Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Last Letter -- (maybe)

(Monday, September 22, 2014)

Hello family and friends!  So I'm not sure if I will be sending off anything next week at the office, so this might be my last letter.

Not much has changed in the area this past week. Sandra is still amazing. She came to church for the 5th or 6th time in a row. Alonso is still being pulled in two directions my Sandra and his mom.  Sandra sees everything that is wrong with Alonso's mom's church and Alonso is just confused about it all. On Tuesday, we invited Alonso to pray again to know if our church is true.  He definitely felt it, but he is still confused.

Santiago is about the same too.  We had multiple lessons with him. He's doing better in regards to his addiction, but he didn't come to church.  We saw Nancy at a stop light.  We saw her take a few glimpses at us and act like she didn't see us.

I want to thank all of you for all the prayers and emails and letters and packages over the past two years. I really don't know what to say at the moment.  My head is spinning as I'm thinking about everything.

I am and will continue to be grateful for this opportunity to be here in California.  I had to come to California to understand how blessed my life has been in Utah.  I now have direction to my life that I was seriously lacking beforehand. I feel like I have come to a more clear understanding of who I am, who God is, what he has planned for me, and what I have to do to be able to be what he wants me to be.

I love you all so much.  See you all very soon.

Elder Christensen


Feeling a lot better. The package helped a ton. Thank you thank you.

So I originally had assumed we wouldn't see each other till the farewell thingy. But after talking to some missionaries, I guess there are some parents that have gone to sacrament meetings.  Honestly, we need to run around all over the place on Sundays at church, so I don't know how good it would be.  I feel like I would want to be with you, but I'd need to be with the investigators, etc. Not sure what time you have planned to arrive in Cali, but my opinion would be that it is best that we wait till the farewell.  What do you think?  I probably could get permission to text you if we need to coordinate something.

Farewell starts at 6:30.

I think I'll get permission to text you. If you don't hear from me at all, we'll see each other at 6:30 at 614 W Foothill Arcadia, CA.

Thank you so much for the quotes and thoughts.  Love you so much!  See you soon!

Elder Christensen 

Week 93

(Monday, September 15, 2014)

Hey everyone.  Due to a lot of running around and funness, this letter will be a little short.

So Santiago is still having a tough time.  He has been having a hard time getting the momentum back.

Still no word from Nancy... sadness...

Sandra and Alonso are awesome.  Progression towards baptism is slow, but sure.  Alonso was able to get work off this Sunday so he was able to come to church.  They won't commit to getting married yet, but they both know that they need to do it.  Sandra is still understanding everything super well.  Alonso said that he has been having a tough time understanding what we have been teaching.  We are going to shake up the way we do things a bit to help him out.

Now here is the most memorable experience of the week.  :)  On Wednesday, we were playing soccer with the youth in our ward during mutual. Elder Bardsley collided with one of the youth, went down, and dislocated his shoulder.  We were in the ER till 12:30.  That threw off my energy for the rest of the week.  Still working on recovering from that one.

Sorry for the shortness.  Love you all!

Elder Christensen


Hey before I get into everything else, the past two weeks has been super rough blood sugar wise. I bought some trail mix just barely for the week so that should help. Just to give you an example, this morning I woke up at 6:30, ate a bowl of raisin bran at 7:30, then near the end of personal study at 9:00 I was feeling a little weird. I checked my blood sugar and it was at 88. There have been a few times in this past week that I have tested my sugar and it's been in the 70s. So it's been super tough.

Follow up question. Do you remember that weird fever-like episode I had? Do you ever feel hot flashes when your blood sugar drops? Maybe that was it that one day, because I felt a little bit like that this morning.

Ideas for keeping it stable?


Eat something as soon as you get up. Don't wait the hour... Half an apple or yogurt. Raisin bran isn't enough protein. You need to have good protein to start the day. Oatmeal with a string cheese, egg with cheese and wheat bread, egg with cheese and deli ham or bacon on English muffin. If you are wanting a quick cereal, regular special k has more protein. Then you just have to make sure you are eating something every two hours so you don't get the huge drops. While it's really sensitive, you may need to eat every hour for a few days. Nuts, protein bar, apple, trail mix, string cheese, etc.

Yes, I get hot flashes, nervousness, anxiety feelings, cold sweats, nausea, dizziness, etc.

Are you being your packages on Wed or Thurs? I'm sending a package today and can throw in another protein package of you would get out all this week. It should arrive at the office Wed.

You may want to test it as soon as you get up before eating anything to have a starting point for the day. If it's low, the apple will help. Or, have done juice, wait 15-20 minutes then eat the protein. If you are eating while it's still low, it's a harder fight to get it up and staying up.

Week 92

(Monday, September 8, 2014)

Hello family and friends!

This week was another roller coaster week!  Man, it's draining me. We'll get the lows out of the way again.

So, part 1.  No contact with Nancy still.  We have decided we won't try again till Sunday night to give her a little bit of space.  We got really close to having contact with her on Saturday, but it wasn't the best circumstances.  So we'll see how that goes.

Part 2.  Santiago was doing SOOO well.  We took Bishop with us on one of the lessons and we were super stoked about how well everything was going.  We still had daily lessons with him.  He slipped up on Saturday, cancelled the lesson we had Saturday night, then didn't come to church.  Buh...so close.  We hopefully will see him today.

Now the good stuff.  This part made my week.  It was awesome!

So Sandra came to church again (4 weeks in a row! She's headed for Raul and Rosy status!)  After Sacrament Meeting, we were talking and there were two things that she told me that blew my mind.  As you are reading this, keep in mind that we have been teaching her for a month.

So in our first lesson with her, we also taught her sister.  She didn't act quite as interested, but we still saw some potential.  We haven't seen her for about a month.  Sandra said that she has been talking to her about how awesome church is, but that she isn't interested at the moment.  Now get this!  She said something like this, "So ya, at this point, I don't want to keep forcing her.  I have seen the changes in myself since I've been coming to church and I know it will help her, but if I try forcing her to do it, she won't get anywhere. So I think that I'll just keep talking to her about what things we talked about in church and how it's helped me.  Then, with time, she'll see my example and want to come."  Speechless... Whenever there are moments like this, I feel like my responses are always super unintelligent.  Something along the lines of, "Uh, well...yes...exactly.  I totally agree with what you said. Wow, you're smart."  I don't know.  I always feel like a dork.

Well, in case that wasn't enough, here's something else from that same conversation.  "So I was talking to Alonso about some stuff, and he brought up some stuff that his mom said about the Evangelical church that she goes to.  Then as we were talking, the question came to my mind: Why are there so many churches?"  Pause in the story.  At this point, I'm hoping she says, "I remember you told us that..." or "I remember reading in the pamphlet that...".  But her response was even better.  Continuing... "So I picked up the Book of Mormon and opened it to a random page and I got my answer.  If I remember right, it was in 3 Nephi 27.  It said something about if it's Moses's church it will be named the church of Moses and if it's the church of a man then...I don't know, something like that.  Then it said if it's Christ's church, it will be called in his name.  Then I thought about the name of the church.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Christ's name is right there.  So this church must be true."  Again, it was followed up by a super unintelligent response.  Speechless. Uhh...ya...that's right.

In case you're wondering what the verse in 3 Nephi 27 says, here it is:

And how be it my church save it be called in my name? For if a church be called in Moses’ name then it be Moses’ church; or if it be called in the name of a man then it be the church of a man; but if it be called in my name then it is my church, if it so be that they are built upon my gospel. (3 Nephi 27:8)

Ya, wow. But wait, there's more.  Still the same conversation.

Sandra: "So Alonso still isn't sure if it's okay to get baptized a second time.  His mom said that you should only get baptized once, so he's not really convinced of that part yet." 
Me: "Okay, so you were baptized in the Baptist church, so why do you want to be baptized again?"
Sandra: "Well I don't feel like it counted.  They don't have that power since it's a church of men."

She is amazing.

Thanks for all the love and prayers and support.

Elder Christensen

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Tanner's Facebook post on August 23, 2014

(Mom’s note: This painting is one that Spencer did for Tanner for Christmas.)

Jesús es mi Salvador. Es difícil expresar lo que he llegado a sentir en cuanto a su amor para con nosotros. #GraciasaEl podemos volver con Dios. Las cosas que nos pide que hagamos son relativamente pequeñas en comparación a la gran recompensa que nos espera. Por eso, #sigoael. #Ifollowhim  #ComparteBondad

There was a period of time that I felt like my life did not have much purpose. I attended church, I was studying in school, but everything felt monotonous. The Book of Mormon changed all that. I began to read it a few minutes every night. Those few minutes soon turned into over an hour every night. Everything that Christ taught and did began to have personal relevance. I felt fulfilled and I no longer felt like a robot trudging through life. Life had meaning. Since then, my testimony has deepened. #BecauseofHim this life has a purpose. To be able to continue to have peace in this life and eternal salvation in the life to come, #IFollowHim.  #ShareGoodness  

Monday, September 1, 2014

Week 91--A Crazy Roller Coaster!

Hello family and friends. This week was such a crazy roller coaster!

There was a lot of bad and a lot of good. Let's start with the bad and crazy stuff first.

So part one. Nancy has basically dropped us. Feel like that came out of nowhere? Ya, us too. We have done everything we can to get in touch with her, but she won't talk to us. We actually don't have any idea why. Frustrating... The sisters from the singles ward are trying to get in touch with her as a last ditch effort. Please pray for her!

Now, that the worst of the bad news is out of the way, here are just some random annoyances of the week (not complaining, just helping you get a feel for the week):

- my iPad factory reset, which means I lost a LOT of studies and notes and quotes and reminders that I hadn't backed up. I still don't have it fixed.

- our water heater broke. I've been sponge bathing with water warmed from the stove because I can't stand how cold the showers are.

- on Elder Bardsley's iPad, the Areabook app updated without us seeing any warning, so we had to re-enter a lot of data.

Now, not bad news, but stuff that added to the stress:

- I gave a short talk at a stake meeting about retention.

- I gave the 5th Sunday lesson to the adults and had a little over a day to prepare (without the help of my iPad and my previous markings). Feedback was pretty positive though.

Okay, now all that is out of the way. Now the good news!

So, we found out things were rough with Nancy on Monday night. Tuesday I tried something new. Instead of fasting from food AND drink (since that destroyed me last time I tried due to my hypoglycemia), I just did a no drink fast. I felt it was better than nothing. On Tuesday night, we kind of did our last effort with her before giving her some space. It didn't work out. Then, Wednesday night, we get a text from Santiago. We had stopped visiting him and asked him to tell us when he was ready to give it a try again. He told us that he was currently with the Elders Quorum President and was heading to the church (where we were at). We were super shocked. Santiago showing up as a result of our fast for Nancy? Maybe... The thought did cross my mind. He talked with Bishop. Bishop helped Santiago gain some confidence and feel supported. Then we had daily lessons with him. He hasn't had a drink since Wednesday. He came to church. Multiple people in the ward said hi and made him feel awesome.

Sandra and Alonso are doing awesome! Sandra has been the one that has been more involved to this point, but Alonso still likes it. She said that on Saturday night, he came to her and said, "hey, we haven't read today. Let's go." They then read a whole chapter together and both understood it! Alonso is still trying to get Sundays off.

So ya, roller coaster week. We haven't given up on Nancy. We're just letting her breathe a bit. Her mom told the sister missionaries that she felt pressured to be baptized. I personally think it might be a cover up, but hopefully we'll find out what's going on soon.

Love you all so much! Thanks to everyone that sent suggestions on how to finish strong. If anything else comes to mind, let me know! I still am thinking a lot about Elder Blanchard and Elder Febbo and how they finished. I feel like I'm headed in the right direction.

Elder Christensen

Monday, August 25, 2014

Check This Out!

Hello family and friends.  Remember last week how I was talking about hoping to get in contact with Carmen?  Check this out:

We go by Monday night trying to find her and we find her outside with her kids!  So as an intro, we use the Restoration pamphlet with the picture of Jesus holding a lamb.  We start talking a bit about why she wanted us to come over.  She said that she had been going to the Catholic Church in Idaho for awhile, but didn't like some of the things that she was seeing.  When she moved out here, she decided it was time to find a new church. She said that a few weeks ago, she said, "Hola" to some Elders and they didn't respond since they only spoke English. Then she was super excited when she found us.

So we get talking and she said that she felt like a lost sheep.  When we whipped out the pamphlet, she said, "Oh my, I feel so much peace when I look at this picture."  Then she was talking a little bit more about everything that has been going on, then she said that she felt like somebody just wandering through the mountains.  We then directed her attention again to the picture and pointed out that Jesus is there with the lamb in the middle of the mountains.  We asked her how she would like to be in the arms of Christ like that.  She got a little teary and said that she would love that.

The rest of the lesson went basically like that.  When we got to Joseph Smith, we were saying, "A young man went into a grove of trees to ask God a question--Which church was the true church?  This young man's name was Joseph Smith."  She then responds, "Wait, Joseph Smith was a prophet, right?" (WHAT??!!) She continued, "Ya, I heard some people talking about him a few months ago.  In their conversation, they were talking about him being a prophet." She accepted the baptismal invite and tonight we will be giving her a baptismal date.  We are super stoked.

So that was highlight of the week.  Nancy is still doing well, but there are tons of little things getting in her way of progressing all the way.

Sandra and Alonso are also doing amazing.  We taught chastity this past week and asked them what they thought about getting married. Sandra said, "Well, I want to get to the highest one [celestial kingdom] and this life is pretty short, so I better do whatever I have to to get to the highest one."  We were blown away.

So ya, things are going well.  Awesome experiences!

Elder Christensen

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Week 89

(Monday, August 18, 2014)

Hello hello family and friends.  This week we had some super cool stuff happen.

Before getting to that, I am now starting my last transfer...what?!?! Elder Smith, Elder Trauntvein (past companions), and a ton of other missionaries I got really close with are heading home tomorrow.  I got to play basketball with Elder Smith last week and that was a lot of fun.  Seeing as there are not really any other Elders in my group of missionaries, I always felt like the group that just went home was "my" group.

At the "Despedida" (farewell meeting) last night, I got to see the Lopez family from Pomona AND Raul and Rosy!  Rosy is now the Primary president in Boyle Heights and is loving it!  The Lopez family is doing much better now. They are getting back on track.  I actually introduced Omar Lopez to Raul and told Omar how Raul is planning to get married in the temple. They connected super well.

Okay, so now the rest of the cool stuff...

1) We had two AWESOME lessons with Sandra and Alonso.  We haven't set a baptismal date with them yet because of their need to get married. Alonso was unable to come to church because of work.  Sandra and
Natalie (her 4 or 5 year old daughter) came to church!  A member family went and picked them up and they did so so well to make them feel comfortable.  We almost didn't even need to talk with them at church.  It went really smooth.  We are going to be doing everything possible to get that family involved in the teaching.

2) We were at a dollar store picking some stuff up and this lady says (in Spanish),

"Do you speak Spanish?"
"Yes we do."
"Are you Mormons?"
"Yes we are."
"Well why don't you come over some time.  I need this."

Umm...okay. Yes, I think we might be able to squeeze you into our schedule...maybe.  My goodness...it was so cool.  In my mind, I was thinking, "did LA just turn into Mexico?" Then we found out that she has only been here for 3 months and then it all made sense.  Haha. I've noticed that something happens to Latinos once they are in LA for a long time. Not sure what it is...  Anyway, slight downside to the story is that when we stopped by when she told us to, her kids told us she was in the shower.  We have tried a few times to catch her again without any luck.  We haven't even seen the kids again, but we confirmed that she does live there.  Hopefully we will be able to get that all worked out this week.

3) Remember Santiago? He called us on Monday saying he wanted us to come back.  We were super stoked.  We showed up and he was still struggling pretty bad with his addiction.  We set up a return appointment and had a great conversation and he was saying that he really wanted to stop.  Then he started canceling all our appointments again.  The ball is in his court at the moment, but we are going to keep sending him texts to encourage him.  It's such a sad situation to watch...

Love you all so much.  For any and all that have suggestions about finishing a mission strong in your last transfer, please let me know what I can do!  I don't know if you all remember, but I had the chance to be Elder Blanchard's and Elder Febbo's last companion. Both of them finished their missions so gracefully.  I'm really glad I got to see that example first hand to be able to try and emulate it.

Elder Christensen

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Yoking Ourselves with Christ

Hey family and friends. This week we had another lesson with Sandra and we were able to start teaching her boyfriend, Alonso.  He is super cool.

Sorry, time is super short.  We didn't really find anybody new this week.  We are still having a tough time finding new people.  Our whole district is full of solid missionaries and we are all having a hard time.  We are trying to figure out what's up.

We need to push Nancy's baptism back a bit again.  Her church attendance has been a little hit-and-miss. Hopefully we will be able to get her little sister ready to be baptized the same day!

Sorry, if I have already shared this, but here it is anyway.  I still have been thinking about this a lot. In one of my personal studies recently, I studied about the Atonement, grace, and covenants.  From Elder Bednar's talk this last conference, he said something along the lines of "when we make and keep sacred covenants, we yoke ourselves to and with Christ."  When we yoke ourselves to and with Christ, he then helps carry our burdens.  I remember early in the mission I had the question of what I needed to do to receive of the enabling power of the Atonement.  All we have to do is be faithful to the covenants we have already made.  I'm not really sure why that never clicked in my mind before, but it's so simple.  Elder Smith (old companion) told me that focusing on keeping his covenants is what has helped him make it strong to the end.  He goes home next week.  We have transfers this next week.  I don't expect any changes, but we'll see.

Love you all!

Elder Christensen

Monday, August 4, 2014

Week 87

Hey family and friends.  I have very little time today.  Sorry!

So this week we found two super awesome people.  First, Baldomero's wife Lourdes is awesome! We found out her mom is a member.  She said that every time she sees the missionaries she remembers her mom telling her that she should talk to us.  Baldomero is now being straight forward with us and said that at the moment, he doesn't feel the desire.  We are still working with them.  Hopefully Baldomero will come around.

The second awesome lady we met is named Sandra. She was baptized as a baptist when she was younger then fell away a bit.  She wants to get closer to God and found the sister missionaries. Since she speaks Spanish, they referred her to us.  She is super prepared.  All of the assumptions she has made over the years about what church should be were totally spot on.  It was sweet.

Love you all!  Sorry for how short the letter was!

Elder Christensen

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Week 86

(Monday, July 28, 2014)

Hey hey friends and family.  This week started out pretty rough, but ended a bit better.

Santiago officially dropped us.  He doesn't want to come back to church or talk with us until his drinking problem is under control more.  We tried teaching and testifying all we could to help him make the choice to stay with us, but he had made up his mind.  That was quite the bummer.

Nancy gets back today.  FINALLY!  We have been keeping in touch through Facebook (sooo glad we have that) and she still sounds pretty solid.  She wasn't able to go to church while in Mexico.  She found out the family she was staying with were Jehovah's Witnesses and they wouldn't take her.  She hasn't mentioned anything, but I'm going to be prepared in case she was fed "anti" stuff while there.  She seemed very sure of herself before leaving, so I'm not too worried.

So, when I was back in Pomona, one night I prayed saying, "Father, help me know what is your will and help me stay diligent in whatever you give me." This past week, I feel like I got a glimpse of why I was called to serve here in El Monte at this time.

Part 1: I'm not sure how much I have talked about our Stake  President, President Esquerra, in the past, but I have been in his stake all of my mission except for 10 weeks (Pomona).  My third day in the mission, he and President Becerra came with us on a lesson, and he still remembers it.  We have developed a pretty solid relationship.  For the past month or so, I have been helping the stake organize a massive project to rescue the prospective elders.  I have created some stuff on the computer that will help all the leaders keep track of these men and figure out what they need to be able to progress toward receiving the priesthood.  So far, all the feedback has been very positive.  It looks like it will help a ton.

Part 2: President Esquerra's work schedule is very flexible.  He often plays basketball with the missionaries on P-days.  Because of how far away we live from the stake, he often offers to take us back home.  That leaves us with about 20 minutes of one-on-one time with our Stake President each week.  EVERY single time I have walked out of his car and back into our apartment, I have gone to my iPad to type up something amazing that he said.  I have seen many patterns of leadership that I would like to emulate in the future. It has been a huge blessing, and this past week, I have felt like this was one of the reasons that I was assigned here at this time.

My testimony has recently been strengthened in the following: Even when we feel like we are in a situation that does not coincide with what we see as "ideal", God has everything calculated out in such a way that, in the end, all our experiences will lead us to become what he wants us to become.

Love you all so much!

Elder Christensen

Monday, July 21, 2014

Week 85

Hello family and friends.  First, I want to thank Mom for the package of goodies! You're awesome!

Nancy is currently in Mexico.  The lesson that we had with her the night before she left was super cool.  I can't remember if I mentioned this idea, but we are trying to help her get in touch with the missionaries in Mexico while she is there so that they can start visiting her family there.  When we shared the idea with her, she was pretty excited by it.  Once she landed in Guadalajara, she said that they drove past one of our church buildings there and it was pretty close to where she was staying.  We haven't heard yet whether or not she went to church, but it sounded like she was going to.  She is starting to announce to her family that she is getting baptized and everyone has been pretty supportive so far.

We'll probably stop working with Santiago for a little bit.  He told his member fellowshipper that he isn't interested in meeting with us till he has his drinking problem under control.  We tried explaining to him multiple times that God is what will make the biggest difference, but he hasn't been willing to do those things that will make a difference. He enrolled in AA and the course he's taking lasts 90 days.  We'll be checking in every now and again to see if he wants us to come back.

Elder Bardsley is doing a lot better this week.  Walking up to people and talking with them has still been a little tough for him, so we'll work on that more this week.

This next week we have a meeting for all the new missionaries and we also have interviews, so we will get to have a lot of time with President Villanueva this week.  I've been a huge fan so far.  I'm interested in seeing what things he'll want to do a little bit differently.  I wonder how many of those changes will be put into place before I leave.

Love you all so much.  I hope to be able to tell you a ton of awesome stories about the new people we will find this week!

Elder Christensen

Monday, July 14, 2014

Week 84

Hello family and friends, this week was a very interesting one.  So, my companion's name is Elder Bardsley. He's from Wisconsin.  He was placed in the advanced Spanish program, so he went to the Provo MTC. He probably should have been in intermediate, but we'll work with that.  He likes video games, anime, soccer, and a little bit of tennis.  He's pretty quiet and he is used to the cold, not the heat. Based on the lessons we have had so far, he can explain things very simply and he speaks with a lot of sincerity.  This week, we were hoping for tons of miracles and I was hoping to be able to get him started off with a great first week.  However, it ended up being one of the most difficult weeks I have had in a long time.

Just as an indicator of how our week went, we had 10 lessons set between Saturday and Sunday alone.  It was looking to be super awesome, then a total of 0 of those set lessons happened.  I know that there is a reason for everything.  We have a pretty well planned day today, so we should start this week off right.  I mentioned last week that I was thinking a lot about things I learned from training Elder Marchan.  Looking back, I tried to teach him everything all at once. I think I wasn't very patient in letting him learn at his own pace. I've been trying really hard to figure out where the balance is with this companion.  He was kind of frustrated about how this week went. We really need some miracles this next week.

Santiago is still struggling.  He cancelled or rescheduled 3 of our 4 lessons we scheduled this week.  We are not really sure what he needs or why he keeps cancelling.  He told us that the weekends are his most tempting times when his friends want to go out and party.  We have a plan to get the members more involved in helping him.  We have the idea of making a support crew and have somebody from "the crew" call him everyday to keep him focused.  As soon as he drops this addiction, he'll be super solid.

Nancy is going to Mexico this week.  Two super cool things that she said this week: 1) "Hey, in the meeting with all the women they were talking about cleaning the chapel.  I want to get involved in stuff like that." (I haven't heard that one from an investigator ever before.) And 2) after we asked, "what are your thoughts on baptism?" She responded, "Well why would I still be talking to you guys if I didn't want to get baptized?"  For a while we were a little bit worried about her commitment, but she has been progressing bit by bit and is looking really strong.

We picked up 2 investigators this week.  We had really cool experiences with both of them in the first lessons, and they have been really hard to get a hold of since then.  We'll keep trying. 

This next week, we have some stuff set up already that should be pretty good.  Oh, more good news, I've mentioned that I have been struggling with being so tired recently, right?  Not sure what it is, but ever since I found out that I was going to train, I have felt so much better.  I thank you all for the prayers that played a major role in that!!

Love you all!

Elder Christensen

Monday, July 7, 2014

Week 83 -- It's a Boy!

Hello family and friends!  With this being transfer day, I have to keep this a little short.  So, transfers.  Elder Vasquez is now a district leader on the other side of the mission. My new companion is...wait for it...I don't know yet. Why? Because I'm TRAINING!!! I'm so excited to be training again. By the way, did I mention that Elder Marchan (my last trainee) is a district leader right now? He's on the other side of the mission, so I don't get to see him very much, but he will be starting his 2nd transfer as a district leader. Everything is going sweet.

I met President Villanueva.  He is so cool!  He saw me, read my name tag and gave me a massive hug.  He said that dad made them feel like they were at home there at the MTC.  We'll have a few more chances to talk with him this week.  By the way, the farewell thing (with the outgoing missionaries) that they had yesterday was pretty bad, so the future of farewells for outgoing missionaries is in danger. (Sorry mom and dad...I'll keep you posted.)

So now this week:

Santiago had a rough week this week. We hope that we can help him bounce back.  He hasn't been to church in 4 weeks now.  We are officially worried.

Nancy is still doing well.  Unfortunately, she will be taking a trip to Mexico when we had her baptism planned. So we'll need to push that back.  Did I already tell you that? Sorry, everything is blending together a bit.

The 4th of July was pretty cool, but unfortunately nobody wanted to talk. There were lots of illegal fireworks.

Oh, cool story of the week.  This happened on exchanges so I don't have all the details.  My companion stopped by a former investigator's.  As they started talking, it turns out that he has been going to the neighboring ward for almost the last year.  They casually asked him the questions in the baptismal interview and he's basically ready.  We just need to figure out how to get him to switch to our ward.  The main problem with him going to the neighboring ward is that that ward is in the neighboring stake, so he can't get baptized over there easily. We'll see how that one goes.  That will be the first guy that me and my trainee visit.

Thanks for everything! Have an awesome week!  If you haven't reread any of the conference talks recently, DO IT!  One of my favorites was the "4 minutes" talk.  Can't remember the real name.

Love you all!

Elder Christensen

PS Thanks to everyone for the letters from the Kerr family reunion!!


President Villanueva's kids are super into tennis, so I hope we can play!

The last few days I've been feeling a lot better. Hopefully I keep going on the way up.

I got to see Raul this week! I was at the stake center when they were heading out for the youth conference (he was one of the leaders going). He told me that he and Rosy wanted to get sealed before I go home, but they feel like they should take the classes again to be a bit more prepared. So, they are looking at the end of this year, maybe into next year. :(  But I'll still be there!! They are doing awesome! He's still the Financial Clerk and a Ward Missionary. She's in the Primary Presidency, and the Elders have told me that she basically does everything. I'm not too worried about them.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Week 82 in Cali

Hey hey family! So this week was pretty interesting.  I think the tough things outweighed the super awesome. However, it was still cool.  We had a decent end of the week.

First off, I would just like to express my gratitude to whatever team beat Mexico in the World Cup (Netherlands? I don't know...)  It was super annoying how much that got in the way of church attendance. Additionally, it was super annoying to hear updates on the game being shared around the hallways in between classes at church. So hopefully the craziness will get dialed back a little bit.

So tomorrow is President Becerra's last day.  It's weird how it doesn't feel like he's leaving.  I feel like I'm going to be at meetings still expecting him to walk in just to see President Villanueva instead.  My dad has had a chance to talk with him a bit at the MTC during Mission President's Seminar.  He said that he's awesome.  I'm not sure when I'll have a chance to meet him for the first time, but I believe we are on schedule to have interviews this upcoming transfer.  In related news, we get transfer calls this week. I'm pretty sure I'll be staying.  Not sure about my companion.  We'll see how it goes.

As of a few weeks ago, we were supposed to have 2 or 3 baptisms yesterday.  Unfortunately we had to move all of them back.  There was a lot of little junk that happened this week.  It was hard to watch everything happen this week.  It looks like they will all still be good, but it will take another month or so.  We found a lady, Mia, this week who also ended up being our only investigator at church, but then we found out she just moved two blocks outside our ward. Luckily, that area is covered by sister missionaries and I think that sisters will be better for her.

Cool story, I told you all that I spoke last week?  Well this week was Ward Conference and I had a part again. The Stake President asked me to present the Ward Mission Plan to help the members understand what their role was in everything.  The District Leader and I made the presentation and we felt like they were all the most attentive during our part. We felt good about it.

So ya, this week we need to find a lot more. I'll let y'all know what happens with transfers. Love you all, so much!

Elder Christensen