Monday, June 23, 2014

Super Strange Lifestyle - Week 21

Dear family,

Harrison is SO CUTE! Oh my goodness I am dying! I used to think Emma
was the cutest baby ever but I think Harry has her beat (: I have been
showing everyone pictures of him. Well when appropriate of course. I
stare at the pictures of him whenever I have free time at meals or
before bed and try to comprehend that this cute little thing is my
brother. I've always wanted a brother. I wasn't sure how I'd react
when he was born. I thought for sure I'd be homesick but I'm not. I
can't wait to meet him but I know that I'm where I need to be and I'm
not in any hurry to get home. But when I get home he's going to be all
mine for a few days. (: Also look out for a present for him in the

Well the Velasquez didn't get baptized. :( They texted us on Tuesday
and said to cancel it and that they aren't ready. I was pretty down
about it all day. I soon realized that I was being selfish. I was
mainly upset because I wouldn't get a baptism and I was mad at them.
But it isn't about the numbers. My success as a missionary isn't based
on how many baptisms I get. It's based on how hard I work and if I'm
really doing all that The Lord asks. Maybe I won't be here to see the
Velasquez get baptized, but what I have done is teach them about the
restored gospel of Jesus Christ and that their family can be together
forever. One day they'll be ready and I'm glad that I have at least
helped them a little bit along their way.

Oh yeah, I'm getting transferred. I don't know where I'm going. They
send out a mass voicemail Saturday night and tell us only if we're
leaving and staying but they don't tell us where we are going or who
is coming to us until Tuesday night. Then on Wednesday morning we go
to the Visitors Center and have a transfer meeting, meet our new
companion, then drive to our area and begin a transfer together. So
I'll know where I'm going Tuesday night. I'm feeling bittersweet about
it. About two weeks ago I all of a sudden started feeling tired of
being in Poolesville so I felt relieved when I heard I'm leaving. I'm
really going to miss the people though. I know some of these people
are going to be lifelong friends. Me and Ashley Barney are already
planning on rooming at BYU haha. The Coplins and I decided already
that their baby, Grayson, who's going to be born in August, and
Harrison are going to be bffs. I don't want to mention everyone
because I don't want to forget someone but I'll just say that leaving
Dee will be the saddest. :(

We got to do baptisms and confirmations at the temple on Thursday. The
baptistery is beautiful. They allowed us to take up to 5 names. It was
a really cool thing to do for my ancestors. We were there from 9am to
1pm because it took us a while to get through everyone so we were
pretty tired but it was fun.

We had some good lessons this week. We taught Francisco at the
Visitors Center which went really well. We also taught a solid lesson
to Laura. We taught Dee family history with Sister Davis which was
fun. Last night we had dinner with Katie and AJ at the Woodsons and we
read Alma 32 and discussed it which was good. We had some other
lessons as well. I love teaching.

That's about my week. Not really that barely tells you anything. Being
a missionary is so much more than what my letters can ever tell you.
It is the craziest roller coaster. The days feel like weeks and the
weeks feel like days. Some days you have so much to do that you wish
you had more time and other days you have nothing to do yet you need
to somehow be productive for 2 hours in the middle of the day when no
one is home. You forget what it's like to not be a missionary. You
forget what it's like to just chill at home with your family, to be
able to run to the store by yourself, to surf the web and google
anything you want, to call your mom when you're lonely or sad, to have
an evening where you have nothing to do and that's ok, to not feel
guilty for not talking to that woman down the street, to come home and
take a nap after church. I definitely miss it, but now it seems so
foreign to me. Family seems so distant and separate. But nothing can
even compare with being a missionary. It's living this super strange
lifestyle and working hard every day and meeting these amazing people
that changes you. I can't even imagine my life without knowing these
people and I feel like I'm becoming a better person because of them
but also because of all of my experiences, both the good and the bad.
I'm learning how to cope with stressful situations without my usual
escapes like sleeping or calling home in tears. Nothing can prepare
you for what a mission is like and it's probably a good idea that no
one can explain exactly what it's like. It's something we need to
figure out and get through ourselves because that's how we really
learn and grow. I'm so grateful that I have friends on missions as
well. I email Elder Ben Fisher every week. When I emailed him before
my mission, I couldn't understand how he was feeling and my emails
were pretty shallow. But now, we connect so much better because we
know exactly how we're both feeling. I'm not serving in a foreign
country with tons of Muslims where you're lucky to get a single
baptism, but we both have our good days and bad days and we don't have
to give specifics because we already know what the other person is
feeling. I'm so glad I have a lot of people I know on missions. Even
though I only talk to a couple of them on a weekly basis, it's so
comforting and empowering to know that we're all in this together.
Being a missionary is so tiring, frustrating, exhilarating, and life
changing. I can't say I love being a missionary every day, but every
day I'm grateful to be a missionary and in the Lord's army. 85,000
strong. I'm part of the largest army of missionaries in the history of
the church and we are all out laboring in the Lord's vineyard for the
last time to prepare the world for the second coming of Jesus Christ.
This is serious stuff. Yes the cute farewells and letter and pictures
are fun, but we are part of this huge work in these days that the
prophets have spoken about since the beginning of the world. How great
is my calling!

Ok my rant is over. I love you all, please give Harrison plenty of
kisses for me! Read Romans 1:16. The Lord is hastening His work, are
you going to be ashamed of Him? Or stand strong until the end.

Love, Sister Black

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