2017 Off to a Great Start

All things considered, 2017 has started with a bang! We’ve picked up several new investigators this week and after all the work we’ve put in the past five weeks it’s nice to start to see some progression here in the Sherman Oaks ward.
On Tuesday, I did the Blazin’ challenge at Buffalo Wild Wings. Contrary to what I may have said about it, it’s actually 12 wings in 6 minutes. I may have said 2 minutes. I was wrong about that. Any ways I accomplished it in 4 minutes! So yes, I won! I got a free t-shirt and the manager was so impressed by all of us missionaries who were there to support me and another missionary that did it also that he paid for our entire meal for FREE! Video coming shortly. The rest of the day, I felt the effects of eating that many wings as I had some major diarrhea.
Wednesday we once again did weekly planning and that went well. We didn’t have a lot to plan for because our investigators the past few weeks have been kinda flaky and we haven’t taught the lessons we’ve been planning on teaching so it has been making planning a breeze. We had a few appointments scheduled for the day but nobody was home when we showed up.
Thursday we had an awesome district meeting about extending and following up on commitments which was one of my goals for the week to be better at so it was nice to have a training on that in district meeting.
On Friday we picked up a new investigator who speaks Farsi, so we’ll probably end up referring him to Farsi missionaries from another mission but cover our mission as well as part of their area. He seems to be really interested in learning more. We visited a bunch of people and taught a few less active lessons, sadly most of them work on Sundays which makes things really difficult. The twins continue to be pretty busy and we’ve been giving them some space but we don’t want to just be on the sidelines either so Friday evening we went and had dinner at the restaurant that one of them works at. We were a little disappointed that we didn’t see her at her cashier position but then after we ordered we went around a corner and saw that she was on break so we managed to have a nice little conversation with her before she had to go back. They have robotics competitions the next month or so, so that makes getting them baptized a little difficult.
On Saturday we visited a lot of people who told us to come back on Saturday, but to our dismay, they weren’t as interested as they said they were earlier in the week. We picked up another new investigator during KnockOut who seems super interested and wants the rest of his family to be taught as well.
Sunday was great. We had coordination meeting and ward council. I once again played the organ which was fun. We also had fast and testimony meeting too, which is great in this ward, compared to Van Nuys. After KnockOut, we had dinner with our Bishop and his wife plus a less active family that we’ve been teaching for a few weeks and we had an FHE of sorts with them. 

 

Elder Blodgett

California San Fernando Mission
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Tuesday P-day again

It’s been a rough week. Our investigators have been quite flaky and it’s been stressing the both of us out a lot. We’re still working hard to find new people, teach at every opportunity, and hopefully to get in better contact with those that have at least prior to our coming into the area had an interest in being taught.
It all started last week but it all culminated this week when we stopped by the twins after they hadn’t been responding to our texts. They had made several trips and when we visited with them this week we found out that not only was school starting again but they’re doing track and won’t have a lot of time to meet. Our goal is to get the members fellowshipping them as much as possible and hopefully have them get them out to church. They haven’t even been to church for several weeks. The ward misses them a lot.
Wednesday, due to the holiday shift of p-day schedule was our weekly planning. We’re getting awfully frustrated and devastated, as preach my gospel tells us to act, as we’ve been setting the goals and acting in faith to teach these people and it’s not working out.
Thursday was district meeting and the entire time was involved in setting goals as a district for the month of January. We were able to contact a referral we had been struggling to contact for a while, unfortunately he wasn’t interested, but it was comforting to remove that burden from our shoulders.
Friday morning we started by visiting the twins which is when we found out all the information above. Kinda sad to see some people who are so great and know that the gospel and the church is true, choose to set different priorities in life. We then went on exchanges, I went with Elder Turner. We visited a few people and then we went to this awesome mexican grill, Sharky’s. One of the twins works there and got us a twenty percent discount. I was popping pepperoncini peppers the entire time we were there and Elder Turner persuaded me to bring more home. I did and when I was eating them at home and everybody else saw that I eating them, completely unfazed, that I should do the Blazin’ Challenge at Buffalo Wild Wings, which we’re doing as soon as we’re done emailing.
Saturday, we continued on with the exchange. We worked hard, but didn’t find many people home. All of a sudden, around 4pm we started finding people home and had two spur-of-the-moment member meals. We got them super pumped to do missionary work. It was awesome.
Sunday was church. We all thought it would be fast sunday, but to our dismay it wasn’t. We kept fasting though because we all had a purpose and found it better to keep on fasting than to complain and just quit all of a sudden. We went to a baptism after church, it was the baptism of Raymond Montiel, one of our investigators Elder Smith and I taught in Van Nuys.
Yesterday was another work day. We visited a lot of people and had missionary correlation meeting. Knockout went well and we taught one of our other investigators. It was so relieving that somebody stuck to their appointment. Afterwards we biked up this huge hill to attempt to drop off a copy of Book of Mormon Stories, but they weren’t home. We then came home, and I found that I had a package! Grandma’s ought-to-be world-famous chex mix! Yum!

Elder Blodgett

California San Fernando Mission
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Tuesday P-Day

Just for all of those people who were expecting this email yesterday, sorry. Preparation day was pushed back a day because the libraries were closed yesterday because of the darn corporate world having “Christmas Day Observance” and will happen again next week because of the same thing.
Anyways it’s been a good week or so. It’s been a little slow with the holidays, a lot of our appointments have fell through in addition to a lot of our investigators hesitating to even set appointments this week. It must be nice to be a missionary elsewhere, where school and work stays on until the day or two before the holiday and resumes the day or two after it also. Despite working and so on, people in our teaching pools at least have a more consistent work schedule.
We spent a lot of time this week caroling. On Tuesday, we sang carols nearby one of our investigators. They had some time for us to at least drop off some cookies, which they much appreciated. Back to caroling, one person that we sang to was so impressed by our visit that she called the rest of her family who was there to celebrate a family member’s birthday in and they all had their phones out to record us singing. Music brings the spirit in all situations. We’re planning on stopping by them again this week.
Thursday we had an awesome district meeting about how we can be more consecrated missionaries. Part of it was based out of Preach My Gospel and another part of it was based off of a talk by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles speaking about how the experience ancient Apostle Peter had with the Risen Lord asking him to leave behind fishing fish and be a fisher of men.
Friday we went Christmas caroling as a district during knockout. We all switched up who would stay behind and talk with the person, but at each door we would begin by singing a Christmas carol. It was a lot of fun. Later on in the evening, it rained super hard. Probably the hardest on my mission. We even had lightning and thunder which made me super happy. 
Christmas Eve day, we made brownies for another round of district caroling. This time, hitting up all of our investigators. Before that, we had a Christmas Devotional as a mission. There were 3 of the 6 zones present, the other 3 had theirs the day before. I played an arrangement I wrote several weeks prior of “Angels We Have Heard on High” on the organ. The caroling was fun. We then helped a member of our ward move a table out her apartment before coming home for the night.
On Christmas day, of chorus, we had sacrament meeting and skyped. Afterwards, we had an amazing meal with the member that had us over for skyping. We then visited a couple of our investigators, the twins and a new investigator Stephanie. We wanted to wish them a merry Christmas and find out why they hadn’t come to church. Stephanie wasn’t home and apparently the twins had slept in. We then went to our bishop’s house for another meal, even though we were all overly stuffed. After we ate, we played Mormon Taboo.
Yesterday was a work day, we visited with quite a few of the active members of the ward so we could get to know them more. We haven’t had a bunch of dinners so it’s been kind of difficult getting to know them all. We also had a few appointments set which cancelled last minute which was a little disappointing because we even had fellowshippers arranged to come and the whole works.
Talk to all y’all next year!

 

Elder Blodgett

California San Fernando Mission
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

A Fantastic Week

We had an amazing week here in Sherman Oaks. The Spirit has been super strong and we’ve seen a bunch of miracles.
Monday was a really busy for preparation day and after we had dinner, we made a really long bike ride up a hill to attempt to drop off a copy Book of Mormon Stories for a potential, but sadly they weren’t home and that took up all of the first day of the week.
Tuesday, we had a very revelatory weekly planning session, admittedly we were a bit distracted at times but, when we were focused we really sought for and obtained the direction from the Spirit how to help our investigators we are currently teaching.
Wednesday because we are still unfamiliar with our area, we have been trying to visit as many people as we can instead of doing service and other normal activities. We ended doing a knockout exchange with our district leaders so I ended up being back with Elder Turner for a couple of hours. While knocking, we found a super amazing investigator for another area of our mission. What was cool was that I was able to tell him who the missionaries were that would be teaching him and that he’d be in good hands. He accepted a Book of Mormon and committed to meeting with missionaries. After our knockout exchange, we taught our investigator family, the mother and her two daughters. It was an amazing lesson. This is a miracle that I sent into our mission hotline:
“We had a super bomb lesson with our investigator family tonight. They consist of a mother and her two daughters. During the lesson, the mother more or less rejected [what was being taught] and asked us not to push her or her daughters. Meanwhile during the lesson, the daughters, whose faith we marveled at tonight, testified boldly to their mother that they are ready to commit to baptism. Also, just yesterday (Tuesday), they were in a store signing up for a college discount. When the employee asked where they were planning on going, they replied BYU. The employee said he was an inactive member, so the daughters told him that it was time for him to come back to church. #EveryInvestigatorAMissionary”
Thursday we attended the temple. I must apologize here. I misplaced the family file cards. It wasn’t until after the temple trip that I found them. I hope I still know where they are in May for the departing temple trip.
Friday we had a great day. We had district meeting this week and went really well. We talked about how we can relate the life of Jesus Christ to our missionary efforts.
Saturday, we had a mission-wide service project at Operation Gratitude. We were hoping to go to a baptism, but sadly we weren’t able to go to it, but on our last night before transfer calls in Copper Hill, we found a really awesome 17 year old investigator. He was baptized this past Saturday. That is definitely a miracle for me.
Sunday was church again and I once again played the organ for sacrament meeting. A lot of the members want me to stay for the rest of my mission. That is something that I wouldn’t mind doing! We had a fairly uneventful rest of our day after that.
I love being a missionary. I both want my mission to end and not to end. I just love working with people even though I hate it. I love love-hate relationships.

 

Elder Blodgett

California San Fernando Mission
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

God Works in Mysterious Ways

Going back almost a week and a half ago, we had district meeting. While we were there, our district leader, Elder Mahlum invited us to think about a goal that we could work on for the next transfer. Well, this week was the onset of that goal. God works in mysterious ways and you should always be careful of what you ask for.
Our first week in Sherman Oaks has been interesting but quite wonderful. I love Elder Smith and I’m glad that I’m still with him for yet another transfer.

Sherman Oaks has quite a few people on the ward list, partly because a lot of people are less active and the other part because the ward list needs a bit of clean up. Attendance as we saw just yesterday was not a lot, but it felt homey and comfortable to be at.
Tuesday was dedicated to getting transferred and unpacking our bags before knockout. After knockout, we had dinner at the church. We were certain that we wouldn’t be there for long, but as it turned out we were wrong. We ended up staying the entire night between dinner and helping set up a little bit for the ward’s christmas dinner that would take place later in the week.
Wednesday was weekly planning (it is always on Wednesdays the week of transfers). We spent almost all day after studies going through the area book and trying to understand who is who and their progress. Later in the evening, we visited a lot of the people we read about in the area book despite the fact that a few of them weren’t home.
Because this is the first week in the month, we didn’t have district meeting which is normally held on Thursdays. So we visited as many people as we could. It turned out to be a huge blessing. We found several people that we had designed to visit, including a couple members and some of our investigator family. It is always great when we are able visit people before Sunday. The members that we visited are great and our investigators are a bit interesting. We shared with our investigators the Christmas video which they really liked. And this is where my goal that I set at district meeting started to be answered. The investigators we met with are both are 18 year old girls, twins, technically YSA age but the Mother, also an investigator who wasn’t home when we went by were the first answer, I suppose, to my prayer that I might not dwell too much on getting home in a few months and starting to date. Thanks Heavenly Father, I love thine sense of humour.
Friday was fairly uneventful, but it was indeed great. Because it was the first week of the month, we instead had zone training meeting instead of district meeting. The spirit was strong and we learned a lot about how to be better missionaries via the scriptures.
Saturday we attended a baptismal service for an investigator Elder Smith taught in one of his previous areas. It was a great service despite the fact that before the baptism, President Henrie pulled me aside to let me know that I needed to speak with him afterwards. Boy does that make a missionary nervous. Afterwards we spoke and he told me the news. Yet another answer to my goal and my prayer to accomplish it, this time to not worry about my family back home and trust in God that they will be alright. Again, thanks Heavenly Father for thine sense of humour.
Sunday was great we had church, this time in the morning, instead of around noon. We are in the same church building that the Van Nuys ward meets in, which is cool because I am still able to mingle with familiar faces. I played the organ for sacrament meeting and then Elder Smith and I taught gospel principles afterwards which was a lot of fun.
All in all, it’s been a great week and as for the goals I set and the prayers I said to have the faith and strength necessary to accomplish them, I think I’m doing alright. I love you all, this work is the Lord’s work!

 

Elder Blodgett

California San Fernando Mission
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints