Monday, September 23, 2013

My First Real Week :)

* In order to make it easier to read, Michelle took Brian's comments from several different emails from 9/23/2013 and wove them into the main email he sent on the same day. Questions or clarifications from Michelle are contained in brackets.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Dear Mga tao, (people)

Brian in Baguio
This week has been crazy to say the least, but I think I could say that about every week here in the Philippines. This week we must have walked farther than I think I have ever walked in my entire life. I mean we walked A LOT. We have had to do a lot of finding because our zone just got cut in half, so a lot of the investigators we used to have are in another area. But that's ok; it helps to move the work along faster.

So for the most part we have been doing a lot of the same things over and over again. We get up at 6:30 and get ready for the day. We study until lunch and then after lunch we go finding for like 4 hours until we have an appointment. By finding I mean we try to find new investigators, but we also look for less-actives. We haven't found very many less actives, but I think that will come. We give out pamphlets and just talk to people. It's just tracting, but we try to use members as much as possible.

Pictures of a Commercial Jeepney; Notice Ppeople Sitting Sideways
We try to work with him [the ward mission leader] as much as possible. We have 10 elders in my ward that I'm serving in--one ward. [There are] 2 in the zone, and there is plenty of work per area so don't worry about that. :P Our ward consists of most of Baguio City, and then a ton of the surrounding towns. It costs about 14 pesos on a jeepney to get to church. [As of today, $1.00 = 43.25 pesos.]

After we teach some appointments we go home at 9 and go to bed. Days are long, but I love it.

Ok so a list of investigators: Sister Elizabeth - She is hard of hearing but is progressing. She has accepted the invitation to be baptized, but we are having a hard time getting her to church. Sister Jamie is not [progressing], sadly, because we can't get her to read the book of Mormon. Sister Jennifer is a less-active and is starting to come back to church. Sister Iva and her family - We haven't really started teaching them, but I hope it goes well. Sister Virginia - She is progressing. We have not taught her very much.

So here's a funny story for you. We were out finding, and this drunk guy stopped me. He kept telling me how much he loved me. I couldn't get away from him, so I gave him a restoration pamphlet and bore my testimony. Maybe he will become an investigator. :P He was very drunk.

Well that's all for this week.

Elder Christensen

[In a separate email, each one of our family asked Brian a question to answer. The questions and answers are below.]

Dennis: What is the temperature in Baguio?
Brian: It's about 70ish usually unless its night and raining which is about every night. :P Then it gets into the 60s or at least that's what it feels like.

Nikki: How much has it rained in the last week?
Brian: Every. Single. Day. :P

Adam:  What is the weirdest food you have eaten so far?
Brian: I think I would have to say some weird blend of veggies. They were slimy, so I didn't like them too much.

Anna: What culture shock have you experienced?
Brian: What have I not. It's sooo different here. Plus since I'm in Baguio the showers are sooooooooooooooooooooOOOOOoooooo cold!!!!! I don't think I have ever taken showers this cold.

Will: What about mission life has surprised you so far?
Brian: I never thought I could work this hard in my entire life. It's crazy.

Stephanie: What percentage of conversations can you understand?
Brian: Haha, only about 30% right now, but I'm working on it.

Mom: Does the traffic scare you?
Brian: Haha the first day, but now I just don't care because I haven't seen an accident or heard of one. They all seem to know what they’re doing. Plus they don't drive very fast in comparison to Americans.

Dad: Do you have enough to eat?
Brian: I have sooooo much food to eat I think I'm going to get fat out here. :P

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