Monday, August 4, 2014

The Nats Game - Week 27

Dear family,

Last Saturday was the Nats game!!! We travelled as districts on the
metro to get there and then we all bought expensive hats and took
pictures. It was the nationals vs. the Phillies and the Nats won 11-0. It was so much fun. The game started at 7 and ended at 10:18. We didn't get home until about 12:10am ish. It was so fun to be there with the rest of our mission. President and Sister Cooke were so proud to be there with their missionaries from the "best mission in the history of life" as they call it. It was kind of weird being there with all these people and listening to music and screaming and doing the wave and just having fun on a Saturday night instead of out proselyting. Also, I saw Kiersten Rossi there. She's a missionary in the DC south mission and she's been out for around 2 months. We used to be best friends in elementary school and had sleep overs all the time, but we haven't seen each other since we were 11. Who would've guessed that the two best friends that substitute teachers used to think were sisters would reunite at a Nats game in Washington, D.C. as missionaries? Crazy. We only talked for about five minutes but it was cool seeing her again. I still picture her in my head as a ten year old haha.

I really enjoyed the game but I'll be honest, being there made me
realize how much I love being a missionary. I was so proud to be there with so many missionaries who I have grown to really love and respect. My district is so close and I have never felt so much closeness and love for so many people. In high school I felt like I didn't really fit in and I had a hard time making friends but here, I fit right in and we're all just a huge family that loves each other. There was lots of music and dancing and ads which was fun, but why would I want to go back to that world when I can be a missionary giving my time for a higher purpose serving the God I love and meeting incredible people? Last night as I was laying in bed, I thought about how I have 11 months left and for the first time on my mission, I felt sick about it. This is going by too fast. I don't want it to end because this is the most amazing and fulfilling thing I've ever done and once it's done it's over. I only have so many months left and then I'll never be a young sister missionary again. I never thought I'd get to this point where I really do love my mission more than home, but I do. This mission has changed my life and I have never felt so happy and close to God. It's incredible.

On the metro there and back we divided and conquered and talked to
people and gave out Book of Mormons and pass along cards. Sister Lewis and I gave out a Book of Mormon and then I also gave out a few
Visitors Center cards on the metro. It was fun to see the other
missionaries in action, teaching and testifying and giving out Book of Mormons. We role play a lot but it's not super often that we actually see each other in these actual situations. We don't just hand out Book of Mormons and cards to everyone. We try to start a conversation with someone first and eventually bring it to the gospel since we can't just go around preaching on the gospel and quite frankly everyone would hate us if we did. There were a couple guys outside the stadium who were holding signs and speaking through a mega phone about Jesus and how we're going to hell unless we repent. Not surprisingly, no one took them seriously. Missionaries teach people one by one just like Jesus did. Of course there are times when we speak and teach to multiple people, but we really do try to focus on the one. Not walk around with signs and tell people they're going to hell. Because the fact of the matter is that at least 99% of people probably aren't going to "hell", they're going to a kingdom of glory (aka heaven). But if they want to get into the highest one then they need to be baptized and all that. I just hate when people think that God will just toss anyone to hell because they didn't believe in Him or didn't know about Him. That's not how a loving Heavenly Father would ever treat His children.

Our investigators are... I don't know. Good and frustrating. None of
our baptismal dates came to church yesterday. We've been teaching
Pulla and his two kids. They are on baptism date. The French elders in our district came and gave him a blessing on Tuesday. The problem is that Pulla is like in his 60s maybe and has a hard time disciplining his 9 year old twins. He didn't come to church because they wouldn't wake up and they didn't come to a baptism because the kids didn't want to go even though Pulla really wanted to. He's been through a ton of hard stuff but he needs to step up and really be their dad.

We've been teaching a woman named Alba. She's the one whose daughter
is Gisselle. She's loving the lessons and is really wanting to change. But unfortunately she might not get baptized for a while because of some commandment issues that she'll need to take care of first. It's similar to problems they have in South America with undivorced couples.. I hate divorce (shocking) so it's weird for me to be telling someone they need to.. Idk. Whatever. The spirit will tell me what to do.

Our two other b dates are Meredith and Kidist. Meredith is golden and is out of town until next week. Kidist told us she realized that
anyone can baptize her and authority doesn't matter. Umm no. That was a fun lesson. It ended well but now she won't return our calls. :/

Sister Lewis and I are still going to be together next transfer. This Wednesday is transfers. We decided we need to be better. Our area is currently leading the mission with baptismal dates and President Cooke always goes on about how great we are and how proud he is of us, but we honestly aren't being as good as we should be and the b dates aren't super solid. We don't want to let President down but we're just feeling bad. We're excited and determined to really do better this transfer.

I've been out for over six months and I'm still the newest English
sister. All the sisters who came with or after me are Spanish and ASL. We're finally getting new English sisters this week so I won't be the youngest anymore. (:

Alma 36:17-21 "And it came to pass that as I was thus racked with
torment, while I was harrowed up by the memory of my many sins,
behold, I remembered also to have heard my father prophesy unto the
people concerning the coming of one Jesus Christ, a Son of God, to
atone for the sins of the world.

Now, as my mind caught hold upon this thought, I cried within my
heart: O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me, who am in the gall of bitterness, and am encircled about by the everlasting chains of death.

And now, behold, when I thought this, I could remember my pains no
more; yea, I was harrowed up by the memory of my sins no more.

And oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain!

Yea, I say unto you, my son, that there could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter as were my pains. Yea, and again I say unto you, my son, that on the other hand, there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy."

Love you all (:

Sister Black




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