March 30, 2015

Another great week

Well, my comp is heading home!!! He had his final interview and took his English Exam, so he's all set for tomorrow to start the 3 day journey home :) :) But that's the happenings of the coming for the highlights of the semana pasada...

Highlights for 30/3/2015:

Highlight #1: Food. Yep first and formost made some bomb lasagna this week!! :) Check out the pictures....Yep, it was SUPER good!! :) And I don't even have to say so myself because....I found out that the husband of the sister we cooked with HATES ground beef. Like HATES HATES it...well, he told us this and then told me that this was the first time in about 20 years that he had actually liked the ground beef. But the story doesn't stop there...He then said that this was the best lasagna he has ever had and proceeded to tell me that when he was a teenager his friend's family owned an authentic Italian restaurant and would give him lasagna that he LOVED. He then told me that this lasagna was way better then even that lasagna :) How's that for a compliment? ;) Haha :) I love my food! ;)
delish lasagna
Highlight #2: The Scare. One day this week we were at the home of a member and were talking to him about the impending changes (when missionaries get shuffled around and reassigned to different areas). He then asked if he could see our phone, so we gave it to him. He then proceeded to go to our contacts and came across the number for one of the APs (a missionary who is the assistant to the mission president) and pressed the call button. WHAT THE?!?!?! He then had a conversation with the AP, "Hello Elder, this is a member in Xela. Oh, I'm doing well. I was just calling to ask if Elder Flake is going to have changes. Oh, thanks elder." Then he handed the phone back to me....How's that for an experience?? Well, I decided to check the outgoing calls list and found out that he had faked the whole converstation and was just messing with me. WOW, thanks! Haha :)

Highlight #3: Baptism. Well, our investigator was baptized on Sat. How's that for a going away present for my comp?!?!?! Haha :) :) It was amazing to see her enter the waters of baptism and to talk to her afterwards and hear about her thoughts and feelings. Then on Sunday my comp and I were able to participate in the confirmation. :) It was a great end to the change :)

Well you asked about the weather now.  Well, it pours on and off raining, you never know what to expect :) It's super hot when the sun is out and you're walking around all day, so that's why I was sweating :) Haha :) NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO the rainy season hasn't started yet....from what I'm told. I actually don't want to find out what they mean by "it gets lots worse..." but that's the nature of a mission right? ;) haha :)

Well, there you go....a couple of the great and fun highlights of this week. Now the adventure of changes tomorrow :) I'm staying here in this area and will be getting a new comp! :) Pray for us please :)

Love you all! Keep up the great work at home!!! You are all awesome!! :) :)

Love your missionary,
Elder Flake

My zone at the temple

My new "local" scripture case!

March 23, 2015

The happenins in the meadow

Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Well the work is moving forward and is going amazingly!! :) The members here are super duper obber pilus and many love helping us. We have been able to meet a lot of friends, family, and neighbors of our members the last couple weeks, and I LOVE IT!! :) So to give you guys a little taste of my week...THE HIGHLIGHTS!! :)

Highlights for 23/3/15:

Highlight #1: So guess who I ran into today?? Our friend with the pig farm from my last area! We were walking back from the capilla and saw him in the street. I couldn't believe it! I have been thinking about him for the last couple weeks because he had told us he lived in a certain Zone in Xela and part of my new area includes part of that Zone. But I didn't have his phone number to ask where exactly he lives. Well it turns out he lives right in the middle of my area, right next door to some members!! :) How crazy is that?!?! :) It was a mini miracle for me :)

Highlight #2: Church. Well, I was caught...I was asked to give a talk this last Sunday on the topic of missionary work. I talked about how we can each personally prepare ourselves and our families to do a greater part in missionary work. The four main points were 1) pray every day, 2) read your scriptures every day (and begin using Preach My Gospel), 3) visit the temple as frequently as you can, 4) perform an act of service every day. I promise that if we each individually and as families will focus and work on these four points our lives will be happier, more enjoyable, and others will want to know more about the gospel from our examples! We can all do these things, they aren't hard, but they are eternally important! :) Live it, Love it, Missionary Work ;)

Highlight #3: Food. So my customary food highlight for this week is definitely the Apple Yams that I, my comp, and a member made this week! THEY WERE AMAZING!!!! :) We made so much that we ate it not one but 2 days! :) I loved it!! :) It was soo much fun to be in the kitchen again and making one of my favorite dishes! :) A little sneak peek for this coming week...We have a cita set to cook another of my favorite dishes this week! :) Stay tuned to find out what we make ;) Haha :) Gotta love ya food, right?!? ;)
Love being in the kitchen! APPLE YAMS...a taste of home.
 Well, ultimately I had a good week, learned a lot, and yes I wrote it all down ;) This work is so amazing, hard, but so rewarding! I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of it and share this wonderful message with all that I can! :) Keep up all the great work at home! Love you guys SOOO much!!!! <3

With Love, Thoughts, and Prayers from a bro to you,
Elder Flake
Here comes the rain rolling in!

March 16, 2015

Meet the Mormons

Great p-day up the mountains with my zone of missionaries!
Well, another week has come and gone....way too fast!!! But have some fun stories to tell, and yes I wrote them down in my journal ;) So off to the highlights:

Highlight #1: Multi-Zone Conference. We had a multi-zone conference this week with Presidente and Hermana Smith as well as the assistants and secretaries. It was FANTASTIC!! And guess who I saw there....yep, my training companion!! :) Love that guy and he's doing great. The theme of the conference was on how to better teach, present, and learn from the lesson of the Restoration. Got a lot of great new ideas and some good practice of applying these ideas. It was an awesome conference! :)

Highlight #2: Meet the Mormons. So part of the conference Hermana Smith presented 3 of the 6 sections of Meet the Mormons and announced that it is coming to Central America!!! How cool is that?!?!?! We don't know yet if it is coming to Xela, but hoping :) :) We saw the sections about the boxer, the humanitarian, and the mother sending her son off for his mission. IT WAS SOOOO GOOD!!! :) I just wish now that I could see the other half ;) Haha :) So that was a fun surprise from the conference... :) Oh, also David Archuleta sings Glorious (Glorioso) in Spanish for the one coming to Central America :)

To know more about the movie, go to or to see the trailer go to Meet the Mormons movie trailer.  And the theme song, "Glorious" performed by David Archuletta, is inspiring.  Enjoy!

Highlight #3: I LOVE OLD (I mean great, experienced, and wise, and darling and grandparentish) PEOPLE!! So we had the opportunity to take the sacrament to an elderly homebound couple yesterday. It made me really miss the visits I had with the elderly members of our ward in Centerville, as well as make me miss my grandparents. But it was awesome! They had some great stories and I hope to be able to visit them again! :) I just love old people, they are so darling and cute, especially when it's a married couple :)

I am loving being a missionary and learning SOO much! This truly is the 2 years of preparatory "school" for the rest of my life! I have learned soo much about what things I want to impliment with my future family and personally, and those things I not soo much want to impliment. I have also learned a lot about myself and grown in testimony and spiritual strength. It has been amazing to literally see the hand of the Lord every day this week, guiding, helping, and comforting us...leading us to those individuals who He has prepared for the message we bring of Him. This church is so amazing! The members are the cream of the crop! And I am excited to be able to listen once again to the words of our prophet and the twelve apostles in just over 2 weeks!! :) EXCITED!! :) :)

Love you all lots and lots! Pray for you each individually by name (and for different things) every day! Keep up the positive attitudes, work hard in school, but always remember life is meant to be fun even with its challenges :)

From an internet cafe in Guatemala to your computer screen,
Elder Flake

P.S. You asked about the weather...It's getting warmer, but it's still SUPER cold in the mornings and at night. But I guess you can say it's getting warmer :) The members here tell me that the weather is really the same year round, so we'll see, so far it's been true :) The weather here, clear blue skies, occasional cloud, and wind :)

My new zone...

Love these guys already!!

March 09, 2015

Blooming Flowers in the Meadow

Xela!  Can you see the temple in the distance (just right of center)?!?!  It's so beautiful!
Well the work is going great and we are continuing to have success! :) But I've got some great stories to tell and memories made! :) So are you just dying for my highlights????? I know that you guys can't sleep at night, just wondering what's been happenin' with me, right?!?! ;) Haha :)

Highlights for 3-8 de Marzo, 2015:

Highlight #1: Division. This week I had my first division in my new zone! It was fantastic!! :) My companion went with another missionary to a different area for the day and I stayed here and taught with my district leader.  He is from Seattle. It was fun to be with an English speaker again, just to be able to talk about the states a little bit :) :) I loved it! Also I learned a lot about how to be a more effective teacher, new techniques, style of teaching, etc :) It was a lot of fun and we got a lot of work done! I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY! :)

I love teaching and serving the people here!

Highlight #2: Super Pilus New Investigators (with a bonus). This last Monday one of our members invited us to attend their Family Home Evening with some of their neighbors and friends. So we went and had a great lesson about the Atonement. Then the mom of the family (the mom of the 6 sisters that live in the house with their own families, so the grandma) invited these friends to go with them to the temple on Tue, to visit and feel the Spirit there and the family accepted. THE MEMBERS HERE ARE SOOOO AWESOME!!! Afterwards we were talking to the friends about when we could stop by and visit them at their home and they told us we could stop by whenever to teach them this week. So one day one of our appointments fell through right next to their house, so we decided to stop by :) They literally dropped everything they were doing to come and talk to us! The first thing the mom (this family consists of a woman, her aunt, and her son) asked us when we sat down was (and this is almost a literal quote), "Other than being baptized, what else must I do to prepare and be able to enter the temple because I really want to go inside?" UMMMMMMM, well, that's why we're here :) Haha :) So we began answer all the questions we could from the temple recommend to baptism to clarifying questions from the Book of Mormon.  This people in this family are the "Blooming Flowers in the meadow." We also started talking about their family and it came up that they were housing a student from the states....from Minnesota!!! What a small world! So I talked to him a little bit, he's from Shakopee and is here in Guate for 5 weeks focusing just on learning Spanish. He works on the oil fields of North Dakota and has many seasonal employees from Honduras that don't speak English. So his hope is to learn Spanish well enough that he can teach them about all the equipment and help them learn more about the construction and oil business so that they can find better jobs and have more opportunities. How cool is that!!?!?! :) So I thought that our visit with this family was pretty successful and enjoyable! :)

Highlight #3: Saw God's hand caring for His children. (I actually see this every day.)  This week I witnessed the miracle of healing by the power of the priesthood and by faith.

These experiences as well as others have caused me to really realize and recognize the hand of the Lord in His work and my life specifically. He knows exactly what I need to become the man and son of God that He knows and needs me to be. I know that He has prepared (most likely before I was born) an experience called my mission specifically for me. Prepared people, experiences, and events that He knew would help shape and better me. This work is soo amazing and honestly a lot of fun (usually)! :) I love my Savior and brother Jesus Christ and know that this is His work. I know that He has a hand in my life and the lives of those I interact with (including you guys'). I know that some day I will kneel at His feet and thank him for this experience and the love and mercy He shows me. This gospel is so amazing and perfect and I know that it is only through living by its teachings with sincere hearts and real intent, following the Spirit and the commandments, that we can and will become like God. I know that this is His church and that He is at its head guiding and directing. I love you all and more importantly He loves you, eternally. Have confidence and faith in Him, I know that life will not always be easy and sometimes bad things happen, but He knows what will make you celestial and like Him. Trust in Him, Have faith in Him.

With love and prayers,
Your missionary, friend, son, and brother,
Elder Flake
haha!  It's true, but I love being a missionary!

March 03, 2015

City life

This week has been pretty good spiritually speaking...I'll explain more in the highlights. Just to say, my spiritual batteries have been pretty charged up this week! :) But first I'll answer some of your questions about my life here in the city...

Alright, to explain contacting...Walk up to the closest wall to you, now have a conversation and begin teaching about the restoration of the gospel of Christ...this is what we do every day. Most houses have an intercom type system by their front door. So you walk up, push the button, and when they answer, talk to the little white box. This box has a camera, so they can see you from the safety of their house, but all you get is a brick wall. So I know exactly what it feels like to be talking to a brick wall ;) Haha :) Then if they want to talk to you more they will come out and open their gate/door :)

Streets are cobblestone, but unlike my last area there are A LOT of cars. Most people have one or two along with tvs, smart phones, a lot of the same stuff from the states :)

One last fun today me and my comp decided to stop at McDonalds (I know, the city life!! ;) haha. We don't do it often). Well, while we were there guess who walked in...PRESIDENTE SMITH and his WIFE. Yeah, that was a realization to make, that now that I'm in the city that can happen :) Haha :) But we talked a little bit, and then finished our meal and left...Haha :) He was bringing a companionship of sisters to open an area in our zone and was treating them to lunch :)

On to the highlights!

Highlights for week ending March 2, 2015:

Highlight #1: Food. Just to get it out of the way for the week, I chose to put my food highlight first ;) One of the sisters in the ward here found out I like to cook, so she invited us to come over and cook with her. Then she asked my companion what he has wanted to try in the mission that he hasn't had a chance to try yet. He replied Ceviche...So we made shrimp ceviche :) I included a couple pictures of what ceviche is...but basically it is a salsa (american type salsa, not guate salsa) made from tomatoes, cilantro (my favorite...), limón, shrimp, and cebolla. It was super good and I loved being able to cook something substantial again ;) :)

Ceviche!!! Yummm...

Highlight #2: Temple. We had the chance to go and attend a session at the temple this week. Wow, I did not realize how much I needed it until I got there! The temple is amazing, and I learn something new every time I go. If you haven't been in a while, please consider going again soon. It truly is the house of the Lord, He is there, and He wants us to be there with Him. It is the one and only place that one can truly forget about and leave the world complete behind. The temples of the Lord are literally pieces of heaven on earth. When you walk through the front doors (or any door) you step out of this world and into the eternities. I still can't get over how beautiful the Xela temple truly is, every detail has been thought out and meticulously crafted. It is up there on my list of most beautiful temples that I have been to!

I love this beautiful temple!
Highlight #3: Baptism. I had the wonderful opportunity of attending the baptismal service of one of my investigators. It was truly amazing! The Spirit was soo strong and I had one of those experiences I will always remember. Then after his baptism, during the closing song I looked at him and for an instant saw him with another white shirt and tie, but this time with a name tag, proclaiming the gospel. It was such an amazing and encouraging experience for me personally. The Lord truly helps us along, encourages, and blesses us through small and simple means.

Baptism of this cool kid!
It's been a pretty awesome week spiritually speaking. And I'm hoping that these experiences continue in the coming week(s), month(s), and year'n'half. I know that this is the work of the Lord. I come to a deeper and deeper understanding what this really means with each passing week. I realized this week that I have the easy part...all I have to do is open my mouth and He has promised to do the rest, along with giving me words to speak (so really He is doing it all...). This gospel is truly the restored, not reformed, gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and our older brother. I promise that if you will seek to know His will for your in whatever stage of life you may be in, He will answer. He may not show you the destination or light the entire path, but He will give you a stepping stone, then another and another, then one day you will look back and be amazed how far you have come with Christ. I know these things because they have happened to me. Keep up all the great work and remember to make some time to just have fun :)

Love your missionary, son, brother, and friend,
Elder Flake

Scripture of the Week: Matthew 15:11
Always remember that the tongue is but a small member (James 3:5) but that the words that come out of our mouth truly do define us. So, what message are we sending the world with our words (written or spoken)? Is it the message we want to be sending?