Friday, February 24, 2017

Week 42

Mommy and All,

"Fear is that little darkroom where negatives are developed." -Michael Pritchard

This week was pretty good. All this traveling back and forth to Perito Moreno and back can ware you down haha my comp and I have both been pretty tired. But the work is going pretty good on both sides. We are really hoping and preying for 2 more baptisms this week with Rosio and Nahuel.

Rosio was introduced to us by a member here in Las Heras and we've been working with her along with the Hermanas. She moved down here from Buenos Aires about 8 months ago and all her friends here happen to be Mormon including the Branch President. When she got here, she didn't wanna hear one thing from the missionaries because all she had heard was bad stuff. But one day she opened up one time and now we are prepping for her baptism this weekend. Its amazing how when people truly wanna change and begin to open up their heart, that the spirit can enter and help with that change that much quicker. 

Nahuel is a big story. He is the husband of the "Bishop" out in Perito Moreno haha. His wife Natalia was the only member in Perito for quite a while and drove the 2 hrs every Sunday here to Las Heras to go to church before the other 2 families down there arrived. She does everything out there and its amazing to watch. She finds the buildings to meet in each Sunday, brings the stuff for the sacrament, and really if it wasn't for her, there wouldn't be missionaries in Perito. She is waiting so anxiously for her husband to get baptized so they can wait the year then go to the temple and get sealed with their really really cute little 1 1/2 yr old daughter. Nahuel is definitely ready for baptism. He lives the life of a Mormon, he just isn't baptized. He even told us last week that he received an answer to his prayers. The only thing now is that he is scared of all the responsibility he is going to receive after baptism and doesn't know if he can handle all that. So we went and played all our best cards, talking about eternal families and our own lives and how we just have to try our best we don't have to be perfect and gave our best lesson. So he told us he is going to pray one more time and that he would call us before Friday this week and let us know the final result. So we are waiting anxiously for that. Also if we baptize him, he will be the first person ever baptized in Perito Moreno so that would be cool too!

Side Note: With Elder Soto leaving this Sunday, I will most likely be on the move as well since I cant just sit here by myself. So it could happen, but don't plan on me writing next Monday because I have no clue where I will be, and I might be on a bus to Comodoro so I wouldn't be able to. But we will see!

Much Love,

Elder Christensen

Picture notes...The picture above was taken when he traveled to Comodoro to again try to get his Argentine paperwork and get his visa stuff taken care of.  He is with his mission president and several office elders.  

The three pictures below were taken at one conference in Caleta Olivia.

The last two are with a random car they found on the side of the road.  He was not driving or in it.  


Monday, February 13, 2017

Week 41

Mommy and All,

"There is no music in hell, for all good music belongs to heaven." -Brigham Young

First wanna give a Big birthday shoutout to my Big Little Bro Elder Colton Durrant out there in the DR. Happy birthday my brotha and prayers up to him and his family. Also happy Valentines Day to all as well. 

I'm honestly not sure what to write this week. I didn't run into any drunk guys or dogs. None of our investigators got possessed by demons. And I didn't fall into a sewage hole. This must be the most boring week of my mission thus far haha. 

We went to Perito Moreno quite a bit this week. Wednesday I had to go to Comodoro to do a bunch of paperwork and sign stuff so they can finally start working on my Argentine ID and visa because I guess we messed up the first time I did all that. So while I was there my comp took the rest of the District out to Perito. We also went back Thursday and spent Saturday and Sunday there as well. We are finding quite a few new people out there like we are in Las Heras.

We met this one kid named Augstin who we had heard about from the other missionaries. His whole family is Catholic but his uncle who is Mormon and the Branch President in Pico Truncado about 3 hrs away. I guess they had his baptism all planned and were literally about on the bus to go to Pico so his uncle could baptize him. The one tiny problem was that he forgot to tell his parents. So when they found out they pulled the plug on that really quick. So right now we are working on softening the hearts of his parents to let that happen. We talked with his mom who told us their family was having pretty big financial problems and her "husband" and her aren't married but they live together and have 3 kids but they were having relationship problems as well. So they were about to fall apart right around they time Augustin was going to get baptized. When his mom asked him why he wanted to get baptized he told her for the family. She said that hit her pretty hard and opened her eyes a bit. Her brother is the one who is the Branch President and so she has now even started reading the Book of Mormon. Its great because she says whenever she has a question about anything she reads, she can just pick up the phone and call her brother which I guess she does a lot so she is reading with real intent. 

We also found Javier again. We didn't get to talk to him for very long because his family was leaving to go to the festival in town, and all he wanted to tell me was all the stuff that Trump was doing haha so we really didn't get anything in. But as we were leaving he grasped our hands and genuinely thanked us for the small visit and for coming back to see him. We didn't even share anything, but it was like he still felt something. 

Much Love,

Elder Christensen

Monday, February 6, 2017

Week 40

Mommy and All,

"It took me fifteen years to discover I had no talent for writing, but I couldn't give it up because by that time I was too famous." -Robert Benchley

This week we had a little miracle happen. He is 20 yr old Victor Angel Ezequiel Esteban Martinez. And I had the opportunity to baptize him on Friday

Tuesday we went to see if  the Familia Cyntia who I've mention in a few emails before was back from vacation. We knew they left and they told us if they did, they'd most likely leave and come back soon. So we found them our 2nd day here but haven't seen them for 2 weeks. When we passed by their house, a guy named Victor came out an told us they went way north back home to Salta and wont be home till the beginning of March. Cyntia had told us she had a son, but we had never met him because he was never home. She said he was practicing his swimming to join the marines. Cyntia had never talked to missionaries before us, but she mentioned that she thought her son had talked to them one on one a little. We didn't think much of it since Cyntia wasn't there, but we just started talking to him to see what he knew. It turned out that he was best friends with an Elder who was here like 5-6 months ago, but when he left, the missionaries never came by or had contact with him anymore. He also said he had read almost the whole Book of Mormon and that he had gone to church for 2 straight months with these Elders. We were blown away and were wondering how the heck he got lost in the shuffle. He ended up telling us that the only reason he was there was because he was watching the house for his mom and that he was leaving for Buenos Aires on Saturday to join the Marines and wouldn't be back for 4 years. When he told us that we both just thought oh okay have a good time see ya. Of course he is leaving right when we meet him. But Wednesday morning, the thought crossed our minds that we could actually baptize him if he knows as much as he says he does. So we went and gave him a pre-baptismal interview and he knew everything!! So we called Presidente Salerno and told him his situation and that it was kind of now or never and who knows if after 4 years he will see missionaries again and Presidente Salerno was in the Marines so he gave us permission to baptize him Friday. Victor was pretty nervous but also was excited he could do it. We asked him why they didn't baptize him 6 months ago and he told us they said he wasn't ready. We definitely thought he was ready now. 

So after he passed the baptismal interview Thursday, I got a call saying he wanted me to be the one to baptize him. I was way pumped and just shocked that in 4 days we had already become life long friends. 

Since the church is a literal house, there isn't a baptismal faunt. Its a make shift one you put together like putting together a pool in the backyard haha. Also when we were filling it up, the church ran out of water. So the water came up to about my shins and it was really lucky that he is a head shorter than I am. The first time I baptized him, I had to kind of slam him down all the way on his back, and that still didn't get him all the way in The 2nd time they told him to sit on his butt and for me to get on my knees or we would be there all night haha so that was easier. It was awesome. I asked how he felt after and he looked at me and said "Peaceful, handsome, and clean." I started to laugh haha he is a great guy. He told me after that he knew 100% that it is true. The military is letting him take 2 books and he told us one of those will be the Book of Mormon. He said its also mandatory for them to attend one hour of a church service every Sunday. We looked it up and there is a church 7 min from his base. He told us that his best friend who is a girl and in the military with him just happens to be a Mormon so that works out perfect and they will go together. The last thing he told me was to keep in touch becasue he is going to California in 2018 to train at a base out there and wants to meet up for a sec when he comes haha so that's awesome. He gave me a military backpack to remember him. 

Much Love,

Elder Christensen