Friday, June 29, 2012

'that's the first time I have been homesick...I can't tell you how excited I am'

So, Elder Kearon had me called up to the front desk so that I could meet him. The security is pretty tight (because of the mission president's seminar), and they don't let missionaries up there. The lady almost wouldn't let us up, but she called the front desk, and they had us sent up. At that point, I still wasn't sure why, but then we met Elder Kearon. He just talked about how much he loves my parents, and he is very proud of me. It was a really great experience. It felt really cool to be called up to the front desk by a general authority. His accent was awesome. He asked us if there was anything he could do for us, and we quickly regretted saying no thinking maybe he could've gotten us some "mission president food," but it was good to meet him. We asked if there was anything we can do for him. He just told us to work hard, so that's what I plan on doing! I did remember you had spent the weekend with him, but he didn't say much about it. He just mentioned briefly that he had seen you. That was very nice of him to think of me. Make sure to thank him again for me. 

Well another week has past. I leave for Ogden in about ten days. I am sooo excited! I got to meet my mission president this week, which was great. President and Sister Hiers seemed very excited to serve with us. They are from Boston. Neither have served a mission, because he was convert at age 20 and married her pretty much right after, but he was just released as a stake president. He has started several different businesses and sold them. For the past few years, he has been travelling the world training CEO's and high-up executives in companies. He defnitely knows how to be a leader. There were about 40 missionaries headed to the Ogden mission there; which is a lot more than all the other missions. They are really packing up the Utah missions, because they want to have a lot more walking areas and focus a lot on reactivation now. Everyone in that room were people that are still staying in the Ogden mission since they will change our boundaries on July 1st before any of us get there. I am so excited to serve with him. We didn't talk to him for too long since there were so many of us, but I look forward to talking to him more in the future. 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Another week in paradise

(Sorry this letter is late..I was at girl's camp all week. -Angie)

Well another week in paradise has passed. I still can't belive how fast they go here. We have been playing a Spanish game this week where evertyime you speak English you get a point and whoever has the least points at the end of the week wins. It's been good, because I'm so competitive I won't speak in English at all unless I need to in meetings, which is ok because that's not part of the game. 

Earlier this week, a missionary had an interview with his district leader, and it was about 45 minutes. He said my companion and I were overstepping our boundaries but also weren't doing enough. He also said he is mad at his companion for being too pateint with him. When he vents he wants an angry companion, not a calm understanding one..haha. Also he said he is mad at another missionary for being overprotective of his candy. He had a bunch of other little things he is mad about, so this week we have been trying to make him as happy as possible. 

So there is this missionary name Elder Crane in our district that is really good at drawing. The way he takes notes at meetings is he draws pictures of the speakers and kind of makes comics of what they are speaking on. He is so talented, and he even drew each person in our district as the avengers. He draws so quickly it's like those people that you pay to draw you at Disneyland, and he does it all day (he focuses too, but that's how he focuses in a way). 
So a missionary in our district shared his conversion story. He was taught and decided to be baptized but at his baptism someone mentioned repentance before baptism. He realized he hadn't repented yet, and the missionaries hadn't told him he needed to. He got baptized and still felt horrible like he had done something wrong and he messed up. (he was 14 at this time) He prayed that night for repentance hoping it wasn't too late. This was late at night with the lights off in his room, but when he opened his eyes his room was glowing and that's how he knew he was forgiven. He went to sleep that night with his room lit up. He very casually told this story and I don't think he realizes because he is so humble what an awesome story this is, but he has such a big desire to be a good missionary that it's awesome. 

So this week, because of the spoon incident, people have been trying to sneak spoons that aren't bent yet into Elder Wright's pocket. It's pretty funny. For the first couple of days, he thought he was doing it by accident, and we tried to convince him he was the one who had been bending the spoons. It felt like something that would be on The Office, because of how well we pulled it off. He would always return them then come back the next day with a spoon in his pocket. The person who was the best at it was Elder Brimley. He was so good, at one point he walked up to Elder Wright, put his hand on his shoulder and slipped a spoon in his front pocket while talking to him face to face. It was pretty cool that he could do it like that. (He said it's because of how many times he has seen Ocean's Eleven.) 

In our district, we say, "You can't handle the truth!" a lot from that one movie with Tom Cruise. We found in 2 Nephi 32:7 that that's the scriptural version of 'you can't handle the truth', which was hilarious to us. I guess we just don't have a very good sense of humor as missionaries anymore. 

So we watched the Joseph Smith video this Sunday. I have never had such a good experience watching. Right before it started, I prayed to have a witness that these events happened again. I think I cried probbaly thirty minutes of the whole movie which is weird for me; the Spirit was so strong. I was pretty happy. We read section 13 this week. It reminded me of when dad had me memorize it on the way to the fathers and sons camp out at Camp Bountiful. I still remember it from then when dad shared it with all the men. 

I had an interview with my teacher this week, and she had me talk about my strengths and weaknesses. We decided that my strength is obedience and my weakness is patience/charity type things; which is funny because on the attripbute activity we all took every attribute was rated on a scale of one to five when you finished based on your test results. I had roughly 4's for everything except for patience and charity I had like a 1.5 which everyone in my district really appreciated. haha. But, anyways I have improved on that and am still working on it. 

Some missionaries this week had issues with mail. It has been a distraction always. You're not supposed to read mail until night, but all the missionaries did anyways. At one point, Elder Adams (our district leader) needed to wait to get afternoon mail for about an hour. Two missionaries weren't patient enough to wait that long (this is the second time this has happened and that we have asked them not too because they aren't allowed in the mail room). They went against what Elder Adams said, took the combination to his mailbox, got their own mail, and then lied about it when we asked them. I got to practice being patient while Elder Wilkey explained the new rule that they won't ever get mail again during the day. They have to wait until at night time in the residence so that they aren't distracted. I think they learned their lesson. They weren't very happy with that new rule. 

We still play lots of soccer. The new district this week had one Elder from Chile and one from Mexico. The first day that they played, they scored all six goals our team made; they were so good! It will be fun to play with them over the next couple weeks, but I usually play three days a week, and the other three, I lift. 

One of the Elders in the new district asked me permission that in the mornings if he finished getting ready faster, could he read the Book of Mormon some more before breakfast. I was so happy after everything people ask to do, and he asks if he can have extra time to read the scriptures I couldn't believe it; it made me so happy. 

Oh, before I forget can you give me Dereks address? Phil and I wanted it. Another one of the new missionaries that came in this week (in the other zone) is Brian Wood. He looks like he is doing well and happy to be here. He only lives two doors down and is in Phil's district so he is around friends, which is always good. I'll be writing Brett a letter today I'm proud of him; I'm glad he is making good decisions. As for my sibings, originally I planned on writing you all back once a week, but I don't think I'll be able to. We just don't have enough time here. I really love your letters, and if I only write  you every couple weeks or so, I hope that's ok. There's lots of work to do and letter writing takes a while, but I will write each of you back soon I promise. One questions for mom or dad. Where was the Savior's spirit during the three days after he died before resurrection? Was He suffering more during that times since He had to experience all pain? Or was He just dwelling with the Father as a spirit? He said to Mary, "I have not yet ascended to my Father," so that made me wonder what He was doing those three days. Just curioius if you had any thoughts on that. (To answer that question, Mark sent Taylor these verses: 1 Peter 3 and 4 and D&C 138 Section 138 is one of my favorites! -the read 1 Peter 4, go to the link, then after reading chapter 3, click next on the top right and it will take you to chapter 4. It's user friendly, but you never know.)

This week our teahcer had us memorize a quote on dillegence. I only know it in Spanish, so I'll type it really quick. The boys should memorize it before their missions.  It's in Preach My Gospel (a manual for missionaries) in the Christlike attributes section by dilligence. I'll put an apostrophe right before the letter that should have an accent. 
Muchas veces he dicho que uno de los mayores secretos del trabajo misional es el trabajo. si el misionero trabaja obtendrá el espíritu, si lo obtiene ensenará por el espíritu, y si enena por el espíritu, llegar'a al corazón de las personas y él mismo será feliz. No senirá nostalgia por el hogar, ni se preocupará por la familia. Pues todo su tiempo, talento, e intereses estarán concentrados en obra del ministerio. Trabajo trabajo trabajo, no existe ningún substituto satisfacerior, especialmente in la obra misional.     
I mainly did that just to make sure I still remembered it, but it's a great one to know. So a little bit more about this new district. They are FANTASTIC. I'll tell you one of their stories. One of the sisters was I think 19 and decided that there was a God. She wanted to share that with others as a favor to God. So she prayed to know which church she should preach for. The missionaries showed up two minutes after her prayer. So she got baptized and put in her papers as soon as she could. WOW, Elder Wilkey and I had that reaction at about every testimony that was given in there. There were two missionareis that had just met that day. They don't speak very much English, but one was giving his testimony and started crying talking about the blessings he has received in his life. His companion grabbed a tissue and put his arm around him and patted him on the back just like they were brothers, but they had met only a few hours before. It was a great example of Christlike love. 

Their district leader is named Elder Wadell. About a year ago his dad got called to be a general authority in Peru (first quorum). Before that, he was an area seventy in the same area/quorum as dad for about six months then was called to the first quorum. So, if that happens to you dad, good luck I guess. haha.

 Anyways, I didn't forget the temple food. Today they were out of waffles. I was worried I wouldn't get the same carbing-up temple breakfast experience, but we discovered they have amazing hash browns instead. Crisis averted. People in our hall started doing 100 push ups as fast as they can. The kid that walked around without his shirt off all the time and has dress shirts way too small held the record. I wasn't about to go take my shirt off and show-off in front of everyone but just so I could say to myself that I beat him, I did it in my room and beat him by one second. I was happy, but I'm still not even close to 100 in a row like Tyson could, but one day I'll get there! 

Jessica said she will keep sending junk food unless I ask for something else, so if you must send something, send fruit, because we get sooo much candy here. (costco muffins are a fruit too by the way) And mom, thank you for your weekly packages. I always appreciate your insights, but I'm just letting you know I hope you don't think you set the precedent that you are sending one package a week my whole mission. That's asking way too much, so I will enjoy it in the MTC, and you don't have to feel like you need to keep doing it for the rest of my mission. I don't want you spending that much time on me. I'm sure you're plenty busy with other things. And keep the pictures coming everybody. I love getting mail here! 

Tomorrow I will meet my mission president, and the next two devotionals should be awesome because of the mission president's seminar. I am pretty excited. But anyways I have to run....take care. 

I love you all!
Elder Bassett

Friday, June 15, 2012

"It made me realize how much I have..."

Well good news,
I decided to try the waffle at the temple today...and you would be so proud: I ate it with the strawberries on top and the boysenberry syrup and it was great. And yes, every week I will probably begin my letter with how good the temple food is because it's the highlight of my week by far. (Mom's note: He also goes to the temple right before he writes these letters.)  I can't remember if I told you this last time, but we decided that 'Diner's, Drive-ins, and Dives' needs to come to the temple see what you can do about that, please. 

This Sunday we had our devotional with Steven B. Allen. He showed about ten different mormon commercials from the 80's. It was so funny how cheesy they were. A lot of them were the ones we used to watch in the Mesa Temple, so it was cool to see those again. At that fireside, one of the district presidents got up first and showed pictures of several forks and spoons that had been bent in half and left on someone's desk. I thought he was going to yell at everyone, but he just read a scripture in Corinthians about putting away childish things. He said that whoever was responsible had to repent if they were going to be worthy on their mission, and the only way to repent was to go to his office and confess to him then he would bring them to the kitchen to apologize and help them through the repentance process. I can't believe anybody was that stupid; I'm just glad it's nobody in our zone that did that. 

This week in class at some point someone got a bunch of tootsie rolls and our teacher had us compete to see who could eat five tootsie rolls the fastest. We were all racing. I was ahead, or so I thought on my second one, and then Elder Wright was done. None of us believed him at first, but apparently, he swallowed each one of them whole and finished in 10 seconds. It was really funny. I couldn't believe he could do that that fast. 

This week an advanced district left. One them was a sister. She needed a blessing the night before. She asked me to give it to her, so that was pretty cool. That same night, one of the other sister's grandpa had just passed away, and she asked me to give her a blessing, too. It was really cool to see how much more I can recognize the spirit than when I first came into the MTC, but I still need lots of practice. 

I hosted again this week. One of the missionaries was from the Marshall Islands. He didn't speak much English. When I went to go get his stuff, he only had one suitcase that was smaller than my carry on, and it felt empty. And that's ALL he had. It made me so sad. I kept asking if he needed anything. I didn't know what to do. I hope the church takes care of things like that. The only scriptures he had was a paperback triple. Anyways, that was an interesting experience. It made me realize how much I have and how ungrateful and selfish I am. 

Steven Mckee sent me a letter by the way...I replied but the address he left was incorrect. Can you let him know I tried to reply to him? Also, Elder Mcklwain's little brother is in my district. Oh, before I forget...can you send a few black or blue sharpie pens? The kind that doesn't bleed; we write a lot here, and I have already been through two. Thanks. Can someone tell Cami Gallacher to give me her address? She has sent me a couple packages but no return address, and I wanted to reply to her. 

Yesterday, we gave our first new missionary orientation and gave them the tour of MTC campus. It was pretty fun. There were ten people to interview so it took a while. We finished our orientation early, so me and Elder Wilkey just talked for about 25 minutes about what it means to be a missionary and that they need to be obedient. One of the new missionaries is Chase Plowman, who is going to Ogden as well, but the transfer right after me. That's cool that he is in my zone. He seems to be doing well and adjusting okay. It's always good to see familiar faces. Phil is doing well. I see him a couple times a day. We have even worked out and played soccer together at gym, too. Besides that, Elder Wilkey and I don't do much but work with the new missionaries.

So, I shouldn't gossip, but there is this one elder in our district that is pretty funny. He is pretty buff, and he knows it. So when he gets out of the shower, he will go out the opposite side of his room, so he can walk around the entire floor, so people see him with a shirt off. And he probably needs about a 16 1/2" neck shirt but wears probably a 14.5 and just doesn't button the top button so that it's tighter, and the sleeves only come down his arm a few inches. So, that's pretty funny. I'm not sure how his mission president will feel about him not owning any shirts in his size, but I guess he will find out. 

Being zone leader has been great. The only problems this week have been in our own district. A couple missionaries were playing piano every night in another building and getting back at about ten, so the district leader asked them not to do that anymore since the rule is that you go straight home. They completely ignored him and went anyways right after he said not to do it. Elder Wilkey made me wait until the next day to talk to them, which is a good idea, because I wasn't very happy, and I was able to talk to them in a little more of a Christlike way the next day. Anyways, they just admitted, "Yes, we ignored him, because that's stupid." But we helped them understand that it doesn't work like that, so they won't be doing that anymore. The missionary keeps saying that that's the only way he can feel the Spirit. We said,  "Well, then that's a different problem. Everyone is making sacrifices. You need to learn to feel the Spirit in other ways, too." Anyways, this same missionary has been checking his email everyday even when we ask him not to. He told us that his grandpa was dying, and that's why he was doing it. The more that we asked about it, the more we realized that that was a lie, and his grandpa is just old. He just wants an excuse to get on his email everyday. Regardless, the branch president said that he needs to turn it over to the Lord, and the Lord will take care of his family. Same missionary this morning wouldn't get up to go to the temple for his companion, so Elder Wilkey and I ended up being late making him get up and shower. He ended up going anyways just a lot later. So anyways, I promise I won't just write home every week about problems, but that's just what's on my mind right now. It feels like every p-day there are problems, because apparently that's the day that you can "do whatever you want because it's just p-day." So, other than that no problems. 

Our investigators are all doing really well. Graciela just said she is moving out of the area right after we finished lesson four, so that was unexpected. Mariah's aunt is a witch and has evil spirits in her house. So we spent the first couple lessons figuring out why she was so crazy, and then found out that's why and taught her how to pray. She has a date for June 28, but it's tough with her, because she can't read. Roberto is progressing fine; he will be baptized the 28th, too, but we haven't taught the word of wisdom or the law of chastity yet. We will have to see how that changes things. 

We go to the TRC once a week, which is where people from the "real world" come in, and we teach them a 20 minutes lesson on whatever they need. They get all kinds of people. So far, we have only had return missionaries. We just give them a quick message on the doctrine of Christ and invite them to invite their friends. (in Spanish) Also, we had one lady whose husband used to be a member then he left the church and now hates it (this is all after they served a couples senior mission). It was pretty sad. I can't remember what we shared, but the Spirit helped us out with comforting her. (Keep in mind all this stuff in TRC is real. That's cool. Eventually, we will teach less active members as well. We just haven't yet.) I am ready to go and do the real thing; the MTC is great, but I'm just anxious to go to Ogden. 

The letters are always great. They are so coveted now since the first couple weeks of everyone writing to you wears off, and now, letters are a little more rare. I have been lucky to have family and friends that write me often, keep them coming! Anyways, not much else is going on. Happy early Father's Day Dad. We all freaked out last Sunday, because we thought we missed it then realized it's this coming week.  I hope you get your card on time. Take care everyone.

Love you!
Elder Bassett

Friday, June 8, 2012

Letter #4

    Another p-day here already! Just got back from the temple, and we decided that you should try and get the Provo Temple on 'Diners, Drive-ins and Dives'...see what you can do.
     Well, there's this thing in our zone where we have specific types of ties we wear for each day. One of them is paisley p-day, and I don't have a paisley tie, so, if you happen to come across a fantastic paisley tie, send it my way. Also, I don't really have enough t-shirts, and I keep forgetting to ask. Can you send up two more athletic type shirts? And mom, yes, I have received the weekly packages and dad's scriptures and packages from Jess as well. Thank you so much; they always make me feel so great. I haven't had our district fill out those cards yet mom but I will soon. You really lose track of time here and before you know it, it's been a week.
     Well, I decided my favorite missionary scripture is Alma 29:9. They never asked me for a plaque or anything, but if they had, it would be that one. Last Sunday, we sang 'Come Ye Children of the Lord.'  I can't decide on a favorite hymn, but the second and third verses I think are definitely up there. Also, singing 'To Bring the World His Truth' and at the part where we instead say "we are NOW the Lord's missionaries..." that was pretty cool, too.

      I have a list of things I want to talk about, so I apologize if there are no transitions, and this email doesn't flow well at all. I talked about Elder Mackie this week during a district meeting. We were talking about how our attitudes can change our missions and talking to everyone is important. I mentioned how he was one of the three nephites and completely turned that area around, because he was willing to talk to everyone and have faith they would listen to him.
     My branch president has an awesome story, I forgot to tell you about. He was in the army stationed in a specific area, and a sister missionary caught his eye. He felt a spiritual prompting like that was his wife. He talked to the Bishop, so he could stay away from her, because that would be very inappropriate. So the Bishop agreed to help him. He set him up with an interview the next week. When my branch president walked in that sister missionary was siting there, too, with the bishop. The bishop told them both that he and her mission president had both been prompted to tell her to leave her mission and get married immediately. She went home, and they were married two weeks later. I'm sure things like that don't happen everyday, but I thought it was cool. Unfortunately, she passed away some time later, but he is remarried now.
     This Sunday for district meeting, two missionaries had to teach a forty minute lesson. They finished in 20 minutes, so I had 20 minutes to just talk about whatever on faith. It was cool that that was their topic, because the night before I prayed about what I should be fasting for, and I felt prompted to fast for faith. Then for the last 20 minutes, I had each of the companionships share some stories/scriptures on faith. It was an awesome way to spend my fast Sunday. When it was my turn to talk, I ended up talking for like 10 minutes without realizing it. When I get comfortable, I tend to ramble on about things and get excited and say everything I have ever heard of. We had testimony meeting on Sunday during Sacrament Meeting, and it was weird how everybody wanted to get up. There was such a big line; I have never been in a testimony like that. I got to get up and talk about enduring to the end and talked about mom having cancer. I'm not really sure why, but that's what I bore testimony of.
     The other night I got really mad at a missionary for refusing to plan for the THIRD NIGHT IN A ROW (keep in mind I reminded him every one of these nights and the zone leaders even came in that day to remind us of the importance of planning). Anyways, I wasn't happy and let him know that I wasn't happy with him. I walked out of the room pretty angry, and Elder Wilkey talked to me and helped calm me down. I realized how good he is with patience, and I have a lot to learn from him.
      This week my personal study has been getting way, way better. FOUR times while I read 'Preach My Gospel' I would stop and write something in the side column and usually accompany it with a scripture. Then, during all four of these times, I go on to read that the next paragraph is exactly what I wrote in the margin and uses the same scriptures. It was cool to see how the Spirit is teaching me. I think the Lord was trying to show me how important revelation is in missionary work and how important it was in writing Preach My Gospel.
     Well, the devotional on Tuesday was the best talk I have ever heard in my life. I realize I say that a lot here, but it's true. Elder Marlin Jensen came and spoke to us about just a few things the Spirit told him, too. My branch president even mentioned it was the greatest sermon on the temple he has ever heard in his life. I don't have time to talk about all of it, but one of the things he said, I'll just quote directly, "How dare  you sleep in? How dare you break a single rule when you have promised with your hand raised to heaven that  you would be obedient?" Anyways, he was very powerful and taught a strong message of obedience and reminded us that in the next life everyone will know everything we know, and they will know we knew it, so get rid of your false pride and go be a missionary. Anyways, I about exploded the Spirit was so strong. I went up and talked to him for a little bit afterwards, which was cool.
     We had our devotional review and our branch president came, which means he spoke the whole time (the review is for missionaries to go over their insights about it), so not a lot of people got to give input, but I was one of those that did. Later that night, a missionary that has been struggling to be obedient and has clashed with me about that a couple times came up to me and asked if we could talk more about the fireside the next day, and if I could talk more about my insights. I did NOT expect something like that from this missionary, and I realized that dad was right when he said all missionaries really do want to be better; they just don't know how. He felt how strong the Spirit was during that talk and immediately hungered for more of that feeling and knowledge. It made me really happy to see that and made me want to be more Christ like as a leader rather than judging people.
     Oh, mom you also wanted to know my favorite conference talk. It's called "Safety For the Soul", by Elder Holland. I have watched it three times this week, I love it so much. I hope, one day, I can learn to testify with even half the power that he does.
     Oh, and can you log onto my facebook and post on my wall telling my friends if they send me letters to send a couple pictures of them or of me with them. I have plenty of family ones, but ones with my friends would be nice to have. I don't have my mail with me right now, so I can't remember all the questions you asked me, but if I missed some, I'll just write a letter.

     Elder Condie came in yesterday. He lives on my floor and has class on my floor which means our schedules are exactly the same, so I will see him all the time. He got called to be district leader, which will be good; he is a pretty natural leader. This Sunday I'm going to be released as district leader, and Elder Wilkey and I will be the new zone leaders. There are about 45 people in our zone. It should be a good learning experience. The zone leaders here take care of interviewing all district leaders, new missionary meeting and orientation, new missionary tour, meet with the branch president a couple times a week to plan meetings for the branch/zone, arrange splits between missionaries, and just kind of help people out that are struggling and a bunch of other little things I don't really know about it yet. Nobody knows yet. It won't happen until Sunday, so we are just kind of waiting at this point, but I am excited.
     Two new missionaries that are in Elder Condie's district just moved into our room with Elder Wilkey and I. Our entire district didn't welcome them very well the first night; it was pretty funny, haha. Everybody (except me, because I felt too guilty being mean to them) kind of took on a different personality. One missionary hugged everyone a lot for a really uncomfortable amount of time, another had a high pitched voice, another had a fake Scottish accent and kept arguing with people about his "true Irish heritage", another missionary was overly friendly and wouldn't stop talking to them all night and would lay on there bed and eat their food. At one point, they told him to go to his room so they could make their  bed, so he just made it for them then laid back down. Another missionary pretended to have a really bad twitch and another had really bad OCD and corrected everything they did. And Elder Crane was the best one. He followed everyone around with his white handbook open telling people rules they were breaking. He would fix people's shirts to make sure the edge of their garments weren't showing, and at one point his companion left the room, and he freaked out and started running around yelling looking for his companion. And he would periodically come to me and tell on everyone for everything and say things like "Um, excuse me, District Leader Bassett, will you please tell Elder Rice to use a more reverent voice so as to keep the spirit strong in our residence?" One of the new missionaries lectured him even, because Elder Crane started talking about how he would probably be the next district leader because of how righteous he had been the past couple weeks. The new missinoary said, 'I think that is revelation, and it's not decided that way.' Elder Crane said, 'Well, it doesn't hurt to aid the revelation a bit with some righteousness now does it?' And when the power went out, he ran around passing out flashlights so nobody would be without light in case they needed to check their planners at any given time. Anyways, the new elders were pretty weirded out and mentioned to me before bed what a weird floor we lived on. The next morning they told them they were all just kidding, and they were so relieved that they wouldn't have to live with that for the next six weeks. Anyways, it was pretty funny to watch.
     Well it's time to go now, love you all and keep the letters coming it's great to hear from everyone!
Elder Bassett

Friday, June 1, 2012

Dear everyone,
This week has been a busy but great one. We got another new missionary. Now we have ten missionaries in our district; which is pretty big for the MTC, so that's fun. My teacher's are awesome. Brother Ramsey's played college soccer at ASU for two years and almost walked onto the ASU football team as a corner. He took third in state in AZ for the 100, and right now he is going to try out for the BYU soccer team. He had a 37 inch vertical in high school so he's pretty much a beast. Hermana Koth is our other teacher. She is a convert and served her mission in Vegas, Spanish speaking. She is really hyper and fun, and we all really like her..some of us a little too much. Our current project is getting the two of them to get engaged before we leave, which works because they only teach us one at a time, but unfortunately Hermana Koth just got a boyfriend. 
They are both really awesome, and we spend a ton of time with them so we have lots of inside jokes with them that make it fun. We call Brother Ramsey just Ramseys like in Nacho Libre, and we say whenever he walks in.."Raaamseyyys, how are youuu?" which is a line that Jack Black says to Ramseys in that movie. And we also talk about how his legs are number one, his muscles are number one, he is number one....also from that movie..if you're not understanding the references then go watch Nacho Libre again I had no idea how often those movie references would be.

I guess that's our pre-mission exposure to Spanish before the MTC. 

The fire alarm went off this week. Our whole building emptied out. Everyone started being loud. It was 10:30 so in another building, we woke up three huge Samoan guys that came out and started yelling at everyone and trying to pick a fight. One of them even got in my companion's face a little bit, but he just walked away since the guy probably weighed 250 pounds. The next day we told Elder Hunt and pointed out the elder in a picture. He found that Samoan guy and made him apologize to Elder Wilkey which was pretty cool since I'm pretty sure Elder Hunt is the toughest guy in here. He just got his mission changed to Texas from Mexico. He will leave a week earlier, which it too bad because everyone loves him so much, but we are all leaving eventually anyways. 

My Branch president is a scriptorian and quotes the scriptures a lot like dad does; especially, D&C 6:36 all the time. He was teaching a lesson and mentioned one of his samoan missionaries that would do 1200 push ups a night before bed. It reminded me of Elder Masima. I was inspired; so I did 600 push ups that night and 200 pull ups the next night so I guess if I'm halfway there that makes me like half a Tongan. 

We taught Erika our last lesson. We taught her (remember this is the same as Hermana Koth just in character) hand signals for each commandment. It was really fun, but we still managed to bring the Spirit bearing testimony afterwards. Other investigators we have are Roberto (Ramseys) and Graciela. They are really easy to teach, keep all commitments, etc. I think, just for the first part, they are going easy on us, because so far every second lesson we have challenged baptism, and it has always worked. Maybe it will get harder soon with people who won't listen to everything we say. The Spanish has been improving. I still struggle to remember some words and have made no progress on rolling my tongue, but I will get there eventually. 

We played soccer a few times this week for gym which is fun. I did ok and at one point me and Elder Wilkey ran towards each other at full speed to kick the ball. We both missed and just smashed our shins into each other at full hurt baaaad, but nothing is broken so that's good. We learned our lesson. 

We have devotionals twice a week. The best thing that happened in a devotional this week was that the speaker let the elders take their jackets off, which was AWESOME, because it gets so hot in there. We have had a couple seventy come and President Rasband come, too. They are really spiritual. We watched a video of President Bednar teaching missionaries how to recognize the spirit. It's probably my favorite talk I have ever heard. Dad, if you could find a copy that'd be cool. Sorry, I don't remember the title, but it goes along with what you teach about spiritual hunches. He had some really cool stories about it. 

This Wednesday I got to host new missionaries. You just walk them to get their books and stuff; then put their bags in their room and take them to class. It was fun. Only one seemed really nervous, but he was pretty shy. It's cool to see people say goodbye and then turn around and just start being a missionary. I will do it next week again, probably, and hopefully see Phil when he comes. Can somebody tell Phil that if he wants to see me, we may not have the same meal time. Our zone eats every meal by the leftovers, so go over there and look for me when you get here. I think Chantz is coming in next week, too. That'd be cool to see him. I don't know if any of you know Sheldon (elder Larsen), but I have seen him a couple times and played soccer with him. It turns out he is a beast at soccer, which is pretty cool. 

Mom, I have not seen Brother Hellewell, just Gustavo. We use the red book a lot. It's very helpful. They have a couple other red books we use as well. I usually play the piano every priesthood, but we just got eight new sisters. 2 play, so I won't play in Sacrament anymore hopefully. Meetings are all separate on Sunday. It's a little different with it being all missionaries. It's kind of stressful thinking you will be speaking every week since they randomly choose two people after the Sacrament. But it's good practice. 

We taught a lesson yesterday. We were following up with Roberto about a commitment to read 3 Nephi 11. He said there was a word he didn't understand. I said, "Oh was it hosanna?" and he said, "Yeah what does that mean?" I said, "Significa salvanos ahorita." He laughed. Later he said the reason he laughed was because that's how he messed with new missionaries. No one had ever known the meaning. I have to thank you for that for teaching the new missionaries that came in what that meant. It was cool to be able to talk about what a good mission president dad was again. 

This morning, we went to the temple. I told everyone three times the night before to be ready at 6:20 and then was frustrated when people weren't ready at 6:10. I realized that was a dad thing.. hah. Anyways, we didn't leave until 6:30, of course, but still made it. One missionary was being a pain about it, because he said he didn't want to go so he could just sleep in until like eight. I said you can't sleep in and his reply was it's p-day, I can do whatever I want. That was a test of my patience. I just referred him to the zone leaders after he wouldn't really listen. They explained it to him. He didn't end up going today, because he wanted an extra 30 minutes of sleep. That was frustrating. 

Another missionary kind of struggled this week, too. He got mad at me during soccer and kind of starting yelling and pushing me. I walked away then later talked to him about. He is pretty discouraged and isn't really feeling it and almost wants to go home. He said he assumes that people don't like him because that's how it has always been. I told him that if he had that perspective he would be very unhappy throughout life and his mission. I said that and a few other things that were direct quotes from what mom has taught me in different times in life. It was cool to be able to see more things this week that I have learned from  you, Mom. The other thing he said very seriously was that he doesn't want to be my friend. I said that's fine but you need to learn to love everyone on your mission and no matter how much you don't like someone you don't flip out at someone like he did and he understood. 

There are missionaries that really like creating new drinks here out of all the drinks we have with combinations. Two missionaries in our district made a periodic table of drinks based on acidity, strength of flavor and sweetness. They use what they call the triangulation theory to create the perfect drinks. We all thought they were just being dumb, but it actually works really well. That's kind of weird. Also, one they made is called the Elder Hunt, because it's brown and sweet and little bit strong. Elder Hunt really liked that they named it after him. It was like a going away present. 

Everybody in our district represents a different avenger since that's pretty much our favorite movie. I am Thor. The new missionary in our district is going to draw a picture of all of us as our character, which will be funny. He is pretty talented. We have had a few times where missionaries ask me if they can get on youtube, or just google something really quickly. It's so interesting to me that people don't understand that the white handbook isn't exactly optional. But they will learn, I guess, even if they think that means I'm micromanaging for not letting them.  

Anyways, I have to run love you all.
Elder Bassett