Elder Isaac Blake

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

Monday, October 14, 2013

First Week in Argentina October 14, 2013

Ok Familia and friends - here goes! I have sooooo much I could say but I obviously only have an hour (45 mins now that I've finished printing my 10000 emails - thanks!!!)

Details first - I've been assigned to labor in Limache, a neighborhood in the very south of Salta Capital, only 20 minutes from the offices and mission home. My comp is Elder Ramirez, from Sonora Mexico. He's been out 10 months and mas que nada, an answer to much prayer. He's honestly the best trainer I could have asked for. Barely speaks English so I have to speak Spanish but he knows enough that he can help me out with new words. He's a super hard worker! Doesn't dilly dally and really knows his stuff. I'm in a pension (apt) with him and two other elders - Elder Alvarez de Honduras and Elder Durrant from Idaho. Both are great. 

Here´s the scoop on the mission: I was skeptical before about how this could be any harder that preseason in football or some strenuous task like that - only took 2 days to realize I was dead wrong! This is and is going to be the hardest 2 years of my life, up to this point, hands down. I'm talking physically, emotionally, spiritually - the whole nine yards all in one 2 year marathon of WORK. But, the good news is this - I know without a doubt that it easily has the potential to be the best 2 years, just as the movie goes, IF everyday, I work harder than the day before. If everyday, I am more obedient than the day before.  It´s how the mission works, its how life works.

One really cool thing I´ve been able to see already is the coming to fruition of the blessings and necessity of basically every piece of advice I received as I´ve been preparing. Work hard, be obedient, trust in the Lord - the keys that everyone says are imperative for success, I´ve really been able to see that they´re true.

Another realization, one a little more powerful and a liiittttllleeee more important, is the impact of these last 7 days on my testimony of the Book of Mormon, The Atonement, the Church. Honestly, I was laying in bed my first night in the pension, window open and dogs barking, cars, motos roaring, and people yelling, pretty down emotionally. It was the most lost I´ve felt in years. I started to question for the first time sincerely - why am I here, do I really wanna do this for 2 whole years, without rest, can I even do it. I was scared. I was, quite simply, sad. But, there´s also hope to this story. I said a prayer, quite simply (in Spanish of course), and asked Heavenly Father for a firm witness of the veracity of these things, the work I will be doing these two years. I didn´t doubt my faith, but I basically told myself - if by any means possible its not true, I´m freaking getting out of this strange place. If it is true, I vow to work my tail off to bring this message to as many people as I can in two years, setting aside all other worries and fears. The next few days, in the midst of constant walking (feels like 10+`miles a day), talking (trying) with people in the street, and more than anything, listening (most of this insane Argentine Spanish flying right over my head), I´ve received my answer. Little by little, I´ve been able to feel the truth of my words as they come out of my mouth in broken, Gringo Spanish. I KNOW these things are true. I EXHORT every single person that reads this email to give them a shot, ask God if the Book of Mormon isn´t His word, that it isn´t true. This is what I spend my days doing, bearing my testimony and inviting others to ask for themselves. I promise you all, as I promise these people in Limache, that this is true, that this is the path to ultimate happiness.

Running out of time so I´ll plan to disperse my thousand thoughts among the coming weeks. I´ll finish with some logistics/weird details:

1. The address my mom sent out for letters will work great! Please send stuff by pouch or whatever. 

2. Saw Leah Fessler (don´t know her but recognized her from WHS ´11) in the Buenos Aires airport. Super weird. 

3. Ned, Matt, and Dario - heard an Argentine version of Another Day in Paradise straight bumping from this run down slum house made out of cinder blocks and tin roofing. I´ll try to get a pic.

4. Can´t send very many pics today - this pc stinks

I know I can be a bit over the top at times with my emails and my love for this Gospel and this work, but I plead with you to understand that the only reason for my overbearance is that I KNOW its true and at times, I just feel like finding some higher ground and screaming for all to hear.

Love y´all

Go Raiders
Go Pats
Go Bs
Go Sox
Go Cougars
The Church is True!

Elder Blake (40)

 PS - Elder Ramirez just made the best tacos I´ve ever had. My cup runneth over!

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