Monday, March 2, 2015

Back to the Chinese Branch - Week 56


This Wednesday I am going back to the Chinese branch. I am getting a
Chinese sister from temple square again and in April I will be getting
a Taiwanese sister who is called here to this mission to be a Chinese
sister. We are also getting a sister who is ABC (American-born
Chinese) who is called here English but will end up being in the
Chinese branch as well and our new sister from New Zealand, Sister
Kennerly, who took Chinese in high school like me and was disappointed
not to get called to Taiwan. I assume she will end up Chinese as well.
It's interesting how both Sister Kennerly and the ABC sister (Sister
Liao I think) were both called here and happen to know Chinese right
as the Chinese branch is getting started. Salt Lake is slow about
getting Chinese sisters out here but the Lord knows what he's doing
and is sending sisters already prepared to speak Chinese here just
like He did with me. It's so fun to see the Lord's hand in the work. I
am very nervous to be going back but I have faith that it will be
better this time. I'm older and more experienced, my Chinese is
better, I know what I'm doing, and I have people to teach. Last time I
didn't know what I was doing, received no direction from anyone, and
we had no one to teach and I didn't even know how to effectively find
Chinese people to teach. And also at least I know that if it ends up
being really hard like last time, I only have three transfers left so
I can endure to the end with the end in sight whereas last time I
thought I would be doing this for the next nine months and I was kind
of super stressed out about that.

Last Tuesday we had two general authorities come and visit our mission
to talk to us about our iPads. They are going to essentially "reset"
us with the way we use our devices to share the gospel. We are going
to get new iPads this week so I have spent a while backing up all my
pictures and notes. They are also taking us off Facebook for a bit.
They have a three step training program that we have to go through and
that every new missionary will have to go through. As soon as we
finish the training for Facebook then we will be back on. I'm excited
to not be on Facebook for a while. I never wanted to be a Facebook
missionary anyway.

Wednesday I got to shower for the first time since the Saturday before
since our water was off and then all we had was cold. It was
delightful. We visited two older women in the ward who don't come to
church very much. They're really sweet and fun to be around.

Thursday afternoon I had a short meeting over Skype with President
Cooke and the Chinese elders about the Chinese branch. Apparently one
set of elders that had been covering my area have a lot of
investigators there that I get to teach when I go back so that is
super exciting.

Thursday evening was the departing missionary dinner. Sister Busath
went with the other missionaries while I went on exchanges with
another sister. It has snowed earlier that day and we were going to
have two appointments at the family history center but it was closed
so we had to cancel those and then we called Dave who we were meeting
with at 8 but he could only do 7 and we were supposed to go to dinner
at 6:30 and wouldn't be back in time so I had the other sisters in
Kensington take it. The dinner was supposed to be at a senior couple's
apartment with a couple sisters who we were going to be with since one
of them was going to go home the next day for medical reasons.
However, the sister I was on exchanges with was on new medication and
was super stressed and crying and freaking out and one of the vc
trainers pulled me aside and kindly said that the sisters don't really
want us there anymore because the sister going home was already super
stressed out already. Since that cancelled and we no longer had any
plans for the next 3 1/2 hours for the end of the night, the vc
trainers let us stay on shift since they were short 3 people anyway.
We ran to Wendy's to get dinner really fast and I bought my temporary
companion dinner and we talked and laughed and by the time we got back
to the VC and finished eating she was a lot happier which was a
relief. Fun night. She also speaks ASL so she taught me ways she
studies her language which will help me study Chinese. It was really
helpful so I was grateful to be with her.

Friday morning we had the departing sisters give their testimonies at
VC training meeting. These keep on happening too quickly. Then we were
on shift at the vc. We did some weekly planning and I did planning for
Chinese this week so that I will have a plan of what we are going to
do. That night we talked to a few people at a metro stop then had
dinner then went out and visited people. Sister Busath was pretty
grumpy which made me really grumpy so we grumpily proselyted. At 7 we
had an appointment with a member family. We went there 20 minutes
early and had almost arrived when we got a call from the VC asking us
if we could stop by because there was a Chinese family there so we
decided to stop by there since it was close. As we parked and got out
of the car, a woman and her daughter pulled over next to us and rolled
down their window to talk. They asked us what the temple was and when
church services are there. We explained to them the difference between
temples and chapels and invited them to come to church on Sunday. They
agreed and we got their number. The mom, Marta, and her daughter,
Ruth, were both from Ethiopia. We then went inside the vc and I joined
Sister Kennerly and began to teach the Chinese family about temples.
Marta and Ruth then came in the vc so Sister Busath went off and
taught them. By the time we were done, we were both in such good
moods. Sister Busath loves African people and I enjoy getting to teach
Chinese people at the vc. It was such a fun detour and miracle. God
knew we were grumpy and needed to be cheered up and teach people whom
we love. We then went to the members home and were late but had a good
visit with them.

Saturday after studies, Sister Busath and I checked on people and
walked around for a few hours. We were frozen and tired but it was
really good. Then we went to the vc and taught Dave. After that we
were on shift. The Chinese branch was having a Chinese New Year party
at the stake center next door and so I got permission to go to it. The
sister training leaders dropped me off and I stayed with either Elder
and sister Fowler or Sister Connell's daughter the whole time as my
companions. I was able to see a lot of the Chinese members including
my recent convert, Lin, and a couple investigators that I have been
looking forward to teaching again. The food was authentic Chinese food
(aka not Panda Express style) and the activities and performances were
fun. It was a good night.

Yesterday morning it snowed then hailed then rained and then it all
froze. We went to church but we weren't allowed to drive. Marta and
Ruth came for the last 20 minutes of church because they didn't
realize that it was at the church building and not the temple. When we
got home we just hung around and I spent some time studying Chinese
while Sister Busath packed since she's going home this Wednesday.

Today we went to the holocaust museum. It was really cool but sad. A
big theme there is that now we know what happened, how are we going to
prevent it from happening again? I definitely want to go again since I
didn't get to look at everything I wanted to. Next time I'll take one
of you with me. Start saving up money to come visit!

"Behold, I will hasten my work in its time"(D&C 88). The Lord is
hastening His work. What are you doing to help hasten it? We need to
all be sharing the gospel, giving service, teaching others, and doing
family history. If we aren't doing these things then we aren't doing
what God has asked.

Love you all!

Sister Black

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