Elder Isaac Blake

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

Monday, April 7, 2014

Helllllooooo Family and everyone,

Gonna try and get everything I want in this letter, but I'm bound to forget something. 1st, logistics:

1. There's a new law in ARG that you can't send packages from outside the country. DON'T SEND ANYMORE PACKAGES. It stinks, and I've really appreciated all the love I've gotten, but that's life. Just gotta roll with the punches. 

2. Someone (I'll keep them anonymous) asked me for some advice on how to stay close to God, especially with so many competing priorities. I'm gonna paste a few videos that answer the question better than I. My short answer: pray, and serve others. Get on your knees and pour out your heart to our Heavenly Father. Then, lose yourself in the service of others.

3. Thank you to those who wrote to me this week.  It means so much to me. I'm sorry that I don't have time to write you back individually.  Please know that I am thinking about you. I only have 45 minutes total on the computer and that includes correspondence/check-in with the mission leaders.

Alright. So this week, I've been increasing evermore my focus on developing charity, especially with my companion. We get along fine, and we really don't have problems, he's a great guy, but I've realized that love starts at home. Considering I don't have a home besides him and our meager apt, that's where its got to start. Anyways, some spewed experiences:

About 2 weeks ago, I decided to just focus on the little things. I try and tell him, as well as other people we meet with, that I love them. "Le quiero" is the Spanish way of saying it in a brotherly way. I've felt the Spirit dwell more in our home, and I've seen slight changes in his countenance as well. I love you all, and I know that saying I love you can make a world of difference. 

Studying the other day, I came across a dope verse: 1 Peter 2:17

aHonour all men. Love the bbrotherhoodcFear God. Honour the dking.

Man, if you know me, you know I love brotherhood. I value respect and honor. I love the Gang, as well as my own blood. Brigham, Noah, Lincoln, and Coop - I love you guys. 

What is often really a challenge for me is loving those who aren't that close - an unconditional, Christ-like love for any and everyone with whom I interact. I'm praying fervently that I might develop this love and respect for ALL, to try and see life from their shoes. It's tough, but worthwhile. 

Moving on to Conference (Julia here: General Conference for our church happens every April and October and it is incredible - I recommend listening)  - I went in with this focus - love. I was moved by Pres. Monson's talk on Sunday, as it touched EXACTLY what I've been worrying about lately. I know he is a prophet of God, and that Jesus speaks to the world through him. 

The Priesthood session as a whole was incredible. Oh how I missed going to the good old Weston building with the boys, and especially how I missed the times I've been able to go with Grandpa. I just love you guys and Conf so much. I was struck by the 3 talks of the 1st Presidency, and especially Uchtdorf's talk. I think he's my favorite speaker of all time, and this talk was true to form - a classic literature reference, with practical Gospel applications for a happier, more Christ-like life. 

I have accumulated about 200 GC (General Conference) talks on a flash drive in my 6 months in the field. After the Sunday afternoon sesh, I was longing for more. I went directly to my Uchtdorf folder and listened to 3 talks before bed. Oh how I love Conference. Please, study the talks, you that have free time to do so. There are so many things I want to study, with so little time, that I find unfortunately GC taking a backseat. Study the words of our prophets. 

An. went 2 hours north for the weekend and we're not really sure what's up with him. He can get baptized as soon as he stops drinking, but we don't even know if he's gonna keep living in Limache. 

We had almost the entire C. fam come to Sunday Conf, including Fr. (super rebellious). He slept, but we think we can see a change in him. He accepted a baptismal date, but I'm a bit skeptical due to past experience. Ro. went partying all night and didn't come unfortunately. 

I'll close with a final experience. Wednesday, I felt prompted to fast. Not really sure why, just did. Well, it turns out that Wednesday night, we finally got A's parents at the table together to have them sign her baptismal form. They had been saying they wanted her to wait. Well, we made friends a bit, then just asked them. Dad asks, "what happens after? Does she have to go out preaching like you guys?" Ahahahaha. Nope. We explained the 5 steps of the Gospel - Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Endure to the End. They're like, "cool." He signed, then ran back upstairs to watch Boca play (futbol). I'm not sure if God wanted me to sacrifice a bit of myself for that reason specifically, but I don't take it for coincidence. 

My testimony is a strong as ever. I want nothing more than to lead a humble life of daily prayer and scripture study, weekly partaking of the Sacrament, and selfless, Christ-like service. These simple, foundational things were a guiding theme of this wonderful conference. Please, do them. Do the little things consistently. I love you all very much. 

Elder Blake
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