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

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Just a Few More Days!

Me at the big map
Hey Mom, can you send me all my cookie recipes to my email so I can print them off? That is great news about the house. I will pray that everything works out for sure.

Have any questions about my travel plans?
I leave the MTC at 3:30 am. Then we go to the Salt Lake airport our flight leave at 7:10am. We fly to Phoenix and arrive at 7:43 am. Then from there we leave at 9;50 am to Mexico City airport and arrive at 1:55 pm. Then we leave to Tuxtla at 4:55 and arrive there at 6:32 pm. So that is my traveling plans. I'm so nervous but I'm ready to go. My branch president said he can see my mighty change in me since day one.

Most likely I will call you in Phoenix and in Mexico city perhaps.

Just a few more days!

My turn to host the new missionaries! 
Waiting at the curb

These are the people I hosted yesterday. the guy on top is going Tokyo Japan
 and the other guy is going to Berlin Germany.

This is another I got to host. He is going to Anaheim California.    
Hosting the new missionaries yesterday was so much fun! You wait next to a number on the curb, then a car comes then we just take him to get his stuff and take him to his dorm then to his class. It was a lot of work but it was so much fun. Moms were crying and taking pics and videos of them walking away. 329 new missionaries came yesterday. I see Shabelly everyday here. Also I just saw the Kitchens’ son.

I went to the 7:00 am temple session this morning. It was so spiritual.  I’ve seen all three videos now they are all different in there own way. I learned so much there about the gospel and how strong the spirit can be.

We taught Adrian last Friday about the blessings of baptism and repenting. We were so ready to invite him to be baptized but he wants us to teach one more lesson. So that made us happy. Then we got word on Monday that we are done teaching him. My companion and I were so sad. We both said he was so close. Adrian told me after our lesson that I did a good job talking about the blessings. That made me feel good.

Everybody loved the cookies you sent. They all said they love you and thank you. Even my teacher Hermana Iroz.

That's so cool Sarah is home. Tell everybody I say hi and I love them on Sunday. How is everyone doing?

I got the scrapbook on Monday. Thanks a lot.  I love it and everybody in my district too. It brought back a lot of memories.

 I love you. Sparky is always crazy. Tell Sparky I love him.

You were a great mom an I love you so much. Thanks for everything. How is the brothers?

Caleb’s Birthday is my first day in Mexico. I don't know what is his favorite candy?  Reeses I think.  Will you give him some from me? Wow people love Caleb if he got all that money.

I loved the inflatable tie. I wore it all day Wednesday. Everybody loved it they thought it was so funny.

I love you. I'm doing laundry now.

Is there anything you want to know before I leave? Thanks for all the dear elders.

Tell everyone thank you and that I love them and miss them very much.


A few pictures from our temple walk this morning

 As his mom and a photographer, I have to tell you that Alex did all the editing of his pictures. It wan't me.  I think he has a good eye, don't you?  I'm glad he is enjoying his camera.  I might get some pretty cool pictures from Mexico after all.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

It's Coming Along!

At the temple this morning.

 Hi family and friends.

 I miss all of you so very much. I got your package this morning. Thanks. Can you send me an envelope for all my letters? Can you also send me a Plan of Salvation chart in Spanish? I have one in English but not Spanish. Oh, and you need to send my bedding to Mexico now.  Thanks. Love you. Did you get my letter saying i need my church socks? If not, you will any day. By the way, did Grandma Signs get my letter yet?  It is going to make you and her laugh.

It is going great. We only taught Adrian 3 more times. With our last lesson with him we told him to read 3 Nephi chapter 11. He said he read it but he didn't pray about it. That made us a little mad. He has a Mormon girlfriend and she is coming to the next lesson tomorrow. My Spanish is coming along.  I’m understanding a lot but still can't really speak it. My teacher says I’m doing a great job.

One thing that is easy is feeling the spirit here. It is so strong here. I can't wait to go to Mexico.  I’m scared and happy. Tomorrow I will be getting my travel plans, I can't wait. I'm just worried about the language. My testimony has grown a ton here at the MTC. The only people I got close to and are good friends are the people in my district. They are Elder Evans, Elder Lyons, Elder Calmes, Elder Relitz, Elder Wright, and we have some hermanas named Willson, Messanger, Cook is going on my mission and hermana Roundaho.

I have not taken a picture yet on the big map but I will don't worry.

I just sent Dad a email. I learned how to say the baptism invitation and in my next lesson I’m going to say it to Adrian. 

Oh by the way I’m going to be a new missionary host next week on Wednesday! I can't wait.

 I haven’t seen Shabelly or Andrew yet. I will call you on October 27.  I can't wait.

Call dad.  I just sent him a email saying hi and I love him.

Hot Tamales and Abazaba bars with taffy and peanut butter, oh and Good and Plenty is awesome.  Surprise me!  You are good at that.  Love you so much.

 Besides that I can’t wait to call home. So when grandma gets my letter she will call you.  It will make you laugh

Oh, by the way, someone stole my CTR ring. I was at lunch. It went on the floor during lunch. We tried to look for it.  They clean the floor every night but no sign. So they said someone took it. I'm very sorry. Its fine, I just can't believe it’s gone.

They are just putting the Christmas lights up but they won’t be on until November. I am pretty sad about that.

‪I am going to buy a prepaid phone card for 5 dollars next week so I can call you guys.‬
Tell everyone I miss them and I love them. So far I didn’t get home sick.  That’s good. They keep you too busy here to think about your family. Its a little chilly in the morning but I am fine, thanks.

Adios love you all talk to you next week about my travel plans.  I can't wait. Be safe. Love you and miss you a ton. You take care. I’m praying for you all the time, mom, for your calling. Love you and miss you. Adios.
Adios all.
Elder VanBuskirk

On the bus going to the Mexican consulate last week.

 No, I don't always wear my pajamas.  Just at bed time.  This is Elder Filmore.

 This guy hugging me is Elder Engeraman

Thursday, October 9, 2014

A Challenge

This is my name tag.
Well, another Thursday and another round of emails from our missionary.  Best hour of the week!

Here is a compilation of the emails:

Hi mom and family,

 I did initatories this morning then got my hair cut. Then I did the laundry, now I’m emailing.  I got to go and finish laundry.  Talk to you in a little while. Love you and miss you a ton.

These are pictures are from my room and my name tag in Spanish. I know you like stuff like that mom.  I just sent you a letter today for the boys. I got my new camera yesterday I love it so much. Thanks!  You should be getting a package with my temple clothes and camera supplies.

I experience the gift of tongues by working hard. A couple of days ago we were teaching Adrien and he had some questions. My companion didn't know the answer but I did. It happened a few more times during the lesson. Afterwards my companion was so happy and surprised about what just happened. He said hard work does pay off!

We heard a talk on Tuesday from a guy who works at mission headquarters and he said you are part of the most missionaries the church has ever seen. He said there is 88,034 missionaries today.  How about that? On Sunday we had another talk and he told us to tell our family to be missionaries back at home by opening your mouth and tell everybody you see that you are LDS. So I'm changeling you.

Conference was great.  I stayed awake and I learned a lot more than I would at home.

Oh and my new address is unit #351. Sorry I keep forgetting to tell you.

My teacher says she can see a growth in my Spanish since day one. In lessons now I'm speaking half the time. I'm doing a lot better. It is hard but I'm working through it. It is very hard to have a 3 hour classes 3 times a day.

Is there anything else you want to talk about? We probably can't see the Meet the Mormons movie. No one said anything about it.

I watched the movie The Restoration. I cried about 4 times during it and 30 minutes afterwards. The movie is about Jose Smith. You’ve seen it before.

I write in my journal every night.  Grandma V. gave me a cool one that says CALLED TO SERVE.

I pray for you all the time. Yesterday was my best day! I got 3 packages: my camera, sweet rolls and the package from grandma. I was so surprised.

On my last week here I’m going to buy some prepaid phone cards they only cost 5 dollars so I can talk to you on the phone.

I got to go. My hour is up. Bye love you keep on sending Dear Elders and packages. Say bye and hi and love to all. Talk to you next week. Adios!!!

Awesome, huh?  I love that he said "Jose Smith."  That is a good sign that he is really getting immersed in the language.
And here is one he sent to his dad:

Hi dad,

I'm great.  I'm learning the language so good. I'm doing better everyday.  I love you and miss you.  I'm sorry but I will email you next week. My hour is done. I have so many friends here.I'm speaking more in the lessons.  Not been homesick yet. Bye. Love you very much. Give everyone my love.

This is my bro named Elder Olson

This is just some of the people from my district and the assistant of our branch president.

So there you have it. I'm laving the PJs. Please note the address change to unit #351.

We have all be challenged by our missionary to open our mouths and tell everyone who we are!  I already gave him our word that we would, so now we have to.  So lets get out there and share what we have with everyone we know! 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Teach the Commandments

This picture is me with my companion Elder Lyons in our room at West Campus.

Got a series of early morning emails today! Sound like he is busy and happy, and maybe even getting a taste of reality. I love that kid!

Hi Mom,

The MTC is nothing I expected. It is class all day. But everyday I’m understanding more what the teacher says. You are always overwhelmed here because someday you’ve got to teach 2 to 3 investigators, class, personal time and companion study. We are always busy here from the minute you wake up until you go to bed. I’m very excited to be here it is just very hard and a lot of work.

Hey mom I need 1 to 2 pair of white socks, one XL working out shorts because we work out everyday and I only have two. My thing that is holding my ID is breaking so I need a new one soon. Here at the MTC I cant have gum so can you send me mints, Listerine strips, mint life savors. What is the word about my memory book? That is everything I need thanks. Everyone one in my district including the Hermanas says thank you so much for the sweet rolls, they loved them. Even my teacher Hermana Iroiz says thank you.

Oh I forgot to tell you I'm emailing you early because in a hour or two I'm going to the Mexican Consulate.

There is a program here called TRC. It is like a real situation. So they print you off a paragraph or so about your investigator. It says he is having a hard time with the Word of Wisdom and chasity. So me and my companion wanted to teach him the commandments so we planned a good lesson where I have some parts and my companion has some. My companion is a lot better with speaking Spanish then I am. So we got in there we can tell he was not a member he was wearing short shorts with no garment line. The investigator’s name was Adrian. So we got in there it went well for a while but while my companion was taking to him I was looking at Adrian and he started to look at his phone and watch. I was thinking something bad was about to happen. then all the sudden he told us to stop. So we stop talking. And he says "all you missionaries just teach me the commandments never the doctrine". Then we said we will next time. Then he said "get out we are done here come back when you want to teach me doctrine". Me and my companion were really scared. Just a hour later we had a devotional from Brother Schwitzer and he talked about the commandments. Right when he said "I want to talk to you about the commandments" me and my companion started to laugh and said "it is a sign from God". This happened on Tuesday night.

I want to go to Mexico so bad I’m just worried my Spanish will be bad. But everyday I’m learning more. What me and my companion started to do was read The Book of Mormon together in Spanish for 30 min to a hour it is helping a lot for the both of us.

How’s is everything going back at home? I love you all and miss you guys a lot.

Looks you do need me. It is raining most of the time and it is getting cold. I love it.

Love you all. It will be great if I get all of that thanks.

Love, Elder VanBuskirk

This is my companion our first morning at west campus.

This is Elder Wright and my district leader Elder Relitz