Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Another Transfer Week

Good morning and Merry Christmas!! 
It is such an amazing season and it is such a blessing to be able to be a missionary during this Christmas season!! We had another great week.
Monday, we got to drive the transfer van around and pick-up/drop-off all of the missionaries that were transferring. It is always great to be able to see all of the amazing missionaries in the mission. Tuesday, we got to go to the capitol with those missionaries that were going home and then also to the temple. The temple was amazing as always. I was able to really enjoy it and received several answers to prayers.That night we had departing dinner and testimonies with those missionaries who were going home, including those missionaries who will go home next week mid-transfer for school in January. Wednesday, we dropped off the outgoing missionaries at the airport and picked up the new ones!! It is always so great to meet the new missionaries and the new ones we got this transfer are awesome!! I am excited to see how well they do in their new areas. That night we had dinner with them and then had them do paperwork and answered a lot of their questions. Thursday, we had our training for the new missionaries and their trainers and it went really well. Then we drove to MT. Pleasant to drop several of them off in their areas. Late Thursday night we got a call from one of the sisters up north in one of the areas that we opened and they said that they never got a key for their new apartment. So we had to get them a hotel room for the night and then me and Elder Haddock had to drive a few hours to meet their zone leaders Friday morning to give them the keys to their apartment. So Friday, we spent most of the first part of the day driving up there and then since it snowed Friday there were several wrecks on the highway and it took forever to drive back. That night we got to have a few lessons that were super awesome. We got to teach a guy named Austin for the first time and he agreed to be baptized the first of February! So I am excited for him! Saturday, we had to finish several things in the office and then we went to a baptism!! Yesterday was another great day at church and we got to go to President and Sister Jacobsen's after church to help them put together things for the Christmas parties this week.
This week we are going to be super busy! Wednesday and Thursday we are going to have both of our half-mission Christmas Parties and then Friday is Christmas!! It should be another great week!!

Thanks for all of the prayers and support!! Merry Christmas!!

Elder Bloskas

P.S. Here is the picture that me and Elder Haddock used for our Christmas card that we are picking up today to send out!! 

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Transfer Planning and NFL Football Players

Good morning,
It was another great week and a lot of cool things happened this past week. It will be a shorter update than usual since we are emailing today instead of Monday since we will be driving all over the state for transfers.
Monday, we spent the morning beginning transfer planning and we actually got most of it done before about 3pm when we went to the stake center and played basketball for the rest of the afternoon. Then Monday night we went to FHE with Trey and he really enjoyed it. I thought that he would think that it was kind of silly but he really enjoyed it and got into it! 

Tuesday, we spent the morning transfer planning a little more and we got a lot done in the office.  There has been a missionary who has been struggling with things that have been going on back home and has really been discouraged. President really wanted to find a way to help him stay motivated and so that afternoon, we went with President and this missionary to Detroit to meet Haloti Ngata from the Detroit Lions, who is highest paid defensive tackle in the NFL! We got to go to his house and meet him and his family. It was a really cool experience to meet him and spend time with his family. They live a very humble life and Haloti was really down to earth and had a good conversation with this missionary while me, President Jacobsen, and Elder Haddock kept his kids entertained! It was an awesome experience. Then we drove back to Lansing and President Jacobsen took us out to eat at 5 Guys! 

Wednesday, we drove to district meeting in Sturgis (which is right at the bottom of Michigan and part of their area goes into Indiana! Elder Mafile'o is the district leader and he did a great job at the meeting, we were really impressed with all of the missionaries in his district. After District Meeting we went to lunch with them and then drove a half mile to the Indiana border and took pictures by the sign before heading back to Lansing. We spent the rest of the day doing things in the office to prepare for transfers next week and then taught Trey that night. 

Thursday, we got to teach Haley, one of our super awesome investigators and then we met with President for a little bit before driving to Greenville for a doctors appt. Thursday night, we went over to President Jacobsen's and called all of the new Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders.

Yesterday, we had transfer calls all morning and then we  got to teach Michael, a new girl named Tatiyana, and Trey. All three of the lessons went really well and all of them them are doing really great in the gospel! We spent the rest of the day doing some last minute things in the office. Today we are driving to Mt. Pleasant to attend the baptism of a girl named Calie that both me and Elder Haddock got to teach while we were there. She decided to be baptized a little under a year ago but decided that she wanted to be baptized on her birthday (since it has emotional significance because of the events that surrounded her birth where she almost died and the doctors told he that she was a miracle).  So that is happening today!

It should be another great week! I am excited for another great transfer here at MSU!! Thanks as always for the prayers and support!!!

Elder Bloskas 



Friday, December 11, 2015

A Savior Is Born- Christmas.Mormon.org

**Note** Cale wrote this on Monday, December 7, 2015.  Sorry for the delay.--Kristi

To start out this week I encourage all of you to check out Christmas.Mormon.org and watch the two awesome Christmas videos that the church put out!


Well, we had another really good week! We got to spend a lot of time on campus and teaching lessons and we had a lot of cool experiences! 

Monday, we had our usual meeting with President Jacobsen and then we went to lunch before going and playing dodgeball with a bunch of the missionaries. Monday night we went to the YSA FHE with our investigator Michael! He is doing really good now and continues to pray about the gospel and what Heavenly Father wants him to do. 

Tuesday, we had a really good MLC! I got to train on goal setting and how we can be better as a mission by setting goals. It was a really good discussion and I think most of the leaders were able to learn things that they are able to take back to their zones and help their missionaries. That evening we had to take care of some stuff for President Jacobsen that involved us picking up a missionary who was going to go home. 

Wednesday, we went to the airport with the missionary that was going home and then drove his companion back to his area to be with a few other missionaries for the rest of the transfer. That afternoon, President wanted us to help him put Christmas lights on the mission home. So we got to do that and then that night we were able to have another really good lesson with Michael! 

Thursday, we taught a super awesome new girl named Haley! We found her walking in a snowstorm a few weeks ago and she was definitely placed in our path for a reason. She is super prepared and the lesson went really well! She actually had lunch with another guy that we are meeting with about what the lessons were like. That afternoon we got to spend some time on campus before we drove to pick up another missionary who had to go home.. It is always a bummer when a missionary goes home but this week was super rough because we had two go home.

Friday, we got to spend most of the day working on campus and we got to talk to a lot of awesome people. We also got to teach Trey, and had an awesome lesson with him. He is preparing to be baptized probably right after Christmas break.

Saturday, we spent some time talking to people on campus before we went to the church to set up for a baptism that our ward was having. Both of the sets of Sisters had a baptism and it was an awesome day. Both of them were Chinese and didn't have a belief in God before they met the missionaries and it has been awesome to see how far they have come. Overall it was a really good week!!

This week we will be transfer planning all week and getting things ready for transfers next week. We are also teaching several lessons so it should be another great week!! Thanks as always for the prayers and support!!

Elder Bloskas

P.S. Here is the spiritual thought that I included with my weekly email to the mission leaders last night but I think it can apply to all of us as we live the gospel: 
We really need to have a positive attitude and help the missionaries in the mission realize that "We Can Do Hard Things!" If we are willing to discipline ourselves to the principle of success, we will experience success. One of the most important things that we can do to be successful is to believe and act like those missionaries that we have always wanted to be and that our Heavenly Father has called us to be. Ultimately our actions, and attitude will help us become the type of missionaries that we want to be. George Bernard Shaw said: “People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. People who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can’t find them, make them.” In order for us to be as successful as our Heavenly Father wants us to be, "We must learn to become creators of circumstances and not creatures of them."
 -M. Russell Ballard

Monday, November 30, 2015

Death by Ghost Pepper and Thanksgiving

Good morning!!

I hope that y'all had a great Thanksgiving! The work continues to move forward here in Michigan and it is a beautiful day here. 

We had a really great week. Last Monday, we spent the first part of our day ice skating at a rink that is right around the corner from the mission office. Our mission president told us to make sure that nobody got too crazy but it was a lot of fun. I haven't ice skated in several years so it took a few minutes to get used to it again but it was a lot of fun. There was a little girl there that was 9 yrs old. She has been skating for 3 years and takes private lessons from a coach that coaches Olympic figure skaters so she was really good! She kept trying to teach us some figure skating jumps and stuff and showing off for us. It was a lot of fun! We spent the rest of the day doing some things around the apartment and then we went to Olive Garden with President and Sister Jacobsen for Elder Haddock's birthday (which was a few weeks ago). Afterwards we taught a lesson to Michael that went really well.

Tuesday, we taught several lessons to students that were about to leave for the rest of the week. We have been teaching a new guy named Sujit that doesn't really have a knowledge of Jesus Christ so it has been really cool to be able to start with the basics of the gospel and teach him about Jesus Christ. 

Wednesday we went to Mt. Pleasant for District Meeting. Afterwards we went to Dog Central and Elder Haddock decided to try a food challenge where you had to eat 3 hotdogs with ghost pepper chili on them. They just got a new shipment in and they said that he was the guinea pig for the new ghost pepper concentrate. He only got through one of the hotdogs before it was too much for him to bear. When we went home about 30 mins later he started to have intense stomach pain. i thought that I was going to have to take him to the ER or something because of how much pain he was in. I wasn't sure if it was causing him any internal damage but we stopped at a pharmacy and got him some medicine to help him feel better. The rest of the day we were on Trade-offs with the Lansing ZLs. I got to be with Elder Lowder and we went on campus and talked to the few students who were on campus and talked about Thanksgiving with them.  We took a whiteboard around (I am sure you saw it on my Facebook) and we had them write what they were thankful for and how they show their thanks to God. It went really well. Thursday we had a great Thanksgiving. We started the morning going to several nursing homes. We sat and talked to them, gave them cookies, and sang songs to them. It went really great. My favorite parts are when a lady named Ruth stood up and started singing with us and started singing an old Black Southern Baptist song and was really getting into it. Also, Elder Haddock had a lady named Ruth that latched onto his hand and said, "GIVE ME A KISS." It was really funny, he quickly got away from her. The rest of the day we spent at the Burleson's. Their daughter is in our ward and we got to spend the day with them. That evening her dad let us try on some of his tactical gear and we took a few pictures. I will include one of them! But it was great.

Friday we spent the day talking to people on campus and then that night we cooked dinner for both sets of sister missionaries that also serve in our ward and also the new senior couple. We cooked them spaghetti, baked squash, and broccoli.

Saturday, we spent a little time on campus before it got too crazy with the game and then we went to Jackson and taught Jake! He continues to be super solid and is doing great in the gospel! He had the Aaron Priesthood conferred on him yesterday and it was super sweet!! Yesterday, we had church and then a meeting with President. 

We have another great week planned this week and I am excited to continue to see how the Lord works in our lives. We have a bunch of new people that we are supposed to meet with so it should be great!! Thanks as always for the support and prayers!!

Elder Bloskas

P.S. Here is me and Elder Haddock decked out in our gear. We have physical protection and spiritual protection!! 


Monday, November 23, 2015

Snow!

Good morning!!
It is a beautiful fall/winterish day here in East Lansing. We got about 10 inches of snow on Saturday so the state has officially turned into a winter wonderland.
We had another really good week.
Monday, we got to go to lunch with several other missionaries in the area. Then we went to the stake center and played basketball and volleyball for most of the rest of the day. That evening we taught Michael again. The lessons with him are going pretty well we are just not sure how much longer we are going to be able to teach him since they aren't really going anywhere. 
Tuesday, we drove to Traverse City, which is at the top of the state, and we got to blitz their area. I got to spend the day with Elder Sauer and it was a great day full of door knocking and teaching a few lessons. I got to teach one of their recent converts that was investigating the church a few months ago when I was there. She has really been struggling lately so it was great to be able to spend some time teaching her and helping her find some hope and joy in her life during difficult times. 
Wednesday we drove to Kalkaska (which is about 30 mins away from TC) for the Traverse City Zone Training. We got to spend time with all the missionaries in that zone before we had lunch and drove back. We literally drove from the top of the state to the bottom of the state because that evening we had a dinner in Jackson which is towards the bottom of the state and we had to drive straight there from TC.
Thursday, we helped a family move in the morning, got our oil changed in our truck and spent some time on campus before we drove to Mt. Pleasant for tradeoffs there.
Friday, I got to spend the day on CMU campus with Elder Chalmers and we taught several lessons to people that they are working with. They are killing it on campus and so they have so many people that they are working with! It is great to see that area doing so well. Friday night, we drove back to Lansing and we were in the ward talent show. Me and Elder Haddock wrote a song. It was a missionary version of a song from Aladdin  when they ride on the magic carpet. I will include the lyrics and a picture at the end of this email. It went really well!!
Saturday, we woke up to 10 inches of snow. So me and Elder Haddock got to spend quite a bit of time on campus talking to students and it went really well. We got to talk to several really great people and have return appointments with several of them. One of the really cool miracles that we saw was with a girl named Haley. She was looking for the library and had tried 3 different other days but was unable to find it and decided to try to look for it one last time when she ran into us. We talked to her and she shared about how her mother had passed away when she was really young and she was really looking for a purpose in life and that she felt it was inspired that we talked to her. So we got to walk with her to the library (since we knew where it was at) and she was excited to set up a time this next week to meet with us!!
We have another great week planned! Today we are planning on going ice skating with a bunch of missionaries and then we have a great day planned this week with Thanksgiving! It should be another great week!!

Thanks as always for all of the love and support!!

Elder Bloskas

P.S. Here is us singing at the Talent Show and also a picture of us on campus with a snowman that someone built!

Also here is our song:
Elder Bloskas; I can teach you the gospel, Faith, Repentance, baptism. Tell me Elder, When did you last let the spirit decide? I can show you a book, Alma, Helaman, Ether. Over hilltops and under rocks to spread this gospel wide! 
Eternal Life!
Jesus Christ has called you here, no one will tell us no, where ere we go. Or say we’re only dreaming. 
Elder Haddock; Eternal life! Faith, repentance, baptism, but when you’re way up here. It’s crystal clear, now I know the Book of Mormon’s true. 
Elder Bloskas; (key change) now I know the book of Mormon’s true.
Elder Haddock; Unbelievable sights, indescribable feelings. We will baptize all of the peeps in every country side. Eternal Life! 
Elder Bloskas; Don’t you dare close your eyes, 
Elder Haddock; Faith repentance, baptism
Elder Bloskas; Keep your sights on the temple. 
Both; but when we’re way up here. It’s crystal clear, Now I know the Book of Mormon’s true, Now I know the Book of Mormon’s true. 



Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Jake got baptized!

Good morning! 

It was another amazing week! Jake was baptized on Saturday and it was just a really great week!!!

Monday, we did our usually p-day things. In the afternoon we played basketball and volleyball with a bunch of the missionaries here in the Lansing area. Monday night we taught Michael again and we had a really good lesson focused on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Tuesday, we had MLC and it went really well! President Jacobsen focused a lot on several of the things that are attacking members of the church today and really focused on the importance of keeping our thoughts pure and constantly having uplifting thoughts that bring the Spirit! It was a really good training. After that I was on trade-offs with Elder Caceres who is a zone leader in Grand Rapids. We were here at MSU and we taught 2 lessons. 

Wednesday we went to district meeting here in Lansing and then we worked on campus for a little bit before we drove to Grand Rapids to trade back and then we drove to Kalamazoo for another trade-off. I was with Elder Erekson on WMU campus.

Thursday morning we raked leaves all morning for a lady who's husband is really sick. Then we spent the rest of the day teaching a few lessons on campus.

Friday, Jake had his baptismal interview and then we finished some last minute things for the baptism. We spent the rest of the day on campus talking to people and then taught a few lessons that night. We got to teach a new guy named Sujit who didn't have a belief in Jesus Christ at all so it was really cool to be able to share with him the love of Jesus Christ and how it can really help his life.

Saturday, we had Jake's baptism! It was a super awesome experience. His mom and grandmother came to the baptism and they really enjoyed it. A few minutes before the baptism I got to talk to his grandmother as she was admiring all of the photos of the Savior in our church building and it was a great experience to hear of her love of Jesus Christ and how grateful she was for us teaching her grandson. The service went really well and the Spirit was so strong!! We spent the rest of the day finishing some stuff here in the office. 

Yesterday, we had another great day, as Jake was confirmed in sacrament meeting. 

We have a great week planned as we are going to be up north for the next couple of days and then this weekend me and Elder Haddock are going to be in the ward talent show!! It should be another great week!!!

Thanks as always for the prayers and support!!
Elder Bloskas

P.S.  Here is a picture of us at Jake's baptism!


Monday, November 9, 2015

The Line in the Sand

Good morning.
I would like to start today's email on a little different note than I usually do. I have had several thoughts this week that I wish to share with all of you back home. I am sure that most of you are aware of the recent policy change in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have been amazed (although I shouldn't be surprised) at the attacks and criticism that I have seen towards the church in taking a stand for what we believe. Now that the Church has been able to explain the policy change, the eternal perspective of the policy change has come into view. As I was thinking about the news I was reminded of an experience that I had a few years ago a few months before I left for my mission. As I was serving as a facilitator for TLAC (Teen Leadership Amarillo & Canyon) we had an activity one day where there were 2 long strips of tape on the ground. The man that was instructing us stated that we were going to learn a lot that day about what we personally believed and were we stood on current issues in society. He claimed that he would make a series of statements on controversial issues (like "I believe that Gay marriage is wrong",  "Abortions are wrong", etc) and we would have to walk on the other side of the tape (10-15 feet away) if we agreed or stay put if we disagreed. He stated that not moving was making a stand for what we believed and that we would have to search within ourselves to find out how we truly felt on these issues. I was comforted to know that since I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints I didn't need to wonder where I stood on these issues because I was blessed to be able to know where God stood on these issues. It is a blessing to me to be able to have a living prophet on the earth and to know exactly how our Heavenly Father wants us to act and believe. The Lord tells us in Doctrine and Covenants 1:38, "What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same" The laws of God are unchanging and I am grateful to be a representative of Jesus Christ and to be able to proclaim his gospel to his children here in Michigan! President Jacobsen mentioned to us the other day, when referring to this new policy, that the line in the sand is growing wider as the world turns away from God's Standards and the world slowly becomes a modern day Sodom and Gamorrah. I am grateful to know which side of the line I stand on. I encourage y'all to watch the video that the church put out with an interview with Elder Christoffersen talking about the details behind the new policy change. It puts everything into perspective.
Now that my rant is over I can tell you about my week.. We had a really good week. Saturday we enjoyed our p-day and we had a fun Halloween party with several of the missionaries in the Lansing area.
Sunday we had a great day at church and preparing for transfers. 
Monday we had transfers and I missed the morning run because of the Upper GI Scope that I had done.  So the rest of the day I just got to tag along in the transfer van since they didn't want me driving because I had anesthesia that day.  It went really well and I am doing a lot better now that they gave me medicine. 
Tuesday we went to the state capitol with those missionaries that are going home before we went to the temple. The Temple was amazing as always and it was great to be able to spend some time just taking a step back and allowing myself to feel the Spirit there. 
Wednesday, we drove the departing missionaries to the airport and then spent some time on campus and taught Michael before we picked up the new missionaries. It is always exciting to pick up the new missionaries and give them a good taste of what missionary work is like in Michigan. 
Thursday, we had our new missionary and trainer training at the Stake Center before we drove several of the missionaries to their new areas. 
Friday, we got to spend some time on campus and finishing things in the office before we taught Jake. Jake is still doing really awesome. He is excited to be baptized this coming Saturday and he is still so on fire! It has been a real inspiration to see him progress in the gospel!!
Saturday, we had a lot of things to do in the office and we also taught Jake again and then also taught Janell! Saturday night we went to President Jacobsen's and met with him to prepare for our MLC this week. 
Yesterday, was another great day at church (Jake was there again) and the ward also had a potluck afterwards!
We have a great week planned with MLC, trade-offs, and several lessons. It should be another great week!! I am so grateful for all of the miracles I have seen lately and how the Lord continues to work in my life! Thanks, as always, for all of the support and prayers.

Elder Bloskas

P.S. Here  are the departing missionaries at the temple and the new missionaries at the airport!


Sunday, November 1, 2015

Halloween PDay

Good morning and Happy Halloween.

I am emailing/having P-day today because we will be driving all over the state of Michigan on Monday and won't have our p-day then!
We had a really good week this past week! Most of the week was spent transfer planning. We started it on Monday right after we got done emailing and spent most of the day transfer planning before we taught a lesson to Michael that night. We talked about the 10 commandments and about how prophets have always been able to give us the word of God. It was a really good lesson and I think all of us learned a lot from each other about something that all of us grew up believing.

Tuesday, we transfer planned again most of the day before we taught Jake that afternoon. Jake is doing so awesome and he was already in 3 Nephi (in a week and a half) and was loving it!! We taught him about tithing and the blessings that come from it and it was awesome because earlier in the day he got a call from the school that he goes to saying that he owes them more money than he expected.  It was cool to be able to talk about how faith plays into tithing and how God will always bless him! Afterwards, we got to go on campus and it was a lot of fun. Since there were 3 of us, two of us would talk to someone and then the other would keep walking about 20 more feet and stop someone else. I love talking to people on campus and it was great to get out of the office and do some finding. 

Wednesday, we went to Meridian's district meeting. Elder Dunn (who I served with when I was a district leader in Grand Rapids) is the district leader there. He did a really great job and then we took pictures with his district afterwards! I got to use my new selfie stick that someone gave me last week for the picture! I will include the picture in this email! Then we spent the rest of the day transfer planning before we taught Michael, Janell, and then another member who hasn't been to church in a while named Jose. All of the lessons went well. The lesson with Michael went great because he has a lot of questions/concerns that he hasn't really told us about and so it was great to get those out in the open so that we can help him. 

Thursday, we finished logistics for transfers and then got to help Elder Haddock do the van driving training and we also washed and waxed the new trailer to protect it from the snow and salt this winter.

Friday, we had transfer calls and then we drove to Saginaw to pick up a missionary and take him to Grand Rapids for a baptism. Then we got to have dinner with Brother Banner before we came back to Lansing. 

Today we are teaching Jake and then spending the rest of the day preparing for next week before we have a Halloween party with a bunch of the missionaries tonight. It should be a lot of fun! This next week we will be busy with transfers and sending missionaries home and welcoming the new ones! It should be great!!
Thanks as always for the prayers and support!!

Elder Bloskas

P.S. Here is me and Elder Norton and Elder Haddock with my selfie stick. And here is the Meridian District with my selfie stick! (I feel like I have put it to good use)



Monday, October 26, 2015

Birthday Week!

Good morning!! 
It was another great week here in the MLM!! We are continuing to see miracles every single day and it was been amazing.
Monday, I had an awesome birthday. After we emailed we went to lunch and then went to another corn maze! This one wasn't nearly as big as the other one. It was kinda lame since the corn was dead and you could see over the corn most of the time. But it was a lot of fun and we got to get some apple cider afterwards (it was at one of the many cider mills in the area). After that we went to a place here in Lansing called Spare Time. It is a bowling alley and arcade. We went there to do laser tag but they didn't have the laser tag open so we did a thing called a laser maze. It was similar to the thing that you see in spy movies where they have to get past all of those lasers without hitting any of them. It was a lot of fun and you were even able to watch other people via a screen that showed the inside of the maze. That evening we had a birthday dinner with several of the members of the ward here. It was a lot of fun and they made me a cake and everything!! Afterwards, we taught the Plan of Salvation to Michael and although he had a lot of questions it went really well. 

Tuesday, we spent most of the day driving to West Branch for their district meeting, which was 2 1/2 hours each way. We spent some time with the elders there and then we drove back to Lansing to teach Jake again! He is doing so awesome! He is loving the gospel and is continuing to read nonstop from the Book of Mormon! We taught him and then we got to go to the last part of the Book of Mormon institute class with him. The members of the ward are fellowshipping him so well and he sat for a long time talking to a lot of them after institute!

Wednesday, we drove to Greenville to go to their district meeting and then afterwards we came back to Lansing and taught Michael again. He had a lot of questions about things he has been reading online about our church. So we spent most of the lesson answering his questions and helping him to realize that most of the stuff that he is reading online is completely false or taken out of context. Afterwards, we had a member take us out to eat pizza! 

Thursday, we had a lesson with Janell and then we drove to Jackson to teach Jake again. We taught him about temples and about the Word of Wisdom. He loved what we taught him and he was excited to start his own family history! Afterwards, we came back to Lansing and went to dinner at Texas Roadhouse with President Jacobsen to celebrate my birthday. Afterwards, we met with him for a little while before he left to go up north this past weekend. 

Friday, we had a crazy day... In the morning I had a doctors appointment to figure out everything that happened when I had to go to the ER last month. But everything went pretty well and we are figuring everything out. Then that afternoon, we had a mission emergency that required us to blitz an area, and emergency transfer 2 companionships. I am not able to say all of the details but it all worked out well! After that we met Jake at Applebees and had dinner with him.

Saturday, we had a great day. We got to do some finding on campus before we drove to Jackson again and met Jake for a lesson. We taught him in Culvers (a place that sells custard) since we weren't able to meet him at the church. It was really cool, after the lesson a guy and his wife approached us and said that they had listened in on our lesson and had some questions. So after Jake left we came back and talked with them for about 30 mins about some of the questions that they had. After that we drove to Mt. Pleasant to pick up Elder Haddock who is the new assistant and will be my companion once Elder Norton leaves. 

Sunday, we had our normal Sunday and it was a really great day.

Today we start transfer planning and we will be planning all week. I will be emailing on Saturday this week since we will be having transfers on Monday so be looking for me then!!
Thanks again for all of the birthday wishes and for all of the prayers and support!!

Elder Bloskas

P.S. Here is a sign that was at the cider mill where the corn maze was!


Monday, October 19, 2015

The Big 2-3 and Bithday Week Miracles

Good morning. 

Thank you for all of the wonderful birthday wishes that I have received so far! I have been overwhelmed with an outpouring of love from everyone and I am sure that today is going to be a birthday to remember. It is a wonderful morning here in East Lansing and we had an amazing week. We were really able to see the hand of the Lord this past week and saw several miracles!

Last Monday, we went to the Corn Maze and it was a lot of fun. We went with several other missionaries and it was a great way to spend our p-day. That evening we had a first lesson with a guy named Michael. He is super awesome and has been prepared to accept the gospel. After the lesson he asked us if we could take a picture with him so that he could send it to 2 of his friends who are on missions. He is super awesome. I will include the picture that we took with him in this update. Monday night after the lesson we went over to President's and kinda had a mission emergency that we had to take care of so we didn't get back to our apartment from his house until around 11:30pm...

Tuesday, we drove up to Traverse City and it was a beautiful drive. The leaves have been changing colors and I would have been able to get several awesome photos but it was cloudy and raining the whole time that we were up there.. So I got a few pictures but not nearly as many as I was hoping. But we had a great blitz up there. I was with Elder Coziar all day and we had an awesome day of finding and then that evening the Lintons (the senior couple who are over apartments in the mission) took us all out to Pizza Hut.

Wednesday, we went to district meeting in Petoskey and then made the long trek back to East Lansing where we had another awesome lesson with Michael.

Thursday, me and Elder Norton helped Elder Bish move an elliptical into President and Sister Jacobsen's house while they were gone. When we were moving it down stairs one of the pieces actually slipped up and nailed the wall and did a little damage but it was nothing major so we are going to be able to get it fixed without any issues! We also got to do some finding before we had a trade-off with the zone leaders here in Lansing. That night when we were planning for the next day me and Elder Schetselaar decided that we were going to find 2 new people to teach while we were finding (since we were just going to be finding all day) and we even decided what their names were going to be. It was a light hearted way to make a goal to work towards during the day and while we didn't find and teach "Mark" and "Alicia" like we planned we did meet a guy named Wambali that we were able to teach. We taught him the restoration and he accepted a baptismal date for November 21!! It turned out to be a really good day. 

Saturday, we had another amazing day as we got to teach a guy named Jake that our ward mission leader goes to school with. He met Jordan (the member that goes to school with him) and saw something in him that he felt like he was missing. So he prayed for 2 WEEKS to ask God if he should talk to him about the church and this last Monday he went up to him after he felt he received an answer and told him that he wanted to meet with missionaries. I kid you not, this is the most solid guy I have ever met. He asked so many great questions, the Spirit was super strong, and he said that he wanted to be baptized. Not only that but he had already begun to read the Book of Mormon and by the time he showed up to church yesterday in a full suit, white shirt (which he saw that we were wearing and went out and bought after our lesson), and tie, he had read all of 1 Nephi and said that he was going to finish 2 Nephi by the time we see him tomorrow evening. After we taught him he said, "I do have one question... I read online that in order to serve a mission you have to be out of debt to serve a mission. I have a car payment that I will be making for a few years. Will I have to wait until after I am done paying that to go on a mission?" It was so amazing and he is so awesome!! This week was full of so many miracles!! Yesterday, was another great day at church. 

Today we have a great day planned we are going to another corn maze today and then going to a members for a birthday dinner. It should be another great week. 

I love this work and being a missionary is so awesome. I wouldn't trade this experience for the world!! Thanks as always for the prayers and support. Also thanks for the birthday wishes!!

Elder Bloskas

P.S. Here I am in front of a big apple at the corn maze (they also had apple cider and donuts so obviously I had to get some. Hence, the donut in my hand in this picture) The other is 
a picture of us and Michael!



Monday, October 12, 2015

California Hit Man

Good morning! 
It was another great week in the 5-1-7!! 
I had a really great week. We were super busy as always! 

Monday, our p-day was shortened because of the Legacy group that we were doing part of the day.

Tuesday, we had a big MLC (Missionary Leadership Council) where we had the District Leaders there also. I was able to train on Christlike Missionary Leadership. I think that it went really well and I think that a lot of the missionaries got a lot out of it. MLC lasted most of the day and then that evening me and Elder Norton finished up some things in the office. 

Wednesday, we drove to Jonesville and went to their district meeting. It was a really good District Meeting and then we went to Pizza Hut afterwards. One of the Elders (who is Polynesian) decided to attempt the Big Dinner Box Challenge (which is a made up mission challenge) where you eat 2 medium deep dish pizzas, wings, and bread-sticks, but he gave up with 2 pieces of pizza left. I am convinced that he could have done it! That afternoon we got to go on campus for a little bit before we drove to Kalamazoo to trade-off with WMU. We had a really interesting trade-off... So for the past week or so we have had a guy from California that has been texting us and telling us that he is coming to MSU to visit campus and has asked us to get him in contact with some people that might be able to help him out. It has been a really weird situation and we have really been creeped out by him because of the amount of text that he sends us and how easily he gets offended if we don't reply soon enough. When I got to WMU I found out that the same guy had been contacting them and was wanting to have a lesson with them. So long story short he starts freaking out about when we can get him a ride from the train station in Battle Creek to Kalamazoo (a 45 min drive). Thursday morning we were supposed to have a lesson with him but he wasn't able to get a ride to our our lesson. The Elder that I was on the trade-off with decided to pick him up and take him to the lesson. So we show up at the train station and are waiting for him but he won't tell us what he looks like or what he is wearing. He then tells us that he can't find us (I should add that we are in the ghetto and we are the only white guys in white shirts and ties) and he tells us to go to a street corner in the open... At this point my mind flashed to all of the movies that I have seen where a hit man lures them into the open so that he can have a clear shot at them and get away. Needless to say I thought that I was going to get attacked by this guy or something. He finally found us and we took him to our appointment. We spent the rest of the day after our lesson with him texting us all day and getting offended at any comments that we made. We found out that he is bi-polar and probably schizophrenic... Needless to say it was an interesting day. 

Friday, we planned to drive to Traverse City for out blitz there but we had some stuff come up in Lansing that we had to stay in town for. We are going up to Traverse City tomorrow and I will send pictures next week of all of the leaves. 

Saturday and Sunday we had an amazing stake conference! 
Today we are going to a corn maze with a whole bunch of the missionaries. We got permission from President to take the transfer van down to the only corn maze that we could find that was open on Monday.  It is about an hour away. 

It should be another great week!! Thanks as always for all of the prayers and support!!
Elder Bloskas

Monday, October 5, 2015

Late Email

Sorry that I am on later today. We had a training for all of the missionaries that are going home within the next 6 months.  We had to set up and facilitate the training.  I don't have as much time to email tonight since we have a lot to do.

We had a really good week! Monday night and Tuesday I was back on CMU campus with Elder Haddock. It was great to be able to be back at CMU and to go back to one of my previous areas. We got to teach a few lessons. One of the lessons was with a guy that has a strong belief in Jesus Christ but said that he really wants to "feel" God's love and not just know it in his mind. It was a really cool experience to be able to share God's love with him and help him to feel it. 

Wednesday, we went to Ithica to their district meeting and then we actually helped them move into their new apartment (which is right below their old one).  The senior couple that was living there finished their mission and it is nicer than the Elder's apartment. 

Thursday, we had a great day on campus and saw a whole lot of success talking to people on campus and we also had a meeting with President Jacobsen. That evening we had trade-offs with the Wyoming zone leaders and I got to be with Elder Clark, who is one of the great new zone leaders.  Elder Clark and I had a great day on campus and we set up several return appointments for this week.

Saturday and Sunday we had a great weekend enjoying conference. I watched conference with several questions in mind and had several of them answered!! It was a great weekend and it was so great to be able to sustain 3 new Apostles of the Lord. It was an amazing experience to feel the Spirit testify to me that these men were called of God and that their calling is from the Lord and not from mortal men on earth. It truly is great to have prophets and apostles on the earth to lead Christ's church!!

We have another great week planned it will just be super busy with another training tomorrow with all of the leaders. I have to instruct for about 45mins-1 hour so that will be really good. I am excited to continue to see the Lord work in my life and in the lives of those that I work with!! I am grateful for my mission and all that I have learned! Thanks for all of the prayers and support!

Elder Bloskas
P.S. Sorry again that this is rushed and so short since I don't have much time!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Transfers round 3

Good morning! 

It was another really busy week and I think that I am still recovering from the lack of sleep that we usually get during transfer week but it was a good week.

Saturday we had a great p-day. We walked on campus a little bit while the game was going on and went to the book store to look at some MSU gear. We also finished up some stuff for transfers but mostly tried to relax. That evening we had dinner with the zone leaders here in Lansing and then headed back to the office to finish some last minute transfer stuff. Once we got to the office I got really sick and had to go to the ER after we called Sister Jacobsen and the mission doctor. I will spare you from the details but we ended up being in the ER until 3:30am while they did numerous test including 2 blood tests. Long story short they ended up not having to admit me into the hospital and they are having me follow-up with a doctor in a few weeks when I can get an appointment.

Sunday, we woke up and did our normal Sunday routine except we probably looked like zombies since we were so tired. But it was a good day. 

Monday, we drove around the state twice and did transfers. It is always good to see all of the missionaries and to see the excitement that they have for their new areas! 

Tuesday, we went to the state capitol here in Lansing and then went to the temple with the missionaries going home. 

Wednesday, we took the departing missionaries to the airport and then picked up the new ones and spent some time with them filling out paper work and stuff. 

Thursday, we had our trainer and trainee meetings. It was a really good day both me and Elder Norton got to instruct 2 times during the trainings and I felt like they went really well!! Then after the meetings we drove several of the missionaries to their areas. We actually had a pretty stressful evening as one of the sets of missionaries got lost going to their new area and they didn't have a phone or the address to where they were supposed to be going. They were supposed to be following their zone leaders but they got separated and long story short we called the TIWI people (the black boxes in our cars that monitor our driving) and were planning on tracking them down but they ended up pulling off of the highway and used somebody's cell phone there. 

Friday and Saturday we pretty much just recovered from the week and finished some things around the office and on campus. 

Yesterday we had another great day at church! We have another busy week planned for this week with several trade-offs and preparing for 2 trainings that we have next week so things wont slow down for a while. But I wouldn't trade this for the world. My mission has been the greatest thing ever and I have learned and grown so much!! Thanks for all of the prayers and support!!
Elder Bloskas

Here are the new missionaries when we picked them up at the airport! 12 sisters and 6 elders!!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Spartans and General Authorities

Good morning!! 

It has been a great week!! It has been a busy week but a really good one.

Saturday evening we went to the MSU vs. Oregon game like I mentioned last week. President allowed us to go with the hope that if it was a good experience that more missionaries would be able to go in the future. It was a lot of fun! Campus was crazy and I honestly don't think that I have seen so much alcohol in my life... The gate where we were checking tickets was full of people that were drinking as much as they could right before going into the game and then throwing their bottles and cans on the ground. There were hundreds of cans and bottles and it honestly wasn't as fun of an experience as we expected. Shortly after the game started we got to go find seats and we were able to find seats right below the Megatron in the south end zone of the lower bowl in the stadium! It was a lot of fun but we only got to stay until about halfway through the 3rd quarter when we had to leave to go back to our apartment. It was a really fun experience but me and Elder Norton both agreed that as missionaries we probably wouldn't want to do it again and that missionaries in the future probably shouldn't go to a game this crazy if they go at all.

Sunday, we had a great day at church! Right after church we went to a potluck with the YSAs before we did our usual call-ins and then we went over to the mission home to have dinner with President and Sister Jacobsen and Elder Andersen, of the second quorum of the 70, and his wife. It was great to be able spend some time talking to and learning from a general authority! 

Monday and Tuesday we had to wake up at 4:15am in order to drive to Kalamazoo and then Mt. Pleasant to set up everything for the half-mission conference. It was an amazing conference and I learned so much about the gospel of Jesus Christ, the atonement, and how I can be a better disciple of Jesus Christ! Monday afternoon we had a great leadership training where we learned about how we can be Christlike leaders and also how to avoid becoming prideful and acknowledging where our strength and abilities come from. It was a great few days and I was grateful to be able to learn from a General Authority and to be able to spend so much time one on one with him!

Wednesday and Thursday, we transfer planned all day and got things ready for transfers next week. Thursday we had to drive to help Elder Linton (the senior missionary over the apartments) put furniture in a few of the apartments that we are opening up this transfer. Thursday night we went over and finalized transfer plans with President and Sister Jacobsen and then we called all of the new Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders. 

Friday we had transfer calls all morning and then we drove to St. Joseph to take stuff to open up an apartment there and then drove back (it is a 4 hr round trip). 

Today we have a great day planned doing our typical p-day stuff and preparing for transfers. 
This week should be a busy week as we have transfers and send 2 missionaries home and then welcome 18 new missionaries into the mission! It should be a great week! Thanks for all of the prayers and support!!

Elder Bloskas

P.S. Here is a picture of our view of the stadium on Saturday and a picture of me and Elder Norton with President and Sister Jacobsen and Elder and Sister Andersen!



Saturday, September 12, 2015

Fishing and College Game Day

Good morning from beautiful East Lansing. 

Campus is busy today with all sorts of students, fans, and the people from ESPN! The massive Goodyear blimp is even flying over campus today!! But we had a really great week!

Monday, we went fishing in Holland. We didn't catch anything worth keeping but I did catch 2 small fish!! One was a large mouth bass and the other was some other type of really small fish. I was the only one who caught more than one fish but there really weren't many fish where we were fishing. 

Tuesday, we had our usual meeting with President and then we went on campus to contact people. We met a girl named Rachel that wanted us to teach her right then so we got to teach her the restoration in one of the dorm lobbys on campus. After that we got to have dinner at a back-to-school BBQ the ward had here at the institute. 

Wednesday we drove to Midland and went to their district meeting and then got to go to district lunch with them before heading back to Lansing. Once we got back here we continued to work on preparing for the half mission next week. We got to teach a girl that was recently baptized and then we had dinner. 

Thursday, we had a really good day. We spent most of the morning beginning our transfer planning since we will have conferences Monday and Tuesday of next week and then we got to teach a few lessons before we helped one of the senior missionaries move stuff into an apartment that we are opening up and then having dinner with the Dickerson's!

 Friday, we started out the day teaching 2 amazing lessons! We had a lesson with Janell who was recently baptized and then we taught a new guy who really loved the message that we shared. Then we spent most of the rest of the day transfer planning before we took a break from the office and went on campus to check out the set up that College Game Day had set up. It was a really good week.

Today we are doing our regular stuff before we go to the MSU and Oregon game tonight and then all week we will be super busy! It should be a great week!!! I am excited for the work picking up here and for all of the awesome experiences I will get to have this week!! Thanks for all of the love and support!!
Elder Bloskas

P.S. Here is my fish that I caught and also a picture of the College Game Day set up!!



Monday, September 7, 2015

First Week of School/Students

Good morning and Happy Labor Day!! 

It was a really great week here in East Lansing and it was great to be able to spend a lot of time on campus.  It was also great to spend some time here in East Lansing and not have to be all over the state like we usually are.

Monday, we had a great p-day. Our meeting with President Jacobsen went a little longer than usual but we were still able to have a great p-day. I got my haircut and we also played basketball and dodge ball so it was a lot of fun! After that we cleaned up and ate dinner with a few of the YSAs. We ended up grilling hamburgers behind our apartment and enjoyed being outside a little bit. 

Tuesday, we had to do some stuff in the office to prepare for the half-mission conference next week.  Afterwards, we got to go on campus and talk to a bunch of students. All week we had a lot of really good success and got to meet a lot of awesome people. That evening there was a huge event on campus to welcome all of the new students and to help them become aware of all of the on campus organizations and stuff.  So we kind of hung out around there and talked to students that were attending. 

Wednesday, we drove to Grand Rapids and went to the Wyoming district meeting and then also the Spanish district meeting. It has been a few transfers since we have had an all-Spanish district and so it was awesome to be able to attend a district meeting in all Spanish (even though I didn't understand most of what they were saying,  the Spirit was super strong!) It was really awesome. Then we got to go to this authentic Mexican food restaurant and eat district lunch there. Once we got back to East Lansing we went on campus and talked to several students before we met with President for a few minutes before we went to dinner and finished some stuff in the office. 

Thursday, we started the morning by going to the church and setting up our new sound system that we are going to start using at conferences from now on. We set everything up and got President's opinion on what he was wanting it to look like so that we wouldn't have any problems next week when we have Elder Andersen of the quorum of the 70 here. After that we had lunch with a few of the Elders that were helping us out and then we went on campus. Right before dinner we were walking into the institute (where the mission office is also) and we stopped to talk to Bro. Tibbitts.  He told us that he met a guy whose organization volunteers at the MSU football games scanning tickets and said that after they get done scanning tickets and the game starts they get to go watch the game for free in the lower bowl of the stadium. He told us that he signed up to do it through this organization and asked if we would be able to do it. So we called President Jacobsen and he told us that he would let us do it for one game. So this Saturday we are going to be at the MSU and Oregon game watching 2 top 10 teams play and will be watching the game in the lower bowl of the stadium!! I am super pumped!! After we talked to him we drove to Leslie, MI to eat dinner with the YSA ward mission leader and talk to him about how the work was going on MSU campus.

Friday and Saturday we mainly just talked to people on campus and met a lot of awesome people. I had a really cool experience on Saturday. After lunch I wasn't feeling too great but I really wanted to still go on campus since we usually don't have too much time on campus. I was really not looking forward to talking to people and so I prayed that Heavenly Father would give me strength to be effective on campus. The first person that we saw I immediately had a prompting that this was the person that I was supposed to talk to. And so I stopped him, talked to him, and he agreed to meet with us and was super excited about us teaching him! It was so awesome and it was a true answer to prayer.

Sunday, we had an amazing Sunday!! Mauricio, who is a deaf recent convert, blessed the sacrament! It was so awesome! He had to memorize the prayer and then someone helped him through it but it was so awesome. Sunday school and Priesthood were also amazing and it was a great day!

We have a great week planned!! Today we are going to go fishing in Holland, MI! Then we are going to spend most of the week transfer planning (since most of the week will be taken up with Elder Andersen coming) and preparing for Elder Andersen! Then Saturday we are going to go to the MSU game!! Since we will have conferences Monday and Tuesday, our p-days will be on Saturday for the next 2 weeks and so I will be emailing then instead of Mondays!! But I hope y'all have a great week!!

Elder Bloskas


P.S. Here is a peak into our lives as assistants. This is the "Transfer Board". It has the names, pictures, and areas that all of the missionaries in the mission have served. It is a magnet and this is what we use to decide where missionaries get transferred and which areas they go to. This gives you an idea of all of the missionaries in the mission and how many missionaries we help