Favorite Scripture

Doctrine and Covenants: 35

13 Wherefore, I call upon the aweak things of the world, those who are bunlearned and despised, to thresh the cnations by the power of my dSpirit;

14 And their arm shall be my arm, and I will be their ashield and their buckler; and I will gird up their loins, and they shall fight manfully for me; and their benemies shall be under their feet; and I will let cfall the dsword in their behalf, and by the efire of mine indignation will I preserve them.

15 And the apoor and the bmeek shall have the gospel preached unto them, and they shall be clooking forth for the time of my coming, for it is dnigh at hand—

Monday, December 30, 2013

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!! So this is my first and last in the mission, awesome! The truth is, Christmas in Costa Rica is really boring. We just ate a bunch of tamales, and that's it. I'll get a little more into it in a second. Questions first.

Dinner appointments? Yeah, they wen't well, we ate really good food. Chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, rice, etc. And somebody gave us a gift, cordial cherries =) Yeah, they're pretty good. Also, a different house, rice with chicken, ice cream, etc. And yeah, so that was Christmas. What did I get in my gift exchange? I got a 3D puzzle, a car. A first knitting set to make an owl, and a minions slap on watch. Have I been writting in my journal? ...

So this last week went alright. With Christmas and everything things were a little slow, but we were still able to find some new investigators, and have 21 lessons, so I would say that it was a success. There's not really much to talk about.Tuesday we called our families, Wednesday we celebrated Christmas. Thursday was a slow day. Friday we went on divisions and I stayed here with my ZL, Elder Brackett. We had several lessons and found a new person, and then played soccer, it was a good day. Then on Saturday we had another good day. We found another investigator, we placed a baptismal date with Byron (a new investigator) and we went to a members house who made hot dogs for us. And thenSunday we only had one investigator go to church =( And we walked a lot... all of our plans fell through =( But, we were able to find a new person that we think will get baptized very soon =) 

So yeah, that was my week. Something interesting that they do here is all this week that do things with bulls. Mostly, they just have people go into the arena and run away from the bull, several people got hit, it's pretty funny. They have bull rides too. But yeah, that's about all they do here.

Love you all, talk to you next week!

-- Elder Black

   Elder Hunter Black   
 Costa Rica San José   

Monday, December 23, 2013

So this week went pretty well, I had some cool experiences. Oh, and Merry Christmas to everyone! Basically Christmas already passed for me since I already recieved my packages, so I keep forgetting that it's almost Christmas. Anyways, questions and answers first.

No, I never bought a Christmas tree, and yes, I like what you gave me for Christmas =)

I'm just going to start with the bad news, Claudia, has decided that she no longer wants to get baptized =( She has started to make bad decisions so we decided to drop her...

On Tuesday, we went and had a lesson with Juana and Alondra, they are new investigators. The lesson went... in my opinion, horrible, but they accepted baptismal dates! That was basically the highlight of Tuesday. And also, I contacted somebody (Walter) then afterwards my comp said, "yeah, he's not interested", but we placed an appointment for Friday at 3 with his girlfriend and he said that he would be there. Then on Friday we went on divisions, I stayed with my DL, Elder Torres, in my area. Basically the whole week before Friday we only had like 2 lessons a day. Well, with Elder Torres, we had 8 lessons! And one of those lessons was with Walter, the guy I had contacted. He was a little hesitant at first, but he is willing to keep learning. He motivated his girlfriend, who had been listening to us more or less, to keep listening to us and now she acts more interested, they both accepted baptismal dates! And then yesterday we were able to visit several people including a contact that I had last week. Basically, I learned that I just need to open my mouth. I still get really nervous doing it, but all the people that I talked to this last week accepted to visit with us so we were able to get several new investigators. So yeah, we had a pretty good week. We were able to have 3 investigators go to church too. One of them works at night, so he works all night, sleeps 2 hours, then goes to church. He's pretty good, we just need to be able to teach him more (Alejandro).

And then today we went and bought gifts, we are doing the same thing in my zone that we do at home, we all drew a name and we had to buy a gift. I let you know what I did next week. And yes, today we played soccer again. It was fun. Anyway, love you all, Merry Christmas!

Hasta Pronto,
-- Elder Black

   Elder Hunter Black   
 Costa Rica San José   

Monday, December 16, 2013

Changes Week

Well, another changes week has passed here, so I hope you're all ready to hear what happened, kind of crazy things happened so here you go...
First of all, I'm going to answer the main question... no, we didn't have changes, I will be "killing" Elder Zelaya aka I'm his last comp of the mission. And the other question, no, we did not have any baptisms, that's one of the crazy things that happened. I can't go into much detail, but they just had a few issues and were not able to get baptized. Alis, we have confirmed that he does have to wait a year... =(  We're going to keep working with Claudia and Maria Jose, because they could get baptized this week, we are sure hoping that all works out. With Claudia we aren't quite sure what happened, all we know is that the day of her baptism, she was drunk... so needless to say, she didn't get baptized. Also, once again, we've had many appointments fall through, so we had very few lessons this week, the lowest in my mission actually, but we're trying to find more new people so that we can have more lessons.
And then today we had our mission christmas party, we went with half of the mission to an old people's home, sang hymns and talked with them. Afterwards we went to a church building, had lunch, sang more hymns, had a lesson from Pres. Wilkinson, they then gave us gifts (temple recommend holders with a picture of the temple here) and we just talked with people, it was fun. And he also gave us some good news... January 24... Elder Cook is coming to talk to us! It will be my first meeting with an apostle! I'm excited, it's going to be awesome.
Well, that was my week, love you all, talk to you later!
Oh, and P.S. thank you to the primary for the letters!

Con mucho amor(sh),
-- Elder Black

   Elder Hunter Black   
 Costa Rica San José   

Monday, December 9, 2013

Short Letter

So this week was pretty average. Sorry that I don't have much exciting.

Questions: Yes, Alis got married!!! =) And yes, I watched the devotional too.

So this week, I don't really know what happened. Our numbers were pretty low, we couldn't really find anyone to teach, we just had some issues this week. But, the good news, we had a baptismal interview with Claudia, and she passed! Also, Alis got married, and hopefully will be able to get baptized this week! Also, we have an investigator, Maria Jose, she's 14, but she's been going to seminary, YW mutual, etc. And she should be getting baptized this week too!! 3 baptisms this week!!! Anyways, that's about what happened this week.

Funny/sad thing: Everyone who went to the wedding ended up getting sick, something in the food...

Anyways, I'm a little pressed for time, so this is all that I can write for this week, talk to you later!

-- Elder Black

Monday, December 2, 2013

Another Week

So this week was kind of average, so sorry if you were looking for something interesting.
We spent a lot of the week doing service. We were helping Alis, who was going to be baptized, to set up a "soda" (sorry, I can't think of the word) or, a place where somebody sells food, kind of a fast food restaurant, just that it's not a fast food chain, just an indivdual (for his wife, Argentina). Anyways, we really wanted to spend a lot of time with him to get him ready for baptism. Good news = we finished the "soda" Bad news = He can't get baptized yet... He's awesome and has the desire, but because of some circumstances he can't get baptized quite yet =( But other good news, they opened up their soda and it's cheap so we can eat there often =) But yeah, basically we spent our week trying to get him ready for baptism. The good news is that we have some other people that should be getting baptized within the coming weeks, we are hoping to have at least 3 baptisms this month. But time is flying, I don't know that we'll have the time to get this people interested! That's one of the difficulties that we've been having... commitments, many times people don't realize why they should be doing the things that we ask them, so we have to try time and time again to get them to understand. We are working with a lot of new investigators, we realized that we needed to drop several of our current ones, so we are trying to get references to be able to work more. But that's about all we did this week, I would say that it was still a success, Alis is going to get married this Saturday even though he can't get baptized, they want to keep the commandments, so I'm happy about that. I'll talk to you all later!
¡A Cachete!

--Elder Black

Please pray for the following individuals:  Thanks!

Claudia and her kids - passing through hard times, but has gone to church and wants to be baptized.
Andrea - 19, a little crazy, has the desire to keep learning
Alberto - 17, is ready, but his mom won't give him permission
Maria Jose - 14, her friend is a member, already goes to seminary and does her Personal Progress 
   Elder Hunter Black   
 Costa Rica San José   

Monday, November 25, 2013

Successful Week

We started to have a little more success in this last week, and we are satisfied with our work, here's the stuff that happened this week.

So on Tuesday we went to our first appointment, with a member, and she gave us a reference. Right then, we left with her to contact the reference (Meylin). We went and talked to her, and at the end of the lesson, she gave us 4 references! Yeah! References from an investigator! Then we went to another investigator, Bisente. He's an indian (Native American) from Nicaragua and speaks Mesquite. So we've started to learn =) Nasqui guaina = ¿Como estas amigo? Pine (like english) = bien . Anyways, we taught him... and ... 3 references!!! Once again, from an investigator!!! They help us more than the members... Then we went to a Group FHE in the church and... a member took a friend... another reference!!! Then, on Wednesday we went and taught Alis (male). He just said, "hey, I want to get baptized"  =) =) =) =) =) =) =) YES!!! And then, his "wife" (they're not married... yet) made us tacos. They were so good! Then on Thursday I went on divisions with our district leader, I stayed here in Alajuelita. That day, Alis proposed to Argentina (the wife) and the wedding should be this week! And the baptism should follow right after! Then on Friday we got some new investigators and then went and played soccer. My team only lost once, so we got to play almost the whole time. 43 people showed up!!! (it's a ward mission activity, the purpose is to bring investigators) And then yesterday, we went and ate Salvadoranian pupusas. They were pretty good. And we taught a few lessons. But the cool thing of the week is that normally we would just have a couple references and a couple new investigators, we recieved 15 references and had 12 new investigators! We are working very well here, I'm very happy with the work we're doing.

So that was my week, very satisfying, we are doing good work. Thanks for the support that you all give me, I'm glad to be here representing the Lord in Costa Rica. Love you all!

--Elder Black 

   Elder Hunter Black   
 Costa Rica San José   

Monday, November 18, 2013

A New Perspective

We had an interesting week, basically lots of new things, and a new perspective on mission work, so get ready cause here we go.

So we have started to try to do more activities to get people involved. So on Tuesday we decided to have a FHE in the church. And we were able to have a few investigators there, so it was a success. Then on Thursday I went on divisions with an Elder Ramirez (not the same one as my trainer) and we worked hard. We ended up with 6 lessons, we recieved 8 references, and found some new people!!! Then on Friday we went to a multi zone conference with President Wilkinson. We were there from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. We learned lots of good things from that conference. We now know what our purpose is... Bautizar y Retener!!! Or Baptize and Retain. That is what we are called to do as missionaries, nothing more, nothing less. He also let us know that we accept, and give lots of excuses... but no more, we don't accept excuses! As we have begun to apply the things we learned from President, we are starting to see the fruits. Just yesterday we were able to place some baptismal dates, we found 6 new people, and recieved a reference. We are able to do all of this without knocking doors! It's a great time to be a missionary! We now know exactly how to do mission work, to have success, we learned that all you have to do is follow what Preach My Gospel says. That's the trick, follow the instructions and you will get the work.

And today we went and played with pidgeons in the park, got them to sit on our heads, we took pictures and just had fun.

I love you all, always remember that EVERY MEMBER IS A MISSIONARY!!!

--Elder Black

Monday, November 11, 2013

Another Week!

Well, not much happened in this past week, but hopefully I can still make this letter interesting.

Questions and Answers (aka for mom): What's my area like? It's kinda poor, at the foot of the mountains, and the people always give us food =) The weather is still pretty cool, and it's started to rain a bit again, apparently it's almost monsoon season, which means it's gonna start raining a ton. My new apartment is big. We have a main room that's big, then 3 other rooms. (there used to be 4 missionaries there, that's why it's bigger =) Also, it has a couch, that's always a nice thing to have. My apartment in Heredia was the best, nice and clean, lots of space, etc. My favorite comp? I'm not sure right now, I get along really well with Elder Zelaya... so we'll see. And yes, we have mamas, we always do. I don't wash my clothes anymore, someone else does. And yes, they still serve the same kind of food here.

So this week we tried to work with some of the members. Most of our appointments fell through with our investigators, we are trying to find some more so that we have more people to teach, and little by little we are starting to get the work here going. We have an awesome, new, ward mission leader who is very excited to work, and will not stop until the work is done (so... never!) He leaves to do visits with us on Saturdays and Sundays, is working with us to plan activities, and wants to get the whole ward active in the work. He's awesome! The baptisms that we had lined up fell through, the investigators didn't go to church... but we are doing all we can to help them =) We are going to keep working hard here to get the ward excited and willing to help us here in the Work of Salvation (it's not missionary work anymore).

That was my week here, it was Elder Zelaya's birthday on Saturday, so we had lots of good food and fun. Yep, life's great, all is good.

Les quiero mucho, hasta luego,

--Elder Black

   Elder Hunter Black   
 Costa Rica San José   

Monday, November 4, 2013

New Area!

Yep, so once again I unexpectedly had changes. There have been crazy things going on, but you know, that's just how things are.
Questions: Am I happy I got transferred... yes and no, no because we had several baptisms lined up and the changes were completely unexpected. But yes because I am now in a ward, have a good comp, and we have some baptisms lined up. I am now in an area called Alajuelita (in San José). It's a little bit poorer than Heredia, but the people are really cool here. It's supposedly a dangerous area, but from what I've seen it's really chill... except one thing, but don't worry about that =) My comp is Elder Zelaya from Honduras, he's got 21 months in the mission, his birthday is this Saturday, and is obsessed with DragonBall. He's really relaxed and pretty cool. (He was the mission secretary when I got here). I will probably be with him until he leaves in January.  I haven't gotten my package yet...
That's crazy everything I've heard about the ward... what's going on?!!! Tell Riley I say hi. And good luck with all the people there.
Well, I only have a few minutes, not much happened this last week, I just got changed again and have been getting to know the new area. I like it here. I don't really have much news for this week other than I learned to solved a rubix cube, that was cool. And I've just been trying to learn from my comp, we'll see how things keep going.
Love you all, Pura Vida,

--Elder Black

Monday, October 28, 2013

Another Week

Rain, rain go away, come again another day...

So I'm just going to answer mom's questions (nobody else asks me anything!!!)

So the musical number last week, I played the piano and a member and Elder Garrett sang. The song was "I Know that my Redeemer Lives".  Today for P-day we just went and played soccer and basketball, and then went to Pizza Hut.  Transfers will be this Thursday and we won't know until Wednesday night. I still haven't gotten the package, they only go to the office the first Friday of every month.

So this week... I got a lot of excercise. We had a several appointments that fell through, but that's ok! It's been super rainy, so we got soaked and I just decided to start playing in the rain. Finally on Saturday we had a fantastic day. We were able to teach 7 lessons. We visited with Mayra and Beyanira (whose kids now are unsure about baptism...) And then we went and visited Sonya (she just had her first baby last Monday) and her husband has started to listen to us more! We went and visited Jimena and Sofia (daughters of a member, but still haven't been baptized and are unsure about it...) And then we went to Flavio's, and he's going through hard times (that's what always happens to recent converts). So we have so many possibilities here, we are just really working on trying to get these people excited. Yesterday we went and visited with Karen again, and we asked what she had read (I was expecting an answer like 2 pages of a pamphlet), she sighs and says, "...only 2 pamphlets" And we freaked out, we were so happy, that's the first person that I've had that has actually read all of a pamphlet... and she read 2!!! So we were able to talk with her a lot, and at the end of the lesson we asked her to pray. And she, naturally, said, "I don't know how, I don't feel ready..." but in the end we explained to her and she ended up doing it perfectly. Right when she finished she just sat there thinking and said, "I feel... something... I don't know how to explain it... it feels, good. I've never felt this before." She continued to talk to us about this feeling and asked if we felt the same the first time that we prayed. It was really nice to know that we were able to help someone feel something through something so simple as a prayer. I was really happy to have been a part of that.

That was my week, though rough at the beginning, we ended with a miracle. We just had to have a trial of our faith to be able to see the blessings.

Love you all,

-- Elder Black

   Elder Hunter Black   
 Costa Rica San José   

Monday, October 21, 2013

Week 42

This is a moth!  Or is it a clown...? 
Cow tongue, yum!

Mondongo (cow stomach), cow tongue, oysters,pig blood taco, octupus, clams and mango smoothie, all for lunch!
There is a leak in our shower...
So we made the "best" of it and had some fun.

Hey everybody, thanks for tuning in. We are going to go to the Q&A segment of this letter.

Questions and Answers: Transfers are next week, we will see what happens. I am not in San Jose, I am in San Rafael de Heredia. What did I eat interesting this week... I ate a pig blood taco, mondongo (cow stomach), cow tongue, oysters, clams, octopus, and a mango smoothie with coconut milk (that was all on saturday at lunch). My favorite fruit? I still like Manzanas de Agua.

So this week we had some very hard days. Tuesday, nothing. Wednesday we had a good day. We were able to have 5 lessons, all with investigators. We put baptismal dates with Jimena (an 11 year-old girl whose dad is a member) and we were able to put a new date with Carla (girlfriend of a member) and also get Flavio ready for his confirmation... but we found out that he had smoked again =( It's rough, but we just keep praying for him. On Thursday... another normal day. But on Friday we got up early to go to a multi-zone conference with Elder Amado (of the seventy) we had to be somewhere at 7...and we didn't end up getting back until 6:40. It was a really good conference and I was able to learn alot. He was really funny and a great experience too. We were there for a while to because we also got our cell phones! Oosh!! Finally! But the instant we got them everyone freaked out and was going crazy... Saturday, we had a great lesson with Flor (an investigator that has been investigating for months...) and we finally found out what her problems were with the church. It was a great lesson and will definitely help us to help her. Then, on Sunday we (me, Elder Garrett, and a member) perfomed a musical number in church. And it went over well especially considering how little we had practiced. And then that night I went and met a reference, Karen. She is the niece of a less active member. Well, Karen speaks english, asked perfect questions, already had a Book of Mormon, wants to know a lot, and immediately asked when we could come back. She's awesome!!! And then today, we went and played laser tag and I had the highest score on my team, second overall =) it was so freaking fun!

And that was my week. I would just like to make a shout out to my brother Cooper, happy birthday dude! Tune in next week for more in the life of Black.

-- Elder Black

Monday, October 14, 2013

Week 41?


This is what a missionary's fridge looks like, Yikes!


Monte de la Cruz?

Cathedral in Monte de la Cruz
So this week we didn't have very many lessons, but we had 9 investigators go to church, and we had a baptism!!! Ush, ush, ush!!!

So this last week was a little rough, I cook couldn't cook for us, so we had to eat out or make our own food. But I did learn from Elder Petlacalco (our district leader) how to make chilaquiles :) yeah, so I finally know how to make some food :) Also, one day we went and bought empanadas from Flavio, they were very good. Oh, Flavio, I went to tell him where Aunt Yamile was from, and he just says "I knew it, I knew that you were going to say that!!!" It was pretty funny. Oh, another random thing for those of you who speak spanish, Flavio prays in "Vos" haha Anyways, then on Wednesday we only taught two lessons, then at the end of the day we had to head to San José. We went to the mission home because at 3:30 they woke us up to go get fingerprints done so that we can get our residency here. We had to just wait around until 7... yeah, I was really tired, but at least I'm here legally now =) I also completed 9 months on Wednesday! Then on Thursday... another not so good day. Friday... another not so good day. Then on Saturday, I got to baptize an Argentino! And we taught some good lessons, had a good day =) Sunday, we had a good start to the week, taught some other good lessons, everything went very well. And then here I am today. Yep, that was the week.

-- Elder Black

   Elder Hunter Black   
 Costa Rica San José