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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!)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Hello, It's Mr. Nasty!

Hello hello!! Can you believe one transfer is down already? What?

Well, sorry for the subject. In case anyone doesn't know, it's You've Got Mail. But hopefully, should you be a righteous person, you already knew that. Ok, I'm in a rush this week and I think I have a bunch to write about. So I'll hop right to it!!

For starts, I'm sorry about the missed communication from my side. Since it's transfer week, we have p-day on wednesday. But I forgot to mention that last time. I'll be sure to remind you about it in the future. My bad!!

So, way back and forever ago, probably last p-day. We were talking to a family late at night outside their house. We got swarmed by a group of kids. And they love when the tall white and red guy lifts them up in the air with one hand. So, they are taking turns getting lifted. We were attracting some attention. We always do. And these two pretty girls came over our way. They talked to Elder Quinney. But I was playing with kids, so I didn't pay any attention to them after that. But I did notice them come and I thought they were attractive. Oh man what a no no. So as we do leave, there is something just off about them. I asked Elder Quinney and he noticed too. So, we have a tag along companion child. He's been talking to us a lot and following us for the last couple weeks. His name is Atan. He's way cool. But we asked him, Atan, what are they? We are already dreading the answer that may be coming. Sure enough, without skipping a beat he says, Bakla. AHHHHHHHHHHH YUCK BARFFFF HURL!!!! NOOOOO! Yes, tis true. I got fooled by baklas. Worst thing ever. Needless to say, we watch out. Yucky creepy shivers. That is disgusting. So, nasty story of the week right there.

So as the week goes, things happen and if I think I want to share it, I write it down. So if things seem a bit random....well, it's cuz they are. Sorry! Next!!!!!

I hope you all know the game Angry Birds. Anyone anyone? Raise your hands and say I. But don't lie, cuz liars go to Hell. Ok, anyone not raising their head, yes, those of you with the confused and slightly puzzled expression, please, open a new tab and look up Angry Birds. Pops, that means you. Ok, now that you've done that, you see it's a game. A pretty dumb game. It can be addicting for about 10 minutes but then you're over it. And that's if you bother for that long. It's dumb. Popular at home at least for a little, but only cuz people played it. Here, different story. It's huge!!! Everyone talks about Angry Birds! There are shirts, door mats, sheets, umbrellas, flip flops, notebooks, pens, pictures, clay figures!!! You name it. They have it. I just couldn't help but wonder why. Sorry, was thinking about it. So it made the email!! 

For my friend Marci Johnson back home. I keep seeing Snoopy too. Makes me think of Marci and her Snoopy shirts. 

Reason for the subject line: we have/had a really cranky neighbor that stayed up with his friends every night drinking and then every single morning he was angry! We would be trying to study but you would hear him yelling at everyone and everything for hours!! Ah!!!

Small tiny sidenote: I don't know if you remember the name tag that went on vacation? It turned up. Gift from heaven. No idea. Don't ask. 

Cool interesting thing I noticed. Every night, we go over our plans for the next day and make sure we have lessons set. A lot of times, we end up getting punted when we show up for the actual appointment. There was one day in particular this week that we got destroyed. We got punted by every appointment for the first 3 hours or so. That can be discouraging. But man, it's so cool that when you do your part to prepare, and you have faith and you put in the effort, even when it would be easy to give up, the Lord will bless you. If you work all the way through to the end, He makes miracles happen for you. We just had random things work for us through that day and we found new investigators and we had appointments that people were very prepared for. It's always important to remember that we don't know what the Lord has in store for us. We ask Him to lead us to those that have been prepared. But then sometimes, when the plans that WE make don't work out, we can get discouraged. Sometimes we need to remember that it's all about the Lord's plans. Ours don't always work so that we can be lead to those that have been prepared. Every time you get punted, it's for a reason. So keep your eyes peeled and keep moving forward, cuz you don't know what the Lord has in store for you!! 

We had another go with our eternal investigator this week. He wants to know why we haven't been visiting him. Ha, we have so many appointments every day that we can't even get to them all. But so we talked to him at church. He always wants us to answer the same questions for him and he can't accept anything on faith. He wants solid evidence and signs. There are a lot of scriptures about those kinds of people. And a lot of scriptures about faith and the Holy Ghost. I'm really sad that his heart is so hard. But he will just keep coming to church and hopefully, his heart can be softened. When people straight up question or challenge your beliefs, your beliefs either fall or are strengthened. I'm glad with how much he has helped me strengthen my own beliefs. Undeniable. I have seen the Lord's hand in my work and I have received answers to prayers. I know it's true! But, we can't reason things out with him. We just have to wait for the Holy Ghost to be able to find it's way into his heart as we testify and let him dig. 

Ah, almost out of time!!! 

But, this week I ate balut!! With transfers upcoming, my household decided that for some bonding, we would eat balut together. Don't have my camera today, so I will get you pics on monday. But it wasn't so bad. I wouldn't choose to eat it, but if it's gotta happen, I won't shy away. Not too bad. Ha, but still gross!!

 From meeting with investigators and answering questions, and then through study about things we are asked, there are a lot of interesting things that happen. I love study time! I have so many things that I come to understand through the Holy Ghost! It's amazing! But, with so many people out here having a hard time enduring to the end (thus our multitude of less actives) and with investigators asking about repentance, we studied repentance a little bit. I'm out of time too. But I realized that repentance isn't something we can procrastinate. It's not something we just do before we die so that we can be clean when we go to be judged. Repentance and the Atonement are all about us changing. It is something we need to be doing forever! We are seeking to become like our Heavenly Father. We do that through change. We are seeking to become like them. Not just to 'be clean'. But I'm out of time, but it's an interesting lane of thought to travel down. 

And as a side note, monday, we were in study time when the AP's texted us and asked if we were ready to move. So we did!! Randomly! Love the apartment, it's nice!

I love you all and I'll be back monday!!

Elder Christensen

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Time is a Valuable Thing

Look who's back again!! (My Big Fat Greek Wedding) 

Hello my peeps!! I really can't believe I'm writing again!! The time just shoots by here. Ha, kind of. The way Elder Quinney put it, every day is a week and every week is a day. Sometimes it feels like time is going by so slow, but at the same time, when the end of the week rolls around, you have no idea where the rest of it went!! Anyway, I'll move on!!

It was a very good week this week!! To start us off, last week after emailing, I got my first ever haircut in the Philippines. It was different. But, at least as far as I can tell, it turned out pretty well!! I prefer my dad's work, but my hair isn't easy to cut, so I give the man full marks. 

And then, exchanges! Elder Quinney and I did exchanges with the Zone Leaders this week. One of my favorite elders is one of my zone leaders, Elder Freuan. He's from New Zealand. I know I've talked about him before, cuz he's awesome. Well, yes, he worked with me. We had a blast of a day. He's super awesome. He came in and taught my people like he'd been teaching them for weeks. He's way nice. All the people loved him. We had a very successful, yet fun day. And the man appreciated my cooking. Score. He ate balut. I was going to with him, but we decided I'd better do it my first time with my trainer. But the day is coming. Everyone wants me to eat it. Yuck. 

So, really quick, you may have heard that people can just "go", whenever and wherever they want to here. I've seen people randomly stop to relieve themselves on the side of the road. But the whole whenever and wherever thing made itself so much more real to me this week. We are teaching one of our more poor sisters. 2 cinderblock walls and some metal across the two as a roof. She's holding her son. Mid-lesson, he re-adjusts himself on her lap and just pees right there on the floor. Hahahaha! OH my goodness! I almost died! But I somehow held in the laughter. Thank goodness. So funny though. 

So we found several new investigators this week. Randomly. And so much with the Lord's help. The best is that we go along the same road almost everyday. The kids have been talking to us and they'll follow along the road with us. We have one in particular that really started talking to us and following us everywhere on that road. He told us to talk to his family. Then he came to church with us yesterday and brought 2 friends. We met his family after and their families and hopefully will have some new people to teach! We never have investigators or usually many less actives at church. But yesterday we had a bunch of investigators and LA's show up!! It was soo cool! We got out two more baptismal dates yesterday. So we have 4 that we are shooting for right now. It's way exciting! 

We have one less active that is trying to help us get a new investigator. The only problem is....she's less active! Not exactly the example you want for an investigator. And we were pretty sure that she had a word of wisdom problem and that she was having that problem while she was with the investigator! Geesh! So, we had a lesson with her this week, about the word of wisdom! It was so good! She told us she was just waiting for that lesson. She talked about how much struggle she's had since the last missionaries stopped visiting her. We got her all cleared up and we're trying to help her with it. Checking with her every day. She'll be better in no time! She's way willing to change. Which is good. Usually here, people are fine to accept our commitments, they just don't keep them. They don't really have a desire to change or they don't understand why it's important to keep commitments. So we've been trying to help them understand. And we've been seeing some good things coming from that! 

The people here are so great! They are all way nice. They are patient with my less than lousy Tagalog. And they are way willing to help us out. The youth here are awesome! We get one with us almost every single day! We can wake them up and they'll come with us. We can get them any time! They are so good! And of course, as a result, they will be rocking missionaries! We really are so blessed here! 

It's amazing how sometimes during lessons, we will have a plan. And either the people will say something that gives us an easy set up for a different topic, or we will just feel the need to teach something else. It worked out several times this week. The Lord truly works miracles for you if you are prepared! 

We had a lesson with a less active. He was worried because he was feeling bad about repentance. We didn't want to get into that. But he said he's been working with the bishop on repentance. But he wasn't sure if he had done it properly because the temptation kept coming back. Luckily, the guy speaks pretty decent english, so I was able to add to that conversation. We were able to help him understand that Satan will tempt you even if you've repented. He will keep trying to breach that weak place in your armor. We shared the scripture about the Lord being able to make our weaknesses become strengths. We told him to just keep studying the scriptures and praying, especially in times of temptation. Apparently, that's been going very well for him. I was glad we could help. 

More priesthood blessings every week. Everyone here wants you to pray for them. The people with less gospel knowledge especially. They think that we are more righteous and that the Lord will bless them more if we pray for them. Ha, we've had to explain that one a few times. But there are just a lot of opportunities to bless people here. It's awesome! 

We are officially moving into rainy season! It has been raining here every day! Last night was especially wet. It rained on us on and off through the day and all night long. We were in a rush to get home on time and my name tag jumped ship. We didn't notice til we got home. Unfortunately, it's quite gone. Blast. So I'm wearing my P-day magnetic tag which just doesn't look as nice. Sad day. But it rained all through the night. Really hard. I don't remember if I mentioned the construction on our house? But they were building an addition on the back for our kitchen. We moved the kitchen out and it's been really nice! We seem to have a ton of space now. But, we woke up this morning to a very flooded kitchen. They goofed somehow with the gutters and they overflowed in to the kitchen. We had about 4 inches of water in our kitchen. So we spent the morning taking care of that. But then we had a lovely pancake breakfast. Love it! We are moving soon though, so we will hopefully not have to worry about the flooding kitchen. 

Anyway, time is up here. But it was a wonderful week. This is definitely the Lord's work. And he is here with us. There is a scripture in Jacob, in the parable of the vineyard. I read it this week. It talks about the Lord of the vineyard sending his servant and some other laborers to work. It says they did all he commanded them and they were obedient in all things. And the Lord of the vineyard labored with them. He is definitely laboring here with us as we are obedient in all things. It is always important to be obedient in all things. Even the small things. The Lord can only bless you as much as you allow Him to through your obedience and faith and hard work. There was another scripture I read this week. Maybe the end of jacob? But the Nephites put all their trust in the Lord and were obedient. And then they fortified their cities and were able to come off conquerors over the Lamanites. We can have faith but we still have to do the work as though we are going at it alone. And then the Lord will bless us. We can't expect to sit back and let Him do the work because we have faith in Him. We still have to work. But if we have faith, and if we work, being obedient in all things, then He will bless us. He surely is blessing us here. I love the work and the people! Now just for the stinkin Tagalog!! 

Have a wonderful week! I love you all!!

Much love, 

Elder Christensen

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Pictures that go with "I mashed 'im"

I mashed 'im, just like you said, Kish

Well a big hello to everyone back in the good old US. We would know like to make it known that this message is intended only for those persons living in or currently staying in the US. All other viewers please exit at this time.

Now that they are all gone, we'll move on!!

It's been a great week! VERY VERY fast! Wow, I don't know where the week went. I was just here, emailing!

But before I go anywhere else in all of the crazy side streets and back roads of my brain, I had best take this opportunity to take a quick stop at one particular door. HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the Matt and to the G-ma!!! WOOHOO! I am missing out on some good celebration! Ha, but that's ok! As long as you eat some food for me, then we're all good! I hope you both have wonderful birthdays!!! Fantastic birthdays!

And now onto some other key things before I run rampant through the streets! Firstly, I had zone conference this week. It was absolutely wonderful! You would all love my mission president! Not only is he a very good, funny and loving man, but he is a master of the scriptures and teaching. I would love to have him and President Gottfredson team up and teach a workshop. Oh, I get excited just at the thought! But it was amazing!! Super, super good!! And this had to come first because while I was at zone conference, the office elders brought mail! Sneak peek for me! We only get mail every other tuesday, but since they came by, we got it early! So I don't know if that means I'll be empty tomorrow, or if i just got mail on two occasions. But I got mail! Woohoo! The gratitude this week goes out to Grandma and Grandpa, as well as to Brother McAllister. Thank you all very much!! I love hearing from you!! Thank you thank you!!

And now, the time has come!! I get to let it all go like a loose cannon and talk about my week! So anyone under the age of maturity, please don't pay any further attention!

So first item of business today. Ants. I HATE ANTS!!! They are everywhere here! EVERYWHERE! We've waged war on many different occasions. It's to the point where the thumb and the fist are not enough to rule these beasts!! So we do the baptism of fire!!! BUT THEY'RE RELENTLESS!!! Ah, sigh. They really crossed the line though when they got into my cereal. One night we came home and found that instead of just following their usual highway on the wall, they were headed toward the top of the ref. And more specifically, towards my cereal!! AH! The whole thing was completely infested! But I already ate a bowl of ant cereal one morning because we were in a hurry and I didn't have time to do anything about it. But this time! I showed some stubbornness of my own! I went through my cereal box, piece by piece and picked out those blasted ants! Every couple of days, we burn them all up. But somehow, there are always plenty more to take their place. Sad day. The war will go on!! But we will never surrender!!

As long as we are talking about beasts and infestations, two notes. First, I saw a sweet huge spider at one of our investigators houses today! I didn't want to take a pic though, cuz I thought it might be rude. But legs curled in, he was about hand sized. Man! Gotta love em! Second, rats!! We were teaching a very great lesson and I got a bit distracted. Over the investigators shoulder, I watched a rat come in and make his way carefully along a shelf and up a board to the upstairs. Later on, he came back out the same way he went in. Yuck!! But still, as long as they aren't in my house.

Another interesting thing to remember, should you ever consider heading out this way. Be prepared for music. Lots of it. Nice and loud. Not all of it pleasing either. But the most music, will be karaoke! It is everywhere!! It's a little bit ridiculous. Seriously. And to make it worse, it is usually bad. To put it in perspective. If I had to choose between listening to a good 30 minute track of Filipino karaoke or grinding metal with some nails on the chalkboard thrown in, it would be a toss up and I'd likely go with the latter.

And really fast, there was a huge boxing match yesterday. World championship at the welter weight. The Filipinos have a very famous boxer. Everyone watches his fights. It's a huge distraction, and can affect church attendance. And of course, yesterdays match was no exception. I can't remember the guys name. But he was fighting a black guy named Bradley. Sounds american to me. And just because he made the church attendance suffer, I really hoped Bradley would win. And he did!! Woohoo!! That's what you get for keeping my investigators from church!

Well, now to the real stuff. It's been a very good week here. We keep really really busy. That's probably why everything goes by so quickly. But unfortunately, I'm still not very good at Tagalog. Elder Quinney has to translate a lot for me. It can be frustrating some times. I keep having dreams that I don't learn the language. Most recently, I had a dream that I came home at the end of my mission and was at college. Elder Quinney was with me. We heard some guys speaking Tagalog in front of us and I had to say, Elder Quinney, what'd they say? It was a funny dream! But at the same time, it can be really frustrating. I can follow along usually in lessons. But when I have to talk, it's like a train wreck. I really hate to get to a point where I can testify, and not be able to say what I want! It feels like a real killer to the lesson. My initial reaction with my language struggle has been to complain. Oh why couldn't I be called to an English speaking mission? It would be so much easier! I could teach and testify! I would be able to say what I wanted! I could be so much more effective!! But of course, I've spent some good time thinking about it. Heavenly Father knows all of us far better than we do. Ha, I've spent time testifying that He knows what we need, even if we don't realize the blessings that come from listening to His counsel. So I'm definitely where I need to be. Firstly, this is a humbling experience. Perhaps if I were doing english, I could think too highly of my abilities. I have knowledge that I can share with people! Right? But we all have to realize that we don't share this on our own. This is the Lord's gospel and we will share it His way. I have to realize that I need His help. I need Him or I won't be sharing anything. And this will help me increase my faith a ton. A few reasons. Not only does it teach that with the Lord's help, we can do anything. I can even learn Tagalog with His help! And even without the language, the wonderful thing is that the Holy Ghost can testify the truth of things no matter what language you're speaking. So as long as we trust in the Lord and have faith in Him, and we are living worthily of the Spirit, we can have it there to testify with us. He will help me. So, this is a growing experience for me. And it's very difficult right now. But I'm going to keep working my hardest and I'll be so grateful for it later!!

As far as investigators go, we are finding new people to teach. We have two new investigators that are very promising. We've only taught them 3 times, but they always keep commitments and they are waiting eagerly for us every appointment. It's very exciting!! I have high hopes for them!!

I don't know if you all get the emails from Elder Mclaughlin's mom. But I do. I was very sad to hear that Elder Aldred went home this week. Missionary work is hard. Very hard. For anyone getting ready to serve, be ready!! It's hard!!

Ah, the email is short, but I'm mostly through the info I have and it's time to go. Quick info on the pics that I attached. Firstly, haha, we live in a very blessed place!! Garden of EDEN. Ha! Then Elder Quinney and I as we are out walking. I tried to add in some scenery pics. Most of my area looks like 232. But it's all my area!! Looks good, eh? Pic 233 is a sneeky shot of the inside of a house. Pretty typical. Cinder block house. Metal thrown down on top. Somehow they have electricity. Anyway, enjoy the pics!!

I love you all! I hope everything goes very well for you this week!! Take care!!

Much love,

Elder Christensen

Pictures that go with "Hiding a Body"

Monday, June 11, 2012

Someday, I'm gonna need help hiding a body, and when that day comes, I don't wanna hear any crap from you!

Hello hello hello! (If the first three words were not read out loud in your best Jim Carrey as Count Olaf voice, please return to the beginning and try again). Well hi everyone!! Tis been a dandy week down yonder! Crazy how fast things go. I can't believe it's p-day already! Ah! As long as we're speaking about ridiculous time jumps, how is today the 2 month mark already? Where'd the time go?? Oh well, there's a lot to take care of, so I'll get right down to business. This week, I remembered to kind of make a list, so I'm a little organized. 

First and foremost, as usual, let's take care of some questions or interesting things to note from what I received on my end. First, big news: I got mail this last week!!!! WHAT?? That was amazing!! Two from my momma, and one from the Pops!! Thank you all! That was fantastic!! Just a great pick me up to get some mail! So thank you! Now to the other things. Well, I'm sorry that the rest of the world now knows about my bathroom procedures. But as a sidenote, you should give it a try!! It's nice!! I think I'll invest in a baday (please find me the real word. I have no idea how to spell it and the ABC check didn't have anything helpful when I tried spelling it closer to the european style. I figured I should just give you a word close enough to be able to know what I'm talking about. The butt washing dealios? Salamat!!) when I get home. Tis very nice!! Also, father, no headaches yet. When I've had a long day of listening to Tagalog, I notice that I'll zone out and have a hard time paying attention. But no headaches. I can follow a lot when we are talking about gospel topics. But when we talk to random people about everyday things, wrongo!! Can't follow that at all. But there has been improvement. For mom, yes, I said squid was good. It was stuffed squid. I don't know what the lady put in it, but it was awesome. Ok, I don't remember anything else, so I'll move on. If I missed anything, please re-ask! 

Before I get too far, I have a question. How did my LP soccer boys do??? Info please! And if not them, who won state? And (I know this is a ton of info, sorry) any way we could find out which of my boys went all-state? 'Twould be much appreciated! 

Ok, right to business! Last week, right after emailing, we went hiking with a bunch of Elders from the zone. It looked like we were climbing mount olympus from Hercules. It was rough!! But it was sweet! Haha, while we were on our way to meet up with the Elders, we had some crazy guy come and follow us. He was seriously totally bonkers. The guy's pants didn't cover his rear. And he had an umbrella top that he was wearing as a cape. Glasses that he was wearing upside down. And he was chewing on cigarette butts, mostly from off the ground!! He was walking all over with us and would just say random things to us. We couldn't get rid of him!! But it ended up being super funny! He was hilarious! And he would follow you anywhere. Elder Quinney walked around a light post in a circle and weaved in between parked cars. The guy just followed. One of the Elders got some good video. (Elder Flanary, who is related to Dakota Flanary, that played LP soccer with me). It was a hoot!!

This week we had some awesome things happen with investigators!! Our one investigator, Jerome, is 27. He's been progressing, but slowly. He has a hard time understanding, so we do a lot of review. But, we gave him an invitation to be baptized and he accepted!! There are a lot of changes that need to be made, but the goal is the end of June. That was awesome!! And then!! Another investigator, Judith, has been meeting with us also. And I gave her the invite to be baptized which she accepted!! First invite! It was nuts! At the end of the lesson, I give invites usually, as some good practice. Elder Quinney turned to me and said, "Do you want to give the invite?" And I said which invite? THE invite! OOOH!! It was nerve wracking but way awesome!! So that's the main good news there! We're making progress!

This week we had another invite with our full time investigator. We spent some time studying one of his questions and we gave him a paper with a good answer and many scripture references. Then while we were there, we talked about more questions. I don't know if we will go back to him. He is a nice man, but very hard-hearted and not ready for the gospel from us. It's really all up to him. He likes to challenge EVERYTHING! It's a little, no, a lot ridiculous. So, we'll see about him.

Ha, funny note. Most of the music they listen to is from American artists. First, David Archuleta on the jeepney. That was cool. That man is serving!! I like his music more! But we were on a jeepney and the song Down with the Sickness by Disturbed came on. First, that song is a bit gross. But it reminded me of Rockband with Mcallisters! Haha, when the song first comes on, they make some weird oh wa ah ah ah sound, and oh goodness. I just laughed thinking of them singing the song. Oh boy!! It was a funny time! 

That's most of the main news for the week. We found some new investigators, and we were able to get some less actives back to church. We got punted a lot this week (turned away when we showed up for appointments). That can be frustrating. But all in all, not bad. It was a good week!! 

Random note: there is a 'shy' plant out here. When you touch the leaves, they all close inward and scrunch together. It's awesome to find a whole patch of them and close them all!! The entertainment of missionaries....

We have some ladies in our ward, the Hot Mommas. I don't know how they get in the group, but they are a group. They are such funny ladies!! They remind me of Mama Mac, my good momma, Sis. Palmer, Sis. Wilkonson, and Sis. Call. It's that kind of crew. But Filipino style! They are so awesome! They randomly call us in for food all the time. We were (and technically still are until we shop in a little bit) out of food and we worked hard all day yesterday. We were headed to our last appointment and we passed one of their houses. She called out and asked us if we'd eaten. We told her we hadn't yet. So she told us to come back and we could have dinner! What a blessing!! They are just cool like that though. I lot of people like to feed us. 

I will get fat here if I'm not careful. People like for you to eat a lot of rice. And the rice will be killer for my belly!! Ah! So my goal is to try not to get fat. But I won't be able to help the rest of me getting skinny. I'm thinning out like a bamboo shoot out here. It's madness! No time to work out though!! Just the Lord's work. I'll work on the rest when I get home. 

Anywho, today is P-day, of course. We started the morning with basketball. A quick word on the heat again. The only thing I think that can really come close is the wrestling room. It heats up and gets humid with all the sweat. And it's just a thick heat. No relief until you get out of the room. It's the same-ish thing here, but there is no getting out of the room. It's just like that all the time!! And the sweat that happens in the wrestling room, closest thing I can think of to here. I sweat a ton!! A ton! So during basketball, I get completely soaked. Completely!! And then it rains a bit too. Wet day. Then we went with the rest of the zone to the zoo. Avilon Zoo!! That was a ton of fun!! It's a pretty cool place!! Tons of awesome animals and they're mostly really close to you. We came straight here from there and I forgot to bring my camera cord! Luckily, I put my card into another elders camera and I'm uploading some pics!! 

First: a special bathroom that we found. So awesome!! It's just out in the middle of everywhere! Open for all to see! But people usually just go to the bathroom with no toilet wherever they please, so this was a nice touch. Then I got some of the kids in there. They are soo cool! One of the temple. Our kitchen. My 'shower'. Our beds. A pic from hiking last week. One of me and elder quinney on the hike. A bunch of elders from the zone. Elder Flanary in the back in gray. The Filipino to my right is a housemate, elder gernanda, and the Filipino kneeling bottom left is a house mate, elder batan. They are cool. Of course, elder quinney on the right in black. But on the bottom right is Elder Fruean. He is one of my ultimate favorites!! He's from New Zealand. One of our zone leaders. He is so cool! He may be back when matt goes to the tournament in New Zealand. Except that you can't see that pic in this email. Drat. I'll have to send a part two. Sorry mom, for the weird formatting. But brief intermission....
Ok, sorry. Had to fit all my pics. Ok, anyway, the last email should explain the first pic. Then the next is the reason for the first subject line. Quick interesting note. By our house, they have a cemetery. It is crazy!!! It is absolutely huge!! It's practically it's own city!! And there is a section where they build pretty much houses for the dead people!! The really rich people, of course. But it's nicer than our neighborhood!! It's very well kept. The homes are nice. Electricity and everything. It's crazy! I want to get some more pics for y'all!! Totally nuts!! The next pic is just to show you what most of the trees look like out here. It's awesome!! I'll try to get more of the area and what I'm seeing every day for later. The last pic is from the zoo and probably not very interesting, but I liked it. It's not the animals. But a bathroom sign that just made me laugh!! 
Another quick note: I should be with Elder Quinney at least 12 weeks dad. There is a new training program for new missionaries and it lasts 12 weeks. So, we should be together at least that long, unless there is some kind of goofy transfer. 
A few things I forgot...Good hearing about dad and the bishopric!! That's super super awesome!! Matt, you had better be keeping me a good list of movies!! And good luck to my man zach!! He's going to be awesome! Give his mom some love, but tell her not to worry. Of course. He's going to be AMAZING!! And sad news for Sis. Hamnett. She's such an amazing woman. But at the same time, who could be more ready? And what a better place she's headed to. So really only be sad for her husband. Aren't we so blessed to have a knowledge of the Plan of Salvation?? It's the best thing! On that note, thanks dad for that stuff. We use it every day!!
Anyway. That's some good stuff from me. Sorry I'm not in most of the pics. But there is a little imagery for you. Well, I'm running out of time and there are still some things I must do. So I must go. Sorry I haven't really had a lot of info!! But the work is going well. We're working really hard and teaching a ton. I've found on my mission, that study time is so great! I didn't used to like studying all that much. But it's one of the best parts of the day!! It's always over way too fast! I love it! The language is a pain, but it will come eventually. People are mostly nice to us and we've seen a lot of kindness. Things are just good!! I'm loving it here!! Being a missionary is the best thing ever. Sometimes it can be really hard. We feel like we're doing a lot of work. It's hard when investigators or less actives don't want to change. It's hard when they don't see the blessings they are missing out on. But being a missionary is also so easy!! All we have to do every day is share the gospel!! What better way can you spend your time?? We get to always have the Spirit with us! We get to have the best experiences! And opposite of when people don't change, when people are changing, it's the best thing to see! It's amazing to see people accept the gospel into their lives and put their faith in the Lord. Missionary work is the bomb!!! 
Well, I'm out of time. Must be running!! Thank you all for the love, support, and prayers!! You're the greatest!! I'll be working hard!!
Much love, 
Elder Christensen