Elder Isaac Blake

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

Monday, July 28, 2014

July 28, 2014

Hey fam, 

Lot of news at the end of this transfer!! 1st and foremost, we'll be welcoming a new son into the family! Elder Blake has been called to become a papi! I'm going to Salta on Wed to pick him up, and yeah, that's that! Super pumped!!

 On to some buisness.

Mom, I have friends and converts from Limache writing emails but I cant respond because they're women! Can you send them an email or find them on Facebook to let them know I'm thinking about them!

K. and T. Co. - 

Then, thru them or however, will you also send messages to V G, and A. and 

G. Ya. Tell them to keep going strong and never forget to read the scrips, pray,

and go to church!!

That transitions me to the highlight of the week and perhaps the mission. 2 of my strongest converts, Ald and Ga, are going strong! T C, a member in Limache, wrote me to update me on the work there. I can’t describe the joy I felt knowing that these 2 have gone strong thru the trials and are active in the church! It’s hard to get baptized here and stay active, it’s hard to retain. The fact that they’re going strong makes all the time and effort worth it. Well on the way to exaltation!!

Elder M. died with much honor yesterday – we worked all day and even taught a few lessons. He was a great example to me of repentance and determination. He taught me a lot, and was really the perfect comp for me. Now, it’s my turn to be tested as I will have the responsibility of a brand new missionary. I’ve seen how much a comp influences one’s life, for better or for worse. I commit myself to his progress as well as the progress of the ward. Nothing else really matters. Anna, Noah, Brigham, Linc, Coop, it’s important that you all prepare for your missions now. You can enter the field and hit the ground running, already with a vibrant testimony and conversion. May we pray for your trainers and for me as well that no one gets corrupted by an old missionary with debilitated faith, because there is nothing like the strong greeny faith. Get ready now.

Brig, I realized that we’re on the same transfer schedule – today you start your last 6 weeks as a civilian! Make it count, get ready!

I’m progressively getting more stressed out with more responsibility, but don’t worry, I did 70 burpees on Saturday and the exercise and scripture study helps a ton. Our baptism turned out great, tho very stressful! Noelia came to Church literally 10 mins before her confirmation, and 20 mins before still hadn’t picked up her phone. I don’t like at all the fact that we have to stress about a person showing up for their confirmation. I feel like we often rush people too much, and now with more pull, we’ll see if I can help the people convert and not just get baptized.

Remember the tea party in Toy Story? I don’t really remember much, but I imagine every time someone serves us mate it’s something like that. I’m growing to hate mate – it’s a waste of time and has way too much caffeine. They Argentine people are loving and hospitable – great for anyone but a missionary on a short schedule trying to invite ALL to come unto Christ. Again, we’ll see how I do now that I’m in charge.

They key to success that I’ve found is what I’m going to instill in my hijo – love, obedience, and diligence. I’ve seen these attributes in each of my comps, but have yet to see the 3 together. I haven’t yet seen it consistently in myself either. This will be my challenge from here on out – AMOR, OBEDIENCIA, DILIGENCIA! I’m so stoked. Watch out for big things in Alberdi, as well as, I’m sure, many trials. 

Now, for you member missionaries. Remember that Elder Ballard wants us studying PMG/E together (I’ll be studying PMEvangelio, not sure about you). Please, let me know what you’re learning.

I’m diving into lesson 5 for new converts, because it’s now a requirement pre-baptism. The section on missionary work applies to all. Read it.

Our responsibilities are basically to take advantage of chances to answer questions and bear testimony, and pray, pray, pray! Look what I found in my personal study! Helaman 5 has a great example of a member missionary (who started out inactive!) who simply took advantage.

  35 Now there was one among them who was a Nephite by birth,who had once belonged to the church of God but had dissented from them.
 36 And it came to pass that he turned him about, and behold, he saw through the cloud of darkness the faces of Nephi and Lehi; and behold, they did shine exceedingly, even as the faces of angels. And he beheld that they did lift their eyes to heaven; and they were inthe attitude as if talking or lifting their voices to some being whom they beheld.
 37 And it came to pass that this man did cry unto the multitude,that they might turn and look. And behold, there was power given unto them that they did turn and look; and they did behold the faces of Nephi and Lehi.
 38 And they said unto the man: Behold, what do all these things mean, and who is it with whom these men do converse?
 39 Now the man’s name was Aminadab. And Aminadab said unto them: They do converse with the angels of God.
 40 And it came to pass that the Lamanites said unto him: What shall we do, that this cloud of darkness may be removed from overshadowing us?
 41 And Aminadab said unto them: You must repent, and cry unto the voice, even until ye shall have faith in Christ, who was taught unto you by Alma, and Amulek, and Zeezrom; and when ye shall do this, the cloud of darkness shall be removed  from over shadowing you.
 42 And it came to pass that they all did begin to cry unto the voice of him who had shaken the earth; yea, they did cry even until the cloud of darkness was dispersed.

I’d like to invite you all to study these 2 passages and search, ponder, and pray over what it means for you. Let us all be missionaries!!

Loving life here in Jujuy. There’s no better work or cause. I LOVE all of you. Stay strong, finish strong!

Elder Isaac Blake

PS - The pianist gets better every week Mom!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Pics from FB Mission Page

July 21, 2014


Had a fantastic week, probably the best one so far here in Jujuy. Highlights would include a few street contacts we did, our zone conference with Pres. Chaparro on Friday, and yesterday - church, studies, and the lessons , everything. 

A little pressed for time and I wanna load a bunch of pics so I'll be brief. 

Don't remember which day, but one day as we were walking home around 9:45, we were walking down a dirt path and decided to stop a talk to this dude. 

His name is Javier. He didn't give us his address because he says his house situation is complicado, but what a dope dude. We did the classic approach - 'we're missionaries from the LDS church. Can we stop by your house and share a message about JC?' He says, 'you know what, I'd like that.' hahah what? Thats insane. I thought he was rejecting us saying - 'i wouldn't like that.' He said he's come to church (didn't :( ) and as we walked away, he thanked us for stopping, because he said he's always wanted to meet missionaries but they always walk right by him. Made me happy. 

Yesterday morning, we went fetching peole to go to church. Everyone fell thru, but we invited a brother of an investigador who got the door. He’s like, ‘yeah wait up a sec, let me change.’ He came! Wow. Incredible. Never happens here.

The conference was sweet too. We did almost an hour of get to know you introductions, then they APs and Pres. and Hna. Chaparro talked about ‘adjustments’ – nothing really new, basically just that were gonna be focusing on ‘building the church’ instead of just baptizing. Love it! Dedicating much more time to rescuing and retention, with a promise that baptisms will come. Love it love it.

Sunday, we met with Noelia after she came to church. She's the next baptism - her little bro (the kid in the pic where im wearing shades) got batized in  May. She's great, but we'll see when she makes the plunge. I don't wanna pressure her - gonna defend the idea of patience with the other missionaries who will certainly pressure her. 

We also had a great lesson with Cristina and Elio - Elio is inactive and Cristina is coming to church every once in a while. We decided to just stop by and it turned out that they had been fighting and trying to work things out. We read THe Family Proclamation together and had a really spiritual lesson. Love this fam, already - watch out for big things from them. 

I have a list of things I wanna recommend to Brig for your mission - things Id change:

-3 pairs of Eccos
-the same Stafford (JCP) shirts I have
- a good quality digital watch
-a ton of ties you'd be willing to gift/trade
-a ton of pics of you and the past etc
-10 sets of garments
-flashdrives with a ton of talks and music (MoTab etc)
-2 copies of just the NT (eng and spa - check the BYU Bookstore)
-Deseret Book leather journals
-Ton of your favorite pencils and pens
-Swiss Army Knife
-Mini Foam roller
-Ton of US coins, 1 dollar bills
-Pepto Bismol tablets
-Tshirts etc from Boston and Wellesley and BYU etc to trade with comps
-BBQ rub
-Sunflower seeds
-A1 sauce

There we are fam. Have a great week. Keep reading the scrips And praying together! 

Love , Elder Blake Isaac

July 14, 2014


Disappointingly, I'm not here sweating trying to get all of my cool experiences typed and sent in a really crammed 45 mins - apart from the 2 Argentina World Cup (Mundial, in Spanish - literally means 'worldwide'), and a good baptismal service, the week was pretty slow. 

Shout to my cousins, Adam and Logan (glad you liked my excuses quote from Coach Davis), Grandma Bringhurst, Mike Dowling, Tim Superko, and my boy Robin aka Dad for the letters. Made my day. Glad to hear everything is all good in the US of A. 

I'll start with a good list of people that need prayers. It's been pretty tough numbers wise with Elder Molina - we get after it, but I at the end of the week the numbers don't reflect any ounce of our (or at least my) effort. I can't say enough about how much I love Elder Molina - he has me cracking up all day long, and he likes to work - but I must say he's not exactly "anxiously engaged" with only 2 weeks left on his ticket. With this all being said, the area is blessed still. Here is a list of people that have legitimate interests and/or potential to join the Church and become strong followers of Christ (PLEASE, pray for them):

-Noelia - She's gonna be baptized this Friday, but I feel like we may be rushing it - more than anything, she needs to keep staying strong with the embers of a testimony she has
-Mariela and Maxi Farfan
-Fabian and Florencia (the young family we found last saturday - without a doubt the best street contact and perhaps finding experience so far, but we havent seen them in almost a week)
-Silvana and Jonathan
-Cristian and Rocio
-Daniel and Maria

Wow. If we can get some steam pumping, this train will start picking up some speed. Destination: Reino Celestial!!

Also, if you're gonna pray for me, don't pray for Elder Blake. Pray for the family in my area that needs the Gospel desperately, and pray that they might find it despite the many shortcomings of the missionaries.

Friday, Walter (super capo) got baptized. Hahahaha it was hilarious, who hey chose to baptize him. Our district is 6 - we live 4 in our apt, and the DL and his comp live 5 mins away. They came to do his interview, and Elder Gutierrez (comp) was there just chillin. After, I called to ask Walter who hey wanted to baptize him. He thinks and thinks, hesitates, says, "you," hesitates some more, then says, "Elder Gutierrez is gonna baptize me." Hhahaa, given thaty they barely knew eachother, we got a good laugh. 

The service was pretty dead, but we invited 8 freshman aged kids who hopped to fence to play ball in the church into the service. Kinda awkward because they actually accepted, but at the end of the day, hopefully good for them. 

Wednesday was nuts as we listened to the reactions of the neighbors amidst ARG-Netherlands as we studied. Man, the penalty kicks were loco - every 30 seconds an eruption of anger or excitement. When they won, the town went nuts - everyone honking horns and flying flags. Good stuff. 

Yesterday, they didn't let us leave the apt after church. We took advantage of the extra time and grabbed a few fresh water fish and grilled em up on the roof. Wow, oh man, talk about good sty. Made me so pumped to actually catch the fish with the gang, then gut it, scale it, and grill it up ourselves. 13 months boys. 

Unfortunately, the squad fell. I was kinda scared leading up to and just after the game given that I look like a born and bred German - blond hair, blue eyes, tough, brawny build. Hahaha, I think I'd prefer the ´snakes´ the girls that whistle and say suggestive things in the street, about the most mild being, "¡que lindo tus ojos!" to the people that asked me menacingly if I'm German. 

I love you all so much - the emails and letters make me smile. Keep fighting. Good things come to those who wait.

Elder Blake (Isaac)

Enjoy the pics (If they load)

Shoot - next week itll have to be. Just trust that we killed it.

July 7th, 2014

Happy 4th,

New rule - only 45 mins on the copm, but now we can both write. We just spent the last hour looking for a different cyber becuase the power went out in our usual.


Talks for Dad - (All from Apr 2013) Craig Cardon, Tad Callister, and 'We Are One' by Eyring. Great for strengthening a ward, I'd think, as well as a testimony.

Mom, can you find out how I could make a decent taco seasoning with common spices?

Anyways, time to recount a great week. I'll frame it with a great verse from my persoanl study:

 40 But behold, they have received many wounds; neverthelessthey stand fast in that liberty wherewith God has made them free;and they are strict to remember the Lord their God from day today; yea, they do observe to keep his statutes, and his judgments,and his commandments continually; and their faith is strong in theprophecies concerning that which is to come.

I would consider that I recieve my fair share of wounds daily and weekly in the mission. Contacts rejected, appointments fallen through, people just disappearing, etc...

Let's work backwards. Yesterday, as ward pianist, I got to choose the hymns for sac meeting. I chose some of my favorites (and some of the only i can play): Israel, God is Calling, Nearer My God to Thee, and God Speed to Right. I played the 2nd for the sacrament, and I think it may be my favorite of all the hymns. After, as I waited to take the sacrament, I reflected upon the words (in spanish obviously). They hit me hard, and I began to tear up a bit. 

The first verse is Christ from the cross saying, "Even if you (directed at the people crucifying him) have lifted me up on a cross, I will still sing: 'nearer my God to Thee' "
Christ is our number one example. As we "recieve many wounds," we can always fall back on the fact that he received ALL. He suffered for us. I know he suffered and died for our sins, and overcame death. I know that my redeemer lives. Regardless of the suffering, he never thought about giving up hope in his loving heavenly father. 

(Now us speaking): "Even though I go astray, on my own, cover me with your love and goodness. I will still dream to be near my heavenly home, nearer my God to thee." most of the time, the wounds we recieve are self inflicted, and we ourselves are wandering aimlessly through life. However, often times we just have to roll with the punches even if we're doing the best we can. 

On Friday, went on splits with my DL in his area. Good day of work. Kinda stinks trying to celebrate the 4th here. Wore a tie I have with the constitution and flag embroidered, but nothing else really. Anyways, so we were contacting at around 8:30 pm, and we meet a real jerk, to put it simply. It was cold, and I still can't roll my rs in this blessed language. I invite him to come to church, so he can take advantage of Christ's sacrifice. He asks me what I said, blank faced, a little condescendingly. I repeat. He says, "no, blah blah blah" (sounded exactly the same to me. I say, "yeah, what did I say?" (maybe a little cheeky). He really exaggeratedly says that I butchered the word. Whatever. A minute later, I testify or whatever, say another sentence. He just says, "man, spanish is really hard for you , isn't it?" There I lost it a bit. "Yeah buddy, its a little hard. Thanks for helping me out. really friendly." We keep talking to him (classic big jerk trying to show off in front of his novia), and the 3rd time, he just says to me, "buddy, practice your spanish." I left him with my heartfelt testimony and a pamphlet, making sure to really emphasize every sound, and talk reeeeeeaaaaallllllyyyyy sllllllooooooowwwwwwllllllyyyyyyyy. Sick bro. 

Alright, so that had me down a bit. That mixed with some slow progress in the area had me study patience in PMG, which spoke to me. That led me to Alma 26, the results of the patience of Ammon and to sons of Mosiah. This verse was direct revelation: 

23 Now do ye remember, my brethren, that we said unto ourbrethren in the land of Zarahemlawe go up to the land of Nephi,to preach unto our brethren, the Lamanites, and they laughed usto scorn?

I felt pretty laughed to scorn, but decided to just rub some dirt in it and be patience with myself and others. 

The next day was tough, until about 7pm. We didnt teaching a single lesson, it was raining and cold, and just nothing happening. I'm low on time, but let's just day I decided to just buckle down and keeping pushing myself physically and mentally. What paid off for my persistence and patience we really potentialy life changing. We taught two quick lessons because we decided to just talk to whichever person was in our path. Good, spiritual, qwuick lessons. However, around 8:20 I had the best street contact of my life. 

We passed a bus stop on the way to an appointment with a really good referral. I looked to my left and said hi to the woman sitting there. I try to say hi to everyone, be friendly. Well, her face stayed fixed in my mind. It looked like she may be crying. We walked about 50 feet, and the Spirit told me to go back. Molina followed me. 

Turns out this young couple and their 6 month daughter were just about at rock bottom. They seemed to have been thrown onto the street or something, and were just down in the dumps. They had been sufficiently humbled, like the people in Alma 32. Wow. We asked them if we could take down their adress and visit. They toild us to sit down and teach them right there. Man, I can't describe the spirit that I felt as we taught them the Plan of Salvation. They accepted everything. I hate to use this phrase, but I think they're a 'familia de oro - golden family.' We cried together, prayed together, and hoped together. I testfied of patience. Man. I was on cloud 9. Fabian and Florencia. Pray for them, and 6 month old Perla. 

"The path to heaven I will find, your love will keep me up. There will be angels to guide me, nearer my God to Thee." 

No more time. I KNOW that we will find the path, but not after consistent patience and perseverance. Love is always the answer. God loves better than anyone. Oooo there's so much more to say, but no time. Don't be the people that say they want to be nearer to God, but are really just lying to themselves. There are very few who really have God and returning to live with Him as our 1st priority. Faith, obedience, and diligence. Love. Don't know how to say it better. 

Love, Elder (Isaac) Blake

Comp fell asleep while I was talking with our DL on the phone - 11 pm or so

Me and Walter this morning - dope dude who's getting baptized on Friday

San Salvador de Jujuy - a beauty