Monday, June 2, 2014

Fireflies - Week 18


Man it seems like every time I sit down to write an email I have
nothing to tell you. Hm. Well let's start with the bad news.

We went to go see Dee on Friday and she's still not recovering well
from surgery. So basically she has to put off her baptism for longer
until she's better. She is really upset about it. She's been ready to
be baptized since the day I got here. Everyone pray for her to heal
quickly. :(  On the bright side I saw fireflies for the first time
while at Dee's lesson. I thought I was going crazy because I kept on
seeing random, small, blinking lights out of the corner of my eye.
Sister Taggart was having the same thoughts too. Their light doesn't
stay on the whole time, it blinks. Anyway, as soon as more started
coming out and I realized what was happening, I got super excited and
Dee just laughed as Sister Taggart and I acted like little kids. For
some reason I've never actually believed they're real or I thought
people over exaggerated what they look like but they are exactly as
people say. We had to leave before more came out so Dee said she'll
catch some for us in a jar for next time (:

We've taught the Velasquez a couple times this week. We had a lesson
on Wednesday that went really well. We also had dinner with them at a
Hispanic member family's home. They're doing great and are excited for
the mom and daughter to be baptized.

We were at the Visitors Center Friday and Saturday mornings last week.
They asked us to come in Saturday as well even though we're not
scheduled because there were tons of tours happening. There were a few
weddings going on too so everyone who couldn't go in the temple stayed
at the Visitors Center for a couple hours to wait as well. We talked
to lots of people which was good.

I learned an important lesson on Friday. I was talking to the woman on
the phone again at the Visitors Center who had called asking for a
free Book of Mormon two months ago and who I've talked to a couple
times since. She had questions about the trinity, polygamy, and
revelations. I found out more information and evidence in the bible
for them. I called her again on Friday prepared with my answers.
However, she was not understanding anything. She was arguing and her
arguments were totally illogical and I was getting so annoyed. To me
it made perfect sense but to her it didn't. I wanted to just hang up
the phone. She also told me that I need to pray again and make sure
I'm receiving the right answer. Out of frustration I bore my testimony
to her hard core about the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, and prayer. I
don't know how it transitioned but after that she started telling me
how she can tell I love The Lord and them she told me about her
conversion to Jesus and the day she was saved. She then asked me about
the day I was saved. I just told her about my experience of praying to
God and receiving an answer that I should serve a mission. We ended up
having a really nice conversation about Jesus. She also told me she
was 71 so then I knew I was done arguing with her. Not that I meant it
to turn into an argument but it did. She sounds a lot younger, maybe
50. Anyway, we discussed our beliefs about Jesus Christ and our love
for Him and she gave me permission to send her missionaries. I then
asked if I could call her again and we can talk more about God. She
said she'd love that and she knows she'll see me in Heaven and then
right before she hung up she told me she loves me. Lesson learned: the
spirit of contention isn't the way to go. We all have our differences
but it's more important to focus on what we do have in common. We
disagree on the trinity and what Revelations and Ezekiel mean but we
both believe in and love our Savior and I'd rather focus on Him than
what we think the bible is saying.

The family history class on Thursday was successful. It was our last
of the three week course. We got some good feedback. I spent most of
the lesson writing on the board and explaining how to merge and edit
people and search for information. I really enjoyed doing the class,
hopefully we'll do it again soon (if I'm not transferred!).

I loved fast and testimony meeting yesterday. Everyone's testimonies
were so solid and really funny and a couple had to do with being a
black Mormon but they love how they are treated like they're white at
church. I was dying. This ward is hysterical, I was in such a good
mood afterward.

It was Elder Jensen's birthday yesterday so we were joking how his
companion, Elder Lim, should get up to bear his testimony and tell
everyone it's Elder Jensen's birthday so someone will offer to feed
them. And he did. He got up there to bear his testimony and right in
the middle he told everyone that it is companions birthday today while
Sister Taggart and I burst out in silent laughter. His testimony
worked too. It was also Ashley Barney's birthday so her parents went
up to them afterward and invited them over for dinner and cake and ice
cream. Another score for the elders.

We also went to Ashley Barney's but we had another dinner appointment
so we missed dinner and her mission call opening. We got cake though
so it's ok. She's going to Fresno California Spanish speaking, leaving
to the Mexico MTC August 27th! After, we went with her and her mom and
three of her non member friends to the Visitors Center for the musical
performance out on by Sister Eyring, her brother, and a few of her
talented musically inclined friends. We were 30 minutes late because
we left 15 minutes late and then we started driving and we realized
that the seats were switched in the back so Sister Taggart had two
seat belts and I didn't have one. We spent 15 minutes on the side of
the road figuring out how to pull out the seats and put them back in.
I had thought about not saying anything since we were running late but
I know that even though God protects His missionaries, He doesn't when
they're being stupid. And we had also just barely been talking about
missionaries who die on their missions and I don't want my name added
to that list. But anyway, the performance was beautiful and we showed
them a couple missionary videos at the Visitors Center afterward as
well until I accidentally locked us out of the iPad used to start
them. Oops. It was a fun night though.

So I didn't come on my mission for any luxuries but I am spoiled here.
A good example of this was Thursday. During personal study in the
morning, Elder Schroer called us and asked if our car is getting high
on miles. We said yes it has 50,000 (so high!). He said ok he's going
to bring us a new car and asked what color we wanted out of 3 choices
and we chose red. After district meeting, he drove up in a brand new
red 2014 Toyota corolla with only 96 miles on it. He handed us the
keys and told us to be careful and read the owners manual and that was
it. He drove off in our "old" 2011 Toyota and we drove off in the new
one. It's a nice car (:

I'm glad you guys saw the family history video on Facebook. This week
is zone training and they'll be showing it in every zone so the whole
mission will have watched it by Friday. Already I have sisters going
up to me telling me they've watched it and it's super cute. I'm a
mission celebrity now, they should just cast me for The District 3
already (: it's a lot different than what it was originally supposed
to be. It was going to be an informational video but it turned into
more of an "I'm a Mormon" feel.

Also, apparently my MTC companion, Sister Wog, went home this week.
Heart problems or something? :/

Well I guess I did have a lot to tell you. I'm getting so fast typing
these up on my oversized iPhone. Btw, how is it June? I swear it's
still April. I'm probably going to say this every time it's a new
month so get used to it haha. Read Psalms 118:24. If nothing else is
going right, still be grateful that God made this beautiful day for us

Love you all!!

Sister Black

All the bracelets, and the ring, that people have made for me here.
Food and rubber band bracelets are how people show their love. And
that's how lovely I usually look at the end of a long day.

There are bikers everywhere on the way to the temple and they like to
make us late for our Visitors Center shift.

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