Monday, June 30, 2014

Monday, June 30, 2014

Dear Everyone,

Today is my 11 month mark and I can't help but think it's moving too fast. But it’s all good because I still have another year to make things count. :) Anyway this past week has been good. I went exchanges 2 times because we had to. It was great fun.

So Tuesday I went on exchanges with the Elders who live in our apartment. It was fun. We had a lot of people to teach and not a lot of time. We spent most of the day almost literally running from one appointment to another. haha We got it all done though and Elder Cook said he learned a lot so it was a good day.

Wednesday I went on exchanges again with Elder Torronas. I learned that his area is a very hard one. While we were out we asked if we could get to know someone a little bit and they told us to go away. For a Filipino that's almost unheard of. I was a little taken back. And then all the appointments we had ran away from us or we couldn't teach because we didn't have a fellowshipper with us. It was a hard but at the end of it I managed to help Elder focus on his planning. We think that will help a lot in his area. sana. :)

Thursday we taught some good lessons but nothing really special happened. It was just a normal day.

Friday was interesting because we only managed to teach less actives the whole day. We thought that was kinda funny. But then the next day we only taught Investigators so I guess it works out. haha. Saturday we also found a new family, the Baldez Family. They were super interested and asked us how they could join the church. It was super cool. They didn't end up making it to church. :( But we only just met them so they should in the future. :D I'm supper excited for them.

Sunday was a great day, too. We have some people getting ready to be baptized and they committed to August 2nd. We are supper excited for them. I'm sorry I can't really say any more I'm out of time. So until next time. I love you all.

For studies this past week I have been reading some of the conference talks from this last conference. I really like the one by Elder Holland about being a disciple of Christ. He talked about how we all face adversity being disciples of Christ but it is all worth it because he is with us. We are truly bringing about his work and it is worth the pain. It's worth the torment of others.

Elder Christensen

Questions from a Separate Email

*Can you tell us a little more about the Raras family?
So it's a little tricky because it's actually three family things... We have Rolly and his wife Charol. I forgot their last name but they are progressing very well. We have Edmon and his wife Jackalyn. They have three kids, Princess, M.J., and Angel. They are all super cute. Sister Raras is Jackalyn’s mother. We teach at her house but she usually leaves when we show up... It's all good though. maybe she'll come around in the future.

* Tell us about one of your great teaching experiences from this past week.
Well, last night we taught a lesson to Brother Rolly and Jackalyn. (Edmon wasn't really listening) but it was super hectic when we started. I was a little worried about inviting the spirit into the lesson but then right at the end after we talked about our purpose here on earth everything just got quiet. I invited them to fulfill their purpose in this life and follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized on Aug. 2. The spirit was super strong and they both said they would. Rolly's wife wasn't their but he said that she would to but we are going to extend to here tomorrow night. :) I'm supper excited.

* Describe an experience when you felt the Savior's love in your life.
I had a hard time the other night because I feel a little alone sometimes…. I mean I just feel like I have to be the example all the time [as the] district leader. Anyway I prayed about it and I just felt calm again. I feel like even if I have to be the example I can be because that's what the Lord needs from me now and maybe for the rest of my life. I always think of the song "I'll go where you want me to go" and I just know I will do exactly what it says.

* What is your apartment like?
To be honest it's really nice... for the Philippines. haha Its more of a small house. 3 bedrooms a living room and a kitchen. It's got an upstairs too, but we aren't allowed to go up there. But all in all I love it.

* How many Elders are in your apartment? 
There are 4 of us. Elder Coltin Karch, and Elder Andrew Cook. Elder Karch is from Canada and Elder Cook stayed in Bountiful a year before he came out with is Grandparents so that's kinda where he claims to be from haha. They are both pretty cool. I like them.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Let It Rain!!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Dear Everyone,

So for starters this past week has been the wettest week ever. But it's pretty sweet. So officially rainy season started a little while ago but it's really working now. The only sad part is that I just lost my umbrella :( but it's all good because it didn't do much anyway because the rain comes at you diagonally not downward. so you get wet no matter what you do. :P . Haha It's all good though because it's warm rain so it's not cold. It's just wet and people still let us teach them even if we are wet head to toe. :P

So on Tuesday after District meeting we had a great day teaching. We taught The Raras family again and they committed to live the word of wisdom. We were so excited. We are getting ready to give them a baptismal date right now. Probably tomorrow. :)

Wednesday we had exchanges with some of the Elders in my district that were struggling a little bit. Come to find out they weren't planning and that's why they weren't getting anything done. So lesson plan out your days if you want to get anything out of them. :) I think that applies to you all at home as well. ;) It was super fun working with Elder Tabucol though. It rained supper hard on us and we were wet from head to toe but people still let us into their houses even though we left puddles in the corner. :) It was super sweet. We also taught this really cool less active who won't come back to church because he doesn't feel like it's time. We shared Alma 34:35 about not procrastinating repentance. The spirit was super strong. I just hope that he acts now and comes back.

Thursday nothing specific happened. We did teach this one guy who isn't taller than me but he does have bigger hands than I do and that was a surprise. Haha. We started teaching him. His name is Edwin.

Friday we got punted by all our investigators but we did teach some good less active lessons. But nothing super special happened.

Saturday was hard. We just couldn't seem to teach anyone all day long. They were all either busy or not home. It was supper sad.

Sunday was better in the beginning but got harder toward the end. After Church we went home had lunch and went to work. Not enough time in a day. Our first two lessons were awesome. We taught a new investigator and he didn't want to talk to us when we started but by the end he wanted us to come back and share some more. It was awesome. The bad part was when we went back to Raras family, Rolly was their but Edmond was drunk. :( He wasn't the happy drunk either he was being pretty rude to his wife. He left though so we still taught. It was just a really somber lesson. We are going to have a man to man with Edmond next time we see him though when he's sober.

Later that day we couldn't teach because we got punted some more. Also when we went to another one of our less actives he was also drunk... He was so drunk. But it was a little funny because he was the happy kind meaning he just staggers around and says random things that don't make sense. Also at the time we had about 20 (not exaggerating on the number) kids climbing on us and wanting high fives. It was supper funny. Just sad that he was drunk. :-/

For Studies this past week I have been reading Moroni 10. I love to reread Moroni's promise sometimes and just did it again. I feel that it helps me keep a fresh testimony of the Book of Mormon. I also love how he talks about the spirit of god being the same today and tomorrow, and forever. We cannot change God. We can only "Come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness;" God will not change but we must in order to become "perfected in (Christ)" Moroni 10: 7; 32. He also states in verse 21 that we must have faith, hope and charity or we cannot enter into the kingdom of God. I think as a missionary we cannot save others unless we hold these same traits. I hope I can help my investigators see this. So they too can deny themselves of all ungodliness.

Wow this was a long letter. Well I love you all. Hope you are all doing well and are safe. Mahal kita!!!!

Elder Christensen

Questions from Separate Emails:

* How is Ilocano coming?
... I can tell when it's Ilocano and not Tagalog but that’s about it. My Tagalog is pretty good now but Ilocano it still crazy hard.

* What was one of your favorite teaching lessons this week?
Well we taught this one new investigator this week and when we started the lesson he told us that he was born a Catholic and he is going to die one. We said ok and kept teaching. It was just funny because by the end of the lesson he learned a lot from us and invited us back any time we wanted daw... (daw basically just means that's what he/she said... I'll be saying that a lot when I get home so you can know what it means haha.) It was just fun to see how he changed so fast when he felt the spirit.

* What do you like about your new area?
Everything, it's just a lot of fun. It's just super far from where we live but I kinda like that to. The people here are a little nicer I think than my last area and Elder Alonzo is pretty chill. I don't know. I just like it up here, even though I'm getting drenched every just about every other day because it's raining so hard haha.

* Do you hear about the World Cup Soccer tournament?
Not really. Why? What's going on with it? now I'm curious...

Monday, June 16, 2014

Another Week Gone By

Monday, June 16, 2014

Dear Everyone,

This past week has flown by. I don't know where all the time goes. But a lot has happened. First I kinda already told all of you about Monday [last week’s Monday in last week’s email], so I'll just go straight to Tuesday. So on Tuesday we had exchanges with some of the Elders in my district. Elder Dodd went with me to my area. We had a crazy day because we were in such a rush to get from one appointment to the other. We taught some new [lessons to] the Raras family again. They are still super receptive to our message. Every time we teach there, they are just so ready to hear what we have to say. I'm really excited for them.

Wednesday was fun because we had a tri-zone conference with President Balledos. It was super fun to see all the missionaries from the other zones and to learn from all the workshops. It was a really good meeting. It was just hard because we didn't get to work in our area too much that day. :( But it's all good.

Thursday was a pretty good day. Nothing crazy happened but we taught some good lessons and worked hard. Friday on the other hand was about the same; we just taught a ton more lessons. I was super excited. We taught 7 lessons that day and they were all awesome. I have been so impressed with how much the Lord blesses us with ways to accomplish our goals and tasks that he gives us.

Saturday we had stake conference which was good. It was mostly in Ilocano so I didn't understand about half of what was said but it was nice to be there. But that's all that really happened.

Sunday we had a broadcast from Salt Lake for stake conference so we got to listen to Elder Quentin L. Cook. It was a great meeting. One of my favorite things that he taught is that we cannot live off of borrowed light forever. He was making reference to the three degrees of glory and how the moon or Terrestrial Kingdom gets it's light from the Sun or the Celestial Kingdom. He said that those who go to the Terrestrial Kingdom are those who are not valiant in their testimony, meaning they are borrowing their light from the sun. But they can’t go their because you can't live off borrowed light forever.

This past week I have been studying different ways we feel the Spirit. I made a list of feelings I have experienced and ways I have heard it described to me. The spirit feels light, fluffy, a burning in the bosom. Sometimes you just know something is true because of the Spirit. The Sspirit is a comforter. He brings perfect love into our hearts. In Moroni 8:26 it states that "...the Holy Ghost, which comforter filleth with hope and perfect love, which love endureth by diligence unto prayer..." so if we pray we will have the spirit and be filled with hope and perfect love. I want my investigators to understand that prayer is more than just words. It is a way we can invite the Holy Ghost into our lives.

Well this is a very long letter I think that's it through. mahal kita.

Elder Christensen

Monday, June 9, 2014

Here Comes the Rain Danana :P

Monday, June 9, 2014

Dear Everyone,

This past week has been fantastic. I have loved just about everything about it. Haha So let me start from the beginning. Last Monday Elder Alanzo and I went to work in our area early because if we don't we can't get a ride home after 7:45. Well that just doesn't work if we are supposed to work until 9 pm. So we gave up an hour of our p-day and got to work early. :) It worked really well. We taught some great lessons and really kick started our week right.

Brian and Elder Alanzo
Tuesday we had another great day. We taught 6 lessons and they were all pretty good. The only down side to it was that we had to walk home afterward because we couldn't get a ride. It's over 3 miles to get back to our apartment from our area. But with great success opposition needs to come from somewhere I guess. That's what the Book of Mormon says at least. :)

Wednesday was kinda fun because the zone leaders dropped a bit of surprise exchanges on us. We had to pack a really quick bag and I went and worked with our zone leaders that night. It was super cool working with them. I learned a lot and I hope to apply it to my work. Oh and random fact. I've gotten pretty good at the Rubics cube. When I get home I'll show you guys some cool stuff. :P that's all.

Brian and Elder Alanzo
Thursday was the only super hard day in the whole week but as I said before opposition in all things. We got punted the whole day. We also had to drop some investigators :( I don't like doing that but sometimes they just won't come to church. We have to spend our time teaching those who will act on their faith. :( but it’ss a good thing because the we made up for it later.

So Friday was pretty normal but it felt weird. We taught three lesson. But it just felt off... I don't know. It was strange but Saturday was much better. We had a very powerful lesson with one of our member’s father. We taught about Joseph Smith and he was really quiet for a long time. He finally told us he was trying to decide if he wanted to join our church or not. That was awesome because when he was first being taught he told us he would never join no matter what we say. His name is Brother Salso. We are still waiting to see what he decides.

Sunday was the best day of the whole week. Of course church was good. But after that we went to work in our area and we found this super awesome set of new investigators. One of them asked us about baptism and then he said later on that he should go to church to learn more... that never happens! haha We were supper stoked after that lesson. We also extended an invitation to baptism that night to another investigator. She accepted the date very hesitantly but I think we can get her ready for it. :) Her names is Shareen. I'm just super excited right now. :)

... Wow this is a really long e mail I guess I'll close up. I love you all and I know this is true. I don't know what else I need to say. :) Mahal Kita!!!

Elder Christensen

Questions from a Separate Email

* How different is Ilocano from Tagalog? Well that's a little hard to explain because it's kinda like English and Tagalog mixed as far as structure and some of the words are the same as in Tagalog. But to be honest it's really, really different, new vocab and conjugations. So I guess it would be more like Portuguese and Spanish but it's still pretty different. But the funniest part about it is that everyone here just mixes it all together so in a single sentence you could hear Tagalog, Ilocano and English. It's super funny.

* How do you communicate with people if they only speak Ilocano? Well we get someone to translate usually. But that’s super easy because everyone knows both for the most part.

* How is your Ilocano coming? It's super hard right now. I only know a few phrases but I'm trying to learn it. It’s just hard because I can fall back on my Tagalog so easy.

Brian's Area
* Are you near the Ocean or further inland? What is your area like? We are on the beach so our area is super flat for the most part. We walk on the beach a lot. It's pretty nice I like it. Oh and fun fact: we went to the beach today for p-day and played volley ball. It was super fun. But yeah that's all.

* What is the weather like in your area? HOT. Really, really HOT. Oh and rainy season just started so the past few days we have happy with the heat because it's a little cooler but now there’s tons of rain. :P

Brian's Area
* When did you feel the Savior's love this week? Every day... haha but I really felt it on Saturday when we had to walk home in the rain, which was really annoying because its 5 km to our house to our area... haha But we enjoyed ourselves and I kept thinking that I would do anything the Lord needed me to because I know this is true and I know he loves me. :)

* Are you getting holes in your shoes, pants, or shirts? Well the souls on one pair of shoes is starting to get worn out but I was planning on it because I've only been wearing those shoes for about my whole mission so far. haha I only wear the other pair if I have to. oh and I'm starting to run a little low on chest medicine so in the next package maybe sent that but there's no rush.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

I'M AN UNCLE!!!!!!!!!!!!! oh and transfers

June 2, 2014

Dear Everyone,

I'm an Uncle!!!!!! I've never been an Uncle before. :P haha Congradulation to my brother and his wife, William and Stephanie Christensen. I am so excited for you! :) :D :P O.o :)  B)  In case you didn't get that I'm excited. :) :) I'm super excited. Oh and one other side note is that I am no longer sick. 100% better. :) I feel great now. No problems at all. :) Super excited too for this new area.

Alfredo, Brian, Elder Arzadon, and Friends
 All right so I guess I better write my letter now. So this past week was pretty crazy for me. I got transferred. We had a crazy awesome meeting and I have a new companion who is pretty cool. So to start the week on Monday I was still in Agoo and still didn't feel super awesome but we went out and taught a lesson to Alfredo and his group and it was pretty awesome.

Tuesday we were able to work again because I was feeling a lot better. I said some goodbyes because President Balledos called and told me that I would be transferred the next day. But all in all we had a good time.
Alfredo's Family and Friends

Wednesday we made on last visit to Ramulo and had a great time. He is so funny. I loved working with him. Then the AP's came and picked me up and we drove all the way to my new area in Candon Zone. In other words, I'm on the upper half of the mission now and that means Ilocano but I told you about that last week. Any way funny thing about that was I didn't actually stay in my area that night we just dropped off my stuff and went back to San Fernando because we had a District Leader Conference the next day. It was super fun to just hang out with Elder Tanner again because he's one of the AP's.
Alfredo's Family and Friends

Thursday we had a meeting with President Balledos and it was super cool. I love learning from him. He always has great advice for me. We just learn so much. After the meeting we went back to my area and I stayed the night in my area for the first time. haha It's only funny because it took me almost a full week after transfers to do that.

Friday and Saturday, Elder Alanzo and I just worked in our area. It's super cool here. I'm trying to learn Ilocano because my Tagalog is pretty good now. It's super hard because it's another vocabulary but I think it will come with time. :) Elder Alanzo is pretty cool. He's pretty laid back and I like that he also wants to work hard in this area so I think we will get along just fine. :)

Sunday was interesting. It's the first time I had church in a meeting house not a chapel. So, they made someone's house into a meeting house. It's suer cool but there's like no room for all the people we have meeting there. haha We are working on getting another one in our area because we are a little ways away from them, like a 30 min drive. But it's all good. I'm super excited to make some things happen here. :)

I am so grateful for the blessing of the Lord in my life. I know that he is truly my guide out here on the mission. I have never felt so much love for other people than I do right now. I know this is true and even if it's not I wouldn't want to live any other way because I'm the happiest I have ever been.

So for my studies this past week I have been reading from the book of Mormon some more and PMG. I studied the 1st chapter a little bit about our calling as a missionary. I really like how it states that we have been set apart from the world, literally meaning we need to act and think like Christ so that we can have the power and Authority of our calling. When we are worthy of our calling the Lord has promised that we will have the spirit and when we have the spirit we can teach people more effectively and bring them unto Christ. That is our whole purpose and it all starts from our personal commitment to be worthy of our calling. I thought that was pretty awesome. I'm going to strive to be more worthy of the authority that can come with my calling.

Mahal Kita!!!

Elder Christensen

Questions from Separate Email

* Where are you in your new area? I'm in Candon Zone. Santa Cruz is the area and we work right around the brgy Dili. I hope that helps :)

* Where is your new companion from? He's from New Jersey, but he's another Filipino American. He isn't as good at Tagalog as Elder Arzadon, but he's still pretty cool. His name is Elder Alanzo.

* What do you like about your new companion? He's just super chill about everything and willing to work with me on just about everything I want to do. We are super open with each other so I think we will be all right together. I'm starting to find that I can get along with just about anyone. The secret is to just love them no matter what they do or say and they will start to return the feeling and you just get along.

* How long has he been out? I think he is 2 transfers behind me so I am the senior companion right now but it's all good.

* Will you still get to ride a bike? No we don't and our area is super far away and we take vans everywhere. It's a little different but it works about like the Jeep's did in Baguio.