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Somehow, two years have passed. And Dallin will be flying back to the states on March 26th. It has been quite the adventure! I will encourage him to add his own summary when he gets back...(Living the good life in the Philippines, Quezon City North Mission. Entered the MTC in Provo on April 4, 2012. Flew to the Philippines on Sunday, May 13, 2012. What a great adventure! And what an honor to serve the good people of the Pines!)

Monday, May 28, 2012


Slimy yet Satisfying

Wheeew!!!! And that's a wrap folks!! (not to be confused with rap, cuz we haven't even started that yet!!) Week two, finished already? Yikes! Crazy crazy!
Ok, first things first, the answering of the questions. First and foremost, the comp. Yes, I realized last week that I never really got back to my comp. Sorry! So I'm prepared! Elder Quinney is from Far West Utah. He goes home in September. He is six foot and blonde. You will hopefully see pictures on here somewhere. Anyway. He is awesome!! His family is mostly inactive. He was as well until a few years ago, thanks to seminary, friends and his mother. He and his mom are active. He's a champ. He has a little brother that I think has been attending church, but is off at school now and not planning on a mission. His dad is also inactive. And he has an older brother in the air force who is...inactive. So. That's his fam. He's a champ. We have a lot of fun together. He cooks well, and speaks Tagalog champ style. Any other questions here?

And then, quickly with the TP. Well, no TP means....is this really something going in the email? Mum, maybe this is just for your knowledge and you can take this section out. Anywho. I was nervous about the process too when I showed up. But Quinney explained it and it's easy. Pretty much just like european style. We take a bucket and dump the water around back to clean out and debri. Then, a quick hand follow up to make sure it's good. A bit more water. Wala! Just wash your hands as always. Luckily, the hand never needs to do anything. It's all the water. So really it's a fine process. I just usually end up pretty wet in the process. Haven't mastered that just yet. 

No oven here. We have a mini....toaster oven? Maybe that's what it's called. But i've never used it. We have a little gas stove where we do the cooking. 

And frogs....all manner of frogs!! I've seen little ones, medium ones, and plenty of ginormous ones!! The huge ones I've only seen smushed. They don't hop around too much. But we disected a frog back in biology. I thought it was pretty big. Some of these are bigger! Ha, and no need to disect. Their insides all come out when their smushed!! One step disection!!! Ha, sorry, that's gross. Moving on!!!

I don't think there were any more questions. So I'll get to our week. It was a good week this week. I'm adjusting so it was excellent!! I am even able to pick up more words every day. Doesn't mean a ton makes sense just yet, but it's been better! And I'm getting used to things around here. It's starting to feel normal. Ha, besides the heat. Probably one of the most exciting things is that we went to Utah for a quick visit this week. Hopefully, I'll not need to explain that. But it was cool!! 

Of course, the biggest thing was Elder Nelson coming for mission conference. That was sooo cool! The entire mission doesn't gather often, so when it does, it's quite the occasion. He was fantastic. Gave a wonderful talk and I got loads of notes. We all got to shake his hand and he looked me right in the eye. Pretty much looking down into my soul! It was awesome!! I got to see the two sisters I came out with and ask about their first weeks. Ha, sounds like I've had probably the best!!

We got fed by a few of the members this week. Bishop made us some killer food. Squid with one of the members last night. Some type of yummy root dish that they cook close to dutch oven style. It's all been very good! And of course, food at home with elder quinney is always good! Lots and lots of rice!! 

Quickly, before I forget, they gave us an address for packages and email, cuz it changed recently. I don't know if it's the same one I already gave you but here we go anyway:

Elder Dallin Christensen
Quezon City North Mission
P.O. BOX 1243
Quezon City Central Post Office
Nia Road, Diliman
1100 Quezon City 

Wow, I didn't email all that long ago. But since last time, we went to the temple. But not to go through this time. Every once in a while, we do a temple tour for investigators. Elder Quinney and I were at the first station that welcomed everyone and entertained them before sending them on to different stations to learn about the temple. That was a fun experience. 

We have about 5 investigators right now. That has been really cool! Sometimes we have a hard time meeting with them. But we've been putting in good work! We have a ton of less active families. They are great too! 

Yesterday was stake conference. The mission president and a general authority came. I didn't understand most of the things said, because of the Tagalog, but the president spoke english, so I enjoyed his talk!! 

This morning, we helped a lady move houses. Yikes. She was moving about an eighth of a mile. Not bad except that you have to carry everything. Whew!! Lets just say I'm sweaty!! 

Thank you father, for the figuras. I've been using them! They are fantastic!! And I've had a little time to read through the talks. Those are simply fantastic! Thank you thank you!!

Love the kids here!! They are always excited to see us coming! They are a lot of fun to "attempt" to talk to!! Ha, they are great!!

Anyway, I don't remember anything else huge since I emailed last. A ton of good hard work, a lot of yummy food, lots of rain, a few blessings, and lots of Tagalog! That's mostly it I think. I'm going to attempt to send some pictures. But things are good here. We've got a lot of work!! And the work is going well!! Thank you for everything!! Send Elder Newman some love before he goes!! Sorry to here about Jannie, but she's dope! I wish here the best! Thanks again!! Love you all!!

Much love,

Elder Christensen

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Johnny on the spot, the oval office, the think tank!!

Well hello hello, all of you happy people!!!

I suppose this means week one is down and out for the count!!! KO'd! Well, I'll be honest, it's been a veryyyyy long week. Which technically means it was a very long weeeeeeek. I'll get back to where I left off last week I suppose. Now, all person's living or dead that are reading this hereby must acknowledge the fact that some events may and in fact probably possibly will be slightly dramatized or exaggerated for the benefit of who knows, and also, due to time and a slightly forgetful memory, partially brought on by extreme heat and excessive Tagalog, there may be some events that are left out. My apologies to all.

So on day one here in my lovely new home, I was unleashed upon the poor unsuspecting people with one of the ZL's. We hit up the computers and did email. That was where we talked last. Afterwards, we went down the street to....the mall. WHAA? Yep, stepped inside and besides the guards carrying AK-47s and the many philippinos, it could have been the US! It was huge, it was full, it was cold, it was homeish. But we didn't stay long. Printed off some pics and hit the pavement. We went and said goodbye to all of the families he'd been teaching because he was getting transferred. That was cool. A good intro to Tagalog. I got to say a little, but there wasn't much I could say. I mostly listened. And, I understood....nothing!!!! AHHH! But it was still fun. The Elder in question was Elder Jolley. The guy is a total boss. He was way nice to me and everyone we met. He would push tricycle drivers uphill when they were struggling. And he bought me a few treats. Welcome welcome little elder. Favorite, hands down, buco juice!! Tis coconut juice with little coconut floaties in it. MMM boy. Yes please!! At the end of the day, I went back to the Mission home and had dinner with the AP's and the mission president and his wife. We were then released to prepare for bed. Wonderful shower!! There was a fantastic thunderstorm. And then I clocked out. Hardcore. Morning came and with it came breakfast, and a quick meeting with the AP's. An interview with the mission pres. And then off to transfer meeting!!

My comp is none other than one of the former AP's! Elder Quinney. They told me as soon as I met him that he was coming back into the field to be a trainer. I thought he was dope, so I hoped that he'd be my comp. But there were a lot of new missionaries, so who knows. But yes, he and I have been assigned together. Being as he's my trainer, we have at least 12 weeks, or 2 transfers together. But, he's only looking at 4 months left in the field, so I might be with him til he goes. But who knows??

Anywho, this man is very much an American. Comes from Bountiful Utah. The guy is a champ. Speaks Tagalog like a boss. Studies like a boss. Works like a boss. Helps me out....like a boss. But we'll talk more about him as the email goes on. Lets keep up with the story!

So we right after transfer meeting, we pulled our 4000 pesos out of the bank for our next 2 weeks or so. Then we loaded up in jeepneys and headed out to our area. We are assigned in Ampid, in San Mateo. Tis a niceish area. We have an apartment with a philippino companionship. Elder Batan and Elder Genada. They are pretty cool, but it's hard to communicate with them. The apartment, is....well, perspective. Before I came out, I would have said it was decently lame. The screens don't all close all the way, so we've got a lot of mosquitoes and a few cockroaches. We have a couple of little lizard friends too. I don't know if that's on account of the windows or the fact that the doors don't reach all the way to the floor. Oh well. The water at first, had a leakage problems in the shower head of the other companionship's bathroom, and in order to not have the water bill through the roof, we had to turn the water off using the main line shut off most of the time. Annoying. Elder Quinney and I sleep on little mats on the floor. No shower, fans only, and at the first, no food!! Hm. Issue. Well, after a few days we figured out the water problem, so we can leave it on all the time now. Usually. They are doing construction on the back of our house and the workers shut it off sometimes. Oh well. No shower. We use buckets. At first I didn't like it, but now, i'm thinking that's how I'll do it when I get home too. It's not bad and it saves water!! Fans instead of AC. NOOObody has AC! Tis the way of the Philippines. And as I've adjusted to the heat a little, a fan is all I need. They are amazing!! And after a few days of almost fasting, we did hit a store and fill the place with food, so that problem is solved too. Not bad at all!! So the house is just great! The only problem is that it's not in our area, so we have to do a bit of walking just to get to the area. But even that problem is fixed because we found a new place in the middle of our area and we'll be moving in soon. So, all is well.

As far as things go here. The last elders in charge of our area were a slight bit lazy on the area book. So we showed up and had some names for investigators and less actives and such, but no addresses and the notes for teaching were practically non-existant. So the first two days or so, we just went out and found people. That actually ended up being very successful! After lunch on day one, we were walking down a street. Everyone calls out to us, usually hey joe, or what's up man, or what's your name. But this guy said hey elders! So we went to talk to him. Usually if they know you're elders, there is something different about them. This guy was a tricycle driver. He'd talked to the other missionaries a couple of times and he new one member. So we found their house. The Marzan family. Their son was home and took it upon himself to be our tour guide for the rest of the day. We met a lot of members! It was awesome! Day 2, the ward mission leader came and worked with us. We went and found a lot of less actives and some other members. We pretty much scoped out the whole area. There are a few families that are well off out here. And of course, when I say that, I mean their houses are as nice as our missionary apartment or maybe even a little nicer. But for the most part, not nice. Most of the homes here are like children's backyard forts. Take plywood, some metal scraps, maybe two by fours if you're lucky and throw it together. A lot of houses are made from just cinder blocks. They just do not have much here. It's so crazy. The people are soo humble. But most families still offer us something when we come. It's amazing to me. They're so poor. Luckily, there are some amazing places near us for groceries. There are some walmartish stores. Not nearly as nice but still pretty good.

But we found some new investigators right off. That's been nice. But for the most part, we are trying to work with inactives and less actives. There are a lot of those. It's still beastly hot here! We walk a lot of miles in the day to talk to people. But our message for the most part is well received. We went to church sunday, and were the first ones there. The chapel is actually pretty nice. But no one showed up til about game time. And the bishop had the key to open the place up and he was way late. Church actually started about 30 minutes late. But we introduced ourselves to the ward. That was nerve wracking. Except that we'd met a lot of them already. The members are very willing to help out with missionary work. We have a lot of youth that are ward missionaries that will come out and work with us. That's been awesome!

We had our first good rain on sunday. When it rains here, it rains hard! The rain comes down soo thick! It didn't rain for more than 30 minutes, but it filled the streets with several inches of water. Flooding the sidewalks. The umbrella keeps my head dry, but the rest of me got soaked! But, I'm such a child that it was just fun!! Ha, I was laughing the whole way through the streets. We had a meeting after church and then we went to visit different people. A lot of walking in the rain. It was soo fun!! Loved it! It rains every day, but nothing else too big yet.

We have one investigator that is our "full time investigator". He came to church sunday. I guess he's been coming for 2 years. But no baptism? The members told us he had an issue with Joseph Smith. Ah, no problem!! We can handle that! We went to teach him yesterday. We had two ward missionaries come with us and one return missionary sister. Quite and army. The guy is a former preacher, judge, and policeman. Which I didn't register at first, but he's big into evidence and taking everything by the word. We started by watching a movie on the restoration. The spirit was so strong!! I felt like this would go way well! But ha, no. This guy just liked to argue. He had a big hang up because of one word in Joseph Smith history. Easy explanation, but he was so excited that he thought he'd found a loop hole in our doctrine that he wouldn't even let us talk. We just looped for two hours! He kept coming back to the same thing. We realized quickly that we were getting no where and he was just having fun arguing, but he wouldn't let us leave. It was really frustrating! So, that was probably the least favorite lesson so far. But it was ok, cuz we followed it up and ended the day with about 3 more killer lessons!! It's been awesome out here so far!!

Back to rain. Sorry this is so random, but there is a ton to write about and I'm just writing as it comes. When it rains, a ton of frogs hop through the street and a ton of them get run over!! It's like worms in Utah only they are frogs!! It's sad but kind of funny!!

I've seen a few rats out here. Kind of gross.

The people here throw trash everywhere. It's really sad, cuz they don't seem to care. It's a beautiful place but at the same time, it's so dirty!! But the place is awesome!! Picture Swiss Family Robinson! All manner of tropical trees and plants everywhere!! So cool! I'll get y'all some dope pictures as soon as I can!

Cats and dogs are skinny and yucky out here for the most part. Interesting side note.

Today we went to the temple. That was awesome!! Once a transfer we get to go. It was great! Really pretty small. But great. And in English! It was like being home. And one word: memorized!! Finally!! Anyway.

G-ma, thanks for the handkerchiefs. Never for the nose (gross!) but for the sweat, oh yes. Constantly keeping me dry!! Thank you!!

Hahaha, another interesting note: no toilet paper. But embrace the culture. That's all I have to say. And it's not bad. Moving on!!!

I love the kids out here!! They are all so fun! They want to speak English with you. But it's really fun to reply in Tagalog cuz they are always shocked! They will be the best teachers for a little bit. They speak simply. But they are still way above my level. I'm having the hardest time understanding out here. In the lessons, I can usually follow about 30%. But in everyday speech, I don't follow much. It's maddening. But it'll come. Only with the Lord's help. But it'll come!!

The food is great!! Lots of rice with random stuff. An egg and a hot dog with rice is not an uncommon thing to see. And surprisingly, it's good! Haha, I'll have interesting eating habits when I get home! Meat and rice though pretty much. OHHH!! There is a thing called Zagu!! Oh yes!! Soo good!! It's pretty much a smoothie. Love it to death!!

Elder Nelson is coming out to the mission on Friday!! WOOOHOO!! I'm way excited for that!!

Well, time is almost up I think, so I'll be closing up pretty soon. It has been soo amazing to hear from the fam!! I loved all your emails!! I'm sorry if I don't have time to reply to everyone, but there's a lot to say in my first email. So, sorry!! But going from tons of mail every day and email once a week, to no mail and only email once a week is quite a transition! So it was way nice to hear from you all! Thank you!! I will admit, I've been a little home sick this week. It's been a huge transition. Feeling like I don't understand anyone and everything is new, and it's always hot....it has just seemed sometimes like two years will be a very long time. Like that language will never come. And being so foreign here, well, it's easy for a chap to miss home. But don't you worry one bit!! The mission is going very well! That only happens when I have time to sit around and feel sorry for myself. Most of the time, we keep really busy and work hard!! And in PMG, somewhere it says something about the best cure for that is work!! And it's true!! I really am loving the work that's happening here! It's soo awesome!!! And the emails have helped! And the pillowcase is bomb too!! Thank you all!

So, even though yesterday's lesson with the preacher man kind of stunk, there was an upside to it as well. He questioned our beliefs a lot and the basis of our beliefs. He wanted to know how and why we believed. Was it just because all of our friends and family did? We told him we knew through prayer and the feeling that came along with it. He questioned that as well. How can you know based on feelings??? The man was frustrating!! But at the same time, it gave me a chance to look at it all. Think about what I know and how I know it. Tis a good thing!! I can tell you what I know, because I know it's true. There is no denying it!! "I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it". People I know can fall away from the church, and it would be a sad thing. But my testimony is not based on other people and what they know and say is true. My testimony is based upon Jesus Christ and His gospel. My testimony comes from a witness from the Holy Ghost! Not just a weird feeling in my heart or a made up thought in my head, but a pure feeling of peace and sureness through my whole being. I KNOW this gospel is true. There is no doubt in my mind. And no one can take that from me.

So there is always something good in a seemingly bad situation. Take that as your lesson from the field this week!! Anyway, I'll try to get emails to everyone, and if not, you'll be hearing from me again next week!! My p-day should usually be on monday. So be prepared!! And don't leave me hanging!!! Thank you all for the support!!! I love you all!! Take care!!

Much love,

Elder Christensen 

Saturday, May 19, 2012


Well, the baby's not here just yet. We aren't really leaving. Crazy thing is, I've already pretty much covered everything. I guess I didn't really talk a ton about this  last week on the phone with you guys. But I don't have my notebook here. Just my scriptures cuz I didn't know this would be happening. So I don't really know what I need to discuss. I guess I know of something that needs to be here that I talked about last night!! Thanks for the packages!! Mom and G-ma. It was the best!!! Soooo delicious!!! My district loved the chocolate covered strawberries. LOOOVED them!! And I did too. It was the greatest! Thank you!!! And I think I had two or three from the G-ma. Incredible! So thanks!! Pops, congrats on coming to know the word dope. I probably mentioned it, but it's a great accomplishment and it makes me pleased.
I suppose while we're here, back to the people. Soo poor! And this is in Quezon City. Very very poor. It's crazy!! Seriously. It's mad! I've seen poor people, and I've been expecting poor people, but it's just different to be here. And I'm sure there are far worse areas in the Philippines. I probably haven't even seen anything yet! It's a humbling sight. We have so much. We're so blessed!! I take a lot for granted. Ha, and I've only been here a little bit!! I don't know anything yet!! I imagine the next few weeks will be...enlightening. Humbling. Incredible. Difficult. Yep, definitely those things.
I'm excited!!! I hope this email doesn't sound down. I'm sleepy and rushed and just very new, but I'm still incredibly excited and very happy to be here! So....don't be fooled. Anyway. I think it is about that time for real now. Elder's gotta get their hair cut! So, back into the madness for me!!! I love you all!!!
Take care!!

Elder Christensen

"Welcome to Hell"

In case you didn't know, that is a quote from Ratatouille (no idea on that spelling).

Anywho, hey all!!! It was absolutely lovely talking to all y'all...yesterday? Two days ago? Eh, whatever. Sorry I was a little on the sleepy side, but still, that was awesome!! Thanks for your time! I love all of you!

So, news? Well, at this point, it is 2:15ish on Tuesday in the Philippines. I am alive!!! That's probably the best part. I don't know how much of me will be left when I get home. Just whatever doesn't evaporate, which might not be much. The plane ride was FOREVER long!! 11 hours to start us off. We stopped in Guam for about 2 hours but we couldn't get off the plane. So we just sat. I got in a little sleep, but not much. And then after Guam there were about 4 more hours of flight! Whew, the way was long!! It was super weird being without a comp. Super super. But we finally made it through. At this point, we were the only white people. Hold on, did I mention who "we" are? Sister Winger, Sister Garcia, and I. So we get through customs and there is this guy that starts waving at us through a window. Yeah, I know! Cool, white people! We decided not to pay any attention to him. We waited forever for our bags. Finally get them and head out and we're trying to figure out where to go. That crazy guy starts waving us over. Hm, sketchy. But we head in his direction. He grabs the sister's bags and starts heading. We get to a van and thankfully, the guy turns out to be our ride. He is really cool, but I didn't get all of his humor or quite all of his English. But he was awesome. We start driving.
Holy nuts!! OK, a few notes about driving here. The painted lines? Eh, purely decoration. Rule number one, fill the spaces. Rule number two, first come first served. Rule number three, biggest vehicle first. Rule four...well, I'm not sure. Pedestrians kind of have the right of way, but not really. Needless to say, it's a mad house!!! Completely insane!! People are swerving everywhere, closer than inches to each other. Bikes and motorcycles shoot through anywhere they can fit. People just walk in front of any vehicle they want. They figure if they put their hand out, it will stop. They don't care. They really practically have no rules!!! It was complete madness!! It took us a few hours to get to the mission home. It felt like about 6 at night. Looked like it could be too. But it was before noon. OH boy. We met President Sperry and his wife. They are pretty awesome!! Their house is very nice. It is pretty crazy poor here. Even when we were driving through the city. They just have places made out of garbage stacked up on top of each other. Made from rubble. Trash. And those will be built right up next to the nice buildings. It's weird. The mission home is nice though. We showed up and they gave us our rooms for the night. I get one all to myself. It's really quite nice! Way better than the MTC, except that it is hot!! Holy toledo, is it hot!! Thus, the subject line. Wow! We showed up in the Philippines at 6 in the morning! 6! And we arrived to a nice cool 86 degrees. In the morning!? AHHH!! It's gotten way hotter. The heat is crazy intense. I'm sweating my own thunderstorm over here. Anyway...
So we're in the mission home. I get to shower. Ah, amazing!! Got all nice and cleaned up. The AP's and some other office boys were there when I got all cleaned up. We had some awesome pizza. They said pretty much til I eat there again, it'll be rice. So enjoy it!! It was great. All the missionaries I've met are pretty cool. They didn't want us to sit around all day, so the pres. had the AP's drop me off with the zone leaders and the sisters headed out with some of the sisters. We're hanging around, seeing the work til later tonight. It happens to be their P-day, so I get to email!! Anyway, they took us to the mission office to meet up with our day-long baby sitters. I'm with four apartment-mates. One was in the district my teachers taught right before me, so that was cool! I'd heard about him from them before. And he's only been here about 6 weeks so he's pretty fresh. That's awesome. And, it turns out, one of the other guys was on the rangers team a year ahead of me. Elder Day. He was a keeper. So that was a really cool connection too!
It's been dope so far. We took a jeepney for a ride to get close-ish to their apartment. That was cool. We've run into a couple of bakla already (gays). The real ones get all the surgery to turn themselves into women. Problem is, for most, it's pretty apparent. And sorry, I can't help but add, it's gross!! Anyway, had a couple of them. Walked past a 30ish year old woman smaller than Stephanie. Crazy. But there is a lot of walking here. And it's dang hot. Wow!! A lot of people like to look at me. The white is weird, and the red hair is even better! It's like seeing a black guy in Alpine. Unless your last name is Whimpey, or your first name is Kaufi, it doesn't happen. It doesn't bug me. It's just cool!
I got to see the Elder's apartment. It's not bad. Pero, it's hot!! I expect to lose weight, if I can not eat too much rice. It's mad! Anyway, that's about it for now. These guys are about ready to bust. So far, I'm liking it here just fine!! I don't understand anything and I'm really sweaty, but it's pretty sweet. I'm spending the night in the mission home, but transfers happen tomorrow, so I'll get put with my trainer and get out to my area. But I won't be able to let you know about that until P-day probably so, maybe not til next Tuesday? I don't know. But that's what I'd expect!!!
Anyway, I love you all! Thanks for everything! Thanks for the speaking!! Take luck and take care.

Much love,

Elder Christensen

Friday, May 11, 2012

From Dallin's Mission President:

In summary, the very best way to send Dallin a letter is through the church pouch system via dearelder.com.  For other letters and packages the address is:

Elder Dallin Christensen
Philippines Quezon City North Mission
P.O.Box #1243
Quezon City Central Post Office
N/A Road, Diliman
1100 Quezon City

The U.S. Postal Service Global Priority Mail Flat Rate envelope is the preferred size of package for you to use.  PLEASE DISCOURAGE FAMILY from sending large, heavy packages or boxes with fedex, lbc, ups, dhl, etc because it will be the missionaries respsonsibility to pick it up from the mission office, pay the large duty and import taxes on the value of its contents, and transport it back to your area.  There are many malls and shopping centers throughout Metro Manila that carry most of the amenities the missionaries may need.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Pokey, pokey, poke.

Who's driving?????

Sometimes, I have no idea who it is, but whoever it is drives way too fast!!! The time here is fllyyying by!! 

Hello po lahat mga tao sa akin! That was originally English, but I figured I could put in a rough (and probably incorrect) version of Tagalog. Should hopefully say something along the lines of hello all of my people!! But then again, with this blasted language, I never really know!! :) At this point, I have about the language and grammar skills of a 2 year old. Na, that may be giving myself too much credit. More like a 17 month old. That's probably more appropriate cuz I figure there's more drool involved at that age and slightly less understanding. Yes!! Anywho....

Enough rant on language. It has been such a very fabulous week!! Fabulous indeed! Pero, first to answer a few things regarding my mother. You did not mention that the D. Belnap meister burger was headed out to Colorado!!!!! Money money!! As far as I knew, he was still waiting around for the call!! Woohoo!! Salu-salo!!! That's awesome!! Good luck to that man!! Much love!! Mom, congrats on your country song listening. It is good for your salvation, I'm sure. But that's my gospel, not THE gospel. So. Anyway. THANK YOU for the packages and letters!!! Two lovely and delicious packages this week. I can't divulge names on here, far too risky that they could be compromised! But to my agents out there, thank you sooo much!! The package (wink) was received and the goods (nod) were delivered to all in the "zone" (raised eyebrow, slow emphasis on zone). No but really. Loved the packages and all of my compadres in the zone loved them too!! Haha, I still have contents to be consumed because we can't keep up. You're doing an excellent job of keeping us well stocked!! Thank you thank you!! And I got a great batch of letters this week!! Fantastic!! I loved them all!! Sorry to anyone that I have not been able to write back, I will attempt to repent (pagsisisi?) today. But I love all the news and words of goodness from home!! After a long day of getting wrecked in class, it is sooo great to get some mail! Thank you all!!! And a big gold star to my man Pop's for his correct usage of the word dope in his letter! As a matter of fact, I believe it was the last two letters!!! We all had a good laugh!! Thank you Pops! And Mum, good work on picking up on the Dr. Hibbert business :) That also caused some ripples of joy. I think that takes care of responses. Maybe. Siguro. Pero anywho, we'll get on to the main event!! (followed by the epic music from Hercules!)

As you mentioned momma about how annoying it is to forget what you want to email about, it is so important to write things down!! And sometimes I remember, sometimes I don't. But we'll start with the things I did write down. 

Firstly, about a teacher here. Matthew, correct me if I'm wrong, but is there or is there not a buddy of yours with the last name Ah Mu? Ahmu? Or something like that? I thought there was. And scotty, you ought to have an Ahmu/Ah Mu in your ward. He says you're in his ward. Look for him. The guy teaches here and taught my class this week. Anywho, Matt, if I am correct about your buddy, he is related to the guy in Scott's ward. Just a small world story.

I ran into Sister Reyes this week!!! It was so cool! Elder Grigg and I were headed to put in a quick call to our Branch President, we turn down one of the hallways with important offices to important people and BAM!! Sister Reyes sitting in a chair. The man of the family was just inside the door talking to someone, so I saw his back. But I got to say hello to the lady of the house. That was cool! I love them!! Super awesome!! So that was very nice!!

Also, once again with new missionaries came new Elders from Lone Peak! Ah, it's super nice to see those Elders, even the ones that I don't know well. There are tons of Elders here from Lone Peak. I'm sure I'm forgetting a bunch, but Elder Beck is in and wait for it.......Elder TIM CLARK!!! Yes indeedy! I'm leaving a fireside and this amazing man walks right in front of me on the stairs. Could hardly believe my eyes. Fantastic luck!!!

And now, for a funnyish story from the week. Oi Pai, you always talk about having your first language dream. Well I've kind of had it now. It didn't come on account of knowing the language, but more from having this particular bit of Tagalog in my head over and over and over. And this is all incorrect, but it counts!!! Anyway. Tis a funny story. So, the word for thank you is Salamat. Learned it day one and put it in to practice. So, I have this dream. We are now doing magic with wands in the MTC. I was having an epic Harry Potter vs Voldemort style battle with a wicked looking man. We were diving and jumping all over the place, ducking behind walls, pillars, posts and doors to escape the curses we're sending at eachother. The kill curse from Harry Potter was changed in my dream to Salamat. So we were screaming that back and forth at each other in an epic battle attempting to kill one another! We were doing all kinds of damage to the building but never got each other. So, it's hardly Tagalog, and it's completely being used wrong, but it was there! Ha, it's been rather amusing for me to think about. Thank you!!! No thank you! I thanked you first!! AHHH, thank you!!! Anyway. The things that entertain a young missionary.

Of course, the big news of the week is that I have my flight plans!!! For any that don't know, I'm out this upcoming Sunday the 13th! I'm suuper excited!!! On the downside of things, Dr. Hibbert has been having some passport issues. We've been back and forth all week with them. Apparently they never got his passport, and they just realized it might be important to let the man know. So we got him applied for one. They said if that gets back around tomorrow or Thursday, we should be able to still have him leave with my little group on Sunday. But if not, he'll be delayed. So we've got our fingers crossed!

This week, our teaching went better. We were able to understand more and come up with more things to ask and to say in the moment. So we were feeling bad at the language, but at the same time, that we are doing OK. Feeling pretty good. Even though we stink. If that makes sense? Pero, then we had to take some final assessments yesterday. Hahahaha, grawbe!! Can you say humbled? There was a grammar one that was multiple choice. Yeah, 43%. Oh boy. But that was OK! It was the spoken one that destroyed me. You'd have 30 seconds to read the scenario on the computer and then you speak into a mic and answer in Tagalog as best as you can. It sounded easy enough. But it was absolutely crazy!! We don't really get graded on it, they just want to see how we do. My teachers will listen to it later. But oh man. They will probably cut the pilot program after they listen to mine. It was soooo bad!! I'm still sure the language will come, but boy, I stink at it!! Needless to say, I have a lot of work to do!!

We had some excellent firesides this week. On Sunday, after the fireside, they play movies in different buildings. Some are talks, but they'll have one church film. It was the Joseph Smith movie again this week, and I had to watch it. It is sooo good!! It really helps you feel the spirit, appreciate Joseph Smith, and know that it's all true!! I just love that movie.

But probably even better than the firesides. Two nights in a row, after coming back from class, we've had a few missionaries in my room and we'll just be talking. And the conversation both nights has gone super ultra spiritual. We've talked about a lot of different things and the feeling of just pure awesome amazingness in the room has been, well,...amazing!!! Never before in my life have I been able to have situations like that. When my companions and I are able to sit and just talk about gospel things and what we're doing in our lives and bear testimony and have the spirit be with us in such an apparent manner!! I have loved it. I love being here with all these worthy, amazing missionaries that have the desire to go and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with others! It's so incredible! You never have to question a man's worthiness and they are always ready and willing to use the priesthood. We've had several more blessing this week, given for various reasons. Being here has strengthened my testimony of priesthood power and the power of the Holy Ghost. It's helped me to see how important it is to always be living in a way that allows the Holy Ghost to be with you and to be worthy of using the priesthood. What blessing the gospel brings our lives!!! And that's what everyone here is so excited to share with the people of the world!! Ah, it just makes me excited!! Pasensya, I could go on and speak forever, but my faithful comp has reminded me that we have somewhere to be. So, I must be off.

Well, I don't suppose I have to tell you that I love it here!! But I do!! I'm stoked to get out to the Philippines!! I love you all!!! Thanks for the love and support!!

Next week, I'll be tuning in from the Philippines!!!! Woohoo!!!

Much Love,

Elder Christensen

Monday, May 7, 2012

Happy Mother's Day Snail Mail and PICS! :)

My very most dearest mother,

This letter is just for you!  Tis Mother's Day coming up!  Happy, Happy, Masaya, Mother's Day!  HAPPY DAY MOMMA!  (Written very artistically across almost half the page :) )  Wow, that took up a lot of space.  Pasensya.  I love you mom.  You are for sure the best mom in the world.  I miss your cooking.  Whew.  the MTC food has nothing on you.  Besides not being nearly as yummy as yours, let's just say it does some funky things to the digestive system!

Missions surely bring up many reasons to appreciate a momma.  Must be why most RM's are such good friends with their moms.  I just thought it was because they were righteous.  But you come to realize how much moms do for you!

Thank you so much for being such a wonderful mom.  It's good to be able to have a mom as a best friend.  And even as I've been away, you've taken great care of me.  So many packages, letters and emails!  Thank you so much!  That is always my favorite time of day!

I've always considered the missionaries to be the strippling warriors.  Taught be their mothers.  Well, that's me now.  Out here, doing work, taught be my momma (with a little help from dad, but it's mother's day, so we're not going to talk about him now, are we?).

I love you momma.  I appreciate the things you do for us.  Sorry things may be a little tough while I'm out, but I'm here for a a most excellent cause.  It's so worth it.  And I'm having a blast out here!  I love the Elders I'm with!  More every single day.

So I took a break to to to gym and such.  Got some news.  So, flight plans are in.  I leave on the 13th!  Unless I'm mistaken, that's Sunday and mother's day.  Flight leaves Salt Lake at ____.  Be in Los Angeles from then until about 10:35.  So, I could probably do a call then? Straight from there to Manila.  I think my little flight group is the only one that doesn't stop in Taiwan first.  It's weird, but I think it'll be nice.  Anywho, main points:  I'm leaving!  And I should have a call that day sometime between 6ish and 10 pm.  Mabuti?

Anyway.  That is mainly it.  Sorry to take up Mother's day letter space with news, but it is mother's day related and should be good news.

But I love you momma!  Thank you for being the best mother in the world!

I love you the very most, plus one.  And, by the way, I've still got my invisibility x-ray specs on me.  :) See you!

Much love,

Elder Christensen

Tis a little early, but better early than late!

Then he drew a stick figure picture of himself being fat!  Hahahahahaha.

Oh P.S.  Remember (name removed to protect the guilty) wrestler from _______ that stalled me out and won by 1 point every time?  Elder Kohler from Wasatch is a state champ and he kicked _______'s pwit!  Woohoo!  I love him! :)  Probably not good from your missionary son, but I couldn't help it.  Been bonding with a few wrestlers from the zone.  Sorry.  Love you!!! :)

Ok, now for the fam.

Sorry no real news, pero, I have pics!  So, the first is on the day of our old ZL's departure.  Elder Partsch, front and center in a suit.  To the left of Partsch, kneeling is a little blond elder with glasses throwing up a peace sign.  Elder Calloway.  Love love love!  I've been freshly shaved on the head.  Lovely.  Love all these guys!

The second pic is most of my zone now.  The man to my right is Elder Kohler, my wrestling friend from Wasatch.  Far right, middle row in a suit is Elder Mackie.  He's new.  I love him too!  Anywho, gotta get this letter shipped off.

Love you!

Elder Christensen

Friday, May 4, 2012

May 4, 2012

So, did you realize that today is Dallin's one month mark?  23 to go. :D

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

"I don't keep unbuttoning my top button..."


(In case you are concered, that is a noise coming from scott. So don't ask me, ask him.)

 Hello my people!!! It's been a most excellent week for me!! Very good indeed!! Know I just have to try to remember all the many things that happened that I may have forgotten to write down. Whoops!! :)

So, as always, first and foremost, thank you for the fantastic amount of love and support!! Letters galore, and a package from my momma and from the G-ma. Loved the amazing talks from dad. Those were fantastic. And mom and G-ma, you've definitely got many strippling warriors willing to do anything for you. They have enjoyed your packages immensely and would all like to be adobted. Thank you very much!!! I love the mail. It's my favorite part of the day!! That's probably sinful since I should be enjoying the work more, but I figure while the mail lasts, I'll be enjoying it!! So thank you!!

Next so I don't forget. Question: where does George work over here? I'd like to make a field trip to see him sometime but there are a lot of buildings and I have no idea where to find him. So, get the word for me!!

Also, most of Lone Peak just came into the MTC this last week. Steve Maddox, Chandler Birks, Trek Robison, Garrett Pliler, Bryce Boyer (possible two weeks, my bad), and....dah, a lot that I forget!! I can even picture a guy but for some strange reason, his name has run away. Sad story!! But it's been really cool to see so many familiar faces. And answering a question from someone, yes I know Josh Skousen. Good for him!!! And on another note for Zach Newman, I met two missionaries headed to his mission this week. The one happens to be a friend of my comp. They should still be here when Zach comes, I think. An Elder Crossman, in case you wanted to know.

Since becoming ZL, I have really gotten a lot closer with the missionaries in the zone that aren't in my district. I've liked most of the people, but man did we get tight this week!!! I love my zone!! As a side note, there is an elder, Elder Callaway, that is super super boss. He's shortish and skinnyish but the boy is ripped!! Of course, he's a wrestler. But he's a really funny guy and he reminded me of someone but I couldn't put a finger on it. And then it came!! David Belnap!! Haha! Sameish height very similar! They have the same laugh and humor and they talk the same. It made me laugh! Love the man! Speaking of, when you hear where he is going, please let me know!! I'm excited for him!

It's a small world in the MTC. There are a lot of random connections all over the place. I don't know if y'all remember, but while you were in Italy, I went up to Idaho on a date with Michael Cormier? Fun time, but the people from Bora High School don't know how to dance. Turns out, I have an Elder in my zone from Bora High School that just graduated. He knows the girls we were with! That was a fun connection. He is sooooo cool! Elder Mcmurdie. I love the guy. Also speaking of it being a small world, I ran into Kim Connors mom. That was cool!!! Small world, eh?

And now, the moment you've all been waiting for!!!!! So, the day after P-day last week, I got a ton of new missionaries. 16 instead of 17 cuz we had a sister that didn't come. But a ton!! We sent out about 7 missionaries and got 16. Whew!! Crazy!! So Elder Grigg and I (he's the other zl) had to prepare an orientation meeting for the new districts. I was nervous!!! And if I'm honest, that first day, it looked like we might have some cranky, pasaway missionaries! But we had hoped it was just on account of it being late on day one in the MTC. It's a crazy day. Luckily, that was the case!!! The new missionaries are sooooo great! Love them all! Amazing how the Spirit works. As we gave the orientation meeting, Elder Grigg, Sister Tivalu (the coordinating sister), and I all had impressions of who the new DLs would be. We all happened to have the same feelings and it turns out that the Branch Presidency did too! Very cool. One of the DLs is from Heber Utah, Elder Kohler. He went to Wasatch High School. Heavy Weight wrestler. Needless to say, we were friends quickly. The orientation went great! Elder Grigg and I were informed that the Branch Presidency had conflicts sunday with priesthood meeting, so we would need to come up with a lesson. Oh boy. But that ended up going very well too. We've quickly become friends with all the new Elders and Sisters. I love them all!! Man, it's good to be a missionary!!!

Funny story for the week. Elder Hibbert and I were blessing the sacrament. We looked before hand to make sure there was a little card with the prayers on it. There was one under the table, so we were good. When we actually got down to give the prayer, the card was legit. Problem was, it was in Russian. We may have the gift of tongues, but, heheh, not the russian version. We scrambled for a second before one of the members of the branch presidency threw us one in english. Hallelujah. I gave the second prayer. Started out on the bread, but thankfully Dr. Hibbert was paying attention so he motioned for me to flip it after the fist sentence. Got to make the transition smoothly. Thank goodness for my comp!!! And, because of the priesthood lesson, orientation, and new ZL meetings, I hadn't had time to write a talk. So I was very grateful when I didn't get called to speak. But Dr. Hibbert did. Close call. One of wives from the branch presidency spoke. She reminds me a ton of G-ma!! To you, G-ma and Pops, your missionaries will love you!! I'm excited for you guys to get out here!! I may not see you, but the missionaries you serve will have the best branch presidency ever!!

The week was good on the learning side of things. Our investigator lessons in Tagalog have improved. We can understand a lot better. I have a hard time speaking still. But I understand a lot more. So that was good. The class time has been excellent too. And my study time has been great!! I've been having a lot of great insights during study. Just another bonus to being a missionary. It's the best!!!

Cool story. Dr. Hibbert was still sick at the beginning of the week. We got permission to go to the outside world for a little to go to the BYU clinic. That was fun!! But during one of our MTC clinic visits, I was sitting in the reception area waiting for Elder Hibbert. There was one other Elder in there waiting for his comp. I felt like I should talk to him, but I didn't really want to. It was a few minutes before I realized it wasn't just me thinking, but it was like that feeling you get in fast and testimony meeting when you're supposed to get up but you don't want to so you try to resist? Yeah, it was that feeling! So I did a cool little happy dance in my head and decided to go talk to him. The Elder was brand new this week from Bountiful. We had a nice little chat. I have no idea why I felt like I should talk to him, but it was really cool all the same. I don't need to know!!

I'm loving all the new opportunities to serve as ZL. There have been a few more blessings this week and a bunch of talks with missionaries. It's been really really great!!

Another cool thing was one of our new Elders hadn't recieved his endowments yet. So today, we got to go through the temple with him for the first time. He is an awesome elder from Guam, Elder John. He is soo cool! I asked him in the BEST room how he felt. He just said it was the best feeling in the world. He was all smiles the whole time! Yes, it was my best week for staying awake so far. AWESOME!!

I feel like there is a ton that I am leaving out and skipping, but I am just feeling mushy in the brain right now. Nothing else wants to come to memory. So for now, I will close mine epistle. I'm absolutely loving my time here (in case you couldn't tell)!!! Crazy how close it is to being over. We have this week and next week and then, I'm headed out!!! Whew!! Word from my compadres that have already left is that I won't understand a thing! So study hard, but be prepared to be nalito!!! Anyway, I love you all! Thanks for the letter, packages and prayers!! Particularly the prayers. I need all the help Heaven has for me! Thank you!!

I love you all!! Til next week!!

Elder Christensen

Whoops!! I almost forgot...... HOLY TAE!!!! Congrats to Scottie and Hannah!! From the word and pics, it sounds like I missed a heck of a party!!! I wish you both the best!!!!

Snail Mail sent 4-24-2012

Oh my people!

Or in other words, hello family!  Tis the end of p-day.  Russell M. Nelson ws the speaker for our fireside tonight.  It was so sweet!  But admittedly, I had a hard time staying awake again.  But it was still very good!

Afterwards, ZL duties started.  We went and rounded up the first of our new arrivals to the MTC.  Internationals.  Dope.  Only two though.  15 coming tomorrow!  Anyway, that's interesting and all, but the real reason for this letter is to explain my treasure trove of pictures!

First up is me and Dr. Hibbert (his comp) and our two roomies Elder Pattison (arms out in the back) and Elder Carigg (lost expression in the middle), and the rest of their old district, Sis. Montgomery (left) and Sis. Tiavalu (right).  But since they had a tiny district, they got merged with another tiny one on Sunday.  But this is us in class at night right before going back to residence.

Next!!  This is the same group after our trip to the temple...just last Friday, only a few short hours before my hair was taken from me.  Did I mention Elder Carigg (boy farthest to the left) is the other ZL with me?  And we're roomies.  Saweeet!

Third!  Pretty self explanatory.  This sums up my time at the MTC.  And no, we weren't posing.  Sis. Montgomery legitly walked in on us sleeping through our online instruction video.  Whoops!  Pattison, me, Aldred (awake!) and McLaughlin.

D.  This is the same night as pic one.  Practicing our gospel signs.  E for Elder.  And we are 3.  Joke lung.  Don't worry about it.  And no, Dr. Hibbert is not picking his nose.

Finally, me and my very beloved Zone leader before he vanished from me.  Elder Partsch.  I love this man to death!  Absolute love.  I love the other, Knowles too, but he is not pictured at this time.  You'll get those later.

Anywho, that's it!  Enjoy em and keep em safe for me!  Love you all!

Elder Christensen

Pictures from a snail mail that I received last week during the wedding prep frenzy!