Monday, February 23, 2015

Election of Grace - Week 55


This week we have had tons of snow. Last Monday right as P day was ending and we were going to head to the VC for shift, we got a callout saying to stay inside. So we stayed inside the apartment for the rest of the night and played Psychiatrist for 2 1/2 hours. 

The next day was still a snow day. It was done snowing but they still didn't want us to drive. So we did our studies and then walked to the VC for our shift. We had a dinner appointment that night that I didn't want to miss because it's with an awesome family so a senior sister at the VC gave us a ride to and from. Then we checked on some people living in our apartment building who are potential investigators and one of our wards recent converts had her grandma come to the door and say she's not interested in missionaries and she's catholic. Lovely. I don't think the elders should have baptized her, she's an adult but she's homeschooled at a fourth grade level and isn't very mature. Whatever. 

We also skyped our investigator, Lucy, at noon that day. She went on a five minute rant about how much she loves mormons and our doctrine is so clear and we are always so happy and that part of her just wants to give in and be a mormon. She's so cool. She's praying about a baptismal date now. 

Wednesday we had district meeting which was grand. Then after that we were on shift from 1pm to 9pm. We took our roommates shift so that they could teach Alba and Gio. Alba and Juan are no longer getting married so Alba can't get baptized :( but her son, Gio, is still going to get baptized since he's the only one keeping all Ten Commandments in that house and he's a cool kid and loves primary. Nothing too exciting happened on shift that day.

Thursday was exciting and interesting and frustrating all at the same time. We had training meeting that morning at the VC which was really really good. It was about "election of grace." Go look up "election" in the Bible Dictionary. After that, we helped to prepare for Chaplain day. While we were preparing, Sister Chapman told Sister Busath and I to come on the floor. I was slightly annoyed because I was about to learn to use an electric knife haha. Anyway we went on the floor and there were tons of Asian kids everywhere. They were all high school kids from Korea here for a school trip. They were also all Christian. Protestant or something. One of the volunteers spoke English and so he asked us to teach them about our church and then he translated. Gladly! So we played the Christus narration for them in Korean which they really enjoyed. Then we took them back to a wall with pictures of different prophets in the Bible and Book of Mormon leading up to Joseph Smith. We taught them the whole first lesson and recited the first vision to them. They were all very well behaved and attentive and asked great questions. We then took them around to another wall with pictures of our current prophet and twelve apostles below Christ and His. We played them President Monson's testimony of the Book of Mormon in Korean after explaining who he is. Partway through the video, a couple of them came up to us and asked if they could have a copy of the Book of Mormon and others were asking us questions in their broken English. We finished off by taking them into a small theater and showing them "Finding Faith in Christ" in Korean. When the movie was over, we came in and answered more questions and then we gave our four Book of Mormons and Joseph Smith testimony pamphlets, articles of faith, and Book of Mormon pass along cards on Korean for them. We finished by going outside and taking a picture with all of them. After that, a couple of the boys asked to take a picture with us. They were apparently behind us pretending to put their arms around us. As they ran off, they turned around and told us in English that we're pretty haha. I love Koreans! So I taught a group of 31 Koreans the restoration. Sister Busath and I were in such a good mood after that. 

At 12:45 we went and had lunch with the chaplains. Each companionship was assigned a chaplain with an accompanying senior missionary or couple. The plan was to enjoy a nice lunch with them and then go tour the facility and answer their questions and show them the temple model and family history. Essentially the whole reason they were there was to learn more about our church so they know how to help the LDS soldiers they are in charge of. Like they need to know how to find a priesthood holder to get a blessing for a wounded soldier and what that even means. Everything went according to plan but the senior couple we were with kind of ruined it for us and I think for the chaplain. Get ready for my rant. So first, we sit down and the wife of the senior elder doesn't show up for ten minutes. Then she sits there and scoops food onto her fork with her fingers, talks with her mouth full, and gets angry when we don't pass the salt and pepper to her quickly enough. Bad manners. Then we went out to give our chaplain his tour and the senior couple just went on and on and would not be quiet. They were totally overloading him with information that he doesn't really need to know and cut off Sister Busath and I multiple times even though we were the ones who's job it was to teach. It's their job to stand there quietly and observe. This went on the whole time and I was extremely annoyed and frustrated. The only part where they were quiet was when we were explaining the Book of Mormon. They know a lot about the organization of the church but not enough about the actual doctrine that backs it apparently. It's so much more important to know the gospel principles and doctrine as outlined in the scriptures and Preach my Gospel instead of all of the facts of how the church runs because in the end it's your testimony of the actual restored gospel doctrine that will save you. Old people in this church sometimes bug me. Not all of them. But I've noticed since being a missionary that some of them are very prideful and think they know it all. Some old people need to chill out endure to the end with love and humility, not pride and overbearance. K end of rant. Anyway, after the tour was over our chaplain left very quickly and seemed very drained as was Sister Busath and I. Our couple left to go butt into someone else's tour. It went ok but it could've gone a lot better and we didn't even get to everything we had planned because they kept talking.

That evening we had dinner with a really sweet member. At 7 we met a lady at the family history center and taught her how to do family history. Then at 8 we had Ward correlation.

Friday evening we had dinner with a member who used to be a diplomat and lived in different countries as a result. People here in DC have such interesting lives. Like it's totally normal to meet people who work in the White House or who are interns for senators or who are in the secret service and it's no big deal. The night before, Sister Busath was telling our roommates and me about how her dad one day made lamb for dinner and she ended up getting super sick from it. Well we went to this sweet lady's house and she had prepared lamb! She's African (: When she left the room, Sister Busath scooped most of her lamb on my plate while I parried the blow by giving her half of my rice since I had too much. She only ate two bites of lamb but for the rest of the night she was having stomach problems haha. 

Saturday was a snow day. I took a nap during lunch and woke up to a blizzard outside and a callout telling us not to drive. So we stayed inside and went up to a senior couple's apartment to use their wifi while we updated our big area map. Then at 6 that night, all eight sisters living here went over to a senior sisters apartment and had Navajo tacos and she told us the story about her husband who died 17 years ago. It's such a cool story.

Yesterday was technically a snow day too even though it didn't snow and by the afternoon the streets were cleared. We went to only an hour of church for sacrament meeting since the rest was cancelled which doesn't make sense to me but oh well. We then checked on some potentials. We were able to finally meet and teach a woman who was a referral from Festival of Lights. We gave her a Book of Mormon and answered her questions and set up a return appointment for a week from Thursday. Too bad neither of us will be there :( We told her it will be new sisters. We had dinner at an older couples house that night. I really like them, they're good old members. Then we went to the VC to meet with a less active man but he ended up canceling. 

By this point all of the snow that had melted in the 50 degree sunny weather was starting to turn to ice on the streets as the temperature dropped again so we just grabbed a couple movies from the VC and went home an hour early since President Cooke didn't want us out driving in the first place. We made popcorn in our microwave which ended up being a mess since we didn't have a cover and then we watched Pioneer Miracle and a documentary on the presidents of the church. 

A pipe in our complex busted yesterday so we didn't have water or heat all day. Now our water is back on but it's cold and still no heat. I tried to wash my hair under the faucet but the water was so cold that I got brain freeze so Sister Busath had to heat up water and pour it in my hair to get the soap out. We're roughing it haha.

Tomorrow everyone is getting new iPads and we won't be using Facebook anymore. This could be anywhere from two months until the end of my mission. I'm not really that bummed except for that was the only way I have communicated with people I am teaching or previously was. Oh well. I'm glad we aren't using Facebook anymore, it's too distracting. My mission is a pilot mission so they're are essentially using us to determine what they should do regarding iPads and online proselyting for other missions. Two members of the Seventy are coming to speak to us tomorrow about it. So exciting. So yeah. I'll probably give my Facebook info to mom to accept friend requests and whatnot and that will be it! No more social media for me hopefully until this summer! 

The Bible dictionary says "An 'election of grace' spoken of in D&C 84:98–102 and Rom. 11:1–5 has reference to one’s situation in mortality; that is, being born at a time, at a place, and in circumstances where one will come in favorable contact with the gospel. This election took place in the premortal existence." We all received blessings before leaving the premortal life. Some of us were set apart to be born into the gospel and some of us were set apart to an election of grace to come into favorable contact with the church. How do people come into favorable contact? Visitors centers and being invited by member friends to activities and missionary work! Cool, right?

"O, my beloved brethren, give ear to my words. Remember the greatness of the Holy One of Israel. Do not say that I have spoken hard things against you; for if ye do, ye will revile against the truth; for I have spoken the words of your Maker. I know that the words of truth are hard against all uncleanness; but the righteous fear them not, for they love the truth and are not shaken"(2 Nephi 9:40). Don't revile against those who speak God's word. 

Love you all.

Sister Black

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