Monday, 26 November 2012

HAPPY BIRTHDAY IZAAC!!!! LINARES IS AWESOME. BRINGS BACK MEMORIES OF GOOD OL' TALCA - 19TH NOVEMBER 2012



Family! It's great to hear from you. I'm glad everyone's doing well! I'm loving my new sector. It's been a great experience so far and I've learned a ton.

Dad! Good question about favourite companion. That's a tough one!! I've got along with all my companions. I've had some difficulties with some but I got along with them always. I don't think I can pick just one. The companions I think I've been closest to are Elder Navarrete who's my dad and a current assistant, Elder Silva my son, Elder Chilcote who I "killed" and was only with for 3 weeks, and Elder Gómez. I got really close to them and had the best times in my mission with them I would say. I hope Joseph enjoys the rest of his mission. I know it can be really hard sometimes, but it's all about attitude and effort. The Lord blesses us for those things. that's crazy about Hurricane Sandy. My comp, Elder Cardinal, told me about how he's worried that because of wickedness a lot of the powerful nations in the world are going to be destroyed. The Book of Mormon cycle is just repeating itself. A humbled people has prosperity, gets prideful, ignores God's commandments and denies His existence, and He humbles them through destruction. It's sad, but it's happened so many times before. That's awesome about Kurt's talk. It's interesting that he talked about how the mission changed him. I've actually been thinking a lot about that this week. The mission is the most incredible experience ever. I love how as we help others to change, the Lord makes us into new people. About that article you sent me, I can't read it. I can't go on another website. Maybe you could sum it up for me or something? That's so sad about the conflict in the Middle East. How has the missionary work been going with you Dad? Love you!

Mum! Still not sure about Juana. I should find out next week in Leadership Council. It's interesting what you said. Pride comes into play as soon as competition does unfortunately. I'm glad Grandad was such a good missionary. I wanna be like him, sharing the gospel in every opportunity possible my whole life. Say to congrats to Shauna for me somehow! That's awesome about her going to Australia. I think I have a friend in that mission. Love you!!!

Michael! Juana is incredible. I hope she got baptized on Saturday!! Hahaha what time are you going to bed on average? Why do you get up so early? Nice work with the grades my friend. Remind me, what classes are you in? What will you be taking next semester? Sounds like a fun ward activity. BYU was such a blast. Is your Bishop a cool guy? I loved my bishop. His name was Bishop Brockbank, and his nephew's in this mission! With sharing the gospel, just don't worry about what the people say! Just treat it as something natural. It doesn't have to be forced. How goes your Preach My Gospel study by the way? Have fun on your Thanksgiving break!! Behave yourself! Love you!

Charly! I'm glad your liking seminary. Do Beaverbrook proud!! Nice job in the playoffs!! Dad sent me some pictures. Do you really like volleyball? I like it, but I'm not that good. After being in South America though, I love soccer tons and have gotten a little better haha. How did human fuseball work? When do you go on Christmas break this year? Love you Char!

Jake! Nice job in your soccer game. I think it's important that you have patience with the people you play soccer with. Not everyone is at the same level, so don't get upset when they aren't perfect. I hope Izaac liked his gifts!! Do you play with him a lot? Make sure he has an awesome day.


Family!! I can't believe Izaac's so old! I've been telling a bunch of people that he's turning 5 this week. A lot of people think it's pretty crazy how our family's so big. I'm so happy for him!! From the videos and pictures you've sent, he's grown a ton! I'm so happy for you Izaac! What gifts did you get?? What did you do? I can't believe how fast time goes.

This week has been great. It's been pretty crazy trying to adjust to a new sector and a new zone, but overall it's been a good experience. It's been cool to see some missionaries I know here in this zone. It was sad leaving my old sector, but it's a whole new adventure here. It reminds me a lot of Talca, where I was born. It's really hot here and there are way more catholics. In Coelemu and La Pradera in Chiguayante most people were Evangelicals. It makes things a little different. I had forgotten what it was like to get so many solid rejections in a day haha. It's nothing compared to other missions I know but it's interesting. Normally people make up excuses, but the number of door slammed in the face has gone up a little. It still doesn't happen very often but it happens more here than other parts. It's really hot here too.

A huge blessing though, is that we have bikes here. It's sweet. My bike is junk, but it's better than walking. My tire was flat when I got there.  Also, my brakes don't work. I've been using my feet to brake on the ground for the meantime til I get em fixed. I accidentally crashed into someone a few days ago cause I couldn't stop. Luckily, I haven't got hit by any cars yet hahaha. One day a bus was in front of us so I tried to stop the front tire using my foot, but my foot got stuck in wheel and broke a spoke. The bike stopped instantly though, so luckily, no harm done to me, just a sore toe.

Linares is a district with 3 branches. That means the Mission President is in charge of it. Each branch has 4 missionaries in it. When I say branch though, it's only a branch because this isn't a stake. The attendance this Sunday was 163 which is huge. My branch is Linares 2. The other branch is Linares 1, and the other one is a small town called Longaví. Remember when we did that big branch building program in Coelemu? It was based off the model of Longaví, a dead sector that got a new Branch President and future assistant that worked there and turned it around completely. Now it's growing and had about 70 attendance which is more than double from a year ago. The zone rocks.

I live with 3 other missionaries. Elder Nielson, Elder Cardinal, and Elder Abbott. The house is pretty sweet. I love it. There are some different styles of working here in this zone that I'm adjusting to, but with Elder Cardinal, my comp, we're trying to put our ideas together. I'm trying to get the zone to be more strictly 100% obedient. Elder Cardinal and Elder Navarrete had some great ideas that they did together to help the zone too which we will follow with like visiting the missionaries in their houses to animate and inspire them, and also by taking a set amount of time every day to discuss and make our zone plans. They were really focused on the zone's needs which I love.

Elder Cardinal is from Utah. Big surprise hahaha. The cool thing though is that by birth he is Russian! He was adopted when he was about 3. He's got 3 brothers and sisters. His family's loaded it seems like haha. I've learned a lot from him. He's got 3 cambios more than me in the mission. He's great at using his time wisely when we're out proselyting, and not wasting time with people who don't have sincere desires. I've learned a ton from him and I'm excited to be his companion. I think things are gonna go great!

This week we should have two baptisms. It's a married couple. Their names are Rodrigo and Estanka (croatian name). They are awesome. We could hardly see them this week cause they had visitors, and I was a little worried cause they need a lot of teaching still. We taught them on Sunday, and Estanka basically told us she didn't feel like she knew enough to get baptized. I was worried, partially because the zone goal is weighing on them, and also because I didn't know how their conversion has been. The ward mission leader taught with us though, and pulled at Acts 2 which was awesome. Peter is teaching a bunch of people and they feel something. They ask him what they should do, he tells them to get baptized, and three thousand get baptized that same day. Tons of knowledge isn't a requisite of baptism, just desires, feeling the message is true, and worthiness are required. Estanka changed her mind and seems really awesome. Also, the ward mission leader helped a ton to help them understand tithing. We also had a couple other people in church on Sunday who have a lot of potential. Evlavia (I don't know everyone has weird names here haha) is like 60 and can't read, but is already decided that she will attend every week! Victor, another guy, went to church off his own desires, and was taught by missionaries before but because of work stopped doing so.

Interesting stories this week. Someone had a seizure in church in the middle of sacrament meeting which was pretty scary, but luckily everything was ok. On Thursday, we went to lunch in a market where members pay for our food sometimes when they can't give us lunch in their house, there was a fire. One of the propane tanks in one of the kitchens lit on fire. People started running and screaming, there was someone jumping out a window, and several women were crying. In started and stopped in about 1 minute. It was pretty dramatic. Also, on Thursday we had to go to the Civil Registry for another missionary, and some snakes followed us and asked to take picture of us for a school project, but confessed it wasn't for that afterwards. We told them no. Pretty funny.

I'm so excited for these new opportunities to learn, grow, and serve. Being a missionary is the greatest thing ever. I love it!! I would love to stay here longer. I know the Lord will continue to bless us if we strive to be humble and as we strive to accept and do His will. I can't wait for this week. It's gonna be great. This zone is so awesome.

I love you all so much!!! Thanks for all you support, and once again, HAPPY BIRTHDAY IZAAC!!!!


RESPONSE TO MUM - 12TH NOVEMBER 2012


Just got your letter Mum! Being a missionary is a pretty unique experience. I'd hate for it to all just end when the 2 years run out though. I think the key will be applying what I learned in the mission in real life, keeping similar habits and stuff. I heard about the increase in missionary applications! Apparently in 6 months our mission's gonna have 50 missionaries more, half of them sisters. The age change was great!! Only 2 weeks in the MTC?? Even for foreign language speakers?? Jealous. Congrats for Caroline! Keep me updated for Grandad Steward and his hear problems. About facebook, I'll get back to you about that another day, I'm short on time! Love you Mum!


CAMBIOS - OFF TO LINARES - 12TH NOVEMBER 2012



Family! Thanks for writing me. I still haven't heard anything from Mum this week, and I got two of the same email from Dad. So today there's cambios. I found out I'm out of here unfortunately. I'm going to Linares, replacing my dad, Elder Navarrete, as a zone leader out there. He's actually gonna be an assistant!

Dad! That's a shame about the election, but oh well. Hopefully things don't go down the tubes! Did you read the First Presidency statement on it? It's super neutral. Love what you said about Canada though, I'm definitely glad to be Canadian. Everyone here automatically thinks I'm from the United States, but I correct them as much as I can hahaha. Sounds like a fun hunting trip. Too bad you didn't get anything though. That sounds like a great idea for a ward activity. That would be awesome! Did you see any results from the Luau? Did you always live with just your companion, or did you sometimes live with more? That's such a cool story about Joyce. It's sad to see when husbands a lot of the time impede their wives or children from being baptized and following the Saviour. This one little kid, Felipe, who's brother's a member and who's family lives with a member family, was gonna get baptized this upcoming weekend and his mum was all good but the dad didn't want him to. Quite a shame. How's Joyce doing now? Ross has long hair?? Say hi to him for me. I'd like to see a picture of that haha. I haven't heard from anyone else for a while, just the fam, but I also have to respond to a few letters. I struggle to find the time, since the only time we can write letters are on P-Days, and the time is really cramped, even when we get up earlier to get everything done. Thanks for the mission stories Dad, I loved em. Send me some more! Also, I loved the pictures and the video. Thanks!! Love ya!!!

Mum! I hope everything's going well seeing as I haven't heard from you. I feel pretty sad about the cambios but it still hasn't really hit me yet that I'm leaving. I'm gonna miss this sector and my comp a lot. Love ya!!

Michael! The laptop is still busted?? How long has it been now? Are they giving you a rental for free or what? That's ridiculous. I bet you had so much fun in Vegas. Did you take any pictures?? Send me some! What stuff did you say when you knocked doors? Haha you just needed a nametag and a Book of Mormon in your hand and you'd be as good as a missionary. I like that testimony experience. Hear it's pretty funny, cause the Bishop specifically says every fast Sunday before the testimonies that it isn't an opportunity to share stories and experiences, but pretty much everyone that gets up shares stories anyway. It's like that everywhere I think haha. I think mixing that with American patriotism would be quite the hoot hahaha. I hope you have a good Thanksgiving! Have fun my friend, but don't mess around too much. Make a better use of your time at BYU than I did! My comp is great, but now I'm getting a new one! I don't think I'll be comps with Elder Hague.

Charly! None of those teachers you mentioned were there when I was. I feel so old now hahaha. What book are you studying in Seminary?? How many scripture masteries do you have memorized right now? Motag is a blast. I wish I could have won haha. Charly!!! You can't use that as an excuse saying you think no one will come!! You know how many times I hear that as a missionary?? You gotta open your mouth and invite your friends!! Remember how my friend Patrick came to early morning seminary?? Try inviting someone and see what happens. Nice job acing your tests you genius. You're doinga great job it sounds like. Haha my hair is pretty blonde cause of all the sun. It's not really good though for a missionary in Latin America. Love you Char!

Jake! What was the cool trick you did while sledding? I forgot there's snow over there now. It's hot here so I can't even imagine there being snow haha. Sounds like you had a successful trick-or-treat raid. I loved doing that. Go on your mission when your 18. It'll be so much better. Love you Jake!

Family!! I'm bummed about cambios, but it still hasn't really hit me yet. I'm gonna miss La Pradera here in Chiguayante. It's such an awesome sector and such an awesome zone. I'm sad too cause Juana's getting baptized on Saturday and I'm not gonna be here! It's a shame, but I guess the Lord has other plans! I'm gonna really miss my companion Elder Gómez. We had such a blast together. We got along really well, had a lot of fun, and had some great spiritual moments together. He is very humble and positive. He's only been a member for three years and has had some serious difficulties in his family, but is one of the most dedicated missionaries I know. I'm grateful that I had the opportunity to serve and learn with him. We were very blessed.

This week, Chiguay, the sector that has been struggling the most in the zone, and has been struggling like that for a long time, long before I ever got to Chiguayante, is tearing things up!! We're really happy cause the President told us to focus on helping the weaker sectors as leaders, because be strengthening them we will strengthen the whole zone. They had an excellent week and I'm so happy for them.

Juana is just blowing my mind every day more and more. She's 68, lives alone with her dog, and always gets to church with hardly any supervision or encouragement on our part. She understands the gospel in such a plain and simple way, and as she learns about the commandments, she keeps them! For example, on Saturday we taught her tithing, and on Sunday she brought her tithing with her to church. She's so incredible!! A sister from church has also been a great help in fellowshipping her and helping her feel comfortable. She's so excited to help Juana all the time. We've seen the fruits of working with members with her. I'm that I won't see her get baptized, but tonight I'll get to say goodbye.

I feel like this cambio, the biggest thing I've learned is the importance of being converted to the Lord. I think so often as members of the church we easily talk about how we know that Jesus Christ is our Saviour and that the church is true and everything, but being converted to the gospel is so much more than just having a testimony of it. Conversion is when our actions go with our testimony. It is when our testimony spreads from our minds to our hearts and our very nature changes as children of God. Doing the right thing becomes a quest instead of a chore. I'm grateful that the Lord has given me an opportunity to change. I think everyone is at different stages of their own conversion, but the important thing is that we can keep moving forward and improving. Before my mission, I made a lot of mistakes. Even if they weren't very serious, I think just my general attitude and outlook wasn't what it should have been. I think that a lot of the time I obeyed, but maybe not out of heart. I feel like the biggest change I've had in my mission is how my desires have changed. I still have a heck of a lot to improve, but the conversion process is so incredible. I'm grateful for the atoning sacrifice of the Saviour. He allows us to change in spite of all our imperfections. I love serving Him and wouldn't change it for the world. I wish I could be a missionary forever.

I know this is the truth. I love this gospel. Jesus Christ is our Saviour. God is our Heavenly Father and He loves us. Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. This is the true church of Jesus Christ. The Book of Mormon is true. If anyone has any doubts about being a missionary, DO IT! There's seriously nothing better. No sacrifice isn't worth making.

Thanks for all your support and prayers. If anyone has sent me a letter or anything but I haven't responded yet, remind me to do so!

Love you all!

Elder Blomfield

WE HAVE A CELL PHONE AGAIN!! ALSO INTERVIEW WITH PRESIDENT - 5TH NOVEMBER 2012



Family! Thanks for writing!! You're the best.

Dad! Yeah it is pretty stressful at times with the weight of goals and everything. Sometimes the stress grows when the assistants call us and try and get us to baptize people quicker and everything. It can be stressful and everything, but the Lord has established the work in this way so we can understand the urgency of the message. That's so awesome about Mike and his family. I hope they all come back to church... Keep on top of them and don't give up!! I'm glad you had a fun Halloween. Congratulations to Becky on her daughter!! I've got another little cousin now woohoo!! I haven't heart anything about that storm Sandy, but a couple people told me about an earthquake in BC. Tell me about it! That's crazy. A bunch of people were checking to make sure the family's all good. Was there a lot of destruction?? I didn't know there could even be earthquakes in Canada. Dad, tell me some more mission stories!! Love you Dad, you're the best.

Mum! Thanks for just throwing that number in there. Rude. I loved the video! I showed it to my comp too haha. I'll try and attach some pictures today. I'm glad the activity went well!! That's a huge turnout!! An activity that size here with just the Relief Society would be ridiculous. I've heard a lot about Zumba. I never actually did it, but a bunch of friends at BYU did. I'm sure you did a great job with the activity. That's good everyone had a blast trick-or-treating. It's still not very big here. There are only a few kids that go out in the street to do it. Close to where we live it would be dangerous for little kids to be out too late. Get me a picture of Eva-Marie ASAP, and of Penny as well. I really admire Grandad's enthusiasm for sharing his testimony. I admire the people who can just share the gospel with anything without it worrying them or anything. Thanks Mum, I love you!

Michael! Didn't hear anything from you this week. I'm assuming your computer's still broken? There better be a good excuse hahaha. Are you back from Las Vegas? I hope you had fun with all your craziness over there. An English-Canadian campaining for Romney. Can't believe it. But who could turn that offer up when they pay for the hotel? Let me know how it went. Love you bro!

Charly! Motag started already??? Hahaha nice work. Too bad you're already dead hahaha. I loved motag. I got so into it but never won dang it. Who's your social teacher? Who are your other teachers? Are you memorizing scripture masteries and stuff? You should invite some friends to go to seminary with you and have a good missionary experience!!

Jake! That's awesome you're making so much money bro! Nice job saving up for your mission. Sounds like you're gonna be good to go in no time! Dude. Go on your mission when you're 18!! That would be way better. Where'd you go trick-or-treating? Any full-sized chocolate bars? That's awesome you're gonna be Deacon's quorum President. I know you'll do a great job. When I was, I didn't really understand what I had to do, but now I think I understand it a little bit more. You'll be responsible for the spiritual well-being of each member of your quorum, and will have to help those who aren't going to start going! I know you'll do a great job. Also, nice job practicing your hymns my friend. You'll use it on your mission. Love you Jake!


Family! This week was pretty sweet. We're seeing pretty good progress in a few of our investigators. Juana and Susana went to church this weekend, but Cecilia couldn't because she was traveling. Juana wasn't answering Sunday morning and we were worried she wasn't going to show up, but she did! She's great. We had a great week overall, but didn't see lots of progress in our newer investigators.

We've been making an emphasis in basing our teaching more in the scriptures and it's helping a ton! We're feeling the Spirit a lot more in the lessons, and we're teaching with more power. It's difficult for someone to disagree when they see it written in the scriptures, and when we bear testimony on top of that, people feel the need to act according to what we teach. It'll be easier to discern between those who have real intentions to change their lives and those who still aren't prepared. I want to deepen my understanding of the scriptures and be able to use them more effectively. Before my mission, I always read the scriptures, but I think I lacked really studying them. The more I've been able to really study them, the more I've come to love them. The truths that are taught in them are so incredible. It's really such a huge blessing that the Lord has given us His word to help us learn and progress. It's interesting how the Lord considered the Book of Mormon so important that he went through all the trouble to have it written, hidden, found, translated, and spread around the world. The prophets of the Book of Mormon considered it so important as well. I've been studying about the importance of the Book of Mormon this week, and it really is a miracle.

Close to the beginning of the week, we did a minicambio with Chiguay, one of the sectors that has been struggling. Elder Gómez brought in Elder Fitzugh, a really young missionary, and I went there with Elder Ferguson, who's also a pretty young missionary. It's a tough sector, and they've been struggling, so we wanted to help them, especially in learning how to find new investigators. We prayed and planned for the minicambio and it turned out great. We learned a lot about how to effectively find new investigators using the maps the mission has given us and planning more effectively, by talking with everyone, and also by working with members to get refererrals. It was an awesome experience. They tore things up afterwards and found a bunch of people. They're progressing a lot which makes me really happy.

This week we also had interviews with President which was really awesome. They're always short, but it's nice to have a chat with President. He's awesome.

So we finally managed to visit Catherine and Francisco, who are both now working until really late at night, to try and see what was up. I've actually been really sad about them... They have testimonies, but are struggling right now. We found out that Francisco has started getting together with his old friends and drinking again. Catherine has been pretty distraught about it and they've been having some fights. She wants to go to church really bad, but Francisco's being kind of an impediment. We visited them on Saturday night, and Francisco expressed how he felt repentant and wanted to keep going to church but was struggling. He expressed that he's struggling to leave his old life behind. Although I was really sad, it made me a little happier to know that they've still got desires and everything. They committed to go to church the next day, but unfortunately, didn't show up. I really don't know what else to do. I love them so much and I want them to be happy but it's pretty heart-breaking to see them without these blessings. Please keep praying for them.

This is the last week of the cambio which is nuts. It's gone by so fast. It makes me sad thinking about how short the time really is, but although I know I can do a lot better, I feel like I've progressed a lot in the time I've been on my mission. There's no experience like it. If I could, I would extend it for another 2 years easily. I love how the Lord works. He gives us the opportunity to serve Him in His work for 2 years, and in the process molds and shapes us into new people. He's got a really good system at helping His children. In spite of all the difficulties we face, the blessings are always greater. I love Him. I love learning about Him and getting to know Him more. I one day hope to be able to see Him and be in His presence. I'm so grateful for what He's done in my life. His atonement has real power. I'm grateful that He's seen fit to give me the knowledge of the restored gospel. I'm so thankful that He gave me such a great family that has always been there as a support and has always shown love.

I wouldn't give up these 2 years for anything. I love being here. This is the Lord's work!! He directs it. I know the Lord will continue to bless us.

I love you so much family!! Keep being awesome and keep sharing the gospel.

Chao

Elder Blomfield

P.S. We got a cell phone again! Also, the guy who we thought stole ours, also robbed his own mother a few days ago. Suspect confirmed.