New Area, New Companion

Posted in Uncategorized on November 22, 2010 by Nichole (Blake's sister)
First off, lets talk about my health.  I talked to Sister Saylin today and she wanted me to relay this message to you….. I am feeling great!!!!  I still have a little bit of problem with lack of energy and with getting sick since my immune system is down, but I feel like I can handle those things now.  It feels like I have the strength to get things going and to get back to my old self.
So about my new area.  I am  now in the Rosenberg ward, which is close to the Memorial Ward when I served there.  It’s in the same stake as that ward so hopefully I’ll be able to see some people that I love in Memorial sometime soon.  Rosenberg is still kinda countryish, but there are SO MANY MORE PEOPLE THAN LAKE JACKSON!!! It is fantastic!  The ward is great and really functional, so that is good.  My companion…. I love him.  His name is Elder Piercy (pronounced peer-see) and we have freakishly alot in common.  His first name is the same as mine.  He has 1 brother who is the same age as Tyler who is the oldest and then two sisters who are the same ages of Nichole and Ashley and then he is the youngest and is only a few months older than me.We have alot of other things in common as well, we have just stopped being surprised at the fact that we are practically spiritual twins!  I am follow-up training him, just like I did with Elder Esplin.  He has been out one transfer and is 21 years old.  He has a really cool story.
We have a Thanksgiving dinner in this ward, I don’t know who they are, but it should be good.
Good news though, the prescriptions seem to be working!  He raised my dosages and started me on some other meds and I’m feeling alot better. Hopefully I’ll be all the way better soon!
We have alot of potential work going on.  We should have alot of people scheduled for baptism by the end of this week.  The whole mission is planning to have a “weekend in white” which is when on December 18th or 19th they want every companionship to baptize and so that we can have a “white christmas.”  I thought it was pretty cool.

Cool story:  So long story short, our appointments feel through last night, and  our apartment wasn’t too far away so we just went back there.  We live across the stree from the church and the Spanish Sisters borrowed our church keys because they needed them.  They were still at the church so we walked over to get them before they left.  When we got there we realized that they were having a baptism.  The spanish branch president asked if we could do them a favor.  They didn’t have any priesthood holders and needed witnesses as well they asked if either of us could play the piano.  I said yes, not realizing that the whole thing would be in Spanish.  So I played the piano for an entire spanish baptism that I didn’t know what they were saying, but what was cool is that I felt help from  Heavenly Father and I played it almost perfectly.  The people were so gracious and we ended up getting an english referral from one of the branch members.  It was really cool to see how everything layed out so nicely and we needed to be there at that baptism!

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My new companion

Posted in Uncategorized on October 13, 2010 by Nichole (Blake's sister)

My new companion is Elder Jared Smith.  He is from St. Anthony, Idaho.  It’s kinda cool, because his previous area actually is right next to ours and we went to the same church and everything.  We knew eachother really well and he was practically part of my district.  It was really nice because he already knew what was going on with me healthwise and his area covered part of Lake Jackson too so he knew alot of our area already.  He has been out for about 9 months.  He’s a good guy.  He’ll do fantastic.  This is his 7th transfer and he has been with a new companion every transfer.  The longest he’s been in an area is 2 transfers and this is already his 4th area. He is super nice and I think we can do some good work together.  In fact, I think you already have a picture of him and me and an Elder Pehrson.  He’s a good guy.
Elder Esplin went to an area called Baybrook.  It is by Friendswood, Texas and is a bike area.  He seems to be doing well even though he probably feels like he was dumped right into downtown houston, even though the rest of us missionaries know that he is not even close.  He seems to be doing well I saw him on Saturday.
Elder Oliver is now a Zone Leader!  He was saying that he can’t wait for us to be companions…. hopefully one day!  His last area was Pasadena!  he lived with the Dimmicks and everything!  He is now a Zone Leader over that same zone so he still gets to see the Dimmicks and Sister Blevins every now and then.
We get to go to the Temple this Friday!  I’m so excited!  Oh and I also had a really cool experience this past Saturday.  We had a tri-mission conference where Elder Costa from the presidency of the 70 came and spoke to us.  I got to see Elder Bollwinkel (my trainer) and my MTC comp Elder Packer as well as Elder Lundell (in our ward) and alot of my East mission friends.  We all got to shake Elder Costa’s hand, and also all 3 of the mission president’s hands and their wives.  As soon as I got to President Moldenhauer he gave me a big squeezing hug and would not let go.  Sister Moldenhauer said that if it wasn’t illegal and if a general authority wasn’t watching she would give me a big hug right then and there.  It was good to know that they still remember me.  I hugged them then shook the houston mission president’s hands and his wife’s, then I got to President and Sister Saylin, as soon as I hugged President I knew that it was where I needed to be.  I miss the Moldenhauers, but I need to be with the Saylin’s.
I’m glad that everyone else is doing well.  I’m doing fine.  I love the Lake Jackson ward.  They are really taking care of me.  The Bishop is always asking how I am doing and is wanting to make sure that the Ward is taking care of me.  It makes things alot easier to know that I’m in good hands.  I’ll keep you updated and let you know what all happens.  Make sure you tell everyone that I love them and give those little grandbabies lots of hugs from Uncle Blake!
Love you lots!
Blake

“The power of prayer has once again had huge effect on me.”

Posted in Uncategorized on October 5, 2010 by Nichole (Blake's sister)

“I’m staying in Lake Jackson again!  Unfortunately, I’m losing my compadre, Elder Esplin.  I’m going to miss him a lot, but we kinda knew that we were going to be separated.  I’ll get my new companion on Wednesday”

“The power of prayer has once again had huge effect on me.”

“Things are going much better and the Lord wants me on my mission so he is helping the doctor’s take care of me.”

For those that have been wondering what has been going on, Blake has been suffering from some very severe abdominal pain. He has been seeing several doctors in Texas, but they have been unable to find what is causing the pain. It was looking like Blake would have to come home for more extensive testing.

Because of all of the thoughts and prayers of great friends and wonderful family, Blake will be able to stay on his mission and receive testing in Texas.

I love this job!

Posted in Uncategorized on September 13, 2010 by Nichole (Blake's sister)

I’m so excited!  I feel like this week was a huge faith builder for me.  I saw the Lord pour out his blessings upon us in so many ways I can’t even explain it.  We are finding people to teach, our teaching skills are improving, and in result we are baptizing more and more each month.  We are so blessed.  This ward last year had only 1 convert baptism and thus far this year we have had 9!!! 7 of which is while Elder Esplin and I have been together!  Missionaries use to say that this was a dead area….. but I think we have proved them wrong there!  I love it!
The baptism yesterday was absolutely amazing!  It was definitely a spiritual highlight of my mission.  There were 112 people in attendance, which President Whipple told me that that was more than any congregation count at church yesterday!  We had over 30 non-members there and have gotten some potential investigators out of it.  Elder Esplin and I taught the restoration while Bro. H was getting dressed and the spirit was so strong.  The speakers were President W and President B and it was fantastic.  Brother H’s girls sang a special musical number “love is spoken here” from the children’s songbook and they could barely get through it because they were so emotional.  The closing hymn was “families can be together forever” and I looked down at the family and all were crying along with most of the congregation.  Bishop M stood up and said that as that family walked in a little late to sacrament meeting earlier that day, he had a divine look at the H’s and saw them as Heavenly father sees them, dressed in all white and on their way to the temple.  It was an amazing experience!  I ended the night talking to the Zone Leaders and couldn’t even describe the feelings that I had.  It was truly an amazing day, an amazing week and an amazing mission experience to share!  I love this job!

This week has been an AMAZING week!

Posted in Uncategorized on September 7, 2010 by Nichole (Blake's sister)

This is a passage from Blake’s email that he sent to his mission president today!

The highlight of the week is BROTHER “H” IS GETTING BAPTIZED THIS SUNDAY!!!! I am so excited!!!   He had his baptismal interview this morning and everything is good to go!  He is actually doing it!!! After 12 years of investigating he is finally taking that step to make his family one step closer to being sealed in the temple.  You know what the cool thing is though, is that this path of him really progressing started on the night of the first day of the last leadership meeting.  We went in and applied the trainings of the simplified curriculum and here we are today…. now getting ready to baptize him.  Once again it shows that these trainings were of God!  Another cool thing is that I decided to dedicate my own personal fast this past Sunday to Brother “H” and his boys getting baptized in the month of September.  I told Elder Esplin afterwards what I was fasting for and he was kinda like “Ok, lets hope it works” in Elder Esplin’s cheerful but hesitant attitude.  After I exchanged back with him last night he told me that he now has a strengthened testimony of fasting and prayer after experiencing what he did with Brother “H”.  He saw the importance of faith in our work and what can happen when we have it.  It was awesome!

I have to admit, because of previous experiences of proselyting on holidays, I was not looking forward to doing so this week.  However, we read what you had to say in your president’s notes and I decided I needed to repent and have faith from what the General Authorities have said in the white handbook.  We were on exchanges with the Zone Leaders and I was in Wharton with Elder Sharp.  It started off as a slow day but things picked up so quickly.  I was able to get my OYM’s and then some so that I could start off the week with a head start and not get behind.  We were able to talk to many people and get several return appointments for the Wharton Elders.  We went and saw a man who was a potential that they had tried before and could never reach him so they decided that they didn’t want to try anymore, but we tried one last time and he was there and we taught and he now has a baptismal date for October 3rd!!!  It was fantastic.  We ended up rounding up the night with 5 lessons, our oyms, and a great attitude and a renewed testimony of putting our faith in the Lord! On the Lake Jackson end, Elder Esplin was also able to have a fantastic day with Elder Carol where they also got another baptismal date for us on the very last house that they knocked for the night.  Plus they had the miracle occur with Brother “H” yesterday. It was a fantastic Holiday!
I love y’all so much!  Keep the work in your prayers!  Tell all that I love them!

I love this work so much.

Posted in Uncategorized on August 30, 2010 by Nichole (Blake's sister)

Here is a short passage from Blake’s email this week! But we have pictures to share also!!!!!

Things have been going really well down here in Lake Jackson!  We have some great things going on!  We had Stake Conference yesterday and had to drive over an hour to get to the stake center (that’s what I get for being in the country haha), it was really good though.  I’m sending a few more images, i’ll try and get another disk to you today, so watch for that.  The baptism of C also with Nathan Whipple baptizing.  A fun country pic out in our area.  Two of my best friends on the mission that got transferred last week.  Elder Perez  Elder McGrath, he is one of the ones in my district  and we are each wearing each others ties.  I’m sad that they are gone.

I love this work so much, and love you so much!  Keep the work in your prayers!
Love Blake

The work is going really well!

Posted in Lake Jackson on August 23, 2010 by Nichole (Blake's sister)
Good news!  I’m staying in Lake Jackson…. and Elder Esplin is staying with me!  I’ve never had a companion stay with me this long before… but Elder Esplin and I are tearing it up, so  we are excited to see what the next transfer brings.
This week has actually been a fantastic week!  We had a baptism for C. this week and it was fantastic!    His baptismal date was Saturday, August 21st, 2010.  The man who baptized him is Nathan Whipple (the son of President Whipple,the stake president).  Nathan is like our best friend here, he and his wife take care of us and are amazing missionaries! He’s the Elders Quorum president and his wife is the stake Relief Society president… and they are like 33 and 29!  They are an amazing family!   I’ll miss them a lot when I leave.  They provide me with Pepsi on days that I’m not feeling well…. haha so you don’t have to worry I’m still getting my supply of medicine!!!  Along with the baptism, we had great things happen. We were able to find another person to accept a baptismal date, her name is P.  She is a member referral from a youth member in the ward.  The youth member wrote his testimony in a book of mormon and gave it to her and she has been really interested.  Her date is for September 18th.  I’m really excited to see what happens with her, it will be great.
The ward will be really excited that both Elder Esplin and I are staying together.  They were sad when they heard transfers were coming up.  We know that there is still something else that we have to do while we are together, so we’re going to do that.
Update on brother H.  His daughter, K, spoke in sacrament yesterday and for a girl who is not emotional at all, was in tears when she said that she can’t wait for her brothers and dad to follow her example and be baptized so that they can be sealed as a family….. she said it in front of the whole congregation!!! It was fantastic!!! My mouth as well as the stake president’s and Bishop’s were wide open, but we’re glad that she said it.  He is done with his training now and we have an appointment with him later this week with the Bishop.  We are going to challenge him to set a date right then and there and get him baptized…. we’re hoping that he felt something while he was sitting there.  Everyone else did… it was probably the best sacrament meeting i’ve seen on my mission.  Plus on top of that our investigator K (who has been meeting with missionaries off and on for the past 5 years but has been dropped several times for not progressing) has now come to church 2 times in a row and comes to our book of mormon study every week.  He’s actually progressing and keeping commitments which he never even came to church before in the past 5 years!!! He’s doing great!  It’s a slow process with him, but at this rate, he’ll be baptized soon as well!  The work is going really well!
The other elders in my district are getting split up  however, the one who causes the issues is staying…. but Heavenly Father and President Saylin must know that I’m the only one who can tame him a little bit so I guess that’s why I get the privilege of him staying in my district… it’ll be good, but pray for me!
Well that’s about it for now, I love you so much!  Tell everyone I love them!  Love Blake