Monday, August 29, 2011

August 29, 2011 Email

Hey Dad!

Good to hear from you :) Ya, I've only been in 3 areas and Salinas might be my last one. Elder Mote is getting transferred up to San Jose so I will be getting a new companion tomorrow and holding down the fort here in Salinas. I only have 3 transfers left! Crazy... I'm glad to hear you are staying busy with work up in the cool mountains. I was blessed to spend this summer in the coolest area of the whole mission. It maybe broke 80 a couple of times here. Pretty nice, eh? 60's to 70's all day long :)

I look forward to doing some good, physical work with you when I return. Ha ha, ya, nursery would be fun - as long as I don't have to change poopy diapers. What's new... Last P-day we went to the beach and threw a ball and ran around on the sand. It was a good time and it felt amazing to have sand between my toes. We also came acrossed a Seal just chillin on the beach. Took some pics of him. The biggest blessing of the week was finding a family of 4 to teach. The Martinez family. We taught them a quick restoration and my new companion and I will be going back to teach them this week. They're a nice family. Pray that they understand the importance of our message! I look forward to working with a new companion who maybe will bring some fresh ideas of how we can find more people to teach. Well Dad, I love you lots. Thank you for your prayers,

Your son, Elder Flake

Hey Steve! Take it easy!

I'm confident you passed your big test. Have you taught Alexa how to throw a spiral yet? Ha ha, I bet playing with her just gets funner and funner as she gets bigger and bigger. So what did you mean by no NBA season? They can't not have an NBA season can they? That sounds like herecy to me. Well I hope you have a nice break from school. I'm going to be getting a new companion here tomorrow, so that should be exciting. I've been with the same elder (Elder Mote) since March! So it will be nice to have a change there. Well Steve, thank you for your prayers. I pray that all is well with you and your little family. Love Dawson

Hi mom! I promise I will send a note and my picture card this week. I'm sorry I haven't got around to that. I will repent. I'm glad to hear that Lindz and Carlton survived the Hurricane. Crazy stuff. So i will finally be getting a new companion. I learned a lot from Elder Mote, but this area needs a change of pace, and hopefully whoever my new companion is can help me take things to another level. Ha ha, i thought i told you about the Tuberculosis thing. My bad. So like 2 months ago, we picked up a new investigator who was on medication to recover from Tb. Armando Arreola. He turned out to not be interested, but the mission office, upon hearing that we were teaching a man with Tb, wanted us to get tested, just in case. Elder Mote and I both came out negative ( we DO NOT have Tb :) So that is that story. Well I best be off, but you will get mail from me soon. Thank you so much for everything Mom. I'm pretty sure you're the best Mom ever. Love ya tons, Elder Flake

Hey bro! That's a funny story of you having to run home from your morning bike ride ;) I have never had to replace a tube my entire 4 months here on a bike :) Ha ha, Elder Dimond, one of the other missionaries serving here, has had to replace his tube like 8 or 9 times! Poor guy. 17:36, not bad bro. Don't let that little Sophmore punk beat you! Ha ha, jk just do your best bro :) Who's the top dog on the X country team these days?

So bro, who are your teachers? What do you do for lunch? I look forward to going on lots of bike rides + rock climbing with you next year. Well love ya tons! Keep reading your scriptures! I just started the Book of Mormon again for like the fourth or fifth time on my mission. It's a good book! I highly recommend it :) Do a good turn daily - Love Elder Flake

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

August 22, 2011 Email

Hey family!
Elder Flake here in Salinas. Sounds like everyone is doin well, good to hear. So what happened this week? Fidel didn't make it to church this week, so we'll have to push back his baptismal date :( But he's still the world's nicest old man and we have an appointment with him tonight so a la mejor he'll still be baptized here in the near future.

I did some more service on an exchange this week with Elder Campbell. It was a 'clean up Salinas' project and we got to wear little orange vests and walk around the streets and a park picking up trash. There was a BBQ after so that was nice.

As a part of the Zone Goal this week I had to ask 2 random people on the street to be baptized. The crazy part was that both of the people i asked said yes! One of them Elder Mote and I will teach on Wednesday, and the other was this cool black guy named Keis who the English Elders will go and see. I should ask random people to be baptized more often... :)

On Tuesday we had a Zone Conference and I got to hear from Elder Gavarret again. He's a very loving man. President Watkins is a very qualified man. He talked a lot about the need to be 'pro' in our actions and appearance, and that we need to win the hearts and minds of the ward members, and especially the ward council members, in order that they will trust us.

On Monday we ended up going to the park and throwing a football and also playing scategories at our Bishops house. It was fun. We're hoping to get a member to take us to Monterrey or somewhere today. Just to see the sights. This will most likely be the last week of Elder Mote and I being together. I can't imagine us being together for 5 transfers. I'll let you know next week about transfers. We have the car week this week. So hopefully we'll be able to meet with a lot of our potentials we have gotten from all the contacting and increase our teaching pool a bit. Well that's all for now. I love you all so much!
Elder Flake

Monday, August 15, 2011

August 15, 2011 Email Release date: January 3, 2012

Hey Momma!

I hope your transition from summer life to school life goes smoothly. I got all the notes from our couzins :) Tell them all thanks for me please :) So what's the next big event you're planning as part of your calling? Speaking of callings, the Monterey Stake Presidency just got re-organized during stake conference this weekend. We went to the Sunday session over there in Sea Side. Elder Gavarret of the first quorum of the 70 was presiding and an area 70 by the name of Elder Cordova accompanied him. They were both Latinos! So they held a special meeting for all the Spanish members of the stake after the main session :) Both meetings were great. It was good, I think, for our members to see that there are Latino leaders in the church. Both meetings had a missionary theme. Pres. Watkins and his wife spoke.

The week was pretty slow, teaching wise. The majority of our appointments that we did have fell through :( We did do a lot of service though :) First, we took down this dead tree for a very nice little old lady named Betty. I used a hand saw and chain saw to trim the branches off, then we called our Spanish compadres, Elder Barrow and Elder Dimon, and they helped us push it down. Now Betty is an investigator of the English Elders :) Then on Saturday, the 8 of us elders here in Salinas helped out with a city 'clean up Salinas' project. There were multiple large garbage bins lined up along the street, each for a different material, (metal, wood, plastic etc.). And we helped people unload there junk from there cars and trucks and threw it in the bins. It was kind of fun. They payed us in all the little cezars pizza we could handle :)

Welp, tell my friends former elders Montague, Cox and Thompson that I say hi and that I salute them please. That's cool that I will get to fly into the new airport. I still got a lot of work to do though so we can't be thinking about that :) Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers mom. They are appreciated.

Love your son, Elder Flake

Very good to hear from you! You're a senior now!!! Wow! Let me know how your first week of school goes, ok? Which classes are you taking, who are your teachers etc. Sounds like you had an awesome summer. I look forward to hangin out with you all next summer. We're still gonna do a crazy road trip, ite? I'm happy to hear that you are doing X- country again. I think I got about the same time as you my first race my senior year. So you definitely have a shot at breaking my PR. What was it, like 16:30? Ha ha, looks like you had a pretty crazy fan club at your race :) Our cousins are crazy aren't they? What's Justin up to these days? Tell him I say hi, ok?

The mission goes on here in Salinas. We meet so many people everyday. It gets frustrating some times because WE know that our message is so important, and you try and share that with others, and no one gets it! But you just got to keep on inviting and pray that Heavenly Father will put a person in our path who is spiritually prepared enough to understand the importance of what we are talking about. Well bro, make the best of your senior year. You're such a nice kid and everyone knows it, so just keep being yourself and continue to reach out to the friendless. I love you to death and hope to hear from you again soon.

Love Elder Flake

August 8, 2011 Email

Sounds like the reunion was a success and a good time. I just read that article in the Ensign about that pioneer who built the Pine Valley chapel and discovered Bryce Canyon. Pretty cool. Tell Rebecca congrats for me on going through the temple. Jason just told me he got transferred to Snow Flake. Ha ha, that's awesome.

I'm glad to hear that Dad is staying busy with jobs. Tell Jonba and the boys thanks for the letters, and Sister Johnson as well. Are you ready to go back to school Mom? :) I know Andrew probably isn't. Sounds like he had a pretty fun summer.

So this past week, President Watkins iniciated a new key indicator of getting 20 contacts a day (or 140 per week) and Elder Mote and I got 146 :) That's a lot of people. We're usually pretty good at talking to just about everyone we come across, but now we're even more focused on it. You never know who the elect are going to be. Fidel Santoyo, who now has a baptismal date for the 28th of August, was a man we just went up to in the park and started talking to him. We had a cool lesson with him last week. He said a great prayer and was touched by the Spirit. Well, I look forward to reading all the notes from my couzins. The package did finally come :) Thanks! You are in my prayers.

Love Elder Flake

Hello again Mom,

So I got a call yesterday from Sister Whithers, who is the mission secretary up there in San Jose. I guess Salt Lake already wants to know which airport I'm going to fly into by this Friday. So I think it would be cool to fly into St. George (is that new airport close to being finished yet?), but I'll go where ever you're gonna be :) The regular transfer/missionaries leave day is Wednesday, January 4th. But maybe you can ask Sister Whithers to confirm which day I'll be coming home (if she even knows yet). This is crazy even talking about this stuff. The address that you need to contact is: 2011549@ldschurch .org. Call the mission office if you have any questions. They need to know by this Friday. I'm doing good :)

We chopped down a tree for a little old lady today for service. That was fun. I'll try and send pictures soon. I got some pictures today from Danielle of cute little alexa. She keeps growin! I love you very much! Hope the school year starts off great for you! Love Elder Flake

Hey Danielle:) Thanks for the e-mail. I remember recently getting a letter from you that included some of Alexa's artwork, as well as the work of your primary kids, ( I actually was in the same zone as that Elder Miller before he recently got transferred) but I don't remember costco pictures. Hopefully they're on there way. Thank you for thinking of me and tell Alexa I think her artwork is fantastic:) Alexa is so big... I saw a 2 year old at church yesterday and she was running around and I was thinking, wow. Alexa is big. I'm very excited to play with her when I return:)

That is cool you are in all those clubs. I'm impressed that you know how to sew and quilt. I look forward to seeing some of your work. What books have you been reading for your book club? I just finished Jesus the Christ, and now I am reading 'Our Heritage' The beginnings of our church are pretty amazing. Those pioneers sure were tough. Funny stuff happens on your mission. Whether it's a bike gang of kids stocking us on our bikes or some lady you just met grabbing your hand to say a prayer, or some little girl finding that pulling on your arm hairs is pretty entertaining, and she doesn't stop, not even while I'm praying:) It's fun... Well, love ya sis. Tell Steve I wish him luck on his big test. I hope you all have a fun, relaxing 4 week break break. Love Elder Flake

Monday, August 1, 2011

August 1, 2011 Email

Hey family!

Looks like you had an awesome week at the reunion and Yosemite. That glacier lake by bear lake looked like a good time! Why hadn't we gone there in the past?!? That water had to be freezing- you're all crazy. Good work Andrew taking over my role and being the first one to get in the water.

I remember rainbow falls. That was a good time. I hope everything turns out well for the Flakey reunion.

We had a pretty good week. The Lord blessed us with 6 new investigators, including a family via a member referral. Our elderly friend Fidel Santoyo broke our church attendance slump this Sunday. The member we took to our appointment the past week picked him up and did a great job fellow shipping him. Fidel had a great experience. Manuel was not able to make it to church this week, but we did have a good lesson with him and he accepted the invitation to be baptized. He's from El Salvador and lives in the same house as a member (the one who brought him to church last week). Member involvement makes so much of a difference in this work!

Hermano Vasquez was able to return to his home in Hollister after the surgery. Hopefully this will act as a wake-up call for him and he'll get back to church. Jamie Martinez (RC) had a great time at girls camp, made a bunch of friends, and is already excited for girls camp next year! Yea girls camp! 11 year old Marcelino Gerardo (RC) demonstrated his skills on the bass for us last night. (His dad and uncle have a band and music is their life). He's good. Such a bright kid. I think we baptized the next August Rush.

We also got a new car this week. A shiny, brand new 2011 Corolla. (They sell the mission vehicles before going over 50,000 miles). Then I rode up to San Jose on Friday with my MTC roomie Elder Bennet for President Watkins' first leadership meeting. It was good- a lot different than President Jackson's style, but it was a good meeting. Pres. Watkins is really big on image. He gave us all a table etiquette tips page ( which I think should have a revised version for the Spanish program ;) and he also had us all bring our uggliest tie for a tie exchange. I guess he knows someone from Mr. Mac because he had 200 nice ties there as part of the exchange.

Well I best be going, but I want to leave my testimony that I know the church I'm currently representing is the Lord's Kingdom upon the earth today. Joseph Smith was the restoring prophet and the Book of Mormon contains the Word of God, revealed to his servants here on the American continent. Families can be together and that is God's plan; His work and His glory.
Thanks for your prayers, examples and support; Love, Elder Flake