October 01, 2014

3 Comps, 3 Areas, 1 Day...and a month of miracles

So I'm going to write a couple separate emails, each with a title and a focus. This one is 3 Comps, 3 Areas, 1 Day....so to begin:

In the mission there is this event called "Divisions." Basically, the leadership companionship splits up and another companionship splits up and one of the leaders comes here and one of us goes to the leaders' area.

All right, with that explained: Tuesday morning, beautiful day, wake up in my bed and get ready for my day--area #1, companion #1. Jump to noon, I'm on the bus with one of the Zone Leaders on the way to his area--area #2, companion #2. This is when things went crazy!! We were at the home of a less active member when he got a call for me from the Mission Office in Xela. I was informed that I was to get to the mission office by 7 pm to be taken to my hotel because I was going to Guatemala City the next day. To be able to make it to the office by 7 we literally had to stand up immediately, no lesson, didn't even really get to talk to the member, and catch the bus to Xela. (side note that is important: I had been told because it was divisions to take all my bedding and study materials and night things...so that came with me to all these areas) We got to Xela and I was taken to the hotel with the other missionary going with me, turns out to be one of my friends from the CCM--area #3, companion #3.....so yeah. 3 comps, 3 areas, 1 day....it was CRAZY!!

So you're probably wondering why I had to go to Guatemala City...I had to head down to sign the paperwork for my visa...I'm officially legal!! :) It was an all day affair...woke up at 3:30 a.m. to be to the bus by 4 a.m., then a 4.5 hour bus ride to Guatemala City, sign a paper y take a picture, then 3.5 hour bus ride back to Xela, then an hour ride back to area #2 for the night...haha :)

2nd email:  Month of Miracles...
Back to my assigned area...My Zone/District set a goal to have 6 baptisms in the month of October. Last week, during divisions, one of the investigators here accepted to be baptized on October 12!! 2 Weeks!! :) And we are super close in having her brother prepared to be baptized the same day!! :) 2 baptisms within my first change in the mission field!!! And an interesting fact, in the last 3 years, yes YEARS, there have been 3 baptisms...So to have 2 on the same day or even year is amazing!!! :)

SPANISH CLICKED!!!!!!!!!!! It clicked about 3 days ago, and it was super subtle...one moment I was talking in English, the next I was having a conversation in Spanish (talking with a family who one of them speaks English and has served a mission, and the others only speak Spanish). I still have a ton to learn, but at least I can communicate!!!!! HA!!   Also I didn't even realize it had happened until my comp and I were leaving and he was like..."do you know what I just realized?...you were just speaking Spanish, like teaching and having a conversation...hmmm, cool" :) Then on Sunday, I taught all of priesthood meeting in Spanish :) I taught about sharing our testimonies with all with whom we come in contact with...

Another experience of a miracle...before I begin, a note of explanation for my friends who are not members of our faith:  on the first Sunday of each month we have "Fast Sunday," mean we fast from eating for 24 hours (usually Saturday dinner to Sunday dinner) and then donate the money we would've spent on food to the poor.  "General Conference" is held two weekends per year and the Prophets, apostles, and other general authorities of our church prepare talks for us based on revelation they have received from God. You can watch as well at: www.lds.org/general-conference.  There are 4 sessions, 2 on Saturday and 2 on Sunday, one at 10 am till 12 and another 2 till 4 on both days!  It's very inspirational!)  :)

So, back to the miracle...I'll say up front it's not religious at all...alright you know I made brownies for Colby's birthday on Sunday. So Saturday night I realized I had the brownie mix and decided I would use it to celebrate his birthday. THEN I realized, I needed an egg!! It was 10:30 p.m. and none of the tiendas would be open and then next day was Sunday. So I decided I'd just have to make them Monday and be a day late for his birthday. But then the miracle happened....we had Fast Sunday because next week is General Conference (woohoo!). So, after church we visited a woman to talk with her :) While we were there her hired help, who is a member of the church, came up from the field carrying what looked, from the very little I could see, like a potato that had been nicked so you could see the flesh. She washed it off and asked me and my comp if we wanted what was in her hands that were cupped, completely covering whatever it was. My comp said no, and I was like ah, might as well try some exotic Guatemalan potato! And what to my surprise when into my hand plopped a warm egg!! Yeah, an EGG!!!! I was soo excited and happy and thankful and our friend was very confused.  HAHA :)

I know that the Lord is watching out for his servants and loves blessing them when they are worthy and looking for the blessing. I know that He is among us teaching and preaching and helping bring His children back home. It has been amazing to see the hand of the Lord in my life literally EVERY day! I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!!

Well, got to wrap up and get off, until next week :) I love you all!! Keep being happy and positive and ALWAYS be looking for opportunities to share your testimonies (even if its as simple as "I know that my family will be together forever!")

With love your brother, son, missionary, and friend,

Elder Flake

PS. We get to go to the temple this week! I'm so excited!!! :)
PPS  One thing I learned about Patriarchal Blessings: the things promised do come to pass and it's fabulous. Also that the words can be applicable more than once :)
PPPS  Yes, I got the recipe and directions for the Tomales de Lote...basically a Guatemalan cornbread, but different :) Tomales de Lote look like the thing in the included picture, but bigger and the one in the picture is a tomaleta not a Tomale de Lote...but who cares :) So about the picture, this is what I basically eat with EVERYTHING...sopa for dinner and tomaletas, chx for lunch AND tomaletas...if its not tomaletas then we have tortillas. But literally EVERY meal that we have with members :)
Tomaletas for every meal!!!

Colby's Birthday brownies

Colby's piece (thaT I helped him eat)

My comp celebrating Colby's birthday with me--
Wish you could come to the party Colby!
anyone for some maiz?

Gotta love Guatemala!
hotel in Xela before going to Guatemala City for my visa

crazy comp with my camera

Crazy day!


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