Friday, December 27, 2013

Taiwan post December 23, 2013

This week has been so amazing. So many things have happened. And we have been working hard. This week we had exchanges with our sister training leaders in Zhanghua. I left the area, so Hsu Jiemei was leading the area. She’s only been here about a I prayed that she would be seemed to have gone well. I went on exchanges with Sister Chord. She is so amazing. We went out to a secondary area (which means it’s far away) it was raining and the bike ride was about 45 minutes. But it was really cool. Got to see so many Taiwanese temples and different buildings. It was awesome. Then on the way back, we were going to end up soaking wet, so we rode through really big puddles and had fun on the way home. :) Their investigator is so amazing, her insights on the parts of the Book of Mormon that she reads are really deep. She is so in tune with the spirit.

Thursday this week we went as a whole mission to Sun Moon Lake!!!!! It is a really pretty lake and a huge tourist spot. There is a really big temple there and we all got a picture together. I got lots of pictures with other missionaries and with my trainer. It was really cool seeing missionaries that I have never met. Since my companion is Taiwanese, I got to meet more of the Taiwanese missionaries. It was so much fun. The temple is huge and lots of people come. Then there is an area to buy food, and trinkets. The shops are old styled shops. I bought mochi (mashed rice...sesame seed, peanut, cherry, melon, mango, walnut, taro, chocolate, red bean) so many different kinds. It was so delicious. Then we bought fried taro. It was interesting, pretty good, and very unique. Then we went to a huge restaurant and ate Japanese styled food, meats, and noodle dishes, rice dishes, sushi, ice cream, and fried food. It was really good. Then we went to the Dongqu chapel (the church building I go to every week for church) and had a devotional. It was really inspiring. President Blickstaff had really interesting insights on 2 Nephi, the Isaiah chapters, the Isaiah chapters in the bible were not changed because they were not understood.

This Saturday our investigator had a baptismal interview. She is going to be baptized on Dec 28. So exciting. She is so ready. We review the questions before she had the interview. And she felt ready!!!! She is our recent convert’s friend. She is so amazing, she is reading the Book of Mormon like crazy, and she is already half way through Alma. Then that night we had an activity at the mission office, the chapel next to it. There was a Christmas celebration, we invited everyone to come, and welcomed them to learn more about Christ. There was a choir that sang Christmas songs, and then little children sang some Christmas songs. It was really cool, you could feel the spirit. We had people walk in off the street to see was what going on. We invited them to learn more about Christ.

Christmas is a really special time to focus on the Savior and His life of service and His sacrifice. We are more focused on finding ways to serve others and to help them feel His love in their lives. I love this time of year where I can refocus and learn more about Him and learn what ways I can change to be more Christ-like. To be more humble and willing to change. Merry Christmas!!!!!

"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men" Luke 2:14

Love Sister Basko

Sorry for the late posting. It was so awesome to talk to Rachel on the 24th (for us) the 25th (for her). She looks so good and she is so excited about being out serving the Lord and bringing them unto Christ.  Here is a link to the missions blog and the video the took of the missionaries singing Christmas hymns. Rachel is on the front row in the red coat. Merry Christmas. Mom

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Taiwan post December 16, 2013

Last week...We had our English Christmas party at the church. We went caroling and taught our English students some English Christmas songs. We split up and went to businesses that are nearby and sang Christmas songs them. Came back and got pictures with Santa and had snacks and hot chocolate. It was a really good activity, it was great everyone got involved and was doing something uplifting to share the spirit of Christ. Another day we had two people scheduled for the same time. So Sister Adams and I went on splits with members, I went with our Relief Society president to visit a less active. And Sister Adams went with a ward member to visit an investigator. It was a really good experience to go teach with the Relief Society president and to work with her to get to know our less active member. Saturday night Sister Adams found out she is moving to Gaoxiong, Xiao Gong. And I am staying here and my new companion will be Hsu Jiemei.

This week....Got Sister Adams completely packed up and headed to the train station, got to know some sister's I have never met before. It was really good. My companion wasn’t due to arrive until 3:30, so we had a while to wait, Yoyo and Li Jiemei were there with me. We went and ate, came back and talked and walked around. At about 4:30 we finally met Hsu Jiemei. We got Hsu Jiemei settled into our apartment, email our families from the Church and headed to FHE (Family home evening). We now have two Taiwanese missionaries in our area. The Elder Page and Elder Lin (Taiwanese companion) are over Wufeng. Then Hsu Jiemei and I are over Wufeng and Dali, and then the Dali elders (both Americans), Elder Buhler and Elder Shelton. This Saturday we had a family history class for anyone to come to. Elder Packer (one of the Twelve Apostles) came and spoke about family history, I could understand what he was saying because he was speaking English, and they had a Chinese translator for non-English speakers.

This week has been great. I have learned what true patience is, which is to be able to say the same thing over and over again so that my companion can understand what I am saying. And for her also to repeat things over again so that I can understand what she is saying. And to be willing to compromise and learn to work together. It has been an interesting experience. I have really felt God helping me to be able to understand her, and to really help her to get to know our investigators.

Merry Christmas everyone!!!!!!! I love you, and pray that you have a great year!!!!

Love Sister Basko

Monday, December 9, 2013

Taiwan post December 9, 2013

We had a new move call. I am still in Dali/Wufeng. Sister Adams moved to Gaoxiang, Xiaogong. So I am going to teach my senior companion about our area and show her where everything is. She is Taiwanese. She doesn't speak much English, so I will learn tons. Crazy day but we didn't get back until late, so I don't have much time. But this week what really good. It was a little colder this week, but not too cold.

This week we had a Christmas party. It was cool one of the members dressed as Santa, and we went caroling. It was fun. We helped clean up and headed home. We watched the Joseph smith movie with our investigators this Saturday. It was really good. There were only Chinese subtitles, so I could understand what was going on. It was so spiritual. It was great to be able to see the movie and show our investigators that Joseph Smith was a normal guy. God calls normal people to do His work. He qualifies those called.

Love Sister Basko

Monday, December 2, 2013

Taiwan post December 2, 2013

Dear Everyone,

   Last week of the move call. (Move calls are every 6 weeks when missionaries are moved around, or stay in the same area and get a new companion). Last Monday we went up to the Chuandaobu (mission office) to meet Nicole, Sister Adams recent convert. We hung out with her, got to know her, and took some pictures. She wants to serve a mission. It is so amazing, so we talked to her about serving a mission. She is so awesome!!!!

   Wednesday Elder Funk was at the Chuandaobu for the mission tour. (mission tour means that an area Seventy comes to the mission, meets with missionaries and talks to us about how we are doing and how we can always improve), and he talked to us missionaries about our work, and how it is important to always have the spirit, without the spirit it is hard for the investigators to learn, and they can really feel that this gospel is special. Got to know some new sisters that I had never met before. They were really cool. So funny. The meeting ended at 3:00pm, but we didn’t catch the bus till 3:30pm so we didn't get home till 4:00pm. Hurried home and got all the stuff we needed for English. The English class starts at 4:30pm, and we can't be late. Sister Adams and I had 20 minutes to get there. We prayed for a miracle and then gave it everything we had. We got to Chaoyang University in 20 minutes. It normally takes 40ish minutes. I can testify God is aware of our needs and gives us power to do what we need to do. He supports us and loves us, and when we do our best and are obedient, we see miracles.

    Thursday was crazy cold, the sun wasn't out so it was about 14 degrees Celsius (57.2 F), and we don't really have winter clothing. We stopped by an investigators house and she saw we didn't have scarves. So she brought out some scarves and gave them to us. She was so sweet. If you are not wearing the proper clothing, people are not willing to talk to you. Then our last investigator we met with took us out to have dinner. We had seafood noodle soup for dinner. Happy Thanksgiving!!! But we were running short on time, we had a skit practice at the church, but we weren't worried, and she offered to drive us to the church. So we were able to give her a tour of the church. She could really feel the spirit. It was really amazing experience.

  When we are teaching, but just saying it because that is what we know. The Holy Ghost isn't able to testify. We need to share the parts we truly believe, and testify on it. So that the investigator knows that we believe this, and have applied this in our lives. It was really cool, Sister Adams and I had a very spiritual lesson and we surely testified of the Plan of Salvation, and if our investigator didn't understand what we said or the question we asked, our peika (member at a lesson) would explain it. It was a really cool experience, thinking about what the Celestial Kingdom will be like. What it will be like to have a perfect body, to be with my family and have peace and joy, and to truly have no troubles. It will be so amazing.

    Saturday we had our Thanksgiving party at the church. We had a huge turkey, mash potatoes, sweet potato casserole, pumpkin pie and apple pie. Everything turned out so good. The members brought so much food. There were so many kinds of meats, and breads. Rice, soups and tons of fruits for dessert and cakes. It was awesome. We had so many people come. Then the Dali and Wufeng missionaries, my area, did a play on the pilgrims and why we have Thanksgiving then it went into the Joseph Smith story. It was really cool. This week was crazy busy, and so many miracles and blessings. I love you all, stay warm!!!

Love Sister Basko
Zone training
posting by mom

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Taiwan post November 25, 2013

Dear everyone,

There are so many different ways to serve the Lord, through learning His gospel and from going out and sharing it. Last week was crazy, we had so many lessons and we went all over the place. We had great numbers. But it’s not about the numbers it is about the quality of our service. Of sharing messages with His children that will help them progress, help them know about Him and grow. This week we got all our studies in. We were not outside as much, but our numbers were the same, and we really found a balance. Getting all the studies in. (1 hour of personal, 2 hours of companionship, 1 1/2 of language study). Though it didn't feel like we were out as much, but we did what we should be doing. Right now studies are the most important. After my training is complete in two weeks, then being outside and visiting our members, and investigators will be more important. But right now I am getting that foundation to be ready to better help those we serve.

Monday was awesome. We went with Shi Baba and some of our investigators and less active members to Wugan. It is an old town with a really old temple where people come to baibai. It was really cool to walk around and see the different shops. To see a guy hand making blown glass statues, and a fan painting shop. It was really awesome to go and hang out with our investigators and members to get to know them and have fun. It was so awesome!!!!

This week we went and visited a less active member that we visit every week, she has been in a lot of pain and we asked the missionary ward leader to come with us, and he gave this member a blessing. It was amazing; you could feel the spirit so strong. We explained a little about priesthood blessings, and then he gave her the blessing. I was able to understand the majority of it, and it is amazing. The priesthood authority is so precious and needs to be used wisely and righteously. It is amazing to be able to see how the elders, and the priesthood holders in the ward act, and to know they are worthy and are doing everything they can to help others that need help.

We were able to visit our investigator who is a hair dresser. It has been so cool to see how she has changed. She went to church and everyone was giving her things. And this had never happened to her. And whenever she was given things before, she would take it and not share. But because of this experience she has been sharing more with others and with her customers. And she started giving candy to the kids who come. And this really has been a blessing. She has had more customers and she is really learning about serving others and has received so many blessings. It is amazing when you get the opportunity to serve those around you and the blessings that you receive from that serve.

This Sunday was full of miracles. We made no-bake cookies in the morning. We were a little late leaving, but it was perfect. Sister Adams saw a lady that she and Sister Chua contacted a long time ago. She invited her to church, as we were about to call Shi Baba, one of the members pulled up and asked if we were going to church. We said yes and asked if he could help. He just happened to have an extra helmet and brought our investigator to church. It was a miracle that he appeared when he did and how God prepared Arther (sheen dixiong) to be driving that rode that day. It was awesome. She came to church and we are going to meet and share more with her. It is so amazing. Miracles!!! Miracles are real!!!!

I have learned so much. This gospel is so special; it helps everyone be their better self. To achieve better things. To be more Christ-like and the desire to serve others and love everyone. It really is a privilege to serve a mission, to learn more about myself and to learn about how I can become more Christ-like. To become the person God wants and knows I can become and to help and support those I come in contact with. I always heard other missionaries say that everyone should go on a mission. It really is true. It can be terrifying to talk to the first person about the gospel but it is amazing to be involved with them as they learn and change to bring their lives closer in-line with Christ’s example. But this may be the first chance they get to hear it and it maybe what they need. You don't know who they are but God does, and we are His servants and we are here to do everything we can to help the members and investigators to truly progress in this life.

Love Sister Basko

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Taiwan post November 18, 2013

This week has been full of miracles. It really is amazing when you go just a little bit farther, you see the miracles, and you know you have done your best. This week we went just a little bit farther, worked just a little bit harder and we saw so many more miracles. Friday we went with the Relief Society President, Peng Jiemei, and her daughter to visit a less active in Dali. We shared a spiritual thought and talked to see how our less active was doing. She really wants to help her daughter learn more about church and Jesus Christ, so Peng Jiemei brought her a Personal Progress book, it would be so awesome if our less active and her daughter worked on it together. So we will check up on that and see how she is doing. We went and visited another investigator who lives out in Wufeng. We picked up one of our recent converts and then headed to visit the investigator. It was really great that we got to work with the Relief Society president. Ward relations are so important, we really have to support the members here, and know that they can trust us and that we can help them.

Saturday was amazing, we had a Relief Society activity but we were kind of late, so we didn't know if we should go or not. So we prayed about it and felt either way was ok, so we decided to go and see who was there and get to know the ward members. This was the better choice. One of the less active members was there. So we were able to talk to her, and she came to church on Sunday!! We need to be involved, if the ward doesn't get to know us they would be as comfortable coming with us to lessons. After that we met with another less active and invited her to church. We really felt that we needed to be more adamant about her coming to church and helping her daughter have church in their lives. I know this is want she needs and it will change her daughter’s lives. It has been a really long time since she has come, but I knew she would come and she did, she came to church!!! That night we met with an investigator that hasn't really been progressing. But we taught a really good lesson, she really knew this lesson was for her. I don't know what changed, but it is so important to follow the spirit to know what our investigators need to learn and to hear.

I have to tell you a funny story. So this week we visited an elder lady, an investigator, she is so cute and loves having us over. She had cut up bananas and put black sesame seeds on top, and left it out, in preparation for us to come over. (I have never seen black sesame seeds till I came to Taiwan but they are the same as white sesame seeds.) and she must have had it out, but she brought it over and it was crawling with ants. Sister Adams and I looked at each other, and I didn't really know what to do, Sister Adams said, just eat it. We thought the whole plate was ants because of the black sesame seeds, but thank goodness it wasn't. There were still a far amount of ants crawling on it but it was an interesting experience. We survived, and we laughed about it. It was one of those experiences you never forget. :)

Sunday was full of miracles. We got to church at 8:30am for the Dali/Wufeng ward, then had the missionary meeting then went to the Danqu ward, which started at 2:00pm to 5:00pm. We were at church a long time. We had so many people come to church. We had investigators that had never come to church before come, and less actives that hadn't come in a really long time come to church. It was amazing. Our one investigator wanted to take us out to eat, but we said we couldn't. We went with her to meet one of her friends. And it was a really good experience. After we could have gone home or visited another less active. Prayed about it and decided it would be better to visit the less active than to go home (we still needed to eat dinner and have studies). So we went and visited her. We found out that she has been in lot of pain recently so we are going to have some brothers from the church give her a Priesthood blessing. I really hope we can help her. :)

Taiwan is amazing and it is an incredible blessing to serve God’s children in Taiwan and to do everything I can to communicate with them.

Love Sister Basko

Monday, November 11, 2013

Taiwan post November 11, 2013

Dear Everyone,

This week has been crazy. We went on exchanges with the Sister Training Leaders. My companion was Sister Liu, she is from Taipei, and this is her last move-call before she goes home. It was really amazing to see how she shares the gospel, and how she contacts on the road. She is an amazing missionary. We found a less active's house by accident. I was leading in our area, and we were close to the less active's how but could quite find it. Sister Liu asked an older lady on the side of the street, and the said it was her house. So we followed her, we met the less active's little sister, the older brother, the older sister, then she finally came home. We got to know pretty much the entire family. It was really cool. They are amazing, so we shared a short message with them.

On Saturday we were headed to the church. But we had some time before we switched companions. So we visited another less active family, but only the kids were home. We talked to them for a little bit. We found out it was the little girl’s birthday. So we got to sing happy birthday to her. Which was awesome? Then we shared a quick message about prayer, and how it will help her. Then headed to the church.

Love Sister Basko

Posted by mom and Thank you to all Veteran, past and present

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Taiwan post November 6, 2013

In our area that we are serving in has a special English program. There is a college in Wufeng, Chaoyuan University, and we teach an English class there. It is really cool and many of our investigators come from the English class. Our newest investigators have come from this English class. Lot of students are from mainland China, and they have never had religion in their life, and here they are able to learn about it and they can feel the Holy Ghost so strongly because they have never really felt it before. It is so cool to see how they change, and how they have more interest when they are reading the Book of Mormon. After Chaoyuan we go down to Wufeng Library to teach our other English class. And some of the Chaoyuna students come down to the Wufeng Library to our other English class. Which is so awesome, they really have the desire to learn more, and at the Library we are able to share the gospel. So they can learn English and the gospel.

Sunday was fast Sunday, usually we don't eat dinner and breakfast, and eat right after church. But Sister Adams felt that we shouldn't start our fast so we didn't. We went and visited a recent convert out in Wufeng. She is so awesome. Her son recently turned 15, so they went out to dinner and invited us. So we went with them, got to know their sons and meet her husband. The food was so good. Their family has a really strong relationship; it would be so cool if they would all come to church together. We are helping them gain a stronger testimony and enduring to the end. The mother got to go to the temple for the first time this week!!! So excited for her.

Sunday was amazing. We fasted breakfast and lunch. After church we didn't have time to eat dinner before we left the apartment. We went to visit an investigator, she was so willing to share, and we ate some food there. We could have returned home and did some scripture studies or we could have visited some less active members we hadn't visited, we prayed about it and felt we should go to visit the less active. We did that, the Lord really provides when you are doing His work, our less active shared some food with us. They didn't know we hadn't eaten. It was a really cool experience.

We went up to Asia University in Wufeng with two of our investigators and Yoyo, a member. It was a lot of fun, talked about the gospel a little. Our main goal was to get to know them, and establish a relationship, so that we could better help them learn. After we went out and had ice-cream together.

Wednesday we went to the temple. We got up at 4:45am, got ready and left before 5:30am to get on the bus. There were no cars, or people or anything. We were a little worried the bus didn't run that early. So we said a prayer, and a bus and a taxi showed up at the same time. It was perfect. We got the chuandaobu way early, so we relaxed and then the bus came late. So we got up to the temple later. After the temple we took pictures outside. Then headed back to Taichung. Then headed back to our areas. And went right to English class. So fun!!! Lin Jiao Wei, Apple, and Sarah are leaving for their missions Thursday. They are headed to the Philippine MTC then to Taipei!!! They are going to be so amazing.

Love Sister Basko

posted by mom, this week's post is late because they had the opportunity to attend the Temple, so they didn't have their 'normal' prep day. What a great experience for them. Enjoy.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Taiwan post October 28, 2013

This week has been so busy. Wednesday was crazy. We had a training meeting at the Taichung Mission Office (chuandaobu). The trainers and the trainees from the Northern part of the mission came together. It was great to get a different perspective of see how to change something so that it works better or to make the mission work better. The training was amazing. We got to hear some wonderful stories of missionary experiences. After that we didn't have much time so we hurried to Chaoyuan University to teach our English class. Most of the students have really good English. Then we hurried down to the Wufeng Library to set up our Halloween Party. It was so good. A lot of members helped us set up and play a part in running the games. We set up a path for people to go on for our Halloween haunted tour. It turned out so good. Everyone really had a lot of fun and enjoyed it.

This week we saw so many miracles. We went to find a lady's house and we kind of knew where it should be, but we didn't know what street to turn down. So we turned down one of the streets and stopped in front of a house to call the lady again. And we just happened to stop in front of the lady's house. We were so glad; she has met a lot of missionaries but hasn't been taught anything about the gospel. So we have the opportunity to teach her about the gospel and more about what we do. She was so sweet. She has been in the English classes so she knows about missionaries, but not as much about the gospel. So it is so exciting. We were also to met with another one of our English students, Hazel, who's house is way out in Wufeng. We had a member come with us out there, and she has a daughter the same age as Hazel. Hazel's mom joined us and it was a great lesson. I really hope we can help her family to have a strong relationship with God.

Love Sister Basko

Rachel pointing at a big lizard they found while on a hike on P-day

With Sister Adams, other sisters in the mission

With Sister Adams on a hike on P-day

Monday, October 21, 2013

Taiwan post October 21, 2013 100 days mark

This week our newest convert Ling JM peika'ed for us. It was so awesome. She met Chen JM(Banana, who owns a beauty salon). It was an awesome experience, they got along and did most of the talking and it was really cool to see Ling JM going and helping us with our investigators. So awesome!!! We just had a really good time, testifying of the things we had learned at General Conference. Wednesday Sister Adams and I decided what we wanted to do for the day, but it just didn't feel right. I had been thinking about Liu JM, we had contacted her two weeks ago and didn't have a chance to visit her again. So we both felt that we needed to visit her. So we went over to her house, she was home. She invited us in and she had read the Book of Mormon and we taught the first lesson. She is really interested, and we need to help her get to know the members and come to church. So exciting, she is so awesome. She thinks that all churches are good, which is true. If the church you go to helps you have a relationship with God that is good. Our church is special because we are able to know more and continue developing our relationship with God.

It is so cool to have people serve us. It really blesses them and also helps us to learn more about them and ways that we can also help them. We have met with some really great LA's (less active members) and they have such strong testimonies we just need to help them come back to church so that they can have more friends and a better relationship with God and to learn more about how to also strength others. It was really cool on Sunday we saw so many things happen right in a roll that worked out we were able to help others. Sister Adams and I were working on some training missionary material at the church and had some studies. We were there late. We thought we were the last ones there so we made sure everything was locked up. Sister Adams found a cell phone, one of the missionary companionships forgot. So we put it somewhere safe and went out to shut the gate. But it got stuck and it wouldn't close. We couldn't figure out why, while we were trying to figure out the problem with the gate a set of elders arrived at the church. We found out the cell phone was theirs, and because they were in a different area they couldn't get into the church since they didn't have the key. We have a key since this is our area. They were able to get their phone because the gate wouldn't close (a tiny rock was in the way). So they left and we tried to close the gate but then it had trouble again. Because we had trouble with the gate and were still trying to figure it out, we found out a member was still inside the building and was just walking out. We didn't lock her in. So many things happened all at once and because of everything we were able to see how God is watching out for everyone and knows what to do to help them.

Today is our preparation day so we decided to go hiking, so fun and it was really pretty. Got to do some studies at the top and then went back down. Walked around the area for a while. Taiwan is so cool, there are so many buildings then mountains right through the middle. Amazing at night to see the mountain side with little dots of light where there are people living.

Love Sister Basko

Monday, October 14, 2013

Taiwan posting October 14, 2013

There is an order to the way things are run here in the Taiwan streets, buses come first, then cars, then small motorized vehicles, then bikes and last people. If you do not obey this, it can become very dangerous for you. The streets are crazy, it is sometimes hard to imagine there is any order, but I have found that if you stay in your respective place you are safe if not then it gets very dangerous.

We have an English student we have been meeting with that we have started sharing the gospel with. It is so cool, she told us about some miracles she has seen in her life. It is awesome that we get to share these things with her and teach in English and Chinese. She is very smart and quiet.

This week was my first exchange, we have exchanges with the Sister Training Leaders. We are with them for about 24 hours. I went with Sister Mack to Chang Hua. Sister Chua stayed with Sister Adams in Wufeng/Dali. We rode the train to Chang Hua, then went and visited some less actives. It was cool to meet them, and to share a little about the gospel. We got lost a couple of times, but it was fine since I got to see the area. We ate at a restaurant that hand makes their noodles, it was so good and it had so many veggies!! The next day we met with a 10 and 11 year old. They are awesome. Their father thinks they are too young to be baptized, so every time they are taught they share it with their father. That takes a lot of courage on their part.

This week we had an exercise activity at a school in Wufeng. It was huge, all the missionaries raced in a race, it was pretty cool. We got to get to know the members and to hang out and get to know other wards in Taizhung.

Every time Shi baba gives us food we cannot possibly eat, we give it to others we know. It always happens that they really needed that food, and we had no idea. Shi baba gave us food, and we decided to give it to Cheng JM( or Banana). We found out the next day that they had been so busy that they had not eaten all day. And the food we brought was the only thing that they ate that day. It really is a miracle how much we are able to do without us really knowing it.

General Conference was amazing. I love Robert D. Hales talk about how after King Benjamin taught his people they went back to their homes to ponder. That is the same with us, we share a message with the investigators, and they return to their homes and have the opportunity to think about it and apply it to their lives. The best way to understand this gospel and to really be converted is to ponder on the things that we learn and to seek greater understanding.

Saturday was awesome, after conference we had some time to study and later met with Jeng JM (our peika, member at the lesson) and went to go see Jang JM(our investigator).  But she wasn't there. We couldn’t get a hold of the other person we were going to visit. Right before we left I had a thought that we should write a little note to remind her about General Conference. So we did that. That took just enough time that Lin Meng Jing(less active) rode by, she stopped and we talked to her. She invited us over. Her mother doesn't really like us. But she welcomed us over, our peika and the mother and Lin Meng Jing talked for a while, we didn't really say much. We shared a message but that was about it. Then we left and went home. Banana was sitting outside, so we stopped and talked to her for a little bit. Found out she forgot to pray so she said that she could come to church with us!!! So exciting, this is the first time she has come to church. It was such a good night.

This area is so blessed, and I am so lucky that this is my first area. I am grateful for everything and all the amazing church members.

Love Sister Basko

Posted by Jeri Basko (mom)

Ward parade at Stake Activity day

Missionaries in the Stake

Monday, October 7, 2013

Taiwan Post October 7,2013

We just had a baptism this week, it was so exciting. Listening to her testimony and to hear how much she has changed and continues to progress is inspiring. She didn't quite understand repentance and so we taught it again, and we came back and followed up on it, and she told us the most profound thing, she said "if I am not improving every day, then I need to repent." it is so awesome to see how people change. It makes me remember how special this gospel is and how important it is to share and really live it.
Shi baba bought so much food and he gave it to the missionaries. We were trying to think who we could visit and share with, and we thought of Sister Fletcher. She is an English teacher here, and she was recently in the hospital but she is fine now. We called her up to see if we could give her some food and found out she is sick and has no food. It is such a miracle how we are able to help her right when she needs it, and to visit her and be there to help her. It is so amazing how everything we do, when we are listening and prepared, we see miracles and so many blessings.

We have the most amazing peika's (members who come to lessons with investigators). All the member's here are new, they have not been members for very long. Their testimonies are so strong, and they can share their experience and their understanding of how the Book Mormon changes lives and coming to church is so important.

The food here is amazing. But there are not a lot of people that cook traditional Taiwanese food. We had the special privilege to visit the Miao jaiting(family), they do cook traditional Taiwanese food. Their daughter is on a mission right now in Taipei. They have pictures of Christ and the temple in their home, and they are not members, they are forever investigators. But they are amazing. They cook tradition Taiwanese food, it was good, had a tiny piece of 1000 year old egg, it was ok. They are so funny, they know so much and they just don't seem to want to get baptized. But they love having missionaries over. So it’s good that we can always share a message with them.

Love Sister Basko
Posted by Rachel's mom (jeri)

Monday, September 30, 2013

Taiwan week ending September 30, 2013

Subject: Inspired week

This week has been amazing. I am still getting to know the church members, less actives, recent converts and our investigators. It has been hard to learn their names, but after a while you realize they all have like the same last name. But this week we had several inspired lessons. I met yang JM (jiemei) and she was awesome. She takes care of her father, and if she goes to church she will be kicked out of her house, so right now she can't come to church, but she has such a strong testimony. This was my first time meeting her, and I planned a lesson what I was reading that morning in personal study. I was in Alma 42:4-6.
And thus we see, that there was a atime granted unto man to repent, yea, a bprobationary time, a time to repent and serve God.
 For behold, if Adam had put forth his hand immediately, and apartaken of the btree of life, he would have lived forever, according to the word of God, having no space for repentance; yea, and also the word of God would have been void, and the great plan of salvation would have been frustrated.
 But behold, it was appointed unto man to adie—therefore, as they were cut off from the tree of life they should be cut off from the face of the earth—and man became blost forever, yea, they became cfallen man.

 Those 3 verses stuck out to me, and so that is what we shared. We talked about the Plan of Salvation and why repentance is so important. Without repentance we are not able to change for the better, which is why it is so important that we have agency. This is why it is so important that we have the desire to do good. She told us she had not been able to feel the Holy Ghost as often, and she really wanted to. This lesson was perfect of her. I had never met her and I didn't know what she needed, but Heavenly Father did and He helped us share what we needed to with her to bring the spirit back into her life. Another lesson was with Ling Bai Mei, she is getting baptized Oct 5, 2013!! So soon, she is so ready, and I planned that lesson too. Cai JM (she is a recent convert, and her testimony is so strong) we taught about repentance, and we talked about why it is so important to read the scriptures every day. Cai JM has been really busy with work and had not been reading her scriptures every day. She talked about how this had affected her, and how she felt different. This lesson perfectly helped everyone, it really helps me appreciate the time I have every morning to study the scriptures.

It is really cool to be able to share my own personal experience that I had at home, and testify how they have made a difference in my life. Like reading the Book of Mormon as a family. I think it has made a difference while I was home. And to really be able to study them together bring a different spirit in your home. We were able to share this with many of our investigators that are not reading the Book of Mormon, and to testify that it makes a difference.

We get to do English proselyting every week, where we go somewhere and hand out a bunch of English class flyers. A girl came up to us and asked about the class, her English was so good!!! She was able to come to the class, and I was able to talk with her, she really wants to study abroad. I hope we can share the gospel with her, but if not we can influence her for the good. I had my first house contacting. On Thursday, we found a lady, Liao or Liu, that is interested in listening. We shared a little and prayed with her. It was awesome. I really hope we get the chance to teach her. The son of one of our investigator’s is being taught by the elders, and we are teaching her. She had started reading the Book of Mormon every day. It really makes a difference in everyone's life when they read the Book of Mormon every day. It is really interesting how much they change and start progressing when they are willing to come to church and read and pray.

The food is so good here. I had mango bin for the first time. It is mango on shaved ice with like syrup. So good. One day we had hongdong bin. Which is a disk with filling in it, we had chocolate, cream and peanut filling. This was dinner and it was so good!! I had shrimp brains this week. Yeah, it was interesting, it didn't taste like anything which I was very grateful.

Love Sister Basko

Wanted to add a short note here, Rachel is not updated her blog weekly I do it for her from her weekly emails home. Jeri (mom)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Second week in Taiwan

This week has been amazing and so interesting. It is awesome to see our investigators progressing. Ling Bai Mei is getting baptized Oct 5 and she is awesome. She is teaching her son a little bit, and so he is progressing too. Wednesday was zone conference. We learned about repentance, and how in the Holy Bible it had a good connotation before it was translated. Repentance is a good thing, but we always feel bad before we repent, but repentance takes that all away. Later we had English class at the Wufeng library. It was cool, there are different classes, for different ages. It is awesome that people are willing to come and participate.

Sister Fletcher is doing better, we visited her to see if we could help her. We visited with her for a little while. Her dog is adorable, we shared a message with her then left for the KFC, to meet our investigators Ling Mong Jin, and Zhen Jiemei. Then we headed to a kaoro (BBQ). It was a church kaoro, so we visited with the members, and I got to know some of them. This week Thursday to Sunday is the mid autumn festival or the moon festival. They have kaoro's and invite their families over and eat lots of food.

I had my first time teaching this week with Shi Jiemei. I taught her the first lesson, she is a member so she was able to understand what I was talking about. But it was still scary to teach for the first time, and to lead the lesson. But she was awesome. After we taught her, we went to a night market with our district, and we handed out a whole bunch of English class flyers. Inviting everyone, it was cool, really scary to go and talk to people, but it was awesome. I hope we see some of them at the English class!!! After that we were heading over to Chen Mei Hui's house to teach. I was following my companion pretty closely, because there was a lot of traffic. The truck in front of her stopped really quickly, and I hit my brakes really hard, with a new bike the wheel stops. So I kind of flew off my bike and both me and my bike fell over. The car behind me was able to stop and didn't hit me. It was a miracle I barely have a scrape and only a little sore and bruised. I am so gratefully the lord was watching over us and protecting us. So the bike was fine, I was fine, and we continued on our way. Chen jiemei put some stuff on the cuts, she was so sweet!! We taught her then headed home.

Saturday we did a service activity with some of the youth from the ward. We cleaned up alongside a road and then we went to visit a ward member in the hospital after we visited with Ma Jiemei. We sang a song and said a prayer. We visited Ling Mong Jin, our peika (the member at the lesson) Ke Jiemei came with us and she talked to Ling Mong Jin's mom about the church, while Sister Adam's and I visited and taught Ling Mong Jin. One of our new investigators is Yang Jiemei. She is so patient, her son is scared of us, so it took a while to convince him to come and talk to us.

Joey and his wife invited us and the elders over for dinner to teach his wife. He is a member but she is not, so we shared the first lesson with her. Sister Adam's and I had the opportunity to talk with her, and share some more about the gospel with her. It was an awesome lesson, she really opened up and is willing to listen. They have the cutest kids in the while world!!

Love Sister Basko

Just a side note, I did panic a bit when she talked about her accident. I trust in the Lord that she is ok and that it was a minor incident in comparison to how things could have happened. - mom
Taichung Zone Conference

Rachel being introduced at zone conference

Eating hot pot first days in Taiwan

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Arrival in Taiwan and first week

The flight over to Taiwan was uneventful, and then a 3 hour drive down to Taichung. During the drive we didn't sleep. We talked and introduced ourselves and got to know each other. It was fun. Then we got to the mission presidents home, left our suitcases there, we dropped off at where we would be sleeping. Got to bed about 1am. At 6:10am we got up to go for a run, it is humid and warm, and I love it!!!! We got showered and studied and had breakfast (dragon fruit, mango, papaya, yellow/orange watermelon, fried bread, and soymilk) it was so good!! We had hot pot for lunch and there was a blood stick you ate, it didn't taste like anything, but everything else was great (there was a ton of mushrooms, cabbage, corn, fake crab, and fake fish, meat balls). all day was introductions and getting to know more about the culture here, and about how to be safe on the roads with so many people (such as; never assume you have the right of way, the only time you can go is when there is a green light, and the light are like 90 seconds long, you have time to talk to the people around you). And more studying. Dinner we went to a restaurant and had dinner on a thing that spins. Elder Liskie tried fish eggs, and fish eye ball and Elder Anderson ate duck brain. Stomachs of steel!!!! I stuck to the veggies and the things I knew I could eat. After we had a Dan Jones activity, we all sang a song, and we took turns standing on a wood cart and bore our testimonies. Later we went with one of the more experienced missionaries and street contacted. The last person my companion and I contact (we had decided we were going to give them a copy of the Book of Mormon) was perfect, she was looking for religion, and for help. And we said a prayer with her there and gave her a Book of Mormon, it was amazing!!! You could feel the spirit even though it was loud and crowded!!!

Friday we met our trainers after breakfast and we got our assignments were we are going to be living. I am going to be in Woofing, which is still in the Taichung zone. We got to our area, and planned for the day, then went out to teach some lessons. I met some members and investigators. Shi baba feeds the missionaries like crazy, he is awesome. He is great in lessons and is very outspoken member, he just puts things as they are, he is very blunt but he is great. Since I have arrived we have received 2 bags of fruit every day. The fruit is fantastic and so fresh. The roads are so busy, but it makes it easier to find people to talk to, and to share a little message with them. Saturday Sister Adam accidentally called Sister Fletcher, and we found out she is in the hospital and we got permission to visit her since the hospital was out of our area. The hospitals here family and friend really feed and help whoever is in the hospital. So on our way over we got directions, then Sister Adams go something in her eye, we had to stop and because we stopped we met one of the members from church and he helped us find our way to the hospital. And we able to bring her food and water, and just talk to her. So many miracles we saw on our way there. It was amazing. Sunday was interesting, I really couldn't understand anything, so most of the time I wrote down words I didn't know but heard so that I could learn them. Most of the members are the first ones in their families, and lots of them are recent converts but they still know so much. It is so amazing how the Lord has been preparing the people here to hear and receive His word. They are so welcoming and they are so involved in missionary work, and are friend with the investigators. The best thing is to see the members helping the investigators and getting to know them. It is awesome!!! Last night we did some planning and we went a while longer than we should have. We were still at the church and we had like 20 minutes to get to the investigators house. It would usually take 40 minutes, and we got there in 25min. we were safe and made it there. We taught an awesome lesson and she asked a ton of questions and we had experience we could share and help her apply reading the Book of Mormon to her life and help her think about how it could help her.

Love Sister Basko
wo jiemei

Loading on the bus to Taichung

President and Sister Blickenstaff - Mission president with Rachel after arrival in Taichung Taiwan
 Sister Adams training companion

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Nineth week in the MTC (missionary training center)

Monday we had another Skype TRC. This was awesome. I could somewhat understand what she was saying. We had planned on sharing how we are studying the scriptures and what made a difference to us (as just part of the lesson), and I thought my companions had shared their parts, so I shared mine. But that wasn’t actually what they did. But it went perfectly with the lesson, which was good. The Lord works in mysterious ways.

At the Tuesday Devotional David A Evans spoke to us. He told us not to forget the basics. Sometimes you get too focused on trying to explain things, which you forget to tell the investigators the very basics. That there is a God in heaven that is always watching over us, and wants to help us. We are bearers of the Light; we need to do everything that we can to be worthy and willing to do His work. When you receive an answer that God loves you, you need to always remember that, and think about it and share that. It will help strengthen your testimony. 

So we had another visitor this week. Her name is Helen Palit, she is a CEO and founder of America Harvest which provides 1,000,000 meals every single day. She came to visit, and we showed her what we do afterward we got a picture with her.

Bao Loashi shared some experiences from his mission. Which was awesome, he said that the southern half of the island has fewer houses and is so much prettier. So excited, and ready to go. I am excited to meet my new companion, but sad to leave the ones I have here. Sister Faupula left this morning at 3:30am, Sister Knight and I helped and then she was gone. She got a reassignment to San Fernando until her visa comes. Sister Knight leaves Wednesday at 4:00am for San Francisco!! I leave Tuesday morning at 6:30 and arrive in Taiwan at 9:05pm Sept 11, 2013. I cannot wait!!!!

Don't let anything stop you from your mission. Here is another story. There was a 6 ft tumble weed in the middle of the road, an inexperienced driver in a nice car saw it, hit the brakes and swerved, and got into a bad accident. Then a trucker saw it and hit the gas. The thing the inexperience driver didn't know is that the tumble weed would just disintegrate when hit. This applies to us. There may be a huge obstacle in our way, or what seems huge to us. And we don't know how to overcome it. God can help us overcome everything; something that seemed huge can become small with help from God. Always trust in Him and He will support you.

Have a great week, I’ll be in Taiwan.
Love Sister Basko
Wo Jiemei

Side note, Rachel leaves today (Tuesday September 10, 2013) for Taiwan, please keep her in your prayers that her travels will be safe and uneventful. Thank you, Jeri

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Eighth week in the MTC

Monday we had Skype TRC with a person who speaks Chinese. The person we skyped with was from Taiwan, and is in Hawaii going to school. It was really nerve-racking to speak to her. But it was really cool to listen to her, and be able to understand some of it, and to share our testimonies with her. Then Tuesday my companion, Sister Knight and I, and Elder Brinley and Elder Ensign were all filmed. We represented all of the MTC. The video is suppose to explain what we do in the MTC, and how we feel about it and our companions. They asked us about what we do all day, and what we do during study time, and how long we have to prepare in the morning. Then they filmed us having class, and studying, both companion study and personal study. They also filmed us playing volleyball, and the elders playing basketball. We were filmed all day. It was really weird, but fun. Wednesday we hosted. We welcomed the new missionaries into the MTC and took them to their rooms, and then got their books and brought them to their classroom, and we start from 11:30 to 2:30. It was fun to see all of their bright smiling faces. To hear where they’re going and to see their just ready to go out and serve. Thursday the new companion arrived Elder Sheanshang was supposed to have this companion several weeks ago, but he just arrived. He seems to be able to understand Chinese pretty well, and is able to speak pretty well. We also received our full character name tags!!! We don't wear them until we arrive to our respective fields. Friday was the last day with one of our teachers, since school has started again so the schedules changed. Very sad! But the new teacher looks really nice, so it will be really cool to hear what her experiences were from her mission, she also knows Jack Gong. Because our teacher is being moved to a different class we are losing an investigator, Lin Jiemei (our teacher role plays one of her investigators she had in the field, and we teach her investigator). So we finished teaching all the commandments, and she was "baptized" this week. It was a really cool experience. To look back on where she started so many weeks ago, and to see the change and the desire to follow Christ, it was awesome. She bore her testimony with us several times, and to hear it each time, it strengthened mine. It is also sad that we won't be visiting Lin Jiemei anymore.

Tuesday was the second time an apostle came and talked to us at devotional. Neil A. Anderson and his wife spoke. They talked about how if you try your hardest to do what the Lord wants, no mission will be a failure. An experience was shared, and the moral was; If there is a day you don't feel like being as prepared as you could be, that could be the day that Holy Ghost is not with you. That could be the one day that there is someone ready and you were not prepared to help them. Never let one of those days happen, everyday is important because that might be the day that someone really needs help, and you need to be ready to help them. Then during Sunday devotional the things that really stuck out to me was how important love is. You need to love everyone; through our love we are able to understand others better. If you do not fully love everyone you do not fully acknowledge who God is. God is love, and He knows everyone and loves them. Love is the only thing that can heal pains, and help us to work together with unity.

Love Sister Basko
Wo Jiemei

Rachel will be leaving for Taiwan next week, please pray for her safe travel. Thank you, Jeri

Monday, August 26, 2013

Seventh week in the MTC

This week has been awesome. We taught Lin Jiemei about some of the commandments. We asked her how church was and she said it was great, and she brought her work friend to church with her!!! This is the friend that we have been encouraging her to bring with her to our lessons. She said her friend liked church, so hopefully her friend goes again!!

This week in choir we sang "Precious Savior, Dear Redeemer." The spirit was so strong. The song really brought the spirit into the meeting, and it sounded amazing.

Our teacher, Jiang Jiemei took us outside since we were all tired. We did street contacting with the people within our district, and we had to use to wenfa (grammar) principle we had just learned. This really helped, and it was really nice outside. 

We have 11 new missionaries in our zone!! 4 of them are sisters, two of them are in our room, and the other two are in the room next door. They are all amazing, many of them already know some Chinese, and could understand what we are saying. It seems that they were being prepared before they came here. Wednesday night after their classes, we took the sister around campus showing them where things were, while the zone leaders took the elders around.

Friday was Sister Hsu's birthday, two days after she got into the MTC. So in the morning we sang happy birthday to her. Then we got back to the room we had all the sisters in our zone go in our room, we got it decorated and Sister White bought her a gift. And we all hid in our room and she came in and sang happy birthday!!! It was great.

I don't know what happened this week, but it seems I was unfocused and I could not feel the Holy Ghost so when we taught at TRC it was really hard for me to understand what our investigator was saying. But once I refocused I could feel the Holy Ghost, and we taught Lin Jiemei and I could understand what she was saying. It was a good lesson.

This Sunday we taught a lesson on repentance with our diqu (district). We tried to put it together the night before but it just was not happening. Repentance is always a super serious subject, and not always what someone wants to hear. So we got up early and prepared it in the morning. We focused on how repentance brings you closer to Christ and having a change of heart. We talked about how it is important to be in Holy places and be not moved (Doctrine and Covenants 87:7). We shared some places that we find we can feel peace. For me the woods are somewhere I can find answers and comfort and get away for things that have been bothering me. You could feel the Holy Ghost during the lesson, it was an amazing feeling!!!

During the Sunday devotional the speaker extended the commitment to us, that we will do everything that we can to do what Heavenly Father would want us to do. To serve His children and to love them. And when we are on the plane going home, say a prayer and ask if Heavenly Father accepted your mission. And you will receive the answer, and you will not have any regrets if you do everything you can!!!

Love Sister Basko (Wo Jiemei)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Sixth week in the MTC

This Tuesday we taught Lin Jiemei and we committed her to baptism, she is going to be baptized Sept 7!! This was huge. She talked to her mom, and her mom was ok with her taking the lessons, so now we need to get her to start sharing it with her family. She hasn't talked to her dad, so we are hoping that she is able to get her mother interested, and then she can tell her father. Tuesday night devotional was awesome. Richard G. Scott came and talked to us. He spoke to us about the importance of prayer and to who we are praying to. And how important it is to know that we are praying to God, and that he is allowing us to pray to Him, and ask for guidance. You could feel how strongly Elder Scott believed this. The spirit was so powerful!! Right before that we had choir and the choir director was talking about how Christ was willing to come down to Earth, and to walk among men, and to experience the things they do and to go through trials and difficult and to overcome them all. He didn't have to do any of that.

This week I had an eye opening experience. We are taught that we teach people not lessons. Everything in the gospel is able to connect and help someone not matter where they are in life. And my companionship was taught by another companionship as progressing investigators. We each chose someone we know that would like to learn about the gospel and we act as they would during the lesson. This week when we were taught, it felt like we were taught a lesson that they weren't teaching as investigators. I was really disappointed, and it really made me think about how we have taught our investigators, and if we are doing the same thing. I never what someone that I’m teaching to feel like I am preaching to them, we are to share God love with them, and if we don't share our own love with them, how are they going to feel God’s love through us? It just won't happen. This has made me really think about our investigators and thinking about their needs and what they need to hear to feel that God loves them and cares about them and wants to help them.

We played Simon says in class, it was a using a grammar principles. It was a lot of fun and interesting. It was hard to understand so I just picked out the words I knew and tried to follow what we were told to do. We had our eyes closed so we were unable to see what others were doing. But it was fun; it helped me understand how to use the grammar principle and how to apply it.  Our elders are really getting into surprising others with the "we've been expecting you" thing. So they were hiding in the new missionaries classroom, and surprised them, they walked into our classroom and were surprised by the other district doing it to them. It was quite funny. we knew the other district was going to do it, so we were just hanging out a little ways away from the classroom so that we could watching our elders reaction and also not give the surprise away.

It surprises me to know much I feel the spirit every day. When I ponder things out in my mind I find that the answer comes with clarity when I need it. I have questions and I find the answer through reading the scriptures, but I mostly find it through things that others say. But it still amazes me what a difference in my life when I have the Holy Ghost with me, and how I understand things and am able to understand the questions asked in a different light and can see how to apply the question to our investigators.

Love Sister Basko

My Chinese name is Wo Jiemei (imagine there are tone the words, "Wo" has a forth tone) :)


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Fifth week in the MTC

This week flew by. It was super busy, and productive. This week we have made huge progress with our investigator (mudaoyou). We didn't know what she believes, or what she thought about what we had taught. So we asked her a bunch of question this week about what she believes and understands. She is still having a hard time believing in Christ Atonement and Resurrection because she had been Buddhist all her life. So our next lesson was on the Atonement, we sang "I believe in Christ" in Chinese to her. So that was great. She listened intently to the lesson. I was able to understand most of what she said. Our next lesson was about Christ Resurrection. We read a bunch of scriptures about how Christ is alive (Luke 24:1-7, St. John 20:24-end) we focused on Christ being alive, because most people know that Christ died, but that is usually all they know. The lesson was awesome. You could feel the Holy Ghost there, the spirit was powerful. Then I shared Joshua 1:9 with her, and I told her that Christ and Heavenly Father are always there for her, and will never leave her alone. We each testified and we all started crying, Lin Jiemei included. She also bore her testimony to us. We ended the lesson with a song "I know my Redeemer Lives" It was awesome!!!!

That night we made goals as a district (classroom) and decided that we would all strive to not be late. That way we can sing a song in the morning. We'll see how that goes. We worked out and showered and we were worried that we would not make it back on time and the classroom was dark. So we thought we beat the elders but we didn't. Sister Faupula opened the door. And they are sitting in the dark, 3 sitting in chairs, two standing behind the Elders sitting, and they said in unison "We've been expecting you" It was awesome, and a little creepy. But it was unexpected. On our way to the classroom we were trying to decide if we were actually going to go to the classroom, but we decided to. Our Elders are very funny, and did some very interesting things sometimes.

Here is a riddle. There is a man he lives at the top of a building and takes the elevator down and goes to work. He come home and takes the elevator half way up, and walks the rest of the way. But if it is raining out, or there is someone in the elevator with him he will take the elevator all the way up. Why does he not take the elevator up all the way up if he is a lone?

This week there are 22 new missionaries speaking Mandarin? 8 of which are girls. This Sunday they sat behind us in church so we talked to them for a little while. This week the missionaries extended an invitation to find out if Heavenly Father loves you. (Every missionary picked someone they know who is struggling or is not a member, and they play the role of that investigator, and someone from the district teaches you. We get taught twice a week, so the week the missionaries extended the commitment to find out if Heavenly Father loves you and we are to start reading anywhere in the Book of Mormon).So I took that question and prayed about it and I had it in my mind. (I’ll call my investigator Shelby) So I prayed as if I were Shelby and our Branch President, President Dunn shared an experience. This was when he was 19 or so, he was feeling home sick and he drove somewhere, and there were beautiful tall trees around him and he prayed. He felt Heavenly Fathers love and he knew that he was being watched after. I felt the confirmation that Heavenly Father loved me, and knew what I needed to hear to know that Heavenly Father is there and that he loves me. I just felt a rush of love. The other commitment was to start reading in the Book of Mormon anywhere. So I prayed to know that the Book is true, and for help to want to read it. I read all of Moroni, and it was amazing. The letters that Mormon wrote to his son was so full of love, and he knew that his son would be okay, and they would see each other very soon. It starts out talking about wars and then it ends with a Moroni's testimony of the gospel and that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are mindful of us. The words that Moroni leaves are full of his testimony and his love for the gospel. Then I started reading from the beginning, the introduction and the testimonies of the witnesses. I just felt this overwhelming desire to keep reading. To find out more about this Book of Mormon and to learn what it contained. So I started reading 1 Nephi and it was like I had never read it before. The testimony that Nephi has of the things his father saw, and his trust in God and faith that things will work out even though he doesn't know how.

The thing I learned this week was just a deeper understanding of the scriptures, and the Book of Mormon. in Alma 11:44 it read "...but everything shall be restored to its perfect frame, as it is now, or in the body, and shall be brought and be arranged before the bar of Christ the Son, and God of the Father, and the Holy Spirit, which is the one Eternal God, to be judged according to their works..." We will be judge by the one of the 12 apostles, they will help Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost judges us. I never thought about that before. It doesn't matter how many times you read the Book of Mormon, you will always learn something new.

This week the language has been going much better. We are working as a companionship to work on our goals and speak more Chinese when we are together. I have been continually reading out loud from the Book of Mormon in Chinese, which help with pronunciation. I have been studying hard, and just working on memorizing words for our lessons and words that our investigators might say so that I will understand them. We have TRC every Saturday since our 3rd week. It is where we go and teach an investigator. We teach a lesson and get to know them. This week I was able to understand the majority of what they were saying. And also when we were teaching Lin Jeimei. During the lesson we asked her about her friend to see if she would bring her friend sometime, and she said that her friend is really busy. So the thought came to me to tell her that she can pray to help her friend feel peace and for help. It was not in our lesson plans, and it came out so smoothly in Chinese. It was awesome. So gradually I am getting better.

This week Jian Jeimei had us practice contacting a person. We only practiced on people in our class. It was really hard, but it was a cool experience, and it really helps you know what you don't know. Also it helps to know what I might be like when you get out into the field.

Love Sister Basko

Monday, August 5, 2013

Fourth week in the MTC

Jiang Jiemei is an awesome teacher. Every time she teaches us, you can feel her love for us and for the Gospel. She has been having us do more practices of teaching an investigator on different topics. It is really helpful, because I find out what vocab I don't know, and what I do know. It is also helpful to find out what topics I am lacking in vocab, like Repentance. I don't know that much vocab so that subject was much harder to teach. It is great to hear Jiang Jiemei's testimony and to feel her love for the Savior.

Devotional this Tuesday we sang "How Great Thou Art." The speakers had powerful messages. They talked about what made a difference in their missions. Like how you come home is how you go out. I need to be focused on the right thing, that way I can share Christ love with greater power. One of the speakers said "I will get on the plane running and I will not stop until my mission is over." There was a story about one elder, he was really happy and was always enthusiastic, and he told his companion "sometimes I just have to kick myself out the door." it is during the hard days that we need to focus on what is most important, and with that focus we can serve with more love.

Wednesday we had an English fast, we were only allowed to speak Chinese. I didn't talk that much that day. I mostly listened and wrote down words that I didn't know so that I could find out what they mean. It was really hard, but it was a while after lunch that we pretty much started using English words. So it was hard to do, but something’s you just can't do in Chinese, when you have such a limited vocabulary.

This week I have noticed a difference in my speaking abilities. I have been practicing with Sister Hsiao, it has really helped. I try to say the words with confidence and focus on the tones. I am reading the Book of Mormon out loud and saying the words dramatically so that I can work on the tones and get them right and so that I get use to how the tones are suppose to be said. It has really helped. When we taught Lin Jiemei I was able to understand what she was saying. Before what she was saying I only caught random words, but I understood what she was saying this week. She has been praying, and reading the Book of Mormon and she said that she had felt this feeling that is different for when she goes to work, or being with her family. It is the same feeling that she gets when she talks to us!! This is amazing progress. She is feeling the Holy Ghost and can feel the difference. The next time we taught her. I knew that she wasn't feeling this awesome feeling when she was praying, so I tried telling her that if she prays I know that Heavenly Father will answer her prayers, I know that Heavenly Father is always listening, we just need to exercise our faith in Him, and ask for the things that are burdening our minds. When she was talking to us, I could feel that there was something that she needed to say, or it was something that we needed to tell her. But I didn't know what so say, so I shared with her what I could.

Sunday is the best. The elders were watching a Mormon message, and it was about how after Christ was killed the apostles went back to fishing. Then there was Stanger standing on the beach, and he told them to cast their nets on the other side. And they did they caught so many fish that it broke their nets. It was then that they knew it was Christ. He asked them, why are you back here, have I not called you to be fishers of men. (If the Savior wanted fish, he could get fish,) what he wants are teachers that will teach His gospel to the people who have not heard it. That’s what I want to do. I want to share Christ love with the people who do not know that Christ and Heavenly Father are there for them. I want to share that they can pray to Heavenly Father and they can receive an answer. They can have their guidance within their own lives. It is so exciting to be able to share that in a different language.

Jenny Oaks Baker preformed during the Devotional on Sunday, you could feel her love for the Savior, and you could see the strength of her testimony. We watched a Joseph Smith video after the devotional. It chronicled the things that Joseph Smith went through, and his faith was never shaken. There were really hard things that he went through, but he always knew that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are there. When he was in Carthage jail, he was suffering. Heavenly Father told him if he bore his trials well they should be but a small moment. I know that if I do everything I can to learn the principle of the Gospel, the language skills will come. I know that by studying the things that will help the investigator, I will remember the words and phrases that will help teach the lesson. Through this testimony I have the faith that I will learn the language in due time. As I focus on the needs of the investigator I will be able to understand them more.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Third Week in the MTC

We are only at the MTC for a very short period of time. During that time we do all that we can so that we may learn the truths of the gospel so that when we are asked questions we know the answers, and if we don't know them. We know how to find out the answers. By study of the scriptures and by praying to find the answer the person needs at that time. Every Tuesday we have a devotional where a speaker gets p and talks to us for about 45 minutes. This week the speaker talked to us, about us. Everyone sent to the earth at this time are part of the noble and great one. An angel specifically picked us out of 100,000 people to come today. We were chosen for the choices we made in heaven. We are foreordained to come at this time. We may not see why we are chosen now, but it is often others that can see that greatness in you.

Mellisa Faw entered the Mexico MTC Wednesday July 24, 2013. I hope she loves it. It is a great experience. The first few days are the hardest, but after that they are hard but they are more rewarding as the days go on.

Jiang Jiemei had us practice teaching an investigator. We had someone in mind and we were to act as they would if the missionaries came to visit them. We were paired up, we taught, then we switched and we were taught. It was amazing. I was teaching Elder Ensign and I went through all the questions that I could think of, and I didn't know what else to say, and one word came to my mind "jiating" which means family. So I asked him about his family, that is what he needed, that is what I should have focused on, and that was where he needed help. I did all that I could, and right at the end I asked the question that he needed to hear. Elder Sheanshang was the last person to teach me, and we were talking about things we liked to do, he was trying to figure out what I needed, so I go to know me. Right at the end he looked at a scripture and a question came to his mind, was there anything that I regretted or wished I could change. that was what I was waiting for, that was the exact question that he needed to ask so that we was able to help me and get to know my needed. (I am acting like an investigator, I have a friend in mind that is looking to change but doesn't know how, so that is who I played when I was being taught.)

Saturday night we went outside to plan for the next day and choose our favorite Book of Mormon scripture. It was during that time that we shared experiences that we have had and what the scriptures mean to us. My scripture was 2 Nephi 11:7 "For it there be no Christ there be no God; and if there be no God we are not, for there could have been no creation. But there is a God, and he is Christ, and he cometh in the fullness of his own time. I had questions about how we knew that there is a God. And I was reading and this verse just stuck out to me. Because of the feeling and confirmation that I felt from this verse I know this is a God, I know we have  savior and I know that he loves us and is always watching over us and will never leave us. Sister Faupula shared her dad's experience of becoming a member. he is the son of a Methodist minister, so he grew up hating Mormons and would tease them and tell them that there is no way the a boy saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Her father is really smart and loves to learn. So we saw the Mormon kids going to seminary so he went with them. He wanted to know what they were learning, and he was curious what they did in seminary. (Remember he loves to learn) so he went o seminary for two years, nobody knew he went, he made sure nobody ever noticed him. He liked it, and so he started reading the Book of Mormon and loved it. Everything he was doing he hit from his family, they had no idea what he was doing. So after all this time he knows the church was true, but he still couldn't believe that the whole Joseph Smith story. So he prayed, this was his the first time. He went to the Mormon Church and sat in the back and listened, but he really didn't like it. The last speaker got up and started his talk, and then he stopped. And he just started to bear his testimony; it was then that her father knew the church was true, and that Joseph Smith did see Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Right after he asked to be baptized, the kids couldn't believe him, because they knew him as the Methodist son. But he got baptized and went on a mission. It is amazing that anyone can feel the Holy Ghost testifying of the truthfulness of the gospel!!

Sundays are the best. This morning I was thinking and I found a book mark that I bought a long time ago. It said "return with honor" and I found a picture of a girl in the armor of the gospel, with the sword of truth, and the shield of faith... little things were brought to my remembrance that all connected. Everything I have done since I was little was preparing me for a mission. The little decision I have made were made directing me to be prepared to serve a mission now. during relief society a lady was talking about serving a mission she said "steady the feet, hands to grasp, encourage the hearts, inspire the minds and souls to save." this is what we do as missionaries, we help people. We watched a video of Elder Holland teaching at the MTC, he quoted a poem "come to the edge he said, "No, we'll fall." Come To The Edge, he said. "No we'll fall." Come to the edge!!! We came, he pushed us. And we flew." Do not let a single moment pass you by. We are to be apostolic. We are here to learn and listen to the Holy Ghost. We are not waiting to come home. This is our home. We are only set apart for a short period of time. There will be no other time like this one. Our authority comes from God, and our power is through obedience.

Love Sister Basko

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Second week in the MTC

  On Tuesday I went to bed a little late, and got up earlier than I usually do, and I prayed that I would not fall asleep during class. I was wide awake all day. Then that night we have a devotional, and since my district is participating in choir we sang that Tuesday during the devotional, which was broadcasted to the other MTC's around the world...I guess. Anyway it was during practice that I fell asleep. But after that I was good. I didn't fall asleep during class or anywhere else. That was a huge blessing that day. After devotional we got back to the classroom and share what we learned with each other and we share our testimonies. The spirit was so strong. The experiences that were shared really strengthened my testimony, that I know this church is true. I know that when we are struggling Heavenly Father hears and answers us. He know what we need and is there to bring comfort and peace to our hearts. Also that day, it was during class I was thinking about Chik-fil-a and I was thinking about their waffle fries and how I really wanted them. And at lunch they had waffle fries. Heavenly Father does hear you and knows the things of your heart. Also during that day, while we were teaching Peggy I could understand what she was saying. Up to that point I was not able to understand anything that she was saying, but that day I was able to understand the majority of the things that she was saying!!!!!!! Tuesday was a great day.

We played volleyball with our district. It was really fun. It was nice to be outside and enjoying the sunshine. Today is the last day to teach Peggy. We are extending the invitation to baptism and she accepted which was great. The questions she asked us were really difficult and we struggled to answer her questions. One of our teachers is getting married in like 3 days in the Salt Lake Temple!!!

During the last couple days I had been thinking about how I don't have anyone here that I know. And that I was hoping that I would see someone that I knew. I saw Jake Gong, he got back about a month ago. It was really cool to see him. When I first saw him I was trying to figure out if I knew him or not. Then he came back and asked me, and yep it was him. Then I saw Cooper Heifer, from college here. He was supposed to go the Brazil MTC but he didn't receive his passport in time. So he is here at the Provo MTC. Which was really cool. I got to talk to him for a little while.

We did service on Friday. It is really great to do serve for those who live in that building. It was fun and good be able to help out here and to make the building cleaner. Today was the first day that "Peggy" or Sister Bready taught us. It was really awesome to hear the story about Peggy. Peggy was one of Sister Bready's investigators while she was on her mission in Taipei Taiwan. Peggy has having a hard time at work, and one day her boss was really mad, so Peggy went and said a prayer and asked for help. Then she went back and her boss was not angry anymore. The power of pray is amazing. We have a new investigator, Lin Jiemei. We will start teaching her this week!!.

Saturday was a pretty good day. That night we were sitting outside studying and we had 4 different missionaries come up to us and bear their testimonies in different languages, first was Samoan, then German, Portuguese and last was Italian. The last elder was Elder Orso, he has only been a member for lest that 2 years. He is going to Rome Italy, and the strength that you can feel from him is powerful.

If you can look up Music and the Spoken Word, this Sunday there was a guy who sang in Italian, and I don't know what he was saying but I could feel the love that he felt.