Elder Buxton at the Kyiv Temple while on a visa trip

Monday, September 26, 2011

Haha Elder Aiken and I got randomly asked a question in the park. It was weird. But Hilarious. He is really tall by the way.
New companions:)
Fixing lunch for Elder and Sister Jensen:)picture from Sister Jensen.
PRIVET!!!!
Right now I am on a spiritual high! Everything in life is just great. Elder A~ is a stud I wanted you all to meet him as well over Skype but we only had 10 mins and I wanted to be obedient. I really enjoyed the phone call and was so happy that Dad looked so happy. That was really important to me. Another tender mercy from the Lord. Cheri does seem very nice and I think that the girls will love her. I enjoyed her. And that really is sweet that she likes the Yanks now we can double team up on Dad. I really am so happy for him and they seemed happy together. Just keep them in your prayers. I have 100 percent trust in in the Lord that everything will work out in the end. I want to thank Jamie and Nate for the journal that they gave me. (speaking of which I need to write more in it.) I have read and re-read their testimonies and quotes in there. They really help out. The Lords plan is perfect and we need to learn to be content with the way he works even if we don't understand why things are happening the way they are. Just be patient. :) I need to listen to my own advice btw so it was good for me to write that. :)

Z~ is doing really well. Satan is working really hard on her but the spirit is bearing witness a little at a time. It's amazing to see the spirit work and work miracles. She has some pretty big concerns and doubts (just a little caught up in the mysteries) but the Spirit works and we have no doubt that the time will soon come for her to make the decision. We have had some really strong spiritual lessons with her lately and Elder A~ busted out the perfect baptismal commitment in perfect Russian. In the end she said she would be baptised when she finds out for herself that these things are true. A~ has been able to help us on meetings and bear powerful testimony as well. He is amazing and she will come around. She has received the witness but its a big change and maybe hard to take at first. She reminds me a lot of N~ and how it took awhile but the conversion was so powerful that she will never forget it. I have only seen N~ once since I served in C~ and that was when I served in E~ so that was awhile ago. However, I am sure as well that she will be a great Mini Missionary and then a great Missionary! Wow, fruits of the gospel. I love it. Someone who I was able to work with will now go on a mission and help others do the same! So cool.

I love the J~'s. They are great and have always been there for me. I respect them so much and they will be life long friends for sure. We already have a dinner appointment when they get back. ;) Also a wood floor project for Dad and I. haha. They are great and really take care of us just like parents would. I love them. I'm gonna miss them if I ever leave Ufa. But I think hopefully I'll be here awhile longer. :) I love Ufa. Make sure to give Elder Z my love. That's hilarious that Sister M said that about our handwriting haha. We are too much alike. Keep me updated on what the missionaries tell you I enjoy it. I love you lots. Make sure to pass my love on to all!
From Russia with love,
Carson

Monday, September 19, 2011

Privet!!!

So life is so great right now! Elder A~ is a straight up stud! His Russian is amazing. Already he speaks as if he's already been out for 6 months or better. He is from SLC, he's also 6' 4" and he's great!! I love him. We get along super well so it's great. The Lord blessed me with a great trainee. His plan is perfect. We had great training from President Rust last week at his home. Then we took the 16 hour train ride back to Ufa. It was great. I actually really enjoy the train. It's really pretty scenery along the way. We had some immediate success when we arrived back to Ufa on Saturday. We met with one of our contacts and read the last chapter in the Book of Mormon together and talked about how God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. We were able to teach to exactly what she needed to hear and there was an outpouring of the spirit. After the meeting we were talking with each other and both had the thought that we needed to share with her "Safety for the Soul" by Jeffrey R Holland, where he talks about the Book of Mormon. We had A~ help us on the meeting and we all bore powerful testimony of the Book of Mormon. Then in the end she also said that she knows that it's true now! It was amazing. Next meeting we are going to give her a baptism date. It's been great to see the spirit work on her a little at a time. The Jensen's are so amazing. Yesterday, Sister Jensen shared with her how she has seen her change and her testimony grow a little at a time. They bore powerful testimony and our contact said that she believes the church is true and can tell it by the great people that are in this church and the sincerity of us all. Her and A~ are becoming great friends ;)They are both amazing people. This week we have great plans coming up to meet with her often. Also to continue to go wild and talk with everybody we can along the way in order to find those the Lord has prepared for us. The Lord is preparing the hearts of the children of men. Tonight we are going to have an FHE testimony/favorite scripture share meeting. Elder A and I are going to challenge the great members to share their testimony with their friends and family and share their joy that it has brought them. Also, we are praying for in the behalf of "those who know not God." We have been seeing so many miracles. This really is the Lords work.
Being a Zone Leader and a Trainer at the same time is actually quite enjoyable. I have a great zone and a great companion who support me and help me out as well. The Lord really is just blessing me I couldn't ask for a better situation. I will say I was a little nervous but I also knew that the Lord would qualify me for it, if that's what I needed to do. He just blessed me with a stud companion and a great zone. The J's are always around as well for support so that's great. I love everything that's going on my life right now.
I am sleeping fine. The beds aren't the greatest but we are going to get new mattress's soon for the both of us. The apartment is fine for a missionary apartment. The Jensen's say to tell you hi and that they love you. They are so great.
I haven't gotten any mail lately so maybe the ship is about to come in. :) haha Wow the kids look so big in all those pics. They all look like they've grown up a little bit. Crazy how big they are. Give them all my love. Thanks!
From Russia with Love!
Elder Buxton
PS
Tell Tyson thanks for the email and that I'm glad that he is busy with classes and life. I am also happy to hear that life stays busy after the mish haha. I think that I'd go crazy if I wasn't running around all the time. The mission is great and I love it. I would like to hit the slow down button as well because it is flying by to fast. I think it's because it's the best time of my life. I don't want it to end.

Tell Candy Cane that her letter was very touching and that I love her so much. Thanks candy cane. :)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Privet!!!!!!
WOW, this week was amazing to say the least! President Bennett came and did a mission tour. First, we were able to meet him at Zone Leader Council and it was amazing! He is a servant of the Lord no doubt! He is the 2nd councilor in the Area Presidency. Then he came to Ufa and that was the most amazing zone conference of my life. It was a straight up call to repentance. He told us how amazing we are doing but as well how we can become better. He talked about Russia being the new Brazil and how it's the Lord's will to have millions of baptisms here. We need to have more faith and open our mouths on the streets and work with the members. It seems so simple and I kind of feel dumb for writing that. That's what he said to us but we really could be doing so much better. He talked about casting out all fear. Wow, it was just great. I wish I had more time to go into detail about it but I'm short on time. Wow, it was great. We need to get this idea out of our heads that baptisms are near impossible because we are just putting the cap on ourselves. The Lord can do anything! It was kind of funny but he said the Lord could have tulips do the same work that we are doing right now. That we had so much more that we need to do. It was very humbling but great at the same time. I realized that I can do so much better than I am. Really it's all about just giving our all. The only thing that I need to implement is cast out the fear of being rejected and go wild and talk with everyone that the Lord puts in my path. I mean I did okay earlier, I opened my mouth but I can talk to everyone and not just a few. We did it immediately and it makes the work a lot more fun and the fear goes away when we do it more often. Our mission is doing great! They really are proud of us and I love it. It was great. President Rust is so great and loving I feel of his love so much. They both testified of the love of the prophet for us and the love of the Lord for us. Like I said, I don't have much more time. I wish I could have told you everything but time won't allow. Transfers happened and Elder Smith will be leaving me :( I will be training as a Zone Leader and will be a lone zone leader :0 Kind of intense so wish me luck. I am going on the train to Ekat to get my new comp Elder A~ from SLC. I'm so excited. But wish me luck and pray for me.

That shirt for elder Z~ would be great. Oh he's so great. I love him. Even if he does out do me and send stuff home! haha. I do need more contacts, that would be good! Thank you for the permish to get souvies, I've been hesitant. I love you. You are great. I love the Work its so good. Like you said I am learning stuff here that I couldn't have learned anywhere else. Elder Smith and I were talking and we think that it would take 20 years to learn what we are learning in 2 years had we not served the Lord. What's even better is the people we are teaching are learning the truth and it changes their lives so they can receive salvation. It's everything to them and if they don't know that, I do. So I will wear our my life teaching them the gospel, giving the chance to those who are searching for the truth but know not where to find it. I love it. Oh yeah and N~ is serving for a transfer in our mission on a mini mission!!! Wow, she's amazing its great to see the change the gospel made in her life.
Much love,
Cars

Saturday, September 3, 2011

9/3/11

Privet!!!

This week was just filled with tender mercies from the Lord. I'm glad that the Horrocks received my letter. I love them all so much. The Lord did give me a lot of comfort right away though. My companion Elder Smith was a big support and is a straight up stud. Also right after E-mail we went over to the J's to take them to the store and they gave me a lot of comfort that was much needed. The Lord's plan is perfect I know that he puts us with who we need to be when we need to be with them. I am thankful for the people surrounding me here in Ufa. Family Home Evening was just amazing! The members had such a light to them and loved the temple they shared great spiritual experiences and how they loved that everyone there in the temple was the same. It's so unlike the world everyone there had the same beliefs same values, and all had the right goal in life. Which is eternal life with our eternal families with our Eternal Father in Heaven. They talked about how it felt as though they knew everybody there like brothers and sisters even though they had just met them. Wow it was a powerful FHE and made me really appreciate the temple and the opportunity to be able to attend it on my mission. These members were on a two day train to Moscow then on an over nighter to Kyiv and enjoyed the blessings of the temple for 10 days! They talked about feelings after leaving of being super sad and then they understood why. It was because their spirit felt like it was home and didn't want to leave. It's amazing to see the sacrifice of these members to travel so far and give up a lot to make it to the temple and serve their God. They are great examples to me of how much we really need to love the temple and value it and use it as much as possible. The saints in Russia are great! And yes, I was able to attend a wonderful session in Helsinki and it was great I love being in the temple.
So for the last visa trip story. We got permission from President Rust to go to red square because we had a 7 hour lay over in Moscow. So we went and it was great and we got back later but not late in order to make our flight. So we show up to the airport and they have our flight listed on the check-in counters but nobody there to take our passports. So we go to the kiosk self serve and my ticket is not there. However Elder Fraser and Olsen's are which was weird. So we fiddled around with that for awhile and tried all we could but then we look up and the register counter doesn't show our flight at all anymore. So we went up to the counter that said all international flights for Aeroflot and the lady just said go to the other desks for Finair,(even though they work together) we said no one was there. Then we went to the service desk and they said go talk to Aeroflot and then we did that. And they said go talk to Finair, so we went back and they just said your people are always late we aren't going to help you. So yeah.... we missed our flight. Which means we can't make our returning flights later that night. Also the temple hotel was full and the hotel around the temple. So we stayed in the center of Helsinki which is really beautiful btw. Then we went to the temple the next day and did a session, ate lunch, then got on our planes back. While all this is happening Elder Smith was the only Elder in Ekat. He had a mini missionary for a day. All the youth and the Jensen's are going to Ekat for youth conference and there is nobody for Elder Smith to stay with. So he was lucky enough to get on the bus to Ekat with the youth going for youth conference. Then I flew into Ekat and then we took the 16 hour train ride back to Ufa. haha crazy right?!
So Monday is going to be zone leader council which means we are going to Ekat again!! I really do love the scenic train ride and President Bennett is going to be there! He is the second councilor in our area presidency. Then he is doing a mission tour and coming to Ufa on Saturday and we will be having zone conference with him there. So we are both getting so blessed this week with opportunities to be around general authorities. Wow, its going to be great! I'm excited.
So our investigators are doing sooo good. One accepted a commitment to come to church for a month straight and read the Book of Mormon everyday for a month straight in order to receive her answer!!! I know the Lord will bless her if she comes through. It was a thought of a commitment that came to Elder Smith and I in our weekly planning and I think it was just what she needed. Planning is so important and if you do it right which means by the spirit then you really do see the results. Also, we found a great young kid! He is 22 years old just got back from the army and built rocketship engines so he is really smart and such a stud. He is reading the Book of Mormon and meets with us often. We even just ran into him on the street a few hours ago. And he ran up and recognized us, even though we were in normal clothes because we had just gotten back from doing service which was great as well. He should also come to church tomorrow. :) The Lord is just blessing us so much. A~ truly is elect and he is doing so great. It's people like him that we are searching for, the elect. Future leaders of the church!

I did get a few things for winter. A great member in Ekat is making an overcoat for me so I'm excited to get that soon. It got really cold for a while here but now it is back to the 80's for now. Then soon it will get really cold again. I haven't bought a cool hat yet but I want to. I'm just scared to spend money. I would like to buy you all stuff too for souvenirs because who knows if I'll be able to come back someday. I would like stuff to remember the mish by. So is it okay since time is winding down that I get a few souvies. Those hats are actually kinda expensive because they are actually nice haha. So let me know your thoughts on that. Since time is winding down
:( :) idk what to think!

Glad to hear that all the friends are doing great! Tell Dave he's a stud and that I love him. I would love it if you got those addresses for me :) I will get the letters written soon. One is already written even. I send my love to Elder Z as well I'm glad that he can write you. haha Also I think he really would like an Andrea Kerilenko shirt like the one I had when I came on my mission. He really likes it but I gave it to a dear friend in Chelyabinsk. Oh yeah and elder Z's name is V~ in case you didn't know which is a short term for V~. Well, I love you lots. The Lord is looking out for me don't worry. It will be a great week. Can't wait to tell you all about it.
Much Love,
Carson