Elder Buxton at the Kyiv Temple while on a visa trip

Monday, October 31, 2011


This week was a great week as always. One of our investigators is doing alright still progressing but the anti literature that she had been reading, she just cant get out of her head. She is great and we love her a lot but its frustrating because the stuff she brings up isn't even true. So it's kind of frustrating but she'll come around she knows the Book of Mormon is true. Thanks for reminding me about that story in the Liahona. I'll def check that out again. She's great and she'll come around. Yesterday we had 3 investigators at church and that was great! One is A~ an African that is such stud. I knew a little bit about him from last year. He had moved back to Nigeria but just moved back to Ufa again and got his life back in order. He said he wanted to come to church. He gave us his new number and address and we will meet with him this week. It will be a great opportunity to teach in English for us all. Also this great man named A~ who comes to English club I cant remember if I told you about him last week but his sisters sister in law touched a power cable and 75 percent of her body is burned. She had 5 kids so he was really worried about her and called up the Jensen's. He asked if he could come over and talk to us. He told us the story and told us that when it happened the first thought that came to his head was us and the power of our prayers. Well all the missionaries fasted for her this week and the Jensen's invited him to fast with us and come to church and he did. He is such a great man so Christlike. He helped us shovel the snow when he came to church and is always looking to serve. Also a young couple that I wrote about awhile back (that had seen Elder A~ Smith and I on the bus and saw the light in our lives. They had the desire to come to the church when they saw the bus stop that we got off on.) Well, anyways the husband came to church yesterday for priesthood and told us that he had been really busy but he wants to meet and come to church. He is having a lot of problems at work that I wont go into detail about. They are really promising. She is also going to have a child in 3 weeks or so. So we have a lot of good things going on here and a lot of potential stuff as well. :) The Lord is blessing us so much.

Big congrats to Jamo!! Bolivia, that's awesome. Give him all my love and support. So what is he going to speak? Also I became an uncle again that's the best news in the world. Life can't get much better. I would like pictures of my little hazel nut though ;) Tell Sierra and Ryan congrats. Give all their cute little girls my love as well. Also I got news that Elder Aiken and I will be together in Ufa again :) I have served 9 months of my mission in this city and love it so much and the wonderful saints that are here as well. Definitely is my second home and I love it so much. Such a pretty city full of great people. That's kind of a bummer about V~, but I'm glad that he is getting close to baptism. That will be such a support to that family and will help N~ out so much as well. Angels are preparing the hearts of the children of men. :) The mission is the best. I love it.

That's a little bummer about Gpa and Gma. I was so excited but I know that everything happens for a reason. That's our motto with Elder Aiken and I because we have seen soo many things happen that for sure just didn't happen for no reason. We know that God's plan is perfect and that he knows what's best for us always. Wherever you serve Grams and Gramps will be the place that the Lord needs you. I have such a strong testimony of that. The Lord knows what he is doing. That's what I am learning and striving to learn more on my mission. To have 100 percent trust in the Lord and be still and know that his plan is perfect. Of course that would have been fun to see them here though. :) Thanks for the desire to serve. We need more Sr couples.
Thanks so much. I love each and everyone of you people back home. Stay close to the Lord. :)
Elder Buxton

Monday, October 24, 2011

This week was a great week full of miracles as always. Elder Aiken and I have seen lots of miracles lately from speaking with everyone. There was a young couple that either us or someone else had talked to on the street awhile back, because they called us and asked about English club and then came. After English club they stayed for the spiritual thought and liked it and wanted to come to church on Sunday! Unfortunately they didn't come but they are very promising because they called us and told us that they weren't going to be able to make it that Sunday but wanted to come the next. We are hoping and praying for them. We have a ton of potential new investigators that are way promising right now and are seeing many miracles. Also a less active that we have been able to build a great relationship with returned to church yesterday and is planning on coming again. He is great. It was great to see the support of the branch and they even gave him some responsibility to help prepare the sacrament next week and he was excited about that. We had some of the best meetings with Z~ this week. She is really progressing and I think that her baptism is getting closer and closer with each meeting. Last night we read 2 Nephi 28 and talked about the great apostasy and the churches of men. She understood really well. Elder Aiken never ceases to amaze me. He is a new missionary and his Russian is amazing but that's not what amazes me. He asks great questions and he really got her thinking last night it was great to see. She shared with us her experience of how she hated the Book of Mormon at first and how she tried to leave it at the church but in that same day the sisters brought her a new one. And other situations with trying to reject it but, it just keeps coming back. She talked about how it has added a lot of pieces to puzzle and that she knows that it is true. She talked about how now she has a strong desire to read it and loves to read it. We testified of that desire coming from God and asked her what she thinks the Lord is trying to say to her. Her answer was perfect when she said that he wants her to know that it's true. It was great! I am so thankful to the Lord for blessing us with the Holy Ghost on the lesson. The Jensen's also always help us and have played a big role in her conversion. I know the baptism will be coming around soon. :) Wow that is the best news that I have ever heard about V~ (N~ brother)!!!!!!!!!! When I was there Elder Zhdanov and I wrote our testimonies in the Book of Mormon for N~ to give to him because he was still scared of his father and didn't want to meet with us. Anyways I heard that his Dad found it and ripped it up and threw it away. :( But that is great to hear that N~ is being an example to her family. I know that their dad's heart will soften and that through their great examples that he will to one day hopefully join the church. :) That was great news thank you so much for sharing that with me. I told Elder Zhdanov about that and I'm sure he will be so excited as well. :) Wow so many miracles going on in the mission right now. :) :) :)

Sounds as if you had a great week this last one. I really did appreciate what you and Jamie shared with me. Its always great to hear spiritual experiences and share them with one another. That's how we become closer. Interesting that one topic was the same. Here we had a lesson on missionary work and it was such a great lesson. A~ gave it. He is a recently returned missionary and he talked about how sometimes we as members think that we have told everyone about the church. He talked about how maybe they know everything about the church but that they don't know the church if they don't accept it. He also talked about how the church is just a place. He said we don't convert people to the church but that we convert them to Christ. Because Christ is the reason that we are all here and the reason that we have the church. It was such a great lesson I really enjoyed it. I feel like I didn't do a great job telling you about it but I really enjoyed it.

haha that's funny that sister Jensen sent you pics. She is amazing. I'll tell you what, Sr couples are such a great aspect to the work. I hope and pray that Gma and G pa's health will be good enough to come serve in the office. The office doesn't really require that great of health their apartment is really close and they are at the office a lot. So I hope it works out. That would be cool. :) I didn't get my package yet but no worries. Maybe a frisbee would be cool in a package for sport activities. That's popular and really hard to find here but whatever you want to send will be great! Thanks, I love you all lots. Thanks for your support, love and council. I love you all
Elder Buxton

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Pics :)

Elder Buxton with his companion Elder A At the ballet with the wonderful senior couple. They love them very much!
p day footballPday footballThey surprised the Jensen's while they were out and put together a bookcase for them. While there, they hi-jacked the Jensen's camera and took a picture. Surprise:) Preparing lunch for zone conference.It was very chilly, only 35 degrees.Elder Smith, Buxton, and Zhdanov

Monday, October 17, 2011

Privet Privet Privet!!!!
So this week was super busy but really great as well. We started off by heading up to Ekat on a train ride on Monday. We had zone leader council Tuesday and then training for trainers and trainees on Wednesday. Then we hopped back on the train and arrived in Ufa, Thursday haha. So we just had a little time in our area but it was miraculous of course. When we arrived Thursday, S~ called us and had a man that she wanted us to meet with. Referrals are always the best. It went really well and it was great to hear her testimony on the meeting. His name is K~. He said that he is just a little skeptical toward religion but it was great to hear S~ tell her story about how she didn't want to go to the church at all but she decided that she would support her brother and go watch his baptism and then not support his choice at all after that and never go to the church again. She then talked about how when she went there she felt a special spirit and the missionaries asked to meet with her and she was still a little skeptical and decided that she would let them come over once and then tell them that she wasn't interested at all and stop meeting with them. Well, the rest is history. She was baptized 3 weeks later (I was actually here in Ufa last year when it happened) and now she has been to the temple! It was such a great experience to see her excitement as she testified to him and he took a Book of Mormon and is going to read it. Z~ is doing really well and we are working really hard with her. It's a little frustrating because she knows that the Book of Mormon is true and will even say that but is just having a hard time realizing that if the Book of Mormon is true that means the WHOLE THING is true! ahh its frustrating but with time she will come along. She is a great woman and she will be elect when she makes the decision. The co worker didn't come to church but is still really promising he is super nice and we call him from time to time. We have been having success finding lately and the Lord is blessing us so much. I think that it's because Elder Aiken and I are such great friends and because of that we are able to teach in unity and be happy all the time. That really is the key. If you and your comp are best friends then the work just takes off. It's been great. Also we went to the Swan Princess ballet this week so life couldn't be better haha. It was really good actually! I quite enjoyed it.
I am so happy that Cohen and Avery have good parents and I love them so much. Such cute kids. I can't wait to chill with them and what not. No letters have arrived as of late :( and have also not received the package yet. I will be thinking on what the Christmas package should consist of and send some requests. :) I love you lots! I will ask elder Zhdanov what he ment because Russia def has sugar haha. Thats silly. We are allowed to email other missionaries now though so thats really cool! :) Ill find out and let you know. Much love
Elder Buxton

ps Hahahaha So here is what elder zhdanov said about sugar haha

Sugar.... I thought it was a joke, she asked me about sugar and I thought it is funny that she thinks that we don`t have a sugar here)) Sorry!
You know that I love you!!

LOL oh my gosh he is hillarious. I love you lots.

P.s Jessi's letter to me was great! and also ilovemymommylife!!!!!! hahahaha oh my gosh I love Candy Cane. I love her stories. Guess what we need an office couple here and if grandma and grandpa are interested they could come serve here and be here in January. :) That would be really cool. President Rust took their info and is going to call them. Let me know if they are interested that would be really cool. And they can be expecting a call from president.

Dear Mom in Utah:)

Hi, how are you doing? Are you returned home already or you`re still helping with kids?
I had an amazing week. I know that it wasn`t a long time away when I wrote last time. But we really had a miracle.
Last week we met with D~, if you remember he is our miracle a few weeks ago, but he had a concern about going to our branch, and we didn`t know what we can do for him that he would find a desire to go with us. And last week we met with him, and we helped him to feel our love, and we helped him to feel that he can change lives of other people, by his service. And that why God wants him to live in the boundaries of our branch. Because He has something great for him. And he said that he will try. So he came on Sunday and stayed for all three hours. It was an amazing experience for him, I saw how members helped him to feel welcome at our branch. And I`m pretty sure that he felt good there, `cause I saw his excitement about everything.
And next step for him it is baptism, and we are going to help him with that on next week. He has a very strong desire to be baptized.
So we will have a baptism next Saturday. It is Great!!
It`s just increased my testimony. I know that if we don`t understand something, if we just will give a chance, and will try it. We will see all results and all good fruit the Gospel will bring in our lives. It is so simple, if we want to know what is salt taste like, we have to try it. It is the sane principle with the Gospel.

And by the way, about the sugar. I thought you are joking so I decide to take a part in this joke, It is not true we have a sugar here in Russia. Actually we have plenty of sugar here:)
So don`t worry about that:)

Thanks for everything you do for me, you do really a lot. And I appreciate all you do.
Say thanks to Jamie from me, and that it is good that Cohen likes that book, I thought that this book is funny. I got their e mail and it was a really nice surprise. Tell her that I didn`t read that story, but probably I will read it after I go home. Because I don`t want to be ashamed:) It is my culture, and I don`t know it.

Thank you!!
I love you all,
You`re really nice people,
Say Hi to every one.
Elder Zhdanov.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Wow, this was a great week I really did feel bad when I forgot to tell Jamie happy b-day and I even told Elder Aiken to remind me but he is just as forgetful as I am so that didn't help at all. haha. I do appreciate the Jensen's and their help. Her step dad died yesterday and she was feeling really down and broke down in between conference sessions. So Elder Aiken and I took dinner over to them and ate together. They were extremely grateful. It was nice to be able to help them out because of the times that they have helped me out. I really did love conference soo much! We watched it at the church in a class room. Some African investigators of the other elders watched a few sessions with us. They do split it into two days, just the same way it is at home. It was full of the spirit. I really enjoyed Elder Hales talk. It was good to hear him again. It was just like straight testimony and so powerful. I also really enjoyed Uchtdorf's talk as always. Wow they are all so good. Sister Dalton's was amazing! Wow I got a lot of revelation during that talk and it is so correct. The family is so important and it all starts with how the father leads the family. A fathers example is so important. Honestly, I cant wait to love my wife and my future children so much and have them all be my best friends. I have gained such a love for family here on the mission. I really enjoyed that talk. Priesthood session was the bomb diggity. Elder Hollands talk was so powerful and straight forward. He is so right. Also Elder Bennett was just here in Ufa at our zone conference, so that was really cool to see him there because I just hugged him a few weeks ago. :) haha
So the work here in Ufa is going so well. This week was a busy and pretty crazy one but it was full of tender mercies from the Lord as well. Elder Aiken and I are still trying to talk with everyone and the Lord is blessing us because of our efforts. Z~ is doing really well and we have had some of the most spiritual lessons with her this last week. We were a little disappointed that she didn't come to conference yesterday because she promised to come. However, when we called to check up and follow up with her we found out that she was just sick. She had started reading Helaman in the morning and liked it so much that she read the whole book! It was great news. She is progressing quickly. She is a great sister and is preparing for baptism. Also, yesterday a member brought her co-worker to conference and he wanted a blessing on his health. When we explained to him what it was and about the priesthood power he was really interested and we asked him if he believed that it would work. He then answered that he wouldn't have come if he didn't believe it. He is a very believing man and loves to travel. He just got back from a trip to Jerusalem a few weeks ago and loves Jesus Christ. He has a family of six kids so that would be an amazing family to teach! He is going to come to the baptism on Saturday and he enjoyed conference. The Lord really is blessing us. We are really excited to work with him. :) Also there will be a baptism here in Ufa on Saturday. I did the baptism interview with her yesterday and it was so great. Such a humble lady. The work is moving forward here. Angels are preparing the hearts of the children of men!
It does break my heart to hear about people making bad choices because I know how much happiness the gospel can and will bring if we just accept it and live by it. I promise I am still focused I won't let anything bring me down right now I know that's satan's plan and it's not going to work. As said in conference we know the outcome of the battle that satan will lose and that God and Jesus and the saints will triumph over the adversary. I know that this church is true and that by living the gospel is the only true way to happiness. I love you all!!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Whats up?

This week was another great one of course. Elder Aiken and I have been going wild and trying to talk to literally everybody. We unfortunately didn't find any new investigators this week but we did see other blessings from our efforts. For example two of our new investigators came to church yesterday a mother and her daughter R~ and K~ and that was a great miracle. Also yesterday we got two referrals in one day. That was great referrals always make a missionaries day :) So if you want to make a missionary happy, give a referral, and I promise you that you will be happy too. :) Our investigator is doing well. We had one of the most spiritual lessons with her this past week. It was an awesome meeting and we found out that she had stopped reading and praying a few days earlier because of some hard times going on in her life and not being able to think of anything but those problems. It was a kind of hostile environment as we sat and listened. Then we asked if we could pray and then we read Mosiah 3 and talked about the atonement of Christ and how thankful we are to have that knowledge that gives us hope in this world. We testified of the Book of Mormon and how it testifies of Christ and how the Book of Mormon and the Bible support each other. The spirit of the meeting took a 180 turn after the prayer and reading in the Book of Mormon. Then we talked about how when we read the scriptures and pray that we can take a rest from the world and think about spiritual things and promised her blessings of the scriptures. It was great and she took the challenge to continue to read and pray through the hard times. We have another meeting with her tonight with the Jensen's so hopefully that goes well. :) We have been blessed in the work. We also have a lot of potential things going on right now. I know that our area is about to bust open.
I am glad that general conference was great as usual. I really can't wait to watch it! It will be this weekend so we are all really excited about it. I'm also way excited about that temple fund because that will mean soo much to the saints here in Russia. They sacrifice so much and its so humbling and I am glad that they will be able to have a better opportunity to attend the temple. :) I have gained such a great testimony of the temple while out here on my mission and a lot of that is thanks to the Russian saints who are such a great example in wanting to go to the temple so much.
Haha I did notice that Big Al rocked the jersey. That's my boy! I'll have to get him a letter soon. I hope I'll have time to email him today. haha so the question was pretty random we were looking at a famous statue of a man on a horse in Ufa. (its on the honey jar i sent you) and they asked if we thought it was a good idea to make a statue of a teacher. We said yeah that sounds great haha. It was pretty random I don't think it was professional at all. Elder A went to Brighton high. He played ball but broke his knee when we was a Jr and couldn't play again after that. I think that I have everything that I need. Just contacts is all I can think of they are out now. I'm on my last pair. Everything is going well. Jamo wrote me this week and it made my day. Tell him I'm proud of him and happy that he is workin on the papers. I'll try to hit him up with a letter too. Much love to all the friends and Fam!