I can’t believe I only have 12 weeks left!!!! (03/21/11)

Posted in Uncategorized on March 26, 2011 by Nichole (Blake's sister)
To start off before I forget, we are moving mission offices and I need you to take down the new address.  This new address will only be effective after this friday, March 25th. Will you be sure to post it so everyone has the new address.
This is the new mission office address (where you can send stuff):
Texas Houston South Mission
Attn: Elder Blake Mills
602 Eldridge Rd.
Sugarland, TX 77478
They are moving into one of the local church buildings so that they can save money.  They have asked me to come and help with the organizing of all of the supplies and packing, because they know I’m good at that kind of stuff.  I spent 6 hours on Saturday at the new office with another missionary from my district stocking and organizing the supply room.  We had to set up the shelves based on language and supplies….. it was actually a lot of fun.  The assistants actually called me again this morning and asked if I would be willing to go again tomorrow and help organize things.  I think they are realizing that my dream job is to have an office job some day, so they trust me with doing that stuff haha jk.  Elder Peterson is one of the assistants and he was my companion, so he knows how much of a freak for office supplies I am.
Ok, so now the interesting stuff.  I am getting transferred.  This will most likely be the last area I am in and I am praying and hoping that I go back into the city where there are millions of people…. haha I love it there.  Elder Panike is staying here.  I can’t believe I only have 12 weeks left!!!! AAAHHH.  One of the missionaries in my district, Elder Birch, is going home tomorrow.  I will miss him.  He is a big teddy bear.  He is extremely shy and still a little timid, but he is awesome.  We have really grown close since I have been in the same district as him for the past 3 transfers.

I’ll get the address to my new apartment next week and let you know what area i’m in.  Keep me in your prayers!

Love you so much!

Miracles are happening once again

Posted in Uncategorized on February 28, 2011 by Nichole (Blake's sister)
We had a lady walk into sacrament meeting who had attended one of  the Sugar Land wards with her Boss about 6 or 7 times.  She had to leave directly after sacrament, but she left her number with the lady that was sitting next to her and told her that she was very eager to have the missionaries contact her.  This could be our next potential baptism!  Pray that everything will go well.
next week:
I loved the mission conference.  We are going to have a great opportunity to put the trainings to the test today.  The lady that I told you about that came to  sacrament and asked for us, well we’ve gotten in contact and she is very excited and wants to go to the temple.  Her Boss is a member and took her to a sugar land ward about 7 times and she is finally ready to start the missionary lessons.  This has given me a great opportunity to prepare for this lesson and have great things happen.  This lady, is a generational Catholic, but has seen the faults in that church, but has also seen that there is something different about Mormon’s and everyone else.  Her boss is coming, who is also a less-active member trying to come back into activity, and we arranged for a member of our ward who is also a ward-missionary to come and sit-in as well.  Sis. G was studying to become a deacon in the catholic church, which is the highest position a female can hold, when she saw the corruptness and the changing doctrine, so she left it completely and later found our church and the fullness of the doctrine.  It should be a great lesson!  I’m very excited.

In weeks past:

02/07/2011 letter
It has been crazy cold down here.  It got down into the teens and it froze.  Houston does not have any of the cold weather equipment like Utah does, so they shut down all major roads going everywhere.  I guess there was like over 800 wrecks just on Friday around the city.  It was nasty out.  The mission banned us from using our vehicles on thursday and friday, so we weren’t out in the midst of all that stuff.  Our stairs leading from our apartment was like an ice sheet  and nobody stocks up on ice melt down here so it was really bad.  We had rolling blackouts all over the city.  It was really really cold, I wore about 5 layers, haha.  But it is bright and sunny out now, leave it to houston to have completely unpredictable weather.  Anywho, I’m glad that stuff is over now, I don’t like the cold at all! haha
I’m staying in Rosenberg!  Elder Piercy is leaving and I will be getting another Elder to take his spot.
02/14/2011 letter
I am now with Elder Aaron Panike (sounds like Panic-ee) who is from Middleton, Idaho.  He has been out on his mission about 6 months.
My Official release date is Tuesday, June 14th.  I have just under 4 months left.  AAHHHH.    I can’t wait to talk to all of my old comps again. Thanks for all the birthday wishes.  I can’t believe I’m 21!
In the pictures: On the day before my birthday, I shot off my confetti blasters with Elder Birch and Jesus Avila.    Now I get to be in the same district as Elder Birch.  He’s like a big teddy bear.  He goes home this transfer.  Sad Day.

Elder Piercy, myself, and Bro. David Aaron at his house the night before elder piercy left.  Also a picture of his family.  His bongo drums make really cool sounds.  haha it was fun.

This week we truly blew up Rosenberg

Posted in Uncategorized on January 4, 2011 by Nichole (Blake's sister)
Things are going so great.  Here is a little bit of my President’s email.  Some of it may not make sense because it is mission lingo, but you’ll get the jist of it.
Well President, I’m so excited!  Things are really going great.  This week we truly blew up Rosenberg. Our dilligence and faith are paying off and I can’t wait to see what else can happen.  We are focusing on being well-rounded missionaries, and even though it is exhausting, our skills, talents, abilities and area are improving 10 fold.  It’s so cool.  The trick now is to keep things going.

We were able to get a referral from the spanish Elders for a family of 8.  There is a single dad and he has 7 children ages 10-18.  We had been trying to get ahold of them for a couple weeks but could never catch them at home.  We finally, this past week caught them and they invited us right in.  The Spanish Elders told us that the smaller children and the dad are really interested, but the oldest girls did not want anything to do with it.  We sat down and tried to get to know them a little bit better.  The girls were a little stand-offish at first, but we tried to get them to open up.  The dad told us that he and his son went to the library to look at stuff online and the 12 year old boy asked what the mormon website was.  They couldn’t find it.  They told us this story and we happened to have the I’m a Mormon CD with us.  We popped it in and invited the whole family to watch.  We watched Paris, and the oldest daughter was deeply touched because she too is a high school drop-out.  She then was really interested to sit in and participate as we taught the restoration.  The spirit was so strong, and the entire family accepted a date for January 29th.  I have been praying what might be keeping them from church, and I think one of the things is them not having any clothes…. so we are going to work on that so they can come to church.  They are super excited to get baptized, we just need to get them to church!  It was a really cool experience.

Update on Miracle List:  We came up with our 10 names and prayed and started to come up with the 3 focus’.  2 of them were rather easy, but as we were working on the third, a thought came into my mind of an older active couple, the “S’s”, that really hasn’t had much to do with the missionaries that we didn’t even include on our list of 10.  I talked to Elder Piercy and we decided that they needed to be a focus.  We weren’t sure how we were going to include them, but we knew it would take a miracle.  Yesterday, at church, we found a lady, named “L”, sitting in the pugh’s as we walked in before Sacrament.  She has never been to the church before, but she said “she is a sinner and needs Jesus Christ in her life and wants to do whatever is neccesary to get him, including baptism. We talked to her and she is addicted to drugs and alcohol and wants to change.  We sat with her in Sacrament and “Bro. S” got up to bear his testimony.  He began to say how grateful he and his wife are for their callings, because it has changed their life.  He told us that they are the stake representatives for the Addiction Recovery Program and go around helping people overcome these things.  At that point it hit me,  I then knew how we were going to use our third miracle list family, it was for this lady “L”, and the Lord opened up a miracle.  It was so cool.  More info on that to come.

Meals: Our meal appointments are becoming so effective.  We are still working on getting members to invite people in their homes.  It’s a work in progress, but we are seeing great things happen.  As we share the Mormon.org DVD with them, we are getting more and more referrals each time.  It is fantastic!

The Rescue:  We had a long conversation with our bishopric and ward mission leader yesterday.  Our Ward holds Ward Council during the week and so we have to rely on our Mission Leader to relay messges.  We are going to be going over the Ward Council Process this week with him, so that he can present it to the Ward Council.  We also talked with the Bishopric about doing a “Ward Council Test Family.”   There is a part-member family, named the “O” family, that we want to work with so this will be a great opportunity for the Ward Council involved.  The Bishopric is going to come up with homes of members that they can get into and get this rolling.  It’ll be great.  Also, more info on this will come later.

Goldmining:  We have been focusing on all of our recent converts and getting them involved.  “J” was a superstar in sunday school yesterday in bearing his testimony to this woman “L” about the Love of Jesus Christ.  “F”, another recent convert, went up and comforted her as she was crying and said that ever since she joined the church 4 months ago, she has had the best Christmas and holidays of her life.  She doesn’t feel alone because she knows she is part of the true church and that “L” can find that comfort too.  We also are teaching “F’s” Granddaughters and they are preparing to be baptized on Jan. 29th as well.  “F” is referring people left and right for the missionaries to go visit.  It is great.

So as you can see, we are doing great!  We too are so excited that we get to be together again for another transfer.  We don’t want to leave each other.
Another New Years come and gone…. that’s crazy.  I’ll be home for the next one!  Here are some funny pictures of our new years eve.
It’s been cold here, not that cold, but cold. I did get everyone’s cards.  Tell them all thank you so much!  I appreciate it!
Time is flying by so fast!  I can’t believe it!  I hope y’all have a good week!  I’ll talk to you again soon! Love ya!
Love Blake

Christmas 2010

Posted in Uncategorized on December 28, 2010 by Nichole (Blake's sister)
I hope you had a wonderful Christmas!  It was so good to talk to y’all!  I can’t believe how close we are getting to the end.  It’ll be so good though.  Everyone sounded like they were doing really well.  Will y’all send me some Christmas pictures!!??? Thank you!
I am so glad you got to see Kyle and everyone else!!!!  I’m kinda jealous, but can’t really do anything about it!!!  That is so cool.  I can’t believe he is already home…. weird.  He was already really spiritual before his mission so now he’s like some super spiritual stud…. he won’t be able to keep the ladies off of him!!! haha.   I miss the girls too.  That’s so cool that you were able to see Hideko and the Wilson’s and the Stauffer’s.  We had a really close group of friends and it’s so nice to see that it rubbed off on our families as well.  That’s what true friendship is.  I love it!
Oh so i’m sure you’ll probably want to know how transfers went:  Elder Piercy and I are staying together!!!! YAY!  I’m so excited for this next transfer to see what happens.
Here is an excerpt from my president’s letter:
So….. Merry Christmas!  This week was a great week.  We were able to see miracles happen once again.  We had people just fall into our laps once again.  We were able to teach a great lesson on Christmas night in a members home with a lady named “M”.  She was waiting to find that true religion where there was no corrupt pastor or minister and that would truly bring her closer to Jesus Christ.  We didn’t fully expect for her to be there, but we had been praying that we could find someone to teach that day.  After we called home, we were talking a little bit and found out she had some questions about the bible that nobody could really answer.  She knew that the family we were with were members but never really had any interest of learning more.  We were able to answer her questions and was intrigued and wanted to learn more.  We then taught her the restoration of the gospel and she loved it!  She accepted to be baptized on the 29th of January.  We didn’t have much time to go into a full church invitation, but as we were leaving we asked the members to invite her.  Sunday morning comes, and the members (who we have been working with the re-activate) showed up to church early with “M”!!!! She loved church and is planning on coming again!  We have another appointment set up for this week to continue to teach her and she said she wants to find out for herself if this is true and does not want to be just socially converted.  It was awesome.

Another miracle.  Elder Piercy and I have been going through the part-member lists and there is a 18 year old girl in our ward named “A”.  We didn’t know too much about her, but we prayed and felt that we needed to investigate her situation a little more.  She had an older sister who joined the church but is now gone and married.  “A” takes herself to church every week and she has a Mom and a brother who are not members.  We talked to her one Sunday and asked a little about her and her family.  We “schemed” with her and got her to sign us up for dinner when her family was home.  She said that her mom is interested in learning more, but not fully to joining the church.  She also told us that her soon-to-be step-dad would be there.  We didn’t know the family at all let alone  “A” very well, but we made a couple of lesson plans for them depending on which route we wanted to go.  We got there and had a great meal with them, the mom and step-dad were quiet but friendly and not showing much excitement about hearing a missionary lesson.  We decided that we would put the mormon.org training to the test.  It’s kinda funny, because we tried to show it on the tv but they did not have a DVD player that would read the disc, so we just ended up telling htm all about it.  We committed them to pull out the computers and look at it as soon as we left.  We left feeling really good about it.  Well yesterday, “A” came up to us at church and said that she wanted to talk to us.  I was a little nervous at first, but she told us that she had good news.  She said that they pulled out the computers and watched many many movies and the mom was intrigued and liked it and would like to know more, but the really excited person was the step-dad.  He had no knowledge of the Mormons and what we believed, but he searched the website and read the lessons and watched videos and loved it!  He asked “A” if he could take the lessons and if we would allow him to church (by this point I had fallen off my chair) and she said absolutely.  We have it set up that we are going to do a church tour this week with them and have a first lesson!  They are excited and so am I!!!!  We have also received a few other referrals from people after watching a movie clip with them.  They are really powerful and I can’t wait to see what happens!
Y’all definitely need to check out the Mormon.org website.  It is so cool.  It is for investigators, but there are some powerful movies on it and a place to check out movie clips about members of the church.  You  can even create a profile for your family and put it on there and people can search the site and find members of the church that fit their profiles (example: race, where born, hobbies etc.) and they can see that people from all sorts of walks of life are members of the church (even celebrities).  It’s so cool and will help with the missionary work!
Well that’s about it for now, but I love everyone and I hope they have a happy new year!!!!

Love Blake

Merry Christmas (12/20/2010)

Posted in Uncategorized on December 21, 2010 by Nichole (Blake's sister)
Things are going great.  We sure do have lots of fun plans for the holidays!  I can’t wait to be able to talk to you and the family.  I am excited to talk to everyone and see how they are doing.  It does seem like it was just yesterday that we talked…. time is flying by so fast. Less then 6 months till I will be home.
We had a great weekend in white.  We were able to baptize brother Jesse.  He is so cool.  He was staunch in his beliefs about baptism and did not feel that he needed to be baptized again.  We were able to get him to pray for himself sincerely one night while we were there, and ever since then, his feelings slowly changed and he knew that he needed to be baptized.  He is a little lonely old man and I think he thinks of us as his children.  He is going to be a great asset to the kingdom of God!!!
The weather in Texas has been normal…. which means completely unpredictable.  It’ll be really nice (like it is today) in like the 70’s, but then it will turn bitter cold and make you feel like you want to die because of the humidity.  But I stay wrapped up and want to continue stay warm….. I don’t like the cold haha.
I’m loving the advent calendar by the way.
I’ve got like 5 christmas dinners, so you don’t have to worry about me.  Who knows, maybe i’ll actually gain a pound or two…. haha I doubt it.  Well I love y’all so much.  Be sure to tell everyone I wish them a merry christmas and that I can’t wait to see them soon.  Tell them thank you for the support that they give me! Love you!
Love Blake
P.S. let me know what you hear from my friends over the holidays.  Thanks!

PEOPLE CAN CHANGE!!! (12/13/2010)

Posted in Uncategorized on December 21, 2010 by Nichole (Blake's sister)
Things are going great!  I am feeling better.   I have a great companion that also helps me so you don’t have to worry.  I am in good hands.  I am slowly getting my strength back.  Yesterday, Elder Piercy and I got out and walked around neighborhoods for about 3 hours straight, and I haven’t done that in a while so it felt good.  This next week should be even better!  Exert from my email to President Saylin:
Things are really starting to pick up and we have seen miracles this week.  One of our investigators who did not have a date, Jesse, is preparing to be baptized this weekend on the 18th.  He said that he wanted to be a Mormon, but he felt like he didn’t need to be baptized a second time.  We had him pray about it while we were there and told him to ponder it.  A couple weeks went by and this past Monday night, Jesse told me that he’s been putting a lot of thought into it, and if the strong feelings that he has toward this church continue, he is looking at being baptized after the first of the year.  I was shocked but just encouraged him to keep pondering and praying about it and told him that was the spirit speaking to him.  On Wednesday, we were both fasting that someone would open up to us to prepare for baptism on the weekend in white, when Jesse called us that evening.  He told us that he has put a lot of thought into it and doesn’t see why he needs to wait until after the first of the year and that he would like to be baptized as soon as possible.  He has been to church many many times and has already established many friendships.  Elder Piercy and I took it as a blessing from heaven and stopped and prayed giving thanks to the Lord to answering our prayers.  Jesse is fantastic and is so excited and anxious to be a member of the church.  PEOPLE CAN CHANGE!!!

Things are going well in Rosenberg! (12/06/2010)

Posted in Uncategorized on December 21, 2010 by Nichole (Blake's sister)

We are being blessed immensely.  A big focus of the week was to work with Richmond (the other missionaries in my district) to try and find someone for them to baptize on the weekend in white (December 18th and 19th where the entire mission wants every companionship to baptize that day).  We went on a couple of exchanges and even “blitzed” (3 companionship’s working 1 area) the area with the Zone Leaders for a couple of hours.  They are really struggling, but I told them last night to make sure that whatever they do, whether it be OYMing or teaching or anything, make sure they are purpose driven.  I told them to practice in their comp study a purpose driven OYM, so that every return appointment that they get the people understand why they need to listen to the missionaries.  Hopefully they will see some return appointments not fall through and see some more success. We are so grateful for the blessings that we have been receiving in Rosenberg, though.  Elder Piercy and I have been exercising our faith so much and have been seeking miracles from Heavenly Father.  He always keeps his end.  On Saturday, we were trying to contact some referrals and were a little worried about the quality of our investigators for the weekend in white, but we still were praying non-stop and trusting in the Lord.  We were about to leave the complex because the investigator had given the missionaries the wrong address, when we received a media referral.  It is for a lady named Samantha.  She is from Colorado and just moved to Texas about 3 weeks ago.  She had been meeting with the missionaries their and had been to church a couple of times.  She went on to mormon.org and requested the missionaries.  She loved the site by the way.  When we got the message I immediately called her, and she was so excited to speak to us.  We asked if we could set up a time to come by and she said “today!” so we set a time for later that evening and she called us back a little bit later asking for us to come sooner because she was so excited and that her roomate wants to learn as well.  We stopped by and realized quickly that she had truly been prepared by the Lord.  We asked her about what the missionaries had taught her and she said “The Great Apostasy” (of all things to remember) and she had said how she was baptized by her grandfather and her dad was a pastor, but she knows that she needs to be baptized by proper authority.  We extended a date and she is preparing to be baptized on the weekend in white.  The Lord truly did answer our prayers of faith and will always if we are obedient.  Not to forget that we were blessed with 6 people at church.  Things are going well in Rosenberg!