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, January 27, 2016

Alex: God's Army


Well what a week first this week we had a Seventy come y teach us for 4 to 5 hours. His name was Elder Torres. We learned a lot about how to be better missionaries, to use members more in lessons because we work with them as a team in faith y love in the work of God. He invited us to always be worthy to have the Holy Ghost because we are just the instrument in the work; we just listen to the Holy Ghost on what to do. He also wants us to get a blessing from the bishop or branch president when we are new in the ward or branch to see what the Lord wants us to do to make this ward or branch better. I will be getting mine tomorrow. I can’t wait. Well during his talk we had a worldwide conference with all the missionaries in the whole world. It was awesome! Dallin Oaks talked y Elder Clayton.  It was awesome. Well they showed us the numbers of baptisms y less actives y they said there is now even more girl missionaries than ever before - that was cool.  I really enjoyed those two meetings the spirit hit me so so strong y I know God wants me here y that the church is the only true church. Y that the Holy Ghost is always there, but a lot more for us, the missionaries of God y I know I’m part of the biggest y strongest army in the whole world! Y that army is God's army.

Well we, with some members, cleaned the church on Saturday y wow was it dirty! It was sad that the members don’t really care about it y only 2 old people came y helped.
No-bake cookies I made for the members

Well I made the no bake cookies again but for a whole bunch of members that live kinda far y we are trying to find a cheaper way for them to come to church. We are trying to get a shuttle for only 10 pesos because there are bikes that can pick them up but for 25 pesos.  

Well the family home evenings at members’ houses are awesome. So many people are coming y enjoying it. Well on Sunday was the stake broadcast, but it didn’t work good, but it was still full of the spirit. Well President George gave a talk y said there are 185 missionaries in this mission y that the members need to work with us or he will take us out y take us to another area where the members work. He told them to take the advantage.

Well it was a great week love you all y thanks for the prayers y love.
Love Elder VanBuskirk
ADIOSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Hi mom. I’m on. Love you. How are you? I’m great. Love you.
Wow, the new sofa looks beautiful. Caleb’s braces look good. Say hi y give him my love. Everybody in Nate group looks weird, haha.

 How many miles did you ride? Wow when are you going to do the 100? Love you. Did you finish your card?

I just sent a video I made about Guatemala. It is cool. Did you like the video?

Hi Mom. I got to go. Maybe we can talk more next week. Give all my love y prayers, y thanks for everything. I can really feel your love y prayers
love alex

Love you this time I’m leaving. Say hi to everybody y give them my great love. love you xoxoxoxoxo  Bye mom love you give all my love have a good week you are always in my heart y prayers love you xoxoxo


banana y peach Mexican shave ice for 10 pesos. 
They are on a cart going all over the city. 


A Spiritual Experiencia of Elder VanBuskirk

Well on Friday I gave the second part of a blessing to a less active member who is coming back to church.  He is getting ready to serve a mission y we are helping him with some personal problemas. But his name is Fernando y when I gave it to him with my not-so-good Spanish I spoke what God wanted him to hear y know.  Afterwards the member who we were with said ‘Wow I never heard a blessing like that before, y I think we all need to get blessings from Elder VanBuskirk. He said just what needed to be said.”  Then the member asked Fernando, “did you listen to what he said?”  Y he said yes, y then he started to cry y went y give my comp a hug y then I joined in. So that was awesome. I know when we are worthy to have the Holy Ghost we are able to have the spirit y able to say what God wants you to say in blessings y it is just a gift I have to be able to give great blessing to people y answer their prayers. I have shared this gift God has given me in all my mission. I know God is there y he lives y we should always be worthy to have the spirit. I’m so glad God gave me this gift to be able to help others in my mission. 

Elder VanBuskirk



I’m wearing a 100 dollar hat 
the New Beginnings party for young women    

our big house 




the mountain is actually an active volcano












how many Jehovah's Witnesses there are 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Alex: Hidalgo is AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!

Well this week was my first week in Hidalgo. Let me just say it was awsome!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Well one thing this week we were visting sister Alicia Diez, a inactive member.  So we knocked on her door y she looked very tired, so we asked if she was all right.  Next thing we knew she fainted.  We called a member to come y help us move her to her bed. Well her 15 year old daughter was making her depressed because she was making y wanting to do bad choices, so her mom worried like all of them do y she fell into depression y fainted. Well we gave her a blessing y we sang her some hymns until her husband came from work. After the husband told us he sees now he needs to go back to church because we were there to help. Y guess what? They went to church yesterday! 

Well on Thursday we went into town to have interviews with president George. Well I had mine a week before y we talked about why teaching the Book of Mormon is important to everybody h he challenged us to hold it in our hands for a week.

 Well when we were on the way we were almost in a bad car crash where we were about to die if it happened. So way before the meeting we dropped off our suits with the branch president y his wife because we need to go an hour away to go to the meetings y right before we left the zone leaders told us that we don’t need our suits after all, so the only member close was the branch president’s house. But only his wife was there, Sister Sandra y we gave her our suits,.y after we left she had a very strong feeling to pray for our travel there y back.  So she prayed y afterwards she felt good. I know it was her faith to act on the Holy Ghost that I’m able to write you today! So that was cool. 

Well we did a rama (branch) family home evening on Saturday at Brother Walter’s family.  His wife just had surgery it was great. They are planning on doing 2 a week to help the less actives y the inactives to come back to church. Y this week we already have two lined up. Y yesterday i said the sacrament prayer again for the bread y I gave another wonderful talk on Sunday the day of rest.
So all week we go around with our list of 400 members to see if they live there still or other new information. So that was fun. Well that was my first week here y we are working hard with the active members to read the Book of Mormon y pray because a lot of them don’t. I love it here y thanks for all your love y prayers.

LOVE ALEX OR ELDER VANBUSKIRK

ADIOSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hi mom. Love you. How are you?



I love it here. It is like Coita - a small town, but the area itself is huge! It is big enough for another group of us but it is a rama (branch).  But we sat down and made a plan for 2016 to work with the members to make it a ward this year. We have 70 people that come y we need to have 150, so we are working super hard. Like twice a week we are doing branch home evenings at members’ houses. So it is working out great.

The Seventy over Mexico wants every branch y ward to have a plan and make one every year.  Well the mission leader is named Juan y he is 82 years old y he almost have been a member for a year. The branch president is Awesome. He is so humble y really wants to help. The active members want to work hard because they don’t want to travel almost an hour if they take away the church, but there are some members say that they are going to do it because some don’t have faith. We have 400 members y only 60-70 go to church‬. The area Seventy said that any ward or branch with less then 150 people will be taken away y will join us with another ward to make150. I know we will get it done.

My comp is the only child of his mom because his mom y dad are divorced y his dad has 2 other kids. Only my comp y his mom are members. We get along so good y even the members say that we are made for each other.  He has been out for 14 months. 

We went to some small school classrooms on Saturday where they teach the kids the basic English y they invited me in to shake each one of their hands y take a pic y practice with them. They want me to stop on by every Saturday, so that was cool.  When I was answering there basic questions I would answer too fast, but I thought I was doing it slow.  Haha.  So the teacher had to re-say it to them slower. It was fun y I enjoyed it a lot.

I’m just happy I’m alive. Did you ever finish your card?


I only have 5 transfers left in my mission y I’m feeling lately that I will finish here? But no say. This transfer will end on Feb 1 y then I have 5 tranfers y they are six weeks in each transfer. It is going on by super fast You need to call the travel office next month.

Love you more how is the family? So nate is leaving tomorrow? Tell him I say hi y I love him y tell him to write me. Love you, thanks. How is the family? Grandma Signs said there will be a family reunion in are house y you got the couch? That will be great to see everybody y you know I’m a helper. Hey tell dad that I will take some money out to make no-bakes for the branch but they will pay me back.

Thanks for sending my package. What is in it? Did you send the contact cards to? I’m going to send one full of stuff for you guys y for me, but thanks. You need to send the V-card.  I’m dying to see it.

Love you. I’m glad all is good there. There is a lot more pictures, but I’ve got to go. Love you. Say hi to everyone y give them my love y I will pray for you.

Thanks Mom. Bye. Love you. xoxxo  You are always in my prayers. Bye have a good week

Bye love you xoxo





The certificate was a joke from the young women y my comp that I passed Beehives, because my comp was helping fill them out y he messed up y he wrote my name on it just for fun.




Yes, that’s our house on Google Earth, yes, but it is now red. love you

(Funny story.  During his first time emailing me he was describing where he lived and giving me directions so I could find his house on Google Earth.  (I'm the kind of mom who NEEDS to know exactly where my child is on the planet, so I always try to find their house on Google Eart,and "walk" down the streets where they walk!  But this time he kept saying it was a big red and white house, and I keep following his directions as best as I could, but couldn't find it!  he probably thought I have a terrible sense of direction, but I don't!  Finally I figured out that his house must have been painted red and white since the GE cameras came rolling through.  Sure enough!  Above is what I saw on GE, and below it is the house he is living in now. Mystery solved!)


The glasses are a members' y I just wanted to wear them.

Yancy, the branch president's daughter

People here have baby birds y color them blue or green 
y pink or red or purple y sell them to kids for 5 pesos


Alex sees people and cars from all over Central America in this  border town


People are much poorer here that they were in the big city, and many of them are here from other countries

Friday, January 15, 2016

Nathan: Last Week in America!




Well I am leaving to the missionary field on Tuesday morning!! My flight plan is from SALT LAKE to JFK NEW YORK then to VIENNIA, AUSTRIA then on to DNEPROPETROVSK, UKRAINE.

This week has been great! I got to sing for about 7 General Authorities of the Church and of church leaders from around the world! Its was a amazing opportunity!  We sang "Missionary Medley"  and "More Holiness Give Me"!!

Elder Anderson of the Twelve Apostles came and spoke to us here in the MTC! He discussed how we can teach the gospel of Jesus Christ so simply and beautifully that even a child or a professor can understand it!

I’m packing right now for Tuesday and it is tough doing so, haha. I have learned to love this place! The spirit is so strong and powerful!!

So a funny story about me, My mother sent these information cards of me that had a picture of me, my address and my email and a few elders got a hold of them and started placing those cards all over the MTC and random people would come up to me and would say "Are you the card guy????" haha. It was terrible. I got called up to the District President’s office, who is the head honcho of the MTC and we had a little chat, haha. But it all worked out well. I thought I was going to get sent home or transferred, but luckily I’m am still headed to Ukraine.

Well I am extremely busy and I will write more next time but I got to get ready to leave! I want to leave you all with my testimony that Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father lives and that they love and know us perfectly! That Joseph Smith is a real Prophet of God! I know that when we struggle and come to Christ he will help us with no matter what. I have complete Faith in my Savior!!!!  

Well my address will change to the Ukraine address, so don’t send any letters or anything here, only to the Ukraine one. Love you all so very much and I pray for each one of you every chance I get (and that is a lot because I’m a missionary). Wish you all the best and please tell me how you are all doing. Love you all! Don’t forget to look at the blog for pictures!!!

Next time in Ukraine!!!!!!!!

Members in my branch







Packing

So mom, my carry-on is the heavy case shell and it weighs 8 pounds by itself and I’m only allowed a 18 pounds for my carr-on. Should I take this carry-on or should I get a backpack and not bother about this case? And if so should I send it home or what?  Also I’m sending a package home of some things!

 Hey mom, could you send me some stories regarding my family history on both sides regarding to faith and following the lord please?!!

Wish Dylan good luck in wrestling and that I will be praying for him.

 So an elder in my branch Elder Kay is from the same ward as Alicia Smith.  He is friends with the twins, so if you could tell them. It’s a small world. Also an elder in my district, Elder Abbott is not going just yet to Russia for health issues and is headed to Minneapolis Minnesota, so tell the Williamsons to look out for him!!!

So they should be sending you a video of the choir that I peformed in so look for that.

If you can  could you send a picture of Sparkey haha. Thanks.

Also tell Derek to encourage Kirby to keep coming to church and YSA!!!! 

Also tell Isabel that I love her to and I care for her and pray for her!! 

Also when I call you from the airport, you might get Franky on the line so that we might talk, so have your phone ready all day on Tuesday and Wednesday. Also invite Eric to church and whatnot. Don’t for get about him as well

Also I saw Schyver!! I will send that pic later!

Tell grandma Signs I love her and that I enjoy the quotes she sends me!!!!!!!!!! And get her on the call too, maybe.

So how is every one doing? And Alex?


Put the photos on the blog and tell Dylan to put them on Instagram.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Alex: Hidalgo - I Love it Here! (or How to Illegally Cross the Mexico/Guatemala Border for about a Buck)


Well now I’m in my new area. It is hot. I’m in a branch where there is only 60 to 70 who go to church out of 400 members. This branch has not a lot of priesthood holders. Yesterday we had to say the sacrament prayer y it was my first time y I did it right. Y because there was no one to give talks being a missionary they told us to give a talk on service. So many people told me it was good y I said things that people need to hear.  That was cool. 


Well me y my comp., Elder Luis Juan are the only ones here in our big area. There are parts where we have never gone but  where lives a lot of less actives, so we are planning a trip with the branch president to go out there y visit. I do have a beach in my area y I’m the most south you can be in Mexico y I can see Guatemala from here. We can’t go over because it is a different mission but we can see the Mormon Church over there on the other side of the river. It is pretty cool. Our ward mission leader is 82 years old y he is still new in the church.  He will go to the templo for the first time this friday. He reminds me so much like my wonderful Grandpa Leon. The people are a lot poorer here, but they are a great humble people. In my area we have people from all over the place: Guatemala, Honduras y a lot more. They just live in shacks on the old train tracks. The great President Lucas has a washing machine y he lets us use it. It is hot here. There is a nice wind but when you are walking you don’t feel it. I’m glad to be done with the hills but now I need to get ready for the hot. Well we are for the most part working in the center but sometimes for food we need to go to another place a bit far. But we are planning on going to the beach part because it is far y a lot of members live there. Well a lot of people here know English y they always say “hi” or “how are you” or “what is good.” I love it here y we have a lot of work to do but we are ready. Love you all y thanks for all the prayers y love.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Love Elder Vanbuskirk


Hi mom love you

‪There are no hills here and of all the missions of Mexico we are the most South y the most cerca of Guatemala‬. I can see Guatemala on the other side of the river and the Mormon church over there. There is a bridge you can cross if you have papers, or if not you can cross on rafts to the other side for 15 pesos, so about a dollar. We can’t go over there because that is another mission. Love you.

My comp is great. He loves me. He was in my first zone in Tuxtla y he always wanted to be with me. He is a funny guy y he has a lot of love. He has 14 months y it is his first time being a leader, Yes, we will be a great team.

Well it is a branch here where only about 70 people go to church but there is a 400 members in the ward list. It is sad here. There is no one to say talks so we gave talks yesterday y we prayed for the santa cena (sacrament)  y we are the leaders for the young men.  The president doesn’t have secretaries to work on the papers. Y everybody is poor, but very nice.
The Church building: as found on Google Earth

Our area is huge y the president wants to have another set of missionaries, but if we want that to happen we need 150 people to go to church y that is why we are working hard for bringing back the less actives so another pair of elders can come because this area is huge. The church building is huge y they built it 12 years ago.

Okay thanks mom how are you? I’m glad things have slowed down and it is time for you to relax now. Get your painting done!

Hey can you print off the talk called “Lift where you stand” y give it to Dylan y Derek. Tell them to study it y ponder it y pray about it.

Did you send my package? . It is fine. So you are going to send 2 packages?

That looks like a lot of snow on your mountains.  It looks awesome.

Yes it was hard to leave Lomas, but I was able to make banana bread with Lilly y I didn’t leave until Saturday so it gave me more time. I know it kind of got burned, but it still tasted good.

If you’re looking on Google Earth, my house is two streets down from the Guatemala  border y we have 3 bathrooms with air conditioning y I have my own bathroom y my own room for my stuff. It is two stories high. ‪It is white and red.  If you go to the main park where a big flag is you go down until you see the right red y white house. It is big. It has a garage door y our neighbor’s house looks the same. It has wavy barbed wire on top. If you face the park go right y on the other side  of the street. We are far from the church but close to the river and not the same street as the church. It faces the river. Central sur entre 6 y7 oriente - it is on the center street between 6 y 7, down the street after you pass the dirt with tracks on it you are almost there. (I never did find a red and white house there on google earth – somebody must have painted it since Google Earth drove by, haha)
They said it was 10 hours, but the bus ride was only 5. I have a lot of pics, but Dropbox won’t download them. It is being slow. I will try next week.

I’ve got to go. Bye. Love you. Bye mom. Love you.
I will send you a pic next week okay bye love you. xoxoxo

I need to go.  I love you. Say hi to all the boys for me y give them my love.  I pray for you guys always y thanks for the prayers y love

 xoxoxo
Alex










The view in the bus.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Nathan: Heavenly Father Answers Prayers


Two More weeks left in the MTC! I am so excited that I'm so close to leaving! My Russian is not the best, but I am trying my best to speak it all the time and studying. I know the Gift of Tongues is true and that the Lord will help me if i try my hardest! For I know that He called me to Ukraine and he wouldn't send me there if I couldn't learn the language!

I also have a testimony that Heavenly Father answers prayers. I’ve been praying that I may use my talents to help share the gospel and serve others. And to my surprise I received a letter from the MTC Presidency asking me to participate in a 15 person choir, and we are singing for the new presidents of the international MTC's  all around the world, the Directors of the Church History Sites, and for about 6 of the Twelve Apostles next Tuesday and Wednesday! So I am so excited about that and I will be telling you all about that experience next week. So Heavenly Father answers prayers.

Our investigator,Taras, has finally made progress!! We were prompted by the spirit that instead of teaching him a lesson we would ask him how he was progressing. And he astounded me! Before he was having a hard time reading the scriptures,  praying, keeping the word of wisdom, and chastity. So when we were asking him he had been keeping the commandments fully and he wanted to be baptised!   I know that was the work of the Lord leading him and watching over him so if any of you need help go to the Lord and he will undoubtedly help you!

So this week has also had some great parts! My favorite cousin Kimberly get married this week in the Redlands Temple to her husband for time and all eternity! I love her so much and I am so proud of her. She is by far one of the nicest people I know! Also I just found out that my Grandfather is cancer free which is a miracle! And it was my other Grandpa’s B-day! So I love to hear great news from home!! Don’t forget to write me about how you are all doing! 

I hope everyone is doing Elder Bednar's challenge about reading the Book of Mormon with a topic in mind! I have and I can see the blessings and wisdom from it already!

Also I get my flight plans this week one step closer to leaving! Love you all. You’re in my prayers and keep living the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Love ELDER VANBUSKIRK



Hey Mom, could you send me the lyrics to that song played in the beginning of Nacho Libre that goes like "I am, I am, I think I am I’m Proud I am"? Also, has Derek and Dylan asked Mia to meet with the missionaries?!!!!  

Don't worry Mom, I have like no time haha. Tell KIrby I’m gonna write him a letter, and did Jared go to Mexico MTC? And I’m good. I don’t need anything. Thank you, though. Just prayers :) and I get to call you in a couple of weeks! Oh and those pics are from an investigator we have been talking to - his name is Junichi! He is fantastic! And he wanted to send you some pics!

Just send my emails to Kimberly then, please. 

Well Mom, I love you so very much and I can’t wait to talk to you! I gotta go and if you have time to write a dear elder, please do so! hahaha Thanks love you!

your faithful son!!!!!









Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Alex: As South as it Gets!

So Alex has been transferred as far south as you can possibly go and still be in Mexico! It's 10 hours south of the big city Tuxtla where he is now. His area literally sits on the Guatemalan border! From what he hears it is muy caliente there!





Alex: Tapachula or Bust!!!

Well what a week!  First off, HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYBODY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Welcome to 2016!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well this week was a crazy one. I got a phone call on Saturday night saying I’m going to Tapachula y my area is called  City  of Hidalgo. All I know it is about 10 hours from here y it is hot. That  sounds horrible because here is all stormy y very cold. But oh well, God wants me to  be in my new area. I’m a bit sad, but lets go to my 5th area!!!

Well,  on Tuesday Sister Anita y her husband took us out to sushi for a new years gift. That was so much fun y my first time for sushi on my mission. Me y my comp were so happy to eat at a restaurant y sushi, haha.





Well this week are area was dead as dead can be. We had no one in the streets y we had a lot of people to visit but none were home. We are visting an investigator named Ludin. He says he likes us y wants  to get baptized, but he has  dialysis so he cant go to church. Well we made M&M cookies with Hermana Lilly.





Well yesterday at church I had to say goodbye to all the members y take a lot of pics. I was so sad. I love this ward y area las Lomas. Members gave me a stuffed lion y a bunny y other things. I don’t want to leave but that is what God wants.





Well for the new year we went over to the Medina family. They gave us spaghetti y chicken. y then we stayed up untill 12 to see all the all the fireworks all around the valley of Tuxtla, so that was great y then we couldn’t sleep, but who cares? Well see you next week with new pics of my new area ha ha. Love you all y I hope you guys had a great new year filled with love like i did.

Love Elder VANBUSKIRK
ADIOSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

TAPACHULA OR BUST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hi mom. Love you.


I leave on Friday.  My comp is sad. Y my new comp is from the city of Mexico y his name is Luis Juan.  I dont know why I’m changing. It is not my fault. But that is what is happening.
But I heard he is awesome, so let’s see. It is one of the hottest areas y I leave right when it is getting cold.‬ I know y the heat will get me ready to be back at home ja ja.  Yes, it is very south,
But my area is 2 hours south Tapachla y my area touches Gutamela. It is called city of Hidalgo.  That is where God wants me to be now.  Love you. Well, I leave on Friday. It is about 10 hours away.

Did you send my package? Love you.  No it is fine.  Send the package when you can. I still have stuff from the other packages. At least you can put in your late Christmas card now.

I’ve got to go but tell me how you are feeling? Love you too.  Everything will work out. Not with your time, not mine, or his, but God’s, so be patient in waiting on God’s timing

Sorry about Bro Flores’ father.
Well I’ve got to go. I can’t wait to show you pics next week of my new area. Love you. Can’t wait to talk to you next week. Thanks for everything and the prayers , love, y a lot more.                         Say hi to all y give them my love. Thanks ADIOSSS‬

‪xoxoxo‬

Thanks Mom. I just do what the Lord wants me to do. I’ve got to go. Bye. Love you. Bye. Love you. May peace be with you all week!  Love you y  thanks for all.  I know  you guys will be  blessed. Adioss Love you.


Love, Alex xoxo