Teaching By The Spirit

Hey Everyone!

That’s pretty awesome that you’re doing so good in tennis Nathan! Keep up the good effort! That’s good that you’re getting some good progress going on the house. I’m excited to see what it looks like when its done! Wow, I sure do miss a good barbecue every once in a  while! That sounds like it was a lot of fun to do the service project and then go have an activity like that. That’s pretty fun that you had a family night in the assisted living center. That’s good that brother Christensen is doing well for his age. Well about the piano incident, I’m pretty sure she can play better than just about anybody in Mexico! Here the pianists mess up a ton in every single song, but nobody really cares, they just keep on singing even though 95% of the people here are completely tone deaf haha! I guess church was never meant to be a talent show anyway though. The only important thing is the Spirit and the Sacrament. On Sunday, right before the lesson they asked my companion and I to teach the lesson in church about the covenant people of the Lord. Me and my companion had never in our lives seen that chapter in the manuel or had time to prepare at all but we saw the promise of DyC 84:85 being fulfilled. The lesson turned out really cool and a lot of people commented after that that they wanted us to always teach the lesson! One of the investigators of the sister missionaries was there and he seemed to be a little doubtful, but at the end when we asked for comments, he started talking about how he understands why he needs to be baptized. It was a pretty cool experience. But I don’t say that just to make us sound like good teachers, rather to prove that the Spirit will always help us to know what to say in the right moment to touch the hearts of the people and help them to believe in Christ and accept his Gospel. We found a new family this week. They had given us money to go eat that day and we were on our way to go eat some tacos when the relief society president saw us in the street and told us to come talk to her. She was on her way to visit some less active family members and asked if we could come with her. It was already pretty late, almost 4:00 and we were super hungry because we hadn’t eaten anything yet that day, but we decided to go with her. So we walked to the other side of our area only to discover that there wasn’t a man in the house, so we couldn’t go inside. They told us to just come in to give the daughter a blessing, but we went and got one of the returned missionaries in our ward to come with us first so we could enter in the house. After the blessing we taught a short lesson about the Atonement to help their daughter with her depression. We were also able to return to their house the next day where we met her dad, who is not a member of the church. He likes the church a lot and wants his kids to go, but he came right  out at the beginning telling us that he himself will not be baptized. We taught a really awesome lesson full of the Spirit though and at the end, when we invited him to be baptized he changed his mind and said yes! I am really excited to keep working with this family because I know that our message can help them a lot in their lives to have a happy, united family working together toward being an eternal family. We also have had the opportunity to teach the Rangel Family in the past couple weeks. It is an older couple who are active in the church but pretty much all their kids and grandkids have gone astray. It is kind of sad, but we went to teach them to help them come back. They didn’t come last week, but yesterday their daughter came to church and brought her boyfriend who is not a member and will be moving to our area soon! It has been a really cool experience working with them. Brother Rangel pulled us aside in church yesterday and told us how grateful he was for us having helped their family so much. I really love those moments when we get to see families come back to church and see all the changes in their lives. I have been coming to understand a lot of new things about the Atonement of Christ in this week and it’s enabling power, because there are a lot of problems in my district with missionaries that are having a really hard time. By studying about it a lot and then teaching them, I have been able to understand some things that I had never thought about before. I was reading my patriarchal blessing and there is a part that talks about doctrines that can only be understood by the power of the Holy Ghost. I am starting to understand what that means now. I also read a talk from Elder Bednar, “A Reservoir of Living Water” that talks about searching for knowledge in the Scriptures. That doesn’t mean just reading them from beginning to end, although that is a great thing to do. That is the most basic way to study the gospel, but we should also study by topic and look for themes, connections and patterns in the scriptures. That is how we can have our eyes more fully opened to the fullness of the gospel. Well, sadly my companion is leaving to a different area after only 6 weeks here. We were both really surprised by that news, but I guess the Lord knows where we need to be. I have really enjoyed having him here. We both have about the same teaching style and have had some really awesome teaching experiences. I’ve heard that my new companion, Elder Flores, is pretty cool though. The awesome part of the transfers though, is that my trainer, Elder Garcia is coming here to be one of my zone leaders! That will be really fun, especially going on exchanges! Well I’ll let you know how it goes this week! Love you all! Have a great week!

Love,

Elder Black

Teaching Several People

Hey Everyone! Haha well I didn’t notice that there was anything wrong with my grammar haha! But yeah my Spanish is a lot better than my English now. There’s just a few more words that I need to learn, but the Spanish language feels pretty normal to me. That’s good that Nathan is putting up some good competition in tennis. I kind of miss going camping and sitting around the campfire. I’m definitely going to do that when I get home. Sounds like you’re planning a really good family reunion! Thanks for sending the pictures! Everyone looks really big! I can’t believe how much everyone has changed in these past 10 months. This week I went to a special leadership meeting in the mission and they announced that Elder Bednar is going to come to the mission on the 16th of May!! I have always wanted to meet Elder Bednar! He is one of my favorite apostles and a lot of my favorite talks are from him. I use one of his talks called the answer is the doctrine every day as a model to study and teach, so Elder Bednar has had a really big influence in the way I teach and learn. Well, I guess I will tell you a bit more about the investigators that we are teaching. Areli is the wife of a less active member named Martin. They just had a baby a couple months ago and Areli doesn’t really believe in God or have much confidence in Him but wants to do what is best for her baby. They have come church a few times now and we are hoping that she will start to strengthen her belief in God. We have another family Victor and Karina and their 2 little kids that we have been teaching. The parents of Victor are also listening. Victor got deported from the United States after about 10 years of living there, then started his life over here about 6 years ago. Their whole family is really nice and they have treated us really well. It is really hard though because Victor works on Sundays. His wife Karina is probably the most interested but she is a little hesitant to go to church without Victor. I think we are going to start bringing someone from the relief society with us to be her friend so that she starts to have friends in the chapel and feels a little more comfortable going. On Saturday we were walking down the street when someone stopped us to ask us if we could come tell him more about the Church. We are going to go visit him probably tomorrow and I think he will be an awesome investigator! Well, I will tell you about a few more people next week. Oh, I tried something new this week. Tamales of Mango and Cranberry! They were super good! I like the sweet tamales a lot more than the other ones with chicken and salsa or rajas (you’re going to have to look that one up because I don’t know how to say it). I love you all and hope you have a great week! Love, Elder Black

Busy in Mexico

Well, sounds like everyone’s having a good time up there! We have been really busy down here in Mexico. Things were a little slow when I got here 2 months ago, but my area is getting pretty good now. We have a lot of people to teach and we are starting to get some people coming to church. I wouldn’t mind staying here for quite a while because it’s a really cool ward and I like it a lot. Today we went to play soccer in the chapel with a few other people. There weren’t very much of us because we can only be with one other companionship of missionaries in this mission, but a couple of the young men came also. It was pretty fun though. We finally bought a fan today! That should help quite a bit to sleep at night. We’ve heard that this week might me kind of stormy and cold though, so we’ll see if we use it. This week we went to visit a less active family and they were outside selling something that is a slice of white tasteless fruit covered in hot sauce and fruit flavored sugar. They gave me one when we were leaving and it was not very good, but the kids must have liked them because they were buying them like crazy! My companion and I teach really well together and it is really fun to teach the lessons now. This companionship is really cool, so I hope President leaves us both here for a little while longer. Well that’s pretty much all that happened this week. I love you all and hope you have a great week! I’m excited to be able to talk to you in Skype in a month!

Love,

Elder Black

A Cool Experience

Hey Everyone!

Well I’m glad everyone enjoyed the conference! That’s cool that you are playing lots of basketball Tanya! Keep going strong in tennis Nathan! I’m excited to see you both play when I get home! No, it hasn’t rained hardly at all this week. Its actually getting pretty hot. I think we’ll buy a fan next P-day. Well this was a pretty good week with the General Conference and everything that was going on. We had a really cool lesson after General conference on Sunday night. We taught the Restauration (restoration) to a new family of 6 and Elder Soto and I agreed that it was one of our favorite lessons we’ve had in our missions. They had a lot of good questions and doubts and we felt a lot the guide of the Spirit to help us to answer them and teach the Restauration according to their needs. We’ve been finding so many new investigators lately that there is almost no time to even visit them all! We have met some really cool people. The only real problem here is work schedules. It is a pretty poor area and pretty much everyone has to work on Sunday. It is still really cool to teach them though and I hope that some of them will be able to overcome the obstacles that are keeping them from progressing. The General Conference was really good, even if it was practically all about marriage and families haha! I really liked the talks about how we can be better disciples of Christ. I listened to it in English this time with all the other gueros in the stake. It is a lot cooler in English because you get to hear the voices of the apostles and profets (prophets). For the 2 talks that they gave in Spanish though, we went into the sacrament meeting room to listen to them. Basically we just wanted to avoid the translators haha! Other than the conference, it was a pretty normal week of hard work. One kind of cool thing happened though. A few weeks ago when we were walking to the chapel for a meeting with the bishop, a girl that was high on drugs came running up to us and asked if we had a book or anything we could give her. We had a little conversation with her and she was just coherent enough to tell us that she wanted to get out of drugs and about where she lived but she couldn’t remember what her address was so she just gave us a general location. We weren’t sure if we would ever see her again because it is pretty hard to find someone in the big city if you don’t have the address. One day though, we decided to go look for her. We went to the general area and asked someone but they said they weren’t from there and didn’t know her. We were just kind of standing around wondering what to do to find her when I saw a guy sitting on the steps of an apartment building and felt like I just ask him. He was able to tell us what building she lived in and we just had to knock a couple doors in that building to find where she lived. Her dad is the one we met when we knocked the door and he is a Christian, but they have a lot of family problems. We are teaching them now and helping them put their lives back together a little bit at a time. It is pretty cool to see how God loves his children no matter what their circumstances may be and sends us to help them come unto Him. I love you all and hope you have a great week!

Love,

Elder Black