August 30, 2014 Singing and Prayer

Hi mom.

This weeks been packed with a lot of cool things, it's hard to know where to start, but I guess the beginning is as good a place as any, so here's the end. I got hurt playing Basketball.

Elder Pudil was sick all last week, and he wasn't getting better. We'd spent the day in the apartment and he's started to improve, but the next day he was right back to being sick. So after Sunday Devotional, Elder Lords and Elder Williams (the Zone leaders) came over to our apartment and helped the whole district give Elder Pudil a blessing. Elder Guyman did the anointing and I got to preform the blessing. We did it in English, thank heavens, but it was still one of the most spiritual moments of my life. I don't know where half the words I said came from and the next morning he was much better.

Monday we went about our normal routine of class and study, but they had a surprise for us on Tuesday. Our afternoon class time was taken so they could give us iPads. It was cool, and the timing was really nice because we'd detoxed enough from the world to use them as tools rather then playthings. They're really useful for learning the language, but distract from the other tools we have like E-learn (the site I used before I entered the MTC) and TALL (another computer program for learning vocab and phrases in Spanish) and I can't use the iPad for doctrine or scripture study. We had Devotional that night, and having an iPad to take notes on was nice.

After Devotional that night, Elder Pudil went to bed at ten, so I stayed in the bedroom and had a twenty minute long prayer where I poured my heart out to God. During the prayer I told him all of my doubts and fears and I made a covenant with him. It was the first time I've every truly had a conversation with God and it was the best

Wednesday I was doing personal study and reading in the Isaiah chapters of 2nd Nephi when I came across a passage that I wanted to share with Kray, so I wrote him and you a letter that night and mailed it the next morning so it should get there either today or Monday. We also played basketball as a District, which ended up as a game of bump, I won the last round and all the Hermanas played, so it was fun. this wasn't the game that I got hurt in.

Thursday was tryouts for the solo. Sunday I found out that Hermana Tew didn't want to do it so I tried out with a fun version where I sang the first three quarters acapella because they wanted me to. The people liked it, and asked us, because we're here for four more weeks, to try a different version than the one we had. It's hard and it's even harder to find time to practice because we're so busy during the day. If you can give me any sugestions on how to practice singing against the piano (which is what the version calls for) please do, I hope we can find time to practice but we don't have pianos in our classroom area, so finding a piano and time is hard. hopefully Sunday won't be too hectic and we can find time. I do feel kind of bad about pulling the other Hermana's and Elder Pudil from their studies, although the Hemanas are good at studying while we practice.

Friday was fun. We got up early to do our laundry and were only able to get our whites back to the apartment, so I did gym, which was Basket Ball, in my pajamas. Elder Pudil had his neck seize up on him in the first game, so I stepped in. I played two games really well, by my standards, but in the third game I got a nasty knock. blood all down the front of my shirt, on the court, one whole paper towel soaked in it, all over my hands, and i'm pretty sure that if my shorts hadn't been read, they'd be stained to. Yep, I got a bloody nose. I was guarding someone and he went to drive and stuck out his elbow. It caught my nose and for a second I wasn't sure if it was bleeding or not. Turns out he cut the outside of my nose and a little on the bottom as well as getting the inside to drip like a faucet. I was told that I was lucky, another elder knows a kid who caught a hand in the nose and the damage was so bad that they had to re-brake the nose to fix it.

Today at the Temple they asked me what my last name was and I knew it was coming so I was prepared to say Elder Blanding, because I knew they were going to ask for my name but didn't remember that it was my last name.

If you want Jackson to see me. tell him to go to MTC west. building 8R during the week and I'll be there. If not then the cafeteria on main at lunch time on P-Day's. or that I'm getting my hair cut at 10:30 on Thursday in West

Tell Matthew to read PMG NOW. It is the most important book for a missionary. It is full of everything you do as a missionary and read the scriptures that go along with it. They are so nice. I wish I could take a day and read them all, but we only have an hour of personal study and P-Days are for doing other stuff like email's and unwinding.

That's about all the time I have left.

I love you and think of you often.

Elder Michael Blanding

Elder Michael Blanding second from left and his cousin Sister Julia Stolp (in the blue) 

Elder Michael Blanding second from left and his cousin Sister Julia Stolp (in the blue) 

Elder Michael Blanding (second from left). 

Elder Michael Blanding (second from left).