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.


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. 

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. 
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 

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

October 31, 2017

Hey everyone! I hope you all have a had a great couple of weeks! I’m sorry that I haven’t sent a weekly in a while. 

So as an update, I am now serving in Rawlins, Wyoming! This place has a population of about 10,000 people, and we are serving here with another set of missionaries. It is a small place, but there are a lot of humble people here. It is great. People are super nice here too! I think they are trying to compensate for the freezing cold. Last winter the low temperature was -38, not counting the wind. They regularly got below -20 last winter. So I’m  gearing up. 👍 

I’m learning a lot about faith and how important it is. Faith in Jesus Christ changes lives. It changes hearts and helps us to become who God wants us to become. As long as we work on growing and strengthening our faith in Christ, we will be okay. 

This is why Satan wants to take away our faith so bad. If he can make us lose faith, he wins. That is no bueno. Seriously. 

I love you all. Appropriately of course. Have a good week!

Elder Bush


Wednesday, October 25, 2017

October 24, 2017

*NOTE:  P-Days are now on Tuesdays!

(email to Mom)

Hey Mom! 

I hope you had a good week :)

It definitely will take some getting used to haha I think it will be good for me to switch up the schedule though. It helps me keep focused. 
Also, each mission president is able to adjust the schedules for their missionaries as they would like to. President McMurray could even say that it would be okay for us to get up at 7:30instead of 6:30 if he felt inspired to. It’s actually kind of cool. I think he told us that there were a couple of missions in the states that have their P-days on Tuesdays now. 

That sounds like an amazing lesson with Katelynn and Matthew! The Spirit is the real teacher, so if the Spirit is there, those missionaries are doing something right. That’s awesome. Those are the lessons that you love to have as a missionary. They are always amazing. You know you are fulfilling your purpose and it feels good. 

This week has been insane. 

So. On Monday night, I stayed up until like 12:30 packing, because i didn't start until like 10 lol 😂 super bad. Then we got up at 2:30 and I went to stay with some other elders while Elder McFadden and Elder Reiswig left to go to the airport with President McMurray.  That morning, I got all our stuff together and then we started out to Rawlins. We arrived in Laramie around 2 or 3 PM that day and realized a couple of things. 

1- we didn’t have a phone
2- or a place to stay in Rawlins
3- we also didn’t know anyone
4- we also had no food at all

We ended up going shopping in Laramie so that we could get all our stuff for the next week. We grabbed lunch and then we waited in Laramie for the Zone Leaders to bring us a tablet for one of the missionaries who was going to show us how to get to our apartment in Rawlins. SO... we couldnt leave Laramie until around 7. We got to Rawlins at 8:30 or 8:40 and we met with the Ward mission leader immediately, who actually hates us for no reason. 
This entire week we have spent all our time trying to contact the members of the ward council so that we could learn where to start. This was really difficult for us to do because we didn’t have a phone so we could only stop by, hopping that they would be home. 

We are working on building ward trust back because the last missionaries who served in this ward were not very good. They would take naps on the church couches during church and stuff. So we are rebuilding relationships with the ward.  I am really excited about the fact that there is a whole bunch of missionary work to do out here though! There are lots of receptive part member families and lots of humble people out in Rawlins. It’s awesome. 

My companion is a pretty new missionary named Elder Fazar, and he is from around Richmond, Virginia. He has had a couple of rough transfers thus far, with companions that didn’t exactly do a lot of missionary work. He thus has a pretty negative view of missionary work and unfortunately life in general. So that will be fun. Hopefully that changes after a few weeks. 

Also, Rawlins is super cold. Or getting there at least. It is always always windy. Lol I am excited to see what happens with the work this week. There is so much potential out here. We have been visiting so many people that we have barely had time to tract. 

Except yesterday. We went out to this little tiny town called Wamsutter. It has approximately 100 people. Give or take a few. They only have one school, and it has 34 kids. It’s also somewhat of a ghost town. It was supposed to have a population of 500 but most of them have left. Unfortunately, we didn’t know that and so we ended up tracting for about an hour and later figured out that we had knocked on a bunch of empty homes lol you should google maps what wamsutter looks like. It’s awful. 

Anyways, we had a very eventful week. We were really happy to get a phone today, and we will hopefully have a place to stay this week! 

Love you Mom! More updates on the people we are teaching and their progress next week. We are still working on cleaning up after the previous elders 

Elder Bush

Monday, October 16, 2017

October 16, 2017

Hey everyone! 

This week I found out that I am being transferred to Rawlins, Wyoming! Just in time for the winter :) 

I am actually really stoked to go back to Wyoming! Rawlins has a population of about 9500 people, and there are 2 sets of missionaries out there, so we will be working with a pretty small population, but I am super excited to work out there, because I hear that the work is going really well out there! Regardless, please keep me in your prayers so I don’t freeze to death out there.

This week has been great because we have been able to spend a lot of time following up with the investigators we found last week! Turns out, quite a few of them are actually interested and we had great lessons with them. Sadly, none of them came to church, but we are doing our best to keep daily contact with them and help them to keep commitments.

If you didn’t realize already, we are on Facebook! This is a tool for us to help fellowship our investigators and share the gospel more. I am excited to keep using this to bring people to Christ! 

I’m sad to leave behind Elder McFadden. He has been a great companion! What a good guy. I am excited for the future though! I’ll keep you posted on Rawlins, Wyoming in the future. 

Love that is given appropriately to you all, 
Elder Bush

Picture 1:

At a meeting with other missionaries. I love these guys. They are some of my favorite people in the world. 


Email to Mom:

Hey Mom! 

This week I found out that I am being transferred! I am finally being released from my current position. Guess where I’m going....


Rawlins, Wyoming! 

If you don’t know where that is, that’s okay. Most people don’t. Rawlins is infamous in our mission for being “the armpit of the west”. There are 10,000 people living in Rawlins, and there are 2 companionships of missionaries, so we will have about 5,000 people each to work with. 

I’m going to be a district leader out there, and I will be with a pretty new missionary who is on his 3rd transfer. He has had some companions who have not been really good so far, so I’m hoping to be able to be a better example of what it means to be a missionary. 

And yes, I have been to Casper for zone conferences and many other times to drop missionaries off! Would Sister Jenning’s maiden name happen to be Bertagnole? Because that is a huge mormon name up in Casper. It’s a really big family that are all members of the church. I’ve never served up in Casper, so i don’t know a lot of members up there, but I know a few!

It sounds like you guys had a pretty crazy busy week! Lots of ups and downs. I’m glad that you and dad were able to go on a couple of dates. I don't know if i would count hobby lobby as a date, but i guess you could! Lol 

Hmmm advice for teens... friends are super important. It’s always hard when you have some close friends move away. I can’t believe how much life has changed since I’ve been gone. I feel like I will come home and everything should just be exactly how it was when I left. Hahaha I know that it wont be like that, but deep down i feel like that’s how it will be lol 

Anyways, i don’t know if i have advice for how to help them make friends, but I just know that having those friends is super important. I think they will miss the Jacobson’s for a while, but i think they will reach out and make new friends pretty quick. They sound pretty socially stable at this point. Which is good. I hope they aren’t socially awkward at all- because that’s always weird lol 

This week we spent a lot of time planning the transfer, but we also got a lot of proselyting done! We taught Josh and Lindsey again and we talked a lot about personal revelation with them. It was really beneficial for them. I hope they progress soon! They have a lot of hard questions. 

This week was really cool because of some super awesome experiences. First, do you remember Dave Miller? He was baptized in Loveland about a year ago, and he and his family were sealed this week! SO COOL! I did’t get to go, but I am so happy for them! It helps me know that we did do a lot of good while we were serving there. 

I also talked to Amanda and Spencer from Loveland, and Spencer is preparing to go to the temple to get his endowments! I am so excited for them! Amanda messaged me earlier this week because they were going through a rough time because their ward boundaries split and they have new sisters in their ward. I was able to listen to her problems and point her to her bishop, and now they are doing great. 

Facebook is a going well, because we can have daily contact with our investigators. We can send them conference talks or follow up on scripture study with them much easier. It’s awesome! I have to try hard to not be distracted. Also I created a new facebook account so I had to refriend everyone on there. It is weird to be on Facebook but I think as we keep trying to use it righteously, it will bless us and our investigators.

Also, my birthday list... I’m honestly not sure! Ties are always cool! I love DAZI ties and also Penguin ties. But other than that, I don’t need much. 

I’ll think on that and let you know if i need anything! Thank you. 

I love being a missionary. It’s literally the best. 

I love you mom! You are the best! I cannot express my gratitude to you enough. 

Elder Bush

Monday, October 9, 2017

October 9, 2017

(Email to mom)

It’s so crazy that it’s already October! We are getting a pretty solid amount of snow today! It feels like we are already entering the winter months 😱 

We are about to start transfer planning this week! After this week, I will have 3 transfers left. These weeks just keep flying by. Everyone told me that the mission would fly by but I didn’t really believe them. These have been the fastest 2 years of my life for sure. I am really trying to make sure that I make the most of these last few months. 

This week we went on 3 exchanges. I went with Elder Shober, Elder Judd, and Elder Fluhman. These guys are some awesome missionaries. I learned a lot from them. We also saw a lot of really cool miracles! On the day that I was with Elder Judd, we found a whole bunch of new investigators! 

We found a young family of 3! Josh, Lindsey, and Theo. Theo is less than a year old and Josh and Lindsey are in their 20s! It was so cool to talk to them and feel the Spirit working through us! We stopped and talked to them on the street and learned that Josh had grown up in the church, but had never been baptized. His family fell away when he was about 6. Lindsey had been to all sorts of churches. They are looking for a church that they can go to! We are meeting with them now and we hope to help prepare them for baptism. So you can keep Josh and Lindsey in your prayers for sure! 

We also found another guy named Ryan, who wants help from God to raise his family in this crazy world. We also met Donna and John, who are taking care of their grandkids, and they are super receptive! We also found Jeremy, who was really interested in hearing the gospel so that he could be a better father! It was a day full of miracles. It was very cool to be a part of those miracles! We have since taught most of the people that we found that day. I hope and pray that they listen to the promptings from the Spirit to act on the message we share. 

This week we also got Facebook! It is super weird. It is also super easy to be distracted. I have been working hard to make sure that doesn’t happen. We are trying to train everyone to be focused on their purpose and not get distracted by social media. It is really easy for that to happen. 

Also this week, I got really sick, for the first time in a few years! I felt awful for about 6 or 7 hours. I think it may have been food poisoning actually.  Luckily I recovered quickly, thanks to prayer. During that period of sickness, I lost 11 pounds lol I’m almost back to my original weight before I came on my mission! Crazy hahaha 

Today we have been without wifi for a while, we have been giving rides to people and shopping, so my email is a lot shorter than usual. 

Love you mom :)

Elder Bush