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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!)

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

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