Thursday, August 21, 2014

Missionary Homecoming: August 31, 2014

We invite all those that have read this blog to hear Kendall share her experiences from her Polish Mission on Sunday, August 31st from 9 a.m.-10:15 a.m. at the Park City LDS Stake Center,  2300 Monitor Drive, Park City UT 84060. 

If you are looking for uplifting words and inspiring videos please visit www.mormon.org or the Mormon Channel on YouTube. 

Thank you again for all your support of Siostra Kendall Blake!

Sincerely,

Karen (Kendall's mom)  and Kendall and Family 

Monday, August 11, 2014

August 11, 2014

Week 76

Hello all!

Starting with the funny moment slash picture this time! This week we proselyted about family history on the main street of Warsaw! We dressed up like we were from the 50's for an extra umph! :)

So...the last email! I guess I don't even know where to start because how is one possibly supposed to sum up a year and a half of their life... not just that, but a year and a half of growth, miracles, realizations, new friends, new places, new responsibilities, changed desires, and a stronger testimony all in one email?

I was praying last night and asking Heavenly Father what exactly it is that He wanted me to talk about in my last email home because i was actually pretty nervous for it. I was looking through some old journals and some spiritual notes, and something that stood out to me is LIGHT! I really didn't understand the idea of light before my mission. I'm sure you've all heard  many times that some people just have "a certain light about them" or that someone "is glowing". People have even said that to me a few times in my life, and I always just thought they were just saying words that were kind...but I have learned over the course of my misison that this light is absolutely real! It is the light of The Savior that is with in us all (Moroni 7, Book of Mormon). I think a way that helps me understand how this light works is by thinking of a mirror behind our eyes...The light from our Savior reflects off of that "mirror" and projects out of our eyes! When the mirror is dirty, it doesn't reflect as well...when the mirror is clean, the light reflects bright and strongly! Our choices influence the cleanliness of this mirror. Listen people, everyone makes mistakes...everyone dirties their mirror! Eventually the grime on the mirror can get so built up that not very much light or no light at all can even reflect off of it. But all that grime and dirt can be washed away!...through the Savior! I have learned and seen first hand on my misison that when someone repents and stops doing what is wrong (whether it be pride, addictions, a dirty mouth, or laziness in keeping the commandments), Jesus Christ cleans our mirror and His light brightly beams from out of us! When we are made clean enough for the Spirit to fill us, His light shines out of us! I just wanted to write a couple of instances where I have witnessed this light:

--When I moved to Katowice in November, an investigator helped me get off the train...I remember being struck by the light that shone from out of his eyes! I knew that he was a true seeker of Christ and had been changing his life around to live more in line with what the Savior teaches us! 
--When I saw a picture of two people who were in the same room and same lighting, and one's face sort of looked hidden in a shadow and the other one's face looked radiant and beaming light! One had been living the standards of the gospel and the other one hadn't.. The spirit truly shone out of that person's eyes and smile!
--I've seen it in Łódź after the baptism of 3 of my friends...something was different! Something was clearer! Cleaner! I know the Savior's light really truly changed them!
--I've seen it in myself too. When I have have recently recommitted myself to the Lord, I am serious, my eyes truly are bluer! When I feel joy, they even sparkle! 

I know that this light of Christ is a clear manifestation in those who are repenting and who are filled with the Spirit! For those who haven't cleaned off their mirror in a while, I know with absolute certainty, that The Savior can help you clean it off! You can have that light in your life again. Commit yourself to loving the Savior. Do what He asks because you LOVE HIM! Not because you're told to and not beause you know you should...do it because you love the Lord. His light fills with more joy than I can even describe! It can change people! It has changed me! 

I know this is the Lord's church. I know it because I have experienced what it's like to be led by Him as I've been called to invite people to it. It's not just "a church"...it is "THE church"! There is no other way to feel completely free of past mistakes without coming to the Savior...that can mean "coming to church and renewing your covenants and being clean again". That can mean "coming to the waters of baptism and becoming ellegable to partake of Christ's Atonement". 

You know...I've been doing this for a year and a half and I could not be more grateful for this training for the rest of my life. My mission has taught me lessons and given me tools that have prepared me to "live in the world but not of the world". To have other priorities, but make the Lord my first priority. To not just do things because I know they're right, but do them because I have a desire to! Because I know the Lord wants me to! I'll honestly say that I haven't made a 180 degree turn around in who I am (seeing that I did live the gospel before my mission), but I can with complete confidence say that the few degrees that I have turned have made all the difference, and I feel like I have become what Heavenly Father needed me to become during this time. He has helped me become a more deeply dedicated disciple of His Son. It is my lifetime goal to do and say what I do in his name, even in writing this email. He really turly is the light of the world...look to Him and make Him your priority, your goal, and your path.  I love Him and am so so so grateful that I got to serve Him among some of his most beloved children in Poland!

Niech żyje Ewanglia w Polsce!

With charity,
Sister Kendall Taylor Blake

Sunday, August 10, 2014

August 4, 2014

Wow!! Of course this week was a rollercoaster! Czyli: lots of valuable lessons were learned! You know, to be perfectly honest, I have been pretty stressed about "finishing strong"... This whole transfer, I've been trying to decide and seek revelation about what that actually means. This past week, I made the mistake of thinking it meant "go unto your legs give out from underneath you and you fall asleep in contacts because your so tired" or "talk to every thing that breathes while you still can". After a spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically painful few days, I realized that for me at least, that is NOT what "finish strong" should mean. After talking to President Edgren and to his sweet wife (who is seriously one of my best friends!) and Alex Modzylewska, I realized that "finish strong" should mean "keep going strong". I have been going strong my whole mission! Going any harder would honestly put me in the hospital! (or so i found out this week!) The last thing I want to happen is for me to not have any fuel left when i get home... because if i had no fuel left when I got home, that would mean that I wouldn't want to or be able to keep doing missionary work when I got back! That sounds awful! I know my mom would NOT be happy if i ran myself so into the ground that I slept for 3 days when i got home and didn't have the energy to speak to anyone... No no no. Talking to president really helped me understand that my mission has been for me a training ground! I get to go onward with the tools and lessons I've learned from my mission into the rest of my life! My mission isn't ending! It's just beginning! I need to just keep being invested in the mission! Keep being excited that i'm a misisonary! and love enery moment! And look for eternal friendships!

Speaking of searching for eternal friendships, I was actually fasting and praying that I'd be able to do so... that I'd be able to have love for the people that I met! My prayers were answered! I met a girl named Monika in the tramwaj in May. It was actually pretty funny: I was in such a good conversation with her that i didn't notice my companion getting off the tram and I drove away without her (don't worry, we pretty easily reunited after a minute). But after tries and tries of getting ahold of her for the past few months, we finally did and we had a meeting yesterday! She is 23 and so cute and looking for her purpose in life! The gospel has touched her heart and she got goosebumps when we told her Joseph Smith's first vision! She was so excited when we invited her to baptism on September 20th (the day after my birthday!)!! I know the Lord wants us to be eternal friends! I'm SO SO SO grateful that He answered my prayers because Monika is so wonderful and I already love her so much! 

The second opportunity to love was when we decided to do something totally outside of the box! My friend Ella who is serviing a mission in the United States, set up a finger painting stand or coś w tym stylu in a park and had been having success! So we decided to try it out!... IT WORKED LIKE MAGIC! It was so awesome! We lugged and dragged and carried this table and 6 chairs to the park and invited little girls and their mom's to get their fingernails painted for free by yours truly! It was the best thing ever for so many reasons: a) people actually came and once their nails were wet with polish, they couldn't leave! muahaha! I was able to have some really REAL and Genuine conversations with some amazing women! that leads me to point b! b) in my whole mission i have had the hardest time contacting and having success with stopping moms on the street..but they're the ones that need the peace and guidance from the gospel the most as they try to raise children! These women flocked to US!!!! and they listened! Oh my it was wonderful! I got to really get to know and love the people whose nails I painted!

Another amazing thing: On August 1 was the 70th anniversary of the Warsaw uprising!! Oh my goodness I feel so grateful to be here in Warsaw during that!!! The Polish people are so interesting: theynever really speak their emotions, but inside they really feel a lot of passion! Especially for their heritage! The past few days, everyone has been wearing their Poland / Warsaw uprising tshirts. Everyone was parading around the streets paying tribute to their grandpfathers who had the courage to stand up for their freedom! I pretty much ahd the goosebumps all day! I grew in so much love for Poland, the Polish people, and the brave people who fought in the warsaw uprising! We went to a giant gathering of people during our dinner break and got to sing with thousands of polish people songs that were banned during that time about freedom and God and courage! I felt so honored to be a part of it all!!

Funny: an elder in our distrykt is really flexible and we were trying to come up with out of the box finding ideas... basically we were starting to run out of ideas and one of the ideas thrown out there was: Elasti-elder! hahaha

pic #1: nail painting
#2: MONIKA!
#3: Warsaw Uprising Anniversary



Monday, July 28, 2014

July 28, 2014

Week 74

A picture's worth a thousand words:
Pic #1: Me and Teresa and Barbara! Teresa got a calling this week for Sunday School Teacher!! Ah! and Barbara just got baptized!!
Pic # 2: WE WENT TO A BABY SHOWER AND I HAD TO CHANGE SISTER HEMMINGS DIAPER!
Pic #3:AND #4: BARBARA'S BAPTISM!! 




Monday, July 21, 2014

July 28, 2014

Week 73

This transfer I've been learning a lot about not being perfect. I'm learning that the Lord definitely does not expect perfection from us. Sometimes, we as members of the church can stress ourselves out wondering if we're doing enough to become like the Savior, but in reality He is already so pleased with us and what we our doing. We can know if what we are doing is right and pleasing to Him when we ask ourselves the question: "Am I doing the basic things I should be doing" like reading the scriptures daily, praying daily, going to church, striving to be kind to others and give of myself. I've learned on my mission, that, of course there is always something that we can improve upon, but when we're doing those basic daily things, the Lord IS proud of us and will help us keep growing. I've learned that when we're at peace with the growth we've already made and stive to continue to do those things always, the Lord inevitably builds upon that. Yes, everyday we should be repenting and improving, but I've learned that we need to be grateful to the Lord for the progress He's already helped us make!

I love being with Sister Hemming!! We are learning together how to enjoy the moment while still working hard. It's being interesting as we've been seeking the gift of discernement more of telling us the people who to talk to. Both of us in our missions have talked to anything with legs all day everyday, but we've been realizing lately that that hasn't been as fulfilling or Spirit filled lately. So lately we have been really seeking which people to maybe let walk past...and believe it or not, it's actually been pretty difficult! haha  But it's been really amazing to see the Lord lead us to the people we DO need to talk to. It's interesting how the missionary you are evolves in all sorts of ways as you're on your mission. 

Funny: Yesterday, it was warm but POURING RAIN!!!! When we left the house that morning it was boiling hot! and all of a sudden a downpour started!!! It must've looked so hilarious to see us: the only two souls on the street, waiting for a tramwaj, literally dripping, and pulled out our cinnamon rolls, and being splashed on by cars! haha I must say it was pretty rewarding to feel like a true blue missionary in that moment! :)

Monday, July 14, 2014

July 14, 2014

Week 72

Each week seems to go by faster and faster...this week just flew by! You know, this week, to be 100% perfectly honest, I was having a little bit of a hard time with missing home. I just love my family so so so much and I was really thinking about them in New Hampshire playing in the lake and having a good time. The hardest part was that the thing I was feeling bad about wasn't that I was missing out, but rather that I felt bad for missing home. I learned throughout the week however, that thoughts of home aren't bad, but that I just shouldn't let them take me away from the work in my day dreams, etc. After I realized that, I didn't feel so bad and also just changed the thought to investigators and members when I would get too carried away. So that's the honest truth there for you :) But I'm doing super well now and loving every second of Poland (as always)!

One of the miracles this week is how Teresa who got baptized a month ago is just continually progressing! She used to work inside of a mall. She owns her own store but rented a room in the mall to have her shop...but her work prevented her from coming to church for all 3 hours on Sunday and from coming to the church activities she wanted to come to...so last week, she left the mall and found another place just 5 minutes away that's a cute shop that you can walk by while on a jaunt with your family!! She said she felt like the Spirit prompted her to do so so that she'd be able to come to more of church and more activites!! It is just absolutely amazing!! I can't believe it!...well yes I can because Teresa is fantastic, but still! Because of that she's been coming to all 3 hours of church and loving it and is even getting a calling as a Sunday school teacher soon! This week she even came to an activity that most long-time members didn't even show up to...And this is the most amazing part of all! The activity was missionary splits! (This is when members go out with the missionaries to teach investigators.) Sister Hemming and I taught her a little shpeel about why we all should do missionary work and share what we believe and did a couple roll plays and then headed out on the streets!!! She came with us contacting and was so NOT afaid of bearing her testimony and sharing her experiences and inviting people to come to church and to learn more with the missionaries! Oh my goodness it was so fantastic!! There is so much joy when someone changes themselves to become a deeper disciple of Christ and I feel so blessed that I get to see these transformations happen!

I also got to go on an exchange with Sister Poklinkowska! (This was one of Kendall's earlier and favorite companions from last fall in Wroclaw) Yahoo!!! I love her so much! As always, she was so inspired! We started the exchange in the evening and followed the prompting she got to go to a less active's house that just seemed to pop out on the branch list. When we went to visit, her apartment building door was open!! Miracle #1! We got in and knocked on her door and she was talking on the phone and ALMOST shut the door in our faces, but then we said that we just wanted to sing one song for her that "we've been practicing"....I am a Child of God. She let us in and told us to sit down on her couch! We commented on a pretty wood chair she had in the corner (definitely inspired because she collects old pretty antique chairs) and that totally opened her up and she offered us something to drink! In Poland when someone offers you something to drink as a missionary, you know that you'll be there for more than just 2 mintues to sing a song! WOOHOO! Her heart continued to get softer and softer especially when we sang for her. The words rang true to her and she totally opened up! It turns out that she is not the less active we were looking for but her non-member sister! She told us about a spiritual experience about how she went to "the other side" during an operation and felt peace and joy there which led to us reading about the joy Alma felt at his near death experience after repenting in Alma 36! It was just an amazing experience where Sister Poklinkowska and I taught in unity and by the Spirit insomuch that her heart was touched and invited us back again! I stand all amazed!! It was such an incredible expereince and the Spirit was surely felt by all of us :)

Pictures:
#1- Sister Hemmings birthday we went to a sushi place for dinner and she got given a cake by the Elders so we ate it with chopsticks!
#2- Sister Poklinkowska and I on exchanges with the miracle "less-active", who's actually not a member's, house!
#3- Fruit stands EVERYWHERE all spring summer and fall!





Monday, July 7, 2014

July 7,2014

Week 71
This has been one of the fastest weeks of my mission! Like I said last week, I honestly feel the happiest I've ever felt! Ever day is such a thrill to go out and do missionary work! I love serving the Lord so much and that I get to really serve Him with all my heart and mind! I love it! Having 4h of July was the most fun thing ever! Comp study consisted of singing many spirit filled and patriotic songs and we had german panckaes for breakfast and even got hamburgers for lunch!

This week, we taught one of our investigators about the word of wisdom and she literally crumpled up her cigarettes right then and there! So amazing! She was basically just waiting for the invitation to follow Christ more fully and was totally willing! I'm so glad we weren't afraid to just be bold! :)

I love you!

Love,
Sister Blake

pictures:
Me and my comps on the 4th of July!!
I got my scriptures rebound by a Polish man! This is a picture of the shop! :)

Monday, June 30, 2014

June 30, 2014

Week 70

I feel like for the most of my mission I have been really happy, but this week I have been happy in almost every moment! Even if the situation isn't so great, I've still been able to maintain this happiness that comes from sharing the gospel and from accepting that I'm not perfect. I've been learning a lot about that this past week...that the Lord does not expect me to be perfect! I learned this lesson a while back when I was training in my second transfer. It was pretty stressful and I felt like I had the weight of the world on my shoulders. But One day, I recognized that the Lord doesn't want me to have all that weight on me....that's why the Savior performed the Atonement, so I don't have to do that! SO me holding onto problems and blaming them on myself is totally not right. I learned this lesson a long time ago it feels like, but in the beginning of this past week, we were feeling pressure to be perfect. I think a lot of people, including ourselves, have pretty high expectations for this companionship...we are best friends, we work hard in the same way, we're both older in the mission, etc, etc. But I think that pressure really got to us in the beginning of this week and came out as us trying to be perfect. On Tuesday, I realized the trap Satan wanted me to fall into and I re-remembered the lesson that I learned last year....that perfection is not what the Lord is looking for...He's looking for a dedicated heart! He wants us to have the correct motivation! I went to sleep on Tuesday night, committing to the Lord that the next day, I would be more calm in order to allow Him to direct my path a little bit better.... When I woke up the next morning, it was literally a night and day difference! From that day on I have been feeling so at peace and happy, even despite the unexpected "glitches" or mistakes that we make throughout the day. I have been at peace with the fact that my desires are good and I'm working with my heart turned towards Him :)
A MIRACLE happened!!!! So we went running the other day, and on the way home from the run, I wanted to print off a picture of Teresa's baptism to give her...so I put my camera SIM card on the inside of my pants by my hip so I wouldn't have to carry around the whole camera... Well after we had run probably a mile or so of different side streets and through a park, I realized that the SIM card wasn't there anymore!!! It had fallen out!!!! This SIM card has ALL of my pictures from my ENTIRE MISSION! Some how I stayed calm, however...we said a prayer and I had complete faith that we'd find it or some miracle would happen so some one could give it back to me...We walked back almost to where we started, looking under cars, going through trash cans, looking in bushes, etc. and when we got to basically where we started, I FOUND IT ON THE GROUND!! Oh my gosh! I was LIterally in SHOCK that I found it!!! I was trying not to think of all the things that could've happened to it: a dog could've swallowed it, a bird could've picked it up and flown away, a car might've ran over it, someone might've taken it! We are in the biggest city in Poland and somehow, the Lord kept my little SIM card safe that means more to me than any large sum of money!! It was such a miracle to me and a sign to me that the Lord really cares about the little things...even as small in size as a SIM card :)
Another thing that has been so amazing to witness is the change in a woman named Ewa Conn (the same lady that had bugs coming out of her wool coat). This past week, we taught her about repentance...we gave her a For the Strength of Youth pamphlet and told her that in this pamphlet are the ways revealed to prophets that we can live the commandments in today's day! We told her that repentance is becoming aware of the things that we can cahnge to live more according to God's commandments, and then changing! We we asked her to choose something out of the pamphlet and change that part of her life. The next time we saw her she was wearing a modest shirt and said that she read that God wants us to value our bodies and show respect for ourselves and Him when we are wearing modest clothes! It's so cool to see the real and noticable changes this gospel makes in peoples' lives!
Funny Moment: Oh my heavens...a lot happened all in a few moments! A wheel flew off of a car whizzing by while Sister Hemming is on the phone with someone who she's trying to console! She runs after the car waving it down while still trying to console and listen to a struggling investigator and waving her arms like a crazy person!...to no avail! It was hilarious from my side of it all at least!
Picture: we got a referal who lives in a NEIGHBORHOOD!!!!! because on the missionary areas are in the big cities in Poland, we rarely see houses... but we got to go into a GATED COMMUNITY!! and we found a house with a picket fence and berries! How quaint!
Love,
Sister Blake


Monday, June 23, 2014

June 23, 2014

Week 69- Warsaw, Poland
This week has been really wonderful! It's the beginning of a great transfer and Sister Hemming and I have come up with some really faith filled goals that we are SOOOO excited to see come to pass!

I think something the Lord has blessed me with in my life is hope. I have been learning in studies and experience that hope is the thing that can keep us praising the Lord in all that we do. Having hope for a brighter future! Having hope in becoming what we need to become and achieving what Heavenly Father knows we can acheive. When we have hope and think about our challenges in a perspective where we are looking forward, then our challanges seem lighter...and they are made lighter by the Savior as we include Him in the work that we do and ask to feel His power in our prayers.

I also recognize that i only have a limited time left as a full-time missionary and I wanted to extend a commitment here: I'm going to make it a goal to read my Preach My Gospel more...but I also want you to read it to! I know that missionary work does not just happen when you have a black tag on! And PMG can help everyone become the missionary and person that the Lord expects us to be. Also, I'd really like to get some input on how I can use PMG when I get back in my member missinary work! So i hope that's not a selfish motivation, but as you read, think about how it applies to disciples of Christ who aren't full-time missinaries, so you can help me know how to use it better when I am a member missionary :)

Funny: during studies, a bug fell into my companions mouth!! EW!

pics:
#1: man selling yummy bread out of the back of his truck!
#2: view out our window at 4:30 am...after the sun has already risen!!!! I love how bright it gets so early!


Monday, June 16, 2014

June 16, 2014

Week 68

So we got transfer calls this past week! And for my last transfer, I'm serving/staying with Sister Hemming and staying in the central/busy part of Warsaw!!! I'm SO SO SO excited! She is one of my best friends and it's so fun because she and I work and think really similarly!  I feel like we are both just on the same page, and I'm so grateful that the Lord sees fit to put me with a companion, with whom I have comp unity so we can fully focus our efforts on the Lord's work! 

This week we also had the blessing of being able to listen to an apostle of the Lord! President Uchtdorf came to Poland! We had a missionary meeting and all the missionaries from the whole country (so around 74 plus senior couples) came to Warsaw! President Uchtdorf talked about a lot of things that I am so grateful that I could hear! He said that us missionaries serving here now and before us are the pioneers of this mission! He said on Sunday in a conference with all the polish members of the church that soon enough there will be several stakes in Poland!!! Everyone was near tears! I feel SOOOOO blessed to be a part of this momentous moment here in Poland! To be witnessing the changes! I know that the mission really has started picking up it's pace in gathering the Lord's sheep and it was confirmed to me this weekend that it is giong to continue to grow! It's just about to take off and I get to be a part of it! I had a little break down for a minute being so sad that I would have to leave the mission so soon and right when things are really starting to get good! But I know that they will continue to get better and better throughout the decades! There is no doubt in my mind that this conference really sparked something within the members! In the meeting there was like an electricity! I don't know how to expain it! But It was so amazing and I am so grateful that I have had the sacred priveledge of serving here in Poland!

Pictures are from the conference on Sunday! There were so many smiles and tears shed and laughter! I have a family here in Poland! And it was a giant reunion! I felt more joy than I could ever explain! What an amazing blessing to see so many people who I have grown to love SO SO SO much! It was the closest thing to the celestial kingdom when one day we'll all be reuinited again!

Funny: Sister Hemming and I looked like total bafoons when we were taking all of Sister Pok's stuff over to where she'll be serving in Warsaw for the next few weeks! We dragged it and things were falling off and boxes of flash cards were falling all over the place! We made it with help from Heavenly Father and others! But it was a pretty hysterical sight I'm sure!

Love,

Sister Blake

Kendall was also able to speak directly with President Uchtdorf, a member of the First Presidency of our church who is also a good friend of our family's. I asked my father to forward him my note which included a photo of Kendall  and asked that he might be able to seek her out and give her a big "hello", can't hug the sisters ;), from us. He did and I am so grateful that he was able to communicate our love to her. Here is part of the personal note she sent to me this morning:

"He knew who I was right away and he really communicated your love! I felt so grateful to feel a little peice of my wonderful family through him! :) Thank you for going out of your way to make sure he said hello :) It was a really special experience! I hope that when the day comes that he'll be able to seal me in the temple with my husband. What a beautiful experience that would be to always remind me of his coming to my mission! I love Poland with all my heart and I am forever grateful to the Lord that He trusts me enough to be a pioneer in this country!"










Monday, June 9, 2014

June 9, 2014

Week 67

This week has gone by so fast! And I know that the next transfer will go by even faster! But I am determined to enjoy every minute of it and work hard! We feel like there are people so ready for the gospel! The field is SO white and ready to harvest! People are dying for the light that the gospel brings and I'm so excited to keep teaching those who have started on their path towards this and who have yet to be found as well!

This week Teresa got baptized! She is an amazing woman who has been prepared by the Lord for years! She already has a super strong testimony of this gospel and the light and joy that it brings! Teresa is so sweet and instead of shedding tears when she feels the Spirit, she laughs! She was so full of laughter after her baptism and was joyfully trying to hold in her cheerful chukles as she partook of the Sacrament on Sunday after her confirmation! She recognizes that this is the beginning of her path and has so much support as she continues in it!

This week I was reminded of what it meant to "look forward with an eye single to the kingdom of God". I realized that it means to say (for example): "I am going to follow the thought to visit this person even though I have a huge test tomorrow." Doing the things that concern the kingdowm of God FIRST will bless us FAR more than any other thing we have to do! I can follow promptings in faith having trust that the Lord will bless me for putting him and the well-being of His children first! I guess the true lesson I am learning is about prioritizing! Making the Lord my number one priority will allow all other blessings to fall in place... and in the end an A on the test would be worth a lot less than everlasting peace and joy with my Heavenly Father after this life. I want to constantly keep in mind the plan of salvation... the "what for" of all the chores, tasks, tests, projects, and activities that are in life. Of course those things all lead to greater progression! But having the focus on the Lord and our ultimate goal of life with Him can be the motivator and first priority in all that we do! I feel so blessed that I get to focus 100% of the building of the kingdom of God right now with no other distractions or other priorities! The work of the Lord and His angels is my job, homework, and social scene...the work of salvation is my life! And it's not like I'm dying after my mission is over...I can still live this way! With a focus on the Lord and His work.I want it to always be that way, right now and throughout the rest of my life!

Funny/Fun: It has been so warm lately and we have a balcony! So we decided to take advantage of the opportunity of having a balcony and of having companions who are up for it to sleep outside! It was so fun and warm and aside from the dog barking for a while in the beginning, we got some earplugs and had a lovely night sleep! :)

Love,

Sister Blake





Sunday, June 8, 2014

Video from Kendall from Sunday, June 1st

video
So happy to get this video sent to me from last Sunday, June 1st while I was in church as Kendall was getting out of church with Jenny Christensen in Warsaw, Poland. Love Love Love!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

June 2, 2014


I am SOOO happy!! And I'll tell you why: I am constantly being encouraged through the examples of my companions to be spiritual...to work hard...to be diligent...to love others....to sacrifice for others and the Lord...to pray often...to preach the gospel...to become the best me I can become! It is SO amazing to have the strength of 2 other fabulous examples! It is such a blessing that I get to work with BOTH sisters.  We were thinking of other three-somes in the scriptures and we discovered the most powerful 3-some of all: the Godhead! Of course I'm not comparing myself to God the Father or the Savior...but the fact that it's the most powerful trio in the universe says something. I truly feel so spiritually powerful working in a three-some with these sisters and am so grateful for this opportunity!

Teresa, our investigator who's getting baptized on Saturday is soooo amazing! We introduced at the beginning of the week tithing...she believed us, but was still not super convinced or willing to pay. We saw her every day this week and each day, her heart softened more and more! 1st she felt a confirmation from the Lord that tithing is a law of God. It was also such a cool thing because I really love her and want her new business to flourish but she doesn't have many clients yet...but I really felt like I needed to help in some way! she had sewed a skirt and I really liked it (bonus!) so I bought it! Of course I'm stoked that now I'll always think of her when I wear this skirt, but I'm even more excited that I was able to give of my substance a little and help her out by supporting her business! Later she said she put 10% of that money away for tithing!!! AHHH!! I can't tell you how joyful the whole thing was!! By the end of the week, she had been setting 10% in cash away of sales she has had in her store this week! I am sooo proud of her! She is truly committed and is truly a kingdom builder! I love her so so so so so so so  SO SOO SO SO much!!! I am so blessed to be here in Warsaw at this time with the branch I'm in, with the investigators we have, and with the COMPANIONS I have!!! I feel like I'm truly becoming what the Lord wants me to become! 

I had the coolest thing happen on Sudnay! JENNY CHRISTENSEN came to our branch!!!!!!!!!!!!!  It was the coolest thing to have someone from home there in my mission world! The past few months I've been wondering and hoping that when I get home from my mission, that I'll be able to stay this person that I have become on my mission. The "me" I have become I like the best than at any other time in my life, and I want to stay that way. I was worried that coming home would put me in a different world.. that I'd really have to adjust and be able to some how adapt. I know that i will have to adjust to a certain extent with the lifestyle of a missionary being different from that of a student. BUT! I realized when Jenny was there that I didn't feel like it was mission me fighting against home me. But rather that they were one! My home world is my mission world! I'm not living two different lives...but they really are one! I'm so grateful to have peace that came from that experience that the world I'm in now in the mission CAN and DOES coexist with my home life as well :) I got to introduce a home friend to mission friends and mission family and it couldn't have felt more natural! the mission life here isn't just some dream I'm in...it IS real life! And I'm glad I got the confirmation that this real life will continue, but just in a different way :)
 
Funny: We had a lesson with Ewa Conn and she had bugs crawling out of her fur/wool jacket!!! She was freaking out!  Yes I'm serious Sister Owen!!! You would've DIED if you were there!!
 
Love,
Sister Blake
 
Pictures:
We visited Chopin statue in lazienki Park and were rockin out to some piano music :)