Elder Buxton at the Kyiv Temple while on a visa trip

Monday, May 30, 2011

Wow, so the Kiev temple is so beautiful!! It was an amazing experience. As the temple always is and it is a great reminder to devote all my time and talents to the church. The temple is a special place. I am so lucky to be able to attend while on my mission. This week was a good one for Elder Smith and I. L~ and L~ are doing great and are really excited about the gospel. Unfortunately they weren't able to make it to church Sunday because L~ and her son got sick. But they are excited to meet again and are doing just great. R~ who has a date for June 1st has been really hard to get a hold of and called us yesterday and said that he would be at church and then didn't come and hasn't answered his phone at all since. But he is golden and so ready if we can just meet with him. I~ and M~ are also still doing great. School ends this week and we should be able to meet with them more often. It's just a matter of helping their father realize and understand. They are really sharp boys and and will be great members of the church. An accident happened with one of their relatives out in the village. So they went out there to help but they were planning on coming and should come next week. Also a week or so ago, we stopped a really nice old guy on the street and he was interested in meeting and coming to church. We stopped by a few times but he was never home. So we stopped by and right when we were going up the elevator, he came out of the elevator. He was excited to see us and said "I'm going to wash my car right now hop in and we can talk." haha It was great we went and while his car was being washed, we talked about the plan of salvation and you could tell it meant a lot to him. He himself said that it's time to change. We found out that he goes to the garden a lot. That's where he has been but when he returns he will call us back. He is going to read the pamphlets and the Book of Mormon. It was great. The part member less active family is also doing really well. They are such nice people and they have a desire to return to church. The rest of the family is shy about coming without the dad but they are planning on coming. They really want their son to get baptized. He wants to as well but they didn't accept the date. They said that he is a slow learner and will take a few months but we will work on that.
I haven't received any letters lately probably because I am so far away from the mission home 16 hours away. The assistants flew into Ufa and couldn't bring the mail and packages on the plane. Next week however Elder Smith and I will take the 16 hour train to Ekat for Zone Leader Council and get every ones mail from Ufa. I didn't get anything from the seminary yet. So hopefully if anyone wrote me then it will be here soon. Emails are great and get to me in the same week. So of course you can email Elder Z everyone is allowed to email us. We are allowed to receive, we just can't email back and they are really easy to print out as well. On my visa trip I was with Elder K. He is serving in the same zone. He is from Ukraine which is why I went to Ukraine and not to Finland. I took many great and beautiful pictures but can't figure out how to send them from this computer club. :( but soon I will. :) Yes, President John will leave the same day as President Allcott and its coming fast. :( They are so great. Both of them and their wives have done so much for our mission and me personally.
My shoes are alright. I already wore a pair of Havana Joe's out. Then when I was in the office I found a pair of echos and they are holding up for now but are wearing down as well. I still have a good pair of Havana Joe's that I am saving to keep a little nice for a little later. I bought pants and they were really expensive. I'm sorry, I tried to find the cheapest ones.hah sorry if you are confused about the shirts, 17 will be just great!!! THANKS!! I also saw and elder from the Aland's mission and told him to tell them hi from me. He is from Latvia or something. I hope that got passed on. Well I love you all soooo much thank you for your support and love! You are great.
Tell K :)she is amazing 2nd in state huh? Wow. Congrats to her from me and hi. Did she get her letter?
Tell A, Hi and that she can email me if she wants. Like I said anyone is allowed to email us.

Big dude, I love you thanks for the letter! Get those miles in at the pool. Get in shape so I don't school ya in everything when I get home. ;) jk Also Candace's letter was cut off like 2 sentences in. I hope that she didn't get killed because she was writing about a crazy gang in Wayne and then all the sudden nothing, so I hope that she is alive;)Oh yeah and no the Johns don't speak Russian we translate for them. haha only the Russian Senior couple speaks Russian who is who you met on skype and the same people who the Aland's talked to probably. Well I love you all. Keep it up. love cars

Dear sister Coleman!
Thank you for your letter its so cool to hear from you.
I feel your love a lot, and I feel like I did know you before in premortal life. I`m sure that God has sent me here in this very time for a reason.
Do you know that Carson went to The Kiev Temple be fore I did:) I never have been there but he does. So that mean he almost Ukrainian:)
And you need to come in Ukraine some time too. I can show you everything there.
Thank you for everything.
Say Hi to Carson from me, and also to everyone at home.
Love you all.
Have a great week.
Your Ukrainian son. Elder Z.

Monday, May 23, 2011

First off congrats to Alicia on the wedding. Nope I didn't get the invitation. :( but hey I'm in Russia and that's how the mail system works. haha. A lot of letters I have sent to America aren't making it I guess, so that's Russia for ya haha. And Happy B-day WRANDI!!!
So this week was a great week for Elder Smith and I. Zone Conference was just what we all needed. We weren't able to meet with R~ who has a baptism date for the 1st of June because he was in the hospital and then out of town and now he hasn't answered his phone for 4-5 days. But he is solid and I'm sure all is okay. We are going to keep trying. This week when we were on splits Elder Smith and Busker met with a less active family in our area that Elder Smith and I called that hasn't been able to be met with in years. According to Elder Smith they are a great family! The mom and the dad are baptized and also the daughter but they have a 14 year old son that isn't and they are all interested in returning to church. Elder Smith and I thought how awesome would that be to be able to reactivate the family and have V~ the father baptize the son E~. It would be like the Roublee's family in the Preach My Gospel videos! We are very excited. Also we were finally able to meet with I~ and M~ who we haven't been able to meet with since we've been here. Elder Hanson and I stopped by their house and finally the dad let us in! Those boys are amazing!! They are so smart and have a great grip and understanding of the gospel. I~ is 12 and super smart and understands a little better than M~ who is 14 but they both are so great. Elder Hanson and I both had the feeling that it seemed like we knew these two little boys from somewhere. Their Dad is a great guy, he had an accident and his face got smashed in somehow. His boys are amazing! They both have a baptism date for the 31st of May. I just hope that A~ their dad will understand to let us meet more often. Then Elder Hanson and I went to S~'s (I~'s sister) house and had a meeting with L~ his other sister who came to church and his mom Lyudmilla. We taught them about the word of wisdom and President John gave them a blessing to help them overcome temptation. After the lesson L~ walks in and says to her sister "our lesson was so great today we talked about the commandments!" She was so excited. Elder Hanson and I loved it as well it makes it so great when they love to learn. The Lord is blessing us so much this truly is his work!
As I said earlier, we had Zone Conference this week and it was President and Sister Allcott's last one. :( They are so amazing and say just what we need to hear. They have done so much for our mission and will be greatly missed. Such great examples of just simply everything. Luckily I will be able to see them two more times before they go though at zone leader council in Ekat and they will come here for one final fireside. Its hard to know that they are leaving but I'm also excited for President Rust to get here. President Allcott explained to us the call process that mission presidents go through and wow! Talk about an amazing call! The Lord knows what he is doing. I love the Allcotts and will love the Rusts as well. I'm going to Kiev this week and going to the temple baby!! whoo hoo!!!!!! That's a for sure thing this time! I'm so excited. Going to the first temple in the former Soviet Union! And Its been so long since I have been able to do a session. I'm so pumped! Everything is great. The mission is such a great experience. Its definitely hard but definitely worth it. I love everything about it. Tell Josh and Travis that I love them too. And any of my friends that you see. I have the best fam and friends in the world! Big Dave should be getting home soon huh? give him my love. Love you all. Cohen and Avery sound so cute. Cohen is a stud taking after his Uncle ;) haha
Much love
So sorry I didn't answer some questions I think. Elder Z did get his package and shorts and stuff the assistants told us when they were here last week. He loves them and tells you that he loves you all so much. He really counts himself as your son and is so excited to meet you as well. :) He thinks of all of us like family. he is funny. After the talk on skype the senior couple was like "what elder Z do you think that you are part of Elder Buxton's family now?" and he said "No i already was a part of it last fall I love them soo much." I can’t wait to see him at zone conference:) He is stud. You'll love him. I would love to be your guide someday in Russia we can count on that. Also I forgot, one of the sisters that was serving in Ekat that is in my zone, she ate some of the wreath that you sent and they all loved it. Elder Z also shares haha and she says thanks. haha. Life is great. I am going to buy summer pants today and maybe a white shirt. I ruined the good one you sent me the other day I got marker on it when I was writing my name on my tie at the tie cutting of President Allcott. :( Maybe you could send me a few white shirts. Just one of the nice ones that's long sleeved and not plain and maybe a few short sleeved ones, like 2 is all. Thank you sooo much! I love you.
Love car
oh yeah, Braydee looks great without the braces. Congrats and thanks for her great letter. She is so mature. I wish I would have been more like her. She is so spiritual. :) love you Brayd

BIG DUDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Wassss upppp!!! All is well here in Ufa the Lord is blessing us so much. Couldn't ask for a better place to be than right here right now. Ufa is a great city and it has such a great spirit about it. The branch here is great and has a little over 100 each time at sacrament meeting or around 100. We are seeing lots of progress with the investigators and members. Things are great. I love it. Thanks for all that you do for me big dude. Did you say that Oklahoma is in the playoffs? Wow who's carrying them? I'm rooting for them or the bulls :) love you lots! Let me know whats up. GO YANKS and A's I guess. ;) love you
love your son,

Monday, May 16, 2011

Well mom you started your email off with goodbye in Russian so i was a little confused;) but am so proud of you for knowing that! :) So Ufa is amazing! The work is going great here. The last zone leaders were wonderful! Elder Smith and I have big shoes to fill. I don't know if you remembered I~ who I wrote about last time I was in Ufa who is so great! He's one of my great friends. His niece got baptised and confirmed this last week. That was great to get here and see! One of his sisters got baptised last time I was here my first day in Ufa and this time her daughter was baptised. Also his mom and another sister have baptismal dates for the 26th of may so we are really excited about that. We have 7 progressing investigators in our area! SEVEN! It's crazy. The Lord is blessing us so much we are seeing so many miracles. A lot of it is thanks to the Zone Leaders who were here last. We white washed in for Elder Wilson who went home and Elder Decker who is now the Assistant. My companion was just barely one of the assistants to the president and also was my zone leader in Chelyabinsk. So he is great! Elder Smith is his name and I am really excited to work with him. Also we have another Elder Smith in our zone who is brand new. He is a great elder already. He's so inspiring. He talks like a coach so Elder Smith (my comp) loves him. Our zone is full of great missionaries so we are really blessed. Well I guess our mission is full of great missionaries so we are really blessed. Our first meeting here was with a man named R. He is so amazing! He has a great understanding of the gospel and quit smoking this week so he is going to be baptised the 1st of June :)
The train ride was great Elder Smith and I talked about our goals and what we want to accomplish here. The scenery is beautiful as well it is through the Ural's and its breath taking. There is a good stretch when we woke up and we were just riding along a river in the mountains and it was so green and beautiful. You can see God's hand so well in nature. The countryside of Russia is so amazing I never would have imagined. I thought Russia was cold and white all the time, but no its amazing!
There is a Sr. Couple here named the John's. They are from Idaho around the same place as President Allcott. They are amazing people! We do work quite closely with them and they help us so much. Sr couples are such a great aspect to the work. You see their desire to just give up their time to the Lord and come serve here in Russia. They are so humble and great examples. Also President John is in the mission presidency and he trains the branch leaders here and we have to do a lot of translating and things like that for them.
Thank you so much for that story about the rope team that was great and so inspiring. Also Alma 26:12 is one of my favorite scriptures. The Son's of Mosiah were such great missionaries. I have been trying to read and learn from their examples and be as diligent and powerful as they were. Such great examples from the scriptures that we can learn from and apply into our lives. Truly they were written for our day.
The contacts are the same ones. You guys look great in those pics too btw. I am sleeping really well and yes it is getting really warm here! About time to take the suit jackets off! :) its great to hear about the truff's, Jamo, and Dave. Give them all my love!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Much of it.
Well I better get! sorry Love you all,

Monday, May 9, 2011

Hey Fam,
Don't have time cuz I have to get on a train to Ufa here in a bit. So I love you lots and will answer your questions. The Senior couple is from Chelyabinsk and yes it is a full time mission but they are ending here in a few weeks. :( They are great. They have a great family in Chely that I know very well. Elder Zhdanov loves our family. He calls you all mom and dad and brothers and sisters. He's funny. I also hope we can do Skype again on Christmas. It will be great. I agree that I have the cutest niece and nephew in the world as well :) Made my day when Cohen said he loved me. I'll tell you more about being a Zone leader next email. My comp is Elder Smith from Washington and he is great. He is the assistant right now but we are going to Ufa today, 16 hour train ride.I sent letters about 6 weeks ago, then one to Katie and Paul last week. Well I love you. I need to buy a few more clothes for summer. I have no pants besides my suit ones. So I might need some money. I love you lots. I pray for you all everyday!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Life is great! This was a great week. We had Zone Leader council this week which is always amazing. The spirit is always so strong there and you leave a better missionary. Also we saw a lot of miracles this week. The first is a man from Kurgan. He called us on Friday and asked to meet with us that day. He is less active but is great. He moved here to Ekat and is working. He hasn't had any interaction with the church for awhile and he just had the feeling to call and meet with the missionaries. Elder Olsen knew him because he served in Kurgan so that was a great connection. Hopefully he will return to activity. One more priesthood holder in the branch would be great. The next miracle is we went to go help a less active do some service and her cousin was there. She listened to our spiritual thought and was really interested and took a Book of Mormon. She wants to meet again so that was great. Also we were walking home a few days ago and right before we got home we decided to go a little further and walk past our house, go in through the gate on the opposite side and talk with the people we saw walking over there. At first everyone rejected us but then a man walks around the corner and is really interested and super nice. We have a meeting with him and hopefully his family tonight! So the Lord is really blessing us with some promising people to teach. :) Haven't had a chance to meet with Sasha's family again and his mom hasn't been to church again. Hopefully next week she will come to church. :) Oh yeah sorry I didn't write yesterday it was a holiday here in Russia and all the places were closed.

Elder Zhdanov's package did come and I'm sure all those things you bought for his b-day would be great. Send it all. His size is definitely a large. Maybe mines a medium but idk. I still were my large shirts and they seem to fit okay but a medium might be better. Elder Zhdanov says hi and that he loves you all! :)

Thank you for all that you do.You all are in my prayers and I love you soo much. Continue to walk in the light, hold on to the rod as tight as you can! :) God loves you!!!
From Russia With Love,