Monday, March 31, 2014

Yr. 2, Week 1: He is a Chosen Investigator

Dear Family and Friends,
Wow, what a week! It was a good week, all things considered :) I am very happy to say that I got the family package :) YEAH!!! I am loving the music, although my companion Elder Kern is already sick of it...haha, but he is very patient! I've pretty much already eaten all the candy you guys sent me, it was very good!! :D I'm so very grateful for the journals, I've been trying to catch up on a few things that I've been short on! The dog buzzer/taser is fantastic!! Elder Osbon tries to use it on me...? :) Haha!!! All in all, fantastic! So the weather is starting to change ... finally! It's been quite cold these last few mornings and the temperature during the day isn't too hot. 

We have the coolest plans for General Conference. We all bought TONS of chocolate milk and tons of materials to bake cookies!! We're baking homemade cookies to eat during the sessions and we are going to order Papa John's between sessions!!! :D We are going to watch General Conference in English as much as we can. We are trying to invite everyone we can to go but we want them to sit with the members instead of us. Hopefully it works out! We are teaching an inactive returned missionary (went to Australia) and he accepted our invitation to go to G.C. He's coming with us to the priesthood session and said he wants to watch it in English! :) WHOOT!
Update on some people: that lady, N. who was a reference we got turned out to live in the Hermana's sector. I'm okay with that because the Hermana missionaries there are AMAZINGLY good and they are also in my same district so they keep us updated. Apparently they went by and N. was expecting my companion and I so she was quite confused... The sisters explained that they heard that she listened to a message from a few elders. She said yes!! The sisters said, "From Elder Bushman." The sister missionaries said that she was like, "Yeah, Elder Bushman" and then she let them in on the spot and now they are teaching her. I was really happy when I heard it!! :D The lady in the Netherlands will be there until like the start of June so I won't see her for a while.

So an amazing experience we had was with a guy named L. The Sunday before last Elder Kern and I were heading to an appointment we had when all the sudden this guy yelled, "Hey, give me something to read." He was sitting down on the inside of his front patio and was drinking and smoking. We gave him a pamphlet and started talking to him. He said he has felt really alone and with no purpose at all. I asked him, "What do you think your purpose is here." He said straight up, "I don't know... I feel like all I do is work." We explained a little bit of the nature of God and who we are as His children. We said we would explain more later and passed by the next day. He was so much happier when we passed by and we explained lesson 1, the Restoration and helped him understand that he can have eternal happiness if he follows Christ. He accepted a BofM and prayed with us. We've tried to teach during the week but he was always busy until we stopped by on Saturday and had a good lesson with him. We talked a bit about the Book of Mormon and the Holy Ghost and how we can know that this message is true. He again prayed with us and accepted our invitation to go to church. He didn't go (I assume he had to work) but we also invited him to be baptized when he knows that this is true and he readily said, "Yes I will." :) We truly believe that he is a chosen investigator and a man that God has been preparing for a while!! We're excited to see his progress.
One of the biggest things I am learning right now is who I want to be when I get back and what I want to do. I have a vision of myself magnifying my calling, sharing the gospel with people at work,etc., studying the scriptures faithfully, using my time on Sunday wisely, etc. I really want to go home converted from my mission, I know it is essential that I do, and I want to make sure that I am converted to what the mission taught me. That is the biggest lesson so far I think. 
Here in Chile, everything is pretty much double the cost of things up there in the States. Food is EXTREMELY expensive. A one liter carton of milk is like $1.50... Personal care products such as shampoo, soap, detergent, etc., is just a lot of money. I'm able to cover everything with what I have but in general things are expensive here. Some differences between here and the states are the fact that there are security guards in every grocery store, we have to tip the baggers, there are TONS of drunks just wasted in the street. Also, in the states we have to go to some sort of grocery store to get certain items, but here, you can get most everything you need from small little stores called "almacenes" that people just open up from their house. There is usually one within a two minute walk from your house. The construction of the houses is poor because most people do things themselves. If you want the job done right, you gotta pay big bucks to get a real workman to come in. Anyways, those are some small differences :) Haha! 
I've pretty much decided that I'm going to study business when I get home, get a masters with it, and a minor in Spanish. We'll see how it goes, but I'm ready! :D
Anyways, that's the letter for the week! Keep living guys and I love you all!
Elder Bushman

Monday, March 24, 2014

1 YEAR!!!!!

Elder Adam Bushman will be home in one year from today - March 24, 2015!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Week 50: I Wouldn't have Traded this for ANYTHING!!!

Dear Family and Friends,

Wow, this week has been a long one but a very good week as well. We are having a lot of difficulties with some of our BIG TIME investigators so to speak. We weren't able to meet with F. all week and he didn't go to church, so we don't even know what's up with him. We found out today that the sister and niece of a recent convert in the ward next to ours doesn't want to talk to us anymore ... that kinda sucks. Also, we weren't able to visit P. and T., and T. didn't go to church. C. and her family were "really busy" this week so we didn't even visit them at all. We also visited a part member family and we were going to start teaching the 15 year old boy and reactivate the mom...but then they weren't there and we'll have to try and visit next Saturday. We visited with the A. family and had a good lesson but they said they would "do everything possible" to go to church...they didn't. Anyways, I'm not mad or discouraged because we really worked hard this week and we are being obedient and everything. I'm actually very pleased with this last week because we saw quite a few miracles :) So, now that we got all of the negative stuff out of the way, now I can focus on the dope stuff!!!

On Monday we made cookies, Elder Kern and I, and we took them to the Á. family in our ward, the family that gave us all of that food. We wanted to visit with the whole family but it turns out that the dad and daughter were there. They were SOOOO happy and though it was a tiny act of service in return, they were SOOO grateful that we walked for forever to get the cookies to them and that we had made them :) Anyways, their daughter, C., is going to BYU this fall so she asked me questions when she and her dad dropped us off in their car at our lesson! :) Really awesome family!!!
Well this week we found some sweet new investigators!!! The other day we were going through a list of old members and we went to a house we'd never seen before. We talked to a lady who told us the people we are looking for didn't live there...DANG we thought but then we started sharing our message with this family! She invited us in (there wasn't a man at home so we just sat in her patio) and we talked with her and her daughter (the mom is V. and the daughter is V.). They were both SOOO interested and they were so excited for us to come back! She also said that her mom (who wasn't home at that moment) was going to just love talking with us. It's really cool because just 5 doors down lives J. and C., the less-actives we just reactivated! C. and V. are the same age and they both have very similar family situations! :) Anyways, we are going to go back tomorrow to visit them so we are really excited :) That day I was really feeling down but I decided to be happy and positive and our loving Heavenly Father placed these wonderful people in our path! :)
So about a month ago a drunk stopped us and started talking to us about a bunch of weird stuff and then he said come by my house. So we said "Yeah sure" and we wrote down his address. We never went by and we saw him several other days just absolutely drunk and crazy so we were a little wary about passing by. Then the other day we talked with him and gave him a pamphlet and we promised we would go by. His name is J. and we went by the other day. He was sober and we had a good conversation about what he wants, what we want to help him accomplish, and what he'll need to do. We also taught him this morning and he promised to keep all of the Word of Wisdom laws until we go by his house on Wednesday. He also said he would go to church with us. I'm not sure what will come of this future investigator but he is quite sincere and if he stops drinking we could see some decent progress.
I'm going to be sending a recording soon so in that recording it will talk a little bit about what happened last night :)
I'm so very glad to be a missionary, I love my ward, I love my sector, and I am really enjoying everything! :) I've experienced the best and worst of times out here and I'm sure there are many in the coming months but I wouldn't have traded this for ANYTHING!!! :D I love you all, take care!
Elder Bushman 
We carried a couch from a member's home...we carried it like a MILE! UGH!

Well...I mastered the Rubiks Cube....CHECK!!!

Here is our church...

Here is our favorite completo shop!

“When we heed a silent prompting and act upon it without delay, out Heavenly Father will guide our footsteps and bless our lives and the lives of others.”
. . . . . . . . . . ~ Thomas S. Monson

Monday, March 17, 2014

Week 49: We are Really Seeing Grand Changes in him

Dear Family and Friends,
Wow, what a week! It has just been a week FULL of crazy surprises but also just amazing experiences :) My testimony has been strengthened this week a lot but also my resolve to be a better missionary and servant of the Lord. Congrats to Guillermo Luis Bustamante Simósa!!! He gave his farewell talk yesterday and heads into the field in a week! Love you Bro!!! So here are some sick experiences from my week:
Last Monday we had a really great FHE with F. at the V's house. We talked about Lehi's dream and more about being committed to the Lord. It was fantastic and we all left that FHE so spiritually nourished!!! F. went on and on about how great that family is and how bad he wants to get baptized. We haven't set a date yet because we need to resolve some things but he has the desire and up until now he has had the works to prove it. We are really seeing grand changes in him. Anyways, the Primary President in our ward, Hermana Á. called us on Monday night and asked if she could stop by our pension for a second and talk. We said sure but were were thinking, "Why the heck does she want to talk?" Anyways, we met the Á. family at the pension and the dad and mom said, "Well since you guys can't go to our house for lunch we decided to bring you guys a few things for your pension."They gave us cereal, milk, eggs, meat, pringles, hot dogs, cheese, etc, etc, etc.!! :) It was so amazing and I was just in shock! We said thank you a ton but we felt so grateful that today we made them cookies and we are going to deliver it to them tonight as a token of gratitude! It just reminded me how amazing the members of the church are and what kind of things I want to do later in my life! :D
So on Friday we had our Zone Conference and a few days before the old assistant to the president, Elder Schade, called me up and asked me to help him out. He was put in charge of the musical number and so he solicited my help and the help of the old office secretary, Elder Wilson, for the song. We sang the song, "Bendito Salvador" (Blessed Savior) but to the tune of "I Need Thee Every Hour." It was so awesome and it was really fun! They are both going to BYU so it'll be cool to see them both after the mish! :D
Also in Zone Conference, President Wright talked a lot about how we need to be more converted to our studies and to the scriptures. He showed us all his scriptures and shared with us a few of the ways he has studied the scriptures and other suggestions from modern day prophets! He took 3 years to go through the entire Book of Mormon, studying for about an hour every day. What he did is he studied and meditated on EVERY SINGLE VERSE of the BofM and refused to continue on until he had finished his study of the current verse. He also shared two secrets: SLOW DOWN and OPEN UP YOUR MIND. I've been improving my studies over the last few days and it has been incredible to see what I have learned by following these two secrets!!! Take the first chapter of the BofM for instance, 1 Nephi 1...Slow down and open up your'll find a lot of good secrets for receiving revelation in there! :D

So F. gave us quite a scare this week. He called us on the phone and was crying and I couldn't understand him and then we didn't see him for a few days but we finally got to have a lesson with him in which he told us that he got into a fight with his partner, then he was passing through some economic troubles, etc, etc. He was quite repentant and realizes how much he needs to be involved in prayer and scripture study every day. We focused our message on Jesus Christ and His Atonement and how it gives us healing power, liberating power, and abilitating power. We sang "I Stand All Amazed" to finish up. He went to Church on sunday and we dropped by his house on sunday without him knowing. His son invited us and we found him reading through the priesthood manual for this year (teachings of Joseph Fielding Smith)...that was pretty awesome!!! :D Anyways, we are pushing to have a temple tour this week and also have a FHE with the V. family again and try to set some baptismal dates with the whole family :) We'll see how it goes!
Last night we had a fireside in our stake with our mission president. It was for investigators, recent converts, and less active members of the church. In the fireside, President Wright addressed many of the common rumors about mormons and also answered many of the questions that this group had. We couldn't find any recent converts or investigators who were going to be able to attend. We finally found a less active guy, M. B. to come with us. He drove us in his car and everything. We've been visiting him for a long time but we haven't found out his need yet nor why he won't come back to church. They talked a lot about the BofM in the fireside and afterwards Elder Kern asked him, "So when are you going to go to church with us?" He said, "Next week." YEAH BUDDY! I also asked him, "What was the thing that most impressed you?" He said the comments on the Book of Mormon. I asked him if he has ever prayed to know if it is true. He says his had done it and has been praying lately but doesn't feel like he has received an answer!!! I asked him what he would do if he found out. He said, "I would return to the church and prepare to go to the temple again." SWEET!!! He also is only 23 yrs. old so there is still time for a mission!!! :D
Anyways, my testimony has grown this week despite a few lame experiences. There were many other experiences that I am not able to include right now but thanks so much for everything! I love you all, chao!!
Elder Bushman

"I would rather hear an Elder speak only five words accompanied by the power of God, and they would do more good than to hear long sermons without the Spirit." - Brigham Young

Monday, March 10, 2014

Week 48: I'm Staying Again

Dear Family and Friends,
Well, today was changes and ... ... ... I'm staying again :) WITH my same companion! I'm going to remain with Elder Kern until April 21! This is my 8th change in my first sector and this is the MAX amount of time to be in your first sector so next change I'll be moving to a different sector; I just won't know which one until next change. Anyways, this also marks 5 changes with Elder Kern! :) We are excited because we will be together for General Conference again and be able to help a few more people hopefully get through the repentance process and partake of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost. Anyways, things are really good here. I'm grateful for another change in my first sector and we are looking for great things this change! Last week was a great week and I pray that it is the preview for our change! :D
So before I get to my letter I just gotta say that, no mom, I have not gotten the package yet. I'm not sure if it is still in CorreosChile or if it is in the mission office. No, I don't know. Hopefully on Wednesday I will get it :)
So as I said, this was a good week! We were able to have about 3 times the amount of lessons we had in the previous week and we really saw a lot of progress from people! We have several investigators who are on the point of progressing and breaking out but this week we only had one. A few months ago we were teaching a guy named F. He started to get busy with work so we hardly passed by at all for a long time. This last week though, all of the sudden, he has started showing a lot of interest and we were able to meet with him a bit. In the first lesson we told him that our goal is to help him repent and we explained how we repent and how it blesses us. We asked him what his goals were and we talked about how repentance makes those goals come to a reality. We've had several great lessons since then but the biggest success has been on his own. This week he has read through the first 5-6 chapters of the Book of Mormon, praying every day, constantly thinking about his goals and how he can follow Christ, and yesterday he went to church for all three hours. When we stopped by his house he said that he had just the BEST experience in church, that the members were so friendly and so happy to hear about his progress! He said he felt like a regular member!!! Yesterday we taught about the plan of salvation but showed the Mormon Message "A Secure Anchor!" We talked about how Christ is our companion and if we don't have him, we WILL fall. We talked about Christ's mission and how He will save us if we do our part, but only AFTER we do all we can do. At the end of the lesson he said that he doesn't want us to call him our friend anymore, but rather our brother. :D He is truly going through a great repentance process and if he continues down this path, he could be baptized and confirmed this change. :D We are taking him to the V's house tonight for a lesson!! Hopefully everything goes well!!!
So here are some answers to the questions for this week: we haven't been able to work with D. at all because he moved back to Peru and he won't be coming back! Elder Kern and I are both sad but from all accounts it seems like he is doing well! :D We usually have lunch with several different members but when the members can't do it, we cook. And if there is no man in the house of the member, we go and pick up lunch. We haven't had any church tours except for last week when we had the Capilla Abierta, or the Open House for the Church. It went really well and we got a lot of references from it so hopefully those can work out! 
About two weeks ago we had interviews with President Wright. It was a good interview and he talked about how as a mission we can get even better at being obedient and he challenged me to be exactly obedient. We are working on it! We have zone conference this weekend and I am going to be participating in a musical number with two other elders. :) Hopefully it goes well! We are blessed to have access to the Liahona in English and Spanish! We usually just use them for studying but we also give them to investigators or less active members. We have been able to use the Bible Videos a lot and they are really powerful! We showed them to a less-active member and talked about the mission of Christ. He got so emotional and committed to going to church with us :D The average person in our sector for a man is a middle aged man in construction work clothes (type thing) but for a woman it is a middle aged woman or young girl pushing a stroller with a baby in it. Lots of people here in our sector work in construction or different types of factories. The employment rate is high but the jobs don't pay a whole lot. Chile has a large middle class but the difference between the middle class and the high class is HUGE!!!! 
Most people take public transportation in our sector but there are still a lot of people with cars! Yes I get enough to eat but I'm still losing some weight! I weighed myself today and I weighed 69 kilos, one kilo less than like 3 weeks ago... I'm like 152 pounds and I came on the mission at like 155 I think!... We just finished an English fast that lasted 40 days. During that whole time we planned and only talked in Spanish. Now, we are just going to be talking Spanish when we are out in the street! This week, the trial I experienced was probably teaching the zone class with Elder Schwartz. His companion is leaving and on the day of zone class he had to be in a meeting so E' Schwartz called me up and asked me to help him teach the class. I was quite stressed and we were running around a lot but I was able to overcome it through lots of prayer and accepting the Lord's will...
Last night we had a crazy experience. We went to the house of a future investigator. The wife wasn't home (we were going to meet with her) but her husband was there so he let us in to talk for a second. I went to the bathroom real quick when we went in, but I could hear this man asking all sorts of in your face questions to my companion. I left the bathroom and he was asking us questions, basically trying to find fault in the doctrine and in the church. We shared the message of the Restoration for about 15 minutes and invited him to read the BofM and pray. He said that he would have to talk to his pastor. I told him that was fine but before making any decision he should pray to God for an answer and a confirmation of the truth of what he would read. We continued asking questions but we kept just trying to turn everything to the Restoration and how we need to gain of testimony of it. Throughout the whole lesson I felt as though the Spirit was guiding our words and actions and everything. We were only able to answer the questions and "not be confounded before men" because we were following the spirit and teaching simply. I'm not sure what will happen with the family but I know we testified with the spirit and that he felt it. We'll see but I'm glad we chose to testify in the conversation instead of intensify the conversation.
There were many other great experiences but these are the ones that stand out! Anyways, take care, love you all! Talk to ya'll next week :)
Elder Bushman
P.S. Here is a photo of a SICK dessert we made as a pension! Ice cream, a huge brownie, and a huge sliver of a big nobake cookie!!! :D TO DIE FOR!!! 

"A missionary's spiritual preparation will be strengthened by better family home evenings, by improved teaching in the Aaronic Priesthood and auxiliary organizations, by attendance at seminary and institute, by going to the temple to be baptized in behalf of the dead, by encouragement to read the Book of Mormon." - Gordon B. Hinckley

Monday, March 3, 2014

Week 47: I Felt on Fire Because I Knew that we Taught by the Spirit!!!!

Dear Family and Friends,
First off, I wanted to say congrats to John and Karla and Family on the new baby!! Whoohoo!! :) Another Cousin!! Haha, man, October will be here in NO time!! What are we at right now? How many cousins are we??? (29) Anyways, things have been going decently well. This last week was tough again, but we are still grateful and excited for the wonderful experiences we had.
So today for P-day, we had the craziest party. We had a big barbeque as a zone and some of the elders from the office and the assistants came! Also, Elder Frost and his companion came! :) Yeah boy!!! In addition to the barbeque, we also played soccer and basketball! It was so fun! :D It was also really fun to catch up with Elder Frost! He is just awesome! It'll be such fun hanging out with him after the mission :D
So a cool experience real quick! This week I went on divisions with Elder Schwartz (a great guy, friend of Todd Baer). We had about five appointments that day and I worked especially hard the night before to get members to come with us to these appointments. Four of them fell through... I felt bad that Elder Schwartz and I were seriously just walking around trying to visit with someone for literally 5 1/2 hours. Finally, at the end of the day we had a lesson with a couple, L. and L. The wife is about to leave on a trip to the Netherlands so when we got there she was really busy trying to get her hair all done. I thought, "No, not again. The cherry on top of the evening." We talked to L. (the husband) for a little bit and explained that we have a small message to share. Suddenly L. (the wife) burst into the room (still with a whole mess of hair stuff trailing her) and said, "I am so sorry that I look so horrible, but I wanted to hear your message!" L., L., and the hair stylist (N.) sat down and listened to our message. We centered it around families and the spirit was so strong. We were asking questions like crazy and teaching so well (I credit it all to the spirit). The member we brought shared his testimony about his parents being sealed in the temple and we ended by sharing the hymn "Familes can be Together Forever." L. wants to watch the video "Together Forever" and his daughter comes home soon so we are going to show them both. Also, N. was so interested that she gave us her information and was willing to learn more about the Gospel of Jesus Christ that has been restored :) Amazing lesson! I felt on fire because I knew that we taught by the spirit!!!!

Here are some answers to the questions from this week:
(Is it starting to cool down yet?) So right now it is still hot but we can tell that the weather is changing because there has been an unusual number of overcast cool days of late, with means we are heading into fall...WHOOHOO!!! :) Finally!!! 
(Have you had any problems with fleas or other bugs?) About two weeks ago I woke up with about 20 bug bites on my body that just jerked me sideways in a bad way. I was itching the whole day so I put some terrashield on my bed and took a good shower. Since then I haven't had any problems. Elder Kern woke up one day and felt itchy as well. That night, we came home and he had big splotches of red with white centers ALL OVER his body. He had two really rough nights but we went to the doctor and all things seem well now. :) Fortunately!!! 
(How is your health? You haven't mentioned anything for a long time...) Health wise I am doing great! 
(How are all your clothes holding up?) My clothes are doing well! The shirts I have been using are starting to be really yellow and fall apart, those are mostly just the short sleeve ones. I still have three, unused shirts in my suitcase so next summer I will start using those with the good shirts I still have. When fall is really here, I'm tossing the bad shirts. The shoes Dad and I bought when I was like 15 or 16 are starting to really fall apart! They still look presentable but the insides are trashed. I am making them last to my year-mark though :D (What do you look forward to the most?) I usually look forward to my studies during the day! I really like to study and learn new things. I've really been expanding my knowledge of the Bible while connecting scriptures to my Book of Mormon. It's cool because when Elder Frost left, I've only been using my Spanish scriptures and it has really helped me know my proselyting scriptures better. In regards to the temple, I think I am going to try and go around my birthday, maybe I'll try and go with Elder Frost again, who knows! :) Haha! (Once someone becomes a Zone Leader, is he always a Zone Leader?) Usually the Zone Leaders will stay in that spot until the end of the mission but sometimes they are made Assistants or receive other assignments throughout the mission. It really just varies but generally Zone Leaders are Zone Leaders for the rest of the mission.  
(What has each of your companions taught you? If you could choose one thing that you have really learned from them, what would it be?) Elder Frost really taught me to work hard and to be obedient. He taught me to do my best and then be satisfied with the results. Elder Kern has taught me to love the people and to look more for their needs. He has also taught me patience and positivity!
Well, that's basically the week! Take care everyone; love you all :)
Elder Adam Bushman

"Here's a project that I worked on this week. It's a map about the Book of Mormon and the Bible! We've used this in our lessons and it has been awesome! (Written and Designed by Elder Adam Bushman)"
He was the boss BBQ'er at home - now he is in Chile. Love the photo-bombing Elders!
“Missionary work is an identifying feature of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Always has it been; ever shall it be. As the Prophet Joseph Smith declared, 'After all that has been said, the greatest and most important duty is to preach the Gospel.' ”  ~Thomas S. Monson