March 2, 2015, Week of Service, Week of Cenas (Dinners)

Hi Mom.

This week was a, well, a Week of Service. We literally spent ten hours this week giving service.

Monday was a normal Monday, almost. We did "Cheat meal" that day. Mine consisted of candy that S* (that's actually how her name is spelled) had given us over time and a bag of Doritos, because I really needed some of that cheesy goodness. We didn't get to go to sports that day (this is what's not normal) but it worked out because we needed to do some work in the apartment anyway.

Tuesday was District Meeting. It was really fun. Elders Rangel and Gutierrez were the only other missionaries there from our district, but the Spanish assistants joined us. After that, we didn't have any thing set, so we just went finding (what I call "conversating or "contacting" because I find it keeps my mind on finding Investigators not having contacts or conversations.)

Wednesday was completely un-normal. We normally do service at the government center on Wednesday from noon to two, but the zone had something else planned, and we only found out about it on Monday night. We all went to the armory to give service. We played with Gun's!!! NOT. That'd be against rule, probably on both sides of the work (mission and US armory). No instead we made little graduation packages for the poor schmucks that were graduating Boot Camp. A couple nights before Elder Gonzalez told me a little about boot camp, He has a friend that's a marine. Let's just say, I'm never joining the marines. Usually, they (the armory) don't have "assembly days", or days to put together the packages, for only one group, but they did it for just the missionaries this day. We had a lot of missionaries from both English and Spanish there, in total we were about100, and they said that with a group 5x as big, they normally only do 1000 boxes in the time we had, but they expected that we'd crank out about 2000 boxes. WE DESTROYED BOTH NUMBERS!!! We ended early, by like 30 minutes (we'd planed to be there from 9:00 to 1:00),  and by the end we had cranked out 4000 boxes! It was so cool. We were going really fast. I got to work on three fronts, Putting Kleenex into boxes (I was supposed to keep getting refilled but instead had to run for more supplies a lot of the time), organizing the boxes, and putting little medallions into the boxes right before they got sealed, (at this point I didn't even have time to pick up a new handful of medallions before I lost tack, let alone run for refills, I'm sure some got two medallions and others had none.) I got to be super apostate for a little bit (apostate is what we call it when we don't go by White Handbook rules). They played worldly music, and I danced a sang along to my hearts content. It was also fun to have "A Bug's Life" go through my brain a lot. At the beginning, the supervisor would say "Why are there gaps in the line" and I would think of Princess Anna "There's a gap in the line! There's a gap in the line!" I loved it and hope I get a chance to do it again on my mission. We also had a fun conversation with a drunk on the way home from S*'s. He asked us to talk to him about religion, so we stopped to talk. Before we said any thing he asked us for a dollar. We said we didn't have any money, at which point he informs us that we "have to pay [him] for his time." and that "I despise, what are you?" "Mormons" "I despise Mormons"

Next was Thursday. We literally spent all day planning, but this time it was super focused, spirit guided planning, we just need to shorten it to the suggested 3 hours now instead of 5.

Friday we also had service, the usual cleaning of the government center. Usually this is a District Service, but this week it was only elder Gonzalez and me. After that we went finding for a bit. Ran into talkative Joe (yes that's really his name, he had a badge and every thing) who loved to tell the same stories from his life and went from no swear words at all to apologizing for swearing and then dropping F-bombs all over the place, and Bible Bashing Julio, who started as a good contact, but near the end started making up scriptures from the bible about how we can't have the Book of Mormon. Which, as we analyses his argument that night, we discovered meant that we also can't have anything other then the four gospels (Mathew, Mark, Luck, John). We then had a dinner with Hermano Jerez (the consoler in the obispado) and went home.

Saturday was weird. We planed a really good day, but got interrupted during personal study by a service opportunity. I spent this personal study praying for revelation for our investigator. It was super cool. I made a list of names and prayed for everyone specifically. I literally counseled with the Lord about them, telling Him everything I knew and thought about them. Some of them the revelation was easy and came almost before I asked. Others I had to talk about them, think really hard, and then ask God if the choice I had made was right. Near the end of this experience, we got a text from the district leader saying that the Obispo needed help with a move in the ward. So we got changed (I didn't have jeans because mine ripped at the armory and I'd completely destroyed them after service on Friday. The bottom seem popped) and helped move Hermana C* (I only know her name because R* (the dry member we teach) always talks about her) (Pronunciation; think Cony Island in New York). We spent four hours moving her into a new apartment, Obispo Hernandez only showed up to help finish the move, and then they gave us a lunch of baked chicken and mashed potato's. Fun fact, if you want to eat Paisa (or Hispanic) just add tortillas. Seriously, every meal we have with members there's tortillas, WITHOUT FAIL. after this we did the rest of studies and then ran to Hermano P*'s house to have dinner. They had the worst thing for my weight loss, PIZZA. It was SOO GOOD. I pretty sure that this is the only meal that Paisas (or Hispanics) don't add tortillas to, because not once did I see a tortilla. We then tried to get in touch with V*, but couldn't, so we went home. We failed to teach her all week. IT SUCKED.

Tip for Fast Sundays. If you don't want to be hungry til dinner, CARBO LOAD. I gained like 4 pounds the night before, but I went until dinner at 6 without dying of hunger. We actually found out that the Investigator that we found last week is super solid. His name is M* and he tried earlier in the week to help us find a menos activa that lives in his apartment, but we couldn't find her. We'd had a lesson with him yesterday at five and he's super solid. He'd read the pamphlet and had a specific question that was completely understandable (he didn't know what apostasy meant, so we taught him that). We set up another appointment with him on Saturday and I hope that he will be able to come to church (I don't think we've asked him to do that yet). After this lesson we walked to S* (we didn't feel like taking the bikes out in the rain) (it's been raining every weekend here and I hope to be able to play in it today) to have dinner. On the way we thought about it and figured that the reason we didn't feel dead on our feet with hunger was because we'd carbo loaded the night before. Dinner was delicious. I've been learning how to enjoy fish (we bought some last week and it's not bad) and S* gave us fish, pasta with cheese and ground beef, and chicken and a burrito. It was so good. After the lesson, (we ate for an hour and taught for another), she drove us (with R* (her neighbor)) to V*'s, but they weren't home, so we went home and called it an early day. We haven't had to buy/make a meal since Thursday lunch, and we're going to I-hop for free pancakes for lunch today. 

Things to know Mom.

[personal stuff you don't need to read]

Also, I'm going to send a e-mail with a list of dates. They are the transfer dates so you don't have to keep asking (this week is transfers).

Weight 176 lbs. (I lost 4 pounds today after running for 15 minutes straight and doing 1100 Jumping Jacks).

Day's in Spanish: 1/7 But this week is the last of the transfer, so ALL WEEK LONG BABBY.

Last thing I love you and have no time to read any thing you may send me. Make the letter good. YOU FORGOT ME THIS WEEK!!!!:(

Love Elder Michael Blanding

OH, almost forgot. I was reading in 1 Nefi chapter 7 (this is when Lehi tells his children go get the family of Ismael so you can get married and have a family) and I thought that possibly what happened here is, after Lehi finished prophesying of his decedents he thought "My kids have no wives, no kids, and we don't know anything about where we're going. Ismail has daughters and is a righteous man. Go bring Ismail here." And so revelation can come just by thoughts and not by words of the spirit.