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."

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Short Letter

Well, this will be a short letter as today I will be calling my family today =). Just going to give a summary of the things we did. 

We had our Christmas dinner with President Richardson in his house, had a baptism (Herman Weiss),  and I opened my presents. Yup...that's it =). Our investigators are all meh....They're good but they're not really progressing too much. We'll be really trying this week to find new investigators =P

So the one with the kids has Piero in it. He's the chubby one. We gave him a Preach my Gospel and he read a part in it about how to find new people to teach and he presented us to all of his friends who are all the other ones =).

We also have Maria Fernanda, her husband, daughter and her 3 hermanadores. Maria is the non-black lady =).

Herman Weiss' baptism! We also did it with a couple other missionaries who baptized 2 girls. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Another Week, Another Letter

Well....another week, another letter. 

Anyways. I feel like the weeks go by and we do stuff but I don't know what to write lol. I'll just write a couple of things. 

So, Maria Fernanda, our awesome investigator, is doing great. We visited her earlier last week and she said that she wasn'tsure if this was true and wasn't sure if she should get baptized right now. She's always kind of mysterious and she told us something really funny. She said, "I want to meet with you guys (me and my companion) alone. Just you 2 and me. I want to ask you some questions" Well hermana there's a problem with that, we can't be alone with you...but maybe we could ask for special permission from our mission president. Then she said, "I will decide where and when and I will let you know 2 days in advance". See what I mean? She's kind of weird and mysterious.....But she 's good and wouldn't do any harm =). Then we said, "Well if it's in a closed room I don't think we could do it. Maybe if it was in your store or something like that". "No, no, nothing like that. We wouldn't be alone alone. I'll go ahead and tell you the place then.....the beach....." Whoa hermana! That's the second problem. We can't be alone with you and we can definately NOT go to the beach with you". Okay then. If it can't be the beach it could be my store". Lol. It was just really funny. I guess she really likes peaceful places like the beach, and she wanted to ask us some questions there. It would have been super weird if I wouldn't have known that she wouldn't do anything. But we had a FHE with her with her hermanadores last night and it was awesome. We only watched 15 minutes of the 1 hour restoration movie and then she said that she knows that this is true and that she feels like she should get baptized right now. Yes! She might be able to get baptized this week but more likely it'll happen next week. 

Then we found a new family this week. It was a reference from some other missionaries and they're great. It's a huge columbian family and we were able to teach 3 of them. They decided to move to Ecuador because where they're living there was lots of violence and war. There were bombs going off by their house and everything. So they came over here to avoid that kind of stuff. So we'll be working with them from now on =).

Funny thing of the week: the thing with Maria Fernanda. 

1. Familia Bonne. There's some less actives and an investigator in there. The one with the hands in the air is handicap and crawls around like Golem
2. The bishop, his inactive son and his wife Maria, an investigator
3. Herman Weiss and his kids. He'll be getting baptized this week =)
4. Demetrio. He's an old depressed blind guy that we're teaching. He was really excited to go to church this week =)

Monday, December 9, 2013

Well....this week we really hardy did anything. We had a bunch of meetings all week. Mon-Wed: leaders council in Quito, Thur: Mini zone conference, mission correlation and ward council, Fri: leaders meeting, Sat: Stake conference from 5:00-9:00, Sun: Stake conference 10:00-12:00. So there's our week =). 

Despite us not being able to work much we were at least able to end with 5 people with baptismal date. 2 of the 5 people that have baptismal dates are new this week. Good stuff. Things are going good here. The people are really prepared to hear the gospel and I'm enjoying it and also the food =). I have now had octopus and clam ceviche. Just some new stuff that I've tried being here on the coast.....not really much else to say lol so I'll continue to other things.

Funny thing(s) of the week: The first one needs no explanation....Just look at the first picture...Now, the other one is different. So here the water from the tap is deadly and you don't ever drink from it, so you have to buy bottled water. Every week we go through one of those giant bottles that you see (they're $1.00 each just fyi). So we had just bought one and I had carried it up the stairs and walked into our apartment. I took it off my shoulder and set it down kind of hard on the counter when it broke open and exploded water all over me and started dumping a bunch of water on the floor.....I hate you bottle......

1. Jasmine on shrooms....?
2. exploding bottle
3. cemetary in front of our house
4. The mamita cancelled on us and we cooked our lunch =). My companion made the rice and chicken strips and I made the patacones and the deviled eggs =). Yum....

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

This will be a short letter. There's not much time and I'm super tired....

Well, this week was good. I felt that we worked hard. The number of lessons that we had dropped, but we have 2 progressing families, both of which are from crecimiento real. We also got a few good references from some less actives. Feels good. There were a few people that we met this week and I was sure that they weren't going to come to church and they did. Then other people that I was sure would come and they didn't. Guess it happens sometimes. We had 7 investigators in church, one of which was Demetrio, our old blind investigator. He liked it =). Piero is still doing awesome. He shared his testimony in sacrament meeting this last sunday and he wants to know when he can go out and make visits with us. He's the most awesome 10 year old that I've met. 

Overall things here are good. Just tired from all the traveling and sitting that we've done...I'm at the point in the mission where it's more tiring to sit down all day than walk all day lol. Not used to it. 

Random side thing. So normally for the zone leaders council we have it in a church. Today they took us somewhere cool. It was a small resort on the edge of the 2nd biggest crater in the world and it's the only crater where people live inside. It was pretty fancy and they gave us a good lunch. So that was cool =)

Funny thing of the week: While we were at the leaders council there were some llamas that were just there basically as decorations. One of the missionaries wanted to feed salt to one of the llamas. He tried with one and it just ignored him. Then he went over to another one and tenaciously tried to feed it. The llama sniffed his hand and then spewed spit all over his hand. It almost looked like the llama sneezed on him! It was so hilarious. We were all busting up laughing at him. There were about 20 people there that saw him do that. Bwahahahaha!!!!

Monday, December 2, 2013

I'll write maybe later tonight. We'll be travelling to Quito. Yes I got the package with the camera =)

Monday, November 25, 2013

Well...I'm super tired. You might be wondering why if it's only  4:30 in the afternoon. Answer. Being a missionary lol. Just tired sometimes even though you haven't done anything.
This week was good. Nothing big to announce. We did find some new investigators this week. We got lots of references and we even have a new family that we're teaching. The miracle is that the parents are married (insert applause sound effect). We were super happy to see them in church this week =). The wife is a long time member but has been inactive recently. The husband is not a member but has a baptismal date for the 14th. They're doing good. We also got a baptismal date on Piero, our studly 10 year old. The only thing with him was that his parents weren't giving permission to get baptized, so we had him write his testimony on paper and he gave it to his parents. He said that they were surprised with his testimony and all the things that he's learned and they gave him permission to be baptized on the 7th. Oh yeah =).
Overall a pretty good week. Got some solid new investigators and we finally have a progressing family. All is good. The good part of the week is that nobody tried to rob me. How great is that! =).
Not much else to say. Too tired and lazy to keep writing =P. Things are going good and we should start seeing some good results within this change. 

I'll try and send pics next week,
Elder Black

Monday, November 18, 2013

So....This week was great. We had another successful week. One thing that we're applying in our mission is what's called Tuco(Buff) Tuesday. The idea is that by starting off a tuesday well by having lots of appointments and finding new investigators will help you to have appointments for the rest of the week. It really works. On tuesday we had 7 lessons and then 29 lessons in the week. That's also taking into account that we hardly did anything on saturday or sunday, I'll explain later why that was =). 

The highlight of this week was that we had a baptism! They were the first baptisms that I've in 6 months and the first time that I've baptized someone in 8. Not that the mission is about baptizing, but it was nice to see after that much time =). The baptism went well, but it started out with some problems. We went to the church to clean the font and get the water going. We turned on the water and only a little stream came out....Darn. So we just went to lunch and then came back awhile later to see how it was doing. Not so good. It was not going to be filled up in time for the baptism. So we started thinking about ideas and then we remembered that there is a sistern that always has water in it. We didn't have keys to open it and we spent a lot of time trying to figure out who had them. Finally we got the keys to open it up and starting filling up the font by hand with buckets. I got completely soaked, but we at least got the font filled up enough to have the baptism =). I ended up baptizing 2 of the 3 kids. Sorry I don't have photos yet. I still don't have a camera and my companions weren't able to pass along the pictures before going =(

Quick update on our investigators. The Centeno Family is....well....not so great. They need to get married, but they have a lot of doubts and problems. To help them out we decided to visit them with an awesome sealed couple that we have in our ward. They did great, but Enrique and Sofia started arguing and it got kind of heated. So I'm not sure if they'll get married or separated still...This was on saturday night and they both came to church on sunday. The bad part is that they got there at different times and they didn't even want to sit by eachother...Yup....Pierro is doing great still. I think he'll be getting baptized pretty soon, maybe on the 30th it could happen. I guess we'll just see what his parents say =)

So, now some more big news. We had changes today and my companion Elder Thomas got called to be an assistant. So he left. My other companion Elder Tirado got sent off as well. Right now I'm waiting for my new companion to get here. You'll never guess who it is.....Elder Kingsford. My first companion in the Provo MTC! I was pretty happy to find out that he was going to be my companion. This is his first time out of the country part of Ecuador and his first time in the coast. It'll be pretty sweet to have Christmas with a gringo, especially since it's my first companion in the mission =). 

Funny thing of the week: So on Tuco Tuesday we were contacting a bit and we talked to this old guy named Domingo. He's 93 years old and kind of crazy. We went back the next day to teach him but we could hardly do it because we were laughing so hard lol. So it was Elder Thomas' first time getting to know him and he asked how old he was. He told him he was 93. Elder Thomas didn't believe him and wanted to see his license to show him that it wasn't a joke. Now, you have to imagine an old guy with long, unkept hair who is wearing an old beat up truckers hat, a raggy shirt, and doesn't wear shoes. So he looks like that and he gave the response with complete certantity and seriousness. Domingo responded by saying, "The ocean!"........What? What do you mean the ocean? "Oh, well I was a contrabandist and I was transporting some stuff in a canoe and it tipped over and all my documents fell in the ocean"....Lol. We laughed so hard. Then we started talking about ancient prophets and we asked if he had heard of Noah. "Of couse....I heard him preaching". That made us laugh pretty hard too. At this point we could not even talk. We would get calmed down and then we'd hear someone else start to laugh and we'd all laugh. The funny part is, he's a crazy old man and didn't know we were laughing at him and he started to laugh along with us. Then we got our calm for a minute and got to Christ's Ministry. We talked about when Christ gave the authority to Peter and he said, "He's my uncle and he was a fisherman too". Oh Domingo. He's so funny =). He accepted a baptismal date for December 7th =). 

Loser of the week (special episode): So we were walking to lunch with the Stakes 2nd councellor like normal. He lives in a dangerous part of the sector where there are lots of blacks (no offense), drugs and theives, but it's pretty calmish during the day. We were just barely getting into the dangerous part and a guy passes us and he looks at my plaque kind of weird. I didn't think anything of it because it's normal when people do that. Then all of a sudden someone grabs me from behind and sticks his hand into my left pocket and pulls out my hankerchief (I always have it there to dry off my sweat =)). He pulled it out and realized that it wasn't anything of value and gave it back to me and kept walking. I think that when he passed me he saw the rectangular shape of the hankercheif in my pocket and thought it was a wallet. Nope. Just a hankerchief....loser lol. 

No I have not gotten my package yet, and I have a question. I heard that they were coming our with Playstation 4 and Xbox 1. Any information on that?

Elder Black

Monday, November 11, 2013

November 11, 2013

Good afternoon mortals ! This week was a good week. We worked like nuts. I think it was a record for me. We taught 28 lessons this week. Oh yeah! We worked a lot and the week flew by crazy fast. I'll just try to summerize what happened this week. 

So we found 2 new investigators this week that are really good. Both of them were references from less actives. One of them is the girlfriend from a recently returned missionary. Like everyone here in the coast she desses skankly. Don't kow why a returned missionary has a girlfriend like her but whatever. Other than her immodesty she's a good investigator and I think that it's almost a sure baptism. The other new investigator is a little strange....So the returned missionary's parents are separated and inactive. He lives with his mom and his dad lives the next house over with his girlfriend....So he's married and he's co-living with another woman....Yup...that's the coast for ya lol. So we went over to visit the inactive dad and we found him and his girlfriend there as well. She's really good as well. She asks good questions and seems really interested. She also said that she had no problems going to church with her "husband". Sweet. Now we've got 2 new good investigators. 

Some other good news as well. We'll be having 3 baptisms this week! Finally! They'll be my first baptisms in 6 months! They're kids that are 12 years old and under, but they're all excited for their baptism this saturday

The other investigators that we have, Pierro and the Centeno family are doing alright. Pierro is actually doing great. We talked with his dad to try and get permission and it went...alright. So he said he's okay with him getting baptized, but not right now. He said that he wants him to learn more and be really sure of his decision before he gets baptized He said that maybe he could get baptized next year, but he also said that he wants to read with Pierro and go to church with him as well to see what he's getting into. We'll see how that's working out. And the Centeno family is normal. They still need to get married and are progressing bit by bit. 

All good here in Esmeraldas. We're working hard and helping our the people in any way we can. We're also seeing the fruits of all our work. Laughing a lot too. 

Today we had an adventure. We went to a lighthouse that's close by here. Going up was easy, but going down was the hard part. We could find the trail to go back down because of all the tall grass; so we made our own path =). The bad part is that the grass was serrated and it cut our arms and legs pretty good (just fyi the grass was about 7-8 feet tall). Some parts the grass was flattened out and we could slide down it was we were going down the hill. It was pretty cool. Just like something that you would watch on Man vs. Wild =). Here's a couple of pics. Enjoy.

Funny thing of the week: So we're out walking in the ghetto part of town where all the blacks and druggies live and we ran into a drunk guy. He started to telling us that he was a cop and that he works in that part of the town. He said, "I know what you guys do. I know what your work is". Then my companion said, "Yeah. We're from the CIA". It's so fun to mess around with drunk people lol. Then he said, "Yeah, I know. If you guys need any help from me just give me a call and we can coordinate our attacks". It was so funny lol. It just so happened that that day I was wearing that plaid tie that you guys sent me; the ugly one from DI. After that experience I said to my companion, "Did he really think we were from the CIA while I'm wearing this tie?". lol. Drunk people are so funny =)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Elder Tirado, Elder Thomas and Elder Black
Writing letters get old after 15 months lol. So lazy....meh...........

Anyways, we had a good week.  We had 7 people in church this week which is a record for me in a very long time. It was so awesome to see so many investigators in church this week. 4 of them have baptismal date and the other 3 are people who need to get married. 2 of them are Enrique and his wife Sofia. I was actually surprised to see both of them in church. Normally only Enrique goes. So they have everything, attendances, and lessons, they just have to get married. They have money and everything. Enrique wants to get married but Sofia doesn't. She says that he's never going to change and that they're better off without him and all that stuff. But we commited them to read and pray together and we feel that their relationship is getting better. Thanks for your prayers. Keep it up gang! Then our other people with baptismal date are all kids 12 and younger. One of them is named Pierro. He's 11 and he was explaining to the other 3 kids about the church and everything. What we do in Sacrament Meeting, what they do in Primary, how to sing the hymns. Everything. He even goes to church by himself and gets there 20 minutes early! He's great. We just have to get the good to go from his parents. 

So everything here is going good. Good companion. Good food. Good investigators. All good here. As you notice in the picture that I attached there is another missionary. So now we're in a trio! Again.....So the gringo is my companion Elder Thomas, and the other one is Elder Tirado. He's a wicked missionary and so President put him with us so he doesn't go anything dumb. We think that President just doesn't know what to do with him anymore. He'll only be with us for 2 weeks until the real changes get here. 

So....Yeah....That's pretty much it. All good. Nothing new. We were traveling between here and Quito most of the week so we were only here 4 days.....yup.....I'll just go ahead and end my letter now.....can't really think of anything else to say............................................................................................yup....

Elder Black

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Hello world. So I'm writing tuesday night because we were traveling to Quito for a zone leaders meeting and we didn't have time to write. So we got permission to write today =). 

So this past week has been great. We've been able to find a couple of new investigators and we even had 3 investigators in church =). 

So I'll start out with Diego. We found him through a less active. They're brothers and the less active is named Leandro. He's been inactive a long time and has turned to drinking. We visited him a couple of times this week and he said that he wants go get back into the church and fix up his life. Then he said that he wants his brother Diego to listen to us. Sweet. So we taught him and he's really good. We were walking down the street one day and we saw him sitting down reading a pamphlet on the Plan of Salvation. Nice! Then this sunday we were going to pick up him and his brother Leandro to go to church together, but they had already left together and went early. That was super awesome to see =). He also accepted a baptismal date for November 16th

The other golden boy we found this week is named Pierro. He's from Peru and is 10 years old. He looks just like the little Boy Scout kid on Up. Exactly the same lol. So he's probably the most mature 10 year old that I've ever met in my life. He's pretty sharp too. He's super prepared and he says that he likes to read scriptures and learn about God in his free time....Well...Fine with me =). He went to church all by himself this week and we didn't even have to pass by. We have high hopes for him. 

I also found out that Yarina from San Roque got baptized this week! Yes! My first convert in 5 months! Too bad that I wasn't able to see it though...but that's okay. The important thing is that she got baptized =). 

We also have an investigator called Enrique. He's awesome but he's having a hard time with a lot of things. He's going through a lot of changes in his life and he doesn't have anybody that supports him. His wife doesn't support him too much and he doesn't really have friends because nobody trusts him. Us, the missionaries are his only friends. He's really repenting though. He says that the changes in his life are slow, but he notices them. We would appreciate it if you could all include him in your prayers =)

Overall it was a great week. All of the less actives that we visited went to church this week, we found some really good investigators. In total about 8 investigators, 4 of which have great possibilities. Me and my companion are getting along great and we're working hard. Also this week me and my companion did the training in the Zone Leaders Council. We did it on the daily verifications. I'll send all of you the hand out that we made. Maybe it'll help some of you with future trainings. So the 2 dot thing is kind of cool. You hold the page horizontally and cover your left eye. Then with your right eye you look at the left dot and then move the paper farther or closer until the dot on the right disappears. Keep focused on the left dot. It's supposed to show that as missionaries we have blind spots and can't see everything. We use the verifications to fill in our blind spot just like our brain fills in the blind spot so we don't just see a black dot =). 

Todo bien, 

Elder Black


La Sensación de la Verificación en Toda Nación

Ejemplo: Nuestros “Puntos Ciegos” en la obra misional
No es posible ver a todo lo que está pasando en la obra, por eso, necesitamos tener verificaciones muy eficaces.
Éxodo 18:13-20
Todos tenemos muchas responsabilidades, y no es posible ni sabio intentar a hacer todo solo
Si aprendemos compartir las responsabilidades mejor, tendremos más éxito.
Éxodo 18: 21-26
Moisés usaba un sistema de “filtros”, dónde delegaba el trabajo entre muchas personas en vez de él sólo. Nosotros debemos hacer la misma cosa en nuestras verificaciones diarias y semanales; delegar las responsabilidades.
              Hay tres veces cuando debemos utilizar el “filtro”:
Misionero               Líder de Distrito       Líder de Zona           Asistente
Tal vez el filtro más importante es el filtro entre el líder de distrito y el líder de zona. Nosotros ya sabemos, más o menos, cómo filtrar la información. Queremos ayudar a todos a ser líderes mejores y al ayudarles a enfocarse en las partes más importantes de la obra. Podremos ayudar a los misioneros en una manera mejor al tener verificaciones más eficaces y cortas.

Las claves de un filtro eficaz en la verificación
  • Orar antes de que llamen los misioneros (cuando sea posible) PME página 97
  • Anotar las cosas que el misionero dice
  • Enfocar en “la carne” durante la verificación (sacado del paquete de líderes)
    • El estado del misionero
    • Personas con fecha (contacto diario, estado/progreso)
    • Otros investigadores (progreso)
    • Nuevos investigadores (Nombre, Fecha, cómo le encontraron)
    • Trabajo con los Miembros/Menos Activos (Referencias)
    • Diligencia (Contactos, desafíos bautismales, etc.)
    • Compartir ánimos y fijar metas
  • PME página 162
  • Analizar los informes (Pasar la información por el filtro)
La verificación los domingos debe ser en esta misma manera, solo enfocamos en los números también.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Eventful 2 Weeks!

Well...eventful 2 weeks. So the week when I didn't write. I'll start by saying what happened. So up until wednesday I was staying with some missionaries, waiting to get my son in Quito. On thursday I picked him up and all good. He's from Guatemala and was pretty cool. We got along great. We worked hard until sunday night and I was giving the numbers and my Zone Leader told me that I had emergency changes.....NOOOOO!!!! I did not want to leave from San Roque at all. He told me that I would be going to Esmeraldas and a Zone leader. Esmeraldas is on the coast, actually I can see the ocean from our sector. It's about 30 minutes walking distance from our house. So on monday I spent my whole day traveling. 12 hours in total. So that's why I didn't have any time to write...

So in the short time that I had with my son a lot of things happened too. We have an investigator that's called Yarina. She's so awesome. She's reading and praying. She's even reminding her less active mom to do it too; and sometimes her mom doesn't understand the scriptures and then she explains them to her. She's so prepared. We were in a lesson with her and then the zone leaders called me and said that they had good news for me. They told me that we got the good to go to move into the new house. YESSSSSS!! After the visit with them we went to the house to get packed up and get over to the new house. It's awesome. The owners are even going to buy a brand new washing machine and oven just for us =). The bad part is that I was only in the house for 2 nights before I left so I didn't get to enjoy anything =(.

Anyways. Now I'm here in the coast. Here there's lot of blacks and it's pretty dangerous here. It's humid and hot here, but it hasn't been too bad because right now it's winter. My companion is Elder Thomas. He's an american from Minnesota. His dad is a cardiologist in the Mayo clinic and my companion wants to work there as well as a surgeon. He's pretty cool and we get along well. He just barely got to the sector too so we're basically opening the sector together. Since we don't know anybody here we've contacted a lot. It's also super easy to get new investigators because for every 2 contacts you have you have 1 new investigator. The problem though is that a lot of times they don't progress. That, and NOBODY here is married. About the only ones that are married are the members lol. But I like it here. Good food and good people.

Investigators....They're all new lol. We got here and there was nothing =(. We have a couple of decent ones, but nothing worth talking about for now lol. If something interesting happens with them I'll let you know. 

And I realized something this week....I didn't wish any of you happy birthday....Sorry. It's not on purpose, but the time really does go by fast and I forget important dates. Still love you, but happy late birthday to everyone =)

Congratulations Parker and Katarina on your new found lovers. Keep up the good work. =)

Funny thing of the week: Here...the people are crazy....a lot of them are druggies or drunks. So one day we were leaving our apartment and we saw a fist sized rock fly by our heads. We looked and it was a teenager throwing a rock at another black guy. I don't know why he was throwing rocks at him, but the guy got really mad. So it was a crazy looking black dude and he had a machete in his hand. Then he started chasing the teenager and started throwing rocks at him. He was furious and went after him with the machete. The teenager escaped, but I have no doubt that if the mad guy would have caught up to him he would have hurt him or maybe even killed him with the machete. Me and my companion thought it was pretty cool =).

Pics: surprise! There aren't any! My camera broke because it got wet. It turns on and everything but it makes a humming noise and doesn't focus. =(

Say hi to my new grandpa for me =). I still think it's weird though.....

Elder Black

Monday, October 7, 2013

The Zone in traditional clothes.

Gayky (pronounced Why-kee, means brother) Black 
Us getting mad at Elder Ramirez because he was the only one who didn't dress up...

Us trading Rafael Alomoto a picture of Christ for his Virgen Mary pictures. He's opening it up like a birthday present =)

This was a good week here in San Roque. We were only there for 2 days, but we were able to do a lot. Right now we have person with baptismal date and his name is Aaron Cando. He's the son of a less active family that we have here. He's progressing well. He was forgetting to read, so I told him that if he read and then told us what he learned, that I would give him chocolate. I bought it today. Hopefully he remembers =).

As far as our other investigators they're doing well. In total we had 3 investigators that went to the General Conference: Marco Diaz, Tito Tituania, and a new investigator that's called Gladys. She's also the daughter of a less active sister in our ward. Her mom is the daughter of one of our families from Crecimiento Real. We went by their house for the first time this week and we found her at the door. She talked to us and said that she wanted to get back into church, so we invited her to conference. We were pleased to see her and her 11 year old daughter in one of the sessions.
So this conference I had to watch it in spanish.....I can understand, but it's just not the same =(. But I really like Pres Uchtdorf's talk. He pretty much machetied my ward lol. I feel like sharing it with everybody now =). Also, for the conference the zone dressed up in traditional clothes. Here's a couple pics. Enjoy =).

Let me explain something about the new house....So last week we didn't have water, about 4 days, so on tuesday we went to the new house to wash clothes and study. We got there and I tried to open the front gate and I didn't have the key to the lock. Then the sister of the lady that rented us the house (she has a house there and stays there on the weekends) came up to us and said that she needed to talk to us. A long story short she said that her sister didn't have the right to rent us the house, that she needed to have the permission of all the inheriters before doing anything. She told us that some of her brothers were against anybody living there. Turns out that that house is like their vacation home. When the family comes into town to have a family reunion they all stay there. So that's why they don't want anybody to live there at all. One of the brothers found out that we were going to live there and he told his sister to change the locks so we couldn't get in. So she did. She was really nice with us and actually still wants us to live there. She's just following orders...Luckily though she at least let us in to wash our clothes =). After the incident I called the secretaries of the mission to tell them what happened. Supposedly I'll be getting the answer today if we can still live there or not.....Hopefully =)

Other than that everything here in San Roque is going good. We're finding investigators and we'll be having a few baptisms in the coming change =). And finally I'll be getting my new companion this thursday. I'll be training a brand new missionary =). Finally!

Elder Black

Monday, September 30, 2013

This week....we didn't do much as far as teaching goes. We did however have a few good things happen this week =). First off, within a week and a half I will have a new house =). Last sunday 2 people that we didn't know sat down next to us in Sacrament Meeting and one of them started to talk with me. Turns out that they live in Chicago, but the lady was born here in San Roque. She's here visiting and she heard that we were looking for a new house and she said that she has one that she could rent us....sweet! So after church we went to look at the house. It's the house where she grew up and where her parents had lived. It looks like a grandma house but it's pretty nice for a missionary. We even have an oven and a clothes washer =). So that was pretty cool. I'll send pictures of the house when we get all of our stuff put in it (2 weeks from now).

More cool stuff. So we got what we call a "regalito", or a baptism that just fell into our hands. We were visiting a less active family that is just starting to come to church again, and we meet one of their sons who is 8 years old. The good part is that he'll be turning 9 on October 6, so he'll count as a baptism of the mission work. Him, his inactive brother and his parents all went to church last week =). 

Then the last cool thing that happened was this. So last week me and one of the Zone Leaders visited one of our investigators called Marco Díaz. He told us that he was starting classes and that he wouldn't be able to go to church on sunday because sunday was the only day that he could study the topic he wanted. We ended up teaching him the commandment of the Sabbath Day and promised him that if he really wanted to go to church and did everything he could, God would help him to be able to go to church. That was on a saturday and he didn't go to church the next day. However, this last sunday I walked into church and he was sitting there in the Sacrament Meeting! Afterwards I asked him what had happened and how he was able to go to church. He told me that on tuesday he was talking to his dad (he's catholic) and he told him that church is more important that the studies. He said that what his dad had told him really got to him. Then his wife said that she didn't want to go to church by herself for a year while he was studying. With those 2 things he decided on saturday to drop his studies to be able to go to church. Awesome! Needless to say we'll be putting another baptismal date on him this tuesday =). 

So that was pretty much our week. Not too bad I guess. 

Funny thing of the week: So if you remember me talking about Rafael Alomoto, the 88 year old almost deaf investigator. He's really funny lol. So we took him to a baptism of another ward this week. He said that he really liked it and that it was really beautiful. After telling us that he liked it he added that it made him want to dance and that the baptism would have been better if they had danced lol. He's a crazy old guy =).  

Peace out, 

Elder Black

Monday, September 23, 2013


HUGE Banana! 
Our meal, plain boiled potatoes, no salt; boiled eggs, no salt; tostado with salt... no drink! 

Llama attack! :)

Elder Black bathing in the "glory" of llamas...
Sorry again, but I don't have to much time to write (only 25 minutes). There's really not a whole lot to write when you're not even in your own sector much....But we don't have anyone with baptismal date right now =(. The only problem is that they don't go to church. Little poops lol. We do have 1 really awesome investigator though that goes every week...Tito! He's doing pretty good as far as the assistance goes, but he isn't reading or praying. To help him out with that I've put an alarm on my phone to remind me to call him and remind him to read. Hopefully it'll work =). As far as things with Isabel...She didn't go to church and she's still not married. I guess her and her husband don't really get along with the family well and they feel like rejects. For that reason they haven't talked with their parents to see about the wedding. The parents here are the ones who run the wedding, so they need to work through them. Kind of stinks but that's how it is...
Still waiting here for my companion....He'll get here in about 2.5 weeks....almost....But we're doing good here.
Funny thing of the week: So we had a few funny experiences this week. In Pucará, Elder Miranda's and Ramirez's sector, they have an investigator named Rafael. He's 88 years old and pretty much deaf. He's a funny old guy lol. He agrees with anything that we teach him. He's been catholic his whole life and doesn't really know how to pray. So we taught him how to pray and he asked us, "So from now on I'm going to pray like this?". Yup. "Oh. Okay =)". Then we invited him to church this week and he asked, "So every sunday I'll be going to church with you guys". Yup. "Oh. Okay =)". Then he asked us about some Virgen Mary pictures that he had and he asked if he could keep them. We told him "no, we're going to throw them away". "Oh that's fine. I just wanted to be sure". Lol. He's funny. He's always how that he can die in peace because now that we're visiting him there will be someone that'll find him when he dies. He says that he'll be with us until the death because he's commited himself to be with us until the end. So funny
Also an old homeless guy kissed my hand, and 2 drunk girls wanted us to come into their house.....uh....no thanks lol.
Today we had an activity and we went on a tour through some covered pyramids. There were about 140 llamas and they ate salt right out of your hand. Pretty cool =)

Monday, September 16, 2013

Finally, Time to Write...

Our apartment flooded!

Singing hymns while you work makes stress go away...
Hello everybody. Finally I have time to write a letter =). So as I told all of you last week, my companion went back to his house. This past week we weren't able to do very much. We had our District Meeting, Zone Conference, and I did divisions this week. We really didn't get much done because I wasn't evern here very much =). I'll at least give you an update on how our investigators are doing. 

So, now we just have 1 person with baptismal date. His name is Marco Diaz. He's the husband of an hermana that lives here. They just recently got married and now he's investigating the church. He's interested in what we do and he likes the church, the only thing is that he's pretty busy and doesn't have much time...We started teaching him about a week and a half ago. The other people with baptismal date all fell through. Not because they don't want to listen anymore, just that only one of them went to church...His name is Tito Tituania. He's our best possible convert. He now has 6 attendances and is going to church every sunday. He's also got family and friends that are also members. He's in the same boat as Marco and doesn't have much time. But I'm thinking that he'll be able to get baptized this saturday 28th. Then the other 2 people that we had....not really sure what happened. They didn't come to chruch. That, and Isabel still has to get married and we haven't been able to verify how that's going...So that's the update on our investigators. 

This week in San Roque we have 3 new investigators. We had an appointment set up with a great contact that we had at7:30pm,but she wasn't home....So we were about to go home and do our studies. As we were walking a couple of boys said "hi" to us. Normally we just say hi right back and keep going, but this time we decided to talk to them. We started talking with them  and ended up teaching them the Restoration right there in the street. They all accepted baptism too, just not a specific date. That was pretty cool. I think half of the investigators that we have are references and the other half are random people that said hi to us in the street lol. I think we need to start talking to more people =). 

That was basically everything that we did this week....We did have a service project and we helped Marco build a wall. I'll have to take a picture of it and set it to you =). We built it out of concrete blocks and I think it's called mortar...So that's what we did. We were all pretty proud of our work. 

By the way. Yes my package got here. I think everything was in it. I'm not sure if you bought the hole puncher or not, but that wasn't in there. Thanks Mom!!! Looks like Dad had a great time driving the Ferrari. It looks so awesome =). President Richardson told me that I would be training this next change which is in 3 weeks. So I'll be in trio for a good while longer =)

Funny thing of the week: I've gotten some comments that you've been missing my funny thing of the week. Sorry for letting you down fans, but I've been forgetting to do it lol. So here's the funny stuff....On sunday night (5:00am) I woke up to change positions and I heard dripping in our room. I thought what the heck could be dripping in our room? I looked around to see what it was and I saw that my companions blanket was wet and dripping at the corner. I actually that that maybe he had pee'd himself in his sleep lol. Then I looked at the floor and it was covered with water! Our house had flooded. A little surprised, I got out of my bed and walked though the 4 inch deep water to see where it was all coming from. I opened the bathroom door and one of the tubes under the sink had busted and was spraying water out like a fire hose. We quickly turned off the water and started pushing the water out of the house with brooms. We let the owners (they're members) know what had happened. They came over to the house and started helping to get the water out. We finished at around 7:30. It was kind of fun through. In the Zone Conference this friday Hna Richardson talked about stress and what we should do if we got stressed in the mission. She said that the secret was to praise God and our stress would go away. So with all the water on the floor in our house. We filmed ourselves singing a himn of thanks for what had happened. It was pretty funny. We were all standing in the water and singing hymns lol. I'm going to send President Richardson the video =). 

Well, I hoped you have enjoyed my letter. If you would like to contribute to keep supporting this program, please give money to my mom =)