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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, January 22, 2014

2014/01/13 "Instead of asking for a cut loaf..."

Hello everyone! It's been a while since you had an email here. Sorry! I will try to do better! This week was awesome and there are many things we could talk about. How many will actually make it into the email? Well, we shall see. 

First things first; I had a nice little taste of missionary miracles this week. One is mine and one was just an elder in the zone. But I will share both. First of course, is mine. So our bill shows up about the 18th of every month. Water and Electric. Water is usually about 300 pesos. And electric usually runs us about 2000. Well, the water was about the same as always. But the electric was not. They have some cool charts and graphs to show you how much you've used, to justify the ginormous hole they know they are about to burn in your pocket. And ours was going to be the highest it had been in a year, according to our usage. But then, right at the bottom, where it shows you the total, there was a big old fat ZERO. We discussed it for a while, trying to decide what these things could mean. Nothing. So we decide we should take it in and see if they will just ding us for it where we pay bills. But no. We pay for the water and when we pass the lady the bill for our electric, she looks at it and says, you're good elders. We ask how it could be zero. She said we must have overpaid or something last time. Double the amount? I think not. But regardless. It was a lovely little Christmas miracle that was wonderful for all those who live in the Burgos apartment. 

Secondly. On Tuesday, we had zone training. We were talking about obedience. We got talking about the stripling warriors (when talking about obedience, you can never skip them!) and about how they were blessed with protection (aside from other things) when fighting the lamanites. Of course, not a single one of them perished. We have an elder here who was in Tacloban when the typhoon hit and got moved up here after. He stood and shared how it was incredible that with all the destruction and death that took place in the typhoon, it was a miracle that not one of the missionaries perished. The 200 Tacloban missionaries as compared to the 2000 stripling warriors. It is awesome to me to see the same promised blessings and miracles of the Book of Mormon in our day. 

Teaching was good this week. We had people work with us 3 times, so we were able to get in a lot more lessons than usual. Ha, but this one lesson we went to. It is an old nanay and her 47 year old son and his 3 year old daughter. We were teaching a much needed lesson on repentance. The cute little daughter was very smiley and quiet when we came in. We commented on it. But little by little, she turned into an uncontrollable demon mess as the lesson went on! We couldn't finish teaching! Sigh. Had to come back the next day to finish. Some lessons don't go as well as we plan. 

We found a family that lives across the street from us that we were able to teach. In all the time the elders have lived here, they have never talked to this family. We've been knocking doors on our street. Most haven't been knocked before! So this family let us in. We taught them about the Restoration. There are often a lot of distractions when we teach and it's way loud usually. But this was a really nice quiet lesson and the family listened really well. The Spirit was super strong and they seemed to be feeling it. And....I don't have anything else to share about them because we didn't see them at church yesterday, but we will follow up this week. We have high hopes for them! 

We have a less active family that we've been teaching for a while. They don't come to church because they have been out so long that they are shy to come back. Sounds fishy to us. They probably have a different concern. But for now, that's what we are working with. We went to teach them on Saturday. Good lesson as far as lessons go. Also, awesome because her child decided to urinate mid lesson right off her lap into the middle of the floor. Wonderful. Thank goodness I hadn't set out my figuras yet. We started teaching them about the Plan of Salvation. And that led to agency and that led to...you guessed it, church attendance. It was an awesome lesson! I think we helped clear up some misunderstandings about the gospel and about our purpose in this life and doing all that we can to improve. A lot of people here have this idea that if they pray and love their neighbors, all is well in Zion. Ooohhhhh boy. Not so my dear friends, not so. So it was an awesome lesson. They also did not come to church. Sigh. Didn't wake up until 10 daw. But they promised to come next week. So we will see. 

We have one investigator who is ready to be baptized. She has already been interviewed and is all go for the 25th. Mom, this puts you in trouble. That doesn't leave you much time to beat me in our little agreement. But do your best, eh? Our lessons with her have been fabulous. She has really started getting into the Book of Mormon. She will read tons of chapters and have all manner of cool insights to share with us every time we come. She's loving it! Which we love! It's hard to get people into the Book of Mormon because the Tagalog is so deep that they have a hard time understanding it. But she is doing really well. She has made a lot of changes and is willing to change whatever she needs to. She is awesome. She also wants us to help her daughter get baptized, which should happen soon. Her husband is still in the works. Man is stubborn. But all in good time. 

We have had some referrals (YESSS!!!) that we were looking for this week. That can be a difficult task. We found some and some we did not find. But that's ok. Because when looking for referrals, it is a great time to OYM everyone! Do you know so and so? Nope. That's ok. We are missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ.....and so on. So we have had some success with referrals and loads of people we oymed in the process to follow up with this week. 

Besides that. We've been eating crazy good lunches as of late. Elder Hendrickson and I have been putting our cooking skills to the test. Success. We've had many successful meetings with stake folk. Big plans for this area. I'm excited to see what happens. 

Anywho. This morning we went hiking. No worries, nothing serious. Just up a road. But it had a wonderful view. I will attach pics. 

Pics for this week. Ha, I don't know if I sent this in before, but here is a pic to show you mom that your package went to good use. Haha, oh the kids here love us! And as you know, I love the kids. It's been a good time. Then a pic of all the missionaries at the immigration office in Manila last week. Me with my favorite sign that I see everywhere. This one seemed kind of classy though, so I had to take a pic. A pic of my area over by the freshly planted rice fields. Beautiful. A picture of the zone after a service project this week. Good zone. And then a few from our hike this morning. And the awesome little house we found on the top of the mountain. Awesome. 

And that is all! Thanks for all the love and support. I love you all, have a fabulous week!!

Much love, 

Elder Christensen

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