Elder Joshua Flake

Elder Joshua Flake

Monday, October 19, 2015

Week 10 - Miami, Arizona: Miracles happen once in a while...

yes the subject line is from Princess Diaries.

ANYWAYS If one thinks miracles ended when Christ left or thinks that miracles are just tales from the scriptures, he or she doesn't have their eyes open. Miracles aren't just something you see out of Mother Goose's 365 Poems for the year book. They are for real. 
Heavenly Father for sure provides for His children, and it's pretty funny that sometimes He does this through the very inept and largely incapable person I am. (At least I have great companions)
So first, James Mills, the man we just baptized, has been a stellar help in finding people to teach. We are now teaching 4 people because of him. 3 of them are boys our age that want to have a solid testimony of Christ and straighten up their lives by following Him. But one issue is that they all smoke, and God has commanded us not to, so we are helping them quit. We went to Walmart and bought some supplies that did NOT include Nicorette packets...actually this program we have been given is quite unique. It involves 3 unusual items...

1 grapefruit juice
2 cinnamon mouthwash
3 vitamin c supplements 

With these three we can help someone stop smoking in 1 week. It is so cool. So we went to the church late at night after Walmart and began to teach them the process of quitting when Manny, an ex-convict and now a new member of the Church showed up out of nowhere. He talked about all the terrible things he had done in the past and about his old addiction to cigarettes and it was exactly what these boys needed to hear. It was absolutely perfect timing!!!!
So another thing...I had the opportunity to give a priesthood blessing to somebody in the ER who was internally bleeding. For my non Mormon readers, a priesthood blessing is one thing that every worthy male member of the Gospel holding the priesthood power can do. The priesthood literally is the ability to utilize the power of God for the Salvation of His children. One of the things that one holding the priesthood can do is heal and administer to the sick.
So with that said, we were in a lesson with Loyce (who just got baptized this weekend) and Brother Brown, who was with us while we were teaching, got a call on his phone. We found out a lady in our congregation, and whom I had not met before, needed a blessing for the bleeding. So we went to the ER where she was. And obviously, out of the priesthood holding men that were there, I was the most inexperienced and incapable, yet when she was asked who she wanted to give her the blessing, she pointed at me...


I had only given a couple blessings before. I wasn't very confident....yet she asked me. 
So I placed my hands on her head and did as I was taught. I was so nervous but Heavenly Father told me exactly what I needed to say. With Him, I blessed her that the afflictions would be taken from her and she would have the ability to continue to bless the lives of her family. I said much more and ended the blessing. She was in tears as well as her daughter who is not a member of the Gospel. She went from being sad and afraid to being comforted and strong. I am confident that in this experience, through the Priesthood God has entrusted me with, I was able to call down the power of Heaven and help one of Heavenly Father's children. This woman is also out of the hospital and is doing a lot better. Heavenly Father is for sure on the lookout for all of us individually. 
It was also awesome to see Loyce get baptized. She is the sweetest woman and it was incredible getting to see her son be able to baptize her. I remember my first week here falling asleep while teaching her because I was so drained physically....quite embarrassing to say the least. 
It also has been raining a lot which is purty weird considering that I am in a desert. The rain kinda smells funky. I also have decided that everything in the desert is trying to kill me. There is a cactus that if you brush up against it, will fire it's needles at you. I lucked out and ALMOST figured out the hard way. But where I am at in the mountains is wonderful! It isn't too hot which is also great. 
We had a zone conference which is basically when a bunch of missionaries in a group of areas in the mission meet together and learn from the mission president. We learned a whole lot! I know that serving others in this mission doesn't exclude the members of the church too! 
To be honest, I love it here...and I will miss it when I leave. I know that I unexpectedly came here to Miami, but my lack of hesitation to come here proved itself. I know and have known that the Christ is continuing to shape me and mold me into the servant God wants me to be.
Speaking of shaping and such, I am making a whip....not easy...but today I have been making the handle...pictures of the finished product will come next week. I have actually learned a lot about woodwork. I guess I am trying to follow Christ's example a little too literally and am becoming a carpenter as well. KIDDING. But for real, I am loving it out here!
I know that our Savior lives, and while many miracles happen every day, the greatest miracle happened when Christ...out of perfect love for us...Died for us. I bear testimony and share my witness of His hand being outstretched to God's children.

Elder Flake
My buddies smoking their last cigarette! 

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