January 25, 2016

Blessings Come Through the Trial of Our Faith

fun pets...

Guatemalan fruit

I get to serve in a beautiful country...

Look around you and see the beauty of God's creation
"To be humble is to recognize gratefully our dependence on the Lord—to understand that we have constant need for His support. Humility is an acknowledgment that our talents and abilities are gifts from God. It is not a sign of weakness, timidity, or fear; it is an indication that we know where our true strength lies. We can be both humble and fearless. We can be both humble and courageous." --LDS.org under "Humility"

"Jesus Christ is our greatest example of humility. During His mortal ministry, He always acknowledged that His strength came because of His dependence on His Father. He said: “I can of mine own self do nothing. … I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me” (John 5:30).

The Lord will strengthen us as we humble ourselves before Him. James taught: “God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. … Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up” (James 4:6, 10)." --True to the Faith (2004), 86-87

Highlights for 25/1/16:

Highlight #1: Music. Music can have a very great impact in our lives. I had one of those moments this week. I was listening to one of the new LDS Youth Theme 2016 songs titled "It's Not About You." This song went straight at my heart, I felt like the message was just for me! This song talks about losing ourselves in the service of others. It really helped to bring the spirit and taught me a HUGE lesson on losing myself in this work. AND IT WORKS! This week we were able to have some great success with my bomb companion! (I'll talk about him in a second) We were able to have some really pilus lessons and contacts. But for me the big success of this week, other than my happiness, was have 2 investigators we have been visiting for awhile accept an invitation to attend a Family Home Evening in the home of a member near their home. We had an amazing lesson, the spirit was super strong. We were able to place baptismal dates with them both for the coming month. They are both reading the Book of Mormon, praying, and searching for guidance from above. The one sister though (because the 2 are sisters) has told us she knows that the Book of Mormon is scripture of God, but still had some doubts about "playing with God" by changing churches. But in this lesson she accepted to attend church this following Sunday, YES. Please keep her and her sister and their families in your prayers, that they will be able to recognize the answers to their prayers God is sending, and when they attend this Sunday that it may be a spiritually uplifting experience. I'm pumped! ("Nothin Can Separate Us Now" is another great LDS Youth Theme song to check out :))

Highlight #2: Changes. This week brought changes for me and this area :) And I am so grateful for the change! My companion is awesome! He is from Nicaragua, a convert of 6 years, has been in the mission ALMOST a year, only has one younger sister, and is a boss. This is his 4th area and I'm his 6th companion. It is a blast working with him! The area is doing a lot better and progressing. AND I'm happy :)
Meet my awesome new comp!

Highlight #3: 18 Meses...uh, oh ;) Well, the mile-marker came this week...and then it went. As tradition calls for and requires, 6 months=a tie, 12 months=a shirt, 18 months=a pair of pants...So, a poor pair of pants met its fate Saturday night as it burned its way into history. It was actually a lot of fun! :) And of course we took plenty of pictures :) :) We also had a mennonite baked Apple Pie, with Ice Cream, and Sparkling Cider (Grape Flavored, without Alcohol). All in all a great way to end my 18 months as a servant of the Lord! :) Lots of FANTASTIC memories and lessons learned I've had...and who knows what new and amazing things the following 6 months have to offer :) Now...not to go overboard but realistic, 18 months from now I will be turning 22, have completed another year of college and...be married? Ashley on her mission? In an internationally touring a cappella group? Who knows! :) HOW EXCITING!!! :)
I made it to 18 months!! Here's our celebratory goodies!
18-month tradition...

I spy the temple, can you??!?!

This one is a little tougher, can you still see it?? :)
"The way to feel better about your own situation is to improve someone else's circumstances." --Ezra Taft Benson, "Chapter 16: The Elderly in the Church"

"Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon recorded the following after a sacred experience:

'And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!

For we saw him' (D&C 76:22–23).

Their words are my words.

I believe and I am sure that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that He lives. He is the Only Begotten of the Father, and 'by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God' (D&C 76:24).

I bear my witness that the Savior lives. I know the Lord. I am His witness. I know of His great sacrifice and eternal love for all of Heavenly Father’s children. I bear my special witness in all humility but with absolute certainty, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen." --Testimony of Pres. Boyd K. Packer

With love and prayers,
Elder Flake
These shoes have seen a lot of miles of Guatemala! 

Worn out in His service...time to start my new pair and see how much I can do in the 6 months I have left!

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