Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St Patrick's Day!!

Sent: Monday, March 17, 2014 4:52 PM
Subject: Happy St Patrick's Day!!

Hello everyone!!
I hope you all have had a great week and are enjoying pinching each other. ;) The pictures you sent are awesome! Everyone looks great! And Kenzie's room looks way cool! Thank you for taking care of my college stuff. That helps out so much. It would be so cool to room with Taylor! I'm totally down. It sounds like everything is going well. No I didn't feel the earthquake. Apparently it isn't the first one I've missed since being out here. How big was it?  A and J and L are doing well. I'm glad you enjoyed the pictures. I got lucky I remembered my camera this time. It's funny that I thought of the skate park too when I flew over my bike. Haha It's good to hear that things are going well with the missionaries. Thanks for keeping me posted. I heard from Deegan today. That was super cool. Somehow he got my email. If that was you then thanks. :)
Well this week was nothing compared to the last two. So I wont have a whole lot to say. It was pretty slow and uneventful. So Monday night we picked up a new investigator named B. He is Philipino and is the cousin of a less active family named the C's. He lives with them and expressed the desire to learn more. This week we should be starting the lessons with him unless he is out of town for the week. Tuesday was nothing too special besides our normal District meeting. Wednesday was weird. Elder Albright and Elder Reed went to a baptism in Lake Elsinore so I was left with Elder Prieto and so we had to divide our night between our two areas. This meant going to both our dinner appointments and then scrambling to get teamups so we could each go on a split to our separate lessons. Somehow it all worked out and I got to go with Brother Allen to teach A. Her and R are doing well. During our lesson I taught them about miracles. Alma 37:6-7 And helped them understand that if they wanted the miracle of A getting permission to be baptized then they had to do all the small and simple things first. It was a pretty good lesson and now they are committed to read and pray every day and A is coming to church every week from now on. They are getting stronger and I can see it. I love it! I know that soon the Lord will bless them.

Thursday I was asked to prepare a song for Multi Zone meeting on Friday. Yeah a lot of time to prepare huh? So instead of weekly planning I got lucky and one of the sisters in the zone is a piano genius and can read music super good. So I called her and she agreed to play for me so that morning we practiced I know that my Redeemer lives. Friday was multi zones and my song went pretty good. I only cracked once at the very end dang it. Oh well. Other than that we learned a lot from President Smart as he prepared us for the transition of new President's in June. I can't believe it's been almost a year I've served with the Smart's. I can say I truly love them. They are amazing people of God. You can feel the love they have for each missionary. After the meeting we did some service helping someone move. Albright hurt his knees and was out for the rest of the day. Saturday we did more moving and we made him stay in the car cuz we had to help him up stairs it was so bad. After a blessing though he perked up and is now feeling a lot better. Sunday wasn't too bad. We had an awesome dinner with the Goodwin's. They made us play the piano and I had to sing for our desert but other than that it was great. She does so much for us missionaries as the Relief Society President. I love their family.
Well that is about it for today. Hopefully this week will be a lot more productive and I know we will see a lot more success as well. I hope you all have a great week. Oh and today is my 8 month mark! Can you believe it? It's crazy. Can't wait to hear from you again!
Elder Bushman


Monday, March 10, 2014

It's March! March 10, 2014

Sent: Monday, March 10, 2014 3:02 PM
Subject: It's March!

--I finally have been able to access and update Kendell's Blog - If you missed previous letters, they should all be here now.--  He actually sent pictures this week as well.  

Hello Everyone!!!
I can't believe it's already March! Well since I haven't gotten your email yet [he got it before he was even done with this! - there is quite the delay between sending and receiving!]  I will just tell you about my week and then hopefully I'll have gotten your email. It has been a pretty good week. We started off super slow however and at first it looked like it wasn't going to be a very successful week. Monday after I finished emailing we went shopping and we are pretty sure that the RV in the Wal Mart parking lot is what was left of a meth lab due to the entire front being blown up and it was all spread out around it. So yeah we saw the remains of a blown up meth lab!! It was awesome! I'm just a little sad that I didn't have my camera to take a picture of it though. Oh well. That was the exciting part of the beginning of the week.

Tuesday we had our district meeting which went well. That night we had an awesome Turkey dinner with a family in the ward. Wednesday was pretty slow but our dinner appointment cancelled on us so instead they gave us 40 bucks! We're saving it for a really good meal sometime soon. Thursday we had another lesson with L at Sister G's house that went really well. He is such a good kid. He already takes care of his body so he had no problem accepting to live the word of wisdom and the same for law of chastity. I'm so excited to see him continue progressing.

Friday was the day that most our work went on. We actually were on exchanges so I was in the other half of Prado View with Elder Prieto while Elder Reed went with Elder Albright in our area and we all did work. We got a total of 12 lessons that day between us all! It was awesome! Saturday we  did some service for a new move in for the Citrus Hills ward (the other elders that live in the apartment here in Corona). We painted a room for them from an ugly yellow to white for a nice office. It went well (besides the fact that I may or may not have accidentally kicked the paint can over as I turned around :/ ) Oops. Oh well. Thankfully the little that got to the carpet past the tarps we put up was pretty easy to get out so there isn't any permanent marks. We had dinner with Bishop which was good. Sunday was a rough ending to our week. None of our investigators showed up to church and we thought we were going to have at least 3. It was just a little disappointing. But we had a great dinner with the McD's and I'm super excited for upcoming week. Today has already been a pretty good day. We woke up at 5:30 this morning and met up with a member in the area and he took us up a bike trail called Skyline. The views of the area were beautiful. We were able to see essentially our entire mission, Anehiem, Riverside, LA, New Port Beach, and everything in between! It was great! The best part was we got to see the ocean!!! It was super cool! The bike ride up the mountain trail took us 2 hours. Whoo it was tough. The whole thing was uphill. It was HARD. One of the Elders actually threw up and there was a lot of it that we ended up having to walk up due to how steep it was. But that just made the ride back down SOOO much more enjoyable and fun. The entire thing was downhill and we had a blast!! There were only two biffs. One elder biffed pretty hard core at the top coming down and has some awesome nasty scratches. The other was...well yeah it was me. But mine was definitely  a lot more graceful. My tire got stuck on a little ridge in the dirt and I flew (superman style over the top of my handle bars leaving my bike in the dust. I wish I had had a Go Pro camera. It was awesome! What made it better was I landed on my feet with one hand on the ground in a pile of soft dirt and sand. It was pretty graceful if I say so myself.
So yeah that was my week. I past out as soon as we got back home from our ride for a good 2 hours and after we are done emailing I think we are going to shop, eat, workout, and start our work week again. It's going to be great! I am stoked! I hope you guys have had a great week. I love you. Have a great week and stay safe. I can't wait to hear from you again.
Love from Corona California,
Elder Blaine Kendell Bushman

Where did February go? March 3 2014

Sent: Monday, March 3, 2014 4:44 PM
Subject: Where did February go?

Hello everyone!!
I can't believe you guys got snow and it's 19 degrees back home. That's insane! It's like 77 degrees here. I'm glad y'all had a good week. The wildcat looks AWESOME on the gym wall. You did a great job! Sounds like Logan and Tanner had too much fun at the Noch. Haha Is Brother Merkley new? Good to hear that the progressive dinner went well. Tell Jared I say hi. Haha I don't even remember what we had at my grad party. It sounds like you and Logan had a great birthday. Happy Birthday to you both! I can't believe that Logan is 17! What is Sister Ashbaker's friend's name? (first and last) Oh also when are you going on your Alaskan cruise? One of the elders parents are doing that too and we wanted to see if you might possibly be on the same one. I am so jealous that you got brisket and twice baked potatoes. I haven't had brisket once yet and the time I've had the potatoes just weren't the same as yours and Nana's.
So this week was AWESOME!! I absolutely love serving with Elder Albright! He is so much fun! We've been able to get a lot of work done this week. It's going to be a great transfer. Monday after Albright got here we settled down and had a few lessons with members and the McDs. Tuesday we had dinner with Brother M (ward mission leader) and took the chance to help the three new elders in the ward get an idea of who we are already working with. Then we met with a newly moved in young couple named the Vs family. He is from downtown New York and she is Brazilian. They are such a cool couple. He reminds me a ton of Luke. They look and talk the same. It's crazy. Wednesday we had an awesome day. A new moved in family had us over for lunch and we had a lesson with D and Z, A, and picked up a new 19 year old investigator named L! He is a Senior in high school right now and was referred to us by the sister missionaries. I'll let you know more as we continue to meet with him. Thursday we had a great lesson with Sister Goodwin (Relief Society President) and her daughter's 19 year old friend L. The Spirit was so strong and the lesson went so smoothly. I couldn't have asked for a better lesson. He agreed to read more and pray and when he finds out the truth of what we say he committed to be baptized! It's amazing how the work is truly hastening. I love it! Friday wasn't too eventful. Then Saturday we had another lesson with D and Z. Z is doing great. He has the desire. His only problem is he is scared and feels uncomfortable coming to church. So that is the concern that we are trying to resolve with him during the next few weeks. Sunday topped off the week. We had 6 lessons and had a great testimony meeting at church. The only thing that we have to work on is getting investigators to come to church. That's really our focus right now. I'm so excited for this transfer. There is so much work for us to do here. I absolutely love it!
Oh also! This week it rained super hard Thursday through Saturday. It was insane how much rain came. It was so much that just during Friday it rained more than it has in the past two years in southern Cali. It was crazy. I felt bad for the elders and sisters on bike. But at the same time I was SO happy I got the drive around in the dry heated car. It's been a super busy, crazy, and awesome week. I can't wait for this week.
I hope you all have a great week and stay warm. Be safe and look for opportunities to serve and share the Gospel. I love you all and you are always in my prayers. I love you.
Elder Bushman

Transfer #6!! Feb 25 2014

Sent: Tuesday, February 25, 2014 4:34 PM
Subject: Transfer #6!!

Hello everyone!!
HOLY MOLY it's already transfer six! I thought I was on five! I got your package! It was awesome! I loved it! I definitely am going to put on a few more pounds. ;) Just kidding, cuz I'm going to start going to the other guys apartment every morning to work out and I'm gonna lose all this weight I've gained. This week was pretty good. We had some awesome things happen. But first I'll let you know about transfer calls. I am staying her in Prado View West. My companion Elder Renner is leaving. But not to Australia. Instead he was transferred to Hemet in our mission. He didn't get his visa. It was the weirdest transfer call ever. And Elder Williams and I are the only ones staying here in the area so it's all new elders. So we basically have to train three new guys on what the area is like. It'll be interesting. But for me I'm super excited! I'm now companions with Elder Albright!! He was my first zone leader! He's so cool and I can't wait to work with him!
I'm glad that you got my letters. I've been feeling bad about not writing more letters. It sounds like it's been a good week. McKenzie is in my prayers. I hope she's doing okay. I WANT that shirt so bad! that is sooo cool that he found it! Oh sorry I'm writing late. Yesterday was weird due to the transfers so we had to move it to today.
Well this week was pretty good. We got a lot of good work done. I don't have a whole lot of time to write since we need to get to work today but I'll give you the highlights of the week. We had a district meeting on Tuesday. We had a lesson with A and her dad R Wednesday night which was great! We talked about prayer and fasting. At the end of the lesson we asked if they would like to join us in a fast this weekend for A's mom to soften her heart and give her permission to be baptized. They both said yes! So on Saturday night after dinner we went by and started our fast with them with a prayer. After the prayer R said that he liked the prayer a lot and then said what I can only say that the Spirit had prompted him to feel which was "If A's mom gives her permission to be baptized, I will be in church the next day. I will go everyday for the rest of my life. That is an act of God." The Spirit was so strong. I know that it will happen. The time is coming. Saturday was also the transfer calls which was crazy. Also on Sunday I talked to B  and might have gotten an "in" with him using ping pong. I'm excited! Oh also due to some major confusion over facebook between nonmembers and members alike about what we as missionaries do and offer people, I got permission to speak in Sacrament about what we do and what we teach. I think it helped a little and I can see that this ward is starting to progress.
I'm looking forward to this week and to this transfer. We have some awesome elders coming in that I've served around already and I am stoked for Albright! It's going to be great! I hope you guys have a great week! Can't wait to hear from you again. Stay safe. Love y'all.
Elder Bushman

Last week of the Transfer! Feb 18, 2014

Sent: Tuesday, February 18, 2014 4:14 PM
Subject: Last week of the Transfer!

Hello Everyone!!
I'm glad that you got my letter. That was super fast. I'm sorry it's taken so long to write back. I've had such a crazy couple of weeks. I'm getting better. The temple was amazing! I learned a lot from that session. And yes I did get pictures from you from Madrigal. Thank you so much. Those were great to see. And Wow! Logan your Family Tree project is awesome. I'm super impressed. The other elders with me right now saw it and thought it is super cool too! You have an awesome talent.
 I'm glad that seminary is still going well. I'm amazed at how far you've moved through the Book of Mormon already. I've heard how great a teacher you are from others back home. Keep up the good work mom. You're helping a lot of people. That's cool that you had Chanler help you out. I'm sure he added a bunch of energy to the class. Haha That blows my mind that Canyon and Jon are already turning in their papers! I can't believe how fast time has gone by. Thank you for all of your prayers. I know that they are helping. Z is preparing to be baptized now and I know that your prayers have had a part in that. I'm glad that you and Dad had a good Valentine's Day. Sounds like a great concert. I'm a little jealous. I'm keeping McKenzie in my prayers. I hope she gets feeling better and you figure out what the issue is. That's too bad that Chanler got strep. But I'm on his side. I wouldn't have a problem just watching the Olympics all day. I never thought about the fact that I would miss the Olympics during my mission. GO USA!
So my week was..well...not the best ever. It was good, but we didn't get to do much. I'll explain why. So Monday was PDay and we did the normal PDay activities. Tuesday was the Temple trip which was awesome! Although We almost got left in Redlands with no ride back home... Our member that took us thought that we only needed a ride TO the temple. Not there and back. So the whole way there we were scrambling to find a ride for us and the two other elders with us. We couldn't get anyone. I was thinking I was gonna have to ride the bus or walk back to Corona. Thankfully, at the last second, after the session was over, one of the other sets of elders told us that their ride could take us. So we all squished into a super small truck and drove the 45 minutes home with our knees in our chests. So I definitely learned my lesson and now know that I need to make sure the members know that when we go to the temple we will need a ride there AND a ride back. Other than that though it was an awesome day. We got Cafe Rio while in Redlands which was amazing. And that night we got to have a short little lesson with the McDs before we went to bed.
Wednesday was the day we finally got to email. After that we had a lesson with D and . We taught them the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Lesson 3) which is basically the 4th Article of Faith. And the Spirit was so  strong. Right when we were about to invite Z to baptism we asked if he could feel the Spirit. His answer was so unexpected. He said..."I'm sorry but I can't really feel anything right now. The feeling I have right now it''s kinda nasty." I was so taken aback. I had no idea why he would feel that way. Then the reason came out. I noticed he was holding his stomach and he looked at his mom and said that he needed to use the bathroom. BAD. HAHA It was so funny! We ended up ending the lesson then because D told us he would be in the bathroom for at least 30 minutes due to the fact that he had been holding it in for about the past 4 or 5 hours! It was pretty funny. We had a good laugh about it after we left.
So Thursday was when it started. Elder Renner woke up with the flu. So for the next three days we stayed inside because he was so weak and tired. It was pretty bad. The only time we left was Thursday night we had dinner with an inactive lady (Sister B) and her sister and daughter (J), and to let the other elders borrow our car since we weren't using it, and to get our OYMs.Our dinner with the Bs went great though and we think that we might be able to start teaching J soon. Hopefully something good comes out of it and eventually it might reactivate her mom and aunt as well. So Thursday through Saturday was pretty boring since I sat around the house while Renner slept. ( I even did all of the dishes for the McDs and cleaned the other elders apartment)! That's how bored I got. Be proud mom. I did the dishes without being asked to! ;) Sunday ended the week with J coming to church which was great and we thankfully got a few extra lessons in to make this week not so bad. We had an awesome lesson/dinner with D and Z last night that I'll tell you more about in my next email.
I hope you guys have a great week. I love you all. And you are in my prayers. The church is true.
Elder Bushman

Week 4/5 - Feb 12, 2014

Sent: Wednesday, February 12, 2014 5:10 PM
Subject: Week 4/5

Hello Everyone!!
Sorry I didn't get the chance to email on PDay or yesterday. The library was closed Monday and yesterday we had a temple trip that lasted all day and left no room to email. I hope you are all doing well. It's been kind of a hectic week for me. I'm glad to hear that Madrigal went well and you had a lot of fun. That's so awesome that Mrs. Edwards got that award. It sounds like it was a blast! I would love a picture of those posters! ;) That's so cool that McKenzie did such a good job on her talk. That will boost her confidence so much. I agree with you. She is getting too grown up. I hope Chanler is feeling better. I'll remember him in my prayers. I'm still jealous of your weather. I would love it to be cold. Instead it's somewhere in the 80's today. Geez it's way too hot for winter. So I don't have a whole lot of time today since it isn't my normal day to email and we still have work to do today, but I'll give you the gist of the week I had.
Last week wasn't too crazy. We've been struggling with the fact that our ward isn't too involved with the missionary effort. After 4 weeks I still haven't officially met Bishop and no one really knows me or my companion. The missionary mentality just isn't there. So that is our focus for the next month or so. We are going to try to build a relationship with the ward members and get them into missionary mode.
Last Wednesday we were looking for members in our area that we didn't know and we decided to visit N S, a less active we hadn't met yet. We went by and he was not at his apartment but as we were walking back to the car a guy walked past and started talking to us and we realized it was N. He invited us in and we found that he was a really cool guy that was going to school in the area and hadn't been coming to church due to the business of school and work. We were super excited to find someone that we could talk to and enjoy being around from our ward. Sadly he called us at the end of the week and told us that he was moving to North Carolina to be with family so he wont be around anymore. So we are definitely still in finding mode (for nonmembers and members alike). Friday I was on exchanges with my district leader Elder Jenks in my area. It was a super slow day but we ended up getting a bunch of lessons in and meeting some new people. Right now all of our investigators are kind of at a stand still. It's hard to meet with Z since he is gone a lot to his dad's place. J wants to wait to be baptized and A still can't get permission from her mom. So we are praying a lot and looking for more people to teach. This area is proving a lot more difficult than I thought. It will be interesting to see how it goes from here.
I'll save the rest for my next email so I will still have something to write about next week. I'm trying to grasp my mind around the fact that my 5th transfer is almost over already. I hope you guys have a great week and I can't wait to hear from you again. Stay safe and keep up the good work. I love you all.
Elder Bushman

It's February! Feb 3 2014

Sent: Monday, February 3, 2014 5:38 PM
Subject: It's February!

Hello Everyone!!
I'm so jealous of your cold weather! It's been in the 70's out here. It does not feel like winter. You'll have to tell me more about your carrot experiments. Those are some big carrots! The Family Missionary Plan looks great! I'm glad that you guys got it done and put together. I know that you will see results as you stay obedient and diligent to your plan. So E didn't get baptized. He actually disappeared to Arizona and we don't think he is coming back. It was a big bummer. But we still have some people that are starting to progress and I can see the work is starting to move faster here in our area. That's so cool that Sabrina's sister is taking the lessons!! I didn't do the haircut yet. I'm a little nervous to, but today might...might be the day I do. We'll see. We are usually in bed and asleep around 11. Every now and then we get a really good topic going and we talk a little longer. I'm more like dad. Once I am in bed I'm usually out pretty fast. That's awesome that Logan got a 1 and Tanner got a 2 for Solo's!! Congrats guys! That's so cool. Good work. Dad is right about needing improvement and accountability for practice. I could have used some of it.
Well this week was pretty good. Not a whole lot crazy happened, but we were able to meet a bunch of new members and such and set up some promising future appointments. Last Monday night we had a lesson with the McD which was great. We had a little District meeting Tuesday since the AP's were here that day. Wednesday we went to have a lesson with A, but she was with her step mom in Arizona for the Temple open house so we taught her two sisters, L (20) and M (17), instead. It was a pretty good lesson and I think now that they know us a little better and realize we are normal people they might be more likely to listen to the Gospel. Before they said that they thought most missionaries were like 25 and super uptight. So keep them in your prayers along with A. I really think that they have some great potential. L is already a member but hasn't been to church in forever. Thursday was a pretty good day also. We had a lesson with D and two street lessons in the shopping center parking lot. Friday was our monthly zone meeting which lasted a long time. W e got another lesson with the McD. Saturday we got to teach J again. We taught him most of the commandments which is Lesson 4 and he literally agreed to live them all with no question! He is so ready to be baptized! But.... the only problem is that he wants to wait until May 23 to be baptized. AHHH Agency sucks sometimes. We tried to help him understand that waiting wont help and it will give Satan more time to reach for him. The thing is that he wants to I guess surprise his member girlfriend with his baptism when she comes down from Utah that day to visit him. I'm not sure what we will do with him between now and then. All we can do is keep him in our prayers and work with him until he is ready. Sunday was a pretty good day. After church, which is at 1pm, we just went to visit some of the members that I still haven't met. This was my first real normal Sunday to be here since last week was Ward conference and the week before was Stake Conference. So I'm still getting to know everyone out here. I'm making it my goal to build a relationship with everyone in the ward like we did in Lake Elsinore. D and J were at church and both really enjoyed it. D is going to really start getting back into church and i can see it's going to be a huge impact on here family. We got to give two people blessings that day as well which was super cool.
Well that's my week. There's a couple other things that will have to wait until next week due to time I have left on the computer. I hope you have a great week. I can't wait to hear from you again! Stay safe and work on the missionary plan. I love you!
Elder Bushman

Last week of January!! Jan 27 2014

Sent: Monday, January 27, 2014 4:44 PM
Subject: Last week of January!!

Hey Everyone!!
It's the end of January and I am trying to figure out if I really have been out for over 6 months now. It's amazing how time has gone by so fast. I'm glad that y'all had a good week. You're going on an ALASKAN CRUISE?!?! Where do you come up with these ideas? I can't believe you are going on another cruise! Are you sure it wasn't Sister Holstrom's son that called? Anyway I'm glad that you got to talk and got the picture. She was an awesome lady and I'm so glad that I was able to be a part of her life at that time and be what she needed in that moment. It just shows me even more that I'm am following what God wants for me and I am where I am meant to be. She was less active and I think that where ever she moves that she will go back to church. I could see the light growing back in her. That's cool that you had a 70 for Stake Conference. One goal I've gained during the past 6 months is to continue my missionary work where ever I go for the rest of my life. I'm glad that you got to go to the Haily Museum with Chanler. I'm sure that he enjoyed it a lot. I always did when you came with. I haven't gotten a rain coat yet. It hasn't been rainy so I haven't really worried about it. And since you sent the leather jacket, that should suffice for now. And I did get a sweater so when it's cold I have that along with another sweater/jacket that Elder Taylor gave me when I came from Lake Elsinore. So I'm good for now. Oh and I bought a full suit from a member in Lake Elsinore for $50. It's a super nice Calvin Klein suit! It helps now that I have a suit that fits better along with the new pants you sent. And I have been loosing weight. Slowly but surely. Elder Wilkinson has become my personal trainer and I feel like he's trying to kill me every time we go over to workout but in the end I feel super good! ;)
Well this week went pretty good. Nothing too crazy but it was good. After I finished emailing last Tuesday we tried to stop in on people through the day and ended the night with dinner at the other elders apartment since both of us just got money for dinner. It was fun just to hang out for a while. Wednesday we had a super good day. We talked to E and he should be good to go for this Saturday with his baptism! I can't wait! We taught A again and had a great lesson with her and her dad and her two sisters M and L. They all showed a desire to learn more and I'm hoping that we can get them to follow A's example and start coming to church and eventually be baptized. To end the night off we had a short lesson with the McDs. We are hoping that if we do that more often it will get him to start opening up a little bit to the gospel and be more willing to soften his heart.
Thursday we had another lesson with E and that night started our exchange with our district leader Elder Jenks. I went into their area with his comp Elder Williams. Friday we spent in his area on bike. Yes I was on a bike for a day. It was fine all day until we had to bike to the opposite end of the area at the end of the night for dinner uphill the entire way. I made it though. Somehow I made it and it ended up not being that bad. It's a good thing I've been working out more lately. ;) Saturday morning we woke up at 4 and went to the other guys apartment to work out with them. Yes. You heard me. I actually got up at 4 in the morning to go workout. It was good, except Elder Renner and I were exhausted for the rest of the day. We all ended up taking a nap for lunch instead of eating. The reason we got up that early is because we had a stake missionary breakfast that morning at 7 so we needed to get up earlier to workout, shower, and take the other guys with us to the church building. The breakfast was good. Nothing really special was said but we got a good breakfast out of it. For the rest of the day until after dinner we were with Elder Wilkinson since his comp Elder Johns was in San Diego for one of his converts sealing. During that time we had two awesome lessons in which we put both people on date for baptism. Quick story, the first guy we went to see was J. He lives in Wilkinson's area, not ours. We weren't going to work in his area but for some reason we decided to and after seeing a potential investigator he remembered that J who was a former investigator, lived right down the street and thought we might as well go see him. So we walked over and knocked on the door. He answered and let us in. AS we started talking with him, he began to express that he was "feeling sorrow" at that time. As we asked him what was wrong he began to cry and told us that he had just found out that his brother was going to prison with a life sentence. This meant that most of his family would be out of his life. His wife divorced him and so he doesn't see her or his girls very often, he wont see his brother anymore, and he is really worried, with how old his mom is, that she will take the news of his brother badly and it will cause her to pass away. That leaves him and his dad. It was a very solemn moment. That is when the Spirit directed us to know what he needed. Elder Wilkinson and I testified of Christ and the Atonement and how it could help J get through this difficult time in life. As we were there for J to talk to we were guided to let him know how much Heavenly Father loves him and is watching over him. We promised him that if he were to come to church and follow the Savior's example and be baptized, that he would feel the love and peace of God, and that everything would work out for him. It was so amazing how strong the Spirit was. J told us that he had already taken off work as a sick day and was planning on bringing his mother to church with him. It was so amazing. It strengthened my testimony and was a great teaching moment for me to help Elder Renner understand that that was the reason we are out here as missionaries. To help other come unto Christ. God prepared J and led us to him at the time he needed us. I know that that meeting was meant to happen. I know that God was using us to help J know that He exists and His love and Gospel are real. I know that this Gospel is true. I've never felt it more strongly in my life. I love it. I know it. And I'm going to share it with everyone I see.

Sunday was my first day at church with my new ward. It was good. Although the talks were a little boring and I may or may not have fallen asleep during Priesthood. Haha oops. Oh well. It was ward conference and A and J came. E was in Arizona. But J said that this is the way he thinks church should be and that "the Mormon thing could be for him"!! I'm stoked! It will be a good week this week! I can't wait. That night we had a little FHE with the McD and their son S who was visiting from college. We talked about continuing revelation and prophets. It was a good discussion. Today we got up at 6 and came to work out with the other elders and after I fought hard to beat them in a game of super intense Risk, We went to the church to play ball and hang out with the zone. Now I'm going to go shop and hopefully after we hang out for a little longer I can test out my Christmas gift from the Freeman's and cut my own hair cuz it's getting pretty dang shaggy. We will see what happens.
Well that's all for this week. Please keep my investigators in your prayers as well as the McD family. I can't wait to hear from you again. Have a great week. Be safe. Have fun and look for opportunities to serve others and share the Gospel. The Lord will bless you if you do. I know this work is real. I love you all.
Elder B. K. Bushman

First Week in the New Area! Jan 21 2014

Sent: Tuesday, January 21, 2014 4:05 PM
Subject: First Week in the New Area!

Hey Everyone!!!
I hope you guys have had a great week! I'm sorry I didn't email yesterday. It was Martin Luther King Jr Day, so the library that we email at in my new area here in Corona was closed, so we had to wait until today to get on the computers. That is so cool that Sabrina was baptized and is now a member of the church and that Logan had the privilege of baptizing her!!! I am so excited for her and the new, amazing experiences and life that she will now have! Tell her congrats for me. I know that what she did is what God wants for us all. Good job Chanler on the basketball game! That's awesome! I am going to miss Madrigal so much. I can't wait to hear how it goes. Get ready for the LOOOOOONNNNNNGGGGG nights and endless rehearsals throughout the day. I promise though that it is all worth it in the end and after the fact you'll wish you were still doing it. Madrigal is such a blast! Work hard and just have fun! You'll have to let me know the plot and everything. What would be even better is if you recorded it for me and sent it to me. That would be amazing. Just saying...  I'm excited that the boys are going to Provo. That is so great! Tell dad to be careful on his new toy. I don't want anything happening to him while I'm gone. Has the traffic really gotten that bad since I left? (FYI I kind of hope he keeps it for the next two years so I can take it for a spin ;)

So I'm sure that you are wondering what my week has been like since I am now with my third companion in only my second area after two months. Well I'll tell you that I'm going to learn a lot here. It's getting me more out of my comfort zone then ever and the work here is completely different than when I was in Lake Elsinore. So, Monday after I said my last goodbyes to the elders in the zone and then the Freeman family, The Grossmans loaded up my luggage in their van and we headed to Corona. Before we got here we stopped at Woods Grill. It is this really good BBQ place. That was a lot of fun. Oh! And I beat Jesse in our last game of ping pong! Haha I'm going to miss that kid. I'm going to miss everyone in that ward. It was so much fun and I love the people that I got to know. So finally I got to my new homeshare and met my new comp, Elder Renner. This guy is so much fun! He's only a month older than me so we're about on the same maturity level. ;) We get along so well. He was actually only in Molasia for the past 4 years and before that has lived in the States for most his life (Utah) so he knows  English as his first language thankfully. I was worried that he'd be learning English instead since all I knew was that he was from Molasia.
So in my new zone there are 4 sets of Elders and a few sisters. The only problem is that Elder Renner and I are the only elders with a car. That means that when our district and zone leaders need a car to get somewhere, we have to loan it to them. This has been a problem in the area for a while, so hopefully we can get it fixed soon. (That means we need at least another car) This week was interesting for me. I'm finishing Elder Renner's training so he is new to the area by 6 weeks and I just got here. So we both don't know the area completely yet but within the next week or two we should be able to get things rolling. Tuesday we had our district meeting where I was able to meet the rest of the missionaries in the area. Afterwards we had a lesson with a less active lady named D. She is a great lady but hasn't been to church for years. We are working to get her to come to church and eventually get her 21 year old son Z to come with and get baptized as well. We met again with them on Thursday and invited them to church and for Z to play ball with us on PDay's. Sadly neither happened, But I have a feeling that they'll come around soon.
Wednesday we tried to just go through our part member family and less active member list but so far we haven't had a whole lot of success. This week will bring some fruit for our work though. That night I was able to meet one of our other investigators, A. A is a 13 year old girl that lives in our area. She has a testimony of the Gospel and wants to be baptized so badly. She lives with her dad and his ...wife/girlfriend? Her dad is totally for her getting baptized. However, her mom who lives outside of our mission is completely against it and we have to have both parents permission in order for us to baptize her since she is under 18. So we asked her to fast with us on Sunday for her mom's heart to be softened. We are going to follow up with her tomorrow to see if anything has changed.
Thursday night we went on Splits with the other elders that serve in our ward with us. Friday was different than normal. Elder Renner is supposed to be in Australia for his mission right now but is waiting for his Visa. The last thing he needs for his visa is a doctors appointment to Xray his chest or something like that. So on Friday he went to San Diego with President Crippen and his wife (mission presidency) and they took him to his appointment and then took him to the temple there. He is so lucky he got to go there. So while he was there I went with the other elders in my ward to their side of the area and spent the day with them. Once he got back we met him at our investigators house for a lesson. E. E has been taking the lessons for years now. He is a really neat, quiet, black guy that in a relationship with a sister in our ward. The only thing keeping him from being baptized was the law of chastity since he was living with that sister. However, this week he was kicked out of the house and is now living the law of chastity. He is so ready for baptism. The only problem is that he keeps pushing it off. So hopefully tomorrow we will be able to sit done with him and work it all out with him. I am so excited to start working with E. We just have to get this done soon because he might be moving to Arizona soon.
Saturday was super slow. We didn't get much work done because we had to give the car to the district leader for a baptismal interview and then the zone leaders for a baptism. So when we finally got our car back I got to meet our last investigator, J. J is a 19 year old kid that has a mormon girlfriend in Utah. They have been reading a chapter out of the book of mormon every day together and wants to learn more. We taught him the plan of salvation and afterwards asked him to be baptized. He said he would consider it and if and when he gets his answer in time he will be baptized on February 15th! That was way cool since apparently before I came he was wanting to wait for a year before he got baptized so he could read the whole book of mormon first. I hope things work out for him. That night we went to the session of Stake Conference. It was really good. They focused so much on missionary work. It was great! I think this area is going to start moving like my last area was. After Conference we went back home and had a lesson and talk with Sister McD. She and her nonmember husband are housing us. During our lesson with her we discussed why her husband wasn't a member and what is holding him back from being baptized. Their son went on a mission and is going to BYU I and their daughter is on a mission right now. But for some reason he just wont do it. In the middle of the week Elder Renner and I recieved a letter from their daughter K. In that letter she really opened up her heart to us for her desire for her father to find his way to the Gospel. This is the first time she has written the elders that have lived here in their home and in the letter she said that lately she has felt impressed to write to us specifically, even though she doesn't know us, and let us know about her dad and ask us to try and help open his eyes and heart. The letter and our talk with Sister McD really brought the Spirit to me and Elder Renner. So much so that, Elder Renner was prompted to promise Sister McDthat her husband would get baptized during this life. The Spirit was so strong. It was amazing. I have only felt like that a few times in my life. That night I realized that one of the reasons I am now in this area is to learn how to be bold, listen to the Spirit, and help Brother McDcome to the knowledge of the Gospel.
Sunday after Stake Conference and a meeting with all the recent converts and investigators that came, we went home and gave a lesson to the McDs. During that lesson we dedicated the home and explained the importance and reasoning for it. I pray that this will help Brother McD come closer to Christ and the Spirit is more present in their home. Overall it was a great week! Yesterday we got up early and went to the other elders apartment and worked out with them at their gym. It was intense. I am SO SORE right now. I can't wait to do that workout every Pday. And I've been getting better about getting up on time so hopefully I start seeing results. After that we went and played ball. I could barely lift up my arms though cuz of the workout so I didn't do so hot that time. Next week will be better. Today was our district meeting. I'm looking forward to the rest of the week. I am already starting to love this area. The elders here are great guys. I know that this is where I am supposed to be at this time.
I hope you all have a great week. I can't wait to hear from you again. Good luck with school and choir and sports! I love you.
Elder Bushman

6 Months and a new area!! Jan 13 2013

Sent: Monday, January 13, 2014 2:58 PM
Subject: 6 Months and a new area!!

Hello Everyone!! 

We've been having the same weather. It's so wierd! I hope Chanler got my card. It sounds like his party was a lot of fun! This is going to be a short email cuz I am leaving soon. I'm so glad that school is back in. It's been so hard for us to find people during this holiday season since everyone is on vacation. I just finished Alma in my personal studies. It took me forever but youre right. There are some awesome lessons to be learned from the people in the scriptures. Tell congrats to those that made State for me. That is so awesome! I'm so proud of them all. That's exciting that you get to see Nana and Grandpa. Tell them hello for me. That's so cool that Sabrina is still on track for baptism! I will ask around about Elder Higgins. The name sounds familiar. I did end up catching the bug that was passing through. Monday night I caught it at the end of our PDay and that night I ended up throwing up. I would've have gone out on Tuesday but I couldn't stay off the toilet for more than a few minutes. And my stomach was killing me. Thankfully I only had it for 24 hours. Other than that the only other craziness that happened besides the usual pie night is that on Saturday and Sunday I visited every family in the ward almost to say my goodbyes. Yep. I'm being transferred. I will now be serving 20 minutes away on the opposite end of Corona in the Prado View area serving with Elder Renner. He has been out for 6 weeks which means I will be his trainer for the last half of his training and he is from Molasia! I'm super stoked! It's going to be a blast! I'll miss my ward here but I know it's my time to move on and work where God wants me to work. It's been an amazing 6  months here in Temescal Canyon. I absolutely love it here. I can't wait for this new experience though. It's going to be great and I'll have the privilege of influencing other's lives.

Well I have to go. Sorry this is so short. I don't have a lot of time today. I can't wait to hear form you. Have a great week. Love you all so much. I'll let you know how my first new week goes! 

Elder Bushman

It's a New Year! Jan 6 2014

Sent: Monday, January 6, 2014 4:54 PM
Subject: It's a New Year!

Hey everyone!!!!
I can not believe that it is 2014! This year has gone by so fast. In 11 days I will have been out in the field for 6 months. That is so CRAZY! I love it though. This is where I am supposed to be. What I also can't believe is that tomorrow Chanler turns 10! Happy Birthday dude. Love you little brother. The hunting trip sounds like it was a ton of fun. I'm super jealous that you guys actually got to go hunting. That's so cool that Sabrina is getting baptized!! The gospel is so true. What is her last name? The Freeman's do spoil us. A lot. And I love it! Haha There's a possibility that they might take us to Pole Position today which is a go kart place! If we go it's going to be a blast. I'm starting to get better about working out so hopefully I see a good change. I'm glad that Rueben's mom came to church and that he has that desire to come to church. He'll come around eventually.

So this week was a little interesting. I'm pretty sure all of Lake Elsinore had the stomach flu this week. It was terrible. Thankfully I did not catch anything and I've been feeling pretty good. Sadly though My comp, Elder Kelley got it on Tuesday, New Year's Eve. So on Tuesday Elder Kelley woke up feeling pretty bad but we went out anyway to get some work done. By 1 in the afternoon he couldn't take it anymore and we had to go in. We stayed in until 6 when we met all the missionaries at the church to play ball. We had to be in by 6 due to the fact that it was New Years Eve and we wanted to be away from all the drunk, crazy partiers. Kelley didn't play otherwise he probably would have passed out. Sister Freeman mad some amazing ribs for us for dinner that night but before she finished she got sick too and brother Freeman got it the next day as well. Half of our ward and investigators got sick this week and cancelled on us. It was tough. Tuesday night I had to take Kyle out with me to get our OYMs cuz Kelley couldn't. We stayed in all day on Wednesday cuz Kelley was still feeling bad. He finally got better enough for us to go to our dinner appointment at K and C's and get our OYMs before we had to go in again. That was probably one of the most boring experiences of my life. Normally if I have to stay in I can sit down and watch TV or play video games. But as a missionary I couldn't even do that. It was SO boring. So I caught up on some letters and while I did that the only noise I heard from Kelley the whole day was him get out of bed to go to the bathroom and the next noise I heard was him washing his hands and walking back to bed. That night Brother Freeman and I gave Elder Kelley a blessing and Sister Freeman as well. 

Thankfully on Thursday we were able to go out. Only problem is that we had to drive out to Menifee to get a tire fixed so that took a lot of our time. That night our dinner was sick so Brother Nay took us out to In n Out. Friday we were on exchanges and I was in the Wildomar area with my district leader. We had a great day and got to see a bunch of his part member families and such. Saturday we had a zone meeting which was super long and I almost fell asleep. Pie Night ended the night for us which was super nice. Sunday we had dinner with K and C again. This week will hopefully be better. Although it's going to be stressful since this is the last week of the transfer and I have the chance of being moved. I really want to stay here and train a new missionary. I hope I can stay. This is an awesome area. 

I hope you guys have a great week. I can't wait to hear from you again. Stay safe and enjoy school. I love you all. Here are some pics I havent sent before.

Elder Bushman

Sent: Monday, December 30, 2013 6:57 PM
Subject: Happy New Year!!!

Hey everyone!!!
Can you believe that Christmas was last week?!? It was awesome to skype you guys and get a chance to see and talk to y'all. I miss y'all a lot. I'm so glad that we had that opportunity. I love you all so much. Thank you for all of the presents you sent. I loved unwrapping them all. I hope you enjoy the presents I got you guys. That is so exciting that the Grays were sealed to KayDee! That's so cool!
I am super jealous that you guys are going hunting and that dad got a gun. What kind is it? What are you going to hunt? That is going to be so much fun. How are the Jarmons doing? Tell them I say hi and that I miss them. We had some really good cafe rio last night for dinner too. I'm going to miss New Year's Day dinner. I keep telling members in the ward about our tradition and I'm hoping someone makes it for us. Send pictures. I'm going to miss that. I wish we could sleep in. Enjoy it while it lasts.  I did get a box from the church distribution. I love the new scriptures! Thank you so much! I can't wait to start using them. by the way the pants you sent do fit. Thanks for those too. Say hi to the Greathouses for me. I always enjoyed going over there. 
So this week was super good! Tuesday was awesome. We had our mission party and got all of our packages. The Freemans took us out to Lone Star that night. Christmas was even better. We opened presents with the Freemans that morning. I woke up to Russel waking me up at 6 to open gifts. It was so much fun. Dinner was at the A's and then we finished the night playing ball. Oh after our mission party we went to a former investigator that asked us to see her and gave her a blessing which led to her accepting baptism for this next month! We've had one more lesson with her since then on Thursday.
Friday we went to K and C's to set up the baptism program. On Saturday morning  we had the baptism and it was super good. I'm so excited for C and his mom. This is such a big and important step for the both of them for their faith and testimonies. I love them so much. Of coarse we had Pie Night and it was a blast like always. C was confirmed on Sunday which was cool to be a part of. And now we are back to finding mode. We have so much work to do now. I'm excited! Today we went to the Nike outlet and splurged a little bit since we've all gotten some cash for Christmas. The Freemans gave me two 25 dollar gift cards so don't worry mom. I spent less than 10 of my own money. Ball has been good today as well although I did pretty bad personally. 

I hope you all have a great week and enjoy the New Year. I can't wait to hear from you again! I love you!

Elder Blaine Kendell Bushman
Sent: Monday, December 23, 2013 3:50 PM
Subject: It's Christmas in 2 Days!

Hello everyone!!!
I honestly don't know how Christmas is in two days. Am I the only one that feels like it's still summertime and in July? Although that might be because this California weather doesn't feel like Christmas time. It's about 70 or 80 degrees during the day and at night it drops to about 40 or 50. It's so different from back home. I'm so glad that you got the package. Especially that it came before Christmas! I hope you enjoy the contents.

I'm excited for Chanler to be in Upward. That will be exciting for him. I'm still trying to figure out how McKenzie got so old so soon. I'm not sure if I believe it's true. It sounds like you've had a lot on your mind with Christmas, seminary, and school stuff all going on right now. I agree with what you said about relying on the Lord to know the real priorities rather than just what you want or feel is right. Tell everyone at work hi for me. I'm glad that Logan and Tanner got to go to work. It's good for them. I should of done more of it. That's so cool that you have a missionary from Australia! Does he have a sweet accent?! Shopping would not be fun right now. That's gotta be a crazy experience. Tell the Atwoods hi for me. I miss parties over there. It sounded like you guys had a ton of fun. I remember Santa Rita #1. Papa took me once when he had me speak with him in Big lake. It's pretty cool. I'm glad Kenzie got the chance to share her testimony. I love sharing my testimony. It's one of the coolest things in the world to do. When you testify of truth the Spirit is so strong.  Who are the Frodshom's? I can't wait to Skype y'all too!! Tell Chanler (and the rest of the kids) Merry Christmas! I can't wait to see them and get their presents too! 
So this week has been pretty dang good. One of the better weeks of the transfer so far. So Monday night for dinner we ate at the empty nesters dinner and afterward Brother Grossman and I did a song for them and they loved it. They gave each of us a little gift bag. It was a lot of fun. Tuesday night we had a lesson with  a part member family named the G's. The dad is a member and the rest are not. We taught him and his daughter Natalie the first lesson and they want us to come back and teach the whole family! I'm so excited to start really working with them this coming month. Wednesday was our Multi Zone conference where President Smart came with the AP's to train us. It was a really long meeting from 7:30 to about 3:30. But I learned a lot and now have things to work on. That night we taught C again and he asked if we could teach the rest of the lessons that night. So we did and on Friday he had his baptism interview and is ready to be baptized on Saturday at 10 am. I am so EXCITED!!! I might get to sing at his baptism also which will be super cool. Thursday night I practiced my duet with Brother Chandler and Brother Grossman and it sounded pretty good. Friday night, after the interview, we went with Bishop and his family and took over some food to his neighbors that have come to a few activities. It was an awesome experience to see they joy and love in their eyes as we did that. Saturday night we enjoyed Pie Night as usual. Sunday was a pretty awesome day. For sacrament was the Christmas music program which was amazing. I got to sing the Pachabel First Noel with Bro Chandler and the choir was really good. Then, we got to go to the 3rd hour sharing time for Primary and the kids did a nativity for us and then gave us a bunch of gifts for Christmas! It was super neat! I loved it. I absolutely love this ward. Then that night we went to visit the Bs and since bro B wasn't home we couldn't go in but, Sis B asked us to take some food to the Ts (part member family I have taught before). We did and Mrs. T was super grateful. We went back to the B and got to talk with them and then all of a sudden Bishop called and asked if we could give a blessing with him. He told us it was for Mrs. T because she was sick and so we went over and after the blessing, had a great conversation with her about the church and basically came down to asking her to be baptized. We are going to start working with their family at the end of this week and I feel like they can be baptized by the end of next month! I can't wait to work with and teach them. I already love this family! So that ended my week. It was a great night and it really strengthened my testimony. 

So I did decide on my favorite scripture. It is Alma 26:12 "Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore........"  I will be able to skype at 10 am my time on Christmas morning so I think that is about 12 your time. I'll probably call first to get the skype number info. I can't wait to see you again! Have a great week! Merry Christmas!! I love you!

Elder Blaine Kendell Bushman
Sent: Monday, December 16, 2013 3:43 PM
Subject: Week 3 of Transfer 4

Hello everyone!!

I did get another package this week from you. I hope I was supposed to open it because I did. I now have an awesome Charlie Brown Christmas Tree on my nightstand!! Thank you so much! It was awesome to get that in the mail! The laundry sounds like a mess. I'm glad you gusy got it figured out. Not having a washing machine is terrible and a huge hassle. The ward party sounds like it was a blast! I can't wait to try some of your now famous chili! That's so cool that you got 3rd place! That's exciting for McKenzie that she's already getting to do dance recitals. I'm sure she's loving it. This week has been better. There's been some great things happening and I'm so excited! Oh I just got the pictures of McKenzie. She looks beautiful. I can't believe how grown up she looks! 

So this week started off slow but about halfway through things picked up a little and it ended up being a great week. Tuesday we had our first district meeting with our new districts and district leader. Elder Maxfield is an awesome guy and fantastic missionary. I'm excited to work with him in the zone. Wednesday we were going to have a lesson with K and C and things just didn't work out so we had to reschedule for Saturday. Thursday we went to help a part member family that we are teaching the lessons to set up some Christmas lights and they had run out of lights. So we went back on Friday  to help finish the extra they got and then wrapped some of their kids Christmas presents for them as well. It was really good for us to be there. Saturday was the day that made this week for me. We went to the Christmas party for the ward that morning and I sang a duet with a member from the ward. "What Child is This" It was a great party and lots of fun. There was orange rolls and cinnamon rolls so of coarse it was good! That afternoon we finally got to teach the first lesson with C. We had J G with us and that was one of the most amazing lessons I've been in. The Spirit was so strong. At the end of the lesson we told him that our ultimate goal was to get him prepared for baptism and as soon as we said that C asked when he could be baptized. He is now on date for the 28th of this month! the best part of the whole lesson was at the very end when we invited him to pray to know if this was right for him. He asked if he could really ask God any question that he wanted to ask. Once we helped him understand that as long as he prays in faith he will get his answer to any question he asks. He then told us that he was going to ask God if his dad had made it to paradise. I don't know if I have ever felt the spirit so strong in my life. C's dad passed away a couple years ago and they had a very good relationship. I testified to C that if he prayed and asked God that God would answer his prayer and that he would feel peace. I am so excited for C and I have truly come to love him and his mom. They are amazing people and I can't wait for him to be baptized!!! We ended the day with Pie Night and it just made my week. I love being a missionary. All those cancelled appointments mean absolutely nothing once you feel the Spirit and have a lesson like that. I love this work. This is the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. I know it. I testify of it. And I can't wait to continue to share it with everyone I see! 

I can't wait for this upcoming week. It's going to be great. I hope you guys have a great week as well. I can't wait to hear from you again. Stay safe. And don't forget to share the gospel.

Elder Blaine Kendell Bushman