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, June 24, 2013

New Assigment...New Mission!

To Mom and Dad..

Before I forget again. Happy Birthday Mom and Parker and Happy Father's Day Dad! Yes I know it's really late. No I didn't forget that those events happened, I just forgot to write it in the email =P

Another week where we didn't do much. Again we weren't in our sector much this week. Basically the same reason as last week. Traveling to the Church offices to do stuff with our Visa waiting companions. Lots of traveling and not much time to work. Again, not much to report this week. Pretty dull. 

Quick side note, yes Ryan I got your letter. Thanks =). I'll respond next week. That is....if I remember =)

To answer a few questions, being in the Mission Hotel means that when new missionaries arrive, or come to Quito for an interview/conference they need somewhere to sleep. In other words, they sleep at our house. Our house is one of the 3 hotels in the mission. In total we can have 16 people in our house at one time. And mom, sorry I didn't write your talk for you =). And in this sector I get new companions all time. It's close to the offices and they always dump the missionaries that are waiting for their visas or that are here because they got emergency changes. In 3 months here I have had 4 companions that have been assigned here with me. That plus all of the missionaries that were here for 1-3 days. In total....I don't even know how many lol. 

Also it was cool to hear the conference yesterday too. Cool to hear that we might be getting Facebook accounts. They'll probably end up making a Ward facebook account and not personal missionary accounts. They said that all those changes will be according to your mission president. Not sure what will happen here. Oh, by the way. I am now in Mission Quito North. So I will have served in 2 missions technically =). Our new mission president is President Richardson. I don't know much about him, but he'll be coming with a 18 year old son who will be leaving for the mission from here and also a 13 year old adopted daughter from Guatemala. Interestingly enough she doesn't know any spanish, but she knows english perfectly....Our Pres Richardson lived here in Quito, but about 13 years ago as a bishop here in the stake that I'm in. Basically within a few months we'll be seeing a lot of changes here in our mission. 

Honestly I don't know what else to write....uh....Yeah nothing else. To end here's the funny thing of the week

Funny thing of the week: So we were contacting (houses with speakers again), and my companion Elder Santana buzzed the speaker. A little boy answered. He said, "Papi?". Which means daddy in spanish. My companion tried to get him to get one of his parents instead of the little kid, but it didn't work. He kept thinking that my companion was his dad. Him saying "Papi" over and over was hilarious. Me and Elder Perez (the Elder that was waiting for his Visa to go back to Mexico) were laughing so hard during that contact. lol. You had to be there =)

I'll send pictures next week. Including our house. We just cleaned it and now it's all squeaky =)

Elder Black

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

June 17, 2013

*Explanation below...*
First off I have a couple questions for someone to answer for me. Why is the sky/ocean blue? Also, why do clouds turn black when it's about to rain? I explained to my companion why but he doesn't believe me =). If someone could look it up and let me know that would be great. And mom/dad. I have an album called "Appalaichia Waltz"; but I only have 2 songs. Could you put the rest of it on Dropbox for me? And thanks mom for the exercises =). 

On to the letter. It's going to be really short because almost nothing happened this week. Why? Because we weren't in our sector most of the week lol. 

Don't even know what to write......uhh.............................I give up....Nah just kidding. Things here are still going alright. Slowly the work here is progressing. Last week we recieved 3 references so that was nice. We'll be passing by them this week. Hopefully it works out well. 

A quick thing of news. We are in a trio again. My 3rd companion is Elder Perez from Ecuador. His mission is in Mexico and he has 10 months in the mission. He had to come back to Ecuador because of some Visa problems. He'll be hanging around us for another week or so. He's a good missionary.

Nothing else I think. Yes I know. This letter is pretty sad =,(

Funny thing of the week: Just a funny thing that we saw while contacting this week. I'll type up the translation in english under "pics:" For next weeks letter I have something planned. Well...our house is one of the hotels of the mission and the new missionaries come today and tomorrow....You know what I'm thinking.....Bwuahahahahaha!!!!  A prank! Don't worry. I'll think of something good.

Pics: translation, "This area is organized. Thief caught. Theif burnt". lol

Monday, June 10, 2013

Zona Quito

New Companion, Elder Santana from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Panoramic view of Sector
First news of this letter. I got a new companion this week! He got to Ecuador this last tuesday. His name is Elder Santana. He's from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Brand new in the mission. Almost 1 month =). He's more serious but he's a good guy. The only problem we has is that he has a really strong accent and I can't understand him a lot of the time lol. But I'm getting better bit by bit. He's also my first son! I'm so proud of him ='). Son in the mission, for those of you who don't know, is when you are training someone brand new and you are their first companion in the field. Well, Elder Santana started the mission in a trio, so I'm his dad and my other companion Elder Vera is his mom =).

Anyways, this was a rough week...No baptisms and nobody with baptismal date. I feel bad since it's Elder Santana's first week in the field...We have investigators now but either we can't get ahold of them or because of their work schedule we can't visit them very often. 

I really don't know what happened this week to make our numbers so low. Wanting to find out I looked in my agenda to see what happened. Well, a bunch of things. We had to go to Iñaquito a few times for Elder Santana, do interviews, divisions, mini zone conference and a bunch of other stuff. We were busy doing something all week but the numbers just don't show our work. 

Also we've still been having a problem with fallen visits. That's pretty had to control but I have something planned. In place of planning for the next day every night we're going to start planning for the day after. For example tonight we'll plan fortomorrow and wednesday; and then tomorrow we'll plan for thursday. That way we're always planned 2 days ahead. This will also help us to give the investigators or whoever more time to expect us, and we'll also have time to be able to invite members to go with us. I think this plan will really help us. 

The silver lining in the clouds is that this week we found 6 new people. Finally we're making progress and building up our program. We'll be working super hard this week to plan ahead and visit all of the people we have frequently. 

Well that's about it for this week. Elder Vera leaves for Argentina tomorrow and I'll be here with Elder Santana. We get along good and he's a good missionary. 

Now to respond to the letters. Sounds like you guys had fun cleaning up the yard this week. I'm glad to hear that Uncle Monty has a new appreciation for all of those flipping rocks lol. A quick list of the people that you can pray for. Less actives: Familia  Ortiz, Cristian, Gustavo Muñoz, Jacobo Cruz, Hermano Duque, Familia Santos. Investigators: Familia Amores, Gabriel Castro, Carla Vasquez, Rodrigo Rosas. If you could pray for them that would be awesome. Dwight! Good to hear from you! The work here is progressing. Slowly but surely. But mostly slowly lol. Yeah I was able to talk with Elder and Sister Kaneen. They still remember you and said you were awesome =). Off the top of my head I can't think of any doctors that are members here....But I'll ask around and see if I can find something for you. Weird to hear that Kelly had a baby and now both the Emily's are pregnant. Also that Michael is getting married. Tell them I said congratulations =). That is....if they're not reading my letters >=(...

Quick few things that I thought of that I want you to send in the next package. If you could send me more salt and vinegar chips, more of those Doterra mints (my new companion wants some =)), jam and candy that would be great. There's also something I want to know. If you could look up some workouts that you can do without equipment that would be great. I bought some workout bands but that's all that I have.

Funny thing of the week: As a district leader I have a cell phone. When I'm bored or on a bus or something I play a dumb little game called Forbidden Treasures. The point is to dig and collect a certain amout of treasure, but sometimes you hit fire and it burns you and any treasure that it touches. You have to collect more and more money every level. Elder Vera was in a betting mood and made a bet with me. We would switch off every level and the persone that died would have to buy the other a big package of Oreo's (36 Oreos). So we were playing and he lost the first round. Being merciful I gave him another chance. Then I lost. 1 and 1. So we played one last time and he lost =). I now have a bunch of Oreo's =)

Pics: some flowers I found while contacting, a panoramic from the top of our sector, me and my companions, and Zona Quito

See ya later =)

Elder Black

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Letter June 3, 2013

Well....we didn't have any baptisms this week and we have one person with date. Gabriel Castro. He didn't show up to church this week and we weren't able to get ahold of him to find out why. For now that's all we have. 

The work here is kind of hard. We have at least 1 fallen visit everyday. Sometimes up to 3 visits fallen. We're trying not to let it get us down but it's frustrating. Everything from visits with references, investigators, members, less actives, even the mamitas are canceling lunches. We talked with our mission leader yesterday and we have somme new ideas to help out the ward. It's been awhile since the ward has done an activity and the ward is kind of "turned off". Kind of like your branch in North Carolina Grammy and Grandad =). We're going to plan an activity this June to get the ward excited. Also so we can get references and bring out own investigators. I think an activity will really help out here. Until then we'll just keep holding out. 

This last week we got a bunch of references from both the members and the offices. We contacted them all and we have visits with most of them this week. Hopefully it goes well.... 

One cool thing happened this week. We were contacting and we talked to a catholic guy. He seemed only a little bit interested. He said that he always listens to missionaries that come buy just to be nice and that he would give us 10 minutes. Meh....better than nothing. So we went in and started teaching the Restoration. We ended up being there an hour. It was one of the most awesome lessons that I've been in in the mission. You could really feel the Spirit. He asked me how sure I was that this is the only true church. I bore my testimony to him about how I prayed to know if this church is true and I got an answer directly from God that it was. He said that how great it was that I had recieved that answer from God. I could really tell that he felt the Spirit and felt the truthfullness of our message. He also got really interested in the Book of Mormon. He wondered why he had never heard of any of this before (the Restoration) and liked all of it. All in all it was an awesome lesson and awesome experience =)

Funny thing of the week: This week we taught Gabriel the Word of Wisdom....in 10 minutes. We had an opening prayer, varified commitments, taught the lesson and promised blessings, commited him to keep the Word of Wisdom, invited him to baptism, closed with a prayer, and he understood everything.......lol. It was the fastest lesson that I've taught in the mission. When he left we started laughing because of how fast and direct that lesson was. 

Things to send me in the next package....well I want a flash to be able to have 2 backup copies of everything. Better safe than sorry when it comes to mission pictures. 8 or 16 gb. Ties are always welcome =). I like watches too....I don't know, I can't think of anything lol. Whatever you want to put =). Maybe a game like Jungle Speed...

Sounds like Brielle and Cooper have quite the caracter lol. They both sound funny =). Cool to hear about dad becoming a high priest. You only get that if you prove yourself as a loyal member. Congrats =). By the way. Thanks Grammy and Grandad for sending me emails. As a missionary you're excited to see a full inbox. Thanks too Grandma for always writing me. Even better than an email is a hand written card. I don't really have much time to write letters back to any of you but I hope an email is enough. Thanks to anyone else who has ever sent me a letter!!! 

Well that's all we have time for. Hopeully this week is better than the last. I'll let you all know how it went. 

Elder Black