Monday, August 31, 2015


Well it was another spectacular week!!

All of the international students moved onto campus last week and then all of the rest of the students moved on campus this weekend.  The work will really start to pick up now!!

Monday, we had a great p-day. We got to spend time with most of the missionaries here in the Lansing zone. We played some basketball and then we played dodge ball afterwards and it was a lot of fun and was a great stress reliever!! After that we drove to Grand Rapids and had trade-offs with the zone leaders there. I was in Wyoming (a town right outside of Grand Rapids where the zone leaders serve) with Elder Tubagus who was trained by Elder Norton and was in my district right when he came out on his mission. 

Tuesday, we had a really great day. We got to teach several lessons and then did some finding there in Wyoming. We got to meet a lot of really nice people and set up a few return appointments! Tuesday evening, we traded back and then drove to  Kalamazoo to start our trade-off with them. I was with Elder Marley on the MSU campus. 

Wednesday, we drove to Owosso and went to their district meeting. Elder Clark is the district leader there. He did a great job and he did a really cool activity on how to recognize the Spirit! It was an awesome district meeting! After district meeting we went to district lunch with them before coming back to MSU. Me and Elder Marley spent most of the day on campus talking to a whole bunch of people. It was a lot of fun and we got to set up several return appointments with people! 

Thursday, me and Elder Norton were back together working at MSU. We had a meeting with President Jacobsen in the morning and then we finished a few things in the office before we got to spend time on campus the rest of Thursday and almost all of Friday. 

Friday, we also got to go and try to get in contact with a few members of our church that haven't been in a while to see if we could meet with them and to see if they still lived in the area.

Saturday, we went to DeWitt to help a family move and then we had our ward missionary correlation with the ward mission leader here at MSU. Then we got to spend most of the day contacting people on campus. 

Yesterday, we had a great day. Sacrament was a little different since nobody brought the bread for the sacrament and we started the meeting while someone drove home to get some. We actually had the first speaker give his talk while we were waiting. It was a really great meeting. Brother Tibbits, who is the new institute director, gave the first talk on how we can come to "know Christ". It was really good. After that, the Stake President, gave a talk on the importance of the sacrament and it was really good. It was a great day at church.  Brother Tibbits sat by me in Sunday school and tried to set me up with his daughter who goes to BYU. So that was kind of funny with him trying to convince me that I needed to date her after my mission. He is probably one of the funniest guys ever and I am excited for the students here in East Lansing to be able to be taught by such a great teacher!

It should be another great week. We had a lot of things to do this week as we prepare for a general authority to come to our mission in a few weeks and we also have several appointments on campus. It is a great time to be a missionary and I wouldn't trade this for the world!!

Elder Bloskas

Monday, August 24, 2015

Summer Road Trip

I hope that you had a great week. We had another really great week. It seems like things just get busier and busier every single week.

Monday, we had our usual meeting with President Jacobsen. Then we drove to St. Johns to go to a western store for Elder Norton to pick up a hat that he had ordered. We came back to Lansing and played tennis for a little bit before heading to the stake center and playing basketball. Monday evening we had dinner with a few of the YSAs before finishing up some stuff in the office.

Tuesday, we had our usual studies before we went out and did some contacting on campus. Everyday there are more and more students and we are able to talk to more of them and invite them to learn about the gospel. I think this week is when most of the students arrive and so there will be even more people to talk to on campus and the work will really pick up! Afterwards, we met with President Jacobsen about a few things before we had dinner and then traded off with the Lansing Zone Leaders. I was with Elder Anderson here at MSU.

Wednesday, we drove to Bay City and went to their district meeting. Elder Engel is the district leader there and he just got called to be a DL and so it was great to see how well he did for his first district meeting. Then, we went to district lunch with them and drove back to Lansing. Me and Elder Anderson got to talk to several people on campus before eating dinner with the Dickersons. They are senior couple missionaries that teach classes at the institute here and they have us over once a week for dinner. 

Thursday, we drove to trade-off with the Midland zone leaders. I was with Elder Charmers here on MSU campus again. It was a lot of fun.  We got to teach a few lessons and then we had to go and get some stuff for a few missionaries apartments before me and Elder Norton drove there this past weekend.

Friday, me and Elder Norton drove to Hart to take a bag to them, then to Manistee to take them some stuff for their new apartment, then to Traverse City to blitz the zone leaders there. I was with Elder Wheat and we got to door knock (I forgot how much I have missed door knocking!) We had a lesson that evening with a lady whose daughter will be attending MSU this semester. We had a really good lesson with them and I even got her daughter's information so that we could help them move in this next weekend and then hopefully start teaching here. 

Saturday, we drove up to Cheboygan (the most northern area in the lower peninsula of our mission) and took some supplies to them before drive back home to Lansing. I felt like I was on a summer road-trip around the state of Michigan with all of the driving we been doing lately. We drove over 700 miles the past 4 days. So I have spent a lot of time in the car! 

Yesterday, we had a really good Sunday. We had our usual Sacrament meeting, but since they didn't have any speakers assigned the bishop allowed anyone who wanted to come up and share their favorite hymn and why.  Then we would sing a verse of the hymn.  It was really good and the Spirit was super strong. The rest of our meetings went well and then we went over to President Jacobsen's and finalized a few plans for the rest of the transfer before going back to the office and doing our normal call-ins. 

This morning we had to drive to Allegan and pick up a missionary to bring him back to Lansing to be with another missionary who's companion had to go home because of medical issues. 

This next week should be a really great week. We should get to start teaching more and really seeing a lot more success on campus with more students. I am loving my mission and wouldn't trade it for the world!!

Elder Bloskas

Monday, August 17, 2015

Flooding the Earth (Literally)

Good morning from East Lansing.

 It has been a busy week with us sending 12 missionaries home and welcoming 26 new missionaries into the mission!!

Monday, we got to drive around the great state of Michigan! Since we had so many missionaries training we had most of them drive their own cars to Lansing on Thursday and so we took the transfer van and did not have to take our truck around. So me and Elder Norton were able to switch off driving. We had a great time getting to see all of the missionaries around the mission and spending time with them on the transfer van. On our way back from Grand Rapids we hit a huge storm that flooded most of the streets in East Lansing. We were driving 30 mph on the highway and still could barely see. President Jacobsen had us wait here in Lansing for about an hour before we were able to continue driving and so we didn't finish driving until around 9pm. 

Tuesday, we woke up and took the departing missionaries (who were staying with us) to IHOP for all you can eat pancakes. Nobody ate nearly as many as an elder last transfer (he ate 22 pancakes) but it was a lot of fun. Then we headed to the mission home, ate lunch, and then drove to the Detroit temple. After the temple we came back to the mission home, had dinner, and had departing testimonies with all of the missionaries. It is always a really awesome experience to be able to hear the burning testimonies of those missionaries going home and to see how the mission has changed them. 

Wednesday, we were up and on our way by 5:45 to take the departing missionaries to the airport. Everything went smooth except for one missionary,  from Mexico, who had a passport that expired.  He was unable to fly out until Thursday when he was able to get another passport and fly home (the church is able to pull some strings to make it go quicker). After that we went to the stake center and set everything up for the arriving missionaries. We set up our new sound system and got everything ready to go before picking them up at 12pm. We picked them up, took them to the stake center, ate lunch, and spent the rest of the day filling out paper work and helping them get settled in. During dinner me, Elder Norton, and President and Sister Jacobsen went back to the airport to pick up a missionary who was flying here from the Mexico MTC. Then we drove all of the missionaries to the mission home and the hotel (because there were so many we ran out of room and had to house them in a hotel) and prepared for Thursday. 

Thursday, we had all of our training for the new missionaries and their trainers. Then we drove them to their areas. We had one set of missionaries that had a dead car battery and so I was excited that I was going to finally get to use AAA since I have had it for several years but as I was calling them someone pulled up with jumper cables.

Friday, we finished some final things in the office and then we drove to Grand Rapids to take a phone to one of the sets of missionaries since theirs was broken. 

Saturday, we were able to spend some time working on campus and finishing some final stuff in the office that we weren't able to do earlier in the week. Overall it was a great week!!

This next week should be another great week. We have several trade-offs this week and so I will get to spend time with several of our zone leaders and help train them! I love serving in the Michigan Lansing Mission and I wouldn't trade this experience for the world!!

Elder Bloskas

P.S. Here is part of our "Lighthouse Article" that we send out every transfer to all of the missionaries that I wrote: 

"The Guide to the Scriptures says that Patience is, "Calm endurance; the ability to endure affliction, insult, or injury without complaint or retaliation." There are a lot of times that we are asked by  the Lord to do things that we might not fully agree with or understand. These instances are opportunities to grow and to show our Heavenly Father that we trust that he knows what is best for us. 
The Scriptures are filled with examples of people that showed patience. One of the best demonstrations of patience is shown to us by Job, who was described as being perfect and upright and who feared God. He was blessed with great wealth and riches until Satan began to test Job's faith. He suffered great misery, terrible loss, and torture in his life. When urged by his wife to curse God and die, his reply showed his sincere faith: “I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God.” (Job 19:25-26) Job showed great faith, courage, trust, and patience. He lost all of the earthly possessions and even lost his health but he honored the trust given him. Job is a great example for us of the virtue of patience.
Let us remember the counsel given to us in Isaiah 55:8-9, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” 
Sometimes we might not know why we are asked to do certain things but we will be blessed if we are able to develop the virtue of patience and are able to show Heavenly Father the depth of our faith and trust in Him. This not only includes the commandments but it also includes obedience to mission rules and the inspired counsel that we receive by our church and mission leaders."

P.S.S. Here are some pictures of the departing missionaries in front of the Detroit temple and also all of the new missionaries and their trainers!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Surviving Another Transfer Planning Week

Good morning!!

It has been another great week here in East Lansing! We had a really busy week with transfer planning and we have another busy week coming up!

Monday, we transfer planned most of the day and then me and Elder Norton finished up doing some shopping and stuff! 

Tuesday, we transfer planned again most of the day and then we went and took our new trailer to do some minor maintenance to make sure that we are good to go for transfers this next week. Then we went and got a table that Sister Jacobsen bought for the mission home but it was too big for her to take home in her car. 

Wednesday, we headed to Kalamazoo to go to their district meeting and then went to district lunch with them to Cosco. All of the missionaries were trying to get us to tell them where they were getting transferred and it was weird knowing where all of them were going but I was able to keep it a secret until we did transfer calls yesterday. After that we went back to the office and finished up transfer planning. 

Thursday, we started working on logistics (figuring out how we are going to get all of the missionaries to their new areas) and then we met with President Jacobsen again to talk about some of the new missionaries coming in and who we thought would be the best trainer for them. After that we went to dinner with Maurcio! He is probably one of my favorite people in the world. He is from Brazil and is blind. He has the best outlook on life that I have ever seen and it is always so uplifting to spend time with him. After dinner we went to the mission home to call the new zone leaders and sister training leaders. 

Yesterday, we called all of the missionaries that are getting transferred then we headed to Grand Rapids to get a few apartments ready that we are putting missionaries in and then we picked up the trailer with the new decal.

This next week will be super busy and we will be going nonstop and getting little sleep but it will be a lot of fun. I love serving in East Lansing and being able to serve as an Assistant to President Jacobsen!! Sorry that this email isn't longer and is kind of boring but we mainly were in the office all week. But thanks for all of the prayers and support!

Elder Bloskas

P.S. Here is a picture of the new trailer and decal! Also I included a picture that was taken of me last week as I was sliding into 3rd base in water kick ball!! 

Monday, August 3, 2015

Fun in the sun

Good morning!

It is another beautiful day here in East Lansing! I had an awesome week and it seems like the weeks just fly by! It is already the last week of the transfer and my life is about to be crazy busy for the next 2 weeks with transfer planning--starting today--and then transfers and departing/incoming missionaries next week!

Monday, we had our normal p-day. We spent part of it looking for kiddie pools for our half mission p-day and then we drove to Mt. Pleasant to do our trade-off with them. We usually do it earlier but they had some issues in their apartment and we were unable to do it earlier in the transfer.

Tuesday, I spent the day with Elder Elmer here on campus. Elder Elmer was my district leader when I first got to Grand Rapids and he was a zone leader in Traverse City before replacing me at CMU. We had a great day on campus and talked to a lot of people and actually had a Chinese girl want us to teach her right then so we did! After that we went to Home Depot and bought some stuff for Half-Mission P-Day. Next we went to Mt. Pleasant and me and Elder Norton came back to Lansing to finish getting stuff ready for Wednesday and Thursday for the P-days! 

Wednesday we had a great day in Wyoming (right outside of Grand Rapids) and it was great seeing all of the missionaries. We did several relays, played all sorts of games and even played water kickball where the bases were kiddie pools and you had to slide on a slip-n-slide into every base! One of the missionaries took some pretty good pictures that I will have to send!

Thursday, we headed to Mt. Pleasant and did the half-mission p-day there. Both days were a lot of fun but I was pretty sunburned by the end of it.

Friday, we went to pick up a new trailer for the mission! It is a little bigger than the one that we had before to transport all of the missionaries luggage and President Jacoobsen is even getting a decal made for the side of it so it will look really sharp! I will try to send a picture next week! We did some office work and then finished our evening by working on campus. Around 10:20pm we got a call that a few missionaries were struggling and so we had to drive to their apartment and didn't get back to our apartment until around 12:30 or so. Needless to say I was exhausted on Saturday. We had a great day Saturday and Sunday and were able to see several miracles on campus.

We have a great week planned. Most of it will be in the office transfer planning and getting things ready for next week! I am excited to see all of the things that Heavenly Father has in store for me this week. I will be emailing on Saturday this week instead of next Monday since we will be driving all of the missionaries around next week and I wont be able to email! 
Thanks for all of the support and prayers!!

Elder Bloskas

P.S. Here is the spiritual thought that I emailed out to our missionary leaders last night. I thought that I would include it again.

We are blessed as leaders in the Michigan Lansing Mission to be able to work with the greatest missionaries in the world. Missionary work is not easy but as President Jacobsen says, "We can do hard things!" It is when we do these hard things that our calling demands of us that our true character is shown. Character is demonstrated by looking and reaching outward when the natural and instinctive response is to be self-absorbed and turn inward. We can seek to be blessed with and develop the elements of Christlike character. It is possible for us to strive in righteousness to receive the spiritual gifts associated with the capacity to reach outward and respond to other people who are experiencing the very challenge or adversity that is most immediately and forcefully pressing upon us. We cannot obtain such a capacity through sheer willpower or personal determination. Rather, we are dependent upon and in need of "the merits, mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah" (2 Nephi 2:8). But "line upon line, precept upon precept" (2 Nephi 28:30) and "in [the] process of time" (Moses 7:21), we are enabled to reach outward when the natural tendency is for us to turn inward. As we strive to develop Charity, we will be able to develop the Christ-like character that we are striving for as missionaries.