Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Even if I don't baptize everyone I teach, I can help them remember...

Ok. So another week...and my last week in East Ogden! This week has been good.

So the costco story...
I went last week for p-day...and had about 33 dollars worth of stuff..and went up to pay with the members I was with. I thought my missionary card was debit so I tried that, and it didin't work; apparently, it runs as credit. Then I said no big deal and used my US Bank debit card. It didn't work; it said my pin was wrong. I kept trying and was getting frustrated and said to put a few things back, because I only had 17 dollars cash. The lady at the register was a member and said, “No, I'll pay for it.” It's one thing for someone to choose to do that, but she was kind of forced into the situation, and I felt bad, so I said, “No, absolutely not. I'll put it back.” She said no, and I tried a couple more times and said please don't, but she did anyways. I could feel myself turning red and getting frustrated, because I felt bad and don't like putting people out paying for me. Anyway, I called US Bank and tried to blame it on them, because I was frustrated with myself and anyways then I got home and realized I was using my ATM number instead of my debit card number. Stupid...Anyways, I felt pretty dumb. On top of that, I have to figure out what I'm going to do with this bulk food I now have to bring with me up to Hyrum.

So this week I remembered things that I had to do and wrote them down. I remembered in Arizona Mom asked me to make her a playlist probably at least ten times, and I never did it. Anyways...I just wanted to say sorry Mom...I remembered and was just lazy and selfish and never took ten minutes to help you. I ask members to give us their friends and do all these hard things, but I couldn't even "commit" to helping my mom for five minutes. I don't know why, but that has really been bugging me this week, so I am sorry I never did that. Hopefully my mission will teach me to be a little less selfish and lazy.

Mom, you apologized in one letter for focusing on negative when I was growing up. It made me laugh. I had a conversation with Elder Wilkey, and he said to stop focusing on the negative. I said, “But that's how you improve! It’s looking at what you can work on” Anyways, you don't have to feel bad for correcting me...or Dad. Both of you keep giving advice. It's always very helpful. I have put Mom's advice to good use this week. Several times this week I have talked to English speaking people on the street and set up several appointments for the English missionaries, so you were right as usual, Mom.

We had interviews last week. Everyone else's was like fifteen or twenty minutes. Then mine and Elder Isla's was like four minutes; we couldn't figure out why, but it was really short. He just said, “How are you feeling?” and I said, “Great.” He said, “Take the next few transfers to learn as much as you possibly can so you can help me out in the future.” I said ok and that was about it.

I have thought a lot about dad's birthday this week, so do not worry. I did not forget. I did however forget to send a card, and like I said, I will send a late one. So I sent a picture of me doing weekly planning. I remember talking with dad about how hard weekly planning can be, but I actually really like it. It is so organized, and it just gives you the chance to sort everything out and see your progress and everything becomes so clear when you do it. I can't believe most missionaries here don't do it. I don't know how they survive. Our numbers weren't huge this week, but we definitely noticed how much more progress records we have, and there is more work to do. The area book is finally put together like I wanted it, the apartment is clean, and there will probably be several baptisms next transfer because of the people we are working with….but I am leaving. Ha-ha.

I am going to miss Elder Isla. He has been a lot of fun to serve with. I don't know if I ever told you the weirdest thing about him is he loses something everyday: the phone, keys, whatever. But at the same time, he has a memory like no other. He will remember a person’s name, address, and information about them for forever. It's no wonder he doesn't carry around a planner; although, I did suggest it to him that he needed to do it, and he started carrying one around this last week.

I kind of got frustrated with my zone this week. After a district meeting, the other district went outside to burn a tie they had written their concerns on. Elder Isla and I sat in the car waiting, because we had to drive one of them home. Then one of the missionaries, to put the fire out, peed on it right in the middle of the church parking lot…Genius. What if a member had driven up? or somebody on the street had seen? The thing that made me mad was my zone leaders were just watching and laughing. So, I am a little happy to just start fresh since I am not happy with them right now.  And I was pretty happy Elder Isla was mad about it too. If I had been driving, we would have just left them, but Elder Isla is nicer and stayed to give them a ride home.

We did service this week trimming hedges. We saw the lady, and she said, “Elder Bassett, why are you so small and young looking like a little kid when Elder Isla is big and strong looking?” My small-man-syndrome kicked-in, but I restrained from saying any rude comments and just said, “Huh, that is weird. I'm not sure?” Anyways, I am still learning patience day by day.

I have decided those dish-drying holders are the worst things ever. They are those racks where you set dishes after you wash them so you don't have to dry them. All it does it create clutter and look messy, and then they never get put away. So I took ours and hid it, but they found it and kept using it. Oh well. I guess I will choose my battles.

We teach this one family named Ortiz. They have a little kid just learning how to walk; he just walks around everywhere. He loves us. I sit down, and he walks up and one at a time takes every single thing (card, planner, badge, pen) out of my front pocket and puts it on the ground. If I try and put anything back, he yells really loud and takes it back out. Then when we leave, he screams and cries and tries to reach for us. He is a funny kid. I like him.

We did cookie night again. Only four people came. I really don't think its an effective use of time, but they really do. It doesn't increase any key indicators, and we spend three hours every Sunday on it and have no time for proselyting as a result.

I spent some time with my zone leader, and we talked about lots of stuff. I realized how much I learned about being loving to your companion rather than forceful. And really the only way to help your companion want to work or keep the rules is to love them and set an example. I hope I use that well in the future.

Oh, I am pretty much a budgeting champion. I realize I have had members pay for me a little at Costco, but still, I do a good job and don't waste money like EVERYone else. Anyways, I was at my zone leaders’ house and saw they had a type of bread I like. I said, “Oh, that kind of bread is really good,” and my zone leader said, “Well, maybe if you learned to budget, then you could afford it.” I kindly told him that we were halfway through the month, and I still had 90 dollars left and that's the reason I have money left is because I don't buy the most expensive bread in the store. Anyways, that wouldn't have been a big deal, but then we commented on how nice their apartment is. (They live in a complex with an elevator, main lobby, concierge lounge type thing, their own washer. The place is a couple years old. It’s probably nicer than some of the Marriott hotels we have stayed at.) Anyways, we said it was nice, and he said well if I lived in your apartment, it would look just as nice as this one does, but you elders make such a mess it just looks dumpy. It took patience to kindly explain that the 20 basement apartment with no air conditioning or smoke detectors has been taken care of very well the past transfer, and he needed to think before assuming that everyone else is doing everything wrong; although, I honestly can't blame him. Anyways, this is all just funny, because that day he was telling me about how at the beginning of his mission he was very prideful, so he worked hard on it, and now he is humble. Kind of a funny guy, but he is a hard worker, so that's more than you can say for some missionaries.

SO, anyways...the lesson we taught at cookie night was about repentance. We talked about Alma. I was pondering about the article Alma uses  (“a” savior) like dad taught the missionaries. I realized something more to help me be a better teacher. It is true he didn't have that personal relationship with the Savior yet...but that was also the only piece of information he held on to. His dad was a prophet; he had probably been to church earlier in life then stopped and forgot about a lot of the gospel, but the one and only thing that stuck (this is just how I think of it) is about someone named Jesus Chris, and that's what he clung to. So, even if I don't baptize everyone I teach, I can help them remember even just one thing...”of one Jesus Christ, a Son of God,” and in their time of need nothing else I said matters as long as I emphasized and helped them remember Jesus Christ as their rock and Savior. Anyways, just a thought...

So, last night Elder Isla got a call that said he was training. That meant I was leaving, but I wouldn't know where until this morning. I couldn't sleep last night I was so stressed: one, that I wouldn't get a hard working or obedient companion, and two how I was going to pack all my food that I had and bring it with me, because I am too cheap to leave it behind (I actually convinced my district leader to buy fifteen dollars worth of food from me and pay me two dollars to touch a 9 volt battery to my tongue, so my new groceries are paid for… I just wanted to reiterate how cheap I am) Anyways, I woke up and was stressed. Then I went to the zone breakfast, and I am going to Hyrum with Elder Saldaña (there is a an n with the tilda on top but I can't do that on here) He is from Mexico. Anyways, he was Elder Isla’s companion before me in this area. Elder Isla has served in Hyrum before for six months...It is very well known as the Spanish dead area. My zone leader gave me a summary. I'll tell you what he said, “It's a huuuuge area covering several small cities with no Hispanics. Your only hope is one trailer park which gets tracted about six times a transfer. Everyone in the park works at the local meat factory that has the main production day on Sunday so they won't go to church.” He said I will need to learn to work smart and work with the members, because the missionaries up there typically hang out at members and don't do a lot, if any at all, missionary work. It's going to be a pretty tough area, but the Lord will help me. I just need to figure out how to work a little differently than knocking doors, because that is not at all what you do there.

My companion, Elder Isla said, is good. He is the one that came down all day long for that baptism. He left behind a few pictures of some girls that were not very appropriately dressed after he moved out: the first thing I cleaned up when moving into my current area. Apparently, he just covers his walls with pictures of girls he used to party with. He really likes the gym and working out, which means he won't be happy with me not wanting to go. And that's pretty much all I know about him. ha-ha. So it will definitely be a learning experience. I am trying to go in unbiased, but from what I have heard about him in the past few weeks, I don't know. However, Elder Isla said he does like to work, so that is good!

I am kind of stressed about the gym thing. We will see how he takes it. I don't think I should go back to the gym, and I don't really want to give in, but we will see. I am excited/nervous to learn in this next area. I don't know much about it at all, but I will find out. I will go out there tomorrow. I bought some space bags from Walmart which should save me. I'm glad I don't have a jacket yet but still send it, and that will be very helpful Dad. Thanks again. Oh one other thing, we live in a nice house in Hyrum with six missionaries...this is the house that the members are kicking the missionaries out, because they weren't taking care of it. They haven’t found a new place yet, so we are still in that house for now, but I hope I can help keep it clean and change the members minds about missionaries. But six people is a lot to clean up after, so we will see. Anyways, I hope that all is well. Keep praying for my companion and I and for the people we are going to find....I love you all! Take care.
Elder Bassett

PS Mom, don't worry about sending me Cami’s announcement; she sent me one. I’m so glad that she is happy. If you see her, tell I love her, and I'm happy for her. She looks so happy; that is awesome. She deserves it.

PPS the quotation mark word is "commit" since I am asking members to commit..I am really sorry about all of my typos..I rush through these time goes by pretty fast...Hope dad's birthday is awesome....I get to take a little extra time to think of dad..and I will make myself a cake from grandma and eat it...while thinking the whole time..thank you dad for having a birthday..also you would be proud..I have been eating so healthy this last little while...I say no to seconds and to dessert..It's been good although I have lost ten pounds (of muscle) since being here.

First district

View of the Area

A shout out to Jessica, 'It's where we'll stay..."

Pet spider from Elder Isla's closet....

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