I wonder if my writing skills have improved on my mission since I
write a novel every week. I hope you all have enjoyed my novels.
This week was good. Nothing special. Other than my cat died. I was
pretty devastated about that. The ironic thing was that during car
rides this past week I spent a lot of time telling Sister Wu about my
cats and funny things they do. Then, most ironic of all, she also
asked me on Thursday if animals have spirits and where they go when
they die. I told her that I assume animals go to heaven and that all
the fun, cute ones go to the Celestial Kingdom and all of the bugs and
scary ones go to the lower kingdoms. I was just kidding of course. I
then told her that I'm pretty sure that when my cats die, which
wouldn't be for another 8 years at least since they are only 7 and 8,
that we would get to be with them again. I also jokingly said I wished
I could be sealed to them in the temple. Then the next day Sylvester
died. :( :( Kind of ruined my weekend. I was really looking forward to
seeing my kitties again and taking a video of their reactions to my
homecoming. At least I still have Charlie. But man I'm so sad. :(
Anyway, back to my weekly report. Last Monday we taught Jia Wei and
her husband again. I'll call her husband Brother Wang. We taught them
about the restoration since we had covered God and Jesus by that
point. We did it slowly and simply since all of this is still new to
them. They totally got it. We taught about the apostasy and recited
the first vision (I still need to memorize that one in Chinese) and
told about the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. It went well.
Brother Wang even repeated the story back to us to make sure he had it
correct. We also showed them a short video of Elder Perry testifying
of the restoration with Chinese subtitles. I love teaching this
family. I've only had the privilege of teaching people this prepared a
few times on my mission and it is so exciting.
On Tuesday we had two meal appointments and then a lesson with a less
active man and his non member wife which went well.
Wednesday we had zone conference. That was grand. Lots of great
workshops by our leaders. They also gave each apartment a book with
100 no equipment exercises in it. I'm pretty excited. I don't like
treadmills because I get bored staring at the wall especially with no
music here and there are no good places to run where I live. So I've
been doing those every morning and I feel great.
That night we went and taught Linda Fu. She is less active as well and
her husband isn't a member. After a great lesson, her husband informed
us he's leaving to China on Monday (today) until May. Great.
#chinesebranchprobs Everyone is always leaving to either China or
Taiwan for a couple months! It's super frustrating. Just stay here in
America! In the branch! Let us teach you! Yeah. I can think of two
other families in the branch who are also leaving. Yay.
Thursday we got to drive into the Baltimore mission for a doctors
appointment. It was in Frederick and they have mountains there! Not
super big but they were mountains! I was so excited. I haven't seen
mountains in over a year. That was the highlight of the day. And free
Burger King from a member.
Friday. That afternoon at one we taught Jia Wei by herself. We taught
her about what baptism is and Jesus's baptism and why it's important
and showed her a bible video of His baptism. By the end she accepted a
conditional baptismal invitation! Then we went home and did weekly
planning which was interrupted by Sylvester email I received. Then at
5 we visited a less active member who is trying to sell her house so
she can join her husband and daughter in California. She made us home
made dumplings which were divine. Then after that we went to Chinese
choir practice at a members home for an event next month. Listening to
Chinese people sing is funny. Then they gave us ice cream which helped
me to drown my kitty sorrows.
Saturday we taught Zhang LiYing. She's the one who doesn't speak
Mandarin or English. Sister Wu could somewhat communicate with her
using Cantonese. That lesson reminded me why I didn't like teaching
her before. I don't think we will go back. She's not ready to listen.
That night was the General Women's Broadcast. The talks were really
good. I always struggle with the broadcast though because it's so
cheesy it hurts. But despite that the messages are sent straight from
heaven and we all need to listen to them and obey. I really liked
Bonnie Oscarson's talk the best. She spoke to us when I was at the MTC
and she's a great speaker and funny, very direct lady. We can all
learn a lot from her talk.
Yesterday we had the Easter program during sacrament meeting. Last
week, Sister Connell had asked me to put together a musical number for
it since someone had cancelled. She wanted me to sing "I Know That My
Redeemer Lives" and have Elder Yang play the violin. I found a nice
vocal arrangement but no violin part so I spent a couple hours on
Tuesday writing a violin part to go with it. Sister Wu played the
piano for it. It went really well I think. I sang it in Chinese. All
of the missionaries in our branch are talented. For another song in
the program, three of the elders were playing the cello, violin, and
viola while the fourth one accompanied on the piano. All of the
members were super impressed that all of us could perform. It was
Right after sacrament meeting ended, Brother Pugmire, our ears mission
leader and a young men leader, went up to us and said "Hey, you're
teaching the young women today right?" Oh no. We completely forgot we
had agreed to teach them about missionary work. We spent Sunday school
planning a lesson. Brother Pugmire had also forgot to plan the lesson
he was going to teach to the young men so they combined. The lesson
was fun and I enjoyed giving it. Sometimes I forget how much fun being
a missionary is and how it sounds to someone who isn't a missionary.
Being a missionary is weird but really great.
Last night we tracked mansions. We used our list of 5000 Chinese names
and chose the ones living in the mansions of Potomac. That was
exciting. Housing is already super overpriced here in Maryland so
these houses cost millions. You could buy a mansion the same size in
Utah for a lot cheaper. But then you have to live in Utah.
Today we went to the city. I showed Sister Wu the monuments and then
we went to the National Air and Space Museum. It wasn't that
interesting so we were only there for 30 minutes. Other people would
probably love it but neither of us are into science unless it's a fun
discovery channel documentary.
"But Alma said unto him: Thou hast had signs enough; will ye tempt
your God? Will ye say, Show unto me a sign, when ye have the testimony
of all these thy brethren, and also all the holy prophets? The
scriptures are laid before thee, yea, and all things denote there is a
God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it,
yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their
regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator"(Alma 30:44).
I know God lives and loves us and is aware of us all. He is aware of
all of His creations, that includes animals. I'm sure Sylvester is
happy and enjoying that happiness and rest which God has prepared for
all of His creations. Joseph Smith firmly believed he would see his
favorite horse in heaven so I believe we will see Sylvester in heaven
one day too. Let's live so we are worthy of it when the day comes.
I love you all! Thanks for the emails and pictures and love! And good
luck with everything.
Love, Sister Black
The first four are of today in the city. The fifth is a family we had
dinner with this week. The mom was friends with Sister Wu's family
back in Hong Kong.