Sunday, October 30, 2011

October 24, 2011

No baby yet, huh? Maybe he/she will have the same B-day as Lindz? that would be cool. Well I'll be sure to keep her and the new baby in my prayers this week as well then.

Well, Irma Matute got baptized and confirmed this weekend!!! The service was great. We had a really good turnout from the ward and the spirit was strong. She felt so good, a lot of relief. Irma is such a great person. If she isn't doing something for someone, she isn't happy. Kind of reminds me of my grandmas and you mom : ) Irma always wants to make us food- and she even gave us a gift bag and thank you card on the night of her baptism! She is still going through tough times with her marriage and also with some immigration problems, but now with the gospel, she has so much more hope facing these problems. It has been a great blessing to get to know her and help teach her. The whole Matute family is just awesome. So life is still muy bien here on the Peninsula.

Elder Barrow is from Houston Texas. I served along side him in Salinas for 6 months. He's awesome. We get along wonderfully. He goes home 6 weeks after me. He speaks the language so well and is a great teacher. We get up and go running at 6a.m almost every morning. We both love sports and climbing on things. We both just laughed when President Watkins told us we were going to be together. We couldn't believe it.

So we have a ton of good investigators right now- it's amazing how the Lord is just putting boat loads of people in our path. As of right now, it looks like our biggest challenge will be getting them all to church. Many of them have road blocks that keep them from coming to church on Sunday at 9 a.m. We are going to try harder to get each of them a member friend. We think that should help. It is fantastic teaching 20+ lessons a week- all pretty much to investigators.

So for the first time since Fremont I'm back in a zone where all of us missionaries are close together. So we are going to be playing a lot of sports. Last week we played a bit of football, rugby and ultimate Frisbee. It was a good time. Well thanks to all those who keep me and us missionaries in your prayers. I invite you all to rise up and be better missionaries yourselves. It's not easy but the Lord will help us! Make it a great week!
Love Elder Flake

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

October 17, 2011

Hey Dad : )
Glad to hear you had a good b-day. Tennessee tacos. I need to make some of those one of these days. It's been too long. I ate like a dozen pupusas this week. They're a staple/delicacy of El Salvador. There are a couple families in the ward from there. I don't know how to describe pupusas or exaclty what's in them, but they're good.

This was the first Sunday my whole mission where I saw a full chapel in a sacrament meeting. It's a beautiful sight. I talked about the Book of Mormon in my talk. I used a little bit of Elder Callister's talk from conference, including the line example and how the Book of Mormon helps us clarify the doctrine of Christ. It was fun.

Also this week we made a trip to the Oakland Temple with some investigators : ) Norma and her 11 year old Jazmyn and 6 year old Diandre. We all felt the Spirit and the idea of an eternal family sunk into them. I love the temple! I hadn't been to the visitor center in a while and I saw for the first time the new Lucy Mack Smith narrated version of the 'Prophet of the Restoration', and also they added a scene or 2 to the "God's Plan for the Family" feature. The first scene looked to be filmed in Southern Utah, Snow Canyon maybe? I love God's plan for the family! It's fool-proof :)

That's exciting Lindsey could have a baby this week. Let her know that she's in my prayers! So it was a great first week here. We taught like 22 lessons and found 9 new investigators. It's awesome to be teaching so much. Elder Barrow is really good at engaging people and slipping into teaching them before they even know what is happening ;) We are very excited for Irma Matute who will be baptized this Friday. She's a very special person and was super prepared to accept the Gospel. She joins her mother and 3 sisters who are also members. Awesome family. Now we need to work on the men.

Well we got to get going. Hope you have a nice trip to Philly. I'm excited to see pics of my new niece or nephew :) Thank Darrell for me for coming down to help you and Andy finish the job.
Love Elder Flake

Monday, October 17, 2011

October 12, 2011 Transferred to Palo Alto

Hi Mom! I'm in Palo Alto!!!

This is one of, if not the best wards in the mission! We received like 5 referrals yesterday and had 3 member presents my first day here! There are 7 people being taught right now who have solid baptismal dates! It's crazy! Yesterday we just drove from appointment to appointment! It's heaven! I'm paired up with Elder Barrow, a buddy I worked closely with for 6 months down in Salinas! He's a fantastic missionary! I'm already learning a lot from him. I am SO blessed to be here and am excited to serve here until the day I come home.

So our apartment is in Menlo Park, the church building is in Red Wood City, and we do most of our work in East Palo Alto. I'm just 20 miles down the road from San Fran! There are so many trees here! So different than Salinas. It's beautiful. I'm actually just right across the bay from Fremont, where I started out. There is so much work here. It's going to be a fun 3 months. Yesterday I got to meet Irma. She is a really sweet lady from El Salvador who was just flat out not happy with life, then Elder Barrow and his former companion, taught her every day last week, cause she was just eating it up, and now she's happy! The Gospel brings happiness!
Thank you so much for the package! Elder Gile and I loved the bread and jam. The Davidson's said they really enjoyed their visit with you, and are very grateful for the cook book, and the shepard thing. My last night, they made our whole dinner from recipes in the cook book! It was awesome. Good people. I'm going to miss Elder Gile and a lot of the members there in Salinas. I pray everything works out for Gloria. The last we heard is she was in Yuma working in the lettuce there. She's in a tough spot financially. We'll try and get in contact with her and send the missionaries to her down there. Well I love you very much and I'm very grateful for the opportunity to finish my mission here on the peninsula. Exciting stuff is going on. I'll fill you in on more next week: )

Love Elder Flake

Friday, October 7, 2011

Visit from Dawson's Bishop in Salinas

Dawson's Bishop from his Salinas branch, came through Utah on his way back for attending General Conference. He stopped by with his wife to visit us and pick up a package. I had fun baking bread and cookies and packing some homemade strawberry jam per his request to send. I also stocked up on some of the basics for he and his companion. Bishop Davidson said that Elder Flake is a great, humble, and obedient missionary. I gave Sister Davidson a hug when they left and asked her to deliver it to him from me!

October 3, 2011 Post General Conference

Yea spiritual feast week! It was a great temple experience. Bishop Davidson took the 4 of us elders up the 2 hour drive to Oakland. It was a beautiful clear day, and up on top of the hill where the Temple is you could see the whole bay area. It was a great session, i learned a lot, and then I had cool experiences in both the Celestial Room and the chapel with the Book of Mormon. Both times, I just flipped open the book and the passages of Ether 12 and Moroni 7 were both perfect for me. Just like many stated this conference -God speaks to us through his written word.

Speaking of conference- it was awesome! Lot's about missionary work! Especially in Priesthood session. I love the first presidency. On Saturday- I'm sure we all felt God's love for us during President Uchdorf's talk. During all of President Eyring's addresses, I just find myself writing a ton of self-inspection questions. I don't know how he does it, but he's good.

Then President Monson, ha ha, he's a goofball! 'Hello!' and then his joke about him going to dedicate the new Wyoming temple, cause 'there's good fishing there!' He then fulfilled his role as a prophet calling the whole world to repentance. God's standards don't change! The commandments are not mere suggestions! Good stuff... I'm excited to re-read all of the talks in the coming months. Great Conference...

So what else happened this week? Gloria is still in Mexico as far as we know. She hasn't been answering the phone lately so we're kind of worried about that. I also went up to San Jose on Friday for the leadership meeting. President Watkins is an inspiring individual. He makes us all want to be better. He also gave us a look into his hobbies from back home and showed us some pictures of his Indy race car. He did an analogy using the car (using math-he always uses math :) and he told us that the car actually performs better the faster it goes. It is more likely to spin out going around a corner at 90mph than 120mph. He didn't believe that when his coach told him, but when he put it to the test, he found it to be true. He likened that to us- how we are scared to go faster, or work harder, cause we don't know if we can, or what will happen if we do. But if we take the chance to raise the bar, we will find that with God's help, we will be made capable of doing even more than we thought possible. Pretty cool.

Also this week, we had a good lesson with Juan Chavez. It's a little different teaching him than the majority of the people I've taught here in Salinas. We teach him in English, he has a nice apartment (he actually lives in the same complex as us), and he doesn't work in the fields. He has desires to change and come closer to Christ, so it's a pleasure to teach him. Que mas...

A member took us to In-n-Out between sessions Saturday and told us he would pay for our burger, but only if we ordered the 4X4 (4 meat patties). So we took the challenge. It was gooooood. I felt kind of grossed out at myself though after eating that burger, a full order of fries, and a shake. But it was worth it :)

Today we are planning to go to the bay with a less active couple. Martin and Hortencia. They're cool. Well say hi and thanks to Bishop Davidson and his wife for me please! Thanks in advance for the package! I really can't think of anything that I need... Maybe some home made strawberry jam :) Transfers are next week. I'll find out if I'm really going to finish my mission here in Salinas! It would be 7 transfers! It's a good place to be though, so esta bien :)
Well I love you all muchisimo!
Elder Flake