Family & Friends!
Tuesday, March 5, 2013 – Today was a weird day. We had Zone meeting/lunch until 2:30, then I finally went and got a new bike (thank you SO much mom & dad!). So by the time we actually got going, it was about 4 pm. We had dinner at 4:45-5:45. So all we really had to work with was 5:45 – 9:00. But we still had to do an extra hour of companionship study (because I’m still being trained) so we actually only had from 5:45 – 8 pm. But we still managed to get a new investigator whose name is Eric! He is a family man, about 40 years old and is very open to learning the fullness of the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ! He’s awesome! Then we met with Matt (I’m not sure if I’ve told you about him yet...), and taught him the Plan of Salvation and went over the Restoration. We invited him to be baptized and he said that if he prays and gets an answer, he will!!! Now we just need to make sure he reads and prays! Haha Elder Swenson and I decided we are going to have a perfectly obedient day tomorrow! Wish us luck! Well, I guess by the time you read this, it will be long past... Haha I guess today wasn’t as bad as I thought!
Wednesday, March 6, 2013 – Elder Swenson and I were exactly obedient today and it was awesome! I want to do this every day! We could definitely tell that we had the Spirit with us very strong. We met a girl named Brittany who was raised in another church but hadn’t gone back since she was a kid (she looked like she was in her 20’s). She said she doesn’t really agree with some of the things that her church teaches and now that she’s an adult she wants to know the truth. Perfect, right? We just so happen to belong to the ONLY church in which the fullness of the truth can be found! What a coincidence! We taught her the Restoration and gave her a Book of Mormon but she wouldn’t give us her address or phone number (we met her at a park) because she said, “There are all kinds of crazy people out there!" Dumb. We gave her our number though! I have faith. We also met with a man named Carlos who we contacted Super Bowl Sunday. We shared an awesome lesson with him and he said he would read the Book of Mormon! He’s Catholic but doesn’t like it because “no where in the Bible does it say we have to pray to all these different ‘saints’!” He’s prepared. He just needs to stop smoking. We also met with Curtis and had an awesome discussion about the Book of Mormon and prayer! He told us that he doesn’t feel worthy or prepared for the baptismal date we set for March 9th but he is making SO much progress! Also, our Zone Leaders (Elders Hortin and Wright) love us. They told us today when we went to lunch with them that the Assistants asked if Elder Swenson and I would make good leaders and if I could train next transfer... They said ‘yes’ to both! Flattering? Yes. Nerve-racking? Yes. Am I ready? Psh... Born Ready. Wow I’m arrogant.
Thursday, March 7, 2013 – Today. Was. Awesome. For the first time since I’ve been out here, we set an appointment AND the investigator(s) followed through with it! Elder Swenson and his last companion taught this man, John, the first lesson before I got here and we have been trying to get ahold of him ever since! I didn’t even see him until this morning because we got ahold of his wife and set the appointment that’s the key! We sat down with both of them and taught the Restoration and it went really well!! His wife was taking notes on everything we said! We invited them both to be baptized and they said “yes!” We have a follow up appointment on the 15th. Love it. We also met a woman who said, “I’m not a Latter-Day Saint, but I want to be.” Ummm... We can help with that! She had apparently been taught like 30 times a few years back and then moved away and started meeting with missionaries up in Modesto North Stake but she’d moving back here this Saturday. That’s what we call a “Manna Baptism”. To top off the day, we stopped by a potential investigator’s (Nadeen) house to try to set up a time we could come by. Her husband answered the door (Ricardo) and immediately invited us in! We sat down with them and their two little girls (5 and 1) and started answering questions about missions in general until Nadeen asked, “So what is the goal of the lessons/messages you teach?” Perfect We taught them the Restoration and the Spirit was SO strong! They are both very interested! Especially when we told them that families are not intended to only be together for this life and that through the Priesthood and the Temple, families can be sealed together forever! (I’m so thankful for that! It has brought our family so close and so much joy knowing that we’ll be together forever) We invited them to be baptized and they both said ‘yes’!!! I know that these miracles are direct results of Elder Swenson and I striving to be exactly obedient in every way! We committed each other to be this obedient for the rest of our missions!
Friday, March 8, 2013 – We had weekly planning today so that was super fun... Just kidding, it wasn’t. I never thought I would say this but, I wish we had less investigators! It’s so stressful trying to get around to see everyone! Life’s hard, I know... Haha We’re having a lot of success though and I love it! We had a 45-minute discussion with a devout church goer today. He knew the Bible inside and out but he misinterpreted almost everything. Then we were doing Harvesting Blessings and this lady (in her 50’s) accepted and wanted a blessing. We started asking her about her life and if there was anything in particular that she wants in the blessing. She told us a few things and then some of her friends showed up and the lady said, “You know what, why don’t you just leave and say a prayer for me down the road.” This lady was embarrassed! People are so dumb sometimes...her loss. We ate dinner at the Maciel’s (Brazilians) and then the rest of the night was pretty slow.
Saturday, March 9, 2013 – Well, rough day. We met with Curtis this morning and he said he feels like he needs a lifetime to become worthy of baptism. He doesn’t realize that Christ suffered for EVERYONE so we don’t have to suffer ‘till death! He thinks he deserves to suffer. But he practically invited himself to church, so that’s good! Haha We also stopped by Juan’s house (the guy we found who was baptized a long time ago and now is inactive) and found him super drunk and smoking... Stupid Satan. We got in a really long conversation with a group of guys who, to be completely honest, looked like they would want nothing to do with us. They were all black, tatted up, smoking, cussing, etc. But we got talking to them and found out that one of them (Aaron) holds a Bible study at his house every Thursday! We had a super good discussion with him! Unfortunately, they’re YSA age so we’ll have to turn them over to the Zone Leaders. We were dropped by afamily, I guess the father is bipolar and Micky, his wife, doesn’t want him to flip out on us. Oh well, a seed was planted. We also stopped by Matt's house (I don’t know if I’ve told you about him) and invited him to church. He said he’s going to go to his own church and that he has no intentions of joining our church. Pray for him, please!
Sunday, March 10, 2013 – Well, we had 4 set appointments and two of them fell through. Gotta love missionary work! It’s all good though! Curtis was sick today so he didn’t come to church. Bummer. We got two awesome calls yesterday though that gave us awesome opportunities today! One was from the missionaries in the Turlock Zone asking us to visit a woman in a nursing home who is a member and has kids who are investigating (kids asked for their mother to receive a blessing). We went and visited her today and she was the sweetest old lady and had such strong faith in the Lord! She was definitely an example to me. We also got a call last night from an Elder Eric McCray who is from Modesto and currently serving his mission in Tennessee. He is the only member of the church in his family and he asked us to go visit his dad and teach him the Plan of Salvation. We went and saw him tonight and taught him a little about the Restoration and the plan of Salvation and invited him to be baptized and he accepted! I love the feeling I get whenever someone accepts the invitation to be baptized! Especially since his son asked us to go see him. Missionary work is the best.
Elder Zachary Evan Bushman
|From left of right: Elder Swenson, Jim Sok, Oeun Sok, Br. Kinckeloe, some super handsome guy:)|
|I jammed my middle finger...|
|Breakfast of champions!|
|My new bike!|