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