Monday, November 9, 2015

November 9, 2015: Week 41. What?

So I just ahve a little cold right now. But I've had it for like two weeks! And yesterday I thought I was getting over it and ended up with a fever. Yes, Sister Kindt did leave me. She had been in the area 7 and a half months so it was time for a change. She's moving up to the big city! Sister Frank came down with me. She was in my district first transfer, but I didn't get to know her that well at that time. Some things about Sister Frank: -She has a HUGE heart. always thinking of others -She's from Hawaii but she's lived all over the world! -She's got this crazy infectious loud laugh that I LOVE -She is teaching my how to play the piano because she is SO good. -She's been out a year now I love her so much. Surprisingly, I know the area better than I thought I would and we are both feeling like we are getting great work done! We are also helping some of our members build a pig sty... Never thought I'd be doing that! I don't feel like a lot has changed this week. We have one investigator that is doing great. She comes to church, she's had all the lessons and everything. We're just waiting for her to get a marriage lisence. That's a problem here for a lot of people. I think they are expensive or something and so a lot of people just don't get them... I know she wants to get it, but they're pretty poor and her daughter needs surgery soon, so it's been hard for them. We just keep praying for her! Some super Armenian things: -they say if you put chili powder in your hair that it will grow faster. -they say that when a woman is about to have a baby, if she steals an egg from her mother and eats it, her baby will have dimples. (so my mom is a thief) -they say if you eat straight kiwi for two weeks you will be able to see 100% -they say if you eat honey and melon at the same time you will be poisoned -they say if you eat a lot of sweet potatoes you will have twins That's all I got. Just a heads up, next week Eler and Sister Kacher, from the Area Presidency, are coming to do a meeting with us on monday. So I won't be emailing until tuesday next week. Thank you all for your support. I am so happy here. Jesus Christ lives! He is our Savior and best friend! His Gospel is the way to happiness now and for eternity! He loves all His children no matter what. He made EVERYTHING possible for us. And He is calling us all to come unto Him and find peace. "Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." John 8:12 The world is getting dark. We can all see that. But when we focus on Christ, we don't feel that darkness. His light and love is is stronger, greater, and more abiding than all the works of darkness. In everything we do, let's focus on Him. He will light our way and carry our load. Through Him, we are all enough. համբուրում եմ, քույր Blanchard

Sunset and Ararat! 

Guys, yesterday was my hump day. Half way done. Yikes!

I broke the faucet and got water everywhere. 

November 2, 2015

So we are doing half transfers! We had no idea. President called us on Sunday to say Sister Kindt is leaving tuesday... We're sad, but it was time for her to go. She has been here forever. Hopefully I don't get too lost here!!! This week has been so so good! We've been a little under the weather, but besides that it's been awesome. And being sick has honestly taught me an important lesson. I've been ponderizing mosiah 4:19 this week. "For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind?" I've been asking God in my prayers this week to bless me with health and energy to serve His children. And then I would continue the day complaining about how tired I was, how cold I was, how bad my head hurt... And I realized that I was praying to the Lord to help me so I could help others and I needed to trust that He would take care of me and quit worrying about myself. Here I am crying about feeling bad and Sister Kindt is also sick. Why not help her? Is she not also a beggar unto God? Aren't other people's problems as important, if not more important than mine? This realization changed my heart. I'm looking out more easily and with more faith. In other news, we had 91 members at church this week!!!! It was so cool! We are really cracking down on the ward list business/ less-active hunting and it's been going super well! I was so excited with all the great people we saw at church this week! I really love less active work. Helping people remember their conversion has become really special to me. We called one of our investigators this week. Her husband said he sent her away for a vacation for ten days without a phone... Kinda weird. And then we heard from some neighbors that she''s still here... We're confused because she has a baptismal date, is reading, and loves having us over. I don't know why they would say that. So we're probably just gonna go over and see them one day. I don't know! I also hit my NINE MONTH mark this week!!!!! What the heck... Other fun news... hmm... We still have cockroaches in our house like crazy... and now we have some weird larva/worm things on our ceiling... I never thought I would live in a place like this before... We dressed up as tatiks (grandmas) for Halloween. No one really knows what Halloween is here. So we were wearing these vest things. And people would come up to us and say "you know, only tatiks wear those..." Yeah, we know. haha. we also learned how to make gata!! It's this dessert thing that is basically a bunch of butter and sugar, so basically a bunch of perfection and happiness. That's all I got folks! Love you all, Sister Blanchard

The tatik life. 

Studying by the heater because of winter. 

And we're coming up now on Armenia's majestic Mount Ararat. You'll recognize this as the landing spot of Noah's Ark at the time of the Great Flood. 


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

October 26, 2015

Guys, missions are the best. I haven't had much time to write lately, and I feel like my emails have been coming off a bit depressing... So I'm just here to say, I'm so happy. This is the greatest work and I get to be a part of it! I learn so much every day from our Father in Heaven and I am truly the happiest I have been. We went to Yerevan with some other sisters lasty P day. I had my first pizza in 9 months and we went to the ZOO!! It was so much fun, and suprisingly really nice. I also learned how to make borsh this week. It's pretty much just a soup that they throw everything into! It was really good though. We have been meeting a lot of really great people lately who are all super excited to talk to us! We called a former investigator from the area book and went to meet with her. We found her house and it wasn't actually her house... But the family invited us in and they were super great, aside from giving us grape juice that they made that was actually wine! So yeah, I've had wine now. Don't worry, it's not even good. SO not worth it. haha We also have done a lot of service this week! Well, we go with the elders and people let them do service, but since we are girls, we just like make the food. Hey, but it's fine with me! We went to pick pears for a lady one day and her trees are super tall. So we hold a tarp and one of the elders climbs up and just shakes the whole tree! It's pretty effective haha. After service, we sit around and someone plays the guitar and we all sing and dance. I love Armenians. :) I've been thinking a lot lately about my decision to be on a mission, and all the things I'm learning here. I would've been fine had I not come. I would've continued to study, gotten married, raised and family, and been relatively happy. But now, I will do all of those things with a sure knowledge that all things are possible when we rely of God. That means putting Him first, loving Him and His children with all our heart, might, mind and strength. Sure, I can do things on my own and be fairly successful, but I know now how much more successful I can be through His infinite power and strength. "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Christ really does strengthen us. He's made a lot more out of me than I ever could have. His love is perfect and endless. I love My Savior more and more each day. And I love all of you!!! Mets mets sirov, Qyur Blanchard

Our shooka! This is how we grocery.

This village just got water! YAY!

October 12, 2015 Pretzels in my Purse

Well things are going great here. We are still having a little lack of investigators, but we've been talking to everyone and I know they will come! We also had two awesome baptisms this weekend!! It was a little stressful to have right after the members had just endured two sessions of conference. But we had pushed back their dates a few times and they were both so ready and excited to get baptized that we didn't want to wait any longer! They are both grandmas who had been brought to church by some friends in the ward, both around 2 months ago. They are just the sweetest!!! The had such a simple and sincere desire to get baptized. It was a beautiful service. I could see it in their countenances when they came to church the next day and received the Holy Ghost. They have both been changed. It was a miraculous thing to witness. I am so blessed to be around such inspired followers of Christ, be it other missionaries, leaders, members and strangers. I learn so much every day from all of them and ultimately from my Savior. Conference was amazing. I absolutely loved it. I learned so much and received so many answers to my questions I had. A lot of times, the questions I have are really questions i feel like I already know the answers to, but it's not applying the way I want it to. If that makes sense. Simple things like, What am I supposed to be doing to find investigators? Or, How do I help people understand that this IS Christ's ONLY true church? Things I understand, but don't seem to be working. One of the main themes of conference for me was simplify and focus on Christ. It is the fundamental principles and teachings of the Gospel that I must continue to rely on so that I can accomplish what God would have me do. There is no secret formula or magic potion. Simply do what you know you are supposed to, at the level you understand and focus on the Savior, Jesus Christ. So, I'm excited for this week. I feel my spirits have been lifted and my determination renewed. I'm not going to try to complicate things so much, I'm going to rely on Christ and His example and teachings. Love you all! Sister Blanchard

This weird fruit we ate from India. It tasted like nothing. 

I told our investigator that I could eat these pretzel things all day long and so she took a giant handful and dumped them into my purse.... Thanks haha.

A pretty little river

When we got stuck on the side of the road because the marshootni was late for like an hour. 

October 5, 2015 Cat in the Church

This week was crazy. We've had a lot of people dropping us lately... So that's kinda rough. And we feel like we can't find new investigators! But we're working on it. Sister Kindt said last transfer, people would just walk into church... And in Hrazdan, pretty much anyone would invite us into their homes. None of those things are happening lately sooo we're trying to figure something out.Also we've been getting stuck out in little villages in the middile of NOWHERE lately because transportation comes late, or people aren't home when we planned to come... Mission life!!!! I feel like I've learned a lot about the Lord's timing lately. I've seen how He really does prepare people to later receive the Gospel. I feel like sometimes I'm more on the "helping people prepare" side of things, if that makes sense. I've taught so many people that I know have so much potential! But then they just aren't ready... But I know that by meeting us when they did, the Lord is preparing them. I've learned a lot about patience from that as well. Patience is really trusting in the Lord to fulfill hhis promises and relying on His timing. We were teaching this great girl that was about 15, but her brother told her she can't meet with us anymore... I was sad. And a little mad, honestly. But I know that God has a plan. And HE is in charge, not this girl's brother. So it will all be okay. We do what we can and the Lord does the rest. Or more like the Lord does absolutely everything. I haven't seen conference yet (we'll watch it next week) but thanks for all the previews everybody! I've been overwhelmed lately at how cool it is that we have a LIVING prophet today. How crazy is that?! God loves us so much, He wants to guides us each indivdually and as a people today. I can't wait to watch conference! We do have towo baptisms this week after conference!! Two old grandmas that are friends with some women in the ward. They are awesome! They both started coming on their own about two months ago and both want to get baptized so bad! We are very excited for them both. So it's going to be a great weekend! This week we had about 60 members at church!!! It was so great! We also had no electricity and STILL have no electricity... but it was still great! The members are awesome! Once a month people bring food and they give it to all the members! It's so great. Everything is great haha. Oh so we were in Ward Council and we had some scheduling problems so we were texting the elders about it and our text tone thing is the sound of a cat. Of course we forgot to turn the sond off so you just here this little "meow" from the back of the room and everyone freaks out and to this very moment they all think there was a cat in the church... I just got an update about my favorite little branch in Hrazdan as well!! They had over 30 people at church on Sunday!! YAY!!! Things were kind of falling apart when I left. My last sunday there, there were only 4 members in church. So things are looking up!!! Love you all! Love this work! Pray that time will slow down for me, because I'm only a little bit slightly freaking out that it's already OCTOBER. what. Mets sirov, Sister Blanchard

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

September 21, 2015- Saying Hello to Artashat!

Transfers happened... I'm really bummed to leave Hrazdan and all those great people... But I've been transferred to Artashat with my companion from the MTC, Sister Kindt!!! Woohoo!!!! Here's a little about the area: It's really hot. Like really hot. We're right by Mount Ararat which is really cool! We're also right next to the Turkey border, which is scary! There's cockroaches in our house. We have scented toilet paper. Right now green apple. We have a WARD!!!! A big, beautiful, functioning ward! Some guy owns some bears here. So our taxi driver bought us some apples and we fed them. Our pianist at church is this little old lady that plays like old west rag time. Imagine a silent film. It's like that music. But hey, at least we have a piano. In Hrazdan it was a CD player. Baby steps, baby steps. That's about all I got right now. Things are super great here. We've been working a lot with new and less active members this week because there's a lot of them. I think there's 400 members and about 40 come consistently. We have some great members and investigators too. I already love it here. I had to translate during church on Sunday for a lady from the Philippines who is here in the Peace Crops. So that was crazy! I can't believe I can do that kinda stuff.... I just feel so privileged every day to be a part of this great and marvelous work. The Lord is constantly helping and blessing us as long as we just try our best! I love you all, have a great week! Sister Blanchard

We have a real church building!!!

I don't know if you can see it, but that's my bear friends!!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

September 14, 2015- I'm not really 20!

But really... I'm not. There's no way I'm 20. It was a normal birthday. I didn't really talk aboutit. But an awesome family in the branch remembered! And they threw me a little party. It was super sweet. I dont't really have a lot else right now. Transfers are this week and I've cried a few times this week because it's probably my time to leave the area. This is what gives me comfort: Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed. Doctrine and Covenants 123:17 Love you all! Sister Blanchard

September 7, 2015- Read the Book of Mormon

I don't have too much to say this week. Our baptism last monday happened at about 8:30 pm.. But it happened! We didn't have electricty all day, and then the electricity came on and the water turned off! But everything finally worked out! It was so great. We had another baptism in the branch on thursday. This cute little grandma!!! So things have been great! All I want to say is that I can truly testify that there is a difference in our lives when we put the things of God first. I have seen it in my life and in the lives' of people I am teaching. God blesses us in ALL THINGS when we put the Lord first. I just can't believe another transfer is almost over. I wish I had some other things to say... But I think that's all I got right now. Oh and yes, my birthday is coming up. And no, I cannot believe it. Love you all!! Sister Blanchard

August 31, 2015- Started from the bottom. Now we are here.

Wanna know why I love my mission President? This week for Zone Conference, the whole mission hiked Mount Aragats, The tallest mountain in Armenia. It took about 6 hours and we stopped about half way up and had a little zone metting on the mountain. We talked about our desires. And I've learned that God really does give us according to our desires. If we truly desire the happiness and salvation of others, He will let us be a part of that. If deep down, we really just want to be home, you guessed it, we will just think about home. The cool thing about this life is we have the opportunity, through Christ's Atonement, to change our desires so that they align with our Heavenly Father's will. That is when we find true happiness. That is when we recognize the immensity of God's love for His children and feel that love more fully in our lives. It all starts with our desires. And because of our Savior, we can find that happiness! I learned a lot from that meeting. And I also had a really sore bum... After the hike, we got a mini missionary to stay with us for a week! She's from Gyumri and shes almost 19 and about done with her mission papers!!!! YAY!!!! So we've been speaking just about nothing but Armenian this week! I'm surprised at how much I can understand and communicate pretty easily. We went on splits with her and another member one day too. It was kinda my first experience being a "senior companion" and having all the responsibility on my shoulders. I was super nervous. But then I realized, I actually kinda know what I'm doing out here! I've also realized, since I have to focus more on what I'm saying all the time in Armenian, how many random things I want to say all the time.. haha But our mini, she is the absolute best. She taught us how to make bread the Armenian way. Sooo delicious. And she's really a very dedicated girl. I'll send home some pics of her in my next letter. This week, our branch president's daughter got engaged. They have these special chocolates that you are supposed to put under your pillow that night and you'll see your husband in your dreams. I didn't see anyone... haha Now to the important stuff. Our investigators are doing well! Our branch president's other daughter should be getting baptized today. But there's noo electricity all areound the church right now... So we're just praying right now! Love you all! I can't believe it's already September. WHAAAT. Good luck to everyone in school! Praying for you all. մեծ սիրով, Sister Blanchard

August 24, 2015- I kissed a cow!

Long week!!! Everything is good though. Monday, we had planned a little Preparation day activity with a girl in the branch. On our way out with her, we ran into another girl from the branch that has been super depressed lately. We've been trying to help her but she just doesn't know what she wants out of life, and her brother doesn't allow her to do anything. But we invited her to come (and just not tell her brother) and she did! We had a great time. The next day we called her and she sounded like a totally different person. She was actually happy! It was amazing the difference that it made for her to get out and be around some good people. I have a lot more hope for her now. Sister K and I got asked to go to a youth camp out for the stake this week and present a little devotional. It was so much fun!! It helped me realize the potential that Armenia, and Hrazdan, has. Those youth were so great! Of course, they were a little crazy.. But they had strong spirits and knowledge of the Gospel. I loved being around them! We taught about the temple and what we need to do to stay on the path towards the temple! And soon enough, we'll have our own temple here!! On our way home on the bus we met a lady that was obviously prepared to meet us. He son had died and she had a lot of questions about where he was, seeing him again and things like that. We basically taught her the whole Plan of Salvation on the ride back. I know she could feel the truth of what we were saying. The Gospel is really a message of hope! Who wouldn't want to hear it?! Not everyone is ready right now, but I know that the Lord is preparing people to receive this Gospel and to build up His kingdom here in Armenia. I also know that Satan does not want that. We met a contact from some other missionaries this week, and she really needs the Gospel. She's probably a little older than I am, has four kids under the age of 7, her husband is in Russia, she has no education and is in the process of moving right now. Her life is rough. We went over and had a great lesson about how church will help her with everything so much. And then her neighbor came in.... She's apparently some leader of another church. She was saying all these untrue things about the church and threatening Irina. She told her that if she didn't make us leave right then that the landlord would kick them out of their house. People are very blinded and just don't understand. And if that isn't sad enough, that have to come in and try to getin the way of other people's happiness. But the Lord is merciful and loves His children. He sent us to this young mother at this time because He loves her and knows we can help her through this. And she felt that. Got to do some awesome service this week bailing hay at a members house! I spent about three hours in this little storage thing doing squat jumps in the hay to compress it down... And then this happens: I'm walking by Elder P We pass a cow Me: what are the odds you kiss the cow Elder P: 1 to 11 Sister K: 3-2-1 Elder P: 7 Me: 6 .....yup And then there's branch conference... It was really cool to see a lot of people there. We didn't have any empty chairs! But a lot of those people were from the stake... haha. During the sacrament, I had a really strong confirmation that God is proud of what we are doing here. We've been feeling really overwhelmed trying to help the branch actually function, but I knew at that moment that our efforts were making a difference. I think the stake leaders were really excited to come in and give some counsel to our branch, which we definitely need right now. Our branch president is suuupper busy and trying to do everything on his own. Basically all of our other leaders, or anyone with a calling, is inactive. I just hope that the kick in the pants from the stake wasn't too much for him. I know he's trying. We've decided some ways that we are going to help him out, by trying to teach him to delegate and helping him get people active again. We've got a lot of work to do!

August 17, 2015- Week 20 in Armenia

Such a great week! It was weird, I didn't feel like that much was going on this week, but we reviewed everything yesterday and we actually accomplished a lot more than I thought! By small and simple means for sure.

First, our rough day. We had a member set to go out with us all day!!! And then... she bailed. She was home and everything and she wouldn't even come to the door :( And then we found our new member's brother (who won't let our member come to church) outside with his friends. They just wanted to fight with us a little bit... And then we had this awesome lesson about the Restoration with a new investigator, and then she didn't want the Book of Mormon. That was probably the most heart-breaking. We just wanted someone to want it!!! And then on our way to our next appointment, this old guy asks us if we have any brochures to give him. So we gave him a Restoration pamphlet with our number on it and didn't think much about it. We went to our appointment and we hadn't seen this investigator in weeks, and she wasn't super interested... About 20 minutes in, I get a call from an unknown number. "hello", I say. Then a man says, "do you have a Book of Mormon I can read?" It was the man we had given a brochure to no more than half an hour later. He said he had read it and wanted to find out for himself what the book was about. So here's what I learned: The Lord truly is preparing people to receive the truth. How ever many rejections we face, it is worth it when you meet someone who really wants it. We have learned a lot about how the Spirit guides us as a companionship this week.

Sister K, one day on our way to an appointment, said she felt like one of our inactive members was outside and we should walk down by her house. We walked down the street a little ways, and there she was!!! It was so cool because they had just moved and we didn't even really know where she lived anymore, but there she was! I don't think I've ever had such a direct impression from the Spirit. Usually, I would say, it's a little more subtle. We had a former investigator call us this week ask us to come over. We were at her house and didn't really know what to say to her. We were praying that we could say something that would help her. We decided to just do what we are supposed to and extend a baptismal date. She accepted! I think a lot of times the Lord expects us to pray for guidance and just keep moving forward. I know the Holy Ghost was guiding us and that if we are earnestly seeking to follow the Spirit, we won't go wrong.

We had a better turn out at church today! And we got that same investigator to church too!! We are really trying to support the branch and just love these people. I feel like there are so many ways it needs to improve and grow that I get a little overwhelmed! But we are just doing little things to try and help people. We've started taking this journal around when we visit members so they can write their testimonies in it. We're trying to get them excited about the Gospel again! I think it's been good so far. Last night our investigator that came to church called and she was feeling really sick so we went over with the elders so they could give her a priesthood blessing. And I can tell you one hundred percent that the power of the Priesthood is real. The elders gave her a beautiful simple blessing and the woman said she felt so much better. Her whole countenance was changed. I am so grateful for Priesthood power in my life, and that we can feel God's love and sustaining power so strongly in our lives through the Priesthood.

Monday, August 10, 2015

August 10, 2015- A Million Barevel's‏

So "barev" is hello. And I haven't kept count, but I'm pretty sure I've said it over a million times now... ...I'm just gonna start spitting out some experiences

This week was great!! A lot of awesome things happened! I went on splits in Center this week which is like the richy-rich part of Armenia and I was just in awe the whole time. It was super fun though and HOT. I'm glad I'm in the mountains right now. I love my area.

So about a month ago, we were sitting at a bus stop and it had been a really rough week. Sister K had started crying a little after this lady wasn't very nice. And this one-legged man sits next to her to comfort her. He was a really nice guy. And last week, we saw him with his family by the church! And they invited us over! He has a wife and a 13 yr old boy and 10 yr old girl. They are an awesome family. It's amazing how the Lord works. Who would have thought that the one-legged man from the bus stop a month ago would have a family prepared to hear the Gospel.

One day we had an appointment cancel on us and Sis K felt like we should go see one of our newer converts. This young woman's brother just got back from serving in the army and doesn't let his sister do ANYTHING. She can't come to church, talk to anyone, and she had to quit her job! She just sits at home, alone and depressed and we don't know how to help her. We started feeling pretty discouraged, but when we went that day, her whole family was home and we got to answer some of her brother's questions. He's apparently heard some things about the church. He still doesn't believe us really, but I'm glad we got to talk to him. And we found out her parents are on our side so HA HA!

We have some really great investigators right now. I am just surrounded by some amazing people. I have been praying like nobody's business for more charity. Because, like Moroni says, we are nothing without it. And I truly can feel that God has opened my eyes to see people the way He does. God's love is real and powerful. It strengthens and purifies us. And helps us to do the things that our Savior would do. Well, we just got a call and have to go down to Yerevan now... So I guess that's all you get from me this week!

 Love you all, Sister Blanchard

After a rain storm, we had to stop on the way home and get some Georgian bread of course. Everyone thought we were crazy. 

We ran home in this rain. I honesty thought we were going to get struck by lightening. 

Our transport to district meeting. They shove almost 30 people in these things haha. 

This yummy little thing we ate. 

A yummy little restaurant. 

Someone hanging there doll out to dry. 

Our member's car got into a bit of an accindent. So glad I don't drive here. 

August 2, 2015

Another great week! I'm so happy. I can't believe it's already August...

We are working really hard to love everybody right now! Here's what I've learned lately... When things are hard, and you don't feel like you are accomplishing anything, when you are trying you hardest and things just don't seem to be working out, remember Him. Jesus Christ did the impossible for literally every person on this earth now and throughout eternity. And yet, they rejected Him. Would you still call His great work a success? I would. And when it comes down to it, we are here to serve Him. Keep going, rely on His grace and infinite mercy and allow Him to be your joy and success. He makes our small efforts enough, even when we don't think so. I love my Savior. And although it is hard, I am eternally grateful for this opportunity to understand Him better.

I testify that He lives and loves us ALL. If we rely on Him, He can make us enough. Have a wonderful week.

Sister Blanchard

July 27, 2015- Ah No Time!

I never have enough time to talk about all the exciting things that are happening dang it!!

This week was good. Things have been slow moving I feel likem, but still good. I've learned a lot this transfer. I know that the Lord works by small and simple means to bring about His work. I've always known that I think. But after this past month I feel like I understand it and believe it even more. It's true, no effort ever goes wasted.

We met an awesome investigator this week. She lives in another member's building and we met her there. She is an older woman with a son that has some disabilities. He's 8 years old and can't walk. She is pretty fed up with the fact that she can't get her son any help here. I'm sure I would feel that way too. We went over to their house on Saturday and the family really liked us. She really loves Sister K... which is fine haha. They live in one of those dormatories with only one room. The son is super sweet. Aside from not being able to walk, he seems pretty smart and capable. And he is very sweet. I felt a lot of love for them and really want them to understand the Plan of Salvation!! I obviously don't fully understand their lives, but because of Keeley, I feel a little connection with them. And I have a firm knowledge that this gospel will give them the eternal perspective that brings an assurance of peace and hope throughout everything. She loved talking with us and wanted to come to church with her son! We were going to go get her and when we went, Anahit had been called into work... At church we started out with 5 members there. The branch president wasn't even there... It was slightly disappointing. But people started coming in as the meeting went on and by the end we had about 15 people. But from having our investigator not be able to come, to having so few members at church, I was pretty sad. I caught a small glimpse at that time of what Heavenly Father must feel when His children make mistakes or are disobedient. Particularly, how He must feel when I am ignorant, or lazy, or rebellious. It helped me to understand God's love and patience for us. And through His mercy, I was able to feel a little more patience for everyone else. We have a family that left for the temple!! I am so so happy for them. And pretty jealous too honestly. They are very excited and I know it will be an amazing experience. We got them a little journal to take with them so that they could record their feelings. I can't imagine having so many close family names to take to the temple!!!

Anyways, we have been thinking about that a lot this week and trying to get our members excited about the temple, since they are all so new. I think it will be good motivation for them to keep active and even do missionary and family history work so we can get a temple here soon!! It's been making me miss the temple though.

Everything else is pretty normal. On friday we spoke in armenian the whole day. Even in the appartment. It was exhausting a little, but super helpful. I can't believe I can even do that!!! I love the language a lot and I've learned a lot with Sister K. A couple funny moments... We got charged by a sheep this week. One day we had an appointment with a new investigator and went to there house, knocked on the door, and no one seemed to be there. So we called them from the doorway and the dad is talking to us on the phone. And we hear him yelling on the other side of the door. Telling us he's not home... haha We try to always ask people if they know anyone who would want us to teach them. So were on the street one day talking to an older woman and she doesn't seem too interested in listening to us. So Sister K asks her if she knows anyone who would want to meet with us. And the lady thinks that we were asking for people to date us! So she proceeds to tell us that we are young and beautiful and shouldn't worry about that, we will fuind someone. And then she leaves...

I love you all!! Have a great week! Sister Blanchard

July 20, 2015- WA-DA-MALON

So we have this member whos an old grandma, probably in her 60's, and we taught her how to say watermelon this week. Armenians speaking english is probably one of my greatest joys. This same member gave one of our elders a head massage before church this week. He gets really bad migraines and she was rubbing his eyes and squeezing the heck out of his head. It was so funny. But sad to say, we haven't found the cure to migraines. Sorry folks.

Armenians have all these great little quirks and as missionaries, we are pretty stoked when we can consider ourselves like the armenians, լրիվ հայ, if you will. For one, they have revelation through dreams a lot. We have an investigator who has a lot of potential, but she is SO busy. We've been meeting with her forever and she hasn't been reading the Book of Mormon at all. So I had a dream one night. In which, she read the Book of Mormon. We called her that morning. Guess who read the Book of Mormon? Yup. And guess who had a dance party during companion study? Yup.

Armenians also have all these sayings. So one day, we're at another members house and a little fuzzy thing flies around my head, and our member tells us that means I'm going to get mail. The elders just happened to be in Yerevan that day and picked up mail for both me and Sister K! Yeah, it was my bday package... already. Props to postal services for that quick delivery. And yes... I already opened it. Whoops! It was so amazing though!! I loved everyone. Thanks to all my friends for the letters you gave me. Love you all so much. Everything is all hung up by my bed :) and ps to everyone reading this, I have the coolest family. EVER

One day we met this lady n the street. She didn't seem very interested but we set up an appointment to see her the next day. So on our way to her house we stopped to say hi to a member and this lady comes up and says basically "do you have any business here?" We're like uhh yeah we're just saying hi to a friend. And we're like super confused and so we just ask her name. Turns out it was the lady we were about to go meet... Totally forgot. So awkward.

So that's about all my fun stories. I wish I had some more time. But I just gotta say. I learned this week how bad Satan is trying to destroy our families! Everything he does is to attack our families and if we aren't careful, he could do it. However, in God's mercy, He has provided a perfect plan for us to protect and strengthen our families now and throughout eternity. It is called the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If we rely on His teachings and His infinite grace, we will be safe from all the bad in the world. That is a promise from our loving Father in Heaven.

I love you all! Sister Blanchard

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

July 7, 2015- Happy America Month

We changed it to America month so we could celebrate longer. And poke fun at an elder in our area from Wales. We celebrated hard with burgers, fries, watermelon, brownies and sh'mores. There were even fireworks! Which isn't really that cool since there's fireworks about every night here. But still. AMERICA!!! I just want to talk about a few of the amazing miracles we've seen this week! Answers to prayers!!!!! It's just little things, but we have noticed as a companionship that when we ask for specific things, God gives them to us. Last week at the start of our Preparation Day, I prayed that we would have time to accomplish everything to be prepared for the week. We almost went on this hike, but decided not to go. That night, the elders called us and said they had been gone all day and didn't have any water. Since we stayed home that day, we had plenty of water at our house and were able to help them out. Also, that same day, Sister K prayed that one of our investigators would accept a baptismal date. And when we went over to her house that night, SHE brought up baptism with us! It was so cool to see how Heavenly Father softened her heart. Later this week, another miracle happened. We have a 14 yr old less active member who will not let us meet with her. We tried all last tranfer and took her notes, and flowers and cookies and she always just said she was busy. We had prayed so much all transfer that we could just get into her house and get to know her. And one day this week, it happened! We finally got to go in and talk to her and we picked up her mom as an investigator! I know that God answers our prayers, whether it be that day, or not in this lifetime! If we ask in faith, we will receive. I have felt an increase in hope all around since serving with my new companion. She has a lot of faith in other people and in our goals we set and in Heavenly Father. I feel like that is strengthening my faith a ton. And because of that, soo many people this week have recognized a difference in us. We have found so many new investigators this week, and it's because people recognize that faith in us, and recognize us as servants of Jesus Christ. Yesterday, I fasted to better recognize the Spirit. And I got a very interesting answer from Heavenly Father. During sacrament meeting, I was pondering it some. And the thought just came to me that if I was just more willing to say the things that come to my mind, I would be able to recognize the promptings of the Spirit. God didn't flat out tell me how I recognize the Spirit, but He gave me the direction I need to find out. I don't know if that even makes sense... But it was cool. We were teaching a family this week that we LOVED. But their father, who's in Russia, apparently said we can't go over anymore. We were so upset. But studying this morning, we understood a little bit better about the disappointments we feel as a missionary. We experience disappointments, because of the love we have for people, but we don't need to get discouraged. God has a perfect plan for each of His children and I know that he loves them all and will watch over them. Their opportunity will come. I have learned so much and grown so much this week. I love these wonderful people and I love my Heavenly Father. On a last, and super important note, I heard an Armenian rendition of Candy Shop by 50 Cent this week. I hope all is well back home! I love you all so much! Sister Blanchard

Giant Cotton Candy!

Fourth of July Celebration!

We found how to get up on the roof of our building. 

June 29, 2015-Transfers

Ok, well not for me I guess. i'm staying in Hrazdan and I could not be more happy!! My new companion is Sister K. She is so great! She's 20 and from Utah. She's been out nearly a year now and she was just the Sister Training Leader last transfer. She knows the language and the work SO well. I have already learned so much! We are having a great transfer so far and things are just going to get better and better! Before transfer day, we have a member appreciation activity at Sevan. We had bbq and played frisbee and cards and danced and it was so much fun. People here are amazing. I have some pictures, but I'm not sure if they're with me or not... We are teaching our branch president's daughter right now. We've been teaching her for a lng time, but she's in a manicure class so she can't come to church right now. In fact, she did my nails yesterday and like made them bleed... It's a good thing she has a month left of the class. haha But she is awesome. She has a husband and young son too and she really wants them to be involved in the church. Teaching families is the best! They live a little far away, but hopefully we can visit them all soon. One thing Sister K has really helped me with already is strengthening my faith! My faith in our goals, my faith in the people, my faith in myself and most importantly, my faith in Christ. We have been doing absolutely all we can, and its STILL isn't enough. But the miracles are happening. Jesus Christ has done everything for us. But you know what? He still is doing everything for us!! He is an active part of our lives. Because of Him, we are able to do anything and everything in this life. I've learned that if we plan well, work hard, and strive to follow the spirit, He will always bless us with miracles. Every day, no matter what. Սիրում եմ ձեզ: Sister Blanchard

This is on a bridge by our Branch President's house. 

We hiked a mountain and found this cool yellow building and had a photo shoot. 

Lake Sevan

June 22, 2015- No Time

Ah I have no time to write this week!! So I'll just give you a quick little update and send some pictures! We had a baptism this week woohooooo!!! And we went to a cool little ski resort last prep day and rode the ski lift. Super pretty. That's honestly about it! And we get our transfer calls tomorrow! I hope everyone so doing well and Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there!

Our little font/hot tub!

Ski Lift!

The elders set my passport picture as the background of the church computer...

June 16, 2015

I have a lot of random things to say right now and I hope I get to everything. First thing's first, you should all be jealous of me. I am living in one of the most beautiful places in the world!! Transfers are next week and I am praying with all my might that I stay here! My Armenian is coming along well so I've decided to pick up some Aarabic. My companion majored in Aarabic so she's been teaching me some sick phrases. I'm coming home fluent in two languages so you better watch out! We've been making cookies for everyone and just dropping them off at people's houses if they can't meet. The other day we took some cookies to a member's house. The next day, we ran into that member's sister and she asked us why we put soap in the cookies! She said they smelled like soap! What the heck! She probably thinks we tried to kill her! I mean, I know baking is different here, and everything is in Russian, but I'm pretty positive we didn't just try to poison our member! Awkward. On more important news, we have a baptism this Saturday! I'm not sure if I've mentioned this investigator really or not, so I'll give you the down low. She's 24 and we met her about a month ago. From the beginning, we felt like she just wanted to get together with us and try to speak english. But she has been surprising us every day! We ask her to read things, and she does. She comes to church and even participates! She got a job and still wants to meet with us every day! She gone to YSA and institute activities and now has great friends in the church. And I know that her dilligence has been a huge blessing in her conversion. We are so excited for her!!! I read a great talk from General Conference this week that everyone should read. It's Elder Oaks' "Parable of the Sower". There is one part I really liked. Spiritual food is necessary for spiritual survival, especially in a world that is moving away from belief in God and the absolutes of right and wrong. In an age dominated by the Internet, which magnifies messages that menace faith, we must increase our exposure to spiritual truth in order to strengthen our faith and stay rooted in the gospel. Increase our exposure to spiritual truth. That's how easy it is! I failed to recognize this before my mission. If we want a sureway to sta strong we must turn to the source. We have a constant source of daily bread in our Savior, Jesus Christ. We turn to Him by humbling ourselves in prayer, reading His word and acting how He would act. The spiritual truth which I believe needs a greater attention in this world is our divine and eternal potential. By our Heavenly Father's love and infinite wisdom, we were created and live each day. We have His constant care and guidance in our lives. And we CAN succeed in this life. He made it so! Have hope and remember that we are all so good. And we are on this eternal journey together! I love you all! And so does your Father in Heaven! Sister Blanchard

Saturday, June 13, 2015

So Much To Say!

So much random stuff to say this week, and not much time. So I apologize in advance for this scattered email!!!

We went to Lake Sevan last P Day with our district! It was sooo much fun. It's a beautiful area and there's an old church up on a hill (just like everywhere else in this country). We visited the church and ate and skipped rocks and it was so fun! Weird food for the week... Matsoon. i dont even know. It's some disgusting dairy product straight from the cow. Kinda like greek yogurt, but like worse!

We've been eating/drinking that a lot lately. Bleh. Oh! Also, no one freak out, but we almost got struck by lightning the other day! We were out and the storm was coming in fast! We didn't even see it coming! But lightning striked... stroke?.. no, striked right above our heads! It hit all the power lines and everyone's lights went out! It was the loudest thing ever. We were luckily just leaving an investigator's appartment and she called back to us to wait it out inside. And we met her friend who we're going to go visit! God works in mysterious ways! Another funny story. We were sitting at this picnic table outside waiting for our investigator and these four young girls (maybe 11 to 14 yrs) came up and started talking to us. They were super sweet! And so our investigator shows up and we get up to leave. We're walking away but still kind of talking to the girls, so I obviously wasn't watching where I was walking, and I stepped right into this hole that was like 2 feet deep where people throw their trash.... I really haven't changed all that much I guess!

We've also just had a lot of old cranky people yell at us this week. The Adversary is real. There are times when I walk away almost in tears. But I've realized that we, as missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Days Saints, truly are representatives of Jesus Christ. I think about all He went through on this earth to bring people His gospel. It is a priviledge to do what He would do if He were here, especially when it's hard. Now, a little update on investigators. We have met some solid people lately who are really starting to progress. One day, we were out and all of our plans fell through. Literally, we had nowhere to go. We got a call from our elders and they said that one of our members had a friend at the church who needed a friend. We went and met her. She's been through a lot in her life. She is sick and smokes a lot and feels like Satan is out to get her right now. But she told us that she had a dream and she saw the golden plates! We are all ready to teach her. For a while she said she just wants a friend, but she called us a few days ago and asked for the Book of Mormon. She is so ready and we are so excited!!

I'm out of time dang it!!! So much is happening here! But I love you all and I love my Heavenly Father! Have a great week Sister Blanchard

Did This Week Even Happen?

Like, honestly I can't even remember this week! And it's already JUNE! Happy summer everybody! Time is flying!

We have met a lot of awesome people this week! We met a young mother on the street one day that has two young boys and they are super interested in the gospel! The dad is in Russia for work and I dont think he's been back much. But the little boys come in excited to learn and read and pray and it's so great! I have seen how the gospel has helped their family become stronger already! One of our other investigators just got a job at this weird little shooting range for kids. So we won't be able to see her much for a while, but she is still progressing and we just visit her at work now. We didn't hav any investigators at church this week... but it worked out for the best becuase we basically cancelled the third hour for no reason.... That's Armenia!

We've still been doing a lot of gardening this week. So one day we were out and my companion was joking around and accidentally hit one of the elders in the face with the shovel! He triedto play it off like nothing happened, but it started bleeded and it was just not fun. So my companion felt hrorrible! We decided to make him feel better and we wrote him a rendition to Brittney's greatest hit: DONT Hit Me Baby One More Time. Much better than the original if you ask me. And he accepted that form of embarrassment as an apology. All's well!

But one of our favorite members (this old lady that is kinda blind and calls me Barbie) is spreading the rumor that the elder tried to kiss my companion so she punched him. Good stuff. We're proud of that rumor. Something I've been working on theis week is listening with love. I am truly trying to love people as they are talking to me. And you know what? It's helped me understand better! I have felt even more love towards people. I used this trick to help break down the language barrier, but I know it can work for much more than that! If you want to love and understand someone, just try! And Heavenly Father will bless you with love for everyone! I have felt such a strong bond of love with these people, which is something I am truly grateful for. We are all brothers and sisters in this life. And we are all capable of loving each other if we love our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Keep being great, everyone!
I love you all! Sister Blanchard

Thursday, May 28, 2015

I am a Potato Farmer

The weather is finally consistently nice! So the gardens are coming out! People here garden enough food and things to make it through the whole winter! So we've been helping everyone prepare their gardens. I dug and planted sooooo many potatoes this week, I could do it in my sleep! So I'm thinking of starting a potato fam when I get home. It's a work in progress, but after this week, I think I've got the skillset. 

This weekend was Stake Conference so we were in Yerevan almost the whole weekend. Saturday morning we had a meeting with all the missionaries and Elder Bennett (from our area presidency) and Elder Halstrum (from the Quorom of the Seventy). It was my first time seeing everyone together! It was so cool! We learned a lot about how the Lord's success is not neccessarily our idea of success. We were told to have hope and not get discouraged when we don't see immediate success. I've been trying to ask myself every night if I gave everything I could to the Lord that day. And if I did, it is now in His loving hands and I need not worry. I have also been trying to learn how to be better led by the Spirit. Elder Halstrum said that if we have our minds set to act upon what we learn, we are automatically elevated and able to be directed moreclearly by the Spirit. It comes down to our desire. Do I want to change and improve and be a better instrument in his hands? 

After our meeting I went on a split in Yerevan for the day with another sister! So fun! The city is crazy hectic. I should have taken more pictures ahh. On Sunday we traveled to Yerevan from Hrazdan with our branch. We had a bus and a van to make it there. And of course, we were sooooo late. My companion and I were like running around the city trying to gather everyone up and get them ready! People here don't wake up in the mornings... And then our bus drove so slow. It was like a walking pace. I could've pushed the bus faster! We made it about halfway through. But it was great seeing the whole stake together! There were maybe 300 people there! Our leaders made many promises about a temple coming to Armenia sometime in the future!!! I'm so blessed to be here at this time of great growth in the church! 

I don't have much time now, but remember God loves you and you are GOOD! Till next week, Sister Blanchard

May 18, 2015

Sorry I wasn't on last week everyone, I was too busy talking to MY FAMILY! So, I guess I'm not too sorry!! I hope you all had a lovely Mother's Day. 

I'm officially halfway through my first transfer!! Ahh crazy! This week we had our Zone Conference with President and his wife. 6 hours long.... But it was so good! We talked about building our faith and how we can do that. Faith is a gift of the Spirit, so we must seek after it through prayer. Being humble and obedient are key to growing faith. Beyond that, I'm focusing on remembering the Savior more throughout every day. I've learned that merely thinking of Him has so much power. And can really help us change our lives through His Atonement! His example is one of perfect obedience, humility and love. Those are all the qualities we need to build faith and grow closer to God. When we remember Him, even the hard days are good days. 

Earlier this week I had a day of bad luck I would call it. I have a pictures to sum up the day. But in the span of about two hours I broke my umbrella, split tea ata member's home, then stepped on her cat, and then kinda dropped one of her puppies. And then fell in the mud! Learn to laugh at yourself and pick up and keep going. When we think of the Savior, we forget about our little problems and help others as He would. ( And don't worry, the animals are fine.) 

 We've been focusing a lot on service this week as a companionship. Armenians are very good at service. We have members that are always giving us flowers and food and anything they can do. We are trying to show them that we are here for them as well. We are cleaning a inactive member's home and she is finally opening up to us and coming back to church! Service works miracles. It helps you love others and yourself. We organized a Relief Society activity this week too. We met at the church and had a great turn out! One of our investigators is a cake maker and she made us a cake for the activity with the Church's name on it, minus the "saints" part haha. It was delicious though. We played Pin the Tail on the Bunny and danced the night away! It was so great. I hope we can all take the time to think of Christ more throughout our lives and serve our fellow brothers and sisters!

I know that we will seethe blessings of simple acts and our faith will be strengthened!! Have a great week everyone!

Monday, May 4, 2015

1 Month in Armenia!!!

Armenia is great!! It's warming up, we've still got the best bread in the world and even better people! We've got some great investigators right now!!! We've been meeting a lot of really awesome people on the streets! We have an investigator right now that is 15 and she is sooo great! She reads like crzy in the Book of Mormon and even came to church last week. She hasn't always been super religious, so she has some great questions when we meet! We love teaching her. It's amazing how teaching someone about their relationship with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ can really change their life. I know that Christ is our Savior, and that every day we can rely on Him and become stronger! There is hope in life and I've seen it here amongst these humble people. I don't have a ton to share this week! But everything is good! Thank you all for your emails, letters and love! Sister Blanchard

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Patience is Key

We had a bit of a tough week. It was super cold last Friday! And an old grandma called me fat! We also broke our phone! And we have a lot of investigators that aren't progressing right now. There are a lot of great people, but we didn't get to teach too much this week. But it's been fun getting to talk to a lot of new people too! And our members are so great.

I'm really working on trusting in the Lord and His timing. I know that as we are obedient and follow the promptings of the Spirit, we will those who are prepared for this Gospel. My companion and I were talking about Ammon this morning. He was called to preach the Gospel to the Lamanites and he had it ROUGH! yet, he still trusted in and praised God. "Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success. Now have we not reason to rejoice? Yea, I say unto you, there never were men that had so great reason to rejoice as we, since the world began; yea, and my joy is carried away, even unto boasting in my God; for he has all power, all wisdom, and all understanding; he comprehendeth all things, and he is a merciful Being, even unto salvation, to those who will repent and believe on his name. 36 Now if this is boasting, even so will I boast; for this is my life and my light, my joy and my salvation, and my redemption from everlasting wo. Yea, blessed is the name of my God, who has been mindful of this people, who are a branch of the tree of Israel, and has been lost from its body in a strange land; yea, I say, blessed be the name of my God, who has been mindful of us, wanderers in a strange land. 37 Now my brethren, we see that God is mindful of every people, whatsoever land they may be in; yea, he numbereth his people, and his bowels of mercy are over all the earth. Now this is my joy, and my great thanksgiving; yea, and I will give thanks unto my God forever. "

Not only did he endure through his trials, Ammon REJOICED in his trials. We can do this too! Yeah it's hard, and cold, and we have a dumb phone now and I'm apparently fat, God is so GOOD and He will provide. He makes up the difference for ur shortcomings and He uses us as tools to accomplish His work!

I love His gospel and know that He has a perfect plan for the rest of eternity for all of His children! And you know what's great? This plan allows us to be happy each and every day! No matter what! I hope everyone remembers that. And remember that you are loved infinitely and perfectly by Heavenly Father and Hisson Jesus Christ!

Have a HAPPY week! Sister Blanchard

Sunday, April 26, 2015

First Baptism!

Hello everyone!!

Tons of miracles happened this week! Everyday I am so grateful to be a part of the work here! Three of our investigators got baptized on Saturday!! It was such a col experience. First of al, no one in thecity had water until about noon, so we were freaking out!! But God provided! Just in time! The baptism was wonderful. I could truly feel the hope and happiness from these new church members. Their baptism allowed them to begin life all over again, clean and pure. They are now covenant people and God looks after His people. It was so wonderful. After the service, a member pushed his car up to the church doors and used the font water to wash his car... haha I love the people here.

On Sunday one of our investigators came to church and I think she really liked it! I gave a talk on the Book of Mormon and it went prety well! I can't say it was super eloquent, but I know that what I shared was true. If you want a stronger relationship with out Savior, Jesus Christ, read the Book of Mormon. If you want direction, or comfort, or inspiration, directly from Heavenly Father to you, read the Book of Mormon. I can't explain it, but there is a power in that book, I just know it.

After church, we couldn't get a lot of appointments so we were just visiting people that didn't make it to church. We saw a woman and her mother carrying some things so we offered to help. Well, Armenians never let you help them, but they were still grateful and they invited us to their house! I've never been around anyone more hospitable than Armenians. This wonderful family fed us a whole meal! And some of them seem very interested in our message and said they would come to church! 

Miracles are happening every day. It's not on account of my vast knowledge, or eloquence in speaking, however. People laugh at my language every day! But, my companion and I use this time as effectively as we can, work hard, and rely on the Lod. Then, He takes over and everything works out!!! It's truly amazing. If we allow Him to shape our lives, He will. And He will make us far greater than we ever could be on our own! I love you all, have a wonderful week, and look for the miracles in your own lives. I promise you they will be there!

Sister Blanchard

Monday, April 13, 2015

Week 2- Armenia

So much to say!!! First of all, sorry for any typos, but my hands are FROZEN. It's freezing here pretty much all the time! But aside from that, everything is great! 

I've really been trying to dedicate my heart, might, mind and strength to the work this week. I think sometimes it's easier to dedicate might and strength, but neglect to fully involve your heart and mind. But the more I've been trying to turn my wants an desires and needs over to Heavenly Father, the more energy and abilities I have! I have more courage to speak and reach out to people and i can stay more focused an alert throughout he whole day! 

Heavenly Father is truly able to make so much more out of our lives that we can on our own. I probably say that every week, but it's true! I could not do any of this without Him. We have three baptisms scheduled for this Saturday and some other progressing investigators as well! People here are truly prepared. 

Last Saturday, we met a woman on the street that didn't seem super interested to me, but then she came to church the next day with her daughter! And we've been meeting with her and she loves everything we say! We found out she even went and watched conference yesterday with the branch! The people really are so inspiring. 

So I wish i could explain to you all how good the food is... Like, honestly it's super great. And everybody feeds you here!! Which is good, but also makes me feel bad a lot of times. But anyway, not every meal is amazing I've learned... The other day, we went to a home and they brought out this like casserole dish of something... i watched my companion eat it first to see her reaction and she seemed fine. But then the people left the room for a minute and she put a huge piece back... uh oh. I didn't have the time to do that!! I had to eat it... It was literally like some sort of meat with some grassy looking stuff held together with fat... like gelatin-y fat stuff. It was seriously the most disgusting thing i have ever eaten! And I'm scared to go back... 

On a more serious note, we got to watch general conference yesterday. I love how much of the meetings were focused on the family. I know that the principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ are the only way to sustain families in these last days. I have seen already how families with the gospel have been strengthened here in Armenia! And I'm so grateful to be a witness of the truth and hope of the gospel. So tell your families you love them and remember to look to Jesus Christ as your perfect example and loving friend! 

God Bless, Sister Blanchard Thank you to everyone for your love and righteous examples as well!!!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Hello everyone fram ARMENIA!!!! 

I made it safely and went off to my area Hrazdan on Friday. Armenia is very beautiful. People live in very humble conditions here, especially in any area that isn't Yerevan. Hrazdan is very poor. People live in very humble conditions. We have some amazing members and investigators though. Our branch is super small and very new. The people are very loving and accepting though which I really appreciate. Sacrament meeting was very cool. Although I could not understand much, the Spirit was there so strongly and I felt so lucky to be among these wonderful people. My companion is great!! (Just a forewarning, I can't mention names or show pictures of anyone in the country!) So she's been out three months (one transfer) and is very smart. We have been getting along great and she's really trying to help me get adjusted as soon as possible! She works very hard and I'm grateful for her example. Yesterday we met with some new investigators and we now have 3 new baptism dates! I'm so excited for everyone. I definitely know that this is what Heavenly Father wants for them. I could feel the Savior's love for them as we tught them and they chose to follow His example and be baptized. It's very hard to understand people right now!!! They just laugh at me a lot of times. But they say for only being here for a few days that I'm doing really well! I'm a little frustrated with not being able to understand well, or respond the way I want, but I know it'll come. I also know for a fact that the Savior has been helping me along. I know that because of His sacrifice for me, He is able to strengthen me to serve people in the way I need to. I know that the Book of Mormon is such a powerful tools. It has the ability to change people's hearts and help them become better. I am grateful for this experience. It is hard right now, but there's nowhere I'd rather be. Seeing these people and everything they are going through, I know that the principles of the Gospel will strengthen them and make their lives better!

Love you all! Hope America is still treating you well! Till next week, Sister Blanchard

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

She is in Armenia!

Four excited and exhausted missionaries made it to Armenia. They were so excited to get here their plane arrived 35 minutes early. That is a first, we usually wait up to an hour for them. They will email you tomorrow. We love them and are so grateful they are here. They are going to bless Armenia and Georgia! 
 Love, President and Sister Carlson Armenia Yerevan Mission

Friday, March 27, 2015

I Can Do Hard Things

This week has been a roller coaster! I don't have a whole lot to say... Travel plans came last Friday. We fly out Tuesday morning to Atlanta Georgia, then to Paris and to Armenia! I can't wait and ever since we got the travel plans, everything goes by really really slowly! We skyped again yesterday with a man in Armenia! We talked to him a few weeks ago too and he said our Armenian is sounding a lot better! He also said everyone there is impatiently waiting for our arrival! This week, I have seen a lot of my shortcomings very prominently. I feel very inadequate sometimes. And I'm a little scared to leave. Excited, yes. But also nervous. I couldn't understand why I was feeling so down. I think there are two main reasons I've noticed. One, this really is the Lord's work of saving souls. And Satan doesn't want that. He's doing whatever he can to makes sure I don't feel like I can go and serve the people in Armenia. Second, I think Heavenly Father has blessed me to see some of my shortcomings so much this week. It's allowed me to see so many ways I can improve. It has helped me to rely on Jesus Christ and the power of the Atonement. I am so grateful for the opportunities God gives me everyday to improve. Christ truly does fix broken things. He has fixed me and strengthened me and made up for my shortcomings every day. And that is why I'm here. To share this message of hope and love with the people who are searching for the truth. Well, till next week when I'm in ARMENIA!!!

"And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them." Ether 12:27

Weekly Email

This week has been crazy busy! Lots of teaching and lots of fun with my companions. Last week for TRC we taught two return sister missionaries a lesson about becoming more like Christ. The Spirit was very present in that lesson. And I realized it wasn't because of anything we did. The focus was on the Savior, and that's where it should be. Our whole purpose is to help people come closer to Jesus Christ. And ultimately, that is the purpose of this life! Our companionships got switched around a little bit again, just for health reasons. SIster Nyberg is now with two other sisters and Sister Kindt and I are a comanionship by ourselves. I've learned a lot about hard work from Sister Kindt. She is the sister that got mono, so she feels very behind in the language. We set goals together, and speak Armenian together and pray together any chance we get. I really love that when we work hard and show our gratitude to the Lord, He takes over and provides us with miracles to help us improve. This week we started 100% SYL (Speak Your Language) in class... That's a milestone I never thought I would hit! It's pretty difficult, but we've improved so much! We had some very faith-promoting moments this week. One of our elders going to Madagascar, Elder Iata, is from a small island called Vanuatu. Last Saturday, we got the news that a huge cyclone had destroyed the island. We had no details as to his family's safety, and we still don't actually. I can't even imagine being in his situation. Saturday night, our branch president gave him a priesthood blessing that was very powerful and brought much comfort to everyone. Elder Iata said he knew that Heavenly Father was watching over his family. I learned a lot from this humble elder. God is aware of us and He has ultimate control in our lives. If you turn ourselves over to Him, He will care for all of our needs and shower us with blessings. Elder Iata and his companion left Monday for country, along with our two elders going to Greece! Crazy! It makes me way more eager to leave. I am ready to get out there and serve the people! We also got 4 new elders in our zone. 3 from Australia and 1 from New Zealand. They are so much fun! I love everyone in our zone! I have very inspiring examples all around me. I think that has been a very big part of why I love the MTC. We had another wonderful devotional this week by Elder Ron Clarke from the First Quorum of the Seventy. It was definitely an answer to my prayers. He talked about how missionaries are on the Lord's time, and we should not waste it. I need to continue working hard to fulfill my calling. Then I can trust that God will lead me to where I need to be. And if I am obedient, He will trust me. He also talked about how the the salvation of a soul is worth anything! Every person on this earth is precious to God. We are all brothers and sisters and I can't wait to help my family in Armenia find their way back to His presence. Yesterday we skyped with an old man in Yerevan! He was excited to help us with our language, which is such a blessing because I need all the help I can get. I bet I sound like a two year old to them! We taught about prayer and receiving answers to prayers. It was a very cool experience, because it turns out we found out afterward that he wasn't even a member of the church! haha So we just had our first real discussion! I love this Gospel and I love my calling. I trust that God will take care of me and my loved ones as I do everything I can to be obedient unto Him. I love you all! Have a great week! Love, Sister Blanchard