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

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