Thursday, January 31, 2013


Hola familia!

So this last Monday i got so much stuff! I’m definitely the most loved
missionary :) I received packages and cards from the young women of
the ward, gramma and chichi and lula, Patrice family, Evan family,
marivel, the ward, madeline, deedee, dory, and morgan! (and mom and
dad:) ) so thank you so stinking much! Seriously, my zone leaders had
to take a taxi to bring everything. They were like, we just need to
have the mail go directly to Hermana Blacks house. Then she can bring
the one or two other letters to those who get them. Haha. Oh and yeah
i got your orange letter madeline, sorry i just have not been able to
write back! 
Also i do not have much time today- we had a big activity
and now we only have 30 minutes to write! But yeah. Thanks so much for
your letters and packages!!! Also my companion says thanks to grandma
and chichi for the stuff in the christmas package :)

Ok so i wrote last week about three families that came to church which
was amazing! Well two of them don’t want to talk to us anymore sadly.
But the third one a mom (Nanci) brought her two kids (sophia age 7 and
Israel age 8) to church with her, along with her brother in law,
Marco. Marco is progressing super fast! He already has a testimony of
the gospel during this week, and he is super excited for his baptism,
Feb 16! His birthday is feb 17, and he´ll be getting the Holy Ghost
that day! We are trying to prepare Nanci and Israel for that day too,
but they are going a little slower. Her husband, also named Israel,
doesn’t want to talk to us yet. But with this wife and brother
listening to us, we are hopeful that he will soon! Also, this lady
thats been coming to church for a while named Maria Torrez isn’t a
member because she isn’t married. But her husband was a member a long
time ago. We felt like we should visit her, and we found out that she’s
been preparing to get married this next week! So we are excited about
getting her baptized soon too. Then we also have Kaila, who is
planning on getting married to a member, so she wants to get baptized.
We are excited about these people right now. We definitely have so
much support in this ward, and that’s been so key in these lessons!
(and not just because the members can speak spanish haha)
Also congrats to afton in the play! someone record it for sure!!!
ok have i mentioned that it is hot here? wow its insane! i am hot and
rashy and man wow haha hot. id put some more descriptive words but i
really don’t have time and cant think fast enough in english right now
haha. it finally rained friday- for the first time since january 2nd.
i love the rain so stinking much!!! it was so cool. We looked and saw
these black clouds on the horizon at about 7. Then we knocked on a
door, and with this lady we watched as in less than 10 minutes, the
whole sky was super black and the world became SeaWorld. We ran home
as fast as we could (its dangerous sometimes with how much the rain
just pours and we didn’t have an umbrella or anything). we were
drenched! Well we couldn’t really leave so we made some popcorn and
watched the rain and listened to the thunder. It’s so loud here, like
it sounds like the sky is breaking. i love it so much!

so i read in the bible that parable about how first the rich people
are called to the feast, and then later other people until the feast
is filled. well i thought about that other scripture, about how many
are called and few are chosen. And as i read that parable, i realized
that we CHOOSE to be chosen. its in our actions and choices and who
we follow. I like that i have the control to decide.

Anyways it was a good week full of lots of hard work and i loved it!
January has flown by for me. It’s nice to understand the work and start
to have success. I love you all so much! Thanks for so much support
and love!

love , hermana black

ps if i could ever get a copy of grandmas testimony, that movie for
the church in spanish, that would be awesome! maybe for my birthday?
:) thanks!

Monday, January 28, 2013


Hermana Black with a scarecrow investigator

Cabbages the size of your head

Enjoying a cupcake on last day with Hermana Choquee

One of the "better" bridges over a water-runoff canal

"Soy Chismosa": translation = I'm a gossiper

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


hello hello!

So today my zone leaders came in a taxi to internet- because they had
to bring tons of packages! So finally I’m going to get stuff today.
Everything from December and January hopefully. I sneaked a peak and
saw that i have two from Marivel and one from sister Wendelboe! I´lll
let you know what else next monday. Thanks so much everyone! Oh also i
never asked if you got everything in my christmas package? There was
something for mom and dad and for the whole fam too. Also Hna Morris
just told me that her mom wrote and said that she saw someone at the
post office sending me something this week! I’m guessing it was
marivel? Anyways small world!!! Also i love that you are so good at
science projects family haha. Hna Morris is a chemistry major :)

Ok so parasite update: so my companion made me call sister Calderon
because i was sick. She of course said go to the clinic. i was not
exactly thrilled about this. But I’ve learned something out here
believe it or not. When there´s something hard that you need to do,
you need to ask God to help you with three things. Or maybe its just
me. But it really helps. First, you need to ask for STRENGTH to go
through with the trials or things that will help you grow. Then,
you´ve got to ask for the CAPACITY to handle the situation when you´re
in it. Then, you ask for the RESILIANCE to be ok and keep moving
forward after. When i focus on these three things and asking God to
give me these things, I feel like i have more control and receive the
help i need. So anyways, i went to the clinic on Tuesday, and got the
test results Wednesday. On Tuesday i got a blessing from my awesome
zone leaders. I also have been taking the drops like crazy. Well, I
don’t have a parasite! I mean im pretty sure i did, but thanks to the
medicine, sleeping all day Tuesday, the blessing, and i know tons of
prayers from family and friends, I’m cured! (that’s quoted from the
stripes book that Tali loves :) ) anyways so I’m super happy obviously
about that.

Monday- so i was pretty sick all day, and Hermana Morris washed
aaaaall my clothes by hand for me! Man she is the best. Also, we had
some construction going on at our house to move the bathroom door to
open into our bedroom and not to the outside. The walls were done in
one day, but we didn’t get a door until Saturday haha. Its been fun.
oh Hna Morris has been out one year.

Tuesday- sick all day. its easy to get fevers here because its so hot.
also people get pneumonia because you’ll be outside sweating like crazy
and then it’ll rain cold rain. But anyways wednesday i pretty much felt

Wednesday- tons of hard work from hna Morris and hna black!! hna
morris really understands how to effectively work and effectively use
time. its awesome.  We complete our realistic goals and feel the
influence of the spirit like crazy!

Thursday- we didn’t complete our goals but we still worked really hard.
We got to know our bishop who has an awesome conversion story,
including running across Bolivia which is always cool right?

Friday- so we have 5 girls in the ward that are all leaving for the
mission soon, and are inviting their friends to listen to the
missionaries! they are so great- like even if one of their friends
arent´home, they have a backup plan with more friends!!! haha love it.
its so great. Also this day i had a whole conversation alone with one
of the girls when my companion was talking to another girl, and i
understood everything and was able to communicate!!! I am definitely
doing awesome with spanish right now :)

Saturday- what a huge difference effective planning and use of time
makes. I cannot even believe the difference in the work!! The day goes
by fast when we use it well!

Sunday- today is where everything really paid off- where we really got
to see the fruits of our labors. 3 FAMILIES came to church this day.
All three families are preparing for baptism for February 16. I dont
think all the members of every family will be ready be this date
maybe, but we will definitely be having some baptisms this transfer!
Hard work is paying off so well for us right now. hard work is worth
it because there are results! We have been able to find the people
ready in this area. Today i kind of felt like Ammon, bringing groups
of people to the waters of baptism. But im getting carried away. Feb
16 is still pretty far away and there’s much work to be done!

Anyways awesome week obviously. oh my piensanista is named Jose. its
really different here. Hna Roxana was kind of like a mom, but jose
just gives us food. We live in the same house with her and the family
of her sister. I’ll have to send pics of the house i love it. ha.
Anyways this is all i can write right now but thanks so much for your
love and support!

love, hermana Black

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

First Transfer!

hello hello!

Well this week there was transfers!!! I am with Hermana Morris, from
Cedar City UTAH! ‘Ive already sent you a picture of her ha! Its great i
am loving it. I’m in the same stake , but a different ward, and i
already love it. My area is Centenario. The members want to help and are so nice! its so great and so different!
:) but anyways my new piensanista gets really offended if we don’t eat
everything she gives us, and it’s a ton of rice with a little meat, and
some kind of soda. So... dunno what to do about that. She´s from
Columbia which is cool.

Ok so monday i learned a new word- wakala! it means yuck or gross! It’s
my new favorite word. Also, i took hermana choque out to get a
cupcake- it was one of my christmas presents to her. Oh and her family
sent her stuff so no worries about that.

Tuesday i had to go to migration for the second of three times. So
that was a long morning. This night we were visiting Fernando and when
we left, we both really felt like it was goodbye. I was surprised by
this, because we were pretty positive that Hna Choque would be
leaving, but I’d be staying in Hamacas. It was a good goodbye. He´s

Wednesday hna choque took me out to ice cream. hm... maybe i can cut
back on sugar more than i thought...oops. ok I´ll work harder ha.
dang. Also, this night was our last night with the Uriona family. As a
good bye present, one of the cats peed on Hna Choques leg. hahahahaha.
Well this is the night we got the phone call about transfers!! So we
did some packing.

Thursday- packing all morning. I got to my new house at 2:30. It was
naaaasty!!! We ended up cleaning for 4 hours. It’s because elders lived
there last, back in november and they left stuff in the fridge and
then turned the fridge off. That’s just one of the things we found.

Friday- so because we are both new to the area and it’s been a while
since missionaries were here, we are "opening" the area. We are doing
a lot of door knocking. But Hermana Morris knows how to work! We are
doing so much and i absolutely love it! Hermana Morris gets
how to work and we are working hard!!! I love it so much. Also, the
members are seriously amazing. Everyone wants to help us out. Which
is awesome, because neither one of us speaks perfect spanish. But i
definitely have the gift of tongues tons more now. I understand
basically everything during lessons. This week has been great!

Saturday- lots of hard work. lots of understanding spanish. i'm feeling
like a missionary and its great!

Sunday- wow this day was freaking hot!! Usually when it gets so hot
here that you feel it down to your bones, it rains hard core which I
love. But i waited, and the rain didn’t come! We visited the bishop
this night and his wife is from a different part of the santa cruz
mission. She says that it’s so hot there, that the missionaries cannot
leave between 11-5. Also hermanas kept fainting there so that’s why
hermanas can't work in that area anymore. Also she made tamales for us!
They are super yummy but different- sweet and cheesy. sounds gross
right? But i really liked it.

Ok well that’s all for this week. oh i bought that picture book i
showed you on skype! Also don’t send a new package grandma- we didn’t
really get mail all december and we don’t get mail when there’s
transfers so i could still get her package. Anyways can’t write more
but i love you! chao chao!!

hermana black


***So, my (mom) favorite part of this week's email is one of the last lines. I bolded it. I'm going to try and get excited from now on...***

hello and howdy!

This was a good good week. Hna Choque and i have definitely improved as teachers of the gospel. We are better at listening to the spirit, discerning needs, working together, and having more effective lessons. its great! But of course transfers are this week so... we will see what happens!

My toe is fantastic thank you. i stopped wearing flip flops the second day. i haven't had any pain since BEFORE i went to the clinic. Everything is hunky dory.

So for new years eve, parties usually start at 10 or so and go all night. The fireworks were incredible- we have a big window in our room and the colors flashed in amazingly. Also its traditional to do something with the number 12 at midnight. the most common things are: eat 12 grapes as fast as you can, run up and down stairs 12 times as fast as you can, or give people 12 million dollars in fake money. Also, they think that in the states we all wear these big top hats for new years so a lot of people here wear them. haha.

Oh as for the fruitcake- its not my favorite thing but people here love it. i hear its good with something to "drink"... but anyways it was fun to be a part of the tradition here by eating some.

Monday- we felt inspired to visit a certain less active on new years- and it was her birthday! Also, her brother died 3 weeks ago. i love being able to be an instrument in the hands of god. Also we played volleyball as a district since it was pday, and a lot of people kept saying, "its alright Hermana- volleyball just isn’t your sport. its soccer. don’t worry." Yeah i almost broke one of the lights at the church where we play... maybe its the change in hemisphere but I’m definitely better with my feet here.

Ok so tuesday we had hard core rain! it rains a lot here which i love love love! This time our house didn’t leak- we didn’t do anything i dunno why it doesn’t leak. but the rain hits hard and fast here. we were walking and suddenly bang! the we are wadding through water. The sidewalks in most areas are high up for when this happens. we were walking along a side walk that’s about 3 feet above the road when this taxi starting coming down the road.We stopped to watch it- it was incredible watching it go through the water! the waves were huge- i was like where’s my jetski? but then too late we realized that it was quickly approaching us. yeah, we got drenched. haha it was a blast. we didn’t have any lessons- no one opens their doors here when it’s cold, they all sleep. But we had fun.

Wednesday we found this girl named Erika- 25 years old. She had gone to church for a year in the past, but never been baptized! We were so excited. We gave her one of our few precious books of mormon. Well it turns out she doesn’t live in our area. Your welcome Elders. haha.

Thursday- god likes chain reactions. or doing things line upon line. We had talked with this Adventista (thats a religion) last week, and had been preparing to explain why even though God cannot change, things like the sabbath day change. Well we prepared a lot, but she doesn’t want to progress. Sometimes its easy to think, why did i feel inspired to knock on that door if the person doesn’t want to hear the gospel? But then this night we called Auster again. Well it turns out that he has been reading the book of mormon! But he was confused as to why god says don't kill, but nephi was commanded to kill Laban. Well thanks to our preparation with that Adventista, we were able to give him a good answer! This is only one of the many experiences that i have seen with line upon line. Like knocking on this door leads us to this door which leads us to this street which leads us to Erika. Even though she doesn’t live in our area God prepared the way for us to find her. Its awesome.

Friday we had an awesome zone conference- our zone is super small right now- only 12 people or so. its usually 18-20. But a lot of missionaries went home before Christmas and we didn’t get any new missionaries and one hermana went home because of her knees. But anyways it was inspiring and faith building- i'm grateful for these weekly zone conferences! 

Saturday so the Uriona family went to the temple this week (everyone but Roxana) to do baptisms for their family and they found that someone else has done tons of the work! so now they are trying to find who is in their family that is also mormon! its so cool.

Sunday- again with the line upon line thing- we went to pick up an investigator who wasn’t home so we were running to church and we got there just as Rosemary was walking through the door. because of the exact right timing of our entrance, we were able to find her and now she and her husband are our newest investigators! i have definitely been learning that when things don’t work out the way you want , be excited- God just might have cooler things in store for you!

Anyways i love you all so stinking much!

love, Hermana black

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

prospero ano nuevo (1/3 done!)

hello lovely family and friends!
This week was amazing because i got to talk to my family!! That was the best thing ever. Just a few clarifications: i said that no insects enter my room. That’s a lie. I’m always covered in ants. The mosquitoes are few though. not much else gets in thank heavens!!

Ok so monday night we had a special dinner with the Uriona family! that was great. it was yummy. we had to eat super fast though to get to our room on time though. we were woken up at midnight to tons and tons of fireworks! the same thing is going to undoubtedly happen tonight too so fun stuff! 
Hma Black at the Uriona home on Christmas Eve
Ok so christmas we went shopping because we weren't able to on monday pday because my companion was sick. Then we worked as normal- we delivered a bunch of christmas cards to people. We made sure to say feliz navidad to everyone we saw (which wasnt a lot) because pretty much every church here except the catholic church doesn't celebrate christmas but we do! And there’s so many missionaries- it was our way to differentiate from everyone else. then we talked to our families! yay!
Christmas dinner with fruitcake -- common in Bolivia
Wednesday- well lots of rain this week. did i mention our shower only had hot water for a week? oh also our stove blew out the outlet so we didn't have a stove or fridge (because the fridge is plugged into the same outlet) for a couple days this week. Anyways its super cold when its cold outside and then you shower in ice water! I’m thinking about doing one of those jump into the ice water charity fundraiser things after my mission. shouldn't be too hard after this :)
Elisa with her trainer, Hma Choque (pronounced Chokeee)
Ok so thursday at zone conference we learned about setting goals. We learned especially about the fact that we always need faith and hope in our goals. Hmana choque (by the way its pronounced chokeeee- everyone here is still laughing about how you said her name haha) and i have kind of lost this i think- especially because our only progressing investigator- sandra- is now in California! ha. But she said she’s going to look for the church there. She always keeps her word. Rudi will not keep is commitments (praying, reading, or going to church) and we´ve lost Auster quite completely. So we’ve been looking for new people but rather hopelessly i think. But after this conference and especially with the lesson from Hma Morris, we had lots of hope this day and we think we have found a family ready for the gospel: Elsi is the mom and she’s 36. She has 4 kids, and two of them live with her still. Santiago is 16 and has been visiting the church in another ward with his friends! Gabriella is 13 and goes to another church with her sister right now. But Elsi went to our church 3 times while living in Brazil for the last year. Anyways here´s hoping that they are ready for the blessings of the gospel in their lives!

Friday- happy anniversary! i thought about you both all day as we ran through the rain and didn’t have any doors open.
Saturday- i really got cabin fever- i want to go to another area! i love a lot of things about Hamacas (by the way that’s the name of my ward and it means hammic. hamick? its that thing you sleep on ha). But this day i was just so ready for a change of scenery! Again with the knocking on doors and not entering houses. ok we enter houses- but then we learn that they are less active members ha.
Sunday- one of our less active families that we’ve been working on for the last three weeks came to church today! They have been less active for 10 years or more. It’s a family of 6 kids, the youngest is 19. the dad used to be in a bishopric in Cochabamba. the mom and dad came to sacrament meeting today! that was exciting. we are really hoping to get more of the family to come to church- 4 of them are married to nonmembers. This family has the potential to really be a force for good if they will just come back! Also we’ve been praying and fasting that the hearts of our ward members might be softened the whole time ive been in this ward. we’ve wanted them to feel the importance of helping with the missionary work, especially with less active members and new people that come to church. Well today at the consejo de Barrio they started talking about the need for this! yes! we are so happy for this. we´ve been working so hard. We still can’t get anyone to say hello to the investigators or less actives without calling them the night before and then dragging them over during church, but at least they are talking about the change and we are excited for improvement!

So this week was long and hard but its because a lot of people around here leave town for vacations during this time. We work in a super rich area- everyone has houses en el campo. but yeah hopefully this week will be better. Also i stopped meeting with Sister Packard on the 21. I’m doing a lot better. i love one of the things she said- You don’t have to be here for forever. But if you did, could you be happy? i dont need to suffer my way though this. I can choose to be happy now. I’m trying so hard. Happiness is a choice and i choose it. :)

Also something Elder Christopherson said to us that i love: dont desire to do anything but His work His way. The His way part is really important. If it was my way, I’d send Elder Holland to knock on the doors here. But thats not His way.

Anyways I love you all lots and lots- happy happy new year!!!!!!
love, Hermana Black