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