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...

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