Monday, October 26, 2009

Lake City FL Letter #2 October 26, 2009

Why hello there!

This week was pretty, crazy! Elder Taft and I taught over 100 lessons and got like 37 new investigators this week alone. Our mission’s weekly standard is to teach 100 lessons per week, so we hit 100 and kept right on going! So yes, we are busy, busy, busy! I loved the Halloween package it was pretty, sweet! The little white haired lady that screams and has red flashing eyes Elder Taft and me put that in our car, on the dashboard and named her Esmeralda. She screams as we drive! Good times, good times! Lol

Yeah, we are having a blast in Lake City, our area covers the “country side” of Lake City and not so much the city part. It is really nice here, but the homes are really spaced out, far from one another. However, it’s all good. Umm-good news we are not getting lost so much anymore. We are starting to get a feel of the area now. What I enjoy the best so far about this area, is the country feel. It’s not a big city at all. We don't even have a map that shows our full area, cause all the Lake City maps they have to buy, don’t cover all of our boundaries. Our boundaries cover farther then what the map covers, (so we have investigators on streets that are not even on the maps). Man it sure got cold here the last week. I am talking like down in the 60's. We were freezing! 60’s yeah that is right, for Florida that is cold!! Ha-ha everyone in Utah! But we had a good time.

This coming up zone conference (this Wednesday) we are having a 70 (from Salt Lake) coming to talk to us. I think we were told who it is, but I can’t remember his name right now. His talk will be on 2 Nephi 31. So we are studying that chapter like crazy every free minute we have. And I’m tired as usual, lol the work really wears you out. We have really full, busy days from sun up to past sun down, but what’s good about that is it means you know you’re working hard!! Lol. If you don’t hit your pillow and pass out then you have not worked hard enough that day. Ha-ha! We don’t have a gym here, but yeah we are trying to still work out each morning. But man we are so tired every single day, cause we are so focused on trying to get baptism’s so we can help to hit our missions goal of 1050 baptism the year.

Elder Taft is turning into a good missionary. I don't think I am really teaching him too much or doing anything amazing as a trainer, Elder Taft is just doing it himself. But yeah it’s pretty stressful being trainer and senior companion. It is a lot of pressure, knowing you are helping to train a brand new missionary. A powerhouse missionary trained me, and my next companion was a powerhouse and now I have to be the powerhouse. It’s a little scary cause I don’t know what to say all the time. However, it seems like things are going good so far, so that is a good sign, I guess. We have a baptism coming up this Saturday, with a part-member family, which should be sweet; it is a 13-year-old kid. He is the only non-member in his family, but now he has decided to be baptized. He seems like a really, smart kid. The ward here is pretty sweet, they help us out a lot. I am in a ward called the First Ward.

I guess that is the summary of my week. Oh, and the dogs are getting worse in this part of Lake City (there is quite a bit of pit bulls) and sometimes they are not chained up or fenced in. However, no bites yet, so all is good!

Hope all is well with everyone. You guys should be getting snow soon, right? Oh and I did see a few trees down here that had their leaves change color… the only color they changed too was yellow, no orange, or red leaves.

I gotta get going guys, Elder Taft & I have to go shopping now, and then plan a birthday party for an Elder in our district. Thinking of everyone back home, friends, family and ward members. Thanks for always keeping me in your prayers!

The Elder from the North who is now freezing in the South,
Elder Blair

Monday, October 19, 2009

Lake City, FL Letter #1 October 19, 2009

Hey y’all
Umm… let’s see… You probably want to know where I am now. My new area is Lake City. My address is 685 SW Amberwood Loop #103 Lake City, FL 32025. This is a super nice area. You can send everything right to that address. I am in a pretty, good area so I don't think anything will be stolen, or lost. The people are really nice and will listen to you. Lol. It is a bit more “country” than Fernandina was. However, I like it. We got into the area on Thursday and got settled right into our new apartment.

We had to twin boys get baptized this past weekend, so that was pretty sweet. Yeah our first Sunday at church was great. Sacrament meeting was good; it was the yearly primary program. This ward seems to have a lot of good-hearted people. The baptisms were from a part member family, and the ward had been working with them as well as the other missionaries before they left. We didn’t do much at the baptism; they had us give the talks at their baptism was all. The boys were nine years old. Great way to start our week!
Elder Taft and I got lost a lot, these past few days. We went to go buy some food from Wal mart the first day we got in and we got lost going to Wal mart and also coming back home. HA- HA! We still get lost also going around our area, so what I am going to do is buy a GPS unit to use in the car. Because we only have so many miles left for this month and I hate wasting miles just trying to find a place. Yeah I am pretty tired of not knowing how to get around, or where I am. I have no mountains to know where I am going and which way is North. It took me awhile to get use to Fernandina and where everything was at and once I knew where everything was, I got transferred. Ha-Ha! I did see a Sonic, and a Subway, while we were lost and trying to find our way back home, that’s about all I know of the area for now.

Man I tell you what…it is really stressful being Senior and Trainer now. I am trying to do everything right that I can, but I am still losing hair over it. Ha-Ha Elder Taft is a good companion he tries really hard. He reminds me a lot of Weston back home. Other than being trainer and senior and getting put into a new area, things are still pretty fun. We get a lot done and work really hard. We are in a four-man apt. with two other missionaries. They are Elder Navertil and Elder Taylor. Navertil is from Alberta Canada, and his companion Elder Taylor is from Utah. Elder Navertil has been out the longest, he came out the same time as Elder See. Oh and my companion Elder Taft is from Richfield Utah. He is my first “Utah” companion…usually I get Idaho. lol.

I really miss my last area and my last companion Elder Bowen. We had a lot of good times, but after every transfer, I seem to miss my companions. I think all missionaries do. Yeah it’s all ok though because I will see them again. I sure miss the Fernandina branch members as well. There were some awesome people there! However, we are already starting to meet cool people here as well. I think that is all for now.

Love you guys hope all is well. I will try to get some of these picture CD’s sent out to you guys soon. We are sending this from the college. We went to the Lake City Community College to use their computers today. Hope all keeps going well for everyone and tell everyone thanks for all the cards and letters. I love gong to the mailbox!! I know I can always find myself a smile or two in there.

Love, Elder Amazing Blair

Monday, October 12, 2009

Fernandina Beach, FL Letter #19 Oct. 12, 2009

Hey sorry fam & friends,

I do not have a lot of time for this email. Why you ask? Cause craziness is going on!! Lol I will be transferred this week to a new area. So I am sad to say that I am leaving Fernandina Beach this next week. I got the call this past Saturday, letting me know about the transfer, and today I got a call from the mission president, President Newman letting me know that I will be training a greenie for this next transfer so....Yeah, you guessed it. I am pretty, nervous! I hope I can teach him well, it is a big responsibility. It might be a little rough, since I have only been in Florida 4 ½ months. I guess I will wing it and just do my best, with the Lords help I will be prompted to teach him all he needs to be a successful, top rate missionary! I do not know where I will be, and won’t know until this Thursday at our transfer meeting. Therefore please do not send any packages to me this week. Just wait until I know where I will be going; and my new address. If you want to mail a letter, please do so before this Thursday, but nothing after that.

So yeah, Elder Blair is no LONGER a greenie lol. I will be both a senior companion and a trainer for this next transfer. The way it works; is that every “transfer call” cycle you are notified on Saturday that you will be transferring out of the area or staying… Then on the following Monday the mission president, calls new District Leaders, Zone Leaders, and Trainers. So I got my call this morning from President Newman telling me that I will be training a new greenie. He also said that I am “white wash training” which means that my new companion and I will leaving to an area that neither of us knows. Therefore, neither of us will have served in the area where we will be assigned too. So, we have a clean slate to work with. Elder Bowen will remain in Fernandina Beach and carry on with the work here.

I am excited but yes, it is very hard to leave this wonderful area. It is so beautiful (even if the weather is not always in my favor) and I have grown so much here. The people here that I have met are wonderful both in and outside the church. They will always have a special place in my heart and in my memories. I am very sad to leave this fantastic branch. Everyone here has been so amazing! I know that I will be back to visit each of them again after my mission for sure! Lol this week (before transfers) I must say goodbye to all the wonderful people I have met during this time working in this part of the Jacksonville vineyard. It will be a mixture of sadness, happiness and nervousness this week and next!

I think that is it, well I know that is the big news this week! I hope all of you guys are well. Well I gotta get running and help some of these members here with some service, so I gotta go now. I love you guys a lot and I will let you know where I am at as soon as I know.

Love (the no longer” green”) Elder Blair

Monday, October 5, 2009

Fernandina Beach, FL Letter #18 Oct. 5, 2009

Hey fam & friends!

Wow wasn’t conference wonderful this past weekend? !! I really enjoyed each speaker, and especially glad to hear another Temple location being added to the great state of Florida!! And of course the additional temple in my home state of Utah!! Woot!! I think I enjoyed Elder Holland’s talk the best, his comments really seemed to stick with me.

Things have gone slow this week, seems like that happens more than we would like it too. We had to drop all three of our baptism dates, which we had set for this week, because none of them showed up to conference. On the other hand we have not as of yet, dropped them as investigators. Seems like many here have a rough time trying to keep commitments, sometimes I think they are just lazy and it is hard for them to make changes in their lifestyles. Elder Bowen and I are praying daily that they will shape up and keep commitments. Uggh it is very frustrating, at times. You can feel the spirit, and you know that they can feel the spirit and they know it, but they just cannot seem to follow through.

Anyways it has cooled down a lot here- 70's and 60's some days, which is a welcomed change! Still hot but not boiling…hehehe! Elder Bowen and I have been playing detective this past week …that is we are always trying to find wayward members that are attempting to remain in hiding or something and get them to come back out to church. HA-HA!!

We did receive some fantastic news this past week!! It looks like Jason is going to be baptized in about 6 months, he received his letter from the Church Offices in Salt Lake this past week! We are so pumped to hear that bit of good news! In case you forgot, Elder See and I baptized his wife Debbie, and we were waiting and hoping that Jason would get clearance to be baptized as well. At last, that news came through!! We were able to go back to the Orlando temple again a few weeks ago, I love being in the temple, it is just so peaceful there. That is one place you can focus on your spiritual side, forget the frustrations of the world, and just feel the spirit wash over you.

But wow conference was amazing, like I said, I really liked Elder Holland’s talk but anyways, I really cannot think of anything else to add this week. The days here just seem to blend together a lot but I love my mission, it is totally amazing. I am learning so much here, sometimes it is just hard to put into words when I write you each week. I just cannot seem to find the right words to express the growth I am feeling as I serve my Heavenly Father.

I hope you all are doing well and being safe. Anyways, I need to go. We had a dinner appointment earlier today with a part-member family, so that was nice. I will talk to everyone next week!

Your favorite Elder in the South, cooling down now with 60-70 degrees daily…Elder Blair