Monday, July 28, 2014

Another Week in the Field

Monday, July 28, 2014

Dear Everyone,

This week has been pretty routine, to be honest. We've just been working and teaching. To start with last Monday we taught the Doctulero family about obedience.

Tuesday we just had district meeting and worked some more. We taught our recent converts in our area with their friend. It was a pretty good lesson about the pre-existence.

Entertaining Themselves while Waiting for a Bus
Wednesday was fun because we had exchanges with the zone leaders. I was with Elder Harris (not the same one from Damortis). We had a great time talking and working in Candon. I also got a study guide for the New Testament, and it's way cool. I just read Revelations with it and I actually understand that now. :D

Thursday we had a great day. It was interesting because that night on our way home a guy stopped us and said he was a member. We were really confused because we didn't know him but as it turns out he had moved there a while back and that's why no one knew he was a member. We have been trying to go back to him but he hasn't been there. We'll see how that turns out.

More Entertainment while Waiting to Go Home
Friday was a great day too. We taught a lot and found this really cool investigator. His name is Lester. He lives with his grandmother and is super interested. He's 22 and from Manila. I'm really excited to teach him. :)

Saturday was wired. We didn't teach anyone... we did get a some of our less actives to a Relief Society activity that we didn't know about until that day so that took some of our time and then everyone else was ether really busy or not home. It was really weird.

Sunday was pretty good. But we still had a hard time getting people at home or being able to share. It was a little hard. But today is the start of another week and we will go and do it all again only better. :)

For studies this past week I have been reading from the standard works as well as the conference Liahona. I read a talk by President Uchtdorf about gratitude. I really like what he said. He talked about he we should have and attitude of gratitude rather than being grateful for things. With this attitude we can withstand any temptation and we will do so cheerfully and with a happy heart. I want to apply that to my mission. I want to be grateful for what I have and who I am no matter where I am or what I'm doing.

Mahal kita

Elder Christensen

Questions from Another Email

* Who have you been teaching lately?
Well right now we are teaching the Doctulero family. They are super sweet the father is a fisherman and he has a small boat that he goes out with when the weather permits. He couldn't go out this past week and because of that they couldn't come to church because they had no money. :( But they are still super sweet. Their mom considers us her children and it's super funny when we go over there. They have 2 daughters who are active in church and they make sure they make it every week even if the parents can't come and they have some sons but they don't like to listen to us anymore. All of them are older. The youngest is 16 I think.

* Did you have a funny/fun story from this week?
Yeah, so the other day we were at the Doctulero house and we found a big spider. The fun thing about spiders here is none of them are poisonous so people just play with them all the time. So we put him on our clothes and stuff and scared people with it. :P It was pretty funny. Then a chicken ran over and ate it. haha

* What was a good teaching experience from this week?
Well we taught a lesson last night that I liked. Our two converts are being retaught right now but we are teaching one of their friends with them now too. We taught about Adam and Eve but what I liked about it was how much we are getting their friend to think. She is a pretty hard born-again but she is starting to think about our message. I just really liked it. I don't know why. Her name is Gemalyn. We call her Gem though.

* What do you do on P-Day?
It depends on the P-Day. We buy all our grocery for the week and if we have time we play basketball. and email. Once a transfer we have a zone activity and that was last week. We had a letchon pig and played a bunch of sports. It was way fun.

* Have you been sight-seeing at all?
Not really. I mean I walk along the beach almost every day but I don't know if that counts. I've seen a lot of what there is but we don't really do anything like that. Also because our area is so far away we go to our area an hour early so we can still teach everyone we need to.

Monday, July 21, 2014


Monday, July 21, 2014

Dear Everyone,

Brian and Some Local Children
This past week started really good. On Tuesday we had a zone training in Candon which was pretty fun. After that we had a great day of work. We taught a lot of lesson and just had a good time.

Wednesday we had a little bit of a harder day but we still managed to get some lessons taught.

Thursday we had a hard day. We couldn't seem to get any traction in the area and nothing was moving. That's kinda how I felt about that last few days.

Friday we had zone interviews with President Balledos. Mine was pretty short. He basically just told me to keep doing what I'm doing, which is exactly what I intend to do. :)

Saturday we got rained on pretty hard core. haha That morning we went to Casilagan which is pretty far out and we taught a great lesson that morning to a new family we found. After that we worked in Dili. It was really nice until that night after our last lesson it just started dumping rain all over us. I felt bad because we got soaked and then when we got on the bus home I had a ton of mud on my shoes. But they took us home and it all worked out.

Sunday was almost the same story. After church we went to work and it just dumped rain on us. We were given umbrellas but they didn't do much because the streets turned into rivers. It was almost to my knees at one point. It was pretty fun and this group of kids started following us around in the rain. It was pretty funny.

Well that’s all for this week. mahal kita.

Elder Christensen

Emails from a Separate Email

* What was a good teaching experience from this past week?
Well this past week we taught Dexter for a little bit. He is in his 20's and is a Seventh Day Adventist, which means he worships on Saturday not Sunday. He is very receptive but I just liked the lesson with him. It was about the Book of Mormon and why it's important to read.

* How are Ellen and Robert doing?
We actually haven't been able to go back to them this past week. We got held up by rain and other appointments. :(

* How have the Doctulero family been doing?
They are doing very well they were all at Church again this past week. :) They say they are back and back for good. :)

* Have you had any more contact with Edwin?
We talked to him one day and he said we could come back that day. Bbut when we came back he was gone. :( We had a bit of a hard week to be honest.

* When did you feel the Savior's love this week?
When I was out teaching. I feel his love for the people we teach. It's crazy how much he love's these people. I see that a lot.

Monday, July 14, 2014


Monday, July 14, 2014

Dear Everyone,

Brian in a Tree
This past week has been bitter sweet. It was sweet because we had two baptisms. But it was bitter because the Raras family (they really aren't the Raras family but that's where we taught all of them) moved to Pangpanga. In other words we can't teach them anymore. :( That and we just had a really hard week last week. I feel like it’s part of the opposition in all things. When we have the most success Satan tries his hardest to make us falter by the way side. That is when your faith is truly tested.

So last Monday night was kinda frustrating because we taught one of our less actives and we both lost our tempers a little bit with him. He told us he didn't have enough money to go to church and we told him to stop buying beer and then he would... it worked out because the next day we made up with him. But he still didn't come to church. :/

Tuesday was a pretty good day. President Balledos came and interviewed Gina and Shareen for their baptism and he gave them the ok. :) We were pretty stoked. The rest of the day was pretty normal. We just taught some lessons but nothing special.

Wednesday we found 2 new investigators and they seem really sweet. Ellen and Robert. We found them in a new part of our area we hadn't been to yet. They were fairly receptive and we are going back to them sometime this week. It should be good.

Thursday I had to go to San Fernando for a District leader conference. It was really good. I learned a lot about marriage in the Philippines which is really complicated to be honest. haha They can't get divorced here. We have to be able to work with that because sometimes they separate and have kids with someone else but they are not married... yeah...

Brian, Elder Alonzo, Shareen, and Gina
Friday was just hard. I'll just leave it at that because all we did was walk around all day. It was hard.

Saturday was good because we had two Baptisms! :D Shareen and Gina were both Baptized. Elder Alonzo baptized them. It was awesome. It was kinda funny because Gina was scared and her knee kept coming out of the water so it took them three tries to get it right. haha.

Sunday was another hard day. Church was great and we had a less active family come to church that we weren't expecting, the Doctulero family. It was way cool. That night we didn't get a lot done. I don't know why. It's a little strange but we'll figure it out I'm sure.

Well that's all for now. Mahal kita!!!!!!

Elder Christensen

Some Kids Brian Met in His Area
From a Separate Email

* Can you us more about Gina and Shareen?
Well they are both 23. Gina has a daughter named Paula. So we had to make sure she could get baptized but we worked that out. They are just really good friends and we would teach them at Shareen’s house.

* What was a great teaching experience you had this week?

Maybe the one last night with the Doctulero family. Brother hasn't come to church in months but he just up and decided last Saturday that he was missing out on some blessings so they came to church. And when we came to their house that night he was joking around with us which he neverdoes... I mean never. Haha it was super cool to see the change.

* How is Edwin doing?
Well he has been in Manila so we haven't seen him for a week.

* I asked Brian about different tropical fruits he has had.
Rambutan? It's actually starting to be Rambutan season again. I had a lot in Baguio my fist few months here but haven't had any since. It is amazing not going to lie. The shell can be a little annoying but it does taste pretty awesome.

Big purple avocados? Not really but I have seen them around.

Mango catsup? No, but I have banana catsup all the time. It's awesome.

Green mangos? Those are everywhere. I mean everywhere. We eat those all the time. We dip them in stuff. To be honest when I first got here to Santa Cruz we had all you can eat Mangos. They were amazing but then it started raining and we didn't get any more. But for a while there people would just give us mangos, as many as we wanted for free. :D

Guava? I've had a lot of Guava too but we only get it when people give it to us.

Other fruits I haven't mentioned? Jack fruit. It's this huge fruit that grows everywhere. It's sweet and you have to put oil on your hands before you eat it because it’s so sticky. But it tastes pretty awesome.:)

* You said you received the package. What did you think?
I loved it. Beef jerkey is always good and thank you for the hi chew's and the sour patch kids we can't get those here. I've been giving away my butterscotch too, but the ants have also gotten in to them. :( But it's all good.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Transfers ... Joke Lang [Only]

Monday, July 7, 2014

Dear Everyone,

Sunset that Brian Saw on the Beach
This past week we had transfers but literally nothing happened to me or my companion. We are just staying in our area and working some more. :) We had a pretty good week but it was a little harder than the past few weeks. It was only hard because a lot of the people we tried to visit weren't home or we couldn't teach because they didn't have a male at home. All the dads were in the rice fields planting palay [rice]. It was all right though.

So for Tuesday we just had a normal day. After district meeting we went to work and taught quite a few lessons. We taught Rolly and Edmon with their wives. We extended IBD's to them and they accepted but sadly they didn't make it to church on Sunday so we have to re schedule the day so they can make it to church enough to get baptized. But they all still want to get baptized. :D We are going to work with them more.

Dragon Fruit Blossom 
Wednesday was a little off. We taught a lot of lessons but we just didn't feel the spirit that strongly. We were a little worried about the rest of the week and it turns out we had good reason to be.

Thursday was a hard day because we only taught one lesson the whole day because no one was home. It was so strange. We went and found a bunch of people who said we could come back this week though. It was even stranger when the same thing happened again on Friday. But we'll make it work.

Friday morning we taught a great lesson to some of our less active, the Tureda family. We taught them about the atonement and invited them to come back to church. The dad didn't come but his three daughters did. They are all grown up and have kids of their own now but they came. :)

Saturday was an interesting day. We taught Shareen and Gina and reviewed the word of wisdom the law of chastity, tithing and Sabbath day observance. It was good because we cleared them all up for them and set them up to get baptized this coming Saturday, on the 12th. We are supper excited for them.

Rainbow the Brain Liked
Sunday was pretty good we taught some less actives and investigators. All in all it wasn't a bad week it was just a little off. I think this next one will be awesome though. :)

For studies this past week I have been reading a lot out of the Book of Mormon and out of True to the Faith. I really like reading from True to the Faith because it just clears up any misconceptions about all the points of our church. In the book of Mormon I like in 1 Nephi 15:11 if we ask God in faith then we will receive answers to our prayers and questions. This is a promise if we have faith and keep the commandments. Also in verse 24 it states that if we hold fast to the word of God we "would never perish; neither could the temptations and the fiery darts of the adversary overpower [us] unto blindness" meaning we have power over Satan when we hold to the word of God.

Well that's all for now. Mahal kita.

Elder Christensen

Questions from a Separate Email

* What was a great teaching experience you had this week?
Well we taught this one guy named Edwin. He is super cool and to be honest he is huge. His hands are bigger than mine and he is just a little bit shorter than me. He is a Filipino. Don't ask me where he came from because I don't know. haha But when we taught him we had a great lesson about prophets and we taught about Joseph Smith. Toward the end of the lesson he told us that he wanted to know the truth but he didn't know how. He said "I want to feel it here" and he pointed to his heart. I asked right there if he felt it there right then. He said he did and I told him he needed to pray about it and if he got the same feeling again he would know that what we were telling him was true. He agreed to go to church the next day but he never came. :( But we will see him again later to follow up. I just felt the spirit strongly in that lesson.

* What are some of your favorite Filipino foods?
All of them. haha I really love halo-halo [a dessert with shaved ice, evaporate milk, and fruit]. Adobo [meat marinated in vinegar, soy sauce, and garlic] is pretty good, except when the meat is dog meat that doesn't taste very good. haha To be honest I love all the food here. I love rice more than I ever thought I would. :D

* Did you celebrate the 4th of July at all?
Nope it was pretty much just another day. But that's all right I'm in the Philippines not America. :P

* Have you received my package yet?
I did actually get it today. :P I was supper excited.