Monday, October 5, 2015

Week #69 in Texas - Brownwood, TX

Honestly, I keep thinking that I couldn't be filled with more emotion, and then BAM. There is goes and steps it up a notch. I’ve never felt so much joy, anticipation, anxiety, or love more than I have this past little while.

The power of prayer is so powerful, and I am so grateful for it. I have really been having a hard time with the idea of going home, and I can honestly say now that God has helped to comfort my heart. And, as always, went above and beyond to not only comfort me, but to help me to be excited. I know that it is not going to be easy, but I’m so grateful for the support from loved ones and my Heavenly Father to help me make this transition into my new life.

What better way to end my mission than to be able to hear from the Prophet and Apostles? I am so grateful for their inspired words, and the personal revelation that it brings to me through the Spirit. I am grateful to be able to apply their counsel into my life as I make this critical but sometimes scary transition in life. I could feel a sense of urgency in each of the voices of the speakers as they encouraged us over and over again in different ways to just LIVE THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST. I love how simple the Gospel is, and they really are trying to bring the church back to the basics. The simple yet critical daily tasks like reading our scriptures, praying FERVENTLY, partaking of the sacrament, and temple attendance are the ways that we will find true joy in gaining a stronger relationship with our Heavenly Father and our Savior Jesus Christ. With the passing of 3 Apostles, I am continually made grateful for the blessed fact that we have living Apostles and a Prophet on the earth today for us to listen to. I feel my Saviors love personally every time I think of the fact that the priesthood has again been restored to the earth, and that I get to live in a time that has it, and I am able to enjoy it.

I am so grateful for my mission. I can’t say it enough. I can’t even begin to express the things that I have learned and felt. I can only say that they will be with me for the rest of my life. As we sang "How Firm a Foundation" in conference, I pondered on the words and, for the first time, I saw it in a different light. I feel like it applies to me a lot right now in my circumstance as a missionary.

Verse 1 is first gaining the faith to serve a mission-

How firm a foundation, ye Saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in his excellent word!
What more can he say than to you he hath said,
Who unto the Savior, who unto the Savior,
Who unto the Savior for refuge have fled?

I feel like the following verses describe entering into the mission and serving in sometimes daunting times-

In ev'ry condition--in sickness, in health,
In poverty's vale or abounding in wealth,
At home or abroad, on the land or the sea--
As thy days may demand, as thy days may demand,
As thy days may demand, so thy succor shall be.

Fear not, I am with thee; oh, be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid.
I'll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by my righteous, upheld by my righteous,
Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.

When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of sorrow shall not thee o'erflow,
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee, and sanctify to thee,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

Verse 5 describes the “why” behind our trials, and I feel can relate to returning home-

When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply.
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume, thy dross to consume,
Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.

And the final verses indicated the fifth and final step of the gospel of Jesus Christ, which is to endure to the end and have the strength through living the Gospel.

E'en down to old age, all my people shall prove
My sov'reign, eternal, unchangeable love;
And then, when gray hair shall their temples adorn,
Like lambs shall they still, like lambs shall they still,
Like lambs shall they still in my bosom be borne.

The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose
I will not, I cannot, desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I'll never, no never, I'll never, no never,
I'll never, no never, no never forsake!

I add my testimony, and second the final declaration given in this beautiful hymn. I know that my Savior lives. I know He loves each of us, and has given us His gospel so that we can be happy, and reach the potential that He sees in each of us. I know through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, that each and every one of us can be healed of our aching. No matter if the aching comes from sinful actions on our part, or simply as the result of the hard times that come to us while living in mortality. I testify that He reaches out to each and every one of His sheep, and will never leave us alone. I have a responsibility, by the knowledge and experiences that I have received, to continue to preach the Gospel to the world, and uphold that example in my very own life. I second the final powerful words of this inspired hymn:

I'll NEVER, no NEVER, no NEVER forsake!

I love you all. Thank you for your never-ending support to me!

Love - for the last time as a full-time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints,

Hermana Bleyl

Pictures From Week #69 in Brownwood, TX

Friday, October 2, 2015

Week #68 in Texas - Brownwood, TX

I can’t believe that this is where I am at. This week is going to be basically my final everything! Yesterday was difficult saying goodbye to everyone at church, because it was the last time attending church as a full time missionary! I love this ward so much, and I’m really grateful that I can talk to all of them as soon as I get home! I really love them.

This week has been fantastic, and we are focusing with our recent converts. Helen is doing so wonderful! She and her husband are so faithful, and it’s so amazing to see. It makes me always want to be better.
We taught kevin and he is the cutest thing! He understands the gospel so well, and he is going to be the cutest missionary ever some day.

We finally got in contact with our investigator Kay at her work, and she was doing so well! She's so excited about the gospel! We had an appointment with her and she punched, but we went back the next night and she told us she was in the hospital with shingles! She was not doing well at all, and we felt really bad. Also, apparently you can get the chicken pox from someone with shingles if you haven't gotten chicken pox yet, or your vaccination. I haven't had pray I don't get chicken pox! It’s rare, but possible, from what Sister Heap said! But we are just really happy we got in contact with her!

I’m beyond grateful for my Heavenly Father, because this last month has been a roller coaster of emotions, and I have been very conflicted about going home. But the last little while I have really been praying for peace. I’m really feeling excited now and that's a blessing because I wasn't before! I watch my area, and these people around me, and God gives me the calm and gentle assurance that all timing is in His hands, and that He is taking care of all of it. I’m so grateful for that, and I am so grateful for all that my mission has taught me in relying on my Savior.

I am grateful for everyone who has supported me on my mission, and the outpouring of love that I have received. I will see you next week!


Hermana Bleyl

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Week #67 in Texas - Brownwood, TX

Wow. I have a lot of mixed messages as I write this email. Each week is more and more bitter sweet, especially as I continue to dive into missionary work, and see the fruits of our labors.

Helen got baptized on Saturday and we couldn't be happier for her! Everything went smoothly, and I never get tired of seeing the beautiful ordinance of baptism be performed. I am so grateful that I have gotten to watch Helen exercise so much faith as she prepared for her baptism! She even switched over to drinking hot cocoa instead of coffee! We are so proud of her, and I know that Heavenly Father is as well.
Our other investigators are doing so well too and I know that Kay will be baptized so soon! I am really going to miss this place.

I’m so grateful for this town. I love it here so much and just adore the people. I can’t wait to continue to stay in touch with them and continue to grow the friendships that we started.

Words can’t really express how I feel every day these last few weeks, but I know that God knows how I feel, and that he is going to help me through it. I’m so grateful for the principles I have learned on my mission, and how it will help my family and I when I am home. I just love this Gospel so much, and can’t even imagine I ever had the choice to not serve. I will forever be grateful.


Hermana Bleyl

Monday, September 14, 2015

Pictures from Week #66 in Brownwood, TX

Kevin Ludlow's baptism (with his mom Lulu and his sisters Audry and Kasey)

Week #66 in Texas - Brownwood, TX

Ah! This week went by so quickly! I can’t even believe that I am emailing again. Its been so fulfilling though!

Kevin was baptized on Saturday and that was definitely the highlight of the week! We could feel the Spirit so strong, and he really knew what he was doing! It was so great to see! It was great to be a part of that, and truly an honor to teach him! I can just see him being a wonderful missionary someday and a great example to his friends and everyone around him.

Helen is all set and on track for her baptism on Saturday! They have come to church the last 4 Sundays in a row. They are really dedicated and she really wants this. They both have so much faith and know that the Lord is going to provide for them in all of their needs as they keep the commandments!

Also we were able to hear Kasey Ludlows homecoming talk (she just returned from serving in the Utah South Mission), and she did an amazing job! She truly brought the Spirit and helped all the members in the congregation to understand the ‘why’ of missionary work, and why it is so important. We were so grateful, because that will be a huge help to having the work progress here!

I have definitely been having mixed feelings about how quickly the time is going. It’s been an emotional roller coaster, and I anticipate it continuing to be, but I know the Lord will help me. I am so grateful that I can continue in this work and go home knowing and feeling that I couldn't have done anything better, and that I really tried my best to serve the Lord. That feeling and confirmation is priceless, and I am forever grateful for it. I can’t wait to use all that I have learned at home and really put it into action, and show God that the knowledge and skills he has given me for the last 18 months are not wasted, but will be put to good use.

I’m really grateful for the time I still have left to immerse myself in the work, because I will never forget the feelings I get as I am in the service of the Lord.


Hermana Bleyl

Friday, September 11, 2015

Week #65 in Texas - Brownwood, TX

This week has been so good!!

So we are very excited because Kevin Ludlow’s baptism is this Saturday and we couldn't be more excited for him!

We have been teaching Helen, who just got married to Brother Daub, who is a returning less active, and she finally accepted a baptismal date for September 19th! We are so excited for her! Things here in Brownwood are on fire and we love it here so much.

Things have been so bitter sweet every day, but I’m really trying to make every single day last and really try to do all that I can in the time that I have left! I love, love being a missionary so much. This has been my life, and I get to live it still for another month. I’m so grateful to my Heavenly Father for blessing me as much as he does. Words can’t explain it!


Hermana Bleyl