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

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