December 29, 2014

Primera Navidad--my first Christmas as a missionary

December 29, 2014

So first off, I told you guys most of what I was going to write about this week when I video chatted with you guys 4 days ago :) So I may write some of the same stuff and some new experiences :) So to cut to the chase...highlights.

Highlights of this week:

Highlight #1: I got to call you guys!!!! :) That was definately the #1 highlight for my week (and a lot more time than that....). I loved being able to see and talk to you guys for a little bit! Loved the questions, ideas, experiences, and everything you guys shared with me. Also, I loved the surprise of Grandma and Grandpa Flake being there!!! That was sure a suprise! Also thank you for allowing me (or at least the cardboard me) to sit in your living room all morning and watch the presents get opened ;) I love my clone! Especially because then I can have a lot more experiences (ie serve a mission but still be home for all the big happenings) :) So thank you!! :)

Highlight #2: Guatemalan Christmas!! Christmas (or Navidad) is a little bit different here. Think New Years Eve night, but for Christmas...Everyone stays up all night and when midnight comes everyone shoots of fireworks for 20 min straight. Just light up the sky! Also everyone makes special Navidad food called Tomales. They are SUPER SUPER good!!! :) Like super good! But, you can be assured I learned how to make them for when i get back!!!! :) Exciting!!!! :)

I know that God loves each and every one of His children. He knows our deepest needs, desires, and wants. He is literally our Father, our Eternal Father. I know, with all my heart, might, mind, and strength that He loves us eternally and perfectly. He has promised us everything, EVERYTHING He has....and that is A LOT and sufficiant compensation and motivation for me to live my life in the way He would like me to. Some may say we mormons just have a bunch of rules and regulations....yeah, maybe we do....BUT, I know that by following these "rules and regulations" of heaven we will be blessed. We have been promised this, by prophets, teachers, apostles, and Christ himself. So are we going to sit down to the marvelous banquet God has set before us, or turn away for other roads. I promise that if we will each individually chose to follow the path Christ has made for us, keep the commandments, and stay true to our covenants, we WILL receive our reward--A reward of unending happiness, unending joy, unending love, and unending life with our families and our Heavenly Father.

I love you all sooo much and am loving being one of Christ´s special servants for these short 2 years. I have grown soo much in faith and testimony since being here...even in the short 5 months that it has been. I have literally seen the hand of God reach down from heaven to bless His children. And I KNOW without a shadow of a doubt that this church is Christ´s true church, the only church on earth that has all of the priesthood keys, covenants, and teachings of God. I know that through living the principles and teachings of this, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, we will return to the presence of our Father and live with our families forever. Just think of what a glorious reunion that will be.

I pray for you each individually every night and hope that all is well and good with each of you at home. I loved being able to talk with each of you for Christmas, it was definately my favoriate Christmas gift this year. I love you all and hope that each of you can experience and see the hand of the Lord in your lives each day. I promise that if you pray to have and recognize those experiences and then live you life in such a way that you are worthy of those experiences, you WILL see and recognize the Hand of God guiding, directing, and helping your lives each and every day.

With love and prayers,
Elder Flake

Christmas fireworks...

...and no, we weren't allowed to light them.

Christmas with some of my new Guatemalan friends was great!

December 22, 2014

Christmas coming and a New Companion

December 22, 2014

I hope you are all doing fantastic and getting into the spirit of Christmas! :) This season is such an amazing time!  A time to be with family, a time to feel the special spirit of this time, a time of brotherhood, and a time to remember Christ. My best and well wishes to you guys at this special time :) Well, now for the "good stuff" ;)

Highlights for this Week:

Highlight #1: Well, first things first...I have a new comp!! :) He is also gringo. This change happened because my comp received his visa for Bolivia and will be leaving at a moment's notice (most likely this Fri). So due to this unknown and me needing to always have a companion, I am now in a tri-panionship. This change happened on Sat and we went to Xela to pick up our new comp. So the last couple days have been a wonderful adventure. As well, we are fitting 3 missionaries in our tiny room, but its only for this week :)

Highlight #2: On Thursday we had our Multi-Zone Conference with Elder Duncan of the Seventy (and Area President for Central America). It was fantastic! I took so many notes and learned soooo much from Elder Duncan, Pres. Smith, and Sister Smith. Also the song went super well! (but that will be the next highlight) We learned a lot of stats about the missionary work here in Central America and learned a lot about how we can do a better job as missionaries helping people come unto Christ. So pretty successful conference I felt :) So then we had the 2 hour ride home on a full bus. And when I say full bus I mean a Guatemalan full bus not an American full bus. So to give you the picture...take a typical school bus, place 8 missionaries in the bus, then start stuffing Guatemalans in both the front and back doors until there is no, literally NO, empty space, then add 15 more people.  Another elder and I were standing on one of the seats sharing the space of one person sitting for the entire ride through the windy road. IT WAS A PARTY! Very hot and crapped and my back hurt when we got off, but now I've got a story to tell, right?!? ;) :)

Highlight #3: So the song went great! :)  I had prayed and fasted that those in attendance would feel the Spirit and that our song would be a great start to the conference. It was all of that and more :) The song went off without any problems, even though the other 2 guys were sick and we weren't able to have our last practice. Then afterwards a couple of my friends from the CCM expressed their disbelief for what had come out of my mouth. Then macheted me for not sharing that talent more in the CCM ;) haha :) Then Elder Duncan personally thanked me for the song and encouraged me to use that talent I have been given to animate the youth here and in contacting, so started to do that this week :) Then Hna Smith came and thanked me for the wonderful spirit we brought into the meeting and expressed how much her husband had enjoyed the musical number. So, my prayer was answered. The Spirit was there, and I gained a testimony of the power of music in inviting the Spirit.

Highlight #4: This week was the Rama Christmas Party (Conbibio). It was absolutely fantastic!!! :) We had a special Navidad oven-baked chicken, a Guatemalan-type of stuffing but with veggies, tortillas (obviously, whats a Guate meal without them ;) haha), and this super, SUPER good pineapple punch I learned how to make (for when I get home) :) We also had a talent or act show...and as required the Elders performed. My comp and I decided to sing Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer...but a little different. We both started out in our own native language, but halfway through we switched. Then when the song ended we had some funny commentary and sang again, this time starting in the other language and switching to our own halfway through. The members LOVED it :)

So it has been a very hectic week. Really only had 3 full days to work this week. 1 day for pday, 1 day for the multizone, and 1 day to go to Xela to pick up my new companion. But the work is progressing and continues to move forward. Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers and well wishes. Feliz Navidad y tiene un prospero en la ano nuevo. This is such an amazing season, a time to remember Christ. I love you all and pray for each of you every day! Hopefully you feel those prayers and the ayuda de los angeles. Talk to you guys soon!! :)

With love and gratitude,
Elder Flake
(aka Elder Captain America or Elder Thor-the nicknames the members here have begun using.)

It was 5 months ago today that I climbed on that plane to start the experience of my life!

Our awesome Christmas tree from the mountain, cut down and delivered by a member of our rama.

Our tiny apartment room with 3 missionaries now!  Just for the week...

December 15, 2014

Dogs, logs, and Steps to know the truth

December 15, 2014

This week has been filled with some different, good, experiences...AND a lot of work and walking! BUT, I'm loving every day! I love having a latino companion and am loving this area more and more each passing day! But I can explain more in detail with the highlights :) So to get to the good stuff... ;)


Highlight #1: We traveled to a different town this week to have another practice for the song I'm singing at the missionary conference with Elder Duncan. I am SO excited and SO nervous to be singing in front of literally half the mission...but the Lord has given me a talent and needs me to share it now! Thankfully it is also something I LOVE doing!! :) But the trip was REALLY long...think 2.5 hours on windy roads in the freezing cold of a bus without heat! But it was just another unique experience I will only have on the mission, right? ;) :)

Highlight #2: This past week Elder Molina completed (drum roll)...1 MONTH!! :) So what did we do? We went out and contacted, taught lessons, and had brownies :) So, Happy 1 Month to Elder Molina and his mom (because she is probably counting down the months till he's home ;)).

Highlight #3: My pen died. But this wasn't just any pen...this was THE pen! This was the pen I took brand new, from the package, my first day in the CCM....and this week, IT DIED! Yeah, I've been using the same pen for everything for almost 5 months! :) Used it for 3 agendas, almost an entire composition notebook of journaling, writing talks, taking notes in the CCM and in reunions, for literally EVERYTHING!! And now...its gone...But lapicero junior has been "born" and is serving me well so far :)

Highlight #4: Well, almost got killed (or seriously hurt) by a dog this week...we were visiting an hermana we had taught at her sister's house when we contacted into her. So we found out where she lived and went to visit yesterday to continue teaching. Well, I guess she didn't feel it was important to warn us when she invited us to visit her at home that her perro doesn't like people and especially people on his "property." Well, we hiked up to her house and, like we always do, yelled "Buenas!!"...well usually at that point our greeting is answered by a Guatemalan hermano o hermana coming to the door and talking to us...that was not the case this time! We were greeted by a dog coming out of nowhere, with no fear, and going straight for our legs...but thankfully the hermana was able to run pretty quick, and literally through 2 logs at this dog. Then for the rest of our visit the dog was just sitting there listening too and we had no further problems :) Got to love them Guate dogs ;) Haha :)

Highlight #5: Guatemalan Hot word: different. So I learned this week how to make hot chocolate the Guatemalan way. You purchase a block of just pure unsweetened chocolate in a tienda...then boil water (however much you want to)...then you place this block of chocolate (if you call it that) in it...then the chocolate melts, and you pour out portions for everyone. It actually isn't too bad, different and unique, but not too bad :)

Well, there you have it...the fun, new experiences of this week, from my heart (or hands) to yours :) Thank you all for the support and emails each week. I really do appreciate having stories to read and experiences to experience (second hand) and for the time you guys take to send them to me :) Thank you all for the testimonies and stories of strength. A couple scriptures I was reading this week that I would like to share...1) 3 Nephi 5:13 and 2) Mosiah 2:41 (a scripture about my calling) :)

I am so deeply grateful for the trust of the Lord and am so glad to be serving a mission. I know with all my heart that the message I am called to share of the Restored gospel of Jesus Christ, the same church He established when He was here on earth, is true. I know it and I know that you can know it for asurety as well. It is an easy process but many don't follow through or have the faith because it is so simple (kind of like the bronze serpent Moses raised in the wilderness to save all who would look upon it), but I testify (every day, and today to you) that if you will take the time to follow this process you WILL receive an answer SPECIFICALLY for you.

Step 1) Read in the Book of Mormon, a conference talk, or talk to your local missionaries.
Step 2) Take a little bit of time, in a quite place without your phone or other distractions, and think about what your read or heard. What you thought about it and how you feel or felt.
Step 3) Pray to your Heavenly Father with a specific question (i.e. Is the Book of Mormon true? Is what I read true? Is what the missionaries taught correct and true? or another SPECIFIC question) and share your thoughts and feelings on the subject as well.
Step 4) Receive your answer.

I promise and testify that if you will follow these 3 simple steps, you WILL receive an answer! Now, it is up to you. Your Heavenly Father is waiting to hear from YOU, are you ready to hear from Him?

I am so thankful for this epoca (time) of the year! For the opportunity to remember the birth of the Savior of the world, to feel the unique spirit (the spirit of God) of this epoca, and the opportunity (usually) to spend time with your family and friends. I am so grateful for the gift of His son that Heavenly Father gave each of us. And I testify that through this gift and through the Atonement of Christ, all man kind may be saved and return to live with their families and Heavenly Father forever. This is truly an amazing time of the year and an amazing time to be serving our Savior. I love you all and pray for you each individually every day, pray for your health, happiness, success, and well-being. I'm pumped to be able to talk to you guys next week!! :) AHHHHHH!!! :) Also, just got to put it out week will mark 5 months since leaving home...WOW!

With love and well wishes this Navidad,
Elder Flake

My awesome new Guatemalan companion!

Missionaries LOVE emails from home

Chocolate countdown to Christmas for me and my companion!

Beautiful views I get to see every day...

December 10, 2014

He is the Gift!

He is the Gift!  John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave is only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life"

I am thankful for this season of the year and for the opportunity it gives us each year to refocus on what really is important: Christ, our families, and showing love for our fellow men.  #sharethegift

Singing and snakes and Christmas traditions

December 8, 2014

Well, one week closer to Christmas...and still no snow...BUT this week has been fantastic!! :) We walked A LOT this week, to and from aldeas, out contacting in the streets (and the mountains), and just walking a lot. Also, I've got a sweet companion! He loves to work, loves to have fun, loves the gospel, and has the Spirit with him always!

Training a new missionary is going GREAT! I'm loving it every day!! :) The Spanish is coming along more and more every day...especially with the help of an awesome latino companion. I do use English in the room with him sometimes to explain things. There are a couple of reasons for this 1) he is to learn English on his mission, 2) he knows a good amount of English already (and is learning more every day), 3) it is never because I'm frustrated, but I do use it to explain things sometimes that I can't explain in Spanish (then afterwards he will teach me how to say those things in Spanish) :)

Well, alright, the highlights for this week...

Highlight #1: I have the opportunity to be a part of a trio to start the Multi-zone conference we have next week with Elder Duncan (Area President and Seventy). Ain't that nerve-wracking!!! The other two missionaries are the Zone Leader and his companion. So they came to my area this week to have our first practice...I'M PUMPED to sing with these guys!! :) :) It sounded amazing! We are singing "I'll Go Where You Want Me To Go," acapella, we each have a solo, and we made up our own parts! I love it! So now to practice enough that I won't be nervous anymore ;) haha :) OH, also worth mentioning...we found out that we are the ones that start off the entire conference. We just start singing, and the conference has begun. Haha :) I am soo greatful for the opportunity to use and share one of the talents God has given me. I am so excited to be singing again, in parts, with a group! (in the rama and in people's homes we only sing melody)

Highlight #2: I faced a fear this week, twice! I realized this week just how afraid of snakes I really am! My companion and I were out contacting and contacted into this woman on her way to sell some things at the local hot springs (the banos, yes bano means bathroom but in this case it's different...). We offered to help her carry her wares there and took the opportunity to teach her the first lesson. We (all three) arrived safely at the Banos, dropped off her things, and my comp and I continued up the road to continue contacting. This is when things got interesting...about 600 mts up the road we were both deep in conversation and out of nowhere there was a serpienta in our path! AHHHHHHHHH!!! Thankfully after about 20 seconds and some prodding (by my comp because I wouldn't go near it) we determined that it was dead. But still! I made 2 realizations 1) I REALLY hate snakes, and 2) with the weather getting colder the snakes of the mountains are going to be decending closer to the city. Both of these thoughts were no bueno. But, being the young men we are we couldn't pass up the perfect opportunity to take some pictures. THEN, the next day we were out contacting again and decided to stop by a less active member of the rama's house...and we encountered yet another serpent. Thankfully this one was also dead, but it gave me yet another reminder of my realizations from the day before. We'll see when the next encounter happens...

Highlight #3: Yesterday my companion and I decided to go contacting in an area I have never been to see if we could find anybody who was ready for the news of their life. So off we went down the road, contacting every house we passed. Eventually we came to a fork in the road, and one of the coolest views I've seen since being here. We were on the top of a mountain (that neither of us knew existed) looking into a valley of farms. Unfortunately I did not have my camera with me :( But I will be sure to go back and take a picture for you guys :) We then continued down one of the forks...the road went from a wide dirt road, to a dirt path, then to a path of trampled folage. We could see a house up the trail so we continued on, but there wasn't anybody home in the on up the trail we went! Eventually, out of nowhere, the forest broke and we were standing right in front of an Evangelica the middle of the mountains, up a dirt and folage trail. They were just starting their service, so we left pretty quickly. On our way back we couldn't remember which fork we took, and yes! we got lost. But the trail we did take led us to a house of somebody that wants us to come back and teach more later this week! So getting lost was a blessing in disguise ;) We eventually did make it back to the city, so no worries ;)

Highlight #4: We taught a man who is a pig farmer...yes he raises and breeds pigs. He actually has a degree in Animal Sciences and Veterinary Medicine...something I wasn't expecting to find in the middle of a small aldea in the middle of the mountains of Guatemala. Haha :) So he showed us around his farm, he grows veggies and fruit as well as the pigs. Then afterwards my companion and I were able to teach a super powerful Restoration lesson with him, and...he committed to follow Christ and be baptized!! :) Yippie!! :) We then found out that he doesn't actually live there on the farm (he lives in Xela) and that because of this he is on and off at the farm...but we will continue working with him and figure out a specific date for his baptism. But still, such a pilus guy, and committed to be baptized in the first lesson! :)

Highlight #5: I have been really missing the different traditions of Christmas that I know are happening at home, especially this week as people are putting up their lights and trees. But a miracle happened yesterday, or at least I'm counting it as a tender mercy of the Lord and a miracle for me. I found out that last night was the First Presidency Christmas Devotional, and that it was being broadcast live on BYUtv internationally. But we had an appointment to talk with some of our youth about their experiences at SOY last week. When we got there we told the Hermana that the Christmas Devotional was happening, and she invited us in to watch it with her and the youth. How crazy is that?!? I'm miles away from home, wanting to experience some of the Christmas traditions of home, and get invited to watch the Christmas Devotional (for some of them, their first time) and afterwards share a message about this season of Christmas and focusing on the birth of Christ. It was truly amazing and a tender mercy of the Lord for me! Hopefully you guys had the opportunity to watch it as well, I loved the music, the spirit, and the messages. I liked how Elder Maynes broke down the feelings of each of the characters in the Christmas story (Mary, Joseph, christ). Then both the talks from Sister Oscarson and Elder Christofferson I would like copies of if it is at all possible. Then Presidente Eyring's talk was amazing!! Focusing on the joy and happiness of this season, about allowing Christ into our hearts and minds, and bearing a SUPER stong testimony of Christ!! LOVED it! :) Also to note, two of the adult church members here were convinced that dad was part of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. I don't know why or where they got that idea, because I sure didn't say anything that would lead to that conclusion. But all the same, they're convinced. HAHA :)

NOTE: This coming Sunday at 9:30 MST is the Christmas Concert Broadcast. It is being live streamed at and on BYUtv. If at all possible I would invite you to take the half hour from 9:30 till 10 to sit and listen to the music and the program and allow the spirit of this season into your heart and mind.

I am so glad for this opportunity to be a messenger of the Lord, going about the Lord's work, and sharing the Lord's restored gospel with all those I come in contact with. I am thankful for this season of the year and for the opportunity it gives us each year to refocus on what really is important: Christ, our families, and showing love for our fellow men. I am thankful for the opportunity to be about His work during the time of year we remember His birth and ministry. Yeah, it's hard at times missing home and the traditions there. But I know that by focusing on the now and the people here, I will learn of new and fantastic Guatemalan traditions for the Christmas Season. Thank you all for your support, thoughts, and prayers in my behalf and in the behalf of all the missionaries throughout the world during this Christmas Season. Feliz Navidad y Año Nuevo!!

With Love and Well Wishes this Christmas Season,
Elder Flake

P.S. I am now the 2nd counselor in the branch presidency here...add that to my list of titles (with seminary teacher, primary teacher, trainer, Elders Quorum president, etc) ;) Haha :)
The fruit I'm holding is a granadia :)  It's mas o menos

Love wearing this tag!

December 02, 2014

Nuevo Companion

December 1, 2014

Well, ITS DECEMBER!!!! WHAT?!?!?! 24 days till Christmas :) The weeks are passing faster and faster each time I write...I don't know what's happening, but I don't like it. get to the highlights!! :)

Highlight #1: My NUEVO Companion! On Tue we went down to Xela for the changes. We had to leave at 4 am on the bus to get to the location of changes in time...but, de plano ;) Then I got to wander Xela for a couple hours with a couple of the other trainers until we were needed to pick up our new companions after their welcome meeting! :) So the hour of truth came and we showed up at the appointed location to meet our nuevo comps. The process went like this, in such and such location with (name of trainer) is, (name of nuevo). They got to me and I'M WITH A LATINO!! :) :) He is actually from Guatemala City...but this mission isn't his assigned mission. :) You're probably thinking, WHAT??? HUH?, let me explain. My new companion is what is referred to as a temporal missionary. He hasn't been able to acquire his visa yet for Bolivia, his actual mission, so he is here in the Xela Mission until he can receive his visa. So this means that he could be gone tomorrow, or next week, or next month, or next year...nobody knows but the Lord. BUT, while he is here I AM LOVING being his comp!! :) He is truly fantastic and my Spanish has improved so much even in just the last couple days!  Haha :) He is the youngest and last missionary to leave from his family. His entire family are members. And they live only a 4 hour drive south of us, wouldn't that be nice ;) Just kidding :) But really, I'm loving having him as my companion! Yeah, I miss my last companion some but it's all part of the mission :) :)

Highlight #2: We had a new experience this last Sunday. Presidente Smith and Hermana Smith visited our rama (congregation)! :) It was a little nerve-wracking, just because it's the president of the mission sitting in your sacrament meeting....and I was speaking! haha :) Ain't that fun ;) But it all went fantasticly! I spoke on the atonement and applying its healing and fortifying effects in our lives. One funny thing that happened during the meeting though...we have a recent convert (3 years) serving as our Rama Presidente and he is still learning some things about how the church functions! :) So my companion and I spoke first, then the rama presidente gave the time to presidente smith and his wife to speak. So they spoke and Presidente Smith took the rest of the time remaining. Well, then things got interesting because after Presidente Smith we sang the intermediary hymn and then the rama presidente got up and spoke for a while. HAHA :) It was great! All the talks were fantastic!!! :)

Highlight #3: GUESS WHAT?? :) :) I received a large boxy brown thing while down at changes. The package arrived!!!! :) Thank you guys soooo much!!! I'm saving it for Christmas, it's tough, but I can do it! :) Thank you thank you thank you :) :) It was just awesome to receive and then awesome to have sitting in the apartment to waiting for me!! :) I'm excited! :)

Highlight #4: Not really a highlight, just a little information about what I get to experience every day :) IN THE SHOWER! :) So we have a hose of cold water that comes through the wall into the shower, and attached to this hose is a heater. The fun part is that this heater only works to certain temperatures (about lukewarm...) when the safety kicks in and shuts off the heater. Also if the water is on too high the heater can't heat fast enough. It makes for some fun times in the shower in the mornings ;) :) A lot of careful guesswork and quickly drying off and getting dressed...haha :) :) You guys will get to experience them when you visit with me after the mission because everywhere uses them (nobody has water heaters). :) Something to look forward to ;)

Well, there you have it. The greatest of the greatest highlights for this week :) I'm loving the mission more and more with each passing day and the days are passing WAY too fast! I love sharing experiences with you because I'm not only called to bring the Guatamalan people closer to Christ, but as a missionary we are to bring ALL closer to Christ--that includes all of you, and my friends, and others that read the blog and those you share my experiences with!I'm loving the new experience of being a trainer and having a latino companion. Yeah it has its hard times, but it's also so sooo much fun! I love you guys a lot and pray for your guys every night!!! Keep up all the great work! Remember to smile and do at least one act of service every day. Hope all is well with all of you and that you guys are having wonderful experiences being able to share your testimonies :) :)

Love your friend, missionary, son, and brother,
(who is still wearing short sleeve shirts every day ;))
Elder Flake

PS The Guatemalan equivalent for EFY (Especially For Youth) is happening this week for the youth of the rama here. Its called SOY :) :)

PPS Yes, I feel EXACTLY like Buddy the Elf here!!! It's kind of funny how much it this past week we were going down the stairs at a member's home and the clearance from the stairs to the ceiling was just a tad lower than I thought and I got a nice knock to the head....haha :) All good now, but they definitely don't have to worry about hitting their heads ;) :)

Thumbs up for missionary work in this beautiful country!

Tuks and training

November 24, 2014

WOW, I cant believe that a week has already passed! But then I think about all that has happened this week and cant believe it has only been a week! So I thought it was a great idea last week to do a list of highlights, so thats what I'm going to do again :) :)

Algunas Reflejos Desde Esta Semana:

Reflejo 1: The church has chosen my mission as a testing mission for a new program they are thinking about starting for all foreign speaking missionaries.  We are 1 of the 4 spanish speaking (or possibly all language speaking, I don't know for sure) missions to be doing this new program. What this program entails is an oral language test every 3 months. The recordings are then sent to the mission headquarters in SLC to be compared against the previous tests to determine the effectiveness in the programs of the church in teaching spanish to gringos. So, I took that test for the first time on Tuesday, it was an interesting experience...a written prompt pops up on screen, you have 40 sec to read the prompt and prep an answer, then it records anywhere from 30 to 90 seconds of your verbal response in Espanol. It was different teaching missionary lessons to a computer ;) We were talking afterwards and all decided the internet attendant must have totally thought we were trying to teach him! :) Haha :)

Reflejo 2: Then on Wednesday I was able to have an intravista con Presidente Smith (interview with my mission president). It went really well!! :) I got a lot of help with some things that were going on in the zone and district, as well as some great help and insights on some personal matters! :) I love President Smith so much. He is so in tune with the Spirit and was definately called of God. For this intravista we had to travel down to San Francisco, but because of our success in the month of october (month of miracles), Sister Smith made us all homemade cinnamon rolls. THEY WERE FANTASTIC!! :)

Reflejo 3: Thursday morning my companion and I were studying when the phone rang and the APs (assistants to the president) asked to talk to me. Uh oh, what did I do? Are they going to tell me I have emergency changes a week before the actual changes??? "Hello?" "Hey Elder Flake, this is ________ (ap). I'm calling because the Lord has called you to be a trainer starting this next transfer." Yep! Im training!!! :) So I will be receiving a brand new missionary straight out of the CCM tomorrow and will be training him. That means that by the time training ends (a couple days after valentines day), I will have been in this area for 6 months. But it's just crazy! Technically today is MY last day of MY OWN training...and then tomorrow is the first day of TRAINING! I feel so inadequate and humbled even by just receiving the call...but the Lord wants me, so I'm going to give him and my new companion all I've got! :)

Reflejo 4: Later on Thursday I headed into yet other division :) This time though I was the one that left my area and went to a different town! :) It was soo pretty, I'm including some pictures I took there :) While there I was able to experience a mayan sauna called a Tuk. So it's a brick structure with very hot stones inside and a bucket of cold water. You climb in and pour cups of cold water on the hot stones and then just sit and sweat out all the toxins and the steam cleans you off as well. Then you climb out and there is a bucket of boiling water and a bucket of cold water and you mix cupfulls of both to make a just right temperature bucket of water that you then dump over your body! :) It was awesome!!! :) :) I've only experienced that kind of thing once before, while I was at Philmont. At Philmont though they didn't have any hot water for when you came out...haha :) I enjoyed that difference :) :)

Reflejo 5: Well, as I kind of already explained, tomorrow is changes and marks the completion of my "training" as a missionary. Also, since I will be training now, my current companion and I will no longer be companions...only downside to this change. I know that he will go exactly were he is needed most and needs to be, but I'm sure going to miss him! :) He is such a sweet and awesome guy! And was always down on being a little crazy and having some fun sometimes :)

Goodbye dinner for my awesome companion!

Reflejo 6: HOY! A quick taste of some of the other stories and experiences I'm having... First off, this morning I walked around the corner of the church just in time to watch a bird fly straight through the open capilla door into the church. Yeah, we had a bird in the and my comp like bosses caught it and released it back into the wild ;) :)
This bird likes church!
Then for the last shabang because my comp is leaving, we went out to a far reach of my area (30 min flete ride) to eat some of the best food I've had since being in Guatemala, definately a place we will go visit as a family when we come to Guatemala after my mission. But the fun experience from this is that we were riding in a flete, a pick up truck for transport, and it was packed. So we had one foot, securely, in the truck and the other on the tailgate while flying down some dirt roads in the mountains of Guatemala!! GUATEMALAN LIFE!!! :) (Mom, we were completely safe and fine :))

Well, there are a couple highlights from this week for you guys! Love you guys a bunch!! Can't believe it has been 4 months (and 2 days) since I left feels like yesterday and now we've got Christmas around the corner. CRAZY!!! Love you guys a lot and am LOVING being a missionary! Keep up all the great work at home and always remember to smile!! :) :)

With Amor Tu Hermano, Hijo, y Amigo,
Elder Flake
My zone for Month of Miracles

Tuk (sauna)