Monday, July 6, 2015

Coming to an End

July 6, 2015

Dear Everyone,

This past week has been... interesting and hard…  So it started last Monday I sprained my ankle playing basketball. It was a pretty bad sprain. My ankle got big and turned purple. :/ I think the worst part about it was that it ended p-day for me and my companion. So we just hang out at the house the whole day. It was lame.

Tuesday, we went to the hospital to get my ankle checked. We got my foot x-rayed and the doctor told me it was just a sprain. But we still didn't work the rest of that day because I needed to keep my weight off my foot so it would get better faster. Another long day of doing nothing.

Wednesday was a little better. We went to a member’s house in the morning and I got some crutches because I was sick of doing nothing. So I was using crutches the rest of the day. The only bad thing about that was that the crutches were a little too small for me so they rubbed my ribcage instead of my arm pits. Then all of my weight was on my wrists so they hurt by the end of the day. haha. But I was still happy to have been able to work. We also had some immunizations that day. We went to one of the chapels and we all got flu shots. yay. ;p haha  I'm just glad that's over with.

Thursday I was on crutches again and we managed to get some lessons taught but not a lot because we had to get on a bus going to San Fernando for MLC [mission leader’s conference]. That all went well.

Friday we had MLC and it went for a long time. We didn't get back to La Trinidad until it was super late. So we didn't get to work.

Saturday we did get to work but it started to rain. We got a little wet. It was still an alright day. It was the first really normal day of the week. We got some good work done.

Sunday was another interesting day because a typhoon made land fall on the other side of the island and it rained super hard. We got drenched on our way to church and then they just had sacrament meeting. No classes because of the bad weather. The bad weather didn't stop us though. :) We went out to work still. We had a pretty good day but we had to go home early because I needed to go down to San Fernando again for a career workshop that we had earlier today. So in the bad weather we went to the bus station and waited for a bus. The worst part about that was I was starting to feel sick. I got a bus but there were no more seats so I sat on a little plastic chair in the middle of the aisle. It was a long ride. I got sick last night to but I think I'll bet better soon. And for my ankle it feels pretty good now and in a few weeks it will be as good as new I'm sure. Just in time for some good times in aspen grove. :D

The other thing is that I'm not going back to La Trinidad. I'm going to spend the last week of my mission in the office. I'm just going to work with the office elders. It's all good.

mahal kita!!!

Elder Christensen

PS I don't know if I will e mail again before i go home so if not I'll see you all soon. :D ;)

Monday, June 22, 2015

Exchanges and Another Good Week

Monday, June 22, 2015

Dear Everyone,

This past week has been awesome. :) I haven't been able to work this hard my whole mission, and I'm loving it. We finally have a lot of support from the members and we are using it. :)

To start this past Monday we had a pretty normal day with some fun times running around but we got it all worked out and taught some good lessons. Some good investigators, Mari Cris and then Antonio.

Tuesday was awesome. We went on exchanges with one of our district leaders and the point was to show him how to make an area awesome. It was pretty awesome. :P haha We taught 8 lessons and made tons of new friends. Some of whom I have very high hopes for. We taught this apartment with 4 women and their live-in partners. They are in such a hard situation with very little knowledge about who they are or what they need to do in this life. They are so ready to receive it though and I'm super excited for them.. :)

Wednesday was interesting because we went on exchanges with the AP's. I went to San Fernando with Elder Basco and it was sooooo hot. I heard the weather in Utah is supposed to get to 100 this week. Forgive me when I say I have no sympathy for you. It was about 40 degrees celsius in San Fernando. I felt like I went to war. haha It rained hard as well but it only made the heat dissipate a little. We still did our goals as well and taught 10 lessons and talked to 34 new people about the gospel. :) Good stuff.

Thursday Elder Bayot and I finally saw each other again in San Fernando and took a bus back to La Trinidad. It took extra long though because they were doing construction on the road. But we still managed to get to work that afternoon. We got some good work done but we were both so tired after that.

Friday was another good day of running from one house to another because we don't have enough time to teach everyone on our list haha. It's funny to see two missionaries with their fellowshipper almost literally running from one house to another but that's what we did. :P

Saturday was a little slower because we got punted a lot but we kept going. It was a pretty good day. But all in all not a bad day.

Sunday was interesting because Elder Bayot and I both gave talks. I talked about conversion and the role that each member needs to play in order for a new convert to stay a convert. Because if it is just the missionaries with the investigator when the missionary leaves so does the convert some times. It went well. But the other nice thing was the new investigators that we taught on Tuesday, the ones I talked about earlier, went to church. I was super happy. :) haha All in all it was just a good week this week.

Mahal kita!!

Elder Christensen

An Excerpt from His Letter to President Balledos

As for my studies this past week I did a little bit on conversion. I really found it interesting that to be converted is to become a new creature. We can have a testimony of Christ and still not be converted. Just like Peter in the New Testament was not converted until the day of Pentecost when the gift of the Holy Ghost was given. As a missionary our task is to help others come unto Christ but I feel that we need to become new creatures ourselves in order to bear a testimony with conviction. We need to not only believe in Christ but be so sure that he is the Christ that it becomes part of who we are. When we become as Peter we will watch the response of our investigators change because they will respond to the spirit and not our words.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Starting Transfers on a Good Note

Monday, June 15, 2015

Dear everyone,

This past week has been great. Recently President gave us new standards that were very high in comparison to where they were. I am grateful for this because last week I have had more success than any other week in my mission. Only because that was what is now expected. It's amazing how that works.

Anyway to start, last Monday we started pretty normal. We weren't trying super hard. But all in all it wasn't a bad day it was just normal.

Tuesday we had a zone training which went pretty well. We had some pretty good lessons and we had some pretty good lessons. But again nothing super special happened there. But that night we got a call from president saying that one of our sisters was getting emergency transferred, which happened. But he also followed up on our work and told me we needed to do better... I kinda woke up after that because I thought we were doing ok. haha :P

Easy to Pick Out Elder Christensen!
Wednesday we just kicked it into gear. We started knocking every door we could find. haha It was kinda funny but it worked. Lots of rejection but with that came some success. We also got a lot of return appointments. So good stuff.

Thursday was fun because we just kept doing what we did the day before but we also started getting more active about getting members with us which sped up the work. We had another good day full of good lessons.

Friday was a funny day. We kept going hard but then we met some new investigators from Eastmore... or something like that. They said it’s new as of 2002. The interesting thing is that they speak really good English but they really speak Portuguese. They are cool and really interested in the Book of Mormon. The rest of the day was a little slow but still a good one.

Saturday was fun. We were invited to a birthday party for some little kids during lunch. It was really good and they had so much food. haha. After that we took some YSA members and went to work. We had a great time with them and got some great lessons done. All in all a good day.

Sunday was good. We had a special area broadcast for the Philippines. We listened to Elder Andersen talk and other seventies as well. It was very good. The rest of the day went well. We taught some good lessons and enjoyed our day. Good stuff. I hope and pray that it continues. :)

Mahal kita!

Elder Christensen

Excerpt from Letter to Mission President

As for my Studies this past week I have been reading from 1 Corinthians 13. I love this chapter. It reminds me of Moroni 7. Paul talks a lot about Charity. He makes it clear that it is the greatest of all. Without charity we are nothing. He speaks of putting our past behind us and becoming men. I relate that to our development as people. If we are too focused on the past we will never know how to act in the future. As we strive to have charity for all men we learn a little more about how much God loves each of us and we grow. We put childish follies behind us and become men in Christ.

Monday, June 8, 2015

The Start of the End

Brian's Shoes
Monday, June 8, 2015

Dear Everyone,

This past week has been a little interesting. I'm on my last transfer now and it's a weird feeling that I won't be here after this transfer. I think the biggest reason why that's weird is because I know how fast a transfer can go by, especially if you’re not paying attention. Anyway that's enough truncky talk for one day. :P

This past week was a good one. We started with some good lessons last Monday. Earlier that day we went to Baguio and saw some pretty cool stuff there. But that's about it.

Tuesday was interesting because that was the day that we found out if we were transferring or not. And I didn't transfer so I'm going to finish my mission in the mountains and the rain. haha It's starting to rain a ton here as well. But it is the start of rainy season so that does make sense. :P That was about all the interesting things that happened though.

Standing in Front of His House
Wednesday was the transfer day for the elders. It was interesting because we didn't actually go to the transfer point because the Baguio Zone leaders were already there so we just coordinated with all of them. It went well and we were able to teach some good lessons because we didn't have to go.

Thursday was pretty normal except we have a new roommate in the house, Elder Naitoko. He's from Tonga. He's cool but now I'm the only one in the house who know how to cook... :P That's going to be fun. haha. Other than that, the day was a pretty good. That night we went down to San Fernando because we had MLC [mission leader conference] on Friday. :)

Friday was great. We got up early in San Fernando and played basketball. After that we had MLC which was good like it always is. Lots of things learned. On the way back we took a van and it was full of so many different people from different countries. There were Americans, people from Spain, people from Saudi Arabia, and Tonga. It was fun. I taught this guy from Spain pretty much the whole way up and he was very interested. But he's going back to Spain today. I hope he keeps studying. That night we also had a fun FHE with our bishop and his brother. :) good times.

Saturday was a good day but it rained so hard. We got pretty wet. But we still taught some good lessons haha.

Sunday was another really wet day and hard. We didn't' teach a single lesson until 5:00 because everyone we talked to was busy or not home. It was super hard but after that we managed to teach some good short lessons to make up for the hard time earlier.

Well that's all for now. Mahal kita!!!

Elder Christensen

Excerpt from Letter to Mission President

As for my studies this past week I have been focused on reading from the New Testament. I found a New Testament study guide and found if very helpful. In 1 Corinthians I learned a lot of what Paul meant when he wrote it. The history behind the writing makes a big difference. But one of the big things I learned this week was about repentance. When we repent it's all about consistency. We can obtain forgiveness for our sins but if we can't maintain what we have already repented for we aren't really moving forward. So when we repent we need to let our fear go and consistently hold to what we have changed for the better.

FHE with Zone in May

Monday, June 1, 2015

Exchanges and So Forth

Monday, June 01, 2015

Dear Everyone,

This past week was a good one. I'm noticing that the days are always long but the weeks are very short. haha I guess that's how life works sometimes.

For Monday we had a good night. We taught some good lessons and one of our investigators is doing very well. I hope things progress with them.

Tuesday we had a zone training which actually went very well. I gave a workshop about the need for urgency in our mission so we need to talk to everyone we see. And if we have to, run from appointment to appointment. :P I also went on exchanges with Elder Schaler that day. We had a good day and I helped get talking to some more people. It was also nice to talk to an American again for a little while. :)

Wednesday we had another exchange but this time I was in my area with Elder Garson. We had a good time and taught a lot of lessons. But nothing extra ordinary happened. But the spirit was felt that day for sure.

Thursday I was back with Elder Bayot again and it was a good thing because the sisters in our ward had a break down. So we had to go over to their apartment with the STL's [sister training leaders] and figure out what was going on. It was interesting but nothing too bad. We got it worked out. The only hard part was that it killed our day for lessons. :/ But we made it work.

Friday was another good day of work uninterrupted. :P haha That seems to happen a lot to the Zone Leaders. We always have some problem that we need to fix and it cuts into our time for work. But all in all it was a good day.

Saturday was another one of the interruption days. We had to go to Quezon Hill apartment to move the refrigerator because we closed that apartment and moved all the stuff to another apartment for storage. The other hard thing was that none of the people we planned to teach that day were available. So we went and found new people instead. :P haha It worked out ok because we still found a few good new investigators.

Sunday was another good day. We found some new investigators and extended an IBD. :) I just hope it sticks. I think it will be good. But I'm still not 100% sure I'll be in La Trinidad after transfers this week... We will see what President wants to do. Well that's all for now. mahal kita!!!

Elder Christensen

Part of Letter to President Balledos

As for my Studies that past week I have been reading from the Joseph Smith manual and trying to apply those teachings as well as my reading from 1 Corinthians. I just read again about the Priesthood and really liked how it is described as being a body, meaning that each office in the priesthood is only a part of the whole and we should only desire to fulfill our purpose as an appendage to the whole. Just like a hand is a necessary part of the body even though it is not the head. I hope to apply that in my work, meaning to do my part to help the whole body (mission) be better.

Monday, May 25, 2015

And Another Week Bites the Dust

Monday, May 25, 2015

Dear Everyone,

This past week has been busy. kinda like every other week I have as a zone leader. :P I think it’s funny to notice that I've gone down to San Fernando once a week for the past 3 weeks. But don't worry. I'm not going back down this week but I will next week again. :P haha

So to start last Monday was a little crazy because we had to move out the Elders in Quezon Hill apartment and clean everything there. I kinda felt like I was our working with dad at the duplexes again. :P haha We got it all done for the most part. All we have left to do is move a fridge to another apartment. But that's about it.

Tuesday was a good day. We went to work and got some good work done. We met one of our recent convert’s father-in-laws and had a really interesting first lesson with him in the which we taught most of The Restoration. He said he had a lot to think about. It was interesting.

Wednesday we went back down to San Fernando for a follow up meeting about the mission tour. It was really good and we went over some new goals. Our mission’s standards all just doubled. :) They are really focusing on getting us to talk to as many people as possible in a day. The goal is 30 people that we testify to about some part of our message in a day. It's actually really cool and I've met a ton of really cool people.

Thursday was one of the best days of the week. We just kept teaching straight lessons to everyone we planned for. That never happens. :D haha. It was good.

Friday was another good day of teaching with a lot of good times but nothing out of the ordinary or strange.

Saturday was a bit of a hard but good day. We were struggling to find and teach. We finally found one to let us in and he happened to be a Muslim Chaplin for the army. I can honestly say after our 2 hour discussion with him I understand Muslim's a lot better than I did before. He was pretty smart. Really interesting experience.

Sunday was Stake conference so we went to Legarda for church. It was fun but we were late because the traffic in La Trinidad is crazy bad right now. We were in a jeep for over an hour. :(  But it's all good. We made it and it was a good meeting.

Well that's all for now. ingat po kayo lahat at mahal ko kayo din.

Elder Christensen

Part of Brian’s Letter to His Mission President

As for my studies the past week I have been reading from 1 Corinthians I really liked when Paul taught again the principle that we are not our own but rather temples of God because the Holly Ghost dwells in us. as Paul puts it "ye are bought with a price" and I believe that is true. our sins have already been payed for we are left to ourselves to decide if we accept that and follow the commandments that come with it. It reminds me of my need for the spirit in everything I do as a missionary because without it I can no teach or do anything in this work. I know that to be true and hope to urgently teach that principle to my zone as well.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Mission Tours

Monday, May 18, 2015

Dear Everyone,

This past week has been awesome. But so busy. :D So to start on Monday we had a zone activity. We played lots of games and just had a good time. Right after that I had to hurry to a computer shop and call home for Mother’s Day which was awesome as well.

Tuesday is when things got a little intense. We had to go back to San Fernando again because of the Mission tour. Elder Bowen from the 70 came to our mission and had a meeting with all the leaders of the mission first. I learned a lot. One of which is that I was a little trunky to be perfectly honest. But we believe in the atonement and I am repenting. ;) But that was the big event for that day.

Wednesday we went to work, and man did we go to work. One of the things Elder Bowen talked to us about is opening our mouths to more people. What we started doing was being less picky about who we try to talk to... it works. :P We had a lot contacts and return appointments. Good day.

Thursday was the big meeting for the mission tour with all the missionaries from Baguio, Agoo, Bawang and La Trinidad. It pretty awesome as well. And after that we kept working again. :P good stuff.

Friday was an off day. We talked to a ton of people but everyone was busy. It all works out though.

Saturday was another good day. We got one of the YSA to work with us and with him we taught a ton of great lessons to new investigators that seem pretty interested. :) I'm excited to see where this all goes.

Sunday was another good day because we got more of the members to work with us. :) I'm super excited and hope that it will continue into great thing's to follow. :)

Well that's all for now. Mahal ko kayo lahat!!!

Elder Christensen

Part of Brian’s Letter to His President

As for my studies this past week I have been reading from 1 Corinthians. I really liked in the first chapter verse 26 and 27 when Paul states that "God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise." I really liked that because I acknowledge my weakness and am doing my best to rely on the Lord in all I do rather than leaning to my own understanding because my understanding is weak in comparison to that of an all knowing God who loves me. I know that in spite of my weaknesses the Lord will help me overcome them all.