Monday, May 9, 2016

In which Elder Basham makes a new discovery - Green Hills, Tennessee


This week we went on exchanges with the zone leaders. It was really pretty fun being in another area. The other cool thing is that we actually got to work out in the morning. So as missionaries we are supposed to exercise for 30 minutes every morning. Unfortunately we are not allowed to go to gyms or use Dumbbells, so it really isn't much of a work out. Mostly it just consists of push ups, sit ups, and stretching. On the bright side I finally started doing the physical therapy for my shoulder injury two years ago. Anyway, so when I went to Bellevue with elder Brown, we ran for 3 miles through the Tennessee hills every morning. That was quite the workout. I will admit that I had to use my inhaler and walk a lot of it, but it was still really fun. The coolest part about that is that I was actually awake for the morning. By 7 I felt like it was noon and I was up talking, cooking, and enjoying myself. It was a nice contrast to falling asleep on my breakfast.

Another fun thing on the exchange is that we went past Taylor Swift's Childhood home. Her mom still lives there with round the clock live security guards roaming around the yard. After seeing that I am really glad that I am neither rich nor famous. I would much rather just enjoy myself without a million people following me trying to stop people from following me. Later in the week, we walked by Taylor Swift's music publisher. To be honest I had past it hundreds of times but just never thought of it. This time I suddenly realized, "wait a minute, this is music row. All the publishing studios are here. Which means that... Oh yes it is that building right there. I can't believe I never noticed it." So yea there it is. Number 8 music square west.

The Eiseles live right by it. Music row is really funny. It is all a bunch of old southern houses. It looks just like everywhere else in Nashville. However all of the houses are actually full of music publishers not homes. You can't see it in this picture because SONY and World Productions are the exceptions. They have regular big office buildings. How boring of them. I'd rather have a hundred year old house.

Anyway, that is probably enough of that for the rest of my mission. On a more serious note, the work is going well. We are doing a lot of finding but God is giving us a lot of miracles. The other week I had a great conversation with a lady on a bus about the Punchinello books. Then yesterday we knocked right on her door and she was so happy to see us again. We offered her a Book of Mormon and she was elated. She told us about how she had tried to get one many years ago but missionaries never came. She is super excited to read the whole book. It was such a miracle to find her again.

We had the opportunity to pass the sacrament yesterday. As I went from pew to pew, I thought about the people. The people of this ward have become great friends to me and I really love them. I thought about the great things they have done for us and the fun times we had serving together. I thought about the difficulties they have been through and the sacrifices they make. I thought about the Savior. He is the personal savior to each and every one of them. I thought about how His atonement has blessed the lives of those I love both here, at home, and as far away as Uganda. As I thought of these things, I was filled with the spirit and with love. I could see how much God loves all these people and myself, and I had my heart opened to love them more.

This was such a wonderful experience. I have been trying for a long time to make the sacrament more special to me. I have spent most of that time looking inward. I was trying to find something in myself that I had to change or do better, some special way of remembering Him more. In the end, it was just as simple as turning out. The Savior was always serving others and showing love. He never did anything selfishly or for himself; everything was an act of kindness for another. What better way to remember the Savior than to follow that example. I am beginning to realize that always remembering Him has to do a lot less with constantly thinking about the cross and reading Isaiah 53, and a lot more to do with how we act. We remember Christ by following Him and honoring the name we have taken upon us. Every time I reach out and smile to another I am remembering Christ and acting in His name. I am so grateful to have learned this lesson and cannot wait to go out and serve others.

I hope you all have an amazing week! I love you
Elder Basham

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