Elder Brigham Blake

Email: Brigham.Blake@myldsmail.net

Monday, September 29, 2014

Week 2 in the CCM

Eyyy familia y mis amigos! Merry Christmas! haha here in the CCM we call P-day and temple day (we go every Thursday morning, sorry I should have mentioned that last week) Christmas. We sing Christmas songs and it's hilarious. Anyway, this week has been AMAZING. Seriously eveything about it has been so great. Let me take you throuugh some of the highlights of Elder Blake's week!
First off, after the old elders left for the Santo Domingo East and West on Tuesday morning, Elder Oldroyd and I got called as APs to el presidente Freestone (Assistants to the President)! We are pumped and we didn't expect it at all, even though there were only sixteen elders and sisters here at the time to make the assignment. Seriously,  this place has been a ghost town for the last two days. Sixteen missionaries. It was awesome! But sadly its over, last night we got a huge shipment of new greenies. All going to Santo Domingo East or West. We're all pumped to no longer be the noobies! But basically as APs we conduct the nightly prayer in the chapel with all the missionaries. It really doesn't mean much but I'm pumped and it's gonna be dope. I love Pres y Hermana Freestone so much.
Sunday was probably the most spiritual day of my life. I went to bed literally exhausted from being spiritually drained. After sacrament meeting we had this dope lesson from President Freestone basically about teaching investigators from personal stories. He said teaching with a first hand experience really invites the spirit, I couldn't agree more! I try to do it in Spanish but I'm not quite there yet haha! Basically he asked us if we had any first hand experience of going to the sacred grove. At that moment my heart burned and I was just filled with the spirit. Out of nowhere half an hour before and during the sacrament I thought about my first time visiting the Sacred Grove and sitting on a park bench with mom. I remember I cried my eyes out because I knew that Joseph Smith had seen Dios y Jesucristo there in the grove. I felt a prompting during sacrament to later share that experience with my district but then President Freestone out of nowhere asked me basically to share that experience with everyone! Wow I can't even tell you what that did to me. I know it wasn't a coincidence. Later that afternoon we watched a dope David Bednar devotional, about how to know when it is the Spirit testifying to us, or just our own thoughts. It was the best talk I have ever heard in my life. He basically said to not worry about it because every good feeling, impression, thought is of the Spirit. There's no way to do it justice and I'm bummed because it was a CCM-only devotional. Only distributed to MTCs and strictly meant for missionaries. Dang I wish you all could have watched it! Walking out of the chapel and back to our classroom my companion described it as a "Heisman Trophy Winning worthy devotional" We had a good laugh about that. Also HUGE shoutout to Elder Ty Seipert for singing in the devotional Sunday night! I saw you buddy! You killed it!
Monday was another killer day. I think it was the first day my companion and I decided to teach without a written script. We prepared like it all depended on us and then prayed like it all depended on God. It was freaking awesome! We taught a 35 minute lesson with no notes whatsoever! The gift of tongues is real. Monday night was our last night with the old elders. And no doubt my favorite of them all were the Spanish speakers from Honduras. Oh my goodness they're all so humble. But my absolute favorite was this tiny little Elder Zaldanas. He was a spiritual savage and even though I couldn't understand 80% of what he said he seriously always put a smile on my face. Anyways Monday night during family prayer I saw him eying my watch a little bit. I could tell he came from a pretty poor family, his shoes were really tattered and maybe brought three ties with him. I felt the strongest prompting of my life to give me watch to him. Oh my goodness, I wish you could have seen his face. He lit up like a candle and started tearing up. I just gave him a big huge and told him I loved him. Later while I was lying on my bed he came in and kept thanking me and told me he couldn't believe I did that over and over again in Spanish. I still don't know exactly why I did it but I don't regret it at all. Because I have been given much I too must give.
Tuesday was weird! We woke up and ate breakfast but there was seriously only sixteen of us. La cocina was silent! Tuesday was special though because we got to walk to the store! We weren't allowed to bring our cameras but take my word for it, Santo Domingo is freaking nuts! The motorcycles seriously will just drive up on the sidewalk and go like 25 at red lights and during traffic jams. They aint scared! Everything is also soo dirty. It was seriously humbling; so humbling. But the crazy part is that we are in one of the richest parts of the city and it's still so dirty and run down. I'm amped to see what Santiago is like though! But holy cow I got a real taste of what the weather will be like for the next two years. Just a ten minute walk to the store and bank left me drenched in sweat. The humidity is absurd. Gotta get used to it though! What I do love, at least for right now is that we get huge lighting storms every few days. Last night I couldn't sleep because we had lighting strike after lightning strike over the CCM that set off car alarms. I think we had about ten or so strikes in an hour that just rocked the building. It was sweet.
Also, I had a crazyyyy trippy experience last Friday night. I fell asleep as normal at 10:30, but woke up in my classroom to the sound of the door shutting! I seriously had no idea where I was for like three minutes and thought I was still dreaming haha. When I realized I had slept walked down two flights of stairs I seriously laughed out loud and still half asleep walked back up to my dorm. It was about one thirty and it was SILENT oh my goodness. So I got to my room and realized I had shut the door behind me! I was locked out of my dorm at 1:30 in the morning in just my Gs! I pounded on my door for what seemed to be about thirty minutes. Two other Elders for different dorms came out pretty mad to see what was going on. When they realized I had slept walked outside they just laughed and told me to knock louder. So I did eventually get back into my room but only after practically breaking my hand on the door. Haha elders still give me crap about it. My roomies were so concerned then two nights after that they propped a chair against the door handle to keep me from escaping haha. Good times and a story I'll no doubt be telling for the rest of my life.
Other misc info. I absolutley love the meastros (teachers) they all Dominican and barely speak English but they're so fun. Most of them finished their missions less than a year ago and just want to teach to continue to have that "missionary feeling" I asked one of my teachers if he got bored of listening to young Elders struggle through there lessons as fake investigators and he said no. Even though our Spanish is bad, when we bear testimony he can feel the truth of the things we say and it builds his testimony stronger.

Sorry I had to send that, my hour time was up so I had to restart the browser.
One last story that is gonna pull your heartstrings and then im signing off. Yesterday we got this new missionary "Elder Bruno" from a tiny island about the size of Salt Lake City called "Granade" or something in the Caribean. Anyways he gets here and Elder Oldroyd and I tell him that he can use a computer to email home to his family. He told us that there was no one to write too. His parentes both died when he was five and he's the youngest of nine and not in concatct with any of his siblings. He moved to Granade to work on a nutmeg farm to pay for his mission. He has never used a shower before and Elder Tippits had to teach him last night how to turn it on. His story is truly remarkable. Keep Elder Bruno in your prayers though!
Alsoooo Huge shout out to Anna for passing your drivers test! I prayed every morning, night and meal that you would get it! Love you! Broah! I hope your feet are feeling okay. And Coop! Congrats on the tooth! And of course Linc,  love you bro! Love you all and miss you so much!
Love Elder Blake
Me and my favorite teacher Nunez
DR repping in the Classroom (everyone loves my flag)

Lunch erry day

Elder Reyes (Only speaks Spanish, biggest savage) and Elder Holbrook who's also going to Santiago

View of the Outside world from one of the very few windows that isn't tinted
Also can you give me Natalie Packard's email?

My beautiful view of Santo Domingo....             

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