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, January 28, 2013

Life in the MTC

Hola vosotros!
I'm going to try to hurry and answer all the questions that everyone had. Mom, I don't need anything extra, like gloves and stuff, I'm good.  And yes, the music you sent was what I wanted, I played another musical number yesterday. Dad, I haven't taught anything about the Iron Rod, I haven't thought about it, let alone trying to do it in Spanish. Parker, yes the food is good, it's still kinda hard to get up in the morning, and no, we haven't "converted" the guy yet, he's... fake, but he is supposed to get "baptized" this coming Saturday.  Sorry if I forgot any other questions you all asked, it's hard to remember everything that happens during the week.
Next, just some quick things.  Mom, my teacher, Hermano Zenger, went to Puerto Rico on his mission and says that Adobos is the best restaurant around, just fyi.  And he was wondering what part of San Juan you lived in.  Fun fact for you all, the food here is nice and fatty, which in turn has led me to gain 5 lbs.  I'm gonna be fat by the time I get back...  I've been able to talk to Xander, Bruce, Hannah, and a bunch of other people from PG. Cooper, everyone got a kick out of you doing the Nacho thing, it was pretty hilarious.  And mom, thanks for the rolls and jam, everyone was very glad to get it, especially one elder, but I'll get to that in a minute.
Alright, so this week, last Monday was pretty normal.  And then Tuesday... was about the same if I remember right.  But then Tuesday night, and elder in my district, Elder Pugh (pew) woke up in the middle of the night, puked 8 times in 2 hours, and had to go to the Emergency Room at 3:00 in the morning.  He had been having pains where his appendix is so they had to run some tests to make sure he was ok.  It turned out that he had an intestinal virus, crazy right? So then they drugged him up and put him on a "no food" diet, so, watered-down gatorade.  Well we all found this out after we woke up. So then the other crazy thing of that day, that was the night that it had rained a lot and gotten really cold, so when we got up to go to gym, all the uncovered sidewalks where ice.  People were slipping and falling everywhere, haha, it was so hilarious.  So then while we were eating breakfast, someone saw a paramedic run by. And then we went outside, and all the uncovered sidewalks were taped off, and there where signs that said, "Please don't slide on the sidewalks. You will fall, and you will break your leg."  So we're pretty sure that someone was sliding on the ice, broke their leg, and the paramedic had to come.  Later on the new missionaries arrived.  Oh! I forgot, I saw Ryan Coombs on Tuesday, he had finally gotten his visa and was heading out to Spain. Yeah!!! Anyways, the new missionaries arrived and that's when I found Bruce. Apparently he didn't get his visa =(  Oh well, he lives in my building so we can hang out quite a bit. And yeah, that was basically our Wednesday, it was really sketchy.  So Thursday morning we get to class, and we found out that an hermana in our district got the flu...  The flu has been spreading around very fast, so they have reinstated a "No hand shaking" policy.  So at that point we only had 5 people in our classroom because when someone is sick, someone has to stay with them.  Now on to Friday, the people were still sick, so there were still just a few of us.  Long story short, I ended up having an amazing spiritual experience that day that I will not be sharing with people, but it was all thanks to a teacher in my zone, Hermana Mackay. Then Saturday, I went to my morning class, then after lunch I took a turn with Elder Pugh because he was still sick.  He was so bored that we made a "gun" out of a hanger, duct tape, and a ritz crackers box.  And then we made ninja throwing stars and had duels.  Then Sunday, it was normal except I accompanied Elder Hinckley on "I Know That My Redeemer Lives" during Sacrament Meeting.  And then for the Sunday Fireside, our district had the opportunity to be the Ushers.  So yeah, that was... fun...  And that was my week.
Well, we've been discussing it, and girls need to write us on Valentine's Day, that would make our day. Also, I would like to break the record for DearElders.  Someone in our district got 13 in one day, so I want to beat him =)  Anyways, that's about it.
Hasta Luego,
Elder H. Black

Monday, January 21, 2013

Week 2

Elder Johnson, Elder Ritchie and Elder Black

Just to start off, I will send pictures later today, there are certain computers that you have to use to send pictures.  Thanks for the letters that I've been getting, it really makes a missionaries day, we look forward to any mail we'll be getting that day.  Unfortunately my friends haven't written me yet... but I was still glad to get all of your letters.  Mom, the food is all great, but are you trying to give me diabetes?  My district is really jealous of everything I've been getting, they said that they want you to send them stuff too :)  And mom, si, yo puedo hablar espanol mucho, estoy muy bien, pero, espanol es muy dificil.  And dad, I have written in my journal everyday, but the MTC doesn't have much difference between the days, so there's not much to write about.  I will be sending you a picture of the schedule so that you can see exactly what we do everyday.  And no, Dwight has not come to eat with me yet.
So interesting stuff of the week. Literally 5 minutes ago, I just found Xander for the first time! But he was in class, so I couldn't talk to him...  On Monday, we all figured out that P-days are amazing! We just get to hang out almost all day!  P-day ends at 6:00 though, and then we have class for 3 hours.  We got to teach Fernando (our investigator) on Monday again. We taught about the Plan of Salvation, the Atonement, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  We took an hour, but it felt like only ten minutes because the spirit was so strong and we were able to answer all of his questions, and it was just amazing! Then after that, we wen't home and Elder Parkinsen, the crazy one, did something really... stupid/funny.  He did what is called the "banana sprite challenge".  You have to eat 2 bananas, and drink 60 ounces of sprite... he puked. And that was Monday.
Then Tuesday, like I said, Elder Holland came and gave an amazing talk.  Was the dedicatory prayer included in that? Or is there someway you can get a hold of it? Because it was amazing too!
The rest of the week not much happened... we just hung out, studied, studied more, and then, when we where tired of studying, we still had 6 hours left...  We play volleyball everyday, and I wreck :)
Then later in the week, Fernando, the investigator, became our teacher!  He is so cool and brings authority and the spirit into the classroom.  When we first saw him in our classroom we freaked out and basically acted like he was a celebrity... cause to us he was as great as you could get.
This week we'll be getting a new "investigator" (Hermana Collette, our first teacher). So now we have to try and prepare a different lesson everyday. It is really hard to teach a lesson in spanish, so it's gonna be pretty rough.
And then Saturday, everyone in the zone gathers all of the food that they've recieved from home, and we have a fiesta.  We all hang out and eat food and have a good time.
And then comes yesterday... Sunday. The night before Sunday, I woke up so many times feeling like I was going to puke... so I had to stay in all day.  I slept for about 5 hours during the day because one of mis companeros (oops, spanish) had some great drugs that helped knock me out.  One of the companeros had to stay in until lunch, and then they switched and the other stayed with me the rest of the dia.  It was no bueno. (that spanish was one purpose)
So yeah, that was the week.  Could you send me more stamps still? And tell the kids that they should be getting their letters tomorrow, I wrote them yesterday and they should be mailed today.  If you have any other quick questions just let me know, I'll be getting back on a little later to send pictures.  Tell people to write me :)  Getting letters just makes the day.

Elder Black

Monday, January 14, 2013

Week 1

Mom, did I make you check your email thinking it would be Skylar? Well guess what, Monday is my Preparation Day too :) I lol thought lol you lol guys lol would lol think lol this lol is lol funny lol haha jk rofl jaja.

I'm gonna answer mom's questions first. Yes, I already saw Elder Tyler Smith, I saw him my second day here.  It was really weird because I couldn't call him Tyler, it was "Elder Smith".  He's leaving on Wednesday, just fyi.  Secondly, I'll get into more detail, but the first couple days were pretty rough. And mom, could you send me some more stamps? I think I'll need more than that. And also send a beanie or something, walking outside is so cold! And I'll send pictures next week.  Oh, also, could you send me the sheet music for musical numbers? I know that my redeemer lives, and the EFY thing, Armies of Helaman and something else.  I already had to play a musical number in sacrament meeting, so I need music...

Alright, so you guys dropped me off and I saw a bunch of friends as I was walking up and into the main building, it was awesome to be welcomed by so many people.  I got my nametag and went to get my books, they gave me probably 10 spanish books, an english Preach My Gospel, and a water purifying water bottle.  We took it to my classroom (less than a half hour after arriving) and the teachers were already speaking Spanish. Total Spanish immersion right from the get-go.
Everyday consists of about 6 hours of studying, and 6 hours of classroom stuff.  All of the classroom stuff is in Spanish. Our teacher went to Argentina on her mission, so she says the ll's weird, Mom knows what I mean, so we make fun of our teacher (Hermana Collette).
Other than all of the studying, we already got to teach an "investigator".  That was day 2 and day 3.  The only thing is, it was all in Spanish, and we had to teach for a half hour. It was so hard, but the Spirit was there and the Gift of Tongues helps so much. It helps so much in fact that I can already pray and bear my testimony in Spanish.

I have two companions here, Elder Johnson and Elder Ritchie. They are pretty cool and like I said, I'll send pictures later.  Our district has 10 people in it. 7 Elders and 3 Hermanas.  All but 2 of us are going to Costa Rica.  Of the other two, one is going to Panama, and the other, Elder Bananie (bon-on-yay) is from Guadaloupe, speaks 4 languages (French, English, 2 Creol) and is going to Paris... Spanish speaking!  He is a way cool guy, he's pretty hilarious.  Our district is District 1, the first district of the MTC!  And we are a part of Branch 1, branch 1 consists of 5 other elders, but we are supposed to be getting about 12 more people this week! One elder, Elder Parkinson, is way hilarious, he's taught us how to have fun, because it feels like forever in here.
We were told that this week there would be about 600 missionaries coming in, 270 of which are sisters, it's gonna be packed around here.

For anyone coming in soon, the food is good, so don't worry.  Also, get ready to get close with people, real fast.  You will feel super awkward the first day, but then you will learn to not be embarrassed by anything.  Also, if you are learning a language, get ready to be immersed in it.  It's pretty hard, but don't overwhelm yourself, you can do it. Also, like my brother said, the days feel like weeks... it's totally true, but when you look back on it, it seems to go by really fast.  You will make so many new friends and it'll be a blast.  Listen to what others tell you to do and you'll learn a lot more quickly.
Yo se que esta iglesia es verdadero.  Yo se que Jesucristo es mi hermano mayor y que Su expiacion es para todos.  Yo se que Dios es mi Padre Celestial y que El es amaroso.  Yo se que Thomas S. Monson es un profeta. Yo se que el don del lenguas ayudame. Me encanto ustedes todos. En el nombre de Jesucristo, amen.
P.S. thanks for the food :)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Day Has Arrived! January 9, 2013, 12:30 p.m.

Pondering Life
Grammy and Grandad
Together one last time for 2 years


Off He Goes...!