Tuesday, October 14, 2014

September 24

Sent: Wednesday, September 24, 2014 4:50 PM
Subject: Re: Heading Home to Midland!

Hey everyone!!

I'd say welcome back home but I'm not there either! Haha I'm glad you are back safe. It sounds like you and Dad had a total blast! I'm glad that you were able to do that and have such a great time together. I really loved your pictures that you sent. It looks beautiful. Dad you are a stud. You're the only one in the picture kayaking without gloves in the lake! Haha ;) I'm glad that the kids did well while they were home alone. 

Well this week was super slow. I was hard to find things to do and everyone seemed to reschedule their appointments with us for this next week. And on top of that it was Elder Carbonneau's last week on his mission. It was super hard to see him leave Monday morning. He is already home and texting on his new phone! Haha We had a blast together during the 7 and a half months that we served and lived with each other! He was a great trainer and I'm gonna miss him a lot. There isn't really a whole lot to report for this week so I'll try to share some of the high points. Monday night we had dinner with the Z__ family who moved from the ward this last week. For some reason their little 3 year old boy, C__, just really liked me and he would always come sit by me during Elder's quorum as his dad would teach the class. And after dinner C__ (who absolutely loves baseball and wants to be a catcher and me be his umpire) got one of his many baseballs and "signed" it for me and then the rest of the kids did as well. He is such a cute kid and I'm gonna miss them. The ward will too. They are a great family. Tuesday was the last District Meeting for 3 out of the 6 missionaries in my district and we actually ended up combining with another district for the meeting which meant that somehow I was able to get out of training! It was so nice to get to sit back and listen to someone else talk and train again. I'm going to start having my district members train for me during our DDMs. 

Wednesday we did a ton of unexpected service. That morning we helped a member from one of the sisters ward move and then went to the community food cupboard and helped move some stuff around for them. When we got home Carbonneau and Plotkin were asked if they could help a member of their ward take off the shingles of his roof so we tagged along and had a great time! It was a lot of fun and I felt great after we got home. Especially after I got a nice cold shower after being in the 100 degree sun all day long. Thursday night and Friday morning we deep cleaned the apartment for apartment inspections from the mission housing coordinators Friday morning and we passed! And you know who had to clean the toilet belonging four teenage boys? Yup it was me. It was the most disgusting thing ever! Mom I promise my toilet never ever was that bad! Haha I'm praying it will stay clean for a while but we will see how that goes. 

Saturday was a lot of fun. It was transfer day and so we were talking to all of our buddies around the mission seeing who got leadership calls and where everyone would be transferred to. That night I gave my fourth baptismal interview for a man who my sisters were teaching. I have never seen someone who wanted so bad, was so excited for, and had been so prepared to enter the waters of baptism! It was such a great experience interviewing him and hearing of his conversion and story. He inspired me to be so much more than I am now. It was wonderful! It was a little weird that there was a stake youth dance at the building at the same time so showing up to a dance with the sisters behind us looked a little funny Haha. And as soon as we finished we booked it over to Elder Felix and Vang's trailer for our traditional transfer Saturday Bonfire! It was a blast and yet a little solemn knowing that 3 of the elders there were going to be going home. We finally got the calls and I will be staying here to finish Elder Hoyt's training and Elder Folau is coming back to be Elder Plotkin's comp and will be living with me!!! I am SO excited! I love Elder Folau! We are going to have such a fun transfer! I'm so stoked!

Well that was my week. Sorry it wasn't the longest or most detailed email but that's kind of how I felt about the week so it's whatevs.  I hope you all have a great week. I'm looking forward to mine! Can't wait to hear from you again! 

Elder Bushman
Here is my mission family picture! 
Elder Hoyt-my boy/son and Carbonneau's grandson
Me-Carbonneau's boy and Hoyt's dad
Elder Tui'one- Hoyt's mom

Oct 6 General Conference Weekend!!

 Sent: Monday, October 6, 2014 6:48 PM
Subject: General Conference Weekend!!
Hello Everyone! 

So we are running low on time today (It was pretty busy) so I will try to write as much as I can. We had a great week that brought many lessons learned and miracles! Didn't you love Conference?! I absolutely loved it! I've started thinking that the Saturday sessions are my favorite for some reason. They were absolutely amazing! I hope you all find the time to watch them all. There was a definite theme of following the prophet and cleansing our lives of sin through not just repentance but also through serving others in every way possible. I learned so much this weekend. Those leaders are truly called of God. I know they are! I'm looking forward to getting my box of pictures! It will be a good project for me. Keep up the great work Kenzie! You are doing awesome! That's super cool Tanner that your band is doing so well! Don't forget about everything else that is important though too. Make sure you get your Eagle Project done soon! Dude Chan the Man! Way to go on scoring another goal in your game! And I don't even know what to say to you Logan. You're just a boss at everything! Keep up the hard work bro. You're going to go places. A lot more than me! ;) So Dad you finally got the car of your dreams huh? Haha That is awesome! I hope I get to see a pic soon. I'm excited for you! Keep up the running mom! I'm impressed and proud of how well you've stuck with it. You have really picked up the miles too! I wouldn't even think about doing 4 miles in one day out here. I really really like what you are doing with prayers with the kids. What are the things that I can pray for each one of you? I want to include your specific needs/wants in my prayers too. That is such a great idea!

So my week really started on Wednesday since we spent most of Tuesday in Moreno Valley and Riverside helping some other elders with truck issues. Wednesday we had a lesson with E_ and put her on date to be baptized on the 26th of this month! Then we had a lesson with and picked up J_ as a new investigator. She is a sophomore in high school and there used to be members living with her and her family. She seems pretty interested and very open to new ideas and truths. She also accepted to be baptized on the 9th of November! Thursday morning we had a lesson with A_, saw E_again and that night we taught D_. We went into the lesson ready to teach lesson 3 (Gospel of Jesus Christ) and include some of the commandments. Before we began our message we opened up the conversation for questions that he might have for us. he brought up tattoos and after we helped him understand that no one here would ever shun him for having tattoos on his body, the questions turned towards coffee. And that is when he told us that during the past week he had woken up in the middle of the night and his arm had been spazzing out. It was so bad that it kind of freaked him out and he went to the doctors for help. After examining it, the doctor told D_ that if it happened again that he needed to come back because it could be something wrong with his nerves and brain, OR it was just his caffeine intake. So you know what he did the morning before our lesson? He swore off coffee and tea because he knew that that was what had caused it all. And then for us to come and teach about the Word of Wisdom was just an additional spiritual confirmation to him and us that God truly does play a part in our lives and everything does happen for a reason! He is still looking forward to being baptized on the 19th and I pray that everything will work out! Friday right after a great Zone Meeting we drove over to Brother L_'s for lunch and a lesson with I_! We taught all of the commandments of lesson 4 and she is completely ready to be baptized. We just have to make sure that she can stay away from coffee and tea from now on. We will be working with her on that. She is so ready and during that lesson as we talked about her baptism she and Bro. L_ asked Elder Hoyt if he would baptize her and if I would confirm her! I am so excited! I have to admit I was a little jealous that he was asked to do the baptism instead of me since I've been working with her for a lot longer than him but I know it will be a great experience for him and a life changing moment for all of us involved! 

Saturday and Sunday consisted of basically General Conference. I would have to say that the three talks that spoke to me most this last weekend were from Elder Robbins (right after Packer Saturday morning), Elder Holland's, and Elder Christofferson's. I learned a lot from all of them though and it was super cool to have some of the speakers talk in their native languages too! Today we were able to combine PDay with the Lake Elsinore Zone and watch the Meet the Mormons movie at the Stake Center! President Mullen got special permission to show it to us and it was really good! I highly recommend seeing it and definitely showing it to our nonmember friends!Tonight we should be having a lesson with J_ again. I'll let you know next week how it goes! 

Well I better go. I hope you are all doing well and enjoy this next week. Remember to Pray, Study, have FHE, and go to the temple! I know that the Lord will bless us all if we return to the basics and live and learn as children, humble, meek, and submissive, willing to submit to the will of the Father. Until next week! Lots of love from California!

Elder Bushman

Sept 29, Okay It's Not Really October....Is It?

Sent: Monday, September 29, 2014 6:28 PM
Subject: Okay It's Not Really October....Is It?
Hello all Y'all!!!

It's great to hear from you! And way to go Lee! Good job Tanner and Logan! Due Logan way to be and get 2nd chair!That is so sick! I'm stoked for you! And Tanner if you get to take someone else's spot work hard and you can be right there with him! You guys are doing awesome! Can you send me the names and chairs of everyone that made it? That's awesome that Kenzie is getting more into the singing thing! I'm excited to see what everyone is like when I get home. It sounds like you are all changing and growing a lot. Especially Chan with his Spanish, chess, and yearbook interests. I love and miss you guys so much. I do remember us trying a little bit to memorize that. I don't have all of JSH 1:15-20 but I do have the First Vision portion down. I absolutely love quoting that in lessons! Nothing else brings the spirit more than those words recounted by the boy Prophet Joseph Smith! Good luck with that and I'll try to remember to ask you about it every now and then. I hope McKenzie is feeling better. That's too bad she had to miss the Conference. It seems like there were some great topics talked about. That's a lot of damage done at the Scout Camp! I'm sure they needed all the help they could get. Isn't it great to know Dad is such a great guy that he would go out there to help?! What a great example for the rest of us! So I can't believe October is really here already. This is my last Halloween on the mission! That blows my mind. What's even crazier is that depending on when Logan puts his papers in I might not see him for 4 years!! I don't know how much I actually like real life starting. Haha It's crazy!

Well this week was a pretty decent week. Tuesday we had a super long service project helping a member move. Wednesday I emailed you and we had our first District Meeting of the transfer. I have three companionships besides Hoyt and me in my district. 2 sets of elders and 2 of sisters. It's weird having a bigger group but I think I'm gonna like it a lot more. I will be able to have more conversations and others involved. It'll be good. That night a member took us out to Sizzler's (a steak place) that was super good. Thursday was when the real good work started. We stopped in on E- and had a short meeting with her. She seems like there is a lot of potential for her to accept what we have to share. She's been looking a church lately and I told her this is the one she's been looking for. After dinner that night we got dropped off at the C--'s home (family in our ward) who's daughter's boyfriend, D--, has been coming to church for the past 3 weeks and finally accepted to take the lessons. So we got to teach him the first lesson. It was a rough start. Because of all the service and random things that kept poking up this week in the mornings we hadn't been able to study as effectively as we should have and we could feel the difference. And Elder Hoyt was really struggling that whole day. He has a stuttering problem that stops him from teaching as clearly as he wants to which means I usually take over the lesson once he starts having a hard time getting his point across. In this case Brother C-- was able to step in and help and get D-- to understand what we were trying to put across to him and after that point we both said a prayer in our hearts and were able to bring the Spirit in and invite him to be baptized after which he said yes! It will be the third week of October if everything goes well. I learned a lot from that lesson. No matter what, we are going to make sure we study every day. After the lesson we drove to the church and Elder Hoyt asked me to give a him a blessing to help with his stuttering. It was a very very special, spiritual moment during which I know without a doubt that God spoke to him through me and there is no way I would have known to say what I did unless I had been listening to the spirit. The Priesthood is real. I testify of it's power and authority. It is the power and authority of God given to us and I am so grateful that I have the blessing, privilege, and responsibility of holding that precious gift. I finished and with tears streaming down his face Elder Hoyt embraced me with a huge hug and said "That was beautiful." We grew a lot together that night. I will never forget that experience. And I testify that because of his faith and the words that came from God through that blessing, Elder Hoyt has already begun to be more confident and talk mush more easily. After Nana and Papa sent me a letter in which it talked about using your Priesthood instead of just holding it, I have truly started to understand just how much power and trust Heavenly Father has give me by letting me use His Holy Priesthood. We can perform miracles. We can heal those that are sick. We can make the blind see, the lame to walk, and raise the dead! We literally and truly do ALL THINGS if we but have faith in our Savior Jesus the Christ. He has given us the tools to do so! Never again will this power be taken from the Earth!

Saturday we did some more service, this time weeding the yard of an older couple in the ward.  Sunday was slow to begin with. At church D-- and I-- came to church and really enjoyed it. We will be meeting with D--  again on Thursday this week. At church Brother L-- invited us over for dinner and a lesson with I-- which we were expecting. As soon as church was over we went home and prayed and studied and role played for our lesson with I--. We knew we wanted to focus on baptism with her and help her understand it  and right before we went over we knelt down and prayed to know what day we should invite her to be baptized on. It came down to the 12, 18, or 19. After our prayer Elder Hoyt said that he felt really good about the 12 and so I said okay lets do it! Dinner was really good. Brother L-- is a great cook. We had steak! Oh by the way, this is probably important to know haha....Brother L-- proposed to I--  on Saturday!!! They are gonna get married soon! We talked with them and I think it will be this October! I'm am so excited for them and you can just see how happy they are together! It's awesome! And what's even better is about to come. So beforehand I told Hoyt that this was his time to really lead the lesson. I wasn't going to start it. It was all him. And he did a really good job! I was impressed. I had also told him that when it was time to invite her to be baptized I was going to tap his foot and he was going to be the one to invite her. Well we explained everything and she really started understanding and you could just tell she wanted to commit. So when the Spirit said to, I tapped Hoyt's foot. In my mind I expected him to do the normal thing and lead into the invite cuz it was in the middle of our discussion. Obviously that was not what was going through his head though. Instead he looked at I--  and said (with only a slight stutter, "I--....will you be baptized on October 12th?" I have to admit my heart dropped a bit and I was so scared! Haha It was so abrupt that it caught not only me but everyone else of guard and we all looked at I-- to see what her response would be. She took a moment and then said that she wanted to be baptized but couldn't on the 12th because she has work. Then she said that she would have the next weekend off. I looked at Hoyt trying to give him the look that would say "Then invite her to be baptized on the 19th!" Well he was already there and right on top of it. And as we sat there in silence waiting, I could see the Spirit change her countanence and as a smile crept onto her face she said "Yes I will be baptized on the 19th!!!" I tell you what I was so happy and so excited as was Elder Hoyt! We got into the car and the first thing he said was "Can we go to the church I need to use the bathroom." He had gotten so excited that he almost peed his pants!! Haha We were on top of the world that night and we will be meeting with them again Friday afternoon to teach the rest of the lessons to her! I love it! I feel like the Savior did with the love that I have grown for I-- and Brother L---. They are just amazing people and there is nothing like being able to be a part of the Spiritual changes in someone's life towards Jesus Christ! 

We celebrated that night by playing mini pool at our apartment and just having a great time! I am so looking forward to this week! It's going to be great! I hope that you all have a wonderful week and really try to make the difference in someone else's life each day wherever you are. Keep up the great work! Practice Practice Practice Logan, Tanner, and Kenzie. Good Luck! I love you guys!

Elder Bushman

Sept. 15 - Great Week!

Sent: Monday, September 15, 2014 5:19 PM
Subject: Great Week!!!

Hey everyone!!

I can't believe you are probably in Alaska right now on a cruise! That is so cool! I'm not sure if you'll be able to receive this email or not but I guess just in case I'll send it anyway. ;) haha Can you send some of that rain and cooler weather over this way? It's 105 degrees today and will be the rest of the week! I walk outside and start sweating! Congrats Kenzie on getting first place with your team in your run! that's awesome! . . .  Congrats Logan on being Choir Beau! That is way cool! I'm a little jealous cuz you actually got to do the parade. ;) Way to go Tanner on getting the cheerleader float! Haha Are you gonna take the Rockhounds offer!? That's a pretty sweet deal man! Sounds like piano practice is still going normal.  That's really cool that you got to go out with the sisters again. And I'm glad that you got to follow up with Mrs . . .! Keep up the work! :) 

Well my week was pretty great! A lot of things happened so I will try to get them all into this email as much as I can. Starting with Monday, Z-- (the 19 year old that comes out with us all the time) set up an appointment for us with one of his friends! Her name is S-- and she is pretty cool. We had a really good first lesson with her and invited her to be baptized. She is super open and accepted the invitation. Her only hold up will be getting her to church because she works only on the weekends all the way through church. But other than that S-- seems very sincere and interested to learn! Pretty cool experience for Z-- to invite his friend and have her start taking lessons. The reason he invited S-- was one day at the P--'s there was a party and she was there and we told him to go ask her if she would be interested and without hesitation Z-- went right over there and had a good long chat with her and another friend and shared his testimony and after that she said she would like to learn! Awesome experience! After our lesson with her she actually fed us! It was a pleasant surprise. Although I was a little apprehensive due to the fact that as soon as we left we had to go to the Bishop's for our real dinner appointment! During which we challenged him and his family to share the Book of Mormon we had given them a few weeks ago. And then we went over some names with Bishop that we had on our list that we didn't recognize. During the prayer for dinner his little boy T-- said something I thought was very interesting and inspiring (and he didn't do it on purpose but I noticed it) and I'll just quote him..."Please bless the food that we are thankful for" Rather than blessing all the food he only blessed the food that we were thankfull for. I told Elder Hoyt afterwards that I hoped he was thankfull for it all otherwise it wasn't all blessed! 

Tuesday was another District Meeting, afterwhich we went to the Olds home again. I don't remember if I told you before about them but Brother O-- is actually 92 years old and his wife is not a member. Brother Cromar from the Bishopric asked us to stop by and helped G-- (bro o--) put up some curtains. When we got there Mamason (sister olds) would not let us put them up and said it was too much work. G-- being the typical old stubborn man wouldn't give in and devised a plan with us and their caretakers to get Mamason out of the house on Thursday and when she was gone we came in with G--, found where she had hid the curtains, put them up, and rearranged the front room to G--'s liking. It really looks a lot better, but I can gaurantee is shocked his wife when she got back! Haha None the less Mamason surprised us and took our invitation and came to church for the first time this last Sunday! It was amazing to see her walk inside the building! Wednesday we went to Riverside for another Trainer/trainee meeting which was a lot of fun to catch up with Elder Tui'one and others I've served around. That afternoon we taught V-- and her two kids B-- and A--  half of the first lesson. It's going to be a slow process because unlike what they made it seem like to us, they don't really have a good knowledge of religion so we will be teaching them small and simple things. But they have a lot of questions which is good and there can be a lot of potential with them. That night we got to teach another one of Z--'s friends and played ball with him and some other guys in the stake at the church. It was a lot of fun! I wish we could do that every week but I don't think we will. he wasn't too interested but there is definitely a seed planted there.

Thursday we spent most of the morning at the O-- doing their curtains and after lunch we saw A-- and did a little weekly planning. Friday morning we did some yard work for a sister in the Lake Perris ward and came back to finish up our weekly planning we hadn't gotten done. Saturday was a super good day.We switched things up a little and went on exchanges with Elder Felix and Elder Vang. Elder Felix came with me and Elder Vang (who came out with Elder Hoyt) took Hoyt into his area for the day. We wanted to give our trainees a chance to do things on their own. It turned out to be really good. We did some service that morning and then had a little lesson with A__. Afterwhich we drove to Menifee so I could give two baptismal interviews! It was a really good experience for me and exciting to see this mom and her daughter making the step to be baptized! They were baptized yesterday after many years of waiting! Felix and I picked up a new investigator named C who we will be seeing tomorrow, and stopped by E--'s and had a good little lesson with her about the Book of Mormon. She seems super interested and committed to read! That night we finished the exchange and found that our companions had found some new people to teach and had a pretty successful day together! Sunday was church which was really good and at 5 I got to see Bill again! Guess why!?! Cuz he was my ride to A__'s baptism!!!!!!! It was an amazing baptism and absolutely amazing to see her finally be able to get baptized and see the difference in her when she came up out of the water! I am so happy and proud of her! Now the missionaries just have to work on her dad R__! On the way back Bill and I stopped at his house and had some soup and a slice of pie! It was so great! It brought me back to Pie Night a year ago! I loved it!

We ended the week with 26 lessons! the most I've had so far! It was a really good week and I am looking forward to this upcoming week! I hope you all have a great week and stay safe! Can't wait to hear from you again. I hope you got the flash drive. Let me know if you did. Love you all!

Elder Bushman

Aug 8th August Here We Come!

Sent: Monday, September 8, 2014 5:09 PM
Subject: August Here We Come!

Hello Midland!!!

 It sounds like you guys have had a great first week back to school and I'm impressed with all the literal running around you have all been doing. I'd better start or I'll never catch up! ;) Congrats to Kenzie, Tanner, and Logan. Did Logan and Tanner run in the same race? There is no way that this is your 6th annual Fall Party! Holy Moly you started that forever ago! Haha That's awesome! I'm glad that the camaro is finally starting to get a little attention. That's going to be a fun project and I hope Tanner gets to work and helps Dad out. Way to go Chan the Man on scoring the teams goal! Keep up the hard work dude! There are so many new babies! What does that make the total come out to on both sides? I'm sure Papa is beside himself knowing that there are so many new grandchildren! Haha Soon he'll be like Abraham with his posterity being numbered as the stars in the heavens! I don't know what I would prefer right now on the Cali trip right now. There are definite pros and cons to either way we do it. So I'll stick on the back burner and let it sit for a while and let you know sometime. Can you believe that it's only next summer and then I'm home? That is the weirdest thought I've ever had. Keep up the good work! I miss and love you all so much!
Well this week was super good. We were able to get a lot done and found some promising new investigators! Monday morning we went to the Hardman and Burk's neighborhood Labor Day breakfast and met some of their neighbors who might be interested in the Gospel. That night we went over to Mama Munton's and had a really good talk with her and got to give her a blessing. It was super spiritual and I know without a doubt that the words that came out of my mouth weren't mine but the Lord's. The power of the Priesthood is real and I love it! Tuesday we had a lesson in the morning with A_ and continued going through 1 Nephi with her. The rest of the day we tried to contact all of our referrals and potential investigators. That's about the only thing we did this week. So it was about the same kind of work as last week, accept this week we made some good head way and found some good success as well. Wednesday we went by J_'s house and had an amazing lesson with him and put him on date again to be baptized at the end of the month. I had a really good feeling about him. When I was with Elder Tui'one we found J_ and after a lot of him flaking out we decided to move on. So this was his second chance for me. During the day we were able to clear out a lot of our lists of people to see and at one point we stopped by a potential named E__ who told us she had come to church last week and we didn't even know! Well before we could jump on that opportunity she told us she would be at church the next week as well! We are starting to teach her this week and hope to put her on date to be baptized for the end of this month as well! Thursday we taught Julio again and he promised that he would be at church so we had high hopes for him. After that we weekly planned and went back to contacting potentials. We came by one lady named C__. We had come to see someone named D_ and when we knocked on the door C_ answered and said that she was D__'s cousin and was watching her kids for her while she was gone for a while. As we talked she told us that she wants us to come and teach her and pray for her and so we set up an appointment to come back the next day. I love how the Lord uses others to lead us to those that he has prepared to hear to message of the Gospel! 

 Friday we had our Zone Meeting which was really really good. It helped a lot and I think our zone is going to do great this month. Especially since 6 out of the 20 missionaries in the zone are going home on the 23rd and they all want to baptize at least one more time before they go home. One of the sets of sisters in my district had 8 people come to church and they picked them all up this week and put them all on date to be baptized! There is a lot of work going on here right now and I love it! We picked up two more potentials Friday afternoon. D__ and later V__ and her family. We are skeptical of D__'s intentions on meeting with us (he might be wanting to just bash with us) but V__ and her family seems very sincere and interested and expressed their desire to find a church now that they are settled down here in Perris! We saw C__ that night but had to move the actual lesson to Sunday. Saturday we finished 1 nephi with A__ did some service moving a shed for a part member family and then had the slowest day of the week. Sunday we had 4 people come to church. At first it seemed like we had no one. But halfway through Bro L__ told us that I__ had come, and at the end Sister Hardman told us that one of the ladies we talked to at the breakfast last Monday morning had come too! And then E__ surprised us and came up to us and told us she had come and then introduced to her mom whom she had brought along also!!! What a great surprise! Well after church we still needed to get 6 more member present lessons to get standard since we had had 4 at church and were going to reach our 20 lessons for the week. So we grabbed Z__and went to everyone we could think of and ended up having 7 lessons with him that night! We barely did it but it was a great way to end the night and week! Sadly J__ did not come to church and I have a feeling that he is just as flaky as he used to be. So if he doesn't come to church this next Sunday we will probably have to drop him again if he wont keep his commitments. I really hope he comes though. We will see what happens. 

Well that was my week! Hopefully this next week we will have some bomb lessons that I can tell you about next Monday. I'm super excited! Oh and I found out last night that A__ (from my last area in Corona in the Prado View ward) can finally get baptized! So I'm gonna get to go back for her baptism this month as long as everything goes well!!! It's going to be a great month!

 Well I gotta go. I hope you have a great week and things start to calm down and you can get back into the swing of things. Please keep the people we are teaching in your prayers. And even the ones we haven't found yet. And don't forget to do your own missionary work at home! I can't wait to hear from you again! Talk to you soon! Love you all!


Elder Kendell Bushman

Monday, September 1, 2014

Okay Does Anyone Know What Happened to August!?! August 25

Sent: Monday, August 25, 2014 5:32 PM
Subject: Okay Does Anyone Know What Happened to August!?!

Hello Midland Texans!!!!

So as I sat down to write you I looked at the date and realized that today is August 25th! I'm pretty sure I just hit a year mark last week, but I guess when you're on a mission you go through some kind of time warp and "yesterday" becomes "a month ago" after a good nights sleep! Haha Well I guess I better take advantage of it while I'm here right? And that's exactly what I'm going to do. 

It sounds like you had a great week. I hope that although you didn't get the chance last week, you can find someone the Lord has prepared to hear the missionaries message. . . .That would be a great invite! Taylor Williams is back?! What?! That's crazy! Good to hear he is doing well and that the mission treated him well also. I'm glad that you are all getting into the swing of things and everyone is getting back into sports and all the fun activities of school! That's going to be a small seminary class. It'll be good though. You'll definitely be able to impact each one of them individually. I really wish that I had paid more attention in seminary when I was there. I would have been so much more prepared to go on a mission if I had. That knowledge of the scriptures is so important. It is so much easier if you gain it during seminary than during your mission when you are put in situations everyday where you need to know the scriptures. Get on those Utahn's. I hope everything goes well with Kenzie's tryouts and I'm sure Chanler will end up being okay with Carver once he gets back into it. Congrats to Logan and Tanner on their races! That's awesome! I'll admit my crossfit workouts have been slim to none. BUT I have been doing better at working out in the mornings. I'm excited to see McKenzie's new haircut next week! And yes I did read the Giver. It was a super good book and you are so right about it relating to the Plan of Salvation! I never thought of that before! It makes so much sense! You are a genius mom! I'm glad that they did a good job on the movie too. That's always nice. Well my week was pretty good as well. Nothing too crazy but overall a good week. This will probably be a shorter email because not a lot happened that I need to really report.

Monday night we ended up going to see M and C again to ask why they didn't come to church. we had a decent conversation with C and she accepted our invitation to teach M (even if it was very hesitant). Hopefully it goes somewhere soon. Tuesday was another District Meeting. This time it went a lot smoother and I felt like there was progress. We saw A that day as well and she is doing amazing still! We saw her Wednesday as well and she wants us to start studying with her the Book of Mormon! I'm super excited for that! It's going to help me a lot! We started doing that Friday morning and it has become part of our morning studies. We are going through each chapter and breaking it down verse by verse. A has already gotten a great understanding of it already! I'm super excited for her and E. After seeing A we had Free Food Friday (there were Twinkies!). Haven't seen those in a while. (that's important to know by the way...that we got Twinkies) And then the Grossman's took us out for lunch to Texas Roadhouse!!! It was SO GOOD! I love that place! It was so good to see them again. It's been such a long time. I really miss that ward. I'm really hoping that I go back at the end of my mission. 

So Saturday was probably the most effective day. We started off the morning with a service project helping one of the members build a wooden fence in his back yard! It was a lot of fun. Then we came back to shower and study. So almost everyday this week we have taken an hour or so to just sit down and call all of our referrals, PMFs, and potential investigators. And on Saturday we did that before another awesome lesson with A. We had to have called 20 or 30 people. We found a bunch that were not interested. Others were no longer living there or the phone number was bad. And on two occasions I actually had a lesson with the people I called. One in particular was E B. When she answered and I told her who we were and that her name had been on our records, she told me that she had requested missionaries to come by over 9 months ago! And they never came! I couldn't believe it. As I talked with her I found that she has been struggling with life and work and she told me that she was happy that we had called at that time and she wanted us to come over and teach her. We invited her to church (unfortunately she wasn't able to make it) and set up an appointment for tonight at 7:30! I am really excited to meet and teach her. It seems like Elder Hoyt and I were meant to be here and call her at this time and we both have a great feeling about E! Keep her in your prayers please. Sunday we were expecting to see I- there but she never came. Bro L informed us that there have been some issues with her work and she just couldn't make it today and so she is planning on trying to meet with us during the week instead and is probably going to look for a new job. We dinner with the H's that night and afterwards we stayed and went through our PMF list with Sister H (Relief Society President) and Brother H (former bishop in the ward) and the were able to give us a lot of information on the people on our lists. It helped out a lot and I'm hoping this week we can see some results from our work. This morning we played basketball!!! It was so great! I loved it! It's been so long. WE had a lot of fun and that's been my day. Oh and when we went to do laundry at Mama Munton's house she made us pancakes! They were super good! 

Well that's about it for this past week. I hope you all have a great week and are able to really take my challenge from last week and invite someone this week to church and to hear from the missionaries. It will bless you more than you can imagine. I look forward to hearing from you again soon! Love you all!

Elder Bushman

A New Beginning Aug 18

So I have been neglectful in sending Kendell's letters out.  I will do better. 

Please note that this one has a challenge in it, and I hope that we all still accept his challenge even if it was made a couple of weeks ago.  We are working on it and I hope we all can report to him our success as we try it!
Love you all!


 Sent: Monday, August 18, 2014 5:24 PM
Subject: A New Beginning

Hey everyone!!!

Well this week brought a whole lot of changes and what not and it was hectic as all get out. But hey that's normal on a mission right? You'd think I'd be used to it by now. Now that I've hit my 13th month mark especially! Can you believe I've been gone for a whole 13 months now?!?!?! It really hit me yesterday when Elder Felix (him and his greenie split the ward with us and he came out with me) reminded me that it was the day. Time has gone by so fast and I don't know where it has gone. I think I am starting to really understand the reason why every adult tells their kids not to grow anymore. Time is just too fast. 

 Well to start off my week I spent PDay with Elder Felix cuz we didn't pick up our trainees until Tuesday. Boy I have never had such a crazy, hectic, chaotic PDay in my life! It was full of all of us trying to get rides to take us to our new areas and trying to find elders that were staying to be our companions for the day until our real ones got here. I'll tell you what happens when you put a bunch of 19 year old guys in charge of getting each other place to place....chaos. Haha Oh well. We finally got it all sorted out and were able to have dinner around 9:30 that night with Mama Munton. Tuesday was a little less stressful but it still had it's tense points. Tuesday morning I picked up my suit pants from one of the members who was re hemming them. At about 1 Elder Felix and I left for Riverside to meet for the Trainer/trainee Meeting where we were trained on how to be good trainers and met our new companions who were all looking exhausted,excited, and scared. I loved getting to see all of my good friends and fellow missionaries at the meeting as well! It definitely brought back memories and reminded me of when I came into the mission. So I'm sure you are all wondering who my new companion is. Like I said last week I am staying in the Perris ward as a district leader and will probably stay the same for the next three months as I train my new comp, Elder Hoyt. Elder Hoyt is from Smithfield, Utah which is close to Logan and he is 18 and just graduated high school. He is an awesome guy and we already are getting along pretty well. He has no fear of talking to people already which is amazing and so I know that I don't have to worry about him on that point. I just hope that I can be the trainer that he needs to become successful in his mission. I'm stoked to work with him and help him on his way as he helps me on mine. We have a lot of work to get done. Wednesday was District Meeting. The zone got together first and we did some introductions which thankfully took up some of the time so I wouldn't have to talk too much during my meeting. It's really weird being a "Relief Society" District Leader. It's gonna have to take some time getting used to. It will be good for me though. That night we had dinner with M and C which went very well actually. We didn't really even get into a deep gospel conversation until Bishop showed up and invited them to come to church and they said YES! It was awesome! I was totally surprised. Was I surprised when they didn't show up for church yesterday? Not really. But at the time when they said yes it was awesome. We are going to continue to visit them because there is so much potential with them. M is so ready to be baptized. We've just gotta get through to C first. I introduced Elder Hoyt to B and her family that night as well. I really don't know what we can do for them to help her get baptized. She just doesn't have a desire to do it really right now. We'll see. Hopefully something clicks with her soon. 

 Thursday President Mullen had all of the District Leaders come to Riverside for a training on how to be good DLs. It took most of the day. But again it was awesome to get to see a lot of my buddies there at the meeting. After the meeting a lot of us went to lunch and then we headed back home. Once I got home I took Elder Hoyt to visit A and E so we could see how they were doing since their baptism last Sunday. They are absolutely awesome and I don't have to worry about them at all. Friday we had weekly planning session which was probably the best weekly planning I've had since I was in Elsinore with Carbonneau. It was super long though and so we weren't able to get out of the house until later than we planned. We found out on Saturday that we are starting to run out of things to do and ways to find people out here now. We are just about done with going through the entire ward lists part member families and as soon as we finish with that and all of our past referrals and potentials, we aren't going to have anything to do but tract. I really really don't want it to have to come to that so we are going to really work with our ward members to start inviting friends to hear the missionary lessons. It's really really tough without the ward on our side. Our ward is great don't get me wrong. We just need a lot more help right now. 

So I ask you back home to make sure you are doing your part to invite everyone you know to hear the message of the gospel from the missionaries. It doesn't even matter if you know them. Just invite them. The worst they can say is no. And you can still be their friend. And if they say yes then just think about how much better friends you'll be when they come to know it was because of you that they now have salvation and eternal happiness! Because right now none of them have that. Everyone needs the Gospel of Jesus Christ in their life and we all know someone and probably multiple someones that don't have that in their life right now. I encourage and invite everyone that reads this to invite someone they know this week to hear from the missionaries. I promise that you, your friend, and the missionaries that teach and create a relationship with them and you will be eternally grateful you did. Try it out. And the key is to not stop trying it out. Even if you get a hundred no's or even a hundred yes's. There is still someone else out there that you just walked by or talked to that is secretly waiting for you to just ask them to learn more. The missionaries need your help. Your friends need your help. God needs your help. None of us can do it without you.


So I'm off of my little spill and back to my week. Sunday was a good day. A and E were confirmed which went well other than the fact that the guy confirming A thought she was the daughter and in the blessing started telling her to remember to "go to seminary when she comes of age and take a worthy young man to the temple one day". But it's whatever. Thankfully A was "covered" by the Spirit (her words) and didn't really catch his mistake. They are amazing and I really hope that when they get sealed in the temple a year from now, I can come back for that. After church we went straight over to C's house. Remember C? Well we ended up having a really long but good conversation with him and he accepted our invitation to listen to the lessons with his family and we will begin teaching them at the P's home as soon as C chooses the next day that he has time. School just started so it will probably be next weekend so I'll update you on him and his family as soon as we teach them. I'm pretty excited and we were able to already find out some of his concerns I didn't know of before and his interest seemed sincere. he told us he has been slacking on reading, praying, and going to church and he wants that for his family so what better place to go to and start than our church. The true church of Christ. After we saw C we stopped in on Brother L to see how he was doing and if he had any news on I cuz we were starting to get worried she wasn't too interested anymore since we hadn't really heard from either of them for the past two weeks. I'm really glad we stopped in. Brother L told us that I is actually super interested, even more so now than when we taught her the first lesson, and hasn't been able to come to church or meet with us due to work, but (wait for it) her supervisor is LDS and today she should be meeting with him to ask for the weekends off! I'm stoked to find out what happens! Please keep her in your prayers. She does have work off this Sunday already so she will be at church again and we will be meeting with her for our next lesson then! I'm super excited not just to teach her but I'm excited for Brother L too. He is so happy. It's awesome! We finished the night off with the Ps for dinner and a good nights sleep. So overall it was a pretty good week. I'm excited for this week as it will be Elder Hoyt's first normal week in the mission and I'm looking forward to see more of his greenie fire! 

Today has been good so far. This morning we met with our half of the mission to do President Mullens challenge of a crossfit workout. It was super intense and I realized just truly how out of shape I am. I'm thinking about using that workout to model my  own in the mornings from now on. Afterwards I had a nice breath of fresh air when we got to play basketball! It's been so long since I've balled this long and this hard with other good players. We've been playing soccer too much lately. I've missed playing basketball and I hope we can start it back up again. 

Well that's about all I can think of right now. I hope you all have a great week and enjoy (is it really) your last week of summer. I can't wait to hear from you all soon. Stay safe and invite someone this week. I love you all!

Love from Perris, California,

Elder Blaine Kendell Bushman


Transfer #10 Aug 11

Sent: Monday, August 11, 2014 3:11 PM
Subject: Transfer #10

Hey Everybody!!! 

I hope you had a great week. We sure did! It was super super busy and a little chaotic towards the end but I think it was a great last week of the transfer. I'm glad you figured everything out for the slide show. That's going to be a great party tonight! I'm a little jealous. I can't believe school is starting so soon. Have fun with your last few weeks. That's cool that Bro Rynearson came for a little while. They are so cool. I miss them. That's awesome that Abi and Brother Dent got to do that trip. That's so cool to hear!

Well I have a lot to share from this week so hopefully I can get it all in before my time is up. Monday we had dinner with Bishop Barney after our PDay and got to chat with him a little bit about the work in the ward which was good. Tuesday started the business of the week. Tuesday morning we left to go to the temple again! It was absolutely amazing. I learned a lot this time around and I already can't wait to go again. I never want to leave the Celestial Room. I wish I could stay there all day long. After the temple we had our traditional Cafe Rio trip for lunch and then got the chance to go to the CTR Bookstore close by. And I saw some CD's that I really would love to have but didn't have the money to get them. I could really use a little bit of a change in music. (hint hint. wink wink)  Anyways...Wednesday we had DDM which went great and I got super pumped for my district for this month. Afterwards we had a lesson with A and E. We helped them realize that they are ready for baptism and they did great! Thursday we had to go to Riverside for a reason that has a story too long to tell and get some stuff for our truck. Everything is all good now. Afterwards we took Z with us again to a lesson with C. I don't remember if I told you about her and her husband M S. I think I did. But yeah it started off another bash and got a little tense for a while, but we were able to turn it around as I realized I needed to start testifying more and by the end she had felt the Spirit and although she still doesn't agree with us, wants to learn more and invited us to dinner this week and is allowing us to share a lesson with her and M. So we will see what happens. Friday we had Free Food Friday (it started back up) and then A and E had their interviews and they totally passed! That night was the Stormin' Mormon Baseball Game. 

The Stormin' Mormon Game actually happens all over the country apparently and this year we got permission from President Mullen to go! The game is obviously centered around Mormons and it's essentially Mormon night at the Baseball stadium. The church got discounts on tickets and the stake presidency threw the first pitch. And yes I had a role in the opening of the game as well like that text from Sister Ragle said. She was in charge of my role. So the other night I got a call from Bro Valenzuela from our Bishopric asking if I was going to be at the game. When I said yes he handed the phone to one of the members of the Stake Presidency he was with who then asked if I would be willing to do a 60 second interview at the game to explain who I am and what we as missionaries are here to do. So after some ticket chaos and us arriving a little later than planned (but still thankfully in time) I was given a microphone and they had all of us missionaries walk onto the field and I spoke for us all about what missionaries are all about. It was pretty dang cool! Throughout the game all the little games that happen in between innings were done by missionaries. It was a blast and a great way to help end the transfer! Saturday morning we did some service for the L family by helping them clear out their garden of all the weeds and unwanted plants. At church Brother L told us that when he took it all to the dump it had added up to 1,540 pounds!! They treated us to Little Caesars pizza afterwards for our help. 

Sunday was super busy too. I had to prepare a lesson I taught in Gospel Principles at church. yesterday was also M's farewell talk. he left this morning for his mission. I'm gonna miss him. It was a blast getting to know him and having him come out with us to teach. He gave a great talk on Sunday and is so ready to be a missionary. After church we had the Baptism for A and E! Other than me accidentally forgetting to change the date and spell E's name right on the program, it went great! (I thought it was E oops) I got to baptize E and Elder Tui'one baptized A. It was a great moment in my life and in theirs. They are so amazing and I am so excited for them! After the baptism we headed straight to the Ps for M's farewell party and spent the rest of the night there just having a good time with everyone there. 

So today begins my 10th transfer. I can't believe I am in the double digits now! It's so crazy. So we had transfer calls on Saturday and let me tell you...President Mullen turned the mission upside down and changed just about every companionship in the mission! It's a good thing I think. I think it will help kick the mission back into gear and get us rolling again. Anyways Saturday morning we got a call from President Mullen and Elder Tui'one was asked to be a trainer! I'm excited for him and sad that we wont be comps at the same time. Then he handed the phone to me...... President Mullen was still on the phone and asked me to continue in my calling as District Leader. And then he asked me to train! I'm gonna train this transfer!!!! I'm so excited! I have wanted to train for a super long time and I get the chance now! At the same time I'm also a little scared, nervous, and stressed because of all the responsibility President has given me. It will require a lot of prayer and obedience on my part but I know that this is going to be a great experience for me! Now all I'm worried about is if my greenie is going to be like Elder Calhoun from the Best Two Years! ;) Haha I'm stoked! So other than that, after our bonfire with the other elders in the zone Saturday night we got the calls to know where everyone is going. I am staying here and Elder Carbonneau is still living with me. Elder Tui'one and Sweeney are going to Lake Elsinore. And Elder Folau is going to my last area in the Prado View Ward! I'm excited to see the work that he gets done there that I wasn't able to do. Maybe he'll have an effect on Brother M!

This is going to be a great transfer and there's a lot to happen soon. I'm going to pick up my new companion at the Trainer/trainee meeting in Riverside tomorrow and the new transfer will officially begin for me! Please continue to send your prayers this way. I'm going to need them. 

I hope you all have a great week and I'm excited to hear about the changes in the Stake next week. Hopefully everyone gets their work done this week so you can all enjoy your last weeks of summer! I can't wait to hear from you again and tell you about how my first week with a new comp/greenie and new district (of only sisters) goes! I love you all!

Elder Bushman

And August Begins - Aug 4

Sent: Monday, August 4, 2014 2:29 PM
Subject: And August Begins

Hello Everybody!!! 

I hope your week was pretty good. Ryan got married?! Good for him! Tell Tanner he better get working on his Eagle. Otherwise it wont happen. I know I'm preaching to the choir though. ;) That's so cool that Sabrina's family was baptized!!! Tell them congrats for me. I'm glad Kenzie had a good time at the volleyball camp. Good luck with the Musuem! Let me know what happens with the Stake Conference. 

This week was pretty good for us. Some good and some disappointment. We took out Z and M most of the week. They are two young men preparing to go on their missions. Tuesday I got a break from training since we didn't have District Meeting due to our Zone Meeting on Friday. Wooo! Tuesday was a pretty good day. We met with A again and this time her daughter E joined us for another great lesson! We taught most of lesson 4 and then had the plan to go over plan of salvation with E but that didn't go as planned. Because she already knew it! A had taught her  at home everything we taught her already and when we said we wanted to go over that lesson E almost quoted everything the lesson has to teach! It was so cool! She is one of the smartest 9 year olds I've ever seen!

The disappointment of the day/week was when we called S to schedule our next meeting and she told us due to everything that is going on right now she wants to focus on finding a job and postpone the baptism until she is ready. There wasn't much we could do so hopefully she comes around soon. It's hard for people to realize how much the Gospel will really help them if they don't have it already. She'll come back though. Wednesday I was on exchanges with Elder Moyer, one of my zone leaders, and we had a bomb day where we got 7 lessons and had another great lesson with E and A. They are so ready to be baptized! Thursday was a long day. We were volunteered by the other elders in our ward to do some service with them at  6 in the morning on a five acre plot of land! Not too happy about that but oh well. It was a good 5 hours of work and I know  that Brother G really appreciated it. Plus he bought us tacos afterwards and watermelon. Who can say no when there is food involved? Any ways Friday and Saturday were kind of our slow days this week. We were able to meet with A and E both days though and that made my day each time. Every time we come out of a lesson with them I am so happy! I love it! Something I learned over again this week also is that there is absolutely no point in bashing. While we were OYMing at Walmart on Friday a man approached me (which was my first sign that that's all he wanted to do was bash) and began to explain how he thought that the Book of Mormon was false and all these other things that if he had sat down for a few minutes and listened to himself he would have realized just how wrong and little sense he made. However, although I had an answer to every one of his statements and questions, and no matter how right I was, the argument had driven the Spirit away and he was not listening to anything I had to say. Finally I just walked away with the repeated notion that 1) Bashing never solves anything and 2) He strengthened my testimony with the knowledge that my beliefs don't come from physical evidence or science. But they are just that...a belief. A faith. I my faith is stronger than anything anyone can throw at me. I know that this church is true and I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and restored not only Christ's one and true church, but he also restored the Priesthood. The Authority and Power of Almighty God! And that is our message to the world as members and missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints! What a beautiful message. I love it! I love being a Mormon and I love being a missionary! This is the work of the Lord and there is nothing else like it! 

Saturday started off with another morning of service moving some furniture for a lady in the ward. During our lesson with A on Friday she showed us around the Mortuary which was pretty cool and creepy at the same time. haha Our lesson on Saturday was at the church and we showed them the baptismal font and helped them understand just exactly what the baptism would be like so now E isn't so scared. And guess what?!! Elder Tui'one and I are both going to baptize them! A asked if we could each baptize one of them! I'm so excited! It's such a wonderful feeling to know that I have the chance to perform the ordinance of baptism to help one of God's children make that step through the Gate towards their salvation! I love it! their baptism will be this next Sunday right after church! Sunday A and E came to church but had to leave after sacrament cuz E wasn't feeling well. Sadly I did not come. Not sure why yet but Brother l said not to worry. She is still interested and wants to continue learning. So we will see what happens this week. S was busy this week so he did not come to church and wants to meet with us this week. More updates to come next week. 

Well that's about it. I hope you have a great week and stay safe. Good luck with all the back to school stuff! And keep up the awesome missionary work! Can't wait to hear from you guys! Love you all!

Elder Bushman 

What Happened to July? July 28, 2014

Sent: Monday, July 28, 2014 4:47 PM
Subject: What Happened to July?

Hey everyone!!! 

I hope you had a great week. I haven't gotten your email yet so I'm just going to write my part and hopefully soon I hear from you before I have to go. This week was pretty good. We were able to teach a lot of lessons this week and had some progress on our investigators. I can't believe it is already the end of July and the downward slope of time is already happening. Does anyone know how to stop time or reverse it yet? I wish. Two more weeks and this transfer is over too! That's so crazy!

Well Tuesday was District Meeting and right after we had our first lesson with A. A....what do I say about A...well she has to be one of the most prepared people ever to receive the Gospel! A was a referral from the Spanish sister missionaries. She walked into their sacrament meeting four weeks ago and after another week of going to their ward she decided she preferred to attend an English ward which meant she was to be taught by us! She has a 9 year old daughter named E who we met yesterday at church. A has a co-worker that lives in Riverside and works in Lake Elsinore that is a member and he is the one that introduced her into the church. The cool thing about A is that...wait for it....we teach her at her work which is.....a mortuary! Yeah that's right, we walked in for our first appointment with her and as she took us to her office there were coffins and earns all over the place! It was kinda creepy but really cool at the same time! Haha So yeah we teach her there and have been able to do so twice this week (one of those we took one of the kids from church and you should have seen his face when we told him where our lesson would be!) Tuesday we taught the Restoration to her and she understand and accepted everything! To tell you a little of how amazing our lesson was with her, to start off she forwarded all calls coming in to a different room so we wouldn't be disturbed. As we got to the Book of Mormon part she gave her testimony of how she had already received a witness that it was true and then we asked her if she would be baptized and without hesitation she accepted the day of August 10th! What made that even better was as I was giving her an explanation of the chapter we had left her to read, she tore out a piece of paper and wrote down the chapter and underneath that she wrote "August 10th-baptism" Wooooo! She is amazing! Amy has such a great testimony and desire to learn more. To end the lesson we asked her to pray and after a moment of hesitancy and a little fear she started to pray. In the middle of the prayer THE PHONE STARTED RINGING! The same one she transferred at the beginning of the lesson all the calls. Satan is good at what he does. But not good enough for A. After she finished the prayer amidst the phone ringing, and her picking it up and hanging up and it still ringing again, we looked at us and said "That didn't feel right. Can I do it again?" Tui'one and I looked at each other with a big grin and said yes of coarse you can pray again. Her prayer was beautiful and heartfelt. She is so ready to be baptized and accept the Gospel! We had a great second lesson with her on Friday during which we taught her the Plan of Salvation and Word of Wisdom. It went well and she accepted to live the WoW. She drinks coffee and a lot of it so that will be her one challenge as she prepares to be baptized but we have been reminding her every morning not to make or drink any and so far she has been able to withstand the temptation and do so without the headaches she thought she would have! She enjoyed church on Sunday and so did E. Our ward seemed to really accept them so I'm super excited for her and E!!!

Wednesday we stopped by M S's house and met with just his wife, C. We brought a team up with us again and he experienced his first bash. C is the member but is against the church and so as we got to the part in our conversation that included the Gospel she immediately began to throw anti at us. I've never been so calm in a bash before and we were able to, by the end of the meeting, turn it into a teaching opportunity and although she might not admit it yet, she has the desire to learn and understand the truth. There is a lot of potential and this week we hope to meet with them both again. We had a lesson with S W that day as well. When I was on splits with Bishop the other week he agreed to take the lessons and so we taught him the first lesson and he committed to be baptized on the 10th as well! Sadly He didn't come to church though and so we will have to push his date back. But he'll get there. He seems like a good kid (21) and we'll see his progression soon. That night we met S at the church for a lesson. S is the one that showed up at church saying she wants to be baptized. We walked into the chapel and you could tell she immediately felt the calm, peaceful, feeling of the Spirit. Our lesson of the Restoration went very well. Just as good as A's and S agreed to be baptized on the 3rd!!! We met with her again on Saturday and taught Lesson 3 and the Word of Wisdom. We found out that she smokes and drinks coffee, but as we taught her she expressed her testimony of how the Lord helps us give things up in our lives and he has done it for her multiple times already and she knows and has the faith that she can give it all up before her baptism this Sunday. I know she can too. I've been praying and fasting for her and I know she will get baptized when she needs to be. If she is not ready this week I know she will be by the 10th. Friday we had our individual interviews with President Mullen! It was really great to talk with him about his expectations for me, gain some advice from him, and talk about our connections to home with each other! He's a great man and I am so excited to serve under his council and direction. As we waited turns for our interviews, we got to sit in the waiting room with Sister Mullen and talk some and get to know her more as well! She is awesome! She reminds me a lot of Nana Bushman. And according to her I still have the Bushman looks! ;)  Saturday night was our Stakes Pioneer Day and we got to enjoy a band and some "normal" music for a little while which was a lot of fun! Sunday was a great day and we were able to end our week off with high hopes for this coming week! 

If all goes well this week S will be baptized and we will get to meet with Brother L's girlfriend, I again and make some steps with B as well. I hope you guys have a great week and enjoy it since school is going to start soon! I can't wait to hear from you again! Love you all!

Elder Bushman

One Year - July 21, 2014

Sent: Monday, July 21, 2014 5:19 PM
Subject: One Year
Hey Everyone!!!!
So after this trip is the summer traveling over? You guys have gone everywhere this summer it seems like! I'm glad your drive up went so well. Tell Grant and Branson I say hi if you are still there when you get this. It would be cool to have Branson's email. If you can, try to get it for me please. I'm so glad that Sis Greathouse is doing well and the funeral did also. I'm so excited that Pres Zant is now officially part of the family! haha That's awesome! It's good to hear you haven't forgotten your mission plan. Things will be back to normal soon once school starts. 

Well this week was a super good week! One of the best I've had in a while. Mostly because we were able to get so much done. Monday started our week off with a normal PDay. Tuesday started off the week really. I trained on the standard of excellence and focusing our weeks on hitting that mark of 20 lessons, 7 member present lessons, and 4 investigators at church each week. It was good and I hope that the elders will take it to heart and we can see the success in our areas improve. Something cool that happened that day is we all did a special fast for one of the elders we serve with. I think it was Monday when this elder tweaked his knee pretty bad. So bad that he could barely walk on it and it now pops in and out of place. He's pretty stubborn though and refused to get it checked out until we basically forced him to do so. Keep in mind that a year ago or so, he tore his ACL in this same knee and was still somewhat recovering from his previous injury. The results were that he tore his meniscus, and another tendon in his knee that I forget the name of. After talking to the mission nurse we found out that he had a very big chance of having to go home to have surgery and recover there before he could come back out. It would have been a long process and he didn't want that at all. So he asked us to fast with him this last Tuesday. Before DDM he asked for a blessing and then went to his appointment with a surgeon to see what would need to be done. He came back from that visit later that day and told us that the surgeon could find nothing wrong with his leg. His knee was okay and there was nothing wrong with it anymore. WOW. If that doesn't give you a testimony of faith and fasting then I don't know what will. It was a pretty amazing experience and I will never forget it. I know and testify that fasting brings miracles to those who do so in faith and with true righteous purpose. 

Tuesday afternoon we had a short lesson with B and her family about reading the Book of Mormon. It went well but I wish we would have been able to talk with her more. We visited our ward mission leader's (Bro P) home that night and as we were leaving he brought up a 13 year old brother of some recent converts that is not baptized and asked if he could come with us to see him and invite him, K, to church and mutual. Of coarse we said yes and went by. K is a really cool kid. His older two sisters were baptized about a year ago but he was not due to his dad not giving permission. It was a good first meeting and later on Friday night we were able to stop by and give him a Book of Mormon and found out later that right after he left he called the Ps and told them that he wants to take the lessons from us! So cool! So as long as his dad gives the okay then we are going to start teaching K soon! Oh and Tuesday marked the last day we had to go to Bradley Auto Shop! (hopefully for good) Wednesday we visited a part member family. the only member is the dad, B, and his oldest son D. His wife is not and the only child on the ward list was their 12 year old daughter M. When we went by we were surprised to find that they have another boy, R (8), and daughter, A (9). We approached B and as the conversation went along we asked if they would be interested in coming back to church. B you could tell was not really interested. Nice guy, just not interested. His kids however, as soon as they heard me say church, all started to get excited and M looked at B and said "Daddie, I want to go to church. It's fun." I heard that and got super excited. But we still had to go through the parents which in this case let us down. he asked us to come back later in the week after he had the chance to talk to his wife about it. When we went back Sunday night we had a really good conversation with him alone and learned a lot about him and his personal history. Sadly he and his wife are not willing to let their children explore the Gospel right now. I left that meeting feeling sad for him and his children. There are so many people in this world that don't have the blessings of the Gospel in their life and don't know their Savior Jesus Christ or their Father in Heaven. That is why it is so important for us to open our mouths everywhere and at anytime. The world needs us. Our brothers and sisters need us to share the Gospel with them and although they might not know it, they are crying out to us for help to find the truth. It's our duty to help. I've gained an even stronger testimony of that this week. 

Thursday was a super good day. We met with the K's agian, although B wasn't there. And were able to teach J the third lesson. We aren't sure how solid he is though and we might have to drop him soon seeing how he keeps missing appointments and hasn't come to church yet even though he says he will every time. We had some bomb chicken tacos for dinner that night and then contacted a former investigator Se V. He told us he would call sometime and let us know if we could come back so we will see how that goes. Friday we went to contact a referral and realized the name was in our ward list as a part member family as well! We had tried there before but the gate was always closed and we didn't have a number to call. This time, the gate was open. We knew it was for a reason. We drove through and I'll tell you what I've never seen a drive way that long. It had to have been a quarter mile long. Anyways, pulling from around the trees we pull up to a super nice home. And after Elder Tui'one coaxing me into getting out of the truck with a few dogs around barking and growling at us, we made it to the door and the most amazing thing happened....No one was home. Haha Just kidding! Instead one of the nicest men I have ever met opened the door, asked how we were doing, and without giving us time for introductions invited us into his home and gave us a nice cold glass of water. As we began to talk with M we found out that his wife is a less active member, they were married by the Bishop a year or two ago, and right now they attend Harvest (a huge Christian/born again church out here). His wife C is not too fond of the church right now and as we talked we found that M wants to be a member and has for a long time due to the LDS people that have worked with him for so long and their examples to him. But we have to, as he put it before we left, "work on my wife first." This week we plan to do just that and see what happens. I am super excited to find out what happens. Saturday was our slowest and most boring day of the week. We found no one home and weren't able to get any lessons. Sunday was probably my favorite day of the week. Funny how that happens on a mission. Saturday becomes the most boring day and Sunday becomes the best! Haha 

Our dinner that day was Brother L. Remember he is the one that we had an awesome lesson with him and his niece at dinner about a week or two ago? Well That morning we asked when we come come for dinner and he responded saying "5 works. I'm bringing my girlfriend I to church today. First Lesson after dinner?" I'm telling you that is music to a missionaries ears! Our response was "Yes! Of course! We'll be there." We had a great sacrament meeting. One of the members gave a, what I would call, general conference worthy talk, I taught Gospel Principles again (lesson was on fasting, go figure), and at dinner we found out that Ivette really liked church. She had a lot of great questions for us and afterwards we were able to teach her the message of the Restoration. It was great and Brother L is a boss at teaching and testifying as well. When Baptism was brought up she was a little hesitant, but agreed to work towards being baptized on August 10th! I'm super excited for her. And what's great about I is that she isn't doing this just for Brother L. She is genuinely interested and wants to know the truth. To top off our week, besides getting 21 lessons and 7 of them being member presents!, we had one of those super cool missionary miracles happen to us at church. You know, one of those experiences that you hear missionaries talk about and you hope that it will one day happen to you? Well my day finally came! A woman named Sa B showed up to church yesterday. She, like I thoroughly enjoyed church and actually spoke up in class. After church was over, one of the members grabbed me and pulled me over to talk with her and said she wants to talk to you guys. I looked at her and she said " I want to take the missionary lessons so I can get baptized" I held in the desire to jump up and down with joy and tried to contain myself as we set up a time to begin meeting with her. What a miracle. Another week full of answers to prayers and fasts and studies. 

I am so excited for this week to come. I can't wait to see what happens with all of these people we have been able to meet and begin teaching. I love it. I can't believe that I hit a year this last Thursday! It's been so short and so long at the same time. I have grown more and learned more in this one year than I ever thought was possible. I was able to make some new goals and changes to my missionary life and work and desire. I can't wait for this year. It's going to be absolutely amazing. Thank you for all of your support and prayers on my behalf. I pray that you can find the same joy I have found, by helping someone come unto the fold of the Lord Almighty. I love this Gospel. I love my mission. I love my Savior. I love my Father in Heaven. I love my family. I know the things that I am teaching are true. 

I hope you have a wonderful week and stay safe as you have some of your final fun before school starts. I can't wait to hear from you again! I love you all!

Elder Blaine Kendell Bushman

Monday, July 14, 2014

This Weeks Theme: Truck Drama-- 7 14 2014

Sent: Monday, July 14
   Hello everyone!!

I'm glad you so enjoyed your uneventful week! Haha I bet Dad really appreciated all the help at work you gave him. That tree-less  tree house sounds like a great idea! That would be such a fun project! I'm sorry to hear about Brother Greathouse. He did have a great, long life. I'm glad that Sister Greathouse is doing well. And I'm sorry to hear about President Zant as well. That's terrible. He has such an amazing testimony and outlook on life and the Gospel. I love the message he sent through his letter. I will continue to keep him in my prayers. Miracles can always happen.

Well this week was a pretty good week for us. Monday night we blitzed our area with the other set in our ward and were able to pick up a new investigator named R who was a refferral from some other missionaries. He can only meet on Monday's and Tuesday's due to working the rest of the week in Fantana. But after our lesson with him tonight we should know how muc potential he has and how serious he is about learning. I'm excited! Tuesday was another District Meeting and it started our vehicle drama for the week. So if you remember, the truck we have now, we just traded for the other week with some other missionaries. Which I understand now means, we have to deal with all of the problems with it now. There's only about 10,000 miles left on it before the church will sell it. (Usually mission vehicles are sold at about 50,000 miles) So Tuesday wasn't necessarily for us but it set the tone for the week I guess. We took the other guys to the Auto Shop to get their tire fixed. Wednesday morning as we were driving around out in the boonies trying to find a name from the ward list, we got a pretty bad flat tire. So we drove to the nearest parking lot and started to fix it when we realized that our newly given truck does not have a jack therefore we couldn't put the spare on. So we got a ride from Carbonneau and went home for lunch while we asked around the members for a jack to borrow. Once we found one we were able to switch the flat for the spare and by this time it was already 4 and there wasn't any point in driving all the way to Menifee to the Auto Shop again so we decided to wait until Friday. We saw the K's that day as well. They are doing alright. We weren't able to have a real sit down lesson with them though so no word yet on B's progress. Wednesday night was pretty cool. For the first time, our Bishop gathered together the Bishopric and other priesthood leaders and we all went out on splits to see families. Total during that hour we were out we were all able to see about 9 families. From that, we talked to two different part member families that invited us back for the missionary lessons! The J's and W's. So there will be more updates on them soon to come.

So Thursday was weekly planning and Friday we drove to the Auto Shop and had them put on 3 new tires. As we drove home, our check engine light and low tire light both came on again. So we waited until Saturday morning to go back. I don't know if I ever told you about Friday's here in this zone, but we have what is called Free Food Friday. A member in the stake goes to a bunch of stores at the end of the day and they give him all the food and such that otherwise they would just throw away and on Friday morning every week he has all the missionaries come over and take what we would like and need for the week! It's great! It definitely saves us money for other food. So Friday morning was the perfect time for us to go back to the shop. Sadly we found out that that was going to be the last Free Food Friday due to some issues the stores had had with other people doing the same thing but selling the food they got which I guess is illegal. Bummer, but anyways back to the truck story. So Saturday morning we went to the Auto Shop after doing some service moving a less active family from another ward, and asked them to check out everything that was wrong with it. After a little wait Paul (we're pracitcally on a first name basis with the guys there now since we see them so often now ;) haha) told us that he had some new for us. First, somehow we had a huge piece of metal sticking out of the inside side of one of the tires so they have to order another new tire for us and second their is something wrong with our air pump which is why our check engine light was going off. So tomorrow we are going back, hopefully for the last time, to get our new tire and the rest of the problems completely fixed. 

Just a long week of car problems. It was fun though. Thankfully when we weren't getting our truck fixed, we were able to have a lot of success finding and teaching. We taught a lot more lessons this week! Another highlight of the week was Saturday afternoon we were out trying to contact some referrals we had and we went to find a man named J. We had gone by his home multiple times but weren't ever able to get in due to the big gate out front. Luckily this time he was outside and we were able to talk with him. Come to find out he had talked to missionaries in Lake Elsinore 6 months ago (when I was there) and hadn't heard from them since. He was waiting for us. He is out of a job, has no car, and is trying to finish up school to be an electrician to get a job to take care of his 8 year old daughter. He is also divorced and lives with a brother and his parents. Sunday morning we set an appointment with him and taught him the first lesson, The Restoration! It went great and we had M, one of the guys in the ward who is leaving for his mission in a month. We put J on date for July 27th and he committed to do everything we asked him to do including pray, read, and go to church....Well church began and J wasn't there. I got a ride with one of the members to try and pick J up but he wasn't home either. I was pretty disappointed, but hopefully this week we can visit with him and get him to church this next week. I ended up having to teach gospel principles again and got a surprise invite to help teach elders quorum as well. I was not prepared at all. haha It went well though and somehow I got through with it and the class did too. ;) 

Well that was my week! It was good and I'm looking forward for this week's potential and surprises. This morning we played about an hour and a half of soccer with the rest of the elders in the zone which gave me a huge workout. I was super tired, but we had a blast. We're probably going to be doing that every PDay from now on. Other than that, today we have done some shopping and relaxed. It's going to be a good day! 

I hope your week goes great and you are able to catch up on work! I can't wait to hear from you again! Until next week..

Elder Bushman