July 11, 2016


Highlights for 11/7/16:

HIGHLIGHT #1: See ya soon!

Highlight #2: Updates to be explained this weekend ;)

Highlight #3:👇

Sorry I can't write more, the power keeps going out so I'm out of time...but TALK TO YOU THIS WEEK!

With love and prayers,
Elder Flake

July 04, 2016

Home Stretch

"We are all subject to sorrow and suffering, to disease and death. Through times good and bad, the Lord expects each of us to endure to the end. As we all go forward together in His sacred work, the Brethren realize the importance of your thoughtful consideration, so lovingly offered and gratefully received. We love you and pray for you, as you pray for us.” --Russell M. Nelson, “Jesus Christ--the Master Healer,”Ensign, Nov. 2005, 85

Highlights from 4/7/16:

#1: Interviews with Pres Smith. This week was had our 3 month interviews with Pres Smith. Mine went well. We talked about life as a missionary finishing up soon. He shared some experiences from his missionary service, his last days. We talked about giving these last days all I've got! And that is what I planned on doing...and now more an ever I AM GOING TO WORK EVEN HARDER!

#2: 4th of July in Guate. So with today being the 4th of July I couldn't let my country celebrate without celebrating too! We had some bomb hot dogs, like REAL hot dogs. Any missionary who has served in central america knows why I am soo darn happy for REAL hot dogs. And my I say they were DEEEEEEELICOUS!
Celebrating my country's birthday! Happy July 4th!

#3: News from Home. This morning I was called into an interview with my mission president. He informed me that my Aunt Debbie and Uncle James along with my cousins, were in a vehicle accident, that my uncle was still in the hospital, that my aunt and one cousin has been released from the hospital...but that my cousin Julie had not made it. I was able to call my family and speak with them briefly and feel of their love and support, but more importantly, give of my love and my support. We are doing well, but could use the prayers of all who are willing. I found this picture from the last family trip, and last time I was with Julie, and wanted to share.

I know that God created the plan of happiness for moments like these, to give us help, strength, and lift us up. I know that God loves us. I know that He cares about us. I know He LIVES! I am confident that one day I will see Julie again, I know that one day death will not be a possibility. That day will come, soon, and when that day comes will be a day of rejoicing as we are reunited with loved ones. I love you all and send my love and support until I may be with you all. I love each and every one of you! Keep on smiling! Keep trying! Keep your head up! :)

With love and prayers at this special and difficult time,
Elder Flake

PS The intro quote I found VERY applicable..."We love you and pray for you, as you pray for us." What comfort, what strength, what words of peace and affirmation that ALL WILL BE WELL! I just found great comfort in that quote.

PPS Originally I was to be home THIS Thurs...but I'll be there soon :)

PPPS I heard this song and thought to share it with you guys...because he lives, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWj2vKD4LGM

“When the pathway of life takes a cruel turn, there is the temptation to think or speak the phrase, ‘Why me?’ Self-incrimination is a common practice, even when we may have had no control over our difficulty. …

“However, at times there appears to be no light at the tunnel’s end—no dawn to break the night’s darkness. We feel surrounded by the pain of broken hearts, the disappointment of shattered dreams, and the despair of vanished hopes. We join in uttering the biblical plea, ‘Is there no balm in Gilead?’ We are inclined to view our own personal misfortunes through the distorted prism of pessimism. We feel abandoned, heartbroken, alone.

“To all who so despair, may I offer the assurance of the Psalmist’s words: ‘Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning’ (Psalm 30:5).

“Whenever we are inclined to feel burdened down with the blows of life’s fight, let us remember that others have passed the same way, have endured, and then have overcome.”

—Thomas S. Monson, “Meeting Life’s Challenges,” Ensign,Nov. 1993, 68

I found this specifically uplifting and encouraging from our dear prophet. Love you guys! Hope this quote can help Debbie and Blaine as well :)
An awesome Guatemalan meal!

District Activity! :)

Cornbread...I guess I can still cook! haha :)

June 27, 2016

23 Meses...Am I Chapin Yet?

"So many thing beat upon us in a lifetime that simply enduring may seem almost beyond us...but the test a loving God has set before us is not to see if we can endure difficulty. It is to see if we can endure it well. We pass the test by showing that we remembered Him and the commandments He gave us. And to endure well is to keep those commandments whatever the opposition, whatever the temptation, and whatever the tumult around us." --Henry B Eyring, "In The Strength of the Lord"

Highlights for 27/6/16:

Highlight #1: Elders Quorum Activity. This week we had an elders quorum activity to try and get some brotherhood going! We had a barbeque and soccer night. They cooked a lot of food and we had a couple investigators that were able to come as well. It was actually a lot of fun! So, I guess bbqs aren't just an American male tradition, IT'S INTERNATIONAL!!! We were able to get a couple good references from the members that came for some people we have been able to go and visit. Hopefully something comes from it! :)

Highlight #2: McVey. I'm starting to like being in the secretaries area, just a littttttttttttle, very littttttle bit. Why you say? Well, because it means that when people come for different reasons to Xela and need to chill with a set of missionaries to work, they come with us. Well, guess who came yesterday and has been chilling with us today? ....yep! Elder McVey. It was fun to chill with another mission friend for the day. We didn't do much, as it was Pday, but we still did some things to have a bit of fun :)

Highlight #3: Well, that was fun. Well, I came to the realization this week that at the end of this coming week ITS JULY!!!! Do you know what that means? It means that I can't tell myself that "next month" or "still gotta month." A lot of thoughts and feelings and everything have gone through my mind as my mission experience has so quickly seemed to come to an end.....But this just means the end of one chapter and the beginning of another.

"El ser mas inteligente, es aquel que hace caso al Ser mas inteligente." --Obispo Tarax, Bishop of the ward

To translate: "The most intelligent person, is he who follows the guidance of He who is the most intelligent." or something close to that translation ;) haha

With love and prayers,
Elder Flake

PS sorry it's short this week...the keyboard I'm using isn't too great...
My Zone on the LAST change of my mission!

June 20, 2016

Power of Prayer

"Prayer is your personal key to heaven. The lock is on your side of the veil." --Boyd K. Packer

Highlights for 20/6/16:

Highlight #1: Dia de Padre. So this last week was a special day for dads, or that was what I was told ;) So a HAPPY FATHER'S DAY to all them dads out there! For Father's Day the Primary put on an activity to celebrate all the dads. The primary made up a skit about all that dads do for us in our lives. ie Family Home Evening, Scripture Study, Getting Home from Work, etc. Then after the skit they had all the dads in the audience go up in front and play musical chairs. It was a fun activity, and we had some visitors there :)

Father's Day Activity at the church

Highlight #2: Family. We have continued to work with some fantastic families and see some progress this week! We have been able to show up at "crucial" times to visit some of these families, unplanned. That is one thing I learned this week. That if we will slow down a second (not work less, just work smart) and focus on what the spirit is telling us we WILL have success. It has happened more than once this week and I made sure to take note of it. If we will each take the time to focus on what is eternally important and strengthen our relationship with the spirit, our Savior, and our Heavenly Father we will not regret it. They will protect us, guide us, and help us progress. I know that my Heavenly Father loves all his children, and he knows who needs a visit RIGHT NOW and who can wait for a little bit. Then he sends his instructions, it's not a piece of paper, or a text, or an ancient greek messenger-runner. He speaks to us through the promptings of the spirit, in our minds and in our hearts. So if our minds and hearts are focused on the things of this world, or things that really aren't important, we won't recognize the guidance. But if we will give the space for the spirit to instruct us we will work miracles!

Highlight #3: Prayer. This week I learned to pray. I know that probably each of your eyebrows just raised...to explain: I know that to pray we 1) start by addressing our Heavenly Father, 2) Give thanks, 3) Ask for the things we need, and 4) always end in the name of Jesus Christ, amen. So in that sense I've always known how to pray. But this week I learned how to make my prayers a more uplifting experience and a way to fortify my relationship with my Heavenly Father. It has been an intersting learning experience; sacred, so I won't talk about it much, but I know that prayer is powerful. If we will pray, the Lord will bless us. It is through prayer that our testimonies will be strengthened, our hope will be increased, and more happiness will enter our lives. Prayer is powerful!

"Through honest and heartfelt prayer, we receive love, power, and strength from our Heavenly Father." --Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball, (2006), 46–58

I love you guys! Keep up the positivity....oh, HEY! Dont forget to get my room and bed made ;) jaja, JK!

With love and prayers,
Elder Flake

June 13, 2016

May Flowers Bring June Showers

Beautiful, wet Xela on our way back from Divisions...

"Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord, Jesus Christ." --The Family: A Proclamation to the World

Highlight #1: Divisions. This week I got to do divisions with Elder Roca! Great guy! It's crazy to think that that was just under a year ago that I left Prado for Xeraxon with him. We had some great conversation, great citas, and a great time remembering experiences in Xeraxon and throughout our missions. Crazy to think that I was celebrating his 6 month mark when I was with him and now he's going on 18 months! That's crazy to me! For the divisions I went to Olinte with him and his comp came to Panorama with my comp. I always learn something new in each division, that's what makes them fun (other than mixing up your companion for a little bit, that's appreciated a veces). We went to an awesome part of his area...it's known as the city of white people (as in the residents there have colored eyes and different colored hair than the norm black eyed, black haired latinos). The city (if you call it that, it's more of a mountain village) is called San Carlos Sija.

Highlight #2: Sija. So for the last 23 months I've heard about this magical city in the backmountains of Xela called San Carlos Sija. Sometimes at night you can see the lights up there. I've always wanted to go, you know, just to visit and of course work there ;) :) Well, this week I finally got my chance. And can I just say, I LOVED IT! I realized that I am NOT a city guy...I love the aldea life :) But I guess that's part of the reason I was given the opportunity to learn to love city life for more than half my mission ;) I realized the effect open space, green space, and being in the medo medo mountains has on me. I just feel better just being present in that type of setting...now to be able to do the Lord's work there, that's just too great!!! :) So, I took some pictures to remember and I made a decision. If I ever move to Guate, I am definitely going to live in a city like Sija (hmmm, maybe that's why there are soo many "white" people there ;) jaja). So just to share, I love camping, I love backpacking, I love nature...going to have to keep that in mind when I get home :) More happiness in my life if I remember ;)
Beautiful Sija!

Highlight #3: Families. This week we were able to come in contact with some great complete families. They are soo great! I love each of them and am leaving all my heart, might, mind, and strength to help all those around me, but especially them, to come closer to their Savior. But not only come closer to Him, but make the necessary changes in their lives to receive eternal life in the presence of God with their families. It really hit me hard this week that this experience is coming to an end...don't know how I feel. All I can do now is leave this area in the best state I possibly can to set up success for the elders that come after me. Please pray for the families that we are find, and that we will continue to find, that they will allow the spirit to teach them, change them. Keep them in your thoughts and prayers :) I love this work! I honestly don't know what I'm going to do when I'm not 100% dedicated with all my heart, might, mind and strength to His work. It's going to be interesting...but that will come when it comes, and I'm living now! :)

Well I love you guys. Hope y'all have a great week and take advantage of every opportunity the Lord gives each of you to share His amazing, eternity-changing gospel. Keep up the great work!!! :) See you guys, WAY TOO, soon!

With love and prayers,
Elder Flake

PS Happy Father's Day! Happy Father's Day to my Dad and all them dads this week!

PPS Just so the title of the email makes sense...it has began to POUR here! And to make matters more interesting, my umbrella decided to break this week...so that's fun ;)
rain, rain, rain...
and mud :)
Still love a good ol' American burger and fries!

June 06, 2016

The Best for Last

Sorry if it's short today...we had our zone activity and it went REALLY long...sorry...but to that in a second.

"Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved." --Pres Thomas S. Monson

Highlights for 6/6/16:

Highlight #1: Zone Activity. So today we had our zone activity for the change...I know, the FIRST week of the change...but maybe that was a good idea, to help make unity in the zone right from the start :) We decided to go to a field on the ranch of someone the zone leaders are teaching. We rented HUGE blowup balls and played a whole bunch of games with them. One was sharks and minnows, another was teams with each person having 2 lives (when you fall, you lose a life), and then a little bit of soccer with them :) It was fun!!!! We then had a member that is a pro chef come and make some bomb hamburgers! So all in all it was great!

Highlight #2: Elder Chudleigh. So this last week, as y'all know, were the changes. Well, there was a special case with one of the elders, and that is why we were in a trio for most of the week :) What happens is that Tue/Wed/Thu the outgoing group of missionaries have the final events of their missions and then on Thu go home...but if someone you love is going to pick you up from your mission USUALLY they come on one of those three days to pick you up. Well, this elder's family couldn't make it until Sat (due to his bro hs graduation and other conflicts). So he needed someone to care for him ( ;) jaja) until his family could make it. So after his three days with his outgoing group he joined my comp and I here in the area for some bomb "extra" days of missionary work! :) It was great having him here and hearing some of his mission stories, it really pumped me up and got me excited to work through to the very end because I know now what is waiting....and it is going to be EXCELLENTE! One of the cool things was walking him up to the mission office Sat to unite with his family after 2 YEARS...now with the possibility of getting sentimental, that was a precious moment (baggie in the moment, but) that really showed me that the end DOES come and when it comes that I want to have given my all. So I've still got LOTS to do!
Goodbye Elder Chudleigh
Highlight #3: NOT A HIGHLIGHT! Well, the Lord works in mysterious ways...and some of His ways leave us wondering WHY? or WHAT? But when we have confidence in Him He makes the situation into what He needs. So this week the mom of a family we are teaching received work....but in Guate...so she let us know that she will be in Guate now. Also she will be leaving her kids with her sister (still a little hope), so we asked if she gave permission for her children to continue attending. She expressed that her desire would be yes, but that she didn't think that it would happen because her sister is SUPER catholic and she doesn't think that her sister will let us teach, visit, or allow them to come to church. So the search continues. Please pray for us that we may find a complete family this week who have been prepared and will progress, and that I will be able to see them enter the waters of baptism before the end of the change. Thanks :)

"A home is much more than a house built of lumber, brick, or stone. A home is made of love, sacrifice, and respect. We are responsible for the homes we build. We must build wisely, for eternity is not a short voyage. There will be calm and wind, sunlight and shadows, joy and sorrow. But if we really try, our home can be a bit of heaven here on earth. The thoughts we think, the deeds we do, the lives we live not only influence the success of our earthly journey, they also mark the way to our eternal goals." --Pres Thomas S. Monson

I love you all! FOR REAL, I mean it! I love this work...and the days are making it hard for me. But I am committed 'till the very end. I'm "in it to win it" ;) jaja I know that this is the work of the Lord, He is at the helm, He directs, and He knows what he needs ME to do TODAY. A quote came to my mind this week (that I thought was pretty funny, but applied and is true...), "yesterday's history, tomorrow's a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present." (guesses to the source of my wonderful quote?) I am soo grateful for the experiences I am having, will have, and have had. I know that they have and will shape me into the son God needs me to be. I pray for your success and well-being. Keep up the great lives! ;)

With Love and Prayers,
Elder Flake

PS The quote is from Kung Fu Panda....if you were wondering.
Gotta love Guate life!

May 30, 2016

The Final Stretch, Let's Do This

La Patria A Tecun-Uman
"The Homeland of Teancum??"

"Challenges will come to you, but as you trust in God, they will strengthen your faith." -- Neil A Andersen

Highlights for 30/5/16:

Highlight #1: Cambios. Well, tomorrow are changes...once again. So last night the call came in to let us know that........neither of us have changes. A mexican is going to finish me off!! Then this morning we found out that we still have to go to changes...you may be asking why?? Well, because in the end we DO have changes. But I'm not going....and my comp isn't either....BUT we are going to be receiving a new companion. Yep, started my wonderful mission experience in a trio (the days with Elder Molina and Elder DeCamps) and going to end it in a trio....So wish me luck :) :) Here we come another 6 weeks here in Panorama! :)

Highlight #2: Family. So the family I talked about last week is PILUS! And the members have really rallied around us to help them...I think it just took a little push of faith to get this ward going :) We were able to have some very amazing experiences in lessons with them this week. And once again the sons came to church yesterday! :) If you could all keep this family in your prayers, that the mom will be able to find a stable job and that they will continue to progress, pray, read the Book of Mormon, and let the Lord work miracles in their lives...that would be very appreciated! :)

Highlight #3: Power. The power of General Conference. I have been having all sorts of crazy feelings this week (ending the mission, things in the area, things with my comp, etc). I was able to find help, not surprisingly, listening to the last General Conference. This week I would listen to a conference talk, then write in my journal, then get to bed. I found that the next day I felt better, woke up well, and had ganas to move forward in the area. I testify that the prophets' voices and messages aren't just given to be listened to once and YAH, we are to constantly be listening, reading, or watching the messages and instructions and applying them to our lives. If we will do these things we will see a change in our lives, more peace, calm, and security will accompany us.

I know that this is God's work, here on the earth, for the salvation of His children. I am soo glad to be able to be a part of it. The reality is setting in that these are my last, counted, days with a plaque and giving my all to this work. I hope to continue strong after the mission because I know that the Lord will continue to bless me and you to find, teach, and invite those around us to come unto Christ. I love y'all! Keep up the great work! :)

With love and prayers,
Elder Flake

PS This last week I finished 22 months since leaving home....CRAZY!
I walked a little too close to a wall...oops!
Sending a missionary off to Chile!!