Monday, April 29

# 68


There is always a lingering question in the back of each stateside missionary's mind.  They are happy and content with their calling here in the beautiful U.S., but they can't help but wonder... why?  Why didn't I go somewhere foreign?  Somewhere crazy?  Somewhere where they speak a cool language?

This week I got my answer in the form of our latest invasion--of which I am thoroughly horrified.

Current Score:
Centipedes-1
Sister Black-2

Anyways.

This week we had some miracles.  :D  We set three baptismal dates with some of the people we are teaching, and I am so excited!  They are all very earnest and want badly to make that step.  Hopefully by May 25th they can be ready.  :) 
The Lord has been leading people to us as well.  We had two lessons this week where our investigator invited someone to join the discussion we hadn't expected.  Both times they wanted to learn more!  In one lesson, we watched The Restoration DVD and the visitor had her eyes glued to the screen the whole time-even as she was trying to feet one of her twins with the other hand.  Afterwards she had SO many questions.  Sister Lybbert pretty much taught her all about the Book of Mormon while I was trying to set a baptismal date and discuss baptism with our investigators.  But all is well!  She will probably come to another discussion this week.  :)  

So many blessings!  I keep getting anxious.  Why now?  What are we doing different?  What is looming on the horizon? 
I guess I need to focus on the now and be content with what I have.  :)
In other news, it snowed this week, but we ended up in the 70s during the weekend!  This week is going to be storms and 60mph winds though, so we will see.  ;)  I hope snow has had it's last shot.  It's so nice to go about without a coat and boots.  But we are beginning to discover the bugs of our lovely house...
I keep forgetting it's pretty much May!  The weather just reminds me of March in Utah.  Then I get all sorts of panicked as I remember that May is just before June.  Which... yeah.  Time is going too quickly. 
One of the men we are teaching is married to a lady who was baptized last year.  They are SO sweet!  They had a new baby this week, and we got to go see them the next day in the hospital.  And I COULDN'T hold her!  (As per missionary rules.  No children or babies.  *sigh*)
And that's pretty much it for now.  Wausau has several farmers markets and beautiful country.  It should be a wonderful few months.  :)  One of the members brought us fresh cheese curds from the nearby factory, Mullens.  (Mullins?)  I THOUGHT I liked cheese curds before I came here.  But... no.  I didn't even know what they really were.  ;)  I have to wonder if cheese curds can be taken in one's suitcase...
Hope your day is grand!  Hope your week is wonderful.  :) 
Pictures:
1. Aforementioned Centipede.
2. Everyone is excited for Spring.  ;)
3. The Hmong Elders made another stick shrine in our yard.  Sorry it's so dark...
--
-Sister B.




Monday, April 22

# 67


What a crazy week it has been!  Things were getting a little too comfortable, so as always, things started to go wrong.  Even with appointments falling through/etc, we are keeping our spirits high and trying to stay in contact with everyone.  The snow has been melting, which is good.  We keep getting the blizzard flurries but they don't build up, so that is good.  Perhaps Spring is here.  :)  We are supposed to be in the 60's this weekend.  Sounds almost too good to be true.

In church yesterday we were talking about "introspection", and our teacher invited us to make a list of the things we spent our time doing BESIDES work and caring for the basic needs of our families.  For the sake of being a missionary, I decided to classify everything we do for our investigators/ward members as our work, and buying groceries, cleaning, and making Raman as caring for the basic needs of my family.  The list (which is an indicator of our priorities) made me laugh.  My life has really changed from before my mission.
Things I do besides working and caring for the basic needs of my family:
1. Nap
2. Stare at the wall (ponderously)
3. Watch squirrels (black squirrels)
4. Read/study the scriptures
5. Play sports with the Elders (just p-day)
6. Eat
7. Organize my stuff
8. Pray

(Note: Most of my time is spent doing missionary work, lest you think I'm just sitting around. ;) But there are those moments during lunch/dinner hour or just before bed when I can do as I feel...)
Not sure what this says about my priorities.  But it was a good exercise.  :)  I seem to remember reading that the only time we truly WASTE is time that is spent doing something without a good purpose.  So, for fun:
Weekly Challenge: Make a list of things you do besides work and care for the basic needs of your family.  Analyze them and see if there is something you'd like to be on that list that isn't and if there are things on the list you'd rather weren't.  Make changes accordingly. 
Anyways, it's been a good week.  Training is going well.  I feel like training is tricky because if you aren't careful, you begin to feel like a TERRIBLE missionary because you are so much more aware of the little things you do wrong or the times when you aren't as obedient as you should be.  But the Lord is helping me to recognize that I can be a leader and still be forgiven when I fall short.  :)  I keep thinking of Elder Holland's talk in general conference--when he talked about how the Lord only has imperfect people to work with on this earth.  I'm grateful he doesn't get frustrated with me.  I feel like I can do anything as long as he is patient and lets me make my best attempt.  :)  I'm so grateful that we can be here and we can make mistakes and we can still become clean from those mistakes.  I felt that yesterday as I took the sacrament, and the Holy Spirit has helped me to know that it is true no matter what the circumstances.

Anyways, love you all.  :)  
--
-Sister B.

Monday, April 15

# 66


Hey all! 
Another good week. We are seeing miracles as people we've been able to work minimally with have finally started keeping appointments and commitments to read and pray.  :)  We had two families come to church yesterday, so we are so excited!  In Relief Society, as we passed the "dinner calendar" around, Heather (one of our investigators) signed up to feed us once a week, explaining that she "wanted to reserve her time" so she could be sure to have us over.  She and her kids are amazing.  :) 
I'm loving being with Sister Lybbert, once again.  She is so prepared!  We've been focusing on role-playing and practicing the lessons.  We are able to teach smoothly and in unity, and it's amazing what a difference that makes...

I'm sorry again, I don't have much time.  
Love you all!!
Weekly Challenge: Pray for patience each day this week, and then try to recognize/write down what opportunities the Lord has given you to increase in patience.  :)  

Pictures:
1. Yesterday's weather.  :P
2. We drew the Plan of Salvation for a family we taught, and then the kids embellished it up a bit.  Thought you'd like to see.  ;)
--
-Sister B.

Okay, I have more time than I thought.  :)  But, really, it's hard to look back and think of anything interesting to tell.  I had my last interview with President Jones (besides my "exit" interview, of course).  He and Sister Jones go home right about the same time I do, so it's a little strange to think about how they must be feeling as the days continue to roll by...
I am so grateful for members.  In this area more than ever before I've learned to delegate a little more and let members do a little more of the logistics and fellowshipping.  It's funny how "in-control" you feel you need to be as a missionary.  It's kinda scary, because you worry that someone will offend or frighten off the people you are teaching.  But I have seen miracles happening, and I will never hesitate again.  :)  I mean, I have no control of ANYTHING, really.  The Lord is in everything we do.  And I've loved each of the wards/branches I've served in.
Anyways.  I guess that's a little more nothing than I had before.  I hope you all have a wonderful week.  :)  Life is wonderful.

--
-Sister B.



Monday, April 8

# 65


What a wonderful week it has been!  I've learned anew how perfectly the Lord knows us.  And I feel so blessed to have the chance to train a new sister.  There's something about training that drags obedience and diligence out of you, and you all know how much I love/need that.  ;) 
I can honestly say I've never been more terrified to do anything than train on my whole mission.  Not even to teach unmarried people who are living together about the Law of Chastity.  But the Lord qualifies us in miraculous ways... or I guess when we are called to lead, he qualifies those who we are leading so that we can survive the experience.  ;)   
My new companion is Sister Lybbert from Arizona.  :)  Lucky girl only gets one winter.  She's full of fire and is utterly prepared, so I would like to dispell the negativity I have heard about 19-year-old sisters.  :)  I'm so excited to serve with her. 
This week we were able to meet with a few new people and teach them about the Restoration of the Gospel.  It's pretty cool to teach it with someone who has never taught it before, and to teach how the lesson goes, etc.  I'm learning so much from having to explain the things I do or do not...  It also brings to mind the beginning of my mission... and I can recognize that I have changed and grown, even if I wasn't aware of it. 
I was also SO grateful for General Conference.  :)  I feel like it always comes just when I need it.  We had a few people attend, and the talks given were so perfect for each of them.  :)  More miracles each day. 
Hope all you men are going to buy a virtue tie.  :) 
Weekly Challenge: Buy a virtue tie and wear it Sunday.  Refer to it as your virtue tie. 
-or-
Read about knowledge in the Bible Dictionary (http://www.lds.org/scriptures/bd?lang=eng&country=ca) and then set a goal of something you can do this week to increase your knowledge.  (Kind of vague, I know...)
Pictures: I'm brainless and didn't get a picture of Sister Lybbert and I.  So you'll have to wait till next week.....
(Note from Sister Black's mum - I was sent a photo from a wonderful sister in the ward of her new companion! Sweet! I'll attach it at the end)
1) Sweet matchin hoodies.  Sister Brady and I helped someone move in and of COURSE we get our first rain of the season...
2) Also, a wall of sprinkles.  :)  We found a baking outlet store and I was super excited about them.
--
-Sister B.






Tuesday, April 2

# 64


Hey all!  This week was a little crazy and I only have a few minutes to write you.  Just so you know:
Sister Brady is going home.
I am training a new sister.
Details to follow next week.  I don't know who she is but she's either from Idaho or Arizona.  :) 
Should be awesome!  Sorry this is so short.  :(  Hope you have a wonderful week!
Weekly Challenge: Watch General Conference!  All of it!  I'm so excited.  :D  

--
-Sister B.

Sorry, forgot to add pictures to the email.  :) 
1) Me and my easter basket
2) Making egg rolls with Mee and Chong
3) Keep the commandments

--
-Sister B.