Monday, September 15, 2014

El fin se acerca...

Wow, so here I am writing home for the last time... it feels weird.  I dont have that much to say this week besides how happy I am.  This last week has been amazing and we have some great things planned for this week... including the wedding of Yanet and JImmy and Yanet´s baptism all on Saturday!  Lately it has been a bit of that "on a spiritual cloud" feeling, which by the way isnt normal on the mission, and I´m just loving it and enjoying it while I can.  I don´t know if things really are that good or if my love and appreciation for my calling and the work have increased.  Maybe both!  But I want each of you to know how much I love this gospel and my Savior.  I have been privelaged to represent Him for a short time and I am so grateful for the confidence the Lord has placed in me to do His work and for the strength He has given me to be able to do it.  I know the true church of Jesus Christ was restored through Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon is TRUE! And I just want everyone to know that too! That God cares about us and wants us to be happy and has given us prophets to guide us. I love, love, LOVE this. My faith and testimony have grown so much and I hope to not just be a person of words, but continue throughout my life to progress and apply the gospel principles.  Im sure not perfect and have a long way to go, but I know I can return to live with God someday with my family.  My mission is the BEST thing that´s happened to me.

Love you all! See you soon! (and as my comp always writes home:)

Love from Lima,
Hermana Bledsoe

ps. this photo is of Abiud´s baptism.  He was one of the first people I taught in my first area.  My trainee Hna Avendaño and her trainee baptized him :)  The Lord has sweet timing!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Creo en Cristo

So this week was great! For starters, Yanet and Jimmy are OFICIALLY getting married the 19th of September and Yanet will be baptized on the 20th!  We are so excited for them.  We also had an amazing amount of investigators and less actives come to church yesterday.  Seriously a miracle because church attendance usually is pretty low here.

Wednesday we did divisions with the Hermana Leaders and I got to go (for my last one) to Monterrico with Hermana Lopez from Buenos Aires, Argentina.  She and I go way back because we were in Chaclacayo together so it was cool to catch up and also to go to such a different area than mine for a day.  It´s a very very wealthy part of Lima and they have their work cut out for them there but I met some awesome people there and we were able to teach some great lessons together and I learned a lot.

This week we are continuing to work with Abner and Fernanda who are consistently working on their commitments that we leave them and are progressing (they too arent married yet unfortunately) but we have been trying to help Abner understand the Atonement.  Never before in my mission have I had to really explain SO much about it and why its so important, or better said Ive never really had to help someone believe that He is their Savior and accept the atonement.  Abner didnt think it was fair that one person would take on sins that werent His, but we explained the Plan of Salvation and why.  He still couldnt really accept it but Fernanda told him to accept it because its part of the plan, and she made the good point that yes, He died, but that now He lives.  She´s right!  The Book of Mormon has really helped us teach him this and we invited him to pray about it.  Usually we invite people who believe in Christ to pray about the Book of Mormon but in this case we are inviting someone who truly believes in the Book of Mormon to pray about Christ.  Thanks to the Book of Mormon I too understand better the Plan of Salvation and the role of the atonement.  Thanks to the Book of Mormon I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior and can be cleansed and redeemed through His Atonement.  I am so grateful for that knowledge and I hope that Abner can come to understand it better.

I am just loving being here and trying to enjoy every single moment I can before this all ends.  I am so grateful for these experiences and excited for the wonderful moments to come! ... Like Yanet and Jimmy´s wedding! :)

Hasta la proxima!
Hermana Bledsoe

beach fun!

selfie with my comp contacting a surfer :)

Harvesting yucca at the Panduro´s!

divisions in Monterrico with Hna Lopez!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Grandes momentos

Muchos saludos!!  

So another great week here in Cieneguilla.  On Wednesday I officially hit... are you ready for it... 17 MONTHS on the mission! Wow, I never thought this time woud come.  Yesterday church was amazing because we had, for the first time in my whole mission, we had an entire family we are teaching come to church together! They are a couple in their thirties with a 5 year old daughter (the ones I said had never imagined there were prophets in the Americas) named Abner and Fernanda.  They really liked church and actually that day President Boswell came to our ward and spoke and got to meet them. They are really doing their commitments and we are very hopeful! We have to take things a bit slowly with them because they dont really have a religious background (rare in Peru) but this week we will be teaching them the Plan of Salvation and hopefully that will clear up questions or doubts about why Jesus Christ is important.  They are really great and really are trying to understand.

So last week we had a little scare with Yanet and Jimmy because Sunday night we talked to Yanet and she said they were back to their old plan of being married in November. We coudnt believe they had seemed to have gone backwards and forgotten all we had taught about faith and repentance.  On Monday night we talked to them about it and asked if they had consulted the Lord in the matter and they said no, but that they probaby should. We taught them the parable of the ten virgins and it was actually about a wedding so it was perfect for their situation.  We talked about being prepared for when Chirst comes and they realized they shouldnt put off their wedding any longer, but promised to pray about it to get a confirmation from God.  The next day we came back and they obviously had had their answer because they were full-on wedding planning.  This week they will be traveling to where they were each born in order to get their partidas (birth certificates), which is a requirement to be married.  So we are hoping they have a set date by the end of this week.  We found a "mass wedding" (cheaper and less requirements) in Lima on the 20th so we are hoping it will all work out for that date.

We had a great lesson about the Plan of Salvation with a 19 year od named Gerson.  I just loved how after we drew it a out on a chalkboard and explained it all, he was looking at it and said, "Its not that complicated." We were like YES!! Someone that GETS it!  As Elder Corbridge of the Seventy says, "Life is hard, not the gospel."  I love being a missionary and having these "aha" moments and experiences. Its the BEST!  I love the Savior so much and teaching people His gospel is just so rewarding.

Love you all! Cuidense mucho!

Hermana Bledsoe

Ps- We had a fun p-day with our district at some ruins here in Cieneguilla.  What was more exciting was the members house we went to afterwards and climbed a hill with this great view.

Hna Mendoza, Hna Hazelton, Hna Bledsoe, Hna Villarini


Hna Bledsoe

MORE bday cards came... GRACIAS!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

"You should feel HAPPY!"

So this week was also a busy one too.  Monday for p-day we got permission to go to La Molina because Hna Villarini had to buy new shoes and it was a really fun shopping day with my American companion.  We even ate lunch at Subway and had REAL chocolate chip cookies for the first time in a long, long time. It was so fun.  
Tuesday morning we had interviews with President Boswell and while there I got the b-day cards Nathan and Haley had sent me that I loved a lot! Thanks! (Hopefully Sadie´s letter comes soon too.)  Before interviews I was pretty nervous just because I´m getting to know the new president but mine was amazing. First of all, it was all in English. So I walk in and he says to me, "Hermana Bledsoe, what´s new?!" and I was like, "Well, I got transferred!" and he asked me about that and how I felt and I told him how amazing the transfer had already been and about Hna Villarini and I being "family" and he was very happy to hear about that.  We talked about a lot of things and we eventually came to the subject of me finishing my mission.  He asked how I was feeling and I said I didn´t really know how to feel.  He said, "You should feel HAPPY!" because I´ve worked hard and am finishing my mission with honor.  So yeah, that is my attitude about it now.  I´m happy I´m finishing, not because I won´t miss being a missionary or all the amazing people here, but because I´ve done my best.  And I feel good about that.  I have been soooo blessed to have a great mission and the coolest mission presidents. I LOVE President Boswell!  

So this week we´ve had some fun missionary activities in our ward: one night we did a big Family Home Evening at the ceviche restaurant with a great turnout and Friday night we did a Noche de Juegos and like 50 people showed up and it was a blast.  We are trying to get things like this going so that the next time more members bring their nonmember friends.  Activities are such a great way to introduce others to the church and church members. And they can be really FUN.

This week we had a zone meeting and our zone leaders told us that the focus now in the mission and for the area will be much more reactivation.  A reactivation is equal to a baptism.  I remember Elder Cook told us that last year too.  So we are going forward with a big emphasis on that and it´s really true that by doing that we can also continue to baptize a lot because a lot of less active families have members who aren´t members of the church.  This week we havent been able to track down many of our less active/inactive familes, but we are continuing to search for and work with them! They are just as important to the Lord.

We also had Stake Conference this weekend, my last one in Peru.  This stake (La Molina) has all the people who are here working and serving for the church so there were a LOT of gringos. That was pretty cool.  We met the senior missionary couples who work in the area offices and it was a great meeting. It´s just too bad the stake center is "too far" for our investigators to go...

So just know I´m super happy and really enjoying my time. My companion is awesome and we just are loving the work and our area.  The gospel and the Book of Mormon are true! We taught a new couple this week and are helping them to understand what the book of mormon is and the husband said, "I never imagined there were prophets in the Americas."  We were there to testify to them that God really CAN do that!  It IS possible and it IS true!!

Tengan una semana excelente! Les quiero mucho!
Hermana Bledsoe
hna villarini and I after a long day...crazies

hna villarini, hna hazelton and I at the activity

Monday, August 18, 2014

Nietas, cambios, y cumpleaños!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

P-day Pics

Hey all! Hope you had a great week!  I dont have much time  left but here goes:

Monday we went to the "touristy" part of Lima as a zone and when we got there there was some kind of protest and so at first we couldnt enter the main part so we went to another part where there are shops and stuff and later went to the Plaza de Armas. Great day.

Tuesday was our last district meeting this transfer and the rest of the week flew by.  We have transfers tomorrow so well see what happens!  Not much else thats new, gotta go! Sorry to be short this week!

Hermana Bledsoe

Last Monday we went to El Centro de Lima... Viva Zona Surco!!!

our zone the day we met the Boswells!

this one time when my comp did my hair

and we went to Machu Picchu

At the Plaza de Armas with Hnas Blackwell, Ponce, and Hernandez

Hna Hernandez made Honduranian tacos! Cocina selfie with my comp creeepin

Monday, August 4, 2014

Santidad al Señor

So last week went super slowly until we finally got to go to the TEMPLE on Wednesday!  It was amazing. We had our session at 9 am and a few other zones went that day so we got to see lots of friends and that was great.  But before all of that, the session was awesome.  Lately I enjoy the temple like a yummy dessert, trying to get as much out of it as I can and savor the short time I have there enjoying it as I can.  Surely Satan tried many times to take away the peace and the Spirit I felt there before and afterwards, but I made a strong effort to not let anything bring be down or cause me to lose the Spirit.  He knows how much strength that experience gives to the missionaries.  But there is always opposition in all things! 

After leaving the temple we found another zone in the cafeteria in the adjacent building and I got to see Hermana Thiel there! Super cool.  She told me that a family from Chaclacayo (the Roman family) was on their way to the temple and so I got to see them for a little bit and it was amazing! Also saw my old companion Hermana Pardo (who finished her mission in December but was visiting Peru) outside of the temple! It was a great day and even the SUN was out! In Lima!! 

But I´m doing great, loving the work.  Wish you all the very BEST week this week! Love you!

Hermana Bledsoe