Wednesday: It has been 6 days since I entered the MTC in Provo. It had been busy. We have something to do every hour. Once I got dropped off Sister Patersen took me to the buildings that I needed to go through. I got my missionary tag and papers and then went and got my books. It was a little weird seeing so many missionaries. I guess there are about 3,200 missionaries here. The books I received were Preach my Gospel in Chinese characters, and Pinyin (English letters for the Chinese symbols.). A "pocket dictionary," it’s about 5 inches thick. And a bunch more books, it felt like 20 pounds of study material. Dropped my stuff off at the apartment, which is where I met Sister Faupula. I met Sister Knight in the classroom. Once in the classroom Ge Liaoshi only spoke Chinese, and I had no idea what he was saying. But it's good, nobody else did either. We had classes we went to where there was an investigator and we had to teach them a lesson. But it was a big group of missionaries and we taught a lesson. It was interesting how the lesson went, one person would say something and others would build off that. Sister Wells and Sister Heribert took us on a tour. They have been in the MTC for 6 weeks so far.
Thursday: We met with our branch President, President Dunn, today. We went to the computer lab and listened and practiced TALL, which are words, phrases and different lessons on the computer. It was helpful. Chinese is really overwhelming. It has been really hard for me to understand what the teacher is saying in Chinese. Sister Faupula is able to understand and Sister Knight is getting it. I don't know if it is because I don't know the words as well, but I just have to keep trying. I was trying to figure out how I would learn Chinese, or what I needed to do. That night we met as a Branch,(I’m not sure what a branch is thought, but I know it was 2 districts, (district is like one class room, I have 8 people in my district, and there are 12 others in the other district, we are all speaking mandarin)). In the meeting I learned that I will struggle with the language but in time I will come to understand it. I need to be patient and diligent in my studies.
Friday” We did our first service here, we are assigned where we will serve and we serve for 75 minutes. We went to one of the girls apartment buildings and cleaned the stairs. Then we had personal fitness, during that time we are not allowed to use the gyms of the field, so we ran around our apartment and did some stairs then stretched. During gym time we can use the gyms but personal fitness we do what we want, like run around the campus or walk. We met Bao Liaoshi today. He speaks much faster than Ge Liaoshi. We taught our first investigator. Her name is Peggy, we taught her about the Holy Ghost, and prayer and why it is important to pray. It was really difficult to teach her, since we have only been here for 3 days so far.
Saturday: We studied for 3 hours this morning, it was really long. We taught Peggy again. It went better this time even though we were less prepared. She is very patient, which is helpful. We taught here about the Book of Mormon, and more about prayer. She asked us why we have the Book of Mormon and not just the Bible. But we didn't have the words for it, so we told her that we would tell her next time we taught her.
Sunday was awesome. I was told that the first few days that you are here it is the longest. Which it is. They days are really long, but by the time we get back to the apartment at night I can barely remember what we did in the morning. We listened to "Music and the Spoken Word" before relief society. We met with President Dunn again and the other district. Sacrament meeting was half in Chinese and half in English. There is a group of missionaries that are leaving our ward this week to go to where they were called to serve. We then went and walked around the Provo Temple. There were two protesters outside the temple. But once you got on the grounds you could just feel the peace. Sister Knight and Sister Faupula and I walked around the temple and practiced say sentences in Chinese and translating them. We went to choir. It was really fun. The choir director was really funny. I sat next to a girl that is going to Korea, and she has been here for 7 weeks, and she leaves in 2 weeks. After choir there was a devotional, which was really good, there were about 20 missionaries, in the auditorium that I was in, that had only just been baptized less than 2 years ago. We went and so church videos. The last video that we saw was by Elder David A. Bednar, his message was amazing. I really felt the spirit. He said that having a testimony is not enough to say in the church, you have to be converted to the LORD. Not converted to the programs, or the missionaries, or the people but to the Lord.
Love Sister Basko