Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Elephant Ears - Clarksville, Tenneseee

Conquering the Jungles of Tennessee...

Random thing you should all probably know: for some reason there are many emails which I have sent which appear in my "sent" folder and supposedly reached their destination. However it turns out they actually never did send and nobody received them. This is really unfortunate because I spend a lot of time writing those emails to my friends and those I care about, yet they never get anything. But there is literally no way for me to tell when/if it happened. It is totally random which ones make it through and which ones float about the server till the end of time. There are a few I have tried resending multiple times to no avail. So I really hope you guys all get to hear from me and I get to hear back from you. If that doesn't happen, I am sorry and wish I knew how to fix it. 

Monday, August 22, 2016

The Three Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamigos! - Clarksville, Tennessee

And amigos forever they'll be.

Hello everyone

So as I told you last week, we got a new missionary straight out of the empty sea in Utah. His name is Elder Carlson. Do you want to know something shocking? He isn't from Arizona. I think there may have been a mistake. He is actually from Seattle, Washington, but we can forgive him for that. I actually really like him a lot. Personality wise, we are very similar. It feels like I am companions with myself. That is kinda weird. As I watch him go through his first few weeks, it looks very similar to what I did coming in. It is bringing tons of flashbacks.

Elder Weight, Elder Carlson, Elder Basham
Being in a trio is interesting. Everything in our apartment is super crowded. We have another bed in the bedroom, another desk in he study, a new, bigger table, and more food, clothes, and stuff everywhere. There is very little walking space. As much as I love small, minimalist housing, I see that it definitely begins to unravel the more people you have. For example, we helped a new family, who has seven kids, move into the ward. 8 beds, three wardrobes full of homeschool materials, 4000 pounds of food storage, and monstrous piles of boxes and furniture take up a lot of space -- not to mention the lengthy moving process. I'm not fully sure where this train of thought was going but yea... We shall leave it there I suppose.

We have an investigator with a baptismal date! It is pretty exciting. We have actually been teaching her for a while, but I just now thought that I should probably mention missionary work in these missionary emails. Almost a year out and that thought finally comes. Anyway it is pretty fantastic to see how she has been prepared her whole life for this. It started way back in high school when her friend gave her a Book of Mormon and invited her to church. Later her brother was baptized. Now, several years later, she is finally ready and she is pretty excited for it. What I love most is that she really is just focused on building a personal relationship with Heavenly Father. She truly loves Him and loves how much the Book of Mormon helps her grow that love. I am grateful to have been a small part of helping her and seeing the joy it brings. I bear my testimony that the Book of Mormon is true and that one can draw nearer to God by abiding by its precepts than by any other book. I love it and I love the Savior of whom it testifies.

I love you all and hope you have a fantastic week!

Elder Basham

PS. She also has a pet pig! It is the cutest thing ever and I love it. I want one!

Monday, August 15, 2016

The Three Amigos - Clarksville, Tennessee


Guess what is happening tomorrow! If you guessed transfers then you are paying way more attention to the weeks than anyone. But yes transfers are tomorrow. Elder weight and I will be training a new missionary together. Zone leaders trio training. This is pretty weird but it will be awesome! There will be two trios in our district so there will be 14 missionaries. This will be the biggest district I have seen. Here is a picture of our old one.

Our old zone
Also, here is a picture of our bishop. He is "a very athletic black gentleman" and he smiles kind of like this:

Our Bishop

I was laughing so hard trying to make that face. He is actually one of the most hilarious people I have ever met. His family is so funny that I was crying with laughter. He is probably the best bishop I have met on my mission. For some reason though, he won't smile.

This p-day is very different from last week. Instead of sitting around all day writing emails and playing with Legos, we have most of the zone together and we are playing basketball and dodgeball. It is quite fun but I am exhausted. Hopefully I will have time to write more later. Have a great week!

Elder Basham

Monday, August 8, 2016

Salad - Clarksville, Tennessee

Hello all of you

I hope you have had a fantastic week. Do you know what is delicious? If you guessed salad, you are probably very observant and also correct. We got a giant box of farm fresh tomatoes and cucumbers. They are so good they are worth eating just plain. Even better though is when you cut them up and put them on a plate of lettuce and cover the whole thing with cucumber dressing. Sometimes I get so caught up in making fancy hot meals that I forget how awesome a regular salad it. Also, it is freaking hot outside so I do not need a hot meal at all.

Now that I am finished with my lunch, I am not entirely sure what to talk about. This has been a very interesting p-day. There was not really anywhere to go or much to do. We cleaned the entire house to near perfection. We have inspections tomorrow and the inspector was in the military for over 40 years and is a retired Sargent major. He gives the craziest inspections ever so we spent a lot of time on that. Afterwards, we have just sat around emailing all day. It is really nice though. There are a lot of people I have wanted to talk to for a while but haven't had time so I have been happy to talk with so many friends. Also, we found out our dishwasher is broken.

The last four weeks we have played Settlers of Catan. I love that game a lot and we have the cities and knights expansion. That is such a cool board game and it puts everything else to shame except maybe the farming game and monopoly. Although after playing three-four hours every Monday for four weeks is just too much. I am done with it and there goes the last fun thing in the house, except of course lightsabers.

I hope you all have an awesome week and know that I love you all!

Elder Basham

I totally lied. We did not use up all of the fun things to do. There is always something awesome to do if you use your brain.

Monday, August 1, 2016

A very random story - Clarksville, Tennessee

Hello everyone

To be short in writing, we had an ... interesting week. It was full of lots of random weird things, the weirdest of which happened last Monday. That day, every one of our plans fell through. Members, investigators, the stake president, and even computers all failed us. It was pretty crazy how it all happened one after the other. Left with nothing else to do we began to trackt. We were initially met with very little reception. Not a single door answered until the very end of the street, where we finally had one guy open it up. He came out and began talking to us until, as we spoke, it began raining right on our heads.  It turns out that he was not interested at all. He was just being nice to let us out of the rain - a rather kind thing to do. However, we then had a super awkward conversation full of dull small talk, mostly featuring the weather.

As we sat in a moment of weird silence, I noticed something in the corner and it caught my attention. Sitting on a shelf were a couple of old rotary phones from the 70s. They each featured a Disney character holding the receiver. Thinking it would give us something interesting to talk about, I brought it up. It turns out he did not actually care about them that much or want to talk about Disney. He must have been crazy. It turned out that they were actually for sale. Without thinking, I found myself asking how much they were. I told myself I would never actually buy one; I was just curious. He had no idea what they were selling it for and went to ask his wife the price. I began to debate in my head whether it would be worth it and how much I would be willing to spend. Surely they couldn't ask more than $50 for it? I wouldn't pay that much. Maybe I could do $30? Not that these thoughts really mattered, because I wasn't going to buy it. Missionaries don't need rotary phones and it would cost money to ship it home. What would I ever use it for anyway?

I will let you work out the end of the story in your minds.

Besides that, it was a rather uneventful week.

Today I studied the Young Women's personal progress book on Individual Worth. Don't make fun of me; there is good stuff in there and we are commanded to seek learning from all the best books. I learned a lot about the love God has for each and every one of his children. He has an individual plan of happiness for each of us and a purpose for us to achieve here on earth. He sees all that we can become and loves us enough to help us get there.

Pride seems to be a counterfeit to individual worth. As we seek honor and riches and try to define ourselves by our possessions, we loose track of who we really are. Our true identity as a child of God is lost and we forget the divine purpose within ourselves. We distort our vision of our own self worth and soon begin to demean others. I can see that I have definitely been subject to this throughout my life and have caused pain to myself and others.

I have made the goal to help build up individual worth in others by pointing out their worthwhile attributes to them and recording it in my journal. I especially hope to build this in my companion. I would challenge each of you to do the same thing and see how building up others helps you find greater confidence in God and yourself.

I love you all and hope you have an amazing week

Elder Basham