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

COMPS

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

Monday, July 28, 2014

Feliz 28 de Julio!


So I dont have much to say this week, its been a pretty good one.  Today is Peru´s independance day and we will see how it goes! Last year we could do much on the 28th for all of the parties and stuff but now I'm in a much safer, "classier" area so I think it'll be more normal.  We are going to the temple this Wednesday so today after internet is a normal work day and Wednesday is our p day.  And thats about it! I spent a while responding to some letters but I hope to hear from y'all next week!

Cuidense!
Hermana Bledsoe




Monday, July 21, 2014

Oh esta todo bien


Feliz día Lunes!

This week was super crazy and a bit stressful but AWESOME.  After a twist of events this week, we ended not only with one baptism, but TWO!  They were both young women who have family members who are recent converts.  Originally only Angela (13), who I think I mentioned before, was going to be baptized this weekend but last Sunday we were in Gospel Principles class with Jhennifer (17) and the members were asking us what time Angela´s baptism would be and we ended up combining the two baptisms (Jhennifer was going to be baptized this Saturday, the 26th).  We later found out that the elders from another ward that shares our building were going to have a baptism Saturday afternoon as well, so it ended up being quite a day.  It was a struggle until the very end, including several trials, but incredibly satisfying to see both Jhennifer and Angela make it to this point and keep progressing.  

This week we got permission to take Jhennifer to the temple, which was a great experience, she loved it.  We taught her a little about baptisms for the dead and she is excited to be able to do family history work with her older brother Jhunior (who was baptized about a year ago) because her dad passed away when she was a baby.  She said she felt good there and wants to go back soon.  Our ward is planning a temple trip with all the new converts in August!  Coming back to Surco from La Molina, we went straight to the church and Jhennifer rocked her baptismal interview.  She really is a great girl.  I hope someday she goes on a mission, she would be so great!

With Angela it was a bit more difficult.  We didnt have the chance to teach her much this week in preparation for her interview because she and her mom, Felipa --a recent convert-- were constantly at the clinic.  And on top of that she was getting nervous and having doubts about her decision.  Friday morning we stopped by and  she told us how she was feeling.  We taught her about personal revelation and how the Spirit confirms our decisions.  We shared with her a few verses of Doctrine and Covenants 6, and explained what had been going on with Oliver Cowdery and his doubts and how the Lord told him that he had received his answer:

22 Verily, verily, I say unto you, if you desire a further witness, cast your mind upon the night that you cried unto me in your heart, that you might know concerning the truth of these things.

 23 Did I not speak peace to your mind concerning the matter? What greater witness can you have than from God?

We asked her how she felt when she decided to be baptized and testified that her answer was from the Lord through the Holy Ghost. It was a great lesson and we really felt the Spirit.  Shortly afterwards our District Leader came to interview her and Saturday she was baptized!  Haha even that was a struggle because the first time she was baptized she was not fully submerged and so the elder had to do it again.  The second time he did it with his left hand in the air (hahahaha) so Angela was well baptized three times, the last time correctly and completely.  A baptism in the proper form and by the proper authority is SO important!!  The next day we had the confirmation in church and Angela almost couldnt make it because her mom was feeling sick again.  Thankfully our RS President is a nurse and an angel and she went over to help them out Sunday morning and Angela, her mom Felipa, and her brother Juan made it to church early for Angela´s confirmation and later Juan was ordained a priest!  We have been working super hard with this family of recent converts and it was amazing this weekend to see them progress so much.

Things here in Villa Alegre are going great.  We keep working and finding prepared people, its amazing.  There are always trials, but lots of blessings too.  One of mine is my companion.  She is super crazy and I love her!!  We are like Tommy and Richard, at times I have to keep her in check, but we have some great moments together!  Loving the mission!

Hasta la proxima!
Hermana Bledsoe
Jhennifer is the one next to Hermana Hernandez and Angela is on the far left :)

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Bienvenidos Familia Boswell!

Happy Monday!! 

This week was pretty crazy, but a good one.  We had district meeting on Tuesday morning and Wednesday we had a zone conference and finally got to meet President Boswell and his family.  They are excellent!  President Boswell is pretty different: he is a really tall man and is super energetic and all but you can feel when he talks that he really has taken on the mantle of our mission president and its awesome.  Change is good.  He speaks a lot of Spanglish, which is really good in my opinion so that the latinos can learn English.  He put a lot of emphasis on learning English because it is the language of the Restoration and really will open doors after the mission.  His wife and two daughters are really sweet and are learning Spanish and are doing well!  I feel like their example in making a real effort to learn the language is inspiring for those learning English.  But they really are loving and fun people, so I dont doubt that we are going to have a great time with them as our new family.  We had a conference with them and then ate lunch and later had companionship interviews with President and Sister Boswell so that they could get to know us better and vice-versa.  It was a great day!  

The rest of the week went well, on Thursday and Friday we had exchanges with the Hermana Leaders and I went to their area while Hermana Hernandez stayed in Villa Alegre.  I think we all learned a lot and had a good experience.  This week we have met a lot of people with interesting beliefs-- for Peru.  One guy was telling us we were all created by titans (because he read it on the internet) and one of our investigators told us she strongly believed in reincarnation.  This keeps things interesting because usually we only meet a lot of jehovahs witnesses, evangelical christians, traditional catholics, and my favorite: catholic "but in my way".  We listen to others and what they believe, but also let them know what we share and testify that its the truth.  The titans guy was going on and on and we had to go to another appointment, and my companion said we had to go, but very directly told him that what he was saying is false.  I couldnt believe that she would be so direct, but it is true.  It reminded me of the importance of the source of our beliefs: do we believe something because we were raised that way, or because someone convincing told us to, or maybe because we have found what we find a reliable source.  The only way to really truly know is to ask God as James directs.  If we do that, we will never be confused by the worlds beliefs.  

Sunday was a test of the faith of our ward because we have church at 2pm-- during the World Cup.  Thankfully a lot of people were still at church and made the right choice :)

Love you guys! Til next time!

Hermana Bledsoe

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Para esta hora

Hey yall!

I am writing late today because for p-day today we went to Gamarra! This time I went for winter clothes and got some great and cute cute stuff for CHEAP! Gotta love Peru!  

So this week has been pretty good.  The 4th of July was a good one here-- I was able to celebrate a little with other Americans because that day I went to Migrations... woooo! Haha. I went with three other American sisters and several Elders and although we couldnt be eating barbeque and watching fireworks, it was cool to chat with and be with others from my COUNTRY!  

We also had a really good week in the work... I honestly dont know how, but we finished the week with FOUR people with baptismal dates!  I never thought that was possible in Surco, but Ive been reminded that with God, anything is possible. Wow.  One of them is a thirteen year old girl named Angela who always came to church with her mom who is a recent convert and has health problems-- so she always went to church with her to look after her and never wanted to go to YW.  Hermana Hernandez told me she was always really cold with the sisters and didnt want to listen to them at all.  When we taught her family I just noticed that she was always just really quiet.  I dont know what happened, but this week we showed up and she was smiling for the first time and told us she wanted to be baptized.  We thought it was a joke, but we kept visiting them during the week and really her whole countanance has changed.  She is always smiling and yesterday she went to Young Womens without us having to invite her!!  I think her time just came and her moms prayers have been answered.  Pretty cool.

This week Hermana Hernandez and I were watching the Old Testament videos about Esther and decided to study the book of Esther together.  It was really cool to read and I really love her story.  I thought a lot about how we as missionaries, especially those who left after the age change and Sister Missionaries, have been given such an extraordinary opportunity at an unexpected time.  Esther was put in her position as Queen not by chance, but because God knew that she would be able to save her people.  As Mordecai told her in chapter 4 verse 14, "...and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?"  For such a time as this.  The Lord is hastening His work NOW.  He needs us NOW.  We truly have been predestined to be born at this time and have answered the call to serve at such a time as this... LOVE IT!

Funny moment... we were in a lesson the other day and the recent converts daughter left the house scantily dressed.  During the prayer, the convert says: "Lord, please forgive my daughter for leaving the house in such a wicked and provactive manner." HAHAHA.  I was trying SO hard not to laugh.  My companion could feel me shaking and she too was biting her finger so as not to laugh.  Funny mission moments...

Love yall! Til next week!

Hermana Bledsoe

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Para Siempre Dios Este Con Vos

Hello hello! ... ("I dont know why you say goodbye I say hello" haha)

So week 2 here in Surco was pretty good... we had a very emotional farewell multizone conference on Wednesday with the four other zones and the Ardila family.  Wow, changing mission presidents is a lot harder than I expected! We felt the Spirit so strongly there as President, his wife, and his youngest daughter Paula shared their last testimonies with us.  I am so incredibly grateful for their service and for the love they have for us missionaries.  They always say they have 200+ children and I dont doubt that they really do see us that way.  I dont think Ill ever forget the moment when we sang "God Be With You Til We Meet Again" to finish the meeting and I looked over at my mission president and saw him weeping.  There wasnt a dry eye in the house.  We will all miss him so much.  I look up to President and Sister Ardila SO much for their obedience to the Lord and their diligence in all things.  Wow, I have been so blessed to have them in my life and have learned countless things from them. They really finished their mission strongly and with honor and I hope that one day I will follow their example.

That was basically the highlight of this week besides yesterday when we had a visit from a Seventy, Elder Calderon in our ward. He gave a great talk and our investigator, Cris, liked listening to him a lot.  I feel so blessed to be here in Peru and be a part of the work here.  We hit the pavement every day looking for people to visit and teach and although at times Im physically or emotionally exhausted, I just try to keep going and remember that Christ is the reason.  He never complained or took a break because there are so many of us who need Him so desperately.  I know that this is His church and His work and I hope to be His instrument to help others come unto Him.

Love you all SO much!
Hermana Bledsoe

Happytown!

Happy Monday! 

So this week was had transfers because it was a 4-week transfer. There werent a ton of changes overall in the mission, but I was transferred to what Im sure will be my last area... Ive come back to Lima and I´m in SURCO!  My ward is called Villa Alegre, which translates to something like "Happy Town," haha.  Surco is a really nice (wealthy) part of Lima and the members here are awesome.  Ive only been here a week but I love it here so much.  We work a lot more with the members here and receive references like no other! Seriously, every family we visit on average has at least 2 references.  They really understand the importance of member missionary work and are super helpful and loving to the missionaries.  Its been a huge change from Chosica in terms of that and the weather and the standard of living so Im getting used to everything still.  But I feel like the Lord has blessed me a lot to be here and to be with my new companion, Hermana Hernandez from Honduras.  She is super fun and an awesome missionary. Shes a lot like my trainer, Hermana Aguayo, because she likes to joke around and has a goofy personality, but when she teaches she is super focused and teaches really well.  Wow, I have learned to much from her already.  

This week is President Ardila´s last week and we will have his farewell this week with our zone and several others. I got his last weekly letter today and teared up... I will miss the Ardila family so much but I know that change is good.

Love yall! Have an awesome week!
Hna Bledsoe


Saturday, June 21, 2014

¡Feliz Dia del PADRE!(

Not only is it a day for our earthly fathers, but more importantly for our Heavenly one.  I am infinitely grateful, first of all, to Him.  Also, Happy (late) Fathers Day to my awesome dad! Thank you for all you do for



me and the fam. My most faithful writer on the mish. I am so grateful for your example and support in my life.  Like Ramses, my dad = number 1.

So this week was great.  On Monday we went to Matucana again (my third time) but I cant complain.  Its super nice to get out to nature and enjoy a pretty (steep) hike up to a waterfall and get out of the dirty city areas.  We had a great time as a zone and enjoyed our last p-day all together before transfers.  Im super blessed to have been in areas outside of Lima like Chaclacayo and Chosica these last 6 months and to be able to go out to places like Matucana!

This week we have been working hard with Julian.  He couldnt accept the earthquake as his answer because it hit all of the country.  We were saying that surely the timing of it wasnt a coincidence and the fact that he kept praying showed his faith for sure.  But yeah, we arent giving up on him. Our zone leaders came with us to a lesson with him and we talked a lot about repentance and how taking all the necessary steps, including confessing to God (even though he already knows), we can feel free from any pain or worry that could impede us from feeling the Spirit fully.  I dont think he has anything huge to resolve, but he sure wont be able to feel with a certainty if thats not cleared up.  He committed to doing so and so things are looking up.

We still havent seen much of the effects of the World Cup here... maybe the "Chosicanos" dont like soccer that much... hahaha KIDDING.  There were plenty of people out partying these past few nights but we, as always, have been protected by the hand of the Lord. No worries here!

So a random funny thing that happened yesterday: we have had a box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese in our apt (some sister before us left it) and we decided to make it.  Hermana Hazelton and I were excited to eat something American and we brought it to our pensionistas house last night to make for dinner.  Hermana Llavilla, Hermana Giusti, and our pensionista were excited to try it.  We made it and it turned out well... except for the fact that there were tons of dead ants all sprinkled in there.  The ants had gotten into the box in our apt. and we didnt realize they were in the noodles until AFTER we finished making it haha.  It was pretty funny/sad haha.  I tried to separate the ants but I gave up and just ate it because I wanted mac and cheese so badly... Ive eaten weirder stuff, haha.  Sometimes the mission makes you do crazy things!

But yeah, overall a good week.  I cant think of much more to say right now... remember to MAKE GOOD CHOICES! :))

That is all.

Cuidense muuucho les quiero! Love yall more than a Peruvian loves rice!
Hermana Bledsoe

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Oh dulce, grata, oración. (June 9, 2014)


Hello hello!

Well I hope everyone is doing well, wherever you may be!  Shout out to Nathan for graduating high school and seminary this last weekend!  Now entering the life of a grown-up haha.  

This week was pretty awesome.  We started off the week (after a relaxed p-day with the other sisters serving in our ward whom we also live with) on Tuesday with a lesson with Julian, an eternal investigator and our Stake Presidents brother who is the only non-member in his family.  We were also very blessed to have President Brown (yes, that really is his last name, haha) come with us.  We had previously visited Julian with President Ardila and, because the only thing keeping him from being baptized is receiving his answer that this is the true church, challenged him to pray with a sincere heart, real intent, and with faith in Christ (Moroni 10:4).  On Tuesday he said he still didn't feel anything different and I was a bit frustrated because we have been teaching him the whole time I've been here and with both of my companions in this area we have literally been praying for and studying for him every day.  We have taught him everything from Alma 32 and Faith to the story of Enos and also stories of Christs apostles in the New Testament.  President Ardila taught him about Joseph Smith and how he planned to ask God and went to a place where he knew he could ask in peace and also set apart a time to do it.  Seriously we had tried EVERYTHING.  We talked to him with his brother that afternoon about asking in faith and decided that the next time we would review all of the commandments so that he could commit to live them and recognize his answer that way (John 7:17).  We were going to finish the lesson with a prayer and Julian called on his brother to say it.  President Brown said, "I'm not the one looking for an answer, YOU are. YOU say the prayer."  Julian began to pray and right there in that moment we began to feel a slight earthquake that got stronger and stronger. Everything was shaking and we could hear people running out of their homes outside, freaking out.  It was the strongest one that I've ever felt and I admit I was a bit scared.  I opened my eye to see if everyone was still praying (because I couldnt hear too well) and to my surprise, Julian was still praying!! He finished his prayer and the earthquake ended a few seconds later.  We were on the first floor of the house so we didnt feel it as strong as others but everything was fine.  I remember all of us getting up to look outside and I told Julian, "Brother, that was your answer!" Everyone laughed, but I was serious!  His mom even said, "If you cant believe for the good things, you'd better believe for the bad ones."  Julian always says he hears others experiences and wants to have his own, confirming of the truth, and THAT WAS IT!!  We found out later it was a 5.4 earthquake with the epicenter in Chilca, another part of the department of Lima.  We left him with all of that to meditate on and all of us were really in shock.  You could say it was a coincidence, but I know in my heart that it wasnt.  God really does answer prayers, in his own way, in his own time.  

This weekend was Stake Conference and, along with an Area Seventy, President and Hna Ardila came.  President came to greet us after the Saturday night session and told us that President Brown had told him what happened.  On Sunday Julian came late to Conference but arrived just in time to hear Sister Costa talk about living below our privelages and Elder Costa, as a convert, share his testimony of the Restoration.  It was amazing.  We are sure that all of these events have impacted his heart and we will find out this week what the final say is!

We heard very inspired messages yesterday and I'm so grateful and happy!

Keep on keeping on! Love ya!

Hermana Bledsoe