mis-sion-ar-y (noun) - Someone who leaves their family for a short time, so that others may be with theirs for eternity.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Because I Have Been Given Much! June 3 & 10, 2013

Is it as crazy to you as it is to me that I've already been gone 5 months??? Yikes..

About the iPads (the church is piloting a program for missionaries to use them in the field for tracking contacts and sharing video messages & pictures), I had heard something about that! But I didn't know there was any truth to it! That's awesome! One step closer to the Church buying Apple! ;) Now would be a VERY good time to invest! Hahaha

Special World Wide Broadcast?!? (June 23rd, 3 pm Utah time) I haven't heard anything about that!!! What's it supposed to be about?? I'm kinda excited and kinda scared at the same time! What if he says, "Alright Brethren we're going to the Mountains of Ephraim to dwell!"?? Or "We're joining the war! Mormon Battalion 2.0!!"?? Or "Get to Missiouri! ASAP!!"?? This is crazy!!

I know I expect too much of myself... I just don't want to settle for 80%. You know? But there is nothing that anyone can say (except for a member of the Godhead), that's going to change that drive and motivation for me to be perfect. 3 Nephi 12:48==>1 Nephi 3:7 Whether in this life or the next, I WILL achieve perfection.

We rode out to a ward member's house the other day to give her pointers on how to teach the Gospel to her friend who was too shy to meet with Missionaries just yet... We rode about 5 miles in to the middle of nowhere... Grapes as far (or farther) than the eye can see! it took us about 30 min one way and it was about 95 degrees outside! Haha

ALSO!! We had a super awesome Zone Conference this week in which we all sang Because I Have Been Given Much with this as the fourth verse:
"Because of thy life’s mission Lord, I too must serve.
I’ll leave the comfort of my home to teach thy word.
I’ll seek thy sheep who’ve gone astray, and those who’ve never known the way.
I will make Thy work my work, today."
The Spirit was so strong hearing 50+ missionaries singing that. I loved it!

Well, that's it for now. Thanks to everyone for your love and prayers and support!

Love, Elder Zachary Evan Bushman

P.S. Read the talk entitled "First Vision and Religious Tolerance" by Joseph Fielding McConkie. Changed my life.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Goodbye Modesto:( Hello Selma! May 28, 2013

I have a new comp! His name is Elder Lantz and he is AWESOME!!!
I have been enjoying my time here in the Selma 1st Ward! We met a young woman named Jessica my first day here while doing Harvesting Blessings and she told us that she is agnostic but she wouldn't mind listening to what we have to say! We went by last night and she had had a really rough day, and she didn't seem too excited to see us. But we talked a little and got to know her and found out that the reason she doesn't really believe in God is because her Grandfather passed away and she didn't think it was very fair. There were a few other reasons too, but this is the one that caught our attention. We taught and testified of the Plan of Salvation and she admitted to us that "deep down inside, I think I might believe in God..." It was a super awesome lesson and she committed to reading Alma 40 AND baptism (if God answers her prayer)! The Spirit was definitely there!

It's pretty rough being in a bike area covering 6 towns... (editors note...His ward area is 45 miles by 25 miles:/) Especially when I sprained my ankle pretty good playing basketball for Preparation Day yesterday. And guess what!! WE ONLY COVER HALF OF THE WARD!!! Try and look up the boundaries for the Selma 1st ward on LDS.org under maps. It's ridiculous! Selma is pretty nice... more like a glorified truck stop. Haha The ward seems to be pretty nice though! They just don't really like to come out with us. We'll fix that problem.
I'm sorry the snail mail thing isn't working out too well...
In my studies, I've really been focusing on the Book of Mormon! If I can read 13 pages every day, I'll finish it in a single transfer!! I'm excited! Haha Tell Aunt Kristen I'm sorry I haven't written her back yet! I wrote like, four letters yesterday and she was going to be #5! I just ran out of time... :( I hope everything is going well at home! It's super weird to be getting graduation announcements from all my friends! Haha
Our district consists of three companionships, 1 English and 2 Spanish. English is obviously me and Elder Lantz. And then we have Elder Aiken (District Leader) and Elder Arredondo (waiting to go to Brazil) and Elder Varela and Elder Morrow. I love all of these Elders so much! One of them needs to be humbled though. He's a 285lb wrestler though so I might have to humble him on an intellectual level. ;)
I hope you got all the pictures!
One last thing, My last Monday in Modesto (I really love and miss that place by the way...), Bishop White approached me in front of Candice's house and saw that I was sitting on a shiny new bike. He asked where I got it and then said that Brother Putney (in the ward) had approached Bishop at church and told him to tell me to go pick out a bike and he (Br. Putney) will pay for it... Wow. That hit me like a ton of bricks. I didn't know what to say. But at the same time, I knew that he would be blessed for his actions. I told Bishop I would pray about it and let him know by morning. He called me the next morning and said, "Elder Bushman! I totally spaced out! The Ward has a missionary fund! That being said, it doesn't seem right for either of you to pay for that bike! Seems how you have done so much good for the ward, make a copy of the receipt and slide it under the door to my office and I'll take care of it."
If that is not a direct blessing from God, I don't know what is. I love this Gospel and I love the things that the Lord will do to keep his work progressing! I love you all and I promise you that as you are striving to progress His work and build His church, everything will work out!
Con Amor,
Elder Zachary Evan Bushman

P.S. I have an addiction.... I have eaten about 65 otter pops since I've been in Selma...
Sis. Collins, Sis. Slade, and Sis. Zimmer
Elder Whiteford, Br. Dixon, Br. Gonzales and me
The Wellington's
Sis. Maciel and Junior
Elder Blake
Elder Palupe! From Samoa! A message from him to you (my family):
Oute alofa iateoi! (It means I love you!)
Bishop White
Alysha, Kitty, Me, Candice and Baby Isaac!
The Greens! Br. Green used to be a part of the RLDS church!
SHARON!! Hopefully she was baptized this last Saturday! 
Johnathan Whipple, me and my comp, Thomas Whipple and Austin Taylor
Brenda Hopkins
Br. Rawe! Reminds me a lot of Br. DePriest
The Fairbanks
The Gagon's
Bro Johnson (WML) and his girlfriend Sis. Mote............yeah...

Messed up my ankle pretty good playing basketball! I got like 47 blocks though! Hahaha

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Selma, CA, Here I Come! May 20, 2013

Family & Friends,

You asked if I got your letters...Sorry, but no letters so far... Probably because it's transfer week....
But I did get a new bike and I'm being tranferred to Selma 1st ward in the Hanford Zone! My companion and I are getting doubled out and we're both going to the same Zone! Crazy... My new companion will be Elder Lantz, who was, ironically enough, Elder Swenson's (my trainer) comp in the MTC.
It's really hard to leave all my friends here in Modesto (both missionaries and members). But I'm sure I'll see them again and there is someone in Selma for me to touch... :) I don't really know what to tell you about this week... Because we didn't do a whole lot. We were doing service and I lifted a 40 gallon water drum with my back and threw it out pretty bad so these last several days have been rough. A lot of laying around. :( But I've been saying goodbye to a lot of people and it's really sad...

I promise more info next week;)
Love you!
Elder Zachary Evan Bushman

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

We All Have a Part in This Work! May 13, 2013

Dear Family & Friends,

I remember talking to President Gelwix before leaving on my mission and him telling me that the weather would be a piece of cake since I was from Arizona. But I am here to say that it is HOT and not Arizona HOT, but a humid, sticky, feel wet all of the time HOT. After having 3 bikes stolen (the last of which was taken out of our apartment in the middle of the night while we were sleeping) they are moving us to a better location. But our neighbors and landlord in our old apartment are sad to see us go. The manager even called the mission home to try and talk them out of moving us:) They love us:D 

One of the interesting parts of going away from home to preach the gospel is realizing that not everywhere in the world is like Gilbert, AZ. I am currently serving in the Modesto 2nd ward. They have 38% activity in the ward…that changes everything about how their ward functions! For example, for Home Teaching there are no companionships and every willing priesthood holder has 15-20 families assigned to him. And he doesn't just show up once a month and share a message. He does his best to be an additional family member! A lot of times he is the only priesthood holder. He makes sure that the members of the families he watches over are moving towards their next ordinance, whatever it may be. He also is involved in their temporal welfare and making sure they are okay both temporally and spiritually. And on top of that, they watch over their own families and hold a couple of callings in the ward. What stalwart men! And we are working on adding more men to that list:)

We met a woman by the name of Sharon, 65 years old, who attended the baby blessing of a friend. After the blessing, she had a ton of questions for her friend. So he invited us over to help answer them. We have been teaching her for almost a month and she will be baptized this Saturday! She has had many friends try to talk her out of being baptized, saying that 'the Mormons and the Jehovah's Witness' just want your soul'. But her sweet little granddaughter told her just the other day that if Jesus is leading her to the Mormon church then that is where she should go! Out of the mouth of babes...

Oh wait, we had Specialized Training on friday (zone conference) and three of the missionaries in my zone and I sang I Love The Lord.... We sounded like angels:) I love these Elders!! Well, I miss you all! I hope you are all praying for God's help in finding those He has prepared to hear the gospel. Remember from conference, WE ALL HAVE A PART IN THIS WORK:)

Love, Elder Zachary Evan Bushman
Elder Bushman singing for his supper...
"If you could hie to Kolob..."

Friday, May 10, 2013

Elder Bushman, Lovest Thou Me More Than These? May 6, 2013

***Zac is reminding us this week that a picture is worth a thousand words...you fill in the story***

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Dinner with the Howell's May 5, 2013

***We received this email Sunday evening from a family who fed Zac and his companion. We LOVE hearing from people who have actually seen and served our missionary:)

Hi Sisters Bushman and Whiteford,

Tonight we had your missionaries over for dinner. We had Doritos casserole, fudge stripe cookie fruit salad, green salad, chocolate chip cookies and tin roof sundae ice cream (of course everything was low fat and sugarless! wink, wink) I'm a missionary mom, too. My son is in Las Vegas Spanish speaking. Every once in a while, he will eat dinner at someone's house and will love an item so much, he'll ask the mom to please send me the recipe. Well, three of the recipes used for tonight's dinner were these types of recipes. The sister who sent the Doritos casserole recipe said my son liked it so much, he took pictures of it! Another sister said my son ate 11 of the cookies. Your sons seemed to really enjoy the recipes! Elder Bushman's comment when he tried the Doritos casserole was, "I love this place!" They both took home a few cookies. 

Both of your sons seem to be in good spirits and doing well. They shared a message from Mosiah, and Elder Whiteford pointed out that the address by King Benjamin was the first Conference talk. My husband pointed out that since the words were written down and passed around, it was also the first Ensign.

We appreciate all the service your sons are performing for the Modesto area, and their hard work to share the gospel. Thank you for raising such a fine son!

Happy night,
Heidi Howell and family
Elder Whiteford and Elder Bushman

I Love the Lord! April 29, 2013

Dear Family & Friends,

I just heard about all of the mission calls. Tell Josh and Diana I'm proud of them!!
I haven't gotten any actual letters in WEEKS! I think something is messed up with the mail system... :(
Shannon Wright - the man who showed up last week during church - has been a near impossible man to get a hold of. We haven't seen him since that sunday. :(
Sorry this email is super short... Haha
Oh wait, we had Specialized Training on friday (zone conference) and three of the missionaries in my zone and I sang I Love The Lord.... We sounded like angels. I love these Elders!! One of them is actually from Pocatello so Josh will have to look out for his family! Haha His name is Elder Lowman, and he's 26. Basically if he was a woman I'd marry him. He plays Ultimate Frisbee, was a music major and has perfect pitch... He's great. Haha
Also, when would be a good time of day for the Mother's Day phone call? IT'S COMING UP!!!
Elder Zachary Evan Bushman