Sunday, December 29, 2013

Be a Champion…why not?

Dear Family-

Oh how I love you! It was so good to see your faces and know that nothing has really changed. And the babies are adorable as ever. 

Sorry...I have spent my email time writing essays. so.

This week was wonderful! We had a mission conference on Christmas Eve. It is always amazing to feel the power from other missionaries. I am so blessed to be serving here and with the people I am serving with. SO GOOD. We also got to hear from 한인상. He was actually President Morrise's mission president! The title of this email is his a champion. Why not? he talked about being ourselves, not pretending. Just be you and start from there. He such a motivation for me to be a better give a full, not partial, BECOME like our Savior, not just teach about Him. Because there is NO WAY to become more Christlike without also bettering every other aspect of our lives.

We spend Christmas day with two WONDERFUL families from our Camp Humphry's branch (mom...I gave angels to both of them ^^). one family for breakfast and one for dinner, with a nap in between. We sure are spoiled! I will try and tell more about them next week?

I am grateful to be a missionary. To be here, in Korea, serving. It means so much to me...I hope you know that. and I hope you know how grateful I am to each of you that helped me get here. 

xoxo, Sister Bassett

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Merry Christmas…again!

my lovely family!

so. we are emailing today. because I will be talking to you so soon, I don't have much to say!

Korea is wonderful as ever. It is so wonderful/strange to also be serving in our 2 English branches with the base. I LOVE those members though. and I can understand them! even the kids! it is awesome. Our 평택 ward is also fabulous. The them. We had 2 investigators at the ward Christmas party and they just loved them. One of them had to go early, but the other one was invited to church and the ward camp out and offered rides to everything. it was great. we have had NO investigators or anything, and the all of the sudden, in like the last week and a half, we are so busy. yesterday a sister just came to church...She isn’t sure if she has faith, so she has been attending a lot of churches. to she came to ours and wants to learn! We sat with her through sacrament, but then had to leave to a member's house for the english branch. but our wonderful members took such good care of her! 

I love this thought from the December Liahona from Elder Bruce D. Porter-

"We are all captive...and we all have need to be set free. Whatever binds us- sins, circumstances, or past events- the Lord Jesus Christ, the great Immanuel, came to set us free."

He lives. He is our Redeemer and our Friend. He is the Christ.

all my love, Sister Bassett
- that big tree was outside of our subway station in Pyeongtaek. we loved it. and sister g and i rockin the coats we wore everyday of the winter!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

oh come let us adore Him

this week I ate new Korean food. cow tastes a lot like corn? The Koreans love it. It is kind of expensive here, but we had it at an all-you-can-eat meat place. Picture like Rodizio's, but you cook your own meat. There is just this huge table of frozen meat, you pick what you want, and there is a little grill in the middle of your table. So you just cook it yourself! Cool, huh? Also, I tried duck intestine? I think? Mom, that picture that you saw of me? From Sister Pak? yeah, that was that night. We went out for duck, which I love! So yummy! You fry the duck meat (again, the grill is just in the middle of your table) and then eat it with rice or wrap it in lettuce. Yum! duck intestine? maybe not so yum. But I always want to try everything once.
It is real cold here. Remember that fat black coat I brought? I wear it everyday! it is awesome. We are getting really good at layering. I bought some boots here...little fur-lined things that make me look like a grandma and I love them. Plus some thick socks (thanks for those, mom!) leggings or two pairs of tights, a dress, cardigan, sweater, coat. plus hat and gloves. it is awesome. Everyone wears puffy jackets! When we sit on the subway close together or everyone is packed in there, it is like a great big pillow. and they sweep the snow here! since the sidewalks are  like paverstones. it doesn't snow a ton, just super icey.
We had a cookie exchange with our Humphry's branch on Saturday. So awesome! I love love those sisters so much. It was like being back at smelled like Christmas and cookies. and even lemon bars! they take such good care of us. and we love them for it. We will probably be going there for Christmas breakfast and dinner!
Our Korean ward also had a 가정의밤 (friendship night? kinda?) on Sunday. We watched the Christmas devotional. Our bishop is awesome. and his them! He served a misison for the deaf here in Korea, so I learned a few more signs! I can say "my grandparents are deaf, so I know ASL. But I don't know Korean sign." and "I am a missionary." and "goodbye!" (literally translates to "stay in peace"). We had three recent converts there and a bunch of ward members.
also...We found an investigator! actually, she is a former investigator. we have been calling through the area books, and we started meeting with her this week. She is just lovely. and her son and crazy and adorable. we love them! She really wants to learn English, but also has questions about our gospel. And she is planning to come to the ward Christmas party on Saturday. yes! We also had a miracle yesterday...we had this goal to have three investigators at Sacrament meeting. We called so many people and invited and did everything we could. But no one came. SO God sent a miracle! Three high school girls came to church. One has been an investigator in the past, but her mom won't let her get baptized. So she brought her two friends yesterday. It was awesome. They will also come next week, and hopefully meet this week!
We set goals for next transfer today. HUGE goals. but we feel good about it. And we KNOW that when we call down the powers of heaven, miracles happen. This week at the temple, that was impressed on my heart again. I just cried and cried. plus there is this Elder Dewey that looks so much like Ross and I say he is my little brother and I just pictured Rossy in the temple and on his mission. So many tears. MIRACLES! it is real!
I am so grateful for Christmas. oh, come, let us adore Him. Him who gives purpose to our lives and peace to our hearts, Him who came to set us free, to release us from death and cut the cords of sin that bind us. Let us adore and worship Him, the Savior and Redeemer of the world. I believe in Christ. I love Him and I know that He lives. I know it like never before. Jesus Christ was born in a manger, He preached the Gospel and established this Church. He died and was resurrected. And He did indeed appear to Joseph Smith in a grove now called sacred. I testify of Him. and what a blessing that is. oh, come, let us adore Him...during this Christmas season and in every season of our lives.
Merry Christmas!
all my love, Sister Bassett

Sunday, December 8, 2013

love those Korean grandmas

Dear Family-
I love you, I LOVE you, I LOVE YOU!
Another wonderful week in Korea! Sister Goines and I have started switching off every week with one of the sets of Elders going to the English military branches. So, every week we go to Church or FHE and then switch for the next week. it is great. I am just LOVING these families. and I can talk to the kids...and they understand me...which is crazy. and awesome. They are from all over the US with all different backgrounds and all living and loving the gospel. it has been really interesting to suddenly be transplanted into and English branch! But it is so good.
I love Koean grandmas. have I told you that lately? they are so great. and they think we are beautiful. and tell us that everyday. This week we met the sweetest little grandma on the subway. She looked through all our family pictures (mine and Sister Goines') and told us about her family. She wouldn't take our Book of Mormon, but she loved us! She just held Sister Goines hand the whole time ^^ and then that night, she called to remind us who she was. and that we needed to have dinner together. and say "love you! goodnight!" AHHH! but. she lives in 대전 mission. heart broken! she was lovely.

I also got to talk to another little grandma carrying a large bag of who knows what across the subway station. I was on exchanges with Sister Goodnough....We came to the top of the escalator and she was standing there, looking at her bag. so of course we offered to help! We talked a little, helped her to where she needed to be, and we were off. But not before she grabbed my hand and told me that we looked like angels...that we were angels to her. In the Bible, it says that Christ "went about doing good" and once in a while, I feel like I am truly His representative as I try to do likewise. I am grateful for a loving Father in Heaven who has given us the chances to serve.
Contacting. That is still the name of the game! because we don't actually have investigators. so hi former investigators! we have been calling through old record so much. and we actually have an appointment for next week!
I went to my first MLC...mission leadership council. WOW! it is such a blessing to serve with such wonderful missionaries. They talked about being messengers of joy...I am still studying that one out, so I'll write more next week ^^ and, I have found that I have lots to say. the Zone Leaders ask if I have any comments, I say "um...just..." and then proceed to talk for like 5 minutes. Sound familiar? haha. We also had Zone training this week, which was awesome. again, wonderful missionaries! We have been talking a lot about how to use the Book of Mormon in teaching and contacting. Don't teach the gospel of Sister Bassett, teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. all the time.
We also had the chance to go to the hospital this week. there are 6 very old grandmas in this room together. one of them in a widow of an American soldier, so we got in contact with her through Elder and Sister Riding who serve on the base. (the Ridings are the BEST! we love them so!) we go and sing hymns, stick hearts on the wall, and just hold their hand. Mrs. Lewis, the widow, is deaf. So I learned how to say "Hello! My name is Sister Bassett. I am so glad to meet you!" in Korean sign language. kinda cool. the other women just hum along while we sing. We also met their of which used to meet with the missionares. Coincidence? I think not!
I am beyond grateful for your love and support. We are in this together...members and missionaries...hastening the work of salvation.
xoxo, Sister Bassett

Sunday, December 1, 2013

turkey day. and questions

Hey mom! wow, that was a lot of questions in your email. so I answered them least a little bit!
What is your apartment like? it is brand new and so cute. small, but cute. I think we are the first people to live in it! we have our little kitchen (with a washer under to stove...not an oven ^^) and a bathroom, our bedroom (our clothes and fold-up beds are in there) and our little study room.
How do you do your laundry? in our washer. then there is a tiny little room with a tile floor and a rack for drying them. they don't really do the dryer thing here. so we just hang them up, sometimes turn the fan on, depending how wet they are, and wait!
Where exactly do you live? I don't have the address right now...but the area is in Suwon. my little city is Songtan. my area covers from Osan to Pyeongtaek. so if you look up those cities, you can get an idea. i'll send the address next week.
How many are in your ward or branch? so in my area, we have our Korean ward with maybe 70 people, then our two military branches (from Osan base and Humphry's base) and each branch has like 40 in it. it is awesome. we go to Osan or Humphry's church every other week and our Korean ward every week. they are awesome. the church is so cool. Yesterday at testimony meeting, I bore my testimony about how grateful I was so soldiers who live their faith...because that brought my grandfather into the church, here in Korea, so many years ago. they are great.
How is the language coming? so hard. still. sometimes I feel like maybe I will just never learn it? and that's ok? but other times I feel like it is finally coming. it just depends. still a lot of work. I read something the other day in one of my study books, though, and I really loved it. It talked about how if we are sincere in our study and desire, we can master Korean. because the Lord has sent us here to do just that. but on the plus side, people say my Korean handwriting is really good. so that's cool! because I have never had a Korean companion, my Korean doesn't sound very natural. but people understand me! for the most part...
What is transportation like? we travel EVERYWHERE. subway and bus, mostly. the bus drivers sometimes forget that they are driving buses and not motorcyles, so that is fun! from one end to the other is maybe a 35 minute subway ride. once you get on the subway, that is. I can't figure our the exact schedule, so sometimes we wait for up to like 30 minutes for a subway! the Koreans have it in their blood I think...they will be sleeping on the subway, like so asleep, then the subway stops, they wake up, and walk off. What? how did they know where we were? it is hilarious. Sister Goines and I can't figure it out.
Do you volunteer as missionaries? yes! sometimes? Where? in my last area, we cleaned trash from a hiking trail. we delivered food to elderly people on government welfare once. and we are going to start visiting these old ladies in a hospital in this area. and no, we can't volunteer at orphanages.
ok. there you go!
This week for Thanksgiving, the members of our two military branches had ALL the missionaries in their homes for Thanksgiving. I mean ALL! between the two branches, about 130 missionaries were fed. it was the best! Our 'family' was the greatest husband and wife. Member missionaries for sure! and so kind. We all stood in a circle before dinner and said what we were grateful for, and I just cried! There was so much love in that home. and it was delicious. Turkey and cornbread and greenbean cassarole and mashed potatoes and stuffing. yes, the mashed potatoes were so creamy. It sounds like I had a more American Thanksgiving than Garret and Dad! We had such a wonderful experience. So much to be grateful for! Our couple, the Spillanes, were wonderful and so open hearted. they invited 5 other men there who don't have family is a member who just started coming back to church and 3 were nonmembers. The fifth was a member who is such a member missionary! it was a great experience. One of the nonmembers, Rick, talked about how they are out protecting our country...but then he comes home to boys sagging their pants and doing nothing good with their lives. He said that we, the missionaries, give him hope for the future that he is defending. In turn, we got to tell about our church and missionary work, why we are here and what we believe. There was a beautiful spirit in the room that I'm sure they could all feel. At the end of dinner, Brother Spillane gathered everyone in the living room, explained that we would be sharing a spiritual messate (they all believe in God), and gave the time to us. It was great. And Rick will be coming with Sean to FHE tonight. I truly think that he is prepared. And he has a wife and 3 kids at home in the states. so we will see!
THANK YOU shoutout! to Ally, best sister! I loved the Christmas tree and the adorable pictures! and of course that skirt. and chocolate. YUM! and Aunt Lisa! I made the pancakes for breakfast! I laughed when I opened them! I feel so lucky and blessed everytime I open a letter from one of my beloved family and friends back home. You are the best!
I started reading Jesus the Christ last week. I have read parts, but never the whole thing all the way through. I made a goal to read the whole thing before Christmas. anyone want to join me?
I am so grateful for our Savior. I know this is His church. I know God loves us and He listens to our prayers. His choice isn't always what we wanted or thought we needed, but it is always right.
make it a great week!
all my love, Sister Bassett

hey mom! so this is the family I was with for Thanksgiving. it was so so wonderful.

from left to right, top row- Montrese (friends with Sean), Elder Pruner, Elder Atkin, Elder Sanderson, Vince (he is from Togo, in Africa! we talked all about Africa. I sang the Swahili song.  (friend of the Spillanes. so awesome!), Elder Breinholt, Rick (told the most hilarious stories about his kids and wife. they are back home in the states.) Erik and Sean (the BEST member missionary! we love him so much).

bottom row- me!, sister Saunders, sister Goines, Sister Carter, sister Spillane.