Just a Normal Week

Dear Family,

Sounds like a pretty fun week! Here it was mostly just a normal week I guess. We walked around a lot, taught some lessons, and walked around some more haha! But Saturday was pretty cool! We went to contact a reference that we had received on Friday night from the Elders in the next zone over. This family had pretty much by accident found out about some English classes that were being offered over there and they went. After the classes the elders always taught a lesson and they stayed for the lesson and loved it! They have been going over there for 2 months and were really happy to meet us and get taught about the Restoration of the gospel. Their names are Marsela, Diana, Liliana, and Emiliano (11 years old) (a grandma, aunt, mom, and son). We couldn’t go in right when we met them because there was not a man in their house, so we set an appointment for a few hours later and came back with the elders quorum president. Right when we were about to start the lesson, a nephew of theirs came over with whom they hadn’t really had a close relationship and hadn’t seen for a while. It was a completely unexpected visit from him, but he also sat down and listened to the lesson and he really liked it! The 3 of them who had been attending the activities in Teoloyucan accepted a baptismal date and all four of them came to church on Sunday. At church, the Principles of the Gospel teacher wasn’t there so my companion and I taught the class. The assigned class was kind of a random theme and I felt impressed to skip it and go on to the next lesson about service. It was a very spiritual lesson because we talked about how service is the way we can demonstrate love for God and our fellow man. Everyone opened up a lot and started sharing ideas and experiences, and Emiliano’s mom Liliana who hadn’t accepted a baptismal date on Saturday said that she still wasn’t sure about baptism for herself but that she was definitely going to be there for her son. I asked the class to think of a way they could serve someone specific this week and Liliana said that she was going to share the gospel with her sister who has a lot of problems! I thought that was so awesome and I know she felt the Spirit a lot and understood how the Gospel and the Church can bless her family! I’m really excited to keep teaching them! I guess that’s probably the most exciting thing that happened this week. I´m going to be doing a lot of teaching this coming week because they assigned me to teach a training segment in the special training meeting for all the leaders in the mission about District and Zone meetings and the state of the missionaries. Then on Thursday is the zone meeting, so that should be fun haha! 

Love,

Elder Black

A Cool Story About Adela

Well, sounds like everyone`s doing pretty good! Sounds like a pretty busy week.  I`m excited to see Nathan driving around when I get home! That will be kind of weird to see! Great job in FBLA bro! Sounds like you`re tearing it up, keep up the good work!! I’m excited to hear you play a little bit of piano when I get home Tanya! Keep at it! There’s a talk from Elder Ballard that you and Nathan should read called Do Things that make a Difference. It talks about the importance of goal setting and sticking to our goals in order to reach our full potential. Anyway, since both of you have a lot of talents you want to improve, I thought you might like it. Let me know what you learn!

My new companion is Elder Abaroa from Maine. He is a really good elder, and I’m pretty excited to be able to train another new zone leader! Hopefully I will do a better job of it this time haha! Our companionship is pretty awesome! He just completed 7 months in the mission, so he is pretty young still, but it’s pretty fun to have a young companion. He is really humble and teachable, so I’m sure he’ll learn how to be a leader really fast. This week has been a little tough in my area. Honestly, I felt a little bit like Alma in chapter 31 because there are so many challenges going on. Almost nobody came to church on Sunday. Even of the members, there was only about half of the normal attendance. I have a cool story to tell you though. There is a convert in my area named Adela. She is an elderly lady who got baptized almost a year ago and hadn’t come to church for a while because of a problem in her knee that makes it very painful for her to walk. We visited her a week ago Saturday after she had just gotten home from a month and a half long trip to Michoacàn to visit her sick brother. We told her that we had missed her at church and invited her to come, and she explained to us the problem in her knee that made it difficult to attend church. We explained that for those who can’t make it to church because of health reasons we can bring the sacrament to their houses and offered to bring it to her the next day. She accepted and we left planning to take her the sacrament. The next day at church, we were very surprised and happy to see her walk in! Later in the Sunday school class she made a comment explaining why she had made the incredible effort to be there. After we left she started thinking a lot about our offer to bring her the sacrament and she said that she started thinking that if she could go all the way to Michoacàn to visit her brother, then she thought she could go to church too! And this Sunday she came again! That was probably the best thing that happened this week.

I wish that every member would be an agent and take an active personal interest in missionary work. I hope that you always notice the people that don’t come and make an effort to help them come back to church. That would be my greatest hope. Thanks for all your support! I love you lots!

Love,

Elder Black

Staying in Cuautitlán

Hey Everyone!

Sounds like a pretty good week! Have fun at your FBLA competitions Nathan! I remember those were always pretty cool. Actually, when I am in college, we’ll be at a couple of the same competitions because the college and high school competitions are at the same time a lot. Congratulations on your grades in your business classes that’s pretty awesome!!! Tanya, actually we had a campfire this week at a ward activity. Of course, that was the idea of the only white guys in the ward haha, because campfires aren’t really part of the Mexican culture. We managed to convince them to do it though and everyone loved the activity! That´s pretty cool that you learned a little about salsa though. There is a little bit of salsa music here, but not much. They mostly listen to banda, and American music. Actually, it is really common for people to blast music really loud so the entire neighborhood can hear at all hours of the day and night and we have a neighbor that blasts the same playlist over and over about 6 or 7 times a day every morning while we´re studying. So we usually end up studying while listening to Justin Beiber and Regaton. It’s a little bit annoying, be grateful for the silence of living in a small town haha! 

We had a new family of 4 come to church this week! It is the Gasca family and they have three kids, Gerardo, Xochitl, and Yael, and the moms name is Georgina. Their dad died of a ruptured appendix a few years ago. The missionaries had taught them before, but now that the temple is open and we taught them a little about the temple ordinances and that they can be sealed as a family, they decided to accept a baptismal date and come to church for the first time on Sunday! We got the changes yesterday. I will stay here in Cuautitlán and train another new zone leader and Elder Huxford is going to be the new assistant. I already know my new companion a little bit. His name is Elder Abaroa from Maine, and Elder Stanger trained him a little while back. It should be interesting because he has absolutely no experience as a leader. This will only be his 2nd area He just jumped straight to zone leader without even being a district leader first! I’m pretty excited to teach him a little bit. I think I will actually be the missionary with the most time in the mission in my whole zone! Haha I feel kind of old now! My zone is going to be all sisters now except for the leaders because they took the elders out of one of the areas and put sisters. I think there’s almost more sister missionaries now than elders. I have learned a lot this week by applying what I learned in conference. Here are some cool verses I found studying about the principles that Elder Lawrence taught in his talk on Saturday. Jacob 4:13, 2 Nephi 28:30, 3 Nephi 26:9-10. Maybe you could study them a little bit with the family and let me know what you learn. Actually, I want to invite you to study this because that is what is going to help you receive and apply personal revelation from conference. Also, I really love answering questions, it’s one of my favorite things to do, so if you have any send them to me and I will study about it a little bit and get back to you! Love you lots! Have a great week!

Love,

Elder Black

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The ginormous teeter totter

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Roasting hot dogs at the ward campfire

Enjoyed General Conference

Sorry this is going to have to be short since we couldn’t find an internet with available spots until just a few minutes ago. This general conference was super awesome! I tried to really prepare myself with questions a lot better this time than I had before. That made it so that this conference was a very spiritual experience. I was edified a lot and many of the talks were geared toward answering my questions very specifically. I told Elder Huxford that it was like watching a sports game without an announcer for all my life, but this time I could hear the announcer, the Holy Ghost, whispering things to my heart and mind that weren’t said in the talks. I finally realized that there is absolutely no point in writing down what the speakers say in my notes because I can always read them later if I want. The point of taking notes is to write down the impressions of the Spirit. So that is what made it a really great experience for me. Also, the zone meeting went really well. Elder Huxford and I studied a lot to prepare ourselves for the meeting, and we taught the small part that we felt our missionaries needed. This month the theme in the mission is the commandments, and we chose to focus on the 2 great commandments and how they are related to conversion. The assistants came to our meeting and it was really cool to have them there because they made some great comments and gave us some really good feedback when it was over, which helped me to learn a ton. Well, I about have to go. I hope everyone is doing well and has a great week. (I´ll just print off the emails and read them later)

Love,

Elder Black