Friday, 31 May 2013

Last Week With ASL District

Dear Family

So I have neglected to tell you all about my amazing teachers, so here is goes:
Brother D: Tall blonde and deaf. Grew up learning in an oral program(not that he ever did to us) but learned to sign in high school I believe. He served a mission in California I believe and he is currently attending BYU. Brother D play my investigator Alex, who is moved from Mexico to California. Alex isn't very connected with his family because none of them sign very well. They are members of another faith and are not impressed with him joining the church. His baptism is set for next week :) He is working on his relationship with his gf so that they can eventually be married and he can be a father to his little girl. ( The teachers before they teach the group for the first time act as people that are not members of our faith.)

Brother J: The best way to describe Jensen is to say he looks and acts like goofy. I swear it, he is really tall 6'3".  He is really thin and extremely hilarious. He is deaf he has a cochlea implant He is very involved with the hearing and the deaf world. He doesn't have a preference and he enjoys both. Many people want to interview him for this reason for books and articles because he is part of both worlds. He speaks really well actually. He said he had a friend who didn't realise he was deaf till 2 months after they met! :P Anyways he role plays my investigator Mike. Mike married a Mormon and after 5 years of his wife nagging him he has started to take the lessons. He says he has no intention of joining the church, but he is confused with all the different religions. He kinda reminds me of JS sometimes. Looking at so many religions and having so many questions, but what is so frustrating is that he has yet to really search the scriptures and pray for himself. I hope he will do this or its pointless teaching him. (Bro Jensen is really good at being Mike)

Brother P: thin tallish dark hair, white straight teeth. We don't see Bro P a lot but when we do he is very helpful. He helps us a lot with the language, but he speaks really well too. He knows Spanish too! (none of our teachers really talk to us in class.)

Sister N: Well no longer she just got married yesterday. So we have seen the last of her. :(  Sister N is really sweet  and very helpful. She went on a signing mission (same as her husband) to I forget where. Tall brown hair, and glasses :)

Sister C: At first we all thought Sister Casperton was deaf, so when we started reading the Book of Mormon aloud. She started, I almost fell out of my chair! Not only could she speak but her voice was so unlike her personality its amazing. She is the most bubbly cheerful person I think I have ever met. She also has the loudest funnest laugh, another reason we thought she was deaf.... Anyways when we first got here she played Dede our deaf investigator, who showed little or no emotion ever. So it was surprise when she walked in as a teacher, the day after we were done teaching her.

So that's that.

Oh but you wanted to know about a form of language we use in class called blue boxing so here it goes:
Its actually pretty simple, you pretty much have to act out everything instead of using vocabulary. Why? Some deaf people don't know how to read, how to read lips or any signing. So you pretty much have to draw pictures and act things out to explain things. I haven't had to use this a lot in my teaching as both my investigators can sign. But some of the other investigators don't know any signing so the other companionship's have had to pretty much play charades the whole lesson :P

I have 12 days left at the MTC. My district is all leaving by Wednesday :( Going to miss them all so much. But we are planing to see each other all again, especially if I go to UVU. Sister J and I will be getting new room mates and we will be taking classes in 4M now with the other sisters serving at visitors centres. We get our travel plans, and guess who is travel leader.... yep yours truly. It wont be that hard really compared to other groups, We aren't taking a plane. I am responsible to get 23 sisters from the MTC to Temple Square with all their things. Should be fun :) I'm excited to start the training and meet those sisters. Sister J and I decided that we are going to pretend to be hard of hearing for our new room mates :P see how that works out.
So I was wondering if you could send me some stories about my ancestries. We hear so much about how it is so important right now to do family history work, or know thing about your ancestors. It would just be really nice to know a little bit more if you have time :)

That's all for now all my love your
 Sister Bascom

Friday, 24 May 2013

Bark Bark Bark

Provo Temple

Dear Family
Its a beautiful hot sunny day here at the MTC. I love the privilege of being able to go to the temple on pday. I have found a new love for temple work. The sisters there are so sweet. It makes me want to volunteer there. I do believe I get to do that a lot on temple square. So, yeah!!!!! My companion Sister J and I love it here but can't wait to get out and actually get to work. We learn so much everyday but, there is so much more to learn. We will be the only ASL missionaries on Temple Square for three months as the other two ASL sisters are on outbounds when we arrive. (Out bounds are when the sisters leave Temple Square to serve in a traditional mission some where in the USA.)

Speaking of sister J please keep her in your prayers. It looks like she has carpal tunnel which is not good for signers. There is swelling in her neck that is probably from an old car crash and it is not helping the situation. She is preparing herself mentally to be changed to English speaking mission :'(

We did have an awesome birthday bash for her this week. I mean as good as you can have at the MTC. She got  a ton of food from friends and family. So we pigged out and have several laughs. I am going to miss my district when they leave in 2 weeks. Can't believe I have been here a month!

Besides pdays I have come to love Sundays. There no classes but the speakers are always amazing. This week we had Sister Mary Evans. She was HILARIOUS!!! It wasn't a very reverent meeting but I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. one of my fav things she said:

"There was a little mouse who took her babies out for a walk one day. Out of no where a cat jump out of the tall grass. The mother stepped in front of her children and BARKED and BARKED and BARKED. The cat was scared and ran off. The mouse then turned to her children and said "See kids that's why you learn a second language." :P

She was awesome, but in direct contrast at Tuesday night devotional we had Elder Nash of the seventy came and spoke. He gave an inspiring talk about the atonement. I loved every minute of it. These talks always inspire me to do better here. I have put encouraging words for these messages on my desk that I read everyday. Another amazing speaker was Brother Littlefield. He spoke on the culture of your mission. If you ask a missionary or a RM to finish this sentence it can tell you a lot about them and their mission. "In this mission we______" I want to be able to finish that sentence with work hard or are inspired or are obedient etc,. There are so many possible answers and I hope I can answer it well. Littlefield spoke about setting the bar and rising to meet the occasion etc. It was really good talk and I will always remember it.

I am also loving TRC on Saturdays when we go and teach member volunteers. Last week we got to visit with a really sweet girl named Mandy and her bf Nick. We talked with Mandy for most of the lesson about her awesome family. Her travels around America. How she moved to Utah. When inspired by the spirit, she realises the faults in her life and whats to become better. Which is awesome. She said she goes to temple square often so I hope I can see her again. Little does she know that her bf that she met while he was on his mission in Washington is seriously considering asking her the big question ;) He is very sweet and clever and I am supper excited to see how things work out between them.

I love you. You are all in my prayers. Lots of love.
Your Sister Bascom <3

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Mail for Mummy

Twice a year missionaries can either Skype or phone home. The missionaries in the MTC can't contact home via Skype or phone. Just imagine the night mare it would be to get every missionary to be able to contact his or her family. So today in the mail I got a lovely short letter from Lani expressing her love to me. Which I'm not going to share in entirety. Put being the generous person that I am. I am sharing this:
She gave us some insights into Sundays in the MTC. She writes:
I just got out of a wonderful Relief Society Meeting and am now sitting in the hot Utah sunshine. Our speaker today was Sister Janice Kapp Perry. She is an amazing lyricist and composer. She has written 10 children's songs including A Child's Prayer, I Feel My Saviours Love and the hymn As Sisters in Zion. The meeting was very spiritual as we sang half the meeting and Sister Perry shared her strong testimony with us.
I am looking forward to devotional/fireside tonight.  What is the difference???  After Sunday devotional we watch movies produced by the church. Last week my district watched The Legacy. We watch it in a classroom by ourselves with the closed captioning. The others in the MTC had several choices of movies and languages in larger rooms through out the MTC.

I doing alright in my classes. They are getting easier. I am getting closer to everyone in my district. I can talk to my branch president about anything. I can always find something edible in the caf. Thanks again for all the mail. I LOVE the kids emails. It makes my day. Thinking of all of you this beautiful day.

Sister Bascom

Friday, 17 May 2013

Time Flies By

Hi all I am doing great. The first 2 weeks I was really tired all the time. Now the days are flying by and I am enjoying everything about the MTC.... well almost every thing. Over all I'm enjoying myself.

Hearing about Grandpa was really hard. ( Mom note: This week Sister Bascom's grandpa had a stroke and is in the hospital recovering.)  I would hate to lose him so soon after Grandma. ( Her Grandma passed away on March 20th too.) I think I took the new
s okay for not being at home, I just didnt really do any companion study or planning that night. Sister J was really supportive. All the sisters and elders in my district have had some kind of trial while they have been here. I just knew it was a matter of time before I had mine. 

Elder Nelson came and spoke on Tuesday. It was really good! He talked a lot about family history. The thing that I really took away from it was how we appear to others and how to make an impression on others.To make a good impression it helps to have a statement ready about who you are, where your from and what you believe ready at all times when introducing yourself. Since I will be doing that everyday on Temple Square I liked that advice a lot. 

Sorry to hear about Sister Monson that isnt really known in the MTC.... (Mom note: Sister Frances Monson Wife of President Monson passed away today.) I met Elder Monson's Nephew here on Sunday while waiting for our elders. We started a conversation with him then I saw his name on his tag so, I had to ask.  He introduced me to his son who was just in Alberta :P It was really cool.
Sister B, Sister M, Sister J, Sister Bascom and Sister A
I thought I would tell you about what an average day looks like:

630 Wake Up (Exceptwe have service at 6:05am. So we are up at 545. We just go to 19m (building) and clean.)

7:15 Personal Study

815 Breakfast
(Food is still gross. Elder R has been trying to get me to eat a doughnut all week so, I finally obliged him today.):P
Sister J is Sister Bascom's companion and fellow Temple Square Missionary.

Elder R signing PLAY

8:45 Class We teach our teachers as they pretend to be investigators. Thats probbs the best part of class.  We sometimes read the book of Mormon together probs my fav thing to doWe have language study. My vocabulary is growing everyday it's really the grammar I have to work on.

6:20 Dinner

7:05 Companion study and Language study

930 Back to the dorm

1030 Bed

I often awake up and stare at our family photo taped at the end of my bed for a few mins and think of all of you before I get up and start my day.

Lots of love Sister Bascom <3

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Week 2 in the MTC

Sister Bascom has been in the MTC just over 2 weeks. She is still adjusting to being a missionary. She is not a fan of wearing dresses all day everyday. She is exhausted at the end of every day as she puts it: By the end of the day I feel like my eyes are going to fall out and my hands are made of lead. She still feels like she needs to work harder everyday on learning her language more.

She went on the say that I have grown to really love each and every one of the missionaries in my district. As she has gotten to know them these are some observations that she has made:

Sister M (whom transferred to a different program.), Sister J, Sister Bascom, Sister B and Sister A 
Sister J: is my companion and I love her! Her companion has had some health challenges.So they have had a couple of Dr. Appointments they needed to go to. She doesn't mind going to these appointments as it gives them bonding time and Lani extra writing time. Sister J celebrates her 21 birthday this month. 
Sister A: She is 21 from Oregon and going to Sacramento California. She was quiet at first but has turned out to be quiet fun. She noted that Sister A has a sister that entered the MTC the same day as her. She said their relationship reminds her of her sister K and herself. They always goofing off, talking into the late hours. She is very talented at the piano. We are going to perform "Jesus the Very Thought of Thee" of in our zone sacrament meeting on Sunday . Sister A and I always keep each other laughing throughout the day and I know we will stay good friends after our missions :) 
Sister B: is 22 from Logan Utah and assigned to the Anaheim, California mission. She is deaf and is really sweet but is not afraid to give her opinion. Sorry I don't know her that well, other then she has a very sweet bf.

Elder R, Elder C and Elder McG
Elder C: is 19  from Utah as well (Most everyone is.)  he took ASL in high school and is very enthusiastic. He has a great testimony of the gospel.
Elder McG: Is the oldest one out of all of us. He is 27. From Utah  and going to Texas. He is deaf. He has only   been a member of the church all of a year, after a crazy conversion story. You can look him up on
Elder R: Is 19 he also from Utah and is going to Washington State. 19 yr old. His dad and his grandparents are deaf so he has been signing all of his life, and he says my signing is better than his.

I have seen Elder D and Sister McP. I had a spoke with him, but haven't had the chance to talk to S McP. 

Sorry Can't write more till next week. Still have so much I want to tell you. Probs will just snail mail you. 
All my love.

K I am thinking of you and your grad and how I'm not there.
Love the letters from the kids sending some your way 
Your sister and daughter.

Sister Bascom

Friday, 10 May 2013

There are NO Coincidences.

Mom Post:
When we received Lani's first letter home she told us about all the missionaries in her district. In passing she said there is an Elder R who's father is deaf. Twenty five years ago I served a mission. I had the blessing of being called into the deaf program and learning ASL like my dear daughter.

While my daughter was growing up I shared with her the conversions stories of the people I had the opportunity to share basic lessons with of the doctrine of our church. This is one of those stories:

Do you remember me telling you the story of a young man named S that I taught while on my mission. He use to come to church with his friend named D. She was an interpreter at the Community College. Her parents are deaf and she was fluent in ASL. My companion and I introduced ourselves to him and told him that if he ever wanted to learn more about the church we would be happy to meet with him any time. Several weeks later he asked if he could set up a time to meet with us.

That evening we had dinner with him D and her family. He they went on to tell us his history. He said when I was 10 years old I found the true church and the sisters were teaching me and then one day they stopped coming. I always wanted to find that church again. Then when I met D at the college we would talk about what we belived and church... I told her I had already found the true church I had a book from that church and that I was going to find it again. She asked me to bring the book to school and I did. It was a Book of Mormon reader which ASL missionaries often pass out to investigators as an introduction to the stories from the Book of Mormon. That night we asked him if he was ready to have lessons to prepare for baptism and when he knew that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was the true church on the earth if he would commit to be baptized and he said yes.

We lived with members of the church in this area as housing was really expensive. When we arrived home we were so excited and we shared the story with the S family.  Bro S said “ I knew I recognised him.” He went on to tell us that he was the bishop when S was 10 and he felt impressed to tell the sisters not to baptize him. He felt strongly that he wouldn't have enough support to remain active through his teen years. He felt that he would come in contact with the church again when he was older. The sister discussed this with his parents and they agreed and the never returned. I had the wonderful privilege of sharing the lessons with him and seeing him get baptized.

While he was learning and preparing for baptism a national Single Adult conference for members of our faith that communicate using ASL was held in our area. We were asked to assist with checking in all the attendees. While we were doing this we were chatting with D and S. All of sudden S became very excited and was signing really fast which was hard for me as a new signer to understand. When he calmed down I learned that a woman had walked in the room he recognized as the sister that had taught him all those years ago. They were able to reconnect and she later came out to visit again for his baptism.

 I was transfered shortly after that. S went on to serve a mission. Dad and I went to the deaf ward one weekend shortly after we were married. We were pleasantly surprised to able to see him just before he went home. I have not had contact with him since. I have a feeling that the Elder R in your district is S's son. I think S went on to marry D.

I did some research and I found S and D and I sent D a Facebook message.  If I am right this is such an exciting thing for me to reconnect with them after all these years.

This experience has strengthened my faith that there are no coincidences in life but that we are all kept in the hallow of his hand. That my daughter is meant to be in the district that she is in in the MTC. That she is meant to be serving with whom she is serving and that there are people prepared to learn the gospel from her at this time.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

MORE Snail Mail

Sister Bascom and her MTC companion Sister J
What a pleasant surprise to get more mail from Sister Bascom this week:

She is being stretched and going through growing pains as she and the other sisters in her district adjust to missionary life and life in the MTC. She comments that she get 8 hours of sleep in the MTC and is still tired. One of the sisters in her district has strep throat and several of the other sisters on her floor have also been ill.

She shares with us how much she likes her Branch President in the MTC Pres. Born. She has enjoyed her interviews with him. Adores her first Zone leader. She much to Sis Bascom's disappointment left last Wednesday.

She has run into Becky Smith whom is the same building as her. She was thrilled to see Ammon Kaopua and is excited for her friend Shane Dola to arrive.

She states that she got extra letter writing time while she was waiting at her companions eye appointment.  She was pleased to get a break from the MTC for a while.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Snail Mail

Day 1

The MTC is AMAZING! I LOVE it here. The spirit is so strong and there is so much love felt amongst the missionaries. 

Let Me tell you about the missionaries in my district; There are eight of us five sisters and three elders. All of us already know some sign language either from school, family or both. 

The five sisters share a room in the dorms. Sister John is my companion. She is 21 next month and is from Colorado. She was in deaf studies at Utah Valley University. (This is were Lani would like to attend school after her mission.)  She will also be serving on Temple Square. Sister Abbot is also 21 and from Oregon I believe. Sister Benson is 22 she is hard of hearing and is very sweet I can't wait to get to know her better. Sis Mecham is 19 as well and we are becoming fast friends. 

Our Elders are Elder McGill whom is deaf, Elder Rainey who's father is deaf and Elder Cowley whom has taken three years of ASL. Our elders are very nice. All the other missionaries are in the deaf program and I think they are all going either to Oregon or California.

Our Teachers name is Brother David. There are lots of interpreters to watch too.  

The other missionaries are constantly asking where you are going and trying to sign to us. It is pretty funny.

Day 2

Today was hard I felt overwhelmed by the end of the day. Zone meeting is what was overwhelming the sisters and I are still trying to remember everything. I am already understanding so much. 

Sister Benson is extremely helpful and under standing. Sister Mecham and I are getting closer everyday. We have a lot in common. She is also 19. She is a dancer mostly ballroom. So we did stretching together for about 15 during gym time. She also wants to go to UVU after her mission which makes me want to go even more. We could take ASL and dance there together ;)

Saw Becky Smith today I totally forgot that she is here. She is leaving next week. So write her while you can.
Sister Bascom's favorite Sister in her District Sister B

Day 3

Today was such a GOOD day. I can already understand so much more in class. Mom you would of been so proud of me (Mom note: I AM!!!) I have had so many good conversations with deaf people and I understood 85% of what they said and the other 15% I could piece together.

Mom Note: When missionaries learn a language in the MTC they get six weeks of language instruction with returned missionaries that have already taught in the language. Lani's district is the only district where they are language immersed. The difference is that the minute she walks in the door she is has to use her language with native signers as most of the time the district has missionaries with varying degrees of hearing loss. It is like being thrown in the deep end. They all come up swimming and this is the best way to learn. Oh and stay tuned for more on Elder Rainey after I confirm some information.

The Lord has truly blessed me already. 

All my love to the family.
Sister Bascom

Friday, 3 May 2013

Finally PDay

Sister Bascom enjoying her preparation day with Sister A

Nine days later and this is what we got:

AHHH finally pday! So nice! The MTC is really frustrating, awesome, hard and amazing. We have had some awesome speakers and some not to awesome speakers. Some great food and some terrible food. My district is awesome. I love each and everyone of the sisters and the elders. They are all really cool. I hope you get my letters soon sent them awhile ago. So any day now, I hope. 

Talk more later. Love the dearelders they are really encouraging. Will email more later <3

Sister Bascom

PS Her Companion's name is Sister John. She is 21 and from Colorado. That's all until the snail catches up with us.