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.)

So they had the missionaries translate in Sacrament Meeting today. I was doing fine up until the guy started reading a quote by Elder Bednar. I got lost and gave it to Elder Saldaña, and he did it through the rest of the meeting, so I still have a ways before I can translate, I guess.

So something cool happened. I was reading in Mosiah 24-25 and didn't know why. Then later that day, a lady was going through a rough time, and I knew just the scripture for her. It was cool how the Lord prepared me to help her.

So, request for my siblings...tell me more about your concerns/problems/worries whatever, maybe at least for my little siblings I can have advice and then mostly because I can have more specific things to pray for. I love getting your letters, so keep them coming. I am sorry if I can’t write back every time. So, Dad I keep getting asked where you served in Guatemala. We had dinner with a family from there the other day, and they are my favorite people ever. It was kind of sad; they didn't eat with us. They just watched us eat, because they didn't have enough for them, so we didn't eat very much but kept saying how good it was, and it made them so happy. And my branch president served in Guatemala when he was nineteen, and he was born in 68 so Dad would have barley missed him.

So, we are continuing to work hard. My companion is burning out a little bit, and he gets bored of doing stuff pretty quick and just wants to drive around a lot. I am trying to discourage that as much as possible, but it’s tough since I am the junior companion. He usually stays kind of obedient with me, but the other day he took the car to get it fixed and was gone for three hours and came back with shopping bags (he went with Elder Jolley). I was mad but just didn't say anything since there was really nothing I could do at that point about it.

I finally got Phil’s address; I will write him today. Tyson should write him. I will send him the address. He respects Tyson a lot, and if Tyson says the things he said to me then I think it will help him out. What he said really helped and inspired me. Also can y'all send me some ideas of how to serve my companion; people tell me that, but I don't know how. I am trying to look for ways and have been just really nice to him, but I want to do more; send me some ideas. We are usually good getting along everyday except for study and planning. He doesn't really like to plan or study anymore. I really have to push him to do it, so he is in a bad mood. The other day he was really mad, because I came to him as humble as I possibly good and said, we need to change the way we teach the Holy Ghost (basically we were doing everything that they told us not to do in our last training and we’re teaching the Holy Ghost incorrectly), but he was mad and said I think everything he does is wrong and all I want to do is correct him, which I never do because I know he gets angry.

Elder Jolley and I got closer this week, helping other people always makes me feel better. Every night, I am in a different room from all them reading the scriptures, because they play cards and play music really loudly that I don't want to listen to, so anyways he came into the room I was in one night and just started talking about how he has been homesick and feels down on himself, because he has been sleeping in and not working. I talked to him and set goals with him to try and wake up on time everyday. It’s a start, and he has been doing it even if he doesn’t study he needs to start somewhere. It made me feel better to help him and get closer with somebody I live with, so I don't feel so much like a loner.

We had branch counsel this week, and it was interesting.  OK, so at the last baptism, a TON of people showed up, and the branch president said, “Wow, look at all this support we have. This is great. Either that or they just love our relief society president's cooking!” Anyways, normal comment, nice guy, someone got offended and refuses to come back to church, because the branch president thinks that she only comes for the food, so the primary president yelled at our branch president for like ten minutes about this, and how he has no taste and is offensive and all these things. It was interesting. But we went to his house for dinner that night and talked to him, and he vented a little about it so we are a little closer with him now. Also we met the lady that got offended. She was cutting her grass, and we pulled over and tried to help. She said, “No, absolutley not,” we would get our clothes dirty. So we said, “Fine, we are going to change and come back and do your entire yard,” and she kept saying no, but we didn't listen and went home and changed and did her yard and pulled a TON of weeds. Although she said no, at the end she was happy and thanked us very much. The new apartment we are living in is next to her house, so we will start helping her with her yard often. Hopefully she will get to know us and want to come back to church, and we can baptize her three kids that haven’t been baptized yet. (The husband wants them baptized, but she doesn’t.)

We had hot dogs Mexican style. You have to try it. Actually, it’s bratwursts (sorry no idea how to spell that) and you put them in a tortilla with coleslaw, guacamole, and mustard, and it is soooo good. 

We taught another inactive family this week about forgiveness. They don't feel able to come to church, because they are angry at their dad/husband for leaving them and are filled with such bad feelings, they don't feel like they can take the Sacrament. It was one of the more spiritual lessons I have ever had, they were all crying, and I talked about letting go of the bad feelings and letting the Savior take those away, because they were trying to handle it all on their own, and they wouldn't succeed without his help. So the other night, random thing, I was reading and Elder Saldaña came in and invited me to play cards. I said no, and I am pretty sure that Elder Jolley told him too, but still Elder Saldaña would have never done something that nice before, so maybe there is progress.

I am really sick of going out to eat everyday. I have never gotten anything, but I sit there and wait, and they take sooo long to eat. So I will definitely never have time to cook food, but it’s ok. I like sandwiches.

I learned this week that I cannot speak drunk Mexican. There were three really drunk guys, and I couldn't understand them at all, so I will know that I am fluent when I can talk to drunk people and know what they are saying.

Dad, you said there are no fees on my new card, so if I get cash from atm, and it gives a three dollar fee, will the bank just cover it? or did I understand it wrong? I am way too cheap to pay fees, so let me know, so I can avoid that. One thing that Elder Saldaña has been doing that drives me crazy is he asks everyone how much their car costs.. He says oh cool car! how much was it? and people get uncomfortable, but I can’t say anything to him, because he would definitely get mad (as he does with any type of feedback).

So I realized something this week: going to the gym everyday at home really did help me for my mission. I was not feeling well the other day, but I got up and went out and tracted anyways, and I realized it was just like going to the gym: some days I wouldn't want to do it, but I did anyway, because I knew I would be happier afterward. So maybe going to the gym was good for something, because it made me learn to persevere and get up and go even when I don't want to, or my companion doesn’t want to.

So none of our investigators are going to church or progressing right now. They are nearly impossible to get ahold of, so we teach one lesson a week to each investigator if we are lucky, but the member presents have been increasing, and we got a really great referral last week, so that’s good.

So anyways, I have been doing well. The music thing, like I said, still drives me crazy. I hate how at home I can't get away from it, but there is nothing I can do, so I just need to deal with it. The work is moving forward and the members are getting to know us so things will turn around here. Oh and also Elder Jolley started cleaning this week! At random times, he will clean things, even his own dishes. I think, because he felt bad that I was always doing it. So that is awesome to have some of his help. Hopefully this knew place will be better. We met the owner of our apartment building, and she asked if we are clean people, and I said yes, we would take care of her apartment. Then Elder Saldaña said, “Well everyone is messy sometimes, and we are pretty busy, so we will probably be a little messy.” The lady was like uhhhh, and I just said, no we will be clean. Elder Saldaña got mad and said fine, “I guess my companion is perfect and he will keep it clean!” So he probably won’t be much help, and I doubt the lady that owns our building really is happy to have him live there, but I am going to do my best.

Anyways, that’s all that is going on. I found out how bad other people are at spending money even more this week, my companion has no ability to resist spending money ha-ha. He looks around at stuff and just buys whatever he sees that looks cool and doesn't get or comprehend at all why I don't go out to eat more, but he noticed I am healthy, and he said he wants to start a diet. So he started skipping breakfast and lunch one day and just drinking soda during the day. Ha-ha. I don't think he knows that won’t really help, but oh well. He takes like five different bodybuilding supplements, so the caffeine and creatine should keep him going at least for a couple years.

Anyways, I hope all is well, love you all!
Elder Bassett

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