Monday, January 31, 2011

Fernandina Beach, Letter #2 Jan. 31, 2011

Well peep’s here is another week that flew by excessively fast!
This last week I had the opportunity to go back down to Starke and witness a baptism for Noah Beckham! What a highlight for me, and it was really fun being able to see everyone again. Man oh man; it was an awesome baptism to say the least. Thankfully, wonderful CP drove us all the way there; because he had something he had to do in Gainesville that night. Without him, we probably would not have been able to attend the baptism. So that’s pretty cool how that all worked out for us!

This week in Fernandina, Elder Johnson and I have been teaching some investigators that are getting closer to baptism. This makes a missionary very, very happy! The month of February should be a really awesome month for missionary work. Especially since the whole Florida Jacksonville Mission (including each and every ward in our entire mission area) are doing a special fast this coming fast Sunday for missionary work in our mission to increase! The brethren of the Church want a 15% increase in baptisms in all the wards across the world for the month of February!! That is really neat to know that missionaries and wards everywhere will be focused on missionary work and baptisms!! So yeah, we are really looking forward to the month of February in the mission field!! Every missionary in Jacksonville is really excited to see what miracles will start taking place during the next four weeks!! Get ready for some miracles, cause here they come!!! Oh yeah baby!!

Let everyone know that they can send packages to our apartment. If they are not super big, they will put them in the “package box” that has a key. That way no one can get to it, except me and Elder Johnson. If they are on the larger size, they can still send them to Ronee’s address and she will get them to me when she sees me that week.

We are going to a local place for lunch today, it’s located on the island, and is called Sandy Bottoms…ha-ha!! Yeah that is truly the name. Yep pretty strange names of restaurants here…but some of them have the most amazing food ever!!

I have a bunch of pictures that I will send home this week, so be looking for those!! My companion is just finishing his e-mails so we will be going soon. We are both getting pretty hungry therefore first item of business after e-mails will be heading out to lunch!! So that’s pretty much the highlights of the week, just know that things are indeed moving along here in Fernandina and the ward here is really awesome!! I love being back here! I am all settled in and a very happy Elder! Now, I gotta get running, stomach is growling!!

Love Elder Blair (who is going to Sandy Bottoms, but does not have a sandy bottom…so don’t get those confused...ha-ha!!)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Fernandina Beach, Letter #1 Jan. 24, 2011

Like coming home ...
Well, well, well...Looks like I am back in Fernandina again!! I am super excited and I am loving every minute of it. I was so bummed to leave Starke last week. However, God blessed me by bringing me to my birthplace!! The members are all excited to see me again!! C.P has already pulled a prank on us (my third day here) in celebration of my return. Jason and Debbie about flipped out when I showed up at their door!! I told them to “be careful for what you wish for you just might get it!” In addition, Ronee took me out to lunch my second day here! Lol It really felt like coming home!

The apartment is still the same and some of my old “treasures” still reside there! Just in case ya'll forgot the address it is 123 Hirth road #1607 Fernandina Beach FL 32034! So yeah baby! I still miss people in Starke but this really does help remove the blues by coming to a place I know and a place I love so much.

My new companion is Elder Johnson. He has been out for 4 months and is a super, super, hard worker and also really funny, therefore we get along just fine!! Elder Johnson is from Spanish Fork, Utah. Elder Johnson and I have several investigators that are getting close to baptism already and this ward is all about missionary work!! Elder Johnson and I are scheduled for several tradeoffs this week with members!! Therefore, we are pretty pumped about that!

Elder Oaks was amazing, what a spiritual beast! He talked a lot about receiving revelation and our role in the church and why revelation is a special gift given to each of us. I really loved listening to Elder Oaks and feeling of his spirit, it was an amazing meeting. Then afterwards I was able to shake his hand individually and say a few words to him. By the way… how did you e-mail an apostle mom? When Elder Oaks shook my hand after the meeting he mentioned that he had received an e-mail from my mother back home. Man, mothers have connections to everyone don’t they? Lol.

Man oh man, it is so fun to be here again! I arrived in Fernandina as a fresh little greenie at the beginning of my mission and now almost 20 months later I am right back to where I first began. Awesome!! I will keep ya'll updated about what happens here with the people we are working with and the happenings at “home” in Fernandina!

I have not received your last letter because I left before it arrived (due to the holiday last Monday) but I will be heading back to Starke for a baptism this Thursday so I will get my stuff then! Yeah baby! I am goin' back for Noah’s baptism! I got special permission to attend! Elder Lewis was suppose to bring my mail and any last packages to me on the Mission Conference with Elder Oaks... but well... he forgot (lol go figure). I love that kid!!

I don’t really need anything, just being back home is enough to make this Elder grin from ear to ear! And hey if you talk to Sister Gainey tell her I say hi and I will see her on Thursday I hope at the baptism!

Love, Elder Blair (who is very happy to be home again!)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Starke, FL Letter #24 Jan. 17, 2011

Hello everyone back home,
Hey, wow... this week has been an emotional rollercoaster for me; I do not have any other word to describe how I am feeling right now. Moreover, unfortunately, I really don't have a super lot of time to email today and fill you guys in on everything; mainly because I am being transferred out of Starke tomorrow, tonight is my last night here. Therefore, I am getting ready to go around on my P-day today and say goodbyes to all of my peps here in Starke.

But holy cow this week was crazy wild and super busy. We taught our investigators Savannah, Noah and Charles. Now for the best part Elder Lewis and I and set baptismal dates with all of them, so that was a spiritual high!! Then Saturday we got transfer calls and well looks as if I am hitting the road yet again. I will miss serving with Elder Lewis, and being a part of the work in Starke. The members here are amazing and this area is on fire! As I leave this area, I have a comforting feeling because all of our investigators are super solid because they are member referrals! Savannah, Noah and Charles all have such strong testimonies!!

Man I am so sad that I will miss these 3 baptisms... and pretty sad to be leaving Starke. All the people that we have worked with are finally being baptized in the next few weeks but atlas I will miss that. But I will go and serve in another area. I know there is a need for me to work in another part of the vineyard. Where I will end up… well tomorrow will tell. Anyways fam and fans I will fill ya'll in more in depth detail when I have more time to write, so that will be next week. Today is dedicated to my peeps in Stake and saying goodbye to them.

Mom, the homemade treats you sent in the package was really, really good. Those cookies where the bomb dizzy!! Thanks again to everyone for all the letters and packages; I will let you know where I end up. Well, I gotta get running…I got peps to say goodbye to.

Love the Elder who hates to say goodbye…
Elder Blair

Monday, January 10, 2011

Starke, FL Letter #23 Jan. 10, 2011

Hello people,
This week has been amazing!! Elder Lewis & I have picked up several new investigators and most of them are referrals from members, and... (wait for it)... and... almost all the people we are teaching have amazing potential to be baptized! We have an appointment tonight with our investigator Savannah. She is from a less active member’s home. She has been attending seminary and coming to church and really loves it! We will be teaching her tonight at our Bishops house! Then later this week we are going to be having another appointment with Noah (and if all goes well we will set a baptismal date with him this week)!

Next thing we know Bishop just gave us two more referrals last night. These referrals are of a less active family that wants their children to be baptized! This week has been a blast we have had appointment after appointment this week. There is another family that we kind of lost track of, but found again (they are a less active part member family) and they showed up to church this week out of the blue! Elder Lewis and I are walking on air, we are so stoked!!

Yes, indeed things have been turning out well for us in our little area of Starke! Just a reminder Transfer calls are coming this Saturday so we will see what happens. If I am moving, I will be moving next Tuesday the 18th. I will let ya'll know what goes down next p-day. Speaking of that I loved the space bags!! If I do have to transfer those will come in super handy!!

As for everyone (so far) sending the cards with the New Year’s resolutions on them I thank you for that! It has been pretty helpful, and fun! I have received a lot of them; however, I think I am missing about 5 of them.

Well peeps back home, I gotta get running now, I only have about 5 minutes left on the PC so I'll talk to you next week! I hope all goes well for ya'll this week.

Love Elder Blair (teaching and dunking as fast as possible! Just call me the Super Soaker!!) ha-ha!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Starke, FL Letter #22 Jan. 3, 2011

Happy New Year everyone!
I hope you set some great New Years goals and had a fun time during the New Year celebrations! Well this week was pretty fun and kinda slow at the same time. Since everyone was out on vacation, we had some fun times and ran into a few slower times as well with a lot of people not being home. However, this week we set a baptismal date with one of our investigators that we have been working with. We set his date for February 12th because; well, he gets off probation in February so it is a little ways in the future but it will all turn out good.

This week, has had us in cold weather and in warm weather all in the same week. Yeah so, one day we are putting on coats and scarfs and the next day we are wearing short sleeve shirts. Simply crazy, but that is Florida for you! Elder Lewis & I had a great New Years bash! We went over to our next-door neighbor the Barbers, and celebrated with them. At the party we had some of our investigators show up as well, which was fun! We had the opportunity to play some board games with them. We played Sorry and a game called Moods, which is really not that bad of a game. I liked it anyway. I remember last year I was enjoying an Oyster cookout on New Year’s Day! Do you guys remember that? I actually ate a raw oyster...yeah first and last time I tried that! I had a fun time though, it was all good!

This week also had some fantastic surprises! A member named Brother Beckham is having his Grandson live with him for several years, is bringing him to church, and wants him to be baptized! Tomorrow (Tuesday) we are having our first lesson with Noah; who is 12! This should be fun! We also picked up a less active part member family (out in the far reaches of our area) and we are going to be seeing them on Friday. Therefore this week is packed.

News update on Sister C. (the one that has cancer) she is still hanging on she made it passed Christmas and New years!!! Therefore, we are excited for her and her family! They had an amazing Christmas, so thanks to everyone back home who helped with that service for them. From what I hear, they really loved everything! I didn’t get a baptism this Christmas but we did get snow, which was awesome!!

And last little bit of news, Elder Oaks is coming to speak to our mission on January 22! Pretty sick! Really excited about that! I will know in about 2 weeks if I am being transferred or not, I think it is around the 15th of January. Not exactly positive on the date. Oh yeah for the 12 days of New Years I have received letters #1, #2 and #12 so far. Who all is sending them? Thanks for the Muddy Buddies; they were amazing I shared them with the Barbers for New Years!

Well that is all, Elder Lewis and I are going to play sports all day with the youth. They don’t go back to school until tomorrow. The teachers go back today to get everything ready but the youth head back on Tuesday. Man oh man, it is crazy to think that I come back this year. September would be perfect time to come back to Florida, ideal actually. It’s going to be sweet introducing you guys to everyone back here! Hey, I really got to get going now, so take it easy everyone. I will talk to you next week, I seriously gotta be running now. Lots to do. Love ya lots!

Take care, bye
Love Elder Blair (Having a “ball” on his P-day today!)