February 17 2011

So this past week has been really great, I don't remember what all was from the week before or from last week, but I'll try to fill you all in as best as possible. We've had a lot of time to go talk to people on the street this week, which hasn't been particularly effective since the weather turned cold and people are mdakhaahn (busy, pretty much what everyone says to us). S, a girl i taught last fall, was baptized in Tuen Mun last sunday. She is pretty much amazing. She is from hong kong but studied at cornell, suuuper sharp girl and always had the best questions. She had some challenges to overcome before she could be baptized but she changed her life and is happier and blessed for it. So way to go S!!! Anyways, I'm kind of drawing a blank as to what has happened in the past week, because its all a blur. We study, talk to people, teach lessons, eat, teach some more or call people who've told us they have interest to meet with us, and then we sleep. Seriously. Its the life... 7am-11pm every single day we're going going going. But it's the best. I donno how else to describe it. I had a dream the other night I was back at BYU and starting school the day after I got home from my mission and I was super sad I couldn't be in Hong Kong talking to people who reject my message! ha! Even though every day has new challenges, every day has new blessings too. We just have to look for them!

So I's mom got sick and had to go to the doctors on sunday so she didn't make it to church, but its fine, her testimony is still strong. Her best friend M just left to serve a mission and is in the philippines MTC right now, so she's super sad about that but is still holding strong to the things she knows. We met with her last night and read parts of Joseph Smith-History together about his experience and what led him to the point to actually ask God which church was right. To summarize, he saw a lot of churches, he attended a lot, and he had a really strong desire to do what was right and follow Jesus Christ. He did his searching in a trustworthy source- the Bible, and learned that if we ask we'll recieve, if we lack wisdom, God will give it to us but we need to ask. Trusting in that knowledge, Joseph asked in faith and recieved his answer. We may have challenges in finding answers to our prayers or our questions, but through Joseph Smith's experience we can learn that if we do our part, God will ALWAYS answer. It may not be in the way we expect, it may be through small experiences or little feelings like "yeah that seems like a good idea" and it may change the outcome of our lives. If there is anything I've learned on my mission, it is that there is a God, he is mindful of all of his children on earth, and that if we seek Him and His guidance, it will be given, but we have to do our part too.

I'm also learning what I feel is most important in this life. Have you ever thought about universal values people across cultures and continents hold? Family is important, helping people is important, treating others well, etc. Killing is wrong, abuse, stealing, etc. Why are these so intwined with who we are? Because relationships are central to who we are as people, and central to God's plan for us. We are all His children, we can develop our relationship with Him through prayer and scriptures. We have family relationships with each other to help us learn and grow, give us joy and peace and comfort. We have the human family where we also can support each other by being kind, by lifting each other. Think of a world without these relationships, and what would it be like? it would be nothing. We all need these relationships whether we know it or not, and each of these relationships can help us have more joy in this life. We met a woman this week who has fought cancer over the past 10 years. She never considered getting married because she couldnt have children with the medicines she was on, and whether she would live or die was uncertain. However, she still recognizes the importance of family. She helps her niece every day and has kept a close relationship with her younger sister. Why? Because we all have an inherent, original need for family relationships. I am so grateful for my family. I'm grateful for the blessing that the gospel has been in our lives. I know that we can an eternal family because it is part of God's plan for us if we will choose to follow His Son's example. I know that the family unit is a blessing from God, and if we respect that blessing and work to keep family relationships strong, we will be able to see how huge of a blessing families really are. If we work to help other people around us too we will understand how much of a blessing the human family is. And if we work to develop a relationship with our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ, if we love them and respect them enough to follow the guidance they have given us, we will also understand how huge of a blessing it is to know them. I know Jesus Christ is my savior. I know that he gave us a perfect example of how to treat others, how to be happy, how to live. We can learn about this in the Bible and in the Book of Mormon. Through His life and His works he showed us the way. Have you ever met someone who truly strives to follow Jesus Christ in their actions, words, and thoughts that isn't happy, who doesn't have joy in their life? Of course not. When we seek after Him, we'll find. Like Joseph Smith-- if we search Him out, if we ask him, if we strive to follow his example, we'll find Him. I have no question in my mind about this because I've seen it, one little experience at a time.

And that's what life is all about too, each little experience. Each little choice. They all matter in the end. :) I hope you all are doing well. Thank you so much for the support and the help you all have been in my life. every little experience is a piece of our lifelong puzzle. They all fit in in the end. So thanks for all the puzzle pieces!


Sister Black