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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, January 22, 2013

01-22-13 "Good Morning, Monsteropolis"

Maybe you could lie in bed, sleep in, or work out that flab that hanging over the bed!!!! 

Good morning all of you people! This is how I feel all the time!! It is the only thing still motivating me to exercise instead of sleep. It is a sad existence indeed. But not really!! Life is sooooo good!! Let me hit you with it. 

Sorry I forgot to mention last week that it would be a wednesday P-day, but I'm hoping that by this point, when I don't email on monday, you figure that it's coming wednesday. 

This week can go down in the books as a success. Then again, it is probably in there with every other week of my mission as well. Missions do that to you. Every day seems to be good, which turns into a good week, which then becomes a good transfer. Next thing you know, it was a good year, and then, you had a really good mission!! Life is just good! And too fast. I don't know where the time is going. We are now half way through Elder Sumagaysay's training. Oh yeah!! Fun side note; my boy Elder Broadhead will be training this upcoming transfer, as well as my MTC comp, Elder Hibbert. We have toooooonnss of missionaries coming in the next two transfers, and likely for the next who knows how many. Pretty much everyone in the mission will be training. If you are not being trained, you had best be ready to do the training. Woohoo!! What a wonderful time to be in the mission!

So I actually have some notes this week. That is exciting for me. Emails are so much easier to write when you use notes. High five to myself. 

Sunday, I did a scary thing. Always when you are new to a ward, the bishopric invites you to the front in sacrament meeting to introduce yourself. I've done that 3 times now. It's still scary, but no big. After I finish with that, they get a good feel for how bad my Tagalog is, and they decide to bless the ward by not inviting up to the pulpit ever again. Well, the ward this week was desperate. They only had two speakers. So for the first time ever, I got invited up to give an impromptu talk. That's hard enough in English. But in Tagalog???? WHAT!!?? But of course, fake it til you make it. We told them we would be glad to. Luckily, it was on missionary work. Well, that's something I can easily talk about. And we attended an Area Presidency Broadcast last week which gave me some good material to use in addition to my wonderful Aklat ni Mormon. I was nervous as a man on his first assassination mission. But after I got going, luckily and thank goodness, the Spirit took over. I breezed through it and the ward didn't seem to notice my iffy Tagalog. The Spirit happens to speak a universal language. So they all got something they understood. One more reason to be grateful for the Spirit. 

We also had an FHE this week with an inactive family. The father used to be the ward mission leader, and he used to work with the missionaries all the time. But then, like just about everyone else here that doesn't attend church, he got offended. His family hasn't been to church in 7 years. I've taught them once before. Usually when we go, they are 'sleeping', which when translated correctly into English means they don't want to talk to you. So it's been rough to get in with them. But this time, we took a very super active awesome family with us. Sister told us that she would like to give the lesson. She absolutely laid down the law!! Talking about trials of faith that make us become what we need and how in times of trial, we definitely need the church. I was a little afraid that they would be more offended, but the lesson went way well and in the end, they assured us they would come to church. They seemed all excited. Brother even asked for a blessing, which we were more than happy to help with. Sometimes as members, we forget the influence that we can have on those who are struggling or new to the church. We figure, ah, that's the missionaries job. But what an influence members can have!! They can get in where no missionaries can. So don't forget that as members, we are all to be missionaries. The Lord is preparing people for us to be able to influence them and to help them to accept the blessings and healing of the gospel. As a member of our Area Presidency said, we as members are lifeguards. Our job is to save souls. No life guard looks out and sees someone drowning and thinks, "man, I'd love to help, but the water is kind of cold." Or "What if there is a shark?" or "well, he got himself into the situation, he'd best get himself out" or "I'm really comfortable over here" or maybe "I'm not so sure that person really wants to be saved". But instead, they go to work and save a life, regardless of the 'inconvenience' to them. When you see an opportunity, share something to help others. See a need, save a soul. Or as my good friend Sid the sloth says, "see a tree, eat a leaf; that's my tracking." 

Oh man. Also. In case my pics have not made it clear; I love kids. They are one of my very favorite parts of being a missionary. All the kids want to talk to you and play with you and just know everything about you! I love kids!! We have been teaching tons of kids lately. Jeff Buban is one of those kids. He is from a part member family, but most of his family is inactive. His parents like to smoke, drink, and party. But Jeff is excited to learn about the church. He comes with his older sister to church, unless she can't come and then he comes by himself. Yeah, dope. But, with the family situation he has, he never learned anything about the church before we started teaching him. So we have to go sllllooooowww! But that's ok. We finally felt it was time to invite him to be baptized. He of course, was very excited and accepted. I asked him why it was that he wanted to be baptized. His first reply was so that he could grow up to be like us. Oh man!! That was a killer, in a good way. I was ready to just bring him home to be my newly adopted brother. Pretty cool the effect our example can have on other people. We don't always know it. Which is why it's important to always do your best to be the best example you can to others around you. 

On a less fun note. We were in a more poor area, trying to meet with a family we've been teaching. The husband and wife are pretty accepting. But the dad works 24 hours on, 24 off. So it's a crazy schedule. But we went and we met sister in the street. She told us brother was off working. Then she started introducing us to all of her friends. In this particular part of our area, everyone hangs out in the street. It's super poor so no one really has anywhere to go or anything to do. Lots of people. And I have no issue with poor people. I've taught well, a few here. But she started introducing us to some pretty sketchy people. And in the end, we had six baklas standing around us, getting all worked up about the 'foreigner' and the whole street of people was gathered in close. Eegh. I got the most yucky gross feeling. So, we quickly told sister thanks and that we would return on the next scheduled visit. Yeah, we got out of there quick! Sketchy!! 

Transfers are tomorrow. I'm not going anywhere. And, for some reason that I'm not really in the loop about, basta, I know it's happening, they are adding a week to this transfer, which throws off all the rest. Which means, I am extending a week!! Woohoo! I get to extend!! Only 6 days. So don't even get your hopes up. But that means that this transfer is 7 weeks. Crazy. Poor Elder Sumagaysay has to endure 13 weeks of training!! Haha. 

Anyway. I believe that is all. Pics. I have some with our RC, Lavena. It was her birthday. Good times. Also pics of...oh, with Nanay!! She is a sweet lady that left for Hawaii on Monday. She will be living there with some of her family for the next two or three years. Also some pics with our other RC Maxene. We are sucking our nostrils in. It looks more dramatic on her nose. Also, she is good at flipping her eyelids inside out. All together, it makes her look like an aswang. And then some pics of some of the poor houses in the poor area. It's not too bad. There are much worse here. But they are houses made out of plastic, cardboard, and plywood. Not my first choice and thus, the poor area. Most of my area right now is actually pretty well off. So it's a different bit for my area. 

Anyway, I hope you all enjoy this whole email!! I wish you all a wonderful week!!

Much love, 

Elder Christensen 

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