Monday, July 6, 2015

HINDSIGHT: Last Leg 8/8

FAMILY and FRIENDS! (Same thing, right?)

Another fantastic week has unfolded in Arvada, Colorado. I wish I could shrink you all and chuck you in my pocket (because all good skirts have pockets) and carry you all with me all the time because then you would all get to see why MY LIFE IS SO FANTASTIC. I love serving a mission. It's the best. Don't look too closely though cause sometimes things get sticky. 

...Okay, I give up. I'm trying to keep things light here, but this is the last email that I'll be blasting out as your favorite Sister Bush in the history of forever.
I know, right?
Now that the elephant's out of the room...

This week really was amazing though. I keep trying to think of ways to top it but honestly things just keep getting sweeter and sweeter. 
We taught like madwomen this week which made my soul happy, but I'm gonna break it down into the best of the best, the Week 5 Highlight Reel. Hopefully my fingers can keep up.

-E: Rewind to my first week in Arvada way back in February. We (Sister Anderson and I) were making some calls to set up appointments for the upcoming week. The sisters before had been working with E for a few weeks so it wasn't anything special that we were calling her. Long story short she... didn't want to meet. *dropped* Fastforward to this week, where Sister Netherton and I were digging though the former investigators in our area book, and 4 names stuck out to both of us. We decided that this week we would stop by all 4. One of those people is E. The morning that we had planned to go stop by her house, we had a zone meeting all about family history. So when we got out to working that afternoon, we felt prompted that we should prepare ourselves to teach her about family history. WHAT THE MIRACLE?? Her heart was sooo softened (not that she was mean before or anything) and the Spirit was so strong. She had been thinking about family history for a while. She's due to give birth that week (yesterday, actually) and while thinking of baby names she was trying to understand more of her family names and where they come from. I've always been pretty shy about using family history in my proselyting efforts, but that's not the case anymore. The Spirit of Elijah, SUPER potent. 

HINDSIGHT; Last Leg 7/8

**Stay tuned next week, for the season finale of, The Best Journey EVER: A Sister Bush Tale**

Sorry for the shortness. 
This week I took a lot more time answering some back emails, because I love writing these so much that a ton go unanswered. 
Next week's letter will be a good one. Make no mistake.

A couple of cool moments though.
Our zone hiked to the top of the onllllly mountain in our mission, and we had this devotional at the top where we signed our own title of liberty. Here's me, signing it :). This was the day after the madness and miracles of our 28 investigator week. We were all really grateful and sooooo much faith was built in 7 days. We're livin the missionary DREAM out here.

unfurling my banner- high on the mountain top, naturally.

This weeks biggest victory was in linking arms with the members of the ward. We got to meet and council and teach together and NOW is where I feel we've hit the sweet spot of missionary work. Not like we reinvented the wheel or anything... I just know that all is well and that those I love are in good hands (that won't get transferred lol)

i love you all. talk to you next week <3

xo, Sister Bush

current residency ;) :

1001 Miracle Lane 

Arvada CO 80005 

HINDSIGHT; Last Leg 6/8

F A M I L Y.
AH! So guess what.
No one's answering me so I'll tell you :)
DO YOU REMEMBER last week, how I said that our zone prayerfully set a goal to find 27 new investigators in the past week? DO YOU REMEMBER??? After a week of pumpin it out, prayin it out, PLANNIN it out ;), and workin it out, our zone was blessed to find 28 new people to teach. 28! I don't know if I'm capable of describing the joy I feel getting to see these results. FAITH + WORKS = The Arvada Zone this past week. To put things into perspective, I've personally never found more than 1 new investigator on a good week in this area. That says something about my previous level of commitment I think.... and it also says TONS about WHOSE GAME THIS REALLY IS. The odds were stacked in our favor and fire raged through the missionaries in our zone. I witnessed it. I will ALWAYS remember this, and I'll never be the same.
It was pretty insane because at 8pm Sunday night we were still 2 short of our goal. The elders were NOT okay with this. We packed our little fireside up and hit the street. #miraclelane and were able to find the last 3 in the last 45 proselyting minutes of the week. CRAZY. 

Sister Netherton and I were also able to REconnect with our friend D! Who remembers D? I hope you all do... We lost contact with her for a couple of weeks, and we decided to try by her 1 more time before we would give her a break. We knocked. No answer :(. But in true Sister mish fashion, we left a sticky note on her door, and invited her to read Ether 12:26-27 (I've been feeling really strongly about that one lately ;) ). We left to go to our DELICIOUS dinner appointment, and when we came back we had a voicemail from an unfamiliar number.... :D We went and taught D again, and talked through what's been happening the past couple of weeks. #ADVERSARY, that sneaky bugger.
It was in the 4th watch of the week. Sunday evening, 7pm. IN ALL DILIGENCE. 
Doubt not, fear not. I know that God's had is over the Arvada 6th Ward. He loves these people so much. He's obsessed with them! haha

Speaking of obsessed.

HINDSIGHT; Last Leg 5/8

Boy oh boy oh boy. 
I've learned so much this week. 
Think Ether 12:27.
27 And if men come unto me will show unto them their weaknessgive unto men weakness that they may be humble; and mgrace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will make weak things become strong unto them.
​​Ohhhhh how I was shown. Them weaknesses. Mm. But! Here's the thing. I was ministered to. He does not leave us comfortless. Time and time again over the past week I was shown a weakness, and sent a solution. Shown a weakness, and sent a solution.

HINDSIGHT; Last Leg 4/8

Hi :)
(Pronunciation up for debate)
There was one moment in particular when Sister Netherton and I were talking about change and the role that the Savior has played in our individual changes and we just looked at eachother and went "DAHH!!" It was pretty funny (and slightly irreverent) but that moment perfectly describes how this past week has been. 
SO all over the place, not graceful at all. But SO wonderful. 
Miracle lane runs right through the Arvada stake, I'm tellin ya!

We were able to contact so many people this week! AH! I still can't get over it. It's our job (and our pleasure) to reach out to as many people as possible everyday. That doesn't guarantee that we'll get to be the ones to actually get in and help people though. But this week... AH! I'm tearing up just thinking about it... We were so blessed to be able to see so many people this week. Heavenly Father doesn't have to let us be a part of these miracles... but He does. He's allowed me to see so much in the past 7 days. Miracles happen whether we notice them or not. All day, everyday. 

We met with a sister who was embarrassed to admit that in all her life as a baptized member of the church she had never studied the Book of Mormon. It felt good to pass on to her council that I had received at a church meeting a couple weeks earlier. 
"That's ok. Start today."
She had mentally categorized herself in a "Doesn't do scripture study" group and it had never occured to her that she could and should simply start today. And so it is with ANYTHING we want to change. SO simple. TOO simple sometimes, right? 
Oh, your prayers tend to be not as meaningful as you'd like them to be?
"That's ok. Start today."

HINDSIGHT; Last Leg 3/8

Hi, hello, how are ya?

This was another fun week (my life is awesome by the way, in case you were unaware). SO much has happened!

HINDSIGHT; Last Leg 2/8

Hey everyone! 
This week. Ah. Life is good. SO good. Perfect? ...hahahahah NO. But I really enjoyed this week looking back at it now. 
Some fun stuff happened.
Tuesday was Zone Conference (mammoth of a missionary meeting that happens every 3 months with multiple zones). At each ZC

HINDSIGHT; Last Leg 1/8

Aloha everyone! 
I figured I would try this route of sharing what's happening.
As much as I love typing out blog posts I've found that I have a hard time being as open as I want to be with my comments and experiences when I know they're going to the WHOLE WHOLE world... 
It's a lot easier for me to be real in emails. So I thought I'd do EVERYONE a favor and tell you what all really goes on in the Sister Bush-iverse. 

Story time, really quick:
I was having pretty hard time earlier this week, and after some thinking, praying, and more struggling, I decided to seek a priesthood blessing. In the blessing, I was told that I needed to turn to my family in seeking the support I desired. Since then, I've been thinking about how exactly one does that when familial contact is... limited haha. 
I've been SLACKING as far as sharing everything that happens, which is insanse because I LOVE my mission! Though it may have taken 16 or so months... I really really want to turn to my family now. Miracles are happening in my life. Every day. And I get 2 hours a week to blast it out to all of you. 
So. Brace thyself.

This Wednesday I had the chance to go on exchanges with my MTC comp, Sister Hoemann! It was rainy and windy... but it was sooo good to catch up with her. I'm actually really surprised that I didn't lose my voice from talking so much in 24 hours. I love Sister Hoemann!! One of the greatest miracles that we get to see on missions is the change that happens in our fellow missionaries. I remember when we were both terrified of missionary work and didn't know our right from our left with a nametag on. 16 months later... SO much has changed! But of course it felt like going home in a way cause we were with eachother from day 1. We had the opportunity to work in my area that day (Arvada 6th ward) and found a potential investigator while we were trying to contact a referral. Sister Hoemann (love her, again) asked Nancy if she'd ever met with missionaries before. Nancy said that she had, and she was always impressed by them. She's leaving town for a month :( but said we can come and share a message with her when she returns! 
Later that same day, we had a lesson with one of our investigators, G. G was a referral we got online. She's... "mostly atheist" but was always curious about her coworkers and extended family members who were members of our church. So she requested a Book of Mormon! We've been working with her for a little over a month now, and that night we talked about The Plan of Salvation, and why we even have it. We taught her that God made a plan for his children to be happy... that didn't sit that well with her. She says that if there IS a God, He plays favorites. We talked about how EVERYONE has trials, and that no ones life is as easy as it seems. The grass is always greener on the other side, etc., etc.
We're still working with her on that. I get it.. at least I think I do. It's not always as easy as it sounds to just put your head down and work, and ignore the fact that Uncle in the lane next to you is cruising by 50mph at the push of a button without breaking a sweat. 
That lesson with G made me think (again) if my happiness is conditional upon something... I don't want it to be. But you can't just la-dee-da around waiting for double rainbows, glitter, and butterflies to pave your way. I hear people say happiness is a decision, and I agree. But I've been thinking a lot about how it's not something that we get just because we've decided to be happy. You choose to work for it, just like everything else, right? I don't know. Maybe this is common knowledge, but it helped me a lot this week. So I thought I'd share.

We had a really powerful lesson on prayer with our Stake President last Sunday, and something that he shared has CHANGED THE WAY I'LL PRAY for the rest of my life. I'm grateful he said it, so I'm gonna share it with you all. He said something to this effect.
​What if, one night, while you were knelt by your bedside getting ready to pray, the Savior came and knelt beside you and said 'Don't worry about this one, I'll say it tonight.' What would He pray for on your behalf? What words would He use? What things would He ask for? What things would HE be sure to thank God for on your behalf?​
I know, right?
I thought about this tender image as I knelt to pray that night. 
Then the next night, I did it again. But this time, I imagined the Savior handing the reigns back over to me. I imagined He was so sure that I would say just the right things that would convey the thoughts of my heart to Heavenly Father. 

There's so much more I want to share :(
But time's up.
I'm grateful to serve in the frontlines of God's Army in Denver. There is NOTHING I'd rather be doing. I love you all so much it hurts. Seriously haha. 
I'll talk to you next week ok?

here's the district. I'm trying to think of a way to explain this picture, but I can't. Everyone's personality is very well represented here. I wish you knew them all cause then you'd know why it's so funny. I guess some of you know all of them... haha if you do, I hope you laughed as hard as I did

​They started planting all of the flowers on the temple grounds!​


xo, Sister Bush

HINDSIGHT; March 31 2015

These past few weeks have been crazy! Crazy good crazy though...
The week was filled with wins and losses but laced with hope. 
Hope is a beautiful thing and I am SO grateful for all it brings.
Never settle.
I'm so excited for General Conference this weekend!!
Oh, and my new companion is Sister Harker. From Canada! Pictures and whatnot to come. Standby ;)

I love you all and serving a mission is my favorite thing. Ever. I seriously don't know words good enough to describe it.
Love you LOADS.

xo, Sister Bush

hiking the only legitimate hike in the mission, look in the back- it's DENVAAH!

we ride bikes now! And we look pretty good doing it. 

All of the sisters in the Colorado Denver North Mission, look at these beauties!!

All of the sisters from my MTC zone

Arvada zone

HINDSIGHT; March 09 2015

Hello! Does anyone even read these? Haha. I hope so cause I really mean everything from the bottom of... m'heart. Nevertheless...
This week! 
Faith Builders! + Random Tidbits 

#1- We were able to see the fruits of diligence blossom! On a particularly rough (because missionary work is NOT all butterflies and double rainbows... laugh if anyone ever tells you otherwise. You have my permission) night, I was totally about to throw in the moist towelette, but after a prayer for help and a really gung-ho companion pep talk we went to go talk to one more person. We were able to deliver a message to the heart of an individual who was curious enough to look for us. Kind of vague wording, huh? Sorry hahah. I know that there was no other place that we could've been in our area that evening where we would've been closer to where God needed us to be at that moment. Best feeling EVER. Never forsake your faith. Even if your day sucketh exceedingly.

#2- Our ward is gearing up to do a 120 day Book of Mormon read together, and I am SO excited. Miracles will FLOOD the homes that participate. Check this:
“I feel certain that if, in our homes, parents will read from the Book of Mormon prayerfully and regularly, both by themselves and with their children, the spirit of that great book will come to permeate our homes and all who dwell therein. The spirit of reverence will increase; mutual respect and consideration for each other will grow. The spirit of contention will depart. Parents will counsel their children in greater love and wisdom. Children will be more responsive and submissive to the counsel of their parents. Righteousness will increase. Faith, hope, and charity—the pure love of Christ—will abound in our homes and lives, bringing in their wake peace, joy, and happiness” (Ensign, May 1980, p. 67).
That's Marion G. Romney   speaking, not me lol. Apply this on whatever scale you will: Self, spouse, roommates, family, ward, stake, mission, companionship. The principle is the same.

#3- Walking is good for the soul! Just thought I'd throw that on in there haha, because it is! And because planning as a missionary without a car is completely different than planning with one. I'm not complaining. I honestly love it! Not like I'm the first (or the last) missionary to not be in a car. I just love talking about it cause it's new to me :). I have been stretched both physically and spiritually this week! I'd consider myself reasonably limber now hahahahah (don't feel like you're supposed to laugh at that, I know I'm not funny anymore lawl)

#4- I got to go on exchanges with Sister Reynolds last night! It was amazing to talk for a while with one of the missionaries that I came out with and see the change and growth that we've both had. Touch of the master's hand... It's really inspiring. And funny because we get to discuss all of our brand-new-missionary faux pauxs (is that even how you spell that?) and cringe at the memories. It's great.

Penny for my thoughts! hehe ta-ta!

-such a pretty little river until Sister Bush had to scurry across it
-Someone we teach, James! He's SO funny, he slays me.

xo, Sister Bush