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 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