Friday, 17 May 2013

13TH MAY 2013 - HAPPY MOTHERS DAY



Family! Thanks for writing.

Dad! The time did go by really quick. That happens all the time. It's funny cause it's just like a normal conversation and before you know it it's over. Sounds like your trip was tons of fun. The weather's pretty warm over there it sounds like. It is pretty weird knowing it'll have been 4 years without seeing Michael. It's weird talking to the family cause it seems like even though a few things have changed, everything's still the same. Thanks for writing. Love ya Dad!

Mum! That would be sweet to come meet my converts down here. You should come pick me up! Haha. I'm glad you've been able to share the gospel this week. We did something sweet this week when we went out with a member who is a mailman and just contacted the people he knew. It was interesting cause he did it without fear and the people we visited were really receptive. I think sometimes members of the church are a little scared to take the next step of inviting their friends to share with the missionaries or something, but normally doing that doesn't bug them at all and often times they're receptive. What kind of stuff does it talk about in that book? Love you Mum!

Mike! I didn't get anything from you so I'm kind of offended haha. I'm stoked for you going through the temple this week. That's gonna be such a sweet experience. You'll have to tell me all about it. Love you bro.

Charly! I hope you do well on your exam! I always hated the written part more than anything. It was always so stressful to get it done, but I'm sure you'll do a great job. Hahaha you're so trunky. Tell me about how you felt during your Patriarchal Blessing! Love you Char! Thanks for writing!

Jake! Why don't you think your bike will hold out for much longer? That bike sounds pretty expensive that you're saving up for. At least this reffing job is paying out. Have you thought about starting to work at the car wash? That would be great haha. I guess you still have to wait a couple years for that. That robotics stuff sounds pretty sweet. You'll have to show me how it works. Love you Jake!


Family! It was so great hearing from you yesterday. It came and went so fast before I even knew it. Everyone's so grown up! It's crazy. I also can't believe Michael's leaving in just a few weeks. I feel old haha. I'm so excited for him though. I'm excited to be able to speak Spanish with him. How's the whole family feeling about Michael leaving?

So this week was pretty sweet in some ways. We did a companionship exchange and I got to work with Elder Sáenz, one of our district leaders. It was pretty sweet. He's from Ecuador, and was born in La Florida just when I left to go to Coelemu, so he knows my converts there and stuff. He's a really great leader and great at being the owner of his district.

Also, we had a study with the Tomé Zone Leaders and the Assistants. We learned about the importance of focusing on the people and not just simply the numbers in our verification with our missionaries, and on trying to be more simple but intense with our focuses as a zone. What I got out of it is that often we spread ourselves thin focusing on so many things in the zone, when we should really be trying to just focus on a few main points to reach our potential and overcome difficulties. The church always does that too, as each month or year there are certain focuses in the different programs. It was something so simple but I learned a lot. We're going to focus more on the basics with the missionaries, and try to convert them more the the mission's focuses instead of just explaining them and verifying them.

We've had some pretty big struggles as some of the sisters in the zone are having problems. Some are really discouraged, while others are having major problems with obedience. It's quite a handful, but it definitely helps us learn patience and how to deal with problems. It would be easy to just freak out and not care but we have to try and treat each situation carefully. It's not just enough to correct bad behaviour, but rather to help them not want to keep committing the same mistakes. It's probably pretty close to parenting as I said on Skype.

Vilma threw a whole bunch of seventh-day Sabbath day stuff at us this week which was a little frustrating. She's really smart which sometimes impedes her humility. She accepts that it's ok that we go to church on Sunday and celebrate the Lord's day and everything, but says that that never changed or got rid of the Sabbath day being on Saturday. It's kind of a chore, cause she's letting that stop her progress. If you have any answers for that it would be great. I know the scriptures in the Bible saying that the apostles met together on Sunday and stuff, but I'm trying to look for some modern prophet quote or something that specifically states why it's on Sunday now. I know we obviously accept it with the basis of modern revelation which can be based on the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, but I'm just looking for a clearer answer to give them. If you could find something it would be great. The funny thing is, yesterday at lunch the same thing came up with some adventist family members of some members we were eating with.

The Book of Mormon is the greatest book ever. I love reading it. Yesterday we visited an investigator and read some of it with her cause she didn't read what we left her, and I felt the Spirit just softly testify that it was true. I felt peace in my heart and knew that it is from God. It's so great. At times I wish I could read it for hours each day, but that would take away all my other time from teaching!

Anyway we need some miracles here to get things moving. Unfortunately, a bunch of our investigators were sick or had mothers day commitments and didn't come to church. It was quite frustrating. Also, we really struggled to find a lot of new investigators this week. We've made more plans and we're excited for this upcoming week, but we need some serious help. I know the Lord can help us, cause He always does.

I'm so grateful for being a missionary. It's the greatest experience ever. I know the church is true. Among all the religious confusion that exists nowadays, I'm so grateful that the Lord has restored His gospel upon the earth to give us more clarity and peace. I love preaching the gospel. Even in the toughest moments, I still love being able so say, "I know this is true."

I love you so much family. You're the greatest! Seriously my family is the best one. Thanks for all your love and support. Keep sharing the gospel, and invite someone to share with the missionaries! You've got nothing to lose.

Love you!

Elder Blomfield


P.S. I forgot my camera at home so can't send any pictures. I'll try next week!


6TH MAY 2013 - SEEING SOME MIRACLES



Family! Thanks for writing this week.

Dad! Thanks for your letter. Sometimes it's stressful taking the responsibility for a zone but it's a great learning opportunity. It's helped me learn a lot about serving others. There are always things to improve. Those pictures are pretty crazy. Looks like the fire burned a lot! Good thing there wasn't any damage done to anyones homes or anything. How did it start? Hopefully fugitive goes well. That activity is so much fun. I loved doing it. It's crazy how everyone's leaving on missions. The world is gonna be completely different when I get home. I'm excited that Michael will get to go through the temple soon. That's gonna be awesome. I hope you have fun skiing. With the mother's day call we get an hour and a half. I'll be finished lunch at like 3:30ish here then I'll be able to call hopefully right away. We still have to figure out where we're gonna do it. Love ya!

Mum! Kenna's letters are pretty funny. I'm surprised how well she can express herself! That's terrible about Kenna getting head lice... I bet that was a nightmare. I can relate a little cause we've got fleas here. I'm sick of flea bites. That's great that Charly got her patriarchal blessing! I remember when I got mine. It was one of the most spiritual moments of my life. I'm also glad Jake's doing so well. Haha what's on this shrine on the wall?? Nice work sharing the gospel!! That would be sweet if that Jamaican guy came haha. By the way, thanks for the package! I got it. The chocolate was delicious. We're 4 in our house so it didn't last very long. The tie's great too. Thanks! Love ya Mum.

Michael! The temple is going to be great. Seriously there's nothing that compares to it. I wish there was a temple in my mission! You're gonna love it. It's really interesting and I still want to know more about the symbolism and stuff cause there's a lot to learn that I don't understand yet. You're going to grad, Nice! Who asked you the first year? I forgot. It's gonna be great my friend. Love ya!

Charly! Still haven't heard from you. I hope you're doing well! Tell me about your experience with your patriarchal blessing! Isn't it awesome? Love ya!

Jake! Sounds like you have fun biking. How does your bike hold out? I hope things go well with your track and field tryouts. I'm sure you'll do great as always. How did you make that lego gun and the other stuff?? How does that all work? Sounds like robotics is a pretty sweet class. Nice job saving up your money for your mission. How do you like your reffing job? Love ya!

Kenna! Hahaha I'm not coming home yet Kenna! I've got too much to do haha. That's crazy you lost your tooth! You're getting so old. How do you know the tooth fairy's name is Anabelle? My mission is great. You should go on a mission. It's the best thing ever. I heard about the fire. Sounds like it was crazy! Sorry Kenna, I already decided to stay! Love ya.


Family! So this week we saw some progress and some miracles. It was overall pretty good at least for us in our sector, although there's still a lot of room for improvement. We had a zone conference on Thursday which was great. It gave us all a really good vision of how to work more effectively and I felt the Spirit really strong.

In our mission, working with members hasn't really been a strong culture and it's something that we as a whole don't do all that well. Most of our baptisms come from tracting and not from refererrals. We're trying to change that around now, as we're focusing more on contacting references and working with the members. We learned about the importance of helping the members feel the Spirit and the power of our message and then inviting them to share the gospel with their friends and following up with their referrals. I think if we can establish that culture in the mission then we'll see a lot more success.

We also are focusing more on the Book of Mormon. The mission as a whole started reading it this week. The goal is to finish it before the end of June. I love reading it. It's so good. I feel the Spirit so strong and I learn so much from it every day. I wish I could read it all day sometimes. I've also come to the conclusion that what we need to do to reactivate less actives is to read the Book of Mormon. Many of the less actives we teach have testimonies but don't remember them, and some of them didn't get baptized for the right reasons, but as they read the Book of Mormon they'll receive the spiritual strength necessary to come back to church. The Area Presidency asked the Mission Presidents to focus more on the Book of Mormon, and said that it will help people break bad traditions and bad habits.

Another thing, on Sunday at church, I was helping the primary with a musical presentation they're doing, and suddenly I looked out the door and saw the Torres family in the hallway. It was crazy. I was SO stoked. They drove over from Chiguayante after sacrament meeting to come looking for me and went to a bunch of churches before they found me. It was AWESOME! They had just gone to the temple the day before for the first time, not to be sealed yet, but to do baptisms. It was GREAT! I was so happy to see them. Hector, the dad, now has a calling as a teacher for the Elders Quorum class and is progressing to receive the Melquezidek Priesthood. They also told me that next temple trip they are gonna go and get sealed as a family. I'm sooo happy for them. I couldn't even express how happy I was. To top it all off, they brought me a chocolate bar. They rock. I'm so grateful I was allowed to be the missionary that taught them in that moment in their lives. They are so incredible.

Vilma has been sick this week and we haven't even been able to see her unfortunately. She's been bedridden and couldn't go to church. We're hoping and praying to see her this week and help her progress.

This week we also saw a bunch of miracles as we found a bunch of families. We're working with the list of members and as we've done so we've been able to find a bunch of part-member families and other families as we've asked they neighbours for them. On Saturday we found a family, and the mother and the daughter went to church on Sunday. Unfortunately, the daughter had a bad experience with someone there who got baptized a few months ago, cause apparently he had bullied her before or something, and she left. Hopefully we can fix that... We also found someone who's a really good investigator. She lives with her mother, and has 2 kids with one on the way. She wants to get baptized and has kept her commitments really well. I'm really excited! 

Anyway, Heavenly Father answered a lot of our fasting and prayers this week. I hope we can see more miracles this upcoming week, as the zone still needs a lot of help. Please pray for us! We've got a lot of work to do.

Thanks for being the best family ever. I love you all! Keep sharing the gospel and I'll talk to you next week.

Love ya!

Elder Blomfield




29TH APRIL 2013 - SEEING SOME PROGRESS



Family! Thanks for writing. I bet it's so weird for Michael being back home, especially since he's leaving for his mission so soon. Can't believe it.

Dad! Sounds like you've had your fair share of driving. How does it feel with almost a second son on the mission? I know you didn't want me to extend my mission, but I couldn't reject such an opportunity. There are people who need the gospel and that's two months more to help them. That's crazy about the fires! Thank goodness they got put out. It reminded me of President Monson's story at general conference. Love ya Dad, thanks for understanding the extension.

Mum! I know it'll be sad not being with the family for very long, but I still think it's the best decision. Hahaha when I told Michael it's rough going home I meant that it's rough adjusting back to normal life after being away from home so long. They're doing a grade 9 grad?? That's cool. Nice job being a missionary Mum and talking about the church with that other mum from Izaac's class. Anyway, thanks for understanding about the extension. It'll be worth it! Love ya Mum!

Michael! Another 4.0? Nicely done my friend. You are a champ. Sounds like you had fun camping haha. I remember what it's like saying bye to friends at school. It's sad cause then afterwards everyone kind of goes there ways, going on missions and then pursuing their lives, but you'll maintain contact with some of them. You're probably see some of your friends in the MTC! Being a missionary is the best. I love it! There has nothing that has ever made me so happy and brought so much out of me. It's gonna do the same for you. It's gonna be tough not being able to see you for 4 years, but you're gonna be a great missionary. I love you Mike.

Charly! I haven't heard from you, but I hope you enjoyed going to Utah! Good job with your dress-shopping stuff. You're awesome. Love ya!

Jake! Didn't hear from you either, I imagine it was a little tough being out of town. Hopefully everything's going well! Love ya!


Anyway, thanks for understanding about the extension. Thinking about it made me really sad in some ways knowing that I won't see Michael and knowing that I'll be with the family with so little time. Especially today realizing that Michael is leaving so soon and that the time with the family will be so short after the mission, I've felt sad about it. It's not an easy decision to be made, but I can't give up the opportunity to preach the gospel for 2 months more. It's gonna be a great experience, and people are still waiting to hear this message.

I received some miraculous news today. I got a letter from some converts from Chiguayante. The Torres family is doing great. Yarelee, the daughter, got set apart to be the second counselor in the Young Womens, and is preparing to be a missionary. They're preparing to go to the temple as well. Also, I got a letter from Francisco and Catherine, a couple that got baptized that went inactive. I felt so much sadness when they went inactive. Anyway, I found out they moved out of Chiguayante, so no longer have contact with the missionaries there. Here's the good news. They live in Talcahuano, which is where I'm probably going when I extend my mission. I hope by some miracle they'll be in my ward boundaries.

Anyway, today we had Mission Leader Counsel (no longer Zone Leader Counsel), with 6 of the leader sister missionaries. It was weird hahaha but it'll help the mission a lot. It was a really intense counsel. In Penco, all the people we had to get baptized in the month fell. We went all over the place visiting all the sectors trying to save those who we could, but no one got baptized at all. It was a complete failure in that aspect. Elder Carter and I felt horrible knowing how that responsibility was ours. I got there part-way through the month, but I still felt so bad knowing that we failed. Anyway, the mission did rough as a whole. President came down really hard on us, and it was pretty intense. I feel really repentant, and I'm glad he was so blunt with us. We needed a wake up call. As always though, he really lifted us up and animated us as we left. We felt the Spirit a lot. President Humphrey is really great. I'm way more motivated to be an example and to be completely dedicated to the work.

This week I've been studying in Mosiah in the chapters about king Noah, Abinadi, and King Limhi. As I've read, I've come to understand both the positive and negative effects a leader can have on his people. We can either guide or misguide our missionaries. Also, people will either rise or fall to our expectations and example. I love the Book of Mormon. I've been able to feel its power this week as I've read. I love the Restored Gospel.

Elder Carter and I have made some plans to really get things going in the zone. We're going to focus on our example as leaders. One of the things we're going to do that came to mind, was committing ourselves to doing the little things that will increase our dedication and spirituality, such as making sure our bed is always made and keeping our conversations dedicated to the work. We feel that if we can set the example in the small things, we'll be able to invite the missionaries to do the same, and we'll see increased spirituality, dedication, and success.

Anyway, I hope everyone is doing well. I love you all a lot and I want you to all be happy! The gospel is the greatest thing ever. Imagine where we would be without it. I'm so grateful for the Restoration of the Gospel. I know this is the truth.

I love you all so much!

Elder Blomfield

22ND APRIL 2013 - HECTIC WEEK



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

Dad! Was the trip to Victoria kind of last minute? Sounds nice there! I'd like to go one day. Hahaha working with the sisters is way different, but we're seeing some progress which is great. That's crazy about the new Bishopric! It'll be weird coming home with all different ward and stake leaders. I hope the trip to pick up Michael goes well! Why does Charly need a prom dress?? Are they doing a prom at Wilma Hansen or something? Love ya!

Mum! Things are going better but we're still struggling a lot. The sisters are progressing haha. We joke around saying that President's making a mistake and making us never want to get married after having to work with so many sisters hahaha. Things are going well though. Most of them are really willing to learn, and they're really new. We heard about the explosions in the States. That's so sad. I'm glad you enjoyed your race! Would you do it again? I'm glad the family's doing well. Love ya Mum!

Michael! We can't do splits with the sisters you wollybasher! We have to just accompany them to their visits and help them learn, as well as take time during the week to do studies and practices as a zone. It's helping a lot, but there's still a lot to do. Didn't you take Book of Mormon both semesters? I thought you had to take that. How's New Testament been? I hope you do well on your finals! I'll pray for you. I'm sure you'll do a great job. Hahaha there aren't gonna be any pre-mission freshmen at BYU anymore. It's rough going home, but you'll get used to it. The weirdest thing is trying to pick up where you left off when you left for BYU. I can only imagine it'll be way worse coming home from the mission... Not looking forward to it. Anyway, keep your chin up. Keep reading and praying and preparing for the mission! Love ya!

Charly! I didn't hear from you this week. I hope everything's going well! You enjoying school? How bout Seminary? Love ya!

Jake! You saw 11 deer? That's a lot for that little area you biked around. Where do you take the bike to go off jumps. After being on a bike so much in Linares, part of me would like to get more involved in that later. Nice job saving up your money. You're saving up for your mission too, right? Love ya Jake!


So I've got some news. I've decided to extend my mission to August 12. I thought I was gonna have more time to make my decision, but the Assistants called me last Monday and said they needed to know by the next day. I prayed about it and decided to stay. The supposed plan is to stick me in Talcahuano for the 8 week cambio to try and establish the Concepción culture there since Talcahuano will now be part of our mission. Beforehand when I asked to extend I saw it like more of an option, but now they asked if I could stay for that long. I feel that responsibility and that the Lord needs me to still help people there. I know you're probably not going to be very happy about it but that's the decision I made. Many missionaries would kill for an opportunity like that, and I feel like the Lord's given me that opportunity. I know it pretty much kills any chance of me seeing Michael before he leaves too, and it wasn't an easy decision, but I think this is the best decision. Tell me your thoughts on it though. I love you all a ton!

Anyway, the week has been pretty crazy. We've had a lot of struggles in the zone as a lot of the investigators the missionaries had had big difficulties, and most of them stopped progressing. We've been going all over the place trying to meet as many of them as we can. It's tough with sister missionaries, cause we've had to drop our sector and go with them to meet their investigators and teach with them. It's been a bit of a struggle, and it isn't ideal, cause a lot of the time we're having to almost intervene and do things for the missionaries. They're so new that a lot of them don't know exactly what to do. We've been feeling a bit stressed this week and my companion has especially cause he feels the responsibility of the zone, seeing as he's been here for a while. Also, the other Elders and sisters are feeling stressed. It's definitely a huge learning opportunity.

We go to district class every week and because of our situation, have extra time at the end to practice teaching with the zone. Also, at least one companion from each of the sister companionship is still in her first 12 weeks of the mission, and they do a special training program for that. We've been going over that with them on Thursdays and training them on how to prepare people for baptism. We gave them some teaching calendars and stuff to help them plan too. It's quite the task, but we're seeing some progress. The thing that's difficult, is that no amount of us teaching can replace experience. It's difficult for us to teach them everything they need to do and apply in just a couple classes a week. We obviously can't do exchanges with them either so that makes it more difficult as well. We're striving to be patient and help them learn. With missionaries with more time, and especially with Elders, we can be more blunt, and can also do exchanges to show them how to work effectively, but it's tougher in this situation. Anyway, we are very grateful though for the progress we have seen. We've sacrificed a lot of time in our sector, but have some sweet plans for this week. Also, there's a new missionary training conference which will help all the newbies in the zone. Another thing the church has come out with will help a lot too. There are now sister training leaders that can do exchanges and training meetings with the sisters. That will be a huge help for us.

Vilma has been progressing a bit, but it is really hard to teach her. She's got deep evangelical roots. She doesn't go to church, but has a lot of those kind of beliefs and ideas. She also knows the Bible inside and out and sometimes has a ton of questions. When we teach her sometimes we struggle to keep in control of the lesson without throwing her questions aside. All the aside though, she's still progressing. She's reading the Book of Mormon a lot, and we've just been bold in telling her that she needs to simply read and pray about the Book of Mormon to answer her questions and doubts. We're going to teach her about humility this week in helping her receive an answer. She needs to be willing to put aside all her previous beliefs and knowledge to accept what the Spirit tells her. I think she feels it's true though, cause she shows sincere desires when we teach her. She isn't just there to fight with us or anything. Keep praying for her! She'll be a great Gospel Principles teacher when she gets baptized.

This week Elder Sáenz, one of the Elders who lives with us, told me at 9 in the morning on Sunday that I had a talk hahaha. I somehow managed to pull it together and speak for about 15 minutes. It's pretty funny though, cause at the beginning of my mission, that would have been impossible.

Anyway, I love you all a ton!! I know this is the truth! Trials make us stronger. I'm glad for these trials and difficulties we're seeing in the zone, cause if it wasn't for that, we would grow. I'm also grateful for my previous trials and difficulties, cause they've prepared me to take on bigger challenges. Keep praying for us out here!

I know the church is true. Jesus Christ is our Saviour and this is His church. Joseph Smith really was a prophet, and the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I know it!

I love you all! Keep sharing the gospel!

Elder Blomfield