Tuesday, April 30, 2013

We love Ana and Angel!

Well, this is really the only picture this week. For companionship inventory, I have always just set goals for each other about how we think our companion can do better, but Elder Plowman, being more positive than me, made us list all our strengths. I thought you could see some of my Bassett genes in there. I didn't have a girlfriend to put as my strength, so they just went with mom instead which makes sense to me. I discovered one "talent" that I have was turning every strength they said into a weakness...they decided I need to be better about accepting good things about people/mainly myself. Anyway, it was just fun to do and look at.

We started off this week with zone conference. It was a replica of what we learned in mission leadership training so we just got to practice and hear everything twice. Elder Ward did a great job training on how to begin teaching. The best part was that they revealed two new key indicators that the missionary department wants us to pilot for Utah missions. Salt lake is already using them; it’s just new to us. They got rid of ‘larcs’ altogether (less active recent converts) and added the key indicator of ‘less actives in sacrament meeting’ and also ‘referrals from recent converts/less actives’. I am very happy with it. It will change the way larc’s are used. Actually, getting them to church is more of a measure of the ordinance and will force more productive less-active lessons, and recording referrals from them will encourage what we should already be doing but aren’t doing. They asked for a vote and two people in our zone opposed (oh boy...love those 20-month Spanish missionaries!), but they went through with it anyways. We went by to visit those two missionaries and discouraged rejecting the brethren's ideas/counsel in the future.

I don't know if I have ever mentioned Farr's Ice-Cream, but it is next door to our apartment building so we go there after rough days to make us feel better. We had one day last week that was pretty disappointing. We were excited for what appeared to be five member present lessons and ended up with zero and didn't get in contact with really anyone all day. We were very frustrated to say the least and went to Farr’s where we ran into Brother Rowbury. His son served in Mesa for six months with Dad as his mission president as did his wife. (Formerly Sister Cottrell). Anyways, they bought me a homemade cookie ice-cream sandwich from Farr’s, so they are my new favorite people. Jessica would go crazy for these ice-cream sandwiches. It is right behind the temple. I will take the family there one day; it’s so good. (The best part is five out of the six times we have gone the past two transfers someone has paid for us!) And the thing that Mom would love there is the root beer float. They make it with root beer ice-cream and milk, so it’s kind of backwards, but it’s really good. Either way, I am just hungry right now!

We spent some time in planning last night making our grocery list, and thanks to the law of consecration, we are going to be eating like kings this month...and since it’s so difficult to get rides, we are going shopping at Costco for two weeks and getting a grand total of 10 gallons of milk and 6-8 (tbd) loaves of bread...livin the life! Let’s hope we have room in the fridge.

Ana and Angel are as awesome as ever. We have been practicing daily contact with them which goes really well. One night we really got to just get to know them stopping by their house. They were making carne asada with their 16-year-old neighbor that babysits for them (new investigator), and we played with their two youngest kids on the trampoline for a little and ate their food...the two best things you can do for a Hispanic family to make them love you. We took Angel on a church tour (the rest of the kids were asleep), and he was very excited to go and liked the idea of all the classes and told us about how much he has already changed his life. He didn’t even realize that he is repenting. They came to church and left after second hour, because their two-year-old daughter is crazy and wouldn't stop screaming. We have really, really struggled to get them a fellowshipper; people are so busy, but with a lot of phone calls, we got our ward mission leader to call someone and notify them, so that’s a start even if that’s all it was.

We had a rough time this week getting splits which reminded me of my first transfer with Elder Isla...we were double booked one night with appointments so we set up a member split the night before. One hour before the appointments the member cancelled. We called FORTY members of the ward and got a no or no answer from every single one. It was pretty frustrating; we couldn't do the lessons because there weren't any men home. We tried to get a list this Sunday and couldn't get them to do it, so we will try harder and just go do it ourselves next week of when people are available to do splits.

So Paz was that one whose husband was an issue in the past...and still is. So this week, she and her two kids were wanting to get baptized. They already know the ward council and really wanted it. We went by one day and were surprised by her husband answering the door. He said he doesn’t like missionaries or Mormons, and his wife cannot choose for herself. He makes her decisions, because it’s his house, and he has told her she can’t answer the door or the phone anymore. He doesn’t go to any church, so he doesn't want her to have an alternative. He just decided that’s the way it is. It's like Ignacia all over again except worse this time. We have no idea what to do with that but just leave it.  

Patricia’s kids also decided they wanted to get baptized, but their dad still says no and just doesn't like Mormons. Lovely, lovely fathers. Yesterday Arasali dropped us deciding she wants to be catholic and not follow the spiritual prompting she received to listen to us. SO we are left with Ana and Angel and a couple others. But you can't really complain when you have people as cool as Ana and Angel to teach. Angel knows everything. He has boxed, done rodeo, worked on cars, companies, and just experienced tons of stuff; we really like him.

We are starting a soccer activity with the ward to bring friends to every Saturday. We brought a couple nonmembers to it this time, but none of the members did yet. Hopefully they will in the near future if it becomes a regular thing. We ended up playing for a long time with 20 people with the sun out. The result was three very sunburned/sore/tired missionaries. But it was really fun to get to know the ward better and have them fellowship, finally, with some of the nonmembers we have met.

So companionship inventory was fun this week...Elder Plowman had us write down a list of all of our strengths and THEN set goals for each other on how we can do better, and it was a more positive way to do it, so I'm glad he taught me that. The three of us have been getting along really well and staying happy even though this week was a disappointment as far as numbers/investigators/members/other missionaries go...at least lunches will be good!

Yesterday I went on splits with Brother Delval, and we visited a lot of less actives while my companions tracted some apartments that we found. Brother Delval is a young looking guy and drives a BMW with the top down, so we got a lot of comments about why the missionaries are driving a BMW now. We had dinner with Sister Ramirez yesterday and that was fun; she is still a little crazy with her stories and how much she tells us how beautiful we are, but we love her. The good news is Elder Plowman and I strategically got out of eating flan, and Elder Pyne had to suffer through it. For those who haven’t had flan, it’s like compacted, extra, wet eggs that are impossible to swallow…that’s the best description I can give. The other dinner highlight of the week was the members buying us Dominos…YES!!...three large pizzas for three happy missionaries. Elder Plowman had pizza for every meal for like two days.

We are going to start playing basketball Tuesdays and Thursdays for exercise to bond with the Spanish missionaries in our ward, but today was the first time, and they didn't wake up to come, so I guess try again on Thursday.

Life is good. I am happy...praying harder and harder to be blessed. We are pushing hard in our zone to be above the line (stop using excuses...a lot to do with the talk called Create Success by Elder Ballard) since we are hearing so many complaints throughout the zone. It's something we as a companionship are working on, too. though.

I love you all and hope that all is well.
Take care,
Elder Bassett

PS The only other things I thought of for a birthday list is cordovan Ecco’s size 43...more wants not needs.

Costco Trip was successful! Love you.

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