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

Monday, February 29, 2016

Week 80 (Chihuahua, Mexico)

This week we had planned to baptize Fatima, but we have planned to get them all baptized together on the 20th of March as a family. They have been pretty cool. We went on Monday and they gave us some crazy spicy food, and we shared something little. They told us that they really liked church and that Sunday morning they were all looking forward to going.  We asked them what they thought that they could do to prepare for their baptismal date and we normally get the answer ‘pray’, ‘read’ or ‘go to church’. But they said buy white dresses. It was probably the best answer we have gotten. 

Love Elder Blanchard

Monday, February 22, 2016

Week 79 (Chihuahua, Mexico)

This week went well. I am getting a long really well with my companion. He knows how to work well and get things done. One thing that sucks is that he pointed out today that we have 20 Mondays left.

 This week we went and visited a family last name Barraza. It is a mom named Perla and her daughter Fatima, 14-yrs, who are the investigators and they have another daughter named Maryalena that is like 10-yrs. They are really cool. The mom is divorced and found out about the church from her ex-husband. Her two daughters have been 10 times to church and the one that is 10-yrs old is already baptized.  The mom had never been before but came with us this week.

We had a lesson this last week on the plan of salvation and it went really well. That lesson is crazy powerful and helps motivate to do the things of worth in this life. They are really receptive and open, and learn really fast. We are going to try and baptize Fatima this week so we will see what happens.  In the lesson she told us that she wants to go on a mission.

They all came to church and actually brought a cousin to church with them to visit. When they got there my comp and I both thought that they look like members already. The bishop and ward mission leader and the Relief Society president commented the same thing to us. They were a family that at first was only available one time a week but after the lesson they asked if we can pass by more frequently, and they also asked if they can make us food. We have a meeting with them tonight.

The ex-husband sent a reference to our mission offices which was also in our area and we got sent the direction and this other family actually lives in the same little neighborhood as the family I just spoke about. We went and visited them and they were really cool too. They were actually bugging the other family to get the missionaries to go over and visit them. They have been to a few family home evenings with other families and that is how they got interested in the church. They even offered us a ride home after the lesson which was cool. They are a young couple with a seven year old kid. They weren’t able to go to church on Sunday because they had to go visit their mom in another city. (Camargo actually, an old area of mine, also my companion Elder Brown was there at one time.)

This week we were able to baptize Alicia. All went well, we had to run over to the church at 6 and start to fill up the font because she got baptized and 9. She showed up by herself like 10 mins early. This week we are going to try and baptize her 11-year old daughter. The problem is that she lives in another place and not where we have been finding her. We visit her at her mom’s house, and before she was there everyday, all day, but lately she hasn’t been coming over. We will see what happens.

Toward the end of the week one of the sister missionaries got sick and had to go to the hospital. We went over and gave her a blessing. She is new in the mission and has back problems because of the stress. She will have to go home. 

This week in the zone on Saturday, someone that I interviewed last week, got married, baptized, confirmed, and went to the temple all on the same day. We had to get a bunch of permission but they only gave it to us because the family has five years meeting with the missionaries.

I wasn’t able to go to the baptism of the dude that got baptized because we had work to get done in our zone and had to help those in our zones make the baptisms happen. If we weren’t so busy we would have been able to go. 

I think this because it is really important to have a vision of the future and prayerfully make intermediate goals so that we are in harmony with God and what he wants. There are a bunch of tools for stuff like that for example the patriarchal blessing gives you a nice backdrop for your goals. Also the plan of salvation, that is a great tool and the prophets are always stressing the importance of us understanding and deepening our comprehension on this topic. Study these two things prayerfully and don’t forget the power of fasting.

In proverbs 29:18  it says where there is no vision the people perish. 

My mission president explained with an example. In wars the leader general dudes always got on top of hills and peaks to get a better view of the battle and those who did so had an advantage over the enemy and the little decisions became easier to make because the whole battle was in perspective.  In pirate ships they had that crow’s nests on top to be up higher and see farther.  In the scriptures it talks about how the prophets went up on top of mountains to talk to the lord and received revelation. The central idea is being on a higher plane, those examples were literally higher.  We can be on a higher plane in our lives with our worthiness: repentance and getting rid of stuff that can dull the whisperings of the spirit , the way we live or behave ourselves or maybe our surroundings like temple.

I hope you Daniel can understand the advice I tried writing, it is hard to do English.

Make sure to wish Emily a happy birthday for me. I hope she had a great day. 

Love Elder Blanchard

Monday, February 15, 2016

Week 78 (Chihuahua, Mexico)

This week on Monday night we went to run to the bank to take out some money.  It was running late and it was iffy as to whether or not we would arrive home on time. We got to the bank and the ATM was out of order and we weren’t able to take anything out and we were going to have to book it home. Then we ran into a member and we stopped and talked for a minute and I got to catch up with them. They bought us donuts and gave us a ride so we could make it home on time.

What is really crazy is that this last year the first time I met this family we were running late on our way home as well, and we were crazy far and this family pulled up and gave us a ride home so we would get home on time, and here I am a year later in the same situation and the first time I run into the family again they are saving us from being late.

This week we weren’t able to get that one lady baptized we were going to get here baptized on Saturday night when three others got baptized, but something kept popping up and making it so she wasn’t able to get baptized.  We were able to get her to come to the baptism that night at least to watch and she was about to get changed to get baptized too but she got a message last minute from someone in her family with an 'emergency' that she had to pick up. The date for the baptism now is for Thursday so we will see what happens. 

On like Wednesday, we were walking in the street and some guy called us over and asked me if I remembered him, and at first I didn’t recognize him and then talking, he told me that we had talked in Parral.  He was an investigator of some of the sisters and he was going to get baptized but in the end he backed out and disappeared.  We talked a bit and I took down his address, the only thing that sucked is that he didn’t live in our zone.  He was living in another part of Chihuahua.

Then I passed the reference to the zone to which he belonged to. They ended up visiting him and a couple days later at a training meeting we had with president I talked with those zone leaders and they told me that the guy was awesome and that he was to get baptized that week. Then on Friday the day before his baptism, we ran into him working in another part (he is in construction and works around in a lot of parts) and he told us that he was to get baptized the next day and that he was really happy.

This week I have been studying a bit on pride, it is a talk that comes from Ezra Taft Benson, and it is really good. It says that it is a sin that is really misunderstood and many are sinning in ignorance, it talks about how disobedience is a prideful power struggle in which we are competing our will against God’s will wishing not to align ourselves with him and his will but rather wishing that he would change to be in harmony with what we want. It talked about how enmity towards fellow men is a big part of pride as well, where we lift ourselves above others.

He says that the prideful are not satisfied in having something just in having more of something than someone else and that they have the mindset if you succeed I fail, and that their self-worth is determined by the number of people below them on the ladder of success (that is determined by the world) and that by doing this, or fearing men’s judgement more than God's judgement we give up our independence from the world and we turn in our freedoms to the bondage of men’s judgements. The talk is really good and I learned a lot. 

This last week I got your package, thanks everything is great. In our house there are three gringos living together and we are enjoying the American goodies. I am everyone’s best friend now, haha. 

Love Elder Blanchard

Monday, February 8, 2016

Week 77 (Chihuahua, Mexico)

This week went pretty well. It was really cool to be back in the same ward again and see all of the members.

On Tuesday we had a really cool lesson. We were teaching the plan of salvation and it went really well, she was really receptive and participated well, was answering questions. The lesson was going really well, my companion created the atmosphere that was perfect for the spirit, me and my companion going back and forth who sent us here, why, then I quoted Henry B. Eyring and said that “no one is destined to fail” from his talk to help them aim high. She started crying, she said wow, that simple phrase just hit me, it just clicked.  

Then she started to try and explain what she was feeling and started crying even more. The spirit was crazy strong, and the lesson was awesome. She has a baptismal date for this weekend so we will be seeing how that goes.

This week we had the leadership council and we learned about true repentance, and about the parable of the debtor. It was really cool.

After, we went and visited a family that got baptized when I was here last year. Someone in my district taught the daughter and I had gone to visit the family a couple times. It was cool to go back and see all of the blessings that they had received from the gospel. Before their house wasn’t in the best shape and wasn’t the best environment, but now the house is clean, looks nice, and it feels good on the inside. It is cool to see the difference that the gospel has made in their lives.

Today we went to visit someone in the morning and they are a youth like 22-years old. The guy speaks English and was really interested to talks as well. We saw his name in the phone that we have under the investigators section, we called and he said that it would be fine if we passed sometime this next week, then right as we were about to hang up he said can you guys come Monday in the morning?  So we went today and the lesson went a bit into how the gospel fills the emptiness that we sometimes feel in our lives.

This week went well, but the zone is not working that hard and we are trying to figure out what to do to get them pumped up and to get them moving. But me and my comp get along really well, he is a hard worker and he is really good with working with goals, always has the goals in mind, and is always formulating plans or ideas as to how to get the goal.

Love Elder Blanchard

Monday, February 1, 2016

Week 76 (Chihuahua, Mexico)

I had changes again. I am no longer in Parral I am now back in Chihuahua. I am actually in the same place as my second area. I don’t know if you remember that lady that took a picture of me and sent it to you. My new companion is Elder Brown, we were in the same district in the MTC. He is from Mesa, Arizona. He is way cool and I am excited to work with him. He is another great leader and he knows how to get things done.

This last week in Parral went well, I am going to miss Parral and the all of those that were in the zone. I will miss my companion too, he is a way good missionary and taught be a lot about leadership because he is a great leader. He actually had changes too and is going to Camargo (where I was a little while ago). He is going to train to finish off  these last six weeks of his mission.

Ha-ha we used the sticks to search through the grass to find my ball, I ended up finding the ball in the end and also another ball a basketball.

We are writing late because the area where I’m at, the power was out when we first got here but now it is all good.

I am still a zone leader, it is funny I returned to another zone where I was earlier as zone leader.


Elder Blanchard