Tired and Happy

Dear Family,

To answer your questions…. I may not look it in some of those pictures, but I am definitely pretty tired! Haha. Those pictures of the sunrise was when we were having to get up at 5:30 to go do everyone’s interviews. Elder Hales is from around the Dallas area. Teaching in English is quite a bit different than teaching in Spanish. I still have a Spanish word that slips through sometimes in English lessons. I actually teach in Spanish as well though. My assigned branch is a Spanish one, but we work with an English one as well. There are more people to teach in English here though.

This past week, I went to a place called Benque Viejo to go work with the zone leaders over there. It was a really fun interchange. I went and worked with Elder Maliga. We were in a zone together when I first got back to the mission, so it was fun going and working with one of my good friends in the mission.

We worked hard and between managing our area and some of the other administrative duties that we have, we were both pretty worn out when we got home each night. The other night while we were waiting for the zone leaders to call us and report on their days, I fell asleep. I was just laying there waiting and the next thing I knew, about 45 minutes had passed by and the zone leaders were calling to report on their zones. I didn’t even realize that I had fallen asleep until my phone was ringing. I am getting more and more used to our schedule though.

Belize is an extremely beautiful country. I have gotten the chance to travel a lot and this last week, I got to see a little more of Belize. It is a place full of pretty nature scenes and the pictures don’t really do it justice. I have loved my time here so far. It goes by extremely fast. I feel like I just barely got here and it has already been a month since I showed up here. I don’t think time has ever flown by this fast in my entire life. I almost just want it to slow down a little. We are so busy that a lot of times I feel like we need more hours in the day to accomplish everything we would like to. I like life that way though. Having a busy life is way better than having nothing to do.

This week the Milligan family didn’t come to church. I was a pretty big bummer to not see them there, but I know they will continue progressing. They are a great family and will get baptized eventually. We are just going to have to move their baptismal date back a little bit. We have been thinking and praying a lot about what we can do for them to help them come to know the truth that we teach. Now it is time to be patient though. As you said mom, the Lord does things in his own time.

We had a couple missionaries that served here come back to Belize to visit and they came out and worked with us a little bit yesterday and are taking us out to lunch today. They are pretty cool guys and they showed us a few less active families that we didn’t know. Now we will have a few more people that we can visit. We are really focusing on working through less active and also active families to find their family members that have not been baptized yet. I am sure we will start to have some success with that.

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

Love,

Elder Black

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At the Mayan temp.

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San Ignacio River

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Creative Belizian advertising

Finding Success in Belize

Dear Family,

This week was extremely fast. My companion and I are always super busy with balancing running errands and working in our own area as well. It wears me out, but I am really loving it a lot. It is fun to be able to travel the country and work with lots of missionaries. We spend a lot of time driving, but even that goes by pretty fast. We had to go check up on the missionaries that are working in San Pedro (a city out on an island), so we got to take a boat out there through the Caribbean Sea. The boat ride out there was awesome! It was crystal clear and shallow through a lot of it, so as we were driving out there, I could see the sea floor for a lot of it. I am definitely coming back out here after the mission. I had a pretty strong urge to jump in the water! Haha. We stopped by Caye Caulker on the way out there too. The water there is what you would picture as the perfect tropical paradise. I was definitely enjoying that boat ride. It’s not every day that you get to go out on a boat ride as a missionary.

We also worked a lot with the Milligan family. They are a family of 5 that is probably going to be getting baptized on the 30 of April. They went to a baptismal service that some other missionaries had with us yesterday. They really liked it and I think it helped them to get excited for their own baptisms. We also talked to them about getting married. When she asked her boyfriend about if he wanted to get married, so just said that they could do it anytime she wanted. So we are going to help them get married, then baptize them and their kids after.

We worked super hard this week looking for new investigators to teach. We found tons of new investigators and focused a lot on trying to get people to church. We ended up having 8 investigators in church. I know that the hard work we put in paid off. I know the Lord blesses us when we put in our best efforts. I may not be with 8 investigators in church every week, but the blessings will come some way or another at some point. I love being out here on a mission. It is hot and humid here, but my testimony has grown a ton and my love for the gospel has also grown. I don’t think I could have made any better decision in my life than coming out on a mission. I hope you all have a great week! Love you!

Love,

Elder Black

 

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Visiting missionaries throughout Belize

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Companionship Study

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Mayan Ruins

The Busiest Week Yet

Dear Family,

This week was probably the fastest week I have ever had in my entire mission. I was extremely busy all week. President and Sister Hintze came over here to Belize to do interviews for all the missionaries here, so we went with them to do all the interviews. It was really cool to get to spend a lot of time in the car with them and get to know them a little better. It was also a cool opportunity to get to travel the country. I have only been here for about a week and a half and have already been able to see almost the whole country of Belize. We also got to go to the part of Guatemala that is in our mission and tomorrow we are taking a boat out to the island that is in our mission to check up on the missionaries over there too. It was a really busy week though. We drove out all over the country and back every day. We wanted to work in our area a little bit too, so we came back every night to try and get a couple hours of work in. We were so busy this week that we hardly had time to sleep. We were up late doing numbers and other things every night, then we were getting up at 5:30 to meet President Hintze for breakfast and go do interviews. I don’t think I have been this tired before in my mission, but I am loving it. I am tired, but extremely happy. Serving the Lord as a full-time missionary is a great experience. It is one I will never regret, no matter how tired I get during the week.

We spent very little time in our area due to the interviews, but in the short amount of time we were there, we found a family of 5. They were fairly positive and the whole family even came to church. They said they are seriously thinking about getting baptized now. They need to get married, but they brought that up with us and were going to talk about it. I pray for them that they will be able to take that step and be baptized. They are a great family.

We had a funny experience last night when we finished numbers and went to our meeting with President Hintze. We shut our front door that we had locked from the inside and realized we didn’t have our keys. The problem with that is that after the front door, there is a gate that is about 9 feet tall that we needed our keys to get out of. We ended up having to jump the fence and hand our stuff over. It probably looked like we had just finished robbing the place. Haha. We live with two other missionaries though, so it wasn’t too big of a deal.

That is about all I did this week. I don’t have a lot to write about what we did. It was really busy, but it was kind of all the same thing. It was a great week though. I hope you all have a great week! Love you!

Love,

Elder Black

 

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Two languages on the Chapel.

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A beautiful country.

 

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Transporting missionaries with his companion, Elder Hales

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Traveling the mission with President Hintze.

Serving in Belize with Elder Hales

Dear Family,

Well this week was a pretty crazy one. I have never been this tired in my mission before as I have been in this week! Well last week on Saturday, Nicky Martinez got baptized. I was so excited for their family that they were able to come closer to Christ through her baptism. They seemed super happy on the day of the baptism and it was a great baptismal service. In fast and testimony meeting the next day, Nicky and Carlos (her husband) both went up and shared their testimonies. They are going to be solid members in the church and I am super excited for them to be able to get sealed a year from now.

After that I found out I was going to Belize, so I Monday I went to do all of my immigration stuff. They were still closed though, so we ended up having to move everything a day back. We ended up flying out on Wednesday instead of Tuesday. On Monday, we had a meeting for the three of us that were coming to Belize and I found out that I was going to be the new assistant to the president here in Belize. I am excited for the experiences that it will bring and for the opportunity I will have to serve the missionaries as well as the people that live here in my area. My area is in Belize City, Belize. It is a really pretty place, but it is just SUPER hot and humid here. I drank a couple gallons of water the day and still felt dehydrated. I don’t think I have ever sweat this much in my life! Haha. I don’t think I am really going to be completely dry until I come back to Utah in December. On the bright side, I am already starting to get really tan though. I only have a few days here and am already a few shades darker. My companion is Elder Hales. He is from Texas and has the same amount of time in the mission as Jared does, so he is just rounding the corners on the last little bit of his mission. He is a really cool guy and we get along really well.

Teaching in English is super hard for me. I am so used to teaching in Spanish that it comes out of my mouth more naturally than English does now. I think in Spanish now, so as I teach, I have to translate back into English. It is a humbling experience to struggle through teaching again as an experienced missionary. It is kind of funny that the humbling experience involves me having to readjust teaching in my native language. Haha. I am welcoming the challenge though.

Conference was a great one. I really liked Elder Arnolds talk that he gave about not waiting to go to the rescue. We should never wait to help others. The earlier we show up at their door to help them, the better. I also really liked what Elder Holland said about not letting your limitations and your downfalls make you give up. We all have limitations and downfalls. That is a normal part of life. It is what makes us grow and become better. It made me realize that any shortcoming that I have doesn’t really matter as long as I am doing the best I can to follow the commandments and I repent when I slip and fall. The atonement of Christ works miracles. That is something that I know without a doubt. It is one of the greatest things to ever happen on earth.

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

Love,

Elder Black

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Driving for the first time

 

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With his new companion, Elder Hales