Haven't read Brig's full letter but it sounds to me like perhaps my week wasn't as trying as his. Hey, he's a tough kid and it happens to us all in the first few weeks in the mish. Gotta buckle down and get over the hump. Love everyone, because it's probably that they've got it worse than you. Told this to 52 but I'll say it again - I don't think it's in our blood as Blakes to be able to pronounce very well the beautiful language of Español/Castellano. Just 2 days ago we taught an 11 year old punk kid that every 2 minutes corrected how I said something. I said in the opening prayer - "Bless Ivan that he can understand this message, despite the fact that we don't speak Spanish very well" (Philpot is 6 months in, from AZ). Hahahah he says, "Amen. Hey (pointing to me) YOU, don't speak Spanish very well, he speaks fine." A mission, as life, teaches us humility.
Speaking of Humility, I feel that it's tough to be a leader to those who aren't so humble. There are stark contrasts in the companionships in my district. Found something interesting in my personal study in Moroni 7 (I'm gonna finish studying the LdM in Spanish for the 1st time this week!!)
Interesting stuff here. Moroni judges the people to have the hope necessary to return to God's presence because... of their "peaceable walk" with others. In Spanish the translation would be pacifying conduct - basically being a peacemaker (hahaha how many times did I hear that phrase growing up - you rock mom!!)
He talks about the lack of faith in the people, but provides this interesting bit - he says that a measure/sign of faith (the faith in JC needed to be saved) because of their meekness! As I type, I realize my observation is actually quite obvious, but I loved this connection. End of story - lets be more humble, because if we're not, we won't progress and won't be exalted.
I'll end my letter with a great example of humility. We're teaching a family - a humungous family. Well, in the house, I think there are 3 families or something, all related to the same grandmother, Eva. She's fantastic - prepping to be baptized in a few weeks. She can't read, but is great (last Fri we taught the law of the fast and she fasted 24 hours Sat--Sunday). Well. The principal investigators are 3 grandchildren - Nahuel and Mayra, 14 and 10. They all missed church yesterday so we went in the afternoon to see what's up. All this time, we've been trying to convince their parents to come listen with Eva and their kids, but they're always busy. It's been looking like Eva would get baptized with her 2 grandkids - not the best support system ya know? Well, yesterday, we (they) were blessed with a miracle. We finally got Jose, the dad, to listen.
What a humble man. It was awkward at first - seemed like we kinda just sat him down and forced him to listen, not that interested. We testified of the Restoration and the LdM, and at the end he opened up to us and told him he's been looking for something different in his life. He feels a bit empty, lost. He'd listened a few times to the missionaries 30 years ago and liked what he heard, but they disappeared. He told us he felt really good and believed what we taught him. He hopes he's found his path; I know he has.
Freakin LOVE my compañero Elder Philpot from AZ - such a boss. Found a sure, lifelong friend. Pray for us that we'll be able to work together for 2 transfers. We work and live really well together.
Love you all!!!
Elder Isaac Blake