Tuesday, August 31, 2010

August 31, 2010


Yeah we for sure will have to come back here when you come pick me up! I have to tell you about Saturday and you probably can Google it but on Saturday was Noite Branca...HOLY SMOKES!!! It is the BIGGEST party in all of southern Portugal. It translates to the white night and EVERYONE comes from nearby cities and places to this party. The whole city turns into a concert...and everyone wears white! We joked around that they were all ready for baptism and we were going to baptize in the fountain in the middle of the city! It was nuts! We didn’t get to see very much of it but when we were walking home at like 9:00 we saw parts of it! Then we went on the roof and we listened and took pictures and stuff! I have some cool pictures that i will figure out how to send home soon! But the party was so loud no one slept very well and church the next day was funny because all the members were so tired!! We tried to knock doors after church and it was so dead!! there was no one on the streets and no one answered doors...except a lady with the biggest dog I have ever seen!! It was no joke like 4 feet at the shoulders!! It was HUGE!!!!

I can understand English accents really well still and I am starting to understand Portuguese accents a little more but it is still super hard to understand and I just don’t know enough words really. But you are right it will come!! Except for every time that it’s my turn to do a door contact the people don’t answer...i did a whole 5 story building and NO ONE answered!! I am like bad luck!!

Umm I still haven´t found anything i really hate...umm I had bacalhão which is a weird fish that is hard to say in Portuguese and it was not bad at all...it just tasted like normal fish. I got offered snails but she was joking cause she didn’t really have any...I said I would try them!!

Yeah there are a few things that would gross you out really bad but really it isn’t bad at all!! I don’t use a pillow most the time anyways because it is really hot!

Our mission president is really cool and he is super loving! I think he is coming down this next weekend so we will see what he says about our area...I love it!! We haven´t for sure decided where we are going to go but possibly to a castle or something cause beaches are scary in the summer cause....yeah no one likes clothes here...we get some weird looks when we walk around!

I bought a sick new tie for .50 euros. I will sent pictures or maybe send it home cause i want to save it for when i get back cause it really is so awesome and hideous at the same time!!

Well we have a problem....a good problem but a problem still. EVERYONE IS GETTING BAPTIZED!!! I had my first one on Saturday!!! We have another one planned for Wednesday!! But then we don´t have progressing investigators...we are getting them all baptized! My first baptism was cool though we had not been able to get a hold of this lady (Andreia) very often so we went to her parent’s house. she is like 28 and has one child but she lives out in the middle of nowhere so we couldn’t go to her house to teach her but we were talking with her cousin in her parents’ house and she came in and said basically I want to get baptized this weekend....it was on FRIDAY! so we were like uhh okay do you know all this.......and gave her the questions.....she answered them all correct and so we called the District Leader (Elder Rich) who lives with us and he came over and interviewed her and she passed again and so we got it all planned out and she was baptized on Saturday and given the holy ghost yesterday!! It was super fast and we didn’t really even do anything!!

The baptism we have planned is another one similar to that one. We taught Karla once and she said she had problems with modestly and with keeping the Sabbath day holy but wanted to be baptized...we didn’t know how to help her with modestly so we told her to pray about it and that the Lord will answer her. The Lord did answer her prayers and yesterday at church she came up to us and was like I want to be baptized this next week. so we took her into a room and talked to her about which day...she didn’t know so we all said a prayer about it and we said "Do you want it Saturday or Sunday?" then she asked "does it have to be a weekend? I want to be baptized on Wednesday" so we were like nope it doesn´t we will get it all set up! So we have another one planned for Wednesday because we have to go back over the lessons and make sure she knows everything and have the interview but she is ready!!

Our only prospective investigator that will be left after Wednesday...and she isn’t really progressing. we were knocking doors and we knocked one and this 17 year old girl answered and she talked to us for a little and said we could come back...well we have gone back twice and taught her but we still are so confused...she seems like she has everything going for her...she can get whatever she wants, she lives in a pretty nice house, she has lots of friends, she has everything and we can´t figure out why she is letting us...2 missionaries talk to her...I wouldn´t let two random people teach me that knocked on my door if I was her...so every time Elder Braithwaite and I have some extra time waiting for someone or something one of us says "WHY?" and we both laugh and think about it...we can´t figure it out...we hope to talk to her tomorrow and sort of ask her why but we will see.

Oh I also forgot to tell Dad that I found a hunting store!!! my comp who is in his 6th transfer and elder rich who is in like 12-13 both were super surprised cause they don’t have hunting stores here. It is the first one either of them have ever heard of! We were contacting and knocking an area and we came around a corner and saw deer and pigs stuffed on the wall of this place and immediately my comp and i look at each other and my comp says "we have 3 minutes" so we sprint inside and looked at all their stuff and it looks like hog hunting is the main hunting they do here. Hog and bird like pheasant, grouse, dove. They had a pretty wide selection of guns as well...I was impressed! They had a Beretta px4 storm!!! I was back at home and in heaven for those three minutes as we walked around the store!! It was great! (We are going to buy nerf guns today for our apartment)

Tell Kelsey congrats! Let me know where Victor goes!! Tell Aaron to get his butt in gear!!!

Besides sending the pills....send lots of good American candy! Like stuff 4 elders can eat. Most things we can just buy here so i don´t know what to tell you to send me yet exactly...oh a family picture that has EVERYONE in it and yeah just more pictures! That is about all for now!!

I love you tons and tons!! Thank you!!

Elder Bushnell

PS. As far as letters go I get them like every 3 weeks at zone conferences and interviews if you send them to the mission home so try sending one to the address I gave you and we will see if it gets to me sooner!! I should get some on September 11 if you get them sent quickly because president is coming down on that day!

Here it is again:

Rua Ramalho Ortigao
BL B2 Dto
8100-618 Loulé

Here is my scripture for you: Jacob 6:12 :)

Monday, August 23, 2010

August 23, 2010

I am in Portugal!! All my flights went fantastic and Elder Roundy and I placed a BoM in the Paris airport in all portuguese to a lady in all portuguese...it was super hard cause anytime she talked we had to make her repeat it like 3 times but she took the book and we saw her reading it 2 other times! My trainer is Elder Braithwaite he is from some tiny town in northern utah but he lived in Brazil with his family for like 3 years before his mission. He is super nice and super cool!!
I am in Loule which is in the very south of portugal. It is a little bit west of Faro. I am living with Elder Christiansen from my district in the MTC and with his trainer Elder Rich from California. We are sharing the city of Loule and we have the city of quartiera while they have albufeira which are both like a 30-40 minute bus ride each way.
Umm we are teaching a couple people but since we completely white washed this area we didn´t know anyone and we are still getting to know people. We have one lady Karlla who didn´t come to church but when we called her she asked us to get her ready for baptism. Then we had Adriana who is super ready for baptism but there is something that she is scared that we donºt know about yet so we will see! We have a couple others that we haven´t gotten in contact with yet so we will see how that plays out.
I am able to understand when any american speaks portuguese but it takes me a long time to understand what a portuguese person is saying. Yesterday was sunday and holy smokes it was absolutely crazy! This branch is absolutely amazing! They have the fire for missionary work SO MUCH! There were about 70 people at church. The branch president is amazing! Everytime he talks about his branch he says "our branch which will soon be a ward" he also stresses the importance of coming to church regularly and inviting your friends! He made each of us get up and talk for a little but about ourselfs and stuff which was scary!! I did great according to the old man i was sitting by. I just said i was Elder Bushnell and that i was from the utah in the US which is funny cause they call utah the fabrique which is "Factory". They sorta struggle with my name mostly because it is kinda long so i get called ELDER BUSH a lot and lots of people ask if i am related to president bush. They are all so nice!! The Branch President had my comp and i over for lunch on sunday and they are awesome!! They speak english really well so we would talk as much as possible in portuguese but when i looked super confused they would speak slower in portuguese then if i still didn´t understand they would tell me in english. Most people know english they just don´t speak it very much.
I am sure you are all dying to hear what i ate for my first meal with members or native portuguese people....unfortunately you will all be dissapointed. It was noodle stroganoff wth beef and hot dogs and olives. It was super yummy. They have the weirdest milk here...i will send you some. (be excited) umm also i ate some wierd pastry things which were yummy and a weird chocolate flavor...i ate a fig which is now possibly my favorite fruit...its like a dr suess fruit inside but they are super yummy!!
Our apartment is pretty awesome...its kinda small but i really like it! i will send pictures sometime of our view...its not great but we live behind a castle which is awesome we are going to visit it today i believe! Oh i almost forgot umm i think you should only write to the mission home cause i don´t really understand everything but basically it can get lost easier to the apartment. umm i will give you both and we can see what happens...you can decide.
Rua Ramalho Ortigao
Loule´(accent on the e)
8100-618 Loule' (accent on the e)
Mission Home:
Apartado 40045
1500 Lisbon
Now you can all write me lots! :)
My mission president is awesome! We flew in, got our bags, walked out past security and there he was...as we came down a ramp thing he gave each one of us a big huge and then we put our bags in a moving truck and got our passports stamped. we got to sleep in the Mission Home which is way cool! I got to sleep in the General Authority bed because i picked the lucky number out of the hat! It is the only american matress in the house and when general authorities come they sleep in it. It was fantastic! We woke up had eggs and cereal...their cereal is weird also. then went to the office and met our companions and got our areas and took off. We had to ride the bus for like 4 hours...i slept most of it. Our apartment here is super close to the bus station and the church (the church does have a ping pong table :) ) we are close to lots of stores and close to the castle. it is awesome!
Okay to talk about portugual in general...it is a lot bigger than i thought! Flying into lisbon is crazy!! The city is HUGE and there are random castles on the hills! I am scared to talk about how they drive cause mom will flip...basically the roads are super skinny and have tons of cars and everyone goes like double the speed limit. when we went to the presidents house (he lives north of loule a little ways) the road is small, very curvy, and has drops or buildings on the sides and the speed limits say like 50kmh or 80kmh and he would go like 100 or 130 it is absolutely insane/ kinda fun at the same time! Umm it isn´t really illegal to graffiti here so there are some crazy tags and stuff! the people are all very different...some are super nice, some take a couple minutes to become nice, not very many are flat our mean. It is hard to describe here because each section of the city is completely different...one section is super tight roads and very old, another is all super high buildings with bigger streets, some are a mix, some are just shops...the middle is like all tourist area i have talked to a ton of people that just speak english.
I am suprised how dry everything looks...apparently it hasn´t rained in a super long time so everything is kinda yellow looking...next Pday is the first of the month so we get to go out of our area. we just have to call president and tell him where we are going and we are going to go to logos i think...they have an awesome beach thing that has a circle rock tunnel arch thing like the one we saw on our cruise in...whatever city that was i am having a brain fart. Today i think we are going to castles, going shopping, just kinda messing around. They have these stores which are chinese stores and they sell everything you can possibly imagine and i am super excited to go to one today cause i want a new pillow...the one i have now is gross...and my comps has mold in it. Don´t worry mom mine is just like a bunchy funny it looks just fine and there isnºt mold in it.
I don´t really know what else to tell you guys...umm my portuguese is rough and i get called a greenie/newbie a lot. I sweat constantly...its hot here! It is constantly about 84 in our apartment...very few people have air conditioners. we sleep with the window open...which is weird cause there are tons of lights and the city is never quiet so it is weird to go to sleep.
The water here is super full of minerals and stuff so we don´t drink it cause we don´t want kidney stones. we still use it for most things we just don´t drink it! all the members houses they offer us juice which is yummy!
umm that is about all i have to tell you for now!! I look forward to hearing from you soon!! I love you all and hope everything is going well!! Don´t worry about me i have an awesome trainer and live with another super old elder and one of my district buddies!! I am really liking it here!! I LOVE YOU ALL!!!
Elder Bushnell

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

August 6, 2010

The thunder and lighting was awesome! I didn't wake up because of it but I went on a walk around campus when it was pouring. We went just for fun! My comp is hilarious. He has only seen 3 lighting storms in his entire life so he is freaking out! We are so dead at the end of the day we don't wake up for anything! On Monday i guess some elders pounded on our door at like 3:30 and I didn't wake up until the second time they did it.

I did hear about Morgan, it is very, very sad! Something amazing about being a missionary that just struck me as i was writing. I had heard that as a missionary your prayers are answered faster and i can testify of that! I prayed while in the temple for like 20 minutes for everyone I love and care about and who needs help. Answers do come from praying so fast. I learned that every time something awful happens an amazing experience/miracle is just around the corner!

Now to tell you about my week...Where so I even start. First, i realize I haven't told you much about Sundays here. Every week the Branch President gives you a new topic. The topic is always a Christ-like attribute found in Preach my Gospel. So you get a topic and have to write a 3-5 minute talk about it in your mission language. I don't know if i told you this but I had to give one on July 18th about faith. I did super and it wasn't a big deal, but i was scary since it was in Portuguese!

Now I am just going to start today and go back through the week. Today is the best day of the week...P-day! We woke up, did laundry then we got to go to the temple! I saw brother Eggett in the temple! I love the temple. We get to eat in the temple and the food is amazing compared to the food in the cafeteria. I would absolutely love a burger from 5 guys, everything in here starts tasting the same! Oh the most exciting news: we got our travel plans!!

I leave the MTC and like 6 a.m. I fly from SLC at 8:46 yo Chicago at 1:00. i have a 4 hour lay over in Chicago in which I can call whoever I want so have your phone on cause depending on what others do and what the travel people say i may call you! I fly out of Chicago at 5:10 p.m. and arrive in Paris at 8:20 a.m. on the 18th. Then I have 5 hours until 1:20 p.m. when I fly to Lisbon. I will arrive at 2:50 p.m. on the 18th. I am super scared/super excited! That was my exciting news.

Yesterday was pretty cool then boring. We had TRC so we teach in Portuguese. i still don't say a ton but when i do everyone says i get my point across. We taught a volunteer who was super easy...Once we told him he could live with his family forever he wanted to be baptized!

Wednesday was one of my favorite days here. We got to be the hosts for the families dropping off new missionaries! We got to talk to the families and take the newbies to get their tag and their residence, then to get books and to class. It was so fun to talk to real people!

Tuesday was boring but segunda feira (Monday) was good and bad. My favorite teacher Irma Permann left! :( She went home. But it was good because we got her actor prog. investigator agree to be baptized. Then Sunday was fast Sunday which are long and boring!

Love Elder Bushnell

P.S. "Faith makes molehills out of mountains."