Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Utah is COLD!

Utah is COLD! We have been biking all week, sliding around all over the ice.

Elder Bozarth and Elder Shumway
OK, so quick summary of our companionships this week. We started the week with eight missionaries in the ward: five of them in our apartment, the other three-our zone leaders. Last week Elder Jones went home to get some health issues settled before going back out in six more months. Elder Shumway and Elder Bozarth (Spain visa waiters) were sent to Westpoint in the English work because of another missionary that went home. There were a couple other missionaries that went home early so this has been a crazy week. One of our zone leaders goes home after serving 26 months (there's only like two planes a year that travel to his home) back to Greenland. So just like that, we will only have four serving in Mount Lewis Alpha and Omega. Alpha and Sigma areas combined into just the Alpha area, and Elder Martinez and I are covering both (sigma and alpha).
My new companion, Elder Martinez, in front of our home! Elder Martinez is from Guatemala.
I started last week off with district meeting and then going to Huntsville for splits with Elder Houghton. He is from New York and has been out 22 months. Huntsville was cold, but they have a car. It was like negative seven degrees at night. We mainly did visits, but I didn’t really correct, because I was too shy to say anything when I feel like I really don't know anything, but I think it could have been a more effective night. (Mainly because I don't know how English work is here. I need to figure it out. When you have ninety percent members, you visit lots of members and do lots of less active work, so I didn’t really know what to tell him since he knows every nonmember by name...but I need to figure things out so I can help them when I come.) There aren’t a ton of nonmembers in Huntsville/Eden. Everyone is a member of the church there. We met a lot of leaders that night, mainly…actually that is where the former mission president lives. It is a small place right inside the Ogden canyon. There is only one four way stop in the entire canyon, and people give directions based on that, because that’s where the grocery store is. They have a pretty huge area, and it’s all covered in ice. It was good to be back in a car and not freezing on a bike.

The mission decided we won't record qgc's anymore. Some were angry, some were happy. I don't care either way. They didn't show too much and most people abused them, so it’s probably good that we don't keep track. As a district, we are keeping track of referrals which isn’t done anywhere else in the mission, but hopefully it will get things going, because I talked a lot about referrals last district meeting.

So I have a question that me and Elder Bozarth couldn’t answer. How do you have fun on your mission? It's something Elder Bozarth and I are trying to figure out, because he is a lot like me. He really likes to work all the time, and the rules aren’t an option-you just do them, but usually that makes us robotic and that’s what our companions always say is a problem.  Elder Martinez, too, thinks that I am way too uptight and need to be less serious (here we go again) so how do I have fun as a missionary?

The ward is huge. It is the best Spanish area in the mission. On fast Sunday, they announced it was time for testimonies and 18 people stood up and went and sat on the stand. Hispanic people talk so much though that they didn't have enough time for everyone...never really served with anything like this. It was pretty cool.

Brother Rubio got baptized two months ago, and he is the best! He stands up randomly in Sunday school to yell out his testimony to everyone, because he feels the Spirit is so strong he can't contain it. He is the best at lessons; he is pretty much our fellowshipper for everyone. In class, they were talking about how Santa is bad, because it takes our focus away from Jesus and the teacher was the one saying it, and Brother Rubio stood up and said, “Thank you all for this new wisdom! She is right...Christmas is about our Lord! Never again will Santa Claus be spoken of in my house!” He is very enthusiastic. Last week’s third hour was about marriage problems, and the teacher said, “Ok, so who has no problems and has a perfect relationship?” (expecting no one to raise her hand)…but Brother Rubio said, “I do!” And people kind of laughed, and so he stood up and bore his testimony about prayer and the past two months he hasn’t had one issue with his wife, and they are one and unified, because of what the missionaries taught him. He is an awesome guy. Elder Ward and Elder Plowman found him tracting one day. He pretty much is the central speaker of any fireside/baptism, because his testimony is so strong. They wanted to get a Seventy to our fireside next week and couldn’t do it, so they are just getting Hermano Rubio instead...ha-ha. And he was baptized two months ago!

So we are teaching the Carrera family right now. The husband works on Sundays which is too bad, but the teenage kids are the good ones. The mom and dad are hesitant and don't want to be baptized so we were talking about that, and I just turned to the kids and said, “Did you read The Book of Mormon?” and the 15-year-old said, “Yeah and I felt like I was close to God. I am going to keep reading it.” So his parents just need to follow his example.

Manuel just needs to get married but he won’t let his wife go to church as long as she is pregnant in case she gets sick. She will have a baby the first week of February. He doesn’t really want to get married, because he says that getting married is dumb, and it’s what people do in this country to show fake devotion since they end up all getting divorced anyway. I can see his point, but we are teaching him that he can work towards the temple which isn’t just a worldly type of marriage.

So I have really missed Idaho, because of how nice people are there, and, well, I am in Ogden now so people are more just kind of crazy here. But there was a lady that pulled over while we were walking and wrapped a scarf around my neck. She said she made it for the homeless shelter, but she had an extra. I never was going to wear a scarf because of pride, but I found out this week having a warm neck is the greatest thing ever! Today I am going to Wal-Mart to get another one.

The greatest thing EVER happened this week; we found sushi! All you can eat...it was so good. I didn't think I would ever have sushi on my mission. I ate so much. Maybe not the greatest thing ever, but it was pretty close.

So we had a miracle this week. We were with Josh (ward mission leader who got home from his mission last year) and we went to visit a potential that they found tracting last week. She invited us in, and we were talking about her two kids and asked enough questions to get a story out of her. So she had an abusive husband and one day he was threatening to kill her six-year-old son with a knife. She just prayed really hard, and the knife kind of just magically snapped in half and fell out of his hand. Then he ended up going to jail, but the little kid couldn’t go to school, because he would cry all day and want to go home, because he didn’t want something to happen to his mom. So they got a doctor and now they go with their uncle on weekends to have a male figure in their life and that should help them. She told us that. We asked her to get baptized in three weeks, and she said yes. She didn't come to church, because her daughter got the flu so that was too bad, but she has been taught before, but her husband wouldn’t let her get baptized. Pray really hard for her (Diana). Other than that, lots of finding

Ok so one more thing this week. So we got a car this week. This has always been a car area until we got here. So we talked to a few people, and it wasn’t easy, but we ended up with a car yesterday.  Just so you know, our area is from second street to 18th street and from Wall Ave to the mountains and separate from that we cover the whole city of West Ogden.

So this week has been kind of crazy…lots of changes and finding hopefully in the next couple weeks things will be back to normal with some investigators, but we have lots of work to do before then.

I hope all is well. I will keep you in my prayers.
Elder Bassett

PS Another great find:

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