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!