January 05, 2015

Out With the Old, In With the New

This week has been tough, very tough.  But had some great experiences to highlight!!! :)

Highlights for the week of 12/29/14-1/5/15:

Hightlight #1: This week was New Years!! :) That was a party! We were invited to spend the evening with some wonderful members here. We had MORE tomales and lots of snack foods. Then at midnight we all went to the roof to watch the show....and that was QUITE a show. We could see a lot of our aldeas and beyond.  And exactly at 12 all things let loose...all types of fireworks varying from the expensive aerials that cities buy in the states to the small pop-its. But everything goes off for about 30 min nonstop. It was quite an experience :) :) Also, the family we were with was shooting off fireworks off the roof, so those were fun (a little dangerous, but not too bad).
New Year's Eve fireworks...

Highlight #2: New Tradition! New Years Day here in Guatemala is referred to as Dia de Campo (Field Day). Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, goes to the mountains with their family for the day. Whilest in the mountains they barbeque and play games. So we were invited to go with some members for part of the day. I really enjoyed it!! :) We had steak, yes steak, pasta, tortillas, agua (pop), etc. Then played soccer, ultimate, and football. It was a blast!! :) We also made some great contacts, new investigators, and menos activos (so we did get some work done ;)...). So I'm bringing this home with me, the day of New Years, head to the hills and have some fun :)
Dia de Campo!  Fun in the mountains on New Year's Day!

New Year's Day with awesome families!
Highlight #3: The extended family of some members here have been visiting. This was a blessing (and depressing). They live in Xela, but have been visiting for about 2 weeks, so we have been able to talk to them.  Only the mother is a member and she is less active. So this was a blessing because we were able to teach and work with them for the past couple weeks. It was envigorating because we haven't had any super prepared and pilus investigators here...they all only visit for a little while before heading back to their homes in Xela. So the same thing happened with this family...we've been able to teach them, but now they are back in Xela and waiting for the missionaries there to come visit. I loved the opportunity and the privilege to work with them for the short 2 weeks, and know that at some point they will all accept the gospel.

Highlight #4: We found out last night who is leaving tomorrow for changes...drum roll....I am staying here!!!! This will make 4 changes in the same area, meaning I will have spent 6 months here by the next change in February. Apparently there is still work for me to do here...now to get out and find it :) :)  Also, my comp is staying here too. :)

I know that this is truly the work of God. I know that at times it will be difficult (like it was this week and in this area), but that these difficulties are meant specifically for me and He has assigned me here specifically to learn from those difficulties. I know that if I and if you face these challenges with faith and perseverance we will receive the help and blessings of heaven specifically for our lives and our circumstances. I love you all and am loving being one of the Lord's chosen representatives to the world.

With love and prayers,
Elder Flake

Riding in the back of a flete truck!  All kinds of new experiences...

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