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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, August 27, 2012

Pictures for "This is NUTS"

This is NUTS!!!

Ladies and gentleman, please, put your hands together for The Grinch! At least, I think that's what that quote is. I admit, my quoting skills are slipping. That's not the right word. My skills are gone!! I don't remember movies or music. It's lousy!! But the reason and cause for the above subject line will stay quiet til later. Today was the cause, and of  course, today doesn't come til the end. So. Later. But I've got an FHE to do, so let's get on with it!!

Firstly. Last weeks, "Not feeling well" haha, that turned into two sick days at home!! Man!! Lame!! Lemme tell you, nothing makes a missionary feel more useless than sitting on his can at the apartment. Pathetic really. But on the other hand, I got more read in Jesus The Christ. I'm over halfway. For any of you that haven't read that book, READ IT! It is amazing!!

We had district meeting on Tuesday. My district is sooo fantastic!! Amazing really! And it was a mailrun day! What more could a man ask for? Thanks to the McAllisters, the Stuhlmachers, and a Steph Asay!! I love letters!!!!!

Well, it was a short week of work with me spending so much time being sick. Lame!! Don't get sick! I suppose on the upside, I will have an immune system of iron when I come home!! Anywho, the work is progressing. We found a few extra families this week, we found a new investigator, and we had a referral. But we are still having a hard time getting lessons. It's rough business. But the lessons we do have are awesome!!

We had a sweet service project this week. They set us loose cutting down weeds with machetes (?)! Man, I was living my childhood dreams!! It was the best service project ever!! But alas, being a missionary, a man hardly ever does an honest days work. Thus, I have very very very soft hands. So my hands were soon destroyed. But man, it was soo worth it!! It was an awesome project!! But we were so busy chopping down the rainforest of weeds that we didn't take any pics with my camera! Oops!! Oh well!!

I still love talking to kids here! We have tons of fun!! And, I keep watching kids pick up the spiders to fight them. It's so nuts!! I could never hold spiders in my hands. My comp does it too. It's crazy. But it looks way cool. Maybe some day I'll get over myself and just do it. We'll see.

Ok, I think we are today now. This morning, we played basketball with a bunch of other elders. Highlight: Elder Hibbert was there to play with us!!! Holla!! That was soo cool! Way good to see the man. He's so awesome!! After basketball, we had a district activity at the biggest mall in our mission, which happens to be a few minutes from our house. We went bowling. Say what??? Yes, bowling. It was dope!! And not to brag or anything, cuz I'm not good by any means. But some elder with red hair champed all the other elders. Congrats to that soul. In the pic of the screen, (holy poo, did I actually take a picture of the screen? I did. Man, what a conceited loser!!), mine would be the second down, with the C.Yep. Anywho. Then, wait for it, this is the most magical part, we found a wendy's!!! Yes, a real wendy's! It was the most amazing thing ever!! You'd be amazed by the things that are taken for granted in the US. Wendy's is amazing! And the food here was real, it was legit!! So worth every single peso I spent. Ha, actually way expensive. I spent about 10 bucks!! Anyway, that's it!! It was a way way good p-day and I included pics.

I think there was only one other pic not described yet and that was of some more treasure from a nearby bakery. Big as my hand. Yes. I love bakery's! I wish we had more like them at home. Oh well.

Amazing week here!! I'm loving it!! We are so blessed in the US. Be grateful for your blessings. Ah, FHE time. Must run. No time for spiritualness, but the church is true! I promise it! Have a wonderful week everyone, I love you all!!

Much love,

Elder Christensen

Thursday, August 23, 2012

This week's "Call me Maybe" pics

"Call me Maybe"

To all those who suffer the same violent reactions as I do at the sound of the above stated subject line, my apologies. Elder Doria and I have not been able to escape that ridiculous song! It's almost a joke with how often we hear it! DAHHHH!!

Well, this week has been a short one, and there isn't a ton to report. Sorry about that. But there are a few things.

We have found a cool Less Active family that really likes having us visit. We've been here two weeks. They've attended church twice. SCORE!!! They really like us visiting though. They told us that we have good chemistry and we bring a good Spirit. They randomly cook or buy food for us and tell us to come visit. Since they have prepared for us, we can't refuse. They are smart that way. That is the picture of the alligator bread. I may have mentioned that I love bakeries. I stop at them every day to buy bread. They are amazing!! But this family is really poor. The things they do for us are sacrifices. They are amazing people.

This new area is far more poor than my last area. The people here are really really poor. It's hard. But the members are still happy. It really has helped strengthen my testimony even more of this gospel. In this life, we have a lot of material things. And those things are nice. Ha, man, what I wouldn't give to have my car with aircon back. But life isn't about the material things. The people here don't have them. And a lot of the people truly are miserable. It's very very sad. We aren't allowed to give money to people. But we thought about it. How much does that help? We could give them temporary happiness. But they are still in the same, very tough conditions. The only thing we can give these people that will really help them is the gospel. And it really helps!! It changes lives!! People who have no purpose, find a purpose in the gospel. The gospel brings joy and true happiness that doesn't end next month. And with that, we have nothing better to do but share it!! Everywhere, with everyone! It's an amazing gift we have to offer. Remember that. Even doon, in the land of material pleasures, people need the gospel. They may not be miserable or having a hard time on the outside. But everyone needs the gospel. Often, we are afraid to share it. Missionaries are too. The people might reject us. Things might get awkward if we bring up religion and they aren't interested. But that's not coming from a good source. I can promise you anyone heaven-side would encourage you to share it. The least we can do is plant the seed. Give the people a chance. The seed is good. You'll come to be surprised by how many people really are prepared to accept the gospel if we get over our own fear and share it. Slightly selfish to let our own fear rob someone else of the chance of having the gospel. So share it!!

This last saturday was temple tour. We didn't have anyone to take with us. But we had to go anyway. Elder Quinney and a bunch of my old ward was there! I have a pic included. One is a family of investigators that we have been teaching that had a very good church experience and decided to be baptized. Another was our recently baptized convert. And then we had some ward missionaries. Ah, speaking of, before I forget, if you are interested. I was reading through the ensign the other day. May 2011 ensign has my old ward in it! Page 116 or something. Montalbon, Philippines. All of the young women in the picture are from my old ward. Awesome!! Anyway. Temple tour was awesome!!

Yesterday we had a stake ward missionary training. Most of the ward missionaries from the stake came. We had a really good turn out. It was way awesome! I feel like that can definitely help them to have a greater desire to assist in the work. It was way sweet! I'm excited to see what comes from it!!

Today, I'm a little under the weather, so I won't ramble any longer. There are probably other things I could say, but I gotta bounce. Just remember the gospel is true and as members, it is our responsibility to share it with others!! I love you all! Have a wonderful week!!

Much love,

Elder Christensen

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Pics for What news from Kent?

What news from Kent?

Well hello again!! Man, time does not stop, even for us missionaries! Not even for a minute! It's just flying by out here! Whew! Tons to write! I have a little catch up to do from last week. So I'll start there. 

Firstly, I got a picture of this too. The Friendly Neighborhood Spider. We found this guy in one of our less active's house. Man!! This thing is hand size! I don't know if you can tell from the pic, cuz he looks small. But the board he is on is a two by four. Seriously hand sized. Gross. But the member said is was nice. Didn't even stress that it was hanging out on the wall right behind his chair. Man. Filipinos. 

Last week we had zone interviews. That was way awesome! Got to meet with President Sperry and his wife. Way way awesome. My mission president is great!!

So a quick story on the power of discernment. It is very real. We had an investigator that was doing well and progressing. Then one lesson, she told us she had a particular issue. We both felt right away that there was another issue. We had something particular come to mind. She didn't mention it. Then, at the end of the lesson, she said there was something else, but that we would talk about it later. We did splits later and Elder Quinney went back to her. It was the exact issue we had felt in the beginning of the first lesson. I know that if we have the Holy Ghost with us, Heavenly Father will help us find the needs and concerns of those that we are teaching so that we can help them progress. It was an awesome experience for me and it was very helpful for her as we will be able to help her continue to progress towards baptism!

Because of the tons of work we were getting in our area, the are split this transfer. It's pretty amazing. The area had the lowest numbers in the mission and then had all the missionaries pulled out of it because of how lousy it was. But, when you get down to it, there are tons of people being prepared to hear the gospel! They came out of the woodwork! The field is white, eh? Harvest time! I'm way excited for the elders there now. They have plenty to do!!

We did a community service project as a zone that was really cool. We fixed up a road and dug a canal to keep it from flooding. Lots of genius engineering on our parts. Haha, but with the flooding, there is no way it survived. So, I won't bother going into details on that. 

And my last week in the last area, lots of people kept telling me that my Tagalog was improving. That was way nice to hear! It's still lousy, but the fact that it's getting noticeably better is a huge confidence builder!!

And of course, there was tons and tons and tons of flooding. Most of our area wasn't higher than the knees, but we had parts that had over 15 feet of water. I tried to get some pics of during the flooding and after. Most of the pics come from literally 30 yards down our street. We have members with 2 story houses, and it got halfway up the second story. I got a pic from a bridge later, with a different view of their house. You can see the line from where the water went up to. And then later, when all the water was gone, you can get a slight feel for the mud. There was about a foot and a half of mud left over. Most of the houses down by the river were badly damaged. Some were completely gone. And the ones that survived have lots and lots of work before they will be ready to be lived in. The crazy thing is these people do this every year. I can't imagine. We did service the day after the water disappeared. We cleaned out six apartments. That night, it re-flooded. The next day, we did the exact same project. The people here are like ants. As soon as they can, they get right to work cleaning it up. If it goes again, they start right over. No complaints, no time wasted. They do it over and over. They are nuts! I couldn't do it. 

Ha, then there is one pic I sent that Elder Quinney and I were particularly excited about. When the people heard I was leaving, they put up a monument for me!! That would be the picture of the sign. This seriously was on our street and though it doesn't stand for what I'm playing at, we still had a good laugh at it. Shows you how immature one red headed elder still can be. 

Ok, and now, on to this week. So I got transferred. I'm now in the Fairview zone, across the river from my old zone. My companion is a native, Elder Doria. He is really cool and we get along really well. He speaks pretty good English. He will definitely help me with my Tagalog. I would say it has improved just in the last few days. It helps to be using it a lot more often. And he of course, knows it all! So it's going to be sweet! Our area is brand new to full time missionaries. So we don't have a lot to go off of. But it is a challenge we are ready to accept!! I'm looking forward to a great transfer!! 

This morning, we got to go to the temple. That was wonderful! I love the temple! Ha, we both got ticketed this morning!! Hard to do if you don't drive, but it's possible!! We took a bus and then a taxi. The taxi driver told us to get out at the end. Said it was free. So we said thanks and hopped out. We immediately got picked up by some cranky guys in uniform. We got dropped off on a center medium and picked up for J-walking. We didn't know and of course blamed the driver. We got lucky that the head guy was nice, I am a clueless American, and one of the men in uniform was a member. So we got let off without a fine since it was a first time offense, but we still got a ticket. He explained that it means nothing and nothing will happen, but they have record so if we do it again, we'll be in trouble. Whew, way to start the morning, eh? But the temple was wonderful after that. With that lengthy intervention and our lovely killer traffic and the fact that we slept through our alarm, we were later to the temple than we wanted to be. But as we got there, I saw Elder Hibbert leaving. I didn't get to talk to him, but we both got to wave. Ah, love that man. 

Anyway, that is it for me this week!! I'm looking forward to good things ahead!! Thanks everyone for your prayers and support!! 

Much love to you all, 

Elder Christensen

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Floods and transfers...

Well hello hello my momma!!! I'm really sorry, I forgot to mention it was transfer week this week. So P-day was going to be today, wednesday. Then we had some major intense flooding, as you've been following, so the whole week got thrown off. So once again, this will be a very rushed email. I'm sorry!! It's a little bit stupid!! I'm falling way behind on all of the things I have to write about!! But I'm very much 100% fine, so don't worry about me. Once again, give my apologies to the fam and peeps that I don't have time to write them. Especially dad who I think has gotten ripped off for 2 or 3 weeks now. I didn't even really have time to read the emails. We were supposed to have district meeting this morning, but they canceled it with the flooding but then just texted and said we'd have it in about an hour. Yep, 45 minutes one way for travel and 45 minutes back, plus the actually meeting. Kind of takes a big huge chunk out of p-day. So the news really fast. We had a lot of flooding in our area. Pretty quickly. And there is a big main river only a few hundred yards from our house. It flooded a lot of homes, a lot of our members too, just down the street from us. We had water up in the second floor of houses. But luckily, our house is uphill. So it got within about 20 feet or so from our house but never came to it. We got ready to evacuate just in case. We had all the elders from our district in our apartment. But we spent the day hanging out, helping people move furniture and what not. It ended up being a way fun day and a good change from the usual!! It was so super fun! We got really wet too! I have some sweet pics to send home, but that'll have to wait again. I'm sorry :( . Anyway, a lot of the mission is flooded pretty bad, and a ton of our area is still flooded so the elders spent the night with us. Then we broke up for p-day. We were waiting for the word about transfers since district meeting got canceled. They finally came in about an hour ago and I'm transferring. AHHH!! I'm a bit sad-ish about it cuz of all the progress we're having that I won't get to make sure follows through and happens. But elder quinney is staying so he can help that happen. But I don't know if I mentioned, because of how well the work is going, they are splitting our area in half. So elder quinney won't be able to cover all of it. That makes me nervous, but hopefully, he will help them to make sure no one gets dropped. I'm sad cuz I love the area and the people and I'll miss em, but I'm excited for new people and new things!! Transfer meeting will be tomorrow so I won't know anything about a comp or area til then. So next week will be a good week with pics and lots of info!! Sorry it's short!! But I'm doing well! The Lord has been blessing me and the people we've been working with more than I can tell you. The language is coming. Slowly, progress still. I'm happy, healthy, and loving it here!! Haha, and I'm loving the rain!! Every single day. No joke, really, it's pretty fun. Anywho, I gotta bounce. I love you momma!! Have a wonderful week!!

Your boy,

Elder Christensen