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

Letter from 11/3/2014

Well, first things first, yep we got the baptisms this weekend! I won´t tell the whole week long story about it but I told part of it to mom and I will send pictures.

Sports things seem to be have been going so so. I just keep telling myself this is my last football season away from home. I will get back right in time to watch it all as it starts up. Wow my borther already going to the weight room. That just blows my mind that before I know it he will actually be there as part of BGHS athletics.

I really like that saying they put up. It must be knew. It really is true though and I have definitely seen that in the mission. It is sad but true. You can tell the average missionary form the extraordinary missionary by his dedication to the Lord. The average ones are just here and the extraordinary ones are here because they love it. But I can always give more to the Lord. I can always get better and I hope I am doing just that.

Wow missionary´s just coming out of the wood work from the BG ward. I love it. It has definitely been a while and now I don´t feel so lonely out here in the mission field. We talk about other guys from our home wards and were they are so it is super cool to tell people I'm not one of the only one anymore.

Well love you,

Elder Blake Billingsley

                                         Celica, Valentina and Johan

Letter to Mom


Wow of course she would cry for getting rid of candy and not being able to get candy. What happened to wanting everything? Instead she wants to give it all away? Hey less nasty sugar in the house I guess.

Well we had the baptisms this week and it was definitely an interesting baptism. First off we had an intercambio with the some leaders so I went to Zaragoza on Thursday and my companion stayed here and one of the zone leaders did the entravistas but one of the women did not show up. So she didn't get interviewed and I came back. Well we found here that next day on Friday and we set up an interview with the zone leader again so he got on the train again and was here in Lleida for an hour to get her interviewed. Then the night of the baptisms we found out that the hot water heater for the baptismal font doesn´t work to well. So it was freezing water. Then the romanion lady resisted going under water about 10 times so it took my companon a few times to get it so we had the friend of the other lady who was being baptized baptize her and then he basically sat on her to get here under the water. What a crazy baptism.  I'm just glad it is done. Trust me something always goes wrong right before or during the baptism. Always, but that´s just how it is.

Wow, that is so sick Smith finally got his mission call! Well Portugal is basically just another province of Spain so we arn´t that far away from each other. Wow, there will be three of us from the same ward in the same peninsula and if it is still the same we will be the only three European missionary's in our stake but it's probably not that way anymore. Very interesting that he will be going to Provo because I know that the Madrid mtc has a Portuguese speaking program. I don´t know maybe it has something to do with visas.

Well good stuff just keeps happening at home and it is all super sick.

Love you

Elder Blake Billingsley