Friday, February 20, 2015

Happy Birthday to Keeley from the MTC.  

"My comp and i on pday... we basically look homeless because we walk around
campus with our laundry bags and sack lunches haha"

 "I wrote everyone's names phonetically in armenian!!
it goes down the first column: joe, stacy, krist, grant, holt.
 and then the second column me, keeley and nathan!"

Three Weeks. No Naps.

I think that weirdest part of this whole experience is honestly that I'm nearing a month at the MTC and I haven't had a single nap... Seriously. I don't know how I'm a functioning human being 90% of the time! Heavenly Father is helping me through it!

I hope everyone is having a great week! And I hope Valentine's Day was prime. V Day isn't super popular around the MTC to be honest. 

This week was busy and great as usual! We are teaching "investigators" every day. Our teachers role play as investigators that they taught on their missions. It's very cool. I've learned a lot about the culture and the people from this., Although I know it is fake, it's really cool because we are still getting to know and learning to love real people! I'm learning a lot about how the basic principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ will help people at any stage of life. We also do something called TRC every Thursday night where people from Armenia or that served in Armenia come and we get to talk to them and teach them in Armenian! I love meeting those people! I feel like it has really helped me improve my language skills!! I'm working very hard and I am constantly amazed at how much I have learned in just three weeks. 

This week I have had some very special experiences with prayer. I know that our Heavenly Father loves us so much that He gave us a way to communicate with Him. I know that he wants to hear from us every day! There are times when we are put into situations that we cannot control. I have learned that there is a real power in a sincere and heartfelt prayer to God in the name of Jesus Christ. Because no matter what, He is in control.

I am thankful for all of you, again, and your endless support and prayers. I am loving my time here and I can't wait to be in Armenia! I pray that you will all find peace and happiness in this life. 

Sister Blanchard

"But Ammon said unto him: do not boast in my own strength, nor in my own wisdom; but behold, my joy is full, yea, my heart is brim with joyand will rejoice in my God.
Yea, know that am nothingas to my strength am weak; therefore will not boast of myself, but will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all thingsyea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever."
Alma 26:12-13

Thursday, February 12, 2015


Only 7 Weeks Left!

I cannot believe it's been two weeks!!!!! I've learned so much and I have so much still to learn in the next 7 weeks until ARMENIA! I hope everyone is doing well. Thank you again and again for your love and support!

I can now say I am learned in the alphabet and I can recite my missionary purpose. I'm also working on singing I am a Child of God! I can't believe how much I have learned. We taught our first lesson with no notes earlier this week too! Now we have two "investigators" and we teach almost every day. You are really forced to learn. I try to only speak my language for at least an hour every day. Which is really interesting since Sis. O'Boyle is speaking Malay. We have a fun time trying to understand each other.

I have learned so much about our Savior and Heavenly Father too. That is a big reason the MTC is so great. We are forced to rely upon the grace of Jesus Christ to get through the day. And as we do that, we come to know HIm better and be more like Him. What a blessing! I have also learned that I am most definitely not here for myself. I am here to let the Lord prepare me to meet the people that He is also preparing to accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

On Sunday nights, we watched a devotional given by Elder Bednar at the MTC a few years ago called that Character of Christ. In which, he talks about how we come closer to Him. The Savior's life was spent doing anything and everything to uplift and bless others. Even when it was hard or inconvenient. Our first instinct when things get hard is to turn inward and complain and think about ourselves. But Jesus Christ showed a different way. As we look outward and reach out to others, He lightens our load and brings us joy! I mean that very literally. JOY is given to you from Heavenly Father when you serve others and forget youself. I testify that is true. When we have charity, the Lord is able to make us better people! What a blessing! Again! We truly are so blessed.

Another thing Elder Bednar talked about is the importance of a study in the Book of Mormon. He suggested we try something that my companion and I have been working on since Monday. And I would invite and encourage everyone to join us. Find a cheap copy of the Book of Mormon. The missionaries have them, any member of the church can get you one, or I think they're like two dollars from the distribution center. Think of something that you want to study or learn more about, or a question that you may have on your mind. About anything! I wrote my question in the beginning of my Book of Mormon. Begin reading that book from start to finish with yuor question in mind. Start with a prayer to Heavenly Father that He will enlighten your mind and guide your study and teach you truth. As you read, mark the things that you learn about your topic or question. Ponder the things you read and the way you feel. When you finish, Elder Bednar promised you will be enlightened and uplifted and questions will be answered. Any sincere study of the Book of Mormon will bring you closer to Christ. I can promise you that reading the Book of Mormon is much more than just words on a page. Every day I read thirty minutes from the Book of Mormon in Armenian. This has truly enhanced my language study so much! The Holy Ghost is the true teacher and you can feel the Spirit's calming and peaceful effects as you study the Book of Mormon. I testify that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I know that there is power in that book and that it testifies that God lives and Jesus Christ is the Savior of all mankind.

I love this Gospel and I love my Savior so much. I know that Heavenly Father is aware of and loves each of you personally. I will be forever grateful for the chance I have to participate in this marvelous work.

Wishing you all the best, Sister Blanchard

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Are you doing your best?

Hello my dearest friends and family!

Wow I don't even know how to begin. Life here is crazy from the moment you get dropped off! I was right into class that hour and the teachers speak only Armenian. I have an amazing companion, Sister O'Boyle. She is a solo sister going to Singapore, Malay speaking (she's the only one in class!!). We have become very close and balance each other out so well. I am so grateful to have companionships! I have only two other sisters in my class, Sister Kindt and Sister Nyberg and that's it. They are great disciples of Jesus Christ and we try every day to help support and push each other. These girls are all in my residence room along with two other sisters going to Indonesia. It's packed! But they are all great.

I have already learned SO much. I prayed in Armenian (very poorly) on the second day of class! And the three Armenians (we're called the Arms) taught our first investigator in Armenian on the third day! I can't believe how much I have learned in such a short time. The one thing above all that I have learned, is that the Lord is fully in charge of our lives and this great work. There is no way I could be as far along as I am in my studies here without out the guidance of His Holy Spirit and the gift of tongues. The MTC is extremely difficult. We are pushed far beyond our own capabilities, forcing us to rely on the Lord. I have never prayed so much in my entire life. And as a result, I have never seen so many miracles. Miracles happen everyday, in small and great ways. And I know the Lord is aware of our feelings. There are days I feel overwhelmed, or too weak, or that I cannot measure up. And when I have plead with the Lord in earnest prayer, He has not only walked along side me, but picked me up when I have fallen, and carried me when I can no longer stand.

I had a wonderful experience on Sunday at church. Our branch is very small, about only 16 or so. We took the sacrament, just like I have done all my life. But this week, I am sad to admit, I was feeling the weight of my calling and viewing all the imperfections I have as roadblocks in the way of my success. As I took the sacrament, I could feel the spirit so strongly saying to me, "it is a fresh new week, just try again". Whenever I am discouraged, or unsure of my progress, I have stopped to evaluate my progress. Am I doing my best? If you are working to your fullest potential and relying on the Lord, He is so proud of the efforts we put forth, no matter how big or small they may seem to us.

The MTC is a great place. A place of learning, humility, love, service, happiness, struggles, and peace. I love accomplishing goals and seeing how far I have come! I am so excited to serve the people of Armenia. I know that is the reason I am at the MTC. That is the reason I am struggling in class countless hours a day to teach more effectively and speak a difficult language. I know that Heavenly Father loves all His children and I am blessed to wear my name next to His as I bring people the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Thank you for you support and love! I love to hear from all of you. I pray for you everyday and I know the Lord is watching over you.

I'll try to send pictures next week! I'm still trying to figure out the whole email situation!! Sorry!

Love, Sister Blanchard