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 21, 2014

Well....I think this is my last letter, so enjoy it =)

This week went alright. Some good and some bad things. Good things; Bryan Maigua (the 19 year old that needs to get married), doesn't want to get married.....The good thing is that he sung in a ward activity that there was on saturday. So he's progressing in some things, and going backwards in others....Kimberly is doing great! We even think her dad is going to give her permission to get baptized now =). Another good thing about her is that her and her mom did a barbeque for me since I'm ending the mission =(. I'll attach some pics. Osama, the guy from Haiti, isn't doing so great....He still says that it's very important for him and everything, but he doesn't go to church....Then we had another guy who is the husband of an hermana that's getting back into church. His name is Santiago. Before he didn't even want to listen to the missionaries or anything, but we got him to accept a baptismal date! He's even been reading and praying. But his baptismal date fell because he didn't go to church =(. 

Overall the week went alright. Nothing too special. But this week we're going to work like nuts, being my last week in the mission field =(. We're going to try and talk to people in the street and focus on finding new people to teach. We should end with a few people with baptismal date and if all goes well, with Kimberly's baptism!

I thought I would make a short summary of my mission:

Companions: 20
1. Elder Salazar (Guatemala, Guatemala), trainer
2. Elder Leal (Argentina)
3. Elder LeBaron (Utah)
4. Elder Lopez (Spain)
5. Elder Ramos (El Salvador), step-son
6. Elder Logroño (Riobamba, Ecuador)
7. Elder Vera (Manta, Ecuador)
8. Elder Santana (Dominican Republic), son
9. Elder Cruz (Guayaquil, Ecuador)
10. Elder Vallejo (Guatemala)
11. Elder Miranda (Cuzco, Peru)
12. Elder Ramirez (Trujillo, Peru)
13. Elder Equité (Guatemala) son, for 4 days =)
14. Elder Thomas (Minnesota)
15. Elder Tirado (Peru)
16. Elder Kingsford (Bountiful, Utah)
17. Elder Bolton (Utah)
18. Elder Poma (Lima, Peru), son
19. Elder Pinta (Colombia)
20. Elder Barros (Trujillo, Peru)

Sectors: 8
1. Yaruquí, 4.5 months. Yaruquí is a large sector that consists of 4 small cities. There are about 70 attending members in the branch. It is out in the country, is tranquil and there's lots of dust. It's located in the valley outside of the captital, Quito
2. El Carmen, 2.5 months. El Carmen is very tropical and has lots of mosquitos and biting flies, but is awesome. It is know for it's good food and exportation of plantain. 
3. San Carlos, 3.5 months. In the center of Quito. It's a hard sector and you only talk to people through the speakers in front of their houses. The members are cool though =)
4. San Roque, 3 months. In Otavalo, the most indigenous part of our mission. Everyone speaks Quichwa between themselves, but most of them know spanish. They don't get very attached to the missionaries and it's one of the hardest sectors in the mission. Known for also having the worst food in the  mission =)
5. Esmeraldas, 3 months. Coast! Everyone is black and on drugs. We lived in front of the main cemetary of the city and you can see the ocean from the sector. Lots of sea-food which is super delicious. Known for the food, drugs, and pregnant teenagers. 
6. Coca, 4.5 months. Awesome! In the Amazon and it's way hot and humid. You sweat your brains out there but it's so awesome that it's worth it. The church there has 5 years and there are 120 active members. It's still a branch, but there are plans to build a new church. Is known for tourism and native tribes. It's the best spot in the whole mission =)
7. Otavalo, 1.5 months. Like San Roque, but the people aren't horrible lol. Otavalo has the strongest members in Ecuador and also has it's first converts. Lot's of farmland and there are more animals than people. Known for the tasty guinea pig, and handmade souvenirs.
8. Comité del Pueblo 1.5 months. Across Quito from San Carlos. Has good members and the contacts are good. Lots of hills too. Known for having a couple of dollies and good mamitas =). By the way I can see the airport from our house.......

Weird things I've eaten: pig skin, pig tail, cow stomach, cow heart, cow liver, bull testicles, cow hoof, cow tongue, guinea pig, beetles, 

Baptisms: not going to tell you! Ha!

Well, during my mission I have changed a lot. I now have good scripture study and prayer habits and I've grown to have a big appreciation for them. I am a lot more disciplined and I feel like when I get back I'll actually do my homework and not procrastinate so much =). I've been able to see many miracles during the mission and hope to be able to continue seeing them. I've also been able to grow closer to Christ. Through the scriptures we can get to know him and strengthen our faith in him. It's been a short 2 years, but It'll be nice being able to sleep past 6:30 am =). My personality hasn't changed much, but I'm a better "me" now. The gospel is awesome and it changes lives. 

Funny thing of the week: So we were contacting and we knocked on a less actives door that we didn't know before and a fat 25 year old came out. He was talking to us and he was kind of a nervous person, I was hypnotized watching his double chin vibrate and shake. Then he was telling us about missionaries from other churches; that you can recognize a missionary from our church by the plaque and then he was talking about the Jehovah's Witness. Now, for this part I'll have to write it in spanish because in english it doesn't really make too much sense, but I'll translate it for you that don't know spanish, "Y puede reconocer a los Testiculo......uhhh Testigos de Jehovah por sus sombreros". In english that, "And you can recognize the Jehovah's Testicle.....uhhh Jehovah's Witnesses by their hats". Bwahahahahaha!!!!!!! He was totally serious and didn't really recognize the error he had made. In the moment we didn't laugh, but on the inside I was lol. After we left we busted up laughing lol. So funny........

Pics: the barbeque with Germania and her daughter Kimberly. Also, Bryan Maigua, his almost wife and his parents. 

See you (for those of you that are home) in 2 weeks

Elder Black

Monday, July 14, 2014

Link hat he had made for $10.00

"Dead" Missionaries from MTC group, Ecuador Quito Mission

More "dead" missionaries from MTC group, Ecuador Quito Mission

Well, don't have much time to write. I went to the offices to say good-bye to the other missionaries that were in my group and stayed in the other mission. They end today =(. Trunky cough, cough......

Well this week went alright. Bryan and his wife Guadalupe are doing great and the missionaries in El Carmen are teaching her and she's doing great. Kimberly is doing great as well, but her dad isn't giving her permission to get baptized...actually he took her to the catholic church this week and she couldn't go to church. The good thing is that she said that she likes our church better and she didn't feel anything in the catholic church =). But I don't think she'll be getting baptized this week...Osama, our investigator from Haiti was doing good, but he went to some other church on sunday. We even did a tour with him in the church and everything....Don't know what else we could have done. 

This week we did alright with finding people to teach. Kind of frustrating but meh. We tried hard to work with the other people we had found last week but they weren't home. The hard part here is that we find lots of people to teach, but we can never find them a second time.....But we're chugging along in the work. If all goes well we can have 3 baptisms my last week in the mission! Hopefully. 

Well, all out of time. Got to go visit a less active family who doesn't even want to talk to us =)

Elder Black

Monday, July 7, 2014

Well, well, well....This week was pretty good. We contacted a lot and found some really awesome people. Once we were contacting a lady at her doorstep and then a guy from Haiti (there's a lot in that particular spot where we were contacting) and he started trying to talk to me. So I contacted him while my companion taught the lady. Pretty cool. The guy from Haiti is named Osama. He says he used to go to the church all the time when he lived in Haiti and Dominican Republic. He's super awesome =). We got an appointment with him and we taught him the Restoration and slapped a baptismal date on him for this month. We went this sunday to go to church with him but he wasnt't there for some reason...We'll be continuing with him though =)

The other super awesome people we found were just normal contacts. We contacted a guy named Felix and answered a couple questions that he had. He was really interested and said that he would go to church on sunday. We weren't really sure if he would go because everyone says they'll go to church and they never do. But we told him we would wait outside the church for him at 10:30. We waited there until 10:45 and he didn't come so we went inside. Right during the sacrament hymn I felt someone tap on my shoulder and it was him and his wife!! I was so surprised and happy to see them. We invited them to go to a ward home evening on sunday night. Not sure if they went but it was I think the first time in my whole mission that a contact (without teaching anything) has gone to church. Sweet.

Now for Kimberly. We haven't been able to visit her this week, but her cousin finished teaching her all the lessons and she went to church this week. We're going to postpone her baptism until next week because she doesn't know any members and hasn't met anyone from young womens or anyone from the bishopric. She's still doing awesome though =). 

Also! We have another new family that we're working with. It's a young, unmarried couple and the hermano is the son of a member here. They used to live in El Carmen, one of my old sectors, and now they're here. Well....just Brian, the son, is here. They're super awesome though. We taught the Restoration and Guadalupe, Brian's almost wife, said that when she heard the First Vision she felt something weird and feels that he was a prophet. Awesome! They accepted a baptismal date for the 26th of this month! They went to church as well. 

Overall the work here is going great. The trick is pray before contacting, contact lots and show your diligence, and pray that the prepared people will be able to find you. That's what we've been doing and it's working great for us =)

Funny thing of the week: So remember how I said that we had a small problem with our house? Well....here it is. So about a week ago I was sleeping and I woke up at 5:00 am. It sounded as if something had fallen. As I was awake trying to go back to sleep I heard someone whispering my name outside the window, by the way we're on the 4th floor....I was freaked out and couldn't sleep the rest of the morning. The next night it was the same. I couldn't sleep because I continuously heard my name being whispered through the window. I only slept maybe 3 hours. The next night I couldn't sleep either. Then the next day we went all our and dedicated the house and everything. I felt super good about the prayer that I did and went to bed. I couldn't fall asleep because I wasn't tired, but I was really calm. Then at 12:00 am I heard my name outside the window again. Impossible! We blessed the house and everything! Kind of frustrated I poked my head out the window to see what was whispering my name. I listened carefully and I heard a bird making noise. Then the same bird made a slightly different noise and I don't know how, but it sounded like a person whispering my name.........I couldn't see it because it was far away. I guess witht the distance and with the window shut it muffled the sound a bit and sounded like someone was whispering my name right outside my window. Really!!?? I couldn't sleep 3 nights and I was about to pee my pants because of a stupid bird outside my window. Point is, it wasn't a spirit or anything, just a stupid bird that I want to kill......