Monday, July 27, 2015

(last weeks post--late) One Year Down, Audio Engineering and Thunderstorms!

HERE IT IS NOW.  --Kristi

Good morning from Beautiful East Lansing, MI!! It was another great week here in the MLM. President Jacobsen is keeping us busy but we had a really good week.

Tuesday, we had our usual meeting with President Jacobsen (it is usually on Mondays but since he was out of town we moved it to Tuesday) and then we met with him for a few more hours about some of the upcoming things in the mission. The main thing we talked about is the huge half-mission p-day that we have next week. We just had to finalize a lot of that stuff and get things ready. After that we went and donated blood before going to the stake center with President Jacobsen and helping him set up our new sound system that the mission bought for our conferences. It is a really nice system with a mixer, 10ish mics and 2 speakers and so I was able to use my audio engineering skills that I learned in college and put them to good use! 

Wednesday, we drove to Sturgus for their district meeting. After district meeting we had district lunch with them and then headed back to Lansing. After we got back we had trade offs with the Lansing Zone Leaders. I was with Elder Alley (who is a missionary who came out at the same time as I did.) We got to do a little bit of finding and computer work before meeting up with Elder Norton and Elder Anderson at Texas Roadhouse to celebrate mine and Elder Alleys "hump day" (which is when we hit our halfway point in our mission).  It was a lot of fun. 

Thursday, we traded back and then met with President again about finalizing some stuff for upcoming things in the mission. After that while we were working on some stuff in the office President told us that there was a missionary that we needed to pick up and bring back to Lansing. Since we hadn't had dinner yet we decided to call Brother Banner (a member that I knew from serving in Grand Rapids) and asked if he wanted to have dinner with us. Afterwards, we brought that missionary back to Lansing. 

Friday, we weekly planned and then drove around looking for a few things that we would need for the half-mission p-day next week. After that we walked around campus and talked to people about the church. 

Saturday, we got to campus early and began inviting people to hear about the gospel before we got nailed by a huge thunderstorm... We walked for over a half hour back to our apartment and were soaked by the time we got back! We changed, had lunch and then finished working on some stuff in the office before we went back on campus and talked to people again. We haven't had many people to teach lately so we have been in the "finding stage" of missionary work and I am really looking forward to the beginning of the semester when there are more students to talk to and teach!! 

Yesterday, we had our usual Sunday meetings and call-ins.

Today we are meeting with President and then we are headed to Sault Ste. Marie today!!! It is literally the farthest north in the mission. It is in the upper peninsula and half of the town is in Canada (it is separated by a river but our mission doesn't cover the Canadian side of the town) so I will get to at least see Canada since we won't get to go over there. We have to take a car to them this evening but we are going to stop and spend about 5 hours in Mackinac City which is a huge tourist town so it will be a lot of fun! I will take lots of pictures of the sights, lighthouses and beaches! It should be another great week!!

Thanks for all the prayers and support!

Elder Bloskas

P.S. Every week on Sundays we send out a weekly report of how the mission is doing to the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders. As part of this report we always include a spiritual thought. This week it was my turn to send out the email and I shared a thought that I had from my studies this week.  I thought that I would share it with yall!! 
" We have seen a lot of success lately in the Michigan Lansing Mission and we believe that it started with the Christlike leadership that you have shown in our mission.

Let us not forget that we are making a difference in people's lives even if we don't realize it, or see the immediate results. In the Book of Mormon, Abinadi gives us a great example of just how much of a difference we can make in the lives, families, and communities of the people that we are teaching. Abinadi may have felt that he had failed as a missionary. As far as the Book of Mormon indicates, his only convert was Alma. However, the missionary efforts of Abinadi affected the religious history for the next 300 years. Not only did Alma begin a religious revival among his own people, but he is given power by King Mosiah to establish churches throughout all of Zarahemla. Because of Alma, his son Alma the younger, grandson Helaman, great grandson Helaman son of Helaman, great-great grandson Nephi, and great-great-great grandson Nephi the chief apostle of the resurrected Jesus Christ here in the Americas, were strong members of the church and brought many people unto the church.

As we continue to follow the example of Abinadi we will continue to see success in the Michigan Lansing Mission. Even in those places where we feel like we are not making a difference, we might be touching the life of someone that we would least expect. 

We are grateful to be laboring among the best missionaries in the world. Only the best missionaries are sent to Michigan. Thanks for your diligent service and for all that you do (seen and unseen) for the Michigan Lansing Mission!"

Northerner Adventures

Hows it going aye?! Well it has been a great week! After spending the first part of the week up north in the U.P. (Upper peninsula of Michigan) I am trying to talk more like the people up there that have a Canadian accent. 

Monday, after we got done emailing we met with President Jacobsen before making our trek up north. It took us about 3 hours to get to Mackinac City where we "filled up with gas" for about 4 hours while we checked out the sites on our way up to Sault Ste. Marie. Mackinac City is a really neat tourist town that is right before you cross the "Big Mac" which is the bridge that connects upper and lower Michigan! It was so beautiful up there. We went to several of the shops and even had a member that is from Reno, NV buy us fudge! Fudge is huge on Mackinac Island (you have to take a ferry to it and we weren't allowed to go over there).   Mackinac City is similar to the things on the island and allows you to enjoy a lot of the same fudge and tourist attractions without taking a ferry across to the island. After we enjoyed our time in Mackinac City we crossed the bridge and spent a few hours in St. Ignace which is the city right on the other side of the bridge and we learned very quickly that the people up in the UP are very proud of it and like to make fun of the "trolls" (those that live below the bridge) so it was a lot of fun.  Elder Norton and I got custom t-shirts made that we are going to wear to the half mission p-day this next week. After that we drove up to Sault Ste. Marie and spent the night with the elder there. 

Tuesday, we left a little early to go and see the Canadian border and to see the "Soo Locks" that connect Lake Huron and Lake Superior and it was really cool. They have all sorts of boats and ships (some huge freight ships that are 500 feet long travel through there). After that we headed back down south and stopped by an area that has been struggling a little bit lately and spent part of the day with them before we came back to Lansing and finished some of the stuff in the office that we needed to get done. 

Wednesday, we went to district meeting in Battle Creek (home of Kellogg's cereal) and enjoyed district lunch at Culvers! After that we headed back to Lansing and had to take our trailer that we use for transfers to a place to see if they could do some maintenance on it and also looked at how much a new one would cost. After that we went to President's house and talked to him about what we wanted to do with the trailer (we are probably going to buy a new one) and then finalized details on the half-mission p-day this week. 

Thursday, we did a lot of office work, and then did some work on campus before teaching a new investigator that we have whose name is Josh. He is an atheist that feels like religion has kind of failed him and has a lot of questions that he feels like he has never received an answer to. We had an awesome lesson with him! 

Friday and Saturday, we spent most of the day working on campus again and then finishing up more things in the office (I feel like we are constantly in there but there is a lot that we have to do!). 

Yesterday, we had our usual Sunday. It doesn't usually change much but it was really good. Church was really good and I love the YSA ward here. Today we have to do some last minute things for this week and then will enjoy our normal p-day after our meeting with President this morning. This should be a great week!! I am loving it here in East Lansing and wouldn't trade this for the world!! Thanks for all the prayers and support!!

Elder Bloskas

P.S. Me by Lake Huron with the Mackinac Bridge in the background and then a picture of me in front of the lighthouse in St. Ignace.

Monday, July 13, 2015

National Cherry Festival

It was another great week in East Lansing!! I forgot my planner in the apartment, so if I forget things that happened this week,I am sorry!! 

Last Monday, we drove to Kalamazoo and went to the Air Zoo! It has a lot of old planes and military aircraft. It also had a flight simulator that we got to get in and fly fighter jets and shoot each other down. It was a lot of fun! 

Tuesday, we had MLC. All of the zone leaders and sister trainer leaders came into town and we talked about how we can help the mission. Afterwards, I was on trade-offs with Elder Haddock who is serving in Grand Rapids. We had an awesome day! We met a girl who wanted us to teach her right then!! We had an awesome lesson with her and have gotten to meet with her a few times since! Afterwards we were talking to people on campus and we talked to a Chinese guy. He told us that he didn't know any English. So of course my first reaction was to use the very little Chinese that I know and to say "Hi, how are you?" which is all I know how to say. His face lit up and he got really excited and begin talking to me in Chinese. I then had to tell him that I didn't really know Chinese and I felt really bad because I got his hopes up… 

Wednesday, me and Elder Haddock went to a district meeting in Grand Rapids and then me and Elder Norton drove to Kalamazoo to go on trade-offs with them. So I spent all of Wednesday in Kalamazoo on Western Michigan campus teaching some of the students there. That night we went to their student branch building and it is probably the most beautiful LDS chapel I have seen in person. It is an old baptist church that was converted into an LDS church and it has a balcony and a real pipe organ! It was amazing! 

Thursday we drove back to Lansing and celebrated Elder Norton's 21st birthday by eating ice cream at President Jacobsens! 

Friday we drove to Traverse City and spent the day with them on a blitz (where both me and Elder Norton are in their area). It was time for the National Cherry Festival up there so we saw thousands of people walking around enjoying the activities. We even got to eat some cherries! It was beautiful up there!! 

Saturday, we stopped by a few areas on our way back to Lansing and checked up on them.

Sunday, we had church and then the usual call ins. 

Then today, we went to Grand Rapids and went to their "zone p-day" and enjoyed a hot day outside that included volleyball, ultimate frisbee, and lots of buckets of water being thrown on people! It was a great day. This week, we have 2 more trade-offs and then the usual mission stuff here in the office as well as working on campus. On Wednesday I will be with Elder Alley, who is a missionary that came out with me. We are going to celebrate our "hump day" (which is when you hit your 1 year mark which is on the 16th) so that will be a lot of fun!!
Thanks as always for all of the prayers and support!!

Elder Bloskas

P.S. A picture of me with a plane at the Air Zoo and then a terrible picture of the Cherry Festival.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Transfer week

Good Morning!!

It has been a crazy week and I feel like I haven't gotten sleep all week but it has been a blast. Life as an assistant is super busy but I have really enjoyed it.

Sunday, we had church and then we got things ready for the week before we did our usual call-ins. 

Monday, we started driving at 7am and drove all over the state transferring all of the missionaries. It took a little longer than we expected and we ended up rolling back into Lansing around 9pm! It was so great getting to spend time with all of the missionaries in the mission and see some that I haven't seen in a few months! 

Tuesday, we woke up and took the missionaries that were going home (that were staying at our apartment) to IHOP. A few of us got the "all you can eat pancakes" and one of the missionaries ate 22 pancakes, eggs, sausage and bacon. The people at IHOP said that they don't keep track of records but they are sure that he would have broken it. We then went to the mission home, ate lunch, and then headed to the temple in Detroit. After the temple we drove back to the mission home, ate dinner and then we had a departing testimonies meeting. 

Wednesday, we had to be up at 4:30 to eat breakfast before leaving for the airport to take the missionaries who were going home. After getting them to the airport, we went back to the mission home to clean it in order to prepare for the missionaries coming in. After that we went to the institute to set it up for the new missionaries, drove to the airport and picked up the new missionaries and came back to the institute. We helped them fill out some paper work, took them on campus to talk to some people and get a feel for missionary work, came back and ate dinner, and then took them to the mission home to sleep.

Thursday, we picked up the new missionaries from the mission home and took them to the Stake Center, then we drove back to our apartment to pick up the trainers that were staying with us.  We spent the rest of the day instructing the new missionaries, pairing them with their new trainers and then driving them all back to their areas. We ended up getting back to our apartment at 11pm! 

Friday we did some things at the office before driving to Saginaw to deliver a bed to some missionaries since they didn't have one in their new apartment. 

Saturday, we finished up things in the office, worked on campus a little and then went to President Jacobsen's to celebrate the 4th. He shot off fireworks for us in his yard and we had s'mores and root-beer floats!

Sunday, we had church and then we ate lunch at the Jacobsen's before doing call-ins. 

Today, we are driving to Kalamazoo to go to the Air Zoo! We have a great week planned and it should be busy but it should be a lot of fun!! I am loving my mission and wouldn't change anything!! Thanks for all of the prayers and support!! 

Elder Bloskas 

P.S. Here we are at the airport when we picked up the new missionaries and another pic of the new missionaries with their trainers (we took a serious one but I really like the silly one that we took.)