Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I'm learning

The best zone in the world!
Sorry, still no snow..it actually got warmer this week...Christmas picture will be soon I hope,
and we are not getting transferred tomorrow.
OK, I will start with a report from Elder Falabella and the mission conference he did. There was a big push for family history, no surprise there. The problem is that I have no idea how to do family history to help people out, and at this point, I can't exactly learn it since I am busy with other things. I will see how it goes. But can y'all send out a pedigree chart that I can carry around? I should have one already, but they want us all to have one to show people, and it would be nice to have…just like four generations or even five if you can do that. Thanks.

He talked a little bit about obedience, not as much as I would expect. President Hiers gave a lot of training on loving our investigators, companions, and stuff like that. Elder Falabella gave a huge push for a refocus in this mission on working with the dad's first like Ammon did. Ammon really only converted one person, but then look at the result. That gave me a change of mind with the Sanchez family. Rather than focus on her so much, I will focus on him as the head of the house. Hopefully things will fall into place. But we haven't had anything with them this week, because they cancelled. It's frustrating sometimes how slow having one lesson a week or less can be, but that’s all people say they have time for.

As you can see, I did not send you any baptism pictures. The Padilla family cancelled. They want to wait for their daughter to come down to see the baptism, and they don't know when she can. It is a good excuse, but they have had good excuses for several months. And on top of that, we haven't gotten in touch with them, because they have dropped every lesson and didn't come to church. We went an hour before and reminded them, and they said yes they would go and then didn't. I wasn't very happy, and I don't know what to do with them right now. They say they want to get baptized really soon, and he means it, but she is only hindering his progress and continues to make him wait. Any advice on how to handle that? Hopefully it will get straightened out this week, and we can set a date when all their family can be there, and she will agree not to cancel. I was pretty firm that this isn't something she can cancel last minute last time when we spoke, but I guess it didn't have an effect.

So we went inside our apartments for Halloween. We weren't allowed outside that night. I just took the extra three hours to catch up on letter writing and make pumpkin chocolate chip cookies that mom sent me! They were really good, thanks again mom. It just made me decide one thing for my life after the mission. I will never, ever want to just sit at home doing nothing for three hours at a time; being unproductive is the worst. Oh well, no more Halloween for another year so plenty of work to do until then.

I set a goal last week to never have zero in sacrament again and that didn't happen, so right now my goal setting skills are apparently rusty. Ha-ha We had five people that were a ‘for sure, yes!’ in sacrament, but they all didn't show up even with the reminders the night before and the morning of.

Ignacia wasn't there, and I don't know what happened. She probably had to run to Orem to get her stuff. She moved here from Orem but still hasn’t completely finished moving. That was too bad; her kids had been asking everyday after school if they could go to primary again, and they were so excited to go. Oh well, next week. We taught a lesson to her, and she was very receptive. She said she would read and pray, and she loves the church for her kids, and they absolutely love primary. She is such a blessing. I am glad that she moved up here. I hope her current circumstances improve.

We taught another first lesson to a guy named Pablo this week. He is very, very Catholic. He works on Sunday’s, and said he doesn't want to change. He just wants to learn more about Mormons. I have recently been frustrated with myself for a lack of success, so I have been doing a lot less sugar coating and been very much more honest with people about exactly what we do and hope for as missionaries. I was surprised about how receptive he was with my boldness (maybe a little overbearance). He was talking about already being baptized, and I just told him that if The Book of Mormon is true, then the authority to baptize isn't in the Catholic Church. I said it a lot nicer than that, but usually I just beat around the bush with people-which never works. I was surprised that he was ok with that and said he would pray to find out. Usually still, you have to remind people five or six times about authority. I have found with the ‘already been baptized’ concern that it takes awhile for people to really understand the need for baptism by authority.

Anyways, the point is that I am changing a lot about the way I teach and hoping that the changes will work better. That's the way the mission is going right now. Change. So I am trying to stop being insane (doing the same thing and expecting different results) and change what I am doing to see if it works. We will see how it goes.

We taught another first lesson to a Diaz family and hopefully will have a lesson with their neighbors this week, the Ortiz family. Let me try and explain this. There are four 20-year-old boys in jail right now for the same crime. Three of them are members. The three members all have parents who don’t belong to the church, and we are teaching all of those parents (Loya, Padilla, Diaz). SO those three parents can't have a lot of confidence in the church, but hopefully we will turn that around and let them see that their support with their younger kids in the church and their own involvement will avoid what happened with their sons. Especially since two of the three boys could very well be in jail the rest of their life. There is one other boy that was friends with them growing up. He is currently on a mission; his parents are the Reyes. So, there were four friends same age growing up in the church without member parents. One went on a mission, and the other three went to jail. So the push for baptizing whole families and not just kids is very clear to me with this example. Having support from your parents really is so important. The Reyes family still has yet to keep a commitment, so if we can find them home then we will probably drop them this week unless something miraculous happens. We really need to change things up though, because how we are doing this isn't working.

So my new suit...biggest disappointment ever. I got it tailored, dry cleaned and took it home, and it smells NASTY. I guess dry cleaning it took brought out the smell. It was only 15 dollars but I am still mad; that’s the end of my suits-from-DI career. Oh and of course you know mom and dad that I found a men’s warehouse in the mission...and a new suit is always an acceptable present. If you can't think of anything, I could just go pick it out…in case you need more ideas. J I could never have enough suits, and I am done with DI suits.

I got the talks from dad. Only listened to two so far, but they are awesome! Thanks so much. I realized another bad habit that I have it talking at people for first lessons. They have drilled the Spirit sandwich and teaching baptism so much in the first lesson that I have a robot approach when I teach people the first lesson. After listening to that, I am a little better about modifying what I teach and working to their needs, but I really just worry about what I am saying more in the first lesson rather than worrying about them, so I need to work on that.

So a guy in our branch presidency told a good story on Sunday. He said he bought cookies at night, then next day they were gone. He gathered all his kids, and they all denied eating them. He said that he was so surprised a robber had come into their house and stolen only the cookies and nothing else in their house. They never admitted it, so he just got mad and left it. The next day he found out his cousin had come over when no one was home to pick something up and had seen the cookies and ate them. So it just reminded me of all the times at home that somebody broke into our house and made messes or ate cookies or whatever else it was. It was just funny to hear the story.

We went to the Hatch's house for dinner this week! I love eating American food; it’s so good to mix things up. And we are going there for thanksgiving, too! SO that will be fun. I am glad we have somewhere to go that day.

So, there is a new mission rule; no more going to the gym. I am not surprised. President Hiers just had the zone leaders share a letter sent out to mission presidents in 2009 that missionaries shouldn't go to the gym. I guess the last mission president just ignored it, so President Hiers put it into effect saying that missionaries were spending too much time thinking about their body rather than the work. On top of that, missionaries spent way too much time at gyms, and the obvious distractions there (girls, tv, music) are just not good for a missionary.

SO that reminds me…maybe the kids could have their personal trainer give me a crossfit/circuit type workout for the morning with a pull-up bar and a trx? Oh and I thought of something. What do I get the family for Christmas? I know you will want to say nothing, but I feel like I should do something. What did Tyson do while he was on his mission? Anyways time to run. I will let you know next week our new transfer goals and how our changes are working out.

Love you all!
Elder Bassett

From the mission office:
Christmas Packages should be sent to the mission home by November 30th for delivery. Please mark "Christmas" on the package. They will be distributed at our Christmas Party on December 6th. No mail will go out after the 14th due to transfers.

My Ideas for Christmas:

  • gift cards to Walmart, Subway, or Ross
  • wool socks
  • under armor long underwear
  • Old spice body wash (I would never buy it myself just because the bars of soap are cheaper but I really like it)
  • Quarters..(laundry)

Another christmas present...I bought myself a portfolio..you know how much it hurts me to fold papers, so I was tired of folding papers to put them in my little study binder..so I got a portfolio just for meetings..but the thing I want is replacement notebooks like this one. The challenge is finding ones that are college/narrow ruled...just the kind that are bound at the top and you slide them in. This one is brand new, so I won't need replacements for a while but just another thing for christmas I thought of. 

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