Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Well I made it through another transfer!

The Zone

My zone leaders
Elder Salazar and I will both be staying in Montevista and absorbing the other half of the area that was previously covered by another companionship. In the past, for English missionaries there was only one companionship for every two stakes. Through the past couple transfers, our mission has been trying to work towards having one set of missionaries for each stake. So on Sunday, the transfer board was all done then President Hiers went to lunch with Elder Perry who told him that they wanted it done now. President Hiers went straight to the transfer room and changed everything up moving about 80% of missionaries to different areas and white washing a TON. It is a big and exciting change; a lot of stakes will be happy. It will also be more tough for those English missionaries to focus only on baptisms which is good; it will force a lot more less active work.

This transfer I plan on getting our ward council more involved by inviting them to set us up less-active lessons and hopefully that will be a good start to where we can eventually transition to having them set us up lessons with potential investigators. We will see how it goes; it'll take some time.

So this past Sunday, we brought a 20-year-old less-active member with us to the departing missionary fireside. There was a big group and some very great missionaries coming home, two of them being the longest serving assistants since I have been on the mission, so I'm sure that was a tough day for President and Sister Hiers because of how closely and how long they worked with them. It went well, and I think the less active we brought has a desire to serve a mission now. He just needs to start saving, because he has no money and won't let anyone help him pay for it if he does decide to go.

So we had some progress with Angelica. We had set up the lesson with her husband from when we picked him up from the broken down car incident. We got there, and he was over across the street talking on the phone...probably to his other woman that he is seeing, and we waited for him to finish and come back over to have the lesson. Anyway, we taught them both the first lesson. He was very hard hearted and mean at first, and then, randomly, he just stopped and started to agree with what we said and almost just said everything he knew that we wanted to hear. He agreed to baptism with kind of a fake smile on his face, and we knew he was lying to us but couldn't really say anything. We went back the next morning to talk to Angelica, and she just said yeah he was trying to just get us out of the house faster. We went back for the second lesson, and he walked to the back room immediately when we got there and said he was unavailable. He shows no sign of caring or improving at all, and he makes fun of his wife for trying. Either way, she brought her three kids to a baptism on Saturday, but that was only because we asked him specifically for permission. She even came to church the next day [without her kids :( ] and we just had to get her a ride to both of those things. She has felt the Spirit really strong and is loving everything so far; she just talks way, way too much so we can barely ever teach anything. It's so difficult to teach like that and most Hispanics are that way. I don't think her husband will let her go much farther; he is kind of crazy, hearing the stories about him from his wife just gave me another reason to put him on the list of my hit list for when I come back to visit, but maybe his heart will be softened one day. 

We met a really awesome family this week that we have been searching for all transfer long. Every time we have gone by (five or six times) they look out the window and then turn the lights off. We are positive it is when the parents are home, too. We have even sent three member families to go see them that are friends with them. So we drove by with Hermano Duarte, and we saw the dad standing outside (had never seen him before, but we figured it was him). We stopped the car and jumped out, and he was on the phone, but we waited until he was done. He and his wife are less active as of a few months. They have three kids that are unbaptized, and they were waiting, because they wanted all three baptized at once. The youngest one just turned eight recently. So we went in, and I think we were there for an hour and a half just talking; they are awesome!. Elder Salazar and Hermano Duarte talked to the parents for a while. They are from the capital of Guatemala. I talked to the kids the entire time. I love kids. As soon as I walked in, they gave me a shy look and wouldn't really talk to me, so I made it a goal to get them to open up to me before I left the house that night. By the end of the night, they were all interrupting each other trying to talk all at once and jumping up and down talking about their favorite rides at Disneyland, their favorite books (Fablehaven, Percy Jackson, Magic Tree house...all books that I have read.) and their favorite TV shows. I think we spent 30 minutes just talking about our favorite rides at Disneyland and another 20 talking about the funny parts in Disney movies. It was fun, the parents really want us to come back now. They went out of town, but we should find them again tonight. the kids were really easy to get to open up once I saw the picture on the wall of the three of them at Disneyland.

We had transfer breakfast this morning and had something called monkey bread. It is my new favorite thing in this world. We played basketball for a little bit after that. So like I said Elder Mark and Coronado are both getting transferred to the English program. We will miss them; we had a lot of fun with them this transfer. Elder Coronado makes people laugh a lot and always does weird voices and accents and makes everything into a metaphor. Elder Mark and I just quoted Brian Reagan all the time to each other. It was fun being with them; hopefully they do well in English. Elder Senn will also be sent to English and in Cache Valley as a district leader but not in my zone. Elder Plowman is living the dream and going as a zone leader in Mt. Lewis Omega, which has been baptizing weekly for a little bit now. That's awesome; he deserves it. He is one of the best missionaries I know. This transfer Elder Salazar and I will work on virtue and not talking about non mission related things.

I had a rough day Saturday and Sunday since we didn't have any baptisms this transfer. It was a rough little, but as always, I just tried to recognize it as a growing opportunity and chance to gain more faith which I have always lacked on. This transfer I am also going to smile more often, even though it hurts my cheeks to smile all the time and feels like I am not taking anything seriously. From what everyone says, my serious face looks angry, so I just need to work on smiling. I need to be more loving, too. Now that I have had one transfer with Elder Salazar going really hard on him with feedback and cramming as much as I can into his head, now we can just work together rather than me teaching him everything. He did well for senior week. I was hard on him as I typically am when training someone, and I think he got frustrated, but he grew a lot this week and really wouldn't need me anymore if he had been transferred so that was the goal. Plus, in the departing fireside, he said it gave him and Elder Senn something to talk about at the fireside on Sunday (how much they both hated doing senior week, ha-ha). This transfer I also need to work on just being more close to him and getting to know him personally; I have been working so hard I have forgotten about him. Another thing is, I didn't get to know the individuals in my district as much as I would like. I think I am going to contact them all once a day this transfer through, calls, texts, or facebook. Another thing I need to do better is visit members. It's something I have avoided, because I have always thought it's a waste of time, but the most successful missionaries in this area just talked to me and said that's the secret, show up for random five minutes visits to get to know them really quick and get referrals and go. Most of the members have suggested that, too, the thing they didn't like about the most recent missionaries is they don't know who they are. Hopefully dinners can solve that problem, too.

We need to get our less-active ward mission leader going to church at least. The area seventy just gave a training to all ward council members of Cache Valley (that's a lot of people). He mentioned how the bishop’s duty is to call a strong ward mission leader so maybe our bishop will change something, because right now ours is completely less-active and ignores our phone calls. Another thing I will work on this transfer as always is finding joy in the journey. I also need to start making my bed again (stopped completely this transfer except for the day I do laundry, ha-ha), writing in my journal at night, not rushing through it at lunch the next day, cleaning every night rather than a couple times a week, and a few other things. I also need to stop gossiping or ever saying anything negative about other missionaries. President made a huge emphasis on that. He said that the missionaries leaving at the airport all said he needs to get the mission to stop being so mean to each other and to be more Christ-like. That has always been President Hiers' big thing, making sure that we become better Christians.

On Monday, we had leadership training for all the new and current leaders. They sent me to the DL room this time rather than the trainer one so I got to sit next to my son, Elder Senn! I think that is all for now, let me know if I left anything out. I am so scatter brains.

Take care all!
Elder Bassett

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