Monday, August 25, 2014

the next chapter

Dearest Family-
I am stealing daddy's title of his email because I liked it so much! it's not over, just writing a new chapter.
I can hardly believe I am typing out my last email home in my smokey little PC room in Korea. I will miss this country so much!
This morning I was reading in Romans chapters 5 and 6 (still trying to finish the New Testament. and loving it!). I was overcome with gratitude for the Savior's grace...that enabling and strengthening power of the Atonement that makes up for all I lack. In chapter 5 verse 20, it says that "where sin abounded, grace did much more abound" and talks about how Christ Atonement saves us the ability to walk in newness of life. Just read the chapter. Despite my weaknesses, shortcomings, pride (and stubborness), and a thousand other inadequecies, Jesus Christ is my Savior. and yours. God loved us so much, we are so precious to Him, that He sent His Son, the Only Begotten, to earth to suffer and die for each of us. As I read the New Testament and memorize "The Living Christ" I am reminded of that everyday.
what can I say? the last 18 months have been the best (so clique...but true!) It has been a learning experience. I cannot sum it words. A blessing of growth and joy and trials and finding out about myself (discovering steel) and drawing nearer to God. I count my every blessing and look back with gratitude. Korea will always be in my heart. These people and this place...the paverstone sidewalks, hot humid summer, subways and buses and walking for miles, hearing the conversion stories of my beloved members, sharing testimonies with other missionaries, feeling like family, learning how much I can love, reading the scriptures, looking back on the past days and months and realizing that I am changing, teaching and testifying of Jesus Christ and His gospel, the power of music, coming to know my Savior and God's plan for my life.
I love Jesus Christ. I am grateful beyond words that He is my Redeemer and my Friend. I am so blessed to have the priviledge to serve as His representative these past 18 months. And that isn't about to stop anytime soon! I mean, I can't wear my tag anymore (sad) but each of us represent the Savior in the way we live. I am so happy to see all of you again! the time has flown by. I am so grateful for your support and love...I can feel the power of your prayers. I know this Church is true. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared to the boy Joseph Smith in the sacred grove, they spoke to him. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God. It brings new power into our lives and conversion to our hearts as we read and live its words. I know that God loves us, He is our Father, and He has prepared a way for us to return to live with Him again. And I know that we can all be together there, our family is eternal. We are led by a living prophet, and Christ is leading this whole work. I know He lives.
see you soon!
xoxo, Sister Bassett

Sunday, August 17, 2014

fall is here!

Dearest Family---
this summer has been so mild...fall weather is already here!
I got to ride a bike on p-day! It was great. The park was absolutely beautiful, I wish I could have taken pictures! And, so fun, Sister Pratt and I rode a tandem bike...not sure how to spell that. (the Koreans wonder why we made that word...tandem...why not just say a bike for two?) Almost all the sisters in our zone came.
ZONE CONFERENCE. I was awesome. and I gave my "last words" testimony. and cried. I am not ready to come home... anyway! the conference was great. We had three 'workshop' training with the couple missionaries in our mission: Elder and Sister Lee taught about using family history in our proselyting, Elder and Sister Grosebeck introduced a new program to make our english classes more effective, and Elder and Sister Rock talked about planning more effectively. I love those couples and look up to them so much. I am so grateful for the experience they bring to our mission. Serve missions! it is awesome!
I helped with 고추 (red peppers) on Wednesday! well...kinda I begged the grandparents to please let us work with them for just a minute. They put the peppers on black mesh/tarp things to dry, take the seeds out, and make them into red pepper flour--which they then put in basically everything. I put a picture of it in dropbox. They had to move them into the gym because it was starting to rain a little bit. It was so fun! we moved them all from the parking lot to upstairs, then sat and pulled the green tops of. It feels a little like shelling peas or snapping green beans or something...except that they made us wear gloves because the peppers are spicy.
we had good lesson with Sister Choi. She is reading the Book of Mormon, and the index (kind of like the Bible Dictionary.) and loving it. This week we drew a picture, kind of like a timeline, of the book of 1 Nephi...trying to help her be able to focus on the doctrine rather then the who and where. The Book of Mormon is difficult to understand in Korean anyway, so although she has met with missionaries for years, the basics still weren't clicking. When you go back to foundation, then you can build. She is such a great lady with so much faith in God.
Friday was fabulous day! First we had a great lesson with Sister Lee. After last time, we thought about her all week trying to plan a lesson. We planned to teach on Tuesday, she canceled. Planned again for Wednesday, she forgot and wasn't home. Finally, Friday we were able to meet with her. Sister Pratt and I decided it was because we didn't figure out her lesson right until the third try. And it went so well! Not according to plan, but that is how most of them go anyway. She asked if we pray for our ancestors, or do anything like that to help with their salvation. We talked about temple work. It was a really neat experience where I felt the Spirit working through me and working in her. I felt to guided as I explained baptisms for the dead, seeking out our dead to help them progressin the the spirit world. THEN! Sister Pratt came in with Family History, just like we learned at zone conference, and sealed the deal. It was great. We also talked about infant baptism and other doctrines. We had planned to talk about prayer and, towards the end, guess what she brought up? prayer! we asked a few questions, she prays writen and from the heart. good to know. Then she taught us for about 10 minutes about how important it is that we pray. At the end of it all, she said she had learned a lot that she is, a devout Catholic, humble enough to be meeting with and "learning from" US! two young girls with nothing to share but a gung-ho testimony.
AND we met with Sister Kim and Sister Kim. LOVE THEM. after English time, we tried to teach "funnly" like they had asked for. We felt like the Plan of Salvation was what they needed to hear, and I know the Spirit guided us on that one too! it really clicked for both of them. I don't have time to write about the awesome lesson we had...but it was awesome! they had so many questions and and growing in their gospel interest. it is so amazing to see.
We got some pretty bad cabin fever on Saturday and Sunday being in the church for soooo looong both days. But! we are preparing for a huge Family Night this Saturday, which should be really good. We have invited so many people and are hoping that if we prepare well, the Lord will bring people there and it will all pay off. I am excited to just work hard this week and end the week will with family night.
I am loving this area. I finally have really great, loving relationships with my ward. our investigators are progressing. I have more and more days where I feel like I can speak Korean. I am not done changing or becoming the missionary I thought I would be/could be. I just am not ready to come home! The paverstone streets of Korea are so comfortable for me. I feel so good here. And I just don't wanna give it up. Being a missionary has been the most incredible experience. I love this work. I love the Lord, whose work this is. I love Korea and kimchi and the rain the sticks in the air and the grandmas that tell me I am beautiful.
I love all of you!
xoxo, Sister Bassett

Sunday, August 10, 2014

just happy

Dear Family--
I think that monsoon season decided to come about a month late because we got SOAKED yesterdy!
Monday, for p-day, we went down to the harbor to see this huge ship, Logos Hope. It is the neatest thing...young adults from around the world, all Christian, doing service. Basically it is a gigantic book fair that goes all over. They sign up for either 3 months, one year, or two years. I want to do that. we talked to one girl, from Russia actually, about how her experience has been. She talked about how sometimes it is hard (just like missions), but it is the best feeling knowing that she is where God would have her be (like missions). Cool to see how a belief in Chirst really does help all people, us purpose and hope. Another woman, from Brazil, recognized our tags. GO missionaries! And the harbor! it was so beautiful.
We taught Sister Lee again on Tuesday. Today she had watermelon for us and the other people on the street ^^ Her friend was there also...and wants me to marry her nephew. nothing new there. Our lesson went well, discussing 1 Nephi 3, and finished teaching the Restoration. Remember how last week I said we are really focusing on helping her gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon? Well, this week we asked her to pray about the Book of Mormon each time she reads it. Ask God "is this book true? is this Thy word?" I thought that would go over pretty easy because she prays everyday...but "No." was the response. She says that she doesn't need to pray, firstly because that isn't an option as one of her prayers (only recited ones) and secondly because if it is about God and people following God, then obviously it is from Him. She doesn't have to ask. well. not quite how it works. We are thinking and praying this week about a way to invite her again. I liked what it says in the Bible Dictionary, that once we understand our relationship with God, prayer becomes natural and instictive. I am grateful for what the Restoration has taught me about my relationship with God. I am grateful to know that He is my Father, that He loves me, that He had prepared a road for me to return to His presence. it is really comforting doctrine...the God of all things has asked us to pray to Him, personally, with all the thoughts and feelings in our hearts.
We also had a lesson with Sister Choi on this week! she is so fun. I love her!!! So we had that big discussion time with her last week...who is who and the Book of Nephi. This week was basically the same thing only outlining the storyline of Nephi and talking about prophets. at the end, she got super excited about being able to understand. "Girls are smarter than boys! that's why I needed sister missionaries! you can explain and draw and I understand!" it was awesome. The elders (who did a great job) gave her reading assignments that were just scattered throughout the Book of Mormon, awesome chapters i'm sure, but it was difficult for her to put together the doctrine because she was so caught up in not knowing the story.
A less-active we have been visiting/leaving notes on her door all the time decided to start coming back to church! she said that because she doesn't go to church, God won't bless her. I said that He still loves her. She said she knows that, but because she doesn't come, He can't give her the blessings. I said what blessings? she said Like tithing...when you pay it, you have money for everything else. But if you don't, the Lord doesn't promise anything. I said, that's true..... SO happy to see where she goes!
I love you all! I love being a missionary. I love going to church every week and learning about the Savior and sharing testimony with othe saints. Yesterday I gave a TALK in Sacrament meeting! so scary. about covenants and the heritage of hope President Eyring talks about. I am SO grateful to parents and grandparents who passed that heritage down on to me. I know it is true. And it is so hopeful.
xoxo, Sister Bassett

Sunday, August 3, 2014

member mission

Dearest Family--
this week was so fun. the weeks are going by faster than ever!
Monday we went with Ka-jeong sisters to the 목욕탕...the public bath house. The Koreans love it, and it is supposed to be super good for your skin. It was...yeah. good. anyway.
then we had a dinner appointment with a sister in our ward, Sister Choi. Sorry that it probably gets really confusing talking about members/investigators because they have the same names most of the time. This Sister Choi I have never talked about before ^^  She is the sweetest lady. Her husband is not a member, her older son is inactive, and her younger boy is really shy (due, in part, to a speach impediment and other things). and we loved being in her home. We looked at all the pictures and trophies and she showed them off like a proud momma. And made us delicious 삼계탕 sam-kyeah-tang...basically it is chicken broth and onions and stuff with a whole chicken in it for each person. but the chickens are little. it is SO yummy! we eat it with rice and kimchi. We talked a little about the armor of God from D&C 27. She promised to pray for us to find prepared investigators that we can share that armor with. And then, on Sunday, she told all the Relief Society sister that they need to pray for us to find prepared people too. I are still a few steps away from getting referrals, but I am excited to see what happens as the sisters in our ward unite their faith with ours.
TUESDAY! We found another couch! and a piano! win for the sister missionaries! it was so great. so now the sisters in our house are playing on the piano just about everyday. it is really nice to prepare for musical numbers too! score. plus, us resourceful girls that we are, pulled the sticker off the newly found couch and put it on the last couch. so we don't have to pay anything. yessssss.
This week has been a little more than hot and humid and Wednesday we got hit hard. We had lunch with Sister Lee and her son (except he mostly hid out in his bedroom) and then walked for about an hour or so. By the time we got the the church I was wiped! so we made some calls and things in the church, braced ourselves, and headed back out. In case you missed it last week, Sister Pratt is awesome. Always smiling and bright and talking. I love it. we contacted lots of people and walked around our area to get her more used to it. I mean, she only has a few weeks to learn all the things before she is on her own!
Thursday was super fun day. We had Zone Meeting in 부평 Boo-pyeong. I love mission meetings. I am always inspired by our leaders and the feeling of missionary spirit all concentrated into one room. We did a role play about asking questions, as this month we are focusing on teaching people, not lessons+teaching people better lessons. Whenever I am testifying and teaching about principles of the gospel that mean so much to me, I can feel the Spirit. and even better when I am discovering needs that can be met through the teachings of Christ. I know that the gospel it true.
Ah! Friday was also a great day. We taught two lessons, one to Sister Choi and one to Sister Lee. I will tell you about both, because they were awesome.
So, Sister Choi. She told us last week that she is starting the Book of Mormon again from the beginning and will pray about it this time. She then read from the Introduction page through the testimonies of the witnesses and Joseph Smith and about the Book of Mormon 10 times. yeah, ten! she has a difficult time understanding/seeing past all the new names and places, so we took almost the whole time to explain who Lehi is (decendant of Jacob and Joseph...not the same name as Leah ^^) and things like that. She really loves the scriptures and wants her daughter to have a knowledge of God, but her daughter doesn't really see why. Her husband came home during the lesson, remember? he really hates the church and yelled STOP last time we saw him. So. He came home! in the middle of our lesson! Sister Choi stopped reading and we all just stared at him for a minute...I asked how his break is going, and he quickly left to the back room. Jenny, the daughter, followed. And we cautiously started the lesson again. He didn't come back out. At the end, Jenny came to say goodbye....and that she had translated the whole thing for her dad (we teach in English). maybe that will be good?! prayers!
and Sister Lee. She is a very devout Catholic, but is loving the Book of Mormon. She reads, and so do we, ahead of time and then we discuss the chapter together and use the principles in it to teach the restoration. It works really well! and her insights are awesome. She has such a big heart and is truly a Christian. So far she has been pretty accepting about all that we have taught, except that the priesthood was never lost. Jesus Christ gave it to Peter, Peter gave it to the first Pope, and so on. Sister Pratt and I had a long discussion about how to teach her next time and concluded that we don't have to teach or explain much more about it because, at the end of the day, her testimony won't come from us tearing down her beliefs. As she continues to read the Book of Mormon and pray, to learn the principles of the gospel, and gain even more faith, I know that she will feel that the message of the restoration is true. And when then happens, a testimony of everything else comes with it. Because if the Book of Mormon is true, than Joseph was a prohpet. and if Joseph was a prophet, the gospel needed to be restored, which means it was lost. I know that God and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph, that he was indeed a prophet, and that the Book of Mormon was translated by the power of God. It is just the best feeling ever when I get to share those things with others.
We got to sing again, Sister Pratt and I and the Elders, at the baptismal service yesterday. There was such a sweet spirit there...the convert is a junior in high school with faith that filled the whole room. He is amazing and prepared and an example to all the young men in our ward.
I have been feeling lately like I had the chance, I had been given everything I needed, to really learn Korean and become a great missionary. And I didn't take it. Instead, I speak average Korean and am only now figuring out how to be a missionary. and it was discouraging.  BUT! then I read a little bit in "The Power of Everyday Missionaries" and my greenie fire was re-lit all over again. When I came on a mission, I signed up to be a builder in the Kingdom of God for the rest of my life. God needed me here, and He will need me at home. He needs every member to be a missionary. WE are the MESSAGE! whether we are wearing a badge or not. We are meant to be lighting the world and salting the earth. And I felt, rather than discouraged, like the mission is an MTC for the rest of my lift. And I can continue applying the things I learn and grow into the person that Heavenly Father has in mind. I am just forever grateful for the blessing of serving.
I love you all! share the gospel this week. and start reading that book ^^
xoxo, Sister Bassett

Sunday, July 27, 2014

uncomfortable in the growth zone

Dear Family-

My new companion! she is AWESOME. I love her already. Her name is Sister Pratt, from Payson Utah.
Our Bishop's wife, Sister Pak, is one of the most amazing people I have ever met. She was converted when she was a young girl, maybe about 12 years old, and has just been a strong and faithful member ever since. She makes me feel like I am loved and cared about across any boundry that language or culture could have brought. Like yesterday, I was standing next to her waiting for Sister Pratt, she was waiting for her husband (they were about to leave to go camping). She grabs my arm and says "lets do member splits for a week! you can come camping with us and your companion can go home with President and Sister Morrise" YES! lets go! we joked about it for a minute, and then when Sister Pratt came out we said "Oh! you are going on member splits, bye! hey, Bishop, can we do splits?" he had no idea what was going on, so of course he said yes. It was so funny! I know it doesn't sound that awesomely hilarious, but I want to remember. I have started writing my emails more like a journal...just little things that I never want to forget about Korea.
We sang in Sacrament, the four Elders and us. Sister Pratt sounds like an angel when she sings and more than one member had tears. I love that I can bear my testimony through song.
On Tuesday we met with Sister Choi and she just about cried when Sister Nebeker said she was leaving! She really grew to love her. AND! she said that her goal is to read the Book of Mormon during summer break and PRAY about it. I mean, she has read it before, but it is really hard for her to believe that Jesus could have come to America. He lived in Jerusalem. So if He was going to visit another place, why didn't He also come to Korea/Asia? We have talked a lot with her about how the Book of Mormon shows that God loves and guides all His children, so I didn't really have a good answer to that. I mean, maybe He did? But as we talked about praying to know if the Book of Mormon is true, I knew again in my heart that THAT is what is all comes down to. We have to read, ponder, and ask God if the book is true. No amount of research or questioning or reading alone can give you the answer.
Transfers on Wednesday! Sister Pratt... I already wish I had longer with her. She is so sweet and courageous in proselyting. I love it. She is super fun and has a great sense of humor. plus works hard.
We met with Sister Lee again (the clothes shop owner). We are just reading through the Book of Mormon with her and using the first chapters of Nephi to teach the Restoration. and it really works! We read through the 1 Nephi 1 with her, pointing out how the gospel blessed their family, the duties of prophets/why we need them, and about Christ and His twelve apostles. She had already read the chapter (yay for commitment keepers!) and it was really neat to point thing out to her that she hadn't noticed. I love the Book of Mormon. I know that investigator lessons go better when we teach from it. I know it is true, it is a testimony of the Savior, and a guide for our lives.
Saturday night, after English class, Sister Pratt and I met this awesome old guy on the street. He bought us icecream and invited us to his house. We asked if his wife was there, and he said yes. She is a preacher. And she quoted Romans 8 to us...the whole chapter. and asked us to testify about Jesus Christ. so we did! they were so cute. then the husband explained his plan for North and South Korea to become united without a war, gave us copies of the plan, and signed them! yes. I love Korean grandmas and grandpas.
I love this work. This week I have thought about something mom has said a few times on my mission- that it is uncomfortable in the growth zone, but there is no growth where we are comfortable. I feel that way! as soon as I loved college, I left on my mission. Got used to the MTC? sent to Korea. And now? getting kicked out again. I love being a missionary. I love this ward that I have the blessing of serving in. I know that Jesus Christ lives, that He is our Savior and our Friend.
I love you all! xoxo
Sister Bassett

Sunday, July 20, 2014

one more companion

Beloved Family--
I hope that last week's letter wasn't too confusing and crazy, because here is another one!
recap of the week.
Monday wasn't p-day because this week was temple week! instead we emailed and headed out to our area. The Elders had a baptism on Sunday, so we got together to practice our musical number. Afterwards, we decided to go try and visit Sister Lee again (do you remember the lady I wrote about last week? she owns a clothes shop and we met her for the first time last Monday). She was right outside! we talked for a little while just about life...she is the sweetest...and then about religion. She is very Catholic and is reading the Bible for the 9th time. yeah, nine times! wow. She said that reading is her hobby. Obviously I took the chance to talk about the greatest book, the Book of Mormon. We talked about how, as missionaries, we are introducing this book. It teaches of Christ and, just like the Bible, as we read the Book of Mormon we can learn of the Savior and God's plan for us. And she wanted a copy. We set up an appointment to meet with her again on Friday to talk more about it. Sister Nebeker and I have been learning a lot about the Book of Mormon together lately. What it is, what is contains and teaches, how we can simply introduce it, how we gained a testimony of it...things like that. I was really excited to share those things with Sister Lee!
On Tuesday the day nothing went according to plan, but it was great. We had a lesson with Sister Choi...well...we ate lunch with her and a friend and we did a little bit of the talking. We had such high hopes for her, but lately she hasn't really been keeping commitments (for example, she has yet to read The Family-A Proclaimation to the World) and just seems so be losing her fire for learning about the gospel. nooo! That has definitely been the saddest thing for me on my mission...seeing people whose lives could be changed and blessed by accepting the gospel, but when it is put in front of them, they don't take it. Granted, for many of them it just wasn't the right time or place or situation or whatever. But I wish I could just make them see! If they could just feel what I have felt. I know that this gospel is true. I KNOW IT!
Then we visited a sweet Sister in our ward. Oh she is lovely! She owns a floral shop (you can imagine how I loved being there! the smell and the flowers and the things she was making! ahh!) and is there nearly everyday. Her two daughters are both grown, active in the church, one is married with a little son and the other will be married at the end of this month. Her husband, unfortunately, is not active. A former teacher and Bishop in the Church, he fell away from activity because he was offended by other members. She said that if his faith would have been strong, he would have been ok, but because his faith was weak, he didn't stay active. It reminded me of a parable (the parable of the sower) I read recently in the New Testament...the parable Jesus gives about the seeds being spread out on the ground. Some of the seeds fall among thorns, some on stoney ground, and some on the wayside. In Matthew 13, it says--
 Some fell upon stony‍ places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth:
 And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. 
And then Christ's explaination--
 20 But he that received the seed into stony‍ places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;
 21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for while: for when tribulation‍ or persecution‍ ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.
The heat of the day, that persection and trial, has been so real on my mission. I know it is real in each of your lives too. Elder Wirthlin, in his talk "Press On" says that "the second type of soil, “stonyground,” represents those in the Church who, at the first sign of sacrifice or trial, run away offended, not willing to pay the price."
What price am I willing to pay? Mom and Dad and Lan, maybe you remeber the quote of the Martin Handcart company, that the price they paid to know God was a privilege to pay. I think about that I considering it a privilege? my blessing? I know that the Savior is with us every step of the way, He is just cheering us on everytime we withstand the heat of the day. I have felt that strength and support on my mission. I know He loves us. He was us to accept the word and have the blessings.
District Meeting on Wednesday was great per usual! I am still so often amazed at how our missionary work is set up...I mean, we gather every week in groups of 6 or 8, and every month as many as 30 missionaries come and meet together to be taught by 20-something year old boys. Not a single one of us has been a missionary for longer than 2 years. We didn't study to become preachers or pastors, our "schooling" (for the most part) has been within the walls of our homes from parents, in small Sunday School classrooms. the Spirit is teaching us all. I know that is God's work because it couldn't happen any other way! It is awesome! so. District meeting. And then weeding the front of the church. Because who better than the missionaries to do that? Now that we looked nice and sweaty, Sister Nebeker and I went out to give invitations for our ward Family Night on Saturday. Did I tell you about Sister Ahn ever? yeah, she couldn't meet this week. sad.

Thursday was TEMPLE DAY! I love that sacred place. I love that I feel at home there, in the House of the Lord. The Seoul temple has such a special spot in my heart...I will never forget going there for the first time, still a homesick greenie, and just feeling like I was in a familiar place, somewhere that I belonged. I still feel that way. I didn't cry this time, but I still haven't shook the happy feeling that I get in the temple. A deep down sense of joy. Then we had p-day! we just played with the Ka-jeong sister all day. I love them! and then made more invites and practiced for Sunday and stuff.
We met with Sister Lee on Friday! We went out to lunch (which was absolutely delicious, by the way. This thick soup with peanuts and carrots and green onions and tofu, plus rice in a hot stone bowl, so you scoop all the rice out onto a plate, then add water into the bowl. it makes a burnt rice brooth. really yum. and kimchi and potatoes and so many sides.) As soon as we sat down, she asked where our "Bible" was. We pulled out the Book of Mormon and started talking about was written by prophets, shows that God loves and guides all His children, testifies of Christ...we shared our experiences about when we first read/gained a confirmation that the Book of Mormon was true. She seems very open, because she always thought that God would lead all of His children, because He loves us all, even people who don't believe in Him. We had a great discussion about loving others and all being a part of God's family. And then she said she would start reading and we will meet to talk again this week :)
and Saturday we met with Stella and Shaun again. I love them! so funny. come to find out, Stella's mom and little sister took the missionary lessons years ago, on the Family English Program, and she has been curious about the church. We had planned to just teach the first two principles of the Restoration, that God is our loving Heavenly Father and the gospel blesses families. But we ended up talking about that plus temples and eternal families and the Book of Mormon. It was wonderful. I feel like they could really have potential, so pray for them! (their Korean real names are Wha-jeong Kim and So-yeon Kim).  Then Family Night! so fun. Sister Nebeker and I did the games portion and it was really fun. I love this ward.
This week ended with Transfer calls!!!!!!!! and guess what? one more companion coming my way! her name is Sister Pratt and, funny story, Sister Fudge trained her! I am really excited to start this new transfer with her and give her all the knowledge I can about Dap-dong in the next 5 weeks. Crazy!
Sunday was the Elder's baptism and-so cool!- a recent convert of about 6 months perfomed the baptism. Elder Kim and I sung while Elder Beh and Sister Nebeker played piano and violin, respectively..."I know when I am baptized." It was really neat. I love seeing these investigators all dressed in white.
I love you all! the weeks just keep getting better and better.
xoxo, Sister Bassett

Sunday, July 13, 2014

street talk

Dear Family-
the boys sitting behind me...반말ing to each other and talking about their games. makes me laugh every time.
I got to watch soccer this week! yeah, I never realized how much I really love watching it and miss seeing Ross and Lan play. so maybe it was just a few missionaries and a bunch of high school boys, but still fun. Good p-day. I love being around other missionaries and feeling the sense of "family" that comes from serving together. After p-day was over, Sister Nebeker and I went to visit a less-active's house...their two sons were baptized and are now less-active, the parents aren't members. SO, they weren't home. But on the way home, Sister Nebeker and I met the sweetest lady. She owns a little clothing shop near the house we visited. I always take the chance to commet on the cute clothes (in this case, Korean soccer jerseys) they are selling as a way to chat with them. And she loved it. We sat down together in the camping-style chairs on the sidewalk and talked. Her husband recently passed away, so now it is just her...she doens't seem that old either, maybe mom's age. Lots of women here want to learn English, and so does she! maybe another person to add to our family english program list? We tried to see her again, but the shop was closed. Wish us luck this week!
Speaking of Englsih program, we found TWO MORE investigators this week! english interest. But I love them already. Sister Kim and Sister Kim^^ Their english names are Stella and Shaun. cutest. have I mentioned that WE met them on the street?! technically, we met Stella on the street and then she brought Shaun with her. POWER OF STREET TALK! I mean, I have always known that talking to more people while we are out and about brings blessings, sometimes those blessings mean investigators. But those investigators, for me, have always come from other sources. I am loving this new blessing. Shaun went to a Christian-run mission high school, so she has some religious background. and both seem really open and are just fine with us sharing about the gospel. for the win! I am really excited about teaching them.
and teaching in general. This week in our lesson with Sister Choi, I fell in love all over again with teaching and testifying about the gospel. I can't believe I was ever reluctant or scared to teach gospel priciples in college! We had our lesson planned to teach about the cycle of apostasy in the Book of Mormon (the pride cycle is really useful in teaching ^^) and then about prophets. Well, that didn't happen. Because something better did. I had just made myself a new Book of Mormon case for my proselyting copy, and on the back I put a family picture (thanks for sending them, momma!) and the scripture in Moroni 8:2-3. I love those verses and they always remind me of mom and dad. I found them near the beginning of my mission when I was having a rough time being so far and feeling lonely and all those good things that new missionaries feel. I have read it over and over through out my mission, and still love it. ok. anyway, back to the story...Sister Choi saw my cover and oogled over cute Zola and the other kids, and our beautiful family, and read the scripture. She got all misty-eyed as she read it. We turned together to the verses and gave a little background on the story. Our lesson turned into teaching about how the gospel blesses families and we gave her The Family- A Proclaimation to the World. And guess what? she promised to read it with her husband! Mr. Don't come in my house husband. We are praying for a miracle.
I have gained such a testimony on my mission, especially lately, about how the gospel blesses our families. Yes, it blesses us as individuals, as friends and neighbors and wards, but especially in our families. It was meant to strengthen us as sisters and brothers and mothers and fathers. Every time I look at our family picture on my Book of Mormon, I am reminded of the special relationship we have with each other. I cannot tell you how many times I have told people in the past week that my family is one of the main reasons I came on my mission.
Another cool miracle this week was working with the members in our ward. We had the blessing of being in the homes of three beautiful sisters this week. First was with the Kims! ah. she is a returned missionary, so we spent so much time looking through her old photos. She told me that I must 꼭 (just a sound that emphasizes the word after it...gok!) marry a returned missionary so that we can reflect on our missions together. Her husband is not, but they are great, active members now. Her daughter is adorable with lots of sass! For example...I made them a little scripture quote to put on their fridge with 3 Nephi 13:33. I told her to put in on the fridge, but the word I used technically means "in" the fridge. So she opens it up and puts it on the top shelf. (my korean...) We had a good laugh though that maybe everyone would see it often there! The next visit was Sister Choi (member Sister Choi). She is my favorite! so sweet and laughs at everything. Also a returned missionary, so is her husband, but he is less active. Because, as she says, his faith is weak. Her whole family is going to America in November to visit her sister-in-law and she is really nervous about going to church and not understading anything. So we practice english, then Korean with her. Third visit was Sister Lee. A convert of about 5 years, I love her to pieces. She and her husband are hilarious and super strong rocks of the ward. SO, we went to her house for lunch. Chicken and cold noodles. yum. I was telling her about the foods that I have to try before I end my mission. One is Soon-deh. so she runs out and buys some on the spot! it is basically it is pig intestines filled with noodles and blood, then cooked. The taste? not bad! the texture? not bad! but the taste+texture+the fact that I know what I am eating= I ate two pieces. (think meat-flavored gum).
one more street talk story, then i've gotta run! We were looking this week for a moon-gu (like a stationary and every little nick-nack store) to buy some paper to print english flyers. We couldn't find one. So we asked a nice old lady on the street, she brought her husband out, and the four of us talked together about where the nearest one could be. They didn't know. So they stop the next lady on the street, and she knows! yes! so we follow her there. Turns out she is from China. and she LOVES us. we buy paper together and then agree to go say hello to her family! obviously. We go there and it is her, her daughter, a niece and like 4 Chinese guys. No one speaks Korean except for her, and no english. So funny. They basically just stared at us while we talked to her and her daughter and fed us fruit. She wants us to be best friends with her daughter. sure! it was so fun.
one LAST thing! we shared 3 Nephi 13:33 this week, go and read it, with the commitment to pray this week for an opportunity to share the gospel. We are begging referrals or anything, we just know how HAPPY it feels to share the gospel! God knows us. He knows what we need. and as we willingly put His kingdom first, He will bless us. SO! I am extending the same invitation to all of you. Read the verse. and pray this week for an opportunity to share this glorious and remarakable gospel with someone around you.
I love you all! sorry for the many spelling errors. Or the fact that I am currently illiterate in two languages. that's what happens when I try and write long letters ^^
 xoxo, Sister Bassett

Sister Nebeker and Bassett - Korea!!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

67th street

Dear Family-
I have been looking at my planner and the screen for the past 5 minutes (seems longer than that...) wondering where to start. I feel like I just send you one big journal entry every week-- recounting everyday and everything is just mixed together. I can't think of a good way to start this, so here is another one ^^
This week was full of wonderful missionary moments. The longer I am on my mission, the easier it gets to not notice the little miracles. But, I also am better at recognizing them because I have had so much practice! and we saw them right and left this week. I am so blessed to be a missionary, serving here in Korea. Just little knocking doors yesterday and finding just one person who opened the door, smiled at us, and gave us her phone number. Finding a grandma on the street who calls a hundred times a day just to make sure we know she loves us. Having conversations throughout the day, a couple seconds here, two minutes there, that make you smile and spread some love. Talking with members at church or in there homes and feeling like you were needed there.
You have all heard this a thousand times, but here it is again! Korean kids are adorable. And great conversation starters. A few weeks ago, Sister Nebeker and I were walking down the street at the end of p-day and I saw the cutest mom with her two sons. Of course I had to say hi the the little boys and then started talking to the mom. Turns out, she really wants her sons to learn english. and this week, on Wednesday, we went to her house to introdouce our Family English Program (30 minutes we teach the gospel, 30 minutes we teach english). She and her husband were both home, plus the boys (Han-byeol is 5 and Han-seoul is 3). Her husband, Brother Kim, met with the missionaries years ago just one or two times. He remembers how nice they were...thanks for planting a seed, elders! anyway. SO! they became our new investigators. Sister Ahn and Brother Kim. We already love them. And let me tell you...this is the FIRST TIME my whole mission that I have ever found someone on the street that became an investigator that I taught. It was a big miracle for us.
Also, I love Dap-dong ward. So much. We are working so ward to be builders of wards and branches like President has asked. and I have a testimony that the amount of love you give to ward members they will give back to you. No matter what language you speak, what country you are in, love is the same. It feels the same. Last week, our bishop's wife, Sister Pak, called out of the blue and invited us to dinner. the food was delicious, we had a great talk with both of them about less actives, and practiced teaching with the Book of Mormon.
I don't know what else to say! The Lord is blessing us here, as I know He is blessing the missionaries all over the world. I love it so much. I know this Church is true. I know that as we share it with all we can, we will feel a joy in our lives and in our hearts that we never new before. This is the happiest time!
xoxo, Sister Bassett

Sunday, June 29, 2014


Tuesday, June 24.2014
Today we had a...lesson?...visit with Sister Choi. I love her. She always tells us about how she is a really popular girl in the neighborhood, because she plays the violin and piano and speaks English. Obviously. So her friends who used to hate the Mormon church/think we are a cult think we are ok now! Because Sister Choi meets with us. assah! We ate ddok-boki with her and her friend today. and less active visit! It made my heart so heavy. The sister let us into her house and we tip-toed through the first room...the room is FULL of stuff. just boxes and who knows what. There is a little path leading to the second room, also full. there is a little space in the middle, just a few feet wide, covered with old blankets. And there is her daughter sitting in the middle of it, chewing on an old wrapper and watching a Korean drama. This sister's story? Her oldest daughter, 30 years old, is mentally handicapped (can't talk or walk, completely reliant on her mom). Her husband has passed away. Her two not really sure, but they live in the house, and aren't around much from what I gather. She cares for her daughter all day and cleans the market at night. She doesn't want the ward to help, but now that I have seen her, I know it is just out of shame and maybe a little independence.
Friday, June 27.2014
Today I am greatful for Sister Gwan, how she loves us and gives us fruit and prays for our investigators. I am grateful that Incheon is such a windy place. I am grateful for real estate offices where I can go and look at their maps when our cameras die and for short little Korean men who climb up on chairs to try and point out where we are on the map. And when he can't find it, calling to the other two workers... so we all 5 go outside and they point us in the right direction. I am greatful for the sweet Vietnamese sister we met, for the young student girls who don't know where the apartment is so they ask the nearest 아저씨  and then laugh at the directons he gives us when we are gone. I am grateful for the cute grandma we found instead of our less active. I am grateful for the girl I sat with on the bus who spoke english and was adorable and said she will text us later. I am gratful for funny korean mom and dad who sell us delicious puffed rice snacks and tell me I should become their daughter in law. I am grateful for music and its power and motivating influence. I am grateful for the Gospel of Mark, that I can read the Savior's teachings, for the story of the rich young ruler as I contemplate on the my great many possessions that I am still working to give away. I am grateful for quotes and lyrics of hymns and how they stick in my mind. I am grateful for rice and kim and that I really love Korean food. I am grateful for our apartment and these beautiful wonderful girls I life with here. I am grateful to be a missionary!
Saturday, June 28.2014
Son Gwan came to English class again today! and guess what. We talked in our class for like 20 minutes about missionaries...why we are here, we don't get paid, still just college students. And then, we told them that if they ever have questions, they can ask us after class. At the end of class, I prayed in Korean and he wrote down my prayer. What?! then after class, he asked if I could tell him about our church. I ended up teaching the whole restoration in about 10 minutes. It was a neat thing. then he went in with the Elders to have a lessons. darn. but I trust our Elders, and it will be great. We stayed to clean the bathroom for church tomorrow and heard Gwan kind of...yelling? fighting? with Andre. oh. no. Elder Kim called tonight...they were just arguing about whatever. Andre wanted to talk, Gwan wanted to learn the gospel. But he said Gwan is shiney golden! yesssssss.
(PS---Gwan didn't come to church because of the argument. prayers, please!)
ok. just a week of awesomeness in Korea! I love you all!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

who is 김장ing in the middle of summer?!‏

Dear Family-
Hey! Lan and dad and mom! have SO MUCH FUN on the Church History Tour. It was such a defining and strengthening experience for me. Dad asked me a few weeks ago if there was advice I have? um...soak it all in. Just love every place, even the long bus rides and late nights. Write in your journal lots. Take pictures. Bear your testimony. it's gonna be amazing.
This week was summer! hot and humid. I'm not sure if it isn't as hot yet, or because Incheon is really windy, or because I'm used to it, but this June doesn't seem as hot as last June!
Last Tuesday we had a lesson with Sister Choi about how we love our families...they are important to us and we can live with them forever. That knowledge of an eternal relationship helps give us perspective and changes how we treat our family here and now. Sometimes she and her daughter have a rough relationship. We also had interviews with President. I love those. He had us share something we had learned in personal study that day. I have a goal to read the whole New Testament this transfer, so I shared with him what I read Tuesday morning from Matthew 19:20. We all know the story...the young rich man, faithful in keeping the commandments, asks Christ what more he lacks. Then the Master responds, with love, that he most sell all his has and follow the Savior. The young man is sorrowful, because he has MUCH. Reading the Four Gospels in light of just having read "Jesus the Christ" has been really neat. Elder Talmage talks about how, at some point or another, Christ will ask us to do that which is most difficult in order to follow Him, for what He wants are true disciples. We must have no priorites above Him. Sometimes I feel like the rich young man...I have so much to give up and get rid of. Yet as I work, just one by one, at giving away my possessions, I can feel His guidance in my life leading me to what is most important. I love this quote from from Elder Christofferson- " the freedom to become what you can and ought to be. But for your freedom to be complete, you must be willing to give away all your sinsyour willfulness, your cherished but unsound habits,perhaps even some good things that interfere with what God sees is essential for you." (it's from his talk "You are Free" in the March 2013 Ensign. I really recommend it) I am trying everyday to find that person that God sees in me.
Wednesday was exchanges! I went to 만수 Mansu area with Sister Sloan and Sister Mineer (they are in a tri-panionship). Oh man. I love Sister Sloan. She always inspires me to work harder, be more faithful, and just push through everything that might come my way. I got to have a super fun lesson with this couple they are teaching. Such cute newly weds! After we exchanged back on Thursday, Sister Nebeker had picked out a few people from the CMIS list (I can't remember what that stands for) for us to visit. We have about 200 less actives in this ward, so we are trying to confirm addresses. anyway. ready for the Miracle of the Week? We found one! aawwwwwwwwesome. She was young, maybe still in her 20's. She was home and we talked with her and she gave us her new phone number. Thanks for signing up to be on Sister Bassett and Sister Nebeker's weekly visit list! she was really cute. maybe all she needs is a hug and an invitation to come back.
THEN! another miracle! on Saturday we English flyer-ed for our class (we teach on Saturday nights). We gave away lots, but didn't find anyone who was super interested. I was super hungry and have been addicted to tuna kimbap lately, so we ran in to this place by the church to grab a bite to eat. As we are leaving, this guy says "hello!" and the conversation goes as follows (except in Korean)
him "hey, I have a question"
us "yes?"
"do you speak Korean?"
"yes, a little"
"do you have an english class?"
"yes! actually it is tonight at 5:30"
"oh. (the current time is just after 5) so in just a little bit."
"yes. if you have time, you should come sometime! are you learning english?"
"actually, I'll come tonight. see you soon!"
ahhhsssssssa! so he came to english class. turns out, he is practically fluent at english (embarassment...) and has gospel interest! He asked about our church and we talked for a while. He didn't make it to church last week, but promised to come next week. I'm really happy and grateful that God doesn't always expect us to run and chase down every blessed miracle, sometimes He brings them right to us.
Our week ended fantastically with the Kajeong ward (we live with Kajeong ward sisters) bishop! I had seen him at the church building and somehow it was brought up that I want to learn to make kimchi (called 김장 kimjang). so Sunday night his daughter calls and invites us all over to make kimchi at his house. Score! it was so fun. They live in the same appartment complex as us, so we just walked on over there! i love it. we will be making kimchi at our house.
I love you! have a wonderful week! you are in my prayers and in my heart.
xoxo, Sister Bassett

Sunday, June 15, 2014

i got transferred to the amazon?

Dear Family
first of all.......행복한 아빠 날!!! Happy Father's day! I hope it was wonderful. Even without your favorite daughter there :) I am so grateful for you, pops! We are the luckiest kids in the world.
This week was, of course, wonderful. We met with our investigator, Sister Choi, twice again this week. She is so sweet. She has a really strong testimony of prayer and has prayed about every big decision in her life...from getting married to buying a house. It is really neat. Her 11 year old daugther has never prayed before. Sister Choi is, understandably, so worried about her daughter not knowing God. She asked us to teach her something, anything, about the Bible and God and Jesus Christ. We started with God is our loving Heavenly Father with Jenny. I am grateful for that simple, life-changing knowledge we have!
We also got to visit with a less-active this week. Her name is also Sister Choi (that's why everyone in Korea goes by last and first names. always). She is a member, has been through the temple, all of that. I'm not sure how it happened but she started working for another church...just organizing activities. Now she is a full member of that church and has completely no interest in our church. Still loves the people, loves the missionaries. She just has so much fun with the other church (they have a dance group and stuff like that). I wish that I could help her see the JOY that comes from living our gospel. Not just fun, fleeting and enjoyable for the moment, but true happiness that never has to leave. for eternity.
Then there was Sister Gwan. Oh how I love her and her sweet family. Those kids of hers! ahh! She is so discouraged so much of the time and often asks how mom and dad did it...they also have 6 kids! how did you? I just want to help her see that this gospel should be a blessing, not a burden for our families. I love them so much and hope some of it rubs off as I am with them.
I love you all! I am grateful to be serving. I love it here...more and more the longer I am a missionary. Have a great week!
xoxo, Sister Bassett

Sunday, June 8, 2014


Dearest Family-
Have I told you yet about our investigator? our only one? her name is Sister Choi. The Elders called her out of former investigators and she wanted to start meeting again! yay! She is really interested in religion (and loves ours) and really interested in English. We usually meet with her daughter Jenny and a friend. She makes them speak to us in English for 30 minutes. and they are really good! Her husband really opposes the church. So much. She has told us about that, but I didn't really understand it until this week. We went to her house, and as soon as Jenny opened the door and we stepped inside, her husband yelled STOP! then (in Korean now) "don't come in anymore." he told his wife to take her "book" and get out. get out now. As he was yelling at us, the first feeling in my heart was fear. It is easy to feel that. Then I started talking to him. Just a nice, happy conversation in the most peaceful tone I could muster. His eyes didn't lose all the fire, but maybe a little bit. The Spirit gives us power, love, and a sound mind. Never fear. It was a neat experience to see the stark difference between the two. We are praying that his heart will be softened and debating what to do with Sister Choi if it is not.
I had the chance, after that experience, to reflect on one of my favorite scriptures in 2 Corinthians 3:2, that WE are the epistle to be known and read of all men. Even people like her husband, he is definitely not reading the scriptures, but he "read" us as an epistle of the Lord. It is an empowering and sobering thought.
I hope this week to be a better epistle...that when I am seen by others they will know something more about the Savior.
I love you!
xoxo, Sister Bassett

Sunday, June 1, 2014

never washing my hand...‏


This week I didn't make notes of each day, so I'm just gonna start off with ELDER COOK'S visit! Yes. He came to our mission. Actually, it was another joint mission conference with the Seoul mission. And it was amazing. Before the meeting, he had every missionary there (about 350 I think) come up and shake hands with him, his wife, and Elder Ringwood. It was the neatest shake hands with an apostle of the Lord and just look in his eyes. Plus, Elder Ringwood had come to our Incheon stake conference just two weeks ago, and I talked with him there. So when I went to shake his hand, he gave me a fist bump (yeah. pounder) and said "glad to see you again" then shook my hand. Best. Day. Ever. So that is why I can never wash my hands. ever again.
Elder Ringwood started the meeting with a short but powerful talk about four words to think of as missionaries- Consider. Contend. Astonish. Generational. He talked first about how we must consider our ways...What am I doing and how am I thinking about the priviledge of serving a mission? Once we consider our ways, then we can declare what is true and contend for the right. we can astonish members and nonmembers alike with our faithfulness. and when we teach and testify in that way, our impact can be generational. He gave the example of Oliver Granger in D&C 117...that his name will be held in "sacred remembrance" for generations. Just like our family remembers missionaries and members who had an impact in bringing our family to the gospel, we have that chance to help others in their journey. I loved those four ideas...begin the change with yourself and work outward.
Sister Cook also gave the most adorable talk about connecting the Christlike attributes in chapter 6 of Preach My Gospel to hymns/primary songs. Then, we can sing those tunes to ourselves in moments when we need a little more patience or charity or diligence. I loved that idea and I am going to try it this coming week! She was so fun and happy.
Elder Cook talked about so many wonderful things, but especially about 4 kinds of love we need to have as missionaries- love the people. love your companion. love your mission president. love the Lord. As we think about and act on that love, we can then fulfill our purpose of building up the church and inviting others to come unto Christ. He left us with his apostolic blessing that we, as missionaries, are just where we need to be. That EVERYONE we love will ultimately be blessed by our service...whether that is our family back home or our future children. That our hearts can be filled with love and joy as we are doing what we are doing-building the kingdom of the Lord-right where we need to be.
I love the strength that I feel surrounded my so many other missionaries. I also got to see my beloved MTC companion, Sister Sieverts. She is so wonderful. I could not be more proud of those beautiful sisters that I came out of the MTC with. It is amazing to see the growth in them and realize how much our service has changed us. They asked all the missionaries who had been out over a year to stand. and I was in that group. I just cried as I looked at the elders and sisters I have been privileged to serve with. I cried to think about that my life won't always be like this, but mostly it was tears of gratitude that I ever had the opportunity. I know the Savior lives. His atonement is real...I know it because I have felt its power in my life and in my missionary work. Heavenly Father lives, loves us, and answers our prayers. The gospel truly is a message of JOY and we will find happiness as we live it.
this week was an adventure of street contacting, two lessons with our new investigator, visiting with members, exchanges, temple trip, fast Sunday, the start of another Korean summer. I am loving it. and trying to stamp into my brain and heart how good it feels to be a missionary, as my wonderful big brother said to :)
I love you all. I pray for you.
xoxo, Sister Bassett

    -Korea! This picture was taken on our hike from last week
 -Food of the week! That is me at a little restaurant and neng-myon. It its cold noodles that are really stretchy, so they give you a scissors so you can cut them! Yum. Noodles and ice and cucumbers and carrots. The broth tastes like…something I can’t describe. Maybe vinegar and Sprite?
    -The sisters that live in  my house!  Yes, matching dresses. :)

    -Saw my COUSINS at the joint Missionary Conference. They were helping out with the food for all the missionaries. So great!  
         -Me and Sister Sieverts! ah love her.