Monday, December 9, 2013

It's almost Christmas!

Sent: Monday, December 9, 2013 4:09 PM
Subject: It's almost Christmas!

Hello everyone!!

I got a package with gloves and my jacket. I hope that's the one you are talking about. I loved it! thank you so much. I'm loving the weather out here. It's getting colder but it only gets to the 30s at night and during the day it's around the 50s. I love it! i'm glad you guys are doing well and the Nativity went well. Our Christmas party is this Saturday and should be great! Thank you for your prayers. Let me think about my favorite scripture and I'll let you know.

This week has been interesting. Basically every appointment we had every day this week fell through and we had to find a lot of other people to see. Tuesday we did pick up two investigators for after Christmas. Wednesday we got two more for the next two weeks  as well. Thursday we had a lesson with R and were able to talk with him more. I hope he comes along quickly. Saturday morning we had a lesson with B C, a 70 year old black guy, that really gave us a boost and was great! He was super funny and I can't wait to continue teaching him. that night we went over to Bishop's and discussed our ward list and what we needed to do for each person. then we went to a lesson with C and his mom and they agreed to start taking the lessons! I'm so excited!! Even Pie Night was cancelled that night. This was just one of those weeks. Thankfully it got rescheduled for last night so we got to end our week with Pie Night which was great.

I hope you guys have a great week. I can't wait to hear from you guys again and for Christmas. Let me know if you got my letter. 

Elder Bushman

Last Week of the 3rd Transfer!! -- oops! apparently I didn't finish posting this! - it is now out of order!

Sent: Monday, November 25, 2013 4:32 PM
Subject: Last Week of the 3rd Transfer!!

You have no idea how jealous I am that you got some snow and ice. It's been pretty cold out here lately also but nothing like that. Which reminds me I need those jackets sent to me soon please. I can't believe the other wards cancelled church because of a little ice. Tell Bishop thank you for being so diligent and making sure everyone had the chance to partake of the sacred ordinance of the sacrament. There have been some things that we found out about T and E this last week (that I can't talk about over email) that we need to keep in our prayers. Please pray for them. And J and R as well. They need help as well. But R and J are doing great and we've picked up a couple new investigators this week that I am super excited to work with.

I hope that you and dad are okay. That's a little worrying. I'm keeping you in my prayers. I am soooooooo missing choir and Broadway Revue right now. I miss the practices and concerts so much. I've actually joined the ward choir here to have a little bit of that feeling from Mrs. Edwards and Blackstone's choir. I loved it so much. I'm so glad that they were able to pull it off. Don't worry about the Catching fire movie. My homeshare went to the movie the same time you guys did so I was already thinking about it. I admit I'm pretty jealous. Don't worry it wont distract me anymore. I'm glad you were able to find your SD card and start cleaning the desk. I miss Jessica and Tyson. Say hi to them for me. I'm glad you get to take Kaitlyn to lunch. I know how much she will appreciate that. I know she's excited.

It's going to be so wierd not being home for Thanksgiving. My first real holiday away from home and on my mission. Thankfully it's in an awesome area. I hope you guys have a great Thanksgiving day. Know that I am going to miss you and will be thinking of you.

So this last week was another slow week. I've been struggling to work my best and find more investigators. Every now and then it feels like I'm the only one. But our district meetings and PDay's and Pie Night always give me the extra boost I need. I'm so sorry I haven't sent any letters lately. I've been trying to make the time for it. So after we finished emailing last Monday we went to LA Fitness to play raquetball and basketball with Kyle and Jesse. Raquetball turned into "lets see who we can hit with the ball" since I'm the only one that really knows how to play and I ended up with a nice welt on my shoulder. It was definetly worth it though. We went out to eat afterwards. We've been having a problem with investigators cancelling daily on appointments so it's been hard to find things to fill in those spaces in the day were weren't expecting to be there. But hey, that is missionary work. The life of a missionary if hard work but rewarding. I've seen both ends of it already. We had a lesson with the A's everyday as usual and R on Thursday. Please keep the A's in your prayers as well. They've been having a rough time. Dinner on Thursday was with the Freemans and they brought us Wings and Things. It was DELICIOUS! We had the leftovers for lunch the next day. Friday Elder Albright and I were together for exchanges in my area and we picked up this awesome 70 year old black guy that is part of the Free Masons and will talk your ear off for hours if you let him. He was a super funny guy and I'm looking forward to working with him more in the following weeks. It was nice to have a break and be with Allbright that day and talk about whatever. He is the best zone leader. It also rained that day and was super cold. I can tell it's going to be harder to get our contacts soon as the weather changes and less people will be out. Saturday we picked up D as an investigator and Pie Night went great as well. I love Pie night. It's sad to think that next Saturday could be my last one. Sunday no one came to church. Not one of our investigators. So that is my new focus this week. Today has been great so far. We've had some good ball. Bill (Pie night guy) actually came to watch. It was a lot of fun. Later we are going over to the Grossman's to play some pool and ping pong. I finally beat Jesse again the other day!!! It was so great! haha

Well I hope that you guys are doing well. I miss y'all. Stay safe. I can't wait to hear from you again. I love you.

Love from Lake Elsinore, Cali,
Elder Bushman

Another Transfer! Another Month!

Sent: Monday, December 2, 2013 4:30 PM
Subject: Another Transfer! Another Month!

Hello everyone!!!

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! I missed you all. I hope you are all doing well. I haven't gotten an email from you today yet but hopefully it comes before I get off. Well this week was pretty slow again. Mostly because it was the last week of the transfer and Thanksgiving as well. I don't have my planner with me right now to tell me exactly what we did this week so I'm gonna have to go off memory. Little scary. ;)

But Monday was another good PDay. Kyle Freeman and Chad Holmes came to play ball with us since they didn't have school for the week so that was a lot of fun. Tuesday was another district meeting. which is always good. It's nice to spend time with the other missionaries in the zone. Lunch that day was a blast! All the Elders went to Wendy's and just had a great time! We were laughing the whole time as we got to enjoy some man to man talk. It was great! We've had a couple lessons flake out on us like usual. Nothing to different. Thanksgiving was amazing! The only thing we had to do that day was to get our 20 contacts, so that morning at 7 we got dressed went to get our contacts and then for the rest of the day including dinners we were able to were normal clothes. You have no idea how nice it was to spend all day in my jeans and boots. I felt amazing! I even slept in my jeans that night because I missed them so much. We went to the A's and hung out with them for a few hours. They taught us how to play dominoes and it's intense. We basically have to play at least once every time we go over now. I love it! After the A's we went to the S's (recent converts of one year from the Ortega ward) for our first dinner. They fed all the elders in our zone. It was super good. Turkey and steak! As soon as we left that dinner stuffed we remembered we had another dinner appointment in our area at the Cranes. Turkey and Fish. It was super good but I was so full and exhausted I didn't want to do anything the rest of the day but just sit on the couch back home and sleep. It was an awesome Thanksgiving! Friday we met with the G family. They are a part member family and after our meeting with them they agreed to take the lessons so we are super stoked to teach them! Saturday was the day that I have dreaded all transfer long. Transfer calls. I really really did not want to have to leave this area. I love the people here and there is so much work that is about to happen. We did a ton of service Saturday as we anxiously waited for the call to come. It wasn't until after another awesome night at Bill's Pie Night that we finally got the call at 10:30 that night. Elder Kelley and I are both staying for at least one more transfer!! I am so excited to spend Christmas and New Years here!!! It's going to be amazing!!! Sunday was another good day with the ward. and now today we are getting the couple new elders in the area within the next couple hours and I'm stoked. It's going to be a great transfer!

So Saturday night once we found out that we're both staying, Elder Kelley and I decided that we are going to change up our missionary work a lot. And work our hardest to succeed. A few months ago our Stake President told us at ward council that there are 20 people waiting and ready to be baptized by the end of the year. So far we've only had three (B, L, and T). So Kelley and I decided that we are going to make a miracle happen and get the rest of the 17 baptisms this month before New Years. I know how crazy that sounds, but I also know that President Wilson knew what he was saying and was led by the Spirit to do so which means that it is possible. We will be doing a lot of hard work, fasting, and praying to make this happen. Please keep us in your prayers this month so that we can make this miracle happen. I know that with God anything is possible. I am so excited to help make the work of the Lord roll forward. 

I hope to hear from you soon. I also hope youre doing okay. I miss and love you. Be safe and have a wonderful week. 

Elder Bushman

Monday, November 11, 2013

Time Change

Sent: Monday, November 11, 2013 12:31 PM
Subject: Re: Hello from Texas

Hello everyone!!
It's been a weird week for me too. But at the same time it's been amazing! The time change is messing with me so much. It's tough for a missionary to try and talk to people when they all feel like it's time to go to bed by 6 o clock and they don't want to talk to anyone. That's cool that you have the Bodily's living at the house right now. I'm sorry that you are feeling bad. I'll definitely keep you in my prayers. I hope you get feeling better soon. I wish I could go to Texas Roadhouse so bad. There is one here but it's just outside of my area so I can't. I've also been craving whataburger a lot lately. Hope your fall party is a blast. They always are.  If I think of anything else I need I will let you know. As of right now I think I'm good. The weather has been amazing this past week. It's been in the low 80's with a great breeze all day. Can you believe that I've been out for three and a half months already!?!? That is so CRAZY.
Well this week has been interesting. Monday was a good PDay. we've been meeting with the A's everyday. The problem is that T and E haven't been showing up for the lessons or church for the past two weeks and I'm getting worried that there are going to be some things that hold E back from getting baptized this Saturday. Hopefully we can get a hold of him tomorrow. Please keep them in your prayers. We need it. a lot. Tuesday we had a good district meeting. I got to train again and I trained on helping people make and keep commitments. It was good for me because I need help on that particular topic when teaching my investigators. It all comes from truly understanding the Atonement of Christ and loving the people you are teaching like Christ does. Wednesday I went on exchanges with Elder T from the Ortega Ward. He is my district leader right now. It was a slow day up until about 2 when we finally got into Brother Hill's house for a lesson and then everyone started opening their doors for us. We had a great lesson about the Plan of Salvation with Brother Hill's nephew R that day. He is a really cool guy and I am excited to be able to work with him. That night Kyle Freeman and his brothers took us out to Chiles for dinner. It was great! We got some awesome pictures in a little old cop car outside the restaurant which I will be sending soon. Thursday we did some service for L and one of her friends and then we got a call that we had to turn in our truck. We now have a 2013 Ford Fusion with about 6,000 miles. I was a little sad at first but now I really like our car. It's pretty sick. Friday was the best day of the week. We got to go to the temple!!! It was probably the best session I have been to so far. Our bishop went with us and it was super cool to be able to share ideas and questions with each other in the Celestial room. I love the temple. I love the peace that is inside. The Spirit is so strong there. Saturday was a slow day for me. I was just exhausted all day, more than I usually am. After another great pie night I went to bed as soon as we got home. I think I'm going to be trying to get some more sleep in. Sunday R came to church which was awesome! He seemed to like it. We haven't been able to talk with him since but we are planning on it tomorrow. I also sang in sacrament on Sunday with Brother Grossman playing the piano for a really cool arrangement of I Stand All Amazed. It is a beautiful song. I love the power and spirit that music can bring. 
Well that is all for this week. Hopefully I will have something crazy happen this week for me to tell you about. Please pray for the area and our investigators. Say hi to everyone for me. I miss you and love you. I can't wait to hear from you again. 

Elder Bushman

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Oops - A late post again. Sorry Everyone . . . Elder B's Mom

Monday, November 4, 2013 5:04 PM
Hey everyone!!!
I can't believe it is already November! Thanksgiving is just around the corner and then it's Christmas!! I'm glad Chanler is still wanting to do what is right on Sundays. Sounds like I did more for Halloween than you guys did. I'll try and get a picture to you. But it sounds like it was a lot of fun. The new theatre sounds like a blast. I miss choir a lot. I'm actually working on another song for this Sunday for sacrament. I'm glad you are going out with the missionaries. They need members a lot more than you realize. And I'm glad seminary is turning out well. Sounds like an awesome week!
So this week has been super slow. Monday was awesome! we moved in with the Freeman's and it's the best! I absolutely love it there. This is probably going to be a short email because nothing really happened. Wednesday we committed Z and C to live the word of wisdom which was awesome! They basically told themselves that they needed to and they've already been working on quitting. We were planning on teaching the Plan of Salvation that lesson but the Spirit lead us in the middle of it to the word of wisdom and now I know why. The Spirit is so powerful. B and L are thinking about moving and have even thought about going out of state and I keep telling them Texas is the best place for them. They've actually been thinking about it. I would love it if they moved to Texas! That would be so awesome! We taught J again on Thursday but he didn't go to church so we are going to have to move back his baptism date again. We did have K (the priest that we live with) come for that lesson which was really good. Thursday was Halloween and I had a sweet costume that the Freeman's gave me. Saturday we saw the Roadshow that our stake puts on every couple years that was all about missionary work. Then pie night was awesome as usual!
Well that is about it. Nothing too crazy. Oh I passed out on the couch downstairs last night and woke up around 2 am and sister Freeman had put a blanket on me. I absolutely love this family. They are so amazing. Well I can't wait to hear from you again. Hope you have a great week. 
Elder Bushman

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sorry about the late post - watch for another one tomorrow!!

Sent: Monday, October 28, 2013 2:55 PM
Subject: Re: Dallas or Bust!

Hello Everyone!!!

It was great to hear from you! I'm so glad that you got to go to Dallas and see Taylor before he leaves. Send me his email address please so that I can stay in contact with him. I'm so excited for him! I miss everyone. The dance sounds like fun. It brings me back to the tooth fairy costume. I'm so glad you got to go to Kaitlyn's concert. Thank you so much for the pictures. J is doing good. My feet are getting tired but nothing too bad. Actually haven't gotten as many blisters as I thought I would. 

So my new companion, Elder Kelley, is pretty chill. He is from Atlanta, Georgia and has been out for about 7 and a half months. I'm having to show him the ropes around the area since his last couple areas have been somewhat lacking and I'm going to be doing a lot of teaching. I'm excited though. It should be a great transfer. Monday we had a great lesson with J and he is doing great. Tuesday we had 5 lessons and I introduced Elder Kelley to the Alvarez's! That was fun. haha E is doing great! (T's boyfriend) We taught him the Word of Wisdom and he is getting super close to being ready for baptism. After the lesson he asked for a blessing to help him stop smoking and drinking. We are getting closer with C. Wednesday we had dinner with him and his mom and we talked a little about baptism and it was a good step for him. Wednesday we also talked with T and she said that that night she talked with E for a long time and they want to get married after he is baptized and then he told her that he wants to be sealed to her in the temple!! They've been looking at rings and dresses! We are SO STOKED!!! We also taught Brother A (Scottish man) and his daughter and she is now an investigator and taking the lessons from us! Friday we got to go to the Ward Trunk or Treat! It was awesome! we met a lot of non members and hope to be able to teach some of them soon. Saturday was super slow and we have been walking everywhere so that we can save on miles for the car. Pie night was interesting since it was a bunch of new elders there. Oh! We got a call from the housing coordinators and we are moving to a new homeshare more central to our area with an awesome family later today.! I'm so excited to live at the Fr's! Sunday was good until about 5:30 and then it got amazing. We had a lesson with the H's and their two friends that they had brought to the Trunk or Treat and they agreed to be baptized at the end of November! We are so excited. Z and C are awesome people. Please keep them and all our other investigators in your prayers. That all happened after a day of fasting which really built my testimony. I'm so excited for this week. It's gong to be great!

I can't wait to hear from you guys again. Have a great week! Miss and love you all.

Elder Bushman

Monday, October 21, 2013

(As suggested for privacy, I am taking out the full names of people Kendell is working with.   While we have been counseled to pray for his investigators by name, if you would like to join us in this, please feel free to contact me and I will share them with you privately.  Thank you!!)

Sent: Monday, October 21, 2013 12:48 PM
Subject: Transfer 3!!!

Hey everybody!!!!
Holy Moly I can not believe that today is already October 21. That's insane. Well today is transfer day. Our whole zone is having some pretty big changes. And I will get to those when I tell you about my week. I hope you are feeling better about seminary. Something I learned this week when I talked with one of the seminary teachers here was he told me that he doesn't worry about feeling offended or upset about the kids that don't pay attention because he knows that that's the way he was when he was a kid and that stuff just happens. You are a great teacher and I know you are helping those kids out a lot. I'm glad you got some help from the inservice. That is so exciting about nana and papa and the lunch with sister Gray. I'm glad that you have had everyone over so much and had a blast with all of them. 

So this week has been great! We had 22 lessons and saw a ton of people this week. Tuesday we had a district meeting and the big thing that day was that we had dinner with the Williams. This family is awesome. Sister Williams is a pro soccer player and was on the US womens soccer team and also was on Wipeout. Season 4 Episode 7 is named after her: "Some People just don't know when to quit." I love this family. We saw The A's and J and B and T and E almost every day this week and taught them all. They are all doing great. Thursday we taught the N family the first lesson. They are a member family but they wanted to hear the lessons just so they knew what we do. It was really good. Friday we met and taught a 20 year old named J. He was a referral from Salt Lake. He just moved in like two weeks ago and was taking the lessons before he moved. We set him on date to be baptized November 9th. We are so excited for him. he is a great guy.Saturday we got the call from President. My companion, Elder Carbonneau, is leaving for Jarupa as a zone leader. I'm going to miss him but I know he will do good and it will be good for me to learn from others. I am thankfully staying and my new comp will be Elder Kelly. He has been out for about 7 months and I've heard only good things about him so I'm super stoked! I'll let you know more in my letter since I am running out of time but I am glad I'm still here. This ward is just like the one back home. I already have a ton of life long friends here and I can't wait to continue my service here in temescal canyon. Pie night was awesome too. We laughed more than I truly ever have before. We were all literally almost throwing up because of how much we were laughing! It was hilarious! Sunday I sang I know my Redeemer Lives and it was great! I am singing again on the tenth of next week with Brother Grossman as my accompianist. All day we ran around to get pictures with all the members for Elder Carbonneau. It was crazy! I should be getting my new comp at about 2 or 3 today and a member family is taking us out for lunch today! We might be moving to a new homeshare soon and I can't wait! 

I hope you all have a great week. I love you all so much. Don't forget to write. I can't wait to hear from you again.
Elder Bushman

Monday, October 14, 2013

Last week of the second transfer!!!

Sent: Monday, October 14, 2013 10:51 AM
Subject: Last week of the second transfer!!!

Hello everyone!!
I hope you all had a great week. It sounds like the party was a blast and had lots of help. I hope Kenzie got my letter. If not, it should be there soon. The cake sounds amazing. I'm glad Kaitlyn got to spend time with you guys. I'm sure she loved it and the kids as well. The Amazing Race sounds like it was a ton of fun also. I am so glad you got to go to the temple. I wish I could have been there. I miss the temple and can't wait to get to go again. So Chanler finally got to play the X box huh? I bet he was so excited! Jessica and Tyson are moving to Midland?!? That's awesome! But now you have to tell them that if they are going to stay for more than a year it has to be at least two years so they will be there when I get back. ;) I'm excited to hear about Nana and Papa coming home. That will be fun. I can't wait to see the picture of everyone sleeping. I can't believe McKenzie is in Young Womens now. CRAZY. So is having only one meeting on Sunday and the rain. The smell must be terrible. Thank you for all of your prayers. The Alvarez's and Toni are doing much better and are still progressing. I swear they are all going to be huge church leaders in the future. They are all so strong. Let me know what the family mission statement is when you decide. Keep inviting everyone. You never know who will say yes.
Well this week has been super interesting and a lot busier. Monday was the hike. We ended up not being able to see the ocean like we had hoped but it was still a really fun hike and I really enjoyed it. On Tuesday we got a new investigator. Lauretta and Brian were walking out of the outlet stores and saw this couple and out of the blue asked these strangers if they wanted to come to church with them! Lauretta has no fear and complete pride in her beliefs. We taught Jasmine the first lesson and asked her if she would be baptized. She said yes and the date is November 2! We are so stoked. She is pregnant and is living with her boyfriend in a tent on the side of the outlet stores however so there is a couple things we will have to do to get her ready to be baptized. (they have to be married and stop smoking). We got another referral also. On Wednesday we saw the Alvarez's again. But after our multi zone conference which I got to do a special musical number with Elder Taylor playing piano. My body shook the whole time I sang. I didn't think I was nervous at all but I guess my body did. Oh and before that, we had car inspections. For this we have to wash our cars before we get there. Unfortunetly, Elder Carbonneau and I forgot that we left our backpacks in the truck bed until halfway through the wash. Somehow our backpacks kept most the water out so our scriptures and my conference notes were okay. And now we have clean, waxed, backpacks! Sadly, during that meeting they came out and said that from now on the senior companion is only allowed to drive. :( So I don't get to drive the truck we just got anymore. I'm just a little upset with that rule. But oh well. Now everything that happens to the truck will not be my fault so it's all good. Brother Albert had to reschedule for this coming Wednesday so hopefully that will happen this week. Thursday we taught Jasmine again and then Toni. That was also McKenzie's birthday! Still can't believe she is 12. Friday was pretty slow. It was just one of those days where no one was home. We had dinner with the Alvarez's though which was good. Saturday was a good day. we went to give a church tour to Toni, Ernie (her boyfriend), Jasmine, and Brandon (Jasmine's boyfriend). That went great and they are now all investigators which is super awesome! They had us over for bbq that night too, right before pie night wich was great! Oh, so we have been walking everywhere this week and we probably will for the next couple weeks because we have to stay under miles for the month and we have about 500 left. That's not a whole lot. So I'm getting to work off all the weight that I have gained which is really good. So Sunday we got a ride to church with our Bishop but because of all his meetings we were there super early. That worked out perfectly though because Elder Taylor and I did our song in his ward that morning (Ortega Ward). It was really good. I didn't shake like the first time so I felt great about it. We will probably be doing it again in my ward this Sunday. Especially since it could possibly be my last Sunday in this area. Yeah I know, TRANSFERS calls are this Saturday which means I could be moved on Monday. I really really really do no want to leave. I love this ward and I know there is a ton of work to be done that I can do. My companion feels the same. So next week when I email again I could be somewhere else, most likely with a new companion, and maybe even training. I'm so anxious to see what happens.
I hope you guys have a great week. I can't wait to hear from you again. I loved getting the letters from you and the pictures. I'm still trying to catch up on writing everyone back. Good things are happening. The work is real and it is the Lord's. The Gospel is true. I know it. I love it. And I am striving to live it to my fullest potential.
I love you,
Elder Bushman

Monday, October 7, 2013

October is already almost halfway over!!!

Sent: Monday, October 7, 2013 10:32 AM
Subject: October is already almost halfway over!!!

Well I don't know what happened but I didn't get to read your email from last week until just now but it's okay. I haven't gotten the package yet and if I don't get it today or tomorrow I know I will Wednesday because we have a multi zone meeting and usually mail from the mission home is brought there. I'm glad you guys got a little bit of a break this week. I can't believe you have already had Region tryouts and Choir orientation. Congrats Logan! That's awesome! Next year you are making State. I know you can. I'm proud of you. I'm glad Tanner also got the chance to have that experience. I know it helped me and Logan out a lot when we did it as Freshmen. Thank you so much for letting me know about the Lee football game. Please keep me updated on the games. (scores and win/loses). It's too bad Jesse roots for the wrong side. Haha the Basketball trailer is always kind of wimpy. But it's fun and I'm glad Tanner got to be in it. I loved Conference. As missionaries we are at the church for all five sessions. And guess what! I stayed awake for all of it!!! I'm so proud of myself. I am so jealous you get to go to the temple with Nana and Papa and McKenzie. That is so cool. Thank you for the scriptures. I'm going to use them for my personal study this week.
In response to last weeks email from you I hope McKenzie's foot is doing okay from the nail. I can't believe there are enough kids in Midland to build a new high school. That's crazy. I've only been gone just over two months and it's already changing that much. I'm never going to recognize home when I get there in two years! What I really can't believe is that my baby sister is going to be 12 this week on Thursday. I don't know how that happened. Since my letter to you might not get there in time.... HAPPY 12TH BIRTHDAY MCKENZIE!!! I hope your day is amazing and I can't wait to hear how the party and the temple experience is for you!
Well my week has been super good. Our area is really starting to pick up and after a special something from last night it's going to get even busier! I am so excited to be a missionary right now! So Monday was the usual PDay activities. (ball at the church and then pingpong with Jesse Grossman). Tuesday we had lunch with Brother Albert, an awesome Scottsman, and his daughter asked if we could meet with her this week on Wednesday. We have been waiting so long to be able to teach her so that was a huge step and what was awesome about it is that she asked us first! We are super pumped. Afterwards we met with Brian and Lauretta and Toni except Toni didn't show up. Which for us is scary because we have seen what Satan does to keep people from doing what's right, especially since she doesn't have the Holy Ghost yet. Lauretta explained to us that Toni right now is struggling with something huge, physically and spiritually. She is pregnant. The issue is though that although the baby is fine, it's tearing her body apart and she is falling apart. Although she would never participate in an abortion, her doctor has told her that that might be something that she might need to do in order to save her own life. Wednesday she didn't show up for our lesson again but we found out it was because she was at the hospital both lessons trying to get help for the serious pain she is in. She has told us that after praying, she decided that she is going to go through with the pregnancy and if it kills her it kills her but she wont kill her baby. Please, Please keep her in your prayers. I'm fasting today because of it. Toni is staying strong though and knows that Satan is going to do whatever he can to do something wrong. Wednesday I was also on exchanges with Elder Albright (Zone leader). We had a blast. And got 4 referrals!! That was awesome! We've been getting and giving referrals like crazy this week and I have a feeling it's going to stay this way. Thursday we taught Brother Hill again and I finally got my PVC pipe bow that he made for me. It is so cool. I'm excited to use it on something. Maybe the rabbits or coyotes that are always around our home. ;) On Friday we had diner with the Alvarez's again. It was great. We are really trying to stay in contact with them as much as we can.
Saturday started the best General Conference weekend I have had. I loved it! My favorite talks on Saturday were Edward Dube, Dieter Uchtdorf, Elder Holland, and S Gifford Nielson's. I learned so much from these talks. Then the Priesthood session was great too! It was so weird not watching it with dad and the boys though. My favorite speaker then was probably a three way tie between the Presidency. Pie night afterwards was great like usual. I have really come to love Bill. Sunday was just as good. Since more people were there it was a little more distracting with all the kids running around but it was still super spiritual. I think my favorite talks on Sunday were by Elder Oaks, Elder Scott, and President Monson. To top off the week we had a last minute stake meeting at 6 yesterday. President Wilson (stake president) challenged the stake on missionary work. We have had 4 general authorities come to this stake in the past four weeks and it was all for missionary work. He decided to raise the bar and get the members more involved. He challenged each family to bring at least one person to baptism a year and reactivate at least one member a year. And to truly become their friends. I am so excited to see the outcomes of this challenge. It's going to be amazing!
Well today is PDay again and instead of playing ball at the church, we are doing something new. We are going for a hike up the mountain to see the ocean. It should be super fun and I'm sure I'll get great pictures!
I hope you guys have a great week. I can't wait to hear from you again. Have a great birthday McKenzie. I love you. This is going to be a great week for all of us. Keep the mission in your prayers. Keep up the good work. And don't forget to keep updating me on football and choir.
Elder Blaine Kendell Bushman

Email Policy Change

Hello All!
This is actually Kendell's Mom -
As noted by the Mission Secretary below, the email rules have changed and he can receive and send emails from more than just immediate family!   BUT... please be aware (again as noted below) that he has very limited time on the computer, and while I hope many of you write him, mailed letters are still best.
Thank you for your love and support of Elder Bushman!  I know he feels and appreciates it, and we do too!
Much love,
Elder Bushman's (proud) Mom & Dad
The rules over e-mail have changed and Elder Bushman’s e-mail address can be given to friends and family. I would note that he only is allowed 1 hour to e-mail on Mondays so it is difficult for him to respond to everyone. Just so the people you are giving the e-mail address to are aware of his time restrictions, I would hate for anyone to be disappointed. We have actually found that written letters are much better for our missionaries. This gives them something they can read anytime they need a little boost and that can be at anytime. 
Sister Pierce, Secretary
California Riverside Mission

Monday, September 30, 2013

Halfway for the Second Transfer

Sent: Monday, September 30, 2013 4:21 PM
Subject: Halfway for the Second Transfer

Hello Everyone!!

I can't believe I'm on week 4 of my second transfer. This is my 10th week in the field and 12th since I have left. It's so CRAZY! I can't wait to hear from you again. I have so many letters to write today. I'm going to be so busy. This week is going to be great. I can't wait!
Well this week was good. Tuesday we had a training by Elder Richards and President Smart and their wives. Elder Richards is an area 70. It was really good and I learned a ton from that. It was great. Wednesday was really good and we saw a bunch of less actives. Thursday we had a huge dinner with a couple families at the Grossman's to celebrate Elder Carbonneau's one year mark. It was awesome!! We had bacon wrapped hotdogs, ribs, drumsticks, brisket, and a bunch of finger foods. It was SO GOOD! I loved it. Friday we had dinner with Brian and Lauretta. We've met with them almost everyday this past week and will for at least the next two weeks. Saturday was great. We enjoyed pie night with Bill. As usual. It is always a blast and we laugh the entire time. the best part of this week was yesterday. Yesterday was Toni's baptism. Brian baptized her and did it on his first try. Lauretta gave the baptism talk and I gave the Holy Ghost Talk. I also got to lead the music and be one of the witnesses. It was so Spiritual. She was crying the whole time and you knew the Spirit was telling her she was making the right choice. She has to wait to get the Holy Ghost until the week after General Conference to do it in Sacrament Meeting which is why we are going to see her every day we can to make sure Satan doesn't try anything with her between now and then. We had breakfast for dinner that night. I'm loving it here. I don't want to leave at all. I love the ward. Today is PDay. I can't wait to go play pingpong with Jessie. I'm getting better and better each time we play. He is a beast at it though. I'm so excited for this week. We have a multizone conference and I am super stoked for conference. It's going to be awesome.
Well I can't wait to hear from you. I hope you have a great week. I got your letters and I'm working on writing back. I'll try to send them soon. I miss you all. Stay strong. I love you.

Elder Bushman

PS Sorry this weeks email was so short. There wasn't a whole lot going on besides tracting and those few big events.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A New Week!

Sent: Monday, September 23, 2013 10:18 AM
Subject: A new week!

Hello everyone!!
It's Pday again and I am so excited for the day off! We need this rebooster for the upcoming week. I am so pumped for this week! So many things are going to happen. Tuesday we are going to be trained by Elder Richards from the 70. Thursday we celebrate Elder Carbonneaus year mark at the Grossman's with a bunch of other favorite families from the ward. And on Sunday Toni is getting baptized by Brian! It's going to be a great week!
Well to start off, we have dropped Tami as an investigator again because she just really isn't ready and wont make commitments. It's sad but she'll come around eventually when it's her time to. Thanks for working on the sheet music. I really just need something new to do and play. So that would be awesome. Sounds like Family Fun night will be a blast. I kind of miss all that stuff. Even helping out setting it all up. I'm glad Mrs. Payne still remembers me. I loved her class so much. When you see Coach Smith tell him hi for me too. I miss Coach Enriquez. We all called him the terrorist cuz he kind of looks like one. He was so much fun to be coached by and I loved being with him in my bball class. I'm really glad that you guys got to go to the temple. I love being there and can't wait to go again. Sounds like Logan is really improving. That's awesome! I would love to get Savanah's letters. I bet Tanner will do great on his video group project and the Minion Birthday party for McKenzie sounds like soooo much fun. Dad youre getting old. haha Don't worry. You still look good for a 25 year old. ;)
So this past week wasn't too exciting. It went pretty slow. We had a bunch of people fall through with appointments and stuff like that but we still had a lot to do. Monday night we went to see Tami and she told us we had to reschedule for Tuesday. Tuesday we got a text from her that she was busy and couldn't meet then. Then she texted Brian and Lauretta and told them that she was just going to do her own thing for now so we decided that when she is ready she will come to us. Tuesday morning we had our District meeting which was really good. We had another lesson with Brian and Lauretta and Toni which went super good. Wednesday I was on exchanges with Elder Young and we had a pretty successful day. We taught a bunch of less actives, met a couple as well, and had a great dinner with the Andersons (ward mission leaders family). ThursdayWe taught Toni again. Taught Brother Hill and found out the bows he is making for us are almost done. He just has to paint them and make the strings for them. Bytheway I don't think I told you but they are made out of PVC pipe. We had dinner with the Bruer's which I loved. That family is so much fun. On Friday we had dinner with the Alvarez's. Saturday wasn't anything big except Pie night. Which was just as good as always. all the time in between all this stuff we were trying to visit people and tract and everything just fell through. So hopefully this week gets better. Sunday we had stake conference and they split the stake! Nothing changed for the missionaries since the zones were already aligned for the split a couple months ago. It will be interesting to see who all from our area gets stake callings now. I feel so at home in this ward. I love it so much.
Oh! I forgot that on Tuesday night we did a service project with all the young men at the Alvarez's home. we cut down all the weeds and brush in their yard. And right after that we went to the church and met a man named Jim and his 7 year old daughter Abigail. She is adorable. And we are going to start teaching them this week also. I'm super excited for that too!
Well that is my week. It was a little slow but I still learned a lot and can't wait to continue the work. It's going really well and I love it so much. I can't wait to hear from you again. Don't forget to write. I miss and love you so much. Keep Brian, Lauretta, and Toni in your prayers.

Love from Lake Elsinore, California,
Elder Bushman

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Start of Week 8

Sent: Monday, September 16, 2013 2:35 PM
Subject: The Start of Week 8

Hello Everyone!!!
Well my 7th week in the mission field is already over and today begins the 2nd week of my second transfer. I don't know where the time is going. I love it out here. There are some families in the ward that I feel are my real family and I feel at home here. It's like I've been here my whole life. Our relationship with the members of this ward is amazing. I love the people here.
It's good to hear that your finger is healing and that seminary is going well. I'm glad you got to have that inservice. In teaching the power of the pause/silence is really efective and powerful because it opens room for the spirit. I am so glad Jeremiah is trying to get into seminary more. Tell everyone hi for me there. I miss all the youth there. If you find the kids aren't reading the Book of Mormon I suggest taking a day or a portion of the class to read with them. Have everyone read like two verses. Help them delve into each verse and the deep meaning in each one. Ive experienced that that opens up for a ton of revelation for everyone through the Book of Mormon. I'm glad choir is going well and that your cold is getting better. Thebountiful basket sounds awesome! I talked to my companion about running times for a 5K and he said that Logan's time is pretty good for what age he is. Elder Carbonneau was a runner before his mission so he knows a little more about it than I do. I'm so excited for McKenzie's birthday and her getting to go to the temple. I really hope you and dad go with her for the first time she goes. I was actually thinking about that this week and I wanted to tell you guys to do as much as you can with the kids while they are still home and make those lasting memories. That would be amazing for you to go with her and do some family names! I am glad Chanler is loving Carver. I'm jealous he got out of school due to the AC going out. Tell Tanner that I say he better get his Eagle project done before he turns 15 or else. I am so excited for you letter about going with the sisters. I bet it's similar to what's happened with us the past couple weeks as we do teamups with members now at least three times a week. Water/electricity/AC have been better this week. I can't wait to continue the work! It's great out here!
Here is my weekly report for all of you back home.
So Tuesday, we had our district meeting. This was the first since transfer calls last Saturday and our new district only includes me, my companion, and the zone leaders. So it was a super small meeting. The four elders that used to be in our distrct now have their own. I did a training during that meeting on the importance of the Book of Mormon in missionary work. After all the meetings we joined the rest of the zone and everyone met Elder Reed who is the only missionary that transferred into the zone. He is replacing Elder Elliot and seems like a great guy. We meet with Brian and Louretta at least 2 times a week now and while looking for prospective elders, we knocked on one inactive member's home and Tami answered the door. Tami is an investigator Elder Carbonneau and his last companion and his last companion all used to teach until she disappeared. She was on tract to be baptized and everything and the fell off the face of the earth. Elder Carbonneau was totally shocked to see her again. Apparently, she told us, she had disappeared to get cleaned up and go to rehab. She is totally clean now and tonight we have a lesson with her and she has already said again she wants to be baptized! We are super stoked!
On Wednesday, we had a meeting with Toni. She's been feeling pretty sick lately (she is probably having a miscarriage) and asked for a blessing which we gave to her. That night we went home early because Elder CArbonneau was feeling pretty bad. Thursday wasn't much better so actually President Smart came to talk with him. They talked for over an hour and he gave him a blessing. Everything is fine now and we are doing great! Friday we did a lot of seeing less actives. The past week we've been getting a lot of potential investigators. So Saturday , along with our list of over 10 people plus backups, we tried to contact everyone and No One was home. No one answered the phone. that was a little tough but we ended the night with Bill for pie and that made my day. Pie night makes my week. I love Bill. He's like another grandfather. He's amazing and shows us so much love and kindness and is actually hillarious!
Yesterday at church, Brian blessed the sacrament for the first time. It was awesome. It's been amazing to see the change in him. From jeans, short sleeve shirts showing all his tattos and with earrings at church to white shirt and tie, slacks, and no earrings with no one even asking him to do any of that. He looks like he has been a member his whole life. Earlier this week he gave me the tie he was married in. I love it! It's my first tie given to me by a member out here, it's from my first convert, and has a story to it! Today we are at the library emailing and then we plan to go to the outlet stores and look around. Don't worry mom, I don't have enough money to spend all of it there.
I was wondering if you could send me the piano/sheet music to the songs "Begin Again" "All of me" and "Charlie Brown Medley" from piano guys. I need some music to practice when I have free time on the piano. I'll have to check on rain coats but I will let you know when I find one. Thanks a bunch. I hope you guys have a great week and don't forget to write. I miss you guys. Can't wait to hear from you again! Love you!
Elder Bushman

Monday, September 9, 2013

My First Day of My Second Transfer!!!

Sent: Monday, September 9, 2013 1:36 PM
Subject: My First Day of My Second Transfer!!!
Hello Everyone!

Well it looks like I got on before you did today. I'll see if I can email you maybe a little bit more later but I'll go ahead and let you know how this past week went. It's been a good week. We've had some rain, another couple power outages, no water once, stress and excitement for transfer calls, and some other awesome experiences!

Monday was another great P Day. We had dinner at the Grossman's and played some ping pong with their 17 year old son Jessie. I'm really starting to get a lot better at ping pong. We've been having to stand a couple feet away from the table to play because of how intense it got. Tuesday we did a lot of visiting less actives. Our district meeting was that morning which was really good. We had a lesson with Brian and Louretta again which went well. We actually started up going out with members for lessons throughout the week which is awesome! So Tuesday night Brother Williams, our ward missionary, went with us to Sister Lindsey's home for dinner. It was the most humble meal I have had so far on my mission. Her home is nothing special. From the outside it's just a little run down shack. She is too embarrassed to let us inside so we had dinner around the back. She brought out the plates with a cob of corn on each and then brought out some tortilla chips and salsa from the Bishops warehouse and then the main course of the meal was tacos from Del Taco ( a restaurant very similar to Taco Bell or Taco Villa). They were a little bit soggy from sitting there but we ate them and were super thankful for her willingness to feed us and have us over. She is an amazing lady that is really taking our challenge to share the gospel more to heart. We had a great discussion with her and really enjoyed the night.

Wednesday we went to Riverside for a trainer trainee meeting. I absolutely loved it because I got to see all of my friends and companions from the MTC that came out with me. I loved it. We shared stories and had a great time. It was like a big family reunion. President Smart gave a training on the top ten secrets to missionary work which really helped and so now I'm working to incorporate those into my own work. When we got back we had a lesson with Toni. She is the one that lives with Brian and Louretta. We invited her to baptism and she accepted. Her baptismal date is for September 28. We are super excited for her and so is she. Her background is very similar to Brian and Louretta's so it truly is amazing to see the change she is making in her life. We went out with our Elder's quorum president, brother Ferguson, that night as well. Thursday we met with brother Hill, a less active, who has a crossbow pistol which I have already decided I am getting when I get home. It was so cool! We met with a bunch of in actives the rest of the day. Friday night wasn't anything too crazy until that night when we met with our Bishop. He's been so busy we just haven't had the chance to meet with him much. But we caught him that night and I am so glad we did. We talked for a long time. We let him know what had been going on the past week and asked him for things that we can do to help out in the ward. He is really impressed with us and really really wanted both of us to stay for the next transfer. I also feel a greater love for that man because of that discussion we had. He asked us for advice on what he could do as bishop to really help the ward and the youth. I was so glad to be able to share with him the experiences I have had with my youth leaders and Bishop McCune helping me out so much. He really appreciated that a lot. I was glad I could share those with him. That night we ran out of water right when I used the bathroom so I couldn't flush for at least an hour until we got it pumping again. Throughout the week the power went out every now and then.

Saturday was the day us as missionaries look forward to so much but also want it to be over and done with at the same time. It was transfer calls. Saturday morning was the call for any leadership calls such and district or zone leader or trainer. We did some service that morning with a couple other companionships and every time a phone rang we all jumped and got super nervous. Thankfully I didn't get a call to train this transfer. Hallelujah! I was so nervous for that. Because we have 21 new missionaries coming into the mission tomorrow. During the day we started tracting and it ended up pouring on us as we tracted but as soon as we got in the car to leave for dinner it stopped raining. I loved the rain. It was soooooo refreshing. It felt like Midland weather since it came out of now where and left just like that. The Palmers took us out to In and Out for dinner. They are everywhere here in Cali. The Palmers are actually hosting some Spanish sister missionaries after tonight which is exciting. The rest of the night we went around looking for people and finally when we got home we got the call saying if anyone was leaving the area. I am so glad my companion is staying! I was so worried I might get someone new that I might not like but I'm good! We still have another six weeks together and after this transfer I will be Elder Carbonneau's longest companion for his entire mission! And he hits his year mark in about three weeks! We actually only have one elder leave our entire zone and they realigned the districts. Those are the only changes. We are all so excited because of how well our zone gets along. Well Sunday was good. Nothing too special. There is a lot of missionary work going on and being talked about in our ward and it is so exciting. This transfer is going to be crazy!

Well that is my week. I can't believe my first transfer is already over. Only 17 more transfers and I'll be home. That's crazy. It went by so fast. I love the work here. We are going to be doing a lot of work this month. I can't wait!
I'll email you in a bit about your week. I hope you guys have a great time. Can't wait to hear from you. Don't forget to write. I love you all.
Elder Blaine Kendell Bushman
Sent: Monday, September 9, 2013 1:49 PM
I just saw your email! Elliot is doing good now. The bike is good for me. I wish I could use it a little more cuz I feel like I'm getting a bit bigger in the waist area. I'm glad your finger is getting better. Seminary sounds like it's going good. Just wait. It'll get even better as you get deeper into the scriptures. Reuben will show eventually. Just give him time. A plate of something would be a nice gesture I'm sure he would like and I bet it would help. He just needs to have friends and truly feel loved and then he will feel a pull towards everything. I miss the Dalley's. That's so sad to hear. Tell them Hello and that I wish them the best. And to write me sometime. I loved hearing about the golf carts at dad's work. I can totally see the entire thing in my head. Haha Good luck dad. I know you're the one for the job. You do amazing work with the youth. Buddy teams are going to be fun. I am super jealous. I want to know about all the things that go on in choir. I miss that so much. My voice is going down the drain because I can't practice really on my mission. I can not believe Kenzie is almost old enough to go to the temple. That blows my mind. I'm sad I wont be able to go to be there for that but I know it will be an amazing experience. You don't look older than 25 mom. I hope your week has been good and the following week is even better. I miss you a lot but I know I'm where I am supposed to be. I might get on in a few hours again to check email but until next time... I love you mom. Have a great week.
Your son,
Elder Bushman

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Beginning of 6th Week

Sent: Monday, September 2, 2013 5:20 PM
Subject: Re: First week of School & Labor Day!

Hello Everyone!!
I'm glad to hear you all had a good time on the family trip. I'm super jealous since I haven't been there before. Glad to hear Logan is improving personally on his running. I'm glad you told me to sit down and don't pass out when you told me about you cutting your finger cuz that was bad. I hope you get the feeling back in your finger. Can you move it? I'm glad you are enjoying teaching seminary. The more I hear about it the more I wish I had been in a class with you as my teacher. I'm glad school is going well. haha it's funny that Logan's only problem is Mrs. Truitt. It's okay. I didn't like her at all either. One of my least favorite teachers. I don't know if you already bought books for English for him but I have Oedipus Rex and How to Read Literature like a professor somewhere at home. I had to read those for my english classes. I can't wait to get the flashdrive with music and pictures! The lake is Lake Elsinore. It was so hard not to jump in or get on a boat. I miss that so much. I don't remember an Elder Trujillo but I'll ask around and see if he is here. If he is that would be so cool. It's amazing to see the ties people here have with us back home. Oh! I need to know when and where papa and nana were born and where they lived while in Arizona. There are a couple people that lived in Winslow and the area around it in the 70's and 80's and I couldn't remember when they were there. And what they did for work.

Well this week wasn't too crazy like my first couple weeks were. WOW I can't believe this is the beginning of my 6th week in the field and my last for this transfer already. Time is going by so fast! Monday we taught a member family the first lesson on the Restoration so that we could practice teaching it as a companionship. Since we haven't had investigators this was my first time to really teach the Restoration with my companion really, completely through in five weeks. That is crazy. A family took us out to dinner to a Mexican place that wasn't really good. It made me miss Rosas soooooo much. Tuesday was our district meeting. Wednesday was the most interesting day of the week. I went on exchanges with Elder Elliot from the Lake Elsinore Ward. To set this up so you understand what the day was like he made his own foam swords and practices fencing and made a chain link tie and can't wait to go home to put all of his armor on and walk around town. He's a little bit on the nerdy side. We had a great lesson that morning but throughout the day we just weren't really connecting. I taught most of the time because some of the things he was saying were a little questionable and he didn't like the way I did things or obeyed the rules so he just kept to himself. Well that night as we went to pick up our bikes from the church to ride home and get back our real companions we found that someone had taken our bike seats. We automatically knew it was our two companions because my companion and I had done that to Elder Elliot and his companion Elder Bangerter the week before. We couldn't find the seats anywhere in the bushes so we called my companion and found out that they were waiting for us at our home with our seats! I thought it was a hilarious prank but Elder Elliot was ticked. Which of coarse was the point of the prank which made it even better. So we ended up having to ride our bikes back home up a hill for two miles without a seat so we stodd the whole time. Everyone in the zone has been laughing about it since. Thursday We had dinner and a lesson with Brian and Louretta. They are doing great and happier than ever. It's amazing to see the changes that they have made in their lives over just the past two weeks. We have basically dropped their friends Thomas, Shannon, and Juni because they are so messed up with drugs their mental capacity is just not there which is really sad for us but there really isn't much we can do for there. Brian and Louretta are amazing. They are feeding us three times a month and have already signed up to go out with the missionaries in the next week and are doing a ton of their own missionary work with basically everyone they talk to. Louretta met a woman at her kids school the other day that needs a lot of family help and set up an appointment with her and the missionaries in the other ward and when they met with her they committed her to baptism! All from a recent convert of like two weeks! It's amazing! Friday I went on exchanges with Elder Albright (our zone leader). He is an awesome, loving, fun guy. We had an awesome day and got a ton done. We saw a lot of people and got a lot of information on even more less active members so we can help them as well and we got two potential investigators for this week!! It was a blast. Saturday we had a lesson with a part member family at our Bishops house as well as dinner there. It went really well and was our second time teaching the Restoration. Randi and Ashley (the mom and daughter that aren't members) both know it's true. Ashley just needs to be asked to be baptized and Randi, the mom, has to get past her pride and her past of always being taught that mormons are bad and wrong and then she will be baptized. We are super excited and I know they are almost ready for that step. The ward has been working with them for over four years. When they started, their home teachers weren't allowed, along with the Book of Mormon, to even be in the home because Randi was so against it. But gradually it's gotten to the point where they are talking with us, the missionaries and we are super stoked! That night we had pie night with Bill again. It's just as amazing and fun as ever. I love pie night. Sunday at church, an investigator, Margarite, that we dropped a couple weeks ago showed up right after the sacrament which was awesome and then came to dinner with us at the Strong's and we had an awesome lesson with them. So she is now an investigator and reading the Book of Mormon again! Today is Pday and we are having a blast with the zone as usual. We have dinner at the Grossman's which should be great! Tonight we are teaching the Decoque's Lesson 2, The Plan of Salvation. I can't wait to hear what happens Saturday because that's when we find out who is getting transferred and where and who else is coming into the zone. It's so exciting! I love it!

Oh so I don't know if I said this at the beginning of the mission but my ward is a brand new ward. They just split it before I got out here. And now they are splitting the stake this weekend so there are some big changes coming up. I'll let you know if anything crazy happens. Also, this week has been soooooo hot and humid. I've been getting hardly any sleep and waking up in sweat when I do because our home has no AC. It's been awful. And since there has been a lot of cloud cover, we lost electricity at least five times this week and water once. So we borrowed a hammock and a cot from the Grossman's and are sleeping on the balcony outside our room now which was so much better last night. I love it not.

Well I hope you guys have a blast at the triatholon. I'm jealous. I wish I was able to be there. Although last time didn't turn out too well for me. ;) Can't wait to hear from you again! Have a great week. Love you all.

Love from Lake Elsinore, California,
Elder Bushman

Monday, August 26, 2013

4 weeks in California!

Sent: Monday, August 26, 2013 4:27 PM
Subject: Re: First Day of School - and Seminary!

Brian and Louretta & their kids.
Elder Henderson was Elder Carbonneau's companion when
Brian and Louretta were first being taught.

Hey everybody!
How are you guys?! I can't believe school is starting already. It's so weird to think that this is the first year I wont be in school and I am already four weeks into my mission! Sounds like seminary is going well already. I know you're a great teacher and your enthusiasm will help you so much. When you teach Plan of Salvation make it a point to explain its importance in everyaspect in our life. Especially for the future missionaries. They will use the Plan of Salvation daily on their missions. I can't wait to see pictures of everyone and everything that is happening. I miss seeing you guys. Tell all the youth I say hi for me and that I love them. Let them know how important it is to stay strong in the gospel. It's good to hear how much the youth program has grown since I left. I'm impressed there are that many high schoolers willing to get up and come to seminary. That is so awesome.
Haha oh the chaos of the first day of school. Don't you love it? ;) I still remember how in my 5th grade year I forgot my homework almost 3 times a week at Santa Rita and my teacher was nice enough to let me call you so you could bring it to me just about everytime. Good memories. This will be a good year for everyone. It will be a year full of new memories and new experiences since the schools are all different now. I hope your naps are good and long enough. Chanler is going to have a blast with Mrs. Pipkin. I went to school with her son and had her for math too and she was a lot of fun. She's a really good teacher. I'm excited for him. Keep training for that marathon. That's going to be awesome when you get to all do it together. Just remember that it really does take a ton of practice. That's why Logan's been doing it all summer long. Holy Moly I still can't believe that school is already starting for y'all. The past two months have gone by so fast.
Tell Sister Gray thank you so much for the package. I got it a while ago. I just haven't been able to write back. I'm hoping to do so this week. If you send my lamborguini flashdrive and one of my other ones then I will be able to put all of the pictures from my camera and put them on there and send the flashdrive back to you. And if you haven't sent the CD's yet send all of my CD's as well. The ones I talked about in my last email.
Well now for the part you guys are probably waiting for. This week has been a little on the slower side. It was different. Starting Monday we had dinner with the Holmes family and had some HUGE steaks for each of us. We were stuffed. Probably some of the best steak I have ever had! That night we went and taught Brian and Louretta again and since Sunday when they were confirmed things seem to have died down for them which is a big blessing. For the rest of the week we just saw a lot of potential/former investigators and members to try and find more people to teach. Tuesday night we had dinner at the Bruers. We had roast from the crock pot. That sent me back to moms kitchen back home. It was great. Wednesday we had our district meetings and one of the AP's was there. That night we went and had a lesson with a couple and the man's mother. Their names are Shannon, Thomas, and Juney. We conacted them in the parking lot on Sunday or Monday night and came to find out they live on the same road as Brian and Louretta. So we called Brian to see how they knew each other and apparently they and best friends and Louretta and Thomas grew up together! We couldn't believe it! The lesson went well. We taught them the restoration. Juney (the mother) lives behind Thomas and Shannon and thought we were part of a cult. Once we started talking with them she realized that we aren't and totally opened up to us. Right as I was opening my mouth to invite them to be baptized Juney's grandson walks into the house and starts trying to bash with us. Not going to lie, I was a little upset with him for that but it's okay. We helped him realize everything he was saying was wrong but he ended up still not really believing us and by that time we were late for dinner so we had to go. But before we left we gave a blessing to Shannon (Thomas' girlfriend) and the Spirit was definetly there. I forgot to mention that Louretta went with us to teach them as well. She actually ended up doing most of the teaching and talking which was awesome. She is so amazing! Shannon told us before we walked in the house an das we left the house that she is getting baptized and wasnts to be a Mormon no matter what. And it's all because she and Thomas and Juney have seen the enormous change in Brian and Louratta. It's been amazing to see the affect they have on everyone around them. I can't remember if I said this in my last email but we have a less active member that is making Elder Carbonneau and I bows and arrows!I'm so excited. He just has to paint them now. Well anyways this guy is Brother Hill and we gave his wife a blessing on Thursday. That night Brian and Louretta took us out to eat which was great. They fed us Friday night too! We got pizza Friday which was amazing. That was my first time to have pizza out in the field. Saturday I went on exchanges with Elder Taylor. He is the trainer for Elder Baker who is the one that I was with on exchanges during the fire. We had a blast together. He's only been out 6 weeks longer than me and is already training. He's a great missionary. WE were on bike which was a little rough for me since I'm used to the car and the bike wasn't mine and the seat wobbled back and forth so My butt hurt the entire time. But it's all good. We helped a lady from the ward move that morning and at 3:30 we got a call from the sister missionaries saying that some guy they were talking to needed help putting shingles on his roof. So we ended up biking over there and helped roof this random guys house for him in our slacks and white shirts. It was awesome! That night we had a member take us out to eat and then had pie night at Bill's. It was so much fun. I'm loving it out here. The work is great and the missionaries I get to preach with are great men of God. Sunday I gave a talk in Sacrament meeting on the Restoration. I'll send it to you guys in the mail. I got all my stuff from general conference talks. I learned a lot from studying for it. And now today we have our PDay! We started off with our shopping and then went and gave a lady in our ward a blessing. After that we went to the church and have been hanging out with the zone since then. I'm excited to see what is in store for us thsi coming week. Hopefully it picks up and we find some more people to teach.
I hope you guys are all having a great time. I miss you all. Don't forget to write me. I love you so much.
Elder Bushman

On Mon, Aug 26, 2013 at 2:41 PM,
Oh! I totally forgot to mention that I got to stand in the circle on Sunday when Brian recieved the Aaronic Priesthood!!! So he's going to have the chance to bless the sacrament next week! We are so excited for him!
I got a haircut. Here's a picture of it!

Monday, August 19, 2013

4th Week Here I Go!!

Hello Everyone!!

Elder Carboneau and I could be brothers. We are alike in so many ways. He is a spiritual giant (unlike me) when it comes to deep doctrine and truly listening to the Spirit. I love working with and learning from him. I am so happy for Brian and Louretta! It's impossible to describe the change in them from before to after baptism. You are right mom, we need to be more deliberate in our actions in truly coming closer to Christ through true conversion. Those deeper levels that we can and should delve into will help us reach that goal if we make it a priority and work our hardest to do so. The temple was amazing. I'll talk more about it later in the email. This week has been a true testimony builder to me and something that I needed to go through for my mission. I loved every second of it!

I'm sure your week was super busy with school and everything else going on. I'm glad to hear you are excited about the new principal and it seems like she will be great for the school. If you see her soon, tell Mrs. Payne and Coach Smith Hi for me. It's too bad Tanner doesn't have Coach Smith. He is my favorite teacher of all time hands down. But it's okay. He'll do great. Let me know if he gets into football again. Basketball is going to be great for him too at the Freshmen school. It really built my skills and fundamentals there and the coaches are awesome as I'm sure you remember. I'm excited for Chanlers new experience at Carver and it is going to be really weird for you and McKenzie for her to be the only one there at Santa Rita. She will do great though. Have fun in Tenor 2 Logan. haha don't you love it when they change your part on you? You'll do great. Don't forget to practice practice practice and use those tips I gave you. That 5K is going to be tons of fun! I'm jealous. I miss all of you.

Don't stress too much about Seminary. You're going to do great. The Book of Mormon is the best one to start on so you got lucky. Listen to and live by the Spirit and you'll have no problem teaching those kids in the morning. Thank you for the quotes. I like them a lot and I might be able to use them sometime. You're right about the no preparing to get up at 5. You just have to do it and it never really gets easy. I'll tell you a secret though. If you are living with the Spirit, he will help you in more ways that you can imagine and it will become easier. I promise.

Happy 19th Anniversary!!! I am sorry I missed it since it was during the week but I'm glad you two had a good night together. You are the best parents in the world and I love you.

I'm glad you went out with the sisters. Keep it up. Being on my mission I now know how much it truly helps when members go out with the missionaries. I wish I could have gone to Dallas for the baptism. That is so exciting. So is Dad's new calling! He's going to do great. You're right, he is an amazing man of God and an example to all of us. Chanler's letters have been perfect. I love getting every single on of them. And everyone elses. He usually draws something for me and says he loves me. Nothing to be worried about. Letters daily are just as good as letters weekly.

I would like to have a CD with all the music and instead of a player maybe just a flashdrive with it all on there as well. We have things we can play music from both of those at our home so those would probably be best if you are having trouble with the ipod. I was thinking a nice new set of scriptures but its okay. I'll just work with these ones. Try to find those books as soon as you can. Thank you so much.

So for my weekly update... Starting Monday was just normal PDay. We got to play basketball which was a relief to me. It was nice to play my game again. After dinner at the empty nesters we helped move some of our investigators. Tuesday morning we finished the move. We went from there to a district meeting. Nothing too exciting happened that day. We visited a less active man, Brother Hill, who talks your ear off if you talk to him about the bows and arrows that he is constantly making out of PVC pipes. My companion said he usually doesn't talk unless he likes you so that was a good sign. That night for dinner the investigators we helped move earlier took us the a place called Tapps in Corona. We didn't realize until we left that it was not only out of our area but our zone too so on our way there we had to call and get permission to go there. Luckily we were okay to go. The dinner was amazing and super expensive. The cheapest thing on the menu was 19 bucks!!! That was a great night! We finished the day with exchanges. I stayed in my area and Elder Bangerter came with me. I got to drive the car all day Wednesday!! It's a good thing we had the GPS or else we would have gone no where. It was awesome because most greenies don't drive until their first 6 weeks is over. Wednesday went good. That morning our homeshare Brother Ziegler hurt his back and asked us for a blessing on his stairs. I annointed the oil and Elder Bangerter gave the blessing. Brother Z we crying by the end of it and is now walking just fine! We taught some lessons and saw Brian and Louretta. They were having some issues with family members and a uncle that lives with them since they were baptized and it's really stressing them out. The amazing thing is they are so strong that they wont allow themselves to crack and let Satan in. They said that themselves. It's amazing how spiritually strong they are. I also gave Brian a blessing of healing for an awful toothache that was swollen and keeping him from work. It was a very special moment. I've come to truly love this family. (I don't remember if I told you this already but I also gave their son Brian Jr a blessing for school last week, which was my first blessing I have given)

Thursday we had the amazing opportunity to go to the temple. It was beautiful. I was still a little nervous since it was only my second time to do endownments and the first for the dead. But it ended up being wonderful. I don't know if you have heard of the new film and if you haven't had the chance to go see it then go as soon as you can. It is so powerful and emotional. It really opens your eyes to everything. I think my favorite part of the temple was when I walked into the Celestial room and saw all of the seats and couches taken by the rest of the missionaries there. It was literally like walking into a room full of angels. It was so beautiful. I loved it so much and I can't wait to go back again! After the temple we went to Cafe Rio for lunch and for dinner a member took us to a Chinese buffet after we went to visit some more people.

Friday was a great day as well. After a long morning of planning we went out and saw some people. nothing too exciting until dinner at the Morris'. They are a Samoan family so there was tons of food and they basically invited the whole ward there so it was like another ward party in a house. It was awesome! However in the middle of dinner we got a call from Brian (who was at work) and he asked us to go to Louretta and calm her down. We didn't ask questions we just left. We knew we needed to see her. When we got there we had to talk on the porch since there wasn't a man at the house but she had already broken down crying. She told us how this whole week had been so hard for her with her family and how that day the uncle they were trying to get out of the house had made some threats and so they had the police come. Because of her and Brian's past, if they were to really do anything but talk to her uncle, they could have their kids taken from them and they could possibly go to jail. So it was really hard for Louretta not to just snap and take his stuff and throw him out. The amazing thing is that she has realized that all of this is Satan trying his hardest to keep her from receiving the Holy Ghost and working her way towards bettering her lifer and their family's. She is so strong. I don't know how to explain it. You can't understand unless you know her and have seen and heard where she started in life and how far they have come and where they are adiment about going. I have never seen anyone this strong nor anyone this tried by Satan. That night I gave Louretta a blessing. The Spirit was powerful that night. Before we left she told me that the blessing I had given Brian on Wednesday had worked. She said that after we left she looked at his face and watched the swelling go down in front of her and he said the pain had gone away. It was such a powerful testimony builder to me to see the miracles of God at work and a blessing to know that I am worthy to have those miracles work through my hands. That night truly testified to me the importance of being in tune with the Spirit to know when and where you should be at the right time.

Saturday I went on exchanges with one of the Zone leaders ( Elder Young). It was a great day and we had another Samoan dinner. Sunday was the perfect ending to this amazing week. I conferred Brian a member of the church and gave him the Holy Ghost and stood in the circle as Elder Carboneau conferred Louretta. It was so spiritual. I loved every second of it. I love the gospel. It is so true. The Priesthood is real. Then that night we had dinner at the Samoans home again and stuffed ourselves to the brim again. This week has been absolutely amazing. I loved it. I love it here. I love the people and I love the gospel. I know I am where I am supposed to be. I know the gospel is true and the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I know that the Priesthood is real.

I love and miss you all. Have another great week and I can't wait to hear from you again.

Love from California,
Elder Bushman

P.S. I got your letters Saturday.

Elder Bushman's Mission Address

Elder Blaine Kendell Bushman
California Riverside Mission
5900 Grand Ave

Riverside, CA 92504-1328
(I posted this again so that it would be easier to find!)

Monday, August 12, 2013

Second Week in California

Sent: Monday, August 12, 2013 3:33 PM
Subject: Re: Happy Second Week!
Hello Everyone!
Parking lotting went a lot better but still no one to teach from it. I'm glad to hear you got the pictures from president Smart. Our companionship is free from sickness now and we are doing great! Elder Carboneau is awesome. We get along so well and work great together.We haven't changed apartments yet but will most likely change within the next week and a half. The weather is great and we haven't run out of water or electricity so that's good. I'll have to brag to Savannah and Taylor when we all get home. ;) I'll let you know the address once we move. I haven't gotten any letters from you guys since the package at the MTC but we haven't checked mail today yet. Brian and Louretta got baptized yesterday! They had to be interviewed by President for some serious things but in the end we baptized them!!! It was wonderful. That would be awesome if you guys would pray for our investigators.
I'm glad you got most of the shopping done for school. I remember how crazy that is. Seminary will be great for you. I am so excited for you. Oh and I am sending you guys a letter today also so you can time that too. I'm so happy to hear that the Martinez's got to go to the temple. Tell them congrats for me and I love them. They truly are a wonderful family. Let me know dad if Javier gets any more ideas for work. We still get to go to the temple once every 3 months! So our first trip is this Thursday! We are taking a 11 man van so all the elders in our zone are going to ride together to the Redlands temple. I'm so excited. There are so many new things going on! To hear about the Lubbock Mission is super exciting! Just so you know, from my just two weeks experience, the members are way more important than the missionaries in missionary work. As wiered as that sounds it is totally true. I'm glad you guys had Kaitlyn over. It's good to hear that her and Sarah have been doing things together. I hope I get to see some pictures in my next letter of you guys, Jasher, and KayDee. That's awesome that the Gray's are back now! I'm glad you guys got out to the neighborhood. Too bad it rained but I bet it was nice.
Thank you for sending stamps. I can't wait to get them because I only have a few left. I figured Nana and Papa were staying so that is awesome to hear that they really are! They are such good examples to all of us. I got a letter from them a few days ago and wrote them back. I don't think I can print off my emails. Until I find out that would be great if you printed them off for me. Thank you. Don't forget to write me once a week. Letters are like the best thing of a missionaries day so please dont forget.
So my week went like this. Sunday my companion was still sick so for dinner he stayed at the Grossmans while their son Jessie went with me to go contacting and to dinner. Oh just so you know my first two weeks apparently are not normal for a missionaries first two weeks. First week my companion gets sick and we get kicked out of two parking lots. Sunday I contacted and went to dinner alone with a priest. So Monday was even crazier. Don't worry. None of this was bad. I'm having a blast. It's just not the norm for missionaries. So Monday our PDay started with doing service for the entire morning which we never do on PDay. Next at 6 we go on exchanges. So I went with another greeny to his area on bike for that night and the entire next day. Then during the day on Monday a fire started on the mountain that I was on exchanges in. So all of our plans went out the window because everyone was being evacuated and so we just biked up and down the streets asking everyone if they needed any help. For a good hour we helped an investigator hose down his home that was on the side of the street. We watched the fire climb down the mountain. It was so COOL! We were within a mile from the fire before most of it was put out. It was an awesome experience. We helped a lot of people and now the whole area knows we were out there helping. Because of the fire being basically across the street from our home we stayed the night with other elders. So it was 6 elders in one home! Even more unusual. Tuesday morning during our studies, the homeshare fell off his ladder in the garage below us and was bleeding from his head. We gave him a blessing and wrapped him in towels until the ambulence came. He was more worried that we shut the grage door than getting the bleeding to stop. I was queasy the whole time. We had a powerful district meeting afterwards and then Elder Baker and I rode around the area and found some awesome potential investigators. Tuesday night we went back to our normal companionships. Wednesday was a slow day but we taught Brian and Louretta. Our problem with them was we couldnt get jumpsuits big enough for Brian. He is 6 foot 6 and over 360 pounds. Big guy. I have pictures from the baptism. Thursday was their interviews and Friday was our missionary interviews with President Smart. We were there from 9 to 3. Because Brian and Louretta had to be interviewed too. It took forever. We have been trying to talk to as many less active members as we can. We need referrals. This next week all we are going to be doing is finding people to teach. Luckily Friday night the ward went to the SanDiego Temple and our Bishop got a 5X suit for Brian. When we showed it to him we were still scared it was going to be too small. Saturday night was our ward party which was great and then we went to Pie night at this awesome 70 year old man's home. Bill is hilarious. We were laughing the rest of the night. Yesterday was the baptism. It was awesome. We got a Samoan man in the ward, Joe Morris, to do the baptizing since no one else is big or strong enough. I have never seen 700 pounds of man in a font at one time. It was literally almost too small to fit them both in. We are so excited for them. Brian is talking to Bishop next week about getting the priesthood and hes excited about the idea of being able to baptize his 5 year old twins when they ar eold enough. They will be confirmed next Sunday. They are awesome people and I am so glad I got to be a part of their conversion. Today is Pday. We've already gone shopping and are at the church playing ball and just having a good time together as a zone. I love it here. The work is great and so is the ward. The gospel is so true. I know it and I'm beginning to learn how to truly live and become it.The Spirit is so strong. Later today we are doing some service and this week I go on two more exchanges. I'm super excited.
I love you guys. Don't forget to write me each week and email once in a while. I can't wait to hear again from you. Stay strong and live the gospel. Let the Spirit guide you.
Elder Bushman