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, January 28, 2014

First off I'll tell you all why I'm writing on tuesday instead of monday. We got permission from the mission president to change our P-Day to today. We wanted to go to a zoo that's nearby, but it's closed on monday. So we'll be going today after lunch. Woo! 

Well...Not too much to talk about this week. We did have a few high points, but it was a little rough for a couple reasons. So this thursday we went to Lago Agrio to have our district meeting, and ate some burritos that we made for lunch. Then afterwards I was going to do some baptismal interviews while I was there. They fell through...So we went back to Coca without any sort of plans. Didn't do much. Then on sunday morning me and my companion felt really sick. Saving the details we had body pain, headaches, and I'll just say I went to the bathroom 9 times that day =). So we didn't really do anything that day either...We were even sick on monday as well. This morning I figured out how we got sick. It was the burritos! Elder Murphy (long story. He was the branch president and the zone leader there and he got sick and went to Quito on sunday. He was my companion in the Peru MTC =)) told me that the missionaries in Lago had bad diarrea as well. The burritos was the only thing in common. They were good going in, but not very good going out. 

Anyways! The things that we actually did this week. We were contacting and we found a new investigator named Karina Ortiz. We visited her twice. The first time we talked about the Restoration, but left out the Book of Mormon for time. We gave her a pamphlet and left. We came back the next time and she started out with questions. In the back of the pamphlets there is a part for additional study. There are some questions to answer using scriptures that you look up. Nobody ever does it. EVER! But she did. There was one question that she didn't understand how to answer and we helped her out with that. She accepted a baptismal date and everything. At the end of the lesson she asked our names and when the next appointment would be and she wrote it on the back of the pamphlet. Normaly we're the ones on top of the investigators, but she was on top of us! She didn't come to church on sunday but I have high hopes for her though.

That was the main highlight of our week...In our zone of 8 missionaries we'll be having 9 baptisms this week which is pretty awesome. Me and my companion won't be baptizing for a little while longer but we're working on it =)

Funny thing of the week: so remember when my house in San Roque got robbed and the took a bunch of stuff (7 months ago)? Amongst that stuff was my alarm clock so since then I've been using my phone to wake me up. So finally this last week I bought an alarm clock. It's just a cheap piece of chinese garbage but it's cool. The funny part is the instuctions...I've attached the picture of them. Just read it =) 

(*NOTE:  You can't really see the picture of the instructions, so I didn't bother posting it.)

Monday, January 20, 2014

Greetings from the jungle. Things here have been going well. We worked hard last week and feel like we've got our sector under our belt. We also found 3 really good investigators last week. 3 of which are references =). We've been getting references every week as the members here are very excited to share the gospel. Many of the members here have less than 4 years in the church as the church has only recently come to this part of Ecuador. So they help us out a lot =)

This week we might even have a baptism! Might because it's still not a sure thing yet. We have an investigator named Henry. He's 18 and he's living with an inactive 15 year old girl in the ward....Yup, that's Ecuador for ya...Anyways, he's been doing pretty good and on saturday he said that he was ready to get baptized next week, but on sunday he said that he wanted to wait longer. So we're going to go by him on tuesday and see what happened. He may or may not get baptized this saturday. Just a random side note. Here we don't have an actual chapel. Just a house that's been adapted, in other words it doesn't really have a baptismal font. So what they normally do here is go to a river with waterfalls and all that cool stuff to do the baptisms =). So whenever we have one it should be pretty cool. 

We also found a new investigator that my companion Elder Bolton (he knows gringo spanish and he loves working hard) had been teaching but had left for a month and a half. We went back to teach her and she was willing and excited to get back into the church. She even wants to get baptized on Feb 8th. She'll so get baptized =)

Well, I think that's really all for now. Things are going good here. We finally have good solid investigators and we're going to kill it this week. Let you know what happens with Henry...

Funny thing of the week: So we were walking down a street and we heard a little voice say, "Hola...". We stopped and heard it again and then looked for the voice and we found.................a PARROT! It was so awesome. A giant green parrot that says "hola". We thought it was so cool =)

Pics: Here's just a few pictures I took while I was traveling in the bus from Lago Agrio to Coca for a district meeting. The black pipe you see in one of those pictures is to transport oil. Here in the Oriente the oil industry is really big, so that pipe is what takes it to refinaries.  There's the parrot as well. My companion took a video but it doesn't show up on the computer... Enjoy =)

Peace out, 

Elder Black

Monday, January 13, 2014

"First" Class!!!  Ha!Ha!

Neighbor's pet monkey, Cool!!!

New companion, Elder Bolton from Cedar City
Well.....this week was a little hard. Most of it I wasn't here. I had to go right back to Quito for a leaders meeting (yes Mom I'm still a Zone Leader). So that was fun. I left my companion with the other zone leader's companion to work in our sector from tuesday through thursday. Me and Elder Murphy went to Quito for the meeting and got back thursday night. Me and him had to prepare the training again. We feel like we did a pretty good job; it was about how to give a missionaries a push and the end of the week, and get them going for next week without just saying, "Next week will be better". Pretty cool. I'll send it in an email if anybody wants to use it. 

As far as mission work goes this week it was pretty good. We found a bunch of new investigators and 3 new families. The thing here is that you can find TONS of people, but a lot of times they don't progress....They're smarter than they are in Esmeraldas, but they're a little more stubborn. I guess every sector and zone has it's pros and cons. We really don't have any investigators that are progressing....We're just trying to find a bunch of new investigators so we can sort out the bad ones and keep the good ones. Hopefully it'll work.....

Yes I'm still writing in my journal, I have not answered about you picking me up because I don't know. I don't know if you can; and it's still 7 months away =). You're really trunky mom =)

Well that's pretty much it...Nothing too special because again I wasn't here much. This week should be better though. We have a couple of ideas that we're going to try and see if we can get some people with baptismal date =)

Funny thing of the week: Just look at the pictures =).

Monday, January 6, 2014


Well...again I don't have much time to write because I had to read twice as many letters as normal because I couldn't write last week. I'll tell you why. I had changes! Again.....So I traveled 10 hours to Quito on last monday, on tuesday 10 more hours to a place called Lago Agrio and stayed with some missionaries, and then wednesday 2 more hours to get to my sector which is called Coca; a total of 22 hours traveling. My sector is in the Orient which is getting really close to the Amazon rainforest and pretty close to Colombia. It's tropical here and it's WAY HOT and WAY HUMID. It's perfectly flat there are lots of animals and fruits here. I even saw monkeys today! Though it's not as jungly as you're probably thinking. It's more tropical than jungly. Awesome though =). It's a new branch here that only has 4 years. It's growing a lot and the people are really prepared to hear the gospel. 

This week as far as the mission work goes not much happened. For a good part of the week I was traveling and the days that I was here working there were a lot of people that were on vacations for New Years. For New Years I was in a bus doing nothing so that was awesome =). No we did not have any Christmas dinners =(. Yes I am still writing in my journal. That's really sad to hear about Kavin. That must be really hard for aunt Vicki and Uncle Ralph...Sounds like you guys had an awesome Christmas though =). And I completly forgot about 3 Kings! When is it again lol. They don't really celebrate it here so I forgot =P

Funny thing of the week: So I asked my companion (Elder Bolton) what funny things he could remember this week. He said, "Well...I think all your traveling was funny"...........