Monday, August 19, 2013

19 August 2013

Wow . . . 

I can’t believe that this will be the last time I’m emailing you as a missionary.  It seems like yesterday I was emailing you for the first time.  The time has gone by so fast.  I have loved almost every minute of my mission.

This week was a really busy week, we taught a lot and found new people who are willing to progress. 

The first one is the Irish family, they are a part member family that live right next door.  We had a plan to teach them the plan of salvation with a focus on the blessing of baptisms for the dead.  So the first question Sister Irish (the non member) asked us was "what happens to people who don’t get the chance to get baptized in this life?"  I was in shock that she asked us that because that was the exact thing that we prepared to teach her.  So we shared the lesson and asked her the same question she asked us, she answered the question perfectly and she got emotional.  I guess she had a family tragedy when she was younger.  That was a testimony builder to me that the spirit works in a way that we can feel his presence the most.  I’m grateful that I was able to be a part of her feeling the spirit.  We asked her if she would like to get baptized and she said yes, so on September 28th she will be baptized.  Plus the whole family came to church!!!!!! 

The second one, their names are Betsy and Renee.  They are a mother and a daughter.  Some missionaries in the past tracted into them.  We taught them the restoration, and asked them to get baptized and they both accepted for the 21st of September.  When we asked how they felt about everything they told us that they had been looking for the truth and already knew that this was the truth.  Then they told us that they had cousins in the church in the ward right next to ours and they actually had gone to church already and loved it.  It was a miracle for sure.  They came to church and loved it.

We have a baptism this Saturday.  His name is Clark, it’s a part member family.  I guess he has been waiting forever to get baptized, and now is the time that it finally worked out.  It’s gonna be an amazing way to finish out the mission!! 

I am so grateful for these last two years, my relationship with the Savior has grown so much.  There have been some ups and downs but I know that this is the best thing I could have ever done.  The chance that I had to serve people all day for two years is a once in a life time opportunity.  I love the people here in California and I’m so glad that I was able to be a part of the work here in this part of the Lord’s vineyard.  I love Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ!!!!!  I have gained a love for the scriptures, I love the New Testament, I have been able to learn so much about the Savior.  His love for everyone is hard to understand but I feel as I have been His missionary I have been able to see a portion of His love work through me.  Being back in this ward is a testimony to me that the Lord’s work is the best work in the world!  Seeing lives change for the better makes me feel that the work that missionaries do will impact people forever.  I wouldn't trade the feelings I have had these past two years for anything.

Thank you for supporting me in all that I have done.  I know that you have sacrificed a lot for me to be out here.  I love you so much for all that you have done.  I don’t know if I would of made it if it weren't for the comforting letters and quotes that you have sent me.  I LOVE YOU!!  I will see you in week!!!!!!!!! Wow that’s crazy.

Hope all is well and love you so much!!


Note:  Blake will be arriving home on Monday, August 26 at 9:06 pm.

Monday, August 12, 2013

12 August 2013

Hi family,

First of all I have some really big news ... and this is not April Fools day so you have to believe me haha!!!!!!!!

Like I said I have big news, I will be heading home a few weeks early.  I’m going to be getting home August 26th, so two weeks from today.  Some things came up and the transfers changed in a way that I would miss Cory and Jenna's wedding, so I chose to come home a week or two early to see the wedding!!  The parents have the flight plans and know when I’m getting back.  I wanted to surprise you all, I have known for a while, but I wanted to give you all enough time to get off work and stuff!! It’s pretty exciting.

So I’m sure all of you are wondering where I’m at and who I’m with . . .

But first I want to talk about transfer meeting, it was crazy!!  There were 50 new missionaries that came out.  As they were walking in the chapel all the old missionaries sang Called to Serve while they were walking in, the spirit was so strong!  Then after they all got in the chapel President started telling us who was with who and where they were going. 

Well I got asked to serve in a tri pan with Elder Savea from Samoa, and Elder Hatch from Sandy, Utah.  (I’m the smallest in the companionship.)  We are serving in the Silvercreek ward!  The ward where I started my mission.  So I get to finish my mission here!  When I found out I almost cried I was so excited about it. 

It has been an amazing week, I have been able to see some members that I love, some investigators I taught back in the day, and most important I have been able to see some converts!!!

We had a baptism last Saturday, her name is Briana.  She is a friend of a youth here in the ward.  It was so cool to see how many people came out to support her!  So after the actual baptism while they are changing we like to give the chance to the people there to bear their testimonies, I was the one who led and explained how it would work.  So while I was bearing my testimony on baptism and the change it makes I looked on the front row and saw Pierce (one of my converts), the spirit hit me and I saw the difference that the gospel has made in his life, he is a completely different person than when I first met him.  It was hard to finish my testimony without crying so I quickly finished up and sat down.  To my surprise Pierce stood up, he started talking about how he is so grateful for the gospel, then he started crying and thanking me for serving a mission and finding him and his brother ... I had to bury my head in my hands.  It was such a special moment and made me feel that much better for serving the Lord.  It also made me feel closer to the Savior, He must feel that way all the time.  When people come to him and accept his sacrifice. It was a very special feeling.

As the time is coming closer for me to come home I realize that the Lord really understands all of us and knows what we are going through.  As it gets closer I have a feeling of nervousness, but the more I read the scriptures and the more I go out and help others with their testimony of Christ, I feel a peace that is a hard to understand.  It’s only when I let my mind wander and think about home too much that I have a feeling of anxiety.  I love the Savior and His teachings, He is wonderful.  I don’t know where I would be without Him.  Things would be rough that is for sure!! haha.  Serving Him is and has been the best thing I have ever done in my life and I wouldn’t trade the things I have learned and felt for anything in the world!!  The gospel of Christ is real and will change us from a carnal state to a holy and sanctified person, I know it’s true!!

It was a good week!

I love you family so much and I’m so grateful for the support that you have shown to me. I LOVE YOU ALL!!!

Elder Garrett

Monday, August 5, 2013

5 August 2013

Hi family,

So there is a new way of doing transfers I guess ... what happens is you get a call Saturday night and are told if you are leaving or if you are staying, to my surprise I was told that I’m leaving!!!  I was kinda sad about it at first but now I’m ok with it.  We aren’t told where we are going or who we are getting.  It’s a little weird but ok I guess. So for my last transfer I’m going to a new area!!!  I’m praying it’s with some one that I will get along with without too much hassle. haha

Sorry this is gonna be short, but I’m getting transferred and I need to pack!!!  Everything is great and I’m doing fine!!!

I will let you know where I am at next Monday!!!!!!!



I love you all!!!!  I hope you are doing well!

Elder Garrett

Monday, July 29, 2013

29 July 2013


Well this week was really busy, I felt like I was out of my area more than I was in it, but a lot of cool things happened and I had a lot of fun!!

First of all I went up to Lake Isabella with Elder Hatch, he is really funny! We worked really hard. I think the weirdest part of it all was we went and did some service for this guy, what we ended up doing is cutting a motor home in half. We took the top off so he could use it for a trailer. It was really cool!! It was something I have never seen before, it felt pretty cool ripping the top off! haha. Other than that the exchange went really well, we taught a guy who has a baptismal date for September 14th!! His name is Chris, he has been trying to quit smoking for a while and is down to one cigarette a day, so we challenged him to not smoke at all for one day to see how it went. I guess he did it and said that he loved it and felt really healthy!!! It was an awesome feeling to see someone succeed in something they have been trying to kick for a long time.

Friday at the temple was amazing!!! I learned so much and felt the spirit really strongly!! We had a chapel session with the temple president, he talked about the priesthood and what it really is. Of course he said the priesthood is service, but he also said that the priesthood is the Holy Ghost. I have never really thought of that before, that the way that we serve others with the priesthood is really the spirit, whether it be a blessing or an ordinance or advice. It all comes from the Holy Ghost!!  It’s been really nice thinking about this this past week and trying to come closer to the spirit so I can use the priesthood more often and bless others through it. 

Yesterday was really good, we saw so many miracles ... first the Young Women’s president came up to us and told us that there were two girls who went to girls camp who asked her if they could get baptized and told her that they are going to ask their parents if it would be cool. The second was the first counselor in the YW presidency came up and said hey there is a girl here that has been coming to church for three months and has gone to girls camp the last four years who wants to be baptized and her parents gave her permission ... my jaw dropped!! haha  So to make sure this was for real we gave her a permission slip to have her parents sign to make sure they really gave her permission. We told her we would come by the house at 3:30 and if it’s signed we will start the lessons. So 3:30 rolls around and we go to the members home and she hands us a paper signed and dated with permission to teach her. I almost started laughing cause it seemed too good to be true!! We taught the restoration and the girl (Emily) basically taught us the lesson because she had been going to church for so long. We asked her if she was reading the Book of Mormon and she told us that she was almost done with 1st Nephi and that she felt it was true. So we asked her to get baptized and she accepted, so she is going to get baptized August 17th. It was an awesome Sunday!

So that referral that we got from the other elders I guess has dropped off the radar and isn’t getting baptized any more ... It’s kinda sad that we don't know where she is or how to find her because she was doing so great and making progress ...

Other than that everything was great!! I had a fun week!!

I love you all and hope that you are doing well!!!

Elder Garrett