Monday, June 16, 2014

Mormon Celebrities - Week 20

Dear family,

I was in DC for 8 hours today. My morning was better than yours. Sorry.

The weather here is crazy. It rains a lot and there are tons of
thunderstorms and flash floods and tornado warnings. Wednesday night
after our lesson with the Velasquez, we stepped out on the street and
the water was above our ankles. The streets were flooding and some
streets were rivers. It was an adventure to drive in.

Last night we went to "Why I Believe" with a couple members and a man
who was baptized a couple years ago but was less active for a while.
It was the best one I'd been to. Every third Sunday at the Visitors
Center we have "Why I Believe" which is where they have a few recent
converts give testimonies and then they have everyone who's been
baptized within the past couple of weeks stand up and say their name,
where they live, and when they were baptized. It's fun because some
will stand up and proudly announce that they were just baptized that
day and then everyone cheers. There's also  a guest speaker every
time. Last night it was Charity Tillemann-Dick who's a soprano opera
singer and has had two lung transplants. Her story was incredible. She
talked for a long time but everyone was dead silent and was listening
intensely. She's a great story teller and made just about everyone cry
from laughing and from her story and the spirit. She has an amazing
voice too. It was so cool.

The Velasquez are scheduled to be baptized this Sunday! They had an
interview yesterday but they cancelled on us last minute. We were
pretty ticked off. We gave them the zone leader's number and told them
it's now their responsibility to schedule an interview. We'll make
sure it happens but we aren't going to schedule another one for them
if they can't make it and this time they'll be more accountable. But
their lesson went well on Wednesday. At first it was a little
contentious because Esteban is still struggling from the anti stuff he
listened to. He started to get really agitated and say that basically
it's not enough to believe in God but we have to believe in this man
Joseph Smith as well to join the church. He was scaring me a bit.
Finally I was able to explain to him that we don't base our religion
off of a man, we base it off of our belief in God. But we do need to
read and believe in the Book of Mormon because if the Book of Mormon
is true then Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and that means God
still speaks to man and Christ's church has been restored to the
earth. I don't think I've ever explained anything so simply and well
before. I said that and then he shocked me by all of a sudden smiling
and saying "that's a good way of putting it!" Then he sat back and was
calm and happy for the rest of the lesson. I'm glad we got rid of that
spirit of contention. I'm excited for Leticia and Abby to be baptized.
They're so cute.

We are running out of things to teach Dee. She's been ready to be
baptized since I got here and is rock solid. Now we read conference
talks with her and then she bears her testimony and teaches us for the
rest of the time. It works well. Eventually she'll be baptized.

We taught a lot of other lessons this week which was fun. I think a
member is scaring away one of our new investigators. He invited him to
the Visitors Center and said "you should come to the vc. And I say
that in the name of Jesus. In Jesus name amen." And "and the lady of
the house shall go with you. In Jesus name amen." He didn't want to
come to the Visitors Center anymore haha.

Well today is the first time I've been in DC when it's not cloudy or
rainy. We woke up at 3:45 to get to the metro to get to the mall on
time for sunrise at 5:45am. We met up with some other sisters at the
Lincoln memorial in time for sunrise pictures. After pictures and
breakfast, we went to the National Archives Museum where we got to see
the original Declaration of Independence, Constitution, Magna Carta,
and other documents. Then we went to the National Museum of American
History which was super cool. We got to see the original Star-Spangled
Banner and the actual inauguration ball gowns from Michelle Obama and
previous First Ladies and the dress that the woman who sang at the
Super Bowl wore. Every now and then someone would stop us or say "hi,
sisters!" as they passed by us. We're Mormon celebrities. It was
really hot and humid today and now I'm dead tired. But it was a fun

God is truly part of this work. After we left DC, we went to our local
grocery store, Giant. The power was out but we were still able to get
what we needed. I wasn't too thrilled that we had left DC later than
planned and it was/is super hot outside. On the way out of the grocery
store, a guy around our age on his skateboard started randomly talking
to us about how hot it is and how he came to get food but all of the
restaurants are closed because of the power outage so he's just
chilling outside. Then his friend came up to us and told us that he's
Mormon but he hasn't been to church in years. We started talking to
them and he first guy asked of we could come teach him more so we got
his contact info and had him a Book of Mormon and I talked to the
other guy and he said he's gonna try coming to church this week and I
got his number. If we hadn't left DC when we did and if the power
wasn't out, we wouldn't have met them, but they are super ready to
learn and come to church. So cool. God knows what needs to happen. We
talked to a couple other people in DC and were able to give them
Visitors Center or pass along cards. It was fun.

Ok I love you all! Good luck tomorrow, Dad and Cari, with Harrison!
Please spam my Facebook and email with pictures and details! Read Alma
34:32 (:

Love, Sister Black

I found these glasses at the Visitors Center and had too much fun.

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