Julio Velazquez-Elder Tyler Blanchard
Po. Box 1486
Presidio, TX 79845

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Week 40 (Bario del Norte, Mexico)

That is way cool that you guys get to feed the missionaries. That sounds like a crazy long waiting list. Ha-ha the moms will love the pictures. 

This week I do get a new companion. I am the only one in my district that is staying. In my zone only Elder Hogan, Elder Anderson and Elder Garcia are staying (they were in my district in the beginning). The rest got switched. Today at 2:00 we find out who are our new companions. The six weeks did go by crazy fast, feels like I just met Elder Rolon and now he is on his way back to Jalapas Vera Cruz, Mexico.

This last week I have noticed that when I miss a day of studying Spanish, like on Monday when we had the meeting, the rest of the day people struggle to understand me.  And when I do study, while I’m talking with the people I don’t feel like I speak any differently or am more understandable but the people are able to understand with ease.  Shows the power of the gift of tongues and how the spirit doesn’t work as hard to help the people understand what I’m saying when I don’t do my part. 

We had a lesson this last week with an investigator named Nicha and she had a couple Christian buddies over and we were sharing about the pre-earth life and they really liked the lesson and said things like wow I have never heard that before, that is so cool, when we were telling about how we lived with God before and how he knows us. It adds more to my testimony of our knowledge of the fullness of the gospel. 

This last week I went with my zone leader to the area of some sisters in my zone to help with some interviews and on the way we helped this guy jam pack his little truck full of furniture. It was cool how it all just seemed to fit; the final product looked very Mexican ha-ha. 

On Thursday we showed the video of Meet the Mormons at the church and had people come to see. We were able to get our investigator Nicha to go and her Christian buddy dropped her off at the church and we were able to get him to stay for a bit too. The investigator, Nicha, told us that we have the power to convince people because in the beginning the buddy didn’t want to stay. Before the video, we had lesson with Nicha and she told us that she was going to return to her congregation in the Christian church. We explained to her the importance of the sacrament and taking it every week (her church only does so every month) and why we took it, and she ended up saying that she would come with us for sacrament meeting every week then go to her congregation after. This last week she came for the first hour of sacrament meeting and what was cool was that we had forgotten to say anything about picking her up and giving her a ride to the church and she was planning on taking a bus to get there on her own (she didn’t have to because we showed up with a ride). It was cool to see that she had the desire to take the sacrament. 

On Friday I helped this investigator named Oscar with his English homework and because of the help he committed to go to church on Sunday and showed up too. Also I was able to do an interview for this guy in the area of the zone leaders named Axel. All went well and he was way prepared but the president of our mission wants us to wait another Sunday before we baptize him. 

This next week we are going to have stake conference.

Love Elder Blanchard

Week 39 (Bario del Norte, Mexico)

It was great to talk with you guys this last week. I did enjoy it even though the connection made it difficult. It was cool to be able to talk and see you guys. Glad to hear that my Spanish is sounding good. Ha-ha although my accent doesn’t sound Argentine I’m glad it at least sounds Mexican and not too gringo. 

Ha-ha that is great that Emily was able to give a lesson on the restoration. It is crazy how such a simple event had such an impact on the world. 

That is crazy I can’t believe great-grandma went to the hospital, hopefully everything turns out well and she is able to get back to normal quickly. I hope all is going well with grandpa’s treatments as well.

That is way cool that you guys have the elders over there now and that Daniel has a chance to work with them. from what I have seen here in the mission the first time is always awkward and weird for them, but as the youth warm up to us as missionaries they actually start to enjoy it and it always helps the youth learn a bit more. That will be interesting to hear about make sure you let me know what happens I want to hear a bit about how the missionary work is over there.

This last week went well. The teenage that we found wasn’t able to come to church last week because of school. She did have a baptism date but it fell because she didn’t go to church, and this last week she went out of town because it is vacations right now and she went back with her family. But there is this lady named Nicha she is way cool. When we first found her she only wanted to listen without any commitment, because she was Christian and liked to hear about God. But the other day she told us that she was praying every night to ask if the things that we told her were true and if she should change churches. It was way cool to hear. We then had a lesson about the restoration and she said oh wow now I see what is different about this church. She went to church on Sunday and she clicked immediately with the relief society and one of the ladies. It was way cool. She already committed to coming the next week. 

The visit from General Authority was cool, he talked about remembering who we are: children of God and how we need to help other understand this and what it really means because many say they know but they don’t really know. They know it in their heads but not in the heart. I didn’t have to speak luckily, I was really happy that I didn’t get called but it was really beneficial to prepare. 

That is way cool to hear that you were praying on Thursday because that is when we had the lesson about the restoration with Nicha and the whole day was really cool. I remember thinking there is not enough time in the day because we were constantly working and had something to do and the day flew by. I like it when we have a lot to do like that. 

This last week we were walking in the street and this dog came walking by us along the fence. My companion took a heavy step towards it to started it and make it jump. But instead it tried biting him and ripped his pants. He wasn’t too happy but it was hilarious. Both me and this guy in a nearby delivery truck were laughing.

This week during the food there was this little kid and he was crazy. We were all sitting at the table and this one year old was sitting there with his little plate and we all looked over at him just in time to see him dump almost the entire container of chile dust onto his food. His mom then took away the powder but she didn’t take away the food and the kid took a giant bite of pure chile dust, luckily it wasn’t very spicy. 

This last week I went to do an interview in the area of the other elders. I went with Elder Vuyk from Utah but the family told us that the dad was going to come out and yell at us if we didn’t leave. The girl told us that her dad had never been like that against any other church she had tried to become a part of. Interesting how Satan works. 

Today in the morning we had the meeting with Elder Christiansen of the Seventy. We got there early and I got to talk with Elder Hansen my old comp and Elder Rojas, Elder Babbs’ old companion and Elder Camuzano my old zone leader who is now in Anahuac. They told me that Juan Manuel the ward mission leader now. It was really cool to talk to them and catch up on old times. I talked to Elder Johnson he is in the city CuauhtĂ©moc and he works in the area where I went on divisions for two weeks. While there the person I was with and I we found a family and we taught them a bit, this Elder Johnson told me that there daughter got baptized and that the mom wants to but can’t because she isn’t married to the person she is living with. But it was way cool because Elder Johnson said that they had remembered my name and when I went to visit them. 

Elder Christiansen gave a cool training on the atonement. How we need to study and apply the atonement in everything we do. He went on to explain how the Book of Mormon contains around 55 or 52 (can’t remember what the number was) and only talks about in the Bible a few times. He said that we know more about the atonement that anyone else. He said that in training he had received from Elder Nielsen of the Twelve he said that SIRI knew more about the atonement than the world did. He said that as missionaries it is our role to explain the atonement and testify of it. 

Love Elder Blanchard

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Week 38 (Bario del Norte, Mexico)

Mother's Day Call:

Ya I am really enjoying the new area. It has been nice to get a change of scenery I guess. Ya my comp is pretty ready to be done a lot of time when work is slow his mind dazes off and he thinks of being home. Basically we just try to do everything we can to keep busy. I hope we can find some success together before he goes, it would be a nice way to send him off. It actually isn’t too difficult to deal with him, it doesn’t feel like a chore or anything and it has been kind of nice to be with someone who has a lot of experience like him.

We got home and we had to add all of the numbers of the things we achieved this week and make goals and plans for the next week then I had to get the numbers and goals from my district and then I passed them to my leaders. We do this every Sunday night and every Thursday (But Thursdays we just get subtotals). After that we went to bed, I was able to get to bed at 9:40 which was nice. But through all of that I forgot to take a picture of my ties. I don’t have any green ones I know that for sure, I will get a picture for you next week.

Today I went and bought a pair of new shoes, they are flexi band they are the ones that everyone recommends and supposedly pretty durable. I paid $779 (pesos not dollars I think it works out to be like 73 bucks)

This picture is where we went to do some service. to the left is Elder Burton from Canada (he is the one who thought that Daniel was my dad, and he was in the background while we talked) and to the right is Elder Cluff he is from Arizona but I don't know him very well because he goes to the other ward. We started weeding that area behind us.

Love Elder Blanchard

Week 37 (Bario del Norte, Mexico)

That is good to hear that the weather is nice for you guys over there, over here it has been getting hotter and hotter. I am kind of used to it I guess or at least I am getting there

It is cool to hear about the signs of the second coming and all of the signs and stuff. And reading the scriptures really helps maintain that spirit and also it amazes me how I always seem to find something new that I have never found before. If anything, here on the mission, I have learned how much I don’t know and how much I need to improve and learn. 

I actually was reading in D&C 88:6-7, it kind of explains how it works, how it is the influence of Christ and it is only possible because Christ ascended and also descended below everything suffering it all and by doing all of that Christ is able to be in all and through all things.

That is great that you guys are studying the scriptures together and that Emily is even reading five verses. That is cool to hear that she prays all the time for me it is great because the lord can’t say no to kids because they are so much more pure.

Ha-ha it is crazy what I have been eating and all the new stuff I try. Actually this last week I ate more chile. We were served like a mix of veggies, broccoli, carrots, some green veggies that I don’t know the name of it is some kind of cucumber or something, and it also had a few chile de arboles mixed in. I ate one and it didn’t give me any problems and later I ate the second one and holy cow did it pack a punch ha-ha.  One of the elders there was able to witness it all, he said my eyes turned really red and I kind of froze ha-ha. I think that was the hottest that I had eaten. 

I actually have only had flan once and it was a while ago it was on top of a chocolate cake, it was really good. But other than that I haven’t had any. They have it in the stores everywhere. I will have to ask the members to teach me how so I can show you guys when I get back or send a recipe. 

The lessons that I give for the district meeting are in Spanish. And actually I wasn’t sure how this last week would go but everything just seemed to come to me while I taught. It was really cool and actually didn’t have anything to worry about. 

I think it has to do with the variety. I still get to eat a lot of the same stuff that I ate in my other area but I also get to try a whole bunch of different stuff. And also the people in this area are doing pretty well money wise and we eat well. 

P-days are pretty much the usual not much time to do much other than the basics. No I don’t get to see the mission president more I only see him about once a month when we get a lesson from him.

This next week for the skype call I only know that I will talk with you in the afternoon. We get out of church at 1 and eat at around 2 for about an hour and a half so not sure other than that though, sorry I couldn’t be more specific.

this last Tuesday we were in the street contacting someone and these teens passed us and one of them pulled out a branch of marijuana (roots and everything) and handed it to me and said a flower for a flower. Ha-ha it was really funny, I never would have thought that I would be holding the stuff, when the guys handed it to me and after he walked away my comp said that is marijuana, and the guys we contacted plucked off a leaf and smelt it and agreed. After that I set it on the floor and we all just kind of left. 

On Wednesday I was on divisions with Elder burton from Canada my zone leader and we went and visited someone in his area and the lessons actually went really well and it was cool. except everything was trying to distract the lady, kids crying, loud cars, phone calls, and at one point we heard a loud bang and then some dude started moaning and groaning in the street, we never found out what happened though it was really strange I think someone said something about a guy falling off of his roof. 

On Thursday we walked a ton, lots of going back and forth within the area. We finally got in and talked to someone about the importance of the sacrament and got them pumped up about church after wards they offered us 50 pesos to go buy some donuts which cost like 7 pesos. It was really cool that they offered, but we declined. After that later that night we contacted some lady selling tortillas and she ended up gifting us a bag of flour tortillas and beans which was really cool. 

On Friday I went to do an interview for a companionship in my district. It went really well and I think all should be in line for her to get baptized this next weekend. 

On Saturday the 12-year old girl named Kenya got baptized, I interviewed her the other week. It was really cool she bore her testimony yesterday in the church and it was cool to hear because she had fought so long with the missionaries before not to be baptized. 

On Sunday in the morning we contacted this guy and he tried to give us 50 pesos because we were doing the lords work, I declined, but it is crazy how many people just want to give you money because you are serving the lord, it is sometimes a bit sad because they think that it justifies them for sinning and not doing the stuff god wants. But later that day walking I found 500 pesos on the floor. 

Next week I will have to give you guys a review of the lesson we got taught from President Chavez this last week it was really cool. 

In the month of May on the 18th, Pres. Christiansen of the seventy is going to come and talk to us as a mission. Elder Nash will come on the 16 of May, he is someone over the missions of Mexico or something like that and he will come and will choose three people from this mission to teach the entire mission of Chihuahua and him a lesson based off of three different questions. 

How can I be a successful missionary?
How can I teach with power?
How can I work successfully with members?

Love Elder Blanchard