Elder Buxton at the Kyiv Temple while on a visa trip

Monday, April 25, 2011

Happy Easter!!
Such a great day and week! Dinner with Sasha's family was great and they are such great people. His Dad was there and was such a nice guy, really nice. We read a little bit from Nephi 2 and answered his questions on what we do as missionaries. He is a professor at the university and has a firm belief in God. Sasha's mom is not baptized yet but I'm sure that she will be soon. It was funny, when we showed up, she told us her plan. She wanted to wait until Sasha and I returned from our missions and she could come to Utah and be baptized there, so we could both see. Then Elder Zhdanov came up with a better idea. She could get baptized here soon and then after our missions she could come to Utah and we could all go the temple together. :) I thought it was a great idea :) She also really wants her husband to be baptized too which is great. So tell Sasha that idea :) She is such a great lady and treats me like her son. haha. She wants to buy me a luggage bag and stuff. I told her that it's not needed. But she still wants to, so I hope I can get out of that.
Kiev was great as always. We almost got to attend the temple but the flight plans just didn't quite work out :( I miss it soooo much and I really want to go to the Kiev one!!! Elder Zhdanov is great and he always tell you guys hi if I ever forget to tell you. He thinks of you as family and loves you all so much. He hasn't got the package yet :( I hope it's not lost. For shirts I think that he would like a Jazz one a lot. Maybe two shirts one jazz, one other good brand that's popular for a t-shirt in America. Let Alex or Jamo pick it out or something. He is your Ukrainian son and you will more than likely meet him one day. He really wants to study at BYU so that would be cool. He is such a great friend. The mission really has been an enormous blessing to us all!
Easter was great. We had a special choir concert after church and we were in the choir. haha. We are quite the singers ;) They celebrate a lot like we do. They have eggs and color them and stuff. They also have giant cupcakes but its just bread with frosting on it and it symbolizes lots of things. I already told you about Christ is risen, truly He is risen saying that they say. Also they smash their eggs together to see who's is the toughest haha.
Jamie did forget to send pics or else her email didn't come but its okay I saw some great pics anyways. :) Everyone looks so good. Such cute little kids. It's crazy how fast they grow. Cant wait to play with them and liven up the party a little when I get home. I'm sure you're all bored with out the life of the party. ;) Just kidding but really, they will be great to play with. I'll be the favorite no doubt. ;) Their house looks really great too. I would really like a family pic of Jamie and Nate and Cohen its been awhile since I've seen them all together and what not. I want to see them all together. So get on that! please :)
There were so many miracles this week its amazing! Yesterday a man we talked to on the street came to church. He is the first investigator that our area has had at sacrament for a while. It's always a little funny when they walk in and we are all singing hymns and they have the funniest look on their face haha. I waved him over to me and he really enjoyed the meeting. Also yesterday we were walking on the street and we stopped a man that said he is baptized in our church and gave us his number and we gave him the new address of the church and he was really grateful. We looked in our area book but he is not in there so that is a tender mercy of the Lord. Hopefully we can meet with him and help him return to activity. Also we had a few great meetings with investigators. Aleksandr is doing well and we found a new one, Pavel and have a meeting set up for this week. We have a few great potentials that are looking good so hopefully that works out. The trip to Ukrain does not count as my trip because I need to get a new visa, not just an immigration card so it didn't count. I will go to Finland probably in a few weeks. The CD's did work besides the one that broke in half. haha I don't know why but they open all the bag type packages that you send and don't pack it very well after they rip it open. Russia mail is interesting. I have written a few people so they should be getting mail soon. I don't need conference in English anymore we already have it on CD. Life is great. Tell Trin that I'm proud of her and that I love her. Tell the whole fam! :) Thanks for all that you do. I am trying to send pics so this will be my only letter so I love you all!!! here are the pics
Love, Carson

Monday, April 18, 2011

I'm so happy that Avery came! She is the cutest little thing in the world, so precious. Nobody told me any weight or height info though so I'll be expecting that next week! WOW its been a great week. Yesterday was district conference in Ekat and N~ came from Chelyabinsk with O~! It was great to see them again. After conference they had a meeting for new converts and she got up and bore powerful testimony of the truth of the church. She expressed her thanks to her first missionaries and how they were so patient with her when she was a hard investigator and said they are in this building right now talking about the Ekat church. That was me and Elder Z unfortunately we weren't in the meeting to here but many told us about it. She came and told us goodbye and thank you so much for helping her find the truth and being patient with her. Because now she is having problems being patient with her brother because he is exactly like she was if not worse haha. Also she received her patriarchal blessing last month and is doing great. She told us that from her blessing, she knows that she needs to serve a mission. She had tears in her eyes when she was talking to us and it was hard for Elder Z and I not to cry too. It was the best feeling in the world. I know the scriptures are true when they say how great shall be your joy when you bring save but one soul into the kingdom of my Father. This is true happiness and only the gospel of Jesus Christ can bring it. I know without a doubt that this church is true and that God loves and knows each and everyone of us personally. I have learned so much from my mission I am grateful for he tender mercies of the Lord and for the opportunity to meet great people like N~. She is amazing I have learned a lot from her and she will be a great missionary. The church is so true!!!

I am loving my companion. Who would have thought that even in the office you can have the best time of your life! haha. He is great and we teach really well in unity. We have a great zone. We didn't end up moving! :) Our land lady called and changed her mind so that was a HUGE blessing because the assistants were in Ufa and Perm this week, so we would have had to move everything by ourselves and it just would have been a mess. So that is great. Elder Z is doing great he is here at Internet with us today. He says cute baby and hello to everyone and that he loves you. I did receive a package and it had fruit drinks watermelons and peaches. :) perfect! If it is the one that you sent with Elder Z's then his didn't come yet. :( but I shared with him. Also his Birthday is coming up in a few weeks. We went on splits this week and it was amazing!!!!!! We saw many miracles together and had a great time. Unfortunately he is having a hard time right now at home. His sister is really sick and can't rest because she needs to work and take care of her kids so she is getting worse and had stroke :( So pray for her. He is a great example of faith to me because he is here and giving his all to the Lord. He has faith that things will get better. He really loves you guys so much though and is grateful for you. This week I will also be going to Kiev. There is a kind of a good chance that Elder Z and I will attend the temple but also maybe not, but that would be awesome.
Easter here is also big. Everyone on the street says to each other. "Jesus is risen." and then the other person replies. "Truly He is risen." It's great! I'm excited to see it. :) They color eggs and do stuff like that too. Ill let you know more about it when it happens. That is great to hear about Sasha!! We are going to go there tonight and have a meeting with his mom and his dad will be there too!!! So tell him Hi and thanks for a wonderful family!

That is great to hear about my friends back home!!!! Tell Paul that's amazing!! He'll be a great missionary, as he has been a great friend and helped me in my life so much. I love him with all my heart.
Well Family, thank you for all that you do and for your love and support.
I love you so much. I do miss you but I would rather be here right now than anywhere else! The work is great and I'm so happy. The church is true.
Love Carson

Monday, April 11, 2011

So this week was busy and wonderful as usual! We went to zone leader council (office elder has it's little perks) and got some amazing training from President Allcott and mission leaders. We talked about how we need to find more people and use our faith in our finding. Faith=Power. We talked also a lot about finding joy in the work rejoicing always and thinking always about others. We watched the Joseph Smith Movie except it was from Emma's point of view and it was really powerful. So that was really great. Also general conference was amazing. Seems like it gets shorter every time its crazy! I really loved Uchtdorf's two talks. At least I think it was him that talked about Paul and Joseph Smith? I hope so but I really also loved his talk in Priesthood. He was just straight forward with us all and said that we need to apply the things that we write down and not just write them down. He talked about living below our privileges and about the power of the priesthood. We all can say that we know what the priesthood is but do we really know what the priesthood is? I have been taking his challenge and been reading the "owners manual" Doctrine and Covenants 20, 84, 107 and 121. (he related that you can have the best computer in the world but until you turn it on, read the owners manual and really use it, it doesn't reach its potential.) I thought that I need to do as he said and become an expert in the gospel and especially the priesthood. I need to live up to my privileges and really partake of the blessings that this power that I hold really has! I don't think that we comprehend what God has entrusted us with. I know that I haven't comprehended, at least. But I'm trying to become better and really try to live up to the privileges I have. Also, I really loved the focus on families. I loved the talk on a Christ centered home and teaching Celestial principles in the home. It seemed to have a great family focus throughout the whole thing. President Monson threw down on marriage so, sounds like those boys that can get married better step it up. haha.
Sounds like life is great for you guys at home and I'm glad. Thank you for all that you do for me and the support you give me. I love you so much and am in great debt.
Tell Weston happy b day!!!!!!!!! Tell Jess congrats on the wrestling and the baptism!!!!! that's so awesome! Tell the whole fam hi and that I love them! Sorry I don't have that much more time so I'll let you go. I love you lots!!!!!!!!!!!
Love your son, Carson

Monday, April 4, 2011

Yo yo yo,

So yuppers I got sent to Ekat. I guess like Wrandi said president wants to keep a close eye on me. haha. And Yes my boy Elder Zhdanov is here. He's my zone leader. It's great to see him again. We were both really excited to be able to work around each other again and he tells you all privet. (every week if I forget he says that.) And it just so happens that I met Sasha's mom yesterday!! At first, I didn't know who she was. She came into church and asked if we called her yesterday. I said no I don't think so. Then she said it was an Elder from Ukraine (Elder Zhdanov) had called her and invited her to church. Then we said that he was upstairs so she went up and didn't find him but came to our branches sacrament. Then Elder Zhdanov came in and talked to her later and said that this is the Elder that knows your son and she was really excited and happy and invited us all to come over to her house. :) So either this week or the next week we will be going over there. :) So tell Sasha privet! She actually lives in center Ekat which is the zone leaders area too now because it got shut down and the sisters left. We are struggling with numbers right now in our mission. Tyumen also got shut down and there are only 2 missionaries there now. We have 48 missionaries in our mission and by summer it will be down to 41 :( So we are struggling with areas and we don't have enough missionaries to cover every area. So missionaries are taking over two areas and having to do a lot of work. In our area here in the office we have 23 members total and 9 of them are active. It's the smallest area in the mission but its because we are in the office a lot. Monday we don't go to the office unless there is a problem that we need to take care of (like today we are here right now fixing up some visa trips and travel for president.) My companion is the travel secretary. He takes care of all the travel that happens in our mission and trust me it's a lot of travel. I am the Member Records Secretary and do all the same thing that a stake executive clerk or something like that does. Except I do it for the whole mission which is huge boundaries. I work with stats, baptisms and all that stuff. Its kind of interesting I learn stuff here that I wouldn't learn anywhere else, but I would rather be out on the streets more often. But oh well I love it all the same. The mission is great. :) :) :) Glad to hear that Wrand had a great time in Ireland and I'm excited for my package :) Give grams and gramps big hugs from me and tell them to stay healthy! Its still cold here not 60's but not too cold it's alright. We should be able to watch general conference this next week! I'm really excited but it really just snuck up on me. It seems like yesterday that it happened and now we are watching it again. Time is flying by. We should be able to watch it in English here in Ekat so all is well. Can't wait to watch general conference its so powerful and amazing. Hearing the prophets words there is no better time of the year. Can't wait to see it. It's so much better when your not a punk kid anymore that just sleeps the whole time haha. It's so good I cant believe that I took it for granted before the mish. About sending conference again yeah why not? It was great last time. Thanks a lot :)
I just finished up Helaman this morning and read in the 16th chaper about how they feared to sin. That really hit me that we need to FEAR to sin and put our faith in Christ and be perfected in him.
It's interesting that you have been thinking about the Apostle Paul a lot. I also have been thinking about his great example and his amazing attitude. He had a great material life before he was converted to the gospel. I've been reading He had riches and a great reputation in the Jewish community all that he could have wanted in this life for material things. However he counts them for Dung now that he has come to know his Savior and partaken of his glory. He rejoices in trials and tribulations! What a great example of a humble man willing to let the Lord mold him how he wants him to grow. I also could definitely use a Paul Attitude :) He made a lot of changes in his life for the better and that's the purpose of life is to become better than we were the day before. If we want to reach our goals and become better and become that Man of Christ we have to wake up in the morning and live each day as if we were already that man then we will eventually become what we want to be.

So here in Ekat we live with the AP's and have quite a bit of contact with president so its great to be around him and learn from him. We live not too far from his house but we are moving soon to a pretty nice apartment I hear. The church building here is new and it is sooo beautiful. No doubt the most beautiful building in our mission. I'll send pictures of everything I didn't send any pictures after Chely but I will get some to you next week alright? Promise :) I love the mission! Also I love you guys so much. Thanks for all that you do. Much love.
Tell Candy cane that I love her and her great family!!! I look forward to their letters next week and they are in my prayers always!!!!!