Thursday, January 9, 2014

Good Morning Brothers and Sisters, For Those of You Who Don't Know Me....

Hello everyone!  My name is Celeste Black, soon to be Sister Black.  A little over 3 months ago, on October 2nd, I got my mission call!  I'm called to serve as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and to labor in the Washington, D.C. North mission.  In addition, I'll be serving at the Washington, D.C. Temple Visitors' Center as well.  From what I've learned from stalking other D.C. missionaries online, working at the Temple Visitors' Center is like a part-time job.  I have shifts I'm given every week is what I understand.  However during the Christmas season, I'll be there full time for the Festival of Lights which will be so much fun!

I am SUPER excited to share this gospel.  My whole life I never wanted to be a sister missionary unless it was a couples mission with my husband when I'm old and retired and bored.  But, because of certain circumstances leading up to President Monson's announcement of the new mission age change, I came to the decision to serve as soon as the new age was announced.  Almost exactly a year later, minus 4 days, I received my mission call and joined the "missionary wave".  

The year wait after my decision was very hard.  At first I was just excited and didn't think much about it.  However, a month or two into my decision, I was gripped with fear and anxiety about my decision.  I felt trapped because I had already told everyone I was going to serve yet I felt absolutely terrified to go.  I can't nail down exactly what it was that scared me so much other than the fact that I'd have to wake up at 6:30am every morning which is horrifying by itself.  I spent hours reading other missionaries' blogs and talking to my prospective missionary friends about it and would make myself feel better for a day or two before I'd slip again into my anxiety.  I still decided that I would go on a mission no matter how I felt, but it didn't make me feel any better about it.  Finally in June of 2013, the week before I was supposed to go, I remembered that a woman who had been my councilor at AFY or Adventure for Youth just returned from her mission to Armenia a few weeks previously.  So I contacted her on Facebook and we arranged to meet for breakfast.  We met and talked for over an hour about her mission and about me and my decision to serve.  I told her some of the experiences I'd had the past year, especially the really hard one I'd gone through that had shaken my faith.  I explained to her how I got through it, and am still getting through it, and why I decided to serve a mission.  She made me realize that I didn't just coast through my trials, I had conquered them and had become a better person and she also helped me to realize that I do have faith and a love of this gospel and that a mission is really what I want to do.  Hearing her talk about her mission was one of the turning points in making me more determined to go.  With tears in her eyes, she talked about how much she absolutely loved the people and missed her mission.  I could see how much she loved her mission and also how much she had grown.  She was still awesome and silly like before her mission, but now there was a new light in her eyes and she seemed more mature.  I want to get to experience what she did and be changed for the better myself  while helping to change other peoples' lives.  When we were done and I went home, I no longer felt the same fear and anxiety as before.  I can't pinpoint any one thing that she said, but ever since that day I haven't felt as scared.  Sure, I still think about it and get nervous, but not like before.  

In the coming weeks and months, I watched many of my friends and Facebook friends (meaning we know each other but we're not really friends) leave on missions.  There were about 80 people in my graduating class who had their mission calls before graduation night.  Now the amount of people with calls or on mission in my graduating class is well over 100, and the number of people I know who are on missions are around 200.  That's the fun thing about living in Utah (maybe the only fun thing haha) is that I know so many people leaving on missions.  Just in my ward, there are 3 Elders in Canada, 2 in Jamaica, 1 in Spain, 1 in England, 2 in the United States, and then a sister in Mexico, a sister in Brazil, and 2 sisters on the East Coast of the US.  Soon I'll be on the East Coast and another guy in my ward, whose twin brother is currently in Canada, is leaving in March to Sweden.  Our missionary board is overflowing and it's so cool.  All of these missionaries are incredible and have impacted my life.

I leave in 20 days and I cannot wait to be out there.  I'll miss my family so much.  I'm putting off my dream of majoring in animation as well as giving up dating, music, TV, video games, sleeping in, family, pants, my cats (probably the saddest one), friends, and income for 18 months to serve the Lord and the people of Washington D.C..  It's so insane, sometimes I still can't believe I'm doing this.  However there's nothing else I'd rather do.  I don't want to go to school or work or date even.  This is what I need to do for myself, my family, and for all the people I'll be serving.  I need this so I can come home and get my life started knowing that I'm on the right track and am doing what the Lord wants.  I want to come home stronger and better than before and ready to become the person I'm supposed to be.  

Anyway, I might post once or twice more before I leave.  I don't know if anyone will actually read this post haha at least not until I'm already gone but it's here for those who want a bit of my background.  I will have my mother post my emails home on here to keep my family and friends updated and to help anyone who is considering going on a mission or already has their call or just enjoys reading a 19 year old's letters home about trying to teach about Jesus to disinterested Americans in their nation's capital.  I loved reading Sister Bullock's mission blog.  She is currently serving in my mission and will leave a few weeks after I leave so I probably won't get to meet her, but reading her blog about my mission has helped me out a ton so I hope I can help someone else in the same way.

I love you all.  Now that I've grown a foot or two, I'm ready to serve in the Lord's Army!!

P.S. - This video was taken on a not too amazing phone by a 10 year old.  Please bear with me (:





  1. What do you mean that your faith had been shaken?
    I believe you're an upstanding, honorable Christian woman, please elaborate.

    1. This is her mom. She's referring to her dad and I getting divorced last fall which caused her to have some doubts for a while.