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

Monday, January 2, 2017

Hoops - Lewisburg, Tennessee

Well you will never believe what we spent this morning and afternoon doing. Since the church building is nearly an hour away from our house, we have had nowhere to play basketball. I was pretty okay with this and so was Elder Thompson. However this simply wouldn't do for Elder Senatore. So for the last few weeks he has paid to use the gym here in town. But Saturday night we had to stay in our apartment and he decided that he needed basketball right here. So today he bought a basketball hoop for our back yard. Supposedly it was going to take three hours to assemble. However, the rain and the fact that we did not have any of the tools we needed, made it take much longer. At last it is completed and he has been enjoying himself quite well. I am glad we will have something fun to do for exercise in the morning now.

To be honest I have actually quite enjoyed playing basketball. It isn't something I ever wanted to do before, but throughout my mission I have gained an appreciation for it. It is a lot more enjoyable mostly because it has been a great way to bond with and enjoy my companions. Nothing makes a mission better than being good friends with your companion. So I am going to go play some more ball. I hope you all have a wonderful New Year and find ways to build friendship and unity with all those you live with.