Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Christmas Week - Transfers - Elder Nimmer

Dear Family and Friends,

This Christmas week was great, being able to talk with family and be with members of the branch. The highlight of this week was transfer calls. I will be staying in Calvert City another transfer, Elder Ashton is going to Hopkinsville. I will be receiving Elder Nimmer. I am excited to start my third transfer of my mission. Yesterday, on Sunday Elder Ashton and I gave talks, his on humility and mine on charity. The branch will miss Elder Ashton, because he helped open the branch back (to ft missionaries) in July of this year. So on Tuesday we will go down to Nashville for transfer meeting. Thanks for the gifts and the support and prayers.


Elder Blazzard

1 Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you, my friends Sidney and Joseph, your families are well; they are in mine hands, and I will do with them as seemeth me good; for in me there is all power.

2 Therefore, follow me, and listen to the counsel which I shall give unto you.

3 Behold, and lo, I have much people in this place, in the regions round about; and an effectual door shall be opened in the regions round about in this eastern land.

4 Therefore, I, the Lord, have suffered you to come unto this place; for thus it was expedient in me for the salvation of souls.

5 Therefore, verily I say unto you, lift up your voices unto this people; speak the thoughts that I shall put into your hearts, and you shall not be confounded before men;

6 For it shall be given you in the very hour, yea, in the very moment, what ye shall say.

7 But a commandment I give unto you, that ye shall declare whatsoever thing ye declare in my name, in solemnity of heart, in the spirit of meekness, in all things.
D&C 100:1-7


Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas, Masonic history, and Contacting

Dear Friends and Family,

This past week in Kentucky was crazy. I went on exchanges in Murray. We talked to a guy about free masons, Masonic lodges, and about an island with pirate treasure on it. We then went to have dinner with a part member family, that was fun, I was questioning the safety of eating the food, but it turned out fine. The next day we helped out at a nursing home and played UNO with the elderly and they thought the game was fun saying that they never played this game before, haha. We also helped clean a hoarder's home. The fun part was cleaning and unclogging the vacuum.

On Saturday we walked into Benton (KY - population ~4500) as we live on the outskirts of town. I thought the day was going to be terrible, but it turned out to be a day of miracles. We found five new investigators and we ran into some inactive members who came to church on Sunday. So Sunday was a great day. The children's Christmas music program was also that day.

I am excited to Skype on Christmas, and sleep in a bit on Christmas Day. And on New Years we are probably going to watch Frozen. Sorry for the short email, but it is Christmas and a lot is on my mind, a lot of scheduling. Have a very merry Christmas.


Elder Blazzard

Monday, December 15, 2014

Christmas in Kentucky

Dear Friends and Family,

This week we attended a Zone Conference with Elder Renlund of the Seventies. He was very inspiring and motivating. Before the conference, I took over Calvert City on exchanges with Elder Snow. I would say it was a success. I took Elder Snow to see the lights at Mike Miller Park. The Branch Christmas party was on Friday. There was a ton of food; we tried biscuits with chocolate gravy and a grits breakfast casserole. The biscuits with chocolate gravy was good, but the grits in the casserole…gross and nasty. At a member’s home, I tried a mayo and banana sandwich which was surprisingly pretty good. My companion had a pickle and peanut butter sandwich.
On Saturday, we performed some service at a member’s home. We cut down trees and cleared the forest. We cut down the small, but like a foot in diameter, trees with axes. It was amusing. He then took us around his 25 acre property; he had a gun with him and was going to shot a deer. We were a little freaked because he wanted us to go and scare the deer out of the forest from the back.... we thought we were going to get shot. There were buffalo out there as well, which you have to be very careful around because they will actually charge.
My companion, who is the designated driver, hit a pup coming home last Saturday. We were driving (in the dark) and a huge black dog came running out of nowhere, directly into the beam of the headlights.  My companion misses the dog by a hair. Then I see the other dog in the corner of my eye, and it runs right into our car…we hear a loud thump. We turn around and see that it is a pup, and it is crying a little. We call a member and they tell us to call 911. We tell the 911 operator what has happened and they get someone to head our way. People start pulling over and finally the brother of the owner of the dog comes. The owner comes and puts the pup in his car. In the end, it all turned out okay: only the dog’s shoulder and mouth were hurt. But my poor companion had adrenaline going through him and was a little freaked. What a crazy night!
On Sunday, we went to a Baptist Christmas play. “There can’t be Christmas without the Jesus and the Cross” was the main song. We talked to a lot of people after the play—making it a worthwhile evening.

Merry Christmas…I love y'all,

Elder Blazzard

Monday, December 8, 2014

Working in Kentucky

Dear Friends and Family,

This week was crazy busy. On Tuesday, we went to the hospital to visit a member who's blood sugar went through the roof so he was stabilizing in the hospital. Then we went to the nursing home and visited two investigators; one was all dolled up because her family was coming that day.  She really likes me and my companion thinks it is hilarious. A member took us to "Hutchens", a small town restaurant. We will be going to to this member's home on the Kentucky Lake next Tuesday. She is super excited to show me around the lake. On Friday, we walked down HWY 68 in the dark and on the way back we started to run a little because my companion felt a dark feeling ... so we ran. We
made it back to the car safely; however, the car was stuck in a lot of mud so I had to push it out of the mud while getting mud all over my suit. That was a fun night.

We talked with a family ... their daughter claimed that she was an atheist at first and then bore her testimony of God.  The family was crying because her testimony was so strong. On Sunday night right before the First Presidency Christmas Devotional we hiked up to this house through a jungle of plants to get up the porch that had one light, We heard a creak and nothing else so we decided to leave. We passed by a trailer nestled in the forest with gross couches in the front yard. We left a pass along card on one of the couches.

Our Branch President is very dedicated to the work and is working with Church facilities on the branch building which has gone through many prior renovations. At first the building was owned by a baptist church.

There are so many blessings and miracles happening in Calvert City, Kentucky.

I love it. Have a great week.


Elder Garrett Blazzard

Monday, December 1, 2014

He is the Gift and food

At the beginning of this week we did exchanges and I went to Paducah, Kentucky with Elder Keys. We had dinner at the local bishop's house and his family was very nice. Wednesday was district meeting and I was back in Calvert City. At district meeting we talked about He is the Gift incentive (found on lds.org). This program during the Christmas season is so cool and the initiative will be seen worldwide.

Thanksgiving was great. First we had lunch with some members at a local buffet restaurant. We thanked the lady who served us for working on a holiday. She was so sad to be away from her family. We then had lunner at a members home, who had many nonmembers there. And finally we had dinner at another members home. The food was all good, but the best was all the dressing made with corn bread. The dressing seemed a little sweeter. Something weird was they had the innards with the turkey, mmmm. On Friday we had another thanksgiving dinner, and after the dinner we went and saw some lights. We had fried turkey, that was so good. We are sharing He is the Gift video with many and people love it along with the pass along cards which are very well designed.

The work is progressing nicely.

Love, Elder Blazzard

Monday, November 24, 2014

Kentucky Backwoods in Benton

Dear Friends and Family,

I have been transferred to Kentucky and am settling into a new place that is very different from my previous area in Tennessee. My companion is great and our house is awesome (it is located right next to the church building). 

I'll share one story...Elder Ashton and I were walking at night, basically in the forest (this was right after a dinner appointment). We walked down into what seemed to me be the valley of death, very dark. We approached this creepy looking house and there was a dog barking on a chain; we could not see anything. We noticed a red light on the other side of the house. We stepped up to the front porch...of the house with the red light...and knocked, and then knocked again. All we can hear was a wooden floor creaking. We decided it to make a brisk get-away. As I turned to leave, I noticed a shadow out of the corner of my eye, so I started running...only to realize a moment later that it was my own shadow. After all that craziness, we found another house nearby and the people living there were very nice and accepted The Book of Mormon. We did this all "seeking"  at night because our dinner appointment family referred us to this particular area. I guess it was all good in the end because we were able to add a new investigator.

Kentucky is sick (translation: awesome and I feel comfortable).  I can see all the stars at night which is a tender mercy. I am growing so much in my testimony of Jesus Christ and My Heavenly Father. 
Love you all,
Elder Blazzard

Monday, November 17, 2014

Getting Transferred to Kentucky

Dear Friends and Family,

This week in Murfreesboro was cold, it was even snowing today. I will be going to Calvert City, Kentucky this next transfer. I will miss Murfeesboro and the ward, they feed us so much. We obtained our best numbers this week and it was hard. Our zone completed over one hundred member-present lessons, so that is awesome. I am pretty nervous about going to Kentucky. It is a very small town. My companion and I went to a dinner at a member's home this week and their son just departed on his mission, they made us write to him for payment of the dinner, that was really cool. I went on exchanges with a zone leader, Elder Zabriskie, I had to run the area for a day and it was challenging.  I got through it and even contacted a solid new investigator, so that is good. Did I tell you that when I gave my talk in church last week an Area-Seventy and the Stake President where present? I am very excited to start a new transfer and go to Kentucky. I hope all is going well, love you all.

Elder Blazzard

Monday, November 10, 2014

Baptist Bonanza

Dear Friends and Family,

My companion and I spent most of this week meeting with peoples, teaching lessons, and tracking. Most of the people we meet here are Baptist and that
is the first thing they say at the door, "Oh I'm Baptist," so I say,
great you believe in Jesus Christ. Then I go right in to the Book of
Mormon. The members are great and when I go to church I feel like I am at
home. The leaves are falling fast and winter is rolling in. We are
teaching one person who wants very badly to speak in tongues, so I read a lot
about the gifts of the spirit and how you receive the Holy Ghost. I am
learning so much everyday and  becoming more comfortable with the work each day.

One day it rained and rained, but it was good because we taught like 6 lessons
at the door because everyone was home. I love and hate tracking now
and sometimes you love the people you talk to and others are just rude
and you just want to spit in their face. On Sunday, after having
dinner at a member's home, my companion and I went to a Baptist Church
with some investigators. It was fun and very interesting to hear the
language being used, but it got a little awkward when the pastor said this is the
book and the only book of God, having the bible in his hand looking
right at us. I was just smiling the whole time, like okay buddy.


Elder Blazzard

Monday, November 3, 2014

It is cold ...

Dear Friends and Family,

This week the weather was freezing, but I worked through it. We are teaching so many people, but few want to continue to be taught. I think one investigator is close to getting baptized. She knows the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that it is Another Testament of Jesus Christ.

The weather here is changing quickly and it is getting a lot colder. Members are so nice. They feed us so much, like every night. I am serving in Blackman (Murfreesboro) is rated one of the best school districts in America so, it brings in a lot of rich people. So tracking is getting boring now, but what is exciting is just talking to people everywhere, that is where we have the most success.

There are so many leaves and the trees here are just beautiful. It is exciting to see the growth of the church in Tennessee. The Church is building many new buildings to hold all the new members.

from BYU Football FB Page
The BYU Football fireside (before the BYU vs. Middle Tennessee State game) was interesting and it was great to hear the testimonies of the players. They also did a question and answer session.

The more I fill my head with scriptures and conference talks the easier it is to talk to and teach people. I am glad that I have so much time to read and study.


Elder Blazzard

Monday, October 27, 2014

Dear Friends and Family ...

Dear Friends and Family,

On Tuesday I did a exchange with the zone leaders and they serve in the ghetto area of Murfreesboro, so it was cool to go there. The area has a 1990's style McDonald's so that brought back a lot of memories :-). On Wednesday, we had district meeting and we talked to an investigator who is reading some anti-Mormon literature so it was difficult to talk to him, however he keeps on searching.

On Thursday we taught a family that is trying to learn more about the Church. Saturday we went to the Grace Baptist Church with investigators, to eat chili, it was a chili cook off. On Sunday we woke up early to get to ward counsel on time, it starts at seven. We got more free bread which is cool and an inactive member showed up. Sunday night was the Nashville Tribute Band Fireside. Also on Sunday we met a new investigator. She stopped us while we were walking to an appointment. She asked if we needed a ride, we said no thank you and then she asked us if we were Mormon missionaries. That is when we asked her to pull over and to talk to us, she did and we talked for about 20 minutes about the restored gospel. Later that day she sent us a text that she read the introduction and the testimonies and will ask God if it is true and get back to us. So cool to see that.

Love,Elder Blazzard

P.S. Tennessee is great and the people are great, everyone here is willing to talk to us about Jesus Christ.

Monday, October 20, 2014

David Archuleta

Dear Family and Friends,
This week we have been having great success with people. Tracking is still fun and exciting, however, that type of work can be challenging because the contacts ask some difficult questions. This is all good though because that means I get to study the New Testament that much more during personal study. I love personal study time because I get an hour of just reading and writing about scriptures. Sometimes an hour is not enough. We get dinners almost every night by members. We have dinner then share a spiritual thought and talk about their family's mission plan. It was cool to meet Brother Ritter at church, he was in the same apartment as my father during a time in their mission (California San Jose Mission - Milpitas - Winter 1990 in Milpitas, CA). He was so excited that he sent a text to my father right then. On that Sunday we attended a mission wide conference were David Archuleta spake and sang songs. It was great to visit with my district from the MTC. We also got the Christmas picture taken. Madison, where the conference was held, was just north of Nashville so I got to see the Nashville lights at night.

Monday, October 13, 2014

First Week in the Field

So I made it to my first p- day in the field. I am in the Blackman
area in the Murfreesboro zone. Tennessee is so beautiful and the trees
are great, it is so green here.  Yes there are fireflies here, so
awesome. We do have iPads which is sweet no paper work :). My
companion is Elder Nez and he is great he has trained two other
missionaries. We have a car ever other day it is a VW Jetta. The bike
riding is easy and a little fun actually. That is crazy Brock is going
to Argentine so exciting, he will do great. We track at least one hour
a day and it is my favorite part because everyone down here knows
Jesus Christ, so we just have to invite them to read the Book of
Mormon and bear our testimonies.
One night we went to the Hazelrigg's and the mom cooks amazing
southern food, we had fried pork. Then on Sunday night we went to the
Johnson's and they gave us fried pork chops. It is all so good,
mmmm.... It really hits the spot. The southern style homes down here
are huge and gorgeous. So many brick homes!
Traffic is pretty bad here even in Murfreesboro. We had Brother Terry
take us back to the apartments after transfers. He took us to Red
Robin which was cool.
On Sunday we taught the gospel doctrine class and then I helped with
the 7 sunbeams class, which was fun. I will probably need to get a
jacket it is a wet cool here and it is chilling to the core. I am in
the best mission in the USA because my mission tried facebook and the
iPad's first.


Elder Blazzard

Monday, October 6, 2014

Arrival - Nashville, Tennessee

Tennessee Nashville Mission New Arrivals - 6 OCT 2014

MTC - Provo, Utah

Garrett completes his training stint in the Missionary Training Center (MTC) today as he flies out to Nashville, TN. Here are some short emails that he was able to send this past week.
... I am not in the world anymore. I learned and have grown so much. I can teach with the spirit helping me, which is a fantastic experience. My companion is Elder Danielson (Gooding, Idaho). I have two other roommates Elder Majzer (Richmond, Virginia) and Elder Nalder (South Jordan, Utah). They are great people and friends. I know now that the Tennessee Nashville will get iPads in 2015. In fact all of the USA and Canada will get them. My whole district is going to Nashville and we all have the same plane flight. The plane trip is on Monday Oct. 6 and at 9:25 am. Yes I will be able to call from the airport so be ready!  I can't wait to get to Tennessee.
P.S. I gave a blessing to one of the four sisters in our district because she asked me and I felt the spirit really going through me as I gave it. It was an experience that I am grateful for. Did you get my pictures or no. I will send some next time.
P.S. Went to the Temple today, it is beautiful inside. I am in 5M and my classroom is 18M-309. There is a private bathroom by the classrooms thank goodness. No high ups talked at the Devotionals. I was luck  to be going at this time because fast Sunday and general conference. The food is gross and bad for me. I drink diet coke sometimes to remind me of home. The phone call will be at the airport using a phone card thing, I think. I leave the MTC Monday morning at 4:35 am! and will be at the airport an hour latter the plane I think leaves at 9:25am. Salt Lake to Cincinnati then Nashville at around 4:35 Central Time. I saw Yui Mormi the LDS foreign exchange student who lived with the Perrins in Lewiston. She is going to the Philippines. She left yesterday.

For his trip to the MTC he flew out of Lewiston to Seattle and then to Salt Lake City on September 24th. Brock and Derek picked him up from the airport and he was able to spend a little time with them before entering the MTC. Garrett forgot to pack some shoes for recreation. Brock sent his basketball shoes over via the MTC mail out of the BYU Wilk. We sent a package as well.