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, July 29, 2013

Working Hard

Well this is going to be a short letter. I want to have some time to update my scripture list. I'm really behind. But the new edition will be awesome. Watch out. 

I'll start off by answering the emails that I supposedly never answer =). Sorry I can't write an individual letter to everyone. There just isn't any time. Yes the withdrawls look right.  I've bought some stuff to exercise with, a couple birthday presents for me and a few souvenirs. Awesome to hear that you got my SD card. I was hoping it would get there. I hope you enjoy all the pictures. Interesting to hear about Brittany's fiance. Tell them congratulations for me. Yes I get Andrews letters. Almost always.Katarina I have to say that I am a little bit jealous that you rode the catapult ride at Lagoon. Congrats on your Personal Progress. I'm surprised to hear that you have a boyfriend now. I heard that he has big arms =).And please explain to me the "you smell like brotherhood" thing....Parker. You taught a primary class. Why lol? And I'm kind of scared to hear that you have your drivers permit. I'll be sure to pray for all the drivers in Utah. 

So my companion is named Elder Cruz. He's from a big city here in Ecuador called Guayaquil. He's a good missionary and we get along fine. Not great. Just fine. He's been in this sector for 3 months and just wants to leave. He says that the people here aren't very nice and the food is terrible. Which isn't completely wrong lol. But he just wants to leave. That's the only problem with him. You can pray for these families. Familia Maldonado Montalvo, Familia Ramirez, Familia Picuasi Picuasi, Norma and Miley. They're less actives/converts. 

So the mission work is improving here. When I got here they had 4 investigators and now we have almost 10. Not much, but that's how it is here. Sorry for the short letter but this is all for now. Just know that I'm working hard and I like it here =)

Elder Black

Monday, July 22, 2013

Good Times, New Sector

Drawbridge to the "Castle"


Bedroom to accomodate two guests

Master Bedroom

Inactive Volcano behind new sector

From left to right:  Elder Cruz, Elder Kingsford, Elder Miranda, Elder Black!

Guinea pigs getting ready to be cooked, Blah!

Guinea pig and potatoes, What a meal!  ugh!

Elder Black eating guinea pig.  The drink is squash with corn! He says the guinea pig is better than you think, but the drink is GROSS!
First off I'll respond to the previous emails. Umm....last week I didn't have a different P-Day. Why did you think that? Yes I'm still a DL but I'm not training. So, how did they decide which missionaries would be in which mission. Just like anything else, revelation. I never check email on any day other that P-Day and it would be best if you could email me on sunday. That way it's always available to read on monday =). I can't look at pictures on Dropbox because I found out that it's against mission rules. So it would be better if you can send me the pictures by email. Yes I got my package. Thanks =). I thouroughly enjoyed the salt and vinegar chips. Our new mission president is awesome. He's about 55 years old and he brought 2 kids with him to Ecuador. Both of them are adopted. Their adopted their 13 year old daughter from Guatemala and their 19 year old son from Venezuela. Neither of them know spanish, but President Richardson and his wife both do. Their cool and pretty funny. 

As for right now we don't have anybody with baptismal date. The work here in San Roque isn't hard per say. The difficulties are that a lot of the people here are poor and don't even have phone numbers, so we can't call and set up an appointment with them, we just have to go to their house and hope that they're there. Then when they're not there we just have to wander around trying to find someone to teach. Kind of frustrating. Also, I don't know our sector very well, so I'm relying on my companion to tell me who we can visit.

As far as our investigators we're improving. We're starting to find investigators, mostly through references from the members. I think we have a total of 6 investigators. When I got here we only had 4. We're making progress.

So that's pretty much all for now. We'll be working really hard to be able to have more lessons this week. Especially with the less actives because there are a lot of families where not all the family is baptized. So that's our plan for this week.
A bit more information on my new sector. In a few things it kind of reminds me of my first sector in Yaruquí. Lots of dust and fields. Also I think there's more farm animals than people lol. The people here live more humbly. Most of them don't have phones or TV's. Almost all of them here speak spanish but between themselves they speak in Kichwa. It's nothing like spanish but after years of "pollution" from the spanish speaking latinos, the language isn't perfect and they throw in a spanish word every now and then when they are talking. It's kind of weird. I don't understand anything lol.
We also do lots of service projects here. This week we did 3. The coolest one was with a tree. So, during our weekly planning this week some members called us up and said that they needed help pulling down a tree. I guess the wind had broken it off at the base but it got stuck when it tipped over on top of another tree. They tried pulling it down but it just wasn't enough. So they called us up to go over and help them. We got there and pulled and pulled, nothing. Then we called some nearby missionaries to come and help us. They got here and we all pulled (11 in total), and nothing. Well we had given up on the tree and headed back to our house. As we were walking back a member of our ward passed by on a tractor and said hi to us. We stopped him and asked if he could help us with the tree by pulling it down with his tractor. So we rode back to where the tree was on the tractor and hooked it up to the tree. He pulled it down in about 30 seconds lol. It was pretty satisfying when it fell down =).
One last request. Can you send me (in an email) a talk. It's called the Trilogy of Skousen. It was written by a member of the church, but you can't find it on the church's website. Supposedly it's awesome.

Funny thing of the week: Well...I had typed up my email on one computer and then went to do some other things. When I went and opened up this email that I was writing, it had translated everything into spanish on its own. It even translated the names of the people who would recieve the email. For example. Janette Negro, Preston Negro. And it translated "Elder Black" as Viejo Black lol. Which means old or elderly. Me and my companion got a good laugh out of that =)

Pics: Let me take you on an adventure of our castle. First off, the drawbrige in front. As you enter you are greeted by a magnificant hallway garnished with the most exquisite of modern comforts. As we turn the corner we find the ballroom. Built to accomodate up to 2 guests. And finally the master bedroom where I am sleeping. I hope you have enjoyed todays tour of Black Castle. Come again soon =)

Elder Black

Monday, July 15, 2013

July 15, 2013

this is going to be really quick. I don't have much time to write. Just to let you know, I got changed today. I am now in a Zone called Imbabura. Here all the meetings are in Quichwa. A native language to here in Ecuador. They know spanish too but it's not the best lol. So I'll be learning a bit of a 3rd language here. Also, supposedly they haven't had any baptisms here for the last year and a half. Pretty rough I guess =). Also there's a volcano behind our house. It'll be an interesting experience here.And you'll have to wait on the photos from last week. All my stuff is still packed.

Elder Black

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

July 9, 2013

Before I forget, yes my package got here, thanks =). Also the reason why I think that I'm sure that the letter with the SD will get there is because it's not an SD card =). It's a micro SD and I put a bunch of extra paper in the envelope so they wouldn't be able to feel the card inside. You really have to look. I think it'll get there =). Also, I have a couple of requests. Everyone here says that spanish is the hardest language to learn. I don't think so. Could you look up what are the hardest languages to learn and send me the list? Also, we have a couple of mamitas that take request and obviously I want them to make chicken crescents. I was wondering if you could email that recipe and also candybar cake. In spanish if you could please =). Also, I found out that we're not allowed to use Dropbox to view photos.....So could you send me the pictures you recently put in dropbox through email? And my companion lived in Estaca Oriental, barrio Mendoza. The other side of the Ozama river. He wants to know if you know the Rotellini family....

Well, not a whole lot to report for this week. With all the meetings and other things that happened this week we didn't have much time to work in our sector. Our numbers are awful, but me and my companion feel good about the work that we were able to do in the little time that we had. 

As of right now we don't have anyone with baptismal date. In part because we could really visit our investigators and also because nobody attended this week. We've taught Día de Reposo to all of our investigators so that they understand the importance of attending. They all told us that they would attend and we kept daily contact with them to keep reminding them. We did everything we could to get them to go and they just didn't. A little frustrating but I guess that's just how it is sometimes. 

Another thing we are having problems with is finding new investigators. What we're planning to do is work with less active families in which not all are members. That way we can kill 2 birds with one stone. Reactivate, find, and baptize. That's what we'll be trying to do this week. 

Funny thing of the week: Special episode. So I "forgot" to write the funny thing of the week last week. So this week is a double length special. For all you viewers out there this is the first time in history that this has been attempted. Buckle up. Part 1: There are lots of people who fight about which is the best internet browser. I found the answer in some graffiti (see attached picture). Closely examining this photo, it can be determined that Mozilla Firefox is definately the best. Part 2: "Final Chapter". Well, as I have said before, our house is one of the hotels of the mission. So we have lots of matresses and blankets. Hrmm....to me that sounds like, "Matress Castle"! That's exactly what we did. Build a castle. The first pictures are of the terrain and an exterior view of the castle. Entering we are greeted immediately by the study. After the study we head down the hallway and we find the living room and dormitories along with the door to the back porch =). Also, you know how in a lot of movies you have to wait until after the credits to be able to see another extra part? Well I'm going to do the same. The computer won't read my camera and I can't upload the pictures. So you'll have to wait until next week to see them =). Stay tuned.

Elder Black

Monday, July 1, 2013

First Day in the Mission! :)

Today is my first day in the Quito North, Ecuador mission. My new trainer is....Nah just kidding. Don't feel new or anything. My sector and everything is the same. The only things that are changing are the mission limits and the president. I haven't met him yet. But we're going to be having a get to know the new president tomorrow morning. I'm excited =). Should be interesting. We didn't have to move or anything. All the same. The missions will be sharing an office. Mission Quito on the 2nd floor and Quito Norte on the 4th floor. So I'll still be seeing President and Sister Ghent and the other missionaries every once and awhile. Still don't know if my package has gotten here. I'll be going to the offices next monday and I can check then. Sorry to hear that Mack already had to go home from being sick....Good to hear about Carter's baseball team. Congratulations! Also nice to hear that you'll be getting a new car. That'll be awesome. Also, thanks for reminding me about4th of July. I completely forgot about it lol. Funny to hear that Katarina's and McKenna's friends think I'm "cute" lol. I got a good laugh out of that. 

So here in  San Carlos the work is finally picking up. We've had lots of stuggles lately in having appointments and finding new investigators. This week we visited a bunch of members and less actives. We taught each of them something and then asked when we could come back and if they could invite someone that they know. Almost all of them said that they have a neighbor or another non-member that they'll invite. So for this week we didn't have very many visits with investigatos....Partly because we don't really have any, and the other part is that none of them had time this week. Not really sure why...We're hoping to see the fruits of our labors in the coming week. 

For now we don't have anybody with a baptismal date. Nobody went to church this week. We kept daily contact with all of them and they all said that they were going to go to church and they didn't. I am reminded of one of the District videos when they say that the hardest thing is other people's agency =). It really is like that. We did all of our part in trying to get them go to church and they just didn't. 

The goals to be able to get better are the ones I mentioned before. We'll be doing lots of Family Home Evenings with the members to help strenthen them as well as the less actives. Then be able to get references and also bring the investigators that we have to the FHE's. So that's basically what we have planned to do in this coming week. 

Just you know, I'm sending a letter home with a micro SD card in it with all my photos. I'm pretty sure it'll get there this time. Just so you know that it will be coming. 

Elder Black