Monday, January 25, 2010

Lake City, FL Letter #15 Jan.25, 2010

Hello family and friends,

Elder Blair reporting in for the week! So this week was a really great week! We have started to take our bikes with our car; to the areas, we want to tract in, that way we ride bikes through the neighborhood, so we can get to each door faster! It’s a great system.
We have already re-tracted a lot of places in our area, but I don't mind it. I love staying in an area for a long time, that way you get to know the people better and have an opportunity to work with them longer. Taft and I are having a blast! I have learned so much in these last couple of transfers about being a senior companion.

Man last Thursday was horrible; it was raining so hard - it was like a Noah rain. I am not kidding, it was bad. We knocked on doors for as long as we could, then we went around and tried to see some less active members until the rain stopped. At one point we had to hide from the rain in a ice cream shop that is owned by a member, but it turned out great because we got free ice cream!! Ha-Ha

Sunday was awesome! We had a sweet miracle. It was after PEC meeting and we got a phone call on our cell phone from a number that we did not recognize. The person on the other end said, “That he would like to come to our church service” and he asked what time it started, and where the building was located, then he hung up. I didn't even get his name. I thought it was either a non-member or a less active member. When it came time for sacrament meeting to start, in walks an older investigator named Fred. Elder Taft & I were pretty shocked to see him walking in the building. Fred said he loved church.

Here is what happened with Fred. We met him once and couldn't get with him for another appointment, cause he was never home. So we just left a note on his door saying, “This is the missionaries we would love to meet with you. Please give us a call, love Elders Blair & Taft.” Fred said that on Sundays he usually goes to Jacksonville and gets donuts every Sunday morning. But this week he looked at the card we gave him, and it said, “Love Elders Blair & Taft” and because it said “love”, that is why he decided to come to church and not go into Jacksonville that morning. All because of one small word, he wanted to hear more. Sweet miracle!

And also, this past week we have had three less active members reactivated! Such a wonderful and great week. So that was my week in a nutshell. The weather is getting a lot warmer, which is pretty sweet!!

And mom your caramels you sent were really good, but Sister Bruce’s were a lot easier to get out of the paper. So maybe you should make another batch and send me some more to try, that way I can really keep testing them for you until they are perfect! Ha-ha!!

Oh another thing; the south is changing me. I find myself sayin ya'll and I have caught myself saying fixen, so I will do my best to get these words out of my vocabulary LOL!! Well, I really gotta go. We are heading out to treat ourselves to some lunch at a local Mexican buffet, heck yes!!!

Love you guys!!!
Love Elder Blair (the Irish boy with a southern drawl)

PS I am going to write Alex and Weston today, I am pumped that they are talking about a mission now! More great missionaries coming out from our Ward!! Woot!!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Lake City, FL Letter #14 Jan.18, 2010

Hello everyone,

Well this week we have been busy, busy once again, I don't exactly know where to begin. I loved the package I got from ya'll last week! And yeah, I ordered that star trek shirt from a Cheez-it Cracker box, back when I was in Fernandina. So I ordered it then, (during my second transfer when I was serving with Elder Bowen) Ha-ha. I guess I forgot to let you know to be watching for it. It was just a fun thing to order.

Thanks for the pictures, I loved the picture of the house with the snow all around it. I have not seen that fluffy white stuff in awhile!

We saw some inactive’s this week. It seems that it doesn’t even bother some of them that they are less active. Oh and we have a really sweet investigator named Able, he is from Ethiopia. Able is a super smart guy. He has read the bible cover to cover, several times. He is starting to have some doubts about the bible, because he feels the bible contradicts itself too much. He says, “How can he believe the bible when it has things missing?” (Like the errors in translation), and he commented that his last hope is the Book of Mormon. He doesn’t have one yet because he can't understand the English version with all the thy thou thine wording throughout. We are trying to get him a book of Mormon in Amharic (in his native language) for him to read. Able is such a good listener and such a very, very humble man as well. I can't wait until we actually get him a Book of Mormon, so he can start reading it!

Well, I thought I had time to write but I don't, sorry. Maybe next week. This week we had to do emails in the church library due to the holiday, and now it is almost 4:30 and we still have to do shopping etc. So I gotta get going, next week we will be back at the college so I will have more time.

But really that is about all the main news I have this week, Sorry I didn't write more, but my mind is blank for the time being, but I hope ya'll have a great week. Tell everyone I love them!

Elder (drawing a blank as to what happened this last week) Blair

Monday, January 11, 2010

Lake City, FL Letter #13 Jan. 11, 2010

A big Hello to everyone from your Elder, who is freezing in the south,

Things are well in Lake City, except for the cold factor!! I even heard someone say that it snowed in southern Florida. Wow! Don’t worry mom I do have a winter coat now; I got one from a store here that was having a sale. It was a great price; I picked it up for about 12 bucks! See believe or not, I am learning to bargain shop!! LOL

I’m glad you enjoyed the pictures I sent last. Let me give you a few details in case you want to put them up on my blog or facebook for me. The “crime scene” was back in Fernandina Beach; we were attempting to do a prank on the sister missionaries in our district. We were acting as if we were dead and as if someone broke into our house the night before and killed all of us. We had some members come in and help us with it. However, sadly, the prank failed. Ha-ha!! Only one sister actually thought we were dead, the rest thought it was some sort of game and we were going to pop out of our “death sheets” and yell “Happy Halloween”! But yeah it was just a mess (but it was fun).

Oh the pictures of me and the lovely black lady was Keisha Williams and the picture with me on the porch with the auburn haired lady and the dude with the beard is Foster and Gale White, lol some investigators in Fernandina.

I need to tell you about the blow up Christmas tree you sent us. Since we already had a Christmas tree totally decked out for the holiday’s we decided to use the blow up tree as a punching bag. Yeah, we thought it was a totally cool idea too …glad to see you agreed (or not-ha-ha!) Anyway we used it to beat each other up! And it really was a great stress releaser and a lot of fun until one fateful day it popped!

The pictures of the “white Christmas” was a prank we played on an Elder in our apartment in Lake City. We took baby powder, dumped all over his bed, and then put that sign up on his door. We thought it was a pretty cool prank!

Our mission goal has been changed from 1050 to 3050 for 2010. Our focus is the inactive members. We are working with inactive's a little bit different. Mainly we have to try and get them to come to out to church again. This week we got 4 of them back to church on this Sunday. As we were tracting last week, we tracted into these two women and taught them on their doorstep. They liked us a lot and said they would come to church on Sunday (but never showed up). Then on Sunday a member, family told us that we tracted into some friends of theirs and it was the two ladies we taught on their porch. The member said that they loved our testimonies, but their Muslims (so I guess that’s why they didn't come to church) Ha-Ha! The member also mentioned that she and her daughter are looking for a church home, so the member is going to try and set something up with us; so we can teach them. But yeah, good times in the mission field! We are having fun here in Lake City,

We took the “snow” you sent us and put it outside when it was raining and it made the entire sidewalk look as if it was covered in snow! It was pretty sweet!! Elder Bowen goes home on Thursday; I am going to miss that guy. He was an awesome companion! I told him to make sure he looks you guys up when he gets back home.

Tell everyone I am thinking of them and well...I guess I will talk to you soon!
The amazing Elder Blair

Monday, January 4, 2010

Lake City, FL Letter #12 Jan. 4, 2010

Hello ya'll

Well the New Year’s oyster roast was amazing! We were at our ward mission leader’s house. I had one cooked and one raw oyster. They both were way good, lol.

Southern hospitality is so funny! Elder Taft & I walk in and there is a big, huge, party going on. There were tons of ward members there and some non-members, man it was packed! As we first walked in, we noticed a huge table with loads of food piled everywhere! Next thing we know people just took our plates for us and started loading food on it… saying things like “Oh this is homemade; Oh this is real southern food you gotta have this”. Ha-Ha!

Next, they took us outside where the oysters were cooking. Our ward mission leader was in charge of cooking them. First, you crack them open and put them on a cracker. Next, you top them off with hot sauce. Then the trick is…to eat them in one bite. So we tried that with the roasted oysters. Which was not too bad at all - After that, our ward mission leader gave us raw ones to try. Elder Taft didn't like the raw ones too much. My first raw one was an oyster almost the size of the palm of my hand! I slapped it on a cracker, I had to take it in one bite…, and I did! It was good times, all of the people started cheering and clapping when I took it all in one bite lol ...southern people...

After we ate awhile, all of the guys went and got their guns from their trucks and cars and headed over to an old pickup (I guess that was the ammunition station) and loaded their shotguns. Then for the next little while, they all shot clay pigeons. There were about 6 or 7 guns with rednecks firing them. They had a hand thrower and a launcher going at the same time. Someone would fire one or two clay pigeons at a time - then all the guns would just fire off simultaneously. Sometimes the pigeon would just sink harmlessly to the ground Ha-Ha! Elder Taft and I were laughing and laughing at these rebel boys having a great time. They were having a “good ol’ time” as they say in the south. It was good times, good times! They also had this huge bon fire going in the yard as well; everyone was having a great time! Lol it was a crazy, wild, boom diggity New Years Day! What a great way to start 2010!!

Our three baptisms did not go through last Sunday after all. However, Elder Taft & I have set some baptismal dates with 3 people, so we will see if that works out this next week. Oh by the way I am not being transferred (neither is my companion). In fact, none of the Elders in my apartment is leaving this transfer. We are all staying put, but Elder Cundick is leaving. Elder Bowen is staying in Fernandina and Elder See is staying where he is. They made Elder See a trainer again so that’s cool.

Oh, I wanted to tell everyone in Utah that today (in the morning) it was like 19 degrees at my apartment; so don't tell me Florida is not cold!! That is below 30 so that is officially freezing!! We could have easily had snow last night - it was that cold!

Remember during my Christmas call I mentioned that Elder Taft & I had a great joke planned for our Ward Mission Leader? We were customizing a special shirt for him to present to him on New Year’s Day. .. Well our ward mission leader loved his New Years shirt we made him. In fact, he told us that “He is going to frame it!” (too funny!)

So yeah, that’s about all the sweet news for today. Everyone has been great to keep writing, I love getting mail, so be sure to thank them for me. I will try to write more next week, but I gotta go now; they only let us on these computers for a limited time at this place. So tell everyone I am thinking about them and will try to write everyone as I have free time.

The freezing elder in the sunshine state- Elder Blair