Monday, April 20, 2015

Standard of Truth - Week 63


This week was transfers! Whoo! Sister Wu and I are still together in
the Chinese branch. It was sad to see the other missionaries go home.
I was kind of bummed out the rest of the day. I'm getting tired of
watching all my friends go home. I'm glad I only have one more
transfer meeting of missionaries going home until it's me.

This week we taught Jia Wei twice. Her husband got home late on Monday
night so we weren't able to teach him but we taught Jia Wei and it
went really well. We also brought a member who ended up being
absolutely perfect for her. We taught Jia Wei on Friday as well about
the family proclamation to prepare her for her parents visiting from
China. Her three year old son decided not to take a nap that day and
so he was awake and super disruptive as usual. After a while, I became
the glorified babysitter and spent the rest of the lesson speaking
quietly to him and letting him press buttons on my iPad. His Chinese
is so simple and clear and cute so I loved chattering quietly with
him. When the lesson ended, Sister Wu offered the closing prayer.
Usually the toddler keeps on making noises and running around but this
time as she prayed I noticed that he was sitting next to me quietly. I
discreetly opened my eyes (don't worry, I repented) and he was sitting
with his hands folded and head bowed. When Sister Wu said "amen" I
asked him if he could say amen and all he did was nod. I then asked if
he could say a prayer. He nodded again but just sat there and didn't
do anything. Then all of a sudden he jumped up and grabbed my hands
and put them together and then did the same with Sister Wu. He then
sat down and announced that he was going to pray. He then proceeded to
bow his head and say a completely gibberish prayer. It wasn't Chinese
or English haha. And then he finished by saying "amen." So cute! I was
almost in tears, it was so adorable. We finally managed to teach him
to pray! And he had also pointed to a picture of Jesus on my iPad and
said, "基督" which means Christ. He's learning! I'm so happy. (:

On Tuesday we had our last district meeting of the transfer. We played
a game to see how well we know our companions which was pretty funny.
That night we drove around and knocked doors from our 5000 Chinese
name list. It was so incredibly beautiful. There were trees with
blossoms of all different colors everywhere. Spring is breathtaking

Wednesday was transfers. There were 13 missionaries and 3 senior
missionaries going home so it took forever to get through all of their
testimonies. They were good though. I was super restless though, I
have trouble sitting for long periods of time haha. But I survived.
That night we checked on more people.

Thursday we visited a cute 16 year old young woman. She and Sister Wu
and her home teacher who came with us all spoke Cantonese so for part
of our visit I just sat there as they chattered in Cantonese. Also,
she's more comfortable in English than mandarin so we taught her in
English and it was so weird. Sister Wu and I felt really off as we
taught and testified about the atonement. She loved the lesson and
felt the spirit so it was good but it was weird for us missionaries.
We never teach in English and we pray in Chinese everywhere so it's
interesting how ow doing things  in English throws me off haha. My
Chinese isn't even that good!

That night we taught another investigator. She's not really
progressing and we end up staying over there for a couple hours just
to teach a short lesson because she spends a lot of time cooking for
us and then talking. Sister Wu and I ended up hiding some of the food
in our bags when she left the room because we were so full and she
kept on bringing out more.

Friday we taught Jia Wei and then that night we had Chinese choir
rehearsal for our big Chinese choir concert this week with a couple
other Chinese choirs and the Mormon Choir of Washington, D.C.

Saturday we knocked more houses during the day. At 3:45 we had another
choir practice but this time combined with another Chinese choir to
rehearse the two songs we are all singing together. Sister Tsai
volunteered me to play the piano and Sister Wu to play the organ for a
song so that was fun. It's an interesting song but it's sounding good.
The other one is "You Raise Me Up." They really like that song.

Last year when Elder Ballard visited, he encouraged us to talk to ten
people per missionary per day. This transfer they are really
emphasizing that. So for ten minutes after the choir practice on
Saturday we went to an Asian market parking lot and handed out 20 pass
along cards to the people there. I don't think we can do that every
day but it's effective. Until the management gets mad.

That night we watched "Meet the Mormons" with members of the Chinese
branch which was grand. I've seen that movie so many times now. It's
still good. Even if I can now quote it.

Sunday was grand. We were at church for over six hours. It's like I
have a calling or something. Ha. That night we had Why I Believe at
the vc. It was really good. He new convert testimonies were a lot
shorter which was nice and then the Fowlers, the new directors of the
vc, gave their talks which were so good. Elder Fowler was so good. You
can tell he was a general authority. He speaks so well and so
powerfully. His talk was really aimed at trying to increase the
testimonies of everyone there which was perfect. Sometimes I wish
people talking either at the vc or in church would realize that
there's investigators there and work more on strengthening the
listeners' testimonies than just talking for their assigned time.

I've discovered how to lose weight. Only buy a huge bag of frozen
Mickey Mouse chicken nuggets and a 24 pack of Sunny D on P Day and
then you'll never want to eat again.

That was my week. Sister Wu and I are working on speaking more Chinese
in the car which has been nice. This week we have some really great
things happening which I'm excited for.

Last night Elder Fowler talked about the standard of truth delivered
by the prophet Joseph Smith. It goes: "The standard of truth has been
erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing.
Persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, and
calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly,
and independent, 'til it has penetrated every continent, visited every
clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear. 'Til the
purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall
say: 'the work is done.'" At the time that Joseph Smith said this,
there were only 23,000 members of the church. But he said that and
even had the audacity to write it down. Over 100 years later, when
Elder Fowler was born, there were only 950,000 members. But then by
the time Elder Fowler served a mission at 19, it had doubled. And then
15 years later it had doubled again. Now today we have 15.3 million

He also talked about back in 1995 all of the general authorities
gathered together in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in Salt Lake.
It was there that a President Hinckley told them of his airplane ride
home where as he was pondering how to get more temples to members he
suddenly had an idea and wrote down on a napkin or two the floor plan
of a small temple that could be built to suit the needs of its local
members. At this meeting, he told them all that he wants to have 100
temples built before he dies. At this point there were only 43
temples. It took the church 160 years to build 43 temples and now
President Hinckley wants to build 57 more before he dies. But Elder
Fowler said there was electricity in the air and they were all so
excited and knew that this was a prophet of God speaking. Now, 20
years later, we have around 145 temples with over 30 more in various
stages of construction. The Lord's hastening of the work needed to
start with the hastening of temple building so that members everywhere
can attend the temple. And now it was just announced that we will get
3 new temples in Haiti, the Ivory Coast, and Thailand. Amazing. The
Lord's work truly is hastening. "Behold, I will hasten my work in its
time"(D&C 88:73).

I love you all! Talk to you in a few weeks!

Sister Black

1&2. Death pictures at district meeting for the departing missionaries.
3. Our feast while just trying to teach our investigator a short lesson
4. Secret picture of me walking to knock a house on Saturday.

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