Thursday, May 23, 2013

Council of Zone Leaders

Hello hello!

This week was interesting. On monday we played futbol. i can tell the elders didn’t really want us to play with them. But i really like playing- it’s when i get to relieve a lot of stress. We don’t have room to do much exercising where we live right now. But I’m still really good at futbol if anyone wants to know haha. 

Tuesday was the council or whatever of zone leaders. Basically our duty is to do exchanges. President will call us when he wants us to do an exchange with an hermana that is struggling or new, etc. also any zone leader that has hermanas can call and request an exchange now for an hermana and we will be notified. We can also be called to observe hermanas weekly planning or observe their area book and give advice. Stuff like that. It’s pretty chill. It was just fun to go to the meeting. At lunch we got to eat with president and hermana calderon. i asked him what’s the first thing he is going to do when he gets home from his mission. He said "eat!" he has planned to eat something different every hour on his first day. Hermana calderon said she is going to throw away every phone she has and then sleep for a week without a single person interrupting. They are seriously incredible and I’m going to miss them.

Wednesday we visited the familia Vasconcelos. We explained to the Dad and two of the kids what baptism does. He has been baptized in another church, but he didn’t know that baptism is meant to clean you of all your sins. Anyways everything just clicked with him and he asked if he could be baptized that night! Well, he is really excited right now, but we put a baptism date for the 15th of June because we are hoping his wife and 12 year old daughter will get baptized at the same time. But right now they don’t want to listen to us... his 7 year old daughter though asked, "can i get baptized on September 10th?" (they learned at church that you have to be 8 to be baptized). Her birthday is September 9th and she has her baptism planned out. So cute! we just really hope his wife will come back. Arnaldo (her husband) says that she keeps having bad dreams about her dad now so she thinks it means we are bad. So we are praying hard for her!
Also this day we went to the offices for a couple of things, one being i needed a new water bottle, because the day before when i drank out of it water would shoot out a little of one side. One of the secretarios asked, whats wrong with your waterbottle? So i was like let me show you. i started drinking, and i guess to prove my point i must have squeezed too hard and well it kind of exploded all over the office. haha so embarrassing. 
Thursday i woke up to my birthday! And also the coldest day i have ever had in bolivia! I was sooo grateful for the tights from tia Monica! It gets COLD here folks! Anyways no one wanted to open their doors because they were frozen. but when we got back at night, i found that hna morris, huenchur, and Armas had all made a surprise birthday dinner for me, with all i could eat guacamole! awww it was the best thing ever! So thats the picture i am sending this week. i wanted to take more pictures but then my camera died. haha. but anyways it was fun.

Hma Black and her Birthday Guacamole!
Friday we went to the clinic because hna morris is in a lot of pain every time after she eats something no matter what it is. We are now teaching this cute cute cute japonese family, that are the relatives of Elder China, who i gave notes to  give to michaela and malorie. (yeah their last name is china and they are from japan haha). Anyways they are adorable and we had an awesome first lesson so hopefully they will progress!!!! I’ve noticed that when families have a missionary out, it really blesses them. Elder china has only been out three weeks, but his family is starting to get active, and other relatives are now listening to the missionaries! That’s so great.

Saturday was pretty normal... we helped one of the daughters of our piensonista give a book of mormon to her boyfriend. One of the biggest themes this week is that members really need to invite the people they love to visit the church. For example, Arnaldo Vasconcelos told us that like all his wife´s family is mormons practically, and no one has ever invited them to church! We keep hearing this a lot from people. if everyone in the church would just invite one person they love to know the church, we could spread the good news extremely fast. It’s good news, the happiest news on earth, why is it so hard to let people we love know about it?

Sunday Arnaldo came to church again with Abby (the seven year old) and Savier (5 years old. i think thats how you say his name). anyways we also talked with them again i just can’t remember what day, and Arnaldo is already planning on going on a mission with his wife (so we are REALLLY trying to get to her) and Abby also is preparing to go on a mission. she is sad she has to wait until she is 19! Also more and more members of the Fernandez family are coming to chruch- one of her oldest daughters came with her kids, and realized her son is 11 and not baptized! The Fernandez family is huge, and we are doing our best to help them come back. Unfortunately the Dad took a bad turn again. But we aren’t giving up on him!

So basically that was this week. It was a hard week, but we are so happy and excited and hopeful for the Vasconcelos and Fernandez families. We have prayed so hard and long for families (from our first day as companions the last time!) so we are doing our best to help them now.

Thanks so much for all the birthday cards and packages (that hilariously cute frog from uncle gary and aunt susan is definitely on my pillow everyday now). I really enjoyed everything!!!

much love,

hermana black

After Mother's Day

hello hello and hello!

how fun was it to talk yesterday! One hour goes by so very fast. i really enjoyed talking to you guys though, keep being amazing! 

The photos today are one of me, hermana morris, and hermana armas. The other one is of me with this thing hermana morris and i bought because we were hungry one night. Its chicken and fries, with a drink as the part you hold! It’s like the ultimate fast food. You could just walk and eat, or put it in your car and it’s like the easiest thing ever! We thought we were all about fast in america, but the Cambas (people from Santa Cruz) sometimes beat us on making life easy. hahaha. 

Anyways... so monday playing wallyball was fun again. but hermana morris and i were kind of walking around with a little black rain cloud over our heads because rumors were going around that the reason why we were together was because we couldn’t handle being trainers and other rumors about how we´ve been flirting with elders and things like that. So we were feeling blackcloudish with all these rumors, and it’s hard to have the spirit when you feel blackcloudish. So, we decided to call President. Well he was like No! Everything is fine! You girls are doing great! PLEASE don’t feel bad! And he told us that he´d call us into his office soon to explain what’s going on. So that really helped us feel a lot better. i really needed to hear that. So then we went on working like usual.

The rest of the week went well. We didn’t have quite as many lessons as we were hoping for, but being who we are we still walked and didn’t ever stop! I couldn’t be more grateful for the ability of Hermana Morris to always keep going and never be lazy. EVER. She´s amazing and incredible and basically i know how to be a missionary thanks to her.

Anyways we had an awesome lesson with the Fernandez family this week. (the family of little Gabriela). We did the lesson family home evening style. We thought that like all their kids were going to come but it ended up being only the mom, dad, and the two youngest kids. well i felt like we should pull out my tree lesson. It went over incredibly. The dad just started bawling and said that he really wants to go back to church, he´s just so embarrassed by what he´s been doing with his life. He said he wants to start over like an investigator though, and take all the lessons with his daughter now. We are so excited for this family to come back! We are going to move her baptism date until june though, so we can really get this family going strong first and so that she wont just get baptized and go inactive. But anyways the tree lesson is like my favorite thing ever. I definitely can tell that i have more and more creativity in my mission, and i know it’s because I’m listening more and more to the spirit and learning more and more how the spirit talks to me. It’s so great.

Well we were really sad about the family Vasconcelos this week, the Brazilian family. We had a lesson on wednesday and the mom didn’t even come down to talk to us. The dad said something along the lines of "we don’t go to church so we just like that you guys come to bless our house". We really pushed prayer and going to church and did our best, but we felt a little sad leaving, and that maybe we would move our focus to other people this week. BUT! The dad and two of his kids with two of their cousins came to church! ah! we are so happy! Also, right next to this internet cafe, there’s a photo shoot place, and who should be taking their pictures this morning, but the family Vasconcelos! So we have an appointment with them tonight, and we are praying so hard for them. I just know they are going to make it. Maybe not in my time frame, but i am going to do what i can to help them understand how happy they can be!!

And of course my biggest news of the week is that Hermana Morris and I are the first Hermana Zone leaders in the mission! So that’s the real reason we are together again. It’s amazing to see how I’ve been prepared for this calling. All this week ivĂ© been reading in Alma 48-50ish and learning so much about how to be a leader like God wants, and the differences between good and bad leaders. Like all of this has just been jumping off the page of the book of mormon at me and it’s been a confirmation to me that God has called me to this position. so pray for me! ;)

anyways it’s been a great week. I am loving the mission. Thanks monica also for the birthday package! The sweater is beautiful! Thanks family and friends for so much support, for your letters and packages. I do try to write back to everyone that writes me- i hope you get my letters! if not, please know i think about you all and pray for you all!

with lots of love,

hermana black