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