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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 12, 2012

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

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