The First Week Back

We’ll go ahead and begin with preparation day. It was crazy. Emailing was strange since it was the last time doing it on the mission as I didn’t have many people to chat with, so I quickly finished up and then did some family history research by looking at how far back my family tree goes. Turns out it went as far back as the 1500s one of the branches of the tree. So exciting!

Tuesday was the last full day–scary! We started with finishing packing and then cleaning our apartment so it would be ready for the new missionary coming into it. Then it was transfers. After the parking lot exchange, we headed off to some other missionaries’ area to knock doors for them for a few hours. It flew by. We kept looking at our watches wishing it would slow down. Then at 6pm, we headed to President Henrie’s home for a lovely home-cooked meal followed by a spiritually moving departing testimony meeting. A moment where it kind of felt real was when one of the missionaries was picked up, it was surreal to feel the love in the air and the fact that we would be having that moment tomorrow.

Wednesday, my turn came. We all got to the airport around 9am. Several people’s departures were delayed, thankfully mine was a-okay, and so was the rest of my flights. I had layovers in Salt Lake City and Minneapolis before landing around 9:30pm in Appleton, WI. It was strange seeing my Mom after nearly 3 years but it felt good to not only talk to her but also see talk to her face to face. Then, we headed to our new stake president’s home so I could be released and then went home for a good night’s rest because I only got about 2 or 3 hours of sleep the night before.

Thursday, was a dentist appointment. That was relatively painless, my teeth are all nice and clean again. Not white, now mind you, just clean. I began my job search by re-doing my resume, even though at this point it was very much a rough draft. I also began the effort to remember all of my crucial login information.

Friday, was a fun day. I donated plasma for the first time in 2 years. It was relatively painless. The biggest thing that took a lot of time was the initial screening. Following that was the actual donation which took about an hour. Then, we bought some groceries for a family reunion the next day and for the upcoming week as well. Then, I got a new phone. It’s a Samsung Galaxy J3 Emerge, but it will do. After that, it was home for some more unpacking.

Saturday, we headed to Madison including an extended excursion for sight seeing. When we got to Madison it was time for the family reunion. It was so nice to see my Grandmother and Aunts and Uncles for the first time in so long. Oh yeah, can’t forget the cousins as well. After several hours we went back home so I could continue to unpack and look for jobs.

Sunday was my report to the high council. It was my first high council meeting I’ve ever attended. It was nice to see many of the members of the council that I’ve known for quite a while, including the new stake presidency. My new stake president was by YSA branch president when I left for Salt Lake City on my service mission. Also my Bishop is now the Second Counselor in the Stake Presidency and many other members of the council that I have been my youth leaders. We then went home to complete some things of preparation for my open house. At church, I taught the 7 & 8 year olds in Primary and then went home to get ready for said open house. During the 2 hours of the event, we had probably 30 to 40 people come.

All in all, it still feels weird to be home.

My Last Preparation Day

Elder Blodgett is scheduled to fly into Appleton on Wednesday 5/24/17 at 9:35pm.  Please join us for open house to welcome him home – on Sunday 5/28/17 from 4-6pm, in the community room of our condo.  We live at 400 N Richmond Street, in Appleton (Richmond Terrace Condos).  Entrance is at the northeast corner of the building at the corner of State & Packard streets.  I’ll post signs in the lobby directing people to the community room on the 2nd floor.  You can park anywhere.

This has been a crazy fast week. I thought this would be a much slower week than this, but as we were obedient and went out and worked hard, it went faster than any other week on my mission and we had many miracles.
On Monday evening, we were out visiting potential investigator when we came across one. We sat down with him and taught him the restoration and picked him up as a new investigator. Later, we taught another new investigator we picked up earlier in the transfer and continued on with our teaching.
Tuesday, we weekly planned (sadly, me for the last time). We were able to get permission from our 17 year old investigator’s father over the phone who left their family unannounced (it’s a really sad situation). While, we don’t have her on date for baptism yet, we at least have necessary permissions in placed for when she receives her answer that the message is true and wants to be baptized. She has been reading the Book of Mormon every day and is now in Mosiah 9 or so.
Wednesday was really fun. We biked around all day. Sadly, for the last time on my mission. We don’t really have time to do that for the next few days. We talked to a lot of people and encouraged them to read the Book of Mormon.
Thursday, we went to a funeral viewing for a member in a nearby ward that Elder Clark used to serve in. He was very close to the family. This is probably too soon to say this after the previous few sentences, but it was my mission “funeral,” meaning, it was my last district meeting. I gave my “departing” testimony, even though I am not quite gone yet.
Friday, was a great day. We had the departing missionary temple trip. This is when it truly hit me that I was going home soon. After we got back to the mission office, I had my final interview with President. It was weird, he told me to marry somebody with as great of faith as my mother.
Saturday, we went to the Temple Visitor’s Center with our investigator who is currently in Mosiah 9.  After we got back to our area, we went on another “roadtrip” to Canoga Park for the baptism of Jose Lopez, who I found and taught a few times in Tarzana before passing him off to missionaries in another ward.
Sunday, was my last time at church on my mission. It was sad to say goodbye to so many wonderful people. After church, we helped a less-active family move out of their house because they are getting evicted. Then, we proselyted to the rest of the evening.
I’m almost ready to go as far as packing goes. Emotionally, not so much.
Elder Blodgett
California San Fernando Mission
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Last Skype Home

Elder Blodgett is scheduled to fly into Appleton on Wednesday 5/24/17 at 9:35pm.  Please join us for open house to welcome him back – on Sunday 5/28/17 from 4-6pm, in the community room of our condo.  We live at 400 N Richmond Street, in Appleton (Richmond Terrace Condos).  Entrance is at the northeast corner of the building at the corner of State & Packard streets.  I’ll post signs in the lobby directing people to the community room on the 2nd floor.  You can park anywhere.
The work isn’t ending by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s weird to think that I won’t be here soon. Yesterday, as you know, was my last skype home–one week and a half before I come home.
Anyways, we’ve have a wonderful week here in Mint Canyon. Last Monday, we had a awesome zone activity of mini golfing. Later, we spent most of the evening at our ward mission leader’s home having dinner and correlating missionary work.
Tuesday, was weekly planning, and we decided we needed to get an investigator to the temple visitor’s center. So we contacted as many people as we could to arrange it, but we had to cancel last minute because it was for yesterday and this investigator is struggling with her relationship with her mother so we decided to postpone it a little bit.
Wednesday, we had a packed day and we biked a lot. In the morning, I did My Plan, and then we got out to work. We biked up a bunch of steep hills, even though many people weren’t home. It was good to know we were out on the Lord’s errand anyways.
Thursday, we helped a less-active person by moving a few items of furniture out of their apartment and in to their garage. Then, we had district meeting. It is sad to think that I only have one more left. We had a training on how to address the needs of our investigators and set baptismal “goals” with them.
Friday, we visited more people with no more success than Wednesday, but we were able to contact some new referrals that came in through the system. We had lunch with our district leaders which was fun.
Saturday brought some sad news, a few members of our zone have gone home. We helped them out by cleaning up their apartments. We then had a great day talking to many people, inviting them to church and reminding them about Mother’s day. Later in the evening, we went to a baptism with one of our investigators.
Sunday, Elder Carter finished packing for India, and then we drove around our area looking at big houses. We were all sad for his departure and anxious for skyping home. We had church and heard a lot of great talks about the importance of mothers.

 

Elder Blodgett

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

A lot of appointments falling through

It’s been a hard week, but it’s been really awesome though too. We’ve worked hard even though we’ve had a lot of disappointments.
Anyways, we had an awesome preparation day. We were going to go mountain biking, but that didn’t pan out because we didn’t have enough time. Instead, we went on a zone hike which was super fun and I got my flight itinerary in the mail. So sad that I’m leaving in a few weeks.
Tuesday, we did weekly planning. We started a bit late because we decided that we’ve been too distracted as of late so we moved our tables around to be more focused and then organized our supplies so our study room was cleaner but we had a great weekly planning session and it was very revelatory. We were going to teach a lesson to an investigator family but they were headed out for some sort of family trip. Later, we had dinner with a less-active member followed by a lesson with an investigator who is progressing very quickly despite the fact that she won’t commit to baptism yet.
Wednesday, we did my plan here at the library and then went home so we could have companionship study and be home for the housing coordinator couple to come pick up a few items that were in our home/bring us a much desired couch. We then had lunch with our district leaders (on them, how nice!). After that we went biking to find people home, including biking up a huge hill. All was well going up and back down, but as soon as we got off the hill and were on the main drag, I got a flat tire. We were there for probably an hour fussing over how to get it patched, which wasn’t working, when a less active member saw us and brought us an our bikes to our car to go home and wash up. Later, during KnockOut we almost got arrestted for knocking in a gated community, but the security people didn’t find us until we were walking to our dinner appointment in the community. Matthew 25:35-40 reminded me a lot of this event. https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/matt/25.35,36,37,38,39,40?#24
Thursday, we had district meeting. We then went on exchanges with another companionship because they both had doctors appointments at different times so we as a trio split up so they could still have missionaries covering their area. Elder Carter and I stayed in our area and a lot of our appointments that we had scheduled cancelled.
Friday, we had interviews with President Henrie. That was fun. We found out that Elder Carter got his visa and will be flying out on May 15 to India. I don’t recall if I told you about that or not that he was a visa water. Later, we did some service for a member
Saturday, was a seemingly blurred day in my memory. We visited with many people but not many people were interested. However, it was quite cold all day because it had rained earlier.
Sunday, it was still cold with the chance of more rain. During church, the skies were calm. I gave my final testimony in a fast & testimony sacrament meeting which was very hard but I got through it. After church, the skies opened, the rains came, the lightning struck, and for the first time in my time here in California real heard through out the mission. The storm ended before we got to knockout. After dinner, we had another lesson with our progressing investigator that I previously talked about.

 

Elder Blodgett

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

Busy Week in Mint Canyon

We’ve found a lot of success by working hard, being obedient, being more urgent, etc here in Mint Canyon this week. It’s been wonderful to see the Lord’s blessings.

For preparation day we had a few fun activities. First, we went mountain biking up a short mountain to where we stood on top of said mountain and there was a banner (United States Flag) unfurled. Pun intended. After that, we had a zone activity of scatter ball. Fun stuff. In the evening after preparation day, we taught a Filippino lady with the Filippino missionaries from Arcadia. That was interesting.

Tuesday, we had weekly planning. We almost were going to have a lesson in the middle of it, but it got cancelled.

On Wednesday, we were out and about when we were trying to contact a referral when we found a cool family playing on the grass outside of their apartment building. We taught them and picked them up as new investigators. Also, we helped them draw with sidewalk chalk a big happy birthday message to their father.

Thursday, we had another stacked day with lots of teaching appointments. Disrict meeting was awesome learning about planning in relationship to finding. Then came the lessons, our first one was so cool because we walked in to his apartment and he was trying to look up Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration on his TV. He had already read all of the pamphlets we had given him and some of the Book of Mormon. Exciting. Then, later we had another lesson with some of our other investigators about the purpose of prayer. On of the investigators who had previously refused to pray, prayed for the first time in a lesson and probably vocally.

Friday, we went on exchanges with our district leaders. Elder Clark and I stayed in our area with my mission grandson Elder Johnson! Yay! We ended up finding three new investigators on our exchange which all seem super promising.

Saturday, the culmination of super windy week in Santa Clarita ended with a big dust storm. We went out walking and talking with people and we came back to the car and it was just coated with dust. We ended our exchange and had a service opportunity with one of our investigators which was super awesome. We then had dinner with an ex Navy Seal which took up the remainder of our time with his stories.

Sunday, we had church which was a little disappointing because only one of our many investigators came. But we had a great evening talking with people.

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