Elder Brigham Blake

Email: Brigham.Blake@myldsmail.net

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Mosiah 2:41

Dear Family and Friends,

I honestly can't write, or explain the joy I feel sharing the message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Even though many Veganos are super Catholics are hard-hearted, as Isaac said the key is to love them! However, I am pretty sure I have contacted every house in my area, and 95 percent, AFTER a great lesson say that they're Catholic and won't pray to ask God if the message we shared was true haha. But as I say to my companion, were just trying to flood the world with the Book of Mormon and the message of the restoration, and occasionally we will find golden investigators and families. 
This week I had two amazing experiences with a golden Haitian family that we contacted two weeks ago. I have already talked about Johnny and Ana and they're doing AMAZING. I called them Sunday at 8 to ask if they were coming to church, semi hesitant that they wouldn't. But after I asked Johnny he kind of laughed at me and said of course!! They showed up right before sacrament meeting, both in their Sunday best! As Isaac knows, there is no greater joy than when an investigator or less active comes to church unexpectedly. On Monday we went to their house to have a family night and they LOVED it, we shared a quick message about the Plan of Salvation which was completely new to them and felt the spirit strongly. After, Ana, (who like Anna haha, is very shy) broke the ice and started asking questions about the church, the mission, and a hour long appointment turned into a 2.5 hour long questioning and answer. Sadly, she has to go back to Haiti this week to renew her Visa, so we won't be able to visit them, as a family this week. But wow! They told us that they felt very accepted in the church and that they loved the hymns. Pray hard that they'll accept the our baptismal date, and that they will have the desire to get married!
    Also, Antonio Richard, even though he STILL hasn't accepted fecha bautismal, has been killing it with the Book of Mormon. He started reading last Monday and just finished Mosiah 4 last night. He is a huge stud. 

This week, in a lesson with a less active family I felt a strong impression to change the lesson and just share Mosiah 2:41, which happens to be my favorite scripture. It reads 

41 And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and ahappy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are bblessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out cfaithful to the end they are received into dheaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it.

King Benjamin is one of my favorite Book of Mormon prophets and this scripture encompasses why. In the world, as members of the church we are told that our commandments are restricting and limiting. I can remember countless times in high school people asking my why I don't drink, have sex or have fun.  The words of King Benjamin give us the reason as to why, and demonstrate to me the importance of keeping God's commandments. When we obey, King Benjamin says clearly that we are HAPPY, blessed in ALL things, and IF we hold out faithful, we will be received into heaven to dwell with God. Especially here in the mission I can testify of the importance of obeying God's commandments. The world is wicked! There is nooo way to avoid it but as Paul commands the people of Efesios we must put on the armor of God, and stand up for our beliefs. As Isaac said, we should do all these things with love and charity. 
I love being a missionary, even though it is hot and difficult. In the moments of difficulty, turning to the Lord in prayer and fasting has given me the strength to be strong in the Lord and bring the gospel of repentance to his children. I am soo very grateful for our savior Jesus Christ, and these ultimo 14 months I have to serve the lord with all my heart, might mind and strength!
Love Elder Brigham Blake 

   10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and bloodbut against  
principalities, against powers, against the rulers of
 the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in
 high places.
 13 Wherefore take unto you thwhole armour of God,that ye may be able to withstand in thevil day, and having done allto stand.
 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
 15 And your feet shod with thpreparation of the gospel of peace;
 16 Above all, taking the shield of faithwherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
 17 And take the helmet of salvationand the sword of the  
Spirit, which is the word of God:
 18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

​I conked out a few days back after reading some dope Liahona articles.

Mom, I only drink sugared soda when I find it in cool glass bottles. (@nick peretti you never see glass cokes anymore!)

This great evidence that its wicked hot down here on the equator. Mom I promise that I use sunscreen.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Average Week

Wow, I blinked and now its P day all over again. Haha mission time is flying by!

Honestly I don't really have time to write this week. But I'll try to give a good overview of this week. 

Primero, Richard Antonio is progressing a lot! In our Gospel Principles class he answers ALL the questions and always wants to say the closing prayer. He has the desire to be baptized and receive the priesthood. It's super awesome, but with all his progress he still hasn't set a firm baptismal date. We left him with the invitation to pray about a date and read Mosiah 18. Pray for Antonio!!

Sadly, right now we don't have many people progressing. We have talked with everyone and invited everyone to come to church and be baptized but the progress is coming along slowly. Johnny and Anna didn't make it to church this week but they promised us that they'd come this week. One of my highlights was our lesson with Jonathan yesterday. This guy was a super, super inspired contact and literally lives in a wooden shack. Even though his living conditions are poor he is SUPER smart and receptive to the holy ghost and knows that the Book of Mormon is true. He has had a few problems with one of his feet and his thighs, that has prohibited him from walking for a few months. For this reason he hasn't been able to come to church. But yesterday he really showed a lot of humility and desire to progress in the gospel of Christ. 

I LOVE being a missionary, and look forward to the work every single day. Sorry for the short email.

Love, Elder Blake   

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Awesome week

Helllllo family and friends, 
There is a lot to report on! Wow, its sooo amazing to be a full time missionary, and in full time service to our Lord Jesucristo.

This week has been filled with some amazing experiences. Firstly, one of my favorite investigators of my mission, Antonio Richard, even though he knows the gospel is true and is reading the Book of Mormon, hasn't yet expected a baptismal date, because he wants to know EVERYTHING about the gospel first. However, we had an amazing lesson with him on Friday about fasting, and invited him to fast with us on Saturday so that he can recive revelation for a date. It was an AMAZING lesson, but wow, on Sunday it was a true miracle. During the our Fast and Testimony meeting, I felt very strongly to bear my testimony about the atonement of Christ, and as it says in Moroni 7 that we must have hope in the atonement. After the meeting, he turned to me and said that he felt something really special as everyone bore their testimonies and that he felt a very strong desire to share his own with the congregacion..WOW. it was an amazing answer to our prayers and fast. We will have a lesson with him tonight and we are going to set a date with him!
Also, Melvin, who was baptized a week ago bore a 5 minute testimony about the power of baptism and the priesthood...even though he hasn't yet received it! It was truly powerful to hear this man's strong testimony.

My companion and I had an amazing experience on Friday. We were walking to an appointment and we passed a woman sweeping her porch. After our appointment, my companion felt compelled to go back and contact her. We went back and she invited us inside, and as soon as we entered the spirit hit us VERY strongly. My companion said that the house felt very familiar as if he had been their before. We spoke briefly about the the restoration and bore testimony strongly of the blessing of the gospel in our lives and for the family's. The woman, se llama thomasany, said that she felt something warm and comforting. Wow, moments like these make the mission all worth it. I love my companion and this area!

This morning, after I finished cleaning the house i was reading in the Book of Mormon....in the book of Mormon haha. Chapter 9 verse 31 hit me very profoundly. it reads,   31 Condemn me not because of mine imperfection, neither my father, because of his imperfection, neither them who have written before him; but rather give thanks unto God that he hath made manifest unto you our imperfections, that ye may learn to be more wise than we have been.

It struck me as I read this scripture that Mormon, a prophet is declaring that we must not condem him for his imperfections, nor any of the prophets for that matter. But however, we must learn from theirs, and our mistakes and give thanks to the Lord that we can be more wise and learn. As a missionary, I am not perfect, nor will I ever be, but I know that I have hope and faith in the atonement of Christ. I hope that we can all learn to be more humble and wise and see everyone for who they really are, children of God. I love this book, and this gospel. I know that we are not perfect people, but, the gospel of Jesucristo of the Latter Day Saints is perfect, because it was restored by a prophet of god. I know that the plan of salvation is a perfect plan, and that we have the hope to one day live with our Father in Heaven.
Love you all, 
Elder Blake
Melvin! Such a stud, he bore a 7 minute testimony on sunday about his baptisim...it was awesome!

After running a mile and a half. I have NEVER been so hot so constantly in my life holy cow! I honestly sweat like this proselyting tooooo.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

In the name of the Holy Ghost, Amen!

Eyy Familia y Amigoss,

I hope all is as well in the 781 and other parts of the world as it is here in the DR. I would be surprised if there are many other places in the world where it is sooo dang hot and humid...this summer is gonna be killer (mom don't worry I use sunscreen religiously)! As I have said in previous emails I really am sweating ALL the time. Most days, quite disgustingly, I wake up in a puddle of sweat.

However this week has been amazing, and filled with little miracles. My highlight of the week was Melvin's baptism. Wow, he was sooo prepared to receive the gospel in his life, and teaching all the lessons was a pure joy. On Friday after his interview he told me that the spirit told him very strongly that Elder Rodriguez, my district leader, would baptize him...even though he had only met him for the interview. I, my companion and Elder Rodriguez were all surprised at his decision but very pleased. All in all the baptism was a huge success. A lot of people attended and the spirit was very strong. After the baptism, Melvin bore his testimony of the power of the atonement and how he could feel the burden of his sins being lifted as he was baptized. It was an awesome testimony and really funny too because he finished by saying...in the name of the Holy Ghost Amen! On Sunday I had the chance to confirm him a member and it was a very spiritual experience as well.

This morning I took a little trip down memory lane and thought about how badly I miss playing football. I thought about captains practices, film sessions, the locker room, linebackers practice, getting ready before a game, singing the national anthem etc...I am sure Isaac can relate and help me out with the symbolic relationship that missionary work has with football. It is truly outstanding, the importance of integrity, diligence, brotherly love and so forth. This morning, however, I was thinking, most specifically about the job of a linebacker and the utmost importance to reading your guard. As a linebacker your main objective is to tackle the person with the ball, quien sea, quarterback, running back wide receiver, slot etc. The game is played so fast and there is so much confusion at the line of scrimmage that the linebacker is told to read the guards, because the guards will ALWAYs take you to the play.  You have to practice and learn the steps and techniques of the guards in able to understand where the offense is going to play the ball, and so that you can mimic the guard, to the point where it is muscle memory. As a linebacker, even though there are distractions in all directions, it is vital to keep your eyes on the guards and GET DOWN HILL (coach Griff voice)  which will lead you to the ball carrier. In many ways we all have to act as spiritual linebackers. In the game of life there is soo much confusion and distraction that lead us away, and hinders us from from achieving our goals and purposes. Like a linebacker we need to read our spiritual guards, or keys so that we can get down hill and complete our duties to God. If we read our keys...service, scripture study, daily prayers and church attendance, we will develop muscle memory like habits to keep us away from harm and danger...but more importantly help us build our personal testimonies. 
  17 And it came to pass that thus he did go forth in the Spirit, from multitude to multitude, declaring the word of God, even until he had declared it unto them all, or sent it forth among all the people.

As nefi we need to go unto our brethren in the spirit or, to continue doing our spiritual building habits. It is soo vital, as a linebacker and missionary, to prepare prepare and prepare so that when the situation comes the spirit can take over and guide us. I love this work and can't believe that I almost have ten months in this amazing country. I know that God loves and cares about each one of us. He loves us sooo much that he gave us our own agency, to choose right from wrong. I am grateful for the atonement of Christ and the plan of salvation.
Love you all!
Until next week, 
Elder Blake 52