Monday, August 11, 2014

Rinse and Repeat - Week 28

Dear family,

Last Wednesday was transfers. Sister Lewis and I are still together on
Kensington but now we're in the Visitors Center 6 days a week, about
25 hours a week. They put elders back in our area so now we have a
trio of elders as well! We were so excited. It took a huge load off of
us. We met Wednesday evening with them and decided how to split the
area and gave them investigators and less actives to teach and check

Funny story. So we taught our new investigator a few weeks ago. She
had gone to the Visitors Center and requested to have missionaries
teach her. We taught her which was fine but then she couldn't meet
again until last Wednesday. She is in the elders area now so we needed
to pass her to them. We had the brilliant idea of having all five of
us teach her so they could get to know each other. She came into the
vc later on Wednesday night after our meeting with the elders. We went
into a room and we had a prayer and we had a lesson prepared for her.
She spent over an hour telling us how dead people speak to her and ask
her to do things, she's married but she made eye contact with a guy at
work and now she's knows he's the one she's supposed to be with and
she realized that sex shouldn't be part of relationships, marijuana
and alcohol should be allowed because they're natural but tobacco
shouldn't be because it isn't natural (?), God made us evolve from
apes, God isn't one person but is the combined subconsciousness of
everyone and once we die we become part of it. I had to bite my cheek
sometimes to keep from grinning. The best part is that one of the
elders, Elder Williams, is brand new so this was his very first lesson
with an investigator. His face was priceless. Welcome to the mission.
We showed her the Joseph Smith movie and then the elders took it from

This transfer is different not only because we have elders now but
because we are in a different district now. We were really bummed
about it. Our district was the best (aka the baptizing district. True
story.) and now we're in a district with a bunch of Spanish
missionaries. We had our last district meeting last Tuesday. It was
really fun but sad. I have never felt so much love for so many people
outside of my family and have felt the same love returned. This is a
huge part of why I love being a missionary. All of my friends are
here, not at home. I never had this with anyone at home. Elder
Stevenson is a talented artist and also wants to major in animation at
BYU. He was in our district and drew a picture of us. It's so cute, I
love it. Then we reenacted it.

Saturday lunch with one of our recent converts. Let's call him Mike.
He is one of the weirdest, most awkward people I've ever met. I don't
know what it is about him but as a rule we sisters try to keep our
distance. He gives us random gifts and has been known to stalk other
sister missionaries before. He has been taking the lessons for years
and was finally baptized in May. When he was bearing his testimony at
his baptism he said he was ready to take upon himself the name of
Christ, Joseph Smith, and Brigham Young. Yeah. I hesitate to write
more but there's some background info.  He discovered the missionary
meal calendar a couple months ago and has been trying to schedule
dinner with us but we told him he needs to find another female to do
it with since he's a single male and we can't be alone with him. He
finally got a really nice older African woman in our ward to host us.
We weren't looking forward to it but we went. We arrived at 2pm and he
wasn't there so we talked to the lady, Patience, for a while. About
twenty minutes later he called and said he's gonna be late. We decided
to start without him since Sister Lewis and I had to leave at 3 to get
to our shift at the Visitors Center. We finished and he didn't arrive
until exactly 3 when we were done eating and had to leave. He brought
a bag of cakes he bought and gave each of us one then we left.
Patience was so annoyed. He had been trying so hard for months to
schedule a meal with us and when he finally got one he didn't show up.
That's Mike for you.

Alba came to church for the first time yesterday! Super exciting. The
meetings were rough though. The first speaker was a woman who spoke
about marriage. Slightly awkward since last week we discussed with
Alba that she needs to divorce her husband and marry her boyfriend in
order to get baptized. The beginning was good as she quoted the Family
Proclamation. But then she started going on about how men and women
think differently and then she gave lots of examples of how she and
her husband think differently and all these things he's done and he's
always in the wrong because he's a man and men don't think straight.
People were laughing but it was awkward, especially since he was
speaking next so he sat up there on the stand as she talked about the
stupid thing he did last week with ordering flowers. Finally he got up
to speak and it was on family history. He spent a long time talking
about how to do it with technology and when he finally got the
spiritual side of it, he looked at the clock and realized he was ten
minutes over so he skipped it. Ugh. Then in Sunday school it was all
about priesthood organization so she spent an hour learning about
deacons, teachers, priests, elders, Melchizedek, and Aaron. It was a
great lesson but rough for someone who didn't even know what the
priesthood was a couple weeks ago. Then in relief society it was about
marriage sealings and covenants where once again Jesus wasn't even
mentioned. Why can't we just have lessons on the Plan of Salvation or
the gospel of Jesus Christ or the atonement? I had no clue what the
gospel of Jesus Christ was or why our church was so different and
special until I came on my mission and someone finally explained it to
me. All those lessons about the temple and making lists of the
qualities I want in my future husband and gratitude did nothing to
teach me more about the gospel or prepare me for my mission. I don't
understand why we spend so much time talking about deep or obscure
doctrine yet we barely know the basics. No wonder so many people are
going astray, they don't understand the gospel of Jesus Christ. Our
basic message is this: Through a modern prophet, God has restored
knowledge about the plan of salvation, which is centered on Christ’s
Atonement and fulfilled by living the first principles and ordinances
of the gospel. We need to focus more on Jesus Christ and then branch
out from there. Sometimes Jesus gets lost in all of the information.
Also, I wish people at church would notice that we have investigators
so maybe we shouldn't mentions polygamy and if you see someone sitting
with the missionaries, go up and talk to them instead of ignoring
them. I was just so incredibly annoyed at people yesterday at church.
We know this is the true church that Jesus Christ restored so can we
act like it a little more? #smh

That's about everything that I feel like writing about. Thank you Cari
for the letter. Also Grandma Carol and Hannah for yours a couple weeks
ago. I'm feeling the love. <3

3 Nephi 27:19-21. The doctrine of Christ is to have faith, repent, be
baptized, receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, and endure to the end.
This is how we access the atonement of Jesus Christ and return to live
with Him. We need to continually do these things. Always have faith,
always repent, take the sacrament to renew your baptismal covenants,
always be worthy to have the Holy Ghost with you, rinse, and repeat.

Sister Black

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