Monday, February 4, 2013

Week 9 in Cali--An Exciting Week!

Hello family and friends.  This week was a really exciting one.  We had 7 people in sacrament meeting - the most that has been had for our area since October.  This week was also an awesome week for letters!  Thank you to Taylor L, Jessica S, Nelson S, Johnny L, Mom, Emmy, and Dad for all the letters.  I'm sorry that I won't be able to write responses to everybody today, but I'll get a few done.  And thank you to Mom for the package!!  So so good.  The CDs were probably my favorite part.  Listening to conference talks has been a favorite past time here.  Also, an "unknown" user commented on the Week 2 blog.  Thank you sooo much for that little message whoever you are.  I really appreciated it.  My mom will copy and paste all those comments so I can see them.  So if you want to share a little something, I'd love to hear from you.

If I remember correctly, Tara Franklin and Brett Jaynes are quickly approaching their mission departure days.  Congrats!  You are both going to love it so much!  You will quickly realize how little you know and how little you feel prepared.  Haha it's great.  But you both will grow so fast.  It is tough to describe how great that time is.  I hope you make the most of the time in the MTC.

First off, the sad news.  I believe last week I mentioned that Elder Park had been dealing with some stress and anxiety.  President decided to move him to English work, so he is no longer with Elder Flores and I.  I really enjoyed those two weeks of being a trainer.  I feel like I learned a lot through being able to teach him and help him out with stuff.  Hopefully the opportunity to train will come again.

Now the good news.  I had an interview with the President this week, and his first comments were about Elder Park.  He has been doing much better.  So it is good that he won't need to go home for this stuff.  Hopefully we'll meet up in Spanish work again in the future.  In my interview with President, it kind of turned into a 10 min long 1-on-1 teaching session.  I asked him how we can in turn truly internalize something that we have learned.  There has been a lot of studying that has come from that conversation.  He said that "anxious engagement with patience" is how we can get that to happen.  Acting leads to understanding.  I'm understanding the Gospel more now because I have been studying it and living it 24/7 for the last 4 months and that understanding will continue to come as I continue to act.  It was a great conversation.  I'm starting to realize why it is so necessary for investigators to act for themselves to gain a testimony.  

Raul and Rosa are doing really well.  We had a lesson this week where they spent 30 minutes sharing scriptures that they liked.  It was so cool to see that.  Raul has been struggling with smoking, but has gone 3 days without smoking.  They have stopped drinking coffee and tea.  The only thing that is left now is the marriage thing.  We had a talk with them about everything that's been going on.  They are at the point now that they need to decide whether to separate and get baptized next week, or wait two months to get Rosa's papers, get married, then get baptized.  We invited them to fast about it and they'll give us their decision soon.  They only have each other here; everyone else is in Mexico.  This is going to be a tough decision for them, but I'm not too worried.

Janet is still on track to be baptized this upcoming Sunday.  We have a lot to teach her, but it's still very possible.  She is catching onto everything so quick.  And her inactive Mom came to church on Sunday!  It was sooo cool.  I believe it was the first time she had been to church in years.

Thank you for all the love, support, and prayers.  If you have about a half hour, read "Seek Learning By Faith" by Elder Bednar.  It talks about how acting on the part of the learner leads to understanding.  Great talk.

Love you all,
Elder Tanner Christensen

The following paragraph was in Tanner's letter to his's so "Tanner" like! The sweet, gentle, yet totally sarcastic boy we all love continues to make us laugh!  :)

So, I guess the winter here in Cali has been scary cold, too. There was a north breeze today that almost forced me to put on a sweater, but then I just kept rocking the short sleeves anyway. At night, it dropped into the 30s the other day. We don't have heat, so that night we had to use a space heater and wear hoodies.

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