Tuesday, November 27, 2012

I sound like a Mexican now

This has been a pretty good week. We were tracting, and this man asked us if we wanted to go see his calves. They are everywhere here. I knew you would like to see them.

We went to Big J's finally this week. It's the place that they got the tots from in Napoleon Dynamite...not that great it turns out..haha.

I will give you more info about Elder Ireland. He and I get along really well. We talk too much about worldly things like movies he saw before he left or music that we liked before the mission... so we set goals to get more focused. He is pretty different from me, but we still really like each other. He really likes Elder Senn, too. His Spanish has already improved in a week. He had a pretty heavy guerro accent when he got out, and it only a week it has improved. (…a guerro is a white boy. I sound like a Mexican now, which makes me happy. People occasionally comment on how they like my accent. I still have tons of room to grow, but I am getting good at sounding Mexican-ish.) I spend a lot of language study now just teaching him grammar which kind of makes me review and understand it better, so that is good.

Elder Ireland was a wrestler and musical guy during high school. He likes boy bands and his favorite movie is high school musical.  We are debating this week if listening to Christmas music is appropriate for missionaries...meaning the Michael Buble Christmas album of which he is a huge fan. His girlfriend introduced him to the church, and that’s how he was baptized.

He is a greeny, so obviously he has this natural desire to go tracting, so we have done some of that this week. It usually isn't done here in the normal way by us because of how unproductive it is in town. There are really no Hispanics in town at all; they are all out on the farms which means to tract would be driving from house to house, but we have already covered all the ones close by. So we tracted in town a little bit to get him better at contacting people and just talking to everyone. Not too much practice with Spanish there, so that’s too bad. We tracted our one trailer park (10 trailers) in Franklin, but we have already done that twice. They still aren't interested, but he got to practice a little bit more. It's a different type of work here, lots of driving and seeing members to figure out where Hispanic people live.  Some tracting stories” "I HATE Mormons!” - door slammed…  "This is a Jehovah’s Witness house.” …*ten minutes later* “yes you can send the (English) missionaries by-Success! …lady on the phone while answering the door "Oh no, it’s the elders"...(they say something to her) "oh, don't worry I will"...some lady yelled at her when she was 16 and it’s the church's fault"...no other really interesting ones beyond that..tracting here consists of talking to lots and lots of members.

We had Thanksgiving at the Hatch's house, and it was awesome! We had a competition between them and all their family to see who could gain the most weight, and I got second with like 4.7 pounds (I think?). It was great. There is a police officer in town that asked me to slow down when I first got into this area. I got out of the car one day, and he pulled up next to me and said,  “Slow down in residential areas.” I guess it was a school zone, and I didn’t know it and was going like 30. Anyways, it turns out he is one of the Hatch kids…ha-ha. They started late and then planned on dessert later on…so we didn't get any dessert on Thanksgiving, because I wasn't going to stay for several hours on a proselyting day. I ate plenty though, so I didn't need it, and Jen and Sherm sent me pecan pie, so I had that. It was good to be in their home. Elder Senn and Ireland aren't as social as me, so they just talked to each other, but I talked to lots of people there when they weren't talking to the rest of the family.

And it turns out Thanksgiving was a really bad day to do Spanish missionary work. NOBODY was home, and I mean that literally, we had no lessons so we just tried to make visits all day, and everyone was gone to Logan at parties, I guess, so that ended up being a slow day.

OH, I think I have told you about the wing challenge before; it's at New York Deli. It is ghost pepper sauce wings. The record was broken by Elder Avalos with 36 wings. They are really, really hot. I started eating them, and immediately my face and ears starting tingling. At about wing number four, I was getting numb. Then I started to get dizzy, and my face just kept tingling, and I stopped at seven. I am weak, I know, but seriously, this is the spiciest thing you can imagine. Ghost peppers are supposed to be several times hotter than habanero's. It was a rough experience. I don’t recommend it. I can’t begin to describe to you the amount of pain I experienced eating and then... Ouch. I just wanted to get my picture on the wall, so I am happy.

When they still had the innocent notion they were real men.


SO, I ran into some familiar faces this week! On Thanksgiving I saw Megan (a Bassett-family cousin), the day before that I ran into Natalie, and the day before that I ran into the Weavers! That's kind of weird to see people that I knew from before the mission. Megan has grown-up a lot. Natalie sent in her mission papers and should hear this week when and where she was going-I can’t wait to see! The Weaver's showed up at our house that night with a ton of food. We are not going grocery shopping again for the next little while...we were definitely very happy to see them. We have enough BACON and sausage now to last us through the winter…ha-ha. I need their address to send a thank you.
Megan sent the family this picture and note from her iphone: "Well look who I ran into today! In case any of you didn't already know this, Elder Bassett is serving his mission in the area where my mother's parents live. They invited him and his companion (plus his greenie) to Thanksgiving dinner, and I got to see him. He is doing great! He looks healthy and happy. I could easily recognize him, but it was completely obvious he has been called to serve the Lord. I've never seen him so mature and purposeful in my life. Elder Bassett sends his love to everyone of you, and he's headed back out to do more important work."

4 packs of bacon, a HUGE log of ground beef,
and 3 logs of sausage

I decided this week that Sunday's are just bad days. I can't seem to ever be happy in Sacrament meeting anymore. That's a problem, because I need to be focused and repentant during the Sacrament when really all I can think about is how mad I am about the people that lied to us! We had zero in Sacrament meeting. That was a rough day. Ignacia and her kids got the flu, so they obviously didn’t get baptized or go to church this weekend. Roberto was supposed to meet us halfway, so he could follow us, but he decided to go shopping instead (third week in a row) and the other three families that didn’t come just didn’t show up...pretty disappointing...but we did all we could do to get them there. I don't think it is our fault.

We are not used to having a third companion still. We left Elder Ireland at the church, ha-ha. He safely backed us out and opened the back door to get in. I guess all of our backpacks were on that side, so he closed the door to walk around and get in on the other side. I just heard the door open and close and assumed he was in. It wasn't until ten minutes down the road when I asked him a question, and he didn't respond that I realized we had left him at the church, ha-ha. That was pretty funny. There were members there; though, so he just talked to them until we got back.

The greatest thing ever happened at church. They decided they are going to start on time. They started at the usual 25 minutes late this Sunday, and then announced that starting next week they will be starting all meetings exactly on time to show respect to the Lord for the meetings that we are having. I am pretty happy they said they were going to start ward council on time now, too, so that will be nice.

So we taught a guy named Pablo a second lesson this week. He isn't incredibly enthusiastic; he just likes to listen to stuff about God. We asked him again to pray about The Book of Mormon and he said no and this is why, “The Book of Mormon has thousands of followers and believers, of course it’s true. Why wouldn’t it be? Asking god would only be doubting the truthfulness of a good book.” But he also believes that every single religion is true. He can't wrap his head around the idea that that is a completely contradictory belief. It is tough when people believe that "if you believe it, then it is true, that's all that matters"...kind of missing the point.

So Ignacia hasn't really progressed this week towards her baptism. There have been some problems going on, I think, with her x-husband, and she got a job so things have been crazy for her, but we are sticking with it. Keep her in your prayers; she really needs it right now.

Karyna has managed to avoid us for yet another week. She got a boyfriend, so now she's too cool for the missionaries. That's too bad.

Jesus Beltran is really progressing. (He’s the one who’s wife died.) He works a lot on Sunday's, so it's hard for him to make it to church. But after three lessons of trying to explain the need to be baptized again, he gets it. Then I had him pray to get an answer right then about Joseph Smith, and he did and felt the Spirit. Then I asked him to be baptized in four weeks, and he said he would consider it...but no church on Sunday like he promised, so maybe not that soon. Either way he is really turning things around. He wants us to baptize his kids which made me so happy until I found out they are ages six and seven. It is really hard to teach him, because he doesn't really understand basic things and you have to repeat yourself a lot. I need to get better at teaching simply, I guess.

Roberto is really progressing. We brought Brother Mariscal to a lesson with us. I will describe Brother Mariscal. He is the most Mexican looking guy you have ever seen, except his size. He is probably six three and well over 200 pounds but not overweight at all. He looks like a Mexican boxer. He doesn't smile a lot...and when he does it is pretty scary. He is balding enough, so that he just has that skinny little tuft of black hair from his forehead to the back of his head, and he has a thick, thick black mustache. The best description I can give is the Mexican Tom Selleck. He is an awesome guy. He is the one in the ward that when I am getting frustrated at ward parties or meetings because all the adults are talking or being disrespectful, he just looks at me and laughs, because he is just as angry as I am. He is the new young men’s president I mentioned. Anyways, we brought him; he is a great teacher. He connects with people, especially Mexicans really, really well and got Roberto to open up and talk for like thirty minutes about problems in his "past life" and Mexico which lead right into him needing the changes of this gospel. (Especially because Brother Mariscal had the same types of problems in his past life.) So he really likes the lessons, and when we finish he asks when we will come back which never happens. The problem is he stands us up going to church and for 70 percent of the lessons he isn't there. It is very frustrating.

The Ricaldi family got the flu this week, so we didn't have a lesson with them, and this is his week to work, so that was disappointing.

We taught Eva Loya and her family a lesson. We asked her daughter to be baptized, and she said no (ten year old)…but she said she would start to think about it. They promised to be at church, but they weren’t there.

Albino and his family cancelled a couple lessons this week, and we didn't find anyone new. It just felt like an unproductive week, but we were working. It’s hard when things are growing, and then just shoot right back down to where they started all of sudden.

I am excited to hear about Natalie's mission call this week. Maybe she will get called here. Any other new mission call announcements?

I finished reading the Book of Mormon this week in 23 days. It was good. I like reading through it fast like that to understand the sequence of things better. What I did this time was for every chapter I wrote down a potential question it answered in that chapter, so I have a long list of questions that The Book of Mormon answers. My questions are all serious and insightful-ish except Jacob 5 "Is it hard to take care of a vineyard?"

Anyways, I think it is time to run...sorry this a short email. We have a lesson with Ignacia in a few minutes which usually we don't do on p-day, but this is like the only time she was available.

Elder Bassett    

PS Happy Birthday to Aunt Amy and Grandpa Brasher. I hope you each had a great day. And Uncle Peter. Who else am I missing?

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