Monday, November 29, 2010

Starke, FL Letter #17 Nov. 29, 2010

Hey family,

Things this week went pretty well, although the week seemed kinda slow being a holiday week. Elder Lewis & I had a really good Thanksgiving at sister Gainey's house! I stuffed myself so, so, so much! And then we fell asleep at her house... yep a good old Thanksgiving nap (best thing ever). After that we went back to our house and then later the Barber's brought us over to their house for desert! I had about 3 helpings of that (and then I felt like I was about to puke so I stopped...ha-ha).

Also this week we met a less active member named Ron who is a pretty sweet guy. Ron got in a huge motorcycle crash several years ago so bad that he almost died (three times) but I suppose God is not finished with Mister Ron cause he is still around and kicking!

Things have also been slow this week because we have been having to bike everywhere in our huge area! It takes us a long time to get somewhere, we had been doing our best to save miles but alas we have still gone over. which really stinks! However I guess if I get transferred to a bike area that will be ok with me, I suppose. Transfers are the 8th of December so keep that in mind when sending letters this next little while. I am not sure if I will be transferred this time or not. I really love Starke, so I wouldn’t mind staying.

Man it has been getting cold here lately! Our early mornings (and at night) it’s just downright chilly! There is actual frost is on the ground outside and I can see my breath. Still amazes me that I am in Florida the so called “sun shine” state! Hey but I need to get going my time is up here at the library. Tell everyone hello for me and that I think of them often out here in Florida. And anyways that is my Florida update for the week. so yeah, love ya'll bye!

The Elder with the frozen toes…
Elder Blair

Monday, November 22, 2010

Starke, FL Letter #16 Nov. 22, 2010

Well People ... Hi again!
Things this week went amazing! First things first; we had a baptism!! Glenn is his name; he was never baptized because of his living situation. He is renting out a room from a member of the church who is a female so therefore he never was baptized…that is until now. Brother Beckom stopped by their house and met with Glenn personally. Glenn told him that he did not understand why he could not be baptized and neither did Brother Beckom. Then Brother Beckom called us Monday night and told us to check on Glenn's situation. I figured “here we go again.” Glenn has had so many baptismal dates for the past two years that it is not even funny. Nevertheless, we stopped by and I told Glenn that ultimately the choice was not up to me. I let him know that we would have to get the ok from President Barry. Well... I will be honest…I didn't think Glenn should be baptized because I didn't feel that he was ready to make the promise between him and God. President told me to have Bishop Barber call him and let him speak to him about the situation. Therefore, we did. Then on Wednesday Bishop Barber called President Barry and then President called me and told me to baptize Glenn...I was like what?? You serious? Um ok?

The next day we went to Glenn's house and told him the news. I said “Glenn in the case of your baptism President talked to me and in this case he is making an exception and you can be baptized." After hearing that, Glenn jumped up and was so excited that he started calling people he knew in the church and telling them about his baptism! He was so stoked that he wanted to be baptized on Saturday! Right then the Spirit hit me and told me that Glenn was more than ready to be baptized. I felt somewhat silly at that point that I ever thought otherwise... So we got him all interviewed and Saturday was his baptism! On Sunday he was confirmed a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Pretty Crazy huh? By the way, the cakes you sent me mom, came in super handy!! Since Glenn's Baptism was so short notice, I didn't think anyone would make treats so I baked two cakes for his special day and they turned out super good!! Go Chef Blair!

November has been a very busy month hasn’t it? Wow and this next week is Thanksgiving!! I am so excited! Elder Lewis & I are going to Sister Gainey's house for Thanksgiving and unfortunately, we are going to be biking to her house (because well we are pretty much out of miles). So we have a 40 min bike ride up to her house and 40 min bike back... well at least I will get to work off all the food that I eat! Ha ha.

Thanks to everyone for all the packages you sent. I really loved the boxes for my Jump Day and the birthday cards from the Primary Children!! Also if possible thank Sister Merrill Jenkins; she sent me a letter and I am going to try to write back today if I have time. President Barry just wants us to be on pc's no more than an hour, so yeah that is just a heads up. I may be keeping my letters on the short side going forward.

For P-day today ummm let’s see…I am playing some soccer and Frisbee with the youth (since they are out of school for this whole week). Well I send my love to everyone back home, and stay warm!! Have a very Happy thanksgiving! And ya'll stay safe.

Love Elder Blair (A little more humble this week…)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Starke, FL Letter #15 Nov. 15, 2010

Hello All,
This week was a blast!! I had a super fun 21st birthday celebration! An outstanding member family invited Elder Lewis & me over to their house for some cake and ice cream. They surprised us and made this big huge pumpkin cake! Oh boy, I tell you it was super good! Earlier in the day, I treated myself to Sonny's for lunch. I had their BBQ pulled pork, which is always a super good treat!! Then later that afternoon I got to pass the football around with some member kids. The birthday football was sweet, and I have had a chance to use it a lot this past week. I have really enjoyed it!

At the end of my birthday night, we had an appointment with a part member family. Man, we had an amazing lesson! The person we were teaching said that he got goose bumps!! It was a great lesson. After the lesson, they fed us lasagna, which was out of this world and then cake for desert. So I really got totally spoiled on my birthday! Sweet Action!!

The rest of the week went really well for Elder Lewis & me. We always look forward to every Wednesday night, because it is such a fun night! All the youth come down to the ward building and do their activities but before (and after) we get the opportunity to play soccer, basketball, or football (keep away) with the all the youth! I always have such a blast!!

We also met with some less active families this week; and are getting a couple of them coming back to church. So we are super excited about that success. Elder Lewis & I are going to turn our main focus to “perspective Elders” to try to work with them directly so we can get some more priesthood holders for this ward. If we can… then our hope is that they can split off into a separate Keystone branch and a form a Starke ward! Oh yeah, that’s how we roll! Later each week (normally on Friday’s), we go up to a little town in our area called Keystone. While there, we work with members who live in that area and less active members. At the end of the night, we always head to Kevin Conova's house. He is a super, super, funny member. Every Sunday he keeps us up to date with what is going on with the world of sports!! We look forward to that visit each week! So I was glad to hear that the Bronco’s won.

Also, Sister Gainey got to go to the temple this past weekend and loved it! Her family came up from Utah! We got to meet all of them and hang out with them! They are all CRAZY, but crazy in a super cool way! Her family is totally awesome! Lol How are the missionaries in your ward? Are they cool or lame? Because when we were visiting with Sister Gaineys family from Utah, they said that they really liked us and we were way better than any missionary in Utah (because they are all so quiet and reserved). Ha-ha!!

I love Starke so much!! I love my mission!! It has been a blast so far!! Oh, man one thing I have been craving recently is Flogging Molly!! Oh man that is one thing I am excited for, we will have to go to a concert when I get home! I miss my Irish music! Well I gotta get running now, take it easy peeps!! We will “see” everyone next week!! Til then peace, word, love ya’ll
(Your favorite missionary in Florida…the one…the only…)
Elder Blair

Monday, November 8, 2010

Starke, FL Letter #14 Nov. 8, 2010

Well hello world!

This is your favorite elder checking in for the week! I suppose I am an old man now, the big 21 hits today!! Ha ha! Man things sure cooled down here in Florida this week. I woke up one morning to 39 degrees, so needless to say I pulled the sweaters back out! I love Florida winters, but I do miss the Utah snow... I hear you guys will be getting some snow this week. Lucky you!! I can’t wait to get home, build a big ol’ snowman with Abbie, and get out my snowboard! Dang it, I sure miss the snow!

Things here are awesome!! Sister Gainey is going to the temple this coming weekend with her family to be sealed to her mom! We also picked up an awesome new investigator, from a part member family. His name is Joey. We stopped by their house this week and talked for a while with them. After awhile he asked us, "So when am I ready; or good enough to start taking the lessons?" I looked at him and said “Well you look good now!” Therefore, we have two appointments this week scheduled with them! Elder Lewis and I are super excited!!

The Ward here is really doing well; they have been bringing a lot of less actives back to church. In addition, they are out sharing their testimonies with others! I am so happy for them! We also did a lot of service this week for members and less actives and even investigators. One person we helped this past week was Sister Cole who is super awesome; but less active. What we did to help her as a service was cleaning out her garage. Then for a family named the Trailers (who are freaking awesome and cook way- way good food) but that alone is not what makes them awesome, they just are awesome all the way around ha-ha!! So we helped them with some service this past week. Another service was for a non-member named Steve, he is a 76-year-old man. Steve has been trying to renovate his house, so Elder Lewis and I go and provide the muscle he needs to be able to finish the work.

A bit of sad news, my trip to Ocala got scrubbed. We are planning on going another week, just don't know when yet. It was postponed because there is a leadership meeting on Tuesday this week. Our zone leader didn't want us to go to Ocala today and then hurry back later today in time to get ready for the meeting. I was going with our Zone leader and since he had to be at the leadership meeting tomorrow in Jacksonville, it would be too much for today. I was released this last transfer as a DL so therefore I don’t have to worry about going to the leadership meeting this transfer. So our Ocala trip may be next week or sometime in the next several weeks; I am not sure. Therefore, I am probably going to have a lazy P-day…just kick back and relax... go shopping and do the normal Monday p-day routine.

Thanks for all the birthday cards and gifts! Elder Lewis was pretty jealous! Ha-ha! I really loved everything. I loved all of it and we will be sure to put everything to good use! you can trust Elders Blair, & Lewis to make sure everything gets enjoyed to the fullest!! Ha-ha!! I thought the watch was really cool, I really loved it. I got a kick out of what it said on the backside of the clock face, “made with peace and love” and the outside of the box said “it's your lucky day!” lol cool!

Glad to hear Elder Day wrote you guys, I sure love that kid! He is an awesome missionary! Well I had better get going and get a couple of things done today…like shopping and laundry ha-ha!! Anyway thanks to everyone for the great birthday and be sure to let everyone know I love them!

from “the old man -but still totally awesome”…Elder Blair

Monday, November 1, 2010

Starke, FL Letter #13 Nov. 1, 2010

Hello family, friends and fans!

First things first! You are all awesome!! I am pretty spoiled as a missionary… getting packages all the time (ha ha it’s super awesome!!).

This week was so much fun, On Wednesday we had a great youth activity at the ward. It was about holding fast to the iron rod and illustrating the importance of making a correct choice and then holding firm to that choice. We started out with each of the youth being blindfolded. We then sent them on a on a path, telling them to hold firm to the iron rod (a rope was representing the iron rod). While they were holding onto the rope, their parents acted as the Holy Ghost by whispering in their ear what to do.

All the rest of us were voices from the “world” trying to tempt them to let go and come have some fun and not to listen to the Holy Ghost. At one point, I grabbed a one-dollar bill out of my pocket and was telling them if they would let go I would give it to them! A few of the youth reached out and felt the money and I will say a lot were tempted once they felt it was real money! They were tempted to let go at that point, but they all held on strong! Good job for them!! Several non-members showed up to the activity and also many less active families (which we will now be stopping in to see this week)!!

Hope everyone had a great Halloween, can’t wait to hear all about it. The trunk or treat party was awesome!! Elder Lewis and I got to judge everyone’s “trunks” and homemade pies, costumes and carved pumpkins! It was such a blast!! I even made a “trunk” for the Halloween party!! For our trunk and we put spider web everywhere and dressed up a stuffed man and put him in our trunk, and then for a final touch we put some skeleton dude in our car as well! It looked pretty awesome! I also went out, bought Halloween face paint kit and painted my face as a zombie!! (Elder Lewis dressed up like a Mormon missionary). Super fun!! In addition, many less active and non-members came to that event as well. So great member and full time missionary efforts last week.

Saturday was the trick or treat day for Starke, no one went out on Sunday. Saturday we went out on a hayride latter that night with some non-members and some members. I can now “officially” say I have been trick or treating in the South!! John and Jacob, (some non-members that we have been working with) along with their friend Hyrum (who is a member) coaxed me into putting my clown mask on and going up to a door with them and I did. I got me some butterfingers!! Heck ya!! Lol it was really fun.

We had a very eventful week and we are pumped up for the new week and the new transfer!! You asked if I was picking up any Spanish? No, I have not picked up too much Spanish. I know a little; enough to ask if they want Spanish missionaries to teach them but that’s about it. Next Monday I will be going to Ocala to spend the day with some recent converts (Michael, Kaitlin, Jack just to name a few) and they will be helping me celebrate my big 21st birthday. Were leaving early, but I will try to write everyone from the Ocala library if possible. I am really looking forward to next Monday and P-day!!

Well Peace and Love From
Elder Blair (still young at heart)