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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, March 27, 2013

Pics for Bus Driver

03-27-13 "No no, I'm supposed to Kill the Bus Driver"

Hello my people!! Sorry for the un-missionary quote. It popped into my head while I was eating lunch. Go figure.

Life on this side of the planet is wonderful! Alrighty, so to start, I will not preach to you this week. Seriously. Too many weeks now. So, we will try to make this a quick email. Lots of good things happening, but unfortunately, walang picture. Almost. There are a few. But not many.

So to start. I think I told you about these people last week or the week before. Danika and Michael. They are the bomb!!! We found them, 2 or 3 weeks ago and from the get go, they were down to hear the gospel. A few things though. They are young and not married, but living together. They have word of wisdom issues. And some other things. So that could turn out interesting. We find in the scriptures in 1 Nephi 16:2 that the wicked will take the truth to be hard. They don't like being corrected. But those with good hearts will know when they need to change and they will accept it. So you pretty much get 3 different reactions. First, they get offended and don't want to listen. Second, they know it's true and want to change, but they are either too lazy or too caught up in sin to make the change. They don't progress. Or you sometimes get these awesome people that get pricked in the heart and know they must change and they do what it takes to repent and do better, regardless of challenges or slip ups or whatever the trial may be. Those are the kind you want!! It just so happens that this couple is the third type. Score!!! So we hit them with two big lessons, two days in a row. Word of Wisdom, followed by Law of Chastity. They quit all of the WoW problems that day and they have been working like mad fools the last few days to get all the paper work and other requirements done to get married. They are soo awesome!! You aren't supposed to have favorites, but they are probably my favorite investigators I've had on my mission. They are so prepared to have the gospel in their lives. It is awesome to see the changes they are making!! So that is exciting! I'll keep you updated there!

This last week, we had another baptism. It's a girl from a part member family that we've been teaching for a while. They are way cool! Awesome!!

We had a fun service project this week. (If you can't tell from my random jumping of topics, I actually have a list this week! It just means I don't connect anything I'm saying. Sorry if it's boring!) We went to a family in our ward. Pulled up all manner of weeds and dead banana tree leaves and other manner of plant life and burned it all! It was a big ol' grand fire!! In Utah, this wouldn't fly, but here, you can burn everything!! Got trash? Take it outside and burn it. Weeds? Leaves? Obnoxious children? Burn em!!! 'Cept maybe the kids. Probably don't burn them. Save the children. "All we need, quite frankly, is hard cash donation. I's for the children." Yeah, name that. Anyway. So we had a good time there. All smelled like we'd been camping as we rode the jeep home. Good times.

We had another fun lesson with tithing this week. We visited this man. He hasn't been coming to church. We were talking and he talked about how he wanted to go to the temple. Sweet! But you need to start with going to church. This guy was chilling at his house. He told us he hadn't been at church cuz he was washing clothes. Think about it. Go to church, and instead of chilling in the afternoon, wash clothes. And that's if it must be on Sunday. He told us it had to be that day. No other choice. Ok, try out my suggestion. Problem solved. Anyway. He had a few issues. But he also had an issue with tithing. Sometimes they pay some, but not all. I wish I could help everyone understand. We all have enough money to pay tithing. We pay a percentage. 10%. That means that we always have enough money. The blessing we get for paying tithing so outweighs the 10% bit of cash we give up. And all of that is coming from God to us anyway. Why do we pay part tithing? Just pay the whole bit! Qualify for the whole blessing! Go to the temple! Get endowed with power and righteousness and protect your family. I said it last week but I love the quote. It is not that we are too rich or too poor to pay tithing. It is just that we don't have enough faith to pay tithing. Sigh. Pay tithing. Let the Lord open the windows of heaven with a blessing so large that we don't have room enough to receive it.

My comp had a birthday! The man is an old geezer! Hit the good age of 22. We grabbed some mango ice cream and bakery treats and partied in style. Finished the party today with a good trip to the coveted Wendy's. Yeah, that's what's up.

Today was temple day. I love the temple. We are so blessed in Utah to have so many temples so close to us!! We got up at 3:30 to get to the temple. But our taxi ride was faster than ever and we got there within about 30 minutes. Sweet. Ps, for you dad. Back in the day. The guy pulls in front of you only doing 100? Yeah, I'm pretty sure I went the fastest of my mission yet this morning and we never got above 85. People in this country drive SLOW!!!

So next week, P-day is a regular old monday thing. Now, I know it's April 1 and all, but don't be hitting me with that April Fool's garbage. I'm a missionary and I don't see you all. Don't hit me with that weird stuff and then hit me the week after and be like oh hey, haha, joke lang. I know you are going to want to do it, but don't give in. No more emails for people who do April Fool's to missionaries.

So pics. I've got a few of us burning stuff and pulling weeds. And a little house. And my comp falling asleep in a lesson. Then we have one from the baptism. Not much. Sorry folks. I'll be back in a few days! I'll try to snap some photos! Have a wonderful week! Read scriptures every day!!

Much love,

Elder Christensen

Pics for World Peace

03-18-13 "And... world Peace!"

As missionaries, we do generally promote world peace. Usually. There are a few dogs, roosters, and young children that cause us to put that promotion on hold. But, besides that. World Peace. Peace. The gospel is a message of peace. Hm. Yes, you may be able to tell I have nothing to say to start this email. Oh well! Let's just dive straight in!!

Of course, as always, this week was great!! I don't think on my mission yet I have had a day that, in the end, was deemed not good. Every journal entry; "So today was a good day" or "Today was great!!". Just tells you what is up. 

So last week I preached and preached and preached. I apologized and promised not to do it again. But unfortunately for all of you, I have been encouraged to share more and I have some more thoughts to share. So this email may at some point, turn a little preachy. I cannot guarantee no preaching. If preaching is something you cannot endure, please, leave the sight in which you are viewing this email immediately, for your own good. If you choose to proceed, you cannot say I didn't warn you. 

We had a good experience teaching about tithing this week. We have a 12 year old investigator. She lives with her grandma. Nanay (the grandma) was not super active a little while back, but as of late, she's been all kinds of active and she wants to get back in the temple. She is always their when we teach Kate (the granddaughter). So this week, we were teaching about tithing. Kate was getting it and loving it. But Nanay had some questions, which is the beauty of having less active folk join in on the lessons. It makes for a great review for them to be sure they understand all the doctrine. One of the questions was, "What if the power bill is due and I can't afford both? We've got a lot of little kids here. If we can't use electric fans, they will be suffering. I'm sure the Lord understands if I pay the bill first and pay tithing next time." Oh boy. Can I tell you how many times in my mission I have heard, "Oh I'm sure the Lord understands". People use it all the time as an excuse to not follow the commandments. So two things. We must discuss the tithing and we must discuss this excuse. Excuse first. Now, the Lord does understand us. He understands us better than we understand ourselves. And I'm sure he would love to give us blessings, even if we don't follow the commandments. But Heavenly Father is a perfect God. He is a merciful, but just God. He has to follow the rules. If we don't follow the commandments, we cannot receive the blessings. He cannot give them to us. "I the Lord am bound when ye do what I say, but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise", D&C 82:10. The Lord knows it's not always easy to keep commandments. But it is always necessary. There is always a way to keep the commandments. 1 Nephi 3:7. Everyone knows that scripture. We use it for everything! I could rant on that for hours, but I won't. But how sad would it have been if Jesus Christ had decided, "Ah, you know, this is tough. I'm suffering. I'm sure Heavenly Father will understand if I don't follow through with this". We need to follow His example and be obedient to the commandments, no matter what the consequences are for us. "all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good" D&C 122:7. The Lord will provide a way and he will provide blessings for those who are obedient. Often times, we will be tested to see how great our faith is. Yesterday we had stake conference. It was a broadcast from Salt Lake City. Elder Robert D. Hales said, "No one is too rich or too poor to pay tithing. It is not that we don't have enough money to pay tithing, but we don't have enough faith to pay tithing". Anyway, I've gone on too long on this already. But basically, the Lord cannot make exceptions for us to not follow commandments. And we must pay our tithing. The blessing we receive for paying will be far greater than the 10% of money that we give up. We need the Lord's blessing, and therefore, we need to pay tithing. 

We also had a cool experience where we went to have an FHE. They ended up canceling on us. But, we did end up helping out this family. We just started asking them how they were doing, but it ended up being them hitting us with concerns and questions and then we started giving answers. There were so many questions. For the sake of time, I'll just give you one that I found interesting. The LA daughter has been going to Catholic church with mom, because, "We all worship the same God, so it can't be bad, right?" Interesting thought for you there. I won't go deep into it. There are many scriptures. But for a person who believes that Joseph Smith is a prophet; why would Heavenly Father restore the church through Joseph Smith if, because a church teaches about God, it is enough? Catholics were around. Protestants, baptists. All of them. But God still restored His church. "They draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me". We also learn in the scriptures that their are only two churches. If a church that teaches about God is keeping you from THE church of God and all of the ordinances of His true church that are necessary for our salvation, whose church is it? Satan can't hit us with a church of worshiping the devil. No one would join. But if you have truth in it, say it teaches of Christ, then you can twist things, get followers, and keep people from salvation. He is the Father of all lies, and therefore, very crafty at it. He is the best. So is going to a church because it teaches about Christ ok? Is it enough? Answer that one for yourselves. 

Now, I had a fun scripture study. 1 Nephi 14:14. This is Nephi having a vision about the members of the church in our day. It says that, "They were armed with righteousness and with the power of God in great glory." That was interesting to me. So, how do we as members, become armed with righteousness and the power of God? So of course, I pursued it in the scriptures. That is a wonderful place to dive into. The first place I was led was in Luke 24:49, "...but tarry ye in Jerusalem until ye be endued with power from on high." The footnote says that endued = clothed. Hm. Interesting that, eh? Next footnote takes us to D&C 38:32, "...ye should go to the Ohio; and there I will give unto you my law; and there shall ye be endowed with power from on high." Endowed with power from on high. Let me just hit you with a list of scrips that you can look into if you want. D&C 39:15, D&C 43:16, D&C 110:9-10, D&C 105:12. We could go forever on this! Ha, I did! And there is still sooo much to find here! But basically, we are armed with righteousness and the power of God in the temple, if we prepare ourselves and then are faithful to our covenants. Armed with that power, we are to go forth and share with other nations, and with that power, we are to overcome wickedness. Now, does that mean that only those who are endowed are entitled to power from the Lord? No! The youth can receive a portion of that power as they serve in the temple and give the Holy Ghost a chance strengthen them. And of course, as always, we need to study the scriptures and attend church to partake of the sacrament in order to remain clean, and sanctified, in order to be able to strengthen others. Sigh, I'm running out of time, so I can't keep going with this. But if you have time and are interested, check it out! I recommend it! 

One other fun thought. Back to yesterday with our stake conference. We were also blessed to hear from Elder Holland. He is the man. He gave us a recommendation that I will share with you. Read D&C 121-123. These are revelations coming to Joseph Smith while he was in Liberty Jail. So study them. But he did say just a few, quick things that I'd like to share. He focused a lot on trials and how even at the hardest, most trying times of our lives, we can still be at the top of our game spiritually and be led and inspired. He said that all bad days come to an end. Sometimes we get caught up with how hard life is. It would be nice to remember that it will end. Don't you even worry. The sun rises again, and everything will be ok. D&C 121:7-8, one of my favorite scriptures. It just speaks peace to us all. "My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment. And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes." So don't even worry. Life is hard. We are struggling. But we do all that we can. And as it says in section 123, then we can wait and watch for the arm of the Lord to be revealed. Everyone has trials. All the prophets and apostles had hard times. Elder Holland said if we have a bad day, we are in very good company. As disciples of Christ, we should follow his example and therefore, expect a fair amount of trials. But don't you fret. Everything will be for our good and everything is going to be ok. Man, what a wonderful talk. Read those three sections. And remember that our Heavenly Father will always be there for us. You may feel that your prayers are not heard or answered. I know that they are heard, and Heavenly Father does answer prayers. Not always on our time or how we expect, but He always does. 

Anywho. That's about all I have for you all. Sorry about the preachiness. Hopefully, something in this eternally long email will help someone out and remind you all to have a good day, even if you feel it hasn't been going good. Smile! 

Pics are a little lacking. Just me being a goofball with some of the wonderful people from my ward. And the one pic with the goofy hand up to the eye thing; apparently that's Filipino peace. Who knew? That is the reason for the subject. What an insane elder. Sigh. Anyway!! Have a wonderful week!!!

Much love, 

Elder Christensen 


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Pics for "Transfers"

3-12-13 Transfers...

Well folks, the announcements are in. As of last night. Hello Zone, here are your transfer announcements. And leaving the Sampaguita Ward....NO ONE!!!! Hahahahaha!!! This is a laugh of excitement! That is right y'all! I'm staying!! My comp and I are staying together, even though we just finished his training. That NEVER happens!!! But it has. Yes, I believe I am receiving blessings. I love my comp, I love my area, and I love what's happening in it. And I'm staying with it all. And, don't forget, this means me and Broadhead stay kadistrict. That's what's up. 

This week has been a good week. Then again, aren't they always? 

So a cool story. Back on Tuesday, we had district meeting. One of the zone leaders shared an idea that when we get punted from an appointment, we should try talking to people who are nearby. There is always a reason for being punted. Some other opportunity you can capitalize on. I am not super good at that. If I get punted, we usually head to the next appointment. So we decided we'd give it a try. After district meeting, we of course went out to work. Funny story, first appointment; punted. So we headed off to the next appointment. But as we were walking past one of the nearby houses, a lady out front said, "Hi Elders!" If you hear the word Elders, that is a good sign. They know something about the church, even if all they know is that we are called elders. So we stopped and went to talk to them. It was a delightful conversation that ended up with us having a return appointment to teach. They are GOLDEN!! They are a nice young couple. Girl is 18, boy is 19. We have taught them twice now. They have a baptismal date for April. They are so willing to make changes and they are loving the gospel. They are actually reading the Book of Mormon, which is a miracle!! The Tagalog in the Book of Mormon is so deep, that Filipinos don't like to read it. It's too hard. It's so hard to get people to read the Book of Mormon. But, it's incredible the difference we have with them, a couple actually reading the BoM, to people that we teach who don't read it. I always say it, and I can and will keep saying it. We need to read the scriptures!! And that is a whole different ball park that I will get to later. The point is, we followed the advice of our zone leader. New investigators of the golden status!! Later in the same day, we did the same thing and talked to some older gentleman. He also wants us to come back, but we haven't met with him again yet. But basically, the idea has worked and we are having success from it. Yes!!! 

We had ward conference this week. Basically on Saturday, some of the stake leaders came and laid down the law on our ward leaders. Told them to step their game up. It was great! We are trying to get the hometeaching program rolling. So we went out with some of the priesthood brethren of the ward to visit with them. It was sad to see how hard it was for our older brethren of the church to share a message! Practically incapable!! But that's ok. It takes practice. When you haven't done hometeaching in 5 years, you get a little rusty. So hopefully that will get rolling! 

Sunday was still ward conference. We still had stake leaders there laying down the law. But this time, it was on the members!! And it was wonderful!! Our bishop gave a wonderful talk with a thought I'd like to share. He talked about how we all have agency. We have some things that we have no control over. And our life will play out with how we react to those situations. For example; a mom cooks breakfast; dad and daughter are eating. Daughter spills milk on dad's shirt. Dad reacts. Gets mad at his daughter for spilling the milk. Tells her off for it. Girl starts crying. Dad tells mom that she needs to take better care to raise the daughter better. Dad and mom fight. Girl misses the school bus cuz she is crying. Dad changes his clothes and then has to drive the girl to school. Leaves without even saying goodbye to the wife. Is driving fast cuz daughter is late. Gets pulled over. Ticket and daughter is now way late for school. As result, she is in trouble. Dad is then late for work. Gets chewed out by the boss for coming in late. After a long day of work, goes home cranky. Pretty lousy eh? Is that all caused by the spilled milk? Maybe not. I heard a quote once. Our problems our not always the problem, but the way in which we deal with the problem. Lets hit rewind. What if this is the situation. Mom cooks breakfast; dad and daughter are eating. Daughter spills milk on dad's shirt. Dad chooses to act. He says don't worry, I'll go change my shirt. Be careful next time though! Smooches the daughter on his way up the stairs. Daughter heads off to school. On the way out the door to work, dad thanks wife for breakfast and leaves her with a kiss. Wonderful day of work. Comes home to a happy family. The ending is completely different. All because of the way the father handled the situation. In the second, he chose not to be upset. The deed was done. He chose to be happy about it and move on. We all have problems every day. Some are not as simple as spilled milk. But life will be so much easier and happier if we choose not to be acted upon, but to act. "There are two types of people in this world; those who are acted upon and those who act." Story of John Rowe Moyle, Stonecutter Video. 2 Nephi 2:14 "For there is a God, and he hath created all things...both things to act and things to be acted upon" Satan would have us be things that are acted upon. We had milk spilled on us so we have no choice but to be angry. But our Heavenly Father would have us be things that act. We did have milk spilled on us, but instead of letting that make us mad, we choose to act and to be happy. We have things that we cannot control. Our happiness and eternal salvation can depend on how we choose to act. Don't be acted upon. Choose to act. Choose to be happy. 

Alright, as long as I'm up on my soap box. Thought from earlier about reading scriptures. I will not punish you with the whole personal study I had, but I will give a few brief thoughts. You may want to go check this out if you find this interesting at all. I'm sure the study would be better coming from you than from me. Unfortunately, I have no notes. So we are running on memory. Yeah, good luck. Ok, so I was reading in 1 Nephi, about Lehi's dream, and the tree of life and what not. Loving it. Get to 1 Nephi 8:23. It talks about mists of darkness. The mists of darkness that cause even those people who are in the way (members?) who get blinded and become lost. Wow, if this stuff is pulling off members from the way and causing them to be lost, we'd best know what the mists of darkness are so that we can watch out! What are the mists of darkness? Footnotes. I highly recommend them. They change the scriptures. 1 Nephi 12:17. The mists of darkness are the temptations of the devil which blind the eyes and harden the hearts and lead people away to destruction. AH! The temptations of the devil. If we follow another footnote to 2 Peter, we read that the temptations of the devil are wells without water, which to me means they have no reward. Why do we go to wells? For the water, of course. We expect to receive that reward. But his temptations are wells without water. We expect to get something, but there is no blessing. There is nothing there. Empty promises that leave you lost. Ok, so we know what the mists are. But it says the mists cover the path. So no one is escaping them. Everyone has to pass through them. How do we be sure that we aren't being fooled, blinded, and becoming lost? What do we do? Ha, of course, the answer is in the scriptures! 1 Nephi 15:24 talks about the iron rod, or the scriptures. Those who hearken to and hold on to the scriptures will not be overcome or be blinded and led away. We hearken to the scriptures by studying them and applying the things we learn in our lives. So we overcome the temptations of satan with the scriptures!! We have to read them every day! And not just read but really study them. Then if you flip to Ephesians 6:16. Above all, we take the shield of faith which quenches all the fiery darts of the wicked. What's up!!! So as we study the scriptures and apply them to our lives, we are more able to overcome temptations, which in turn builds our faith. Our faith then becomes our shield that we use to put away doubts and temptations and whatever else satan has to throw at us. So!!!! STUDY YOUR SCRIPTURES!!!! No excuses!! If you don't, you wander and become lost. Don't get lost. Read. Wassup. 

Ok, I am throwing my soap box in the trash!! I will try to never do that to you all again!! I'm sorry, I just get so excited! And just like that, I've preached to you all and run myself out of email time. Woe is me. Sigh. Sorry!! This was a wonderful week! We are having tons of success! My area is great, my comp is money, and life is the best!!! Everyone should just serve a mission and then I can stop emailing you all cuz you'll already know what's up!! Do it!! 

The pics! The first is a couple of future missionaries wearing our shoes. Looks good. I'd like to say they'll grow into them, but in reality, their feet will never be as big as mine. Filipinos are small. It's just a fact. The next pic is how I spend my time here. You all thought I was teaching the gospel? Na, I'm livin it up!! The next would be me with some kiddies. Don't I have these every week? The next is Elder Sumagaysay during comp study. I was trying to explain a principle in the training program we're doing. Looked up to see that face. Man, people enjoy my teaching!! And the final picture pretty much sums up my life as a missionary, and my missionary character. As you can see, I'm a serious man. Sorry about the pics and the lack thereof, but the cam just didn't come out much this week. Too much work!!!!! 

I love you all! Have a wonderful week! Don't let red heads preach to you! RUN!!!

Much love, 

Elder Christensen 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Pics for French Cuisine

3-4-13 The 3 Secrets to French Cuisine...

That would be butter, butter and butter. Which is something I needed to buy this week to make a delicious cake thingy that came from the good old US of A. Birthday cake, pudding, cake thingy. And I am blaming getting fat on the rice? Yeah, think again!

Man, time is flyin. I still feel like I'm fresh out of the MTC. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Amazing grace... No one gets that. Sigh. That's ok. Suits on the Loose yo.

So funny story for all y'all. Our mission president told us that people will not feel the Holy Ghost if they are actively breaking commandments. So as missionaries we need to always be following all the rules in order to be led by the Spirit. No problem. But this week, it had a different meaning for me. We went to teach one of our recent converts. She told us her husband is a missionary for his church, which she also said is a cult. Sweet. So we go visit. She says, "Eh, minor issue, my Mr. is in and he would not like you to visit." Just then, her hubby comes around the corner and says, "Who is that?" She says, "The missionaries." He says, "Cool, cool, come in!" Sweet, he is ok with us teaching his wife. But when we come in, he sits down with us and says, "So what do we do to start?" Oh man, he is sitting in. Hm. Well ok, maybe we'll just hit him with a brief testimony and bounce. But then, he takes things into his own hands. And from 5 feet away where I'm sitting, I can smell the alcohol on his breath. Oh boy. He just starts going to town on us and about how we are false and what not. Oh man. He doesn't leave us with time to answer questions or with time to even stand up and leave. Just goes on and on. And another wonderful bonus is that he isn't speaking Tagalog. The man speaks Visaya, which is a different dialect. So I speak English and Tagalog. My comp speaks Illongo and Tagalog. And this man speaks Visaya and Tagalog. We should all speak Tagalog. But this cat is so excited and smashed that he is just going to town in Visaya. I don't understand most of it, but enough to know that he is just destroying us. I won't go where he went, but I did have a few things learned from the experience. A man that is drunk that wants to fight is not going to feel the Spirit. Even if you were to destroy their religion and all of their questions about your religion, they won't accept the truth. For all who will be serving, if you run into a lovely child of God who is like that, just bounce! Not only did we not help this man in any way, we also completely lost the feeling of the Spirit for us. I admit, we left with no hard feelings, but I was upset that he wouldn't let us talk and he wouldn't speak Tagalog and he never gave us a chance to share with him. And thus, we had no Spirit. It made it very hard to teach our following lesson. So, when you have a situation like that, it is better to just leave. Leave them with a smile on your face and the Spirit in your heart.

But the week was still wonderful! Don't take a situation like that and think that missionary work is nothing but drunk preachers, darkness, misery and endless woe. The week was awesome! We have so many good things happening in this area! This is definitely the most successful area of my mission so far. We have an Iglesia man that we are teaching. He was thinking about bouncing and not having any more lessons. Man's girlfriend is Iglesia. But it was all good. Elder Sumagaysay came in and saved the day. We will be teaching that man again tomorrow. Yes! Also, yesterday, we had a guy just show up to the church. He was taught by the missionaries about two years ago and then they just moved here. He came looking for the church and for the missionaries. Ha! Is that not just exactly what a missionary wants to hear? Fun fact, it is!! So we taught him. He has a baptismal date. The work is just progressing so much. For every trial you have, you receive blessings if you are willing to push through and continue to be obedient. Every day we get turned away from appointments. "Next time na lang elders!" BAh!! But if you keep working hard, the Lord just throws you blessing. Free blessings! Come and get em! A man just showing up to church wanting to be taught? SWEET! Missionary work is just the best thing in the world. It is the best growing experience in the world. Serve missions yo!!

One other story. People always tell me that they can't come to church because of blank. They can't do this or that because of blank. They can't follow the commandments because of blank. Of course God expects us to follow the commandments. Sure He does. And if I didn't have this one thing, I would follow it. But because of this one thing I have, I am exempt. It's ok. Or even if they know they need to follow, well, oh well. Someday I can follow the commandments again when I don't have this one thing. This is a lie!!! AHHHH!! People are sooo fooled! 1 Nephi 3:7. Every person alive knows this scripture. The Lord doesn't give us a commandment that we can't follow. We always have a way to follow the commandments. The Lord will provide that way. We just have to be willing to do our part. The Lord provided a way for Nephi to get the plates from Laban. But if Nephi had just chilled in a tent in the wilderness with his family, they never would have gotten the plates. Nephi had to go back with his brothers to Jerusalem. They had to try a few different things. And then Nephi had to be willing to just go by faith, when he had done all that he could. Then the Lord gave him a drunk Laban. If we have a job that is in the way of us keeping the commandments, we talk to our boss to figure it out. If we can't make that work, we say sayang and we find a new job. We may have no job for a little. But then we go by faith and the Lord will not leave us hanging when we do our part to keep the commandments. Just because we have something in the way, that is not an excuse to not keep the commandments. That is a lie from Satan. We have to make those things work in a way that we can still follow the commandments, or we remove those things from our lives. We are so often blinded by Satan. We lose our eternal perspective and sight of what is truly important. If we want to find true happiness and reap eternal blessings, we have to be willing to make sacrifices. We sacrifice the parts of our lives that are worldy and natural to bring ourselves closer to our Father in Heaven. Now I'm rambling. But the main purpose is that we can't not follow commandments, just for now, or just because of blank. We have to make it work in line with the commandments or make a change.

First pic is me and the district. Good people. Next pic is me and Broadhead with my birthday cake...a few weeks late. Elder Sagario snagged a pic of me and my comp hittin our comp study. Then a pic of Filipino construction practices. Yeah, my house is surrounded by scaffolding. That funny little poorly placed bit of pipe is the only thing holding the scaffolding from all falling off backwards. You'd best believe I will never be involved in any of their construction. It may work for 70 pound men, but not for the slightly heavier kids. I know, I didn't tell you my exact weight. That's because it's appalling. It's kind of a women thing. But don't make fun of me for it. We took a pic with some random kids the other day. One was trying to take a pic of me on the sly. Of course I noticed, so I made a deal that they could use their camera if they would take one with mine too. Love kids. I think I spend more time talking to kids then anyone else. You tend to talk to people who are similar to you. I'm still childish. Wassup. And the last pic is my comp and I last night at FHE with one of our families. Good people.

This is a very short email and very short of details. But you do have a few pics and pic is worth a thousand words, so technically, my email is very long. Sorry for that, but enjoy! Have a wonderful week! And read your scriptures!!

Much love,

Elder Christensen

Pics for "Chocolate"

2-24-13 Dawg, that ain't chocolate...

So I already know what you are all thinking. No, the subject is not about excrement of any kind. Although, that usually would be the deal with a subject line like that. But, I am in the Philippines. And therefore, surprise!!! But we will get to that later. Also, the computer I am using has no apostrophe key, so I cannot use contractions. Happy day. Let us move on!! Man, English is weird without contractions! 

It has been a good week. Ha, a very good week. Firstly, I got a nice surprise in the mail. Yeah, that is right foos!!! My special visitor was not the stork. No children. But Santa did pay me a visit. Christmas packages!! Yea, verily verily I say unto you that my joy was exceedingly great, yea, unto the exhausting of all my strength. But that probably came from the celebration!! Christmas packages! Yes! That means that I only have two wait 10 months til Christmas, while all yall will be waiting a total of 12 months. Read em and weep boys and girls. Weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth. Dont you just love the word gnashing? Who came up with that? What all does that imply exactly? I dunno. You should google it and let me know. Google is bawal for me. Thanks! 

I guess we will get to the subject line story already, cuz that is what is up next. So our MTC teachers warned us that when we got here, our fellow missionaries would try to give us chocolate. But this chocolate is something they heat up on the grill and it does not melt. Fun fact, it is not chocolate. It is blood. Now, I have been here ages. Of course, thanks to the warning of my beloved teachers, I was not fooled. But I keep watching people eat it and I figured hey, there is one to add to the list of crazy food I have eaten. So I did. Not bad. At all. I will probably never ever eat it again, cuz it wasnt exactly phenomenal, but ok lang. Ps, Im sick of talking without contractions cuz it sounds weird. So all yall are just going to suffer the missing apostrophes. Pasensya na. 

So we had an interesting experience with being bold this week. We have loads and loads of less actives. I think my ward has about 500-700 members. About 200 of them are active. Yeah, what in the world? So we spend a lot of time teaching less actives. The Book of Mormon talks about those who know the truth and turn from it have harder hearts than those who have never learned it. Thats a fact. With our less or shall I say inactive members, we have to be bold to try and get through. Mormon talks about how when he didnt use boldness, no one cared. When he was bold, they got angry. Its a fine balance you have to hit. But the man is spot on. Sometimes it can be really hard to get through to people and help them repent or realize that they need to repent. You have to hope that their heart has got a crack somewhere that the Holy Ghost can sneak into. Im not really good at being bold. Its hard to tell folk straight to their face that they need to repent or they will have to suffer the same way the Savior suffered. D&C 19, recommendation of my boy Elder Broadhead. We hit up this one man with this section from the good old D&C this week. Killer lesson. I was freakin a bit cuz Im not used to being so bold. But Elder Sumagaysay and I had decided beforehand that he needed to hear this. I have been teaching him since I got to this area. Coming from his own mouth, he has not made any progress since then. Its actually the same guy I talked about a few weeks ago that talked about how when we are young we have to worry about work instead of the things of the Lord. So we hit the man with this lesson. It was a score of a lesson! I always read about the wonderful missionaries in the BoM that teach people straight up, no beating around the bush about how they need to repent. Or in other words, they go around smacking people with the good word. I wish we taught everyone that way. But anywho, it felt a lot like that with this less active man. He got really squirmy. You could tell he felt super guilty and that he knew he needed to change. The Holy Ghost was inside just taking notes for all the things that needed remodeling. We actually havent been back to the man yet, but we are hoping some good things come from that. Haha, thats a weird story to end with we dont actually have any results yet. But it was a really cool lesson. So moral of the story is, sometimes you have to be bold with people, even if you dont want to. Sometimes you have to risk someone being offended to offer them the chance to realize they need to repent. 

We also had zone conference. Man, do I love me some good zone conference. President Sperry is an incredible man. He can lay down the law with the scriptures. He just unfolds things to you that you never would have even thought of before. Its the best! We talked all about the Atonement. Man, I will have some cool things to show you all when I get home if the Philippines sun doesnt melt the brain out of my head!! 

Weve been getting tons of referrals lately. Grabbed a new investigator this week from a referral. Sweetness. 

We also had temple tour and a baptism!! Weve been teaching this little munchkin child forever! He is the one from the Papa Jesus rant a few weeks ago. Kid is awesome, but really slow to understand. But, the time has finally come that he was ready to be baptized!! He is only 8, but he really wants to serve a mission. He was asking us when he could go on a mission so that he could be like us. Ah man. Good kid. We took him and his siblings to temple tour in the morning. Then afterwards, we had the baptism. Good day. 

Pics yo. First is my blood on a stick. Filipino chocolate. Yum yum. Next is me showing off my wonderful Christmas blessings. Oh man, I havent eaten so well my whole mission!! Thanks mum! And the next. Yeah. Elder Sumagaysay is also enjoying my packages. Me and some kids just being us. Then a morning sun thingy. And then the temple tour. And the baptism. And then me and some kid on a jeep. Good times yall. Good times. 

And that my dear friends, is kind of it for this week. Sorry, I once again didnt write anything down. I have gotten sloppy there. In my defence....there is nothing. Sorry lang! Thank you all for the wonderful support! Have an awesome week! 

Much love,

Elder Dallin Christensen