Monday, March 30, 2015

Busy Week

Monday, March 30, 2015

Dear Everyone,

This past week has been super busy. We are just constantly going on exchanges and making plans ect. But we had a good week.

To start on Monday after I emailed we went bowling. haha That was the fun part of the week. We didn't get much else done but it was good. That night we also taught our investigator brother Ador. He loves our message and said he would get baptized if he felt our message was true. :D We are super excited for him but we still have a long way to go.

Tuesday we had exchanges and it was not good. I don't even know why it was bad. The exchange itself was fine. I was working with Elder Grimploma and he's a super cool elder. But their work was just hard. No one was home and then when we went finding, a guy told me he didn't know how to read when I offered him a pamphlet. But I'm pretty sure he did because he spoke good English. Another guy just walked inside his house and ignored us... It was an interesting day.

Wednesday was better we were able to teach some good lessons and I really liked one where we taught about the nature of God. We were teaching a Born Again, a Seventh day Adventist, and a Catholic. They asked about God’s name so I showed them some scriptures from Exodus and then John and explained to them how Jehovah and Jesus Christ are the same person. They really seemed to like it and it helped answer their question. We have not been able to teach them again but I hope we get the chance I liked the lesson.

Thursday was another hard but we made it though. Nothing too interesting happened though.

Friday was a fun day even though we had a bit of a hard time teaching. We taught a few lesson but then we had a ward family home evening that we had to go to. It was fun and they had a lot of food. :P But it was really interesting when they made the missionaries give the games. So we had to lead a big group of people in games. It actually turned out pretty good.

Saturday was still hard but we got thing's working. We taught Brother Ador again and cleared some things up for him and got him to commit to church the next day even though he had work. The best part is he came. :D

Sunday was a good day. Brother Ador came to church and everything was happy. :P We taught some good lessons and ended the week on a good note.

For today we had a zone activity earlier this morning and it was awesome. We got permission from President Balledos to watch "The Best Two Years" and it was awesome. We also played a little dodge ball and some other fun stuff but all in all it was just a good time. Later tonight we are going to San Fernando for a leadership meeting so that should be fun. But that's for next week.

That's all for now. mahal kita!!!

Elder Christensen

Excerpt from Letter to President Balledos

As for my studies this past week I have been reading from John. I read chapter 14 this past week and I really like Christ's teaching about prayer. He first states in verse 6 that he is the way, the truth and the life. No man cometh unto the father, but by him, establishing our reliance on the Savoir in our lives. But then in verse 13 he makes it clear that we are to ask for things in his name meaning when we pray we pray to God the Father in the name of Jesus Christ. After which he describes how we receive his spirit or answers to our prayers by simply stating "if ye love me, keep my commandments and I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever." So if we desire the Holy Ghost we must first ask in the name of Christ and then keep the commandments which Christ himself has given us.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Exchanges and Work

Monday, March 23, 2015

Dear everyone,

This past week has been pretty crazy. It's always interesting to adjust to a new area because you need to learn so much so fast in order be effective here. But it's been good. So to start last Monday we visited our bishop and got to know him a little better. Iit took a lot of our time but we did alright.

Tuesday we had exchanges with the Irisan Elders. I was with Elder Abad. It was a good exchange. I helped him learn a few tricks. Nothing super crazy really happened though. We did have a PEC with his bishop and his bishop is super... intense but funny. It was interesting.

Wednesday we just went to work. We have been doing a lot of finding in our area because we are a little short on people to teach sometimes but all in all we have been doing pretty good there.

Thursday we did about the same. But Friday we taught a nice part member family. We took Elder and Sister Brown with us. They are the couple missionaries assigned in our mission and they are currently assigned in La Trinidad. Anyway we taught this family and I found it really interesting to teach in English for the first time in a long time on my mission. They all understand it very well and Elder and Sister Brown don't know Tagalog. It was interesting to say the least. haha

Saturday we took Elder and Sister Brown with us again and taught a different family that I really feel for. They have a son in law who just passed away last January because of a car accident. He left 4 small children, 3 boys and 1 little girl. The oldest is 11 and the youngest, the girl, is 9 months old. We haven't had the chance to meet the mom yet but we are teaching the grandfather who is a retired principal. They are having a hard time right now and I just want to help them out. But it was a sweet lesson the other night all about eternal families.

Sunday was good. I felt the spirit a lot but nothing super crazy happened... except at our last appointment with one of our recent converts. They had a clarinet, and they let me play it!!! haha It sounded really bad because I haven't played in so long a time. But it was fun to play around with one after so long. haha

Well that's all for now. Mahal kita at ingat kayo lagi

Elder Christensen

Questions from a Separate Email

* What is your companion like?

He is interesting to say the least. The more I get to know him the more I'm surprised. haha I like him but he is a little off the wall sometimes. He’s from Manila so he's pure Tagalog and he is trying very hard to pick up English while he is with me. He's 26 and he has a funny high pitched voice. We all call him "Master" Pandi because he was into mixed martial arts before the mission but he's gained a lot of weight since then and we just laugh about it with him. :P

* What are your responsibilities as a zone leader?

Well I have to handle all of the people's problems in the zone so we just stay busy. We have to plan zone activities and they always want a zone t shirt so we have to do that as well. haha It's a lot like being a district leader just on a bigger scale.

* You said it is like being a district leader... What are the differences?

Well the difference is I don't give workshops every week I only do it once a month and I have more meetings with the mission now. there's just more responsibility to be an example now.

* Do you go on exchanges with the other elders... Are you trying to help train them when you do? How does that work?

I will be going on exchanges almost every week for the rest of my mission... as long as l'm a zone leader for the rest of my mission.. But we do that a lot. We do it to help them if they are struggling or having a hard time. We also go with the DL's in our zone because we should. It’s just to help and in a way yes it's to train them on how to do it all the right way.

* How are you adjusting to being in the mountains again?

It's cold but it's getting hotter because it's almost summer in the Philippines so that's good. All in all I'm adjusting fine. I'm just very tired all the time but I think that has less to do with being in the mountains and more to do with the fact that I've been out for so long.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Birthday, Manila, and Transfers

Surprise Birthday Party
Monday, March 16, 2015

Dear everyone,

This week has been the longest week of my mission. It feels like it's been a month since I last emailed so much has happened.

To start last Monday night we had an FHE planned with sister Flory aka Mommy. We thought it was going to be small. Just us with her husband and daughter... It was not small. It was half the branch at our house because we share it with Sister Flory. It actually turned out to be my birthday party that they planned behind my back. haha It was a ton of fun though and I'm very thankful that it happened. You can see what happened by the pictures. It was pretty crazy. [See a lot more pictures at the end of this entry.]

Some of Brian's Favorite Investigators
Tuesday was my last day in Naguilian and we just worked hard the whole day. I said some goodbyes and then we had another small FHE with Pepito family. They were super sweet and it was sad to say goodbye but that was the end for me in Naguilian.

Wednesday morning I was packed and I got on a Partas bus going to Baguio because I am in La Trinidad. It’s not technically part of Baguio but it's so close we count it as such and it is cold here. haha I took an ice shower the first morning because the heater was broken and it was cold. But it was a good experience. We fixed the heater now. :) When I got to my new area we just went to work and it was good. Oh and so I don't forget HAPPY BIRTH DAY ADAM!!!!!!!!!!!! I remembered the whole day. ;)

Brian's New Companion, Elder Pandi
Thursday was the only really normal day of the whole week. I got to know my companion a little better. His name is Elder Pandi. He is from Manila and is 26 years old. He’s an interesting guy to say the least but I like working with him. To be honest being a zone leader is not all that different than being a district leader. The only difference is that your companion has to help you because he is also a zone leader. :P I like that.

Friday was my birthday. I am now legal... in the states. I've been legal since I got to the Philippines because here it's legal to drink and smoke when your 18... but that's beside the point. :P Friday was interesting that night. Nothing crazy happened in the day but that night I did not get any sleep. The reason is I, along with 4 other Elders had to get on a bus at 2:00 AM going to Manila. They needed us to go get our finger prints done so that when it comes time to leave the Philippines I can. :P It was a very long night, and I had no sleep for almost 40 hours.

Back in the Mountains Again
Saturday we got to Manila around 8:30 AM and we just stayed at the MTC for a while doing paper work. It was fun to see so many missionaries from so many different missions because there were tons. We had 60 from our mission and then there were a ton from all the other missions too. It was crazy but they got us all taken care of. On our way back we stopped at Subway because they have one in Manila and it was awesome. :P Then we had another super long bus ride back. Yuck. haha

Sunday was a good day. I met the ward members and that was nice. Nothing super crazy happened on Sunday though. I was just super, super tired. :) But it's all good. I got this. Well that's all for this week. I love you all a ton and hope you are all doing well. Oh and one more thing. I just want to give a BIG CONGRATS TO MY BIG SISTER ON HER ENGAGEMENT!!!!!!!!! yan lang. :P

Mahal kita!!!

Elder Christensen

From a Separate Email

* What did you think of Katie’s announcement?

I'm still trying to process it. :P It's way cool but I'm still waiting to meet the man in person. haha. I'm excited though because the only thing I need to know it that it's in the temple and that makes him a good guy. haha but I still want to me him before he marries my sister. :P

* [Comment Brian sent back in response to this picture of Adam's "test" for Wesley, Katie's fiance'.

hahahahahahahahaha I'm so sad that couldn't come and have my own arsenal for him haha. That's awesome. That puts my mind at ease knowing that he is passing all of your tests for him. :P

* How big is your zone?

Well we have two chapels, but it's not super big. It's just super densely populated.

* What cities are included in the zone?

La Trinidad is the biggest then Gesad. But I don't think Gesad is a city, nor do I think I spelled it right. :P

Excerpt from Letter to President Balledos

For my personal study this past week I was reading in Ether 12. I was impressed with how much it relates to Hebrews chapter 11. I marked every time it said the word faith. Time and time again it gives examples of what can be accomplished by our faith. And in every example I was coming to the same conclusion that if we want a miracle in our life we need faith. But more, we need faith without doubt because the minute we doubt our faith that is the moment we need it the most. I hope that I can develop this kind of faith without doubt so that I can bring miracles into my life and the life of those around me.

More Pictures

Karen Joy, Reading her Braille Book

Saying Goodbye to Some Favorite Investigators

More Pictures from the Birthday Party

Surprise Birthday Party

Brian; Next to Brian is Sister Flory "Mommy"

Birthday Packages from Home

Sister Flory Smeared Cake on Brian

Surprise Birthday Party

Surprise Birthday Party

Surprise Birthday Party

Surprise Birthday Party

The Young Women, including Sister Flory's Daughter

Monday, March 9, 2015

Exchanges and The Call

Monday, March 9, 2015

Dear Everyone,

This past week has been a little bitter sweet. But all in all it's been good. To start last Monday was just normal P-day. I washed my clothes; we went to the market and bought our food; etc.

Tuesday we had exchanges with the other elders in our house. I was working with Elder Marsh in my area. We had a good time and got some good things done. That same day for district meeting we had a lesson on the talk "Beware of Pride" it was really good and humbling. haha. :) I would recommend giving it a read.

Wednesday was pretty normal. Nothing too crazy or out of the ordinary happened. We just worked and worked some more. But I do have to say that I'm learning how to cook… a little. hahaha. I'm learning how cook right now it's going pretty good. :P I also just asked Mommy's daughter to write down all the recipes she knows in a journal so I can make some cool stuff when I go home. :D.

Thursday was kinda just normal nothing really happened. But that night I did have a nasty head ache. :/

Friday morning I found out that I had missed a call from President Balledos so I was like "well that's not good" and gave him call. It was interesting because he let me know that I'm being transferred because I have a new assignment. Next transfer I will be a Zone Leader but I still don't know where. He wouldn't tell me where though... haha So bitter sweet feeling right now because it's time to move on but I really love this area. So far I would say that Naguilian is my favorite area so far on the mission. But it's all good.

Saturday was a pretty hard day as well we just couldn't seem to get anything going. Sunday on the other hand was a pretty good day. We worked with some members and got some good lessons. All in all it was a good way to close our week.

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

Elder Christensen

Excerpt from the Letter to President Balledos

For my personal study this past week I read from John. I read chapter 3 and 4. I really liked Christ's reference to living water. He invites us all to drink of his gospel and words. The promise I find is that if we live Christ’s teaching we will never be unsatisfied with our lives because we know who we are, where we come from and where we are going. We have direction and we need not thirst because we have all we need. That’s kinda what I thought about as I read that.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Exchanges and Work

Brian has a Goat
March 2, 2015

Dear Everyone,

This past week has been and interesting week. We started off with a family home evening at our less active’s house that was for his son's birthday. He turned 8 and we had a good time sharing it with him.

Tuesday was another good day for work. Nothing super crazy happened there. But sister Flory (our landlady) got sick and had to go to the hospital so we have been worried about here the past week. She's just been resting the past few days. She should be all right soon but we are a little worried about her.

Wednesday was a little bit different because we had exchanges with the zone leaders. I was working with Elder Harris in his area in Bauang. We had a really good time talking and teaching. We met an old American from Florida who was taught by the missionaries before. He had some interesting stories but he didn't want to listen again. All in all it was good time.

Thursday it was back to work in the area and we worked. We started teaching at new investigator this week that I really liked. It’s at the same less active’s house who had the birthday party. They brought his sister's brother to their house to stay for a while and he's super sweet. He has a birth defect so he is confined to a wheel chair and has not had an opportunity to get and education as much. He still super nice and understands what we teach. We just slow it down a little for him.

Brian Like the Cat's Eyes
Friday was pretty normal as well. Just taught some lessons and got some work done. Saturday was the same way. Sunday was a good day at church but it was probably the hardest day of the week for us as far was work goes. We just couldn't seem to get any good lessons in but it's all done and said so we move on and are happy. :)

That's if for now. Talk to you next week. :) Mahal kita.

Elder Christensen