Monday, February 24, 2014

A la casa del Señor

I dont have a lot of time to write this week but some highlights since I wrote last Wednesday:

-The temple was AMAZING.  Loved it so much and going there was just what I needed.
- We SHOULD be having a baptism this week! :D
-  Hermana Patrocinia made Pachamanca last Saturday ¨de la tierra¨ she literally dug a hole in her backyard, lit a fire in it, and cooked us a bunch of amazing food.  I´ve seen a lot of things in my life but that was AWESOME.  (kinda like a luau)
- We have transfers tomorrow but I dont think Im leaving (I HOPE)

Love yall! Take care!

Hermana Bledsoe

Finished off that day with a hardcore weight lifting workout :)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

American Encounter

So I apologize for writing so late... today is our p-day this week for our zone because we are finally going to the TEMPLE!  We thought we were going to still write on Monday, but now here I am! Haha.

Well this past week had its ups and downs for sure.  We had great lessons and worked really hard but unfortunately our investigator that was supposed to be baptized this week wont be ready to be baptized this Saturday.  We were bummed because we had finally gotten him to the point of preparing for a specific date, but we know that we cant take away his agency.  We are praying for him and Im sure that he will still be baptized soon.  

We also are teaching a lot of youth that need permission from their parents and I swear we had like 4 appointments this week where we went to ask the parents for permission and each one said no for various reasons: wants their child to be 18 to make the decision, wants them to keep attending their church, etc.  But were not letting that get us down because we also have been finding some really prepared people that have accepted the invitation to be baptized.  For example, we had a lesson with this one guy yesterday and he is seriously a future bishop... just wait haha.  So even though some people that we have been teaching for ages fall through, I know that there are always people out there to find who the Lord has prepared to accept the Gospel. We just have to "put our shoulders to the wheel"!

Last Monday we had a pretty chill p-day because we had all the Elders and Hermanas from our zone in our pensionistas house and watched Up and Despicable Me, which was fun and relaxing.  This Monday we had "P-day de Hermanas" in La Molina so we got to have two p-days this week!  Half of the hermanas in our mission had p-day this Monday and the rest will have it next week.  We all went to President Ardilas house and ate lunch, heard some messages from the Hermanas Lideres and watched TANGLED!  I was stoked, but it wasnt as great in Spanish haha.  Still awesome though... the first song took me back to the morning before I was set apart and entered the MTC because I listened to it like a hundred times while I was packing.  WHEN WILL MY LIFE BEGIN?!  (The last "worldly" song I listened to before becoming a missionary)... I was so excited to go.  So that was an enjoyable day, I got to see a lot of people I havent seen in a while and being in Presidents house was awesome. We got back kinda late but we had a Family Home Evening with Hermana Patrocinia and Gabriela and the neighbors upstairs so we werent too stressed out, haha.  Hna Patrocinia made "picarones" which are basically Peruvian sweet potato donuts covered in a honey-type sauce.... SO GOOD.  So that ended sweetly :)

This week I also had another of what I will call an "American Encounter. "We were looking for a reference and knocked on a door and a tall white guy answered.  He told us what he knew about the woman we were looking for (in English) and I introduced myself and thanked him for helping us.  He was really rude at first as he asked what religion we are from and said we'd have a tough sell with him and his girlfriend (?) because they are evangelical christian missionaries and started questioning me on a bunch of stuff, trying to get me to contradict myself.  I felt like Amulek with Zeezrom.  I just kept a smile on my face and tried really hard to be polite.  I wanted to just say "thanks for your time" and walk away, but as I prayed in my heart to be able to answer his questions well (because I dont have nearly as much knowledge of the Bible as he has) I felt like we should stay. He then went on to "warn" me of a bunch of end-of-the-world stuff and I just tried to respect his beliefs and listen.  Somehow the whole spirit of the converstation shifted as we talked about how there is a lot of wickedness in the world but that if we make Christ our foundation we can overcome the world as he did.  I just tried to find all the common ground that I could with him and we talked about Christ for a good 30 minutes, while Hermana Avendaño listened (she understands English).  He changed and started to smile.  He stopped trying to tear down my religion and noticed many things that we have in common and even said things like, "I love the Mormons because they teach their kids this.." or because we use the King James Bible, things like that.  We had spent a while there and I thought surely this should count as a lesson for our key indicatiors!  So I felt prompted to ask him and the other missionary if we could all pray together before we left.  He LOVED the idea and all four of us knelt down and prayed.  It was one of the most spiritual experiences Ive had on my mission and Im grateful for the opportunity that I had to meet them.  I didn't change their beliefs but I think now they have a better view of our church.

I KNOW this is true.  As I told this American guy, I have had my prayers answered and I know that this is the Restored Gospel. I'm out of time but I love yall!!

Hermana Bledsoe
mis hijas :)

pday de hermanas!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Muchos son llamados, pocos son escogidos!

Hello hello!

First of all I have to make a huge birthday shoutout to my mother Marja Bledsoe who TODAY year older :)  I hope you have an amazing birthday and I wish I could be there but its all good!  I know the fam will be doing something awesome and I will hear about it next week!  Mom, you are the best... for right now I have a few adopted Peruvian moms here in the mission haha but I owe everything I am to you.  I love you and miss you a TON.  

Well this week was cool... among things that we did yesterday I taught a whole lesson to a contact in ENGLISH! It was surprisingly really hard because I had kinda forgotten a lot of gospel terminology in English...oops.  I felt bad because Hermana Avendaño understood but didnt know what to say to him so I just did all the talking.  The guy we met was from Kentucky but his wife is from here and he lives here when its wintertime in the US-- he is really cool but didnt really take to much that I taught because he doesnt believe in organized religion.  I remembered then how lucky I am to be here in Peru where almost everyone believes in God and you can basically strike up a converstation with anyone about God and Jesus Christ.  Americans, europeans, etc. are a bit more "duro de corazón."  So I defintely have a lot of respect for people serving in the states!

We finally also have an investigator that "si o si" (yes or yes haha) will be baptized this month!  He is super excited and already has plans to serve a mission.  He is an amazing person and we really enjoy teaching him.  He is from the same family (Roman) that we baptized from in December and they as always, have been amazing member missionaries.  The Roman family has two kids, one serving a mission and the other is 8.  They wanted to wait to baptize the daughter when their son gets home this August but ended up baptizing her the day before her ninth birthday this week and confirmed yesterday... so long story short, and although it wasnt at all our intention, her baptism counted for the mission and for our area!  Crazy...

Last p-day we went and had a bbq or "parrilla" at a members house and later we met up with the zone Santa Anita and played volleyball and futbol.  It was awesome because I got to hang out a bit with Hermana Aguayo who will be finishing her mission this transfer.  I loved playing volleyball too and I was actually serving really well that day and no one could return my serves! ...I can testify that God can make our weaknesses our strengths! Haha.

I love hearing from you all and all your missionary experiences, they really build my testimony and I am just so happy,  Please just have patience with me responding because our time in internet every week FLIES! Seriously its ridiculous! But know I that I read everything and I love you guys!

Hasta luego!
Hermana Bledsoe

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

No es una casualidad...

How´s everyone doing?!  I miss you guys a lot! How is winter in the US?!  I have forgotten what cold feels like... haha.

So this last week for p-day it was district p-day so our district went and bought ingredients for ¨completos,¨ which is typical in Chí´s basically a hot dog on a bun with tomato and avocado and some mayo on top (because latinos love their mayo) and it´s SO GOOD. Dad you should make them sometime.  The funny thing was that that day actually was the day that Perú and Chíle were going to determine if a certain part of land and the ocean would belong to Perú or Chíle... haha.  And I think by the end of it Perú won?  So we were celebrating with Chilean food I guess hahaha. That was fun and then afterwards we went back home and made Alfajores (a typical Peruvian cookie-pastry) with Gabriela which also was really fun.  We brought them to our district meeting the next day and they were a hit.

On Tuesday Hermana Avendano had to go to migrations and everyone in the mission knows that when its your turn to go, you basically lose the whole day of work.  But it was cool because we went to Lima and I went on exchanges with a sister in her area in Santa Anita.  Lima is way hotter in the summer than Chaclacayo because theres like 100 percent humidity and tons of people, movement, cars, etc. so I was sweating up a storm and feeling really grateful to be here in beautiful Chaclacayo during the summer.  When we got back that night, Hermana Avendano and I were suuuuper grateful for our area!

We recovered pretty well after the loss of Tuesday and kept working all week and were able to find new investigators and have some really awesome lessons with members.  We have a few people that are way close to being baptized so we will see how things go this week!  I feel so guided by the Spirit and I am super grateful for all the little successes we´ve been having lately.  Last night we were out on a street where beforehand we had received a reference from the Perú MTC and had knocked on the door but the cleaning lady (its a richer area) answered and told us that the ¨senora¨ is only home in the mornings and to come back then, but thats when we study, so havent been able to go.  We had come to that street to look for someone else who wasn´t home and I had the thought that we could pass by and at least try to see if this reference happened to be home.  We rang the buzzer and when we said who we were the person who answered immediately told us to wait.  The woman we were looking for came to the door quickly and invited us in very excitedly.  She told us that she had first made contact with missionaries in June of last year and that she lost contact and had wanted them to come back.  She recently had met a sister missionary on a bus and was able to pass her info to this sister, and when we came she thought that that missionary she had met had sent us.  We had never received the reference from her, we just had the original reference from the MTC for the past few months that in that monment we had decided to contact.  It was a really cool moment as we realized that the timing of everything was no coincidence.  It was something pretty simple but it really strengthened my testimony of God´s plan for each of us and of listening to the promptings of the Spirit.

I know that this is the Lord´s work and that He loves us so much.  I´m grateful for the opportunity that I have to be here and be a part of these small and also great miracles that He is bringing to pass.  At times the routine of everything can feel a bit monotonous, but I´ve learned how important it is to llok for the small and simple things because after all, ¨by small and simple things are great things brought to pass.¨  I have also realized how much more converted I am to the gospel.  I have had such a gradual, almost undetectable, growth in my personal faith and testimony it reminds me of the scripture in Doctrine and Covenants 18 that says: 

 And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one asoul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!

I have learned to interperet that first soul as myself, that if I spend all this time crying repentance to this people and only bring myself unto Christ, my joy will be great. But even greater and more meaningful it will be to bring many more people as well!  

And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the akingdom of my Father, how great will be your bjoy if you should bring many csouls unto me!

A missionary´s purpose is to invite everyone to come unto Christ, including themselves.  I am very grateful for this opportunity to be a missionary, representing my Savior and helping ALL people come unto Christ.  This experience has changed me so much and I hope that I will continue to progress from here on out!  Enduring to the End.  (BTW, If any of you are considering serving a mission, as Nike says, JUST DO IT! :) You wont regret it!) 

Love you all! Cuidense este semana!

Hermana Bledsoe