Monday, September 1, 2014

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

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