Tuesday, September 25, 2012

I can help generations...

Well, I am getting transferred again, going up to Preston, Idaho. It covers all the way through Star Valley, Wyoming. It’s the biggest area in the mission and probably takes at least two hours to drive across my area without traffic. I am with Elder Senn. He is from Panama, and this will be his second transfer, so I am going to finish training him. I am excited to help him out. I don't know how good of an example his last companion set, so I think I can help him start some good habits. (His former companion was with Elder Saldaña before I came.) President Hiers called me to ask me if I could do that for him, and he just said, “Elder Senn has a great testimony. I am praying everything goes well for you...haha,” and that was it. But it will be fun. We drive a six cylinder Malibu (the only one in the mission), so that’ll be fun :)   So this has been a good week if a little long because everyone was anxious to know what will happen with transfers but it is good.

We had one meeting, and they brought up one of their ward mission plans; it summed up this mission so far. The ward mission leader came to ward council and his ward mission plan was to wait for all the kids in the ward to turn nine to allow them to be baptized...and he was serious..ha-ha. I thought that was pretty funny.

So cool thing this week, at correlation, our mission leader found out transfers were coming up. He asked us if he could call President Hiers to make sure that Elder Saldaña and I stayed, because he has been waiting for these types of missionaries for a long time. That was pretty nice of him; it made us feel like we were doing something right, but I guess I am leaving anyways.

So, I was reading more about Ammon in Alma this week, and I had a cool thought. We think of all the converts of Ammon, and that is the fruit of his labors. We think how great that is, but we often tend to miss that the REAL fruit of Ammon’s labors is those people's kids, the 2000 striplingwarriors: basically the biggest studs in The Book of Mormon. It made me think about how the effect my mission can have on generations to come based on how well I prioritize retention rather than just baptism as a missionary. Just a random thought.

(Print from imagekind)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Things are getting better...

 Well, the week before last was tough, but right after I emailed, things got better. I prayed about what to do about my companion and I not getting along; the simple answer given was just to talk to him. So I did that...a two hour long companionship inventory that night..yayyyy. It started out very badly but ended well. I wasn't really mad; I was just kind of tired of fighting him and feeling hated. For the first little bit he just talked about how he doesn't like me or respect me and that other missionaries in the zone don't like me either; they talk about me behind my back. He didn't care about fixing it, because he said he just really didn't like me and laughed at me when I said I am struggling. I couldn't believe that was happening! But I was persistent and said I wouldn't keep going on without finding a solution, so FINALLY he said, “ok fine I will try to be nicer to you. I'll admit I have been mean on purpose, but maybe if I start loving you like I have my other companions it will get better.” And that was it; he hasn't changed really and neither have I, but some how it is just better. I am still a little bugged that other missionaries don't like me; I guess they talk about how I am obedient to suck up to the zone leaders and that I am always just angry. It's kind of funny, because around those missionaries, I usually am angry, because they are around me when they are over at our house NOT doing missionary work. But oh well, the people that matter still like me, so I just am kind of brushing what they think off. Trying to.
The pitbull that wants to kill me. Maybe he hates me because I walk to fast?

One of the reasons that Elder Saldaña doesn’t like me that made me laugh is because I walk too fast (never heard that one before). It amazes me how much that bugs people, oh well. I guess I walk too fast. I can work on that.

WE have taught a couple more first lesson this week. The Spirit sandwich is great, but it kind of messes up lesson one. We extend the commitment right after the first vision, and that kind of feels like the end, so the restoration of the priesthood and The Book of Mormon always get skipped which is a problem. At this point in the lesson, I just kind of cut in and teach them after the commitment, because he really just thinks we should finish there which I know is not what we are supposed to do. They mentioned that specifically in the training.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Going Private Update

After posting last week that we would be taking the blog private, several of you responded that you would like to stay updated with Elder Bassett's letters. That was plan as of this morning, until I received this email response from our last letter asking if we should make it more private:

"They won't search my name again. I am sure...leave it public. There are some people that get on it that I am friends with, but you wouldn't know."
So that's where we stand. The blog will stay public! Thank you for reading, and please keep him and his fellow missionaries in your prayers! As you can see from this morning's letter (published below), things are improving bit by bit; your prayers help so much.

"You guys are awesome. I'm glad you are here to make things better.”

Another week has gone by. It was a crazy week. Right off the bat, I went on exchanges with my district leader. He is fantastic. He talked to me all day about looking from others’ perspectives and being a good companion. He is just such a nice guy and really cares about other people. Before bed, we were laying down falling asleep, and he said every night he says something he loves about his companion, and then he said something (I can't remember what it was), but it just shows you he is a good guy. Maybe I will try that one-day.

Our new apartment
Then we moved last week. There are four of us in one apartment. It is a two-bedroom place, which means we have no office/desks and no storage. There are just boxes of stuff sitting in the front room. We have to study sitting in bed, which makes it harder to stay awake and means the other missionaries have an excuse to sit all in the front room together and not study. The other missionaries were told by our housing coordinator to look for another place and this is just temporary, but they want to live together: mostly because Elder Saldaña doesn’t want to be just with me. Anyways, they aren’t looking for a place and just plan on staying with us.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Going Private

Hi everybody...thanks for reading Elder Bassett's letters and supporting him through prayers and letters. Some of the missionaries in his area have been going on the internet and searching out names and people. Since he shares so openly about his experiences, we decided to open the blog to invited guests only. If you would to continue reading his letters, please send me an email and I will send you an 'invitation." Sorry for the inconvenience. We're still learning and trying to figure out how best to share his letters.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

That really encouraged me...

Sorry...no pictures this week...and this keyboard has the backspace in the wrong spot, so sorry if there are a few extra type-o's.

Anyway, this week has been better; mainly it’s just my perspective, but I am doing well. So, I made a big decision...Jessica keeps asking what I want her to send, and I never tell her, but I just want to say NOT candy…dessert is different obviously J but no candy. I already eat unhealthy enough here, so yeah, no need to send candy while I am on my mission after watching how much candy other missionaries eat. Ha-ha.

Last p-day, I was feeling a little discouraged and overwhelmed. The next morning I prayed to be able to see some love from the Lord…then I got five letters that day! It was great; three letters the next day, too. Lots of support from some awesome uncles and old mission friends that really encouraged me...it also made me wake up a little bit and realize how small my problems are especially compared to other's in their missions. It definitely changed my perspective about my mission, and I know it'll get better. 

So, we are moving this week! They finally found a new place, and it is an apartment next to the trailer park where all of our work is, so we will save tons of miles. We ended up 450 miles over this month; our vehicle coordinator was aware, though, well ahead of time. Before I got into the area, Elder Saldaña’s old companion pretty much used all of ours up going around the mission, so things should be better this month.

So anyways, just about my Spanish: I haven't reported in awhile. Most people that I talk to are surprised that I speak ok and tell me I don't have a bad accent, which is good. Most missionaries here that learn Spanish don't ever practice, so most people's reaction in the ward is surprise, because Elder Saldaña’s last companion has been out a year and can't really speak it still. I still have a ton to learn, but at least I can communicate fine. I am working on doing flashcards for all the words in the small red book, all the grammar reviews in the medium red book and just reading the Book of Mormon the rest of the time. I couldn’t believe Tyson finished the whole Book of Mormon in Spanish in a transfer, so I have been kicking it into gear and trying to do it a little faster. I have been lazy about it and doing other Spanish things that are probably easier and won't help as much.

So, we have this talk called ‘Feed My Sheep’ by Elder Holland. We have it on video. It was given a year ago in the MTC. If you can find it then watch it. It's like Remember the Titans, but with the Spirit. It is awesome. Basically the whole time, it is really good, but then at the end he finishes with talking about the exact moment that Peter became the great apostle when for the third time (acknowledging the three times he denied the Savior) he says he loves the Savior more than anything. And in that moment, Elder Holland says you can forget the denials, the confusion, the not knowing what to do but go feed sheep, because in that moment he becomes the great apostle and "to that response the Savior of the world said then Feed my sheep! (while pounding the podium)" and he talks about how the Savior was conveying "I have asked you before to leave your nets, and I am asking you a second time and don't want to ask you a third time, when I asked you to follow me it was forever, when I asked you to be an apostle it was forever, when I asked you to see this through to the end. it was because it’s not over till its over, so go feed my sheep." Anyway, I can't do justice over email, but it is seriously so awesome, and he gets very passionate and talks about how awful it is to serve a mission then go home and go inactive, and that this mission marks the hour that we will feed His sheep FOREVER. Not just two years…anyways. So at random times during the day, I will yell out FEED MY SHEEP just because we love it so much. In fact, it is about an hour long. It’s what Elder Saldaña does for personal study a lot of the time. Ha-ha. (The referenced talk isn't posted here yet, but if we keep checking, I'm thinking it might get added to the list.)