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