Temple Open House

Wow that’s an awesome story Mom! I´m sure he´s going to be a great Elder! Always the best missionaries are really humble and have really powerful testimonies. Sacrifices like that always impress and humble me. I’m really happy that Aaron is back out in the mission field and there is another Elder Black out there! I know he´s going to have some great experiences. That´s pretty cool that you got to see Machu Picchu and some other cool things in Peru as well as pass some time with the people in their houses. That´s always a special thing to get a little glimpse into someone else’s life. Did you learn a little more Spanish Nathan? I´m excited to see the pictures next week!

Well, my week was good but a little rough. We went to the leadership council, taught the zone meeting, went to the temple open house with some of our investigators, and tried to teach a few people too! On Tuesday we taught a class in the chapel to our investigators that were going to come to the temple on Thursday. Thanks again for the little illustrations of the Plan of Salvation Mom, we taped those up on the board and taught about the function of the temples in the Plan of Salvation. It went really well. That and the temple trip was the good part. The rough part was that after the leadership council on Wednesday I started feeling a little sick and then I just kept getting worse and worse until Thursday night and then I slowly starting recuperating again. I’m pretty much all back to normal now though, just the occasional stomach ache but at least I’m functioning fine. Thursday was kind of a rough day to be sick because we had to teach the zone meeting and then we went on the temple trip, so I couldn’t really just stay in bed and rest. Well I guess sometimes you’ve just got to deal with things like that. Elder Huxford helped me out a lot though and even did the reports for me on Friday and Saturday when it was my turn to do them so I could rest a little bit. A couple funny things we saw this week. We were walking around one night and we saw a couple roosters fighting in the back patio of someone’s house. We went and told the lady and she went running around back and grabbed it and threw it back over on the other side of the fence haha! Also we went to set an appointment with someone and the little kid wanted to go run around the sidewalk a bit and his mom told him that he’d better not because he was going to throw up the pear he had just been eating. But he went anyway and about 1 minute later he got back to the door and threw up all over the sidewalk haha! Well, everyone here is doing good, and this week are changes and I’m staying here with Elder Huxford for another 6 weeks! I love you lots and hope everyone has a great week!

Love,

Elder Black

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On exchanges with Elder Medina

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At the temple open house

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Tacos de carnitas!

A Learning Experience

Hey Dad,

Well sounds like you and Tanya had a fun weekend! Camping is actually one of the things that I have missed quite a bit while I’ve been on the mission. It just gets a little stuffy living here in the big city all the time. Well, getting sick from eating cow stomach soup sounds like a pretty authentic experience haha! They also make that here in Mexico occasionally and it’s definitely not one of my favorites. Its basically like a bowl full of stringy fat in broth. When I ate that a couple months ago it was about the closest I’ve come to throwing up in the mission, but I did manage to get it all down and I even made the sister think that I liked it haha! That’s one thing that´s kind of important in the Mexican culture because the food here is everything and it can be a big issue if you don’t like the food or refuse to eat something. Actually, the picky missionaries here don’t eat because as soon as the people in the ward notice that a missionary is picky they stop signing up to feed the missionaries!

Well we had a pretty decent week here. There weren’t a whole lot of extraordinary events though. Mostly just walking around a lot and the never-ending struggle to get the men in the ward to come with us to appointments so that we can go inside and teach the lesson. Most of our investigators are women, so we need a man to come with us to pass by and sometimes it´s a little hard since the work schedules in this part of Mexico are pretty rough. Most people don’t know when their day off is going to be or they work really long hours. But we usually manage, somehow. We had a good learning experience on Saturday. We went over to visit Luz to invite her to the temple. She was up on the roof when we got there and we called up to her and she just went inside and didn’t come out for a while. We waited for several minutes and then knocked a couple times and waited some more. We were anxious to talk to her because we wanted to know the reason that she didn’t want to keep listening to us. Well after about 15 minutes or so she answered the door and asked what we wanted. We told her that we wanted to invite her to the temple open house and also why she stopped listening to us. She was really rude and told us that she already went to the temple and that it was really nice and she had already sent us a message telling us that she didn’t want to listen anymore. We were still trying to talk to her and she just shut the door in our face. We were kind of confused about her behavior since we had always been really polite and respectful and we were a little upset about that. I guess maybe we’ll never know what happened that made her start acting like that. But as we were walking back to Cebadales after leaving her house, a man came up to us and asked if we could help his friend who had been hit by a car and needed knee surgery. We gave him a couple pesos and kept on walking. After several minutes of walking I told Elder Huxford that I felt like we probably should have contacted that guy. We talked about it for a minute and realized that we were so busy thinking about what happened with Luz that we hadn’t even noticed a great contacting situation right in front of our face, so we decided to go back. We walked all the way back down the road to where the guy had been, but he wasn’t there anymore. So we started the long walk back again just feeling really bad about the whole thing and praying silently for forgiveness for not having followed a definite impression of the Spirit. We passed by a little store where we had passed by a hundred times before and the man in the store yelled out for us to come in. He told us that he was a member from the other ward and he told us to grab whatever we wanted from the store and come back whenever we wanted. So we got a drink, thanked him and went on our way. I was just thinking during the walk home about how kind and merciful God is. Maybe it wasn’t some huge event or anything but it taught me an important lesson. God knew what was going to happen and he knew we weren’t going to follow that prompting to contact that man. If it is his time to know the gospel, God will guide him to it a different way, but maybe he´s not even ready to receive the gospel, I don’t know. But I know that the Lord used that situation to teach us something, and we will definitely be trying a lot harder to recognize and follow promptings of the Spirit in the future. Well, that was probably the most impacting experience I had this week, but in other news Beatriz is still progressing well and her 8 year old son Rodrigo came to church with her for the first time this Sunday! We’re getting pretty excited for the temple open house trip coming up on Thursday! It should be a pretty long day because we’ll be teaching the zone meeting in the morning and then an hour after that we’ll be leaving for the temple and get home in the late evening. Well, I hope everyone has a really good week! Love you lots!

Love,

Elder Black

A Great Mission Experience

Well this week was a whole lot better than the last one! Thanks a lot for the package, I was pretty excited to see some jerky and root beer barrels haha! The zone conference actually went really well. We asked one of the sisters to share her experience of when she went to the temple to be sealed with her family and it was really spiritual. Basically in the zone conference we talked about our divine potential and how temples and families are necessary in order to reach that potential. I actually wasn’t quite as nervous as I thought I would be once we got up and started teaching. I think it was mostly just the anticipation. On Tuesday we finally got to see Beatriz again. I thought we might have lost her because she had canceled so many appointments with us and we hadn’t seen her for about 3 weeks, but we got to the appointment on Tuesday and it turns out that her work had just been making her work long hours. But now she told her boss that she can’t work Sundays anymore because she goes to church and also right now her work shut down for three weeks, so that is kind of a blessing that makes it a lot easier to teach her. At the end of the lesson, we left her the word of wisdom pamphlet and asked her if she uses any of the substances on the list. She told us that she can’t live without her coffee, but she said she would try. We taught her the rest of the word of wisdom on Tuesday and then saw her again at church on Sunday and she said that she gave up coffee the day when we first left her the pamphlet and hasn’t even felt like she needed to drink it since then! That was a cool miracle! She has had a pretty rough life, probably one of the most difficult life stories I’ve ever heard, but she is awesome and she just has such strong desires to be baptized and have peace in her life. Our lessons with her are always full of the Spirit. Well Elder Huxford and I are just having a lot of fun down here! We´re planning a trip to the temple open house the 27 of August after we teach the zone meeting! Seems like it´s pretty much just one meeting after the other haha! Anyway, I hope everyone is doing really well wherever you are! Love you lots!

Love,

Elder Black

A Visit to Conejos

Sounds like a pretty fun week of camps and everything.  What part of Peru are you going to visit? I´m sure you’ll be able to find internet. In the little businesses that say ciber, or sometimes internet, you can use a computer. Just don’t put a memory stick in unless it is one that you trust because the computers are full of viruses in a lot of places! That sounds like some great experiences going to the temple! I’m really excited to be able to go pretty soon!

Well, I´m back in Conejos with my trainer, Elder Garcia! He´res Jazmin and her kids. They are going to get sealed in the temple in a couple months (her husband, Sixto, wasn’t there because he was working), so we´re super happy and excited for them! Also, Adolfo and Gabriela are getting ready to go to the temple too! I’m super happy for all of them! I might even get to go with them to the temple! Oh, and if you´re a little confused about that first line, I didn’t get changed back to Conejos, Elder Garcia and I just got permission to do interchanges and go visit Conejos since he’s leaving in 3 weeks haha! But it felt kind of weird to be back in my old area again. It looks almost just the same as when I first got to Mexico!

Back here in Cuautitlan, things are going all right. I can´t say this was the best week I’ve ever had though. The truth is, it was just kind of a hard week. Sixteen set appointments fell through on us, even though we were doing everything we could to confirm and make sure the people were going to be there. And we were on time to all of them! We were feeling kind of frustrated this week, but I studied about faith one day and I learned something interesting. A scripture came to my mind that is in Daniel chapter three I think when they tell the king that God will save them, but if not, they would still be faithful to Him and not worship the false idols. I was just thinking, faith is not based on the results of what happens when we put forth our efforts. If we only have faith when we see the results, we’re following the process backwards. That’s like wanting to see the sprout before we plant the seed. So I learned that faith has a lot to do with being obedient and diligent even when we don’t see the results. I feel like we were able to do that this week. Even though we just pretty much walked around all day in the hot sun looking for references and contacting people and nobody was home, not even the members, we just kept going and going all the time. So we actually feel pretty good about the work we’ve done this week because we feel like the Lord is pleased with our efforts. We did have a baptism on Sunday though, so that was cool I guess. It was kind of just by accident though, because there was the daughter of a less active family who was turning 9 and was going to be baptized on her birthday. So we went and taught her all the lessons and she got baptized yesterday. The coolest part about that though was that her dad is not a member and he is interested in listening to us, so we are teaching the rest of her family too. Well, that´s pretty much all that happened this week. I love you all and hope you have a great week!

Love,

Elder Black

 

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El bautismo de Abdí

A Busy Week

Happy Birthday Mom!!!! (I did remember, but only after I had already finished writing) I hope you had a great one! Haha I have a hard time picturing you with a smart phone! You might have to teach me how to use one when I get back home because I´m sure by then you’ll be an expert and I won’t have a clue haha! I’ve gotten pretty good at using our basic brick phone here in the mission though haha! No, I don’t know Elder Cardoza. He must be in a different zone. I actually know a lot more sisters than elders because I’ve been in a lot of places that only have sister missionaries, so I don’t really know any elders that have less than 8 months. Also, have you looked into sending contacts down here again? I use them a lot because we always go play basketball at the church for our exercise time in the morning.

Sounds like lots has been going on up north! We went to Sam´s Club today, so that was pretty awesome! They didn’t have any root beer though. They don’t know what they’re missing out on haha! We’ve been pretty busy down here lately. On Wednesday we went to a double meeting. A special training meeting because there are a lot of new leaders in the mission and after that we had the leadership council. We left at 8:30 and got back at 6:00, then we went out to proselyte, so it was a pretty long day. They changed the schedule up on us so we just had a normal district meeting on Thursday instead of the zone meeting like we thought. In a week and a half though, Elder Huxford and I are going to be teaching the zone conference. There will be 2 zones there, so about 40 missionaries and the Mission President and his wife, so I’m a little nervous about that. We are going to teach about temples and the family. If any of you want to comment any insights about that, your comments would be welcome! Then on Friday we went to the Federal District to renew our visa at the immigration office. It was super fun because we went down with Elders Stanger and Van Tassel, 2 of our really good friends! So anyway, we were on the go a lot this week again. It seems like we’re pretty much always on the go for one reason or another haha, but it’s looking like this week will be a little more relaxed as far as the meeting schedules. That’s good because it means there will be more time to work here in our area. Luz is still progressing really well! Also, we found a couple new people that are inactive families where some of them aren’t members. I’ll let you know a little more about them next week, but they are really friendly! Well I’m about out of time. Sorry I don’t have a ton of time to share all my experiences and what I have been learning, but I’m trying to write a lot in my journal, so at least when I get home I can tell you a lot more. I love you lots though and hope everyone’s doing well!

Love,

Elder Black