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

Jan. 3, 2012

Dear Family,

First things first, since when did Hansen start wearing V-necks. Y'all have become more California than I have. Well, anyways now onto the less important matters. It sounds like this week was one to remember, i am surprised everyone survived. I am glad that BYU won, and the mavericks, and that you got to hug a six foot Elmo. It sounded like the real highlight of the trip. I did hear that the BYU game was a thriller, and in fact got invited to watch it with a couple of members that we had to stop by that morning. They said surely if missionaries were allowed to go to the game, surely we would be allowed to watch. Unfortunately our mission president is not as cool as president Durant, and didn't give us permission. Something about salvation of souls taking priority over football, or something along those lines was his reasoning. Oh well. I can't believe its already 2012 and that it has only been about a week from Christmas, somehow it seems like a lifetime. But now that the holidays are over, things should start going faster again.

Part of the reason for how long this week was though was the fact that it was so good. The main highlight was that we picked up some new people to teach. One was a family of six, a single mom trying to raise five kids. She said that she only realized a couple of months ago that in order to do it, she would need to learn how to forgive and allow God into her life. She said she was interested in our church and even asked what we do for people who want to start investigating it. We were all to happy to tell her. Her name is Tammy, and she is about as gracious as could be, meaning she actually invites us in. We are pretty excited and are going over tomorrow to teach them again and they should be going to church with us this Sunday.

We also started teaching a kid named Bubba. He is a senior in high school and has moved in with some members in the ward. He comes from a very hard background. His dad died when he was little and so he was raised by a very abusive step father. Finally just a couple of months ago he decided he had had enough and just ran away. His member friend found out about it and took him in. He has been going to seminary for the past couple of weeks, and young men. Well anyways the highlight of it all was this week we were able to teach him about the plan of salvation. Before we got half way into it he started asking questions about his dad, where he was and was there hope for him. We were able to teach him about the spirit world and about baptisms for the dead. Before we had finished the lesson he had probably asked three or four times whether we would help him go and get baptized for his father. He expressed how he had always been worried about him, and how he knew his real father was one of the only people that had actually loved him. Well needless to say he is pretty amped about the gospel, and has committed to getting baptized. We should set a date for him in the coming week. It was one of those moments where i became very thankful to come out on a mission to have experiences like this.

After that everything kind of pales in comparison. Especially our new years. We came in at 6:30 and were in bed at 10. We were able to make it fun though. Transfers are a week from today, and all indications are that i will probably stay in Temecula but get a new companion. So we will see how things go but I am optimistic that things will continue to go forward here in Temecula. Thanks again for everything. It is exciting to know that 2012 will be spent in the service of our Lord. Love you all.

Elder Blake

PS. I cant think of anything for my birthday except that calender and yeah that's all I got. Good luck shopping with that direction.

Dec. 27, 2011

Dear Family,

It was so good to see everyone last week. Everyone looked like they had almost recovered from Christmas morning, and church. Which was surprising. That is exciting to know that y'all will be eating with Elmo today, something that has been on my bucket list for a long time, and going to BYU and mavericks games. I'm sorry I will be missing all of it.

Well there isn't too much for me to report to y'all since Christmas. But there are a couple of highlights. First after we talked we went to two Christmas dinners. One with Bryce's family, and then one also with the Hombs and family in the ward. I wouldn't suggest it, I fulfilled my calories for the rest of the year, into new years. But it was lots of fun, and it felt like home which was nice. Also on Christmas eve night, we got a bunch of presents dropped off to us, from all of the missionary moms in the ward. It was really fun, and i don't think we will have to go grocery shopping for a good two weeks. The other exciting news is that we had a lesson with brother Lum last night which was awesome. He had done all of his reading, and more. We were able to tentatively set a date for baptism and will be going by next week to talk more about it. Prayers would be appreciated. Oh also we received the best present we could have ever hoped for by a lady in the ward. Foot massage things. Studies have never been more enjoyable.

Well thank you so much for everything, it was an amazing Christmas. Hope that everyone has a wonderful new year. Love you all, and talk to you in five months. Love Bevan

Dec. 20. 2011

Dear Family,

I am glad that everyone is doing well, and that the Ryggs made it back to Dallas safely, and still have a place there. Mom i haven't gotten my box yet, but that is because the mission office holds all of the Christmas packages until Christmas eve, when we have a mission wide gathering. So i am sure I will get it then. I guess they have learned by experience that no matter how much of a refiners fire the mission may be, it still doesn't have the power to instill in nineteen year old boys the patience to wait until Christmas to open the presents. So is everyone ready for the pandemonium and crowds of Christmas?

Well as you have heard i will be skyping on Christmas, i am glad the Tenneys were able to get a hold of y'all. I will be calling about two my time so about four y'alls time, so be ready. The Tenneys are awesome, they just sent off their son on a mission and have a daughter out as well. They say they are adopting us as their children this holiday season.

Well as you can see this week was highlighted by an award winning performance at the ward Christmas party. We are now forever legends in the ward, and have sufficiently embarrassed ourselves. It was a lot of fun though and definitely was a highlight of the mission.

Other than that this week has been a great one. We were able to pick up a new investigator named Shane. He is nineteen years old, and is willing to believe everything that we teach him. The only trick will be to get him to act accordingly, you know those nineteen year old boys, so hard to deal with.

Everything with all of the other investigators is going well too. We are teaching Anna, which continues to be fun. She says that she loves the doctrine, and that it is great to finally hear that God is actually fair, she just isn't quite willing to make the commitment yet. But we continue to have great lessons, and I'm confident that as she continues to feel the spirit one day it will finally click. It has been amazing to see the change that has already taken place. Bryce, the ten year old kid, continues to be as excited as ever. He showed up on church this Sunday in his suit, and told us that dressing us in his suit has become one of his favorite things. He also declared Wednesday to be his favorite day, that is the day we do our lessons with him. We are also teaching Bro. Lum, who is making some good progress. When we first started teaching him, he seemed to always have his guard up and never opened up, but now he is opening up and we can tell he is finally starting to ponder and study about the gospel. Hopefully he keeps it up, and chooses to commit to it, that would mean everything to his family. Please pray for him. That is pretty much it investigator wise. We also have a couple more prospects that we will hopefully start teaching soon.

Well in terms of stories, I simply cannot top eating cobra. But I will be eating Christmas eve dinner with the browns so there is that. Truly stateside missions are a blessing. I know that this gospel is true, and that obedience to it is what is going to bring peace in this world and eternal life in the world to come. Blessings that surpass everything else that i know about. It is a great privilege of mine, the opportunity to devote all that i am to declare this gospel and pray that there will be soft hearts to receive it. This Christmas season I am thankful for the Savior, for his ultimate love and condescension, in coming to earth to bring us true hope. I glory that i with the angels of old get to declare glad tidings of great joy, of peace on earth and good will to men. I am grateful for those many that have already received this message like the shepherds of old. And i pray that many more will be able to receive this remarkable message. Thank you all for the many prayers of support, and love. This gospel is true. God does live, and Jesus Christ is our savior. Joseph Smith is his prophet, and the Book of Mormon is true. Love you all, and I can't wait to talk to you on Sunday.

Love Bevan.

PS, I know that inquires of what I want for my birthday will soon be coming. So i will try to fill those early. I need new shoe laces.

Dec. 13, 2011

Dear Family,

I am glad to hear that everyone is doing well, and that stake conference is over. For mom, i have seen Amy Browns parents a couple of times, and the next time i see them i will be sure to extend a personal hello from y'all. That is cool that you invited all the missionaries in the zone over for breakfast. We actually did the exact same thing over here. The stake president tries to do it every transfer, so it has become quite the tradition over here. What does our zone consist of, and where do the different missionaries serve. Just curious to see how things are going over there. I will see when i can send more pictures home. I am still not sure about Christmas yet, but my educated guess will be that we will be calling about two or three here, so five or six there. I will try to have more details next week, and then have the person that we will be calling from contact you to give you the specifics and what you should watch out for and such.

Tell Brother Anderson congratulations by the way, and that i am still disappointed that I didn't get to take seminary from him. Oh well, all things happen for a reason. Also fill me in on who the next councilor in the bishopric is.

Things here in Temecula continue to roll along. We were able to get Denise confirmed on Sunday. It almost killed her to get up in front of the whole ward but she was able to do it like a champ. We have also started teaching a couple of new people. The first is Anna, she is a friend of Nico and Naomi and has started coming to church with them. She is extremely smart, and loves to ask questions that are intended to trip you up. I really like it, it is like the dinner table with Malan all over again. Don't worry there is an element of the spirit in the teaching and is not all contention based. It really does go well, and she is reading the Book of Mormon. It feels sincere. We have also started teaching a lady named Alisha lee. She is the daughter of a member in the ward. She went less active but is now returning. Her husband is not a member is currently deployed in Afghanistan. She wants to have him take the lessons when he gets back though and so we are giving her a run through before we do that. Just as a side note, she has a little brother named Robert E. Lee. Take that how you will. Everyone else here continues to go well. Bryce is just as excited as ever. And the ward seems to be getting behind the work as well.

So just for humor sakes, i guess it is time to fill you in on some of the funny events that have happened here. So this past Sunday was a missionary farewell, for a kid in the ward, and for some reason, the entire stake presidency decided to show up to sacrament meeting. During the midst of this guys talk he tells a story from N. Eldon Tanner, and prefaces it by saying "I would like to tell a story by some guy names N. Eldon Tanner, I guess he was in the first presidency like a really long time ago or something." I have never seen a stake presidency laugh so hard. Well I love you all, and i know this gospel is true, it is such a privilege to be playing a small part in this great work. I grow more and more grateful for the gospel in my life everyday and for the people who played such a big role in teaching it to me. Love you and good luck with all the holiday craziness.

Love Elder Blake

Dec. 6, 2011

Dear Family,

I am glad to hear that the nativity went well. And that you got to see the NBA Championship trophy. That is cool that Mr. Parks came, you will have to tell him hi from me Hansen. It sounds like it will be another typical crazy Blake Christmas. I did get the package, don't worry mom. And our tree is proudly taped up on our window and is even decorated. It definitely adds to the Christmas spirit. Thanks for all of the candy as well.

Well here in Temecula we are getting some pretty chilly weather too. Occasionally in the 40's at night. It is really tough serving in southern California. We had a great day two days ago with being able to watch the Christmas devotional. It is always great to hear the prophet, and have an hour to sit down. I felt like I was in priesthood session, having to keep my companion awake.

This week has been pretty slow missionary wise. Not really that no one wants to listen to us, but rather everyone who wants to listen to us, seems to have the flu of pneumonia. Luckily both my companion and I are healthy and don't so much have the sniffles. We were able to start teaching someone who wants to get baptized. He is a ten year old kid whose name is Bryce Grabau. He is the son of a less active lady. His older sister who was baptized but then went inactive, just moved back from college and reactivated herself. She has been bringing Bryce to church with her, and we get the privilege of teaching him. I am excited because if it all works out the way it is supposed to, he will be first person i get to find, teach, and baptize. I will finally go the whole nine yard with an investigator. It is really exciting. Other than that things just keep rolling along here in Temecula. Oh I did get a new roommate. His name is Elder Blakely. We are hoping that we eventually get to be companions, just for the word play.

I love this gospel, and have gained a much deeper understanding of it out here on my mission. I also have gained a stronger testimony of the priesthood. Of its authority, of its function, of its role in the eternities, and of its power. I am truly humbled to realize that i get to be a priesthood holder, and hope that i will always be worthy of it. I love you all, and thanks for the box again. Hope that everyone has a great week, and that you don't freeze.

Elder Blake

Nov. 29, 2011

Dear Family,

Thanks for the letter, another thing to add to the lengthy list of things i am thankful for is e-mail and a loving family that spares no effort in filling up my in box. Congratulations to Malan for getting into BYU, and for Hansen for being on the Scouting committee. Way to keep up the family legacy. Well my thanksgiving was wonderful, as i am sure it was reported to you from the browns. And it was great to see Zach again. He did look really good, and if Jared would ever give him a day off, we just might be able to get him to come out with us.

Just a couple of bulletins. First, and this one is for mom, Temecula was recently rated as the second safest city in the us with a population over 100,000. I believe the same thing could be said of Malang too, so don't worry too much.

Second, and this one is for Malan, I recently read a talk by Elder Maxwell where he used the word Swagger. It was a testimony builder to me that the apostles really are prophets for him to be using swagger twenty years before the curve.

Third, and this one is for dad, In yet another weird connection there is a family in the ward that just moved in. We went over to have dinner with them and proceeded to find out that the dad served his mission with none other than Brother Harris. Turns out Brother Harris was way too smart for his own good even when he was on his mission. He told us this story about how Brother Harris kidnapped a teddy bear from one of the elders who was living with him and proceeded to hold it for ransom. Randomly mailing him pictures of said Teddy Bear in precarious situations. Whether drowning in members pools, or getting held up. I now understand the raising of the bar more fully.

The other exciting news was that Denise was finally able to be baptized this Sunday. It was a great service, and we had a great turnout and the spirit was really strong. It has been a long time coming but it has been fun to share in the adventure with her. We also had a great lesson with Lilly, a 77 year old lady whose full name is actually Lillian. I just threw that in there for you Deborah. But she has said that she wants to get baptized, just after she is done with all of her chemo treatments. She has been really fun to teach, because every lesson includes at least two stories from her life. They have been fun to listen too. Well that is pretty much it in terms of investigator news i will keep you updated though. Thanks for all that you do, and are. This Gospel is true, and I love serving the Lord. Especially in this holiday season. Love you all.

Elder Blake.

PS, I am not sure about Christmas yet, but i do know we have church til noon. Also i have not recieved my package yet, but should this evening. Also Tell Bishop Chatwin hello, and thanks for being such a great home teaching companion and mentor.