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

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Nathan: The MTC: a Mixture of Scout Camp, EFY, College, and Prison

Dear family and friends!!

I’ve been here for one week so far in the Provo MTC. I have weird feelings about this place.  It’s a mixture of a boy scout camp/prison/efy/ and college, so it is pretty great! My companion is Elder King. He is from Maryland! He is a great guy, however I’m trying my best to not get annoyed by him sometimes, but the lord requires us to all love all men and I’m stuck with him for nine weeks soo. Anywho the branch president made me the district leader so that’s a sorta stressful calling. I don’t know why they would chose me the first day to be the district leader only after one interview, but if the Lord called me then I guess I need to do it to my best ability! The elders in my district and zone are great guys! There aren’t really any weird elders in my zone, so that's great! The food here is okay, I guess, again a mixture of prison and boy scout camp food. Yum!!!

The Russian is terrifying me! However, each day I’m picking up more and more. I wouldn't be able to learn Russian in I couldn't feel the spirit or if this church wasn't true! We already got our first investigator. His name is Oleg and he is from Ukraine. All the discussions are all in Russian. The second day I had to meet with him already. It was a weird experience!!  My companion is fairly decent already with the language and can speak it decently, however he doesn't understand a single thing that is going on. However then there is me. I can only say "hello" and "Thanks" and I went in calm and relied on the spirit, and I understood mostly the entire discussion where my companion was going from topic to topic with out communication with Oleg, which I thought that was interesting. I might not have the gift of tongues where I can speak it but I think I might have the gift of tongues in sense of understanding the language.  Our teacher Sister Hyde is a great teacher. She is a BYU student who went to Saratov Russia for her mission. No English is allowed during class. If you need to speak in English you must ask for permission. Wednesdays are my prep-days in the MTC. The rest of the days I have nine hours of studying Russian.  It is exhausting!!!! For gym time the Elders in my Zone or the missionaries going to Russia are the only ones who are crazy enough to play sand volleyball and yes I am a crazy Russian as well.

Well my first thought as I got here was the same reaction when a little kid meets their favorite super hero or a preteen girl meeting Justin or One Direction! So, pretty excited!!!! Well everyone, thanks for your support and love and for being there for me. Love you all and wish you all a happy Thanksgiving!!!! I'll email you all next week!!!

Love Elder Nathan VanBuskirk

MOM!!!! Thank you so much for the package it was awesome!!!! However, I would like an actual YO-YO next time hahaha. But thanks and the buns were delicious!!!  Well, I would say that I’m missing you but I am far too busy to be missing you. That’s a good thing!!! Tell every one of my friends that I am praying for them. I went to the temple today. We did initiatories so that was excellent! My companion is trying to follow the rules precisely but he goes too far. He is focusing on more of the letter of the law then the spirit of the law, so that kinda bugs me. Oh send me more of those glowing balls!!!!! They are awesome!!!!! I don’t know how to add photos yet so next week I will do that for sure!! Sorry. Well tell everyone I love them and that I’m praying for them. Happy Thanksgiving.  Thanks for teaching me all that I know. I’ll text you next week.
 Love, Elder VanBuskirk forever!!  

Monday, November 23, 2015

Alex: Happy Thanksgiving!

Hi everybody. Now Nathan is on his mission y he is at the MTC for a few weeks. l love him so much y I miss him like crazy! He was such a great brother y friend to me. I wish him luck y love y a lot of prayers for his mission. God bless him!!!!!!!!

Well we started our Monday night with investigator Gaby y her famliy for a family home evening y food.  We didn’t have a lot of time so we just answered all of their questions they had about the church. It was great. They love us so much. Then we taught her the next day on the Gospel of Jesus Christ y on friday on the day of rest because she needs to work with her husband on Sundays, but she said she will work as hard as she can to take it off y go to church. Then we taught the new member, Hernana Laura’s family on tithing because they had some questions about it, so that was a great lesson. Then we taught investigator Lupita on the Book of Mormon y it was a great lesson.  What we did good this week was visiting less actives.  We don’t plan to do much, but here in our area our investigators are never there so we need to visit the members or the less active a lot.  But this week we are going to work super hard on finding new investigators.

Well, I gave a talk in church about the missionary work because the members don’t really want to help us. So I wrote down an intro y found a scripture y then i said what the spirit wanted me to say y it sounded like I was bashing them, but everybody said it was good.

Love you all y thanks for all the love y prayers for me.  I can feel them all the time. Love Alex or Elder VanBuskirk


Hi Mom. How do you feel now with two of us out? Love you.

Have you heard anything from Nate? Did Nate ever read my letter? How many packets have you sent him already? haha Did you send him the cinnamon rolls? Grandma told me you are crying a lot now. I hope you are happy soon.

Hey, the guest room looks great.  I can’t wait until it is mine, ha ha. I’m happy you are not giving the room to the boys before I get back. It is fine, you can make it girly until I get back, ha ha.
Hey, can you send a pic of your pink room people want to see  it?

Hey, I got the package for my birthday! I love it y it was a lot bigger than last year. I love the shirt y the watch. Thanks so so much! Love you y thanks for thinking of me. So what is in my Chirstmas package y how much time did you send it after my birthday one?  Hey did you look in the contact cards for me? Work on them for me please. It should be easy. Hey did you ask Stevens about making me nuts? Tell him I miss him a ton y can’t wait to go out to the movies with him again. Thanks.

I love this scripture. It will help you understand what President  Morris told you about Nate being safe: Alma 19:23.

 Hey, did Grandpa Devine ever said goodbye to Nate?

So the kids have no school this week, right? I’m glad. So what are your plans for Thanksgiving? That is awesome that you are having two Thanksgivings! I wish I was there. Give all my love there. I know I’ll be there next Thanksgiving!

I miss Nate’s bread too. I just send Nathan a letter. Hey when am I getting those ties from Nate?

Hey, tell dad they mission wants me too make some no bake cookies, so I’m going to buy the stuff y then the mission will give me money back, okay?

That’s great about all the missionary work going on at our house. Hey, tell Donovan to write me.

Hey guess what? I’m losing so much weight now I can take off my CTR ring very easy, ha ha. I weigh 189 y if i loosed 9 more pounds it will be the same I weighed in school.

Wow that was awesome about you and the BofM365 IG Keep it up Mom.

Hey Mom, remember that kid, Johnny I baptized in Comitan? Well this is about his dad, who was a less active:

One of my favorite moments, other than the baptism, was that a less active (The little kid that got baptized when I got here's dad, if you remember. I think he's in a picture I sent in June.) who's never really wanted to go to church or even pray or read the scriptures, suddenly opened up to us, and said that recently he's had the desire to go back, and to really find a real testimony. He asked us to start teaching him all the lessons again, and at the end of the lesson yesterday (he also went to church :) ) he said a prayer. I seriously love those moments as a missionary. When people say their first prayer in a long time, or even in their life. It's so great hearing them talk to their father again, and seeing what they choose to say. So that was a great moment.

I can’t wait for the next package when you can send the contact cards y the nuts y and ties! I got to go, sorry, but I love you.

Hey, before I go, I need to tell you what is happing with my mouth. Well I had a cavitiy from a long time  ago y the filling on the side of it came off y food since then got in y it was bothering me, so they took the filling out y they put medicine in it y tomorrow they are going to put it back in. They said if I waited a bit longer to take it out, I would have to have a root canal, so they wanted me to tell you what’s happening, okay? Love you.

No pics this week because on Saturday we had a talent show y somebody was taking a video of us y afterword she accidently erased all my pics. Sorry. But next week, ok?

On my birthday I would like the boys to tell me what’s is going on in there lives, but I don’t know what else. I will tell you next week.  Okay, I’m way over my time. I’ve got to go. Love you.

Thanks Mom. Have a great Thanksgiving y I will make sure I will do a lot of thanks that day! Say hi to everyone for me y give them my love y tell them happy Thanksgiving! Thanks.  Love you. xoxoxoxo Love you. Bye.

‪Love you y thanks for everything you do for me. You are the best. That is what I’m thankful for. Bye. Love you xoxo‬

Love, Alex

Monday, November 16, 2015

Alex: A Week Full of Powerful Lessons

Hi everyone. Well this week we worked very hard on lessons with a member y we doubled them from the week before. We are so happy. So yesterday we planed on going early y pick up are investigators who told us during the week that they are going to church. So we went to all 7 of them y none of them was home so their baptism dates now got changed to another date. Well ,that was very sad after having a great, great week, full of powerful lessons. But being a missionary for the Lord we know it was a great trail of our faith.

We taught a investigator named Lupita.  She is about 16 years old y we taught her about the plan of God.  We invited her to read the Book of Mormon y she said she will. That lesson was full of the spirit. We both came out of it y said “she is going to be baptized.” Y Hermana Gaby, whose daughter got baptize but moved away, knows that the church is true y we are planning on a family home evening with her y some members tonight that will be fun. We taught Investigator Ulisses on how to pray because he had some questions about it. That was a cool lesson too. He said he will go to church next week. Then we visited Laura’s sister, named Yamlet, about keeping the commandments, Well she y Ulisses said we could visit them today in the morning so before we went to write our families we went over there, but none were there because there is no school, so they were out of town.  But we gave their family a Book of Mormon for them.  Well, the less active family, the Toledos, are reading the Book of Mormon more as a family y personally. We are happy about that. Well on Friday I went on splits with the leaders of the zone.  It was nice.

It was a great week for working for the Lord here in the Lomas!!!! Love you all y thanks for all the love y prays.

Love Elder VanBuskirk or Alex 


 I love this scripture in Alma 14:28-29 about faith.

Hi Mom, I’m on. Where are you at?  Did Nate ever send me a letter? Love you.
Did you ask dad about my pants? if not, I was is 38 y 29 long, but now 36.  Say hi to all. How are you y Dad y Nate'? I know it was hard to say goodbye to Nate because I won't see him for 3 years.  How is Nate feeling?

Franky never wrote me. :(

Say hi to grandma and Grandpa Wilber and thank for me y tell them I love them.

I will get my package from the office the first week in December. Can’t wait to see it. Okay gracias okay? Bye now. Love you so so much.

Thanks mom have a great trip with Nathan and give him a big hug to him for me, y Dad too. Say hi to all the boys y thanks for everything for me. Love you so!

Bye Nate!
adioss xoxoxo
Playing around with my new camera

 An awesome slushy place called Mr Slush.

The kids are members and are playing around.

conversation between brothers: 
N: This is Nate! How are u?

A: Nate, I’m always fine working for the Lord. The big question is are you ready to work your butt off? ha ha Love you. How are you budd? Love you.

N: Haha, So ready! In fact, I've started early with working with Tyler Jarrett, Kirby and Gabby. And I've been working with the elders and I've been teaching gospel principles for about seven months now.

A: That is great. Love you. Hey, what is your email? Y Daniel Diego is on his mission again.  Is there anything you want to tell me? Tell mom the pics are on dropbox. Love you.

N: Yeah my email is  and I wanted to tell you that Ben, your friend in the Santa Rosa ward , got his mission call this week. I don't know where yet I'll let you know and that's exciting about Daniel !!

A: I just send you a letter. You read it at the MTC.

N: Oh okay. I will.  Thanks bro! Also I'll give you Kirb’ys and Tyler's email so you can teach them through email too! My patriarchial blessing said I will see people get baptized and go through the temple on my mission and I was thinking that it was talking about my friends at home so please help with that.

A:  Is there even a temple in you mission?

N: No there isn't!! 
A: That sucks, but the good thing you can go 9 times in the MTC. Hey tell mom I’ve got to go, okay?

Monday, November 9, 2015

Alex: A Week of Being Fat

Hi everyone. I hope all is good for you guys wherever you are. Well the first good news is today is exchanges y none of us are leaving, so we are together again y ready to make these next six weeks the best we can with our faith in God. Well, this week was a week of being fat! 3 members who feed us last week gave us pizza because we are gringos y we would love pizza.  It was fine the first day but the next two times it was hard. We even had one member yesterday bought us pizza on Sunday we were kind of sad.  He always feeds us on Sunday y he ether gives us pizza or Burger King so we talked to the bishop y they changed his food day to Saturday for us so he wont break the day of the Lord. Breaking the day of rest is such a huge problem here, that is why we, the missionaries, are here to help the members as well on the importance of the day of rest.

Well guess what? It was my turn to get sick with a stomach infection, so we had to stay home for a whole day that sucked a lot. A week before we found a new family of 4, but we are teaching there son Ulisses y he wants to get baptized but doesn’t have time with his grandma who is sick. But we are still working with him. So yesterday we had a lot of less actives in church: Gloria y her son, y the whole Toledo family. We were so happy. Love you all y thanks for everything!!!!!!!!
TE AMO!!!!!

Hey mom, I’m on. Love you!
Okay why did Nathan do his farewell talk early? He is leaving on the 18th right? I wish i was there.  He is going to be a great missionary. How are you? Were there a lot of people at the party?
That is great. Did Nate have a good time? 

Hey do you know if Grandma Wilber is sending me a Christmas gift so I can look for it?  Hey do you know anything about nick brown?

Hey, one thing you need to make online for me y Nate are contact cards to give to people. Just aour name y address of our home y facebook y what mission y are email y a pic. Everybody has them.

I need pants. They are fading. I was 40 when I left but now I’m 38, if you are going to buy some. I need two blacks y two browns or one brown y one grey. no say
That is what the mission is. I love you. Do you have questions? I’m almost out of time.
I just want Nathan to write me a nice beautiful letter on my email before he leaves, ok?

Tell Franky to read my email y email me back y tell him I love him. 
I sent a nice letter to Grandpa Devine.
Hey mom, I’m sorry but someone stole my Mexico Mickey pin. Sorry. Hey I love those shirts you y Nate have at Disneyland.

Can you buy me one y I will pay you back? Thanks. Can you send pics of the sideyard with the barbque? Thanks. Love you.
Did they finish the fireplace?

Make sure Nate writes me before with a nice letter. Thanks. You are the best.  Love you
Thanks.  You guys are the best. I’m glad! I’ve got to go. Love you
Thanks Mom. Love you. Bye.
I love you y thanks for everything. Say hi to all for me! Love you.
You are the best. Bye. Love you
Adios xoxo

Monday, November 2, 2015

Hard Work Does Pay Off

Hi. Sorry for being late. We had to go y get a new refrigerator because ours died. So yesterday it was so so great at church. We had a whole bunch of less actives like Hermana Gloria y her 13 year old son y sister Paty y her two daughters y another family. We were so happy for seeing them get the testimonies back y going back to church. It looks like our hard work does pay off after all. Y that night Sister Gloria gave us a text y it said thanks for helping me come out of my hole y for helping me with my problems.

 Well we had 3 investigators in church yesterday. We had Ana Laura y Jamlet y Dulce, they are family of the girl who we baptized 2 weeks ago. We gave a baptism date to Jamlet y Dulce for November 14, but Ana no because she needs to get divorced with her other husband.  That is always a big big problem here. Well when taught Ana Laura, we taught her about the gospel of Christ y the tema came up about tithing.  She asked if she can still pay if she isn’t a member y we said yes.  So yesterday she paid tithing. We know she is going to be baptized.  We feel the spirit so strong with her.

Well that is pretty much it because Elder Runyan had a lot of health problems, but the good thing is he is fine now y we are ready to work super hard for the last weeks before exchanges.

Love you all
Elder VanBuskirk

Hi mom. Love you.

 The house looks so so awesome with the Halloween decorations. I wish I was there to see them. haha

I know what I want for Christmas.  Well first off, my watch, the old one that dad gave me, won’t turn the hands so a new one would be great y I need a back of a tie pin because I lost one y a new USB for my back-up pics because someone stole it. Today I bought my self a new camera for my b-day y Christmas.
I never used my new camera yet.  I just got it today. It is the same as my companion’s y he had his for 3 years with no problems, so I bought one, but a new one.  I can’t wait to use it.

Did you send my b-day packet y the letters? y Happy Halloween!!!!!

Mom, I really love you. How are you feeling with everything now?
I love Nate y I’m going to miss him. Hey can you send his email for me? Thanks.
Tell Caleb y Nate very good job of the templo y being a deacon. Gave everybody my love y thanks for everything you do.

I’ve got to go. Love you. xoxo bye love you

A casa of prayer about an hour away in a place called Suchiapa 

What a missionary can do with a hammock, a camera, and some free time.