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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, April 10, 2013

04-01-13 Holy Week?

So, I don't remember for us, but here, Holy Week is kinda THE thing. I mean, people can work on Christmas, but NOBODY works on Good Friday, or whatever it is called. And most people don't work Wednesday through Saturday. It was crazy!! So, most days this week were pretty quiet, but on Friday, it was almost unnerving. We left the apartment and walked down the street and it was like I Am Legend. I thought everyone else on planet earth might have died. It was crazy! No honking jeepneys, no cursing trike drivers, no, "Hey Joe!"s. Nothing. No people. It was the weirdest feeling! In a place that is SO loud and SO crowded to have absolutely nothing. Weird. Unfortunately, they have the whole thing a little backwards. Sunday, which should be holy, was definitely not. Everyone was back to work and the hustle and bustle returned to normal. Interesting how that works, eh? 

Hello all of you happy good white people!! It's been a very good chunk of week, but also extremely short. So, I will tell you in advance that this will not be a killer long or particularly interesting email. I woke up this morning and one of my first thoughts was that I had nothing to say in my weekly email. No list, no crazy experiences, no crazy killer study. So, I don't particularly know what I will say. But I will come up with a few things. Like the first paragraph, they may not be all that spiritually uplifting. 

One thing that was slightly amusing. Actually, to me, it felt slightly degrading, but hopefully you will find it amusing. So this morning. We followed the typical P-day ritual, which involves playing basketball bright and early. We come home after. Our landlord has decided to do a little "face lift" for our bathroom. So we come home from basketball ready to shower and hit the road to celebrate a birthday. Oh ps, yesterday was my boy Broadhead's birthday!! Woohoo! So we were going to celebrate in our favorite buffet. But, haha, joke's on us. Tatay has the bathroom torn apart! "Oh, magandang umaga Tay. Ano ginagawa mo dito? Ah, may project ka ba? Hm, ano lang, may appointment kami ngayon, so kailangan namin maging bilis, and mediyo kailangan namin maligo." Or in other words, great that you have the bathroom torn apart, but we kinda gotta bounce and we need to shower first. He tells us no problem, he's got an apartment below us without people. We can use that shower. Great! So we hop down there. But, there are four of us. Ends up having 2 bathrooms. Long story short, I end up in a 3x3 bathroom, crouched between the nappy toilet and the sink, trying to get myself under a little spigot in the wall, about a foot off the floor. The water barely trickles out and I have nothing to collect it in. So if you will, picture this. We will edit, to be clean. I'm wearing swimming trunks. Thank you for my modesty. Now, using this image, imagine me, basically in fetal position between the gross toilet and sink, my backside stuck on the wall behind me, sticking my hands under the water and just trying to splash it up on me to at least wet my body. The best description would probably be a very deformed T-Rex attempting to splash sewer water on himself while crammed in a toilet stall. Gets nyo ba? Hopefully. It's very hard to describe, but I will probably be haunted by the experience forever. Note to all future missionaries; do bathroom face lifts yourself. If the landlord wants in, tell him too bad. A man can't go without his own bathroom for a day. It just turns out wrong. 

That's about all I have for you. We did work this week, as usual. Taught lessons. Helped people with concerns. Basically did what missionaries do. Our little couple Danika and Mike are progressing wonderfully! They finish all their papers this week and then we will see to getting them married and baptized. And I might miss it! I may transfer first. Blast. But that's ok! They are the dankness! 

I suppose my email may be devoted to what I have been studying, even though I said I had nothing there. It sort of goes along with Easter. So I have been looking into the visions of Nephi and Lehi and the tree of life. It is a very very interesting few chapters. SOOO much symbolism. I have already hit you all with the need for us to hold on to the word of God or study our scriptures. Be warned, I may get back to that in a minute. Maybe. But there is a scripture here. But wait lang. So lets talk about the people. There are several different types of people found in this vision. We may fall into any of the categories. But 1 Nephi 8:32 says, "Many were drowned in the depths of the fountain" if we look into fountain, we find it is filthiness. Filthiness to me could be sin. All of us get caught up in to sin at some point in our lives. I talked about the verse from 2 Peter which says that the temptations of the devil are wells without water. We go off the path into the desert after some well in hope of water and it's depressing to find none there. We are so off the path. We used so much energy getting there. I like the description from verse 8. People drown in the fountain of filthiness. Sin can become overwhelming to us. If we rationalize, well, I've already sinned, might as well carry on, we can drown in our sins or filthiness. We find ourselves overwhelmed and it can be a very hard choice to come back to our Heavenly Father. The crazy thing is how crazy good a liar Satan is. He is always plotting against us. D&C says he goes about, seeking to destroy the souls of men. He tells us that we are the exception. We are too far gone to come back. Our load is too high, too heavy, too filthy to be rid of. But, as the father of lies, what do you expect? It is a lie. My message to you today is that the Atonement of Jesus Christ is infinite. There is nothing that we cannot overcome through His atonement. Because of our loving Heavenly Father and our loving brother Jesus Christ made a way for us to return. We can repent. Jacob 2:8, "And it supposeth me that they have come up hither to hear the pleasing word of God, yes, the word which healeth the wounded soul". Through this gospel, we find happiness and joy and find access to the cleansing power of the Atonement. We find that the overwhelming weight of sin is escape-able. We find that we can have peace in this life as we follow the commandments of our Heavenly Father. It all works because of the Atonement. 

But, I told you I would probably get back to scripture study. It's so important!! Helaman 3:29-30 tells us that the word of God is powerful and will destroy the snares of satan and lead men to our Heavenly Father. And if we return to the vision, those who hold faithful to the scriptures, and don't give into the pride of the world will be lead to the tree of life. So, we can all do ourselves a favor and just stay reading our scriptures every day!! Feast upon the word folks. Like a starving man let loose in Tucanos. Go wild!! But, of course, should we fall, which we all do, take advantage of the atonement. 

Almost forgot pics!! First is one I just thought was amusing. Never Flat? Yeah, I hope you can get your money back!! Second is me helping my comp get his dunk on this morning at basketball. Yeah, that's what's up! The next just shows how good my comp is at ball. Man'll be famous some day. Or so he thought. The last pic is Broadhead helping my mini comp get down from the rim after I put him up. Haha, oh thank goodness for height!! That's all the pics!! Sorry! Short email, no pics. Lame, eh? Maybe next week will be better. Maybe. No promises though!! 

Anyway. Shortish message. Nothing else. Sorry if it's below par. But I hope you all had an absolutely wonderful Easter and a wonderful week! Keep it real and be happy until we meet again next week!! 

Much love, 

Elder Christensen

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