Wow, what a short(er) week! I can't believe that I'm writing to you again, and really I love when it feels like this because it means I actually did a lot this week! I actually got to teach a few more than the usual.
Last Monday, the mall was great, I finally got a new sweater, and some sweat pants and a hoodie (Nike style), and those have kept me much more comfortable and warm. Yet today It is a sad kind of day, currently raining ironically, but it is bittersweet because Elder Wiscombe is leaving Monroe and transferring to another town. He then should be receiving his visa soon and head out to Brazil, and I'm very happy for him and he will be a good missionary. It was great getting to serve with him on this last exchange.
All this transferring just makes me imagine what it will be like when I finally get to transfer, what it will feel like cause suddenly life changes as you're thrown into a completely new area, and a completely new ward. But I know that the things that will remain the same include: Me, My God, and those of you back home! :)
Tuesday into Wednesday I went on an exchange with the Monroe Elders, and how I love those guys. It was really great getting to spread the gospel and teach lessons, I find that I'm slowly getting out of the greenie stage- at least that is my Christmas wish;) But this two day exchange was really good with Elder Gomes and Elder Wiscombe.
Thursday into Friday was another exchange! Elder Hoyt being the District Leader, had to go to a leadership conference that went for two days and so traveled up to Laurenceville, wherever that is, with another district leader and I stayed in SC with that district leaders companion, Elder Bacon, and then with Elder Anderson cause he is the only one who can drive right now.
It was as I would like to call, THE GREEN TEAM! It was a really good time working with these greenies, and I really liked working with Elder Bacon, who is from Colorado, and after just a day of really getting to know him, I'd say, a good friend and someone I hope to serve with in the future. It was nice getting to relate with a redhead who is also a Spanish speaking missionary. So this exchange was a fiesta! We got to teach some Spanish individuals, and i really enjoyed that and it makes me want to learn Spanish and other languages even more! If I didn't mention, I've been thinking and desiring to learn several languages! I am interested in learning Arabic, Hebrew, Spanish, French, and Portuguese. Maybe something I'll go into when I get home, don't really have to sweat about it now.
The Christmas Tree Lighting on Saturday was really... lame. But it was good cause I got a hot-dog! Mmm! I love food. I've also come to really like deer.
It's crazy how the gospel can change a persons heart instantaneously. I'm reading the BOM to really really study and apply all the doctrines into my teachings and my life as a missionary. I've never really read it before with so much intent. The copy I have, a little blue BOM, I've personalized and noted many scriptures that reference topics such as eternal life, the restoration, obedience, baptism, and so much more. This book has sometwhat become my baby, and I'm really attached to it cause when I don't have it it's like I don't have my iPhone. I can't work. :) A spiritual thought... Well I was reading Enos, and I before really reading it I knew that Enos was the guy who prayed all night and day yadda yadda. But as I read it this time I really really gained a whole lot of insight and I would like to share that with you if that's ok;
The book starts with Enos, the son of Jacob, who was a just man and a man called of God. Yet Enos, like all of us had his own flaws and his own weaknesses, and like all of us there comes a point in our lives where we need to overcome our sins and turn fully toward the lord.
So while Enos was hunting, he began to think and ponder in his heart the words of his father concerning Eternal Life. He then began to pray, and i love that he says his soul hungered because really it shows that when we pray if we aren't desiring with our hearts the prayer would be pointless, and you will receive no answer. We must humble ourselves in prayer, and sometimes too often we forget this, I forget this, and we fall into a routine pattern of praying for the same things, using the same words.
Enos then does this, he humbles himself, and he comes unto the lord with a sincere heart and a contrite spirit, and when he does this the Lord says to him: "Enos thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou shalt be blessed."
Through faith in Christ we are able to receive our answers, we are able to overcome our weaknesses.
Enos then says that after he had heard these words of the lord his heart desired to tell others, and just like the purpose of our Savior, to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. And as a representative of Jesus Christ I know these things to be true and I know that I am called to help bring salvation unto the children of men. And it's all so great this time of year, where everybody celebrates Christmas here. It really is a great opportunity to serve in the Bible Belt. I wouldn't have wanted it any other way.
Sounds like Utah is cold. It's really cold here as well, but no snow yet. This week should be a nice one, this Friday is Monroe Ward's Christmas Party, and we should have a few more teaching appointments set up hopefully. Hope y'all have a good one as well!
Anyway, I can't wait to Skype to y'all on Christmas day! I don't know entirely how that is going to work, and I think they (the mission) should be telling us maybe tomorrow at the zone conference meeting. But I'll let you know ASAP.
Thanks again for the letter and for all the updates, I pray continually for all the missionaries in our ward, that they may have success in bringing people unto the restored gospel.
- Your son, Elder Black