during testimony meeting (they are only 8 and 10 yrs. old) so they were looking through my gospel art book. They are good kids; we havn't shared anything with their families yet but we are trying. So there isn't really a way to beat the heat, we just try and stay comfortable with our fan. Nobody has air conditioning here and it is really rare to see a fan turned on in the homes so we are usually sweating during our lessons. They don't have swamp coolers either...AH! Dad would DIE! :S 

So one experience about following the Holy Ghost happened last night. We were walking and I had the impression to pass by an investigator family that Elder Frost and I had taught when I first entered the mission. It's been a good 6 months or more since I've seen them but I felt like we should go. We got there...nobody. But, I had an impression to write a note. So I did! We left the note and went home. As of now we haven't heard from them but I know by following the Holy Ghost we and this family will be blessed in some aspect. 

Another experience we had this week was a really spiritual lesson with an inactive member named F. He hasn't gone to church in many years and we've had struggles getting ahold of him this last few weeks. Yesterday we stopped by and he was home and invited us in. We sat down and he explained a little bit about why he was inactive, his story of finding the church, and how he feels right now. We helped him realize the difference in his life now and when he was participating actively in the church. We shared the scripture Mosiah 2:41; this is one of my favorite scriptures in the Book of Mormon. He told us that he believes that keeping the commandments is the only sure way to have happiness and he said that he just wants to return to our Heavenly Father's presense after this life. He has a disease (polio maybe) and is in a wheelchair. We talked about Christ's role as savior and sung the song, "I know that my redeemer lives." We invited him to come to church with us and he accepted. We gave him a new BofM because he lost his old one, and we left him with a priesthood blessing. It was really really spiritual and we could feel his sincerity in wanting to return to church. 

So we had a tender mercy the other day. We were going through the list of old investigators and while reviewing the list, a lady from the house of which we were standing in front of started to talk to us. We found out she is a less active member who recently moved from another community in Santiago. Here daughter (C.) was taking the lessons from other missionaries but when they moved, they lost contact. She told us we could visit her this week. We're excited to have another prepared investigator and a less-active that we can bring back to church. :) 

So the new missionary in our pension is Elder Osbon, from Michigan. He is a really cool kid and has really enjoyed his time with us so far. He has two changes less than me in the mission but he is a really nice kid and we all get along really well. I've been very fortunate to be with some many great people in the mission! 

Things are going well though, we are working hard and we aren't getting frustrated. We're doing the best job we can so far so hopefully that is good enough :)

That's all for this week folks...have a good one!!!


Elder Bushman
“I am convinced that none of us can appreciate how deeply it wounds the loving heart of the Savior of the world when he finds that his people do not feel confident in his care or secure in his hands.”
~ Jeffrey R. Holland