Sunday, July 7, 2013

6/30/13

I sent last weeks email again, but I will try to catch you all up on some experiences this week.
This week on Thursday, our investigator and her son were interviewed at about 5:30pm.  They passed (naturally) and then we had to leave to go out in the boon docks for another interview.  However, after that interview, we received a call from our Fearless Zone Leaders, asking us if the power was out in our part of Miri.  We told them yes.  They called Sister Mains who Googled it and told them that all of the power in the state of Sarawak was out. 
Luckily Sister Mains makes sure that we have working lights for our bikes, and we were able to make it home.  The Zone Leaders ensured that the Sisters would be safe for the night at Elder and Sister Martin's home, and then we biked over to their apartment which had a generator and stayed the night.
  Saturday was exceptional.  We were able to see 5 non-members at the baptismal service, Our investigator asked me to baptize her, and Elder Fabiano baptized her son.  Their testimonies were so powerful, and they found out that there is a group next to their home in China where they can partake of the sacrament. 

Daddy:  It sounds like they should change your calling to the Ward Mission Leader! I am so happy to know that God doesn't make mistakes, and He always calls us to where we can learn the most, and do the greatest good! I remember reading that talk and applying it in a meeting, so that instead of just one person talking, everyone was teaching-- a "socratic seminar" as Mr. Buck called them in History class.  I think that from everything that I have experienced so far, I know that I am not much smarter than I was when I was eight years old, but that I have more experiences to draw from, positive and negative learning experiences, and that although sometimes it's difficult to teach someone a lesson, we can give them experiences they choose to learn from.  With investigators, we try to get them to read, pray, and gain experience, and a knowledge of God from their interactions with Him.  God helps me by placing me in experiences where I am constantly humbled to my knees, seeking help and guidance from Him.  I really hope to do so when I get home, I will try to apply it now in the mission field (discussing the events of Sunday).

Mommy:  Thanks for telling me what you've been up to! It's Durian season now, which means that I have the opportunity to EAT DURIAN!! :D YES!!! You are such a great mother (the best.) and I keep thinking about all the lessons I learned from watching you.  I can't recall lessons I learned, or words I heard from your mouth, but I remember you reading me scriptures, teaching me Bible stories, playing with me, telling me I was strong, telling me I was a nice boy, a good boy, and teaching me through example to wake up early, make the temple a priority, and helping me to focus on Jesus Christ! :D  You are THE BEST! :D  I talked about the baptism a bit, no, right now we are back to zero investigators, and are focussing on strengthening the conversion of the group members, and helping them invite their friends to learn :D

Richard:  I will pray for you! I sure love the excitement and enthusiasm in your email! I can't wait for you to get your mission call! You are going to be so well prepared! One thing I advise you to do (I'm not sure if I already have or have not advised this), is to study the difference between testimony and conversion, and then do your best to be as exactly obedient as you can to enjoy the blessings of true conversion.  I know that what Dad has counseled me to do-- prepare-- is often better than experience.  I love you brother! :D

Corina:  You GOT IT! :D I am so happy that you have direct counsel from God to help you ford the tests of life! I know that as we develop a relationship with God of Faith, trust, and love, that we will be able to endure any hardships with a resolute and peaceful attitude.  I love that you are still making bread, and I think Rebekah has a wonderful idea! :D

Rebekah:  Thanks girl!  Thank you Rebekah, I love you too, and I think you are number one! You keep on being the best girl you can be! You're beautiful.  :D

Joshua:  Wow! You got to do so many things! Whose reception was it?  Are you an amazing swimmer already?! I know you are such a strong happy nice boy! :D

Mandy:  I love you to Mandy sister! I like to show everyone your picture :D



On Mon, Jul 1, 2013 at 10:24 AM, Julie Black <jhb@blackoasis.us> wrote:
Dear Jacob,
Mandy and I are eating a smoothy.  It's yummy!  we went swimming yesterday and we went to a reception.  They had cupcakes!   My cupcake is delicious.  We sang at the towers.   Tennyson came with us.  That's sister Jensen's baby that Corina was babysitting.  We sang beautiful.  Richard played "Oh beautiful For Spacious Skies" on the Cello.  You're the best brother ever!  I played with Lewis this week.
love Joshua
j jh

Dear Jacob
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love Mandy

Jacob
Good Morning!  how are you?  We love you so much!  I am so sorry we sent our email after you sent yours!  I can't believe it happened!  Guess what ?  Corina is getting her patriarchal blessing today after church.  I hope it is a wonderful experience for her.  We have had a very busy week canning apples sauce and apple butter.  It was so much work, but we used all the apples and it was really neat to have everyone  helping.  Josh has proven to be a great mill cranker he cranked the whole first batch!  W had a great concert at the towers.  Grandpa and Uncle Tom Joined us.  Corina played her ukulele.
Dad Corina and I fasted for her patriarchal blessing today.  It was great to fast.  We had a fifth week lesson by the bishop today in which the youth and parents were all in attendance.  It was great.  We watched the broadcast opening song.  It was great.  It was all about missionary work, and reporting on our experiences in following Elder Zwick's challenge.  My efforts have been as follows.  organized weekly singalongs at the towers, purchased three family proclamations, gave away two to people who came to the door.  Made efforts to teach gospel to my children, encouraged family members to determine who they could invite.  worked more earnestly to live a missionary life. 

Please tell us about the baptism, and let us know if you have a new companion.  Do you have new investigators? 
Love you so much
Mommy


Dear Jacob, I love you. You are awesome. love rebekah.

Dear Jacob,
     I got my patriarchal blessing this afternoon!!! It was so special! It was kinda weird for the patriarch to talk about me getting married...:) I can't wait to get myself a copy! I made some bread yesterday, and it was a great success! About the email, earlier this week I saw it, clicked on it, and...it dissapeared!!!!! duhn-duhn-duhn DUHN!!!dad found it though, so yay!!!!I am soo glad you are having such great success on your mission!! question, do you read your patriarchal blessing very much on your mission?Oh, rebekah had the greatest thought! she said, Just convert Congress! :) Girls camp is this week!!!! I am sooo excited!!! 'My' girls are awesome, and I am soo pumped to be a YCL!!!I made a bunch of apple pies w/ Rebekah, and they were sooo yummy!!! At the towers i played the ukelele and felt like my practice didn't help at ALL. oh well! :) I am giving a talk next Sunday!:) I LOVE YOU!!!!!
   Love,
Corina Black


Yo bro,
wuzzup, man? we are having trouble finding the email that you sent us last week, so I have no idea what's up in your side of the world, but I hope things are going well for you. Has your investigator family made more progress? This week I worked almost every day except for Thursday and it is becoming really awesome to wake up at five in the morning. Yay. Its ok, though because I need the money for my mission. So excited for Corina. This week I am going to go and teach lesson one to some "investigators" for the mission prep cass. Wish me and my companion luck, or pray for us.
Much love and peach pudding,
Richard Black

Dear Jacob,

I am so glad to have you for my son. If there's any way to work it in to a conversation, I tell everybody about you and your mission. We pray for you every day.

Today was the 5th Sunday, so the Bishop spoke to all the adults as usual. But today, he had the youth join us, and spoke about missionary work. Pretty cool stuff, mostly: let people know you're a Mormon and invite them to (fill in the blank: know more; attend Church; listen to the missionaries, etc.).

As I was studying for my first Sunday School presidency meeting, I noted that one of the purposes of Sunday School is to "Help Church members 'teach one another the doctrine of the kingdom' (D&C 88:77) at church and at home." It's not just "to teach," but to help members "teach one another." It's also not just teaching "at church" but also "at home." Parents and youth who are class members in Church are expected to go home and teach each other at home.

We (especially Mom) have tried to do that by discussing after Church what we learned at Church. Hope that becomes a pattern for you in the mission field and in your own home.

Love you,

Dad

6/13-6/23/13

6/13/13
Jacob is district leader in Miri
 6/23/13
As I was pondering late one night (probably at 9:40pm) I realized that all I need to do to change the whole world, was to baptize EVERYONE! Now, of course this may seem like a silly statement,

but really--    think about it...       IF everyone is baptized then everyone has committed to keep all of the commandments of the Father, which bring about all of the blessing that God has which He is unable to bless us with!  :D

So where do I start? :o  With my family: Check.  Friends... not yet...

Anyway, great stuff.  Missionary work is the most satisfying work ever!

We have been working with our two investigators a lot! Her son drank some green tea early this week because none of them can read English or Bahasa Malay.  We moved back their date, helped them read and recognize the word "tea" and taught them more clearly the Word of Wisdom-- all teas that have caffeine and/or tea leaves are in violation of the Word of Wisdom.  They understood this.  Then on Saturday as we were meeting with them, and talking about our modern prophet, we asked what revelation she had received that day.  She said, "...none?" Then a few minutes later she said that she had received revelation that day, that she was grateful that her date was pushed back with her sons to the 29th of June because it gave her more time to "be fully and utterly converted."!!! I was so happy when I heard her say this! I can't describe the feelings that enveloped me! We asked how she came to feel this way.  She told us that as she waits for us, she reads the Liahona and scriptures.  That she learned about full conversion and felt that it was the only way to live.  She is already purer in faith than most members I have ever met.  What a beautiful miracle.  She is ready for her baptism, and has the temple as her goal.
I love you all family! I love everything that you do for me, especially your prayers-- Mom, I got your letter last week! Love you ALL! :D
Elder Jacob E. Black :D

6/3/13

Well, more news from Malaysia:

 Our investigators are now on date for June 15th to be baptized, and June 16th for the Holy Ghost.  They still need to overcome the Word of Wisdom though, and the Cousin leaves for China on the 18th.  They are incredible though and fasted and came to sacrament this week! :D  I am in Singapore writing this for Zone Conference. :D

Daddy:  Thanks! I got your email about how you love me and our Heavenly Father! I love you too! I love my Heavenly Father as well! :D  I have been so happy this past week! I can't describe the happiness that teaching this family has brought into my life! I have also started singning songs whenever I begin to feel stressed out or uncertain about things. I have started waking up with Hymns in my mind -- Sunday was:  The Day-Dawn is Breaking I just love being able to wake up and be singning to myself! I thought of you, and O My Father, and Hark All Ye Nations, and other songs that you love to sing.  I love you so much! :D
Mommy:  I can sure feel your prayers! Thank you for you suggestion! I will definitely need to lean more on my Savior.  What concert is this?  Will you tell Bishop Skinner I say Hi and that I love him?  I am happy that summer is going so well for you right now!  I sang "I often go walking" and I thought of you mommy! I love you forever! :D
Richard:   I will definitely pray for you! I can't wait for you to blow the world away with your wisdom and overall intelligence! I was thinking about where you would be serving, and since I served in this mission, I think that you will leave to come serve here in about May ;D Hahah, I am proud of you watching out for Corina.  I love YOU! :D

Corina:   Thank you for telling me about Youth Conference! I love that you would write out that song! I hope that you remember how much I love you! Forever and ever little sister! :D When are you getting your Patriarchal Blessing?  Are you going to the Temple every week with Richard and Rebekah?  I know and promise you that if you do, you will be blessed with an outlook towards the temple, and will be blessed with power beyond your own to overcome the temptations of Satan when the need arises.  I know as a servant of the Lord that He loves you! :D  I do too! =D
Rebekah:  Wow! You got stung?! I am glad that you are feeling good (not dead or anything ;D) and that you were so smart and loving to take care of Mandy! That sounds just like what Jesus Christ would do-- taking care of those He loves and worrying the most about them no matter WHAT! :D  Ah.  Maybe you can pray that he will remember, and ask Dad to remind him, or remind him yourself! :D  I love you so much Rebekah! =D
Joshua:  I am gone! I am glad that you used the birthday tray! :D I love YOU!
Mandy:  You are my little BIRTHDAY girl! I actually told people it was your birthday and that you are two years old now! That means that when you are 18 Celeste could have a 16 year old Daughter! :O :D Love you!


On Mon, Jun 3, 2013 at 1:58 PM, Kelly Black <kgb@blackoasis.us> wrote:
Dear Jacob,

Mandy had her birthday Thursday, but we had breakfast in bed today because Richard and Corina were at Stake Youth Conference Thursday - Saturday. Thursday night, Richard and Corina called home to wish Mandy a happy birthday. When we told Mandy, she ran to the cupboard and got out the breakfast-in-bed tray. Cute-ster! When the big day arrived this morning, she enjoyed it, but didn't understand why I was trying to get her back to her bedroom.

Last night, we were going to go to a Haws potluck, but we didn't have food and people ready to go until 1-1/2 hour late. We instead ate at home and went to Candlelight park. It was really fun.

Love, Dad

Dear Jacob,
Youth conference was fun. i think that Corina's tribe took good care of her so it was all good. I didn't worry too much about it but you never know about nina's. the speakers at the conference were amazing and the theme was "Doubt not ...fear not"D&C 6:36  At least I think that was the reference. The speakers had so many great stories of trials and how to get over them and find joy in the gospel. It was fun to be uplifted by them. I am so glad that you are being a obedient and serving a mission. I have been set apart to work as the first assistant now, and it is gonna be fun to get to work. Pray for me, alright? love you so uber much.
Richard Black

Dear Jacob,
Love you so much!  I have been praying for you.  The summer has been great so far.  The children have been working hard.  We will do our first concert this Thursday.  I'm a little nervous(or a lot) I hope it will be a fun uplifting and enriching experience for us, I hope we can bless the lives of those we serve, and bring happiness to them.  I hope you are continuing to work hard.  I read in the book Bishop Skinner gave to every family ,"The Power of Everyday missionaries"  that when we do missionary work, the Lord lends us his spirit because missionary work puts us on the battle front.  I have been pondering that.  I think service has a lot to do with missionary work.  I hope you are remembering to let The Savior make up the difference when you feel inadequate and to redeem you, or to make you better than you are.  I love you son. 
Mom

Dear Jacob!
     I finally did it! I am going to interview for my patriarchal blessing on Tuesday!  I also bore my testimony in sacrament meeting! Sooo scary! Stake Youth Conference was sooo awesome! Curiously, I didn't cry 'till this testimony meeting. Thankfully not during my testimony. It(Stake Youth Conference) was so good! It felt like we were their for a whole week and it was really only about two days total! Ed Lameroeax (I actually have no idea how to spell it but it sounds like lamb-er-oh) was soo cool! He taught us a song:
I will not doubt
I'll work it out
the Lord is my God
hear me shout
never fear
he is near
I can climb every mountain
at the top I'll be shoutin'
yes, the Lord is my God
do not doubt

or something like that. its actually quite catchy!I love you Jacob!!! I am so glad you are on a mission! Keep being you! Like Al Fox said, as long as you are doing everything you can and turn to God for the rest, you can do anything.
I LOVE YOU!!!!
Love,
Corina

Dear Jacob,
You are gone. I used the birthday tray!

Jacob. Thursday was Mandy's birthday. I was reading a story to her, and we were sitting on the step in between the living room and office because the door was open, and I moved my foot to a different spot, and there was a mean old scorpion there and it stuck its tail in my heel! The sting itself didn't hurt that bad, it was the venom that made it hurt. It went up to the top of my leg. It felt really weird, and it hurt pretty bad. I didn't get to kill it though, because i was too busy getting mandy out of the way. I'm not as scared of scorpions anymore, and it was good it stung me and not Mandy. The next day, we found a dead scorpion in the living room. I hope it was the same one. i love you. In my annual interview with the bishop, i told him about wanting to get a patriarchal blessing, and he wanted to give an article on patriarchal blessings, but he hasn't. and I don't want to talk to bro Cannon about an interview for that because he wants me to read that first. It's frustrating. I love you. Love, Rebekah.    

_______________

6/9/13

This last week we were able to have a wonderful Zone Conference! In it we were taught about the importance of being good (being like the Savior), the importance of member presence, the importance of learning and excelling in our mission language (Chapter 7 is also the focus this month for the entire mission), as well as the importance of unity in our companionship.  I think that our family back home is really good at that!

 I also remembered that... well, I was told by President Mains that this Sunday is Father's Day, so I decided to remind the family to jump on Dad, scare him, wrestle him, tickle him, pamper him, make breakfast in bed for him, massage his feet for him, do the silly game with the funny face, ape grunts, and no smiles, and make it a special day for him! Dad, I tell you all the time, but I am glad you picked out the best person ever to marry (I think this is what we are supposed to thank our fathers for on Fathers Day... ;D) also, you are an incredible and stalwart example to me.  I love you! :D

Daddy:  Don't worry, if I get your email late I will read it when I can!  I love you and wanted you to know that I appreciate all the nights that you came in and whispered you loved me.  I probably don't remember too many of them, but I remember feeling safer and more loved every time I was alert enough to hear you speak those words! I love the power of your gizzard, and the man that you have become.  I used to think all adults were made "awesome" after marriage, because you and mom (although not perfect) were so good at being purely awesome and sheerly bodacious.  I just want to make sure you realize that I understand now how patient you were with me as I grew up.  I never noticed how much patience you had until Aunt Elizabeth pointed it out one night to me.  You were so patient with my schooling, with encouraging and persuading me to choose the right, and helping me feel responsible for all the choices (good or bad) that I ever made.  You are a great example of a man becoming perfect through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and someone who is converted to the Lord out of Love, Wisdom and Faith! I love you Daddy!

Mommy:  (Thanks for making Daddy awesome ;D) I am so grateful that I am always able to hear such wonderful things from my family! Other missionaries talk about how their families tell them about current events and things that are happening, and I am sad that they don't have a mother like mine! Who tells me the most important things each week-- I love you, you testimony, and the important things in our family.  I am so happy that you have such an internalized eternal perspective and taught me wisdom in my youth to enable me to have such a wonderful attitude and outlook on life! I am your little buddy! :D

Richard:  Richard, I prayed for you this week, and I thought that Elder Callister's talk from last General Conference really applied to you right now.  I encourage you to read it, and seek inspiration from it! I realized as I read it that I did not internalize the principals I knew when I was in the position you are in now.  I know that the Lord will lead and guide you as you seek his help in this marvelous enterprise!  You are incredible! Oh, make sure to have all of your scripture mastery's down.  It's easy to see the difference between a missionary who is familiar with the scriptures, and one who really knows and understands them.

Corina:  Corina!  I am so happy that as I continue to read your emails, I am continually blessed by the thought of you growing so mature and so wise! I am absolutely certain that your Heavenly Father is pleased with you, and has a great deal of incredible things that he is enthused to help you accomplish! Have you already received your Patriarchal Blessing?  When are you planning on getting it (if not)?  Have you been keeping a good journal? I love you! (The journal is something I am improving on).

Rebekah:  Sweet Rebekah :)! I am so happy that I have the opportunity to email you each week! I hope that you are able to read them and that they offer you a small amount of comfort and guidance to get you through the week!  You told me last week that you were concerned with a problem that you were noticing between yourself and Corina.  You also mentioned it was happening less and less frequently.  This inspired me to think of the story of the people of Alma.  They had heavy burdens placed on them, and instead of removing these righteous people from their situation, the Lord gave them strength to be able to face their circumstances with fortitude and strength! I know that as you begin to pray and plead with the Lord to help you know what it is that you need to change, and what you can do to help others, He will strengthen you to face your everyday challenges! I love you so much! I know that you are such a good girl and doing the things like reading every day, and praying that you know you should do.  Love, your biggest brother!

Joshua:  Joshua! How are you my hero?  I think that you are strong and faithful like the stripling warriors! You can do things like helping mom to clean that NO ONE ELSE CAN! You can help others feel happy when you smile and laugh with them! I love you brother!

Mandy:  Your smile is like the sunshine, it chases frowns away.... it makes your brother happy, and live another day ;D Hahah, I love you princess! =D

5/26/13

父亲·,
我读你所写的话折后·,我开始·笑! 我真的·爱您·。  谢谢您一直给我快快乐乐!


So my keyboard was stuck in Chinese, and I was lazy to turn it off, but this one is for Dad, I hope Google translate is as good as it says it is! ;D

Thanks for the update! I am glad you are the happiest Daddy in the world! I hope that I am a small role in helping you feel that monumental joy! I bet Mom trumps me though, make sure to give her a BIG HAPPY, embarrassing hug for her in public with the whole family around, so that everyone can delight in the joy of our parents!

Quick thought:  Elder Fabiano was relating his scripture study during companionship study today, and he mentioned Helaman 5:...8?9? Where Helaman is giving his sons the gizzard power talk, and he tells them to do good for eternal riches.  Elder Fabiano said: "is it right that we should be selfish?-- then he said:  Then I realized that the treasures here are: living with God, Jesus Christ and our families."  That opened my eyes to a world of possibilities-- the scripture in proverbs: Happy is the man who has his quiver full of children (not exact quote, wish I had my Bible on me).  I thought of you! It looks like you are on your way to the happiness that is being prepared for you after this life! I love you!  I don't remember the girl, but I do remember GIZZARD POWER! :D

Mommy!  Thanks for asking and checking up on me!  I probably don't get my testimony out at every house I knock on (just so everyone knows, I have knocked on maybe three doors so far, everyone has  a giant gate in the front of their house to keep people...us...? away from their doors).  But I am trying now to bear my testimony when I get the chance of the restoration and the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon! The golden contact I alread explained, but she is still nervous about baptism, because as she read the Book of Mormon, she saw how the people kept turning back to their wickedness! She said she never wants to be like that, and she wants to repent of her sins.  She is having a problem praying, so we talked with her and her family about that last night.  I love you!!
Richard:  You are my brother for sure! When I say this, I am referring to the happiness you exude in everything you do! I love you so much! Don't you let anything keep you away from the Temple, The Mission, The Marriage in the Temple to Someone Approved by Yours Truly.  You will be on a mission for 2 years, so you will definitely miss out on my marriage, but I will be sure to have about 3 extraordinary damsels lined up for you ;D  Thanks for your prayers. I will be sure to be grateful to my Maker each night! and Morning., and Always~ :D I love you!
Corina:  Wow! It sounds like you are able to listen to so much! I am glad you shared with me the experience that Jacob H. had on his mission! I am grateful for the love I feel when you email me! I know that you are such a great helper in our family! Will you please pray for Rebekah, that you can love her, and understand her? She is special to me, and I am glad the two of you are having less contentions, because you are special to me also! Please, love each other enough to be happy together!
Rebekah:  I did want to hear more from you! :D I am glad that you have more time to email me now, I love hearing from you, I love you so much! Celeste and I had a similar experience (always being mean to each other).  We both changed one day, we both aren't sure why, but you should talk to Celeste and ask her if she remembers why.  I remember that I love her, and I think that was the biggest determining factor.  I love you and Corina too! I think that as we remember that one day we are going to live together for eternity, it helps us think of the relationships that we want to share with everyone.  An old companion of mine told me about a companion he had that he didn't get along very well with.  Then he was switched to another companion who did all the same things the first one (he didn't like) do, except they didn't bug him, because he loved this companion.  Pray for love Rebekah! I love you so much! :D
Joshua:  You are my brother. I love you! I love you so much! You are so nice and happy!
Mandy:  I love you! You aren't so little anymore! I hope you are still as happy as I remember ;D