Monday, January 26, 2015

"God Has Not Ceased to be a God of Miracles"

I am once again humbled as I am reminded of what an amazing week it has been. So many amazing things happened this week and I have been reminded daily of just how blessed I am to be serving a mission and be serving in Grand Rapids!

Tuesday, I was on a trade-off with Elder Boswell and got to be back in the Lowell/Ada area where I was serving with Elder Brown! It was a great day working with him and it was weird to be back in my old apartment and old area for the day. Wednesday, I taught my first district meeting on the doctrine of Christ and on how to effectively extend baptismal invitations. I thought it went really well and me and Elder Dunn got to put it to work immediately as we extended a baptismal invitation to one of our investigators right after district meeting and she accepted! We stopped by a few members of the ward that are unable to come to church due to health reasons and got to share a spiritual message with them before we went to dinner and missionary correlation at the church. Thursday, I got to travel to Lansing with the other District Leaders and Zone Leaders to go to missionary leadership training. It was an amazing day as I was able to learn so much from President Jacobsen and from 2 guys from SLC that work for the mission department. One was the director of proselyting and the other was the director of technology. It was an amazing day that I was able to learn so much about how to more effectively find people and teach better! I am also now able to use Facebook as a district leader! I am able to use my same account that I have. I just have to use it for missionary purposes and not just social. So all of my friends and family are able to see my post, like, comment, and share them but I am just not allowed to communicate back and forth with people back home. I have to just use it to communicate with people here in Michigan and to share messages with all of those people that are friends with me on Facebook. So if you comment or message me directly and I don't directly respond don't take it personally I am just trying to keep my work on Facebook on my purpose as a missionary! I am excited to see how the Lord is able to do amazing things through another tool that I am going to be able to use for missionary work!

Now here is where the miracles began to happen... Friday we taught several great lessons with several people that we are working with. We got to the apartment around 9pm and we got a call from a bishop in a surrounding area telling us that the nonmember mother of a lady in his ward had a stroke and was in the hospital and the daughter has requested a blessing and that he was unable to find anyone to go. Since we were the closest missionaries to that hospital he asked if we could go. Since it was a little later and we aren't suppose to be out of our apartment after 9:30 we had to call our mission president and get his permission to go give the blessing. We went to the hospital and we met the lady and she was the sweetest and funniest lady I have met in a long time. Even though she was not able to speak clearly because of the stroke she still was happy and was giving her grandson a hard time and was really keeping a positive attitude. We gave her a blessing and told her that she would be healed. Afterwards we talked to her son and his girlfriend about the priesthood and explained blessing to them. The grandson is familiar with our church and invited us to come visit his grandma again and to visit him and his girlfriend in a few weeks to share more about the gospel with them! So we picked up 2 new investigators. Then on Saturday, we hadn't had much time to door knock this week (and I was really missing just getting to talk to people on the street) since we have been teaching so much so we set aside 2 hours to door knock and made sure that we didn't schedule any lessons during that time. We door knocked with just a copy of the Book of Mormon and a plain bible that didn't have any cross-references or anything just the Scriptures.  At the third door we knocked, we met the youth pastor for the biggest church in Grand Rapids and he invited us in to see what we shared with people. I honestly thought in my head that this was going to be a terrible lesson because we didn’t have our normal scriptures with our verses highlighted and all of that. The Spirit took over the lesson and me and Elder Dunn taught great. The Spirit was so strong there and he agreed with almost everything that we taught him.  He and his wife both listened to us and discussed the things that we shared and both invited us to come back. It was an awesome lesson and we picked up another 2 investigators!!

Yesterday was a great day at church. After church we talked with Ethan (who is the one who is getting baptized on the 7th of February.) He was nervous about telling his parents of his decision to be baptized because they told him that they would cut him off. We talked to him and gave him a blessing of comfort. Last night he called us and said that the phone call went better than he expected but that his parents were really upset and were probably still going to cut him off. They said that they will be talking to him a lot in the coming weeks and did not support him in his decision at all. He has a great amount of faith and it is inspiring to me to see a guy his age that is willing to do whatever it takes to do what God wants him to do. He is an amazing guy and he is going to do great things for this gospel!! I am excited to see all of the things that he does!!

Well I have another busy week planned and I am excited to see all of the things that Heavenly Father has in store for us! Thanks for all of the love and support!! 

-Elder Bloskas

"...God has not ceased to be a God of miracles." -Mormon 9:15

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

FINALLY! Pics from last week! :)

This week's pics!


Serving in the Hood

NOTE:  I am having problems getting pics downloaded onto this site.   I will continue to work on it, but until then, I am not able to post the pics that Cale mentioned last week or this week.  Sorry :(  Kristi B.

What an amazing week it has been as I have been blessed to be able to see the Lord work in my life every single day. It has been humbling to be able to see the Lord work in my life and the lives of those around me and it makes me grateful to be out here in Michigan serving the Lord.
Elder Dunn and I had an amazing week. We taught lessons every day and were so busy with lessons that we didn't have time to weekly plan until Saturday (we do it once a week on Thursdays to take some time to talk about what we need to teach and focus on with each of the people that we are teaching). Tuesday I got introduced to the hood in my area when we met with a lady that lives down there. The main road in the hood is Division and I was able to see my first drug deal happen in broad daylight. Elder Dunn said one time they sat in the car for 15 minutes and saw 3 drug deals happen--so it seems like it is a pretty common thing. We definitely don't fit in when we are walking down the street with so many homeless people and just shady looking people all over the place. But I love it! Wednesday we taught a few people that have been meeting with missionaries for a long time and realized that they aren't really progressing and don't really have a commitment to want to learn anything anymore and so we decided not to meet with them.  This will allow us to focus on people that are truly wanting to learn. Thursday, we went back to the hood and went and saw a less-active lady that we are working with to get back to church. There was a sister in the ward who went with us to meet this lady and I think that downtown Grand Rapids was a little scary for her but we made sure that she was never in any danger! Friday, we met with an awesome new investigator who is probably the most prepared guy I have ever met in my life. His questions include: “Where were we before this life? If God knew Satan was going to tempt Adam and Eve why did he allow it to happen? Why do we praise Jesus if God is the Father? What happens to those people that never had the opportunity to hear about Jesus Christ on the earth?” ETC... Including, “What was happening in the Americas while Jesus Christ was on the earth?” When he asked this, Elder Dunn and me looked at each other, smiled, and then handed him a copy of the Book of Mormon. He is so solid and I honestly think that he will be baptized this transfer! Now Saturday was my favorite day of the week. We weekly planned, and then we went to lunch with Bro. Banner at the Chicken Coop! It is a chicken joint in the hood! I think they were really confused when we walked in. It was a lot of fun. We stopped by several people and then went back on Division to see by a guy that we have been trying to meet with. We were on Division around 5:30 and the moment we stepped out of the car everything was different. It was starting to get dark and we knew that it wasn't super safe to stay too long. On our way to meet the guy we had a random homeless man stop us on the street and asked to pray with us and then on our way back we walked up on a drug deal that was less than 10 feet in front of us. I made the mistake of making eye contact with the guy that was selling the drugs and he started walking towards me and said, "Oh hey, Mr. 5-0" (thinking that we were cops and that we were about to bust him) We informed him that we weren't cops and that we were missionaries. He asked us for a dime and when we told him that we didn't have one he started to cuss us out and started yelling at us. We started to walk away and later realized that situation could have been really dangerous and decided to never be on that street that late at night again. Personally I thought that it was fun and that all we were doing was creating memories but Bro. Banner (who was with us and almost got mugged for his hat) told us that we needed to be smart. So I guess I will have to be smarter when I go on Division from now on.
Yesterday was a great day at church and afterwards I had the opportunity to talk to one of our investigators that wants to be baptized but his parents told him that they would cut him off if he did. I had a long conversation with him and told him a little about my conversion to the church and promised him that no matter what happens, Heavenly Father would provide for him. He agreed with me and we set a baptism date for him!!! He is being baptized on February 7th!! I am super excited for him and I know that I was sent to Grand Rapids so that I would be able to meet him and teach him! He is so awesome and I can’t wait to see all the great things he does in this gospel!
We have a great week planned this week with several lessons and me starting to do trade-offs with the other missionaries in my district. I am going to a training in Lansing on Thursday with the mission department from SLC. I don’t know exactly what the training is for but it seems like it is a really big deal and I am excited for it!
Thanks for all of the love, support, and prayers!! I am grateful for all that ya’ll do!! I hope that you have a great week!!

Elder Bloskas

Monday, January 12, 2015

16 below

I hope that all of you had a great week!! My week was super busy and amazing. This past week was my last week with Elder Brown and we were able to meet with several really cool people but were unable to do as much as we usually would since it was so bitter cold and we were not able to be out for an extended amount of time. The temperature got down to close to 0 degrees with a wind-chill of down to -16 degrees!! We spent most of the first part of the week dropping by and following up with a lot of people that we have been trying to get a hold of. We had a pretty nasty storm roll through on Thursday night and it kind of forced us to go in a little early just to make sure that we were safe. Friday morning we got transfer calls. We knew that Elder Brown would be leaving since he is going home for some medical stuff and we knew that I would be staying unless something really weird happened. Well, President Jacobsen and the Assistants to the president felt like that I needed to be in downtown Grand Rapids instead of covering some of the outlying areas of Grand Rapids that I have been serving in previously. So I got transferred to downtown Grand Rapids and I have been called as the district leader here. They are going to be sending in two other missionaries to take over where I was serving. As a district leader I will be responsible for running weekly district meetings, doing trade-offs with other Elders in my district for training purposes and to help them be the best missionaries they can be, and I will be responsible for making sure that our district is as successful as possible. I am humbled that the Lord and President Jacobsen are putting so much trust in me and allowing me to serve other missionaries. It is always difficult to transfer to a new area, especially after only being in that area for one transfer, but I am glad that it was only a few miles away and I will still be in the same ward! I am a companion with Elder Dunn who is an amazing missionary who just got finished being trained by the previous distinct leader, Elder Elmer. I am so excited to be able to work with Elder Dunn and I know that we are going to do great things here in Grand Rapids. Elder Brown was picked up yesterday so that he would be able to make it to his flight home today so I have been able to spend the last 24 hours with Elder Elmer and Elder Dunn and to be able to get a head start on learning my area!
Not too much else happened this week since the weather didn't allow us to be as productive as we would have liked. But I am so excited to be serving in downtown Grand Rapids. The Lord is about to do amazing things with this area and our distinct is doing amazing things! Here is my new mailing address (and if you have already sent anything to my previous address I will still get it really easily since I am only a few miles away and see those Elders several times a week):

2516 Normandy Dr. 
Apt. 304C
Grand Rapids, MI 49506

Thank you so much for the love and support!! I will include a few pictures from the week!! 

-Elder Bloskas

****I am having technical problems w/ the photos so, I will have to upload those another day.  Sorry!  Kristi Bloskas

Monday, January 5, 2015


It is a chilly day in Michigan! The temperature was right around 5 or 6 degrees when we got in the car this morning!! We finally got snow in the area this past week and we are expecting to get more in the coming days and weeks!! I guess I can say good-bye to the warm mid-30s that I was used to for the last several weeks. But it wouldn't be a Michigan winter without snow and it being really cold!
This week was a really good week.
We are still trying to get in contact with a lot of the people that wanted us to contact them after the holidays but with the cold and flu bug going around there were several people that we were unable to meet with this week and our lessons were down a little.
Elder Brown and I spent quite a bit of time door knocking this week when our lessons fell through and met several amazing people that we are hoping to see great things happen with. We had the blessing of working with several amazing people who have not been able to come to church lately because of work or health reasons and it always lifts our spirits to be able to go and spend some time sharing gospel messages with them. I have been reminded this week of just how amazing members of the church are. There are so many amazing people that I have had the opportunity to meet here in Grand Rapids and I have loved serving here so much. This is week 6 of the transfer so this time next week I will know who my new companion is. (Since Elder Brown is going home to take care of some medical things, and I am expecting to stay here in Grand Rapids.) I am truly excited to see all that the Lord has in story for me in the coming weeks and months here in Grand Rapids!
We got to spend New Years Eve with Bro Banner. They didn't want us on the roads or anything that evening and so they wanted us in our apartment or with a member after 7pm and we had to still be home by 10pm and couldn't stay up until midnight to ring in the New Year. But it was great to be able to spend some time with Bro. Banner, who goes to lessons with us almost every day and does so much for all of the missionaries in the ward! Thursday and Friday we were back to work and got to talk to a lot of awesome people as we were out and about enjoying the warm(er) weather before it got cold this weekend. Saturday we had a few lessons planned but with both of those people getting sick we were unable to meet with them. We were planning on doing some more door knocking but unfortunately, with my asthma acting up, I had to go to a clinic and get put on a steroid for an upper respiratory infection and trouble breathing. So instead of going out and working I was forced to stay in the apartment and rest so that I didn't get worse.
Yesterday at church was a great sacrament meeting. We were few in numbers with so many people out sick but it was a great day. Elder Brown and I got to do "Sharing Time" with the primary kids and taught them/ helped them memorize the 1st and 2nd Article of Faith! It was a lot of fun to spend the morning in Primary with all of the kids!!
That is about it for the week! I am including a few pictures of the snow up here and the lowest gas prices that I saw this week! I hope that you have a great week! Thanks for all of the love and support!!

Elder Bloskas

P.S. If you get a chance check out this video about the Book of Mormon. One of the members of our ward showed this to me and I thought that it was awesome!! I know that the Book of Mormon has helped me to grow so much spiritually and I know that it can bless the lives of all of those that allow it to bless!