Monday, August 25, 2014

Come and See

August 25, 2014

Dear Everyone,

This past week has been a pretty good week for me. Lots of cool things happened. So to start, Monday we went to Candon for a Zone Training witch was good. That night we worked in our area and ended up teaching a few lesson but nothing special happened that day.

Tuesday we went to Candon again for district meeting because President Balledos came and gave a workshop on "how to begin teaching." It was way good and after that we went straight to work. We had a pretty good day but it was kinda hard because we have a less active who basically told us he won't follow all the commandments because he doesn't think he can. I was so sad that he had given up the ability to change. But we will keep working with him. Don’t worry. :) We can help him anyway.

Wednesday, was a hard day up until the end when we found this new family to teach, the Fetalvero family. They are just really receptive and I think good things are going to happen to them. :)

Thursday we taught the Viduya family again which went very well. All in all it was just a good day. Friday was another pretty good day but nothing special really happened then ether.

Saturday was way boss. We started by going to Casilagan in the Morning. We visited May and her family and then found some new investigators. They are super sweet and all want to come to church. The only problem is that right now is a hard time because everyone is waiting for the rice fields to harvest so they can support themselves on it. But anyway, after that we skipped lunch and just kept working. It was great, hard but worth it because we got a lot done. We taught Edwin again and he said he wants to be baptized. But, we have a lot of things to work out with him first. But I really hope he puts forth the effort he needs to be worthy. To be honest we just got a ton done that day and it paid off because 3 of our investigators came to church yesterday and I am so excited for them. :) Nothing else excited happened on Sunday though but I was stoked for the people coming to church. :)

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

Elder Christensen

here's my letter to president. nothing confidential or anything like that this time so here's the whole thing. :)

Dear President Balledos,

This past week has been great. We have had a lot of success in our area. We are getting people to come to church and take steps to come closer to Christ. I have noticed that the Lord will bless us in our efforts when we are willing to make sacrifices for him. With that in mind I tried harder this past week to find ways to sacrifice my comfort or my selfish desires so that I can give more time to the Lord and his work. I feel like that has been the biggest difference in this past week.

Elder Mortel is great. I love working with him. He is willing to work hard with me and that really makes all the difference. I have no problem with this companionship.

As for my studies this past week I have been reading a lot from Jesus the Christ. I really liked the story of Peter when he asked his brother if anything good could come out of Nazareth in reference to the Savior. The response to his question was simply "Come and see." I have tried to extend this invitation from the Savior to all my investigators and less actives. To all their concerns, worries and complaints I tell them to "come and see" come and see if the Lord can't fix them. Come and see if our church really is the true church of Jesus Christ once again restored upon the earth. I have learned a lot and found this to be a much more effective invitation. Like you taught us last Tuesday, we need to establish our purpose and invitation on the first visit.

Thank you for all that you do. mahal kita.

Elder Christensen

Questions from Separate Email

* Who is the senior companion? Are you still district leader?
I have no Idea who you would call the "senior companion" because whether he is or I am we just treat each other as equal partners doing the same thing. But I am still district leader. This will be my 5th transfer as a District leader.

* Where does your companion come from?
He's from Oriental Mindoro, Philippines. He's pretty cool.

* What do you like about your companion?
He's willing to work hard with me. For example last Saturday we skipped lunch and just kept working and teaching. It was actually a really good day too. But that's what I like most is that he is willing to work hard with me.

* What are his strengths as a missionary?
He works hard. haha He is also a very good teacher. I can feel the spirit when we teach and it's pretty awesome. :)

* How are the Doctulero family progressing?
They are doing all right. The mom and dad stopped going to church but I'm hoping that it's just because this is the hardest month of the year for the Filipino people because they don't have any money until the rice fields are ready to harvest, which happens next month. That's also when the big fish start to come in to harbor.

* Will you tell us more details about May and Joey? and Brother Viduya?
May and her sister-in-law went to church last Sunday which is pretty awesome. They are super cool. Joey is very interested in our message but he had work so he couldn't come last Sunday. However they have 2 little girls, Jesamay and Jeramay. They are super fun to play with. Jovy is Joey's sister and she is also listening to us. All in all they are just a sweet family.

Brother Viduya is hard working. The past week he has gone without sleep for about 3 days just so he can catch fish and support the family. Every time we teach he tries his hardest to pay attention but he's super tired. He's a supper sweet guy with super hard problems. We are just trying to help him the best we can.

* Did you ever get Grandma Christensen's package with your hump day shirt?
I have not. I've asked about it and no one knows so maybe it'll be here soon. :)

Monday, August 18, 2014


Rainy Season
Picture Taken in July
August 18, 2014

Dear Everyone,

This past week has been pretty good. Tso start we had some pretty good lessons on Monday night but nothing special. Tuesday was pretty hard because Elder Alonzo was feeling pretty sick. So we only taught a few lessons. But it's all good.

Wednesday we taught Sister May again with her husband and her husband’s sister. haha They are super sweet. We taught them about Joseph Smith and committed them to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. The rest of the day was pretty routine. We taught some less-actives but that was about it.
Dragon Fruit and "It's Awesome"
Thursday was transfer day. So that morning Elder Alonzo left and I stayed with Elder Karch and Elder Basan. It was a pretty good day. We bought some dragon fruit and waited for my new companion. Elder Mortel. I like him. He's a Filipino. He's older than me and he's been in the mission longer too. He's pretty cool. I'll try and get a picture next week.

Friday was kinda a hard day. Everyone we went to was gone which was sad but we managed to find some new people to teach and they seem really interested. I'm excited to see how that all works out. :)

Saturday we taught May again but Joey was super sick. He has a problem with his back all the way down to his foot so it hurts to move. We were still able to teach them and we answered all their questions about Joseph smith and the Book of Mormon. They said they would come to church when Joey was feeling better. We are really excited for them. :D

Rainy Season--Notice How Deep the Water Is
Picture Taken in July, But the Rain Continues
Sunday was pretty good. It rained pretty hard again and we had to walk through the river... I mean street haha to get to our appointments. But we still had a good time. We also taught Brother Viduya for the first time and he was pretty interested. The only sad part is his wife and one of his daughters just went to Manila to work because they have no money. :( But we should be all right to teach the ones left at home. :)

Well that's all for this week. Mahal na mahal ko kayong lahat. :D

Elder Christensen

Additional Pictures

So one night we wanted to fry fish over a fire like our hot dog roast. So this is what we did. haha I feel like we do some really ghetto things here but it works. haha

Animal Planet and Living in a Zoo

The following pictures are some of the "animals" that Brian encounters at his home. Brian thinks they are cool, and his mom thinks some of them are gross.

So we have this dog that lives at our apartment that we can't get rid of. It's not actually ours but the owner who used to live where we live... It's interesting but she's really nice and going to have babies soon. But that's beside the point. Haha

Check out this bat that was flying around in our apartment. haha I caught it in a bucket while it was still flying. haha It was pretty awesome.

So we found this spider the other day in our apartment fighting the cockroach. Obviously you can tell who won. But I thought it was pretty cool because the spider is missing 3 of its legs but it still won. It was pretty boss. Hahaha

Monday, August 11, 2014

Another Week

Brian and Elder Alonzo
August 11, 2014

Dear Everyone,

This past week has been a good. I we didn't have anything crazy to eat this week... other than what we normally have. haha. We just worked. To start on Tuesday we had district meeting in Tagudin. After that we went back to our area and when we went to one of our potential investigators we were surprised to find one of our less-actives already there. It was a surprise member present. haha

Wednesday we had exchanges and I worked with Elder Almajeda. He is a really cool missionary. I had a really good time working in the area with him and getting to know some of the people there. We had a pretty good day.

These three girls stole my camera and took some pictures. haha
The one on the far left is Grace Doctulero,
The middle is Katherine Viduya one of our investigators,
and the one of the far right is M.J. Doctulero our less active family.
Thursday we taught another set of investigators for the first time and it was awesome because we taught them at the Doctulero house with almost their whole family. It was way cool. I felt like I was watching myself in The District [training movies for missionaries]. haha

Friday we taught one of our less-actives that randomly stopped us one night on our way home. He says he hasn't been to church for over 5 years. And that was only once. Before that it had been more than 10. But he says he really wants to come back. So we are going to help him.

Saturday was a good day. We went to Casilagan in the morning and taught May with her husband Joey and his sister. They are super good investigators. The only reason why they don't want to come to church is because they have a little born again church in their neighborhood that they could have to pass in order to go to our church. Everyone in their Brangay goes to that church, and if they do that [go to the LDS Church] their neighbor's will get mad at them. :(. We are going to keep working with them though.

Later that day we went to Dili but there was a birth day party so literally all the males there were drunk, including our less-active. :( It was fun because we talked with some of our investigators but we couldn't teach because they were all drunk.

Brian Crossing a Bridge in His Area
Sunday was all right we got punted a lot. But we did manage to get some good potential investigators by the end of it. Oh but funny story... We saw two other missionaries from another church. They went to the house of one of our investigators. But what was funny about it was when our investigator saw them she hid from them. Later her mom came over and basically told us that they didn't want to listen to them because they were listening to us. It was super awesome.

Well that's all for this week. :) mahal kita

Elder Christensen

Monday, August 4, 2014

Fire, ata ata, and my Year Mark!!!

Hot Dog Roast in the Apartment
Monday, August 4, 2014

Dear Everyone,

This week has been interesting to say the least. Food wise that is. It all started Monday night when we wanted to have a hot dog roast so we did. There's this little dirty chimney in our house in the back corner that just wasn't being used so we used it. haha We lashed forks onto the ends of sticks and roasted hot dogs and marshmallows. It was a pretty awesome night.

Tuesday was normal. We just went to district meeting and worked in the area. Nothing special really happened.

Wednesday we had exchanges. I worked in our area with Elder Naitoko. It was way fun. He's a brand new missionary from Tonga. We had a pretty good day all in all.

Thursday was my year mark! I can't believe I've already been on my mission for a year. It feels like I left yesterday. I don't know it's a strange feeling knowing I have more behind me than I do ahead of me. As far as the actual day went, it was pretty normal until that night when one or our friends had us come over and he fed us ata ata. Ata ata is basically just raw meat and poop juice. :P Literaly they took the tenderloin of a caribou and marinated it in the juices of the small intestine. Masarap! haha It really didn't taste that bad but it was interesting to say the least because it was cold.

Raw Caribou
Friday was a crazy day because we were so busy we just taught a ton of lessons that day. But that's about all that happened.

Saturday and Sunday kinda blurred together because we just worked in our area but nothing really happened. We are having a hard time getting investigators to progress. It's just one of those things. But we'll get back on it. :)

Well that's all for now. Mahal Kita.

Elder Christensen

Questions from a Separate Email

* How is the Doctulero family coming?
Well it's been storm after storm here. He wasn't able to go out to work so they didn't have any money to go to church this week. :( I was way sad but they are doing well all in all.

* Will you tell us about a special teaching experience from this week?
Well the only one that comes to mind is brother Dexter. He is a Seventh Day Adventist but he says he believes in what we are teaching him. I just liked teaching him because the spirit was pretty strong there.

Part of Brian’s Letter to His Mission President

Thank you so much for your letter [see below]. In response [to the question in the letter] I believe that conversion is a process and we will only be finished when we are finished with this life. I believe that to be converted you must show it through your thoughts and actions. A big test for that is what you do when you are alone or what you choose to think about. I feel that we are truly converted when continually strive to be more like Christ every single day, try to be more converted every day. For me I feel that to show my conversion as a "Baguio Philippines missionary" I need to be obedient. I cannot afford to be distracted or lazy here on the mission. I only have now and if I don't take advantage of it I will regret it for the rest of my life. I will always strive to change myself and become a new sanctified missionary.

Pictures from Last Week's Email about the Spider

Letter from President Balledos [It looks like he sent this to all the missionaries]

Dear Elder Christensen ,

What is Conversion?

In the Bible Dictionary it reads: “Conversion denotes changing one’s views, in a conscious acceptance of the will of God (Acts 3:19). If followed by continued faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism in water for the remission of sins, and the reception of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, conversion will become complete and will change a natural man into a sanctified, born again, purified person—a new creature in Christ Jesus (see 2 Cor. 5:17). Complete conversion comes after many trials and much testing (see Luke 22:32; D&C 112:12–13). To labor for the conversion of one’s self and others is a noble task, as in Ps. 51:13; Dan. 12:3; James 5:19–20; Alma 26; D&C 18:15–16.”

President Marion G. Romney, in an October 1963 general conference address, said the following: “It would appear that membership in the Church and conversion are not necessarily synonymous. . . Being converted . . . and having a testimony are not necessarily the same either. A testimony comes when the Holy Ghost gives the earnest seeker a witness of the truth. A moving testimony vitalizes (encourages, invigorates) faith; that is, it induces (brings, persuades) repentance and obedience to the commandments. Conversion, on the other hand, is the fruit of, or the reward for, repentance and obedience.”

How can one knows when he/she is converted?

The Book of Mormon provides descriptions of people who are converted to the Lord: They desire to do good. King Benjamin's people declared, “The Spirit of the Lord Omnipotent, has wrought a mighty change in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil [false traditions and belief], but to do good continually” (Mosiah 5:2). Alma spoke of people who “could not look upon sin save it were with abhorrence” (Alma 13:12).

From these revealed truths, what actions should you – a real Baguio Missionary be doing to show and manifest your own individual real conversion? Will you change your natural characteristics and behaviors into a sanctified, born again, purified person—a new creature [real Baguio Missionary] in Christ Jesus (see 2 Cor. 5:17)?

In closing the words from Preach My Gospel “You cannot convert people beyond your own conversion.”

The Savior Jesus Christ expects you and me that we become a sure witness “as sure as the Lord liveth, so sure as many as believed, or as many as were brought to the knowledge of the truth, through the preaching, according to the spirit of revelation and of prophecy, and the power of God working miracles in them—as many of the Lamanites as believed in their preaching, and were converted unto the Lord, never did fall away.” (see Alma 23:6)

Our Father in Heaven will bless you as you diligently labor with ALL your heart, might, mind and strength to be truly converted is my prayers for you, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Ps: Please send your response through your white letter. Avoid hitting the reply button. Thank you.