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