Monday, September 22, 2014

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)

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