Monday, September 29, 2014

Transfers to Naguilian

Edwin and Brian
Monday, September 29, 2014

Dear everyone,

This past week has been crazy but the past few days have been the most crazy. haha. So we last Tuesday we taught Edwin for the last time which was pretty crazy for me. I loved teaching him so much. He was so cool. But we had a great lesson and he committed to change his life around.

Wednesday we got the phone call saying I was being transferred. I took it pretty well. I felt like it was time. So I packed my things that night and off we went the next morning to San fernando. Transfers were great. It went pretty fast and now I'm in Naguilian. I love it here. My new companion is Elder Cabase. He is a Filipino from Cebu area. He is super awesome. He works hard and we are already like best friends. haha He's 22, and he's almost been out a year. The branch here is awesome too. They feed us almost every night. haha. But they work with us a lot to. It's so much fun.

Companion and Roommate
Brian, Elder Cabase, Elder Tupou
Friday we started working for real. We had a bit of a hard day because my companion doesn't actually know that much about the area because his companion before me didn't show him to much of it. It’s kinda a mess but it's ok because we are going to fix that. :) So we only managed to teach one lesson before we had to go to a missionary's farewell dinner/ family home evening. It was pretty fun.

Saturday we had a half day mission where all the members work with us for half the day. It was so awesome. We got to know our area better. It was a ton of fun. Then on Sunday we had 152 people at church which is a record for our branch. haha I just got here. :) I'm super excited to get to work here. After church we went to work and our branch mission leader came out and worked with us. This area is just starting to get moving. It's awesome. I have felt the guidance of the spirit almost every day. It’s so great.

Well I am very short on time so I will e mail you all next week. mahal kita.

Elder Christensen

Questions from a Separate Email

Brian's Comp and Roommates; Elder Tucio in Front
* If you have a new companion, please tell all the details about him

I do have a new companion. Elder Cabase (CA-BA-SI). He's way cool I love working with him. My first few days here have been so awesome. He's from Cebu area but he still knows Tagalog. We are having a great time together. He’s been out he's almost been out for a year. he's 22 and supper fun to work with.

* What was a time when you felt the Savior's love this week?

When I got transferred. It just felt right and then on the way to my new area I just felt good about it all. I don't know I feel like this is going to be one of my favorite times in my mission and I've only just started it.

* What was a fun/unique experience for the week?

Well we have had some Family Home Evenings here and they have been super fun. The members here feed us almost every night... haha I'm a little worried that I'm going to get fat but then again I don't know that I could gain weight even if I wanted to. :P Oh but there was a Jehovah's witness that came up to us yesterday and told me about how I didn't know anything about religion and I should study the Bible more because I didn't answer his question about what's going to happen to us in the new world after this one. I just had to laugh at it because you could tell that he only knew what his pastor told him. I felt kinda bad for him but he wasn't willing to listen to us, just tell us we were wrong.

Doctulero Family from Candon Zone

Monday, September 22, 2014

Two Exchanges and a Big Storm

Monday, September 22, 2014

Dear Everyone,

To start this past week has been crazy. We have had so many things going on at once that I can barely keep up with it all. It’s so crazy. But I'll start from the top. So on Monday nothing really happened after I e-mailed you.

Tuesday, we had exchanges but we had to have district meeting in Candon first because all the elders in my district didn't budget their money so they had to borrow some from the zone leaders... but we're all good now. We started our exchanges but Elder Chan had to take an English fluency test before we left and that took a long time. We finally got to his area around 5:30 pm. We still managed to teach one lesson and do some finding but there was just not a lot of time. It was still pretty fun though.

Wednesday we just closed one exchange and opened another with Elder Dodd. This time we worked in my area and we had a great day... ish. We started our really good with the Allinyado family. They are so sweet and looking for the truth. It was just a really good lesson. We worked pretty good the rest of the day but only managed to teach 2 more lessons because everyone we went to had something else to do. But it was really nice to talk with Elder Dodd, in English. haha. It was a good day.

Thursday, was another hard day for no apparent reason. People just don't want to listen to us. so we ended up walking around a lot that day.

Friday was when the storm hit. We walked through some water that came all the way up to my knees. That’s the highest I've ever seen it in my area. They said in Candon it got to people chests. Super crazy. We had to go home early and the power went out too. The power just came back on today so you know. Saturday we weren’t able to get to our area because there were no rides to or from the area so we had to stay in Santa Cruz. It was kinda lame.

Sunday we went to church and there were very few people there. Our branch president was there and that's what counts. :) We had a small meeting but we still had some investigators there. It was a pretty good meeting. And that brings us to now. Everything here is ok now it was just a little crazy the past few days.

Mahal kita!!!!

Elder Christensen

Information from a Separate Email

* I think transfers are coming up this week. Do you know how that will impact you?
Well you are right that transfers are on Thursday but I still don't know for sure if I'm going anywhere. I think I am though. I think I'm done in Santa Cruz but that's not for sure.

* Did you get hit by the typhoons from the last week? What happened?
Oh yeah we got hit. The power just came back on today and we lost power last Friday. :P that's fun. We have had to use candles in the apartment for the past few days. That’s been pretty interesting.

* Did you get the package from us? From Grandma Christensen?
I did get your package. Thank you so much. I have not however gotten the one from Grandma Christensen. :( maybe soon..

* What was a good teaching experience from the week?
Well the only one that comes to mind is the one I had with Elder Dodd on exchanges this past week. We taught the Allinyado family again. They are super sweet. When we taught about our purpose in this life I shared with them how important my family is to them and told them that families can be together forever. I hope it went well for them. We haven't been able to see them since than because of the storm but they seemed to like it.

* What was a unique/funny experience this week?
Well we had a huge storm and a bunch of trees got knocked over. I think that's pretty unique. I was wet for most of the week to. haha It's all good though. There were some pretty high flood waters but nothing serious, just to my knees in our area nothing got inside our house. :) Over all it was a good week. Oh we did have church without power though, and one of our investigators came too. We were so stoked. haha She is super sweet, Sister Jovi. I think I've already told you about her. But yeah that was pretty good to.

Excerpt from Letter to President Balledos
For studies this past week I have spent a lot of time in Jesus the Christ and the Book of Mormon. But I really liked a part in the book of Mormon. In Mosiah Chapter 5. It's all about taking the name of Christ upon us. King Benjamin explains that when we have Christ's name written on our hearts we will be called by him, meaning we are of his fold. He gave the example of a donkey who is driven from a herd because it belongs to the masters neighbor not to the master. so we need to truly become the people of Christ if we ever want to enter into his kingdom.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Puppies and Tri-Zone Conference

Monday, September 15, 2014

Dear everyone,

This past week has been pretty good, hard in many ways but fun in others. I've learned a lot. To start last Monday was pretty easy going. We taught one lesson to our less active but nothing else really happened.

Tuesday we had a district meeting which I thought went pretty well. The rest of the day was... slow. We got punted a lot which means a lot of walking. But it all works out.

Wednesday was when things started happening. That morning our "not dog" gave birth. We found her while she was giving birth to the last puppy. It was really strange... anyway she had 6 and 2 of them died right away. We had to leave so we told our land lord about it and went to Candon for our Tri Zone conference. The conference was awesome. I learned so much. I love listening to President Balledos. He is such a good teacher. After the meeting we got a ride home from President Balledos which was nice. But it was so late that we couldn't go out to work so we just stayed home and planned.

Thursday was a pretty good day but nothing super special happened. We just did a lot of walking and teaching. Friday and Saturday were pretty uneventful as well. We taught few lessons and nothing of interest happened. oh, except on Saturday we were walking past Edwin's house and it turned out to be his birthday. So they invited us in and fed us. It was strange because we just sat in the other room by ourselves and ate their food... in the dark because they didn't turn on the light... it was funny and strange.

Sunday was better than last week. I didn't dump the noodles in the sink this time when I made spaghetti. :) That was good. But while we were out working we got a call from the zone leaders telling us to go home right then and to tell my district to do the same because there was a bagyo coming. We [got in] and the bagyo (storm) came but it just rained really hard. Nothing major happened.

One sad note to add is that our "not dog" smothered one of her puppies last night during the storm. :( It was super sad to take it away from her because she was treating it like it was still alive..

Well on that sad note I guess I'll get off. Mahal ko kayong lahat! ingat lagi.

Elder Christensen

Excerpt from Letter to President Balledos
This past week for my studies I have been reading a lot from Jesus the Christ. I remember reading just recently about the 10 lepers who were all healed but only one of them turned back and gave thanks to Christ. When I read that I was reminded of the talk by President Uchtdorf about being grateful in any circumstance. Rather than being grateful for things, it is better to have a grateful attitude. That's what I'm trying to apply the most right now. To be grateful in spirit and not just for the nice things I have.

Monday, September 8, 2014

The Weeks Keep Rolling By

Monday, September 8, 2014

Dear everyone, this past week was pretty good as far as the work goes. We started Monday night with a great lesson with one of our less actives about reading the scriptures. It went well but nothing to exciting. 

Tuesday, was kind of a hard day. We ended up walking around most of the day because we got punted a lot by our investigators. Wednesday was a lot better though. We had exchanges with the Zone leaders. I was with one of my batch mate's Elder Bien. He's way good to work with. We taught some great lessons to our investigators. Every lesson we taught I felt the spirit just flow. We did get punted a lot still but we still had a great day. 

Thursday was another great day. We taught two new families. They were both very receptive to our message. We haven't been able to make it back to either of them but I'm excited to see what happens to them. 

Friday started really good with a great lesson. We invited them to be baptized and they declined because they want to read and pray about our church first which is a good thing. :) We plan to see them again on Wednesday. The rest of the day was long. We didn't teach anyone until the very end. But it's all good. 

Saturday was a good day too but only at the end. haha We taught a lot of lessons in quick succession right at the end and none at the beginning. But we taught the Doctulero’s that night and they came to church again. yay. I'm still super excited for them to come back to church. They are the sweetest family. 

Sunday was good because of church but it was full of hard things too. It started when I was making spaghetti for lunch and I dumped all the noodles in the sink... sad day. We moved on and went to work. We got punted all day. We taught our recent convert at the end of the day which was good. It ended on a good note it was just one of those long days. Also this morning Elder Karch and Elder Basan left the apartment because they got emergence transferred to Agoo so now it's just me and elder Mortel in the apartment. It's going to be an interesting few weeks the rest of this transfer without them. 

well that's all for now. Mahal kita

Elder Christensen

Questions from Separate Email

* How is your Ilocano coming? 
It's really not. It's kinda hard to stay focused on it because I know Tagalog and everyone here knows Tagalog. I'm still trying though. Maybe one of these days. 

* What was one of your memorable teaching experiences this week?
Well I really liked the lesson we had with one of our investigators. We taught them about prophets and then about the apostasy. They really understood it and the spirit was very strong. Later in another lesson with them we taught about Joseph Smith and invited them to be baptized. They said they needed to read and pray first but I'm still very excited for them. 

* What was a crazy, fun, or unique experience you had this week?
Well yesterday we were walking on the beach and I got mobbed by some kids. It was kinda funny but they wouldn't let go of my arms and I had to wait and answer all their question before I could go. It was kinda funny. That same day there was a dunk investigator who gave me a hug and told me he was gay... He also has a wife and children so I'm hoping that was just him being drunk... it was strange. Yesterday was a very strange day just to say the least.

Monday, September 1, 2014

House in the Bukid

Monday, September 1, 2014

Dear Everyone,

This past week has been awesome. I have had a great time. So to start last Monday we taught the Doctulero family again. It was a good lesson and the night was a pretty good night. But nothing crazy happened.

Tuesday, we went and taught the Viduya family again. They are super nice, and I really hope they progress. We also saw Shareen again. She is doing very well still, active and having a good experience with us. :)

Wednesday was a hard day for us. We went to all of our appointments and they just punted us all day long. It was a hard day because we had to walk around and we didn't get a lot from our work.

Thursday was a little better. Nothing too crazy but we taught Ira again. I gave her a notebook so she could take notes when we teach her because she wanted to take notes the first time. It was nice because she loved it and started doing some cray art in the front. It was fun to see.

Friday we taught a Born Again minister. He believes in the Book of Mormon but he won't read it... It's really strange. The rest of the day nothing really happened.

Saturday was why this week was awesome. We started in Casilagan. we went to Sister Jovi's house. She literally lives out in the bukid (field). She just has this random house with no power or running water out in the middle of the rice fields. haha It was crazy. It was really awesome though because we taught May and Joey there with her and gave them all IBD's for October 4th. I'm super excited for them even if I most likely won't be here for the baptism. It was way boss.

Sunday we only had Jovi come to church because May was sick and Joey didn't want to leave her alone with the 2 kids while she was sick. But it was still good to see her at church. That night we also taught one of less-actives who has 7 kids. The oldest is 8. It’s pretty fun but we taught her husband for the first ever. He’s supper cool. He's just so busy because he works all week to provide for his family. All in all it was a pretty good week.

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

Elder Christensen