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!

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