Monday, January 31, 2011

January 31, 2011 Email District Leader

So transfers is bringing 2 big changes;
1. I'll be getting a new companion, & 2. I will be taking the position of Elder Simmons as the new District Leader. I will be serving my 5th straight transfer here in lovely Hollister. Transfers are tomorrow morning. I've served 9 transfers now! That's a lot. I'm pretty nervous to teach District Meetings (every Thursday) and to conduct baptismal interviews. But the Lord qualifies whom he calls, so it should be good. Luckily our district is small, only 2 sets of Elders (including us) + the Sisters. I went up to San Jose friday for a leadership training meeting. It was good. Elder Pottorf, my MTC companion, was called as a zone leader! It was good to see him and he gave me some good advice from his experience as a D.L. It was a pretty crazy week with 2 exchanges + the all day meeting.

We had a good lesson with Margarita, the friend of Angeles, on Wednesday. We watched the Joseph Smith movie and explained the importance of the Book of Mormon. She said an awesome prayer at the end of the lesson and she seems pretty interested. Elder Simmons said goodbye and took pictures with a lot of people yesterday and we will be doing a lot of that again today. It's been a pleasure to serve with him.

Well I'm excited to see who my new companion is and nervous to teach my first District Meeting this week. Vamos a ver que pasa. Well thanks for your love and prayers.

Love Elder Flake

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

January 25, 2011 Email

The computers here in the Hollister Library have been having issues so that why I have been e-mailing on weird days. Hopefully it will not be a continued problem. This will probably be my last week serving with Elder Simmons. He's been here for over 7 months and we've been companions for over 5! I've probably spent more time with him than any one outside of our immediate family! 5 months of 24/7 together adds up... We've had fun and had some success together.

So we started over with David and Isabel's family and last night we gave them a brand new baptismal calendar with the baptismal date for the 5th of March. They think that it might be a little soon, but with prayer and work on their part as well as ours we hope to see some miracles.

The Lord has definitely blessed us with beautiful weather this past week with 60's and 70's all day long. And it's supposed to stay the same for the coming week, before going back to the usual rainy winter days.

Ha ha, Elder Simmons found that shiny green suit and it's created, as Elder Wynn from Hollister first ward called it, "The Elderhood of the traveling suit" :) We take turns wearing it to District Meetings.

I got the Flake Family newsletter today- congrats Jason! You're gonna do great! Well thanks for everything Mom, I did get the contacts and I probably will buy a new camera this coming P-day. Lot's of Love!
-Elder Flake

Hey Dad:) Thanks for the e-mail. This week wasn't too eventful. A lot of our appointments fell through and a couple people dropped us :( We saw some Miracles at church though- We went by 2 inactives this past week- and they both showed up to church! One of them, a lady named Antonia, hadn't been in years! And they both had a good experience there! Yea!

I'm almost done reading Jesus the Christ. It's so sad and amazing to me how His chosen people rejected him after seeing so many miracles... But He is risen! And the Hope that that brings is more amazing! He is our Hope( Moroni 7 40-41 ).

Well I got to get going but thanks for everything and I pray that you'll be blessed with more work. There are a lot of branch members with out work here... But it's ok cause they have the Gospel :) Have a good week,

Love Elder Flake

Thursday, January 20, 2011

January 19, 2010 Earthquake in Hollister

Hello family:)
We are alive and well here in Hollister California. I felt my first Earthquakes finally! After serving in the Earthquake Capital of the World since August, it was about time. It was only a 4 point something and the shaking lasted only a few brief seconds and it didn't even cause anything to fall off the shelves or anything. And I guess there was one the night before this little one in the middle of the night that shook hard enough to wake everyone up in Hollister BUT my companion and I. People kept asking us if we had felt it, but nope.
Pues, the baptism of Rebeca and her little bro Evan was nice. The less active father was able to perform the baptism and the next day at church the WHOLE family was there together for the first time since I've been here. So that was great to see. The kids were sure fun to teach. Other than that, success stories include the finding of some promising looking new investigators. All referrals- tracting still hasn't shown much fruit. We're still tracting at least a couple of hours a week, but only when we run out of better things to do.
We also have been making some baptismal calendars that we plan on revealing to our investigators when we invite them to be baptized. We threw a football with the English Elders on P-day and that was fun. And my legs are still a little sore... they're not used to sprinting... Well it looks like there was a good flaky turnout at the sealing of Hal and Desi- congratulations to them:)
Pues I pray that all is well with ya'll and I thank you for your prayers.
Love Elder Flake
Sorry bro that you're sick. I hope you are better by now. Mom, the battery in my camera must be fried or something + the zoom is malfunctioning, so this next p-day I'll either replace the battery or just buy a new camera if the battery is like $20 or $30 and a nice, new camera is only like $100. Sound good? Have fun at the ball games- congrats Andy on the scholarship again- and know that I love you all! -Elder Flake

Sunday, January 16, 2011

January 14, 2010 Letter and Pictures


Hey Fam, :)
It's P-day. This morning included helping a sister in the Branch move, e-mailing, and all you can eat Pizza! There's not much to do here in small town Hollister and Pres. Jackson has put a 7 mile radius P-day limit, so we can't really go anywhere else. but it's OK. Naps are a beautiful thing on the mission. and in P-days past we've played indoor soccer and basketball at the church with the English Elders here, who were pretty tight with some branch members. Bro. Miranda is one of which who you guys will have to meet either in this life or the next. He's our Branch Mission Leader and he's hilarious. He's a heavier set Mexican, but he can still PLAY soccer; just like every other Hispanic--it's in their blood.
So we're excited about the baptism of Rebbecca and Evan (Pictured with flour/Temptation Obedience game that I lost and had to dig out the chocolate kiss using only my mouth. :) They are good kids and they usually come to church with their active grandparents.
We are hoping that the baptism helps to reactivate the parents. How did Coleman's baptism go?
Other pictures include the baptism of Angeles. We were blessed to teach her. She was super prepared for the gospel and it helped her out a lot. Awesome to see. Also pictured is Renato, the gangster looking dude. He had come so far; overcoming so much then because of family pressure he told us he couldn't be baptized. So we are going to give him some time before going back and seeing what we can do to help him overcome his fears/doubts.
I have a lot of people to write back from the holidays.
Elder Simmons and I burned a shirt for our one year mark. :) Missionary traditions... One of my shirts got a big ink stain in the pocked (the victim) but all of my others are still in good shape.
So we don't have many investigators right now, but we do have a good list of potentials. We'll be doing some tracting and tyring to get some referrals from members the next couple of weeks.
I love you all and I'm very grateful for your prayers and all.
A-town, I expect a meaty hand written letter sometime next week, you hear me? Ha ha, thanks. :) Thank you Mom for your consistency--DAd, you could step it up too. :)
les Amo Muchisimo
Elder Flake
Spiritual Thought: What is there to hope for? Moroni 7:41

Monday, January 10, 2011

January 10, 2011 Email

Rosie's baptism

At the top of the 'Oven-mit' rock at the Pinnacles.

Hello Family :)
Good to hear everyone is doing well. That is an impressive Snowman Andrew and the Ray Flakes made. Yea Lindsey and Carlton are continuing to find joy in missionary work! It's members like you that us missionaries love :) Keep it up! It looks like Andy had a fun Senior Ball. My congrats to Hal and Desi. Yea for Temples!
Both Angeles and Rosie should be going to do baptisms at the Temple in Oakland with the other recent converts in the stake this Saturday! Yea for the plan of Salvation! Isabel, a lady who we began teaching months ago, returned to church this Sunday- and she brought her husband and 3 boys with her! Yea for families! 10 year old Rebeca and her 8 year old brother Evan will be baptized by their less active dad this Saturday. Yea for baptisms! Hopefully this will re-light the fire of the parents testimonies and bring them back to activity...
So the work here picked up a little bit as things started getting back to normal this week. We have a page of various potentials that we will be stopping by this week and hopefully we will be able to find some elect among them. One is a family that moved here from St. George after living there for a year. The Mom, Jannette, worked at a taco bell that I've eaten at :) We had a little adventure in San Jose after dropping off Elder Quinn last Tuesday. We had a slow leak after running over a screw and so we took it to wheel works and while it was being fixed we went street contacting. We were in an area that appeared mostly inhabited by Asians and Caucasians, but as luck would have it we found a Hispanic doing some landscaping and after a good, long gospel conversation we referred him to the Spanish speaking missionaries there in San Jose. So that was cool. This week we also had a mini Zone Conference in Morgan Hill where President Jackson revealed the new Mission Statement to us. It is an inspiring document written by the Zone Leaders which basically describes the ideal mission. Pretty cool. Well Elder Simmons and I still enjoy working with one another for the most part, even though we've been together since August.
Well, there is joy in the work :) Thank you for your prayers and support.

Love Elder FLake
HEy Mom, Yes I recieved Grandma's package and I wrote them a thank you letter. The contacts have not yet arrived. I will try and send my memory card to you today. Lots of Love, Elder Flake

Monday, January 3, 2011

January 3, 2011 Email

Happy New Year from Hollister!
Thanks to all for your birthday and Christmas wishes:) Big news today in that we received a call informing us that Elder Quinn at last has received his visa and he will be shipped off to Guadalajara Mexico tomorrow. It was a pleasure to work with him and he was a great help. We'll be sad to drop him off in San Jose tomorrow.
Pues the Holidays in the Mission was definitely a different experience. But I think we did about as much as we could while being away from home to make it a memorable Christmas. The three of us and the English Elders even got together to reinact the Christmas Story as found in Luke 2. It wasn't quite the same as how we usually do it at Gma & Gpa Datwyler's- but it was fun:) Other than that, the last 2 weeks were pretty darn slow work-wise, but we did get to do a lot of service:) I got to use a few skills I obtained from my old man Dan painting and flooring a house that a member of our branch was needing to move into by this last Saturday. It was nice to work with our hands for a change. We also ding-dong ditched a few members with kids to make sure they had at least a few gifts to open on Christmas which was a treat. Also New Years Day we started helping members of the branch set resolutions for the New Year to help them come closer to Christ. One Less Active member, Lionel, decided his goal for the year would be to go through the Temple, joining his wife who just barely went through for the first time. We got to know him a lot better because he was our 'boss' while we were helping the Sister prepare her house to be in shape to move into. Awesome guy. So overall we had a nice Christmas Season. But on the other side of the coin it's nice that it's over because now people's lives should be getting back to normal and less busy. We are going to be doing a lot of finding this week. Got to fill up the teaching pool.
Both of our recent converts, Angeles and Rosie are doing very well and making more friends at church. Thanks again for the blessing all of you are in my life and i hope everyone takes the advantage of the opportunity we have to think at the beginning of this new year on how we can bring our selves and those around us closer to Christ for the year 2011. iDios les bendiga!
Love Elder Flake

HEy fam!
It was nice to see and talk to you! Sounds like you all had a blast in St. G town. Thanks for the pics Mom- Andy looks like a giant! Good work on the snowman Lindsey & Carlton! That thing was huge! Was Steve the best shot at the skeet shoot of the family like he's the best at everything else in the family? I guess besides tennis and biking... I'll beat you at something someday Steve! Alexa looks great and you all look great!
Love Elder Flake