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