Friday, December 30, 2016

Christmas 2016

On Christmas Eve Hayden was able to Skype us.  The picture isn't great.  It was sooo fun to talk to him.  We were able to meet his companion, Elder Romero and also a Hermana who takes really good care of them.  It is her nonmember friends who let them use their computer to Skype.  It was so weird having Hayden translate for us.  In just a few months he is totally fluent!  We commented on his hair cut, Elder Romero gave it to him. hahaha

Monday was pday, of course, and we had our usual email chat.  There wasn't a whole lot to share since we had just talked to him a couple of days before but here is a little of what he had to say.  We did get a lot of pictures though!  I have shared a few.

Hi Mom!

Ya I was super trunkie after the call.  I missed you guys a lot haha, but it's ok.   Missing you makes me work harder.  It reminds me that I'm sealed to my family for all eternity and I want the rest of the world to have that.

It was Christmas so everyone was drunk.  I didn't get any sleep because there were so many parties.  It was frustrating.   Everyone was out of town.  We contacted a lot and it felt like the whole country was denying us.  It was frustrating for me.  The other missionaries told me not to be frustrated haha, that's how it is in December.

I uploaded a bunch of pictures.  The one with Elder Romero cooking is our Christmas dinner, tacos!!!!  

Love you Mom, update the blog pleaaaase.  You are awesome.

Elder Bush

This is how they spent Christmas Eve after talking to their families.

Elder Romero preparing Christmas dinner, tacos.

This Hermana looks out for the missionaries and takes really good care of them.  We were cracking up at Hayden's head getting cut off in the pictures.  

Here are a few pictures from their mission Christmas party with President and Hermana Williamson.

Reunited with Elder Rowley!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Getting Back At It

Hey Mom and Dad,

First I want to  say how much I love you and how grateful I am for you guys, and how you have raised me, and for helping me go on a mission.  It truly is amazing, both you guys and the mission.

My ankle isn't quite 100% but the doctor said it will take another week.  I can walk and that's all I need.

Ya, now that I have been teaching and now that my Spanish is better, Elder Romero has really been teaching me how to teach effectively (some by trial and error haha).  He really has been teaching me a lot and he helps me with my Spanish.  He doesn't let me get away with saying something wrong haha.  We work super hard and have a lot of fun.

We will be Skyping you guys on the 24th around 6 to 7 our time so I think that is 5 to 6 your time.  Be by the phone or computer at those hours haha.  It's weird to think that it is Christmas.  I got sunburned today.  We went to a zone activity today and later Elder Romero, Filmore, Morales and I went to KFC and then bought matching ties for our Christmas party with President.  We have a lot of fun together.  It's awesome to be able to preach the gospel and have fun at the same time.  It's the best feeling in the world.  I'll get my package tomorrow.  Tell John and Michelle I say hi and I wish I could have been there.

 We have found a family and some other investigators, and we still have our older investigators.  We don't really have many progressing because we just got here and we haven't really met everybody yet, It's hard to find everybody especially in December.  December is the hardest month to do missionary work here, everyone is at the beach.  J and J are doing awesome.  They go to church every Sunday.

I have yet to get a camera but Hermana B is going to get me one and I will pay her back.   All of the stores are far away.  Hermana B is too nice.  haha  She basically had to hold a knife to my throat to let her do that haha. 

I asked Gramps about his testimony last week and he shared it with me.  It was really cool.   I started to cry haha, 

I put some pictures up.  The feliz cumple is for your Birthday,  Mom.   I love you so much Mom and hope everything is fine.  Remember your son in Mexico who loves you so much.

Yes, nos vemos mama te amo.

Elder Bush 

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

New Companion and Back in Celaya

Hi Mom,

Well well well. It has been a crazy but pretty awesome week. Wednesday me and Elder Romero came back here to Constituyenties and started to work.  Elder Romero is from Colombia, he has about 16 months in the mission.  He turned 22 today haha.  We have been having a blast and are working hard. He has been kicking my butt haha and it doesn't help that I'm super out of shape for not walking for 4 weeks.

If I could have given Hermana Williamson a hug I would have, but yes I thanked her and President  so so so much.  Yes, I have a few pictures with me, Elder Frederickson and Elder Romero and their district.  They adopted me as one of their own.  I'll probably put more pictures up Wednesday so keep an eye out. 

Elder Romero and Elder Frederickson's District

Hahahha Mom, you are always the bad guy, but it's a good thing haha. You are also the nice guy, Mom and very sweet.  With out both of these things who knows where I would have ended up. 

Hopefully Elder Romero doesn't kill me by the end of the week haha.  We talked about our plans for next week and I'm going to be taking the lead in the lessons and contacting so I can get better at Spanish and so I can know how to do that.  It's been awesome.  We have planned really well and have been very effective.  Now that we have a full week of work to work with we should be able to get investigators to progress now that we have found them all.

We went to Costco today!!!!  We bought a bunch of food.  It was awesome, it reminded me of home. haha.  I'm doing great, Mom.  My ankle is a little weak but it's great.  I don't need anything, I'm in good hands with Elder Romero.  He is awesome!  Love you so so sooo much, Mom. Thanks for everything.

Elder Bush

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Hayden's Farewell Talk

That song (Where Love Is) is very special to my dad’s family because it was kind of their family song growing up. It was sung at my grandma's funeral and it was neat to see all of my aunts and uncles sing it, and I thought it would be neat to have it sung again. Plus I think it goes along with the missionary theme because love comes first in everything as a missionary.

I wanted to first begin by saying how excited I am to serve a mission. I've always wanted to be a missionary since I was a little kid. I am excited to wear the badge.  I am excited to proclaim that Jesus is the Christ, our Savior, and through his suffering and dying on the cross, otherwise known as the atonement, all things can come to pass, even our returning to our Father. I have gained this testimony throughout my teenage years. My first year of seminary we studied the New Testament, and reading through it, I had found something dear to me, my Savior's love. It makes me grateful for my wonderful parents who have taught me well and have given me the foundation to then find out for myself if what they taught was true. I know what Nephi means when he says he was “born of goodly parents”.

To say the least a mission means a lot to me. It's something I'm taking very seriously.

With all of this said I was tempted to not show up today. Really I was reluctant to give this talk. I haven't done anything yet. What if I'm not adequate enough, what if I don't know enough, what if I'm not mature enough, what if I fail?  My insecurities have been attacked severely in these past couple of months. Lots of sleepless nights, and plenty of emotional High stress days.
But I have realized that this talk is probably more for me then for you.

It has sometimes made me wish that I didn't care this much about my mission.
But, this isn't the first time that I have gone through this. Probably not as big of a deal as this, but there had to be a place to start. In hindsight my childhood and into my teenage years have been nothing but proof of what the Savior wants of me and his plans for me. Especially these last two years, the Lord's hand has been everywhere in my life. I have seen how if I live my life the way he wants me to opportunity and peace are given. The primary source of this is through my Patriarchal Blessing. My Patriarchal Blessing is what has helped me through the rough times of my teenage years and is what has given me the image of the person that I want to be, along with guiding me throughout my life.

I remember the day that I got my Patriarchal Blessing. My grandparents and parents came with me to receive it. I remember when our Patriarch put his hands on my head and began talking, it was like the spirit had just dropped an anvil upon me. There have been fewer times of when I have felt the spirit as strongly as that. My blessing mentions a lot about my mission, it talks about how if I work hard and really LOVE the people that Angels will walk with me and that the people will hear me.

One of the biggest ways that my blessing shows the Lord's hand in my life is about the timing of my mission. Basically what it implies is that you focus hard on your mission and then when you get back you will be guided in what you want to do. At the beginning of my senior year  My parents were making me focus on college, they asked the questions where do you want to go, what schools are you going to apply too, which well isn't a bad thing but when they asked me these questions it stressed me out, it didn't feel like the right thing for me to be focusing on. Every time they would bring it up I would feel uncomfortable. I knew that it wasn't right for me to do and I tried to convince them but they wouldn't listen. It just had felt wrong to me and I knew what my blessing had said. Finally my parents read my blessing and realized like an epiphany that my blessing addressed this issue and that I was right about not needing to focus on college until after my mission. After that everything just started falling into place. We knew I was going to go on a mission right out of high school. Once they had realized this we were on the same page and then everything had just started to fall into place with both preparations for my mission and school, the hand of the lord was evident. This was undoubtedly the Lord showing his plans for me.

After realizing this I started to see how these last two years have been preparing me for my mission. There was a couple of months where I would have five church meetings every Sunday. I was thrown into leadership positions all across the board, whether it be school, basketball, Priest Quorum etc. I also have learned what it feels like to have a full day everyday for an extended period of time.

I have mentioned love and it's importance in regards to missionary work. There is a great poem about this that i want to share with you, it also happens to be my dads favorite poem.  It goes like this:

Abou Ben Adhem may his tribe increase
Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
And saw, within the moonlight in his room,
Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,
An angel writing in a book of gold --
Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
And to the Presence in the room he said
What writest thou? -- the vision raised its head,
And with a look made of all sweet accord
Answered “The names of those who love the lord”
“And is mine one? Said Abou. “Nay not so.”
Replied the Angel, Abou spoke more low,
But cheerily still, and said “I pray thee, then
Write me as one that loves his fellow men.”

The Angel wrote, and vanished. The next night
It came again with a great wakening light,
And showed the names whom love of God had
And lo! Adhem’s name led all the rest.

President Lewis who you have already seen on the stand today, has helped me understand this fully.  President Lewis has brought our Priest Quorum close together. He has helped us create a brotherhood that I will always remember and cherish. He got us together as a quorum 30 minutes before every mutual activity, and we would go visit less active boys in the ward to check up on them, tell them that we care about them, to fellowship them and to love them as the Savior would. This has taught me a lot about missionary work and the love of our Savior. I truly believe that President Lewis is a blessing from God to our Priest Quorum, he has done amazing work.

I have talked a lot about hard times and having to get through them. This last year has been the most challenging for my family. I'm not saying that to be woe is me or to say our lives are sad, that is just the way it was this last year.  It was non stop stress and tensions were high. Without the Lord's help we definitely would not have made it through it.  2 Nephi 31:20 says..

20 Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.

This explains that having a steadfast faith in Christ and having a perfect hope that things will be ok as well as a LOVE of God and all men, we shall have eternal life if we endure to the end. My family has applied this scripture to our lives in the last year deeply.

Bush Family, this scripture reminds me of the story of our beloved Patience and the way she lived at the end of her life. She was the perfect example of this as she battled through cancer. She is truly one of my greatest Heroes.

All of these things give me comfort that when the mission gets hard, and it will get hard, Spanish alone will make it hard, but it gives me comfort to know that the Lord is on my side and will help me through even the most hardest struggles.

In my first missionary interview with Bishop he told me that a purpose of missionary work is to get people to the temple to receive their temple ordinances. I have only just learned the importance of the temple when I had received my endowments a month ago. That ordinance is very sacred but it is so important and necessary for our salvation, as well as being sealed to our families forever.  

I love going to the temple, it has allowed me to take a step out of this terrible world and to be able to just go and feel the holy comforter.
Like I have said I have been struggling.

So the temple has been my escape. The first week that I was endowed I went to the temple everyday. I love it there. This last week I had a very special experience in the temple. I had gone to the Provo City center temple with one of my friends. We ended up having to wait an hour for the next session. Which I was fine with because it is a really neat temple, and I had only a few chapters in the Book of Mormon left so I got to finish it. So as we sat in the chapel and I had just finished the Book of Mormon I began to sit there and ponder. You see I have been praying a lot recently to Father to be able to overwhelmingly feel the spirit because I have been having a really hard time and needed some extra comfort. So here I was and all of a sudden the greatest feeling of peace had come over me and I had this feeling that just told me, Hayden you will be ok, you are going to go on your mission and have an awesome experience as long as you work hard.  This is just a minor blessing of the temple which shows how important the temple is. Being sealed to our family's forever allowing us to reach exaltation is what the temple allows us to do, and it is not a wonder why the temple is the a reason for missionaries to to what they are doing.

In closing I want to give a very sincere thank you from the bottom of my heart. I want to thank my friends and their families for always supporting me and being their for me and for putting up with such a weird kid.

I want to thank all of my youth leaders and all of those who have taught me and given me a good person to look up to. You have no idea what kind of impact you have on us young teenagers.

I want to thank my extended family, you guys are the best and have always shown me love it really has meant a lot to me

I want it to thank Bishop and his family for their great sacrifice to serve us all. Bishop there is no one else that I would rather have send me out on a mission than you.

Lastly I wanted to thank my brothers and my parents.
Austen, Dillon I'm going to miss you.
Mom Dad I'm gonna miss you too, thank you for everything, truly you guys are the best parents. I Love you guys.

I hope the people of Queretaro Mexico are ready for me.

All these things that I have said I say in the name of Jesus Christ our savior

Rise, Take up Your Bed and Walk

Well beloved parents, this week has been a crazy one. I guess I should just start at the beginning. This week has been pretty cool.  At the beginning it was pretty much just going to the offices with the secretaries and then at like 3ish we would go to the comida appointment, and then at 4:00 Hermana Williamson would pick me up and we would go to my therapy.  It was fun because I went shopping a few times with her haha.  It made me really regret not ever wanting to go shopping with you mom, it was really fun.  We went to Costco and we had to go all over the place to find a wifi range extender for their house.  We also went to a fabric store to find little skirt things for the office Christmas tree and her tree at their house. Sister Williamson is awesome, she is so hilarious, She's a spaz!
Thank you so much for the package Mom, it's awesome!!! I love the batman shirt haha. I have been playing chess a lot with Elder Martinez ( another secretary).  It's fun, he is good and we have some competitive matches.  
Saturday night the Sister missionaries that are here in the same area as Elder Freddy and Romero had a baptism so we went to it. Then Sunday was crazy.  We were in church and their convert was about to be confirmed and the Bishop invited us Elders up to participate in the ordinance.  When I get up there he tells me that I'm going to be the one to do the confirmation.  I'm sure my face turned bright red, I was like haha good one guys but they were serious!!!  So shakily I went over and did it. It was my first blessing in Spanish.  I don't know why the bishop chose me but it did help me out a lot with some personal things.  I had only been there for two weeks too.  I mean I have talked to the Bishop before, but I didn't think he would make me do something like that hahah.  
Elder Frederickson, Elder Romero and Elder Bush

Sunday night we went to the Christmas Devotional put on by the First Presidency.  It was being broadcast to the stake center. There we received our changes.  I'm going back to Celeya with Elder Romero.  It was crazy.  Me and Elder Romero have gotten to be good friends.  I am super excited.

This email was what we received from Hayden on Monday of this last week.  On Tuesday we received the following email from Sister Williamson.

Brother and Sister Bush:

Thought you might like to see Elder Bush as he completes his ten days of therapy. He will return to Celaya tomorrow morning with his new companion, Elder Romero. 
Thanks again for your love and prayers on his behalf.

Sister Williamson

I just love her!  What a relief things have worked out with his foot and it has all come to an end.  We are excited to hear from him tomorrow and find out about his first week with a new companion and new experiences where he has had to take the lead.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

On the Mend

Hey mom and dad.

This week has actually been really cool. You won't believe what has been happening with me haha. So Wednesday I came up here (Queretaro) by myself on a bus. I talked to a guy the whole way up here.  After, he helped me with my bags because crutches makes everything really hard.  Then Sister Williamson came and picked me up. She took me to the hospital and I started my physical therapy.  It's torture.  Then she took me to the secretaries house.  They are super cool.  Elder Frederickson and Romero are my comps I guess you could say.  I like going to the hospital because I go by myself so I'm the one that has to talk with everyone.  It's fun to be able to use my Spanish. It definitely has gotten better just being here because all we do is talk in Spanish because of Elder Romero. Then I went and ate at the President's house with Pres and Hermana Williamson and two other sister missionaries because one of them was having surgery.  It was super cool and fun.

Thursday was really special.  After my therapy and everything there wasn't really anything for me to do so I was just with Hermana Williamson and President.  They took me to a Thanksgiving dinner that they got invited too. It was so awesome and weird and funny.  It was an American family with a bunch of kids.  I felt so out of place haha.  I walk in and they made me go a different way than President and Hermana Williamson because I wouldn't fit with my crutches.  This part is funny.  As I went to the other side there were a bunch of like teenage American girls there and they started talking to me.  I felt super uncomfortable haha.  I was like I need to go into the same room as President. Their mom came in and was like oh sit down and stuff.  I asked her, "can I do that?"  Everyone was laughing at me when I said that.  I just looked at President and he gave me this look like "It's whatever dude go ahead and stay there."  I was like, uhh ok.  Luckily they had one of the girls husbands come in and talk to me.  Then we had a real Thanksgiving dinner.  Every other American missionary is jealous haha.  It was cool.  A Mexican family was there and he told me something really cool.  He told me that everything has a purpose, there is a reason why  I am here with all of these people.  

Friday and Saturday I've just been with Elder Freddy and Romero.  Saturday and Sunday I didn't have therapy.  It's getting a lot better.  I can walk with crutches.  I have gained back a lot of the mobility but can't put a lot of pressure on it still.  Sunday I saw the family I ate Thanksgiving with at church.  It was cool.  And well now here we are.

Helping the Hermanas decorate the office Christmas tree.

 Friday afternoon we received this email update from Sister Williamson.

Brother & Sister Bush,

I wanted to let you know that Elder Bush is doing really well with his therapy. I was so happy when he walked out of his treatment last night with only one crutch. (We bought ice cream so he could celebrate with the secretaries.)
Our hope is that tonight he will walk out with no crutch at all. The doctor recommended 10 treatment sessions. That will be Monday and Tuesday. If he needs all ten treatments, he will wait and return to his area either Tuesday night or Wednesday morning with his new companion as changes will happen Monday.
In the meantime, he has been doing well and simply by speaking with the secretaries and having to rely on himself to understand what the therapist is saying, he feels like his Spanish has improved by leaps and bounds over the last two weeks. He is a happy young man and we have enjoyed having the time to get to know him better as I've been his chauffeur to and from therapy. He has a good outlook on things and has been able to do missionary work with the secretaries while being here in Queretaro.
Thank you for your prayers on his behalf and thanks for raising him to be an obedient and faithful missionary. We are grateful to have him here.

Sister Williamson

This seemed appropriate given Hayden's circumstances the last few weeks.  Still that smile, still no complaints, and still recognizes the opportunities he has had in spite of it all.  I am thankful that Heavenly Father sent him to me.  I am thankful for the example he has been to us and all that we have learned from him in the few months he has been gone.  I am thankful for his desire, hard work, dedication, and perseverance to serve his Father in Heaven. I am thankful for the love and support for Hayden from so many.  We love you!   

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Ankle Problems

This his report from Monday, November 14.

Hi Mom,

I have quite a few pictures to give you, but first I need to tell you something, Mom. So Wednesday I hurt my ankle jumping rope during our morning exercise.  We went to the doctor and they said in a week everything would be fine.  We went to him again Saturday and he sent us to another doctor that we saw today (Monday).  He told me that it has something to do with my ligament and that everything is fine.  I just have to wear a cast for two weeks and then everything will be fine.  So I have a cast on.  President talked to the mission doctor and he said if there is something wrong with my ligament it would be best that I went home for 4-6 weeks and return.  We don't really know if we should trust the doctor that gave me the cast. I really really don't want to go home.  I'm going to tell President that if I have to walk everywhere on crutches I will.  Rowley said he wants to help me stay.  He says if he has to push me in a wheelchair he will.  I really want to stay and I'm super super scared.  I know it would only be for a couple of weeks but I would rather suffer here. 

It doesn't hurt at all, but I can't move my foot back up far enough to walk on it.  It is still pretty swollen.  The doctor said the cast is on it just so I don't move it so that way in two weeks everything will be fine.  I'm not sure what to think or who to believe.  I will see President tomorrow and so we will talk and probably call you guys. 

I know everything will be ok if I do have to go home.  It is only for about 4-6 weeks so it's not too big of a deal but none the less I don't want to have to go home Mom.

I'm doing ok.  I was just super scared.  I went and cried at the G's house.  They are super cool. They told me "Don't worry.  Tonight for Family Home Evening we will say a super chido prayer.  They are being supportive and they said that they will help us if I have to stay here on crutches. 

The work is good.  We contacted a reference Tuesday of this lady who is having a really tough time. This is where we are just here to serve her and help her through whatever she needs.  Bring her the love of the Savior and bring her unto Christ.  I'm excited to teach her.

Everything will be ok.  I'll try my best to stay here and if I do have to come home, it's ok, I will come back real quick.  I know that God loves us and things happen for a reason.  Everything will be ok, don't worry about me mom. I love you so much.  I have got to go now.  We will probably be in contact tomorrow.

Elder Bush

As you can imagine we were quite concerned after this email chat.  Joe emailed Sister Williamson that night and expressed our concern.  She immediately called us and let us know they would be traveling to his area the next day (Tuesday) for Zone Conference and they would meet with Hayden and call us.  

Tuesday afternoon Hayden called Joe and then they called me so we were on a conference call and able to all be part of the conversation.  He was ok talking to Joe but once he heard my voice he started to cry.  It was so good to hear his voice.  He sounded great!  It was strange talking to him because he had an accent and he would at times talk really fast and I couldn't understand him.  He spoke with the mission doctor before he called us.  The mission doctor said there is a specialist in Queretaro he trusted that he wanted Hayden to see.  They set up an appointment for that Friday at 5:30 pm.  Hayden's area is outside of Queretaro so he and his companion had some members give them a ride.  They were to meet Sister Williamson and she would take them to the appointment.  

Zone Conference

The appointment went well.  The specialist didn't think there had been damage done to the ligament but had him return on Saturday for an MRI just to be sure.

This is the email chat from Monday, November 21.

Hi Mom,

Ya we have actually been working pretty hard.  The Ward Mission Leader is Hermano G so they have been helping us a lot. The days are better then before because we have someone to accompany us in dangerous places and a car to get around.  We are at a member's house who is close to ours to write so we didn't have to walk all the way down to the cyber.

Teaching is good.  Having Hermano G with us helps a ton.  F had a cool lesson.  We talked about getting our answers last lesson.  He said he prayed for like an hour just repenting for all his sins and he said he began to cry.  He began to cry in our prayer with him too.  He was whispering, "I want to know, I want to know."  Our new contact hasn't called us.  We are probably going to go meet her Wednesday just to check up on her.  

We went and talked to a menos activo the other day and it was super cool.  He invited us in and was super happy.  He gave us a Coke and we talked.  He said he was waiting for someone to invite him back. He said his best time was when he was in the church.  We asked him what was holding him back and he said nothing.  That's the thing, just worldly laziness.  His family was sealed in the Washington DC temple. 

Queretaro was fun.  Hermana Williamson is hilarious.  We drove around everywhere with her. We were two hours late meeting her for my appointment because the traffic here is insane.  (Remember his appointment was at 5:30.  The doctor waited.  Poor Sister Williamson had a really late night!)  J and J gave us a ride.  It should have taken us 30 minutes to get there but it took 3 hours.  It was a fun rode trip though.  It's pretty and J and J are funny.  Traffic here is crazy.  Everyone was trying to pass people by going on the shoulder.  It was so crazy.  The shoulder was just dirt. 

I haven't been struggling with Spanish, I just need to practice speaking.  I understand everything. My talk was actually really good.  If I have time to write it down my Spanish will be good.  Plus Elder Rowley went over it to fix some of the errors.  We just need to speak in Spanish together so it's better. 

Love you, Mom.  I have got to go now, I will talk to you tomorrow. 

They met with the doctor again the next day, Tuesday of this last week.  The MRI showed that there was no damage done to the ligament.  We were so relieved.  Had there been damage he would have had to come home to have surgery.  Hayden rode the bus back into Queretaro on Wednesday to the mission home.  He started physical therapy Wednesday and will continue to have it everyday for 10 days.  He meets with the doctor again this Friday to follow up.  Because it is too far and too expensive to travel back and forth into the city every day he is staying with the 4 Elders that are working in the mission home.  One of them will act as his companion and go to his appointments with him.  After he meets with the doctor on Friday the plan is for him to go back to his area in Celaya.

At the mission offices with one of the AP's.

Sister Williamson posted this picture on the mission FB page today.  He attended a baptism over the weekend while at the mission home.  We were pleased to see his foot down.  We think evidence the physical therapy is helping.  

The last couple of weeks have been filled with uncertainty and a lot of prayer.  We are anxious to hear from him tomorrow and know of his progress.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Wedding Planning and a Baptism

Hi Mom!

I got one of the packages.  The sweater is awesome!  Thanks for the candy!!!

We basically put together J's wedding reception ourselves with the help of the Relief Society.  It was awesome, Mom We have never seen the ward so close.  They decorated the chapel, brought cake and food.  It was just so awesome.  They brought a speaker and everyone was dancing.  It was seriously a really cool and special moment and I'm glad that I got to experience it. Elder Rowley is the one who basically made sure it all happened though. 

F and J are doing well.  Progressing super good.  They feel the spirit and they love church, but they still don't think they got their answer.  I think we need to tell them that they have, they just haven't realized it. 

Jessica got baptized.  I will send you pictures in the drive in a little bit.  The baptism was awesome and beautiful.  She really loves the gospel.  The next day she was confirmed and she bore her testimony. She shared the story about us finding the ID.  She said she knows that God lives.  It was super cool!  She's only 19!!!  We thought she was like 23.  This Sunday was amazing.  We have to be at church for 6 hours because we cover two wards.  Both testimony meetings were awesome.  Rowley said the best of his mission. I thought so too but that just might be because I understood everything for the first time.  hahaha  My Spanish is getting so much better!  It's awesome Mom.

We ate pozole yesterday so now Rowley is like dying, but I'm fine.  It's a type of soup.

Love you sooo much, Mom.  I've gotta go.

Elder Bush

Monday, November 7, 2016

Prayers are Answered

Hey Mom,

 So I have a really cool experience to share.  Je and Jo are going to get married and baptized this week!!  It was crazy, I think like Tuesday of last week they were going to go and set up their appointment for their marriage but they lost Jo's ID!!  They had been looking all over to find it and couldn't find it for basically all day.  It wasn't a coincidence we decided to stop by.  We showed up and we told them that we were going to say a prayer and look for it for five minutes and we would then find it because after we do all that we can do the lord gives it to us.  So we did exactly that. We looked all over the house and right as we were sitting down to give up Elder Rowley comes out and tells us he has a surprise for us.  It was so awesome.  Je started to cry.  Everyone was freaking out because the Lord had definitely helped.  Je and Jo have been tormented with challenges to get baptized by Satan.  But we found it now.  They are getting married tomorrow and baptized on Saturday.

J and F came to church on Sunday and it was the Primary Program.  We were a little nervous because they are both older guys but they seemed to enjoy it.  After church we went and taught them.  They know the gospel is true.  It's awesome to see their eyes just light up when we teach them.  The gospel has answers to all of their questions.

We are in one of the bigger wards but still not a lot of people.  Maybe around 100.  It's cool, we go to Sacrament Meeting and they call people to say the prayers from the stand lol then two people give talks.  After Sacrament Meeting we go to Gospel Principles with our investigators and recent converts.  The Bishop is awesome.  He always tries to help us.  He really cares for his ward, it's cool to see.

Mom, the G family is awesome.  I'm glad you got that picture of them.  They help us out so much. They call us their gringo sons. haha

 No pictures this week.  I need to get a new camera.  I should have some next week.  

I love you Mom.  I've got to go.  Love you sooo much Mom.

Elder Bush

In hearing about all of Hayden's hard work in the mission field and to tie in his love for basketball, this seemed appropriate. :)

Sunday, October 30, 2016

A little spoiled - staying in Celaya

Hi Mom!

Awesome!  Man, I thought they would have brought my package here because we had transfers. I'm staying with Elder Rowley!!! I'm super excited about it!

 So we brought the G family to our investigator J who has been in teaching for 5 years.  Hermana G talked about the challenges they had and about their sealing as a family.  Everyone was crying.  The next day we went over to visit them and J told us that she wants to get baptized.  They are getting married this week and then the next week she will be baptized. It was so awesome!  They are an awesome family he is a member but she isn't and they have a cute little girl too.   J's husband was shot in the leg and his leg is messed up.  Elder Rowley told them that if they follow the law of the gospel he will be able to walk even though the doctors told him he won't be able to.  He has walked into church the last two weeks.  Definitely a miracle!  F and J are doing awesome and progressing along very well.  They are super smart.  Every time we teach them it is super super awesome!  

Today is Rowley's Birthday so Friday we had a celebration for him at B's house with the family G. B brought some people for us to teach.  It was fun!  They are so funny.  The pictures are of the G family and B.  They are super awesome and take good care of us.  They make us eggs and let us use their washing machine.  We are going to go over there for noche de hogar (FHE) later tonight. 

The G family

Elder Rowley's Birthday
Me and Elder Rowley with B
Ya, we have zone and district meetings every week.  Celaya is awesome.  I love all of the missionaries here. 

Our Zone Leaders had a baptism that we attended of a 12 year old boy .   He bore his testimony and it was so awesome.  It made me cry and I don't even know him.  He said that he knows that because of Jesus we get another chance and we get the opportunity to live with our families forever. 

There is this thing here called churriso and its basically pork and chicken mixed together.  It's the best thing on earth.  B brings us burritos at night every once in a while and they are soooo good. 

I love just kinda walking around mexico. haha  I like the way the music sounds here.  When I get home and can understand it, I'm excited to listen to it. 

No, not too sick.  I mean everyone gets diarrhea every once in a while. haha

I've got to go Mom. I love you.

Elder Bush

I am grateful to the G family and B for taking such good care of Hayden and Elder Rowley.  They are probably a little spoiled! :)  Hayden was told before he left that he would be washing his clothes in a bucket.  Having access to a washing machine I think is pretty lucky! He is set for another 6 weeks when transfers come up again.

I have become acquainted with a sister in Mexico who shared this short video clip with me right before Hayden left the MTC.  The clip is of President Eyring talking about how mission calls are given .  Even though I only know this sister through modern technology and have never met her in person, the gesture touched my heart more than she will ever know.  My favorite part is when President Eyring says, "You don't remember His face, but He remembers yours."  

Every picture Hayden has sent us his face is beaming and he has a great big smile.  I have caught myself many times as I have looked through the pictures saying, "That face!  Look at that smiling beaming face."  There is no doubt in our minds that Hayden is where is supposed to be.  We know there  are struggles and times of  homesickness, (not once has he complained) but that face is confirmation of our Father in Heaven placing him where Hayden is needed.  Every single week Hayden tells us how much he loves Mexico, how wonderful the people are and how much he loves seeing THEIR faces light up as they learn about the gospel.   

Monday, October 24, 2016

Throwing up and Showing up for Church

Hi Mom!

Last week was fine.  I'm doing fine. 

Honestly I don't know what I need, just surprise me haha.  la verdad I don't know haha.  I just want something from home. With candy and stuff, right?  haha I would like a sweater to wear over my white shirts for when it's a little chilly. Transfers are next week and it might be hard for me to shop.  I don't mind waiting.

Ya, it's pretty hot everyday.  We don't have any pictures but I will get you some.  

I wish I could be there for H and T,  they are awesome.  Our primary program here was Sunday too, it was awesome. 

We start each day by exercising, shower, study, study, study language, study and then go to work. We haven't had any big service opportunities.  We helped a family move but that was easy. haha

I threw up at a member's house.   I over ate.  They try to do everything for you. We were eating burgers and I tried to eat 3 because she put another half on my plate.  She told me I didn't have to eat it.  She is really cool.  She was baptized by Rowley so she is pretty close with us.  Anyway, I tried to eat the half but then all of a sudden everything went wrong and I ran to the bathroom and threw up.  They were laughing.  It was really funny.

Teaching has been cool.  We got investigators to show up to church!  He is a member and she isn't. They are low on money because he can't walk.  They don't have enough money to get married which they need to do before they get baptized.  They have a beautiful 2 year old daughter.  Everything is super humbling.  They live on a dirt road and their house is concrete.  Our apartment is bigger than their house.  We are praying for them and trying to help them as much as we can.  
Our other investigators are awesome.  The gospel answers all of their questions and helps them.  I love seeing the spirit light up someone's eyes while we are teaching them the gospel.

Elder Rowley got hit by a bike.  It was a one way street so he only checked one way.  A bike came flying in.  We have missionary protection so we are fine.  haha  He didn't get hurt, it was just really funny!

I got to go Mom.  I love you so much!

Elder Bush

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Planting Lots of Seeds

Hey Mom,

My week was pretty good.  I'm doing pretty good.  I'm really frustrated though.  I just wish I was fluent in Spanish already but it will come. haha  I can pretty much understand everything that's going on, I just have a hard time communicating back.  This week went by pretty fast.  We have been walking so far away every day because that is where our investigators live.  Its been hard and tiring. It's frustrating because we are working hard but haven't had a lot of results.  We have been planting lots of seeds.  We have been working and visiting a lot of menos activos.

Ya, we had interviews with President, it was really cool.  President and Hermana Williamson are the best.  Transfers are every six weeks.  There are a couple things that could happen.  Either me and Elder Rowley will stay in this area together for another transfer or we will get split up.  We will just see. There are about 130ish missionaries in my mission. 

I have been missing you guys, but that just means I love you.  Can you send me The Teachings From the Presidents of the Church?  Do you know that series?  I want the Joseph Smith one.  It takes like 3 weeks to get here.  Just send it with a bunch of candy and some other gifts.  hahaha  Is that too demanding?  It's ok if it takes a long time to get here, I would rather wait for it.  I just want a package from you guys. haha 

Ya we know the members pretty well.  They are nice people.  We have two investigators that are really loving what we are teaching them and we have another that is basically just saving up money so they can get married and then be baptized.  We pray every day that they come to church haha.  We aren't really supposed to knock doors here.  

I'm stoked for Cannon.  I am so happy for H and T.  That's awesome.  As a missionary that means so much more to me.  My goal isn't to baptize people, it's to give people the blessing of being sealed to their family like I have been blessed to have had.  The family is what brings us happiness.  It is how we return to our Father in Heaven, it is everything in the Gospel.  Send them my love they are awesome people . 

All of the people freak out when I show them pictures of our family.  They say, "oh your mom is so bonita," and they call Austen and Dad guapo.  They just think Dillon is the cutest thing ever.  Probably because he is blonde and has a radiant smile haha. 

Time to go, Mom.  I love you.

Elder Bush

My favorite quote from his email: 

"My goal isn't to baptize people.  It's to give people the blessing of being sealed to their family like I have been blessed to have had.  The family is what brings us happiness.  It is how we return to our Father in Heaven, it is everything in the Gospel." 

Friday, October 7, 2016

Working Hard and Chugging Along

Hi Mom,

The week was pretty good but not too much interesting.  We got two new investigators that are super smart and know a lot about the bible, but they also know about all the flaws of stuff so the gospel just filled in everything.  It was super cool!  The spirit of confirmation was there super strong.  It was really cool.   They actually ended up coming to conference.  We have been working hard but the results aren't showing.  That is the tough part of the mission I guess, but we just have to keep on chugging along. 

The plates they serve here are so freaking huge!!!!  I take a long time to eat it because I run out of room.  They ask me if I don't like it and I'm like this is so freaking huge!!!!!!! no tengo espacio!!! haha  The food is super good.  You eat everything with a tortilla so everything is a taco.  Burritos aren't really a thing here.  The food isn't really spicy but they put salsa on everything and that is super spicy. I haven't eaten anything too weird. 

Ya I watched conference.  Some sessions in English and some in Spanish.  I liked Elder Ballard and Elder Cook.  Their talks were cool.  I also liked Elder Renlund, he was the last talk and the newest Apostle.  It was super cool.  There were some other cool ones where you couldn't help but cry.  

I think we have like 4 progressing investigators.  The language is coming pretty good but I need to be more diligent. I have created a plan to follow. 

We live in an apartment.  There is a family in our ward that let's us use their washing machine.  (He is lucky.  There are other areas where they have to wash their clothes in a bucket.  I am sure Hayden will get his turn. Ha!)  Ya Mom, I'm 18, I take pretty good of myself haha, you don't have to worry.  I have been to the store like 30 times.  Everything is good.  Elder Rowley is pretty cool.  We play hoops and it is refreshing.

I have to go, Mom.  I love you so much.

Elder Bush

We received an email from Hayden's Mission President's wife this week.  What a sweet surprise to receive this picture of Hayden and his companion, Elder Rowley.  President and Sister Williamson made a visit to Celaya.  She said they are doing well and working hard together.  

Each week I am so grateful for modern technology as we are able to email chat with Hayden for about an hour every Monday on his p-day.  We are all usually at our various obligations (work, school) but we each still get the personal communication with him.  Gone are the days of waiting weeks to receive a letter in the mail.  We are so blessed!

Thank you for your love and support for Hayden.  He welcomes letters, his email address is at the top of the blog.  You can also leave a comment. You are all so loved!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

First Week out in the Field - Celaya

Well Mom, it has been a heck of a week.  We woke up at 4:30 am and headed to the mission home.  Mom, it was really a beautiful experience.  4 or 5 hours later we arrived in Queretaro.  It really is a beautiful city.  President Williamson was there to greet us once we got off the bus.  He hugged me and told me that he was looking forward to meeting me.  It really seems dumb, but it calmed my nerves haha.  We then went into the bus station and the AP's greeted us.  They are super cool.  I like them a lot.  We then went to the vans that would take us to the mission home where we met Hermana Williamson.  She is awesome.  We headed up to the mission home neighborhood.  Mom, it is so pretty.  We went into the home and ate lunch and mingled and had interviews with President. Wow, Spanish is messing with my head. When it was my turn for the interview we began with a prayer.  President Williamson said the prayer and in it he said things about love for my investigators and standing in water of baptism with them.  He also asked that the spirit would calm me and clear my mind and continue to feel it as he had already felt it from me.  We then began talking about me.  Mom, this was a really beautiful moment for me.  He is such a humble man.  I don't know how to say it, but he told me if you need me I'll be there while looking me right in the eyes.  Mom, it helped me so much.  Once I left his office I was beaming.  

The house and the city is beautiful.   After our interviews we then went to the offices and I rode in front of the car with President.  He talked to me like I was his friend and it comforted me even more.  He is the perfect President for me, the Lord knows all things.   Then I found out I was going to Celaya and that Elder Rowley would be my companion.  I took about a 1 hour bus ride to Celaya where Elder Rowley greeted me.   He has been out about 14 months.  We then took a taxi to our house (Scary! Driving here is insane.)  Then Elder Rowley and I went to familia Gurreros house and they fed us.  I love them.  They are an awesome family and they love us.  Then we met and taught our investigators.  It was another beautiful moment.  I was actually able to communicate and understand them.  Well, understand them. I'ts harder to formulate sentences but I have been getting better.  We then went home and went to bed. 

Elder Rowley is the perfect companion for me, Mom, the Lord knows all things.  This week has been the best week of my life.  It has also been really sad.  I have had heart breaking moments.  It has also been the most scary (buses here are freaky). 

 I'm going give you a general overview of the week.  We eat comida with a familia every day at 2:30 because lunch or dinner doesn't really exist here.  The food is sooooooo good, you eat everything with tortillas though haha.  Drunk people talk to us all the time, it's freaky. haha  Elder Rowley does most of the talking because he is actually fluent in Spanish. haha  But I have gotten so much better as the week goes by.  He has taught me how humility and obedience really help a lot.  

The weekend was the heartbreaking part.  We think Satan got to our investigators.  They are a 19 year old couple and live with the familia Garcia who are awesome and take care of us too.  They were going to get married and baptized in two weeks.  For some reason she wanted to return with her mom.  She knew that being here with her Uncle's family and getting baptized was the right choice. They know that the church is true but she got scared.  Elder Rowley and I bore really powerful testimony to her and told her lots of things.  I reminded her that she had told me that this was the right choice because she was scared before.  I was helping her and she told me she knew baptism was the right choice.  I reminded her about that, but nonetheless after the familia Garcia and us bore strong testimony she still wanted to leave.  Elder Rowley and I took it hard.   We were really close with them and really loved them.  We were pretty depressed Sunday but Elder Rowley picked us up and we moved on.  Now we are working hard once more.  

We are here today, p-day, and we played hoops.  It was fun.  After we played hoops we talked to the familia Garcia.  I played a game with their daughters.  We played a game where you have to write things that start with a certain letter in different categories.  It is super fun, it helps me practice Spanish.  Talking to kids is the best practice because they are the hardest to understand. haha  I love them.  I love everyone here, mom. 

I have to go.  Love you, Mom.  You're the best.

I am late getting this post done.  This is from our email chat on Monday.  It was so exciting to hear about his first week out in the field.  I am amazed each week by his growth and the way he changes.  We laughed about the Spanish "getting to his head."  I cleaned this up a bit.  It is obvious he struggles to think of the right words in English sometimes.  We look forward to hearing from him tomorrow.  We are grateful for all of you and your love and support of Hayden.  Please email him if you would like.  His email address is in the header of the blog.  Also feel free to leave a comment, he reads the blog.  Hugs to you!