Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Ignacia came to church!

Hello everyone,
It has been a cold week. The highest it has been is probably 35 all week which is different for Elder Senn since it never gets below 50 in Panama. It only snowed for one day, and then it has slowly melted, so there is just some on people's lawns. For the most part, it is just cold!

We found a member that gave us two space heaters to use, because our heater only works when it wants to. Lately it has been fine, so we are staying plenty warm. I forgot about the most important Christmas thing. I asked for ties for Christmas...and I understand how picky I am ha-ha… so a Ross gift card is just as good as ties, because that’s all I would buy there, and they have really nice ties for like ten dollars...just another idea. Another idea: cheese slicer (cutting cheese with a knife is the worst thing in the world...it NEVER cuts the way I want it to)...and measuring cups, but not a lot...just a teaspoon, fourth cup, third cup and cup. I probably won't use them that often, but those are just the things missionary apartments don't typically have. One other thing, Mom: a type of hair gel. It’s called "short sexy hair"…stop laughing...it’s good stuff.

Mom, I'm trying to keep up with answering letters. Writing letters is the worst thing in the world but getting them is the best thing in the world.  I do get a lot of letters…not really as much this transfer, but last transfer I was getting one or two letters everyday, and all the missionaries at the office didn't like me, because both times I went in for transfers to the office, I had between eight and ten letters plus a package. Ha-ha. I am blessed with good friends and family.

OK, so some of the astounding things I am just remembering I have learned on my mission: Cheese is more expensive than I could have possibly imagined. That was the most surprising thing to me ever. And I am mad at Yoplait; the box of eight yogurts was on sale for six bucks, but you can buy ten for five bucks. The past three transfers I have been buying boxes of yogurts…dang they are good, and I started a new life of cottage cheese. It is awful. Anybody want to help me find a better way to eat it? I force myself to eat like four or five big bites everyday at lunch, and it’s the worst, but I need the protein since all I eat is carbs.

So Elder Senn and I set transfer goals; they are: four baptisms, at least one in Sacrament meeting every Sunday (so far so good), qgc (quality gospel conversations) with everyone including members (been getting lazy with the members and just ask for the referrals and leave, and I need to teach them something quick. The hard thing is with members is you bring up any scripture, and they want to talk about it forEEVVVER!), reactivate two people, two additional hours of service per week. Those are for companionship goals. My personal goals are: gratitude journal daily (been getting lazy with that), say one good thing Elder Senn did at the end of the day...and PATIENCE..in big letters…Elder Senn suggested that one ha-ha. I have some other weekly goals and things, but those are the ones we wrote down. Oh and I need to stop singing worldy music; it’s an addiction, and I do it all the time. Elder Senn has been good. (Mom, he wears a 15-32/33 shirt and size nine shoe...the only thing I would say he would need at Christmas time is long sleeve shirts and new shoes...he would be fine without them but you wanted ideas for him.)

So I had another transfer goal, and it didn’t work out. Actually, it was life goal to never drink soda again (the exception being going to any coca-cola museums with my kids..I thought this through ha-ha), but I failed...and I was so determined! We were talking to some Mexican guys all in their 20's getting drunk, and they offered us a beer. We said no and then they said, “Ok fine; take a soda,” and I said no; Elder Senn said yes...and I kept saying no. It was only my second day, but they wouldn’t listen, and they gave me a soda, so I just held on to it. We talked for two minutes then went to leave, and they said hey you haven’t drinken..drunken (tomado) any of your soda, and I just laughed and started to walk out, and they all started yelling, “DRINK IT! DRINK IT! DRINK IT!” ...so I drank some. Good thing I never went to parties; that peer pressure is tough. So gave up and decided I can do that after my mission when I am not surrounded by people who don't believe in drinking water.

So Elder Senn and I are still doing well. I am still trying to teach him to be more manly. I just get so uncomfortable when he says mooshy type things that you would see in Disney movies or anything. One example: we were driving away from  Ignacia’s house. We were playing with her kids while she was talking to us...they really, really like us...and then we were leaving, and he said, "You know, Elder Bassett...what makes all this mission thing worth it is the smile of a beautiful child..." I couldn't handle it. I tired to get him to say something more manly, but that’s just the way he is ha-ha.

Elder Senn has really been trying to be obedient..which is good. He wasn't disobedient before, but he just wants to be completely by the book and break away from some of the habits of his past companion. There is one missionary that would call him often just to talk, and president just reinstated the rule in the mission that you can't call outside your zone. This elder texted and said he was going to call and talk that night, and Elder Senn replied and said, “No, we need to be obedient.” The elder thought that was me texting, and I wouldn’t let Elder Senn talk to him, so he started texting and calling, leaving voicemails, swearing at me and saying that he was going to drive up to Preston if we didn't call him back. (He was the companion of Elder Saldaña that lost all our member trust in Hyrum, so he knows who I am and doesn’t like me already.) SO we just ignored him, and at the end of the night, I left him a voicemail and said that Elder Senn wouldn’t be calling him, and that was it. He didn't say anything else after that. Some people, I really don't know why they are out here. Even Elder Senn was mad.

Oh, one other goal I have: this little pocket notebook, it has 1250 lines in it. I want to fill it all up this winter with new words in Spanish that I don't know. It will be tough, but I just keep asking people.

They called a young men’s president. They released the first counselor in presidency then called him to the young men’s program, moved the secretary to the branch presidency, and got a new secretary. That will be good. The parents are not supportive of their youth and that has been the issue in the past. It’s the reason the past two young men’s presidents left the branch and switched to English. They were mad at the lack of support from the parents. Brother Mariscal is the new young men’s president; he is awesome. He is a big, tall Mexican guy and looks as Mexican as you can possibly imagine: the shirts he wears, the way he is balding, the mustache, his car…anyways. He spoke on Sunday. He basically rebuked the branch. He talked about the three boys that received no support growing up in the branch whose parents aren’t members and now they are all in prison. He said, “Give me your sons for two days a week, and let’s not let that happen again.” Pray really hard for him. They need a good young men’s program in the branch.

So I got the best compliment of my life the other day. It reminded me of that one guy that said I did a good job on my talk…for your age. Dad might remember that. Anyways, so she said, “Even though you don't know very much, you have a very good accent, elder!” And then she repeated it for emphasis. Basically, “You're doing pretty good for a stupid guy!” We were helping her lay her floor, and I didn't know the word for plywood and some other random thing, so I guess I "don't know very much." I'll try not to take it to heart, ha-ha.

The white guy in our branch was talking about the day on his mission he forgot how to speak English for a couple minutes, and he started dreaming in Spanish. It kind of was disappointing to think that will never happen to me being in the US, but maybe I will do a study abroad one day. Brother Mariscal said if I ever want to live in Guadalajara I have a place to live free of charge.

Ok, so investigators this week: Six promised church attendance, one came...so at least there was one. Ignacia came. She is doing well. We met her brother, and he is interested, too, but he was offended in the past when the church wouldn’t give him a loan, so hopefully he doesn't run into that problem again. Her kids are the best. Things are going so smoothly with her, so it makes me worry something is going to happen since things never run smoothly. So pray for her.

We talked to Alvino last night (not his wife) for a long time. He says he feels the Spirit when he is in the Catholic church, and he has prayed a lot about our church and has never felt anything...a jynx moment (district two reference). Anyways so I told him about Oliver Cowdery, and he needs to study it out in his mind first. I know he is sincere, though. He says he really wants an answer but hasn't gotten it, and he keeps feeling good every time he takes the sacrament at the catholic church. He is going to keep reading The Book of Mormon (he can't read very well, his wife reads to him) and then pray about it after that. I told him the Lord expects a little more from him, and he wants him to work for it when it is something this important. So pray really hard for him and his wife.

One new guy, Roberto, and his cousin, Carlos, should be good. They decided last minute to go shopping instead of church (the day after our Sabbath day observance lesson). Hopefully they will decide to pick it up, but it is a huge cultural change.

The Padilla’s said they would be in church, and he felt sick, and she said she went to the English ward, but I don't know if I believe her. We talked to him alone and said that he needed to make a decision, because he knew it was right. He said that a month or so ago on two occasions he felt a voice telling him to get baptized, and that’s why he wanted to, but his wife said no, so he waited. He says now he doesn’t feel the Spirit anymore. We told him about how that means he didn't act on it, so the Spirit left, and he needs to act immediately when the Lord tells him something. We promised that in church he would feel it again as a reminder. Well he didn't go to church. I just found out he has a sickness and could die within the next year. I guess he had a tumor in his head. I had no idea; no one ever told me, but I guess everyone in the ward council knew already. So maybe that’s why he needs it soon. Pray that his wife will stop holding him back. She has changed her mind. She doesn't want to get baptized soon, mainly because she doesn’t want to change.

Karnya has avoided us all week; I’m not sure what happneed there. She is one that knew for sure it was true, but her parents are talking to the witnesses of Jehovah, so that might be the problem there.

We have a few other people that are just starting out, but it’s back to the Ogden-type things: lots of cancelled appointments with people we don't know very well. We aren't going to the Reyes’ anymore. We tried for three weeks to set up a time to see him, so we could drop them and let them know why, but they have avoided us so we are just not going over there anymore.

Actually pray for Eva Loya, too. She has a son in jail, and she is less active and has a nine year old girl that was never baptized. Her new husband doesn’t like the church and plays soccer on Sunday. Pray that she will come to church when she tells us that she will, and we will figure out what is keeping her; her two kids need it (she has one other sixteen year old boy with a learning disability, he has been baptized).

OK, well I think that is it for now. Pray hard for Ignacia, mainly. She has been a blessing to find. Love you all, and I hope all is well.
Take care,
Elder Bassett

PS Oh and I am getting  more and more desperate for workouts. I get sick of push-ups and pull-ups fast...I am kind of trying to do hand stand push-ups, but I hurt something in my shoulder doing that today...but anyways...really though, if you found something that would be challenging and wouldn't just burn fat..maybe you could get in touch with Dave and tell him I have access to a trx and pull up bar? I am friends with him on facebook. Thanks! On second thought, it's not that important...I am just paranoid of being fat or too skinny...I just want to be Elder Masima.

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