Monday, March 25, 2013

A Week of Classic Stories

Hello family and friends.  First off, thank you to Johnny L for the letter.  Thanks to my family for the package, and thanks to Hermana Franklin, Elder Jaynes, Sister Jakins, and my family for the emails. So this week had two classic missionary stories that need to be shared.

First off, much that is going on in the work is the same as last week.  Raul and Rosy are still waiting for papers.  Armando is wanting to wait for some reason that we have not yet figured out.  Hopefully there will be some clarity on this stuff this week.

Alright now, storytime.  They say that there are some stories that are better left till the end of your mission for your mother to hear.  Well, here are two of those kinds of stories.  In short, I got bit by a dog this week.  I've had a few close calls till this point, but this week, it finally happened.  Luckily, it wasn't bad at all.  He didn't tear my pants or break skin.  I just had a nasty bruise.  We knew that the dog didn't really like us very much.  I looked to the porch where his doghouse is and the rope that they tie him up with looked like it was in place.  We hit the fence a little bit and made some noise and he didn't move so we thought it was good.  We get to the porch and he stands up.  I realize that he isn't tied up and then I start thinking, "calm, stay calm."  He then kind of trots up to us.  He leaned in, for what I thought was to sniff me, but instead he bit me.  He let go right away.  I'm pretty sure it's because once he bit into my calf, he realized it was rock solid.  Haha.  But ya, all is well.

And now, story number two.  On Friday, we ride bikes.  Funny thing that happened, but isn't part of the story:  we were riding down this pretty dark alley and it looked kind of sketchy.  We ride up on the group of guys that are crowded around a cement wall.  Once I get closer I realized that they were tagging it.  The guy with the spray paint can turned to me and said, "I'm just erasing this, Bro."  I started laughing really hard as I kept pedaling away.  

Alright, back to the story.  We were pedaling up a hill about 2 miles from our house.  I get to the top of the hill and start going down the hill slightly to where we were going to lock up our bikes.  I turn back to see where Elder Bennett was, and he wasn't there.  I'm thinking, "oh man, this is the beginning of one of those really bad stories."  I run with my bike to the top of the hill, and I see Elder Bennett pushing his bike up the hill.  It turned out what I thought was gears shifting was actually his bike kind of breaking.  His derailer got stuck in his spoke somehow.  The housing for one of the bolts got stripped and we had no idea what we were doing.  Then these two guys that were drinking came up to us and offered to help.  They said that they didn't know much about bikes, but they did have a bunch of tools.  We messed around with stuff for about 30 min and found out the problem.  We ended up taking this 3 inch long bolt and force threaded the derailer back in place.  It looked so funny.  As Noe and I (pronounced No-EH, means Noah in Spanish) were working on the bike, Elder Bennett and Efraim (pronounced ef-ra-EEM, means Ephraim in Spanish) were talking.  We are pretty sure they were gang members.  They were super cool to us, and they liked everything we shared about the church.  So now I have first-hand evidence that gangsters love missionaries.

So now, back to the spiritual stuff of the week.  We had a mission conference this week.  I love having a small mission that makes these possible!  They talked a lot about finding.  Finding is what our mission struggles at most.  In our mission, as soon as an investigator comes to church, they have a pretty good chance of getting baptized.  I felt like almost everything that was shared was meant specifically for me.  It was so fantastic.  We found out there is going to be a change up in our mission in the coming weeks.  They are taking away almost all the cars and converting it all to bikes, buses and train.  I guess it's some kind of new experiment.  It definitely will be less convenient, but I think that in the long run, it will end up helping us find more people.

We started talking to a guy that lives in Raul and Rosy's apartment building.  His name is Pedro.  The first lesson, he said "no, I can't be baptized again" then during the second lesson, he agreed to baptism.  It was super cool to see.  We also had a good lesson with a guy named Francisco and his wife Lucia.  In the past, they have been "all religions are welcome here."  I think they are starting to see the difference in our religion.

Thanks for the love and support, everybody.  I feel your prayers daily.  There is no way I could do what I'm doing without divine help.  This week I studied a lot about submitting our will to the Lord.  I figured out a way to help me follow His will.  I think to myself, "Though I want _____, God wants _____.  Therefore, _____."  Hope this helps somebody that's reading this.  Love you all!

Elder Christensen

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