February 9, 2015, Last week and kidless

Well Elder Perez had emergency changes and I am no longer with him. It was sad and hard to say goodbye. I hope that I will be able to see him in the changes.

I am planning on making this last week of my mission the hardest worked of all. I reallly hope to have a lot of success, at least in terms of contacts (something I can control). This week is going to be awesome. Nothing can get me down. 

The past week we had a baptism. Sister M* got baptized. I feel good to have had a baptism in these last few weeks of my mission. I wish I could have more but the rule of 5 weeks to get baptized gets in the way. I really hope that the ward can help her and make sure she stays active.

I really hope everything is going well at home. I really don't want to get home to nothing

Elder Jason Blanding

 Elder Jason Blanding is on the right

Elder Jason Blanding is on the right

 Elder Jason Blanding (right) and his companion Elder Perez

Elder Jason Blanding (right) and his companion Elder Perez

February 2, 2015, Only one more real letter

So time is about up. Just one real letter after this one. I feel like everything is surreal. I can't believe that it is almost over.

I really am planning on working hard these last few weeks. It will be so much fun working like never before. I am going for broke on the contacting. I feel that if I get good at it I can get at least 40 a day. It won't be easy but it will be tons of fun. 

We had an interesting experience this last week. you can see it in the last paragraph of my letter to President. It really was an up and down heart breaking story. I hope we can make things work out.

I would ask the favor that you take away all of the video games when I get home. I really don't want to be saturated with all of that stuff. Looking at it on the bright side we can play more board games and also help you to put in your new floor.

Elder Jason Blanding.

The first picture I have attached is of the expiration date of a carton of milk that I bought about a month or two ago. It is of the 19th of February..... I get home the 18th. Used before I expired.

The second is of the stuffed gorilla you sent me in the MTC. It was all dusty so I decided to wash it. I couldn't resist the name tag picture

The third is of a Texan I met here... nah it was me. I just liked the picture. 

President Christensen

This last week had its ups and downs. We had three investigators drop us and two almost. It was very weird and all of them did it through texts. I don't know why people always want to give bad news through a text message and not face to face. We also had to postpone the baptism we were going to have but that was just for one week. All in all it was an interesting week.

This last week we found a couple who seams really promising. They accepted baptism in the first lesson and even had a date for the 14th of March. Two days later they sent us a message that made us worry. They basically said that they weren’t going to get baptized anymore. We tried to find them for two days and finally yesterday we were able to find them. As it turns out it was because the parents of the husband, whom they live with, didn't want them to get baptized. The wife still wants to get baptized and is even reading the Book of Mormon but it seems that the pressure from her parents-in-law is going to be a big obstacle for her. From what the wife told us, her husband doesn't want to get baptized anymore because of his parents. I really hope we can find a way to help them. We aren't going to be able to talk with the parents because they are never there during the day, only at night (they get there about 9 or 10 at night every day). There is always something.

Elder Blanding.

January 26, 2015, Time is quickly running out

Well less than a month left and I am home. I still can't believe that I have been gone so long. It still isn't real.

This last week we worked really hard. We are starting to work our contacts back up to where they need to be. It feels really good to work hard. I end the day exhausted every night, but that is OK.  I feel like things are going well here. M* is going to get baptized this Saturday!! I am super exited!! She is a lot better than when we met her. When we met her we would teach something one day and the next day we would have to re-teach it because she didn't remember anything. Now when we teach her it stays with her the first time and we just double check that she remembers it. She is going to be a great member. This will be my last baptism as a missionary here in Puebla, but don't worry that doesn't mean I'm going to stop working. There are still plenty of people to find and God doesn't count baptisms based on who does the ordinance but rather who opens their mouths and finds them.

I hope everything is going well over there. I just got back from buying you all souvenirs from Puebla. Each one of you has at least one thing (even Mike, he'll just have to wait to get it because I don't want to send it) that says "Puebla" on it. I hope you like them.

Mom, If you want I can help with the cleaning project. I will have a fair amount of free time getting home. I love throwing things into a trash bag or a donation bin. you just might need to help me know which goes where.

Elder Jason Blanding.

President Christensen,
It was great to see you last week in the interviews. I am super exited for these next few weeks. I am going to work harder than I have my whole mission. It really does feel good to be having a baptism this week. I feel like this is the best possible way to end my mission. I really couldn't have hoped for more. 

Elder Perez is still doing great. I feel like he will be a great missionary. He really is pulling the best out of me. He makes me want to work harder and not waist time doing things that aren't worth it. 

I ask one favor in this last change... PLEASE DON'T MAKE US CLOSE THE AREA!! I really don't want to spend my last few days as a missionary deep cleaning a house. Nor do I want to have to pack before the Monday before I go home. I only ask this one last favor. 

Elder Blanding.

January 19, 2015, YOU ARE ALL SO DIFFERENT!

I just got the family Christmas card and looking at the photos you are all so different. I think that the only ones I will recognize are Mom, Dad and Matt. Chris looks like a tree now and Jessie isn't all that far behind him. I showed the card to one of the families in the ward and asked them how old Jessie looked... they all said "about 17"!!!! I can't believe that you all have grown so much.

I now know my flight schedule. You should have it in your E-mail as well but just in case it didn't get there I will get home February 18 at 6:39pm (that is when it is scheduled to land). I would like that the whole family is there (including Alysia). I want a mini family reunion in the airport.

This week we worked hard. We shook of the lazyness and really pounded the pavement. We stil have a ways to go but we are going to take it one step at a time. We can still have 2 baptisms this change and I would love for both of them to take place.

Elder Jason Blanding.

Here is the photo of the family before I left and the family in the Christmas card. There is a HUGE difference.

President Christensen;

It was nice to see you and Sister Christensen on Sunday. Things are going great here. We are starting to work harder and also getting more success. I'm trying to make this last month of my mission the hardest worked of all. I really can't believe that I have less than a month left. It is very weird. I just got my family's Christmas card and everyone looks so different. I can't believe the change.

Our investigators are starting to progress more. We have two people who could get baptized this change. One already has a date for the 31st of January and the other still doesn't have a date. We are going to work really hard with them to see what we can do to make sure that they keep progressing.

Elder Perez is doing fine. He keeps learning. He still has a lot to learn but he knows that and is eager to learn. I feel that when someone thinks they already know it all that is when they stop learning. He still doesn't even feel close to knowing it all. I really hope to put a good example for him this next month.

Elder Blanding.

January 12, 2015, Wow...another week already.

[Personal notes from him I thought you might find interesting]

I'll take pictures of my shoes before I leave them here. They are starting to wear out. I was already planning on not bringing home any clothes with exception of the street clothes I have, my suit and the nice pair of shoes that Brother Bean bought me (I only use them when I have to use my suit; zone conferences, Sundays and interviews with President Christensen.)

[His real email home]

I feel like this is going to be a theme of my letters from now on. Every time I see the date or anything that reminds me of how little time I have left I start wishing that I could control time and go back a few months... about 20 or so. I feel so old.

Everything is going well here. I'm working hard and I'm not sure if it is because I am just always tiered or because I'm working hard but I always get to the house and just want to fall on my bed and sleep. I almost don't even care about changing or planning... almost. It is a little hard to keep working sometimes. I just don't seam to have the energy I used to have. 

I don't really have much to say about this week. We taught a lot and we walked a lot. I hope that this week we teach a lot and walk very little. because my knees really are starting to bother me. Speaking of which... I would like it if you could set up a doctor appointment for me when I get home so that a doctor can check my knees and back (my back has always bothered me a little but I never thought to get it checked before now). I really don't want to have knee problems after I get home but I don't trust the doctors here and don't have time either (any treatment would probably take longer than the time I have left in the mission to take effect or complete and I don't want to waist time in a doctor's office or have to rest after surgery). 

Elder Jason Blanding.

PS. HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRIS!!!!!!!!!!!

President Christensen;

I feel like one of the best feelings as a missionary is when your Investigators come to church. Yesterday we had another person come to church. His name is R*. His 14 year old son died a few weeks ago from cancer and is feeling really depressed. His girlfriend is a member and she invited us to talk with him a few weeks ago (after the passing away of his kid) and yesterday was the first time he had come to church. I really hope that he will be able to recover his hope in life and obtain a hope of seeing his son again.

I feel like time is going by too fast. Every time I start planning and realize the dates of the days for which I am planning I just want to be able to tell the time to stop and even go back a few weeks, months and years. I really hope to make these last few weeks count. 

Elder Blanding.

January 5, 2015, Last Change

I have now begun my last 6 weeks as a missionary. I can't believe this time has already come. I feel like I still have so much to do before I finish. It is a weird feeling knowing that at the end of this change I'm going to be packing for the last time in my mission. I really hope to finish strong. In a few weeks I will send you my itinerary so that you know what time you need to be in the air port.

I really hope that the last few weeks of my mission will be the hardest worked weeks. I really don't want to be able to look back and say that I left with something left to give. I really don't feel like I'm about to finish but the truth is the truth. Things are going well but I hope that they can go better.

We have one investigator who is progressing more or less. She doesn't come to church every week. but she does come when she can. she some times reads what we leave her but not always. Her name is M*. Se has a baptismal date for the 31st of January. She really wants to get baptized but sometimes things get in the way. She loves listening to us and even gives us stuff (the other day she gave us stuff to make "Ponche" otherwise know as fruit tea, it  is a Christmas tradition here).

Elder Jason Blanding.

President Christensen;

This week was better than last week. We are starting to work more with the members and inviting them to come with us to the appointment (we barely did this before). We have also had the problem that the members say yes but then don't show up, or that they all say (more with the youth) "I already went with you once." I don't know what we can do to resolve this problem. it has been one I have had my whole mission. 

Thank you for letting me stay with Elder Perez to finish my mission. I feel really happy to be with him. Things are going well with him. I feel that he is learning really fast... a lot faster than I did. 

Elder Blanding.

PS; I heard a rumor that the Hawks are in the super bowl again this year. Is it true?

December 29, 2014, All or Nothing

It was awesome to talk to you all this week. I can't believe that that was the last time I will talk to you all until I get home. It is a strange feeling.

This week we were able to have a little more success. Things are going well. M* continues to progress. She came to church yesterday an now has gone more than five times. we still have to teach her all the lessons but when we do she will get baptized. It is amazing to be able to help people come unto christ. I will absolutely miss the ability to be involved at 100% when I go home.

I Love the christmas season. there is nothing more beautiful than a world thinking about Jesus Christ. I did miss a little of the Christmas season at home. It is really different here. 

so I would like a burger when I get home and the next day I would like to have Lasagna (not the day of because I would like to not have you do to much the day I get back. I just want to get home and rest). I would also that the day after the lasagna we could have Grilled Cheese... It doesn't exist here. 

as for snack food... I would like Chocolate Milk, a BIG bag of gummy bears and a package of mint oreos.

Elder Jason Blanding.

PS and lots of cereal.

President Christensen:

This week we did a lot better. We were able to find a few more people and also we contacted more. I have been struggling a little against being lazy. It has been hard because I have been doing this for almost 2 years and I just don't have the same energy that I used to. I am really trying my best but sometimes it is just hard to walk another 5 blocks. I am going to make these last 7 weeks really count. 

It was awesome to talk with my family this week. I love talking with them. My mom asked if I couldn't extend my mission, Ha Ha Ha. I told her that I had already tried... twice, but that you had told me that when it is time to go home, it is time to go home. She wasn't super happy but she said that it is ok because she likes you. It was an awesome time. 

Elder Perez is doing fine still. I really hope that we are staying together next change. We will both be really sad if we are split up. He really is an awesome missionary. He learns fast and already feels comfortable teaching and contacting. He still shows a lack of experience but that can only be gained over time. He is also starting to show a little more initiative. I don't need to tell him to contact or anything. He does it by himself. I would really really love to continue to help him.

Elder Blanding

December 22, 2014, Feliz Navidad!!!!!!

¡¡Feliz Navidad!! Love you all and can't wait to see and talk to you all on Thursday. 

This week we had some cool experiences. the coolest is in the letter I wrote to President and for reasons of time I won't write it here. 

Things are rather calm here. We haven't done much of note. I just feel that time is going by to fast. Last thing I remember I was telling you all that I had 3 months left and now I have less than 2. I really hope that the rest of my mission slows down.

Elder Blanding.

President Christensen;

Well... Christmas week has begun. It is an amazing time to be a missionary. My first Christmas I missed my family and all of the hustle and bustle of Christmas time. This year I just feel thankful that I am still serving as a missionary.

Things are starting to improve a little in the area. We are starting to have more success. The other day we contacted someone right out side the church building and invited him to the Christmas dinner the ward was going to have a few days later. He not only came but brought some friends as well. He has just moved into the ward and we don't know exactly where he lives but we do know how to contact him again. I am a firm believer that there are plenty of people who are ready to hear the gospel, we just have to find them. 

Elder Perez is becoming more and more confident and independent every day. For example; today we had a zone activity and while we were in the bus heading there he turned to me and asked if I had one of the "Èl es la Dàdiva" cards. I gave him one and he started talking to the woman he had sat down next to. I didn't even have to suggest it to him. We have been practicing asking questions recently. He has asked some really good questions that I had never even thought of before. He really is progressing a lot. 

Elder Blanding.

December 15, 2014, Christmas is Almost Here!!!!

We just had the Christmas Zone Conference and it was awesome!!!  We sang, played and ate. This was my last zone conference in the mission. It felt so weird. At the end of every zone conference the ask the missionaries who aren't going to be in the mission for the next one to give a short testimony... This time it was my turn. It felt so weird to stand up in front of everyone and giving my last testimony to all of them. I really have felt that all of these missionaries have become a second family for me in the last 21 months. It was hard to almost say goodbye to all of them. I  really hope that I can stay in contact with them after the mission. 

So the ward is doing fine. The bishop is still the bishop just that he is also the 1st counselor in the stake presidency. He will remain as bishop until they call a new one. The stake has had a lot of progress since I arrived here about 6 months ago. I really hope that with the new stake presidency it can continue to progress and even do it at a faster rate.

Elder Jason Blanding. 

President Christensen,

It was awesome to have had the Christmas Zone Conference this week. It was really fun. I'm really sad that it was my last one. I really have loved my time as a missionary and if I could I would start all over again. I'm absolutely going to give it may all these last few months. It really is a great responsibility to be a missionary but I don't want it to end. I'm going to finish strong.

Elder Perez is really learning fast. I don't [feel] alone while I'm teaching or anything. He still has a lot to learn but over all he seams to be getting the hang of being a missionary. What would you suggest to help him learn even faster? What more could I do?

Elder Blanding.

December 8, 2014, Happy Birthday to Me!!

Well I'm now 21 years old and can legally drink alcohol... but even though I can I never will.

This week was interesting. We had stake conference and one of the counsels of the area presidency came because there reorganized the stake presidency. The funny thing was that I have been in the wards of ever member of the new stake presidency.... It is a weird feeling for a missionary to know the members of other wards. The reorganization also means that the ward I'm in needs a new bishop because the old one is now the 1st counselor in the stake presidency.

Well Christmas is fast approaching. We still haven't worked out details for the call. We are trying to find a member who has a computer with a web cam and a fast Internet but we still don't know very many members here. We are going to ask around on Sunday to see what we can find. Just tell me when you want me to call for the overlap with Mike.

Elder Jason Blanding.

Presidente Christensen;

Elder Perez is learning fast. He asks a lot of questions and that is good because it shows that he wants to do things right. I am really trying to focus more on him than me. We are starting to make progress in getting to know the area and having a little bit of success. We still only have a few investigators but we have plans to find more of the old ones and also find as many new investigators as we can. I like the challenge of opening an area. It gives a good opportunity to set a new standard in a ward or area and especially as a missionary. The advantage is that no one knows what you did before getting there. It really is a great way to get to an area.

I am really looking forward to the Christmas conference this week. If it is anything like last year it will be a blast. 

We also need to schedule my interviews for my Temple Recommend and also for my BYU application. I need to have the Temple Recommend interview before the end of December or I will find myself in a time without a current recommend.

Elder Blanding

December 1, 2014, INDPENDENCE

The news you have all been waiting for...

I'm in Independencia 1 (the La Libertad stake... still I'm going to spend my last 6 changes, 72 weeks, in this stake)

My companion (my last one) is Elder Perez he is from the state of Mexico (about 3 hours drive from Puebla) really far away ;)

Well I don't have much time to write so I'll be quick.

We are opening the area so we have been spending the last few days trying to learn what is around us. We still don't really know where anything is so we have been getting lost a little (just once so far). We have only found one of the investigators that the other elders had and we put a baptismal date with her for the 20th of December. She also came to church on Sunday (she has now come 4 times from what we can tell). Her name is M*. We have already found a miracle here. 

I'll try to see what I can do for Christmas in order to get a call set up. I hope I can get a laptop or do it in a members house. 

Elder Jason Blanding.

President Christensen;

So this week we haven't had very much time to do missionary "work" and the little time we have had hasn't been very productive because we are still trying to learn the area. Elder Medrano took a little time on Saturday to show us around (he took us to visit a few members). We already have a baptismal date for the 20th and she came to church on Sunday (making it 4 times now). I really hope that she continues progressing towards her date, her name is M*. 

Elder Perez is great I couldn't have hoped for a better companion to finish my mission. He is eager to learn and willing to try new things. I just need to tell him what to do and he does it. I need to help him take his own initiative and not wait until I tell him to do something but it is a really good place to start. 

Elder Blanding

November 24, 2014 TRAINING!!

I couldn't be happier right now!! I'm going to finish my mission training!! It is a dream come true. I really can't think of a better way for an elder (or sister) to finish their mission. It keeps you on your feet and doesn't let you slack off. This also means that I am going to open another area because I also have changes and to be honest I wanted to open my last area. Opening an area is both good and bad. Good because you don't have preconceptions of the ward or the area. Bad because you don't know anyone or where anything is, you have to find it all out yourself. I have plenty of planes for my next two changes.

well Mom you asked about my health... well I haven't gotten sick yet (only once but that started one night in my first area and was over with before morning) but I am starting to feel the effects of walking around for 20 months :( . I am trying to be careful about how I walk and over what now because my knees are starting to hurt if I go jumping around or if I walk a lot on the cobble stone roads the sometimes have here. I feel like it is just that almost two years of walking will start to take its toll on anyone.

Elder Jason Blanding.

President Christensen

Thank you so much for having the confidence in me to have selected me as a trainer at the end of my mission. I really hope that these next two changes will be amazing. There are quite a few things I want to change about how I work and I think that this is the best opportunity to do so. Thank you very much. 

Elder Blanding.

 Elder Jason Blanding (the only blond) and his district. Notice how dirty his shoes are. He must be working hard!  

Elder Jason Blanding (the only blond) and his district. Notice how dirty his shoes are. He must be working hard!  

November 17, 2014, We went to Hawaii

Hey y'all;

We put on a ward activity this Saturday where we went to Hawaii... well kind of. The plane didn't make it to Hawaii. We all got on but the plane blew up about 2 minutes into the flight. Then we went into another room (the "Hawaii" part) and played a few games. after the games we were "Judged" and put into one of the 3 Kingdoms of Glory, where we received a little explanation about the kingdom and then the activity ended. 

The original Idea was really cool, but when you leave 4 missionaries to plan, prepare and carry out an activity things don't always go as planed. In the end the activity was a small disaster. the activity was supposed to have started at 7 but at 7:30 we were still trying to get everything set up (just the 4 of us were preparing the activity all day), only about half the amount of people planned on showed up, The 4 of us weren't able to control the games very well and not all of the people who were supposed to explain the 3 Kingdoms showed up either. I just hope that everyone enjoyed themselves but I really don't think so. 

I remember that when we did the ward activities before (back home) we had activities that everyone enjoyed. I wonder if you could send me some of the activities we did so that either in this ward or in my next (changes are next week) we can do some really cool activities and be able to help the ward get exited about helping.

Well S* came to church again yesterday!! She is doing great. I really hope that she can continue progressing like she is. She has her baptismal date for the 10th of January. We might need to change it when we get closer in case there are any conflicts (the problem with a date so far out) but she really wants to do it. 

President Christensen also came to church with us yesterday. It was interesting seeing him a little out of his role as mission president. I was a nice surprise when he called the sisters on Saturday to ask when the services were and told them he was going to come (we were rushing to get the last things ready for the activity so we were there when he called). 

Elder Jason Blanding.

President Christensen;

It was nice to have you and your wife accompany us on Sunday. Thank you for the advice you gave to the sisters, they are really having a hard time right now. They are very discouraged. 

We have been having a little more success recently. We have been finding a lot of new people to teach. We have been trying to work a lot more through the members. I am really killing myself that it has taken me this long to really realize that we can try all we want to work by ourselves but it will never be as effective as when we work with the members.

I just want to let you know that whatever happens in these changes, whatever assignment I get, I will give it my all. I do not want to look back at the last 3 months of my mission and have regrets or would haves. I want them to be the best 3 months of my mission.

Elder Blanding

November 10, 2014, Finding if Fun

Hey all!! 

It is always fun to find people. This week we found a lot of new people.

I'll share one of the really cool stories of the week. About two weeks ago we were walking down the street and we saw a young woman walking towards us. She looked like the type of person who would reject us without a second thought (actually my companion said "watch how she rejects us" right before we got to her) we contacted her and to our surprise she accepted without a second thought. We weren't able to go by until this week but when we went by she seems like GOLD. We knocked on the door and she invited us in and when we told her we couldn't go in because there was no man in the house she just quickly went into the other room and brought her boyfriend in to listen as well. During the lesson she and her boyfriend asked a fair amount of questions (all really good ones). They even INVITED us to share our testimonies (how we decided the church was true and also to serve a mission). It was one of the coolest lessons I have had in a while. 

We have also had a lot of success with referrals this week. I have found that it is 100% more effective when we work by referrals than it is to work alone. Even if the person rejected us we can typically find someone nearby who accepts. I encorage you to help the missionaries. It is always easier with help.

Elder Jason Blanding.

Presidente Christensen;

This week we had a lot of success with referrals. We have really been focusing on working more efficiently and not killing ourselves in ways that aren't as effective. We have seen more success this way than we have just trying to work by ourselves and hope that it works out. I do how ever have one question. In the "Regla Johnson" we have been told to not leave a house without a new person to teach. I find that it is easy to ASK for one in every house but my question is how can we leave WITH a new person to teach (with a referral). We have found a few people that no matter what we try they just don't want to help us. They tell us of someone that might be possible but they won't tell us where they live because they "don't want them to offend us". What can we do in these situations in order to obtain a new person to teach?

The district is having a little difficulty with its level of animo (I can't remember the English word). They aren't really seeing a lot of success and so they are getting disanimado (again I can’t remember the English word). What can I do to help them? They need to find new people to teach but they as much as they try and try they can't seem to make any progress. I don't know what else I can do to help them with this. 

Elder Blanding.

November 3, 2014, One Team

So this last week we have been really focused jump starting the ward. Since I have been here they have done almost nothing. Recently I realized that while I have been working really, really hard I haven't been working very smart. I have been trying to do everything by myself. It doesn't work. There is a reason that the new way of doing missionary work is NOT knocking doors. It doesn't work very well anymore. I feel bad that I am only really realizing this now... at 20 months. If I had one tip for any current of future missionary it would be; "WORK WITH THE MEMBERS!!!" It is the only way to work now. I am going to dedicate the rest of my mission to helping WARDS do missionary work.

That isn't to say that you CAN'T have success working by yourself. This last week we had quite a bit. We had very little time to really dedicate to proselyting but in the little bit we had (about 2 days worth in total, see the letter to President Christensen for details) we had more success than we have had the last two weeks... together. One of our investigators, S*, and her 9 year old daughter came to church. It was nice to have an investigator in church. It felt good.

President Christensen;

 This was one really weird week. We had so many things to do, the majority of which had almost nothing to do with working our area. We had interviews on Tuesday and then helped the sisters move houses, which took way to long. We also had to do the monthly forms this week and that also took way to long. In the end we basically only had two normal days this week, Friday and Saturday (Sunday is hard to work because of ward counsel taking so much time). The good thing is that in those two days we had more success than the last two weeks combined. 

We are really focused on helping the ward right now. We have come up with a plan including weekly ward activities and also a lot of service on our part. We really want this ward to grow. It is the smallest ward in terms of attendance I have seen and it isn't going up. We need to help the ward or the areas aren't going to have any success. I have been trying to just work hard and hope for the best and hope that the ward sees the effort and starts helping but it hasn't worked so far. We really need to change the focus. Less on working harder and more on working smarter. We need the members to get involved.

 Elder Blanding.

October 27, 2014 Interviews

Well this week we have interviews. I always love interviews.

This last week we didn't have much success getting into houses this week. We did however find a new investigator. Her name is S*. She is converted to the christian (Protestant) faiths a few years ago, and she seems to still be searching for something. When we contacted her she seemed to be golden and then when we went by she seemed even more so. she told us that she has gone to many different churches and I believe that if we hadn't been talking for the first time on Saturday she would have gone to Church with us on Sunday (she already had plans for Sunday). The only problem is that we can only visit her on Saturday. Really for someone to progress we need to visit them at least 2 or 3 times a week. We are going to be praying for her and praying that we can be able to visit her more often.

Elder Jason Blanding.

President Christensen;

This last week was hard. All week we had the hardest time getting in to teach. Either they weren't there or there was no man in the house and we were unable to go in to teach. This week we have a plan to focus on getting new investigators by contacts and referrals. We are going to visit almost all of the members in our side of the ward and help them to get involved in the work. We really need to have new investigators.

I feel like the district is getting settled in now. There is always a little bit of difficulty when there are changes. But I think that the missionaries are starting to get used to their new areas and learning new tricks to working there and with their new companions. I hope that the district will be able to progress a lot in these next few weeks to finish out the change.

Elder Blanding.

 The Army of Helaman

The Army of Helaman

 Elder Jason Blanding from back in July (or so the metadata says this was taken in July)

Elder Jason Blanding from back in July (or so the metadata says this was taken in July)

October 20, 2014 Winding Down but not Out

Well 4 months left but I'm not going to let that make me stop working. if anything I am even more exited and animated to do the work. I'm tiered but that doesn't mean that I'm going to sleep through the rest of the mission.

My new companion is Elder Chel. He has just over a year in the mission (only my third companion who has had less time than me in the mission) and is from Yucatan (southern Mexico). So far we have gotten along great. He is a little different but so is everyone else. We didn't have a whole lot of success this last week. We couldn't find almost anyone at home. This week we are hoping will be different. I am very  very exited.

Elder Blanding

President Christensen;

Everything is going well here with Elder Chel. I have decided to dedicate myself this change to helping him become a good missionary and be ready to be a district leader next change. It is going to be a fun challenge but I'm going to do it. From what he has told me his other companions haven't had the easiest time with him but I am hoping that I can change that. This change is going to be awesome. I am defiantly going to work as hard as I possible can this change and see what we can accomplish here. I think that the first thing I will need to do to help Elder Chel is help him feel like it is a companionship of 50/50 participation. I feel like he is going to need to feel involved in the work and try to take his opinions as often as possible. Another important thing is that I show him that I have confidence in him, he seems to lack a little in himself so I will need to help him by showing him I have confidence in him. Over all I think that the most important thing is to show him that I'm interested in him and his progress as a missionary.

Last week we didn't have the best results but things are going to be a lot better this week. I am going to hit it hard on contacts and also in being BOLD in my teaching and in my invitations. Things are going to be a lot different this change.

Elder Blanding.

October 13, 2014 Changes are Upon Us Again!!

reply to my email to him:

first off they aren't sending Elder Salazar home. I was talking about another elder. 

as for things in a package... I only need a new belt. mine is finally breaking on me and I don't know how much longer it will hold together. It has a 2 year warranty on it so you can just talk to the guy at CTR clothing and he should send me one for free. of things that I want... I would like more AMERICAN candy. There are some candies that you just can't find here.

here is the list:

Starbursts
Milano Cookies, the ones Dad likes. (if you can, I got hit by a sudden craving)
A BIG bag of jolly ranchers (you can buy jolly ranchers but they come in small packages of about 6 or 8) and honestly what ever else you can think of. (oh snickers aren't necessary they can be found in almost every little store)

That is about it for this reply I will send the normal email with more info about what is going on here. 

Elder Jason Blanding.

“Real email”

Changes are upon us a again!!

So changes have arrived again. I don't have changes but my companion does. I will have a new companion next time I write y'all. 

Sunday I had a funny experience. We are sharing the ward with a companionship of sisters and they have an investigator that has come to Church almost without missing a single Sunday since before I got to the area... But as hard as they try he doesn't feel ready to get baptized. here in Mexico (don't know about other parts of the world) we have the investigators at end the class of Gospel principles. usually a member teaches it (here in Zavaleta it is the Ward Mission Leader) but when they don't come to Church one of the full time missionaries usually give the class. This Sunday our Ward Mission Leader didn't come to Church and so one of the sisters taught the class. she decided to teach about BAPTISM (we don't have any order to the classes here it is just what ever the teacher wants to teach). It was super funny because when ever she could she would make a comment like "we don't need to be perfect before we get baptized" or "you don't need to be an investigator for 10 years before you get baptized" It was so hard to keep from laughing out loud (LOL it has been a long time since I have said that). The hardest part what when we arrived at a part in the manual where it said "this doctrine [baptism] was taught clearly to Adam:"... the investigators name is Adán, or in English, Adam. It was super funny.

Love Y'all. The only good thing about winding down the mission is thatI will get to see y'all.

Elder Jason Blanding.

President Christensen;

Thank you for letting me stay here in Zavaleta one more change. I have a feeling that this is going to be an awesome change. I have had a few ideas of new things to try in order to get different results in the area. I hope they work out like I plan.

I don't know why it can be so hard to fight off the laziness sometimes. This week it was exceptionally hard. I wish there was a magic spell or something like that that could completely get rid of any and all laziness. It would be cool but I expect that I will just have to keep praying and keep pushing myself. 

I have one question for you. My mom just told me that the applications for BYU Spring are just about to open. I would like to have permission to go on the BYU website to take care of the application process early so that I'm not stressed by trying to get it all done a few days before the deadline. Thank you President.

Thank you for all that you do here in the mission.

Elder Blanding.

October 6, 2014 Conference!!

CONFERENCE WEEK COME AND GONE!!! 

Conference this week was amazing. They talked about a lot of very cool things but the over all themes I pulled out were; 

1: Decision making (for success) 
2: Sustaining the prophet (and church leaders)
3: I need to read more... a lot more. (not really a theme but it really did stick with me)

The first point was a very hard one to swallow because it made me think to much on the fact that in just over 4 months I will be home and have to make very important life decisions. speaking of which, I need to know if the BYU applications for spring is open. I am going to ask president for permission to get on the site to get it all done.

Over all I found a few things I need to get better at. Particularly when I get home but also here in the mission field.

Elder Jason Blanding.

President Christensen,

Conference was amazing!! They answered a lot of my personal questions. I found that too much of this conference was focused on making life decisions which is something I don't want to think about yet... but they also planched (excuse my Spanglish, I can't think of a good English word for it) me on that. 

I really hope that we can finish this change strong. It is hard to believe that another change has already come and gone. Time is going too fast. I feel like there isn't enough time to do everything I still want to do. I am learning a lot but not fast enough. the only thing that seems to be fast is the rate of time going by.

Elder Blanding.