Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Cali Missionary

Hey Family,
How is it going? I don't think things could be any better here in San Juan Capistrano. It is absolutly beautiful, and amazing. This week has been amazing, to finally feel like I got my head above water. Even better, right when I felt like I wasn't being drowned by the adjustment, the Lord has decided to drown us in the work.
The first thing that happened, was I was able to teach my first real lesson instead of just introducing myself to everyone. It was to the Duncan family, who are a part member couple. Sister Duncan is getting reactivated, and Brother Duncan was born a Catholic, and determined to die a Catholic. We were able to teach them about baptism though, and I challenged him to be baptised. It was an amazing lesson, and the spirit was definitely there. Unfortunately, Brother Duncan refused but I have a feeling we might be able to get him one of these days.
Our second investigator, is Phil Hong. He is the guy that is remodoling his house, that we are helping. We were able to teach him that he really is a child of God, and that, that isn't just a nice saying. He was pretty overwhelmed by the concept, and it was a testimony to me to never take that fact for granted again. We are so excited for him and his family, because, it is becoming more and more apparent just how much the Lord has prepared him. Interesting fact about Phil, the band Linkin Park set him up with his wife, and he wore a bolo tie to get into a stake dance as a teen.
Nancy, is a girl we inherited from the last elders, who we are teaching as well. She is 18, so we might have to pass her off to the YSA elders if we can't get her family involved. She is great though, but doesn't see why our church is so special. We keep telling her that she needs to pray and ask God if we really are special. Hopefully she'll do that.
Chaz is an 18 year old boy that was also inherited from the last elders. He is a really bright kid in drama, so most of our lessons consist of him waxing philosophical. It's a little frustrating, but he has come to church a couple time, and seems genuinly interested so we hope he can stop talking, at least long enough for us to bear our testimonies.
Jairo is another investigator we are teaching, unfortunalty he is moving soon, but he is really great. I wouldn't be surprised if he gets baptized one day.
Now on to the miracle section of the letter. First we tracted into the Liz Ellis equivalent of SJC. She told us she would be Mormon except she was Catholic. She then gave us ice cream. We also recieved a call from a random number this week during morning studies. We called him back, and it turned out to be a kid named Nico. He apparently talked to the last elders about a month ago. They gave him a pass along card with our number and told him to call if he wanted to learn more. They didn't think anything of it though. Well apparently he got a Bible not too long ago, and decided it was a sign that he should finally start thinking about religion, and called us first. He seems really interested, so we are really excited.
This week has been a whirlwind in the best possible way. The Tanakas continue to do well, although I don't think brother Tanaka will make it much longer. It has been amazing to see just how much the ward is reaching out to them, and to be in the middle of it as well.
The Church is true, Jesus is the Christ. He is the one who is directing this work, I have no doubt about that. I love being a missionary. Love all of you.
Love Elder Blake
Also tell President Smith thanks for the letter, it was great. And tell him thank you for all of the missionaries that I have been able to learn from. I'm finally begining to realize what a blessing they were.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Bevan's First Letter from the Mission Field

Hey family,
First things first, Mom I apoligize to you for not being able to e-mail last week. I really am sorry. Well now that that is out of the way, I can tell you all about the longest week of my life. I am currently serving in the San Juan Capistrano 2nd Ward, which means I am right next to Dana Point. My companion is Elder Hopkins, from Logan, Utah. We got whitewashed in together, and he has only been out for six months, so we have had fun learning together. He is really great, though, and keeps us working hard. We also live with the Zone Leaders, which has been a wonderful blessing. They are awesome and hilarious so its fun to hang out with them. One of them was even in Melissa Whitley's FHE group at BYUI. That was pretty funny.

The weather has been pretty much perfect, although it does get a little chilly at night. It really is perfect though; no one here has air conditioning and we just leave our windows open all day. Also to ease mom's soul, I'm pretty sure I am in one of the safest places ever, because everybody just leaves their doors wide open all the time. It makes tracting interesting.

The ward is absolutely wonderful; we've had some absolutely amazing dinners so far. On Sunday we actually had lamb; it was pretty surreal. We also taught our message outside on their deck, around their fire pit, and overlooking a pretty amazing valley. The area is great, and I am having a blast living the life in OC.
Congrats about the Mavs. It's a little dissapointing I wasn't there to see it, but oh well. Also I am a little jealous of Malan and Hansen being able to go on that trip. It looked like it was tons of fun, and absolutely amazing. I'm glad the family has been able to have so much fun.
We were able to inherit a couple of investigators. Chaz, is a senior who is pretty good friends with one of the girls in the ward. He is in the middle of taking the lessons, and comes to church pretty regularly. We also have a couple others, but we haven't been able to contact them, so I don't really know their story. The cool story for the week though, is we went to go see Jairo, one of the investigators that we haven't been able to contact yet. He wasn't home, but his next door neighbor waved his arms up in the air whenever he saw us. We were grateful to finally see someone who didn't want to argue. Turns out that he had grown up with a ton of mormon friends and his daughter's pre school group was of all members. So he was very nice and friendly. Turns out that he is completely remodeling his house, and is living with his folks in the meantime. We offered to help with anything. He had us tear down a wall. I'm not even joking. We tore down a wall for this guy. Before we could ask him if he wanted to learn more about the gospel, he pretty much volunteered to take the lessons. So we are really excited about that.
Here is the car report for this week.
2 Bentleys
1 Aston Martin
Countless Porsches
Also we found a house with a statue of a dinosaur in front of it. Turns out the family also installed a flame thrower in its mouth and has it shoot out flames every now and then.
Love you all, and thanks for all the support.

Love, Bevan

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Another MTC E-Mail

Bevan's second MTC letter, received earlier today.

Texas Hello

Hey Family,
The MTC is going well, all I heard about it getting better after sunday, turned out to be true. This past week has ben just a blur. I think we've been doing the new teaching program which is good, it focuses a lot on teaching skills which has been good. I did get yalls cinnamon rolls me and my district enjoyed them a lot. I leave one week from today, so Im not sure how the email thing will work next week. Im sure my mission president will let you know that I got there safely though. I dont think I get to call, sorry. But its only like 6 more months to Christmas. Im going with 20 other elders going to Carlsbad, so Im sure it will be a cool experience. Congrats to Deborah on having Viola, I'll work hard the next two years to learn how to pronounce it correctly. In all of the excitment last week I forgot to tell yall the exciting news. In my district there is a companionship with an elder from Australia, and another from Georgia. Its hard to tell which one has a thicker accent. Well the church is true, and I can't wait to teach it to real people and not just actors. Love yall.
Elder Blake

Bevan's First Letter from the MTC

We received Bevan's first e-mail from the MTC on Tuesday, May 31. He sounds great.

A Memorial Day Hello

I have no cool Indonesian phrase, sorry. The MTC is going well, although it is full of long days. I know that Deborah was bummed that I didn't get called to Tonga, but that Elder Moala that was my escort and the other tongan missionary were here in provo to learn english. They had made progress but were no where near fluent and spent most of the time just speaking tongan to each other. So I got to feel a little like grandpa, if only for a couple of minutes. My companion is not Elder Knaval, the guy we met in the temple, but Elder Soderberg, from Kaysville utah. He is still trying to fathom that I went to seminary for four years at 6 A.M. He is a really cool guy, and really great misionary, he keeps me on track and working hard so I am thankful. The basketball for this week is pretty short, not to be prideful but Im easily the best player in my district, and second in my zone, behind the 6' 8" kid from some small farm town in Idaho. He is huge and looks like he could eat me. The food is not nearly as bad as everyone says it would be, and the cookies are good. Glad to hear that everyone is doing well, back at home. I guess i can tell yall a funny story, although most of the funny stuff at the mtc is funny only because everyone is so tired. But at the fireside on sunday night they asked who had been at the mtc for longer than 10 weeks. About 20 missionaries stood up. They asked where everyone was going, some said cambodia, some Hungary, and some Korea, then they asked a tongan missionary and he yelled in a thick islander accent, that he was going to Nashville Tennessee. Well maybe you had to be there, but I promise it was very funny in person. Well I love you all, And Im working hard don't worry. I know that this church is true, and that the gospel really does bring peace and comfort to everyone. Im excited to tell this wonderful message to the people of carlsbad.
Love, Elder Blake

Entering the MTC

We checked Bevan into the MTC on May 25.  He was pretty excited to finally start his mission.

The Call

I opened my mission call last January, so I have known that I would be going to the California Carlsbad Mission for quite awhile.  It was pretty exciting for some of my friends who were there, who are from Carlsbad.  They have promised to visit me once in a while.

As soon as my call came, I took a little road trip down to Southern California to check out the mission and talk to some of the missionaries.  I think I'll have a great time.  If the time would only go a little bit faster for the start of my mission.