Elder Buxton at the Kyiv Temple while on a visa trip

Monday, February 28, 2011

Hey Hey Hey,

Sounds like things at home have been crazy but awesome as well. Its important to help each other out and build and strengthen those bonds that we already have. I really love reading the letters from home :) I have the best family in the world! You guys are so supportive and its wonderful. You really do assist in the Lords work more than you know. I love to hear that you are all helping and supporting one another at home too because that really is important and what makes a family strong. "Families that play together, stay together." ;) haha but seriously. The story of Candace being lost was a great testimony builder to me and brought a tear to my eye. It also was a great object lesson that sometimes we can't see whats ahead of us and what trials and tribulations are to come. And sometimes to be honest it seems that, that is all that is coming is trials and tribulations. That's why we trust in the Lord and ask him "Lead thou me on." The path is dark and it seems as if we are far from home at times but if we put our trust in the Lord and give our all to him and walk by faith to the edge of darkness or even a step into the darkness then the Lord will light the way. He will lead us by the hand. The darkness will become light unto us. We are never alone. because of what the Savior did for us we are never alone. We always have the Lord there to lead us on if we will just put our trust in him. I'm thankful that the Lord sends us angels to watch over us. I really like 2 Nephi 4:20-24 when Nephi is feeling a little down and depressed by the things that so easily beset him. Then he remembers the greatness and goodness of the Lord that when we pour out our hearts to him he hears us when we lift our voices to the heavens. He has been our strength and our support. And he truly has sent angels to be with us and serve us. Those angels can and are at times spirits from the unseen world, our brothers and sisters who do help us along the way and give us comfort and support. But also those angels can and are living people in the world today. We can be those angels for someone if we will look and give a helping hand or even just a smile to someone who is having a hard day. I can't count the times that one or multiple letters that I have received have been exactly what I needed to hear and that all of you as my family and my friends have been angels to me sent to help me from the Lord. All you that send me letters brighten my day. I want to thank all you angels that have written me in a time of need and maybe not even known that you helped me so much. Members of the ward reaching out, friends, family, and just everyone who the Lord has sent to help one another. I can't count how many times in my life that I felt down or discouraged and then a friend came along and helped. I know that Mom and Jamie were angels to Candace that night and that she wasn't alone. The Lord loves us so much its incredible. That story was a great strength to me.

So this week was amazing. A~ got baptised!! It is so great to see a person make so many changes and really come to know the Lord and partake of the sweetness of the gospel. She has had a lot of trials in her life and I'm sure that many are still to come. But now she has support of the members, she has the Holy Ghost to help and guide her along the path and she making choices to return to live with our Father in Heaven. It's awesome to see how the gospel of Jesus Christ just makes people sooo happy. It really is true happiness. After she was baptized she was so light and happy she couldn't stop giggling and you could just see the light and joy in her countenance. The same thing happened after we gave her the Holy Ghost she was just so happy. The Lord is blessing the work. The work will go on! :)

Kiev was great even though we just stayed in the airport. Got my new visa and returned to Russia. In Russia we waited in line for 5 hours at passport control which wasn't fun but whatever haha. An~is doing good he texted us this morning and said that he is planning on coming back soon and that I better have a picture to give to him of us two together haha. He's awesome. Jobs aren't so easy to find and pay is terrible here. There is a lot of work but the pay is terrible, so I hear. I think that its awesome that Rust will be our new mission president. It really is a small world. Elder W is amazing. I have learned a lot from him. He is super diligent and focused I feel really confident and good about the work that will go forward here in Tyumen. Well I g2g Love you all! tell Julie thanks for the letter it was sooo great to hear from them. Happy B-day to Jess and I hope that his baptism is awesome! I'm sure it will be. And yes he needs to stop rolling in the mud. ;) haha love you lots.

Monday, February 21, 2011

On Mon, Feb 21, 2011
Hey hey hey,

This was a great week! Things are going really well. Angela is fasting with us today and we will close it together tomorrow. She has a baptism date for this Friday because I will be in Kiev this Saturday. Yes, Kiev and we don't have time to go to the temple while we are there. :( I was looking forward to it but oh well Kiev will be awesome. But anyways A~ is doing great she is keeping the commandments and preparing for baptism. We just have to do the interview and make sure she is ready and committed and she will be baptized Friday! :) :) :) Also we have found a few promising potentials on the bus this week so I'm hoping we can get some new investigators. Tonight we have a meeting with P~ who is a former investigator that we found in the area book so that will be awesome. We have a great lesson plan set up.

Sounds like your week was awesome as well! The warmth of St. George doesn't seem real anymore. Its been -27 or so this week, all week long. But I'm glad that you can enjoy the warmth :) Hope you gave them all my love and I hope that everything will be okay with them. I pray for them every week to stay strong. I really do like that story of Jamie sharing the gospel with the cousins when she was such a youngun. haha. It really is amazing how big of a testimony little kids have. There are two little girls here (ages 5 and 2) that are hilarious. Their mom has taught them well. Their dad isn't a member but if someone is wearing too short of a skirt or something they are sure to tell them the rules. Its hilarious. Cohen sounds cute as ever can't wait to kick it with that little guy when I get home. 2 years old! CRAZY!

So A~ moved but he called and he has decided that he needs to return so he's getting all his stuff and wants to return in a month if he can save up enough money to get started in Tyumen. (its an expensive city.) So I already told you about A~ and how great she is doing but for her friend A~ he gave in to the peer pressure and isn't meeting with us. But like I said, we have a few great potentials coming up this week. Elder Waddington is great we were in the MTC at the same time just he was in the group younger. He is a really diligent hard working missionary and a great cook :) He loves to cook. I really have enjoyed serving with every companion I've had. Oh yeah Elder K~ is who I will be going to Kiev with so that will be awesome. The Lords plan is perfect everything isn't always a nice smooth road but you learn and grow and find the greatness in each and everyone of your companions. The Lord knows who you need to be with. I heard a quote in Zone Conference by C.S Lewis. "God loves us as who we are. But he loves us too much to let us stay that way." He is molding us and making us the best we can be if we just let him. I love the scripture "Be still and know that I am God."

As for my boy Elder Z~ that stuff sounds great. Idk what he would prefer in English probably. Idk. He'll love whatever he gets. I got the contacts this week and I'm already a pro at getting them in and out. It's so nice! so I guess the packages that Jamie and Candy Cane sent are lost forever. :( but thats okay. :) I did bring my camera and will send some pictures to you! :) Only I don't have a picture with Elder W~ yet. The Gospel is true. I love you all.
Tell the Garb that I love him haha. Thats Gary Nelson.

Big dude thanks for the letter and for all your support! Sorry I didn't have time to get ya off a decent letter today. Oh yeah and K~R~ is my new mission president! can you believe it? crazy right? well i love you lots.

Love Cars

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

From Russia with love!

Whats up? This week was a great week! Two baptisms and two new members of the Church. I had the opportunity to give A~ the Holy Ghost and it was an amazing experience. He worked in a Russian Orthodox Monastery but found the true church about a month ago. They found this last week and he lost his job at the monastery and he was jobless and T~ is an extremely expensive city. So unfortunately he left yesterday and moved to where he is from around St. Petersburg to find work and live. It was a really hard time for him but he was so happy when he was baptized and received the Holy Ghost. He already talked to the missionaries in his new area and they are ready to receive a new member. :) He's an amazing guy.

Zone conference was amazing as always. We learned about what it means to be a successful missionary. They lifted us up a lot it was great to hear. We also learned how we can teach the apostasy better because that is a big problem here in Russia probably everywhere actually but it was a big help. President Allcott is amazing. Both him and Sister Allcott are great really loving and spiritual. A~ is doing good. Still working on a few problems before she can be baptized but things are good. We set up a plan on what can help her and she is trying to follow that plan. You are right that if we just learn to give it up to the Lord and have him be your partner then life is so much better. Other investigators are doing alright not as well but alright. A~'s friend met with us and it was a great lesson and he accepted a baptism date for the 26th of Feb but hasn't met with us since. He didn't come to church. A~ said that all their friends are putting them down for meeting with us. So that's a little rough but things will be great. This is Elder Y~'s last day here, then he is home. Crazy to think that. He is the first Elder to go home since I have been in the country! We had a young mission but its getting old now and we haven't had any new ones for awhile. I learned patience with Elder Y~ and also I am getting more confident with my Russian. Elder W~ who was in the younger group at the MTC with me is coming here to be my companion. Don't know all that much about him but I hear that he is awesome. The Assistants told me I'm in for a treat. :)

Happy Bday to the big dude turning 62!!! Geez and also to my cute nephew that will be 2 on friday. Crazy how time flies 11 months on the mission pretty much already. Tell the kids in St. George that I love them and miss them. Give everyone a big hug and kiss from me. Also good luck with helping Jamie and Nate with the move. :) glad to hear things are great.

Haha Elder Z~ is the man! Seriously me and him are like best friends and will be friends for life. Those two transfers we both learned a lot about ourselves and helped each other improve. I agree with him and I can say all the same things that he said about me the same about him. I learned a lot. The Lord really has blessed me by putting great people in my life. :) please. He's such a happy guy. Tell him hello from me as well.

Crazy to hear about the Jazz! Jerry quitting huh? I'm sure that it wasn't D-Will. Hes a stud I agree with Guy. Glad to hear that the Y is doing good in ball as well that's sick. I havent received the packages yet but Elder W~ comes in tommorow night so maybe Ill get lucky. :) I bought a new suit on the credit card, sorry I didnt know you but money on the other one. :0 And EVERYTHING is more expensive here in T~. Its ridiculous. I forgot the camera this week and I have a picture of me and Elder Y~ and me and A~ and then I'll send one of me and Elder W~ next week I promise.

I just want to thank you all for all that you have done and do for me. I Thank the Lord for his tender mercies and blessings. I have the best of everything. You all have changed my life for the better and for ever. I cant thank you enough. Really thanks for everything.

Hey, challenge for you guys it's what we do with the members in the Europe East area of the world. Read 2 chapters from the Book of Mormon a day and mark what you see about the atonement of Christ. Also pray in every prayer for "those who know not God." Maybe get a cheapo clean copy of the BOM and see how much you can mark in it about Christ and the Atonement.
I love you lots!!!!!!!!!! keep smiling. love you lots

Monday, February 7, 2011

February 7, 2011

Hey family,

This week really was great. We focused a lot on finding new
investigators and talking to more people whenever we get the chance. Of
course we still need to improve but we did a lot better. It has been over a year and no baptisms here in T~. We were in district meeting and decided to set some goals to strengthen the branch and build up Zion. We set a goal to have 5 baptisms this month, which will be amazing! We are already seeing great results of our efforts and faith .Right after we set those goals, we had a few miracles happen. There is going to be 2 baptisms this week, both the zone leaders investigators A~ and D~. Which is awesome! A~ is golden. He just found the church by himself. The Holy Ghost showed him the way. He said he heard a voice that said go and He didn’t know where to go. So the next morning he got up and went and found what he was looking for. He is the sweetest guy in the world with a beard. I’ll send a pic next week he is so funny. When he prayed he heard a choir and it told him that the Book of Mormon was true and that Joseph Smith was a prophet. He is the man! Then the zone leaders received a referral from church headquarters which is the first time that has happened in a zone I’ve been in. Then A~ called Elder Y~ and I and wanted to meet randomly. She is golden. She just got the invitations that we hand out and decided to call on Friday. We have a lot of work to do and have to set some major goals. It’s been really great to already see that she is making changes in her life. She is an orphan and had a really hard life. I think that being at church and hearing about the gospel is one of the first times that she has ever felt love in her life. She has a desire to change her life and accepted a baptismal date for the 19th. But I'm sure that we will need to move it back a week or two because of the problems that she has. But I’m sure that she will be baptized by the end of the month so the Lord is blessing us immensely. There are a few other candidates that are potential, but those are the ones that are close now.

Haha yeah it was fun to do that remodeling at the church but unfortunately, I didn’t
take pictures :( sorry I forgot my camera each time we did work and everyone else did too. Glad to hear that you guys did work this week too and got the remodel done that’s sweet. Sounds like it was a blast. :) haha Candace is hilarious. And yes I do remember jamming out in my room I still do that only with spiritual music now. haha I still got the dancing moves to go with it.;)

Here the houses are like they are in New York City. Just huge apartment buildings and that’s it. If you have your own house, it’s out of the city. I have only met a few people that have their own house. Everyone just lives in apartments like us. Only usually ours are bigger and nicer
and we only have two people living there, when they have multiple generations living in an apartment. Here in T~ it’s a very rich city so actually you see a lot of people with nice apartments and maybe it’s their own too. I don’t really know how to answer if family ties are important here because it seems like the majority just live together and that’s it. They don’t really talk to each other or maybe that’s just when we are there. Plumbing is sometimes great sometimes terrible. haha Sorry if that’s kind of broad answers to your questions.

I also hope that I will be able to go to the temple soon! My visa ends the 28th of Feb so around then I should have the chance. :) :) :) I also love white clothing everyone seems to look so great in white and it’s on the best occasions. Baptisms and temples, what more could be better? I also really love testimony meetings! They have such a great spirit and they invite the spirit and He testifies of truth! It’s the best sacraments for investigators to attend. I love it.

Yeah, T~ is pretty big. It’s not as big as Ekat, Ufa, Chely or Perm but it has a lot of people. Also it is a really clean and a really rich city. There are great people here just as there is everywhere :) as for those cute hats? Haha I haven’t bought one yet but I will have before I come home. :) It is warming up so I am not going to buy boots. But today probably I will buy a new suit because that grey one I found is now shredded pretty much. So sorry :( Next week I will get you a picture of my comp. It is his last week on his mission!! Oh yeah and I won’t write next Monday. We have zone conference so I will write later in the week or something. My camera is great. I think the card still has room but Idk how to know if it does or not. Maybe a new card to be safe would be good but I can buy that here. As for internet we just use Internet Clubs. As for day light right now it’s about the same as Utah i would guess.

Tell G ma and G pa to be careful!! Geez they both need a spanking. Always wanting to play in the sun like little kids! ;) Cohen is such a cutie. I love to hear his stories and that he thinks Elder Z~ is Russia. haha. Crazy, he soon will be two and I will soon be a year on the Mish! Time is flying by. Big Al is a stud hitting the buzzer beater! Sounds like all is well at home. I love you guys with all my heart. Keep the faith!
Love Carson
Pray for A~ and M~ and V~. I pray for you guys everyday multiple times.