Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Letter from 10/28/2014

Hey,
 
Wow I can't believe that fall sports are coming to an end. That is crazy. 2 years of football since I have graduated have gone by. It makes me feel so old but I am postive that I graduated yesterday. Sometimes I wake up from a dream at the sound of the alarm clock every morning and then I realize I am in Spain 2 years ahead of what I was dreaming about. Usually dreaming about football of being in class and something weird happens like I am naked then I wake up. I have never had those dreams in my life. Weird stuff. Oh well, I guess when you are tired your mind does weird things.
 
Wow Kenzie is getting ready for college and that kills me to think that we will be freshman in college together. What weird stuff.
 
Super good that you got the day shift cause night shift has to kill the sleep routine.
 
Well this coming weekend we have 2 baptisms and I am super stoked. Can´t wait to send pictures of the baptisms.
 
Hey that pose of the American girl is not my idea but I had to go along with it. We were kind of making fun of girls in America cause everyone here in Spain does for the fotos all the girls take like that. 
 
Well time is flying here and I can´t believe how long I have been gone for. Lots of good stuff happening here in Lleida. Don´t have much time to write cause it is transfer day and we have to go pick elders up at the train station so I will try and write better next week.
 
Love you,
 
Elder Blake Billingsley
 
Letter to Mom
 
Hey mom,
 
Well the days go slow but the weeks go fast here. We just finished another transfer and they brought two elders back here to Lledia so I now have 4 elders in piso now. I wish it was cooler here it has been so hot and we have to wear sweaters and jackets every day.
 
Wow so cool that she got here patriarchal blessing. I read mine very often out here and I love it. Sometimes I get things that I didn´t get before. It is interesting to see how somethings stand out at certain times.
 
Well the baptism didn´t happen last weekend but we have two this weekend. Valentina and Celica. I will send pictures next Monday but they are so ready. Valentina is from Romainia and Celica is from la Republica Dominicana. I am so excited for them.
 
Well as far as the wisdom tooth goes it is coming in and I think it will be fine. We will see how it goes. But no worries if it causes problems I will just call Hermana Pace and she will take care of everything. We have had a few elders who have had dental work done here but I thnik for now I will be fine no worries. Yep my retainer still fits and I wear it every night.
 
So mom I still think you cut hair great, but I would recommend to anyone if they want to get there hair cut really well and for free go on a mission where there are Domincans that will cut your hair. They do so good. I suppose it is because they have such difficult hair to deal with. 
 
 Well love you,
 
Elder Blake Billingsley

Letter from 10/20/2014

Hey,
 
Well I can feel the season change but not that much here wish I was home for that right now cause we have to wear sweaters or suits and it is super hot out here. Hotter than sweater weather.
 
Wow Brazilian food. That makes me hungry. It´s not like I am complaining but the food here is not the best. In fact it could be some of the worst food ever. The only thing I really enjoy is when we eat with South Americans or paella. Which is pretty good but still not my favorite.
 
Wow, the Seahawks are letting me down. This is just not cool.
 
So this last week here in the Spain Barcelona mission Elder Billingsley traveled about half of the mission. first we had and entercombio with the Andorra elders. Then Wednesday we had entrevistas with Presidente Pace in Zaragoza and then Thursday I had to go to Barcelona and redo paper work for my residency so we didn´t spend much time in my own area. I think this week I traveled like 800km. It was a lot of train time but I got to see some people in Barcelona who I haven't seen in like a year. Super cool.
 
We had the same lesson to cause I think we should be on the same schedule but anyways no worries it is hard for me to love people too and that is like my job as a missionary. It is one of the hardest things for everyone to do but it is true that service is the only way to do it.
 
Well I feel like a pringao right now cause I don´t really have anything to write about. Well we do have one investigator named Celica like the car who I am almost 100 percent positive will get baptized on the 1 of November. She is super good. She is from the DR.
 
Well here is a foto of mi distrito intentando de hacer lo que hacen las chicas americanas cuando sacan fotos.  es un poco feo... creo yo pero bueno
 
Love,
 
Elder Blake Billingsley    
 

Letter from 10/13/2014

                        
                Blake's district at the Zarogoza Train Station after a zone meeting.

Hey Dad,

When I got here to Lleida they pulled the zone leaders out of here and put them in another area that was being opened and left 4 elders here. Which really surprised me to know that my area was struggling when I got here because it was the previous area of a zone leader. Anyway they just pulled the other two elders out of here and put them in a group that just opened 3 weeks ago outside of Hospitalet which is right next to Barcelona.


You can definitely tell those missionary's that this is definitely not an easy part of the world to serve in. There is a saying in our mission that they send boys to South America to become men and boys to Europe to become apostles. I don´t know who started it but we looked at the apostles and most of them have served in Europe as missionary´s I believe. We couldn't remember where they all served but whoever made up that saying was fairly accurate. 


Well as a mission  and with the members that live in our mission we are reading the Book of Mormon together. We started September 1st and end and the end of the year. We have seen so many miracles form it. Recently me and my companion have been having some super great conversations about the gospel trying to keep them as basic as possible because if you think to deep it hurts your head if you know what I mean. Anyways it is just so cool to go sharing what we have learned with the members and those that we have invited to read with us as well as have them share with us. 


One thing is for sure my testimony has become so much stronger and the gospel makes sense to me now. It is kind of interesting. I believed it all before I came but I didn´t really understand the doctrine until I had to teach it. We really are here for ourselves as well as to help others but I firmly believe we are here to make ourselves stronger members of the church too. 

I have also learned that people stop coming to church usually for stopping to do one of two things or both reading and praying. These are both super basic but super important and then we need to go to church not that we have to or get to but we need to. People drive me nuts when they don´t go members, less active members and investigators. And when they don´t read the Book of Mormon and when they don´t pray. I wish they would just get it through there thick skulls to do it sincerely. 

Nope we have heard about the movie but we have not seen it. It looks really good though because I have seen the trailer for it on the church website. 

Anyways just want to say the same you said. Keep an eternal perspective on everything and it will all make sense and be worth it in the end. To know what we know sure helps. 

Oh yeah, I don´t think I have ever been more tired in my life. The only thing that gives me any energy is depending on the night if I can sleep or not 4 to 8 hours of sleep and going to the gym in the morning which we have here. Gotta love body building Spanish members that own gyms. 

But seriously, I have never been more tired. 

Love you,

Elder Blake Billingsley


Letter to Mom

Hey mom,

Well yeah the week here has gone by super fast too. It is super crazy how time flies. There is one of the sister missionary's in my district and we were talking today and she has five months left and I have 10 it is super crazy to think about that because we were in the mtc together. She will be home six months before me but the next 10 months for me will probably fly by. After Christmas 8 months and then after my birthday 6 months. That just seems way to fast. I won´t lie though there are some days where I think to myself that I wish I was in my last week or two cause I am just getting my but kicked out here. 

No we have not seen the movie but we have heard about it. There are a bunch of English speaking members here that have told us about it and we have access to the church website so I have seen the trailer. It looks good. 

Hey I don´t blame those missionaries. We always try to go to the houses at least once a week that have cute daughters. 

Yeah we have three baptismal dates right now. All three are women we have  Luz Elena for this weekend but I think it will be moved back a week or two. Valentina a lady from Romania and is a little hard to understand for the 25 of October and Celica from the Dominican Republic for the 1 of November. We are super excited and have some great investigators. 

Oh it is definitely a palace by Spain standards. I don´t know how we got this place. Well this week we received like 10 references to follow-up on form 2 different families and all of them are part member families which are usually the best to work with. For sure we will see something come of that. 

Well for Christmas I can´t think of anything I would want right now but you always could put money on my card and I could buy something or keep it around till the end of my mission to by some stuff. 

Well love you

Elder Blake Billingsley

Letter from 10/6/2014


Hey,
 
Wow what a busy week you guys had there at home. Wow, what a wedding, fishing and skeet shooting! I don´t think the activities get much better than that. Wow I missed the treager, that stinks. To be completely honest the meat here in Spain sucks. They eat so much pork that I think I vow to never eat pork again in my life.  At least when I get home because I think it is impossible to not accept the pork hear if we eat with people. 

So something crazy happend here in the Lleida district. We were 4 elders and two sisters with 2 elders in a branch up in andira right on the border of France but now we are just 2 elders in Lleida and 2 sisters with the branch up north because back down south of Barcelona by about 2 hours they are opening up a group and they requested missionaries to grow it into a branch. Well they decided to take out 2 elders from Lleida and put them down there tomorrow actually so I get to inherit food from these two. But the thing is, is that our piso here is huge and with just two of us it is going to suck. I can´t like two man pisos are the wrost they are just so boring. But it is super good to see that more areas are being opened. It is the secound area to open this year with a group in our mission so there is progress. Little by little. 

Wow there were some great talks in conference, but I had to listen to the whole thing in Spanish because we had investigators there so we sat by them. But the coolest thing was the talk in Chinese and the talk in Spanish. I don´t know if you guys saw it but it was freaking cool. I learned something. It is actually so much easier to follow and to understnad when the talk is given in the speakers native language because the translators are so monotone. So when the one guy spoke in Spanish it was so easy to under stand and engaging. Overall it was just a really good conference. Conference has become so much more improtant and I get so much more out of it now that I have been out here. Modern day prophets do exist that is for sure. Wish some of are investigators would get that into their heads. 

So today I bought 2 sweaters because it is sweater season agian and my sweaters from last season are wearable but look terrible after wearing themfor 6 months straight. It is still freakin warm though. It has started to go down a little but it is still hot. 

I am going to forward a letter that we get every week from president and the office elders but the part I want you to look at is the talk from President Uchtdorf because we watched the video clip in our last zone reunion and it was super good. I loved it. I really related to Peter I think even as a missionary tal como miembro normal. 

Anyways it sounds like everyone is doing good and tired from such a long trip that happend to be short. Well have a great week. Love you guys

Elder Blake Billingsley
 
 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Letter from 9/29/2014

Hey,

Well everything is going good here it is just raining a ton here in Lleida too. I hate the rain as a missionary. So I live in the biggest piso in our mission. It is two stories and it is just super super nice. The top floor has three balconies, 3 showeres which are top of the line showers and it is just the biggest piso I have ever been in. It has wood and tile floors and the floors are heated we have heated towl racks for the showers. It is like a spa. Ok so I feel like a pampered baby right now in Europe.

Not gunna lie I miss yard work. Actually I just miss yards grass trees and dirt. That is the hardest thing to find here. I am sure you guys will have the funnest trip to Utah and back in a three day time span.

Well it sounds like everyone is doing good and keeping busy like always. Nothing better to do than to be busy. I miss sports so much. I think a miss high school and college sports more than anything. Wow a school record of 500 passing yard that is ridiculous.

That is so cool Jamaica. I actually finally got an email from Garrett after like the last 6 months that said that. Super happy for him. Can´t wait to here where Smith goes. I love hearing about it. Especially since I was one of the only ones right there at the beginning of my mission.

Well things are going to pick up here in Lleida. It has potential the work has just never been organized so we are going to be working on that.

Well love you have a great week.

Elder Blake Billingsley
 
Letter to Mom
 
Hey,

Doing great here in Lleida. We set 2 baptismal days and found some new investigators. My area has a lot of potential but the missionaries have been kind of unorganized so if it gets organized this place could pump out baptisms for days. Wow that is super cool that there was a nother baptism in the ward. I have never seen a baptism that I can remember from before I left. The church is really pushing it and it is true this is reallly the greatest work that there is.

I know the months are just flying by and everyone says that it will just go faster and faster towards the end of the mission and I am now on the downhill side. The girls that came into the mission with me only have 5 months left. That is crazy.

Well I haven´t thought about anything for Christmas but if I think of anything I will tell you for sure.

Wow I can´t believe that Spencer is getting married this week. I totally forgot about that. It will be nuts but for sure it will be fun. We hope. haha

Well doing good for the most part here. Although I did get sick last week for a bit and my suitcases broke but I think I can fix them Another thing, do you remember how they couldn´t pull my wisdom tooth out because it was so far up? Well it is coming in now. So I am just hoping I can take care of it without anything happening to it or it jacking up my teeth. It seems to becoming in straight for now but I will tell you about it if something happens. Heck if I really need to I can have it pulled but then I would look like a chipmunk for a while again.

But everything is good. I did get a little trunkie this last week thinking about home and the weather change at this time and football. It kind of killed me.

Love you

Elder Blake Billingsley

Letter from 9/22/2014

hey,

Well this is definitely one of the most different areas of the mission. There are so many Africans here just straight out of Africa that walk around with traditional African dress or not. And then we have what are called gitanos(gypsies). So needless to say we actually have a super ghetto area to work in. It kind of is a little creepy to work in during the evening. The ward here is full of Dominicans too so that is just one more accent to get down for me.

Well I am super excited to hear about the things people are doing at home especially with Smith getting his mission call soon hopefully.

Well this last week I have been kind of sick with the start of a transfer so that kind of sucks. It is definitely the worst. You feel like you are about to die but it is always worth it somehow. It started out with just a sore throat and then I got an ear infection I know I did then I got a massive head cold and I am starting to get rid of it. So hopefully this week I can get to work hard in my new area. I was just kind of working and getting to know the area a little this last week.

I guess when we have stake conference here in November in the Lleida stake Elder Quentin L. Cook will be there at the conference so that will be exciting. Not to often that you get to be at a stake conference when that happens and  it is so crazy to think that a year ago I was in Madrid when Elder Ballard came to talk to the missionaries there.

Well sound like everyone is just destroying there new school year and sports year. So today when we went to the gym I ended up having some Spanish body builder ask me to spot him in the gym. a little weird talking about lifting weights in Spanish. It was a little weird he just looked around the room and then came straight for me and asked me to spot him. Big dude.

Well here in Lleida no worries we are still speaking Spanish. There are still a fair amount of Africans that speak Spanish. Not all speak very well but it is what it is and there are still Spanish people and Latinos so we get work done but I would like to see it go to how I saw it in Catarroja. Guess we have some work to do. Missionary work is weird. It is just a weird lifestyle and I have a year of this stuff under my belt. Oh yeah you are never going to believe this but those indestructible suit cases handles broke on me this last transfer. The way we travel in Europe just is rough on them. Everyone's suitcases break though mine have actually made it a long time. I think I can fix it and get a few more moves out of them. The bags themselves are fine it is just the handle but that can be fixed I think. Who knows, I could only have one area after this place.

well love ya

Elder Blake  Billingsley 
 
Letter to Mom
 
Hey mom,
 
Well I am doing good here. I have been sick the past week however. As soon as I got here I came down with something wich really sucks but whatever. Yeah this gym is awesome. The guy that owns it is a member and is actually a body builder he is huge but it kind of is disgusting but whatever I get in for free. This morning I had to help spot some Spanish body builder while he benched. That was a trip. that dude put up so much weight but it was weird because it was all in kilograms which I am not use to at all still. He was massive though. He probabaly asked me because my companion is a small little guy. Needless to say I felt pretty big. 

I still can´t beleive that kenzie is going to be starting here college application. That is crazy. 

I have gotten a few things from the Hammonds and not really anyone else but i have been super bad about sending thankyou letters. I feel terrible about that. 

Well here in Lleida I feel like I have been reasiggned to Africa because there are so many Africans and the majority are Muslim. It is just crazy. And the ward is all Domincan basiclally but they are super good people. It is just a really lazy area is the only way I can put it and they have always had a hard time baptizing here. We defintly have some work cut out for us. 

My companion is Elder Nuemiller for Orange County California. His mom is from Peru but he didn´t speak spanish at all befroe the mission. We are geting a long great so far. He is definitely a BYU guy.

Well love you

Elder Blake Billingsley

Letter from 9/15/2014

Well I am transferred to Lleida they call it the armpit of the mission. They almost never baptize here so looks like I got some work to do and just when things where getting good in my area in Catarroja. We had 9 investigators in church and wow I have never seen that many in church in our mission. Usually about 6 is the max because it is put as a mission goal but some how we pulled 9 out of the hat. It has just been a killer summer litterally a killer but I had a stud companion for my last transfer a we just gelled and I don´t know the work was just on fire. We taught people right and left. By far my most successfull transfer but now I get to start where I was with my first transfer there in Catarroja. 

So with saying bye to everyone the last two days it kinda sucked. I actually said bye to more investigators than to members. I had one lady who is an investigator at the end of church come up to me and say thank you for stopping me in the street and talking to me you answered my prayers and you really are an angel and went on for a few minutes and then she just gives me a big fat hug and a kiss. Weirdest momet of my life get a kiss from a Columbian lady. No worries it was all lips. Nah just jokin she left lipstick on my cheek though. 

So I guess here in Lleida there is a member who owns a gym and lets us in for free in the morning.  

Well sounds like everyone is doing good there. Hope that I hear more about some mission calls soon. Boy I miss sports. 

Love you

Elder Billingsley
 
Letter To Mom

Well I got transferred to.........LLeida! About an hour North of Barcelona and well looks like I am in the same situation here as I was in Catarroja just  a lot of finding to do. They litteraly have no one for investigators. Seriously as soon as the area booms they pull me out and stick me somewhere else. Not cool. Pero es lo que hay. Sunday was my last Sunday in Cattarroja and we had 9 investigators at church and when I got there we had 0. Oh yeah and when you leave an area you eat about 20,000 calories. I ate so much yesterday. I had to catch the train early this morning to Barcelona and then caught one to Lleida. I got transferred with some people that I really havent seen in like a year since the mtc. So that was really cool.

Oh yeah gotta love that seminary. Just glad I don´t have to go anymore. Hey you can tell Mike Peck that I am working out. Here in Lleida there is a member who owns a gym and he lets us in for free in the morning. So we wake up at 6:30 to go hit it up. Got to take advantage especially since I will be here through the holidays most likely. I don´t think I have had a hotter summer ever than the one in Valencia. I am going to miss that place so much. It is so good there. 

Love you

Elder blake Billingsley 

Letter from 9/8/2014

Hey,
Sounds like everyone is keeping busy as always and adjusting to the new school year. That is always fun....NOT! But just think next time at this year I will be in Idaho so that will be super crazy for me. It was super crazy here this week completing a full 365 day in Spain. There is a lady in the ward who is kinda like my mom/grandma here in Catarroja and she made me a cake. It was so good. It is going to kill me because I think I am leaving next week cause we have the transfer next Tuesday. So we will know the transfer this Tuesday. My time has really flown here in Catarroja. I have been here for 3 transfers already. The whole entire summer and the temperature still has not gone down yet. I will be mad to leave because supposedly Valencia has the best oranges in the world but hey don´t come off till like November. 
 
Tell Bria I will be waiting for my hugs and kisses. I miss her a lot. I was kinda having a bit of a trunkie week with hitting the year mark and thinking about landing in Madrid and the mtc and all that good stuff. Me and Elder Schoen are in the same zone right now. I don´t know if you remember him but he called me on the third and was like hey happy 1 year anniversary bro we met a year ago. The first two missionary's to meet from are group and the only two not form Utah. I love that guy so much. He is a stud. 

Well that is what I am talking about. It is all about those Seahawks. Can´t wait to hear about how they do. I just keep telling myself this is my last season without football in my life and then next year I get back right before it all starts up. 

Hey not going to lie you guys are probably better off without the tv right now. With everything you all do who even watches that stuff?

Right now we are teaching this lady who is going to get baptized on the 20th I believe and it is awesome she is from Venezuela and I have never met anyone so prepared in my life for this and I know I said that about the last two but I am positive she is going down. She is a beast and gets everything we tell her. 

Today we invited the whole zone to Catarroja for a volleyball competition and then we had water balloons too. What a blast we were going to do a bbq also but we couldn´t get a grill but it was fun. We substituted the bbq with horchata which is a really good drink. I love it. I am sure you have heard of horchata de aroz or mexican horchata but here they have horchata de chufa. Chufa I think is called tiger nut in English. I'm not sure. But it is like a mini potato kinda and they make a drink out of it. I like to get it were it is like an icy were it is frozen. It is so good but we had a blast. It was kinda like an end of the transfer zone party. 

Love Elder Blake Billingsley

Letter from 9/1/2014

Boom! Baptism...s!

So after Grinding it out the last 4 months here in Catarroja I saw some baptisms. They are two really great people and I can´t tell you guys how happy I am for them cause they both needed it so bad. And with the two baptisms this weekend we met our baptismal goal for the month of August. Well you know how it is we are always working with goals here in the mission. The whole thing was interesting though. Mercedes wanted her dad to baptize her so we had to ask his bishop in Madrid if he could do the baptism. And this had happened before with her and he wasn´t worthy to do it at the time but I guess he was this time. So we got him in the font and he dunked her about 5 times and had to say the prayer about 20 times till he got it right. In the end the stake president who is in our ward went over to the stairs and was telling him word for word what to say. But I think he is hard of hearing because I was trying to tell him what to say and he wouldn't repeat what I said and then my companion baptized Juan. Then in church the next day for the confirmations I had to whisper in her dads ear the entire prayer and when we got to the blessing I said y ahora la bendicion and he paused for a moment and gave a blessing that was a little different but it worked out. The experiences you have on the mission. Then I confirmed Juan and after church I conferred the aronic priesthood on him. It was a crazy experience to confirm him though. The spirit I could feel it so strongly. 

Then last night I was in one of the craziest lessons ever. So in one of the wards in Valencia the hermanas are teaching an 11 year old kid from equatorial guinea that actually lives in our area but he has been in Valencia with family for the summer. So we went to meet him so we could keep teaching him. Well his uncle is a recent convert of the sisters and is super smart and the kid has a cousin who I think she is about 13 years old but completely deaf. Anyways we went to Valencia last night with the sisters for this visit and the family doesn´t want to listen so we took a blanket out onto the roof of this building like 10 stories up and had a lesson. Weirdest lesson ever. One of the sisters thinks she is Hawaiian but is from Utah and super white the other one is half Columbian but has lived in the states forever. One missionary form Montana and the other from Washington having a lesson with 3 Africans one being a recent convert who is really smart and an 11 year old boy and a deaf girl who was super smart and just a happy girl and understood everything that was going on which was just amazing to me. That definitely went into my journal. 

Well that is just a little bit of my week this last week. I forgot to mention that we just set up two more baptismal fechas for this month. The work is picking up and it is getting hot.

That is so cool that Chaz is coming to my part of the world. I know tons of guys over there from the mtc and missionary's that live there too. Just tell him that from what I know from some of my friends over there he will be going to one of the most apostate missions ever. No, just joking but he will have some fun especially trying to understand the Andalucían accent it is the worst. It doesn´t even sound like Spanish and it takes awhile to understand. I think he has part of Africa in his mission too. Wow, that is so freaking awesome. you will definitely have to get his email for me. He is going to have a blast in the mtc and in Spain.

Boom Spencer is getting married what a beast. por fin se va a casar. 

Wow I sure miss garlic fries my companions family was just in Seattle like a week or two ago and went to a Mariners game. They were just passing by on there way up to Canada to B.C to visit family I think. kinda weird to think that are family's were closer together than we are to them. 

That´s it, Bria start out with the basics and just keep learning the Spanish. poco e poco.

Love Elder Blake Billingsley 
 
This is Juan and the family, his sister and his nephews they were such a big help in baptizing him. He got baptized in two weeks from the day we met him. Yep, they are from Columbia. 
 

                                        Juan and Mercedes
                         Mercedes with her dad, sister and the sister missionaries.

Letter form 8/25/2014


Hey Dad,

Dang I can´t believe that summer is almost over. I feel like it just started and now school is starting up. The crazy thing is I was just looking at the calendar and skype time is only four months away. 

Bria sounds like the biggest brat in the world. I can´t believe she talks so much and the things she says. She could say words when I left but no much more than that. Next week I hit a year in the mission but I have barely under a year to go till I jump on a plane and go home to the good old U S of A . Speaking of which we had a visit with this less active guy form Argentina who told us he loves the states 100 percent it is the best that there is. It made me and my companion laugh cause we have both been missing the states this last week. We both have about the same time in the mission. He has one more transfer than me. 

Another thing I have started keeping a list of the reasons people give me for not listening to us when we contact them or however we run into them and this week this guy told me. " no no siegan solo tengo 5 minutos de descanso antes de que me voy a trabajar  siegan siegan estoy mirando tonterías" ( no no leave I have five minutes of a work break and I am looking at STUPID THINGS). That made me laugh a little bit when I left cause he was on his phone doing who knows what and we just could have given him something to change his life in five minutes instead of looking at stupid things. I probably shouldn´t have laughed but at least I didn´t till we were around the corner. I don´t think I have every heard a dumber excuse in my life. Well anyways I have been keeping a list of excuses and they get pretty funny. I think I am going to send my favorite one of the week every week. Just one of those missionary things.  

Well this week we have those two baptisms coming up. Mercedes and Juan are getting baptized the 30th thanks to all the prayers. I have seen Juan make a complete 180 and it is so awesome. and Mercedes, it is about time she gets baptized. You know we go out in the street everyday and even by members we get shot down and fired on for visits but when you have that occasional baptism it makes all the tiredness and exhaustion and the bad times go away. They haven´t gotten baptized yet but I am 100 positive they will after everything that has gone down the last 2 days. I have never heard anyone say the 30th is my day do get baptized. 

Oh yeah I still need to write Keaton I just didn´t have time last time when you sent me the email

Love Elder Blake Billingsley   
 
Letter for Mom


Hey Mom,

I love you too. I bet things are super busy right now with everyone starting everything up and everybody going in differnt directions. Well we have had some crazy miracles happen this week. to start off we will be having two baptisms for sure this Saturday. Mercedes is going to be baptized and her dad is coming from Madrid to do it. She has been investigating for the past 8 months and I am so excited for here. She is from Ecuador and has been ready to get baptized for a while. I don´t know why she has waited for so long but she is going to go for a swim here this Saturday. Also we have Juan getting baptized the same day. We have been meeting with him about every day and at least had some kind of contact with him for the last week since we met him last Saturday. He is the brother of a lady in the ward who was baptized 2 years ago name Cristina. She called us up last Saturday and said hey my brother is here when can you come teach him today. What time can you come by? So we set a visit and passed by and he understands everything we teach him. Everything and he agrees with everything. He tells us it fills him up. Well yesterday we had a visit with him and he goes you know I just don´t think this is my week to be baptized. I will be baptized in the coming months but I just don´t feel ready. But he understands everything. Anyways we set a date for the 13 of September or something to try and baptise then. But when we left he started talking with his sister and it ended up that he realized he could'nt be perfect before or after his baptism but he just had to try to do better ( he is from Columbia and grew up with a crazy mother in a crazy environment) and that if he put off what he new was true it could get harder to take that step to be baptized. He is so ready! I have seen him make a complete 180 in just one week!

But with all the excitment and all the work we have been putting in our area the last three weeks I can honestly say I feel dead right now. I have never been this exhausted in my life. But I am having fun.

Elder Blake Billingsley
 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Letter from 8/18/2014

Hey,

Well sounds like everyone is doing really well there. Sometimes I wish I was there and sometimes I wish I wasn´t. Being here makes me realize that I am truly blessed to live where I do. Sometimes it makes you miss the United States. Maybe I am just a little patriotic but I love where we live. Then again I have had some of the weirdest but coolest experiences here in the mission and well, I wrote mom about them so you will have to read it, which I am sure you do. 

This week we had a miracle in our area. We set two fechas bautismales. El primero fijamos con una chicaa ecuatoriana quien ha investigado durante los últimos 8 meses y bueno ella es super preparada para bautizarse. Estoy mu agradecido que puedo ver su bautismo. Va a bautizarse el 30 de agosto. El segundo fecha que tenemos es uno de los mejor milagros que he visto en la misión hasta ahora. Tenemos una miembro aquí en Cattaroja quien se bautizo hace 2 años creo, pero ella tiene un hermano. Su hermano creo que era el miércoles tocó su timbre a las doce de la noche y le dijo. "Quiero pasar el fin de semana con vosotros, esta bien." Entonces nos llamo el sábado y nos dijo. " Mi hermano esta aquí en mi casa, vengan, quiero que le ensenan." Y bueno fuimos a su casa y le ensenamos la restauración y también fijamos la fecha del día 30. Hemos estado con el por los últimos 2 días y tenemos una visita con el hoy. Y también vino a la capilla ayer. Esta listo para bautizarse.

No sé si lo ha notado en los pasados cartas pero para mí me encuentro difícil para hablar en inglés. No es que hablo bien el español y tengo un campanero de los estados unidos pero. Ya me cuesta muchísimo. Todo bien aquí especialmente que ya tengo un compañero que le gusta a trabajar. Pero es cierto que aprendo algo do cada compañero.  

Love you

Elder Blake Blillingsley

P.S. No estoy bromando, cuando hablo inglés pienso en español. Me duele un poco y aveces es difícil de pensar cuando estoy escribiendo cartas.
 
    
Letter to mom
Hey mommy,

Wow sounds like it could really be crazy there when school starts. Glad I am here in the busy world of Spain. Actually I miss the United States more and more. Spain is an incredible place but I have never been more grateful for where I am from in my entire life. 

Wow Brother Breaux will be great in the bishopric and it is crazy how much the ward is growing. I wonder if they will end up spliting it ever. I don´t think we have a really big ward boundry either. You know it is really sad that Brother Reinhardt passed away but for me it was worse that he had to live the way he did. I am super glad that he has gone on to do other things. For sure he will help out on the other side. He was always trying to share the church with everyone in that residency. 

Yep I got the package from Hammond's and I loved it. I need to write them a letter. I loved the poem that they sent me it was awesome. 

Well this week we set up two baptismala fechas for the 30th of this month one with our investigator mercedes who is super prepared and another with the brother of a recent convert who I am postive will be baptized as well. We are doing work here in Catarroja and I am loving it. I can´t lie though I am really excited to be working with my new companion. We work really well together. This area here is taking of. I have had some crazy onece in a lifetime oportunity´s here in the mission. Right now my zone leaders are from Austria and England and I just had an entercambio with the Austrian/German and who else can say that they ran around spain all day talking to people about Jesus with an Austrian/German who speaks English and Spanish, and all day we just spoke spanish. Boom! also today I was on a hike with three Americans 2 Peruvians 2 Spaniards and a black guy from Angola. Crazy stuff happens here in Spain. I love it. Not to mention we visited an old Roman castle on the hike. 

Well hope eveything is going well and you all stay busy.

Love you 

Elder Blake Billingsley
                  

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Letter form 8/11/2014

Hey,
Well sounds like you had a great experience with kenzie and the tire blowing on the honda. I know I am super excited when I get home to go to school and do some stuff like make friends that aren´t guys! Can´t like being with guys all the time-can drive you nuts. You wouldn´t think that when you are younger but it sure does. Not to mention half the women in this country walk around half naked. Man being a missionary can be tough. 

Wow how does that work losing to the team you just crushed in the super bowl for your pre season opener. no bueno. You will for sure have to keep me updated on BG and how they do here in this next year cause I would love to see them start to get really good here again with all those boys that will be coming up here in the next couple years but I guess they would all be a year older or about the same age as Brenley. 

Yeah my companion is Elder Streiff. He is from Billings Montana and is 6 foot 3 so I look like a midget with him.  I know we are only a week down but we get a long the best out of any of my companions. We are working hard and doing a little bit of the dirty work more than I would like so that means knocking doors and contacting but we have to cause we don´t have many investigators. My last companion was a little difficult to deal with. But it is what it is. 

Yeah working with the less actives is a big thing right now we have so many less active members that we are constantly working with. And really there are so many people to baptize  If we reactivate people they have family that aren't members and friends and it is just freaking awesome and like a chain reaction when reactivation happens. The last two weeks I have been passing by this family to bring them to church super less active but super nice hopefully they start coming by themselves. 

Love,
Elder Billingsley

Letter to Mom

Hey mom,
Sounds like conference was good and enjoyable since you didn´t have the monsters. Wow he had Bria with him all night. They must have watched tv the whole time. Nope I haven´t gotten a package yet but I probably will this week cause we have a conference with president and the ayudantes. I really need to write them and the Breaux's. I hear from Bro Ferqueron through emails that he sends me about the Lewy's but that is about it. 

Crazy how the summer is almost over. For me here not really they say it cools off at the end of September or beginning of October. So it is pretty safe to say that the heat is killing me here. I have never sweated so much in my life. But somehow my shirts are still white-ish.  I am doing awesome. Trying to rebuild this area as far as missionary work because my last companion was a little difficult but it's alright I have a great companion right now and we a kickin it into gear. Wish I had something spiritual to write but not really right now.  But I have really been enjoying my studies lately. I just finished the Book of Mormon for the second time on my mission and right now I am reading the four gospels. It is really good stuff. 

Anyways love you 

Elder Blake Billingsley

Letter from 8/5/2014

Hey,
Wow, Cole is a beast. Wish I could have been there to watch him play. I can´t believe kenzie is going to tour the campus. It is so crazy that when I get back we will be going to our first year of college together, well maybe not together but at the same time. Yeah, if she thought that the sister missionary´s were crazy I can guarantee that McKenzie wouldn´t recognize me on the street talking to people. We talk to so many people and the same people a lot of the time. In fact I think I am weird for doing it sometimes but it´s what you got to do. 

Well right now we are in transfers and my companion left so I am waiting for my companion to show up this tarde. Everything here is going alright. We need to grow our base of investigators big time but we do have some good investigators. They just won´t get baptized and they have been taught everything. It drives me nuts. Hopefully one of them will get baptized this month.  

i am a little frustrated with things but it is all good. I think I have 6 more weeks here in Catarroja and then we will see where I go. They tell me that there are some big groups of people coming in the mission here towards the end of the summer and that we might be receiving  ipads in September or October but we would have to pay for them. It would totally be worth it. It would eliminate all paper work the area book the agenda forms. All of it will be the ipad and maps. Ward list and everything. It would make life so much easier. The hard part would be putting all of the area book on the app that we would have. I am not sure that is just what they say that it is a possibility in the next couple months. 

Well the work is good here, but I can´t lie i do have a really tough area but they tell me my new companion is a work horse so I am ready this area needs some help bad. I don´t like talking bad about people but I am glad to have new companion, but things are doing good. We are teaching lessons but we can teach more. So hopefully that will change and we can get these people baptized soon. So every month the mission sets a goal. The goal this month is as a mission for the month to find 2000 new investigators and to invite someone to be baptized everyday. President has promised us that if we do it we will baptize more and see more miracles.

Love Elder Blake Billingsley


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Letter form 7/28/2014


Hey Dad,

Well I bet it was peaceful at home with most of your kids gone. I guess we will see how the Seahawks do here in the next season coming up. 

It is super awesome to here about the progress of some of the people with the mission stuff. 

Well as far as the Spanish goes it is easier for me to write it and read and understand than to speak. When I have to speak sometimes I can´t think of words or my pronunciation sucks but I will work.  I have talked in sacrament like so many times now and I can say it never gets easier to speak when you feel like you are under pressure especially last minute. 

Okay, I have a few stories lets see. Well this last week we have seen so many miracles that it has been awesome. The sisters had a baptism on Thursday of and old guy whose wife has been a member for the last 30 years and he finally got baptized after starting the lessons 2 months ago and he was confirmed and got the priesthood in the same day on Sunday. They now have the goal of gong to the temple to be sealed  in a year to the day he was baptized. We have been working with a menos activo family.  Well the dad is inactive but the rest of the family comes but they have a lot of problems. Well in the last two transfers I have started to see them more and more. When we passed by members randomly they would be there and we had the opportunity to share messages with them because we were not allowed to go to there house. They wouldn't let us in and then Saturday before the baptism we were walking down their street and he was out working on his car and invited us in to drink some juice. We where only there for twenty minutes but he told us he would come to church the next day. So we go to church and he showed up with his whole family min before church starts. Their kids had just gotten back from efy which is really different here in Spain. Anyways his 18 year old son was chosen to bear his testimony about efy and he got up and talked about his dad coming to church and started crying and it was just really awesome. I love to see the progress of people whether they are members menos activos or investigators. 

Love Elder Blake Billingsley

Letter to Mom

Hey, 
 
ha-ha who would have thought that you would miss us all being gone. Funny stuff. You will have to get used to it cause before you know it we will all be gone. But you can call us whenever you want I guess..... if I ever have a phone? It sounds like Kenzie is going to have fun on the mini mission thing. I don´t remember how they work it there but they do it here too. What happens is some of the areas get one or two kids for a whole week and it has been happening since the beginning of this transfer. We didn´t get mini missionary's out here where we are at. 

Well I have thought about it and I would really love to have you guys to pick me up but I think I just want to get on a plane and go home after my mission. Like I don´t know but I think I want to go home when it over. Spain is cool but I'm am definitely going to be ready to be home and be in the good old United States. So I don´t think I want you guys to come. It would be fun but I miss The U.S.

Yeah getting attached to elders haha. Think about us as elders. I didn´t really have any people I was attached to in my first area but when I left Santander there were family's that it just killed me to leave. I am going to have to write them some letters. 
 
love you guys

Elder Blake Billingsley

Letter from 7/21/2014

Hey,

Well you can tell Bria that I love her too and that she is the best! Wow I bet everything that Cole did this past week just beat him and he sounds dead but I bet he had a lot of fun. And you guys went on a hike. Speaking of hiking I went on a hike early today and it was freaking awesome it is a good thing the stream wasn't very big because boy tenia ganas pare nadar como nunca.

Well dad you still have a year till you lose us both to college and then the rest of life, but don´t let McKenzie grow up. I don´t know how I feel about going and starting college with her. 

Wow I can´t believe it Texas! That is so freaking awesome. I am so stoked for him the mission really is great and the experiences are unforgettable. No puedo mentir por que la barbacoa que va a comer, Keaton me suena genial y la verdad es que estoy un poco envidioso. pero enserio yo quiro barbacoa bueno, de los estados unidos. 

Espero que algunas más de mis amigos ahí en casa están haciendo todo lo que pueden hacer para ir a la misión porque la misión es una maravilla. Sí ay algo que puedo hacer por algien diga me. Para la obra es necesario que todos que pueden salgan a la misión. Y una cosa es que aprendimos muchísimas cosas aquí. Cosas para la vida tan numeroso que vale la pena. Estoy seguro que coundo algiun se va a case de aquí y sí han servido a todo de su potencial que el converso mas fuerte en la iglesia es ellos mismos. Todavía sé que es algo que me falta pero hasta ahora soy el mejor y más fuerte converso de mis conversos y son pocos. Pero algo you aprendí es que no importa cuantos te bautizas, si tu eres mejor después la misión. la última cosa es que   LA MISIÓN VALE LA PENA! 

Sé que mi salvador vivió y que vive, también sé que gracias a él todos van a ser resucitados y que por medio de él todos de nosotros podemos vivir con nuestro padre celestial y con nuestras familias. sé que mediante de ningún otro hombre podemos ser salvados. sé que milagros vienen por el nombre del Señor porque lo he visto varias veces. No todos son míos pero lo he visto. sé que cuando estemos con cristo todo es posible todo. 

Gracias por ser mi padre tu eres el mejor que ay y siempre ha estado ahí para mi. Gracias por todo.
 
te amo

Elder Blake Billingsley     


Letter to Mom
Hey Mom,

One thing I have learned on my mission is..well I have learned a lot in the short  months I have been here but communication and organization and planning. I don´t think there is a better organization other than the military that does it all those missionaries. Heck right now there are 18 and 19 year old office elders who basically take care of transportation for president and the ayudantes and for the rest of us  200 and 50 some odd missionaries who are always traveling not just during transfers, and they take care of all are legal paperwork. Then you have the rest of us constantly in communication for different things that happen on a regular bases and things that could be hard are communicated and planned quickly and then taken care of efficiently. I wish some of the people in this world would just learn that stuff. 

It has been pretty hot here recently to super hot and humid so luckily we have an air conditioner in our bedroom. Catarroja is going good. We had a really tuff week one of my toughest and most humbling weeks yet. I have never had so many people cancel on me, members included and lot´s more experiences that are just humbling too. 

Wow summer is basically half over that is crazy and I have a transfer coming up here on the 5th of August. I will probably stay here for at least another transfer or more. Hope everyone enjoys the summer while it lasts because it is the last year of high school for my little sister. 

Wow! That is so awesome TEXAS! Everything is bigger in Texas. And he reports in October that is great it gives him a little more time to keep working and get a little more cash under the belt. Hey someone needs to get me his email or give him mine so we can write cause I haven´t heard from him or them yet. I mean they don´t have to, but to at least talk to my cousin. The mission is freaking awesome. Hopefully some of those guys at home finish stuff up and get out too.

Well today we woke up super early and went by train for an  hour to the most south part of the mission to hook up with the elders in Gandia and we went hiking with one of the stake presidency members. It was awesome. This guy knows so much about the outdoors and it was all in Spanish so it blew my mind that I understood it all. I will send pictures next week. It was awesome, we found a little stream and put are feet in it, it is a good thing it was not even close enough to being big to swim cause we all had the itch to jump in some water and swim. 

Well I love you.

Your favorite child

Elder Blake Billingsley

Letter from 7/14/2014


Around here it isn´t too bad with the running of the bulls. We don´t here much because it mainly happens up in Pamplona which I was closer to in Santander. But I guess they will be having bull fights start up here basically all over Spain. We get to go to one during our mission and the elders are taken out of Pamplona for the week while the running of the bulls goes on even though it doesn´t last long they don´t want anything happening. 

Guess you guys better get used to the house being more quite than usual. Tell Cole it is ok I pray every night in thanks that I don´t share a room with him anymore. Just kidding I would much rather share a room with him than my companions. They tend to stink a little bit! Wow I don´t think it has gotten that hot here yet but the humidity kills me. 

Right now the teaching is going better. We just started teaching a lady named Zoila who is from Bolivia and is a golden investigator. She has family that lives in Houston and they are all members. They told her basically to look at the church. So we met with here twice last week and she came to church. She is really awesome and I just think basically she will do what she needs to do to find out eveything for herself.  Other than that we are trying to help a few people get ready for baptism. Sometimes they just have different ideas and look at things differently. I guess they kinda still have to have a change of heart before they really understand everything. 

well still loveing it out here love you

Elder Blake Billingsley

Oops, fell asleep!!!

Oops, we fell asleep after being fed at a members house and they took a picture to prove it!  Good thing the are cool! Hard work makes you tired!

Letter form 7/7/2014


Hey Dad, 

Wow crazy things that happen at work I guess. We really don´t here about any of that stuff here in Spain but they do have a lot of riots we just don´t here about anything because we can´t watch the news. 

I can´t believe I just passed the fourth outside the United States. Well truth be told we all got together and pitched in like 30 euros each so maybe you should tell mom I took 30 euros off my card and we got some members to buy fire works and light them off. Of course we used it as an activity to get some menos activos out of there houses and over to the church. It wasn´t specatacular but it was fun to just sit there and talk with people and watch lights. 
 
It is true though I always feel like I have a long ways to go. I will always try to perfect myself at the things I do which I guess is why we are here right, to learn and grow and become perfect. Well still trying to get some baptismal feachas here in catarroja but we will see how it all goes the next couple of weeks. 

Love you,

Elder Blake Billingsley
 
Letter to Mom
Hey  Mom,

Wow long drive. Sounds like fun though at least for the girls. 

We are starting to teach more lessons. We are planning an three lessons a day with two member present lessons. Those are the most important ones because we have members there to testify as well and hopefully we are teaching there friends. Things are improving slowly but I have noticed that the more optomistic we are the better things get. But still with a low progression. I think my favortie part of the week would be those days where we are literally running through the streets of Spain to make it to another visit and it is just one of those days where you can feel the spirit in every visit you have and everything is just clicking. That doesn´t happen everyday but probably at least once a week. Those days where you and your companion are just clicking and everythng is just rolling. You do have to work for those days but they do happen and aside from that my favorite day is Sunday. I think even though we are just dead cause that is the end of the week and sometimes in the evening we don´t have anywhere to go but they are just good days. 

So I have been thinking about the end of my mission to. I don´t know what I would like. Do I wan´t you guys to come pick me up or do I want to just get on the plane and fly home. Like it would be really cool for you guys to come here but I don´t know. Why don´t you and dad tell me what you think and I will do some thinking this week and tell you next week.
 
well love you

Your favorite Elder

Elder Blake Billingsley

Letter from 6/30/2014 and Pictures


Hey dad,


Well working hard here and starting to work harder cause I think just about all of our investigators have fallen of the face of the earth but it is what it is. But it is fun. I still sweat a ton and even more with the humidity here.

So we went to this museum and it had all these paintings from Spanish painters which they weren´t my favorites but there were some cool ones of Christ. Last p day we went to an old castle. It was huge! It was really cool to look at the architecture of it and the art work around it. Old Spanish castles are so cool. I have some pictures of it to send. It was like 45 min in train from Catarroja and then we had to hike another 45 min to get to the entrance cause it sits on the tope of a mountain.

Well I love hearing about American football especially with the mundial going on it is all I hear about from the members. They keep telling me about how the US lost but I just shove it back at them with the fact that Spain was the first team eliminated. I actually kind of like the soccer stuff but still not that much. Good thing I have a great relationship with the members at least I think I do. But they really should pay Russell Wilson a little bit more and I don´t know what they are going to do for Marshawn Lynch. 

It is really weird that you run into all my friends and of all the places at work. Well not much really going on today but I thin we are going to go to Valencia and go bowling with some of the missionary's in Valencia.  I am learning a lot in my studies right now. I have been reading the general conference talks every morning and wow it is so cool to find things I didn't notice before that stand out to me now. Some of my favorite ones were from the priesthood session and they were really good. I think I am learning a lot about service and what it really means to be a priesthood holder and have faith and follow Christ.

There was something I found on lds.org that was written by Joseph Smith and it talked about faith. it said the something along the lines of the fact that not a single person has real faith until they are willing to give everything they have, every world possession even their family even their life for God. I think it is super powerful. and when you think about it, it is super true.

te amo

Elder Blake Billingsley

 
Letter to Mom
Hey Mommy,

Yep the running is going good but last night we were a little late coming home from a members house so we had to run home to make it on time and my companion had to call in the numbers at the same time so as we are running home we were talking to the zone leaders about our numbers and I don´t know what happened but my hip is popping. I don´t think it is a good idea to go from sitting down on your butt for an hour to a full on sprint to get home at 10 well I am ok just a little sore. 

Yep I got the smaller package too. Thank you so much.

Yep the empanadas were from Santander with and Argentino family and boy were they good. I think I remember how to make them. I think I have learned to make food from just about every South American country and Spain. So I will have to try it all out on you guys when I get home. 

Wow! Sounds like youth conference they had was awesome. I remember how fun those were. I think the dance festival was probably one of the coolest ones and trek of course. The missionaries don´t really participate in stuff like that here because the church is so small and young still that they have nation wide activities and so it is super difficult and the missionary side of everything is kind of left out of that stuff. One thing I have learned about Spain is that it is a party place. It is all about the party. 

Well it is still hot here and still sweating a ton. Just about all of our investigators have fallen of the face of the earth with summer vacations but I have a feeling this transfer is going to be good. I am here with a great group of missionaries. We are having tons of fun. It is always difficult but I love it. 

te quiro

Elder Blake Billingsley

                                     A cool fountain.
                                            The valley of Xativa.
                                    Old Spanish building.
                               Castle entrance-newer than the rest of the castle.
                               Old painted room of the history of a prince/knight.
                               A Harley in Catarroja!

Letter from 6/24/2014


Hey! 

Well transfer week again but nothing changed in Catarroja. It has been freaking hot here though. 
 
Sounds like everything is going good and you will all be busy this summer. The summer is going to go by supper fast and at that point I will have been gone for a year. I think that that is crazy. Yum chocolate carrot cake with lots and lots of frosting! Well hopefully it was ok. 

I have been able to catch parts of games when we go over to peoples houses. It is actually hard to plan anything with fifa going on but it got a bit easier when Spain went out at the beginning. que suerte! But they still watch the fifa cup. 

Well I will send some pictures I don´t know if I told you but I broke my toilet seat a few weeks ago when I sat on it. Cheap European stuff! My butt hurt so bad.

te amo

Elder Billingsley

Letter to Mom

Hey 

Sounds like you killed it on the race. I think I want to get into some of those races when I get home they sound super fun. Of course I hope I get into shape again.

Wow I really can´t believe school is out already I swear I left yesterday which happens to be the day before school started. Wow. 

Well nothing here in Catarroja has changed with the transfer. I am with my companion for at least one more transfer and we hope we can build up the area. 

The craziest thing is I never gave blessings before the mission. Now I think we give them like once a week. I don´t know if I can do them in English. 

But the part I have really learned is just service service service it´s what the priesthood is. The biggest part of the gospel is love. 

Well love you!

te amo

Elder Blake Billingsley

Pictures!




                                          Helping make empanadas while still in Santander
                                         Yikes!
                                         Aquarium in Valencia

                                          Huge paella dish for zone conference

Letter from 6/16/2014


Well I totally forgot that it was Fathers Day till the Elders Quorum President leaned over to me in consejo de barrio yesterday and said isn´t it fathers day in the states today. I was like oh no I forgot. He goes that´s what I'm here for. So HAPPY FATHER´S DAY! Yeah I have seen a few minutes of some games it is impossible not to here and we were expecting when Spain would win that the streets would go nuts as we were strying to sleep but it was completley silent so we figured that they lost. We actually were able to sleep. The other thing that is hard right now is getting people to visit with in the evenings right when the games start at about 8 or 9. 


Yep zone confernce was the best one so far. We had a guy in the stake make us a big old pallea and it was so good I didn´t know I like liver so much but it was super good with all the meet in it. Pallea orginated here in Valencia so if you ask them about it they get really prideful. I love pallea so freaking much. In the past week eating with members we have eaten pallea like 4 times. Oh it is so good. Squeeze a little lemon on it and use your bread to scoop it on the fork and don´t be afraind to use your hands if you have seafood pallea with all the gambas. 

Holy cow Bria turns three I need to send her a drawing or a letter or something. I knew but I forgot that one too. Wow, I'm terrible. I forget everything. 

It is super weird to here about all the people I knew going to high school. But it is kinda cool to here what´s up with them and what they are doing.  You guys just run into people everywhere. Well the work here is going we tend to have fairly busy days which are good. We set another fecha. the first one we had with a guy and his wife but they have just dropped of the face of the earth and we cant get a hold of them. We passy by we call but nothing. So they are gone I guess. Well 1 more week in the transfer and then we shall see who my new companion is if I get one. Well hope everyone is dong well and it sounds like you are all busy.

te amo

Elder Blake Billingsley
 
 

Letter from 6/9/2014


querido padre.......

woops casi empece a orar. jaja. bueno ¿que tal todo? me sueno como cada uno de mis hermanos están listo parra terminar escuela y descansar un poco de sus estudios y todo. pero están tan ocupados con todos de los deportes y todo. me acuerdo jugando fútbol americano todo el tiempo y yo casi nunca tenia tiempo para hacer otras cosas. pero sabemos que era me cosa favorito y no quería hacer nada más. No lo creo. Mi hermana va tomar el examen( ACT) para ir a la universidad. !No puede ser! 

espero que Bren pude sentir mejor in la semana que viene y que puede mostrar a los entendedores que ella is la leche. !Wow! Cole es una machina y nadie tiene la habilidad para detenerlo. !es una bestia! noooooo yo completamente olvide el cumple ano de mama. tengo que escribir algo muy buena ye enviar lo rápido.  

Well hopefully the spanish isn´t too bad and that you understand it. I think that there might be one or two Spanish things in there that you might not get cause they don´t make sense in any other spanish speaking country. Not gunna lie I really miss football but I can´t believe that it is already that time of year for the spring traing and all that. I really wish I could play a little bit.

So today we had a water ballon fight cause it is getting freaking hot. We step out of the shower and looks like we haven´t dried off after we have. They tell me that is just going to get worse all the way up till October. oh no! Wow Keaton graduated. Have you guys heard anything about mission stuff for him or anyone else that I might know yet. Last week for preperation day we went to Valencia to an aquariam so that was kind of cool and this Wednesday we have a zone confernce and all that good stuff that comes towards the end of a transfer. Yep just two more weeks till the end of this transfer. My companion keeps telling me that he is leaving and that I will be the new district leader but I definitely don´t hink that is happening yet. Not for a while I hope. I still have to work on the Spanish and other parts of being a missionary. 

We are trying to start some things up here in Catorroja because they just have a hard time with the missionary work. There are some great members here that work there butts off for us but then there are others that just don´t do anything and it is frustrating but we are stating some things with individual family's and then we are going to have an activity called the viaje por la vidsa de cristo. seria genial.

bueno te quiero

Elder Blake Billingsley   
 
Letter to Mom
     
 Hey mom,

Well yeah we try to be busy here. This past week however things have kinda slowed down so we are really trying to find more people to teach and work with the members more. We have been hearing a lot about how the missionary´s are working more with members in the states and that in some missions they don´t do contacting anymore. They are really pushing us hard to work with the members. So we are trying to put on an activity here called viaje por la vida de cristo ( journey through the life of Christ). It is kinda difficut to do because it is just us missionary´s here working on it. It is super hard to get the ward to acccomadate missionary work here. It is kind of a disfuntional area but we are working really hard to get the leaders in this ward in the game. We are also trying to implement a plan here with the ward doing family home evening with each family and setting up a family mission plan. We have been brain storming this plan all weekend. We have named El Bebé. It is our baby. Just trying to get the members here to give us referneces and help them out to be missionary's to there friends. 

Well we have been working with a few investigators that we have and they are slowly progressing but need to keep some comittments that we have been making with them. we have some good investigators and are hoping to see some baptism soon. I have now been here in Catarroja for 4 weeks wow. Time fly´s. and the transfer is in 2 more weeks. 

Well the running is getting a lot easier it is just so humid here so it gets hard to breath sometimes. And then when we step out of the shower and dry off it looks like we haven´t dried off because of the humidity. The members tell us that it isn´t even that bad yet and that it will be 100 times worse in a month or so for up until October. Well wish me luck with my sweating problems.  I really can´t believe that school is about over. I swear it just started and I just left on my mission. Oh yeah I did 9 months ago. I bet Kenzie is glad to not get up for seminary and get some extra sleep. I wish I could get some extra sleep. I guess I have today to get a little nap in. Don´t know if I can cause it is so hot. It actually has been getting really hard to sleep with the heat and humidity but I kind of enjoy it. It´s weird it makes me feel like I have been working. 

Oh yeah happy birthday! I think your birthday is soon but I don´t remember what day. I am such a horrible son. Love you.

Love 

Elder Blake Billingsley

Letter from 6/2/2014


Hey,

Ha ha, yeah, I´m everyone's favorite elder! The running in the morning sucks. I think the sisters kick our butts every morning and the Spanish was difficult. Wow! Everyone is getting so big so fast. I can´t believe everything they are doing. You guys are all so busy. 

Of course Cole wants more money. "It´s all about the money, money, money" I think I miss music so much. All of us here in the mission miss it. If someone says some kind of line that has a music reference it gets sung.

Well the big brat Bria sounds like a handful. How can she have an imaginary boyfriend? She isn´t even supposed to know what boys are yet. I'm sorry dad I think you are screwed with her when she gets older. Better start collecting lots of guns, locks, balls, chains and a whole lot of barbed wire. The house is gong to have to be a prison. ha ha

I think that just made my week hearing about the bad word in elders quorum. Don´t feel too bad I have heard so many members here swear. But here in Spain swearing is not fuerte at all. Well, certain words yes but there are a lot of common words that you would not say in English in a big group. 

We just set a baptismal fecha for the 21st and they are super good. Their names are Moises and Veronica and they just have tons of questions and super strong faith. I don´t know here in Catarroja  it is kind of dead but we are still super busy and working hard to get the ward here to work with us. we as missionaries are doing an activity for missionary work called viaje por la vida de cristo. it should be super good in other areas they have had baptisms from it. 

Well everything here is good and I'm still sweating and hot all the time and busy, but I love it. 

Love

Elder Blake Billingsley
 
Letter to Mom
 
Sounds like everyone is super busy and doing well. Lucky school is almost out. Just till the end of the month. Wow, I left the day before school started. That is so crazy!

The investiagoters that we just set the date with to be baptized had questions about the priesthood. So we explained a little bit about that scripture and then after they said well, we want to be baptized by the highest authority in your church. And then we were able to explain that we hold the same authority of priesthood that Jesus Christ and the apostles had. When I think about that myself it is crazy to think about the things that can actually happen if people have faith in Christ. The miracles that we can see are super awesome. 

Love you,

Elder Blake Billingsley

Letter from 5/26/2014


Hey Dad,

Well things are going good here in Catarroja I'm just sweating like crazy though. Of course you do all the work and Cole get´s the money that how he works. I can honestly say I miss doing yard work though. 

Funny story. so the sisters here in Catarroja in the same week had a shower break and locked there keys in there piso so we had to fix there shower and unplug the drain. Ugh gross. Good thing I grew up with sisters with long hair and know how to do that. And the plumbing here in Spain sucks by the way. And then we had to unlock there door to there piso with a pop can. Good thing my comp is Mexican and has skills. 

Hope the Seahawks do good again this year. 

Well not much happening just teaching a lot and getting to know the knew area I have already been here for two weeks crazy. 

Well I am limited on time today cause we have to get some stuff done but hope everything is going good. 

Love you
 
Blake Billingsley


Letter to Mom

Wow I can´t believe school is almost out for you guys there. Well I have actully been here for two weeks. Thank you for sending all that stuff by the way. She is not old enough to go to prom. That is so weird and next year she will be a senior. no puede ser. Hopefully school comes to an end fast. I have almost been out 9 months. Time is flying by so fast. Sorry I don´t have a ton of time today. Still trying to get the new area down and trying to work with an new companion. The sister missionary's here have talked us into running theree times a week with them and into doing and English fast starting tonight and not ending till next Monday. I hope I can do it. 

Love,
 
Elder Blake Billingsley