Elder Brigham Blake

Email: Brigham.Blake@myldsmail.net

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Epic Week

Eyyy familia!

Another week in the books. I'm a little frustrated right now because I cant seem to figure out how to send pics. I promise I'm still good looking.  I can only say that because Bro Dowling told me that Blake is evidence that you only get better looking on the mission and it's hard to improve on perfection. Haahaa I'll try again next week with pics.
Anyway, this week has been crazy but in a great way. 
On Friday I had a great meeting with my mission president. He basically told me that he is going to give me a lot of challenges here in the mission; things I will be able to handle but that will really test my patience etc. Bring it on!!
In a lot of ways this week has been the best week of the mission. Mom, I don't know how different the church is where Austin served but its completely different here in san fran. The bishop told us on Saturday that there are almost 600 members on record here in my barrio but only about 45 regularly attend. Our ward mission leader (we had our first meeting together yesterday) told us that all the members here and only Sunday members. It was very discouraging to hear this but how do you respond to adversity? WORK! Sunday, Monday and Tuesday we've worked with members constantly, done exchanges etc. We've really seen the fruits of this in the past few days. It just feels good ending the night knowing that there wasn't one more person we could have taught.
As for our progressing investies: We have three baptisms set for the 7th. Pray for them that they will continue to feel the spirit etc!
As foe some worldly news this week lod gigantes de san fran won the basically world series of the Caribbean here in san fran. The whole city has been partying non stop since Sunday night....people burning tires, drinking, shooting guns. Sunday night we saw a group of youngins pushing a burning refrigerator down the street...gotta love san fran!
Mom, I promise I'll stay safe, love you!
Elder Blake

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Week uno con Velasquezz

Ayyy familia!!

Today marks three months exactly in the field!! And 20 months for my comp. I think we will go buy pica pollo to celebrate.

All I can say is this week has been solid, changing comps has really changed the way I look at teaching, studying etc. Really feel like this change was inspired; my comp is a boss. Yeah dad I guess he looks like Angel Fernandez a little bit, but from the side he is Mr. Burns from the Simpsons - it's epiccc.

Anyway, Rodruigez kind of 'died' the last week here and we missed a lot of great oppertunities to teach etc. But Velasquez has helped the area get back on track. We have two baptisims set for the 7th and they're both really pumped for the big day. Pray for us to find more people to teach etc. I know there is gold here in San Fran, we just have to work harder to find it...trust in the Lord tu sabesss! But yeah, I've been really impressed with my new comp and the way he works.

As for this week, my highlight was contacting. It's something Elder Rod refused to do and there was this one street that I have wanted to contact for the past 3 months. The FIRST house when contacted we found an inactive member, someone who was baptised young etc. and just gradually stopped going to church. The guide of the spirit really is awesome. It's been such a change this week and I really feel like we re-lit the fire and are ready to help San Fran out. As for other highlights, I had a dream in Spanish this week, and my comp told me I slept talked a little bit with him en mi idioma, el don de lenguas es real! 
Mom, did you get the picture Kasbel sent to you? She had her baby on Monday so she's been wicked busy with that etc, but really wants to stay in contact with you. She knows English so you'll get a low down of my life here in San Fran.

This gospel is the greatest gift I have been given. And to go out and share it cada dia is such a blessing. I woke up this morning and scratched my head a little confused knowing that I have three months, here in San Fran. Yeah it really isn't a lot of time but it felt like yesterday that I got here. 

Yesterday we taught a lesson from Alma 7 vs 11 y 12 about the expiación...atonement of Jesus Christ. To think of all the pain he had suffered for us is really remarkable. The atonement is something we can all prosper from. Doesn't matter how big or little our mistakes are, it's a gift given to us to learn and grow.
2nd nefi 26 30 y 33 are two other scripts that I've absolutely loved this week.

Famila y Amigos, I love you all, I'll keep praying and fasting for ya mom. I know your studio will work out!
Com Amor,
Elder Blake

Thursday, January 15, 2015


Dear family and friends,

Big changes came to past this week! Finished up my time with Elder Rod but had to say goodbye to him yesterday! He's off to Nagua...right on the ocean; would be lying if I said I wasn't a little jealous. But I said goodbye to Rod and hello to my new comp Elder Velasquez from Honduras. He has 20 months in the mission and will finish on my birthday. Last night we worked hard but I was a little nervous. Sotelo and an Elder in my district told me he's a little wild...he burned a bag of trash in his house about a year ago just because. Haha crazy is fine as long as he is ready to work. I don't know his story too well, but he told me last night that he was a gang member before the mission and really changed to be here, basically he's a bosshog. He's really quiet so I'll really get a good opportunity for the next few days leading lessons etc. Gonna learn a lot of gang signs etc...let's gooooo. And of course a thing or two about Spanish and how to teach jajaja

Anyways my theme for this week is NO ME SACAN. We were walking past the group of sandlot street rats on Saturday playing basketball and basically the Kenny Rodriguez of the nieborhood yelled ELDER BLAKE NO ME SACAN which translates to they cant stop me. I'd be lying if I didn't say the mission has been the hardest thing I've ever done in my life...sorry Coach Davis, prowlers and two-a-days come in second place. But a lot of times there is something to worry about, people progressing, getting hit by a motorcycle, Spanish etc. Sometimes I just get overcome with anxiety and stress and it's tough. But these things can't stop me! Just gotta work and go hard in the paint boiiii! But this phrase no me sacan can a apply to any challenge/affliction we have in our lives. Turn to the Lord in prayer, fasting and study....He will deliver, no doubt in my mind. Most of the answers to my prayers here on the mission have been answered with an overwhelming sense of peace. Anytime I feel dominated by the stresses of the mission, I get on my knees and pray, not always, but most of the time, I stand up feeling peaceful and ready to take on these challenges. Can't even put into words how powerful my testimony of prayer is. Entonces, no les sacan!!!  

Logistically, mom, I wrote two letters for you and Linc last week. I gave them to someone in my district who was going to Santiago..but he's a bonehead and forgot them in a hymn book in our chapel. A ward member found them on Sunday. But, happy belated birthday! Linc and Mom, crazy to think it was a year a go I took Linc to the font. That was awesome. I'd also love updates from family, friends who have put their papers in or have gotten their calls

Family and friends, this transfer is gonna be a good one, I can feel it in my bones, no me sacan!
Love you all,
Elder Blake

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

January 7, 2015

Eyyy familia y amigossss
Writing after another great week in the city of San Fran. Things have died down a little bit from the Christmas and New Year season, but the streets are still crazy as ever on the weekends. These past few weeks we've had quite a big drought in lessons, and hopefully things will start to pick back up as life calms down.
I'm coming straight from Santiago right now from a medico (doctor appointment for my comp). I don't know how on earth this is possible but my comp has quote, 'allergies to the cold'. Didn't think that was possible here, because its dang hot allll the time! Anyway he got some medicine and we should be good to go. I forgot my journal and camera so this letter is gonna be a little weak  - lo sientooooo!
This week, like all weeks has had its ups and downs. All three of our baptisms for the 17th have been pushed back. Edwin doesn't feel like he has a strong enough testimony yet and the other two have been away with familia for the past two weeks. Not on track to be ready for the 17 but, thankfully they both have strong testimonies of el libro de Mormon and Jose Smith.
Absolutely my highlight of this week was Monday. We had a full day split with our zone leaders and I got to lead my area; it felt kind of like an interview to see if I'm ready for my comp to go. I lead all the lessons etc and passed with flying colors. Sotello told me that my Spanish has really improved since our last intercombio and I really attribute that to prayer and fasting. Alma 17 vs 2 and 3....read it and live it!!!
 Now these sons of Mosiah were with Alma at the time the angel first appeared unto him; therefore Alma did rejoice exceedingly to see his brethren; and what added more to his joy, they were still his brethren in the Lord; yea, and they had waxed strong in the knowledge of the truth; for they were men of a sound understanding and they had searched the scriptures diligently, that they might know the word of God.
 But this is not all; they had given themselves to much prayer, and fasting; therefore they had the spirit of prophecy, and the spirit of revelation, and when they taught, they taught with power and authority of God.
Monday we had an awesome lesson with a less active member Martin. Easily one of my favorite people we teach here in san fran. Even though he has had his challenges, he's always so positive and willing to change. This lesson he opened up and told us that in the past he's been heavily dependent on pot. He would smoke on average, fifteen times a day. His biggest goal for this new year is to cut the habit, y dejar la calle...leave the streets! 
Of all the lessons I've learned on my mission, I think humility is by far the most important. I firmly believe that we have a loving, merciful Father in heaven that is ready and willing to help us with any and every challenge we have. I really am only an 18 year old kid who has sacrificed two years to preach and help others come unto Christ. I don't know much about life, the only experience I have living alone was 2 months at BYU and I can barely call that experience haha. Mucho veces, I really feel like I have no idea how I'm doing what I am because the mission is sooo different from my life before. This time we have here is for us to be stretched and tested Alma 12 v 24. And I know absolutely that when we keep the commandments we will be blessed. I have absolutely seen the hand of God here in the work, helping and guiding me to help others. 
Misc cosas.
Huge shot-out to basically all of my extended 'family', Marriots, Van Duzers, Desutters, Dowlings for Christmas cards. And to the Clites/Romos for the Christmas care package. I know I've forgotten some people but please just know that any letter I have gotten has been like a little piece of gold.
Anyways, much love from the DR
Stay humble and be grateful for our great fortune but also afflictions!
Love Elder Blake