Elder Brigham Blake

Email: Brigham.Blake@myldsmail.net

Friday, May 13, 2016


From Jonathan:
It was soooo great to skype with you on this past Sunday!!!  You're looking really great and sounding great!  It's wonderful to see you so happy and energized by what you're doing.  Rather than give you a travelogue on this past week it seems like you're interested in more of a dialogue, which will get kick started with questions back and forth to each other.  You asked for it!!  So here goes...
 Thanks Dad I think this is a good idea. I'll try to respond quickly and efficiently.

1) What is your definition of "success" especially as it relates to missionary efforts/work?
Like I said while skyping I think that success isn't defined by numbers rather the by your relationship with God. I love an idea from the coach in Friday Night Lights and how he defines perfection. Perfection isn't reflected by the scoreboard or the number of baptisms that you have, rather by the dedication and love you have for the work. I honestly believe that if you do everything in your power as a missionary to obey, love and serve you will be successful. That's when God will put prepared people in your path.

2)  You only have a few months left as a full time missionary, what will you do to ensure that you work hard till the end and 'leave it all on the field'?
I will do my best to not let down on the little things. If you're doing the little things all else will fall into place. I'm not really worried about this though because I LOVE proselyting.

3)  What's your favorite chapter in the Book of Mormon?  How about other scriptures that you love?
I love the chapters 2 through 4 from Mosiah but also chapters 36 to 38 in Alma or 1st Nefi 8....the tree of life!!. King Benjamin and Alma hijo are two spiritual savages!! But honestly I think it changes every now and then because the whole Book of Mormon is just soo amazing that its hard to choose one favorite chapter. Right now I'm reading Jesus es el Cristo. I have loved studying the New Testament, especially the book of ACTS. Paul is one of my favorite scripture heroes and I just love to read abut the original church of Christ. To read it side to side with the BoM and to read it thinking of the principles of the restored gospel. What about you papa?

4)  Has anyone asked you to play the piano in church or do they even have pianos in your current area?  How about singing - have you done any more solos?  :)  
I have never been asked to play the piano. I think I have said this before but Dominicans are tone def and they hate hate hate it when people play the piano. Its really sad because people here have some of the worst voices I've ever heard in my life!! But after 2 years of sac meeting here Ive gotten used to it.

5)  How often do families cook for you  vs.  how much do you cook for yourselves?  Do you do all your other domestic chores like cleaning and laundry?  
 We eat with families maybe 2 or 3 times a week. I usually don't eat breakfast and we usually eat lunch at home. But people like Carmen and Harley will cook for us on occasion. Right now we eat with them every Saturday. Every once in awhile people will make us Cena. Cosas como yuca, mango or espagueti. But its not too often.  I usually cook.  Yesterday I made rice and eggs. I love rice now. In terms of other cleaning we clean and wash. Our washing machine is nothing more than an oversize weak blender, its such a joke. It just spins water around so our cloths never get REALLY clean.

6)  How's your relationship w/ your mission president?  Do you get to see him very often?  What's his family like?
 Pres Castillo is Preach my Gospel. He is super super awesome. I think that right now he is stressed out because as zone leaders we have a monthly meeting with him and the APs and we haven't had the meeting this month yet. I haven't vocally talked to him in over 2 months but I respect him alot. He has 3 kids, but I've never met them. His wife is super quiet and spiritual. Overall I think that they have been really overwhelmed but they're adapting. Keep in mind that he is like 38 years old.

7)  What have been the keys to having a good relationship with your companions?  I know you've had ups and downs - what are things that make a difference and are within your control?
 Love and patience. I have realized that I'm A LOT like mom. Little things get me angry aveces but after about 10 minutes I forget about them. I haven't really had any problems with comps who like to work and obey, by the end of each transfer we become best buddies. I realized that there are many things you can't control about your comps and a lot of times the reason that I get mad has to do with one of my own problems and not theirs.

8)  How have you seen the Lord's hand guiding you in your life this past week, month, year?  
 I feel guided everyday. With Elder Irish this is something we have been studying. Basically we are working on our inspired questions and listening skills to let the Holy Spirit guide. On Monday we were guided to a super awesome guy who wants to give up beer and cigs. We talked to him as a person and just tried to insert gospel principles naturally. We left our lesson and realized that the spirit was strong and felt that we said things that were really put into our mouths to say. 

9)  Do you know how much we love and admire and appreciate you?  
Hahaha this is a trick question!! I love you all sooo sooo much.
DAD thanks for these questions, I won't have time to write home a weekly letter and quite honestly I have nothing else to really say. Abrazos y amor de la República.
Elder Blake

I hope so on the last question, because you're awesome and I'm so proud to have you as my son.  You're such a joy and a blessing to all of us.

Work hard and stay focused.  Do all that you can to suspend the notion of time and just work hard each day and moment!

Love you so much and look forward to your answers and questions back.  If you're pressed for time then you can pick one or a couple or a few and we can dialogue over the next few weeks!


Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Week of Miracles

Que lo que mi GENTE.

This week was MONSTROUS, and super wet. Its rained every single day this past week. My shoes, scriptures and mission manual are just soaked!! Honestly it's a nice trade off from brutal heat because after 20 months its been really taxing!! My skin is FRIED. 

This week I have seen some amazing miracles and they all have come back to studying and understand a very basic gospel principle. GOD LOVES US. I think that this principle is soo over looked; how often do we take advantage of our all-knowing and loving Heavenly fFather? Well for starters I know that I could poner mas confianza en el. I think that this week my comp and I saw great miracles because we decided to do all we could and put the rest in God's hands.

Lemme take y'all through a few of the miracles I saw. 1st off Juan Alberto did NOT go to church this week. I was soo soo worried. It turns out he got home super late on Saturday and over slept until 12 30, we gave him a fat bolche Sunday night. And something super cool happened. First off let me say that he and his family LOVE me and I LOVE them. I can't really explain it but we have just really clicked on sooo many levels. They honestly say that they just feel a light when we are in their house. Juan Alberto told us about a dream he had. He told me that he and I were sitting on his porch with bird seed in our hands and that a large white dove landed on my hand and started eating. He said that doves DON'T just land on people's hands and that in his dream he was very amazed but that I just stayed calm. He called his grandparents and parents to look at the Dove gently eating and relejándose. He asked us what to dove could possibly have meant and we talked to him about Christ's baptism about how the Holy Ghost came over him as a dove. He took it as a message that we are the Lord's missionaries who have the Lord's spirit....super cool stuff. Please pray that he and his family keep progressing.

2nd Yassenia and  Yeusdies went to church on Sunday. We went and picked them up and yassenia said the opening prayer in principos del evangelio. She prayed that she could become a member of the Lord's church. Also yesterday she told me that she also dreamt of me. That I was on a path and calling to her to follow me on the path. Muy profundo también. We only have one obstacle with Yassenia - she has been living with a man for about a year and has to get married before baptized. We are now going to focus hard core on her husband so that we get the WHOLE family. Por favor oran por ellos!

3rd. Elder Corder, my kid, called me today and one of the most back door santa investigators that I had contacted in Moca got baptized on Saturday - a dude named Ramon Antonio. When I met him he had an awful foot infection and wasn't able to walk, but he always told us that he wanted to go to church. He then disappeared for about a month and came back to Moca with his leg cut off. We taught him a few more times but it seems that he had progressed a whole lot after I left. Elder Corder tambien me dijo que algunas otras personas se van a bautizar pronto ya, like Anthony. Soo dope that the seeds we planted are now being harvested!! I MISS MOCA!!

As I send at the beginning of this email I think that having focused more on God's love for his children allowed us to have miracles in our work. We are striving towards a few baptisms for the 28th. Please pray for Ronnie and Juan Alberto, also Yassenia su esposo and Yuesdires. I love this work and know that Cristo esta a la cabeza de esta obra!!

Hasta luego!!
Feliz dia de las Madres!
Elder Blake
Walking the campos de Bonao, con las vacas

This dude in a guaga had his fighting chicken, i asked him if I could hold it.

Comiendo cena con Juan Albeto.

In honor of Big Papi. Wall murals here are brutally ugly. Ill try to take some more pics

Elder Paulino y yo hicimos oreos fritos.

Con mangos!

I have Tevas haha

My comp and I