Monday, April 14, 2014

Popcorn Really Does Pop On Trees - Week 11

Dear family,

This week was a bit crazy. When I decided to come out on a mission I
didn't think I'd be doing any of this. It's fun and exciting but it's
a lot different from the knocking on doors I thought I'd do all day.

First off, popcorn really does pop on trees. I am amazed at all of the
popcorn trees around here. Maybe I was just blind but I swear we
didn't have this in Utah. There are tulip trees and cherry blossoms
and popcorn everywhere. It is so so so beautiful. Now I understand
more why so many people love spring. I've always enjoyed it just
because it starts to warm up and flowers start growing but here
blossoms are exploding everywhere. I love it.

Friday was so tiring. By 4pm I was so done with the day. But
unfortunately (more like fortunately) missionaries have to keep
finding and teaching until 9pm. Anyway, the reason it was tiring was
first because we had to wake up at 5:45 to get to the temple by 8. The
temple is so nice and beautiful. The only struggle is that half the
missionaries fall asleep during the session. Guilty. Only for about 10
seconds though then I realize what's going on and wake up. Don't judge
me, you try to be a tired missionary and go to an early session. So
that was nice.

After the temple, we went to the Visitors Center so I could practice
accompanying some songs for Sunday which I'll write about in a few
paragraphs. We also waited for an investigator to show up but she
ended up not being able to come. I'll talk about her in a few
paragraphs too (:

At noon, we walked to the church right next to the Visitors Center and
temple. We had to film for the family history video they're making to
send to Salt Lake. At first we sat in front of a camera and answered
interview questions. The Elder filming it has his bachelors in
cinematography so I'm glad it's someone who knows what he's doing.
After the interview questions, we acted out two elders and Elder and
Sister Kendrick coming to the church to meet Sister Johnson and I and
us teaching them how to use familysearch. It's cheesy. Elder Guerro
who's filming it had a hard time because Sister Connell, a senior
missionary, wanted it to be painfully cheesy and Elder Guerro was not
going to do that. I kind of wish Sister Connell would've listened to
him more instead of arguing with him since he's the one with the
degree. Sister Connell is great though. She's been so on top of
everything and organizing this all. So that's what I did for two

Sunday night was "Night of Music and Inspiration" which is where
missionaries perform musical numbers and give talks for an hour on
Sunday evening a month.  A Sister missionary is in charge of
organizing each one that they have. This time it was Sister Kaarma
from Estonia. She asked me if I could accompany 3 sisters singing "I
Will Rise" (which I think is on Facebook). That song was pretty easy
to play. My only struggle was that the sisters weren't singing the
right rhythm and were at least a quarter note behind for part of the
song. I think it still sounded ok though. Anyway so that was fun and I
practiced that for a month. A week after I said yes to that one,
Sister Truman asked me if I'd accompany her for "He Walked a Mile."
Then last Tuesday, Elder Anderson called me and asked if I'd accompany
him as he sang "Through Heaven's Eyes" and Sister Eyring played the
violin. It's the same arrangement from my "Prince of Egypt" piano book
at home. That was always the one song I struggled with. When I first
got that book 3 years ago I could barely play it and last summer I
started trying to play it again but it never sounded very good. I
agreed and the next day the three of us practiced together with Elder
Dahl being the wonderful page turner. It was so bad. Sister Eyring is
a professional violinist and also taught piano lessons and I was
messing up all over the place. She was very nice but she'd make
comments and I knew she wasn't too impressed. I went home completely
stressing out about it. The next day Sister Johnson, Sister Bascom,
and I went to the church and I practiced that song for an hour
straight. By the time we rehearsed again the next day, it was much
better. The performance last night went well. When we were running
through the whole program before, I was shaking and nervous to play.
The songs weren't even that hard but I don't really enjoy playing the
piano in front of people unless it's hymns or just for fun. But
performing and accompanying is different. There's a reason I never
offered to accompany for choir. I said a prayer and I was able to play
the three songs without my legs shaking and I barely messed up at all.
I'm so gladly it's over. I'm willing to play in the future now that
I've done one and realized it isn't that bad.

We got a new investigator this week! Her name is Tina and I love love
love her. We taught her last Monday night and I have never felt the
spirit so strong during a lesson. It was like a blanket. We met with
her three times and now she's on date to baptized. On Saturday we
weren't planning to drop by but we did because plans fell through as
usual and I'm so glad they did. She was having such a hard night and
was really upset so we all hugged each other in a huddle on the floor
and prayed and cried. We didn't want to leave her because she lives
alone but we had to. I could tell there was something wrong in the
house which was trying to influence her and it was scary but we said a
prayer on the way back that she would be ok and a wave of calm came
over us. The next day she called Sister Ainsworth (the one who
introduced us to her) and said she wanted to come to church and so she
came! And now she calls us her girls and her angels. She's so sweet.

My other investigators are doing well. We were over at Dee's house for
dinner on Thursday. During the meal I told her to call Dain so she did
right there and put him on speaker and asked when he is coming to
baptize her. He said hopefully in May so we're very excited. She also
came to "Night of Music and Inspiration" last night and really loved
it. She told us that the sisters have had a bigger impact than the
elders have. She said it's not that they elders aren't great but we've
just had a huge impact and that she's ok with the elders being
transferred but she's not ok with us ever being transferred. I LOVE

For the family history video, they created a 3 minute one of just
Elder Alca talking. He was my zone leader last transfer and just
barely went home. Look up "Family History Initiative - Elder Alca" on
YouTube and it should come up.

Also, look up the Washington, D.C. Visitors Center on YouTube to find
their channel. Hopefully they'll be posting the videos from "Night of
Music and Inspiration" soon. If not I'll be getting a copy anyway so
you'll see it one day.

Sister Bascom is leaving us tomorrow to train two new ASL sisters for
4 weeks before going back to Temple Square. I'm really sad she's
leaving us. She was only with us for 2 weeks but I have really enjoyed
it. She's so awesome and a great missionary. If any of you are ever at
Temple Square between the middle of May and end of October, look for
Sister Bascom (: she'll have a Canadian flag on her name tag. And let
her know I think she's amazing. :( :(

Read Jeremiah 17:7-8. I love you all.

Sister Black

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