Favorite Scripture

Helaman 5:12 "And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall."

Monday, November 26, 2012

Short Letter


First off happy birthday Carter! The 30th right....Sorry I can't send anything for your birthday or for Christmas for anyone else. It's really  expensive to send stuff from here. You'll all just have to wait for 2 years =). Nope I didn't do anything for Thanksgiving or even remember lol. To bad to hear about Aunt Shauna's mom, but yeah, she's in a better place now. For Hunter I would get something that doesn't require iTunes. Something that's good, cheap, and around 8 gb. Yes I like the iPod speaker that I got. Unfortunately it doesn't work with the new MP3 player I got. Nope, no more fleas =). I nuked my bed with bug spray. All better now. 

So this week's email might be a little shorter and more random. First off, we met some other missionaries while we were contacting. We contacted the house of some Catholic missionaries. Of course they were 100% positive that the apostasy didn't happen and that they were the true church and all that jazz. So they didn't end up going anywhere lol. You just let those kind of hard people live in apostasy lol. 

We also got a few new people with baptismal dates. Jenny Nicolade, she works in a bakery and she's taken lessons from the missionaries before, but not for awhile. We taught her the Gospel of Jesus Christ and she accepted a baptismal date for Dec 15. Very good investigator.

Next we have Jefferson. We taught him once before and he accepted a baptismal invitation, but we didn't put a date on him until the second visit to make sure that he really understood. He said that he prayed to know if the church was true and he recieved an answer that it was. Sweet lol. So he has a baptismal date for the 15th as well. 

So the hardest thing for the investigators here is going to the flipping church. Lol. They always say, "yeah sure I'll go". And then they never do. Darn investigators....If they would just go to church we would be having more baptisms than we are. Hopefully the 4 people that have dates now will actually go to church this week so we can get a baptism...Oh and by the way. Ulpiano Saltos still hasn't returned from the coast yet....Hopefully he'll be back in time to have his baptism this saturday. 

Not to much to say this week. So that's about it. Oh, I've included some pictures of Yaruquì as well. Enjoy =). 

Elder Black

Monday, November 19, 2012

A Kiss from a Girl!


An eventful but pretty unproductive week. So we basically had 2 P-Days this week. Monday we had the day long conference with Elder Waddell and tuesday was our real P-Day. Also we have a District Meeting in Quito every day and it takes us about 2 hours to get from here (Yaruquì) to Quito. So we get back home at around 3:30 on thursdays. We also had exchanges on thursday after the District Meeting until friday in the afternoon. Basically we didn't have much time to teach this week =(. 

First off, at our mamitas house this thursday she made steak that tasted exactly like moms Puerto Rican steak, dry and tasteless lol. Just kidding mom. Your food is the best =) It was nice to eat something familiar. Somethings that I ate that were unfamiliar were: liver, and chicken liver soup. Neither of which were very good....but I'm alive, but only barely. And this is the best thing that I ate this week. I ate chocolate with hazelnuts (I used to be allergic to them) in it, and nothing happened =). That was a cool moment for me. 

So Jorge Robalino (the weirdo) is getting baptized this week for sure. I guess he's reading the Book of Mormon a lot now and he recieved an answer that Joseph Smith was a prophet and everything. He even stopped reading his book of "revelation" Angelorum. So he'll be baptized this week. Hopefully with Ulpiano Saltos. I say hopefully because something happened with Ulpiano. He was living in the coast (in the Guayaquil North Mission) and he was living here with his family for moral support because he took the death of his brother really hard and was drinking more than usual and thought about suicide. And I can see why, his brother had a horrible death. Pretty horrible way to die. I can see why he took it so hard. So he's living with his family for support and he's in a rehabilitation center for alcholics. We taught him the Word of Wisdom and he understood it all and we think he can do it. So what happened is that he went back to the coast to his house. NOOOOOO!!!!! I guess there was something that he had to do there. He'll be coming back, but we don't know if it will be in time for his baptism. We fasted today for him. Hopefully he'll be fine. 

But we do have another person with a baptismal date for December 15. 2 months ago we were contacting and we found a lady that didn't have time to listen to us at the time but told us that we could come again later. So we went back a few times and she was always busy so we never taught her. That is, until this week >=D. Before we taught her we knew she was catholic and she seemed like a lamp. A lamp is a person who talks about how they love their religion and they pray all the time, but they don't really do any of that stuff. They just say it to make themselves look good. So with some of the things that she said and how she acted, we thought she was a lamp lol. But we taught her the Restoration and invited her to baptism and she accepted. We also invited her to church. She said that she'll be at church for sure that that she wanted to bring her whole family with her. Guess she's not a lamp after all. She's just a really nice person =). 

So a couple of funny things that happened this week. The first thing. We were making tacos at a members house and one of her daughters walked in the front door. So here in Ecuador when people walk into a room it is normal for them to give a casual kiss on the cheek as a greeting. She walked into the room and I was facing away from the door. She walked up to the side of me and kissed me on the cheek. She caught me completely by surprise. I was petrified, I didn't know what to do lol. As missionaries we're not even supposed to have anymore contact with girls/women than a handshake. That was nothing out of the ordinary for her or for the natives there, but for an innocent missionary it was more than I could take, I ran out of the house. Just kidding lol. I didn't do anything. But it was a little strange for me lol. I'll have to be on my guard from now on.......The other funny thing was a dream that I had. I had parachute pants. They were like a pink jumpsuit that was made of flanel and the leg parts were about 4 ft across each. So I would jump of houses and stuff, wait for the wind to catch my parachute pants, and gently land on the ground. I even went so far as to skydive with my pink jumpsuit. Oh, and in my dream took place before my mission. So I got to go skydiving before my mission afterall mom and dad =). 

This Saturday we did a service project by on the property of the church/house here in Yaruquì. There is a grass field that we leveled so that we could play volleyball on it. During the service we found all sorts of animals: lizards, frogs, big spiders, giant (for me) millipedes, and scorpions. Quite the variety of wildlife on that little field. And I caught my first lizard here in Latin America =). Now I just need a snake.....

Oh, and another reason that we weren't productive this week was because of this stupid walk that they have. Of couse most of the people here are catholic and they worship the Virgen Mary. They actually worship her here more than Christ and God. Anyways, they believe that the Virgen Mary does miracles and answers prayers and all sorts of apostasy. So they think that if they walk from Quito (2 hours by bus), or for the least faithful lamp people/the people who just do it for a social activity, they walk from somewhere closer like here (20 minutes by bus) to Quinche, where the famous Virgen of Quinche is, they will be forgiven of their sins and she will work miracles in their life. Apostasy lol. So they close all the roads from Quito to Quinche for their Apostasy/lamp walk all day and all night. The most people past Yaruquì at 3:00 in the morning.....how sad lol. So we couldn't go outside Yaruquì for 2 1/2 days because of those fools. 

So that's basically what happened this week. Now I have a few random things to say. First off, how future missionaries (Hunter in particular) can prepare for a mission. I would highly recommend reading the Book of Mormon for 30 min every day and a little bit of the Bible if you have time. You might say, "30 minutes every day! That's a ton!". Well, no it's not lol. In the field you have 1 hour to read/have a personal study every morning. Then you have companionship study for 2 hours after that. So 3 hours of studying every day. So yeah, 30 minutes is nothing lol. Also, I would recommend reading the entire Preach My Gospel at least once. Don't just read it just to read it. Read it with purpose and try to understand and comprehend everything that is in it. And read all the lessons (1-5) 3 times each. Pay attention to the order and simplicity of the principles in each lesson. When you teach investigators you divide up the lesson by principle, so you need to know what order all of the principles and what all of them are. When you read the lessons, again, pay attention to the depth/simplicity that they are written in. You don't need to teach any more complex than what is in Preach My Gospel. When talking about the Creation you don't need to talk about how dinosaurs fit in or when talking about the Restoration you don't need to describe to them how the Urim and Thumimn look. Not important stuff. Again, don't go deeper than what Preach My Gospel teaches. So in my opinion, reading the Book of Mormon and reading Preach My Gospel are 2 very helpful things that will give you a headstart in the mission. 

One other thing. I never remembered to tell you mom and dad, but when Carter was being baptized, when we were about to enter the font, I asked him a question. I kept forgetting to tell you about it, but I think it's pretty cool. So before we entered the font I asked him,"Are you happy? Yeah. Why? Because when I am baptized I feel clean and I can repent. And it's the first thing that I need to do to be in the Celestial Kingdom." More or less that's what he said. I was pretty impressed that an 8 year old came up with that answer. I wanted to tell you that before I forgot to tell you again. 

2 things that I want to ask for. We're doing a food activity with the ward and we're making food from other countries. I would like to make chicken crescents or chilly chicken bake. If you could send me the recipies for those that would be awesome. And the second thing is more music. The London Philharmonic Orchestra album. Another thing to add to Dropbox =). And just so you know I still haven't missed 1 day of writing in my journal. Diligence!

Elder Black

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Los of References!


Sorry I didn't write yesterday. We were in Quito all day yesterday and didn't get back until 9:00 last night. We had a training meeting with an area seventy, Elder Waddell. So since yesterday we had the meeting all day today is our P-day.

First off, we got about a bazillion references this week. We got 5 new investigators this week purely through references. We didn't even have to knock one door. That's effeciency. =). So the first investigator was Ulpiano Saltos. He's the brother of the second counselor in the Branch Presidency. He went to church last week and this week as well. We taught him last tuesday about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He was very receptive and everything we said made sense to him. When we invited him to be baptized he said,"Claro", which means clearly or obviously. He said that it didn't matter how soon the baptism was if it was the will of the Lord. Wow lol. A good investigator. He'll be baptized on the 24th of November.

Next reference was Fanny Guical. She had been to church once before and liked it and had recieved a priesthood blessing once. We taught her the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We asked her to pray to know if the things we said were true and to pray to know if the church was true. She said,"I already know that the church is true". We were a little confused. She said that she had already been baptized into the church....okay now we're really confused. We asked her what the name of the church that she was baptized into was called. She said it was called Jesus Christ Is Your Creator. We guessed that when she heard the name, The Chruch of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, she got it confused with the other church. We explained to her that they were different and that she wasn't baptized into the church that we were teaching her about. She said that she would go to church this week, but sadly she didn't make it for some reason. =( We'll keep working with her. 

Reference/investigator that we happened to find. We taught Adriana (the 19 year old less active) this saturday and when we got to her house she had a friend over. A perfect opportunity for a a missionary to teach someone, because they would feel like a jerk if they left because they didn't want to hear us lol. So she stayed to hear the lesson. We taught them about the Book of Mormon and the Restoration. She was pretty knowledgable. Most people here say that they believe in the Bible and they are Catholic and will stay Catholic. These people don't know anything lol. But Sarah, the friend, actually knew what she was talking about. She said that she wanted to know if the Book of Mormon was true and would pray to know. She and Adriana said that they would go to church this week with us. We told them that we would pick them up to go to church. They didn't go either =(. Adriana had something that she had to to in Quito with her mom. Lame. We'll get them next time for sure >=D. 

Next 2 references. This week was Branch Conference. It has been exactly a year since the Branch was formed. When it started there were 28 members. Now there are 80ish members and they're about to become a ward. The Stake Presidency was there and everything, so it was a big deal. Members brought family or friends that aren't members of the church to the meeting. One family, Fam Guanga (the mom is the sister of hra. Zambrano), brought a few teenage family members to church. We set up an appointment to meet with them that night. So we taught them the Gospel of Jesus Christ (seems like we teach that a lot =)) and invited them to baptism. Again after we asked them and were trying to give them time to think one of their cousins started talking saying,"This is an important decision. Think, think, think! Say something!". This is really a killer when people do this. One of them was really thinking and he needed time to think and have the spirit work on him. Talking during that time doesn't help lol. The 2 of them said that they didn't really know right now, that they needed more time to think. We think that they can really progress, we just need to keep teaching them. 

So, Fam Zambrano. We taught them on thursday I think and she still hadn't done her reading assignment. She said that she was really busy at work and that when she got back home she was to tired to read. I was about to machette her and tell her that she's praying to know the will of God and what is the right path for her. I was this close to telling her that God is giving her the answer, The Book of Mormon, and she isn't listening to the answer. That she has the key to knowing what God wants her to do, the salvation of her sould in her hands and she's not reading it because she's tired..... That and other things. I was going to really hand it to her. She said that saturday was her day to read the Book of Mormon because that's when she didn't have work. So I decided to spare her soul lol. Saturday came around and we brought the Ward Mission Leader, Angel Lara, to help us out. A very long story short, she said that she still hadn't read the Book of Mormon. What is really a killer is that she reads the Bible a ton, but won't read the Book of Mormon for 5 minutes. So after she told us that she hadn't read, we asked her why she didn't read. She said it's because she hasn't really heard of the prophets in the Book of Mormon and isn't familiar with them and doesn't like reading it. We had told her a million times why she hadn't heard of them before and we told her again. I told her,"If I don't know the prophets in the Bible, should I still read the Bible?" A hesitant yes. "And if you don't know the prophets in the Book of Mormon should you still read it?" No answer. "Yes, you should read the scriptues because it is a commandment and it is the word of God, not because you know the prophets". Basically we machettied her with love. We told her that our visits to her wouldn't be productive if she wasn't doing her part. That we are her friends and we're here to help her, but we're not going to teach her anymore. She took it fine and understood. She said that she knows what church she wants to be baptized into, and it's not the Evangelic Church (the church that was helping her son learn and the church that she wanted to get baptized into earlier), but she didn't specify which church it was. We're assuming that it's this church. She also said some other things that made us think that. During the month that we were teaching her she didn't progress much. Right when we dropped her she finally seemed to progress a little. But we're both positive that she'll be baptized within 2 months =). Hopefully I'll still be here to see that happen. By the way we taught her that night for 2 hours. Long lesson lol. But if that's what it took it's fine with me. 

We also finally got a hold of an investigator that we haven't met in 2 months. It was my first time meeting her. Her name is Ismenia Flores. She is very good. She had just had a baby and since that she's been really sick. So when we went over she was in bed. She had been sick for a couple of weeks and could barely even move because of the pain. We asked if she would like a priesthood blessing and she said yes. We asked if there was anything we could do for her and she said that after not having the missionaries over for 2 months she wanted us to teach her because she wanted to be closer to God. She said that's the only thing she needed. Of course we agreed to teach her and we set up an appointment for the next day. We went back over the next day and she wasn't home....crud lol. We left and decided to come back later in the day to see if she was home. Still nothing. We were about to leave and we saw her walking up the road carrying groceries and doing just fine. The day before she could barely move and now she's walking around like she's back to normal. Priesthood Powerrrrrr!!!!! Pretty cool to see. =). Unfortunately she didn't have time for us to teach her but she said that she would be at church on sunday. She was sounded like she really wanted to go, but she didn't.....I don't know what's wrong with people that they can't ever go to church.....lol

So that was my week. Now I have some completely irrelevant things to say. Our apartment gets down to 58 degrees in the morning. Yup, it's cold. I also heard that flipping Obama won.....lame. I ate a piece of chocolate that had hazelnuts in it and nothing happened =) (I used to be allergic to them). Hunter got his call to Costa Rica!!! I guess it's kind of cool....I mean, it's not Ecuador or anything. =). And I'm glad that everyone liked my scripture list. By the end of my mission it will probably be 50% bigger. =) And also, Elder Salazar and I are making what we call a "Progressing Missionary Form". It's pretty epic. I'll try and send it in my next email =). Here's a few pictures. This is the branch now. About 15 of them are from the Stake, and the rest are members. The other 2 pictures are more pictures of Yaruquì from our house. Well....that's all I can think of to say for now. Try and have fun without me =)

Elder Black

Monday, November 5, 2012

Surprise for Hunter!

*Note:  Skylar wanted me to post this so that everyone could have access to it.  He put a lot of time into it and felt that it was important and valuable to share with everyone. 

So here's the surpise. It's a large and still in the works list of all the scriptures that I have found while in the MTC/field. I went through all the scriptures in Preach My Gospel and all the scriptures that I had highlighted in my english scriptures and pulled all the good ones out and organized them by principle in Preach my Gospel. I have a hand written list of all these scriptures on a little piece of paper in my spanish scriptures so I can use them at any time during a lesson. Very helpful. It took me a few hours to type all of them up so be grateful! Print off a bunch and give them to friends, other missionaries in your district in the MTC, etc. Mom and Dad can also use it as a reference for teaching or whatever or anyone could use it for a topic study of something. Like I said, it isn't complete but it is a pretty good list. It will be a good headstart on your mission. Have fun =)

1.  Restoration
  God Is Our Loving Heavenly Father
  Isaiah 55: 8-9-Gods ways are higher than ours
  1 Nephi 17:36- God created the earth for us
  2 Nephi 4:19-21- God is my support
  2 Nephi 25:23- Mercy of God after all that we can do
  Mosiah 4:9- God is all knowing
  D&C 18-10- worth of souls is great in the sight of God
  Moses 1:39- Behold, this is my work and my glory
  D&C 130:18-23- God has a body of flesh and bone
  Heavenly Father Reveals His Gospel In Every Dispensation
  Amos 3:7- Surely the Lord God will do nothing except...
  Jacob 4:13- The Holy Ghost witnesses/witnessed truths to prophets
  D&C 1:38- whether by me or the prophets, it is the same
  1 Nephi 13:26-27- Great and abominable church, many plain and precious truths were taken
  1 Nephi 16:2- the wicked taketh the truth to be hard
  Mosiah 27:13- the Gospel will be taken away when the people are wicked
  D&C 1:15-16- How/why the Apostasy happened
  Matt 24:9-11- prophecy of Apostasy when prophets are killed
  2 Thess 2:3- shall come a falling away first
  2 Tim 4:3-4- prophecy of Apostasy
  Amos 8:11-12- A famine of the Gospel in the land
  Isaiah 24:5- changing ordinances and covenants
  Jacob 4:14- Jews killed the prophets because they turned away from Christ
  Jacob 4:15-16- prophecy that the Jews will reject Christ
  Resoration of the Gospel
  Acts 3:20-21- restitution of all things(Gospel)
  Ephesians 4:12-14- the need for a restitution of the Gospel
  2 Tim 4:3-4- restitition of the complete Gospel
  2 Nephi 27: 6,7,10,23,27-prophecy of the restoration, Joseph Smith, 3 Witnesses, and Book of Mormon
  D&C 123:12- Kept from the truth because they don't know where to find it
  2 Nephi 27- prophecy of the restoration in general
  Book of Mormon
  2 Corinthians 13:1- out of the mouth of 2 or 3 shall all things be established
  Ezekiel 37:15-19- stick of Judah/Joseph
  2 Nephi 29:3,4,7,11- Many shall hiss, "A Bible a Bible...", God reveals things in all nations
  Moroni 7:16-17- if it is good, it is of God
  Ether 4:12;Moroni 7:11-14;Alma 5:40- if it persuadeth man to do good, it is of God
  D&C 1:38- Whether by me or my prophets, it is the same
  2 Nephi 33:10-11- if you believe in Christ, you will believe in the Book of Mormon
  Jacob 7:10-11- if you believe in scriptures but not in God, you don't understand the scriptures
  Mosiah 1:3-5- scriptures contain the mysteries (the doctrine, mysteries because the world doesn't know the doctrin) of God
  Pray to Know the Truth Through the Holy Ghost
  Alma 5:45-46- the Holy Ghost will testify
  Ephesians 4:5- one Lord, one faith, one baptism
  James 1:5- if any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God
  D&C 9:7-9- if it is right you will feel a burning in the bosom
  Jacob 4:8- You cannot study out the mysteries of God, they have to be revealed to you
  Mosiah1:3- not knowing the mysteries of God (the doctrine) is ignorance
  Jacob 4:10- don't counsel the Lord, recieve counsel
  Proverbs 2:10- wisdom entereth into the heart, not the mind
2. Plan of Salvation
2 Nephi 31- Plan of Salvation in general
Pre-Earth Life
Matt 5:48- be ye therefore perfect(complete)
Romans 8:16-18- we are children and heirs of God
Acts 17:29- we are children of God
Jeremiah 11:5 before I formed thee in the belly, I knew thee
Moses 1:39- behold this is my work and my glory…..
Job 38:4-7- we shouted for joy before the world was
D&C 138:55-56- we had classes/instruction in the premortal life
Abraham 3:22-26- noble and great ones helped with the creation
            The Creation
1 Nephi 17:36- God created the Earth for us
Alma 30:44- All things denote that there is a God
Genesis 1:26-31- the Creation
Abraham 3:22-26
            Agency and the Fall
2 Nephi 2:11- must needs be an opposition in all things
2 Nephi 2- the Fall and Agency in general
Genesis 1:26-31- the creation of Adam and Eve
2 Nephi 2:25- Adam fell that men might be
Alma 12:22-34- the purpose of the Fall
Life On Earth
Matt 6:24- cannot serve 2 masters
Matt 11:28-30- my burden is easy and my yoke light
2 Nephi 9:6- death is a necessary step of life
Alma 12:24- life is a probationary state
Alma 34: 32-34- life is the time to prepare to meet God
D&C 131:6- man cannot be saved in ignorance (learn the gospel during life)
1 Corinthians 10:13- we are not tempted above that which we are able
The Atonement
2 Nephi 2:6-7- Christ sacrificed himself for us
Alma 7:11-13- What/why of the Atonement
Alma 34:8-10- Atonement is essential, we would be lost
Matthew 27:34-54- Jesus on the cross
Mosiah 14:3-6- he is despised and rejected of men
Spirit World
1 Peter 3:18-20- Gospel is preached to the dead in the Spirit World
D&C 137:7-10- what happens to those that didn’t accept the gospel on earth
Alma 34:34- Spirits are eternal, we will have another life after this
Alma 40:11-14- All people go to spirit world in 1 of 2 states
  Resurrection, Judgement, and Immortality
            1 Corinthians 15:12-14- there is resurrection
   2 Nephi 9.14-15- we will be reminded of our works and will be judged
  Alma 5:15-21- we will be judged by our works. Can you say that you lived well?
  John 3:16- we will have everlasting life
  D&C 14:7- the greatest gift is eternal life
  Moroni 7:40-41- through Christ we are resurrected
            Alma 40:20- not a hair shall be lost, all shall be restored to its proper and perfect condition
  1 John 3:2 we wil be like Christ
  Philipians 3:21- we can have a body like Christ
            Kingdoms of Glory
            1 Corintians 15:39-42; D&C 76- Degrees of Glory
3. The Gospel of Jesus Christ
            3 Nephi 27:13-22- the Gospel of Jesus Christ
            2 Nephi 31
            Through Christ We Can Be Cleansed
            Mosiah 3:17- we can only be saved through Christ
            Moroni 6:8- we will always be forgiven
            2 Nephi 2:6-8- redemption cometh through the Messiah
  Alma 32:21- faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things
            Faith in Jesus Christ
           1 Corinthians10:13- not tempted above that which ye are able
            D&C 82:10- when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise
           1 Nephi 7:12- God can do anything if you have faith
           Moroni 7:33- If ye have faith, you can do what God asks
           Nephi 3:7- Lord giveth no commandments that you can't keep
           2 Corinthians 5:7- walk by faith, not by sight
           Matt 11:28-30- by burden is light and my yoke easy
           2 Nephi 25:33-mercy of God after all that we can do
           Mosiah 4:12- repentance brings the love of God
           Mosiah 27- if they can repent, anyone can
           Alma 19:33- repentance=no desire to do evil
           Moroni 6:8- we will always be forgiven
           3 Nephi 27:19- no unclean thing can dwell with God
           D&C 19:16-18- if ye repent not, you will suffer as God
           Romans 3:23- everyone sins
           2 Nephi 30:12- anyone that repents is chosen of God
           Mosiah 26:29-35- steps of repentance
 Alma 34:33- don't procrastinate the day of your repentance
           Mark 1:10; Acts 8:38-39- baptism by immersion
           John 3:5- except a man be born of water and of spirit...
           1 Corinthians 15:29- baptisms for the dead
           2 Nephi 31:10-13- follow Christ by being baptized
           Moroni 8:10-12- infant baptism
           Moroni 8:25-26- baptism if the first fruits of repentance
           Ephesians 4:5- one Lord, one faith, one baptism
           3 Nephi 11:38- if you are not baptized you can't enter into the kingdom of God
           Mosiah 3:16- the Atonement covers children that weren't baptized during their life
           2 Nephi 9:24- if we are not baptized and endure to the end we will be damned 

 D&C 68:25- parents havethe responsibility to teach baptism to their children, baptized at 8 years
 Acts 2:47- have to be a member of Gods church to be saved
 Acts 16:32-33- a jailer was baptized that night (you don't have to be super prepared to be baptized)
 2 Nephi 31:5- how much more do we need baptism
 D&C 20:37- requirements for baptism
 Mosiah 5:7-9- we change most after baptism
Gift of the Holy Ghost
 2 Nephi 32:5- the Holy Ghost will tell you all things what you should do
 Mosiah 2:36- the Holy Ghost leaves when we sin
 Moroni 8:26- feelings that the Holy Ghost brings
 D&C 8:2- how the Holy Ghost testifies
 D&C 130:18-23- the Holy Ghost is a spirit and can dwell in us
 John 14:26- the Holy Ghost brings all things to rememberance
 Jacob 4:13- the Holy Ghost speaks things as the really are, does not lie
 Endure to the End
 2 Nephi 9:24- if we are not baptized and endure to the end we will be damned
 1 Corinthians 10:13- not tempted above what we are able
 James 2:17-18- faith without works is dead
 2 Nephi 25:23- the mercy of God, after all that we can do
 2 Nephi 31:20- if ye endure ye shall have eternal life
 Matt 7:21- not everyone that says,"Lord Lord" will be saved
 D&C 82:10- when ye do not what I say ye have no promise
 Matt 24:13-  he that endures the same shall be saved
 2 Nephi 31:14-16- better of ye had ye not known me, have to endure to be saved
 Alma 7:15-16- have to repent and be baptized to be saved
 Matt 12:30- if you're not with me, you're against me
 2 Nephi 9- endure to the end in general
 D&C 27:2- doesn't matter what we use in the Sacrament
 Moroni 4,5- the Sacrament prayers
4./5.The Commandments/Laws and Ordinances
 Mosiah 2:22- God blesses us when we keep the commandments
 D&C 35:24- God rejoices when we keep the commandments
 John 14:15,21- if ye love me, keep my commandments
 Pray Often
 2 Nephi 32:8-9- Devil teaches you not to pray, pray always
 Alma 34:17-28- pray over everything
 Moroni 10:3-5- how we should pray
 D&C 19:28- pray vocally and in private
 Study the Scriptures
 2 Nephi 25:26- scriptures preach of Christ, know where to look for a remission of sins
 2 Nephi 31:19-20;32:3- feast upon the words of Christ
 D&C 1:37-38- search the scriptures, promises/blessings will be fulfilled
 2 Nephi 29:11-out of the books we will be judged
 John 5:39- study the scriptures, for they testify of me
 Mosiah 1:3-5- scriptures contain the mysteries of God
 Keep the Sabbath Day Holy   
 Nehemiah 13:15-21- don't buy or sell on the Sabbath
 D&C 59:9-16- day of rest
 Exodus 20:8-10- commandment of Day of Rest
 Moroni 6:4-6- we get support from the Church
 Isaiah 58:13-14- if you keep this commandment in his way, Gody will bless you
 Mosiah 18:25- they met once a week to worship
 Exodus 16:22-26- gathered more mana the day before the Sabbath so they wouldn't have to work the next day
 Follow the Prophet
 D&C 1:38- whether by me or my prophets, it is the same
 Amos 3:7- surely the Lord God will do nothing...his servants the prophets
 D&C 121:34- many are called, few are chosen
 Keep the 10 Commandments
 Mosiah 2:22- we are blessed when we keep the commandments
 D&C 35:24- God rejoices when wekeep the commandments
 Exodus 20:1-17- the 10 Commandments
 D&C 59:5- commandment to love God
 1 Nephi 3:7- Lord will provide a way to keep his commandments
 2 Nephi 1:20- if we don't keep the commandments, we will be cut off from his presence
 Law of Chastity 
 Jacob 2- chastity in general
 Romans 1:27- no gay marriage
 D&C 42:22-24- though shall not commit adultery
 D&C 63:16- lust drives out the Spirit
 Matt 5:27-28- committed adultery in his heart
 Ephesians 5:3-5- coveting, fornication, is bad...
 Romans 1:27-32- those who voilate this law knowingly will be condemned
 Jacob 3:12- fornication is bad
 Jacob 3:3- you need to have clean thoughts
 Word of Wisdom
 Proverbs 31:4-8- very clear, drinking wine is bad
 Numbers 6:3-4- no wine or beer
 Isaiah 5:11- no coffee
 Luke 1:15- no wine or strong drink
 D&C 89- Word of Wisdom
 Daniel 1- didn't drink wine and ate more healthy, he was better off than the others
 Proverbs 20:1- wine/coffee are bad, whoso is decieved is not wise
 Judges 13:2-5,13-14- should not drink wine or strong drink. Why would the angel say not to drink these things?
 Malachi 3:10- bring all the tithes into my storehouse
 Hebrews 7:12- Abraham payed tithing
 D&C 119- commandment to pay tithing
 Law of the Fast
 Omni 1:26- if we fast, we will be saved
 Isaiah 58:6-11- blessings of fasting
 Exodus 34:28- don't eat or drink during a fast
 Eternal Marriage
 1 Peter 3:7- together, heirs of life
 Matt 16:18-19- keys to bind of earth and heaven
 Hebrews 13:4- marriageis honorable
Common Problems of Investigators

 All Churches Are True
 Acts 2:41-47- have to be a member of Gods church to be saved
 1 Nephi 14:10,12- only 2 churches, Gods and Devils
 Mosiah 18:16-17- the name of the Church was "Christ" (before our church there wasn't historically another church that had Christs name in the title of the church)
 1 Nephi 13:26- many plain and precious truths were taken
 1 Corinthians 1:10,13- be unified, Christ is not divided
 Matt 7:21- not everone that shall say "Lord Lord" shall be saved
 Luke 6:13- Crhist called Apostles (not the Pope)
 Mark 3:24-25- a divided kingdom cannot stand
 Matt 17:14-20- not everything that is done in the same of God is vaild/works
 Ephesians 4:11-14- and to some he gave prophets, no more tossed to and fro by unsound doctrine
 Ephesians 4:5- One Lord, one faith, one baptism
 2 Nephi 28:3-5- many false churches shall rise and claim that they are of God
 2 Nephi 28- if al churches are true, does this sound right?
 Mosiah 4:14- fighting serves the devil, (churches fighting with eachother)
 Why isn't Joseph Smith in the Bible? (Joseph Smith, apostasy, restoration)
 It doesn't say "Jesus" in the Old Testament....
 Matt 24:9-11- prophecy of Apostasy when prophets die
 2 Thess 2:3- there shall come a falling away first
 2 Timothy 4:3-4- sound doctrine will not endure
 Ezekiel 37:15-19- stick of Judah/Joseph (Bible/Book of Mormon)
 Acts 3:20-22- restoration through a prophet
 2 Corinthians 13:1-out of the mouth of 2 or 3 wil all things come to pass (Bible and Book of Mormon are 2 or 3 witnesses)
 Malachi 3:1- a messenger will prepare the way for me (2nd Coming)
 Isaiah 29:11-12- a sealed book is delivered to one that is not learned
 Revelations 14:6-7- I saw an angel with the everlasting gospel (Moroni with the Book of Mormon)
 Matt 21:42-43- Gospel will be taken from the Jews and restored to the Gentiles
 Heb 9:16-17- prophecy of the death of Joseph Smith
 Priesthood Authority
 Hebrews 6:20- Jesus had Melchisedec priesthood and so do we
 Romans 10:15- need authority to preach
 Hebrews 5:4-6- must be called of God
 John 15:16- God has to choose you (can't choose yourself)
 2 Peter 1:20-21- scriptures are not for private interpretation (Rock of Peter/Christ, Christ made Peter the leader of his Church)
 Matt 10:1- power or authority to cast out unclean spirits
 Hebrews 7- priesthood in general
 Mosiah 21:33- wanted to be baptized, but nobody had the authority
 Only 144,000 people will be saved/live with God (Jehovah's Witness belive this 12,000/ each of the 12 tribes of Israel-Rev 7)
 Revelations 7:9- more will be saved than can be counted, obviously more that 144,000 people
 2 Nephi 30:2- anyone that repents is chosen of God
 2 Nephi 33:12- All can be saved
 Modern Revelation/prophets
 Mormon 9:7-10- he who denies prophets and revelation does not know God
 Amos 3:7- surely the Lord God will do nothing but he revealeth his secrets to the prophets
 Proverbs 11:14- where there is counsel (revelation and counsel of prophets) there is safety
 Why don't we worship the Virgin Mary
 Luke 11:27- blessed are they that keep the word of the Lord, not Mary
 Deuteronomy 33:1-3-saints are members of the Church, not idols or images
 1 Timothy 2:15- chirst is the only mediator with the Father
 2 Kings 17:12- don't worship idols
 Hebrews 9:27- we die once, then we're judged
 Jacob 4:13- if it wasn't manifested to a prophet by the Holy Ghost is isn't of God, the Holy Ghost doesn't lie
 How to overcome addiction
 Mosiah 7:33- if you turn to the Lord he will deliver you from bondage(addiction)

Experiences This Week!


So this week was good I guess. This letter isn't going to be in order very well, it's just going to be a random string of experiences =). So the investigator that I found with my coin. We called her to set up another appointment with her and she told us that her and her husband have their own way of worshiping and nobody is going to change them.....stupid coin lol. So that was the end of that investigator. 

We are also continuously getting new references, so we don't contact much. This week we got 2 references. One is a family in Quinche (about 30 min away). They went to church in the coast a few times and really liked it and they want to go to church here too. The other is a brother of a member of our branch. He already has 1 assistance and he's interested in the church. Both sound like good references =). We also found a new less active member that we can teach. It's a 19 year old girl that was baptized in June. She's nice, has a 3 year old daughter.....She wants to go to church, but she has school on sundays sometimes and it's hard for her to go. We taught her the blessings of keeping our covenants and blessings of the gospel. A good lesson. 

We got 4 lessons set up with people that we contacted in Pifo. One of them is an atheist. He had talked to the missionaries before but they didn't teach him a full lesson and he accepted to have us come over and teach him a lesson. We'll see how that goes. One of the other contacts is a friendly old guy and his wife. They're both catholic (of course), but they agreed to have us come back after we taught them the restoration. Hopefully they'll progress.

Now for our existing investigators. Fam. Zambrano. We taught the mom last night and we found out she has almost no clue about what the Book of Mormon is or where it came from and that she can't understand it when she reads. This was frustrating because we explained it to her twice before. So we explained it again in great detail. Every time we go over and teach her she says that she wants to feel prepared and that she wants to be sure of her decision. So with explaining the Book of Mormon I hope we helped her feel more prepared to gain a testimony of the church. But she also told us that she wants to be baptized into the church that she's been attending.....crud lol. She wants to be baptized into that church basically that's what she's used to. She always says how much faith she has and that she prays all the time. But I don't think she has as much faith as she says she does. If she had a lot of faith she would be able to understand the Book of Mormon, have a desire to change churches if that's what God said etc. So if she doesn't progress after the next 2 lessons we're going to have to drop her =(. Hopefully that doesn't happen. 

Fam Oña. We didn't really have an opportunity to teach them this week. We had invited them to church but they didn't show for some reason. We'll keep working with them. I hope we don't have to drop them too.....Luckily we always have references that are usually pretty good. So even if we have to drop them we have a backup plan =)

Ecuadorians don't celebrate Halloween. They have day of the dead november 2nd. It's a day where they remember their ancestors by visiting cemetaries and making what they call Wuawuas de pan, or bread babies. They also make colada morada, which is like a thick berry juice with chunks of pineapple and other fruit. It has some other things in it too and it's served hot. Good stuff. 

Last night we had a family home evening at a members house. Before the lesson we were talking to the family and just hanging out. Then Veni (the guy who wants to marry Katarina) tried to hoola hoop. When he did it he didn't move his hips at all. Instead he spread his legs out and when he tried to get the hoola hoop he had his arms above his head and waved them around like a mad man lol. So funny to watch. We couldn't stop laughing. We tried to explain to him how to do it, but he just kept doing the same thing. Next he tried doing the hoola hoop around his neck. I can't explain exactly how he looked, but his arms were in a position that made him look mentally retarded, and his face looked like he was suffering. We couldn't stop laughing. lol Later, after the lesson, we made wuawuas. Normally they're supposed to look like people. We all made nice looking wuawuas and other things like flowers and turtles. And then there were Veni's creations.....His wuawuas looked horrible lol. I called them abominations. One looked like it had +30 birth defects lol. Again, we couldn't stop laughing. Oh Veni......=)

Another few random things. Elder Salazar and I were walking up the street (one of the most busy streets) and we saw a guy sitting on a the edge of a curb. He stood up and pulled up his pants and underneath was a fresh poop lol. He just pooped on the sidewalk......I guess he's a hobo because we saw him sleeping on the sidewalk later lol. Going along with that, some people here have no shame. If the men want to go to the bathroom that won't hesitate to go on the nearest wall or pillar in public.....some people....

So the pictures, one is of me holding a wuawua that I made at a members house and the other is the master sword that I made one day. Yup, pretty cool. 

(the following paragraph was taken from dad's letter)

Hope you are doing well?  So tell me, what have you learned since being a missionary?  More specifically, what has happened to strengthen your testimony?  Do you think your testimony is strong enough to attend the U of U? :o)  Not that you would attend that university but the question should make you think about your testimony more seriously.  Please share with me/family, in detail,  something that, if there has been something, has really affected your testimony.

Now to answer your questions dad. What has happened that has strengthened my testimony? Uh...lots of things lol. I get the opportunity to read the scriptures for an hour every morning and I have learned a lot during my studies. I have learned more about the Book of Mormon and the Bible. I also regularly find scriptures that we can use with our investigators. Very cool. I've also had moments where I've been able to express myself in spanish very well with almost no hesitation. A testament that the gift of tongues is working. Also finding really prepared investigators like Fanny. She was so prepared to recieve the gospel and it's amazing to see that people who have been the same religion their whole life can change relatively easy. Another testament that this Gospel is true and that there are people that are very prepared to recieve it. I can't really think of anything else specific to share, but my testimony has grown because all day every day we are teaching the gospel and I learn through preparing to teach them and when I teach them. I hope that answers your question. And yes. I could totally attend U of U with my testimony =)

Now there are a few things that I wanted to ask for for Christmas =). Salt and vinegar chips.....aww......Lord of the Rings soundtrack, candy, and my spiritual gifts thing that I mentioned to dad earlier. Not much but that's really all that I can think of right now lol. I'll let you know if I can think of anything else =). By the way thanks for sending the pictures and the video. It's amazing that Brielle can actually talk a little bit now. And has Hunter gotten his call yet? When he gets it let me know the day that he gets it. I can check my email but I can't reply during the week. I need to know! Also if you want you can put that list of scriptures on the blog. That way people that look at the blog can have access to it. 

That's all for now, 

Elder Black