Blessings of Temples

Dear Family,

This week kind of just came and went. I don’t really know what to write about it actually.

One stand out thing for the week was that we had the confirmation of Cesar on Sunday. It was a cool experience. As I did the confirmation, the spirit was really strong. The words were coming to my mind and it was almost all about missionary work. I blessed him that he would be a good influence and would always have a strong desire to share the gospel among other things. He has been doing great and has already gone out to work with us three times since he was baptized last Sunday. He is very converted to the gospel.

Yesterday in Sunday school, the class was on temples. It focused on the blessings of having temples and what they can do for our families. As I was thinking of that, it made me realize how grateful I am to be a member of the true church and be able to attend the temple. There are so many blessings that I want others to be able to have that we have experienced in our family.

The other stand out thing in the week is that one of our investigators that was about to get baptized decided she was going to move back to Guatemala. After the day that she said she was leaving, I decided to give her a call and see if she decided to stay by any chance. She answered and explained to me that it was just going to work better to stay in Belize. I was super excited and was pretty much dancing for joy when she told me that over the phone. We went over and she said that she knows the church is true, the Joseph Smith was a prophet, and the Book of Mormon is the word of God. She received an answer to her prayer. She was baptized into another church though so she is having a little trouble seeing why she needs to do it again, but we have been working on explaining to her a little more about how the truth and the authority is only found in the LDS church. We have shared just about every scripture that someone can share about baptism, so its just up to her to make that decision now. She is very prepared though.

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

Love,

Elder Black

 

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Meetings with President Hintze

Cesar’s Baptism

Dear Family,

This week was a quick one. We worked super hard and and did our best to help everyone that we could. It was a good week. Elder Hacking and I have been getting along really well and having a good time. We work really hard together and have a lot of fun preaching the gospel at the same time.

President and Sister Hintze were here and we went and did a multizone with the missionaries here in Belize. We divided the mission up in two parts and went and did one in the morning and one in the afternoon. We didn’t get to work at all in our area on Tuesday, but it was fun to spend the day with President and Sister Hintze. We taught about how to help members do missionary work and how to get references from them as well. It was really fun to see all the missionaries and it was fun to teach everyone about that what we had prepared. 

On Sunday, Cesar got baptized. He is a really solid convert and loves the gospel. He loves reading the Book of Mormon as well. Before he was baptized, he had already made it to Alma. There were a few days that he spent as much as 3 hours reading it. He just couldn’t get enough. He wants to come out and work with us almost every day as well. He has a great amount of faith and will be a future church leader here in Belize. He is the one that just showed up to church wondering what it was a little while ago. One thing that is really neat about him is the amount of faith that he has. He was in desperate need of a job and got a job offer where he would be working out on a Caye. He would have to be out there for a month at a time and wouldn’t really be able to come to church. He decided that church was more important and after we talked with him a little bit, he decided to turn the job offer down and look for a job that he would be able to go to church with. He found one a few days later and is going to be able to make it to church every Sunday. I am super excited for him.

Funny story about the baptism, when I put a long sleeve shirt in my bag for the baptism, I accidentally put one in there that wasn’t mine……….. It also happened to be way to small for me……… Haha it looked like I had an under armor church shirt on. We didn’t have enough time to go grab a different one, so I just wore it and had to baptize him in that. Haha I tried to hunch over a little bit in the pictures so it wouldn’t look quite as bad, but you can still see a little bit of how tight it was. Next time, I will definitely make sure I have the right size of shirt! Haha.

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

Love,

Elder Black

 

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Cesar’s Baptism

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Life Changing Experiences

Dear Family,

Before I get much into my week, I’ll answer all your questions. At my house right now, we have a laundry machine and then we hang the clothes up to dry. I have done hand washing in my mission though. It takes a long time! Haha. Belize is a lot like what you would picture of the Jamacian culture. It is mostly black people, but there are a lot of Latinos here too. I am actually over a Spanish branch, but I help with the English one too.

I have been doing a lot of studying in Preach My Gospel lately and watching the PMG videos and doing practices with them with my companion. It has made me really focus on what it means to be a Preach My Gospel missionary. As I try to follow exactly what PMG teaches, it has helped me to become more focused on the missionary work and less worried about other things. Also, my companion and I are always talking about the missionaries and the investigators, so that helps me to focus a lot on the mission as well.

My new companion, Elder Hacking, is awesome! We were good friends before we were companions already, so we were both pretty excited that we get to be companions. When I was a zone leader in Santa Tecla, he was the financial secretary in the office, so we saw each other quite a bit (the office is about 10 minutes away from where my area was). He is from Ephraim, UT and has about 20 months on the mission. He is a really solid missionary and loves to work hard. We work really hard and well together, and we also have a lot of fun. We have a lot to talk about and the days go by really fast. He knows the scriptures really well and I have been learning a lot from him. He is probably one of the best missionaries that is here in this mission, so it is awesome to be able to have him as a companion.

This week was a pretty solid one. We had to spend a lot of time running errands and helping out with a missionary that was sick and in the hospital, but we still managed to make up the time in our area working. While we were in our area, we worked extremely hard and had a lot of success. We found a lot of new people to teach and some of them were people that have come to church a few times in the past with other missionaries. Our investigator that was going to get baptized this weekend ended up deciding not to. It was a little sad, because she is very prepared and has a testimony that the church is true, but I am sure she will get baptized soon. I think her nerves about being baptized just got her a little bit. She is 100% ready for baptism though, so we will work with her this week to see how she feels. We have another investigator that is going to be getting baptized this weekend too. He is the one that I told you about that prayed to find the true church and showed up at our church the next day. He is loving what we teach and has an incredible amount of faith. Things are going really well here.

My mission has been teaching me a lot. It has been a great experience to see the changes in people here, but as I have taught the gospel and watched it change other peoples lives, I have seen a huge change in my own as well. My testimony has been strengthened and I have become a better man because of it. There is not a day that goes by that I am not happy I made the decision to come back out and finish my mission. It has changed my life.

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

Love,

Elder Black

 

Mail can still be sent to my address in El Salvador, but it will take longer for me to get it. My new mailing address is as follows:

Elder Aaron Black

Misión El Salvador San Salvador Oeste/Belize

  PO Box 1123 Belize City, Belize C.A.

 

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With his new companion, Elder Hacking.

A New Companion

Dear Family,

It was great to talk to you all yesterday. I don’t really have a lot more to say than what I already said in the Skype call. I found out my changes last night. I will be staying as AP in Belize with another missionary that is named Elder Hacking. He just finished being the financial secretary and is coming back to Belize for the second time. He is one of my good buddies out here in the mission. President Hintze gave me permission to call him yesterday and we were both pretty excited about being companions. This next change is going to be a great one. I am really excited for it. Elder Hales is going to be going back to El Salvador to finish up his last change over there.

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

Love,

Elder Black

 

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With the famous Belize sign.

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He’ll have to wait until after the mission to play in the water!

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Baptisms this past week.

Relying on the Spirit

Dear Family,

This week was another fast one. We had some pretty cool experiences. We have been focusing a lot on being better at relying on the spirit as missionaries and not on our own knowledge. It has been changing my mission a lot and it has been helping me get closer to my goal of being a consecrated missionary.

A few days ago, it was pretty close to the end of the day and all of our appointments fell. We were thinking of what we could do and were both coming up with a blank. As we were driving back from our last fallen visit, I decided to pull over and say a prayer to ask where Heavenly Father wanted us to go. My companion had a family name come to his mind as soon as I finished the prayer, so we went to visit them. One of the daughters boyfriends was there and was really interested in the message that we shared. We have a FHE set up with them today to go back and share more. The family is a less active family too, so hopefully our message helps them make it to church and to bring the boyfriend also.

The other cool experience we had this week was of a man that showed up to church yesterday. He told us that he has visited many churches, but always finds things in each church that he feels is wrong and drives him away. On Saturday night, he prayed and asked God to help him find a church that teaches the truth. As he was walking around yesterday, he came by our church right at the time it was starting and something made him stop and just stare at the building. He asked a woman that was going in what it was that was there. She explained to him that is was a church. She invited him to come in, so he did and loved church. We are going to visit him tonight too. He is extremely positive and told us that he is going to try to bring a friend with him that has been searching for the truth as well. It was a blessing that came from the hard work that Elder Hales and I have been putting in. I know that when we are the type of missionaries that the Lord wants us to be, the blessings and miracles will come.

Well I hope you guys all have a great week! I am doing great out here and loving my mission a lot! Love you!

Love,

Elder Black