* Note from mom: Elder Bushman is leaving the CTM today, and I don’t know if he will be able to write at all or very much this week so I am posting some excerpts from letters he has sent home through regular mail. Also, his birthday is coming up and I would love him to receive some birthday messages from all of you. Since he only has 30 minutes on the computer each week I don't want to flood his in-box with birthday wishes. Instead I would appreciate you sending me a note for him and I will include it in his birthday package. Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org before the end of May. If you prefer to send him a letter directly to the mission home (the address is at the top of the blog) that is fine too. Postage is $1.05 with the amount printed on the stamp - forever stamps are not valid internationally. Thank you - I know he appreciates all of your positive thoughts and prayers for him, and I do as well.
I wanted to outline the talk I mentioned in my email. I didn’t get a chance to write all I wanted because of the 30 minute time limit. Here’s an outline of his insights:
1. God doesn’t hear the wishes of your mouth, but the wishes of your heart.
2. Everything has a purpose, so what’s your purpose in this time? Don’t skip this phase. Live every phase of life and don’t skip any. They are all important. There will be time for other things in the future.
3. You have 2 years to be a missionary, but regardless of the work that happens, if you are changed at the end, it is all worth it. – Elder Holland
4. A good objective is as the rod of iron: You know where you are and where you’re going.
5. Efficiency is the ability to do things well, effectiveness is the ability to finish what we start. We must be both efficient and effective.
6. The three reasons we go on missions:
To help change the lives of God’s children.
To establish the kingdom of God.
Most importantly – to change our own lives. One soul becomes millions.
7. You have 2 years to do and an eternity to remember.
I hope that was as meaningful for you as it was for me. I love you and miss you.
Elder Tyler Andrew Bushman
I have truly come to love and appreciate my time in prayer. I have learned to be much more grateful and specific in my prayers. Not just grateful for people, but for specific attributes about them or experiences shared with them. I am grateful for people or things I’ve only seen once that changed the way I think. I’m grateful for opportunities I’ve had, gifts I’ve been given, love I’ve received, and people who came into my life just when I needed them and have loved me even when I’ve made it difficult to be loved. Thank you for that. I love you. Truly. Always. Deeply. And far more than you know. I’m sorry I haven’t expressed that or appreciated you how I should have.
We had a fireside that explained agency really well and I want to share the main example with you.
Choice: Having more than one option.
Freedom: Having more than one outcome.
Agency: Knowing the different outcomes of your choices.
An explanation using coins:
One hand, one coin: no choice
Two hands, one coin: choice
Two hands, two of the same coin: choice but no freedom
Two hands, two different coins but no knowledge: choice and freedom, but no agency
Two hands, two different coins and knowledge of outcome: choice, freedom and agency
“If we think there is nothing more to agency than choosing right, we fail to understand the difference between choice, freedom, and agency.”
One who ransoms, frees, or rescues by paying a price.
Bring something value.
“The right of our so-called “free-agency” was not free to our Redeemer.”
My faith is daily growing. I am constantly praying for myself, my companion, and for all of you and I know that I am being blessed for it. I love you. I will serve my mission in such a way that the Lord will have to carry me most of the time because I will push that hard and when I get home I’ll sleep for a week. I miss you and will be home sooner than you know.
Elder Tyler Andrew Bushman