July 23

So this week in Hong Kong, we had some amazing stuff go down. We had a visit from President Uchtdorf, a member of the first presidency! It was so cool! They're not opening mainland to missionaries yet (which was the big hope) but he did talk about how the temple's location is a miracle, because trains coming in from china go straight to it. He also talked about how his wife is a convert to the church. As he told the story I finally figured out what my motto for my mission is. Harriet, (now sis. uchtdorf) was living on the 4th and last floor of an apartment building with her family when the missionaries found them and taught them. On their way up knocking doors, they had no success. But they didn't quit, they kept going. Fourth Floor, Last Door. I don't care if it seems like I am having no success, I am going to continue pushing forward and sharing my testimony of these things, because I know they are true. I know that this church is the same church Jesus Christ organized when he was on the earth. I know that as people rejected his apostles, God took his priesthood from the earth. I know that this is a pattern that has occured throughout time, and that in 1820 he brought His church back and again gave mankind the authority to act in His name. I know Jesus Christ is my savior and that anyone who wants to know if these things are true can find out by acting in faith and asking him if it is true or not. I am so grateful I get to give up a little bit of my time here to help other people find this out too, I just wish I had been more open with others and understood before the many ways in which this gospel has blessed me in my life. So-- 4th floor, Last door. I won't quit!

On a little bit lighter note, this Preparation Day, our zone and another zone had a soccer match. I was surprised at how well I did, even though I haven't played soccer in forever (minus intramurals which doesnt really count because i hardly played at all!) It was so much fun but SO HOT/HUMID. We've been having typhoon warnings like every day, but its like it will rain for 5 min to an hour, and then stop and then be hot again, then start pouring again. I am still waiting to see "black rain" where you're not even allowed to leave your buildings or something like that because its so heavy.

The food is SO good here (for the most part, its actually more like.. either AMAZINGly good or practically inedible, but there are very few things I've struggled with). We eat rice boxes a lot, and these delicious breads from a bakery by the church. But the other day at FHE they had these whole chicken wings (bones, ligaments, skin, you name it) for the "refreshment" and I almost died. I can't handle chicken skin in the states. So. . . *drumroll* I basically peeled the skin around the meat and stuck it on the bottom when i put the bones down so it looked like I ate it. I'm pretty sure that's their favorite part too. But YEAH go me! I ate it haha! and I eat mushrooms, and bell peppers, and hate every bite but I do it! haha! :) I love trying all the different things.

When we are meeting people contacting, it is usually on the HingTit, which is like this little tram thing. We aren't teaching very many people at the moment, but we are teaching one girl the after baptism lessons, and we are planning an epic activity for the end of the transfer. Hawaiian themed, complete with cakewalk, karaoke, hula hooping, crafts, go-fishing, photobooth, etc etc etc. We really want to update the ward pictures too so this should give us a good opportunity. :) I am so excited. I hope it all goes through.

Mission life isn't exactly what I thought it would be, in some ways better, in some ways not as good. I had these grand visions of meeting thousands of people, but logistically we just can't do that. There is so much planning that goes into everything too. My days are so short but so long. I love it though, I love knowing that I'm doing exactly what the Lord needs me to do right now.

I am trying to learn the language but it's pretty hard. I'm not stressed about it at all, but I wished we could speak it more often. I understand pretty much everything in lessons though.

Stuff that is different in China:
Every time you're in an elevator, the people don't just wait for the door to close, they ALWAYS push the close doors button. without fail. I'll try to come up with another one for next week.

Again, I love getting letters, soo... don't be hesitant about giving people my address! :) I am starting to get absorbed in the work more and more every day and I love it.

probably the best thing i learned to do in the MTC was to just smile. Like.. . . even when it is hard and you don't feel like smiling, just do it because it makes other people happy and it also makes you happy. Studies show it. :) SO I leave you all with a SMILE!! :)

Love, Sister black