Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Feb. 21, 2012

Dear Family,

I knew this week was going to be a down week, after viewing six blog posts of napkins. Well I am glad that formal February continues to go strong, that the Lexus got fixed from an accident I had no idea about, and that the Weidmans got a mission call. Does that mean Cory finally moved out? Because if so I am getting way to old.

I have not retrieved the goodie bags yet, but I plan on getting them tonight. It should be exciting. The other big news here in Temecula other than little girls wandering around the streets eating out of garbage cans, is that I am staying another six weeks to finish training elder Wright. It will be a little different because I have been assigned to be the new district leader. Needless to say, I need all the creativity this family can muster for the next six weeks, to come up with fun trainings for our district meetings. I really don't know why the Lord keeps calling me to positions of responsibility but i have faith that this is the Lords work, and that he will continue to keep rolling throughout the entire world even with inept district leaders.

Well missionary wise, Anna was able to get baptized this past Saturday. It was a good service and cool to see her finally take that step. Again thanks to Simon for making BYU tv the quality television that America deserves these days. The coolest thing about the baptism was that Nico the recent convert who was baptized my first week here in Temecula was able to do the baptism. It only took him four tries. Classic.

The bad news is that i feel i am now in the midst of the 1918 influenza epidemic. Seeing as how three of our recent converts just had close family members die. It is good though that the plan of salvation is real.

Well bye family, I love y'all and this gospel a lot. Hope that there are more napkins on the way this week.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Feb. 14, 2012

Dear Family,

Well, It is good to hear that everyone else has been getting cold weather, because it has gotten pretty cold here as well. It hasn't even gotten up to the 70's this last week at all. I am thankful for nice sweaters though which protect me from the 50 degree weather. That is crazy about Simon getting his appendix out, it is good to hear that he survived and is now living a life happily appendix free. Yes, I did get to eat dinner at the Olsens this past week, which was good. I think she might have been exaggerating just a little bit on my food consumption though. It was a fun exchange though, and my stay here in Temecula continues to be just a little bit surreal. For instance this past Sunday we went to priest quorum, because Bubba got the Aaronic priesthood. And none other than Brother Jared Brown was giving the lesson. It felt like being a teacher all over again.

Missionary work continues to be amazing. Like I said Bubba got the priesthood, and is now anxiously awaiting until he can go to the temple. He continues to be great, albeit all the trials that he is going through. His parents found out that he got baptized, and pretty much disowned him. It was a tough thing for him, and for us as missionaries too. But it was also amazing to see his faith strengthen from the experience. We went over and talked to him about it, and he just kept saying that he knew he had made the right decision, and that he was going to continue to be loyal to it. He also asked us for a Book of Mormon so that he could give to a girl. Apparently she had asked him how he could be so sure about everything, and he told her that she just had to read the Book of Mormon and that it would change her life. He is a stud.

We also have another baptism this weekend for Anna. She finally said that she wasn't going to wait for a sign anymore but just move forward in faith. Another really cool story and a shout out to Simon, she says that one of her favorite things out all this has been the discovery of BYUTV. So thanks Simon this is really your baptism, sans appendix and everything. Other than that the big news is that we were able to get a family of four to church this past Sunday. Now the next step will be for them to slow down their SoCal life enough for us to teach them. Oh well, all in the Lords timing.

Well, everything here in California is going well. Transfers are going to be next week, so we will find out whether the dream in Temecula will finally be over or whether I will have another six weeks of heaven. Thanks for everything. I know that this gospel is true, and that more than anything it is the way to find peace in this life and eternal joy in the life to come.


PS There is a family in the ward going to Dallas this next weekend. And they want to bring something back to me from y'all. So I am going to give them our address and y'alls number to work it out. Thanks.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Feb. 7, 2012

Hello Family,

I thought mission life was pretty hectic, but apparently its even crazier at home. I am not sure if I was able to digest everything that happened this past week, but it all sounds very crazy, and sad. Tell Erica, hi from me, and that I am sorry. I hope everything goes well. Isn't it nice to have a testimony of the plan of salvation. Well anyways, i hope that formal February has caught on, and I am honored to participate. Although I am a little disappointed y'all have only caught on now to the thrill of formal.

Well the mission field continues to go well. Bubba did get baptized this Saturday, it was one of the best baptisms that we were able to participate in yet, no thanks to the talk on the Holy Ghost. He continues to be happy with it, and filled with the spirit. The other exciting news is that Anna, has committed to be baptized on the 18th. That is very exciting. And should be a great baptism as well. It has been so cool to see that entire family grow. This past week, we were able to have dinner with them, and than have family scripture study with them afterward. It was so fun, to see all of them have experiences with the scriptures that they never have before. I hope and pray that that will continue, along with their testimonies.

Other than that, we continue to try to work with people, especially all of the recent converts. We are going to try our best to do everything we can to help remain in this gospel, and then just leave the rest up to hour heavenly father.

I love this gospel, and love being a missionary. Especially one with a greenie who is willing to work hard. This week should be our first normal p-day together. It has been a great experience. Thanks for all of your support, and hope that formal February catches fire.

Elder Blake

PS who ever is working on the pea wreath, i would suggest giving up.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Jan. 31, 2012

Dear Family,

Well, i am not quite sure what exactly happened at home over the past couple weeks. It seems that life must have gotten both more serene and routine while simultaneously more hectic and crazy. I think that was the most amount of blog posts that has been posted for a long while. Good to see that life has slowed down enough to post all of the craziness on line. It also seems to be even more crazier than ever, with new cars, Chinese new year celebrations (complete with lanterns) and sedated children. Time has just become one blur if you ask me. Well i am glad to hear that everyone was okay in the accident, and that i am no longer the owner of the biggest dent, bump, or scratch for the civic. Way to go malan, and feel free to surpass my achievements in any other similar areas. I am also aghast that bow ties are being worn to church, and v-necks are being worn in public. California seems to have been invading our house. I guess it was bound to happen sometime sooner or latter.

So in order to placate the masses back home. My birthday went quite well. On my actual birthday i had three cakes, and then had brisquit on Sunday with the browns. It turned out really good, and was a fitting end to an excellent birthday weekend. The only thing that could have made it any better, would have been some blue bell ice cream. But i guess there has to be some sort of sacrifice.

This past week has also been a good one in terms of missionary work. First off, we are busily preparing for Bubba's baptism this Saturday. Due to the fact that i can't remember anything in the past, past a couple of days, I cant remember how much i have told y'all about Bubba. So I will go ahead and give y'all a background on Bubba. Bubba is a stud, he is 18 years of age, and he has just moved in with some members of the ward, because his stepfather is abusive. We started teaching him about a month and a half ago, and he has been golden ever since. He has accepted everything with no hesitation, and has now put serving a mission on his bucket list. He also really likes to dance, and plans to be on so you think you can dance at some point in the future. I believe if you look up "How to ask a girl to prom" on you tube his video comes up as one of the top videos. He is yellow, if you want to check it out. The coolest part of his story though, is his greatest motivation behind getting baptized. Which is the fact that he wants more than anything to be baptized for his real dad, who died when he was three. It is a long story behind that, but suffice it to say that Bubba up to this point has lived with feeling that his real dad was the only person that really loved him. So this is a great way for him, to reciprocate that love. It is a cool story all the way around, and to quote cheesy lyrics of songs played all to often on the radio and stake dances, the rest is still unwritten. Which is probably even more exciting.

The other exciting news this week is that we had one of our investigators Shane, commit to be baptized. He is 19, so we had to pass him off to the singles ward, but we all play for the same team. Right? And he has five others in his family, that we are hoping will start coming to the family ward. He is really cool, and some guy we just met on the street also about a month and a half ago. The coolest thing with him, is not his dancing prowess but rather the change that has been evident not only in him, but in his home this past month. Just another testament, on the power and efficacy of the atonement and the reality of repentance.

The other exiting news is actually not that exciting, but more sensational. Bryce Grabaus sister passed out in the middle of sacrament meeting this past Sunday. Needless to say it created no small stir. Don't worry she is okay. But still it was a good reminder to always be on your toes.

Well I hope this letter was of appropriate length. And that everyone continues to do so well back home. I love this gospel, and continue to find the up most joy, in helping others come unto Christ. Thanks for all of the support.

Love Bevan

PS Tell Johnny I got his letter.

Jan. 24, 2012

Hello family,

It is good to see, that everyone had a fun time in Atlanta this last week, and that everyone looks so good. Congratulations to James, and to Hannah and Chris.

Well this week was a really good one. Especially with teaching Bubba. He is so cool. We have been able to see a change in his countenance and the Gospel light enter into his life. We just met with him again yesterday, and he is doing good. He feels like he is going to war with Satan everyday now but he know that if he can make it a couple more weeks til his baptism, that the Holy Ghost will help him so much more. I have never seen anyone more happy and excited about the Holy Ghost.

We have another investigator named Shane, that is doing well too. He is a cool kid. And excited to learn more about God, and his relationship with him. It is cool, to see his reaction when we teach him truths that he never knew before. It helps to remind me to never take the gospel for granted.

We continue to teach Anna, and she is making good progress, because she has started to read the Book of Mormon again. Another testimony of the great power of that book. I love it.

This past Sunday was Stake Conference. We had a broadcast from salt Lake, and Elder Perry spoke. He spoke all about missionary work, so we loved it. It was really good, and helped bring into perspective the marvelous work and a wonder the Restoration really is.

Also in yet another story of weird connections. This past week we went down to the mission office for a training for new trainers. When Lo and Behold we run into an Elder Olsen. He asked me if i was indeed Elder Bevan Blake, I told him i indeed was. And then he asked if i was related to a Bevan Blake, who was a bishop in New Jersey. I told him he was my Grandpa. Turns out he was one of his councilors with him. Crazy. And as if that weren't enough, he was at Deborah's Wedding reception because he knows the Ryggs. Well Anyways he says hi to grandma.

Thanks for all that you do. I love you all, and i love this gospel.

Elder Blake

Jan. 17, 2012

Dear Family,

This week has been a good one, albeit a very long one. It has been fun to introduce a new missionary to the work, and hope that I will simply allow the Lord to really teach him what it means to be a missionary. My new comp is Elder Wright, from Draper Utah. He doesn't know the Kershinicks though. Bummer i know. But he is a good elder, and I am excited to work with him. I am kind of jealous of him to be completely honest. We have been kept busy with teaching appointments, and a baptism his very first weekend. I just hope he isn't too discouraged when we don't baptize someone this weekend. Also we got to go to the San Diego temple his very first p-day. So all in all, he has had a pretty good first week.

The baptism was for Bryce. It was really good, and the very first time i was able to find, teach and baptize an investigator so it was pretty special for me. Other than that, we are still working with Bubba, who is perhaps the coolest kid ever. He is already talking about going to the temple, asking us about how to stay connected to the church whenever he moves and dreaming about going on his own mission. I love him, and am currently wondering where all of the other people like him are in the world, and how we can teach them.

We have also been continuing to work with Anna, and will meeting with her tonight, and will try to set a date with her. Needless to say we are excited for the work, and pray that everything will continue to roll along. I am sure with the faith and enthusiasm of my new companion and the Lord that everything will work out okay. Thanks for all of the support, and prayers. I really do appreciate them. Love you all.

Elder Blake

Jan. 10, 2012

Dear Family,

First thank you for all of the birthday wishes. I really can't believe it either that I will soon leave the ranks of teenagerdom. A wonderful anniversary indeed. It is good to hear that your lives have started to fall back into place and that some work is actually being done. I was worried that everyone at home had gotten soft. I will have to see if i can schedule a trip to the browns this week, so that the festivities can be done right on Friday. Thanks for everything and I hope that the stars continue to perform better than they have a right to.

Well this past week has been a very interesting one. First things continue to go well with Bryce. He is now scheduled to be baptized on the 14th. A wonderful late birthday present if you ask me. This will be my first baptism where I found, and taught, and baptized the investigator. I am pretty excited. As is Bryce, he continues to just love church and has become a great example to his family it sounds like. We taught him the ten commandments this past week, and at church he reported that they were working on memorizing them as a family and trying to live them. He is a special kid, one with lots of potential. The other good news is that Bubba, is doing amazing. He came to church for the first time last week and loved it. We also taught him the restoration the other day, and had just an amazing lesson. By the end of it, he was bearing his testimony of Joseph Smith, and the peace that he is finding in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was a very good moment for us as missionaries. He made the insightful comment that he now understands that he doesn't have to go on his journey alone and how he now understands just what the atonement can mean for him. We are excited for him and it looks like he will be getting baptized at the end of this month.

Now on the not so good news. Bro Lum one of our investigators has ran into a lot of anti literature, which has been putting a lot of strain on his marriage. It has been a tough week, one with a lot of prayers and fasting. I am sure that all of y'alls prayers would be much appreciated, they're a good family and will need a lot of support coming up. Also another one of our investigators Anna, has been struggling to find her answer and will need all the prayers she can get.

We now move on to the exciting and nerve racking news. Elder Snow is getting transferred today, and getting replaced with a brand new missionary. I have been called to be a trainer. Needless to say i am pretty nervous. And yet at the same time, I don't think i have felt so strongly that this work is true, and a commitment to work hard at it. I am not sure what is going to happen, but i feel confident that the Lord is at the head of this work, and will lead us both along. Thanks for all the support. I love you and I love this gospel and hope that I will be a stronger more dedicated servant of the Lord in the coming weeks and months.

Elder Blake