Monday, February 15, 2016

Presidential perfect poached eggs - Green Hills, Tennessee

Hello everyone!

So much happened this week and it has been awesome. Remember Elder Trujillo? Well I finally remembered to take a photo with him after forgetting for two exchanges and three transfers.

Elder Basham and Elder Trujillo on exchanges

It snowed Monday through Thursday last week. Fortunately none of the snow ever stuck to the ground ever though. It was weird. Almost more like cold rain than snow. The only difference being that when snow is flung into your eyes by freezing wind it really hurts. Speaking of eyes, Elder Trujillo needs eye surgery so he is going home. I'm definitely going to miss him; this guy is awesome. Fortunately he will be back in six months and he should be able to see then so it will be great.

With this change in our district we have had emergency transfers. It's really weird. Now Elder Brown and I are the only elders in the district with five sisters. It's pretty much just like home now I suppose. Anyway, thanks to that fun, I am now a district leader as of 106 minutes ago. That's exciting and scary. I now get/have to plan a district meeting and two trainings and assignments by Wednesday morning. Wish me luck.

So this week we got to visit President Andersen's house. It's great living in the same ward as the mission president. We are pretty much the center of the mission. Anyway, his daughter and granddaughter, who is three, were visiting from Utah. It was super cute listening to her talk about her friends and other silly things that three-year-olds talk about and watch her get her nails painted by her grandma. The hardest mission rule by far is not holding babies or playing with children. Oh well I can survive for another 18 months, although I may squeeze Abby and Sophie to death then.

While we were visiting, they were having breakfast. And for breakfast they were having poached eggs. But not just any poached eggs, I was informed; these were "grandpa Andersen's perfect poached eggs." And they were actually very well made. Having only been able to successfully poach duck eggs, I asked president what the secret is and he told me. I can now add making eggs to the list of things I have learned from president. Unwilling to let this new talent go wasted, I have had poached eggs every day since Friday. However, I could not just stop there, so I made this deliciousness for lunch today.

Eggs Benedict for Elder Brown

Bam! I bet none of you made that on your mission. Elder Brown had never had eggs Benedict before and I wanted to have the fun of making it so I thought it would be a great parting treat. He might as well eat well the last week of his mission. He said he had never tasted anything like it before in his life. Hopefully he means that in a positive way...

Many months ago, sister Anderson sent me a few scorpion lollipops. I have been putting them off for a long time and probably would never have eaten them. Elder brown was far more determined than I and came up with the great idea of doing a time lapse. You can decide for yourself who won.

Anyway I will have to send the last half of this email in a little bit. Have a great Monday until then!

Honorary High Priest
Hello again!

This week we also got to go to the temple. It was a really great experience in many ways and it especially helped elder brown and I a lot. The strength gained from the temple is truly amazing and it helps me see so clearly how I can better help the lord. It was a very small temple, but the same spirit could be felt there. I definitely miss the Gilbert temple a lot. After I get through squeezing Abby and Sophie I'll probably go straight there. But that is far to long off to think about. Anyway here are some pictures. This is what our district used to look like before today.

This Sunday we went to high priest group at church with an investigator. We had a rather stirring conversation about adversity and how it is part of God's plan for us. My favorite part though was when someone made the comment about opposition In all things, our investigator turned to me and casually stated "that is second Nephi chapter two." I was quite happy to hear him talk about the Book of Mormon and when he saw my excitement he just waved it off saying "everybody knows that one." I could not help but smile at that. This guy is hilarious.

Anyway, as we all engaged in the discussion brother Tolk - who you may remember as laser physics guy - liked our comments so much that he proposed that Elder Brown and I be given the lofty title of Honorary High Priests. That was quite funny and I rather enjoyed the whole meeting. We may go back in a few weeks for fun.

And so for my spiritual thought this week, I will just tell you the comment that earned us the title. The question was proposed: what is the deciding factor between those who become bitter from affliction and those who become better from affliction?

I believe the answer can be found in the one who is the example in all things, our Savior. Jesus Christ suffered all affliction that mankind would ever be faced with. As alma chapter 7 states

11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.

As a result of all this affliction, he became our Savior. With his stripes we are healed and by his suffering we are saved. Because of the affliction he suffered for us all, he is now exalted above all else. So how was he able to do it? The answer is charity, which is the true love of Christ. There would be no atonement without the character of Christ. And the character of Christ is charity, humility, and selflessness. So if we wish to grow and become better from our afflictions, we must have a small part of the character of Christ. Moroni 7:48

"Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen."

I know this promise is true. God will bestow charity upon all those who are true followers of Jesus Christ and pray for this great gift with all their soul. This is made possible through the enabling power of Christ's atonement. With this great gift of love from our Father and our Savior we can overcome affliction and grow better because of them. This is the gift of the atonement and the greatest act of love ever shown. I am grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ and all he does for me and those I love. I know he loves you and wishes all the same blessings upon you and say so in his holy name, amen.

Elder Basham.

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