September 14, 2015, Week of Fun, week of Dispointment NEW FRIENDS!!!

Hi mom,


Ok, good. This week was really fun. We got fed nearly every day and we also had a stake wide activity, so I got to see some of my friends from Van Nuys (Sadly I didn't see Sylvia, but she's just in the other side of the building on Sundays, so maybe one Sunday I'll just walk over there.) We also had some really fun service.

Here we do service at the arsenal (armory) for a non-profit organization called "Operation Gratitude" What they do is they make little care packages for the new USA troops. They also really love the LDS missionaries. It's really fun even if it can sometimes be really hot and grueling work. Wednesday we made little medallion cards for the loved ones of the troops and as we were leaving we got ordered to take a box of Girl Scout cookies, and they mean a BOX. They have boxes of 190 SLEEVES of cookies that they were ordering us to take with us. Naturally I skipped right to the good stuff, Thin Mints. They actually wanted us to take more then one box a piece, but we told them that we only needed the one this week. So now we have about 6000 Thin Mint cookies in our freezer just BEGGING to be eaten. I've put myself on a strict diet of 1 sleeve a week starting this week and I already ate mine for this week last Wednesday, so I don't get one this week.

On Friday, we did and "assembly day" where we threw together all the boxes we'd been preparing from the get go, and I made one of my best friends on the mission this week, all over a stupid thing from home. We were putting the boxes together and it's rather fast passed work. I was helping with camisas and it was kind of hard, because you have to be fast AND efficient (with time and space) so all the camisas had to be folded just right. They usually were folded right in the box I was pulling them out of, but sometimes I'd grab two or one and a half, so I'd mess up a camisa and have to re fold it. If the boxes weren't flying by, that's not a problem, but with the boxes whizzing by as fast as they can, I don't have time to grab a new box of perfect camisas let alone fold ones I've messed up. I was talking about how when I found time I'd refold the camisa when an English elder joined in and made one of the best sentences I've ever heard. It was something about "Wibali-Wabali Timey-whimy... stuff." AT LAST A NOTHER WHOVIAN! We started talking about Doctor Who and Sherlock every time he went by with the boxes and it was one of the best times of my life. Sad part is he's on English work, so we probably won't be companions. Happy part, we're getting rid of segregation, so pretty soon we'll be one mission, The San Fernando California mission, and not two, the Spanish and Everything else (I might learn Korean on my mission), and we might serve in the same Zone.

Saturday was the activity. It was like the word cultural feast that our ward does every year when every family is assigned a country to represent and then you go around the world while never leaving the gymnasium of the church (put that way it sounds like Epcot, Disney World), only it's called Dia de Hispanidad. It actualy falls on a Hispanic holiday called Pico de Gallo. Basically the stake gave every ward a country to represent from south and central America and they all brought food and information about said country. The cool part is cada pais that was there has people in the stake that are from that country, so it was authentic everything. We even have and hermano from Brazil, so there was a brasilano station with food from Brazil. It was really good, possibly the best that I ate there, It was like your black beans and chicken, only they didn't have chicken, so it was like Hot Dogs. Not as good, but still tasty. They also had this drink from Brazil called "Tamarino". It was good too, but I kind of wish they had that one soda from Brazil that Dad loves so much (I can't remember what it's called, Dad, help). After dinner, we had the Hispanic bailes. All the wards had prepared a dance from on of the countries and most where really good. I started being critical of some, but I enjoyed all and it was just fun to criticize and learn how to be more of an entertainer from what I saw. It's also just really fun to talk to Elder Engle about random things.

Sunday was very disappointing, No one came to church and most of our lessons fell through. Cool thing, we found a really cool man for the English elders to teach. He's ready to make a change in his life and we had a really good lesson with him on the restoration. After, we went to dinner at Hermana Corderos and talked about how our words are important and we need to watch them (Mosiah 4:30) because we compared how English and Spanish differ in that Spanish is super direct and blunt (saying "little fat one" or "fat one" is actually acceptable) and English is a much more harsh language in that we can rephrase a sentence and completely change the meaning of what is said while still saying EXACTLY the same thing.

I've learned a lot in my time on the mission. I've learned what I really love. Yes it's acting andentertaining, I always will love those things, but more importantly I've learned WHO I love. I love my Padre Celestial (deal with Spanglish, I can't spell in ingles) and His son, Jesus Christ, and I love my fellow man. From this I've learned that I love COMMUNICATING with them, that's why I love acting and writing and things like that. NEVER PASS UP A MISSION. Do all you can to prepare and GIVE UP THE T.V. if necessary! It will be for two years and you will love every minute of it. I really know that it's a scary decision to make, I remember when I was about to leave and I nearly froze and said "JK, I don't really want to go on a mission, Ha, ha" but I didn't and I now know that any form of fear that debilitates or bullies you into doing or not doing something is OF THE DEVIL. If you just work to take the first step, you will find a way to improve and find that even the difficult is possible, ESPECIALLY WHEN IT'S GOD ASKING YOU TO DO IT! Don't get me wrong, there's a lot of fear still in me, I'm still scared of not preforming, but I know I'm God's best shot here in the mission to reach and save his kids, so I try, and every time I try, I manage to do what I thought was impossible. I can speak Spanish now, I can freaking play the piano in a sacrament meeting and I know that God's pleased with the decision I've made to serve Him here.


weight loss: 178lbs

Spanish: 7/7 (it's harder for me to focus on Spanish when I spend the first part of the day speaking English. learned that from the service at the armory, because I can't talk to English elders in Spanish)

With Love,

Elder Michael Blanding

Called to Serve my King