Wednesday, February 14, 2018

week 93



Mommy & All,

"I would rather be ashes than dust. I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than be stifled by dry rot. I would rather be a superb meteor than a sleepy, permanent planet." -Jack London

This week was pretty good. My comp and I are out here working, just trying to find the people in our area who really wanna listen and progress and try to accept the Book of Mormon as a part of their lives. 

So just yesterday, we were here in Centro trying to find some stuff we need for a conference. As we were here, the city buses decided to do another one of their great protests and stopped driving so that was amazing. We had hardly any money and it was gonna be a long walk home. Then out of nowhere, a taxi guy drives up asking if we need a ride. I told him we didn't have any money. He said he would only charge us 100 pesos which from Centro to our house is really good. So as I'm sitting here having this conversation, my comp taps me on the shoulder. As I turn around, he shows me that his whole backpack is covered in foam and I thought what the heck? He said some guy and his little daughter just walked by and foamed him, and that its some kind of thing they do here. So I start looking up the street and notice that there are all these kids with foam cans in their hands. As my comp and I are standing there, this kid fakes like he is gonna walk passed us, but then turns and rushes towards us. As he is coming as us he shouts "its pretty hot outside right!?" and then out of nowhere, we both take a punch of foam right in the face. So that was great haha. Anyways the taxi guy was still nice enough to give us a ride close to our house and we got that taken care of. 

So last year when I was here in the Prensa, I made a few friends and some of those were the Familia Cercuetti. She has honestly been like another mom for me and we have been able to stay in touch throughout my mission. She invited us over for lunch the other day (before we got foamed) and it's been really cool to be able to go back there and see those guys a couple times since I've been here. Anyways so Hna Cercuetti has her 3 grandkids who practically live with her and her husband. The oldest one named Santi is getting baptized this Friday and they told me yesterday that they want me to confirm him after his baptism. So that was really really cool to hear that from them and will be a great memory to always share with them. Its been great to be down here meeting different people from all sorts of different places and learn to grow so close to them as you would your own family or really good friends. The mission is something that helps you love people of all kinds and some that you only met 5 minutes before. Its something great to experience every day.

Much Love,

Elder Christensen

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Week 92



Mommy & All,

"Change the way you look at things...And the things you look at change." -Zig Zigler

This week was pretty good. Just flying around as usual and trying to get stuff done. 

My new comp elder Oviatt is a way cool guy. He's from Farmington and went to Viewmont and after we started talking, realized we have friends in common. We also realized that we played basketball against each other one time haha. We have been getting along real good this first week I think because the guy knows a ton about sports and I have yet to have a comp like that during my mission. So we have been able to have some pretty dang good conversations and debates and it's been awesome honestly hahaha and something I´ve missed. 

Right now in our area, we don't have much. So we did a ton of street contacting and just trying to talk to people in the street. That has probably been the hardest thing for me to do in the mission, but we did a pretty good job this week just because if we try and talk to everyone who walks by us, we will hopefully find one person who wants to listen to us. We are starting to let go of Jose and some of the other eternal investigators who aren't progressing and trying to find the people who truly want to be a part of the true church or at least take the time to find out if what we teach is true. 

Not a lot more to say. Outside of everyone coming and going and oh dying of heat. This week in Comodoro has been the hottest week on record in the history of the city. It peaked this week when one day it reached 104 degrees and about 95 in the shade. I'm literally getting a lot darker than I used to be and have a nice watch and ring tan line now that isn't going away. So I guess I can say I'm working on my tan out here as well.

Much Love,

Elder Christensen



Week 91





Mommy & All, 

"Allow your pain to push you to greatness!! Some of you have been knocked out by life, and you got up and saw the blood and said eeeeehhhhh he hit me...Sometimes in life, you have to hit back!!!" -Born in the Dark

This week was pretty good. Elder Allen was my comp last week since we were both without comps so we had to go back and forth working in his area and in mine. It was a nice time traveling again haha, but we did have quite a bit of success and some good laughs, he's a good dude.

So this week I got the Africa question again haha. Elder Allen and I were at lunch with a member in his area, and they were super nice and started to ask me a bunch of questions while we were eating. They started to ask about the fam and where I was from and all this stuff. I told them I was from the U.S. and they thought that was cool. Then they asked me again where I was born and I told them Houston. Then they started to look at me a little funny and asked where my parents were born. I told them the U.S. as well and they started to get more confused so they asked me where my grandparents were from and I said the U.S. as well haha. So then after a couple rounds of this game, one of the sisters just comes out and says "You seriously weren't born in Africa, or at least your parents?" Haha I told them no but of course, all lines lead back there at some time. But it was pretty funny how they were surprised I had 3 generations born in the U.S. haha.

Another one of these happened just yesterday when we were eating in Elder Allen's area again. We were eating with this really cool family who looked at my pics and asked me a million questions about adoption and how that all worked and just how my fam was put together. During the conversation, one of the sons who is 16 piped up and asked, "So were you born on the other continent?" At first, I didn't understand that because no one had ever asked me like that before. So he looks at me again and says "You know, the other continent out there Africa, were you born there?" So then I had to explain the same thing to them as I did to the other family and it was pretty funny. 

On Sunday I went to the other ward, Palazzo, and it was a cool time. For Elder Quorum, we all went in a room and sat in a circle and had a council where we talked about the Sabbath day and specifically the topic of Worship. They started giving ideas on how we can prepare before, during, and after the Sabbath to worship God and Jesus Christ. Then they started talking about service and lending a helping hand to the people who might need it to be ready when the Sabbath arrives. The topic of Sabbath day service got brought up and a counselor from the stake presidency brought up the saying that Jesus said when he said something like if your cow falls into a pit on the sabbath day, you aren't going to wait for the Sabbath to pass to get it out, but you will do it right away. In some cases of service and things on the Sabbath that is the case. Then another guy said that after that happens though, we must prepare ourselves so that the figurative cow, whatever it may be, doesn't fall again next week. Then the counselor quickly responded with the question "okay so what can we do if the cow does happen to fall down again?" And literally without a pause or a thought, almost like it was a planned response, the whole Elder Quorum says almost in unison, "We can have an Asado!!!" (Argentine Barbecue) Elder Halverson from Washington who was with me, him and I just start busting out laughing and everyone starts laughing as well. That was just the biggest showing to us just how ingrained the culture of Asado is here in Argentina. So that was another funny moment.

Well, I literally just said goodbye to my best buddy in the mission Elder Jensen a few minutes ago. He's flying out to Sac Town tomorrow morning and it was good to see him one last time. Wouldnt have made it through the mission without that guy, that's for sure. Its been great to get to know a lot of the guys in the mission and grow close to them as friends, but that guy is gonna be someone I never forget.

Much Love,

Elder Christensen






Wednesday, January 24, 2018

week 90



Mommy & All,

"We must program our minds, or our minds will be programmed because humans are goal driven!!" -Les Brown

This week was pretty good. We had a few changes around here though.

So Elder Nelson went home. We actually just got back from dropping him off at the airport to catch his flight. He is heading back a week early to start school and keep his soccer scholarship at Westminster. The guy was a great comp and one of the best missionaries I've ever seen and he will be missed. In the airport he cried as he hugged all of us goodbye and I said those are the tears of a man who cared. He honestly cared so much about the mission and people and he had tons of success down here that came with trials and he just embraced it all and loved it all. That was something to see and he was an example to me for sure. So for this next week I'm gonna be with Elder Allen because his comp is going to the office to be the new financier. He has about 15 months in the mission and went to Corner Canyon high school in Utah and he is pretty chill so it should be a good week.

Another great thing that happened this week was the secretaries went to Buenos Aires for a conference and they brought us back MCDONALDS!!! I got a 20 piece and I about died eating it because it was sooooo good. It has literally probably been 2 years since I've eating Mcdonald's since the last few months of my mission I spent eating my last american pizzas and not one McDonald's. But the nearest McDonald's to us is in Buenos Aires and the only american food down here is the Subway and Hard Rock Cafe in Ushuaia, and the Subway they have here in Comodoro but that's it. So it was AMAZING to eat some nuggets again and I was grateful for that hahaha.

We are continuing to teach Jose and work with Luis as the weeks go on. I did divisions with Elder Fogo who was my comp in Ushuaia and now is in my zone again, and we went and taught Jose. We taught more than anything about the Restoration and about the authority we need to affect baptisms correctly. Its been hard to teach him lately because he has an answer for everything haha but he came to church this Sunday and seemed to be okay. Luis hasn't come to church these last few weeks because his mom takes him out to see food so they can have little more money. But he is doing really good with reading the Book of Mormon and trying to keep up his testimony in general. Its gonna be a crazier week than usual not having Elder Nelson here, so it will be interesting to see what happens.

Much Love,

Elder Christensen







Friday, January 19, 2018

Week 89



Mommy & All,

"A lot of  people don't  wanna get out in the arena of life, because they don't wanna fight, they don't wanna get knocked down! But you're gonna get knocked down whether you're on the field or whether you're on the sideline!! So why not get knocked down for something! Get knocked down so you can learn how to fight!" -Les Brown

This week was pretty good and really busy. To start off the week Elder Nelson and I were in a trio because a missionary came up from Rio Gallegos and stayed with us for a few days. Then on Wednesday we had our War Council where all the leaders in the mission meet up here in Comodoro to talk about how we can get better and how our zones can improve and it went pretty good. On Thursday we had another meeting with President Salerno where all the missionaries here met in the church and he talked to us about the death of President Monson and we had like a family home evening and it was pretty cool. Friday, we had Conference with President with all the missionaries here and from Caleta Olivia  and that was good too.  So this week we didn't have a ton of time in our area but we were able to teach a few people at least. 

We  were able to teach some old investigators named Mariano and Ana. They are married and have 3 kids and are really cool. A while back they had a date to be baptized, but then one of Ana's friends talked bad to her about the  church and she got offended and it has kinda been down hill from there.  But we went by with a member on Saturday after it had been a while since we had seen them, and it went pretty good. Mariano told us that he was already in 2nd Nephi in the Book of Mormon and  Elder Nelson and I were shocked that he had even continued to read! So that was really cool. Ana is still pretty cold though. So we focused a lot on Mariano and we talked about the atonement and repentance and baptism. We asked him if he felt he needed to be baptized and he told us yes and we were pumped. So of course we invited him to come back to church, but then he started to explain to us his work schedule. The  guy works everyday and only gets like every other Friday and Saturday off and never a Sunday. he works in the oil companies down here, and so for his work its out in a field in the middle of no where and he has to be there days at a time. So he wants to get baptized, but he doesn't have time. So we are gonna be continuing to work with him through that. 

 There is another lady we are teaching named Adriana. She has known the church  for quite some time, and actually the guy she lives with is a member but he is super inactive  and hasn't been to church for 20 years, but they have 4 Book of  Mormons in their house. We go over and eat lunch with them every Sunday and they are really nice. Adriana told us that she wants to get baptized to have the chance of having an eternal family because they have 3 kids as well. The only problem is that the guy who is a member, doesn't wanna get married. So our goal with them of course is to help them get married, and help this member realize the blessings that an eternal family can bring.

Much Love,

Elder Christensen






Zone Conference




Leadership Conference




Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Week 88 (Max's football number)

Mommy & All,

"See most people they raise a family, they earn a living, and then they die! They stop working on themselves, they stop stretching, they stop pushing themselves...and a lot of people like to complain but they don't wanna do anything about their situation!!" -Les Brown

This week was pretty good. It was a little harder than usual. Elder Nelson and I are really working hard on finding new people to teach and to start progressing is the big thing here. After Luis got baptized, we still had some investigators, but none of them wanted to progress so we had to start from almost zero. So our focus has been finding and finding. We started this week doing that and it was a little rough. For the first 3 days of the week nobody wanted to talk to us which hasn't happened for a while in my mission, and we had nobody to teach. So Nelson and I sat down and started reading about adversity and how it is a player in our lives. It's interesting how God gave us adversity so that we can improve and progress, which a lot of times is something that I forget. The only thing we can do with adversity and trials is work through them until they are over and we come out a better person. After those first few days of nothing, we started to find people and good people who wanted to listen and learn more and it was gratifying to see some of the blessings God gave us after the trials we had before.

We are still trying to teach this one guy named Jose. He has been to church around 15 times, knows a lot of stuff, and is pretty cool. But the problem with him is he has a ton of questions which leads to a ton of doubts. He smokes as well but says he can stop smoking if he wants to, and that he is going to get baptized one day, but one day in the future future as he tells us haha because he wants to learn everything. And every time he reads he has more doubts and questions. More than anything he just wants to be super prepared and know everything and be perfect before baptism. So we went the other day and shared the talk that Elder Holland shared in General Conference about how we don't have to be perfect to receive Gods love and mercy. How the only perfect performance in this earth life was Jesus and nobody else. I love how he talks about when Leo Tolstoy wrote about the priest who was being criticized for not living up to the standards he teaches and he says "Look at my life now and compare it to my former life. You will see that I am trying to live out the truth I proclaim. Attack me if you wish, I do this to myself, but don't attack the path I follow. If I know the way home, but am walking along it drunkenly, is it any less the right way simply because I am staggering from side to side?" This life is just all about improving one step at a time and in the end Jose liked that. But still has all these questions and doubts we are trying to help him with. 

Much Love,

Elder Christensen

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Week 87



Mommy & All,

"Sometimes the only good things that you will hear about you are the things you say to you! So Im saying start to learn to be your own booster! Start to motivate yourself! Start to say to yourself I can do this!!"

This week was pretty good. We actually just got back from laying another cement floor so looks like Elder Nelson and I are gonna have our own cement mixing company after the mission haha. So we have been doing a lot of service and have gotten more in this week.

New years was fun. We just went over to Gaby's house. She is our neighbor and isn't a member, although shes known the missionaries for 7 years now haha. Her and her boyfriend Juan just had us chill with them for the night, cooked us a lot of food, and gave us a lot of cider so it was all good. Gaby asked me a lot about me being adopted, how that was, how I felt, and just how I saw my life in general. So we were able to share a little bit of the plan of salvation with her. I told her that it is so real how God puts us in families and gives us a chance to live with each other eternally and how it was all planned before we even came here. I told her that how my family is put together isn't by coincidence because it honestly couldn't be. It was part of Gods plan for me at from the beginning and something I will always be grateful for. So it was cool to share that with her.

Our focus right now here is just helping Luis and finding new people to teach. Luis has been doing pretty good, but with the environment he lives in, its really hard for him sometimes. He has a few friends in the church but he leans on us pretty hard, and all is friends outside the church keep offering him drugs and alcohol since that was his old life. So we are trying to help him see the light and have him see the potential that we see that he has. That's what the work is all about, just helping people see themselves the way that God sees them and the true potential they have to be a light in the world to help others.

Much Love,

Elder Christensen