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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, February 20, 2013

Pics for "Ginto"

01-18-13 Ginto

Ginto. That my friends is gold. And this week was golden. Thus the subject line. Put two and two together and you get four. I don't know where gold fits in to that equation but I'm pretty sure it's worth a lot more than four. Then again, that depends on what your variable is. Well, bahala kayo. Figure that out. Tell me how it all fits in. 

So for this week. Haha, please don't slay me, but I forgot to list down what happened. It was a good week. In my defense, it was a short week. But, sayang, that's an excuse. I should have written things down. Alas. But, I did have my trusty, handy dandy camera with me which can fill in some blanks nicely. 

First order of business. A funny story for you all, and a killer of pride for me. Kind of. I love children. That is a well known fact. And for the most part, kids love me. I'm like a star here. Kids come running in packs to get high fives from the American that speaks Tagalog. It's a blasty blast! But sometimes, my skills are not enough or in other words I fail hard core. As in the falling flat on your face, skidding, crashing and burning with a nice big mushroom cloud kind of failing. That happened this week. We were teaching a less active family. They have relatives everywhere by their house!! Seriously, every time we go, there will be a bunch of little kids that show up. Who are these kids? Oh they are our cousins. Cool cool. Who are these kids? Cousins. Who are....wait, I know, they are cousins. Kind of like that. It's pretty much like walking into a crazy bunny breeding ground. They are just popping out from everywhere! Anyway, we head over, as usual and as usual, there is a new little face. A 5 year old girl, who's name I couldn't say and I can't remember, but I do remember that if I shortened it to Faye, that was deemed acceptable. So we began teaching this family and Faye, the cousin. Elder Sumagaysay goes on a little teaching streak. Really quiet like and the fam seems to have fallen asleep. When this happens, people start to not pay attention and forget what you've been talking about. So to bring everyone's attention back, I formulate a plan. I'll be my same goofy and slightly loud self when I come back in, to remind them not to be asleep but to pay attention! I put the plan into action and execute it with perfection. Little Faye suddenly gets this uncomfortable look on her face like she has a sick stomach. I teach for a minute and then ask if she is feeling ok. She sinks back into her chair and her eyes get a little watery. Oh man, Houston, we have a problem!! So we all begin to investigate. Are you feeling ok? What's wrong? Suddenly, she has tears in her eyes. Next thing you know, they are running down her face. And then she is sobbing!! Oh no! Are you scared? Yes? Of the Elders? Yes? Of Elder Sumagaysay? No? Of the American?? Affirmative Queen Eagle, we are now locked on target. Snap!! This girl is bawling! I am not sure if it is because of my slightly loud entrance or if it was because she was focused on my handsome companion and then she switched her attention back to my face and was appalled by what she found. But, in the end, she was crying. Luckily, with some sedatives, we were able to calm her down. Na, joke lang. She did calm down and we were able to finish teaching but man. Confidence = Target. Target = Destroyed. Mission accomplished. Quote of the day, "My ship!!! Blast, this will take weeks to repair!" Moral of the story, fix your teaching or fix your face. Don't make the children cry.

So we did other things this week, besides destroying the lives of young, innocent children. We did some service projects. Those are my favorite! The one day, we helped a sister fix up her house. One of our members that is trying to get out on a mission is temporarily living in this 'house'. Man, it needs some serious help. We are very spoiled in the good old US of A. Anyway, we went to help her out. We started by putting in some real supports underneath her house so it doesn't fall down. Anything else we could do would be worthless if the house fell down. We then re-did the flooring so she didn't fall through the newly strengthened foundation. We fixed up the doors so she could close and lock them. And then we fixed the walls so that the doors actually had purpose. If you can go through the wall, what's the use of locking the door? Her house is still a bit on the sad side, but it's a lot better! And we had a killer fun time doing it! Do service folks. It makes everything else in your life seem ok. I think Heavenly Father eases our burdens as we ease the burdens of others. And personally, I'd rather fix other people's problems than my own, so that sounds like a good trade off to me. Anywho, I have a picture of the side of this ladies house below, pre-fixing. 

So I don't have a ton of killer spiritual experiences to share this week. But I do have something that isn't just funny to share. So I teach loads of less actives. I have two beloved families that I'm teaching that I have been teaching since I got to this area that have never once been to church while I've been here. The one family...I have no idea why. The other I've talked about in recent emails, but they just have tons of problems. We solve lots but for some reason, they still weren't coming. We taught the Law of Chastity this week. Sister finally came out that she doesn't think her clothes are modest enough for church. Ah, finally!!! We were able to advise her on how she can live the law of chastity more fully and about how she would be able to come to church. The other family told us they were bad at waking up on time. They are in the farthest part of our area. It's a 30 minute jeep ride out to them and then 30 minutes back to the church. But we told them we would go to their home before church and bang on the door, wake em all up. And then we would go to church with them. They just needed a little motivation. We showed up and they were all ready. So for the first time in the 15 Sundays that I have been in this ward, both families came to church. It was a wonderful day!! Normally if someone can't progress to church in 15 sundays, they will probably be dropped. Just remember that as you work with people to help them return and receive the blessings of the gospel that we need to be patient. Sometimes it seems like there must be a huge problem stopping their progression when it might turn out to be something very simple. Sometimes people may seem impossible to get through to when really all they need is a little encouragement, a little push and a little sign that you care. So don't give up on the friends, brothers and sisters that we have that need our help. "Through small and simple means are great things brought to pass". 

Pics. I saw a rainbow over the church. Who can deny that? Took a pic with a cool kid that we are starting to teach. The area by his house is cool business. Picture worthy. Snapped a photo with the 5 of Rainbow House Crew and a few ward missionaries and the ward mission leader. Catch a child picking their nose and you know the camera is coming out. I caught the cutest of little girls red handed. And she knew it. Looked at the camera and everything. That's actually the real reason for the subject line. We were joking about her digging for ginto. I just had to make up the introduction at the beginning of the email to make it seem like I'm not as immature as I still am. But I confess. It's all because of boogers. Go figure. And the last pic I took is at the same buffet we always take pics at. It is the best food in the mission. It is all you can eat and it is almost american. We took one of our ward missionaries with us today and treated him. The man is incredible. He helps us soooo much!! And all he ever does is serve people! It's crazy. The man has become a role model for me. Never complains. Never says anything unkind. Just always willing to do whatever he can whenever he can to help someone out. The man is also one of the Three Nephites, along with David G. Woolley. These cats think that they are fooling me, but I know who they are. Just gotta find the third and I'm golden. That's it for the pictures!

Well, I am sorry to say, I believe I am out of things to say. It was a short week. Therefore, a short email. Sorry about that. But next week will hopefully be better. Have a good and wonderful week. Do good things. 

Much love, 

Elder Christensen 


Pics for "Coach Yoast"

02-13-13 Welcome to MY World, Coach Yoast

Thank you, thank you. I know. Best movie ever made. Probably. With a close second of Miracle. Then again, you can't go wrong with Prince of Persia. Then again, there are loads! And none of them are the point or purpose, but I was pleased that the line mentioned above popped into my head when it did. Come to think of it, it probably has nothing to do with my week. But that's ok! Basta lang, it's a good movie. 

This week. First I must say this. I saw a seminary video about Moses. Story about the time he was tempted by Satan right after seeing God. Man, something about Moses had me trippin. But, I think I got it! Unless I'm mistaken (which we certainly won't rule out. happens all the time) the man is Marvin Payne! The beloved director of the Christmas Choir. I was much pleased with this discovery!!

Haha, one day this week, we were walking. Now, this happens a lot. Go figure. Typically, as we walk, people shout at me a lot. Sometimes it's good, sometimes it's not. Very common is "KUYA!!!" which means some little kids just saw me and are now running down the street to get high fives. I love that. Pretty common as well are "Hey Joe!" "Wa's Up Man?" and "Wa's your name?", which I've heard about a million times from everyone. Another good one is that song from what's-er-face. Hey I just met you, this is crazy! Man you hear that a ton. But everyone thinks they are the original person to tell the joke. But no worries! But this day, ha, we struck gold!! We were walking down this road and out of nowhere, this old man comes up to me and starts singing Puff the Magic Dragon. Ano ba iyan?? Now that one is new. My comp and I couldn't help but laugh for a few meters. Ah man. Crazy people. Got to love life as a missionary. Ha, you never know what to expect. 

A bad story. Ah man. Everyone has good language mess ups. And I've had quite a few. But this one was bad enough to make the email. So we were teaching a recent convert. She's 11. Way cool. Her dad is a recently returned inactive. And he's the man. He just shows up and cleans the chapel all the time because he likes to help and be in the church and if he doesn't do it, it might not get done. They are great. Actually, they are the family from the pics last week with weird cookies in our mouths. So, I'm a weird missionary, and I still act like a child. You may think I'm all grown up and mature and all. But na. So I was sticking my tongue out at this girl and she said, "wow, your tongue is huge!" So I meant to say, "You want to see my tongue?" "Gusto mo ba na tingnan ung dila ko?" But, unfortunately, that's not quite what I said. I said, "Gusto mo ba na tikman ung dila ko" or "do you want to taste my tongue?". Oh man. I realized right away that I'd used the wrong one, but man. It's quite different from what I wanted to say. And I may act like a child, but you can't go around asking little girls to taste your tongue!!! AHHHHH!!!! Thank goodness, we all laughed and I corrected myself and they knew what I meant. It's all good. But you can add that one to the books. Don't ever feel confident. If you do, the Lord will kindly humble you very quickly. 

Ho, don't let me get any farther!!! ERRRRRR! (that would be the sound of brakes. but good brakes, not the annoying squeak of the type that need to be changed) Joshua boy, my dear younger brother. Happy Birthday!! You know you've got more of that coming your way in a personal email. Just wanted to make sure everyone knew about it. Cough cough. Especially the ladies. ANYWAY!!!

Also. So, we taught a lesson this week. Surprise! Yes, we did teach. This man brought up an interesting point that I figured I might as well mention. He is quite inactive. RM daw. He has only been to church a few times since I've been here. Doesn't read scriptures. Has some issues. But the main thing daw, is his job. He teaches for a school and they have activities and field trips all the time on Sunday. We were asking when he would come to church. It's been a few weeks. He said he couldn't this next week because of a field trip. And then he said you know, old people have all the time in the world. Once they retire, they can go to church and be involved in activities and read the scriptures and be involved with the ward and really focus on the Lord. But us younger people, we have to focus on work. And that's where I had to stop him. This is a common problem. It's a problem for everyone. Even back at home. Even for me. We live in a very busy world. There are soo many good things to do. Sports, work, school, friends, activities; those are all good things and there are about a billion more! But they are not the most important things in our lives. That, quite frankly, is a sneaky straight up lie from Satan. He tells us it's ok to put off the things that really matter right now because we will have time later. Now, God understands if we have different things that MUST come first. That is not true. There are so many good things to do that we often get caught up in them and sometimes sacrifice the things that matter most in order to do GOOD things. But we need to take a good hard look and see what's happening. God and Family are the most important things. We get fooled into putting other things first and thinking that we will take care of or fix other things later. Man, this life is the time to prepare to meet God. This is the time to preform our labors. We have to learn what things are truly important and what things make good additional items if we have time. If your job takes you away from God and family, change it. If your sports take you away, change it. If your friends take you away, ha, learn that family are your best friends and change it. Heavenly Father has given us such a good and simple plan to follow for this life. But Satan will do all that he can to distract us or make us forget. We don't know when our time is. Sayang for us if it's tomorrow and we aren't prepared. We need to be prepared every day. We need to be doing our best every day to become like the Savior. Which do you think will be worse at the last day, standing in the presence of our Heavenly Father; "I sacrificed my job for my salvation or I sacrificed my salvation for my job". Take a look folks. Be prepared. 

Anyway. Y'all don't need to hear my preaching. Ah. Anyway. Birthday celebration happened. Today actually. We went to the temple. How better can I celebrate? Did the same thing last year with my good parents and some of my very best of friends. Then we hit up a delicious buffet and ate til we couldn't pack it in anymore. And, I'm proud to say, I didn't eat a single grain of rice in that meal. Success!! But that is about all I have for this week everybody. Thanks for all the support. You all are the best. Serve missions. Serve the Lord. Be good. 

Pics!!! So the first is me with the current Rainbow House Crew. Don't ask where we are at, but that's us. With the crew, we did a little bathroom remodeling service project. Haha, good time. I'll tell you that story some other time. We also had an FHE with a sweet family. And I grabbed a pic of me and my comp eating some Filipino barbecue  He's rocking liver and I'm owning the intestine. Good times. Sorry there isn't a lot of pics this week. I didn't use the camera too much. But we did eat balut again because of the new American here. So. There's a good story that didn't make the pics. 

Have a wonderful week yo!!!

Much love, 

Elder Christensen 

Pics for "Sheep"

Other Sheep Have I Which Are Not of This Fold

Yeah man. We are all sheep! As a missionary, I'm all about helping sheep come unto the Shepherd. But, at the same time, I also saw some sheep and decided to take a picture and that is the honest reason for the subject line. So....it's not cuz I'm awesome, but really just because I'm random and take pictures of everything. Great scripture though!

This week was marvelous!! It was fantastic!! Let me hit you with a basic summary of a few things. I did keep a little bit of a list this week. 

So first. Haha, I think I told you a story a while ago about a lady we have that is a recent convert from El Shaddei. She is the one that prayed in sacrament meeting with her hands over her head. Yeah, she still has a few different ideas. But she's awesome! We headed over there. She still has El Shaddei stuff and catholic stuff hanging in her house. We have been scheming how to take them without offending her. Everyone gets offended here, so we didn't want to be the cause of yet another less active. We went to her house with a few pics of our own to replace her things with. We taught her and explained why we wanted to take them. She at first didn't get it, but in the end, we helped her understand. There were no hurt feelings. And now, her house has pics of the first presidency, the temple and Jesus! As well as the proclamation to the family. Good call. We had a burning at our house later that night. We have to burn our trash in this area. The items we collected from her disappeared at about the same time we burned our trash. Dunno where they went......

Last week, I told you we had new house mates because they were splitting the area. We had one american that is here for a little from a mission in India. He leaves soon to go back, but we now have a new missionary from India. He will be here for the next 2 or 3 months while his visa is renewed. So they are a 3 some right now! Sweet. Unfortunately for them, we only do Tagalog at the house. But anywho, the area is split now. So half of the people we had are gone!! But that opens up lots of time for us to find new people!!

We also had a baptism Saturday! We had temple tour in the morning. We were able to take two of our baptismal candidates to the temple. That was cool. Good experience for them. And then we went to there baptism. Three in all. Ah man. What a good experience. The Lord has blessed us so much in this area!! There are so many people willing to listen and accept the gospel!! Let me just say to you all that the blessings of a mission so out-weigh any hardship or fear that you have to overcome. There is just nothing better than seeing the gospel change people. 

Also funny story. I have told you we have lots of kids in this area that we are teaching. They can be tough. There is also this misconception here with Papa Jesus. People don't know if that's God or Jesus Christ or both. So we were teaching a kid about the commandments and we asked him where the commandments came from. He said Papa Jesus. I figured it was time to put that down on the spot. So we took a detour and taught about the Godhead. It went well, but man, it was a long road!! Haha, he had the hardest time understanding that there is no Papa Jesus. We have our Saviour, Jesus Christ, who is our brother, not Papa, and we have Heavenly Father. His name is not Jesus. So Papa Jesus = Wala. Pasensiya po. 

Basically my stories are all for laughs. Sorry this is not the most spiritual of emails ever. But I am alive and doing so well. We are being blessed. The work is going well. My comp is awesome. We are killing it. We are working hard and laughing at the same time. Sometimes, literally. But usually not. We are usually serious. Life is awesome when you are a missionary!! 

Pics. Of course, I have sheep. Also, I have pics of the baptism. We ran into Elder Judar at temple tour. Also have pics with the family we took to temple tour. And we have a few of us being goof balls with our other person we baptized on Saturday. Her dad is a recently returned Less Active. I told his story a while ago. He is so awesome and so active now. The gospel folks. It's what's up. I think that's it for pics. If I forgot to describe one or two, sorry. But it's probably just me being weird, so you can figure it out. 

Have a wonderful week!! 

Much love, 

Elder Christensen