Heading to Belize

Dear Family,

I have about 10 minutes to write because I am going to Belize. We had another baptism Saturday. She is a super solid convert and we completed the family. They want to come visit someday. Well have a good week! I’ll write more next week! I hope you guys have a great week! Love you all!

Love,

Elder Black

 

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A baptism this week.

 

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Serving at the beach.

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A missionary selfie

Great Missionary Experiences

Dear Family,

That is awesome that you got to go to the Provo Temple dedication. I’m sure it was a great experience for everyone that got to watch it. I would have loved to be there too. Temple dedications are always a good experience. It sounds like the bathroom is coming along pretty good. You better finish up pretty quick if you are going to get done before Jared gets home. That is just around the corner. That is an awesome article about USU. I have pretty much decided that I will be going there. President Hintze talked to me a little bit about college in an interview I had and gave me some advice and told me to go where the opportunities are for me and I feel like USU has more of those opportunities I am looking for. That sounds like fun that you got to go  to a school dance Tanya. Those were always a good time! I’m glad you got to have a missionary experience mom. It is always good to look for experiences like that.

This week was probably one  of the fastest weeks I have had in my entire mission. I was just all of a sudden over and I don’t really know where it went. We went to the temple and had a multizone meeting (a meeting with the mission president and lots of other missionaries). The temple was a great experience. I thought beforehand what I could do before going to the temple to help my investigators. I decided to fast before going to have a more spiritual experience. As we went to the temple, I could feel the spirit and I felt really relaxed to be able to leave all the daily stresses at the door. It was a great experience. After going to the temple, we went to go teach a family that is a part member family. They had come to church with us once before and had gone the three weeks previous to another ward. We hadn’t taught them yet though. They were a reference from some other missionaries and the missionaries said that the sister (Nicky) was really interested, but it would probably be awhile before she got baptized. We taught the Restauration (Restoration) to them and she accepted to get baptized on the 26th of March. She is one of those people that was already prepared. Yesterday, she had an interview with the bishop and he told us that she was very prepared. She accepts everything we teach and we have been visiting her and her husband every day. I am super excited for her to get baptized. That experience helped my testimony grow about how powerful it is to fast.

In our multizone meeting, we talked a lot about how we can be better missionaries. It was a really good meeting and I learned a lot. It got me more excited about working hard and having even more success in my area. We talked a lot about helping investigators keep their commitments and asking inspired questions. If we help investigators more along the way, they will progress faster and we will baptize converts and not just people that will stay for a little while and then leave the church.

This week, we are having a temple activity that we are bringing all our investigators to the temple for. For the Easter holiday, President Hintze is doing a big activity and all the missionaries from the mission are bringing busses full of less active members and investigators. It should be a lot of fun. We will be doing that and having the baptism of Nicky after that. It is going to be a crazy day, but a really good one. I am super excited for it. Things are going great here in El Salvador right now and I am loving my mission. Things are about to change pretty soon though. In a temple recommend interview I had, president told me that I am going to be going to Belize next change. So I will be off to another country pretty soon. I am going to be filling out immigration papers next Monday, so I am not sure how much time I will have to write. I hope you all have a great week! Love you!

Love,

Elder Black

 

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Mario’s and Alejandro’s Baptisms

Dear Family,

That is awesome that you guys had such a great week. It sounds like you have been more and more busy as time has gone on. That is awesome that Nathan got to go to FBLA and tennis camp and Tanya got to go to the youth camp. Those sound like they were a lot of fun. Haha maybe they wanted you to work on your card making skills dad. Mom, I forwarded you that talk on becoming consecrated so you can read it. It is really good.

This week was a great one here in El Salvador. My companion, Elder Rivas, and I were able to have two baptisms! One of them was Mario. He has been investigating the church ever since I got here to this area about 3.5 months ago and has wanted to get baptized for awhile, but just recently made the final decision that he was going to do it. The other one, Alejandro, has been investigating the church for most of the time I have been here too. They are both really solid converts and have even asked about doing baptisms for their ancestors. They are going to be awesome members and are going to bring a new excitement to the ward.

We also found some really positive new investigators. We had some other missionaries send a newly married couple to our ward today since they live in my area. The husband is a member, but the wife is investigating the church. They have attended church the last few weeks in another ward. I asked them how long they had been married and she told me one week….. but that they just were married civilly and need to be sealed still. She said that not even being a member. I am super excited for them. They are also a very energetic couple and would be a great couple to have in the ward.

I met some professional basketball players here the other day too. They were from the USA and had been contracted to come down here and play basketball. When we walked past each other, we just kind of looked at each other for a minute wondering if we were both really Americans that ran into each other in El Salvador. Haha. We talked to them for a little while and invited them to church. Unfortunately, they didn’t come though. One of them was from Alabama too, so it was pretty cool to talk to someone that is from where I grew up.

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

Love,

Elder Black

 

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Mario’s and Alejandro’s Baptisms Pictures from this Week.

Loving the Mission Right Now

Dear Family,

I don’t drive down here, but my paper license expired and it would be nice to have my real one. It is starting to get a little bit warmer here, so I’m not too worried about trying to get a jacket anymore.

This week went by pretty quickly. I was really busy doing a lot of things and had a couple days that I didn’t get to do much in my area, but it was still a good week. On Tuesday, we had our leaders meeting with President and Hermana Hintze. We talked a lot about love, charity, and how to get missionaries motivated to work hard. Being in those meetings really gets me excited about working hard in the mission field. After the leaders meeting, president sent Elder Rivas, the assistants, and me to go help some sisters in our zone move to a new house. We were there for a pretty big part of the afternoon and didn’t get back to our area to work until about 7. It was fun to be able to help them out and get moved houses. It went a lot faster than it would have with all of us helping.

On Thursday, we had our zone meeting. Elder Rivas and I talked a lot about how we can be more effective missionaries and how we can become consecrated missionaries. That talk Jared sent me about being a consecrated missionary has changed me a lot and I wanted to share that with the other missionaries in the zone. We are starting a new trend in the mission of being consecrated missionaries instead of good or lazy ones. Everyone said that it got them excited to work hard and we are seeing the results of the work here.

We had an interesting experience with a lesson this week. We were looking for an investigator and another guy stopped us in the street and asked us to come into his house and talk to him about God. We went in and he started talking about a tough time that he had been going through with some things that had happened to us in his life. When he finished talking, he told us to speak that moment or shut up forever. Haha. He was a little bit drunk and kind of aggressive, so we just got up and left. We didn’t want to spend to much time with someone that was being like that. It was a really weird lesson.

This week we worked a lot with Mario and Alejandro. They are both going to be baptized this week. Mario on Tuesday and Alejandro on Saturday. I am super excited that they have made that decision to get baptized. They are both ready to take that step and have been progressing a lot. It is really cool to see some baptisms happening in this ward, because in the whole year of 2015 they only had 4 baptisms. My companion and I are working really hard to try to change that. We are really excited for Mario and Alejandro, and we hope to have a few more baptisms before the month of March is over. The blessings are starting to come from all the hard work. I am loving the mission right now.

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

Love,

Elder Black

 

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Sometimes you take a tool pic when you and the assistants help missionaries in your zone move houses…….. hahaha