Monday, November 13, 2017

week 80

Mommy and All,

"Now if you know what you're worth, then go out and get what you're worth, but you gotta be willing to take the hit!!....and not pointing fingers saying you ain't where you wanna be because of him or her or anybody!! Cowards do that and that ain't you! You're better than that!!" -Rocky Balboa

This week was pretty good. We woke up early almost every day, flying around trying to find packages and pick up and send off people from the terminal. It was pretty tiring. We had to go halfway to another city in bus to find a package and my comp and I were like holy crap haha but its been really good. My area is pretty dang big too, probably the biggest area I've been in during the mission thus far. We have walked a ton these first few days too which is normal, but doing circles in the area we have is something else haha. The best part though is that Tuesday, all the city bus drivers here went on strike because they weren't getting paid on time or something like that. So since Tuesday we've taken a ton of taxis or we just have to walk forever haha. The taxi guys love it because they are bringing in all the money right now. Its also just been great being with Elder Nelson. He makes me a better person and we just have a really good time just talking about sports since we both play and we both like the same music and the same artists and its all been really cool and way fun with him. We've really been enjoying eating all the dirt and gnats here as the wind continues to blow haha.

We have been teaching a few people here in our area named Luis and Juan. Luis had a baptism date for this coming Saturday, but he didn't come to church yesterday because he slept in so we have to move his date for next week. He has been really cool though in the few times I've met him. He is 21 and lives in a hard family where is mom has to walk with a walker, his dad and brothers drink and smoke every single second and they don't have a ton of money. He told us his family spends 1000 pesos a month just on cigarettes which is quite a few. Its amazing to see him as he is doing great because he used to smoke and drink and he is climbing out of it really fast and is reading the Book of Mormon. Its great to see the power that the Book of Mormon has in all our lives and how it can affect our daily habits and just makes us want to be better. 

Juan is another investigator who has been to church like 10 times, but cant stop smoking yet. Hes 50 and lives alone and is way nice to us. He talks all the time about how amazing we are as young kids who aren't out smoking or drinking or partying. He is someone who I'm learning a lot from. He walked 40 minutes to church on Sunday which was something I hadn't seen an investigator do in the mission yet. haha  He is awesome.

Much Love,

Elder Christensen

Sunday, November 12, 2017

week 79

Mommy & All,

"If you still talk about your dreams, if you still talk about your goals, but have not yet done anything, just take the first step!!" -Dream

This week was pretty good. Transfers happened which came as a bigger surprise as we thought. As you can see by the pics, the whole basketball team stayed, but I headed out haha. I'm now the new zone leader in Comodoro so we will see how it goes. For the 6th time in my mission, I gotta take the rousing 26 hour bus ride between the island and Comodoro so that's always an nice trip. I can't believe I'm back in this city serving again haha but now I'm on the north side instead of the south. I know all of Comodoro from centro to the south, but I know nothing of the north, so its gonna be a kind of new experience for me getting to know the area, but all in all Comodoro is Comodoro haha.

My new comp is named Elder Nelson from Utah. He played soccer at Olympus down in Salt Lake, then played a year at Westminster before coming on the mish. He is easily the best soccer player out of all the U.S. missionaries in the mission, and the Latins love playing with him since he doesn't suck like most of us (or maybe just me haha). He is really cool and was one of the first missionaries I met when I got to Argentina since he started in Rio Grande too, so its cool now that we are gonna be comps. It is kinda weird though now having a comp that speaks and understands English haha. Out of the 10 comps I've had before him, 8 of them didn't speak or understand anything, and I've only had one comp from the U.S. here with me in Argentina because the other one was Elder Harris in the MTC. So now I get my 3rd U.S. comp and it should be good. He goes home in 2 transfers, so unless they move him I will probably see him till the end. 

I was a little sad to leave the squad down there in Ushuaia there with Holmes, Jensen, Bell, Taylor, and Harper. Its good that they all stayed together though so they can keep playing basketball haha. Bell and I became pretty good friends, and that dude knows a ton about sports so of course we had some good talks. I will still get to see Jensen and Holmes once a transfer when we have leadership counsel here for all the zone leaders, so that's a good thing too. I'm excited to be up here in Comodoro again with Nelson and it should be a really interesting experience to add to the list of my mission haha.

Much Love,

Elder Christensen

Lots of Photos this week.  A few of them are from Max, some from a member and others from the mission site of their Zone meeting where they put on war paint an ran an obstacle course and compared it to preparing to fight the good fight.   

week 78

"Dont try to give up, try to keep going! Dont try to quit! You already in pain, you already hurt, get a reward for it!" -Fall

This week was pretty good. On Thursday we had conference with Presidente Salerno. It was different but good. The topic of the whole thing was how we are in "The War" against Satan. So we went to zone conference dressed in athletic clothes, and when we showed up, they gave us war paint to put on. We all went into the gym and Presidente put us through an obstacle course so we could go through "training" to be more prepared to fight in the battle haha and it was pretty fun and entertaining. After that we talked about all the obstacles we face in the mission and compared it to the course we ran, and talked about what we can do to get through the obstacles and finish the course or the mission. 

On Saturday we had another baptism in our ward as Jensen and Holmes baptized David. And it was a baptism to remember. We went and turned on the font in the church a few hours before the baptism started, then went and found David and came back. As everyone started to get settled in about 10 minutes before the baptism, Elder Holmes comes running into where we all were waiting, asking for the keys to the font. All the Elders then got up and ran out and down the hall to the font. About half way down the hall, all our shoes were soaked and there was water running everywhere hahaha the font had started to over flow and flood out under the door that you open to go down in. Elder Holmes throws the door open and turns the water off, as all of us kinda looked at each other with little grins, not knowing whether to laugh or get really worried. The water had flooded the front hall, the men's bathroom, the handicap bathroom, the women's bathroom, the cleaning supplies closet, a classroom, and the bishops office. Luckily down here, all the churches are 95% tile, with the only carpet being in the sacrament room, and the bishops office. So we all grabbed mops and rags and wiped and dried for our lives. With the baptism starting, Elder Jensen and Holmes had to go, so Harper and I were on clean up duty. So we threw out the giant yellow "wet floor" signs and mopped up. we filled 6 huge buckets to the brim with all the water we got up haha. But the members weren't too mad, because we actually left the church cleaner than we found it since we mopped pretty much half of it. So that's an experience.

We also got a new teammate this week. Saturday night after the baptism, an elder named Elder Bell showed up down here to join the squad. He´s 6´8, played basketball at Olympus and played a year at a junior college before coming down here on the mission. He knows a ton about sports we have already had some good talks. We are all pumped to have him down here with us, since now Mondays and Wednesdays have become even more fun haha.

Much Love,

Elder Christensen

Monday, October 23, 2017

Week 77

Mommy & All,

"Its easy to be on the bottom, it doesn't take any effort to be a loser! Doesn't take any motivation or any drive in order to stay down there on a low level. But it calls on everything in you, you have to harness your will to say I'm going to challenge myself!!"

This week was pretty good. We were able to see Raul and Matilde get baptized this week which was the goal that we put with them so that was great! Rauls younger Brother, Ruben, did both of their baptisms which was a cool thing to see as well and made them all closer as a family. It's been great to see all the changes they've made in their lives from the time they chose to get married to when they decided to get baptized. The best feeling in the world is when you see all your hard work pay off. It's amazing to see how we as missionaries can be such simple tools in the hands of the Lord to bring and present the message of the Restoration to everyone who doesn't already know it. Raul, Matilde, and I have all become good friends throughout this whole process. It's been great to be able to make eternal friends with all that we go through together.

We also gotta teach Ignacio this week. He called us up one day and just asked he we could come over and talk to him. He is really struggling with things in his life and he drinks a ton. He told us that he wants us to help him stop drinking and get out of his problem. We told him about the basics of what we teach about the gospel, about how Jesus Christ knows all of our pains both physically and emotionally, and that as our Savior He is the one who can help us overcome anything we have that troubles us in this life. We also talked with him about the Word of Wisdom and the power of the Book of Mormon. We invited him to read and really study it, and that it was one way to help him overcome is addiction to drink. It's a type of power that's indescribable. Only through our faith and the Holy Ghost can we come to feel it touch our everyday lives and really change us from the inside out.

We are also still working with Brian. We always are able to get him to come to come to the soccer and basketball activities that we have every week, but he doesn't yet have time to come with us on Sundays. On Wednesday, we all lined up to play some basketball and that was really fun and is always a good time to relax a little. We had enough guys that they wanted to play Gringos vs Latinos. So it was Me, Elder Jensen, Taylor, Holmes, and Harper, against Brian and a bunch of members down here. That was really really fun and we really started to become good friends with Brian through things like this. Also just really grateful to be with all these guys right now. They help me to always be a better missionary and just a better person in general as we are all changing and growing together out here. It's been hard of course as the work always is. But these guys make it a little easier just by being great friends and helping me laugh every once in a while haha.

Much Love,

Elder Christensen

Monday, October 16, 2017

Week 76

Mommy & All,

"There's a million streams fanned out like a river delta before you, each offering the path of least resistance. But you're headed up stream." -Rise & Shine

This week was pretty good. We gotta teach Brian this week. We went out and played basketball with him and some investigators that Jensen has and that was really fun as always. So after that we went to his house, we met a guy there named Ricardo. He was a friend of Brian's dad and when we got there, he just sat there really quietly. After a few minutes he started asking us where we from and kinda what we were doing here and what was our purpose. We started talking to him a little about the gospel and what we share with people including the Book of Mormon. After a few minutes he told us that was cool and that its nice that we are out here trying to teach the people who don't believe in God. We told him that we are here teaching all people whether they believe in God or not and whether they go to a church or not. He was really confused and thought it was kinda pointless that we would try and talk to someone who already had their church and believed in God. We told him that there are a lot of people who get baptized into our church who were a part of other churches as well. So he asked how we convince the people to join our church. We told him that we don't convince anyone. We simply present the message that we have to the people, and after that we invite them to ask God if its true not us. We simply share a message and let the Spirit and God to the rest. Suddenly he changed and seemed to thing that was really cool that we weren't going around forcing people to get baptized into our church, we just simply left them an invitation to ask that Being who won't ever lie to us. Then he started telling Brian and Adrian (Brian's Dad) that they needed to listen to what we had to say because its something that he thought they really needed haha so he started preaching on our behalf which was cool to see. He is Catholic and said he didn't wanna listen to us, but he thought it was really cool what we were doing as missionaries. That helped Brian listen to us a little more ha and he accepted to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it.

We also gotta see Raul and Matilde. We have been going over all the baptism things with them and its been going pretty good. Raul is really excited to get baptized, Matilde wants to, but isn't as pumped as Raul haha, so we have been focusing more on her and really just answering all her questions and doubts that she has. We think we are all good to as of right now, and are excited to keep working with them. They have a date for this Saturday to get baptized, so just pray with us that it can all work out okay.

We also found Ignacio again which was cool. We were able to go over to his apartment and sit down and talk for a few minutes. When we got over there, he immediately started talking about baptism with us and how he wants to get re-baptized. He was baptized in the Catholic church and doesn't remember anything about it and knows we have to be baptized when we have sins. He told us the sooner he can be clean the better so that was something cool to hear. The only thing is that he seems to drink a lot so we are working on that with him more than anything. 

Much Love,

Elder Christensen

I wondered what happened to my boy who has a fear of heights until I realized this is really isn't a big drop off like it looks like it is.  See pictures below,