Sunday, August 25, 2013

8/25/13

So this week was a huge week for me, but I am not planning on writting to much! :D

Zone Conference was amazing! We were able to fly into Singapore (which is always an interesting experience with the contrast being so strong --
 not on a bike, having AC again, people all on their phones, rampant immodesty, shops everywhere, people wont make eye contact or talk etc etc.

-- but I was able to have a wonderful time besides the culture shock from my "little" (actually, I basically live in a palace here) cottage, to the large mansions of Singapore.  Due to a lack of something or other, the hotel that we were staying at ran out of reservations the second night, which meant that Elder Fabiano and I were able to stay at the Assistants home, which was interesting because we are usually so seperated from what happens in the mission that it was kind of like jumping headfirst into a wall of information! There were some emergency transfers that happened that day, and long story short, we got to bed late, but Elder Harper and Elder Devey let us sleep in their beds while they slept on the floor. 

The theme for Zone Conference was Chapter Six of Preach My Gospel. It was a wonderful Conference, I sought and received much inspiration, and to top the week off we had exchanges with Elder Harper, found a new investigator, had District Conference, and then something sad hapened that taught me of Hope.

On Friday night Elder Wiberg was hit by a car.  Elder Harper was with us on Exchanges and told us what had happened asking us to pray for Elder Wiberg.  We did so.  The next day we learned that Elder Wiberg was not doing well and was still unconscious with a broken femur, broken forearm and broken shoulder.  Then President Mains asked the whole Mission to fast for Elder Wiberg.  We did so, and this morning at about 9:44 Elder Snyder called me after getting off the phone with President Mains.  "Elder Wiberg passed away last night.  President will be talking more about it in his letter to you all.  Will you inform your everyone?"  I was very somber as I called everyone, thinking about the message I was telling them, and glad that I wasn't telling his parents.  Yet even in this moment of sadness, there was hope.  Elder Wiberg didn't just "blink out." He is carrying on the work on the other side.  He is learning, progressing and teaching.  His family was sealed together for time and all eternity.  There is life after death.  It is a glorious thing! It is something to be forever grateful for.  I am so glad that I have a family at home, who are doing their part as I am doing my part to ensure that we qualify to be together for time and all eternity! I know that eveyrone will have the opportunity to make the important choice-- to progress into eternity, or not to.  I know that Jesus Christ overcame death.
Family:  I love you all so much! I am so grateful that you are all writting so much to me! Thanks Rebekah for telling me so much about what is happening in your life, and everyone else as well! Today is transfer day, and I will email a list of what happens during transfers afterward.  Love you so very much! :D
--Elder Jacob Emmanuel Black


On Mon, Aug 26, 2013 at 10:23 AM, Kelly Black <kgb@blackoasis.us> wrote:
To Jacob from Dad:

Just started playing this song ("I am a Child of God") when we got home from Church, and thought a reminder is always in order, so here goes: Jacob Black is a child of God! I love you, Jacob.

Mandy went with Richard and me home teaching.

Richard lost his scooter key, and I had broken mine while using it as a screwdriver. Superglue didn't hold my key together. Neither Ace nor Home Depot could make a new key out of my broken key, but a real locksmith did it in about 5 minutes.

It reminded me of how we slow down our spiritual healing by trying to fix our mistakes on or own, or getting other humans to help us, while we could be made right quickly by going the real Healer, Jesus Christ.

Love you forever, Dad

To Jacob from Mandy:

[shall we say, "I went to Nursery today."] Yeah.

I did it. [she got down from her chair by herself]

Watch this, Dad. [Kicking a basket ball ALL the way across the family room]

A thumb [showing me hers]

Look [showing me her fingers] Lots of um. Like that.

Look, Mom [showing her the ball]

Where's it? Look, Mom. [showing her some spit on the basketball]

Dear Jacob,
     how has your day been? I went to Goodwill yesterday and my flip-flops broke! I went to the shoe section to find a pair of flip-flops or something to replace them, and the only things that were my size and didn't need socks was a pair of heels! Fortunately, they were really cute and weren't too painful to wear, so I wore them the whole time and then wound up buying them! I GOT MY BRACES OFF!!! It is soooo awesome!!!
     That is sooo wonderful that the surprise party worked! That sounds like it was a lot of fun! Jacob, I LOVE YOU!!! Are there any experiences that you have had that has helped you grow and mature spiritually?
I LOVE YOU!!! P.S.- I really encourage you too write all your thoughts, feelings, and experiences in your journal. I LOVE YOU!!!
         Love,
     Corina
Jacob,
I love you Jacob, You're the best big brother a six year old could have.  Don't you wake up early?
Love Joshua


Jacob,
Hello, How are you?  It was pretty awesome to meet Elder Fabiano's mom.  She's a pretty great lady.
She took pictures of us together, so ask elder Fabiano to see them. Do you remember Philmont?  Well the brother Fabiano who went with you is sister Fabiano's brother in law.  And, his wife directed Messengers when Dad was in it before we were married.  She is the one who made the contact with Celeste and Jacob, and arranged the meeting.  Cool eh?
Jacob, I am so proud of you!  I love you so much!  You are a great friend.  As we are getting Richard's papers filled out.  I am remembering doing that with you.  Bittersweet.   Our family is changing.
I didn't get to hear most of the talks in sacrament meeting, Sister and brother Pew both spoke and interestingly I heard both of their talks.  Sister Pew talked about how her daughter came to the decision to go on a mission and how she had been struggling. Brother Pew spoke of  Grace and how we need to partake of grace every day.  No matter how hard we strive, we will always need the grace of God.  We apply that grace all along he way.  He quoted Brad  Wilcox.  I think he was talking about how the savior empowers us beyond our own capacity and that we need not wait till the end of our efforts to experience his grace, but as we go.  We can experience his grace with him by our side increasing our capacities, cleansing us, filling in the gaps, lifting us, and making us whole the entire way, not just at the end after our huge mammoth effort, which isn't very much with out Jesus, and will never be enough without his atonement, but, with him by our side we, together, are enough.  I think this is what it means to magnify our callings. Still thinking about this.

I love you so much son.  You are very special to me and I can see you magnifying your calling and am proud of you.  Carry On!
Mommy

To the most bestest Jacob from the Richard:
I really love you. I gave my papers to the bishop today and hopefully I will get them in sometime in September. You Rock! I will specifically pray that some of the people in your English class will become interested in the Good News. You ARE the most Bestest.
Richard

Hi Jacob! this week was really good.  Band is pretty much the highlight of my day because I have made so many new friends, and we get to make music, which is one of the bestest things in the world, and I feel really welcome there, AND, it's at the end of the day, which pretty much erases all the bad things that happen during the day.  Guess what!  I got detention on Wednesday because I was late to third hour, because we were swimming in P.E., and I had to put my wet stuff in my locker, but I was already halfway to my class before I realized it, and had to go all the way back to my locker, then back to class, and I was late, so I got lunch detention, which wasn't that bad, because there was another girl who was late too. we just picked up trash around the eighth grade lockers, which there wasn't that much of anyway, and then we went to lunch.  It was actually kind of fun. Love, Rebekah.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

8/18/13

The Week:  :D
So much happened this week! I think I will have to start with Thursday, and I apologize in advance for all the ramblings, misspellings, and just over enthusiasm in general.

  Thursday:     It started out great because it was Elder Fabiano's year mark, so I naturally felt compelled to tackle him in a giant bear hug before he could begin his prayer, and from there the day got BETTER! :D

What followed next was a huge organization of a surprise party for Elder Fabiano at Pizza Hutt.  This meant that we had to set up with everyone at the local roti canai shop, then call the Zone Leaders, and have them make sure everyone knew it was actually at Pizza Hut, then I had to call them and make sure they knew to call and "cancel" the whole thing.  Then I suggested to Elder Fabiano that we just go to Pizza Hut because it was his year mark and we wanted to celebrate.  Arriving there after placing a copy of the Book of Mormon, and seeing the Sisters and Zone Leaders there was awesome! Elder Fabiano was surprised for sure!

Well, the finale has not yet come! Afterward, there was an incredible show up at English class of 51 attendees, and more than 2/3 were non-members! :D It was so incredible.  Friday I went on exchanges with the incredible Elder Snyder (I hope someday he reads this :D) and he taught me so much! Mostly we just laughed, talked, and DID WORK.  I am learning so much about myself, especially how important relationships and people are, but also... how much I don't know! It's an incredible fact that the more one learns the more they want to learn-- In General Conference there is a quote that I'll try to paraphrase-- Learning isn't so much as the giving of knowledge as it is the lighting of a fire.  Most important things... I love you all so much! :D
Daddy, Mommy, Celeste, Richard, Corina, Rebekah, Joshua, Mandy:
I am so grateful for the support I receive from you all.  I love you all so much! It's incredible that love can get stronger or weaker (according to the "heed and diligence" we show unto it") and ours has only grown closer!
Joshua I look forward to playing with you, and learning from you, and helping you get ready for a mission and to go to the temple!
Rebekah, thank you so much for telling me so much about your life! I am so grateful that I have you for a sister! I am so glad you told me all aobut the trombone and oboe thing! I love you.
Richard:  GO FIGHT WIN!  Thanks for telling me about your diligence in studying PMG.  I know that as you live the principles within PMG< you will become a more converted missionary, and son of God.  I love you! :D
Mandy:  I love you! Thanks for telling me you love me! Keep playing with Joshua!
Daddy:  I have learned a lot about what conversion means-- what do you think the correlation is between conversion and consecration? (I'm not testing you, genuinely curious) :D
Mommy: I hear you are eating with my companions mommy tomorrow! NICE! tell her that Elder Fabiano:  Is an incredible friend.  He has taught me many lessons.  I love him.  The people here love him.  He is a natural leader.  He is bold, and loving.  He has a sincere desire to do good.   He gives of himself and thinks of others constantly.  He is a tribute to a great mother. 
Corina:  Thanks for that! I love you so much and I am glad that you noticed God's hand in your life! :D
Love you all so much! :D


On Mon, Aug 19, 2013 at 12:22 PM, Kelly Black <kgb@blackoasis.us> wrote:
WE LOVE YOU!
To Jacob from Mandy:
[Would you like to say something to Jacob?] "Jacob Black"
[Shall we say, "I love you, Jacob"?] "Yeah."
[What do you like to play with?] "Dolls, babies, Joshua, babies."
Love, Mandy
To Jacob from Joshua:
I love you ... I love I love I love you ... I love you you you. You are one of the best brothers a brother could ever have. Do you go to Church?
Jacob, me and Richard are having fun with Mandy too.
I'm glad someone is getting ready to be baptized.
Jacob, when you get home, I'm going to love it because ... don't you wake up early? ... because I do and if you do, we're going to have some time alone if you want to .. it's just you and me.
Done. I love you, Joshua.
To the Bestest Jacob Evers:
As Rebekah says: macaroni and cheese! I know, it is nonsense, but someday we will probably realize that she really was speaking words of wisdom. I am going to stop working for brother Durfee and start working for Dad exclusively. Hopefully it will be awesome. Usually the snacks are what I look forward to, but I ate them all already. But anyway, PMG is going great. I will read out of it mostly every night and it's been amazing. The Mission prep class just started up again. It is so great. When you get back you should ask about being a district leader for it. I am going to give my papers to bishop next Sunday and then get the stake pres. to turn them in early September. It's gonna be awesome!

Jacob,
Hello, son.  How are you doing this week?  I love you so much!  We love hearing about what you are doing!  We are settling into a semi routine with school starting.  Church was great to day.  I don't remember the talks, but did enjoy that Joshua and Mandy were reverent for the whole first part of the meeting and they did alright the second.  Relief Society was about Unity and  was good.  We went to choir and Richard took the turn to help the little ones at home.  Dad had a meeting with the stake sunday school presidency and his counselors.  Richard's getting his classes all squared away and getting his books.  I've been homeschooling Joshua, and it has been a very unique experience.  Tomorrow is Monday eagle ridge.  It will be his 2nd time.  It has been a sweet joy to watch Joshua mature and grow and to see him and Mandy together.
Love you lots
mommy

jacob, just fyi, mom always asks what to have for dinner on a certain day, and I always say: "Macaroni and Cheese!" She asked about that earlier today, and it was probably while richard was writing his email. For Personal progress, i am working on being more spiritual. Spirituality has been explained to me as the ability to see the hand of the Lord in all things.  It's been a good start of the year for me.  My schedule is: A hour: Algebra 1,  1st hour: English,  2nd hour: P.E.,  3rd hour: Social Studies,   4th hour: Spanish 1,  5th hour: Science,  6th hour: Band.  Band is so much more fun this year with the kids my age, and the kids are a little less...interesting.  It's my favorite class because 1) we get to make music 2) i get to play my trombone (which is really fun) 3) I have lots of friends who don't judge me and 4) th e teacher is really nice. I don't really think I want to play oboe anymore, because my band teacher told me to go this "professional oboe teacher, who had me play on a harder reed, which is impossible, and then some family crisis came up and she cancelled lessons until school starts, and I was going to play oboe and trombone for band, but now I can't because I don't have a summer o f lessons under my belt, and I 'm going to have to start next semester, but now i don't really want to play oboe that much anymore, 'cause I'm oboed out, with everything that's happened, plus she changed her mind like every week when we were doing lessons.  there are like no other good teachers that don't live in like Tuscan, so i think I'm going to quit and do percussion, 'cause we have like three percussionists. Love you, Rebekah.

Dear Jacob,
     Hey! I feel that God has been blessing me and guiding me this week. I went to the MCC Institute to take my Bio test and was prompted several times about the questions:) afterwards, we went to MCC to ask questions about dual and concurrent enrollment. We were given info about the process and such, and we went home to think about it. Serious questions of how I would want to do the next few year of school came up, and I was really pondering what to do. We went to the temple grounds and then at home talked some more. Then Dad found a site for MAPP, a program of ASU's that tells you what classes are required if you want to transfer. It was perfect! Dad and Mom and I made a schedule of all the classes I would have to take for a math major. It all fell into place! It reminds me of my patriarchal blessing where it says to do what I can (scheduling my test, which was really hard for me) and He would take care of the rest in His timetable. Isn't that cool? Even before that, I was prompted with who I should pick to proctor my test and because of the proctor location I was able to find everything that I have! I love you sooooo much!!!!!!!!!!!
     Love,
  Corina Black

To Jacob from Dad:

It's 9:14 pm, so I'll write quickly.

Met with stake Sunday School presidency message. One of their main points: "Sunday School is the new MTC." There's no longer an extra year after high school to get ready, and time in the MTC keeps getting shorter and shorter, so our missionaries need to be prepared while they are in Jr High and High School (and earlier, of course).

Related main point: the Teacher Development course, Preach My Gospel, and Come Follow Me (the new youth Sunday School and AP/YW teaching program) are purposefully designed to complement each other, so the teachers can convert missionaries and the missionaries can convert investigators.

Lots of additional thoughts of love and enthusiasm for my missionary son!

Love, Dad

Sunday, August 11, 2013

8/11/13

This week: 
So, I usually don't include to many experiences, but you kept asking for them... so:

Monday night we were able to meet with an incredible part member family, and the husband is searching for truth, and said that he is willing to prepare for baptism and search for happiness with his family!

Tuesday was incredible, Elder Wilson from the Asia Area Presidency and President and Sister mains all came to our District Meeting and we were able to ask him questions for about an hour.  Then Elder Fabiano and I met with President Mains, Elder Wilson, Elder Martin and Preisdent Chan (The Chinese Group Leader).  It was fun translating for them all.  There was one night where we got kind of a new glimpse of Miri-- We were walking around these houses that had been built over a river, imagine wooden hut, connected to three or four others, the connection being a single wooden bridge about 3 feet wide with gaps in between.  It was an interesting area and we were able to meet one person who was willing to meet with our Malay speaking friends!

Thursday:  30+ people came to English class! we had about 7-8 members! IT was so neat to see that many people take the initiative to go and learn something they knew would be advantageous for their lives! There is  a parallel here--- free English class that will advance and bless your life, but you have to come yourself to see and enjoy (make it a priority etc), and the everlasting Gospel, free to all those who act on the invitations within, and live in obedience to find an advantageous and happy life! :D

On Friday night we had a lot of meetings, but at about 4pm we discovered all of our appointments had fallen through.  We looked out at the cloudy, and sporadically raining day, and thought: Here goes! Then we went to a former investigator's home we had tried a few times without any success.  We went, and someone was outside, who immediately invited us in, and told his some to come down to talk with us (then he-- the one who invited us in-- went away).  We were able to talk, and understand concerns, and set up a return appointment.  Then later as we continued contacting (trying to pass out a copy of the Book of Mormon), a house full of people locked their door, but Elder Fabiano knocked again, and the father came out.  He put on his shirt, and talked with us for quite a while.  Then he liked us, so he invited us in to pray with him and his family.  He said that he would contact us when he wanted us to come back, but that he would read what we gave him and think about it (the Book of Mormon).  His wife also said that she saw an add in the newspaper for our English class, and might send her sons over.  It was nice to know that after we do our best, the Lord intervenes, that He is preparing the hearts and the minds of people everywhere to accept the glad message of the Gospel! :D

Interesting experience:  Sunday after church as we go to where our bikes are locked, we find that someone has stolen Elder Fabiano's pedal, and the small piece that keeps a bike seat at the right height from my bike (this is the third time).  We were able to head over to the Zone LEader's home where Elder Snyder made us "Man Burger minus Roti Norris (that's Chuck Norris).  It was great! Then we were able to go teach another part member and her family who all said they will be at church next Sunday! :D  What a beautiful week!   I'd like to bear my testimony that the Priesthood is restored, Jesus is the Christ.  He lives.  He directs his church today through the Prophet Thomas S. Monson, who received the keys he holds from Jesus Christ in a direct line passing through the Prophet Joseph Smith.
Daddy:   It's nice to see that you are so busy! How is the actual increase in pay-- what I mean, is that do you have enough work that the actual number of people who pay you on time has increased in percentage?  How are you dealing with stress?  Are you eating well, exercising? I love you so much Daddy! :D
Mommy:  So I tried to answer most of your questions about what I am doing up there ^ :D I love you Mommy!  How about you?  What do you spend most of your time doing these days?
Celeste:  I love you Celeste! (make sure she gets this please! :D)
Richard:  I am so happy that you are my buddy! What I mean by this is that I agree with you.  You are becoming a man so fast! I hope I can keep up.  I hope you never lose your unconquerable spirit, and great humor!  :D  What is your favorite part of work?  Best friend right now?  How is PMG doing?
Corina:  Thank you so much Sister! I love you so much! I am so glad you tried to find the picture! :D

Rebekah:  I love the Atonement! Tell Mason I say "hi" and that I love him! I am so glad to see that you are enjoying the meetings you attend! You are so beautiful.  I love you-- never forget it! :D
Joshua:  Love you buddy! maybe you can dance and sing for me?

Mandy:  Mandy, you keep on being my special little girl! :D


On Mon, Aug 12, 2013 at 11:48 AM, Kelly G. Black <kgb@blackoasis.us> wrote:
Dear Jacob,
Hi!  It's so good to hear from you!  It sounds like the work is moving forward.  I'm very proud of you.  That is way cool about our family picture!  As I think of Elder Fabiano  holding it up, I remember feeling the spirit so strong with the impression that getting that family picture ready for you was very important.  It has been a blessing to have it in our home these months while you've been gone, but I can see it has blessed more than just our family. We continue to have more miracles and think you should keep praying for them.  It sounds like the language is coming along really great1  I'm real happy for you about that, and guess that has something to do with more success.  I love you so much and I'm so thankful to have you there on a mission.  Daddy has had some very late nights working to keep up with deadlines.  We pretty much miss him, but are grateful for the work!
Keep working hard and following the spirit.  It always knows, and never lies.
Keep telling us more about all that you're doing.  We love to hear all about it,
Love you forever
Mommy

Dear Jacob, I am soo glad you are having a lot of success!!! We are in the news?!?! cool-io!!! I tried to look it up but couldn't find it:( We didn't have a teacher in Sunday School, so it was really weird... we just shared cool mission stories we had heard and such... anywho, I like my new choir teacher. I am glad he is the one because he kind of reminds me of Mr. Sapakie. My seminary teacher is Bro. Brookes. He is really cool!! I helped clean up at Jocelyn's wedding and it was fun... I lifted some really big plants with Richard. Oh!!! I am getting my braces off in two weeks!!!!! I am soooooo excited!!! I love you sooo much!!! don't forget to smile!
P.S.- we talked about temple marriages this week in Young Women's! It was really good, especially since Odelise, a guest that I have met once before, was here! 
I LOVE YOU!!!!!
Love,
Corina
Dear Jacob, today in sacrament meeting Mason Duncan gave his homecoming g talk and it was really good. it was about the atonement. brother free (from the stake high counsel) talked about the atonement too. a nonmember girl named Odelise and her mom came to church today with Cheyenne Campbell. I think she liked it. I love you! Rebekah.

Dear Jacob,

It's your favorite Dad! I have had an excess of work lately, and will need to hire someone to help me with it. Richard came in on Friday and, with his help, I was able to get a LOT more done than on my own. But when school starts, he'll only have like 8-10 hours per week available, then will be gone on his mission.

Brother Pew is moving at the end of the month. Your mother told me more than I remember, but apparently someone offered to buy their house and they made the deal happen quickly. Their daughter Kayle (sp?) is going on a mission (this week, I think), so they would have just had the two of them in that big house.

Mandy's been wheezing, and I need to wrap up to bring her some medicine. I love you forever!

Love, Dad

To Jacob from Mandy:

"A mission." [In response to my question: what do you want to say to your brother, Jacob, who's on a mission?]

"A dink of water." [A nightly request, which just popped up in the middle of our discussion.]

"I love you."

"I wanna baby." [Looking at a doll across the room.]

"Look ... this ... this." [Demonstrating two different ways of holding her fingers.]

To Jacob from Joshua:

"So much fun I can't think about it. All I remember is going to the library." [Talking about his week. To fill in: he started home school this week.]

And I love you. And you're the best missionary in the whole world."

To the most awesomest Jacob in the worlds:
I think the underlying principle is a combination of two: God loves us, a lot, and that He wants us to know it through His gospel. It isn't just that but I have been thinking lately about how everything in the world, especially the gospel and the Atonement, spring from God's love. i think we teach it first because it introduces the pure and simple truths of the gospel that will ring true to the souls of those who hear them if their hearts are open to the Spirit and sometimes even if they aren't. Mason gave his homecoming talk, and I took one thing out of it: you have to rely on the Spirit when you teach, because it is the Spirit that changes hearts. With tons of loves,
El Ricardo Negro

Sunday, August 4, 2013

8/4/13

OHHH!!!!!!!!!! You are all in the NEwspaper here!!! For English class they took a picture, and Elder Fabiano is holding a picture of YOU all, that you gave me! If anyone ever asks, you have been in the "Borneo Post" (Chinese version) Saturday August 3rd edition--- you may be able to find it online?  Look under the cities miri, sibu and kuching.
  Gpa haws-- I think this would interest you :D

8/4/13

Daddy:  WOW! On time to Sacrament and even Ward Council?! That is incredible! I wanted to tell you that this week tomorrow Elder Wilson (of the Seventy) and President and Sister Mains are coming to our District Meeting, and then I get to translate from Chinese to English for them :D  Also, President Chan told me that my accent sounds very malaysian, which is a lot better than American, which was one of my goals of something to improve while in this area! I am working now on communication skills, and really understanding the minds of the people here. I love you, I pray for you all! :D
Mommy  Wow! That reminds me of the faith that you were always showing throughout my life! I am so glad that you and the family have developed a talent (singing) and are sharing that love with others! It reminds me of the Duty to God Learn Act Share method of learning.  I am so happy this week! Just so you know, I love you! :
Celeste:  Belated happy birthday! I love you so much sister! I tell people how much I love you everytime I tell them that family relationships need work and then use us as an example! ;D
Richard: Wow! Sounds like you are super busy! I am glad to hear all about you! You keep it up! What would you say the underlying theme of the First Lesson is?  Why do you think we teach that one first?  I am kind of jealous at how prepared you are going to be when you burst into the MTC and BEGIN!!! :D  Love you.
Corina:  That is the best miracle I have heard all week! I am so happy that you are learning and stretching and growing! I learn so much from all of your emails!
Rebekah:  Thank you for your email! I am glad you love me too! How is school?
Joshua:  How is my T eye double "g" are? (You have to say that one out loud i hope) I love you Joshua!
Mandy:  I love you princess! Can you speak yet?  Is Rebekah teaching you to read? :D
Love you all! :D




This week was fantastic! One of the best parts was that our incredible Group Leader here who works as an editor for the Borneo Post was able to put in an announcement for English class! We got around 8 phone calls Saturday and Sunday, and he received about 12! So we are going to have a large increase of people attending English class :D The announcement was also sent out to Kuching and Sibu, and I heard from the Elders there that people are calling them as well! We also took an adventure out to Curtin University where Elders had enjoyed success in the past, but were kicked out due to prejudice.  We were told we couldn't enter, so we told them that we were volunteers looking for service, and will be returning Tuesday or Wednesday of this week. :D We had 30 people come to Church this week (which was less than lass week, but 10 above average!) and are so happy to see Less-Actives that we've been working with start to come.  One man (Michael) has come to church the past two weeks, and we have an appointment with him and his friend on Saturday.  The work is moving, the Group is growing, and the Miri 2 Branch President complimented us on our work and said that he thinks we are working a lot smarter now due to the increase of numbers.  We have been working to gain the trust of the leaders here, and with the focus on Chapter 13 of Preach My Gospel last week, it was nice to see a culmination of success in gaining his confidence.  (I'll reply to the rest in a bit :D
Love you all so much! :D
Elder Black =D


On Mon, Aug 5, 2013 at 12:01 PM, Kelly Black
Dear Jacob!
Hi, It has been a great fast Sunday.  We were able to Sing "Master the Tempest is Raging "  It was very beautiful.  All the prayers and practice at the towers made a difference.  We sat in the third or fourth row back and it was a good thing.  We love you so much.  It is great to hear about the experiences you are having.  We had another couple of miracles this week.  we found the clicker keys!!  They were in the duffle bag we took on the kayak trip with grandpa.  WE also found joshuas flip flop on the lake and and after being all loaded up in the car Corina realized she had lost her glasses.  We searched and prayed to find them, then Corina and I went to back track all the way down to the lake and as we were looking I prayed that if they were there we could find them.. Almost instantaneously, Corina held up her glasses which had been in the lake!  it was a miracle all the way around!

We love you so much and pray for you and your success. 
Mommy 

Dear Jacob,
     I think the best gift I can give to my Father in heaven and my earthly father is to do whats right, listen to the Holy Ghost, and make them both proud by retuning with flying colors to my Father in Heaven. I am reading my scriptures and writing in my journal, but I need to turn it into scripture study. I am taking choir and seminary at MVT, but I am still doing homeschool and the problem is I don't have any classes picked out for next year and I need to study for a test and be prepared for it and I am stressed out!!!!  so in that aspect, yes, I am challenging myself:) This weekend Gpa took us camping and it was sooooo fun!!!! Dad Mom and Mandy did not come till the next day. Miracle story! so we were at the lake kayaking and there were some thunderclouds so we were about to leave and I realized that I didn't have my glasses! I backtracked my steps from exploring w/ Joshua and Mandy and I remembered that  josh had lost one of his shoes(which I found later on) while he was walking on a log and I had gone on the log to look for his shoe. I walked to the end of the log and looked down(at this moment Mom said a silent prayer to help us find the glasses if they were there) and there they were! I thought, 'they can't be!' and I bent down and picked them up and called out to Mom, "I found them!!!". This experience definitely went in my journal!! :) Oh! Today we(our family) sang Master The Tempest Is Raging for relief society today. I think they really enjoyed it! I LOVE YOU!!!!
Love,
 Corina Richelle Black

Dear Jacob,
     You are the boss. You remember when I told you that I thought that Mason was going to come back soon? Well, turns out I was wrong and he came back this last Tuesday. I've been writing in my journal but sometimes I'll look back and realize that I've skipped about four days and feel really bad. I've been reading something out of PMG almost every night since you left on your mission, but mostly my focus has been on the first lesson. It's been fantastic. Our family went camping with Grandpa and guess what?! Grandpa let me drive his car! I know, it's totally amazing. For work I help Bro. Durfee put lockers, marker-boards, bathroom stalls etc. in schools. It's not easy, but it is pretty good work, and I don't even have to work out because the work out is built in:). I'll probably leave on my mission in January.  Love you so much. Sounds like you are having a fantastic time! Did you get anyone else dunked? haha, love you. I had a lesson about true discipleship in Sunday school. We learned about Stephen, who was not afraid to proclaim the gospel in front of the Sanhedrin and was able to see God and Jesus. He is described as a man of faith and power. Good stuff. much good stuff is going on here, hopefully dinner will happen soon.
Richard Black


Dear Jacob, I love you too. You are bodacious. Thanks for being an awesome example.
Rebekah Black

Dear Jacob,

I had a great Sunday, starting with song practice, then getting to Ward Council on time. I also got to do interviews with Richard and Corina today. (In case you hadn't noticed, they're pretty awesome people. Nor are they alone. You have brothers and sisters of awesomeness all up and down the line, and you're awesome as  well.)

Meanwhile, Mom woke up to little kids bouncing off the walls, and they didn't stop bouncing until a few minutes ago, when they fell asleep. (They're already asleep, so they'll miss out on the email, but I know they love you.) The end result was that Mom got to take care of most of the bouncing. Maybe next week, Joshua will let me do an interview of him (I asked this week, but he didn't want to today), which might give me a chance to deal with more of the bouncing. I think we're going to get to bed shortly, which may help recharge batteries.

I love you, Dad


Sunday, July 28, 2013

7/28/13

  I love getting emails from you all! This week I have been working on challenging myself and doing things that aren't easy to do, but that I know I can do, with the attitude of "it's fun to do hard things :D"

  We were able to get 39 people at church yesterday! There were so many miracles!

 3 single adults just walked in and attended (it seemed kind of whimsical, but one had investigated 2 years earlier, and we now have the youngest one's phone number, and he requested the address of this church in another city where he will be next week.  We were able to go back and visit an old man who let us in earlier on.  He wasn't interested at all, but his son asked some good questions and accepted an invitation to read the Book of Mormon.  There was a ton of Less Actives that showed up at church as well! and 2 members brought their non-member spouses with them to church! We are still looking for new investigators to work with, but we have a lot of potentials right now, and it is going to be a big job making sure to handle all of them with the care and attention they need and deserve.  :D

Daddy:  It sounds like business is booming, the family is happy, and you are still alive! Just thought I would follow up with you really quick on your diet, and ask if you are still exercising like you were before I left! I am glad that you are looking for miracles constantly throughout the week! I have one of those as well: I have not been wearing a watch for the past while, and it has affected my ability to accomplish my goals, rendering me less effective.  So I got the one I needed to get fixed fixed today, and I am excited that now I don't have another excuse to drag me down! I think that using time effectively as a missionary is critical to success, but in order to use it wisely, one must be aware of the time, otherwise the time will master you! :D
Mommy:  Elder Crum-- yeah! I actually met him before my mission and found out he was coming here.  Elder Anson Crum, Preston Snyder, and Elder Dallin Parker (sp?) are all Elders from Mesa serving here (also elder Olivares and Elder something or other Pratt).  Elder Crum just became the Zone Leader in (some Zone)! That's incredible you were able to hear about him all the way over in America! (When people ask where I am from I say America, and then get confused when they ask-- yeah, but where?!) The Book of Mormon is so powerful! I have been reading about the stripling warriors (I mean Joshua Kelton Black and Richard Madison Black), and how according to their faith, God could not with hold His promised blessings, but if they doubted, then they had no promise.  I love you Mom! Thanks for your wonderful example to me and for helping me to love the book of Mormon! That's one of the best gifts I've ever received from you! :D
Richard:  So Richard, I have been thinking about you and your radical abilities to make impressive and miraculous things happen by moving your eyebrows and your lips together (lets just call this "The Smoulder" ;D)! Actually, I was thinking about how excited I am that soon you will be in the service of the Lord! What kind of work do you do? How many more months until you depart?  Are you still writing in your journal?  Tell me a little about your personal study! I love you! :D
Corina:  Thanks for your email! I am so glad that you are able to have such a wonderful time in the temple! I love you so much my special Corina sister! I think that you are helping the whole family continue in happiness! What do you think is the very best gift that you can give your Father in Heaven?  Your earthly father?  Are you challenging yourself?  Are you reading your scriptures everyday?  Tell me about what you are doing my wonderful Corina! :D
Rebekah:  Thanks for starting to email me! I know how you must have felt when the computer was logged off, and you still hadn't finished emailing, but I also know how much you love me, and that is all that matters to me, and I want you to know that no matter what you are more important than this entire world to our Heavenly Father, and I love you more than any money in the world, and that I know that you are doing your best to be happy and obedient to God's commandments and the words of the prophets! Tell me a little bit about your personal study my little princess! :D I love you forever! :D
Joshua:  My brother! I am glad to hear you were safe and had a life jacket and that you were able to swim and canoe, and go camping! I love you so much! Do you like to read the Book of Mormon? Which of the prophets is your favorite?  Why is he your favorite?
Mandy:  You are so sweet to me! I love you Mandy! I show everyone how special you are to me.  Love you!
Love you all so much!
Elder Black :D


On Mon, Jul 29, 2013 at 12:12 PM, Kelly Black <kgb@blackoasis.us> wrote:
Jacob,
Thank you so much fro the email.  It was awesome to read about The many people at church and the man who asked what he needed to do to be baptized.  Are you teaching him still?  Tell us more about the work your doing. 
We went to snowflake and did baptisms for the dead.  I did initiatories and then we ate lunch at the park.  Then drove to a campground and stayed the night.  We brought a canoe and had a nice time.  It's great to be back.  We are done doing our little concerts at the towers.  It was a great experience.  On our last time we ended by giving everyone a rose and wishing them goodbye.  It was really neat.  I love you so much, and I hope you are happy. On our camping trip Mandy was crying and wouldn't settle down for bed.   When Richard started reading the book of Mormon, she settled down immediately . Cool eh?.  Also when Joshua woke up at 2:20 am the morning we were going to leave for Snowflake, (he was too excited to sleep) Finally I took him in the other room and read the Book of Mormon Reader to him.  He quieted down and became very peaceful. It was pretty special.  We just got back from Seth Campbell's open house.  They know of an Elder Crum serving in the Singapore Mission.  From Gilbert Stake.  Do you know of him?
Love you so much!  I prayed for Miracles and Dad was able to come with us, and It didn't rain.  I'm sure there were many more, But those are the ones I am aware of right now.
Love you
Mommy 

Dear Jacob,
     How has your week been? have you had success? I prayed for you everyday. I got mega-sunburned wile we were camping  this weekend. We went canoeing and my arms were bright red, as well as my nose and neck and face! We went to the Snowflake temple before we started camping, and it was really special.  The temple was gorgeous! There was a beautiful wind and there were flowers in front of the door that you could smell! They smelled like honey suckle! It was very pretty. I am very frustated that we don't get our schedules for school next year till the first day of school!!!! I am glad you love being sweaty:) I Love you so much!!! We had a lesson about names, and the covenant of taking the Lord's name upon us. They asked us to ask ourselves what we have done with His name. It was very thought provocative.  I hope I can say I have been true to Him. I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!
Love,
Corina Richelle Black, the 1st

Dear Jacob,

"Martha West" doesn't ring a bell.

Glad to hear you're improving. I'm glad that you're turning to your Heavenly Father to find out what and how to improve. He is the only reliable source. We tend to be either to easy or too hard on ourselves. Others have the same problem, and tend to be blind to either or faults or our virtues. Satan is equally happy whether we are content without improvement or depressed by our failures.

Only Heavenly Father knows what we most need to improve now, and can teach us without leading to despair.

Well, I really enjoyed the trip to Snowflake. A couple of miracles: (1) An emergency hearing was set for Friday, and I thought I'd have to miss the temple. Late Thursday, things worked out so i could go along and just listen to the hearing on my cell phone and give the client a report. (2) Grandpa and I got to baptize and confirm Richard, Corina and Rebekah, including six ancestors that Celeste found. (3) There was plenty of food. (4) No one drowned at the lake :-) .

I really love hearing about your experiences. I love you forever, Jacob.

Dad (R2D2) [Jacob, I think Richard added the "R2D2" tag. Dad]

Dear Brother Jacob,
    I have no idea where I will be going. I keep telling myself that since you went somewhere so awesome, I'll probably go somewhere like South Dakota. you are right, though. the Lord probably has a plan in mind for me and I will be happy to go wherever he sends me. work has been going pretty well. Brother Durfee left for vacation the last week so I was able to get off construction work for the last week, but I spent Mo.,  Tues.,  and Wed. at Dad's office moving files from one place on the computer to another and doing stuff that needed to be done. It is really cool to be able to spend some time with Dad, even if it's not always a party, and be some kind of help to him. I have been able to save up about a third of the required amount of the mission money and Dad is pretty happy that I have been able to earn some of it on my own. dad's office is cool. he has some really nice tables and desks and stuff, but it always seems like the place needs a picture hung somewhere. Camping was pretty fun. I really enjoyed it and dad was even able to make it because a hearing was canceled. I love you so much,. Have a fantastic week, keep up the good work. It sounds like you are experiencing D&C 18: 15-16. you are great.
with a lot of loves,
Richard

Dear Jacob,

I had fun riding in the canoe. We bought life jackets the size for me and Mandy.  I liked fishing.  I did fishing but didn't catch anything.

I love you, Joshua

Dear Jacob. You are awesome. I love you. This sacrament meeting was especially spiritual. Carli Duncan gave a talk about the challenge where the bishopric [Jacob, this was Rebekah's entry, but now it's Dad writing. Rebekah began writing, but then went to Seth's open house with Richard. When they came home, Mommy, Corina and I went and she stayed home, but the computer was logged off. When we got home, she was asleep. Just wanted you to know she was thinking of you. Love, Dad]

Monday, July 15, 2013

7/15/13

Transfer Update: I am staying in Borneo with Elder Fabiano for another 2 weeks at least :D


On Mon, Jul 15, 2013 at 12:01 PM, Jacob Black <jacobeblack@myldsmail.net> wrote:
Daddy:  I am so grateful for your email, although I think that your "reveal-a-lator" is askew in assuming I would be a General Authority! Transfers are happening today. so in about 5 minutes I will know where I am going to next, but It's nice to know that wherever I go, your love is there for me! I love you so much Daddy! I am glad you are able to be such a great example of magnifying your calling and helping me in your example!

Mommy:  Haha! I am even happier to be your son! I was just thinking as I started responding to your email-- I wonder if when we got our mission call, and were assigned to a world and period of time, I wonder if we received those calls as families?  I wonder how long before you came down to the world that I knew you would be my Mommy and I watched your example! I love you Mommy!! I just recently began working as hard as I know how to build a stronger relationship with God (Helaman 5:12) that when the devil sends forth his mighty shafts.... etc I will be able to be firml rooted in the relationship I have with God, and flee from sin as Joseph of Egypt knowing I  can not sin against God.

Richard:  In case no one ever told you before, you're pretty much the best Richard in the world! I love you so much! I am so proud of all the things you are doing to prepare for a mission! I encourage you to get on a bike, take it around, and get good at doing all around repairs on the bike :D Also, if you get called to this mission (and I hope you do!) Make sure to bring bike lights! :D I am so happy to hear you are preparing with all your heart might mind and strength! I love you!

Corina:  WOW!!! A talk on Sunday! You're growing up so fast! How did it go?! I think the reason everyone told you it was so good, is because it WAS!!!! I love you so much! I can see that you are doing your best to follow the counsel God has given you through your patriarchal blessing, and I can see that you are growing in testimony and love! Keep it up princess! :D

Rebekah:  Rebekah! That's awesome! What do you think your favorite thing about playing the piano is?  I think that girls who play the piano are very attractive! :D

Joshua:  You don't know what to say my big brother?! I am so grateful you told me you love me! I asked President Mains for an extension until May 22nd or 23rd, but he said he is not sure if that will work or not, because there are not that many missionaries who speak Chinese, so it might make a threesome of Elders.  I love you though! I will be back in less than a year! (He told me it would be impossible to extend farther than May) :(

Mandy:  I love you pretty girl! I think your shoes must look amazing! Tell me all about the summer! Do you like to swim? :D

I love you all! I will email back when I get transfer news :D


On Mon, Jul 15, 2013 at 11:08 AM, Kelly Black <kgb@blackoasis.us> wrote:
Mandy:
Church: Jesus. Mommy. Daddy. Temple. Joshua. a me room. Joshua a me room.a dress.
Did you go shopping? Yes. Did you like it? Yes. A shoes on! Shoes on!Jump.

Dear brother of mine,
I am so proud of you out in the mission field. It's so good to know that you are sharing the good news with others. Don't forget that the gospel is something to sing about. Rise, and shine, and sing out the glory, glory! It's a little bit silly in the song, but the commandment is still there to rise and shine for the Lord. today was the last day of the mission prep class this time around. We were supposed to have taught a family the first lesson, but I had some scheduling issues so I'm still working on it. The class doesn't start up again until August 18, so it'll be a bit sad. The fam is planning a trip up to Northern Arizona for a bit in a few weeks.  I am super stoked.  Seth Campbell leaves on his mission in sixteen days to Carlsbad California and I believe Mason Duncan got back yesterday, but I've been mistaken before. Love you tons.
El Ricardo Negro

Dear Jacob. I am taking piano lessons from Jacob hofeling. He is a crazy piano person. It's really fun, because every other week he does group lessons, which are really fun. Ilove you. Love Rebekah.

Hi, Jacob. Mom. Joshua. Joshua. Joshua. Mom. Mom. Mom. Look, Jacob. Doing? Ummm... Hi, Jacob. Jacob, In there. Errr,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,;;;;;;;;;;mmmmmmmmmmmmm,l,l,lllllllll hllllllllllj;j;j;j;j;;;;;jjjjjjllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll,,ljl;k;k;lk/////////////////////;;;;llllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll,,,kkkkkkk;';,'<Jj,'u. u-
,m][ ;;              ?m<
( She is looking at your picture.)
Love, Mandy

Dear Jacob,

I was reading my missionary journal for my first day in the the mission field and remembered things I had completely forgotten about:
  • On the way to Colombia, I met Howard W. Hunter twice at airports. Both times, he saw our name tags and came right up to us and was really glad to see us. It really made our day. Remember that when you're a general authority. :-)
  • When I got to the Bogota airport, the press of people offering taxi services was at first overwhelming. I just wasn't used to people getting that loud and close to me. But then I saw the old familiar missionary name tags and felt right at home.
I also found a list of people I baptized. Started checking to see if any are on facebook. Hard to tell; a bunch of similar names.

Anyway, I was thinking about you and that's what started me thinking about my mission. I love and pray for you.

Love, Dad

Jacob,
I am so Glad to be your mom!.  Thank you for The picture you painted.  It was pretty in my mind.  I know you are always in the Lord's hand.  We had a missionary farewell for Nate Barney today.  it was great!  I helped well, I sat in with Dad as he taught the 11year olds today.  They were eleven year olds.  Dad taught about the kirtland temple and the restoration of the sealing power.  He spoke about the authority that Jesus Christ gave to his disciples and that they passed on to Joseph Smith. I'm so thankful for this knowledge.  I'm so thankful for the opportunity for you to study and teach the gospel.  Never forget that your greatest convert will be yourself.  Make sure you recieve a testimony of all that you teach.  I love you so much and pray for you always.  Stay close to the Lord and he will stay close to you.

Many much love to my stripling warrior across the world.
Mommy

Dear Jacob,
     Today I gave a talk about the first two paragraphs of The Living Christ. I worried and fretted over it, especially since a week ago my name was in the program and no one had told me to talk! Anyway, I wrote my talk and re-wrote it, and wrote it again. Finally I decided it was pretty good and asked Dad about it.  He said it was really good. Then this morning at church I realized that it was WAY too short! So I sat up there, revising it and re-revising it till it felt pretty good. I wasn't really that nervous, except for about the length of it. Then afterwards, EVERY-one came and said how great my talk was.  I don't know why!  Anyway, Saturday we went to good will and I found the coolest patterns EVER!!! Okay, maybe not. But still! I have been getting a lot of money recently! Since my quest to buy all my own clothing, It has been dissappearing almost as quickly as it appears, as well as getting things for camp.  And paying Dad and Mom back for the Ukelele.  It is a great blessing.  Today after church, I went through the clothes in my closet and threw out quite a few of them, And then helped Rebekah do the same to her clothes!:) My patriarchal Blessing said to find service, and that is what Bro. Klein-man talked about today!  it was radical! I have really been trying to work on it.  I liked the picture that you painted for us.  It was very beautiful.  Thank you for the glimpse.  I love you!!! P.S. I am taking piano lessons from Celeste again!!!
     I love you sooo much!!!!
             Love,
         Corina R. Black(the first)!!
Dear Jacob,
 I love you!  I don't know of anything else to say except for this.  When are you gonna come home?  Your the best missionary brother.  I went to a to a baptism tonight.

love
Joshua