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."

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Lots of Funny Stuff

Like normal I'll start by responding to my fan mail. First off, it's so awesome to hear about the test results! Before our interviews with President Ghent I was kind of worrying about what the test results and actually felt kind of sick. When President told me that there were no signs of cancer the news caused I, Elder Black, the greatest of all...to cry a little bit lol. That really was great news to hear. I'll keep praying for you though. You'll definately have to document your story dad =). Things with my companion are alright. We get along fine, just that he's not the sharpest tool in the shed lol. No I am not still training. He just finished up his training this last change. Still a DL though. How did I get back to Adam and Eve in my family tree? Well, I've just got that kind of talent. I traced one of dad's lines. It's easier like that. A lot of the records (the scriptures for example) always have "who was the son of blah, who was the son of blah"etc...So I clicked on various people until I got to Adam and Eve. =) Tell Carter I said congratulations with his success in baseball and good luck to Cooper in kindergarten and in baseball as well. Tell the Normans I said "hi" if you see them. Also tell the Argentine that he's a loser. Their spanish is not better. Just like a rednecks english isn't better...lol. And....Happy Birthday Brielle!! I actually remembered that her birthday is on the 1st. A little back pat for me =)

This week was rough. We had lots of good visits planned with the members to get references that they have ready...but they all fell through. That combined with the fact that we don't have many investigators means that we ended up contacting a lot. We had normal success. Hopefully we'll be able to pass by all the contacts that we found in this next week. 

Our biggest problem is that people have to work....A lot of the time they aren't in their houses and the only time that they are is from 7:00 and on. So really there's not much time we can visit people. We're trying really hard to find new people and we just barely got a bunch of references from the mission. About 4. And some more references for about a total of 7. I see it as a blessing from working hard last week. A tender mercy =). Hopefully they'll work out well. We're also going to go and visit some old investigators. Hopefully we'll be able to pick ourselves back up this week.

Funny thing(s) of the week: So this tuesday we Elder Coram was with us because he came all the way from the Oriente to pick up his new companion and he ended up staying with us for a day because of his long trip. So him, Elder Vera and I went contacting and we switched turns every house/intercom. It was Elder Coram's turn. He started talking and then introduced ourselves as missionaries. He then asked the contact if he believed in Jesus (through the intercom). He said, "No. I'm athiest". Elder Coram was a little surprised but then continued to say that we as missionaries help people to develop faith in Christ. He talked a little bit more and then asked if it were possible if he would like to live with his family in eternal happiness. He said,"No I'm athiest. I don't believe in that kind of thing". No Elder Coram was really confused and didn't really know how to respond to that. He then asked if he had a family. "No"...now Elder Coram was completely confused and had a blank look on his face. Elder Coram ended the contact by saying, "Thanks and have a nice day...." The whole thing was really awkward. I thought it was funny to see Elder Coram react. We all laughed afterwards and the strange people we meet while contacting =)
cont...another contact. We were walking on one side of the road and on the other side was a couple and they were about 40 years old. They called us over and asked why we didn't go over to them. They also said that they had honey. Okay...weird lol. We went over and then they were off. They both went on about how they sell honey, how good their honey is, why we should buy their honey etc. The way the man was was like he was a druggy from the 70's. His eyes were kind of squinty and he reminded me of that hippy van from cars. He had the same voice lol. With his hippy voice he told us to sell honey to our disciples so that they could enjoy it too. Then his wife started saying that we should help her husband to sell honey so that he could come back home everyday with lots of money. While she was trying to tell us that we should sell honey her husband was saying, "Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!!! They aren't going to sell honey!". Of coure the whole thing was in spanish lol. It was all really funny. They ended up giving us a free container of honey and said that if we liked it that we should come back and buy tons of honey. I said that as missionaries we don't have much money. She said that money wasn't important, that we could buy it anyway. I don't know how that logic works but it was funny anyway lol.
yup....still cont....Another funny contact. I rang an intercom and a teenager answered. I presented ourselves and then asked him if he believed in God. He said "no". He said that he's a believer in the music. That kind of startled me. I have never heard that in my life lol. Interested I asked if he could tell me a little bit more about his beliefs. He then told me that he was playing the guitar. Not wanting to disturb his worship service we left if at that lol.
cont....eternally...We were knocking at a door and we saw a young couple walk up to the door of the house next to the one we were contacting. The boy doesn't really matter in this story. The girl however does. She was a pretty girl in high heels(important details) and she approached the door and said something like,"I'm never going out again and I have a cold!" After that I don't really remember much. So having a cold she had a runny nose. Without tissue she did the only thing she could. With the hand that wasn't holding her purse she blew her nose in her hand and then threw her snot on the wall on front of her......AWWWWWW!!!! GROSSSSSS!!!!! We were completely stunned. That was that last thing I expected from a pretty girl in heels lol. 

Well that's pretty much all that happened this week. Not much to tell. My prayers to have more funny experiences were answered as you can all see. I hope you all enjoyed them. One last random thing before ending. We were walking on the street and I saw something out of the corner of my eye. It was the biggest grub I have ever seen in my life. It was about 4 inches long and about 1 inch wide. It was wriggling around. Super gross. I really wish I had my camera....I thought you would appreciate that mom =)
Until later,

Elder Black

Monday, May 20, 2013

Letter May 20th, 2013

I'll start by responding to the emails. First off, it's going good. The mission is treating me good. Yes I have something funny this week =) Just wait. No it does not seem like I've been out 10 months, it goes by super fast....No I don' really have to speak in church very often. Every 2 months when it's missionary sunday and we have to give a talk. That's so awesome to hear about the Super Band and also the alumni band. That would be so awesome =). Sounds like you had a good time in the primary. Maybe now you appreciate us a little more =). You can send the test results to me and to President too if you want. I'm not really going to have time this week to check my email. Just in case you can send it to President as well. I'll be praying tonight =). So Jeff married someone from marching band huh? Now I really want to know who it is. I think I have an idea but I don't remember her name, just what she looks like. Sounds like you had an interesting experience in the temple dad. You really can find someone from Blanding no matter where you go.....And here's a tip so you won't get stressed. I remember the words of President Uchtdorf in the April 2012 General Conference.....Stop it! It's easy. Just think about something else. Something that keeps you occupied and then you won't have time to stress =). Yes I'm working hard and having fun. Always tired but always satisfied =)

Alright, now to the meat =). This week we didn't have any baptisms. Right now we have 3 people with baptismal date. They live together, Flia ProaƱo. They have a baptismal date for June 8th. They're good people. On one to 10 they're 6. Not super awesome but not bad either. 

This thursday we had 10 people with baptismal dates. We had a family of 5 but only one of them could go to church. All the rest of them had something that they needed to do. Hrm....I guess that's how it is sometimes. We'll keep working with them. Other that the assistance they're super awesome. They have tour of the church and they're keeping their committments. We also had Vanessa. She's super awesome as well. She has a testimony of the Book of Mormon and the Restoration and everything. But she had work and could not get this sunday off and couldn't assist. Needless to say her date fell through. Finally we had Gabriel. He seemed like gold but this week we weren't able to visit him even once. Everytime we call him he says that he's in a bus and can't hear us. Then he hangs up....not really sure what to do about him. We're not going to leave him quite yet, but things aren't looking so good for him. 

So that's basically a summary of all the people we're teaching right now. We're really striving to find new people. We have lots of promising references that we're going to get this week. We're also starting to contact in a new area where we haven't contacted yet. It's really high up on a hill and a poorer area. We're seeing lots of promise up there so that's where we'll be spending lots of our time this week. 

The biggest challenge we're facing here is that everyone works until late. Everyone wants us to visit them from 7:00-9:00and we don't have time. Then there's nobody to visit in the afternoon because they're all busy and we end up contacting. That's really the only problem that we have here. 

Also today we had changes....My last companion Elder Ramos left and I got Elder Vera. He's from Guayaquil (Ecuador)and he's waiting for his visa to get here. His mission is to Argentina and he's been waiting since february. I don't really know him very well but I guess I'll see how things go. 

Funny thing of the week: so we were contacting houses like normal and it was Elder Ramos' turn to contact the next person. He rang the doorbell and it exploded in a cloud of sparks. It scared the crap out of us lol. Elder Ramos about jumped out of his pants lol. 

That's all for now =)

Elder Black

Monday, May 13, 2013

On Track...

Nicki Lalama and her Mom at her Baptism 
Happy Mother's Day from the Zone!

Letters from the Primary Children

This past week we had 1 baptism and confirmation. Her name is Nicki Lalama. She's awesome =). She was excited to get baptized and all went well. Right now we have 7 people with baptismal dates. One of the people we have with baptismal dates is Gabriel. He's a reference from the bishop and is awesome. He also went to church this week. Twice in a row. So awesome. Also Vanessa. She wasn't able to go to church this week because of work but she really wanted to. With her desires we feel that she'll be prepared enough with one more assistance. The other 5 people with baptismal date is a family that we found this week. Elder Valdivieso (one of our zone leaders) and Ramos were contacting in an area that we had never been before and they found a family of 5. I still haven't been able to visit them yet, but they told me that they were awesome. They put the baptismal date as to allow for 3 assistances, but since they're a family they only need 2. So there baptismal date still holds even though they didn't assist. 
Overall a pretty good week. We have 7 new investigators and our numbers turned out pretty good. I'm getting more and more lazy when it comes to writing letters....Blegh...I'm just going to start blabbing about random stuff that happened this week. Here's an interesting experience we had this past friday. The zone leaders came to our sector to interview Nicki for her baptism. After the interview they wanted to go contacting with us. So we did. We went up to an area that we have never been before. Here's why....It's super high up on a hill. So...we walked up the hill and discovered that that sector didn't have power....So we had to go up even higher to find an area with lights (missionaries contacting in the dark in a place that is a little dangerous isn't a good idea). So we started up the hill and we saw a HUGE flight of stairs. It reminded me of the giant flight of stairs in Lord of the Rings. So we went up the stairs and everyone was dying. Everyone was breathing hard and the zone leaders had snot coming out of their nose lol. We offered a prayer and then got started contacting. I went with Elder Rogers (from Lindon, Utah) and we got going. We contacted a lady in a corner store for about 20 minutes. It went nowhere....darn catholics lol. She did say though that she would pray to know if the stuff we taught here was true or not....Then we found a man. He was really friendly and told us that he had drunken two beers. Being a little tipsy he was friendly and let us in his house. He was about to leave and go pick up his family in his car and invited us to go with him....Hrm...a stranger that had drunken two beers, in a sector without lights, and far from our house....Nope lol. He gave us a business card and went on his way. We went back to the eternal staircase to wait for the other guys. We waited and waited and waited....and they didn't come. It was still dark and there were a bunch of suspicious guys walking around. We decided to get off the hill and wait. After about 40 minutes of waiting we got worried that maybe something happened to them. Suddenly they came around the corner. They told us that they were late because they found that family and were teaching them. Nice. It was an adventure =)

Well, not much else has happened this week......

Funny thing of the week: I don't know why, but not many funny things happen in this sector, I can't think of anything. I'll pray to be able to have more funny experiences =)

Pics: Nicki Lalama and her mom at the baptism. Some letters that a few of the kids in Primary wrote me and Elder Ramos =)

Elder Black

Monday, May 6, 2013

May 6, 2013

Abish, daughter of one of the Mamitas
I'll start off by responding to all the letters that you sent me this week. First off...Parker....when did you grow so big? I haven't grown at all, but I'll still be able to take you down easily when I get back. And you always tell me to respond to your letters. I can't respond much if you don't ask me anything lol. Driving in a month.....that's scary. Jingle bell, jingle bell, Parker's a pootinky =). Mckenna...I have 12 baptisms in the mission, getting along with my companion great too, he's just a little prideful =). The weirdest thing I have tasted here in the mission? Umm...Probably Guatita (cow stomach) with a peanut sauce. Sound gross? Yeah cause it is lol. And the best thing I have tasted....Well the BEST, I don't know, but one of my favorite things here is a shrimp ceviche with chifles and rice. Mom I'm sure can explain it to you. It's good. Katarina...all I have to say is that your letter was werid lol. Sounds like you guys are having an awesome time without me ='(, but I guess that's how life is. Yes we will Skype. We will be calling here on Sunday. I don't know what day Hunter has to call, but if it's on a different day we can change no problem. I don't know the specifics yet but I want to call at 4:00 here which should be 3:00 there I think....I'll send an email later to confirm. We should be able to do a 3 way call too =)

We didn't have any baptisms this week. We have 3 people with baptismal dates; Caroline May 11, Vanessa and Gabriel May 25. They're all super awesome. They're all references and they all came to church this week. I'd like to talk a little bit about the 2 new people we found this week.

Vanessa is a reference from one of our mamitas. She's super interested and has lots of desires. She came to church this sunday and her hermanadores gave her a tour of the church. And we didn't even say anything. We were really surprised. So awesome. 
Gabriel is special too. One weekday he just walked into the church and ran into our bishop. They talked for a little bit and the bishop ended up giving him a Book of Mormon. We tried to visit Gabriel various times but the visits just kept falling through. One time though we finally met with him. We taught him the Restoration and invited him to baptism. He had lots of the questions of the soul and he's really receptive. He had even read a part of the Book of Mormon all on his own. He's a prepared soul. 

That's pretty much all that happened here in San Carlos. We had TONS of fallen visits this week. I think 3 days in a row everything fell through. I don't know why, but we're going to start working on the Cita Caida plan. When a visit falls through offer a prayer and contact with the purpose of finding someone. I think that will really help us. All is well here =). Also, today we went to La Mitad del Mundo again. I got you something there Dad =). Let me know if you want me to tell you what it is or if you want me to keep it a surprise =). 

Funny thing of the week: well....we were walking on the side of the road at night time. Suddenly we saw a guy in his underwear trying to get into a car....lol. That's all I have to say about that 

Oh, before I forget. Mom, in the next package you send me (whenever it is), please send me a bag of Jack Links jerky and also a tie....but not just any tie. The ugliest tie that I have. You'll know when you see it =). It looks like someone threw up on it lol. Sometimes they have ugliest tie competitions and I know I'll win with that tie. 

Pics: the daughter of one of the mamitas; Abish, she's cute =), Me on a slide, A rainbow, and the view from one the houses of a member of Quito

Elder Black