Wednesday, December 13, 2017

December 12, 2017



Performing as the Three Wise Men:


      





Elder Shellman did some relaxing breathing exercises and fell asleep...





Elder Shellman and Elder Bush






Mission approved hat?  Yes or No?





Hey Mom!

This week has gone well. We have been able to do a lot of work and we were able to find a couple of people to teach! It was really cool- this Saturday we had an awesome miracle when we decided to tract from 8-9 PM. It’s usually not the most productive time to tract, but I’ve seen lots of miracles from it. 

We knocked on this door at about 8:30, after talking to crazy guy who believed that the earth was flat. Lol. 
But this guy’s name was Joey, and Elder Shellman basically testified that there are prophets on the earth today and that the teachings of the prophets bless our families. Joey let us in! He explained to us that he had been going through a really rough time recently and that he wanted to hear our message. It was very cool because we were able to share the full restoration with him, and he responded well! We are going back to see him tonight. He explained to us that he wants to change his life and that he wants to be a better person. It was pretty cool to hear that from him. We shared Ether 12:27 and explained how the Savior can help him change and became a new person. It was super cool.

We also found someone named Chris who is pretty interested too! He was super super close to his grandfather when he was growing up, and then when he was 8, his grandfather passed away. Pretty sad. He has a lot fo questions about the purpose of life, and about why bad things happen to good people! He is excited to read the Book of Mormon to find the answers to his questions. 

Elder Shellman and I are getting along great. In answer to some of your questions, the 12 week program is what all new missionaries are supposed to go through in order to learn how to be missionaries. It covers the fundamentals of missionary work, which is pretty cool. 

And the training is going great. He likes to work hard and be obedient, which is great.  He tends to stress out about a lot of things. I am helping him to learn how to calm down, take deep breaths, reevaluate his expectations, and relax. So that’s good. 

Sorry, not a lot of time today. We’ve been quite busy and we have dinner in 30 minutes. But, I would like to respond to your question about school plans. 

And I actually do have to think about my plans a little bit in a few weeks, because they have this thing called My Plan that I am required to complete in my final transfer as a missionary. So yeah. But I am still as focused as possible. 

Anyways, Elder Tippetts and I have already decided that we are going to room together when we go to BYU. I will have to go at the fall semester because I don’t have money and will need to get a job. Elder Tippetts will conveniently also go at the fall semester. We want to get an apartment that is off-campus, preferably in between UVU’s campus and BYU’s campus so that some of our other friends who are going to UVU will have the chance to room with us too. So yeah. Hopefully that helps. Lol I was going to tell you about that this P-day actually because I wasn’t sure if Elder Tippett’s mom was going to contact you. Hahaha

Thanks again for sharing these insights. They are super helpful to me. I love them. 

As far as a Christmas package...

Hmmmmmm

I wish I had more ideas. But I’m now getting to the point where I’m trying to not collect to much stuff because I’m just going to end up getting rid of it in a couple of months probably. Honestly though, money is always helpful because I want to get stuff for all of you guys when I come back but I don’t have any money. But also pretty much anything is great. Socks are always good. I could probably use some more garments, but I might just wait until I get home lol I want to update my wardrobe because I have learned how to dress myself, but again, I’ll just wait until I come home hahaha 

LOVE YOU MOM!

As far as a Secret Santa gift... I’m not sure... what does he even like? Is he still into football? Maybe some football gloves or something. Those are helpful. 


Love you. 
Elder Bush

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

December 5, 2017

Email to mom:


Our goals for December... we set some pretty high goals as a mission and we set some pretty good goals as a district too! 

As a mission, we set goals for all of the key indicators. We set a goal for 30 baptisms and 74 people on date and 500 people at sacrament meeting and 308 new investigators for the month of December. Pretty lofty goals. We are also preparing for January to be miracle month. Our goals are to help 50 people be baptized, and to have 100 people on date for baptism, to have 600 people at sacrament meeting, and to find 500 new investigators. Super lofty goals!!! But we are excited. We are having faith that God will be able to use us to accomplish these goals. We are trying to be as obedient and diligent as possible because we want to make sure the Spirit can be with us as we try to bless the lives of the people in this mission. Last month we set a mission record for baptisms in a single month! We had 34. It was so cool. We have a mission motto now: “One eye. One faith. One baptism”. It’s from Mosiah 18. We are actually going to get mission T-Shirts with the motto on it. I’m super stoked.


Elder Shellman and I have made some goals to live the safeguards and to work hard as well. Something that we like to do is to keep track of the hours we are able to spend proselyting every day. We don’t count hours spent doing service, or studies, or meals. We can usually get about 5-6 hours of proselyting in. If you think about it, you have 11 hours in a proselyting day, 1 hour of which is dinner, and another hour for comp study. So now ou have 9 available hours. Don’t forget lunch and the 12 week program for new missionaries (because Elder Shellman is fresh out of the MTC) so now we have 8 available hours in the day. If we do any service or have any meetings, then we have to take out probably an hour or two. So the day gets filled up pretty quickly. You have to factor in bathroom breaks and driving time as well, so the day just gets super full super fast. I am striving to be as diligent as possible, and tracking proselyting time definitely helps me. Yesterday we had 4 hours of proselyting time. We also had 3 hours of service, a 1.5 hour meeting, dinner, 12 week, and comp study. So we were literally perfect with our time yesterday. That felt good.  I think I will probably finish my mission as his companion.



My "mission sons", Elder Shellman & Elder Hatch






Weekly planning




It is gross to me to think about my travel plans home. Ew. But there is less than 3 months left. Yikes. I am excited to see you guys again, but I don’t know how to not be a missionary. I honestly won’t know what to do with myself all day.

This week I had a great experience with prayer. I took the time this Sunday to kneel and pray, and I thought about each sentence as I said it. It was a totally different feeling, and it was awesome. My prayer had meaning to it. Instead of me just kneeling down and saying the same old thing and then wondering why I didn’t feel refreshed or connected with heaven, I understood that although I sincerely wanted to have my prayers be a good experience, I didn’t really mean all of the things I was saying. I was just kinda saying things to say them, and hoping that I would feel good from my prayer. 

My spiritual thought this week comes from Alma 27:18. I love this scripture. 

“Now was this not exceeding joy? Behold, this is the joy which none receiveth save it be the truly penitent and humble seeker of happiness”.

This week I have really learned that true joy is only found in Jesus Christ. We can’t find it any other way. Helaman 5:12 has taken on new meaning to me recently. How do we build on the Rock of our Redeemer? It is by living the doctrine of Christ. 

I have a testimony that the Book of Mormon is from God. Because I know that the Book of Mormon is true, I know that Jesus is the Christ and that He is our Savior and Redeemer. He has bought us with a precious price. What a beautiful thing to think about. It makes me sad but also it makes me very grateful. I can’t comprehend the amount of love that He has for us. He didn’t complete His Atonement so He could look good or earn power and glory to Himself, he completed it simply because He loves us. It makes me think about what my motivations are. 

Thanks for sharing those thoughts on Alma 5! I love that chapter :) I will do that reflection thing. I really like that talk from Elder Ballard. 

What you said about Elder Christofferson reminded me about President Uchtdorf’s talk from April “The Greatest Among You”. He has a very similar experience that he shared at the very beginning of the talk. So cool. 

Love you Mom! I’m excited to talk to you guys in a couple of weeks.

Love,
Elder Bush




Creepy Christmas decoration!




Thursday, November 30, 2017

Photo update...


Happy 20th Birthday Elder Bush!



Wooden name tags and a zone conference








Lots of blue zones tracted!







Deer me.....




Haircut












Wednesday, November 29, 2017

November 28, 2017

Hey Mom!


Sorry, there is definitely not a lot of time to email today because we have to leave in an hour to go pick up the new missionary down in Windsor. Lots of driving. Yay. 

I’ve been learning a lot about the doctrine of Christ and about the Savior as I’ve been studying. I realized that unless I understood more about Jesus Christ and His mission, then I would not be able to understand the doctrine of Christ fully. So I decided to study every reference about Jesus Christ in the Book of Mormon. It has been awesome! 

Two of my new favorite verses are Mosiah 3:7-8. I’ll copy paste them here. 

7 And lo, he shall suffer temptations, and pain of body, hunger, thirst, and fatigue, even more than man can suffer, except it be unto death; for behold, blood cometh from every pore, so great shall be his anguish for the wickedness and the abominations of his people.
8 And he shall be called Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of heaven and earth, the Creator of all things from the beginning; and his mother shall be called Mary.

As I read those verses, I asked myself a couple of questions and wrote down some of my thoughts. 


How many drops of His precious blood were spilled for me? 

He is the Son of God, the only perfect person to ever walk the earth. He is the kindest, most loving, most wonderful being. He created the Universe! He is the most holy, and the most pure. 

How is His life in exchange for mine fair? How is that fair? That is so unjust! His pure and precious blood was given in exchange for mine. As I came to that realization, it hit me hard. I am so grateful to my Savior for what He chose to do in order to save me and you. 

It was just really cool to learn that and to have more gratitude in my heart for the Savior’s Atonement. The Book of Mormon is awesome. 

I think you and I are very similar that way- we like to look at the discrepancies between where we are and where we want to be. It makes me very frustrated and it makes me discouraged. I know it does the same for you. 
President McMurray has really helped me with this. He said “Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good” 

We can’t let perfection be the enemy of good! If we are striving so hard to be perfect, be perfect, be perfect, be perfect, then we will miss the good things in life. We will be so focused on being perfect that we will get discouraged even when we are doing good things. That phrase is something that helped me, so I hope it can help you. 

I love you Mom! You are doing awesome. I love the quotes that you shared. Thank you! 

I’m sorry that I don’t have a lot of time. <3

Thanks for the prayers! They really do help. 

Elder Bush


PS


Happy Anniversary!!!!!!!!!!!
I am eternally grateful that you and Dad decided to get married and not only bring us into this world, but teach us the gospel. :) 

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

November 21, 2017

email to Mom:



Wow! What a week for us too! We’ve had some ups and downs, but it has been great. 

First off, Elder F.  and I are getting along much better now. 
Something that has helped us to bond is basketball. I am not a huge fan of playing basketball as you know. Mostly because I stink at playing. Like really bad. But, he loves basketball, and so we play every pday. I’ve improved a little bit, but as we’ve done that, what it’s mostly done is help us to develop a better relationship. Which is good. Transfers are next week! We will figure out this Friday or Saturday what is happening. I am curious to see what will happen. I hope that I will stay here in Rawlins and train a new missionary, but I don’t know. It would be sweet. 

I have been trying to work harder than ever before. We spend at least 1 hour tracting every day, if not 2. Elder F. does not like tracting, but he is warming up to it. I’ll post our tracting records in the photoshare so you guys can see what we’ve been doing. We’ve also contacted all but about 30 of the less actives. Lots of work, which makes me feel good. I hope we see miracles from it. 

This week as we were contacting some less actives, we contacted into this lady. I’ll write the conversation here so you can see just how ridiculous it was. 

Her: “I’m Pagan, honey. Oh, you don’t know what that means?”
Us: “It could mean a lot of different things...”
Her: “Google it.”
Us: “Shrug”

She went on and on and on... 

Her: “Give me an hour. I can prove that Jesus Christ never existed...”
Us: *raises eyebrows* “Uh-huh, sure.” 
Her: “Jesus was an idea stolen from the Greeks. He’s Hercules!”
Us: “okay...”
Her: “Do you need any more proof?”
Me, in my mind. 
“Dude, if Jesus Christ has been taught to Adam since the beginning of time, how was Jesus stolen from Hercules?” 

If she could’ve read my mind, she would’ve been like 
“Whaaaa?”

Then she asked us if we believed that Joseph Smith really translated the Book of Mormon. I said that I did. 

Her: “Awww I feel so sorry for you guys. It’s pathetic, really. How can I get my records removed?”
Us: “The feeling is mutual. Can we get your number to give it to the Bishop?”

Maybe not the most Christ-like thing to say, but she said a lot of other ridiculous things that I don’t even have time to mention. She was even crazier than the UFO lady. Seriously. She was trying to make us as uncomfortable as possible, saying suggestive things and smoking a cigarette, but she wasn’t attractive at all, especially because she was missing like 12 teeth. We only saw like 5 teeth. So it was just ridiculous. We got her number so the Bishop could call her and then left. That was probably one of the most ridiculous conversations I have had with someone, including a conversation we had earlier this week with a Catholic.

He invited us in to his home to proceed to try and bash with us. We were polite and just bore our testimonies and left. But here was his argument. Which was ridiculous. 

So if someone is holding the priesthood and is unworthy to hold the priesthood, what happens to his priesthood? He asked us this question and we said that the guy who holds the priesthood is then unworthy to use it and should not perform ordinances and also is not authorized to be a leader. His argument was that it is technically impossible to know if someone is worthy or not, so it doesn’t matter. If they were ordained to the priesthood, then they are permanently ordained to the priesthood and always authorized to use it. 

However, this argument is dumb, because he is referencing the guy who started the Catholic Church, an excommunicated priest, who then gathered followers when the Apostles were killed. This guy’s name was Linus, and he was excommunicated because he worshipped an idol by lighting a candle to it and praying to it, and then trying to get other people to do so as well. Does that not sound like the Catholic Church? Let’s light candles to saints and pray to them instead of to God. But don’t worry, our authority is still valid, because it can’t be taken away. 

*shakes head*

Sorry about that, but I guess that just gives you a picture of how our week was. You run into a lot of crazies while tracting. 

As far as Thanksgiving goes, I believe we have 3 meals. Maybe 4. We will definitely be well fed. I will talk some more about the people we are teaching in my email to Dad. Love you Mom! 

I am so grateful for you. I really appreciate your list of grateful - fors because it helps me remember to be thankful all the time and not just at Thanksgiving. It’s also a long list, which reminds me that there are a lot of things to be grateful for. Love you!!!

Elder Bush

PS You’re in my prayers. I think of you and the Savior when I think of how to get through rough times. 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

November 14, 2017


Hey everyone! 

First things first, I want to apologize for missing the last couple of weeks. I’m really sorry. I’m super bad at this email writing stuff. 

Second thing, 
I want to thank everyone for the birthday wishes. I simply don’t have the time to email all of you this week and thank you (My mom takes priority guys, sorry) 

BUT I sincerely appreciate all of the wishes. Especially you. Yes, you.

Thirdly, 

Rawlins is awesome. 
Never thought I would say that. It seriously is great though. We have a lot of work to do and the people are so nice. We hardly have time to tract. Which is kind of a bummer because I want to tract out my area at least twice before I leave 😂 

Spiritual thought for the week:

In Mosiah 3:19, it says “Become as a little child”. I kind of wanted to talk about that phrase because we often forget that the gospel isn’t just a bunch of stuff that we have to do. It’s not a checklist to a happy life. 

The gospel is a pattern to become! The gospel will help us become better people, which will then bring us more joy for happiness. It’s not doing those things that makes us happier. It is becoming more like the Savior that makes us happier. 

So don’t forget that this week guys! Repentance is wonderful. The gospel is the challenge to become. (Take a look at Elder Oak’s talk “The Challenge to Become” October 200 General Conference)

I love you appropriately.
Elder Bush






Thanks Mom! You know, I actually woke up this morning and I am even more grateful for you today. I wouldn’t be having any birthdays if it wasn’t for you. Not even one birthday. So thank you.

SO.... nothing is showing up in the photoshare because I haven’t posted anything lol my pictures keep uploading to the iCloud, making it very difficult for me to redownload them and then put them on the photoshare. I will try to get them on there today. 

Thanks so much for that money. I definitely needed it for my winter gear. I just want you to know that I was/am fully prepared to pay out of my own savings whenever I have to. In fact, I am excited for when I get home to scrimp and save and pay my own way. BYU is definitely cheap enough, I can pay my own way through college. That’s my plan. 

Also, recently I have started on a diet again! (Like 2-3 weeks ago)
I am eating as healthily as possible. If you have any suggestions for healthy and creative things to eat, I am all ears. So far I have oatmeal, cream of wheat, chicken breast, salad, yogurt with fruit and granola, and these things that I love very much called KIND bars. Healthiest snack ever. You should look them up at Wal-mart. They are really good. It just feels good to eat healthy. And it is totally possible to eat healthy and have it taste good. I hope I can continue my healthy eating habits when I get home. I am now back to my original weight before I entered the mission field. I’m at 145 again instead of 165. The six pack is back. Oh yeah hahahaha

Thanks for your advice about Elder Fazar. President McMurray gave me some similar advice this week. I have been trying to apply it, and I will follow your advice too, and I know that it will help! 

This week we had a crazy experience in Cheyenne. We were there for zone conference, which was great. Do you remember Jan Ross? She is a recent convert in Cheyenne who I came very close to. Well, her son ran away with suicidal intent that day, and so she texted me freaking out. We had her come to the church and we gave her a blessing there with President McMurray as voice. We spent a lot of time trying to comfort her and being there to support her. After we left, she went home and found her son sitting on the couch watching TV like nothing had happened. She really struggled with that, as anyone would. She and her son are trying to mend their relationship now, but it was really a tender mercy that we had zone conferences that day because we were able to help her out and be there for her when she was going through that rough time. 

I’ve been learning a lot recently about faith! Also about my purpose as a missionary. 

I love that you listed all those questions and the answers to them in your email! I have found that the best way for me to get things out of my studies is to ask questions and seek the answer until I find it. 

This week, a question I have been pondering is “What does it mean that Jesus Christ is the author and finisher of our faith?” 

My response was that he is the author of our faith because in the beginning, we place our faith in Him. From the beginning, He is there, making it possible for us to even have faith. And He is the finisher of our faith because He is the one who purifies and “finishes” the faith that we have. He makes our faith strong and finishes it. Super cool.

Also while reading Mosiah 3:19 I learned that the purpose of the doctrine of Christ is to help us become as a little child. It is much less about what we do than who we are. He says “Become as a little child” not “Act as a little child”. Being submissive, meek, humble, patient, and full of love are character traits, not necessarily actions! Actions follow those attributes and we cannot develop those attributes without actions, but the plan of salvation and the doctrine of Christ is all about becoming. Not necessarily doing. I liked that a lot. 

Also, I did get my birthday package! Thank you so much! I will enjoy/need the hot chocolate soon. Thank you all so much for the gifts you sent. I am very thankful for them. Especially the potato soup ;P

You will be proud to know that I spent most of my birthday today cleaning. I am becoming OCD. I also bought some fragrance candles so our place can smell good and look good. Pictures next week when I have finished cleaning hahaha I will leave what it looked like before up to your imagination. 

i love you so much mom! You are amazing. 

<3
Elder Bush

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

November 7, 2017

The week has flown by for us. We have been super busy trying to contact as many people as possible. We are making significant progress on the less active list. It has been cool to focus on helping them come back to church. We have had some moderate success with that! We had 2 less active families at church on Sunday. It is definitely a process of helping them all come back but I think at some point they will. 

Today we are again short on time, we went to Hanna, Wyoming, to get some wooden nametags! I’ll include some pictures and videos in the photoshare. Super cool. We also did some service for an elderly lady who needed firewood to heat her house. It was pretty cool to see the gratitude in her eyes when we brought it to her. We had a snow storm yesterday, so everything is white. From what I’ve heard, from this point on, the snow doesn’t leave the ground. It just kinda stays and then gets more snow added on top lol 


We had some cool experiences while teaching this week! We taught a less active family named the Newbroughs who are trying to come back to church. The father had some bad experiences with a past bishop, and so he is hesitant to come back. The other members of the family want too come back soon! We are having dinner with them on Wednesday, so we are excited for that. 

The first lesson, we talked about the sacrament prayers and about how the sacrament will bless their family. It was a really cool lesson with a strong spirit. We talked especially about remembering the Savior and always having the Spirit to be with them. The next day, they texted the member who came with us and told them that they were feeling the Spirit more! 

This week we also accidentally tracted into some less actives! It was really cool. We have dinner with one of those less active families tonight! Super cool. We are hoping that we will be able to help bring the Spirit into their home so they have a desire to come back. 


Our WML went out of town for a couple of weeks so I guess he doesn’t hate us now hahaha

Thanks for the uplifting scripture! It makes me feel really good. I appreciate your love and support and prayers. :) 

You are amazing. Thanks mom. 
 
Love,
Elder Bush


PS I haven’t got the birthday packages yet but I will let you know. Especially since my birthday is on a pday again! Hahaha