Everything’s Going Well

Hey Everyone,

Well things are improving a lot with our ward. We ate at the bishop´s house on Tuesday and talked to him a little bit about the ward and he finally gave us a name of someone to visit. We are starting to work a lot more with the other members in our ward as well. On Friday, we did an activity with the primary. The sister missionaries and us talked a bit about our missions and I shared some scriptures about fruits (at the request of the sister missionaries haha) and then we ate fruit salad. There was also a part where the kids wrote letters to the missionaries that are out from their ward. One of the kids decided to write his letter to me haha! I thought that was really nice of him. We did exchanges on Tuesday with Elder Sandoval and Elder Márquez who are in Huichápan. It is a new branch and there aren´t many members yet, so they have some unique challenges. I stayed here with Elder Sandoval and my companion went to Huichápan. It´s pretty far away, and we passed through some pretty out of the way places. We were talking to a guy on the bus ride out there who said that he used to listen to the missionaries but then he moved back to his hometown when he retired from teaching school. He showed us where he lives when he got off the bus and invited us to come over whenever we wanted, but we can’t do proselyting that far away from the chapel (the bus only passes once every hour and it´s over an hour bus ride just to get to where he lives). But anyway, it was kind of cool to see that part of the mission. Not many missionaries have been up there because it only has only been about 8 months since the 1st branch was established there. A bit of history from that area is that the first woman to be baptized in Mexico was in Huichápan. I’m not really sure what happened after that though. I think they had to leave that area because of persecution though, so that is why the Church is just barely starting up there. The Urive family came to church on Sunday and this time they stayed for the whole 3 hours! Also, Yitzhak  and Demian came early because the sisters had a baptism on Sunday morning and they wanted to see it. President Titensor and his wife also came so we introduced them to President too. The sister missionaries and us sang I am a child of God and it turned out super good! It was a really good baptism and we are really excited for the baptism of Yitzhak, Demian, and Valentina on May 8th! We have found some good new investigators but they just haven’t come to church yet. That´s always a battle to get them there for the first time because sometimes they are nervous or have other reasons for not going. We will work hard to get them there next week though. I love you lots, have a great week!

Love,

Elder Black

The Work is Progressing

Well, I don´t really know where the time goes. It seems to pass much more quickly in the mission. We had a special meeting with President Titensor on Tuesday to talk about the special worldwide transmission they did in January. It is pretty cool what has happened in our mission since then. There has been a lot more success and a lot more people are coming to Christ. I really enjoy teaching the district meeting each Wednesday because I learn so much studying and preparing for them! This week I taught about the relationship between obedience and giving accounts. When we are obedient and fulfill our duty and then give accounts of our stewardship, God gives us more revelation. When we are not good stewards, we still have to give an accounting of our stewardship eventually, but instead of revelation we get reprension. I was super happy when the missionaries started calling more frequently at night to give accounts of their work because I’ve been able to help them a lot more and also I have learned a lot from them. How do you give accounts in your mission Aaron? Is it voluntary or do the missionaries have to call their leaders every night? That is one of the principles I have most studied in my mission because I think it is super important. The Urive family came to church again this Sunday! They are super awesome and this time they stayed for the classes too instead of just sacrament meeting! Yitzhak, Demian, and Valentina will be baptized on May 8th, so I’m super excited for that! All of us missionaries gave talks in sacrament meeting yesterday. I talked about the doctrinal basis of missionary work that is John 3:5 to baptize and confirm, and then shared some quotes from Preach my Gospel about how members and missionaries should work together. I have seen that many of the members here don’t think that their friends and family members will get baptized right now because they always say that “everyone has their moment”, but most of the time they don’t invite them to learn about the gospel. So I tried to help them elevate their faith to invite people to take the missionary discussiones. After dinner on Sunday a couple of recent converts from when Elder Van Tassell was here, Vicky and Ray, took us out to one of the pueblos to go meet Vicky’s cousin and his wife. They had never heard about the gospel before except the small amount they had learned from Vicky and Ray but they accepted our visit and we had a good lesson with them. They didn’t accept a baptismal date yet but they said they would get baptized if they find out that the Book of Mormon is true! The people out in the country are a lot more receptive here than in the city center. Sometimes it’s just hard to get them to church. We did have one investigator come from way out in Parajes though. Laura, from Xiteje was also going to come but her mom didn’t let her, so that might be a challenge we will have to deal with this week. Anyway, it´s been a good week and I´m excited to keep going! Love you lots and hope you have a great week!

Love,

Elder Black

A Little Slow, But Off to a Good Start

Hey Everyone!

This week has been good. We’re still battling to gain the confidence of the ward leaders here. They seem to not be that interested in working with us. We had ward council this week and it wasn’t great. They just asked for our report, listened for a few minutes and then told us thank you and that we could leave now. Not a lot of coordinating going on. Anyway, it’s a bit discouraging because they have refused to give us a ward directory and we don’t know where the members live so it´s been a struggle to try to get to know them and work with them. Thankfully there are a handful of member who help us out a ton and are willing to go with us everywhere. On Wednesday in the district meeting it was kind of funny because we were going to set up a Skype link with the elders in Huichápan but the bishop’s ipad wasn’t working so we had to just call them on our cell phone and put them on speaker haha! Not the greatest but at least they were able to hear what was going on. They don’t come to the meeting every week because their area is so far away. The highlight this week was that we had 3 investigators with a baptismal date at church this week, and one other investigator also came. The 3 with a baptismal date are Demian (17 years old), Valentina (9) and Yitzhak(18). They are some kids from a less active family that lives close to us who are just barely starting to reactivate. They are super cool and have been reading the Book of Mormon and came to church this week and last week to general conference! We have been teaching with a lot of examples and object lessons and they are understanding super well! Other than that, I did a couple baptismal interviews, walked a lot, and I don´t really know what else to write. I´m getting kind of tired haha but other than that I´m doing pretty well. Love you lots and hope you have a good week!

Love,

Elder Black

A new Area and Companion

Well, I’m super happy to be training and opening area to finish off my mission! We had a pretty good first week, full of miracles, and we’re mostly getting to know the area. It´s really nice here and we always see ruins and cool stuff while we’re walking around too, so that’s kind of cool! My new companion is Elder Ayala from Tamaulipas and he is pretty cool. We get along well. I’m also enjoying being a district leader again. I feel like I’m a lot closer to the action. It’s getting pretty hot around here. I haven’t used a blanket most nights since I got here and we’ve been showering with cold water on purpose most days! This is getting to be about the hottest time of the year right before the rainy season. We didn’t have a whole lot of lessons last week but we were still able to find several new investigators and 5 people came to church this week! General conference was good, but I didn’t get to see all of Elder Holland’s talk because the internet was being slow and then I had to do the reports and then we had to go to a lesson, but I want to see it later. Our area is huge and includes the center of Tula and a bunch of small pueblos north of the city. It is pretty cool. We have an old cathedral and the pyramid of the Atlantes warriors. It’s pretty cool to see stuff like that just walking around the area. There is a member named Iván who basically just comes with us everywhere every day so he is helping us out a lot to learn the area. I am really happy to be here and keeping busy all the time. Love you lots!

Love,

Elder Black

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A bowling activity a few weeks ago.

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Tula Zone meeting

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With his new companion, Elder Ayala

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With Elder Van Tassell – Both will be trainers

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Eating Tacos on exchanges

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A view from the balcony in his previous area.

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zone meeting in Tepalcapa!