Elder Brigham Blake

Email: Brigham.Blake@myldsmail.net

Friday, January 22, 2016

Semana Perfecta

This was a very good week. Elder Corder and I have been doing really well. Almost all of our people are progressing, etc. I couldn't really be any happier here in MOCA. The mission is a dream!! I guess I don't really have much to report on, life is just going!!

As I mentioned, last week had been a little rough with our good buddy Berlin. We were finally able to stop by and teach him yesterday. We had a really close heart to heart as brothers. As always his heart is in the right place, and this just isn't the right time in his life to be baptized. As Elder Corder put it, he is absolutely ready spiritually, but temporally not so much. He is such a good person and I love him as a brother. Someday I know that he will be ready to get baptized. 

Although things were a little tough, life rolls on! We had three stud investigatores in church on Sunday, Felix, Jose Luis and Darwin. Para mi, it was a huge blessing that our new investigator Darwin Reyes was able to go to church. He showed up with his BoM, a Bible and una mascota to write down notes. EVERY time some one mentioned a scriptural reference in a talk, or a class he marked it so that he could go back later and study it. We went back last night to teach him and he is doing very well!! He read the Book of Mormon and had a ton of questions about repentance and baptism. We set a date for him to be baptized the 19th of March

Anyways this week as I had mentioned, has been a good one. We have started to go out running every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. I honestly forgot how much I love running. We only run about a 2 miles but it's enough to get the blood going. Elder Corder and I have been reminiscing about our time together and working hard until our last minutes together. He's such a stud and I'm gonna miss his BONES. Pero ya tengo que seguir hacia adelante. Tengo ganas a terminar nuestro tiempo juntos. 

Sorry for the short email, espero que sea de provecho.

Elder Blake
Old picture of our buddy Berlin!
We found a cat sleeping on some of my things.

We took her outside and she has come back to our balcony everyday for a the past week.

We fried up some oreos last night, sabia bien esta vainaaa

Week of Repentance

This week has been rough!
Many of our baptismal dates have fallen through and at times I feel like Elder Corder and I have lost our mojo. Many times this week we have come home and I have thought like, what the heck am I doing wrong? I think Saturday was our lowest day of this week, we only taught two lessons and everyone kind of fell through. The worst part is that we had to drop Berlin because he decided to work on Sundays again without telling us; it is a huge bummer. However after a sweet personal study on Monday and an awesome zone conference yesterday I felt that God was helping me understand what I need to fix and how to do it. Basically it comes down to doing the little things and having a better attitude. I read a conference talk about repentance, and was able to understand that there is a lot that I need to change:

Principally, judgement.

This week Elder Corder and I were very humbled. As we were walking home, we stopped in a colmado to buy some food. A drunk guy started to poke fun at us. He thought we didn't speak Spanish so I responded, and then another guy stepped in (who I misjudged as a drunk and he told us that he wanted us to come by and teach him.) He said his name was Darwin Reyes and that he liked the word of God. I didn't take him seriously so he asked me to pull out my agenda and note his name for Sunday at 5pm. I kind of brushed it off and we went on our way. Thursday night as we were walking home Darwin, started shouting at us from his apartment complex so that we came over because he wanted to give us a gift, and he threw down two new toothbrushes and reminded us of our lesson on Sunday. I judged him and thought that he was just trying to bribe us or something. I shrugged him off again and didn't really think much of our lesson for Sunday. Doing our nightly planning Saturday we had not planned on going to his house. Anyways Sunday rolled around and at 5:45, our lesson fell through so we decided to go contact this Darwin guy. We went to his complex and it was REALLY sketchy; it smelled like weed and beer etc. We knocked on a few doors with no respónse so we decided to leave, and Darwin walked up the stairs. He told us he had been waiting for 30 minutes. We said sorry and sat down to teach him and it was a KILLER lesson. We gave him a pamphlet and invited him to read it and pray. We went back last night and he told us he read the whole pamphlet and prayed to know if Jose Smith was a prophet and if the Book of Mormon was the word of God, even though he didn't have one!! We talked about how he could get an answer last night and invited him to get baptized, he accepted. Leaving his apartment last night Elder Corder and I vowed to never judge someone as we had judged Darwin. Who are we to judge and decide who can hear the message of the restoracion? After two lessons he has become one of the coolest people we are teaching. I have no doubt that he has been prepared to recibir este evangelio.

I love you all, and I love this work. I know that the Lord can work miracles when we are humble and meek. I know that the Lord requires humble servants, and although I'm not pérfect he knows that I'm trying!

Amo a ser misionero.
Les quiero mucho
Elder Blake

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Sweet Week

This has been a really good week. Elder Corder and I feel as if we have gotten our mojo back after two hard weeks. We are finding awesome people with sincere interest in the gospel of jesucristo. However, I think my highlight was seeing the gospel fire re lit under our investigators. Aka Jose Luis y Berlin. Berlin came to church unexpectedly on Sunday and we went up to the pulpit to bear our testimonies. He promised me that if I went up first he would go up as well. His testimony was short and sweet, just like a little seed! He bore his testimony of the BoM and Jose Smith. We went to his house Sunday with the bishop and he told us that as he spoke he felt as if he were part of the church; it was an answer to my prayers. We committed him, once again, to be baptized in two weeks.

I bore my testimony on this awesome scripture  I found last week in my personal study it reads,  44 For behold, it is as easy to give heed to the word of Christ, which will point to you a straight course to eternal bliss, as it was for our fathers to give heed to this compass, which would point unto them a straight course to the promised land.

In my mission I have seen how easy and addicting it is to heed the words of Christ. I bore my testimony to the congragtion sobre eso. In Spanish it reads, a prestar attencion a las palabras de cristo. I guess giving heed is presting attention, but I know that we need to give attention to the scriptures and the words of our modern prophets, sooo awesome. The church is true. And I have no more time!! Sorry for this small, dinky letter!
Love you all!

Elder Blake

The following photos were sent by the mother of the man on the right (no name tag). He was back in Moca touring his former mission with his parents. I am so thankful for these wonderful images - especially the one of him bearing his testimony. Wahoo! 

'Elder Blake bore his testimony, site wish I could have understood it, but he did have an investigator that got up and even said a couple of things!'

Una semana rara!

Hey Family,

Sorry I have little to no time!!
It's been a wild week, a lot has happened and proselytizing was REALLY hard from the 24th to the 27th. Thank goodness however because everything seems to be back to normal. (At least until tomorrow, Moca is going to go NUTS for the New year) On Christmas night people were blasting music until about 1 30, we couldn't sleep because it was loud!! And the music was really bad! I took some good video.

Anyways all is going well. The skype session that we had on Christmas was the best one I have had by far, I could really feel the spirit and I know that our families can live together forever through the power of the priesthood. I would like to write just a little about the difference from last Christmas to this one. I think one of the main reasons as to why all missionaries serve a mission is to help others, but more so to have a great change of heart. I will never ever forget what mom and dad said last Christmas about Isaac. As I was skyping they said that he looked and talked like a missionary. Or in other words Isaac HAD changed, the gospel made him a different person. Then I asked jokingly: Well, do I look or talk anymore like a missionary? The response I got was a flat no. It kind of struck me in that moment. What was the difference that my parents saw in my brother and not myself? What was it that he was doing that I wasn't? Had I just wasted the past three months of my life? I realized that they probably hadn't seen such a change because I had not worked with diligence or habia entregado todo mi corazon a nuestro padre celestial. 
 It says in Dyc 4 Therefore, ye that embarin the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strengththat ye may stand blameless before God at the last day.
 Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God ye are called tthe work;
As it says in Verse 2, we must serve in the work with ALL. In this past year I have come to realize what is truly important in this life. Service and discipleship to our Lord and Savior jesucristo. I believe that my family COULD see the difference in personality that I was hoping for last Christmas. I know that this gospel makes good people better and better people great. I love the savior and se que este es su obra. 
Sorry I have almost nooo time but I hope that we can all try to serve God with our hearts minds and strengths in this nuevo year. 
I'll give a better update on the work and stuff next week. But, just so you all know the work is rolling and I love it!

Con Amor,
Elder Blake

Christmas Eve


I honestly cant believe that tomorrow is the 24th of December. I think that the difference of culture and climate has really distracted me from the Christmas spirit. Not to be pessimistic, but there is no Christmas spirit in the DR, only a very drunk spirit. This week has basically turned into a beer festival. Thankfully we find refuge in the houses of our awesome investigatores. But we still get harassed while walking. I can't really describe Moca, but if I could I would say it's nothing short of pure rowdy iniquity! Hahah this is really the best country in the world.

This week was good. It wasn't as we had hoped and it ended roughly but I think things are going to keep improving. Basically on Sunday ALL our lessons fell through and we tried to contact but no one let us in. At about 7 I told Elder Corder that this has happened in everyone of my areas, and that something always good has come out of it. Right after I said that, a man called us over and started asking about the church, we sent an appointment for last night and it turned out to be a really spiritual lesson, not with him, but his 24 year old step daughter who I had met my first week here en Moca. She invited herself to church and I think that the whole family are great potential investigatores. 

I think that the highlight of our week was visiting and confirming Berlins baptismal date for Saturday. He wasn't able to come to church for family reasons and when we told him that we would most likely have to change the date he freaked out! He wanted to call the Bishop, Zone Leaders and Mission President. Haha it was kind of funny but after some stern talking to, and calling the zone leaders he got the green light. We are all super excited. 

In terms of spirituality life is crusin! I remember Isaac writing a few months back talking about how personal revelcaion isn't a linear progression, but rather a sporadic progression. Through daily repentance and diligence in these past few months I have come to really know that God loves me and that this is His true church. This morning I was reading the story of Ammon and King Lamoni. I read this scripture and it really penetrated me, 
32 And Ammon said: Yea, and he looketh down upon all the children of men; and he knows all the thoughts and intents of the heart; for by his hand were they all created from the beginning.
 33 And king Lamoni said: believe all these things which thou hast spoken. Art thou sent from God?
 34 Ammon said unto him: am manand man in the beginning was created after the image of God, and am called by his Holy Spirit to teach these things unto this people, that they may be brought to knowledge of that which is just and true;
 35 And portion of that Spirit dwelleth in me, which giveth me knowledgeand also power according to my faith and desires which are in God.

It hit me this morning as I applied this missionary moment to the my life. I questioned myself, by receiving the gospel who actually received more joy, Ammon or King Lamoni? As a missionary, and having helped a few people accepted the gospel, I would say that Lamoni had greater joy. It is a glorious pleasure to help other people receive the blessings of this great evangelio. I know that God really only requires our atencion and diligencia (Alma 12 vs 9) I couldn't think of anything I would rather be doing with my time right now in this moment of my life. I know that this gospel was made for us by our loving Heavenly Father. I know that he knows the thoughts and intents of our hearts. 
Gracias por las oraciones suyas, y el amor que tienen para mi y la obra misional. Espero que cada persona que lee esta carta pueda tener una feliz navidad. Paz y bendicones a todos!

Elder Blake