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

Monday, January 28, 2013

He Will Increase Our Capability! Jan 28, 2013

Hello everyone!! I love you all!!
Just a heads up, this email is going to be VERY scatter brained....
I've been in the field for just a few days now but I'm absolutely LOVING it!! My companion's name is Elder Swenson and he is absolutely incredible!! Basically, we're the same person. So... yeah, he's awesome. We're serving in the Modesto 2nd Ward which is about 40% active. And about 80% of that are senior citizens. I love it.

Dad, do you remember a Trevor Gipper from Dobson? He is a missionary here and he asked if I know any Bushman's in Arizona. I got a good laugh out of that. But apparently he was in your Spanish 3 class and all he remembers is "Pagame un peso!"

Also, several years ago, one of the General Authorities came and promised the Fresno mission that if all the elders would part their hair, that we will out-baptize every mission in CA. So... that is taking some getting used to, but it's growing on me.

Our district leader's name is Elder Blake and he is probably the most Christ-like person I've ever met. I love him. President Gelwix is probably one of the most inpirational speakers I have ever heard! I'm so excited!! And Sister Gelwix is an angel. She's the sweetest lady ever. There's also a crazy black lady lives next to us and threatened to kill us... So.... She needs to get baptized. :) 

As far as mail, everything has to be sent to the mission office then they will send it to me. Dad, I need help with Spanish!! I'm running into a lot of only spanish speaking people... Maybe a spanish Preach My Gospel? :) Sorry this is a short email, but we had some crazy stuff going on today. Haha

Two more things... It was just my luck last night... We had dinner at the Ward Music Chair's house. We negotiated to have a non-member accompany me on the flute. Hahaha She's gonna get baptized. :) Also, we just went shopping for food and such and I don't really know what stuff is good to have on hand to cook with... So I just got the bare necessities. I think I did pretty good, but advice/recipe's would be VERY appreciated!!! I love you all so much and hopefully my next email will be better structured and informative!!
Elder Zachary Evan Bushman

P.S. I wanted to say two more things...
Read "The Challenging and Testifying Missionary" by Elder Alvin R. Dyer.
"God does not begin by asking us about our ability, but only about our availability, and if we then prove our dependability, He will increase our capability." -Neal A. Maxwell

I'm Here!!! Jan 23, 2013

I made it!! We've been doing some orientation type stuff and we even went out and taught some people!! I invited two people to be baptized and got four names/addresses/phone numbers!! And only one door slammed in my face!! :) I love how the Spirit fills our mouths if we let it! I'm so excited and humbled to be here!! The weather is PERFECT!! And Pres. Gelwix is AWESOME! He's such a joker!!! 

Vi voglio bene!!

(that was impressive, huh?)

-Elder Zachary Evan Bushman

Monday, January 14, 2013

Proper Prior Preparation Proceeds Powerful Performance! Jan 11, 2013

Hello Everybody!! 

This week has been kinda crazy.. But we're starting to get everything under control. Our district is continuing to grow closer to one another and closer to God! I love these guys (and girls)!! I mean "Elders" and "Sisters".... That's still a hard transition. Oh well. I love the Spirit! It helps so much! 

We started the TRC this week! For those of you who don't know, that's the Teaching Resource Center. Basically we get assigned an investigator who could be a member, non-member, or inactive person who we are just supposed to teach as if they were a real investigator!! Our investigator's name is Jorge Delgado. He is a super nice guy but he was really mad at God for "taking his son away with cancer" at such a young age. We have been trying to help him feel God's love and we gave him a Spanish Book of Mormon! On our next visit with him he said that he read the Introduction page and the testimonies of the witnesses and he had some questions. We answered his questions and testified that God can answer WAY more questions than we can!! We invited him to pray with us at the end of the lesson and asked if he would say the prayer and he did!! It was such a sincere prayer!! He promised us that he would continue to read and to pray! We have another appointment with him on Monday! I'm really excited to see how he felt about the things he read! Also, I don't know if I've told you guys about my Mexican roommate, Elder Garcia, but he's been helping me (and our whole district) brush up on Spanish. I think that has definitely helped me establish a solid connection with Jorge and I KNOW it will help me in the field. Maybe Elder Garcia and I will be companions! 

Around 5 pm yesterday, we started getting some more snow, AND IT'S STILL SNOWING!!!! I'm not built for this!! Everything looks the same!! There is one other Sister in our district who is from Georgia and so she can sympathize with me on the whole, "I prefer the heat" thing! Haha She's pretty cool, her name is Sis. Gregerson. We call her "Mom" sometimes... Hahaha

Well, I think I'm starting to have withdrawals, I had a dream last night that Dad felt bad for me so he sent me his phone and then Mom flew over here to scratch my back. It was the greatest. I woke up with tears of joy streaming down my face. The back scratcher has helped a lot, but it's not quite the same. You know, the whole... "having to actually put in effort" thing? Yeah, not my style. 

We're trying to get a musical number together with our district (because we walk around the MTC singing four-part harmonies anyways). But it's proving to be quite difficult... I asked the group if I could be in charge of the number and they all agreed but then I started plunking out parts and my comp started saying something about how the "tenor, bass, alto, and soprano are all supposed to be in different keys. Trust me. I've sung this before." (That's exactly what he said.) What song was it, you ask? Come Thou Fount arranged by Craig Petrie. Yeah, that one arrangement we literally sing ALL THE TIME. Ugh. Stressful. I don't even know how to respond to that! Oh well. Doctrine and Covenants Section 122. It's a bit more extreme than what I've been experiencing but it helps a lot! 

Thank you so much for the package!! I got it last night and the cake mix cookies are already gone! Hahaha I love you guys so much!! :) Thank you for all the letters and prayers! I'm praying for you all!! :)

With love and undying gratitude,

Elder Zachary Evan Bushman

The 1st day of the rest of my life! Jan 2, 2013

***Editor's note: this letter was sent on Jan 2, but we didn't receive it until Jan 10***

Hey everyone!

I don’t really know the best way to do this (send a letter to the whole family or individuals…), so I’m just gonna wing it! The MTC is great! Despite it being 5 degrees… The food is awesome! My district is awesome! My companion is Elder Badley (pronounced ‘badly’). And he is a big black guy who looks like he could play for the NFL. He was baptized when he was 18 (he’s 20 now) and he has one of the strongest testimonies I’ve ever heard! By the way, he’s from Virginia Beach, VA. So far we’ve pretty much just been doing orientation type things and a few hours of role playing (loved it!). The Spirit here is unlike anything I have ever felt! My whole district (12 total; 4 sisters/8 elders) is going to Fresno the same day, Jan 23rd! And we all get along great! The other two elders in my room are Elder Garcia and Elder Enslow (from TX and UT). There is also a sister in my district who is President Bluth’s granddaughter - - Sister Pratt! Safe to say the next 3 weeks are going to be incredible. Does it feel real yet? No. I still just feel like I’m at EFY or something. Seriously guys, Jon and Dad already know this, but the Spirit and sense of instant comradery here is indescribable! I love this gospel so much! I’d say the most important part things I’ve learned so far today is either the difference between “inviting” and “informing” and the fact that if you’re not living the gospel, it’s extremely hard to teach it. I love you all and I’m praying for you!

Elder Zac Bushman

Saturday, January 5, 2013

I Will Go, I Will Do! Jan 5, 2013

Good Morning,

Well, I'm not sure if you got the letter I sent because apparently I switched the addresses.... oops. But I'm loving the MTC!! So far, we've done tons of role playing and learning! The spirit here is incredible!! Unlike anything I've every felt! Ah... There is so much I want to tell you guys but I can't type very fast and we only have 30 minutes!! I think I might just stick to snail-mail.... The biggest change that Has occurred since I sent my last letter is that Elder Badley and I were asked to be Zone Leaders... Huge responsibility!! I'm nervous, but confident at the same time! I know that the Lord giveth no commandment unto the children of men save he shall prepare a way for them to accomplish the thing which he hath commanded them. Nephi said that. True story. It's definitely one of those things that is easier said than done, but we're trying our hardest to be faithful!! We had a little miracle happen in our room not 30 minutes ago! We were getting ready to leave to do laundry and Elder Badley couldn't find his blue card (MTC id card). We looked everywhere and we still couldn't find it! I suggested we say a prayer and so we did, and found it within 5 minutes!!! It was awesome!!! 

Thank you for your love and prayers! We need all the help we can get!! 

Elder Bushman

He is off to preach the gospel (just roll with it...Zac posed himself:/)

Last hugs at the airport

He is SO ready!

Aaaand, I'm still taller than these two:)

How will they survive without me?!?

My family that could make it to my setting apart. Pres. Bluth admonished me to take a picture of my family everywhere I go and share it with investigators to show how happy families are in the gospel:)

Me and my BIG brother, Jon, home just 3 days from the Italy, Milan mission

I love and will miss my Daddy!

Just keep smiling! Everything will be alright!

A bittersweet goodbye!