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—
To answer your questions mom, Elder Garrett got transfered because of other people, we don't know why, but it wasn't us. The companionship... is getting worse and worse. I'm actually counting down the weeks until I can get transfered... The baptism went well, the water was cold, and the font was outside, but it was all good =) My spanish is always improving, but these last few days I haven't been able to understand very much, it just happens I guess. But hopefully I'll understand more in the coming days. And sorry I didn't email on Monday, they made our P-day Wednesday because we went to the Temple yesterday (for P-day) and it was 6 o'clock by the time we got back... And everything is closed today for semana santa, so you're lucky you're getting a letter today. I don't know when I'll be calling yet, that's still a ways away... and yes, I'll let you know when I find out. And Carter, good luck! You better do better than me, but... I did get 2 homeruns, so good luck.
Ok, so for the week. First on that last Monday, we had a miracle right before Elder Garrett left. We had an investigator who wasn't progressing but wanted us to come over that night. So we went over, and he and his entire family were reading the Book of Mormon together! And now he is progressing like crazy! He has a baptismal date for April 16th along with 5 other people who are all on track! Also, we are planning to have a wedding that day! It's going to be a great day. And other than that, I taught a lesson with a joven, so I had to talk almost the whole time. It went really well and they didn't have very many questions about what I taught... and that's unusual for that family. And then in the end, I kinda chastized them for not doing what they should... but I did it in Spanish!!! Woot! Also, I don't know if Kassandra told you already, but someone here knows her from the mission, he just returned last week and I went on splits with him while he messaged her on Facebook. So tell Kassandra that I say hi. And then yesterday we went to the temple, we were going to do a session but it filled up, so we did baptisms instead. It was pretty cool. And that's about it, it's just the two of us here in Naranjo now, but we're hoping that we'll be getting some more next week. Well, I'll talk to you on Monday, and I'll send pictures. And I'll tell you more about Semana Santa.
Elder H. Black
P.S. We still haven't had a rainstorm, it's only sprinkled a couple times...
Quick answers to questions first. I believe that packages get here very safely, my comp got one with everything in it and there was some good stuff in it, so I think it should be good. And I do have a request, a card game (they only play uno here...) and also a flash drive. Because I can print here, but I need to use a flash drive to do so. And that leads into something else, you should always send me emails and I can print them if I need to. Also, I can email friends, so if anyone asks for my email you can give it to them. Also, the TerraShield stuff seems to work... but I'm saving it for when there are more bugs, that was a suggestion from an Elder. But I haven't had cockroaches or spiders crawl on me during the night and I've used that a few times, so I think it works. I haven't got my permanent visa, but I think I should be good. Also, questions I forgot to answer last week. I have gotten one souvenier, a case for my hymn book. I'm going to get something else soon, a shirt for La Liga. The mission still doesn't feel real... it feels like one long day, like I just got into the MTC yesterday, it's weird. So those are the answers to everything, now some comments. First, sounds like your St. Patricks Day was very interesting... and comp and I wore Green ties, and that's about it. Why did Cooper and Brielle have to get so many shots? Everyone is going to be huge the next time I see you all! Ok, One thing I want you to do is ask Bro. Bishop what it was exactly that he wanted me to write a letter about, he told me, Xander, and Josh to write a letter, but I forgot what about.
Anyways, this week was pretty... boring. The first part of the week we didn't do much. I went on divisions with a zone leader because he needed to interview Elio and Fernando for baptism. The following morning we got up at 5 so we could have time to head to a multi-zone conference which lasted the majority of the day. That was on Thursday. Up until Friday, my comps and I were still having problems, but then we kinda just clicked and yesterday we had 11 investigators in the chapel... that's unheard of. So yeah, we're just starting to get going good. And that leads into the bad news, we got a call last night that Elder Garrett is getting an emergency transfer, we don't know why, transfers aren't for 2 more weeks, so right as we start to get going good, Elder Garrett is leaving... we have to get up at 3:30 in the morning to be able to be at the mission office by 7. So I'm going to be dead. Some good news though, Fernando (12 year-old) wants me to baptize him! So I get to do that on Sunday, it's going to be my first baptism! Oh, also, yesterday I made empanadas at a members house, I mixed up and made the dough by hand, now tools. Yeah, I'm awesome like that. So yeah, that was the week, relatively boring, but our numbers for the week were really good cause we are really getting to work now.
Like I said, it's freaking hot here. By the time I leave my house, the inside is about 90 degrees... So yeah, it's really hot. To answer questions, I don't need cards, or a shirt, or anything from Disneyworld. The food is really good, a normal meal consists of some type of rice and beans, meat, fruit, salad, and juice. We eat a lot... it'll probably start to get to me later, but for right now I'm just trying to keep up with how much they feed you. And we haven't done any sight seeing, we're pretty boring. We want to go to a volcano, but we don't have the information on how to do it. And yes, I've written in my journal everyday. I'm glad you got a laugh out of the FHE, but I've got some other pretty good things for today too.
Ok, so here's just a few things that happened, and then I will get into all the funny stuff. First, whenever we are teaching, if there's something that an investigator is not sure on, if a hispanic member starts talking to them, it always sounds like they're trying to attack each other with their words. Like last Monday, we were talking to some Evangelists about prophets, and they didn't understand why there is only one prophet, so a member of the branch presidency here argued for about an hour about that, but kept getting of topic so we didn't get anywhere. Good news though, two days later I found answers to that question in the Bible and we were able to explain the organization of the church to them, and they accept it! =) Tuesday we planned to go contacting for a while... around 3 hours. But basically we were all nervous and used a majority of the time practicing how we would do it. And then we went on splits, Elder Ramírez went to an FHE, Elder Garrett taught the non-progressing wife of a member, and I taught English class! Luckily there was only one guy there so I just talked with him and he asked questions. Wednesday was Elder Garretts birthday, so some guy from his last area took us out to lunch, I had bbq pork, rice, salad, french fries, and a strawberry milkshake =) This guy is a non-member, but he loves the missionaries and has lots of money so the missionaries get spoiled by him. Thursday we went to visit a new investigator, Shayla. She's golden! She's "catholic" but she's read the Bible and says that some things are missing from the Catholic church, but she still goes to be closer to God... like I said, golden. Friday and Saturday I was feeling sick, so not much happened. But we did find out that Fatima won't be able to be baptized on the 16th, she wants to be baptized, but there are some issues. And Fernando, her son, wasn't sure that he wanted to be baptized either... But Elio, the other son, still does =) We moved the baptismal date to the 24th. And the reasons Fernando didn't want to be baptized (he's 13ish) he had already been baptized in a different church and didn't understand why he needed to be baptized again, and he thought that he wouldn't be able to have a girlfriend or a family or anything in the future haha. We got it cleared up and he will be baptized on the 24th as well. And then yesterday, I taught the Gospel Principles class. It was pretty rough, and that's about it.
Now for the good, funny, random stuff. First, we have an investigator named Pablo, he thinks that he has powers from God, and so the first time I met with him, he "prophesied" about my future. The next time he "gave me a blessing". So I have a bright future and I've been blessed... life's good. Next, there are a lot of roosters and chickens outside my house and they are so loud! They start making noise at about 3:30 am every single freaking day... I really want to kill them... Next, I didn't know how weird it would be to have people praying at the same time. With evangelists(evangelics?) when we started to pray, they stood up and started talking at the same time, it was really weird for me. Next, they have Dora the Explorer here, and the majority is in spanish, and it teaches the kids english. Random, but I was curious. Also, the donuts here all have stuff in them, even the regular donut shaped ones, they are really good.
Alright, now for the actual funny story of this week: I was thirsty and I needed to fill up my bottle with wáter, so Elder Ramire and I ent into another room of the church to fill it up. We walked in the room and I saw a gecko. I was really excited cause this was basically the first one I had seen here. Elder Ramírez also had a bottle and he wanted to catch it. So after a bunch of fancy footwork and awkward movements, we caught it. I got Elder Garrett to pull out his camera so that I could have a picture, then being a little nervous, I cupped my hands and told Elder Ramírez to dump it in my hands. We counted to 3 and he dropped it in my hands. It then started to run up my arms so I dropped it... or so I thought. We looked on the ground, under our shoes, on my clothes, but we couldn't find it. It had disappeared. Elder Garrett suggested, "Your tie?" So I turned my tie over a little, and there it was! I tried to grab it, but I only got the tail as he was going into my shirt, and I didn't want the blood or tail in my shirt, so I let go of the gecko. I then untucked my shirt and jumped around to try to get it out... nothing. So I took off my tie, unbuttoned my shirt and looked. We couldn't see it, so I stretched out my shirt like a cape and we found it on my left side. I told Elder Ramírez to grab it, instead, he just smacked my shirt and the gecko went flying into a door, then got up and ran away.
I hope you enjoy that story, the whole time it was happening I was laughing, so hopefully you do too. Requests that I have, please put the Jericho Road CD in dropbox, if you ever send a package, send a mister/fan, and also, those water flaver stuff is really good so I would like more of that. Also, more pictures to put in my book thing.
So yeah, that was my week. I'll send some pictures or put them in dropbox if I remember how to log in.
So first of all... me and my companions have had a few struggles this past week, I'll get into that later. And mom, President Wilkinson does remember your family. I have not yet gotten accustomed to all the hills, I'm still dying. It doesn't hurt my lungs to do all the walking like it would in Utah, just my leg muscles. I have gotten a little bit more used to the humidity, I don't itch as much as I did before... yes, the humidity makes me itchy. And now I'm getting a lot of bug bites, so I just get more itchy. So yeah, but the nights are cold, so that's nice. And sorry if I spell stuff wrong, it's correcting me using spanish, so it says that everything is wrong. Alright, now down to business.
P-days are really chill, we can kinda do whatever. We have a lady that cleans our laundry, so we just have to go and drop it off. Other than that, we can do whatever we want. So I spent all last week listening to music and playing the piano. And those are our P-days. So I don't remember who all I told you about, so I will probably repeat a name or two.
Last Tuesday we got up and went to do service for a really funny member of the branch here, Geovanni. He is...different. He's awesome though. We went over to his house and did something that I thought was really pointless. We dug up plants and threw them across the street. I have no idea why, the plants weren't in the way or anything, he just wanted them in a different spot. It wasn't even in his yard, it was on the path/road that led to his house. And then his wife made us lunch, so that was nice. One thing about here, members make us lunch everyday, and they always have really good juice to go with it, so basically, I'm in heaven. There is always more juice. Anyways, later on, we went to the Chapel to wait for the mission secretaries to come pick us up to go to the other area in my district (my district consists of two areas, 5 people). We were going over there to get my bed! I have a bed now! Yeah! After that we went to the church for a party, an Hermana had just returned from her mission in Chile, so we had a party. And after that we had English class (every Tuesday and Saturday).
Last Wednesday we got up, I made breakfast sandwiches for everyone, and then we started studying. When we got to our companionship study, Elder Ramírez, the senior companion, informed us that we would be moving the next day... Elder Garrett and I had no idea, so we were upset. The house that we were moving to is in a worse location, it's smaller, and has bigger bugs... One thing that is nicer about the new house, the ducha. The ducha is the thing that you put on the shower to heat the water. It uses a lot of electricity though, but at least I get my hot water for now. And the view is nicer too. I don't have too many pictures, we should be taking some today though, so next week =) So yeah, Wednesday, I was really frustrated cause I never know what's going on.
So yeah, I don't really like being in a trio, because there is always someone who doesn't know what is going on... and that someone is me. The other two were already a companionship so they just kinda do their thing... We are always late, lessons are usually an hour at the shortest, and I can't speak Spanish. When they say that the first few weeks of a mission are the hardest, they aren't lying, it's really hard right now.
But now something good. Well first... we have about... 0 progressing investigators, they are all lazy, uncommitted, and it's frustrating. But yesterday we had a lesson with Fatima and her two kids. They are the closest to baptism. We talked to them and after about an hour, they said that they would be ready for baptism on the 16th! The mission goal is to have a baptism per week, so I really hope that this works out. One other good thing that happened during the week, Elder Garrett and I went contacting in the park. He really wanted to contact a family, but there were none in sight. so after 30 minutes I decided that we should say a prayer. We did, and after 25 minutes of walking around and being rejected by families outside of the park, we were making our last round around the park when Elder Garrett had the feeling to talk to some punk... and so I didn't want to take the chance of it not being by the Spirit, so we went and talked to him... nada. We were walking back to where we were supposed to meet on the other side of the park when we were walking right past a family! We talked to them and they seemed real interested. They had just moved here 3 days earlier, so they didn't know their directions, and they didn't have a phone, but it was still a blessing that they were put in our path.
Ok, now for a funny thing of the week. My first FHE here was with a less active family with a non-member dad. So all in the same FHE, there were cockroaches in the house, a lizard came in, a snake came in and the mom beat it with a broom and it wouldn't die so one of the kids stepped on it, they have a baby and the mom was breast-feeding and I wasn't ready for that, and then the husband went on a rant about random things... all in one FHE. It was probably the weirdest FHE of my life.
So yeah, it's been a crazy week, and this Wednesday is Elder Garretts birthday, so we've been receiving cakes =) I'm still not totally used to all the houses being barred and razor wire surrounding a lot of the houses, but it's getting to be more normal. And also, one more thing. Mom, here they have made empanadas with potatoes and cheese in them and they are really good, you should try something like that. And you should send me some simple recipies, just for fun. Anyways, that's my week, hope you enjoy!
Elder H. Black
P.S. Could you print these off weekly and stick them in a binder/scrapbook or something?