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


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)