Tuesday, September 10, 2013

...the happiest I have ever been.

So before I get started on my area, I can update everyone on Ana and Angel. Ana won't get baptized, and Angel had a baptism set up for this Sunday. Then on Sunday morning, his boss sent him to Arizona for four weeks, too bad. So much stress with that family. I found out Vanessa is moving to Vegas. I think it's probably so Liz can make more money working in clubs, so I think that means she isn't getting baptized anytime soon.

So missionaries do dumb things sometimes. We cleaned “The Sink” again this week. We went for lunch, because Elder Ward said he and his companion had cleaned it in 12 minutes. (It's like a gallon of ice cream, two bananas and a lot of toppings..maybe a little more but around there.) So I texted a few members our zone (building zone unity), and we cleaned it in 10 minutes. Elder Salazar is still new, so he can't eat very much, so I ate about 75% of the ice cream; you can all be proud of me that I learned how to be a gluttonous pig in the mission field. I don't think we ate sugar for two days afterwards. I just couldn't make myself do it.

We went to an 8-year-old baptism on Saturday. She turns nine years old in a month, so it was almost a convert baptism, ha-ha. Oh well; it was still good to go. She had asked me to confirm her, so I did that. Utah baptisms for kids are funny. They do it the first Sunday of every month. There were like 12 kids that had to get baptized. All the people filled the whole chapel, and they send us into the font room by ward. (They send the Spanish ward in first, because we are incapable of waiting reverently.) I realized more this week that I was sent to the Spanish program, so I can learn to chill out and not get so stressed and ocd about what others are doing. I kind of thought about it and was surprised when my heart rate wasn't even raised when we didn't have one single investigator show up until ten minutes after the meeting started.

We taught the Salazar family finally. They are a family of four that was being taught by missionaries in another area, and the battle these past two months was getting them to our ward. So we got to teach a lesson. I finally get why they have never progressed. We were there for 90 minutes, and I spoke for about five minutes. The wife talks more than anyone I have ever met in my entire life. At one point, sixty minutes in, I had my hand on the knee of the member I brought as he is teaching everything he knows about temples, and the other hand up trying to quiet down the family, so I can get in at least share my testimony. If I don't learn patience with them, then I never will. The hard thing with them is that they want to keep learning, but every time we invite them to do something, they talk for ten minutes explaining why they won't do it. They love the church and have a testimony, but they just want to procrastinate. Either way, we got them to church! It was kind of just a funny experience all together looking back about how much I wasn't part of the lessons. (Elder Salazar wasn't there. We had been double booked that night).

We had a great week though: more investigators in sacrament than I have ever had, more lessons than I have ever taught, and the happiest I have ever been.

Going down the list of people we are working with:
Hernan pulled off his signature move once again and disappeared! I had my zone leader do the interview, but he had a Mexican missionary who is pretty new translate for him since my zone leader is English. I wasn't there, because we had a lesson. But they called and told me it didn't go to well. He just went off for ten minutes, and my zone leader couldn't do anything, because he didn't understand and the other missionary wasn't translating he was just listening. Anyway, he said he wanted to wait and do it later. They set us up a follow up lesson, and he wasn't there. He told us he would go to church on the phone but didn't come and hasn't been home. So we don't know what happened to him. Hopefully we find him soon.

The Villalobo’s family is pretty new I think. The husband is a member, and the wife and kid aren't. She is working on getting divorced, and once that happens she wants to get baptized. The nine-year-old kid, Adrian, should get baptized in a couple weeks. They are pretty solid. The dad was very hesitant about coming back to church, but we made daily contact, set up an FHE with the primary president, and they came to church. Not having a ward mission leader is hard, but it really keeps me organized and learning the most effective ways to organize everything. I have learned a lot serving here.

They still need to call a new ward mission leader though; the stake has trained ours a few times, and he just won't do anything or even come to church. Oh well, we are getting along fine. I talked to the high counsel rep that speaks Spanish, and he is coming to ward council this Sunday to be able to encourage a shorter meeting than 3 hours, starting on time, everyone showing up, and letting the missionaries go first so we can head out once we are done. It makes us sound really selfish trying to make it all about us, and I almost feel bad. I just walk into a ward they have been in for years, and I take over their ward council.

The Morales family came to church again. Paula's baptism is set up for next Saturday. Her dad talked to the bishop, and he is cleared to baptize her! That was pretty exciting to hear. I don't want to jynx it, but I think all will go well there.

The Torrez family will probably be dropped soon. They lie about appointments and going to church, but no matter how forward I am with them, they refuse to say whether or not they are interested. They promised Saturday night and Sunday morning to go and didn't come, and they couldn't even think of an excuse, they just "couldn't make it." They are just to shy to open up when we try to discern, so there's not much we can do.

The Alejandre family is a new one as well. The zone leaders texted us at 8:45 that they saw a "brown family" outside, and we went straight there. It turns out they moved and hadn't been to church since then, so they weren't on record, but they are less active and want us to baptize their nine-year-old. Tde dad was really iffy about coming back to church, but we gave a little push with daily contact and everything, and they did make it to church. It wasn't easy. We had a long conversation on the phone (the mom and I) an hour before church started, because they said the little boys’ white shirts didn't fit, so they would go next week.  We had a talk about how she is the missionary of her home and yadda yadda yadda and anyways, they came on Sunday and just left after sacrament.

Victoria is somehow magically starting to progress. She told me "God is starting to work on me," and she promised to go to church but didn't come. We should have gotten a fellowshiper; that's our fault. Actually, we did get her one, but they just didn't go, ha-ha. We should have gotten a more reliable fellowshiper.

We spoke on Sunday, I spoke on fulfilling your purpose as a missionary by showing love to others. I have really been praying hard this week for more love. I feel like sometime when I teach, I don't have emotion and don't know how to change that. Other people get teary eyed a lot, and it doesn't really phase me. I just keep talking or wait for them to finish crying or whatever. I don't know that I have ever been even close to crying while teaching. I'm not saying I want to start crying or anything, but I kind of wonder why that is?

Anyways that's about it for now.
Love you all,
Elder Bassett

BTW, President Hiers was counseling with his zone leaders and decided he didn't like the name QGC (quality gospel conversation) and wants to change it to something that defines it better...his idea was to start calling it a TTI. (TTI is what we called them on our mission in Arizona. We found it in PMG where it says you should Teach, Testify, and Invite everyone you see.)

Emily sent me a package! Tell her thank you. I love that she sends me so many pictures!

{Because last week I teased Elder Bassett about his English, he responded with this: “I have been blessed with a great gift of tongues…mainly because of the wide variety of south/central American accents I have served with. Tell the kids to study Spanish grammar in school. Because I did so well in high school, I am good at Spanish grammar and teaching others (greenies) Spanish. (I honestly don't say that to brag. My Spanish isn't perfect, and I know that very well. I am just trying to show how important is to pay attention in your foreign language classes in school; it helps my Spanish quite a bit to know how much I know from school. Other missionaries serving in foreign countries have a much bigger vocabulary than I do...I just happen to be good at grammar.)”}

Elder Bassett asked: Are we about to start a third world war or are all our investigators/members just paranoid?
{The response: Paranoid. Nothing is going to happen. Russia just pulled off a negotiation with Syria today which ended up making Obama look like the weakling that he is in the world. No bombings this week.}

Quote of the week…I'll translate it into English... (crazy Mexican lady) "There are two types of people in this world, rich and poor. The rich ones are republicans, and the poor ones are democrats. All republicans hate Catholics...ALL of them. We live in Utah, and they are all republicans that's why they don't like Catholics"...I wish she had been my econ teacher; she has things figured out.

Mom, what a fantastic letter! I like the little updates and stories about my siblings; send some more if you have time. I wish I could have seen Jeff at his game. I can imagine exactly how he felt trying to keep a straight face but wanting to have a big smile but still trying to stay cool like it wasn't a big deal. I'm sad to hear about Geno. I always worry about Amanda. I don't know why; she is kind of like me in a way. Jeff is hitting that same spot I hit; he is exactly like me. He will be fine though; push him hard. I hope dad is well and not too stressed. Keep reminding him to be happy and make his family laugh. Those are the times when he is the most happy. I'm sure Brandon is fine. I never ever worry about him...everyone else except for him. I don't know why, I just know he will be fine with whatever he has to handle. I don't know how you manage so much. They sure do like to keep you busy. I hope you are recognizing your page 10 pmg types of successes that happen everyday in your life. Thanks for the letter!

By the way I am not going to ask for anything this week. I feel like you probably think I just get on every week to send a letter and then ask you to give me something. I will stop doing that; I'm too much of a momma's boy.

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