Archive for July, 2009

Training in Kingwood

Posted in 1st Area, Pasadena, TX on July 30, 2009 by Nichole (Blake's sister)

Weather is going great here hurricane wise at least… we got absolutely dumped on last week and the streets were flooded and we couldn’t see out of our windshield.  We walked not even 5 feet and were completely drenched, but it was a cool experience.  We also saw a telephone pole get struck by lightning! It was so cool!  But it was over in 30 minutes so that’s the weather in Houston for you!

Pasadena is just east of houston.  It is about 45-60 minutes south of Kingwood which is where the mission home and office is.  It is a refinery city so there are some unusual smells but the people here are really humbled, super nice and ready to hear the gospel.  This past weekend Elder Bollwinkel and I went to Kingwood for training with the Training Assistants.  We spent 48 hours there and split up and exchanged companions with the assistants.  We had some workshops but mainly went out proselyting in Kingwood.  Kingwood is interesting… I liked it alot, it was so beautiful but the people are not as receptive to hearing the gospel as some of the people are down here if you get my drift.  Kingwood is a wealthy area and people think things are pretty set.  But it was alot of fun and I liked it alot.

Samantha and Ira and their daughter Hannah are so ready to be baptized!  It is awesome!  We showed them the baptismal font last night and they got so excited!  However, satan caused us to run into a little bump… we found out that he has been with Samantha for 8 years and loves her but he is not married to her… he never got divorced from his previous wife.  So we have to get him divorced and then those two married before they can be baptized.  But we set a date of September 5th to try and have everthing ready to go by then.  
Tameka and another girl Nicole also have baptismal dates of August 29th and August 15th.  Things are going great!  Well I gotta go… tell everyone i’m sorry I didn’t get to their emails this week but I was short on time!


Blake’s Mission Blog

Posted in Uncategorized on July 23, 2009 by Nichole (Blake's sister)

Okay, I think I have it updated…….I will try and update it each week as we receive letters from him……If anyone receives a letter from Blake and would like some of the leter posted on here, leave me a message on facebook or email me

-Nichole Bair (Blake’s sister for those that don’t know who I am)

Pasadena, TX 07/22/2009

Posted in 1st Area, Pasadena, TX on July 23, 2009 by Nichole (Blake's sister)

I absolutely love it here in Pasadena.  The people are definitely more humble then in other areas of the mission because alot of them don’t have very much besides their faith in the Lord.  

The Lord has truly been watching over Elder Bollwinkel and I and has been blessing us immensely.  We have been witnessing those “little miracles” happen of people that the lord has prepared for us to meet.  You will hear about one of them in a moment.  I love Elder Bollwinkel. Him and I are getting along really well and love being with each other.  He is teaching me alot and really helping me get used to everything.  I have my first zone conference tomorrow with the Mission President there.  President Moldenhauer is an incredible man and so loving.  

Now it’s time for inspirational story of the week: So we were doing daily planning one evening when we got a call from some Hermana’s (spanish speaking sisters) in our area.  They gave us a referral of someone that they met when an appointment fell through.  Their names are Samantha and Ira.  Their lives have been pretty rough and Ira used to be involved with gangs and a bad crowd but after going through corrections, decided about 8 years ago that he wanted to live a better life.  He has been struggling financially since, and when they found the Hermana’s they were on the verge of being evicted out of their apartment.  Both are unemployed, Samantha because she broke her foot and couldn’t work so she was fired, and Ira has medical issues that makes him not able to work but he has been fighting with disability for the past 8 years and is not getting funding or insurance from them.  We went and met with them and they have no lights or furniture like beds in their apartment.  They have no phones and no car.  Samantha has been biking all over town with a severely broken foot to try and find employment to support their family but has had no luck.  Ira is willing to do anything but people won’t hire him because of his epilepsy and other medical issues.  We taught them about the Plan of Salvation and also the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  They said that we were an answer to their prayers and for the first time they felt like people actually cared for them.  We have been working with the ward to try and help them find employment and get them taken care of food-wise.  They are very humble and have witnessed the truths of the gospel and have excepted the invitation of baptism for August 8th.  They want a church to belong to, but also a church that cares about them… ALWAYS! They are planning on coming to our book of mormon study as well as church and are so excited to be a part of it.  I can’t wait to see what else happens with them!  It has truly been a miracle for them as well as me!

Time is already flying by, i’m almost done with my first transfer!

Answers to my Prayers! 07/15/2009

Posted in 1st Area, Pasadena, TX on July 23, 2009 by Nichole (Blake's sister)

It was great being able to talk to you on Wednesday!  I miss everyone alot, but am loving it down here!  My Mission President is incredible and acts like a second father.  He is fantastic.  My companion is Elder Bollwinkel and we are serving in the Pasadena area.  This is good because I actually get the opportunity to start learning some spanish! Answers to my prayers already!

My direct address is 4319 arapajo, Pasadena TX 77504.  I live with members in their home.  Their name are the Dimmicks and they are an older couple with 6 pets.  It is kinda crazy being a missionary and having pets, but it’s fun… except they have a 80 lb. bassett hound that is the spawn of the devil.  

Things are going great and I can’t wait to tell you more!  We have about 6 baptismal dates set up right now so lets hope that they all follow through! We are teaching this black woman named Tamika right now who fits to the T of someone who I wanted to teach.  Her mom passed away two weeks ago and has been really really depressed.  We found her and taught her the plan of salvation and she said that she feels good when she is around us.  However, she was a little skeptical at first because she had heard that mormons were halfway between baptist and jehovah’s witnesses… I know I don’t get it either…  Haha she is loving the lessons though and each time i pray with her she keeps on talking during the prayers like saying “ummhumm” and “that’s right” it’s so funny! The lord prepared her for me!  

The ward mission leader for our ward is Brother Ruiz.  He is probably one of the nicest men I’ve ever met and will give anything and everything he has to help anyone in need.  He has helped us so much by coming and teaching with us and telling his conversion story (which is incredible by the way).  He lost his mom and was having a really hard time but the lord answers his prayers and led him to the missionaries and it’s all history from there.  Him and Tamika connected perfectly!

 The weather here… is very very hot and humid, but suprisingly I kinda like it.  LIke you said I am more of a hot weather person.  I can’t wait to see what winter’s like.  When I come back to Utah it will be like paradise… I won’t start sweating after only being outside for 10 seconds.  It’s great though.  

I have  a zone leader (Elder McCreary) that looks just like President Obama… no lie.  It’s kinda funny.  For service on thursday nights we go out and play wheelchair basketball with handicap people!  It is so much fun but i get my trash kicked everytime!  Oh my p-days are on wednesdays :).  I am doing pretty well right now, but my companion and I are not being very patient when it comes to the salsa and zuccini bread!  We want some badly! haha.  

Elder bollwinkel is from Mesa, Arizona.  Him and I have been connecting very well and he said that I am an amazing improvement over the last one he had… haha.  

OH one last cool story.  We had a dinner appointment fall through and we had a pizza hut gift card so we decided to get delivery.  I answered the door and the delivery lady gave me the pizza and while I was signing the receipt she saw my badge and said I like your church.  She began to tell me that she just lost her husband of 29 years and is having a really hard time and so is her sons that are like in their 30’s and 20’s and she wants to meet with us to help them feel better. She works two jobs just to get by.  So we have an appointment set up with her tomorrow! There was a reason that the dinner appt. fell through!

Bidding our Farewell to the MTC 07/06/2009

Posted in Missionary Training Center, Uncategorized on July 23, 2009 by Nichole (Blake's sister)

This weekend was pretty good, they let us go out on saturday and watch the “stadium of fire” fireworks.  We had a really good view just from outside of my residence hall.  They had a devotional on reformers and how this country was founded, they did some really cheesy stuff and the media crew was brand new so they kept on pushing the wrong button so it made it a humorous evening!!!

I can’t wait to get out there and start teaching people.  There is something called the referral center where people call in and want dvd’s and free book of mormons and bibles and stuff and we send the missionaries.  It is like a call center.  I talked to a guy for 30 minutes who i think was drunk because he was laughing out of nowhere one moment and then crying the next.  I sent him the missionaries but he said that he has already met with the boy missionaries so he wanted me to send the sister missionaries… haha ya right.  I also had another guy calling for a free bible who was so sad about his life and his family problems.  I talked to him and bore my testimony about the gospel and how it blesses your own life plus your families and even shared scriptures and my testimony.  He ended up wanting the missionaries over because of me and I can’t wait to hear how it turns out!

Elder Packer and I handed off our Zone Leader responsibilities to two elders in  the district behind us, it was a sad day but exciting because that means we are leaving! We had our departure devotional last night and I met the two sisters that are going to be going to my mission too (they are spanish speaking though)!  The new district came in this weekend and they are super cool.  Usually in districts in the MTC there is 1-2 different missions that everyone is going to, but in my district there is 5 different missions for the 10 of us.  3 are going to cleveland ohio, 3 are going to oklahoma city, 2 to texas houston east, 1 to columbus ohio and 1 to the marshall islands.  It is really hard for us because we probably won’t see each other again like the other districts, so that’s sad.  6 out of the 10 of us are leaving tomorrow morning at like 5 so we’re saying our goodbyes tonight.  

I am really excited to go out into the field but i’m going to miss the elders in my district so much!!!  I have had amazing teachers the past three weeks, sister roberts is one of them and she is a walking bible basically.  We spent alot of our time asking any sort of biblical or gospel question and she was pretty good with answering them!  Brother tanner is really cool as well, he just returned from his mission to oklahoma tulsa 6 months ago, so he’s just a newbie.  We usually would only have 2 but brother tanner and sister roberts were both gone for some of the time so they got brother bastian to sub for us and he was absolutely amazing.  He really helped elder packer and I learn to teach the person not the lesson.  I will miss all three of them so much.  I have their addresses so I can write them.  I am very anxious to get out in the mission field.  

Do you remember me telling you about Elder Vea?  He was the zone leader when I first came in and was so incredible.  His sister is also here and is going to the ogden mission.  She said that she got a letter and in his first week in Cali, he taught16 different lessons! That’s incredible! I want to get out there and do it!  

Can you believe that it has already almost been a month???  only 23 more to go! It is going to fly by! Expect me to call around 730ish most likely.  I can’t wait to call and talk to you guys!

Zone Leader! 06/29/2009

Posted in Missionary Training Center on July 23, 2009 by Nichole (Blake's sister)

“I miss you! I am having a great time here, though!  Guess what!?!?! My companion and I are the Zone Leaders!  We have 3 districts of missionaries to watch over and that includes 26 elders and 4 sisters.  It is such an awesome responsibility!   We only have 30 minutes of email per p-day in the MTC so it’s hard to get to everyone.  Elder Packer is going to the same mission as I am and I am so glad.  He is such an awesome companion, he doesn’t want to break the rules either! How is everyone doing? tell them to keep the letters and packages coming, ps there are 10 elders in my district including me and they all love your packages too 😉 haha! I leave for texas on next wednesday, July 8th!  My flight leaves at like 840ish so i’ll probably call around 730 or 8 if they will let me, but I think they do so expect that. ”

“This week has been really good, tiring, but good.  We had the new mission president seminar this week and so at one time we had 14 out of the 15 big general authorites here! Elder Holland came and gave one of the most amazing devotionals I have ever heard about making your a companionship a threesome by having the holy ghost join it.  He called it the divine companionship.  It was absolutely awesome!” 

“There is part of me that still wishes that I learned a language, but the other part definitely is glad I didn’t because of the fact that I get to learn about the gospel so much more!”

First Week In The MTC 6/22/2009

Posted in Missionary Training Center on July 23, 2009 by Nichole (Blake's sister)

“First off, I am doing great.  I am really liking it here.  The very first night was a little rough after dinner and I didn’t sleep the entire night, but when I got to studying the next day and got busy, the bad feelings went away.  I still miss you guys alot!  I have had an incredible experience!  My companion’s name is Elder Jake Packer (his grandpa’s cousin is President Packer, but he’s never met him haha).  He is super cool and we get along really well.  We have 10 elders in our district: Elder’s Chew, Taylor, Harless, Thaden, Flint, Stephenson, Clayson, Hunt, Packer and Me.  I have a great branch president and he is willing to help me with anything I need.  Elder Packer and I have been going to these things called the TEC where we can go meet with teachers and role play as if they were investigators.  We have been in three times and every single time they said that we were awesome! It is such a huge relief to get told that.  I even made a teacher cry! The spirit was so strong while I was teaching the first lesson that she told us she was going to fire back with questions so we could find answers but the spirit kept on telling her to listen. It was such an awesome experience!   One of the Zone Leader’s name was Elder Vea, he is samoan and huge, but the nicest guy you will ever meet.  He helped me feel really welcomed into the branch and did whatever he could for me.  If i become zone leader, i want to be just like him.”

“I love you all so much and I miss you.  However, I must crush you’re dreams by me saying that I am not coming home ;).  I love my mission so far and know this is where I am supposed to be.”  

“oh wait! one last story, we had an awesome devotional last night where one of our councilors from the district presidency and his wife spoke.  I felt like he was speaking directly to me when he was talking about missionary work.  He recited daniel 2 and absolutely loved it!  I joined the choir and no they didn’t kick me out.  It was a nice break from studying! I’ll send more stories next week and keep those letters and packages coming! it only takes a day to get here!!! I love you and miss you!”