Monday, March 31, 2014

This Week was Awesome

Monday, March 31, 2014

Dear everyone,

Elder Arzadon, Sister Macagba, Brian
This past week was so awesome. My companion and I are getting along better than ever and the work is just exploding in our area now. So on Tuesday we had some great lessons with one of our new investigators, Francisco and he is so cool. He was super hesitant at first but now he just wants to know everything about the gospel. It was pretty awesome.

Wednesday we had exchanges with the zone leaders. Elder Hernandez my trainer ended up going on exchanges with me and we worked together again. It was so much fun. We went to work that morning and just worked the whole day but the best part was that we were laughing the whole time while we taught 4 lessons and found tons of new people to teach. It was really cool to see how far I've come since I was last with him. :)

Tatay Juan Garcia and Brian
He is the one who hikes over the mountain for Church.
Thursday we Just worked and worked some more. We visited Jaravada family again and taught them about the Plan of Salvation. It was a really sweet lesson about the atonement. But the power went out right in the middle of the lesson. haha. But we kept the spirit and had some flashlights. I love teaching that family. Man it was good. The two oldest daughters came to church this Sunday as well.

Friday we went to Fernando; we saw Tatay Juan and he worked with us. We taught is cousin and managed to get some good preach by the ways but nothing else really happened that day. Saturday was the hardest day of the week because we didn't get anything done. We taught one lesson right at the beginning to some really cool new investigators. It was really cool but then we got punted the rest of the day. We didn't teach anyone for 6 hours... That's a really hard day.

Sunday was really good though. We taught a man named Patricio. He said that he stopped going to his other church because he had a bad feeling about it and that he felt good about ours. He also said that he was really looking for the true church today. I was so excited by that. Right after we taught him we taught a really powerful lesson to Jaravada family again about life after death and I shared a little bit about how much peace I have in my life because I know that my family is forever and that I will be with my mother again after this life. It was very sweet.

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

Elder Christensen

Brother Juan Fixing Brian's Bag

Investigators who got married.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Exchanges and Investigators at Church :)

Monday, March 24, 2014

This week has been pretty good I have enjoyed just about all of it. There were some pretty crazy parts, but it's all good.

Starting with Tuesday, we went on exchanges with the Sison Elders. Elder Espinosa and Elder Patterson. They are pretty funny. I was with Elder Espinosa. It was pretty good but we didn't get to work very much in their area because I had a meeting with the Zone Leaders after district meeting. But we still had a good time. We taught a lesson to some of their investigators and then the power went out. haha It was a pretty normal night for the Philippines but it was still funny because we couldn't teach in the dark.

Wednesday We had a pretty good day as well. We taught three lessons to our less actives and met some new people in Amlang which is pretty far out but they seem interested. I'm excited to teach them and see what happens. :) We taught a less active that night and my bag broke on the way there but it was really cool because he is a sewer, and we sewed it up right on the spot. haha. It was really good timing.

Thursday we taught the Jaravada family again and committed them to church. There are five kids in the family and their mother was a member when she was a teenager so she is very open to us teaching her family. Their oldest is a 19 year old girl then her 16 year old sister. They have a 14 year old brother but he doesn't listen to the lessons. They also have an 8 year old son and a 6 year old daughter. They are a really fun family and I love teaching them. They have tons of great questions.

Friday we went to Bail and Fernando and couldn't teach a single lesson because no one was home or listening to us. It was a pretty hard day. We walked from Bail out of Fernando which if I had to guess is about 6 miles. Maybe more maybe less I'm not sure. It was still a good day though. We learned a lot about being humble.

Saturday was crazy. We had to go to Agoo because I had to do another baptismal interview and after that we had to go to a wedding. Yes a wedding. The other Elders in our branch got one of their investigators married so that they can baptize her in the next couple of weeks. It was a sweet service with very few people there. It was still a really nice day. We just didn't get any teaching done because it took all day. We had to clean up afterward as well. But it was pretty nice.

Sunday was awesome. We were almost late to church but we managed to make it and we were worried because our investigators weren't there yet. Since I got to the area I haven't had a single investigator come to church. As you can imagine I was pretty excited when I saw them walk into the church a little late but there. We only had the mom and the dad with Shayra their 16 year old. But we have a return appointment tonight. :) Another surprise was when President Balledos showed up and gave a talk in sacrament meeting. It's always a little scary when your mission president randomly shows up in your area. haha Yet another surprise was when Elder Arzadon’s aunt showed up right in the middle of sacrament meeting and we had to go talk to her. They had a short talk and she gave him a ton of food, but it was ok. He isn't too shaken up. :P

Well that's all for this week. mahal na mahal kita. palagi talaga.

Elder Christensen

Monday, March 17, 2014

Quad Zone Training and a Birthay

Monday, March 17, 2014

Dear Everyone,

Well to start, I am no longer a teenager. I can't say that any more. haha But it's all good. To be honest my birth day came and went and I don't feel any different. :P  I am on a mission still and I am feeling the need to work harder than I ever have.

So on Monday we went to Baguio for our P day and that was pretty fun. I enjoyed it, but we were really rushed because the bus rides really took a lot of our time. It was a good day though.

Tuesday we had a zone training. The zone leaders weren't there so the district leaders had to run it. That means me. :O But it was still a really good training. I gave one and the other two district leaders gave one as well. I hope it went well. It's kinda hard to tell if you did a good job because I mean no one smiles or anything they just listen and it was either was good or it wasn't. You just don't know.

Wednesday was one of the best days this week. We taught one of our investigators the restoration. But he couldn't come to church because he went to Baguio for two weeks. It should be all right when he comes back to teach him. His name is Archey. We had some other good lessons the rest of that day too, but they really aren't progressing sadly.

Thursday was my birthday. :) I turned 20 years old, and we went to Baguio for a quad zone conference with Elder Ardern and President Balledos. It was a really cool training. I loved seeing all the other missionaries. But that's really all we did on my birthday. We got home and went out to work for a little but got punted a lot. It was still a good birth day though. :)

Friday was a little hard. We went to look for a referral but then I couldn't find the paper with her name on it so we could find her... :( We managed to teach some of the other lessons for that week but none of them came to church either. We have been having a very hard time with that in this area. We have really good lessons but no one wants to come to church.

Saturday was we just got punted all day long. We taught one lesson because it was a Family Home Evening with them which was really fun, but the rest of the day we couldn't get anything done. Sunday was exactly the same way. We just didn't get anything done. It's been a bit of a hard week but the conference was really cool.

Well that's all for this week I love you all and hope you are all doing well. Mahal Kita.

Elder Christensen

Questions from a Separate Email

* Tell us about how you've been able to implement some of the trainings you received from the week before?
Well this week I had to give a zone training and that went pretty well. I had to use everything I learned from the week before in that training so I think that went well. But the main thing we have been implementing is setting goals before we plan a day and then trying the whole day to meet those goals. It’s pretty hard but I think it will all work for our benefit.

* How is the work going with the members?
To be honest, it's not. We have had a really hard time getting any members to work with us. This past week we only got one to work with us for an hour. We have been trying pretty hard but sometimes we just don't get anything out of it. sayang.

* Funny experience?
Well we had a FHE with the Nabor family again and we played a game at the end called the fruit game. To play you pick a fruit and you have to say your fruit two times and then you say the persons fruit that you want to pas "it" to. Then they say theirs two time and so on. The funny thing is when you say it you can't show your teeth so it's pretty funny. :P

* Spiritual experience?
We had a really spiritual lesson with one our less active members. His daughter is the Relief Society President in the branch, but he doesn't come to church. We did have a really good lesson with him. It was all about the sacrament and why it is so important to take every single week. The only sad part is after we committed him to come to church he still didn't come. So next week we are going to pick him up. :P

Monday, March 10, 2014

Trainings Everywhere

Monday, March 10, 2014

Dear Everyone,

This past week has been pretty awesome not going to lie. I feel the spirit so much in my life right now I just hope that I can keep this up the rest of my mission. :) I have loved the hard times and the easy times this past week, but for the most part we just had a lot of training's in San Fernando.

Monday we had a FHE with some of the member in the branch because they wanted to get to know my new companion. We played some games and taught a really good lesson with them. It was a fun night.

On Tuesday we went to my first district meeting this transfer, and I gave a workshop on prayer. I think it went ok but it could have been better. But it's all good because I get to give more over the next few weeks. :P  e went finding later and found some potential investigators. We’ll see what happens there. :)

Wednesday we walked everywhere but we did get a really awesome investigator out of it. At the end of the day we met Archey... I forgot his last name but he is really interested. When we taught him again last night he said that he agrees with everything we have been teaching him about prophets and the apostasy. We are going to finish the first lesson with him on Wednesday and give him an IBD. [I think that means an invitation for a baptism date. yay. :)

Brian's Companion with Stray Cat and Kittens
Thursday I went to San Fernando for MLC (Missionary Leadership Conference) with President Balledos and all the other DL's in the mission. It was so much fun to see all the other missionaries and the training were great. I learned so much and I look forward to using it in my district. It’s going to be awesome. We got home super late though. It took a really long time to get a bus from Agoo to Nagamitan, which is where our apartment is. It was a good experience though.

Friday I had to go back to San Fernando this time with Elder Arzadon for the new missionary training. It was a great meeting too, and we had some great workshops as well. I loved it. We did manage to get back to our area in time to work this time, though. We did some finding and Elder Arzadon had a bout of home sickness but we made it through that. He is doing fine now. But that was about it for Friday.

Saturday we worked with President Lazeste, our Branch President, and went to Fernando and found some less actives that haven't been to church in years. It is so exciting to start getting the members to work with us. I think there will be a lot of great things coming out of that area.

Sunday was awesome. We went to Fernando again with President and found some more less actives. It was really cool because one of them said that she knew we would be coming that day because she had a wierd feeling the night before. I would like to think that was the Spirit but we will go back and I hope they will get active again. :) Also later that day we went to a less active family, the Baloran family, because sister Baloran was in the hospital because she had pneumonia but was home then. We taught them a lesson about making weak things become strong and after the lesson they asked me to give sister a blessing. So we got the oil out and I gave her one in really broken Tagalog because they wouldn’t understand it in English. The spirit was strong and the message was understood. It was a sweat experience.

Well that's all for now. Mahal kita, at alam ko po na totoo ang simbahan ito. alam ko po na mahalaga ang pagtrabaho ng mga missionaro. ingat po.

Elder Christensen

Questions from a Separate Email

Did you get a package from Bevans?  Did you get your birthday package from us?
Yes I got both of them on Thursday. :)

* What spiritual experience can you tell us about this week?
We are starting to work with our branch a lot more and it is amazing to see the progression in the work when we work with the members. [Then he again recited the story about giving the blessing in Tagalog.]

* What funny/fun experience can you tell us about this week?
Well we were on our way home one night and well this drunk guy called us out and wanted us to teach him. All he really wanted was to tell us about how we were wrong. It was funny because he was so drunk he couldn't really do it very well. So we just smiled for a little while until he left us alone. It was pretty funny.

Brian, Stray Cat and Kittens in the Bag

Monday, March 3, 2014

Transfers and Changes

Monday, March 03, 2014

Dear Everyone,

This past week has been crazy to say the least. At the start of the week had pretty normal days, but we were told that transfer awareness is on Tuesday not Wednesday because transfers were on Thursday not Friday... It was interesting but it all worked out. So on Tuesday we had the meeting and found out that my old companion Elder Gison is going to live in the same apartment as me still. Haha. That was interesting, and Elder Harris stayed with him. That was the strange part for sure but that about sums up Tuesday.

Wednesday we just went out and worked but got punted all day again. Man I think that is just going to be my whole mission. But i am learning to stay positive no matter what happens in the work. The biggest lesson from this week is that you only fail when you don't try, and let me tell you we have been trying. I don't know that I have ever been this tired in my life.

Anyway, on Thursday we had transfers so Elder Bustamante and I got up and went out early to get a ride to San Fernando with the rest of the zone. I had a crazy awesome meeting with all the other trainers before we met our trainees. The spirit was very strong there. So the crazy part was they had all the trainees come in and sit with the trainers before they announced who the companionships were. As it turns out my anak (trainee) sat right next to me. Haha. That was funny but cool. His name is Elder Arzadon. He is from California, but he is a full blood Filipino. The other nice thing is he understands all the Tagalog spoken to him. To be honest he might even be better than me at Tagalog but that is ok too. Anyway we went back to Damortis, got him unpacked, and helped him meet some of the members. It was good day.

Friday we got right to work. We went to some of our less actives and taught some great lessons We also found some new investigators at one of our less actives homes. It was a little interesting teaching them because the house is like a shack that they just kept adding on to so there are actually a lot of people living there. It's interesting. Also there are three little girls there that, whenever they see me, scream and run and grab my hands and won’t let go. It's really funny.

Saturday we had to go to Agoo because I had to interview one of the sisters in my district's baptismal candidate. It was sweet to see how prepared these people are to accept the gospel and live it throughout their lives. It was really cool. After that we went finding and found a place I had never been to before and made some appointments to come back and teach. I hope that goes well. We plan to go back tomorrow.

Sunday we had church but still no investigators at church. :( It was still a good fast Sunday though. That night we taught and had dinner with one of our less actives, and we made plans to work with their sons sometime soon. All of their sons are RM's but they don't come to church. I really feel like if they work with us they will come back to church. I hope it all works out. :)

Well that's all for this week. I love you all and hope that everything is going well with you. Mahal kita, talaga! ingat po

Elder Christensen

Answers to Questions from a Separate Email

* How are you adjusting to be a trainer?
It's really, really hard. I feel so much responsibility to just do everything right so he has a good example to follow. It is pretty hard not going to lie, but I do enjoy it.

* How are you adjusting to being a DL?
Well it's about the same as when I was a DL before just a little more responsibility because I'm starting everything instead of just picking up where someone else left off. I always think of the scripture in D & C where it states that "Many are called but few are chosen" I need honor my calling and be an example to those around me. I know that I have been called and now I must do my part so I can be one of the chosen. I wish only to serve as best I can in these responsibilities. I know that whom the Lord calls he qualifies. I am being qualified by the spirit. I feel it every day working in me to change me and help me help those around me.