Monday, January 27, 2014

Work! Work! Work!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Dear Everyone,

This past week has been a pretty normal week to be honest. I'm settling into the new apartment and getting to know everyone in it pretty well. I'm starting to get used to all the new stuff in my new area, but all in all we just worked all week worked some more. :)

Elder Gison, Brian's Companion
On Monday we had a good time with the zone leaders and played basketball for a while. Later that night I made some dinner. I thought it was good, but my companion didn't think so. I think I'm going to have to practice my cooking skills some more haha.

On Tuesday we had district meeting, and I was laughing a little bit when it was all in Tagalog because in Baguio everything we did was in English but it was still a really good lesson I enjoyed it. We also managed to teach two lessons that night to a less active and to an investigator. It was a pretty good day.

[Michelle: How is Tagalog coming now you are speaking it all the time?] It still feels like I don't know hardly any, but I'm reminded every day about just how far I've come. I understand more than I can speak. I get most of what is said to me, but sometimes I still get a little lost. All and all I can say whatever I want sometimes. It just sounds a little funny.

Wednesday was pretty long as far as walking goes. We walked a lot because we did a lot of tracting on that day. We managed to give out a good number of pamphlets and still got all the other things we needed to as well.

Countryside in Brian's Area
Thursday was the fun day. :) We went to Fernando and that's were all the crazy stuff is. I mean just farms and more farms. They have a lot of tobacco farms here which is a little sad, but the people are supper humble and sweet. There was one point when we were teaching this old woman, and we literally had 9 little kids sitting in with us that followed us around all day. It was really funny. It was a good lesson. But it's all good.

Friday we just went finding some more. We had two lessons, and they were pretty good but it was a lot of walking again.

Saturday we only managed to get one lesson with a less active because everyone was busy. It was a hard day but we managed get through it.

Sunday was good. The worked picked up and we had 5 lessons that night. I loved going from one lesson to the next but it really wears you out when that happens. We were consistently teaching. It all just blended together but it was still a great day. It was also way nice to partake of the sacrament. I always feel so much better after that.

Well that's all for now. I love you all and hope everything is going well. Mahal Kita

Elder Christensen

Information about Brian’s Area from a Separate Email

More Countryside in Agoo Area
* How big is your area?
It's pretty big. We have to split it up into areas we want to go to in a day. We can't do it all in one day. There's one area called Fernando, and it's all just straight farms. I think that's pretty cool

* Are you right in Agoo?
I'm just outside of Agoo. We have our own branch building in Tubao, and that's right in the middle of our area. Ish. The boundary line is the highway. We are on the side with the chapel. The other missionaries have the other side.

* Will you give me your address? Then I can look it up on Google Maps. :D
I don't really have one just Dimortis, Fernando, Tubao. these are just little Brangays so i hope that helps.

* Are you in a rural area or a city?
Rural to the max. I mean farms and stuff all over the place.

* Does your area go clear to the coast?
There are parts of it that do. Not all of it. Most of that is in the other missionaries area.

Monday, January 20, 2014


* Note: Some Q&A from separate emails are encased in brackets and in the body of the letter.

Brian wearing the "Spirit Tie"
Monday, January 20, 2014

Dear Everyone,

So to start I just want to say thank you to everyone who sent me a package this past Christmas. That would be Grandma and Grandpa Christensen, Dennis, and Bevan. Thank you to the Hockers as well :) Oh and I can't forget mom and dad. :) Also Happy Birthday Father!!! I'm not going to announce how old you are to the whole world but I will say you’re awesome. :)

Ok so down to the letter. :) This week has been crazy. On Monday we visited 3 families in 3 hours. Let’s just say we had to walk really really fast to make that work. But, it was a really cool experience. We committed one family to baptism and everything. :) Sib-aton was the family. It was a really spiritual experience to be able to do that.

On Tuesday we managed to make an awesome lesson with Benito who Elder Manning and I found very recently and he was so ready for the gospel. I loved that lesson. He is such a humble person. It's pretty awesome. The rest of the day we didn't get to teach anyone but that lesson was worth it. :) We were just walking by his house and weren't even planning on teaching him when he came out and asked us to come in. He lives in a small house, but he makes things work out.

On Wednesday we taught the Siblowa family. They were very fun to teach. They are very interested in the gospel as well. I wish I could still teach them but Elder Manning will do great.

Brian, Sister Elizabeth and Elder Manning
Thursday I spent most of the day packing and getting ready for transfers the next day. We taught Sister Elizabeth for the last time and got pictures with her, and we ate dinner with Brother Guy who is an American who lives in Baguio. It was a fun last day. I enjoyed it. [How is Sister Elizabeth doing? She is doing really well she came to church the last Sunday I was there so I think she will be alright.}

Friday was transfer day. The zone leaders came and picked us up at 4:50 am and we piled on a jeep and took off down to San Fernando. There we just hung out until we were told where we would go. I got assigned to... wait for it... :P Agoo zone in Dimortas Branch. [I'm in the low lands I'm literally at the bottom of the mission. :) From Michelle: Good bye cool weather. Hello heat and humidity!! :) True that and hello cold showers again. :P]

I love it here. The people are loving and kind and my new companion is cool. His name is Elder Gison (“He-son” is how it's pronounced.) We get along pretty well. At church on Sunday we sang the hymns in Tagalog. I was so excited for that. Also they do everything in Tagalog here. I really love that. My area is good but there are a ton of less actives here. I mean a ton, over 60 easy, and now it's our job to get them back to church. Well I'm excited for what is to come here.

I love you all. Keep up the hard work at home.

Mahal Kita
Elder Christensen

Other Comments:

Yay! For the spirit tie!! Tell us about what happened to allow you to put on the spirit tie.
Brian: Well this past week we taught a lot of really powerful lessons. I don't really have any one experience. It just felt like it was time to put it on. [The Spirit Tie was given to Brian by Adam who received it from William who received it from his Priest Quorum Advisor, Claude Snow. The instructions are that you cannot wear the Spirit Tie until you have truly felt like you taught with the Spirit.]

How is Tagalog coming? Ok, but I still need a lot of practice. It's all just the words and discipline now. Do you have to learn Ilocano? Not currently but once I get Tagalog down I can start working on Ilocano.

How are the cockroaches? Haha whenever we see one kill it with fire :P

Notes from Michelle:

According to Wikipedia, "Agoo is a first class municipality in the province of La Union, Philippines. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 60,596 people." Here is a map of the Agoo in La Union Province. Once you look at the map, zoom out to see where Agoo is in relationship Baguio. I don't have more details about the area he is serving in. Perhaps next week.
Google Map of Agoo

Additional Pictures Brian Sent Home

Two members Brian worked with. He said, "They are supper cool."

Brother George Velano and Brian

Brother Jeff Sanchez

Group Baptism. Sister Elizabeth is Next to Brian

Group Baptism

Group Baptism

Group Baptism

Name with Green Glow Stick--Night before Brian Left Baguio

Name with Green Glow Stick

Name with Green Glow Stick

Sunday, January 12, 2014


January 12, 2014

This week has been so much better than last week. We started a little hard because we didn't have any one to teach on Monday, but we made up for it later on in the week. Tuesday was another hard day but we did manage to get some names and numbers of some potential investigators so and that's progress. :P

Wednesday was when things started picking up. We taught 2 lessons and found some more people to teach later and finally got some traction. We are starting to really push our ward for their support and they are responding very well. We are getting people to come work with us and stuff is getting done. :)

On Thursday we taught 3 lessons and found this awesome investigator named Benito. He works at Texas Instruments as a guard. He is so humble and ready for the gospel. Now we just have to teach it to him.

On Friday we taught two more lessons that went ok. But I really want to go back and review with them because I don't think they understood very much because we were having a hard time with the language that day. Haha the language really just comes and goes. Some days you have it and some days you just don't. But all and all it was still a good day.

Saturday we had baptismal interviews for some of the sisters in our district because Elder Manning is the district leader. It was fun but it ate up all of our time to work that day so we just did some Preach by the ways. It was still a good day. :)

Sunday was pretty normal. We had one of our less actives come to church for the first time in a long time. Sister Rose is Sister Elizabeth's sister so it was really cool to see both of them at church. :) Later that night we went to go contact some people we met early in the week and found a new family to teach. :D That was so cool. We taught them most of the first lesson and set up a return appointment for Tuesday. Agnes and Adar Bungtiwal I'm not sure on the spelling of some of that but yeah. They are super fun and they have a daughter who is super shy.

Oh another thing that happened last night that made me laugh was on the way to another appointment these two girls stopped us and asked tons of questions. It was good at first and then they asked if we had girlfriends and if they could be our text mates... Haha It was just funny because we just handed them a pamphlet and said we would love to share the gospel with you. Then we walked away.

Well that's all for this week. I love you all and hope that everything is going well at home. Mahal kita

Elder Christensen

Monday, January 6, 2014

Mahirap ang week ko Taliga. (My Week Was Really Hard)

Monday, January 6, 2014

Dear Everyone,

So to start I'm just going to say this week was hard. I also want to say that this week looks much better. :) But all and all I'm just happy to be on a mission still even if it is hard. So the reason this week was so hard is because we literally did not teach a single lesson until Sunday. It was hard.

So on Monday we had tried to visit Sister Jenifer and Jericho. But they weren't home so we left. But we were concerned about them. The rest of the night was exactly the same. No one was home so we went home with nothing.

On Tuesday we had a fun new year’s party with a member family and ate one of the best dinners I've had here. We cooked some food and brought it over for them. We played some games but had to be home by 7:00 so it short. [For New Year’s Eve, the Filipinos] have so many fire works here it's crazy. haha And a lot of them are just really loud all the time. I don't think it was as crazy in Baguio as it was in the low lands because nothing is as crazy up here as in the low lands. :P But it was really fun. We couldn't sleep because of the noise but it was a lot of fun to see all the fire works out side.

Wednesday [New Year’s Day] Elder manning and I walked around all day and just got punted all day. No one had time or would talk to us. This was the second hardest day of the week. It was defiantly not a fun day to say the least but that's all. But we did have a fun night at the apartment cracking jokes and eating good food.

Thursday I worked with Elder Falivai and Elder Guiuo because elder Manning had to go to San Fernando for a training because he's a district leader. That day was pretty good but we worked in their area and that was one of the best days because I was able to tag along in their lessons.

Friday was the hardest day this week. We had a full day of work and I was the oldest missionary out of the three of us working. I had Elder Guiuo and Elder Gang with me and they are both in their first transfer so I had to lead out. We worked in my area. We had a member who was going to work with us but then he canceled last minute. Then I felt really bad because I took them all over my area to all or our investigators and they all punted us. We couldn't teach a single lesson. We managed to give a pamphlet away and that was the only good part of the day. I felt even worse when I found out it was Elder Gang’s Birthday... ugh. It was so hard but when I talked to him afterward he said he still learned a lot and that he wasn't annoyed but enjoyed the experience.

On Saturday the same kind of thing happened. It wasn't so bad though because we managed to set up some sure appointments for Sunday. I was very grateful for that. Elder Manning and I both agreed to fast on Sunday for our area and its needs that night.

Sunday was the turnaround point for me. We have 9:00 Church now so we can work more in the afternoon on Sundays now. Church was good and we got Brother Jeff to come and work with us which was nice. We also had an investigator, Sister Mary Jane, at church that day. We taught her later, and it was a great lesson about the Plan of Salvation. It was funny though because they offered us snacks but we were fasting so we couldn't have any. haha Later that night we taught another great lesson to Siblowa family. it was the first lesson we have had with them for a long time. It went really well I really hope they can progress. We also managed to see Sister Elizabeth again. She hasn't been to church for 2 weeks but she was out of town. We taught her and her sister a great lesson and set up a return appointment. Things are just picking up. I was so grateful that the Lord answered our prayers and our fast and helped us in our area.

This week was hard but to be honest I love it anyway. I have never been tried harder in my entire life but I'm growing from it. I know this Church is true. I've seen it change lives. I've watched it change mine. I love this gospel, and I love the challenges that are in front of me I just hope that I can be humble enough to allow the Lord to help me overcome them.

I'm ready to climb. Where's the mountain?

Elder Christensen