May 25, 2015

Week 9: Week of America


Ladies and Gentlemen,

This week I am slightly strapped for time, however this past week was successful and diseased. My companion suffered from temperatures in excess of 102 degrees Fahrenheit, so we spent a little time in Urgent Care. That being said, recovery was made and success obtained.

Today is Memorial Day. Today we honor all those who have fallen in battle or who have suffered for their country, this country. This is a shoutout from at least one (although all would gladly shout out) of the missionaries in the Oklahoma Tulsa Mission. Thank you for your service. You will be remembered today.

This past week included rain, rain, and more rain with a side of a million flash flood warning texts to our phone. It was pretty average, considering the fact that we get flash flood alerts basically every time that it rains. Something that was very different was that the river rose many feet and looks very close to the banks. I hope that the inhabitants of the areas very near the river are safe, as they have been thus far. My sources in other areas of the United States tell me that there was severe flooding in Texas and Oklahoma this past week. We feel for you here.

We were in jeapordy of not making one of our goals of lessons taught this week, but last night we managed to clutch it with just enough. We visited less actives and spread the word of God again, and it was awesome.
Sorry for the subpar post this week. It will get better.


Elder Matthew Busi

Some Patriotic Missionaries, if I do say so myself.

May 18, 2015

WEEK 8: Week of the Arkansas Bentonville Mission

Yes. You read correctly. In approximately 8 weeks, everything will change. Instead of serving in the Oklahoma Tulsa Mission, I will be serving in the Arkansas Bentonville Mission. We will have at the helm of Already the Best Mission none other than Kevin Loveland, a lover of both serving the Lord and farming potatoes. It will be a bittersweet time because we will be losing the beloved President and Sister Shumway, who will be sorely missed. Also, the mission I was originally called to will no longer exist, so that is a tad bit sad… Now, on to the good things.

#1. Nobody else can say that they served in the WALMART mission, except for us
#2. We will set records for everything that we do in the Arkansas Bentonville mission because we are the very first to proselyte in it.
#3 We get to think of millions of different acronyms for ABM :)

UPDATED 10/4/15: Click HERE to get an up-to-date view of the ABM

I am super duper excited to be serving in the Absolutely Beautiful Mission, and being part of the first generation is an honor for me.

Moving on.

This last week was pretty ridiculous, with everything from mistranslations on my part to small car incidents.

Set the scene. We are eating at Bob and Wanda’s 24-hour catfish cafe, when a gentleman backs into our parked car. Only a scratch or two was left, but it proved to be quite a pain for the entire week. The only thing worse than having your car broken is having the Church’s car broken. We got to do plenty of awesome paperwork and we got to drive around and get quotes and yayyyy it is just SOOO fun. However, the last Preparation Day was marvellous. I wholeheartedly blame Elder Brown for joking that he wanted to have car trouble because of how often others complained about it. Thank you very very much.

There were some interesting things that happened this last week.

First, our investigator who bailed on his baptism, Gabriel, is still MIA and we are not quite sure what happened. We met with him one time, but after that he disappeared again. It is a little bit sad. He said that he felt that he was not all the way ready for his baptism, and that he wanted to wait two months. This was a very commendable desire, but it would have been preferable to get a little bit of heads-up. He and 4 others are set to be baptized on June 6.

Next: Mayra and the CREW. Mayra is a single mother with three very nice children. She has been attending church and taking the discussions and really is enjoying it. A strategy that the members have begun with her is the Death By Fellowshipping tactic. It is very effective and she really loves the church. She and two of her children (the other is not of age) are being baptized on the 6 of June with Gabriel.

Funny story. We were talking to a member (originally from El Salvador) and he brought up Marilyn Monroe. He was talking about how she was pretty, and other things, but then abruptly changed and said that she did not believe in god (don’t know if this is true or not). He said that the reason that she died was because God killed her because she didn’t believe in him. Elder Brown and I were cracking up, but then couldn’t tell if he was serious or not. We may never know.

We went knocking doors a couple of days this week, always with success. We had ¾ people who we knocked into that wanted to hear more. This truly is a blessed area. We are going to visit some of them this evening.

Let’s see… What else…

Saturday we constructed a deck out of lumber and some screws. It was pretty sweet. I got really really sunburnt (sorry momma) but the deck looks beautiful. We will be going back sometime this next week to put a roof and railing on it.

Sunday was awesome. We went to member’s houses and asked them to seek out referrals for us to teach. It was really successful, and I really like one of the families that we went to visit. They invited us back tonight for FHE in their home. WOOT.

This morning, we got to go fishing at a private pond. I caught a total of 0 fish, and when compared to my companion’s 3 and the guy that took us’s 5, it was pretty pathetic. yay. After that, we went and saw some real-life church history. Parley P Pratt was buried about 20 minutes from where we live, and I got some photos with the headstone and my companion. It was super cool, and the church maintains it really well.

Anyway, that was my week. I love y’all and hope that you are doing well. Remember that God loves each and every one of us, ALL OF THE TIME. He wants the best for his children, and a way that we can help is by spreading his word.

Invite people. To your home. Have the missionaries over.

Y’all have a blessed week

Elder Matthew Busi

May 12, 2015

Week 7: Y'all have a blessed week

Week 7: Y'all have a blessed week

So. Wednesday. Woke up at a brisk 2 AM and headed to the Mexico City Airport. When I finally got through customs, security, and all that other junk and made it to my gate, I was ready to catnap it up. It was by then 4:30 and I was alone at my gate. After a while more passengers started coming. I was sitting with three mexican men who were on their way to Houston. I got a little background and they mentioned that one of them was a professional boxer. Hmmmm. I naturally asked if they had heard about the gospel of Jesus Christ and the boxer answered that he had. I asked what he knew and oh boy did he know a lot. I tried to place a copy of the Book of Mormon with him, but to no avail because he produced one of his own copies from his bag. I asked if he had read it, but he said he had not. I encouraged him and left him with some reading for the plane. TO BE CONTINUED

Landed in Houston. Waiting for my flight to the land of promise, Tulsa Oklahoma. I am sitting down, minding my own business and eating a cinnamon roll, when a woman sits down next to me. Her name was Sue. I talked with her for a long while and eventually placed a copy of the Book of Mormon and some pamphlets for more in-flight reading. TO BE CONTINUED

Anyway. Finally got to Tulsa and the Mission President and his wife were at the airport to greet me. I was soooo excited and they are sooo cool. Eventually, myself and a group of about 14 others were taken to the mission home. Marvelous. We got there and my bicycle was there, assembled in pristine condition. The Assistants to the President were super cool and I got to talk to them a lot about all kinds of stuff. They pretty much already knew who my companion was going to be, which was exciting.

To continue. We had orientation sessions and at the end of the night were assigned our companions and areas. I was assigned to labor in the FORT SMITH ARKANSAS area for the next probably 12 weeks with my wonderful trainer Elder Brown. It was also made known to me at that time that currently in the Only True Mission (Oklahoma Tulsa Mission is abbreviated OTM and there are many, MANY acronyms that will accompany my letters in the future) 12 Spanish Speaking Elders. Santa Vaca that isn't that many. My area covers a very large geographical area, but we have limited miles so we generally stay within the two cities of Van Buren and Fort Smith.

Our address is as follows for mailing or for any other arcane purpose: 9510 Meandering way #9 Fort Smith AK (whatever the ZIP code is here). I have one request: pictures that are autographed. My picture collection is small and treasured, but it needs to soar to new heights, just as the missionary work will. Thank y'all for your support always and I'm super grateful for all of everything that I get!

The days are blending quickly but some notable things were that we were going to have a baptism on my first Saturday here (woohoo) but the candidate fell through and we had a nice testimony meeting with a water feature. The members brought the spirit and it was good, but we had no clue where our friend was. He hadn't called and could not be found prior to or during the service. We found today that maybe he had some issues before his baptism. We will find out and make sure that he comes to Christ ready to be cleansed.

Church yesterday was... interesting. Mothers' Day means talks about mothers, and both of the sons of the Branch President spoke, about the same mother. Interesting. Anyway. we were all just sitting, minding our own business when phones started going off (really annoying during meetings, right) but they were unusual. Then the sirens. Yes. Ladies and Gentlemen, Brothers and Sisters, Children of all ages, TORNADOES. Everyone just kind of looked at each other and we kept going with Sacrament. Then all of the members in the English Sacrament meeting started walking down the halls, a little bit too early for Sacrament to be out. Then someone interrupted our meeting to say that we were instructed to get into the hallways because there was one coming. I have probably never been so excited in my life for a single event. Elder Brown and I (this was his first tornado warning in his mission- 1 year in) sprinted for the doors to see the evident doom that would surely be coming our way. Outside, the tempest was raging, but alas, no tornado. The English Elders were not far behind and were looking for the same. Nothing. Regardless, church ended a little early and we got to bond with the members, which was awesome.

After church, we went to a member's house to have dinner and Skype our mothers because yesterday was the 2nd best day of the year, next to Christmas- MOTHERS' DAY!!! I got to talk to my family for a solid 45 minutes (the best thing ever) and meet Elder Brown's family. Anyway. Dinner was awesome and we left their house at about 9:00. After leaving I checked the phone to find that our luck was so good that not once, but twice IN THE SAME DAY we had a tornado warning. Pretty much the best thing ever. It was raining so hard we couldn't see through the windshield, but we made it home safely through the sirens and rain and wind. I like to think sometimes that I live in a fairytale world. Definitely true here in the AK.

Anyway, thank y'all (I now have actual permission to use that) for your emails and love and just know that as often as the missionaries are in people's prayers, the families of the missionaries are in people's prayers. Stay strong and help the missionaries the best you can.

Y'all have a blessed day
(Native Arkansas-an saying)

Elder Matthew Busi

May 3, 2015

WEEK 5: The Penultimate week

 WEEK 5: The Penultimate week

So. This week was grand and fun.

At the CCM, after about the first two weeks, you have experienced it all. Not much new happens, but the learning curve is overcome. Progression with Spanish becomes easier and the promptings of the spirit easier to receive.

There is one thing that never changes, however.


Every Tuesday we are treated with Costco, yes, COSTCO pizza. mmmmmmm. and sometimes we get these taquito things. delish.

Anyway, this week was all about learning about subjunctive and other things and it was good, but slightly confusing.

We finished our last lesson with our investigator, Israel yesterday, and he is ready for baptism. He feels comfortable, has a date, and is now passed on to another set of missionaries (not really because he is a role-play).

Our other investigator, Carlos, is a slightly different story. Besides having problems with the Word of Wisdom, Law of Chastity, keeping commitments, and remembering what we teach, he is a golden investigator. We are going to work with him today on knowing that the Book of Mormon is true, which seems to be a major doubt. He understands most of the doctrine, but the Book of Mormon is so essential.

Now, there are people out there who do not necessarily agree with our religion, things we do, ways we are, how and what we believe. These people simply have not read the Book of Mormon with real intent to know. We are promised by a prophet of the Lord that if we read this Book with "real intent, having faith in Christ, the spirit will manifest the truth of these things unto you" It is not a conditional promise. It is a guarantee.

The work for me is about to commence. I leave this, the land of the CCM and the foreign country of Mexico on the 6th en la madrugada.

Ladies, Gentlemen of the world. Be strong. Share what you know and find out what you don't.



So. Ties. The only way that an elder can express himself. No colored pants, shirts, hairstyles, anything else, but ties, ties are the way to go. This week wasn't anything unusual, because our routine is getting pretty set. But in summary, we had tie trades galore. I parted with some favorites, and inherited some beauties.

Spoons. So. Some of our friends from the districts who were leaving had traditions to pass down to us. There is a tactic wherein one can place spoons in the beltloops, collars, pockets, and all other receptacles on a missionary. The district that left named me, Elder Busi, Hechicero de Cucharas. It was a title I was proud to hold, but maybe a little bit irreverent. There were a number of days we were placing spoons, but after a while, we felt silly and were tired of the wicked traditions of our fathers. We stopped.

Devotionals. Yesterday we got to hear from another member of the seventy who related to us many personal experiences. It was really cool, and he was truly led by the spirit. He left his dying mother and served a mission at age 17. Before he left he gave his mother a blessing and she was healed.

Classes. On Sunday, we had a class by the MTC president. This was really cool, and he related to us a personal story. He wasn't able to see his first daughter be born because he was at work, but then she passed away. He said that he was heartbroken (you may remember this from conference a few years back. He spoke.) but through his faith and knowledge of the plan of salvation, he was able to know that he would see her again. It was really powerful to hear that, and his testimony was powerful as well.

Thank all of you for your support and loving emails. You can never have enough emails, in my opinion. Hit me up through my contact form at the bottom of the blog or ask one of my family for a direct email!

Stay classy Amador County, Ione Ward, Jackson Ward, Miscellaneous BYU YSA Wards, and everyone else!


Elder Matthew Busi