Elder Isaac Blake

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

Monday, August 25, 2014

Aug 24, 2014

Hey fam,

We had a good good week - I've briefly scanned some of your emails from today - thank you all for the support, especially you mom!! We're trying to focus on the people and their eternal well being. I'm learning to stand up for what I feel is right, regardless of what anyone else says.

Had some really riveting experiences this week. I feel like Blake Dowling a bit in that I finally have a pool of consistent investigators that don't come and go from week to week - we saw a lot of progress in some and others sadly hit some walls. 

Monday, we taught the Restoration to an older woman who's Catholic and lets us know, but has family problems and wants our help. She actually understood, and we knelt in prayer to ask together if Jose Smith saw HF and Jesus. She asked humbly, and we knelt there for legit 5 minutes in silence. She said she felt God responded. Jubilee. Haven't seen her since tho...

Had 2 jovenes, Ag. and Jul. , that both made a ton of progress this week. I've been teaching them for more than a month now. Ag. told us that some classmates saw her LdM in her backpack and started making fun of her. She stayed strong tho - we've been working with her to work up the courage to come to church and Elder Miño gave her an alarm clock. I was playing the piano when I saw her walk into Sac Meeting. I almost fist pumped I was so happy. 

Jul. is reading the book of Mormon and finally accepted a firm baptismal date. He got to church on his own at 9 (before us!).

Our boy Le. got baptized! Unfortunately, Mar. and Luc. wimped out or got scared or something and told us they want to wait. We feel like we should focus on their mom (H.) and baptize the 3 together, 
but there is a lot of pressure from upstairs to baptize the girls ASAP. Like I said, learning to defend what I feel the Spirit is telling me at all costs. 

Wed, we showed up to prep Le., but instead he had 5 buddies waiting that he wanted us to teach. Taught the Gospel and all accepted dates, but they disappeared after. We'll work with Le. and each one individually. Their neighborhood is the most ghetto and all have struggled with drugs or are currently struggling. Sunday, we took a blind man, who we met on a street corner last week, to church. Hugo. Capo. He liked church and wants to come back. Sunday was also filled with the Highs and Lows. Backtrack first tho - 

Wed, we taught Flo. and gave her a LdM. She said she's been praying to know if Jose Smith was a prophet and on her own felt that she received an answer. I feel SOOOOO much love for her and Fab. They are changing my life. Unfortunately, we received some bad news about them. Early Sun morning, someone kidnapped their 7 month old daughter. We didn't know more than that until the afternoon. Around 9:30, we were walking with Hugo when Fab. flagged us down. I ran across the street (after looking both ways), and just hugged the heck out of him. He was distraught and a bit drunk. I felt horrible for him, but also felt peace in that everything happens for a reason and that everything will be ok. 

I told him I love him and we’re praying for them.

In the afternoon, we stopped by his mom's house and she told us they found P. (the baby) but that she thinks Flo. was in the police station behind bars. She didn’t know more and that's the last thing we’ve heard. Pray for them please.

Ended the semana, despite the ups and downs, with one of the best lessons of my life. We taught our boy Adrian, who went to church last week – a miracle in and of itself. We planned to give him a LdM and invite him to be baptized. The plan worked to perfection and our comp study practices helped a ton.

I feel more love for this 70 year old than anyone else I know (biased feelings right now obviously). He’s just the def of  boss hog.

He takes our questions and savors them in his mind, then very calmly and sincerely answers. He’s legit. He understands. When I invited him to be baptized, he paused.......


YEEEEEESSSSSSSSSS, Lettttttssssss goooooooooooooo.

We invited him for Sep 13 and he said it'd be better the 20th because he’s gonna throw his b-day party on the 13th. I asked – we’re not invited (yet).

Hahahah anyways, I’m loving the people and the places. There is a lot of happiness in this true work. Happy b-day Noah !!!  Weird to think that a year ago Wed I entered the MTC (Missionary Training Center). Time flies, don’t miss it.

I’ll end with a dope quote from Pres - "donde tiene puesta su mirada, su atención, su enfoque o como quiera llamarlo determinara en gran medida lo que recibirá y los resultados que tendrá en la vida."   (Google Translate: "which has on your look, your attention, your focus or whatever you call it largely determines what you will receive and the results they have in life.")

Love ya'll, 

Elder Blake

Monday, August 18, 2014

Week 3 with the hijito

Dearest Family,

We often say here that the mission is like one long roller coaster - it's full of highs (really high) and lows (really low). This week in and of itself was a roller coaster, as mom kinda anticipated. Hit some highs, and took a pretty sharp plunge around Tues-Thursday, but recovered. I was really pretty down in the dumps around the hump, but I can't quite determine why exactly - what counts is that we climbed out together and are back on the horses. 

Monday night, we out of the blue ended up taking Fab. and Flo. to a members house to teach them! It was kinda a tender mercy moment as we didn't plan it or anything, and everything turned out great. The Aldape fam fell in love with Perla, their 7 month old baby, and they also provided great testimony. 

Tuesday, we had a Zone Meeting - long story short I tend to get irritated with these meetings. The ZLs do their job really well, which is iron out problems and help us set and reach goals, but it always ends up feeling like a pre-game locker room speech with them raising their voices and calling people out. They tend to deflate my confidence rather then build it up - I'm working on loving and trusting and following the leaders. Their intentions are all there but I feel like the spirit of trying to serve like Christ and become like Him kinda gets lost under the goals and quotas for baptisms. Kinda makes me scared if they call me as some sort of leader (and also bothers me that since the MTC people around me have been telling me I'll be AP some day). Just trying to stay humble and love the people, one day at a time.

Anyways, riding some pressure, Wed and Thursday failed miserably. All they talked about was finding new investigators, and Mon-Thursday we had 0. Standard for the week is 10. I kinda just spiraled down and had to work hard on keeping the faith. It felt like within a matter of 3 days I went from being on top of the world to in the bottom of a well. Still not really sure why - I think a lot of factors, and a lot of negative thinking. 

I think the biggest would be a principle in these verses in D&C 58:

31 Who am I, saith the Lord, that have promised and have not fulfilled?
 32 command and men obey notrevoke and they receive not the blessing.
 33 Then they say in their hearts: This is not the work of the Lord,for his promises are not fulfilled. But wo unto suchfor their reward lurketh beneathand not from above.
Wed, our comp study just wasn't that focused or worthwhile - a lot of distractions etc. I felt like such lack of focus, diligence, and obedience just killed us. Started the day off showing the Lord it didn't matter as much, and he thus tried our patience and faith. If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear. We weren't prepared...

Well, I repented, and was very grateful for the Sacrament yesterday. 

Friday we got up and decided to change our circumstances, and the weekend was really good (despite the fact I lost my voice).

Speaking (hahahahah) of losing my voice... turned out to be a huge blessing in disguise for our companionship. Elder Mino dominated this week - he's been a little scared that he doesn't know enough to be teaching and controlling lessons, but he was forced to this week... and he killed it. He's riding 3 weeks, but is already way farther ahead than I was with 3 weeks. I love this kid, he's a boss. We really bonded as a team this week, especially with him stroking his confidence and me on the sidelines a bit. Great all around. 

What's more, there's nothing like having a brother at your side when everything falls through and everyone rejects us. Thursday, we were just knocking on doors, and there was one contact in which we persisted and persisted, but nothing. The 3rd intent, Mino came in with his testimony, and as I watched him, I was filled with love for him and the blessed woman rejecting us, and the Lord, and this work. A moment of peace in a day of chaos. 

Friday morning had one of the best lessons of the mission. We were teaching Hy., Ma., and Lu. - our family of 4 plus more. They have problems not limited to their family - the kids are always fighting. Friday, Hy. told us the problem isn't improving, even though they read the LdM and pray together. We were able to tie in this problem with principles of the Plan of Salvation, obedience, and baptisms for the dead. We both felt very guided by the Spirit as we taught these principles that we had planned. We reached a point in which I just bore my testimony and shared my love for them. It was powerful. I freakin love this family, and through some tears I told them. Left feeling very edified and inspired. 

We had a miraculous coule of church attendances. The work is picking up, despite my stupidness. 

Looking forward to teaching and loving and serving this week

Love you all,

Go Raiders!

Elder Blake
Me and L. - CAPO. Gonna be baptized Sat!

Friday, August 15, 2014



Fam and friends, it's been another dope week up here in Jujuy.

I'll be a bit all over the place, forgive me. Sufficeth to say that it's impossible to ever complain - I feel love and loved. It's the best feeling. 

Tuesday-Friday were good days, but they had me missing last week a bit. It's really tough to top a week like that, but yesterday (Sunday) may have been the best day of my mission, right in time for the big 2 - 0 cumpleaños!! So yeah, I'm pumped. 

The work here is picking up speed like Matty Lawrence on a break-away.  Yesterday, we had 7 people at church, and they all got there early. Talk about a tender mercy miracle also. 

We went to walk with Hyd, Nach, Mar., Lu., and Luc. at 8:30 (starts at 9). They live on the opposite end of the area, but we ended up arriving at 9 on the dot. Not sure how I feel, but when they got there, a family visiting the Church for the 1st time, they were the 1st ones there. The only other people there were the Bishop and Primary Pres. Kinda embarrassing for the ward really, and they talked about punctuality in council after church. We got them integrated in primary, young mens and womens, and RS(Relief Society). 

We also had a miraculous appearance of Fab. and Flor. - if you go back to my letter in the 1st or 2nd letter in July, we contacted and taught this young couple at a bus stop - they we're in a tough place. 

Well, Flo. left Fab. with their 6 month old daughter and he's been on his own for a few weeks. We saw him around town, but couldn't find him at home. I lost quite a bit of hope that we could help them. 

However, the Lord is merciful despite my incredulity. 

Last Sunday, we saw them walking with their stroller and just waved, but I noted that Flo. was back. A hope booster right there, but didn't think much of it. 

One or two more times, we saw them this week just walking around - kept telling them we'd stop by, but we were so busy we couldn't. THEN, Saturday night, we saw them AGAIN, just going for a walk. We didn't think much of it, but Fab. said - hey tomorrow there's church right? I then thought - here we go again, they commit and tell us to walk with them, but they're just blowing smoke. However, I wasn't gonna deny them obviously. We set it up to walk together at 9:30. Let's see.

We show up like we said and knocked really loudly - wait 1 or 2 mins. Knock again.... Fab. opens the window and says they'll be right out! Hahaha LETS GOOOOO literally I said. They came out all ready about 10 mins later and we hit the road with their stroller. 

On the way, turns out that Flo.'s mom is a member. Home run! I invited them to be baptized Sept. 13 and they said yes. We got to Church together and went to Gospel Principles. The topic was the Word of Wisdom - hahah love it when people come for the first time and we throw a weird new commandment at them. However, they ate it up and really hit him because drinking was what almost split them up. They made friends with a few members and it was really just a home run all around. 

Hahahah lets goooo we also had an extra bed in the apt that was collecting dust, and they asked us out of the blue if we had a spare bed. This morning, we took it over and then to top it off, they both came to the Church to play soccer. Fab. plays dope and Flo. sat there with their daughter and watched like a champ. LEEEETTTTTSSSSS GOOOOOOOO.  

Contacting them changed my mission, and to see them progressing all of the sudden after thinking it was a fluke is just the best. 

As far as Lean., another CAPO, he was there in Priesthood at 9. He drew me a pic of Jesus and a little lamb for my birthday. Incredible to think that we met him just 2 weeks ago - we've already taught him all the missionary lessons and he's just waiting to go to church one more time so he can be baptized. This kid makes all the work worth it. 

Hy. and her kids love when we go over and I love it too. Friday, we explained the Book of Mormon again and how it will bless their family. I don't really remember much more of the lesson, but I'll never forget how I felt. Hy. is one of the strongest, realest, most sincere people I've met. She's gone through the valley and back, and as a result, she's humble, not bitter. She sees the choices her older children have made, and instead of complain, she just buckles down and says she wants her kids to find a different path. They've found it. Seeing her strength fills me with love. When we left the lesson, I was overcome with pure love, TPLOC (the pure love of Christ). One of the best moments of my life. On top of the world.

To close, I frickin love the Book of Mormon. It speaks to me literally. I've been studying Helaman this week - especially chapter 12. I'm certainly not exempt from pride, and yeah, I've been battling with it a bit this week. Pride stinks - it's the gateway sin to all others. Lack of love, annoyance, hatred, laziness etc. all stem from pride. Let's battle pride, and humble up together.

Thanks for all your prayers! Seriously seeing so many miracles here and I can feel the strength of all of you pulling for us. 

LOVE you,