Holy Cow. One of the hardest weeks of my life in every aspect! I would be lying if I said I wasn't homesick right now. This week has had its highs and then some extreme lows. But hey that's how the life of a missionary is supposed to be.
Elder Rod and I projected this day to be dope. We had a appointments set up with 5 investigators and were planning on having 3 new investigators. Long story short either they weren't home, avoided us or just straight up didn't want to talk. But hey that's life!
Happy Halloween! Man this had to have been the hardest day this week and one of the hardest days of my life. I thought too much about home and thought a lot about everyone at home trick or treating etc. At night we had a small ward activity called hallowhite and it bombed. Long story short a ward member was giving me a hard time about my Spanish. I ended up going back to the apartment and crying myself to sleep.
Things finally started to turn around on Saturday. We had a service activity and then committed a family to baptism. They gave us about 20 pounds of bananas and oranges so i think its safe to say they were pretty pumped. Pray for Pablo y Enilda!
We had seven investigators at church on Sunday. All of them Anna's age (16) it was awesome. After church they were playing baseball in the street and we had a quick lesson with them. We talked about our goals and for all of them it was to go to the states for sports. I talked about how I wanted to learn Spanish and through the help of God we can accomplish our goals. They all seemed pretty fired up
Basically this week started out really hard and got a lot better. Yesterday we had a meeting with all the new missionaries in Santiago and talked about our experiences. Many of the other trainers came up after and complimented me on my Spanish and asked if i had taken it before. Man how I needed that confirmation! This week I just felt that I wasn't progressing but to hear that really brightened my spirits.
My favorite talk given yesterday was Hermana Douglas's She talked about the importance of keeping a gratitude journal. Here is my entry from last night:
1. I am grateful for my health. There are many people here with deformities and illness. I have been so blessed with good health and have an amazing opportunity to serve the Lord. If it weren't for my health I wouldn't be able to serve
2. My Family. If it weren't for my parents' testimonies there is no way I would have one of my own. I have been so blessed to be born into a house with two loving parents who are strong in the gospel.
3. Football. Football has taught me so many lessons that I have been able to apply to my mission. This week I've been thinking that football was really a way to practice and get ready for my mission. The lessons about adversity and brotherly love are so closely tied in missionary work and football.
4. Book of Mormon. Man seriously my best friend here in the field.
5. My brother Isaac. Isaac has been my role model since day one. I have a collection of letters he has written me in the past year that I read weekly. I call them the epistle of Isaac. Because every time I go back and read one I find something that I can apply to my life right now.
Wow I have so much to be grateful for and I want to close that I know this work is hard. It's hard for a reason. Elder Holland in MTC devotional to Mission Presidents said this about the difficulty of missionary work: "I am convinced that missionary work is not easy because salvation is not a cheap experience. Salvation never was easy. We are the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, this is true, and he is our great eternal head. How could we believe it would be easy for us when it was never easy for him. It seems to me that missionaries and mission leaders have to spend at least a few moments in Gethsemane."
I am so grateful for this work and Grateful for this opportunity to serve. Even though I am, at times, homesick and get teased because of my Spanish, its nice to remember that I am trying to stand shoulder to shoulder with the greatest missionary who has ever walked this earth. The only way to salvation is through Gethsemane.
I love you all
Con Amor Elder Blake
Q&A with mom during the time Brigham was online:
Brig: I'm on. Oh man this was the hardest week of my life. I seriously have missed home like crazy.
Mom: Oh my goodness!!! What has happened??
Brig: Just a really hard time with Spanish. I had a few ward members give me a hard time this week. My comp was telling me that they all assume Americans know Spanish already. And that kind of just sparked a wicked bad anxiety attack Friday night. It was tough but I'm better now!
Mom: Can you ever go on splits with Americans??? From your zone? I know there are none in your district.
Brig: No not really there are three Americans in my zone. I'm fine, its just hard. Missionary work has always been hard. Especially for someone a lot greater than I. Jesucristo. I just need to stop worrying and turn outward!