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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!)

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Rice All You Can 9/19

 Yes, so the English is not perfect, but man, that is one of my favorite things to see here! And of course, it is an additional 10 pounds I go every time, and yes, it adds a good inch to the waistline. But I will have to get used to that at some point. I suppose that's just the way things go here. I believe the phrase is, when in rome? When I come home, I can worry about my "growing" belly issue. For now, all you can eat rice for 2 bucks is always a good thing!!

So man, where to start?? It's been a long, crazy week, full of crazy people and crazy things. And lots of pictures. I only picked....17. So, maybe I guess I'll have to send two emails to fit all the pics. But lots of cool stuff went down and the camera came out a lot. Anyway, lets get down to business, shall we?

Early in the week, we went on splits with missionaries from the MTC here. I have a pick of that for you all. My temporary comp was Elder Pareja. He was way way good. Definitely ready to go to work. He is headed to Elder Mclaughin's mission. I imagine they will meet. I told him to look out for him, but of course, how many people tell you to look out for someone? I just thought it was cool. Anyway, he and I had a cool day. I let him take a shot at leading things and he did very well. Made for a super easy day for me! The man taught like a boss though. Goes to show that without needing to learn the language, you can just jump right in! Although, I will say, it helps a ton that the young men here work with the missionaries a lot. He told me that back at home, he was going out with the missionaries at least once a week. That is a huge help for missionaries here! By the time they get here, they already know how the lessons need to progress. They have a feel for it all. It's pretty dope. I am a little bit jealous. Then again, back in the day, I probably would have been too much of a punk teenager to want to go out with the missionaries once a week. Man. For anyone that has the chance, my advice would be take it. You'll be glad you did when you get to the field! The more time you spend with the missionaries, the easier it will be for you when you get to the field.

The next day, I did exchanges with Elder Broadhead. He and I worked in his area. I was a little nervous for that, since he is new and my Tagalog is well, far from decent. I didn't know people or concerns. But we got it done. Man, he is such a boss. He is my ultimate favorite. And for being here only one transfer, he is doing very well with Tagalog. We had no issues teaching lessons and understanding people. Actually, that's a lie. I totally pulled the "just smile and wave" trick a few times. Some people are hard to understand, especially when you have been understanding. Then they figure you are good so they just go nuts with Tagalog. Usually though, you can just nod your head, grunt and smile and as long as they don't ask questions, you're in the clear and nobody is the wiser. But we had a wonderful day. We even gave a sister a blessing. We had some sweet lessons. We had fun and worked super hard. It was sweet! Definitely hoping to be companions with the guy some day.

The next day was Elder Doria's birthday. Of course, it was also my iddy bitty...well, actually, my practically grown woman sister's birthday. So, we had to party hard. We bought a sick cake. Expensive here, but really, about 6 bucks. Of course, I have pics. Elder Doria is a mad, crazy good cook. He whipped up some sweet ulams to have for dinner. We had Elder Broadhead and Elder Hathcock join us at the end of the evening for dinner. It was incredible. Shame to have to cook your own birthday dinner, but when you cook like that, I suppose why not?? It was awesome!!

I remembered this week that I had never gotten a pic of the frogs home to you all. So, I figured it was about time!! I included a few pics of a decent sized frog. Of course, usually when we see them, they are a bit flatter and everything from their insides is usually sitting outside of their mouth. But this is still a decent representation, just so you all can get the general idea. And of course, he's not living, but in fact, a coin purse made from a real frog. I couldn't resist. Figured I had to have him. Sweet.

We also had exchanges with zone leaders. Like I said, it was a mad week. I was with Elder Hawkins in his area. Random fact; don't know if y'all remember a boy going missing for 5 days in the Uintas a few years back? Yep, his brother. Anyway, we had a good day. We had 3 straight lessons in a row. We were making mad fast time. At the rate we were going, we were going to get about 8 lessons in! I invited a sister to be baptized, which she accepted. We also invited her and her 'asawa' to get married, which they were stoked about. They want to go to the temple. YEAH! But after that lesson, we got punted over 16 times. Not a single lesson more all day. But we did get offered marijuana. Ha, that was a first for me. Still a good day though.

Elder Doria and I had some Jehovah's Witnesses come to our house. That was interesting. We could have thrown a bunch of scriptures at them and tried to wreck them, but that is not how life goes. It doesn't do you much good. So we listened to them share a scripture and bid them have a wonderful day. Not gonna lie though, that's some wierd stuff going on. But I won't dwell there or rip on that. It was different. But it was nice that they had a desire to share their beliefs with us.

At church on Sunday, we had a ton of rain. For some reason, it's like a snow day for people. Numbers always drop a ton if it is raining. Weird? A bit. It's always raining. You'd think they would get over it. But oh well. It was still a good amount of people. The bishop has a 5 year old son. The first time he saw me, he screamed and yelled, "pangit ka!!", which is like, "you're ugly". Yeah, not the best of friends. He hasn't said anything to me since. But for some reason, when we showed up on Sunday, we were suddenly best friends. He started talking to me the minute we got there. He is a cute kid. His mouth goes about a mile a minute though, so I didn't understand a lot of what he said. But I mean, he even wanted me to smell his finger that he had 'utot'ed on. I mean, can you have a closer bond than that?? Haha, it was nice to have a new friend. He's a funny kid. But he did tell us he was to be a girl. So we have some worries there. But I'm sure all will go well. With missionaries as your best friends, how can you go wrong?

Yesterday, we woke up and had no water. We couldn't figure it out. When we came back at the end of the day, still no water. We live within about 8 feet of our neighbors houses on all sides. So we all hear everything we all do. So we were talking about calling the water company and our neighbor shouts Elders Wait! Turns out, they have a main water switch. For some reason, they turned us off yesterday and forgot to turn us back on?? It was wierd. But we were happy to have water back.

Getting T-shirts made as a district or a zone is a big thing out here. We had some cool district t-shirts made. We have plenty of pictures of that.

 Yesterday, we had a great FHE with a family in our ward. Less active mom but active kids. The mom has started coming to church. We are going to take her to temple tour in a week or so. It's been cool the progress she's been making. We talked about charity last night and she was seeing all kinds of things that she was lacking and she kept questioning us on how she could improve. It was super cool! We're way excited for her!!

Today of course was P-day. It's also transfer week. We are only losing one sister. But therefore, a celebration was in order. So early, the Elders had our weekly basketball. That is just dandy. Basketball is growing on me. It helps to be able to easily rebound on Filipinos. That's not their fault though. So that was fun. Then, we had cake and ice-cream and games. It was way sweet! Of course, we all had to wear our new district shirts and take loads of pictures. It was a good old time though.

I think that about sums up my week and probably my pictures. Of course, we had to take them at district meeting too, so I have some of those. But I think that is everything. OHHH! Haha, I forgot!! I also figured it was about time I sent a picture home of the lovely animals here. I think I mentioned that cats and dogs are nasty. Parang zombies. They are mostly pretty gross. So I found a decent one and snapped a pic. He tried to run away. But I got him. Mostly no hair, scabby, yucky looking things. That's pretty typical here. And I sent a picture of bronx street. Just because. I don't really know why actually.

Anyway, the work here is going well. Obedience is soo super important. We don't always know why we have to follow some of the rules that we have. But it's important that we do. We can't have the guidance of the Spirit if we aren't being obedient to all the rules. A lot of people, missionaries and regular folk alike, don't always understand that. But we can't just pick and choose what rules we like and what fit to our lifestyle. Unfortuately, that's just not the way things work. We follow all the rules that the Lord gives us. We follow the rules our leaders give us. When we do, we recieve blessings and we are more able to bless others. It's a good system. So that's my advice for this week. Be obedient!! It's just the better option. I've seen it personally in the way I live and in the way that those around me live. We truly are blessed when we are obedient.

Anywho, that's it for me this week! I hope you all dig the pics! Have a wonderful week, one and all!! I will be back in a few days!! Take luck!!

Much love,

 Elder Christensen

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