Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Feliz Navidad y Año Nuevo!!

SO!  This week went pretty quick and slow at the same time. Because of the holidays it was inevitably going to be slow, but we were able to make the best of it.  On Monday after I got to do my Skype call we went with the Hermanas in Morón (yeah, it´s like "moron" with an accent, haha) from our zone to this cerro in their area with their pensionista.  There are hundreds and hundreds of stairs that lead to the top of the cerro that overlooks all of Ñaña (funny name as well), Morón, and Chaclacayo. It took Hermana Thiel and I about 45 minutes to get up there and the view was spectacular! The pictures don´t really do it justice.  We were super hot and sweaty so I apologize for how the pics turned out but it was so fun!  Afterwards we somehow had enough energy to go for a long run down to Ñaña and we got some pictures printed there.  It was a fun day and a good way to burn off just some of the paneton and hot chocolate we have to eat this time of year!

The 24th we had district meeting and afterwards a family from our ward invited the whole zone to a turkey lunch at their house, every year they invite all the missionaries over Christmas Eve and so we as the four sisters in the zone went early and helped Hermana Gonzalez make all the various side dishes while the turkey was cooking. It was a super fun afternoon and our zone is the BEST!  Seriously we are so funny hahaha.  That evening Hermana Patrocina (our pensionista) made us a TON of food, most of it being meat (pollo, bistec, rachi, anticucho, etc.) and we thought we were going to die of heart attacks! Haha.  (They cook with tons of oil here too!)  But she is super sweet and wanted us to have a great Christmas.  We went to bed at 10:30 or 11 but at 12 there were tons of fireworks going off so we didn´t sleep much.  The next morning Hermana Thiel and I had a traditional American Christmas morning and opened our presents under our tiny tree.  The night before, our convert Eduardo gave us the sweet beanies and headbands and Hermana Patrocina gave us boxes of "Besos de Moza" (I swear she is trying to fatten us up! :))  Thanks family for all you sent me! (Loved the CDs Dad, they are perfect!) And I am learning how to make those rubber band bracelets... I wear the one y´all sent me every day.  And the mission gave us a bunch of cool "recuerdos." So all that stuff was really fun, but the highlight of the day was definitely getting to go out and visit.  It was hard to find people that would let us come in for a bit, but we had some success later on in the afternoon/evening when we went caroling with the Elders and our ward council and passed by and visited some less actives and investigators all together.  Everyone felt the Spirit so much that now we have plans to go again in two big groups and visit more people this Saturday.  It was really cool to see how excited everyone got about the work and how much just a small thing like a song could open people´s hearts so much.

After Christmas the rest of the week went a little slow but we are seeing some successes in reactivation.  We are visiting some less active youth/young adults who are starting to come back to church and talking up missions a lot. We are really excited because a few of them are starting to do their interviews to receive the priesthood and start their papers.  I know it´s a decision they won´t regret!  This week with New Years will be about the same pace as last, they tell us, but we are just happy with the simple ways that we can help in the Lord´s vineyard.

With New Years´ and all, I have some resolutions.  One of them is to write more uplifting letters.  Sometimes I just like to talk about all the fun/funny/interesting things and I leave out the spiritual stuff. I want to apologize for that because I feel like there´s an expectation that missionary letters are always chock full of spiritual experiences and things and I hope I can improve mine a bit in that aspect.  Crazy cool things like that don´t happen as often as you would think but I want to try to at least always leave a good message.  I hope you all know that I love this work and the people here and I wouldn´t want to be doing anything else right now.  This is God´s work and I´m grateful to be just a small part of it.  This is such a great, life-changing experience and I am LOVING it! :)  I had the best Christmas of my life here in large part because I got to spend it thinking of and serving others.  I know that is what this holiday is about and I hope to spend this next year doing the same!

I was super happy to hear from you guys and to hear about Jeremy and Kaytee´s wedding.  It´s so great to know how the Gospel blesses each one of you and I hope this next year is excelente!  Oh and Happy 23rd Anniversary Mom and Dad!

Hermana Bledsoe

Here in Perú, Nativity scenes (nacimientos) are huge...literally!  This is an impressive one I found:

Fotos este semana

Because Im calling home today I think I will just send pictures from this week because there are TONS! 

So for the Christmas multizone conference on Thursday we first went to the stake center in La Molina (next to the MTC) and each zone, the office, and the Ardila Family did a skit or a performance of some sort.  Our zone did a funny one where we did a funny take on wh

Hermana Aguayo and I in the multizona

After the Christmas multizone conference we went to a restaurant down the street and had a buffet(!) and after that we got on some buses and went to La Parque de las Aguas, which is this huge park with pretty fountains.  It was actually really fun and we had a good time.  There was a cool water show at night that was like the World of Color at Disneyland. 
The mission logo that Hermana Thiel modified

At the Parque de las Aguas!

Feliz Navidad de Lima!

Hermana photo

Had to send a pic of Mariano solo... hes the best!

Bautismos de Piazzoli, Eduardo, y Mariano!!!

 All of us... the Roman family (member missionaries) are on the far right, Hermana Edith and Hermano Alejandro (they call him Chi Chi) and their daughter Tracy.  Their son is serving in Chile right now

The Elders with the recent converts

The trio reunited at the choir concert! Hermana Killian, me, and Hermana Aguayo

Me with the daughters Ardila... second generation! 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Venid, y adoremos

I hope youre all having a great holiday season in the States!  Here its starting to get wicked hot and all but its awesome! Its cool to experience a Christmas thats almost completely different than back home.  For example, here they celebrate Chrsitmas Eve more than Christmas.  Its called Noche Buena and what they do here is stay up all night and party basically... at 12 midnight they eat a whole turkey dinner... I know some of you are cringing at the thought...
Everyone asks us what we're going to do and we just say we're going to sleep at ten thirty like every night and they are so shocked but for us Americans its normal!  Haha.  They also LOVE to eat something called paneton at Christmastime... its like fruitcake.  We get offered that a LOT when we visit!  But people are so nice and welcoming and want to make sure we have a good Christmas away from home.  Its already starting to be a really great one!

We have this family in our ward that is just on fire with missionary work. We are teaching like 4 or 5 of their nephews and neices and 2 of them will be baptized this Saturday!  Families like them are SUCH a blessing... yesterday we spent the whole afternoon at their house teaching various family members and they were just awesome with their comments and we know that these investigators will always have this great support system as members of the church.  We are so stoked and grateful for them and we know that they will receive lots of blessings for sharing what they know is true.  What a great way to get into the holiday spirit!

This week we have a multizone conference with President and Hermana Ardila for Christmas, so thatll be really cool.  We are very well taken care of here in the mission!

Other than getting a bunch of people with baptismal dates I cant think of much else exciting going on here... the work is moving forward and Im just grateful to be a part of it!  Thanks for all your support and love and just know that I miss and love yall!  This work is the best and if you're not participating you're missing out!!

Hermana Bledsoe
I got the package!!

We had just come back from our district meeting in crazy humidity so I know I look like a mess but just know I was really excited!!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


Yes, its true, this week was cambios (transfers).  I finished training Hermana Sassetti and right afterwards she was called to be a trainer!  Im really proud of her and I know she will do great with the people we had in Salamanca and she and her traniee will find many more!  I miss Salamanca a lot: the ward, the zone, our investigators, and especially the Valladares family!  But I know that transfers are inspired and it was my time to go...

Im very excited to report that Im now in the Zone Chaclacayo, in the Chaclacayo ward!  Its so awesome here!  In our whole mission there are 10 zones and only 2 of them, Chaclacayo and Chosica, are located outside of the actual city part of Lima.  Chaclacayo is a big change because its more country and peaceful than crazy Lima.  There is sun and rain here (neither exist in Lima) and lots of MOSQUITOS!  Im very grateful that the night before I went to the MTC Sadie went out and bought me more Off! deep woods because Im just getting eaten here... but its all part of the experience I guess!  My companion and I always say that they only send the strong sisters to Chaclacayo.  And speaking of her, my companion is Hermana Thiel from IDAHO (Idaho Falls)!  Yeah thats right, I finally have an American companion.  She just recently finished her training here and her trainer finished her mission when I came.  They opened up the area so we as Hermanas are still pretty new here. Its nice to not be traning again and enjoy being with a companion with some experience, even though she has the same time in the mission as Hermana Sassetti).  We have a lot of investigators and we have been finding as well.  The ward loves us right now because they havent had sisters here in a long time.  There is a lot to do here and Im just super excited!  Hermana Thiel (pronounced like the color teal) and I get along well and work well together so itll be great.  I seriously have barely spoken English these past few months so its been interesting talking in English a bit in our room and stuff.  She is still learning Spanish but speaks fluidly so Im trying to help her to continue to improve and I try not to speak English a whole lot. We share the ward with the zone leaders and they are also gringos and its pretty cool!

I got the Christmas package by the way and I love it all! The chocolate had kinda melted but I put it all in our pensionistas fridge and its all good now!  We have the tree and the advent calendar in our room and I look forward to opening up everything else on Christmas!  

But yeah, everything is really good here.  One night it rained a ton and our room flooded a bit but other than that its all peachy.  I just love Chaclacayo already!  Today Im writing late because my comp had a doctors appt and we got to go to Surco, the rich part of our mission where the clinic is.  Afterwards we ate McDonalds and bought AMAZING gelato.  For that hour I felt like I was in the US!  We came back to Chaclacayo and had a fun afternoon with the zone playing football (american) and mafia in a park.  We have a really great, fun zone!

I was really sad to hear about Scoutys passing.... not gonna lie I shed some tears reading about it and Im pretty sure right now my companion thinks Im trunky or something haha.  But whats important is that shes not in pain anymore and I know she really is in a better place.  She was a great pet for our family all these years and will be greatly missed!  That dog will always have a special place in my heart :)

Love you all and Im glad to hear that youre having happy holidays! Remember why we have them and that Christ is the "reason for the season" Because of Him, we truly have reason to rejoice and throw parties every day! :)

Hasta la próxima,
Hermana Bledsoe

...Una BUENAZA noticia!

So yeah Diego was baptized (!!) and not much else happened this week... on Monday our zone went to the center of Lima and got to go up to cerro San Cristobal, which is a hill/mountain that overlooks all of Lima... I realized then how GIAGNTIC this city is and how small of a portion we have in our mission (but we have the best part, with the temple and all :)).  There was also a 5.8 earthquake that we heard about afterwards while we were up there, but we didn´t feel a thing!  Kinda crazy...

Tuesday was a training for those who are finishing their 12 weeks of training and we were going to go but Hermana Sassetti had to go to Immigrations all day.  Hermana Pardo´s companion went too, so we stayed and were companions again for a day!  We went back and visited Salamanca and then we had to wait with all the Elders whose companions went to Immigrations for seriously 6 hours in the mission office.  It was boring but also kinda fun to chat with others about funny experiences in their areas and everything.  Hermana Pardo is finishing and going home tomorrow so it was cool to spend time with her for old times´ sake!

I didn´t realize that it was even Thanksgiving on Thursday until another sister in my zone wished me a Happy Thanksgiving, haha.  It doesn´t really feel like the holidays here because it´s getting hotter and all but maybe that´s a good thing so I can just focus on the work! :)  But things are going well here... we have transfers tomorrow so we will see what happens!

Hasta luego!
Hermana Bledsoe

 Dieguito and Jhordy afterwards

... just look at that SMILE! 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Apresurando la obra de salvación!

Well this week was a bit different, but went pretty well.  We had a pretty relaxed p-day on Monday, but on Tuesday we had a Multi-Zone conference in La Molina with 3 other zones which was way cool because I got to see other missionaries that I haven´t seen in a while like my good friend Hermana Ocampo and also Hermana Torres, who I replaced here in Salamanca and she is just amazing!  Presidente Ardila taught us a lot about hastening the work of salvation by working with members and leaders in our areas and also Hermana Ardila gave a really great talk about helping people reach true conversion, which is a process that extends long after baptism. It was a really great day overall and I learned a lot of things that I took back to my area and am trying to apply. The photo I attatched is about a month early, but...FELIZ NAVIDAD de Zona San Luis!  

Yesterday was a bit strange because they had elections here in Lima and we didn´t have church.  We still had to proselite as usual, and the streets were packed with people, but they had all come from other parts of Lima.  Everyone is assigned a place to vote, but its not organized too well and just about everyone has to go to another part of Lima to vote.  Also here voting is obligatory! How interesting!  But anyways, we still made some good contacts and had lunch with a family in the ward, so everything went pretty well.

Mirella didn´t make it to church the Sunday after her baptism because she got sick again, but this week we were able to get her confirmed while the Bishop was doing interviews Thursday night.  It was a little stressful because if she didn´t get confirmed this week, she would have to be baptized AGAIN!  After about 8 times the first time! Haha.  But it all worked out well!  She has now read all of "Leales de la Fe" (i don´t know what its called in English) and we gave her a bunch of Liahonas and she LOVES them! I´ve never met a 14 year old like her  who is always always always texting but also likes to read so much! haha.  She is a great little convert and we got to see her perform last Saturday when the youth of the stake put on a "teatro" and each ward acted out a different parable because seminary here recently ended in the New Testament.  It was so cute!

On Saturday, Eliseo, Lupita´s son turned 8 and was baptized!  All the hermanas that have been here in the ward got to come and see his baptism and it was super cute!  All the missionaries there sang the Primary song "Mi Padre Celestial Me Ama" ("My Heavenly Father Loves Me") as a special musical number.  Eliseo is like my little brother and it was a very sweet experience to share that moment with him and the Valladares family, who have been my family away from my family and take care of us so much!  

We have two people here that we have been teaching for months and are super ready to be baptized, but have some obstacles to overcome to be able to do it (permission, etc.)... please pray for us/THEM!  I am hoping to finish this transfer this week with them finally baptized and confirmed as members of the church :)

Mom and Dad, I´m super glad to hear you guys are helping out the missionaries there and I KNOW that they really appreciate it.  I would exhort you (like Moroni... here I go with scripture language, haha) to help them as much as you can, ask them about their investigators, offer to have lessons in your home and befriend the investigators/less actives they´re working with.  This applies to EVERYONE reading this!  This work can´t move forward without the members.  The Lord is hastening his work by sending more missionaries and every member has the responsibilty to be a part of this too. Elder Bednar says that the missionaries are full time teachers and the members are full time finders and missionaries for life!  The work of salvation doesn´t just refer to non members, but to recent converts, less actives, etc.  I can say as a missionary that members are CRUCIAL to success.  Pretty please everyone do that for me! :)

Love you all and I look forward to calling a MONTH from today! :)

Hermana Bledsoe
FELIZ NAVIDAD de Zona San Luis!

the birthday boy!


Cheo and I! :)

adorable picture of Hno Alejandro and Eliseo leaving the baptismal font and their matching crocs waiting... everyone here wears them!! haha

Monday, November 18, 2013

"Tal como un fuego..."


...As everyone here says to me because they assume I don´t speak Espaneesh :)

Well it´s real great to hear from you all and know you´re doing well at home.  I love getting your letters and pictures and remembering a little bit of American life. Haha.

Well, what´s new in Perú?!

First of all, our ward has had huge changes: a new bishop and bishopric, and just about every organization had changes in leadership. Our awesome ward mission leader, Emil, moved to another part of Lima and also one of our ward missionaries, José left for his mission to Piura (northern Perú) so we are still mourning their absence :(

Yesterday was the primary program and it was SO precious.  There aren´t quite as many kids in the ward (because there aren´t a ton of young families) so it was kinda hard to hear when they sang, but everyone really enjoyed it.

And also yesterday 4 of our 5 less active families assigned to us by our bishop attended church!  That was really cool to see them all there.  I know they came for thir kids in the primary program and not really because of what we´ve done, but it is awesome to see people return after a long time away from the church.

What else...?

Recently, after 6 months living in a country that eats insane amounts of rice, I have realized that rice does not agree with me very well and have almost completely stopped eating it and as a result I lost like 4 pounds... yay me! hahaha.  I just hope my future pensionistas let me not eat it!

We are learning a lot lately about setting and reaching goals and I hope to be able to use that to improve personally, as a companionship, and in our area.  But things are going well overall.

This week we had a funny visit with a really Catholic family... the mom, Lucy, is the most religious of them all but she found us in the street one day and asked us to come visit.  She always tries to test our knowledge of the Bible and things (but not really in a contentious way) and it´s a humbling experience at times, but we always explain that we don´t have a perfect knowledge of everything.  We taught them the Restoration last Saturday and they had never heard of or understood the Apostasy and so it ended up being a great lesson.  Lucy asked us if we sing in our church and we said of course!  I showed her my himnario and she asked us to sing something right there on the spot. My bookmark was on "El Espíritu de Dios" ("The Spirit of God") and she wanted to hear that one. We sang all four verses and the Spirit was really strong there.  Lucy said that she could feel that "God is with us here in this room" and she invited us to come to a fiesta next week that she will be hosting that will be honoring one of the catholic virgins or something... we were hesitant to make any plans, but she insisted that we, as Mormon missionaries, come and sing that hymn for all of her Catholic friends.  SO, we will see how that goes!

Les quiero muchismo!

Hermana Bledsoe
Despedida de José!

Visiting one of the young women in our ward, Gianella :)

Monday, November 11, 2013

Un Bautismo!! :)

Hey everybody!

So this week ended up real great because we finally had a baptism yesterday!  We are just ecstatic because we have waited a LONG time, but finally our prayers have been answered. 

Our convert is Mirella, who is 14 years old and we found her one day contacting in a park (seriously, the success rate of contacting is like 1/100, we found the 1!).  She was talking with a friend and we just struck up a conversation with them and we took down her address and made an appointment but not really thinking too much into it.  When we came to her house later that week, her grandmother told us that Mirella had been pretty rebellious and that she basically needed God.  We were surprised to hear that because she seemed really sweet.  (Over the course of the time we taught Mirella we gained the confidence of her mom and grandparents and that helped a LOT because they have been really supportive of her decision).  But as we got to know her better, we realized that Mirella in reality is really sweet and a great girl.  She really has a desire to follow Christ and choose the right!  In our mission we have a rule that a person can´t be baptized unless they attend church twice beforehand and last Sunday we were hoping she would come, but couldn´t make it.  We kept on preparing Mirella for baptism and one day this last week in the middle of a lesson she interrupted us and told us how much she loves this church and learning these things and that she wanted to be baptized. We thought, sure, let´s make this happen ASAP! It was a Thursday, we got her a baptismal interview on Friday and after her second church attendance on Sunday she was baptized!  All of us,including her mom, are very happy. Mirella has been received very well in the ward and in Young Womens and she will be confirmed next week!

I am so very grateful for this experience.  After a lot of challenges, we have been able to see a huge blessing in our area and I hope it´s just the first of many this month!  We have waited about 3 months to baptize and although it´s been hard, it was very worth it :)

I love you all very much! Never lose hope in our Heavenly Father and His plan! :)

Hermana Bledsoe