Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Letter from 10/28/2014

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

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
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

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