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