Having a Great Week

Hey Everyone!

Sounds like an interesting week with lots of change. I’m sure it will be fun to have lots of new things to learn. Congrats on making Varsity Nathan! That’s pretty awesome! Sounds like a fun trip to BYUI! That kind of food doesn’t exist here. There is almost nothing that’s really sweet by American standards, but I’m about used to that by now. The sweet breads here taste about like normal bread. One thing in common though is that everything is deep fried. This has been a really good week. We were finally able to have a family come to church. It is a part member family where the husband is a member but the wife isn’t. They just had a baby 2 months ago and now that it is a little older and can handle going outside, they have started coming to church. Also, last night we went to visit a guy we had talked to on the street a few weeks ago. We had already passed by a couple times and we didn’t have the chance to teach him, but we decided to try one more time and he was there with all his family. There are a whole bunch of them. Victor told us that his parents are Catholic and we thought they were going to be against us being there, but they came out and his mom started telling us about how they felt like they should start coming closer to God. They were all really grateful that we came to visit them and it was a really cool lesson. Also, they fed us dinner afterward. We tried to say no, that we were alright, but they wouldn’t let us! I feel like things are starting to go really good here. We have a lot of appointments to find new people this week and also we are really excited for general conference. I have started downloading talks and listening to them in the house and it is really cool. I finished reading Jesus the Christ today. That book is really cool, definitely worth reading, even if it does have almost 800 pages. I am starting to read the New Testament from the beginning now that I have learned a lot about the context and meaning of a lot of the events and teachings in it from reading Jesus the Christ. I think sometimes in the church we make to mistake of underappreciating the Bible because we have a lot of teachings in the Book of Mormon, but it is important to remember that both books are the word of God and we can gain valuable knowledge from them both. To answer your question Mom, yes we have hot water, but all the water in our house comes out yellow for some reason. We have a joke that our house is so nice that we have lemonade that comes straight out of the tap haha! On Tuesday we went to eat at the Relief Society President’s house in the area of the sisters because the food fell through in our area. We ate outside in front because there wasn’t a man there and just when we finished eating and started to leave it started raining really hard and hailing sideways. Elder Soto’s umbrella broke because of the wind and our umbrellas didn’t do us much good anyway because it was raining sideways and we got soaked! We took shelter in a gas station while we waited for the combi (transport van), and watched the roads turn into rivers! There were storm drains in the middle of the road and they started shooting fountains of water like 4 feet in the air because of all the water pressure from the runoff. It was pretty cool to see! Apparently that is a fairly common occurrence here. The water in the streets was about halfway up to my knees! Later, I was walking on the side of the road and a bus passed by and hit a puddle right next to me and splashed a ton of water on me! Haha there was a lady next to us and her and my companion started laughing a ton! Today was pretty cool. We went to Perinorte to go bowling with Elder Garcia, my trainer and his trainee, Elder Hernandez. It was pretty relaxed. They had to buy me a tie for winning at bowling! They have giant touchscreen maps in the mall where the bowling alley is. They sure don’t have those in Conejos haha! Well, this has been a pretty good week! I hope everyone is doing good! Love you lots!

Love,

Elder Black

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Bowling on P-day

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Adan’s baptism

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Casandra’s baptism

A New Companion

Hi Everyone!

Well this week has been super super busy but pretty good. My new companion, Elder Soto, is super cool! He’s from Ecuador and has 13 months in the mission. It is really nice to finally have a companion that has some experience and knows how to teach well. It takes off a little bit of the pressure. On Wednesday, half the zone came to my district meeting! There are 10 missionaries in my district and the zone leaders also came, so there were 12 people there! It was pretty crazy haha! Well, I pretty much have no time anymore in the night. I have to do 5 reports every night now, so there´s not a ton of time left to eat at night. The sisters in my district are pretty crazy and they are definitely keeping me on my feet! There are a whole lot of problems in my district, but most of them are kind of funny so its not too stressful. My companion is a really funny guy and we are always telling funny stories about stuff that’s happened in our missions, so we have a good time! Also, my Spanish is back to normal, so that’s good. It got a little worse when I was with Elder Montini because he talked to me in English almost all the time. My companion told me that I don’t have an American accent at all in Spanish, so that was a pretty cool compliment. The assistants said that we had to do exchanges this week, so I went on exchanges with Elder Stanger, the new (and first) Elder in my district. It was super fun! We had a really good time and were able to teach a lot of people. He is training a new missionary and opening a new area, so he’s got his work cut out for him. It was a cool opportunity to be able to help him out by studying with him about what he can do and then setting goals and making plans to put it into accion. He is a really good elder and its pretty awesome to have him in my district. We were finally able to find Victor and Patricia again. Turns out that their work schedule had changed for a couple weeks so that’s why we hadn’t been able to find them. They are super cool and I know they are going to get baptized! They weren’t able to come to church this week because Victor works in the government and they are doing elections right now and they called him in to work at the same time as the church. I’m really excited for them though because I know it’s just a matter of time. I have learned here that it is extremely important to get a good education so that you can get a job that allows you to not have to work on Sunday. There are too many people here that have to just take whatever work they can get, no matter the schedule or the number of hours. We have a lot of people who haven’t been able to attend church because of that. Well I have been super busy and I am really really tired, but other than that I’m doing pretty good! I love you all and hope you have a good week!

Love,

Elder Black

The Work is Picking Up Speed

Hey everyone!

That’s really cool that the test fire went well! That’s a pretty cool thing to see! I’m really glad your biopsy went well Mom. Get plenty of rest and I hope you get all recuperated soon. Haha that’s pretty cool about the Montreal steak seasoning! I’ve found some pretty good uses for it! Also that’s pretty cool about the rhubarb! Hopefully we’ll have some good rhubarb by the time I get home! Well I’m glad you had fun in St. George Nathan even if the matches didn’t go your way. Sounds like you had some pretty tough competition. Keep practicing hard, you’ve got the potencial to be a real good tennis player. That’s a pretty cool story Tanya. Looks like you had fun at your clogging competition! I really enjoyed looking at all the pictures! Nathans room looks great! That’s awesome that you’re doing a lot of missionary work Mom! Missionaries love members like you! It really helps move the work forward a lot when the members talk to people because the missionaries don’t really know a lot of people, but the people who live in the area do. Well, my companion is getting transferred to El Dorado. I am just staying here as district leader and getting another companion named Elder Soto, but I don’t really know anything about him. Also, I am super excited because I am going to have another companionship of Elders in my district for the first time in my whole mission!!! It is going to be super cool because the Elder that is coming to open a new area in my district is Elder Stanger and he is going to train, so I don’t know who his companion is. But Elder Stanger got here at the same time as me and he is one of my best friends in the mission. I’m pretty excited to go on exchanges, it’ll be pretty fun! Well we have one investigator that is going to get baptized this week. She is the daughter of a less active family that recently got reactivated. They are a pretty cool family! It’s been a pretty cold and rainy week this week, so I’ve actually had to pull out my raincoat a couple times. We have found even more people to teach in this week and now it is just a matter of getting them to come to church. We found a family this week that we think will progress a lot. One of the members thought of them when we ate at there house and they have a lot of doubts that we are helping them with. The wife is actually one of the first people I have met here that doesn’t believe that God exists, so it is a little bit different teaching her. They are going to start coming to church soon but they couldn’t this week because they have a baby that is only like 2 weeks old and they didn’t want to take her outside yet because it has been kind of cold. Well basically I’m just really excited for this transfer! The work has been picking up speed a lot in this last transfer and I feel like we’re about to start seeing a whole lot of the fruits of our efforts. I love you lots and will tell you more about my new companion and district next week!

Love,

Elder Black

A Peaceful Feeling

Wow Golden Corral huh? That sounds really good! We went to Applebee’s today and I got some BBQ ribs for the first time since who knows when! That’s the nice thing about the city is that there are a few more things to do on preparation days. Good luck in tennis Nathan! That sounds like a cool campout, is there still a lot of snow on the ground up there? Sorry I haven’t really taken a lot of pictures. I don’t carry my camera with me here because it is a little bit dangerous. I’ll try to get some sent soon though of my companion and the house and a little bit of the area. We haven’t got a fan yet, but it has cooled down a little bit in the night the last couple of days, so that’s been good, but it’s still been hot during the day. That sounds like you had a great opportunity to go to the temple! I really miss the temple a lot and I am excited for the Mexico City Temple to reopen. I wish I had gone a little bit more before I left because there’s not really a lot of opportunities to go here. It is a really good blessing to have temples so close to home. Well, sorry you got a little scraped up Tanya, that’s no fun. I’m excited to see some good clogging when I get home next year! You’ve got a really good talent for that! Oh, I actually got the package a few weeks ago, did I forget to tell you? Thanks a lot! The jerky and candy tastes soo good! That sounds like a pretty cool trip Dad! Did you get to go around and see the sights a little bit too? How is it working for the new company, or is it about the same? We’ve actually been talking a lot about pretty much that same theme of being truly converted here in the mission. We’ve talked a lot about how we need to consecrate ourselves to the Lord and not only give Him all our time and effort while we’re here, but also the desires of our hearts. This week we found a new couple that accepted a baptismal date but the same thing happened that they disappeared on Sunday. They are super good and really prepared though. I think the Lord might be testing me right now, because this has never happened to me before. We are finding a whole lot of new people to teach though and I know it’s just a matter of time before we start seeing results. We had a pretty decent week though because we have been working hard and talking to a lot of people. We were pretty busy with the zone meeting and then interviews with the mission president, but we feel pretty good about what we’ve been able to accomplish this week. There have been a few times when I have just felt really peaceful this week and I know that God is in charge of His work. Well, I hope everything goes well with the biopsy Mom. I will keep praying for you. Get lots of rest and relaxing in, and take good care of yourself. I love you all lots and hope you have a great week!

Love,

Elder Black

A Slow Week

Wow, sounds like an awesome activity Tanya! I don´t even remember what cold whether feels like! I pretty much only wear short sleeve shirts now and it is also hot at night, so I pretty much took my blankets off the bed for the summer. I just use a sheet and a thin blanket and we are probably going to buy a fan pretty soon. I am sweating all the time because it is hot here and its only the beginning of March! Well I´m glad it looks like you will be ok Mom. I joined in the fast with you and I have been praying that everything would be fine. I sure do miss that chili haha! You can’t find that in Mexico! You are going to Peru Nathan? That´s super cool! When are you going? If you wait a year and a half I’ll be more than happy to go with you haha! How is your Spanish doing?  I already learned pretty much every word that I need to preach the gospel, so now I’m focusing in studying different types of words to expand my vocabulary. I started carrying my notebook again that I used when I was first learning Spanish to write all the new words I hear. Time is going by really fast for me. There are only 2 weeks left in the change and we think that my companion is probably going to leave, but it would be cool to still be companions for another transfer because we have gotten to be really good friends now. He is teaching me the sports vocabulary in Spanish! I get along better with Elder Montini than I have with my other companions so far. The other ones were also good but we didn’t really have a lot of the same interests. Well, we feel really good about the work we have put in, but right now it’s pretty tough to be honest. For some reason we haven’t been able to get anyone to come to church even though we have a lot of great investigators. It seems like there is always something that comes up like they have to work or someone in their family gets sick, or a ton of stuff beyond our control. I feel like I’m working more effectively that ever though because we have been trying really hard to work with the members. They are really good about helping us but a lot of appointments fall through. We are trying to just have a good time anyway though. To answer your questions Mom, the food here is a lot different than that of Hidalgo. We actually eat quite a bit of pizza and hamburgers because they give us money sometimes and the only thing open is hamburger and pizza restaurants. Haha they’re not real creative with the fast food here. It´s basically just hamburgers, pizza or sometimes tacos, but those are usually open in the night (the main meal in Mexico is at about 2:00 in the afternoon). We also eat beans sometimes but not every day. No, we didn’t get to eat during the movie, but they gave us dinner a couple hours after (sloppy joes). Speaking of which, Elder Montini really liked them and we want to make them, so can you send me the recipe please? And yes Meet the Mormons is now playing in the theaters and apparently it’s doing pretty good.   Yeah there is good fruit, they have mangos, guayavas, pineapples, and a bunch of other stuff. What I really love here though is the juice. It is way better that the juice in the United States. Well the new bedroom looks super cool! I like it! I hope you all have an awesome week! Good luck with everything!

Love,

Elder Black