Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the Lord, and they shall fish them;
and after will I send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain,
and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks. Jeremiah 16:16

Monday, December 22, 2014

Feliz Navidad!

Hola family y friends.

 This week was a great week here. First of all, we had our zone Christmas party. It was so much fun. There was a funny play about Christmas, a nice duet by the mission president y his wife, y food. Then we went to the temple for a session. It was so nice. They had the words in English but when they were saying the prayer the guy said “President Hinckley” everybody was shocked. But the session was good after all.

Then on Friday we had our ward Christmas party. It was bad. First, nobody sang the himno y the president invinted a band to play loud Mexican music. There was nothing about Christmas y no spirit. But it was still fun. Well during the party, a member who is a doctor told us Angel’s 6 month old brother is having heart troubles. So she asked if we could give him a blessing tomorrow. We said sure. The blessing was so sweet. The spirit was strong. We gave Angel’s mom a BOM to read. Please pray for Vital - that is his name. They just moved him to Tuxtla.

Well on Saturday we had Hermana Espinoza who wants to be called Olga. Her son, Leyber baptized her y Garcia baptized him 2 months ago. It was a great baptism.

Well last night all the missionaries in the zone went to a nearby town y we sang Christmas himnos y Hermana Cook played the violin. We did a lot of contacting. Everybody enjoyed it.

So that was my week. I love the people here. They tell me not to worry about Spanish- you have two years. Well I’m understanding a ton now when people talk to me y I have been losing a lot of weight. Love you all y miss you a ton thanks for the prayers y the support. Feliz Navidad everybody!!!!!!!!!!

I just made a skype account‬.  I will skype you on the 25th.

I got the stuff from desert book . Thanks for it, but I already have the music CD. Thanks anyways. I only have that one but any church music is fine, like the music they gave us EFY. Everybody here is using DHL for delivery, so try it.  The Church even uses DHL.

Hey Nate, I can’t wait to talk to you on 25. How is it going preparing for your mission? Sounds like you guys are busy but fun. Tell Dylan I hope he feels better.

The photos are of the town, baptisms, what I eat y photos of our zone part y us singing.

I got to go. Bye.  Love you all.  Keep up the good work.  Can’t wait to talk to you guys face to face for a hour  on the 25th!  The emails are too slow. Give everybody my love. Thanks for all the support. Adios!!!!!

Thanks Mom.  Love you too.  Tell everybody thanks for the money y the support y the prayers. Tell all the boys I love them y tell Dad thanks for the support y for paying for my mission.  Thanks Mom to for everything. Love you a ton. Can’t wait to talk to you on the 25th. Adios!! y Merry Christmas to all y to all a good night.
The Himnos I gave to Angel

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Christmas caroling with my zone.  Hermana Cook is playing the violin.

Monday, December 15, 2014

First Baptism!

Here is Carlos, a 9 year old boy, the hermanas’ investigator. 

So this week was great.  Sorry for being late.  We had to go to Tuxtla yesterday for a meeting.  It was too late to go back to our house. So we sleep at the zone leader y in the morning went to the church to print names off for the temple. Because tomorrow is the Christmas party with my zone, so we are all doing a session together with the president then a party. That will be fun.

No baptism of Esperanza because she didn’t feel ready. But she told us yesterday she wants to be baptized this Saturday at 5. We were so happy.

This weekend was the best weekend on my mission this far because, well, on Saturaday we went with Layber to the temple to do baptisms, (he was the first person Garcia baptized a month ago) but there was too many people so we did confirmations for 2 hours y a half.  I was tired because I had to lift my hands after amen. But it was good. Well, we got back to our house y Garcia told me I am going to do the baptism in an hour, so I was nervous y I had to memorize the prayer. I did a good job.  It took me 3 times because I was saying the words wrong. But I felt so good afterwards!  His name was Carlos, a 9 year old boy the sisters had been teaching.  On Sunday was the primary presentation about eternal families.  It was so good. Well Ricardo no baptizmo because too many problems y we are having a hard time finding people to teach this week because it was a catholic holiday all week. That was our week. Love you all y thanks for the prayers. Miss you a ton.

I’m feeling a little better. I love it here.  I feel like I’m part of things here. Some people have Christmas lights up that is pretty much all the Christmas I see. It takes 6 weeks or more to get a package. Sorry about Uncle Larry.  Wow. Francisco is going to be a Mormon before you know it.

Please pray for Ricardo and Andre, Tono, Angel, Omero, and  Alexandra.

I cant wait to skype you guys next week!
Thanks mom for every thing.  I love you!
Bye. Love you all y miss y a ton.

This is us at the member’s home above us. We had pig. The member is the one on the corner next to the two girls.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Long Sleeves y a Choco Birthday Banana

Angel y his cousins after a lesson

Hola family y friends. 

 This week was all right once again because everybody is sick, including me. I have a bad cough y a running nose. To make it worse, now we need to wear long sleeve shirts y put on repellent every 3 hours, because people are getting sick from the mosquitoes. I hate long sleeve shirts y I only have two. Well we had zone conference on Wednesday. I got no dear elders or a package. But I did get my awesome cases for my scriptures. Thanks family. 
Bible cover
Bible cover
Book of Mormon cover
Book of Mormon cover
Inside my cases

Conference was about Christmas y we watched the new Christmas video from the church. The cool thing was at the MTC my last week they showed it to us. It wasn’t finished, but they told us not to tell anybody until it came out. They gave us a copy to show it to the people we teach or who has a DVD player that is. My B-Day was the same like any other day, besides Garcia bought me a chocolate banana y the people we visited said happy B-day.

Me y my choco banana 

 So we got word we can baptize Hermana Guadalupe’s sons, Andre who is 12 y his brother Tono who is 9. That means the next 3 weeks we have baptisms. First, Espinoza this week,  then the boys on the 20th, then Angel on the 27th. We are so happy for all the baptisms. The devotional was so great I didn’t understand a lot but the spirit was strong. Yesterday at church I was part of two baby blessings. That was pretty cool. I encourage everybody to watch the new video.

Thanks for all my birthday wishes y prayers. I miss all of you a ton y love all of you.

People have Christmas lights up here.  On Christmas I am going to skype you at are members home!  I’m better at reading in spanish I love you guys so much! I’m glad you guys are doing good.  Love you all.  Say hi to everyone. I wont spend money because I have none.  It is hard to keep track of the money here.  Sorry. But thanks for everything. Thanks for the prayers y everything else. Love you  and miss you a ton. Adios
A warm purple drink.  It was good but we didn’t know what it was.

Monday, December 1, 2014

All is "Well"

Angel's well
‪Hola family y friends. It was a great week here in Ocozocoautla besides one thing. That one thing is Guadalupe y her two sons can’t be baptized until 3 more months because she is in a middle of a divorce. But the good thing is me y my new companion can baptize them because Garcia will be gone in 3 months. Now with some good news Hermana Espinoza committed to baptism the 13th of December. But wait it gets better. She prayed to know if the church y the BOM is true y she got a answer of warmth y peace. That made us so happy.  On Thursday we went to Tuxtla to finish my visa. Now I’m offically living here. I also saw Hermana Cook from my district from the MTC. We talked for a bit y took a photo. It was so nice to see her and talk to her again.

This is Angel, a 9 year old investigator
 On Friday we helped Angel’s family get water out of their well.  It was so much fun. Then on Friday night we had an activity at church where the different organizations talked about their organization for 10 min. We, the missionaries, had a class y I talked about how God will help me with the language. Then we watched a video about preaching the gospel, then gave them materials to pass out. It was great. We had 4 of our investigators there.  We were so happy. It was a great week. I’m doing fine here. 3 more days until my birthday, I cant wait! Love you all y miss you a ton. Thanks for all the prayers y support.‬

Can I get a Spanish Himnos to give Angel for Christmas?  I let him borrow mine every Sunday.

‪The food is not the same as the Mexican food we have at home and its not spicy. We eat a lot of spaghetti, chicken, and rice.‬
 Our house is warm but the weather is frio because of the wind.  But I’m not cold, but everybody else is.

We have no Walmart here but only go shopping at Sam’s club once a month. We are going to Sam’s right now for a birthday luch. Pizza! I will send pictures.  No plans for my birthday, though. Just the same old, same old day.

There is my report of my week love you all thanks for my birthday wishes y prayers y support. ‬Bye. Love you a ton. I’m leaving right now. Thanks for everything mom y dad. love you so much y miss you a ton!

Thanks mom y dad for everything I love you a ton. Thanks a lot. I pray for you guys all the time.


This was a meal we had. It was a lot. We ate so much we were about to puke.

Guess who I found finishing my visas on Thursday? Hermana Cook from our district from the MTC!!!!!

  the night sky

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

All About the Food

Alex's pictures this week had a general theme for the most part: food!  When I talk to people who have been to this area they all say it is known for two things, the scenery and the food.  Luckily, I have raised a very adventurous eater who is always willing to try new things.  With Alex everything is always muy bien!

Last week a member forgot to feed us so we went to a awesome taco place. They were muy bien y horchata muy bien.
Hola family y friends,

It was a great week here in Ocozocoautla. One thing that was great was having more members present in lessons. Our area is weak at that. But this week we doubled even tripled what we had last week.

 I tried a lot of different foods this week, like Granada, only found in the mountains of Chiapas, the cacti fruit, a melon drink (it is just cantaloupe with sugar), y rice pozol, y a hot fruit drink called ponche. It was all very good.

This is Granada, only found in the mountains of Chiapas. It is very gooey and lots of seeds. You just suck all the gooey stuff.  It is muy bien.

This is the cacti fruit. it is muy bien.

The melon drink 

This is ponche. It is a hot fruit drink.

A meal from this week

Every time I read a scripture or a passage the kids will laugh y ask their mom “was he speaking Spanish?” From your question last week, I am the only white person. Every time I go on a bus someone will say “hola Gringo”. Every time we introduce ourselves they will ask Elder Garcia “he is not from here, is he?” Then Elder Garcia will say “ask him”.  Then they do. I say “I’m from California.” Then they will say “Baja or California”.  Then I will say “California.”  Then they say “OH.”

 But the people we teach love that I speak English because their kids are learning it at school. So I help them on homework because their parents don’t know how y they practice their English with me. I think that is pretty cool. In lessons I will say a prayer, bear my testimony, y invite them to do something y read a scripture or a passage.

The branch president’s wife’s next door neighbor is a less active. So we visit her. She has a six month old girl y a 9 year old boy. We committed him to baptism. He said yes. Now we have seven people committed to baptism: Ricardo, Lupita, Guadalupe y her sons Andre y Tono, y Roberto, y Dalia, y Espinoza. Her 20 year old son got baptized two weeks ago. Then there is Angel. 

All of our future baptisms

Well yesterday Me y Elder Garcia was so happy. We had 19 of our investigators at church. This weekend the hermanas had two baptisms. The first one was good except it took about 10 or more times for him to be baptized because he kept putting his legs up y saying the prayer wrong. The second one the president of the mission baptized him because he asked him to. That was pretty cool. Than afterwards he took us y the sister missionaries out for some tacos. It was great time with the president y here in Ocozocoautla.

The baptism of Jermias that took 10 times 

Love you all y miss you too. Thanks for the prayers.‬

Love Elder VanBuskirk

P.S.: My birthday is next week i cant wait!!!!!!!!!!

 (Then he continued to email back and forth with me as the pictures uploaded.  I think he was feeling it by all the exclamation marks!  Probably too much sugar in the horchata or something.)

I can't belive I’ve been here a month! When you work hard for the Lord it goes by fast. My mission president is very funny. He dosen’t know any Spanish. Every time I talk to him he speaks English. Everybody loves him. He is from Wyoming. He tries his best speaking to the Spanish speaking elders but they all love it. He been out on his mission for 4 months and he has 3 years to go.

The weather is always changing. It can be raining one day then hot or cold, but I’m used to it.

Tell Dylan good job with the braces y tell Nathan y Dylan good job with the performance. Tell Caleb good job on football y tell Luke I love him so much. Tell Nathan, Derek,  Dylan, Caleb,  Luke y Sparky I love them all y miss them a ton.‬
Adios again. I’m really leaving. Talk to you next week.  Love you all y miss you.  Give everybody my love for me.

Thanks mom, you too. I can’t wait to get my package y my letters next Tuesday at zone conference.

I’ve got to go. Tell everyone I love them y miss them a ton and thanks for the prayers. I hope all goes good with the move. I’m praying for all of you. Thanks mom y dad for everything. Adios!!!!!

‪ I love you more than anything ADIOS!!!!!!‬
LoVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



A church here 

A horse

The motor taxis. They are everywhere and they are so loud 

My MTC water bottle y my missionary host sticker in my scriptures

The news letter here of me and all the new missionaries y a dinner tag

Me holding a baby chick at a member’s home