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 30, 2014

Cool View
Cool View
Weekly Goals of the Mission

The work here in our sector is progressing great. We're trying to focus on contacting effectively and we're having great results. One thing our mission president has been teaching us is that we should pray to have the prepared people find us instead of the other way around. It really is easier if they come to us because there aren't many missionaries and there are a lot of people. So we've been praying for that and we're had some good references just fall into our laps. We even have someone with baptismal date now. Her name is Kimberly and she's the daughter of a member that's recently getting back into church. She's already been to church quite a few times and her cousin (member) has been teaching here the lessons. She's super awesome and prepared. The best part is, we didn't have to look for her =). She came to us. If all goes well she should be getting baptized next saturday

By the way, after the exorcism last week nothing else has happened in that house. All better =). But now we have a slight problem in our house. Yeah! We'll be fixing it today though >=D. 

Funny thing of the week: So we were contacting this week and we started talking to a 25 year old woman about the gospel. She was pretty interested in what we were saying and we asked if she goes to any church. She said, "No. I can't". We asked why she couldn't go to church and she said that it's because she's under house arrest for the next 8 years..................well then.................A little awkward lol. But she's colombian and we think that it's for drug problems.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Volcano that you can see from my house.

Panoramic view of Quito

Second volcano you can see from the house

Clouds in Sunset in Quito

Cool clouds in the city

You can see the airport from my house

Third volcano you can see from the house and that is the LDS you can see in the front
Meh.....I get lazy writing letters lol. That's okay I guess because I only have to write 5 more after today hahaha...but whose counting? =)
So my first week opening a sector was good. We spent a couple of days getting to know the sector. There's a member called Hermano Duque (he's a crazy old guy) and he showed us a bunch of members' houses without even asking him to do it. He just said, "let's go!". Pretty cool guy. Then we also went around with another missionary who used to be here and he showed us some houses. And then another day we went out with our mission leader. The members here are super cool and help us out a lot with references and getting to know the houses and stuff.
So the missionaries/missionary that was here was Elder Bolton, one of my companions in Coca. He didn't really leave any super good investigators and we didn't have anybody in church this week....but we did contact and find some really good people, so we're excited for them =).  Most of our time we tried to contact and get to know the members houses.
My companion Elder Barros is doing good. He suffers from some health problems like allergies and some other things, but he works hard and is almost always happy.
Something interesting this week....We did an exorcism!!! So here's the story. On wednesday night at about 10:15we heard a knock on our door, which was weird because nobody knocks on a missionaries door and much less because we live on the 4th floor of our building.....So we opened the door and 2 missionaries that live close to us came in breathing hard and sweating and they just said, "something happened in our house. Something bad"....We asked what happened but they didn't say anything. We asked a couple more times and they told us more or less what happened. I already knew from my companion (he was in that house last change) that the house was haunted. I'll save the specifics, but they had a scary experience and came over to our house wanting us to go over to help them get some of their stuff out so they could sleep with the zone leaders that night. So we offered a prayer in our house and then went over to their house to help them get their stuff out at 10:30 at night. Honestly when we went in I didn't feel anything. Probably because there were 4 of us and we offered a prayer before going in. We got their stuff out and left without any problems. The next day President Richardson came over to bless the house and cast out the spirits that were there (the missionaries have been having encounters there for about 3 weeks). He, the assistants, the zone leaders, the missionaries that lived there and us were all there and President Richardson offered a dedicatory prayer on the house. Pretty crazy stuff. Since then (last thursday) nothing has happened. Yeah for priesthood!
Funny thing of the week: This saturday we went to a less active's house to teach her and she had made us something to eat. We were telling them about Elder Barros' allergies and stuff and saying how it stinks and everything. She gave us a plate of rice and we started eating. In my rice I saw a piece of walnut and picked it out and started looking for more. Then I felt that my throat was itching. Darn it...I had already eaten a piece. I told her that I was allergic to walnuts and I couldn't eat it. My throat wasn't really itching, but then my chest started hurting like crazy. I took my pill, which I always have =), and I was fine after about half an hour. But the hermana felt super bad for almost killing me and made me some rice and sausages without walnuts. The whole time she was asking me if I was okay or if I needed to go to the hospital or something. It wasn't serious, but it did hurt like the dickens. After everyone had eaten she brought out the dessert which was chocolate cake; and guess what! It had walnuts too!!!........Meh....She felt really bad lol. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Elder Thomas and Elder Black, Elder Thomas goes home tomorrow!

Zone in Otavalo

Elder Black and New companion Elder Barro, from Peru
Well...surprise! I got changes! Kind of weird...Now I'm in Quito with a Peruvian named Elder Barros. They told me that he needs help and they want me to be his companion.... I'm not a zone leader or anything, just a normal missionary that's training. The only bad part is that I won't have a phone anymore =(. So yeah, I'll be dying here and Elder Barros is going to kill me =) and this will be my last sector. From what I've heard my sector is really big and kind of dangerous, and we're also opening it. Never done that before but I guess we'll see how it goes. So that's what's happened today; I'll just update you all on what happened last week.

So my week in Otavalo was good. We tried really hard to find new investigators and we were pretty successful. We found a really good family, they were contacts and they let us in right off the bat (by the way that is really weird here). They were really interested in what we taught them and they said they would go to church on sunday. They didn't go, but they should be pretty awesome =). Then we met with an investigator that we had found a couple of weeks ago. His name is Alberto Sanchez. He's been reading the Book of Mormon and praying to know if it's true. He's really interested and said that his neighbors would probably make fun of him for listening to us and reading the Book of Mormon, but he would ignore them and ask God if it's true. He also has a baptismal date forJuly 12th. I have lots of hope for him and I hope he progresses well. 

This morning, when I was all packed up, we went to go say good-bye to the Arias Famiy (they're the cool colombians that can't get married. They live 1 block from our house). And Ladys the hermana started crying and then she hugged me good-bye, wheich was super awkward for me as a missionary. But I guess it's cool that they actually care enough. 

Well that's basically what happened this last week. We'll see how things go here opening a sector....should be interesting. 

By the way, I will finish the mission with 20 companions and 8 sectors

Elder Black

Monday, June 9, 2014

Well, don't have much time to write because we have to go to Quito really quick because my companion wants to talk with President. Not sure about what, but we're going to leave in a little bit. Last week I didn't write because we had the Leaders Council in Quito and we did a couple of things there and there wasn't time to write. We went to the offices and bought some stuff, went bowling and I bought myself something nice to eat, lasagna and a Cinnabon. So worth it =).
So these last 2 weeks have been kind of hard in our sector. We have some good investigators but things just keep falling through. We had a really awesome investigator couple and the husband (Leandro), was killed by a car while he was crossing the street. That and a bunch of other stuff has happened. But before we go to Quito we're going to make chocolates for Jenny (Leadro's wife) and teach her about the Plan of Salvation tonight when we get back from Quito. Looking forward to that. Should be pretty good.
This last week we really focused on trying to get to know the less actives here. We went all over the place with an x-bishop and he took us to the edge of the world. There was one family that lived 25 minutes in bus and then 45 minutes walking up a hill into the middle of nowhere lol. It was kind of cool though because there was a good view. =)
We also haven't had anybody with baptismal date in a month....We're working as best as we can, but the sector is kind of difficult because there aren't many members or houses to contact. But the work is steadily progressing.
Funny thing of the week: So like I said, we really tried to work with the members and less actives this week. We had an appointment to go out and visit a reference with the bishop's dad. He's an old indigenous guy who doesn't speak much spanish. Now, you have to understand that the indigenous people here don't really bathe or shower. Once a week or so is enough for them. So we were sitting there waiting for him to get ready and he was taking dried corn off the cob, he did that for a while and then went into another room and then started making food, we ate and then he got "cleaned up". He washed his hands, got his hair wet and then said, "LimpiecĂ­to", with a smile on his face. LimpiecĂ­to means "squeaky clean" more or less in english. We thought it was super funny lol. Then my companion said, "He probably feels so clean that he'll wait to do it again in 3 days". Lol....they're so funny here =)