Wednesday, January 29, 2014

I'm Pretty Sure We Terrify Everyone!

(Tuesday, January 28, 2014)

Hey family and friends.  This week was pretty cool.  It was the first week in the trio.  It's been a little tough balancing everything, but it's been fun.  In the previous trios I've been in, there has always been a member of the trio that has taken a bit of a back seat.  So now it's a bit different with everybody working together.  To add to that, we are all over 6' tall and have deep voices.  I'm pretty sure we terrify everyone.

This week we went to the temple visitors center with the Contreras family.  Margarita brought her ex-husband.  He seemed really into it, but then he changed his mind later.  But ya, it was a super cool experience.  Then last night, we had an in-depth lesson about the sacrament at the chapel.  Church attendance has been a little tough in the past, so we hope that will get better now.

The Garcia family is frantically looking for a new place to live, so the spiritual stuff isn't first on their priority list at the moment.  We're trying to help them realize that all this will help. Hopefully in the coming weeks when they can focus a bit better, everything will improve.

This Friday, we get iPads.  I've been chosen to be an iPad trainer.

This past week, we almost doubled standards in our area.  We are having so much fun here.  Everything is coming together except for the actual baptisms.  They'll come soon.

Thanks for all the love and support you all send my way.  Sorry this letter is a little short.

Elder Christensen


I couldn't resist including the sweet email Tanner sent to Grandma Kerr for her 75th birthday...(What a sweetheart that boy is!)

Hello Grandma,

I just wanted to get on really quick and say "Happy Birthday!"  My mom
told me that you'll be turning 75 this week.  I hope that you have an
awesome week of rest and relaxation.  You deserve it after all that
you've done up to this point.

I want to thank you for your example in missionary work and your
example in responding to the Lord's call despite any inconvenience.
Also, I want to thank you for the role you played in raising one of
the best mother's in the world.  You did a fabulous job.

Love you so much.  I miss the days of being around the family at your
house in Midway.  We'll have plenty of time to do that in the future.
Thank you for all that you have done and are doing for me.

Elder Tanner Christensen

Monday, January 20, 2014

Charity Wins!

Hello family and friends.  Soooo, we had transfers and I'M STAYING.  Super excited about that.  Elder Febbo was transferred, unfortunately.  In his place, they brought in two other missionaries.  One, Elder Perez is starting his 5th month in the mission.  He's super cool.  And the other missionary is Elder Blanchard.  He just got moved down from being assistant.  He's probably the best friend I have in the mission, so I'm incredibly excited to be his companion.  We are going to be doing tons of splits these next few weeks because of everything we have going on.  This past week, we almost doubled standards of excellence in most of the categories.  It was sooo much fun.  I'm loving it.  All of it is leading toward many baptisms in the month of February.

Things are going absolutely nuts here.  Time is incredibly short today.  So we'll have to go quick.

Garcia family - still doing well.  It might take a little bit longer than expected, but they want to do everything right and are willing to take the extra time.  Little worrisome, but that's all okay.  They are awesome and were super sad to see Elder Febbo go.

Contreras family - didn't come to church on Sunday because Margarita (mom) worked 14 hrs on Saturday.  We'll have to push back the baptismal date a little, but they're still solid.  We love them!

Rocio (mom) and Pablo (son) - Rocio is a returning member.  We've been taking her over to Margarita's house and they love each other.  It's perfect.  Pablo is still progressing toward baptism at the end of February.

I'm doing well.  I love having so much to do and so much to focus on that it's nearly impossible to think of myself.  Charity wins!

Thanks for all the love and support!

Love and kindness,
Elder Christensen

P.S.  HUGE thank you to Mark and Kris for the package.  Loved it!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Week 58--We're Seeing It Happen!

(Monday, January 13, 2014)

Sorry, this will be a short one.
So, this week was insanely awesome!  We had a lot of stuff fit together like a puzzle.  We have 8 investigators with baptismal dates.  That's about double my previous high.  So much cool stuff is happening.
The Contreras family came to church and loved it!  We introduced her to Rocio, a returning less active.  We are also teaching Rocio's son, Pablo.
The Garcias are worrying us a bit.  We love them so much that our focus has faded a little.  They might be getting a little too converted to us, so we are going to have a week of refocus.  We had a Mormon Message night with the kids that are about our age.  We watched, "Earthly Father, Heavenly Father", "The Will of God", "Mountains to Climb", and "Men's Hearts Shall Fail Them."  It was super powerful and hit Carolina (18) the most.  Cool stuff.  Hilario (father) still had to work on Sunday, but he said that his boss was going to work something out.
We found out that a returning less active's records have been lost, so we'll be teaching and baptizing her to recreate her records.  Her husband is a convert of a year, so it will be good to review everything with him.
This upcoming week is transfers.  Elder Febbo and I both want to stay together in the area, but we kinda doubt that will happen.  There are a few factors around us that make us think it's a bit more likely than usual, but still.
Thanks for all the love and support.  All the talk about the Hastening from the Prophets is true.  We're seeing it happen!  For those familiar with missionary lingo, we hit, then exceeded, all the standards of excellence this past week.  Neither Elder Febbo nor I have ever done that.  It's awesome!
Love and kindness,
Elder Christensen
PS Thought for the day.  I was reading in the Book of Mormon and I was thinking, "man, wouldn't it be cool to have more?"  Then the thought jumped into my head, "Wait a second, you have the words of modern prophets and how are you treating that?"  I have found some very specific help and received very specific revelation as I have read this last Conference report.  So now the question, How are you treating the words of the modern prophets?  Have an awesome week!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Week 55--(Posted Late)

(December 23, 2013)

Hey sorry today was nuts.  We had a zone party and we thought we'd have time to email, but it didn't really work out.  We had a pretty good week then Sunday was a little rough.  Only 1 of the 7 we were expecting came to church.  Leticia is struggling a bit again.  We need to push some baptismal dates back. etc.  But it's all good.  We'll talk more on Wednesday.
Skype.  I'm thinking it will be sometime around 3 or 4 here.  I'll shoot you a text or a call a few hours before to confirm.  We have 40 min.  I'm only aloud to talk to you 3. (to clarify, we can't do the carry-around-the-laptop thing)
I know you want to know how i'm doing and what I need, but I'd rather talk about that in email.  I'll check Walmart for the strips and tell you whether or not you need to talk with Dr. Anderson.
See you on Wednesday.
Elder Christensen
PS if I sounded mad, it's just because this was so rushed.  Love you!
PPS I got your package today!  Woooot!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Week 57

Hello friends and family.  So, I don't have tons of time today, so I'll have to make this one quick.

In short, this was the best week of my mission number wise.  It was super cool seeing everything come together.  Elder Febbo and I are having tons of fun.

The Garcia family that we have been working with came to church yesterday.  This was the first week that they all came.  It was super cool.  They all have the desire to do what is right, but they all are a little timid to pull the trigger on anything.  They want to be absolutely sure before committing themselves.  I guess that's a positive thing since that will lead to a better conversion in the future.

So the past few weeks, we have been teaching shorter lessons more often.  We are starting to see the positives from this way of doing stuff.  We have 3 different families that are progressing.  We currently have 7 people with baptismal dates--4 from the Garcia family, 2 from the Contreras family, and the son of a less-active member that's coming back.  Everyone in this group is progressing bit by bit.

So one of my best friends here in the mission is currently an assistant.  This past week, we got a chance to be on an exchange together.  Last second, it turned out that he had to go do a 3-hour blood test.  He's been going through a lot of random health stuff on his mission, so it was awesome to be able to talk to him to get some ideas on how to deal with all the little stuff that's been going on with me.  Because of my sugar issues and a schedule that's not so flexible, I end up with sugar headaches almost daily.  I'm still working on balancing all that out.  The solution I see is planning better, but that's been a work in progress for the last 15 months.

This past week, I learned a lot about patience and endurance.  I've been a little impatient with the physical and emotional issues I've been having recently.  While reviewing my notes from the last mission tour, Elder Sitati of the Seventy said something like, "while on your missions, you will need to learn endurance.  This will be necessary for the trials that are ahead of you."  Then this morning, I was thinking about all the things that we are seeing around us that indicates to us that the Second Coming is near.  I was reading in Matt 24, and it says that the trials and tribulations that are on their way will be greater than anything that we have experienced before.  I am now able to look back at what I now see as a minor problem with a bit more appreciation.  It's not over yet, but I do see a benefit in the trial.

For all of you who are going through something, I invite you to take a step back and try to find how your life can be benefited by what you are learning right now in this moment.  Hope you all have a great week!

Elder Christensen

PS-- I TOTALLY forgot to give my HUGE thanks to everyone that sent me stuff for Christmas.  Love you!