A New Area and Companion

Dear Family,

This week has been great! I have been able to work and not have any administrative things to do. I am loving it! My companions name is Elder Kaufusi. He is from California, but his parents are Tongan. We get along really well and have been working hard and having a lot of fun together. He has a little over a year in the mission and is a really good missionary.

On Saturday, we had a cool miracle happen. We went to go help out for a ward baptism, but at the baptism we found out that her parents weren’t members of the church, so it ended up being an unexpected mission baptism. She has been coming to church for a year with her grandma and absolutely loves it. It was a good way to start off in a new area!

My new area is La Esperanza. It is in a city called Arce and it is a lot different than the city that I was serving in before. It is a lot calmer here and the people are super nice. I love serving here! I am working hard and doing my best to finish strong! Time is flying by and I am loving the mission! I hope you have a great week! Love you!

Love,

Elder Black

Attending the Temple and Hearing from Elder Oaks

Dear Family,

We got to go to the temple this past week. It was awesome there to be able to go in and feel the spirit so strongly. Things have been pretty crazy here in the mission lately with just tons of stuff going on all at the same time. It was nice to walk in there and be able to leave everything else at the door and forget about it for a little while. We don’t get to go to the temple very often, so when we do get to, it feels great! There is no better feeling than being in there.

The area I am in right now has been awesome. I see the temple every day and the members here have helped out a ton with the work. Lately we have been super busy helping President Adams out and we have still managed to have a ton of investigators in church every week. A huge part of that is the members and their willingness to help us out in our calling. Especially our ward mission leader. We are actually going to be having one more baptism this week before I leave on Wednesday night. We are going to be taking all the brand new missionaries to a baptism their first day. His name is Salvador. He is an older guy, but loves this gospel. He has a hard time walking, but said that going to church is worth the hard walk because he wants to have an eternal family. His wife will be following suit in getting baptized a few weeks from now. She loves church a lot as well. My new area is going to be La Esperanza. I will be finishing my mission as a zone leader in the zone of Arce. My companion will be Elder Kaufusi. He is one of my good buddies in the mission and I am pretty excited to be his companion. We moved him over there on emergency changes about a week ago to learn the area and president wants me to train him on how to be a zone leader. I am super excited that I will get to spend my last change not worrying too much about administrative stuff and getting to work a lot more in my area than I have lately. I am going to work as hard as I can for these last six weeks and make sure that when I finish, I and the Lord will both be satisfied with my mission.

Elder Oaks came down this weekend and did a stake conference here in Los Heroes stake, then did a conference for anyone in the country that wanted to come. There were 16,000 people that showed up to it. It was amazing to see that many people show up to hear an apostle. The stake conference was a lot smaller though and the spirit was super strong there. Elder Oaks went around and shook every single persons hand. There was probably about 1,000 people at the stake conference. It was really cool to get to shake his hand. Just having an apostle close by brings a super strong spirit into the room. It was awesome!

Well this week is changes, so that means not much sleep and a super busy couple days. I am excited for it though! Well I hope you have a great week! Love you!

Love,

Elder Black

 

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My companion and I at the doctors office with the nurses. We were super tired from lots of late nights and early mornings and fell asleep while we were in the waiting room. Haha

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Happy Birthday!

Dear Family,

Well this week was a pretty good week! We were super busy with President and Sister Adams the whole time. We traveled all over the country interviewing missionaries and have a couple more days of it this coming week. It is pretty cool getting to spend a lot of time with the mission president. I have learned a ton from all three that I have had.

Although we didn’t get to spend hardly any time in our area this week, we had a cool miracle happen of having 10 investigators at church. Our ward mission leader played a pretty big role in that. He even went out and visited some of our investigators by himself for us while we were gone. He is the definition of fulfilling your calling. He goes above and beyond and has made our life a ton easier. He even planned a surprise birthday party with Elder Lopez for me. On my birthday, we went over to have a correlation meeting with him, and when I walked into his house, my converts from this area and some of our investigators jumped out and yelled happy birthday. Elder Lopez and our ward mission leader planned it all out and I had no idea about it until the moment that I saw balloons and heard everyone yell happy birthday. It was really cool to get to celebrate with converts and even a few really positive investigators.

I also got to spend a lot of time with President and Sister Adams on my birthday since we were doing interviews. They were super nice and got me a nice shirt, some ties, and some socks for my birthday as well. While we were doing interviews, my companion came in behind me and tied his tie around my eyes and they brought out a cake then as well. They sang happy birthday and then Elder Lopez happily shoved my face into the cake! Haha it was pretty funny. I got him back pretty good while we were taking pictures though.

I am extremely grateful for all the things that family, missionaries, members, investigators, and mission president did for my birthday, but I think the best part of having a birthday in the mission is that you are more concerned about the spiritual well being of others than the fact that it is your birthday. The mission has really taught me to focus on others and not so much on myself. I feel like that has made me happier than I have ever been before in life. It really is true that when we lose ourselves in the gospel is when we find ourselves. I definitely have figured a lot more out of who I really am in the mission field. I am excited to continue serving the Lord and give everything I’ve got in the mission. I hope you all had a great week! Love you!

Love,

Elder Black

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Happy and Tired

Dear Family,

Well this week was a pretty crazy one with not very much sleep. I don’t think I have ever been so tired in my life, but I am equally happy as I am tired. We had a lot of late nights of things that popped up in the mission and one of the nights that something popped up, we didn’t get home until 2am! I felt like a zombie the next morning! Things are going great with the work though! We had the blessing of having a lot of our investigators come to church this week and a lot of them are progressing very well on the path to baptism.

We had a pretty cool experience this week. We have been teaching a family for awhile and have only gotten the husband to church, but the wife and daughter have been a little harder. The daughter had only come once and the wife had never come. We went and visited them on Saturday night and they excitedly told us that they had decided to come to church as a family and that they were praying about whether they should be baptized. They said they feel like what we teach is true and are extremely interested. The spirit is always super strong when we go teach them!

My companion and I thought we were going to have a week of just working in our area and no administrative stuff, but it ended up being a pretty heavy week of administrative stuff. It’s kind of turned into a joke between us. We worked as hard as we could with the little time that we got in our area and ended up having success. We tried to stay in our area as much as we could and I feel like the Lord blessed us for our efforts. Elder Lopez and I are having a blast with each other. We are working hard and really enjoying the work we are doing. Mission life is the best! Love you all!

Love,

Elder Black

Enjoying Conference Weekend

Dear Family,

Well we had a great week with conference. It was a great spiritual experience listening to the talks that were prepared. I went to conference with the question in mind of how I can finish my mission the strongest way possible. My notebook is full of answers to that. It is cool how questions are always answered in the talks. No matter what question it is that we have in our minds. It is always answered. I don’t know if I really had a favorite talk from conference. I really liked them all. I really liked Elder Holland’s talk as well though. It was a great approach to home teaching and teaching the importance of caring for others. I really loved all the talks about the Plan of Salvation as well. It has become one of my favorite topics out here in the mission. It changes peoples lives when they realize that this gospel has everything that they are looking for spiritually.

This past week we did a lot of administrative stuff. We had two multizones and President Adams did some interviews as well. We also spent a lot of time working on the changes that are coming up in a few weeks. Between all of that stuff and conference, we didn’t spend a whole lot of time in our area. We still did see some good success though. There are a couple of investigators that we have found that are progressing along very well and a couple others that weren’t really progressing before, but have began to progress a bunch. We should be baptizing a family a little later this month and have a couple more baptisms as well with people that we are working with. We haven’t had a whole lot of time working in our area, but we work as hard as we can while we are there and do our best to help President Adams as well. As we have done that, the Lord has provided a lot of miracles in our area.

In the multizones that we had, President Adams talked a lot about obedience. I think it was a great topic and one that is really important. He talked about how we as missionaries have to always have the spirit with us and we can only have the spirit with us if we are being obedient. Between that and conference, I think it really got the point across to the missionaries that it is super important.

Well conference was great! I learned a ton from it. I am working hard and loving the mission. Love you!

Love,

Elder Black

 

p.s. The mission nurse let me help perform a foot surgery! Haha it was just a simple thing, so she said I could help!

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p.s. The mission nurse let me help perform a foot surgery! Haha it was just a simple thing, so she said I could help!