Monday, July 29, 2013

The Last One

Wow. Where has 18 months gone?!

This, is my last email to you all as a missionary. 

So what do I want to say? 

We'll start with our week. It was pretty decent. Our investigators aren't answering their phones or meeting with us, so we are going to work really hard this week to get them to meet with us!!! Last week we had Zone Conference on Wednesday and it was so great! I am sad I am leaving this mission right as we have a new mission president! He has a lot of great new ideas for the mission and how to help the work move along. A lot of it is what I have tried to do my whole mission, but now he is going to put a focus on it, so I'm sad I'm leaving now. I also got to introduce my dear new companion, and give my reflection, much like my own trainer did at my first zone conference last year. This whole week has been a week of de ja vu, as I am doing several things with my trainee, just as my trainer did with me as she was preparing to go home last year. It's all just so weird!

I'm sorry last week wasn't all that exciting. But I guess that for my last email, I just kind of want to reflect with you all on these last 18 months. 

These last 18 months have been so incredible! I am learned so much and I'd like to think I am coming home a much better person. My testimony of the Savior and His work and His Atonement for us has grown so much. I know who I am, and I know why I'm here. I know my role in Heavenly Father's plan, and I am so excited to be a part of this great work! I know that Heavenly Father loves us, and that is why He has given us all the blessings He has! I know the Book of Mormon is true, and I love reading it with all my heart! I can't wait to come home and study it even more, and really get to study the Bible along with it, and see how they are interconnected and how they both really are a record of Jesus Christ and how they help us learn so much more about him. I am so grateful Heavenly Father has given me the blessing of being a missionary and helping His children to come unto Christ. I feel like I have done my best, and I pray that Heavenly Father is pleased with my efforts. I may not have baptized a million people, but my commitment to find, teach, baptize and confirm people was what I focused on, and I made sure to focus on the one. I didn't want to let someone slip past me, and I really tried to do my best. I am so grateful for the chance that I had to study and become a master teacher. I may not have achieved the goal of becoming a master teacher, but I know I learned so much about how to teach, and I am so excited to come home and share my talents wherever they may be needed. I am grateful for the chance I had to learn more of Christ, and more importantly, learn how to emulate His example and become like He is, especially because He is the most perfect example. 

I know that this church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, is Christ's true church upon the earth. I know that we have a living prophet, and that having a living prophet is crucial in knowing what we need to do to return to live with our Father in Heaven. I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love us so much and that they want us to return to live with them, complete with our families, one day. I may not be a full-time missionary after next week, but I will never stop being a member missionary. I have learned on my mission how important it is to be a member missionary! We all have family members, friends, neighbors, coworkers, classmates, and others who have not yet had the opportunity to learn about Christ and His true church that is restored upon the earth. I never want to stop helping people come unto Christ!

To all of you out there, please do me one favor. Do all you can to help those around you come unto Christ! We have a special gift that has been given to us: the gift of the knowledge of the Restored Gospel. Share it! It is so precious! Heavenly Father gave what was most precious to Him, His only Begotten Son, to us, so that we might return to live with him! Give to those you love what is most precious to you, your testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ! It is what will help them return to our Father in Heaven! 

If you haven't yet had the opportunity to learn about Christ, or if your testimony is a little rusty, I'll be home soon. Call me, I'd love to help you, and then, if you haven't been baptized, I'll introduce you to the missionaries =] They can help!!

I love you all and am so grateful that I have had such an incredible support system while I've been on my mission. I know that not every missionary is as blessed to have such wonderful family and friends at home, and that makes me so much more grateful for all of you! I hope each and every one of you knows how much you mean to me, and how much you have shaped and influenced my life and my mission. 

I can't wait to see you all soon! Some I'll get to see sooner rather then later, but I hope to see all of you as soon as possible!!

I love you all, and remember: You are all sons and daughters of God! He lives and He loves you!

-Sis. Busath (for the last time)

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Second to the Last!

Yes! This is my second to last email!!! Next week will be my last email as a missionary! 

So, please don't send me anymore paper mail or packages, as they may not reach me before I go home. 

And next Monday will be the last time I check my email till I go home, so if you want to send me anymore emails before I go home, make sure to send them before Sunday night July 28th!

So, onto this week!

We had a marvelous week full of new investigators!!!!! A total of 6!! They are all so great and we are so excited to be able to help them learn more about Jesus Christ and help them to prepare to be baptized!!!

So, lets talk about our new investigators! I talked a little about our new family that we met last Sunday! Well, they came to English! And the kids really enjoyed it! We weren't able to see them again last night, but we hope in the next night or two we will. Then on Monday night we met Wu JM. She is a sweet lady who just wants to help everyone out and help her family to become better (she has 5 kids!). Then on Tuesday we met Chen JM. She is a deep thinker and has lots of interesting ideas and experiences, but she is willing to do our invitations, and as long as she sincerely wants an answer, she will receive one! Then on Wednesday we met with an investigator, Zhu JM, and her brother was there too! He is so awesome!!! He has a little background in Christianity, but doesn't really believe that God exists. But, he is willing to try reading and praying to know if God really exists, and that is the best way to start. Wednesday we also met Xie JM. We aren't sure if she is really interested, but she set up another meeting with us for this week, so we hope we can help her see that the gospel blesses us even when our lives are going well. Then on Saturday we met Huang JM and her mom. Her mom has Parkinson's Disease and isn't able to move without help, and can't really talk much anymore, but boy can she smile! It was really, really neat to go visit their family. Huang JM, her mom and her youngest sister are already Christian, and they became Christian when her mom got sick. They have great family relationships and you can tell Huang JM loves her mom so much. We are really excited to teach them, especially the Plan of Salvation and how we will all be resurrected and have perfect bodies!! I know that when they hear this, it will resonate within them and they will know it is true!

So that is the run-down on our new investigators!!! We are excited to get them all meeting ward members this week and getting them baptismal goals so my companion and her next companion can baptize them all next move-call!!!

We also had interviews this week! We finally got to meet our new mission president! He is so wonderful and is going to do great things for the mission! We are also having a mini zone conference this week! I am so excited!! I'll be giving my reflection! AHHH!!! My mission is really coming to a close!!!

We also had exchanges last week and I got to go with my dear friend Sis. Jarvis again! We had so much fun and I just love serving with her!!

Then on Saturday night we had a huge Pioneer Day activity! Sis. Jarvis and Belnap had it all planned out and it was for the 3 wards in our building. It was a huge turn out! We had 5 stations that they rotated through (dress up pictures, banana leaf dolls (since we couldn't find corn husks), pioneer games, scone making and dancing). Then they watched a little of Legacy and ate peach cobbler and ice cream and the scones!! It was so much fun!! Everyone really loved it!!!

Well, that was about it for our week! I know this week is going to be so good and go by so fast! I don't know if time goes so fast for all you at home, but its just flying by for me!!!!

I hope you all have a wonderful week!! Look for my LAST EMAIL next week!!!!!

Love you!

1: My companion and I dressed up at Pioneers for the activity!
2: Our district! Elder Ferrell is moving to GaoXiong to be zone leader, so Elder Lathen needed a new companion, so they got him a duan chuan! And the crazy thing is, he was from my first area, Bei Qu! And I was at his baptism last August!! He is such an incredible young man and is going to have a fantastic time being a missionary for 2 weeks. I hope it inspires him to go on his mission earlier =]

It's Coming!

Time! It's coming! Too fast!!

This week has gone by so incredibly fast, abeit it being a slow teaching week. 

We started the week off with no investigators, and we ended it with 2, but we have 9 new people set up for this week!! We are so excited!!! I have accepted the fact that I will not be baptizing anyone in this area, or with my trainee, but I do not want to leave this area with no investigators for her and her next trainer. So we are both working really, really hard to find people to teach and give baptismal goals to, so that when I leave and her next companion comes, they will have a million baptisms all lined up!!!!

We did find this incredibly great family! This week we have been calling through former investigators, and we found this mom who was willing to let us come by. We went to visit her last night, and their family is so great!! There are 3 kids and two parents. Their oldest daughter is 9 and she is full of so many great questions! She just wanted to know everything, it was so cool!! I am so excited! And they are coming to English on Wednesday!!!

Last Monday my companion and I went to a place called Ba Gua Shan (Eight -something- mountain, I don't know what Gua means). It was fun! We can see it from our apartment. It has a big Budda on top. So we walked our bikes to the top (because the road was WAY too steep to bike) and took some pictures and such and then went home! So fun! Today we are staying home, writing letters, sleeping and eating and...PACKING. I'm getting a head start. I'm trying to go home with only one suitcase and my carry on, so I need to start getting rid of stuff =]]]] Next week we are going to TaiZhong so I can go out to lunch with one of my recent converts (who came to see me yesterday! I love her!) and then my last preparation day we will go to LuGang for the last time! I can't believe I only have 2 more preparation days!

OH! I can't believe I forgot this! We had a typhoon!!!! Everyone was saying how big it was going to be, but I didn't believe them because they always say it will be big, but it never is (or it just never comes). Well, it definitely didn't come on Friday like everyone said, though it was super windy. But sure enough, it came in the middle of the night and lasted till about 2:30 PM on Saturday. Thankfully we have studies/lunch till 12:30 (because my companion is being trained) but then we had to go out. So we visited a few people then went to the church to practice calling people. Then Saturday night our ward had an "Easy Show" aka Talent Show. And it was SO GOOD!!! Oh man, I haven't had so much fun or laughed so much in a long time!!! It was great. 

Last Thursday we also had a less-active sister come to the church to do family history!!! We have been trying and trying to get her to come to church, but she didn't want to. But then she came to do family history! We are so excited and can't wait to get her reactivated through family history. I have come to love family history so much on my mission! I can't wait to go home and do it!!!!

Well, that is about it! I hope everyone has a wonderful week! Thank you for all your love and support!!!

Love you! 

Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Countdown Is On!

Ok, it is, but I'm trying not to think about it =] But now that you all know when I come home, I'm trying to not think about it too much. But for anyone who's's less than a month!

We've had an ok week here in Zhang Hua. The work is moving quite slowly here, not just for us, but for the elders as well (makes me feel a little better). We talked to way more people this week than we did the week before, but our lessons were still down, and we didn't find any new investigators this past week. But we were able to set up 3 or 4 new investigators for this week, so we are hoping they will turn into progressing investigators!!

The three progressing investigators we do have are doing alright. We met with our older lady this week, who has a hard time hearing, and we convinced her to come to church! We confirmed her on Saturday by going to her house, but then she didn't come to church =[ I was really sad. I was so excited and I knew that having her come to church was going to help her out a lot and even though she might not be able to hear the message really well, she could still feel the spirit. I hope we can get her to come this week. 

We weren't able to see our mom and daughter this week though. Because we only go to LuGang once a week, if they are busy that day, we don't have another day to go out there, so we are trying to find members who could go with us and meet her, and also have a car so they can drive us out there. Hopefully we will be able to see them twice this week!

This week youth from our stake have been going on mini-missions for the week. We didn't have one with us because my companion is being trained right now, but we did have one for a day while her companions were at a meeting. It was so fun to have her come with us. She is such a hard worker. Then that night, we had another young woman (who hadn't gone and done the mini-mission) come with us to visit a less-active young woman that we have been visiting for a while now. We were introducing her to Personal Progress, and it was so great to have the active young woman there and sharing her experiences with doing personal progress! It was just really neat. And even cooler was that it was raining and the young woman still went with us and biked in the rain!!

My companion is so great! She is progressing and learning so fast! New missionaries complete what is called "Phase 1" which is a language study program. Missionaries are to set a goal for when the want to finish it (there are 7 evaluations, one for the missionary lessons 1-5 and then a mid-evaluation and a final evaluation). My companion's goal is one move-call. I also finished it in one move-call, but I had language experience when I got here, and so it wasn't really too hard for me. When she set that goal, I knew she could do it. It is proving to be more difficult because she didn't have the language skills before hand, but she is doing so amazing! She is still on track to finish it by the end of the move-call! She is always studying and always doing her best to learn as much as she can! This week she was working on teaching the Plan of Salvation and we spent time going over it together and then teaching it to one of our recent converts. She did so good! I'm so proud of her and the hard work she is putting in. 

Sunday our ward moved to 9 AM. Our ward is really big, geographically, and the church building isn't even in our ward, which makes it even further. I was really nervous that no one would be at church on time, or come at all. But, we had 97 people at sacrament meeting!!!! That was the highest we've had since last November!!! We normally average between 68-78, so I was so proud of our ward. We really have a great ward with fantastic members, and I do love serving with them!!

I can't really think of too much else. You all will only be getting 3 more emails after this, and that is just too crazy to think! I'm getting excited to see everyone, but I'm really trying to savor these last few weeks before they are gone forever. 

Being a missionary has been a really neat experience. It hasn't been the easiest thing, but it has been worth every hardship, and I have grown so much. I keep wondering if I've really changed, but lately I've been going back through my mission journals and reading about where I was a year ago, and it's been really great to see how I have changed. My testimony of the gospel has grown so much. My faith in the Savior has grown so much. I know that this is His gospel, and that this is His work that I am doing. I am so grateful He has trusted me with His work, and I hope that I can continue to do what He wants me to do till the end. 

Thank you all for your love and support! I am so excited to see you all again in a few short weeks!!

Lots of love!!! Enjoy the double rainbow we saw out our window last night!