Tuesday, November 25, 2014
It is a rainy day here in Holt, Michigan! It was super cold all of last week with us getting a lot of snow but Saturday and yesterday it warmed up enough to melt all of the snow. I got to break out all of my winter gear and I think the lowest it got this week was 8 degrees!! It was super cold but luckily I had all of the winter gear that I needed in order to stay warm!
Last Monday we went to the zoo and the MSU museum! The zoo was a lot of fun, we got to see lots of cool animals but there were a lot that were not out (I have no clue where they were hiding them...) but it was totally worth the $2 it took for admission. The MSU museum was also kind of cool but I liked the zoo better. Today we are going to tour the Michigan State Capitol building so that will be fun.
Some pretty cool things happened this week. First we got a referral from the Sister missionaries in the Portland area. They had been calling some previous investigators and accidently dialed the wrong number and called a guy named Ted. They talked to him and found out that he lived in our area and told us to drop by. He is super awesome! He has had a really tough life but he is probably the most humble and sincere guy that I have ever met in my life. He is also so positive. We were able to see him 3 times this past week and he came to church yesterday! He didn't even need us there with him he totally fit right in with the ward and was making friends left and right. I am super excited to see what happens with him.
We had zone conference that lasted all day on Wednesday. It was an awesome zone conference and I got so much out of it!! I was able to learn so many things by the Spirit that is going to help me be a better missionary and better help those people that I work with on a daily basis. I have been able to apply some of the things that I have learned and have already seen the good things that are coming from it!
We met with several other investigators this week. One of them, Kory, dropped us... He had a really good conversation with us but felt like right now it was something that he didn't want to look into anymore.
Friday was a pretty awesome day. Since we are without a car this week we took the bus to downtown Lansing and went and saw Ed, the deaf recent convert that we baptized my first transfer with Elder Bass. It was really cool. I was able to talk with him in ASL for a good 45 mins and did a whole lot better than I ever thought I would. We talked about his family and about a lot of things that have happened in his life and how he is going to be able to be with his family again. It is awesome how Heavenly Father has been able to work with just that one semester of ASL that I took last fall and help me to be able to communicate and share the gospel with people out here on my mission. I really am able to see the Lord helping me in every aspect of the work.
We had a lot of really good conversations this week and really were able to see the Lord directing our paths. Not too much happened this week other than these things but there are a few other things that I wanted to share with yall.
Starting Friday (the day after Thanksgiving), the Church is going to be doing a Christmas campaign called "He is the gift". It is a initiative to really help people put Christ back into Christmas. It focuses on slowing down this holiday season and really recognizing the reason for the season. Since the Church never does anything halfway they have armed us with tools to really use this message with those that we come in contact with. We are going to be passing out pass-along cards with the link to the Christmas website starting the day after Thanksgiving and really hoping to get the word out. Also, on December 7th the church is going to be the only advertiser on the homepage of YouTube. The banner ad will be a short video and information about the video that they are releasing with this initiative and it should be super awesome! I am excited about it!
Finally, this is the last week of the transfer and we get transfer calls on Friday. There is a chance that I will be getting transferred... SOOO if you are wanting to mail me anything and you are not sure that it will get here this week you can mail it to the mission office and they will forward it to me until I can get yall my new address.
That address is:
Elder Cale Bloskas
4910 S. Hagadorn Rd.
East Lansing, MI 48823
Thank you again for all of the love and support. I love all of you and I wouldn't be able to be doing what I was doing if it wasn't for yall! Have a great week and a fantastic Thanksgiving!!
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
This past week was a busy week and there are a lot of things that I want to share with you this week. This email might be a bit longer than usual but there are a lot of things that I have been pondering on that I wish to share with you.
This week was a great week for missionary work. Monday night through Wednesday morning I was on trade-offs with a missionary who is serving just north of us that covers all of south Lansing. It was a lot of fun. Their area is a little rougher than our area in Holt but they have a lot of people that they are working with. One of them was an older man that we had the opportunity to go over there and talk about the importance of church attendance and reading the Book of Mormon to find more peace in our lives. He mentioned that he wasn't able to see that well or read at all because of his glasses. Of course, I spent several months working at an eye doctor as an optician before my mission and I asked him if I could see his glasses. The first pair was a rimless pair of glasses that had the lens popped out. I used the ribbon in my scriptures to pop the lenses back in. The other pair was the ones that he was wearing and they were very poorly adjusted to his face and sitting way to low. So I adjusted them to sit a little higher so that he would be able to properly use the bifocals and read. I explained to him how to best use the bifocals and told him how to better take care of his glasses. We then read a chapter in the Book of Mormon with him and he was able to read it with us!! So I guess you can say that I had a unique opportunity to "help the blind see" this week. I got a kick out of that as I was thinking about that whole experience.
The rest of the week was filled with several appointments with people that we have been working with and a little bit of door knocking. It has been in the low 30s and sometimes high 20s with a little bit of snow when we have been out door knocking so we have tried to schedule as many appointments as we can to try to break up the door knocking and not spend as much time in the cold.
Friday evening I got a call from President Jacobsen informing me that my Grandpa Bill had passed away. It was something that I had prepared myself for throughout the week and I didn't take it as hard as I thought that I would at first. As I spent the last few days pondering on the time that I got to spend with him and the great life that he lived I kept having my thoughts pulled back to a picture of Jesus Christ that sits on my desk. I am grateful for the knowledge that I have that this life is not the end. We are told in 1 Corinthians 15:22 that, "As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." We are promised that because of the atonement of Jesus Christ all of us will also be resurrected and be able to return to our Heavenly Father with our bodies "restored to their proper and perfect frame." (Alma 40:23) Because of the knowledge that I have of our Heavenly Fathers plan for all of His children, I can "see the great reason of sorrow, and also rejoicing- sorrow because of death... and joy because of the light of Christ unto life." (Alma 28:14) I spent a lot of time thinking of how I shouldn't be sad to lose my grandpa because I know that he is a better place now. But I realized that the only way to take the sorrow out of death is to take love out of life. I know that Grandpa Bill loved me dearly and he wanted what was best for me. That is one thing that he always made clear to me is the love that he had for me and always wanted what was best for me. One of the things that I have realized about life is that sometimes we might feel like nobody understands the pain or sorrow that we are going though. But our Savior, Jesus Christ, knows the depths of our trials, our pain, and our suffering. he alone offers us eternal peace in those times in our lives. He stands ready to help us in times of need and comforts us with his invitation to, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30) Whether it be the best time in our lives or the worst, He is with us. That promise never changes no matter where we might be in our life.
Well that is it for this week. This week should be a great week. Several of us are going to the zoo this afternoon. I think itll be funny to see an elephant with snow in the background. I think some of these animals are probably in as much shock as I am of how cold Michigan is. We are suppose to get snow this week and it should stay pretty cold. I guess I will have to break out the snow gear!! I hope yall have a great week!! I love yall and I am grateful for all of your love and support!!
P.S. He is a picture with the "Grape of Wrath" (named that because it is the only purple car in the mission. All the other cars are silver and sometimes black or white) right after it started snowing!
Monday, November 10, 2014
Happy Missionary Monday,
This week was a busy one but not a lot of exciting things happened so this will probably be really short. Me and Elder Call have continued to do quite a bit of door knocking and have started to contact former investigators to meet them and see why they stopped learning about this church. We have met a lot of really good people and have started to meet with several of them. We had a lot of appointments this week and several of them fell through so we didn't get to see as many people as we would have hoped but we have picked up a few new investigators so I hope that they turn out to be really promising people.
We started meeting with a guy named Thomas to help him quit smoking, we started meeting with a girl and her mom who's boyfriend just left on his mission and she wanted to see what he is going to be doing, and we have been meeting with several part member families. We have a lot of really promising people that we are working with. The work has been really hard lately with so many people canceling and having to do a lot of door knocking but it is starting to pick up. I'm hoping that soon we will have so many appointments that we wont be able to door knock at all.
This past week when me and Elder Call were door knocking we were getting a lot of doors slammed in our face and a lot of rude people. Since I am usually always in a good mood I decided that I would write a song that I could use on doorsteps (I haven't used it yet but I guess we will see). Its inspired/to the tune of "Do you wanna build a snowman" from Frozen. It goes like this:
"Do you wanna hear the gospel?
Come on, come out and hear.
You've never heard it before.
Answer your door.
Don't let it slip away.
We'll teach the restoration.
It'll change your life.
We wish you would come outside.
Do you wanna hear the gospel?
We wish you'd hear the gospel.
(This is where they slam the door in my face or say they aren't interested)
Again I am sorry that this is short. Just not too many crazy things happened this week. I hope that you all have a great week! Thanks for all the love and support!
Monday, November 3, 2014
Monday, November 3, 2014
It has been another great week here in Holt, MI. There are so many things that happened this week that I am excited to tell y'all about.
Me and Elder Call spent a lot of time door knocking again this week and we are starting to find and meet with some pretty great people. I am excited to be able to see what happens with several of these people. We weren't able to meet with Marcus this week but we were able to meet with Beau again. Beau is the guy that we met a few weeks ago (I think I told y'all about him) he has a braided pony tail that goes all the way down his back and he is into some kind of religion that has to do with reincarnation and being connected to the Earth. He has really enjoyed everything that we have shared and I think that he will really start to progress.
Wednesday we lost the car and so we were on bikes both Wednesday afternoon and Thursday. Friday, on Halloween, we were told that we were going to experience rain that turned into snow. Me and Elder Call decided to get bus passes and to take the bus to the appointments that we had in South Lansing. It worked out really good. The only bad part was that we hadn't gotten the bus schedule down and so we ended up barely missing two of the buses so we ended up having to wait 30 mins each time for another bus to come. While we were waiting on a bus to go to lunch, a pretty sketchy guy walked up to us asking to use our phone. We told him that we weren't allowed to allow people to use our phones. He started yelling at us calling us "Fake Christians" and then he was pretty upset. After a minute or two he came back up to us told us his name was Dan and started asking us religious questions. We had 2 or 3 other homeless looking people walk up to us and start shooting questions at us that were off the wall. Dan then told us about how he has had 12 felonies and been in prison 15 years and that he is about to go back to jail for a few more years for "ruffing up a cop" but he said it wasn't his fault. It was a really interesting experience and I think that I am going to really enjoy talking to the interesting people on the bus in south Lansing. Friday night we weren't allowed to go out after the Trick or Treaters started coming out so we went over to a member's home and had dinner (they had BBQ so I really enjoyed that) and we played Apples to Apples for the rest of the evening since we couldn't go back out and work. It was a lot of fun.
Saturday we went and saw Ed. Ed is the deaf recent convert that me and Elder Bass baptized about 2 months ago. He is in the hospital. I love that man so much. He is so funny and has such a great heart. A member and her husband who know ASL and the Sister missionaries were with us and Ed kept giving me a hard time. I was the only missionary that knows ASL and so he kept talking to me and giving me a hard time. He asked me and Elder Call to give him a blessing. It was a really great experience. As we were about to leave I told Ed that he needed to make sure that he was nice to the nurses. He told me that he would try and that he couldn't make any promises. Then he signed to me, "Don't be sad for me. Go out and work hard. I pray for you everyday." It was a really tender moment as I was really able to feel the appreciation that Ed had for the work that we did and it really made me realize just how grateful I am to be out here doing the Lord's work!
Yesterday morning we were able to borrow the other Elders' car that go to church in the same building as us just at an earlier time. Since they were going to be at church from 9-12 they let us borrow their car to go see AJ at 10. Me and Elder Norton (the district leader) met AJ when we were on trade-offs Monday and Tuesday. Honestly I wasn't expecting this visit to be that promising since he never answered our text trying to confirm the appointment. We went in and had an amazing restoration lesson with him. The Spirit was so strong there and he loved everything we taught him. We committed him to be baptized on November 22nd and he prayed at the end of the lesson for the first time in a long time! It was so awesome and he seems to really want to get back on the right track. Him and his fiancé have 5 kids and he really has a desire to strengthen his family and he seems to really see that the message that we share will help him with that.
My studies in the mornings have been really great this week! I have been able to really see Heavenly Father speak to me. I finished the Book of Mormon again this morning and it was a great experience. I flipped back through the whole Book of Mormon and pondered on the things that I had been taught this last time reading it through. I am so thankful for the teachings that are in the Book of Mormon. It has helped me to understand the Bible so much more and I am grateful for a volume of scripture that does not take away from, or contradict the Bible but allows us to better understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ that is in both the Bible and the Book of Mormon.
Me and Elder Call have an exciting week planned this week and I am excited to see what the Lord has in store for us. I am truly grateful to be a missionary and to be serving the people of Michigan! I wouldn't trade this experience for the world. I see people everyday that need the peace and joy that the gospel of Jesus Christ can bring them and it is humbling to be able to be a full-time missionary for His church!
Thank you for all of the love, support, and prayers. They make more of a difference than you can imagine and I am grateful for all of you!
Thank you for all of the love, support, and prayers. They make more of a difference than you can imagine and I am grateful for all of you!
Cale on Halloween