I LOVE MISSIONARY WORK! (10/14/09 Letter)

How are things going back home in Utah!!!  My bishop down here went there for conference and it was weird talking to him about home.  Are things still cold?  It is starting to cool off here.  It has rained every day this week and since it is humid, the cool air can really get to you.  I prefer it this way rather than the hot weather we had this summer (don’t get me wrong it is still alot warmer than Utah! haha).  

 How are my little fairies doing?  Halloween is coming up isn’t it?!  Columbus day was this Monday and we didn’t even know it until half-way through the day when someone told us that no mail was coming… haha sad day.  There is no such thing as holidays as a missionary!  

I am really learning how to cook.  Elder Bollwinkel used to do most of the cooking when I was with him but Elder Beck and I both don’t know how to cook that well, but i’m learning really fast!  Good thing I can read directions! haha.

Will you ask Coley to get on to Facebook or look through the pictures folders on the computer and see if she can find just random pictures of my friends that I can show to companions while i’m telling stories.  Plus I would like some of my friends just to have and to remind me of home!  I can’t wait until you send the ones of the family.  I’m sure the girls are growing really big!

I had to get my flu shot this week because the brethren have instructed the mission presidents to strongly recommend us to get it.  If I didn’t get it and I got the flu they would be mad at me so I decided i would do it anyways just in case!  I also feel like i’m back in the MTC, because the brethren have carried the “no contact” rule to all of the missions in the US at least while the flu is going around.  We’re not supposed to shake hands or hug or anything like that… it’s not very easy but some people just don’t understand!

Well that’s what has been happening this week, we have Zone Conference tomorrow so i’m really excited for that.  Today is my 17 week mark out of 104 weeks!  Time is flying by!  Well I miss you all and love you lots and make sure you read the story down below.  I can’t wait to hear from you again!

Love Blake  

Here is the cool story of the week:
Things are going well down here in Pasadena! It has been a little bit slower than usual with our investigators, but they are all still doing really well! We are still working with the W’s and helping them keep their faith strong as they get the divorce underway. We are also still working with our baptismal date J… and his wife to get them to the waters of baptism! It’s great! However, because of the slowness, we have really been able to spend some time teaching a couple of less-active families that the ward council has asked us to work with. It has been a great blessing to work with them. We have been working closely with the G… family. The mother is semi-active, the two daughters are in-active and the father is a non-member. All of them enjoy us coming over and feeding us and us teaching them, so we have a wonderful time. The oldest daughter, A…, is 19 and has a 2 year old son. She keeps on saying that she is going to come back to church but keeps on sleeping in, but we are not giving up on her. The younger daughter, A…, is 13 and is going through a really hard time right now with school and everything and just that age. She stopped coming to church and the more her mom pressured her, the more she would rebel. Everytime we would teach a lesson with the family or have family home evening with them, she would either stay in for part of it, or none at all. This past saturday, we had a great opportunity to catch A… while she was awake when we had dinner with the family.  While the Mom was gone getting pizza, we sat out on the porch and just had a chat with her.  It was a great time for her just to talk to us and tell us her concerns. I feel that the biggest thing that she needed was for someone to listen and show that she’s not alone. We were able to use the book of mormon to answer her questions of the soul and to really resolve some of the questions she had. We ended the night with her super happy and really excited to go to church and her promising that she was going to get back on the iron rod! On Sunday, for fast and testimony meeting, she was able to get her non-member dad to church as well as her inactive cousin to go with her and her mom. She bore her testimony and it was truly incredible. Her dad was crying and may have opened his eyes to the gospel and her cousin is going to start coming more as well, but most importantly, she is back at church and is so excited. The ward greeted her back with open arms and she felt at peace. We later explained to her that the good feeling she has is the spirit telling her that she is doing the right thing and that is where she needs to be. She agreed.
It was such a wonderful experience to see her go through that and to come back to the gospel. It was definitely the highlight of the week. I was pondering the story of Abinadi and how the only person that softened their hearts out of all of the wicked priests of Noah was Alma. Alma later baptized thousands and his posterity did the same for many generations. I know that if A… stays close to the rod and does what she needs to do in her life, then she will be an incredible instrument in the lord’s hands! It definitely was not me saying the things I said or helping her realize the things she did , but it was the spirit. I LOVE MISSIONARY WORK!

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