Institute

Today, I had the privilege of attending institute. Sadly, for the past two months, I’ve been working Thursday evenings, which has prevented me from the opportunity of attending the God-given gift place of learning about Him.

It was like being reaquainted with an old friend. I imagine and I hope it feels like this, for one who comes back to church after a period of inactivity, being greeted with love.

I have a solid testimony of the blessings of Institute. It is a gift from God to study the words of His Prophets, which is scripture, and learn how they benefit myself personally and I know it can for you as well.

Sadly however, I work next Thursday evening. I pray for more Thursday evenings off.

RE: #FlyoverRadio: American faith and the rise of the ‘nones’

Lead image from the Standard Examiner

I was about this close ūüĎĆ to being on the radio today (I mean hey, I do have a face for radio, but I digress). It was about religion in this day and age and how many people ages 18-35 are leaving and why some chose to come back.
As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (hereafter named “the Church”), I strongly believe that this Church has figured it out, almost to the t what these people need at a critical time in their lives when they need to figure out what they believe and the program in place helps to solidify those beliefs and share them with future generations.

Continue reading RE: #FlyoverRadio: American faith and the rise of the ‘nones’

Another Week of Interviews

Well, this should be the last of the weekly updates as I’ll transition to writing a daily blog post. 

We’ll begin with Monday as we’ve done the in the past like two years. It was a fairly uneventful day as far as things I did. I found many jobs to apply to–and I applied for them. Then, it was time to head to family home evening, which was held at President Brickey’s home. A good friend of mine gave the lesson, and then we had ice cream floats (Root Beer, Orange, and Grape sodas were provided). Yummy!!! Then it was off to go home for a good night’s rest. 

Tuesday began with the donating of plasma.  I received $25 for so doing. I received several callbacks for interviews and a few rejections too.

Wednesday was a bit disappointing as I had completed an application to go to an open interview event to find out that based on my application they already assumed I wouldn’t be a good fit. Like what? You invite me to this event and refuse to hire me based off some sheet of paper or a page on the internet? Right…

Thursday was again fairly uneventful. As far as the job hunt went, I had a super successful interview at Office Max, with them immediately setting up a second interview for a few days later. The condo association here at the place I live at had a potluck meal which I stopped at quickly for a bite to eat. Then it was time for institute and we had a fantastic lesson on being Saviours on Mount Zion, meaning sharing the gospel with the people we meet in this earthly existence as well as doing temple and family history work.

Friday was another open interview event at West Business Services. Before that I donated plasma and received $50 for doing so, I also began to write a composition of Antonin Dvorak’s “Songs My Mother Taught Me” for organ solo, which I plan on publishing at http://music.blodgettmedia.com. Then, we had a very active weather pattern role through the area and I caught a lot of it on film, which can be found on my YouTube channel. We then had a good game of basketball and building cleaning for YSA branch sports night.

Saturday, my dear Mother and I began the day by organizing our storage locker and then I worked out followed by my next interview at Office Max, which went quite well. I then fixed my bike and went to an interesting lesson with the Missionaries. I rode my, what feels like new, bike for approximately 12.3 miles. I love exercising!

Sunday was an eventful day. It began by running through my talk that I gave last week because I was about to give it again. Then, I went to Neenah thanks to a member of the branch who gave me a ride. We first had a Boom of Mormon/Breakfast class, then we had church which was great to see a few of the friends I left behind nearly three years ago. It felt so good to be back in that building for a worship service. I played the organ in addition to giving my talk. I then came home to finish the song I had been writing earlier in the week.

Job Interviews Lining Up

In only my second full week back, I’ve had 4 job interviews and at least 3 are expected next week. I’m really happy about the results of the job hunt so far. I do need to begin stepping up the notch though because it seems that these interview aren’t going anywhere yet. It is awfully disappointing though when a recruiter tells you that aren’t you that you’re not good enough for the job.

Continue reading Job Interviews Lining Up

Somethings Never Change

To begin, it must needs be that I write an apology. I’ve been down right lousy at updating my blog lately. I promise to be better at that starting now.

Beginning with Monday, it was Memorial day, it began with some exercise, for I knew that I’d be eating quite a bit of food. It was first the Appleton first ward breakfast. I helped cook by making pancakes. It was nice to see so many people whom I used to be in the same ward with. However, a] a lot of people have moved and b] it’s simply a strange experience when it’s not your ward. Then I bought some tomatoes and peppers to plant in our balcony garden. Then it was back to the park for the second ward lunch. Yummy burgers.

Tuesday, the job hunt officially began. I applied for approximately four jobs and got a big dent on my resume. I also donated plasma.

Wednesday we went to the Chicago temple. It was so nice to be back in the temple i received my endowments in. After that we made a special visit to a family member.

Thursday, it was more jobs.

Friday, in addition to applying for jobs, I got several call backs. Already for this next week I have three interviews scheduled. I’m excited! As to be expected, some were also rejected.

Saturday, we made our grocery runs, going to the freshly remodeled Aldi! Yay good food for not a lot of money!

Sunday, we went to the first ward for sacrament meeting and sunday school. This was because we had a family reunion on my father’s side. It was good to see them again after three years. We also made a visit to my Grandmother on my mother’s side.

I say somethings don’t change because it’s true. My family is still my family despite what trials we may go through. The sky is still blue. Getting hired is still a long process. My home is about as messy and cluttered as it was when I left. Just to name a few.

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 ‚Äď 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‚Äôll 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