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

Monday, April 25, 2016

Week 88 (La Junta, Mexico)

This week went well until yesterday night. I have changes (La Sierra city called La Junta with Elder Rodrigues). The last thing I wanted to hear was that I have changes. I’m pretty bummed.

Normally I’m not affected by the changes but this time it is tough. I love the area, my companion is/was awesome, and above all our relationship with the Barraza family. I feel like that is the hardest thing to leave behind. The family just was great. We went over this last week and I couldn’t have asked for a better last lesson. We went in not sure what we were going to share and we asked if they had questions and we went about like that answering questions and then we got to a point where they both shared their testimonies. They talked of the blessings and miracles and changes they have witnessed since having accepted the gospel.  It was so powerful, the spirit was crazy strong and one of the best experiences of my mission to hear these converts with such a conviction and with such gratitude first to God then to us.

But this experience of a perceived ending is a testimony strengthener even though it is a bitter experience. Holland has a talk where he talks about the importance of not looking back as lots wife. He says don’t miss the here, and now, and tomorrow for the there, and then, and yesterday. Faith is always pointed toward the future. Always for blessings that will yet be efficacious in our lives. HE says the past is meant to be learned from but not lived in. And Uchdorf tells of the remedy being gratitude. He talks about how endings are not our destiny we are eternal beings and that the more we learn about the gospel of Jesus Christ, the more we realize that endings here in mortality are not endings at all. They are merely interruptions temporary pauses that one day will seem small compared to the eternal joy awaiting the faithful. We should be grateful to our Heavenly Father that in His plan there are no true endings, only everlasting beginnings.

This last week was kind of weird lots of people who were going to get baptized or confirmed had weird stuff happen to them. One guy was on his way to get confirmed and the police arrested him and took him to jail. They confused him with another guy and let him go eventually. Another lady was going to get baptized but then had to leave town to go visit and sister (I think) because her baby was born with the stomach outside. Another guy was going to get baptized this last week on Friday but on Monday he had a stroke and went into a coma and later passed away on Thursday night. On Sunday two kids were going to get baptized after church but their dad disappeared and the mom was really down and crying. We don’t know if he left her or if he disappeared as in kidnapped but they kids got caught up in the situation and the ward thought it wouldn’t be best to baptize them yet. 

Love Elder Blanchard

Monday, April 18, 2016

Week 87 (Chihuahua, Mexico)

That family that we have been teaching has been doing well. We weren’t able to meet with them last week though, we met with Perla and her daughters Fatima and Mariel and Rubi and her daughters Esmeralda and Isabel were supposed to come as well but they had to cancel and weren’t able to come. But on Sunday even though we weren’t able to visit them they came church by themselves which was way cool. Isabella should be getting baptized this week.

Also this last week I ran into a former investigator again. So when I was here last year we taught this guy Oscar and his girlfriend Naomi and they came to church with us a couple times but with changes and stuff I forgot about them. But when I came back to this area I ran into him at a bus stop and we talked a bit and we were going to visit him. We went and he wasn’t home and we couldn’t find him. Ran into him a bit later same thing. And then we kind of gave up and forgot about him then he texted me on Friday and said that they were going to come to church with us on Sunday. Then on Friday walking in the street we ran into him again. Ya the Lord probably wants us to teach that guy.
Not much else to write, not much else is going on here. My companion said that we have like 13 weeks left, crazy stuff.

Love Elder Blanchard

Monday, April 11, 2016

Week 86 (Chihuahua, Mexico)

We had a good last week. Yesterday, Rubi and her daughter were able to get confirmed. We were not able to baptize the daughter because Rubi and Perla have been sick this last week so we haven’t been able to visit. This week we are going to do what we can to get the sister and the grandma baptized. This last week we baptized a kid from our area who has been going to church forever but never got baptized because he lives with his aunt and his aunt was afraid that if she baptized the mom would take her kid back or get mad or something. But he ended up getting baptized this last week out of nowhere just a miracle baptism. 

Paul is progressing really well. He is in Alma 15 or 16. He came to church last week and liked it a lot. We weren’t able to pass by with him last week because of his work and school and he canceled meeting on Saturday but we have an appointment for tonight at 8. We are going to invite him to get baptized again and see what he thinks about this week. We invited him in the first visit but he wasn’t so sure, and we will see how it goes tonight. 

Hey thanks for the package. I got it this last week. Everyone wants the tie you sent, ha-ha. 

Love Elder Blanchard