Thursday, November 29, 2012

Bolivia :)

hola hola hola!!

Well first off i would just like to let you know that this week was lots lots better :) It was an interesting week though! But first some housekeeping business: I am sending a christmas package today- its all super small stuff, but i couldn't resist! it should get to you sometime in January i hope. have you been getting anything ive been sending? also, for how many weeks will malorie be in the ccm? also i tried to take pictures of my house but its too hard of angles, but i drew a picture and sent it last week so hopefully you'll get it next week! oh Dad how much money do i have please and thank you? Also rice cooks a lot lot faster here if anyone wants to know. oh also an important word to know: my favorite word i learned in the ccm is "Chevere" (kind of like Chevorlet the gas station). it means cool, but they don't use it in Bolivia, only Peru. But my friend who is a returned missionary here in my ward who served in Malorie's mission for half of his mission (before it split into lima central and cusco) uses it, so i do too. but anyways...

monday- I got to go to the centro again! love the big city. it was also our last day with Jorge and Adriana, but they just wont pray so there's nothing we can do.

tuesday- today i had to leave the house at 6a.m. to go to migration and do some paper work. it was fun because i got to talk to some of the other elders in my mtc group. One elder was telling me all about his area, and showed me pictures. its gorgeous! BUT its just out of the city so i will never get to go there. He´s having tons of success, and its just so beautiful! I was like dang i wish i could go there till he started talking about the Tarantulas....then i was like k cockroaches are actually kind of sweet.
Elisa's first zone in Bolivia
wednesday- today they took a census of all the country of Bolivia- something that only happens every 15 years! But it meant that we couldn't leave the house ALL DAY. Over 300 people were arrested because they were found outside of their houses. The entire country had to be inside all day. it was weird, but relaxing.

Thursday- Thanksgiving! to celebrate, I made the popcorn Monica sent and shared it with my zone at zone conference! most of the gringos forgot it was thanksgiving, because there is just nothing here that resembles thanksgiving! haha.

Friday- Black friday! I explained Black friday to my companion and she was weirded out and confused haha. we north americans are such weirdos. This night we planned an activity for the ward- a movie night, where members could bring friends to watch the movie about Joseph smith. we've been planning this for a while, and were super excited. the activity was scheduled to start at 7. Well at 7:30 there was four people: the ward mission leader, the guy with the projector, the bishops wife, and one member. at 7:50 hma choque and i walked outside. 2 families showed up, one with an investigator! at 8 we started the movie. after that people started trickling in. Even after 8:20 we would get people coming in and we´d say go on in its started! and they'd be like oh really??? wow. Bolivian time sure is different! anyways i think it was a success... the relief society president showed up a little after 8 with refreshments. Oh Bolivianos... haha

saturday- we talked with this members wife who belongs to another church. The more active people are in their churches here, the crazier they are. ha wish i had time to explain.

sunday- at 5:58 am i was woken up by the sound of flapping above my head. i was up and wasn't a bit tired. I used to be scared of moths in utah. (ask sister Lee for details if your curious about just how scared i was). The moths in utah i will compare unto a ping pong ball. The moths in bolivia: are basketballs.  Seriously if it wasn't for the fact that birds are colorful, you´d think the moths here were birds. but anyways it turns out it was not in the house but i was not tired after i heard the flapping. also i saw my first avocado tree! that was cool. We have a lot of new investigators right now that i'm really excited about, but i don't want to write about anyone if they don't really progress haha. so hopefully ill have some good stories about investigators next week. Fernando is helping us out though with one of our new investigators, and i cannot tell you how cool it is to see how different he is now- trying to spread the gospel and everything. He just has a light about him now and its so cool to see!

Anyways, I'm really grateful that this week was tons better than last week ha. I seriously am doing good. Don't wait for missionaries to spread the gospel- give your friends a chance to know the truth!

i love you all so very much, thanks for your prayers and support!

love always,

hermana Black

photos: the Lawn mowers of Bolivia (these cows were just roaming the park. its totally normal) and my first zone in Bolivia!

Sunday, November 25, 2012


hello hello!

First off SO COOL about malorie going to Cusco!!!! I know a bunch of Elders that are serving there because they were in my district in the CCM! Also I cant wait for you to meet the teachers there malorie!! They are going to love you because i was their favorite missionary ever hahaha. So so cool! Cusco!! You will probably have to learn two languages- thats what they told all the elders in my district!! wow sweet!

Well this week was extremely hard. I got to talk to the area psychologist on the phone (her and her husband are serving as psychologists for a lot of missions) this week. We figured out what is ´wrong´ with me- I have REALLY bad PMS haha. Its a real thing and I have it. Its extremely worse here though because: Ive been eating way too much sugar (there is way more sugar in the fruit here) and I am still struggling with Culture Shock. These things cause stress, and on top of all the other missionary things that cause stress, I had an extremely painful and hard week. This will happen once a month on my mission, but now that i understand the problem and am receiving help, things should be better. things already started getting better after I talked to Hermana Packard on the phone. So anyways, yeah.

The photos this week- are from a zone conference we had. Out of the 5 girls from north america here, one of them went to SUU! Shes in the picture with me.
Also the white girl in the zoo picture i sent is in the same ward as Uncle Wood in Washington! He emailed her last week haha. Anyways small world.

Monday- we have a new friend. Gus-gus. if you cant tell by the name, he´s a mouse. He hasnt gotten into the kitchen though i dont think. Also we got hot water again in our shower! but usually i keep the icewater- its just so hot usually.

Tuesday- so Jorge and Adriana changed the 10 hours to 5 hours. we have one hour left today. They came to church for an hour this sunday, but they just dont want to pray about the church, but they want answers. sigh. Its hard because they are so pressured into this. We will try one more time today (monday 19th) as hard as we can though.

Wednesday- We had a surprise zone conference! which was actually really good becuase its where i got to talk to the other north american girls and they are the ones that recommended i talk to the councilor. Im so glad I did! Its really helped me to think more positively too. I was telling myself ´´God will help me´´ but i wasnt using the things he gave me to help me, like the councilor. But now I think things will be better.

Thursday- We had a returned missionary in one of our lessons who taught with great power with one of our investigators. I thought i was going to learn how to teach like that when i left the mtc. psych! no one teaches you how to teach the gospel. i really hope i can teach with that kind of power though one day!

Friday- My companion was attacked by Edward this day. Edward is a bat if you couldnt tell. Also I learned that one of Satans favorite things to do is exploit negative thoughts. If you think a negative thought, He will blow it out of proportion. so to be safe, just dont think negative thoughts! Its not worth it!

saturday- I tried to pray in english haha didnt work i couldnt do it. had to start over. also i scared this little old lady that looks exactly like the little old lady at the beginning of the movie Ratatouille. She had these giant eyes and she was sweeping and i walked passed her gate and she almost died of fright. We tried so hard not to laugh but man it was hilarious!!!

Sunday- we got two new investigators today thanks to the same family that helped with Fernando! Most everyone else in the ward just complains that this ward is super hard and no one wants to listen to the gospel here. This family, the Family Torrez is the only family that gives us references, and hey look? we had a baptism. Also, theres this giant tent in our area thats set up saturday and sunday, and if you want a miracle from god you walk in the tent and pay a bunch of money. This guy is screaming scriptures and things at the people and making them jump up and down and yell Hallelujah every couple of minutes. Its insane and sad...

Well this week was hard but I know i can do the work of the Lord. I would recommend mal and trevor learning how to deal with stress, and learning stretches and things because my muscles have gotten tense and stuff. But I am so excited for Malorie! Cusco is going to be awesome. Peru is seriously amazing and I love it so much! Thanks family for your advice, help and love. oh also if someone could get me Britany Samuelson (Dewey)´s address that would be awesome! Thanks so much!

love always,

Hermana Black

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

hello hello

Hello friends and family!

so first off- I love what the stake/ward is doing with the books of mormon and references! i would do anything for that to happen here!!! i'm learning more and more about just how difficult of an area i am in right now, Fernando really was a miracle! But we found out this week that thanks to the change in age for missionaries, Santa Cruz is about to DOUBLE the number of missionaries! Instead of about 120, we are going to have 250 missionaries! I am so grateful because we really really need this. Also i did receive everything in your package, but I've been told that anything that arrives in December I most likely wont get, and there isn't a chance that it wont be broken into. Christmas things need to be sent AFTER Christmas. But we will see.
Also, I REALLY need more calming medicine if you can send it. But i got a blessing last night so hopefully that´ll help.
Also I sent Topher and Marivel letters two weeks ago- they should get them this week. Lets see what else...  Talitha- i love you so stinking much and am very grateful for your prayers and thoughts! every time i look at the moon i think about you.

ok moving on! Monday- every Monday that i wash my towel it rains hard core. this is bad because my laundry is hanging out to dry. the rain is awesome here though i love it! and it rains a lot all year because well its a tropical climate. Also all the juice and ice cream is straight up fruit here. i seriously love it so much! If there's one thing i will miss about Bolivia, it´ll be the ice cream  so dang good! oh also i'm trying to laugh at myself more- this day i accidentally told an investigator that in the church, we like ourselves a lot. haha oops.

Tuesday- so i really miss having Fernando to look forward to everyday haha. We don't really have anyone progressing right now, but we are working hard! In our ward there are quite a few young single adults that are members but no one else in their family are members. We are working with two sets of parents right now- Antonio Cruz is about to leave on his mission so his parents are giving the missionaries a chance right now. And Alejandro Medrano- his parents have a lot of problems, but his Dad comes to church sometimes. Alejandro is a returned missionary and his parents always love having the missionaries over. but they don't progress despite thousands of we´ll see.

Wednesday- today i tried to talk to an elder in English  it was super hard. the Spanish and English are all just mumbled up in my head and i really cant speak either well right now. my companion in the mtc (sister Kimes) said that its easier for men to learn languages because they separate everything in their minds. for women, everything is together. i'm really feeling that right now haha.

thursday- another dead mouse was found. I knew there was more than one! Thus mickey has joined Remmy in the fields above. Also two north american sisters went home because of knee problems. We are now down to five of us! we are hoping to get more. I'm very grateful to Hermana Seaverson, one of the sisters who went home. she wrote me a note on my first day. the very first thing it said was DON'T GO HOME. I thought this was funny at first until i got to my house that second night, and the following days getting into the mission. Her note really helped me a lot.

Friday- today we received what we call our "10 hour challenge". A bishop from another ward in the stake has a son who now says he will give the church a chance- his dad says he just has to listen to the missionaries for 10 hours. so we have 10 hours to "convince" him and his wife that the church is true. This is a little unnerving but seeing as we don't have anyone else progressing i'm pretty hopeful. his name is Jorge and him and his wife are really nice. our second hour is tomorrow so we will see how it goes...

Saturday- today a lot of people are sick because it was really hot during the day, and there was a little wind at night. its so funny to me- i'll be sweating like a pig and we'll have people coughing because its cold. my companion is sick too because of how much the weather changes apparently. To me its all the same: hot. ha.

well that's it for this week. i'm grateful for awesome leaders- my zone leaders right now are top notch. I'm really hoping that this coming week will be a lot better!  

much love always,

Hermana Black

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Bolivia (sorry i always forget to think of creative subjects)

hello hello!

sounds like everyone had an awesome halloween! love loved the pics! too cute :) I did receive packages last monday from mom, monica, and Grandma. thank you sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much! (we don't get our mail till after we write on monday so i never know before). So is Malorie not going to have another semester of school then? shes leaving like januarish? crazy! well i guess my guesses are Mexico and Maine. haha. cool cool though. So someone has to tell me about elections ! Also, i love what the ward is doing. I cant even tell you the power of members! its the reason Fernando was baptized, but its also the reason why we don't have any progressing investigators right now...sigh. Members have so much power, i had no idea! Also, if anyone wants to send me their conversion stories id love to have them! ok...

Monday- this day we gave Fernando the pictures from his Baptism. he was so happy he started showing them to everyone around. haha it was great. He’s so happy- everything about him has changed for the better, and thanks to the amazing young single adults in the ward, he has tons of new friends too. it's awesome.

Tuesday- we had an investigator named Mary who is super catholic. She felt that our message was true, and this scared her so much that she decided she doesn't want to talk to us anymore. shes too scared to change her life. I've thought a lot about fear here on my mission. When i first arrived i was so scared, and i thought this was really bad because i thought it meant i didn't have enough trust in God. But I've been reading a lot of scriptures throughout the last couple of weeks, and there's lots of stories about people having fear at first. Joseph smith was scared when he saw the angel Moroni (Testimony of JS in the introduction). The women at the tomb where scared when they saw the angel (Matt 28:8), and Peter, james and John (Mark 9:6) were sore afraid on the mount. But their fear leaves them when they turn to God and use him as their light and strength. As I've done this I've found my faith build. Baptism is a scary thing, because its a change and you don't know what its going to be like. But when we trust god we know that as we step into the dark, He will catch us. BUT there is first that step into the dark.

Wednesday- Theres a lot of power in knowing what kind of questions to ask. It lets us know what the investigator is feeling and what they need. But knowing the right questions and when to ask them is the hard part! I want to be a good question asker.

Thursday- I am really starting to love our weekly district/zone meetings. it's fun to get together with the other missionaries in my area. This week the President of the mission was out of the country, but everything functioned just fine- totally normal. And its just a bunch of 19-22 year-olds out here running everything! It definitely builds my faith in the truth of this work to know that its possible with just a bunch of kids. God is in it all that's why it works! God makes weak things strong.

Friday- so today our Pensionista- Hermana Roxana who makes us food- was gone, so her son bought us chinese take out. well chinese food here is basically the same as all the other rice and meat we eat here, but my companion is convinced it was different. haha.

saturday- as i walked to the bathroom i almost stepped on dead remmy. dunno how he died but hes dead. it looks like someone stepped on him. It probably was my guardian angel. haha. anyways we don't have mouse problems anymore. ha.

sunday- i learned today that Dora the explorer is originally for spanish speakers to learn english, and that explorer in spanish is exploradora. therefore, it is a rhyme "Dora la exploradora". haha i thought that was super funny. Also, lots of people talk to us because they think we are jehovahs witnesses. when they find out we are not, they tell us they aren't allowed to talk to us, because they promised the jehovas witnesses they wouldn't talk to anyone else. sigh.

anyways a tough week, but i'm learning lots. I read a talk by Elder Packer, who talked about life with afflictions. I love that he says that yeah sometimes when we do whats right we are really alone. Therefore the question becomes, "when you're alone, are you in good company?" i love this, and i'm trying to work on being good company for myself. I often think, if only i was with someone who could speak english and realized how horrible some of these things are, we could laugh it off together. But now i'm trying to work on laughing at myself. "come what may and Love it" as Elder Worthlin said once. Anyways thanks for all the love and support! have a great week!!

much love,

Hermana Black