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!
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