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—
I'm going to hurry and tell you the gist of what Costa Rica is like. Hot. Hot. HOT. and hot. I now sweat more than ever. And there are bugs everywhere, bugs all over my books, bed, clothes, food, everything. Right now is winter (the dry/hot time of the year) It's... not much fun. You get itchy from the sweat and bug bites, but hopefully I'll get used to it. Also, the water is drinkable! Yes! So I've been drinking tons of water and using the flavoring for it. Oh, and their accent is weird... when a word ends with an "R" for example "amor" they sometimes say it like "amorsh". So in our house we make fun of it a lot. And they have two main soccer teams here, La Liga, and Seprissa, and everyone wonders which you are. I am a Ligista fyi. Because the first family I visited was, and they are better supposedly.
Alright, so my companion is... there are two! I'm in a trio again! Elder Ramirez, my native companion, and legit trainer. And Elder Garrett, my white companion and assistant trainer I guess. We call our trainer our Papa, and since I have two, I call Elder Garrett my Mama. I got sent to my first area right after I got my comps. I am in the city Naranjo. We have a really big area though, it covers many other towns. So we spend a lot of time riding the bus. One standard bus ride to another place in my zone will cost about 300 colon... for the two weeks I'm here, they had given me 4,000 colon... we take several buses a day, so I'm out already, but my comps have enough so they pay for me. We are up in the mountain area, so there are many hills, steep hills. I'm not used to this kind of walking so I've been dying this whole time, plus with the heat, it's even worse. And that's Naranjo, it's actually the place that I guessed would be my first area while I was in the MTC. Oh, and here, they expect you to eat a lot, everywhere you go you get food. So I learned to ask for a "pocito" amount of food, and I can barely eat that much.
A little about my comps. Elder Ramirez is still learning English, he's not very good. But he knows some funny phrases. He's a cool guy and I think that we'll get along well. And he's from Honduras.
Elder Garrett is from Oklahoma. He is a musical person, and does magic tricks... we're pretty similar too. He's cool too, so we should be good.
So my first day here we went and visited a member, Yahira, and her 3 children. One of her daughters had just passed away and we went to give them blessings. We talked for a long time, I had my first corn coffee, and one of the girls kept pestering me because I can't speak spanish. So finally I rattled of some english and she was really confused, I thouroghly enjoyed it =) And then we proceeded to give blessings. The first girl, picked me to do it. I had never given a blessing, and couldn't speak spanish, so it was pretty bad. Then the next two daughters picked my other two comps. Then the mom picked me, she said I needed to practice spanish. I did a little bit better, but still bad. Then we went home and got ready for bed, problem was, we only have two beds, and 3 of us. So we got permission to move the beds together. Entonces, the 3 of us are sleeping on the two beds. And that day, my first day... we were late getting home, late to bed, and shared beds... 3 rules broken... =( But it hasn't happened again... except sharing beds, we still just have 2.
Ok, I have just a couple funny things that happened. First, that first day when we were contacting, I tried to, I guess, greet someone, and he (black guy) just keeps walking and says "God bless you" and that's it. Also, mom and dad, be careful with this one, I'm going to put a word in here that's... bad. Lot's of people ask what my name is, so I tell them "Black, o en Español, negro" So a lot of people, mostly just members come up to me and say, with their limited english, "What's up my nigger!?" They think it's hilarious... and so do I. And everyone thinks it's so cute that I'm trying to learn spanish. They baby me a lot.
That's about it for this week. One thing that I ate that was different. Green mango, with sugar, and that chicken powder stuff, it was actually pretty good. And they have cereal and all that down here. And I ate something called "Tritz" it's an amazing icecream sandwich. Oh and that picture of Brielle, I couldn't really tell that it was Brielle, she's already changing... And being a missionary is pretty hard, I love the kids here, but the work is hard. We have about 5 progressing investigators, all of our other work is with less actives... there are a lot of those. Anyways, love y'all have a great week!
I made it here safely, don't worry =) The luggage worked well, it's all still in one piece. I didn't sleep too well, we didn't go to bed until about 12:30. We already got to see the temple, I'm trying to teach an Elder piano, we went out and contacted today with those that came yesterday. We don't get our trainers until tomorrow. I already placed a Book of Mormon, and I also got 2 personas phone numbers for contact later with the missionaries. This is just a short email to let you know that I am ok and my P-day es on monday. It's is so hot here!!! I love it already, I will have more to say on Monday.
Hello everyone! How are you doing this fine day? Sorry if this letter has bad punctuation, my keyboard is in Spanish mode and won´t let me change it. Anyways, this week has been pretty normal once again, other than us having to say goodbye to everyone. I had to say goodbye to my teacher that I had from day 1. It was kinda sad. And then yesterday we had a testimony meeting as a class, pretty much everyone started crying, and we ran out of tissues, and they just kept crying, but it was a good experience for all of us. This last week we also had ´´In-Field Orientation´´, bascially we just got to listen to people teach us more of what we should actually start doing once in the field. It was an 11 hour day of In-Field... so long! But it was all good, cause I get to leave tomorrow =) We also got the chance to talk to a teacher here that served in Costa Rica. They have some weird things that they do, but it´s going to be great! We also found out how big of bugs they have... look up Costa Rica Rhino Beetle... I´m going to get a picture with one, that´s my goal, I will be freaking out when it happens, but it will be an awesome picture! She told us that they mostly have white rice with red beans... yes!!! I can´t wait! Other than that... we passed down all of our MTC items that got passed down to us by other people, it´s a great tradition, I was able to pass down the box of amazing things. Also, we had a Twinkie to pass down, we think it´s the last one, and it´s been here since October I think. And then today I´m just packing and getting ready, gotta be up at 2 am, so gotta get ready. And that´s about how the week has been for me, hopefully I´ll have many stories to tell next week, but for now I don´t really have anything.
I did get some pictures, I will send those later, so if you have questions for me, ask me before 2 and I will be able to answer in another email later today. Also, what time would you like for me to call you? I will be in Dallas from 10-4 their time, so just let me know. And also, tell Josh that that is a way cool mission! I am so excited for him! I will also be sending a package home, I´m having some Elders send it for me within the next few days, so I´m not sure when it will get there. Also, how did you say I needed to pay for the luggage? Cash or debit? I don´t know what else you would like for me to say, but think of something and I will write later and I´ll talk to you tomorrow =)
So this week has pretty much just been like all the other weeks. Study, study, gym, food, study, study. So yeah, this letter is not going to be very long. One thing that did happen this week was that I was definitely able to teach by the Spirit and really connect with my "investigator" this last week. I have already started to learn how to just love the people. Other than that, this week has been pretty normal. Oh, I was looking at the pictures of our family, and I noticed how much Dad has slimmed out, I didn't think that you had any weight to lose, and now looking at the pictures I could see just how much you lost. Better start eating lots! One other thing that happened, me and someone in my district tried out to play a special musical number sometime at the MTC, and we made it :) So we should get notified this week of what they want us to play for. And yesterday, after our Sunday fireside we get to watch a movie/talk/whatever else, and I watched Elder Bednar's "Character of Christ" it was really good, and he imitated the Cookie Monster which was pretty funny.
Now to answer questions, hopefully you got my letter by now so that should answer some questions. Yes, I did see Josh, I even got into his building and found his room, so we hung out for a little bit. One week left, yeah!!! I did get my travel plans, you should've seen that by now. Do I think I'm ready to go? Umm... yeah, I've been ready to go since I got here. I've learned quite a bit here, but I just feel like I'll be able to learn a lot more once I get there and I have my investigators to focus on all the time. I think I do know more Spanish than I think I do, but I can't use it super well, I keep getting all of the tenses mixed up. But I do feel like I'll learn a lot more Spanish once I'm there. I will be leaving next Tuesday, and I need to be at the travel office at 2:45 am. My flight leaves Salt Lake at 6 am and I will be flying to the Dallas Fort Worth airport. I'll have a 6 hour lay-over there, so that's when I think I will be calling. No I don't need anything else. And Brielle had better remember me, I am her favorite :) Oh, and my scripture that I wanted was D&C 42:6, it's a good missionary one. I don't have anything that you need to pray for... I just need to get out of here... I'll send you some more pictures next week before I leave. Oh, and my tooth, and I still tell that it's not totally better, but I'm fine. Other than that, I think I'm good... sorry this is short, hope I answered everything.
Hey, so I didn't really have much happen this week... same old same old MTC... So pretty much I'm just going to answer questions and such.
Alright, so this week... the oldest district in my zone finally got their Visas, so they finally get to leave tomorrow! They are going to Mexico and apparently the church just got the system figured out, so they should be getting visas faster. I received a MTC pass-down item from the old district, it is a small box of amazing things, but it's a secret what's in there, so I can't tell you :) Just know that it's really random funny things. Next... I should be getting my travel plans this week!!! Hooray! On Friday I was playing basketball, ended up getting smacked in the face by my comp, Elder Ritchie, and my tooth hurt pretty bad, and I got a bloody nose... but I'm ok now :) I didn't lose a tooth luckily, but it was hurting so I was worried. Also, one of my comps, Elder Johnson, thought he broke his finger playing basketball on Friday, and so Saturday we went to go get it checked out, which meant I got to leave the MTC!!! I heard real music too! It was definitely a tender mercy :) (I heard Maroon 5) We're not allowed to listen to music here, that's why it was so awesome. Anyways, it ended up that he didn't break anything, he basically shredded the muscle in his thumb and tore some tendons, so yeah... (his thumb got bent all the way back) Oh, about the only other thing that happened, our "investigator", Fernando, got baptized on Saturday, that's right, nailed it! So yeah... that's about it. Oh, and yesterday I woke up with a pounding headache in the back of my head, and I couldn't focus cause it was hurting, and whenever I would open my eyes it would hurt more... so apparently I might have had a mild migraine... but after taking 5 ibuprofen I was able to feel better :) And don't worry mom, I know what I'm doing, it wasn't all at once. And that's about it, if you have questions feel free to ask me, see ya!
Elder H. Black
P.S. add on my letter, Thanks for the letter Abuelo y Abuela! It was the best DearElder I got all week! ...It was the only one, but still the best! Thanks for the support! (I just learned the word this week, apoyar- to support :)