Monday, April 7, 2014

Peed on by Dogs - Week 10

Dear family,

I'm now in my second transfer! I'll never have to go through a first
transfer again! Well I will when I'm old and wrinkly but that will be
totally different and I'll have a hot husband by my side to help me
out. First transfer was great. I learned a lot about how to be a
missionary and I feel like I've grown. I'm a lot more confident. I
call people, set up appointments, teach, and talk to people on the
street without Sister Johnson elbowing me to do it. Only six more weeks
and I won't be a greenie anymore.

I'm now in a trio! Sister Bascom has joined Sister Johnson and I. She
is a Temple Square sister and came out here the transfer before me for
her outbound mission. She was companions in Poolesville with Sister
Johnson so she already knows the ward and our investigators which is
awesome. She speaks ASL and was training two new ASL sisters last
transfer which was hard since she was also trying to open up a new
area. So she's with us for two weeks before a couple new ASL sisters
come and then she'll train them. I really enjoy having her with us,
it's fun and she's a great missionary.

The family history is going great. We had a conference call on Tuesday
night with the Knights, Kendricks, and Sister Connell. They wanted us
to make lesson plans for family history. We watched all the video
tutorials on Facebook but they don't tell us how to actually teach it.
The Knights made the videos and were a little taken aback that we all
thought we still need lesson plans. We told them it's like Preach My
Gospel. It has all the material we need to know, but it still has
lesson plans and tells us how to teach it. So Sister Johnson and I
spent a while at the family history center making lesson plans for
members, non members, and less actives. We want to teach he material
but also invite the spirit into the lessons but we have to do it
differently for each person since a nonmember doesn't necessarily want
us telling them how God has commanded we do family history and take
names to the temple. For them, it's just a free service we're giving
but if they're interested in learning more then we can start teaching
them about the gospel.

Bishop Marshall had us practice teaching our class on him and his
family. It was funny because at the end he told us that we were using
the commitment pattern (we invite you to... Will you...?) and that we
can't do that to nonmembers because they'll think we're weird and
pushy. Oops. Got to switch out of missionary teaching mode.

We went to the Poolesville library to see if we can do free family
history classes there. They said to rent the conference room it's $20
a night. So we went to Town Hall and their conference room is free but
the schedule for it is packed and they don't have wifi. We talked to
Bishop Marshall and he said they could cover the $20 for the library.
For our classes, we want it to be a 3 week course and we want to do
multiple ones so it will start adding up but Bishop Marshall says it's
fine. He's really obsessed with family history which is great. If he
wasn't, a lot of our plans wouldn't get carried out. So now we need to
print off fliers and start working on specific lesson plans.

This Friday Sister Johnson and I are going to be interviewed and
filmed for the video President Cooke wants us to make. It's weird
knowing that this video will go to Salt Lake and probably end up in
the hands of general authorities. No pressure. It's exciting though. I
like feeling involved and that I make a difference. The Kendricks want
us to teach at zone training about family history this week and teach
other missionaries how to do and teach family history.

General Conference was so good! I really have been looking forward to
it. It's like Christmas for missionaries. Spiritual presents! The
talks were great and I loved the overall theme which is to keep the
commandments and be obedient. I don't have my notebook with me so I
can't name off exactly who I liked. But I loved Elder Holland's,
President Monson's, President Uchtdorf's, and Elder Corbridge's a lot.
I'm glad Elder Cook talked about family history. It was exciting to
see Elder Zwick talk. He came to this mission a couple months ago and
spoke to all the missionaries. I wasn't there, but he came to the MTC
and he's the one who walked around with a microphone and scared
everyone. His was good. They were all good. Super inspired. Brother
Velasquez came to the Sunday morning at the church with us. Candy and
Sister Hancock were supposed to come too. President Uchtdorf got up to 
talk first and he said EXACTLY what Candy needed to hear. I could 
barely pay attention to what he was saying, I was so upset. I felt 
like crying and I didn't even want to listen anymore because the one 
person who needed to hear it wasn't there. I think Sister Johnson 
actually cried. That whole session was for Candy so we need to watch 
it with her this week.

We had dinner at Katie's on Thursday. Dee came too but was late so
when she came I hid in the bathroom. When she saw Sister Bascom she
was so happy and confused. They told her that I had freaked out on
Sunday and gone home. She totally believed it and she was like, "I
knew something was up with her! I've been saying it the last few
weeks!" Etc. When I came out of the bathroom she was so surprised and
mad haha. It was way funny. She has been saying that I seem off but I
think it's because she's never seen a new missionary before. Sister
Johnson told her that when she was new, she was super shy and scared.
I don't consider myself shy or scared but the point she was trying to
make is that new missionaries are still adjusting whereas older ones
are more confident and adjusted. I'm getting there. Being a greenie is

We taught the Velasquez family the first lesson on Friday. They are
excited to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it. After the
lesson, they made us a huge meal which was delicious. And then an hour
later we had dinner with a member at a steak house (not stake house).
I was very full and fat that day.

The night that Sister Johnson lost her keys in her car 6 weeks ago, we
knocked on the door of a woman named Laura. She said she wasn't
interested in religion but she's interested in family history. We
tried calling her since but she never answered so we finally decided
to go see her again on Saturday. She let us in and we started talking
to her about family history. We found out that she used to be Lutheran
and that she served 9 service missions around the United States. We
then talked about service and Sister Johnson found a scripture on
service in the Book of Mormon and one thing led to another and we left
a Book of Mormon with her and she said she'll look it over! So cool.
If we hadn't offered her family history, we never could've talked to
her again or given her a Book of Mormon. She's so sweet. She lives
alone with her dog and she's a computer programmer. Also, funny story.
Her dog peed on Sister Johnson. We were playing with him as we were
talking and he randomly ran up to her and peed on her foot. It was so
funny! Oh man we were laughing so hard. But it was good because it
helped to break the ice with Laura and Sister Johnson was a good sport
about it. Made me think of Elder Hollands talk. We may get peed on by
dogs but it is worth it!

I'm on the metro right now headed back from DC. I am so tired, cold,
and wet. Sister Cooke organized a run for the sisters which was about
a 2 mile run. It was really fun, except it was pouring rain. At first
I didn't mind and it was just fun, but once we ended at the Jefferson
memorial and had to stand around for 30 minutes waiting for Sister
Cooke and her daughter to drive back with our bags we left with her,
the cold and the water set in. We were freezing. We all huddled
together and took turns running our hands under the hand dryer in the
bathroom. When she eventually came back with the bags, we walked
another mile to buy sweatshirts and food. And now I'm finally headed
home. We were going to go to some museums but, like last time, we were
too tired and cold. I just really want a nap. The cherry blossoms were
so gorgeous. Not all of them have bloomed and the cherry blossom
festival doesn't start until tomorrow, but it was so pretty. I bet
it's breath taking when they're all in full bloom. Maybe next year. I
loved what I saw though.

Well that's my week in a nut shell. I've been so tired this week. Last
night when we got home and after we planned for today, I laid on the
ground and fell asleep for a while before waking up and crawling into
bed and saying an incoherent nightly prayer. I'm sure God knew what I

Also, I wouldn't mind a couple letters every now and then if you
happen to have time. It's not a huge deal, but letters are nice. The
address is the mission office address I gave you and they bring all
the sisters mail to the Visitors Center so I check every Wednesday and
Saturday when I'm on shift.

Love you all! Read D&C 58:3-4

Love, Sister Black

P.S. Happy birthday Daddy!!!

This picture is from when Sister Johnson
got peed on. She had to take her shoes off and clean them at home.

These are the "My Family" booklets I've been working on and that Elder
Cook mentioned in his talk. This is the reason why I keep pestering
everyone on Facebook for information. This is what I have so far. I
still haven't finished filling in what I know about Grandma Carol and
Grandpa Brandy but other than that I don't know much about the others.
If anyone can help me out, email or Facebook message me! I really need
to get this done. Thank you to everyone who has already helped!

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