Monday, November 4, 2013

Another week!

It snowed here yesterday. Isn’t it awful? I'm not ready for the snow.

So this week is a little different; we have p-day on Monday like the rest of the world. We will be having a mission tour from Elder Clark this week. He will split the mission in half and give a mission conference to the north half of the mission on Tuesday and the south half on Wednesday. Then we will have mission leadership council with him on Thursday. It will be a great week even though I am sure a stressful one for President and Sister Hiers. Hopefully, we can get called to repentance; the last general authority was just way too easy on us.

This week has been great. I just have a feeling this last coming week of the transfer will be a very long one. We are pretty exhausted and ready to have an apartment again. It will be exciting to find out what will happen to us this transfer. Last week, I went to Syracuse for a few days. I went to one district meeting and everyone had dressed up for Halloween except for Elder Kipp and I. Afterward, we all went out to unlimited sushi together; we are big fans of unlimited sushi.
My son and grandson with Jaime you remember me telling you about him? I taught him last transfer. I am glad the two of them are doing well. Elder Salazar is as great as ever and everyone loves him.

On Halloween, we aren't allowed to go outside. I am not too sure of the reasons. I think because some people dress up as missionaries so you never know if we are the real ones. That could be the reason; I really don't know. But we went to dinner with President and the assistants at a senior couple’s house in South Weber. It was waaayyyy decorated; so much you couldn't really see the decorations. And all of the food was died orange. Then after that we went to stay the night with the Syracuse zone leaders. We talked to their landlords for a little then watched Prince of Egypt. Their landlord is a book collector and "speed reader." Before that day I didn't know that was a real thing you could develop. When he was living in Wall Street, he could read 10,000 words per minute. He described it to me how he just glances at the page, and he trained his mind to put it all together in order. The crazy thing about it is that once you get that high your retention of what you read goes up to 97%. So he reads that fast and remembers almost everything, because he stores things under titles in his head, and if he just remembers the title or keyword it unlocks that whole chapter in his brain. He said if I were really, really diligent about it, I could learn to do it in a year assuming I have normal reading abilities. That would be so useful! But let's be honest, I will probably never do it. He recommended some speed-reading training books I could get if I ever wanted to try. I was more just fascinated by it than anything.

While watching the movie, we, of course, ate an unhealthy amount of candy (I guess any amount of candy is unhealthy, right?) and Elder Graham had a sister in his stake make me chocolate chip cookies since he knew I would be coming over to his house. It went by way too fast and just like that we were back to a regular day. The two days with that companionship weren't as productive as I would have liked, but I gave some feedback regarding chapter eight of Preach My Gospel and how to plan more effectively and execute the plans.

A big thing I learned this week, as I have pretty much every week, is how much everyone has the desire to improve. A lot of missionaries show that by setting lots of goals; they just get disappointed or discouraged when they never reach goals they set so for the most part they need to be taught how to accomplish what they want. It is the same thing with investigators, but the key is always repentance to understand better the atonement and that usually helps with desire and therefore more passionate or emotionally involved goals. Then after that we can figure out the best way to accomplish goals, which basically just comes down to diligence. A lot of missionaries have been asking me advice this transfer on language study. I have decided, after thinking a lot about it, just comes back to diligence. Everyone has their own style or preference of how they learn, but honestly, the ones that work hard at it get fluent quickly and the ones that are lazy just never seem to get it. So the secret to learning Spanish is just effort! Towards the end of the week, I went out with two elders serving in the North Ogden zone. Elder Plowman and Doughty are their zone leaders, so I got to spend some time up there as well. We helped one Hispanic family move into their area that happened to be a part member family, so that was a blessing to find them.

Last night, we stayed at the assistant’s house; at about eleven o'clock at night, they asked us to write up a half page thing before the next morning about the five essentials and other mission trainings. Basically, there are a lot of missionaries that are unhappy with different trainings and role plays that were given to the mission, because they think it's the only way you can do a lesson, but what it is just one tool that can be used if the Spirit tells you. We just wrote about that and how that’s the whole point of Preach my Gospel. It might not make a lot of sense, but here it is:
Five essentials: Elder Bassett and Elder Kipp
The five essentials is a tool brought to the Utah Ogden Mission in order to help in the conversion of our friends. 
They are five basic principles found in the scriptures and Preach My Gospel that every friend must understand in order to be converted. We have been given many tools to be more effective; Preach My Gospel gives us “the fundamentals of missionary work”. It does not answer every question or situation you will encounter. You will be most effective as you follow the Spirit,” (PMG p.vii). The same is true with mission trainings such as the five essentials or spirit sandwich. We are given effective tools, and it is left up to us to practice and trust the Spirit to give “you in the very hour that portion that shall be meted unto every man,” (D&C 84:85). 
The preparation for such lessons begins in personal study and finalizes in companionship study and mission trainings. As you come to understand that “each person or family you teach is unique”, (PMG p. 177) your testimony will grow that “Heavenly Father knows the hearts and experiences of all people and will help you know what is best for each person” (PMG p. 187). For example, many friends with Catholic backgrounds already have strong beliefs in the principles taught in the five essentials. In such cases, you will need to “refer quickly and simply to the Restoration of the gospel, for this is our unique message to the world,” (PMG p. 159). In other cases, many friends in Utah are already familiar with this unique message of the Restoration and will benefit more from teaching the five essentials first. 
In conclusion, there is no one training that will fit all needs or situations. Elder Holland teaches us that the purpose of Preach My Gospel is to first convert ourselves and then allow the Spirit to work through us in the conversion of others. 
We know that as you are obedient and qualify for the companionship of the Holy Ghost, “the Spirit will draw upon the knowledge and skills you have developed to help you teach more powerfully,” (PMG p. 176). “Without the Spirit you will never succeed, regardless of your talent and ability,” (PMG p. 176). In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. 

They put it in the weekly mission newsletter that all the missionaries in the mission get to kind of clear up some of those beliefs. Yesterday, I went to Mount Lewis ward; the Rubio family is getting sealed in two weeks! That is pretty exciting. Elder Ward and Plowman will go down to the Salt Lake Temple with them to be there, it's going to be a very exciting time for all of them.

Last night, we had a mission musical fireside in Brigham City. It was a good turn out; we filled the entire Brigham City Tabernacle and had some really great performances. The best part was probably the choir; there are some great singers in our mission. They have a pipe organ and finished with motab's arrangement of High On the Mountaintop, and it was great (that is our mission song).

I think that is it for this week. I went to the chiropractor this morning and feel great (Elder Kipp's shoulder has been hurting). We are going to go take a nap and prepare ourselves mentally for this last week; I will be in Spanish central zone all week. I love you all!

Elder Bassett

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