Monday, December 17, 2012

Week 2--Getting into the Groove

December 17, 2012

Hello family and friends. Thank you to Mom, Dad, Emmy, Tarryn J, and Morgan E for the letters this week.  Also, I received the Christmas packages from Home and Jakins.  You all are so kind!  It's going to be tough not opening them till Christmas.  I feel like a child all over again.

Quick order of business.  Since the mission home can't forward mail to my apartment, I may not receive a letter for up to two weeks if it is sent to the mission home.  If you want to send anything directly to me, you may ask my parents for the address.  (I don't think I'm supposed to publicly post what it is, so just ask them for it)  Also, I can't receive anything bigger than a normal envelope at the apartment because of the size of our mailbox, so for that stuff, send it to the mission office.  Alright, there's all the business.  I love you all!

So some more info about my area.  It seems like there is a dollar store, a liquor store, and a laundromat on every single block.  And I think the population of dogs to humans is about 1:1.  I haven't had any encounters yet, just a lot of barking.  On a really really clear day (which is extremely rare) you can see the "HOLLYWOOD" sign on the mountain miles away.  That was kinda cool.  Also, on a clear day, you can see some mountains that are snow capped.  Cool stuff.  I've had more good food this week.  There's a guy that's going to teach me how to make tortillas and carne asada for street tacos.  That will be VERY valuable info.

We had a mission wide Christmas party this week.  It was so much fun!  I kinda wish that I could have had a break like that a little bit more into my mission, but it was still a great time.  I got to see all my friends from the MTC again which was great.  Also, I met Aaron Wheatley's cousin who is serving here in Arcadia speaking English (Aaron is one of my closest friends for those that don't know the name).  The whole day was basically talent shows and missionaries singing songs.  It was awesome.  The best act of all was President Becerra dancing.  His family is from Mexico and he did a traditional Mexican dance with some of the Hermanas. (this computer isn't letting me upload the picture, so it will come later)

So do you remember the semi-homeless guy that I talked about last week, Antonio?  We ran into him AGAIN!  It was the weirdest thing ever.  We were talking with Marta, from Guatamala, who just arrived from Denver looking for a new job.  She had no money and was waiting to be picked up by an acquaintance to go to her home for the night.  We bought her lunch and sat on a bench and we were talking to her for a bit.  Then right in front of us as we were talking, we see Antonio.  So we stop him and start talking to him.  He thanked us for the help again, but he said that he had been sleeping outside still.  My companion gave him his nice fleece coat, we bought him some food, gave him some water and gave him a pass-along card and told him to call us if he needed anything else.  And, of course, we had a gospel conversation.  I feel like there is now a good chance that we'll run into him again somehow.

Scripture share for this week is a very simple one:  Phil 4:13.  I don't think I had ever read it before this week, but I think that it is very powerful.

Also, I want to share a quote from Pres. Uchtdorf's Conference talk from Oct 2012.  I'd like to invite you to read it a few times, because there are some huge promises in there:

"Discipleship is the pursuit of holiness and happiness. It is the path to our best and happiest self. Let us resolve to follow the Savior and work with diligence to become the person we were designed to become. Let us listen to and obey the promptings of the Holy Spirit. As we do so, Heavenly Father will reveal to us things we never knew about ourselves. He will illuminate the path ahead and open our eyes to see our unknown and perhaps unimagined talents. The more we devote ourselves to the pursuit of holiness and happiness, the less likely we will be on a path to regrets. The more we rely on the Savior’s grace, the more we will feel that we are on the track our Father in Heaven has intended for us."  -Pres. Uchtdorf

On Tuesday, we will get to go to the LA Temple Visitor Center with Armando Hernandez.  Armando was my very first lesson in the mission field.  He knows everything is true, but is hesitant to marry his girlfriend that he lives with.  They have a few kids together.  These past two weeks, he has been listening to the audio of the Book of Mormon because he doesn't read very well.  It has changed him so much.  He says that he listens to it at work all the time.  It's really cool to see.  He was really confused by the scripture in the Book of Mormon that says that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are one.  We tried to explain it was talking about unity, but I don't know how well that got across.  We are hoping that the spirit of the temple will be thing that helps him accept the baptism date.  The goal is to get married on Christmas, then get baptized on Dec 30.  We really hope it will work out well. (He is the first of our investigators to come to church. It was so good to see him there yesterday!)

Thank you all for all the prayers.  I think I can feel them.  I hope that you all have a fantastic Christmas.  Not having family around (or even snow for that matter) will definitely be a change.  I love you all!  As always, I would love to hear from anybody that is reading this.

God be with you till we meet again,

Elder Tanner Christensen

1 comment:

  1. JUst so you know Elder Tanner K.Christensen..,
    You are NOT forgotten here..!! we talk about you all the time and truly miss you here in Provo..!! We are sending our love and lots of POWER to you!! Remember one thing:
    The MOST important thing is to BE OBEDIENT, for that is the measure with which you will measure yourself (after you go home) to know if you were a successful missionary...OBEDIENCE..!!
    It is the foundation for the rest of your life - obedience to God..!! May the good Lord blessssss you abundantly so you may ALWAYS feel His presence and also feel all your friend's support - and may you always express your gratitude for your blessings in showing your investigators JOY..!!
    Keep smil' inge..!!