Monday, January 21, 2013

Week 7 - HUGE Change Up

Hello hello family and friends.  So before I get into the crazy news of this week, I want to thank Mom, Dad, Mark J for the letters, and a HUGE thank you to Tara F for the "Late Christmas / New Year's" package.  It is always so good to hear from all of you.  To Mark, I don't know if I'll have time today to write a proper response, but just to make you feel a little bit more jealous, I successfully made carne asada this week and made one of the best tortas I've ever had.  It was a really good week in regards to food.  I look forward to sharing all the glorious food with all of you once we get home.

Alright, now the HUGE news of this week.  So last week was transfer week and we didn't get any call, so we assumed that everything was going to stay the same.  FALSE.  On Tuesday, we missed a call from of the APs at about 4:00, then at about 4:10 President texted us saying "Call me ASAP."  We called him at about 4:30.  He was talking to me and he asked me to put the phone on speaker phone and to bring Elder Flores into the room.  My first thought was, "Don't take Elder Flores from me!"  He then started talking and he said something like: "Alright Elders, something has come up and we are going to be sending you into battle.  Are you ready for that?"  At this point I noticed he was talking to both of us.  My next thought was "Don't take Raul and Rosa from me!"  Haha.  He then said, "We would like to call you both as trainers."  TRAINERS!  Elder Flores and I looked at each other and were in total shock.  We are co-training Elder Park from Florida.  So all that happened at about 4:30 and we got him at our apartment at 6:15.  It was such a crazy day.  Then the following day he got the stomach flu that has been going around the MTC.  He's better now but super low on energy so the days are pretty hard for him.  He didn't have a solid foundation of Spanish going into the mission, so he is having a hard time understanding everybody.  Since we are in a trio now, Elder Flores and I are almost positive that one of us will be out of here next transfer.  But it's been so nuts.  

Because Elder Park has been sick, Elder Flores and I have had a lot of time to talk about long term plans for the area.  We have two ideas to start switching things up a little.  We are thinking of having a Family Home Evening at the church where we are going to watch Finding Faith In Christ.  As a part of it, we are going to try to get everybody pumped up to bring a nonmember to the activity to find some more people to teach.  Additionally, once we start teaching these people, we'll have the member support already in place since all these people will be friends of a member.

Also, in our ward, the stake president has the goal to divide the ward.  In talking to Elder Park, he said that in his ward the ward mission leader wanted to start focusing on supporting all the people that are already members.  Once they started doing this, member involvement in missionary work shot up as well.  So we think that work with inactive members will 1) help the stake president achieve his vision for the ward and 2) give us tons more people to teach.  These ideas are still kind of a work in progress, but it is fun being here and to have the vision of where all this can go.  If any of you return missionaries have any awesome ideas for finding, I'd love to hear what worked for you on your missions.

Raul and Rosa update, we haven't been able to see them all week because of Elder Park being sick, then once he got better, Rosa got pretty sick and didn't want us over.  We still have high hopes for them.  Their baptism date will need to get moved back a bit while we figure out marriage stuff.

I don't know if I have talked about Janet at all, but Janet might be baptized before Raul and Rosa.  Janet is the daughter of an inactive single mom.  Janet is progressing really well.  She has been to church twice.  We watched Finding Faith in Christ with her, and she gave us a name of somebody that should see it.  (this other girl's parents are against her going away from the Catholic church so I don't know how all that will work out, but it will work out)  She has accepted a baptism date for Feb 10 and is well on her way to meet that day.  After we invited her to be baptized, she said "Tell me what I need to do to get ready."  It was so awesome!  And it was also Elder Park's first baptism invite.  It was a great moment.

So ya, this was an awesome week.  We have a pretty good idea of where we want to go from here.  Hope all goes well.  As always, if you are reading this, I love you and would love to here from you.  For the scripture share, I'll be sharing something that is modern scripture, because it comes from an apostle.  Elder Bednar's article in the Ensign from April 2012.  It made me see grace and the Atonement in a whole new way.  President Becerra, Brad Wilcox, and now Elder Christensen say that Latter-day Saints don't understand enough about grace.  I feel like I can say that since I am one of those that didn't understand it enough.  Another good talk (I may have already recommended it) is "His Grace is Sufficient for You" by Brad Wilcox.  

The Church is true.  If you know somebody that is inactive, bring them back.  I think that is some of the best member missionary work that can be done.  Vayan con Dios.

Elder Tanner Christensen

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