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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, August 15, 2012

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

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