Wednesday, December 18, 2013

April 2013

Where to begin, where to begin.. that is always the question. haha. It has been such a great week!! Of course it has had it's disappointments.. but those just make the successes all the more joyous!! (:
First things first.. Mom, I got the package and the letters you sent to the mission office! They just took a while because the post office doesn't like us. haha. I'll always get them there though, they just take up to 12 days. Where I got the letter you sent when you got my email on Wednesday! Super fast. I felt kinda bad because after I sent that email giving everyone a hard time for stopping writing since I've been out (which probably freaked some of you out, mom I know it did you, and for that I appologize) and then the Very next day I got a package and like 4 letters. haha. Most of them from you, mom (; haha Thanks for your continued love and support (:
I'm trying to think of all the questions that have been asked.. I read so many emails and letters before I actually have a chance to email home. Umm.. let's see.. Sister Nielsen Did get her package! And loved it! Thank you so much for doing that for her.. for me (: That's a great idea to print my emails and reply to them through written letter. I should start doing that! Grandma, you asked about the history of San Bernardino. Well.. it was settled by Mormon Pioneers! Amongst others, of course. But very cool! I have this paper on it that I will send to you (: What is your mailing address? Man.. I Swear there were more things to respond to! Hmm.. well.. I suppose if I remember throughout the week I will write it down and refer back to it next Monday. Now I will get started into some of the events from this past week!
Dad, you know how you said you'd be praying for Delores? Well.. THANK YOU! I saw a miracle this week (:
So you know how awesome I thought she was? And then how devistated I was when she asked us not to go back? Well.. we went back anyways. haha. You all know me.. I'm a pretty consistant and loyal friend. Well one day Sister Davis and I were like... I miss Delores. Let's just show up at her house again, just to say hi and see how she's doing. Well we did.. and I can tell you right now this was an impression from the Lord! We had a ward dinner party on Saturday so we decided we would go and invite her to that. Only first, before all else, help her realize how much we care about her still. My branch president in the MTC told me once, "No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care." And I can tell you right now that this is a Very true statement! Well.. unfortunately I used most my time up today trying to find a family proclimation to print.. (which I didn't even succeed at. Mom, could you get me a coupld 1/4 page family procs please?) and now my time is almost out. So I will try to make the story short.. but.. on this second door step visit we just chatted as friends. At first when she saw us at the door she was like, "Didn't you two call?" As if to say "Don't you remember how I told you on the phone not to come back?" Well at first this made me nervous.. but then I quickly said. "We just wanted to come see how you are doing! It's been a couple weeks and we've been thinking about you." Then she was all.. Ooh. Hmm. Ok. Well I'm doing good. And then she stepped outside. It intregued her that we were just wondering how she was doing (: Then we chatted for a bit just about friendly things and the whole time I'm sitting there thinking.. "Shouldn't I say something about the gospel? Afterall.. I Am a missionary. What should I say?" But then, much to my surprise, I thought.. "No. Don't say anything. Just continue to let her know you care about her." So.. that's what we did. We just talked. And it all ended up playing out perfectly. It was time to go and we still hadn't invited her to the dinner. But then the words out of my mouth still weren't an invite.. they were "Well Delores, in addition to coming over here to see how you were doing we also wanted to ask if there is anything we can do for you?" She asked, "Really?" I said, "Yes, of course! We are here to serve you." You could see it in her eyes even more than at first.. she could sense we were being sincere as we spoke with the love of our Savior! From this, I don't know how, but she mentioned that she was going to dinner with her daughter that night. She said she doesn't usually feel like going out but when she gets out and is social she usually is glad she did, so she told her daughter yes. This is when I was all.. "Oh! Well hey, there is actually a dinner tomorrow that we would really love to see you at." She said, "Really? Even though I'm not a part of your church?" Umm.. YEAH! Of course we do. I then explained to her that I know that Heavenly Father loves her very much, not just members of the church but everyone, and knowing that is what makes my love for her so strong, and I explained that nobody there would care either because they have that same knowledge. And then.. she said yes! It was SO great (: I'm telling you, we were guided there and in what to say. There is no way we could have just showed up and invited her, or showed up and tried teaching her the gospel.. we had to first show her how much we care. And I could see it in her eyes.. she felt something there. SHE even asked US if she could hug is goodbye! And she said we were the sweetest and she just wanted to adopt us! haha So then.. the party.. it couldn't have gone better either! She got there before we did and that wasn't even a problem! She met people right away! Everyone was going up and talking to her! And she was fitting right in! Everyone loved her (: By the end of the night she told us she was very glad she came. It was so funny because the first people she met, the Howell's, she said when they found out they said they could change that! haha. I asked if that's really what they said and she said well that's what I took from it. haha. She said they were very nice though and that I was right, they didn't care she wasn't a member- they were nice as ever! Then she met Bishop and she introduced herself as "just Delores for now" haha I was like "FOR NOW"?! That means she's considering learning more about what we got here (; haha and then the rest of the night happened and she had a blast and everyone was great to her and she had a lot of questions that everyone answered, and They invited her to church and told her all about it. And by the end of the night, when she met Sister Stone she introduced herself as "Si...Delores" hahaha She almost Said Sister! hahah Too funny. I called her out on it and it was funny (: Anyways though.. when we said goodbye She said to Us, "bye girls, I'll see you Sunday at 11!" haha YES!! Well.. she ended up not being able to come. she forgot she had someone coming to her house. She said sorry though and that she'd really come again another time. And she sounded sincere (: So here's to hoping!! We're not letting her go this time. We're not going to let as much time pass either. Can't let her forget how good she felt!! By the end of the night of the party I really could see the wheels turning in her head. She's interested in learning more, I know it. And we love her. So basically.. we're never giving up (: haha
Alright.. time's up. Unfortunately. But fortunately.. I LOVE YOU!! Oh, one more quick story.. mom's watch broke.. but THEN I said a prayer because I was so so SO sad and didn't want to wait however long to get the battery replaced and mom's watch makes me feel so good that I was so devistated and then by the time the prayer was over the clock was ticking again!! Now, I know prayers aren't always answered that fast, and not always the way we would hope.. but I am SO glad that it did this time (: He know's my heart.
Anyways.. I LOVE YOU ALL!! And the Savior does too. I know that for a fact, and I can never say that enough. Always spread the gospel, and when necessary use words.
Have a great week!! And thanks everyone for all the notes! Keep it up.
Love, Sister Busenbark (:


This week was great, guys (: Where to begin, where to begin.. haha. I suppose I'll start by saying that I love you all!! And second, I love the people of the San Bernardino mission! (Which, by the way, won't even exsist come July. Did I mention that already? I don't remember. The San Bernardino mission has been split though, and so wherever I am for that last transfer before the split (whichever side it's on) is what mission I will be in for the remainder of the mission! Which will be either the Rancho Cucamonga Mission or the Riverside Mission!! It'll be fun to see where I end up:)
So, this week I met a lot more awesome people. On Friday we went to dinner at a member's house, named Jimmy Green. And another ward member, Brother Sandoval was there too. Brother Green and Brother Sandoval are both converts to the church. And both of their stories inspire me! Let me tell you briefly what they are.. as best as I can (unfortunately I couldn't record it and send it to you exactly how they said it.. so powerful!) So, first we'll start with Brother Green. He grew up loving the Bible. He took it with him everywhere, reading it whenever he could. He left it on the bus a few times accidentally, but quickly bought a new one. But one day.. he lost it again. And at this point in life, he was living in a homeless shelter and could not afford to buy another bible. He was devistated. All he wanted was to read the bible. He drew from the words of God every day, he gained strength from them, and he knew the power they held. His greatest desire was to come closer to our Heavenly Father, and was seeking for every opprotunity to do so. Then, one day, he turned on the tv and there was a commercial on. (His first interaction with the church, haha!) Guess what it was? An LDS add on a FREE Bible! So he called the number to get this free bible. He was so excited. Before he knew it he had a couple Elder's there with a bible for him. He was so surprised how fast they got there, he was expecting to receive it in the mail or something. But the Elders explained who they were and what they do, and so he was excited. Said thanks for the Bible (all his sights were set on that) and the elder's were off. He said that right away though, he recognized them as being sent of God. (Seed planted) Then, some years later (he was in better circumstances) he was walking through a parking lot of a grocery store and he hears, "Excuse me, sir! Can we talk to you for a minute?" He turned around and saw that it was two young men dressed just like the two who gave him a bible. So he says to them, "Oh hey, yeah sure, you guys helped me out some time ago. I can give you some of my time. What can I do for you?" and that's when they pulled out the Book of Mormon and asked him to read it. He was seeking, he NEEDED the word of God, and they were there to provide it for him. They found him! And from there.. well he is an awesome member of the church (: Then there is Brother Sandoval, his story much like the first. He grew up Catholic and was very religious, great great guy. But one day he was sitting there studying his bible (which he also did every single day, and had read many many times) and was like.. but wait.. is this it? Am I really just supposed to live a good life and then it ends? Why am I even hear? What's the purpose of life? (ALL things that can only be answered through the gospel of Jesus Christ:) And as he was seeking (there it is, that word again) for these things, and praying diligently, he decided to go on a walk. On this walk he came across this swap meet. And at this swap meet.. there were two elders there, handing out Book of Mormons! (Seed planted) He took one, gladly, and then guess what? Read it! And then read it again! And he was like THIS IS WHAT I HAD BEEN LOOKING FOR, THIS IS TRUE!! But he had no idea where to go from there. Some time later, he was outside again, and say two other people dressed like the ones who gave him the Book of Mormon, so HE said to THEM, "Hey! You two! Come over here!" They came and he says to them, "I have been looking for you two." WHAT WHAAAT. Wouldn't that be cool? haha. Then guess what.. he was baptised two weeks later (: Moral of the story.. there are people out there SEEKING for the message which the gospel has for them! As hard as I look for them, they're looking too. As hard as I prepare for them, they're being prepared too. Isn't that so cool (:
It was a great night to be able to hear of these two men's stories.. especially when sometimes it feels like, "Nobody wants to give us the time of day. Why do I even try so hard to find someone who is not even there?" WRONG! They're out there, I just can't give up.. gotta keep looking, the finding (eachother) will come! (:
And THEN guess what happened? On Saturday, the day after hearing these stories, me and Sister Davis went to Panda Express to meet the Elders for lunch (and to do a peep challenge.. see who could eat 5 peeps the fastest. It was hilarious. Also ruined peeps for me. Elder Stephens won with 25 seconds. I came in 2nd place with 1 min and 7 seconds. Haha. Anyways..) While I was waiting for the elders to arrive, and my companion was looking at this menu, this man walks through the door and up to ME and says to me, "Hi. Are you from some school? Or church? Or some sort of organization or something?" I explained to him who I was, a representitive of Christ, and his next words were, "Oh good. I have been looking for a church." WHAAAT. The same thing that I had thought would be so incredibly awesome the night before, just happened to me. He explained that he had experiemented with 100's of other churches throughout his life but never stays long because he feels like they are missing something. But he said, "I am ready to find a church to stay at, commit to, and call my home." I was like, Saweeet, cause that's exactly what I have to offer (: haha Cool, right?
And THEN that SAME day.. we got a referral from some elders in our zone. A man, named David, saw them in their apartment complex, recognizing them as being someone of God, and basically says "Hey, I would like to come closer to Christ through studying the good book. Can you help me?" WHAAAT (again;) and of course they said yes, and got his information for us (because he lives in our area). We stopped by that Saturday, the day we got the referral, and when David saw us he was SO excited. He didn't think anybody was really going to come, but he was hopeful. He even said himself, "I am SEEKING. I am ready to do what is right. I want to come closer to Christ, I'll do whatever it takes." We gave him a Book of Mormon and explained that it was Another Testament of Jesus Christ. We taught him the restoration of the gospel, and how it is now in it's fullness on the earth. He was so excited, he opened it up to the introduction page (where it 'invites all men everywhere to read and ponder the words it contains, and ask God if it is true' and then the testimonies of the witnesses and Joseph Smith. We also read 3 Nelphi 11 when Christ visits) and dove right in! We read several pages with him and he would stop and ask questions (questions of wanted to know more, not questions of questioning if it were true.. he was accepting everything no problem and said everything just clicked and made sense to him! He is so eager to learn.) and talk about what he had just read, and he also would emphasis words that he liked when he read.. it was awesome. (He's a very good scripture studier!) He just soaks it all up, and he loves it! He would tell us this every couple minutes (: haha. (Keep in mind this is our very first time even meeting David, and we just showed up and he let us right in to teach him a lesson.. which never happens, usually they schedule an appointment for you to come back later, or say call later to schedule and appointment) And THEN guess what happened? I extended my very first baptismal invitation, AND HE EXCEPTED!! I am so happy for his enthusiasm and readiness and willingness to learn and act (: And I am SO happy that HE found the elders!! It will be really neat to be able to work with David as he prepares himself to enter the waters of baptism. He has SUCH a strong desire to repent and align his will with God's, and follow him (: I pray he keeps it!! Great great GREAT experience though, I'm telling you (:
Gotta hold firm to the faith, and have confidence of the converting power of the Holy Spirit! All things are possible through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer (:
A few random things.. I was getting mail every single day in the MTC, and now I haven't received a single letter in my two weeks of being here, what up wit dat?!? haha (Besides a ADORABLE post card from my valiant friend Linda, that is (: Made my day.)
EVERYBODY should study from the Preach My Gospel manual.. it will change your lives! It's definitely inspired writing. I love it!
Have a GREAT week, please (: Remember that I love YOU, and so does our Savior (: Things may be hard.. but it's comforting knowing that hard things are ACTUALLY easy through the Lord (:
I love you,
Sister Madisen Busenbark (:


How are you all? How was Conference weekend? Didn't you just love EVERY SINGLE TALK?! haha. I love watching as a missionary because no joke.. Every Single talk I was like, and That's the first lesson. And That's the third. Ooohp, and there's the second. haha. I love how family centered the majority of the talks always are at General Conference. Because it IS central to the plan and it IS essential and the MOST important (: Makes me love you guys even more (; I could sit and talk about the talks all day, but unfortunately I have limited time. Now.. I'm really bummed and really sorry that I can't write much this week. I only have 7 minutes left before the library computer kicks me off. But I'm glad Sister Godwin was able to send you some updates (: 

So I'll get to the questions.. my hymn book is in my old scripture case in the closet I think. Or just sitting on the shelf. It is VERY nice to have my own pillow and blaket haha. I fall asleep much faster here than I did in the MTC.. I don't know if that's just cause I'm more exhausted or if it's the blanket.. but Probably the blanket.. or both (; haha. Here it is like.. WARM!! Very very warm. And beautiful (: When I first got off the plane I realized that other peeps version of "dry" heat is different than mine. It's kinda humid to me! haha. I'm getting used to that though, not too bad. When I arrived on Tuesday it was Perfect weather. Sunny, partly cloudy, and a slight breeze. Super green, lots of different kinds of trees, can see the mountains, beautiful. The next two days were TOO hott. Makes me nervous, I won't lie. I do know, however, that faith and fear cannot co-exhist.. so I'm trying really hard to hold to the faith. I am feeling ok.. I got a headache every single day. And some days are harder to handle than others. It's proving to be a challenge.. but I'm ok. Especially because the next days after that.. Friday-today.. have been cloudy and dark. Just the way I like it (; hahah. I seriously see it as an answer to my prayers.. because Thursday night I went to bed with a prayer of fear.. so so nervous that maybe I can't do this. But then I woke up and the sun was gone. And so my headache didn't get worse. And it was much easier to give it my all. Which gave me just enough confidence to push the fear away and say ok, this isn't all that bad (: haha. I do know that it will get hot again very quickly.. but He's giving me Some hope to hold onto so I'm gonna do just that (: My apartment is actually really nice! Two bedrooms, two and a half bathrooms, washer and drier, kitchen and living room. Nice homey feel. I'm at the library down the street to email you! The mission office is the church building, where packages get sent. 6541 Woodruff Place, Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91739. The mission Home is President Godwin's home and that is different (: And my first area.. pay close attention.. I am living in Rialto, in the Bloomington area (ward), and our church building we go to on Sunday's is in Colton. haha. My first companion, my trainer, is from Utah and is 24 years old, been out since September, and her name is Sister Davis. She is the sweetest thing and is treating/training me very well (: (and we actually have a lot in common! get along way well) In our ward we cover the west side and Elder's are serving in our ward too and they are covering the East side. It's been really fun to get to serve with them too. All four of us go to a members house for dinner each night, and share a thought. We get them stoked about missionary work!! (Did you notice all the Gen. Conf. talks about member missionary work? It's cause it is SO Vital!!:) We are white washing our area, which means that both Sister Davis and I are new to the area and know no one. None of the members, less actives, investigators, or area. So that's mostly all we did this week.. meet people! This is good because now we will better know their needs and be able to better serve them (: So basically.. this week should be really great!! We went tracting the other day and met this lady named Delories and she is super awesome... I really think she's gonna turn into a new investigator this week (; haha. I just want her to know everything so bad!! She's so ready (: She grew up baptist but stopped going because some things didn't sit right with her, and then nobody noticed she was gone until 2 months later.. which she didn't like either. I swear, all she'll have to do is come to church, feel the sweet spirit there, feel of her Savior's love for her through the fellowshipping members, and BOOM she'll have the desire to follow Christ. We talked to her on her front porch for like 20 minutes.. and I loved every minute. Tracting wasn't as bad as everyone said it would be.. in fact, I LOVE baring my testimony so many times in such a short amount of time. Definitely not the ideal way of finding people though.. but it is A way. Anyways though.. high hopes for Delories (: On Friday we went to a member's (less active not that long ago.. but he's remembering what he once knew and coming back to Christ!) house and did some weeding. Which was actually really fun, and I loved getting to know him. His name is Randy Proctor and he served a mission in Utah! He was in Tremonton for nearly half his mission... 10 years ago. Anybody know him? (: haha OH, and get this.. on the flight here on Tuesday.. I MADE MY FIRST CONTACT!! I was the only missionary who didn't get assigned to sit by another missionary.. haha So basically I had to (: And WANTED to. I couldn't pass up the opprotunity. He was the nicest guy, and as I was chatting with him and getting to know him better I just casually slipped my testimony in there (; haha. He asked about the nametag and what missions ACTUALLY entell. His name was Matt and he is Catholic. He really loves his family and it just blew his mind that I left my family for a year and a half. He recognized right away that that must be because I know that it's true. I testified to him of forever familes and the restoration of the gospel (: It was a really neat experience and he was really really nice. And he lives in my mission! If I'm ever in his area.. I'm going to find him. He agreed to check out, but other than that he was comfortable in his own beliefs.. the only thing I found challenging about this, which kinda gave me a heads up for what I'll see out in the field, was that everything I was saying he believed! So then what needs to happen is he needs to realize why it is realivant to him to be baptised to be able to access the blessings of the things that he believes. That's the number one thing I think.. to help others come unto Christ you have to help them realize the WHY. Which I didn't have time to do, so I gave him the card and hope he keeps his commitment to check it out. Because I know that what I was saying rang true to his heart. He has a desire to follow Christ. The spirit was there. The seed has been planted and I hope nothing more than that missionaries will find him again when he is ready (: This really was an eye opening experience for me. So glad I had it! Love the people here. We are ALL children of our Heavenly Father! He wants us to be happy, eternally, with our families. THE FAMILY IS MEANT TO BE FOREVER!! I know that to be true. I'm about to be kicked off.. so I better hit send. Unfortunately. I'll write more next week, and dad and grandma I have answers to your questions and comments! So I'll get to those eventually too (: And Olivia.. good luck!! You'll love the MTC. Embrace it (: The Lord is on your side!! So excited to have you out here with me and Elder Willis (: I LOVE YOU ALL!! Sis, I can't wait to get your letter!! Have a great week (:
Love, Sister Busenbark (:

March 2013

My Missionary Momma (: And fam(;
P-day is today this week! Surprise (:
How are you? I am doing SO good! I can't believe that I am already almost out of here! I hope everyone is doing well (: Thank you so much for the easter package! It made my day. I also got a package from Hermana Hannah Downs.. got to pick them both up today.. and holy cow she's hilarious. She gave me lots of little things to take to California to help me keep cool and healthy.. like a little hand-held fan, and also otter pops! haha. (also she made me a t-shirt that says I'm the best manager ever, of Hannah Downs (; haha) I am feeling super loved here at the MTC (: I also have had the chance to see Brother and Sister Markham! More than once! This morning when I saw them at breakfast Sister Markham gave me a big hug from you mom (: Which was greeeat! I gave her a hug last night to give to you (; hehe She asked me to ask you about "glowing"? She said you talked about it! haha. They were in a little skit last night that was put on for the outgoing missionaries. They're surpringly good actors (; haha. They said it's really rare to run into the same person they know that many times.. it's a true blessing! Know I'm being taken care of, absolutely wherever I go (: Oh! Another thing that made me feel really good... I saw a girl from an iteam group I was over a few semesters ago at school and just in passing through a big crowd she was like, "Sister Busenbark! My iteam leader! Holy cow! You Must know, I look up to you so much!" and that was it.. I didn't even have time to thank her! I may be in need of a humbling experience here pretty soon (; haha. Just kidding. I am put in my place several times a day. THERE IS SO MUCH TO LEARN AND SO MUCH GROWTH TO BE MADE!! It's crazy. I know that I am nothing without Christ.. but luckily I also know that with Him all things are possible!! It's kinda cool to think that, whenever I am feeling inadequate as an effective teacher (after-all.. this is a huge responsibility! I am going to be helping God's children come unto Christ!! Don't want to mess That up,) all I have to think is.. wait, I AM TO qualified.. I was called of God! He knew of my weaknesses and short comings and yet He still decided to call me to serve, because He is there to make up the difference (: It's a pretty neat concept.
Guess what else? You keep mentioning how great Easter Sunday at the MTC will be.. YOU HAVE NO IDEA!! So.. let me tell you (: A general authority will be here to speak to us! AND I'M SINGING IN THE CHOIR!! What whaaat!! I can't even sing... well. Haha. I am truly blessed for the opprotunity! How often can you say that you sang in a Choir of 600 people testiftying of Christ all at the same time through song on easter Sunday with a general authority present? Yeeah. Pretty neat.
We are singing The Lord's My Shepherd.. so beautiful (: I'm doing the alto part. Which I am comfortable with. But guess what? I sang in devotional on Tuesday (which was also SO great.. same concept.. 600 of God's children testifying of Joseph Smith all at the same time! We sang Joseph Smith's first prayer. Which has always been my favorite. It reminded me of that time when we did that Joseph Smith tribute (what did they it called again?) when I was like 12 or 13. And we sang that song. And it's just like.. paints this beautiful picture through song of the first vision and it is SO POWERFUL!!) and during that song I sang 2nd saprano. That was interesting.. haha jk, it wasn't all that bad.. the choir director was HILARIOUS and SUCH A GOOD SINGER and actually taught me a lot about singing in just the few times we had practice.. kinda cool. Also he would stop every once in a while and teach us something awesome about the first vision and restoration of the gospel.. he is such a good teacher and incorporates it into the music rehearsal very well!! Very cool to be a part of.
Guess what I decided I was silly for not bringing? Pictures. I LOVE pictures. What was I thinking? haha. Adaley, could you go through some pics and chose one's to get printed and send to me? I DEFINITELY need one of the two of us. And the fam (: And just good ones that you think I might want.. Guess what ELSE I realized? (actually.. did I already tell you think? Idk. Oh well..) Come July there will be SO MANY NEW SISTERS and guess who is going to be training all these 19 year olds? ME!! Whaaaat. Pressure is on /: haha (:
Oh and along with that.. it seems as though my whole like I have heard that I will meet my husband on the mission.. Idk about that anymore... EVERYONE IS SO YOUNG (; hahaha But mature (: They've all been SO prepared by the Lord. It's awesome. But I Am definitely the oldest one. But, you know me, I don't pay much attention to age so I am getting along with everyone very well (: In fact, I think I have made 8 of my new best friends! (My district) Also.. my teacher is the closest one to my age. Hahaha. The sisters won't stop making fun of me.. for nothing, really. Just for being the same age and both single. haha. Girls will be girls.. even as missionaries (; haha
My branch president and his counselors.. SO GREAT!! They are seriously the sweetest most awesome men I've ever been blessed to serve with. One of them thinks I'm super awesome because of my firm handshake (; haha. Hilarious.
We sang "I am a Child of God" the other day.. MAN I AM SOOO GRATEFUL to have been blessed with parents kind and dear (: You guys are the best! And I truly am blessed (:
I thought it was awesome that you sent me the framed missionary definition mom, because I was actually going to send you the same thing (; Like you said.. we're DEFINITELY two peas in a pod.. I'm my mom's daughter, there's no doubt about that (;
Oh and THAT Reminds me of something to.. thank you SO MUCH for helping me be so organized and things! It makes packing and unpacking so fast, it makes managing my time much easier (which is great because I HATE the feeling of wasting the Lord's time...) and also all my clothes.. everyone thinks all my outfits are adorable and I wouldn't have been able to have done any of that alone (; haha Also.. the watch. Holy cow I love it. It's my favorite watch I've ever had. And trust me.. missionaries NEED watches. Especially at night time when I am falling asleep... I wear it still because I just love to hold my palm around it and think of you, mom (:
Also also.. working out every day feels SO GREAT!! So does waking up at 6:30 and going to bed at 10:30... surprisingly.. haha And eating full meals regularly. My body isn't giving me half as much problems as it has in the past. Word of wisdom.. really is wise!! haha
Oh and ALSO also.. the MTC is so great at accomidating (spell?) peoples needs.. I HAVE AN IPOD haha It's to listen to the Book of Mormon as I follow along. Which helps me comprehend so much. And I had a tutor for studying skills to help me retain what I study more.. her name was sister day and we studied 2 verses for 1 whole hour. I am running low on time so I'll have to write about that later.. but I Will because it was Awesome and I Have to share. (sorry that went bold.. I can't figure out how to change it back.. pressed it accidentally.) It was Alma 17:9-10. Study it! Using these steps.. we call it GO DEEP... 1. read. re-read. 2. Ask questions. (who? what? where? then deeper questions. why? how?) 3. Look for symbols. 4. Make it personal. And last but Certainly not least.. 5. Find Christ.
Alright family... I LOVE YOU SO STINKING MUCH!!
So happy to (hey that was weird.. it just changed back!) hear from you all!! You're so great and I pray for you all often and thank God for you every day!! THE GOSPEL IS TRUE AND FULL!!
Love always, Sister Busenbark (:

Monday, March 18, 2013

I Know This Church Is True...

I have a testimony of missionary work. I know that we can all be missionaries in all that we do. I know that missionary service will bless our lives as well as others. I have a testimony of being examples to those around us. I know that Jesus Christ is the ultimate example, and that as we follow Him we will never go wrong, and we will never lead others astray. I know that Jesus Christ is our Lord and our Savior. I know that He lives, that He died, and that He lives again. All for us. I know that He had his agency to choose to complete the Atonement or not, and He chose to go through with it because He loves each and every one of us. I know that our Father in Heaven sent Him, His Only Begotten Son, to do this for us because He loves each of us too, and wants us to return to Him someday. I know that it is through the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His Atoning sacrifice that this, exaltation, is possible. I know this is the true church restored to the earth in these days by the Prophet Joseph Smith. I know that we still have living prophets to receive revelation for us in these days to lead and guide us, and they will never lead us astray. I know that Jesus Christ suffered for us, He had to go through every single pain, sorrow, trail, tribulation, and even the joys that we do. He suffered for it all. He experienced it all. The Atonement isn’t just for repenting of sin, but it is for becoming whole again. Not just clean again, but whole again. We can use the Atonement to be comforted, cleansed, healed, and so on and so forth. And it is not just for those in this gospel, but for every single person that ever has been or will be, because of His love for us. I know that because of this, this means He understands perfectly what it is we are going through and experiencing in life, even when nobody else can. This makes the Father and the Son the ultimate people to turn to, through prayer. I know that we can pray to our Father in Heaven in the name of Christ at any time, anywhere, for any thing. He answers prayers, in His own time and His own way. I know that as we serve others our own burdens will be lightened. As we do so we are not only allowing those we serve to feel of the Savior’s love for them but we are also showing our love to Him. When we are in the service of our fellow men, we are only in the service of our God. (Mosiah 2:17) And I know that love will come to those we serve. I know that wickedness never was and never will be happiness (Alma 41:10) and I know the opposite—that righteousness is happiness. I know that as we keep the commandments, are worthy of the Spirit, and follow Christ that we may be happy in this life and in the eternities. I know that as we have faith, we can find knowledge as it is confirmed to us. Without faith, love, hope, and charity... we would be miserable. Without this Gospel, and the knowledge I have of the love He has for me and those around me, I would be miserable. I know that when we share this knowledge to others we may all be a happier people and we will work together to build the kingdom of God and help one another along the way. I know that families can be together forever through the sealing powers and covenants made in the Temple, the house of the Lord, through the Priesthood, which has been restored to the earth for these purposes. I know that families are central to the plan and it is a holy sanctuary, and should be a place of refuge. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying before, “Missionaries leave their families for 2 years (or 1 ½) so that others may be with theirs for eternity.” And isn’t it so true. I love you all. I love the people of the San Bernardino Mission and am so happy for this opportunity to serve them and our Lord. And I bare you my testimony, and love, in the Holy name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Final Speech Before Departure..

Last week (March 10th, 2013) I had the opportunity to speak in my ward's sacrament meeting before I report to the MTC. It was such a happy day. And I got to share it with so many loved ones. I had people near and far come to support me and I felt of their love. I felt the love of my Savior. And I felt love for them all. It was such a happy day, I am truly blessed with so many loving family and friends to support me in this decision. I got to speak on Sacrifice. I focused on the Lord, our Savior, the Ultimate Sacrifice. I am so grateful for His example of love as He Atoned for each and every one of us. He is the ultimate example in all that we do. He sacrificed for us, and all He asks is that we come to Him with a broken heart and contrite Spirit as our sacrifice. We will then be blessed with love and never-ending happiness. I had such a great Sabbath as I got to share my day with people I love and got to share with them my testimony of the Savior. And I actually wrote down my whole talk (almost exactly what I said..) to send to a few friends on a mission who asked me to send it to them since they were unable to attend. Feel free to read on...

(I opened with a joke about how I was more than likely going to be looking down most of the time.. I usually try to just write notes and actually talk to the congregation when I give talks, but I admitted right up front that this probably wouldn't be the case this time. Because 1- I have never been so nervous before in my life. And 2- because any time I looked out into the congregation I would see my sister and start to tear up, then make eye contact with my friends and start making faces to try to lighten the mood, and then looking at my mom and getting this look like, "Come on Madisen. You're 21. People are looking at you." People laughed.. I promise.. you just had to be there.)

When I was sitting in the congregation at Elder McGregors farewell a few weeks ago and noticed that the topic was joy, I couldn’t help but wonder what my topic would be. I thought to myself, “I think it’d be really cool to speak on sacrifice.” But I had no idea why, it’s not like I had anything specific about sacrifice in mind.. it just popped in. And I quickly pushed it aside and continued to pay attention to the meeting. Then, after that meeting I was pulled aside and told what would be happening for today. Before walking away I asked if the topic was known yet. He looked for me. And sure enough.. sacrifice. Now, don’t get your hopes up that this is going to be the greatest talk you’ve ever heard. It actually kind of freaked me out. But, I thought it was really cool. As I am really excited and honored.. as well as terrified to speak to you today.

Now, ever since then I have been pondering sacrifice. What sacrifice is, what the word actually means, what it means to me, things like this. As I was pondering this I decided that so often we look at sacrifice as a bad thing. I want to start off now by saying that it is very much so the opposite. When I think of “sacrifice” I would much rather focus on the part where it is giving something up for something “better” not that it is negative of simply just “giving something up.”

As I was studying this subject, I came across a talk that described my thoughts exactly. It is titled, The Blessings of Sacrifice by Elder M. Russell Ballard. Towards the end of this talk he portrayed my thoughts perfectly, “

As I was studying this subject, I came across a talk that described my thoughts exactly. It is titled, The Blessings of Sacrifice by Elder M. Russell Ballard. Towards the end of this talk he portrayed my thoughts perfectly, “Sacrifice is a demonstration of pure love. The degree of our love for the Lord, for the gospel, and for our fellowman can be measured by what we are willing to sacrifice for them. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ manifested the supreme example of this love. His life and ministry established a pattern for us to follow. His divine mission was culminated in a supreme act of love as He allowed His life to be sacrificed for us. Having power over life and death, He chose to submit himself to pain, ridicule, and suffering, and offered His life as a ransom for our sins. Because of His love, He suffered both body and spirit to a degree beyond our comprehension and took upon Himself our sins if we repent. Through His personal sacrifice, He provided a way for us to have our sins forgiven and, through Him, to find our way back into the presence of our Heavenly Father.

The sacrifice he requires of us is “a broken heart and a contrite spirit” (3 Ne. 9:20) that can lead us to repentance. When we consider His example, the demands made upon our time or means are slight in comparison. We should, therefore, give gladly and count it as a blessing and an opportunity.”

I love this quote particularly because it is focusing on the ultimate sacrifice. The sacrifice that matters most. The sacrifice that set the example to us. Jesus Christ gave His own life gladly because He loves us. It was the most selfless act anybody has ever done. The definition that we often hear for “sacrifice” is to give up something good for something better. When I thought of His ultimate sacrifice in these terms it hit me hard. Jesus Christ sacrificed something great and perfect, His life, for something greater, us. So that we may have the chance to return to our Father in Heaven. That says so much about our worth in the site of God, which is the real opinion that matters. And as we learn in 3 Nephi 9:20, the sacrifice that He requires of us is to come to Him with a broken heart and a contrite spirit and repent, taking full advantage of His great Atoning sacrifice. Which He gave freely, to sacrifice something is a choice, just like everything else. Jesus Christ chose to suffer and die for each of us. The fact that that was His choice makes it so much more powerful to me.

Each choice we make is accompanied by a consequence. Christ knew what He was doing. And we can know what we are doing to. Whenever we are faced with a choice, we weigh our options. We choose the one that is more “worth it.” Sometimes we make decisions with a temporal frame of mind, but I know that the way to true happiness can be found in the eternities.

When I was thinking about things that I have had to sacrifice in my life.. I was having a hard time thinking of anything that was really all that hard. Of course I’ve had to do hard things in my life, but with the end goal in mind it sure makes it a lot easier. That’s the thing with sacrifices, when we have faith that it is for a greater purpose.. it becomes easier. It is very much so an act of faith when we sacrifice things in our life; whether it be to put off the natural man and our natural desires and temptations of this world, give of our time freely to lighten the burdens of another, or to leave our families for a year and a half. Each and every thing we will ever have to sacrifice will show our dedication, appreciation, and love for the Lord and His ultimate sacrifice.

I came across a scripture the other day that really stood out to me. It is found in Mosiah chapter 2 verse 41. And it reads, “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.”

That scripture is the exact reason that a “sacrifice” is actually a good thing. When we sacrifice everything by putting God first and keeping His commandments we will be blessed with happiness in this life and with never-ending happiness with the opportunity to dwell with God. That was the purpose of Christ’s atoning sacrifice, that we all may have the opportunity to return to our Father in Heaven, and that is what makes it so worth it.

This whole church runs on sacrifice. None of you are being paid to take time out of your week to attend your church meetings or to fulfill your callings. But you are surely blessed with spiritual gifts as well as temporal blessings when you do those things. At least, I have been. In the talk given by Elder Ballard he says, “It is our privilege to invest our means and our time to bless others. Each one of us must do all we can to preserve our Latter-day Saint way of life. A vital part of this preservation is a willingness to set aside personal desires and replace them with unselfish sacrifice for others.” I know that as we have this selfless attitude we will actually be blessed and we all may be a happier people.

In biblical times, people would offer live sacrifices to show their dedication to the Lord and to remember His great Atoning sacrifice. Which is why we are now asked to offer a broken heart and a contrite spirit. Each week we have the opportunity to partake of the sacrament. This is a great time for us to reflect on our Savior’s loving sacrifice for us as we renew our covenants and commitments to Him. That’s what the sacrament is, a symbol of His atoning sacrifice. Elder Dallin H. Oaks has said, “How can we have the Spirit of the Lord to guide our choices so that we will remain “unspotted from the world” and on the safe path through mortality? We need to qualify for the cleansing power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. We do this by keeping His commandment to come to Him with a broken heart and a contrite spirit and in that wonderful weekly meeting partake of the emblems of the sacrament and make the covenants that qualify us for the precious promise that we will always have His Spirit to be with us.” What a blessing the sacrament truly is.

I was trying to think of an example from my life to apply to sacrifice, but I honestly couldn’t think of anything that even compares to our Savior’s sacrifice for us. But I do know that even the little sacrifices show our love for God, and as stated earlier, specifically a broken heart and contrite spirit, which is all He asks.

I thought of Peter and Andrew as they gave up their ways to follow the Lord because they knew it would be worth it. In this past General Conference Elder Hales said, “As Christians today, we have the opportunity to act straightway, immediately, and decisively, just as Peter and Andrew did: “they forsook their nets, and followed him.” We too are called upon to leave our nets, to reject worldly habits, customs, and traditions. We are also called to forsake our sins. “When [Jesus] had called the people unto him … , he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” Denying ourselves of ungodly behavior is the beginning of repentance, which brings a mighty change of heart until “we have no more disposition to do evil.

This change, called conversion, is possible only through the Savior. Jesus promised: “If men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. … And my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.” As we are made new in Christ, our very natures change and we no longer want to go back to our old ways.” I find great comfort in this, knowing that we can be completely transformed when we choose to follow Christ and humble ourselves before Him.

In my life I have seen time and time again as I have given of my time and my recourses to follow Christ’s example I have been blessed with a sure knowledge that He loves me. I have felt my burden’s been lightened as I have assisted another in their burdens instead of worrying about my own silly problems. I have felt the love of our Savior for others as well, as I choose to serve them. And I already love the people of San Bernardino California so much and I cannot wait to get out there and share with them my testimony that this gospel is true and this is where true happiness is found.

One of my favorite quotes on the Atonement is found in a talk given by President Boyd K. Packer that says, “That is the promise of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Atonement: to take anyone who comes, anyone who will join, and put them through an experience so that at the end of their life, they can go through the veil having repented of their sins and having been washed clean through the blood of Christ.

That is what Latter-day Saints do around the world. That is the Light we offer to those who are in darkness and have lost their way. Wherever our members and missionaries may go, our message is one of faith and hope in the Savior Jesus Christ.”

I testify to you right now that as we follow our Lord and Savior’s example of sacrifice that you will be blessed, because His Atoning sacrifice is a blessing. He died, sacrificing His life, that we might live. He loves us so much that He willingly suffered for each and every pain and sorrow of this world that we may repent. I know that when I allow the Atonement to take place more fully in my life I am much happier than when I do not. He knows all things. He experienced every single thing we will ever experience. He knows how we feel and He wants for us to know true happiness. I know that He gave man weakness that we may be humble, which are blessings in that they help us give our sacrifice of a broken heart and contrite spirit. I know that those weaknesses can be made strong through Him. He is the light and the love of the world. He made all things possible. He is our strength.

Alama 26:12 Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever.

And with that I leave with you my testimony that this is the only true gospel in it's fullness on the earth today, and I say this in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen.

Friday, March 8, 2013

This Occasion Calls for a Photoshoot!!

One of my amazing EFY participants from this past summer so graciously offered to take my picture!! She's so amazingly talented. And my beautiful sister came along for a few too!! Such a fun day.

I Love to See the Temple!!

On Feburary 23, 2013 I went to the Logan temple to receive my own endowments! And my wonderful family came to support me in this decision.. the best decision I have ever made (:

I Hope They Call Me On A Mission!!

Dear Sister Busenbark, You are hereby called to serve as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You are assigned to labor in the California San Bernardino Mission. You should report to the Provo Missionary Training Center on Wednesday, March 20, 2013. You will prepare to preach the gospel in the English language. I HAVE NEVER BEEN SO EXCITED TO GO TO CALIFORNIA IN MY LIFE!!! :D THIS GOSPEL IS SO TRUE!!
I opened my call on Feburary 7th, 2013. With family and friends there in person, on the phone, and via Skype to support me.