September 18, 2014

...the power of God brings to pass His purposes

Dearest peeps at home ;)

This week has been fantastic!! :) Lots of fun stories and experiences and things to tell!! :) BUT, first to answer your questions...then we´ll see if I have to time for more :)

I´m doing great! :) Um, the food here is very simple...the food is water-based and the main staples are maz, potatoes, celantro (coming to like it...very slowly), and corn tortillas (my favorite!!). But the corn tortillas here are made fresh from the corn so I actually really LOVE them!! Not goin' back to that American subsitute fake stuff when I get back...also if we are lucky there may possibly be a little meat in the soup :) Living very simply!! BUT LOVING IT!! not having a worry in the world!! haha :) Also, just a fun fact about the food too...the members here have a drink that they ALWAYS have called mor caf ("mormon coffee"), so my first mug of "coffee" of my life was the first night after arriving in the field!! But to know that I´m still temple worthy!! haha :) It´s more of an herbal tea. I actually don´t know what they make it from...just that it´s safe always!! :)

We literally live IN the same building we have church and baptisms in...just a little room around back :)

Today we got together for p-day with the entire zone of missionaries and played indoor futbol on an outdoor/indoor court and then played futbol americana afterwards! :) Then went to a chinese restaurant for lunch!! :)

In the rama (local congregation) there are on average about 5 primary kids, we have a young man, and dos young woman, 3 endowned members (important in one of my stories)...

Alright so I´ll just write as many stories as I can before I have to get off...

My area is if we were to walk to some of the aldeas (small outlying villages around a larger, still tiny, main city) it would take all day walking and we wouldn´t be able to teach....story (or two ;) ) to follow.

So a cool experience from this week...There is a deaf youth in my rama here whose birthday it was on Fri. He lives in a very poor family and was baptized last month at age 12.  Because they are poor my companion and I knew that they wouldn´t really celebrate his birthday, SO we decided to make a lime pie for him and surprise him for his birthday! So we made the pie, which had to be frozen, then carried it the 45 min walk literally ¨over the river and through the woods¨ then over the other mountain we go! haha :) But it was all worth it. He LOVED IT!! And it really just showed me what a little bit of tender care for an individual can do for you but more importantly for them and bringing them to feel close to Christ!! :) Loved it!!

Also this week as you always hear in the stories, my companion and I were out contacting a couple of days and just kept getting rejection after rejection, some more rude than others, and then you find the gem! We have 2 brand-new investigators!!! One, we ran into as we were looking for a previous contact my companion had worked with. Right off the bat he told us straight up that he wasn´t looking for, or going to join, another church...but we taught was THE BEST, MOST spiritual lesson I have taught thus far on my mission (and that my companion has taught his entire mission he told me)...we´ve talked with him since and he is reading the libro de mormon and the pamphlet we left for him...we´re hoping this week to have a sit down lesson with him and his family...I´m soooo excited!! As we were walking away from his casa, I realized that we had literally taught for an hour and 15 min and I had understood EVERY word of Spanish used and had been able to start the restoration lesson and be a major participant in teaching him, and it had ALL been in Espanol!! The gift of tongues and the Spirit are real!! I wrote in my journal that ¨the Spirit was so strong that it was literally tangible!!¨ Great experience! The other experience with a new investigator--it was late and we were just getting ready to head back home for the night...when we ran into this gentleman at a street corner, he was walking down one street and we were walking down another.  We started talking to him and he told us he was waiting for a friend at the corner, so we started teaching him the restoration lesson right there on the street corner!! We talked for probably about 5-8 min and then we went our separate ways...the curious thing is the man´s friend never came and there were no other people on the streets, yet he walked back the way he had come...just a postulation, but I kind of feel like WE were the ¨friend¨ he was to meet at the street corner. Since then we´ve been able to talk to him again and will be teaching him and his family on Tue!! So a request from these stories: will you pray for our investigators? that they´ll feel the spirit as they read the BoM and as we teach? that would be greatly appreciated!! :)

I was able to participate in another priesthood blessing this week with an individual my companion and I are working with, who is the father of our young man and one of the young woman...he has had some issues in the past month with the word of wisdom...but we are working with him! In the blessing he was blessed to be able to rely on the Lord and quit his bad habits! We go and visit him everyday and share a small message to give our support! His family is going to go to the temple before I leave this area, I can feel it...they are all completely ready, except for the small issue with the father...but that will be dealt with promptly and soon and all will be well :)

This Sunday I was asked to give a talk in church! Oh, great!! But I accepted and prepared...and a miracle (I feel) happened! I gave a 25-30 min talk all in Spanish on the importance of tithing!!! I suprised my companion and the rama and Presidente Ayala and MYSELF! But it happened!! I´m so grateful for the blessing to be able to, at times, speak so perfectly!! :) I was also asked to bless the sacrament as well! First time ever doing the prayers in Espanol!! But thankfully I was able to read them!! :) And it went great!!!!! :) :)

I will conclude with one of my quotes of the week for this past week (I choose one or two quotes to put on our whiteboard for the week):  Presidente Thomas S Monson (I believe it is from May conference last year, but not sure) said: "When faith replaces doubt, when selfless service eliminates selfish striving, the power of God brings to pass HIS purposes." (all caps added by me)

I´m loving the opportunity to serve the Lord and especially to serve His prepared children in this area!! Thank you for all of you thoughts and prayers!! I´d love to receive more pictures from you guys!! :) Hopefully all is well for you guys and everyone is now healthy, strong, and still smiling!! :)

Love your missionary,
Elder Flake
Here I am in my apartment...
Once an Aggie, always an Aggie!

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