Monday, January 11, 2016

All of them at once I suppose

Happy no-more-holidays!

This was the most busy week ever. We went on exchanges finally because it was the last week of the transfer and we hadn't gotten around to it yet. This time, instead of Elder Orr coming to my area, I went to his with Elder Trajillo. They have a Spanish speaking area so it was quite an adventure. I got to teach two lessons in Spanish. I was rather proud of how much I could actually remember from sophomore year.

Unfortunately I lacked the vocabulary to teach but I was easily able to chat. Then I got to listen to the lesson and then introduce scriptures like. El libro de Alma, capítulo siete. Yo leo versículo once. ¿Tus les versículo doce? That was quite fun. I especially loved reading El Libro de Mormón en español. The word choice adds so much more simplicity and depth to the meaning of the passages. Also it was great learning how to pronounce the large words. In one of the lessons, the member fed us lunch and it was delicious. She was from Guatemala. She made homemade corn tortillas and this amazing green sauce to go on the tacos. I loved it so much and it really made me miss making our own tortillas. I may buy some corn meal next week.

Later in the week, back with Elder Tolman, we visited our investigators from Africa. They are really fantastic. I really love teaching them because they really really love to learn. Every lesson seems to end with them shouting praises to God and exclaiming how great the Book of Mormon is and how much they love the clarity it brings. Anyway, they always make us delicious African food. Fortunately we have not had to eat any more sardines. They eat rice with pretty much every meal and  EVERYTHING is SPICY. It's delicious but I'm usually sweating by the time I finish eating. Anyway here is a picture.

With our African Investigators.

Brother Booker took us out to eat at a restaurant called Monel's. It is a soul food buffet. All of the food is inconceivably good, but that's not even he best part. It is in an old southern house and you sit around a big table with lots of people. They bring all the food to your table and its served like it is a home cooked meal. Everyone passes the food around and chats together. Actually you have to talk together. They are very serious about the southern hospitality feel, so you cannot have any cell phones. You just sit around and chit chat with everybody. That was loads of fun and we met some great people. Everyone was curious about what missionaries are and what we do, so we got to explain the church briefly. Planting seeds everywhere we go! Anyway it was great except Elder Tolman forgot his name tag and it was really awkward and funny.

At Monel's soul food buffet
Elder Basham, Brother Booker, Elder Tolman

This was a great week for food all around. Elder Tolman and I went to our Chinese investigators' house for dinner. It was quite delicious. I do enjoy every time I eat with them, but I have definitely learned that Chinese food is absolutely nothing like the "Chinese food" we buy in restaurants here. However, I still like Pei Wei better, even if it is totally America. Also, do you know what is amazing? Answer: chopsticks. Remember that one year when every birthday and Christmas present request I gave was "a pair of chopsticks." Well I was entirely serious. I just remembered again how much I love these things. I've been eating pretty much everything with them. The exception seems to be apple pie and tacos. There isn't a good way to eat those things with chopsticks. It's kinda funny visiting these guys because they literally don't even have any forks. Elder Tolman has to bring his own fork to dinner.

Anyway the most hilarious thing happened. They asked Elder Tolman if he is getting married soon. He laughed and explained that he isn't until he finishes his mission. They she offered: "I have lots friends Chinese girls. Want America husband. If you want Chinese girl, I hook you up." That was quite hilarious and I have teased him about it a lot. I was not offered a wife, but I'm really alright with that. In fact they didn't ask me much at all. I'm pretty sure they are far more interested in elder Tolman than the gospel, so we'll see if they talk to Elder Brown and I next week. Which leads into my next topic: transfers. 

So the time has come once again for people to be moved around, and this time it has affected us. Elder Tolman will be moving to Bowling Green, Kentucky, and I will be receiving a new companion tomorrow. His name is Elder Brown. It is his last transfer so I'll be sending him home next month. That'll be weird. Anyway, in the usual tradition, we sang 152 (God be with you till we meet again) in our last district meeting then gathered around for photos. Here they are. 

You can't see the #Nashtag behind Elder Lansberry's head.

In this one the camera started falling at the last second 
And somebody decided to make a pyramid and volunteered me for the top spot.
I'm not entirely sure it was a good idea but oh well. 

So yep there it is. A lot of them are leaving which is going to be interesting. I had pretty much the same district for my first two transfers, so it'll be weird having entirely new people. 

Thank you all for reading through my week of food; I had fun writing it at least, but now on to something else. This week, as I was taking the sacrament, the words "always remember Him" really stuck out to me. I was seeking for a way to make my work more meaningful and to grow closer to Christ. I realized then that mere obedience isn't enough. Simply going through the motions of following Christ is only a small part of what we can do for him. I have been trying now to remember Him always through all of the things I do. To put meaning behind the motion and a greater purpose to why I obey. 

This theme was only continued throughout church. I loved the lesson from Howard W Hunter. "We must know Christ better than we know him; we must remember him more often than we remember him; we must serve him more valiantly than we serve him." And I would add that we must love him more than we already love him. It is comforting to know that even the prophet feels like he needs to know Christ better. We can never remain stagnant in the gospel, but rather must constantly be striving to improve our relationship with Christ. I am glad that there really is no finish line but that improvement and progression have one eternal round. I'll always be able to love Christ more tomorrow than I do today if I truly work for it. And that makes every minute so much more meaningful. 

I can promise that God loves you and will help you come towards him. For every step you take in his direction, he will more than match your effort. I know that as you strive to remember Him more, you will feel his love and blessings in your life and I say this in the name of Jesus Christ, amen. 

Thank you all and have a wonderful week, love
Elder Basham

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