Monday, January 25, 2016

LET IT GOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!! - Green Hills, Tennessee

Hello everyone!

Do you know what happened this week? If you guessed snow then you are right, because it definitely snowed. It started out with this little bit of snow on Wednesday.

This little layer of crunchy snow was really great. It reminded me of North Carolina where it would snow, but not really. Just slush and ice everywhere. I had a lot of fun reminiscing and also making snow balls. I will say that this snow is great for making snow balls with unlike the snow on mount lemon or flagstaff. So that was really fun throwing those around. However, although I sang the song from frozen at least a hundred times, we never built a snowman. 

Anyway so there was that tiny bit of snow. Everyone in Nashville was freaking out about it because it apparently never snows here. I've been told that Nashville is in what they call the snow dome because it will be snowing like mad to the north, south, east, and west, but not here in town. So the fact that we had even that much snow kinda stopped everything. I'd say that Nashville reacts to snow worse than Phoenix reacts to rain. Fortunately that all melted up nice and quick leaving the roads all clear by Thursday. However that did not last very long. This is what we woke up to Friday morning. 

It snowed all day Friday. By the time it was done there was almost a full foot of snow. This completely shut the city down. No driving, no biking, no busses, no mail, and mostly no people. But that did not put a stop to missionary work. We got to walk through it all. We spent the first two days just visiting around our block, but we got brave on Sunday and walked for three and a half hours all over town. I'm still kinda dead after that. 

I totally loved the snow. I just went about skipping and cavorting through it like a deer. Or maybe a rabbit. You choose your own imagery there. Either way it was fantastic. It feels so great to walk on a fresh patch of snow that has never been stepped on before. Your feet just sink down into it. Then I went kicking it all around and just having an absolute blast. Then we made ice cream with the snow for dinner. That was delicious. I really wish it would snow again just for more ice cream. Then the next day, after the snow had sat in the sun and been driven on, it was packed down into a hard three inches of ice. While this is terribly dangerous and even lethal for automobiles, it is great for having fun. When walking down hill you can run forward for a bit and then jump into the icy tire track and then slide for a ways down the hill. It made walking a pretty fantastic game. 

However, Elder Brown was far less interested in the snow than I was. It was quite difficult for him to get through the stuff for some reason so I felt a lot like Legolas running circles around Borimir. It was quite fantastic. Although I admit I had a lot less fun with the snow when I had to drive.

Fortunately it was mostly all melted by then. I'll send more snow pictures in a later email. 

So I learned a rather interesting lesson with all of this snow. As fun as it may seem to run off through the snow and make your own path, it isn't really the best idea. You end up really tired after a while and your legs get all wet and your shoes tend to get ruined. It turns out that it is far better to follow in the footsteps of another. However, this is easier said than done. In order to be safest, you have to step right in the previous traveler's track. This requires you to constantly look down and evaluate every pace. You have to make sure every motion is in harmony with theirs. This is rather difficult at first, but as you press forward, you eventually learn their pacing and placement. The further you go in their footsteps, the more you begin to walk like them. 

And so it is with the Savior. He has walked the path back to our Father. His is the only path that can get us there. While going off on our own may seem enticing, it will lead to ruin. And so we must constantly be looking down, evaluating every step we take. We cannot follow Him if our eyes are not on his path. And most importantly, if we are to succeed at following the footprints to the end, we must be like him. It won't happen instantly, but the further we follow the path of discipleship, the more we begin to walk like him. And eventually, his ways will become our ways, and we can walk right behind him to our father in heaven. All of this is made possible through his atonement in which he trod down all the barriers in our way and cleared the straight and narrow path for our travel. And how grateful I am that he did. 

Have a fantastic week and enjoy your weather wherever you are!
Elder Basham

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