Sunday, May 25, 2014

how beautiful upon the mountains shall they be"‏

Dearest family--
This week has been really magnificent. I can't explain the feelings that are going on in my heart...these little miracles that we are seeing and this overwhelming, filling me up, hastening the work feeling. I know this is the Lord's work. He has something beautiful in mind for Korea and for our Dapdong area. I am so blessed to be a part of it.
We started off Monday with some service. SCORE! We always ask the members if there is anything we can do to help them, and they pretty much 100% of the time say no. Then we write down our phone number again and tell them to call if they ever need anything. They rarely do. And even more rarely ask for help about themsevles. But this week! This precious mother of 6 in our ward called and asked if we could come help her clean. Raising families with lots of kids is different in Korea. They don't just send them to the backyard to play for an hour or two. They are sent to day-care classes and after school academy from the time they are old enough to talk. So this mom, Sister Gwan, has a house full of messes and nobody there to help. We sorted through books and photo albums and toys, dusting off selves and just talking for 2 hours. It was so good. An hour or so after we arrived, she just started she told us about her lack of faith and how she feels she is failing as a mother, my eyes welled up with tears for this good sister. Then she told us that just a few hours earlier, she had prayed that someone could come and help her that day. She felt like she should call us. As you know, Monday is our p-day so we were out and about, getting ready to leave for Seoul that night. When she called, I regretably told her we couldn't make it, but let us know next time. As soon as I hung up, I told Sister Nebeker and she said we need to go. I felt that way too. We were with the Kajeong ward sisters, so I asked them to come with us too. I called Sister Gwan right back and said we were on our way. As she tearfully told me about her prayer that morning, it was a testimony builder for her and for us. God was watching out for His daughters that day, as He always is. We were able to bear testimony of the love Heavenly Father has for us. He is in the details of our lives and He is taking care of us.
And on Tuesday...we went hiking. in the mountains. all day. for the best zone conference ever. It was wonderful. We hiked and stopped along the way, training on Faith, Hope, and Charity. I don't know how to explain. I just learn things from the scriptures and our mission leaders like I never knew I could. I feel like I don't have enough time left out here to fix all I need too! i'll still have a long list when I come home. Our mission scripture is 1 Nephi 13:37... "and blessed are they who shall seek to bring forth my Zion at that day, for they shall have the gift and the power of the Holy Ghost, and whoso shall publish peace, yea, tidings of great joy, how beautiful upon the mountains shall they be" (typed that from memory. good job!) and it was just a neat experience to have all those missionaries, literally upon the mountains, learning and testifying together. We have the best missionaries here.
Wednesday we did a finding activity with our whole zone in Kajeong area. and they got 52 numbers! WOWZERS! so, this is how it went. They made a big poster that said the lyrics to the begining of "Let it Go" and several others saying things like "come challege your friends!" (they sounded a lot cooler in Korean...) Basically they just read the lyrics in English, we gave them a choco-pie, and then they wrote their number down so we could contact them about english class. BUT! the story doesn't end there! on Saturday we were coming home from Seoul and on the way home, we have to transfer subways and buses several times. At one station, I didn't pay attention and took us down the side going the opposite way. Just as we got down there, I saw that we were in the wrong place right as our subway pulled up on the other side. bummer. so we had to walk back around and wait for our subway. then at the bus stop, we took bus 77 when we usually take but 7. This all leads somewhere, I promise! about half way home, this cute girl gets on the bus. I look at Sister Nebeker and say "that girl came and did the english competition on Wednesday!" and guess what? she comes and sits my us! I lean over and say hello, and ask if she is a student. THEN! she recognizes me! we talk for a bit. she asks why I came to Korea. well...let me just tell you :) In the end, she attends church and gave us her number so that we could get together and talk about church and God and what we are doing as missionaries. Simple little things...missing a train and catching a different bus...lead up to beautiful miracles. I am so happy. and I can't wait to see where the story ends.
We did lots of less-active finding again this week. The most eventful was on Thursday. We haven't found any of the less-actives (yet), but we did talk to a cousin on the phone! anyway. Thursday. We are just searching and searching for this house...8-403 in case you were wondering...and cannot find it. But in the proccess, we keep seeing this boy. We aren't allowed to talk to him, but finally he comes up and askes who we are and what we are doing. We took the chance to introduce ourselves, the church, and a little about our English class. He wouldn't give us his number, but we gave a pass along card and that was that. We keep searching. Then I ask this old smoking grandpa for directions. He decides to join our search. So here we are following him through this little cement path connecting all the houses. (I'll try and send pictures) He decides to ask directions for us. So he knocks on this door and another smoking grandpa joins the search party. yay! nobody knows here. nobody can find the house. But we talked to some great people! on our way out, we see that boy again! he says he has a question. He asks why our church is different, how it started, what about other churches...PERFECT. We taught the whole restoration and the Book of Mormon, bore testimony about how it has changes our lives and given us the knowledge we have of the Savior. awesome moment. He still wouldn't take a Book of Mormon or give his number, but hopefully the story doesn't end there! planting seeds :)
so many other things I wish I had time to write about...singing in sacrament meeting, getting 4 referrals from other missionaries this week, lunch with the cutest Sister Lee and her mom, a cute lady I had a conversation with on the bus, getting kicked out of the museum, ward lunch together, the primary girls in our ward, and a million testimony building experiences that I get everyweek. everyday. I am the most blessed girl in the world. I love being a a missionary. I love testifying of the Savior. I know He lives. I know His atonement is real. We have a wonderful blessing and precious knowledge!
I love you all!
xoxo, Sister Bassett

Sunday, May 18, 2014

spicy noodles.

                                         jjam bblong….yum!

Dearest family-
mom. This week, I found the stash of maple pecan sea salt  KIND bar goodness that I had been saving. and then I ate them all in like two days. it was delicious.
It was another wonderful week here in Dap-dong! I can't believe that I skyped you all just last week. So much has happend since last p-day! we finished out the day by going to Costco and eating pizza and chicken bakes. yum.
We are trying to figure out our area...which has been quite the project. The first obstacle is that we don't actually live in our area. It takes about 30 or 40 minute bus ride to get into Dap-dong area. Secondly, the address system in Korea has changed, but now they are really pushing for everyone to follow it. We only have the member's addresses with the OLD system, but our map uses the NEW system. does it make sense? ya, a little confusing. Thirdly...our map is in three different books. SOOOOOOOOO it is a little difficult. Anyway. We tried to visit several less-actives on Tuesday. and it took 4 hours to find one house and make a VERY WORTH IT visit to Sister Wang. It was the coolest. We finally find her door, a little yellow-painted metal deal, tucked behind some bigger buildings. We start knocking...and knocking...and calling her name. no answer. maybe she cound't hear us? and just then, her son walks out! who is also inactive! yessssss. he lets us in and we got to talk with his mom. She feels really guilty about her family not being active in the church, but I think she still believes. We didn't stay long, just long enough to tell her that she could be "in" the church again and how much we would love to see her there. She has such a tough life...her husband has been in the hospital because he drank too much and almost died. Her sons are also inactive and the youngest one, my same age!, is making some pretty poor choices. We sang a hymn together, said a prayer, and made a note to visit her weekly as much as we can.
on the way home, we saw this dry-cleaning shop full of grandmas. They started speaking to us in English ("Hello!" "I love you!" that kind of stuff). nothing like a bunch of Korean grandma's to make you feel good about yourself ^^
we had a LESSON! on Wednesday. it was kind of crazy, but that's ok. A few weeks ago this woman called the elders to let them know she was coming to our church. and she did. Apparently, she had met some elders and loved how happy and clean they were. We met her and her son outside the subway station. She just chatted the whole time, took us to McDonalds, and sent us upstairs (the fast food places here often have two levels). With her son. That was awkward. to add to the awkwardness, there were SO many high school students that he knew there, and he was super embarrassed. he pulled his hat down as far as it would go trying to hide from them. What? its not cool to be seen at McDonalds with your mom and two sister missionaries?! It turns out that she has no gospel interest, but she really wants her son to be with the missionaries and learn from our examples. (he doesn't want to go to college...hates to study...just wants to hang out with his friends all the time...ya know. high school boy ^^) She kept telling him to look at us and be like us. The best part was, she kept calling us 누나 nu-na, which means older sister. I love that about Korean culture! it was such a funny meeting.
Food of the week.........짬뽕!!! jjam bbong. it is this really spicy seafood soup. I was kind of proud of myself for eating the whole entire giant huge bowl. there where crabs, just cut in half and you suck out the meat. and shrimp. and clams. and octopus. and muscles. and noodles. and veggies. it was actually delicious! and they were really impressed with Sister Nebeker's eating skills. what a good greenie!
Due to of investigators (yay opening!) we made it a goal to visit every Relief Society Sister in our ward. Just like Sister Goines and I did in Pyeong-taek area. and it has been going really good! my favorite visit this week was on Friday. We called this elderly sister to ask if we could drop by in about 10 minutes. She didn't sound too happy about that. But, when we arrived, she really just felt bad that she had nothing to feed us. Ah. So adorable. She gave orange juice instead. So, of course, we told her that we were so full and the juice was perfect. I secretly hoped she couldn't hear my stomach growling! They were the cutest full of faith. and they just loved each other. The husband is a little hard to understand because of his stuttering, but by the end of the visit, I could understand him. which was neat. He talked to me a lot about how special and sacred my missionary time is...about how much of a sacrifice it is, how it can be really difficult sometimes. But it is the time of the most growth and feeling the Spirit. it is the happiest time. I just about cried. I am so grateful for this sacred time and cannot believe that it will have to end. I am grateful for little reminders of how much it means to me.
oh yeah! we had TWO lessons this week! the second sister is really interested in the gospel, even though her husband hates it. She is a former investigator that the elders called and then gave to us. She is so sweet and seems genuine in her desire. plus, she loves us. we are excited to meet with her again!
I love you all! the work is moving forward here. I am so grateful to be a part of it. The Lord is leading this work. I know it!
xoxo, Sister Bassett

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day...a novel for mommy!

Dear Family-
It was SO FUN to skype today! I love seeing your faces and hearing your voices. Garret asked if that was what I expected, and YES. it was exactly what I expected! just like being at home in Breena's house. The kids are adorable, the sisters look beautiful, and Lan and Garret are handsome as always. (I couldn't see Rossy, but I assume he looked great too ^^) I love you all so much and am grateful for each of you. I am especially grateful that we are an eternal family...together forever.
Mom, I will try and write about this week as many things as I can remember! maybe it will be boring>>>? but it's special just for you!
before we begin...a few things about my new area/house.
-we live so high up, the 30th floor, that my ears pop when I ride the elevator.
-Lan, I know how it must have felt to walk up all those stairs in your hotel at the DECA conference...because last week I had this bright idea that we could RUN up and down the stairs for our workout a few times a week. Sister Nebeker and Sister Blickenstaff loved that idea. sooo, every other day we run down 30 flights, run outside for a little bit, then run UP 30 flights. my legs are dying by the end. (and by run up 30 flights, I really run 10 flights, walk 15, and then run 5 ^^) good idea, sister bassett!
-we don't live in our area, so we have to ride a bus for 40 minutes into our area and back home everyday. worse than going to Weber ;)
-our appartment complex had "elections" this week for...something. anyway. they were out advertising the canidates every night when we come home. and they love us. they hand us SO many fliers and tell us to vote for them.
This week was GREAT! as always :)
for p-day last week we went to China town with a member of Ka-jeong ward, the other sisters we live with, and a bunch of elders. It was so fun! It was also Children's day, so there were so many kids. I know that I say it all the time, but I LOVE the kids here! they are adorable. a bunch of little hipsters. They have mother's day and father's day, like we do, but they also have childrens day!@ it was so cute to see all the kids walking around with toys and treats. We walked around and ate delicious icecream in a cone that tasted like captin cruch. it was lovely. then we rode back to our area to proselyte. (we've been doing that a ton lately). In our area, there are serveral places with rows of strings and yellow ribbons tied to them. does that make sense? i will send a picture. It is in rememberance of the ferry accident. Sister Nebeker and I read through a few and just wanted to cry! People have written messages on the stips of yellow ribbon...things like "I know you will all be together in paradise" or "I pray for a miracle", just simple messages of apology and hope. I love the sense of community that they feel in Korea. that is just one example of many.
on Wednesday was my ONE YEAR in country mark!?! can you believe it? I hardly can! I was thinking about that as I started the day...contemplating what I have learned and experinced during the past 12 months in this blessed land. I have loved my time here so much! I had a neat experince that day to talk to a woman at the subway station about the Book of Mormon. I explained why we believe it...talking about the direction and perspective it gives my life, as well as how it testifies of the Savior. She asked why those people weren't in the I talked about Lehi and Jeremiah, how he left and came to the Americas. ya know. She listen well, we talked for a few more minutes, and then my subway came. She wouldn't take the Book of Mormon, but she did take our card. hopefully she will call someday. BUT after I was done explaining, I thought about how just ONE YEAR ago I was brought to this country-the airport is even in my area!-and I couldn't speak at all. I could hardly say hello, we are missionaries, let along talk about prophets and doctrine. WOW! my Korean is far from fluent, but I have learned so much. and learning this language has taught me SO MUCH MORE that new words and grammer. Sister Nebeker and I also went to Baskin Robbins to celebrate! thanks mom, for passing your love of icecream on to me! ^^ it was raining, but we ran there anyway.
Thursday was Zone Meeting! I love that. I love being with other missionaires. I love the trainings and the studying and the many opportunities we are given each day to learn from each other. (we also found the "piano stairs" on the way there. In one of the subway stations, the stairs are painted like a piano. and when you walk up them, they light up and play the notes of a piano!) THEN, on the way home that night, we saw Jessica at the bus stop (did I tell you about her? our first saturday here, we are just out talking to people on our way to english class and we met her. We talked for a minute, she is Buddhist, and strongly said that she doesn't believe as we do. But, when she found out we were going to english class, she asked if she could come with us. SURE!!! so we walked there together. she stayed and really liked it, then she took us out to dinner after. we ate SO MUCH. then...she made us drink the kim-chi juice at the end. yum....) so we saw Jessica. She said that she couldn't come to class anymore. She is going to pay a teacher. sad........ I got the feeling that perhaps she had read/heard something negative about our church.
The next day was weekly planning. Everytime we have weekly planning, I am surprised at the date! time flies when you're having fun! then we went out to work. As we were walking on our way to visit a less-active sister we were saying hello to everybody. and one girl stopped us after we had passed and asked " you still teach english?" "yes!" "could we meet sometime and you can teach me?" "sure!!!" yeah. that would be a definite yes! hopefully we can meet with her this week. it was awesome. Plus, that less-active was the nicest. She wasn't home, but she called us back later and said  we can do a practice teaching lesson next week. Nice! we were so happy.
Before English class on Saturday evening, our ward had a big "spring cleaning" day. Because our ward is the stake center and we have stake conference next week, they wanted it to look really nice. So we came in our p-day clothes ready to go! it was great. we got to be outside for a little while and do yard work! I never thought I would miss weeding... then we had a ward BBQ! I wish I could explain it... it's not hamburgers and hot dogs with chips. no no. it is meat and lettuce wraps, noodles, rice, kim-chi, dumplings, much deliciousness. and you don't grab a plate and sit down. everyone stands around the table, filled with food, with their little bowl of rice. as you eat, you just take what you want and eat from the plates. I love it. (again...their sense of family and community. loves!)
Sunday was lovely as always. I am already loving our Dap-dong ward members. They are the best! one of my favorite things about Korean members is the conversion stories. Nearly everyone that is old enough to have a family is a converts. They are so strong. It really is a testimony to the power of the gospel and Christ's atonement.
ALSO! last week Sister Pak emailed me!!! ah! it was the best. She moved to Bali, crazy right?, for work so I haven't talked with her since I left bong-cheon area. She is doing so good! I feel like I have gotten a taste of what the joy will feel like in God's kingdom with those we have helped in their journey to conversion. it is amazing to me. i just love her.
I love you all! as I continue reading the scriptures, studying Jesus the Christ, going out and doing missionary work all day, my gratitude for the Savior increases. I know He lives. I know that God is our Father. I am so thankful to be here and be a missionary! I know that as we each strive to help other's come unto Christ, our joy will be GREAT.
have a wonderful week!
xoxo, Sister Bassett
Sister Nebeker and Sister Bassett...spreading the LOVE!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

36 photos instead of an e-mail...

"i sent you so many pictures! and a picture is worth a thousand words, right?”

Me with Sister Gwak at the temple.

CHERRY Blossoms!  Every where in the spring!

Our English class. We teach all those cute kids and it is the best.

Dinner with the Bishop. He is the nicest guy and I absolutely adore his wife. It was the fanciest restaurant. Lots of raw fish (it was yum!) and side dishes and soup. Delicious. We just piled into his car and drove. And drove. Finally I asked him “where are we going?”  “To the mountains”…and it was. This beautiful restaurant in the middle of the mountains! 

Welcom Sister Nebeker! Isn’t she adorable? She is so much fun.

And the sun setting over the river.