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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, 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

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