Tuesday, July 31, 2012

That day I tried to start being more charitable

Elder Bassett's presents from our trip to Europe: ties and an official Tour de France T-shirt.
We would have liked to send croissants and nutella but....
Hello all,
       I started to read Isaiah in Spanish, and it is FRUSTRATING. I get pretty mad, because none of the words he uses are ones that I know so it takes me forever to get through it looking back and forth at the English scriptures, but I guess that means I will learn. (Oh whenever you send something next, could you send blank flashcards? Thanks. Also I got the blanket from grandma; Thank you grandma! And mom's package, of course, you saw in the picture.) 
Elder Wright & Elder Bassett
      Before I forget Elder Thaddeus Wright was reassigned to Roseville, California because of visa issues. So everyone keep an eye out for him and take care of him if you see him! He's a great guy; he was in my MTC district.
       Well, this week has been a learning experience. The amount of contacts we did tripled, but the amount of lessons we taught diminished to almost nothing. We had at least fifteen first lessons scheduled where people just weren't there. That is the biggest problem in Ogden; people tell you that they are interested just so you will go away then they never answer the door again. We continue to be persistent, but often times they send kids to the door to tell us not to come back, or they just act like they aren't home when they are right there and you can see them through the window. It is tough.
       We need to work with the members more, I decided, because tracting really isn't getting success, so I guess we need more of a balance. Elder Isla has been here a while, so I am trying to get him out of the habit of saying, "I have already talked to them before. There's no point." Regardless of that, things could've changed, but I can't just go and talk to them without him so we sadly pass up talking to a lot of people. The other tough thing is running into white people. We can really only go tracting in a few areas, because if not, we spend way too much time giving referrals to English missionaries and not helping out our own area.
       You would not BELIEVE how great Elder Isla is at predicting

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

BTW, we had two baptisms this Sunday

     Thank you mom for the greenie package. It made me happy: especially the air freshener. We will really put it to good use in our apartment. Just so you know, dearelders or letters are the best, because Elder Isla doesn't take very long to do email, so he has to wait for me. The sooner I can send out an email the better. I can't believe how fast p-days go. I'm glad for the counsel you and mom gave me about p-day being preparation day first. Most missionaries say that p-day is first a day to have fun so you don't get sick of being a missionary work and all the preparation things are suggestions if you don't have anything to do. If you have too much fun things to do just take care of the shopping, haircut stuff the rest of the week. A little bit different from how I learned it, but it makes me more and more grateful to have been in Mesa and learned what I did. I told the president in my letter my concern about the gym being a bad environment just because of what I had seen other missionaries treat it as and talk about afterwards. I didn't point out specific people, but I did say something-that it had been bugging me. Should I not have said something to him? This week has been better. Like usual, this will be scattered, so here I go. 
     On Sunday, the relief society president walked up and handed me eight referrals. I couldn't believe it; I was so happy! We contacted a lot more people this week. I learned something about the culture here that made me pretty angry. A lot of Hispanic people are under the impression that Mormons don't like Hispanics. This is because groups of white people, including their boss at work, treat them badly, and they notice it as an attack on their race. I wish those people could understand that their selfish behavior is hindering the work of the Lord, but I guess they will find out one day. 
     I felt better at zone conference about our apartment. There are some missionaries that were living in members' homes. They were asked to leave, because the members didn't want to deal with the mess anymore; especially since the man who owns the house asked them to clean it like he always did, and they didn't listen. A missionary gave him a smart remark, and that was it. I'm glad I wasn't one of those missionaries. I can't believe anyone would be that disrespectful. That must be pretty embarrassing for President Hiers. 
     So the reason for the gym, I forgot to mention. The average weight gain for this mission used to be fifty pounds; it's now down to forty after people started going to the gym. I didn't believe it either until I asked people. My companion has gained thirty pounds, one of my zone leaders quite a bit, and the other one 60. So I guess they felt the gym was worth it. I still feel weird about it, and yes mom, the sisters go, too. I guess I'll just have to learn to not be distracted and keep focused, because it is a good stress reliever. 
     It's hard to eat healthy here. I eat really big unhealthy dinners, but I love it. Speaking of food, mom can you go to Costco and get whey protein, or if its more convenient go on to bodybuilding.com and order Optimum's 100% Whey Protein: the big bag with like 80 servings is the cheapest. Just if you have time. It would help since I usually rush through breakfast. Anyways, at least I eat healthier than other people. I can't believe how little missionaries care about health. Elder Isla, the first week I was there, would eat candy and pistachios for lunch, but today he ate spaghetti, so I guess that's good. 
     In this mission, they have something called the Spirit Sandwich. At the beginning of the lesson, you teach about the Spirit and baptism, then soft commit to baptism, then teach the first lesson, and after the first vision, you remind about the spirit and hard commit for a date three weeks out. It is pretty aggressive, but it's unique to this mission, and I guess it works well. The other unique thing they have is QGC's. We keep track of those daily. It's this mission's version of TTI's. It stands for 'quality gospel conversations' and has to include teaching something and an invitation (so really TTI makes more sense so good work mom and dad). [Side note-TTI is a phrase we adopted from Preach My Gospel that stands for 'teach, testify, and invite.'] We are trying to get more QGC's, but Hispanics talk a lot, so does Elder Isla, so they take like 20 minutes a lot of the time. I guess I should be more patient, but it makes it hard to talk to lots of people. 
     There is a really bad habit the people of Ogden have ESPECIALLY in the Spanish work where they pretend to be interested and tell you to come back, then they just look out the window when you come back and don't open the door. We have set up probably twenty lessons since I have been here where the people just don't open the door when they are home. It wastes lots of time and is frustrating, but I guess that's missionary work! 
     We have this family we are teaching right now: a man and his three daughters. His wife passed away a while back, and he really doesn't want to do anything, but he wants us to come back. I was sitting on the couch one day and his seven year old daughter saw me and ran up and hugged me. I didn't know what to do and kind of pulled away, and she said, "You're scared of hugs, huh?" I said, "Oh, we have a rule. We aren't allowed to give hugs." She said, "So?! My dad gives me rules, and I break them all the time!" She is really cute. I like seeing her. She called Elder Isla and I thing one and thing two. 
     It amazes me how many people here can't get baptized, because they can't get married for [multiple reasons].  [One woman] that is having a baby right now [can't marry her boyfriend because his x-wife won't sign the divorce papers], and I just had no idea what to tell her. I just said pray to see what God wants you to do, because He will provide a way for you to be baptized, but you need to do it the way He wants. Anyways, they run into situations like that a lot here. 
     Oh by the way thank you grandma for the package you sent! I got the cake one and my scripture case it is perfect! Elder Isla and I bought what he calls scripture tattoos this week. They are to help me know what's going on in Spanish scriptures. They were 80% off so I got some. Oh, by the way, Elder Isla refuses to make our own programs, so we need to buy them at deseret book for eight bucks, which is sooo expensive. But if you ever see a charge for deseret book on the credit card, that is good news.      
     Oh, by the way we had two baptisms this Sunday. I had only taught them a couple times, so Elder Isla baptized one and his old companion baptized the other.  Oh, and another good thing-President went to our baptism. It was good to see him. 
     So anyways, we baptized Juana and Ruby, grandma and granddaughter. They have been having lessons for a while, but haven't felt ready for baptism. Eventually, Ruby, (younger one) was ready and Juana still wasn't. We just taught her a few scriptures about baptism being a step and all that other stuff, and it came up she lost a few babies. We explained that she could raise them in the next life and that was pretty much it. She couldn't say no at that point. They are in a tough spot right now. They have two storage units in California that they missed the payments on. If they don't pay it, they will auction off everything in it. The units have deeds and titles to land and cars she owns in Mexico. One piece of land she claims is worth over a million dollars, whether or not that is true I don't know, but regardless she needed $2000 dollars in a week. She doesn't have a job, so we will see what happens. (It made Storage Wars a lot less cool hearing her tell this story.) 
     So something about Elder Isla. He is well known in this mission as the guy who has Finding Faith in Christ memorized. Every pause, line, tone of voice, everything, he can recite it. When I asked him about it, he said, "Oh, it's easy to memorize. Just watch it three times a day for two weeks, and you'll have it, haha." So he quotes that all the time. It's pretty funny how well he knows it. 
     We went over to a sick lady's house on Sunday to see why she wasn't at church. It wasn't well known that she was sick, but while we were there, TEN other members of the ward came to check on her to see why she wasn't at church (she is a recent convert). If all the members of the church were that great, I can't imagine how much retention would improve. I was so impressed with how much these people cared about one another. The son even brought his whole scout troop over to visit her. 
     Zone conference was good. It's his first one. My district leader and Elder Isla said it's the best one they ever had. One part of his included a blitz out to an area where we practiced contacting with real people. We weren't supposed to make it a competition to see who could get the most, but if it had been a competition, we would've won, because we got the most. haha. But anyways, the AP's were smart. They had us all go out to their area, so they ended up with 30 referrals that day. All the other missionaries were mad about it, but I just though that was genius of them to send us there. Anyways, one person even got a baptismal commitment, so that was pretty crazy. 
     CLARIFICATIONS: In the MTC, it was walking too fast that was a problem for that missionary. Also, we have 60 cars and ALL the Spanish areas have a car, sorry for that confusion. I am in a car everyday except p-day. I rush through these so I'm sure there are lots of mistakes. Thanks for correcting them mom. The walking fast thing turned out to help. It turns out Elder Isla walks slower than anyone on the planet. That may be an exaggeration, but we had that parade that the lady [Tara Morton] saw me at. We had to walk back twelve blocks to our car. It took a really long time. It was so hard for me, but I walked as slowly as I possibly could. It made me grateful we are in a car, because it's similar on bikes.  haha. 
     But things have been better this week. We are a lot closer. I am being more patient, and we are working harder and being obedient. We occasionally have hard days, and I get frustrated. Then the next day, we get along, and it will be good again. We are both learning. 
      So dad, I was reading about the atonement and remembered the part where you said we could relate "Watch with me one hour" to our time spent during Sacrament meeting, then I made the connection to study. The Lord must get so frustrated. He only asks for us to study with Him and learn from Him personally everyday, and so many missionaries sleep through it. He probably says, "Seriously, you couldn't stay awake with me one hour?" It made me want to have more diligent studies. Usually my personal study is good, but we need to work on companionship study. We are improving. There are still a few things that bug me, but I try to ignore them. He has this big 'spirit of the law vs. letter of the law' speech he tells me. He says that's what his interpretation is, so basically that means each law in the white handbook has a spiritual law that's more important, so you don't necessarily have to keep all the rules! I didn't quite get the connection, but my district leader swears by that, too. 
     I [struggle respecting my district leader.]  I need to learn to be more passive and just ignore his comments; I haven't been doing a great job of that this week. I guess at least there's room for improvement... Anyways, enough complaining, that just proves how much pride I have for how much I judge him for it, so I need to work on that.
     This week really has been better: lots more working and obedience. I have learned to appreciate Elder Isla as I hear about [other companionship challenges]. Elder Wright, the one I met in the Mesa temple, has really been struggling because his companion really doesn't want to work at all, and he doesn't know what to do. At zone conference, there were a group of missionaries talking about "fun times that they had that were disobedient."  Anyways, I guess I just need to realize that Elder Isla is great, and he is the companion I needed. And he is really great with people and is a good teacher, so I have tons to learn from him. 
      Elder Ward, the convert from North Carolina, has a really great companion. They teach 25 lessons a week and work nonstop, which is good. Elder Ward deserved to have a good companion to show him how it's done. I'm glad I had other missionaries teach me early on that you need to work hard nonstop to be a good missionary. Elder Ward will be a great missionary, and I'm grateful he has such a good companion. His companion actually used to be with Elder Isla. He came up to me one day and said, "Hey how is Elder Isla doing?" and I told him. He said, "Yeah. He has up and down days, but just keep encouraging him, and he will work hard,' so that's what I have been doing, and we have been doing a lot better! We still need to find a LOT more people, but we are trying. 
      Spanish is still hard. I don't understand a whole lot, but I'm pretty confident at speaking. The one thing I have been having a tough time with is music. You are allowed to choose any music based on the white-hand book. All the missionaries take that as you can listen to anything. I was bowling on p-day, and I mentioned to a missionary that I liked country. He said, "Oh awesome! I have an extra CD. I'll give it to you next time I see you." haha, it's kind of tough. Elder Isla has understood though, and we only listen to Finding Faith in Christ in the car. I was with the zone leaders, and they were listening to a rock band. I didn't say anything, because they are my leaders. I felt like it would be know-it-all-ish for me to ask them to turn it off, but I'm really worried I will get a companion that will not be happy if I say I don't want to really listen to anything but church music. But the white handbook says it has to INVITE the Spirit! And I don't understand how so many people can justify that maybe if you try really hard to keep feeling the Spirit while you listen to it, that that is the same thing as inviting the Spirit. 
     Oh, I saw a Brother Haymore today, he used to serve in this mission. Apparently, he is from Elverta Ward, and you were his stake president when he was in seminary. Small world.
I sent some pictures. Hopefully mom can post them.  Take a look at that personality test that we took as a district. The top of the graph is the obedient, rule-oriented type. I decided that's what you were with a little of the bottom part, too. Without fail, the missionaries that struggled with the rules and with me were the ones with longer diamonds as far as their graphs are shaped rather than taller shaped like mine, more lovey-dovey feeling type people who think rules restrain them. It was pretty interesting.
     It turns out they give us $40 less for our first month, not sure why but that means I didn't budget correctly and $120 just became $80 today, so next p-day I will us the credit card.
     Hope Jessica feels better, I'm excited for it, the marriage thing will be a struggle, but I will learn to deal with it. Anyways, I think that's about it. I hope I'm not leaving anything out. If you have questions, let me know. I miss you all so much. By the way, email was a day late because of the holiday yesterday so sorry about that. (P-day is Tuesday.)

Love you all.
Elder Bassett

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

First week in the field!

Well, I'll try to get through all of this; although, I probably won't have time today to reply to individual emails. I'm sorry. It looks like you are having a great trip.
       Ok, so back at the MTC. The first thing: it was very hard to say goodbye to my district. I have grown to love them, spending that much time with them, and it was even hard to say bye to the ones who were disobedient (except the one that hates me. He wouldn't say bye to me-haha). But anyways, it was tough. I spent the night in Elder Condie's room with Elder Ward, also going to Ogden. He is 21, graduated last year, converted two years ago, on a mission without the support of his parents, and is here to work- in Spanish as well.
     We left at about 6 am for the two hour bus ride. We got there Tuesday, spent all day in the office, spent the night in the mission home (31 of us-probably because they are packing Utah missions tight right now), and then met our trainers the next morning. We tracted with the assistants in 104 degree weather, and it was great. Elder Ward and I went together and spoke to a crazy guy who prayed with us to cast out spirits and was inactive. He referred us to a friend of his. We went and saw the friend who turned out to be a member trying to get the crazy guy back to church-haha. This was all in the course of an hour on the first day.
       There are four assistants. One has a really cool South African accent. They seemed really great. Also, last year our mission had 2000 baptisms just so you know, so that's pretty cool. The best part about the first day was homemade food. Even the bread on the sandwiches was homemade. It was just a good change from the MTC. There are about 60 cars in the mission with only 150 missionaries. All spanish areas are on bikes right now, but that could change. Also you aren't allowed to use cars on pday, which is weird since that's the day we have to pick things up and carry them home, but it's ok. I bought a bike. It was $200 from Walmart, and it should work. The only other one I could find that I wanted was an $800 disk break fixed gear from a cycle shop, but obviously that would've been crazy to buy that, so I got a bike with street tires. That should be fine; although I couldn't find a fixed gear like I wanted.
        So the one weird thing, they always say 'you guys' here. In the MTC, it was really bad to say that and you had to say 'you elders', but we got here and everyone even in the office says 'you guys' so that was a change that I didn't even think would be weird. I started saying y'all a lot without even meaning to, because it's not 'you guys,' so now I have that habit. The assistants showed us this spoof video-the district three-which was made about a year ago, and it is pretty funny. It talks about the role of accents in conversion, and the people with accents should use them to baptize. It had a bunch of other stuff, but that was the funny part.
       Our interviews were only like three minutes each, so I didn't say much to the mission president (he had 30 to interview that day so I understood why), but at least he heard my testimony in the testimony meeting at his house that night. That's the important part.
       My companion: they announced one at a time with lots of clapping and yelling (in the chapel which was weird), and I was the last one to be announced. My companion is Elder Isla. He was born in Chile, moved to Mexico, then grew up in American Fork. He speaks fluent, fast Spanish and English, so he is harder to understand than others, but it's good practice. He is pretty quiet and has been out like a year and half. He knows our area really well; it's big.  We drive a Chrysler 200. We live in an apartment with our district leader who is also training another new missionary.
       We got to the apartment, and honest, I was angry. It was the most disgusting place I had ever seen. The first three hours I spent in the mission field were cleaning, and it wasn't Wednesday (preparation day), but that's what we had to do. After the three hours, we weren't even close to being done, but we needed to work. It was nasty; there was mold on the shower floors; the fridge hadn't been cleaned in months; there were half eaten pieces of toast on the ground and used q-tips all over my desk. I think the couch had never been lifted up; there was nowhere for me to unpack because of how much stuff there was. When I was cleaning, I had nine, full, kitchen-size trash bags full of garbage. Like I said, at this point we weren't even halfway done with cleaning it, but it just never got cleaned. My district leader and companion said that's just the way it is, and it'll be fine. I could tell the other new missionary was discouraged, and I talked to him and said things were going to change. I talked to my companion about keeping it clean, and he said there's no point, because it will get messy again. I basically said, "Well you have never lived with me before. This place won't ever look like this again." I wasn't very happy at that point, but we went out to work.
       We ended up spending most of our time that day at a member's house, not teaching, just hanging out really. The next day was pretty similar. During weekly planning, we had inventory, because we hadn't been getting along that well, because he isn't a big fan of keeping a lot of the rules. He said that he thinks I am dragging him to keep his standards, and he doesn't want to, because that's not how he is keeping all the rules. He said he had never seen a perfect missionary so there is no point in trying and eventually I would start breaking the rules. I basically just said I am here to work, and I don't care what others do, but I wouldn't lower my standards to be his companion, and we weren't going to spend anymore time at members' houses, and it was time to go to work. He said he wanted me to be more patient with him, and I agreed. He said he would help me out more rather than leaving things to me. I am happy to say that since then things have improved. WE have started working, he got the message!       The area book hadn't been updated in a few weeks/months, and he wasn't really confident on how to use it. So I have been studying chapter eight, and I kind of taught myself certain parts. We have been looking for people that were investigators in the past mainly, but we are running out of those people. It'll be lots of tracting this week. I think other areas usually teach a little bit more, but we only have two investigators, so we need to spend a lot of time finding. This area has been struggling the last little while, but as I have studied the scriptures, I have kept being reminded that as long as we do all we can, the Lord will do the rest. Nephi asked for ore to make tools, not for the tools. The Liahona workecd with faith, heed, and diligence-so that's what we are going to do. We are going to study hard, work hard all day, and the Lord will take care of the rest. Elder Isla said that doesn't work, because contacting people door to door is ineffective. I said I wanted to try it, so even though he doesn't want to, we will. I have talked to a couple other spanish missionaries in our zone and they said door contacting has been effective for them, so we will try it.
       So anyways in this mission, missionaries go to gold's gym for free. We get up at six every morning, and our whole zone goes. I kind of feel like it's not a good environment for the missionaries with the music, movies, and girls not dressed appropriately for missionaries, but even the assistants go. Especially since afterwards a lot of the missionaries talk about the ufc fight they watched while working out or the girls they saw which makes me angry. I just try to stay away from them when they say that. I still kind of feel weird. I talked to Elder Isla about it, and he wasn't happy, so we have still been going, but I think I just need to learn to focus and not be distracted when we are there-like by the music mostly. The rule on music here is that as long as you and your companion agree it goes with the white handbook, then its ok. Well, most people interpret that pretty loosely and walk around the gym with headphones listening to just whatever. Anyways, I decided I won't listen to really anything but motab, which luckily Elder Isla is ok with, because he listens to Jesus the Christ recording while we drive.
      The Spanish has been tough. I speak more than I understand for sure. The first day I understood nothing, and now I understand sixty percent. I am really praying for the gift of tongues, which I have already seen help me in only a week. The missionaries in our apartment call me vinny because they think I look like Vin Diesel which I don't, but whatever it doesn't bother me. The district leader doesn't really want to be obedient, but his companion does. I feel bad that he isn't getting trained that well, but I am glad that I know better about following rules like doing things for p-day during the week or skipping study and stuff like that. I think the other new missionary is figuring things out fine, so that's good. I have been tyring to encourage him as much as I can when we are at home. His companion is driving him a little crazy, I think.
      Oh and this cool thing; the district leader has as broken ankle, so he has these electrical pads that you put on your muscle. It sends electric signals through it and forces your muscle to flex (same idea as the '123 clear!" thing the doctors use and tazers) anyways so that is pretty cool. I have played with that a little bit. It forces your arm to flex really hard. We probably shouldn't play with it since it's for physical therapy, but for some reason it's the funniest thing in the world.
       Also Dad, the future investigators sheet, how often should they be updated? Preach my gospel isn't very clear and my zone leaders weren't sure either. Is it something I do at the end of the transfer or every week? On Sunday, we saw a fireside by Elder Ballard. It was funny-he said there are so many beautiful girls here it's hard to keep my mind on my work. It was at weber state in the events center and there was a fireworks show after (finsihed at 10 o clock). I was happy because Elder Isla didn't want to go even though other missionaries were, so we went and worked during it instead.
       My first Sunday was good, I very briefly met the bishop, couldn't understand a ton, but I introduced myself over the pulpit and said I wanted to serve them and work as hard as I can to help them. People tell me I have a good accent which is good, but I don't really know what that means. I think I just sound bad. I taught the restoration for the first time last night with the zone leaders. We went on splits to switch investigators to another area. I taught with a zone leader and the guy wasn't that interested, but we taught it nonetheless. This week we have four first lessons from finding people last week which I am excited about adding to the amount of investigators they have. I feel like every member here is inactive.
        We live in a pretty run-down part of Ogden. There are people of Ogden who are normal and ogdenites, the people that push shopping carts around and had beards to their stomachs and weird stuff like that and there are a LOT of those people. One thing I have been trying to get us to stop doing is something they call poaching which just means teaching people out of your area. Elder Isla said people have done it to him so he wants to basically get revenge, but I told him we need to focus on our area, and it doesn't matter what others do. I think he understands that, and we are going to stop. The things we have always heard about members paying for your dinner and groceries is more in Bountiful. Here things like that don't happen so much, but we get a dinner appointment six days a week so that's good. I'm grateful to the members for that. I mostly just ate sandwhiches for lunch. I asked the district leader about cooking; he has lived there for three months and didn't even know if they had pots and pans. I found some even though I probably won't cook much.
       There is one guy we contaced who has the cutest kids ever, but I am not sure what to do. He speaks Spanish and English, but his kids mostly English, so once we start teaching him tomorrow, it might be in English. I think that means we should switch him to the Englsih elders which won't make Elder Isla happy, but if they are going to an English ward, then I don't think we should teach him.       We are trying to get more organized, because in the past, I think lots of appointments have been missed. But we have been planning every night and trying to set more meaninful goals and not just put the same numbers every night because so far we have never made our goals, so obviously they need to be adjusted. Yesterday Elder Isla carreid a planner, so I think he might start using it during the day which is good, because I don't always understand things, and I miss them and don't write them down.
       I have learned to absolutely love study time in the morning. Personal study is so great and peaceful, and I learn so much.  It's my favorite part of the day. Anyways, this letter I realize sounds pessimistic and has lots of complaining. I'm sorry it ended up like that. I am happy, because I am working as hard as I can with all I know how to do. I have really learned as long as I do that I have no need to fear because that's all I can do, and the Lord will help me. I think this area will start to improve as we work harder. It's just been eye opening to me that not every missionary is an Elder Endemano, Elder Mackie, Elder Johnson, Elder .....  but I want to be like them. I have been sooo, so grateful this week for their examples of hard work and obedience, and I want to become like them even though it will take lots of work. The advice always helps, especially from you, Tyson. I will try to remember everything you told me. Like I said, I am working hard and being obedient, so the Lord is keeping me happy.
      Oh and our investigators. Mother and daughter, they think they need more time to be baptized but they don't. We should have them commited this week to a baptism soon, so that is fantastic. Dinner appointments are awesome. I absolutely LOVE mexican food, and we eat a lot of it. So anyways pray for me, my companion, and especially the people here to be ready for the missionaries, and that we can find them!
I love you all,
Elder Bassett
PS One other testimony booster. The letters that the elders in my district from the MTC wrote me were great. Six of them said that they learned about how important it is to keep the rules from me. One of them said he really didn't like me until the day he decided to be obedient, because he saw Elder Wilkey and I were happy being obedient. I'm not saying that in a boastful way, it was just the Lords' way of encouraging me to be obedient, so it made me happy to know I am doing something right. Love you
      One more thing, I just want to remind you I am happy. I am glad to be out here. I don't want my email to make you think I am unhappy as a missionary or discouraged, because I am not. I knew it would be work, and it is. Next week's letter will be more positive. All mail will go to the mission office, they forward everything to the aparments so for my whole mission send it there. I will send pictures next week. I love you all. Also, I get to drive! Elder Isla's license expired so I am the driver (the only new missionary driver). It is pretty sweet. I was happy. Anyways, bye.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Your missionary has arrived!

Your missionary has arrived at the Utah Ogden Mission.  They have spent the day here in Ogden learning and teaching and will be spending the night at the Mission Home.
Tomorrow, they will be meeting their trainers and will be sent to their first area! 
What a great group of missionaries!!!!!
We are so excited they are HERE..

Please mail all items to the Mission Office at:
4380 So. Orchard Ave.
So. Ogden, UT  84403
Sister Tibolla
Secretary to the President

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Last week in the MTC

Well, it's my last p-day in the MTC. I cannot wait...I have been pretty anxious to leave for a while now just like all of the missionaries. I think intermediate missionaries should only have six weeks here but I have learned a lot here. I leave Tuesday Morning at six o'clock. My mission home address is:
Utah Ogden Mission
4380 S Orchard Ave
South Ogden, UT 84403

Mom, I know you will put this on the blog, when you get the chance can you also log in as my user on facebook and put it as a wall post so friends that don't know about the blog can write to me if they want? thanks.

Well this has been a pretty busy last week as zone leader. One missionary has been flirting with the sisters, which made me pretty unhappy that he was making them feel uncomfortable. Especially since it's been going on for a while and the coordinating sister has just been too uncomfortable to tell us anything. I was patient though, but made it very clear Elder Wilkey, and I didn't want to ever hear that they were uncomfortable again. Another missionary, the last week, decided he wouldn't listen to his teachers or study at all since he knows the scriptures well enough now and is good enough at teaching he doesn't need companionship study. We sat down with him for a while and realized we couldn't convince him he still needed to know more, so instead made it a matter of obedience and that he had to do it either way, and he would gain a testimony of it eventually. He was unhappy, but agreed to try it. Anyways, there were a couple other problems, but we just passed them all on to the new zone leaders (as of tomorrow) Elders Plowman and Woodward. They will be great and probably a lot nicer than me, so I'm sure the missionaries will enjoy that.