Monday, July 25, 2016

Week 11

(Comodoro Rivadavia Argentina Mission-And ye shall be my witnesses...unto the uttermost part of the Earth- Acts 1:8)

Madre y Amigos,

First I want give a HUGE Shout Out to all my SV bros who have or are prepping to join Colton and I as we continue the Good Fight. I heard for the class of 2016 we are officially at 100. I also wanna give a HUGE Shout Out to all who are going off to college. Good luck!  Its an honor to know you all.

"He who worries about calamities suffers them twice over." -Og Mandino 

That is the challenge for me right now. Worrying about things I can't control. Whether its things with investigators or things in my mind, or life in general that's always been my biggest challenge I think. But I am striving to get better each day and this mission is a huge help. 

I tried mate' and mate' cocido this week for the first time. Honestly, I'm not a fan (sorry dad) but I did get a River Mate cup since I'm now River. Vamos River!!  (According to my husband, the mate is the cup (traditionally made from a gourd) Yerba de Mate is an herbal tea that EVERYONE in Argentina drinks. The traditional way to drink it is to fill the mate with the herb then add boiling water and some sugar if desired. The bombilla is the straw you see Max holding next to the mate cup in the picture below. It acts as a strainer and lets you drink the tea. Traditionally people would sit in a circle and pass the Mate around, all drinking from the same "straw". It has been against the rules in Max's mission until the mission president change. Now they can drink it, but only in their apartment and not with a shared straw. Mate cocido is a much milder version cooked in a pot on the stove with less herb and then has milk added.  It is a huge part of Argentina culture, and I am glad Max gets to try it.)

I was walking through Centro with Elder Clark (Coach Hillyard's nephew) on Wednesday. A man on the corner saw us and yelled "Amigo!" We turned and he flipped us off haha. Sometimes I feel like I'm back on the football field when we are out here tracting. But I'm not worried about offensive linemen blindsiding me, its all the dogs. If there is a dog guarding a house and they have no fence, you need one of two things: a pocket full of rocks or really quick feet. It doesn't matter the size of the dog either. The big ones just try and maul you, while the little ones aim to tear your achilles tendon so then you can't run as they proceed to slowly eat you. It must be Gods way of keeping all us missionaries alert 24/7 outside the pension haha. 

This week, I want to challenge all of you to read Alma chapter 7. I've honestly never learned so much just sitting down and reading specific chapters of scripture. I am here to promise it will bless your life. 

Cristian, one of our investigators, we got him to come to an activity with us at the church Friday night. He had a baptism date but that fell through. He is 20 and smoked all the way to the church but that's okay, we are working on that.

It's really hard to do work here in the morning. Everyone is either gone doing their own work, or they sleep till 12 then make lunch once they get up. On Saturday at 11:20 AM, we had one lady we were contacting scream at us, "PLEASE, I'M SLEEPING!" It was a little funny yes. We taught Facundo this week also. We committed to a baptismal date in August so I hope it works out. He is 21 years old, the youngest of 3, and works with his dad. He does have a smoking problem so we are working with him too, but he is really cool. The Spanish is very very slowly progressing. I feel like I can speak okay, I just need to understand. 

Just trying to prep the Patagonia for a Temple one day at a time.

Much Love,

Elder Christensen

Monuments honoring those who fought in the Falkland Island War (Malvinas)

Max's River Mate

This weeks pictures from Hermano Marcos

We also received this nice letter from Max's new mission president:

Dear parents and family of Elder Christensen,

We are very happy to be the new Mission Presidents of the Comodoro Rivadavia Mission, and even happier to serve together with your dear son.  The Lord has called us to serve in this part of the world in this time for a reason:   We must build His Kingdom in this part of the Earth.
“…and ye shall be witnesses unto me… unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8)

 As Peter, we have left our nets to go and serve the Lord.
“And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Mathew 4:19)

Thank you for sending to us a great fisher of men like your son to help the Lord to prepare this land of the Second Coming of Our Lord Jesus Christ.  We love our missionaries and we are taking care of them like they would be our own children. We can hear your prayers in his favor.  We wish you can support him with your prayers and your letters or emails. He needs your support and love.  Thank you for sharing with us your most valued possession: your son.

With sincere love,

President and Sister Salerno

Interesting facts about the Presidents (I have edited this part to take out some of the personal information)…

They have one daughter who is married and one grandson.  President Salerno is a Pharmisist and also holds a MBA from BYU.  He speaks Spanish, English, Portuguese, and some French and Italian.  He likes music, video, computing, technology and especially playing with his grandson. Sister Salerno is an elementary teacher. She likes painting, cooking, doing genealogical research and above all, spending time with her family. They are from Buenos Aires.  Judging from all the callings listed they have dedicated their lives to serving in the church.

They are very happy to serve in the Comodoro Rivadavia Mission and help growing the Kingdom of God in the end of the world.

And lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world Matthew 28:20

Monday, July 18, 2016

week 10

Mommy & My Friends,

"Our doubts are traitors, And make us lose the good we oft might win, By fearing to attempt." -William Shakespeare

That is the biggest mountain I`m climbing right now., Not doubting that I can do this. I gave a 7 min talk in church yesterday on Faith. It helped me a lot because truly you can do anything through Christ. His mercy and grace an reach everyone if we truly try and strive to seek it every day. This work is great. I know only through pure faith (a lot of it ) can I become great enough to do a work like this. Its an amazing transformation.

Ushuaia was really cool. We just spend the day there and only stayed in the church. We did get to sneak away for a sec though and steal some pics. Minus the sea, it looks just like Cache Valley in the winter. Cool mountains with a fair amount of snow. I also saw Elder Harris and we caught up. He is doing great. President and Hermana Salerno are really cool as well. President speaks perfect English but Hermana Salerno hardly speaks any but she tried really hard for me during our interview because she wants to learn so that was nice. Besides the fact that we now can drink mate` in our pensions, no rules or goals changed from President Rogers to President Salerno. The goal is still a Temple on the Patagonia. 

When I got here, I couldn`t have cared less about soccer. But it is actually kinda cool haha I never thought I`d say that ever in my life. When I arrived, my companion told me that my team was Boca because that's his favorite team and if anyone asked me I`m Boca also. The 2 big teams in Argentina are Boca and River and you`re either one or the other and you have to hate the one you don`t cheer for. So at our lunch appointment on Thursday, the members asked if we were Boca or River. My companion said Boca, I said I didn`t care but got told I was Boca. So right then, the member went into his closet and brought out a River shirt for me haha. So now I am officially River, no longer Boca. My companion hates me now as well haha. Also, when he asked me where I was from and I said the United States, the first thing he said was, "Oh like Shaquille O`neal!" Its an honor to be put in the same category as him haha. 

One  of our investigators, Eufemia, is having problems and she gave us her book of Mormon back. I literally teared up. Also, we met with Fernando again. He only smoked one cigarette this time. I shared my adoption story with him. He really liked that and said I am very lucky. I also, for the first time since I can remember, talked about my sister, Amanda. He had a daughter that passed away with super rare disease at 6 months old. Amanda passing having only 3 months with the hole in her heart was a good connection.  He always has a lot of questions and we do the best we can. (Amanda actually lived a little less than 2 months, and was born with only half a heart, Caleb was born with a small hole, which is probably what confused Max.  Max was just barely three when this happened and Caleb was born just 2 days later).

Much Love,

Elder Christensen

Max and Elder Harris met up in Ushuaia at an area meeting to meet the new mission president

More Ushuaia

Elder Llactahuaman, one of the assistants to the president Elder Goodman, and Max

Photos of Max's district in Rio Grande (Thanks to Quique Marcos the ward mission leader)

Some more pictures from the MTC (Vader)

Monday, July 11, 2016

Week 9


"It is difficult to make a man miserable while he feels he is worthy of himself and claims kindred to the great God who made him." -Abraham Lincoln. 

I read that quote on Wednesday and I really like it. It's what I strive to become. I also found out Wednesday that "Uno" here is still called "Uno". Although here, I call it "One." I got to try horse meat this week. Its pretty good really, and no different than regular meat. 

On On Thursday night we met with Fernando. He was an old investigator who was a reference from a ward member. He was pretty nice to us and he also finished 3 cigarettes during our lesson. He had a ton of questions for us (mostly Elder Llacthuaman because he talked really fast and I couldn´t understand haha). I was able to testify multiple times though and at the end of the lesson I invited him to read 2 Nephi chapter 2. So I would also like to invite all of you to read it as well. Its a good piece of scripture. 

We don´t have any progressing investigators but we have a ton of new people but we rarely have lessons. Maybe 1 or 2 a day. Its interesting here because if people are sleeping, cooking, or eating (which is LITERALLY like half the day) you don´t get in. It was a little frustrating at first, but I´ve gotten used to it. The members here though are amazing and really nice and patient with me. Milanesas are fastly becoming my favorite food with pasta being 2nd because we eat a ton of both. The members gave us so much every day last week it seemed. This week we´ve done a lot of reactivating less active members. A lot of visits like that but still waiting on some results which is okay.

We are going to Ushuaia tomorrow (the most southern town on earth so LITERALLY the end or bottom of the world) to meet the new mission president, President Salerno. Besides that, not a lot to report this week!

Much Love,

Elder Christensen

P.S. I must be gaining weight because I snapped my chair in half just sitting down last night.

Answers to a few questions we asked

We attend the church not in centro. I think there are 12 total missionaries here. There are about 100 members in our branch. Elder Shaq is great he´s super funny and helpful and a good cook as well. He also likes music and art. We mostly walk, bus, taxi. We see the missionaries in our district probably every day and the zone every Monday. We´re the only missionaries in our apartment building but the 2 hermanas in our district live in the one behind us.

His apartment complex (Right next to the church)

They actually this one

Old pictures, but just sent today