Monday, February 24, 2014


This week was the baptism of Audra Chidester. She is 9 and since she is autistic she can't speak but can communicate in other ways. She wanted to get baptized so we have taught her for awhile. I love her so much! She is just so cute. Anyway, yesterday when she walked into the church she was wearing a beautiful white dress and she looked like an angel. She had to get dunked 4 times because her foot kept popping up, but it was still perfect. She was so happy. I love being able to see that happiness that comes from living the gospel; her spirit radiated and everyone could feel Heavenly Father's love. It was incredible. I have learned so much from her and it was beautiful to be able to share that day with her and her family. It was also really special because her family could feel her mom there--Audra's mom passed away this summer and Audra knew that she was there and very proud of her.

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we love audra!
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Also yesterday was probably one of the longest days of my life. I woke up at 4 am with the stomach flu. Still had to go to 5 hours of church because there was so much to do. I sit there and cried for about 5 hours. It was a very emotionally taxing day. Lots of tender mercies, broken hearts, blessings, answers to prayers, sorrow, etc. for both me and the people that I have come to love here. It will be really hard to leave them. Anyway, I definitely felt angels bear me up because I did not have the strength to do anything yesterday but somehow a lot of good was done. I am grateful for a great companion. Sister Hammond is very patient. She was an angel too.
So I am still really out of it so I have no idea what to write. I will try to respond to a few emails though... I swear I read all of them even though I usually don't have time to respond. If you write me a letter, I will probably respond though :)
Love you!
-Sister Sadie Bledsoe
PO Box 86
Page, AZ 86040 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Missionary Next Door

This week seems like it has been quite long, in a good way! Lots of things happened.This week I got a new companion--Sister Hammond! She is awesome. She'd from Mt Pelier, Idaho. We get along really well, and we have taught a few lessons (Relief Society too) and we have done well switching off. We also have been seeing some more success with working with the members; we have had more people come to our Book of Mormon study class and the members in 3rd ward are excited about the missionary potluck on Friday. We really want to give the members opportunities to give their friends a social conversion (opportunities to INVITE) so then they will have multiple opportunities to have a spiritual conversion.
Sister Hammond and I listened to this EPIC talk called "Missionary Next Door" by Diana Hoelscher--highly recommend everyone to listen to it/read it. I'm sure you can look it up on Google or something. I will give some highlights because it is pretty life-changing:
--Reason we do missionary work: We love the message. It's Lehi's dream to the max. We tasted of the fruit and it was delicious to us and we want to share it. We do missionary work not because we should but because we want to.
--Her dad received a blessing from Gordon B Hinckley when he got set apart for a stake calling. In the blessing, Hinckley told him that if he made missionary work the center of his family, none of his children would go astray.
--Her parents had family councils where they made a rule: every single Sunday we are going to have a non-member at church with us. And for as long as she could remember, they did.
--Time to vent: reasons why sharing the gospel is hard- fear, nervous, rejection, embarrassed, don't know what to say, peer pressure, offending ppl, look like a religious fanatic, look pushy, preachy, looking down on them, not time now (I will do my missionary work when I am on a mission), who do I share it with?
--Totally legitimate fears. Not things that might happen; things that do happen. probably will happen.
--However, 2 types of conversion:
1. Spiritual: repent. feel Spirit. pray about church/BofM/Joseph Smith/prophet/Jesus Christ. come to church. keep commitments.
2. Social: have a FRIEND. feel welcomed/loved/invited. feel noticed. have someone to sit by.
--Which one would make you more nervous: telling someone to pray about the BofM or inviting them to Youth Conference? which one would offend them more: teaching Law of Chastity or teaching where your ward building is? which one takes more time: teaching them about the Word of Wisdom of inviting them to a ward chili cook-off?
--Spiritual conversion is way harder; it has the fears attached to it
--However, there is a delegation for these 2 types of conversions. Members provided opportunities for the social conversion; and missionaries are set apart/endowed to be able to help people to have the spiritual conversion; the whole world is praying for them so they can do that part successfully.
--Deal she made with members when she was on a full-time mission: "If you bring them, I'll ask them. If they hate me, I don't care because I'm getting transferred." So when they would come to activities with friends, she would go up to them and say "I don't think I've ever met you before. Are you a member of our church? You're not. Well, do you think you would like to learn a little bit more about this church? We have a few lessons that take about an hour, and if you want to we can go over to your friend's house and I could share them with you and if you don't like it when you don't have to sign up again." And if they say no she'd tell the members that when she walked away they could say "She's crazy. I don't even know her. I don't even know who invited her here." Anything to save your friendship because that is important.
--Important to have a strong social conversion so we can provide them with opportunities to have a spiritual conversion if they're interested.
--Her family wanted to be a part of this social conversion. (they had 31 ppl baptized and 50 took the discussions). They were a normal family shooting for an extraordinary eternity. This is how they did it:
1. only hung church pictures on the walls of their home and when people asked about them, they had to answer the questions the right way, they were being polite.
2. dinner with missionaries and non-members. her dad had the elders invited the elders to share their experience of when they decided to serve a full-time mission=>the Spirit was so strong; those are very personal experiences. then after dinner, dad invited the missionaries to share a 5 min quick 1st discussion with  just the basic beliefs of the church and they would kneel in prayer
3. friends can't sleep over on Saturday night unless they come to church
4. mutual-bring a friend. "I don't want to go because my best friends aren't there." her mom: "Well you got to go so why don't you bring someone that you like."
5. firesides-bring a friend
6. homemaking-bring a friend
7. ward activities- bring a friend. they are in the church and for once peer pressure is working with them. they would feel rude if they didn't just listen for a second. 
8. family prayer when non-members or less actives are over and invite them to participate. kneel. dad or brother prayed because in most churches it is rare to hear a man pray. she said she never had a family prayer where her friend did not ask a question about the church after
9. can't have friends over on Sundays unless watch a church video
10. couldn't date non-members unless they took discussions. didn't have to get baptized though because you can't take away a person's agency. 
"to understand me better, I would like you to take these lessons about my church. You don't have to join but it would help you to know why I am the way I am."
11. have missionaries over when non-members are over. missionaries ask: "are you a member of our church?" no. "what church do you go to/are you active in a church?" no "would you like to learn a little bit more about our church?" uhhhh *member: "it'd be fun." missionary: "we will be here on thursday and if you want you can come and listen.." uhhh *member: "I bet my mom would make treats." :) success.
--rule: tell the missionaries when you are bringing a non-member to church or activities. call them and invite them to ask them to take the discussions.
I also listened to Glenn Beck's conversion story this week... EPIC.
Friday, the Duces gave us chocolates and the Landrins gave us Flowers <3 We also had a great Book of Mormon study class so I was happy :)

On Sunday, I sat in 3rd ward sacrament meeting and I was so overcome with joy. Our recent convert Tim was passing the sacrament. Sylvia, an investigator who had never come to church in 3rd ward before--she went to Kaibeto and it was really hard for her and her husband to understand ward boundaries, sat next to me. I looked around and saw all the less actives and other investigators/non-members with the members. The bishopric had announced our missionary potluck and was really excited about it. I also know that in both wards there is so much work to do. I want to help both wards to want to hasten the work. I am hopeful that visiting the members and teaching them how to give their friends a social conversion will open up many opportunities to let them have a spiritual conversion.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Priesthood Power

HEY!!! So this week I found out that Sister Askren is leaving. She is being transferred to Red Mesa in New Mexico. Sad stuff. My new companion will be Sister Hammond. I am excited! Change is good; keeps things exciting especially on a mission.
First, last Monday, we had a fun p-day activity with the elders. We don't often hangout with them because we are the only sisters and apparently it's weird... lol. But they invited us to go over to a members house with them to watch Ephraim's Rescue (I love that movie! Such a powerful message about rescuing for missionaries/member missionaries. Sister Askren and I find Thomas Dobson to be quite quotable :)) and eat spagetti. It was fun. The elders are so funny. They are really close with the member whose house we were at. The members gave the elders a garage door opener for their house so they can use their house whenever...typical for these elders; everyone loves them. They are doing a great job. I have learned a ton from their examples.
On Tuesday, we went to Institute. Brother Lotze, the institute teacher, taught Alma 17-18. He mentioned a cool insight into ch 17 vs 23: And Ammon said untohim: Yea, desire to dwell among this people for time; yea, and perhaps until the day die." He said he hears most people say how much they hate Page and want to leave (funny because that's what most people say about Brentwood). He was saying that we should have the perspective of Ammon because he was willing to live amongst the Lamanites, people that originally hated him, because it was the Lord's will. Powerful "bloom where you are planted" moment for me. 

We also went to visit Crystal, an awesome 14 year old girl. Her mom told us that right before we came, she said a prayer that someone would come over for Crystal to talk to. Happy day that we could be an answer to a prayer/someone's tender mercy. I am grateful for the Spirit daily for that.
On Wednesday, we had a lesson with a new investigator at a member's house. He brought her to church once (the power of member missionary work is awesome.  the power of opening your mouth) and she felt very comfortable. After our lesson she said that she felt very comfortable. She also complimented us for answering her questions so completely in a way that made sense. She said that all of the other people she had ever asked about prayer could never give her an answer that sufficed her. She told us that we were "solid"...yes! mission accomplished. That's a solid compliment.
We also found out about a "sign car" driving around town that says in huge letters "What Mormons Dont"--maybe that will drum up some business for us ;)
On Thursday, we had zone training. One of our zone leaders goes home this week. He bore his testimony on the rejuvenating power of the Spirit. When we are tired, discouraged, fatigued in the work, we can demand a spiritual experience to renew/quicken us (D&C 84:33 and Romans 8:11). It was a powerful realization for me to make because I thought about all of the times that spiritual experiences have rejuvenated me determination to work hard. 

On Friday night I received a priesthood blessing from one of my ward mission leaders, Brother Prall. I wasn't expecting a very specific blessing because I was lacking faith, but right before the blessing I was thinking about Elder Holland's talk "Lord, I Believe." I knew that I had faith, maybe not enough to receive all the blessings that I needed, so I thought to myself: "Lord, I Believe. Help thou mine unbelief." Brother Prall then proceeded to give me one of the most powerful blessings that I have ever received. I think that it mostly meant a lot coming from him because I have had to work sooo hard for the past 5 months to earn his trust. He just barely told me that I was a good missionary and I think that he is beginning to trust us with the work. He has been a ward mission leader faithfully for 14 years. He knows what he is doing and I respect him a lot, so getting a blessing from him meant a ton. Anyway, in the blessing he mentioned that I will surprise people with my eloquence, even myself. Two days later in fast and testimony meeting, I received a prompting to go up and bear my testimony. Not many people bear their testimony in that ward, so I decided to get up and try to motivate this ward to overcome complacency and discouragement (a theme in most of the work here). I talked about the Holy Ghost and how spiritual experiences and tender mercies rejuvenate our spirits to continue in the work. I had a powerful feeling that the thoughts that I shared were not my own. I knew that I was a vessel for the Lord to use to help the ward to seek more. Then last night, Brother Prall told me that he was very impressed with my testimony and found my presentation to be authoritative. I almost cried because I have tried so hard to become a better missionary by following his counsel. This was the first time that he commended my efforts and it reassured me that hard work matters. I know that his counsel has helped me to be a more powerful missionary and I am grateful for his wisdom. I thought about a talk by Elder Christofferson who said, "Thank you, Mr. Gardner, for loving me enough to cut me down." By far, Brother Prall has helped me to become a better missionary more than anyone else. I am truly grateful for priesthood leaders. I have an increased testimony of the power of the priesthood and its affect in our daily lives. I realized that I need blessings of comfort and counsel more often; I just need to be more humble to ask.
Brother Prall also said that my full name is pretty. He said that my parents did a good job; his wife agreed. So props to mom and dad for the ingenuity in naming me ;) 

I am grateful for the tender mercies that I have experienced all throughout my mission. Recently, I read my journal from my whole mission and I cried. So many laughs and tears are expressed in those pages. I have loved my mission. I am grateful for the hand of the Lord that has been in my life everyday.
One more cool thought: think about all the blessings that you have received. They are always perfectly timed. They come at exactly the right moment--not sooner, not later. I have pondered the time frame of my blessings and it was powerful. I am grateful that my Heavenly Father knows me better than I know myself.
Love you!
Sister Sadie Eliese Bledsoe ;)

dead coyote! Audra's dad killed it 'cause he caught him in a trap and they get money for coyotes out here and a coyote ate their two kittens :(

the Caldwell family (a little off centered...)

the Knight family!

the Duce's, one of my favorite member families and their new puppy nala :D

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

ultimo semana!

Super eventful week. I will try to write brief highlights about it all:
In district meeting this week, our district leader had the best object lesson ever. Elder West (district leader) bought a chocolate cake and put Elder Lowe into a trash bag (to make sure he didn't get cake all over his clothes), had him sit down, and told him to eat everything that he puts in front of his face.
Elder West: "Eat the cake. Why aren't you eating it? Eat more. Your mouth is bigger than that. Ok. Swallow. Eat more, you must be so hungry."
Elder West proceeded to cram chocolate cake into Elder Lowe's mouth. Elder Lowe got pretty mad and ended up spitting most of it out except for a few crumbs.
Then Elder West had me put on the trash bag, and asked me to sit down. He cut a piece of cake and asked me how much I wanted to start off with. I wanted a smallish piece to start with and then he asked me how I wanted to eat it. I told him that I wanted to eat smallish bites. He gave me some then let me chew and swallow then he asked me if I wanted more. I said yes. I ate until the piece was gone. I was happy and content.
That is how we have to feed people the gospel: slow; let them chew/think; figure out how they eat/learn and feed them/teach accordingly.
I realized that sometimes I really overwhelm people when I teach a whole lesson/cram the cake down their throat :) I loved that object lesson. It was delicious too :)

We met with our ward mission leader in 2nd ward, Dexter Prall, and he asked us if we were memorizing scriptures. We told him that we weren't. We did at the beginning of my time in Page, but we hadn't been lately. We thought that we would be stronger and more powerful teachers (earn the trust of the members) if we memorized scriptures from the Bible and used them in our lessons. So far it has been awesome! It has strengthened my testimony that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is a New Testament Church, not a Post-New Testament church. I know that feasting on the words of Christ and memorizing them has power. As Brother Prall said, "Give the Spirit a few building blocks."

 We had a cool lesson with Draven, a 10 year old who really wants to be baptized. His grandmother was in the lesson because she is visiting from the rez. She was probably paying more attention than Draven was because his siblings were being really noisy and his parents were talking over the lesson; Draven's mom is a less-active member and his dad is a not a member of the church. I didn't really feel like he was really getting anything out of the lesson. We were teaching the Plan of Salvation and he is really smart and answered all of our questions, but I didn't feel like this lesson was very spiritually uplifting. At the end of the lesson, I felt impressed to open up my scriptures. I originally had no idea what scripture I wanted to share but as I opened up my scriptures I thought about Alma's description of his joy in Alma 36. I read: " 20 And oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain! 21 Yea, I say unto you, my son, that there could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter as were my pains. Yea, and again I say unto you, my son, that on the other hand, there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy. 22 Yea, methought I saw, even as our father Lehi saw, God sitting upon his throne, surrounded with numberless concourses of angels, in the attitude of singing and praising their God; yea, and my soul did long to be there." I was thinking about that as I read it and I felt very strongly like my testimony is a lot like Alma's; his soul longed to be with God because of the knowledge of Jesus Christ and the nature of God that he received. I know that the Plan of Salvation teaches us those full and complete truths. It was awesome. We all, including Draven's grandmother, talked about his much the gospel has blessed our lives. It was a beautiful lesson.
Stake Conference was this weekend: It was awesome! Lots of talks about missionary work and family history. I loved it! I will include pictures of our ward mission leaders talk, it was hilarious. He gave us a copy to read before conference and he put it in a sealed envelope that had "CONFIDENTIAL" stamped on the front. Sister Askren also spoke and did a great job. A youth speaker also spoke about missionary work and the importance of the Holy Ghost; she said, "He (the Holy Ghost) understands the situation much better than you do"--so true. And our stake President opened his talk with "Many of you are here today because of the full-time missionaries." One of our investigators, Sylvia, was there so that made me happy. He also counseled the stake, "Missionaries are full-time teachers. We are full-time finders." awesome.
Tim Fielden also got baptized on Saturday! so cool because soooo many ward members came to support him; the entire room was filled. Our district leader said that he never saw a convert baptism with this many people :):):) that meant a lot. We love our wards! After the adult session of stake conference, the ward had an impromptu ward party at a really good burger place called Slackers. They paid for our dinner and it was awesome. The entire restaurant was filled with the ward. It made me happy to see everyone there, especially the less-actives that we have been working with. It was way cool.
Also we had a lesson with Sylvia this week where we planned on reading Alma 36 with her. She enjoyed it and at the end, she said, "It's so weird. It's like you can read my mind. Every time you come over, we read something that helps me with arguments that I just had with Myron(her husband). It's so weird." I was like--Yes! The Spirit! It was epic.
Also Kelly is epic. She did family history with us at the family history center on Thursday night, and she went to the St. George temple this weekend with Erika! Most of the recent converts in the past couple of years here still haven't been to the temple. Kelly is stellar. 'Nuff said.
Oh and on Wednesday morning, Sister Askren told me that she woke up in the middle of the night because I was speaking Portuguese in my sleep! She said it was pretty loud and really animated, like more animated than I ever am when I am awake. I laughed so hard. Apparently, I am subconsciously really excited to go to Brazil... :)
And I also made a wager that I am rethinking. Jason, an investigator, said he will only read Our Search for Happiness, if I read one of his books. It is by a Christian preacher in Texas; I think the book is called Become a Better You--it is a cheesy self-help book from the looks of the cove. I agreed. What was I thinking? we will see about this...
Cool quotes:
-"We are not just building a temple; the Lord is building us." -from the Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration video
-Say "Help me" instead of "why me"
Love you!
-Sister Bledsoe
Also if you send me a letter, it has to be to my actual address, not the mission home because the post office doesn't forward mail anymore. My new address is:
"PO Box 86
Page, AZ 86040"
Lexi Duce (9), Sister Askren, Brother Jim Fielden, Tim Fielden (14), Sister Bledsoe

Lexi Duce & Elder West

I was pretty proud of my hair today :) did it myself