Elder Buxton at the Kyiv Temple while on a visa trip

Monday, December 26, 2011

December 26, 2011

Wow, what a great Christmas this one was. The week started off great and Elder Parson and I decided that we needed to do a Dan Jones. (for those of you who don't know what that is, it's when we stand up in the front of the bus and talk & share testimony to the whole bus) It was quite the experience. We didn't see any immediate investigator results from it, but who knows? It might happen. But what it did do is cast out the fear factor. After talking to a whole bus about the plan of salvation, it's a lot easier to chat with one person on the street. Also this week was the most powerful zone conference I have ever had! It was all about the true meaning of Christmas and how we can continue to keep Christ in our lives. Sister Rust shared 10 things that we can do to keep Christ in Christmas and that is what prompted the bus singing I told you about. The Office Elders and us decided that it would be a good idea to sing to the bus and try to warm some hearts rather than just preach to the bus so we tried it out. Christmas-eve morning we practiced singing together. Then we went to the Christmas program at the church and on the way we started singing. It was a great experience and the people really enjoyed it. So many people were smiling and just happy. A lot of them expressed gratitude and we were able to hand them all invitations as they left the bus. It was a great experience and we are planning on doing it again today. Also at zone class our gift for Christmas was that we got to watch 17 Miracles. Wow, that is such an amazing movie and it brought the spirit so strongly. It brought me to tears to see the struggles that the Saints went through to get to Utah. It really brought the spirit in for testimonies and a spirit of love and peace was felt by all who were in attendance. It was a feeling that I will never forget. I made sure to write all my feelings down in my journal and realized that I need to do more of that as well.

It was so great to call you yesterday! haha I realized I told you the wrong time when I heard Jamie or Wrandi in the back round say "I thought he said he was calling tomorrow." in a panicked voice. Because it really was tomorrow for me I was just about to go to bed when I called and told you what time. So in my head it all made sense that I would call tomorrow. So I went to bed got up and called you guys. It was a great phone call and I was so happy to see you all there. Cohen and Avery were probably my favorite though I'm not going to lie. I loved it when Cohen would get that mischievous look on his face and then pull the camera down. haha Avery is just a little angel. She is such a happy girl I was glad to see her a little more this time because last time she was really small and I didn't see much of her. Those two have already grown so much. I wonder if Cohen even thinks I'm a real person or even realizes that I will be home someday. I also wanted to thank you so much for the gifts that you sent. Jamie's present was really maybe the best gift I have ever received. It brought tears to my eyes to read the testimonies of my loved ones. I felt of your love in each and every letter. Thank you so much to all those who wrote. I love you soooo much.

The trip to Chelyabinsk was great! We were really busy. We really just showed up to church that morning, went to sacrament meeting and then translated interviews for President the other two hours of church and then left. It was great to see all the people that I know and love there. Nastia is going on a mission and her papers are being sent in this week! That is just so humbling and great to see her go on a mission. This Saturday will be her year mark and she already has her mission papers in! Wow, its so great. She will be a great missionary. I also got to meet her brother Vitally finally. He is a great kid and that will be great to see him go on a mission as well.

So this week I will write on Saturday here around 2:20 p.m our time. So I will let you do your own math this time because we saw what happens when I try haha. So just let everyone know to write me before that time. It's because we are having in days that weekend. Russia also pretty much shuts down for 2 weeks for the new years and no places will be open to do Internet. I love you all so much. I hope you had a Merry Christmas.
Tell Ina and Paul thank you soo much. There are so many angels in the world that love me. Pass my love on to them. Thank you!

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