Elder Buxton at the Kyiv Temple while on a visa trip

Monday, January 31, 2011

Heyyy,

This week was great, but crazy to say the least. So, Tuesday night we get home at 9 o'clock and the zone leaders call us and said to come to the church and help with the accident. We show up and a window was open in the church. Because of the freezing temperatures, the hot water pipe right next to the window exploded. There was steam coming from the building. Everyone thought it was on fire. Luckily it wasn't and only a pipe broke. But it did a lot of damage. There was like a foot of water upstairs. It leaked down through the floors. The ceiling of the sacrament hall caved in and a lot of other ceiling downstairs too. That night we just got all of the water to stop leaking and tried to get it as dry as we could. We were there until about 12 at night. Then we came back the next day. We spent the whole day and cleaned everything and and got it all dry and ready to remodel. Then Saturday, we came and spent all day doing the remodel it was a disaster! But we got it done and it looks just like it did before, besides a few things like bubbles upstairs in the floor. It looks good. So we had an opportunity to do a lot of service this week for the branch. It was quite the experience. Felt like I was at home helping Dad and Gilmere :) haha

I did receive the conference Ensign that you sent and the temple one but not the ones that you mentioned. I'm excited though to receive them. They sound amazing. :) Thank you for that thought because we really do become what we want to become by CONSISTENTLY being what we want to become.
As for the weather here, it did warm up a little. It was about -8 to -19 or so at the beginning of the week. Then it got cold again. Now its back up to -13 or something, not too bad. Our investigators are doing well. We had one that came to sacrament this last week. Then we found out she lives in the zone leaders area and passed her on to them. That's okay, we are all on the same team and they are way amazing missionaries. Which leads to your other question, I love the other missionaries serving here. Elder Frazer was my zone leader in Chely and Elder Gillming is also awesome. They are great guys. That's all we have in the city of about a million, us four elders. haha. Then there are two elders in Kurgan which is a 4 hour bus ride away. Two elders in Sergut which is a 16 hour train ride away and that's it for our zone. Pretty small compared to other missions. Like Tyler's he said that his zone is big. We see the zone leaders about 2-3 times a week usually. If there isn't an explosion at the church, if that happens then more often haha. Thank you for your prayers miracles truly are happening here. Should be some baptisms coming up from the zone leaders area. They have a few goldies getting ready.

Congrats to Jamie and Nate getting the house I prayed for them all week. It seems as if everything is great judging by Jamie's letter. Cohen is so hilarious. I can see Jamie trying to lift him up to shoot the hoops haha. What a stud. They are a great family! Great examples! I agree if I happen to go to the U, Cohen and Avery are two very big pluses to living with them:)
Sounds like Wrand is doing awesome as well. It seems as if her and I are always on the same page across the world and we read the same things to get comfort and feel the Lords love for us. That's what's amazing about the gospel. I pray for you guys everyday. Tell Candace and Ginger thanks so much for their letters. I'm always so happy to hear about the fam and how everyone is doing. All of the people that I love and care about. :) and Jess is a hoot about the magic fish book that he hates haha. Also glad to hear that Guy is doing better. Sounds as if it was a really hard time. Big dude can't be slacking off and taking 3 sick days every 15 years ;) haha Also thank you for the letter about the thoughts about Christ. That is a goal of our mission right now. To direct our thoughts to Christ. Think of Him, Learn of Him, Teach like Him. The whole works. He is the reason why we are able to return to our Father in Heaven.

I didn't get another letter from the stake presidency. It was the same one, only on paper but its a great letter. I read it often. It has great points in there. The birthday package was amazing and I should get the other ones this week, I hope. The Zone leaders are going to Ekat tomorrow for ZLC. So they will bring the mail back if it's there yet. The ring did fit. Not on my left hand but I've jammed my right hand enough that it fits haha. The cologne did make it in one piece :) Right now, I can't really think of anything that I need. I always forget to think of stuff that would help. Next time, I'm in the moment of thinking what would help, I'll write it down or something. Good to hear about my boy Jamo!! Always being the man! Getting the Duty to God award. Tell him I'm proud. :) Well this is the only email that I am going to write this week. Sorry I didn't have much time and this one is big. So send it to the fam. I love you lots everyone!
Love,
Carson
Tell ALVIN good job on the VARSITY JERSEY!!!!!!!!!! Whooo that's sick! I'm excited. That's my boy.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Heyyy,
Time flies by! We are in what is called old T~ but its the same as new T~. T~ is a great city but I kind of ate my words when I wrote last week that it wasn't that cold. This week it was between -20 and -30 with a good wind chill. It’s freezing but I am staying warm so don’t worry. :) I really like T~. Already we have a few investigators. Not really progressing right now, but I'm sure we can get them there. There hasn't been a baptism in the city for over a year. So we have some work to do here. The Zone Leaders have a few candidates that are pretty close though, so we are praying for them. There are 4 missionaries in the city and about 25 active members that come to church each week. The members here are great like everywhere of course and are strong. We have a lot less activating work to do. We are trying to build and support the branch to get everything running smoothly like it should.
Elder Y is doing great. He's a great companion. Really quiet, humble and peaceful, it’s nice. The apartment that we have I really like. It’s the nicest one I've lived in so far. They found it a few transfers ago, so it’s still in good shape.This one is in great shape. We do keep it clean. :) I'm kind of a clean freak here. I don’t want to get any sick disease.
Yesterday after church we had a great day. We had a few meetings with members and then a member’s son and his girlfriend showed up. We showed them the building and had a great lesson with them. His mom is a really strong member and will help us a lot with them so I’m excited about them. We are also teaching another family right now which is awesome. Families are the best! They almost got baptized a year ago so we are working hard with them and trying to find out there needs and help them understand why baptism is needed. I know that it can happen. The key is the spirit. Without the spirit we can't teach. I saw how it worked with N~ and many others. I know that miracles happen. We just need to do our part by showing our faith, being obedient, diligent and teaching with the spirit. I really like that story that you sent me about the miracles that happened to get the church started in Russia. They didn’t let the hard times get them down and give up. They prayed and showed faith even when it seemed impossible. The Lord provided like always. The work will go forth!! Its hard because the work is tough. Sometimes it seems impossible and that nothing is happening but we have to remember patience on the Lords time. Patience isn't just sitting and waiting it’s actively doing our part so that the Lord can work the miracles. I know that the Lords plan is PERFECT and if we do all that we can we will be blessed. Fear not! Believe only! :)

Sounds like things are crazy at home this week! I’m sure that it will look great though. Dad is the best there is. So good luck. Send some pics when it’s done. I'm excited to see. Tell the Big Dude to get better! Geez, that’s not good. I’m always praying for you guys and thank you for all the support. Oh yeah, I got the package from you with the cd's and ring and stuff. It was awesome. Those hymns are awesome. Piano solo's that bring the spirit and relax and the other cd's work great too. All of them. I also received letters from the branch :) tell them thanks and that I love them. From the Stake Presidency I got an amazing letter by the way tell them thanks too. And a Christmas card from the Trujillo's tell them thank you as well and that I love them. Well, I love you lots thanks for the contacts, they will help a lot. I hope. (if I can get them in my eyes now that I have grown up a little ;) Tell all the family that I pray for them everyday and hope that all is well. I'm sure all will be well. :) The Lord is on our side. Random thought: I love the song "Lead Kindly Light" lately great message look up the words. I love you all so much.
Love
Carson
Hey had a few mins left. Tell Candace and Brayd thanks for the letters. I love them. Jess is a hoot! Tell him that I think that there wouldn’t be a better choice than his wonderful Dad to be the person who should baptize him. How awesome is that, to have a worthy great dad who holds the priesthood baptize you. It’s a rare sight in Russia to see a Dad baptize his kids. I have seen it once since I have been here and it was a great experience. Well, I love you all!!!!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

January 17, 2011

On Mon, Jan 17, 2011 at 1:14 PM
Hey Fammm,

Yup got banished to Siberia and it’s great. It’s a super nice city and the people here are great. I can already tell. The city is super clean. Honestly, I'm loving it so far. I was sad to leave Chely, but I also do like change and change needs to happen. Like Obama said its time for a change. haha just kidding. But seriously it’s great here. The train ride was just fine. I got on at 3:30 in the morning and arrived in Ekat at 9 in the morning. Then I waited until 7:30 or so at night to leave, so it was always dark when I was on the train. Therefore I was not able to see a lot of the country. And no pictures :( But it was great.
About my transfers, my favorite part of my last transfer was that N~ was baptized of course. :) Our last meeting with her before we left, she told us about how she was a little uneasy before the baptism but after she was baptized she had feelings that she couldn't explain and she wrote it all down in her journal. She also really wants to serve a mission, so that will be great! I’m sure that things will be good. The Lord always prepares a way, just like he prepared a way for her to be baptized. He will prepare the way for us in all of our doings. Like you said, the most important relationship in our lives is with our Savior and I’m glad that we have that understanding. When we understand that, everything else just seems to fall into place. I know it will if we do it. I myself am still working on that relationship and have a long way to go. I think we all do. But that’s why the gospel is amazing. Like President Eyring said "The great thing about the gospel is that we can and must expect to become better everyday." I am working on temperance right now its one of my big goals for this year. I really like the talk "Being Temperate in All Things ". I have learned a lot from it. I like the story of the windshield breaking. The man’s wife thought that he would be all cut up and hurt but, because the glass was tempered it wasn’t sharp and he didn’t get cut. I like to think of temperance as all the Christ like Attributes put into one. That’s just doctrine of Elder Buxton so don’t count it as true, just my opinion. Also I have a challenge for you guys to study the Christ like Attributes in PMG. It will help in everything!! I promise.

Honestly, it doesn't feel that cold here just about the same as Chely. It’s been kind of a weak winter here in Russia, for Russia anyways. I didn’t buy new boots. If I need to I will. :) I am staying warm! Everything is awesome. Things with the new comp are great. He comes from a strong family. He's great and knows how to do the work. He was a Zone Leader for a long time so he knows what he's doing. The Lord just blesses me with great opportunities. The language is coming along great! It’s really tough but its coming and serving with natives helps so much, you have no idea. Of course there are barriers. Probably always will be haha.

But actually there was a problem with the computer today. Idk what happened so I lost a lot of time again. Seems like it always happens, I know. So this is the family letter this time. Thank Jamie and Wrandi for their letters to me and their love and support. I pray for you all, always. I haven’t received the packages besides Wrandi's and the back scratcher is amAZing of course. Thanks for everything family!! I love you lots. Keep the faith.
Love Elder Buxton
Hey one more time.
Tell everyone thanks for their emails. Braydee, Candie Cane, Jamie, Wrandi, everyone. I have the best fam in the world!! Sorry I haven’t had time to write them back. Please forgive me. :) Tell Gary thank you a lot, too! I really like what Tyler said about prayer. He's so right! I need to work on that. I pray for him everyday too. Pass along a hi from me and that I love him. Tell Al, Wes and Mar that I love them. I know they are such good kids. Tell Al, I’ll try to write him. Well I love you guys a lot thanks for everything. Oh yeah, I saw Elder Z and he says he loves you guys and thank you soo much! Love Elder Buxton

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Best Week of My Life:)




Heyyyyyy,
This week was the best week of my life!!!!!! One of the hardest but the best as well. I was super sick it was terrible (but don’t worry, I’m 100% now). I didn't sleep very much and neither did Elder K~ because I was getting up all night all week. N's baptism was a miracle. It was amazing:) She did have a lot of temptations and trials this week. Satan tried really hard with us and her because he knows N is going to be a super strong member and an amazing missionary. N was really emotional and having a really hard time. But the Lord always gives us strength and comfort when we need it. We talked with her a lot about how God will always be stronger than Satan. She kept praying specifically for God to prepare a way for her to accomplish what he commanded her. Like He always does the Lord prepared a way and she was baptized! I baptized her and Elder K gave her the Holy Ghost it was an amazing experience. In Gospel Principles the lesson was on "Families can be Together Forever." It was a perfect lesson for her right after her baptism. Because that is one thing she is really big on, families, which is awesome. She shared an experience about how she wrote her feelings down after the baptism and she knows that there will always be hard times but that she can now read those feelings and it will help her throughout her life. The Lord always prepares a way. Thank you so much for your help and prayers for her. I will send pictures of the baptism. She's awesome!! I love the people here so much. :) :) :) My first baptism in Russia!! I have a goal for the New Year, to get 8 baptisms this year, one a transfer! I am still trying to work on temperance and understand it better and be able to apply it in my life better. I have been better at writing in my journal and it really does help me see how much I have been blessed here. I am thankful for the opportunity that I had to serve here in C. It was amazing.

Thank you for the CES fireside notes. That really was just what I needed to hear. The trials we have are to make us stronger! Elder Z and I talked about this often, that if we don’t have trials than it’s really hard to grow actually and how trials really are a blessing in disguise. V (the right way to spell his name idk what i was thinking last week) came to church again this week and stayed for all three hours! He loved it too! He wants to keep coming and serve a mission if he can.

Haha, mom, I know the toilet paper incident is so me. It would only happen to me!
Funny right? I knew you guys would get a kick out of it. And I miss the Big Dude always having a stock of toilet paper in every bathroom. That’s a tradition that I will take on when I get a family of my own. :) haha
I did receive a transfer to serve in Siberia the city of T. Its super cold there!! But only the second coldest city in the mission but also the wind doesn’t stop there. Yikes! But I'm excited. I'm going to be honest it’s really hard to leave Chely. I have been here for about 5 months already and have met some lifelong friends here. It is such a wonderful city. But I know that the Lord knows what he's doing. I'm needed in T for some reason now. This last transfer was one week extra-long and I think I know why…. so that I could baptize N. :) My new companion is Elder Y. He is from Russia around Rostov somewhere. It will be his last transfer then he is going home. He's the oldest elder in the mission. I will leave Chely on probably Friday morning take a long train to T and serve with him for a little over a month before he goes home. It will be a really short transfer. I think it’s a little interesting that I always serve with Native's. There are only 5 in our mission and this will be my 3rd haha. Elder R has been my only American companion in Russia. It’s cool though and it really helps me dive into the culture and language. :) which I love.
I did receive a package from Wrandi this week and it had been ripped open a little haha and had a big hole in it but everything was in there I think. No other packages yet though. Got a dear elder from you. No other letters. So idk. Dear Elders don’t have an address just dear elder and the mission. They print them out here I think idk. dear elders are totally different than normal mail.
I will cook for you when i get home for sure mom. I'm not bad I must admit I have learned a trick or two. Well next week I will be writing you from T and probably be freezing cold. haha! I love you guys lots! God bless!
Love Carson

P.S. HAPPY B-DAY CANDIE CANE!!!!!!!!! That’s Candace…. and that story of Jesse is hilarious!!!!!!!!
For Marsha's ? you can have a carry on and a personal item so yes like a carry on and a purse or a backpack or whatever.


Monday, January 3, 2011

1/3/2011



Heyyyyyy Fam,

So because of the Russian New Year being so crazy I will just write one letter to all of you this week and it will be medium sized. Everywhere is closed and we are using ridiculously expensive internet right now. :) super nice too I might add.

This week was an amazing week. Our investigator was due to be baptized on Friday, it didn't happen but she will be baptized next Saturday. She opened up to us 100%. She knows that she is ready and is really excited about it but she had a really hard time when she saw on the baptism papers that she had to write her parents names. She said she knows that she is ready and what she needs to do. It’s just that family unity is really important to her, and now that she is getting baptized she doesn't want to hurt them. So she had a really hard time but we talked to her about it and fasted with her yesterday to help her family. She is doing amazing. We talked about concrete prayers and in every prayer she says "I have decided to be baptized the 8th of January. Please prepare the way for me." We have a goal to pray about that in every prayer. It has really helped. She realizes that the next step is her family and she has strong desires to help them. She already talks about a mission and really wants to serve. She is doing amazing and she has helped our testimonies grow while we have taught her. We are seeing miracles everyday here, the Lord is blessing us immensely.

So I'm an old man now. 20 years old. Lots of people remembered. Al, Jamo, Brenda, of course all the fam I was surprised. Thank you everyone for the birthday wishes. It was an amazing birthday and thank you for making it better. :) And of course you will get plenty of hugs when I get home Mom :) that’s a given. :) My birthday was awesome! Al getting ordained a priest (of course grandpa would mess up his hair), N opening up 100%. She and O gave me a really funny birthday present. Toilet paper and they wrote on it all the way to the end. They wrote scriptures and stuff. The last one was about patience. haha they are funny because it took patience to un-roll the toilet paper. Lots of people gave me stuff. I have sooo much candy people here are super nice and will give anything to you. And V came to church for the first time in 8 years! The Lord is blessing this area! It’s amazing. The best birthday of my life by far. Sounds like Wii bowling is getting a little more safe if the big dude didn’t have to ice his knees. :) haha I guess I’ll let someone else win something while I’m gone but when i get back tell Jamie to watch out. ;)

The Christmas Program was awesome. N and O brought some friends. They are so awesome they are trying to share the gospel so hard it’s really great to see. It was a really spiritual program. There will be a New Years activity this week and I think that they will bring more friends they are trying to find some priesthood for us :) I will have to say that it is awesome to be the Lords servant 24/7. The greatest blessing I could ever receive.
I’m glad if my letters can help some people back home. In fact they help me when I write them to be honest. Like I wrote Wrandi last week, if we live worthy our thoughts are the thoughts of the spirit. That’s how the spirit speaks to us, through our thoughts and feelings. It doesn’t always have to be a huge miracle. In fact it’s very rare if it is. So when I write I think of great thoughts and the spirit helps me. Without him I could do nothing. Thank you so much for looking into the contacts. About other stuff I have plenty of taco seasoning and stuff now. I will get back to you on what I need in my package next week. :) thank you sooo much. Chapstick is one thing though. :) The Holidays here were awesome. We stayed at home from 5 on the 31st until Sunday morning because there are too many drunks and crazies on the street. We made Russian salads, chicken, potatoes and ate red caviar (it was disgusting) but everything else was awesome! I will send pictures. Oh yeah also funny when we got in on Friday we realized that we were out of toilet paper and we weren’t allowed to go out for two days!!! Everyone we called thought we were joking and wouldn’t help us haha. But we did find napkins. :) haha funny story. Elder and I are getting along great we had a great holiday together and he says privet back. :) Didn’t buy the boots yet but I will. :) promise. This week I will receive all the stuff that has come to Russia so far. The Zone leaders are going to Ekat in the morning. So I’ll let you know if anything came in my letter next week. Well I g2g because this is super expensive. I love you lots, next letter will be sweet. And It will have pictures of the baptism. :) :) :) :)
lots of love,
Elder Carson