Elder Brigham Blake

Email: Brigham.Blake@myldsmail.net

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


Wow, this week could have honestly been the most average week of the mission. Haha. I can't really think of anything super outstanding that happened etc. But we all know that the Lord works by small and simple things, we just have to know where to look!

This week my companion and I had a super awesome inventory. We tried to work out a few kinks in the pipes and came out being a lot closer. Basically, I was struggling with feeling inadequate with my comp. He is such a great missionary, understands the culture, the people, the Bible, superrrr well and all the people love him. I guess it's a mixture of pride and jealousy, wanting to be more like my comp, that made this week rough. However, I realized in our inventory that he really felt the same way towards me, inadequate. It really struck me because he is 6 years older than me, knows these people, the Bible, how to teach, communicate soooo much better than I yet he felt a little inferior. We worked it all out and are doing great.

I guess what I am trying to get at is that we really don't know the thoughts or feelings of others. We should always give people the benefit of the doubt, and love because we don't know, or understand the trials, challenges, hardships etc of others. All we can do is exercise the attributes of Christ and serve. I made a deal with my comp that whenever I am feeling negative, I have to tell him ten things I am grateful for...they have to be different and specific. When ever he feels inadequate, we study a little bit of English. What a difference it has made! 

To finish, I am sooo grateful for everything God has given me. Specifically this gospel, my family, The Dominican Republic, my companion, economic stability.. etc. I promise that there is power in verbally giving thanks for our blessings. For me it's like lifting a heavy burden, kind of like Alma the Younger...you just feel this immense joy.

I know this church is true, and absolutely love sharing this gospel everyday. I am so grateful for everyone who actually reads my blog every week also haha.

Love Elder Blake 52

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Faith in Every Footstep

Wow this week has been super spiritual. I love my comp; he connects with everyone soooo well. He can make me laugh at any second. This morning he was running around the house yelling NO ME SACAN LOCOOO hitting stuff with a two liter water bottle. It was a little weird but I rolled with it.
I had sooo many awesome and spiritual experiences I don't know where to start.  

Thursday was probably one of the best days of the mission. We woke up, did everything normally, left the house at three as usual. We had appointments set up all the way to 9:30, but literally EVERY lesson fell through, until 8 o'clock. We walked the entire area and every member, less active, investigator was either busy or wasn't home. I think we went to 0 for 20. At about 6 I told my comp, that this had to be a test of faith. We both laughed and said a prayer in the street just to have the spirit with us. And after the prayer my comp said Elder Blake, fe en cada paso muchacho! That translates to faith in every foot step. I took it to heart and we finished the night with three AWESOME lessons. We finished with Manuel, our stud investigator who has a baptism date for the 28th. (Shout out to Weston One and Hanzlty's friend Daniel who has a baptismal date the same day) We taught the plan of salvation. In previous lessons he has told me that he feels the need to be baptized, but doesn't really know why. We taught specifically about spirit prison and paradise. In the middle of the lesson he started crying. He told us that he has been waiting for an answer to know where his dead parents and sister are. We then explained baptisms for the dead etc. He bore his testimony and told us he knows the church is true because every question we have an answer. He is superrr pumped for his baptism, scheduled for the 28th. I know God was testing our faith that day. Even though we went 3 for 23 (crazy didn't even realize that. 323 is the number I always see) we never lost the spirit. God works in mysterious ways, but I know that he will always bless us when we obey and strive to have the spirit with us.
Other highlight was fasting with my comp. We fasted for sooo many things, but specifically for new investigators. That day we received three references, all families....which is SUPER rare here in the DR.
Its safe to say that this week has been quite humbling. I know that this is the Lord's work, and that he works by small and simple things. I love the mission, it is still filled with heartache, trials, tough times but at the end of the day its all worth it. I'll be coming home before I know it!
Love y'all, enjoy the cold.
Elder Blake 52 
P.S. I'm super pumped for General Conference.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Six Months!

Dear Family and Friends!
This week has been a lot calmer than the past few! It seems like the riots and tear gas attacks have finally passed. San Francisco is finally back it its old self. Not a lot to report, other than that I'm healthy and doing well!

Like Isaac wrote, I have really been struck by the importance of Faith and Repentance. This week we taught a ton of lessons on the Plan of Salvation, tying in the importance of Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Gift of the Holy Ghost and Persevering to the End to this plan. No matter how valiant we are at keeping the commandments and being examples of Christ, there is always room to have more faith and repent with more diligence. 1st nefi 10 vs 19 talks about the importance of diligence. Really when we search for anything with diligence, more faith, a remission of our sins we will find comfort...especially in the Atonement of Christ.

This week has been somewhat weird. We can no longer contact door to door, like classic missionaries of old. Soo we are praying and asking for a ton of references. Right now the work is a little dead here. We have one baptismal date and no one else who is really progressing. Our one baptism is scheduled for the 28th and we are all super pumped. Manuel is progressing like crazy and helped us bring another investigator with cancer to church on Sunday...it was a miracle! She called us 15 minutes before church and we didn't have a ride set up for her. We prayed that God would provide a way for Maritza (tiene cancer) to come to church. To our surprise, Manuel was there with his Guaga (little car thing - I'll try to get a picture because the thing looks hilarious) and Maritza felt the spirit during sacrament meeting and had a ton of questions. She's still super hesitant about baptism but we are praying and working hard.

Other than that this week has been superrr average. I got an awesome letter from the family that made me a little trunky!! SHout out to Anna for getting down to business and chugging through the Book of Mormon. Keep at it!

I love you all. It's crazy to know that I passed the 6th month mark. I can't really describe how weird time works on the mission. Its been the longest, yet shortest, most taxing, yet rewarding sixth months of my life. You can't watch grass grow and you certainly can't watch the spiritual growth of a missionary day to day. All I know is that I have a much stronger testimony of the truth and blessings of this gospel. I have helped myself much more than I have helped any less-active, recent convert or investigator. I know that the Libro de Mormon is absolutely the word of God.

Until next week,
Elder Blake

My new comp, Elder Cedeno
​El campo

Intercambios with Sotello, Alberlise is progressing a lot. Hoping that she can come to church this Sunday!

Just to give a good example of a typical domincan house, all cement

With a couple young dominicanoss

En el Campppo (Thought this looks like a mom tree)

Monday, March 2, 2015



This week was transfers and I am sad to see my comp go. I know I ripped on Elder Velasquez in my hand written letter but I love the dude now. We had our differences, but I was really sad to see him leave.
Anyways, yep I have another transfer in San Fran. Dang - I'm going to have at least 6 months here!! I love it here but want to see the beach! My new comp se llama Elder Cedeno and is Dominican. He's just such a classic dominican, big build, super tall, plays baseball and just super goofy. I have a tonnnn of pictures but my adapter is too big to plug into the usb port. 

But to have one area, three latino comps lets gooooo, its super awesome. I'm basically Dominican now haha. My comp lost one of his bags so we don't have much time to write. It's a bummer and we are both really hot right now!

Anyways life is going super well. I have finally gotten over my solo in Stake Conference. This week I remembered something very important Kirby told me in the temple. It was simple advice but it hadn't really hit me until this week. He told me to just lose my self in the work. Its A LOT harder said than done, but God works miracles when we lay everything on the table. It's crazy to think that I am coming up on 6 months in the mission, one quarter of the way there. Basically it feels like I blinked and am here. If the next year and a half go by as fast as these first sixth months I'll be home before I know it. This has really puzzled me: the velocity at which time passes. I can still hear Kirby's words in my head, just lose your self in service. I don't think there is a greater example of this service than Ammon from the Book of Mormon. And I think I've learned here on the mission that this work really requires every ounce of dedication, love, service that we can give. It's hard to give it my all every second of everyday but I just try to think of the great people and examples I know of missionary service.
Anyways gotta go!
I'll write a better letter next week with pictures and everything!
Love y'all!
Elder Blake

Week of Huelga 2/18/2015

This week has been really awesome and funny. We worked hard when we could and lamped harder when we couldn't. There is something really remarkable when you put faith and works together. This week we have really seen the fruit of our labor. We have loadsssss of people to teach right now, more people to teach than we have time in the day. On Saturday and Sunday we had Stake Conference with President and Elder Honda Civic of the Seventy (he's from argentia and his accent is absolutely horrible).  Anways the theme basically was about member responsibility. All the missionaries loved it and hopefully it'll help boost the moral of our dwindling ward. As always, we tried to always work with members this week and with our efforts combined our investigators are progessing like crazy. Transfers are next week and I think I'm leaving, but were going to put fechas for the baptisims with in the next two weeks. There is no better feeling than arriving to an appointment to someone who actually kept their commitments.

Anway the work is going super well. Astri, one of our recent converts told us that she wants to serve a mission. She just had an interview with el opispo and will go to the temple for baptisms this upcoming Saturday...uber dopeeee

In other news this week I sang a solo in our Stake Conference in front of Pres Douglas and Elder Zivic. I didn't know I'd be singing a solo until I was sitting on the stand about 10 minutes before. I sang 'Lord I will Follow Thee'. I won't go into detail, but let's just say it didn't sound like Natalie Packer's version of 'I Stand In Holy Places'. President jokingly told me I should never sing in front of anyone ever again, and another elder told me that it was by far the worst musical number he had ever heard. I guess there is no gift of musical tongues. (But at least the real gift of tongues is working now). It hurt my ego a little, but I've recovered. I met a missionary from Nibley, Utah who says he knows Uncle Boyd and Nate. Elder Irish. I forget his first name but we had some good laughs reminiscing Nate jokes. 
Also we couldn't work yesterday because the people had a huelga. Basically people rioting in the streets because they want 24 hour power. The people basically burned a lot of tires, shot guns, drank beer and threw a ton of trash on the street. I wish I could take pictures.
Anyways life is going great, its so amazing to feel the spirit everyday so strongly. I didn't prepare a spiritual thought but basically just want to share a scrip that I found in my personal study this week. 
I'm a sucker for scrips to boost moral and this is absolutely perfect.
I'm loving life here in the DR and wouldn't change a thing!
Tatooo Tatooo
Elder Blake

I made the classic dominican poor person plate, money was running real low. Juca, Platano and Salami

They eat chicken feet here, a ward memeber gave it to me. I put it in the freezer

Tried to snap a good pic of san fran

Watching the Huelga (riots) on monday night. Mom im wearing a Logan High shirt

The shotgun shells and grenade rounds I found this morning from the huelga