Elder Isaac Blake

Elder Isaac Blake
Email: isaac.blake@myldsmail.net

Sunday, October 6, 2013

September 13, 2013

Isaac ran into Elder Zenger
Great to hear from you all. There's some sort of computer bug here and we almost didn't get to email you but I found one of 10 computers that works!
I can't think of much of anything exciting to reports. I got called as a Zone Leader effective sometime early next week when the two Mexican districts leave. I'm also gonna stay DL (District Leader) since there are only 5 in the District. That's gonna be weird, but whatever the Lord needs me to do, I'm doing! The biggest thing that stood out was/is some internal struggle I'm having with my companions/the whole zone. Motivation. It seems like I'm one of the only missionaries in the zone who really wants to put their shoulder to the wheel and really work as hard as I can. There are varying degrees, some being worse than others, but most of the people seem to have this constant need for socializing, distractions, and all-in-all worldly things. I guarantee I'm turning soft and making it out way worse than it is, but I just value these 2 years of pure, absolutely-no-need-to-worry-about-myself, dedicated 2 years where I am called to help others improve their lives through Jesus Christ. At times it's been discouraging and down-right saddening. I'm trying to just worry about myself but that goes against everything that has to do with charity, which is the point of the mission. This concern made itself most obvious when my comps and I tried to teach one of our investigators (played by our teacher). We didn't really prepare much because we'd all been just reading the Book of Mormon during personal study. I'd barely even cracked PMG (Preach My Gospel). We tried to go in and just "teach about the BoM" (Book of Mormon) and boy did we fail miserably. Our teacher could tell we weren't prepared and just fired us with tough questions. By the time we got to the end, I started to break down a little. I bore my testimony of the power of the gospel and I pictured my best friends, as if I was teaching to them. It hit me so hard that the investigators I'm going to be teaching will have (or have had in the pre-existence) best friends that would do anything to help them receive the gospel and the ultimate happiness. How I would feel if I wasted even one lesson on someone, and then had to explain to their best friend that I just didn't feel like preparing, made me sick.
I've made it my resolve to do close to nothing for myself. When I read the Scrips, I read from an investigator's perspective. When I pray, I pray for my investigators and companions. Now, if only I could help my fellow missionaries understand the grave importance and responsibility in our hands. When Elder M studies, he reads Jesus the Christ (a great book) and the Book of Mormon (the best book), but I can tell it's for his own learning. He himself is a completely different story for another email, but let's just say that until I met him, I'd only ever heard of the self-righteous, self-centered Utah Mormon. Drives the whole room CRAZY. I'm just trying to love both my companions.

As part of my resolve, I found a fantastic scrip, D&C (Doctrine & Covenants) 38:30, whcih says "if ye are prepared ye shall not fear." After that train-wreck of a lesson, I sincerely feared for the first time about my mission. I'm by far the best Spanish speaker in the two districts, but I still couldn't teach effectively without prep and study of the doctrine. It's way hard to picture the first month of my mission and having success - Argentines speak super fast in a slurred accent. BUT, my message is of hope! The lesson in class after our horrible lesson was about the importance of prayer. That night, I prayed for quite some time, just pleading for peace of mind and confidence, for the assurance that I can be effective in demonstrating love - for the gospel and for my investigators. about 2 minutes after I finished, laying in bed, I had a prompting to read my patriarchal blessing. My prayer was answered: right then and there. In my blessing it basically says that if I work hard and trust in the Lord, I will become and instrument in his hands. It was a powerful reassurance, needless to say.
It can be tough at times being with the same people all the time, literally. I've always had that problem. Whether family, friends, or random people, almost anyone will drive me nuts after spending an extended, unbroken period of time with them. I strive to be an example of not being light-minded, worldly, of studying hard yet still having fun and being happy. I don't say this to brag or anything, just to vent. These guys put me on a pedestal: "When I'm in a lesson and don't know what to say, I just think 'what would Elder Blake say,' " or "if only I could speak spanish as well as Elder Blake I'd be a great teacher!" The worst thing ever happened after a TRC lesson (basically old people from Utah Valley volunteer to have us teach them a Home Evening lesson). My comps didn't say much b/c they didn't prepare and they can't speak too much, so I pulled out a great scrip from Alma 7ish about the importance of trials and delivered that as our message. I was able to get the message across pretty well and the husband we were teaching happened to be a retired AP Spanish teacher and Mexico RM (returned missionary). He pulled me aside, albeit in front of my comps, after the lesson, and said (loud enough for them to hear) "You're gonna be an AP - I can feel it." It was a great compliment, but I could just feel that pedestal rising. I'm no better than anyone in this MTC, but because I work hard and trust in the Lord, people think I am. It's just frustrating. And if it sounds like I'm complaining, I'm sorry. Life is great. And this is nothing compared to the complaints I hear every day.
I'm super grateful for the examples in my life, all of you that have helped me feel the Spirit, and realize the need and responsibility we have to consecrate our lives in the service of our God. I honestly haven't felt an inkling of homesickness or separation anxiety. (Ok that's not entirely true. When I get a DearElder or email from friends, I miss home a tiny bit. AND, yesterday when I looked at my watch and realized Brigham in the middle of pre-game, my heart sunk. I miss you so much man. For a few minutes, I missed football and the 781 fall breeze and WHS. Then I snapped out of it and went to class, but I do still miss it). I know I'm in the right place, doing the right things. Love you all! I'm so blessed!
OK, Here are the logistical things I wrote first so I wouldn't forget:

Brigham, so bummed to hear about the tough loss. Keep your head up though. Sounds like a lot you can take out of the game to build off of and improve on. You know you're always in my prayers. Now's the most vital time to keep stepping up and be an example of positivity and work-ethic. Just be a beast and you guys will be just fine!

S/o to Isaac Catch! Congrats on the mission call! So pumped for you; I know you'll do great things!
So I got 3 shots yesterday which I think means I'm either set or close to it. They cost $190.00 and they told me to have you call 801 422 8940 to pay. Thanks!!!
Can you send me the Ainge's address?
Pictures aren't working today. Don't know if you guys even want them. I haven't taken many anyways but I can if you want.
Love you!
Elder Blake
Reppin Lehigh - Ya tu sabes! (You already know)

No comments:

Post a Comment