Tuesday, March 18, 2014

People Aren't Perfect; The Church Is - Week 7


I saw the pictures of Jordan and Julie's wedding. Jordan looked so happy and everyone looked beautiful. It made me a bit sad to see all the extended family there. Not terribly sad but I definitely miss everyone.

So first I want to tell you something that I did over a week ago but forgot to email you about. You'll never guess what I did. I made oven apple pancakes. What? I hate it when Mom makes it! But I was craving it really bad and we were having a relief society culture night activity where we had to bring food and a display of our culture so I made oven apple pancakes and displayed the photo book of our family. It really hit the spot. Sister Johnson made special Colorado brownies since she's from Colorado. They're special because they're gluten and dairy free.

On Wednesday we had specialized training which Sister Cooke informed us is now on the blog http://calledtoserveindcnorth.blogspot.com/2014/03/specialized-training-for-february.html#comment-form. It was so fun and such a stress reliever. They talked to us about dealing with stress and then after a yummy lunch all of the newbies gathered in the primary room to talk with President Cooke and one of his APs (assistant to the President). We talked about our struggles and what we've learned so far. I've discovered that I'm not the only one who's had a hard time adjusting. Apparently we all hate waking up early (crazy) and we all hate the car because we get really sleepy but we're not allowed to fall asleep. We talked about other things we've struggled with and some complained a bit about their trainers (but not me because me and Sister Johnson get along great). We were laughing a lot and at one point we were laughing so hard that we were crying. It felt amazing. It was like a huge weight was lifted off of my shoulders as we laughed and talked. I got to talk to and joke around with Sister Hansen, my MTC and travel companion, which was great. Sister Johnson and I think a lot alike to the point that it's scary, but me and Sister Hansen have the same sense of humor.

Anyway after meeting with the other new missionaries, we played games. They were super exciting missionary ones. First, an AP would say a line from Preach My Gospel and each companionship had to find it while an arm was around each other. 4 of us won a round including me and Sister Johnson. Then we had to shoot the scrambled up first vision on the board with nerf guns in order. Another companionship and mine won as well. One of the APs was very impressed with my aim haha, probably because Mom bought a ton of nerf guns for Dad's birthday two years ago. Then the APs acted out different rules from the white handbook and we had to both find the right page twice before the other team. And we won! Whoooo

On Thursday we went to a Buddhist temple to help make sandwiches for homeless people. It was so cool inside and the Buddhist nuns are so Christ-like. Poolesville has the coolest stuff and is just gorgeous.

A lot of our area is right along the Potomac river. You should try to google pictures of Poolesville then you'll understand why I'm in love.

Saturday evening was so awkward. Sister Johnson and I were invited to speak at the Stake Priesthood meeting. We walked in and sat down with the elders in our ward who were also speaking and everyone stared at us. One pair of elders even asked our elders if we knew we weren't supposed to be there. When we got up to speak, I felt like we said really good stuff (we were talking about member exchanges and why they matter) but everyone stared at us with stony faces and both Sister Johnson and I could feel our faces turning red. Then the relief society provided sandwiches after for dinner before the adult session. Sister Johnson and I ate by ourselves and no one bothered to join us. I'm never doing that again. We could tell they weren't happy we were there. I think a lot of men don't like sister missionaries in general anyway which is rude but the people aren't perfect, the church is.

Speaking of Priesthood, the women who want to ordain women to the priesthood don't understand the plan of salvation or how God or this church works. Protesting isn't going to change anything because man can't change doctrine. President Monson can't give women the priesthood unless God instructs him to so protesting isn't going to do any good at all. They're better off praying to the source of the priesthood instead. So stupid. I don't even care if I offend anyone. If you want women to have the priesthood then you must have an
extremely limited understanding of the gospel.

Sunday I was feeling tired and down. I don't have that many down days, most are good actually, but for some reason I was feeling blue on Sunday even though it was a fairly good day. I was reading the talk by President Monson from the relief society general broadcast last general conference about the lady who was depressed so God sent a lady to give her homemade bread (I don't feel like explaining the whole thing, go read it yourself) and I was kind of thinking that that would be nice but God's never done that for me that I've noticed. Later, I was going to take a ten minute nap before dinner ended. I wished I had longer and sent a thought more than a prayer up to heaven that I wished God could somehow stop time so I could sleep longer. Well, apparently Sister Johnson decided to nap too and accidentally slept 10 minutes over which never happens so I got a 20 minute nap instead which was a tender mercy. Then, I was still feeling down when I got on Facebook and one of the missionaries had posted a comforting picture quote that made me tear up. I was also thinking about how much I was craving chocolate which was weird since I'm not a huge chocolate eater. Right then, a sister in the ward invited us over to help her with family history and when we got there, she had pumpkin chocolate chip cookies fresh from the oven for us. I wanted to cry, God is too good.

It snowed like crazy yesterday so we couldn't use our cars and they switched our p day to today instead. They told us that Sunday evening and I was devastated that I wouldn't get my long awaited emailing and nap until today. I went to bed in tears over it. Then I woke up the next day and I was like, "why did I freak out?" That was so illogical to freak out over haha. I think it was just my old anxieties and stress kicking in. Mom always got mad at me for sleeping after school every day but that's how I've always dealt with stress and if I had a day where I was too busy to nap, I would get anxiety over it and would sleep in through school to ensure I still got time to sleep. So it's good that I'm on a mission where I'm forced not to nap as an escape so it's breaking me out of bad habits.

We had a zone activity today and we played the amazing race which was so fun. We were in teams based on districts and we were running around the church, ransacking hundreds of hymn books for a clue, hunting for a key at the local lake, throwing snowballs at leprechauns, eating tofu, hot peppers, and fish, and searching a car for a key to the treasure chest which had lucky charms in it. Two people in every district had to eat a super-hot pepper and they all about died. One elder from my district had his face in the sink and was sweating, crying, and had snot running while gulping water. A couple missionaries threw up because it was so hot. They all one by one came into the kitchen after eating it in the gym and were crying with bright red faces. To counteract it, they found a tub of ice cream in the freezer and, using one spoon, took turns shoveling down ice cream. Poor Sister Johnson is allergic to gluten and dairy but she ate the ice cream out of desperation after eating the pepper so she's gonna have a bad day tomorrow.

I invited three people to be baptized this week. One is on date and the other two are conditional. Candy is finally starting to feel comfortable with the Book of Mormon and accepted a conditional baptism invitation, AJ is Dee's daughters boyfriend and he's on date (her daughter is less active), we have a new investigator, Paula, who's older and accepted a conditional baptism invitation, and we're teaching Dee tonight with Sister Cooke. She's in love with Sister Cooke and she was so excited when she found out she's coming so she invited three other ladies to come too and she's making special dessert. It's gonna be a party, especially since we'll be talking about the law of chastity with all of them haha. Love it! 

We're working on holding family history classes at the Poolesville library next transfer so yesterday we walked 45 minutes in the snow to the family history center at the church to make fliers and a lesson plan to present to President Cooke tomorrow for approval. So exciting! Family history is fun.

Everyone asks me to say the prayer either at a members home or at a meeting because I'm the newbie. The ward mission leader has asked me to say it 3 times now and we've only had 4 ward correlations. It's crazy how many times I'm asked to say the prayer because I'm new. So girls when mom asks you to say the prayer even though you said it yesterday, be grateful you don't have to say it as much as I do (about 5+ times a day between meetings and just sister Johnson and I).
Praying a lot is good to do, Heavenly Father loves hearing from us! 

Ok love you all! Read D&C 38:7.

Love, Sister Black

They say that the mission changes you..

The second picture was after I tried sister Johnson's special Colorado
brownies and the fourth was when we were the only women at priesthood
meeting for stake conference and none of the men would sit with us.

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