This might end up being a novel. This was a long, crazy, fun,
exhausting, miraculous week.
The VC is crazy. Every day we had at least a few thousand people
coming in. We talked to tons of people and were able to get a lot of
referrals. Sister Huddleston and I have gotten a lot better at
teaching and testifying quickly and then getting a referral. Also, a
lot of sisters are getting sick so every day there are at least three
sisters sleeping on the sofa or the floor on the lounge downstairs. I
started to get a bit sick but nothing major thank goodness.
Christmas Eve was the best one ever. Before we went on shift that
night, Sister Sundwall and I opened all of our presents since we
wouldn't have time that night or the next morning. Thank you so much
everyone for the presents! Thanks Dad, Cari, Mom, Ashley, Hannah, and
Emma!!! We then went to the VC to rehearse for our Christmas Day
performance and then shift started.
Shift on Christmas Eve was the best. I was on fire. Why? Because it
was Chinese night! A Chinese choir came and sang and tons of Chinese
people came in. My companion was sick so they stuck me with someone
else for a while. However, I ended up having to sit in the nativity
room for 40 minutes instead of being able to teach the hundreds of
Chinese people that were out on the floor so I went to the sister
trainers and requested to not be on a schedule so I could just teach.
My wish was granted and for the rest of the night and I ran around
solo and talked to as many Chinese people as I could. I also said the
opening prayer for each performance in Chinese and got applauded each
time which was funny. I have never spoken Chinese so comfortably and
so much. Usually I have a super hard time understanding what they are
saying but I had no problem. My Chinese was still limited and they
could sense that so our conversations were simple and they were all
pretty much the same. In Chinese I'd say hi and ask if they are
Chinese, they say yes, I say I can speak a little Chinese, they tell
me my Chinese is great, they ask where I studied and how long, I tell
them at school in Utah for four years, they say my Chinese is great,
they ask of I've ever been to China, I say no, they say my Chinese is
great, I ask them if this is their first time here, they say yes, I
ask if they have any questions, they say no, they say my Chinese is
great, I tell them that I'm a missionary so I teach people more, I ask
if they've heard of they Book of Mormon, they say no, I ask if they've
heard of the Bible, they say yes, I explain the Book of Mormon and how
it testifies of Jesus Christ and was written by ancient prophets, I
ask if they'd like a free copy, they say yes, they fill out the
referral card, I say thank you and nice to meet you, and they tell me
my Chinese is great. I talked to tons of Chinese people and I just ran
all over the VC finding Chinese people to talk to for the rest of the
night. Usually I'm tired after being on floor teaching for an hour but
the time flew and I was having so much fun. I ended up getting six
referrals by myself tonight which was awesome. Collectively we got 50!
It was such a good night, I was super happy.
After the VC closed that night and we kicked everyone out, we went
into a room and played some games then the senior couples read a
story, Elder Eyring played his guitar and sang, we had snacks, and we
received presents from the VC senior couples and temple couples. It
was so sweet.
The next day was Christmas!! It was such a good Christmas! At 9am we
went to the VC as a mission. Santa was there for a bit so I got my
picture with Santa but idk where the picture went, sorry. We all went
into the main theater and the Cookes talked to us about Christmas and
showed us the nativity video and their kids each spoke to us for a few
minutes about Christmas. After that, we got to watch a movie. We got
to watch "How To Train Your Dragon 2"!!!!!!!!! When they announced
that I started tearing up a bit haha. I was so incredibly happy. The
first HTTYD was amazing and whenever I watch it I think about how I'm
going to be an animator one day and I learned the play the songs from
it on the piano when it first came out. So now I got to see the second
one and it was amazing! I loved it. The animation and visual effects
were incredible! The quality was a ton better than the first. I
thoroughly enjoyed myself.
After we watched the movie we walked to the stake center next door. We
all enjoyed a nice lunch and then we had a talent show! It was really
good. The Chinese elders did a lion dance which was funny and cool.
One elder is super good at tap dancing. We had some groups songs and
dances and skits and beat boxing and rapping. Finally I was last.
Elder Stevenson and I got up there and announced that we had made a
cartoon for the mission. I drew all the background with some help from
Sister Liu, Elder Stevenson did all the characters, and Elder Guerrero
put it together into a movie and made it animated. It's super cool.
It's on my Facebook so go watch it! Everyone loved it. It has a lot of
inside jokes and it was 11 minutes of pure genius. I didn't write the
script or put it together so I can say that and not be full of it.
That night we had shift at 3:30. All of the sisters were performing
for the concerts that night. We had concerts at 7 and 8 and
surprisingly a lot of people came. First we all came together and
sang, "Go, Tell It On the Mountain." Then I accompanied four sisters
who sang, "He Sent His Son" while Sister Eyring played the violin.
Then I sang with seven other sisters, "Baby, What You Goin' to Be?"
Then Sister Eyring did a violin solo, three sisters sang a song while
Elder Eyring played the guitar, Sister Sundwall sang a solo since
she's profesh, and then we all came together to sing "Oh Come, All Ye
Faithful." After that, we all went on the floor and worked. Even
though we were only teaching on the floor for two hours, we still got
48 referrals. Boom.
Friday was interesting. The performance that night was "Feliz Navidad"
and there were tons of Hispanics there. We thought we would get a ton
of referrals but it was hard. The Hispanics were just there to party
and they were all standing and dancing in the theater and the spirit
wasn't there. People were more rude and didn't want to talk and we all
struggled and got around 30 referrals which was good but 20 less than
the nights before. I didn't really enjoy that night.
On Saturday, four sisters went home. One of them was Sister Taggart
who I was companions with back from May to June and who I was in
Kensington with for two weeks with the other two sisters. It's so
weird that they're gone. I'm really going to miss them. Now we are in
a trio. I wasn't feeling too hot Saturday night at shift so I spent
about half of it downstairs.
Sunday was a struggle at church haha. The night before we got home
late from festival and got to bed at midnight and then we had to be at
Ward council at 7am the next morning. We were all fighting to stay
awake in sacrament meeting.
Thankfully, we weren't on shift last night and we aren't tonight. I am
so relieved, I am dead tired. Last night was miraculous. We were on
shift after church until 4 then we came home and had dinner. We then
planned for our lesson that we were gonna teach our investigators that
evening. We have received about 25 referrals in the past few weeks and
we were feeling very overwhelmed since we are at the VC almost every
night and don't have time to check on them. We started calling them
before leaving to our appointment. 5 minutes before we were gonna
leave, our investigator texted us and told us she can't meet anymore
and wanted to reschedule. We were pretty upset. But then two minutes
later, our referral who didn't answer called us back. I asked when we
could meet him and he asked if we could come over tonight. Yes, our
other appointment just cancelled! So we quickly went out the door and
went to his house. He's Hindu and from India and we were able to teach
him and his 11 year old daughter. They are so nice and have really
great questions and are really open and prepared. It was super cool.
We are meeting with them again Thursday morning so now we have two new
investigators! Yay! It truly was a miracle. We almost stopped by his
house the other day but couldn't and then our investigator cancelled
right before he called so we could meet with him and he is so ready.
He was a referral from festival. Amazing!
Aaaand that was my week! So crazy. I love Christmas here! I am so
super tired from festival but it's amazing and we have already gotten
three new investigators from it. The last day of festival is this
Thursday. I just have three more days. I can do it! And then I have a
ton of people to go teach! I am so excited.
It was really great talking to my family this week! I'm glad I was
able to call dad on the phone and then Skype the rest of the family!
President Cooke was so kind for letting us do that. I love and miss
all of you. I hope you all have a fun New Years celebration. I'll talk
to you next year but more importantly I'll see you all next year!
The scripture today is 3 Nephi 18:25, 32:
"And ye see that I have commanded that none of you should go away, but
rather have commanded that ye should come unto me, that ye might feel
and see; even so shall ye do unto the world; and whosoever breaketh
this commandment suffereth himself to be led into temptation.
"Nevertheless, ye shall not cast him out of your synagogues, or your
places of worship, for unto such shall ye continue to minister; for ye
know not but what they will return and repent, and come unto me with
full purpose of heart, and I shall heal them; and ye shall be the
means of bringing salvation unto them."
Jesus right here commands us to not turn away anyone. Everyone is
invited to come unto Him. Everyone should be allowed at church. Those
who think that they are better than others or discourage those whose
sins are more visible than their to come to church are in the wrong
and are the real sinners.
Hope you all have a fabulous week and new year!
Love, Sister Black
Christmas pjs (: