Glad to hear almost all is going well back home! Matt I'm so sorry to hear you wrecked on your bike! Sounds like you're taking after your older, clumsy, unable to ride a bike brother, Elder Bush. ;) Hope you feel better soon, bud. Love you! Trev, you just keep on thinking you dress nicer than me. ;) Just wait until you go on a mission and the only thing you really get to change is your tie. Which I'm pretty excited to get a bunch of ties in Korea this next week! Trying not to think too much about it though. Got to stay focused. Just so you all know, I leave on Wednesday and get back on Friday. Should be interesting. I'll be sure to take lots of pictures. I can hardly WAIT for the Temple!!!! It's gonna be the best temple visit ever! And I'm really excited to be with Elder Zamora again! :) Note: The missionaries in Russia have to leave the country every three months to renew their visas. The missionaries in Vladivostok go to Seoul, South Korea. There is an LDS temple there, so they get to attend the temple and do some temple work.
We should find out about transfers tomorrow (I think) so I'll update you all next week.
So last week, I completely forgot to mention something... I went to a children's hospital a week ago on Sunday and Monday. There's a boy there named Сергей that is a member of the church from Находка. He is there being monitored for something. Anyway, we came in and he met us in the "lobby" which really isn't much. There's a security guard sitting at a desk. There are these vending machines that pop out these little containers with blue covers to go over your shoes, which you put on to go back into the hospital. We went back and sat in the hallway and just met with him. We gave him a Book of Mormon and read with him about Ammon cutting off the arms of the Lamanites (what boy doesn't love that story!). It was an interesting experience that taught me you can meet anywhere with anyone and share a spiritual message and pray with them even when it's not удобна. Sorry I can't think of a good way to translate that. It kind of means comfortable... Oh convenient! There you go. Anyway... So the hospital was just like I had heard but just more real. The walls and floor, all just concrete. The lights give the place an eerie sort of feel. And there's little hand made drawings and paintings on the walls but they don't help lighten the mood much. Quite an experience. It really made me reflect on our experience in the hospital with Matt and the blessings we take for granted.
I had another amazing experience with the Lord loosening my tongue this last week. I was again on splits with Elder Stewart this last Wednesday, and I set up lessons with Татьяна (a lady that works in the Mission office), Баба Гала, and Лионид (the man that's paralyzed and was baptized earlier this year). He moved and now lives in our area. I prayed a lot that the Lord would help me, and He did. So much. I've never been able to speak so much and so clearly before. I love teaching in Russian more than English, when I have the Lord's help.
Just so you know, we have an investigator named Сериога. (He's from Uzbekistan. A lot of Uzbeki people live here and work here, probably for the work opportunity). He's super nice and loves to meet with us. We found out, though, that he can't read Russian. Just speaks it. And the Book of Mormon has yet to be translated into Uzbeki. Hopefully, our future plans in meeting with him will help him feel the power of the Book of Mormon. That book is really why I'm here in Russia. I love that book so much.
It's interesting getting to work with different companions. I've come to realize how laid back I am. I desire to be prepared and yet some things I've learned to just not worry about and everything will be ok. (Now for the usual missionary sort of thing to say)... I have loved serving with Elder Waltman. (and I really mean that) He has taught me so much as my trainer and friend, and I hope to serve with him another transfer. So we'll just have to wait and see.
Interesting Russian fact... (besides on Сахалин) there are no lawn mowers it seems in Russia. Whatever grass there is, it just gets cut by weed whackers or they let it grow.
Dad asked me what my favorite scripture is (I think Bishop Spencer wanted to know). Oh goodness.... There's too many scriptures to choose! The first that comes to mind... I love Alma 7:11-12 about the atonement.
11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.
Christ knows perfectly everything we feel and he is the one that can succor us. I also love Ether 12:27 because I can recognize that when I humble myself and turn to the Lord, he makes more out of me than I could have done on my own.
27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.
I love you all so much and I'm immensely grateful for all the prayers and love that you send my way. I LOVE YOU!
Love, Elder Bush
p.s. I heard I got a package! I don't yet know who from but whoever you are, thank you!!!!