Elder Buxton at the Kyiv Temple while on a visa trip

Monday, August 29, 2011

First of all my heart goes out to the Horrock's family. They really are like my second family. Mar, Al and Wes are just like my siblings and Trent has always been there for me and has helped me just like a dad. I know that this is a very hard time for your family and honestly I feel your pain. My love and prayers go out to you. It is really hard for me to write this email right now but I know that everything is okay. Just as Alex said Cole is really in a better place. This time on earth is so precious to each and every one of us, however, death is part of Gods plan. I know that it is hard especially as I sit here writing this email through my tears and can't even imagine how you feel. However, I know with all my heart that God's plan is also a perfect plan and that he always knows what He is doing. I know that Cole is happy right now and that he really is with Grandpa Howard and they are having a way better time than we can even imagine. I think of the scripture in Alma that says "All spirits go back to that same God who gave them life." I know that that is true and that he is in a better place. The gospel is being preached to those in the spirit world and I know how happy the gospel of Jesus Christ makes a person. I have seen it change many lives here in Russia while on this mission and I know that the same exact work is going on there in the spirit world where Cole is. I know that right now is a rough time and it may be hard to find that joy and peace. However remember that the Savior knows exactly what you are all feeling because he suffered everything for us. Alma 7:11-13 He knows how we feel when nobody else can understand at all. I know that thanks to the Savior and his Atoning sacrifice and perfect plan that you will all see Cole again in a resurrected perfect body. I know that this is true. We can all live together forever in the presence of our Lord. I like the verse, I think that it is 2nd Nephi 33:12 if I'm wrong its somewhere around there and it reads somethings along these lines. This is my prayer that many if not all will be saved in the Lords kingdom in the last day. We all have the opportunity to return to live with the Lord again. I promise that you will see Cole again and rejoice together. I love you all so much. Thank you so much Trent for always being there for me I still know that you are there for me and I want you to know that I am here for you and your kids anytime. Thank you Al and Wes for being my brothers and Mar for being my little sister in hard times in all of our lives. I love and miss you all so much I wish that I could be there to give you a big hug for hours at a time. I know that you are all in good hands and that you still have each other though. Thank you once again I really do love you all so much and feel for you in this time of need. Remember hope in this world is only a prayer away. The Savior lives and loves us all so much more than we can imagine. I love you keep your heads up.
Your Brother,

Hey mom,
Yeah I did have a visa trip. We got stuck in Finland after missing our first flight in Moscow because of a pretty crazy story that took 3 days that I don't have time to tell right now. However, yeah we were stuck there and did end up spending a little money for food and what not. The temple was amazing and I love the things that I learn there every time. Our branch just got back from a temple trip and lots of people went to the temple for the first time and we are having a testimony FHE tonight at the Jensen's. I can't wait to hear their experiences. They all have a light in them. I also am going to the market today so I might end up spending a little more money. I hope that's okay. Also, I'm a little down about what happened to Cole. I wish I could talk to them because I feel their pain. I hope my letter helps. I didn't know what to say at all but I felt that I wrote the thoughts that came to my head from the Spirit which gives me comfort. I am okay, I'm just feeling their pain so don't worry about me one bit.

The work is going great here I love it. Share the stuff below and tell people that I didn't have much time this week.

Well this week was an interesting one because of the crazy visa trip. However it was still a great week here in Ufa. A~ is doing so amazing and growing in the gospel he finished the Book of Mormon yesterday and is loving it and applying the teachings in his life. He is a great example of prayer he really prays from his heart and soul and each time he prays I learn something. Our investigator didn't make it to sacrament yesterday because she is in a really tough situation right now and it was raining but she came to relief society and we were able to meet with her after church and she is being really open and trusting of us right now. It's great to see her progress and her trust grow. She realized that satan is working on her really hard and that God has a big plan for her. E's dad is super busy at work right now because they are just finishing up a big job at work so we haven't been able to get in with them but he is doing well. We call him often and he is reading and praying everyday. He had a date for the 27th but we weren't able to meet with him as often as needed so we will be resetting that date again soon. He is a great kid. A~ is doing great as well just finishing up a lot of work as well and we were busy when he wasn't this week so we didn't get to meet. He is still quiting smoking a little bit at a time. Yesterday, Elder Smith and I had a good experience with working with the area book and we have a potential new investigator meeting with a young 20 year old man tomorrow which we are excited for.~ That's just part of the letter and update for you.

Mom, thanks for giving all my buddies my love! Congrats to Nate. I'm proud of him. Also, see if you could get K's address for Alaska. I would like to write her too. I miss you all! much love!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Privet Vcem!

Wow this week was great a lot of miracles all the time. We didn't get in with our investigators as much as we would have liked but this week will be better with that. Yesterday, we had a very great experience with a contact. She is having a really hard time in life right now and we came to that knowledge because we listened to the spirit yesterday in our lesson. We were sensitive and asked how she was doing because we weren't able to get a hold of her last week. That's when she opened up to us about her hard times in life. We feel it might be the humbling experience she needs. The J's were there and we just sat and listened for a good while. She expressed that she feels as if Satan is attacking her from all sides. We then opened up to the Joseph Smith story and shared that with her. Satan does try to get us when there is a huge moment of growth or a big decision to be made and it seemed to hit her very hard. We then offered her a priesthood blessing. Elder J gave a beautiful blessing and the spirit was so strong. We can see so much progress with her. A few months ago she denied priesthood blessings but now we have the trust and the good relationship because we genuinely love her and listened to her. I know that we will see many miracles with her in this upcoming time here. We didn't get in with E~ this week because his Dad has the craziest work schedule but we are going to get in there tonight and set a new baptism date with him. He is great and we call him often and he is still reading the Book of Mormon everyday and praying everyday. A~ also had a crazy work schedule this week or else it didn't work out for us when it worked out for him. He is doing well and is continuing quiting smoking. A~ passed the sacrament yesterday and that was a miracle to see! He is doing so well. Yesterday we went and listened to hymns with his friend. He is trying to share the gospel with him. I love this opportunity to be in Ufa and work with such great people.

I~ is moving out of our area and that's sad but its okay because we'll still see each other at church. We are going to help him move this week to a different area. It's sounds as if the family reunion was a blast that's hilarious that Cohen is a country boy. That video sounds really interesting of the family. Make sure you keep a copy of it. I would love to see g-pa and g-ma's reception haha. What you said is so true, the gospel is the only way to true happiness and true love. Love is the key and only through the gospel can we have true love. The love that lasts for eternity! I am so thankful for the opportunity to live with my family for eternity and with my future wife and children. The Savior's love for us is perfect and that's how we should love. I really love Elder Holland's talk of true love and how he cuts down right to the basics of how we need to love. I have grown alot on my mission and one think that I am learning now is how to love more. I love the mish. It is sweet.

The J's are doing great and I love working with them. They also send there love and we often talk about you. They loved their visit with you and will be life long friends, that's for sure. Elder Z seems to be doing well. Make sure you pass on my love to my Ukrainian bro. His sister and nephew are in my prayers. Elder Smith (my old elder Smith) wrote me too and I was so happy. He is a stud and our two transfers together were great. Make sure you pass on my emails to him. Give him my love. Thank him for his example and tell him to keep the focus on the basics. I did get both of A's letters and they were great! Also K's letter was super as well. They both made my day because I don't hear from home a lot. So it was great to hear from some of my best friends who I love. Well I love you all so much. Keep it real.
From Russia with love,

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Sermon to the Bus:)

Wow, so Zone Leader Council was amazing!!! It always is such a boost spiritually and mentally. The R and J are amazing. I'm a little embarrassed about the aprons, haha but oh well we were glad to help and the scones turned out good believe it or not. haha. So this week was full of miracles! The couple I spoke of last week went out of town but we will meet with them this week. We called them and they are reading the Book of Mormon together and loving it. Also we had a meeting with our new convert about the priesthood Friday night and asked him if he would prepare to get the priesthood and serve in the church. He said of course I will serve in the church but I'm not ready for the priesthood. I'll need to finish the Book of Mormon, read the Doctrine and Covenants and Gospel Principles before I'm ready for that. We bore powerful testimony along with the J's that if he was ready and that if you are worthy for baptism that you are worthy for the priesthood. He still said no but agreed to pray about it and ask the Lord. We all prayed as well that he would get the confirmation from the Lord that he is ready. The next day we met with him and asked if he got his answer. I'm not going to lie, he surprised us with the answer "Yes, when I prayed only one phrase kept coming to me. I got the answer from the Lord that I said answer A but I need to say answer B. So even though I still feel inadequate for the priesthood, it's what the Lord wants and I will accept the Priesthood of God." I was in shock, which I shouldn't have been because I know that the Lord answers prayers but it's just not everyday that the people you work with are so humble and sincere that they receive and recognize the answer in less than 24 hours. Oh my goodness, he is amazing! He got the priesthood yesterday and also got a calling to be a second councilor in the Sunday school presidency. Which is just what President Hinckley said. "they need a friend, a calling and nourishment by the good word." All those things are happening with him. It's great to see the miracles going on here. I saved one of the biggest if not the biggest miracle of my mission for last.The Sermon to the Bus is what Elder S and I are calling this event. Thursday morning Elder S and I arrived back in Ufa from Zone Leader Council. Elder S was in the shower and Brother R called us and asked if we could open the church because he wasn't going to be there for a few more hours. I said yes and figured that we were just opening it for the members to come and do the cleaning because we live right next door. We often get called for that. So we show up to the church and there are people we don't know standing outside and also a bus full of people. I was confused and called Brother R and asked him what was going on. He said "oh sorry I thought you were in the know. There is a group from another city and they are here on a religious tour and want to know more about our church. Do you think that you could take them inside and give them a little presentation?" I said said yes, but then after I hung up the phone I felt very overwhelmed and also was a little sick from the cold I got on the train the night before. Also, I wished that we had known what was going to happen because it was such little notice and we would have liked to have a well planned out plan. So as we unlocked the door, I said a prayer in my heart and asked the Lord what we should talk about. I felt a very strong impression as my answer that we needed to talk about the thing that makes our religion so special. So Elder Smith and I went into the library and grabbed Restoration pamphlets and Books of Mormon as the busload of over 40 people filed into the sacrament hall. We walked in and they were all sitting there waiting to listen. First we felt impressed to talk to them about church services and talked to them about our meetings, about sacrament meeting why we do it and what we do, Sunday school, and then priesthood and relief society. After that we talked about how Christ is the center of our religion and talked about his life, service, miracles and power. We talked about how people rejected Christ and His apostles and that is why we have so many different churches on the earth today. Which was a really powerful part of the meeting because we were able to relate to them because they were people on a church tour looking at different religions. We then passed out the Restoration pamphlet and had an outpouring of the spirit as we talked and bore powerful testimony of a 14 year old Joseph Smith who also was searching for the truth among many churches. We talked about how he studied the Bible and read in James 1:5 and decided that he needed to ask our loving Heavenly Father which church was true. The audience seemed to be captivated as they listened attentively to the First Vision and what happened in that Sacred Grove when Joseph saw God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ. We talked about how through Joseph Smith, the same church of Christ was restored upon the earth in its fullness and that we have the power of God and a living prophet today. We then talked about how the Lord loves us all so much that he gave us evidence of this great event and opened up to the title page of the Book of Mormon. We testified of Christ appearing to the Americas after his Resurrection and encouraged them to take a copy and read and ponder the message in their hearts then to pray and ask God if it was true. We then had a very good question and answer session where the majority of the people had the pamphlet open to the page with the picture of the First Vision and the scripture along with it. After the questions and answers they all rushed up to the front to grab a Book of Mormon some taking two or more to share with friends and family. It was a great experience and tender mercy from the Lord. I have never felt so directed and guided by the Spirit as we had this amazing first lesson with over 40 people. We were guided in what to say and it all flowed so well. The Lord gave me strength. During the lesson my headache and cold, strange feeling, were lifted for the time of the meeting but returned after the multitude left. It was a miracle! God is a God of miracles. I know that this church is true and that Joseph Smith really did see God the Father and the Son even Jesus Christ. This is the true and living church on the earth today. I love my Savior and my God. I love the mission its great!So this week was amazing!!

Elder S is from Oregon small town called Baker City. He is a stud and we get along really well. You always ask about what I do as a zone leader. Well here it is kinda short I guess. We have alot of contact with the missionaries of our city and try to lift and inspire and help us all work effectively. Which isn't that hard when you have an amazing zone like us. We love all our missionaries and the work is going great. We have the best missionaries in this zone. We do splits with the Elders and also we have a zone class every week that we teach to the missionaries. We also help the J's in training the branch leadership and translate for them a lot. I translated a talk in church for Elder J yesterday and at branch presidency meeting yesterday as well. Just pretty much anything to do with leadership, we do. I have learned so much in this position. It's not that we are higher than anyone else because I believe that all the missionaries in my zone are better than me and I love learning from them. I have learned more about love and service in my time as a leader than I have the rest of my mission combined. It's amazing and I love it. Well I love you all Hope everything goes well. Pass my love to everyone!
The shirts fit great 15 1/2 is perfect! I got letters from Ariell and Katie :) Also I got a letter from a Sister K is all that it said. It said "thanks for you and your family and sharing your blog" but then most of the rest was just question marks because she typed in Russian and dearelder doesn't recognize the writing. But would you please tell sister K thanks for me, but that dear elders won't recognize Russian.:(


Friday, August 12, 2011

Letter from the Mission Mom in Ekat:)

Dear Parents,
We recently had Zone Leaders council at the Mission Home. In the short time we have been here it has become one of the highlights of the month for me. To be able to have these wonderful zone leaders together at our home for 2 days for instruction and training is a real treat.
I think they enjoy the time together as well , especially since our mission is so spread out.
These fine young men have been such examples to me. I love them dearly and appreciate their kindness and testimonies.
I have started a tradition that for breakfast on the second day we have scones, yogurt , fruit and juice. These fine young missionaries (Elder Smith , Elder Lunt, Elder Wadsworth and Elder Buxton) volunteered to help me cook the scones. I gave them all an apron to keep their nice white shirts and ties clean. As you can see they are adorable!
I just want you to know that I can tell you have raised your sons well. These young men are true leaders and we really do count on them! We love them and trust them! I am also attaching a picture of the entire zone and the senior couple Elder and Sister Jensen.
Thanks for sharing your sons with us!
Sister Rust

Monday, August 8, 2011


K only 16 mins and we had to cut internet short today because we have to catch a train to Ekat in a few hours. Then 16 hours on the Train. This week was another miracle week. We had a lot of business to do as zone leaders so we actually didn't get to do much proselyting which was a little frustrating but we love the work we do anyways! It's so great to be able not only to serve the members and investigators that we work with but also the missionaries. We have a great close relationship with them all and we love them so much. We all serve each other it's like a big family. So the confirmation was amazing! I felt the spirit so strong when I was confirming him and I know that he will be a great aspect to the work here in Ufa! He's alot like I~ my main man here. They are both just golden humble and teachable. So another HUGE miracle is a young couple showed up to church yesterday and are extremely interested. They said that they saw Elder Smith and I on the bus and were interested and saw us get off at the bus stop by the church and decided that they would come. So Saturday they showed up while we were doing service and asked when church services would be. Some people told them to come to sacrament meeting on Sunday and they came and are super prepared and excited to learn more as well. They are married and just moved into Ufa. We have a meeting with them on Thursday when we get back from zone leader council. We are so excited the Lord is blessing us with so many tender mercies. My new comp is amazing! He and I get along so well. We already knew each other because he was in our zone. He is a new missionary and it's great to work with him. I am learning a lot on how to be bold and follow the spirit from him. The J's are amazing huh?! Its so great to have them back and they loved you so much. I did receive my hug. The shirts look great on you all! Glad you got the stuff. How's the honey jar and the Russian doll? Hope you like it all. Everything you sent was great. All the kids look great. Al and Wes look like men now holy cow! Braydee looks like a woman and Mar and Jess look like they are growing up too. I kinda didn't recognize everyone at first crazy!!! I love you all! Sorry I am out of time but I love you lots!!!!!
Love Carson

Monday, August 1, 2011


Wow! Miracle week again! Our converts baptism was just a miracle!!! We had been meeting with him everyday in order to prepare him. He accepted everything immediately and the Jensen's played an important roll in his conversion. Saturday night he called us and had to cancel the meeting that we had with him that night. He said he had a temperature of 40 degrees Centigrade and he couldn't make it. I honestly didn't have any doubt in my mind that everything would be okay and I said okay we will pray for you. Elder Smith and I fasted for him and for his baptism to be a spiritual experience. Also we asked all the missionaries in our zone to pray for him that everything would be okay. The next morning he called and said that the fever was completely gone. It was such a testimony strengthener of prayer and fasting! We have seen so many miracles with him. He is such a humble man of much faith. Like the priesthood blessing we gave him and he had no desire to smoke after the blessing after smoking for 20 years. He is a great man and his baptism went sooo well! Lots of member support and it was so spiritual and great. Next week I will give him the Holy Ghost and I am honored to do so. :) Also we are working with a less active part member family and their son accepted a baptismal date for the 27th of August! He is a stud, he's 14 years old and acts a lot like Alex. They could be twins or something they act the same and talk the same. It's funny even kinda look alike skinny and ripped. They are a great family and are prepared to return to activity. They read the Book of Mormon everyday! They are so awesome. Also we have been seeing so many miracles throughout the city. The sisters new convert brought in a lady yesterday with him and she loved it and stayed for everything and will get baptized for sure. Elder Z and K found a man on the bus and he already has a baptismal date for the 27th as well. The Lord is preparing his children and he knows who is ready. Transfers did happen well they will happen on Wed. My new comp is Elder Smith. haha He is serving in my zone right now and is great. He is new and still learning the language so pray for me that I can do all the translation that needs to get done without getting tired. He is such a stud though and we get along great we have the same personality. Elder Z is going to Perm and training Elder B from Wasatch who we played ball against. He is excited but its sad to see him go. He passes on his love and tells you that he loves you all so much. The J's really want to meet you!!!! They should call you soon and they want to meet you so go and meet them I really want you to see how great they are! Wow I'm excited to hear how that goes. Give them my love and I also sent with them 6 shirts that I bought that are for you all. You, Dad, Guy, Nate, Jamie, Wrandi. They are a very popular shirt of Ufa and if you came here you would fit right in. I hope that they fit because we all know I'm not good at guessing sizes. (remember the shirt I bought you in Germany?) haha. I would love those things, if you could send them with the J's. It just depends on how much things they can bring back. I will give you their email just in case they don't contact you. But I think they will so wait for them until Friday. I love you so much. Keep me in your prayers.
PS It's really sad to hear about those we love making poor choices. Breaks my heart. I sure hope and pray for them. I know that prayer does work and that miracles do happen, as I shared with our convert. They are in my prayers and I know that everything will be okay and is in the Lords hands. WHY CAN"T PEOPLE JUST LIVE THE COMMANDMENTS!!! love you lots