Saturday, July 27, 2013

Reminder: Kendell leaves for California on Tuesday the 30th!
Send any letters to the California mission home address (in previous post).

Subject: Re: We are in Utah!!
Sent: Fri, Jul 26, 2013 9:27:32 PM

Hello everyone!
I hope you are all doing great! I got your package and all yours letters two days ago and I just sent you a letter in return an hour ago. Thank you so much! I hope it didn't put too much more wieght in my luggage. Mom can you put some extra money on my card just in case I have to use it to pay for the luggage. I'm supposed to get reembursed by my mission president when I get to California for luggage payments. Also I need stamps. Can you send me like one or two pages of stamps please? That would be great! I got the shot records and I am good to go. I don't know about attatchments. Try and I will let you know if it works.

This week has been great. I don't remember if I said that I was asked to coordinate sacrament for sacrament meeting on Sunday's but I was so I got to do that Sunday. I also sang a duet with another Elder for the intermediate hymn. It was hymn number 112. He asked me to sing with him 20 minutes before sacrament meeting and somehow we managed to put it together a cappella and we actually sounded pretty good! I loved getting the chance to sing again and show off a little bit. Oh and Sunday we watched a devotional from Elder Bednar called the Character of Christ. It was one of the best talks I have ever heard. It made me want to repent for things I haven't even done! It has changed my life. Monday was my first time to teach a TRC investigator. It is a mock meeting with an investigator but we make it seem so real. It didn't go as we wanted and actually afterwards I felt pretty discouraged. We felt like he just wanted to argue the whole time and he wouldn't agree to do anything we asked him to. That night when I got to my room my roomates and I just laughed about the day and had a great night to wind down and just enjoy each other. I don't know if I have ever laughed so hard for so long in my life! It was awesome and just what I needed. I love my roomates and I am so glad that they are all going to Riverside with me. These guys are so amazing. Monday was also my first day to get to go to the gym and play ball! It was awesome but only an hour long so it was too short. Tuesday we cleaned some dorms for a service project. After that I took an hour long nap becausee we had time to before our next meeting. It was one of the best naps ever! I needed it so bad. Then we had district devotional. Wednesday We planned for our next TRC lesson but we had no idea what to teach him because of how bad our first lesson was with him. So we decided to teach him about the Book of Mormon and hopefully be able to give him one. But when we talked with hime he wanted nothing to do with it. He let us give our message but he wouldn't accept the Book of Mormon or even a pamphlet about the Restoration. He wouldn't pray about it either. The difference between this lesson and the last is this time it was not an arguement and we ended up just talking with Eric about his life and I began to love him as I got to know him. I've come to realize that that is the key to missionary work. To have the Spirit with you at all times and to love your investigators. I came out of that lesson not discouraged, but enlightened and happy. I felt like we had done our job even though Eric hadn't accepted our message. It ended up being a great day and I have learned a lot from that experience. Everything during the day has been classroom time where we have just been learning more and more about how to better teach. I have learned so much. We also had another gym time Wednesday and that helped to relieve some stress and get out my energy. It was more fun than the first time and I had a blast. Thursday, yesterday, we had an 8 hour long "infield Orientation" all day long about how to work with members in the the field. After dinner I had my last gym time and I had a great time. It was nice to be able to work of some of the food that we've been eating. Oh I forgot that Wednesday we were planning for another investigator that we have been teaching for a week now and I needed help knowing if we should ask him to be baptized our next meeting and so I decided to just open the Book of Mormon at random and point to a random scripture. 6 times in a row each scripture was on repentance and baptism and I knew I had my answer. That experience strengthened my testimony of the Book of Mormon and revelation immensely. Today I got to do my laundry and after lunch in ten minutes we are going to the temple grounds to study. I forgot to say that the temple is closed for like 6 weeks right now so we don't get to go at all while we are here at the MTC. Today is one of the best days of the week because it's PDay and I get to relax and maybe even take a nap before or after I finish all my letters and writing in my Journal. Tomorrow we get to practice tracting and we will meet and try to teach two new strangers. One in the morning and one in the afternoon. It should be interesting and I am really nervous for this more realistic practice experience. I might be singing again in church Sunday. Hopefully I wont have to give a talk. We all are supposed to prepare a 3 to 5 minute talk on one of two topics and at sacrament meeting our branch president will call two people from our zone at random to give talks so I need to prepare something for that as well. And that night we get to see another devotional and I can't wait! Monday is packing day and some last classroom meetings. And then we leave Tuesday morning at 4:30 to California! The weeks feel like days and the days feel like weeks. It's crazy. I have grown so much. I love you all and can't wait to hear from you again. This will probably be my last email until next Monday so have a great week and I look forward to getting to share with you what my experiences are. I've also got the greatest district leader ever!!! His name is Elder Weinert and he just told me he wanted me to put him in my email so here it is. He isn't going to California with me but he has become one of my close friends and I love being around him. He is a great guy and really funny. I'm going to miss him a lot. I miss you all and love you so much. Until next email.
Elder Bushman

Friday, July 19, 2013

Here's to hoping this blog thing will work!

I am going to try to post udates and emails from Kendell on this blog. 
This is my first time creating one, but it should be easy enough!
We look forward to sharing Kendell's experiences!

(He cannot access this, so he wont be able to see or respond - but I am sure he would love to hear from you directly!)  If you want to write him  - his mailing address is:

Provo MTC until July 30:
Elder Blaine Kendell Bushman
2011 N 900 E Unit 252
Provo UT 84602

California Mission Home: (after July 30 until updated with specific apartment address):

Elder Blaine Kendell Bushman
California Riverside Mission
5900 Grand Ave
Riverside, CA 92504-1328

First Few Days at the MTC (and the journey before I got there)

emailed 7/19/13
First Few Days at the MTC:
Dear Mom, Dad, and everyone else,

Well I made it. Today is my Pday here at the MTC so I get to email! Yesterday I got my first companinon for the MTC. His name is Elder Child and although he is older than me by a few months I was made the Senior companion yesterday during our meeting with our branch president. I am rooming with Elder Child, Elder Burgi, and Elder Reber. They are all great guys and we are already becoming good friends. I am learning so much and the Spirit is so strong here. We've been practicing studying to teach investigators and each sompanionship has been asigned their own investigator for the week. So Elder Child and I have been studying the fisrt few lessons in the First Discussion to teach Ian about the love of God and the Atonement of Jesus Christ. We teach him today for the first time after dinner and I feel a mixture between excitement and nerves. It's going to be a great experience to learn and grow and I can't wait! For those of you that are sending me letters or waiting for letters from me I was just allowed to use the Post Office last night so I should be getting your letters sometime today and I'll be sending all of mine to you today as well. The food here is pretty good so far. We've had meatloaf, chicken fried steak, burgers, chilli dogs, chicken, and cereal! Here at the MTC we are allowed an hour to email which is way more time than I thought I would get. I'm starting to get used to the schedule here but it's still crazy. I am in the same classroom for at least 6 or 7 hours of the day learning. And although the teachers are fantastic, it is really hard to stay awake when you are sitting in the same chair for so long. Don't worry mom I haven't actually fallen asleep in class. I just got close to it yesterday. Today I get to wear normal clothes all day until dinner when classes start up again! Um... More about my companion and roomates. Elder Child is from Kaysville, Utah and just graduated this year. He played wrestling. Elder Burgi is 22, is from Sandy, Utah and loves outdoors activities like downhill mountain bike races. Elder Reber is from Enterprise, Utah and he just graduated as well. He is a farmboy and plays basketball! We've already created bonds with the rest of our district. Everyone in our district is going to Riverside or Tempi, Arizona. There are some great people here and very unique stories. One of the sisters in my class/district is a legal "short person" and is 24 years old. It's really inspiring to hear of everyones stories and backgrounds and reasons for coming to serve a mission. The first day we went through a Gym Orientation to know how and when to use the gym. And when I looked on our schedule for my stay here at the MTC I only get to use the gym/field like three times. I'm a little dissapointed I wont get to work off all this food thats just sitting in my stomach all day or play ball with the rest of the Elders here. I'm already starting to create better habits and I love it! I've been writing in my journal and saying myprayers and reading my scriptures with a real purpose and it's amazing the diference it makes. The Spirit and people here just make me want to be better and it is a wonderful feeling. I miss you all. I love you mom and dad. I can't believe I'm actually here. It still feels somewhat like a dream but I think I might get used to it soon and then I'll leave for Riverside and it will start all over. There is so much going on here. The work of God is amazing. If ou could come experience the MTC for just one day you would see what I mean. The Spirit is so strong. I can't wait to be able to get out into the field and start teaching the people of California the restored gospel of Jesus Chirst. The amazing thing about the gospel is it all makes sense. once you can't sit down and just think logically it all makes sense. And then you add the scriptures and witness of the Holy Ghost and I don't know how anyone could deny its truth. The love of God is real. During our classes I've come to realize that even more than ever. And the people we are teaching are true and literal sons and daughters of God that he loves. I am the shepherd God has sent to find the lost sheep that is looking for it's way back unto the fold. Once I find that sheep I must do all I can to bring it back. Because God sees the potential of that one person and I am beginning to see that as well. It's amazing. That one person can beome a shepherd of God as well and together we will find even more of the lost sheep and the work will grow and continue to roll forward like a wave. I love this gospel so much. Everything I know and believe rings true to me. I know that Jesus is the Christ. He is my Savior and he suffered and died not only for me but for the rest of the world so that we can all repent and be forgiven of our sins and also so that when we need someone, Christ is always there for us to keep us standing. I know that Christ lives and because he broke the bands of death we too will be resurrected with perfected bodies. I know the Book of Mormon is true and that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God and he restored the Christ's church here on Earth and translated the book of Mormon. I testify of the truth and the reality of the priesthood and power that comes from it. I bare testimony of pray and of Thomas S. Monson. This church is so true. I feel it. I know it. I am living it. I love it. This work is of God. There is no other explaination for it. Nothing else could be this powerful and this good. I hope you are all doing well and are safe. I miss you. I love you so much. I can't wait to hear from you.

With love from your missionary at the MTC,

Elder Bushman

At the MTC!  Aunt Michelle dropped him off. 
Doesn't he look great!?! So excited for him! 
July 17th
Monday, July 15th, 2013.   Flying to Utah!     (6:30 Flight)

Officially a set-apart missionary!
Congratulations ELDER Bushman!

Many great friends came to hear the "Farewell" (that is not a farewell).

 Opening the Call!
Fun Gathering and many on Skype or phone!
Riverside, California!! (English speaking!)
 The Postman delivered the call!!  
(Mom is so weird, but he post man abliged & she got her picture!