Monday, July 24, 2017

Paducah! - Paducah, Kentucky

Hello Everyone!

Paducah is such an amazing area. I just love this town. It's just like downtown Gilbert, but instead of just one street, there are several blocks of cute little old buildings. We have an amazing bakery that's
been here since 1927 and it's just delicious. The Ohio River is cool and they have a giant mural wall and a steam train by the flood gates. We are full-time bike and bus so we actually get to just be out and talk to people. I am loving it.

We knocked on a man's door and he was just kind of hesitant and trying to find a polite way to tell us away. We just kept testifying anyway and when we realized he wasn't yet ready to let us in we just sat down on his porch chairs and invited him to have a seat too. He did and we had a whole restoration lesson. He accepted the invitation to read the Book of Mormon and actually really liked all we shared. It turns out he was more interested than he thought he was. If I would have feared or just walked away accepting that he wasn't interested then he still wouldn't know the truth about the Book of Mormon and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I hope you all have a wonderful week! Love you all
Elder Basham

Josh made us a rabbit on my last night in McMinnville. It tastes like chicken! 

My new companion is Elder Hatch. He is super awesome! 

Elder Tolman trained me. He was my first companion
He is heading back to Idaho now. We were both
greenies but it seems that I only have 12 weeks left.
Where did the time go? 

Monday, July 17, 2017

Paducah! - McMinnville, Tennessee

Well everyone it happened! I am now finished with my time here in McMinnville. I am being transferred to Paducah, Kentucky tomorrow.

This will be my first time serving in a Kentucky area although I've always thought Kentucky was probably way better than Tennesee. I guess I now get to see if that is right. McMinnville has been an amazing place for the last several months. I have loved the people here and really enjoyed getting to serve them. It was certainly interesting having so many different companions, but I had a great time.

Here was our awesome district. Elder Weight and Elder Wadsworth are going home on Wednesday. That is pretty crazy. I have been with them for a long time. Fortunately, Elder Weight only lives 15 minutes away in Chandler, so we will still have lots of fun together. 

Our Awesome District

Also here is an adorable kitten just because it's awesome. I love cats!

Monday, July 10, 2017

The Valley of the Promised Land - McMinnville, Tennessee

Hello everyone! This week has been fantastic, however, I just wrote about two pages to the mission president so you all get a video this week again.  Let me know if you like videos or not. Anyway have a great week I love you all

Elder Basham

Baby Alan
Just a funny addition to the story I told about Alan last week. Our stake president went to high school with him and found the year Book.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Alan - McMinnville, Tennessee

I would like to tell you about an amazing friend of mine named Alan. He was born during the Korean War to Charles and Joyce. His father Charles was an aircraft pilot during World War Two. Alan served as a law enforcement officer for sixteen years in 5 counties here in Tennessee. He built many of the highways here and has two cats. He absolutely loves NASCAR and will tell you all about it. He never wanted much to do with Mormons though. However, last November Elder Merchant and Elder Polson knocked on his door and for the first time in 63 years he let them in. 

He was rather nice at first but always explained that he never would go to a Mormon church or quit smoking. Thankfully those convictions never turned out. I was here in February when he had his first church tour. The next week he came to church. Soon he then out all of his tea. After a few more weeks I heard him offer his first prayer. In due time the coffee and the cigarettes both fell away. His favorite scripture is 1 Nephi 3:7 "And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them." He will tell you about how if God could help Nephi build a boat, he can help you do anything - even quit smoking. 

He was baptized on the 22 of April this year. It was such an amazing occasion.

Alan's Baptism April 22
A few weeks later I had the privilege of conferring on him the Aaronic Priesthood and ordaining him to the office of priest. But the greatest joy I know comes from his amazing experience in the temple this past Saturday. He was able to be baptized for his father and brother as well as his grandpa Elijah. 

 Hermana Waite was there to be baptized for his mother.

Elder Basham, Alan, Hermana Waite

Elder Basham, Alan, Hermana Waite
It was so powerful and I loved every minute. I know that the temple is the house of God and eternal families are real. This is the lord's work. It is the work of building eternal families to live in the kingdom of God. I love Him so much for this. I love the Savior Jesus Christ. I love Alan and I love this mission. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. 


Elder Basham 

Monday, June 19, 2017

- McMinnville, Tennessee

Hello everyone!

This has been an eventful week. It definitely wasn't easy but we all made it through and I am very grateful for the experience. Elder Hlebasko returned home this Saturday morning. He is back with his loving parents and I know he will be well taken care of. I am sad to see him go but glad he is okay. I am grateful for all the time we had together.

Elder Hlebasko & Elder Basham

Elder Hlebasko and his parents

As for me, I have a new companion named Elder Chamberlain. He is a really awesome person and a great missionary. I can tell we are going to have a lot of fun together and get amazing things done. We thought a normal selfie was too boring so we did this instead. 

Video of Elder Basham and Elder Chamberlain

And then took a selfie:

Elder Basham and Elder Chamberlain
Well that is all for now. I hope you have a great week. Please keep Elder Hlebasko in your prayers. I love you all.

Elder Liam Basham 

Monday, June 12, 2017

- McMinnviille, Tennessee

Elder Basham & Elder Hlebasko

I decided to try sending a V-Log. It was a really good week. We were
super busy every day. However nothing specifically exciting happened.
I love my new companion Elder Hlebasko he is quite awesome.

Anyway I'll see you all later have a great week!

Elder Basham

Video from Elder Basham

Monday, June 5, 2017

Transfers - McMinnville, Tennessee

Hello everyone! 

You will never guess what is happening! I am staying in McMinnville again. This will put me here for about six months! That is really pretty exciting. This has been an amazing ward and I love serving here. My companions Elder Villanueva and Elder Carlson will be leaving to the Hopkinsville Kentucky Zone. Elder Carlson just keeps bouncing back between there and here. I will be receiving Elder Hlebasko. It's pronounced like Tabasco but with an L and a silent H. I have been told that the H stands for Happy so I am excited. Here is a picture of our district. 

Elder Neil L Andersen asked us all to share with you the conversion stories of our mission, regardless of whether or not I taught them personally. As I think about this counsel I feel that it is very inspired. There is nothing quite so sweet as the story of someone finding new the joy of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that sharing these stories will help you all feel the love of God and see the light of Christ more. This letter from my mission president is the most perfect place to start. I love you all and hope you have an amazing week!

Elder Basham 

Dear Elders and Sisters,

One Facebook post. One conversation. One small act of courage. One family baptized and on the path to the temple to be sealed for eternity.

"Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise." (Alma 37:6)

"That the fulness of my gospel might be proclaimed by the weak and the simple unto the ends of the world..." (D&C 1:23)

Last weekend I was blessed to attend the baptism for the Tidwell family in the Dickson ward -- mother, father, daughter and son were all baptized. This is the family that was found by Elder Crawford's grandmother, Patricia Ironcloud, who lives in Montana. She posted a simple picture of a heart that showed up in Sister Tidwell's Facebook feed about two months ago. That one Facebook post led to a conversation, in the course of which they realized that the Tidwells lived in Dickson....the very town of 15,000 people where Grandma Ironcloud's grandson was serving his mission. Grandma then courageously invited Sister Tidwell to meet her grandson and his companion. She agreed. The missionaries visited and began teaching the family. Their hearts had been prepared. They were repentant. They received the Spirit and the truths that the Spirit testified to their hearts. And they were baptized.

Grandma Ironcloud skyped in for the baptism. I saw her face on the iPad when her grandson stepped down into the waters of baptism to perform the baptismal ordinance....there was joy in her eyes, as she became emotional at the sight. I will always remember that moment.

Over the last week, I've reflected on the power of one Facebook post. One conversation. One small act of courage. These small and simple acts led to a family repenting, being baptized, and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. This is why we are here. We are here because our Heavenly Father is preparing His children in every area of our mission to receive His love and truth, to repent, and to be baptized.

By small and simple things are great things brought to pass. If you ever feel small, insignificant or incapable of assisting Heavenly Father in this work, please remember that we all feel that way...and we are all that He has. He already told us that the fulness of His gospel would be proclaimed by the weak and simple. We are never too weak, never too simple, never too broken, for Heavenly Father to perform His work through us. He just requires our willing hearts and minds, our best efforts to work and obey and repent, our faithful attitudes, and our courage. He does the rest. He always has, and He always will.

President Stone

Monday, May 29, 2017

No more disposition to do evil - McMinnville, Tennessee

I would like to apologize to you all for not sending an email for two
weeks. I'm not sure I knew how much it meant to you, and I was having
a few hard days. It has been hard trying to do missionary work with
this companionship. We have had many struggles and I have found it
very difficult to be the missionary I am used to being. I have changed
a lot over the past month. I think the biggest thing that I am worried
about though is the attitude of complacency towards the Gospel of
Jesus Christ and the willingness in my heart to break commitments and
disobey the commandments when something more entertaining arises. That
inward struggle is far worse than any of the outward things I have
done or left undone.

However, I am so grateful to know that that is not who I really am. I
have learned so much over the past few weeks about standing strong
even if it means standing alone. I have become even more grateful for
all of those who did and do stand by the Savior with me. I have seen
Jesus Christ help me again and again to stand up and turn around.
Although I made many mistakes, I am grateful to know that the very
instant I turned to Heavenly Father in sincere repentant prayer, He
was there to forgive and strengthen me. The spirit and the peace just
come so quickly. I have seen so many wonderful miracles this transfer
and enjoyed so much peace.

My thoughts turn toward the scriptures and the pleas of the people in them.
"Yea, what shall I do that I may be born of God, having this wicked
spirit rooted out of my breast, and receive his Spirit, that I may be
filled with joy, that I may not be cast off at the last day?"
"Awake, my soul! No longer droop in sin. Rejoice, O my heart, and give
place no more for the enemy of my soul. ... O Lord, wilt thou redeem
my soul? ... Wilt thou make me that I may shake at the appearance of
And the wonderful praises resulting from these prayers being answered.
"Yea, we believe all the words which thou hast spoken unto us; and
also, we know of their surety and truth, because of the Spirit of the
Lord Omnipotent, which has wrought a mighty change in us, or in our
hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good

I love this scripture because in Spanish the word disposition
translates to a readiness or willingness. The people were no longer
ready or even willing to commit sin after experiencing Gospel of Jesus
Christ. True repentance changed their very natures. I know that is
possible because of the gift of the Holy Ghost which sanctifies and
fills our hearts.

I am getting closer to it but I am not quite there. I am grateful for
all the progress that Heavenly Father has granted unto me through his
Holy Spirit which has indeed wrought many changes in my heart. I am
grateful for all of the chances to start over. Fall down seven times,
stand up eight times! It is all possible because of the Savior, Jesus
Christ. I love him, and I will follow him. I love you all. In the name
of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Elder Basham

Monday, May 8, 2017

An Eternal Family

Jacqueline was baptized in February, josh was baptized in March, and
their daughter Jocelyn was baptized in the end of April. I am so
grateful to have been able to witness this miracle over the last few
months. I cannot wait to see a year from now when they get to go to
the temple to be sealed. This is what makes missionary work amazing.
This has been one of the very best areas of my mission. I pray that
this joy will continue as we go forth to teach and help more people.

I love you all

Elder Basham

Josh, Jocelyn, & Jacqueline

Elders and Jocelyn

Monday, April 24, 2017

Crazy Transfers - McMinnville, Tennessee


Guess what. Elder Carlson and I are staying here together in McMinnville. However, we will be moving to a new house. The Spanish sisters are leaving and their area is closing. We will be taking over their house and receiving Elder Villanueva. This will be my second time in a trio and my second time being in an area speaking Spanish.

All on top of my second time with Elder Carlson and his second time in McMinnville. All in all this will be a busy week. We have to move everything from our house to the next one and then completely clean out the one we have been in. So far P-Day has been pretty adventurous.

We have been helping out the local nursing home with their activities and visiting the patients so they aren't cooped up alone all day. This last week we had a pretty funny activity to do for them.

By the way. Everyone in McMinnville pronounces my name Bass Ham. There are actually a lot of Basham's around here that I run into at the stores and see names on mailboxes. The only problem is they all say the name weird. Anyway, Hermana Reynolds thought she was really clever this week. 

Bye y'all!

Elder Basham

Monday, April 10, 2017

Back to the Mountain - McMinnville, Tennessee

Hello everyone,

This week we got to go on exchanges with the zone leaders up in Altamont. It was quite a fun experience. Elder Watt and I enjoyed getting to work together again. We had no set appointments so we spent the whole day finding. We got to see all sorts of different scenery and meet tons of cool people. There is a whole road way back on a mountain path that is full of a whole family of Japanese people. They just have houses all over the land and each of them take care of a different part of the farm. I wish I had pictures but it was too dark then. They had a series of lakes and dams in terraces and each house was on a different terrace. (I like the word terrace.) they had beautiful gardens of flowers and amazing towers of rocks all stacked by hand. It is absolutely something I never expected to find up in Altamont.



We also had a dog follow us tracting to several houses.

Also that old church has a cool bell

We have a rule as missionaries that we have to work out for 30 minutes every morning. Honestly this is probably the most difficult rule for me. However it can be nice if you make it fun..

I suppose running a mile to a waterfall counts as a good enough work out

Rocking the shorts and dress shoes!

Anyway I hope you all have a great week! 

Elder Basham

Monday, April 3, 2017

Charity - McMinnville, Tennessee

Hello everyone!

This was an exciting and a happy week, but there really aren't many stories to tell. Most of the great things that happened came in the form of lessons learned. Here is one of my favorites I learned from General Conference.

I learned a lot all throughout conference, but I definitely learned a lot more afterwards as I stopped and thought about all of the teachings together. After looking back there is one thing that really stands out to me and that is the importance of being Christ Centered. They talked about a lot of different gospel topics and brought up many different ways to improve. However, if we see all these things as separate and individual points to be achieved one at a time then we will be probable become overwhelmed by the vast array of things yet to do. In order to experience the true power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we must learn how all things become one in Christ and how "in Christ there should come every good thing." Principles such as the atonement, faith, repentance, and covenants only have power when they are connected to our savior Jesus Christ. All of our goals and pursuits in life will only have power to change our hearts when centered on Christ. 

The biggest way in which this has helped me is in understanding Charity. For a very long time I have sought after charity as if it were some sort of independent entity or power of its own. I was praying and working for charity as if it were an object that could be just handed to me or obtained through effort, but this is all wrong and doctrinally incomplete. "Charity is the pure love of Christ." That love exists in him, because of him, and through him. We seek this attribute in order that we may love as he loves, serve as he serves, and see others as he sees them. Most importantly we seek it 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." 

If we pray and strive to be filled with the pure love of Christ and to love and serve as Him, we will have a miracle. We will come to a greater understanding of His perfection, character, attributes, and mission as our Savior and the Son of God. "And [Jesus Christ] suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not [His] own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things." We will come to deeply "Know ... the one true God and Jesus Christ whom [He] hath sent." We will have our hearts changed and our desires made pure through the love of God. We will grow an unshakable Faith in Him. 

I hope you all have a wonderful week and that you find ways to center your life and your goals on Christ. Definitely start by reading Moroni 7 and John 17


Elder Basham

Monday, March 27, 2017

New Car - McMinnville, Tennessee

Hello Everyone!

Today we are in Nashville getting a new mission car. They have to take the Tiwi box off our old car and install it in the new one. They just started working on the car that was scheduled for 10:30. So we may be here a little while. We only get 36 kilo seconds of P-Day and so far 7 of those have been spent driving. I'm not quite sure how much we will actually get done today but at least I get to see lots of old missionary friends at the office.

This week has been exciting. Mostly the weather is exciting. We have had no shortage or rain or lightening storms. Probably the best storm I have seen here in Tennessee happened this week. We were out to dinner with our bishop and the power went out in the restaurant. We ended up eating the rest of our food with a flashlight. Outside the wind was blowing about 70-90 mph. Fortunately that only lasted for a few minutes and then we were free to drive through the aftermath.

Rain and Flood video part 1
Rain and Flood video part 2

On a positive note, we got to go to the temple this week. That was such an amazing experience.

However the Nashville temple isn't open all day like the ones at home. There is only a session in the morning and then another one several hours later at night and it closes in between. So unfortunately Elder Wadsworth and I were kindly asked to leave the celestial room because we had spent too much time asking questions and reading answers in the scriptures. I've never had that experience before. I am very grateful though for the temple and what a blessing it is to go and find knowledge and answers there. I learned so much about prayer and I keep learning more. I am not sure I will ever fully understand what a great blessing prayer is.

I hope you all have a wonderful week. I love you

Elder Basham

For some reason there is a grill on our porch. I don't think
 missionaries or anyone have used it in years, but it cleaned up pretty well
. My first attempt grilling anything ever was actually quite delicious.

Have you ever seen a car that has its own wifi? Well now I have. I can send an email while going 70 mph down the interstate. Of course when Elder Carlson is driving but still awesome. The car practically drives itself with auto braking, auto lane centering, and cruise control.
Anyway this is exciting. Have a nice day y'all.

Elder Basham

2017 Chevy Malibu

Monday, March 20, 2017

I am a Child of God - McMinnville, Tennessee

Hello everyone

Yesterday in church, we sang the song I am a child of God. I was really impressed by the idea that each and every person, though singing as a group, is offering this same plea and cry for help. All of us really are children of God and need Him. Many people may not know he words, but there are millions all over the earth with this song in their hearts. 

I am a child of God,
And he has sent me here,
Has given me an earthly home
With parents kind and dear.
Lead me, guide me, walk beside me,
Help me find the way.
Teach me all that I must do
To live with him someday.

I am a child of God,
And so my needs are great;
Help me to understand his words
Before it grows too late.
Lead me, guide me, walk beside me,
Help me find the way.
Teach me all that I must do
To live with him someday.

I am a child of God.
Rich blessings are in store;
If I but learn to do his will
I'll live with him once more.
Lead me, guide me, walk beside me,
Help me find the way.
Teach me all that I must do
To live with him someday.

We had an amazing experience last night and it is shifting the way I think about missionary work. Instead of looking for people who are available for me to teach and who are willing to listen to me, I realize this work is so much different. There are hundreds of God's children who need His help. He wants to teach and bless them. I want to make myself available to them so God can help them through me. We taught a woman last night. You might call her a golden investigator or say we had an awesome lesson. But I think I would rather say that she needed her Heavenly Father and He sent us there to help her. He knew who the right missionaries were and when the right time would be. I know His hand is guiding us in the work. I know that there is nowhere I would rather have been in the entire world than that house last night. No family event, friend, job, school, or calling would have been more important to Heavenly Father than me being there. I am so grateful to know that and feel that. I want to approach the rest of my mission this way. 

I love you all. Thank you so much for all you do and the sacrifices you have made to help me be here. Have a wonderful week. 

Elder Basham 

PS. Here are the pictures from Josh's baptism. His daughter and niece and nephew were there. 

Monday, March 13, 2017

- McMinnville, Tennessee

Hello everyone!

This has been a great week. Last Sunday, president Crawford bore his testimony about the atonement in sacrament meeting. He read from hymn 185 which we had sung before the ordinance. All of the testimonies had been about the atonement and people expressed a desire to understand it more. He gave us all a promise and an invitation. He asked us to always be reverent and meek and promised that we would understand the atonement more. I have learned so much this week from doing that.
Every day I have gained a much larger understanding of and love for the Doctrine of Christ as I have sincerely prayed. Since watching the face to face, I have decided to take as much time as I need to be pray and be quite at the beginning of the night and then getting ready for bed instead of praying last minute before I crawl in. My prayers and my mind have been expanded so much. More importantly I suppose my heart has been touched. I have begun to understand that being reverent and meek is an attitude in my heart and mind. It doesn't just mean being quiet during the sacrament on Sunday. I can also be reverent and meek when I am working out in the morning, talking with my companion
or playing games with missionaries on preparation day. I am still learning how to do that, but I am grateful for all the progress that has been made.

McMinnville is amazing. This area is really picking up. I am so grateful to be here to see it. We have a family getting baptized next Saturday. It will be so amazing. The father wants to be baptized in a
creek. There is a wonderful spot here where generations of members have been baptized while the church was still new here. After the spot was announced so many people have come up to us sharing their baptismal stories with us. It is definitely great to see the whole ward excited together about something.

Have a great week everyone
Elder Basham

Monday, March 6, 2017

- McMinnville, Tennessee

Hello everyone

This has been one of the best weeks ever. I have had so much fun with Elder Carlson. We have also gotten so much amazing work done. We had zone conference! It was awesome.

Zone Conference

We didn't end up leaving until 7 because of interviews with President Stone, but we ended up talking with the other missionaries for four hours while we waited. I told every story from every children's picture book I could remember. I think our favorite was the story of Punchinello and the Wemmicks.

I love it because it reminds me that all of us are special and have value because we are children of God. Sometimes as people we try to determine our value based on the things we have or the way others think of us. It is good to remember that Heavenly Father loves all of us and he doesn't see us the way other people do.

I love you all!
Elder Basham

We won the golden hubcap for having the best car. Two transfers in a row. Go us!

Monday, February 27, 2017

When life gives you lemons, eat them with salt - McMinnville, Tennessee

Hello everyone,

I want to apologize that for he past few weeks I have been very bad at replying to anyone's emails or sending anything in general. I promise it is nothing personal, just life happened. This has been a very
interesting few weeks, but hopefully things will be changing soon.  Elder Sanders is leaving. I will be getting Elder Carlson here in McMinnville for the next few weeks till transfers. We aren't sure what
will happen then. It will be fun being with an old companion again. I trained Elder Carlson in Clarksville with Elder weight and now Elder weight is our district leader. It is a little companionship reunion.

Anyway, here are some pictures of happy things that happened two weeks ago. Gary got baptized and I got to go down to Shelbyville to be part of it. 

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

Monday, February 13, 2017

- McMinnville, Tennessee

Hello everyone!

I think president Uchtdorf has vary accurately found the theme in my life this past week and taught me exactly how to fix it. My favorite General conference is April 2015; in priesthood session he gave a talk titled "on being genuine." It is just fantastic but one story in particular came to my mind last night. He talks about a stake president who set lots of lofty goals and programs to "improve" the stake. However, he later was troubled as he started thinking about the individuals and their needs. He realized that while the goals seemed impressive and meaningful, they weren't really focusing on the members. He realized that what you can count, doesn't count very much, but the things you cannot count usually count the most.

I have definitely fallen victim to that. Over the last week I saw the mistakes I had made and the weaknesses I have and was annoyed by them. I began to set big life altering goals to completely annihilat these tendencies in myself and force myself in a way to be better. Even worse, I began looking down on others because they had not set goals as big as mine and so therefore their vision or testimony must not be as big as mine. As you can tell, all of those ideas are rooted in enmity and come from the wrong voices. It got to the point that I was so busy trying to plan out my perfect little life that would be free of all the things that "other people" do that I could not focus at all on the investigators and their needs to teach a lesson.

I am very grateful now that Heavenly Father has brought me back to humility and helped me to see the true worth in myself and all of his children. This worth is not dependent at all upon our own self improvement. It comes because we are His and He loves us. I am grateful to realize my reliance on him. I am reminded of another talk by president uchtdorf called "it works wonderfully." The gospel is supposed to bring us joy and love. Sometimes I over complicate the gospel with layers of man made programs and ideas. It doesn't bring me joy at all. But I am happy to say now that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is perfect and it works wonderfully. I will be happy to go out and share it with others. 

I want to give a shoutout to my dad. He has taught me over and over again throughout my life by his example that people are always the most important. No matter what the situation - at work with patients, with friends, or most of all with family - he thinks of the individuals. I know that neither time, distance, money, profit, nor any material thing stops him from trying to do the best for people, especially my sisters and me. 

Also a shoutout toPresident Stone for being the nicest mission president ever! Elder Sanders and I had an absolute blast this week.

I love you all! Enjoy your Monday. 

Elder Basham

Monday, February 6, 2017

McMinnville - Tennessee

Hello everyone

This was a very exciting week. Elder sanders and I got whitewashed into this area. In other words, there were no Elders here for a few months until we came. We had the fun task of opening the area back up and trying to find where they left off last year. The Spanish sisters had the job of taking care of our apartment in the meantime so it would be clean and not burn to the ground. However, they had way too much fun with that job. Posted here is a video of the result. It was probably the greatest thing ever.

I was so sad to leave my old area, but this here made me super happy. I just know this is going to be a great place. We are trying hard not to clean the rest of it up.

We had a very interesting first day trying to survive off of what we found in the shelves. Here are some pictures

Meal of champions.

Service Project

The first thing we did was go to a service project where we put two tarps on the roof for this lady. She had hammers and screws. After much decision we came to the conclusion that cinder blocks would be easier. We are officially in the south. 

The ward is super excited to have Elders back. They have been missing the help. I am grateful to be part of this opportunity and to get the missionary work started in this wonderful town again. I hope you all have a great week!

Elder Basham

Monday, January 30, 2017

Transfers! - Lewisburg, Tennessee

So we were totally blindsided here. You will never guess what is happening. We are both getting transferred away from Lewisburg and two sisters will be taking our place. Even more surprising is that Hermana Hill and Sister Nebeker will be those two sisters. Nobody ever saw that coming and yet it is happening. This transfer I had the privilege of helping President Stone with transfers. It was such a cool experience. I have heard so many stories about how missionaries are assigned by revelation through the twelve and how special that flows and feels. I have heard my mission presidents talk about what it feels like to assign trainers and just know exactly what the Lord wants done. However, feeling it for myself was something amazing. It really increased my testimony that God knows us all better than anyone, even ourselves. He truly has a plan for each of us and makes sure to place us where we need to be. As He revealed to me his will for this area and district I felt so much confidence and peace even though it was nothing i would ever have planned on my own. It was a big testimony that "9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."

I will admit I am quite sad to be leaving Lewisburg. I did not think i would be, but as it has hit me i realized just how much i loved it here and how much i love the people. When i said goodbye to Gary, we were all feeling a little down. He really loves us and i have grown to love him. 

This is Gary. We asked him if he had ever taken a selfie before and he
asked what that is.  We are going to miss him.

Now that i am leaving I feel bad for all of the times I was impatient or annoyed with him. I can see now that I was focusing on the wrong things. This months first presidency message is about love. He talks about how we can get so caught up in different programs and commandments that we end up aiming at the wrong target and missing the whole point of the gospel which is love. I spent a lot of time worrying about healthy eating and efficient work and what is and isn't part of our purpose. I felt accomplished when i hit these goals. However i can see now my aim was off. I am grateful for all the times i concentrated on sincerely loving the people and serving them the way god wanted. I am looking forward to getting to meet and love so many new people in McMinnville.

I want to share something else with you. I have often wondered about my time in Clarksville as a zone leader. It was a difficult time for me and i didn't feel very successful or that i made any difference. The missionaries seemed to be annoyed with my teaching and guidance and I felt like there wasn't much i could do for them - since most of them did not want to learn. However, very much later i found out something i hadn't even known. My second week there i gave a zone training talking about joy. We read a lot from the scriptures and a lot of the missionaries participated and learned a lot. Many people thanked me and said it had helped them. But that isnt what i am so happy about. It turns out that Hermana Waite was really inspired by the way i loved, knew, and taught from the scriptures - applying them to real life. It made her want to learn them and love them more. Over the past months she has really stuck to that goal and has gained a huge understanding of and love for the scriptures. I am very grateful to hear that because i know that is something that can completely help her entire life and bless her family for generations. As I think about it, I am very sure that if that was the only impact i had in those 5 months, it was worth every single difficult day. However I know that there are many more things than that. There were so many small miracles. All I needed to do was open my eyes and be grateful for them. I wish i could go back to that time knowing what i know now. I would be a lot happier. But at least I am happier now and I am grateful for the past and what it has taught me. I know that the future holds many more amazing blessings and i can continue to find joy as I live in thanksgiving for them.

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

This is Teresa. She is such a wonderful lady who really loves the Book of Mormon. 

I have been with the same sisters in the same district for five months.
Nobody got transferred until now. It has been so fun and everyone is super sad.
I will miss them, but I am glad to be going now.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Greg! - Lewisburg, Tennessee

Hello People!

This last Sunday was one of the very best three hour Sunday meetings of my entire life. Every single song, lesson, and member was perfectly set up to create an amazing little miracle. I don't have time to tell you all the details, but you will never believe it. Not just one, but two investigators walked into church for the very first time on their own seeking to change their life and get closer to god - one having driven the full 45 minutes from Lewisburg on his own to get there. We missionaries were completely shocked. All of the meetings were perfectly planned and inspired specifically for these two people in an amazing way. 

What I really wanted to talk about though is our gospel principles class. We were supposed to be on the lesson about the millennium. However I just felt so strongly that we needed to batch that whole idea and teach the restoration. I will tell you what. The spirit was there and I just felt it all over. I have never been more excited in my life to teach the restoration. I was completely pumped full of awesomeness and a desire to share unlike anything I have ever felt before. Over the next hour, the spirit taught the very best restoration lesson ever. It was completely outstanding. Greg, the investigator who brought himself from Lewisburg, was loving and participating in the whole thing. Even though I was teaching 20 people, it felt like I was teaching just him and just everyone individually. It was just super special. I am so glad I listened to the promptings of the spirit and spoke what He needed me to. If I would have just followed the plan of what I wanted to talk about it wouldn't have gone nearly as well in any degree. Because I yielded to the enticings of the spirit and let go of my will to trust Him, He was able to speak through me directly to the hearts of his children who were ready and waiting for it. It was a miracle!

Greg loved church so much that he stood up and introduced himself in Elder's Quorum saying that he would be back next week and wanted to make this a permanent change in his life. He talked to everyone in the bishopric and bore his testimony of the spirit he had felt bringing him there and throughout the day. He set a goal to be baptized on the 4th of march and is so excited for it. Also, Gary Brown made it to church too. He invited tons of members to come to his baptism on February 14th. It is amazing to see these men desiring to change their life and finally finding the answer of how. I am so grateful to be able to help them and share what I know. 

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

Elder Basham

Monday, January 16, 2017

If you make a missionary work out every day...

They will get bored and start trying to do weird things,

Last Thursday I decided I wanted to learn how to do a headstand. 

Monday, January 9, 2017

Tennessee Weather - Lewisburg, Tennessee

Hello everyone,

Do you know what is funny and slightly confusing? On January 2nd we were outside in shorts and flip flops playing basketball. It was like that for most of the week and we could wear short sleeves as we proselyted. However, Friday brought a random blast of winter. We got an entire 2 inches of snow. Now I am sure you are thinking that two inches of snow is not very much, but for some reason the people here believed it was enough to cancel church and to make us stay inside all day. I laughed as I thought about Nick in Montana and all my friends in Idaho or Utah where life goes on perfectly uninterrupted by several feet of snow. Anyway, the last few days were uneventful and cold, but there is nothing to worry about. It is warming up now and by tomorrow it will be a typical Tennessee January day.

I want to tell you all the story of Gary Brown. On New Year's Eve, we were visiting a less active, but they did not let us in so we started walking towards the car to move on to the next person. However, I saw his next door neighbor had their door open which was quite odd considering the cold rain. I was still about to get into the car but something made me want to go visit that house so I asked my companion and we turned around to go back. Before I could finish introducing myself on the doorstep, the man had asked us in and sat us down.

He went right to the shelf in the living room there and pulled down a book. He handed me a well used copy of the Book of Mormon and asked if this is what we were talking about. Over the next half hour he told us most of his life story and bore his testimony of the Book of Mormon and the prophet. He said he didn't even know who our prophet today is, but he knows he really is the one chosen by God to lead the people. He told us of how he had learned about the gospel in his childhood but never took the opportunity to be baptized. I will never forget the way his whole demeanor changed when we told him that he could still be baptized now.

Over the last week he has already changed so much. You can really see the light of Christ in his life. He is so excited to be baptized on Valentine's Day. He keeps asking us to make sure he will really be ready by then. What has really impacted me the most is hearing how much he regrets not joining the church earlier. He talks about how it would have saved his marriage and how much of an amazing blessing it would have been to give that gift to his children while they were young. Despite all that he has accomplished, he feels that he has wasted a lot of his life by not partaking of the gospel sooner. He is so completely grateful in a way I can never describe that God has been merciful enough to give him another chance even this late in life.

I have really been humbled a lot as we have taught him. I realize once again how very blessed I am to have this gospel. There are so many people who never get this opportunity in their lives. Gary had to wait 75 years to get it and I had it from a child. That is something I never deserved or earned and it isn't anything I can ever pay back. I am also amazed to see how completely little I played in this man's conversion to Christ. Of course I know that I never convert anyone; that is the work of the Holy Ghost and each individual. However, throughout my mission I have had the opportunity to help many people and sometimes that leads me to believe in myself a little too much. However, it is amazing to see that I am really just an instrument in the hands of God. All I can really do is turn my life over to Him, and he does the rest. Gary would have become converted to the gospel of Christ with or without me, but because of my faithfulness I am able to get a front row seat of this great miracle and learn as I watch God work. God sent us to Gary so that He could bless both Gary and us with knowledge and power from heaven.

I love you all and hope you have a great week. Especially all of you on or preparing for missions. I love you and know you are amazing. Just be worthy and be amazed at the miracles you see.

Elder Liam Basham

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Elder Basham and Finn - Lewisburg, Tennessee


We have a lot of fun with Elder Basham. We try to give him new opportunities whenever possible. He teaches the gospel very well too.

Mark & Annette Robertson