Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Hola everyone!!

so this week was awesome because I got to participate in some fruits of my labors! Fernando is officially baptized! more about this in the letter... But i hope that everyone had a great week this week! Its weird to think its Halloween this week because i haven't seen one pumpkin. haha. people here just give each other bread and candy the day of halloween and put bread and candy around gravestones of dead children. or at least this is what i understand. I'm sure ill have more details this week. Also i've never written about the fact that people here love frysauce! but its called salsa golf here haha i think that's hilarious. Also the clouds move super fast here always. like you can try to run to keep up with their shadows but you wont be able to for long. its nuts! and awesome. thanks mom for the recipe! my companion would like the words in english to you raise me up if you have time this week. thank you so much though! 
Fernando baptized October 28, 2012
ok monday- was a normal pday. i dunno if its just my mission but i don't really like pdays. you just work a lot for yourself which isn't very fun or distracting from thinking about home. haha.

tuesday- i finally ate something i don't really like- cow leg gelatin. or something like that. it tastes fine all ground up in the jello that's sold on the streets. but just straight up cooked and on your plate- the texture is just a little too much for me.

wednesday- the most important thing in this work is prayer. if a person doesn't pray to know that this stuff is true, there's nothing we can do to "convince" them of the truth. A witness of the truth from God is the most powerful thing there is. we cant give that- you have to ask God for that.

thursday- so its pretty much a religious blood battle out here sometimes. In my ward area is the Headquarters for the Jehovahs Witnesses for the whole country of Bolivia! They've knocked on our door twice now. But they’re not the only religion working hard in this area. There's another church that everyday at church asks who is new? if you raise your hand they take you into this room and make you sign this paper saying that you are a member of their church, and that you wont visit any other churches. Then there's another church that knocks on your door and does what i like to call the Nacho Libro move- they ask you if you've been baptized, and if you say no, or hesitate, they put this white hat on your head and dump water on you. dead serious. Its pretty much crazy. I'm learning a lot about different religions which is really fun- it makes me want to study them when i get back.

friday- we lost a lot of investigators this day, so we are hoping to find some new ones soon! One thing that really helps people is if they can realize that god wants to hear whats in their hearts- details and specifics. If we understand our relationship with God then prayer is natural (see bible dictionary on prayer). I love this. and i love that its true and works.

saturday- i ate my first mango! oh man sooo good! and yeah i did eat tons of papaya that one day. ive toned it down with the fruit and i think i can basically eat anything. it helps if you eat rice after apparently too. Also Bruno, a returned missionary who served in Peru who always helps us, says that in his mission, he received a box of 20-30 books of mormon every week. In my mission, we receive 2-3 books every 3 weeks!!!! and that's if we are lucky!!! no wonder peru is booming and the gospel is spreading like wild fire there. if you pray sincerely to God to know if the book of mormon is true, he always answers you. this is another challenge here. where other churches have buckets of water, we have our books. but we just don't have many of them. we are hoping that the church will start progressing a lot more in Bolivia soon.

sunday morning at 8 am Fernando was baptized! it was a beautiful day and a beautiful time. I cant believe everything worked out. Its thanks to some amazing people in the ward and the help of the Lord that everything worked out. After he received the holy ghost in church he couldnt stop smiling it was awesome! What a great day and how much rejoicing there is! Thank you for your prayers on his behalf! I know that prayer played a major role in his conversion. actually, it was everything.

Well anyways it was a great week (minus the fact that its getting hotter which means more cockroaches and they are bigger and fly. we are trying poisons and things but so far no luck!) We are hoping to have many more investigators soon! But so much depends on the people in the ward. If people don't have friends at church they just don't go. and especially because we don't have books of mormon, if they don't go to church they can't progress. Our goal this week is to really inspire the ward to want to be missionaries.

Anyways thank you for all your love and support! I love you all with all of my heart.

much love always,

Hermana Black
 oh ps i have only received packages from Marivel- one here and one in Peru.
Picture of an ant hill. "There's tons of them everywhere."

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Vivo la vida Bolivia!

Hermana Black with Herman Roxanna and her family
Hello hello!!!

It was so great to read about everyone today! I love my family so much!! Thanks also to Patrice for the pictures!!! I love it!

So a few things real quick before we get into this email. Dad- i took about 30$ out last week, and im going to probably have to take out some more today or next monday. Also hopefully afton got my birthday card! Also mom if you could send an apple pie recipe (in spanish) for a lady in my ward that would be delightful! just translate one the best you can. google cant translate recipes well. also its humid here so that changes things, but just do your best if you wouldnt mind!

ok! so to answer some questions- i do my hair in that twist pretty much everyday. i made up part of it at the MTC in provo, and when i got my hair cut there the lady made it cooler. its the easiest thing ever. also i dunno who taught this parrot or if its wild or not. theres more though that ive talked to haha its awesome. Also no i  do not live in an apartment ha. I live in more of a storage unit behind a house. i´ll send pics someday. And as for india for malorie- ive got some pretty strong impressions here that i will be going to the middle east during my life. we could go together! also way cool about aftons story thing!

ok not much time today. just some quick stuff- no cambio! i am still in Hamacas with Hermana Choque. one of the pictures is of my last day of my first transfer, the other is at the zoo with the sloth. This week was pretty good- getting ready for Fernandos baptism next sunday! He is very strong to be going through with this. Hma Choque and i are pretty awful teachers. good thing the church is true or i dunno how this would work. haha. i draw strength from the fact that if god wanted to send his most talented and smart servants he could, because there are many in the church. but he chooses to send a bunch of crazy kids. But its a good thing that there are members here haha. Its thanks to members that Fernando is where he is at today. pretty much every day i make a new vow for how i am going to help the missionaries when i return home. Seriously. Its so important.

Well i ate my first papaya here! The fruit is awesome and delicious here but comes with a high price for gringos. Remmy is enjoying the high life in our kitchen. Each night we affectionately help him leave with a broom. Now that he has a name though i dont mind him as much. thank you pixar. If only there was a cute animated movie about cockroaches... Malorie???

Anyways im glad God is a God of second chances. Im grateful for all the people that help in this work. I have so much more to write but the internet was silly today sorry! anyways i love you all so very much!

love, Hermana Black
Elisa with Hermana Tracy who is holding a leaf that the sloth had just dropped on their heads

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Bolivia, Bolivia

Hermana Black with her companion (trainer) at a zoo in Bolivia

Hello hello family!!

Wow I can't believe how missionary crazy our family is right now. 3 out at once??? ah! so weird! Shorter time at the mtc? I dunno if that was inspired or just because people were literally sleeping on the floor already when i was there- they just don't have room! ha no of course that's great. wow God trusts his young people doesn't he? ha wow. I actually had a dream my first week in bolivia that malorie was serving in Mexico while i was here in Bolivia. haha funny right? or now is it not? he. he. Anyways!

This was my best week yet so far. P-day was fun- we played a lot of soccer with our zone. Except, i dunno what happened but i got really good at soccer.... i made 4 goals for my team and no one else made more than one. i think its all the tap dancing i did or something... anyways it was kind of embarrassing how good i played, and now my nickname in my zone is Hermana Messi (apparently some good soccer player in Argentina or something like that). ha anyways that was weird. Oh also Ninoska, a girl who is 20 in our ward goes with us on visits a lot and she nicknamed me Torpe this week. (shes almost done with her papers now- started the minute conference ended!) Torpe for you non spanish speakers means slow, clumsy, or awkward. haha its because i dont understand a lot. but its fun. she reminds me a lot of Malorie.

Tuesday was a good day. We did a lot of trying to follow the spirit going door to door, and we found this 25ish year old woman who went to church in La Paz with her friends, but now she is here. she has been trying to find the church here and here we were on her door step! so thats exciting.

WEdnesday we had a pretty much all day conference. Oh my scripture for the week is Alma 31:38 "yea He gave them strength that they should suffer no manner of afflictions, save it were swallowed up in the joy of Christ." at first when i read this i was like, what God made it so these missionaries didnt suffer anything? luckies. but then i realized NO! thats not what it says! it says they didnt suffer anything that the Joy of Christ didnt triumph! so this day when our hot water stoped working and it was really cold outside, i just thought about how my faith in christ and the happiness i have and will have because of Christ is more powerful than the icey shower! (and the hot water still isnt working today. ha. i just pretend im at Bear Lake mostly and that helps too).

Thursday we were at this house knocking on the door and the voice of a little girl said "sorry senoras, no one is here" (but obviously in spanish). we were like ok weird. So we started talking about where we wanted to go next, and the little voice kept saying "hola senoras!" and "sorry no ones here!" well then all of a sudden this girl came out of the house, and we realized that we had been listening to a parrot! the parrot sounded like a little girl because it listens to the girl who lives at the house. Theres tons of wild parrots in part of our area and they are so smart and cool to see! haha it was awesome.

Saturday was awesome. The more i feel love towards people here, the more i listen for inspiration, the more I search the scriptures, (the more spanish I learn), the better this work gets and its awesome! I love to feel like im helping people.

Sunday is usually my hardest day- i dunno what it is about going to church here but it makes me homesick. But today Fernando was there and i was so preoccupied with helping him that church was awesome haha.

Well good times. Im excited to hear about where Trevor and Malorie are going! This is just too crazy and awesome at the same time. Oh and to answer some of those questions mom- dont bring heavy shoes but bring shoes that can walk on rocks. emotionally- PREPARE before hand. Like, know why your serving, and remember that you will face hard trials that you cant even think of right now. But read all you can about other missionaries and where you´re serving. ill have to write more next week when i have time to think about it.

i love you all so very much!!!

love, Hermana Black
Hermana Black "holding on" in Bolivia

Thursday, October 11, 2012

October in Bolivia

Hello Hello!!!

Muchas Gracias por all the letters i recieved this week! I recieved dearelders from Grandma, chi-chi, Annalea, Patrice, Bessie, Dad, Madeline, and Mom. Wow! it was crazy and exciting and i feel so much support, so thank you so much! Also sorry my pictures didn't go through. I'm trying again today ha. Anyways thank you thank you thank you!!! your advice is always exactly what i need and i'm always so inspired. thank you thank you thank you!

Ok so how much did you just love conference??? It was a little different for me because i was only able to watch the last session in english. So when the Prophet made his grand announcement i only caught the part about the Sister Missionaries. Wow! was my first reaction. My second reaction was man we totally need this and are so ready for this! and then Hermana Tracy leaned over and said, "did you understand that?!" And then she explained that young men can leave when they are 18. And i was like well that's all ready what it is in South America. but then i was like AH! My brother is 18 next year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! um so whats the verdict? is he leaving right after high school? also how loud did mom scream? also does mal have any desire to go too? Wow.

Also, someone should tell me if Bryan Meyer made it home in one piece, and if chelsea, whitney wilcox, and Kynsie rife all made it off ok. Id like to know ha. :)

Also, did you ever get pictures on facebook via my teacher at the CCM?

Also i am the most tan i've ever been in my life as we are coming into spring here. oh also I forgot to write last week, that to go to the zoo here its 10 bolivianos. that's like $1.50!!! our whole family of 8 could go for under $10!!!!! Also, people here play basketball at least as much as futbol. all the soccer fields or basketball courts are the same- a basketball hoop hooked to a goaly box. even at the church. ha its cool.

ok into the week. We are having a really difficult time holding on to our investigators at the moment. for example, when we went to visit rosi on monday she was wearing a rosery for protection against us. haha. My companion was like "that's nice. now lets start with a hymn." haha it was hilarious to me. We had a nice normal lesson. but when the rosery didn't scare us off, her husband made her stop meeting with us. sigh.

tuesday we found lots of new people, but they've all decided that they don't want to hear the message. but we are probably going to go back to all of them anyways this week. We are trying to be more persistent this week with our investigators!!

wednesday Hermana Roxana asked me if i was being transferred in the next couple of weeks. obviously i dont know, but for the first time i felt sad that i might be leaving. Its been slow, but I'm growing love for this place. :)

Thursday I really had to focus on patience. I just feel like i should know spanish by now! i know i know you're thinking, its only been a month! but I really want to help people so much but its hard to feel like im doing any good when i don't know whats going on, let alone what to say. we are getting there though! Also, I never thought id say this, but i'm grateful for spiders. they eat mosquitos! usually i don't kill them because of this reason. but our house is just covered in them. I kill spiders with my hands now. ha.

Friday We were mistaken as jehovahs witnesses about a million times. they work super hard here. also there's this other church that promises all these miracles if you sell everything you have and give them the money. we lost a family of investigators to this scam unfortunately. people want easy solutions to their problems. the good thing is is that this "miracle" doesn't take place till december. so we are hoping we can help them see the light before then.

saturday conference!! fastest 8 hours of my life!! Maybe its becuase i didn't have to be walking around in the heat. haha jk. Seriously i loved it. I only understood maybe half, but i really felt like they were talking to me personally more than i ever have. Every person who spoke was telling me they know what its like, and they love me. And how cool that the closing prayer of the first session was given by Elder Uceda, who was jut in bolivia? and Elder Clark on sunday was a mission prez in bolivia! it was like God wanted me to know that with out a doubt, He knows exactly where i am in the world. :) Also I'm super excited about the temple in Arakipa Peru. I have friends from there and serving there currently!! Also Peru is seriously booooming with the work of the lord right now! I'm hoping Bolivia will start getting there soon too.

Sunday more conference! And Fernando came to a session! This was of course very exciting. We have his baptism scheduled for oct 27! but its going to have to change. I'm praying hard that he will continue to progress! I cannot even tell you how important every member of the church is in this work!

My "family" here and Fernando (second to the end)
well anyways thanks so much for all your love and support in my life. Hugs and kisses to you all! Trevor, work hard to prepare! read Preach my Gospel all the way through at least once!! Study study study! This work is so true. I know that the Prophets call to the 18 year olds is inspired. I've spent a lot of time with these 19 year olds, and i know that they are so ready and mature- more than i thought possible before my mission. this gospel is incredible!! 

Much much love, 
Hermana Black 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

1 month down in Bolivia!

Familia y amigos!

ok im still trying to figure out the whole email photos and printing thing, but hopefully you get an email and photos haha. This is what happens when i dont have marivel with me. ;)

Here are some photos! I sent some in the mail that you should be getting this week sometime. The photo with lots of girls is all my MTC buddies the second 3 weeks. We were crazy and had lots of fun haha. The other pictures are all at the zoo in Bolivia! It was super fun. If you look at the picture of me and Hma Tracy (the white girl) we are standing under a sloth. sloths and monkeys just kind of go wherever they want in the zoo! The leaf Hma Tracy is holding was dropped on our heads by the sloth when we went to take the picture. it was super funny because all these people were gathered to take pictures of the sloth, and then the sloth dropped it on us. we screamed and everyone laughed. good times!!

Ok so monday. the zoo! such a blast i loved it. Thank you Anita for the advice about sharing the gospel with every living thing. Im still working on turning screams into discussions, but we are getting there.

Tuesday was super windy. I wish I would have thought about wind with my skirts. One time Hma Choque´s skirt flew up and she said, "Mi integridad!" (my integrity.) haha oh man i laughed for a long time after that one. Also I received some tender mercies this day: I was really hungry but we still had two more hours till we were to go home. So i was just going to wait it out. but then, one of the members in our ward gave us bananas! God is sweet isnt he? oh also, it rained a little in the night and i had laundry out on the line, and Hma Roxana came and moved it! There are such sweet people here. Hma Roxana is the sweetest :)

Wednesday we found more churches: i have seen more than 20 churches in our ward area! Its insane! Some people here want to join every church just to be safe haha. so they get baptized all the time. Most people just tell us, "theres only one God and he´s the same for everyone so it doesnt matter which church". This is our biggest concern we work with right now.

Every Thursday is zone meeting. This time President came to ours, because our zone was "in trouble" for only having 7 baptisms. I guess as a zone we are supposed to have over 20 a month. President is super funny. he shook his hands at us and said something along the lines of, "you need to have blood pooring off of your hands from knocking on so many doors!" He´s great.

Friday Celina went to an appointment with us. She is over 70 and has only been a member for 10 months or so. She really wants her family to be members obviously, but no one is interested. She is so valiant and strong!! I love her lots. Members at lessons are seriously so great! Conversion stories have so much power :)

SAturday we had this awesome lesson with this investigator named Fernanado. Hes 20. I didnt think he´d really be an investigator (the only reason we started teaching him is because we were visiting with this member family and they wanted me to sing again and i said i would if theyd get us an investigator and one of the boys walked across the street and grabbed their neighbor fernando. haha) but he is asking lots of questions and is super interested.

Anyways it was a good week. Oh by the way its not flying crocodiles  their more like lizard type things. also everyone thinks its amazing that i haven't gotten sick. ha. the repellent is white with a green lid and its deet free "buzz away extreme". My quote this week was "forget yourself and go to work!" Also i think I forgot to write that i saw RAchel Asay when Elder Christopherson visited peru. also, I usually sleep with no blankets and a fan, and my companion sleeps with a comforter and a blanket. ha.


Hermana Black