April 28 2011

I can't believe april is almost over, its been SO fast. Sister La and I are doing well.. and this week was kind of different. Because of the easter holiday, the wards tend to have activities and such, and so Bishop M's FHE group (which we are a part of) went and had a BBQ. Now Hong Kong BBQ is a bit different than USA BBQ: we get this little fire going with coals and have these skewers that we put raw meat onto (like a two pronged marshmallow stick) and cook it on the fire. there were hot dogs, chicken wings, beef, pork, full chicken wings, squid, chinese sausages and im pretty sure some other stuff too. Oh and bread. they also toast bread on the fire. Its pretty delicious but i was SO full. We started at 10am on monday morning and went into the early afternoon. which meant that monday afternoon/night were pretty much shot. However two of our investigators came to the activity and had lots of fun.

S's mom let her come to both church on sunday and to the activity. Apparently the fact that her teacher called her parents and told them that we are "che gaau" evil church is one of the biggest things stopping them from letting her get baptized. Since they still know practically nothing about the church at all we're still trying to visit them. We've got her mom scheduled for tonight though, so hopefully!!! One thing that gets me is the fact that people here, teachers at christian schools, will actually call the parents of students if they find out a student has even talked with us. They know absolutely nothing about our doctrine, nothing about what we believe, and make a decision based on this nothingness. Its not the first time its happened and for sure is not going to be the last. But man is it frustrating. Understanding someone or something before making judgements about it is pretty important. for example- most problems in friendships, in companionships, in life are caused by people misunderstanding, by people judging before they know a situation or a person. I certainly have had MANY such situations where i lack understanding and then judge based on the little i know. But its certainly eye-opening to me the effects of this and how hard it can be on everyone.

Other than that frustration, things are going well. A's mom was baptized on sunday and A is planning on the 8th of may (mother's day) for her baptism. Its pretty cool stuff. The serving 3 wards thing is alright, but still tough to get to know the wards very well. Sunday we had 7 people at church, not including less actives, and so there's so little time to get to know the members because we're scrambling around trying to make sure everyone understands stuff. Plus only 1 missionary per ward since we're split. But my district leader committed me to talking to 3 members in Sha Tin ward and getting to know them this sunday. Its going to be a challenge but necessary. Hopefully when I train next move my companion can be kind of a reason to get to know members better. :) I hope she's ready to work hard because she's coming into a challenging but wonderful situation. Because more challenges means more chances to learn and more need to rely on the Lord. He's already helped us out SO much... Seriously we've gone from nothing to something in just a month and a half and its really been a blessing to be a part of it.

Its interesting to hear my cousin talk about how they need more missionaries there. They need more missionaries here too!! I'm pretty sure EVERYWHERE needs more missionaries. So anyone who is thinking about serving a mission-- the field is white and it could sure use a few more laborers. Just DO IT. We need more elders AND sisters. I just want to plead with you all to help the young men stay worthy for missions... it is SO incredibly important. This work changes lives and is definitely hard work. But the most worthwhile things in life aren't free or easy. yeah so those are my thoughts. and for all my friends who will read this who are serving missions right now.. thank you so much!

Anything else interesting: oh so usually old men who go hiking have these like walking sticks with them. yesterday when we were on the train the man sitting next to me had this walking stick thing so I was like "hey are you going hiking today??" "no, I am a stroke patient." but after talking a while i gave him our number and he actually called! he has time to come check out the church next friday in Kwun Tong! I'm pretty sure thats one of the first times someone has called us post-contact like that, so yeah... it was awesome. We also had a zone find yesterday and i got to go with my old companion sis C in the old half of my area that she's now serving in. It was a really good opportunity because we were able to work on her contacting skills and talk about ways she can help in her companionship. Its been a struggle for them in their area and companionship, so hopefully this last week of the moves will be good. Then we played Uno last night, and the unity just keeps getting better and better. YAY! Next week i'll try to remember my camera and send some pictures from the barbecue.

sorry theres no fantastic stories this week. I'm sure having a trainee will bring them, mostly because i'll start recognizing them since right now anything weird just kind of seems normal.

love you all

sis black


April 21 2011

Today I have been on my mission for one year. AKA... i only have six months left and a lot left to get done. BUT WOW one whole year?! the time has gone by so fast, as it usually does when you stop focusing on yourself and just focus on others.. but yeah. ONE YEAR!! I'm still loving serving with sister la, a bit sad that she'll be leaving me next move, but also really excited to train. It is now official, though I knew about a month ago, that elder holland is coming to visit us may 24th. So funny because im also pretty sure i'll be singing for it (e. merrill asked me today about my singing skills and what part i sing in a not very subtle way). which would mean on my mission I will have been able to meet/sing for e. uchtdorf and holland which are.... even though i obviously cannot choose a favorite apostle.... my favorites. I kind of hope e. holland chastises us or something in a powerful motivating way. that'd be kind of awesome since i'll also be training at the same time.

Yeah. so this week was good, s passed her bapt. interview butttttt... her Dad who pretty much 24/6 lives in the mainland is opposed. It looks for now like for now we have to postpone it. <--bad english much? ouch. Im going to go back for school in 8 months.. ummmm... yes. But, another investigator who we didnt think would make her date is looking pretty good for being baptized this sunday. I'm really grateful that this week I've been able to see the Lord's hand in my life.

So in two weeks I start training, right? well... guess who showed up this week? my trainer SISTER E! she decided to take a vacation and come to hong kong so this pday we just hung out all day. its so weird because she's been in ''real life'' for 6 months already and well its just strange. But it was also so nice to just be able to chill and talk. She chenged us to mcdonalds and her and me and sis mills just chatted all day. I asked for a bit of trainer advice and what did she tell me? "anything your trainer did that you didnt like, don't do that" um considering there was pretty much nothing i didnt like... i guess I'll just try to emulate her in my own way. Its also cool since its on my year mark that we were able to talk. It was weird too thinking about how life used to be before the mission and how glad I am that I've been able to learn and change on my mission. Because some things i thought were fun and important seem so superficial and stupid now, it'll be interesting to see post-mission what happens.

This week we've also been able to schedule a few more people (finally). which means we won't be spending all day every day finding!! yaaa! on tuesday we had our whole day scheduled out really nicely and then everything pretty much fell through. But it was cool to see how the lord pretty much re-arranged our schedule and we ended up meeting this family of four on a playground when we met up with sara to talk about overcoming challenges. She started playing with the 2 year old daughter and the dad came up to me (nevvvver happens) and started talking about the changes in hong kong and people arent as willing to help each other these days etc. anyways we've scheduled them for next tuesday to help the kids practice english and teach their family about the gospel of jesus christ. Its sooo awesome. Heavenly Father is so good to us, especially when we're willing to do our part.

I hear the two new sister missionaries coming in have pretty darn good cantonese already (YESSSS!) and they seem really spiritual and intense workers (sis e volunteers at the MTC regularly). sooooooo I have high hopes for this next move. especially because new missionaries have HUGE FAITH. since they haven't dealt with months of rejection, often they have a higher vision of the work. So hopefully we can work with that to help the Lord help us. :)

So this lady in the computer lab is falling asleep at her computer. its pretty funny. head bobbing, etc. just a little something from my life.

We had a 4-zone olympics today which was pretty fun, luckily it was at hte church near our apartment so everyone came to us. We played soccer, dodge-ball, basketball, ping pong, chess and settlers of catan? yeah i donno why but they had like this epic catan game going on too. I played soccer and it felt sooo good! i was a bit nervous to play because we've got some college athletes in the mission and my soccer skills have definitely depleted since high school, but i did okay and we won anyways. Sis Lam was bulldozed by one of the other zones' zone leader and has a sore face but I think she'll survive.

My latest thing i'm really pushing for in self improvement is being full of energy whether I feel it or not. I don't knwo ifthat makes sense, but basically even when i'm exhausted out of my mind, I'll not let it show when I'm out on the street. I just feel like if theres one thing that makes other missionaries lose their fire, it is working with a companion who doesnt seem motivated. And since I still feel pretty motivated about missionary work, letting that show and lift other people will be gooood stuff. plus my next companion is probably going to be full of new-missionary-vigor-and-vim whatever that means, and I'll have to keep my 90-yr old woman self nice and spunky so the miracles can be had.

Love you all! thanks for the prayers!

Sis Black


April 7, 2011

So unlike everyone else we haven't gotten to watch conference yet. Since we're on the complete opposite side of the world it would be sun/mon if they did it last week. So anyways this weekend we'll be watching and i'll give you my commentary next week. PS did you get my email from last week? it sent it back to me saying the send failed or something.

Anyways this week was.. . . interesting? We've decided to organize our records and make area books (since we literally have nothing but a stack of old formers from some of the elders in our areas) figure out the exact borders of our area and get maps, and plan our english class better. The ward correlator in Ma On Shan wants us to spend considerable time each week planning english class. Its good because the english class is rocking right now (like 10-15 kids probably plus mom or dad), but it also means I get to take out more time for it. See, my comp is a native, and elder c is dying next move, elder h, well i dont trust him to plan it, so yess... Sis Black to english class rescue! We're trying to develop a 12 week curriculum and include gospel messages as well as a theme to the lesson. Plus make little worksheets with a gospel message on the back in both english and chinese. Its really fun, but at teh same time frustrating because it takes so much more time now.

Then last week was pretty rough finding, because we had so many people skip out on their appointments, and that just eats away at the time. I really felt like practically nothing was getting done, and that stresses me out because I dont know about the rest of you, but I feel like missions go REALLY fast and that every minute is precious. Even reorganizing things stresses me out bigtime because it just takes more time. But no worries right? It'll all work out and be great. :) Today we get to go to the temple, and then friday we're busy, saturday/sun have conference, and then its all off into a new week. The time just flies. I can't believe I'll be going back home in just 6 months.

I feel like i seriously have nothing to say this week, sorry! haha! I got a wedding announcement from a friend who is getting married tomorrow? and that was nice. I hope i have a letter or two because today we're going to the mission office since its next to the temple.

what else.. oh i got contacted by some indonesian missionaries from the USA talking about adam and noah's genealogy... they were telling me about some book that explained about when they lived and what year it was that they were alive at the same time etc etc. it was pretty funny because i just asked them okay so how does this apply to me, now, and they were like 'well your life is a story, everybody's life is. i mean you are sister black, but there is so much more behind who you are than that, you could write a whole book about your life story... etc etc" and i was SO confused. but they were really nice, and i gave them a flyer.

haha so such is the life.. I am still happy to be serving etc. I hope things are going well.

ps. sometimes on the mission i have some weird dreams. I had one a couple days ago that i hired a hit man to shoot someon. it was pretty action-packed and pretty much i was at the movies. sooo suspenseful. and terrible that i would dream such a thing!! haha..

love you all! thanks for the support.letters.especially the prayers!

sis black