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

Monday, March 28, 2016

Week 84 (Chihuahua, Mexico)

Yesterday, some members showed a bit of the history channels episode on the Roots of the Faith Mormonism.  In the show, they had a bit on the MTC, and they interviewed an MTC teacher, and the teacher that they interviewed taught me and my companion when we were in the MTC. 

Ruby Isabel and Esmeralda have been out of town they should have gotten back last night. But we haven’t seen them for a while. But we are going to see what we can do to get them baptized this week maybe after one of the sessions of conference. 

Not much to share about this week, it was a pretty slow week everyone was out on vacation.  There weren’t many people out in the street nor a lot of people at home to visit. The only thing we really got done was a lot of walking.

Love Elder Blanchard

Monday, March 21, 2016

Week 83 (Chihuahua, Mexico)

It is the Semana Santa and everyone is going on vacations and leaving out of town. 

This last Friday night, the Barraza family went with the ward to the temple.  They went at 10:30 at night and took off in a bus with other members to go the temple in Juarez. They told us that it was a great experience and that they were amazed how perfect it was on the inside and how every detail was perfect. And they loved the feeling of the spirit on the inside.

We are planning to baptize Perla’s sister and her daughter, their names are Ruby Esmeralda and Isabel. But, they don’t get back until this next Saturday or so and we think it will have to be for the 1 or 2 of April.

We found some other cool people but their parents won’t let us teach or do anything so that sucks. We contacted this kid named Edgar in the street one day and he showed us where he lived and presented us to his older sister and then we showed them the church Easter video and the little kid (like 9 or 10) said. “is it like that in real life?”  He was really pumped and liked the video a lot.  

We left them the restoration pamphlet and we had an appointment for the next day to show up and talk about it. We passed by but they were busy so we just reminded them of the homework of the pamphlet and the little kid had read but he told us he didn’t understand anything because he is little.  He has been way cool he gave us candy as we were leaving.  But later we went and the mom told us to leave and doesn’t want us to talk to them. The kid and his older sister were both going to come to church but the mom wouldn’t let them. So we have to keep on looking.

That is cool that you guys were able to go the temple dedication at the church. It does suck that my mission is finishing up but like you said it will be cool to go to the temple again.

Love Elder Blanchard

Monday, March 14, 2016

Week 82 (Chihuahua, Mexico)

The family Barraza consists of three: the mom Perla, the daughters Fatima and Mariel. The mom is divorced.  Her ex-husband got married with a member and then got baptized. Then the youngest got baptized (Mariel) then the ex-husband told the wife about it and passed her the number of the missionaries. She called the missionaries. It was right before I came.

She called and set up a visit. The missionaries asked where she lived she said I will meet you at a gas station and pick you guys up and take you there. So the missionaries started visiting them and teaching. She told us that at first she never had a desire to get baptized she just wanted us to talk to her daughter. But then we taught her the plan of salvation and then it all clicked for her. 

Perla has been inviting others to come listen to us. The first week it was the daughter of her sister. She listened and then came to church. The next week her sister came, listened (daughter couldn’t because she had school) and she came to church. This last week the sister came to church and brought her second daughter. Perla was talking to us one day and said that her sister wants to get baptized and she is going to do it whether her daughters follow her or not because she knows eventually they too will follow.

This last week, Perla had told us that she wanted to teach us a class based off of the homework we left. We showed up on Monday and knocked on the door and she answered let us in and she had a projector and had set up a power point and taught us an awesome lesson on the word of wisdom. She made little bingo game and had treats. (she teaches elementary school).  Afterwards we ate a meal called moyetes (bread with beans and cheese with salsa) and we talked then her sister came over and showed us how to make flour tortillas and we made a bunch and they gave them to us to take home.

Friday they called us and asked what is the order of the baptism so they could make their own baptismal program.

On Saturday, we had scheduled the baptism. We passed by in the morning because she wanted help making a bunch of little sandwiches and hamburgers to bring to her baptism. She introduced us to another friend who was going to come to the baptism. (Perla said she had tried to share the church with her but she was pretty closed and said she only would go to her baptism.)

Then in the afternoon they both got baptized, Fatima is a singer and gave a special number on a primary song. On Sunday, they got confirmed and to her confirmation they brought Perla’s sister and her sister’s daughter. 

The two daughters went to a class of youth and the youth class is taught by this dude who is an ex-mission president and ex-seventy now he is the director of institute.Hhe is a really good teacher his name is Hermano Carlos. After the class, he talked to the Barraza family about going to the temple this next week (they have to wait a year to do endowments) they got that all organized and they should be going Friday. Then Hermano Carlos talked to Fatima about seminary, and she is going to start going to that every day at 5:30am. Perla then got signed up on the list of members to feed the missionaries. This dude Carlos and the ward mission leader Barragan (the husband of the lady you talk with on facebook) are really helping out in the progress. 

Transfers were actually yesterday. Today we start a new cycle. We told the Barraza family that there was a chance that we might get changed and they weren’t too happy. But my companion and I lucked out and we didn’t have changes. We are both staying. In our zone, four people had changes. We have a lot of people in our zone that are going to train, a lot of newbies are coming. We will meet them today and the meeting at like 4.

This week finished out pretty hot, but last Tuesday a cold front came in and we got some rain. That always makes life interesting because you have to dodge all of the cars that pass or you get drenched. I was on divisions with a new dude named Elder Aguilar from El Salvador and we were walking by a busy road in the rain under my umbrella and a police car came speeding by and we both hugged the wall and got on the opposite edge of the sidewalk and the police car hit a bump and landed right in a puddle and soaked us, got most of Elder Aguilar who had his mouth open (rookie mistake, haha). The streets get crazy flooded because lack of drainage so there are places that are just swamped.

When I was here last year with Elder Neuman, we always went and worked with a member of the church a youth named Carlos. He always helped us out. Well like 5 or 6 months ago he got his mission call and headed out. His call was a special one because of medical issues he couldn’t serve the full two years so he had a short term service, he got back just barely and we got to talk. It was really cool because he thanked me on Sunday for all that we had done for him this last year while we were there with him. 

Love Elder Blanchard

Monday, March 7, 2016

Week 81 (Chihuahua, Mexico)

We had a good week this week. With the family Barraza we had a lesson on temples that went really well.  We left them some homework on the word of wisdom for the next visit and she asked us if she could prepare something to teach us on the word of wisdom. So our next lesson she is going to teach us about the word of wisdom. We also talked with her a bit about fast and testimony meeting and how on Sunday people went up and shared their testimonies. She said that she was going to do it.

We had almost finished up and we were getting ready to go when the grandma and aunt came over. We talked with them a bit about the church and the aunt said she wanted to come to church on Sunday and check it out. She came and brought two of her three kids. The third one had come the week before and had listened a bit but had homework from college and couldn’t make it. 

Yesterday during the meeting the mom got nervous and couldn’t get up to share her testimony like she was planning on doing. We didn’t think that she would but she got up at the very end. She was the very last person to share her testimony. It was so cool how she got up and she is not even a member. She talked about how God has slowly been guiding her the whole time. At first she started doing it for her daughters and then realized how in reality it is something that she needed and has been looking for. She then said, “This is only my second or third time here but I know that where I stand is in the only true church.”
The ward mission leader was sitting behind us (his wife is the one that you talk to on Facebook, they are the family Barragan) he leaned up and said, “When are we baptizing her?”

After the meeting, all of the members came up and got to know her and her family and they all made them feel at home.

So the plan is to try and baptize her and her daughter Fatima this week. The goal was for the next week, but they have progressed so fast and the temple trip is next week and we hope to get them up there with the ward.

This last week I got the Valentines package, thanks a lot. It arrived in the perfect time right as I finished the last package. We have already downed all of the chocolates and the others are perfect for snacks throughout the day. 

Love Elder Blanchard