Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas Has Come and Gone

Monday, December 30, 2013

Dear Everyone,

This past week has been a little crazy obviously haha. Monday we did the usual p-day stuff buy food and what not. But that night we were going to visit a less active couple, but when we got there they were screaming at each other so we didn't really get into that. But we talked to the wife later on, and they are having problems in the relationship. So she asked us to pray for her. I really hope they make it. We should see them tonight.

Christmas PJs
On Tuesday we taught a pretty good Christmas message and then in the evening we had a little dinner with some members it was so much fun and they had Graham Cake witch for those of you who don't know it's awesome.

Wednesday was Christmas obviously. :P We had a zone training that was pretty cool, but I liked the call home the best. I loved all the fun presents, and I really loved the PJ's from Grandma Christensen that was way cool. :) But we didn't do much else that day. It was just a fun day.

On Thursday we taught a new family, and it was a very good lesson. The fun thing about them is that they live on the other side of the mountain from us, and it's quite a hike to get there. But it’s fun. Their names are Donny, Remmy, Nigale and Travis. They are super sweet I hope it all works for them.

Friday we worked all day and got punted a ton again but we did manage to teach one lesson, and I thought it went pretty well. but that's all that really happened.

On Saturday it was a lot of the same things. We got punted all day long, and we only managed to teach one lesson, but the one lesson was another great lesson with the Sib-Aton family, the one I mentioned earlier.

Sunday was crazy to. One of the sisters in our district started hyperventilating so Elder Manning and I had to leave Sacrament meeting and go give her a blessing. That was a super crazy experience. It was nice to know that we could help her when she felt so bad.

Well I love you all so much, Mahal Kita talega

Love, Brian

Following are more pictures from Christmas

Monday, December 23, 2013

Almost Christmas

December 23, 2013

Dear Everyone,

"Laundry Room"
This past week has been pretty crazy to say the least. It started with a really nice Family Home Evening with some members in our ward. It was a nice lesson. On Tuesday we felt pretty strange because we didn't get anything done... We just got punted all day long. 

Wednesday was much better. It was a party of course, but, hey it was fun. We all met in Legarda Chapel for a quad zone activity with President Balledos. It was super fun. In the morning they gave some trainings about how to stay healthy and fit in the mission and all that fun stuff. After that we had a way awesome lunch. Letchen baboy and that was awesome. After that we all gave presentations about the Savior’s birth, and that was also pretty awesome. After that we all got to watch "We are Marshall" and as you can imagine I love that movie. It was a fun night.

On another crazy note. We had a little earthquake that night as well. It was really strange because we were in bed, and the bed shook. And Elder Manning thought I was messing with him, and I thought he was messing with me, and then we figured it out. Haha. We laugh about it now, but at the time we got out of bed and got a bunch of stuff ready to take off if we needed to. It was a long night but it all works.  

Kitchen in Brian's Apartment
Nothing really happened the rest of the week because I got sick, and we couldn't do anything. I was super sad when I got sick to because we had planned to work with a ward member and we couldn't. It was super depressing, but it all worked out because on Sunday we went and met this awesome new investigator. He has so many great questions. 

Well that's all for this week. I love you all. Mahal Kita!!!

Elder Christensen

Questions and Answers from a Separate Email

* What are some unique Christmas traditions you see in the Philippines?
Well they don't have any snow, so they just blast the Christmas music everywhere. To be honest it does not really feel like Christmas without the snow. But I'll get over it. Also they have kids go Christmas caroling and they expect you to pay them for it... That was strange. 

* What are some Christmas traditions that are similar to those we have a home?
Well they still give presents, but to be honest it's just very different. They have Christmas trees set up, presents under the trees. It's just a little different. They have a lot of fireworks going off all the time to. It’s pretty crazy. 

* What are you enjoying about Christmas in the Philippines?
Well we had a really cool Christmas conference with everyone from the mission that was cool, but to be honest I just like being here with friends and working. It really doesn't feel like Christmas to me. I don't know how to explain it.

Brian's Apartment

Brian's Apartment

Brian's Apartment

Brian's Apartment

Brian's Area

Brian's Area

Monday, December 16, 2013


Monday, December 16, 2103

Dear Everyone,

This past week has been one of the craziest, most stressful, and interesting weeks ever. The strange part is it didn't start that way. The beginning of this past week was pretty slow. Elder Manning and I found some new investigators (Allen, Junior, and Siblowa Family). They all seem pretty nice. The crazy thing about it is we found them in the craziest places. Siblowa was down this side street that actually turned out to be a big community. That happens a lot here in the Philippines. The other was way out on the outskirts of town it was crazy. Also on Wednesday we went exploring in Spring Hills, which is the farthest we can get but still be in our area. There are a lot of people back there, but there are no members. Hopefully we can change that. :P

Anyway so nothing really happened on Thursday because we just got punted all day long. It was crazy. But on Friday we had exchanges with the zone leaders, and I got to work with Elder Tanner again. Haha I love working with him. We get along so well. We had a crazy lesson with a math teacher who got a Book of Mormon about a week earlier and has already read the first 13 chapters. He is super interesting, and I wish the best for him. But he isn't in my area, so I'll never meet him again unless he comes to church. Anyway the other crazy thing about the exchanges is that the next day we had a baptism. yaaaaayyy. :)

So the crazy story about the Baptism. Sister Elizabeth was the one we had to be baptized. But, we had to quick throw it together because I've never put together a baptism before. But it worked out because our bishop is the coolest bishop on the planet. Just saying. He put together a multi-ward baptism for us on the spot with very little notice and got the stake president to come and everything. Anyway the only bad part about all of this is that Sister Elizabeth was 30 min late so we all had to wait... It was crazy. Well it all worked out in the end and we got her in to the font. I baptized her and everything worked out fine. It was a very sweet experience it was just relay crazy to. It was also very spiritual. Sister Elizabeth can't speak very loud but you don't have to hear her to understand that the spirit was working within her. It was an awesome experience.

Well that's all for now. I love you all. I know that this work is true and the Lord truly moves his work along no matter what I do. somehow we seem to make things work that really shouldn't have worked

Mahal Kita,

Elder Christensen

Questions from Separate Emails

* What was your favorite teaching experience this week?

Well we went on exchanges with the zone leaders and we taught this man who has had the Book of Momon for a week, and he is already in chapter 13. He was way prepared but the only concern is that he might just be doing it for intellectual purposes.

* How are things going with your new companion?

I love it. He's a little crazy but to be honest I think our roommates are the funnest part of the whole thing. Elder Falevai is hysterical and very talented at the Ukealayle... (I have no I idea how to spell that) but in our free time he's teaching me how to play. :P

* How do you wash and dry your laundry and how do you keep your shirts without wrinkles?

Well I wash my laundry in a bucket and scrub with my hands. :P To keep them from being wrinkly we just use an iron every morning. It works fine. I actually need to do that today. :P

Monday, December 9, 2013


Monday, December 9, 2013

Dear Everyone!!!

Brian in Baguio, December 2, 2013
This week has been super crazy to say the least. At the beginning of the week Elder Jones and I sent Elder Dela Cruz home on a bus. It was way sad. We went and worked that day, but it was weird because he never came home with us... Anyay the rest of the week, to be honest, nothing happened. I mean we walked around Kias an Loacan and just got sent away all day long. It was pretty rough.

On Wednesday we had Transfer Awareness, and I found out that I was staying in my area and that Elder Manning would be my new companion. He is in my batch and he is super funny. I think that we will get along supper well. :) I love talking to him. :) We are both senior because we are in the same batch. He is district leader. [Both Elder Manning and Brian flew to the Philippines together when they left the MTC. They are in the same batch because the came out at the same time.]

Elder Manning is in the Front with Glasses
[Tell us about him.] Well he's a white guy (Utah boy). He is like super nerdy, but I love it. Also he says really random things. He also has a crazy observation with lighting things on fire. He is super spiritual and loves the gospel. He was born in the covenant and grew up a lot like I did. :P so far I haven't found anything that I don't like about him so this should be an awesome transfer. We were both pretty excited.

On Friday Elder Tanner came and picked up Elder Jones. [He] and I and took all of Elder Jones's stuff with us because he got transferred out. I went to Elder Manning's apartment and picked him up, and we just took a taxi back to our apartment. This happened because Elder Manning was already in Baguio zone so we didn't need to go to transfer meeting. Later that night we met our new roommates, Elder Falivai and Elder Guiuo. They are way cool. Elder Falivai is a transfer ahead of me and Elder Manning, but he's way funny. Elder Guiuo is a brand spanking new missionary from the MTC. He is a Filipino, but Elder Falivai is a Tongan from Cali. It's going to be way fun with them in the apartment.

Oh I have more big news this week. On Saturday the 14th we are going to Baptize Sister Elizabeth. I am soooooooooooooOOOOOOOoooooooooooo excited for her. She is the sweetest lady you would ever meet. She had a stroke a while back and is a little deaf. So we would write down the whole lesson for her in the lesson just little statements of truth. I loved teaching her and look forward to teaching her more. :)

Brian Got Clothes-Lined
Well it's about time for me to get off. I love you all and I know that this is a truly holly work that I am doing. I look forward to a time when I can look back and say I did my best out here and I know that the Lord is proud of me. I keep you all in my prayers every night. I know that Gods hand is constantly in all of our lives. Mahal Kita!!!!

Mahal ko Kayo!!!

Elder Christensen

Pictures Taken from Other Weeks

Brian's District before Transfers

Brian's District Before Transfers--Silly Picture
Baguio at Night




Picture Drawn by Elder Lamoglia
(Silly Picture above--Elder with Leg Sticking Out)

Picture Drawn by Elder Lamoglia
(Silly Picture above--Elder with Leg Sticking Out)

Picture Drawn by Elder Lamoglia
(Silly Picture above--Elder with Leg Sticking Out)

Picture Drawn by Elder Lamoglia
(Silly Picture above--Elder with Leg Sticking Out)

Monday, December 2, 2013

Fun Stuff

Monday, December 2, 2013

Dear Everyone,

So this week has been full of crazy stuff. To start on Monday Elder Dela Cruz had to go to San Fernando for his career workshop because he goes home tomorrow. :/ I love having him around he is one of the sweetest missionaries I've met so far. I love talking to him. [The workshop] is just like a "how to get a job and get married when you get off your mission" thing. It's really boring so I'm told, and it's for everyone who goes home. Anyway that was crazy because we had to go pick him up way late in the night, and it was super hard to get a taxi home. Haha

Well the next day I taught my first district meeting. It went well but it was a little crazy because afterward we had an extra P-day because Elder Dela Cruz didn't get one. :) Anyway that was Tuesday for me.

On Wednesday we had exchanges with the zone leaders, and Elder Tanner and I went in my area. It was way fun and we got a ton of stuff done. I love working with him because we just get along so well. I hope that we can be in the same zone for at least a little while longer. :) Anyway it was just a fun day. No crazy stories but defiantly some good times.

On Thursday Elder Jones went to San Fernando for train the trainers meeting because he is training next week. So Elder Dela cruz and I just worked in Kias witch was fine by me. We did some good stuff even though we got punted a ton. Haha We get punted a lot in Baguio, but it's all good because I've found that the work still moves along no matter what we do it just dose. It's amazing how that works. [For Thanksgiving] we worked because we couldn't get permission to do anything and they don't do anything here in the Philippines for that. But it was all good. I'm just slowly enjoying my package. :) I loved the potatoes and gravy.  :) [Michelle sent him all the dried/dehydrated fixins’ for a Thanksgiving dinner.]

Friday and Saturday were pretty normal we just worked and worked and worked. Nothing crazy exciting happened but I enjoyed it. Sunday was fast Sunday of course and we just worked though that as well.

But to top everything off today we had a zone activity which I was so happy we had. We had a sports day with our zone and La Trinidad zone and we all just played basketball and football and all kinds of crazy fun stuff. I loved exercising like that I haven't done it is so long. :)

[How is Tagalog coming?] Well to be honest I hit a pretty rough patch again but I'm coming out of it again. I'm starting to understand just about all the everyday conversations. The hard part is when they say a whole sentence in deep Tagalog. :P

[What was your favorite teaching experience this week?] Well when I went on exchanges with Elder Tanner this past week we taught 5 lessons and that was a pretty good day. But my favorite was when we taught Sister Virginia [in Brian's area]. She is the sweetest old lady. She is 74 years old and very interested. It's a little slower because she has a harder time understanding what we teach but she is progressing. She has arthritis in her leg and we are trying to find a way to get her to church but we are having some hard times with that. I really liked the lesson because the spirit was really there. I always love the lesson where I can feel the spirit working within me. :)

So I need to tell you about phone calls home. :))))))))))) Any way so I am allowed to call home two times between Dec. 9 and Dec. 28. I can have 90 min calling home. That can be 45 min each or one 90 min call or however you want to work those but it has to add up to no more than 90 min. I cannot Skype. :( I will just have to use our cell phone. I can't use my companionship cell phone I have to use another elder’s phone so I need to work that out ahead of time so it would be good to know by next week. :D

Well I'm all out of time. I love you all so much thank you for all that you do. :) I don't think I could put in to words just how grateful I am for all the things that you do for me.

Ingat po. Mahal po ko kayo!!!

Elder Christensen

Monday, November 25, 2013


Monday, November 25, 2013

Dear Everyone,

This past week has been a bit of a roller coaster. I'm still in a threesome. It will be that way until the end of the transfer or rather until Elder Dela Cruz goes home on Dec 3. :) Since I'm in a threesome right now we have to work in both our areas. To be honest it makes things really hard because we have a lot more ground to cover and not enough time to do it all in. It's been good still.

[How has your week as DL been?] It's been a little crazy but not too different. I didn't have to give a training because we had a zone training with the zone leaders. It's really not too different because I'm just doing what I watched Elder Hernandez do as a DL. It was really easy.

So to start, last Monday we taught a lesson with Sister Jenifer and Jericho it went well. They are our less-actives in my area.

We had a zone training on Tuesday which was way cool and got me super motivated to work this week. I loved hearing from all the trainers. On Wednesday we worked in my companions’ area and then had a way fun dinner with our ward mission leader. He treated all of the missionaries in our ward to a dinner. It was pretty cool.

Thursday we worked in my area and managed to teach four lessons but nothing special really happened. But on Friday, I went on exchanges with Elder Lamoglia and we had a great time. He is one of the newest missionaries here in the mission and it was his first time leading his area. It was so fun. Also he can draw really well. It's way fun to watch him draw just the random things but they are way cool.

Elder Ian S. Ardern
Ok, so we had Stake Conference this week, and it was awesome because we had Elder Ardern. He is in the area presidency for the Philippines, and he gave some way cool talks about getting members involved in teaching with the missionary's. I loved hearing from him.

[What have you heard from about the Typhoon victims?] Nothing much, just that we need to pray and fast for them. Everything here is pretty normal. To be honest we don't talk about it much other than that we are doing all we can from here. But we also just keep working hard.

Well that's all for this week. I love you all. Mahal kita!!!!

Elder Christensen

Monday, November 18, 2013

Emergency Transfers

Monday, November 18, 2013

Dear Everyone.

This week has been crazy to say the least. It was pretty normal up until Tuesday night when the zone leaders called us. (Me and Elder Hernandez were getting along great, and I was way excited to finish the transfer with him.) Elder Tanner told us that his companion was being sent to San Fernando to be trained as an AP and that Elder Hernandez was going to take his place as acting zone leader. That means he had to leave me and move to the zone leaders apartment. I took his place as district leader, so now I'm an acting District Leader. I'm also in a companionship witch is a little crazy. :P I'm with Elder Jones and Elder Dela Cruz. It's interesting to say the least.

So as far as investigators go, we had to combine my area and theirs so we work in both. It's fun, though, because I get to show them around in my area, and they show me around in Kias. We all get along pretty well so no problems.

 [What are your responsibilities as district leader?] Well I have 4 sisters in my district, and they have to text me every night when they get home to make sure they are safe. Every Sunday night everyone in the district sends me their stats for the week, and I make sure they all make sense before I forward them to the Zone leaders. I also have to give trainings at district meeting every Tuesday. Oh and if someone in my district has a question about anything they text/call me. It's really not too hard. Oh, I also go on exchanges with the elders in my district. We are doing one of those on Wednesday to Thursday.

I love you all, I know that the gospel is true I see in all around me and feel it burn within me. I am so grateful that I have this opportunity to serve no matter what happens I know this is the place that I'm meant to be.

So we are teaching this lady named Elizabeth. We had to move her baptismal date because she missed church but we are confident she will keep moving forward. We moved the date to Dec. 14. We are on the back end of the lesson with her and she is so sweet. She is a little hard of hearing, so we write most of the lesson down for her, and she does really well that way. I'm very excited for her to progress. She does everything we ask her to do, and she really does try to make it to church every week. Most times she only misses because of some crazy thing that happens to make it so she can't.

We are also teaching Sis Iva. She is a single mom with very little time. She is very sweet and loves having us come by. But her biggest problem is time. We have the hardest time scheduling appointments with her because she is always working so she can support her daughter. I think when we can get more time with her she will really take off in the Gospel. She really just wants what is best for her daughter.

Thank you mom. I love you so much. Thank you for all that you do at home I don't know if I would feel quite so comfortable without knowing you were at home taking care of everything. well my time is about up. Tell everyone at home that I'm keeping them in my prayers. Keep on keeping on.

Well, that's about all I have as far as this week goes everything else is pretty normal.

Mahal ko kayo!!!

Elder Christensen

Update about Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan)

Last Monday, a local newspaper, The Davis County Clipper, called and talked to Michelle. They were looking for a story about a local missionary in the Philippines. The Clipper wrote an article about Brian.

Michelle: What did you think about the article?
Brian: Why... I don't understand why they wrote an article about me. But it's cool. I was not expecting that.

Michelle: Some missionaries from the Tacloban mission were assigned to other missions. Do you know if Baguio received any new missionaries that were reassigned?
Brian: I don't know about any new missionary's sorry.

Martin sent a few pictures to Brian. His comment was: “Yes, I got the pictures. That's crazy.”

In addition to the pictures, The Deseret News published an amazing article about the faith and rescue of 10 sister missionaries.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Crazy Week

Monday, November 11, 2013

So, to be honest this week was crazy. It started way fun when we all went to the Philippines Military Academy (PMA) where we took some way cool pictures. [See below.] They had some really fun tanks and stuff from World War II and from the Korean War. The Korean flag was a on the memorial for the Korean War. It was way cool to see all the stuff. We didn't do much just took pictures and walked around. It was a blast.

[What was the best teaching experience from this this past week?] To be honest, our best one was last Monday night when we taught a less active who to be honest the only reason they are less active is because they can't get work off on Sunday.

But after that this week took a bit of a nose dive. My companion and I were out finding and we got punted about 4 times. We have been having pretty bad luck and just have not been able to work. After a while we both got frustrated and we took it out on each other... On Thursday we had weekly planning and at the end of that we had our companionship inventory… We are back on good terms with one another and are ready to work again.

Brian's Location in Comparison to the Pathway of Typhoon Haiyan
I know that everyone heard about the super typhoon but I would like to just let you all know that I'm safe and fine. We got hit with a little rain and some wind, about 15 miles an hour. There was no damage in our area. We did lose electricity for a while but that was about it. There weren’t really any problems here other than the fact that we lost power for a little while. It didn't even prevent us from working... We worked really hard but we heard a lot about how it affected the lower islands. I feel really bad because I can't do anything to help, but I am very grateful that nothing happened here in Baguio.

[Note: Not only is Brian north of Manila, but Baguio is also in the mountains. We believe it is because of the mountains that he hardly had any wind or rain.]

[What different cultural experience did you have this past week?] Well, I heard that Sam [Clark, Brian’s cousin] thought he saw a lot of dogs in Arizona. But I'm here to tell him he has no idea what a lot of dogs are until he comes to the Philippines... there are sooooooooo many dogs. Haha that was just something I noticed. It's fun.

I love you all. I keep you in my prayers. Mahal Kita

Elder Christensen

Pictures are from the Philippines Military Academy

Monday, November 4, 2013


November 4, 2013

Dear Everyone,

This week has been pretty strange. It was probably one of the worst weeks stats-wise I've ever had. We had a lot of lessons planned for the week but almost all of them "punted" us (said they were busy or something like that). It wasn't very fun. We walked around a lot this week, but I never got sad. I was annoyed sometimes and maybe a little bit discouraged, but I never got really sad. It's times like these that we just have to push on.

To be honest the main reason why we didn't teach was because they have this holiday here were they all go to cemetery and have a huge party all night long. It's a holiday to respect and remember theire dead. They don't celebrate Halloween here they do this instead, and it's on November 1st not October 31st. there are never trick-or-treaters, but they do their own thing for sure. Everyone went out of town. It was crazy. I didn't actually see any of it because we had to go home early for safety stuff. It sounded pretty cool though.

[Note from Michelle: The reason for the party on November 1 is "All Saint's Day" or “All Hallows’ Day.” It's interesting: the name Halloween is Hallow's Eve. All Saints’ Day is a big day to celebrate the dead and the Saints in the Catholic Church. The Filipinos Christian roots are mostly catholic. I remember one of my Filipino hosts telling me about the huge celebration on All Saints Day. She said that families would go to the cemetery and have huge picnics.]

Oh, on Wednesday we had exchanges with the zone leaders. I went to their zone with Elder Tanner. It was so much fun. Elder Tanner and I get along so well. We spent the whole time we didn't have to teach someone talking. We also had one of the less actives tell us this supper creepy story about this girl who killed herself in a wedding dress... It was kinda scary, and not going to lie, when we had to walk on the dark foggy road home, we were both a little scared... It was so funny though because I scared Elder Tanner on that road, and then we were ok. Haha

A couple of weeks ago it rained pretty hard and we got stuck inside this skate ring thingy when it flooded. That was crazy that's where we were with the picture of me in the little car thing, and when I'm standing in the water.

October 13, 2013; Brian in a Huge Rain Storm

It's me, Sister Paduga (I think that's spelled right) Elder Egar and Elder Hernandez on his back. :)

Elder Kemmy is my zone leader and that's the picture of just me and him. He has a blue shirt over his shoulder. He’s acutally in the States now. That picture was his last transfer.
October 21, 2013; Brian and Elder Kemmy

The snake almost KILLED ME. Ok maybe not killed me, but we were walking on the air strip and I almost stepped on him. In the Philippines that’s bad. The spiders are nothing to worry about because none of them are poisonous, but the snakes are.

October 24, 2013; Snake Brian almost Stepped On

Well that's all for this week. I love you all. Mahal Kita

Elder Christensen