Monday, March 24, 2014

Exact Obedience Brings Miracles - Week 8

Dear family members,

I can't believe it's been another week already! Time flies. The days
are long but the weeks are short.

Have I mentioned I don't like Facebook? I see posts by people but I
can't comment unless it helps me fulfill my purpose so I don't want to
be like "oh that's such a funny and cute cat. By the way Jesus loves
you so get baptized." because that's weird and kind of cheating haha.
But that picture of Charlie in front of the tv made me so happy
because I miss her and if she was here she could stand in front of my
tv or iPad all day and I'd just love her. Appreciate what you have.
Also that picture of Ashley with her two cats on the sofa made me
immensely jealous. Whenever I see a cat here, I get so excited. I
can't really show my excitement because it freaks cats and people out
so I have to slowly and subtly pet them while I'm dying inside of
happiness. I think I'm going to be a cat lady when I'm older. My
mission has helped me realize that that is my role in life.

Real quick, if your church leaders, especially the prophets and
apostles tell you to do something, just do it. Whenever the topic at
church is family history or member missionary work, people get bored
or annoyed and don't think it's important. Umm yes it is. The Lord has
COMMANDED us to do missionary work and to do our ancestors' work. Yes
sharing the gospel is scary, but we're not asking you to hand out Book
of Mormons. Just be a good friend and bring up church or beliefs in
conversation. We can discuss it without shoving it down their throat.
We just have a really good cookie that we're crazy over and want
everyone to have so we need to offer it without shoving it in their
faces but if we don't even offer it to them then what kind of friends
are we? We just want to help and bless others and also serve God. So
go be a missionary today. Maybe the prophet and apostles would stop
talking about it so much if we actually did it. Same with family
history. In ward council they were trying to discuss how to sneakily
get people into it and fun activities and names for it so people will
actually do it and not back out. Family history isn't just a hobby for
old people, it is something we are all constantly told we need to be
doing. It's actually really fun once you get into it. If anyone want
to learn how to use, email me or message me on
Facebook and I will teach you. It's so cool and easy once you figure
it out. So yes Emma should start doing it. Get her an LDS account and
then I will do what I can to help her from here. Everyone: follow the
prophet! Don't wait for something to be fun or comfortable or
disguised as a fun ward activity for you do it.

I love teaching. Love. It. This week was so awesome!

First, on Tuesday we taught Dee over at her house. She loves Sister
Cooke so we invited her over and then Dee invited three more women
members and her daughter and made dessert and it was such a party. It
was hard to teach because the women would talk and talk and get off
topic. We read The Family: A Proclamation to the World and also
discussed the law of chastity which was uber fun. It went well and Dee
is amazing and her missionary friend needs to come to Maryland faster
so she can be baptized by him! He gets home in April but he lives in
Arizona now so he won't be here until June or August. But she's ready
now! Pray for a miracle!

We didn't get to teach AJ or Paula this week. But AJ taught a self
defense class at an emergency preparedness fair they had at the church
on Saturday. He has a black belt in karate and apparently the class
went super well. Sister Johnson and I could only be there for 10
minutes before we left to the Visitors Center but he was really good
and professional. We're gonna teach him tomorrow morning hopefully.
He's such a good guy.

Saturday at the Visitors Center was awesome. Sister Johnson and I gave
some tours and then these two girls our age walked in and said that
they had to research the Mormon church for their project at college so
we taught them about temples and eternal families, ancient prophets,
Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, and modern day prophets. They really
enjoyed it. They especially loved learning about eternal families and
they said they had no words for how they felt. After, a senior Sister
talked to them more and showed them this cheesy 10 minute video called
God's plan that always makes everyone cry and they were amazed and
saying how there's something different about this church. They then
accepted free Book of Mormons (or Books of Mormon, whatever floats
your boat) and we got their phone number and emails and they're gonna
go to church next week. So cool! I LOVE the Visitors Center and the
church is true!

Also, funny thing. So an older guy was in there talking to everyone
and you could tell he has some kind of mental disability but he's very
wise and in tune with the spirit and has a solid understanding of the
gospel. He can see people's light and can discern our color. Emma will
love this. He held my hand and closed his eyes and then told me my
color is blue because I'm a talker. So there you go Emma, I do talk a
lot apparently. I don't talk very much on my mission though but I talk
a lot at home and I enjoy public speaking so that was pretty cool.

Sunday was amazing. Candy came to church (Dee went to church in New
York during a school trip) and then she came to New Beginnings since
she's going to be a camp director at girls camp. She just loves the
young women and requested to be involved. When they were discussing it
during ward council, I shared how every year at girls camp one of our
camp leaders was a neighbor who wasn't a member and there weren't any
issues and we loved having her there. So Candy was able to learn more
about the personal progress program and get excited. She likes going
to church and knows she's in the right place but she's still mad at
God about her situation so it's gonna take some time for her heart to
be softened, but she is so cute and sweet and I just love her to

I felt so sad during New Beginnings just because it reminded me of
when I was in young womens and I miss it. I loved
going to mutual every week and girls camp and church and being in the
class presidencies. Young womens is the best.

Ok so the reason why Sunday was amazing is because we got 3 new
investigators that day! Our mission wide goal this transfer (or our
10th key for those who know the mission lingo) is to get 3 new
investigators each week and Sister Johnson and I haven't been able to
so far until yesterday! So first we visited the Velasquez family after
church. The parents are from Honduras and have an 8 year old daughter.
The father was baptized over 20 years ago and is less active now. But
they're super excited to learn more and we're taking them to Savior of
the World this Friday and the mom kept on asking about church because
she really wants them to go. They're so sweet, I love them!

Our third new investigator is Kayla. She has been going to mutual
every week for two years with a friend and was at New Beginnings last
night. Sister Johnson gave me the opportunity to invite her to take
the lessons. So I awkwardly went up to her and started talking to her
and then eventually I asked if we could come over to get to know her
better and teach her more about the church and she said yes so now we
have an appointment for this Thursday and Sister Johnson is a proud
mama bear. I'm so glad she gives me opportunities to learn to do
things on my own. Kayla is so sweet and is gorgeous. I felt like a
potato standing next to her.

I decided last night that I need to be exactly obedient. I'm here to
serve and to invite others unto Christ and these people deserve the
best and I can't be the best missionary that they need unless I'm
exactly obedient. On Saturday I was really late to personal study
because I spent way too long getting ready and it happens most days
and I felt horrible. At the Visitors Center I asked God for
forgiveness and told Him that I know I was disobedient but these
people came to learn and feel the spirit and I don't want my
disobedience to affect my teaching and in turn get in the way of their
experience. I promised to be better and so now I have an alarm on my
iPad that goes off two minutes before personal study every day so I'll
never be late again. Even if I'm not ready, I better quickly put on my
name tag and go to my desk and start studying. I did it for the first
time Sunday and the Lord blessed us with three new investigators.
Obedience brings blessings, exact obedience brings miracles. I need
miracles and these wonderful investigators and friends need miracles
so I need to do my part to allow them to come.

I love being a missionary. I love teaching. I love my investigators. I
love the members. I love my companion. I love President and Sister
Cooke. I love this gospel. I love my family. I love all of you.

Read Mosiah 5:12. It doesn't matter if you're a full time missionary
or not. We all need to have a missionary name tag on our hearts and be
disciples of Christ. (:

Love, Sister Black

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