Monday, March 28, 2011

March 28, 2011 Email

Hey Mom,

We had a good week. I'm very glad that we had the car this week because it rained every day until yesterday it was beautiful. Today looks to be a beauty as well. I did hear there was some flooding in the Santa Cruz mountains, but here in Salinas it was just wet. I loaned my bike to the greenie Elder Dimond for the week, and it started falling apart on him, so then we loaned the other Elders Elder Mote's bike, and Elder Barrow was riding it yesterday and he got hit by a beamer (BMW)! Elder Barrow is fine- he flew through the air I guess, but he's just a little sore this morning. The Lord protects his missionaries :) But so now both Elder Mote and I both have some major fixing up to do on our bikes. That's probably what we'll be doing for the majority of today. His might be totaled.

On the plus side of the week we found 6 new investigators! For the most part they were found from knocking on doors, but one named Hilda was a referral from our golden investigators Odilia and Reina. She seems pretty solid. We gave her a chapter to read in the B.O.M, and she read it and even marked all the words she didn't understand (which was quite a few because her first language, like Reina and Odilia, is Mixteco- except Hilda's Spanish is worse). So there will be a little language barrier in teaching her, but she looks to be pretty golden as well. She accepted a baptismal date for the end of April.

Also yes I have a few months more out than Elder Mote. He's a really good missionary. You wouldn't even know he's only been in the church for 4 years, he knows the doctrine so well. I'm also the District Leader here. I have another small District- only 6 of us, including the zone leaders. I hope you have a good experience up at the training meeting, and enjoy general conference as well (How could you not?).

Our Temple trip is this Wednesday (Yea!). Bishop Davidson will be taking us up. He kept his Spanish up from his mission and has been the Bishop for 3 years now. Good man. He's a retired principal.

Congrats to Carlton and Lindsey on their runs. I'll have to beat Carlton's time when I get back :) Give Levi my congrats if you haven't yet. I'm excited for him. Hopefully we'll have time to swing by Costco today and I'll order glasses there. It looks to be a lot cheaper. Well Mom thanks for everything. I'm happy here in Salinas, and well fed (The members here make sure of that-really good Mexican food), so don't worry about me. I'll look both ways before I cross the street on the bike this week :) Enjoy feasting upon the words of the prophets!

Love Elder Flake

Monday, March 21, 2011

March 21, 2011 Email

Hola from Salinas!

A large town with 2 Wal-marts! I'm excited to go there today for the first time in months:) Salinas is a Rodeo town full of Mexicans. It's awesome. I'm in a car share (You get a full week with a car, and then the next full week is on bike) and was on a bike all this past week! I gained so much respect for biking Elders! I've been pampered with a car my whole mission! It wouldn't have been so bad, but it was windy/rainy all week. I bought a used, but in good condish, mountain bike for $80 from another Elder. Then Elder Mote and I had to spend $40 on a heavy duty bike lock, because I guess about every missionary gets his bike stolen while serving here in Salinas.

Oh, Elder Mote is my new comp. He's awesome! He moved to SoCal when he was like 11 from Mexico City and he was baptized 4 years ago here in Cali. He's 24. Awesome guy, I enjoy working with him. Salinas is supposed to be one of the most dangerous areas of the mission, but after a week here, I haven't seen anything too sketchy and neither has Elder Mote who has been here 2 months. Besides 4 golden investigators (all one family) who will be baptized on April 9th, the investigator pool here is about bone dry. So we are going to be doing a lot of finding. Being on a bike instead of a car makes things a lot different. You talk to a LOT of people on a bike. It's fun:) Other perks of Salinas is that it's right close to Monterey Bay. We will be going to the famous Monterrey Bay one of these P-days. Another Perk already mentioned is that it's big, we got options in grocery stores, restaurants, everything.

Also I'm in my first ward! It's a small ward, but a ward nonetheless. The Salinas 3rd ward. There are 2 English wards here. There are 4 missionaries serving in our ward (the ones we share the car with). Last Perk: There are a TON of Mexicans here. TONS. In half of the town it's like I'm IN Mexico. No one speaks English. Pretty cool. So in other words, I'm pretty excited to be here. Thanks for your prayers,

Love Elder Flake

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

March 14, 2011 Transferred to Salinas

Lindsey is going to have a baby!?!?!?! WoOooOowwwW! Congratulations! That's crazy/exciting! When will you know if it's a girl or boy? I'm betting it's going to be my first nephew :) Congrats again, that's exciting.
I got the call Saturday night that I will be getting transferred. Rumor has it I will just be going around the other side of the mountain to Salinas, but I won't find out for sure till tomorrow at transfers. I have enjoyed my time here serving in the San Benito Branch, but it will be nice to have a change of scenery. 7 months is a long time. We are going to play one last game of indoor soccer at the church today with some members, and then my main man Hermano Miranda is going to make a Carne Asada feast tonight to make sure I have a full stomach as I head off tomorrow.
I'll share one cool experience we had this week. We showed up for an appointment Tuesday morning and the person wasn't there. So we began to contact potentials in the area like we had planned, and for like the first 5 doors, no one answered. But finally at the last door, a 23 year old man named Juan answered the door. He informed us that his father was being brought over from the hospital later that day so that he could pass on in his home. We saw the hospital bed already in there set up for him. Juan then informed us that 2 days ago, he had been thinking about the Mormons. Turns out growing up he had a good friend who was a member of the church who apparently was a really good example to him and even brought him to a few mutual activities. So with this knowledge, we shared a bit of the plan of salvation with him and testified that families can be together forever. He really appreciated our visit and thinks we were an answer to his prayers. He's now an investigator of the English Elders because he doesn't speak Spanish very well. It was pretty cool. The Gospel truly does bring peace to the soul and God does answer prayers. Well I'm off to a new land and new adventures. I hope ya'll have a great week. Love Elder Flake
---- Wow, Lindsey is going to be a mother... Sounds like Philly was fun. I want to here about Andy's missionary experience in the Ghettos of West Philly. I remember when we got to go out with some Elders when we picked up Dani from D.C. That was fun. If I do end up going to Salinas, I should experience some real ghetto as well. I guess the Nortenos and Surtenos (the 2 biggest gangs in Cali) clash their quite a bit. We'll see what happens. Love ya fam! Elder Flake

Monday, March 7, 2011

March 7, 2011 Email

March 7, 2011

Ha Ha! Ya Dad, you show Carlton how to play tennis ;) 85% activity rate- that's pretty impressive. We might be close to 50% in the branch? Do you think if you get the ward to 100% and baptize all of the nonmembers in the boundaries that our neighborhood would be taken up, like the city of Enoch? That would be cool...
Where are the Callahans moving to? Tell them I say thanks for being great neighbors. Speaking of people moving, last night I attended the Outgoing Fireside of my trainer Elder Burton. His testimony was awesome and when he bore his testimony at the end in Spanish, he sounded like a native speaker. We brought Salvador Rodriguez up with us again- his third outgoing fireside and he's still not baptized!!! But finally, he's in a position financially where he can start saving money and get those darn divorce papers started. With any luck, he will be baptized some time this upcoming transfer. He's going to make a bomb member. Future Elders Quorum President tal vez.
I had one cool experience while on exchanges this past week worth sharing. We drove out into the boonies to see this referral, turns out they weren't home. So we decided maybe there was another reason we had traveled out there, so we decided we'd knock a door or two. So the first house we drive up to, kind of a cabbin lookin thing up on a little hill in the middle of nowhere, we find this lady sitting on her steps watching 2 little boys. So we start to talk to her and it was pretty random us arriving at her house in the boonies but she agreed to listen to us and we ended up teaching her the Plan of Salvation because she had the question where do I go when I die? It went well and now she's an investigator of the English Elders. So that was cool, but it's only half of the story. We ended up getting lost on these little country roads, I hit a squirrel, then we ended up having to pray for direction because the fuel light had been on for a while and we didn't know which way to go but after the prayer we both had a distinct impression to go a certain way and we ended up rolling back into town just before we ran out of gas. Ha ha, it was kind of fun.
Well thanks for your tournament idea, I don't know if our District is big enough to pull it off but we'll think of something. I need to think more outside the box. Well Dad I hope the rain has subsided and that you have a great week.

Love Elder Flake


Yes I got your Valentine- Thanks :) Alexa's old enough for Nursery! No way! Harry Potter, good times. Did you see the sixth movie? Of course Steve won Risk. I find out this Saturday if I'm getting transferred. If I stay one more that would give me 9 months in Hollister!!! The church is true and I love you. Elder Flake

Hi Mom,

Sorry I don't have much time. Thanks for the package in advance. I haven't done anything about the glasses yet. I decided to wait and see if I get transferred next week before I deal with that. Veronica didn't come to church yesterday because she was sick. We'll keep praying for her and workin with her and see what happens. We have a new investigator with a date named Rocio Ruiz who we met this week. I'll let you know more about her next week. Well I love you and thanks so much for everything.
Elder Flake

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

March 1, 2011 Email

Hey Mom!
I'm in Gilroy right now on exchanges with one of our Zone Leaders Elder Badger from Washington. We ate lunch at Sizzler because I did good at not spending much last month and we came out together so we were celebrating our year out in the field mark which is tomorrow. My comp E. Gainor came out the same day as well so we will have to go get an ice cream at Foster's freeze tomorrow to celebrate.

For P-day yesterday we went to Fremont Peak again. It was cold, but nice to get out into the outdoors nonetheless. Sunday it was my turn to teach the newly started Gospel Principles class. We only had one investigator show up, but it was still good. I taught about the Atonement. I love my Savior! I focused on His suffering in the Garden and showed her via Alma 7:11-13 how the B.O.M helps us understand more about why and what Jesus was suffering for. Something that Lindsey shared with me via a letter months back. It was great because she had doubts about the B.O.M and I think this might have helped clear things up. District Meeting went ok. I'm trying to practise what I preach and use more of the How to Begin Teaching Points from PMG in my work and it helps a lot. I'm going on another exchange Thursday and then Friday I'll be up in San Jose again for another meeting.

I'm glad you are enjoying your new calling this far. How are you going to build a St. George Temple? Sounds like Dad's department... Tell Nate I say Hi. I'll try and write him back next P-day. That's sad about Sean. Tell him I say Hi and I'm praying for him. How's Craig Tippets doing? I'm good on stationary Mom, thanks :) I love you and hope you have a great week.
Love Elder Flake

Hey Dad:) It actually snowed here the other day! Only for a bit I guess. We didn't even notice. That doesn't happen much here. Jimmer sounds like the man. Did you ever serve as a District Leader? Or did they not have those back in the day:) It's tough, but I'm learning a lot. Thanks for your prayers! Love Elder Flake

Hey bro! Good ol Purple Rock :) Sounds like you're having fun. Keep after that Pre-Cal, I know it's hard, learned that one the hard way- twice;) I had an interesting experience knockin a door the other day, we were looking for a potential- Upon answering the door, this large tatted Mexican answered and said ' First of all, You're knockin too $%*# hard! ' So I apologized for my inconveniently loud knock, and then i asked him if the person we were lookin for was home and he informed us that she no longer lived there. Then I guess E. Gainor was giving him a stare so the guys like 'What?!' And my comp replies 'What?' and then mr big 'n tough is like 'hmph' before slamming the door. Some peoples kids...

Well take care bro. Where are you reading in the scriptures right now? I just got done reading the 4 Gospels. They're pretty awesome. Love ya bro! Elder Flake