Monday, May 13, 2013

Fishers of Men and Rainbow Trout

Hello everyone!

Sorry this email is a bit late in the day; Elder Markert and me, as well as some other Elders from Idaho Falls, went out fishing today at Birch Creek with one of Elder M's converts. It was amazing! It was a new experience since I've never been fly fishing before. And it was so great to be outside somewhere beautiful. I enjoyed being able to just sit in the shade and fish around for a few hours. I even managed to catch a couple trout! How cool is that?

There was one that really didn't want to let go of the fly, and I got fed up and said to the fish "Look, either you let go of that fly, or you're going to be on a wall plaque singing 'Don't Worry, Be Happy' for the rest of eternity." Amazingly, that worked, haha.

Well, in other news, life is good. We've being working with a really nice kid out in Newdale who's been an amazing investigator. He is super receptive and always has good questions for us when we come to teach. Unfortunately, he's currently on probation, so we won't be able to invite him to get baptized until next month. For that reason, I won't be giving his name.

We also received a couple referrals for some less active members in our area that we're going to visit as soon as I finish up here. I love you all so much and I pray for you every day. I hope that life is being good to you all.

Mom, I know that you can survive a few more weeks until the end of school. Dad, I'm sorry to hear about your shoulder, and I'll be praying for you.

Until next week,

Elder Bush

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Life, the Universe and Everything

Hi everyone!

So, it's time for another email. Here goes.

So, I realized that I forgot to talk about my companion in my last email. His name is Elder Markert, he's from northwestern Pennsylvania, and he's a pretty cool dude. He's big into the board game Risk, which has resulted in several district activities being a game of Risk.

Not a whole lot else has happened. We have, however, found a few part-member families who want their kids to be baptized and need to take the missionary lessons first. We also have an investigator out in Teton named Dustin. He's eighteen, and is very interested in the church, but has problems with chewing tobacco. We've been very supportive as he is attempting to quit, but I think it will take time for him to be able to stop completely.

I love you all so much, and I appreciate your support and your prayers.

Until next week,

Elder Bush

P.S. So it looks like our calls home are going to be taking place at around 6 pm our time, and we should be able to skype. I'll let you know it that changes.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Live from Sugar City

Hi there, folks at home!

I am having an amazing time here! I love my new area; Sugar City is beautiful, and it's full of beautiful people. Plus I can see the Tetons from there; it's magnificent! We're living in a little apartment over a member's garage, but it's still bigger than the tiny house we were living in over in Ririe, haha.

We haven't really been having much luck in terms of teaching; a few transfers ago, the elders over this area baptized pretty much the whole stake. Pretty much, we've just been going around and getting to know the members, the ward mission leaders, etc.

But we had a pretty great experience the other day. We were walking down the street, and a car stopped by us, and the driver rolled down his window and asked if we were the missionaries for the area. We told him we were. He said that he doesn't go to church, but his daughter does, and he has another child who wants to be baptized who is nine, so they need to meet with us before that can happen. We exchanged contact info, and set up an appointment. It was amazing!

Well, I don't have a whole lot else to say, so I'll just say I love you all and I hope you're doing ok.

All my best,

Elder Bush

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


Hi, Everybody! So, I have some big news this week. I'm getting transferred! Can you believe it? I was honestly expecting to be in Ririe for at least several months, but I guess the Lord has other plans for me.

I'm being transferred to Sugar City. It's a little town north of Rexburg, and I've heard it's a great place. I'm looking forward to meeting my new companion, finding new people, and looking for ways to spread the gospel.

We had another baptism this weekend. His name is Sean Scott; his wife is a member, and he was so excited for his baptism. He had a massive smile on his face during the whole baptism service. The spirit was so strong there, and everyone was so happy for him. His son is getting baptized in a few weeks; he's waiting until he has the priesthood so that he can perform the baptism himself. How awesome is that?

There hasn't been a whole lot else happening lately, so I'll just finish by saying I love you all, and I'm so excited for what the future has in store for me.

Until next week, Elder Ian

P.S. For this week's allotment of cute, here's a picture of me with a kitten.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


Hello, everybody!

Well, this last week has been rather difficult, I must admit. I suppose everyone runs into this at some point on there mission. I've been feeling pretty discouraged, but I'm still here. I've been receiving lots of support from the other elders and sisters here, and got a blessing from Elder Arrowchis to help me stay hopeful and to be able to endure. Things have been going much better since then, and I'm more determined than ever to be successful.

But things lately haven't been all bad; I went on exchanges with another Elder in my mission, Elder Abbot, and that was a lot of fun. We visited a member in his area who raises chickens and got to see some eggs hatch.

In other news, Arrowchis and I were able to take a recent convert to a fireside at the temple visitor's center in Idaho Falls. We got to hear some speakers talking about Latter-day prophets, and it really touched our investigator.

Idaho Falls Temple

Well, that's about it for now.

I love you all, and I look forward to finding more chances to teach.


Elder Bush

Monday, April 8, 2013

Raining (but I'm not singing)

Hi, Everybody!

The work is continuing here in Ririe. Not a whole lot has happened since our baptism last week. We do, however, have two other baptisms coming up. I'll tell you more about them as they get closer, but I'm very excited.

It's raining here. It's kind of gloomy, but also very pretty at the same time. I'm excited for everything to be getting green.

I loved General Conference this weekend. My favorite talks were President Uchtdorf's talk in Priesthood session and President Monson's talk Sunday morning. Their talks really hit home for me, and helped me realize several things:

One, that I am truly where the Lord wants me to be, and I am doing His work, and that is the best thing that I can be doing right now.

Two, I am important. I don't mean that in a prideful way, but rather that I know that my soul is of great worth, both to my Heavenly Father and to my fellow men.

Three, obedience to all of God's commandments will make me happier than doing anything else.

Oh, I also realized what a powerful teaching tool Les Miserables can be. :-)

Well, that's all I've got for now. I look forward to continuing to teach the gospel, and can't wait to find more people to teach.


Elder Bush

P.S. Here is a picture of a puppy for your weekly allotment of cute.

Friday, April 5, 2013


Hello, Everyone!

It's hard to believe I've already finished the first month of my mission. It didn't go very quickly at first, but now it's just flying by.

Well... not a whole lot has happened. I'm not feeling very chatty today, so I'll be brief. I've had my first baptism this weekend. It was an amazing experience to see someone following through on their commitments and joining the church and knowing I had a hand in it.

Easter was yesterday; we were fed three separate Easter dinners, all of them involving ham. And everyone insisted on giving us dessert. We both had stomachaches by the end of the day. Good times. :)

Today is April fools; in celebration, my companion and I swiped our DL's spare stapler and put it in Jell-O. It was hilarious. Fortunately, he also thought it was pretty funny.

That's all for this week. I'll probably have more next week, and a longer letter.

Until then,

Elder Bush

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Week Two

Dear Family,

Wow... life here is amazing. I can't believe how fast time here is flying. I am so happy here.

We have two baptisms coming up. One of them is Mandy; she's about my age, living with her family, and has some trouble talking to people, but she's excited about getting baptized. She was being taught by my companion and his former companion before I arrived, and was a little nervous around me because I was new, but she quickly became receptive to when I was teaching.

Our other investigator who's getting baptized is Chris. He's another investigator who my companion was teaching before I got here. He's a really cool guy and is so excited about his baptism. He's married with several small children, and his wife and kids are all members, so they're all super excited. I am so happy to be teaching all these people. When they commit to baptism, I can feel the spirit working in their hearts, and through me and Elder Arrowchis.

Arrowchis is a great guy; he's from Aliesa Viejo, CA, but he's strangely unphased by the cold here. He's been a great teacher; he's helped me learn how to be a better teacher, and how to be more in tune with the spirit when I teach.

That's all I've got time for right now, so I'll just say I love you all, you're in my prayers, and I know that I'm where I'm supposed to be, doing what I'm supposed to be doing.

Until next week,

Elder Bush

Monday, March 18, 2013

Week One: Ririe!

Hello again!

Wow, the last few days are a bit of a blur. I'm in my first area; Ririe, Idaho. It's a small town, only a few hundred people, and most of them are farmers and the like. I love it here. Everyone is very happy and very kind. My companion is Elder Arrowchis, and he's a pretty great guy. Most of what we're doing is visiting nonactive members and checking on recent converts, but we're also teaching some investigators, including this teenager named Xave. He's definitely interested in the church, but we're having trouble getting him to read the Book of Mormon and to pray.

It's beautiful here. There's prairie in every direction, and mountains far off in the distance. It really is just like in an old cowboy movie.

I miss everyone so much, but I don't want to leave, and I know that this is where I should be.

Well, now it's time for our weekly zone activity; we're playing dodgeball, our district vs the other districts. Wish me luck!

Until next week,

Elder Bush

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Missionary Arrival

Your missionary has arrived safely in the Idaho Pocatello Mission. Upon arrival, we had an orientation meeting and personal interviews to get further acquainted.

Sister Brinkerhoff and I are pleased to have the opportunity to serve with your missionary and are dedicated to helping him fulfill a successful, honorable mission.

We are hopeful you will write or email letters of encouragement to your missionary weekly so he will continue to feel your love and support as he loses himself in the work. We encourage your missionary to do the same, focusing on the positive aspects of the mission. 

Faithfully yours, 

Marvin T. Brinkerhoff
Mission President

Pass the gummy worms, please.

Dear Family,

Oh man, I can't believe I'm already less than a week from flying to Pocatello! The MTC is great, and the people here are so amazing, but I can't wait to get out into the field and start teaching people! I am really bummed that I'm missing Canoecopia, but I guess if I had to miss it, this would be the reason.

We had an amazing session in the Temple this morning. We went in and did endowments, and it felt so good to know that I'm helping people receive the ordinances they need for the next life. Normally we're a very upbeat, chatty group, but after our session, we walked back to the MTC in almost complete silence, only talking about the impressions we received.

I have been having some amazing experiences this week. We've been teaching a mock investigator, played by one of our teachers, and we were able to get him to commit to baptism! I was so happy! And we've been teaching him more about the atonement and the restoration and so much more! I can feel the spirit working and helping me to be a better teacher. We also had a discussion with a little old "inactive" black gentleman with huge glasses and an even bigger smile. He was one of the sweetest old men I've ever met, and as we talked he smiled the whole time and shared a beautiful testimony with us. Everyone came out smiling at the end.

On a less happy note, one of my roommates had to go home this week; Elder XXXXX. It turns out he had some problems that hadn't been taken care of before he left and he had to go home and take care of them. We were all devastated, especially him. He was so happy at the MTC and didn't want to leave. But with luck, he'll be able to take care of everything at home and will be back at the MTC soon, and then off to Pocatello with the rest of us! So, now my companionship is a three-elder one. My new companion is Elder XXXXXXX, and he's our district leader. He is amazingly supportive of everyone in our district, and is always willing to help give someone a blessing if they need it.

Well, I have laundry to take care of, so I need to go now. Keep the letters and emails coming; they always make my day.

Until next week, I love you all so much and can't wait to get out there and serve the Lord.

Hugs all around,

Elder Bush

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Holy Freaking Cow!

Hello, family!

I still can't believe that I'm actually here!

The first few days here at the MTC have been amazing! The people here are super friendly and are just as excited as I am, which is a lot. I am having such an amazing time.

My companion is named Elder Farnsworth, and he is a pretty cool dude. He's from Mesa Arizona, so he is of the opinion that it is very cold here; it's in the mid 40s. He walks around between buildings with his winter coat on, and the only extra thing that I wear is a scarf, and he's like "how do you do it?" and I'm like "I'm from Wisconsin, this is like early Spring for us."

Whitney was right; the milk here is abominable :p Luckily, the chocolate milk isn't, so I'm not entirely in milk withdrawal. The food is... questionable at times. My first dinner here included a patty of mixed meats that I was unable to identify and that had been deep fried. But they had a decent stir fry today, so it kind of balances out.

My district always eats together and we have some of the strangest conversations. And get this; we're all going to Pocatello! My whole district is heading to Pocey and we all leave on March 12. What are the odds of that?

I'm still getting plenty of exercise. I just got back from the gym were I was playing an intense game of volleyball with a bunch of Polynesian elders who were having the time of their lives and were all built like rugby players.

Amazingly enough, I am now the one who gets everyone else up in the morning. Seriously, my alarm clock goes off (we're using mine since the other three elders forgot theirs), and I'm the first one out of bed and the one who drags the other elders out of bed by their heels. Talk about role reversal hahaha.

Well, I'm pretty smelly from volleyball, so I better hit the showers. I love you all so much and miss you like crazy, but I am so happy here and am so eager to get out into the mission field and bring people the gospel. The first round of pictures will arrive soon.

Be excellent to each other,

Elder Ian

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Here it begins.

This just got real.

I just got set apart to be a missionary, and I leave Tuesday morning to enter the Missionary Training Center (MTC). I am so excited, and just a little terrified.

I am, however, pretty bummed about some of the rules that missionaries are required to abide by, specifically the one that prohibits hugging people (women). I come from a very hug-y family, and am a very hug-y person.

I've just received my mailing address for the MTC, and here it is:

Elder Ian Matthew Bush
MTC Mailbox # 47 ID-POC 0312
2005 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84604-1793

And here is my mailing address for when I'm in the field:

Elder Ian Matthew Bush
Idaho Pocatello Mission
1246 Yellowstone Ave Ste F3
Pocatello, ID 83201-4372

This is going to be one amazing adventure. Wish me luck!

Elder Bush