Monday, November 29, 2010



My week was awesome!! We had a lot of lessons and I feel like it was a super productive week! Marco was baptized was super great! It was funny also because he is the one that was gay...all the other elders were joking that i baptized the gay right out of him! Which is amazing thing is through the atonement and everything Christ did for us he is clean from all the past thing he has done...he is 100% clean from all his past mistakes...the gospel is amazing! I am trying to take a lot of pictures but its hard cause we aren´t supposed to on any other day except for P-day. All of the Algarve is having a lot of success we have baptized every week this transfer! My comp and I are getting along great! We have a few moments that I get a little frustrated because i can´t really explain everything i want to in Portuguese. But really it’s going super great!

I surprisingly don´t miss snow’s weird right now is like fall at home...its rainy everyday and windy so it’s cold but the other elders say that this is’s not to bad...but they say by march i will be freaking out cause real winter never comes....its weird. Man i don´t like those crazy storms with lots of snow and we always drive back in the storms!

How was Thanksgiving? My thanksgiving was pretty good! We ate at an American family’s house and had turkey, potatoes, stuffing; fruit salad...just like at home...but not nearly as good was kind of weird tasting!

That is super cool that Jason is going to get married in the temple...they said like 5 more years but it is cool that they decided to get married and now want it in the temple! Sandy can´t watch since it’s in the temple...that will be interesting...she still has a little while to work on it...

So a quick update here...Marco was baptized yesterday and Maicon received the gift of the holy ghost! It was a good day! Also we went to a different church because we have a family of investigators that go to this church and wow it was weird! I had NEVER been to another church in my entire life....but this one was super weird! It was like an evangelist-philidelphia-missionary-assembly of God church...that was the name or something. They had drums and guitars and electric pianos and they all like sang as loud as they could and yelled "glory to God" "thank you Jesus" and all sorts of weird things during the meetings...they also had a lady that had some organ in her stomach hurting her so they "healed" her. That was the weirdest thing i have ever seen! She fell on the ground and then her stomach and her whole body started to shake like a seizure and then she woke up and stuff up and said it was healed but man it was super duper weird! At the end they talked to my comp and I during the meeting...they were like "oh we have some visitors today we would like to welcome them" so we said our names and then the WHOLE congregation (like 30 people) was like " in the name of Jesus and of this congregation we welcome you this night to our assembly of God." it was super weird but everyone was super nice at the church...but it was SO loud I don’t know how they think that Christ would enjoy to be in a place like that...and how they think they are going to feel/hear the holy ghost. It was super weird!

That was my week this week! Love you!!

Elder Bushnell

PS can I get one of those super little hymn books in Portuguese? I can´t buy them over here and i want to give one to Karlla (my first baptism) :)

Monday, November 22, 2010

November 22, 2010

We did have a baptism!! I will try to send pictures next week probably!! He is a super cool Brazilian guy...unfortunately he is super shy but he is going to return to Brazil on the 8th of December but we already found the church there and its super close to his house he says! he hasn't been there in like 3 years so he isn't sure! He is 25 and almost every time we talk to him he talks about how he wants to serve a mission super bad!! It is amazing!!

I am having the time of my life and I will cherish these moments forever I already can tell!! I gotta tell you about the miracles of this week first!

This week we were walking down a super tiny road and we contacted this man and he was super drunk! He was falling down while we were talking with him and he was absolutely out of it he talked and talked and talked and finally we asked where he his was and if we could pass his house he said we wrote a note on a card and gave it to him. The note said we will pass by his house on Thursday at 5:30. Thursday rolled around and we went to his house....we knocked and a different man answered the door. So we just did a normal contact Elder Figueiredo said "Olá nós somos disciplos de Jesus Cristo" (Hello we are disciples of Jesus Christ) and the man cut him off and was like "Eu sei, Eu sei" (I know, I know) and he ordered us to enter his house. His house was super weird like I think its a house for immigrants here to work...lots of people in an office looking building with beds in every room and like 12 rooms and an upstairs which we didn't see. But we went in and sat down in his room on his bed and he told us about he is a member of our church and has been praying this week for a way to come back into the church. At first we didn't believe him...we asked like 3 times if he really knew it was the same church...finally he got up and walked to the nightstand and pulled out a Book of Mormon, a Bible, Gospel Principles, basically all of our books! he said he reads and prays every night but he doesn't know how to come back cause he is too afraid to just show up. I know it wasn't just coincidence that we talked to that drunk man that night....I know it wasn't just coincidence that Roberto answered the door when we knocked, one of the other men that live their could have answered. It truly was a miracle and was God directing his children to help one another. Oh almost forgot...Roberto came to district conference on Sunday and all the members welcomed him with open arms and he said he will come to family night on Wednesday and try to bring his family to church on Sunday but he doesn't know cause they live somewhere else...confusing but he wants to do everything he can to come back now!!

As for Maicon the one that was marked to be baptized...he was baptized!! It was super great! He passed the interview with flying colors and he was baptized by Elder Figueiredo! It was super great...well it took 2 times cause Figueiredo is a small man and Maicon is normal and his arm stuck up. But He brought his friend who now says that he will try to come to church this Sunday as well! It was amazing! We also have another one marked for baptism...I think I told you about him already...Marco...the one that is a gay male prostitute...yeah he said he feels like he can completely stop everything forever and be baptized but we are going to meet with him a lot this week. I have faith that he can do will be hard cause satan truly is a weasel but he can do it without a doubt!! This week truly was a week of miracles!

We also had Interviews with President Torgan and that was sorta scary but i love that man so much! He is such a powerful speaker but at the same time he has such an amazing love for us (his elders/children) he always says we are his kids now! he is amazing I wish you could meet him..he has such an amazing way of talking that is hard to describe!

We are supposed to exercise and basically I just stretch cause 7:00 is way to early for me! We don´t walk as much this transfer but we eat a TON! I think I am gaining weight...last I measured like a week ago I was like 160ish! FAT!!

Glad to hear you guys are still working and not just goofing off now that i am gone!! It rains almost everyday but its like mist from every direction not full on rain yet!

Are you guys doing more duck hunts? How about swan? Keep me updated and don´t forget to put me in for points and as much as possible! Also what do we know about that bear hunt in Alaska for after Brody and I get back? :)

Love you!!
Elder Bushnell

Monday, November 15, 2010

November 15, 2010


My week has been super good...hard but good! My companion says that I speak Portuguese good but that I have issues with conjugation...which I know is true! I don´t like how they talk in the past tenses!! He is from Coimbra which is between Lisbon and Porto. He is a convert of like 5ish years. We are still in Loulé but we work 2-3 days in Albufeira which is like a 40 minute bus ride.

My comp is now like 7 weeks old in the mission. So he has one transfer behind him. We are working like crazy...I won´t let him slack off. The branch in Albufeira still doesn't exist...we have to find a place to meet for church but President is nervous that if we split Loulé the branch in Loulé will struggle with Priesthood we have to work in Loulé and in Albufeira until we get a stronger branch in Loulé. We have a sweet house that the contract was all finalized we are just waiting on presidents "ok" to move down there...but we don't really know very much for sure cause we are just the little grunts. If we get the OK to move down there it would just be Elder Figueiredo and I that would move into the new house, the other would take over our work in Loulé and we would move. There isn't much happening in Albufeira as far as the branch opening...we have interviews on Friday and I will ask president more about it.

Since I am now sorta staying but technically was transfered I will continue to teach him and work with him. He came to church yesterday...he forgot but we went and got him for sacrament cause we have sacrament last he came and he is coming to family night on Wednesday...we have a meeting tomorrow in which we will explain the interview questions and we also will talk about the actual baptism service and he should be baptized on the 21st!!

The other elders in our apartment are pretty cool. One is Elder Bauman who is new here and he is from some little town like 40 minutes west of Boise..I think...he is super cool he hunts and golfs also. The other elder is Elder Walker and he is pretty cool also...he is from Springville and he only has like 6 months left on his mission. They are both fun!

Wow! it sounds like lots of crazy things have been happening...One thing about here is we don´t get snow but my comp said it can get as cold as like 17 degrees here...i don´t know if he means up north or where but that is what he said! 17 with no snow is depressing!

I am taking my pills and they are still working amazing! As for my face I think its doing really well!! I will try to take more pictures of our apartment and with my comp.

I love you all!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


I have some new updates for you I guess I am not staying in Loule now I am moving to Albufeira but we are still living in Loule for now! So you can send stuff to the same address but we will be moving here pretty soon so I will let you know!! I think we will be staying for a little longer and i will still get stuff if its sent to Loule cause Albufeira doesn’t have a house yet!

Love you all!!

November 9, 2010


My week has been CRAZY but super duper good also!! We did hear about transfers and i am staying another one here in Loulé but...this is gunna blow your mind...I am greenie breaking a NATIVE!! He speaks no English!!!!! So I was trained...greenie broke while getting grennie broken and now am greenie breaking again with a native CRAZY!!! (You can ask Wade or Jordan about the terms "greenie breaking" and that stuff)

That is sad the only time you see your cousins is at funerals! I decided Brody and I are going to be like Dad and Ned...we are going to do lots of stuff together! We might even be more fun that dad and Ned! ;)

That is super sad about the Hill family! I know who he is because his daughter was in Allison’s class.

Unfortunately Bell and I were unable to meet our goal because we spend almost a whole day at the worries it was for Bell not me. He has been sort of sick and I don’t know I sort of think he is just a wuss but we went cause he is always tired and never has any energy but when we were there we waited FOREVER...I hope Obama doesn´t mess our healthcare up this much...we were there for like 4 hours and they took blood them bell like passed out and then they gave him an IV of a liter of something...some random prescriptions and send him off. We don’t know what he has or if he has anything.

Oh so other good news...we have a person marked for kinda snuck up on us. We got some faca (faca is directly translated to knife, but here it’s also used as giving people crap) about not having baptisms and they stressed the importance of inviting people to be baptized in the first and second Bell and I did just that and we picked a day and everything so November 21st we should have a baptism!! i will keep you updated one it!! His name is Miacon and he is like 23 from Brazil and he is super open to our teachings and he is an elect one I think...he basically taught us the second and third lesson cause he did all the reading we gave him!! He is super cool!

I love you all!!

Elder Bushnell

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

November 3, 2010

I was walking the other day and I realized I have officially lost my mind. I have hit the 4 month mark which is kind of a long time! But I was thinking about life and what I am going to do with it and I realized that there are 2 types of people in this world...the ones who work because they have to work to support a family and just have to work. Or there are the people that work because the work they do is something they truly enjoy and they love doing it. I realized I don´t ever want to work at a job just because I absolutely need to. I will be able to support a family and do everything I need to but I can do it with a job I love. But this isn’t important right now the following is my realization:

Well I related it to missionary work...some elders are here cause they feel like they have to be…which is true in a sense because to marry a good active member they will have to be returned missionaries, but there are some elders who are here cause they KNOW that giving up 2 up friends and family and everything. They know without a doubt that it’s not about marrying an active member or the life after a mission, it’s about the now. It’s about taking a person from the world and from the darkness of satan’s grasp and moving them into the light to where they know that without a doubt that they are children of God and that they have an amazing potential.

I think when I left on my mission I was in the middle. I knew I had to come on a mission in order to even be thought about as a potential spouse, but I also knew I was going to do a great work. I didn’t have a grasp of how great this work really is. I realize now that the message that I am sharing with people is THE MOST important thing we can have in this life. The importance of my message about our Savior, Jesus Christ, and his life is incredible. His Atonement, which is incomprehensible to me, wasn´t just felt as one single burden. He felt how everything feels to you, me, and to each and every person! It’s amazing the power that comes into people’s lives when they fully realize the power and importance of The Atonement. There is nothing in this life more important than helping people move out of the darkness of satan’s grasp and into the cleansing light of Christ´s Atonement!

Do you remember when I had all the questions about "the light" that some people have in their eyes? I finally figured out what that light truly is! I remember we talked about it a lot and swapped good scriptures about it but I now fully comprehend what it is and how to get it. (Sorry if this doesn’t make makes more sense in Portuguese) For me that light is "desire" when a person has true desire you can start to see that light in their eyes. As I have seen investigators progress at first sometimes they are mean and don’t want anything to do with the gospel they just let you in because you were stubborn or because they felt bad cause you can’t speak Portuguese very well. As they listen to your message you they start to warm up a little bit and start to talk about their life and what they have been through or what they feel they need in their life. EVERYTIME they feel they are lacking something the gospel of Jesus Christ can answer it....EVERYTIME! I have sat in a lot of lessons and listened as people basically described why we need the plan of salvation or the importance of prophets or why we have the word of wisdom. I have no doubts that this gospel can solve EVERY problem in someone’s life. I have challenged people to take me up on it and one turned out to be a super good investigator we are teaching a couple times a week because he tried it and its working. As people continue to progress the light continues to grow. As they start to use Christ´s atonement they start to get a light that can´t be dimmed by the world. It´s amazing to see the change in people as they accept the gospel. I wish I could describe it to you in better words!! I love this gospel and the power that comes through the atonement!!

Love you!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

November 2, 2010

Dad’s Letter-,

This week we unfortunately didn’t have any more investigators in church which was lame! We have some good people to teach and are teaching some good lessons it’s just hard to get people to actually act on what we are teaching! We are trying super hard and sort of running ourselves into the ground but it’s going well so far! I have learned a ton this transfer and my Portuguese is way better than when I started this transfer!

I did get the package it was great!! I already told mom about our little halloween party. The peanut butter is fantastic and we have been eating it a ton!! I will share a cool story that we had this past week. We have been trying to talk to this guy that works a ton and this week we were able to meet with him. Well we ring his doorbell and no one answers so we are super sad and sit on the front step and are thinking about what else we can do and my comp (Elder Bell) says lets try it one more he buzzes them again...and the door opens! So we go up the stairs in the building and knock his door he is there and lets us in and is SUPER nice!! His name in Raoele and he is one of the nicest people I have ever met. He brings out tea mix stuff and is asking us if we can drink it and he like searches till he finds one weird drink thing without chá preto so we can drink it and he makes it for us and brings us cookies and everything and during our lesson he is riveted to us. It was super cool and then when I started bearing my testimony at the end I said something like "I know there are a lot of churches and they all say they have the truth" and as soon as I said that he open up and started asking good questions so we taught him about prayer and how he can find out for himself and we left the Book of Mormon with him and he was just super open and kept saying that all the churches say they are true but that none have given him his own way to find out for himself. It was a cool lesson!

One more cool thing...we were walking down the main road in Quarteira and I stopped and looked at the big doorbell box things...and I said to my comp "what will you give me if I can get us in this building on my first try?" he said I couldn’t do it. This building has like 6 floors and 4 on each floor so 24 doors and I decide to push a random one and I was about ready to give up and continue walking when the door popped open! We went in and talked to the lady who was super nice and said we could come back but we knocked the rest of the building and no one wanted to talk to I hit the 1 out of 24 that was interested! It was super funny to see my comps face of shock and disbelieve!

Love you!!!

Elder Bushnell

Mom’s Letter:

I am glad you liked the photos! I am sending the memory card with a ton more home today so you will probably get it in about a week! I thought you would like the pedicure one!

As for teaching lessons, we are going to shoot for over 20 this week which will be tricky! Our original goal is 4 lessons a day which is 28 this week which is A LOT for Portugal and Europe! So far we have been struggling though because President Torgan is very upset at the Algarve Branch for not stepping it up more this transfer and baptizing very much. He says a cool thing...he says there are no excuses because when we make excuses we are denying the power of the atonement in our lives. This is true Christ paid for ALL of our faults and mistakes; no matter how little they are...when we make excuses we are not giving the atonement an opportunity to work in our lives. It´s weird being out here I have started to realize more that all of us sin no matter’s how you react to your mistake and what you do to become better that matters. So when someone we know makes a mistake we shouldn’t judge them because we all have our own faults but we need to help them react and make the choices better after.

I am super excited for Kelsey and for Victor they are both going to love it!! Also I am sad I missed you dropping the watermelon!! Did you still eat it? I think that is just a faster way to cut it...forget using knives and taking all that time!

I will send Wade an email but tell him happy birthday for me anyways! Haha yeah i got Hudson’s letter and it made me laugh! I knew you would be glad after reading it that i am here in Portugal but you also don’t know everything about Portugal and its probably better I don’t tell you everything! It is pretty clean i will give you that and I will admit when grow up I want one of those cool toilet things that shoot water to clean off your bum....i don’t know how to spell it, it sounds like bday!! (mom’s edit…bidet)

I loved that last package! It made our lame Halloween a little bit more exciting! Halloween here is super boring...i saw one girl that was like 6 years old dressed up...and that was it!! It was pathetic! We didn’t have any trick or treaters or anything cool! I was very disappointed! But we made it fun...we ate and told scary stories around candles. Also we dressed up as best we could....sacks on our heads and stupid things and just chilled. It was lame. Then yesterday was a holiday here....all saints day...and so basically EVERYTHING closes...which is why we couldn’t email. But we went to Vilamoura and hung out at the marina and stuff then walked from Villamoura to Quartiera down the beach which was super cool cause the sun was like almost setting and there were cool lighthouses and NO ONE on the beach and it was awesome!

It’s a good plan to not send things until I let you know if I am staying which may be as long as two weeks from now...I will email you next week but we may not have our calls yet to know if we are going. I feel like I am probably leaving, which is scary but exciting at the same time!

Our work here is moving along pretty well we are continuing to teach a few good people but none of them are really super close to baptism. I really want to see Fernando baptized though...he is one man that can feel the spirit super easy, he is just hard to talk to cause we works a ton!

Thanks for the love and support!! I love you guys!!

Elder Bushnell