Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year's Eve!

Hello friends and family.  Thank you to Mom, Dad, Martins, Jensens, Kerrs, G&G C, G&G K, Clayne, and Jakins for all the Christmas goodies.  I definitely will not have to buy any candy for the next little bit.  I appreciate all your love.  I have very little time this week and next week, so I may not get around to sending out personalized thank you's, but thank you so much!

So I'm sure that you want to hear about Christmas, but some better things have happened this week, so I'll be brief.  Christmas Eve we ate with a recent convert family.  There are awesome.  They are the Rodriguez family and they have 12 people living in a house about half the size of our main floor.  He said while we were eating, "I don't just want to be a member of this church, I want to be a leader."  That was the coolest thing I had heard.  I can't wait to find somebody to baptize that has that same level of commitment.  It has been really fun to work with them.  Christmas morning, we got a group together and played soccer.  We played our ward vs the ward to the south of us.  Much of our team was made up of missionaries, so we lost horribly.  It was super muddy, so I have some awesome pictures to share sometime in the future.  We ate SO many tamales.  I guess it's a Christmas tradition.  Everywhere we went, there were tamales.  Am I complaining about it?  No way :)  They were awesome!  But I'm not a big fan of Chumporada (spelling help please, mom?).  It's kinda weird.  We had dinner with a family from El Salvador.  We had panes de pollo (these awesome chicken sandwiches that kinda tasted like Gyros).  There wasn't anything other than these things that made Christmas Day in particular all that special.  It will definitely be a memorable time though.  Oh, the guy we ate with?  HUGE into ping pong!  His paddle cost more than $120.  We played today and he beat me twice and I beat him once (got super super lucky with my win).  He was 5th in El Salvador at one point.  I have video to share later.

As always, I would love to hear any suggestions that any of you have about missionary work:

First, the sad story of the week.  Our goal was to have Armando baptized this week, and it didn't happen.  He still wants to be baptized, but the marriage thing is still the only thing in his way.  That was rough.  We found out on Thursday that it wouldn't happen.

Also on Saturday, we found a girl that is 18 years old, pregnant, and inactive in the church.  She wants to keep the baby and come back to church so that the baby can be raised right.  She has clearly had a really tough life.  She had aspirations to go on a mission, but can't now.  She has gone through the repentance process but doesn't feel like she can pray or read scriptures because she feels guilty still.  I really hope we'll be able to help her out.

Okay, so the story of the week.  We were in our weekly planning session and I started flipping through the potential investigator list.  I hadn't done this before.  I found Raul and Rosa and note next to their names said, "very very prepared.  They contacted us!"  I found this on Friday; we went and saw them on Sunday.  We knocked on the wrong door, and nobody answered.  (I knocked on 108, when the address was really 106.  Didn't figure that out till later)  There were two ladies talking in the hall, and I went up to them and said, "Hola Senoras.  Conocen a Raul y Rosa?"  (do you know Raul and Rosa)  She responded "Soy yo."  (that's me).  In my mind I was thinking, "no way no way."  So we walk into her apartment and a guy is there.  They are both super nice and open to talk.  We ask if they've heard about the Book of Mormon.  They said that they had had the Elders come 3 times before.  They picked the Book of Mormons off the shelf and we started reading in 1 Nephi 3 because they remembered some of the questions they had about the  chapter last time the Elders were there.  They said that the Elders stopped coming because it was hard to pick a time that would work with both of them due to conflicting work schedules.  Throughout the lesson we found out the following: 1) Raul has family in Mexico that are members, 2) The always come "at just the right time" according to Rosa, and 3) they aren't married (yet), but they have heard about being sealed in the temple and like the idea of being sealed together.  They both want to be baptized!  It felt unreal the whole time.  With it being the holidays, they'll be around together this week, so we'll be able to squeeze in 3 lessons before their schedules start posing a threat again.  I was smiling so big the whole time.

I love you all!  Thank you again for all your love, support, and Christmas presents.  The scripture share for this week is Alma 26:27.  It was basically the story of this week.  To all future missionaries, I can testify that this scripture is true!

God be with you till we meet again.

Elder Tanner Christensen

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