Monday, December 27, 2010

Starke, FL Letter #21 Dec. 27, 2010

Hey family & friends,
Well Christmas was super fun this year! In the morning we went to see the Baker family and visited with them and then from there we biked over to Sister Gainey's house; where we had some of the best food ever made! ha ha.

It was super fun and it was really awesome to talk to ya'll on Skype this year! Elder Lewis and I really enjoyed our Christmas presents this year. Sister Gainey surprised me and got me a Utes tie! I also got some awesome shirts and a Utah Utes wristband from some sweet members.
I love it so much out here; this area has become my family! I have met so many awesome people out here on my mission and had such awesome experiences. It has left a huge impression on me, and memories I will treasure for a life time.

Yesterday Elder Lewis and I were sitting in church when one of the youth came in and told us there was “snow” outside. We of course thought he was just pulling our leg so we didn't budge. However after much persisting… we finally went to the doors and looked outside and it was snowing!!! We couldn't believe it!! We just stood there in awe and amazement and then I stuck out my tongue and caught a Florida snowflake! Yeah buddy!! A dream come true for Elder Blair to see some sweet snow in Florida.

And on a side note, we have received our next year’s goals! Our mission goal is 900 baptisms and 80% retention. For 2011 we are trying to focus on keeping our converts solid and active in the church this year!! So Elder Lewis and I will be giving it our all in 2011 and doing our part for the 900 baptisms and 80% retention!!

Well that’s the update from Florida this week. Love ya'll, stay safe and be sure to set some awesome New Year’s goals!!

Love Elder Blair (Who dreamed of a white Christmas and got it…a day late…but enjoyed it anyway!!)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone!


Elder Blair

Monday, December 20, 2010

Starke, FL Letter #20 Dec. 20, 2010

Well fans of Elder Blair…

This week was... once again…. Absolutely….Amazing!!
We had so much fun stuff happening this last week, I won’t even try to write it all down, but here are a few highlights! First Elder Lewis & I made totally sweet Christmas cards and started passing them out to people we knew!! Also this week we decided to save on miles on the car, so committed to walking everywhere for a whole week. Yep, we walked everywhere! It honestly was super exciting to walk everywhere we needed to go. And as we walked, we talked with everyone that we met. We talked about the gospel, our Savior and talked about! is really such a sweet way to share the Gospel.

In addition, to all the other wonderful happenings this last week…(Better, sit down for this one…) This year Elder Lewis and I sang in the church choir for Christmas!! Yeah yours truly joined the ward choir and sang in the Christmas Program. Elder Lewis sang too…even though he doesn’t like Christmas music. Ha-ha, it was a way, way sweet Sacrament meeting! We sang tons and tons of songs!! This then in turn…put me over the top and super in the mood for Christmas!! I loved it!!

Then last week we also had the Christmas Zone Conference where I got to see Elder Day again and Elder Bass along with all of my mission friends!! I really loved all the letters from everyone, it was super sweet to hear from ya’ll! Be sure to tell everyone that Elder Blair was totally surprised to have so many Christmas letters to read during our Christmas Zone Conference!! During the Zone Conference, I saw so many people that I don't even know. Our mission has tons and tons of new missionaries coming in now. It was weird to have so many now that I don’t even know… it was crazy! It was as always-super fun and we had awesome food! It’s always good times when a bunch of missionaries all get together to celebrate anything!!

I can't wait for Christmas day!! Elder Lewis & I are planning on going to Sister Gainey's house this Christmas!! Man I am so excited!! Christmas Day can’t arrive soon enough; we are looking forward to Saturday and hoping that Santa can find his way to the back woods of Starke to visit Elders Lewis and Blair.

Well I should be talking to ya’ll soon… just 5 more days…according to the calendar on the wall! Until then peeps...dream of candy canes and reindeer!!I gotta get running, talk to you soon!

Well tons of love from
Elder Blair (Who really did sing in the Christmas choir...cross my heart…lol!!)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Starke, FL Letter #19 Dec. 13, 2010

Hey, hey, hey ya'll back home!

This last week has been really fun! Last Tuesday, was a super awesome day! All the missionaries got to attend transfer meeting even if they were not being transferred. So we went into Jacksonville where we were able to see all of the departing missionaries and say a few goodbyes. We also had a chance to hear each of the missionaries (who were going home) bare their testimony, (during transfer meeting) which was very impacting. It was nice because we got to say goodbye and take a few pictures one last time. In addition, I also got to see Elder Day there as well! He has now been transferred to Orange Park where he is Senior Companion! Oh yeah, my little boy is growing up so fast! Ha-ha!! I am a proud dad! And even better news- this coming week I will see him again for a few hours, because we are all getting together (the entire mission) for the Christmas Devotional on the 16th! So I am super stoked for that!

This past week we had the opportunity to go caroling with some members to some part members and less active members’ homes. It was great, we also gave them a tray of goodies and homemade treats! That was super fun! We went with Bishop and his family, and then The Canova's (and several other ward families). The Christmas caroling song book came in handy that you sent-Ha-ha! And then on Saturday we had the Ward Christmas Party!! Which was super fun!! Man there was so much food there!! We had a blast and Elder Lewis & I also used that as a “finding opportunity” because we had a less active family show up, and two investigators show up as well! That makes for a great party if you’re a full time missionary!!

This week Elder Lewis & I went and visited a referral that the Bishop gave us of a part member family. The mom is less active, but she has three kids that are not members (one of them is a really close friend with the Bishops daughter). She wants to take the lessons, and she also showed up to church this Sunday as well! So I am super stoked! Looks like we might be having her lessons at the Bishop's house (or their house) either way - we don't mind! She is super sweet girl and I think she is ready. So if all goes well (and I don't want to jinx it), we may be having a "White” Christmas! Last year I wanted a “white” Christmas (missionary style) and well we didn't get it … so we will see what happens this year! Would be so cool to have a baptism for Christmas!!

Things are just going really, really well here and I am so happy to be here in Starke for six more weeks! Super fun times! And by the way guys, I noticed those “Bronco chips” were really Boise State Bronco chips not my Denver Bronco’s (but I’m not complaining because they tasted good). Ha- ha! Thanks to ya’ll for the letters and the packages, it is always fun to get stuff like that!! I am really glad to hear that Abbie hopes Santa comes my way…and leaves me some toys this year, cause I would much rather have toys than ties and shirts…So that is a good thing! Ha-ha!! Elder Lewis and I are sure having fun with our countdown to Christmas gifts each day!

Ok, well I gotta run, so I better get going. Well love ya'll and I will be talking to everyone soon!
Elder Blair (who is dreaming of a “white” Christmas…missionary style!!)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Starke, FL Letter #18 Dec. 6, 2010

Hey family, friends and strangers soon to be friends…ha-ha!!

Warm winter wishes from yet another week in freezing Florida…the so-called sunshine state!
Well first things are first, neither Elder Lewis nor me are being transferred which is very awesome!! So we will be here for the Christmas holidays!! Oh yeah that made us both very happy!!

On Sunday Elder Lewis & I fooled half of the ward into thinking that we were leaving this week due to transfers (both of us)! They were just super, super sad that we were being transferred 3 weeks before Christmas! Then later that day we told them we were not moving after all and it was just a joke. Well we then got jumped on and got “beat up” by some of the youth. A lot of the adult ward members promised that “pranks” would be coming our way for that little transfer trick. We just told them to bring the heat! Lewis & I can handle it!! Ha-ha!!

So looks like I will be in Starke for 6 months of my mission at least, which I am really happy about that! This week has been so cold in Florida that I got me a new awesome jacket! It is super warm and classy and I got it for a steal lol. So much for those snowbirds who fly to Florida for the winter…they might be better off to stay’s not warm here!

Also, we had a less active member finally came to church on Sunday. Lewis and I were working with her for so long…and we were just about to give up. Then on Sunday boom, she walked into church!! I was like holy cows! “What you doing here?” She just looked at me and said, “Coming to church!” We laughed and then she picked a seat by someone she knew. During the meeting she got up and bore her testimony during Sacrament meeting!! Super strong testimony as well; really cool!! So we were really happy about that.

Well family there is also a woman that has just moved into our ward from the Gainesville Stake. She is super sweet! She is 28 and has cancer... and its terminal. The doctors are surprised that she has made it this long, her goal is to make it through the holidays. It is really quite sad, but she is in pretty good spirits about it. She was baptized in 2008 and in 2009 she got cancer. At that time her goal was to go through the temple and she has accomplished that. Right now all she is trying to do is have a good Christmas for her son who is 8 years old. She is really a huge spiritual giant! She has an amazing conversion story and has a strong testimony. So far with the brief conversations (that I have had with her) I have learned a lot from someone that is dying. So Elder Lewis and I are going to try and make this a good Christmas for her! We have some ideas in the works and we are going to be getting the members involved as well. All should turn out well. If anyone at home has some ideas or suggestions be sure to let me know.

Well family & friends I love every package and letter I receive from each of you! It makes me happy to see that I am not forgotten lol. I am pretty popular with the other missionaries because of it, and pretty infamous about my package receiving lol. It has been fun! Every time I get one I get the amazing feeling of rubbing it in my companions face first…and then I share!! Hehehe!!

Oh hey one other thing. Guess what? The music rule is back, we can listen to stuff besides Mormon Tabernacle choir now; as long as it is uplifting and does not detract from the spirit. So that was great news!!

One more thing: Me and Elder Lewis made a sign for members and put it up at the church (to remember to get on it goes something like this:

"Since the Dawn of time there have been good people assembled together for the cause of righteousness
King Arthur assembled with knights the of the round table,
Robin Hood assembled with the merry men,
Helaman assembled with the Stripling Warriors,
Captain America assembled with the avengers,
And today Mormons assemble on!!

If I do say so…it’s pretty sick looking!!! I still need to add my own information on the site, I just need to get a picture up and then I am good.

Well I gotta run, love ya'll and remember I will be talking to ya’ll for "real’s" in less than a month!
Love Elder Blair (freezing in the warm Florida sunshine…what sunshine??)