A Good Week

Dear Family,

This week was a good one. Before this week, all of our fechas (appointments) fell through. We set a goal in district meeting on Thursday to have a new fecha by the end of the week. Yesterday morning, we went and visited a new investigator with a member. She accepted a date and is going to start coming to church this next week. It really strengthened my testimony that the Lord blesses us when we work hard.
On Saturday, we had an activity in the ward. We had about 10 investigators come from the missionaries in my district, and we have some very positive ones. Only one investigator made it to church yesterday, but our progressing investigators committed to come to church next Sunday. They already had commitments this Sunday, but they said they would move stuff around for the next Sunday to make it here. The members in the ward are also helping out a lot. We have been trying to help them get excited about missionary work and have had some successful FHE´s as a result of it. I have started trying a lot harder to work through the members. The members here don’t really know how to do missionary work for the most part, but we have been trying our best to teach them. We had a FHE with a family and had them invite some non-member friends. They ended up having 5 investigators show up and a few more little kids. We got them excited about missionary work and I think they are really catching the vision of it now. Two of the people that showed up were very positive! One of them, Alicia, is the lady that accepted a baptismal date yesterday. The other one, Margarita, was baptized years ago, but was never confirmed. We are going to find out more about here, but since she was never confirmed, we have to baptize her again. We are going to try to meet with her today and see why she didn’t get confirmed and invite her to get baptized.

My goal of being more positive and happy has really changed my attitude about everything in the mission! I wake up excited to serve and am truly feeling the happiness of bringing people to the truth more and more every day.

I love you all and I hope you have a great week!

Love,

Elder Black

I have a couple more minutes so I just thought I would send a quick email and let you know that I really am loving it here and my health is great. Being a little bit older and more mature has changed my outlook completely of being a missionary. It is so awesome! I am super happy I made the decision to come back out and finish my mission. It is especially cool to be able to serve a mission knowing that I have a brother out doing the same thing. Love you!

 

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Aaron’s new companion, Elder Burris from Arizona

 

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His first companion and the missionaries he lived with

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Doris’s baptism

Many Changes and a Great Attitude

Dear Family,

Thank you for the birthday package! I loved getting a package from you guys! Especially the pictures that you sent. Thanks for sending pudding too! I haven’t seen it down here before, and as you already know, I love that stuff! Haha. It sounds like you guys have been really busy and traveling all over the place. It sounds like a lot of fun though. That’s cool that Nathan is doing drivers ed! Its weird that he will be driving when I get home. I’m glad Tanya started back up with piano lessons. She is super good and should keep developing that talent. Tell Nathan and Tanya they need to get on the ball of responding! haha….. and to write me back from the letters I sent them. I am writing another one about everything that has been happening in the mission lately. It has been a crazy week.

Well, my mission experience changed quite a bit over the last week. My old companion and I worked out our differences and solved our issues. Then on Tuesday night, we both got a phone call that said we would be training. I ended up not training though because President Hintze had a slight mix up. I was going to be finishing the training of a missionary that had been through the first change of his training period, but president didn’t realize that he had actually just finished his training. My new companions name is Elder Burris. He is an awesome missionary and has only been here in El Salvador for the last three months, so he is still learning how to speak Spanish. He is a great missionary though.

My new area is called Lourdes and it is AWESOME! I really like it here a lot. It is a bigger ward and is fairly organized. Our ward mission leader is always willing to help up and comes out and works with us as much as he can. A lot of the members here are willing to help out with the mission work too, so that helps a lot. I also got called as a district leader here. I am both excited and nervous about it, but more excited than anything else. It will be a great learning experience and a great way to be able to serve even more people. I am learning a lot about how a great leader is one who serves others. Christ was the perfect example of a leader and he dedicated all of his time to serving others. I am really excited to work here and find new people that are ready to be baptized.

One of the goals that I made was to be more positive and try my best to be happy. I always tell myself how much I love my mission and everything else in it. Sometimes I will just sit down for 5 minutes and tell myself things like: I love my mission, I love Spanish, I love El Salvador, I love the people here, and many other things. It has made me become way more happy and I am truly starting to believe that I love all the things that I list off. Try it sometime and you will see how happy you feel after. I am super happy to be on a mission and serve other people for the next year or so! I have changed my attitude for the better about everything!  Life is good in the service of the Lord! 

One last thing to tell you. We got a reference from the church of someone asking for a Book of Mormon. When I called to contact them, they were super excited. Their names are Julio and Veronica Zelada. Julio was asking tons of questions and wanted to know more about the church. He even asked what books in the Book of Mormon he could read to help him with a few things…. not chapters, but BOOKS!!! I wouldn’t be surprised if he reads the whole Book of Mormon before our next visit!

I love you all lots and I hope you have a great week!

Love,

Elder Black

A Surprise Baptism

Dear Family,

It sounds like you guys had a pretty fun week. Four wheeling, FBLA competitions, and salsa dancing all sound pretty fun! That´s a good message about humility dad. I was actually just studying that the other day and thinking about how great of a trait that is to have. Thank you all for the birthday wishes!

We had a baptism yesterday that was kind of a surprise. Her name is Doris. Missionaries that were here before taught her all the lessons and she works for a recent convert in the branch. She was all ready to get baptized with the other missionaries, but didn’t for some reason. I guess she just thought she wasn’t ready. She changed her mind on it though and decided that she wanted to get baptized now, so we held the baptismal service yesterday. We are going to teach her all the lessons again to refresh her memory, but she was pretty happy to be baptized and seemed to remember almost everything the missionaries had taught her before.  She didn’t let us teach her before, but she said we can come by and help her stay strong in the gospel now. The members have helped out with her too and invited her to their relief society activities, so that will help a lot.

On Wednesday, we had a multizone meeting with President Hintze. It was awesome and I learned a lot. One thing I really liked was when we talked about attitude and how that can change everything. We even sang the turn the frown upside down song. It was a great meeting.

Well I love you all and I hope you have a great week! Thanks for the birthday wishes!

Love,

Elder Black

Armando’s baptism

Dear Family,

I got to watch conference this weekend in English, so it was really nice to actually hear the voices of all the people that were speaking and not just a translator. We had some difficulties at the beginning with the English one so I watched a little bit in Spanish and it just wasn’t the same. It´s awesome to be able to hear the voices of the people that are speaking. I learned tons and was strengthened a lot spiritually from all of the speakers. I especially liked the talks that talked about having an eternal family and achieving eternal life. It made me want to do everything I can to be a better person to achieve eternal life with our family.

On Tuesday, we baptized Armando. It was an awesome and spiritual experience for him and for us. He asked me to baptize him, so it was an especially spiritual experience for me. He is a great kid and wants to do what is right. His mom came to his baptism and when we taught her the next day, she accepted to be baptized. There are a few things she will have to stop doing, but she told us that she had investigated the church before and used to come on Sundays. Right now she works every Sunday, but we are going to teach her the importance of keeping the Sabbath day and the blessings she can receive for doing it.

One of the other elders in my house was sick for a few days, and I stayed in for part of one day to be his companion when we were on interchanges. This went by extremely fast and it is hard to believe I have already been back out for over a month. Time has been flying by. I feel like I wake up in the morning and its all of a sudden night time. Then I go to bed at night and I could swear its only about 20 minutes later that my alarm goes off in the morning. I love being back out here.

I hope you all have a great week! Love you!

Love,

Elder Black

 

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A sneak attack picture by another missionary.

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Armando’s baptism

 

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At the temple in El Salvador.