All packages are to be sent through the U.S. Postal Service. They do seem to arrive intact within 2-4 weeks.
Elder Daniel Blanchard

Mision El Salvador Santa Ana

Apartado Postal #142

Santa Ana, El Salvador, C.A.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Week 13 (Campestre, Atiquizaya)

I completely forgot about Halloween. Time is flying by so fast. Transfers are in 2 weeks. It’s crazy to think  about. It’s crazy because the weather is one of the things I miss the most. Right now it is hot, and hasn’t rained for two weeks. Literally every person I talk to the weather gets brought up and it makes me miss it even more.

This week was pretty uneventful. We have a couple investigators but they are having a really hard time trying to find the desire to find out if it is true or not, and a lot of them have really big problems with the Book of Mormon and we have been trying to get them to read it but like I said they don’t really have a desire. One of the chapters in the Book of Mormon that I love to use is 2 Nephi chapter 29. But they are still struggling.

Another thing that is struggling is the ward. Every week less people come. We are trying to help the ward but it is really hard. We can’t really figure out what the problem is. We have heard a lot of rumors, but they are just dumb excuses. Also no members means no references so that’s been hard too.
This week was interesting with money though haha, I had 20 bucks left for the week, but I couldn’t get it out of the ATM because I was using the wrong pin haha. So me and my comp were both living off of 5 dollars this week. Which was interesting. I was left with only a quarter to get me to the stake center by bus to write.

Also we went to visit an inactive member whose super old, and he was really sick, and we gave him a blessing. He was really nice and kept giving us Pepsi. We kept trying to get up and leave because we needed to catch the last bus back to where our main area is, and he kept refilling our cups, and then he wanted to say a prayer for us. It was really funny. We ended up making the bus. We could have walked but it would have taken a while, and apparently it was a super dangerous place to walk through. Also we blessed someone’s house this week because they moved.

There’s not much else left to say though, this week was really uneventful.

Hopefully we can get our investigators to progress or find a new one this week. Something this week me and my comp talked about though is the need to be more, less nice. The prophets in the scriptures are always straight to the point and we need to be more clear and direct with them.
One cool experience is we had a lesson with G….., who is the old man that we have been teaching from like since I got here.  He hates all the churches here in El Salvador because he recognizes that they are in apostasy. He is slowly progressing. We just need to be patient with him. But in the lesson we ended off with him needing to have a stronger desire to pray and find out if it’s true.

And then my comp shared the story of when the man came to Jesus with his disabled son and Jesus asks him if he believes, and the man says yes, help me thou mine unbelief, because G….. wants to know by knowledge and not by the spirit. But then I was prompted to twist it, and talked about how he had a desire to believe, but it was a strong desire because it was the only way his son could be saved. I told him really bluntly that he needs to have a desire as strong as this or he won’t receive an answer and to stop trying to go about things through his own wisdom. The spirit was really strong and he seemed like it changed his perspective a little bit. But Hopefully things change with him though. We haven’t had another lesson with him yet though because that was Saturday.

Other than that nothing. Sorry I didn’t take any pictures this week because nothing happened, and I didn't really have my camera with me.

Love Elder Blanchard

Monday, October 24, 2016

Week 12 (Campestre, Atiquizaya)

Hello, this week was crazy. 
I sat on a primary children's chair on the bus ride to San Salvador

First off yesterday was amazing, after sacrament the whole ward piled into a bus to go to the capitol an hour away to listen to Dallin H. Oaks.  It was an amazing experience and I have no doubt that he is an apostle of the Lord. We ended up bringing 3 investigators, which is kind of far from 50, but we still went.

Early this week the other elders in our area were taken out in emergency transfers so we didn’t have a lot of help in getting investigators, and the ward barely had 50 people come haha. It was still a really good experience. He talked about the Book of Mormon, his testimony, and the trinity. He spoke in English and a guy translated it. His wife also spoke. But he said a lot of things that were really good like if we don’t understand the nature of the godhead, then we can’t understand the purpose of life, why we are here, and the atonement. He also talked about how dangerous El Salvador was and how he has heard a lot about the struggles the members have, and he said this is why this country needs the savior more than anyone else in the world. It was super strong.

We got a couple new investigators, this week and the work is going good and we are keeping busy . We also got all of the investigators of the elders who left, which is two, but it’s better than nothing.

This week we had intercambios and the zone leader came and I led the area. I was really nervous at first but it went really well and we had a lot of good super spiritual lessons. It gave me a lot more confidence is my abilities but made me realize how much more I need to rely on the Lord.

Also a guy  got shot in front of our church, so the really good pupusaria was closed for a couple days because it’s right next to the church. That was sad.

Not much else happened, just a normal week other than those few things. I can definitely feel all your prayers at home and all the work you do in the temple. It’s crazy how time is flying, I finish my training in two weeks. I am really nervous in case I have to train because the president trusts a lot in our group that arrived because we have all been members our whole lives, and he has mentioned a couple times of people training right after they are trained. I will just have to work really hard these  next weeks to be ready in case I am called to do it.

Love Elder Blanchard

Monday, October 17, 2016

Week 11 (Campestre, Atiquizaya)

***See MISSION ON THE FLY ( A great way to send packages and ensure they get there.  $20 delivery fee with $12 per pound, just put it in a zip lock.  Deadline is Nov. 7 and Dec. 5 and package will arrive in days.  Daniel B-Day is Dec. 18th.***

This week was alright. The work kind of slowed down but then got fast, and then slow. We found a couple new people to teach so this week we will go and teach them. Right now we only have about three who are really progressing. 

This week there were two really sucky days where no one wanted to listen to us and all our appointments fell through. But it was balanced out by a really good day which was packed with lessons. Also one of the sucky days we ended up ending the day going to get dinner at a pupusaria that we hadn’t tried before. It ended up being one of the best pupusarias I had been too. And then while we were eating they started playing a bunch of old classic soft rock songs that I knew and really liked like don’t dream its over by crowded house and a couple songs by Brian Adams. I thought it was a really funny tender mercy.

Also this Sunday, Dallin H Oaks is coming to talk to all of El Salvador in the capitol, and we can go, we just have to bring 50 investigators from every ward. Which is going to be a struggle because barely 50 people go to church. The members will need to help a lot to make it happen, but we are still really excited to go hear him.

One of the things I miss is the temple. We were eating with a member on Sunday and her parents came and visited her, they had just got back from serving their second mission in the Guatemala temple. She told me to make sure my family is doing work for the dead because everyone time you do work for someone who is dead, I will find someone new. They were super old and I chuckled a bit because I know how much temple work you guys do.

The language is coming good though, in lessons it is almost perfect. The only problem is normal conversation because there is so much vocabulary I don’t know.

I got your package last week by the way. It was really good, especially the Nutella. 

I can’t remember what else happened this week though. Oh hahaha, we were in a lesson last Monday and it was a really good lesson with this young couple who the husband is a inactive member who is super positive, and his wife is catholic, well it was the end of a super powerful lesson, and I was bearing my testimony at the end of everything to get them to keep the commitments, and just a super long testimony and I was finishing it off by saying that I knew that this was the only was way she could become clean from her sins.. but I said pescados instead of pecados, which is fish, but you guys already know that, but when I said it I realized it and corrected myself luckily it didn’t take away too much from the spirit, but I almost started laughing because in my mind I was thinking, hmm yeah fish do really suck and I wish I could become clean from then, like it was my subconscious making a joke, and I almost laughed at my own joke haha. After the lesson me and my companion laughed about it.

Everything’s going good though, and this week should be a good one.

Love Elder Blanchard

Monday, October 10, 2016

Week 10 (Campestre, Atiquizaya)

This week was a really good one because I had my first baptism. The baptism service was great and she seemed really happy. I think it was really amazing because she bore her testimony there and in church yesterday. There’s just something amazing about seeing your investigators life change. She also expressed desires to serve a mission. 

After that we played soccer because a lot of the members came and supported her. And we had pupusas, I learned how to make them and that was really cool. Now we are just working on her family but it is hard cause her mom works on Sunday, with an evangelico, which basically means she hates the church and us. So she’s been telling the mom a lot of lies about us.  After the baptism we realized we didn’t have very much prospective investigators after that. We have been praying really hard to get new investigators but it seems like no one wants to listen to us. The members aren’t helping very much and it seems like the whole ward is struggling because attendance is getting low.

We have been blessed with a couple new ones though, one is the younger brother of a married couple member. He seems really positive and we had a good lesson with him yesterday. Also we have a couple who the husband is an inactive member for about 6 years, and his wife is catholic. He has said that every time missionaries come over he feels the spirit really strong. We just have to work on his wife, but she seems to be doing good. We also have a referral and we are going to contact her this Wednesday with the member who gave her to us. Yes she is another teenage girl haha.

I’m glad to hear everything is going good at home. I heard a lot about how amazing the funeral was from a lot of people. 

Everyone told me about how peaceful it was and how amazing the talks were. It’s cool to see all the support though.

We had changes last week and there were no changes for our district, the next one is in 6 weeks. It’s crazy how time is flying though.

Nothing else that exciting happened though this week. Oh we think an Apostle is coming to El Salvador to speak so that should be good.

Also food update. The bishop’s wife is cooking for us now. This week I had spaghetti, with fish sauce. It has got to be one of the foulest things I have ever tried to eat. Luckily I was sick that day with gripe or allergies, so my nose was really runny, which sucked because I didn’t smell fish before I ate, so I was super excited for spaghetti until I took a bite. But I used the excuse that I was super sick that day and wasn’t hungry, because I looked like I felt like crap. Which I kind of did. Today we are going to tell her we hate fish.  Also something else I hate is soup. It is so hot here and nothing is worse than hot soup for lunch. Which they love soup here.

Hope everything is going well.

Love Elder Blanchard

Monday, October 3, 2016

Week 9 (Campestre, Atiquizaya)

This week was very interesting. I’m glad to hear you guys are doing well. Don’t worry about me, I am doing well too. I feel a lot of peace because of the plan of salvation. Not to mention too there were those great talks on the plan of salvation in conference. I have continued to work hard and that makes it easier too. 

This Saturday we have our first baptism with S..... It is super exciting and she came to two conferences. We were super scared cause we went to her house to take her to the first session on Sunday, which she needed to go to at least one session to be baptized. But we got to her house and her mom was super upset for some reason. She said she might be able to come, so we just prayed that she would be able to come. 

Well we watched conference in the church in a secluded room cause we watched it in English, and they were projecting it in Spanish in the chapel, but when conference ended we came out and she was there. We were super excited, and to make things better, she saw a really close friend of hers from the other ward that goes to that church who just happened to be baptized last week. She seems very excited to be baptized. Also she is super lucky because she is actually allergic to fish.

Dinner after the priesthood session, the guys next to my 
comp is our investigator.

Other than that we don’t really have many more prospective. The G..... guy that we have been teaching for about a month and making slow progress came to the priesthood session. He said it was beautiful, but he said he felt nothing. We thought we were going to have him with conference because he was super excited for it. He was mad that they didn’t quote from the bible and kept talking about books he had never heard, (D&C). We are going back on Tuesday and if there doesn’t seem to be significant change we have to drop him. Which is really frustrating cause we thought he was progressing. We are going to have to find a lot of new investigators this week.

Also something interesting that happened on Monday last week was we were having a lesson with a part member family and after that we were going to go get papusas for dinner, but then lesson took a lot longer than we expected, and then it came the time to pray, right before I felt prompted to tell the family how much me and Elder Rosales love them, but before I could say anything my comp said alright lets end with a prayer. I ended up being the one to say the prayer so I was like perfect I can tell them through the prayer, so the prayer was a really long and super heartfelt prayer, but in the middle of the prayer we hear a full on shoot out with guns like 4 houses down in the street. I thought they were fireworks because I am naive haha, but a guy that we always saw in the streets was killed. I didn’t feel afraid at all, the people responded like it was a car accident on Utah, where everyone has to gather around to see the damage, like literally everyone. They acted like it wasn’t that big of a deal. It was a blessing though because we would have been on that same street in the same spot going to get papusas if that prayer and lesson hadn’t of happened. The next day it was like nothing had happened.

Conference was amazing this week, and this is the first time I have watched all the sessions, and not fallen asleep.
Also this week our cook told us she can’t cook for us anymore because her job is making her work in the afternoons. So we need to find a new cook, but I think me and my comp are just going to start cooking for ourselves. And no it has nothing to do with me not eating the fish soup.

I hope everything is going good for you guys. I am just so grateful that we have a knowledge of the plan of salvation, and to make things better, Jesus experienced every time we feel sad or hapless, so he knows exactly how we feel, he knows exactly what we need. In my patriarchal blessing it talks about how we were blessed with a celestial spirit in our home, and I have no doubt that she is with Heavenly Father in a state of pure happiness.

These massive spiders are everywhere. It was bigger than my hand.

Also giant grasshoppers. This one is as big as a Jimmy John's 8-inch sandwich. Last week I was attacked by one while we were walking, they fly and one was flying straight at me and landed on me. And It took me forever to get it off.

Also, the bishops son was on his laptop and he asked me to search the place I live on google images, this was like the 15th picture. I was like hey that kind of looks like my parents.

You guys are famous!!!

Love Elder Blanchard