Thursday, January 12, 2012

Elder Dawson Returns with Honor! January 4, 2012

Dawson flew home via Salt Lake City and arrived at the new St. George Airport at 4:15 pm. He was scheduled to arrive at 4:30 and luckily we were there a little early. His plane was actually landing and we pulled into the parking lot. We were able to get positioned and welcome him as he came into the building. A high school buddy, Bryan Lunt, came in on the same plane returning from his mission. Dawson rode from San Jose to SLC with an old companion, Elder Simmons.

It is so wonderful to have him home again. We all went up to Pres. Topham's house and he released Dawson. We could just feel the spirit of the release. It was both joyful and sad for Elder Flake to take off his badge that he has worn faithfully for two years!

Well done thou good and faithful servant!

Monday, January 2, 2012

December 26, 2011 Final MissionaryTestimony

Hello again fam!
It was indeed a pleasure to talk with you on Sunday. Glad to hear ya'll had a merry Christmas and we had the same here : ) Our Christmas dinner was very humbling, with a family of recent converts- the Lunas. That day, they had just moved into a small apartment- they had been living with another member family, due to hard times, financially speaking. They didn't have any chairs or furniture, so we all just ate on the floor. But they shared their testimony of how although they have gone through many trials since there baptism earlier this year, the Lord has blessed them so much spiritually speaking- they are so much happier now. Beautiful family.

The spiritual things of God have so much more worth than the material things of this world! I am so grateful for the Gospel. After 2 years of spreading this message abroad- it has been confirmed to me time and time again that it's all true. The Restoration, the Book of Mormon- all of it. Jesus is the Christ! I would like to thank you all for your prayers and support over these past years. I look forward to many happy reunions here shortly. Best wishes and a Happy New Year.
Love Elder Flake

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

December 20, 2012 Dawson's 21st Birthday

We had another great week : )
Mayanin has chosen January 7th to be baptized! We are ecstatic for that, I'm just a little bummed that I will just miss it : ( But as long as she gets baptized! The Gospel has done so much for her and it has been such a testimony builder for me to witness it. She is such a nice lady, and so determined to do what she knows is right- despite much opposition.

Also the fam 5- well at least the Mom and the kids for now- are committed to be baptized New Year's Eve! Please keep them in your prayers! Paul isn't doing too hot at the moment. He just has a lot of distractions- including many mandatory community service hours + his girlfriend. But we will keep working with him.

Thanks in advance for the Christmas package! We are having a mission-wide steak and eggs breakfast this Saturday : ) We also caroled at 2 old-folk homes this past week and on Wednesday we will get together as a zone to sing some more : ) It is fun. Just five of us elders sang last week, and I seriously doubt it sounded that good, but the nice elderly folk just smiled and made us feel like we were MoTab ; )

Today we are going to get together as a zone again to play sports at the stake center. We are going to try and get a cool investigator named William there. He's the 17 year old son of the fam 5. Welp, I'm excited to talk to ya'll on Christmas : ) I will probably be calling around 2-2:30 California time. So have a great week and talk to you soon : )
Love Elder Flake

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

December 12, 2011 Email

Elders and Sisters help set up for the Christmas Creche display.

This young lady was recently baptized and below are her friends, family,
and ward members at her baptism.

Hi Mom : )
First of all, thanks so much for my B-day package! Good ol' summer sausage...
To answer your questions...
We will be eating Christmas brunch + make our phone calls at the Ruiz home- the same family that fed us Thanksgiving : ) It will probably be after church which would be around 1:00 or 2 maybe? California time. Because I will be seeing ya'll the following week (Will everyone still be there on the fourth?) I'd just assume doing the regular old phone call, if that sounds good to you. I know there family does have at least one computer with gmail chat capabilities. I'll find out if they have more. I guess it would be cool to see the new baby boy. I still have not heard anything about flight plans yet either. I will ask President in my E-mail today about that.

I can't think of anything really for the Christmas package. But I thank you in advance for it : ) I have a memory card for the camera, so don't worry about sending me the other one. A member photagrapher from one of the Palo Alto wards took us and 2 other companionships to Stanford Campus to take pics this morning. It was a good time and the pictures are going to look legit. We had another busy week. We found 10 new investigators this week- and we're not even focusing on finding! We have alot of people close to baptism right now. Hopefully I'll see at least one or two before I return. Well thank you for all you do Mom- you're the best : ) Have a fantastic week.
Love your son, Elder Flake

Broseph! I don't even no what CTE stands for! But congrats! You're the man! : )
So we had a really busy week last week. We found a lot of new people which means we got to teach the restoration a lot! I love teaching the restoration. You're going to be such a better prepared missionary than I was because when I get back we are going to study preach my gospel together, and practice teaching, sound good?

Hey so I've been thinking a little bit about what I wanted to do- carreer wise- and then last night I had a dream, I don't remember much, but you and I and some boys from the hood were there, and we were catchin critters! It's actually a theme I've drempt about various times on my mission. And then I thought, that would be a fun job, catchin critters. And then I remembered that that's what Seth Topham does for a living! So I might look into that field when I get back. What do ya think? Sounds like a pretty fun job, right? Ha ha, well we'll see what happens with that...

So you have not yet met our nephew as well, is that correct? I'm excited to meet him : ) Are you doin the 12 days this year? Are you keeping up with putting the stars on the tree? Are you doin nice things so you can put straw in the Baby Jesus' cradle? Ah... so many fun Christmas traditions... Well Bro, take care and spread the Spirit of Christmas every where you go, ok?

Love your bro, Elder Flake

Monday, December 5, 2011

December 5, 2011 Email

Hello Mom : )
Thank you for getting the garments to me in such a timely fashion. I'm glad you are all feeling better from your bout with the flu. I have been very blessed with my health throughout my mission thanks to that awesome blessing. It's been pretty cold here the last few weeks. But it's snowed here only like once in the past century so my chances for a white Christmas are pretty slim. We've had a pretty good week, teaching a lot. I'm starting to wonder if maybe we are spreading ourselves too thin. Maybe if we focused more on specific people we would have more baptisms and more less actives back in church. Something for us to think about...
Mayanin is showing amazing courage by continuing on with us, despite heavy opposition from her family. She is the first person in her family in recorded history to study with a different church. Her brother and her daughter are especially giving her a hard time about meeting with us. Obviously the spirit is working with her, to see her continuing on despite putting cherished family relationships in jeapordy. It's a testimony building experience for me to witness. Thank you for praying for her.
So I don't know if I've mentioned much about the Zamora family, but it's a couple- not married - nonetheless they have 11 kids together, that the missionaries and ward alike have been working on for years now. We taught them and 9 of their kids all at once the other night. It was crazy. Like half of the kids are already baptized. Hermano Zamora needs to get divorced/stop drinking first, but both parties have set a goal to be married and baptized in the future. It will be a great day that I won't be here to witness, but we are going to help them continue to make their way towards it
We had zero contact with Paul last week. His phone is off and we can't find him home so that is worrying us. Well I got to get but thank you for all of your prayers. I hope Andy gets the chance to dunk over someone in his city league. I'm super jealous that he has that ability now. Well I love you all.

Love, Elder Flake

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

November 29, 2011 Post Thanksgiving Email

Hi Fam : )
Sorry about Mom and Andy getting sick : ( But glad to hear you all had another great Thanksgiving up at Grandma's : ) I'm writing a day late because all day yesterday our whole zone was working on setting up for the Christmas Creche which is done annually here in Palo Alto. They bring in hundreds of nativity scenes from all over the world and it's open to all the public.

I worked on lining the walls with garland and lights for the most of the time; I also got to trim branches of pine trees for some other garland and also wreathes that they were making. It was fun to be there with all my fellow missionaries. Good 'ol Elder Fultz, my buddy from back in Hollister is here, and also Elder Porter, who graduated a year after me at Desert Hills is up here.

Thanksgiving was epic. Hermano Ruiz went all out. Our first plate was clam chowder in a bread bowl : ) Then we had the main course of the best turkey I've ever had + tri tip steak : ) I ate too much. But it was worth it : ) Also on Turkey Day we got to rake leaves again for an hour or so in EPA (East Palo Alto). It was fun to keep that tradition alive.

Friday night, kind of a last minute thing, an awesome family in the ward, The Bojorquez fam, had the idea to invite Mayanin (they are her awesome fellowshippers) to go up with their family to see the 'lighting of temple hill' up in Oakland. And she accepted and we got to go to. Jose Hernandez, another awesome member, took us up. There was a big music/dance presentation beforehand in this huge auditorium next to the temple, then we went out for the lighting. It looks B-E-A-Utiful. I love the Oakland Temple. Then we went inside the V.C and did a quick tour + 'the family' presentation and Mayanin loved it. She's amazing. We gave her a date for Christmas Eve, which she accepted readily and just asked what she needed to do to be ready. She's perfect.

But of course Satan isn't going to go down easy, and sure enough, the next she gave us a call, wanting to talk to us. Turns out her husband + her kids (all older) all kind of freaked out at the news of her getting baptized so soon (They are all Catholic). Mayanin knows what she wants though, but to appease her family, we agreed it would be best for now to drop the date for now, until her fam warms up to the idea. Please pray for Mayanin to have strength and also pray to soften the hearts of her family.

Paul's doing good. His baptismal interview is scheduled for this week. His girlfriend came to church with him this week and we are now going to try and start teaching her. The fam 5 (from El Salvador) are doing well. Ana, the mother, basically had a dream that confirmed the truth of what we have taught. Yea Latino's and their dreams! Hopefully the rest of the family follows her. So a lot of great things are happening right now. It's exciting : ) Well I best be off, but thanks for everything, and I hope ya'll have a great week. My companion from the south is starting to rub off on me ; )
Love Elder Flake
p.s thank you so much for the tree! We like to dance to the charlie brown theme song : ) I should be flying home Wednesday the 4th. The way they've always done it here is have the returning missionaries fly home Wednesday morning. I really can't think of anything I need for a X-mas package. Maybe a pair of medium garments? I ripped a hole in a pair or 2 and I find myself one short. I will send the memory card with my pictures this week. I need to take more pics... Included should have a pic from Irma's baptism atleast...

Well I love you tons! -Elder Flake