Saturday, March 29, 2014


Just got to the Brazil CTM! It is right in the middle of the city with buildings all around it. It is smaller than the Provo MTC and there is a lot of Portuguese! It has been good to actually start speaking again. People talk really, really fast so that will take some getting used to. Overall, I had a good flight to Sao Paulo and I really like my companion. Her name is Sister Ennis and she served in Knoxville, Tennesse for 7.5 months. There were like 40 or so missionaries that were visa waiters that arrived today. The longest that I have heard is one year to get the visa--that happened to two elders that I met. Well I got to go, but I love it here already and I will write again soon. I don't know when my p-day is yet, but we"ll find out soon. Love you! -Sister Bledsoe

VISA ahhhhhh

Ya' at eeh!!!

sooo I got my VISA. I am leaving tomorrow for the Brazil MTC where I will spend two weeks in "intensive language training" then back into the field. So excited!
Other than that we had a pretty non-eventful week because it was spring break here and everyone was gone or busy. But we did find out that we had an apostate baptism a couple weeks ago. Remember Sylvia whose husband baptized her...yeah, Myron was only a teacher in the aaronic priesthood come to find out. As missionaries we tell people that they need to be baptized by the proper priesthood authority...and then we baptize with the wrong authority. All the missionaries in our district laughed at us. They told us that technically the bishop should have checked, but still we were a part of it so...whoops! Bet only a handful of missionaries have done that before. Now the problem is that someone has to break the news to Sylvia and Myron. I feel bad for leaving Sister Hammond and her new companion to deal with this mess, but its the Lord's work and it will all workout in the end. But yeah, I was part of an apostate baptism...nice.

We had a lesson with one of our investigators, Crystal, on Saturday night. She is so cute. She has been reading a little bit of the Book of Mormon and it is confusing to her, so we read effectively with her from 1 Nephi 2. It went really well, but one of the most powerful parts of the lesson was when Morgan, a 16 year old member who came to the lesson with us, bore testimony about how living the gospel is hard but worth it. It really made Crystal think about it and I could tell that she felt the Spirit. I am grateful for the power of the spirit that we feel when we bear testimony or hear testimonies being born. The Spirit also touched the heart of Crystal's dad who is also a non-member. He had never made a comment in any of our lessons before but always sat there quietly. This time he made a couple comments about faith. Sister Hammond was able to testify to him, and he seemed pretty receptive. With some people, it is a slow process but I know that the Spirit was there and was able to touch his heart, his wife's heart (his wife is less active and trying to get back with her family), and Crystal's heart (Crystal is 14 and excited about the gospel for the most part). I am grateful to be able to teach families because they can one day receive temple blessings together. I love the plan of salvation. One sister made a comment in Relief Society about how science can show how the world/universe works (a leads to b; b makes c; etc), but science cannot tell us WHY; the plan of salvation can. I am grateful for the answers that I have and the purpose that guides my life.
Yesterday, a high councilman spoke about commitment, basically conversion to the gospel. He talked about how Arabian horses are trained. Basically, the master rings a bell and the horses must come immediately. These horses are trained to race and obey. They need to be broken because they are naturally stubborn. When they are babies, they grow up running with their mothers to answer the call of the master. Then when the colt is 2 or 3 years old, the master has to see how obedient that really are. After 3 days and nights of no food or water, the colt is put to the test. Food/hay and water are brought right outside the corral. The horse is excited and ready to eat. The gate is opened and as the horse is about to run and eat and drink, the master rings the bell. The horse is expected to deny the pangs of hunger and answer the call of the master. If he does, he is chosen to race. When we are called, do we answer? do we deny our appetites(what we want) and obey? There is a cool video on about it- "Arabian horse". There is also a talk by Royden G. Derrick called "The Beatitudes and Our Perfection" where he compares the master to missionaries. He says:
"Under mandate from the Lord we have 25,000 young men who are sifting the people of the world to find those that are submissive to Him and to thewhisperings of the Holy Spirit. We are finding an increasing number throughout the nations of the world who respond, but the vast majority prefer to satisfytheir own appetites and to do things their own way instead of the Lord’s way. When we love the Lord we will submit ourselves to his plan and serve him with allof our heart, might, mind, and strength. This is the first step. We must take it in order to qualify for exaltation. The miracle of change begins when we comeforth with contrite spirit." 
 I have also been thinking about the scripture in 1 Nephi 17 where Laman and Lemuel complain about living in the wilderness and following the commandments of the Lord. They say in verse 21: "Behold, these many years we have suffered in the wilderness, which time we might have enjoyed ourpossessions and the land of our inheritance; yea, and we might have been happy." Sometimes I feel like I think like that about my mission; like if I was home and had my cell phone/computer/luxuries/etc. I would be more happy (especially when members or investigators play with them or when I am surrounded by them). I was humbled by this scripture because my attitude is a lot like Laman and Lemuel sometimes. It was just surprised at that verse because I should know better that those things really don't make us happy. 
Also, someone here asked for my email and she was shocked that my first name was Sadie. She said, "Sadie... really?! That sounds like the name of an omish farm girl." Definitely never got that one before! That made me laugh for a couple days.
Well I am sad to leave Page and my investigators and the awesome members. It will be fun to come back one summer and go to Lake Powell and see everyone. I am excited to go to Brazil though! 
Tchau, Tchau (the Portuguese is coming back to my emails folks)
Com amor, Sister Bledsoe

Monday, March 17, 2014

baptism! whoop whoop

BIG week: a baptism, exchanges, and interviews with President Batt :) good stuff. 

Where to start... first, Sylvia got baptized on Monday! It was kind of crazy because it was on p-day and FHE, but somehow it all worked out. 
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She was sooo happy. Except I got her a suit that was WAY to big for her. Whoops! It was a beautiful baptismal service. Sister Hammond gave a talk on baptism and I gave a talk on the Holy Ghost. Her husband Myron baptized her, and now they can get sealed in the temple next year. It was an awesome day. We were on Cloud 9. 

However, that afternoon, I said goodbye to Kelly. She is leaving to go home to Michigan while she gets surgery. She was the first person that I taught that got baptized. It was sad to say goodbye for now. I am so excited to go to the temple with her someday though. It will be awesome!

Then Tuesday and Wednesday we drove 4 hours to Holbrook for exchanges with our STLs. It was fun because I also got to see Sister Askren, who is their companion also since they are in a trio. It was fun. 
They showed us the Ward Mission Plan for one of their wards and I thought that it was really cool. It refers to the talk "7 Lessons on Sharing the gospel" by Elder Clayton M. Christensen. 

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In the talk, he says, "Even more than other members, the busy men and women who lead our wards and stakes (or branches and districts) need to exercise this simple faith--because if they cannot speak in present-tense verbs and first-person pronouns about sharing the gospel, they cannot inspire others to fulfill our prophet's member missionary call." 

It was cool to read. We had a few other really good lessons this week with Crystal and some less active members. The work is working. 

Some gems of wisdom that I love:
"You should give 100% in everything you do, except when you are giving blood." --President Batt
"'Bridle your passions, that ye may be filled with love.' Through bridling our passions, we gain more love. This is an eternal truth. This is how God knows that love works, not how the way that the world teaches us about love."--Brother Lotze (seminary and institute teacher in Page)
1 Nephi 10:14--"Grafting is a slow process--you wait for a long time then you see fruit in bushels and bushels and bushels."--Elder Huff (my Zone Leader in Tube City)
"The truth is like a lion. You don't have to defend it; let it loose and it will defend itself."--Sister Roundtree's pinterest quote in her talk about missionary work

Love you all! Have a wonderful day!
-Sister Sadie Bledsoe

Monday, March 10, 2014

the work is working

Another really good week! We had more investigators come to church yesterday than the past couple transfers. Got a new invetsigator who is epic; her name is Rhythm; more about her soon. Put a couple more people on date which was exciting. Still have to resolve some major concerns and follow up with missed commitments, but I am hopeful that our investigators are continuing to progress towards baptism and the temple. We tried to make an effort to talk about temples more with our investigators; since people are naturally interested in families forever, it makes baptism and church attendance and scripture study more important to reach a goal that they want so badly. 

On Wednesday, we had an epic lesson with Quintana. We taught the Restoration. We used the cups that represent different pieces of Christ's church. She loved the object lesson! She thought it made so much sense. When we talked about the Holy Ghost she said that she felt it when she left the church a couple Sundays ago. She first felt that when her daughter Jewel was born. She said she has been chasing that feeling ever since. She said she didn't really know it until she felt it again at the church. She said that when she was going home she wanted to share it. I thought of how much she sounds like Lehi so I shared 1 Nephi 8 with her where Lehi describes the fruit and wants other people to taste it. She then told us about a dream she had where she was sitting in front of a tiny little plant. She started to dig it up and around it. She dug and dug until she had dug up this huge green apple tree. The apples were so green and she picked one and was about to bite into it, but an amber alert woke her up. She had that dream like a week ago. she thought it was so cool that I read a scripture that was similar to her dream--I was like coincidence? I think not. The Spirit is so cool. That also really motivated her to read the Book of Mormon because now it sounded like something that she could relate to and find interesting. Then we committed her to baptism on April 12. I had no idea what date to say but as I was speaking April 12 just came out. She was shocked because that date is always a bad day for her since its the day her uncle had his service after committing suicide. As she told us that I was like "OH NO. what have I done???" Then her boyfriend Kyle and her talked about it. They talked about how it would be good for her to have something good on that date. Like his grandma died on Oct 13 but that day his daughter was also born. She said that it was so weird that out of all dates I would pick that one. Weird...still a mystery to me. Anyway, she pretty much committed to that date, so I was happy that it all worked out. 

On Friday, we had a cool lesson with Crystal, the 14 year old. She is awesome. We watched the Restoration video and it made her "happy." Her mom was in tears and very overwhelmed by the Spirit which was sweet to see--I'm not the only one! 

On Saturday morning, we helped Kelly pack up her classroom. She is leaving for Michigan. I will miss her a lot. She is an amazing person. I look forward to going to the temple with her when I get home! 

Then on Saturday night, Brother and Sister Saccomanno invited us over for dinner. They also invited their new friend Rhythm, who is in her late 60s or early 70s. Rhythm has had a very "colorful" life. When she was 4 or 5 she became an orphan which led to a life of much abuse. At 16, she tried to commit suicide by drinking hydro-chloric acid. That didn't kill her but she lost a lot of teeth from it. At one point she worshipped Satan. She got into Satan's church and witchcraft for a season. Then somehow she made it to Churchwells, Utah. 

 She has lived in Churchwells for a while and has lived amongst Mormons for quite some time since Churchwells is heavily populated with Mormons and like less than 50 people live out there. Anyway, she used to live with a less-active Mormon and there she came across the Book of Mormon. She was curious and decided to read it. She has already read in twice and is starting her third time. She has also read the entire Gospel Principles book and went to church in St. George once. She has also read the Bible more times than she can count; it is very evident because she can quote it so well and had great questions about the scripture in John 1 about no man seeing God and she also wanted to know the difference between the Holy Ghost and the gift of the Holy Ghost. She already feels the Spirit a lot because she prays so much and reads the scriptures so she invites his influence into her life a lot; but we told her that he could be her constant companion. She was so excited and wanted to know when she could get that--perfect segway into a baptismal commitment. 
Also when we first met with her, she was almost in tears as she thanked us for living what we believe. She said she has been watching us (Mormons) for a while now and she has seen that we "walk the talk." She has been baptized in 40 different "flavors of Christianity" because she has seen over and over again that so many people are hypocrites and do not at all live the gospel. I thought that was cool and it made me want to be better because I know that I don't live the gospel as well as I should. I know a lot of members, even myself, who belong to the church but do not necessarily live it, so I was impressed that she recognized that in general members of the Church live the teachings.
We watched the Restoration video with her and she LOVED it. She was on the edge of her chair some of the time, and made a lot of comments in agreement with Joseph Smith and how "right" everything was and felt. When Joseph asked one of the pastors/preaches: "Shouldn't there be one answer that is right for everyone?" She said under her breath "Good question." She was really listening--to the movie and to the Spirit. She was in tears at the end. We knelt in prayer and the Spirit was so strong. Brother and Sister Saccomanno thanked us and told us that they were on Cloud 9. I was so grateful for them; they have such a strong desire to be a part of the hastening of the work. 
 Rhythm came to church on Sunday and two members bore their testimony that through their relationships with Rhythm they have come to better understand the Savior. Rhythm has a light about her because she lives the teachings and loves her Savior. It strengthened my faith. I truly believe that sharing the gospel strengthens your testimony way more than it strengthens the other person. I am grateful for members who get involved in missionary work. Nothing would have happened with Rhythm if the members didn't open their mouths and invite her to meet with us. 

Overall I am overwhelmed by the opportunity to be a part of this great work. I encourage all to get involved; however, it does require work. 
 Over and over, I think about the quote by Elder Holland that goes along the lines of "Salvation is not a cheap experience. How could we believe it would be easy for us when it was never, ever easy for Him?" In contrast, lehi teaches "Adam fell that men might be: men are that they might have joy." 
The work of salvation is awesome. It is the only thing that matters in this life--your own salvation and then helping others with theirs. It is the most joyful experience. 
We share it because we want to. We have tasted of it and it is delicious to us and we want to share it. Continue to invite. "Would you like to learn a little bit more about my church?" It is not enough to just be an example and answer questions; we have to open our mouths and invite. You can't be pushy if you aren't even asking. If they say no, just thank them; it is valuable to you and if they are interested we want to share more. 
Members have so much power as missionaries. All it takes is giving their friends opportunities to have a spiritual conversion IF their interested. We can't judge who is ready because we see the outward appearance but Heavenly Father knows the situation better--he knows their heart. Just invite; "come and see."

Today Sylvia is getting baptized so we will have a busy p-day: getting the font filled, still have to make programs, laundry still to do, we want to get ice cream with Kelly since today is the last day we can see her this week, etc. 
Great week! Thanks for the letters. I love reading your emails. I print them out even though I don't respond. If you give me your address, then I will respond with a letter though!

Love, Tchau,
Sister Sadie Bledsoe

Monday, March 3, 2014


Fun week! Shoutout to Nathan for getting into BYU! good work broski!

Monday: recovering from my sickness day, so really relaxing p-day was necessary. We did have an awesome lesson with Alyx, who is 13. She wants to take the lessons but is hesitant to get baptized because her mom can't go to her wedding if she gets married in the temple; strange that that is on her mind at this age, but I think that her testimony in the restored gospel with strengthen her. Her grandma is also a huge support in helping her go to church and take the lessons, so I am confident that she will get baptized soon. Alyx did say that out lesson was "exciting" though; we taught the Plan of Salvation and we used some visuals. We also stopped by to visit Kori and Josh, who are high school teachers that let us teach them the first discussion. They have a ton of Mormon students so I really hope they go to church; the youth would get a kick out of that. But we saw Kori and she was busy but said that our lesson last week was "fun." Not exactly what I was hoping for...I'd hope that our lessons are spiritual in nature, but exciting and fun are the next best thing I think ;)
Tuesday: Went to mission prep, and I feel like I learned way more than I taught. It was cool though; we practiced teaching the first discussion. Brother Lotze, the teacher, taught us and it was pretty powerful. He started with "I testify that today you will feel the Holy Ghost. The fruits of the Holy Ghost are love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, and faith. I promise that you will feel those things today because your Heavenly Father loves you and has blessed you to be here with your family(the whole class). Families are important to God's plan and always have been. Adam had a family that he taught to follow God. He was a prophet..." He said "I testify" a lot and weaved in scriptures. I tried to do that this week and I realized that my teaching was more powerful and possibly authoritative. I was really impressed with his teaching though and learned a ton. he also said that after he teaches the first vision. He asks "who appeared to Joseph Smith?" and let them bear testimony.
Wednesday: got a call in the AM from the mission office. I had to do more visa paperwork; complete another online application. I have no idea what that means for the time frame that I might get my visa but patience has been key again this week. Had a lesson with Lucas who is 8 and adores us. He calls us "my sisters." Precious. He stares at me and gives me lots of hugs...I find it quite flattering lol. Then we went to mutual and talked to the priests in 2nd ward about preparing for missions and what they can do now... it was a trainwreck in my opinion... We were excited about missions and talked about fun things but when we asked them how we should be missionaries now they said that they actually don't have to invite people; they just have to be an example and then when the missionaries knock on their door, they will just say yes because of the people that they know. I was like NOOOO; have I not taught you anything. That is not the most effective way to do missionary work; how will the work hasten if we don't do anything different and just expect the missionaries to hasten. I couldn't pull it back after that so I was pretty sad. It is just hard to motivate teenage boys. I could not really connect with them. Oh well. We tried. But that brings up a good question. For most of my mission, I think we have done a pretty good job trying to get the members involved in the work and excited about it, but I'm curious how others have tried to motivate people to do missionary work. What has been successful?

Thursday: Sister Hammond's birthday! We played basketball at the church. Now that we switched apartments with the elders, we live in walking distance from the stake center. It is pretty convenient. then District meeting where we talked about finding/tracting. Elder Dodge shared that his favorite quote from our last meeting on tracting was by Elder Holland who said something along the lines of "when you are rejected, you stand shoulder to shoulder with Christ." wow that is powerful. Then as we were walking around we got attacked my an epic rain/hail/sandstorm that came down so hard and fast. We could do nothing so we just stood there. It was pretty cool though. Then I had a thought to go see Calandra, an investigator who we had one lesson with a while ago but has been busy since. I gave her a Book of Mormon and she said she was moving so it was good that we came by when we did so she could tell us. That was pretty cool. Then we stopped by a less actives house and it happened to be her birthday so she invited us to stay for Navajo tacos. Dad, I am working on acquiring the art of making them. They are cheap so that is good. I set off the smoke alarm in our apartment trying to make them, but the Navajos tell me that is good and I must be doing it right. nice.
Friday: epic lesson with Quintana. I was tired of planning so I wanted to go out. I thought about an investigator, Quintana, who I hadn't seen in awhile. I decided to check up on her. We stopped by and she immediately told us about her day. She had just gotten back from being at the hospital all day with her daughter. This morning she found her 5 year old passed out on her bedroom floor. She was able to wake her up after a few minutes and then took her straight to the hospital. She expected them to tell her that her daughter was sick and/or dehydrated. But they told her that her daughter has problems with her heart. She has an enlarged atrium so her heart isn't working properly. Quintana was really distraught because she has a lot of things to deal with now. She also didn't have an family there with her that day so she felt alone. We watched the Mormon message "Mountains to Climb" and talked about faith. She accepted a baptismal invitation. We had an awesome discussion and she is happy with all the things she has experienced so far with the church. She said she was so happy that we came by and wanted us to come back soon. We knelt in prayer with her boyfriend, who is a less active member who just started coming back to church, offered the prayer. I felt the Spirit so strongly. I know that the Atonement covers all pains, physical and emotional. There is a healing balm that is found when we live the gospel, all parts of it; especially when we read the Book of Mormon individually and as families. Then Book of Mormon study class; epic discussion on Alma 60 and how it parallels our day. Brother Prall also shared an experience about service. When he had a young family, he helped them the most sometimes by going out with the missionaries right when he got home from work. His wife would be a little bitter about it, but as he would leave with the missionaries every time there woud be this amazing peace that fell upon his house. His wife loved it because the kids would be so good and it was an awesome feeling. He realized that Heavenly Father was able to bless them with what they really needed; Brother Prall wouldn't have been able to bless his family that much by staying home. I have realized that too; Heavenly Father blesses us and our families better than we could when we serve Him.
Saturday: another awesome lesson with an investigator. She is 14 and her name is Crystal, She thought it was cool that Joseph got an answer at 14, and at the end she said she was really happy. We gave her a baptismal date and she was excited. Her mom expressed concern that they didn't have dresses for church, but we told them to just come. They are awesome! I made Crystal say the closing prayer; lately I have been employing a friendly manner--I joke with them that if they don't pray with us, then I'll make them say the opening and closing prayer at their baptism. That usually does the trick; she offered a beautiful prayer ;)
Sunday: Gilbert Arizona Temple Dedication. not many words to describe the feeling of being in the temple (our stake center was an extension of the temple that day). I had a very touching experience though because Audra was there. She hugged me as I walked in and I almost cried because she was able to be there in the "temple" with her dad. It was sweet. Also this week we are trying to focus our lessons around eternal families and temples as a goal with baptism as a step to get there. All of the people that we have asked to be baptized have said yes with that theme in the lesson, so I think that is a good thing. I love temples.
Love you!
Sister Sadie Bledsoe