Monday, December 29, 2014

FELIZ NAVIDAD

**ASK THE MISSIONARIES IN YOUR WARD WHEN YOU CAN TEACH WITH THEM NEXT!!***

"Therefore let your light so shine before this people, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in Heaven." -3 Nephi 12:16

WOW! Weeks go by SO fast here!  We had a fun zone white elephant gift exchange and I grabbed a cute stuffed elephant and some candy, but there were some funny and interesting gifts given out! That’s what us missionaries do for fun on pdays:)  Today will be a snowball fight in this HUGE park!  I'm excited! 

We met with Yulene; her children were really sick and we taught her a little bit about how God loves us and gave us families so we can progress here on Earth. She is an amazing mother and has a wonderful family!  I'm excited to see her progress! 

Kenaya Coca is an AWESOME member in our ward!  She is studying at the U and has a brother on a mission in California!  She is a sweetheart and came out with us a couple of times and she let us come to her house to Skype our families!  Her mom bought us hand wash towels for Christmas and she bought us each cute bracelets that say "Inspire" and "Blessed".  We love her and them so much! 

We met a family on Christmas Eve morning named the Carranza Family. They have a lot of little children that sang on Christmas Sunday "Away in a Manger" as a family. It was beyond precious. The mother always cries when she sees sisters because she remembers when she was taught and the feelings she felt thanks to the sisters in her home so many years ago. Her husband was talking about when we leave on our missions and the change our families are going to see in us.  I started to get a little teary eyed because that’s EXACTLY what I want. I don’t want to come home and people see me the same way.  I work every single day to be a better Christlike person and I truly hope it shows now and after my mission -- not only to my family, but everyone I come into contact with. 

We met Erika Velez. She has like 5 little girls under the age of 10. Their family of mostly girls reminded me a little of home.  She had a beautiful tree given to her by a member in the ward that put a picture of Christ with children and a sign underneath that says "Families can be together forever."   I complimented her on the tree. She said she would like to know more about the church and we plan on teaching her soon! 

We made Christmas Eve Dinner for a family that the mom is having severe back pain. It felt funny preparing food for a family of 5, rather than myself.  I felt like I was making food for my family back home.  I loved the way I felt after leaving her house.  Christmas is all about service and I love serving

We met with a Cuban named Barbara.  She is sweet and lovely and has a huge 6 month old boy.  I'm excited to get to know her and teach her so her family can be together forever. 

We ate dinner at the ward mission leader’s home.  We had posole and tortas (again another holiday with Mexican food) haha.  I love it and will be adopting certain Hispanic traditions when I return back home. (I was pronounced a Latina – that’s so exciting; mainly because I love the people so much....)

On Christmas, it SNOWED!!! I FINALLY got the Christmas wish I have always wanted (too bad friends and family weren’t there too, but that’s okay).  We taught Maria Rodriguez and sang a Christmas carol to her!  After, we went to the Banos family;  they fed us tamales and hot chocolate with some pecan pie to eat. We shared a scripture and sang a Christmas song.  Then we went to Skype our families; SUPER FUN BUT I ALWAYS CRY....  It’s not because I hate the mission, it’s not because I miss them daily (I mean...I do but you get it...) it’s because I realize HOW MUCH I LOVE THEM AND THEY MEAN TO ME. It makes me realize the true reason why I’m out here serving and not being with family and friends during the holiday times.  And while emails are just letters on a computer screen, actually viewing your family that you love so much on Skype will never be easy for me. We got lost on our way to our dinner appointment, but we still found time to sing Christmas songs and I played some hymns on the piano and we talked about our missions.  I also realized as we were walking in the snow and my feet were cold, Sister Gonzalez asked "man!  why is no one opening the door?”  It’s Christmas! and I’m cold and want I to meet new people, should we just go home?"  I thought about how good a warm home sounded.  How good getting out of the freezing snow and actually being able to feel my toes and hands would be. Then I realized why:  I told her "We should try this home and we probably shouldn’t go home today.  We need to be out working even if no one is home. This work is worth freezing for!  This gospel and the blessings it brings is the reason we are here!  We need to tell others this message and share it. So, just one more door!"  We knocked, the door opened, and Sister Gonzalez was super happy.  As we were thawing out, I realized how dedicated I am to His work and how there is nowhere in the world, (even my bed) that I would rather be on Christmas day than knocking on the doors of members and investigators to teach the gospel. 

We had another really spiritual lesson with Maria. She cried  when I asked her how her prayers and communication with her Heavenly Father were going.  She shared an experience when her father needed eye surgery and she said she just poured out her heart to God and everything went okay. I love Maria and I know her potential. She is amazing and knows God answers her prayers. 

We also visited Maurie.  She and her husband have an INCREDIBLE story.  Basically, he was in jail and someone handed him an English bible.  He knows 0 to little English and had someone translate it for him.  Next, he found the church and then helped this lady (Maurie) get off the streets and get clean since she was a severe addict. They were married November 2nd and she was baptized November 15th. They are now looking forward to the temple.  They have 8 boys and possibly awaiting twins to arrive soon.  I shared with the boys how wonderful it will be for them to go to the temple with their parents.  To just hear their story and see their house filled with pictures of the Savior and temple just shows you how much this gospel can change lives.  I love them so much. 

Saturday was a hard day. We walked all day and only 2 people opened their doors for us. One was our dinner appointment.  It was another day of reflecting on how much I love this work and even when days like that go by, I'm able to show my diligence and love to the Lord in order to find the people that need this gospel.

Sunday was a great day too!  No investigators came to church, but Maurie and her husband did!  We taught Gospel Principles and sent out a list to the Young Women and Relief Society in order to get some members to come out with us!  PLEASE GO OUT WITH YOUR MISSIONARIES AND HELP THEM TEACH!!!  We did service again and cooked for the sister with the injured back.  She gave us a "tour" of her house that included pictures of her son who is on his mission in Peru. He’s been out 2 months and I’m not kidding that EVERY room in that house had at least 5 pictures of him... 

I love you all and hope you have a wonderful new year!  I love this time of year to focus on my goals and resolutions! I have many planned for the New Year, but my main goal is to give up my will to my Father’s will.

Happy New Year! 

Con Amor,
Hermana Blankmeyer 

p.s. I saw Santa riding a motorcycle one day in Rose Park.... gotta love it :) 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Children of Light

** GO VISIT PEOPLE WHO JUST HAD A BABY, DEATH IN THE FAMILY, MARRIED, OR RECENTLY MOVED!!!**** 

"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." -Matthew 5:16

SOOOOOOO where do I even begin?!?

It was difficult saying goodbye to everyone in Layton and having to pack EVERYTHING (you acquire a LOT on the mission...) But it all got done, finished.   Now we are all good and settled in. 

So most of you know I'm now serving in Rose Park! I work in the Mount Ensign Second Ward (we cover the whole stake, but Spanish program only takes care of the 2nd ward.) We are whitewashing (when 2 new missionaries come into an area) and my companion, Sister Gonzalez has just finished training in the English program then got put with me here. (*For those who don't know English and Spanish programs are WAY different, so she's lucky to get to learn how to do both)
We live in a place where Elders have lived for at least 2 years... imagine how "clean" it looked. It smelled like elders too, so we are planning a DEEP clean today.  

We met with our Ward Mission Leader and Bishop within the first two days. We didn't have an area book (information on the area) until Thursday. However we got busy and got a map of the area and a copy of the ward directory.  We focused on meeting as many members as we could.  We wanted to get to know them and where they live so we can help them bring their friends closer to Christ. So far everything is working really well! We established ward goals, personal goals, companionship goals, and everything with our bishop and ward mission leader.   We are excited to all work together to achieve these goals. 

Contacts are HUGE and super important in this circumstance of a whitewash, mainly because we just need people to see that we are here to help them.   Yes, even the random people on the street, in whatever way they need help.  The more people we meet will help to get us going in this area. I have a strong faith in this area.  I believe it can progress well and we will be able to look back after this transfer and see the progress.  But we have to start somewhere:) 

We met with a lot of members, and investigators.   We prayed about some former members and investigators and felt they were ready for some "sisters."  We also contacted someone who felt that it wasn't by coincidence that she was outside walking her dog when we came by.  Speaking of DOGS they ARE THE BEST (jk I'm not a fan of dogs.  But if I ever feel uncomfortable walking up to someone with a dog I just go to them and say, "Oh my goodness I love your dog! Can I pet it?") It is a totally awesome conversation starter.  Sister Gonzalez always talks about how impressed she is about the way I'm fearless with contacts.   It is mainly thanks to Mexico.   I also know the spirit is going to be with me so I really have no fear walking up to anyone in the street and introducing myself in a happy manner.  It is friendly no?:) 

Saturday is a special day it's the day we get ready for SUNDAYYYYYY. Saturday we had the opportunity to work a service project for underprivileged families that need help in this holiday season. People donate clothes, baby articles, household items, toys, and so much more so these people can get the help they need. It's in Farmington and most of the people that go are Hispanic.  Therefore the need for the Salt Lake City Utah Spanish speaking missionaries and some from the Ogden mission (yes I basically asked every elder and sister if they knew Sister Boman and Elder Andrus, and most said yes!)  It was awesome to get to go and use my Spanish language to help a family receive the things they needed. I told the brother in charge that I would be back next year with some friends, so they can provide the service and feel the spirit that I felt when I was there. 

Sunday was insane. We had meetings in our stake center from 8-5. That NEVER happens in Spanish program, but it made me happy that we were not getting left out of the stake correlation that we normally do. Church was sweet, we each gave a minute presentation about ourselves over the pulpit. I felt like I actually knew Spanish in that moment. I was just speaking fluently and didn't realize until after I closed. Its crazy how quick the language can come if we pray and study it:) 


Also, I got to go to CARMEN AND KARELI'S BAPTISM!!!!  I don't think you understand their excitement and surprise when I showed up at the Layton stake center and saw them all dressed in white... I was in tears, (shocker) then pulled myself together. It felt like the whole ward was there it was GREAT! I felt the spirit so strong and told them to keep reading their scriptures and get their eyes focused on the TEMPLE! 




This Christmas time I would invite everyone to read Luke 2, about Christ's birth.  Also the prophecy in the Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi 10:4, Yea, even six hundred years from the time that my father left Jerusalem, a prophet would the Lord God raise up among the Jews--evena Messiah, or in other words, a Savior of the world. I love more than ANYTHING that He is the Son of God and came in such a humble state. I know He loves me and when I think of Christmas the first thing I think of is Service. He did so many amazing things on this Earth, and I try everyday to take upon His name in a way that He would have me do. I'm thankful for the opportunity to share He is the Gift with so many people here who don't constantly feel His love or care for them. I love John 3:16, I love it more in Spanish but really study the scripture and understand the true meaning of Christmas this year. I love you and really believe that this Christmas will be the best one I've had so far.

Con Amor Y FELIZA NAVIDAD,
 Hermana Blankmeyer  


Monday, December 15, 2014

EXAMPLE

"Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity." - 1 Timothy 4:12 

****BEFORE I FORGET: PLEASE FAST & PRAY FOR MORE MISSIONARY EXPERIENCES!!****

Last Pday we got permission to watch Ephraim's Rescue, which is a TOTALLY good movie, so if your'e bored this holiday season, might as well watch that with some popcorn like I did :) 

We visited Maria and read the Book of Mormon with her, she loved the story of Nephi chapter 3, and we invited her to finish reading and also read chapter 4! We love visiting her and reading the book of mormon with her. We also visited Janeth, and showed her the He is the Gift video.  We talked about how her parents really need help because they have no money for food she is worried for them.   She hopes they understand that this is a trial of their faith and they need to trust in the Lord and He will provide according to their works and faith. We also visited Rosa, and we talked about the Plan of Salvation. I bore my testimony knowing that one day she will be in heaven with her child who she had a miscarriage with and be able to continue to be its mother in heaven and be with her family forever. She loved it and believed it, but we think she isn't progressing like some others so we are not sure what we need to do to help her. 

The family home evening we planned for the ward was on love. God showed His love by giving His Son (John 3:16) -> Jesus Christ showed His love by atoning for our sins (1 Nephi 19:9) -> and we can show our love by loving and obeying the commandments of God (John 13:34-35). Then we played do you love your neighbor? It was super fun and we had a lot of discussion :)

We visited Griselle and showed her He is the Gift and she loved it and said she would be at church this week. We showed the less active Perez family it too and they came to church on sunday :)

We sang in the church choir and I played the piano, then we visited Carmen and taught her the Word of Wisdom and she committed to living it, along with the other girls. 

We finally got in contact with a guy named Luis Miguel and he told us that he has been to church and read a bit of the Book of Mormon its just the environment where he lives isn't exactly "worthy". We are planning on going to visit with him and answer anymore questions he may have. We also visited Kareli and we taught her the Word of Wisdom, but with help because the young girls were on a date and were helping us teach, which was really fun :) 

We went with the Bishop and first counselor to visit Guadalupe. They kinda just took it away and talked to her and helped calm her fears and worries. She will try to repent and forgive before her baptismal date, we hope and pray she can overcome this before then. 

I got the calendar yall sent me on Friday and I loved it! Thanks so much:) I also got the Christmas card from the Smith's, Thank you both so much. I love you! 

Something totally awesomely inspiring happened on Friday.   We had an appointment with the recent convert, the Gomez family, because they are reaching their year mark when they can enter the temple and be sealed as a family. We planned on reading a bit of the Proclamation to the World.  We had an awesome member who just recently got to be sealed to her family, come talk about her experience. They weren't home so we went to Anabel. We sat there planning on watching He is the Gift with them, but we ended up talking about how they did service at the hospital by giving gifts to kids. she told us how her husband talked about how the mormon church is the only good church.   I handed her the proclamation that was in my lap for them to read since we know they want to get married on Valentine's day, and sister Deranges talked about her story.   Anabel has a son who has leukemia and she talked about how its hard sometimes.   Sister Durantes talked about how her daughter got in an accident and was in a coma for 3 months, the spirit was so strong and everyone was crying. I talked about how I know families can be together forever and I am not worried about anyone in my family leaving because I know that Heavenly Father has a plan for them.   We will see them again and it will be amazing because they will be perfect and it will be for eternity. (At the end Anabel talked about how I looked a lot like a barbie, Ariel from the Little mermaid, then Sister Hanson goes "NO!! SHE LOOKS LIKE ANA FROM FROZEN!!" Then Anabel got her son who is sick and asked him to shake "Ana's hand" and he was shy so I sang "Do you wanna build a snowman?" and his face just lit up. It was the cutest thing ever.)

Carmen and Karleli and them were at church and it was super awkward when people from the stake talked about how we had no investigators at church when we had 6... they just didn't raise their hands when she asked who was investigating the church because they were not sure what that meant... also in the year 2014, Layton (as a stake) had 27 baptisms and the Layton 3rd ward contributed 14 of them! How awesome is that:) Hispanics are the best. 

I have to say Congrats to the newly weds! and 
Happy BIRTHDAY MOMMY & ABBY!!  

Also... Transferssssss, I'M LEAVING LAYTON :( I will have to say goodbye tonight to all of my progressing investigators and members who I love dearly because I am going to..... 
ROSE PARK.  I am super excited and I will be a co-senior companion with Hermana Gonzalez.  I am sad to leave an AWESOME area and the investigators who put themselves on date for baptism, but maybe I can attend and go on splits and see them get baptized, but if not its okay. 

Sorry I don't know my new address.  However, I am sure I will find out soon.   For now send everything to the mission home, it is the safest bet because I will be pretty close to there now.

Utah Salt Lake City Mission
1535 South Edison Street
Salt Lake City, Utah 84115-1625

 

Con Amor, 
Hermana Blankmeyer 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

ANGER

"He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city." -Proverbs 16:32 
This week was interesting! 
We taught a lesson (FHE) with the Cifuentes family, who brought their family despite the birth of their new baby girl. We showed them the "He is the Gift" video (christmas.mormon.org or navidad.mormon.org) and we watched it with them. It was awesome; their little girls also sang Glorious by David Archuleta. (Speaking of David... we bought the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas CD with him; it's basically all we listen to in the car...) We have a family in the ward that wants to invite their friend to come listen to us, and they invited her over.  THIS IS SO IMPORTANT!!!  It totally changes everything when we INVITE people into our homes and allow the missionaries to teach.  Otherwise, they are "too busy" and will shut the door in our faces. Rosa, we visited her and it was pretty sad:  we are sad that we lost this COMPLETELY ready family for the gospel.  They've been searching and searching and they were uncomfortable in church because they saw people on their phones in sacrament meeting on facebook, texting, and not using the gospel app.  It's a sacred meeting that we have and get to participate in; therefore, we should remember that for at least that hour we should be acting as if the Savior and his apostles were there teaching us.  Other things can wait. 
We taught the Noche de Hogar again and taught about the role of the Holy Ghost.  We used Preach My Gospel, scriptures, and personal experiences to start a discussion. It went well!
We also went past Debbie, a sweet little lady who has a lot of family problems. We showed her He is the Gift and she is hopefully reading the Book of Mormon to get a better understanding of Christ in her life. Also, we prayed for her daughter who is really caught up in drugs and is trying so hard to quit.  We taught Carmen the Word of Wisdom and went over the baptismal questions so she could gauge where she is and determine what needs to improve before Dec 14th.  We practiced for the choir concert on Sunday, and we visited a less active family and shared He is the Gift and they absolutely loved it. 
We had zone conference on my 9th month mark!  So we had to go get the car cleaned before then and we went to visit Maria.  We taught a sweet, little 7 year old about prophets (to one of our recent convert's daughter) and then we visited Kareli and taught her the word of wisdom and the baptismal interview questions because she was at work the day before.  We went out with the new relief society president and visited a couple people, too.  We shared He is the Gift and talked about it.  I can't say enough how much I LOVE HE IS THE GIFT.  Every single time I feel the spirit and joy so strong. 
Zone Conference was SO GOOD.  We got there early to practice for the musical number, and I learned so much.  Sister Hansen, President Hansen, and the AP's gave some really good talks.  I hope to apply them better throughout the rest of my mission.  We also found out on Dec 19th we are having a multi-zone Christmas brunch and we get to watch.....FROZENNNNNN :) I'm excited but it's chill...  After zone conference, we took Guadalupe and her family down to temple square to go see Luz de las Naciones (Light of the nations).  It's essentially a hispanic Christmas production the church provides.  We got there 40 minutes late (we got off at the wrong exit and the traffic was INSANE) and we had to park super far away and then grab our tickets and wait in line.  We got to the very front of the line and they reached full capacity at the Tabernacle and so we went to the Joesph Smith Memorial Building and watched it there.  It was really good and they really enjoyed it.  Then when it was over we literally sprinted to our cars and got home safely. 

Light of the Nations (Luz de las naciones) which is a hispanic Christmas production the church does with our investigators at temple square! Here are some pictures from it. For more information copy and paste this URL: https://www.lds.org/church/events/temple-square-presents-latino-christmas-concert?lang=eng





Here are some more with my investigator from Veracruz. Guadalupe and her daughters Melanie and Angie.



We also got to help make the program for a little 8 year old in our ward who was getting baptized.  That was super fun.  We didn't think we were going to be able to make it but our appointments canceled (Saturdays are really hard) and we were doing service for Sister Smith.  We got to go and I played the songs for the baptism.  We went to Guadalupe that night to tell her about Carmen and Kareli and how they would be at church too so that it wasn't a surprise.  Obviously it's harder for Guadalupe and she had a hard time.  We were all crying after what she was saying about her hard decision.  She wants to forgive but needs help because she knows she is weak.  She didn't come to church, and neither did Carmen and Kareli :(  Carmen and them were sick.  Therefore, they are not on date for Dec 14th anymore -- but things happen. 
We taught the Gospel Principles class again yesterday.  That was really hard because we had no notice, but I hope it went well.  We visited some new people, attended a stake president correlation meeting, then practiced singing a missionary medley for our stake conference being held in January!  I LOVED THE FIRST PRESIDENCY CHRISTMAS DEVOTIONAL. There is a free gift of music from Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas Sampler  on the page following the devotional. You can watch the entire devotional at Christmas Devotional Watch the First Presidency's Christmas Devotional  I was totally crying during Elder D. Todd Christofferson's talk.  I felt the spirit so strong during that devotional. 

I want to thank you all so much for all your prayers.  They truly help and I love you all.  I hope you embrace the season and the spirit that lies within.  I hope this week you challenge yourselves to love and serve your neighbors so that our hearts may be filled with joy and love and not anger. 
Con Mucho Amor,
Hermana Blankmeyer 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Patience

"A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger" -Proverbs 15:1 

So we taught Elizabeth with Hermana Solano and we watching the Finding Faith in Christ video, which I was about in tears at the end of. I love that movie and the spirit was so strong there in that lesson. Members REALLY make a difference in lessons. 

Tuesday we had to go to Rose Park, for our hispanic initiative, that is ending on December 14th.  It was a follow-up and information on how we can use it better. It is mormon.org/preguntas and it is a wonderful site to help people understand the answers to the questions many people have. We also met with Anabel, and she said she wants to get married to her husband on Valentines Day! We didn't know that they weren't married but we are super excited for them! Ramon and Mercedes watched the Restoration video with us and again, tears started.   The spirit really touches my heart when we are watching those videos with our investigators. They loved it and want to know more. We also got him to pray! It wasn't easy, but after it was over I let him know how amazing it is that we have this opportunity to communicate with our Heavenly Father and feel his love. Then we taught the Noche de Hogar (Family Home Evening) and we did a gratitude activity that Hermana Hanson had done in her family. 

me and my companion at the multi-zone conference


Wednesday we had a multi-zone conference for "He is the Gift" SERIOUSLY IN LOVEEE WITH THIS INITIATIVE THAT THE CHURCH IS DOING!!! I can't even BEGIN to explain. LITERALLY YOU CAN STOP READING MY BLOG AND GO TO christmas.mormon.org o navidad.mormon.org and watch the 2 minute video YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED. We are sharing it and spreading it like wildfire and I love that we are. It is another video I get to always feel the spirit when I watch it. We went to Carmen's house for dinner and met her mother.   Carmen is from Anaheim, California and we talked about L3 and it was awesome. Then we had choir practice and I have learned most of the songs on the piano for the concert.  However, I am continuing to pray and practice to get better. 






THANKSGIVING DAY!!! yeah it was preparation day... we went to buy stuff at Walmart and cleaned and such. It was kind of a chill relaxing day and then we went to 7 eleven to get a donut and a member paid for us so that was super nice! We had thanksgiving dinner ****PLEASE NOTE I AM IN UTAH BUT I ALSO AM IN THE SPANISH PROGRAM***** baked potatoes, salad, ribs, and fruit. Then we went to our next appointment and had pasta and whipped cream with fruit for dinner.  The other people we visited all gave us food. After the day we had 1 bottle of sparkling grape juice, dunkin donuts, turkey, rice, rolls, pan dulce, tostados, and some candy. I really did miss watching the Macy's parade and smelling apple pie.  I did have the pleasure of helping Sister Smith peel her apples for her Thanksgiving pies. 

We had an AWESOME lesson with Hermana Dominguez and Maria. I don't know much about Family History but since most of her family is gone, she is super interested in it! She was in tears after she found out about her family history and we were so thankful for Hermana Dominguez (her calling is family history worker) and she just took it away. We also finally contacted Jose and Jose, and we shared with them the "He is the gift" initiative. Literally everytime I watch it I feel so happy and good. We did service with Sister Smith again, Saturday's are really hard and this week we were painting her house. It was super fun to spend time with her and help her, also listening to Christmas music was super fun too. 

Well, none of our investigators came to church. :( Carmen and Karlei couldn't because their house was leaking and they needed to fix it.  Guadalupe and Rosa never responded to us. We are just thinking it was because of the Thanksgiving holiday.   We were BEATEN tired from all of our work. Hermana Hanson and I have never been so tired in our lives and then in sacrament we were falling asleep. Right when that happened the brother that was giving his talk and was like "YOU SHOULD NOT BE SLEEPING IN CHURCH" ... it was funny. Then after sacrament we had to teach gospel principles with like 2 minutes notice. Hopefully it went well. We had a stake Christmas devotional which was super cool. Mainly musical pieces about Christmas and some talks here and there about the true meaning and such.  We left early so we could get to our dinner and then our dinner canceled :( thats okay, we weren't hungry.  We just kept working and then the next thing we know its 9:00pm and we needed to be home and as soon as we walked in we were STARVING!! 

I love you all and hope you share the "He is the gift" video. I love it more than words can describe. I love you all and hope you will continue to help with His work. 

REMEMBER: 
#SharetheGift

And read in Preach my Gospel about the Restoration (pages 6, 31-40) 

....also on friday i hit my 9 month mark....whattttttt 
:)

Monday, November 24, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

So before I start, I'm sorry I left my planner in my house and the cable to my camera so pictures & stories I forgot will come next week. Today isn't pday (Thanksgiving Day is) but we still have an hour to email families & we just had a session at the Salt Lake Temple. 

**RANDOM SOPHIE MOMENT** Abby would be proud.  I debated going to our zone activity, because I knew it would be sports and I was kinda tired from last week.  But my awesome companion told me to change and so we went and I played volleyball.   I was the only girl on my team and the only one who knew how to play.  So they called me the "secret serving weapon" not that we were counting score.   But, I serve like 40 in a row and then an elder tells me to look down and I see blood all on my thumb.  I must have split my skin open from the ball hitting my thumb over and over.  Anyway, I'm running to the bathroom with my companion and we grab like 3 paper towels and made a make shift bandage and I came back to the game saying, "I can't set or serve, but I can still play".  So It's not pday until there is an "accident" from sports.  

Then on Tuesday we had a WONDERFUL SPIRITUAL experience with an amazing member and our investigator Maria who was so wonderful. We taught Maria the plan of salvation and there wasn't a dry eye at the end of that lesson. It was so amazing to share the knowledge and testimony that I have about that. I love this gospel and I love that families can be together forever. I'm thankful that our Heavenly Father puts us in families to learn and grow and have a place to NOT HAVE CONTENTION but to love each other. 

We met with the assistants and figured out which companionships are going with which ward. We also saw the new church Christmas video that is coming out! It is way good. Hermana Hanson and I are staying in Layton 3rd ward. We are so grateful and LOVE our ward.   We also went to Salt Lake for the follow up traineer/ trainee meeting. It was nice as well. 

I am honored to be playing piano for the ward choir Christmas program. I know 'Silent Night' but, I am currently learning 'Joy to the World' and 'Angels we have Heard on High'. It is fun to practice and have the opportunity to use my talents. 

Carmen y Kareli....THE BEST FAMILY EVER!!!!! We brought the young women president of our ward to teach with us.  We asked her to really explain more about the YW program because the girls are SO EXCITED to be apart of something like that. We taught them about reading the Book of Mormon and left them with the commitment to come to church. 

We met with Rosa and taught her the Restoration and had her neighbor there to invite her to come to church too. 

We also taught Guadalupe  the lesson on Chastity and she totally understands and already lives the law and has seen the blessings. 

We had exchanges with the STL's. I was with Sister Timuia and we were in an English/Samoan area. I went out and got honked at!  It totally scared me but, they were LDS and just letting the kids see "the missionaries"  We really laughed because it was funny how they were just trying to say hi. We also went to visit a couple of people with the Ward Mission Leader and I met some people from Denton. We taught a lady the Word of Wisdom and she totally understands and is progressing towards baptism! We also went to another place to do service, (clean the fridge) We contacted SO MANY PEOPLE!! (It is easier for English sisters here because there are NO HISPANICS outside).  I learned that I need to be more loving and bold in my commitments to my investigators. 

Saturday was great! We made cookies for the new bishopric, some investigators and people we had to visit. We took some popcorn bags to the family of Carmen and Kareli. They were so excited to see the passalong cards with Jesus and we told them to put them somewhere where they could see it daily and remember how much The Lord loves them and how much we love them. 

SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY.................I'm tremendously thankful WE HAD 7 INVESTIGATORS AT CHURCH. We prayed for a perfect fellowshipper for the family of Carmen and Kareli, and our prayer was answered. We found a family but luckily the whole ward just gathered to them immediately and introduced themselves. They loved it! 

Rosa and her family came to church too; Rosa and her husband Carlos had to leave after sacrament, but the kids stayed for the rest of church. Also, it snowed so we were totally excited and thrilled to see everything all white. We found a family that had kids their age, and a single mom. She came with us that night to their house and I extended the invitation for them to be baptized! They said yes!!  Then I told them about how on the 13th of December they could be baptized, and they said no.  I was so nervous because I didn't expect that, so I was trying to listen to the spirit of what I needed to do next. They said, "We work all day Saturdays, can we do it on Sunday the 14th?!" We were so happy and excited for them! Literally, we have been so blessed with this family and they are progressing amazingly. They have complete confidence to ask questions and love having us over. Hermana Hanson and I are so thankful for them and their willingness to do what we all have been asked to do in this life. 

We went to the temple and its crazy to think in about 3 weeks that I was there exactly a year ago for my first time. I love the temple. I love the Salt Lake City temple and I love the spirit there.

Con Amor,

Hermana Blankmeyer 















Wednesday, November 19, 2014

You can take the girl out of Veracruz, but Veracruz will stay with her...

"The nearer a person approaches the Lord, the greater power will be manifest by the adversary to prevent the accomplishment of his purpose." -Heber C. Kimball

WOW! This week was awesome!  Please excuse my typing and spelling errors because we have limited time and I just want to tell you all about it!



First off, Tuesday we had a member come out with us to do a church tour, but then it fell through so we had her come with us on a lesson with Ramon and his family.  Our member sister was very loving and bold she helped bear testimony a lot! Rosa we taught the word of wisdom and asked if she would come to church! She quickly accepted and we told her neighbor, her "fellowshipper", to remind her and invite her to come. Then that night we taught the Noche de Hogar (FHE) and I helped plan the lesson. What we did was take a picture of Christ and put sticky notes all around the room that were attributes of Him that we need to develop. Then we discussed them and put them around the picture of Christ and asked them at the end to imagine their own personal picture with the attributes surrounding it, and extended the invitation to pick one attribute of Christ to work on and focus on developing it. It was fun for our investigators, recent converts, and members. We even got the kids involved too. It went really well. 

Wednesday we had a lot of members come out with us, but the most important lesson was teaching Guadalupe the Book of Mormon. We had Zul (a recent returned missionary) come and read the book of mormon with us. She was reading and really felt the spirit. It was an incredible lesson. 

Thursday, we went to a referral that was kinda hidden. We were walking and both of the houses were either for sale or under construction. There was a man working on his car and I approached him and he started talking to us about Nefi and other stories. His name was Cristiano and knew a little about our church and the great things about it.  However, he just said it wasn't his time yet. HE WAS FROM VERACRUZ! so i totally talked to him about that. 

Friday, I finally met our investigator named Janeth. She has 2 little boys and lives with her husband. He works all week so we don't get to teach him.  She knows the church is true. It's just hard because he doesn't understand the need for religion but she told us about how much he has changed since they started living togehter when she was 17 and he was 19. She knows the Lord has helped him for all these years. She shared how she feels that she just needs to continue to pray and hope for his heart to be softened so it can be a family centered experience. We updated our area book and prayed for more people that we could go visit. My companion lost her wallet and we missed a lesson.  But, we were able to get a ride, thanks to another returned missionary named Adrianne Child, to visit with Guadalupe. She brought us and we taught Guadalupe the Word of Wisdom. She said it would be hard because she too, IS FROM VERACRUZ!! and lovessssss her coffee.  However,  she knows she can do anything with Christ's help and her desire to be baptized is more important than any substance. We then went to a members house and shared the experience of missionary work and learned about how her son is doing in Tennessee. She took us to Chick-fil-a and we found my companions wallet! We were thankful. (Side note: a bunch of teenage boys came out as we were walking in and handed me flowers and told me I looked beautiful today, my companion and I just laughed and now we joke about it all the time.) 

Saturday, We read the book of mormon with Maria and kind of understood the doubts she had about being baptized. She still is recovering from her accident, but she is super excited to be able to come to church once she gets the doctors okay. We decided to check out and ask for new investigators in an area in our ward, somewhere we don't work very often. We met a sweet elderly couple who didn't know of any spanish speakers in the area, we were going to share a message but everything was in spanish so we could only leave them with a prayer, but right after Colleen had the impression for us to go to a little spanish market and talk to people there! We made thank you notes for the bishopric, our ward mission leader, and the hermanas that vistited our investigators with us because our ward was splitting. We met with a couple more people and we met with Luis and his family! His mom actually took time to listen to us and ask about church and such and they all seemed really excited!  (Another side note, my companion slipped on ice and fell flat on her back when we were going to Maria's, and it made a loud noise and they had opened the door and she barely had time to get up and breathe. She's totally okay but it was super awkward and funny. ) We also raked the leaves of Sister Smith's home and I'm still sore from it (I am such a wimp) and I know I will live in California after Utah because raking leaves is too much work :) 

Sunday our ward met and we had the old bishopric and their wives bear their testimonies and the new bishopric bore theirs. We had dinner which was delicious (teriyaki chicken and rice) and then met with Carmen and Karley! Karley is also from VERACRUZ and she and her daughters all read the pamphlet.  All we did was answer questions.  Plus one of them is actually baptized she had such a great experience in Mexico that she asked if she could do it again. That family was so excited for church and the Young Women's program and we are still shocked at what happened in that lesson and we know how amazing the church is and the programs we have are here for a reason. We went to the ward "spilt" fireside and now we are still unsure about which ward we will serve in. There were two missionaries (elders&sisters) in Layton 3rd, where we are, and then two in the other and what they did was take some from both of ours and make a third ward. So now there are 4 sets of missionaries for 3 wards. We are pretty sure we will stay where we are, and so do the members because they have already asked if I would play piano for the ward choir Christmas program! Guadalupe came to church but left early because her son was sick. 

I love being here in Utah! Even when I have to wear like 2 layers of tights because it is so cold and it's not even snowing much yet! The gospel changes lives and I love seeing the miracles I get to see everyday! I love love LOVE this gospel and teaching families so they can be together forever. I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week! 

Con Amor,
 Hermana Blankmeyer 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

SERVING IN LAYTON

"The only safe ground is to get as far from danger as it is possible to get." -Heber J. Grant 

AHHHH!! One week DOWN! Crazy to think how time flies because we are BUSY missionaries! 

First off, I hope you got my first letter Mom and Dad, but if not... I arrived off the plane and got to meet my missionary president and his wife at the airport.   While we were waiting for another sister missionary, coming from the Mexico MTC, I see ELDER ROBBINS and his wife! What a wonderful welcome to Salt Lake City within a couple of minutes there is ELDER OAKS & his wife! It was crazy to think I had been in Utah for like 10 min tops and already met so many influential people! I love it here. 

I was assigned to serve in the Layton 3rd ward, which is about to be split. There are so many members (about 300) and we cover 9 english stakes. Its a LOT but its amazing how its been here. My companion is Hermana Hanson and she has been out for 14 months and in this area for 3 months. She is only going to train me for 6 weeks, rather than 12 because I have been out and trained before, just not as a Utah, Salt Lake City mission. We have so many investigators, members, less actives, and a huge area that really makes it hard to keep things straight.  However, I am trying my hardest to really learn because I feel that in 5 more weeks I'll have a new companion.  I will likely be in this area and she will ask me where and who everyone is. I don't even know where to really begin but I will start with the two miracles that happened this week. (Also, I live in a members home- Sister Smith, she is awesome) 


Guadalupe is an investigator who has gone through her fair share of missionaries. (Hermana Adorable taught her) She was having a really hard time because her husband has 2 other women and someone keeps slashing her tires on her car.  She is unsure what she needs to do. She doesn't have much money, it cost a lot, and it has happened more than once. When we came over her kids (oldest turns 8 next month) were all sick, and she had a lot of stress. She was just very unsure of what needed to be done. We sat and helped her pray to ask for help. Then the next day, we received a message from her asking when her daughter could be baptized! She told us that she and her daughter want to be baptized on the same day. Even though it is a while away, SHE put herself down for a baptism date! We have been teaching her and the stories she shares are so powerful. She has a desire and we can just see how much the gospel will bless her life.

Rosa we just got to talking and meeting, we invited a member who is her neighbor. We just started trying to get to know her and she started talking for super long about how she had 2 miscarriages, (she has 2 kids now) and she was told in a dream that the catholic church wasn't right, but to join the correct one. She believes that she will see her kids again. She is such a sweet parent and so ready to hear the message we have to share! 

I placed a book of mormon with a sweet lady named Maria. She recently got in a car accident and has a 6 week recovery period. She is from Guatemala and her kids live there now. She has 3 more weeks before she is allowed to leave the house and hopefully come to church with us! 

I've noticed many differences between this mission and Mexico. I love that I know more spanish now so I am able to contribute more to the lessons. In a way I feel like I'm getting a second mission opportunity and for that I am grateful. 

Sunday was really good! The sacrament talks were focused on friendship, family, and obedience. Gospel principles was really good too, and relief society was amazing. I love the ward and members here. Everything about this work makes me happy and so excited to get referrals and meet new people to teach the gospel too. 


Please remember, families are a gift of god. Marriage is a gift and we need to cherish that always. We need to do service to everyone in the family and to those in need. Pray for people who are ready for the gospel and go to the temple with them in mind.  Then OPEN YOUR MOUTH and invite them over for a Family Home Evening, or sunday dinner with the missionaries.  This way they get to meet them and have people to teach. So what if its scary? or they say no? Pray for confidence and strength then watch miracles happen as your invite! 

I love you all and know without a doubt in my mind that this gospel is true.  I hope you all take the time to think of people to share this message with. 

Con Amor,
Hermana Blankmeyer  

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

5 days! Cinco Dias!!

Hello ALL!

Well here we are, we have 5 days people! I'm so excited to be able to serve my fellow brothers & sisters in Salt Lake City, Utah! Sorry for not really having a ton to post but I wanted to just post at least one more blog before I leave.

Thanks to everyone for the prayers, and sweet cards/more. I am so lucky to have such an amazing ward family and friends of my family to help me during this time. It was hard to be home, and will be just as hard the second time to leave again, but oh so exciting to be in a wonderful place teaching & loving the people of Salt Lake!

I leave for the field November 3rd and I'm in the central SLC mission. I will continue to speak in spanish, so I'll continue to keep the language :)

Well thats pretty much all I have to say, thats all I was told. Tons of new experiences and blessings are on their way! Thanks again for everything and for supporting me!

Con Amor,

(Soon to be) Hermana Blankmeyer

{My mom & I took new mission pictures yesterday for the new blog, check them all out of Facebook}