Monday, June 30, 2014

Trust in Him

"There is only one thing more contagious than enthusiasm, and that is the lack of enthusiasm." -Thomas S. Monson 

Wednesday we had a W.O.N.D.E.R.F.U.L. meeting with around 4 or 5 zones with our president and his family, since they are leaving for Monterrey on July 10th. It was a meeting that started with a group picture at the Veracruz Temple and started with the videos from the new missionaries, the missionaries leaving in this transfer, and some surprise videos from every zone. They're were funny, and really sweet ones. Then testimonies from the missionaries leaving really touched my heart. I have a long time until I'm there in their shoes but I know that I need to take their advice and really cherish every moment, good and bad on the mission. Everything is sent for us for our progress and learning. There are times when we don't understand why the trial is in front of us. But if I've learned anything from the mission so far, its that I need to TRUST IN HIM. He knows exactly why we are placed in our situations, and we should pray to try to understand the reason or find the way that He would have us face them. 

The kids of presidente and his wife spoke to us. They had us all crying. We sang "Para Siempre Dios este con Vos" (God Be with You Till We Meet Again) and it was a struggle for everyone to sing the song. There were parts where we just couldn't sing the notes because we were all crying, especially Presidente Trevino. He gave us some advice. 5 important points that we can be successful missionaries. 1. Be a worthy person, with virtue and have controlled thoughts. 2. Obey all the mission rules. 3. Have a divine companionship 4. Be diligent teachers and learners. 5. Have desire, faith, and love. 

On Wednesday I went to go say goodbye to a special family to me. We shared a scripture, my favorite one, Helaman 5:12 "And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall."  

I explained that I love this scripture because it says "WHEN" the devil, its a certain thing that we will all pass through. Sometimes its hard and we don't want the hard times that we are given, but we should be happy in ALL our circumstances and try our best to keep going forward. I explained that I wanted to share something so special to me because they are so special and it would be the last time I'd be with them. Not a dry eye was in that house. They are so much like a family to me, they have done so much for me and it finally hit me that I would be leaving this wonderful people and this wonderful work. I told them my plans were to come to the States to get better, than go straight back to the mission. But I wouldn't likely serve in that ward again. They cried with me and my companion. The spirit was really strong in that room as we were saying the final prayer. 

The next day we went to our food, and right after we were done eating we got a call from President saying Hermana Guerra would be leaving that ward too. Today would be our last day in Magisterio and so we ran back to our home and grabbed our journals and had about 3 hours to get everyone we wanted to write in our journals and take pictures with. Even though 3 hours sounds like forever trust me, emotions were everywhere and it was so hard for us to meet with everyone. I felt like we were running around crazy that day, from one side of town to the other every 5 minutes it felt like. When we finally got home we felt a little relaxed than realized we had SO much to do. We had to pack and get rid of practically everything. We were up really late cleaning and packing. 

On the plane, I sat by a man who spoke spanish, but the flight attendant didn't. I helped him order a drink and then talked about the church with him and about his family. At first I was a little hesitant which isn't like me, especially as a missionary, but after we started talking everything felt right. Then I had a flight from Houston to Dallas, in the airport after our flight was delayed for about an hour. I was feeling really down and then a lady and her sweet daughters came up to me and started asking me questions. We took pictures and talked in spanish. It felt really good to speak in Spanish and help her out. She is a recent convert with her two daughters and they are visiting her mother in Fort Worth and wanted to know where a church building was that they could visit on Sunday. 

It is so weird being home. Being released was hard too. I love being a missionary, I want more than anything to get better so that I can get right back to work. I'm doing my best to live like a missionary, so weekly emails are still the way to communicate with me and I'll be updating my blog in the meantime. 

Saturday we went to a baptism in the morning! A young women in our ward has been taking the discussions and she had made the decision to follow Jesus Christ and be baptized. I wouldn't have asked for a better way to come back. I didn't know her but I introduced myself and told her how proud I am and He is with her decision. I was pretty much in tears because I felt the spirit so much in that baptism service. Her words were so powerful and I finally realize how important baptism and the covenants that we make, thanks to the mission. 

Sunday we went to the Spanish Branch, which made me feel at home. Everything was in spanish and it helped bring peace and comfort to my heart. I said hi to some of the hermanas that I went with Hermana Munyer and Cattich before the mission. Then we went to my ward, and I was able to see my old building and people in the ward that I have known for so long. Then I went to another ward for a friends mission farewell. It was crazy to see him get ready to go and see some friends who are home for the summer. I kinda forget that life keeps going while youre on the mission. People grow up and schools out. I really miss everything about my mission. Every minute Im reminded of how much I miss the mission and how much of a desire i have to get back out to the field. We will see this week what the doctors feel we should do and see what can I do to get back as quickly as possible. 

Love you all and your love for me! Thanks for the many hugs and comforting words y'all have given me! Im thankful for the many prayers and know that they will be answered and I will be able to return and finish what I have started. 

Con mucho Amor,

Sophia Blankmeyer 
Hermana Guerra and Hermana Blankmeyer at the Acuario 

Elder Hourigan, Hermana DeFriez, Hermana Arteaga, Elder Schriener, Hermana Guerra, Hermana Blankmeyer, Elder Gonzalez and Elder Bonilla at the last district meeting with Hna. Guerra's birthday cake 

Hermana Blankmeyer and Hermana Trevino at the conference 

Hermana Blankmeyer and Presidente Trevino at the conference 

Hermana Blankmeyer and Sinai Cisneros 

Hermana Blankmeyer and Hermana Cisneros 

Family Gomez Cano with the hermanas 

Hermana Guerra, Diana Laura (first convert), and Hermana Blankmeyer 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Farewell to President Trevino

We had an activity as a zone for President Trevino because he leaves July 10.   We had to go to another chapel and I didn't bring anything with me because I thought we would be going back home before writing so please forgive me if this email is short or scattered.
So during the week we had wonderful experiences.  Every day is a miracle here and we love to see the little things in our lives that Heavenly Father places for us.
We are teaching a 14 year old boy named Alejandro.  His dad basically said that his son wants to know more about our church, so we have been working with him.  He is totally your typical 14 year old.  He knows a lot and has tons of questions.  He loves video games and soccer.  We started teaching him and his uncle.  He has a different belief of the nature of God.  We started walking to his house and Hermana Guerra asked if I wanted to start the lesson by answering his question.  I knew that it would be hard and I knew he wouldn't want to listen to us the minute we explained what we believe.  I honestly was doubting, but we reached his door and I had prayed that he would listen and that the spirit would help him remember the things that we were about to teach.  I turned to the bible, and explained that if in Génisis 1:27, says that we were created in the image of God, then God has a physical body like us.  He sat there, and thought... I was afraid of the silence but then had peace.  I then asked him, "Entonces, Hermano Alejandro, ¿Cómo es Dios" (Then, brother Alejandro What is God like?) And he looked at my companion and said, "Pues, Igual Que Nosotros, ¿no? Y si nosotros tenemos Un cuerpo de carne y huesos, así es como el." (Well, just like us, right? And If we have a body of flesh and bones, that's how He is.)  I was so shocked.  I then smiled and testified that I knew without a doubt in my mind that He is like us, so he understands us physically as well as emotionally.  I felt so good and knew that the spirit had helped him in that moment understand more about the things he had known previously.
Diego and his brothers came to church again!  It is so wonderful to be in a huge ward, around 200, where the youth are so willing to go up and introduce themselves and include everyone we bring to church.  
 We held a special activity and program for president Trevino and we made food for him. The hermanas helped get the plates, utensils and table clothes.   I also helped make the pico de gallo y guacamole. The elders helped cook the meat and tortillas.  We came out singing a hymn and ate together.  We all said thanks for everything and helped them on their way.  We sang their favorite hymn as they left the chapel.  It sounds like a good couple hour program? Ha! Preparation was from 9 am and lasted until around 4... It was wonderful and we thought it was worth our pday. 
World cup is huge here!  Of course... but I didn't expect it to be this big.  But yeah, I only know when Mexico plays and that the U.S. won a game.  That is literally all I know about it.
This week I felt my Saviors love more than I ever have felt in my life, and in my mission.  So this week I was in the hospital for four days; my mission president was with me when I got some pretty big tests done and afterward we discussed what would be happening.  I was having sharp pains that no medicine would provide relief.  They finally resorted to strong pain killers.  Presidente Treviño is really amazing and kind.  He gave me two options.  I either go home and get better and stay in America, or I go home, get better and come back to Mexico.  I obviously don't want to come home but I need to be better in order to work.  The United States has a lot more opportunity for me to get better faster.  We came to the conclusion that I will be coming home, I think sometime this week. It was devastating to think about it at the time because I feel like in a way I'm giving up, but I have prayed and feel certain that He is okay with the decision too.  Obviously for me, I don't want to stop this wonderful work of salvation, so I will be coming back to finish my service to my Heavenly Father and my brothers and sisters here in Veracruz.  

I'm really trying to look ahead and focus on getting better so I can work with all my heart, might, mind, and strength.  Being sick has brought frustrating moments and hard times, but at times I could close my eyes and feel Heavenly Fathers presence right there as if He was giving me a hug.  Something I really needed to cheer me up!  The days go by so fast! Many of my zone leaders, district leaders, presidents, are going home soon!  It's crazy.  It is wonderful to be apart of this magnificent work!
Love you and miss you all!
Con Amor,
Hermana Blankmeyer

Monday, June 16, 2014

Now is the time!

"It is accounted unto you for righteousness if you proceed according to the best light you have."- Wilford Woodruff

It is crazy thinking that it is already past fathers day now! Time flies here.The prophet taught us in general conference that now is the time, we must hasten the work or we will stand before God at judgement and regret that we never worked with ALL our heart, might, mind and strength when we are fully capable.  I'm doing everything possible to be worthy of these promises. One of my greatest desires is to inherit eternal life in the celestial kingdom of God. I have learned so many things that I wish I could pick up the phone and tell you all about them.  Reread the Ensign from general conference. Study it daily. That is scripture for us now. 

This week was magnificent because we did a lot of service.  I had divisions which were kinda scary.  "Divisions" is going off on my own with another member in the ward teaching investigators the whole lessons in Spanish.  I relied on the Lord and He sure did His part in helping me. We taught new people and it must have went well because they came to church! There was another baptism and we were invited because we had starting teaching him.  But technically he was in another ward's boundary so we introduced him to the missionaries in his ward. But he invited us to his baptism and it was such a wonderful time! 

Crazy lightning storms happened that made Hermana Guerra and I have to hold each others hands for comfort, but we are safe, no worries.

We went to the aquarium today because it was Hermana Guerras birthday on the 14th! She is now 21! 

My zone saying goodbye to our mission president. Our last pday with him.  After we made him a video.

Hermana Guerra and me

Practically the whole bus was filled with our zone.  We got in trouble because apparently we aren't allowed to have so many missionaries out together like that.

Hermana Guerras birthday was the 14th and the family Cisneros bought her cake and we celebrated her birthday.

Sorry my blog entry is super short today. Keep being strong and super wonderful examples!  I love and miss you all and will promise to write more next time with more pictures. 

Con Amor

Hermana Blankmeyer

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

When it RAINS it POURS!

Creo en Cristo y lo acepto como mi Salvador.- 2 Nefi 25:29

¡Hola todos! ¿Como estan? Pues yo estoy bien ahora, pero espero estar un poquito mejor. 

This week we were going to have divisions and I would go with one girl from the ward that wants to go on a mission, and speaks a little English, and my companion was going with a sister that just got back from her mission. Unfortunately one was sick, so as 3 we left.   I wanted to learn how to basically do everything by myself so my companion and I set a goal and were off.   I'm glad she was there to catch me when I fell, but she told me that at the end of the day I did really well. The spirit was always present and I was able to do the things that I didn't believe I could do. I know that The Lord helped me during all of my lessons, finding, and remembering streets/directions. 

My companion was a little sick in the beginning of the week, and turns out after many doctors visits and test, she needs glasses. Like daughter like mother, haha no se crea. Pero si, ella tiene lentes ahora y es un poco raro, para los dos. (Sophia is saying that they both wear glasses now.)  Everything was better and then I got sick, I went to the hospital and they thought it was my kidneys because it felt like someone was stabbing me as I walked.   We figured out it was when I walked, and always after I ate that I had the pain. They gave me medicine and we thought all would be well. 

Meanwhile when we went to pick up my companions glasses, we stopped and talked with an Hermana in the ward. (Literally our mom she is wonderful) She drove us to the market to grab something and we looked outside just as we are about to leave and BAM! water EVERYWHERE. It started to pour rain... We ran to the car, and were soaked, but that was just the beginning of it. We started to drive, and the roads here don't have gutters, and if they do they are spouting with water. Streets turned into rivers, if you didn't know where you were driving you would get stuck. Luckily this hermana knew where to go, and which roads to take.  It was like the car turned into a submarine at times.  We came home and since the doctor said to rest, we did. 

Saturday morning was terrible. We had the job of cleaning the building and it was still raining so bad.  We had water up to our knees, while walking the streets with our umbrellas at 7 am.  We cleaned and the rain still continued to downpour , we finally heard that there was somewhat of a cyclone in Oaxaca, and then realized for that reason it had been raining nonstop for days. Dark skies continued.  It was nice to get somewhat of a break from the blistering sun, but be careful what you wish for ;) 

Sunday morning we went to the hospital again and I had practically every test done to see what the problem was because the pain wasn't going away. They came to the conclusion that it is Colitis and I should just take it easy.  We were in the hospital for hours and none of the medicine was helping take the pain away. I couldn't sleep due to the pain either, it was the worst. Blessings and prayers were happening but everything was staying the same. 

Today my companion and I decided its best for our investigators to hear the message we have rather than us staying inside a lonely home. I want to work! I literally cried when the doctors said to rest for 2 days because I knew that meant no time to get our investigators to come to church. We luckily saw Diego and his family on Sunday afternoon and talked with them and apologized that we didn't teach English class or invite them to church because we had been sick. This week we will do the same with the rest of them, apologize for not being there for them this week when we had appointments and all that. I really learned a lesson about trusting in our Savior and allowing Him to bear our burdens. I KNOW without a doubt in my heart that He was there with me at every step in my sickness and especially when I felt like I was unable to bear it. If we pray and trust in Him we can feel His love and remember that "from the Garden to the Cross, He walked a mile in my shoes." He might not take away our pain but He will comfort us and give us strength to endure it.

May we all try this week to be better at serving and trusting Him in all we do. I pray that everyone stays healthy and happy. I'll get better so no need to worry. 

Happy Birthday to Elder Anderson & My daddy & my companion! 
Con Amor,
Hermana Blankmeyer 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Be Ye Doers

"But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves." -James 1:22

I have never been so excited to write you all about my week here!  I don’t even know where to begin and I pray I don’t leave anything out – so please bear with me. 

We are teaching a girl named Ana.  She doesn’t know how to read and write in Spanish.  After she said a prayer one visit she told us that she wants to learn how to read and write so that she can serve a mission like us.  Literally, the feeling I had was indescribable when she told me that, because less than a month later she was baptized which only confirmed my feeling. 

Also, in our English class, after expecting no one to show up we had a lady with four boys attend.  She asked where the English classes were held and we ended up teaching them. Their ages are 12, 6, 4, 3 and I am in love with this family!  The boys are so sweet and polite and their sweet mom said that she wants to go back to the U.S. and live there again.  She said that she had gone to church before, but since they are from Predios (poor area) they don’t own clothes appropriate for church.  We told her that it doesn’t matter what she wears, and I offered my clothes so that she would feel a little more comfortable.  She said she could find something.  We continued talking with her after her two boys started playing soccer with other guys from the church.  We went to her house and taught them some more about the gospel. She ended up not being able to make it to church, but three of her boys came and it was so great.  I even gave them pass along cards to entertain the younger two during the meeting – my companion thought that was brilliant. 

We had three contacts that I have to tell you all about. One was found when we were walking.  We passed by a lady that said, "wait, you’re the missionaries, right?"   We were shocked and at the same time said "yes!"  She told us that she knew a little about the church and she asked if we would pray for her son-in-law who is in bed dying and doesn’t believe in God. We absolutely prayed with her in a little alley where we met, and then she left.  After our prayer, there were two large dogs messing around and finally came running after us.  The owner got them and put them away and the neighbor came out and started to tell us how pretty we were and how nice we looked in our skirts, etc. She is a sweet grandma who had cookies – now whoever said don’t take candy from a stranger, I’m sorry but this rule didn’t apply for like five minutes when we ate her chocolate chip cookies!  The first I’ve had in months.  It was her birthday, too, that day so we gave her a mango that Hermana Catalina gave us, and left.  

The other was a friend of Diana Laura, but she asked if she could practice English with me; she speaks well!  Then my companion asked me to contact her in English and that was literally the weirdest thing. I don’t speak English anymore, haha but it was good and we will follow up on those. 

Another miracle happened; we were able to get into a less active member’s home. The husband actually served a mission here in Veracruz!  He has a little girl and she is really sick and they don’t know what it is.  In Mexico you go to the doctor, get your test done, and wait a week until they know what you have, then another week until they know what medicine will work best, etc.  It’s a long process.  We went into their home and sang, Count Your Many Blessings, and we shared D&C 121:7-8.  "My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes." He then asked if the elders would come give her a priesthood blessing.   It was amazing that he had the faith to ask for one! 

I’m working this week on my faith.  I’m identifying an attribute of Christ and applying it more in my daily works. I know that this will help me represent Him and help me find more opportunities and work as He would. Hopefully I am successful in this pursuit. 

I love and miss you all soooo much!  It’s crazy that we are already in JUNE! June will be an awesome month; we are excited for it. 

Con Amor,
Hermana Blankmeyer 
Elder Schrieners birthday! Chocolate cake with strawberries and just a fork to cut it. Yumm

my district 

Elder Hourigan, Elder Schriener, Hermana Guerra, Hermana Blankmeyer, Hermana DeFriez, Hermana Aretega