Elder Joshua Flake

Elder Joshua Flake

Monday, July 3, 2017

7.3.17 - Cajoeiro Seco, Brazil

Wow how it has been so long since I sent a letter to everyone! These past couple of weeks have been quite crazy!!! I don't even know where to start! 

I have been filled with the nostalgia of the fruits of my mission. I was able to see Panta...a grand friend of mine who I was able to baptize when I served in São Lourenço. I went to his city to take money out of the bank and I snuck over to his house and when I clapped at his door, he looked at me and said NÃO ACREDITO. Which in other words is I DON'T BELIEVE IT! It was so great. He is doing so well and has a calling in the elders quorum. He will be a great leader in the church for sure!

Other than seeing him, I was also able to see some friends in my last area, Coqueiral. I miss that place so much and fell in love with the ward! 

Haha between that last paragraph and now the power went out. hahaha That defines my life lately. The power has been on and off lately!

I am happy though with my progress in the mission. I know that the Lord has a plan for each and every one of us. Sometimes we try to do things our own way and we find out that it doesn't get much better. I have learned that if we rely on the Lord, we will always have the best results! After all, the Savior said:

26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

so what does this mean? He says that he gave us the Spirit known as the comfortor to guide us. He says that he left us with his peace but "not as the world giveth" To me, I know that the world does not provide the peace and happiness necessary in life. We also cannot provide this peace for ourselves. Some of you may be burdened with the hardships of life, some of you may have issues that nobody understands, but I know that the Lord knows and loves us to the point that he left us with the most simple yet powerful gift. Peace. It depends on us if we are going to accept it or not. I know Christ lives and loves us! I know this Church is His! I love yall and hope for the best for each and every one of you!

Elder Flake

6.5.17 - Cajoeiro Seco, Brazil

SO basically there has been so so so so much rain that many cities in our mission have been flooding. Our area as well flooded sooo much. I am glad that we are in a high building though. 

This last Wednesday, my zone leader and I were planning a special exchange in which we both would go to Jardim Coqueiral to help the pair in their work. It kept raining and raining and raining that we almost cancelled the exchange. But.....to be diligent, we decided to go. We are also pretty insane because this is the only area in the mission that all the roads (except one) are dirt.....MUD. 


Luckily the Elders that live their were given permission to use boots. I went there with shoes and slopped my way on over to many people's houses with Elder Menezes. It was a neat experience. We also found some miracle people to teach. I know that the Lord blesses us when we are diligent!! 

Other than that....this week has been pretty hard. Other than the rain, many investigators gave us the red light and some others gave us the yellow light. I can't help remembering the infant words of my older brother as he said that 

"Green means go....Red means stop.........and Yellow means go really really fast"

So with those that give us the yellow light and don't fulfill the things that Heavenly Father asks....like read and pray about the message, we push them a little harder. They can't waste their time and more importantly cannot waste the Lord's time. We tried to get Junior to church for example, but he was too drunk as a skunk to get up.....so be told him "Hey bud.....this is not what the Lord wants from you. This is the second time!!!" So we said goodbye sonny......we have more people to take to church!!!!

Other than that, we have some good solid investigators. I am hoping to update yall on them next week!!

Have a happy week my friends!!

Elder Flake

5.29.17 - Cajoeiro Seco, Brazil


These past couple weeks have been pretty hectic but HERE I AM!!!


We baptized Camila. She is a 22 year old student who works so much but it was great finding her. It was funny because we were sitting down after painting a house when she came and sat with us because she lost the key to her house. She asked us tons of questions and it was awesome! We have taught her and helped her learn all that she needed to learn about Christ to be baptized!!! The ward was pretty enthusiastic about her because she is a friend of many and she is super fantastically nice!

We also are trying our best to help a rather large family to come unto Christ! We baptized some of their children and we are working on baptizing many more in this awesome family Rudimar!

I love it here! These last couple weeks have been crazy....from my companion wheeling me to the hospital on the handbars of a bicycle to getting rejected by some solid investigators.......But remember folks that I will have lots of stories to tell hahaha!

I love yall!!!

Elder Flake

5.15.17 - Cajoeiro Seco, Brazil

It was such a great experience talking to my family yesterday! I love them so much! Only two times a year for skype is so little, but it was awesome! I think they took a good scare when I showed them some slang words in portuguese. OXENTE (which means OH GOODNESS) sounds like I am saying a bad word and the look on everyone's face was priceless. It was a great conversation and I loved getting to meet my mother's soon to be husband Steve!

This week was pretty awesome! We were teaching some elect youth that I mentioned last week when a girl, Beatriz walked up the stairs of the house into the living room where we were at saying "What do I need to do to get baptized into this church?" HAHA I thought it was so funny because we just heard her in the stairwell saying this and she hadn't even seen us yet! She will be baptized shortly! We taught her with her friends and she teared up in joy when we explained the Plan of Salvation in which none of God's children would be lost.

12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.

(John 17:12 see also John 6:39) We explained how through the Savior, we would one day be together with our family again, as long as we hold fast to the truths of His Gospel. 

I know that this church is true and that through the teachings of Christ taught here, we can one day return to our father's prescence. We had some good strong investigators at church and I know that this Gospel blesses lives and is starting to bless their's. 

Learn more and have a happy mother's day!!!



Elder Flake

5.8.17 - Cajoeiro Seco, Brazil

So my companion Elder Coelho (Jackrabbit) and I had some crazy goals this week! We were pretty happy to take lots of investigators to church! 

Some good highlights from the week:

We taught a brother and sister, Jonatas and Rebeca. They are pretty awesome! We taught them about the restoration of the Gospel, where the Church of Christ that He established on Earth was taken away and fell into apostasy only to be restored by the prophet Joseph Smith. They then asked about what happens to all those people that are not baptized and all those that are not baptized properly (which is with the Priesthood of God). Do they go to heck? Do they get punished? We gave them a brief explanation on how Heavenly Father loves everyone, incuding those that have passed on. Jonatas was all ready to go to church....but Rebeca, although she wanted to go, had promised to go to her church.....but on sunday....SHE SHOWED UP WITH HER BROTHER. We took them to the family history consultant and showed them about familysearch.org where they could look up their family members and help their loved ones be baptized and enter into covenants with the Lord. 

We also found many others searching for the truth this week. We were headed to a service project at Sister Leêda´s house and unfortunately, the man that promised to help us didn't show up, and there exists a rule in which a man has to be present for us to be able to enter into a house of women. So what did we do? We clapped our hands at the gate of her neighbor and invited two guys to help us. They said "Simbora!" Which means colloquially Let's go! So we painted her house and killed two birds with one stone as we also explained how the Gospel of Christ functions. It was pretty awesome and they were pretty interested (one lots more than the other) As they were leaving, another woman that lives next door knocked on the front metal garage door thing and asked if she could wait with us....she had coincidentally lost her key to her house nextdoor and it was raining! So we took advantage of the moment and taught her as well. She loved the ideas that we presented such as how today we have a living prophet Thomas S. Monson that is just like Moses, who leads us and converses with Christ. She said that she doesn't like the fact that there are so many religions of Christ that teach in different formats and even convelute the teachings of Christ. She is already marked for baptism as well! We have 8 people marked for baptism! It is awesome! 

We also found some other great people to teach this week! We are pretty stoked! I know that this is the true church of Jesus Christ. I know that this is how we can return to the prescence of our Heavenly Father! This week was full of countless experiences! Too many to put in words but I can say that God really loves His children. I wish that I could have expressed this love and this message much better to my friends from High School and the places that I have walked. I know that this message has the power to change lives and put them on the path to pure happiness.

Com todo amor no meu coração 

Élder Flake

5.2.17 - Cajoeiro Seco, Brazil

Sorry my friends! Yesterday was labor day here in Brazil. Everything was closed.....Even the place that sells bottled water.....So other than thirst, we had a p-day without being able to write yall!

But yes, I am very happy! This last week was going so strong until Friday, when everything fell through and I got sick!!! Everyone in our house is sick as funny as that sounds. I think there might be some virus going around! But we have been teaching some great people! 

This sunday was a stake conferance. Our mission president spoke as well as an seventy. We learned about the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and how the moment that God withdrew from Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane, he Christ also felt the painful feelings of God withdrawing from each and every one of us. It was an interesting thought!

I don't have much time but I just wanted to let yall know that I am super happy! I also got to have interviews with President Bigelow. I got pretty emotional talking to him about the importance of my mission. It was a very spiritual conversation!! I really do love my mission and all the people that I am serving here!!

4.17.17 - Cajoeiro Seco, Brazil

So we baptized Amarilho this week! It was great being able to help him enter the waters of repentance to be able to really follow Christ's example.

This week we had quite a bit of rain. A huge Caja tree fell and landed on the roof of a woman's house from the ward. We had a great time cleaning things up! Also Caja is a super delicious fruit that they have here in the northeastern part of Brazil. Also, there was no saw so we were all beating on the tree with a knife...seeing as there was no axe as well haha! It was great!

Other than that, there was quite a bit of flooding. We tried to have some good activities at the church! Luckily our integration night had tons of visitors! I got pied in the face hahaha! Our english class got cancelled unfortunately. 

But this sunday was great! My companion and I both gave talks in the meeting and lots of people gave us references of people to serve and visit! ZION IS GROWING FOLKS. 

I LOVE MY MISSION!! I am so grateful for the inspiration that I have been able to recieve as I serve those that I love. My capacity to empathize and love others has grown and I feel every day more like our Savior Jesus Christ. I will never replicate Him, but I can at least try to imitate Him. I love teaching about His sacrifice that makes us whole in heart and spirit. 

Elder Flake

4.10.17 - Cajoeiro Seco, Brazil

So....one thing that I am incredibly bad at is describing the progress of our investigators that will be baptized. Usually I send pictures of the baptism without describing the progress. 

BUT basically the saturday before last we were headed to General Conferance on foot to another city. It was a rather long walk. On our way there, we ran into an investigator from the past missionaries. He told us that he loved the church but he wasn't able to change some past habits. we walked with him and invited him to go to general conferance. He went and LOVED IT. We invited him to be baptized on our way back and he said yes. We would have baptized him next week, but he was already prepared, so we baptized him this saturday. It was great!

Also, there was a 17year old Marcelo that was going to church for like 6 months and never was baptized, so we did what we could and baptized him in the neighboring ward! It was great! 

So yeah....One thing that one could realize...and that I have realized in this missionary work is that no work goes unnoticed by the Lord. He will bless us in many ways....and usually not how we are expecting. It was great that moment that Max just walked up and basically asked to be baptized because we had been given the boot by many others. The Lord rejoices in obedience and diligence!!!! We are hoping to baptize a few more before the month ends!!!

We are having lots of success here in this ward. I feel like they are becoming more proactive in planning activities that bring more people into the church. I hope to see it grow even more!!! We will see!! We had a great missionary activity planned by the young women and a fun english class that had about 40 people again!!!! There were lots of non members!!!

I love this church. This is the church of Jesus Christ! I know it!! I love yall!! Have a great week! 

Elder Flake