Friday, December 20, 2013

Letter dated 12/16/13


9 days until Christmas! So excited!! SO many Christmas festivities this week! We had a ward Christmas party and a stake Christmas concert--both were epic and tons of investigators and less active members came! I love the spirit of this season. It really makes people so much happier because they remember Christ and try to be more like Him. I just love being able to help people to feel the Spirit especially around this time.
Our golden investigator is still super awesome. Kelly is progressing very very fast. She has been telling tons of people (family and friends) about her baptism in January, and she has taken a lot of heat. Thursday we met with her and she told us that that morning she was talking to another teacher who had heard that she was investigating the Mormon church. The lady ripped her apart basically and told her that the Church looks really good on the outside but really does bad things. Kelly was hurt because she didn't understand why people would be so mean about something that makes her so happy. She said that she knows that the Church really is good or else her friends like Erika would not be a part of it. We talked to her about Joseph Smith and Jesus Christ and their persecutions. She has so much faith and has kept optimism despite all that; her family that lives in town is not supportive either, but luckily she has tons of friends already that are in members of the Church so they help her a lot.
Kelly is hilarious though. She is "practicing" for her baptism; she tells us that she can hold her breath for a minute. We tell her that that is unnecessary because she will only be immersed in the water for a few seconds, but she is just a goof and says that she doesn't trust Brother Cole, who is going to baptize her :P. It is very funny because she is just so enthusiastic about just about everything. Sister Askren and I have to control our excitement so that we don't give her too much all at once (milk before meat).
One other awesome thing about Kelly-- recently her fiancee was killed in a car accident where he was hit by a drunk driver and killed instantly. She was engaged to him for a year and was very depressed. It is hard to picture her being sad because she is just so happy all the time. I think that she will really love the plan of salvation. I am so excited her to feel the healing power of the gospel of Jesus Christ. She already has such great faith, but the fulness of the gospel will give her so much more. 
Last thought for today is a quote that I have thought a lot about lately. I might have included it in recent letters but it is so good that I want to tell you again:
"A religion that didn't demand the sacrifice of all things wouldn't have the power to lead men to salvation." -Joseph Smith
I love you all so much! Enjoy this holiday season! Fill your life with Christmas carols/hymns, service, and family time! Spend time thinking about Christ, and do everything you can to follow Him.
Love always, 
Sister Sadie Bledsoe
400 W Apache St
Farmington, NM 87401
PS- make a booklet of Conference talks! the seminary teacher around here gave them to the missonaries and we use them all the time. You go to lds.org and to the ensign then one of the options when you print it out is to make it a booklet. You can get it bound at like Kinkos or some other copy place. It is awesome because you can use it at church and read it on-the-go. Super handy! I love it. 
Here is a picture of mine
also our awesome window of snowflakes --it is a work in progress still but it makes me happy

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Golden


This week we had an awesome experience in a lesson with a new investigator named Kelly. She was a member referral who came to church. We met her when she came to Gospel Principles. We had a good lesson about the Holy Ghost and Kelly understood the Holy Ghost to be kind of like 'your conscience' and was really excited to learn more. She was really excited to be there because she has wanted to come to the Mormon church for a long time now but she couldn't while she lived with her aunt and uncle. They were Catholic and didn't allow her to go to any other church while she lived with them. However, she just moved out and wanted to go to the Mormon church. She didn't like how her Catholic church treated her and preached about the afterlife because she thought it seemed pretty harsh. She really admired her Mormon friends who valued service and families so much. Anyway, after the Gospel Principles lesson we let her keep the Gospel Principles manual and she wanted a Book of Mormon to read so we grabbed one from the car. She also loved Relief Society and wanted to keep the Lorenzo Snow book.

We had our first real lesson with Kelly this week at her friend Erika's house. It was EPIC! If there was such thing as a perfect lesson then this was it. We wanted to get to know her in this lesson and set up expectations. When we got there, she told us that she had read the ENTIRE Gospel Principles manual. She found it all really interesting especially the parts about Adam and Eve. She had questions about the War in heaven and Lucifer's plan, which was new to her because she only knew about Jesus's plan. We told her that we would answer those questions in the next few lessons. She then told us about her experiences at church and had questions about why the girls where skirts/dresses and why we fold our arms when we pray. We had a good lesson about expectations, lessons, commitments, and we even talked a little bit about prophets and priesthood. We felt impressed to give her a baptismal date at the end and she was soooo excited. She is already inviting people to it! She was super excited about being able to go to the temple and she really wants to meet the prophet--she is pretty much golden! It was a way cool experience to see someone so elect. I know that God has been preparing her to hear the gospel by placing her member friend Erika into her life. That experience strengthened my faith in member missionary work and how extremely effective it is and also that the Lord is preparing people in my area to hear the gospel and we just have to find them!
This week we also had exchanges with two of our Sister Training Leaders- Sister Egginton and Tukuafu. They have both served in my area before so it was cool to have them there. They gave us great advice and it was an awesome experience to work with other missionaries. My area is on the outskirts of the mission so we don't really ever get to see other sisters until exchanges once a transfer. We are also the only sisters in our zone. But we had a really good time this week. We did a lot of tracting to try to find new people to teach since our teaching pool has gotten pretty low lately.
Also I LOVE CHRISTMAS! We watched the Christmas devotional which was awesome! We also have been singing Christmas hymns a lot which has brought the Spirit into our companionship so much.
We also went to a Zone Training where we talked about the power of the Book of Mormon in conversion. We practiced teaching the first discussion by reading 1 Nephi with investigators. You can teach God is our loving heavenly father and the gospel blesses families by reading verse 1 and talking about Nephi's family and even though he has seen many afflictions, he has been favored of the Lord (Loving Heavenly Father). Then we talked about prophets (verse 4) and the role that they have to cry repentance or warn the people. We talked about prayer with verse 5 when Lehi prays on behalf of his people. Verse 6 is a cool parallel to Joseph Smith's first vision (pillar of light/pillar of fire that lehi sees); it shows us that the way that God calls prophets is the same in the Book of Mormon and now with Joseph Smith. We talked about the difference between God and Jesus Christ with verses 8 and 9 because two Persons are described (one sitting on a throne and One descending from heaven). We talked about the Godhead. Then we taught Christ's earthly ministry with verse 10 (12 others that descend/follow Christ). We then talk about Christ giving Lehi a book (verse 11) and ask the investigator if Christ has given us a book today (the Book of Mormon). Then we talked about blessings of reading the book of mormon (verse 12)- being filled with the Spirit of the Lord. Then we talked about apostacy/people killing prophets with verse 20. Then we talk about the Restoration but I haven't found a scripture to talk about that. Then we read verse 20 and talk about the promise of tender mercies and that God will help us to overcome anything if we have faith.
That lesson plan has been awesome because people can really feel the power of the Book of Mormon and it also helps them to become comfortable with the language when we read with them and interpret it with them. It is also really casual and it doesn't really feel like we are teaching formally because we just read scripture, ask questions, and apply it. It has helped me to gain a greater appreciation for the converting power of the book of mormon.
Anyway, missionary work is awesome. I love it! 
Merry Christmas!
Love, love, love!
Sister Bledsoe ;)
 My Christmas Tree

Happy Holidays


Hope you all had a happy thanksgiving!
 
For our thanksgiving here, we went to the Duces house for lunch which was awesome then we went to the Knights house for leftovers at night. We love both of those families and they want to have us over for Christmas meals too!
 
My companion Sister Askren was sick this week, so I had to find members to go out on splits with me. It was hard because it was around Thanksgiving so people were really busy. I ended up getting an RM from another ward to go out with me which was really fun. She just got back from her mission in Queens, NY.
 
Also this week on p-day we went on a hike with a member Hanna to a place called Horseshoe bend. It was way fun to hike around especially because this place is beautiful!
 
One awesome lesson this week was with a less-active member whose husband is an investigator. We need to help them to get to church, so we met with her to see how we can help. We had a great lesson about obedience even when we are asked to do hard things that push us out of our comfort zone. We talked about 1 Nephi 4 where Nephi has to slay Laban. It is in the first 10 pages of the Book of Mormon for a reason. Nephi had to learn to follow the promptings of the Spirit and to do the will of the Father in all things. Like Nephi, sometimes we are asked to do hard things that don't make sense to us, but we are blessed for our obedience and the results of obedience are huge (because Nephi killed Laban and got the plates, we have the Book of Mormon now which has converted millions to the church).
 
Also I just love this quote by Joseph Smith: "A religion that didn't demand the sacrifice of all things wouldn't have the power to lead men to salvation."
 
I love you all! Happy Holidays!
 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Procure Mais! (Seek more!)


So this week was awesome! First week with only two of us in a companionship--it took some time to get used to the absence of Sister May but we are getting the swing of things now.
 
This week Living Legends, a group from BYU that does epic cultural performances--mostly Polynesian and South/Central American and Native American/Indian. It was so cool. We got to go to a fireside that they put on for the youth; they bore testimonies and sang songs in many languages. There was a couple Native Americans, Zuni and Navajo, who spoke to us which was cool because there were a ton of Navajos there. They were excited to get to speak to "their people" and one of the Navajos told a joke about his people. He said, "What do you call a Navajo with no lips? pointless" because Navajos point/give directions by moving their lips, so everyone busted up laughing. It was really funny!
 
 Then on Saturday night we got to go to the concert they put on. It was a ton of cultural dances and songs, and it was way good. They are so talented! One guy, who is Zuni and grew up on the rez, did this awesome performance with rings about the size of hula-hoops--he picked up like 20 or something and made shapes and stuff out of it. I think that it is a really old Native American performance/celebration; anyway, it was awesome.
 
This week we have been trying to create a vision for our wards here. Like many prophets in the scriptures, we wanted to have a vision for what the Lord wants for his people here. We prayed about it and one day I was reading in the Book of Mormon about Zion and the more I studied about Zion, I realized that building up Zion includes being friends with everyone. As members of the church, we need to be making friends with nonmembers, less actives, and even members (we should be friends with all the members in our wards). We should constantly be expanding our sphere of influence and reaching everyone that is already in that sphere.
 
In our wards, we are trying to help the members catch the wave of missionary work by praying for opportunities, inviting their friends by using Mormon.org profiles/family history/activities/church/etc depending on their interests., and then following up if they agree. And if they ask questions, to help them to meet with the missionaries.
 
I was reading the talk by Elder Nelson called "Catch the Wave" and he said, "Your exemplary lives will attract the interest of your friends and neighbors. Be ready to give an answer to those who ask you why you live as you do...When such questions come, you might respond by saying, "Let's ask the missionaries! They can help us! And if you desire I will be at your side as the missionaries respond and teach you."
 
 I realized that members need to be helping missionaries get people to teach. Members should be the ones that fill up the calendars of the missionaries; they should be the ones that are finding and the missionaries should be the ones that teach.
 
If people reject us or say that they are already happy/fine with their religion or what they have, we have been encouraging them to seek more. Why settle for the blessings that we already have?
 
Moroni 10:30 teaches us to "come unto Christ and lay hold upon every good gift." We can seek more by seizing every gift and blessing that God wants to give us. He has given us living prophets and the Book of Mormon, so why not seek for more blessings. If this message of the Restoration is true, then it will bless your life and your families' indefinitely.
 
Then if people continue to reject the gospel, we never stop. We should never give up on people. We need to always try to cultivate the seeds that we planted. Always follow-up on invitations and re-commit them if needed.  
 
Missionary work is so cool and such a blessing. I know that through the Atonement, we can be better missionaries every single day. It's so awesome!
 
I love you all so much!
Tchau, Tchau
Sister Bledsoe

Monday, November 18, 2013

So milagres!


Hey! Oi! Ya'a at' eeh! (Navajo for hello :))

So this week was bittersweet. Found out that Sister May is leaving us, but Sister Askren and I get to stay in Page and continue working with out investigators. A few of them are hopefully getting baptized soon if we can get them to come to church!
But this week, we had some really cool experiences. This one is the best though: 

We had an awesome lesson this week with Sylvia and Myron. Sylvia is an investigator and Myron is a less active member. Previously, we told them that they had to go to our ward instead of the Kaibeto ward, where Myron's dad is the 2nd counselor in the bishopric. Myron was mad at us when we told him because he sees other people break the boundary rule, but we tried to testify to him. Anyway, when we met with him on Wednesday he apologized for getting mad at us and said that he had a dream this week where he saw someone who he swears was President Monson. Monson just stood there in his dream and gave him "a look." Apparently, Myron woke up and knew what the look was for; he said that it meant "take it easy on the missionaries." He then told us that he knows that he was wrong and was sorry for getting mad about that.
It was epic! I love Navajos! They have amazing dreams because of their heritage and faith. I am so grateful to see these miracles on a daily basis here. A couple of weeks ago, one of our other investigators had a dream where God told her to go to church, so she has been coming ever since with her 4 kids. After 3 hours of church, she tells us that she doesn't want to go home- I love her!
Also this week we taught seminary. It was cool! We also taught Relief Society yesterday. Seriously, every time someone needs a substitute they ask us- we have taught 3 times in the past month ;) It is a cool experience each time though; I love the members here! They are already talking about having us over to their houses for Thanksgiving- we have 2 dinners so far :):)
This week I also really came to an appreciation for member missionaries! Seriously, the work in Page or Brentwood or anywhere else would go SOOO much faster if the members worked with the missionaries more. More referrals, more lessons with investigators, more fellowshipping, etc. Members have so much influence and power. They really have the best success with finding people for the missionaries to teach!
Hope everyone is getting ready for the holidays! We are starting to decorate our apartment and listen to Christmas hymns!

I love you!!!! 
-Sister Bledsoe
also a member in the ward knitted me some gloves for christmas! I am using them already because its cold here
 also a member in the ward knitted me some gloves for christmas! I am using them already because its cold here

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Happy happy happy


Happy Veterans' Day! (well yesterday)
Yeah we didn't get to email yesterday because it was veterans day and the community center was closed. We had a fun p-day though. They had a cute little Veterans' Day parade. Tons of boy and girl scouts (thus we saw like most of the kids in the wards) :). It made me think about parades back in Brentwood and I got homesick for a minute, but it was really fun. Then we spent the rest of the day hiking. We went with the Robersons (a less active couple & they are awesome). We went to Wahweap Wash and saw the Houdoos(?) which are really cool rock formations (I will try to send some pictures). Anyway, the drive there was pretty crazy because all the dirt roads were washed out. Brother Roberson was 4-wheelin almost the entire time to get us out of holes and stuff. It was a pretty long drive because of that (like 2 hours there and 1.5 hours back). The ride was pretty much comparable to the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland...but worse. We made it fine though and it was a fun adventure. I hope that I can see more of Page while I am here. There are so many cool things; I can't wait to come back after my mission.
This week we also went to Tuba City for Zone Training- thanks dad for sending me that article in the NY Times about missionary work in Tuba City- those elders in the picture are my zone leaders! Anyway, they talked to us this week about the Anti-Nephi-Lehis and how they buried their weapons of rebellion. We talked about how we all have weapons of rebellion (disobedience to the Lord like disobedience to the white handbook or mission president too). We talked about burying our weapons of rebellion deep into the ground. There is always something that you can do as a missionary (or as a regular person :)) to be more obedient.
This week Sister May had the stomach flu so she had to stay with members a lot while Sister Askren and I did some work. It was weird not being a full companionship, but we work well together so it all worked out. By the way, my companions are awesome! I have learned so much from them. It's funny because our personalities are SOOO different but we love each other and have had some really good times.
One really cool experience this week was when a former investigator texted us about some family problems that she was having. She told us that she needed our prayers. She is Navajo and has great faith especially about the power of prayer. We went by her house and talked to her and her kids. It is interesting that as a missionary we are able to help so many people with problems in life that are SO foreign to us. I haven't been through a fraction of the things I have seen and heard about here, but God know them and through the Spirit we are able to meet their needs as they come unto Christ.
This week I have also been thinking about charity a lot. I have come to realize how important charity is. Seriously, without charity we have nothing. It is impossible to teach the gospel without the Spirit and without love for the people. You also need charity to find people to teach. I have been praying for the gift of charity because it is hard especially when people don't keep commitments like coming to church.  I have learned that I need to implement Moroni 7:45 everyday. It is hard to love every single person that you meet and want to share the gospel with them, but I know that it is possible.
Hope you all enjoy the little things this week!
Count your blessings!
Love love love,
Sister Bledsoe











Monday, November 4, 2013

Muitos Felicidades


Hope everyone enjoyed their Halloween festivities! 
My week was pretty eventful. Not a lot of lessons because people are so busy with Halloween and the Balloon Regatta.
The Ballon Regatta is a 2 day event here (Fri and Sat), where like 60 hot air balloons come to Page and at night they park on the main street and they light up at night. Everyone goes to watch them and there are also booths and vendors--similar to the Cornfest in Brentwood.
We went to try to contact people on the street because no one was at their homes, but we weren't too successful at finding people because we saw like every member of the church that we knew and they all wanted to talk to us...basically we are really popular :P I love the members though! They are so amazing! Some of them are really catching the spirit of the hastening of the work. They help us as much as they can and open their mouths and talk to their friends about the gospel. It is really inspiring. 

Yesterday was the stake's fast for missionary work. It was cool because a ton of people bore their testimony about missionary work. We got a handful of shout-outs. Basically, I feel like a celebrity when I am around members and like a leper when I am not--people are good at avoiding us.
Anyway, one of the members of the bishopric in 3rd ward bore his testimony about the work and told the ward, "the missionaries are here to teach; we are responsible for finding people for them to teach." It was epic because he knows how hard we work to try to find people, but it is not nearly as successful as when the members invite. People trust their friends, they don't necessarily trust strangers who tell them what will make them happy.
Church was also really cool because a couple of the less active families that we have been visiting came back to church! It was awesome because they haven't been for a LONG time. I realized that less active members are a lot like recent converts because they both need a friend, a calling, and nourishment by the good word (Hinckley). Most importantly, they need friends to help them get back to church. The power of the members is HUGE. I never saw it until now, but it is amazing how much influence you have and how much good you can do by simply saying hello and smiling.
We have been encouraging the less active members to seek more. A lot of people here in Page say that they are happy and fine and okay and good, but why settle for the blessings that you already have? God wants to give you so much more than you already have if you just ask and be obedient to his commandments. Seek more and lay a hold on everything good thing. --that is kind of what we want people to see. The gospel is full of blessings and goodness and happiness; I just them to be able to taste it and know for themselves!

Also, I've learned also that missionary work is so hard because the opposition is so strong. Satan really does not want us to be missionaries. He does not want us to share the gospel with our friends. He knows the power of the message of the Restoration, so he does everything he can to stop us. He makes us scared of offending people so we don't have time to think about saving them.
Well I love you all so much. Have a fabulous week!
Love, 
Sister Sadie Bledsoe


 one of my favorite kids- Dustin

 wierd picture but Sister May's prophet pumpkin...we are such missionaries
 my epic angel moroni pumpkin
 & Sister Akren's salt lake city temple pumpkin

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Happy Halloween!!

Hey! 

This week was epic! 

Monday, we made arrowheads at a members house. They live out in Big Water which is in Utah, but they are still in our ward. We chipped the arrowheads out of glass and a few cuts later we were successful! Brother Brewer made them into necklaces for us, but they are really sharp so it is hard to wear. 

Also, this week we had zone conference in Tuba City. President Batt and his wife are AWESOME. I love them so much! I am so happy to be in this mission. I will miss it so much when I have to go. The people are just so great. Anyway, I learned a lot about teaching simply and using the pictures in the pamphlets to teach the lessons. The pictures say so much and teach so much more than I had ever thought before. When we first meet with people, we talk about the picture on the front of the restoration pamphlet with Christ holding the sheep. It totally sets up the restoration and brings the Spirit when we talk about it. We usually ask what they see in the picture then how they feel about it. Those answers help us to know their relationship with God and it just perfectly leads into the message of God is our loving heavenly father. 

Also at zone conference, I met my Sister Training Leader Sister Ferrell. She is awesome! She came back to Page with us to go on exchanges, so I got to spend a lot of time with her. She also brought her two other companions so we had 6 sisters in our apartment but it was so nice because we went on splits and got so much work done! 

That night, we taught tons of lessons and made our way to the chili cook-off for 3rd ward. I don't know if I mentioned this yet but we have 2 wards that we are over so we are always busy. Anyway, right before the cook-off I went to go invite a part-member family (Lavinia and Nate- I talk about them a lot because they make me so happy). They came and the ward totally welcomed them and it was awesome. 

One of the members, Brother Tubman also brought two non-members to the cookoff. He basically went tracting by himself the night before because he was handing out fliers for the cookoff and invited these two girls. They came and they want to meet with the missionaries! So member missionary work WORKS! You never know who wants to hear about the gospel until you ask!

Also, one of the amazing experiences was with Lavinia this week. We had asked her to pray aloud at the end of the lesson and ask Heavenly Father if the Book of Mormon is true and if Joseph Smith was a prophet. She said, "This sounds funny but the sisters asked me to ask you if the Book of Mormon is true... Is the Book of Mormon true?" She couldn't even wait for an answer. Right after that, she said, "I know it is true." We were all crying because the Spirit was so strong. She reads the Book of Mormon all of the time, and I know that she has a testimony of it. She said that she doesn't even enjoy watching TV anymore when she is overwhelmed or is sad because she would rather read the scriptures. She has so much faith! She also reads with her 4 kids/babies every morning and night. She is such an example to me. I know that I was supposed to be here so I could meet her. She came to church this Sunday and, after 3 hours, she said that she didn't want to leave. The gospel has changed her life so much and the life of her family. Her boyfriend Nate came to church too; it was epic because he is less active and she is the example for him. I also felt like a proud mom because the ward was awesome and tons of people welcomed them to church and took them to the meetings. 

Overall, I love Page. Mostly because I already love the people so much. The members are so good to us and the people that we work with have so much faith. Being a missionary is hard work but it is the most rewarding work in the world! I promise. 

Hopefully, some of our investigators will be able to resolve their legal issues so they can get baptized! 

Love, 
Sister Bledsoe

Sister hansen! (old pic from the MTC)
 saw my friend Bryce at the MTC when Vocal Point came for a devotional!
 all the sisters in 2 of the zones with Sister Batt
 awkward family photo #2

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Só Milagres


OI Family! How are you all?! I miss you and think about you all the time! Thank you for all of your emails and letters. I don't have much time to respond to them all but I appreciate them so much!
 
This week has been filled with more awesomeness! Where do I start...
 
Zone training was awesome this week! We talked about how as missionaries we need to be setting people up to succeed. We talked about how a lot of the time we set people up to fail if our commitments for them are impossible for them to do. For example, giving them huge reading assignments or difficult scriptures especially when the language of the scriptures is foreign to them--that is setting them up to fail. Also, inviting them to church but not making sure that they have a ride to get to church. Or teaching way deep doctrine or teaching way too fast. Or teaching about the Word of Wisdom but not taking their alcohol out of their home. Or failing to get them a fellowshipper/friendshipper. Or baptizing them when they never went to church or only went once. We just need to be careful when we give commitments and make sure that we are setting them up so they CAN actually keep the commitments and progress. It was eye-opening for me because I don't want to fail these people. I love them so much already!
 
Also, this week we have been meeting with a lot of less active families. If they aren't home, we have left them with a  copy of the talk "His Grace is Sufficient" by Brad Wilcox. Thanks dad for introducing me to that talk a million years ago! It has been a blessing to many people here!
 
One of the Elders in my district had a baptism this week. Well actually it was a triple baptism because it was a mom and her 2 kids. At the end, she bore her testimony and thanked Elder Tanner for not giving up on her. She had let her kids talk with the missionaries for a couple months and as the elders taught the kids, they never gave up on the mom. They constantly invited her to join and checked up on her even when she said no time and time again. She cried as she expressed her thanks for Elder Tanner because she knew that she wasn't fine every time that she told him "I'm fine." She said that it was because he didn't give up that she was baptized. I was inspired because we can never give up on people. Even if they say they are okay and fine without the gospel, we can't give up on them because Christ wouldn't give up on them so we shouldn't either.
 
Random stuff:
-we play ultimate football (basically ultimate Frisbee but with a football) most mornings with our district. it's way fun! I'm basically Drew Bledsoe status now. --Also a couple of the members of the ward give me a hard time because of my last name. Bro Knight teases me about it all the time because he thinks Drew Bledsoe is a cry baby. It's funny. Most people can't pronounce or remember my name, so I'm usually just "sister."
-We volunteer at the Food Bank every week. Another church is in charge but it is cool to help. There is a ton of need here so our help is much appreciated.
-We taught Relief Society last week. It was on missionary work- shocker! lol. It was great though and I think the members trust us more. The members are so great! I am over 2 wards and they are both full of amazing examples. I think that meeting them is one of the reasons why I am here in Page. Some of the greatest people I have ever met with the most incredible stories. Also they give us really REALLY good food and treats :)
 
I love you so much!
Enjoy your week!
Tchua, Tchau
Love, Sister Bledsoe
 
Also here is my email to my mission prez.
 
hey President!
This week has been really good. Still lots of learning. I am constantly being humbled but I am coming to love the people so much! Missionary work is hard but so rewarding!
Emotionally, I have been doing well. When I start to feel overwhelmed, I try to count my blessings and remember why I came out on a mission. I remember the people that I am teaching and how much I love them, and then things don't seem as hard. Physically, I am doing well and staying healthy. I need to work on ways to stay awake during planning at night though, but I know that if I have a good attitude about it then I will be able to finish the work quicker and more efficiently.
Spiritually, I have been doing really well. Some days and in some lessons it is really easy to feel the Spirit. I feel like the Spirit is constantly strengthening and teaching me. I would not be able to be out here without the Spirit and the daily tender mercies of the Lord.
12 week has been going well. I have enjoyed role playing with my companions and it has really helped especially with tracting and teaching people when we first meet them. It is nice to have two awesome trainers as well! They are great!
One of my favorite moments this week happened on Tuesday in a lesson with Lavinia, a progressing investigator. We brought a member to the lesson, Sister Moody and she was awesome! She followed promptings throughout the whole lesson and taught Lavinia many important lessons about strengthening family as a mother and a wife. As missionaries, we couldn't give that kind of counsel, advice, or testimony. Sister Moody bore powerful testimony to Lavinia about the importance of marriage and a strong relationship with a spouse when Lavinia said that sometimes she thinks that things would be easier without her boyfriend Nate. Lavinia started crying as she realized the importance of a mother and a father in families. The Spirit was so strong. Since that lesson, Lavinia has been reading the Book of Mormon with her 4 young kids in the morning AND at night. She also prays with them and is setting a great example for Nate.  The work is working!
-Sister Bledsoe

on the way to Tuba City for Zone conference!


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

My New Address

400  W. Apache Street
Farmington, NM, 87401

Page, AZ !


Hello Family and Friends!
I am doing so well! I am in Page, AZ. It is a really small town by Lake Powell. Most of the people in Page are Navajo because the reservation ("the rez") is so close. About half of our investigators are Navajo; they are so humble and awesome! I love them already!
My trainers are Sister May and Askren--yes, I am in a trio. I love it but it has its challenges too. We feel like the mafia showing up to someone's porch when we go tracting because it feels like there are so many of us but I know that we are blessed with the opportunity for 3 hearts to receive revelation for our investigators and others that we meet.
Funny story about my first door that I tracted-- the lady was not very nice at all and told me that she had her religion and I have mine. Then she shut the door quite angrily. BUT other than that I have had a lot of success with tracting so far. We have TTI-ed (teach/testify/invite) over 20 people since I have been here on Tuesday. We also have gotten 3 potential investigators from it, so it had been really good. I have come to love talking to strangers and inviting them to hear our message because it is so challenging but so fun! Each contact experience is so different, so it is a challenge to speak through the Spirit each time. Also, sometimes I can't find my words because I want to be speaking Portuguese! My English grammar is somewhat atrocious now, but the Lord uses the weak and simple to preach his word (D&C 1:23) so I know that I will be blessed even for trying. That is a huge lesson that I learned this week. All I need is the courage and love for God and his children to open my mouth and trust that it will be filled. A lot of the time I don't say the anything close to perfect but I know that most of the time the words don't matter.
Anyway, Portuguese is still on my brain even though I teach in English now. But my companions are learning Navajo in case they get called to serve on the rez. Most sisters don't serve actually on the rez because it isn't super safe, but since I am learning Portuguese they use that hour to learn Navajo and MAN is that language difficult!
Oh, back-up, I also love my mission president and his wife, President and Sister Batt. The mission home is beautiful and they fed us green chili pizza when we first got there- apparently green chiles are huge in New Mexico.
Also, we are working with a few progressing investigators who would totally get baptized but we can't set dates yet because they need to resolve some legal matters first. Being on a mission here has definitely opened my eyes to a lot things that's for sure. My prayer is that everything will workout for them if they continue to read the scriptures, pray, and come to church. (CPR-church, pray, read-restarts the soul!).
Well this email is super random and all over the place, but most of all I am SO HAPPY. Missionary work is challenging but the most rewarding work in the whole world! I love it! I am so close to Christ and the blessings of the companionship of the Holy Ghost are amazing. I am so humbled to be here doing the Lord's work. I promise that missionary work is worth it. It is work because it requires a lot of faith, preparation, and charity (pray for charity! it is a spiritual gift and it is amazing!) but the blessings are INCREDIBLE.
Also I LOVE the children in my wards here and the families of invesitgators. They are my best friends especially Seandriana, Myla, and Lexi. I will get pictures with them soon!

I love you all so much! God loves you! I pray for you everyday!
Tchau, Tchau,
Sister Bledsoe

The other Brazil district with left with us- Sisters hallmark, Ames, hansen, and lou!
 district with one of our teachers Irmao Mummy


I miss them so much! 

 Funny story- we saw the Sisters who were leaving our mission in New Mexico and going to Brazil because they just got their visas. It was awesome to see their excitement and sadness because they loved New Mexico so much.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

FARMINGTON

I got my temporary re-assignment today! Until I get my visa to go to Brazil, I will be serving in the Farmington New Mexico Mission! I am so excited!!!!! My mission is the four corners of Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico! I leave the MTC on Monday morning at 3:30AM so I will be able to give my family a call when I get to the airport at like 7AM my time. I will try to call mom or dad; I guess whoever is up that early! 

I know a couple of people in other districts that are going with me to New Mexico. My companion Sister Phillips is going to the Long Beach CA mission, and the rest of my district is going to Boston, Richmond Virginia, Maryland Baltimore, and Everett Washington! 

Now I just have two more days at the MTC and it is general conference so it will be great! 

When I get re-assigned I will be speaking English most likely- someone said that we might speak Spanish but that's just a rumor. I also heard that there is an Indian reservation in my mission. Anyways, I will have to keep up my Portuguese on my own most likely. We are making language study plans so we will have good practice in the mornings. I just hope I don't get worse at speaking, so I will try to find someone who knows Portuguese in my mission. 

Okay, so this week was crazy! It started off with singing at General Conference. I heard that I wasn't really on TV but oh well I was there and it was awesome! 

On our way to the Conference Center our bus broke down though. It was weird because none of us knew how serious it was until after we got off the bus in Salt Lake. What happened was the engine had stopped while we were on the freeway because the fan belt broke I think. Then we started going really slow and our bus driver had to move over 4 lanes of traffic between semi-s with no power. At the time, we just thought we were driving really slow but we actually weren't really moving much at all. It was a miracle that we were guided safely to the Conference Center! 

Anyways, singing at conference was unbelievable! The organ was SO loud behind us and the view was amazing. We saw President Monson walk to his seat and got to see the back of his head as he spoke. The Spirit was so strong when he walked in though; I KNEW so strongly that he is a living prophet and God's mouthpiece here on the earth today. Also "More Holiness Give Me" is probably my new favorite song because we felt the Spirit so strongly when we sang that. It was amazing. Basically I just love being a missionary! 

This Tuesday, we had a super great devotional. David S. Baxter spoke to us and it was phenomenal. He is the author of the book A Perfect Brightness of Hope (i think) so you should check it out because he is awesome. Anyways, he talked about Romans 1:16 "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth;" He bore testimony that the gospel of Jesus Christ and baptism is the only way to be saved. There are 6 billion people in the world that do not know that. And how will they ever know unless we open our mouths. He also said that because we know the truth, many people will persecute us for what we believe. We don't need to be defensive though because IT IS TRUE. It is the FULLNESS of the gospel of Jesus Christ--each and every part is true. It is so beautiful because it makes so much sense to both my heart and my head. Each time I read the Bible and the Book of Mormon, my testimony of their truth and divinity grows. 

Also, two cool things that I heard his week: 
1) "If this isn't true, the missionaries would have figured it our by now." So true. The work and the sacrifices are more than we have ever experienced before. None of us would be here if it wasn't true. We know that it is true without a shadow of a doubt. 
2) "Dare to be consecrated."

Well I love you all so much! Can't wait to hear from you. Keep emailing and writing!
Oh and I don't have my new address for New Mexico yet so emails will be the only way to reach me this week. 

Tchau, Tchau!
Love,
Sister Bledsoe






Saturday, September 28, 2013

Bom Dia!

Òla família e amigos! Let me just tell you all how great you are! It is so fun getting mail from you all! I feel so loved! Hopefully you will be able to see me tomorrow if you watch the General Relief Society Broadcast- i'll be wearing blue like bright blue :) This week we have spent a lot of time practicing, so I hope it will be good. It is amazing singing these hymns as a missionary though. The songs have new meaning as I sing them now. I still cannot believe that I am a sister missionary and get to have these experiences! My lessons this week have been very successful. Sister Phillips and I are able to better understand what our investigators say to us, but the Spirit helps so much. Even if I don't understand every word that they say, somehow I am able to know what to say to them. It's so amazing. I have been learning so much about teaching through asking questions and letting the investigators bear testimony as they answer. One cool experience this week was in TRC, which is a program through the MTC where BYU students and other volunteers who know Portuguese come and let us teach them as members. We get the opportunity to get to know them and then share our testimonies with them. This week we met with a returned missionary who served in Portugal. She was way cool, but Portugal Portuguese is VERY different than Brazil Portuguese especially to two sisters that know very little Brazil Portuguese to begin with. Anyways, we picked up on only a few nouns and adjectives that she used, but somehow we were able to speak with her for 20 minutes. The gift of tongues is real! I know it. Also, we were able to understand her testimony and love for her mission, especially when she told us not go home. After the lesson, Sister Phillips and I talked about how much we needed that encouragement right at that moment because that lesson was WAY hard for us. It was definitely a tender mercy. Also, I feel like I write a lot about the songs we sing in choir but hymns play a huge role in feeling the Spirit so I love them. This week we sang "Nearer, My God, To Thee." I didn't know this before but this song was written for the story about Jacob in the Old Testament. The story is in Genesis 28 (verse 10-22 I think). It is about Jacob (son of Isaac and Rebekah and brother or Esau) who has to leave home because his brother Esau wants to kill him even though he(Jacob) was the good kid who did everything right. He ends up leaving home and going to the wilderness where he sleeps with a rock as his pillow ("my rest a stone"). In the midst of this trial, he has a dream about a ladder ("steps unto heaven"), which Bruce R McConkie says is Jacob's temple endowment. Then when he woke up he made an alter there because it was such holy ground. He named the altar "Beth-el" which means "house of God" like the temples because "beth" means "house of" and "el" is short for "Eloheim." I just loved the power of the message in this song. It says, "Out of my stony griefs Beth-el I'll raise," which I believe means that God will take our challenges (stony griefs) and use them to make us into Beth-el, or a house of God. God refines us like a refiner of silver- he cleanses us, molds us, and makes us unbreakable through fire(our challenges). Oh and on Saturday night we had a devotional given by Merrill J Bateman! He used to be a President of BYU and in the quorum of the 70. Now he is emeritus status, but he once gave a talk called "A Patter for All" where he said: For many years I thought of the Savior’s experience in the garden and on the cross as places where a large mass of sin was heaped upon Him. Through the words of Alma, Abinadi, Isaiah, and other prophets, however, my view has changed. Instead of an impersonal mass of sin, there was a long line of people, as Jesus felt “our infirmities” (Heb. 4:15), “[bore] our griefs, … carried our sorrows … [and] was bruised for our iniquities” (Isa. 53:4–5).The Atonement was an intimate, personal experience in which Jesus came to know how to help each of us. Anyways, he has awesome insights and he talked about the power and authority or a missionary call. He pointed out how the title Elder is only used for the quorum of the 12 and the 70 and for missionaries. He said that missionaries work along side them to help them to work for the salvation of souls. It was way cool to think about missionaries like that. Overall all is well here. I love the work! It is challenging but I feel God's love SO much as I try to be an obedient and diligent missionary. I know that He loves us all so much. We are His CHILDREN. It is so beautiful and special to know that. I hope that everyone around the world will be able to feel that as we sing tomorrow in Conference. That is our testimony as missionaries for Jesus Christ. I love you all! You are huge examples to me! Your love and support means so much. Lots of love! Tchau, Sister Bledsoe




Sunday, September 22, 2013

Boas Novas (Good News)!

GUESS WHAT???!!!!!!!!! I'm singing in the General Relief Society Broadcast!!!! 

Sister Hansen, Jones, Phillips, and I were chosen to be in the choir of sister missionaries that is going to sing at the conference center next Saturday so try to find us on TV! It's just so exciting. This morning was our first rehearsal. The entire general relief society board (including Sister Burton) was there! It was awesome!!! This is the coolest once in a lifetime experience. Plus we get to go on a field-trip to Salt Lake!!! ahhh i'm so excited. 

This morning, we also woke up at 5:15 to do laundry and eat breakfast because our choir practice started at 7:30 so I'm just a little sleepy today. 

Other than that, all is well here. I love, love, love my district. They are my best friends. We are already planning reunions (like Sister Phillip's wedding). All of the elders are just so funny, and the sisters get along so well too. 

We also love our STLs (Sister Training Leaders)! They are awesome! I will get pictures with them soon! 

Daily life at the MTC is always fun. This week has flown by. We still play district sand volleyball which is a highlight of the day. We laugh probably more than we actually play because we have so much fun. 

Our Portuguese is slowly improving every day. Sister Phillips and I no longer use ANY notes in our lessons. We do a lot of memorization and practice beforehand, but more than anything we have to rely on faith that the Holy Ghost will help us to teach the investigators. 

It's amazing to think about how much I have learned in only 3 weeks. It's so humbling because I know that I could have never learned Portuguese this fast without God's help. I love the Lord so much! I am constantly relying on the Atonement to try to become a better missionary every day. The work is awesome. We feel so much love and joy in the work--it's hard to describe. 

What else... this week I sang in the Tuesday night devotional choir again. Our choir director is hilarious and somehow he makes us sound SO good. He said that in the past 11 years that he has worked here, we are the best at following him so we sound really good together. The branch presidency and their wives always tell us that we are the best part of the devotional. Anyways, my testimony of music has definitely been strengthened through the spirit and power of missionary work here :) 

We sang "Joseph Smith's First Prayer," and it was so powerful especially because I was memorizing the first vision in Portuguese this week. When we were practicing, an elder who is going to Finland said the first vision in Finnish to all of us and it was WAY powerful. Even though I didn't understand a word that he said, I knew that it was true because I felt the Spirit so strongly. 

Lots of people in my zone/branch are getting their re-assignments. My district will most likely get reassignments in 2 weeks (so around the time of General Conference) if we don't get our visa, which is pretty unlikely at this point. But we are all super excited to get 2 mission calls!

Well, I love you all! 
Tchau, Tchau,
Sister Bledsoe

Oh, some funny things about Brazil. Apparently, it is super "chique" (classy) to dress up in pretty nice clothes and go out to eat with your family... but at the food court at the mall or McDonalds. ;)

on our way home from the temple, we were blessed with a torrential down-pour! it was soooo fun but we were SOAKED.
 look who I found! Elder Swisher! good luck in Montana!
 Mihna companhiera!
 Jensen, Junge, Bledsoe, Phillips, Foell, and Derby





 HAPPY DAY!!!! we got our letters that we got into the choir!!

our classroom! we spend like 10 or so hours in here every day!