Elder Buxton at the Kyiv Temple while on a visa trip

Monday, November 29, 2010

Sent: Monday, November 29, 2010 1:25 AM
Subject: Re: 11/28/2010 Thanksgiving week

Hey fam,
The training this week was really good. We set some goals to plan more effectively and talk about the lessons we had that day rather than just count the numbers like usual. Also we have a lot of work to do with our area book that's also one of our companionship goals is to fix it up and update it. Elder K is a really hard working missionary I'm really excited to serve with him. We have a goal to study the Christlike Attributes everyday and try to develop and become more familiar with them. This week we met with a non active member that Elder Z and I couldn't meet with even though we tried and tried. He has a really strong testimony of the Book of Mormon. He also wants his girlfriend to met with us. So we are seeing progress there. Elder Z and I had a good lesson with N before he left about Joseph Smith. Then we met with her again and read 2 Nephi chapter 2 and talked about the Plan of Salvation. We just need to teach simply and powerfully these next two weeks to get her ready for the 11th.
I really do miss Elder Z a lot but its okay I'll see him at Christmas. Its different with this new comp but everything will be okay. I know the Lord puts us with who we need to be with when we need to be. For Thanksgiving here we went to an Armenian restaurant it was pretty good. Sounds like it was a blast there! Hope you gave everyone my love and told them all that I am thankful for each and everyone of them!! I am the most blessed person on this earth. I'm pretty sure of it. What great family and friends I have and what a great opportunity to serve the Lord. You guys are great. I'm really thankful for family and the support and strength you give me. I'm always glad to get your letters. I do have a goal to "come what may and love it." When we aren't happy its pretty much always our choice we can ask the Lord why me? or we can ask what can I learn from this? That's been my motto for the mish and I have found it to be effective. So I know that everything will be alright. Ill be going to the temple this week on Wed in Helsinki I'm excited. It's just what I need right now. I miss the temple a lot. Such a great strength you get there that you cant get anywhere else.

For Christmas we will go to President Allcotts house which will be great! Some apartments have Tree's some don't. We do are own little celebrations though. It's cool to listen to Christmas music all the time at the Zone Leaders. Josh Grobans CD is way good. I can't wait for the forgotten carols though. My language is improving really fast its pretty much all I speak now but I still feel like I struggle. My companion is pretty tall probably 6 feet ++ and huge.He has been a member since age 11, his family are members too. His parents are active but his sister isn't. He knows the scriptures really well and the language haha. He has been in the country 3 months less than me. N's brother is doing good he is still reading the Book of Mormon we haven't met with him yet. Also N brought another friend M to English club so there is another potential:) We haven't been able to get a hold of A this week :( but its okay we are going to keep trying. As for sacrament meeting I have only bore my testimony when they ask us to. We want the members to do all that they can. So where there is enough members they should talk and missionaries just be in the crowd.
I love you lots.
Love Carson

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sent: Monday, November 22, 2010 1:04 AM
Subject: Re: Good Day:):)11/21/2010
Hey Family,

This was a great week. We got 21 lessons and we spent a day in Ekat. We only had 5 lessons this week as of Thursday but we set a goal and buckled down to average 5 a day until Sunday. It was really good. A went out of town this week so we couldn't meet with him but he is still reading the Book of Mormon and progressing. Our goals this week are to go out strong with Elder Z and start strong with Elder K. I loved working with Elder Z, he is a great missionary and I would say we both grew a lot these last two transfers. I am a little bit nervous for the new Elder but I know that we have a great zone that will help me and most importantly the Lord to help me.
I would definitely call this the miracle week of my mission. It was an amazing week! On Tuesday we went to Ekat with Elder Z for the last time :( Then Wednesday we meet with N and had a good meeting. Then also went to a Ballet Gizelle that night for our culture activity. So it truly was a miracle that we got 21 meetings this week. Then on Saturday we met with N again and read the doctrine of Christ in 2 Nephi 31. Then we extended the baptism date and she accepted a baptism date! December 11th!!!!!!!!! We are so excited. She really has a desire to be baptized but also said she has a lot of doubts. We had her kneel down and pray with us and ask Heavenly Father what he thinks she needs to do. We read Alma 34:26-27 where it talks about faith isn't a perfect knowledge and if you have a desire to believe, let that work in you. She is doing great. She also is sharing the gospel with her brother and he wants to meet with us pretty soon. We gave her a Book of Mormon to give to him and wrote our testimonies in it. So we are really excited about all of that. The Lord is working miracles among us. She has a really big desire to be baptized but she's scared that she doesn't know for sure that the church is true. We are going to help her focus on what she feels rather than her doubts she has in her mind. She's an amazing girl and a good example that we all can learn from I think. She reads the scriptures at least 2 times a day and more if possible. She has explained a lot to her brother and now they are having a race to see who can read the Book of Mormon faster. The Lord is working miracles here in Chely! Elder Z will be going to Ekat I will miss him a lot we had a great time together. My new Companion I am kind of nervous about to be honest. He is from the same town as Elder Z. And doesn't speak English at all. so my Russian will improve a lot faster than it already is. The language is coming along alright. It will get better though. I hope all is okay. I know with the help of the Lord all is possible. We had 50 people on Sacrament Meeting yesterday so the branch is doing good! I love Chely! really I do. The bus trips are finally done!! They were so tiring. But I did learn something that we could still reach the standard of excellence even when we are more tired than we ever have been on our missions. I love my mission it is awesome! thank everyone for their letters.
well I love you lots.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sent: Monday, November 15, 2010 1:13 AM
Subject: Privet:):) 11/14/2010

Dear Family,
The work is going really good. A~ is really excited about the gospel he loved the Plan of Salvation and already believes it. He is reading the Book of Mormon and says if he doesn't understand it he re-reads it until he does. He is a great investigator. He gave Elder Z and I a really good compliment after the lesson. He asked how long we had been together and we said 3 months then he told us that it seems like we have been together for a long time because we are really unified. It was good to hear that. We have been trying to be more unified and that's one of our goals so it was really nice to receive a compliment that proves we have improved a little bit. We still have a lot to improve on but its nice to know we are improving and people are noticing that. Our other investigator is still progressing really well. She came to church again for the second time in a row. She told us about her answer that she received from God about the Book of Mormon. She says she is scared to receive an answer and that its really hard for her right now because she has grown up in the Orthodox Church and this will be a really big change for her. She said she knows the church is a special church and agrees with a lot of the teachings of it.
We are doing F.H.E at a members house tonight and she will be there. It will be awesome we are going to talk to her about baptism this week. She's a great investigator and will be baptized. A can't be baptized this week because he didn't come to church but we have two lessons with him this week and we will get him baptized in the coming month.
Its awesome to hear about the missionaries at home they are so right! help them out! The members here are good they actually do give us a lot of referrals. So its nice most of our investigators are from referrals. Its nice because they already have a friend in the church when they come to the meetings. There are kids here just in our branch,there are very few two little boys and 3 little girls. Very cute but that's just not enough ya know. haha. The other branch here has a lot of kids like 8 or so just the church is really small here and families are small. It will get better though. We have the only two young men in the city in our branch. They are good boys. Just small branch. the City is HUGE! there are kids everywhere in the city just none at church.

Yes mom, I am still losing weight but its okay. I am staying healthy I promise. Thanks for the spiritual thoughts and encouragement I love you guys lots
Love Elder Buxton