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