Monday, April 4, 2016

March 21, 2016- Spring!

This is a sweet view from a village we've been going to lately. 
And this is the view when we turned around...

Everyday this man is doing some sort of sketchy work on this building. he's usually on some super wobbly hand made ladder. I guess the ladder was too much of a hassle this day. 

April 4, 2016- One Whole Year

Well this week was great!!! We had exchanges with our sister training leaders from Georgia this week! That was so fun! I learned how to pray in georgian, not that that will ever come in handy... But it's cool! We've got ourselves some great sister training leaders! And they've learned quite a bit of armenian already! They would say hi to people on the street in armenian and then when the people started talking they'd just look at us all scared because they didn't understand haha. We had a great time. We were less active hunting and we found a new investigator by asking this woman for directions! When we finally found the right apartment, the member we were looking for was just about to leave her house and it turned out to be perfect timing, or else we wouldn't have even seen her! She is awesome. She got baptized a long time ago with her daughter and son. They just randomly stopped coming when the kids moved out. But she was excited to see us and was very sweet! I love bringing people back. Less active work is very special. We've had a ton of people freaking out about the war. There is some fighting happening right now between Armenia and Azerbaijan. I'm not scared at all, because I know we are completely safe. I don't want the people to be scared either. I'm in the mormon chapters in the Book of Mormon and it's basically all war! Their country was being torn apart by it! Hundreds of thousands of people died. And it was all because they had turned away from the Lord. It pains me to see everyone hurt by the fighting happening here. I am incredibly grateful, however, that we have the solution! The Gospel of Jesus Christ will turn people's hearts once again to the Savior and He will give them peace and happiness through all the trials of life. I love serving Him and I love serving the armenians! It is service season once again! We went out to a village on Saturday and shoveled buckets of manure for hours! And to be honest, I really enjoyed it! Especially since it was followed by the best bread I've ever eaten in my whole life! Armenia is amazing. :) Two of my favorite girls in Armenia got their mission calls!!!!! One is going to Birmingham England and the other to Kiev Ukraine! I really believe that getting these youth out on missions and to the temple is the only way the church will be established in Armenia! So many lives will be blessed! I can't wait. Also, I've been in Armenia an entire year now!!! AHHHH!!!!!!!!! I cannot believe how much trime has gone by and how much I have changed. I am so grateful for Jesus Christ, who loved me, and each of us, enough to die for us. He granted us this wonderful opportunity to come to earth, have great experiences and become more perfected like our loving Heavenly Father. Their plan for us is perfect. And it is made perfect through Jesus Christ's Atonement. I love you all SO MUCH!!! Mets Sirov, Quyr Blanchard

Another super big Armenian church! This one is pretty close to our church. We pass it every day.

The view from our kitchen balcony! Can't remember if I've shown this before. It's so pretty!!!!

When you don't have a pot.

They gave us these hats because 1: no sunburns and 2: they're just so cute

When you don't have a door.

March 28, 2016- Happy Easter

I love Easter! In Armenia, they celebrate Easter all week. Last Sunday EVERYONE went to church. And all the women wear these wreath crowns and they get willows to right in the spring season. They make this special rice with dried fruit in it and eat fish and drink lots of wine. And they have a special mass type thing on Easter day. When you greeat each other, one person says something like "Jesus is risen from the dead" and you respond saying "Blessed is the resurrection of Christ." They dye eggs with red onions and they have egg wars. You pick an egg and you have to hit your egg against someone else's. Whoever's egg breaks has to give theirs to the other person. It's cute! I lost though... Sister Hutchinson and I read through the last week of the Savior's life before His crucifixion and resurrection. I have a deeper appreciation for the Savior now and I hope that it lasts all year! I feel so grateful for the sacrament. Every week we come and remember the Savior and our gratitude and love for Him increases. In other news, this week was great!! Things are a bit slow. It might be the holiday. We're not sure. But we do have one investigator that is progressing quite well! She is a member's daughter. She is 19 and she's been around the church for forever. She just never really had a desire to come or anything. All of the sudden she has this desire to get baptized! I know that the Lord really does prepare people for the Gospel and will always give people the opportunity to accept it. I am so excited for this investigator! She is so sweet. She even came to church this week! She want's to get baptized within the next month!! Being a missionary is the best. We met a lady this week that said she remembered how hard it was to be 20 years old. I just thought to myself how hard things really are in the world. I am so blessed to be here, forgetting myself, focusing on Jesus Christ and serving the Armenian people. I love my Heavenly Father and have a huge appreciation for everything He has done for me, especially in giving His Only Begotten Son so that we can be saved from this fallen world and return beack to our heavenly home one day. All my love and prayers, Sister Blanchard

March 14, 2016- Finding Forever Families

Hi everyone! I hope life is great over in the states or wherever you are in the world! And I hope everyone is adjusting well to daylight savings. We don't have that in Armenia. I'm not really sure why... We had zone meeting this week with our new zone! There's me and Sister Hutchinson and five companionships of elders. I like everyone in our zone a lot. They're great missionaries. We talked a lot about finding forever families! Most all of the converts in Armenia are referrals from members. And it's even better when the member's family! We have so many part member families here and we want to complete families in the Gospel! We have a huge list of part member families we want to teach, so it's going to be great!!!! We haven't been able to meet with a a lot of those people yet, but we did find an awesome investigator on the streets! We've been going to a village this week more than I ever have but we've met some cool people! We met this woman who was working in her garden and we just said hi and she asked if we had anything she could read. So we gave her a pamphlet and really didn't think a whole lot of it. But she called about an hour later and said she had read the pamphlet and had some questions she wanted to talk about! We went back and met with her and her mom. They have never heard of the church before. It was cool to think that the impression they have of the church was based upon the interaction they had with us. We taught her the message of the restoration. The lesson just felt a little scattered. But she said she wants to read the Book of Mormon to find out more. I know that I still have so many weaknesses as a teacher, but know matter what He is working with, God will make it enough. Other things.... I got us lost really bad this week. Only twice. But still. I've got a good grip on some places but I'm still very directionally challenged. In other good news, Tatik came to a church activity with us! She has such a hard time getting places. It took us 8 minutes to get up the five flights of stairs on the way home! It was worth it though she loved it! And best of all we had a baptism on friday!!! It was so great. Pretty much everyone was late and it was a little hectic. We tried to set the example of sitting reverently and being on time. Despite people being late, it went so well. I don't think I've ever taught anyone who had such a sure testimony of the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in our church. She came up out of the water and let out this big sigh of relief. It was adorable. I love seeing people that are making steps towards eternal life! That's all I got! I love being a missionary!!!!! And I love Armenia!!!!! Mets Sirov Sister Blanchard

March 7, 2016- AHHHHHH Transfers...again....‏

I has so many bitter sweet feelings right now. Last transfer with Sister Steele went by way too fast!!! After transfer calls on Tuesday we went and rode this fair ride down by our house to let out a little of our excitement. And some of my favorite elders and sisters went home this week... But I'm really excited about this transfer!! I'm serving with Sister Hutchinson in Center. We aren't in Malatia anymore, which is sad but also a huge load off our shoulders. And the Sister Training leaders are in Georgia now. That was kind of a sad day... But it's going to be so good! I'll just be focusing on the work here. Sister Hutchinson is awesome! This is her second transfer, she's from Wisconsin and, surprise, we were in the same mission prep class at BYU. Crazy. We are having a baptism this week!!! The woman that was being taught by the missionaries and then told her husband about the church is getting baptized!! We are so excited for her. She is so ready. We had the sisters from Georgia stay with us for a few days for transfers. We were all sitting on our bed looking at pictures. and the bed just breaks!! It like just comes apart! So it's like almost 10 pm and we are trying to hammer our bed back together. Our wonderful senior couple came and fixed it in the morning. It was a long night. I took Sister Hutchinson out to a village yesterday to visit some less actives. We took a bus out there. And what's supposed to happen is we're supposed to get off and walked down through this little valley and get to their street. But I guess we got off the bus too soon and walked down into the valley at the wrong part. The path was weaving through all these weeds and rusty run down fences. And we get almost to their street there's a gate... that's locked. I peeked through and it looked like a little path to the main road. So I, being the not smart person that I am, i flipped open the gate and we start walking through. And these HUGE dogs stand up from behind these bushes and start growling at us... And then this lady runs over and calms them down before they KILL US and locks them up. Apparently it was her house. She wasn't very happy. But we were just happy to be not eaten. That's all I got time for! I love my Savior so much. It's so cool to look back and realize how much I've learned of His love and redeeming power throughout my life. I am thankful for His sacrifice for me and everyone I've met and loved. His Gospel is restored upon this earth today. And the evidence of that is found in the Book of Mormon. Mets Sirov Sister Blanchard

February 29, 2016- No Leap Year?!

HEY EVERYBODY!!! This week was so fast. Do I say that every week? Maybe so... Fun things: Our district went to the zoo on Monday. We had a branch activity on the 23rd for National Men's Appreciation Day. Or something like that. The ice cream and flower stands are back out! So IT'S SPRING. A couple really cool things happened this week too. We got a call earlier this week from a member in Nork telling us to contact an old investigator. I didn't know the investigator. But Sister Steele has taught her. She said she is just amazing. She came to church every week, read every day, prayed and fasted and that she wanted to get baptized. But, she hadn't told her husband about the church. She stopped meeting because she didn't want to lie to him. We gave her a call and she said she told her husband and he is letting her come to church! We met with her and she said for the past few weeks she had been going to church in Nork with the member there. She expressed a real desire to be baptized still. She is still keeping all the commitments and she is ready. She didn't know if she could come to church on Sunday, but by some miracle, she made it! She was so happy. We are really trying to go by her needs and find out from the Spirit when she should be baptized. She has to have a surgery really soon and she is scared that she could die. She wants to get baptized before her surgery. I really hope we can decide what is best for her. This whole time, the Spirit has offered small assurances that what we are doing is right. I am so grateful for His guidance. Another small miracle. Monday night, we were going to a less active family's house for FHE. We knew we were going to teach them to make pizza, but we didn't quite know what to do for their lesson. This family is great, but they have a lot of financial and medical problems. Their daughter needs a surgery that is not offered in Armenia and is so expensive. They have a lot of sadness in their life. On Monday morning I woke up early and couldn't get back to sleep. I don't know where the thought came from but I had this idea to teach them about perspective. I had a very detailed lesson plan in my head and I just knew that's what we should teach. We got to their house and earlier that day, a distant relative had passed away. They seemed hopeless. We testified of the Lord's great and eternal plan for their family. I know that Heavenly Father knows His children and will help us to uplift them. Zone conference was this week. It was way long, but so great. We are working on having "divine companionships". We want the Spirit to be an even greater influence in all aspects of our work. I have turned to more prayer and attentiveness to the promptings of the Holy Ghost. There's no crazy huge changes, but the Lord is helping us to become better. I can feel that as I am a willing, qualified instrument, the Lord will use me in accomplishing His will. Also, in Armenia, they don't have a common way to say leap year... I don't know if they don't know what it is or what? weird, huh? I love you all! I'm wishing everyone a great Leap Day. Metc Sirov, Sister Blanchard

February 15, 2016- The Worst Valentine's Day Ever

HEY GUYS!!! Sorry no letter last week. We spent all day at the GYM. It was amazing!!!! On tuesday for district meeting, our senior couple made us a lunch and we met at their house. We die for them! I love our senior missionaries!!!! After that I went on exchanges with SIS KINDT! It was so fun to be together again. And it was nice because we were both so sore from the gym we understood each other's pain. We found an awesome lady and her daughter that had just moved into the area and said they had met with the missionaries years ago and they lost contact with them! They were so excited to meet with us. What a miracle! Now for the COWS. It started on splits. One of our members called us and told us she bought some cows out in the middle of NOWHERE and wanted us to come see them. I didn't know what to do so I just told her yeah like maybe tomorrow or something but we'll call you later. And she called us like 70 time every day about the dumb cows for the rest of the week. And we're just thinking, why the heck does she want us to see these cows so bad?! We tried to make it work but we have nothing to do out there so we just kept putting it off. We'll come back to the cows.... MEANWHILE, right after splits ended, a mini missionary came! She's about 24, served a lot of mini missions and we had so much fun! She taught us how to make bread and we taught her taco soup. She stayed until Sunday. AKA Valentine's Day. AKA the worst day of my life.... It started out great because the Toltons made us heart shaped pancakes for breakfast. But after that, everything way bad. First of all we went crazy and decided to make all of our members cookies. So we spent a crap ton of time making hundreds of cookies. It was terrible. And then we did member splits so that we could make it to both wards. I went with a senior couple out to Malatia. Our mini missionary's mom goes there, so I brought her things back with me to give to her mom. Aaaanddd.... I left them in the trunk of our taxi... With no way to get a hold of him. It was terrible. The mini took it really well be it was just so sad.. We still have hope we'll get it back. If not, she said it's just a trial and it'll be okay. I love her. And then Sister Steele forgot to pick up this tatik before church and now she HATES us. We wanted to go home and eat and unwind so we watched this like 30 min missionary movie and it was so lame. And now we're back to the cows.... She kept calling and calling and calling. We had to take our mini home anyways and she lives over there so we decided to just go see the dumb cows. It was already getting dark and we found out this member wanted us to get her out there. So we go get her, sit like 5 different transports to get to a whole different city and then to the veeeerrry end of the village. we park the taxi and it's so darkand we have to walk out through the mud and cow poop to get to this little shack to see two little black cows. We didn't stay longer than five minutes and then took our mini home and went home. Valentine's Day did end on a good note though. I think I've told you about our neighbor, Tatik. She is the CUTEST. She hears us coming home and waits for us in the hall. She informs us that it's Valentine's Day and that we should have boyfriends. She knocks on the other neighbors' door (two male students in their 20s). The guy comes out. And Tatik says to him: "You know, it's Valentine's Day... There's an event going on down at the park" And she's eyes the four of us all suspiciously... What are you implying Tatik?!?! Basically we almost got sent up on a date with our neighbors. Happy V Day. But really though, happy VDay. It was a hard day, but the Savior's love overcomes it all. I hope you can all feel that, no matter where you are. If you can't, get down on your knees RIGHT NOW and God will let you know that He loves you. I love you all as well!!!! Sister Blanchard © 2016 Microsoft Terms Privacy & cookies Developers English (United States)

February 1, 2016- Random

I have a bunch of random things to say and I don't know where this is going so here we go!! [Planet Skirt] About two years ago a sister from our mission got a package from her grandma (pro seamstress) with a skirt in it and she was soooo excited. She opens it to find about the ugliest skirt you could imagine (pictures will follow). And now all the sisters in the mission have worn it for a day. This week was my day. It was a magical day. [BAPTISM] Our miracle investigator got baptized!! It was a great service. She just kept saying that she felt renewed. Baptisms are amazing. And after church yesterday, she sat in a lesson with us! We are so excited for her. [Sisters and Splits and Things] Sister Bauserman's companion finally made it and they are off safe in their area!! Also the Sister Training Leaders from Georgia came down and spent a few days with us! It was so fun to learn from them and work together. [Malatia] Unfortunately, since we live in Kentron, we have a lot more work here and I feel like I don't know the people in Malatia as well. BUT, we had a great ward activity this week! It was kind of a Christmas/New Year/Everything party! But it was so fun. We had a great time! I wish I could send pictures!! You all missed out! [Mission Leadership Council] We had the longest meeting of our LIVES! I think it was eight hours this time. But I love being able to help everyone. We got the new Addiction Recovery books here. Our senior missionaries did some training for us because the addiction recovery program will be on our shoulders for a while. They advised us, even though we don't have any addictions, to try it and get familiar with the process. It really is an inspired program. It has helped me realize how much of an active role the Savior's atonement takes in my life every day. I encourage everyone to try it out. [God answers prayers] I feel like I'm always talking about this, but the more I'm here, the more I am understanding the way the Lord answers prayers. Sister Steele and I set some goals this week to focus on helping investigators progress. We prayed the Lord would help us meet our goal with a family were just found. They didn't seem to understand the importance of what we were teaching. But we set a goal to help them. So even though we weren't sure about it, we tried really hard to bear testimony and help them understand. And the Spirit softened their hearts and they accepted a baptismal date. Sometimes The prayer of help that we offer gives us strength enough to make it happen. God doesn't just give us everything we want while we sit back. But if we have true desire to help people, He will help us push us to make great things happen. I love this Gospel. I love the simplicity and the truths taught in the Book of Mormon. It has helped me to see clearly things that I couldn't quite understand about my life. It brings me comfort and joy to read that book. I know that Christ is our Savior. And that means He is helping us now and through eternity. Happiness can be found amidst the trials in life. President Spencer W Kimball said: “I have learned that where there is a prayerful heart, a hungering after righteousness, a forsaking of sins, and obedience to the commandments of God, the Lord pours out more and more light until there is finally power to pierce the heavenly veil. ... A person of such righteousness has the priceless promise that one day he shall see the Lord’s face and know that he is. " This promise is true. I am so blessed to have felt that power in my own life. And I am now even more blessed to help others find that same power and happiness. Love you all! Sister Blanchard

January 25, 2016- Home Sweet Home

We're back in the city! I am so happy to be home! But we had a crazy fun week! Hrazdan: Being in Hrazdan was so much fun! We got to visit all of my favorite members. And we helped our investigator get baptized on thursday. It was a great service. It was really cool to be there because I had taught her when I was serving there too. She has grown and changed so much. I am so lucky to have been there to see her baptized. Also, it was freezing. The snow was higher than my knees. I hated that. But it was worth it. Vanadzor: After being there, one of our drivers came and took us to Vanadzor. This is one of the sweetest, most humble people ever. He doesn't talk much, so we prayed that he would share some of his wisdom with us. And he did! He told us a bunch of miracles that he had seen worked through faith and the Preisthood. He has been a part of healing many sick people. He testified to us that this is THE living church; a church of miracles. And it's true. I can't count how many amazing miracles and tender mercies I have seen throughout my life. Our Heavenly Father truly loves us. We went on exchanges with the sisters in Vanadzor. I was back with Sister Chatterton, my trainer, which was so AWESOME. Vanadzor is a really fun place. It's small, but bigger that Hrazdan and it's in a really pretty place in the mountains. We had five sisters in one apartment, so it was basically one big party. On the way home we went to this legendary bakery and ate EVERYTHING. Less Actives: We have been working with a less active mother for a while now. Her family is active so when we go, she just doesn't sit for the lessons basically. But she's been warming up to us these past few times! She sat in the lesson and even prayed! I've learned a lot about consistency this week. You have to keep pushing toward your goals and try everything (even giving your less active a massage) to reach your goal. And our goal is to bring people to Christ. And what's cool is He multiplies our efforts. Just another miracle. Investigator: On our way home from vanadzor, our investigator (with the terrible phone) randomly called us!!!! It was amazing. She just wanted to see how we were doing and when we could meet. She's golden. And we told her there was a baptism she could go to if she wanted to but we wouldn't be able to go. Guess what? She went. :) And she came to church the next day and we had an awesome lesson about the word of wisdom. She drinks coffee but she said she would quit right then and there. We love her. She's gettin in the water for sure. That's about all from me. My advice for the week is this: Pick up the Ensign (or get on, because you can probably use the internet) and read the talks from last conference. Our prophets and apostles truly know what we need straight from our Father in Heaven. Their inspirational words can help us learn to apply the doctrine of Christ in our day. I know the Thomas S Monson is a prophet called by God to lead and guide not only our church, but the whole world back to our heavenly home. Treasure their words. I love you all. Celebrate hard on Thursday because it's my YEAR MARK Mets sirov, Sister Blanchard

January 18, 2016- Guess Where Sister Blanchard Is?

hey everybody! So we have a bit of an interesting situation. One of our new sisters that was supposed to come in December hasn't come yet because something is wrong with her foot. (things are looking up though!!) So Sister Bauserman, who was supposed to train her in Hrazdan, has been with me and Sis Steele for about a month. This is Sis Bauserman's last transfer and she is AWESOME. I've learned a lot about from her love of serving others and her accent is spot on! It's been great to have her. Surprisingly, teaching with the three of us has been AWESOME too!! And she just served with Sis Kieffer last transfer, so we've bonded over that as well. We are really having a party. SO. Since she couldn't be in Hrazdan, we have come up here for A WEEK!!! We are working with an investigator that I taught when I was serving here and she is getting baptized on thursday!! I am loving being back so much. In the mission, they call Hrazdan "the promised land'. It's true. City Stuff: We met an amazing investigator through a less active tatik from Malatia. We are now teaching the 11 year old granddaughter. She has some sort of physical deformity, but she is really a smart girl. We talked about Heavenly Father's love for her and she really felt that love. That is one of my favorite things to testify about, especially to young teenagers. I know that God really does love them, because I can feel it. That has been the coolest blessing to bring to people. The light that changes in these people's eyes when they really understand their relationship with god is a miracle that I have been priviledged to witness on my mission. We also have been trying to pray with all of our taxi drivers before we leave. We had a really cool experience in Hoktemberyan this week. We have taken this same taxi driver before, and he's usually very happy. But this time, he was pretty upset. Of course, it was about money. We testified of all the good things in our lives and read from the Book of Mormon about how the Lord will take care of us. (Of course this was after we parked the car) And I felt prompted to tell him about tithing. the Lord has given us specific commandments to ensure our happiness and success in this life. We told him we could teach him and his family more about those blessings. He said a sincere prayer to his Father in Heaven and we left him with a Book of Mormon. We are so excited to help such a humble soul find happiness!! Our investigator in Kentron is doing really well. We STILL can't get a hold of her, but she's been coming to church even when we have to go to Malatia. We taught her this week and she is really overwhelmed with work and said she didn't think she could make it to church. We respected that, but later we talked about the sacrament a little bit with her. We told her how importnat that time is for us. And she, by HERSELF, said she would work more tonight so that she could come for an hour. I love her. Other than all that, I'm happy (despite the cold) and I'm healthy (despite the swine flu going around) and everything is so awesome!!!! I love you all. Have a great week! Quyr Blanchard

January 11, 2016- Week 50

So hey. Happy New Year! We still ate a lot of food this week.. I'm dying. But people are letting us teach them again! It's great to feel like a missionary again! I really don't have a lot to say this week. We went on an exchange finally! I went to Artashat with Sister Frank. It was weird because I just was there like a month ago. But it was fun to be there again. I love you all! I'm working as hard as i can and we are exhausted but doing great things! It's so cool how the Lord really strengthens us and those around us for our righteous efforts!

January 4, 2016- Happy 2016

I hope everyone had a fun, safe, awesome New Year!! We had to be inside at 5 that night so it wasn't a huge party. But we did wake up at midnight from fireworks. They were going off from EVERYWHERE. Seriously, every building. Even our own! It's pretty cool We went down to the Square last Monday and saw all the lights and fun things and rode in a horse drawn carriage! They love New Years here. It goes until about the 13th of January, which is the old calendar's new year or something. And they celebrate Christmas on the 6th. So the party never stops here! And by party, I mean everyone spends way too much time and way too much money preparing a table of a LOT of food that stays out until the old new year. And all the family and friends and neighbors visit and they eat and drink and dance. And for the missionaries, it's a time of, you can't get a hold of anyone, you can't really visit anyone, or you can visit, but we can't talk about anything churchy... And it snowed a ton so it's really hard to get anywhere. So it's a little frustrating. Also every house you go to, you eat soooo much... It's been a long week. We did the best with what we had though. With all the craziness, I've really felt like I can't do all the things. We were in Malatia for church (Oh right, you knew that) and I was just freaking out a little bit that our investigator in Center didn't go, or that she went and was all alone. And I was praying really hard just feeling like I couldn't make it everywhere I wanted to be, and I had the impression that Heavenly Father makes it to everyone. Just me praying and doing all I can helps the work go forward because God can do it all! We also had Mission Leadership Council this week. I loved it so much! It was like an 8 hour meeting and we just talked about how we can reach the needs of the mission. We came up with goals and themes for the new year and it was great. As for me, I have set some new years goals for the year, my mission, my life and it's been great. I love a fresh start and renewed energy! Let's keep it up all year!!! Love you all!! Quyr Blanchard

December 28, 2015- It's the Holiday Season

So Nor Tari (new year's) in Armenia is HUGE. It starts new year's eve and goes for a week and Christmas is on the 6th. There are lights and decorations and fun things everywhere!!!! It's gonna be awesome. But I don't know how much missionary-ing will happen. Christmas was wonderful I hope you all had a great time with family and friends. On Monday we had a Christmas activity with all the missionaries. We went to an orphanage and took the kids clothes and toys. I got to play with some sweet little guys and I loved it. There is a less active woman and daughter in our ward. The daughter has 2 boys, ages 3 and 4, and the husband just left and married some lady from Russia. The younger boy is really sick and they don't have much money. So on Christmas we went to their house and brought them some gifts from Dzmer Papik! It was really fun, the boys loved it so much. I just have a few people I want to talk about. Tatik. Our cute little neighbor is a tatik (grandma) that speaks want better Russian than Armenian. She lives alone and her children all live in different countries. She can't really get down the 5 flights of stairs very well and she has no teeth. She loves us and we love her soooo much. She comes over in the morning and bugs us during personal study. We take out her trash, get her paper for her and every night she knocks on our bedroom wall to tell us she's going to sleep. I still don't know why I'm in this area, but if I can make Tatik's day. I feel pretty accomplished. The elect lady. I need to give her a name or something... I don't know but I've talked about her before. She came to church on her and all that. Well, we hadn't had any contact with her for almost two weeks so we thought we had lost her. We went to see her one day and couldn't find her house. (we get lost a lot) But she showed up to church again! She said she missed us and her phone hadn't been working and she was really busy. I was praying so hard that she would come back or we could reach her again or something and we did!! I love her. Heavenly Father answers prayers because He cares about each and every one of us. And if we develop that love for others, we can be the instruments in His hands to answers the prayers of others. Active member lady. There's a very active lady in the ward of a few years now and she's preparing to go the temple. We were running through some of the baptismal interview questions with her to help her feel prepared. When we talked about Thomas S. Monson, she said she had no doubt in her mind that he was our living prophet. She said he must be a prophet because he knew exactly what missionaries needed to come here specifically for her so she could accept the gospel. My testimony was so strengthened. I have felt a renewed confirmation that this is where I need to be. This is where God needs me to be for some lost soul in Armenia. I am so grateful for God's mercy in giving us a prophet so we can know what we must do in this life to be happy! I love this Gospel. It is perfect for each of us. And I love my Savior who mad it all possible. Have a wonderful week. Sister Blanchard

December 21, 2015- Surb Tsnund Shnorhavor!!!‏

HEY EVERYBODY! Christmas is almost here and I am so excited. I'm so happy to be in the city for Christmas. There are huge trees and decorations and lights everywhere! I don't have a ton of time but I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas and happy holiday season with family and friends. May we remember Jesus Christ and the amazing gift of His life and love at this wonderful time of year! Mets Sirov, Sister Blanchard

December 14, 2015- "This City, is my CITY!"

So transfer calls came in Tuesday night and I am now serving in Yerevan with Sister Steele as a Sister Training Leader! Woohoo!! I don't have a lot of responsibilities in leadership, just splits with the sisters and some more meetings to go to. But this week was crazy. We had 3 new elders, a new Georgian sister and a new Armenian sister come in this week! So Sister Steele and I went to the mission home with the APs to do interviews and transfer meetings and the works! It was soooo much fun. And then the next day was transfers and we were in charge of some meetings that day as well. Woohoo! After that things have settled down and I'm back in my new area! The area: We live in an area called Erebuni and we are serving there, and in Center, Malatia, and a couple other areas I'm not sure about... There's only one other set of sisters in the city. We cover over half of Yerevan and they cover the rest. We have a ward in Malatia and a branch in Kentron so we will switch off sundays depending on investigators. I've come a long way since my little Hrazdan villages. The city is full of commotion! There are people and stores and things everything! We have to take so much transport and I'm feeling so lost! But the work is so good here. The companion: Sister Steele is AMAZING! She is a transfer ahead of me in the mission, so she came with my trainer! She is all about missionary work and she has a super positive attitude about everything. She's from kind of all over the place, but claims Missouri. We've been working super hard together so I'm way excited for this transfer!!!! The investigator: On Saturday, early afternoon, we didn't know exactly what we were going to do. But our elders called and said they met a lady on the street when they were doing a finding activity with the new missionaries and that she was waiting for us at the metro! And so we ran out of the house like crazy people to go meet her! And guys, she is so prepared. We talked about our purpose a little bit, she had read the pamphlet that the elders had given her and had questions we were able to help her answer. We said next time we could talk about more but then she wanted us to teach her the first right there! So we taught her and I know the Spirit touched her heart. And that is an amazing feeling. To know that I could be an instrument in the hands of the Lord to touch this woman's life. She came to church the next day on her own and stayed all three hours! And she loved it!!! I am so excited for her. I can testify that God is preparing His children to receive the gospel. Never shy away from sharing your love for Christ to others. It always yields great blessings and happiness. The funny moment: So I was at my last appointment in Artashat with a member and her daughter and I was wearing this colorful thick cardigan I had just found in my suitcase. And we're sitting with this lady and randomly she just goes, "Hey you give me that sweater and I'll give you a different one! So that I can wear it and remember you. hang on, I'll go get one" .... So she goes and I'm like, whaa? But she brings back this boxy brown sweated with black squiggly things on it, super retro. So I said... ok! haha She was so happy. Armenians. They sure love ya. :) I think that's all I got! Sorry this was a lot and just kinda all over the place! I love you all and I love my Savior! Quyr Blanchard © 2016 Microsoft Terms Privacy & cookies Developers English (United States)

December 7, 2015- "It's not the mountains fault."

So I feel like I don't have a ton to say today. I'll just give you all a few main points. We had our first snow here in Artashat this week. It didn't really stick.. It just turned into more mud and ice pretty much. We watched Meet the Mormons in armenian with our ward too! It was way fun, they all loved it! We had zone meeting on Wednesday and we talked a lot about our ward lists. I don't know how it is in other parts of the world but they are huge mess here. We have been giving specific format and been asked to redo them before transfers next friday. So we've been putting a lot of time into that. After the meeting we picked up a mini missionary! She is about 26 and preparing to serve a mission. She's been a member for about 12 years and she's been through a lot. It was really fun to have her and she's going to be a great missionary. It was also great because we basically had a mom with us for the week she would cook and clean all the time for us. So nice . So, for various reasons, we're missing her a lot. Also, we had STAKE CONFERENCE yesterday!! Yay! It was in this fancy hotel in Yerevan and it started an hour late and everyone was just so excited to see all their friends for other wards. It was really fun though. And three returned sister missionaries spoke so that was really cool. [I hope this next story makes sense] One day, we were on our way to a village and Sister Frank and I were admiring Mount Ararat and saying how beautiful it was. Then, Sister Frank: When is it not beautiful?! Me: I guess just when you can't see it. Sister Frank: Well, that's not the mountian's fault. She's so right. It's not the mountain's fault. Even when it's cloudy, or dark out, the mountain is still beautiful! My mission is SO beautiful, sometimes more than others however. But it's not the mission's fault. Furthermore, the blessings of the Gospel often shine very bright in our lives. We see them and marvel and their beauty and influence. But sometimes, we don't see that. It doesn't make those blessings any less real or amazing. We just need to have some patience. Wait out the couldy dark skies until we see the magesty and briliance of the love of our Father in Heaven. His love is always there. I testify of that with all the sincerity and fervency of my heart. I love you all. Sister Blanchard

November 30, 2015- It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. We had a normal day. But we did have food at our ward mission leader's house to say we are so grateful for him. He's the beeesst. About 27 ish, served a mission in Ukraine and he just gets it, you know? We (Sister Frank and I) made baked chicken and peach cobler. And the Elders made mashed potatoes and gravy! So America! Be proud of me!!! It was really fun. This week was so good! We've done a looot of trying to find inactives this week. And we will keep on trying! It's been really cool to see how the Lord really multiplies our efforts. We had a meeting with our Relief Society president this week and talked to her about a few of the people we are/are trying to work with. She gave us some good direction and a few people of her own to meet with. All but one of the sisters that we have been working with came to church yesterday!!! I felt like I didn't even get the chance to do that much for them, but the Lord saw those efforts and softened hearts! So cool. We also had a relief society activity this week that was really great. Not a lot of people came, but we all went around and shared favorite scripture or spiritual experiences. I didn't expect it so be very great, honestly, but the Spirit was very strong. I think the sisters felt a stronger bond between them. We had a very inactive sister come with us and she was very well fellowshipped by the sisters. They are already talking about when we are going to do it again. YAY! Another less active miracle. We have a tatik that's been inactive for around a year maybe and she can't hear very well and she's scared to open her door. So we've been trying to see her for MONTHS. And everytime it doesn't work out. This week we had gotten some flowers for someone and we really felt like we should take them to this tatik. It was already dark out and we thought there was no way she would answer, but we could just leave them for her. We are heading up the stairs in her shenk and there's a couple in front of us. They turn around a minute later,,, it's Bishop and his wife!! They were on their way home from Yerevan and decided to see this Tatik! With their help, we were finally able to get her to open the door!!! God put us all in the right place at the exact right time to finally meet with this woman. She also came to church on sunday! ANOTHER miracle. We were walking to an appointment one night around 5 or 6. and the sunset was beautiful. So we walked down this random road to get a better view of it. The sunset by itself was a miracle, but then this awesome lady walks by and just wants to meet with us really bad! God just gave me a freaking sunset AND an awesome new contact! So many miracles. I've been seeing more and more of them everyday. And I think it's because my faith is being strengthened and my vision broadened. I've been thinking about what makes a successful missionary a lot. And I've realized again just how personal it is. It is between the missionary and the Lord. He is where my focus needs to be always. On Him and His great work in Artashat. I love Alma chapter five when I feel like I need to do a little personal evaluation. Verse 26 says, "And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren, if ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?" If I have witnessed great miracles and felt the true joy of missionary work, do I still feel that way? A successful missionary should alwayts be getting better. I'm reflecting on my previous transfers and sometimes I feel like I was a better missionary in some ways my first transfer. I should NOT feel that way! I need to keep on improving and continuing to feel that same joy and satisfaction that comes from the work. Jesus Christ has truly strengthened me and continues to do so. And as long as I continue to let Him, even when it's hard, I feel like that is success. I feel like I just ramble lately in my emails. I hope they aren't too long and boring. It's hard to relay truly how much I love my mission in an email each week. But I really do love it. And I love you all and I love my Savior. Mets Sirov Sister Blanchard

November 23, 2015- It's Beginning to Look a lot like Christmas

This week flew by... I feel like it didn't even happen! I also feel like I say that every week. We had a ward activity on wednesday. It was supposed to be a relief society activity but the bishop sort of hijacked it and turned it into a "let's all clean the church" activity. Soo we swept dirt from off the sidewalk... But it actually turned out really well. We had a lot of members come that I wasn't expecting to be there and built some good relationships with more members. Afterwards we ate Khash. It's basically cow hoof boiled in oil and water for like a long long long time and then add some garlic. The armenians loooove it. It was okay.haha But after the dumb soup we had a dance party! And that was great.

I went on splits this week! I went up to Center and it was a really fun split. I've never ran into so many people on the street that wantedto know what "news" we had for them. I just wanted to yell out to everyone WE HAVE A PROPHET ON THE EARTH TODAY!!!! Our news is the best news there ever was! It is the marvelous work that has been prophecied about since the beginning of the world! And I am a part of that?!? Are we blessed or what?

Also, the city is just awesome. It's so big and there's so many people and things to do. Also I found The Fault in our Stars in armenian. So I really like the city. One day I'll serve there maybe. Also, after the split, I just felt really good about coming home to Artashat. I can't explain it, but I know this is where i'm supposed to be.

We had a stake cultural event on friday too! One of our investigators came with her family. It was pretty much like a big talent show. There were singers, dancers, poets, other musician things, and a bunch of traditional foods and clothes and things. It was so fun. We got to dance and sing altogether. I loved it! And I finally got to see my little branch from Hrazdan!!!!!! It was the world's best reunion.

Also, last night Sister F and I went Christmas crazy. We found a little Christmas tree and made a little Christmas corner in our living room. I'll send home some pictures. It's been giving me so much joy. I went to bed smiling last night and thinking about how great life is! Seriously. There are so many little fun awesome things to be happy about every day! I just love it. 

This is Christ's true church. We have the authority once again on the earth to save the souls of mankind. Thanks to the mercies and love and atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ. I testify that He lived a sinless life on this earth, died for us all, and lives again for us all today. He leads and guides His children. The blessings Heavenly Father has for us are beyon our comprehension if we even try to do what is right. 

I love you all. 

Sister Blanchard

November 17, 2015- Another Week

I'm feeling sooooo much better this week. I was thinking back to what happened this last week and I didn't think that much happened. But then I remembered, either everything is a miracle or nothing is. THIS WEEK WAS A MIRACLE. I am serving our Savior, Jesus Christ in an amazing country with a remarkable people. What's not a miracle about that. We took a marshootni (the little van things) to a village the other day and a woman got off at the same stop as us. She had a little girl that looked about 2 and a bunch of bags to carry. Armenians don't always like to take your help so we got off and took her bags from her to help her home. We talked just a little. And she asks us if we are mormon. To which we say yes. And she says I used to go to that church. Turns out she and her two sons got baptized a few years ago and have fell into some trouble and haven't been back. We got her phone number and she said we could come back and talk to her!!! I can't wait to help her come back to church. In other less active news, we've been working with another woman since I came to the area, and I'm sure before that too. She is a long time member and just doesn't come. She is has a testimony, reads her scriptures, just wouldn't come to church. This sunday, she came. And her husband, a former investigator, came too. It was great. They came in while I was conducting the opening song. I just got so excited and couldn't even sing I was smiling so hard!! Our ward mission leader asked us to do a musical number during sacrament meeting. I was nervous to sing and kinda not excited. But I just stood up there and bore my testimony as much as I could through that song. And I am so grateful to our Father in Heaven for shedding His Spirit out upon His children. It was such a great feeling in that room. If for no one else, I know that He was bearing witness of His love to this sweet sister and her husband. Our meeting with Elder Kacher was amazing. I've been reminding that the Holy Ghost is truly what converts people. I want to always be worthy, willing and ready to yeild to the Holy Spirit. My goal for my whole mission is just to have as many people feel and act on the Spirit as I can. I feel like I am refocused and seeing clearly now how to really help people. God knows His children. Through the Spirit, He can and will meet all of their needs. I am just the instrument By which the Spirit is brought to these people. I am so grateful for my calling, for the miracles I am seeing every day. I love you all Also to my loving family. Our stake president spoke to us yesterday and said he is grateful to you for your sacrifices so that we can be here serving in Armenia. So thank you. Have an amazing week. Look for the miracles all around us. Sister Blanchard