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, August 24, 2015

I Can See the Temple Everyday!

Well, hi everybody. This was my first week here in the Airport area of Tuxtla.  It is where the old airport was. Well, it is big with a lot more houses y people y cars y a lot of hills again.  This area is very very big y beautiful.

 My companion is Elder Estrada.  He is from Guatmala y today is his birthday.  He is 25.  He has been here in this area for only one transfer so like me he doesn’t know a lot but we are working through it. Everybody who gives us food always gives us some type of dessert. That is what I like here. ha ha ha.

Well yesterday we had 3 investigators in church. One is Roberto who a few weeks ago fell down some stairs y broke his arm.  He already visited the church once before and we gave him a date for 15 of September to get baptized.  He is a very good investigator and his son is a member so he helps us with his dad. Then there is Roscio who has no money to get divorced and to get married because it is a lot of money. Well the members don’t really help us here but the mission leader y the bishop are very good y want to help us. Well yesterday also we had 180 people in the church. So we have a lot of investigators but they are not progressing. But this week we are going to work with the members on that.

Love you all y thanks for everything.
Love Elder vanBuskirk

Hi mom. I don’t know what you should say to the ward. Say what you want. I just say hi to all!

Well it is great here. Very big y very hot. It rains every afternoon It was a hard exchange for me but I’m getting used to it.  My comp is good. He still tells me what to do, but we are working great together in the lessons y everything.  The ward is big. We are having ward conference next week y yesterday we had 180 people in church for the first time in a long time.  The only problem the members don’t help us in the work, but our bishop is good y our leader missional too. I can see the temple everyday, so that is a blessing.

 If you didn’t send my package I need 1 or two backs of a tie pin. 
So when is school for the boys?  Love you Mom

I got to go. I love you. Say hi to all for me. Give all my love on Sunday. Thanks for everything mom.
 I know the gospel is true and the work is worth it. Love you mom so so much. Thanks. xoxoxo
Love you

Just as Alex was enameling I got a sweet email from his last companion that Alex just loved:

I hope I got the email right. This is Elder Merrill, Elder VanBuskirk's last companion. He got transferred last week, so he's not with me anymore. But I just wanted to say I had a great time with your son. He's had some hard companions, but he just keeps going and he's ALWAYS so happy and loving. He's had some hard times with self confidence, but I tried to help him feel loved. He has some amazing gifts, and I hope he realizes that. I just wanted to thank you for raising a great son. It was a great time, and I learned a lot from him. He has a great spirit about him, and wow, when he gives blessings it comes directly from heaven :)
So thank you. Hopefully he's doing well now. 
I hope he keeps up the good work. He'll get to go to the temple 1 time each transfer so that'll be nice :) 

With love,
Elder Merrill

This is our whole mission when we met with Elder Oaks y when you zoom my head is down y I’m next to Elder Lyons near the back right. Lyons is the first one in the row then there is me with my head down so you can’t see me.  ha ha I don’t know why.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

I Left Comitan Very Good

Well today is my 11 months y I’m in a new area. I’m now in Tuxtla Airport area y my companion is Elder Estrada. He is from Guatemala y he has almost one year on his mission.

Well I left Comitan very good for Elder Merrill y his new companion. We have 4 investigators con baptism dates. Carlos Flores, who on Tuesday we were walking right in front of his house y he walked right out y so we contacted him y he invited us in.  He said he was ready to get baptized 4 years ago but he had to move y he couldn’t find the church so we put a date for 5 September y he visited church yesterday also. We are so so happy.

Then Pablo y Ester are new investigators who we visit the last Sunday y they visited church also y they liked it. Their date to get baptized is on the 19th of September y David has a dater for the 29th of this month. We are trying to work on his mom to give us permission. So we had 4 in church yesterday y 4 with dates.

Iguanas at Chiflon

 On Thursday we went with the president y like 46 missionaries  to visit Chiflon waterfall.  It was hot y beautiful y I saw Elder Mena y Laural, my companions, again.

Then on Saturday we had a talent show where members did different acts.  It was so cool y everybody loved it.  We even had less actives y investigators there.

Well yesterday I said bye to a lot of members y a lot gave me candy y gave me luck. I left Comitan at 10 y got here at 2. It was a long bus ride y Antonio gave us a ride to the bus station. I’m sad that I’m no more in Comitan. I loved the members y the area y the weather. But now I’m on a new adventure.

 Love you all y thanks for total. 
Elder VanBuskirk!!!!!!!

Hi Mom. Sorry it is so late. I got exchanged to Tuxtla. My new area is Tuxtla Airport. I love you. It is about 10 min away from the temple and mission home, but it is hot.  I’m sweating like crazy here. It is a little sad. My new companion has the same time out as I do y I’m still the little (junior) companion. Still I’m bit sad about that.  He thinks I don’t understand anything so he repeats everything, but he is good. But our house is dirty y smelly y not beautiful like the one in Comitan. But it is the mission, so it is fine. I know it is just hard to change areas.

Can you send me just some ties so I can give them to my companions when they leave or when I do? That is it. Love you.

Thanks Mom. Love you. I’m happy you found the snake. Hey can you print off my recent letters y some photos y send it in the post office to Joy y write I love her y miss her y pray for her?  Thanks.

I’ve got to go. I love you. Say hi to all!
Thanks Mom for everything.

Saying goodbye to Elder Merrill

Monday, August 10, 2015

All Creatures Great and Small!

A healthy meal

Well yesterday we had Gina in church y no one else but we are still working hard.

 Well, I gave a nice blessing to Hna.Gina of consolation. It was so good y the spirit was so strong.

A green place about 20 minutes from us

Well yesterday a member came with us y we had no appointments, so we were a bit sad. But he had some people for us to visit about 20 min. away in our area. It was so beautiful y it was green.  There were only like 4 houses there, no more. We visited Ester.  She is 16 y her husband Pablo who is 24. We taught about families y church y they are two new investigators for us!  Then we visited Hna.Socurro y taught about the plan of happiness y she is new for us too.  We are going to visit all of them this Wednesday. We are so happy for the member for taking us!  It was awesome.

 Well another thing that is good here is the contacts are accepting us more y letting us visit them again so that is cool. Well we visited Hna.Tonita on Tuesday y she told us she had dreams about me y Elder Mena then when Mena left she had dreams about Elder Merrill before she ever meet him y she says every time she has a dream the next day we are there. So that was awsome.

 So that was pretty much it. I love you all y the changes are next week so I might have some news. I have been here for 6 months.  Let’s see. Adios!!!!!

Love always Elder VanBuskirk

Hi mom. So I got my package but the camera was missing. Also my priesthood line wasn’t in there.  I don’t think they stole it.  You forgot it, didn’t you? haha. I thought they stole it too. Ha ha. Love you. I got everything else. Thanks so so much. I’m so sorry you bought the camera y it got stolen.  I bet Dad isn’t happy.
I think I’m fine now. I will just use my camera it until I can’t any more. Love you too.

Tell Luke I love him a lot y he doesn’t even know it! He is still wearing his tie from yesterday? He always wears the church clothes for a lot of days after. ha ha

Did you find my snake?‬  Why is Luke using my DS? Do you remember what Luke did to his at the movies? hint hint‬? Well, remember, we went to the dollar movies y he left it there y when we came back someone stole it.  But no say, because they will break y lose it, like they did my snake. See, I’m foreshadowing. Haha. You shouldn’t let Luke use my DS until they find my snake. Everything is falling apart when I’m not there. ha ha

So what is Nate doing to get ready for his mission? Mostly laying around being lazy I bet, just like I did. Haha  Good, because in the mission it is work, work, y more work, so it is fine. ha ha

Do you guys have any more trips? How are you feeling?
I’m sorry you couldn’t go visit Franky. Love you.

Hey, when you sent the jelly beans can you send some black licorice, the old fashioned kind?

I know you miss my face, but no pics of me this time. I don’t want to.  My nose is so red y peeling because here the sun is mas strong. It is still officially rainy season.  There is not a lot of rain now, but it is still green. But the changes are coming in a week.  I think I’m leaving.  I’ve been here fore 6 months. I don’t know.

Love you. I got to go. Say hi to all y next week I might have some news for you!  Love you. Say hi to my buddy Luke.‬ Thanks Mom. Love you.

we found this tiny turtle in the street yesterday

 the chickens were eating my corn when I finished eating it

Monday, August 3, 2015

Little By Little

the spider was on a wall in a community called Pashton

Well this week has been a week of miracles here.  For the first time in 4 weeks we had four investigators in church. Well Hna. Gina was there, like always, y today I’m going to gave her a blessing of consul to help her.

Then we were walking to church y we decided to stop at Jorge Antonio’s, an investigator that has no time. When we got there he was all ready for church so he walked with us y he told us he had things to do with people but he told them first church for one hour, so we were so happy about that.

Then Antonio,  Andres’ dad, took David to church his mom gave him permission to go one Sunday, but the others no because he needs to work at there family taco shop. So we are doing a lot of service for them.  The dad says it is fine for him to be baptized but his mom wants to see a bigger change in him. But it is fine.  Little by little he will get baptized.

Then do you remember Tonita, the daughter of Amada y Fernando?  They are members but don’t visit church y their Tonita who is a non member.  Well we have been visiting her for my whole time here y some time before y she never wanted to visit church.  She always has an excuse. But yesterday she went for the first time y she liked it, so we were so, so happy!  

Well this week was good because we were working more with the members to help us in this work, no solo us y it is going great. Love you all  
Love Elder VanBuskirk

Hi Mom. Love you. I forgot to tell you last week that we went with a member to her hometown 1 hour away, but it is in our area .  There are a lot of less active members so we are trying to get going the sacrament at least with them. We were the first elders to visit.  We felt so good y the spirit was so strong.  This town is bigger than our area here.  It is called Pujiltic y it is very hot.

Y we also did talks in church.  I talked about service. It was great.  A lot of people liked it.

Can you send me the snickerdoodle recipe? Thanks. Love you a ton. How is Joy doing?
A pic of me y dad Sister Hester sent me. 

 Hey, I got a nice letter from sister Hester. Tell her thanks for the card y picture y I love her. So Sister Hester was a bit sad we didn’t invite her to my farewell. Oops.

Wow.  You lost the snake again?  Okay. I hope he is fine.
Oh, so so sad about Sparkey. It is fine.  We can see him in the next life. I bet you are happy though.

 I’m great, just great!  Today is my 5 months here in Comitan y changes is on the 17th - my 11 months y I think I’m leaving.
I can’t believe it is almost halfway over!

Thanks for everything.
Tell Luke I love him and thanks buddy. Have fun at the beach. I got to go but I love you y think of you all the time! Love you Luke xoxoxo

Thanks mom. Love you too. Say hi to my buddy y that I love him.

the frog was born y living in our backyard 

the house looks like a duck so i took a pic 

We just saw them playing hockey y we never heard of it here.
They were on roller blades.