Gonna be short(er) this week. I decided to write Brigham a personal email this week and that took up about half my time. Not regretting that at all!
Ok I'll start with the only thing worth reporting this week. I didn't get my visa. They stopped the travel visa trial period 1 week before we leave! At first I was mad, but I realized that was hypocritical and counter-intuitive. I've been telling myself all summer that I'd get reassigned, and I've been fine. "I'll go where you want me to go." Now I'm just praying (literally) He doesn't want me to go to SLC or Idaho hahah. And especially that I'll get to speak Spanish.
Ok S/Os before I give my thought.
S/o to KSox!!! Congrats on the commitment to G-Town! I didn't even put it together until Brian wrote me that you too will be together. That's huge. Also, I'm not surprised that Tim was fully supportive. Nothing like playing on the same field and your brother, I know, but as the older brother, that's ultimately not the most important thing. I'm super pumped to hear about each of your journey's as you continue to improve!
S/o to Brian for converting to the Lumineers
S/o to Fadule grabbing life by the horns and playing nose tackle.
S/o to Mike Dowling! So sick that you were in the clubhouse after they won!
S/o to Coach Mag, Brendaen Makechnie, Boyd Bringhurst + fam, Gma and Gpa Bringhurst, and everyone else that Dear Eldered me this week! Sorry if I forgot any. It's tough to remember them all and I've become to envy of everyone in the zone, as most people average 1/week while I'm raking in something like 3/day. You all rock!
I had a wicked cool experience bearing my testimony this week. Every tuesday night after the devotional, we meet as a zone and each share something we liked about the devo. Usually, it's pretty cool, but this Tuesday, it was like a full blown YC testimony meeting. Tears (mostly just me) and everything! I had the privilege of going last, which was a huge blessing. From the get go, I was just gonna get up for 30 seconds and point out a cool story that Elder Don R. Clarke shared and then call it quits. However, as each person shared and it started getting more and more personal, and more and more spiritual, I just got this really strong prompting that I should talk about something completely different. The problem was, I really wanted to share this story. Anyways, I stand up and at this point, I'm already a little overcome with emotion. One elder bore his testimony about how the zone has changed his life forever, in just one week. He's 24 and only weighs about 100 pounds, kinda awkward, but a great Spirit. He talked about how he's never really been able to make friends but that he already considers everyone in the zone a friend. Friendships stronger than he's ever had. I felt kinda bad cause I've been nice, but I haven't gone out of my way or done anything in particular to show love. Not to mention, you all know how much friendship means to me, and to imagine that people he's only know for a week are already his best friends just goes to show how lucky I am. Then his companion talked about his parents almost divorced 4 weeks before he left on his mission, but that the fact that he left to serve the Lord, left to be an example, helped them work things out. Finally, another new elder talked about his Dad had a heart attack and very well may pass within the next 2 years. Every day, he hold's his breath at mail time, praying he's not getting a funeral date. You can fill in the details and imagine how these three examples of friends and family trials hit me like a Mack truck. I basically got up and said "I was gonna share a cute story, but the Spirit is prompting me to change directions. I've never felt such a strong impression, push in a different direction, and I'm just gonna go with it. It was incredible though - I know the Spirit took over. I bore one of the most eloquent, logical testimonies of my life. I was really nervous the whole time that I'd get it across how I wanted, and I honestly don't even remember half of what I said. I somehow quoted, from memory, Psalm 23 (probably my favorite Scripture of all time), tied that into each of the 3 previous testimonies, and then expounded on how that's shaped my decision to serve a mission. Halfway through, I even found the perfect way to share that cute little story that sincerely did mean a lot. I know without a shadow of a doubt that I, Isaac Blake, couldn't have done that on my own. Everyone in the room could attest to that as well. I'm not trying to brag. I know in that moment, I truly was an instrument in the hands of the Lord, touching the hearts of each of my fellow missionaries.
Few other quick thoughts before I have to sign off:
John Wilson - so sorry to hear about your shoulder. Injuries are no fun, but I'm sure you know that it could be a lot worse. In fact, that's one of the best cases, in my opinion, in terms of a serious football injury. I want to share two scriptures that I think apply perfectly to your situation. Everyone else that's still reading: 1. Thank you. 2. Take note, these apply to us all.
(These are from memory so excuse any errors)
1. Isaiah 40:31 - "But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings and eagles. They shall run and not be weary, and they shall walk and not faint"
2. (Book of Mormon) - Alma 26:27 - "But when their hearts were depressed and they were about to turn back, Behold the Lord comforted them, and said: go amongst thy brethren the Lamanites and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success"
These two scriptures touch on the power of God in our lives in times of trial. He will bless those that trust him and are patient. He will also reward those who turn out and serve others in the midst of their own problems.
Finally, M. J. said something to me in a letter this week like: "I'm still the same old guy you know, even if religion might be becoming a part of me." I want everyone that reads this letter to know that religion doesn't have to define you. For some, it does. They like it that way. That's how it is for me. But I want you to know that giving religion a shot and testing it out for yourself does not have to change who you are. We are all children of God. I haven't been able to communicate this last thought exactly how I wanted, and I'm out of time, but just some food for thought.
|Bumped into our amazing Boston friends who now live in Provo!|