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

Monday, March 16, 2015


The sisters and the elders at the Provo Temple on a Sunday walk. 

All the sisters in the district. 

Me and my favorite companion. She leaves on Monday for Singapore!

բարեվ ձեզ‏

We've had a crazy week!!! My Companion, Sister O'Boyle, left on Monday for Singapore!!! I'm so happy for her, but it was so sad to see her go. I am also way more excited for me to leave now. Only 19 days!!! Now I am in a trio companionship thing with the other sisters going to Armenia, Sister Kindt and Sister Nyberg. 

My language is improving a lot. I basically only speak Armenian in class now and I am feeling way more comfortable talking to people! We've been learning a lot more about the Armenian culture and history still and I am so in love with these people. They have a rich heritage of being strong and faithful to their beliefs and overcoming extreme hardships. I know for a fact the Heavenly Father has been preparing these people for the fullness of the Gospel. 

Yesterday, we even skyped with three people in Armenia and taught them a quick lesson! They were so great. I was really nervous, but I was surprised at how much I could actually understand. And I finally realized that they are real people! And they don't expect me to know the language right away. They were all so proud of us and so happy that we were trying to learn they're language. I CAN'T WAIT TO LEAVE!!!! 

Our devotionals this week were so good. Sister McConkie, from the General Young Women's Presidency spoke in Relief Society on Sunday. She taught about how our faith in Christ makes miracles happen in the mission. I am really striving to put my life into the Lord's hands, and trust that He loves me and knows how to help me the best. I know that He has enlarged me capacity to learn and to love. 

At Tuesday's devotional, we had Elder Quinton L. Cook and his wife speak to us! (They broadcasted the devotional, so check online somewhere and look for me in the choir!!) Elder Cook talked about how they assign our mission calls. He said the Brethren are spiritually exhausted when they are done! So much thought and care goes into assigning our mission calls. And I can testify, even from the MTC, that my call came from Heavenly Father. He also quoted President Hinkley who said, "If you have more faith, you will have more success". Heavenly Father has a plan for each of us. It is a perfect plan for our lives specifically, and it will help us become the best versions of ourselves that we can be. Then we can be welcomed back into His presence by His arms of unfailing love. 

Everything is amazing here. I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that if you trust in the Lord and are obedient to His commandments, we will be beyond happy. I know that no matter who you are or what you are going through, that the principles of the Gospel will help you. I am grateful for a loving and gracious Father in Heaven and a Savior Jesus Christ who lives and loves us. 

Have a wonderful week! Աստված ձեզ հէտ 
God be with you 
Love, քույր բլանչրդ

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Barev Zez!‏

Soooooooo I'm happy!! Service makes you happy. I have a firm testimony of that. 

The sick and afflicted are doing better! Sister Kindt, who had the worst case of mono of have ever seen, was almost completely healthy again within two days! It was so miraculous and demonstrated to me that the Lord is all-powerful! And everything He does is to help us! Sister Gowans still has staff pretty bad... She keeps going to the doctors and coming back with no answers. It's pretty frustrating for everyone, but we are praying for her and I know Heavenly Father will provide.

In other news, last Friday my companion received her travel plans!!!!! She is leaving on Monday.She flies to LA, Hong Kong and then to Singapore! I am so excited for her, but also so sad to see her go! She is an amazing example and friend to me and the people will love her so much. It's really cool how you are around such amazing people at the MTC. I think it is largely because you see the best in people here!

With my companion's travel plans and other recent happenings, I am so anxious to leave!!!! I am getting more comfortable with my planning and teaching and speaking. TRC has helped a ton! We teach lessons to other people who speak Armenian every week. And then soon we will skype with members in Armenia! It is such a great experience and I've learned so much! Also there is a man that works at the MTC, I'm sure if I said this or not yet, but he is from Armenia! His name is Zorab. He and his wife cam into our classroom to tell us about the country and show us pictures! It is such a beautiful place and I'm so privileged to go serve there! In class each day, we teach "investigators", right? So one of my teachers acts as an old man that he taught on his mission. And this week, he showed us a picture of this sweet little old guy! I already felt so much love for him. I realized that what I am doing here is really preparing me spiritually to be filled with the love of Christ for these people. 

I hope everyone's lives are full of peace and happiness. I know we can all become better if we follow the example of Jesus Christ in all that we do. Have a wonderful week.\

Sister Blanchard

"Then called upon the name of the LordLordbeseech thee, deliver my soul.
Gracious is the Lordand righteous; yea, our God is merciful.
The Lord preserveth the simplewas brought low, and he helped me."
Psalm 116:4-6

Miracle Week

Hope all is well!! This week was definitely full of small miracles that I am eternally grateful for.

First huge miracle: I've been here a whole month as of yesterday! I can't believe that, but it means I'm almost half way done here and on my way to Armenia!

Sister O'Boyle and I are the new Zone Sister Training Leaders! Just in time for everyone to get sick... Everyone is catching colds! And about a week ago, Sister Kindt (a sister going to Armenia) got mono. And another sister in the district got a staff infection... So things have been crazy. I have been alone in class a lot and all the sisters have had to go on temporary exchanges so everyone has the opportunity to go to class some. It's pretty scary and stressful. We are being super careful about germs, and having to run people meals and things. We are all over the place. Sister O'Boyle said that Heavenly Father thought we were all just doing so well that we needed a little more of a challenge. I like that reasoning the best. This experience has really bonded us and helped us each have more charity and patience. 

Late on Monday night, Sister Kindt asked for a priesthood blessing. Some elders in our zone gave her a simple and profound blessing of healing and recovery. Afterwards, she was very weak and went back to the room to sleep with her companion. She wanted water though so Sister O'Boyle and I went to a vending machine in the basement laundry room. I swiped my card, and it wouldn't register. We looked and the time and realized it was passed 10:15 when the vending machines are no longer working. We turned to leave and about two seconds later, we heard a water fall from the vending machine. We had no idea how it happened, but we knew why. It was a small assurance of God's hand in our lives. It seems like a simple thing, but it demonstrated to us that Heavenly Father is so aware of the struggles we face. He cares so deeply about each individual on this earth and we felt that late on Monday kneeling in grateful prayer on the floor of the laundry room.

The sisters are beginning to heal and everyone is doing well. My studies continue to improve as I apply myself and rely on the Lord. 

My time is up! I pray that you will all feel the love that God has for you! And wash your hands!!!

Sister Blanchard

"My God hath been my support; He hath led me through mine afflictions in the wilderness; and He hath perserved me on the waters of the great deep."
2nd Nephi 4:20