Monday, December 23, 2013

Russian missionaries---come back

      I'm in love with my area.  We're getting close to the end of the transfer.  I hope that I get to stay in my area, with my companion, he's pretty cool.  We have been losing our progressing investigators, but we've also been getting a lot more new, awesome!  Investigators and potential investigators.

      Sara, I'm glad that your comp says your language is solid....I wish I could say the same for myself.  I know I'm improving, but I still have a really hard time understanding certain people.  There was a saying that our teacher told us in the MTC... "Missionaries who go on English speaking missions come back scriptural scholars.  Those who go on Spanish speaking missions come back linguists.  Those who go on Russian and Asian speaking missions...come back."  Haha, I hope that's not true for me :)  My comp is already fluent.  He could work on his accent, but he's only a little more than a year out!!!  But he's definitely better than those who are going home in 2 weeks!  I've been told he's probly the best speaker outside of Russian native missionaries in our mission.

K!  Love you guys!!!

Elder Bass

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Missionary Work is Hard Work

Hardships are followed by blessings. . .

Hey Family!!!

Hardships are always followed by blessings!!! We were finally able to meet with a man who we found in the area book when I first got here.  We felt really good about calling this guy, and meeting with him, but he was always too busy to meet with him.  We called him almost every week, but it was the same story.  On monday last week, he finally said he had a day off and would meet with us!!!  We decided to meet at 6 at a metro station, but we were running way late.  We ended up being 30 min late, and were way worried we wouldn't be able to meet with him.  But he waited for us!!!  He took us to a cafe nearby and bought us some tea (herbal, totally legal for us :) ) and told us his story of meeting the missionaries over a year ago.
He said he first met with missionaries for English, and eventually stopped meeting with them, due to business and missionary transfers.  He explained that when we started calling him he got really excited, and wanted to start meeting with us.  He says he has a desire to get to know God more, and to start going to church (but he's just toooooo busy)  He has a BoM but has only read it with missionaries, but he opened it up with us and started reading out of the Bible Dictionary in the back, and was just explaining how he actually enjoyed it!!  Haha, we thought that was funny.  We can actually tell he is sincere.   We felt the spirit throughout our meeting with him, and all the night after.  He told us to call him MORE often!  So we've been in close contact.  When he left he wanted a picture with us, and he sent that to my email.  I'll send that to you :)

I'm way excited about this guy, I hope it turns out well.  We also got a media referral from SLC Temple Square, we plan on visiting them when they get back.  Way exciting!

Thanks family!  I hope everythings going well!!!

I love you!!

Старейшина Басс

Friday, December 13, 2013

 Just a note from Will's mom: I am adding a letter
at a time, so his letters may seem to be behind
the times, but I will try to catch up to
present day.

An interesting week. . .

Hey Family!!!  So I'm in a hurry!
Ok!!!  This week!
So Monday was our culture night!!!  We got to go see a play, and we went to see Fiddler on the Roof!!!  In Russian!!!!  WAY awesome!  I wanna go again SO bad!  Way better than the English version!
Tuesday, we had FHE (my first one!) at a members home.  Way fun, they have two kids, a baby and a little girl.  The little girl was so cute it was ridiculous.  I made a paper airplane for her, and she loved it SO much!  She started just throwing it everywhere, and the baby boy started crackin up!  He thought it was the funniest thing ever or something.  The baby laughed harder I've ever seen a baby laugh, and every time she threw it he just busted a gut!  So funny.
Wednesday!  We had a couple lessons, one of which was with our investigator Dima.  He has come to church I think 6 times!   This was only his second meeting with us, and the first time doesn't really count.  We asked him if he wanted to be baptized, and he said yes!  He asked all the right questions, and prayed at the end.  Such a good investigator (or so we thought....)
Thursday Transfers.  We were running people around all day carrying luggage and stuff.
Friday, Don't remember.  Kinda sad haha.
Saturday: Busy day.  Like 3 meetings on different parts of Moscow.  We've been seeing ad's that Nitro Circus is soon in town, and I commented to Marx about that a couple times.  They're a group of motorcyclists and stunt devils who do all sorts of crazy stuff, started by a couple Mormons.  (I dunno if it's still on Netflix, but you should watch Nitro circus the movie :) Dad will like it I think) Turns out they invited any Missionaries in Moscow to come watch if we could bring investigators for free!!!!!!!!  Way cool!  That was supposed to be today...We called Dima to come with us....And while we explained it, he said that he needed to be honest with us.  He explained that he only wanted to become Mormon because he thought it would help him get to America.  He figured now, that that wasn't true.  So he decided he wasn't going to meet with us anymore. We took that pretty hard.
Sunday church and planning, and we found out that Nitro Circus is cancelled for Missionaries.  So another big let down.  Oh well.

Ya that was the week.

Oh, and halloween is not celebrated here.  So ya we didn't celebrate it :( But other holidays are HUGE here!

Ok, sorry for not a big email.  I love you guys!!  Have a great week!!!

Love, Elder Will Bass

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Loving Russia!

 Hey Family!
     Me and my comp have really been trying to work on the members.  One of the biggest challenges here in Russia has definitely been working with members.  There aren't a whole lot of members here in Russia, and everyone here is always super super busy.  The way of living in Russia, isn't to know or even talk to your neighbor.  So member missionary work is difficult.  But we have been really pushing trying to get the members to help us out, so Elder Marx and I put together a little plan of our own, and at the same time our mission area has been pushing for Member Missionary work.  So that ended up working really well!!  In the past 2 weeks we have recieved 5 referrals from members we have been trying to work with.  Which is twice as much as my companion has recieved his entire mission, and he's been out for a year!

     Anyway, I think everyone is pretty confident that the missionary work is gonna start picking up here.  Pretty excited about that.

     Ya, and this transfer is over on thursday, and I'm staying in Арбатский Приход (Arbatski Ward) with my companion still!!  I'm actually really happy about that.  I wanted to stay, cuz I have a feeling we're gonna see some baptisms this transfer.  We're gonna work at it! :)

We have one new "investigator" who is from Uzbekistan.  He's actually a member; he got baptized about 10 years ago.  But right after he got baptized he moved back to Uzbekistan, and the church doesn't exist there.  So he came back here, and we got a call from his nephew saying he wanted to meet with us and come to church.  We had no idea he was a member, we thought he was muslim (cuz ALL "Stanians" are muslim) Well, we asked him to start working towards becoming worthy for the priesthood, but he can't read the BoM.  He lives with a bunch of other Stanians, and they are all muslim. He said that if they knew he had a BoM and he was Christian, they would kill him.  Pretty intense!

Anyway, I love you guys.  I'm loving Russia, and I'm way happy to be here.  It's really flying by!

Love you!!

Старейшина Басс

Monday, December 9, 2013

Mission life: arrests, ballet and transfers. . .

Ok, to the family!

So this week one of our investigators (one of our best investigators!!!) left the country to go to Maldova.  :(  His mother is sick and needs surgery, so he went there to go take care of her for the better part of a month.  Dang.  

Oh, and Dad, you said that people get less patient when it gets colder and darker.  Ya, I coulda told you that about 3 weeks ago haha.  It has rained probly 5-6 out of 7 days every week for the past 3 weeks.  And it's been getting colder and darker quick!  We try to keep busy with lots of things and lessons, but often we have nothing to do except for contacting.  In the rain, it's awful.  There are not very many people out for one, and for two, no one wants to talk, for three, they are very very rude/mean.  But that's ok :)  We sometimes meet some nicer people out in the rain.  They usually offer us alcohol (usually vodka, or some really strong drink.) which is a sign they don't have a problem with us.  

Cops don't like us.  Sometimes we get stopped, but we have our papers, so they leave us alone after a while.  Not uncommon for arrests to occur. (It's ok Mom!  They let the missionaries go, we have a GREAT lawyer!  She's kinda a mamma-bear)

I haven't told you, but there are some restrictions on things I can say.  And pictures I can send.  The government monitors emails going out of Russia.  And the President has asked us not to say certain things as well.  Nothing too big of a deal, it's ok!  I'll tell you anything important!  They're not going to keep anything from you that is important to do with me! :)

Last week we saw a ballet!  In the Kremlin!!!  We don't often go to Red Square, but we had a "culture night" and my district went and saw this ballet in the Kremlin!  It was sick.  The theater was BIG, but it was only about a quarter full, if that.  I think most people there were tourists, and there are less and less tourists now that it's getting cold.  The ballet was...Interesting.  It was cool, but I don't think I need to see another one unless it was something like the Nutcracker.  VERY hard to understand!!!  Not the language, they don't speak at all.  They just dance.

So, if you ever go to a ballet, make sure you know what the story is before you go!  Or buy a program (if you can read it haha) OR, just make up the story as you go, like my companion did haha XD

It's a new transfer, so my comp. is now DL.  We are WAYYY busier now, with meetings and taking care of missionaries who need help. With transfers we had to help move a bazillion suitcases taking trains out of the city, who's trains were leaving at midnight!  Wow.  Trains are the main source of transportation in Russia.  And our mission is huge, with the furthest city (that is open right now, looking at a map it doesn't look very far) about 9 hours by train.  

One more cool thing!  There is a film thing going on here.  With the church getting bigger here, the church wants to make a mormon message or movie or something for the Europe East areas.  They're in Moscow right now, and they need some footage of members and churches and missionaries.  Me and my comp got chosen by the President to help out in it!!!  We got filmed teaching one of our investigators on a bridge, and talking/planning with the senior couple in our area.  We will probly get like 5 seconds in the video, but we still got filmed.  It was awesome!  Our investigator, he was nervous about doing it at first, but we told him "but you have such a good face, you'll be great for this!" and he was like "I know that I have a good face, but I don't know if I want to be famous yet..."  He's pretty hilarious.  And ya, he was serious :)

Ok, thats it for now.  I love you guys!!!  I love reading about your adventures without me!  

Старейшина Басс


Saturday, December 7, 2013

Member are the Key!

Hey Family!
This week felt great!  But I can't think of anything that spectacular happening.  Working on a few investigators, trying to get them committed to baptism.

The muslims are way nice people, they just typically are VERY closed off to christianity.  They do not like us to try to teach them about religion.
My new coat is very WARM, mom!!  I sweat in 8 degree (celsius) weather!

Oh Yvonne!!!  Guess what!  LOADS of people have the same name as you, the only difference is that they are all guys!!!  Haha, the Russian name Ivan, is pronounced ee-vahn here. (Иван)

 Russia is fantastic!  I don't have any time to write, which I hate!

But I'll just say it's getting colder, we're really trying hard to start working with the members.  I came out with one progressing investigator, and now have 5!  (would be 6 but one's in Maldova)  

I am falling in love with my area, and really want to see my area and ward build!  Just to testify, Members are the key!!!  Do home teaching!  Help the missionaries when you can!  

Sorry, I have 0 time :( 

Love you all!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Baby, It's Cold Out There!

K, Sorry I haven't emailed you about my comp.  Hes a great guy!  Reminds me of Jeremiah a little.  His name is Elder Marx (ya dad, like Carl Marx! starts great convo with lots of people btw.  People REALLY like Carl Marx here haha.  Didn't like Stalin tho.  Haven't heard what people think of Lenin...)  

I'm doing great still!!  It's been getting cold QUICK, been raining a lot!  And they did something cool!  They had a holiday so they sent Jets in the air and spent millions of dollars on some weather changing stuff, to make it stop raining!  And it WORKED!!!  It stopped raining, and it got warmer.  It should get cold again soon tho, and they say winter will hit soon.  I gotta coat!  And it ROCKS!  They wanted a lot for it, but I talked em down and got it for about $150!  (helped that we bought 2, my comp got one.)  They say coats aren't considered expensive until about $3-350, but that coats that expensive are Definitely worth it to buy if you can afford it.  Mine is one that is worth it at that, I bet I could get a lot for it in the U.S.  So ya, I'm happy. :)  Way warm, way big, and so cool :)

Love, Will
Старейшина Бас

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Russian culture

Hey Mom and Dad!  
And the new HIGH SCHOOLER!!!  

Hey Yvonne!?  How's high school!?  Now this doesn't mean you're mature yet, there are plenty of immature high schoolers!

So you gotta tell me about this movie! The Saratov Approach. sounds way cool!  Is it church produced or is it hollywood?  
And just so you know, 15 years ago in Russia was WAY bad.  Like VERY bad.  And it has since gotten a LOT better.  They are really trying to modernize/amercanize a lot of things here.  There is still crime, which I have seen 1st hand, but that comes with the level of poverty that can be seen here.  
With the poverty that is here, there are also a lot of rich people.  Expensive cars are everywhere.  Dad should know what a Buggatti is, I've seen one of those haha.  And I've walked down Rich people areas....They live in what we would think of as a common apartment.  SUPER expensive here!  And back to cars?  The roads aren't that great, and the driving!!!???  Scariest thing of my life!  You've seen videos of bad wrecks on youtube?   Most are in Russia haha.  Good thing we're never on the road.

And don't worry about no baptisms.  I really believe it's picking up spectacularily!!!  My area not so much right now, but one of my Mtc buddies has 3!!! Baptismal dates set up right now!  Which is unheard of!!!!  And we have two investigators right now, whom we both starting meeting while I've been here, who we think are seriously on the road to being baptized.  It's really great!

Oh ya, we went LAZER tagging in Russia!  At the mall called Золотой Вавилон (Golden Babylon)  Yup, we missionaries went to babylon!  Haha, and it was the BIGGEST mall I have ever seen in my life!  It's about 3 times the height of provo mall, and it was about 500 yards long.  (Not kidding dad.  It was THAT big!!!)  We walked for 25 minutes in one direction and covered probly 1/5 of it.  On one floor!  Huge mall!!!!

Anyway, I love you guys!!!!  

Старейшина Басс

Beautiful Fall Colors in Russia!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

New Tags!

Hey Mom!!!!  

Thanks for still being my mom, haha :)  

I'm sad I don't get to see Sara go, but I guess one of us had to make the sacrifice huh? :)


This place is ghetto.  The priesthood presidency of the ward,  helps us SOOO much.  Anyway, we go to his apartment about every week, and his apartment building looks like it's straight out of I am Legend.  Like zombie apocalypse.  I'll have to take a picture.  What's funny is his apartment is nicer than ours, so I guess that says a lot about our apartment! Oh, and he looks like Jason Bourne with a lazy eye!  He's such a cool guy.

We have a new investigator, he's Armenian, and he said that while he lived in armenia like 10 years ago he met with the missionaries a couple times.  So we met with him twice, and gave him a BoM in Armenian, and he's been asking all the right questions and doing all the right things!!!  He calls us all the time too.  He seems interested in Baptism too.  If he doesn't end up getting baptized, I'd be so sad.  Our area is really having a hard time.  We're at about 40 baptisms for our mission this year.  Which is a mission of about 25 million people.  

I also met a guy on the metro who had some drum sticks, I talked to him about it for about two min, gave him a pamphlet and got off the metro.  He called us and wanted to play drums!  So we went to this sketchy beyond belief building where you can rent drums, and played and taught him a lesson.  Cool kid.

Well mom and family I love you!!!  My time is SUPER limited here I feel like, but I'll do my best about getting you some letters!  I already sent two that I wrote on the plane!  

I love you!

Старейшина Басс


One of Will's first e-mails from the MTC.    Read this, and then read Sara's blog, you will have to agree that these two are related.  It must be a genetic thing and I'm afraid it stems from me.
Hey Family!
I'm glad that dad got his card, and that you guys get to go on trek! 
And ya, I got your package.  But you know those days when everything in the world just goes your way?
Today was not one of those days haha :)
I figured out that I lost my watch that I bought, then I broke the watch that you sent me, then I got locked out of my room this morning and had to
go track down my roommates throughout the mtc in my pj's.  Then we went to the temple and got swarmed by 50 other missionaries.  Then
my camera decided to be retarded and the lens won't close properly (i may send it to you to get taken care of at radio shack)  Then my
debit card got denied at the temple cafeteria. (just wondering if you could find out what's wrong)
But today is actually a really good day :) I'm happy.  The mtc has been getting a whole lot better.  And it progressively gets better.  9 weeks is still a
long time though.  Hope you have fun at trek!  Thanks for all you do!
Love you guys!
-Elder Kenneth Will(iam) Bass
p.s. could you have dad maybe find a watch like the one I bought at walmart?  It was really nice and not too expensive.
p.p.s Can't wait for Sara to have this experience!  It's pretty amazing!

New Companion in Russia!

Elder Kenneth (Will) Bass with his new companion,
Elder Marx. Yes, you read that correctly. Good thing the Russian people were fond of this leader.


Ready or not Russia, here I come!

With President, Borders and his wife

Monday, December 2, 2013

Good-bye MTC

Attending the Provo Temple for the last time.

Motivated bunch?  Translation:  The Russian language is hard!!

Awesome devotional!

MTC Days

With MTC companion, Elder Jepsen
Will with Russian MTC Missionaries

Elder Packard and Elder Bass, they entered the mtc on the same day!

Sisters and Elders heading for Russia!
Hey Mom!
It's p-day, and we woke up at 4:30 so we could come get a washer and dryer for laundry, as well as a computer for email.
The Russian language is really, REALLY hard.  Harder than I would have ever suspected.  But it's coming along pretty well.  I feel like I've learned more Russian than I ever did in the two, (technically 3) years I took Spanish.  And I love it!  It's such a fun language. 

Sorry you haven't hear from me yet.  I sent a letter that I wrote my first day here yesterday, and I'll write one today.  But everything is going really good here!

My comp. is cool, we get along pretty well.  He's from P.G., and his name is Elder Quintin Jepson.
The first few days were SUPER long.  It was pretty ridiculous.  But Sunday came, and It's like the sun came out!  Sunday was really relaxing, and after that the days have been going by a lot quicker. 

The MTC is good, it can be a lot of fun sometimes, and hard other times.  Our schedules are PACKED!  From the time we wake up at 6:30, to the time we have to be in our rooms at 9:30, we are ALWAYS doing something.  There is 0 time to hang out and relax, except on p-day.  The food is plentiful, but often times is not the best.  I know I am gonna get WAY outta shape here haha.

President Mills.  Oh ya, and he pulled me outta class once!  It was nice talking to him.  Ashley's grandma also called me outta class once to come see her.  I've seen her once when I went in to just talk to her. 

Let me know how everything is going!  Love you guys! 

-Elder Bass (kinda weird right?)

Everything is pretty much the same here, Russian is just sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo hard it's rediculous!  Our teacher told us that they rate languages on a scale from 1-6 for difficulty (for native English) and Russians a 5.  The hardest language apparantly taught here is Finnish, which is a 6.  Spanish is a 1 (haha)
But I know that once I get to Russia, through talking to people, teaching English and especially teaching, I'll get the language down.  God will back me up :)

            Pre-Mission Photos

Excited to Serve!


Sweet Goodbyes with Sis