Monday, August 27


Hello!  This week was great and a lot of things happened (contrary to last week) but the mission sent us a HUGE survey to fill out in anticipation of a mission tour that will happen next month.  SO, I don't have much time to write.  :(  I know, you are all so sad that I cannot blab about things for several paragraphs.  HOWEVER.
1.  Duryea was baptized!  We were going to try and do it NEXT week but he just popped out and said he wanted to do it this week so awesome.  :)  We didn't get to do it in Lake Michigan (silent tragedy here) but we did get to do it at the Green Bay building.  That was my first time having to fill up the font.  Very exciting.  Took us two hours.  Regardless, it went well and I am so excited for him.  :)  He's a lovely kid.  We are hopeful that he will be able to serve a mission.  President Robertson was already talking to him about it yesterday.  One more year!  The little Sturgeon Bay branch is so excited--this is the first baptism they've had in 5 years.  As Pres. Robertson so eloquently texted us, "Sweet.  This is big doins for the 'Sturge."
2.  I learned to make breaded chicken.
3.  We picked a huge zucchini.
4.  We met a woman named Megan who asked for missionaries to meet with her.  She is incredible!  She is already quite familiar with the church and she loves the people and the lifestyle.  :)  Before we could invite her to be baptized she was asking US how to join!  When we told her she could be ready in a month she was so excited.  :D  She thought it was a long process!  I just feel so happy... to know there are some people who are so utterly prepared by the Lord! 
5.  We taught a man about the Restoration (for informational purposes... I think because of the election.)  He had studied the church before.  He kept asking WHAT was it about our church that was so different?  What did we contribute to the rest of Christianity?  What drove saints to up and leave their homes and travel across the plains?  We answered him in a variety of ways, including (but not limited to) that we have the Priesthood, that we have the Book of Mormon, that we have the Plan of Salvation, etc etc and most of all that it is TRUE and that we have the fullness of the gospel.  None of these answers seemed to answer his question though, which left me very confused.  Because... there are no answers.  Maybe from a psychological and theological standpoint, but I am a landscape major.  :/  So no good.
6.  Uhm... (I just realized I spell "uhm with an H and most people just say "um".  Why is that?)
7.  Ok, I guess most of the exciting things that happened this week are only significant to me so not quite worth trying to explain.  We did make pie though.
It was delicious.
-Sister Black
p.s. Mum sent my p90x Dvds.  }:-)  Starting October we get 1 hour of exercise a day.  You know what that means.
p.p.s. Some pictures: 
A horrd one of me popping bubble wrap and winking.  (Dunno how Sister Jones got that one but I thought it might fill up space on the blog.)
Duryea, President Robertson, Sister Jones and I being awesome at Duryea's baptism.  Yay!
Sister Bartell's BEAUTIFUL backyard this morning.  Aren't you all jealous and wish you could live there with me?  :)

Monday, August 20


What-ho?  We've got a new week under our belt.  And it's been one of those weeks when you were SUPER busy but when all is said and done you don't feel like you did anything... especially when your numbers don't show your efforts either.   
Duryea had to postpone his baptism (due to family troubles) but we are setting a new date for him this week when things calm down.  Poor guy.  :(  Please keep him in your prayers.
There were several people we had hoped to see this week, but nothing really came of our attempts.  People are pretty difficult to catch this time of year, what with school beginning and such.  A little discouraging, but as always, Heavenly Father is trying to teach us something through every experience.  :)  This week I have begun to better understand how intricate Heavenly Father's plans for us are.  It's always incredible when you can finally take a step back and say: "ohhhhh..." as you recognize how a particular experience has changed you--often in ways that you were hoping and praying for! 
I really miss piano this week.  Just playing.  :)  The best thing about being kept from your previous lifestyle is that you begin to recognize what you actually enjoyed doing and what you just did because it was there.  I never really MISS Facebook or video games or sleeping in.  I start to miss cooking... or reading whatever sounds interesting... or piano... or (especially this month) SCHOOL.  Most of all I miss my family and friends.  :)  How lovely for Heavenly Father to help me prioritize my desires in this way.  I continue to learn the purposes and intents of the missionary system.  Each and every rule and guideline is divinely inspired...
Well, that was a lot of random.  Nothing super cool happened this week... besides the usual.  ;)  Sister Jones and I saw a gentleman riding his bike, outfitted in all sorts of awesome gear (reminded me heavily of Andrew) except--in the shirt pockets (you know the big ones on the back that those fancy biking shirts have?) were stuffed TWO DOZEN cartons of eggs.  Hmm.
Today we are making Rhubarb Cheese Pie.  Be jealous.  Maybe I will make you some when I come home next year.  Till then...
-Sister B.
p.s. One picture this week.  President Robertson (whose lovely wife gave us the Rhubarb pie recipe) let us pick some rhubarb out of his garden.  First of all, I didn't have any idea what rhubarb looked like.  Big reddish stalks with GIANT leaves on the top!  Crazy.  We asked if we could take the leaves from the stalks he cut for us.  Why, you might ask?  Because we are easily entertained.

Tuesday, August 14

#31 and 32

6 August 2012
I've arrived.  :)  And it is awesome here.  We already have a couple of fantastic investigators, and we found two more this week that we get to see again.  It's been a wonderful couple of days.  Sister Bastian mentioned how odd it can be that ever time you switch areas, time goes into a new dimension and speeds up a little more.  This is definitely true.  I can't believe it's P-day.
SO, in Green Bay we live with a member named Sister Bartell.  :D  She is hilarious and awesome.  I heard wonderful things about her from all the other sisters who had lived with her, so I am delighted to have a turn.  We have already spent some time scaring a pesty woodchuck out of her yard, hanging laundry outside on the line to dry, and eating wonderful food.  I already love living here.  She lives in a beautiful house with a HUGE garden in the back.  She also has a "forest" at the back of her yard, which is something I've come to realize is not that unusual in Wisconsin.  (Another reason I love it here.) 
Anyways.  I have already seen evidences of Packer-mania.  More to follow, I am sure.
The ward is super awesome as well.  :)  Bishop Millet is going to Utah this week, and he asked for our addresses so he could stop by and meet our parents.  (hehe)  He has a lot of enthusiasm for the work.  We also cover a small branch, but we spend less time in that area.  There is a LOT to do here.  Sister Jones says it has been very busy since she came. 
Uhm... anyways.  It's been a crazy week.  Which always means I can't really remember a lot of what happened.  Eh.
Pictures are of me by Green Bay (epic missionary shot, haha) and Sister Bartell and I with our awesome eyewear.  Don't be too jealous.  ;)
-Sister B.
(Sister Jones and I have been discussing exactly what determines an individual's "football team".  Perhaps I have been called to Wisconsin because Heavenly Father knew I would never take enough interest to follow a football team unless it was shoved down my throat.  Thoughts?)

13 August 2012
What-ho!  Another exciting week in Green Bay.  0_o
This week Sister Bartell caught that pesky Woodchuck.  We named him Vader and gave him a lovely funeral.  I wrote him a haiku and we buried him with it.  Sister Bartell's daughter Megan helped us bury him.  It was quite cheery, despite the tragic circumstances. 
On a happier note, we have a baptism this week!  :D  We (Sister Jones and I) actually cover TWO areas right now--the Green Bay 1st ward (near where we live) and a little branch up in Sturgeon Bay.  The building seems as though it could fit nicely inside our cultural hall back home!  We usually stay in Green Bay to work, but yesterday the Branch President asked us to come up and speak for sacrament meeting.  It was so fun to meet everyone!  One of President Robertson's old choir students--a young man named Duryea--has been taking lessons from us for a while.  This week he is being interviewed and on Sunday he is going to "enter in by the way!"  He is very excited.  :)

I am also very excited--not just because he is being baptized, but also (since the water system in the church building is being renovated) because Duryea is being baptized IN LAKE MICHIGAN.  :D  Brilliant. 
We had some wonderful lessons this week.  There is a young man named Justin we have been trying to get in to see for a while now.  (He is a construction worker and has very odd hours.)  This week we finally caught him at home and taught him about the restoration of the Gospel.  He had so many good questions!  He was concerned with the traditional idea of heaven and hell--that God would damn someone just because they had never known how to truly repent.  We had a lovely discussion about the Plan of Salvation and the opportunity that each of us will have to come unto Christ in this life and after.  We invited him to read from the Book of Mormon this week and to pray about the First Vision.  He said he will.  :)  We are so excited for him.
Otherwise, nose to the grindstone.  There are several "potential" investigators in the area left over from when they took the Elders out.  This week we are hoping to track some of them down.  We also have been doing a lot of tracting and survey work--trying to find others who are seeking the truth.  This last week has cooled down substantially.  If forgot how lovely it is to go out and contact in cool weather.  :)  Green Bay is BEAUTIFUL with so many huge trees.  I am excited for Autumn!!
Anyways.  Have a good week!
-Sister Black
Pictures: Pesky Woodchuck with Sister Jones,and  Our Gravestone for Him
p.s. I admit it now.  Utah thunder is weaksauce.