Monday, September 22, 2014

December 2013


Let me start off by saying how absolutely wonderful my Christmas week was! I hope that yours was at least half as great as mine, even!! (: Just in case anybody was feeling bad for me being away from home during the holidays... don't! I feel bad for all of YOU!! I wish you could be full time missionaries for the Lord at this time, it's incredible (: But, luckily you can be member missionaries! haha. And still serve and things every day, everywhere you go, not only during this Christmas time but always! How great is it to be called to share His love (: Let me also say that it was AWESOME to get to SEE my family on Christmas!! That just brightened my whole day (: And then, after that (and before that too, really) I spent it with my awesome ward family (:

Now, I also have to give a disclosure... I don't have much time to email today- let me explain- yesterday we had a spontaneous mission wide conference! Because Elder Kent F. Richards of the 2nd quorum of the 70 was in town and offered his service towards us! So that's what we did yesterday... heard from him and his lovely wife, and President and his (: And so today is p-day, but just half of a day and yesterday's second half was also for preparation- and we had a bunch of errands to run for other people. Which is always great, but means I'll have to keep it short, but we still wanted to make sure we wrote (:

We had a great week- much like yesterday, full of service, love, and God's children. I have had a lot of thoughts come to mind since yesterday's conference, which was incredible by the way, and I have been thinking a lot since Elder Richards asked the question, "Do you know that God is mindful of you?" My answer is yes! And I wanted to share with you how I know. I have this confirmed to me often, but some really neat things happened on Christmas (and the surrounding days) we stopped by a families house who had their whole house full of family there, and in the midst of it all I saw someone that looked familiar, but I didn't think much of it. Until he came to introduce himself (he is the member in our ward's son-in-law) to me a few minutes after we got there. He walked right up to me and before he said anything I said, "You look so familiar to me" and then he responded with, "I was just about to say the same thing." As soon as I heard his voice I realized where I knew him from- he was my college professor a year and a half ago! And his daughter (the Green's granddaughter) was in that class! AND I remember a couple of his other children coming in to class to sing to us a song about the prophets and apostles (he was my Teachings of the Living Prophets teacher- for those of you who know I took this class also know that it was my absolute favorite!!). It was so fun to see them again and get to reminisce briefly. It was something so simple, but I had confirmed to me at that moment that God is mindful of me. It brought just enough of home to me to be able to serve more effectively and have a smile on my face as we visited the remainder of the people on our schedule.

Another story, I'll try to make this quick too- because we were in our area on Christmas eve (we originally were going to have a mission wide Christmas Eve party but then the Spirit told President not to go through with it... which I am so glad he listened) something neat happened. We were able to bake cookies and take them to the people we were visiting this week, from the bishop. And while we were doing this... I had the thought to take a plate of cookies to our neighbors. This thought had come to my mind in the past, but I kept pushing it aside because taking a random plate of cookies might be a little weird? (However, missionaries do things out of their comfort zone- weird things- all the time haha) I had been praying for an opportunity to arise to actually have a reason to take him cookies when I received a letter from my mom where she told me she was almost done taking treats to the neighbors, which reminded me that HELLO, NOOOW is the perfect time! We took the cookies to the neighbor, along with a card testifying of Jesus Christ. He seemed a little surprised and caught off guard but we left him the treats and went on our way. The next morning, Christmas day, as we were leaving our apartment we found a letter taped to our door. It was from our neighbor! He thanked us for the cookies and card and told us how much they meant to him. This was the neatest thing, because of what he said in that letter we knew that he had continued to think about the things that were said and done! This a confirmation to me that God is mindful of my neighbor, Chris! Who we should always be friends with, by the way. And was able to guide us to his door with a plate of cookies that he very much appreciated this time of year.

Aaaand... one more real quick story! haha. Most of you probably know Hermana (Sister) Hannah Downs... well we used to talk about crazy awesome things all the time, and one of our conversations, that later turning into the song "Tiny Angels" was about how... how we have our future family (and ancestors from the past, I'll add) looking out for us and cheering us on. Well, yesterday when we heard from Sister Richards she talked about how we should think of our future children when we are ever wondering if this is worth it, or if we are having troubles being obedient or something like that. And anyways... this was just really cool to have a general authority and his wife talk about, and then go home and listen to Sister Downs sing the beautiful song! Yet another reminder that God is mindful of me (:

Oh, and I gave that talk on Sunday! Wrote it Sun. morning, haha. I was actually able to finish it!! And now I have been asked to speak again in two weeks, in the other ward. This time on the gifts of the Holy Ghost. You all know this is one of my favs! Any thoughts on THIS topic would be appreciated, too!! I suppose I'm finally making up for the past 9 months where I haven't had to say a word in sacrament meeting. haha. I'm excited for the blessings (; haha (:

Anywho... p-day is over! Got to run. I took a bunch of awesome pictures, I'll try to make enough time to send them next week! I love you all!! And I hope and pray that YOU know that God is mindful of YOU!! I do (:

Love, Sister Madisen Busenbark (:

p.s. I will share some of the things I learned from Elder Richards (and more importantly, from the Spirit:) next week when I have more time too!! We talked about some AWESOME things, and like I said- I've had some incredible thoughts a rolling since then (: I LOVE THE PRIESTHOOD AUTHORITY ON THE EARTH!! (: It's so cool to be a missionary, a servant of the Lord, and be able to hear from them so frequently.

Have a great day!!
Smile, because the Church is true!! Christ himself said it was (:


Dear parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, best friends, friends, and acquaintances... (: Haha Just kidding... FAMILY!! You're all simply FAMILY (:

Merry Christmas, from the Desert!! (: It's 78* today. I hope you all enjoy your nice white Christmas, while I enjoy my nice BRIGHT one (: hehe

This past week was rather nice and I can only imagine that this week will be even better! I absolutely love this time of year. I had the opportunity to speak in sacrament meeting on Sunday, well... sort of... I wasn't able to finish it due to a medical emergency in the congregation... (definitely a Christmas program I will never forget! Stopped the whole meeting... then Bishop said some closing remarks and  we sang the closing hymn and went to our next class as the EMT took Bro P. away. It was incredible to see how many people came together to help! There are a lot of doctors and things in our ward.) but I did get to prepare for it! We were asked to give a reason for the hope that is within us, and as I pondered on this throughout the week, and wrote Christmas card for ward members and previous investigators, I was able to reflect that it is the same! This time of year, as we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ is the reason for the hope that is within me. It is why I am on a mission. What an amazing place to be- in the mission field, as the Lord's missionary- at this time right now that brings us all together to celebrate Him who the season is named after! It's such a blessing, and being able to reflect on this has truly brightened our days and we willingly serve, inviting others to come unto Christ, both by teaching and by physical action. I realize that I am celebrating more than just His birth... but I am celebrating Him in all! I am rejoicing because he was part of the plan from the very beginning, because He came to this earth, because He performed miracles, established the "one Lord, one faith, one baptism" that it talks about in Ephesians, because He was tempted and yet still remained perfect, because He suffered for our sins and afflictions, pains and sorrows, temptations and infirmities in the garden of Gethsemane and on the cross, because He arose on that third day completing the Atonement, and because he appeared to the Prophet Joseph Smith and after centuries of being lost the Priesthood authority was once again restored to the earth! Because of Him we can be happy Now and through Eternity! We can make it back to live with our Heavenly Father And our Families forever! This is what I came on a mission to share!! So that others may know how this is possible, through our literal Savior!

Now, on a completely separate note... well... it's along the same lines, but it's on a completely separate... tone... I have an experience to share. It's an unforgettable one. However, I wish it were a good one. But it's not. (Although, of course... I did learn a lot) This week we were at the park writing Christmas cards. On the playground this family caught my eye. They were laughing and smiling and I could really tell they loved each other. It was parents, a grandmother, and two little girls. I couldn't stop thinking about them as I was writing the cards, and I knew I needed to talk to them. So when we got up to leave I made it a point to walk their way. However, when I did all that seemed to come out of my mouth was, "Hello! Enjoying the beautiful day at the park?!" Nothing after that. Well, besides a simple, "Merry Christmas!" As my feet kept walking and my mouth stopped. I felt awful, instantly. I even looked back at them and my eyes began to swell. I was very disappointed in myself and knew that Satan had bound my tongue... and I had let him. I even had several thoughts to go back. But by that point I was too embarrassed to say anything. To say anything to my companion to turn around, or to say anything to them after having already briefly spoken to them. I let my fear get the best of me and looked back one more time before getting into the car and driving away. I can honestly say that I don't think I'll ever be able to forget their faces, and I've prayed for them every night since. That night while I was praying, and multiple times while simply thinking about that family... including now... I begin to form tears in my eyes as I think of how happy the knowledge that they could be together forever would have made them... especially as I ponder my family and how badly I want to be with them forever... and my fear kept me from sharing this sacred simple truth with my brothers and sisters. This was a real turning point for me. I never want to feel that way again. So I am trying to prepare myself each day more fully to be prepared to put off the adversary and allow the Savior to enable me to do things that I would not otherwise be able to do. That's what I'll be working on this week. And as I said earlier, this is a beautiful time of year to be able to reflect on His true divinity, and in doing so I know that He can help me when I need Him most.

And that is what I am trying to convey as I strive to serve those around me this week too. I am so grateful for our Savior and His love, and this beautiful Christmas season to be able to share it with those around us more abundantly. I am grateful that our Heavenly Father sent His Son, Jesus Christ to this world and that He accomplished all that the Father asked of Him. And I am grateful that because of that we can be made whole, we can be enabled, and we can be redeemed. We can be strengthened to do all that the Father asks of US! We can be saved. We CAN be happy! What a reason to rejoice (:

NOW, a few random thoughts and experiences I have had this week... and some updates too!
- I have decided that there is going to be a temple here someday. Some day SOON (:
- People here are TOO good to us!! I can't even explain all the reasons that statement is true... they just are. Take my word. And basically... I'm doing great (:
- We went caroling with a member after dinner one night... just the three of us, actually... but then we saw this guy walking his dog and Sis. S. stopped and talked to him (what a missionary!) found out she already met his wife (because she is new to the area and has been trying to get to know everyone) and so when he found out what he was doing is asked us to wait while he ran to get his wife and kids to join us!! So fun. They sang Silent Night in Spanish, we sang in English.. it was cool (: My favorite.
- I have lasted 9 months without speaking in front of the whole congregation (they all still hear from me individually and as families though, of course)... and this isn't the first time that it has been because I have been physically stopped from baring my testimony. I can't help but think that Satan doesn't want me to share my testimony of the love that the Savior has for these people I am serving with (however, like I said... hopefully they can still feel and recognize of this love every other time we missionaries- representatives of the Lord- get to be with them) BUT I get another chance (before they even knew that I wouldn't get to finish, I got asked) to speak in sacrament meeting this Sunday too! In the other ward, though. Yesterday was just a testimony, mainly... this week will actually be a talk. And guess what I was assigned to speak on? Covenants/commitment! The thing I studied so much a few months ago (: Time to whip out my notes! Feel free to send me your thoughts and insights on this topic in the mail this week (:
- I ran into a door on Sunday. Like... actually ran into it. Luckily nobody saw... besides Sis. A and my new bishop in my new ward... now I have to do anything he asks...
- We went to the Palm Desert bishop's house for dinner last night... his whole family is really awesome. They even invited a part member family to join us! (Missionary work- simple as that) Also... they have this beeeeautiful Rottweiler named Belize and she is my new best friend.
- Mom, dad, Ada, it's almost the end of the year... have you memorized Mosiah 2:41 yet? Mom issued that challenge at the beginning of the year. I've got it down! And I'm so glad I do. It's one of my favorites, and I've been able to share it often (: "And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that  these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it." However, I haven't been able to memorize The Living Christ fully yet... I want to try harder! Cause, let's face it... that thing is perfect.
- I don't remember... I think I may have told you half of this, but not all? We are now covering the Palm Desert ward along with the Park View ward. The week prior to receiving this change we had met several really awesome single sisters who live in the Palm Desert area (both members and non-members) and we were excited about that, but also sad that we wouldn't be able to get to work with them as closely as we would have liked... but then... NOW WE DO! YAY!! And one of them in particular, Val, we met her at Walmart where she works and we got to meet with her this week and it was awesome!! (God grants unto our desires!) She is already learning of the love that our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have for her as she is praying and strengthening that relationship in that way! And then... the elders had met with her at least two times already before we got to start teaching her... but she didn't have a Book of Mormon!! When we handed her one she was SO excited and we were really surprised that she didn't already have one because she wanted it BAD!! (those elders... don't they know that you need a Book of Mormon before you can read from it to know if it is true!! haha) and she said to us, "I even went to the book store and tried to find one to buy for my own but couldn't find one!" Just goes to show... people are out there and they are SEARCHING for these things!! And we're the ones to give it to them. Not just us full-time missionaries. But Every member missionary as well!! (: Anywho... she's real cool and even sent us a text the next day thanking us again and she was so happy to be at church yesterday too (:
- So basically... I have only been covering Palm Desert too now for just over a week and I already LOVE it!!

I know that this instantaneous love that I feel for these people isn't my own, but it's the Lord's love (: I simply could not do it alone. People are just too difficult! But He loves us anyways, and I can feel it. And I know that He loves YOU too!! And I hope you know I do too (:

Love, Sister Madisen Busenbark

p.s. I bet you didn't think this weeks email would be as long since we get to SKYPE on Wednesday, did you? haha. I didn't either (: Hopefully I still have things to talk about on Christmas (; and next Monday! haha Also... if you made it to the end without giving up... congratulations! You have now officially been rewarded with the "best friend of the year" award (:

I LOVE YOU ALL, brothers and sisters!! (: Merry Christmas! May we all live in the Spirit of Christ, now and always (:


Hey there everyone!!! Sister B here (:

How are you all doing this fine week? Hopefully SUPERDUPERAWESOME!!

So, we spent the better part of our p-day sitting at pep-boys while our car tire was getting fixed. We got a flat!! So, I'll try to type as fast as I can (: And send pictures too!! It's about due time. Also, this reminds me... side tangent. I have a funny story... It happened nearly 6 months ago. Which is why I now finally feel like I can share it... haha. Are you ready?...... I "technically" got in a car accident the very first day the Redlands mission was created!! What happened was... I was flipping a U-ey (a completely legal one) but the thing was... there was a median in the road and I didn't go out far enough before turning. I didn't go up and over the median, don't freak out, I just skid the botton of the car on the drivers side. It didn't even stop the movement of the car a bit. But it sure Sounded bad!! And it didn't look the Best. hah. But, on the bright side, Elder Houser (in the office over cars) is very very awesome, we were completely ok (like I said, it didn't even stop the momentum of the car) and now I will go down in the California Redlands mission history as the very first car accident! haha. I debated keeping this a secret for my whole life... but I'm glad I told you. Now we can laugh together (: You've got to laugh little things like that off, right? And then never ever do them again. haha (:

So anyways... this week was yet another good one! Guess what we found out on Monday night? President texted us and told us that we are now not only covering the Park View ward but we will be covering the Palm Desert ward as well!! Which is AWESOME!!! Here's the situation- Park View has their own set of elders, Palm Desert has their own set of elders, and they get to share us sisters! So that's going to be pretty fun. This week we spent a lot of time trying to coordinate with the elders, the ward mission leaders, and other ward members. It'll take some getting used to at first (especially the part where we are juggling two wards on Sundays) but I am really excited about it!

We had an AMAZING stake Christmas concert this weekend that we got to volunteer at, and it was a great opportunity to meet people and get non-members and less actives out to. It was so so good, even mayors and congressmen and people like that from the community come! President Van Cott brought his family too! It was so so powerful. You could definitely feel the spirit of Christ, testifying that He is our Savior and Redeemer. I just love hearing testimony through song! Especially because... remember me telling you about how awesome Sister Saleh is doing? How involved she is getting herself and things? Well she had herself a solo! She sang Oh Holy Night and sang it beautifully!! I kid you not. It brought me to tears! She does more than just "sing" it... she feels it. So we could feel it. There is no doubt that is her testimony!! And she brought four dozen cookies, without being asked,  too, simply because she had heard they were in short supply for Sunday's performance! She's just the coolest thing. She says she wants mom and dad to come visit with me after the mission so that she can meet who raised me (; hehe (: I say the same thing to her! haha.

Anywho... you should watch this Mormon message, if you haven't already. It's super cute and so so true! Goes right along with President Monson's remarks this year too. And I couldn't say it better myself (: Let's all give something that really matters this Christmas! Here's an idea Elder Ballard gave us- "We are simply asking all members to pray, knowing that if every member, young and old, will reach out to just “one” between now and Christmas, millions will feel the love of the Lord Jesus Christ. And what a wonderful gift to the Savior." What a wonderful gift to the Savior (: And guess what? You'll be included in that millions. As you help others feel of the Savior's love, you will too!!!

I love you all, have the best week ever (:

~ Sister M. Busenbark

Happy birthday, Alli!! This girl is like a 30 year old in an 11 year old body. No joke. She's the greatest to talk to!

Patricia after the concert!


Dear Fam,

this week was by far the craziest week of the mission thus far. I am hesitant to tell you about it... because I have always tried to keep my emails positive (and that's always been pretty easy... SO many miracles happen that we can focus on instead!) and things. However, the week ended great, so I think I will. Tell you about it, that is. So that you can get the full effect.

I am reminded of the quote by President Hinckley, “Things will work out. If you keep trying and praying and working, things will work out. They always do. If you want to die at an early age, dwell on the negative. Accentuate the positive, and you’ll be around for a while." That's what happened this week- it worked out.

I took my turn being sick this week, then we got a call from one of our most sincerely repentant progressing investigators telling us that his wife doesn't want him to meet with us anymore so he has to talk to her and see what he can do but in the mean time our appointments are cancelled, then our baptism fell through unexpectedly which was the first time this has ever happened to me and so we had to figure out how to deal with that and letting everyone know it was cancelled and things (we missed a group of people, and they weren't too happy), and his less-active mother was nothing less than mad, then we found out that our recent convert was moving out of the ward... that day, and we taught someone the word of wisdom and they saw that coffee and tea were bad so they committed to live that part but couldn't commit to stop the occasional alcohol or smoke (usually it's backwards). It seemed as though everything that was bad that could happen was all happening... all at once. But we kept going, calling upon the ministering angels to help bear us up so that we could submit cheerfully(Mosiah 24:!5), and low and behold... it all ended up ok.

My voice is back so I can talk without it hurting too bad, Richard works with the bishop and bishop informed us that he is doing great- he even apologized to him for telling him jokes in the past that didn't need to be said, Brad will be meeting with the missionaries in Canada and will be able to make those necessary life changes (that he so sincerely wants) when is back since he will be in that better situation, his mother called us on Sunday morning and apologized and told us that she is still determined to come back to church even with everything that happened, and Beverly is moving into the La Quinta ward with some missionaries that I know will take care of her, and Kecia got a promotion that allows her to have Sunday's off so she has already started to come to church (she even said herself, "When I got the promotion Satan tried to get in my head right away and tell me to skip church still because I finally have a weekend off to rest, but I know this is why I got the new job!" and she showed up on Sunday!). And everyone we talked to while we were out and about is sincerely (more sincerely than I have previously come in contact with, so it seems) interested in learning more, so we have a couple potential investigators to help cheer us up! Also, we had a ward Christmas party on Saturday and guess what? Patricia was there EARLY to help set up and help with food and things! She has a solo part in the Christmas concert (it's the stake choir, but it's open for the public- lots of people come!) and she sings in meetings all the time! She is just SO involved, and WANTS to be so involved and contribute-- keeping her baptismal covenants to serve, and I absolutely love it!! (:

Anywho... just a testimony builder to me that no matter how bad we may think it is, or will continue to be... it always gets better. It always works out. We just have to endure it well (Doctrine and Covenants 121:8) and do everything within our power to change our circumstances, praying for the strength to do so (Alma 14:26,28), and everything else turning over to the hands of the Lord. I am really happy to be staying here in the Park View ward. (I'm staying! by the way (: haha. Continuing training Sister Akagi. We are getting another set of missionaries, Elders, and sharing the ward with them. By the end of this transfer I will have been here for 6 months- 1/3 of the mission. I'm happy to be here for the holiday season, I love this ward and the people in this area- in case you were worried about me this Christmas season... don't be. This is the place to be.) Things are really looking up. They always do after you're down. This is a great time of year!

Now... I want to share something that has been on my mind a lot lately... I briefly want to talk about something very real. Satan. He is real guys, he really really is. We always have to keep our guard up, no matter how strong we think we may be. He is sneaky. He is conniving. He has been at this for a long time. He is miserable.. and he is out to make us miserable too. He uses what he doesn't have against us, our bodies. He will do everything he can to get us to use our sacred gift of agency to misuse these sacred gifts where our spirits dwell. For he knows that they are a great part of the plan, and if he can get us to misuse and destroy our bodies, he knows that he can destroy the family... which is central to it all. But luckily for us, Jesus Christ is just as real, and central too. (2 Nephi 2:6-7) So we can pray always, and we can and will conquer if we do so. (Doctrine and Covenants 10:5) So please, Please, "search diligently, pray always, and be believing" (Doctrine and Covenants 90:24)... and "ALL" things will work together for your good. (Rise and pray every day, ask for that help before you even think you need it- Luke 22:46, Doctrine and Covenants 61:39) The adversary has no power over us when we rely solely on the Savior. (Helaman 5:12) Call upon the powers of heaven, and His ministering angels, to bear you up. Always keep up that guard (Matthew 26:41, 3 Nephi 18:18) the Lord will not tempt you more than you can handle, without providing a way to escape (1 Corinthians 10:13)... if you ever wonder what that way is... I'm telling you now that if nothing else, it's prayer. It's prayer, it's the Atonement, it's grace.

"Grace is an enabling power that allows men and women to lay hold on eternal life and exaltation after they have expended their own best efforts." Bible Dictionary. "The enabling power from God that allows men and women to obtain blessings in this life and to gain eternal life and exaltation after they have exercised faith, repented, and given their best effort to keep the commandments. Such divine help or strength is given through the mercy and love of God." The Guide to the Scriptures. Grace is how we are saved. (2 Nephi 25:23) It's because of God's grace that this is all possible, that's how I know it's possible- because of grace. So... let's do all we can do, and enlisting our Savior's help to be able to do more than we can do (: That's what He's there for. "The enabling power of the Atonement strengthens us to do and be good and to serve beyond our own individual desire and natural capacity." Elder David A. Bednar

K, end of rant.

Thanks for listening (:

I sure love you guys.
I pray every day that you'll be strong, stay happy, endure well, and submit cheerfully in these paradise times. Be strong, stay strong. Call upon the Lord every day. He is only as far away as your knees.
"Dare to be a Mormon; Dare to stand alone. Dare to have a purpose firm; Dare to
make it known." - President Thomas S. Monson

My excitement has been renewed this week, even/especially after such a hard week, to be the Lord's missionary.

Love always,
Sister Mad B.


Dear fellow brothers and sisters,
things are going well here in the desert. It's truly blossoming! Thanksgiving week was a bit different than usual, most of the people who agreed to let us come over were the awesome active members- but we took advantage of that and taught lessons everywhere we went! (I was sure taken care of, you can be sure of that (: On thanksgiving day we had several thanksgiving meals and sent home with tons of pie! haha) The Bullock's kept their appointment on Thanksgiving day, which was was real nice and went really well. We taught them the word of wisdom and the law of chastity, which they both committed to live both without hesitation. Bro. Bullock admitted that the word of wisdom would take some effort because he likes his coffee so much, but he said that he wanted to stop and would pray for help to take away the desire to drink it (he says he is not addicted- his body reacts fine when he doesn't have it, he simply likes the way it tastes) which was really neat to hear him say, and inspirational too. He has the desire and is still progressing quite well, never hesitating to make and keep commitments. I've been praying and fasting more intently than I think ever before... for their family, specifically. This is a family that I have been blessed to love. Almost too MUCH love. Haha. I need to know what way to go. This is salvation on the line! haha. The bishop wants the marriage teacher to go over their with us and teach her about marriage. Which I think would be good. But what I feel would be even better... is to re-teach the restoration. Boldly, simply, clearly, and powerfully. I mentioned to Sister Van Cott coming to a lesson with us... this is the lesson I was referring to. I'm trying really hard not to let myself get nervous or scared, so that I can allow the Spirit to do it's job, but I'm really worried about this one. I need the Spirit BAD here. I need to know what it is that THEY need. This is what I've been searching for. I am striving for the trust of the Lord each and every day... the fact that He has entrusted me with the Bullock's, two very special individuals, is incredibly humbling... and I am striving even more to be worthy of that trust at this time. I know how eternally important it is. Anywho... all in all, things are going well. Sister Akagi has been sick but is starting to feel better. I think the week of working with active members relieved some of the stress and so her immune system is working fast. I am starting the same sickness now I believe, but pain is nothing new. Besides, we both received Priesthood blessings from Brother Jackson... the comfort, peace, and healing that came from these two blessings were incredible (: Want to know something super neat? The Priesthood- power and authority of God- IS on the earth today. ANd it is designed to bless the lives of everyone on the earth. I know that it has blessed mine. And I know that it is real. Did my headache instantly go away... no. But did it need to? No. But were my burdens, including the headache LIGHTENED? They surely were. Were things spoken to me that I can't deny were answers to my prayers, that he would never know was on my mind? Yes. And did he say something that has been repeated in nearly every blessing I have received since being on a mission? Yes. And was Sister Akagi's perfect for her? You bet'cha. I don't know what I'd do without the priesthood on the earth, and I don't know what I'd do without the gift of the Holy Ghost. These are two more re-assurances that we are LOVED by a Heavenly Father, and He DOES know us perfectly. This week should be really good, as everybody scheduled for this week instead of last, and we're preparing for Brad's baptism this Saturday. This time of year truly is incredible, and this time... in general, is an incredible time to be the Lord's missionary.
I sure love you guys, and I'm sure grateful to be able to share the Lord's love for His children too,
Sister Busenbark

P.S. Let me thank you again... Your prayers, your support, your sacrifices... they don't go un-noticed.
I appreciate it more than you'll ever know, and I feel/see it more than I can ever explain.

November 2013

Dearest dear family and friends,

How are you this week? I myself am doing rather good. I simply love this time of year. It's a time of pure THANKSGIVING, sharing the Gospel, being HAPPY, and reflecting on my love for my Savior, Heavenly Father, and His children! Not to mention it is the definition of PERFECT weather this time of year, here in the Desert! This week felt really good. We accomplished a lot, saw many different people, reached almost all of our goals, felt improvement physically, and smiled all along the way!

We have been working with this less active member, Sister Miles, for about a month now... her home teacher, Brother Green, invited her over for dinner one night and we have been teaching her ever since. It has been incredible to see the change come about her. Let me tell you a little bit more... She has a son from Canada who is staying with her right now and we just started teaching him last week. His name is Brad. He is incredible. He is so interested in the gospel and everything we tell him just seems to click instantly! He is definitely one who has been prepared for the gospel (talk about "the field is white already to harvest"- Doctrine and Covenants 4) and I am so glad that through a less active member through an active member we were able to meet him. He has decided to be baptized on the 7th of December! His mom has been a huge help, and that's really what's been so neat to see- especially because just a month ago she hadn't even read from the Book of Mormon, and now she is able to bear strong testimony to her son that it is true. She talks about how the Book of Mormon is so interesting, applicable to our day, and coming to life! She talks about how when she joined the church 30 years ago she joined out of faith that it was true, just taking everyone's word for it, but could never seem to get in to the Book of Mormon (mainly because it's sometimes hard to understand... which I understand) but now she says to her self, "This has been on my shelf this whole time! What have I missed!" And as she shares this with her son, he starts to realize the importance of the Book of Mormon and dives in himself, and now knows it to be true for himself too! It's incredible. I'm so grateful that I have been able to see both of their progress, especially as they are coming closer to our Savior as a family. Also... they both came to church on Sunday! Sister Miles first time... in a long time. And they both participated in class! (Which I taught. On the fly. haha. Nobody there to teach a class? "Ask the missionaries! They can help you!"- Elder Nelson hahah) It's been really good for her to catch the fire again, as she is experiencing the joys of sharing the gospel with her own son. He has such great faith unto repentance, and we are all looking forward to the day the day he will get to enter the waters of baptism and be washed clean, making a very sacred covenant with the Lord, and be able to receive the divine gift of the Holy Ghost! You should have seen Sister Miles light up when he said that he would like to be baptized by someone who holds the priesthood authority from God! It was incredible (:

Also... I don't know if I have mentioned this before. But I wanted to mention it this time. One of my favorite things to see... besides the progress of others, seeing them come unto Christ, and the change the gospel brings in making them HAPPY, that is... is... well, kind of along the same line. It's... listening to others pray. Seeing their relationship with their Heavenly Father grow, in that way, is incredible. Because trust me.. you can see it. Going from not praying at all, to praying, to... praying so, so... sincerely. They're amazing. They talk as though they are talking to their best friend... because  they are. They talk openly and sincerely and it is the sweetest thing to be able to hear. I have even tear-ed up on a few occasions of listening to those I am blessed to be with, pray (: They talk humbly and submissively. They talk as a little child. This truly comes when they start to realize, understand, and appreciate their relationship with the Heavenly Father. Their TRULY loving, literally Heavenly Father (: They all have so many qualities that I am striving to have. It's... for lack of better terms... inspiring (: And I am so grateful for them, and THEIR example, to me. They are living testimonies that Christ lives, and loves us too.

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody. I've got a lot to be grateful for this time of year. I'm grateful for YOU! I am grateful for the truthfulness of the everlasting
I'm grateful to be the Lord's missionary, and to be able to be strengthened by "the enabling power of the Atonement" which "strengthens us to do and be good and to serve beyond our own individual desire and natural capacity."  (The Atonement and the Journey of Mortality- Elder Bednar)

Have the best week ever, and smile because you're being watched over (:

 Love and prayers, Sister Madisen Busenbark

I LOVE YOU ALL!! More than you'll ever know (:
Thanks always for your support and prayers! I can feel them (:
The church is still true!!
~ Sis. B.


Hi there everybody!!
How are you this week?
I'm doing pretty well myself.
I am having a hard time thinking of what to write this week though... my head is a little foggy today. But don't worry about that-- it's just one of those days. I KNOW this week was GREAT, and I'm doing good! Haha.
Let's see... We set another baptismal date this week! With a new girl named Maggie! She's super great and has a few friends in the ward right next to us, so we're trying to help her make friends in our ward too to be able to make the transition. She is about 19 years old going to the college across the street from the church building and she is studying to become a veterinarian! She is working for one too. So I've been picking her brain on that whenever she's not picking my brain about the gospel (; hehe (:
We haven't been able to see Richard and Jackie in a couple weeks because Jackie had surgery... but they are still doing good, and we are dropping them by some cookies tonight along with a framed copy of the Living Christ for Richard's birthday! (We gave Jackie a copy of the Family Proc, I don't remember if I told you:) We really think he will like it a lot! I mean.. how can he not? Haha. It's a beautifully written document of pure truth. And that's two things that I have seen Richard grow to love- Truth, and the Savior (: So the gospel is perfect for him! haha
This past weekend I told you that we were having a mission wide conference- meaning the whole mission all at the same meeting (which never happens- so it was historic) and it was SO great!! We got to hear from stake presidents, bishops, the area seventy (Elder Hyam) and President Van Cott (and his wife!)-- all men who not only hold the keys for the mission but men who TURN those keys! So it was a pretty inspiring meeting.
One of the number one repeated things that I kept hearing was that me being here right HERE right NOW is no coincidence! I have been called to be here in the California Redlands mission at this time by a Prophet of God (: In this HUGE time of missionary work! How cool it is to be a part of the greatest work ever to be done here on earth... this is why we are here!! There is nothing else I'd rather be doing, and it's a bonus that it will effect the rest of my life, along with countless others (: And how cool it will be to tell my children that I was a part of the beginning of the hastening of His work!! Like I said... nothing else I'd rather do than help others come unto Christ (:
If you haven't shared your testimony recently... do it!
If you have... do it again!
You'll see what I'm talking about (:
K guys, I love you a lot but unfortunately am out of time already!!
Shine your light!!
~ Sister Madisen Busenbark


Dearest family (:

So yesterday the libraries were closed, but we still had our p-day. It was fun! Let me give you a little back story... This past week we had the great opportunity to visit a less active convert of just a few years. We had become aware of him through some other missionaries who knew him and so we paid him a visit. It was such a neat experience. It didn't take much to get him reflecting on the difference he has felt since he has stopped coming to church. And... drum roll please... He came this week! And the next day when we saw him (yesterday- p-day!) his whole countenance was different. Really strengthened my testimony of the strength and power in renewing our covenants each week with the sacrament. We were able to start teaching his little brother too! He has such a strong desire to share the gospel with those around him whom he loves. I think he would be a great missionary. This is our vision for him. And I am a representative of Jesus Christ, so as such I can confidently say that this is the Lord's vision for him. So we are starting that direction by first getting him back to church and enlisting his help in teaching his little brother, and hopefully soon we will have the chance to talk to him more about the priesthood responsibility to serve. He is really interested in how missions work and how the whole process works with revelation to find out where you are called to serve, and things like this. So we're really excited about it (: Anyways... p-day! We went slacklining with him and his little brother, and some other young men in the ward who are their same age (EVERYONE needs a friend, so says President Hinckley!) one of whom has his mission call to Italy, and a couple other missionaries! It was really cool to share that time with them because 1- there were missionaries, 2- there was a friend he knows from school who is getting ready to serve, and 3- we shared the gospel with everyone at the park who came up to try the slackline! haha. President Van Cott told us to use our talents to share the gospel... slacklining is a talent, right? (; haha (:

Anyways... that's mostly what I'm excited about right now. I just love seeing the gospel bless FAMILIES!!

We also have another conference this weekend... a real spontaneous one. Because President Van Cott felt inspired. (Seriously, he is one of the greatest priesthood holder's I have ever met. It's an honor to get to work so close with him and learn from his insight and inspiration. And his wife's. I think I have mentioned her before too, but she's incredible!) So what is happening is... we are gathering the WHOLE mission together- 212 missionaries- and having a conference! (this is significant because usually they separate it into halfs or thirds or something... but his time everybody!!) It's going to be a huge time of much revelation (: Something that President Van Cott says all the time is puny preparation = puny revelation. And I want...scratch that, NEED revelation in my respective area so I am going to be trying to do as much prep as possible prior to going to the conference (: We are going to have some more special guests too. I'm excited. I LOVE times of much instruction, from my priesthood leaders as well as from the Spirit.

I am sure I have told you guys this before but... my ward is great. There is such comfort in belonging to a ward family absolutely wherever I go. (and knowing that the people I invite to church... well they will realize how big their family is too and be welcomed right into the fold) Especially since I am away from my own family for this time. I have been so taken care of the past... one week shy of 8 months... and I know that I'll be continually taken care of for the remainder of the mission. Mom, dad, you guys can take comfort in that as well... especially as the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons are upon us (: I loved the little note I got from Ada this week. She talked about how much she loves this time of year because of all the joy that goes around (: And let me tell you... as a missionary... you see the joy all the more abundantly (:

Share what you know this week, k? And pray for those opportunities too. That's what I'm inviting you to do. What I said before still goes- I want you all to have these amazing experiences that come with inviting people to follow Christ too! (Alma 29:14-17) The blessings that follow are tremendous. Not to mention, us missionaries can't do this work alone... I know you know that. We can't do it without the Lord, but we also can't do it without YOU!!! (Random thought about repentance that I learned from my mission president today... missionary work is calling people to repentance. (that's our responsibility.) So is home teaching and visiting teaching. (which is ALSO missionary work) And that freaks a lot of people out. Right? Calling people to repentance? That seems scary. But guess what?! Inviting someone to act IS calling someone to repentance. Inviting someone to a ward party, because they have been asked to gather often. Inviting someone to church, because they have been asked to keep the Sabbath day holy. Inviting someone to pray at the end of a visit, because they have been asked to pray always. These are ALL things that the Lord would expect them to do. And that's what repentance is- starting to do what the Lord would have us do, and stopping what He wouldn't have us do. So this week... INVITE! Invite someone to do something... that act will be repentance, and you'll be fulfilling your responsibility (: And as a representative of Jesus Christ I can tell you that He will bless you enormously for your service to His great and marvelous work. (Doctrine and Covenants 18:15-16) Ok, end of rant!)

I'm happy I'm not alone in this work,
I'm happy I have the Lord's help and I'm happy I have your help,
this is HIS work and HIS glory, (Moses 1:39)
and it DOES make us HAPPY!!

~ Love ~ Sister Madisen Busenbark


Hi everyone (: Let me apologize, first of all. Because this weeks email really will be short... I am sorry I always have all these excuses. But the library is about to close... Didn't make it here on time this week. :( New transfer means gotta re-stalk-up on everything... so we spent too long at the store. BUT I will make up for it by sending awesome pictures (:

This week was real fun and we got to see so many people! Sister Akagi is great and ready to just jump on in. Her first night here we went to the Bullock's home for dinner and lesson. They were so sweet and still seem to just "get it." Like... all of it, really. Even transfers- how it is a happy thing to have Sister Akagi now because this is where she is needed and Sister Lee is needed somewhere else (something most people don't seem to grasp.) Which really makes me think that they understand revelation, especially because of comments Bro. Bullock made like, "That is so neat that Sister Lee ended up in Desert Hot Springs. The Lord must've really needed her there." They are such a pleasure to get to work with. It's been so neat to see him progress, as I am sure I have mentioned before- when we started teaching him he knew very little about religion. (Side note- They fed us this amazing Brazilian ribs. Which is where she is from, so, yuum.) When we invited the Bullock's to read together from the Book of Mormon, they said yes without hesitation and Sister Bullock was even the one to come up with the idea to set a specific time of the day each day to make sure that they actually do it! We shared with them that great quote that promises families who read together that they will have greater love and respect in their home... which I know is what they want. And that's what I want for them too (: So I was really excited when they responded the way they did. They didn't surprise me or anything, because they always say yes... but I was excited. They read from the Book of Mormon as individuals, but I am really excited for them to be reading TOGETHER. I know the blessings that it brings... AND that's what I want for YOU too!! So I would like to issue that same challenge for each of you (: READ AS A FAMILY!! It's what the gospel's all about.

Speaking of families... my ward family is still doing really really great. Our stake had a really neat fiesta too, with lots of opportunities to serve as well as talk to people. Which is what I have been studying a lot this week- service. I have a huge testimony of service gaining the trust of others and opening up the door to hear the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Not to mention... it is always so so fun. President Van Cott told me once... if you're not having fun... you're doing something wrong. So I suppose the opposite of that-- I'm having a blast, so I think we're doing pretty good out here in Palm Desert here!!

And on Sunday.. it was fast Sunday, and being such I ponder even more than usual during fast and testimony meeting... And as I was thinking my thoughts were turned to the Savior. And let me just say this... I know that my Redeemer lives, loves me, and His Atonement is Very very real.. BECAUSE.. I felt the redeeming power of the Atonement in a very real sense before coming on a mission, in order to qualify to serve. I felt the comforting power of the Atonement prior to coming too, as I was saddened that I had to wait so long for my call to come & was tempted to be discouraged. And I currently feel the enabling power of the Atonement each and every day as I am strengthened to overcome my physical limitations. Our Savior experienced it all, and I am so grateful for that. Makes Him the most perfect person to turn to (: It was very special to reflect on this week.

I love you guys, and I will be sure to think of more great things to write about next week (:
Anywho... I love you all and I know this work is the work of God, and I am so very happy to be out here! Thanks for your prayers, and you have mine too (:
Love, Sister M. Busenbark (:

I live in the middle of the desert! So I get to preach the gospel to every CREATURE (D&C 68:8)

October 2013

Dearest Familia,

First off... I don't have a whole lot of time today, because today is transfer calls and we depart in the morning (where we are used to leaving not till Wed) so we have been running around busy all day!! Like chickens with our heads cut off, really. Speaking of transfers... I AM STAYING HERE IN THE DESERT!! (But Sister Lee is leaving, so we have to get her all squared away. Cleaned, packed, goodbyes, all that good stuff. She is going to the stake over. So not too far.) I am staying here and will be training a brand new missionary again. I'm excited to meet her in the morning! Sad to see Sis Lee go, we have had a lot of fun together. But she is a great missionary and is ready to go take on Yucca Valley. And i am excited to get to meet a new friend. I have a feeling she's pretty cool. Haha.

This week truly was incredible. Our conference with Elder William R. Walker of the Seventy was so inspired and I truly learned a lot from the Spirit that day as well. One thing that I felt was inspired was that he told me about this video that he has on about temples. It's like going to an open house, it's so cool. WATCH!! He suggested to show this video to the people we teach. That night, we did just that. It was incredible because we had planned to talk about temples, but my fallen self had forgotten that I took the temple mormon message that we had planned to share out of our car. It is almost always in there, but we cleaned out the car on p-day and I forgot to grab it again. At first, when I realized I didn't have it I was disappointed in myself for forgetting but then I decided that it would all be ok because I knew that we were being obedient when we cleaned the car and I knew that I was obedient when I wasn't used to carrying it in my bag to avoid bulkiness (two really simple things, yet we did them so I knew we'd be ok.) I told this to Sister Lee, and we said a prayer. As we were in there for the lesson, it came to the both of us at the same time and we looked at each other very excitingly as we realized we needed to show them the video Elder Walker told us about earlier that day! And I'm telling you, it was incredible! (by the way, we just went on faith because neither of us had had a chance to watch this video previously! haha) And let me tell you... it was perfect. It was just what they needed, and we even caught them taking a couple temple pass along cards from the hallway at the church the following Sunday. It was such a neat experience and I know that it was inspired.

OH! Want to know something CRAZY?!! Crazy AWESOME?!! You'll never guess... so I'll just tell you. I GOT TO SING WITH A GENERAL AUTHORITY!!! It was amazing. And I mean like... we Actually sang together. Me, Sister Lee, Elder Cebreros, Elder Gore, and Elder Walker sang Nearer My God to Thee at the conference! So in front of... a good amount of missionaries. Haha. It was his idea even! But he blamed it on me. He had to talk me into it... but when a general authority asks you to do something... you do it. haha. It's kind of like... he asks you to jump and you ask how high. I warned him that I am not the singer in the companionship (Sister Lee is amazing though, have I mentioned that before?) but with that disclaimer I said... If you want me to, gladly. So... long story short... we did. And it was amazing (: Especially for someone like me to be able to say that haha. It was just a neat experience. Very sweet, for sure. Also... Elder Walker is hilarious. I wrote down all sorts of notes on his training on how to be a good missionary, but I also wrote down a ton of funny quotes he said. I think it's important to laugh (: Before singing the spontanious song he looked to the audience and said, "We only practiced once..." and then after the song was over he turned to them again and said, "This was Sister Busenbark's idea..." haha Maybe you had to be there... but it was too funny. And something I'll never forget, too (: How this came about, I don't have time to write.. but I'm sure glad it did.

Oh! We also got several new investigators this week! However, we realized the very next day that they were a block outside of our area. We were still excited. I won't lie, we were tempted to keep them for ourselves. But we knew that their missionaries are not us so we can't recieve revelation for them, and they would be better off in the ward they live under, and we knew that we would be blessed for having done so. Not to mention, all missionaries are all doing the same work of the Lord. But, it was still a blessing to be able to meet Steve and his dear family. And Omar, too. I know all I have time to tell you are their names... but I am excited for them. They are great. I'll be happy if I get to see them again sometime and be updated on their progress. Like I've said before, my favorite part.

I went on exchanges too, which were really great for me. I'm glad I went on it this close to transfers. It was such an amazing day and we experienced miracles! We talked to several different people as we were going from appointment to appointment and ended up running in to some less active members who asked me to come by to teach them this week! I never would have known who they were had we not been willing to slow down and talk to everyone! One of the members even said that we made her whole YEAR by stopping to talk to her. Huge testimony builder for me, of talking with everyone as well as of being where you're supposed to be when you're supposed to be there. Sister Jones is great and I was reminded of several things that I have stopped doing that I really need to start again. It was perfect. I'm excited for the new transfer... CHANGE is good. It'll be good.
Sister Lee is great too! And not just because of her voice that gives me once in a life time opportunities to sing with a general authority. haha. I am really excited for her to have the opportunity to train. You learn so much as a trainer. She is very charitable, and I believe that she has helped me learn how to actually show the love that I know that I have. My spirit brothers and sisters. I don't have a hard time loving people, if that's ok to say without being too cocky... but another part of that truth is that I have a hard time showing it in a way that most people feel it. But, l really feel like I'm improving, and that's a great feeling!!  I have such a strong testimony of love as I have seen how many hearts it opens to the gospel of Jesus Christ. I am really thrilled for this next transfer, and I grateful for the opportunity I have to be able to train again. The work is going forward! And I love being a part of it. Because it is so... wait for it... TRUE!!

With love,
Your Daughter, Grandaughter, Friend, Aunt, Cousin, Sister Madisen Busenbark (:

Trying to be Sis Lee for Halloween


Good evening my dears (:

So, today I had all the time in the world to do whatever I wanted! And it was a very stress-free p-day (: But then... while we were emailing... Sister Lee's computer kicked her off. Which means I have no time to email this week... So sorry!!

This week was definitely one to remember, though. The baptism on Saturday was beautiful. They always are though, so that's no surprise. Patricia looked right at place there wearing her white suit entering the waters of baptism, and her confirmation on Sunday was just beautiful. I hope she paid as close of attention as I did because it told her a lot about her next steps- of partaking of more blessings of the Priesthood and being sealed to her deceased ancestors in the temple. There was a lot of support from the ward, and we even had some of the people we're teaching come too, who really felt the Spirit there. One of whom has a baptismal date and is now really excited, and the other who finally agreed to come to church the following day (and did!) and will soon have a baptismal date, no doubt about it. The people we are teaching are really progressing and we've got big plans for them! I love being able to see the change in them, and be able to help them along the way. I see all those who I am currently working with there in the Celestial room with me at the end of the mission. It's a pretty cool image to imagine. They say I help them want to be better, I say that's the Spirit. And I would add that they make me want to be better! I can't expect them to change their lives for eternity if I'm not willing to live the higher missionary standards for a year and a half(which will no doubt help prepare me for the rest of my life).

So, what we did this week for a lesson with a man named Fred (who is super awesome, but needs what we all need... THE ATONEMENT) is something I've wanted to do for a long time. We studied with him Alma 24(study this chapter! my favorite part is where they are SO clearly SERIOUS (like they SHOULD be) about their covenants with God!), and then we each picked something (keeping them to ourselves) that we wanted to give up in order to come closer to God, and we wrote them on swords and buried them in the ground. Just like the anti-nephi-lehies! (there's even going to be cement over that in a few weeks! nobody's ever going to dig these things up!) It was really neat because to help him decide what it was that he wanted to burry, we asked him the question "What is it that you feel is holding you back from following the example of Jesus Christ (which is what he says he wants to do. but he doesn't want to be baptized yet.) and being baptized by someone holding the priesthood authority of God?" And that's what he chose to burry! We talked about how this was all symbolism, and what he needed to do in order to repent and truly feel that redeeming power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. After burying them, we said a prayer... and he said "I don't know why, but I'm feeling really good." It was a really neat experience for all of us, I think. And we're really excited to see how the Spirit continues to impact him as he lets go of his past and allows the Atonement to take full effect in his life. I have already seen such big change with him since meeting him, and it brings such joy to my soul to see. And with that, I am very thrilled for a conference we are having tomorrow. Elder Walker of the seventy is coming to speak to us! As we received this inspiration during a District Meeting, I am looking forward to receiving even more during this conference.

I've got my pen ready to put my faith to action and be ready to write down revelation I receive so that I won't forget! BIG things are going to happen here in the desert... assuming I stay (: (I find out next week) Or somewhere else, if I move, too of course. haha. The desert really is blooming though (: (Isaiah 35:1) California Redlands mission is the place to be. 

Have a great week,
Sister Madisen Busenbark


Shout out to my favorite brother!! Happy birthday, Alex (: I love you a lot!!

Family! Which includes friends!

Hi (: How are you all this week? This past week?
This past week was incredible here in California.
Unfortunately I do not have very much time today. (the library was closed yesterday so we get to come today, but then we don't get as much time to spend here) So I will try to give you as much as I can (:

Anywho... To start off... I feel GREAT! Well, last week I did! Better than I have the whole mission! Which resulted in being able to work as hard as I have been wanting to work... resulting in 29 lessons! However, I know that success is not measured in numbers... it felt real good to be able to work real hard and see so many people. And TEACH them, to be able to help them come closer to our Lord and Savior. (Which reminds me... we started teaching a lovely lady named Jill who asked US if she could be baptized! She came to church on Sunday! And has already started reading the Book of Mormon! She is progressing rapidly (: And another friend came to church this week too and LOVED it so things are going well there too! We truly are being blessed over here in the desert... watching it BLOOM (: Isaiah 35:1)

I have another bit on obedience to share! (Doctrine & Covenants 130:20-21) Don't cringe your teeth. It's a good one. I promise. It more adequately explains everything about the importance of obedient missionaries that I had been trying to portray....
"The great opportunity in teaching obedience to missionaries is to help them see the connection between the Savior, the companionship of the Spirit, and love. It is to teach them that obedience to the commands of the Father and His Son out of love for Them brings the Spirit. The companionship of the Spirit will bring light and truth, the foundation of successful missionary work and of a happy life. It can be taught in simple matters. A missionary can put on a seat belt because he or she remembers the safety video from the last zone conference. Or they can do it because they love the mission president and he told them to do it. It is a completely different experience to do it because they think of the Savior’s love and that He cares so much for their service and that He loves them so much that He wants them safe. The truth is that He needs us. He loves us. When a missionary feels that love of the Savior as he buckles up, he is more than safer in the car. He will be safe against the power of evil in his ministry and he will be safe in his life against more dangers than traffic accidents. He will have learned obedience to the Lord. He will encounter other rules and there will be other presidents, but the loving Savior will not change and He will always be there.” A Life Founded in Light and Truth - BYU Devotional – August 15, 2000 - Henry B. Eyring
There. Couldn't have said it better myself. (:

Conference did nothing but inhance my study of obedience! haha. And studying last conference too... because, of course, just because we have new talks doesn't mean we forget about the old ones!

Some April conference... Back to back talks (:

Obedience to Law Is Liberty- Elder Perry

Obedience Brings Blessings- President Monson

Speaking of conference.... I am SO grateful for prophet!! I know that God loves us because He BLESSED US WITH PROPHETS!! So grateful that I decided to learn We Thank Thee Oh God For A Prophet on the guitar! And then we sang it to Beverly, and basically... she loved it (: haha She LOVES that we have a prophet to lead and guide us! She forgets things real easy... and so we teach her about prophets often. And every single time, without fail, she lights up to learn that we have a prophet on the earth today! I love it (:

So, some fun/funny stuff... I know that many of you saw some facebook videos... I had to do it! haha. It was a fun dinner appointment. And then lead to us inviting all the other missionaries over for p-day yesterday to try!! haha. It was so funny. Made for a real good time (:

We're becoming real good friends with this girl in the ward named Ashley. She is my age, and her twin brother is on a mission. We have been bringing her along with us quite a bit, and fun things too. Last night we all went to our friend Fred's house to have pizza and watch the Testaments (her dad is in this movie, by the way. so is my bishop! and one other lady in our ward.) and talk about the Book of Mormon and Jesus Christ coming to the Americas. I think it really touched him. He's incredible. And even came up with the idea to fast today! So we're praying he recieves the answers he is looking for and continues to progress... my favorite thing to see (: After we taught him the plan of salvation, he called us the next day and told us that he couldn't get it off his mind, because it was blowing his mind! haha. The Plan of Salvation tends to be the favorite lesson often. I know that it's one of my favorites to teach.

I love it because... well because it is through this everlasting gospel that we have a knowledge of the plan of salvation, which enables us to be able to live with our familes forever in a state of neverending happiness. Which is what we are teaching tonight... to Ashley's sister's fiance actually. (His name is Jason, her name is Jen) It's one of my favorite things to help people understand... that because of a loving Heavenly Father... this life has a purpose (: And that purpose is a GREAT purpose because we are divine heirs of a Glorious God.

Well friends (which includes Family, of course!) I want to close today by sharing the Redlands California Mission Scripture! But before looking it up, I want you to define a few words.... please define the following words: diligently, always, to be, all, and if! K, NOW, go look up Doctrine & Covenants 90:24 (:

The church is true! ALWAYS! Because Christ promised that it would never again be taken from the earth! Doctrine & Covenants 13:1 (:

Love ALWAYS, Sister Madisen E. Busenbark (:


Hi family!

It's been another great week in California!!
(I think of BYU-I devotionals every once in a while whenever I think of it being "another great day" haha. President Clark used to say that every single Tuesday! "another great day at byu-i" whether it were sun or rain, sleet or snow!)

Looking back on the week... not a whole lot happened. (It was mostly just a bunch of preparing for General Conference, trying to control the headaches, and teaching as much as we could.) But at the same time, we saw miracles every day.

A lot of our miracles came during general conference... Each talk spoke to me, and rang true to my heart. I know that they are called of God because of it! It was a blessing to be able to hear from them, and receive my own personal revelation as I listened to their revelation for the world. I went with many many questions, both for me and for those who we are teaching. And I'll tell you what... I had no more questions by the end of the weekend!

This super cool thing happened... On Friday, Sister Lee and I taught a lesson about Jesus Christ and His love for us. We showed the Mormon message about Stephanie (the lady who had to start her new life, because of a plane crash and burn) and then sure enough... her story was shared during conference! And again, I shared this poem on Friday when talking about trials and how they strengthen us... the poem titled Good Timer Grows! That President Monson shared! And those are just specifics, there were countless other Topics that were discussed that we have been teaching/discussing about recently. It was kind of neat to see how CLEARLY the Lord is guiding His work-- guiding us in our lessons!

Didn't you all absolutely love hearing from these men of God? If you missed any... go listen now. And if you got to listen the first time... go listen again. Again and again! What were some of your favorites? I want to talk about them! What themes did you pick up? I heard a lot of repentance, enduring WELL, and marriage and family!! Some of my favorite topics too (: I enjoyed them. I can't wait till they come to ensign form so that I can mark up and study those new scriptures!

Did you love the talk about missionary work? The one that promised that if each family invites another family to meet with the missionaries by the end of the year we will have millions of brothers and sisters come back to our Heavenly Father's fold! That was pretty cool I think (: hehe Soo... who's going to do it? Seriously... I don't want to hog all this blessing seeing to myself! I pray that you will all have these great missionary experiences too.
Doctrine and Covenants 18:15 (:

As a missionary I am programed to follow up with you (; hehe Are we all trying a little bit harder to be a little bit better? As long as we're all progressing... each and every day... then we're on the right track (:
I love you and pray for you each day!

Here's a cool experience that I had at the beginning of the week... We went over to the Willinsky's house. They are both super duper ubber loads of awesome. Brother Willinsky is a non-member. But goes to church each Sunday, and they have the missionaries over for dinner each month since they were married... so for about 5 years. Well anyways... we found out that he has never had the missionaries teach him the actual discussions! My guess is that everybody just assumed that he has had them... so they just talk about gospel things. Which is good too. And of course, he probably knows all the things plus a bunch more... there is something powerful about he lessons. So we asked if he would like to take them, officially, and he said yes! He was kind of surprised cause nobody has asked him that before, but he said yes. So we set expectations with him... asked him what he was expecting to get from us, and us from him. And what he said he wanted out of us was a really neat experience for me... the Spirit was so incredibly strong that night. As I reflected his request it brought me to tears. He said he always hear's the "I know.... I know... I know.... I know this I know that I know I know I know..." he politly explained that that would mean a whole lot more to him if he knew the "...because..." So that's what he wants from us. He wants the "Because."

So I wanted to start by telling you all this... I know this church is true. BECAUSE I have searched the scriptures, pondered, and prayed. I have had it confirmed to me through the Holy Ghost time and time again. Every time I say a prayer, every time I read the scriptures, every time I say the words out loud... or type them... I feel it in my mind and my heart that it is nothing but truth. I have had experiences that are undeniable. Too many to list, and too special to list. I have felt the redeeming love of my Savior. And I have felt it though the priesthood power that is once again on this earth every time that I receive a priesthood blessing, partake of the sacrament and renew my covenants, and go to the temple. I am reminded each day that my Heavenly Father loves me and desires for me to be happy. And I know that this is the way, because He tells me so through the Book of Mormon, a modern day Prophet, and my own personal companionship of the Holy Ghost (:

I could go on and on... because my thoughts on the topic are endless. But I want to issue the challenge to each of you, because it really does result in a neat experience. The next time you think about/say what you know to be true... take some time to ponder the why/how/because... and I'm telling you. Bear your testimony every day... if not the one that you have, then the one that you wish you had... and you'll be able to feel of this love that I am blessed to feel, not only for myself from a Heavenly Father, but also for you.

I wouldn't be who I am or where I am without a loving Heavenly Father. For me, it all come back to His love, it's what explains it all... every blessing/experience/miracle I ever see can be explained by "because I have a Heavenly Father who loves me." I am proof that there is a Savior, I feel His power every day, and I testify that He lives and loves you too (: And do so in the His sacred name, even Jesus Christ, Amen.

~ Sister Madisen Elise Busenbark

I love you all, and I know that He does too... because trust me, my love wouldn't be this great without it actually being His love (;
John 3:16-17
Let's all show Him our love back, by keeping His commandments (: And allow Him to poor blessings down upon us.
John 14:15

P.S. This little guy finally got to be baptized a couple weeks ago!! By his dad, Roselino, a recent convert!! Exciting things are still happening in Bloomington since I left (:

September 2013

Family and Friends everywhere,

ANOTHER GREAT WEEK IN SUNNY CALIFORNIA!! Only because of a loving Heavenly Father (:

First of all... I want to start with this. Alma 26:12.

And now... We saw miracles this week! My favorite one... one that Sister Lee and I have been fasting and praying about for about 6 weeks now. I don't remember how much I shared last week.. so I'll share from the beginning. First, it started out with contacting a media referral. She was not home... but of course other people are! She lives in a gated community with a gaurd who you have to speak to in order to be let in. We introduced ourselves as Missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ and told him who we were there to see, and he let us in. The next time we stopped by he was there again. And he remembered who we were! "The missionaries!" he said, "Here to see the same person?" This is how it went the next two or three times. Then, he said "Hey, you're back!" and opened the gate for us. He had been on Sister Lee and I's mind quite a bit, so after that we knew there was no way we could see him one more time without saying something more than our friendly greetings for the few seconds we get to chat through the window. So, we sat outside Iris' house and contemplated how we should go about doing this. We knew we couldn't do it alone... so we said a prayer of faith seeking to know the "how" as well as the courage to do so. We ended up parking around the corner and walking back to talk to him. This way we could talk for longer than through the window and he would be able to still do his job when more cars came by. We told him that we couldn't keep seeing him without officially introducing ourselves, especially with how nice he had been to us. We shared our names and with no hesitation the first question out of his mouth was, "So, what is it that you guys are always  doing here?" This is the conversation we had been praying for! We told him and shared a card with him, giving him a brief introduction, but was unable to talk for too long before his boss started to show desire for us to leave. BUT this was still progress. After this instance we couldn't stop being drawn back to him even more... so we started to fast and pray for the opportunity to be able to talk to him outside of work. This was before p-day last week, so when we were going out to run all our errands we were keeping our eyes pealed for him, hoping this is the way our prayers would be answered. They weren't that way... but we knew they still would! (This MIGHT have been where I got to last week??) There just must've been some other way he had in mind. Perhaps we needed to do more on our part to make it happen, right? So we said more prayers and decided to write him a thank you note and drop it off for him specifically, not to see Iris this time. He was really surprised when we told him we didn't need the gate open. And then he said, "I'm actually really glad you guys stopped by. I was thinking I'd like to talk outside of work?" Now THIS is what we had been praying for! He told us he still had the card we gave him and that he'd give us a call to set up an appointment by the end of the week. He literally waited till the end of the week... Saturday evening... which tried our patience... but he did it! And we taught him yesterday afternoon! He is a very young nice man, very intellectual and eager to learn even more. We got to know his background and his life outside of work. We are very excited to continue teaching him. He isn't sure he believes in a God... but that is one of my favorite things to help others understand-- that they are children of a loving Heavenly Father who sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to atone for the world so that the rest of us may be happy now and forever! I'm seeing the blessings from excersizing GREAT faith and MIGHTY prayer, and am very excited. And I'm very excited for General Conference this weekend too! We invited him to attend with us, and he said he'd think about it... so we're going to keep following up with him. Because I have a testimony of being able to hear from prophets, seers, and revelators! I'm excited for our investigators and I'm excited for myself too. I will be going seeking much revelation and strength. It's my favorite time of year.

Mom mentioned the relief society broadcast in her email to me this week. Mom, you're correct! I was indeed watching it (: I too loved ALL of the talks (of course;) especially since they all mentioned covenants! Which I have been studying so much about recently. Covenants are just SO important, ya know? So it's important to know how to keep them!

So... I continued to study and ponder this week... and so of course, more thoughts came. I was thinking... the Lord doesn't require us to be perfect.. but He DOES require us to be clean. (It is true that He cannot look upon sin with any degree of allowance- D&C 1:31)  And He DOES require us to do all we can do. Because we can't be saved in our sins, but we can be saved from our sins. (Alma 11:37) And like I said.. that's After we have done ALL we can do. (2 Nephi 25:23) But then I was thinking... it's nothing to allow yourself to get stressed over. Your best is your best, and He makes up the rest. (The only hard part is making SURE you really ARE doing your BEST and not just rationalizing or something...anyways...) Which is why I think in Mosiah 4 (which is a LOT of instruction on what to do and what not to do) he stops randomly and is all, "it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength". (vs. 27) When I read that I thought... well that's kind of random... but then the more I thought about it the more it clicked... Hey! He doesn't want us to get overwhelmed with all that is expected of us being children of a King and all! He sure wants us to labor dilegently though! And take comfort in the fact that we don't have to be awesome all by ourselves... because we ARE children of a King, and have a Savior, He's here to help us (: So are angels! On both sides of the vail. And that's something I pray for everday! For myself, for those I work with, and for all of you! Here is a great passage I would like you to look up... it's incredible. 2 Nephi 4:15-35. (vs. 31-32... one the most powerful things to pray for. One of my favorites! Actually... while we're on the subject... another favorite thing to pray for... 1 Nephi 7:17)

HERE!! I have some more homework for you all too (: Read these here talks! They're incredible. (Some of what I studied this week.)

The Justice and Mercy of God

His Grace is Sufficient

The Transforming Power of Faith and Character

The Atonement and the Journey of Mortality (again, if you read it the last time I sugested it... and DEFINITELY if you forgot before)

Well, my beloved brothers and sisters... I love you an incredible amount and hope you know that that's possible because of our Savior, Jesus Christ!! I feel closer to you all every day (: Thanks again for your continual prayers and support! Prayers sure go a long way (:

Have a great week, and remember to not just watch/listen to conference... but go with an open heart and an open mind and a question you want to be answered too!! (here are some more tips on how to prepare... trust me, it'll add so much more to your experience if you prepare!!)

I LOVE YOU!! Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ do too (unconditionally), and the church is still true... I learn that more and more each day (:

PRAY ON!! (3 Nephi 19:26)

Sister Madisen Elise Busenbark (:


Hi there (: How are you this week? I'm doing mighty good!
First of all, I wanted to apologize for last weeks letter... I didn't get to finish because I had to run with my companion to el banjo and when we got back our time was almost out... we missed the que to get to push the "extend time" button on the computer. So anyways, I wanted to finish talking about obedience real quick... I wanted to say that the main reason obedience was on my mind so much was because (besides transfers being a time of change...) I once shared a saying with you that I heard and loved... it was that obedience brings blessings, but EXACT obedience brings miracles. Well.. then I heard President Van Cott say something recently that stuck out to me even more. He said that... EXACT obedience is MEDIOCRE! That hit me hard.. I was thinking, but wait? Mediocre? I've been striving to be mediocre this whole time? That's not what I want at all!! Is it? He said that it is mediocre because that is what I have been ASKED to be. That's what I AGREED to be. That's what's EXPECTED of me! It is my RESPONSIBILITY. My DUTY. I have covenanted with the Lord to be exactly obedient. That is the bare minimum. Anything less in unacceptable. Exact obedience is mediocre, it should then turn into sacrifice, then consecration. That's what the real goal is. And basically... never again will I think of obedience the same. (President sounds hard, I know... but it does nothing but good for me. Both now as a missionary, and for when I return home.)  Aaaaanyways (: Let's all try a little bit harder every day to be a little bit better, shall we?
Now for a few updates... well, I didn't get to tell you last week that I got to go to the temple on the 13th! And that was absolutely amazing (: It seems as though every time my head is about to roll off my shoulders due to exhaustion or sorrow or something... well then I get picked right back up! Always by the strength of the Lord, this time specifically by the blessings of the temple and the spiritual upliftment there (:
A few more random things... Delores called me the other day! Remember her? From Bloomington? The one I knocked on her door my first time ever tracting, and loved her from the start? Yeah! Her! She called the mission office looking for me and so she left them a message telling me to give her a call. I haven't been able to get a hold of her yet, but I thought it was really neat that she would give me a call to update me on where/what she's doing and such. I still think and pray about her often. She'll always be one of those, I think. I come across them every now and then.
Like this guy named Devlin who lives here in this area. We see him often (he is the gatekeeper guard guy for a community we visit a couple times a week. Did I tell you about him already? Oh well, if I did... I'm telling you again. haha.) and he remembers us every time! The first time we said who we were and who we were visiting, and let us in. The next time he said, "The missionaries!? Going to the same place?" and opened the gate. The third time he said the same thing. The fourth time he said, "Hey! You're back! Have a nice day." and opened the gate. After that time, Sister Lee and I were like... ahhh! We HAVE to talk to him! Because guess what? He is one of those ones! The one's you never stop thinking about. And then we sat there for a good amount of time and tried to figure out how we could go about talking to him. We said a prayer. Calmed our nerves. And decided to park the car and walk over to him so we could talk longer, not through the window. He was working so we couldn't take too much of his time, especially since his boss was there. But we officially introduced ourselves (because we see him so often and he's always so nice to us, we told him) and the first question out of his mouth was "So what is it that you guys always do here?" DING DING DING! Let me tell you (: haha. And THEN the next time we came he remembered our names! And NOW (I know I know... how is it taking this long? Good question. It's killing me too. Trust me.) where we're at is... we're trying to figure out how to go about talking to him outside of work! But, I am telling you right now... I know it'll happen. I have the faith! I just have to trust in the Lord's timing. If it were up to me... he would walk into the library right now and I'd send this email right where I'm at. But... I believe in the Lord's timing. He knows better than I. Much better than trusting in the arms of the flesh. Sooo... I'll keep you updated (:
Patricia... She is getting baptized next month!! She is more than ready and now we just have to wait till the date... we love going over to her house to learn and grow with her (: She's great. And like I said, ready! Everyone forgets that she hasn't been baptized yet even. She was asked to teach the gospel doctrine class and she had to remind them that she couldn't! Haha. I thought that was funny. She is going to be such a great contribution... she already is. I am more than happy for her decision, for now she will be able to experience the full blessings the gospel has to offer! My favorite...well, one of my favorites... the gift of the Holy Ghost (: It's going to bless her so much. I don't know what I'd do without the companionship of the Holy Ghost!
The Bullock's are doing great too! We watched the Joseph Smith movie with them (it's one of my favorites... can you tell? We watch it all the time...) and Bishop (who is GREAT, by the way. He loves the work and he is so sincere when he talks!) and it brought up a lot of great questions. A couple days later we went over and taught them the plan of salvation/happiness/redemption/etcetc... and it brightened my week. We talked about temples and the blessings of being able to continue the work beyond the vail because of the atonement of Jesus Christ, and being able to be sealed to our families forever (: I told them that that's why I am here... to spread the good news that Jesus Christ broke the bands of spiritual and physical death so that we can be saved in both aspects... and live with our families forever (: It made us all cry (; haha jk... but practically.
I am so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who sent me here to gain a body and experience this life on earth so that I can continue to progress and live with my family for eternity... including them, my brothers and sisters (:
Anywho... the library is about to close.
I love you all!! And I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ do too... because families can be together forever (:
~ Sister Madisen Busenbark



Drum roll please..... I AM STAYING HERE IN PALM DESERT!!! Yay (: I am very pleased with this. Not only because I have so many lovely people I am currently working with and have big plans for, but also because... well I will admit, I haven't been the missionary I want to be this past transfer. But I am very grateful for the opportunity to fix that, especially while I am still working with Sister Lee, so that I can leave this ward and this training opportunity on a good note. I don't want to leave a taint anywhere I go, so now is my time to get back to how it is expected to be. I love transfers because they are a time of change... where change is needed, it's the perfect opportunity to do so. Although I am in the same area, with the same companion, and the same roommates, I am confident that I can do it with the help of the Lord. I have already started to make the necessary changes and we have seen great success come already. This week we were able to teach exactly 20 lessons. Not to mention all the people we talked to and have plans to follow up with. (which is another reason why I am pleased to stay here in the Desert. Despite the heat. I think I can continue to plow through it and make it to the autumn time (: And see the blessings! (see what President shared below.)) Now, I don't mean to say that I have been a bad missionary... but I don't mean to justify myself either... Here's the deal. I have had very bad headaches since being here... like, the constant never leaving kind. And so President advised me to basically take it easy when I need to, and don't do anything too stressful. So that is what I did. And eventually it just started feeling TOO lax. It was good the first couple weeks, and we didn't really even see the work hinder. Thankfully. I just couldn't help but wonder how much MORE success we could be having if I was giving it my ALL (which is what I covenanted to do, when I accepted my call to serve) and also couldn't help but feel like I was taking the easy way out.... when maybe sometimes it was needed, sure, but other times I knew I could probably just toughen it up because that's what I've been doing my whole life. I have very high expectations of myself, and I tend to get really hard on myself when I don't live up to it, and it effects my work, and then I get hard on myself even more... and it's just this vicious cycle. But I am ready to break this cycle. By simply pressing forward. Which we have already started (working on a little at a time...) to bring back to how it should be. I really just grieve at the thought of not doing all I'm supposed to, ya know. I need more than anything for my actions to line up with my desires. And I am recommitting myself right now, and each and every day, to this great work. Anyways though... enough with that ramble. I suppose I just want all of you to know that I'm going to be doing my best (including managing my internet time!) at making SURE that none of your sacrifices will go to waste. K? K (:

Aaaand... I just wanted to share something that President Van Cott shared with us today... He is very inspirational. No doubt he is a man called of God to help the work move forward here in the Redlands mission. I love reflecting on the hope of the Atonement, and although President was referring to missionary work... I know that it can be applied to each of us, so I wanted to share.

"In Alma 17:5 it states, "Now these are the circumstances which attended them in their jouneyings, for they had many afflictions; they did suffer much, both in BODY and in MIND, such as hunger, thirst and fatigue, and also much labor in the spirit." Alma 26:27 states, "Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success."

These are two great scriptures. They help us understand that the greatest missionaries suffered in body and mind. The work has always been difficult...that is why there are so many blessings attached to it. Also the Lord will always comfort us and will give us success if we turn to him in our trials. Sometimes the success we experience is because of our willingness to continue working even when we are troubled in body and mind. The Lord is mindful of us and will open the windows of heaven as we sacrifice."

I love you all,
remember to put on your pj's tonight!! (say your Prayers, write in your Journal, and read your Scriptures!!:)

~ Sister Busenbark


Hi Family and Friends (:

How are all of you on this fine day? This past week? (These past 6 months if I have not heard from you?;)

This week was really great here in the Park View ward area! I believe I mentioned to you that our Bishop, Bishop Brown, referred us to his friend Dr Richard Bullock and his wife Jackline? They work together and have been friends for years now. Well we finally got to teach them and it went very well! It was neat, first of all, to see the Bishop set the example of entrusting us with his friends, inviting him to talk to the missionaries, invite them over for dinner with us, and introduce them to another member in the ward who lived in their same neighborhood. It was also neat to get to talk to them because these are people who Bishop never thought would be interested, but the more and more we talk the more and more he is surprised. He says he realized that the worst that could happen would be they don't accept it... and not have the gospel in their lives, which is where they would have been without the invite too, but at least they had the chance to hear it now. Anyways, both lessons went great and we have another appointment set up for this week! They are hoping their 16 year old son will join them this time. Upon our first meeting with them we were able to talk about something we all have in common... Jesus Christ. We had a very nice discussion on who He is and what He means to us, and how great it is that we have Him for our example of how to live our lives striving to be more like Him. During our second meeting with them we answered a few of their questions about the Bible comparable to the Book of Mormon. We were able to bear strong testimony of the Book of Mormon and the blessings that come from studying it, and they accepted to read and pray about it. So Sister Lee and I are really excited to meet with them this week and follow up. The members who were there were such an asset and it went very well. I am learning more and more about how to use the members more effectively in meetings as well as in our finding efforts. It is going really well and I'm excited to see the gospel change these lives.

I believe I have shared this quote with you before... But I am going to share it again. Because that is how important it is!

“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).

What a beautiful promise that is! I am so glad we have been blessed by a loving Heavenly Father who knew we would need help in this life so He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to show us the way. And that He then set up His gospel and had the authority to do so. And that after many years of being taken away from the earth, that same authority, known as the Priesthood, has been restored to the earth once again through the modern day Prophet, Joseph Smith. And that with that authority we have been  blessed to have access to such a beautiful and holy scripture as the Book of Mormon. Which I know will bless our lives, as President Marion G. Romney stated, and President Benson reiterated. There really is something special about having such a valuable resource of peace and happiness readily at hand. To be able to come to a greater understanding of, appreciation for, and relationship with my Elder Brother, Jesus Christ has been my most favorite thing (: How can you come closer to Him and not experience the natural effect of having more peace in your heart and desire to do and become better by following Him?

Anyways... enough about that. You all know how I feel (: It is just such a great opportunity to be able to testify so frequently of our Savior and His restored gospel! And it is always such a nice reminder to me that it's true... every time I say it to someone new (or type it for the umpteenth time) having it confirmed to me that the words coming out of my mouth are true. And that, my friends, brings me never-ending happiness (: So it was a pretty good night there with the Bullock's. Jackline, from Brazil actually (:, was shining a big bright smile the whole night and thanked us for the Spirit we brought with us. She is very spiritually in-tune and it's amazing to experience. I'm really excited to keep working with them!

With Patricia too! She is doing great! I don't remember how much I have told you about her... but she is incredibly sweet. Like.. the sweetest thing ever. haha. She has us over a few times a week and we have a great time. She is insanely intelligent and has more questions than I thought possible. Questions about deep stuff too, nonetheless, because she has been going to church for 7 months straight now. She loves learning everything there is to know! More than I myself even know, so it's been really neat to learn along side her!

Dave and Rena are doing well too!! They both received priesthood blessings and couldn't help but share with us the Spirit that was felt while they were seeing the blessings of the priesthood at work. Rena loves to learn too, and it's neat to see how excited she gets over even the little things! She had a bunch of questions about what it means in the scriptures when it councils to be as little children... I thought this was particularly special because that defines her! Humble, submissive, meek, full of love, willing to submit to the Father, SO ready and willing to learn (: It's neat. Simple as that.

Transfers are coming up already! I can't believe it. I can honestly say it feels like I just got here... and I have a TON more work to do. So I hope I stay (: But of course, wherever I go I'll be more than happy, and I'll let you guys know where I end up as soon as I know (: I don't want to jinx it.. so that's all I'm going to say (: haha

Sister Lee and I are having a bunch of fun and pushing each other to do better every day! I think I have mentioned how open she is? Well, she's helping me learn how to show my feelings rather than being a robot (; haha

Anyways... I don't want to bore you, everything is just so significant to me! haha But hey, just know that I am loving the work and loving the Lord more and more each day (:

Speaking of which... they turned one of my most recent favorite talks into a series of Mormon messages!! Look up Daily Bread: Pattern, Daily Bread: Experience, and Daily Bread: Change (: And if you didn't do it last time (or even if you did!) go read

Well my dearest dears (: I love you all!! And I'm loving life out here in sunny California, because I LOVE seeing the change the gospel brings, to my own life as well as to those around me, and I can't help but SMILE knowing that it's all because it is true (:

xoxo ~ Sister Busenbark (:

P.S. here are some pictures of my dear friends, Sister Nina Nighimofrad and Sister Beverly White!! (: A very very special day. August 31, 2013. This is how I celebrated Berkley's 1st birthday (;


FAMILY AND FRIENDS!! Hi (: How are you? It's been a while since I've heard from all of you. I hope you're doing as well as I am!!
Once again I have very limited time... because of Labor day being yesterday and the library being closed, we got to come today. But not for half as long as we usually get to stay. And so once AGAIN... I apologize. And re-make my promise that next weeks email will be sooo good (; haha (:
But anyways...
This week was awesome!! Ended in Beverly and Nina's baptism (: Sister White and Sister Nighibimofrad! We spent much of the week meeting with them, and preparing for the big day! And it all paid off quite nicely! They were both very prepared themselves, and the day ran rather smoothly! We had such a nice group of people come to support them in their decision to follow Jesus Christ. I am still very impressed with this ward. It was a very special day, thanks to all the help we got (: There was an amazing talk given on Faith... it's the first principle of the gospel, and I've heard about it all my life... and yet I still gained so much! It's incredible how that always happens (: (also, it was on Beverly's birthday!! Which was perfect (: We made her cupcakes and she loves dolphins... so we had fun with that (: she was taught by the elder's a couple weeks before we got here. She says she loves teasing the elders, but she loves us sisters (: she's a doll!)
We went to a member's home to wash are car last week (and this week too, actually) because we needed a DEEP clean in the carpet... we spilt some soup back there, from loving members who sent us home with left overs! And if you want to know what that does in 120 degree weather... well you don't want to know. But if you want to know how to fix it... let the members serve you by letting them borrow you their wet and dry vacuum! haha. Our car... the Lord's car (: ... looks (and smells;) better now than when we got it! So I suppose it was a blessing in desquise? I suppose the reason I share this with you is because a) it is funny b) we are intrusted with great things at the Lord's hand, and it's our responsibility to take care of the things we have stowardship over (cars included, in my case) and c) there is just something special about allowing people to serve you! I will tell you over and over again... service is one of my favorite things to testify of!! Service WILL make you happy, and you WILL be able to FEEL HIS LOVE!!! Because of His Atonement (:
Annnnyways, tonight we are eating dinner at Bishop Brown's house, and he has invited some friends. So it should be really good! We're thinking we're going to talk about family... my favorite topic (: I'm excited to let you know how it goes, next week.
Oh! We watched The Testaments last week. I forgot how great of a movie that is! Very touching. If it's been a while since you've seen it.. watch it for family home evening or something!! There comes such power in knowing that the Lord loves ALL of us, and desired that we ALL get to experience His love and miracles (: AND not to mention the great power in having TWO testimonies of Jesus Christ. And I'll give you a third... He lives!
I found this set of scriptures and just had to share... John 15:10-13... made me think of all of you (:
Have such a great week! I pray you find the peace and joy the gospel brings (: There is seriously no greater thing than that which makes up the gospel of Jesus Christ. I have lived it, I know it, and I love it! And I sincerily wish the same for you (: I LOVE YOU!! Remember that Charity Never Faileth! Because Christ is perfect, and so is His love (:
xoxo ~ Sister Busenbark