Elder Brigham Blake

Email: Brigham.Blake@myldsmail.net

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Super Tranquilo

Eyyyyyyy Familia y Amigos,

This week has been filled with little miracles and happy moments. I have learned here on the mission that not everything will always come out the way we have planned or hoped, BUT that it is sooo important to stay humble and thank God for all our many blessings.

This week FLEW by and the I had a great opportunity to talk to Hermana Douglas (Mission Pres wife) as president was setting apart a missionary from my Rama. They're finishing up the mission this week and she told me that it has been the fastest three years of her life. I told her that I felt the same, and asked her what I could do to take advantage of every minute of the mission. She told me something really interesting. When she and President went to Freshman orientation at Harvard for one of their sons, a professor talked about the difference between successful and unsuccessful students at Harvard, and basically it comes down to the small and simple things....just as it says in Alma! From small and simple things come forth great and marvelous works. She told me that basically it is important to take advantage and do something productive EVERY fifteen minutes of free time. She went on to explain how even if we waste 4 blocks of 15 minutes every day...in two years we would have wasted 4 months of our mission. Wow! That hit me hard! 
This week I am been trying to rededicate myself to working as hard as I can, every 15 minutes. And wow! its coming along great!

As for highlights of the week. 
This week I have been preparing a STUD investigator for baptism...he has been pumped for the last three months working hard to let go of his old, natural man temptations etc. We taught the Word of Wisdom last week and he told us that he has had no problems with alcohol, drugs or tobacoo for about 5 years, but he still loves coffee. However without skipping a beat he told us that he would give it up. The next day at church he looked a little tired and sick, I asked him what was wrong. He told me that he didn't drink coffee and even though he had a headache he knew that God was going to help him. He then stood up in our gospel principles class and testified of the Word of Wisdom and of the blessings we can receive from obeying God's commandments.
Anyways this week has been great!
Love you all! 
Elder Blake

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

This week

Dear Family and Friends,

This week was filled with many little miracles and wonderful faith building experiences. It's hot, this country is crazy, but we are working hard!

 Wow I don't really know where to begin. This week has actually been a very standard week. I honestly cant believe how fast time is flying by. Two weeks ago to today I decided to read Doctrine and Covenants, and wow, it is such a dope book of scripture, there are soo many inspired sections that I have loved. I just finished section 123 and at this trajectory I will finish the book sometime this week. Wow the restoration of the church was truly amazing. But this week my companion and I decided that it was time to rededicate ourselves to this work. We were reading in el Libro de Mormon and we read. Mosiah 28 vs 3 which talks about the declaring salvation unto every living creature. We decided to make it our goal to invite ALL unto Christ -c ontacting when it felt inspired etc. This week we found a golden family and wow what a blessing it was been. 

As for the highlights this week. About a month ago I had the most spiritual experience of my life. I had never felt the desire sooo strongly to talk to someone in my Life. We contacted Antonio and we taught the three main lessons within 4 days. He told us he knew that the church was true, he wanted to get the priesthood etc. Wow! golden right? But he wouldn't come to church!! We tried everything, bringing the bishop, super strong members...even Cesar Acosta didn't really work! I decided to fast on Saturday so that he could come to church. I was praying all morning long on Sunday and just as sacrament meeting was about to start Antonio showed up!! Man I had never been so happy for an investigator to come to church before. We sang How Great Thou Art, my favorite hymn and I could tell he felt the spirit. After the meeting he told me, for a second time that he knew the church was true....It looks like, if we work hard there are three strong future elders that could be baptized within the next two months.

However, the brotherly love and bonding that I have had for my companion is amazing. This week he opened up and told me that his Aunt raised him. When he was four months old his mother basically decided that she couldn't and didn't want to raised him. His dad, although stable financially is a drunk and couldn't raise him either. His aunt was a member and raised him in the church. He has never really had a strong family and that hit me HARD. This week we had a family night where he opened up about this situation to a youth who is leaving for the mission this week. He then, after tearing up, gave me thanks for the example and brotherly love I have shown him and that he has felt like he is really doing what the Lord whats of him. I think that it was one of the strongest times I have felt the spirit in the mission. It rejuvenated my strength and desire to serve the Lord. Honestly there are so many things to be grateful for. I know that this church is true and if we really live the gospel of Jesucristo our lives will be blessed.
I love this work and hope all is well back at home.
Elder Blake

Gotta love the DR!

Me and my comp after a long, and hard days work!


Nine months!

Well today marks nine months in the mission! Basically the fastest nine months of my life...wow!
Anyways I basically don't have ANY time, but this week has been great. I had a wonderful fast and have received some amazing blessings form the Lord. 
Highlights. This week, in our Zone Conference we were given a new mission goal: to teach the restoration to a new person every day. On Monday in the afternoon, my companion and I had a really amazing contact. We were walking down this pretty poor dirt road and I just felt attracted to go over and talk to this man. He was the BIGGEST looking gangster Dominican ever...tattoos, smoking, toda la viana! But wow, I went over, introduced myself and he told us his name is Alberto. He let us sit down and he asked a ton of questions and was just super humble. He told us that all of his aunts and uncles are Mormons but haven't gone to church in 20 years. Wow! basically we found a village of less actives haha. We will see how the second lesson goes on Saturday.
I think the best lesson we taught was to a less active member named Mario yesterday. He is a return missionary who basically just fell into a lot of bad habits after the mission and has felt too ashamed to come back to church. We shared an old church video with him called the touch of the violin master...something like that, and wow, he started crying. One thing I have come to notice is that humility is the key to life. Mario showed A LOT of humility and promised us that he would come to church this Sunday...wow! I felt the spirit soo strongly.

All is going well here. I accidentally broke our fridge trying to de ice our freezer with a knife...we haven't have anything cold to eat or drink since Saturday. Haha! That's whats up.

As always, I know this church is true and the miracles that I see from day to day are amazing.
Until next week!
Elder Blake

Friday, June 5, 2015

The Best Two Years!

Dear Family and Friends,
Life is going here in the great city of La Vega. I've been suffering from a migraine since Sunday and haven't been able to work these past three days. Like concussion recovery, a lot of resting in dark quite rooms! As hard as it was not doing anything these past few days I was able to ponder and listen to some amazing BYU devotional talks the highlight of which was David A. Bednar's talk on the Enabling Power of the Atonement of Jesucristo. A lot of times, we misunderstand the way that God answers our prayers, says Bednar. And we often ask for God to take away burdens when he actually wants us to find a way to support it (sobrevivir) I forgot what that is in English. A few transfers back with my second companion I really figured out the enabling power of the atonement. We were having some problems and he basically told me that he didn't want to work. He would leave the house with me, but would not want to talk in any of our discussions. I decided that I needed to fast, not so that my companion would change, but so that I could find the strength to be happy and positive. And oh my goodness it worked! I was seriously filled with joy, I had never felt the love of Christ sooo strongly in my life. Its like the scripture in 1st Corinthians 10 vs 13. I will attach the scripture down below. 
 13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, whwill not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the 
temptation also make way to escapethaye may be able to bear it.

Anyway, this week, even for being sick has been wonderful. It has rained almost every day but we are still finding many wonderful people to teach. We received a reference a few weeks ago from a family who has shown some wonderful reception to the gospel. Elder Weaver and I were cleaning the sidewalk of a member when one of their elderly neighbors yells ¨Hey Mormons! I've been waiting for the longest time for you to walk by my house! Come inside and teach me!¨ Haha wow, it was honestly super startling and surprising. Her name is Charo, and like all Dominicans she has been Catholic her whole life. As we got to know her I could tell that she really wants to find out which is the true church. She says she goes and listens to the Catholic priests but doesn't feel like it's right. We taught her the restoration, and as I was teaching about Joseph Smith the spirit hit me like a brick wall and I began to cry. The spirit permitted me to testify with real power and wow, what a blessing that was. She promised to come to church this week. Pray for Hermano Charo!

In other big news, I made it my goal about two months ago to read the Book of Mormon all the way through in Spanish and I finished on Monday. Wow, I felt the spirit very strongly as I read through Ether and Moroni. And I love verse 32 and 33. Moroni's invitation for us ALL to come unto Christ. As a missionary, it is my duty and objective to invite all to come unto Christ. It is remarkable with how little knowledge I really have, yet at how wonderful and beautiful this gospel is. I love my savior, I love the Book of Mormon, I love this church, and I love being a missionary.
Until next week!
Love Elder Blake
 32 Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, anddeny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall denyyourselveof all ungodliness, and love God with all yourmight, mind and strength, then is his gracsufficient foryou, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if bythe grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowisedeny the power of God.
 33 And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect inChrist, and deny not his power, theare ye sanctified in Christ bthe grace of God, through thshedding of theblood of Christ, which is in the covenant othe Father unto the remission of your sinsthat ye become holywithout spot.