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.