Monday, July 15, 2013

Coming Home


Dear Family and Friends,

I am coming home, but it is okay.  I have been feeling like I would be returning for several weeks.  Not in a "man I really could go home" kind of way, but much more in a "The Lord has allowed me to spend some time here to learn and grow but this is not where I am meant to remain" way.  I am completely at peace with everything.  

As soon as I saw President Oliveira's name on our cell phone display I knew I was going home right away.  I've been ready for it for weeks (as I mentioned before).  President did hint that the church will try to find some way that I can serve from home without the terrible pain in my knees, and knowing that they will try, even if they don't find anything, means a lot to me.

I am so pleased to be coming home.  Not because I'm quitting, but because in the last weeks I worked harder - and suffered more deeply - than I ever have before because I wanted to prove to the Lord and myself, that I may stand with confidence before my leaders, my family, and my God, that I could not have done any more to receive a miracle and this truly is the Lord's will.  Through this whole process all I have wanted is to submit humbly so that the Lord may bless me in whatever manner He best sees fit.  My heart hurts that I am leaving, but I am so pleased to be able to see my wonderful family that I love so dearly again sooner than expected.

I am so grateful for your loving and heartfelt prayers.  I have felt them for weeks and I know that they will always stay with me.

I have learned a few things here that I wish to leave as a last thought from Cabo Verde:  First, I can walk on the deep waters of trial with the Lord at my side and I challenge you all to gain the faith to do the same.  Second, every tear we cry because of sadness or pain will be replaced by 10 tears of joy in the future (whether in this life or the next).  Third and finally, the Lord is in the details of our lives and will never leave us alone.  It is us that abandons Him.  I pray that we never let that happen.



Monday, July 8, 2013

Arriving in Palmarejo, Praia


Hi there,

This week has been a race.  On Monday after I emailed I ran home and jumped in a taxi (and forgot my suit on São Vicente of course) and went to the airport with Elder Zandamela from Mozambique. We waited a while and while we were waiting we noticed on our tickets that we had an hour layover in Sal, but then our flight was more than an hour late to take off.  When we landed in Sal, Elder Zandamela and I (still thinking we had an hour) went and got a snack and were just sitting down to eat when I felt the impression to check our flight time.  I looked at our tickets and saw that the plane was scheduled to leave five minutes before.  We grabbed our things and sprinted across the little airport.  The woman at the gate saw us down the hall and extended one arm and then one finger and then curled it in.  A gesture that said, I think better than words could, "you are very late and I am wildly unhappy about it."  But we made our flight.  And who happened to be sitting right in front of me on the plane?  Elder Camargo.  We talked the whole flight.  It was great.  I miss that guy.

But my new companion, Elder Lopez, is incredible.  He is from Texas and is Mexican so his Portuguese has some thick Spanish influences in it sometimes, but it helps him understand better, so it is sometimes really useful to have him with me when I can't understand something. He is way taller than me and very quiet, but when we are alone in the house we have some great conversations and he gets pretty chatty and funny.  Just this morning we divided all of the elders and sisters in our mission into the four Hogwarts Houses.  It was hilarious.

Our area is wonderful.  I'm in a place called Palmarejo in the city of Praia.  The people here smile so much.  Maybe life is easier for them (I sincerely doubt that) or maybe they know something that other people in the world seem to not know, but they smile and are a happy people.  I am truly enjoying it.  I have taken some pictures, but I don't have a converter for my memory card so I can't send any today.

Last thing for today:  There are two young men from my ward who are going to Brazil, on the same day, to the Brazil São Paulo East Mission.  We took a picture together and I am going to send it to my old mission president.  What an incredible tender mercy from the Lord.  We have such a good God. He truly loves us.


Elder Bushman

Monday, July 1, 2013

Leaving Bela Vista


Another week seems to have flown by.  Where does the time go?

I included some photos this week from my time here in Bela Vista.  A picture of Elder Camargo discovering we have water after more than a week without it.  A picture of the package and letters I got while here in Mindelo.  A picture of my district here including Elders Nhafé, me, Camargo, Young, Mendes, and Pugmire in front, as well as Sisters Routson on the left and Addams on the right.  Finally a picture of the view of Mindelo from the top my area.  This time has been a time of trials and growth experiences (many of which I am sure are not yet completed) and yet I found myself loving every second of it.  The Lord is stretching and refining me.  Most of the time I am a little afraid of the challenges, but I know that the blessings will come much greater than the trials and so I secretly find myself asking for them to come and for the faith to embrace them when they do.  I feel like I have already grown so much.  I am so grateful for my time in the area of Bela Vista, in the city of Mindelo, on the island of São Vicente.

I had a really incredible week.  On Monday night Elder Robinson arrived very late at night and we stayed up a little late talking.  Then we spent several days teaching him the area and introducing him to all of our progressing investigators, especially Sidney and his family and José's family.  Elder Robinson is a vocal major who has spent his entire life singing, doing theater, and playing several instruments so it was really cool to play guitar with him and sing because we would both just randomly make up harmonies and it was a lot of fun.  He is an incredible missionary with a strong testimony and I learned lot from him in just a few short days.

On Friday we got a call saying there were some changes and so I spent the next few days (until now) with Elder Pugmire in his area.  We taught some wonderful lessons and I learned a lot of beautiful doctrines from him because he loves to study doctrine.  And they have a hot shower, which is always fantastic.

Today I made a new best friend.  His name is Elder Mercredi and he is from Canada.  I love this guy.  I also think he is a super hero too.  We like a lot of the same things (although he is much more hardcore outdoorsy than I am) like music, movies, stuff like that.  And we have talked almost all day today.  We even went on a "division" to visit some Chinese stores just to explore all of the fun and random stuff they have.  We are going to keep talking and hope that one day we get to serve together, but if not we are definitely going to hang out after the mission.  It's going to be great.

You know, I am still feeling really crummy physically, but emotionally and spiritually I am feeling better than I think I ever have before.  I am still living in difficult times and things are still hard, but I feel the blessings beginning to pour in.  I am so happy.  I wish I had the words to adequately express the changes that are occurring in my heart, but I don't so please try to observe based on my words and thoughts as the weeks continue.


Elder Camargo at the water box.
Mail makes a missionary happy.
Sister Routson, Elder Nhafé, Drew, Elder Camargo, Elder Young
Sister Addams, Elder Mendes, Elder Pugmire

View of Mindelo from the top of the area.