22 September 2011

at mormon morning! its this ward activity once per month where we go somewhere, do exercise, have a testimony meeting, and then eat food. this time we went to a beach in coloane.

a famous portuguese church

a mooncake. last year when i ate one i threw up. this year, i kind of actually enjoy it a bit.

Hellooooo everyone! I am so glad today is Pday!! We've been working so hard this week. A couple of weeks ago when president asked us to try and focus on the 2nd branch more I started praying to Heavenly Father to let us know which of our investigators is ready now and which aren't going to be progressing now. it was cool because its like black and white- we've been able to see this gap between a lot of them and are now helping several acheive their baptismal goals while letting others go. which means... more time for finding! more street contacting again! Its nice because when we were busy teaching so much and had no time to call/findnewinvestigators/eat/etc it was like we were stuck in this whirlpool. We have an investigator who will be baptized this weekend and another investigator, K, who is amazing. She has a really tricky situation but is moving forward with the faith that Heavenly Father will take care of her. It is so wonderful to see the progress.

A couple of cool experiences/funny ones/sad ones.

1. One investigator is 15 years old and has so much faith. Earlier this week she still hadn't talked to her parents about baptism, but she'd been praying about it and was asking heavenly father for strength. Then she had the thought "read alma 38:2" She hadn't read up to alma, and didnt know what was there. she told us "i thought it'd be like about a war or something cause every time i flip to alma itsa lways about a war" but it said very clearly, and specifically to her "And now my son (daughter? haha), i trust that I shall have great joy in you, because of your steadiness and your faithfulness unto God; for as you have commenced in your youth to look to the Lord your God, even so I hope that you will continue in keeping his commandments; for blessed is he that endureth to the end." yeah. cool huh. then she asked her parents yesterday if she can get baptised and they accepted.

2. We lost an investigator. she just moved here from mainland and after seeing her 2 times she missed her 3rd appointment. when we called her the phone was always off. Anyways we were praying about it and we felt like we should go back to taipa (the island where we met her) and contact on the bridge again where we met her at around the same time. Then we met her again! her phone (and our number) was lost and the day she met us she couldnt leave work yet because they still had people eating at the restaurant. So anyways, we met her again yesterday and she's doing SO good. :) yeah. miracle.

3. We havent had hot water at our aparmtent for almost a month, which isnt a big deal because its been so HOT that we wouldnt want to take a warm shower even if we could. But 2 days ago the weather started to change, and a cold shower wasnt so nice. so yesterday we scheduled the water heater guy to come over, went on splits so we could keep covering our appointments and went back to the apartment. He comes in, walks to the kitchen, maybe 45 seconds later he walks back out and says no charge and its fixed. Well turns out there are batteries in the water heater (who knew?) and they needed to be changed. we paid him for the batteries anyways and felt SO dumb. But now we have hot water. yeaaah.

4. One of our investigators has been meeting with us for a couple of months but her parents are burmese buddhists- pretty hardcore. anyways ive probably mentioned her before. but we found out yesterday if she doesn't get her parents permission we can't keep meeting with her or contacting her. Needless to say i'm pretty sad but hopeful that she'll find a way to talk to them. She's probably one of my favorite investigators i've had on my mission and I know she wants the gospel so bad in her life. but it is really important for her to respect her parents as well... anyways, I'll keep praying.

So yeah this week was good, we had some fun times and the new missionaries are full of fire and working hard. Its a wonderful time to be a missionary in macau and I'm excited for the progress we can make in this area and the help we can give to people. I am so grateful that i'm serving and learning SO MUCH. One last thing- I'm working on memorizing scriptures in chinese and in english- right now I'm working on Ether 12:4. love this one: "Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yeah, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God."

yeah. i believe in that. The only way to really change the world is through the principles of the gospel being applied in individual lives and families.

love you all! thank you so much for your prayers love and support!

sis black


15 September 2011

I can't believe its already september 15th. This week was pretty good, its been nice having half the zone full of new missionaries. There is SO much fire in Macau!! They are pulling back tons of people every day and working so hard, it is really pushing us too. I am so grateful to be able to end my mission here (almost). Last week my visa was up and i had to exit macau for a night. It ended up on a saturday that i had to leave so Saturday night sister siddayao and I took the boat to hong kong and stayed in the int'l sister's apartment in wanchai. It was fun to catch up with sis c (one of my 1st companions in the mtc) and meet her baby... sister K, who just happened to be in my freshman ward at BYU. ok lets just talk about this for a second- weird missionary connections- first my roommate before the mission/rs pres went on her mission here. my trainer lived in the apartment next door to mine the year before i lived there. My baby was in the same ward as me when i got my mission call. and now freshman ward.... weird. but cool, i love it.

So sunday morning i went to 2 sacrament meetings at Wanchai, got to see one of my recent converts, and then headed out to the ferry terminal to catch the 1:15 ferry with the senior couple missionaries. When we finally got to macau the lines to go through and get your passports stamped was SOOSOSOSOSOSOOOO crowded. luckily i was with 4 sr missionaries, who are all over 65 and get to go in the seniors line, which had a grand total of 2 people in it when we got there. Then to top off the blessings of the day- they gave me until October 1st to stay in Macau!! which means (probably, speculations here) i will get 10 days when i come back on the 2nd, so until the 12, then on the 13th when i come back they should give me 5 days till the 18th. aka i pretty much can die here if it works out right :)

Sorry this email isnt very interesting. we have a few investigators with upcoming baptisms but a few of them need parental permission. we have an AWESOMe new investigator named a and she's so sweet. then yesterday i talked to this old australian man for like 30 minutes about life and stuff and he is catholic but he basically believes everything we do except he doesnt think God can tell us that smoking isnt good for our bodies because people who dont smoke can die from lung cancer too. (?) i donno he was pretty cool but no interest. and thats nice because usually australians have tended to be pretty rude to me.

but anyways I'm loving being companions with sister c and sister y. we pretty much never stop having a good time doing missionary work. I am pretty exhausted and was feeling sick last night, but feel a lot better today... hopefully i can keep my strength going another month.

I am really grateful i can be a missionary. seriously probably the greatest learning experiences of my life. I've never been more happy and I've never learned so much in my whole life. Last night while i was falling asleep with a terrible headache I could hear our neighbors above us screaming at each other. I know they have kids too cause ive heard them before. but it was so sad because i thought... i have been so blessed to have never heard my parents yell at each other. i've never had to fall asleep scared and sad just trying to block out the angry yelling and stuff. last night it was seriously terrible, it felt so sad. and i wish every family could have the gospel in their lives, and learn to love each other and deal with their problems not yell and fight. Its true that satan is trying to attack the family, i see it here, i've pretty much seen it everywhere my whole life. So fight FOR your families!! :) Be kind to them, love them, have fun with them. i knwo i havent been the perfect daughter or sister, but i know its important to always love your family.

anyways those are my thoughts.

love you all!

sis black


8 September 2011

ok 2 of these are of us and our zone at the science museum. yeah. SO FUN. haha it was telling us the water content of those foods and stuff. i love the one where im a durian. and lard. just funny.

This past week was so busy. Saturday we were pretty much straight booked all day at the church teaching lessons, and then ended it off with a branch YSA activity watching Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration. (i love that movie). Our investigator a prayed to know if joseph smith really was a prophet or not and told us afterwards that she knows he was. Basically I highly recommend anyone who has doubts about joseph smith to watch that, especially since every occurrence is documented in journals and personal histories and recorded etc. yeah pretty legit. And S, the girl who was touched last week by the testaments is planning on being baptized on the 25th, as well as our investigator T. The people in macau are really special, I seriously just love them so much. Today starts a new transfer and i'm still here, but have to go back on the 10th for a night and then come back (the weird visa stuff again). Its so strange to start my last transfer... knowing in just 6 weeks from tomorrow i'll be flying home. I wont lie and say i dont think about it (its obvious from my emails that i do, especially during email time) but at the same time it also makes me just want to live every day to its fullest.

We are getting another sister and sister s leaves on the 10th to stay in hong kong.. so i'll be in tri-panionship #7? I donno i almost have lost count by now, but i've still had more companionships with 3 than with just 2- i donno why, but its been interesting and usually pretty fun! 2 friends to always work with instead of 1!! :) Last week we went to the science museum so i'll send some of the pictures from that (WAY cool science museum too, especially the sports part. there was this one "game" (?) where you got to be judges for olympic gymnasts and compare the scores you gave to the ones in real life- basically i was reminded of how much i love watching the olympics. and i was pretty close when i judged! So glad my mission didn't interfere with watching the olympics haha.

Nothing really interesting happened this week except that its a new move and there will be 4 new missionaries coming to macau. I think they're trying to infuse this place with fire because it has SO much potential. 4 companionships of elders and then our tri-panionship. I'm really grateful i get to be working here now. pray that i get more days for my visa when i come back this saturday!!

I am really excited also for general conference. It is such a huge blessing to have a living prophet who can recieve revelation for the whole world. It will also be nice to watch it right before I finish my mission, get lots of inspiration for my life. Also- if you want to email me instead of writing these next few weeks, that'd be cool. Hope you are doing well!!


31 August 2011

at the panda park
can you see the panda??? hahaha
panda.... the best shot i got because then they both went to sleep
i hope someone appreciates this- personal air-con on the bus...

This week really flew by. EEfy finished and we had a hiking-adventure-competition thing for the graduation that we had to leave early from with E because she has to be home by 7. every day. I would go absolutely crazy if as a 17-yr-old i had to be home by 7. But I guess its cause a buddhist monk in Burma told her mom not to let E out at night... and now you have it. PS. E told us her family's story and its WAY cool. her dad was apparently working for the Gov't building government buildings in burma back in the day when he found out that the government was going to massacre all the students at a certain university who were protesting against the government and his girlfriend at the time (her mom) went there. so he raced home and told her NOT to go to school the next day. She didnt. The next day the gov't surrounded the school and not a single person that was there survived. So crazy. It gets a little crazier too but anyways... her story of how their family came to macau is awesome.

So graduation and EEFY over we went home, pretty exhausted from the week. We had also been feeling pretty sad that we'd have to leave all our investigators and turn them over to the elders in a week and a half. BUT. . . right after we got home saturday we got a call from the APs saying that we get to STAY IN MACAU!! Its a miracle! I love this place so much and we are so excited. Its great to be busy and now we're just working on really getting our friends to progress. There are so many with potential, I just hope we can make sure and have the spirit guiding us and that we can do our very best the last few weeks. My companions are great and this is probably the funnest, most exhausting, most amazing move so far on my mission.

okay so then sunday we fasted with E, because her mom is WAY anti-christian. she forces E to pray to these idols and wont let her out in the evening because of that monk you remember. Yeah. So E wants to get baptized so bad and wants to let her mom know she's been going to church. we also really dont want her lying to her mom to come to church because thats like sinning in order to keep a commandment and shouldn't be that way. But anwyays we're working on it. I know someday she'll be able to. Then during the fast this member was supposed to meet us and go with Sis C to visit someone, but she didnt show up and we had to walk a half hour in the heat to get sis c to the appointment. and then the members like "actually i cant take her back either, so..." but we had to walk all the way back to out apartment in the meantime anyways and i finally got the member to take her back. pretty sure she just didnt want to walk back in the heat and humidity but whatever. it worked out.

then that night i found out how they are working it out to allow sisters to stay here. 8 elders. 1 apartment. I feel SO BAD for them. (but not bad enough to want to leave). and they should all be training next move.

okay then comes monday- we had to go back to hong kong for the special meeting with brother Osguthorpe (gen. sunday school pres) and brother Ochoa (gen YM 2nd counselor). Our zone was singing and I was asked to say the closing prayer so were sitting on the stand with them. It was pretty cool and they had some good tips for our mission. Its interesting because lately we have the very least amount of missionaries we've had in hong kong in a long time, and yet we've been having record breaking results. I feel SO blessed to be working with such great missionaries and with such great people. They focused on the doctrine of christ and how even though we are in an area where most don't know a thing about Him or completely misunderstand his role, we really need to focus on this. I felt really inspired and we have some new ideas for how to help our investigators. Bro Ochoa's was particularly awesome. he started out in spanish for a few sentences and i thought of emily and elliott haha.. too bad my spanish is now limited to hola, como estas? muy bien y tu? hahaha.Anyways he gave us 7 ways to be better.

1. be one with christ.
2. be one with companion
3. be one with the bishop
4. be focused
5. take responsibility
6. Listen and Bless others
7. develop perfect faith

it was cool too because all of the asia area presidency was there and a couple area seventies. Its always uplifting to hear from people who are really devoting their life to helping others.

oh.. i almost forgot! how could i forget.

2 things. for the special missionary meeting, we had been told told it would be at wanchai. but. . . the week before it changed to kowloon tong (where we slept at in temple patron housing..) but nobody told macau zone. so we got up extra early and headed in 3 different groups to wanchai to practice our song. when we were almost to wanchai (during rush hour on the MTR with our luggage. just try to imagine) we ran into other elders that told us it was at kowloon tong. so we had to hurry back to kowloon tong and barely made it in time. phew! hahaha. (it was 45 min to wanchai, 35 back... not fun). but it was a little test i think, and i wasnt angry really except for like 5 min. and once the meeting started the spirit was just so strong so it was all right.

then.. on our way back here, they only gave me 10 more days in macau. visa problems. BUT i talked about it with them and they said next time i can have 20 days, and they made a note in my passport so the next person knows. phew! i thought for a minute i was going to get kicked out of macau for good in just over a week!!!

anyways. love you all! have a great week!!

sis black