Our Mission Statement
BunaBond is a gathering place to help our fellow sisters find peace, manage family, and discuss the gospel of Jesus Christ in honest, uplifting and helpful ways. While our focus is on uniting and strengthening women of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and their families, we invite ALL women to gather with us.
The Story Behind Buna Bond
A week after General Conference, April 2018, I was doing what most moms do on a typical day, working in the home. In this moment, I was painting the kitchen while listening and watching a repeat of General Conference. While my hands were busy in the sink cleaning up the paint roller, my heart began to beat faster, goose bumps started to spread and I felt an undeniable electricity fill my entire body as I listened, again, to the sustaining of President Russell M. Nelson. I felt the spirit and then these words were spoken to my heart, “This is the only true Church of Jesus Christ…you need to defend it.”
I quickly ran up stairs to my computer, logged onto lds.org and opened up my “Notes” where I journal. I started to write down my experience since President Ballard said during that same conference. He said, “ I urge you to record in your personal journal what you felt regarding this most sacred occasion in which you have taken part.” After I wrote down my experience, I prayed and asked God if the wording was right where the spirit spoke. I had a word wrong and so I made the correction. It was that important to me or the spirit impressed upon my heart that the wording would be important to have. We think we will remember these powerful, faith promoting experiences and that they never dim, but they do. Just ask me about the experience when I knew if I should marry my husband or not. You think I would always remember it, well I didn’t but luckily I wrote it down!
I began to ponder on that idea of “defending” the church. The word just seemed to leap out at me every time I thought of the experience. Of course, I already knew the church was true but that added phrase that I needed to defend had me pondering on how and in what way I needed to do that.
I quickly decided that I needed to chat with my two friends and neighbors, you see we get together whenever we have a concern, idea or just need a break. They are my buna which we will discuss in a minute. I sent a group text and we got together. Of course, as it is every single time I chat with these ladies, I am uplifted and feel the spirit. I still didn’t have my answer on how to defend the church, but I didn’t feel alone in those sentiments either.
A few weeks later, I felt that maybe I should see if I can get my two friends to join me in blogging about the church and “defending” it. They are both such powerhouses that I wanted to see if this was something they would consider doing. My wise friend, Shana, suggested we fast and see if this is what the Lord would have us do. My main concern was that I didn’t want this to be a burden on any of us. If this could serve our family, strengthen our testimonies and touch just one life then I was 100% on board. Otherwise, I would chalk it up to another crazy idea.
Fast forward to know, we got our answer but decided to wait through the summer so we could be with our family and keep pondering on it. I had countless experiences that just confirmed how this was exactly what we needed to do. After one more talk with someone that trusted me to share her feelings about some hard doctrine and feeling the spirit confirm words that came to my heart, I knew that once kid’s were back in school, I would be running full steam ahead although what that running would entitle still was a bit foggy.
First, we needed to come up with blog name. We threw out a few ideas like Mission Carry On which was one that I already had and used to start to do some humanitarian work with and then maybe a blog title with a lighthouse or something. We loved the song about “Brightly Beams Our Father’s Mercy.” The idea of the lower lights that helped guide people back to the Savior.
Then Shana shared a talk with us and this idea of Buna and it just felt right! Sister Jennifer Brinkerhoff Platt spoke at BYU Women’s Conference. She shared with the sisters of a time when she was in Ethiopia working on her doctorate degree. She said, “I gave people cameras and said, ‘I want you to show me what it looks like to live your life.’ Take photos from the moment you wake up, until you go to bed at night. Then come back and bring them to me and let’s see and look for some patterns.”
What she discovered was that all the ladies participated in what is called an Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony, or what they called Buna. She describes the Buna experience this way, “One woman, the hostess, takes the lead in preparing the coffee. Grinding, boiling, then serving. They participate in a variety of ways. Many women have brought their babies or young children with them. They tend to them while participating. Others have brought work to do. Handwork or sewing. And some have just taken a break. Each woman is welcome. Safe. Included. Loved. They eat popcorn or other snacks, trying to prolong their Buna experience, and eventually the Jebena pot is empty and they go back to work, whatever that work is. Filled. Content. Buoyed up. Remembering their time together. Thinking about each other. Wishing for the next Buna circle to come quickly.”
One sister explained her experience with Buna this way, “If I have a problem, we don’t have those psychiatry or something to tell us what to do, so that’s the way we treat each other, you know? If I have a problem, we just talk about it and the other ladies tell you a solution.
Sister Platt said, ”Isn’t that great? In a natural, organic way, my Ethiopian friends just take care of each other. There is no need for an appointment, an invitation, they gather, and they minister. I long to be in a sacred circle of sisters. They gather to talk. To escape life. To drink coffee. To love.”
Once our name was nailed down after combining buna with bond which just seems to be a perfect fit, my brain went to a logo that would represent our perhaps which is to create “a gathering place to help our fellow sisters find peace, manage family, and discuss the gospel of Jesus Christ in honest, uplifting and helpful ways. While our focus is on uniting and strengthening women of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”
While sketching out the logo, the idea of two B’s one for Buna and one for Bond back to back just fit since as sisters can truly have each other’s backs in love, support and friendship. Then came the part where the spirit really took this idea and made it into something bigger than any of us. Those two B’s looked like a butterfly and Sister Reyna I. Aburto’s recent conference talk titled, “With One Accord” came to my mind.
She said, “Monarch butterflies are master navigators. They use the sun’s position to find the direction they need to go… . During their journey, they cluster together at night on trees to protect themselves from the cold and from predators….A group of butterflies is called a kaleidoscope… Each butterfly in a kaleidoscope is unique and different, yet these seemingly fragile creatures have been designed by a loving Creator… Like the monarch butterflies, we are on a journey back to our heavenly home, where we will reunite with our Heavenly Parents. Like the butterflies, we have been given divine attributes that allow us to navigate through life, in order to “[fill] the measure of [our] creation.” Like them, if we knit our hearts together, the Lord will protect us “as a hen [gathers] her chickens under her wings” and will make us into a beautiful kaleidoscope… In order to reach our sublime destiny, we need each other, and we need to be unified.”
Isn’t that a beautiful image? To have sisters knit together in unity within homes, neighborhoods and congregations throughout the world. This is what my friends and I have found with each other a feeling of friendship and strength as we have met in each other’s homes to uplift and build one another up. We want to bring that same feeling of buna into the hearts and homes of sisters throughout the world. As sisters we are in a battle with our own feelings of self doubt, inadequacies, depression and the list can go on, but with faith strengthened in Jesus Christ, He can make our burdens light.
Sheri Dew once said, “I fear that some LDS women know just enough about the gospel to feel guilty that they are not measuring up to some undefinable standard but not enough about the Atonement to feel the peace and strength it affords us… It’s quite the irony—that the gospel of the great Jehovah, which contains the power to save every human being and to strengthen every soul, is sometimes interpreted in such a way that feelings of inadequacy result.” (This is a Test, It is Only a Test)
Our goal is to help sisters feel the power of the spirit in their lives and the Lord’s love for them so that they may overcome their feelings of inadequacy and turn to the Savior. Elder K. Brett Nattress once said, “Because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we can live with the promise that no matter what our struggles may be, we can always have hope in Him, ‘who is mighty to save’ (2 Nephi 31:19).”
Today, we invite you to Buna with us as “sisters gather sisters” from around the world. Wouldn’t it be amazing to pull together women from around the world into a “live” Buna hangout where we could all connect and chat back and forth? Oh, what a glorious experience that will be. For now, you get the three of us sharing ideas on how our testimony have been strengthened as we turn to living prophets, seek truth and strive to follow the Savior.
Meet Your Buna Sisters