January 04, 2016

Happy New Year!!

"I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up." --D&C 84:88
This is not just a promise meant only for the called full-time missionaries. This is a promise to those who are living worthy and looking for opportunities to serve, share, and lift. This is a promise for YOU. :)

Highlights for 4/1/16:

Highlight #1: New Years. This week we had a great New Years celebration with a member here. She prepared an awesome BBQ with rice (the BBQ for the gringos...the rice for the Dominican). She prepared steak, potatoes, garlic bread, sausage, and then a very good set of Guatemalan sausage as well. We had a great time sharing mission stories, playing some games, and eating! I enjoyed it...weird to think the next time I celebrate New Years I will be 2800 miles from here! Weird!
New Year's on the roof

Highlight #2: District Activity. Today we had our district activity...it was a lot of fun! :) We got together to play Risk and have a little bit of fun! It was great to get to chill again with E Roca, it's been un buen rato since the last time we could just chill. In the end E Cudney won, but I MUST say...I ALMOST won. But then I didn't...and do you know what (this comment is for all those that know me and my personality when it comes to winning) I was fine with not winning. I had a lot of fun and that's what matters :) Then we ate Chinese food...and that is ALWAYS a good thing :) OH, that's something cool here...all the fast food restaurants deliver FREE! What could be better?? You can wake up, order a McFlurry, take a shower, and when you get out...BOOM! there's your McFlurry! ;) It's pretty awesome! And yes, I use it with caution and prudence and follow the white handbook's instructions to not do it too often. But it's still COOL! :)

Highlight #3: Food. I have included this week a picture of a traditional Christmas and New Year's food. It is called a pache. I know I've mentioned it before. But something this good you can't mention TOO much ;) haha! There are MANY different types...but there are 3 main groupings: Maiz, Rice, and Papa...then each of these have their varieties (ie spicy, sweet, with chx or beef or pork, etc). They are pretty good!!! :) All y'alls are missin' out ;)
Pache is cooked in a banana leaf.


Highlight #4: Miracle. This week during divisions me and E Shoemaker were contacting and came across an AWESOME family! Turns out that about 2 weeks ago my comp and I were contacting on the street and met a pair of sisters. We were able to visit one of the sisters (because her directions to her house were correct) but the other we never could find again. Well, we found her....and her ENTIRE FAMILY! And they are amazing. Other side notes: They have an AMAZING view of the temple from their house (that is about 3 blocks above the temple), they have wanted to know more about the "Mormons", and the sister had been looking for us in the streets because they had moved (no wonder we couldn't find her house...). So we now have a pretty positive family to start visiting and ponerlos pilus! :)

"Jesus is my friend. None other has given me so much. He is my exemplar. He is my teacher. He is my healer. He is my leader. He is my Savior and my Redeemer. He is my God and my King. From everlasting to everlasting, He will reign and rule as King of kings and Lord of lords. To His dominion there will be no end. To His glory there will be no night. None other can take His place. None other ever will. Unblemished and without fault of any kind, He is the Lamb of God, to whom I bow and through whom I approach my Father in Heaven. I know that God, our Eternal Father, lives and that He stands at the head of this work. I know that Jesus is the Christ, the Redeemer and Savior of the world, and that He is the living head of this Church, whose name it bears. I know that the conversation which took place between the Father and the Son and the boy Joseph was as intimate and as real as is my conversation with you, that the Book of Mormon is true, that the priesthood is upon the earth, that this is the work of the Almighty, and that its great challenge and destiny lies ahead of it, and that it will continue to move forth until it has accomplished the mission for which the Almighty has outlined for it. I'm grateful for that testimony. I love the work. I love the faithful people of this Church. And I leave my blessing with them. In the name of Jesus Christ, our Redeemer, amen." --Testimony of Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley

What a testimony! I was reading that testimony this week and seeing, in small part, that I can say the same things! My testimony may not be as grand or with knowledge perfect. But I can and do testify of these things each and every day! This is an amazing work! The work of Salvation. The work of redemption. A work of Faith. A work to bring repentance and a remission of sins to MY brothers and sisters here. What a calling...and the days are passing TOO fast! If you are sitting on the fence if you are going to serve a mission or not, JUMP OFF THAT FENCE!  And then hit the ground running (to the bishop's office) to start your mission papers. The Lord needs your talents. The Lord needs your experiences. The Lord need YOU!

With love and prayers,
Elder Flake
Santa does visit missionaries! ;)

Merry Christmas! Who will play this with me at home?? You might have to learn Spanish!!

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