Elder Buxton at the Kyiv Temple while on a visa trip

Monday, April 16, 2012

Privet Friends and Family,
Well I guess this is the last one.... It's really hard to know what to write about…. I have come to love this time that I have spent here in this part of the Lords vineyard. The field is white already to harvest! We are seeing miracles. V~~ from out of town is doing sooooo well! He will for sure be baptized in a week or two and it has been such a humbling experience to teach such a prepared person. He came to conference on Sunday, so we watched it in Russian with him. He really enjoyed it. We had a fantastic lesson with him this week and we taught him The Plan of Salvation. When we got to earth life, we explained the things that we have to do in this life in order to return to live with our Father in Heaven which is have faith in Jesus Christ, repent, be baptized, receive the gift of the Holy Ghost and endure to the end. He loved it! He said "Well, I already have faith in Jesus Christ and am trying to repent every day. I already agreed that I would be baptized and I don’t really know all that much about the Holy Ghost right now, but I'm guessing that you will teach me about it later. So yes I accept to do that too. The hardest thing will be enduring to the end but I commit that I will do my best." He is so golden! Also another really wonderful experience happened this weekend when we were sitting in conference with V~~~ in walked L~ and Y~, S~ mom and dad! I was in shock. They both remembered me. Elder P~ and I are going over there to meet with them tonight! I was so excited that they came. I don't think that Y~ has ever been to church before but he came and loved it. I will give you the update on that when I get home. :) They are such nice people. Conference was wonderful. I really loved Priesthood Session and all the talks that were given there. Elder Bednar's talk really was powerful. I loved it. President Eyring's talk on the sealing power really opened my eyes up as well and I love President Monson's talk as well. I really loved it all. It was such a great conference that I really don't know what to say was my favorite. I liked the talk about the church and gospel and the differences there and how they need to be united. I also really liked Henry B Eyring's talk on trials and how they are really blessings in our lives. I know that is so true. This has been the best two years for my life by far. I could not have gained this knowledge and love for the Lord anywhere else. I love Russia. It really is heart wrenching to come home and exciting at the same time. I have gained a love for this country and these people, fellow members, fellow missionaries, and even just friends on the streets. I love all of them with all my heart. Elder P~ and I were talking the other day about how it is such a happy satisfying feeling to walk up to a stranger on the street and tell them about Joseph Smith and how he restored the true church of Christ and then give them a Book of Mormon. It is an irreplaceable feeling of happiness. The Spirit is the key to the work. If it wasn't for Him testifying of truth then no one would believe the story that we just told them. I really love this gospel and my Savior Jesus Christ. Through Him all things are possible. I love you all soo much and am really excited to see you. Thank you for the support and prayers and love that you have given me over these two years. Time sure does fly. God's plan is perfect. There is no place in God's plan for offence, unkind words or thoughts towards another person. Let's keep our focus on the eternal perspective. This is the true restored church of Jesus Christ. This is His work.
Stay Golden!
Elder Buxton
P.S. I had such a huge spiritual experience this morning and learned the biggest lesson of my whole mission. I will share it with you personally later. It’s just hard to explain over email. My heart really is torn in 1000 ways right now. I love you sooo much and am really excited to see you but it’s tough not knowing when I will see these people I love so deeply again. Good thing we have online access though. I also have some good goals and plans to help me transition and stay on this path I’ve come to know and love. I love you sooo much!!

Hurrah for Israel.~~

Monday, April 9, 2012

April 9, 2012

Hey hey hey! This week was a week of kind of ups and downs but of course more ups as always. :) Our one investigator (who follows all the commandments) told us that he has no desire to be baptized in our church. Even though he knows that it's true. He won't pray about it either. :( The interesting thing is that he still wants to meet with us. We are going to meet with him this week and explain to him that if he is not going to act at least by praying that we don't think we can meet with him. Also ~~ is struggling. We don't know what it is but something is eating at him right now. He didn't come to church again this weekend for the 3rd weekend in a row. We were only able to meet once with him this last week. However, we do have a meeting with him coming up. It should be good. We hope that he will open up. Unfortunately, they don't have the 12 step program here. They have the booklets but no one teaches it besides us. I have done it before on my mission so maybe we will give it a try with him as well. I agree that it can work miracles if the person doing it is committed. Now for the great news!!! The other V~ that I wrote about 3 months ago that we met with once. He lives outside of the city. He read the whole Book of Mormon and it changed his life. Well, he came back into town and he is GOLDEN! When we met with him the first question Elder P~ asked was "What do you remember about Joseph Smith?" He then went on to tell us the whole story which proved that he really did do some studying on his own. He said that after he read the Book of Mormon, that it has made him want to make his life better and now he is following the commandments that he understood from it. He accepted a baptism date for the 21st of April and was excited about it. He said that he is probably moving to Ekat forever. This last weekend he went back home to see his parents and to grab some more of his things. He is returning today so we will be able to meet with him this week. For Easter we went to Kurgan a little city in our mission. Well, little as in around 400,000 people or so. It was a great experience. I had planned on giving almost the same talk that I have planned to give at home. That morning President Rust reminded me that it was Easter so I had to change my whole topic around again haha. So of course I talked about the Savior and his atoning sacrifice. It truly is humbling to think about all that he did for us. This spring season is so wonderful and symbolic of his Resurrection. Everything is coming out of darkness, blooming and it is just a happy scene. I love spring. It is a time of rebirth. I enjoy it because I can look at my life and realize the things that I need to get back into line and do better at. It is always possible to become better through the Savior. Well I love you all so much. This has been the experience of my life. I love my mission!! You are right mom this isn't the end, it is only the beginning. So my appointments go ahead and keep them. As soon as things are taken care of at home, I'll be moving to the SLC because I'm pretty much a city boy now days anyway.;) I can't remember the last time I lived in a city with less than a million people in it. haha. This last week we had Zone Leader Council and some of our email rules got changed so now I am only allowed to write each parent one letter and we aren't even allowed to write our siblings but we can write one friend who is on a mission. So tell my sisters that I want to write them but the rules changed and that I love them sooo much and to thank them for their love and support. I love you all. Thank you soo much my dear family and friends. I owe the world to you.
Elder Buxton
p.s. Can't wait for conference.

Oh yeah by the way you need to check out a few songs on a CD called "The Work" before I come home. I love them soo much they make me cry when I listen to them. One, I think is called "Bless my Son" track 7. It's about a mom praying for her son and I think of you each time. And the next one is track 14 maybe called "The Hardest Thing I Ever Loved To Do " it talks about the hardest things that a missionary has to do from the beginning of his mission to the end and it gives me flashbacks of my whole mission. The last verse is what brings me tears of course because it's where I'm at right now. I love you soooo much. please do
everything you can to find those songs and tell me about them next week. :) love you sooo much.

Monday, April 2, 2012

April 2, 2012

Life is Beautiful:)
So this week was another fantastic week. Elder P~ and I had the wonderful opportunity of going to zone conference again. It was just as much or more uplifting than the last. My favorite part is always at the end when all the missionaries get up and bear their testimonies. There was an outpouring of the Spirit and I received some very personal revelation through some of the testimonies that I heard. It really was an answer to my prayers. It also helped me realize that the Lord answers prayers through others and how my testimony really can be an answer to someone else's prayer. I need to testify even more and allow the Spirit to do the teaching and testify of truth. We have such a solid set of missionaries here. I love them all. One other cool thing was that V~ is serving on a short term mission right now. He stayed at our place when they came into town. It was really great. I got to know him a little better and we laughed and talked about how he tried really hard to keep N~ from getting baptized and now he is not only baptized himself but preparing to serve a full time mission. We also had the opportunity to go to C~ this Sunday and attend church. It was great to be able to see all my good friends that I have come to know and love and be able to say goodbye to them one last time. I really love my mission so much and I am getting really emotional as is it winding down to an end. I really am so thankful to the Lord for the things that I have learned here and the man that I have been able to become. I always want to keep this fire going and continue serving my Lord with just as much diligence in study, word and deed after the mission.

It sounds as if conference was amazing! I cant wait to watch it. We get to watch it my last week here in the country due to the fact that we are celebrating Easter throughout the world as a church this next weekend. I really can't wait. Oh by the way, some really cool news, Sister W~'s (a sister in our mission) dad got called to the first quorum of the 70! Really cool huh? Listen for his name on the Saturday session. Oh how I love conference. Such a great experience. It was only my second week on my mission that I had my first conference and now on my last week of my mission I will have the opportunity to watch it for the 5th time.

D~ is still doing pretty good. Unfortunately he will not be baptized on the 14th. He is such a great boy though and I am so grateful for the chance to work with him. He is so sincere and really has a desire to follow all the commandments. The members here have been such a great support and have been catching the fire of missionary work. One such member who is fellowshiping the investigator D~ is a member named D~. He is a great guy. He is actually a Korean but Russian is his native language. He recently got back from a mission to Korea though so he is a solid guy. He has been an angel to us and has even been calling D~ and setting up meetings at his house for us. Its been so great! (little side note: Elder Parson and I ate dog at his house last week! Interesting...)

V~ is doing really well. He is studying really diligently and is progressing well. Members have also been such a huge support to him and they all love him. The members have really been stepping it up. We invited V~to be baptized again and he declined. I believe that he will come around pretty soon if he continues his diligent studies and searching.

I'm so happy for Wrandi and Tyson getting settled in sounds as if things are going great. The Lord really does do everything for a reason. His plan is perfect. Cohen and Avery sound so cute! I am definitely going to live with them.

That's a huge bummer about M~. I will for sure keep him in my prayers and go over and visit him and help him out with the Russian. I'll be needing some help as well to remember it. V~ wrote me not too long ago and said that he went on a split with him and that M~ was a really good teacher. Tell him he is in my prayers.

The work is the greatest thing on earth! I love it so much. I have learned so much and am continuing to learn. There is no experience that I would trade for this. I love it soo much!
I love you all!
From Russia with love,
Elder Buxton

Some really sad news. All my pictures from my whole mission just got deleted some how. :( :( :( and I didn't have a back up. I feel terrible.

Oh well, I guess life goes on. Please pray hopefully I can figure something out. I love you so much. Just remember life is beautiful. Bad things happen but we can choose our attitude. I'm just a little sad right now because my whole mission's pictures are gone. But we'll see what happens. Love you:)