Tuesday, February 11, 2014

No Snow in Arizona!

Buenos Dias familia!

Snow at home?? I'm jealous...we don't have snow. We only have sun, sun, and more sun. Which actually is super good for me with the whole sleeping thing, but I wanted snow too. So yes, I definitely miss winter. Everyone here still thinks I'm crazy for not wearing sweaters at night, but it's like only in the 50s....
First of all, Pres wants us to ask everyone back home if there is anyone they know who lives in the Tucson Mission who we can send the missionaries too! Our mission is working really hard on referrals right now, and part of asking everyone is asking you guys! So do you know anyone that lives down here? Because I know an awesome set of missionaries we can send to them :)

Okay so I got 437856705386 gazillion questions from Mom and Braden
(thank GOODNESS or I would not know what to write to you guys) so here we go:
Tracting in my area is a JOKE! Like there are all of maybe 5 streets you can tract because otherwise you have to drive from house to house. So we almost never do it - it's solidly the most inefficient way of finding in our area. We box knock (like knock houses around the houses we visit) and talk to people we see on the street (all 2 a day). Basically finding here sucks and is super hard if we don't get referrals. Which we don't. But it's getting a lot better!

Family that's pretty involved with us...well there's a couple. There's the Johnstons, who we see a ton, mostly because we're helping them move and stuff, but we started calling Sis. Johnston "Ma." She came with us to a lesson last week for a family she referred us to :) Sis. Richens comes out with us a lot, and Sis. Duarte is like one of the best member missionaries ever, but we're not super involved with everyone's families...I don't know how to explain it. Honestly us sisters are pretty tight with everyone, but we still struggle to get people out with us.
Okay Braden, here's our SOEs:

5 member presents
3 news
2 progressing

and it also used to be 20 lessons (total) but they took that away...but it still is kinda part of it
Our mission president is SICK. Like he looks like Uchtdorf and should be an apostle someday. He's really the coolest guy ever. Super funny, big voice, really nice, but scary when he's mad. Our focus is "baptivating" or en espanol, "bautivarse" which is baptism + reactivation. Our mission goal is 150 baptivisms, 75 each. That is our focus. But with zone trainings and stuff they really emphasized baptizing into activity, not into inactivity.

First Vision we do word for word, super slow and powerful. I get the chills every time I recite it. And people cry a lot when we say it and then are like "Why am I crying!?"
We teach the PoS a TON!! We love to teach it to families, because it gets them excited about the gospel together :)

We have a mission song! It was written/composed by an elder a few years ago. Maybe you can find it on Google...the Arizona Tucson Mission Song. Haha
We are very strict on not entering a house that doesn't have another female in it who is at least 16. I don't know if it's the same for elders, but for sisters here it's pretty important. We sit outside with people and have lessons sometimes because of that haha.

Exercise = heck yes we do!! I would go crazy if I didn't. We drive ALL day, so...Jillian Michaels or running every day. And sometimes in the evenings I'll do an ab workout too. Don't wanna be a fat sister...haha why do you think so many come home like 30 lbs heavier? Turns out there's a reason why they ask us to exercise in the morning. Definitely consequences if you don't.
We pray in English like every day, but only with ward members. All my personal and comp prayers are Spanish. But the ward members speak English so...yeah. We work a lot with the Spanish branch though.

We don't have a mission standard for accepting baptismal dates...it's just up to us to determine when to drop people. Which sucks and I went through that for the first time this week.

As for churros, I haven't had a single one. That had literally never crossed my mind until now.
I don't really know the APs anymore...Elders Hansen and Berry were the ones when I came out and have since stepped down. Elder Wasden (the Spanish AP) seems super tight but I don't even know the other one, probably because I don't ever see English missionaries. I've only seen him once.

Our zone goal is to contact 10 people a day, but we rarely ever make that...we get like 5-8 usually. Turns out you have to see people to talk to anyone.
I haven't memorized the commitments or remember this, but I'm pretty familiar with them. I should memorize them though...that's actually a good idea. Mostly I just memorize the scripture of the week in English and Spanish.

Lesson 5 I am teaching for the first time ever with our RC Lourdes! So it's new for me :)
Our miles got cut!!! We are not exactly sure how we're supposed to do missionary work with 600 less miles...so yeah. We're begging members to 1) come out with us to appointments and now 2) drive us to said appointments. And we got bikes! Well...borrowed bikes from the members we live with. Saturday we saved 20 miles...and I'm still saddle sore. If you've seen Google Earth, you'd see that our area isn't exactly flat and that biking is ridiculous and super inefficient, but we'll use them a little just to prove a point and hopefully get miles back. In the meantime our thighs are getting super buff.

To end on a more spiritual note, I'm starting to appreciate how often as missionaries we get random inspiration. Because we need it - for everything. This week some promptings have ranged from looking down at the gas tank gauge (which I need to learn to do more often) Saturday night and realizing we need gas to suddenly remembering the reference to the perfect scripture in the middle of a lesson to knowing when to stop by an investigators house just as she was having a mental breakdown. It's weird how I'm really coming to fully understand the scripture on my plaque (Alma 26:12) through these experiences. I definitely used to wonder how it is missionaries don't brag about all the amazing things that happened on their mission, but now I realize that the most incredible and powerful experiences are also the most humbling. After those experiences, the only thing I can think is that there is absolutely no way that came from myself. And you realize that without the Spirit you accomplish nothing. I never knew that it would be so humbling. But those kinds of experiences where you do something that seems random to you and turns into something great for someone else are the ones that bring you to your knees in gratitude.
Well, I'm out of time! Miss and love you all!
-H. Black.

(sounds pretty ghetto that way, huh?)


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