Monday, December 29, 2014

2015!

Happy New Year this week everyone!

Y'all should look up the Mormon Message "Look Not Behind Thee" if you haven't seen it. One of my favorites!

Christmas wasn't anything too different or miraculous, but it was a good day! We managed to keep pretty busy despite the fact that most people don't want to spend time with the missionaries over the holidays.

Exciting story! We have a new investigator, her name is Kathy. She's a little older (maybe 60s) and was a referral from her nonmember brother who we met while he was raking leaves one day. We met with her once and got to hear her religious background. She has a super solid faith in Jesus Christ but has never been convinced of any of the churches she has attended being 100% true. On Saturday, while I was on exchanges with Sister Hobbs, we went and taught her the Restoration. The Spirit was SO strong and she even told us that she believed that Joseph Smith really did have the First Vision. She accepted a Book of Mormon and told us she would read. We see a lot of potential even though there is no baptismal date yet. Towards the end of the lesson she said, "Hey, my sister in law says people feed you? Can I make dinner for you some time next week?" So now next time we see her she's going to give us dinner too! That's always a good sign :)

We're going to have mini-mission!! As in one of the laurels from our YW is coming to live with us for a day and a half! We're picking her up in a couple hours. I'm so excited!! We invited all the laurels from both wards to think about it and let us know if they want to serve a mini mission.

Wow time flies and I'm super tired today so my brain wasn't turned on enough for me to have much to say. I'm sure I'll have lots of stories next week with our Mission Unity Day and MLC this week!

Love y'all!

Hermana Blackford

 

Monday, December 22, 2014

Feliz Navidad!

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!!

I can't believe it's that time of year again! It seems not too long ago and I was sitting in Nogales writing my last Christmas email. But...here we are. Last phone call home of my mission! *gulp*

The whole Skype thing is we aren't supposed to use members computers BUT it would cost the church a lot of money for the missionaries to call family outside the US, which is why they get the exception. I don't know it makes sense to me though. Either way it is what it is.

I got the box from Mom and Gma. Wilhoit! Thanks so much. I will open them on Thursday!!

KIERA WHAT ARE YOU DOING? Poor kid. I can't believe she fractured her wrist. Hopefully it heals up soon. She'll find plenty of things to do in the mean time. Left or right wrist?

We had a busy busy week as always. Transfers are a little crazy and taking over an area is tough too because your companion has no idea where anything is or who anybody is. But Sis. McNally is picking it up pretty fast! 

Matt didn't make it to church this week because he got called into work, but there was one night he stayed up until 2 in the morning reading the Book of Mormon! He really likes it and is trying to get his girlfriend interested too.

We've got lessons on Christmas Eve - yay! Christmas Day we have a few lessons, breakfast, dinner, and we're looking for more people to visit. Turns out most people don't want the missionaries to come on Christmas. What the heck!? We just want to share a cool Christmas message for like 20 minutes. What better way to feel the Spirit on Christmas? But hey...that's all good. We'll find something productive to do. Y'all know me I can't sit still.

This morning we went on a hike up to a waterfall with our zone and did personal study up there. So cool! I love little pday adventures like that.

Well...I'm keeping this short so that I have stories for you on Christmas! And pictures to come next week!

Love,

Hermana Blackford

 

 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Transfer Time!!

Hey y'all!

I did have transfers, and since Sister Munn is going home it's no surprise I got a new companion!! Her name is Sister McNally, and she is from Salt Lake. Been out about 8 months, and I'd never met her until about 6:50 this morning. Woot woot! I will miss Sister Munn SO much!!! She was such an incredible companion. We never fought or anything. We never even had a bad day!! All good, all the time. Now let's hope I can make it that way with Sister McNally too!

SO the catch is she is NOT a sister training leader. The STLs used to be in companionships always, but with the declining number of sisters that is no longer the case. I'm what they call a "solo STL" which means my companion isn't an STL and I will only have 2-3 companionships instead of 5-6. I'm a little nervous!

Being STL does not mean I will be English. I'll probably go be an STL in the Spanish zone after this transfer. Leadership just means it's more probable that you will be switched between languanges (for those that speak Spanish).

Miracle of the week: Matt!!

Last Sunday (as in over a week ago), we'd had an appointment in the morning with some investigators, and they totally ditched. Pretty sure that was their way of dropping us. We were bummed, but their neighbor Matt was standing outside and we talked to him for a few minutes. We set up an appointment for Wednesday to see him, and oh boy am I glad we did! We taught him the Restoration and set a baptismal date for January 10th!! We've seen him a few times since, he came to sacrament meeting (is super shy so wasn't ready to come to classes yet) and has started reading the Book of Mormon! He recently moved here from Texas and has a pretty thick accent. When we leave commitments or set return appointments he always responds, "Yes ma'am." I love it!! All from our appointment falling through. More stories on him to come.

Hey sorry to break the news...but I won't be Skyping this time. Unless your parents live outside the country, it's a phone call. 30-40 minutes and that's it. President Passey is a very by-the-books kind of guy (and I'm very grateful he is, our mission needs that), and that's what the handbook says. So...I'll call you on Christmas!

Sorry for the short email but transfer day is a little hectic.

Love y'all!

Hermana Blackford

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Tucson Trip #1!!

Hey everyone!!

So this week was probably one of the craziest of my mission yet - and it wasn't even because it was busy lesson wise. Here's the lay out of my week:

Monday: P-day! Woohoo. We didn't really do anything, just kinda chilled.

Tuesday: MLC! That means we were up early and headed into to Tucson. It was super awesome and I definitely will love that part of being an hermana capacitacidora! I got to see some of my mission buddies and....drum roll please...SISTER SUTHERLAND!!! There was happy dancing and hugging going on for a solid 5 minutes. I hadn't seen her in around 8 months. BUT then, after MLC, I went with her, and her companion Hermana Gregory, in a trio! It was so fun to talk all day in Spanish and teach in Spanish and be with Mexicans again! I felt so at home(: And they are both awesome hermanas so it was just all around good. We laughed so hard and talked nonstop.  (:

Wednesday: First thing in the morning was ultimate frisbee with some of the elders for our morning workout, then Spanish Conference! All the Spanish missionaries came to Tucson and we had a language and culture training day! It was so fun. I definitely realized my Spanish is not as good as it was while I was in Deming, but that's okay! It will get better...eventually. I did have somebody the other day ask me if I was a native speaker! #almostmexican

That afternoon I met up with Sister Munn again (she stayed with some other sisters) and we drove back to Saint David, grabbed some food, taught a couple lessons, and the drove out to Tombstone to meet the Sierra Vista sisters. I went to Sierra Vista, which means I spent all of 3 hours in my area from Tuesday until Friday!

Thursday: Sierra Vista with Sis. Walter! She is AWESOME. She's a newer missionary, but she is incredible. We had so much fun together and I always enjoy seeing other areas in the mission to get new ideas for my own. And we had a cool experience tracting where I talked to this black lady who was putting her screaming baby into a car and she was totally cool with the sisters going by the next day! That never seems to happen. I really think people are nicer because Christmas is coming.

Friday: Planning. Which means staying in for a few extra hours, which means I get a little hyper and easily distracted. But it's important.

Saturday: Tri-ward Christmas nativity! We were there for like 5.5 hours talking to people. Not as successful with the turnout as hoped for, but it was a great program and the Spirit was really strong! I was also kinda sick that day which made it tough, but that's alright. I'm all better now anyway.

Sunday: The usual church (minus the morning meetings), and we had a few less actives and an investigator come. We also got to teach Young Womens because it was on the hastening of the work. I loved it. Classic youth at first where you ask a question and everyone stares blankly back at you, but eventually they got talking and we had a great discussion.
Whew! That was like a marathon. I was (am?) super exhausted but that's all good.

This is Sister Munn's last week! We're ready to tear it up. We booked ourselves solid and are ready to run her into the ground before she goes home.

And yes that means emailing on Tuesday next week.

Love y'all!

Hermana Blackford

 

Monday, December 1, 2014

December = Christmas is Coming!

Hey!!

So this week was a weird week with the holiday and lots of people not wanting to meet and/or being out of town, but we were still super busy.

On Thanksgiving morning we went to go help a less active guy (his wife is pretty active but he basically never comes and we met with him Tuesday - the first time he met with the missionaries in like years) move tarps and pick up pecans after they shook the trees!! It was so fun. We are always asking to do service and most people won't let us, so it was nice that we finally got to do some! Plus...guess who came to church!!! That's right. He came. Coincidence? Nope. Service softens hearts!!

We had the Didions at the Merrills for like a week (Sis. Didion is their daughter) and it was SO FUN! It was like having little cousins around! Slightly loud/distracting during study time, but we loved it. They have 5 kids - a couple teenagers, a couple kinda in the middle, and the littlest was 2. Needless to say it was endless entertainment for us. Breakfast, lunch, and when we got home at night we always chatted with them.

Tuesday was INSANE. WE had appointments scheduled super tight all day, and by the time we got home we just crashed. It was awesome though!

Cool little miracle: so last p-day we were out shopping and a member texts and says her friend (who she's been working with for some time) wants to takes the lessons! That was one of our Tuesday lessons. Her name is Vikki, and to say the least, she is a GEM! Unfortunately lives outside our wards' boundaries, so this week we are passing her off to the other sisters. But here's the catch! The reason that Vikki agreed to take the lessons? We had met Vikki 2 weeks before while out to lunch after district meeting! We'd had a good chat with her. And so the member was like, "Well...now that you know the sisters would you like to meet with them?" And she said yes(: It was perfect!

Thanksgiving was good! Only 3 lunches/dinners...thankfully! Nothing too exciting or new on the food front. Just traditional white, American Thanksgiving!

This week we have a CRAZY schedule. Tomorrow is MLC so we'll drive up to Tucson first thing in the morning. After MLC I'm going to be in a temporary trio with Hna. Sutherland and her companion for the rest of the day while Sis. Munn goes with another companionship of English sisters because Wednesday we have a Spanish conference! After that I'll meet up with Sis. Munn, we'll go to a couple appointments in Saint David, and then go meet the Sierra Vista sisters because all day Thursday I'll be on exchanges out there! So I won't see too much of Saint David this week :(

Anyway, the clock is ticking amigos and I have to go, but I love and miss you!

Hermana Blackford

 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Happy Dia de Pavo!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

The plans this Thanksgiving are pretty awesome. We have a couple dinners/lunches we're headed to (hopefully 1 with an investigator and another with a less active family) and we had looked for service projects, but since we didn't find any we decided we're going to make cookies and swing by as many of our less active families as we can to drop off cookies and meet all the people we don't know! It should be a lot of fun.

I live with the mailman!! Haha that's so funny to say. But it's true. We live with the Merrills, and Bro. Merrill is the mailman. It'd be like me living in Grandma and Grandpa Wilhoit's basement. We live in the basement, and the Merrills pretty much adopt us as their kids. It's THE BEST.

As a training leader, I go on exchanges about once a week (once with each companionship we're over) to see how the sisters are doing. That means we give advice if their area is struggling with something, we address any obedience issues, and most of all we just listen. Missions are tough, and lots of times we don't need help, just someone to talk to. And that's what we do. We can give suggestions and advice where appropriate, but our most important role is to love the sisters and be there for them if they're having a tough time. Besides that, we do train at zone/district meetings as requested and we are part of the Mission Leadership Council (MLC) every month. It's pretty cool! It's intimidating too though because we are expected to have "model proselyting areas" in all aspects as well as be examples of obedience and diligence. No slacking for us!

We didn't find any new investigators this week, but we had one of the busiest weeks of my whole mission! We are struggling a little to find new people to teach (and by that I mean this week we didn't find anyone, last week we found 4 new investigators haha) so we decided to get in touch with a ton of our active members and do short lessons with them to challenge everyone to invite someone to learn more about the restored gospel within the next two weeks. This could be in the form of inviting them to church, to meet with missionaries, read the Book of Mormon, FHE, attend the church nativity in a couple weeks, go to mormon.org, etc. So we ran around like CRAZY visiting as many people as time would permit. Members are the best way to find, so we figured if we can't find we need to get our members pumped to do it! I'll keep you posted on the results over the next couple weeks.

I got to go back to Pima on exchanges this week! It was weird to be back so fast, but fun to get to see some people and be with Sis. Harrington on exchanges.

Sister Munn and I have SO much fun together! We work to the point that we basically come home and collapse each night and usually the second people close the door behind us we run to the car because we book our appointments super close together, but that's what makes it fun. We're throwing our everything into this little 5 week transfer, and miracles happen because of it. And...we throw in a Disney quote every now and again. And by that I mean like at least 5 times a day. (:

Here's a little miracle of the week! So Thursday I started getting a migraine (yuck!) and did my best to keep it in check, figuring if I could make it to the evening then that night I'd sleep it off. Well, when I woke up Friday it was worse! I got up at 6:30 and did the normal morning routine, and I had this feeling it was going to be a rough day. I decided I would just tell Heavenly Father that I wanted to work and ask that if I did that He would make it possible for me to work despite my head feeling like somebody was crushing my skull. And He did! I don't even know how it happened, but we had a completely normal day. Turns out if you have faith, it really works to pray for anything!

I just want to remind you all to look for opportunities to do some service this week with Thanksgiving!

Have an awesome week!!

Love,

Hermana Blackford

 

 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Is It Really Monday?

Hey y'all!
 
What the heck!? Is it just me or do weeks keep passing faster and faster? It's really starting to freak me out.
 
Sorry I didn't give you enough details on my new area.
 
Not Spanish, but there are no Spanish missionaries so we have some members and nonmembers that don't really speak English that I get to talk to!
 
We're assigned to 2 English wards.
 
My companion is from Springville, UT! Post-mission friend? I think so! :)
 
Funny story for the week:
 
1) Look up a little info about Tombstone, AZ before reading this, because then you can picture it better. (For those who are too lazy to take 60 seconds to google some pictures, it's like this old west cowboy town.)
 
2) We were in Tombstone to go visit some less active members and drop by some potentials when we saw this older man, with his camo jacket, cowboy hat, and long white ponytail, walking down the street. As missionaries we talk with everyone, so we pull over (well...the member driving the car pulls over) and I roll down my window and start to talk to him. He is very friendly, has worked for an LDS guy before and knows a little about the Church, and all seems well until out of nowhere he says, "Yeah, I believe in UFOs too! So whatever Joe Smith saw out there in the desert, I believe it" and goes on to tell us about how our "elders" know so much more about the UFOs than they tell us. It's because we're sisters. And we're young. It took my all to not laugh and to try to bring the conversation back in. As we pulled away, the 3 of us were laughing so hard. We told the member, "Welcome to the life of a missionary!" She just laughed and said, "I like it!!"
 
Man are people weird.
 
Saint David is such a cute little town full of awesome people! The members are great, and I can tell I'm going to like it here a lot. We have a lot going on, but still could use some new investigators.
 
Love and miss y'all!
 
Hermana Blackford
 
 
Pictures are from her previous area a couple of weeks ago - in the Gila Valley
 
Sunrise at Red Knolls



Another picture of Sunrise at Red Knolls





Hermana Blackford



Sister Harrington, Hermana Blackford, Pima Elders and member John at Red Knolls

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Still No Tucson for Me....

Hey family and friends!
 
I'm glad people liked my little story from last week. It was such a small thing but such a powerful experience. I think we miss some of those learning experiences if we just glaze over them.
 
I got transferred!! We thought Sis. Harrington would leave, but I have been assigned to St. David - as a sister training leader! For those of you that don't know what that is, it's pretty much like the sister version of a zone leader. For those of you that don't know what that is, my companion, Sister Munn, and I are in charge of 5 other companionships of sisters! We do weekly exchanges, go to MLC (Mission Leadership Conference) once a month, do trainings, and follow up on the individual and companionship progress of these sisters. I was so surprised and am nervous about this new responsibility, but I have no doubts that Heavenly Father will bless me and help me be able to do this.
 
St. David is another small, Mormon community. Still no Tucson for me! And because my companion goes home at the end of the transfer, I will definitely be staying at least 3 months.
 
Mom did you put up the sunrise pictures? Also, Elder Harris should be sending you a few more. So if they come you can go ahead and put those up too!
 
I'm trying to think of a cool story from this week...let's see. I feel like some really cool things happened but they're hard to explain to people that aren't missionaries. Haha but I can try! We had a couple different less actives that we're working with who are really progressing (I'm so sad I left them!). One of them should have met with the bishop Sunday for a temple recommend, and the other was a brother who never sat through lessons, but did this last week and even bore his testimony! It was so cool. Hopefully that gives him the motivation he needs to work to continue feeling the Spirit, because it was definitely strong as he bore his testimony.
 
We had another cool experience helping a non-member move. As I was sweeping her back porch, she said, "I have a question for you. How come there are always cars at the temple?" She knew that people got married there, but was surprised that people were there from early in the morning until late at night. We explained baptisms for the dead and about eternal marriage (and how we seal families together), and she said, "Wow! That's so cool!" and really liked the idea of giving people who never heard about Jesus Christ on this earth the opportunity to be baptized. It was a really spiritual conversation, and the porch was well-swept by the time we finished.  (:
 
I'm going to try to send a couple pictures. Love you all, have a great week!
 
Hermana Blackford
 
 
 
 
District in Thatcher
 


Trying Venison




With Thatcher Sisters



Zone October 2014



The field is white, all ready to harvet

Monday, November 3, 2014

I Promise This is a Good One!

Hey amigos!

I know I've been really bad and slacking at sending good emails home, but to answer Mom's question yes, I have been sending a lot more individual emails. I'll work on not doing that though and making this one more interesting. So people who normally get personal emails, sorry. They might be a little lacking!

I had some of the COOLEST experiences this week. We taught lots of lessons, especially with less-actives, and even had an opportunity to do splits one evening! A laurel came with me and as we were driving to go see the Vegas I told her who we were going to see and she said, "Oh! I know their daughter! We have a class together." It turns out she was the PERFECT person to have there that night. Not just because she had met them before, but I had asked her to prepare a testimony on how knowing the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is Christ's church, restored again to the earth, has changed her life. She shared a touching experience about her mom's battle with cancer and how she came to gain her testimony. As we went home I told her how impressed I was and she excitedly said she wants to come again! #preparingyouthformissions

Another exciting thing (which I would send pictures of if the elders were here because it's on Elder Harris' camera, but unfortunately their truck died and they aren't) was that we got up early Saturday morning (as in 5:10) and hiked up Red Knolls for morning exercise and watched the sunrise from the top!!! It was us, the Pima elders, and our recent convert John Garcia. We have some awesome silhouette pictures, which might not come until next week! It was a little windy and chilly, but totally worth it! I haven't watched the sun come up in long time.

We're headed up to Red Knolls today as a zone as well (:

Okay here's my FAVORITE story of the week. It's just a classic example of why I love my life, especially as a missionary. So if you're skimming my email and not reading everything, at least READ THIS STORY

We had stake conference this weekend, and the elders and we helped usher people and all that good stuff. Which meant that there was a seat reserved up front for us missionaries (hooray for soft chairs!) and we sat with the elders (which is weird because normally we don't ever do that....ever). They reorganized our stake presidency, started the conference, and then we got to see the broadcast from Salt Lake! All was well, except for they turned off all the lights so it was too dark for me to take notes and they had the air conditioning BLASTING and I was sitting so that it was blowing right on me. Within like 10 minutes I was freezing cold and of course, it's the Sunday I forgot to bring a sweater. Elder Harris, who was sitting next to me, noticed that I was chilled, and, trying to be gentlemanly, offered his suit coat. Me being the proud and stubborn person I am politely refused and said I was fine. He then whispered "Sister Blackford, I know you're cold. Just take the jacket!" to which I replied, "Thanks, but I think it would look bad for an elder to give a sister his jacket, and I wouldn't want the members to see it the wrong way." He frowned, asked his companion for his opinion, and his companion sided with me. "Don't worry!" I said and informed him I would be fine. But he now had a point to prove. He ripped out a little piece of paper and scribbled a note that he passed to the brother sitting a couple people down, asking if it would look bad for him to give his jacket to a sister that was cold. The member nodded saying it would, and I gave him my classic I-told-you-so look. Not more than a few moments later, the member (who must have thought more about this) passed a note to Elder Harris that said, "It's service so it doesn't matter if it looks bad. Serve your sister." Elder Harris showed me the note, took off his jacket, and handed it to me. The point of the story is not that I was able to watch conference without turning into a popsicle or even that Elder Harris is a nice person. What really stood out to me was what the member said. It hit me as I thought, "How often in our lives do we not do the right thing because we worry about how others will see it?" I know even as a missionary I do or don't do things because I fear what other people will say or think. But as this member so clearly demonstrated, it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. If we know something is the right thing to do, we should do it no matter what. I also loved the statement, "Serve your sister." It wasn't, "Serve the sister missionary." or even "Serve the sister." It's "Serve your sister." To me, it was the best 3 word testimony I've ever heard. We are brothers and sisters, and we need to serve each other, in the small and in the big things. Even though it was a simple experience, I was really touched by what I learned. And so I thought I should share it with you all, to remind you all that it doesn't matter if it looks bad; serve your brothers and sisters.

I love you!

Hermana Blackford

 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Is Fall Coming Yet??

Hey everyone!

Man these weeks are flying by. I feeling like I was just sitting here, typing out my last email. This week I didn't play the ukulele quite as much before coming though so it doesn't hurt to type today.

Best thing this week (also an investigator story)....we started teaching a new family! The Vegas!! And yes...the parents do not speak English. BUT the hermanas don't work with them because his  ex-wife goes to the Spanish branch and his records (oh yeah the dad is a member) are in our ward so we get to teach them. They have4 kids and it's super fun. The boys, who are like 10 and 11, would get baptized, but in the past (I knew them when I was here in the Spanish branch) the mom wouldn't let them. We'll see if things have changed though.

I don't know that there really was a worst this week. I can't really think of anything bad that happened. Just kinda the normal stuff.

With Halloween we don't have too many rules, just no hanging out at ward parties. If we use it as a missionary tool, we can go, but we can't use it to fill time. I think we'll probably end up weekly planning that evening since that would probably be the most productive use of our time.

We didn't really get to do any cool service projects this week. The elders are looking at lining something up to go do out in Bylas (the indian reservation) but I don't know when or if that will happen. But I'm glad the girls think I'm crazy for liking yardwork. I'm not crazy! I just like the sense of accomplishment that comes with projects like building fences.

Sounds like you've had a little bit of crazy weather back there in WA. It's warmed up a little this last week, and I'm really ready for it to cool down and pull out my sweaters and stuff.

Miss y'all and love you!

Hermana Blackford

Monday, October 20, 2014

This Week We Did So Many Things I Can't Remember Any of Them

Hey everyone!

Alright...this is probably going to be a rather lame email but not a whole lot of exciting stuff happened this week. Zone conference is tomorrow though and I'm stoked for that. Plus I'll get to see the missionaries from good ol' Deming!

We were super busy this week and taught lots of lessons. And we rode bikes a couple days! I forgot how much I missed biking. I feel like I'm going to go home and want to bike everywhere. I also learned that apparently the bike I bought from the other sister is a SUPER nice bike. It seemed nice but the members are all like, "Dang!! Nice bike sister!"

With the 4 wards we church hop. We hit as many sacrament meetings as we can (usually go to two and greet people for one more) and we also have ward councils to attend. Which means church for us is about 9 hours. My brain feels fried by the end but it's good.

In one of the wards this week they had the Primary program. Seriously, my FAVORITE Sunday of the year. I think I feel the Spirit stronger then than during any other sacrament meeting. It was weird hearing Primary songs in English...I realized I'd forgotten some of the words. But I know some in Spanish! Haha. Anyway, all our investigators that come are from part member families so they don't really need us at church. If we find anyone that's not, we'd go with them.

On Tuesday I helped build a fence! Some elderly members needed a hand so we got a team of 8 missionaries and a family from Thatcher and got the whole thing up in like 3 hours! We had to clear some mesquite trees and pound in the posts and all that jazz. It was lots of fun though. I like manual labor. Which people think is funny because I'm not very big, but I really would rather pound fence posts than paint or clean someone's house any day.

Let's see...I got to play to piano for one of the elders' baptisms this week. We almost didn't go and I'm so glad we did not only because they realized they needed a pianist, but also because it was the daughter-in-law of a family from Rio Rico! They came out for the baptism so it was fun to see them and chat with them for a little bit. They recognized me right away and all the other missionaries were confused as to why I was so excited at first.

Well...I think that's about it for now. I'll try to come up with better stories next week.

Love y'all!

Hermana Blackford

 

 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Un Ano!?

Hey people!

I can NOT believe this week marks one year on the mission...scary!

Everyone asks if I like being back in the Valley and the answer is yes, I really do. The people here are awesome and I bump into people from the branch pretty regularly and they're excited to see me which makes me feel good to know they liked having me there!

We have a lot of part-member families we're trying to work with right now, so we'll see where that takes us this week. One girl we're just waiting on her grandma to get custody of her so she can get baptized(:

I feel like I don't really know our ward members very well yet. I've met a lot of people (many of which I can't even remember the face with the name) and I'm trying to get to know more, but it's hard. It will take more time than learning the people in a small branch.

The weather has cooled off quite a bit. I don't think it's usually hotter than the 80s with low 90s here and there. The mornings are nice and cool :)

Biking starts this week, and crossfit is kicking my butt. I'm still a little sore from Friday's workout! I love it though. Haven't missed a class yet!

This Saturday we had John's baptism!! Talk about the most prepared kid I've ever met. Beyond golden. He has so much fire for the gospel and already shares it with everyone. He's inspired so many of the other kids to be better missionaries too. And he had over 100 people at his baptism. WHAT!?!? I've never even HEARD of that many people at a baptism before. It was awesome! I'll send a picture here in a minute of us with him.

Last p-day we went on a little hike up on the mountain. The view was awesome and it was cool to be up in the trees for a few hours. I miss hiking a lot. Today we're doing a BBQ and outdoor sports at the fairgrounds. Lots of fun things(:

I can't think of any other crazy stories at the moment.

Love y'all!

Hermana Blackford
 
 
View from the mountain hike


John's baptism
 
 

Zone on a hike - Oct 2014

Monday, October 6, 2014

General Conferencia!

Hey people!

Alright...this is going to be a short one but I don't have tons of time and I also can't think of a ton to say this week.

To answer questions, YES it is REALLY weird to not speak Spanish. Though I've already taught 2 lessons in Spanish since coming here. So I'm finding ways to use it as much as possible. And I sometimes forget how to say things in English. I'll be talking and then stop abruptly because I can't remember a phrase or word. I got used to saying whatever came out first but Sister Harrington knows 0 Spanish so I can't do that anymore.

So more about Sis. Harrington. Her dad was in the air force so she moved a ton as a kid. She is super sweet and has been out 3 months. Not sure what else to tell...haha. We get along well :)

I feel like my brain was turned inside out a little bit this week. There are so many new names and faces and tons of people to visit and it's a little overwhelming. BUT we are all set for a baptism this Saturday (his name is John, he's a senior in high school who had some awesome friends that introduced him to the gospel). We work with a lot of part-member families, but I am yet to meet most of them. No other baptisms scheduled, but we're going to try to fix that!

Conference was INCREDIBLE. I can't wait for the Liahona to come out. And the fact that people spoke in other languages? So cool! I was sad it was voiced over because I wanted to listen to the Spanish ones in Spanish...oh well.

I think the talks I enjoyed most were Elder Lynn G. Robbinss (he actually spoke while I was in the MTC too) and Elder Bednar's. Both missionary ones, so go figure :)

I love the promise that we have of Conference answering our questions. I wrote down 4 as part of my preparation and bam! Every single one answered. So cool!

Make sure to pick a handful of things from conference to focus on over the next few weeks to develop those habits that lead us to become more like Christ, like President Monson talked about.

Love y'all!

Hermana Blackford

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Birthdays and Miracles with My Deming Family

Hey!
 
This was possibly one of the best and one of the saddest weeks of my mission yet. I'll start with the sad so we can get that out of the way and talk about happy things....I got transferred! I kinda knew it was coming, but I LOVE Deming so much. I will be missing out on some awesome things happening down there, but Hna. Ellis will take good care of it for sure! It's just sad because the people there are just amazing. And as the elders said, our family is broken up! But hey,I have no regrets about Deming and I'm happy to leave it the way I did.
 
Now I'm back in the Gila Valley!! Kinda crazy because now I'll spend at least 2/3-3/4 of my mission not in Tucson...still haven't been called there yet haha. This time though I've been called to be in FOUR English wards in Central and Pima. I'm sad to be out of Spanish for a little while, but having so many people will keep me more than busy. My companion's name is Sister Harrington - I went on exchanges with her about 6 weeks ago too!
 
Alright now to why this was pretty much the best week ever!!
First of all, on Tuesday I came on exchanges here in the Valley - in Thatcher - and was on a bike all day! I didn't even die. And I got to do cross fit for the first time ever. I LOVE it. Now I'm in the Valley so I get to do it 3 times a week.#getfit  Anyway exchanges were fun and the sister I was with is from Vancouver, WA. We couldn't figure out if we know any of the same people though.
 
Skipping to Thursday...so Hermana Ellis somehow got up early without waking me up and made me breakfast! She changed the alarm to 6:30 instead of 6:15 and when I woke up she was like "Happy birthday Hermana! I made you breakfast in bed!!" and then flipped on the light and there was hot biscuits and gravy all ready. She's the best! Then we did the normal morning stuff and baked the cake Mom sent me to bring it to district meeting. We had a great meeting, ate cake, and then went out to lunch at the Patio, a place we'd been wanting to go for weeks. Great burgers, not-so-great fries, but totally worth it. Next, we headed down to Columbus with the elders to blitz their area (and to see the border). That was also super fun to head down there. We'd been wanting to go ever since we got to Deming. We then came back to Deming, knocked a few doors in our area, and then headed to dinner. The member knew it was my birthday, so there we had cake #2 of the day! THEN we went for cake #3 out at the Quintanas because they invited us out to celebrate. It was a lot of cake...and all of it chocolate. Then we went to our usual Thursday night volleyball, which is always fun and the youth are great about bringing nonmember friends. As we left and were heading out to our car, the elders from our branch were like "Sister Blackford stop!" and so I did and Elder Dayley was like "Okay now turn around and walk backwards toward me." I turned around but didn't want to back up towards their truck because I had no idea what was going on and for whatever reason my reaction was to think they were going to throw water balloons at me! Haha totally something they would do (cough cough, Elder Williamson) but anyway after a minute of freaking out I finally walked backwards and when they let me turn around, the two of them were sitting in the back of their truck and Elder Williamson had his guitar (he's super talented at playing guitar) and they played and sang for me! Haha they rewrote a song to make it all about my birthday. It was super sweet! Totally made my day. They both have great voices too so it was actually really good. Then, Elder Merritt let me take the leftover cake from the day that no one wanted and I caked him in the face! I've ALWAYS wanted to do that to someone. It was fun!
 
Alright so continuing on....Friday we did more service - yardwork otra vez. Saturday night the calls came about transfers, and Hermana Ellis and I had a little plan to end the transfers in a fun way. We bought about 500 styrofoam cups earlier in the week and while the elders were at church in Columbus, we used our lunch hour to fill them with water and cover the floor by the entrances to their apartment - on the inside! So when they got home they would open the door and couldn't walk in without having to either soak the floor or dump out all the water. It was pretty funny. They got us back though and taped cups with eggs in them between our screen door and regular door so when we opened it some of the eggs fell and made a mess on the ground.
 
Now for real missionary things. Saying goodbye to everyone was SO hard! But it's really cool to see how things have changed. We visited the Renteria family (they're just awesome) and got to hear Hermano's conversion story this week which was incredible and inspiring. We got to keep teaching Dalia and her two boys too. They seriously already seem like members. I love them so much and am sure I'll see some baptism photos from them sometime next month(:
 
We didn't get to bike a ton because we were all over the place trying to visit people, but we had a cool miracle yesterday! So a few weeks back I remembered this particular house I had visited on exchanges like 6 months ago and for some reason felt that we should go visit it. When we went, we met Hector and chatted with him. We gave him a Book of Mormon and a card with our number in case he had any questions. He didn't seem really interested so we never really thought about it again. Well, yesterday he got in touch with us and wanted to meet. He came to the church and we had a lesson outside. He'd found our card and wanted to talk about what happens after this life because his 8 year old son passed away last week. Hermana Ellis and I were so grateful to be able to explain about thte Plan of Salvation to him. As we drove away from the lesson I remembered how we'd met him (we couldn't remember at first) and when we realized it was at that house we were like "Woah! Talk about a unique prompting!" It's a good thing we followed it. The sisters will be meeting with him again tomorrow, and I'm excited to hear how this turns out.
 
Well, this is a super long one and now I'm out of time, but thanks to everyone for all the birthday wishes! I'll respond to all y'all next week. I also sent pictures so Mom can put them on the blog(:
 
Love you!
Hermana Blackford
 
 
 
Deming District
 
 Elders, Quintanas, Hermanas


Renteria Families, Elders and Hermanas

Monday, September 22, 2014

Hola hola!

Family! 

This week I came prepared to emails...I wrote down a list of 4 things to write about #preparation

So first (this answers Mom's question) we had tropical rainstorms ALL WEEK. I've never seen so much water that wasn't like a river or lake or something. And of course we thought it would be a great idea to bike on Tuesday (no time for pictures this week so I'll send some next week). Which means we were SOAKED. Literally it got to the point that we went to visit this part-member family and we were dripping on their floor. Luckily they brought us towels. Actually that led to a really cool experience too because the husband, who isn't a member and usually avoids us like the plague, chatted with us and even sat in the kitchen while we had a lesson with the kids in the room right next to it. He mostly wanted to know why we were biking when there was flash flood warnings. Haha but hey at least we're finally establishing some form of a relationship with him!

Point number two I wrote down. So our investigator Socorro (she has a new baby) told us this week that she knows the Book of Mormon is true! We'd left her and her "husband" for a week to read and pray, and when we came back she said she got her answer, and the next day she came to the baptism of one of the 8 year old girls in the branch. And LOVED it. She is really excited and finally keeping all the commitments :) 

This week we also started teaching this family - a mom and her boys who are like 8 and 10. She has 3 sisters who are all members of our branch and super incredible people. We are pretty tight with the families and so we're excited to see how this goes. The two boys have been here in Deming for a couple months and love Primary (and us) and we were just waiting for mom to get here to start teaching. They are such a sweet family and definitely already fit in with the branch.

And then...a funny story. We were asked to teach the older Primary class yesterday, and so Hna. Ellis and I had 4 boys ages 9-11 and a 2 girls. The boys are all super hyper of course and it was a little crazy, and the lesson also was not going to last the entire 1.5 hours. After we finished we played hangman (with gospel-related words) and at one point apparently I was not paying enough attention, because all of a sudden one of the boys who was sitting next to me grabbed my face and turned it towards him. I literally thought he was going to kiss me and Hna. Ellis, who was sitting across the room and saw the whole thing, seemed to think the same based on her facial expression. But he didn't, he just asked me a question. Haha I started laughing so hard because I was panicking about how to explain that a kid in Primary kissed me...crazy kids.

Also...the temple is like 2.5 hours away. We drove to Duncan first though for zone meeting and it's only like an hour from there.

I haven't really seen any wildlife at City of Rocks, but we're always running around playing capture the flag or sharks and minnows (renamed lions and gazelles because we're on land) and so I don't really take time to look for animals...

Anyway I'm about out of time. Love you all and have an awesome week!

Hermana Blackford

P.S. Transfers are next week so I won't be emailing until Tuesday

Monday, September 15, 2014

Temple & Service

Hey y'all!
 
This week was a little crazy, and I'm about out of time so you're going to get the 5 minute version and then I'm going to send pictures!
 
So Tuesday we helped paint a recent convert's house for like 5 hours...she's really struggling to get by and the house really needed to be painted. We did the whole front room and it went from grey to white! It looked awesome when it was done, and the 5 of us (us, the elders, and our branch mission leader) were exhausted.
 
Wednesday was AWESOME! We went to zone meeting (where as an object lesson we taped Elder Williamson to the wall) and then went to the temple! It was a little weird because to save miles us and another sister rode with the elders and then the 3 other sisters also rode with elders. Weird. But the temple was so good. I really needed that spiritual recharge.
 
Saturday morning we did service for a non-member. Yardwork! It was actually kinda chilly and windy that morning too. I even had to break out my jacket. I weed-whacked for like 1.5 hours straight...my arms are still recovering.
 
I'm currently borrowing Elder Williamson's bike (thank you to him even though he won't see this), but I'll be buying one from another sister at transfers. But in the meantime this works. We need to cut back on miles and we don't really have much in the way of people to teach, so now we can literally talk with everyone and find some new investigators! We are just getting going with the bikes, so we're sore sometimes but it's fun.
 
I think our little Deming district is going to head to City of Rocks for a BBQ and the run around and stuff today. Pretty exciting!
 
Grandma asked if there are trees in Deming, and the answer is yes! Not very many and they are kinda small, but they're around. As for cactus, not really. I actually kinda miss them...
 
Okay sending pictures now!
 
Love you!
Hermana Blackford
 
Car ride to the temple

Object lesson at a zone meeting



Zone attending the temple

Monday, September 8, 2014

Hola!

Buenas tardes a todos!

Can I write my email in Spanish one week? I think it'd be pretty cool...it wouldn't take me any longer to write so it would be normal length even. My mission president emailed me and told me my Spanish grammar is "excelente." #woot

Investigators moving towards baptism...well depends. No one currently has a date, but we have some that are definitely going in the right direction.

P-day....we just play sports. No hay nada aqui. There's nothing to see or do for the most part. But I like sports, so I'm fine with it. I'm getting a lot better at basketball. And have awkwardly ran into the elders a few times. It's weird how missionary awkward I am. But it happened. Boys scare me. I think if one tried to hug me or something I'd have a complete freak out. This will be fun to readjust to when I go home. 

We have not been teaching English lately, but will probably start up a little bit. Because - are you ready for a cool story? Because the other day we went to go try and visit a former investigator, and when we knocked, Adriana opened the door! About 4 weeks ago when I was on exchanges, knocking in a different part of Deming, I knocked into Adriana and had a long conversation with her. She's a member of about 6 years, but her husband got upset that the elders were coming because he was super jealous and suspicious and wouldn't let her go to church. She decided to not go to try to save her marriage, but wants to come back so bad and knows without a doubt it's true. I told her about English class and she thought that since it isn't religious her husband will let her come. I hadn't seen her until the other day. She just moved into that house about a week ago too. She remembered me before I recognized her and told us she really wants to come to English now. This was definitely no coincidence - Heavenly Father is looking out for her. And maybe the reason is we can find a way to soften her husband's heart and help her come back. It was a really cool experience.

It's been hot lately, but the last few days it cooled down again. Supposedly by the end of the month people will be pulling out their sweaters.

This week we'll start biking some! I'm excited. Also I learned yesterday that they need me to play for the Primary program, so I have some new songs to learn. One isn't from the Primary book, and they called me in yesterday to have me play it. I'd never even heard it before. Do they not know I can't read music that well? I can't sight read to save my life. I have to play hymns I don't know frequently so I guess I'm learning. They seem to think I'm this amazing pianist that can just play whatever they throw my way. False. I have to practice. A lot.

Well I think that's about it for now. 

Have an awesome week!

Love,

Hermana Blackford

 

Monday, September 1, 2014

It's September?

Hey hey!

I feel like I was just staring at the computer screen yesterday trying to figure out what to write home and here I am again with the same dilemma. It's not that we don't do a ton of stuff, it's just all of it is normal to me so nothing stands out.

Our potential investigators are leading to some new people! Here's my cool story about finding for the week:

Last weekend (about a week and a half ago) Hermana Ellis and I were going to a lesson and a member was coming out with us. She texted us saying she was going to be like 10 minutes late, and we had arrived like 10ish minutes early, so we decided to do some knocking in the same apartment complex. We knocked a few doors, y nada. Then we saw this lady (she's about 25) standing outside and so we went and started talking to her. Her name is Alicia, she's from Colonia Juarez, and doesn't speak English (like tons of people here). We gave her a copy of El Libro de Mormon and explained what it was using the pictures at the front, set up a return appointment for this past Wednesday, and left. Wednesday came, and she was actually ready for us to come! She'd skimmed over La Restauracion pamphlet that we'd left as well, and even had some questions. Taught her the Restoration, it was super awesome, set up another appointment for Friday. We came back, and this time she brings here sister Alejandra with her (she's probably like 23) and her sister wants to learn more too! She just moved to Deming. Alejandra also said her husband was also reading over it, so maybe we can teach a couple of couples! They were going to come to church Sunday but we got a text late Saturday night saying something came up and so they told us "Hopefully we can come next week. We're still on for Monday though right?" They're awesome!

So I'm in a branch, haha a pretty smallish one at that too. I'd say on average we've got 60-80 people. Not tiny, but not too big either. I love it. Most families feed us twice a month because there aren't enough different families to do only once. Haha

Called for jury duty? Yeah I can't exactly make it...sorry.

Well...yeah that's about it. Send me more questions!

Love,

Hermana Blackford

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Sunburns, Duck Races, and Elder Malm

Hey family!! 

Sorry about the short email last week, I had a bunch to read and respond too and then it's hard to email when the elders are also here emailing and all of us end up talking and then suddenly it's been an hour. We tried to come at a different time this week to email in peace, but that backfired and they showed up like 10 minutes later. So this one probably won't be super long either. #easilydistracted #sideconversations

This week was so good! So we've been really struggling with finding new investigators, so by Friday Hna. Ellis and I decided that we were just going to park the car and walk everywhere so we could easily talk to everyone we see. And although it was only in the 90s this week, it still is hot enough that I burned pretty bad (I made the mistake of wearing my hair up, and it's usually down so my neck burned pretty bad. In fact it's still burned...) We ended up walking for 5 hours and I don't know how many miles, but we definitely received blessings! Nothing too miraculous happened during that time, but by the end of the week we found 5 new investigators!

The weekend was a little tough because of the duck races. SO MANY PEOPLE. We walked over there on Saturday but it wasn't exactly easy to talk to people, so we stayed for like 15 minutes and didn't even get to see the ducks race. Bummer.

Yesterday was SO COOL. So Elder Malm came to our mission and we met with him yesterday. He was super funny and had so many cool insights. Talk about a spiritual feast! That took literally all day, but it was well worth it. It came at a good time too because I'm hitting my mid-life crisis. Well, mid-mission crisis. It's kind of the same concept though. Haha

I can't send longer emails because I don't know what to talk about....umm...hey I should be getting my hair cut today! That's exciting! It's gotten pretty long, but the ends are kinda dead. So we'll see how long it is when that gets chopped off.

Socorro and Noe didn't come to church on Sunday...but they're still reading and praying! Hopefully they can make it this week. We need to work on getting them married too.

We got to do more service this week too! We helped this guy, Harold, work on fixing up this house he's going to be renting out. We mostly did yard work. It was fun, and we got to have some good conversations with him! Right after that we headed out to help the members we helped before paint. The house is making so much progress! All the primer is on and some of it is painted. And they put the kitchen in. It's gonna be such a cute place :)

Well that's all I got...

Love,

Hermana Blackford

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Another Transfer in Deming!

Hey!

I think I forgot to remind y'all but this week is transfers so that's why I'm emailing on Tuesday. Next week we have a meeting with the Seventy that's doing a mission tour so we won't email until Tuesday next week either.

But the good news is that Hna. Ellis and I are staying together here in Deming!!! We are so happy. We get along great and always have a good time.

We had a bit of a surprise this last week....We've been teaching this couple, named Socorro and Noe. We'd taught them basically every day for a week or so, and then decided to review the Restoration and watch the video. We watched it just with Socorro because Noe was at work, and afterwards she asked us if we could watch it again the next day with Noe. Wohoo! She just loved it. We went back and watched it with both of them, and at the end Noe says, "I was baptized like that guy" (referring to when Joseph Smith Sr. gets baptized in the movie). And we were like, "Oh that's great, what church?" And he says "Your church." We were like "What!?!?" So yeah it turns out he was baptized at like age 9 or 10 in Casas Grandes and stopped going when he was like 13 or 14. We were like "Why didn't you tell us before!?" and basically he told us he felt embarrassed because he hasn't gone in so long. Socorro didn't even know! We invited her to be baptized and he said he wants to come back, and so she accepted and they came to church! We're really excited. They are doing so well - they even started praying together every night without us telling them too!

Hey so I completely was unfocused today so I'm out of time, but I promise to send a better update next week!
 
Love,

Hermana Blackford 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Should have practiced more.....

Hey y'all!

This was a pretty crazy week here in Deming, mostly because it seemed like one thing after another came up and that kept us busy with things other than teaching lessons. Which is fine because we're here to serve, but puts a little bit of pressure on us this week to basically play catch up.
Saturday we spent a solid 9 hours at the church building, first for a funeral and then a baptism! The funeral was sad but also cool. It was for a recent convert who had really bad cancer and passed away. Only her, her daughter, and one granddaughter have been baptized, and it's cool to see how the gospel had prepared their family - even the ones who aren't members. And her husband came up and told us we are welcome to come visit anytime! Previously he has been friendly but never sat down with us for a lesson, but maybe now things will be different. Anyway, it was cool because you could tell the family was at peace. The service was beautiful, filled with the Spirit and basically the whole branch came out to support the family.

The baptism was pretty busy too - we had to have the little program in the chapel because there were so many people! It was for Miguel, a 15 year old boy who has faithfully attended church, mutual, and seminary for a year and a few weeks ago finally was given permission to be baptized. His family came to the baptism, and his mom to his confirmation. Miguel is basically already a member, so it was such a happy day. He's an incredible young man, and has a super powerful testimony. The elders have been teaching him, but we know him pretty well and I shook his hand afterwards and told him I'll have to give him a hug when I come back and visit after my mission.
Another fun fact...since Hna. Hardy left there is no one in the branch that plays the piano. Which means I played the organ for the funeral (and the piano for a special musical number), the piano for the baptism, and the organ for sacrament meeting (first time ever!). I was so nervous I was sick to my stomach, but it turned out well. Luckily since no one else plays I can just play the organ like a piano and people think I can play it. I can barely play the piano as is, but they're letting me pick the hymns. Turns out Mom was right...I should have kept up with the piano lessons....
Painting...we were painting at a members house. They're...what's the word in English....remodeling? a house. Like fixing it up and stuff. And so we helped put primer down on almost all the inside.
This morning we played some soccer with a few kids from the branch and some of the soccer team (the coach is in our branch)! It's only the second time in my life I've played (not counting like PE in elementary school), but I did okay and even hit it with my head a couple times! When I did they were all like "Yeah Hermana!!!" I kicked the ball a few times, got kicked in the shins a few times, so I guess you could consider it a success. I love that when we suck at sports, people force us to play and then get excited if we do anything right at all.
I got to go be with Hna. Wright for a day again up in Silver City!!! It was so much fun to be with her again - our transfer together was one of my favorites. It helps me realize how much I've learned and how far I've come on my mission - with teaching, Spanish, finding, studying, and all that good stuff. She goes home next week, and I will miss her so much!!
Well that's a wrap for this week.
Love you!
Hermana Blackford

 

 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Dad Will Be So Proud!

Hey family!

So this week was pretty crazy since it was Hna. Hardy's last week! She left yesterday and it's so weird without her. But we had a lot of fun before she left.

On Monday we went to City of Rocks and played capture the flag! It was super fun and no one even got injured. Basically our whole zone came. I love doing stuff like that.

On Tuesday (this is the part where Dad will be proud) we went to kill chickens! Yeah! We killed 6 gallos for a family in the branch. Well...I didn't do the killing part. We let the elders swing them around until their heads fell off, but I helped pull the skin off and cut out their guts! I was actually the fastest at cleaning out the insides (thanks to having practiced once before). It was super fun. And although he doesn't want me to, I'm going to tell y'all a funny story about Elder Williamson. We were out killing the chickens and there was one left. He went to get it, but it kept running around and making tons of noise and he was having a hard time catching it. We heard some banging, followed by a "Come here so I can rip your freaking head off!!!" and then more banging and then silence. Elder Williamson came out holding the gallo by it's neck and we all just burst out laughing because at first we weren't sure who had won that fight. It was hilarious.

We helped paint again this week too. Doing the ceiling sucks because I'm so darn short! Elder Dayley is a giant so he could reach some of it just standing on the floor and I was up on the scaffolding and still couldn't always reach. #shortpeopleproblems

We also are teaching an English class three times a week now! There's a family from Oaxaca with 4 kids and they don't speak any English. They're super fun and a couple of the teenage boys are super smart and are picking it up fast.

Hermana Ellis and I are excited to keep working here in Deming together and we're hoping that we do stay together for another transfer.

Miss and love you all!

Hermana Blackford

Monday, July 28, 2014

Christmas in July

Hey all!

I have Christmas songs stuck in my head! For the last week of July we decided we're going to listen to Christmas music. Good decision.

I think this last week was the longest and shortest week yet. I don't think I've been this exhausted in my life (which is really saying something considering that I don't sleep well at home). If I sit down for like 10 minutes without doing something, I just fall asleep. Long lessons are killer right now...I lose focus because I'm so tired! I have no idea why, but maybe it's just finally catching up to me that I've been going like crazy for 9 months straight now. It's a satisfying tired.

Yes, Hermana Ellis and I came here together and we're trying to learn the area in the 4 weeks...now down to one week...with Hna. Hardy. I think we've got things down pretty well. It's times like this that I'm grateful for having a pretty good memory and the Spirit.

Hna. Ellis is getting better at Spanish pretty dang fast! She was in a Spanish branch in east Tucson before she came here.

As for the elders...Elder Dayley and Elder Williamson are definitely pretty fun to work with. They're hilarious together and keep us laughing. They also make a funny companionship because Elder Dayley is 6'3" and HUGE and Elder Williamson is 5'8" and...not huge. They're the zone leaders too, which means they work hard. I've learned a lot from them already.

Investigators...we have Noelia who came to church yesterday! She's a sweet old lady who is super funny and absolutely loves learning about the gospel. Within 5 minutes of getting there she always asks, "Y la oracion?" and wants to get going on the lesson. Teaching her is a little slow because her memory isn't the best (we've taught her the Restoration 4 times already) but it's incredible to see how she progresses by her prayers and her answers to questions.

Church starts at 9...the website must lie. It's just normal church, 9-12.

My foot...I still can't bend it sideways all the way yet, but I think it's healing.

Well we're headed to City of Rocks for zone capture the flag today, so I have to go!

Peace out girl scouts!

Hermana Blackford
 
P.S. Remember my investigator Johnny in the Gila Valley who came to church after our lesson on the sacrament? HE'S GETTING BAPTIZED! August 9th. Hermana Lundquist told me :)

Deming, New Mexico - this is where Erin is!
 
 
Hermana Blackford's Apartment in Deming, NM - her apartment is on the backside.
 



The view across the street from her apartment 
  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Service Week!

Hey, 
 
This week we did a bunch of service, plus we went up to girls camp for a half a day and we had a branch FHE and a child baptism (which in the Mexican culture is followed by a fiesta). Which means we kept pretty busy. I'll try to send a bunch of pictures for the blog. But we cleaned up a street on Saturday, and that was pretty fun! We filled up two truckloads of trash. And found some arrows and other random cool things amongst the beer cans. Plus I got to wear pants!!
 
We are doing so well together! I actually am surprised how much I like being in a trio. It's still a little weird, but it's fun.
 
Due to all the service projects and a zone meeting up in Silver City, we didn't get to see people as frequently as we would have liked, but we have so many good things going here! I'm still a little nervous about learning the area within the next two weeks, but at least Hna. Ellis is here too. We're a little stressed though!
 
Alright, so I'll give you the run down on my district (since Mom always has to know people's names of who I'm serving with)
 
Elders Williamson (he worked at Disneyland!!) & Dayley - zone leaders, also serving in the Spanish branch with us
 
Elders Foster & Johnson - English ward
 
Elders Kellog & Merritt - district leader and other English ward
 
Which means we're super tight with our zone leaders because we see them every day, often multiple times a day.
 
I live on Florida St, like half a mile or so from the church.
 
There's a small family history center at the church, and that's where we email :)
 
Let's see...so we're teaching twins! Names Sairah and J. They're super cool and are 19. They're going through a rough patch in their already tough life, but it's been incredible because every time we show up they're like, "That's exactly what we needed to hear!" or "We were just talking about that!" It's pretty cool how the Spirit works like that. 
 
Well...I can't really think of anything to say this week.
 
Love y'all!
 
Hermana Blackford
 
 
 
 
 
Hermana Blackford going to New Mexico!



Girls going to Girls' Camp - July 2014
 
 
Girls' Camp location - most green Hermana Blackford has seen for a while!


Sean's baptism


Deming, NM service project day - July 2014


Current companions in Deming, NM - Hermanas


Hermanas Wright and Blackford on recent splits