Monday, November 21, 2011


Dear Friends and Family,
It will be our last day in the MTC tomorrow and although we are anxious to get to Canada, I will be sad to leave this piece of heaven. I am inadequate to describe the Spirit that is here. Those of you who have been here already know. We have met amazing people, some have served up to seven missions.
First, I have to tell Tim and Shana that I hugged up Marie. She works very hard here. In fact, this huge facility is run on very young labor and they are HAPPY to do it. It is like Zion, everyone is happy, helpful and very, very kind. Then tonight we bumped into a couple; everyone shares where they are from and where they are going. This couple is going to Cochabamba, Bolivia. I just
mentioned that our son-in-laws parents had been the Temple Presidents there. The Elder said name? I said Heywood. He said I'm Tim's cousin, Elder Cardon (hope I spelled that correctly). They leave tomorrow, too. We had a great visit and walked away "astonished" like everyone in the Book of Mormon, ha! Small World!
So, we have a brand new room. The third floor of the Jacob Hamblin building was just completed. The rooms are plush, clean and very comfortable. Directly across from our room is a small workout room which we have made good use of. Last night we went to the big gym for a workout. It really helps wake you up and gives me energy to study on. The young elders are incredible. They helped carry our luggage to our room: they fall all over each other to open doors: they crack jokes and make me laugh. Some, especially a few from foreign countries have sought us out, maybe to practice their English on or maybe they were a little homesick and we look like grandma & pa. They come up and take my tray and put it away for me. You can't believe how spoiled we are. One Elder opened the door for me, I was headed to the opposite door until I noticed he was waiting for me, so I changed direction. In the meantime he jumped like a cat to open the other door so I switched back and then a third time feinted left. By that time we were both cracking up and I said you might have to hold both doors if I keep eating here. He said "I am going to open every door for you and followed me until outside and we bid farewell.Yesterday 600 new elders arrived. They are putting 6 to a room now to accommodate the increase in missionaries. That is a great sign!!!! Tuesday night was the devotional. Wow! Elder Tad R. Callister spoke to us about the great Apostasy hence the need for the Restoration. First of all, hearing 2,500 people belt out the hymns of Zion was an amazing experience in itself. "Called to Serve", of course was tremendous but the MTC choir sang "BE Still My Soul". The parts rang beautifully and it was hard not to shed a tear, so I did (only a couple) Anyway, Elder Callister made 10 excellent points. I will share 1 because the night is short. It is so simple but I have never thought of it before. If There was no interruption after The Savior and His Apostles were gone, why did the Bible end? Why did the letters of instruction to keep the Saints on the right track suddenly cease? Why did doctrine change to creeds? So simple but thought provoking. We have 2 trainers. One for the a.m. and one for p.m. Brother Carrington, who recently returned from the Italy, Malta mission is in the morning. What a great young man! Stupendous teacher and lively. In the afternoon we have Sister Arce, a 2-month bride. She served in Guatemala. I am at a loss for words for this girl. Picture the Celestial Kingdom and these kids are standing on the righthand of God! And dad (Elder Basting) who thought he wouldn't be very good at teaching has taken to it like a duck to water. He has a grin on his face, in fact he hasn't quit smiling. President Carlile blessed him with a happy heart. It has been evident from the first minute here. He doesn't know a stranger, he talks to everyone. And he is loving this. I could tell you about some amazing people but there is not time. So I will tell you of our last meeting today and the senior couple who taught it. Brother and Sister Tree. Before they were married he served his first mission in Tahiti, from 1952-55. He speaks the language fluently. Later when he was 52 and Sister Tree was 50their Bishop called them to leave work and go on a mission. Well, they went to Tahiti. It was mostly activation. The members would see them coming on their bikes and hide. But the non-members would point them out and expose their hiding places. After they returned home and worked some more, they were called again. This time to the Pima Indians in Arizona, a 2 year service mission on the Santan Indian Reservation. They came home again and were called again,Tahiti but Sister Tree had a major stroke and couldn't walk or talk. The Brethren felt to release them from the call but were asked to give her 4 months to see what would happen. She recovered (a miracle) but their mission was changed to Auckland, New Zealand. The Brethren thought it would be easier for her. They came home, went back to work again and then received another call, Tahiti! Brother Tree had to have a pacemaker installed and then they went. (2007-2009) During this mission he met a Sister he had baptized on his first mission. She is the mother of 19 children; 15 lived to adulthood. Now there are 200 posterity. He asked her well how many are active? 200. This number includes, 5 Bishops, 2 Stake Presidents, 1 Patriarch and 21 missionaries in the field. Since 2009 they come to serve in the MTC every Thursday. What do you think? Amazing I could tell you another 100 stories but I will close instead with my love for you and my Lord. He has made all of this possible and we all know we can never repay the debt we have to Him, who died for us, but we can try and serve him with all of our hearts. We will leave here at 3:15 p.m. tomorrow and hope to make it to Evenston, Wyoming tomorrow night. There is a pending blizzard or major snow storm predicted that may make travel, especially acrossWyoming on Saturday a hard travel. We will contact you when we arrive in Canada.
Love you all,
Elder & Sister


We are going to give this missionary blog a whirl. Hopefully it will make it easier for my parents to keep everyone up-to-date. Here goes...