Monday, September 29, 2014

Yr. 2 - Week 27: The Future of the Church is in the Youth

Dear Family and Friends,

This week was a really good one. I had a lot of fun! It went by pretty quick because we had so many divisions. I went with the assistants up to their sector in a part of Santiago called Lo Barnechea. I'll share an experience from there in a second. Then I went on divisions with Elder Jara (Elder Rice's companion). It was also pretty fun with him, I'll share some funny experiences as well!

So bad news... J.A. is NO MORE. Elder Thomas and one of the assistants went by his home and they found out that he wanted to take a break from our visits for like a month because he and his wife were having some problems. Elder Thomas just asked him, "Are we the problem here or what?" He said we were... Really lame but one day missionaries are gonna help him get baptized! 

On the bright side though, we've had some good experiences with some new investigators. Last night we visited with a young couple, G. and P. Just three months ago their little new born son died in the hospital. It's been a trial for them but we've been visiting them recently and last night we had a SWEET lesson. We went by with a new member to our ward, C. He helped us out so much in the lesson, even asking them to be baptized and inviting them to General Conference this weekend. They accepted both invitations and I think they are going to start progressing even more. C. and his wife are the new principles of the gospel teachers! I'm looking forward to that.

A LONG TIME AGO Elder Thomas and his last companion started teaching J. and C's neighbors but since they work so much, they can't really meet with us much. About two weeks ago I went with one of the missionaries in our zone, Elder Hokanson. We visited with O. (the wife) and we talked about the sacrifices we make in our lives in order to follow the gospel and therefore receive blessings! This week Elder Thomas and I visited with their family. O. told me that she read the chapter and she summarized the whole thing. She told me her favorite part and I thought that she can probably start progressing real well now. She and her daughter (M., 15) went to church. They loved it and hopefully they'll start making time for church every week! :D

Elder Aguirre (the assistant) and I had a cool experience teaching up in his sector. We taught a group of like 5 youth and one of their moms. It was so sweet because they all had such a desire to learn, especially this one kid and his cousin. They had great questions, they made comments, and it wasn't just teaching a lesson...we were teaching youth. It really taught me that, the future of the church is in the youth! These youth are going to take the church to unimaginable places! 

Elder Jara is from Uruguay, they are obsessed with drinking Mate (that drink that is made from herbs, hot water, and is drunken from a metal straw). Literally, they walk everywhere with a thermos full of hot water and they drink all day. Haha, during our studies, we drank almost two liters of mate! It was SOOOOO good :D Haha! I had to use the bathroom all day though, but mate is really good for you, even helps you lose weight ;) 

This Sunday, I, J and C all received temple recommends so hopefully we'll be able to go to the temple pretty soon. Also, J. was able to bless the sacrament and C. prepared and passed it today! Super cool! :) Experiences like these and responsibilities like these are going to help these converts stay active for forever :D I'm way stoked for them!!!!!

Answers to my mom's questions:

Medical care in Santiago...from what I've heard, the hospitals and doctors here in Santiago are the best in South America. It's probably because Santiago is the most advanced economically, technologically, etc. Anyways, I've never had to go to the hospital but if I did need any medical assistance, I would first go to the mission doctor and he would send me to the hospital if it was necessary. 

Haha, there are some things I haven't told you if I tell you when I get back home ;)

Elder Frost and Elder Thomas... It's weird that they are leaving because they are the first companions that I've had in the mission that are going home. I talked to Elder Frost the other day and we just couldn't believe that it was over now and how it seemed like he had picked me up just the other day. It's going to be weird getting a new companion. I don't really want to get a new companion who is older than me in the mission...mostly because I don't like having to kill (or end the mission with) a companion. Elder Thomas' parents are coming down to Chile and are going to be visiting people and sight seeing for about a week. Elder Frost is going home right off! Yeah, I'm just going to stay here and get a new companion!

Anyways, so that's it for the weeek :D Haha, thanks for everything guys! I love you all, talk to ya'll next Monday!!! :D

Elder Bushman
Elder Jara from Uruguay..Fun Guy - This is us on divisions

These guys are so dead (meaning done with their missions)

"The Boys are BACK"
 Zone BBQ:

88,000 Missionaries Faithfully Serving the Lord. And One of them Belongs to ME!!!!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Yr. 2, Week 26: It Made me Really Happy

Dear Family and Friends,

This week wasn't too full of sweet experiences or anything wild. I will just start listing a few of the events most pertinent:

I. and M. went on a big vacation throughout the weekend and we weren't able to contact them at all. I was a little worried they were going to have an excuse not to go to church but there they were, walking into church at 9:00 AM :) It made me really happy and excited for them. This week we are going to get I. her temple recommend and go with her and M. (her son) to the temple to do baptisms for the dead! Hopefully all goes well!

I went on divisions this week with Elder Mendez. We had a sweet experience while teaching a less-active woman and her husband. We taught about eternal families when he mentioned his desire to get remarried because he and his wife had a bad experience. We began to teach them about the sealing power and how it was restored by Joseph Smith and how temples had the special purpose of helping us make covenants through the priesthood. Anyways, we invited him to prepare for baptism and he accepted. Hopefully they can prepare and he can get baptized in a few months!

Haha, now that I think of it, not much happened. We cooked a lot this week, lots of really random stuff. I'll send some photos next week!! 

Anyways, it there's any questions, I'll respond to them next week!

Elder Bushman
"Prepare now to go on a mission. It will not be a burden. It will not be a waste of time. It will be a great opportunity and a great challenge. It will do something for you that nothing else will do for you. It will sharpen your skills. It will train you in leadership. It will bring testimony and conviction into your heart. You will bless the lives of others as you bless your own. It will bring you nearer to God and to His Divine Son as you bear witness and testimony of Him. Your knowledge of the gospel will strengthen and deepen. Your love for your fellowman will increase. Your fears will fade as you stand boldly in testimony of the truth." - Gordon B. Hinckley

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Yr. 2, Week 25: It Looks like a Legit Miracle

Dear Family and Friends,

Man this was a crazy week, a very good one though! All of the converts are doing very well. I. and M. have been talking about the church to lots of people. M. even defended herself and the church from one of her cousins over Facebook who was dissing on her decision to be baptized. Haha, I. showed us the messages...SO FUNNY :) Haha, we got them a really good start to their family history! I. already has found a few names and she'll be going to the Registro Civil this week to find even more! She'll be way prepared to go to the temple here in a week or so to do baptisms and confirmations. They went to the Chilean Independence Day celebration in the stake and had lots of fun! They were confirmed members of the church on Sunday and brought a few non-member friends and family. :)

C. and J. are also doing well! We had a good FHE with them this last week. On Monday we went and showed them the video...Moutain of the order to prepare them for family history work and doing ordinances in the temple. They really, really liked it and it made me want to go to the temple SOOO bad! :) haha, I think Elder Thomas and I are going to go after this week ends. Anyways, they also participated in the celebration. C. won the sack hopping contest, so that was pretty sweet! :D They were also confirmed members of the church on Sunday and the elder's quorum president and the high priest assigned to the ward are helping J. start to prepare to receive the Melchezideck priesthood in a few months (both he and C. were ordained to the Aaronic priesthood on Sunday as well)!!! :) Anyways, things are looking great with them, so that's way happy!

Another cool experience from this last week had to do with an investigator that we had dropped a little over a month ago... J.A. For a long time we have been trying to get back in contact with him but nothing happened. Finally we set an appointment with him for yesterday but when we went by his daughter said he wasn`t home... Later that night at 9:00 we had NOTHING TO DO and it was raining and hardly anyone was in the street. I thought, let's try going by J.A. one more time so we did...and he was there. We went inside and he explained how much work he has been having and everything and the big changes in his life. He also shared with us that he wants to be baptized still, he wants to keep going to church, and dedicating more time to the Lord. Anyways, we gave him some assignments and we felt as though we should set another date, so we invited him for the 5 of October and he accepted. He went to church yesteday and in elders quorum he said that he hopes to one day receive the priesthood (because he had seen J. and C.'s ordinations :) Anyways, it looks like a legit miracle :) 

Well, not much happened this week. We are trying to find new investigators, Elder Thomas is on his last 3 weeks of the mission, I just got the paper asking me to confirm the information for my plane ride home (in 6 months...:S), not much to tell! :) Haha!

I love you all, take care!

Elder Bushman
Photos from the Stake's Independence Day Celebration:
 Anticucho barbeque
 Mote con Huesillo

 M and me (he's I's son, the one who baptized her and M)
 The Celebration:

P-Day Photos - National Park (Quebrada de Macul):

 Scenery from the Quebrada de Macul:

Our Hike:
 Chilean Sunset:
Our group at the Quebrada de Macul (today's pday)

Monday, September 8, 2014

Yr. 2, Week 24: THEY ALL GOT BAPTIZED!!!!

Dear Family and Friends,

We are so happy for how the baptism turned out. :) THEY ALL GOT BAPTIZED!!!! It was really a miracle and we were able to see many others all week long as we were preparing them. I. bore her testimony in sacrament meeting. She talked about her change of heart, her desire to endure to the end, and how happy she was to be a new person and receive blessings for her and her family. A. (the older man who was baptized) had a rough life in the past but has made a 180° turn and was really touched by her testimony. He feels the exact same way and desires even more changes in his life. M. and P. have been wanting to be baptized for a long time and they were really happy to finally be baptized and start a life in the church. All in all, great baptisms! We had a lot of participation from the ward and the presence of some stake leaders in the baptism :) President and Hermana Wright went too. It was a very emotional Sunday!

Another thing that happened this week had to do with two other investigators of ours, F. (17) and N. (14). They have been wanting to be baptized for a LONG TIME but their parents won't let them. This week during a meeting, I felt the impression to have a fast for them. I talked to Elder Thomas about it after and we decided to ask them. We asked F. and N. and they agreed. We four started a fast for the hearts of their parents to be softened so they could get baptized on Sunday! They asked...and their parents said that they couldn't ... YET. In a way it was an answer to our fast. Their hearts seem to be softening and I believe that God wants to continue to test the faith of F. and N. as well as ours! :D Anyways, I know they will be baptized soon!!!

We went out to teach lessons with President Wright this week. At first I was nervous but it was really cool. If somebody asked me, I think this is my favorite thing about being a ZL...being close to president! We had a lot of fun! He's really funny, a good sense of humor. He told us a lot of stories and it was nice because we learned a lot about him and his life!!! We went and taught I. about the temple and family history work. It was really neat because her aunt was also there and she is Evangelical, just like I. She had lots of questions and was really interested. Having president there was perfect because when someone more mature teaches and testifies with experiences, it makes it so much more powerful! :D

Anyways, thanks for everything everyone! Til next week!

Elder Bushman
This is our line of white on Sunday...I feel slightly awkward sitting there in normal clothes next to these next to celestial beings!

This is Elder Nelson finally trying Mate...he HATED it, hahahahaha!!!!
"Gather the Saints, but do not flatter; invite, but do not urge, and by no means compel any one." - Brigham Young

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Yr. 2, Week 23: WOW, they are killing it :)

Dear Family and Friends,

Man, this has been a crazy week! We've had a lot to do but it's been really fun to get to know new people and stuff!

One of the coolest experiences of this week was the FHE we had with the bishop's family and P, R, J, and C. We taught the Plan of Salvation but had a game in which we played Jeopardy with questions about the plan. It was so fun because the teams were really even and everybody was laughing at the answers everybody game and everything! Elder Thomas and I had a ton of fun and we are a lot more confident with how they understand than before :D 

We have been visiting a really cool family, J and M. They are inactive but are really awesome. They've had some tough experiences and trials in their marriage but they have a lot of potential to be great. We had a good FHE with them this week and they committed to going to church...and they went! :D To make it even better, they stayed after sacrament meeting and had interviews with the bishop. Hopefully the ward can help strengthen them and that they can return to activity in the church...they've also started their prayers as a family again so that is way sweet! :D

Here's an update on our future converts :D

I and M: WOW, they are killing it :)  They are getting so prepared. They are reading the BofM and they are completely leaving their addictions to coffee and tea. They went up to the in-laws for the weekend  (they drink lots of tea) but I said they didn't drink at all and they told them they were getting baptized and the in-laws were really excited for them! :D We have to teach them a lot of stuff but they are doing awesome! }

C and J: WOW, they are also getting really prepared. C's little brother M. was having his birthday on Sunday and Elder Thomas and I were a little worried they wouldn't show up at church...HOWEVER, we were wrong...thankfully! :D C., his dad, J., and C's cousin and friend (who aren't members) showed up to church and stayed all three hours like normal :D We were really content and it was really cool to know that C. is inviting his family and friends to learn more about the church and to participate. He also gave his aunt a BofM and committed her to read it! We're really excited for them. Their family also has a really good relationship with the bishop and his family. Today is going to be our third straight FHE with them :) Yesterday the bishop invited the family over to his house and they are giving the lesson and everything.... IT'S AWESOME!!!!!!

We visited J. and C. this week as well! They are awesome. C. always says that he doesn't believe in God and that he is the devil's son but I personally think he's just a little hard hearted against religion. This last visit he sat in on and participated in our lesson about the Book of Mormon. He also used to say that he would never go to church but last week he said he would come to church this he is really starting to soften up to us. Also, we ate completos with him after the lesson and after making his, C. held it up to his face and said, "¿Y voh, que hací 'fuera? ¡Pa'entro!" Elder Thomas and I thought it was so funny and we quote it all the time (basically he was talking to the completo in his CHILEAN and asking it why it wasn't in his mouth and then he commanded it to get into his mouth). :D They are one of the most funny, rowdy families ever :D Hahaha!

Anyways, that's about it for this week! I love you all, I'll let you guys know how the baptisms go next Monday! :D

Love you all!

Elder Bushman

P.S. Believe it or not, but I still have half the box of CAP'N CRUNCH left ;)

"I am hopeful that a great effort will go forward throughout the Church, throughout the world, to retain every convert who comes into the Church. There is no point in doing missionary work unless we hold on to the fruits of that effort." - Gordon B. Hinckley