Friday, February 25, 2011

February 25, 2011 Letter to Andrew

Yea Republicans! A rare sighting in liberal California....

The Dazzling green suit!

Amigos, Elder Gainor, Dawson's new companion.

Happy cows come from California!

I saw Ely's (Dawon's toyota 4-runner) the other day, so that was cool--same year and color. So that suit-The 'dazzling' green one, is a traveling suit between the two companionships of Elders here in Hollister. Elder Simmons and I found it in the branch closet that gets filled with the used clothes from the members of the wards that they've donated to the branch members. It's fun!
Oh, I found out that I'm allergic to cats! whenever we're in a house with a cat; my nose just gets bugged a bit- no big deal. Mexicans like dogs (mainly chihuahuas) over cats anyways.
People give me a hard time about my name (Flake) all the time--mostly white people cause Mexicans don't know what it means, but some Hispanics make the connection between 'Flake' and the Spanish word 'Flaco' which means really skinny. So in both cultures people find a way to poke fun at the family name.
The mission got a little tougher with my call to be District Leader. Just becaue now I have to prepare District Meetings and our lessons for our investigators, but the Lord qualifies whom he calls, so I just got to step up and have faith. I've got my first Baptismal interview to do this week, but is should be fun. We'll keep having fun and keeping the commandments.

Elder Flake

Thursday, February 24, 2011

February 22, 2011

Well we're still fighting the good fight here in Hollister, CA. Now that we know the name of the man that's coming in to be the next mission president; W. Lincoln Watkins from Alpine Utah, it's setting in that President Jackson will be leaving us coming up here in June. You have to be made of something else to be a mission president...

So I got lucky the past 2 weeks in getting out of teaching District Meeting, but the luck ends on Thursday when I'll be teaching #2, on the "How to begin Teaching Points' in PMG. Hopefully I'll feel a little more comfortable teaching the District this time around. I will also be performing my first baptismal interview this Wednesday as well.

One cool/crazy thing that happened this past week was we were teaching this investigator Veronica who we had dropped like 2 months ago, but we decided we'd go by again and we had a good lesson with her -she's going through a rough time right now, being divorced and without a job- but through the power of the Book of Mormon we were able to lift her spirits, and at the end of the lesson I opened my mouth to invite her to keep a commitment like read the Book of Mormon, or come to church or something, but what came out was an invitation to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized! It kind of came out of nowhere, but she accepted and now she has a date for the 19th of March. She came to church on Sunday and is keeping her commitments so it's lookin like she might just be baptized on the 19th. We'll hope and pray. Well I got to get, I hope this E-mail finds everyone doing Super bien.

Con Amor, Elder Flake

Saturday, February 19, 2011

New Mission President in July

Weston Lincoln Watkins, 49, and Rebeckah Ann Gillins Watkins, five children. Alpine 2nd Ward, Utah Alpine North Stake. Brother Watkins serves as a branch president at the Provo Missionary Training Center and is a former counselor in a Provo MTC branch presidency, ward executive secretary, high councilor, elders quorum president, assistant high priest group leader, ward Primary worker and missionary in the Mexico Mexico City South Mission. Retired director, Credit Suisse. Born in Bronxville, N.Y., to George Elwin and Geraldine Swensen Watkins.

Sister Watkins serves as a volunteer at the Provo MTC and is a former counselor in a stake Young Women presidency, ward Primary president, counselor in a Young Women presidency, counselor in a Primary presidency, counselor in a Relief Society presidency, ward and stake single adult adviser, Primary worker and Young Women camp director. Born in Las Vegas, Nev., to Gerald Robert and Lois Etta Rollins Gillins.

Monday, February 14, 2011

February 14, 2011 Happy Valentines Day

Happy Valentine's Day Mom!
And congrats on the new calling! You are going to do great! We had another successful week. One success was beginning to teach Agustin, who came to church for the first time yesterday. He declined our invitation to be baptized but our last appointment he explained to us that his testimony of the book of Mormon is growing like the seed he read about in Alma 32. He was actually the first guy Elder Gainor spoke to his first day here in Hollister right outside our apartment. So we are excited about him.
Hermano Miranda's friend Mario told us that he wanted 2 weeks without meeting with us to think about whether or not he wanted to be baptized. He hadn't been reading from the Book of Mormon so we strived hard to encourage him to do so and he agreed to it. So we will pray that the spirit touches his heart sometime during these weeks. Please keep him in your prayers as well.
We had fun cleaning up a Less Active's front yard Saturday morning. We had noticed that their front lawn was in need of make-over, so we took advantage of calling a branch member who had his own landscaping business and he brought a lawnmower, weed-wacker, leaf blower, rake, and some clippers and we went to town. After a few hours of work we had it looking pretty good. The Garcia family wasn't home when we did this, but somehow Hermana Garcia found out it was us and she came to church Sunday and was very grateful.
Well Mom, I'm excited for you, and know that you will continue to be a great example. I don't know how many lives you've touched by doing the little things, like writing those small notes of encouragement or congratulations that you've been writing over the years; I'm guessing a lot, but I know for sure that your example of love and service has made a monumental difference in my life. Thanks so much!
Love your son, Elder Flake

Monday, February 7, 2011

February 7, 2011 New Companion!

So I got my first native companion! Well, kind of. He was born in California to a Canadian Father and a Honduran mother, and then at age 2 his family moved to Honduras, where he was raised. His name is Elder Gainor and he's great. Perfectly fluent in both English and Spanish so this is my opportunity to really learn some Spanish.

One other thing i found out is that if your companion is native, it helps you get in doors. People we met for the first time were just letting us into their homes (which usually doesn't happen much) so we got to teach a lot and we picked up 10 new investigators! So this looks to be a successful transfer.

My first District meeting didn't go as well as the week went, but it wasn't a total fail :) One thing I did like was an idea I got from PMG which was to list (for like 2-3 minutes) all the truths and ordinances that we have because of the Restoration. It just helps us realize how truly blessed we are as members. After we did this activity, as a competition between the Elders and Sisters (the Sisters won, of course) I challenged the District to invite the members they meet with this week to do the challenge, and I extend it as well to all of you :)

So I'm excited for the new transfer and things are going well. Thanks for your love and support,

Love Elder Flake

Wow Dad, that was a great article. You got skills :)

Unity truly is important. Especially as a missionary. You need to be unified with your companion, ward or branch leaders, and especially with the Holy Ghost. So ya, looks like I'll be in Hollister for at least 7 months total, with a chance of a whole 8 and a half. But you're right, it's a good place to be. With plenty of Hispanics :) Andrew is going to be a great missionary. Just the basics I believe will help him prepare the most- daily scripture reading and prayer. To be at least familiar with PMG will definitely help as well. It was also cool to have that stint of having Eduardo take the lessons at our house. Having missionary experiences now will make the transition to being in the full time service much easier. Well love ya Dad, and thanks for the prayers.

Love Elder Flake