February 24, 2015

My new home...

Here's my new home!
¿Que Hondas Familia? ;)

Hey guys! Well, not much generally to say this week...so off to the highlights (the only things you guys read anyway ;)).

Highlights for 23/2/15:

Highlight #1: Changes. So this week, as I told you last week, I had changes....well, drum-roll please...I'm in the city now with an elder from Peru. YEP! The BIG city!!! It sure is different (and flatter) than my last area. But I've loved it so far :) We live in a third floor apartment with a patio (yeah, posh right?? haha). But the one thing that is lacking is an oven...so no more brownies (unless you guys know a way to cook brownies or cake or cookies in the microwave or on a mediocre stove top :)).

The area in land area is pretty small, but we had an attendance at church yesterday of almost 150 members (A LOT bigger than in my previous area). Due to this, it has been nice this week to be able to focus all efforts on the missionary work and not have to worry about all the other callings :) This is not to say that my last area was bad or that here is heaven, it is just to tell the differences. They both have their pros and they have their cons, because they are unique.

Highlight #2: Baptism. We have one, possibly 2 (if all goes well tonight) baptisms for this Sat. Please pray for their protection, guidance, and that they will feel the Lord's answers to their prayers. They are both children of reactivated members. They are super sweet and pilus and I'm excited for them to be members with their families.

Highlight #3: Food. Yeah, I know that I talk about food almost every week...sorry....but it's the stuff that keeps this work going, right? ;) Well, for the first time in my mission I tried Guatemalan yogurt and sherbet. They were both super good and enjoyable :) If you were wondering ;)

Highlight #4: My Comp. Just for your information: My comp is from Peru. He has 5 weeks till he goes home...so he's been a missionary for a long time and I'm hoping to (and sure I will) learn a lot from his experience. But this also presents the challenge of being an elder's comp his last change. But I'm up for the experience! :)

Highlight #5: Meals. Due to the large ward we are a part of, for the first time in my mission, I have a meal calendar...that was a fun experience the first day. Walk into the apartment and my comp first explained the meal calendar and who we would be eating with for lunch. Through me for a quick loop as I realized, I'M NOW IN THE CITY...So that's been fun, and good, because I've been able to meet a lot of the members as we are eating in their homes. The members here are SUPER awesome and I love them already (I hope they can say the same about me...).

I'm loving my new area and the opportunity I have of working with a latino companion. I am so grateful for this work and know that this is the work of our Savior. I know that He directs this work personally and is working right along side us. He know our difficulties and He enjoys our triumphs. There is so much that I have learned so far in the mission, and still much more for me to learn. But most, if not all, of the things I've learned I couldn't have learned any other way than by serving a mission. The Lord truly is hastening His work and He needs an increasing number of volunteers for the work. If you are considering, or have ever considered, serving a mission please give it a lot of thought. I can testify that if you serve you will have some of the sweetest and most rewarding experiences of your life. I know this from experience.

Love you guys lots! Please know that you all are AWESOME!! Keep up the habits we have formed as a family of scriptures study and prayer. The promises associated with these commandments are real, I've seen them in the lives of members here as well as my own life. Love ya lots!

From somewhere in the city,
Elder Flake

P.S. Also, just found out that we get to go to the temple tomorrow as a zone!! :) Woohoo!!! :)  It has been a while and I'm excited! :)

"You are never lost when you can see the temple"  --Gary E. Stevenson

February 16, 2015

I'm moving!

Well, another week come and gone....and some big changes and highlights this week! :) Entonces, to the highlights!!!

Highlights for 16/02/15:

Highlight #1: Sayin' goodbye to some awesome missionaries. They finished their missions this change and are heading home tomorrow...It's crazy!!! So, said some goodbyes this week, but they were more focused on being home....go figure ;)

District celebration! It was one Elder's birthday, a couple of Elders have finished their missions and are headed home, and some of us are reassigned to new areas.
My comp and I surprised the group with tres leches!

YUMMY!!!! (and no, we didn't make it, we bought it like this!!)

Love these guys!
Highlight #2: A bolo lost his folleto, but it led to a new investigator. A folleto is a pamphlet we carry about different gospel topics. So we were walking down the street this week and a bolo (like usual) stopped us and asked us for money (which we can't give them) but instead we offered him a folleto which he took. Later that day we were passing centro and saw a gentleman we had never talked to reading one of our folletos. So we went and talked to him. He said that a bolo had left it on the bench and he had started reading it. This led to about a 30 min lesson right there in centro about the Plan of Salvation because he had a lot of questions concerning the Plan of Salvation (i.e. where we are going when we die, does hell exist, etc). So a bolo led us, kind of, to a new investigator. Haha :)

Highlight #3: Spanish Language Test. So, I can't believe it, but it has been 3 months already since the last test meaning we had the opportunity to take it again! :) It went all right.  I realized that I definately have a lot still to learn, but that I have come a ways since the last test :) So progress :) :)

Highlight #4: I HAVE CHANGES!!!!!!! |Ya me voy manaƱa! After a wonderful (almost) 6 months in this area I received the call last night that it's time to pack my bags to go to a new assignment...Lots of mixed feelings about it, but I know that I am going to be exactly where I am supposed to be and where the Lord needs me! :) Sad to be leaving my guate family here, but looking forward to all the new people I'll get to meet :) I'll have to let you know next week where I'm at, but just know that 8:30 tomorrow morning I'll be on my way to my new area :) My current comp will stay here...

Well, that's enough excitement for one email. Don't you think? ;) I have so many emotions going through my head right now, but ultimately excited for what the Lord has in store for me :) (honestly a little nervous about my new comp--hoping he is awesome like all of my comps so far) Well, this truly is the work of the Lord and only He knows exactly where I need to be and who needs me there. Also, only He knows where I need to be to become the son of God God needs me to be. I love you all and hope you are all well!! :) I pray for you each every night and for you all to have much success in your lives! :) Until next week, from who (He) knows where ;)

With love and well wishes,
Elder Flake

Goodbye to my awesome friend...

...and awesome comp...

...and these awesome families!!!

God be with you till we meet again

February 09, 2015

All better!

YEAH...I'm feeling better!!! ...

Who is that crazy missionary?!?!

This week has been fantastic!! We were out every day and haven't had any more problems!! :) Yippee!! :) Well, a couple highlights of this week!! :)

Highlights for week of Feb 1-8:

Highlight #1: I was better!!! :) :) WOOHOOO!!! :)

Highlight #2: We had interviews with Presidente Smith this week! :) Fantastic! That man and servant of God is so in-tune with the Spirit! I learned so much and really got pumped to work harder! The mission is fantastic! :)

Highlight #3: Well, this week during lunch my comp was out kicking a ball against the wall in the church when he kicked just a little to hard...and his shoe went flying through the air and landed on the roof! Haha :) Well, he took about a half hour trying to get it down by throwing balls at it. But, one by one, the balls each bounced over the fence. That´s when I came out...well being the awesome comp that I am, I used a broom to reach up onto the roof and knock down his shoe...haha :) I thought it was pretty funny.  Sure was a highlight for my week, but I don't know what my comp thought ;)

Well guys, love you all a lot and hope all is well :) :) This work is truly the work of God, and we are His army! Keep up all the great work at home and keep looking for opportunities to share the gospel!! :) We finally got out this week and got contacting hard! We contacted about 200% better than we ever have!!! :) Woohoo!! :)

Well, love you all!! Talk to you in a week! :) :) I love being one of our Savior's servants serving our Father´s children here! :) We´ll also know next week if I have changes or not....I guess we´ll see :)

With love and prayers,
Elder Flake
The streets are lonely on a Sunday afternoon.
Typical Guatemalan pose :)  I mean :|

Thumbs up to this awesome family.

'Til next week!

February 02, 2015

I got what the mission had...

Well, this week was super mundain and a lot of the same. So really I´ve only got one long "Highlight" if you call it that...Thankfully it´s seems to be all good now :) :)


Highlight (Not Really) #1: I Got What The Mission Has. This was what I was told when I called the nurses on Wed morning after a pitiful morning. So to explain, on Tue I had a little sore throat, didn't think much of it...until...I woke up Wed morning with a super sore throat and as the morning progressed the onset of a headache came as well as the loss of my voice. So we came back to the apartment and called the nurses to find out what to do. That is when I was told that I had what the mission has right now and that all I could do was rest, drink a lot of water, and call them again if it didn't get better. So off to bed I went...the next day when I woke up I felt about the same but my throat was swollen (externally) so we called the nurses and they set up a doctor's appointment for Fri and told me to continue resting (even if I wanted to I don't think I would have been much help because my voice was completely gone). Well, Fri we got up and were getting ready to head to the doctor (in Huehue) when we got a call from the Zone Leader telling us we couldn't travel because of demonstrations in Huehue...so we called the nurses and they cancelled the appointment and got me on some pills from a local pharmacy, and off to bed again :P So started taking the meds and then called them on Sat (as they had requested) and they intructed me to rest for the weekend and let them know today how I felt. So I continued to rest and take the pills...and it seems that it worked!! :) Didn't wake up this morning with pain :) And the swelling has stopped and gone down. So no worries, doing well now :) Just hoping I never have to have that again. Looking back I literally do think that I had EVERYTHING the mission has right now (sore throat, earache, intense headaches, body fatigue and chills) all at once. Hopefully this means that I now have antibodies for anything and everything I could possibly have to deal with for the next 18 months ;) :) But this experience caused us to have to spend days without leaving the house...I never want that to happen again!!

A couple side notes: at least one person in each companionship in the zone was sick this week...so we were all calling and checking up to see how everyone was doing. I was talking to Elder McVey and expaining how much I just wanted to get out and talk to SOMEBODY and I thought his response was funny, though accurate...he said "Elder Flake, you CAN NOT go out, rest!, if you go out you could kill somebody! You are a strong gringo who can take this, but those little chapins would probably die if they got what you have...¨ (not that the possibility of someone dying is funny, just the commentary) so I stayed in. Thankfully it seems everyone is on the uphill right now and doing a lot better :) :)

Sorry that I don´t have more highlights for you this week, but gotta tell it like it is ;) :) One blessing (if you call it that) of having to stay in was I got some really good study in. I was studying about gifts of the spirit, how you recognize them, how you can aquire more, etc. It´s pretty interesting,  I would suggest sometime each of you guys (if you want) look into it a little bit, because we all have our unique gifts :) On a funnier (yet serious) note, I found an interesting scripture in Doctrine and Covenants, Section 84, it says
"Whoso receiveth you receiveth me; and the same will feed you, and clothe you, and give you money.
And he who feeds you, or clothes you, or gives you money, shall in nowise lose his reward.
And he that doeth not these things is not my disciple; by this you may know my disciples."
Well, I guess that´s one way of putting it ;) Haha :) I just found it a little funny...but it´s true!

Well, hope you all are doing well and had and will have a great week!! :) I know that this is the work of God among His children. I know I say that every week, but each week I learn more and more how true that statement is, so I continue sharing it. I know that He does not send us anywhere or set us up to fail, it may not be easy, but where would be the fun without the effort. I love you all and am soo greatful for each of you and your unique talents. Develop them, use them, share them :)

Te Amo,
Elder Flake

Roasting marshmallows because
"Money can't buy happiness, but it can buy marshmallows, which are kinda the same thing"  haha