Sounds like we've had a fantastic week, everyone. 1st and foremost, CONGRATS to 52 with your call. Vamos a dominar al mundo juntos para siempre amigaso, hermanos festejando en lindo castellano y no tan lindo español dominicano, jajaja todo bien, cheeeeeeueeuuuuuuuu yeeeeee jajjjjj!
Whoa... Sorry. My email spanish kinda just crept out. Hahahaha thats how my papi from Mexico writes me via email. jajajajajaaj = hahahahaha in spanish.
But on a more serious note, seriously the best news ever, can't wait for these next life chapters, o ¿deberia decir, capitulos de la vida?
This week has seriously been one of the best of my mission, and stretching a bit, maybe my life. I'll try and work forwards. Tuesday morning, had a quick doctors apt in the neighborhood in the north zone of Oran, where Antonio´s sister lives. Not really sure why I hadn't been feeling more initiative before to visit her, but decided we'd go out of our way to hunt her down. After walking a million miles in the wrong direction, we found his ex-partners house.The first person we talked to in the vicinity of his address knew him. I asked for "Pambola," his street name. She laughed and pointed us to his old shack. Well, his ex partner was really bitter, rightfully so, for his alcoholic past damage. I told her with I the love I could transmit that he's getting better and wants to turn his life around. We walked 2 blocks and found his sister, where he's stayed up here when he's come to visit. His sister said he hasn't been up since I've been here, but we left our number and she'll call when he makes it up. At one point when we walked the wrong way, apparently to his address, I thought I'd lost him. When we finally found his sister, it hit me how inspired our leaders are, given the transfer to this area thanks to my Pres. We live literally 6 blocks away.
Wed was Zone Conf. Wow. An incredible experience. The Levrinos started normally and we did some practices and training for a few hours. After the 2nd break (conferences are 8 hours straight), Pres turned off the lights and they spun a slide show. Very uncharacteristic of him, given his deep voice, very demanding style, the video was tender and real. They showed pics of their 3 year mission, and the words talked about the trajectory of a missionary and about how this experience is really about prepping for life and a family. Hahahaha, very trunky-inducing, which also surprised me. Anyways, the change of character was a really pleasant surprise. I felt LOVED, and there were few dry eyes.
Apart from the goodbyes, I felt that the training was directed right at me. All in all, a dope conference.
Implementing changes (minor) in the work, we saw some incredible tender mercies and miracles.
Thursday, we got out to work around 6. We were looking to contact a referral around 8, and we knocked on the wrong door. We realized as we approached, but decided to knock anyways. Wow. Out comes a family with their moto, and they don't sound very interested. However, they insisted that we just walk in and talk with their 26 year old son. We go in a meet Miguel A. He was stabbed in the rib cage last week by the dude down the street (turns out to be the referral we were looking for) and shows us his stitches. Hard core. He'd been living in Bolivia for a few months, and he found the Church there thru his aunt. Turns out he did a lot of repenting from the past life when he was the guy doing the stabbing, and was about to get baptized up there. He was planning to come here for just a few days, but he got stabbed his 1st day, and he's now staying indefinitely. We had an incredibly powerful 1st lesson. He asked, "This guy that stabbed me... Do I have to forgive him?" We testified that God forgives, and that Jesus died for the sins of the world. It was incredible.
Friday, we taught 9 lessons and found 16 new investigators, including 4 families. The standard of excellence for the WEEK is 10 new investigators. I was gassed from feeling the Spirit and seeing the hand of the Lord so much, including when my comp grabbed my arm and pulled me out of a contact when he saw a guy next to us flash us his pistol he had tucked in his pants.
Sunday morning, Miguel A. was up and ready to go to church when we stopped by at 8:30. He's got a date to be baptized within the next 2 Saturdays, depending on how things shake out. Miracles happen.
Sunday in Church, I bore my testimony. I tried to follow Elder Bednar's council on the difference between a testimony and your life story. I started by saying,, "Sé qué Dios obra y habla por medio de sus líderes del Sacerdocio." I said so with my many experiences of the week in mind, the many ways I saw Him work through other people, especially with Brigham's Spanish speaking mission call. I let the Spirit guide, and I ended up testifying of everything 'True to the Faith' says are the key elements of a testimony. I testifed from what I know however, not just what the Church says I should know. I'm grateful for my testimony.
Gotta run. Dad - brush up on your español. Brigham, don't remember what the app is called - its a green bird thing. However, the number 1 advice I'd give is to start reading El Libro de Mormon. I started late, about a month into the CCM. It'll be tough at the start, but what I did and still do for my language study is read, with an English copy opened, and write a list of every word I don't know. I'm finishing Éter now, and read fluidly with very few unknown words in each chapter.
Someone in the MTC who was learning Tongan (s/o Gpa Donkey Wonkey, WAY harder than Spanish) said that if you stick with the BoM in your mission language, you'll be able to Preach the Gospel from day 1. I agree.
THANK YOU, everyone, for your letters and your love. Just opened 11 letters this morning. the Apr 28 fhe all got here the same day. I love you all so much.
Elder (Isaac) Blake
PS - No pictures this week because the computer I'm using doesn't have a USB port.