Sunday, May 24, 2015

Letter from 3/16/2015


Wow I can´t believe that Smith is now gettig ready to leave. Super crazy how all of a sudden everyone is leaving. Since I have started my mission the number of missionaries has gone up a lot in our ward and that is super crazy cool to see. 

Well we had a mission tour here this week in Barcelona so we had four zones get together. That way they only have to do 3 conferences. The general authority that came to do it was Elder Olson of the Seventy. He is Swedish and lives in Stockholm.  He also is the temple record keeper there. It was definitely a very interesting conference and then afterwards President Pace asked him to have an interview with me. Wow was I scared! I was like what did I do? But it was super cool. During the conference he basically kind of shared with us an idea throughout the conference intertwined with how to become better missionaries and better teachers. He basically said that when we go home to keep living these high stnadards and keeping the commandments and to keep going down this path we have started. To never return to who we were before the mission.

It really makes a lot of sense. The reason for the lower age change other than revelation of course is this. Before there where about 50 thousand missionaries.  Well when you lower the age you push out 85 thousand missionaries. That is an extra 35 thousand missionaries that go on missions that didn´t have the opportunity to say no because they went down another path between 18 and 19 years old. This is were the church will see more growth. Not because there are going to be 35 thousand more missionaries so we will se more convert baptisms. But that, that is and extra 35 thousand returned missionaries who have learned to keep their temple covenants. That is an extra 35 thousand missionaries who will get married in the temple and have kids with thier spouses and the majority of them will have active families, so in 20 years from now the 85 thousand missionaries gets huge. Bigger stronger families in the church. In 20 years from now when all of us that will be going home and have kids the number of missonaries will be lets say 85 thousand times 2 or 3 because of our kids who have grown up it the gospel. 

The church has a cycle, born in the coventent, endowment, mission, sealed in temple, repeat. By putting 35 thousand more missionaries in the field that is like 35 thousand more members endowed. Which means have more temple marriages which means more kids born in the covenant which means stronger families in the church. Bigger growth faster. 

Wow, that is why right now they are going so hard on us misisonaries that will be going home to keep living a higher standerd of living and to not go back to what we where before. 

Aside from that I am still in the Domincan Republic. The other night we stepped into a house and I did not understand one thing for about the first 15 minutes. They sure have their own way of speaking. 

Chas wrote me back. He said he is just trying to get into listening to that Anuclian accent. It really is something different. Even natve Spanish speakers have a hard time understanding them. But I think it is my favorite accent. 

Well everything is good here. Just realizing the end is coming soon and I don´t want it to come.

Love Elder Blake Billingsley

Letter from 3/9/2015

Hey Dad,

Well it sounds like a very eventful week that you guys have had there at home. Same here. We have just been going non stop. Hospitalet is a great place and I feel like I am in the DR some times. 

We had a super great week setting baptismal fechas and having lots of lessons. Wow, I really don´t know what to write about this week. Well, I think my Spanish is improving. Well it better be, speaking just Spanish since I got here. Two Americans and two natvie Spanish speakers living together and the other two are the zone leaders so all we do is speak Spanish. My head screws the languages up together sometimes. I told mom, but while I was trying to speak to some returned missionaries that served in the states things would just come out in Spanish even though I was thinking about each freaking work in English. 

I need to talk to Chaz and send him an email. I keep saying I will but I forget. Actaully cause we are so close to the mission home we had a couple of new guys here Tuesday night that were in the mtc with Chaz so I asked them if they new him and they thought that was crazy  cause we are from the same ward in Washington and they are all from freaking Utah and all know each other. 

It actually made me laugh cause we took them out to the street to work for a couple hours and well I am living in the piso that I was in my first night of the mission just like they were. So, I was just thinking back to my first night not knowing what I had just stepped into. And well it was about the same for them except I don´t remember my Spanish sounding so terrible but then agian I don´t think I really spoke much back then. Partially cause I couln´t speak the language and partially cause I had no clue what the heck was going on. I love hearing new American Spanish cause I know that is what we all sound like when we start. Some of us can´t get rid of it though and speak with the same accent our entire missions. 

Well love you Dad,

Elder Blake Billingsley

Letter to Mom
Hey Mom,

Well sounds like an awesome weeked to me. Wish I could have been there to see the performance.

My new area is super great. I am loving it and my companion is a stud. It also helps that he is Spanish so we get to some of the more closed minded people and we speak Spanish all day and all night especially with the Argentino kid we live with. Two native Spanish speakers and to Americans but we all just speak spanish all the time. It was super funny, I go to start speaking to some people here that speak English that served missions in Salt Lake and in San Franciso but it came out in Spanish. Felt super weird. 

Well district leader is a little bit more work having to make calls and ask how missionaries are doing and their investigators and this week I had to talk with some guy and pass him over to the elders in another ward cause he started making moves on the sister missionaries. That happens in every area. So basically it is just more work. 

Here this week we set some more baptsimal fechas and well this area is going to be booming. I think I could start a couple of wards with pure Dominicans.

Love you,

Elder Blake Billingsley

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Letter from 3/3/2015

Well, I got transferred to Hospitalet. 

From what I hear they say it is like serving in the DR. So if my companion can´t help me with my Spanish accent and grammar, I might come home speaking Dominican and trust me it isn´t Spanish they speak. My companion is a Spaniard, but we will have some good times cause I know him a little bit. For sure I will end here in Hospitalet but we shall see what happens. I got called as the district leader over hear after a long line of disrict leader companions. Some more loved than others and I guess I will have to be giving district meeting which I am not looking forward to.

So in the train station today I looked at all the missionaries, watching some go home that are older than me and some of my good friends and then I look at the rest of the missionaries. I don´t know any of them anymore. They are all so young. It is crazy! I was isolated in Lleida for six months and now there is a whole new crew of missionaries. However for the most part all of the elders in my district will be gone in six months. Crazy right?! 

The lectures on faith are the best. I love those things so much. There is one that was super fuerte that was kinda like you do not have faith enough until you are willing to give up not only your life for the Lords name but give up your family and friends to follow him.

So this should be my final area. Going to blow it up. However, I was super sad to leave Lleida cause I had some super good friends and investigators there. 

Love you,

Elder Blake Billingsley

Letter to Mom

Wow, that is super dope that the ward does that break the fast thing. I kinda like that. 

Boom! I now get to watch kenzie and all the boys she is with. It wil be a lot easier this way to stalk her. 

Well I got transferred back to Barcelona. Well, not Barcelona Barcelona. A place called Hospitalet, but it is basically part of Barcelona, so I am back where I started litereally because my first night in the mission I stayed in the piso that I am in till I got my area and companon in Barcelona. Super dope. My new comapnion is Elder Segi and he is from Spain so I will be coming home with a Spanish accent if I abuse him enough. It will be super fun. Actually Saturday night president called me and asked me to come be the distict leader here so that was a shock. So this week I have to give distirct meeting which I am not super thrilled about but I will probably just make it a big discussion cause I hate when the district leader gets up and just talks and talks and talks. It's the worst. 

Well tell Kenzie I can´t wait to come annoy the crap out of here at school. It is going to be super fun!

Love you mom,

Elder Blake Billingsley

Letter from 2/23/2015

Hey Dad, 

Yeah, smart phones are kind of dope huh?! Now you can see why all these people got them. 

Jazz choir, wow, super dope. Kenz and Bren sound like they are just having a ton of fun doing it and kill it while they do it. At least there is someone musically inclined cause it sure isn't me. 

It has been fairly warm around here too. I am afraid that it is goin to get nasty for the next couple of months or even worse. If this next week, I get sent up north again to finish my mission, it would just be rainy every day. Going back south would be pretty sick but I would just sweat like crazy. 

We better make a coast trip when I get back! According to mom, I have three weeks. 

Well I wish I had something good to write about this week or stuff to write about but it was a pretty boring just hard work week. We were working harder than normal to keep our numbers up. 

Love you

Elder Blake Billingsley

Letter to Mom

Hey mom,

Well I don´t remember my account for byui but I am pretty sure that I wrote it down. Hope you can find it. Wish I could do that stuff for you. 

Well concerning byu Provo. I hope that she can get in. It will be hard for sure because you have all of us missionaries returning that have all applied also. You wouldn´t believe the amount of missionaries that did not defer till they got back. It is kind of crazy. 

Just so you all know I have to go home August 19th cause that is the transfer date. If I came home later I would not make it back in time to go to school cause it would be another six weeks but no worries that is the exact day. In fact you will probably get something on my return date in the next 2 months. 

Well we got are butts kicked this week but we did really well still. We had to work even harder than normal but it was a good week. I am reading Jesus The Christ right now and my mind is being blown like crazy. It is one of the best books ever! It might even be my favorite book to read of all time. 

Anyway, love you mom,

Elder Blake Billingsley

Letter from 2/16/2015


Tell Cole he doesn´t have to worry about sweating because I still sweat like crazy. In visits and especially in sacrament meeting talks. Speaking another language just adds on to how sweaty I get. I think it makes it worse just cause I want to say everything correct. 

Holy cow, I am going to go nuts. The world is just the most sinful place ever. We lost all of our baptsimal fechas this week because not a single one is married. If people don´t start puttin a ring on soemone before they do the one thing I'm going to hurt someone. At least they all said the were either going to dump the person the were with or get married so we made some prgress that way. I don´t think I have ever taught the law of chastity so much in one area let alone in a week. We actually did have some super spirtual good lessons about it though.  

Well tell mom thanks for filling out all that stuff to help me out with school. I am going to need it. It is super weird to talk to people here in the mission and then realize that we will be seeing each other in the fall after all is said and done here. Especially since I have met some super cool people here that I would not have know if I went to school without meeting them here. 

Yeah, but so overall we had a great week just can´t seem to find people that are married. 

Oh yeah, I don´t know if you look at the time difference but I am writing you super late because earlier today I put in my passowrd wrong a bunch and it locked me out so I had to change it and it was just a mess. So we ended up coming to email late. 

Love you guys,

Elder Blake Billingsley

                                            Baptism of Pepe

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Letter from 2/9/2015


I knew it! Kenzie let it slip in an email cause at the bottom it says what device it was sent from. I see how this works. One leaves and all the good stuff comes out. Man people always tell me the oldest is the one that is better off in the end cause of responsiblity, but I think we just get the bad end of everything. haha. Just joking. 

Well it sounds like Brenley had a super dope birthday. Wish I could have been there to eat all the pizza. I know it might appear as if I have eaten tons of pizza well it's cause I have, but pizza here in Spain, just is not the same. 

Yeah I have seen lots of things that the church has changed because of the world and because of members too. They way the chruch leaders have been talking and the things that we talk about in our mission confernce as of lately have made me think that some crazy things are about to go down in the world and it is going to test us all. In fact me and my companion were talking about how everyone in their life has to undergo some test like Abraham, when God asked him to sacrifice Isaac. God wants our total will. He needs our agency. Are we willing to do everything he asks exactly? If not we better get there real quick. 

Well dad love you 

Elder Blake Billingsley

Letter to Mom

Yep, you know it was a good day when you are just beat. Best feeling in the world is when you hit the pillow and you just feel everything you did during the day. Well I had a lot of random emails to answer today for my birtdhay so, I don´t have lot of time but thanks for writing me even though you are beat dead. 

This week was just an awesome week to follow a baptism. We found 13 new investigators and 3 families and that never happens. If I am lucky I will see two more baptisms before I leave hear. Lleida is on fire. Sorry I forgot the pictures but we have had a weird preperation day.

Love you mom

Elder Blake Billingsley

Letter from 2/2/2015

Hey Dad,

Thanks for the birthday wishes. Well it is weird to say I am 20. Don´t know if I will ever ge use to it especially when I left home at 18. Yep bautsimo = exito. The 20 year old Spanish dude went down. It was probably one of the two most special baptisms I have seen. Because you just know without a doubt that they are going to be studs in the church and this kid will be a stake president some day. In fact he will probably go on a mission within a year. 

Thats good that things were mellow for the sports last week considering that they are usuallally busy. Of course Cole and Wyatt just go and give some older kids a run for their money. That is just how it works when you are gifted like that. Wish I could have seen it though, it would have been pretty dope. I miss watching him play lo que sea. 

The Hawks almost had it. My comapnions dad said that it was probably the worst play to call in the super bowl ever and for that they lost. 

We had a super good week here. In fact president called us this morning and was a like great job. You guys are really changing the area there cause for two weeks in a row we had met pautas de excelencia and we had a baptism last week. So he was super happy with all that. The area we are in hasn´t done that in a long time.

Well thanks for everything dad love you.


Elder Blake Billingsley 

Letter to Mom

Well first off thanks for the birthday wishes it is super wierd to not be an age with a teen at the end of it. Don´t know if I will be able to get use to that. And well the face wash is working super. Okay as for pizza, some how I alwyas get roped into getting pizza so if I don´t have money on my card it would be better. I have money, but we have just been eating a ton of pizza and that gets a little expensive. I am swearing off the pizza. It´s just when we get together as a district or a zone we always go get pizza and it really is the worst . I am actually sick of it and the pizza here is really not that good. Maybe that's why I'm so fat-it's all the pizza. 

On the 28th me and my companion had to take some elders to their new area cause they white washed it which means putting two new elders in instead of just one. And they didn´t now where anything was at so we got up at like 5 in the morning to catch a 2 hour bus and take them to the border of France and they went and met members and our bus didn´t leave till like 5 that afternoon to get back here in Lleida so we ate at a hotel cause it is a small town and there is nothing there. We actually ate some super good food. Three course meal and the main dish was wild goat. Super good. Once in a lifetime. Middle of no where eating at a hotel. 

Well this week in Lleida is a super big week cause we baptized a Catalan kid on saturday who is 20. The entire ward just about was there. It was one of the coolest baptisms ever. I will send pictures next week of the baptism. I just dont have my camara with me I forgot it in my piso. 

Well I can honestly say that it is freakin weird to be 20. Birthday´s arn't really that big of a deal for me but I feel so weird I think because I know that I don´t have much time left here in the mission and when I get home and see you guys again I wont be 18 or 19. 

Well love you mom

Elder Blake Billingsley


Monday, March 9, 2015

Letter from 1/26/2015

Hey dad,

Hey here I am on another Monday afternoon writing my favorite dad. Well as always things are going good here in the field and I know you are there taking care of things at home and finding those criminals at work.

Wow, what a bummer about the snow, but it sounds like you guys still had a ton of fun up on the mountain. It has been super cold around here lately and right now I am wearing a short sleeved shirt so I am not the brightest one out there. 

Well it´s true I speak true Spanish Castilian or in Spanish "Castellano" the true Spanish. Anyway I was thinking if i am not mistaken in Uraguy they speak like Argentinos with the "ch" so it might have sounded a little like Portugese cause sometimes we meet up with people form Portagul and Brasil and it sounds the same to that accent aside from Portugese and Spanish being almost the same. Actually there is a guy in our ward who served in California and he hates how Mexicans speak Spanish because they speak dirty Spanish according to him. 

Yeah, I have actually been looking at my patriarchal blessing too and wow I have a lot I need to change still to be able to make things happen in it. You do your part and God has no choice but to bless us. 

Boom! This Saturday habra un Bautismo! hemos estado ensañando un chico catalán de 21 años ye este chico es super super listo. su madre y hermana son miembros de la iglesia y desde que yo llegue aquí he esperado el día cuando el diría quiro bautizarme y a noche fue esta momento. el ya ha leido todo del libro de mormón y los doctrinas y convenios y ha vuelto a leer el libro de mormon. en sus palabras dijo " se que no puedo aprender o progresar más sin bautizarme y recibir el espíritu." entonces escogimos este sábado por el bautismo. ¡va a salir genial!

Con amor

Elder Blake Billingsley    

Letter to Mom

Hey mom,

Yeah that was differnt wasn´t it? Well I tried to open the box for like two days and then the other morning as I  was waiting for the iron to heat up to get my shirt looking all nice, I sat down at my desk and grabbed the box and poof it opened. Now I have all my money in it. It´s actually super sick. 

The week here was super good. We hit pautas or standards of exellency, wich is a certain amout of lessons taught in different catagories and baptismal dates. So we had a pretty good week. And last night we had a visit with a Catalan kid who is 21 years old who I have been waiting my whole time hear to say I want to be baptized. Well he is a super smart lkid and he loves learning about the gospel. He has read the whole Book of Mormon and started it over recently and is halfway through D and C. Well he basically realized to shorten it up that he can´t learn anymore or progress until he hets baptized and gets the holy ghost. BOOM! So this Saturday we will be having a baptsim for sure. Heck the kid goes to institute every week and is just super ready. He was ready 2 years ago. 

Yep my companion is still district leader. 

Well it sounds like you guys have had a super eventful week with Bren getting hurt and you all being sick again. That is the worst. 

Well I am waiting to hear if she gets into Provo, but she should. I don´t know why not. 

Love you

Elder Blake Billingsley

Letter from 1/20/2015

Hey Dad,

Well first off, I am still in Lleida. I am going to be here for another six weeks and everyone in our district will be going home in 6ish months so we have a super old district. 

Boom all about those seahawks! Can´t wait to hear the outcome of that super bowl game. I guess God has been answering my prayers. It reallly does vale la pena to work hard and pray hard. 

Yeah I got to study a little bit more with the language. Definitely have falted a little bit in that area my entire life. I would definitely like to come home with more than just a missionary vocab too. Well I can talk about most things, but I would like to talk about anything. 

I think Ammon is one of my favorite stories in the Book of Mormon. I started reading Jesus the Christ and wow, that is a good read definitely a lot to take in while reading though.

We didn´t end up having those baptisms this week, cause one we haven't seen in a while and the other got work in Bilboa for like a month so we won't see him for awhile. Guess things are still going good though. We have some future prospects though for baptism so it looks pretty good hear in Lleida. One more transfer and I am super stoked this will be the area en que llevo mas tiempo. Man I know I don´t study very well but there are sometimes it is just easier to phrase things in Spanish. 

Well, love you dad

Elder Blake Billingsley

Letter to Mom

Hey mom,

Well this last week was super good but...... no baptisms. The one we were counting on ended up getting work in Bilboa for a month so we won't see him for awhile. Freakin Satan sucks! And I am still in Lleida. This will be the longest amount of time being in an area. Super crazy. And same companion. And my distirct well at least all of us elders will all be home in 6ish months so we have a super old district. 

Boom you are the best! Cant wait for the face wash. Thank you for sending it. 

You might want to tell the Hammonds and Grandma Kay to send everything to the mission office cause I just got their stuff today. They sent stuff to Santander and I was there a year ago. Lucky the stuff they sent got to me today by a really good elder who just came to my district from there. And tell Traci that little wood box is probably coming home with me. I am to dumb to figure it out. 

That sucks that Bria is having bad dreams, but kinda funny that you got kicked in the nose. She must have been sleeping upside down. 

Super crazy that Chas flew out yesterday. Maybe he stopped in Provo to get his visa or something or they just flew them a day early but that doesn't make sense cause the group of new missionaries doesn't leave the mtc till today. weird. 

Well I can´t think of anyone who is going on a mission here in Lleida, but it could be someone from Catarroja. Well the days keep getting shorter and I have one more transfer here in smelly old Lleida but it is pretty good we still have some prospect baptisms coming up so I am super stoked. 

Love you 

Elder Blake Billingsley

Letter from 1/12/2015

Hey Dad,

Well this last week we got are butts kicked here in Lleida, but whatever we have a baptism coming up. I feel pretty good about it because I  have been blessed enough to have seen more baptsims than any other missionary in this area in the last 2 years. Miracles. Well aside from that we had our interviews and President Pace looked at me during our interview stopped and said ¨"Elder Billingsley I feel impressed to tell you that your Spanish is good but the lord expects it to be better. Study a little bit more each day" which scared me cause sometimes I miss my langugae study and then he said: "also when you go home you need to do everything you can to keep it and speak and study it because I feel like your language skills will be needed in the chruch some day" kinda cool, but freaked me out a little bit. And if there is one thing I know about my president for the last year and a half it is that he is a very inspired person. I have seen things happen that he said would happen or tells things like that before.

Well so we are expecting a baptism this week at least and then maybe I will be leaving next week we will see what happens cause we get the call on Saturday. It will be a good week.

Wow I have actually never really thought about how Christ never had a home during his ministry. It kinda makes me think a little bit more.

Well love you dad and thank you for everything you have done for me. You are the best. You better tell mom that she is the best also. I guess it took two of you to get me out here on the mission.

Love you

Elder Blake Billingsley

Letter to Mom

Hey mom,

Wow not fair! I want to go skiing!

Well mom, wish I could help you with your talk but I think you are on your own now. Just don´t stress like you always do. If there is one thing I have learned in my mission it's that I hate talking and when I stress that is when it sucks.

Wow I can´t believe that chaz is leaving already. Is he going to madrid or to Provo? Get me his email so I can talk to him.

Well things are going good here. We should be having a baptism this week and to top it off I might be leaving next week and if I do it could be my last area. Oh yeah today I found out that my mission president for the last month of my mission will be president something. I actually can't remeber his name but the switch is at the begining of July.

Wow we got our butts kicked this last week but this week is looking super good for us. Well just want to tell you that I love you.

Elder Blake Billingsley

Letter from 1/5/2015

Well to make it short, I got sick too this last week so that was super duper fun.

Well I think that we will be having two baptisms on the 17 of this month. An African guy who is probably one of the best guys ever and a Catalan/Spaish guy. It is going to be super dope. This African guy, when I asked him to be baptized he looked at me and goes, boy, put my name down. Basically we just found out he wanted to be baptized super bad. He was like this is the only church I have ever felt the spirit in. Africans are great! 

Well sports sound super good right now. You will have to keep me updated as it comes to an end with all the scores and who wins what. Sounds like it is back to the grind with everyone and school. Still seems like I graduated yesterday and we will be going on two years soon. 

Yeah he wrote me back this week. I think he likes the idea too. Thanks for talking to him. He has worried me my entire mission.

Love you dad.

Letter to Mom

Well let me start of with last preperation day. I sprained my ankle running. Luckliy it is only swollen and I can walk even run on it just fine but it is for sure swollen. Then we went to a members house for new years and ate pretty good. Then on Thursday and Friday I got super sick and couldn´t go out to work almost all weekend. I went out if we had visits that were super important but mission presidents wife made me go to the doctor and it turns out I had an infection in my throat so they gave me some antibiotics but I am feeling better now. It sucked and other than that we had a good week. We should be having some baptisms coming up super soon. Can´t wait to Send pictures. One is an African guy from the country where all the child warfare was going on like Sierra Leon or soemthing I don´t know. It is one of the only countries colonized by the states. 

Oh yeah, I forgot to thank you guys for the sausage and crackers and cheese. Boy, that was easily the best part. 

I think that that is the best goal to have, I really do. It is something that we should all strive for even more than that new year resolution to loose wight or have a beach body, but to become more like Christ and focus are lives around living His gospel, but really living it. That is something that President Pace has been really trying to get through to us as missionaries and when I ge home you will have to ask me to explain to you  why my mission president's view changed from baptism to preparing the missionaries for life after the mission because it is to long of a story to explain over email and too complicated. 

Anyways, love you a ton mommmy

Monday, February 9, 2015

Letter from 12/29/2014


Well I don´t have much to write, but I am pretty excited about the  sports updates. Way to start of a good year right here. 

It kinda sucks that you are all sick right now but I hope you all have a good start to the new year. Hey I have 7 and a half months left. I got to go out hard. Only a few months till we skype again.

Love you

Elder Blake Billingsley 

Letter to Mom


Well that is super crazy that Spencer and Traci are having a baby. Actually it is super weird for me. Yep I got the letter for the BG YW. 

Nope new years we are just going over to a members house and eating and then working a little bit but we do have to go to Zaragoza for a meeting so we will be gone for half of the day, but it should be fun. 

I don´t know what to say right now cause we just saw each other but things are good here and I keep thinking about the new year and how fast it is going to go because I swear I just started and I was in Barcelona last Christmas. 

Love you

Elder Blake Billingsley

Letter from 12/22/2014


Dang sounds like everyone is just killing it in sports right now. Well, and choir. I don´t think I did that much in high school and I felt like I was exhausted. Wow I feel exhausted right now.  

Well first off let me say I am sitting right now in a locotorio with watery eyes. This week for some reason has been super tough for me. I have no clue why but it has just been one of those internal battles all week long. There were some days where it was home home home home or I just felt like crap or I don´t know but it was a super hard week and I just didn´t want to do anything. And then to top it of we get called by the bishop last night who asks us to go and help unload food from a truck and we are talking a decent sized truck on our preparation day and the elders quorum nor the high priests were called to do jack squat. So I was livid. I didn´t want to help one bit. My preparation day, my time to do other things than serve right? 

Well then you writing that letter about boxing up food and then having the chance to take it to that family and having that little girl say what she said and the mom having tears in her eyes and not being able to say anything killed me. It made me feel like the biggest piece of crap in the world. And only because I had just been helping the church this morning receive a shipment of food so that they would have stuff to give people in the same situation. 

What am i doing? I have my Saviors name on my chest right now and my attitude is not reflecting it. I can do so much better. But it looks like that letter was what I needed to get my but into gear so thank you for writing that little part. 

Love you,

Elder Blake Billingsley

Oh yeah I will be on skype at 9 here so I think 12:00 noon there.

Letter from 12/15/2014


Well yep I got my new companion. His name is Elder Wilson. He´s a super good guy actually. We have gotten down to work and are going to town here in Lleida. I think my last companion just got a little burnt out here so it is really nice to have someone around who is fired up and ready to just work. He is a tall blond you know and from Utah. From Logan actually.

It has been a little slow around here lately with it getting colder and the rain picking up but still stuff to do. We stay busy looking for people to teach and teaching those we have. But most of all this week we have spent it cleaning out the ward list and the area book. Really we are just like private investigators looking for people. I think the church just really uses us to find people that are missing. I will be the first one to say that probably about 90 percent of the ward list is not living in Lleida anymore. But hey we find people all over the place to meet.

Well I hope Cole is feeling better and is ready to play this next week and Brenley sounds like she is just killing it. Practice makes perfect. And Bria well she is just weird. But I miss everyone and I can´t wait to see yo all at Christmas. It will be super fun and then I only have a little bit of time til Mother's Day and we get to skype again. Crazy right?!

Well doing good here in Lleida. Christmas should be fun it always is as a missionary, but we will see how it goes here in Lleida.

Anyways again I don´t have much to write about. I feel like I never do, oh well.

Elder Blake Billinglsley

Letter from 12/9/2014

Hey Dad,

Well today is transfer day and I am still in Lleida but I get my new companion this afternoon.  Not gonna lie things have been super slow in Lleida the last couple of weeks and the recent converts are scaring me. They will not answer our phone calls and we haven't seen them at church the last couple of weeks. It is the worst!!! 

Well it sounds like everyone is doing good and staying busy. I know I am usually busy and if I'm not well I make myself busy. 

I love that talk about Peter. It is so good and our mission uses it like part of are them. We are the El Faro Mission, we are a light and an example to the world. We fear no man and we cultivate a culture of living like Christ. Words of President Pace. Those have been two really big things that they have been pushing lately. Cultivating a culture of following Christ and fearing no man. I guess it works cause we supposedly are the highest baptizing mission in Europe. 

I guess we will see how much longer I am here in Lleida for. It could be that I only have one area left Dad just one left. The mission goes way to fast especially since I am seeing some of my mission friends starting to go home. It is super weird, super weird. 

Well guess I better send some more talks for those last minute classes. 

Love you.

Elder Blake Billingsley 

Letter to Mom

Hey Mom, 

Everything going good hear in Lleida. We have transfers today and I am getting a new companion after being with the one I  have for 3 months. You know he is for sure an interesting guy. Things are a little slow for us right now and we are just trying to keep finding good solid investigators. There are always those people we teach for a few weeks and then we can never contact them or they stop progressing. Always the same. Anyways things are going. Christmas should be super fun. I am almost done with the Book of Mormon again for the third time. We started as a missions at the beginning of September with all the members in our mission and we have to finish by the end of the year. So I have been reading a lot. About 2 chapters a day really isn´t that bad though. I find that when I read the Book of Mormon constantly everything is clear and my questions are answered and when we are in visits the coolest thing is, is that someone will have a question and I can answer it from something I have read within the last couple of days. The scriptures are the best. 

Yeah there were a couple of times where I'm not gonna lie I wasn't supper smart with what I bought that month so I needed a little bit of money for food. The food really is super expensive here, still though it isn´t an excuse. And then I bought some sweaters and 2 times we were traveling and we were out for like a day and we all happened to forget our money in piso but iI had my card so we kinda ate like kings especially in Zargoza. What can I say still learning how to use my money, but I usually don´t do that bad it was just a couple times. But the sweaters were necessary cause we wear these things every day so they just get destroyed like the two I bought last year. (i think it would be best to just put my money in from my tax return) please and thank you. Hey but it is true that in Lleida we don´t normally eat with the members. 

Wow weird and crazy things happening in the BG Ward. 

I  know I am the worst at sending letters. I will write one tonight and try and get one off to them soon. I always thing about doing it and then I slack and do something else. It is the worst.

Well I love you have a great Christmas and we will skype soon.

Love Elder blake Billingsley  

Letter from 12/1/2014

Hey Mom and Dad,

Well Thanksgiving was just a regular day around here but tomorrow we are having a Thanksgiving meal with the senior couple that is hear in charge of the ysa. Sounds like getting out to Hermiston was super fun with the tire blowing and all. I miss all the adventure that happens in the cars all though it seems that as Dad has been driving lately the tires just don´t want to work for him.

I bet you guys had a great Thanksgiving with some turkey on the traeger. That sounds super good right  now.  Especially since I can say I am not a fan of Spanish food just a few dishes that they have.

Well I can honestly say that not much happened this week. Just having lots of time to walk around in the rain and look for new people to teach. que divertido. Lately I have had some of the weirdest dreams and when I am not dreaming of course I can´t sleep. It´s the worst. I blame the water here. There has to be something in it.  Can´t wait to skype. 

I guess we will see if the ducks can pull off some good wins.

Wish I had more to write you all but this last week has been pretty uneventful.

Love Elder Blake Billingsley

Letter from 11/24/2014


Wow you guys have been married for 21 years crazy! Well there isn´t much I can say about you completing 21 years and me being on a mission but I can say that having a three year old on your 21st anniversary date. Well, creo que es culpa tuyo. But we all love Bria anyway. She is the best and will have the most change when I return.

Well long week this week can't believe I only had 1 day and a half to work in my area but it was a super fun week.

Brenley must be just ballin it up to be doing so well. Wish I could see some of her games this year but that is okay I will have to make some time next winter to come and watch a couple games of hers and Cole. Okay dad I know I still have 8 months left but when we all got together all the missionaries in Barcelona for the meeting we had with Elder Cook. I realized I WAS ONE OF THE OLD FARTS IN THE MISSION and that I don´t recognize anyone anymore because there are so many new missionaries. It kinda scared me a little bit, but I was able to see people from the Barcelona stake from the beginning of my mission and I could actually talk to them. It was so weird for me and for them to I think, but super super awesome. I even saw some of my mtc teachers which was super weird. The church is just so small here in Spain that you can get to know everyone. Kinda cool but we got to change that.

Well love you .

Love Elder Blake Billingsley

Letter to Mom


Well this week was crazy. It turned out that I had a day and a half to work in my area with meetings and entercambio that I had with another companionship. Well we had a special meeting with Elder Cook Saturday morning with the entire mission. They brought everyone in that could make it back that night. Wow so many missionaries in one place outside of the mtc. Then I  went back to Lledia to watch a broadcast with the members and investigators from Barcelona because that is were we had stake conference and then the next morning we got on a bus with the ward to go back to Barcelona and have  the end of stake conference. And guess who translated for Elder Cook? Well, it wasn´t me. Although that would have been cool because the translators the first day sucked and just confused everyone. But then one of my mtc teachers did the translation for him on Sunday.

We actually had a really good week this week with everything that went on in fact it was better than last week. We just worked super hard.

Wow, you guys are going to Hermiston for Thanksgiving. We will see what I get to eat on Thursday. Wish I could eat a really big juicy turkey with everything, but maybe.  Sometimes we get fed but this ward is a little different they don´t feed us very much but that is okay I have been able to loose some weight since I have been here.

Oh yeah the other weird thing about going to Barcelona is that i saw people from the barc stake and I could actually speak to them and understand them. They were super impressed. It has been a year since I was there and it feels like it was yesterday.

I can´t think of anything else that happened this week other than while we were in a lesson with this lady hear drunk daughter comes in and just starts balling and saying stuff that we didn´t know and then she started telling us that God didn´t exist. Oh that was a big headache.

Well anyway, love you.

Love Elder Blake Billingsley

Letter from 11/17/2014

Hey Dad,

Well things are going great here in Llieda. We found 7 new investigators this last week and two family's who are listening to us so we will see what happens. We hope that we can keep around until the baptism. And I got a couple of hairy friends that dropped by.

I cannot believe that Cole is a deacon already. You felt like you were supposed to be ordaining me well I feel like I should still be there.

Well, sports, sports, sports! I am so mad that the Seahawks lost. That just is not cool. But it sounds like BG sports are mejorando. Can´t wait to get back and start getting back into the sport stuff. Every once in a while I wake up in the morning thinking that I am going to go to school to watch film after a game cause of the dream I just had. weird stuff.

Everyone still seems super busy. Which is good.

Wow Bria has some interesting phrases that she has learned. She is going to be a wild one when she is older. But I miss her a ton. She is going to be huge. Well dad I have definitely found that if the Lord wants something he makes it happen even if you don´t want to do that thing, but usually you suffer just so he can teach you a lesson.

Well this week we get to have a conference with Elder Quintin L. Cook with the entire mission so it is going to be crazy. 200ish missionaries in one building which never happens in our mission at least. We have to go to Barcelona and then the next day we go to Barcelona again for are stake conference. Lots of traveling especially since tomorrow we will be in Zaragoza for specialized training with president.

Other than that not much else happening around here right now just working.

Love Elder Blake Billingsley

Blake's hairy visitors from the states, tracked him down surprise style at church on Sunday. He got to meet his new Aunt Traci for the first time!

Letter to Mom
Hey Mom,

Yeah we were siting in sacrament meeting and a member comes and sits down by me and is like hey there are a couple of guys with beards in the hallway are they investigators? They have been here for a little bit. So me and my companion got up and went out to go see who it was and I think Spencer was in the bathroom and so was Traci but I saw Robbie sitting there at the end of the hall with a huge beard. Everyone was scared to try and talk to them so they come and get the missionaries. Definitely a big surprise!

Well things are going good for us here this last week we found 7 new investigators and two family´s to teach.  So we are pretty jacked about this week and we will be having a special two hour missionary conference with Elder Q L. Cook. So the entire mission will be in Barcelona on Saturday which never happens and then Sunday I will go back to Barcelona for the Lleida stake conference with him. It is going to be great.

Yep I think I will be here for the holidays and if I am not that would be weird cause I only have 2 months here.

wow sounds like everyone is busy again with something, sports or school or seminary. That is good that they are making them apply themselves in seminary a little more. I wish I did.

Well the only thing I can think that I would need for Christmas is some deodorant, more good stuff and some hot chocolate and some kind of top ramen or macaroni cause that stuff sounds super good for some reason.

Well thank you for everything. You are the best mom ever!

Love Elder Blake Billingsley

Letter from 11/10/2014


Well yep we were on a high here in Lleida with the baptisms we just had but we came down real quick when we realized that this week we didn´t have very many things set up and all are investigators have again fallen of the face of the planet so we have spent some long cold days/nights in the streets of Lleida hoping to get into a warm house. It is what there is. 

I just keep telling myself that this is my last season away from football. I really just can´t wait to get back and get back into sports. speaking of sports today we went to the gym and I was lifting with a Bolivian who I will be honest didn't lift that much and a Dominican who is just jacked. He is about 5 foot 6 but is just pure hard muscle and is intimidating as ever. Not just bulk but definition. I barley lifted as much as him. I was struggling. 

One thing we did this last week in our zone focus was talking about creating a culture of living the gospel. So as a mission this is a big push we are doing as missionaries is really trying to live the gospel of Jesus Christ. To everyday remember what his gospel is and live it so that we can become better teachers and examples to others. Faith, repentance, baptisms, gift of the holy ghost and persevere to the end. They are very simple but we bring the commandments into it. Why do we do it. We do it because we love Christ. But why do we love Christ? Because he loves us and we know what he did for us. 

Then we talked about repentance and how sometimes people look at repentance as a... well the only way I can think of to explain it in English is it is like a dark cloud right and people see it as a punishment but the truth is is that repentance should be something of joy. We don´t have to repent we get to repent and that is something that I am very grateful for that I have in my life and that I can share with others. When we repent we become closer with are Savior Jesus Christ and we become stronger. It is like a broken bone. When we break a bone and it heals it heals stronger than it was. Well repentance is the same if we truly repent, sincerely we are made stronger. The atonement is there to make us stronger. That is why we should not look at it like a punishment like a lot of people do or at least I believe that people look at it that way. We should look at it as a joyful experience we have to grow are relationship with Christ and become stronger. It´s not easy but it can be joyful. 

Wow I can´t believe that my bro is turning 12. Blows my mind I need to send him something. I wanted to last week but I ran out of time. 

Well I hope everyone is doing well. Love you.

Elder Blake Billingsley