June 29, 2015



THIS IS THE LAST WEEK OF THE Oklahoma Tulsa Mission. There is a...  rich(?) history and many great people have served here, including the great Mark Cantrell, Spencer Bohn, and Alyxandria Beadle. 

Now that the shoutouts are done and over with, this week was actually pretty great. We started off the week a little bit slower, with people bailing on their appointments, and when we got appointments, they went an hour or so too long. It was tough. 

Highlights of this week include, but absolutely do not exclude:

Tokyo Drift (shoutout to Hoyt): We are safe drivers. We have to be. Tiwi, a.k.a. the devil in a small box on our windshield, reports all driving data, RPMs, geographic location, speed, and even seatbelts. This is a miracle for the church, because this way, theoretically nobody gets hurt, but it is hard to explain to the Mission Office if a reason you get "aggressive driving" is for avoiding someone else's aggressive driving. ANYWAY. Tokyo Drift. So, we were with a member of our branch and we had to go to some appointments. He offered to drive (WOOT we didn't have to use miles) but proceeded to drift around parking lots and speed up and race people and all other manner of irresponsible driving. We protested such actions, and asked him in loud voices to desist. He did not. His final act of scary driving consisted of running a stop sign and drifting into the highway. Luckily we didn't hit anyone, but we cut someone off pretty bad. In the rearview mirror was none other than an Arkansas State Police officer. By some miracle, he did not get pulled over, but he was much more careful after that. 

Eating no fewer than 4 meals in 3 hours (all of them large). It was lunchtime, and we were famished. We had been in studies all morning and it was time to chow down. We were going to raid the fridge, when a member called us and offered us a (FREE) lunch! We were so happy, and we filled up our tanks for a long day. We had another hour of studies following the lunch, so we returned to the apartment. All was well. Then, an hour later, we had our scheduled dinner. A little soon, but still good. Everything was fine until we got offered another dinner at a different member's house, and they insisted. Okayyyyy, but we're sooo fulllllllllll. We scarfed it down, but now we were starting to feel terrible physically. Just when we thought that we couldn't possibly eat more, we got another dinner. This time, we had been out looking for a less active. When we got to their house, to our great astonishment we found a full-blown FIESTA going on in their yard. It was a PARTAY, but while we were there we weren't offered food but instead given plates heaping with chicken and all other manner of grilled food. We cheated a little on this one. We ate as much as we could, and then discarded the rest. THE RESULTS: A new personal record of 7 pounds gained in one day, with my companion gaining a close 6 pounds. We wanted to die. 

2 New Baptismal Dates!! Daniel and Deliani, the children of the recently-baptized Mayra, accepted baptism and are super excited! They are super cool and ready to go now. This is the second time that we have invited them, but they are loving the gospel and are more receptive now, since their mom is such a good example. She has really become a different person, through the saving power of the Atonement of Christ. She is an awesome person (and a good cook, too!)

This week we got to get in the pool! That's right, we got to roll up our slacks, put on some flip-flops, and clean out someone's empty pool this week. It was marvelous to feel the cool blue vinyl siding under our fingernails as we picked out small leaves and pine needles. A truly magnificent experience. 

JC's Barbeque Joint is our favorite place. EVER. We eat there occasionally whenever we get taken to dinner by our friend Thomas, who is a returned missionary. In the coming weeks, look out for pictures of us there that will be in the Google Drive folder (follow the link in the right-hand column). Delicious food and cool people. Thomas is the best and we love hanging out with him. He is our Elder's Quorum President, and he is a very responsible person. 

Alright let's get this out of the way: The Supreme Court Decision. So, on Friday, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) made a decision that will probably go down in history as one of the most controversial decisions made. My stance, and that of the Church are the same. This changes no doctrine, this changes only the law of the land. While it exists, we respect it, but we do not, as a church or I as an individual condone such actions. Now, I love all people, and so does the church, but the family is ordained to consist of a man and a woman married together. One man. One woman. That is it. Am I outraged? No. It was going to happen. Am I happy? No. It is contrary to the position of the church, nay the position of God Himself. So, take that for what it's worth. 
Gustavo is our friend, our homie G. We hang with him a lot, and his is less active. We try to help him make good choices, and he accompanies us to many of our lessons. He doesn't currently have a job, so he has a LOT more time to.... come with the missionaries of course! He is a really cool guy and has a good heart. He came to church last week and it was super awesome. We are trying to work with his younger brother too, but they are very different people. He will be featured in the picture below:

Today we got to go mountain biking with our friend Evan- a Member, and with our homie Gustavo. Here is the prettay prettay picture :)

Love y'all. Stay Classy. Stay Cool (don't melt!)

Elder Matthew Busi

June 27, 2015


Dearest fellow associates of the same species:

Yes, you read correctly. BAPTISM! This week was the week that Mayra was baptized! Everything was the same as the first time we had a baptism, except this time, the investigator showed up. She is a fireball. She loves the church and is always willing to do whatever needs to be done to be the best she can be. She was "golden" when we found her and is still "golden" today. She is setting a terrific example for her children, who were not baptized that day, but ahddfasl;kfas;lkgj ;lsadf SUPER EXCITING. First Baptism: Check.

Here is a picture of us and Mayra (center)

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Anyway, the rest of the week went kind of as follows:

We had the largest attendance at Sacrament Meeting that I had seen since I came here (35 people!) and we got a new temporary member of our ward! He is super cool and was a little bit less active, but realizes that he needs the Church in his life, so he just came back. Super cool. 

Transfers happened on Thursday, so my friend Elder Casper went home after two years of hard work and we got a boatload of new missionaries. Also, there is a sister that came out from my stake (THE BEST STAKE IN THE CHURCH) and I met her for the first time out here in the field haha. The new zone leader in place of Elder Casper is none other than the fabled Elder Van Houten. He is quiet, but powerful, and he is a really cool and funny person. He has been out for a good while, but is a good leader. 

What else and what else... Oh, so every week we have soccer on Tuesdays, and just like every other week, Fermin came. Fermin is a really cool guy, and is a straight up Ranchero. He is married to a girl named Amber and they have one very beautiful little girl. They decided to start coming to different ward activities and are fellowshipping really well with the ward. It is awesome. They are not currently married, but were looking to do it next month in a stinky courthouse. We recommended that they get married inside the church by the bishop, and they were like nah, that costs money. After we told them that it did not, they were all over it. They may very well be our next baptismal candidates, and they are so ready. 

We were supposed to have a day this week where we went to the lake with the Branch. The branch presidency had planned it and all of this good stuff and we had gotten approved and rides and it was going to be so fun, until the scouts that went ahead to check out the lake said that it was gross. This was fine with us because we couldn't swim anyway, but I guess that must've been pretty disappointing for everyone else. Instead, we settled for a park day, except nobody could decide which park. We were told to go to one park, so we did (#OBEDIENCE) and there was this huge bicycle race going on. These people had gone 100-miles and finished in the park we were at. So, there we were, wearing our service clothes and nametags. We decided that we would go check it out. The people thought that we had just finished the race and were SO nice to us. They offered us free food and gave us damp towels to cool off and there was live music and it was really cool. We were like uhhhh well okay and our assignment was to wait there for an hour and a half and redirect anyone who came to that park by mistake. It all worked out pretty well.

These past couple of days have been, well, HOT. 97 degrees with 100% humidity is pretty crazy. I live though. It is hot. That is it. 

Shoutout to President and Sister Shumway for their awesome service! T-Minus 9 days until both the mission and the mission president change forever to the Arkansas Bentonville Mission!!!

We are are in full preparation mode for a couple of things. Firstly, next week, the goal for our mission is to teach 40 lessons for the entire week, with 60% of those being member-present. This is a lofty goal. Our goal this week is to ramp up to 30 lessons this week, which will be difficult. We are so ready for it, though. We are preparing for the 4th of July as well. There is a family in our Branch, the Guardado family, who is the most American family that is Salvadoranian that I have met in my entire life. We are preparing to go to the temple that day with recent converts, and maybe doing some service that evening. EXCITEMENT!

Well, that is about it. Life goes on. If you made it this far in the post, props to you haha it takes determination sometimes. 

Spiritual thought this week (on the word of wisdom):

"The Fall a Process of Physical Degeneracy.—A modern revelation given to the Church in 1833 (D&C 89), prescribes rules for right living, particularly as regards the uses of stimulants, narcotics, and foods unsuited to the body. Concerning the physical causes by which the fall was brought about, and the close relation between those causes and current violations of the Word of Wisdom embodied in the revelation referred to above, the following is in point. “This, [the Word of Wisdom] like other revelations that have come in the present dispensation, is not wholly new. It is as old as the human race. The principle of the Word of Wisdom was revealed unto Adam. All the essentials of the Word of Wisdom were made known unto him in his immortal state, before he had taken into his body those things that made of it a thing of earth. He was warned against that very practice. He was not told to treat his body as something to be tortured. He was not told to look upon it as the fakir of India has come to look upon his body, or professes to look upon it, as a thing to be utterly condemned; but he was told that he must not take into that body certain things which were there at hand. He was warned that, if he did, his body would lose the power which it then held of living for ever, and that he would become subject to death. It was pointed out to him, as it has been pointed out to you, that there are many good fruits to be plucked, to be eaten, to be enjoyed. We believe in enjoying good food. We think that these good things are given us of God. We believe in getting all the enjoyment out of eating that we can; and, therefore, we should avoid gluttony, and we should avoid extremes in all our habits of eating; and as was told unto Adam, so is it told unto us: Touch not these things, for in the day that thou doest it thy life shall be shortened and thou shalt die."

Sorry that it was a bit lengthy, but this is so true, and it particularly struck me when I read it for the first time. 

Y'all are the bestest ever


Elder Matthew Busi
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Already being recognized by the free world

June 15, 2015


Dearest Friends, Associates, Miscellaneous Grizzly Bears, Elder Busi Fanclub, Internet Archives, Email Filter, Future Campaign Donors, and Mom,

We rocked this week. The numbers are in, the investigators taught, and the dinners eaten. This week we had a mission-wide goal to hit the Standard of Excellence in every area. Boy oh boy did we. In all areas (except one) we nailed the Standard of Excellence as a mission, but in our companionship, we dominated. We came out with no fewer than 5 new investigators. They are all super cool, as well. Now, numbers are not anything, but goal setting is SUPER important for missionaries and for everyone in general. Some of the world's most successful people set goals and make plans, and this is the core of missionary work. 

Quantification is Domination 
        -Elder Busi

Anyway. Updates from last week include, but do not exclude:

One (1)- Zone outing: When a bunch of elders and sisters that live in close proximity gather together for a day of festivities or fun as a group. For this specific activity, we participated in a round of mini golf, with Elder Brown and the infamous Elder Nuttall (Senior Missionary) talking trash on each other. We then went to a (very shady) Mexican Food Eatery where I consumed three tacos with three different types of meat. For the uninitiated, this will sound... not the best, but I ate Cabeza, Al Pastor, and Chicharron. I loooooove Chicharron and now understand why my high school teacher talked it up so much (<3 you Senora). 

Five (5)- New Investigators: We met a man named Erik who is super cool. He is really interested in learning and has 3 young children who are suuuuuper cute. We look forward to teaching him more. We met two little girls and their escort (only use this word because it was a lady who was so awkwardly related to them there isn't a word to name the relation) who all loved to have all of the pass-along cards and copies of the Book of Mormon. they are super cool. 

Seventy-one Percent (71%)- Member-Present Lessons: This week we kept it going strong with our member-present lessons. The members really helped us out, which is awesome. It is such a sacrifice for those in our branch because there are so few to help us. They are the reason we live. 

Three (3)- Lawns Mowed: Two less-actives had lawns that required mowing, so what did we do? Jumped to the front of the line and mowed their lawns before the next guys could. The reason this statistic is 3 instead of two is because one member owns four houses, two of which we mowed. Therefore 1 + 4 - 2 = 3?

One (1) Broken Door Fixed: We do what we can.

One (1) Investigator that Moved: He had a baptismal date and everything, but decided to move to Mississippi and not tell anyone, sad :( 

Okay I'm done with this funny list thing. We have been teaching Mayra y su hijos, and she has a baptismal date set for THIS THURSDAY!!! We are super excited and she will be setting a terrific example for her children. 

Now, some good news and bad news. Click on Bad News three times if you would like to see the bad news first, and Good News once if you would like Good news first. 

Psych! Bad news it is. This is the last week with Elder Casper. In no time at all, he will return to the land of his fathers to be buried with his kin (when missionaries go home, they "die"). He has served a full and prosperous mission here, in the land of plenty, but it is his time to go the course of the earth. Next bad news, English Classes are... wait for it... CANCELLED. Sadness. Due to reports of other missionaries' classes failing for lack of attendance, we decided to forgo our plans in search of new ones. Here is the new plan/ good news

GOOD NEWS: SOCCER LEAGUE IS IN EFFECT. The advertising begins. This week we are preparing for the flood. We will be hitting every Tienda, Restaurant, and gathering place with full force. Advertising through members, friends, and families locally. We will have it all, from a trophy to a list of winners to real tournament-style soccer games. It will be the best. 

Spiritual thought for today:  

The rise and fall of dynasties, the birth and dissolution of nations, all the cycles of history as to war and peace, as to prosperity and adversity, as to health and pestilence, seasons of plenty and of famine, the awful happenings of earthquake and storm, the triumphs of invention and discovery, the epochs of man's development in godliness and the long periods of his dwindling in unbelief—all the occurrences that make history—are chronicled throughout Christendom by reference to the year before or after the birth of Jesus Christ.

-Jesus The Christ 

Stay classy, my friends

Also check out the new pictures on the link (right-hand column)

Elder Matthew Busi

June 8, 2015

WEEK 11- Week of the OTMs

​Good week to you, friends, family members, miscellaneous internet robots and hackers of all varieties!

This last week was... well... the BEST.

To begin the week, we cleaned our room. And when I say clean, I mean OCD deep clean with every surface sparkling and holy cow did it take a while​. We had a member coming later that day to inspect the apartment, so we needed it squeaky clean. All was well until I dumped a seemingly harmless amount of meat down the disposal. For the experienced, this was a rookie mistake. I quickly came to realize the error of my ways when no liquid or slime would go down the drain, but instead insisted on coming up. I rapidly remembered all of the plumbing preparation I had before my mission (none) and got to work. With a coat hanger and some southern hospitality, I maneuvered the shredded stinky meat out of the pipes. It just kept coming. Delicioso. Anyway. Pipes were clear, drain functional, and cleaning check passed (with only one point off!). We were so proud of our room, we decided to keep it that way. 

Anyway. This week was the week of the OTMs. We had to get 5 OTMs everyday as a mission goal. An OTM consists of Opening Thy Mouth to any of the local citizens of Fort Smith or Van Buren Arkansas. For my companionship, though, we need to find larger congregations of Latinos so that we can even do this. We found success in the numerous Tiendas of Fort Smith and Van Buren and even a pawn shop or two. 

Speaking of Pawn Shops. We were going to meet an investigator who took the night shift at the one and only TYSON (in honor of Mike Tyson) chicken plant. He was sleeping and we woke him up mid-slumber. We decided to come back 45 minutes later. We tried every door we could find, but to no avail. Our investigators were gone, potentials at work, and apartment complexes devoid of cars. We did the only thing we could. We went to a random pawn shop. We got out and went in, and while my gaze was focused on a beautiful Invicta timepiece in a grotesquely large case, a woman approached me and said "Hi." My calculated missionary response: "Hi." She proceeded to tell me that she was a member of our church in the faraway land of Tulsa and that she had referrals for us in our area. Some of them were LATINOS!!!! We had felt like going into this pawn shop was perhaps a sign of defeat, but it proved to be where the Lord wanted us (boy, does he work in mysterious ways).

Our English Classes were postponed another week, but this week we prepared and researched. We have all of the materials and all of the desire, but this is the week of advertisement. Tiendas, public places, EVERYWHERE will get smashed with advertisements. We will be calling the newspaper and getting all kinds of advertisements, so long as they are free. It helps that we're such an unusual bunch, though. NEWS FLASH: TWO YOUNG, TALL, BILINGUAL, WHITE AMERICAN MEN GIVE FREE ENGLISH CLASSES. Or something like that. I am so excited. We will be so weird. WOOT. 

This week we had Zone Conference and let me just tell you I have never, and I say that with confidence, never been anywhere besides the House of the Lord that is so spiritual. Over 75 missionaries sharing experiences, teaching styles, and advice with the presence of a mission president called of God to lead us. President Shumway is the best person in existence. He is so spiritual, dedicated, and strong. He shared all kinds of things with us and we got to hug both him and his wife at the end. It was so spiritually uplifting and physically draining. I slept very well that night. 

This week marked one year in the field for my companion, Elder Brown. We were going about our normal lives, doing missionary work, and we went to dinner. At dinner the members surprised him with all manner of fun things. He was blindfolded and tied to a chair and we all threw water balloons at him. He was in pain because most of them weren't full enough to pop (#MERICA). He had an enjoyable day and burned one of his white shirts in a fireplace that evening as a celebration. It was hot. 

Cool stuff happened yesterday (Sunday). One of our recent converts received the Aaronic Priesthood and was ordained to the office of Priest. He is super cool and in the pictures this week (click the link on the right-hand side) we took a picture with him and some other members. We get to go to the temple with him soon, hopefully this next Saturday to the OKC Temple. Another cool thing, one of our investigators said the closing prayer to Sacrament Meeting! Not everyday that that happens. 

In other news, our car got backed into while parked (again) and our paint for the original time dried a different color (KEWL), so car problems for days. We made some hospital visits yesterday and shared some spiritual thoughts. Each of the Sisters in the hospital are expected to make a full recovery.

Thank you for your prayers and for being the BEST. 

Email me whenever (left-hand column on blog)

Yours most truly,

Elder Matthew Busi

From Left to Right: Jaime (recent convert) Elder Brown, Yours Truly, Octavio (first councilor in Branch Presidency, and Jeffery (Recent Returned Missionary)

June 1, 2015

Week 10: WEEK OF THE 100% Member-Present


This week we did the unthinkable. The impossible. The beautiful. We taught every, that's right EVERY lesson with a member present. Our mission, the Oklahoma Tulsa Mission taught 93% member-present lessons for this week. We had all kinds of interesting things occur, from teaching during a tornado siren to crossing new creeks that developed in the middle of roads. Craziness.

We managed to teach every single lesson with a member. When we were short, we taught with less actives. It was ridiculous and legit. The spirit was really strong and we were able to learn a lot and teach a lot.

Other news: Our car that was backed into a number of weeks ago was repainted and fixed. The only issue: the bumper was painted a different shade of gray. Elder Brown was not too happy with their work, but the auto shop insisted that the color would dry a different color. We have yet to see it change color. We were able to ride our bicycle for a while and my bike is SICKK. Blue Green and American all over. I am in the process of outfitting it with American Flags. More pictures are to come.

Walmart- We got to OTM in Walmart a number of times. OTM (for the uninitiated) is Open Thy Mouth. We talked to many, many latinos. It was mostly fruitful, but some people turned us away. We went on to OTM in TJMAXX and other places like Ross.

Being a Spanish Missionary is the best. There are a lot of things that the English Missionaries have to deal with that is pretty difficult or weird, and a lot more rejection it sounds like. For us, it seems like doors are opening, people are being receptive, and we are progressing like crazy. The Lord has definitely blessed the people of Fort Smith Arkansas to be ready to hear the gospel. I Love it here.

This last week I had the opportunity to go on exchanges with Elder Tompson, who is our District Leader and also half Navajo. He can speak a little bit of it and has plenty of terrific stories. He is a very powerful leader and very obedient as well. We got a car stuck in the mud, and his engineering of putting a stick under the wheel saved our afternoon and an embarrassing call to a higher-up.

Speaking of mud. RAIN. RAIN. RAIN. There is a liquor store (SIN) next to us that has been flooded twice in the past week. It is ridiculous. The river and creek are very full and there is some flooding. We are fine here, however, and Oklahoma and Texas definitely have it worse off than we do. We had a Tornado Warning this week, which was sweet, but nothing happened except more and more buckets of rain. This month alone we have recieved more rain than is normal for the entire year.

The church is the same everywhere. No matter where you go, the gospel is the same, you take the sacrament, you sing hymns, etc. Something else that is the same is the Church Dance Playlist. I had the opportunity to do some family history Saturday night in the same building as the stake dance. THE SAME SONGS AS WHEN I WAS 12 PLAYED.

We had a Stake Priesthood Meeting last night and we learned a lot about Multigenerational Families. It is so important to teach the next generation about the gospel. They are so ready. We teach a family (Mayra and her children). Her children love to learn about the gospel and are so ready to commit and read the scriptures. We teach adults and they can't seem to find the time to read, but these children are so ready.

Share the gospel. In your home.


"Faith is taking the first step, even when there is no staircase"
        -Martin Luther King Jr. (thank you Popeye's sign)

Most Sincerely

Elder Matthew Busi

I Will Go(at) I Will Do the Things the Lord Commands