Monday, September 10, 2012

Return Home

CHURCH TRAVEL CWT                          DATE 17JULY12
50 EAST NORTH TEMPLE ST                    AGENT VH/JV BOOKING REF 3W7SJR
SALT LAKE CITY UT 84150
TELEPHONE: 801 240-5111                    BUCHKOVICH/ALEX MIC 196022-R
FAX      : 801-240-5115
 
  MISSIONARY TRAVEL
  SPAIN BARCELONA MISSION
 
SERVICE               DATE  FROM           TO             DEPART  ARRIVE
_____________________ _____ ______________ ______________ _______ ______
DELTA AIR LINES       22AUG BARCELONA      NEW YORK NY    1020A   110P
DL 95             WEDNESDAY AIRPORT        JOHN F KENNEDY
U ECONOMY                   TERMINAL 1     TERMINAL 3
           NON SMOKING      LUNCH                         NON STOP
                            RESERVATION CONFIRMED         8:50 DURATION
                  AIRCRAFT: AIRBUS INDUSTRIE A330-300
                            SEAT 32J NO SMOKING CONFIRMED
 
DELTA AIR LINES       22AUG NEW YORK NY    CLEVELAND OH   430P    626P
DL 6044           WEDNESDAY LA GUARDIA     HOPKINS INT    
U ECONOMY                   TERMINAL D
           NON SMOKING                                    NON STOP
                            RESERVATION CONFIRMED         1:56 DURATION
                            FLIGHT OPERATED BY CHAUTAUQUA DBA DELTA C
            AIRCRAFT OWNER: RP  CHAUTAUQUA AIRLINES
                  AIRCRAFT: EMBRAER RJ135/140/145
                            SEAT 07C NO SMOKING CONFIRMED
 
RESERVATION NUMBER(S)  DL/HBBHJH
 
BUCHKOVICH/ALEX MICHAEL  196022-R
     ETKT:DL/006 7102758511

Well that's all folks!

Hola!
 
Well I am not sure what my schedule will be next Monday. I will be in Barcelona for my exit interview, thus I will be probably try to spend as much time as possible visiting people in Cornell√° and Granollers. And seeing as I will be home 3 days later, I am not sure if I will write. We´ll see. But just in case, I will make this my closing letter.
 
There is not much to say. It is impossible to express how I feel. As the overused phrase states, "It´s the best 2 years!" I love this work. I love my Heavenly Father. I love my Savior, Jesus Christ. I love His Gospel. I do not want to go home, but there is a time and a season for everything. I just have to trust in the Lord and all will be well. I want to thank you for you love and support, for the letters to me, and for reading my letters.
 
On Sunday we saw a wonderful milagro. We recently met a menos activa woman, Teresa. She was excited to see us, but nervous to come back to church. She made excuses the first few Sundays about not coming. However she had a change of heart and decided that this Sunday she would go. Has he usually does in situations like this Satan tried attacking. The lady with whom Teresa works called her all Sunday morning to ask her to work that day. However, that morning Teresa´s phone was not working. By the time it started working again, it was too late for Teresa to go in to work. Thus she was free to come to church. And she did! She brought her cousin and 15 year-old son, who are not members. Her son absolutely loved church. As he left, he told us that he would never miss a Sunday and that the next week he would come in a white shirt. It is no coincidence that Teresa´s phone did not work Sunday morning!
 
Yesterday we went to an Evangelical church. It was quite the experience!! Ask me about it later.

Well as lovely as it is to keep writing, there is work to be done! Souls to be saved! See you soon, but until then I will be working hard!!
 
¡Hasta pronto!
 
Love,
Elder Buchkovich
 
 

Monday, August 6, 2012

The Power of a Testimony

¡Hola!
 
Well this past week was fairly normal. Nothing out of the ordinary happened. Last night we ate dinner at Maria´s house. Whenever I go there we always talk about stories that happened at the beginning of my mission with Elder Lara, Elder Ames, and Elder Shields. It is always a lot of fun.
 
I heard about the whole Chik Fil A thing. I am a little confused. What does chicken have to do with gay rights? I do not understand why a boycott/picketing was necessary. Was the freedom of speech repealed while I´ve been here? They should also boycot Chik Fil A for not being open on Sundays. After all, it is ofensive to people who get hungry on Sundays. This Sunday we will boycott them. Nobody go there. Who´s with me? Well I am suddenly hungry for some chicken.....
 
This week we met Lucelly, a nice Colombian lady. We found her passing by an old investigator who no longer lives there. She recently was baptized in an evangelical church, thus when we presented The Book of Mormon her face turned into one of concern. However after hearing our testimonies and the testimony of our member, her heart softened, and she agreed to read and have another visit. Small, simple testimonies can have a powerful effect on a person´s heart.
 
Well that is all for this week.
 
¡Hasta luego!
 
Love,
Elder Buchkovich
 
ps. Next Monday is your last chance to ask for something from Spain. If not, all you get is bunch of missionary stories, which I will gladly share.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Better Late Than Never

¡Hola!
 
Due to technical difficulties, I could not finish my emails on Monday. I finally found literally 5 minutes to write. So this will be quick.
 
Last preparation day we paid 2 euros to climb up a tower that overlooks all of Valencia. Halfway up the stairs I realized that we paid money to climb up stairs (something we do daily) on our only day of rest. It was frustrating. But the view was worth it. It was gorgeous. And right as we arrived to the top the bells starting ringing.
 
One miracle this week is about baptism. We have an investigator, Juan Carlos, that is married to a member. He has been meeting with the missionaries for a while now and has been attending church regularly, but does not want to be baptized. This weekend an 8 year old from the ward was baptized. His parents are friends with Juan Carlos, so Juan Carlos came to the baptism. He felt the Spirit so strongly that after the baptism he told his friends that he wants to be baptized. Now he is super excited! He will be baptized at the end of this month when his wife returns from vacation in her country.
 
¡Hasta luego!
 
Love,
Elder Buchkovich 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Pictures





Noche de Talentos

Hola!
 
So this Saturday was a Noche de Talentos in our ward. It was quite fun! Paola, an 11 year-old recent convert, wanted me to sing a duet with her from High School Musical. That is not really missionary appropriate, so we sang "I hope the call me on a mission" in English. We sang it was a country song (we received the idea from the RM soundtrack). Elder Cuevas played a guitar and Elder Dixon played the violin. Paola, Elder Rockwood, and I sang with some small cowboy choreography. It was a last minute thing, but we weren´t too terrible. It was a lot of fun. There were some really good acts. Aaron, a two year old, danced Michael Jackson for 10 minutes. It was AMAZING! The Relief Society did a really funny dance, dressed like old ladies. We had several investigators that enjoyed the evening!

At the beginning of this week I was praying really hard for a miracle to start off the new companship well. On Wednesday that miracle came. Right as we ended district meeting a couple and a young woman entered the capilla to ask us about English class. As it turns out the man is a menos activo member who wants to return to the church. The wife and step-daughter are not members but are interested in learning about the Gospel. Later in the week we had our first visit with them. They are a great family! When we invited the step daughter to be baptized, she accepted! Also during the visit we met 3 other friends who are interested! This was just the miracle we needed to start off the transfer. Heavenly Father always answers righteous desires!

¡Hasta luego!
 
Love,
Elder Buchkovich

Priesthood Blessings

Hola!
 
Well we had a suprise baptism this weekend! Alejandro was baptized a week early. It is incredible how much faith he has. He bore his testimony during Elders´ Quorum. He challenged everyone to keep strengthening their own testimonies and endure to the end. It was amazing!
 
We experienced another miracle as a result of prayer. We have a family that, due to difficult circumstances, usually only meets with us in a park. On Wednesday evening we knew that we would, by chance, be passing by that park, so we stopped and said a quick prayer, asking God for the family to be there and also to find a new family to teach. As we passed through the park, sure enough our family was there! And with them was one of their friends and her family! We invited both families to come to a ward noche de hogar on Friday. They came! The members welcomed them well, and they enjoyed the noche de hogar! I really have no doubt that Heavenly Father answers prayers when they are righteous desires.
 
Elder Tayler was a phenomonal missionary! He worked hard up to the end. I am so glad to have been his companion. My new companion, Elder Cuevas, is just as wonderful. Elder Cuevas was actually already here in Valencia. He was in the other area, but now he is with me. He was transferred across piso. haha. I am quite excited to work with him and see the miracles that are to come! He is super humble and open to the Spirit. Despite the Spanish name, he is American. He´s from Utah (my first Utahrd companion in over a year!). His dad is Mexican, hence the last name. Fun story, more than a year ago he spent is first day in the mission field with Elder Manotas and me.
 
Back in Burgos, I prayed to find two more Bolivian families to baptize before going home (By now you all know that I love Bolivians). Shortly after arriving in Valencia, the high priest group leader told me about two families that he wants to introduce to the church. Tomorrow we will finally have a noche de hogar with them. I am super excited. They could be my two families!
 
We gave little Iker a blessing on Saturday. It was quite a special experience to imagine that I, someone who is alive due to the priesthood blessing I received as a baby, was able to bless another young baby. Hopefully someday Iker will hold the priesthood and do the same. We visited him yesterday and the change was impressive. On Saturday he was very mellow and cried when we came too close. Yesterday he was alert, cheerful and playful. The doctors say that he keeps improving. Priesthood blessing are impressive!
 
¡Hasta luego!
 
Love,
Elder Buchkovich