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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!)

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Pics for House Divided

10-20-2013 House Divided

**The following message has been edited to eliminate names and places, as an effort to protect privacy.  Some pictures described below will not be posted for the same reason.  We are just trying to conform to recommended privacy guidelines.  **

Does that sound like a movie title? I thought it did. Sounds good too. I would probably see it if it came out. Based on how good the trailer was of course. But I'd for sure be interested. But that's all beside the point!

Hello everyone! This week was awesome! Elder W and I have been slaying things over here and the work is looking up. We have been way busy and we taught more lessons this week than I have since being back in M! For having just split the area, that's great news! 

We had another lesson this week with our actor, Brother C. He is really nice and seems excited to have the gospel coming back into his life. He made the observation that he has been neglecting the scriptures and knows it will bring him a lot more happiness and guidance of the spirit should he start reading again. When we stopped by, his family wasn't there, so we haven't taught them yet, but we are working on it! 

Elder W and I have been talking to EVERYONE! We talk to all sorts of folks in the street. Knock doors. This week Elder W randomly walked into this shop that is attached to someone's house. Chatted the lady up and then she ended up inviting us in to talk to her family. Turns out her husband was baptized back when he was 14. We taught them a lesson and they are willing to let us continue teaching them! 

We have also been trying to find all of our active members and share the work of salvation videos with them and teach them how to get involved in the work. So far it's going well. Now we will just have to see if they get involved! I hope so. 

That kind of brings up what I wanted to share with you all this week from the scriptures. We are trying to get involved with our members and with our leaders. I found a few helpful scriptures. In Matt. 12:25, "And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand". As members and missionaries, we have to be one in the work. If we expect to do it alone as members or missionaries, we are mistaken. As a missionary, I've seen that the work does not progress without the help of the members. We have to become one in purpose and in focus to help bring the gospel to our brothers and sisters. And then, this last week in study, I came across Helaman 15:5-6 which reads, "And I would that ye should behold that the more part of them are in the path of their duty, and they do walk circumspectly before God, and they do observe to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments according to the law of Moses.Yea, I say unto you, that the more part of them are doing this, and they are striving with unwearied diligence that they may bring the remainder of their brethren to the knowledge of the truth; therefore there are many who do add to their numbers daily". The Lamanites saw the need that their brethren had to hear the gospel. They were not content with their own family hearing it. They wanted to take it to all of their brethren. First, they were keeping the commandments themselves and preparing spiritually to share the gospel. We cannot help convert anyone past our own conversion. If we don't keep the commandments, we can't help them to keep them either. And we must be prepared to have the Holy Ghost with us. We will have a hard time finding opportunities to share the gospel if we are not in tune with the Holy Ghost. So that is the first thing they did. They prepared. And second, they strived with unwearied diligence to bring others to the knowledge of the truth. They didn't seek sometimes to share. They didn't seek until they grew tired. They didn't try a few times and then being rejected became satisfied with the work. They constantly and diligently sought to share the gospel with others. I think that is a good example for us of how we ought to seek to share the gospel. All in all? We must become one as members and missionaries. We must prepare ourselves to share. And we must strive with unwearied diligence to bring the gospel to the remainder of our brethren. I know that as we do these things, we will be guided to those who are being prepared. The Lord will help us to share with them those things they need to hear in order for the Holy Ghost to touch their hearts. And we will begin to see the fruits of our labors as others "add to our numbers". We will see the joy of the gospel enter into their lives and bless their families. I know that is true and I pray that we will all seek to be instruments in the Lord's hands. 

Well, it's about that time that I wrap things up. I didn't get many pics. But I see what I can give you. First up, we have a pic of the zone. Yes, Elder H dwarfs me. 6' 7" is hard to compete with. You ought to see us play basketball. That's a joke! Next is my cool little Filipino top just spinning away. Those are big here. Then some pics of some of our christmas lights. We are very festive. And then just some pics of the area. I love M! And then me and Elder W at the shop right now. Didn't really have any other pictures of us. Oops! Haha, that is so many pictures, I don't even know if it will send. Here goes! 

Thanks for everything! Have a wonderful week!

Much love, 

Elder Christensen 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Pics for Sleeping

2013-10-14 "That's what you get for sleeping with your mouth open!"

Hey fam! It was a crazy week this week. It was also a crazy busy week. So here's how things went down. 

The day after last p-day was transfer day. We had to get all our missionaries out the door and to wherever they needed to go and then collect all the new incoming missionaries. That was pretty crazy. But ended up not being difficult at all and luckily, we had no problems! So that was good! 

But my area just split and we added two more missionaries to the house. So we spent the day introducing the two new missionaries to their area. It was a long day with a lot of lessons. Crazy stuff. Super good. Kind of sad to give our investigators over, but now they will be able to get a lot more focus and attention, so it's an awesome trade! 

The next day was spent at a meeting. Way awesome. President Sperry is amazing. I love every time he speaks to us. He knows how to unfold the scriptures and pick out incredible principles in a way I don't know that I will ever be able to come close to! I love it! I feel like I learn so much from him.

The rest of our work days were spent inviting people to attend general conference. Which was INCREDIBLE! Man, I love conference! There was a huge turn out in our stake too. Don't know how many of them were our people. Good turn out though. I loved a lot of the talks. Just a few, the one from Elder Uchtdorf about you can do it now. Awesome. The one from Elder Hamilton about holding fast to the rod. Way sweet. Of course, President Monson, Elder Holland, Elder Bednar, and Elder Eyring. All awesome. But that's just to mention a few. There were soo many good talks! It was an incredibly inspiring conference. Can't wait for the next one! 

One cool story that we did have this week. There is a less active in my area named Brother Cruz. He has been inactive for 20+ years. He is an actor. Lives in a big house. Elder Anderson and I went and found him. The man only speaks English to us. He's very good. But we never found a chance to teach him. This week, we got in! We were able to teach him. He's excited for us to come back and to share with his wife and son who are not members. He told us he has felt something missing since he stopped going to church. It was a very exciting lesson. Partly because it was in straight English. That was way weird. But it was good. I hope we are able to have success with him and his family. 

Sorry. With how busy we've been, I haven't had lots of time for pics. But there are a few. Here's a pic of an old abandoned police headquarters. So one part of our area is a bit of a ghost town. It got flooded way bad about two years ago, and a lot of people moved out and not a ton have moved back in. So it's pretty quiet and there are a lot of buildings that are just boarded up or vandalized or covered in mud. It's crazy! Tired to get a pic of my super octopus like squid that I was eating. Really tentacle-y and what not. But tasty.  Here is our dog from next door that thinks he is a cat and sits like a gargoyle. Cool dog. And then here are our new kabahays walking to conference together. The one is 5' 1" and the other is 6' 7". Great looking team huh? Haha, poor Elder Compao looks like a little kid! Love it!

Well, that's all I've got for now! Sorry it's not tons! But it's been great over here! Have fun reviewing conference and learning loads! Have a good week! 

Much love, 

Elder Christensen

Monday, October 7, 2013

Pics for NO TITLE

10/2/2013 NO TITLE!

Hello my family!! This week has been good! I think they all are. It is a mission after all. It's the best! 

So we'll go with interesting stories first. I feel a little bad, cuz I think I put out a little too much info. Too many bathroom related stories, but bare with me (haha, no pun intended). It is just a story of my "brilliance" that I thought should be shared. So this one morning, I'm taking a shower. That is a daily routine here, thank goodness. So I crouch down to have a better angle for attack on my feet. That's especially important for missionaries. Upon getting up, my overly large body collides with one of the water spouts. The darned spout that sticks out to fill buckets. And I sort of broke it. And water started shooting out of the wall like crazy. So I'm trying to shove the bit of pipe back into the wall to stop the water. Trying to keep my cool I yell out to Anderson that he should probably walk outside and shut off our water at the main switch. He unfortunately is just getting out of the shower himself and needs to get dressed. I then commenced the longest 8 minute wrestling match of my life, trying to keep the water in the pipe where it belongs and let it spray me through the wall. It was impressive! It finally shut off and we were able to go to district meeting. Luckily, one of my good mates is in the office and was able to shoot out right after district meeting to fix it for me. Even luckier still, it happened to be a very simple fix. And in my defense, it only broke cuz some doof had broken it before and just shoved it back in with some glue. Lucky lucky me! 

Friday is weekly planning. We decided to do it in style with Pizza Hut. But we didn't have a lot of cash. But we did have a super large gatorade bottle full of peso coins. So we ordered 500 pesos worth of pizza and paid for it in coins. Sigh. A little embarrassing? Yes. A little childlike? Yes. Delicious and completely worth it? Double yes. 

We've also had a recent wave of cockroaches swarm the house! But never fear. We administer death to all that oppose. We are basically living the life of a stripling warrior. For all the thousands we slay, we are yet to have a single casualty on our side of the fight. Pretty impressive percentage. Must have good mommas!

We've still been having lots of rain. Saturday decided to get real feisty and we even got flooding going on. Were we discouraged? On the contrary, we were given new strength! Sometimes, there is nothing better than stomping through floods, completely soaked! Just takes me right back to being 5 years old. 

This week we had another tough time teaching lessons. I don't know if it's the rain or maybe we are stinky, but the people are hiding. But we still had good lessons. We had one with a Less active brother. He has honestly lost his hope that we have a loving Heavenly Father. Now, I may not know all things. I'm not a perfect missionary and I can't quote PMG or the BoM word for word. But if there is one thing I can tell you, I can tell you that we have a Heavenly Father who loves us. He couldn't understand how that could be with all the suffering we go through. I heard a talk which helped me understand that a little. The speaker asked what kind of loving parent would ever intentionally hurt there children or make them cry. To which he replied...all of them. Everyone takes their kids to the doctor to get shots. And to all children (and some red headed missionaries) that has got to be the worst thing in the world! Who wants to get shots? Kids don't get why we need it. What do they see? It's scary. It hurts. They will cry afterwards. Do parents want that? No. But they see the good that shots do for their children. They know how important they are. And they know that it will help avoid more suffering further on. We just don't always get the big picture. Our Heavenly Father allows us to have experiences that will try us and help us grow. And He allowed our Savior to suffer and die for us because He loves us so much. So that we would have a chance to repent and experience peace and comfort for all the wrongs in this life. I know that our Heavenly Father loves us. I know that through the Atonement, we can find peace. We can be healed from all of our pains. We just have to use the Atonement of our loving Savior and learn to come closer to our loving Heavenly Father. 

After all was said and done, we ended up having 15 less actives come to church on sunday, which is a record for us here. That's exciting business! 

Pics! Hm. My pics are being weird. I'll see what I can get for you. Well, I've just got one of my comp doing a heel click in the rain. Sorry, the pics are all jumbled and not showing up completely. Next week na lang. Sorry! 

Well, next week is transfers. Elder Anderson is headed home and someone else is headed in. Sigh. Sad day! But the work goes on! Have a great week everyone! 

Much love,

Elder Christensen

Pics for Vancouver

9/22/2013 "I am in...Vancouver..."

Well hey there everybody. I will admit right off the get go that it's one of those weeks where I didn't write anything down to talk about. Sigh. I know. Those are the lame emails to read. And to be honest, there wasn't a ton of outstanding things that happened this week that come to mind. So I will do my best. But we'll see. 

There was this one time though. Elder Anderson and I were headed off to teach a lesson in one of our beautiful areas. Up by the mountain. And when we got there, there was a movie being filmed! Cool right? They needed a nice province scene, and where did they go but to my beautiful area! We talked to the director and watched them for a little. It was pretty cool. The family we taught had a little girl that they used as an extra. Cool story, eh? 

We did a lot of walking this week. Found a bunch of new less active families to teach. It's been a slow week though. We had a really hard time getting in to teach anyone. But the lessons that we did have were super good. We are teaching this wonderful couple. The sister has been doing especially well. But she had some questions for us this week. Elder Anderson and I did a fairly good job of answering them. But she still seemed kinda, eh. We helped her realize that all of her questions stood on the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. We asked her how she felt about those. She knows they are true because of the way she feels when she reads the Book of Mormon. She found her answer there. I wish we could help everyone understand that. There are many people here that read the Book of Mormon and accept it as scripture but don't accept the church. They don't make the connection with Joseph Smith. The only way the Book of Mormon is true is if Joseph Smith is a true prophet. In the words of the Elder Holland from his talk, 'Safety for the Soul' which says, "No wicked man could write such a book as this; and no good man would write it, unless it were true and he were commanded of God to do so.”

Thought for the week came from Alma 37:38-47. It talks about the Liahona and how it can apply to our lives. It talks about how the Lord worked miracles in their lives everyday. But because he worked those miracles by small and simple means, they often disregarded them. He gave them the Liahona to guide them and because of the easiness of the way, they got slothful and were not diligent and did not progress in their journey. We have blessing of the Lord in our lives every day. We have the scriptures and the words of the prophets and other leaders to guide us. But sometimes, we get slothful. It's easy to skip reading. It's easy to miss conference or not pay attention. It's easy to zone out during sacrament meeting. But when we let ourselves get slothful, we miss out on key blessings and guidance that we need in our lives every day. And because we miss out on those blessings, we don't progress in our journey. We fail to improve ourselves. And that is what we are here for. Not to be perfect all at once, but to improve ourselves daily. The way He has given is simple. I hope that we will not be slothful. Let us be diligent and improve daily through the small and simple means provided for us. 

The pics. We had pizza hut this last week. That is delicious. Must be shown. The next is Elder Anderson and a ward missionary washing off at a nice little pump after walking through some mud. It rained a ton this week! A man riding his caribou through a field. Made for a nice picture. Then there is me in this cool little mini hut deal. This my friends is an outdoor urinal! It's great! They have them all over. Even just off the freeway. Just wherever. It's wonderful! We also found a cool spot this week that just overlooks a bunch of fields and some ponds. You can see all the way to Manila City from there. It was pretty cool. We also got fed dinuguan this week. That's the blood soup. Not elder Anderson's favorite. We also had temple tour where I got to see some of my batch from the MTC. Elder Hibbert, my comp, and Sister Garcia. Sister Garcia and Sister Winger will be going home in two weeks. Crazy huh? 

Well, I believe that is it for the week. Kind of short. I know. Sorry. But I hope you all have a wonderful week! Keep doing your missionary work! 

Much love, 

Elder Christensen