May 26 2011

YEAH this week was probably the most amazing week of my life on my mission. Why? Because we have been having pretty decent success, really busy, and. .. . Elder Holland came! See this link Well.. so for those of you who don't know how amazing that is, Elder Holland is an apostle. Like Peter James and John. And this past week he came to hong kong and met with us missionaries as part of his schedule. Well this was pretty incredible. He recieves revelation for us. He talked about how we're an obedient mission and there are very few problems, and when he shook our hands he interviewed us because there was no time to individually interview us. Elder Jay E Jensen of the 70 was also there. anywayssss. . for my recap of the day here we go- I was part of the singing group so we got there early, 11am to eat lunch then had practice. we sang a pretty intense version of Joseph Smith's first prayer. Before the fireside at 3, Elder Holland took a pic with the mission. 1st thing that was awesome. he shook sis h's hand because she was in front of me, then finds out she's from palo alto while im shaking his hand. so... after they figure out some connection i get hand shake number 2. okay so that just starts it out all great. since im singing in the choir i sit on the front row.. which will be significant later. but more important than the wheres whos etc. is WHAT he talked to us about. I think I'll just fill you all in on some stuff he talked to us about .. well Jay E Jensen first:

He talked about how if we let the covenants we make work in our lives and really live them, the missionary rules that we live now become guidelines/patterns for our lives. We will continue to arise early, study scriptures, pray always, avoid temptation, etc. The Lord always asks his followers to "arise" we have to move up from the lower level that the world is at and be something better than that. So post mission, we can't just go back down. We have to keep moving upwards and forwards. Pretty true right? yeah.

then Elder holland. Well. he gets down off the stand and just walks back and forth the whole time talking to us with a mic in his hand. He has HUGE love for missionaries, for the Lord, for the Gospel. It means everything to him seriously. He was talking about how when he grew up, his family was less active. He didn't know much about missions or missionary work, but because he went on a mission it changed his life. One of the things he mentioned was similar to E. Jensen. "This is real life... as close to it as you'll get in your life." If we want to have the blessings forever, we have to live it foreever. He talked about our need to step it up and be better. we're obedient and we're doing well, but there's a higher level we have GOT to acheive.

Anwyays in the midst of all this.. he turns to me (walking back and forth the whole time) and intensely says something to this effect "Sister Black, what are YOU going to do to change, to move up? You are going to have to search your little soul. and its going to be hard... What is the savior asking us to do? he's asking us to arise " anyways totally recentered and given some serious counsel by an apostle of the lord. I paraphrased what he said but thats about it what he was telling me. He's so intense and its SO awesome. but now im in the process of searching my soul. He told us right then that we're going to have to work harder, work smarter, have more faith, move up the ladder of miracles, because that's what the lord wants us to do and that's why we're here, because he knows we can. Anyways yes very wonderful day. My life is definitely changed.

So the high expectations are now even more woven into what i need to do. The lord really expects a lot of his missionaries.

In other things, the hike last week was SUPER adventurous. We didnt end up hiking to the top of the mountain but it was WAY better. we met so many cool people just hiking through the mountains.
my favorite was probably F. We talked about joseph smith's experience and taught as we talked. His brother is a member apparently, which rarely happens, esp. meeting int eh mountains. And coolest thing other than that about f? He doesnt have a job, hes like in his 40s or 50s i donno i cant tell how old chinese ppl are still. and he just goes around and paraglides all the time. So theres a pic i included of us with f. Then on the way home we got lost a bit because our map didnt show all the trails we encountered. SO naturally we ask for help right? I'm grateful my companion is funny and quick cause she took the next picture while the shirtless old men (one holding a piece of corn?) helped us out.
about 30 min later we were lost again, and took the wrong turn. both of us felt that way about 5 min after running down the mountain. we prayed and felt like the other way was the right path so we hiked back up and went down. there was no sign that said how long it would take we just had to keep walking trusting that this would lead to civilization (and not out of our area...). well, i'm grateful God was watching out for us because we ended up finding Sha Tin and took a bus back home. The city pic is when we finally were in a little village and could see some buildings. ive never been so relieved to see those cement blocks in my life!

the other pics are just random ones from our hike. and the last one I think is hilarious. its at this store in the Sha Tin mall.. the mall that has the most people walk through it daily compared to any mall in the world. good advertising huh.... hahahaha


THank you for the love prayers letters (even though theyre few and far between these days) and support!!

sis black