Monday, September 15, 2014

Meredith's Baptism - Week 33

Dear family,

Meredith was baptized on Saturday!! It was so good. Sister Lewis and I
got off VC shift early to fill up the font and get set up. We had
Meredith try on baptismal clothes on Friday but the only sizes we had
at the church were 8 year old and Hagrid so an hour before her baptism
the elders got her clothes from a different church building. Thank
goodness they fit. The program was really nice. A lot of people showed
up which was a relief since 5 minutes before it was just missionaries
and ward missionaries and she and her mom. Mormon standard time at its
finest. We had some good talks and by the time it was time for the
actual baptism she was really overcome. We stood with her next to the
stairs of the font and hugged her as she pulled herself together. She
was fully immersed first time. After she came up out of the water she
gave Elder Fuller a hi five. When she came out after getting dressed,
Sister Lewis played the piano while I sang "When I Am Baptized/He Sent
His Son."

It was the strangest feeling having someone I taught be baptized.
Sister Lewis and I met her for the first time at the VC Lindsay
Sterling concert my first day in Kensington 12 weeks ago. A couple
weeks later we met with her again and started teaching her. She felt
the Holy Ghost so strongly from the beginning. After being out of town
she came to church 4 times in a row and readily agreed to keep the
commandments and follow Christ even though it was hard and wasn't what
she was used to. We got to see her change. She has this new light in
her eyes and she's so happy and comfortable at church. I thought I
would be bouncing off the walls and cheering on her baptismal day.
After all, baptism is the goal and is what missionaries do. But I felt
so peaceful and calm. I was so happy and excited but it was such a
deep, inner feeling. This event had so much significance. Another one
of God's children has come unto Him and made a covenant with Him and
has joined His church. I'm so humbled to have been part of that
process. But this is still the beginning. Meredith has a lot more to
learn and to grow in so many ways and I'm excited to help her along
her way. Although I'm leaving Kensington this Wednesday I'll still
keep in contact with her and always be there for her. One cool thing
about the day she got baptized was that it was on that day, September
13th, of last year that I got my wisdom teeth out in order to serve a
mission. So exactly a year later I was rewarded by having my first
baptism. If only I knew then.. Know that a year ago today I was a
drugged chipmunk.

Last night was Night of Music and Inspiration. I accompanied a sister
who sang "He Hears Me." It's a cheesy efy song but it sounded good.

Thursday was a party. President Cooke didn't want any of us in the
city on 9/11 so he had everyone in the Washington, D.C. zone have a
zone conference from 9am to 5pm. Usually zone conferences end at 3 so
we did some extra things. We had workshops by the assistants to the
President, zone leaders, President Cooke, Sister Cooke, and other
senior couples. We had a temple grounds tour, they fed us lunch, and
after lunch we played "do you love your neighbor" for a while.
President Cooke told a couple Chinese elders that I'm going to the
Chinese branch so I was talking to one of them for a while and he was
telling me about it.

At 5pm on Thursday we had shift at the VC so we went straight there
after zone conference was over. We had shift for 2 hours and then all
the VC sisters came in and we watched "The Saratov Approach." Our VC
training leaders had told us at the beginning of the transfer that if
we find 500 ways to teach principles at the VC then we'd get a prize.
So at 7 we had popcorn and treats and we all watched it in one of the
theaters. It was so good. I saw it last October when it came out in
theaters but a lot of the sisters hadn't seen it. We were so spoiled
on Thursday, it was fun.

I've been studying Chinese a lot this week. I study it whenever I'm at
the VC. I made a bunch of flash cards that I've been learning. I feel
like I'm cramming for the test but the test is to effectively teach
Chinese people the gospel in only a few days. Every day I basically
study Chinese and cram it into my head until my brain hurts and won't
take in anymore. It's fun. A Chinese elder showed me on how to
get to the Chinese materials and I discovered that I could download
the PDFs on my iPad so I now have the Chinese Book of Mormon, D&C,
Pearl of Great Price, General Conference, missionary pamphlets, and
the Book of Mormon children's picture book on my iPad which is so
nice. Yesterday I learned how to read the first page of the picture
book. The other pages I can understand probably 2/3 of the words and
the rest I can guess. I'm getting there. I'm starting to feel more
stressed about transfers and it's probably going to be a crazy week
trying to figure out a new area and companion and language. I could
use a lot of prayers right now.

We went to Georgia Avenue in the city today so one sister could shop
for a dress and then we got sushi and DC cupcakes. By the time we get
home I'll only have about 4 hours to pack up so I'll probably be up
late tonight and tomorrow night packing. That means I'll be behind on
sleep all week and on a mission you really can't make it up so that's
grand. Oh well. The sushi was good.

Deuteronomy 4:29-31

Love you all!

Sister Black

1&2 Meredith's baptism (: (: (: (:


3 the Kensington gang. Amber left this morning to go back home to
California and Idaho after living here since the spring. She was the
one who introduced us to Meredith.

4 sushi we had today

5 the page I learned to read yesterday. I can now teach about the first vision.


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