Thursday, November 20, 2008

Happy Memories

I'll continue the countdown, but the remaining "7 Days of Thankful" are in no order. It's just to hard to rank the other things I hold dear to my heart. But one thing I'm sure won't surprise you is . . . MISSION MEMORIES. I know that sometimes it seems like I just came home because I'm still so hung over. Funny thing is, when I first came home everyone was impressed by how well I adjusted. The irony.

Since I know I've posted about mission memories before I'll change it up by telling you all the things that made my experience in the Singapore Mission so unique.

  • The mission covered 8 countries. Pakistan had the highest baptism rate. Bet you didn't know the church was in Pakistan. Last I checked it was six branches strong.
  • We could only wear name tags in Singapore.
  • We couldn't tell the Malaysian government why we were visiting their country. "Learning the language" and "visiting friends" were my most common replies. And yes, I was interigated by government officials. But thanks for the Christmas package anyways Mom.
  • Sister's worked in the office, instead of Elders. I spent four months there.
  • You could go from one of the Church's poorest branches (Sri Lanka and East Malaysia) to one of the Church's wealthiest wards (Singapore) in one transfer.
  • There were probably more than 100 languages spoken within the mission. That's why my call read "English Speaking." But there was a time I could invite you to Church in Iban, Bidayu, Malay, Chinese, and Korean. I could greet you in all those plus Telugu, Mongolian, Singalese, Tagolog, Japanese and Vietnamese.
  • I served in an "American" ward for more than half my 18 months. I spent more time in the Singapore 1st Ward than most the Ex-pat families spent in the ward.
But the reason I loved my mission had nothing to do with any of that. It wasn't even the growth or humility I gained. Neither was it the testimony I strengthened. The reason I have such a hard time getting over my mission experience is one simple thing. The PEOPLE.

I never knew I could love a family as much as the I did the Bails.I never knew watching a newly converted Indian man baptize his pregnant Chinese wife could bring so much happiness to my heart.
I never would have fathomed a weekly 10 mile bike ride on the dusty, pot-hole ridden roads of Sarawak, East Malaysia's capital city would lead me to the person I was foreordained to share the restored gospel with. I love you Sister Ivy.And I never felt heartbreak like I did when George's family left the Church. I bawled like I never had before.
But as my good friend Heidi Draper taught me in my AP English class . . . the bitter makes the sweet even sweeter. And never will I forget the power I felt when Brother Bail layed his hands on Sylvester's head and confirmed him a member of the Church. I have faith that, that sweet blessing will bring the young boy and his family back to the Church someday. Maybe not until the Church goes to Bau. But I have the Faith.

The list could go on. I met so many amazing people who continue to touch my heart daily. Words can not express the love I have for these sweet souls.


Mom and Dad Bassett said...

Loved your post, sis. Missions are the greatest. I read in the Ensign one of the GA's talk at conference time, perhaps Elder Holland, can't remember for sure...
Anyway he was talking about his mission and said that perhaps there had been one day in the 40 years since he returned home that he hadn't thought back to those two wonderful years -- just couldn't remember for sure which day it was! That's pretty true. They are wonderful experiences. I'm thankful you had the opportunity to serve. God bless.

Mom and Dad Bassett said...

Yes, we do come to love those we serve!!! That is a marvelous truth! Which is probabaly why service to God, family, and fellow man is so important. It enlarges our heart and soul.

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