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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, August 27, 2013

08-05-2013 What is this magic?

Name it folks. I brought that up on Elder Jensen as a surprise but he got it! The man is a professional. For those of you who didn't get it right off the bat, I'm sorry. You fail. But don't worry. No one is perfect. But here it is. Harry Potter. Yes. The first one. Professor Q. I won't even attempt to spell his name. He's got quite the growth though in the back of his head. Yep, it's that. Anywho. On this end this week, we've pretty much been doing magic. And not only the little tricks for kids. But magic magic. Or you could just say it was a magical week. Or in other and more appropriate words, we have been super very extremely blessed this week by our Heavenly Father. It has been wonderful. How you might ask? Hold your horses! I'm getting there! Game!

So to start all things off. I may have mentioned that we've been teaching loads of teenagers. There is a teacher that is a member that has been referring his students to us. They show up to the church and we teach them. It's awesome! Well, this week, he gave us an even better one. The other teacher that works with him! Smart women. Open to be taught. So we started teaching her this week. We were telling her about families and why they are important. She said, "Yeah, they are. Too bad it's only til death do us part." Wait wait wait, hold up. WHA?? Me and Elder Jensen just looked at eachother with big old grins on our face. Can you have a better opening line than that? I would like to submit that you can not! So we got right down to business and corrected that wonderful mistake. Woohoo! She was VERY interested with what we told her. We are very excited for her. We'll see how that goes!

Sister Durado. Yes, she's becoming quite the regular here. She's awesome! Super solid! So, we taught her LOC and WOW and 10 commandments. They were all super solid because she is so willing to follow and live what she is taught. She is awesome. Now, they own a bakery, which has caused problems with church attendance up until the last two sundays. She had come one sunday. And then we were asking her how it went and if she would be coming again. She said, no, because her husband wanted to come. So instead, they would just switch off every week so that they could attend church and still have someone to stay and run the bakery. We obviously were a little disappointed. She asked what else we could do? We were prompted to change our lesson plan and go ahead with 10 commandments. When we got to the fourth, she stopped and said, "Ok". We asked if she understood. She said yes. Then we asked what she would do. She said she supposed they would have to close down on Sunday. We were so excited! She said, "What? Am I above the commandments? No, and so therefore, I must follow them." We promised her that if they did do those things, they would make up for that day in the other 6 days of work so that it would not affect their family. She is soooo willing to change and do what is right! It's been very inspiring to me. I don't think I've ever met someone so willing to change immediately whatever they are doing to put their life in order. No excuses, no rationalizing. I realized I can probably do even better in my life! If everyone were as willing as she were to follow every commandment with exactness, every word from the prophet, I think we would all find the blessings and hand of the Lord much more abundantly in our lives. I hope we can all do better with following counsel given to us, whatever it may be. You probably already have, but if not, check out the mormon message from Elder Christofferson about the Will of God. Very good. 

We have a less active that introduced us to her Catholic husband about 2 weeks ago. Our first lesson went very well and he seemed very interested. You can typically tell when someone is actually interested and willing to try what you are giving them. This man seemed for real. We didn't see them last week. But we taught them again this Saturday. It was a very good lesson. He had lots of questions and understood as we taught. The Holy Ghost was very present and the key factor in helping him understand the message we had. He has a family and is very interested in their well-being. At the end, we invited him to pray. It was very sincere and we could once again feel the Holy Ghost very strongly as he prayed. We are very excited for this family! I love teaching families and seeing the blessings of the gospel start to work in them! It's been the ultimate blessing for my family and it is such a blessing for me to be able to share that with others and watch them receive the same blessings!

Also, way back in the day. When I first got here, we were teaching a girl named Renalyn Pacamara. She just married a young man from a very good family in our ward. She is catholic. We started teaching her and at first she wasn't getting the answer she wanted, although she enjoyed our teaching. Then one day, she shared with us a very special dream in which she got just the answer she wanted. We were so excited! We had a baptismal date that was quickly approaching. But then, they ended up getting kicked out of the parents house. They moved about 14 hours away to the province. Goodbye Renalyn. But, we did receive word that they found the missionaries there and that the lessons were continuing. Her husband even became the teacher for the gospel principles class. Anywho, the excitement comes from when we walked into them last night!! They are back to live with his parents again. Her baptism was scheduled for next week and so she is still an investigator. And so we will be once again teaching her and help her receive the ordinance of baptism! I am sooo excited for them and the progress they have made! We are just getting blessings about as quick as the letters shooting out the chimney in Harry Potter. It is insane and awesome! I am so glad I'm a missionary!

We unfortunately did receive one of the worst excuses this week for not being able to attend church. Not being able to get out of bed before 2 oclock church when you live down the street? We were so bummed. As well as some of our investigators are doing, some people just don't get it! It really is soooo sad when you want to share so badly the gospel blessings with others and they think it's great, but they truly just don't understand. In that sense, missionary work is also very hard. 

President Sperry shared a scripture story with us this week found in Luke 14: 27-30. It raises the question would any of us start to build a tower, without first sitting down and counting the cost? Of course not! How sad it is for anyone that does. All those who pass will say this is the man that started a tower and could not finish. Sometimes, we or those we know are like the man in the story. We have begun the wonderful journey of discipleship. We study and learn and find that the gospel is a good idea. But perhaps we set about building without counting the cost. Some of us get along in the journey of the gospel and find that the cost is more than what they thought it would be. Maybe there are things they have to give up, which they don't think they can live without. Whatever the reason, they leave the work they have started. We have to understand the cost of discipleship. What does it cost? In all honesty, it costs everything. The scriptures say we must offer our whole souls as an offering. That includes all of our desires, passions, and habits. Whatever they may be. Our music, our movies, our sunday activities, our tithes and offerings, our word choice, our sins and our pride. We must be willing to give it all up and follow the Savior. For some, that is too much. As with the young rich man that came to the Savior and asked what he was lacking. He was instructed to sell all he had and follow the Savior. This man went away sorrowing. He did not count the cost of discipleship. We must be as Peter who says that they gave up their all to follow the Savior. I hope that we will count the cost and not be surprised when trials and hardships come our way. The road was not an easy journey for the Savior, so how can we expect it to be easy for us? I pray we will be willing to give our all. 

On the bright side. We discovered a wonderful treat this week. Elder Jensen introduced our apartment to it. They are called Timtams. They are this delicious little chocolate wafer cookie. Now, I know, you've all had delicious chocolate wafer cookies before. But these are different. You eat them with hot chocolate. You stick the one end of the wafer into the chocolate and then suck like you are using a straw. The hot chocolate seeps up through the cookie making a goopy delicious mess that you stick in your mouth. Besides being deliciously yummy, they are just beyond crazy fun to eat! Oh man! You had best believe when I get home we are doing it. It's not quite as good as gospel blessings, but it's a good enough blessing that I will definitely be sharing it! We are doing it again tonight and this time, I will get pictures. 

Speaking of pictures, they are a bit on the super lame side this week. Ha, sorry! I will do better next week. We've just been soo busy working! But here's what we have. My companion, Elder Jensen, hit his six months mark, so we set about burning one of his ties. Good time. But for some weird reason, I kind of look like the joker in all these pics. There is this weird shadow going on around my mouth. I dunno. It may just be my inner creep coming out, excited by the flames. Don't judge. And um, yeah, that's pretty much it. I got a picture of us here in the computer shop just because pics were so lacking. It's pretty empty in here today. Kinda of nice. Not so many bad words being shouted across the room. But sorry for the lameness of the pics! Next week. Maybe they will be better. Cross your fingers or something. 

Anyway, that's all I have! I hope you are all doing super good! Have a wonderful week! Love you all tons!!

Much love, 

Elder Christensen

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