I think you get about all you need to know from Blake's email below. Blake is doing great and having some cool experiences he wouldn't have it he would have gone immediately to Panama. The best part is that he has a native Mexican companion and that he is able to work on his spanish while he's waiting for his visa to go through. We are grateful to everyone who is praying for Blake. The support that he can get from prayer is like wind in his sail. Drop him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can only respond on p-days but will get emails periodically during the week.
alright. First week in the field... it has been interesting. So I'll skip the beginning of the week since that isn't interesting. Basically my entire district left and I had to room with some other Elders...
So TUESDAY! I left at 4pm, and we learned a lot about the mission right off. We were introduced to the president, president mccune. It turns out, it is an ipad mission! super cool. I get my ipad this week :) And I'm allowed to use facebook for MISSIONARY PURPOSES. interesting. I can teach anyone in the world through facebook except people in China (they actually had a chinese elder teaching family in China and the Chinese government got mad).Provo Utah is the mission that they use for experimenting new ideas. So that is why we have facebook and ipads. And they have just released a new initiative in our mission and salt lake, it is only for spanish speaking people. Mormon.org/preguntas. the church has polled spanish non members in our area about things that are important to them and the questions they have. So in provo and salt lake we have NEW pass along cards. they have a question of the soul (who am i, why am i here, how can I be a better father, etc) it is super cool and so effective for spanish people.
I got into the mission with a super bad cold. So I was miserable but excited to be starting.I left my flag behind at the mtc :/ hoping The mission office will work hard to find it. it is important to me.
Here is the biggest challenge so far- I did not receive any information about my mission ebcause they were not allwoed to contact me. So I didn't know that I needed an overnight bag to take with me. So the solution from the APs- leave it in the truck bed so I can have access to it. Turns out that it rained that night. so here I am, with a really bad cold, not knowing anyone, and everybody else is still with their MTC companion. I wasn't able to check my luggage till wednesday night. I pulled out all my things to discover that the water had gotten into my bags and ruined most of my things. Everything is now dried out but my scriptures, all my letters, and anything made o paper is damaged, but still usable. now to the clothing- Every single white shirt I own (except 2) is stained purple, yellow, and black from the letters and everything that had ink in my suitccase. I didd laundry this morning, and bleach did not solve that problem! so that was difficult to deal with.
Now on to the missionary work- I met my companion. He is Elder Sanchez. He is from Mexico. We basically dropped off my luggage and went straight to work. The first house we came to, we were looking for a man who was not home, and we invited his grandfather to hear a message about the church, and he just sttarted yelling at us! in spanish! my comp argued with him and i tried to testify several times but could never fnish. That is when I figured out, the very hard way, that I do not understand a word of this language. I am praying for the Lord's help. I can speak to people I just can't understand what THEY say.
Thursday- That was a crazy day. We got up and did our studies and everything, and we had to go to a baptismal interview because my companion is the district leader. We had to WALK to a chapel that was about.... 30 minute walk away. Anyways, after that, we had to run the temple booth (little info booth out front of the new provo temple being built) and we were really late. We hadn't eaten lunch yet, and we didn't have much money. So my companion says he knows a cheap place. For those who speak Spanish- Mi companero es de Mexico y nosotros fuemos a un restaurente mexicano. Yo no supe que to order, and I let him order for me... nosotros comimos tripa y buche.. IN PROVO! what is going on with the world haha. Something that I have also figured out, I am in the UTAH PROVO mission. I didn't realize quite what that means. I got honked at by every other car that drives by, and we walk into places and either get a big discount or they just tell us to take it. Every 30 minutes somebody stops and asks if we need a ride or if we have eaten yet. It is just so crazy!
Friday- We had a district meeting. It was my companions first time as a DL! it was interesting and fun. Later, the hermanas aren't allowed to be inthe building alone, so we had to go to the church building to be with them (we just couldn't be in the same room.. so it seemed kind of pointless to me) and we did weekly planning for almost 4 hours. crazy. We had dinenr that night with the Woores... or Moores... I'm not sure. It is interesting because they are in our ward (it is a spanish ward) and brother woore does NOT speak spanish. so we didn't have to speak spanish. which was nice for me because I'm always dead silent if we speak spanish because I can't communicate. Although it is the opposite in english because my companion doesn't know english very well. But basically, I've decided that they are my family away from home. They are awesome. We are going over totheir house again tonight for a followup meeting :) brother woore is hawiian, and his wife is from.. I'm not sure. but she is latina.
Later we got stopped by a man who wanted to give us a ride.. it was kinda crazy. He is a pizza deliverer/wanne be missionary. He was crazy and had facial hair and like "Hey lets go on splits" it was super awkward. also, later we got to meet with an investigator we have been trying to get in touch with. We taught him for forever and he said that he was hungry for truth, and he said he would pray about getting baptized. we were almost super late that night.
Basically the rest of the week... I have lost my camera. It was in my bag, and now it just isn't. Super sad! I miss those pictures. also, We went to church. I could not understand any of the speakers, and I couldn't understand the classes, but the psirit was awesome and the members were so understanding when I couldn't understand or when I tried to talk. They are so amazing. Also- It was my first time going to Elders Quorum, and we had to teach. in spanish. So crazy. but ya. I finally realize what my dad meant when he told me you will be so frustated about not being able to communicate. It is so much worse than i imagined XD I am trying though.
I love you all! thank you for keeping up on me! The Lord is there for you, to help you through your issues. Our Savior is waiting to comfort us, we just have to ask. I am so very thankful to be our serving the Lord. It is amazing the comfort I've found when I'm feeling down. anyways.. I have to go because we have to go buy groceries. But I love you all! have a good week! talk to you next monday :)