Wednesday, January 29, 2014

10 meses! :0

I apologize that last week I didnt write but I hope the many pictures I sent from our last p-day of the transfer make up for it :)  But I have some updates this week:

First of all, Hermana Thiel did end up leaving-- she went to Surco, a really wealthy part of Lima.  I am still here in Chaclacayo and am training again.  At first I wasnt too excited about it, but these last two weeks have been pretty great!  My new companion is Hermana Avendaño from La Paz, Bolivia. She is pretty quiet but is a super good missionary.  She is very patient with me because I talk a lot when were contacting or in lessons and when she talks she always says or shares just what the investigators need to hear... so I am learning to shut myself up a bit and listen to her :)  But overall we have good unity in teaching and everything so things are going smoothly.  Its funny, she is always giggling at things I say or do and a lot of times I dont understand what is so funny... But I am pretty weird haha so its all good!

These past few weeks weve been trying hard to look for new investigators, contacting like crazy and working really hard for member references.  We have had some successes in that area so we are just pressing forward.  Every Tuesday night we and the Elders teach a Preach My Gospel class and I also teach English classes every Thursday night.  We are trying to get everyone excited about the work and little by little its paying off.  Last week in Relief Society the discussion became one about sharing the gospel and one sister said that she had met a woman in the street that wanted to know about the church and afterwards, she gave us her number.  We contacted her and she is amazing! This investigator lives in the US for part of the year and returns here every once in a while.  She went to church there a few times there and the missionaries visited her but she didnt want to get baptized there.  She told us basically that she is ready to be baptized and was just looking for the church here.  I am so grateful that the sister from RS found this woman and that she offered her help and her friendship to her. This inv. has a baptism date now and were just way excited about her!  We had several other cases like this this week and its literally AMAZING how different it is when the members get involved.  The work goes so much quicker and we see so many more results!  I was reminded this week as I went back and read my call letter the part that says something like, "If you work with all your heart might, mind, and strength, the Lord will lead you to those who are prepared to be baptized."  I am a witness that this is true.  I am so not a perfect missionary, but I know that the Lord sees our efforts in this area and blesses us.

We also had interviews with President Ardila this week and mine went really well.  I am so grateful to have an awesome mission president that cares about each one of us so much and helps each one of us to spiritually grow and be happy in our missions.  He is the best!

I wish I had more exciting things to write, but I just know that this is the Lords work and it will go forward. I'm so happy to be here and to be a part of it.  I know that this Gospel is true and Im so happy to get to share it with my Peruvians :)  I love these people so much!  I love you guys too (obvi :)) and Im so happy to hear that the missionary spirit is strong at home too. 

Keep fighting the good fight y sigan adelante!

Hermana Bledsoe
The streets of Chacla look just like California to me :)

More Matucana :)


In Matucana!! Emperors New Groove status :)

With our future missionary (ward missionary) Patty before a FHE (NDH)

Monday, January 13, 2014

“La Fe es el poder, la Obediencia el precio, el Amor es el motivo, el Espíritu es la clave, y Cristo es la razón.”

Well well wellllll!

(This keyboard Im using isnt the greatest so I apologize for the lack of punctuation in this letter)

Another week has come and gone so quickly in such a blur so I hope I can remember everything thats important.   Well for starters, we have been super happy with how lately weve been able to work with a lot of members. We went on divisions a few times with our Relief Society President and have had a sister from JAS in our ward-- which is YSA here, its a group within the ward because they don't have singles wards-- come with us every day on our visits.  Its been way cool to see people getting involved in the work and we hope the enthusiasm will become contagious! 

With it being the last week of the transfer its been a bit sad to think that Hermana Thiel could be going.  We don't normally stay in one area more than three transfers, which she has, so it's pretty likely.  We have had such a cool transfer and it's been awesome.  I will for sure miss her!  She is an amazing missionary and I've learned a lot from her determination and love for the people.  She is always doing little acts of service and I know she will continue being great in whatever area the Lord needs her in!  It would be funny after I wrote all this if she didnt get changed! Haha.

The quote I put as the subject of my email is something that our Presidents wife shared a while back and as cheesy as it is, its so good.  In English it reads, “Faith is the power, Obedience is the price, Love is the motive, the Spirit is the key, and Christ is the reason.”
I really hope to be applying each of these things in the way that I work and I do it because of the Savior.  This is what He asks of me and all missionaries at this time and it is the very least we can do to serve Him for what He has done for us.  We have this kinda crazy gospel principles teacher in our ward and because we have less actives, recent converts, and investigators in the class, he makes a lot of comments about how this church is true and how they should ask God to know for themselves or receive a confirmation.  Yesterday during the class he asked me randomly how tall I am and I said something like 1.80 meters and he went on to ask the class why a tall gringa that has to crouch over on the little buses here or why strangers from another country would come to Peru to knock on their door and teach them something that wasnt the truth.  And as funny as that was, it made me think of everything that missionaries sacrifice to come.  I dont feel like I have given up as much as some others that I know that have left family who were very against them leaving, people with very few material posessions, and all sorts of trials that could have made it difficult or almost impossible to come.  I have so much respect for these people and I know the Lord has some amazing blessings in store for them.  It takes a lot of faith a lot of times to do what we do as missionaries, but I have learned that the Lord really does always have a plan and that He will support us in everything if we just take that first step.  I know that this is the truth.  A lot of people think we have a lot of nerve when we say that because they think that all roads lead to God. We can love God a lot but if we arent showing our faith by obedience to His commandments, its not real love, just words.  We need to be doing what He has asked in His way, and in these last days that is through His restored church.  I am so grateful to be His representative in this period of time and I hope I can be "an example of the believers" to those around me here in Chaclacayo, with my companion, and wherever I am.  I am so far from perfect, but I can be an instrument in His hands to save some soul.

It was bittersweet to hear about the new mission president thats been called.  President Ardila is one of the most amazing people I have had the privelage to know well and Im not particularly looking forward to him leaving in July, but I know that the new President Boswell is called of God to fulfill this calling.  This is the Lords Work and every transfer or change is directed by Him!

Thanks for all your love and support! I love you guys and widh you a great week!
Hermana Bledsoe
Our last zone meeting this transfer...gotta love the self timer setting!

This is Princessa, one of my pensionistas dogs... perros Peruanos!  They are ugly dogs but theyre starting to grow on me haha

Monday, January 6, 2014

Empezando con fuerzas!

Woohooo first post of 2014!!!!!  It´s a new year! And so far it´s a really good one.  

First of all i want to thank each and every one of you that sent me emails and cards for Christmas, I really appreciated the time that you all took to do that and it was super sweet to hear from so many people from home. Also I should give a shout out to the anonymous person who sent me (from Utah apparently) an envelope of Anti-Mormon information... that was definitely a weird experience but it reminded me that my beliefs aren´t based on facts and I haven´t put my faith in just any person, but in the Savior Jesus Christ.  I know without a doubt that He has restored His gospel here on the earth through a prophet and leads this church today. I know this because I have asked God and through the Holy Spirit, He has answered me and I could never deny it. This is the church OF Jesus Christ and I couldn´t be happier to be a part of it! :)  (I opened that envelope in front of my zone and everyone got a kick out of it and needless to say, my Zone Leaders ended up destroying it).  But whoever you are, I hope you know that I am praying for you and I wish you the profound peace that I have in my life by having a testimony of these things.  Thank you for reminding me of that and for actually strengthening my resolve to make these things known to all  "nations, kindreds, tongues, and people"...just please don´t send more.

But anyways, enough of that...

This week was way cool.  We have really been focused lately on finding the people that are truly prepared to receive the gospel.  We have been trying to search diligently and be more specific in our prayers about that and have seen results.  We have found a handful of people this last week who have been searching for a religion and aren´t satisfied with a lot of the ones theyve seen.  It´s cool to teach them the Restoration for the first time and especially when we explain the church that Christ established and how the exact same church is restored in these last days.  They understand what the true church needs to have, and when we teach them about this church you can see how it clicks for them.  People generally have trouble accepting prophets because they want to follow Christ and not a man, so at times that or the Book of Mormon becomes a bit of an obstacle, and without a spiritual confirmation/answer from God it obviously would be.  But I know that those who seek answers from Him will find them and be happy because they have the truth from the only real source.

We have also been referring a lot of people to the Mormon Channel/Mormon Messages on YouTube lately.  They are so well made and explain things clearly, I would really encourage everyone to watch them and share them with others.  I love the one about the park in Idaho Falls- we show that one a lot because Hermana Thiel always ran there, haha.

Another thing I just wanted to mention is the importance of scripture study.  I am so glad I got into the habit of it before my mission and it has blessed me so much.  I am really grateful for the study journals our mission gives us and theyve really helped me organize my thoughts and the things I´m learning.  Ive attached pictures of it with an example... pretty cool huh?  Apparently this setup is the "Bednar" method. Haha. It´s cool to see how preparing and studying every morning really has given me the words to say when I face situations throughout the day.  For example this last week we had a reference who is a 18 year old girl who lost part of her arm in an accident.  The member who referred us told us she needed "animos" because it´s really hard for her, naturally.  Without knowing we would meet her that day, one morning I had read in a Liahona a story about a little boy who was born with a "nub" and saw that the Jesus in his familys nativity set happened to have one too and told his mom, "Look, Jesus is like me!" The mom taught him that Jesus doesnt actually have a nub but he knows exactly how the little boy feels having one and taught him about the resurrection.  I told this story to the investigator and I felt the Spirit testify to all of us of the Atonement and the infinite power that it has to heal us both spiritually and physically.  I was glad in that moment that I had recently read that little story and could share that with her.

I know that Christ lives and this is His work.  I´m so grateful to be a tool in His hands and for the opportunity to see this change people. Yesterday both Eduardo and Piazzoli both recieved the Priesthood. Happy day!!

Les quiero! Cuidense mucho!
Hasta luego!
Hermana Bledsoe