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



week 86



Mommy & All,

"That's why Churchill said that there's nothing to fear, but Fear itself!! That's the destructive monster!" -Les Brown

This week was pretty good. It was great to talk to the Fam over skype for a few min.

This week we kept pretty busy. We were either doing service, helping out with things in the church, or doing Christmas activities with the zone. My comp and I are starting to get pretty good at fixing or building stuff. One day this week, I was just chilling and washing dishes and the sink started to clog up. That has happened a couple time during the mish and I hate it. So Elder Nelson came over and started sticking a metal rod down the sink but nothing happened. So I got down underneath the sink and started to take it apart (dad you should be proud.) I but a bucket underneath with me just in case any water or whatever fell out as I was taking this apart. I kept unscrewing and turning and then when I got the first main pipe off, there was a mini explosion as all this gunk water from up top went flying into the bucket and all over me as well haha. But we figured out what the problem was. We had dumped all this oil down the drain and since oil and water don't mix, the water started to come back up. So I proceeded to take the sink apart piece by piece and we ended up just filling the bucket to the brim with oil and brown sludge. So that was cool. We also helped the bishop lay a cement floor in a part of his house that he was building so that was another experience as well. I was there just to push the cement around in wheel barrows, but it was a pretty good workout all the same. So our house building and maintenance skills are slowly improving. 

We also did a few things for the #LightTheWorld thing. On Saturday, the stake here in Comodoro put together a bunch of choirs and went to centro and sang Christmas songs. Us as missionaries had a choir as well, then after that we went out and tried to bring other people over to listen to the choirs and maybe talk to us too. Yesterday we took all the missionaries in our zone to centro and contacted people around the blocks, giving out candy and cards and just trying to teach as we walked and it was good.

Yesterday as well, we had a huge asado or argentine barbecue with Luis and his family. They served us like we were kings and are such cool people. None of them are members outside of Luis and it was way cool to see. They made a ton of lamb and also chorizo which is like sausage hotdog huge amazing meat thing so we ate until we were dead full. We talked to Luis some more and he is improving daily. Even he can see the effects baptism is starting to have on him and its so cool. He also feels a lot better now that is isnt drinking or smoking and he talks about the mission all the time which is really cool. We also started kinda teaching one of his brother in laws who was there and asked us a lot of questions. Maybe we will have the chance to talk to him again.

Much Love,

Elder Christensen 




Monday, December 18, 2017

Week 85






Mommy & All,

"I like what Zig Zigler says when he says that Fear is false evidence appearing real." -Les Brown

This week was pretty good. Wanna give a huge B-Day shoutout Lil Bro Caleb turning 17 on Saturday!! Hope the day goes well for you big man and we all glad you made it this far haha!

On Thursday we had the Christmas dinner with Presidente Salerno like we did last year. As you can see by the pics, we had a pretty good time. My comp elder Nelson came up with the great idea that we had to do something for the talent show they had. So he decided that we were going to dance and lip sync to a song by Pentatonix with Elder Sudweeks and elder Galvez. It turned out pretty nice and funny and was really fun to do haha. There is a soccer team here in Argentina called Newells Old Boys. So since Nelson came up with the idea and put the group together, we are now calling ourselves Nelsons Young Boys hahaha as an Argentine play on words. But anyways we had a good time doing that. ( I will see if I can send the video out this week or next week.)

On Saturday, we gotta see Luis get baptized!! We were able to meet all of our goals with him, and Elder Sanchez who is another Elder in our zone did the baptism. It was really cool to see. Luis and Elder Sanchez were sitting playing chess on P-Day and started talking about the mission and stuff. Elder Sanchez told Luis that he hadn't yet had the opportunity to be in the font and participate in the baptism of someone. So Luis told me he could do his baptism and Elder Nelson and I were all good with that and it was great. Luis is such a nice guy and loves to try and help everyone and make them feel good about themselves. After the baptism we all got to stand in the circle yesterday and confirm him. Its amazing to me to always see the changes that people make as they progress and go through baptism. Luis told me his plan right now is to get ready for a mission, go on the mission, them come back find a job and then look to marry a girl inside the church haha the bro has a good state of mind. 

During this time the year we always sit back and look at our blessings and all that Christ has done for us. Always grateful for my family and have been thinking a lot about all the friends and examples God has given me that have helped me get here. I just wanna give a huge shout out also to all the bros who are out serving or who are ballin back home, THANK YOU GUYS FOR BEING MY EXAMPLE. A lot of the bros from high school, you guys changed my life, made me who I am, and have helped me get here so thanks for that. Talking to Elder Woody Udy last week he told me something I loved he said "We all out here still ballin, just on a different field!" And that's exactly how it is. Wherever you at guys keep on BALLIN!

Much Love,

Elder Christensen




NELSONS YOUNG BOYS



LEFT TO RIGHT: Elder Sudweeks, Elder Galvez, Elder Nelson, Elder Me














Friday, December 15, 2017

week 84

Mommy & All,

"Someones opinion of you does not have to become your reality. You don't have to go through life being a victim." -Les Brown

This week was pretty good. We've just been flying around doing more zone leader stuff and trying to do the work at the same time. We did a lot of service this week while trying to work with Luis at the same time. We found out last Sunday that a family from our ward was moving to another house and they announced that in Priesthood. Luis was the first guy to raise his hand and say he was gonna be there helping out haha that was really cool for Elder Nelson and I to see. So we went there on Friday with Luis and he helped us move them out. He is a way nice guy who just does everything he can to serve others. We also helped the bishop do a foundation to start laying a cement floor and that was an interesting experience too.

Luis is the coolest guy. We have been working a lot with him on completely stopping his smoking and drinking problems that he has. They are really even problems anymore and he hardly ever does it and its been cool to see his progress. Especially in the situation that he lives in. His is 21 and is the youngest of 8. He has 2 older brothers who still live with him and his parents and they aren't the best example. His brothers and dad spend about $1000 pesos a month on cigarettes and they all like to get drunk. His dad literally lives drunk and its crazy. He almost fell on me one time because he was so drunk. He is a funny guy though because every time we go over he tries to talk to us in English. He is also a really nice guy because he always is inviting us over to eat, and he also gave me a watch on my birthday without even knowing it was my birthday haha. His mom also has 2 really bad legs and cant really do anything and Luis is the only one that helps. So he lives in a really hard situation. Anyways Luis told us he wants to get baptized as soon as possible and start his progress in the church. He even talks with us about a mission sometimes which is really cool. He told us some of the things he would do if he went on a mission. One thing I will never forget his he was talking with us about bringing people to church. Sometimes when we go over to his house Sunday morning when he doesn't answer our calls, and he is sleeping and doesn't wake up when we knock, then his mom has to wake him up and its a whole process. He said if that happened to him, he would just go in the street and find some little rocks he could throw at the window to try and wake the person up. Then he said if that didn't work, he would go find a big rock that would go through the window. Then he looked at us and said "but you guys know I'd bless the rock first, so then I know it would do its job so that's fine." Elder Nelson and I died laughing haha he is a really funny guy as well. He has his baptismal date for this coming Saturday, so we are praying all can work out this time. Luis is really someone who has made me more humble and helped me become a better person and missionary.

Much Love,

Elder Christensen

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Week 83



Mommy & All,

"My soul is not contained within the limits of my body, my body is contained within the limitlessness of my soul." -Jim Carey

This week was pretty good. We have been working pretty hard and just flying around trying to work with Luis and trying to get this conference ready for when Elder Bragg came. 

So something I thought was funny happened this week. Like I said we had to fly around to do stuff this week. We found some new investigators and went to teach them a few days after we found them. They were super cool and they listened to what we had to say. We had another lesson about 30 minutes after this one, but we ended up talking longer than we thought. By the time we left the house, we are already 45 minutes late to the other lesson and still had about a 30 minute walk ahead of us. So instead of taking the road, my comp decided to take the back roads which was down the mountain and through the river. Except this wasn't a normal river. It was a river of sewage or crap river as we call it haha that takes all the sewage from the houses and runs it down to who knows where. It literally looks like a natural river in the desert, but its the smell that gets you. Anyways when we got to the river, my comp wanted to cross it but i told him no way. There was a part in the middle that looked a little solid, and you could see animal tracks imprinted so things had walked over it before. So they told me we were going to jump to the middle, then to the other side. I told him no way, but if we went around the river, it would be a lot longer walk. So as we were sitting there on the bank talking, all of a sudden Elder Nelson stops in the middle of his sentence and takes a running jump to the middle part of the river. He told me later that he thought that if we just went Id have to follow him. Anyways he made a perfect jump and made it to the middle. The only problem was that middle part wasn't actually solid and it was just a deceiving look. As he landed, the man sunk into this mixture of human crap up to his shins hahahaha. It was like mud, but dark black and didn't smell like mud. He froze there for about 15 seconds and I was just dying on the other side in tears from laughing so hard. So he climbed out and jumped back across. We found another place to cross further down and ended up making it to that lesson and teaching. So another experience with crap in my mission.

Elder Bragg from the Seventy also came and visited us yesterday and that was awesome. He is such a cool dude and is the NICEST guy I think Ive ever met haha. He came and just talked to us on how we can improve on just the basic missionary stuff like planning and studying. I honeslty learned a ton and it was fun to hear him and his wife talk to us. After the conference, he came and shook every single one of our hands, stopping to ask where we were from and just a little bit about our families or our lives. That is a guy who makes every single person feel like the most important person in the world which we all know is a gift. After he did that he even pulled me aside and asked to take a picture with me which was really cool to do. But I think the thing we all thought was the coolest about him (at least us elders), was that he married his mission presidents daughter haha!! I mean you have gotta have some guts to do that. He served his mission in Mexico and his wife was there with her parents and thats where they met and we all died haha it was great. But it was an awesome experience to have him come talk to us and to recieve all the counsel he gave us. 

Much Love,

Elder Christensen



Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Week 82



Mommy & All,

"I see love as a powerful moving force that, if magnified to its divine potential, will quicken my soul with eternal joy and will exalt me on high." -Max Christensen Sr.

This week I've been reading a lot in Grandpa Max's journal about his mission and his life and this is something I really liked. He talked a lot about love and how to live the gospel, the most important thing we need to have is love. Because if we love God, we are gonna do everything we can to live the commandments, to teach and instruct, and just to help our fellow man or our brothers and sisters. When we love people we do everything we can to help them and when we do that, we are always helping ourselves as well.

This week was okay. On Thursday we had a nice Thanksgiving dinner with our zone and its was pretty cool. We made milanesa and mashed potatoes and bought a bunch of pie. My black Brazilian cousin Elder Otoni turned 19 on Sunday, 2 days after me. So we also celebrated our birthdays during the dinner as well. Its a little crazy being zone leader, especially with the zone being pretty big, but its been good. Also forgot to mention that Elder Vega who I trained in Perito, got made the new secretary when I came up here, so I see him like every other day and that's really cool haha. 

Friday we had my birthday and to celebrate, we had the baptismal interview of Luis. He was supposed to get baptized Saturday, but the really sad part where my birthday went south was when he ended up not passing the baptismal interview. That's the first time I've had someone not pass and it was way sad. My comp elder Nelson and I were shocked and we didn't know what to do. So that part of my birthday sucked haha. That night though some members made me a bunch of pizza and a cake so we got to go over and eat that. With Luis, he just wasn't as ready as we thought, and we are still working and progressing with him, and hopefully we can see his baptism happen in a few weeks. Elder Nelson is the best guy ever haha its been great to get to be with him and he is just like a friend from back home. He keeps me laughing and really helps me to just be a better person and missionary. We have been having a good time trying to hold down the fort here in Comodoro.

Next monday we have Elder Braggs from the 70 coming to talk to the mission, so we will probably not be writing next monday.

Much Love,

Elder Christensen