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

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

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