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

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

One down, 7 Billion to go! Feb 25, 2013

Oeun Sok got baptized on saturday and it was awesome! But monday night, everything took a turn for the worse....
We visited a potential investigator and didn't really expect to get in the door but he let us right in and we shared the Restoration and committed him to read and pray! It was awesome! So we walked outside and I joked, "Just watch our bikes be gone." I ate my words. All that was left outside was Elder Swenson's helmet. I was dumbfounded. Our new investigator looked all around and called tons of people but no luck. So that was a bummer.
But the next two days were AWESOME! We taught 8 lessons to non members in two days and committed 3 people to be baptized! It was so great!! But I still don't have a bike and I wasn't sure how I would get one. And mom just told me that I got tax returns that will definitely cover a new bike. God is awesome. That's it. He's great.
Also, I had one of the greatest spiritually edifying experiences of my life. We were talking to a Romanian/Jewish man named Emmanuel and he has always kinda given me the creeps. He's just really dark (not skin tone, just creepy...) But he is VERY knowledgeable about the Bible. Too stubborn as well. The conversation got kinda heated and he looked me dead in the eye and said, "Are you prepared to die for what you believe in?" I matched his gaze and said "Without a second thought." He didn't know how to respond to that. We straight up tesitfied of the Book of Mormon and he said he is going to stick with the Bible. Sad, but we'll get him baptized eventually.
He was definitely put in my path for a reason. I needed to realize for myself that I AM prepared to die for what I believe in. And I wouldn't have to think about it for a SECOND. I love this Gospel. There is nothing good in my life that is NOT a result of me being involved in the Gospel. I love it. I live it. I wouldn't trade it for the world. The church is true. I bear you my testimony in the name of Jesus Christ, my Savior, my Redeemer, my Lord. Amen.
Elder Zachary Evan Bushman 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Come Unto Christ, Abide in Him & Live! Feb 18, 2013

(This is going to be really short, my companion is complaining because he wants to go play basketball... Sorry.)
I read a lot of interesting things this week.. And when I say interesting, I mean crazy cool and I suggest you all read them. They are as follows: "Victor Garcia" profile on Mormon.org, "What's on the Other Side?" by Brent L. Top, and "Why 1820?". So cool.
Also, check out the song "I Will Rise" by Alex Boye and two other people.. It's incredible.
OEUN IS GETTING BAPTIZED THIS SATURDAY!! We went over the interview questions on saturday and he is super excited!!
Also can you try to find out who Jacob Hamblin's mission companion was? Elder Swenson thinks our ancestors may have served together!!
Curtis is having more surgery on his foot so he has to stay off his feet and can't come to church. But we set a date for him to be baptized March 9!! Please pray for him!!
We met a lot of really great and prepared families this week!! Except one of the family's father is a truck driver and doesn't want us to come teach his family while he's gone...
This week has definitely been more finding new people than teaching our other investigators.
I love you all!! Hopefully I'll find some time today to write a hand written letter with more details!
Elder Zachary Evan Bushman
On our way to the Provo Temple.

Me and my comp, Elder Badley. We were in class all day and this is what we walked out to! Winter Wonderland!

Me and Elder Badley

Me and Elder Shiflet, a face from home!

Two more beautiful faces from home - - Sis. Schwarz and Sis. Raley!!!

My fabulous MTC district on our way to the airport!

Our Branch President, Pres. Wenn! He's so little!!

We are on our way to the best mission in the world!

Sleeping quarters, guess which one is mine...

Our kitchen and my bike.

Our study area

My first bowl of the morning...

The view out our window.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Harvest Blessings! Feb 11, 2013

I've got to make this a little short but I want to give you an update on our investigators!
We haven't been able to see Connie or Oeun because they've been really sick but I DID find out that Oeun has a son named Jim.... Making his name Jim Sok.... "Gym Sock"..... Bahahaha
Curtis is progressing a lot! He is feeling more open to talking to people and he knows he needs to repent in order to feel happier and come closer to Jesus Christ.
Barry took us to lunch tuesday and is making progress very slowly... He's quite stubborn. But we gave him a Book of Mormon and he said he would read it!!
We have a few new investigators!! Namely: Mike, John, and Sylvia!
We initially contacted Mike a week ago and he said to come back anytime. We did exchanges this week and Elder Swenson went to see him with Elder Blake (our district leader, also the most Christ-like person I've ever met). They taught him the restoration and committed him to baptism and he said YES!! 
John Espinoza was contacted before I got to the field and we hadn't been able to get ahold of him until a few days ago. Elder Swenson and I stopped by his house one night and he said "Not a good time guys..." Then told us he has "gout" in his foot... Don't know what that is... We offered him a blessing and he gladly accepted! I gave it and when we were done he said he felt really peaceful and we testified of the priesthood and the Holy Ghost. We invited him to be baptized and he said that he wants us to keep teaching him because he REALLY wants the Gift of the Holy Ghost!!
Another thing we do in the Fresno mission is called the Harvesting Blessing. Basically we just knock on a door and say, "We have been called and set apart as representatives of Jesus Christ and he has sent us to leave a blessing on your home." We were on another exchange when Elder Swenson and Elder Mecham met Sylvia. They were using the HB and she said "Come on in!" (that never happens...) Apparently she hadn't been feeling comfortable in her house and she woke up that morning with the thought to call a priest or pastor or whatever to come bless her house (yeah THAT would've done a lot of good... Psh.) They blessed her family and her home and taught the restoration, and she said she wants to hear more!!
We've had an awesome week!!
Also, I went through my camera and described all the pictures so I'm going to send the SD card home today.
I hope I answered all of your questions that I said I would in the big email... I love you all! Thank you so much for all your support and prayers!! Keep 'em comin!!
Elder Zachary Evan Bushman

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Born to Testify! Feb 4, 2013

Holy Snap!!
This week FLEW by!! We met a LOT of new people and testified a TON! I love it! Just to give you a glimpse of who we're teaching, I'll try to summarize our investigators for ya.
Curtis- Socially awkward, in his 40's or 50's, lost his job, house, and a few toes due to cancer/diabetes, lives in our apartment complex, We've taught him all the lessons but he's not quite sure who God is, we brought him to Stake Conference yesterday which was a broadcast from SLC in which Elder L. Tom Perry basically taught all the missionary discussions!! So Curtis now knows that on the road to conversion (faith, repentance, baptism, Holy Ghost), he is at the repentance part! I think he's making a lot of progress!!
Barry- This guy is a little Italian fireball. He was street contacted a little while before I got to the field. And we've been trying to get in contact with him for a while. He is recently divorced and taking care of his house pretty much nonstop. We had 7 appointments cancel on us Friday and so we swung by Barry's house. We caught him and talked for about 45 minutes about the Book of Mormon. He seemed a little offended that we "need another Bible". The conversation got a little heated and Elder Swenson and I thought we were going to lose him. We were quickly chastised by the Spirit and calmed down and let the Spirit testify through us. Barry just looked at us, smiled and said, "You two are good.... not in a smart aleck way. You're really good! I'm going to take you to lunch on Monday. And in return, you can give me a Book of Mormon." We committed him to pray about what we taught him and that we'd see him Monday. Well, it's Monday, and we hadn't heard from him until 5 minutes ago. He rescheduled for tomorrow. He needs to be baptized.
Oeun Sok- (pronounced "oon"), he's Cambodian, and has been coming to church pretty much every day for the last 3 years. He know's the church is true. The only reason we haven't baptized him yet is because the ward found a membership record for an "Oeun Sok". But the record says "female and 36 yrs old", the Oeun we know is in his 50's and male... But the addres is the same... I dunno. We're just waiting for the Stake Pres to make a decision. Haha
Connie- In her 60's, knows the church is true, but she is in the process of getting dentures and she's embarrassed to come to church. Psh. She'll be baptized in a matter of weeks.
There are others but these are the ones who are progressing. :)
Elder Swenson is the MAN. He really is just like me. Haha We are the only two in our apartment and we pick on each other nonstop like brothers. It's great. I feel like I've known him for years. He's a great example to me. Even though it makes me mad when he makes up the dumbest rules and doesn't even follow them. It's all good though. He knows I could put him in the ground. :) Haha I love the elders and sisters in my district! We're not nearly as close as my MTC district, which makes sense, but I still love 'em!
Someone asked if I am riding a bike or driving a car... There are only three cars in our whole Zone. Our district leader and his companion have one and so do the sisters (they are all spanish speaking so they cover the whole stake) also, the Zone Leaders have a car, for the same reason. Let's just say my legs are getting really big from riding a bike all day. Haha I love it! 
I think I've been on the computer too long and I haven't even written Pres. Gelwix yet....
I love you all!! Thank you for the prayers and support!! :) 
Elder Zachary Evan Bushman
Sis. Gelwix, Elder Bushman and Pres. Gelwix on his arrival in the mission field.

Elder Swenson (Zac's trainer) and Elder Bushman

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

We Fed Your Missionary:) Feb 3, 2013

Hi families of Elder Swenson and Elder Bushman,

We enjoyed dinner here with your sons tonight. We had Hawaiian haystacks. Elder Bushman said he was concerned he might not get to have them while on his mission, and here we had them tonight! We also had chocolate cake and mint chip ice cream. 

They gave a wonderful message about being member missionaries, and we talked about their recent zone conference.

Your sons have exceptional spirits and are so upbeat and optimistic! I know they work hard and their employer is the Lord. They are doing a great work!

Thank you for raising such fine sons!

-Heidi Howell and family
This new hairdo is in response to a challenge from a General Authority...if all missionaries in their mission would part their hair, he promised them that they would be the highest baptizing CA mission. They all do part their hair and they are the highest baptizing mission in CA!!!