Wednesday, June 26, 2013

God Be With You Til We Meet Again

Wow. Lula. I’m thinking back when I said goodbye to her. So peaceful. Thanks for all of the details. She was an incredible woman. I feel so privileged to be a part of her family. I wish i could have come home and talked spanish to her though. Tuesday. wow. I was sitting in the street with my companion writing in the front of a book of Mormon for one of our investigators when someone came by and knocked on the door of the house next to us and told us that someone had died! We ended up talking to them, and going into the house and shared a message about the plan of salvation and sang God be with you til we meet again” to all the 15-20 people there. It was quite a miracle, we had people coming up to us and asking us to share more. Incredible that I sang at a funeral probably really close to the time all this was happening with Lula. There was definitely such a peaceful feeling there when we were singing. Maybe I was really singing to my great grandma.
Snap. I have no time left. Don’t kill me dad!! I told him I would have 2 pages worth of emails for him! Well, last week was long right?? This week I had to make up for not writing any of my friends last week. HAPPY FATHERS DAY DAD!!!!!!!!!! I love you soo much. My comp and i have been working with a broken marriage right now and I think I’ve always taken it for granted how awesome my family is.
I’ll send pics next week. ya miracles are happening every day. Seeing braedon was definitely a tender mercy. I love the mission so much. spanish isn’t coming as fast as I would like, but i have learned sooo much. Humility and patience. I love it. Keep up the good work everyone. Much much love.

Hermana Mal Black

Friday, June 14, 2013

Just born in Cusco

Ah my companion loves that grandma’s from Guatemala. Her name is Diana Ivonne Martinez Mendez from Guatemala City. She is 26 years old, and has her own business--tanning salon, graduated in marketing and will finish her FNA masters degree when she gets back(finance and accounting)--pretty legit eh? She’s absolutely incredible. They call our trainers our ´madres´ and I was just born. My training is 12 weeks long, but she will be ´dying´ in 6 weeks, so if she doesn’t extend I will be getting another trainer. I hope she extends, she just got her plane tickets today, but has been talking about extending recently...i think cuz she likes me:) crazy gringa. She knows how to work hard and smart. She speaks great english. She is service oriented and has made me breakfast more than once. I seriously don’t know how i lucked out so well.

We share the biggest house in the mission, it’s nice. I have my own queen sized bed, our own study, a kitchen and sitting area. The water is cold in the showers, but that’s the only down side. We share the house with another pair of hermanas who are the sister leaders. They are vacan(cool). hard workers, one of them is going home in 3 weeks which means she knows what she’s doing as well and is from utah so she knows english as well which is super nice and has let me become real friends with them cuz i can actually express myself in english(her and my comp are best friends in the mission and actually traveled all over the mission putting on singing concerts--my comp teaching the stake choirs they went to and the utah singing solos. vacan eh? the whole mission knows them.).

Our ward is the best in the mission. The members are awesome, we have had a bunch of lessons so far already and almost all of them with members. What’s crazy is that our ward has 6 missionaries in it! 6 in one ward! Me and my comp share it with our housemates(the sister leaders) and the zone leaders. Big ward. We had a meeting with all the sisters on thursday and more than a couple told me that my companion was the best. Our pinchanista(spelling?) or cook is vacan, she’s super good at cooking, I love the food. Not rice every meal:) NEEDLESS to say, I FEEL SOOOO INCREDIBLY blessed. especially cuz i heard that my amigas from the ccm don’t have it so hot(irvine is opening an area, her spanish isn’t that good and her comp can’t speak it and her comp isn’t that patient for an example). i am motivated to work so much harder to learn the things that the Lord would have me learn in this incredible time. I am bracing myself for the upcoming months of the mission that will be hard.
wowowow. So yesterday at church was awesome. One of our guys we’ve been teaching(jose) got confirmed in sac meeting. The stake pres and an area 70 were there, and the other 3 new missionaries spoke(one of the zone leaders and the both sister leaders are new to this area), but for some reason they didn’t have me come up and speak like they said they were going to. probs better that way cuz my spanish is no muy bien.

My comp has great relationships with tons of members and pretty much the whole time was talking with them and setting up times that they could come procelyting with us. Planner is pretty great this week. We have a baptism this saturday for one of our investigators (super cute 15 year old girl who is friends with the members thanks to mi comp) and were singing love is spoken here in spanish at a baptism for an 8 year old that morning as well. I am constantly in awe at how well my comps brain works. Like we went over to the member’s house that we’re singing the song for with them and on the way they said hi to some of their friends and my comp was like what? Introduce us to them! And so we have an appointment with them! another time after a lesson for our investigator that’s getting baptized this saturday at a members house(of course) she invited the girls that were there to make cake with us at the house of jose(only member in family) because he has a sister that’s the same age and apparently when we were at their house last time she had asked the parents if we could come over and make cake with them(relationship building activity) and if we could maybe bring other people. then after she invited those girls to cake she asked the member mom(whose house we were at) if she had done her homework from the day before and the mom said yes and brought us across  the street to meet some of her non member neighbors. I honestly don’t know how this lady(mi comp) works, but it has blown my mind a bunch of times. This is how missionary work is supposed to be. I’m just trying to not get lost in the streets or the language or just trying to remember the names of all our people in the meantime she has created a new plot to dominate. I am in awe.

Spanish is rough! We have so many lessons a day that we usually don’t plan them before hand(like maybe talk about a topic) so i have had to rely on the spirit mucho. sometime I hate her because i don’t know what’s going on, but like a good companion she switches off very well with me, so next thing I know she’s smiling at me and everyone’s waiting expectantly for me to say something. Let’s just say ´yo se que´ has been one of my favorite phrases. I really really really wanna learn spanish. We have a rule that we have to speak spanish to each other during the day because i need to learn. We have this giant phone that’s like a house phone with the stand and everything and cord that we have to carry around because we don’t have a cell phone and sometimes investigators call us. I HATE carrying it. hahaha its so awkward. So the punishment to talking in english is they have to carry the phone that day. haha. My idea. We ride the bus places which is super cool and we’ve had to pack in like sardines more than once. We saw a parade the other day. june is holiday time in cusco.

I am absolutely in love with cusco. It is cold don’t get me wrong. In the day is sunny and warm most of the times, but at night its sooo cold! So i have to pack around this big coat that i found in our house (a diff sister left) all day so i don’t freeze at night. Oh i have to wear it in our house too, cuz they dont have indoor heating or cooling, and for some reason our house is super super cold all the time. PERO, i LOVE the sky! We´re so high up its always gorgeous! The clouds are amazing, the sun is so gorgeous. I love the feel of this place, the cobblestone paths, the picture perfect mountains and the small, poor, artistically pleasing, colorful, randomly houses, every kind of dog that walks the streets and steals bread or barks from the tin rooftops and scares you to death while you’re trying to contact someone, or the small bridge that you have to cross over the garbage filled river to get to a group of houses, or squeezing past the hanging laundry on the top floor of a cramped building to get to the room(pretty much their whole house) of a mother of small children who we invited to be baptized while huddled in a small area on plastic chairs feeling the spirit and knowing that Christ´s message will without a doubt make her life better.

Happy days here in cusco. My companion and i send our love. (She’s going to conference in october and her and the utahn sister leader are going to come visit you all!) :) MUCH MUCH LOVE!!!!!!!
your perfect daughter ;),

Hermana Malorie Black

I made it to Cusco!


idk if you got my voicemail on dads phone, but i made it and absolutely LOVE it here! I’m realizing more and more how little spanish i know, PERO i love the feel here. There’s such a good spirit here and the people are very kind and humble. I LOVE the sister missionaries. They all seem super chevere and spiritual. I look up to all of them. I LOVE my companion. She’s from guatemala! She’s super spunky and loud. The trainers are called madres and me the hija. I thought she only spake spanish, but found out later with some smart skills of mine that she speaks english as well. I’m staying in the cusco mission so in the city. I’m actually in the president’s ward! I love the house thing I’m staying in. it has the prettiest porch view of the city lights and mountains and i found out it’s like the nicest biggest house in the whole mish. I’ve had it confirmed that God knows me so well because of my comp and where i am. The altitude is crazy! We traveled from sea level to 11,000 feet in an hour! I had pressure on my ears like all day and was super weak and felt like I had to sit down all the time. They gave us that tea stuff and most everyone else seemed to be alright, but I took it the hardest. We just chilled at president’s house most of the day yesterday to accustom to it. Today has been better. Singing is hard cuz you use more oxygen, but I’m getting used to it fast! Today is a little reunion for all the girls. Our mission pres leaves at the end of this month so his wife wanted to do something with all the sisters. So ALL 40 of the sisters in the mission came today and we’ve been chillin doing manicures and eating lasagna. I had my first peruvian mango as well. SOOOOOO GOOD! love you lots! my pdays on monday, so talk to you then! much love!

Hermana malorie

CCM #5

My missionary scripture is the one that’s like ´ I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me (dad sent it to me in like one of my first letters:) I have no idea about my address changing. I received one of Elisa’s dear elders! I’m so happy because i get like a letter a week from either dad or her thing. I feel soooo soo loved. I’m so incredibly blessed. Thanks so much for everything. One of the ladies in the temple hugged me so much and kissed me on the cheek, and told me that she had a missionary out too. Love the missionaries, I have lots of mothers out here:). 2,000 islands??? dang trev! That’s tight! People say that with spanish we can come home speaking fluently, japanese and stuff they speak like I do in spanish after 5 months when they get home. Hard language, but you will love it man. AH tali going to school school?!? cray cray! BAHAHAHAHAHA the little red hen!!! I laughed out loud picturing it! That’s so great!!!! Very creative. I love it. wow.

So many incredible things happening over there in one week!!! good luck at graduation tomorrow trev! brother taylor is the new stake patriarch?!?! Did the other guy die? :( Congrats on the call to dad too! haha my advice is to be friends to all. Sharing the gospel doesn’t need to be awkward. Just state the facts! This is what life’s about! NOTHING else comes close to being as important. So just remember that. They will recognize it. Have faith in God. He makes things happen every day. Believe that He will make miracles happen in your life and he will! I love the armies of helaman. Dang did they have faith. A big part of faith is not doubting that God will deliver you or be with you always. Look for it in vs 47 and 56 of chapter 56 in alma. and ch 57 vs 21 and 26-27.  Ok while you’re at it turn the page to ch 58 vs 10 and 11. Good stuff. I’m in love with the scriptures. Seriously anything you ever need to know you can know from the scriptures and from prayer and answers from the holy ghost--2 ne 32: 3 and 5.

Wow. trevs an elder?? Giving blessings and going through the temple?? Doesn’t seem real! He will be an incredible missionary though. I can tell. He’s so obedient and he does what the Lord wants even if he’s never done it before or doesn’t know how. That’s what God needs and what makes extraordinary missionaries. Extremely obedient, hardworking and full of love. you got it man!

Ok so a week from today i will be in cusco!!! Time flies when you’re having fun eh? My flight leaves at like 9 I’ve heard, so i will hopefully be able to call in the airport if i can figure out a way. So I’m guessing maybe around 8 or 830 my time?? Who knows. Or maybe when i land. i love peruvians. Everything’s like last minute or not completely planned. :) sooooooo ya i can’t wait if it all works out! I don’t know how to use a phone card but whatevs.

Sooo i met my mish pres!!! He came to the ccm with the area 70s and stuff cuz they had a big meeting and came and ate at our cafeteria and that’s his new calling! He’s soooooo amazing! All 5 of us in my district just sat around as he ate and talked to us in spanish. He’s so full of the spirit and he said that he felt a really good spirit around us too. The altitudes super high so I’ll drink that drink, he said the people are amazing. I also met Elisa’s mission president!!! Its soo cool knowing that she’s soo close and real! hahah. He was so happy to meet me and i asked him if Elisa’s doing well, hes like ´yes! She’s the sister leader!´haha. There are 3 people from my district going to santa cruz so hopefully they’ll get to meet Elisa! 2 white girls and an elder. They are the girls that I’ve shared a room with for 6 weeks:), super funny. I can’t wait for them to meet Elisa. They just have like that dead pan humor. So great.

Oh ya, i forgot to tell you that i was called to be the sister leader in the ccm too! So I’ve had it just since last sunday, but it was cool cuz we wrote all the new girls notes, and I’ve been helping girls with sicknesses etc with oils n stuff. I have learned a lot from being the leader. It’s hard. you have a lot of responsibility and you have to be a good example always. haha even though i don’t do too much in the mtc, it’s been a really good experience for me. The new group got stuck over night in the LAX airport cuz something was wrong with the wing on their airplane! So i got up when they all got here and helped carry stuff up the stairs. I remember how hard it was getting here and everyone speaking spanish to you and not knowing what was going on and couldn’t imagine how hard it would be coming a day late too! i told them how this place is run.

Something for mission moms is that garments are SO cheap down here. Like 1.5 soles so like 60 american cents. soo good. I dont need any so i never bought any. Our last pday was today. We asked the pres if we could all go to pizza to celebrate our last pday. He worked out so many details giving us an extra hour out so we could go to the temple, go shopping and go to pizza hut!! Pizza hut was like a super nice sit down restaurant! Who woulda thought! I’m gunna miss lima. It’s so great. especially now that I’m not like freaked out every time i walk out of the doors or sit in the bus as it wizzes by the other cars like a licking distance away(aka i could lick the other car if i stuck my tongue out the window). i like the feel of the city and the run down houses. I’m sooooo stoked to finally get to cusco though.

I feel like the first week here i learned spanish so fast, but now I’ve started slowing down a bit. it’s frustrating, and nerve wracking, but tengo fe. I’m just stoked to get out and really be a missionary. :) One thing I’ve really learned though is that it doesn’t matter the title you have, you can be a missionary every day. Like before i came out here i learned so much stuff like how to listen to people and talk about the gospel with them and be friendly and listen to the spirit that has helped me so much out here. Like more than i would’ve been able to learn here in 6 weeks. aka learn something new every day. Don’t let one day go to waste. You can listen to the promptings of the spirit to help people. Helping people is the ultimate goal. Christ’s personality was to reach outside himself and he did it every single day and in every situation even when suffering on the cross. Our ultimate goal is to be like him, so let’s constantly find ways to not complain and look outside ourselves. Gods goal is ´to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man´, let’s make that our goal too eh? Obviously it’s the best goal eh? Help people, people!! :)

One of the guys that serves us food that we talk to every day we found out isn’t a member. We asked him if he wanted to learn more and it was like a no brainer yes. So all the sisters in my district talked to him after we got back from pizza today and it was the coolest thing. He had a lot of weird ideas about what we believe, and he knows the truth. People in the world just need to see that we´re normal people. He said he loves to serve people. Like that’s what he does every day, and he does it cuz of the good feelings he gets every time he does. He also believes in a higher power. It was cool being able to tell him that that higher power is God and he´s literally our father and that he speaks to us today. It like blew his mind. It was cool feeling like ammon teaching king lamoni and just relating everything back to him and having the support of everyone testifying that they know for themselves. What a blessing agency, and personal revelation are. God our father cares enough about EVERY SINGLE person that he will individually give them an answer and speak to them. If God teaches individually to their needs, we need to too. I’m so thankful for all of the incredible things I’ve learned on the mission so far. soo much learning in so little time. It’s incredible. It’s a trial of faith every day and i love it. my faith has grown so much. God loves all of you! Keep up the good work!

hermana malorie