This week has definitely been one of the longest in my life. Dad you were right, Temecula is about the exact opposite of San Juan. My ward boundaries got about cut in half. The average age of my ward dropped a good thirty-five years. I went from meeting in one of the oldest buildings in southern California, to meeting in a brand new building. I also do not get to enjoy any ocean views. Basically it is out with the old (San Juan that has been around since 1776) and in with the new (Temecula which I think has only really become something in the past twenty years). It is fun though, especially with the Browns being in the ward. Thanksgiving dinner at their house has already been planned, with a visit from the older Browns. Let this be an example to you dad. Brother Brown is such a dedicated home teacher that he doesn't even let my mission get in the way of visiting me. I feel very watched over.
My new companion is Elder Snow, he is from Idaho Falls. This is his first area, he is only six weeks behind me, so it is fun to serve with someone who still has all of his youthful exuberance. The exciting news is that we have a baptism tonight. My first, although I didn't really do anything. We just knocked on this families door, and he said he wanted to be baptized on Tuesday. We told him okay. He had already been taught everything. His name is Nico, and he is an Indian. I feel like I have never before fulfilled prophesy as fully than, I will tonight. It has been a pleasure to get to know him over this past week. His wife is a convert of a couple of years, and now he is going to follow her. They also have a couple of unbaptized kids that we are hopefully going to start teaching soon as well. The work is really happening here in Temecula, and hopefully over the next couple of months we will be able to capitalize on all of the potential here.
It is exciting to hear about everyone at home, although I still feel perplexed about Hansen's Ipad. The real excitment lies in the success of all the Dallas sports teams. I mean how exiting is it to know that the Stars are 6-1. Oh and I suppose the rangers are doing pretty well too. Mom good luck with everything, especially with your foot. I will be praying. I also do not think that I have grown on my mission. I have just been blessed to serve with short companions. I guess President Cook found out about my height complex, or something.
It has been a crazy week with all of the changes. New companion, new ward, new investigators, new apartment, new routine, new Bishop and Ward mission leader, new district, and zone. But I have been impressed that the one thing that hasn't changed is the discipleship to Jesus Christ. I am continuing to declare the glad tidings of this Gospel to the broken hearted, and penitent. And so while it has been overwhelming at times, it is still worth everything. I love this church and this gospel. I love you all.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
It was so good to see him!
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
I am glad to hear that everyone is doing well, and by everyone I do mean rangers. The recent sport success around the metroplex is a real testimony builder that sacrifice really does bring forth the blessings of heaven. I hope you get feeling better mom, i will be praying for you. And I really cannot believe that the nativity is starting, I hope that I will be able to participate in one myself here in California.
This week was an excellent one. We were able to meet with Teresa last night, and were able to set a baptismal date with her for November 19th. It was so exciting, and great to see. She still has some word of wisdom issues to resolve so she will need all the prayers she can get. This ward really needs a baptism, and hopefully it will make the ward really excited about sharing the gospel. The only bad part about this whole experience is that I am getting transferred. I do not know where I will be going, I will find out this afternoon at transfer meeting. But by tonight I will be somewhere else than beautiful San Juan. Oh well, it feels good to know that I was able to set at least on baptismal date before I left.
The other exciting news per the missionary work in this area, is that we were able to pick up a new investigator. His name is Herbert Brown, and he is actually our neighbor, he just lives a couple houses down from us. He has had a rough time the past couple of years, as a lot of people have, and has decided that he needs to have a strong faith that he needs to fall back on. He has a pretty solid christian background, but said that he needs to move from the intellectual side to the spiritual side. Or become a christian and not just know christian theology. He is really cool, and seems pretty interested, unfortunately i wont be here to see how things work out. Phil continues to work on his house, and we continue to help him, it was hard to say good bye to him, but he says he is coming up to byu whenever i go back to go to a football game.
This week I have been thinking a lot about our lesson with Herbert. I realized that our charge with him, is the same that president Eyring received from President Hinckley. We need to get the gospel of Jesus Christ into the people's hearts. I have thought a lot about my own life and experiences that have helped get the gospel into my own heart. I realized that it is a slow, and somewhat daunting thing, but because of that it is an act of faith to help someone gain their own testimony of this church and gospel. It may seem hard, tedious, and at times fruitless, but above all it is the most important work we will ever be apart in. This is the work of the salvation of souls. Of course it is not easy, it is a real battle that we are fighting. It was not easy for any of the missionaries before and certainly not easy today but it is the Savior that makes it all possible. But it is true, and it is worth every effort, and trial. I love this gospel, I love the atonement that makes it all possible, and every principle and ordinance that is a part of it. What a privilege to be a part of it, however small. Hope everyone is having a great week. Love you all, and go rangers.
Love, Elder Blake
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Glad to hear that everyone is doing well in Northern Texas. Especially those Rangers. Hope they can keep it up, I can't believe it’s already the playoffs. I will keep praying for you mom, and I hope that everything works out. They always do, sooner or later.
Well, to finish off the priesthood session quiz, Bishop McMullin spoke about our duty as priesthood holders and spreading the priesthood power. I think that makes me current, and I will now be expecting a Braums ice cream shake when I get home.
This past Sunday was a water shed moment in the Capo 2nd ward, I believe. We had four non-members at church, and a full gospel essentials class. Pretty impressive for a ward that has struggled mightily to get investigators to church and considering the fact that we usually have to disband the gospel essentials class due to lack of attendance. The most exciting attendee was a lady by the name of Theresa. She is from South Africa, and is a dance instructor. She had been going to a different ward for quite a while but finally made it to our ward where she belongs. We had a great discussion with her, and should be meeting with her again this Thursday. We are really excited about her, and to see her grow in the gospel. The other people who came, were all friends of members. It was great to see so many people there who weren't there because of our efforts.
I am aware that the elders who replaced the sisters live on Aunt Winnie’s street. And since we car share with them that means i pass by her place every week. I am guessing that the donkeys are doing well, due to the elders saying she has a donkey bumper sticker. We also met some guys on the street who is a member of a local band. They said that they knew about the Donkeys and liked their sound. Pretty cool. Well, that is pretty much it, not much else exciting has been going on here in San Juan. Hope everyone is doing well in Texas. I am doing well here. I continue to love this gospel and the opportunity to teach others about it. It does change lives for the better.
Mom the only thing i can think of is more conference talks to be honest. I might be addicted.