July 27, 2015


Well, I just want to start by explaining this email will definately NOT cover all the highlights of this week...or go in depth of even the highlights of the highlights for this week. But, ENJOY! :) (Also these highlights are not in any particular order of importance)

Highlights for 27/7/15:

Highlight #1: Food. Well, I hit my year mark since leaving home so we had to celebrate, OBVIOUSLY! So what did we do?? We made hamburgers!! :) Yep, a good, juicy, 1/4 lb of delicious meat! :) It was a great celebration! :) And now I've passed my first year...AHHH!
Hamburgers to celebrate my HALFWAY mark!!!

Highlight #2: My Year. So I hit my year mark this week...it was really a very mixed bag of emotions to realize that...to realize that I have already spent half (actually more than half) of my mission experience. BUT, then instead of being sad I thought about all the great experiences that are still on their way this coming year. And also thinking about all the WONDERFUL experiences and opportunities I have had and experienced this past year!!!

Highlight #3: Washing. Soo, we had everything ready and set for our baptisms this week...we had their clothes ready and just waiting...but then! We were gone one day and our home owner needed to paint the molding in our apt, so what did he do...he just used his keys and went in...well, turns out (somehow) he spattered oil based paints on some of the baptismal clothes. So now what do we do?  The baptism was a couple days away and the clothes were NOT completely white...so we tried about everything to get the stains out, but to no avail (ultimately we had to have our Zone Leaders bring us some other clothes). But one of the methods we tried was to use TONS of soap and hot water. Well the only way we have to heat water is to boil it on our electric double burner...that is until we got creative and used our shower heater to heat water to clean the clothes...Just imagine an elder in a midget-sized bathroom passing bucket-loads of hot water from the shower to his companion outside to pour in the basin we were using to wash the clothes...HAHA :)

Preface: We had 3 baptisms and confirmations this past weekend, the following 2 highlights will be about these experiences.

Highlight #4: Baptisms: Part 1. So on Saturday morning we had the first baptism in 9 months in this ward. A young woman whose entire family are members was finally baptized and the baptism registered. It was a great experience! My companion was privilaged to baptize her (marking his first baptism that he has performed). So she is now a member with the rest of her family and can partake in the bounteous blessings of this gospel! :)
Sweet family!
Highlight #5: Baptisms: Part 2. Then Saturday afternoon we had a MARRIAGE and baptisms of 2 of my favorite and very special investigators. They are now an official couple (I can now describe them as husband and wife...finally ;)) and baptized members. It was a very special experience for both myself and my companion, and obviously for the new couple :) This is the first time the wife has been married and she is SOOOO happy! :) :) Other than my family, they are some of the most special people to me in this world! But they are not just sitting in the present, they have already started asking about when they can go to the temple to enter into a marriage that spans the eternities!
LOVE these 2 amazing people!  Congrats on their wedding and baptism!!!

Highlight #6: Story. We had organized to pick up and bring our friends to their wedding and baptism. So at the appointed hour we head to their house (a little early just to make sure they were ready on time). When we got there she was basically jumping for joy and so happy....and her soon-to-be-husband? He was completely ready, laying on his bed staring at his watch waiting for the appointed hour to come...haha!! :) As soon as we entered he more or less jumped out of bed and walked out the door! This is just one of MANY stories and experiences with them! :) :)

Well, there you go...a little...VERY LITTLE, taste of my week this week. I am loving life, loving the mission, and loving the changes that are happening in me. This is truly the work of God! We are all His children and all chose to follow him in the Pre-Earth Life. We elected His plan, which included coming to a world to obtain bodies, passing through a veil of forgetfulness to allow us to be tried and tested and permit us to show by our actions if we would follow our Heavenly Father, keep His commandments, and follow the direction He has given. I love this gospel with all my heart, I know that what I am teaching every day isn't just right, but can and will change our lives (including my own) for the better. Thank you all for the support and encouragement and the many prayers. Keep on smiling! Keep up the positivity! And help somebody in need TODAY! :)

With love and prayers,
Elder Flake
Birthday celebration for a child in our congregation :)
Look what I found in my apt!
(The cover is a family from my grandparents' ward)

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