Lots of Miracles

First Week in Mint Canyon

Being back in the Santa Clarita valley is really crazy. It’s so much fun and it’s been a bit overwhelming as well.
Tuesday was the sad unfortunate day of transfers. It was sad seeing so many of the Spanish-speaking missionaries that came out with me leave, for my same fate lies ahead in not so much time. I met my new companions, Elders Clark and Carter and drove to our new area. Much to my dismay, I had to drive. Ugh. I wasn’t really wanting to drive again in California on my mission, but it was only for a few days. It was also the first time driving since our mission got TiWi’s (blackbox for cars to monitor driving and alert the driving that any maneuver is wrong (aggressive driving, speeding, seat belt not plugged in, etc), but as it turned out I was pretty much usually driving the speed limit while I was driving previously as it felt quite naturally. I met a goodly portion of the relief society in the evening as we were invited to a relief society taco dinner to “taco bout general conference.” A favorite subject of mine!
Wednesday, we commenced weekly planning. It quickly brought up an issue which should make the next few weeks extremely interesting. We get really side tracked together, especially during planning sessions. However, we did finish and we got out to work at a decent time. We had a bad luck streak with some of the investigators here dropping us all in one day, which also led to Elder Clark getting a cold, possibly a depression cold. But just because these investigators dropped us, it wasn’t the end of our contacting them.
Thursday, we first had an interesting lesson with a less active person. Afterwards, we had an awesome district meeting about the power and authority of our calling and another training on how to invite our investigators to attend church.
Friday, we switched up the schedule a little bit because of a few things that went weird. We were going to have personal study at the library because I am now doing MyPlan, but we didn’t realize that the libraries didn’t open until 10am, so we had companionship study at 9am and then went to the mission office to swap our car which hit the church’s mileage cap this past week out for a brand-new 2017 Toyota Corolla. It’s safe to say everybody’s been looking at our car the past few days. Anyways, we then went back to the library for personal study and stopped by a bunch of people.
Recently, President Henrie has asked all of the missionaries to have bikes so we can all be bike/car areas to be more visible to the public. Elder Carter is a visa waiter so when we were at the mission office to get our new car, he went with the mission bike office couple to get him a bike from the storage shed. Saturday, was our first day of biking, even though it came with a few, albeit funny setbacks just to get started. While biking, we found somebody who was moving and helped them get some of the heavier stuff out of their apartment. We went back to the apartment to freshen up and had the opportunity to attend a Jewish Passover ceremony/meal.
Sunday, which was Easter, was no reason to not go out and work. To my great joy, Church starts at 1pm which means we were able to go out and do some solid few hours of work prior to church, and we had several hours of visiting lots of people to remind them about the true meaning of the holiday, to reflect on the life of our Savior, Jesus Christ. It was made to my remembrance during a personal prayer I was having during the day that we normally say, “The life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.” He is resurrected, and because he never truly died it is all his life. We had an Easter dinner with a family in the ward and that pretty much concluded our week.


Elder Blodgett

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

Last Transfer–Crazy Transfer

My Last General Conference of My Mission

The subject explains a bit of sadness I am feeling right now. There are a lot of mission milestones and one of the milestone systems is the number of General Conferences left. I have none.
Anyways, it’s been quite a fast week despite the fact that we were all getting very excited for General Conference. Wednesday, we started with weekly planning followed by knockout.
Thursday, we had the mission “funeral” for our District Leader, Elder Durrant, who goes home in just over a week. It was also a great district meeting though and we talked a lot about the purpose of baptism and how it fits into receiving the blessings of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. After district meeting, we went on exchanges with our district leader. For once, I got to stay in our area and I went with our district leaders companion, Elder Brown.
Friday, we went back to the food bank for some more service. After service, I helped Elder Brown with by doing a little bit of his training (it’s his first transfer). We went to the library and did a cool online course for the Adjusting to Missionary Life booklet.
Saturday and Sunday were a sacred and edifying conclusion to our week. First off, no thanks to a great Sister Missionary, and a good friend of mine had to remind me, we go home next month. Wow! To the more spiritual part of the weekend, the 187th Annual General Conference. It was so nice to be instructed by our Church leaders.
The Saturday Morning Session focused primarily on the Plan of Salvation and how the Atonement of Jesus Christ is central to that plan [note the italicization of the word “of”?] President Henry B. Eyring of the First Presidency opened the conference, encouraging adults to catch up to what family history and temple work the youth have done. Brother Brough taught about the various tools, a “care package,” available to be lead, guided, walked beside [sound like a familiar hymn?]. Elder Clayton, of the Seventy, spoke beautifully simply about the simply beautiful simple Plan of Salvation. Apostle, Elder Dale G. Renlund spoke on how to fully go though the whole Plan, we must repent. Elder Soares spoke on the need to stand straight. Elder Bragg encouraged us to keep our lights lit. President Russell M. Nelson spoke on how the Atonement is doctrinally incomplete with our saying Christ’s name with it.
We began the Saturday Afternoon session with church business, the chance to sustain our Church leaders. What a privilege that is. The first two speakers were of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. First was Elder Robert D. Hales, who set the the tone for the majority of the rest of Conference, true discipleship. Second was Elder Holland speaking about the need to “sing” the “anthems” of heaven. Elder Sabin, of the Seventy, spoke on being all in and Elder Cordon spoke on preserving the language of the Gospel. Elder Neil L. Andersen, spoken on overcoming the world through righteous conduct. Elder M. Russell Ballard concluded the session by explaining the difference between goals and plans, a topic many missionaries are keenly familiar with in chapter 8 of Preach My Gospel.
President Thomas S. Monson opened the Priesthood Session with a talk about charity, the pure love of Christ. Elder Bednar followed him by explaining the difference between the call of service in the Kingdom of God which is greater than the assignment of labor. Presiding Bishop, Gerald Causse spoke on bridging the gap between the Aaronic Priesthood and the Melchizedek Priesthood. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf reminded the brethren that the most important calling is the one we currently have. President Eyring spoke on the magnitude of Priesthood service.
Our beloved Prophet, President Monson, once again opened the Sunday Morning Session by speaking on the importance of testimonies. Primary General President, Joy D. Jones spoke on keeping covenants and that promises are insperable from covenants. Elder Choi of the Seventy spoke on being the strong link in our family tress (ancestors and descendants). Elder Ronald A. Rasband, an Apostle, instructed us on how to follow the counsel from the Holy Ghost through striving to be worthy of it, being willing to receive it, recognizing it,  and acting on it. L. Whitney Clayton of the Presidency of the Seventy spoke on how we need to unconditionally accept God’s word, especially in advance. Elder Dallin H. Oaks, spoke on how everything in life is centered in God. President Uchtdorf closed the session with a joke about how the healthiest sleep is Church sleep and the difference between fear, uncertainty, and doubt versus faith, uncertainty, and trust.
The concluding session was opened with an address by D. Todd Christofferson about practicing what we preach and preaching what we practice. Elder Costa spoke primarily to investigators and how to gain a testimony. Elder Palmer spoke on having Christlike love. Apostle Gary E. Stevenson spoke on how the Holy Ghost helps us by warning, comforting, and testifying to us. Elder Grow taught us how to have a better relationship to God through prayer, scripture study, and doing God’s will. Elder De Hoyos spoke on how we, as individuals need to be Ensigns to the world. Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles concluded the weekend with sharing a statistic researcher concluded upon about how if we spend 10,000 hours we will be able to be truly skilled at something; we must do that with the gospel also.
Again, it was an edifying weekend. We’ll apply what Elder Hales once taught, “The greatest blessings of conference come after the conference is over … we go home to live it.” It was hard to see President Monson struggle, especially that he had subtitles. Thankfully, however, he did announce 5 new temples. We have a new General Relief Society Presidency. Singing the congregational hymns was difficult because the subtitles were not present, however, the music was beautiful, as always.


Elder Blodgett

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

Happy Belated Cesar Chavez Day!

Your reaction to my subject will probably be the same reaction I had when I heard that libraries were closed yesterday and preparation day was postponed to today. Cesar Chavez was some sort of Latino migrant worker reformation person.
Anywho, it’s been an exciting week. We’ll skip ahead to Tuesday since not much occurred on Monday. We got weekly planning done in record time since we’ve been here in Sylmar. I suppose it helps that we’ve dropped a lot of investigators because of lack of real intent and don’t need to take as long for planning. We’ve been focusing a lot on finding as of late.
Wednesday, we spent a bit of time organizing our area book. It was the first time since we’ve been here that we’ve taken time to actually sit down and look at things like former investigators and potential investigators. Plus, we got a current ward list so we’re trying to figure out who is in our area and who is in the Sister’s area so we don’t go outside of ours by accident. We had a knockout exchange with our District Leader, I went with Elder Durrant. We found a new investigator for the Spanish Sisters that cover our area that was fun.
Thursday, I got what is lovingly called the “Pink Monster.” It requests which airport I want to fly in to and where to send the itinerary. I put you down and ATW for the airport. We also had what was the first district meeting we had in like 3 weeks. After district meeting we had a really interesting lesson with an investigator we’ve had struggles meeting with for a few weeks because of some surgery she had. I don’t know how prepared she is based off our conversation, but her ex-husband and her two sons are member and she has a quad! After that lesson, we helped one of her neighbours set up a TV.
Friday, we did some service at a food pantry. It was nice to be able to do service again. It’s unfortunate that we haven’t done so in a while. Friday evening was tough. Elder P has been struggling taking the lead and I’ve been inviting him to do so. This particular evening, I got a little fed up with it so I decided that I wasn’t going to go anywhere unless he rode in front. We stood there for an hour until finally he started walking his bike–home. There we stayed for the rest of the evening.
Saturday, we had coordination which went a lot better than what I heard went down the previous week. However, I came prepared with my copy of Handbook 2 as well as my Missionary Handbook and Preach My Gospel. We had an awesome take-home meal from a Filipino member. Yay fish!
Sunday was church and it was ward conference. The choir piece that I accompanied went very well. Later, we taught a couple of non-progressing investigators who we told that there wasn’t much we could do with them until they do their part. We had a good knockout and an awesome dinner with Brother Gardner, he is the funniest member here and has lots of cool stories.
Monday, the biggest highlight of the day was having interviews with President Henrie. I think I’m finally getting to like him. It’s only taken almost two years.


Elder Blodgett

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

Hot Week

I think I’ve gotten accustomed to relatively cold weather again, because this past week felt super hot and at times a bit unbearable. It cooled down again later in the weekend, but the beginning of the week was tough.
Monday was a pretty uneventful day. We had an awesome zone activity of king of the field soccer. While the team I was on was not playing, I spent my time sun bathing, working on my tan. Later in the evening, this happened: “#PDayMiracle!!! Tonight, we finally had a lesson with one of our investigators since whitewashing this area. During our lesson with him, he mentioned that he was only following God 80%. We were teaching the Plan of Salvation but we reviewed The Restoration and testified that baptism by proper authority of the Priesthood will #CloseTheGap and help him to follow God 100%. He committed to be baptized!!!”
Tuesday, was spent planning for the next week or so. We found out that one of our investigators is in the hospital, but we can’t meet with him because he is in Pasadena. That was kind of devastating, we’ve met with him twice so far and want him to progress.
Wednesday, we had zone conference. We learned about a lot of the same things that were discussed in zone training meeting the previous week. It wasn’t surprising that much would be different in terms of things to focus on because both meetings were only a week apart.
Thursday was a full work day and we were able to visit a lot of our investigators to try and set return appointments with at least. Sadly the investigators we did have appointments cancelled on us because of work schedules.
Friday, we did some street contacting with not much success. Afterwards, we helped a part member family in our area move, which was greatly appreciated by the ward. We then went on exchanges with the zone leaders. I went in to Spanish work with Elder Lytle and we taught a single mother (returning member to activity in the church) and some of her children (who want to be baptized and are older than eight) the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity which went surprisingly well. I think it’s easier to teach those two commandments to youth.
Saturday, we finished the exchange by getting bashed, sorta, perhaps more like we had a really long one sided conversation with this guy talking about deep, possibly, could be true doctrine mingled with politics and philosophies of men. Afterwards, we at lunch at a member’s papusa restaurant before having companionship study and ending our exchange. Later in the evening, we had dinner at our Bishop’s house.
Sunday was church and that was awesome as usual, but we taught one of our investigators who we finally contacted after three weeks. We then came home for studies because having ward council at 7am and church at 9am puts a ding in to that. We also didn’t have dinner, which was sad because I really want to get to know the ward, but it’s hard not having those set appointments with them.


Elder Blodgett

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

Busy Week in Sylmar

Now that the two of us are relatively settled in to the Sylmar ward, we are beginning to figure out what is going on and how to focus our efforts. We’ve also had a busy week because we’ve been able to establish contact with our investigators and have been able teach several of them.

Last Monday was really fun. Instead of going to the normally scheduled zone activity, we hooked up with Elder Thorpe (one of my former companions) and his companion Elder Liddiard and played frisbee golf. It was a lot of fun, it wasn’t too hot, got a lot of exercise and as far as throwing a frisbee, I’m not half bad at it. I was only like 20 over par compared to regular golf which would probably be like 40 or so over par. Later in the evening, we taught one of our investigators about how to study the Book of Mormon.

On Tuesday as soon as we finished weekly planning, we had KnockOut and visited several of our investigators. We talked to one, whom we were able to set a return appointment for later on in the week.

Wednesday, we did some service for a member packing boxes as they prepare to move later on in the week. Before that we dropped off a Bible to a lady who requested one several months ago and for some reason or another missionaries have not had contact with her and we finally were able to deliver it to her. Later on in the day, we had an exchange. I went with the district leader’s companion, Elder Brown, in to Spanish work. It was fun except for I didn’t know any of what was going on.

Thursday, we were waiting to go to Zone Training Meeting with Elder Postelnicu and our district leader, Elder Durrant when we saw this couple outside our complex looking strangely happy. Turned out, it was the parents of one of the sister missionaries that live in our complex. They were here to drop some stuff off for her, which they wanted to personally drop off at her apartment door, but they were currently home. So we took snapped a selfie real quick and took the stuff up to her and her companion. We exchanged back at zone training meeting. Zone training meeting was awesome, we focused a lot on how to ensure that we baptize our investigators on the first scheduled baptismal date we invite people on. After ZTM, I had my temple recommend interview with President Henrie and got that renewed. It will expire in August, per direction of the General Authorities, they have mission presidents write down when the recommend was issued in such a way that it will expire approximately 4 months after the missionaries return home so that they need to meet with their Bishop and Stake President soon after getting home.

Friday, we stopped by many of our investigators and despite many of them not being home, we picked up one new investigator and taught several others. It is starting to get hot also so biking was fun. Thankfully, people have been giving us water which helps quench that thirst.

Saturday, was more of the same story as Friday. After KnockOut, we had a ward dinner at church. It was the ward’s chili cook off which was a lot of fun, but I would have preferred to have had some spicy chili, because most of it was super mild. At the dinner, the ward choir director gave me the music the ward choir is working on for ward conference in a couple of weeks. After the dinner, we headed to the chapel so I could practice it a little before rehearsal the next day before church services.

Sunday was pretty relaxing, most of the day was spent at church and having studies after church. We had a good time during knockout and having a Hawaiian dinner with a member.

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

First Week in Sylmar

It’s been a relatively easy transition from Sherman Oaks to Sylmar. It’s weird being transferred with only 12 weeks left on my mission. I was really hoping that I could stay in Sherman Oaks for the rest of my mission but I guess that was not what the Lord had in mind for me at this time.

Transfer day went quite smoothly. We had to be up at the Valencia stake center super early which was boring but it was nice to be able to greet all the missionaries as they pulled into the parking lot to transfer luggage. Afterwards, we received a ride home from the senior couple serving in our new ward. I love the senior couple, they also are serving in the Van Nuys ward which I have served in a couple of times. As soon as we got groceries, we labored over the area book and map to figure out where our boundaries were and where to start knocking. We eventually got to knockout around 5:30 with dinner at 6:15. The dinner was fun, they are such an awesome family. We also have a companionship of sisters in our ward which makes things lively in the ward.

Wednesday we again labored over the area book and after much blood, sweat, and tears finished it at 3:30, just enough time to go to knockout. As I soon figured out that day, the streets here are at a strange 45° angle from the rest of the grid system that is in the San Fernando valley so we were both getting lost and not figuring out where to go. Fortunately by the end of the evening we knew how to get home, so that was a start. We met our ward mission leader briefly that evening and had an impromptu dinner with another really awesome family in the ward.

Thursday, we had an awesome district meeting about the atonement and how to teach it so our investigators understand and it and have a testimony of it and how we as missionaries also need to understand and have a testimony of the atonement as well. After KnockOut, we attempted to meet as many of our investigators as possible, but none of them appeared to be home.

Friday, We tried to meet even more of our investigators but again they weren’t home. Later in the evening, we met our Bishop. He’s super awesome, it’s his second time serving as a bishop, he served as a mission president from 2001-2004, is a convert and was baptized in 1979, and is from the Philippines! After him, we met one of our investigators for the first time and taught him about the purpose of prophets.

Saturday was a bit of a struggle however. In the afternoon we had stopped by a potential investigator we picked up earlier in the week. I suggested to Elder Postelnicu that he take the lead to go to the next person we had planned to visit, he got really frustrated at that idea and didn’t want to do so. After a bit of trickery on my part, I forced him to bike in front of me and he led us our apartment. I asked some inspired questions as to why we were here and at one point I was nervous for him that his he didn’t have much of a testimony of the gospel. So, I texted the zone leaders (we live with them) and asked if they were home. They were, so we came in to the apartment told them every thing that happened, they went to talk with him, and then Elder Postelnicu and I talked and I think things are going to get a lot better from now on. After KnockOut, we visited as many of our investigators as possible and met quite a few, they all told us to come back “tomorrow.”

Sunday, we had church which was so nice because we were, more or less, dying to meet the ward. After church, we had a bunch of “appointments” but sadly all of them except for one fell through. The one lesson we did teach as on the plan of salvation which I’m beginning to realize I know too much about and it’s showing in my teaching of it. During knockout we got in to a bash about whether or not a prophet is on the earth today. We then had dinner with the same member family that we had dinner with on Wednesday.

I love being a missionary, these experiences have definitely been for my good and I am excited to put the things I have learned to the test when I get home. I love the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because I know the gospel that is taught within the church is true.

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

Another Interesting Round of Transfers

Well, for the second to last time on my mission, it would appear as if the dreaded transfer call is telling me that it I am going to another area. Also, for the third time on my mission, I will be staying with Elder Postelnicu and we are whitewashing an area together.

Beginning with Wednesday, we managed to begin weekly planning but were not able to finish it until Friday. It didn’t help that we for some reason or another were all really distracted together as an apartment and were all talking for longer than was needful. Thankfully however, we got most of it accomplished and were able to get to knockout on time.

 On Thursday, we had an awesome district meeting about teaching repentance. We had role-plays as part of that which was nice to have another opportunity to practice our teaching together. Through out this entire transfer, I’ve had to take a lot of the lead in our companionship because Elder Postelnicu is a lot like one of my previous companions who isn’t the most talkative and takes a back seat in everything. Every opportunity we have to practice is even more helpful for him.

 On Friday, we finished weekly planning and then had what I call “Apartment Inventory.” It is based on companionship inventory found on page 150 of preach my gospel but we do it to review how the transfer has gone and set goals with everyone in the apartment. 

Saturday was the day of transfer calls, which this time around wasn’t nearly as nerve racking to wait for as many previous transfer calls are. We got a lot of work done and visited a lot of members of our ward to get to know them. It was a little sad that we’d soon find out any attempts at building relationships with them would be called to a halt. During KnockOut, we taught a guy who is going to University of Southern California, we committed him to baptism on March 26th before knowing that, so we dutifully sent his contact through referral system.

 Sunday, we said our goodbyes to the ward. It was ward conference which was really awesome to hear from the stake presidency and the bishop. I’m really going to miss Sherman Oaks, it was a great ward to serve in. I’ve grown a lot here and have really grown to love the people here. Onward and upward to my eighth ward on my mission.

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

Rain Rain Go Away

Wow. This rain keeps coming and it gets worse too. This past Friday we received rain that came down at over an inch per hour. It was both a little frightening and fun biking through at the same time.
This past Tuesday we had interviews with President Henrie. Mine was fairly quick and not painful at all. He simply encouraged me to remain focused these last 2 transfers I have left. We also began weekly planning in the morning before interviews which went well.
On Wednesday morning, we finished up weekly planning, had lunch and comp study and then went to work. We had a super awesome Knockout and invited a lot of people to stake conference. Unfortunately nobody who said they’d come came.
Thursday, we had district meeting. The topics at hand were the importance of having members present at lessons (I shared your story of the couple who got baptized in the Appleton 2nd ward and how you were present at a few lessons) and why we teach repentance and baptize converts. After district meeting, we went on exchanges with the zone leaders. I went with Elder Orellana (one of the missionaries I came out with and he’ll be going home with me too) in Spanish work. It was kind of frustrating not being able to speak with people directly and engaging them in conversation.
Friday the rain began to come down almost as if it were the promised blessings found in Malachi 3:10 “I will…open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” Many streets flooded, we biked through puddles that soaked us all the way to our knees. The LA “river” which is really a glorified drainage ditch was overflowing it’s walls (hence drainage ditch). We didn’t get a lot of work done because of the rain as it was hard to bike through and we were all miserably wet.
Saturday we got a little bit more rain, enough for some of the streets to flood again even though it one rained for about 10 minutes torrentially. got more work done and taught several less active members about the purpose of stake conference and invited them to attend. Unlike all the nonmembers who didn’t come, they came.
Sunday was fun, except for the evening, it was dry! Stake conference was amazing. We had Elder Kevin K. Miskin of the Fifth Quorum of the Seventy in attendance. He gave a fantastic talk on the purpose of keeping the Sabbath day holy. We then had knockout and dinner with our Bishop and his wife. We had a great discussion at dinner time about the parable of the lost sheep in Matthew (New Testament).
Monday was a little draggy. First the bike problems that you’re aware of, plus the fact that it wasn’t p-day like it normally is. Doing knockout for the 


Elder Blodgett

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