Monday, February 29, 2016

- Green Hills, Tennessee


This week has been pretty fantastic. It turns out training is fun. My new companion is elder Torres. He is from Oklahoma. Which is funny because that is not very far from Tennessee at all. And all the weather is the same there as it is here. Speaking of weather, Nashville is the weirdest place on earth. It was blue and sunny in the morning and warm enough to go out without a sweater or jacket. Then it snowed in the afternoon out of no where followed by rain all evening. Then on another day, it flung down frozen hail for 17 seconds and then went back to normal. I don't get it. Anyway here are cool weather pictures.

Snow actually looks like snowflakes! Excitement!
Because there is no excuse to not have fro-yo.
This is actually super convenient because it is
like a little cooler which keeps it from melting.

And on the subject of pictures, this is elder Torres. We did a service project so we aren't wearing Sunday clothes. This is the first time in over four months that I wore jeans. It felt weird. Anyway, elder Torres is a fantastic missionary. He is a perfect example of Paul's words in 1 Corinthians 13. He truly loves the people he serves. Both the members and investigators. It is amazing how he already knows all the names and the cares of the people within a week. Some missionaries never seem to learn to care about the people. So the fact that elder Torres already has such great charity will make him an amazing missionary as he continues to grow in knowledge. I am so happy to know him.

Service Project!  Elder Basham & Elder Torres
So a funny thing happened the other day. We were walking down the street on the way to a finding activity when we were stopped by two people. It was a father and son. They asked us questions about what on earth we were doing and why we had funny black tags. We were more than happy to tell them all about it. As we continued to talk they asked about the Book of Mormon so we proceeded to tell them all about it. We taught the whole restoration lesson and it went so well. They had such great questions and were super involved. I was so happy to have found such great investigators. We were planning a return appointment when they surprised us. It turns out they were members visiting from out of town. They thought it would be a fun idea to give us some teaching practice and hear an uplifting message.

As soon as they said it I could see that they had been dropping hints the whole time. Comments like "so the Apostacy of the early church is like a glass table that broke and now every church has a small piece of the glass?" And better yet, pointing to a picture or president Uchtdorf, "that guy looks like a pilot." Anyway it was all super hilarious and I had fun. It really was great teaching practice, especially for elder Torres on his fourth day. If I am ever on a vacation and see two missionaries walking by I may do this same thing.

Anyway guess what day it is! You may have guessed leap year day, which is exciting because I get one more day of mission service than the other half of missionaries. However, this is much more exciting than that. Today is two days before the two year anniversary of the Gilbert temple! Here is a great picture by Brother Anderson just because it is so beautiful.

Gilbert Arizona Temple 

If that doesn't prove that Gilbert is the best place on earth then I don't know what would. I also love this amazing keychain I get to carry around with me to help me remember.

I love to think about the temple, especially the one in Gilbert. There are so many beautiful memories there which just make me happy in all ways. My favorite part about all the memories is that they have to do with my family. That is the wonderful blessing of temples: families. The temple is so holy and sacred because all of the work done there is to organize and build families after the laws of God. The wonderful feeling and spirit of love and learning found therein comes from the Holy Ghost testifying that the family is of God. I know that the temple truly is the house of the Lord and the house of His family.

This knowledge goes hand in hand with another eternal truth. The only place on earth that can be a holy as the temple, is the Home. The spirit of love and learning can exist within our own walls as we strive to organize our family after the teachings of Jesus Christ. A house becomes a home as a family unites in faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.

Jesus Christ is our lord and savior. He died so we could be cleaned and strengthened to have our own eternal families, create sacred homes on this earth, and live with The Father and Him in the next. I love Him beyond words for that and will spend my life in gratitude for His sacrifice. Hosanna, Hosanna to God and the Lamb! In His holy name, amen.

I love you all and hope you have a great week!
Elder Basham

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