Wednesday, June 29, 2016

With His Stripes We Are Healed

With His Stripes We Are Healed
This week I was asking myself this over and over and even though it was hard to achieve it, I found great strength in daily prayer and in the scriptures... for my trials were hard but my Lord gave me strength. While studying I always think of the people here and about all of you my great family. Having this question in mind, I came upon a talk by Elder Bruce C. Hafen called THE TEMPLE AND THE NATURAL ORDER OF MARRIAGE. No worries,I  am not thinking about marriage yet, haha, but in this talk he explained about our Saviors ultimate sacrifice, the atonement, and why He did it. He said that "Animal sacrifices symbolized the Father’s sacrifice of the Son, but the sacrifice of a broken heart and a contrite spirit symbolizes the Son’s sacrifice of Himself." This helped me to understand even more and to know without a doubt that He loves us, they both do, and I testify that they both live....
In Moroni 10 it says, 32 "Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, YE CAN IN NOWISE DENY THE POWER OF GOD."

By His sacrifice we have the privilege of knowing our pains, our sadness, our worries, our trials, are removed by His death. We are reminded that we once denied Him, but he was willing to restore the trust we once lost with Him and show us, like Elder James E. Talmage of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles wrote that “Jesus died of a broken heart.” In similitude, we now offer ourselves—our own broken hearts—as a personal sacrifice. I testify if we deny not His power, we will understand that sacrifice is a big part of life and of obtaining everlasting joy comes with a high price. I now know the Savior didn't die because they killed Him, but because He was willing to sacrifice His own heart for us. I invite all of you to ponder upon this and to think what are we willing to sacrifice for Him today? Don't let what happened in Isaiah53 happen again.....

 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
Elder Blanco

Saturday, June 25, 2016

My mission president is leaving and its really a sad time.

This week is a week to remember! It was a time that I really didn't want to come. My mission president is leaving and its really a sad time. I learned so much from him and his wife. I can see why God called them here. The pure love of Christ radiates from them. As I pondered in this moment, I remembered all of you, and how through your many examples I was able to find and trust in the Lord. As I did this, I started to read and through my studies I found something that made me realize each of us carry each other through our trials. In 2Nephi33:3-6 (I'll change some things, hope no one gets offended) its says  3 "But I, ELDER BLANCO, have written what I have written, and I esteem it as of great worth, and especially unto my FAMILY. For I pray continually for them by day, and mine eyes water my pillow by night, because of them; and I cry unto my God in faith, and I know that he will hear my cry. And I know that the Lord God will consecrate my prayers for the gain of my FAMILY. And the words which I have written in weakness will be made strong unto them; for it persuadeth them to do good; it maketh known unto them of their fathers; and it speaketh of Jesus, and persuadeth them to believe in him, and to endure to the end, which is life eternal.And it speaketh harshly against sin, according to the plainness of the truth; wherefore, no man will be angry at the words which I have written save he shall be of the spirit of the devil.I glory in plainness; I glory in truth; I glory in my Jesus."

These verses are true, for each time I think of all of you my heart rejoices for I truly pray for all of you! At night is when I get a time to think of myself and that's when all of you come to my mind. I know life can be hard. I know many times we cant comprehend the trials in our lives but if we seek one another and show that we are willing to uplift one another great will be our joy when one day we will all see each other in that great mansion that God is preparing for us. I know without a doubt that the work that every missionary around the world with the help of the members is changing lives and its of great worth to God.

To all the youth and spiritual giants over there, make sure you learn from my mistakes and always grow closer to your Heavenly Father! Know that I'm praying hard to one day go back and see you grow and embark in this beautiful journey where I'm sure you will find and walk beside our Savior.

Elder Blanco

This week I felt the hand of The Lord so much

This week I felt the hand of The Lord so much. I cant explain how deep my love for Him has grown but I can say that He knows us personally. For some reason I felt this week that some of you needed Him more than ever and through my studies I came upon some scriptures that made me realize that He will be with us as long has we need Him, till the time of our healing. In 3Nephi17:4-6, Jesus was about to go back to His father but in verse 5 it says " he cast his eyes round about again on the multitude, and beheld they were in tears and did look steadfastly upon him as if they would ask him to tarry longer with them." I know that we sometimes feel the same way. We want him to stay a little longer with us after we pray, after that Sunday when we seek him, and I can tell you that we can. He will stay with us as long as we need him for like in verse 6 his bowels are filled with compassion towards us but keep on being pure and through all temptations keep in mind who you are DAUGHTERS AND SONS OF A KING. I testify that He is there in your hard times in your tears just be patient in your trials he wont take them away but he will give you strength to bare them.(Mosiah24:13-16)
Love you all! You are my source of baring through everything and knowing that all of you are being blessed

For the young men I would teach them about the great example that Captain Moroni was and how we need to be like him. There are many examples in the scriptures about great missionaries, but I know the 5th ward has so many warriors prepared to serve the lord with all their hearts. Tell them I miss them all and if it wasn't for their strength in the gospel and their example to me, I would be lost. ....There is a war out here like no other war, and its a spiritual one, one that will test their faith and love towards the Savior. All I can say is that its not easy, but its the most rewarding of them all! So tell them to grab their swords, their shields of righteousness, and put on the His armor and fear no man for the Lord is with them! I know they will be the light and the example to many. I cant wait to see them go on a journey that will change them into true disciples of God!

With much love,
 Elder Blanco

That's when I felt a change inside me!

This was the week that changed me. It was truly a week of showing the Lord if I was going to keep on following by giving Him my all. The weather hasn't been so kind to us but it showed us the determination, the trust, and the faith of our investigators. We had a baptismal service this week and I have to say it wasn't easy the first time. On the day of the interview, it was pouring so much that the investigator could not make it. We were sad and our faith almost collapsed but we kept on having faith. The next day was when the miracle happened! We decided to keep on trying. We went back and tried to find them and no luck. As we walked to our next appointment, we saw them walking away. We ran and told them that we had their interview planned and they agreed to go. It all went well and they passed. The day of the baptism we went to prepare the font, but it was full of water which was already dirty and brown. It didn't drain because of all the rain, so me, my companion, the other two missionaries had to drain it with buckets. That's when I felt a change inside me! That's the moment the Lord humbled my heart and truly showed me this family and so many more are worth every single moment of pain, of being worn out. My body may hurt now but my spirit is full... This family showed me a glimpse of our Saviors pain and why he was so glad to suffer for us. I love being a servant of the Lord! It's true that he is with us even in our downfalls.

My study this week brought me to this in 2Nephi22:2" Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid;for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also has become my salvation". I can testify that if all of you trust in Him and let Him be a glorious melody to you and your family, no more will you say how big my trials are for with happiness you will see that when we walk with him under the storm He will be our protection.

Love you all and I keep on praying everyday that you may all grow in unity and be strengthened by His grace.

Elder Blanco

Thursday, June 2, 2016

The moment when my life completely changed...

Never Forget Who and What you have become, thanks to God, was what was on my mind this week. As we strive to teach and to guide others unto His path, a scripture I read came to my mind and it took me back in time to the moment when I was most vulnerable and most lost, then to the moment when my life completely changed and a seed was planted withing me.

D&C 6:22-23 "Verily, verily, I say unto you, if you desire a further witness, cast your mind upon the night that you cried unto me in your heart, that you might know concerning the truth of these things.  Did I not speak peace to your mind concerning the matter? What greater witness can you have than from God?"

This scripture changed the way I looked at life, for I realize I don't need proof for many miracles, I don't need the answer for all my doubts, for if I remember that day that I prayed to God to know the truth about His divine glory and of the gospel I can truly say that there is no doubt that Christ died for us, that HE LIVES and that HE is our savior! That HIS gospel has once again been brought to us and that through Him we get the chance, the privilege, to talk to our Heavenly Father. So my family, I beg that you may remember that time when you also opened your heart to Him in sincere prayer and you got the answer that changed your life. For I know that the seed that was planted within me was good and its started to grow, and now I have no doubt it will one day be a mighty oak!

Love you all!  You are what keeps on feeding my spirit to fight in these harsh times! Never forget you are His sons and His daughters, so talk to him, for He will listen!

Elder Blanco

 Wow time sure goes by fast! I cant believe that Alex is leaving already! He is an amazing young man. I cant wait to hear his spiritual moments. I miss you all so much! Tell Elder Mackay he is awesome!  I miss going out with the ward missionaries! I am glad that all the people in the ward keep on going strong. Tell the Kenitzers that they need to write me, ha or I'll go get those young kids! Send my love to all of the kids and young adults there! Have an amazing week and thank you for the huge blessing that you do for me each time I share my stories with all of you!

Elder Montoya and the best mission president in the world and his amazing wife!