Miracles This Week

That looks like a fun trip to the canyon! I haven’t heard too much about Meet the Mormons, but I know one of my friends from my zone in the MTC got to go see it. We won’t get to here though, I don’t think it’s even in the theaters. Sounds like everything is getting ready for winter up there! Here, it is about the same temperature still, but the average has maybe gotten a few degrees colder. I haven’t got the package, but nobody has been to the offices for a while. If it is in the offices, one of the elders here is going tomorrow, so I should get it on Wednesday the next time I see him. What did you do at the Senior center Nathan? We ate the pancakes with strawberry jam and lechera, which is a cream type thing we don’t have in the states. It is really good though!

WOW!!! The cabin looks awesome!!! Thanks for sending all the pictures, that was really fun to see everybody having a good time! I knew it was Tanya! [Jared asked who said family prayer on Sunday night] Here’s why I asked. Last Sunday night, I was just going about my business like normal and all of a sudden Tanya’s voice popped into my head and I heard part of the family prayer! It was kind of strange because I wasn’t thinking about home at all and all of a sudden I felt the Spirit pretty strongly and heard Tanya praying . I wasn’t sure if I had just imagined it or if God was giving me a little tender mercy in sending me a glimpse of home, so I wanted to ask you to see if it really was Tanya that prayed that night. That is a really cool miracle. Thanks everyone for all your prayers for me in the mission field. They really do help. I can feel your love long distance and I absolutely know for certain that God answers prayers. We had another pretty cool miracle this week. Our investigator Miguel and his family have a really strong desire to go to church but they live super far away and we have just been having Sixto and Yazmin go pick them up in their car and bring them, but that wasn’t really going to work for a long term solution because Miguel and Tania live pretty far away from them also. One day we promised them that if they kept keeping the commandments, especially obeying the Word of wisdom, that God would provide a way for them to go to church. Well, a day or two later, God gave them a car!! Well, somebody Miguel knows had it sitting at his place for a couple years without using it and all of a sudden he decided he didn’t want it anymore and gave it to Miguel! I see tons of miracles all the time. I have been able to see with a lot more clarity the hand of God, both in the lives of other people and in my own. Adolfo and Gabriela got married on Saturday and we went to their wedding in Tequisquiac. It was pretty fun to do something a little different than walking around Conejos haha! We had some good adventures in food this week. We had chicken foot and organs soup at 3 different people’s houses for 3 straight meals in a row! I don’t know how that happens, but people here always seem to cook the same thing at the same time. Chicken feet are definitely the worst thing I have had here. They make grasshoppers and worms seem delicious! I also ate some organs that I don’t know if it was the heart or the liver, apparently they look pretty similar, but either way it was pretty gross! Also, I got to play basketball today for the first time in a few months, so that was fun! I don’t think I’ve gone that long without playing since I was a little kid!  Anyway, there’s the highlights for the week! Love you all, have a great week!

Love,

Elder Black

Time is Flying By

Sounds like everyone had a good time at the cabin! That will be fun to go to the temple with some family names. I wish I could go to the temple occasionally, but it’s going to be about another year before the Mexico city temple reopens and we can hopefully go then. Just a random question Mom, do you remember who said family prayer last night? I don’t have a ton of time today so I’ll be a little short. Things are all good here in Conejos. It is cooling down a little bit but there are still hot days and I haven’t had to use a jacket yet. This transfer has been flying by, I can’t believe it’s already the halfway point! Elder Garcia is going to make me be the senior companion for the next 3 weeks to get me ready in case I am a trainer next change. I am a lot more comfortable with Spanish at least though, so it shouldn’t be too bad. Guess what I had for dinner yesterday? Barbecue chicken and mashed potatoes! It was so good. One of the members asked me last week about the food in America and what was my favorite, but I had no idea she was going to cook it for dinner! That was super awesome! I finally figured out how to get food, so I have started cooking occasionally in our house, mostly just eggs and quesadillas, but I got some stuff to make pancakes, so I’m going to eat some of those this week! Mexican food is good, but there isn’t much variety. And also everyone here is family, so they all know how to make about the same 5 things haha! Anyway, its just good to have some American food once in a while. I am completely used to the spicy stuff now though. We had a bit of excitement at church yesterday. During sacrament meeting, Gabriela’s daughter came back into the chapel from the bathroom and told me and Elder Garcia that there was someone in there. We went to check it out and there was a drunk guy passed out on the pot in one of the stalls in the women’s bathroom haha! We have no idea how he got in there! One of the ward’s secretaries tried to wake the guy up but he was out cold and didn’t do anything but groan. Anyway, one of the counselors in the bishopric ended up getting the guy up and out of there and he went on his way, but there’s something that doesn’t happen every week! Miguel is doing really good. We read parts of 1 NE 8 and asked them what could be some things in the vapor of darkness in his life. He said his family was pressuring him not to get baptized but he said that he wants to keep feeling the peace and happiness that he’s felt since we started visiting him, so he is going to get baptized whether his family likes it or not (extended family, not immediate). Adolfo and Gabriela are going to get married this Saturday, so we’re really excited for them! We are still working hard and have a lot of potential people to teach. It is mostly just a question of them being home when we pass by. It seems like nobody is ever home even if we have a set appointment. But its just a matter of time and work. Love you!

Love,

Elder Black

Miracles Happen

Hello everyone!

Nathan, I will get a new comp in 4 weeks, but there is not a set amount of time to be with the same comp. I will probably train a new missionary because there are a lot coming in and they need a lot of trainers. Sounds like you’re having a lot of fun!

Pretty cool activity with the daddy daughter thing sounds like! I know success is measured by dedication, and I have started studying is a different way to be more effective. I read a talk from an apostle the other day that said there are a lot of good people but there are very few good missionaries. I am determined to learn all I can so I can be a great teacher. That’s cool you can listen to all the conference talks mom. Sometimes I wish I could just do that, but we don’t really have time. I can just print them out occasionally. That is good that you are having family scripture study. Make sure you are all studying the Book of Mormon too. Joseph Smiths words in the introduction that people can get closer to God by studying and living the principles in the Book of Mormon than by any other book are definitely true. Also, one thing that is good to do in scripture study is pause to mark things and talk about what you learn as a family. The main purpose of scripture study is to learn gospel principles and apply them to your life, so it doesn’t matter really how much you read, it only matters how much you learn and apply. I am also studying the life of Jesus a bit in my studies. I made a list of all his attributes from PMG and added a few more, and I am going to study about how he applied those attributes.

This week something pretty cool happened. Our investigator Adolfo had been looking for work for almost a month and was really down because he couldn’t find anything. He just quit smoking and drinking coffee and it was making him feel like smoking but he didn’t do it. We taught him a lesson on Tuesday and were going to teach Law of Chastity, but when we got there we knew we needed to do something different that day. We ran home really fast and grabbed the John Tanner video and watched it with him and related it to his situation. Then I shared a verse in the Book of Mormon that is a promise that if we keep the commandments we will prosper. We promised him that he would find work if he kept following the Word of Wisdom. The next day, we found out that he had found a job and that the company he was going to work for doesn’t work on Sundays. That was a true miracle, especially because it is really hard to find work here and almost all the trucking companies work on Sundays. We also found a great family to teach! The wife Tania is an inactive member and the husband Miguel is a nonmember. They have two little kids that are pretty rowdy! We taught them the restauration and they read that night. The next day was Saturday we went to invite them to church, but before we could even make the invitation Miguel said he wanted to come to church and get to know it more. The wife is friends with Yazmin the wife of Sixto, and they came with us on Saturday and picked them up for church on Sunday. I am really excited about them. Another thing this week is that we finally got a ward mission leader! He is the son of a sister in our ward and he just barely got back from his mission. I pretty much understand everything in Spanish now, but now the problem has reversed again and it is harder to speak it haha! One of these days I’ll be able to do both at the same time! I love you, have a great week!

Love,

Elder Black

We hiked up to the top of the biggest hill in our area and took some cool pictures!

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Not Just a Coincidence

Another busy week! Time is going by really fast. On Wednesday we did changes because elder Garcia had to go to a leadership meeting in the offices. We went to Apaxco to make the switch, then I brought the other district leaders comp back here to Conejos and we stayed for the night and half the next day. He has six months in the mission. I was a little nervous for getting back because it was dark and kind of harder to recognize things so I would know where to get off the bus. An interesting thing happened. I realized we were at our stop in Atotonilco, where we needed to get off to go get in a taxi that would take us to Conejos, but it was dark and the windows were kind of foggy, so by the time I realized it was our stop, the bus had already started moving again. It wasn’t too big of a deal because the next stop was just a few hundred yards down the road, so we just got off at the next one and started walking back to the taxi stand. There were no street lights in that area and it was deserted except for one guy walking in the opposite direction as us. When we got closer to him, he started walking over to us and I was getting ready to run because I thought he was probably going to rob us, but then I realized he was carrying a bag of groceries and he just wanted to talk to the missionaries. He started telling us about a bunch of problems he had and that his wife was sick and they have a new baby and a ton of stuff and he wanted the missionaries to come visit them. I gave the reference to the missionaries in his area, but I don’t know anything more yet. I think there must be some reason that we got off late though. Also, I contacted the taxi driver on the way back to Conejos and it turns out he is a member, but he is inactive. He didn’t charge us for the ride though, so that was cool because it would have been triple the price for being night time! The next day I was in charge of the area for a little while, so it felt super weird. That must be how it is going to feel when Elder Garcia leaves in a month. We had a really good talk with an older man named Cornelio and his son who lives nearby. Their whole extended family pretty much lives in a little group of houses all in the same property. The comp I was on exchanges with didn’t talk, so I had to do all the talking, but by some miracle I was able to understand and talk really easily with them for about an hour. They are very religious people and it was awesome to talk with them. They had lots of questions and we talked about the Book of Mormon with them for a while and they were very sincere about wanting to read it and find out more. We are going to go teach their whole extended family on Saturday when they are all there! I’m really excited for that! Spanish is going really great! There are days now when I feel like I’m almost fluent! I still have a long way to go, but I am pretty comfortable communicating. There is a member in the ward named Willy who is almost 17 and he hangs out with us a lot and comes to lessons. He is pretty funny and we have gotten to be good friends! It is nice to finally be able to communicate well enough to joke around with people and make some friends. I’m starting to feel a lot more at home now that I am starting to recognize people’s personalities and be able to get to know them. Language barriers are pretty isolating and it feels a lot less foreign the more I can communicate. The gift of tongues is pretty amazing! There are definitely times where my tongue is just completely untied and I can say whatever I want and there are also times when it costs me some effort to speak and understand, but the former is becoming more and more frequent. I was really excited for conference and I bought a 1 kilo bag of gummy bears in Atotonilco so we would have some snacks haha! Some of the other Elders also brought snacks so we had a pretty good party. We watched all 10 hours in the chapel and it was all in Spanish! It was good but I kind of miss hearing the actual voice of the profet and apostles. I could understand all the time that I concentrated, but my attention span in Spanish still isn’t super long so I couldn’t quite get all 10 hours. We get the Liahona in Spanish and English though, so I’ll be able to study the talks more in a month. For the most part, the proselyting was a little frustrating this week because most of our appointments fell through. I learned a lot though. We did a lot of knocking on doors and found a ton of people that are willing to receive us, but the main problem is being able to meet with people at a time when their family is all there. One day, we had 5 appointments, and every single one fell through, so we were basically just walking around all day, but we found a couple more people that accepted that we come to visit them. That day was pretty tough, and it is a little frustrating sometimes, but I am still really happy to be here. On days like that, I basically just take comfort in the fact that I couldn’t have done anything about it because I have no control over the circumstances, so I don’t let it get to me too much. This week overall though, has been really good even though we haven’t had many lessons. I have really learned a lot and my Spanish has improved a ton. We had a zone meeting on Friday and I could barely speak English. It just gets stuck in my mouth for some reason and I forget a lot of words. I was joking around with Willy the next day that now I’m not fluent in any language haha! At the rate I’m losing it, in two years I probably won’t hardly speak English at all, so don’t forget your Spanish Aaron! That’s really cool that you got to go to the conference center! There’s not really too much more to tell about my companion. He is good and we get along really well almost all of the time (there are just a few little cultural differences, but it usually doesn’t bother me). President Titensor and his wife are very nice and loving toward their missionaries.  Apparently they are starting to call on a lot of younger missionaries to lead. Our apartment is pretty good. We have a normalish shower. It doesn’t work great but we have hot water most of the time, so I’m not complaining. Haha the bed is pretty short though and I don’t really fit in it, but it works.

Love you!

Elder Black