September 28, 2015

Members and Missionaries: A Call to Action


Highlights for 28/9/15: IT'S COLBY'S BIRTHDAY!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY BRO!!
Colby's Birthday Brownies!! I guess because Colby didn't show up for the party, we'll have to eat them!
Happy Birthday Bro! Thinking about you :)

Highlight #1: Weather. Well, needless to say the week that past and the week that is coming is explained best by one word, "TORMENTAS" with a few "TORMENTAS FUERTES" mixed in there! HAHA! :) I have now come to understand what the elders I talked to before my mission were talking about when they said they had to pick the least wet clothes to use every day....IT'S TRUE! HAHA! :)
This is NOON! Foggy, but at least it's not the moment :)

Highlight #2: Food. Higado! Well, before you look it up just let me say it really isnt that bad...except that I have taken Biology classes and know exactly what I'm eating...HAHA! Now you can look it up if you'd like. The flavor isn't that bad, and the texture isn't that different from any other part of the cow...but the thought that this thing that I'm eating was the part of the cow that was cleaning the blood of all the toxins and pathogens was a little disconcerting...haha! :) But hey! What do you do? They haven't died from eating it...yet...HAHA! :)

These are called roscas and are delicious!!

He uses a wood oven and a huge pole...
think Italian pizza oven, poles and all :)

Highlight #3: Baptism. This week I had the privilege to baptize a member who had her 8th birthday this week. Now I know, it's not normal for the missionaries to baptize members, usually the father, a priest, or another worthy priesthood holder performs the ordinance. But as God has given us, the baptismal candidate has the opportunity to decide who they would like baptize them. I have been able to work closely with a couple member families here in this ward, but especially and particularly one and it was their daughter who had her 8th birthday this past week. I knew it was her birthday and that she was going to be baptized soon. One day this week, I think it was Tuesday, we were passing this Hno and his daughter in the street when the dad stopped us and informed us that Fri was going to be the baptism of his daughter and that she would like me to baptize her. At first I thought that the dad just didn't think he could do it, so I pressured for him to perform the baptism and that we would be happy to attend. He then explained that he had presented himself, the branch president, all the priests, other members of the ward she knows, but that she didn't want any of them to baptize her; she wanted me to perform the ordinance. What a humbling experience, it showed me truly that I cannot measure the amplitude of my influence. What an amazing memory for me and special day for her.

What an honor to baptize this faithful girl

Highlight #4: Multi-Zone Conference. This week we had a Multi-Zone Conference that was FANTASTIC! Definitely a call to action and to be even better representatives of Christ. "The hour to plant the seeds has past, NOW is the time to harvest!" What a way to animate the heart of a true missionary, who's only desire is to do the will of my Father. We also talked about how truly important MEMBERS (YOU GUYS) are to the success of missionary work (basically success is A LOT slower, if at all possible, without the help of members). ("Put Your Trust in the Lord" by Elder Ballard): Read it, Watch it, Live it, Repeat. HAHA! But for real! What a call to action from Elder Ballard and that is after the call to action of Pres. Thomas S Monson even earlier that the time for members and missionaries to unite in this great work HAS COME. Then Pres. Smith used an amazing example: If a tsunami was coming, and coming in 1 HOUR., and you were the only ones who knew in advance it was coming...What would you do? Try to save all your family, friends, and neighbors? This tsunami IS coming, and SOON. These are the LAST DAYS, Christ's coming is SOON. "Now is not the time to walk, it's time to RUN!" It is the time to harvest, and harvest for the last time (Doctrine and Covenants 33:3), these are the last days of the last days. Now (I can't remember if this was from Presidente or in a conversation with my comp), we are just 2, MAYBE 4, individuals working full time....but it's not enough. How many people can we save alone? 10? 15? Families, maybe? Now, how many individuals can we warn, protect, and save if EVERY MEMBER is working along side the missionaries, among YOUR friends, YOUR neighbors? "Now is the time for members and missionaries to come together, to work together, to labor in the Lord's vineyard to bring souls to Him. He has prepared the means for us to share the gospel in a multitude of ways, and He will assist us in our labors if we will act in faith to fulfill His work." (Members and Missionaries to Partner in Work of Salvation) There are SOOO many blessings in store for you, as well as your friends and families...but you must act, and act now.

I know that this is the work of God and that He is at its head. He is at the helm. He knows and loves His sheep. This is something that I heard and haven't forgotten. "Christ knows His sheep, [we as] members know their names." I know how much joy, peace, and blessings are waiting for each of you in this marvelous work. You do not have to be called as a full-time missionary to have success in missionary work. I know the effect a willing and able member can have on a missionary and the companionships in their wards and branches, it is immeasurable. I know you may not believe me but when we visit family, friends, and neighbors of members WITH these members, we as the missionaries (and members) receive a breath of fresh air, encouragement, joy, and stronger desires to work hard. I am soo grateful for the times members have taken time from their busy schedules to introduce us to THEIR investigators (friends, family, and neighbors). Interesting fact, in the last 24 months here in my area there has not been any, not one, baptism of a convert that a member was not a crucial and large part of the lessons, fellowshipping, and teaching. MEMBERS MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE! As I have already said earlier, "more happiness awaits you than you have ever experienced as you labor among His children," your brothers and sisters (Preach My Gospel). Call the missionaries, yeah they may be a little surprised you called them but now is the time to change right?, and ask them who and when you can accompany them to visit. Or if you would like to surprise them even more, invite a friend or neighbor to have FHE with you or to dinner, then call and invite the missionaries to join you. Now is the time for a change, a change from missionaries taking members to visit the missionaries' investigators, to the members introducing the missionaries to THEIR (the members') investigators. Keep up the positivity! Keep up the hard work! Keep on following the Lord! NEVER, EVER, FORGET TO SMILE! :)

With love and prayers,
Elder Flake

PS General Conference is once again happening this coming weekend. I invite all who read this, who want to know of God's love, and who want to know of God's will for you specifically to set aside the time, make the time, to participate in this conference. The sessions are Sat 10am-12pm MST and 2pm-4pm MST and Sun 10am-12pm MST and 2pm-4pm MST, with a session for all males 12 and older on Sat from 6pm-8pm MST. These sessions can be accessed online through, on BYUtv, or through contacting a local member. Watch it, Take Notes, IMPLIMENT and watch the blessings flow :)

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