Thursday, June 30, 2011

June 27, 2011 Email

Hey Mom :)
Thanks for the e-mail and the package in advance. Before I forget, my new address is:
Salinas, CA 93907
It's a nice apartment. One of the nicest in the mission according to Elder Wynn, the housing coordinator who came down to help us move with his truck last Monday. We are going to love saving money with the washer and dryer.

So I said my goodbyes to Pres. and Sis. Jackson on Friday at the leadership meeting in San Jose. They were both super tired. They ran to the finish line. They go back to Mesa tomorrow. I will meet Pres. Watkins this Thursday at a Zone Conference in Sea Side (Monterey).

Not too much exciting happened this past week. We are still trying to help Lorenzo get his answer/realize he's already received one... I interviewed a cool man named Juan for baptism. The other Spanish elders are teaching him. We had a really spiritual discussion, during the course of which he revealed that he was living with a women who he is not married too. So he wasn't able to be baptized this weekend, but I explained to him that we (us as missionaries, as well as God) were going to be with him to help him make the changes in his life necessary to qualify him to receive the gift of baptism. He's having a tough time in his life but he has a lot of faith that baptism will help to restore peace to his life.

The Lord blessed us to find a family of like at least 8 people, who we taught for the first time last night. The room was just full of people and they were all paying attention. It was cool. We taught lesson 3 and it went pretty well. We have another appointment with them next Saturday. We also found 2 other new investigators the past week, which is great because our teaching pool was getting pretty shallow.

And finally, yesterday, Reyna and Odilia had us over for dinner and after we taught them about the priesthood and gave them there first blessings. Odilia has been having some major back pains due to the back-breaking work in the fields. So we gave her a blessing of health. And so, to not leave Reyna out, we gave her a blessing as well. It was a good experience.

So thanks mom, for sending the envelope full of all my buddies letters + the memory card. Sounds like they all are having amazing experiences. It sounds like Darrel's wedding was nice. I hope ya'll have a good time at lake Powell. Tell Andrew not to jump off of any cliffs that I wouldn't jump off ;)

So I hit 18 months this week. crazy... It's crunch time now :) Well thanks again for everything Mom, Love Elder Flake

Monday, June 20, 2011

June 20, 2011 Email

Yea! We finally had the double wedding + triple baptism this past weekend! Everything went great! We did our baptism, of Reyna, Odilia, and Gerardo Apolinar - on Friday, with a quick wedding ceremony right before. We had a good turnout from the ward. I got to baptize 11 year old Gerardo and also confirm him a member in sacrament meeting on Sunday. All 3 of them were excited and happy :)

I also got to attend Salvador's baptism in Hollister on Saturday as well! He was very happy to finally be able to enter the waters. It took a whole year to do the divorce thing. But he made it, and also 6 of the 8 missionaries who taught him were able to attend. Good ol' Elder Simmons baptized him. I told Salvador I'll be coming back next summer to attend the temple in Oakland with him when he is endowed. This was obviously a great week. Yea baptisms!

We also have an investigator, Lorenzo, who could be baptized as early as this weekend. The problem is he doesn't think he has recieved a legit enough answer yet. Apparently he's has a lot of interaction with God in the past, like even hearing his voice and seeing things and the like, and he is expecting that kind of caliber of an answer now. We explained to him how the Spirit works but he just doesn't seem to get it. Bishop suggested that we try fasting with him for a day this week so we'll try that. Any other ideas? Please keep him in your prayers. Even if Lorenzo isn't baptized this week, the other pair of Elder's in the ward have a baptism scheduled for this weekend so we'll be keeping the font full here in the Salinas Third Ward.

So thank you for your prayers! The Lord is truly blessing us here! Oh, and congrats to Darrell and Eve! Hope everyone has a fantastic week,

Love Elder Flake

(Dawson sent a picture card but the envelope was slit when we got it and the SD card was missing! Bummer!) He sent this picture with a letter to Andrew for his birthday.
Dang, that stinks about the card... Oh well. So ya, the only one of the recent converts that speaks English out of the Recent Converts is Jamie. You could just send me the letter and I could give it to her if you wanted to send her your congratulations. That would be cool:) So is Grandma really going to move back to Tenn? Oh man, I was hoping she could teach me how to index when I got home. Well, I wish her the best. So I got to jet cause we're going to move apartments now, but thank you family so much! You are the bombs! I will send you our new address next week.
Love Elder Flake

Monday, June 13, 2011

June 13, 2011 Email

Hey Fam.
Thanks for the e-mails. Jamie got baptized and confirmed this weekend! Yea! She asked me to baptize her and it was a great experience! She was really nervous, and wasn't comfortable being in front of half the ward who showed up, but she went through with it :) She's got a long, tough road ahead of her with her family situation and all the temptations for young people that are out there in today's world, but she just made a BIG step in the right direction, and with the Holy Ghost as her guide, she can come off conquer. I will send pics in a letter this week. And I sent Andy Rew a letter that should be arriving any day, with a memory card. Yea Baptisms!

We finally got all the paper work we need to be able to marry Reina and Odilia to their husbands! We are planning a double wedding + a tripple baptism this weekend! Exciting times! Also being baptized this coming weekend back in good ol' Hollister is Salvador! The times might just work out that I can be at both baptisms! Espero que si con todo mi corazon! So to answer some of your Q's Mom, Yes, I am in pretty good biking shape, but running shape, probably not.

The new mission president will be arriving on June 28th, the same day President Jackson is going back to AZ. I will be saying bye to Pres. Jackson this Thursday at a Zone Confrence. Actually I will probably see him one more time at a leadership meeting the next week. 3 things I learned from President Jackson? 1. Boldness. I am called of God and my authority is above that of the kings of the earth. 2. Humor. A little humor goes a long way. A lot of humor will take you even farther ;) 3. Be Yourself. If you feel like busting out into song, go for it! He did it all the time, in front of hundreds of people:) God gave us each a certain personality, there is no sense in trying to hide it or change who we are. Ha ha, one thing I will look for in a wife that Sister Jackson has? Positive attitude. It's no fun being a downer. Like Sister Jackson always says: It's a beautiful day! Every day is a beautiful day in the California San Jose Mission!

Other news, We are moving into a new apartment next Monday. I will e-mail you the new address next week. Elder Mote and I are excited because it's a huge upgrade from what we are living in now. It's newer, will have a dishwasher, washer, dryer, + a wood burning fire place- none of witch we have now. The washer dryer will save us $20 a month. Cha-Ching! Well I best be going. I give my congrats to Rebecca. Spanish speaking! Woo! El idioma de los Dioses! Also congrats to Darrell and Eve. I recieved their wedding announcement. They look like a cute couple (Darrell probably hates me for saying that ;) Well fam, thank you for your support in all forms. You are the best of the best.
Love Elder Flake
Happy Birthday Andrew!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
17! Live it up bro!

Monday, June 6, 2011

June 6, 2011 Email Staying in Salinas

Hi Mom!
I'm alive and still in Salinas. You have been getting my e-mails every week, right? Sorry they are not very detailed. I'll try and do better this week. So transfer calls came and it looks like nothing is changing. I will be spending my third transfer with Elder Mote. Which is ok because we have to see Reina and Odilia and Gerardo finally reach the waters of baptism together. They are still having complications getting that darn birth certificate here from Mexico. But with prayer and faith we'll figure out a way to get it here somehow.

Our 15 year old investigator Jamie Martinez is excited for her baptism this weekend and we are too! But like always, Satan is doing all he can to stop it. But we will fight him to the bitter end. She's come along ways. Trying to get her to pray was like trying to pull teeth, but now she volunteers to say them :)

I had procrastinated doing exchanges so this past week we squeezed in 3. I had a really good experience with a greenie from Samoa named Elder Ete. He's a big rugby player. He's very humble and has a powerful testimony. Ha ha, there was this crazy guy that we met while contacting in the park, and while he was just trying to bible bash, Elder Ete calmly bore his testimony with his thick accent. The power of Elder Ete's words and the lack there of in the words of the other guy was so apparent.

Later we were teaching a less active family who only a few years ago were very strong in the church. We shared a shortened version of the Restoration with them and the spirit was very strong. Then we took turns asking inspired questions,and I felt prompted to ask the head of the household if he was reading from the Book of Mormon. He responded 'no' and it became clear to him that there was where he needed to start his road back to activity. He committed to begin reading from the Book. Elder Ete asked him to share his feelings of the Atonement and the good brother got teary eyed while expressing his gratitude for this gift of gifts. It was a powerful experience. So life is good here in Salinas, the weather is still beautiful and the Gospel is still true.

Love Elder Flake
Oh, and to answer your questions Mom, the charge at Marshalls was from when I bought Elder Mote a shirt for his birthday. I withdrew the money ($140) to buy the marriage licenses, but because of the birth certificate problem, I wasn't able to do so. Know that I love you so much Mom! Thank you for being amazing :) Love from your son, Elder Flake

Thursday, June 2, 2011

May 31, 2011 Email

Hey Momma!
Thanks for the pics! Those crazy Suttners! Ha ha :) Sorry I don't have much time right now. I'm on exchanges with an Elder Carmichael from Washington D.C. So, no one was baptized this past week :( We were one original birth certificate away, but now we will have to wait for this certificate to arrive from Mexico. It shouldn't take long though. Bummer deal...

Last P-day we went to the coast. It was beautiful. I'll send pics. We have 2 investigators right now with baptismal dates, one being this young mother named Jamie who is cool. She practically lives with members and she agrees with everything we have taught so that's good. We need to find more investigators though... Life is good though and I love you! My family is in a yacht club! I don't even know how to spell yacht though! Oh well!

Love Elder Flake :)