May 5, 2013

Dear Mom,

I will send you a picture at some point. Don’t worry.

I have news!! I just got back from the consulate. My visa came through!!!! I will probably be leaving for Mexico within a week!! As much as I love the people here in Texas I can't wait to get to Mexico.

You need to send me all the info you have on the Ostler side of the family (anything related to the name) because one of the sisters in the mission is named Ostler. She is even in the same zone and goes to the same branch as I do so I see her/ talk to her at least a few times every week.

I don't know what I am going to do for Mother’s Day yet because I may be in Mexico by then and if I am still here we will be skypeing from a "member's" home (she hasn't been baptized yet but she might as well as be a member and all her kids have been). You should send me Dad's Skype info because I have no idea what it is.

Oh and he (the crazy guy) wasn't my first contact he was just someone I contacted on my first day.

I just got your package (and letter) when I went to the mission office to wait for my companions to come pick me up after I got done at the consulate. Thanks for the Oreos they were delicious although I probably shouldn't have ate them as fast as I did. Hopefully I will be able to fit everything in my suitcases now. I will probably end up leaving a few things here just so that I am not trying to cram so much stuff into my suitcases and pushing having to throw stuff away at the airport. Speaking of which, I will be able to call you when I fly to Mexico (most likely). I will call your cell phone so if you get a call from a number you don't know answer it because it may be me (particularly if it is from a pay phone).

I set a baptismal date this week!! It was with a woman named N* (please change the name before you send this to everyone else on the list). Elder Adams had found her about a month and a half ago while serving at a food bank (we do a lot of service because our mission is the pilot mission for a program called Just Serve where missionaries are encouraged to do more service (up to 10 hours a week) and are allowed to do service on Saturday). She had told him that her daughter had just been murdered not too long ago and she would give anything to be able to see/live with her again so Elder Adams shared a little about the plan of salvation and then asked if we could come by to teach her more and she said that she would like that. He had tried to contact her a few times before but had never managed to find her at home however this week we were able to finally meet with her and taught her a lesson and at the end of the lesson we invited her to get baptized on June 9th and she said yes!! It was such a cool experience and I am disappointed that I won't be here to see her get baptized but it was still an amazing event.

Love:

Elder Blanding

another email that afternoon

Thanks for the history. (nice to have 99% of our family history done already).

I will probably leave some of the heavy stuff that I brought with me (like my two large PMG (one Spanish, one English) and my extra set of Spanish scriptures).