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.
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So we had a dinner this week, and the lady found a way to help us obey the rules. Her husband wasn’t home, so she goes outside and plays with her daughters while we eat in her house. We tried to say no, but she insisted. I wasn’t sure if that was even any better being in her house without her? Ha-ha.
So, we were talking to a guy that is a return missionary and atheist. He tried to convince us of DNA evidence and how The Book of Mormon is not true for whatever reason. I was on a split at the time. Anyways, walking away, the missionary I was with told me that his mom was a convert. I guess ten years after her baptism, the missionary that baptized her sent a letter and apologized for baptizing her and said that the church wasn’t true, and he had been deceived, and she had too. It was devastating for his mom. She of course knew the church was true and didn't leave the church over it. It made me think about how important it is that we really get this in OUR hearts while we are out here...and really make these lifetime habits rather than just a two year thing.
So, I did get a package from Ben and Emy this week. It made me very happy to hear from them and to get pictures which are always the best…thank you! I am so glad for all of my loving and supportive family. Oh mom, when you get the chance, can you send my grey Nike sweatpants? It gets cold here, and all I have are basketball shorts for p-day sports/gym. Thanks....and if anyone ever has any old EFY cds laying around…send them on down. Emy sent me one, and I love it. So did my companion, so that was good to get: even more music added to my churchy music collection. (Although nothing beats my Mesa Mission cd). One thing that would be awesome, mom...return address stickers. I will have the same address my whole mission so..just ones like:
Elder W. Taylor Bassett
4380 South Orchard Ave
South Ogden, UT 84403
Also, mom, can you make a smaller copy of my patriarchal blessing and send it to me? One that will fit in my Spanish scriptures.
I have had this idea from a couple people; what do you think...giving a thank you card at every dinner appointment. Is it too expensive? (BTW-we bought Elder Bassett Thank You cards just for that purpose before he left…I guess he forgot!) It would definitely show people I appreciate them, but I don't know if that would be too much. Tell me what you think. It would be six cards a week. Right now I already probably have at least fifty cards, so that’s a start.
What else has happened this week? I was with my zone leader when they did zone call in’s. I was with him for the night before p-day since my companion wanted to go have a sleepover with some other missionaries. I would rather not be around that. Another one of them (my district leader), had a conflict with his companion, and they weren’t together either. Anyways, the point is I was with him when the assistants called. They didn’t know I was with him, and he had the phone on speaker. He went through where everyone was getting transferred. (It didn’t matter that I heard, because I already knew since President called me earlier that day.) The assistant didn’t say anything about any missionaries until he got to me and said "Elder Bassett is going to Preston; he is such a great missionary!" It made me happy. I am sure he says that about a lot of people, but still I am glad that everyone doesn’t feel about me the way my companion right now does. Needless to say, he was very happy that he wouldn’t be my companion anymore and made that very clear. I hope he is nice to his next companion. He is one that came out with me and that I really like. I hope he is treated with better respect than I was.
I am disappointed to be leaving considering how the work has started to pick up here. We have some very great people: one family that I am sure will all be baptized next transfer and several other maybes. It is very sad I will miss out on that. I feel like the same thing happened with my first area. I hope I eventually stay somewhere long enough to get some baptisms! But I guess that’s not what it is all about: still a little disappointing. We set a date yesterday for another person, too, oh well. We didn’t have any baptisms this transfer. Elder Saldaña said it’s because of my pride, but I just think that’s what happens sometimes. I hope we will find some awesome people that are prepared next transfer!
OK- well this is a short letter. All is well. Thank you for the mail. Please keep it coming. I love you all very much!