Friday, April 5, 2013

Getting Slapped... And Other Fun Things!

Hey Ya'll,
I can’t believe its Monday again. I’m so excited to tell you about my week. It has been such a blessed week. Well every week I feel like is a Blessed week. But to start off with some good news is that I guess the First Presidency changed the rule of emailing. Now as missionaries we are allowed to email whoever we want. This includes any friends and other missionaries. I thought that was exciting But I don’t think it matters much but I like it.
Once again I love the letters people send me haha. Kali sent me an Easter Package. Uh it was the best ever. It just happens to come on the worst day of the week. So it def. Helped me lift my spirits. So thanks Miss Kali, if you read this I will be sending you a package soon :) yay
Anyways this week had one of the worst days of my mission and one of the Best days of my mission. It’s just remarkable to see how the lord likes to humble you and then he builds ya right back up. I kind of like it.
So Tuesday was the coldest day I have ever had in Georgia So far. And the crazy thing is that we barley had any miles left on the car so we had to ride bikes all day that day. Uhhh It’s so hilly here too. I honestly don’t know how I get up those hills. I’m sure I look ridiculous just because my skirts like going crazy in the wind. Haha I have to hold one hand on my skirt and one hand on my bike trucking up this hill. It’s an adventure. The amazing thing is that I have been extremely positive my whole time I have been here. My companions have been super impressed and always mention that I am so happy. It’s good because I have been trying so hard just to be positive. It def. Helps a lot.
Haha So Tuesday we tracted all day in the cold on our bikes. The usually people who we see through the window and know we are there but just choose not to answer the door. That is the classic. And then we have the really nice people who answer the door and say “I’m sorry baby but I’m not interested". Or we have the Angry Elves who just glare at you. Don’t say anything and just slam the door. Haha It builds character that’s for sure. But it gets easier every day. Well Tuesday we were almost done with tracting and our mission president. Always says when you think you are done go one more door. So that’s we did go one more door. Now I don’t know if I should be telling you this story because I don’t want to worry you all. BUT don’t worry I am a big Girl. And I handled it really well. So we go to this door and this Old guy with rotten out teeth opens the door. He was weird. So as we started talking he started to argue. And make rude jokes about Jesus Christ and the book of Mormon. Like rude jokes where you just wanted to punch him but. We don’t argue back because no matter what we say they aren’t going to listen. So I bore my testimony BOLDLY and SIMPLY and explained that the only we can know for ourselves is through the Holy Ghost. Well this old man interrupted me and took a step towards me and gave me a little slap on the face. HaHa now at the time I wasn't laughing but I laugh about it now. He was like did you feel that? I was like yes. And my Comp. got mad and was like WO and your point is? Haha he said that, that slap in the face is only temporary like the Holy Ghost. Haha it kind of hurt but mostly it hurt my feelings here I was just baring my testimony and it was like a slap in the Face. But afterwards I bore my Testimony Again and told him that I KNOW that the book of Mormon is true. And I know that Jesus Christ lives. And That THIS CHURCH IS THE RESTORED CHURCH. And we walked off the doorstep. I thought I handled it pretty well. His reasoning to slap me was not very reasonable. Our zone leaders found out and everyone in the stake knows that I got slapped in the Face by an old man. Haha People I don’t even know brought it up. and one of our Investigators was like " You call me next time that happens ill come down that and knock his rotten teeth out" ( in her black ladies voice) Its funny but at the same time It taught me a valuable lesson. It taught me a lot about Jesus Christ and how it must have felt to be beaten and spit upon after he taught and bore his testimony of the Gospel. I just felt an ounce probably way smaller than what he just felt. It just built my testimony even more of my savior. And I will forever be grateful for how much pain he went through for ME. Knowing that he went through all of that gives me hope and courage to know that he knows exactly how I felt that day. I’m actually Grateful for that experience. It not only is another story to tell but just strengthen my testimony even more.

Anyways sorry if that worried anyone. I am not in bad hands!!! The lord is def. protecting me. I have seen it multiple times on my mission so far. :)

My new companions are great. They each bring something great to the table. We had some problems this last week but who doesn’t when you’re with someone for 24-7 haha but we worked it out and were able to grow from it. And now we are greater companionship. It’s never good to fight before you go into a lesson. I got so frustrated. But I confronted both of them and now they don’t bicker as much. I’m so grateful for UGA though. UGA makes you fearless. And that’s the one thing they really like about me joining there companionship they said that I am a boss at Street Contacting. It’s my favorite thing to do. But I definitely have a lot of work to do with Tracting haha. But I am still learning. :)

Wednesday was the best day of my mission so far. We somehow had 6 lessons. It was a tired someday but it felt good to know that we are tired because we are teaching so many lessons. I can’t remember if I told you about how the bishop called us last Sunday and said that a lady came to church and now wants to know how to be baptized. I SCREAMED haha and asked my trainer if that usually happens. She was like No. I have never had anyone who just comes to church and wants to be baptized,
Haha we went to her house. And she is so cute she has two boys at the age of 11 and 13 and she is newly divorced. She said that she knew some members back in Texas but never thought anything of it. Until she came to GA and wondered about the Mormon Church. So she came to church with her boys and was so touched by the spirit and wants to be baptized. We taught her the First lesson and she cried through the whole thing. We asked her to say the closing prayer and she said " Thank you so much for bringing me to know that this church is true" " thank you for letting me know that I need to be baptized"  It was crazy. She is getting baptized on April 20th.
Afterwards she just told us that her boys like church too but notice that all the other boys have suit coats and wondered if she had to get them suit coats too. Haha we told her no its fine. We accept anyone no matter what they wear. On Sunday she came to church and her boys showed up in Suit Coats. She said that she was so excited she went out and bought them some. Haha
She is so fun. But I just feel so blessed to know that the lord trusts me with this prepared family. He trust me enough to help prepare her for Baptism it was truly remarkable and I def. said a prayer of thanks that night.
That same day we received a referral from the elders. They said that they went into this home and said they gave the peace and blessing on a home of a lady name D'lan. They said that she started crying when they blessed her home. Because she said she had never felt that way before in her whole life. So they gave us her address and we headed over there. We gave her the first lesson and she was like I feel like I need to be baptized again. How can I be baptized? WOW. We just had two people that want to be baptized in one day. It was crazy.
That same day we visited a home that we tracted the first Day I was there. We gave her a BofM and she wanted to know more. When we got to her house we saw a boy that looked so familiar. I guess the day after we tracted into this women’s home we ran into her son Joshua and gave him a Book of Mormon. We had no Idea that they were related. It’s amazing how the lord prepares these people. It was not a coincidence that we ran into her grandson. We are working with them. And they are really interested in learning more and more.

That was all on Wednesday. Can you believe that? I JUST FOUND OUT from my old Trainer that my old investigator from UGA CLAY is getting baptized on April 14th. WHAT... and I also found out that the couple we ran into on campus during spring break is still investigating but her mom is getting BAPTIZED on April 20th. She was the lady that I gave the whole Restoration too by myself while painting her house. I just feel so blessed. The sad part is that I won’t be able to go to any of their baptisms it’s so sad. But So Happy.

So on Sunday I had to give a talk in sacrament meeting. Uhh I was so scared. But I think I did great. Rebecca our investigator came up to me and thanked me for my testimony. I just feel so blessed right now. I have been given so many opportunities to help people come closer to Christ. I’m so excited :)
I love Georgia I love this area. You can see downtown Atlanta where I am at. You can only see it in the Distance though. But its way different then Athens area. A lot more people for sure. Its kind of Ghetto in some parts and Filthy rich in other parts. But I just love the people with all my heart. The black people are my favorite. Haha I got asked out and proposed to, this week as well. As flattered as I am. I clearly told them I was not available. I guess they love White, Christian Girls. “His exact words were “What are the Chances I ran into a beautiful Christian girl today." What are the chances I could go on a date which you?" You’re so pretty girl I’ll wait for you, tell after your mission." We just laughed but its fun out here. I am starting to fall in love with it. But the only sad thing is I am starting to feel the Humidity. Hush oh no. Here it comes.

I’m so grateful to be a missionary. The ward is great and they are taking care of me. I love this gospel. I am starting to fully understand it every day. I’m so grateful to have the family that I do. I’m just so blessed. I’m so grateful for the scriptures. I know they are the true word of God. If I have to be slapped a million times tell I am in blue in the face, I will never deny the words. NEVER. They mean way too much to me to take lightly. Share the Gospel with whoever you can. Be a missionary. Help the missionaries. :) I love you all so very much. Be good and count your many blessings.

Love ya!
Love Sister Blaylock

Monday, March 18, 2013

Transfers, Hillbilly's, and Squirrel Meat

Dear Family and friends,
I have recently received so many letters from a lot of friends, and here is my shout out to you. THANK YOU. Ha I love getting so many letters and updates on your lives. And for those that haven't written me back, Shame on you :) haha just kidding. I love you all and will be writing you back soon. But some sad news I just received like 20 mins ago. I am being transferred out of UGA. When the assistants called me, I started Crying. I'm such a baby, but this place has really grown on me. I love UGA as hard as it has been it truly has taught me some important things about myself and about how to be a good missionary. I'm so sad. When you are a brand new Greene you really have 12 weeks before you are transferred because you have the 12 week program. So this it’s almost like an emergency transfer. Sister Lapin my trainer and Sister Wardle are staying at UGA and I’m just switching spots with another sister in Marietta which is the Paper mill ward. I think because that sister over there is having major problems with both of her comps, so they decided to switch me. But I know there is a reason for it and even though I am sad to be leaving like this Wednesday, I know that there are people there who need me. So I guess I have to pack up everything and leave my companions behind.  I am so sad because I just got on really good terms with both of them. UHHHHHH never get comfortable I guess.

But this past week was so so so so Slow, because guess what it was spring break. NOT a person in sight. It’s crazy because we still went out and worked. We didn't have one Appointment last week. So we spent all of our time walking. We counted how many hours we walked. Anyone want to guess..... We walked a total of 36 hours from Monday to Sunday. Crazy huh. On Monday it was pouring rain all day. We walked in the rain all day and actually a really cool experience happened. We weren't seeing anyone on campus. And we had to keep being diligent so we actually got down on our knees in the pouring rain and if someone were to see us they probably thought we were crazy. But we really did get down on our knees on the sidewalk and prayed for direction. I instantly felt peace and like I was doing the right thing of being out here. We decided to turn around go down a street and found 2 people. We shared the message with them and gave them a Book of Mormon. I don't know what happened to those people but I do know that we didn't give up even though it was raining and we knew that no one would be on campus. We planted a seed in those people’s hearts. I heard something cool the other day that really stood out to me. It is my responsibility to share with them the Gospel, but it’s their responsibility to act on it. People still have their agency, but knowing that I did everything I could so they can have the seed makes me feel a little better about myself. Haha it’s true though. I've also learned to rely more on prayer. He knows what we are going through but until we ask him with more specific questions he can’t really answer us with specific answers. DON'T BE SCARED TO PRAY. I've learned this. Pray whenever you just feel like praying. It helps so much and it shows that you trust in the Lord.

So I just wish I could tell you everything that is happening out here. It’s crazy; I see so many tender mercies every day. I am so amazed. There is so much that I wish ya'll could experience with me. Serving a mission is the best choice I have ever made in my life. I can already see the blessing of serving a mission. I'm so happy out here even though some days I miss my family and I Miss Idaho, but the lord seems to help you cope with it. It’s truly is amazing. This is the least I could do for him; I mean only a year and half out of eternity. It’s truly humbling experience. I've learned that I have to completely forget about myself. Let me tell you that is hard sometimes. I promise you all of you that the moment you forget about yourself and the moment you start doing everything in His will, YOU WILL BE BLESSED. It’s true.
My body oh man is so tired, my feet hurt so bad every day, and I have never been so emotionally and physically tired in my life. But for some reason right when I hit the floor and pray it really goes all away, I can’t feel it anymore. When I wake up I feel tired but I really do think he drags me out of bed and makes me get right to work. I thank him every day for the little things he puts me through. It really builds my character and builds me to be a better person. I have never felt closer to my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ then I do now.

I’ll have to tell you all some crazy stories next week. haha I have so many.
So Last Wednesday we had a follow-up meeting with our president so we had to travel about 2 hours away to get the mission home. It was fun got to see some of the other parts of Georgia. It is so pretty down here and the weather is starting to warm up. I have a sweet tan line on my feet already. I am not excited for the summers here though. Ehhhh not excited at all.
We have this investigator Clay who is really progressing. And I love him so much. He is close to baptism and he is really opened up with us. The mission pres. gave us permission to drive to his house out of our zone because of spring break. So we went to see him. And I’m glad we did. He opened up a lot and told us what’s holding him back, I’m pretty sure he is going to be getting baptized. But Guess what I am leaving UGA. It’s so sad. I’ll miss my first baptism. Makes me cry a little. They did warn me about getting too comfortable in an area. I love the members and I have some great relationships with them. It will be sad to go. Anyways
He hopes to be baptized by the end of the month :) yay

We had a service project this last week. This story is cool too. During spring Break we ran into a couple and we almost walked right past them and sister Lapin turned around and went back and stopped them. He said “I know who you are". “You are the sisters" haha we laughed and we talked to him. Guess what he is Mormon but not Active. He said that he wanted to stop us but he was scared. So I know that was the spirit telling Sister Lapin to turn around and stop them. Cool Huh. He said that he wants to start coming back to church and his Girlfriend is really interested in the Plan of Salvation. So we actually helped them move in and paint their house. I felt really bad because the house was falling apart and it was really gross. So I just started cleaning it for her. I was so determined to have it cleaned. She came over to me and said. “why are you cleaning, Why are you so nice". I laughed and told her, I am glad to be here. Here name Is Taylor and actually her mom was there too. I so I just started talking to them. And I gave them the whole first lesson all by myself. I honestly don't know how I did it. Well I do. Buts crazy how I don't even need my trainers help. The spirit can really help me open my mouth and talked.  I gave them each a book of Mormon and now we have a new Investigator. UHHHH but once again I am leaving. ;( sad day. But I know that she is def. prepared to hear the word. I'm excited for her. It’s crazy to think that He really does put each other in the same path so that we can talk to them. I have a testimony of that and never go without opening your mouth to someone. ALWAYS OPEN your mouth because you never know. I LOVE THE SPIRIT!!!!

I don’t know if you got a picture from a random lady or not. But she said she sent a picture of me to you!! I hope Yawl got it. :) Yay
I went into Downtown Athens the other day. And almost the Ghetto and the black people are so cool uh I want to become all their friends. They throw up there gang signs and they wave. And then they are just so friendly. Haha They are so funny too. I just love them. They def. have a lot of respect for missionaries. Well some of them do. They are def. the nicer people down here. And very religious and close to God. Which is cool.

This next story is crazy. Yesterday we had dinner with a girl’s family. She took us into the country side of Athens, It’s so beautiful. It’s awesome we get to her house and they have 7 Kids. I wish I would have taken a picture of their family pictures because they are so funny. Haha it’s like those pictures you would see on Awkward Family pictures. Hahahah Hy and Austin would have laughed for sure. They like to pretend they are Native American. So Every year since they have been married have dressed up as Indians and took family pictures. Not to be funny but for reals. haha so we go to sit down and he says: we are eating Squirrel and Rabbit today enjoy. He was like: see that trap out there. That’s were I got your dinner. HAHAH so yes I ate squirrel and Rabbit They showed us all of their rabbits and goats and they have this huge garden. So funny. Rabbit was actually really good it tastes like chicken but Squirrel is hairy and chewy. Ya didn't like it. But that’s ok :) My first experience of Georgia Hillbilly FOOD. YAY

I really am excited to go somewhere new. I just don’t know how to do a lot of the things, like actually tracking doors and stuff like that. It will be nice to have a car.
I am almost done with the book of Mormon I just finished Alma. It was so Good. I have learned so much just by reading an hour of the Book of Mormon every day. I have such a stronger testimony of it. It’s amazing to see that Alma and Ammon have so many similar experiences to me as a missionary. I can really see the power of Satan in those chapters those. I can see that he is so real and he is trying so hard to destroying us and this plan. But the happy and assuring thing that comes from the Book of Mormon knows that Satan will never win. It’s powerful to know that. I know the Jesus Christ is the Savior and that the Book of Mormon is another Testament of Christ. We should be striving to be like him every day. Even though we know that we can’t be perfect He knows that. But we can be better day after day. Always striving to be like him so that we can live with him again I look forward to that day when I can run into his arms and tell him I did everything I could to make it back to him. I am so thankful for eternal Families. I would be no where without my family. I am so thankful for all of you for your example of righteousness. I love you all.
I love this Gospel. And I love my Savior and Heavenly Father. More importantly He loves us even though he knows us. :)
Be good. I miss Ya'll Tell next Time

Sister Blaylock

Monday, March 11, 2013

Lovin' the South!

Hello Family, How is everyone doing? I hope things are getting back to normal after the craziness of everything. I don’t even know where to start. We came early to email today so sorry if you were writing me and I didn't get it. So sorry if this letter is short we are going bowling today for a sister’s B-day. It should be fun. But this last week was slow but I had a good time. The work is hard here because It was mid-terms and now this week is Spring Break. So it’s really slow, like on Saturday we walked 9 hours straight and contact 6 people. Crazy huh. My feet hurt real bad after like Rocky Mountain Bad. But at least we are being obedient right?
I am really starting to love the work though. I think less about home and I am just happy to be out here.
So an elder got sent home this week, He got punched in the face and had two black eyes. He got punched by another elder. Haha I just laughed, but he spent over 3,000 dollars in one day. Anyways he got sent home he must have some issues. It’s really sad seeing missionaries going home for being disobedient. It breaks my heart. But anyways I can see why being obedient even in the small things are so important. It’s essential in having your mind focused on the work.
I have eaten so much fried chicken uhhh, I throw up one night because they force feed you here. It’s horrible.  That's my number one dislike. I am getting so fat. But oh well.
This week we had our first exchange. It was really good to see a different perspective on things. We got a sister who is from Tahiti. She didn’t work as hard so me and the other greenie took over and we did really well. I know like here in a month I will have to be training because just as Keara we have way too many sisters coming in its crazy. So I am preparing myself to train. Even though I feel like I don’t know as much as my trainer. Brycen She is from Boston and she said that We should come up and Go to a game with her. She goes all the time. Sweet huh?
There have been so many people here that have been trying to shake our faith. I call them nice bashers. We never argue with them we just bare our testimony. On Thursday we were at the booth and my trainer wasn't there because it was exchanges and this guy came up to me and just started yelling at me. But I was surprisingly really calm. He asked me why I believed in Joseph Smith. And I just bore my testimony of our Savior and the restored Gospel. He calmed down a little and I was able to bring the spirit back. He told me, he used to be Mormon. And he talked about how the people of the Mormon faith our mean and judgmental It actually doesn't surprise me, sometimes as members we can be a little judgmental Anyways. I talked to him for about 30 mins and then He pulls out this journal of his and he starts preaching to everyone around me. He reminded me of Korahor in the Book of Mormon. He just bashing on Mormons It was a crazy experience but I think I handled it pretty well. Well on Sunday he actually showed up at church and started bashing some girls. Our branch president heard someone yelling and came around the corner and just chewed on him and kicked him out. It was crazy.
It was a good learning experience.

We have been teaching this investigator Named clay for about 2 months and now he wants to get baptized. YAY! We also have a girl named Ariel who was a referral from church headquarters and we have been teaching her for two weeks, her date is on the 23rd. UHHH YAY!

It’s so crazy to see how the lord works, he really has shown me so many tender mercies and miracles, I have been praying every day to help me recognize them. It’s a great thing to see, even the little things. It blows my mind and it makes me truly grateful to know that he is helping and protecting me at all times, even if it doesn’t seem like it.

There is one ward down here that is falling apart I guess. It’s crazy everyone is falling away due to Anti Literature Crap. I guess there young men’s president and his family and the relief society President and the Clerk have left the church. So I heard missionary work is so hard because the missionaries don't trust the ward to bring investigators because they are so messed up. It’s so sad. Satan is real and he has placed those snares all around us where we can’t see them. We think it’s just a small little thing but Satan is so smart he knows exactly how to catch us. It’s so sad.

OH MY HEAVENS I have gotten a little taste of the show Hoarders. NO JOKE!
We were on our way to see an investigator we were a little early so we decided to track some doors. Because we don’t do that very often. We came across a hoarder no Joke the worst smell I have ever smelled. Cat pee, Rat pee and poo eh probably a dead body smell too. We couldn't even get to the front door it was so bad. My trainer said this is nothing wait tell you go inside. They didn’t open the door we were lucky. HA!

I do love Georgia though. I have fallen in love with black people. They are the nicest and the funniest. haha I can’t wait to get into more areas where they are everywhere they are my favorite. Thats not racist by the way…
I love Georgia because there is a Chic-Fil-A on Every Corner. Seriously like we eat there every Monday. Its heaven. The weather actually got hot his week I got sunburned. Crazy. I can’t even imagine what summer is going to be like. I invited a Muslim to be baptized though. hahah he said he would think about it. I also ate some boiled Peanuts they are actually really good.

I LOVE BEING HERE and Being on a mission. Seriously though I love everything about it. I wish I could just tell you everything but it’s hard to fit it all in one letter. and with time and what not.
I love the Book of Mormon. I am almost done with Alma. It’s so good, it relates so well with missionary work. The one thing I learned is Sacrifice.
Are we willing to bury our swords? I don’t know it just hit me hard like are we willing to give up some of our worldly things to become closer to God and to do his will. They were willing to die and give up there life because they knew it was the right thing to do. I love the scriptures so much and I hope everyone is reading them every day!!!! You better be trying :)
Anyways I have a lot more to say but I need time to send pictures.
I love all the letters from people- Like Kali :) I love ya girl, and I love your letters. and Shania and the Stevenson THANK YOU SO MUCH I’ll write ya back soon!
I love you all so much.
Love Sister Blaylock

PS: The church is true!!!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Cold and Dumpster Diving

Hey Ya'll. I loved everyone's email today. It was much needed and I am way happier than last week. Haha Sorry about the depressing Email. But those will probably happen on Occasion right. Well I think it’s normal anyways. But I learned a lot for that experience. I have learned so much from the past 2 weeks I have been here. I am so amazed. I can’t even begin to wonder what how much I will have learned by the end of the Mission. This week was a little better than last. I have changed my attitude a little that's why it was a little better. I've learned not to be so hard on myself. I just want to become this great missionary but I feel like I am far from it. And Now I am learning just to be patient and learn one step at a time. I have also learned to loosen up and be sane. Have some fun. My companions helped me out a lot this week. I am so grateful for them. Even though sometimes I get a little annoyed. Haha I think that's normal too. I think I might be a little prideful, I hate when people boss me around. But like Austin’s letter. There is a reason why I have the trainer and comp. that I do. That was much needed. This last week we had Zone Conference and it was so GOOD. I love my president and his wife. They are so knowledgeable and so loving. Sister, Wolfert spoils the sister missionaries. And I think the Elders get a little jealous. We also had stake conference this weekend. And Elder Whiting from the 70 came and talked. It was really good. 
The one thing I really miss is the TEMPLE. I think my spirit lingers for it every day. I feel like this great lose sometimes. But I also know that even if we don't have that importunity to go Heavenly Father can still touch us. It’s amazing how my spirit is hungry for it. So I say now. Never take the Temple for Granted. Go often, and be grateful you have one so close to you. 
Last week most of our appointments feel through again. Which was disappointing but I know that they weren't ready to hear the gospel yet and they still have their free agency to choose. We can’t force anyone to accept. It’s hard to accept that and it’s hard to not just get frustrated and just yell at them. But the most important thing I have learned and have felt so far is doing everything in a loving manner I never thought that I would love anyone as much as I love my own family and friends. But I do. I now get a glimpse of how much our heavenly father loves everyone. We had a referral from the elders in our area who are awesome they work so hard. They gave us this girl who is pretty elect. The first time I met her I just could feel so much love for her. She has decided that she wants to be baptized on the 23rd. It’s weird how she just fell into our laps. I bore my testimony to her yesterday how much Love Heavenly Father has for her. And she started crying, and gave me a hug. Uhhh bless her heart (in a good way). I’ll let you know how she goes in the future. 
Some funny things happened this week that I think are tender mercies that helped me laugh and let go a lot of stress. 
- Me and my comps were walking to the church. And it being super winding my skirt was going crazy. Haha I guess my skirt was tucked into my shoulder bag, so my undies were showing ALOT hahah I was wondering why there was so much air coming up there. My comp. looked at me and just died. Haha It was pretty funny. I freaked out. All these cars had seen my undies. Opps. It was so funny.
- We lately also went dumpster diving and have found some great treasures. We found a whole box of chocolates   unopened and just before that I told everyone I wanted some Chocolates so bad. The lord really does love me. 
-Some of our elders in our mission have anger problems. I thought the sisters would have problems, but we all love each other. The elders are like little girls sometimes. One of the Hawaii Elders punched another elder right in the nose. He has two black eyes. Hahah I just laughed. They really are a bunch of girls. But they are still awesome
- I have heard some crazy stories already about the mission. Of crazy southerners who do crazy things. Recently this member went with our neighboring sisters to a lesson with them. Her name is Amanda; she told the sisters in the car that she brought a Taser gun with her just in case someone tried something on them. The sisters just looked at each other and thought oh no. haha they got to the lesson and she pulls out the gun and puts in on the table. And the investigator I'm sure was probably freaked out. If I was that missionary I would be freaking out. Haha They went through the whole Lesson and she grabbed the gun and put it back in her purse and said something like “Well I am glad I didn't have to use that, because I forgot to put batteries in it". What the freak. That member now goes to our little university Branch and every time I see her I get scared. Bless her HEART!!!!
This week we are going on exchanges so I hope it’s not too much of a change but it will be cool. All we do at UGA is walk around trying to find people to teach. This week was midterms and next week is Spring break so it will be a little hard. Way hard actually UGA is one of the hardest Areas they say. But I have def. become good at contacting, but I have never experienced knocking on someone’s door yet. It’s just hard to teach people when they are on their way to class. So I have been learning ways to teach in a min. and less. Mostly just testifying but its good. I need to learn how to contact its one the most important things about being a missionary, finding people to teach. We have this thing on Campus were we set up a booth in the middle, and just open our mouths to anyone. In one day alone I testified to about 65 people. That’s crazy huh. My testimony has grown so much just being able to bare it so many times. 
- Dad this week at stake conference I ran into someone who knows you and those we are related to. Her name is Vivian Berrett. Her name now is Vivian Dibb they work in the temple here in Atlanta. She was like I grew up in Nyssa. I was like WHAT... I couldn’t believe it. She knows you and Grandma and Allen and everyone. It was crazy. She gave me a hug and wished me luck. But she def. made my day. It’s not very often you run into someone that knows where you are from or who your dad is. 
The weather here is not good. I would rather be in Rexburg and that is saying something. It’s so bitter. And no one likes to talk to you in the cold. It snowed a little the other day but barley. People were freaking out. Haha I was like really this is nothing. The cold is def. Different then Idaho’s cold. I don’t like it.
- I cut some of my hair off. YAY Sister Mayes she is from Layton and knows Makala Bush and Jenn a little. She cut most of it off so that’s good. I was looking like a Nun so I decided to chop it off. I feel a lot better. :) 
Sorry this letter is so scattered. I am just trying to fit everything in it. So bear with me

I heard about the NAMPA Idaho Mission that’s crazy. Georgia got a new one too. 
It sounds like Grandmas Funeral was beautiful. I’m glad all is well. 

Ok back to spiritual things :) 

So I am about half way through the book of Mormon I started at the beginning of my mission. Wow it’s so powerful. I can’t remember the last time I read it all the way through. It’s so sad. I love reading it; it’s like honestly all I think about sometimes. I can’t wait tell the mornings when I can read it. I mean a whole hour dedicated to reading, I have learned so much. I challenge all of you to read even for 10 mins a day. It feeds your soul trust me. 

The number one thing that I have learned this week is I know this whole mission thing is going to be hard, but I will be blessed if I submit my will to his will, No matter what his outcome he has for me. I know that having faith, no matter what he will ask me to do will bring me the most happiness and peace. 

Thank you for everyone's letters from back home. I love each and every one of you I know just as the end of Enos says that the lord has provided each and every one of us a mansion up above if we do all that we can in this life to prepare to meet him by obeying his commandments and submitting our will to his. 
I love ya'll and love this Gospel with all my heart, I challenge you all to make a commitment to submit your will to his and I know you will be blessed with everlasting Life, peace and happiness. 
Love Sister Blaylock :) 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Tough Week

Hello family and friends. This week has been a hard one for sure. I don't even know where to start and I am going to try to remain positive. Well first off Georgia has been cold with rain and wind. I don’t like the type of cold here it hits your soul for sure. This makes it harder to be outside of course and to do the work. People of Georgia avoid being outside at all cost. Well southern people are very nice but on UGA campus some of them are very set in their ways. And don’t really care to listen to the message. We stop pretty much anyone who crosses paths with us. Most people avoid us like the Plague its kind of funny. Right when they make eye contact with us they turn the other way, cross the street, pull out there iPhone, or put in their headphones and pretend that they don't hear us. Its super annoying and frustrating but I just have to remember that the lord will provided us the people who are prepared to hear. This is where I start to doubt myself, its bad I know. This whole week all of our appointment fell through and I feel like no one will even listen. That’s all we do every day is just walk around to Stubborn people. So you could say the UGA is kicking my butt. As cool as it is to be a bulldog, I’d rather have people just acknowledge I am a human Being. And that's what hit me; the Savior knows exactly how I am feeling. He knows what it feels like to be spit upon, to be rejected, and he even knows what it feels like to be crucified by the people he loves. It was a humbling experience. I know that lord hears and answers our prayers and our cry's. He knows. Anyways every Thursday we set up a booth in the middle of Campus where I talk to about 50 people a day. Testifying of the Gospel. It really actually has helped me build a testimony. I have learned so much just by teaching people. I feel like that it the only time people will actually listen. I know now why people always say serving a mission is hard. I honestly can’t even comprehend how I am even doing this. Heavenly Father gives me so much strength to withstand everything. From my feet hurting to missing my family, wishing I could sleep an extra hour. He somehow makes it a little easier. My trainer is great sister Lapin. She goes home after this transfer so she leaves May 1st. She acts like a tom boy sometimes but she is great. She helps me understand that we aren't perfect and we make mistakes. I think she made me realize that I am way too hard on myself. She keeps me sane and helps me to joke around a little. Sister Wardle is a new be like me she is a convert for about a year and half now. Sometimes she talks about her BF way too much but she has a sweet testimony. I love them and they help me and comfort me. Want to hear something Gross- a big Rat sewer Rat ran right in front of us into the Sewer. EWWW it was the nastiest thing ever. I also realized that I have been out on my mission for about a year and half. Crazy Huh. It will fly by so fast. I have probably gained about 10 pounds but don’t worry I went running for the first time this morning. It’s just hard to get out of bed.

Anyways on to the Tender mercy that saved my life. I know that the lord is looking after me because I probably should have died. So one day we were late getting out of the house, and we usually ride the bus. We saw the bus leaving so we ran after it but we missed it. So we decided just to walk to the church which probably takes about 20 mins. So we kept walking and down the road we see this huge semi coming full speed, well the car in front of him Stopped completely. HE put on his E-Brakes and like literally 5 steps behind us he starts to swerve on the Side walk. We were just there like literally 2 seconds ago. He like almost ran into a house because he was going so fast. It was def. a Tender Mercy to know that if we would have been 5 steps behind we probably would have got hit or at least had to dive for our lives. It was sketch. I said a pray of gratitude as we started to walk away.
Another Tender Mercy. We were on the bus and this guy is on there every night. He is a creepier; He just stares at us every time. One night he was really into our conversation. I had this feeling to start talking about pepper spray. " Ya so my mom gave me this pepper spray that is super strong and she told me to always carry it on me so I do" Hahah I looked at him right in the eye afterwards and he hurried and looked away. When we got off the bus, we noticed he Got off too. We start to freak so we went down a different street to get home in the dark. We don't know if he was following us but we def. knew the Lord had protected us. We started to think of ways we could hurt someone with our book of Mormons. They could be good weapons, HAHA!

I heard there are 55 new missions and one of them is NAMPA IDAHO. Say what that's so awesome. So is Parma included in that mission now? Also they are bringing back the Macon Georgia mission so our boundaries might change we aren’t sure yet. Our mission president told us not to speculate. haha

Congrats Mom and Maddie and cheer squad I knew you guys could win. Mom I have a DVD player at my house. or try emailing it. Idk. Whatever is fine. I wish I could have seen it.

Anyways It feels good to email my family. Dad When I first heard the news I was devastated. I know how much you loved your mom. and I was so sad to know that I couldn't be there with the family and you at this time. That night was a long night for me. That just added fuel to the fire. I had this horrible week where I didn't feel like a missionary, and then when Sister Wolfert called me it freaked me out a lot, it scared me and I lost it. That has been my lowest point so far on the mission. I just think because the first person that came to my mind when she told me was you Dad. I prayed that whole night that you would feel the love and peace of Heavenly Father. I felt all of your heart ache and sorrow. But that is the amazing thing about the Atonement. I knelt and prayed to know if you were ok and that you could feel your mom’s love for you. I know that death is never fun. But the amazing thing about the Gospel is having the amazing opportunity to live with our families forever. And that is one of the main reasons I am out here to teach the Gospel so other people can have that chance. I fasted yesterday and it really humbled me. We went to a little park and I felt the love and peace of my Heavenly Father. Like I said before He knows what I am going through and he knows what you are going through. I kept thinking I wish I was at home, and after that day my thoughts changed completely. My Family needs me to be out here. I know that without a doubt that He is sending blessing upon each and every one of your lives. It’s our job to worthy of those blessings. We need to rely and humble you before the lord. If we keep his commandments and always striving to do best. He will pour out those blessings. I also knew that Dad you would be ok and that you loved me and you love our savior. I am so thankful to have such a supportive family and parents. I am so extremely blessed. So thank you for each and every one of you, for praying for me and helping me through this hard time. I know that your prayers are being answered because I can feel his love and guidance just recently. I know Grandma Blaylock is in Heaven presiding with Grandpa and Heavenly Father. I know that she has lived a very blessed life and she is happy to be home once again. I know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is true. I know that Heavenly Father loves everyone and that he sent us here to this earth to go through trials so that we can show our faith unto him. I know that His work is at hand, and that the time is coming where we need to be preparing to meet God. I know that Jesus Christ Died for me. So that I can return to live with him again. I look forward to the day where I can run into his arms and let him know that I did all that I could to help others come unto his arms. I know that he walks beside me every day. Some days he carries me because I can’t walk any farther. I know that he will come again. I know that Joseph Smith is a true prophet and he restored the gospel to its fullest. He made it possible so that we could use the atonement. And for him I am truly thankful. I know that the BofM is another testament of Christ. I am starting to read it again and I can’t wait to get back to my apartment and continue reading it. It helps me and directs me in my life. It’s such a powerful tool to happiness. I am starting to really fully understand the Book of Mormon and its wonders. I know this mission thing is hard, but I know I can do, because I am putting my whole faith in him. I have learned that you have to put your fear aside. Don’t quit, the blessing will come, be still my soul!!! I love you all so very much. I miss you. I am thankful for each and every one of you. My Parents, my Brothers, My sisters, my Grandparents, my family, my friends. You have influenced my life in some way. I pray for you every day and night.
Have a good Week
Sister Blaylock

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Welcome to GA and the University of GA - Go Bulldogs!

Wow this is crazy. I love reading all ya'll letters. Anyways I’ll have to respond to your letters after this big mass one. But I want to hurry and tell you all about my experiences here in GA it’s crazy. So to start I woke up at like 2:30 in the morning from the MTC got on a bus and headed out to the airport it’s crazy cause we had no sleep and we were leaving for the real world ready or not. I talked to mom and dad and Mads that was fun. Then got on a plane half full of missionaries and went straight to Atlanta. The flight was fun all of the elders and sisters just talked and cracked jokes. We should have slept though. Anyways when we got to see the ground of GA I started Crying. It was beautiful and I knew that this place is going to change my life forever. It was crazy. And everyone was looking at me like I was baby. It probably didn’t help that I was tired and had no Sleep. It just hit me that this is real life and I am going to change people’s lives. So anyways we got off the plane and you could tell that we weren't in Utah anymore there was a lot of missionaries because some had a lay over there. And everyone was just looking at us weird. Hahahah I turned to my comp. and was like we aren’t in Utah anymore. Ahhahah I was so antsy to start teaching. So when we saw our mission president and his wife, I almost started crying again. I feel like they are my mom and dad sometimes. They are such classy people. They are awesome. The assistants were there as well to greet us. and Let the work begin they said and we headed straight to the Marta (which is a 40 min tram) where our mission president would pick us up again and they gave us a packet of BofM's  and said don't come back with any AH AHA What ok now I got real scared. But my first tender mercy happened. I got on and for 20 min I just stared out the window and wondered how I was going to talk to random strangers. I started to talk to this couple who were really nice and they ended up being Catholic. So I kind of gave up but I glad I didn’t. I kept talking about God and religion and they were so nice. But they weren’t interested. So they got off and I felt defeated so I just said a little prayer, to keep my spirits up. Right after I said AMEN. A guy came right up to me and sat down. He said" Oh hey girl can I talk to you". I turned and smiled and I was like ya for sure. He said “My name is Essay" " and you’re a Mormon right" hahah I just laughed (PS. He is black and totally awesome") He was like I overheard you talking to those people and I want to know more. I was like oh ya. So I talked to him for an about 30 min. Gave him all the details and bore my testimony. He became my best friend that day. And he looked and me and told me “It’s crazy because I have read every type of religion book, and I’ve always wanted to read the BofM but I didn’t know where to get it.” I actually was thinking about it last night and this morning I was running super late, and if it wasn’t for me running super late I probably wouldn't have seen you or heard you." It’s not every day that I see a Mormon" and he started to tear up. It was the best experience ever. I just testified to him that I know why I was here on this Tram and why you ran late so that you could get a copy of this BofM. He was like ya your so right. Anyways I had to say goodbye to him. And I still think and pray about him every night. He tried giving me a hug it was weird but I love that Man. And then it just hit me like crazy that this is where I am supposed to be. Anyways after that we went to the mission home spent the night and shared testimonies. Georgia is COLD. But a different cold. My mission Pres. said that he always sees me smiling and that he appreciated that. I love that man too.

So He gave us our first Area and guess what. I am in Athens serving on the UGA campus woot ya I am now a BULLDOG for life. So I met my trainer she is awesome she goes home after this transfer. And I have another comp. that was in the MTC with I am in a Tri-some Comp. It’s great. I thought it would be hard at first but it’s pretty cool what we all bring to the table. So I got here and the first thing we did was go straight to a lesson with an investigator named Clay. Clay is cool he has been investigating for about 2 months now and he is moving along slowly. I actually had a really neat experience with him too. He came with us to a baptism for the first time and he almost bailed but he ended up showing up. When he sat down and looked at who was getting baptized he was in Shock. It was one of his really good friends from high School. He was like there is no way this guy is Atheist. And we told him that he had been taking lessons for about 2 months too and he decided he wanted to be baptized. He was like wow this is no coincidence that this is my friend. The baptism was so powerful and the talks that Clay looked over at me and started crying. He said that was the strongest thing he has ever felt in his life. He started crying on the closing song as well. It was really powerful. I pointed out to him that was the spirit telling him that this is true. He asked to talk to us after the baptism. He told us that last night when we had the lesson with him that he was going to drop us until I said something to him that made him feel better. I told him that Heavenly father loves you, I can feel it and I know it. He said after I said that he went home and cried. He told us that something took over him and made his anger go away and everything he was feeling just at peace. It was powerful. He set his baptism date for March 9th. I hope he sticks with it. Uhhhhh that was so cool. The lord works in such a way that he knows what is best for all of us.

Anyways sorry this is a long letter but so much has happened to me. So dad- My bike got here and I didn’t know how to put it together so the Zone leaders did for me. And they didn’t do the brakes right so when I was riding I almost died. That’s another miracle and story in its self. Haha so our Branch President rides bikes a lot and fixed it for me. And it’s back to normal. PS: I hate riding bikes. The hills here are deathly. Anyways my accent is coming out YES. I am so excited. UGA campus is hard nobody cares to listen to us. Everyone else has cars but us. Because all we do is walk around campus all day and ride the bus. The one thing that UGA has taught me is to contact. Because that’s all we do. I’ve learned how to deal with rejection real fast. It hurts a little but I’ve just learned to get over it and think they are prepared to hear the message. I am not afraid to share the gospel though that’s for sure. I gave a girl a BofM in Wal-Mart haha I’m such a dork.  Our trainer said she is really impressed by how we are just willing to open our mouth.  I did get discourage yesterday though and I wanted to just punch someone.  It was Sunday and it was cold like real cold and no one was on campus I mean no one. And she still wanted us to contact. I was mad. But the moment we walked out of the church doors the lord provided a women who needs something. We stopped her and asked her how she was doing. She explained and talked to us for a while. So nice. She was like ya I used to be a stripper haha and she was like wow you guys aren’t judging me. She started crying when I told her that I knew that Heavenly Father loves her and wants the best for her. She was like can I give you a hug. And Then I started crying. We have an appointment with her on Tuesday. I love that woman. I hope she can make it. I knew right then that the lord provides we just have to open our mouth. He knows what I am going through when I feel like I am wasting my time because no one will listen. He knows what it feels like to be cold and to have those bashers just tear you down. I am so happy I am here. The people of Georgia are wonderful and UGA is learning experience for me. He knows I needed this place. He knew that I needed this trainer. I need to be more humble and just be thankful for the things I do have. Instead of complaining because I am out of shape and can’t ride my bike up the hill, or because someone just cussed me out and told me to go somewhere not nice, or because I have no Idea what to say or what to do. Or because it’s cold outside and there is no people on campus on Sunday. I just need to suck it up and realize that I am on the Lord's time.

There was a funny experience that happened to me one time. I was talking to this Chinese guy for a little bit and I started to ask him if he knew where he came from and he was like I came from CHINA ha-ha I started laughing and he looked at me weird and I was like that’s so cool so do you like know where you are going and he was like ya just going to class. It was pretty funny. I don't think he understood me but I still bore my testimony to him.

There are so many things happening to me I wish I could just tell ya everything but I don’t have a lot of time. But I’ll keep a journal and tell ya when I get home. I love hearing from all of you. And just let you know I don't hate you if you don't get a response from me. Emma and Hyrum I got your pictures of little Gracie. She is so cute. I want to give her kisses. Kenz and Aust the boys look so cute! Maddie sounds like state was so good. I am so proud of you. That just makes me happy. You got further in state then I did. Holy Cow. It’s crazy to think how far you all have come in basketball. I hope you soaked it all up. Ps: sorry if this is really bad spelling haha I am trying to hurry and get everything in. Mom and Maddie good luck with Cheerleading you will all do great. Dad thanks for the Emails They keep me going. If you want to Mail me at my house it :
101 Davis Street Condo E-9
Athens, GA
But Just let everyone know they can send it to the mission home too. I will get it both ways. And I will only be here for 9 more weeks so....

Sav and B I love ya two so very much and miss Rexburg just a little. Every time someone asks where I am from I just say Idaho and they are just like wow so you like milk Cows and stuff. It makes me laugh. I love Black People a lot a lot a lot. I just love talking to them. And if you want any Bulldog stuff let me know. I am on campus every day.  I can get ya anything.

I love this Gospel with all of my heart and I love how you all are just sharing the gospel and doing missionary work. It makes me proud. I am so thankful for prayers. Wow what would I do without them? I know that Heavenly Father tests us sometimes. He lets us suffer enough and then he picks us right up. This teaches to be humble. I am so glad he does it. It’s hard. Being a missionary is HARD. But I know that it will bless other people’s life. I know that it will bless my family’s life as well. I am so thankful for all of you guys I know that if you pray for that help and that guidance you will get it. If you have faith. I know because I pray about you all every day. I know that he will help you. I know that he has helped me. Sometimes I wonder how the Heck am I so happy. I am so tired and cold and getting fat. But he shows me little things throughout the day to keep me going. Uh I love him. I love this Gospel. Don’t forget it. Please share the Gospel Just open your Mouth and share the Gospel. Just do it. It’s the only way. I love you all keep the faith. LOVE YA 

Friday, February 8, 2013

Week 3 (Last Week in the MTC) and Famous!

Hello Family and I guess friends, and whoever else  who reads this. I am so thankful for the many letters, emails, and packages I have received here at the MTC. It just makes me realize how much support I really have. I am so grateful.
Well I have many things to write and say so I’ll try to start from the beginning of my week from last Friday. I don’t know if all of you got to see the hand written letter that I sent home but at least that gave ya more of what happened. So here at the MTC its crazy good. It’s been kind of hard this week but the lord has shown me little tender mercies throughout the day.  On Sunday we had fast Sunday. Oh my We had to fast from 6:30 in the morning tell 5:30 at night. and the night before that we barley had a good dinner. So I knew it was going to be a rough day. But surprisingly when you fast with a prayer in your heart it is one of the most humbling experiences you can have. That is one of things I have learned here. You have to stop thinking about yourself and start thinking about the needs of others. Its crazy how much your prayers really start to change. SO I finally saw Cassie Sister Paries my roommate. I about cried when I saw her. We got a picture together at the temple so it was great to see a familiar face. I have seen a lot of people I have recognized. 

On Monday I had a really hard time with focusing. I was sick of just sitting in the classroom all day just staring at the wall. I have been trying to have personal study time. Once again I just keep praying. and it is helping. I give so much credit to those people who have to learn a language. My heart goes out to them. It’s hard enough just learning how to be an effective missionary. We had TRC teaching again this whole week. Wow it was such a cool experience. We actually had the opportunity to teach a real investigator. and he wanted to read the Book of Mormon. We only had 40 min. and we couldn’t stop teaching him. The spirit was so strong. Uhhh I can’t wait to actually teach real investigators in Georgia. Seeing them go through the conversion process it’s so powerful that the lord is using me as a tool in his hands. That’s another thing I learned  That I need to rely on the lord more. I can’t do it by myself. I told the story of Grandpa getting baptized and how the missionary who baptized him only had one person baptized and that was him. The power of the spirit was so strong. To know that we can do this and it’s not just about numbers. So I guess by the end of the summer there will be 6000 missionaries in the MTC and they usually only have 2,500. They said the presidency is freaking out. This last Wednesday we had 900 missionaries come in. and let me tell you. I am glad I am getting out when I am. It takes about 35-40 min to get food. and about 15 min to dump your tray in the Lunch Room. Me and my companion lost each other in the crowd and I sat by myself for about 10 min. I had like a breakdown. Its kinda that feeling when You get lost in the Grocery Store. Hahah we found each other and made sure we would never get lost again. So dinner time is more of a stress then anything. But I am just trying to stay positive right :) haha

So speaking of my comp. I LOVE HER. We have such a great friendship already.  I will cry like a baby when she leaves. She leaves to Kentucky on Monday and  I leave Tuesday. I am so sad I wish she could be my comp. for the whole mission. She has such a great testimony and we learn from each other every day. Our teachers even pulled us out to talk to us and let us know that we have the strongest. companionship that they have seen since they have been teaching. That was powerful to know that Heavenly Father knew exactly that we need each other. The reason I like her so much because she keeps me sane. Honestly we are always laughing. and we always cry together so that helps too :). Her grandparents are the dentist here at the MTC. So we would go visit them every Thursday and they are so sweet. They treat me like I am there granddaughter. They even gave me a package with goodies and a thank you note. I feel so loved haha it’s great to have the here. They are great and so is my Comp. Sister Dickerson. My district is really good except one of the elders. and he happens to be the district leader. I am trying to be so positive and patient with him but I almost walked out of the room. And I am not the only one who notices it. The teachers notice he is way lazy and just loves bossing people around because he thinks he is better than us, because of his title District Leader. It drives me insane. But He will learn on his mission right. haha The other elders even though they are young they have great testimonies and great spirits. They are all going to Kentucky so it will be sad to see them go. My teachers here are angels. Holy COW. Brother Reeves helped me though so much and I honestly feel like he is an angel. I will forever be grateful for his teachings. He helps me realize that I need a lot of work but also points out great things about my teachings. He helps me see the good instead of the negative. Which I love because I am a girl. Haha I let emotions get the best of me. haha but I am still alive Right.

So what I am going to tell you next is crazy. And you’re not going to believe me. ;) Sooooooo on Wednesday of this week we had Workout time in the morning and we decided to ride bikes. haha I went two miles and somehow I managed to fall asleep. hahaha It just makes me laugh and then we had a service project of cleaning out showers. uhhh it was sick. But it was good to change it up and get some service in. So we went to lunch and the intercom comes on and says " Sister Mariah Blaylock please come to the main desk ASAP”. I got really scared I thought that maybe they were going to tell me that something happened at home. Because yes I always think the worst. haha so I get up there and no one said anything for a while they just looked at me. and then this lady came out and was like I need to talk to you. I about lost it. But then what she said next was crazy. She told me that a main News cast from KSL is doing a special show during the middle section of Saturday General Conference. and they would like to interview you and your roommates. AHAHAHAHHA what are you serious. is this real. I AM FAMOUS> haha no but it was crazy. So we got permission to skip class and we ran down to our room. We hurried and made our beds and made sure it was supper clean. They came in and interviewed each of us and asked us why we decided to serve a mission. They said that all of UTAH will see this special about how the increase of missionaries is effecting the MTC and they choose us sisters to be interviewed. SO yes I will be on TV but the only problem is that you don’t have KSL so you have to find it on the internet after it airs. But she also said that she would send me and you guys a copy of the special after it is aired. So just remember that during conference that I will be on TV. How cool huh bearing my testimony in front of Television. I am excited. I took some pictures of it and I’ll try to make sure I can upload them so you can believe me. I feel like a celeb now. but no big deal :)

Anyways we had In-Field training yesterday it was long but it wasn’t too bad. but it’s just weird I am going to be teaching real people soon. Like on Tuesday. Mom I got your package. Thank you so much also I love how the paper had Wrestling Weight Class numbers on the Back it made me laugh. I also got a package from the Wheelers. Uhh it was awesome. Make sure you thank them for me and it was much needed :)  I got Camis letter and other letters from friends so I’ll make sure to write you back.  DAD. I want to help you with your talk so I will have to send ya another email. Sav and B- Thanks for the Dear Elders. and thanks for updating my blog, and Facebook. Tell everyone I am doing good and loving it. Dad- thanks for sending my bike hopefully I will be able to put it back together. Maddie you WON. AHAHAH yay I wish I could be there to see. But I know you will do good at state. It’s just crazy to see that you guys have come so far. Just be proud  that you made it this far how awesome. Emma and Hy- sounds like you are doing good. Hy- I learned how important it is to work with the Ward mission leader. Way to do your calling. you will be blessed. Austin and Kenze- The Babies look good, and cute as always. Austin Keep reading. Actually all of you Should keep reading. I am starting the B of M over again so I wouldn’t be a missionary if I challenged you to a commitment. WIll you family read the Book of Mormon every day whether it be a verse or just a page. I promised you will be blessed. Mom- keep up the good work with cheer. you guys will be great. 

SO my flight plans on Tuesday morning are: I leave SLC at 7:16 am and get to Georgia around 12:54 and this means that I can call you in the airport. I will probably be at the airport around 5:30- to 6. but I don’t know exactly when I will call. Just know that I will call your phone dad so be waiting for a phone call. I am excited to talk to you.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Week Two!

I loved the emails  I have gotten. I only have 30 min on the computer before they sign me out. so I am already to 20 mins. I am freaking out. haha I love the Dear elders letters as well. I got one from Brycen and Sav, Mom and Dad, and Maddie. Oh and Hyrum. Thanks Kenzie and Austin for the emails, I love hearing about the boys. Liam is 3 holy cow. and Reecie is getting teeth and Gracie almost crawling WHAT I have only been gone for 2 weeks. haha I love hearing from my family. I also didn't have time to send it to all of you in separate emails so I'll have to have mom send it to you guys again. I have so much to say but so little time so maybe I will send a Real letter in the Mail if I run out of time. Maddie thanks for the news paper article that was so cool that you got on the front page. It made me proud. I wish I was there to see you guys play I am sure you will make it state. I also Started crying when I read your letter maddie. Your courage to be strong and rely on Heavenly Father to help you out is exactly how you are supposed to do it. Always remember He is there and you can pray to him no matter what. I love that. Thanks for Praying for me everyone. I know you have been because I can feel it. I am finally over my sickness and it went away after a couple of days. My companion is awesome we get along so great. I have no problems with her. We work well together and feed off of each other. The other girls in my room are great too. 2 other girls are going to Georgia and the other sisters are going to Kentucky  . My district is 6 sisters and 6 elders. All of the elders are 18 or 19 and going to Kentucky as well. they sometimes get on my nerves. I just want to punch them but  I am trying to be patient. Other times they are great. OK so Sundays at the MTC are so awesome  We went to a big relief society meeting and I loved it. Guess who spoke. The general relief society President  It was way cool. We were 2nd row. haha Its just weird cause you see her all the time on General conference. I barley missed Brother Holland He came the week before I got here. I would of flipped out.  We had sacrament meeting and it was a little difference but I guess you have to prepare a 5 min talk every time cause they might call on you to speak. I almost peed my pants because I had nothing prepared. Luckily he didn't call me. We then had a chance to walk to the temple. That was neat. But there were these people waiting in the parking lot to find there missionaries and I was really mad at them. haha I was like get out of here idiots. but in a sister missionary way. We took some pictures and these creepy elders kept following us around and waited for us to get a picture with them. haha weird. The elders here try not to flirt but with the age change there are alot of pretty sisters here. which probably doesn't help them. but they should be able to control themselves. come on. haha Anyways  it was nice to get outside of the gates it was weird haha I felt like I was escaping. I have to hurry because I am running out of time. We watch the JS movie and of course I bawled my eyes out. So Monday roles around and we got to work out. I played Volleyball for a little bit Hyrum. and then I did my own workout. In which I was sore for like 3 days. haha I couldnt walk. but I have to get in shape for the bikes.We started the TRC program which is cool but way scary at first. our 1st one we didnt even know about. they are like, are you ready. I about peed again. But it is amazing how much the spirit takes over. I cant stop talking to investigators we always go over our time. I have grown so much already it is AMAZING. I cant wait to teach real investigators. I had my first breakdown on thursday but it was only because I was frustrated with an investigator. I realized that its not about a checklist. Oh did you teach him the first lesson, or did you get him to be baptized. You really have to know their individual needs. Its the only thing that can help them grow. To know that its not for me the missionary but for them.  I went to the temple today. It was so awesome it was just what I needed. I felt so much love and peace. and I just wanted to sleep in there. I love it. I love this work, and I love this gospel. Keep reading AUSTIN and family I challenge you to read the BofM every day. It will bless your life. I love you and pray for you everyday. Time is running out. I will try to send you more. but if not Ill write you all letters. I love you all
can someone please send me Camis address or tell her to write me
also I cant figure out how to send pictures but I will work on it. :) 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

First Letter and the MTC

Here is Sister Blaylock's first letter, it is quite comical...

Hello Family, I don't have any ones email so Luckily I memorized moms. Well I hope this is yours anyways. So if you want me to write you better send me your emails.
So This is day four in the MTC. Yes already day four that went by so fast. I already sent you a letter and maddie one too so I hope you got those. When I got on the plane in Boise I thought I was going to throw up so bad. It was bad. The poor man next to me. I got to Salt Lake and threw up haha. Cami picked me up and then we went to see her wedding dress. and i wasn't feeling so good. But it was great to see her in her dress. We finally got to the MTC. About to throw up again and then I felt fine once I got in. The funny thing is I had my phone in my pocket and they asked me if I had my phone. I felt embarrassed like I was trying to sneak it in our something. So I tossed it to Cami and she was supposed to throw it away. Anyways They started us in Class right when we got there. I met my companion she is Great. Her name is Sister. Dickerson. I have 6 girls in my room and our hall is the brand new building they just dedicated so its pretty nice. The food here was good and then I started getting sick of it like Literally. Today I was throwing up and had as my brothers would say Double Dragon. Ewww its so gross. They didn't let me go to classes so my companion had to stay with me all day. It is the worst. but I snuck out to write an email. :) I didn't think we would be able to today but here I am. Our P-days are on Fridays. So expect an email on Friday nights. We get to do email during our laundry time. So Classes our awesome except yesterday we had to teach our first investigator, named larry. I was so scared. So we had to do daily planning and ya. We got to teach this guy who was totally against the church it was hard. But It amazes me how the spirit work. The spirit is so so so strong and that is the only thing really that can testify of the truthfulness. It so essential in having the spirit I cant say that enough. after we got done teach me and my comp. started crying happy tears because I think we had no Idea what we were saying and because it didn't go horribly wrong. It was awesome  It is scary to know that some peoples salvation is in our hands. Sorry I cant spell to save my life. I hope that this sickness goes away soon. Or they will put you in a room and not see day light for 3 days.
Emma and Hyrum I got you dear elder letter. It made me feel special. Hahah Letters are what keep me alive, so FAMILY no slacking I want to hear everything about home.
PS. Mom I left My camera cord to hook into the computer so no pictures until I figure out something. Maybe I can find someone with the same cord.
Anyways I love it here. The Gospel is true. I can see why people leave after the first couple of days though. They drill into ya and they stretch your testimony more and more everyday. If you don't have that foundation its very very hard. Maddie how is your ankle? Mom how is Cheerleading?
Dad were you able to send off my bike yet?
Also I am here for 3 weeks instead of 2. We are the last group to be staying here for 3 everyone else is leaving in 2. They said that they are almost doubling the population of the MTC. They are trying to figure out ways to provide for everyone.
Its funny though because when we were brand new people would just yell at ya and welcome you every where you went. It felt like EFY haha and the Sister escorting me said its funny cause everyone who says that it most likely a week old. Haha I already feel like I am a boss around here. Starting to get a hang of things. because honestly they don't tell you anything. I thought they were going to Babysit you more. But i guess not. They are just like ok. figure out the rules for yourself. They gym is right across our hall and we walked to the other side of campus. haha We don't know where anything is at its Crazy. Anyways we are only allowed 30 mins so my time is probably almost up. SO I love you all. I cant wait to hear about life even though I have only been gone for 4 days. Keep praying for me as I keep praying for you. The gospel is true. Let me tell ya.
PS. Maddie I wish I could of given the talk to Fletcher. I think that sister missionary didn't do a very good job. No Offense.

If you sent me anything. No junk food. Except sour candy. Because I just get sick way to easy anymore. I also have no problem getting up at 6 30. Reminds me I HAVENT slept in 4 days. Tired means good I think. and if you want to send me a letter the same day. do it through dear elder. Because I get it the same day.
I love you all. Dont forget about me
love Sister Blaylock

wish I could send ya pictures :)

Monday, January 21, 2013

Farewell Talk!!

Good  Morning Brothers and Sisters.  My heart is full with gratitude this morning. I am thankful to be here and to have this opportunity to  share and let you know I have a Firm testimony of this Gospel. For those who don’t know ,my name is Mariah and for the next 18 months  Sister Blaylock. I have been called to serve a mission in the Atlanta Georgia North Mission. I just finished  my 5th semester at BYU-Idaho, and hopefully will return to finish my major in Early Childhood Special Education. Considering this being my first real talk given in Sacrament Meeting, I never thought it would be my farewell talk to serve as a full time Missionary.
To begin my talk I would love to share my personal journey of my decision to serve a mission. While I was at school at BYU-Idaho last spring, so around April and May. I had started questioning whether or not I should serve a mission for the lord, Because of many feelings and thoughts that I had received about going on a mission I have never felt 100 percent on serving. I have had days were I all I want to do is share my testimony to thousands and thousands of people. I sometimes had an overwhelming feeling to just randomly stand up on my desk at school and bare my testimony. Its sounds funny but really my desire to let everyone know that there is purpose for living and that there is this overwhelming feeling of love that our savior has for each and every one of us. Then of course there were some days where I felt like I wouldn't be fit for the title of "Sister Missionary", and that maybe it just wasn't for me. At that time had always been 50/50. Here and then over there. As much as I would pray  and as much as I would be seeking for the answer it still never came. I felt like I was never ever going to reach a decision and that I would just be stressed about making the wrong decision and the consequences could affect my life forever. This process overtook all of my thoughts and it was all I could really could think about and continued onto this last fall semester.
One day I decided to call my Mom just for a friendly chat. We talked for a while until she interrupted me and asked me how I was feeling. I replied with "Oh you know pretty good" She answered back with "uh are you sure". I could feel my tears coming and I replied " uhh Yes". My mother then said " I want you to know that I have been thinking alot about you and I feel like you are stressed out about the decision of serving a mission". Instant tears of frustration took over and I thought " how did my mom know".  She was right on the dot. I believe that my mom received personal revelation about me , her daughter, and was inspired to help me get through another day. She actually did help me alot she told me that If I wanted to serve a mission I should serve and if I didn't I shouldn't feel guilty. The rest of the week was peaceful and I was able to sleep at night. I still continued to pray. Two weeks past by and I once again was not receiving any kind of answer. I just remembered  what my religion teacher taught me "We sometimes don't receive the answer to our prayers right away" " It takes time and maybe the lord is testing our patience" Ya that's for sure. I literally wanted a direct answer. I sometimes got angry and bitter but then realized that  the lord can hear me and he is listening I just need to have faith and show some patience. So that's what I did. continued to pray.
This last General conference  finally approached. On Saturday morning as the Prophet of God began to stand at the pulpit and the moment he began to speak I felt at peace. The words the Prophet  said next changed many lives and many future lives. The moment he announced that the Mission age requirements for boys and girls will be lowered to 18 and 19. My jaw dropped and I felt instant excitement and tears. It was a confirmation and an answer to my long aching prayers. but How?  Even though I am way past the age of 19 and I turn 21 in May, It wasn't about the age difference for me, that Saturday morning I received a confirmation in my mind and my heart that I will serve a mission. This was a confirmation that the lord needs me to be a missionary for the church of Jesus Christ of Latter day saints.
There are so many lessons I have learned out of this experience that has strengthened my testimony but I would like to share with you the a couple of things I have learned and know to be true throughout this process and my growing experience.  These things were essential in the building of my testimony of my Heavenly Father and Savoir Jesus Christ.
1.I know Heavenly Father hears and answers our prayers through our patience  and Faith.
Thomas S. Monson stated
                Life is full of difficulties, some minor and others of a more serious nature. There seems to be an unending supply of challenges for one and all. Our problem is that we often expect instantaneous solutions to such challenges, forgetting that frequently the heavenly virtue of patience is required.
I know that sometimes life gets tough and it’s hard to overcome many trials and tribulations. I know for me personally I want the answer right away. We must wait patiently while having faith.
2. I believe that there are many reasons of why we experience  trail and tribulations.
I was in a Mormon church History class up at school. As I learned about the courageous new saints of the gospel back in these days I have a better understanding of the sacrifices they made, the trials they faced, and the coming forth of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and because of this understanding  my testimony has grown tremendously of the Prophet Joseph Smith.
In the depths of his anguish in liberty jail, Joseph Smith cried out: “O God where art thou? And where is the pavilion that covert thy hiding place?” In D&C 121  He ask God why are you hiding from me, how long shall we  go through this, how long shall we suffer?
I have always wondered why bad Things happen to Good people. I believe that there are many reasons why we go through hardships. I believe To test our devotion, to humble us and to provide growth experiences.
Apostle Orson F. Whitney (1855–1931) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, explained: “No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude and humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called the children of God … and it is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education that we come here to acquire.”
Spiritual growth can often be achieved more readily by trials and adversity than by comfort and tranquility. Trials can teach us that faith in God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ is the source of inner strength. President David O. McKay (1873-1970) recounted the testimony of one of the survivors of the ill-fated Martin handcart company, who said: “We suffered beyond anything you can imagine and many died of exposure and starvation, but … [we] came through with the absolute knowledge that God lives for we became acquainted with Him in our extremities.”
I have a firm testimony of this, We need to rely on Christ and be patient through prayer and faith. And you will have a better understanding of the atonement and our heavenly fathers plan for us.
I know my Heavenly Father loves me. Knowing this can get us through some of our darkest days. One of my favorite songs to listen to when I am having a bad day is “ I am his daughter”.
There's so much more to me
He helps me see that I have so much to offer
I am His daughter
He loves me the way I am,
He's my strength when I stand
He is my King, and my Father,
I am His daughter.
One of my favorite scriptures when in the midst of heartache and trouble, is Alma 37:37
37 . Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day.

3. We have to have a testimony of Jesus Christ’s Atoning sacrifice.
As we rely on the atonement of Jesus Christ, he can help us endure our trials, sicknesses, and pain. We can be filled with joy, peace and consolation. All that is unfair about life can be  made right through the atonement of Christ.
The atonement is everything. It is Central to God’s eternal plan is the mission of His Son, Christ. He came to redeem God’s children. Because of the Lord’s Atonement, resurrection became a reality.13 Because of the Atonement, eternal life became a possibility for all who would qualify.
We need to recognize we are nothing without him. If we truly recognized this our prayers would change in the way we talk to him. Because of the fall we are all sinners, We should feel like we aren’t even worthy to call upon him. I give thanks for the attonement and sacrifice of Christ and That I can even call upon you.

4. I know the Book of Mormon is true and is the Keystone of Our Religion.
The prophet Joseph Smith taught that the book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion. He said “ Take away the book of Mormon and the revelations and where is our religion ? We have none”
President Ezra Taft Benson said that the book of Mormon is the keystone in at least three ways.
1.It is the witness of Christ. “ The book of Mormon is the keystone in our witness of Jesus Christ who is himself the cornerstone of everything we do. It bears witness of his reality with power and Clarity”.
2.The book of Mormon is the fullness of doctrine. In the Book of Mormon we will find the fullness of those doctrines required for our salvation. And they are taught plainly and simply so that even children can learn the ways of salvation and exaltation
3.It is the foundation of Testimony. Just as the arch crumbles if they keystone is removed so does all the church stand or fall with the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. The enemies of the church understand this clearly. This is why they go to such great lengths to try to disprove the Book of Mormon, for if it can be discredited, the prophet Joseph Smith goes with it. But I TESTIFY that it is TRUE, and Millions have now testified that they have the witness of the spirit that it is indeed true. If it’s true you must accept the claims of the restoration and all that accompanies it.
From Preach my Gospel
“We as Latter-Day saints Believe the bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly as stated in 8th Article of Faith. Far from competing with the bible, the book of Mormon supports it, exhorts us to read it, and testifies of the truthfulness of its message. You should use the book of Mormon and the Bible to support one another.”
 The book of Mormon speaks of the ancient covenants God made with his Children;  as The bible tells of great prophets who also received these covenants by faith. The book of Mormon testifies of Christ and His atonements; as the bible provides the account of his Birth, ministry death, atonement and resurrection. Thus the bible and book of Mormon complement and enrich each other.
President Boyd k. Packer states
                In a world ever more dangerous… the book of Mormon: another testament of Jesus Christ has the nourishing power to heal starving spirits of the world.
This statement is so powerful to me, knowing that this book can heal starving spirits of the world. I know the Book of  Mormon is the true word of God. It helps me draw nearer to God. We shouldn’t take this Book for Granted. I testify if you have a sincere heart to know if He lives, read this book and pray to receive a testimony of its divine content.

5. I know and believe Missionary Work is essential.
Around the 1950s to the 1960s there were two missionaries who began there long day tracking in Peoria Illinois. They came upon a house and knocked on the door. A lady answered and said her husband is not home, you can come back again when he is. The two missionaries probably felt excited to know they might be making some progress. The work seemed slow and they were praying and hoping that they could find someone to teach. They came back a couple days latter to find the husband home. They gave him a book of Mormon and taught him about the restoration. Within 2 mins of the missionaries talking. This Man knew and felt it was true. He took the book of Mormon with him to work, and during his lunch breaks he would read it quietly. He knew he needed to join the church. His wife was ok with him joining until finding out he would have to pay 10 percent Tithing. He stuck with his decision and with many obstacles in his way  the missionary who knocked on his door baptized this man on April 5th 1958 and was confirmed a member of the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saint on April 6. This man being without much money and being newly divorced sacrificed his old life to become a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day saints. Years down the road , that man found and met again the missionary who taught, converted, and baptized him years ago.
The missionary stated that he always wondered what had happened to him. The Missionary hugged him and told this man that he was the only person he had baptized on his two year mission.
That man met and married a member of the church. They got married in the Idaho Falls Temple and had 5 children. All 5 of his children were married and sealed in the temple. And now today he has 15 grandchildren and 3 great grand children, all born under the covenant.  3 grandchildren that served a full time mission, in which one is currently serving, He has 2 granddaughters who will be very soon future sister missionaries , and more and more to come. and then Me who is about to serve the people of Georgia. This man is My grandfather Jerry Melton. I don’t know who that Missionary is that baptized my grandpa. But he didn’t just baptize one person that day. He baptized Generations and Generations to come. What a great testimony to me that Missionary work is essential.  Without that Missionaries patience ,diligence, and sacrifice . I might not be standing here today.    
Preach my Gospel states:
“ Many people are searching for purpose in life. They are concerned for their families. They need the sense of belonging that comes from the knowledge that they are children of god, members of his eternal family. They want to feel secure in a world of changing values. They want peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come, but they are kept from the truth because they know not where to find it. “
I know Missionary work is essential. I already have a sense of love and compassion for the people of Georgia who are searching for the missing puzzle piece of life. I know that I will be the tool in the lord’s hand. He will guide me to those people who need me, Just as the missionary who was lead to my grandpa.
As David O. Mckay said.
“ Every member is a missionary”. “ True Christianity is love in action. There is no better way to manifest love for God than to Show an unselfish love for your fellow men. This is the spirit of Missionary work”. 
Brothers and Sisters don’t be afraid to share the Gospel. We will miss sacred opportunities to change someone life and their families.

I know a mission will be hard
My main thoughts about serving a mission before I had a true converted testimony were: I am to scared because this will have to be the hardest thing I will ever have to do in my life. There were random doubts that enter into my head throughout the day that told me" Mariah you are not prepared to serve a mission" " Mariah you will be leaving everything you love for 1 and half years, My friends, my roommates, my education, and My family." " Mariah do you really think that you can handle the pressure of being rejected time after time door after door." "What if no one listens to me"
 “ Missionary Work through the Atonement” by Elder Holland
“I am convinced that missionary work is not easy because salvation is not a cheap experience. Salvation never was easy. We are The Church of Jesus Christ, this is the truth, and He is our Great Eternal Head. How could we believe it would be easy for us when it was never, ever easy for Him?
to come to the truth, to come to salvation, to know something of this price that has been paid, will have to pay a token of that same price.
For that reason I don’t believe missionary work has ever been easy, nor that conversion is, nor that retention is, nor that continued faithfulness is. I believe it is supposed to require some effort, something from the depths of our soul. If He could come forward in the night, kneel down, fall on His face, bleed from every pore, and cry, “Abba, Father (Papa), if this cup can pass, let it pass,” 16 then little wonder that salvation is not a whimsical or easy thing for us. If you wonder if there isn’t an easier way, you should remember you are not the first one to ask that. Someone a lot greater and a lot grander asked a long time ago if there wasn’t an easier way.
When you struggle, when you are rejected, when you are spit upon and cast out and made a hiss and a byword, you are standing with the best life this world has ever known, the only pure and perfect life ever lived. You have reason to stand tall and be grateful that the Living Son of the Living God knows all about your sorrows and afflictions. The only way to salvation is through Gethsemane and on to Calvary. The only way to eternity is through Him—the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”

My Closing Testimony
I want you to think is our testimony enough? Even Satan knows he is the Christ. WE MUST ACT UPON OUR TESTIMONY….These things that I have mentioned have brought me to a better place in my life. To know these things are true with all of my heart gives me a better understanding of the Love Heavenly Father and Jesus has for his children.
When our beloved Prophet stood and told us changes in the Missionary program, I know it was a confirmation that many people are searching for the light of Christ in their lives. This was a confirmation that the lord is fulfilling his Prophecy  that every nation, country, and person will receive that opportunity to come unto Christ and join the true church of Jesus Christ. This is the confirmation and answer that I know the Savior is there, he hears our prayers. He knows what we are going through, because he suffered every pain and affliction that we go through every day. He is not going to let us down if we come into his arms. Have faith that you will receive the answer to your prayers. but just don't forget that our Heavenly Father will call you by name and  confirm that you are a daughter or son of his eternal Love. I hope that you can all remember that.

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