Monday, September 26, 2016

Week 20

Mom & Everyone,

"It is one of the beautiful compensations of life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself." - Ralf Waldo Emerson

On Tuesday we had a mini zone conference, and it was pretty good. One Elder named Elder Carasco from Chile, came out and gave a fire talk like Elder Holland haha. He is 23 yrs old, and has been a missionary longer than he has been a member of the church. He also played a little professional soccer in Chile before the mission, and he proves it anytime there is a ball around (especially PDays haha). Crazy cool guy. He is the only convert in his family, and talked about how the Spirit is NECESSARY for us as missionaries. There is no other way. He said two things that really stood out to me. The first was that as missionaries, we can only help people change. Missionaries don't convert anyone. The converting power is the Spirit that we can have as we teach. The other thing he said was, "The Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion, but the Spirit is the keystone of TRUTH." That quote I love because its so simple yet makes so much sense. We all know we need the spirit, but it changes your perspective to hear it from a really recent convert (more recent than Elder Harris even). 

On a random note, last Thursday was the first day of Spring. So the days have been pretty dang nice and actually kinda hot (probably because I lived 8 hrs from Antarctica for the last 3 months haha)

Saturday Presidente Salerno assigned us a big service project to do. We got to go to Centro and paint and clean up the place where people get passports and things like that. So me and about 20 other missionaries and Hermanos from around Comodoro went and painted for most of the day and we all had a lot of fun. On of the things I cant understand yet in Spanish though is when someone tries to give me directions on how to do something, especially if its not another missionary. My job was to carry the ladders around and paint in all the high spots where no one else could reach and the Hermanos were guiding us. With me it got to the point where they pretty much had to do sign language to tell me what to do haha. I felt kinda bad after, and went apologized  to Hermano Alvarenga, who helped, and whose house we live above. He told me something kind of profound and said, "Elder, don't even worry about it. We are all learning every day. Even we are still learning things about our language." I thought that was cool. I will never be able to say I "learned CastellaƱo". But I will ALWAYS have the opportunity to grow and learn in every day of this life in general. 

My comp was sick all week, so Friday we spent all morning in the Doctor while he got shots...not in his arm hahaha. So we didn't do a ton of walking after that. We are still looking for new investigators to teach, and trying to regain the trust of the members here in La Prensa. Elder Fereirra only got here 6 weeks before me and apparently the Elders and even Hermanas that were here before he got here were really bad with the members and just the work in general. The members have told us that no one here talked good about the Elders before. But things are really starting to change! We great quite a few references from members and almost every time they say, "I never would have given this to missionaries before. We honestly couldn't trust them." They didn't even want them in their houses to eat lunch!! It was bad, but getting a lot better each day!

Much Love,

Elder Christensen

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