Sunday, September 15, 2013

No Transfer and an Upcoming Baptism!

Brandon and his trainer- neither one transferred!
Hello all!

 So what a week it has been! Tuesday was transfers, but nothing changed for me or the other Elders in my house. 

On Tuesday we taught a less active, who always invites us in and listens, but never takes it too seriously. We prepared a message more catered to his needs, and it hit home. He even started to tear up when he asked what to do when we are trying our best to be righteous and the blessings don’t come.  It was way spiritual! I also realized that the question of why there are so many churches is just something I’ve always known and just taken for granted. However, in the Philippines it is a very apparent question. It feels a little bit like Palmyra back in the day with people calling “Lo, here!” and “Lo, there!”

 On Tuesday we got caught in a huge rainstorm without an umbrella. We had to walk about an hour in the pouring rain, which was actually quite fun! However, I woke up with a cold on Wednesday, which I am still fighting now! I can still go out and work and whatnot, it’s just a little bothersome! In the morning, I rested and did lots of praying to figure out if I should stay in bed or go out to work. No definite answer came, so I took it to the scriptures. I just opened up my scriptures to Helaman 10:4, and I got my answer of what I should do. We went out to work, though I felt pretty bad. But a tender mercy came when we taught one Tatay that is all scheduled for baptism in two weeks. He had Word of Wisdom problems, but is all good now. However, I wasn’t sure he was ready for baptism until that lesson. The spirit was just super strong as we talked. I knew he was ready. 
Stopping to pose by a rice field
On Saturday, we had a zone community service project, which consisted of me hauling sandbags through a knee high river in jeans! An adventure indeed!

 Also, I don’t know if I mentioned this or not, but next transfer we will be getting new sisters in our ward, so my area will be split. Kind of exciting, but kind of sad that I won’t be able to continue teaching some of these people. 

Sunday was a harder day. We taught our investigator who is getting baptized this coming Saturday, but at this point he’s teaching us. He is just so ready for this! Our other lessons were frustrating for me, I don’t know why. I just didn’t have anything to say I guess. Well, that is until we taught this less active family. I’ve talked about them before. I don’t know if I am allowed to use their names, but I’ll just call them the “Saturday” family. So usually the mom is the one with all the questions, so we prepare our lessons more to her. However, she wasn’t there this time so we changed tactics. I felt like we should share 2 Nephi 25:26 with Brother Saturday and his late twenty something daughter. It worked. It was super spiritual, and I felt like I was able to express my feelings in Tagalog adequately. It was the highlight of the day for me for sure!

All is well in the Philippines! And if all goes according to plan, I will have baptized my first convert by next email! I love you all and thank you all for your continued support!

--Elder Christensen

Also- from my personal email from Brandon:  I asked him what the Filipino people were like.  He said, 
"Filipinos...they are kind of forward, super nice, very smiley, very considerate, and they love to talk! There are these things called "kwentohan" which literally means story time, but its just when you sit and chat for a while. Sometimes it's hard to teach, because they just want to kwentohan. Oh well! I love them so much. I don't know if I could be a missionary in America, Americans are too mean!"
When I asked him what he meant by "kind of forward" he said, "Well today for example, this girl at the burger stand we go to sometimes said, (in Tagalog of course) "You have beautiful eyes--If you want to, we should trade." Or if you gain weight, they will just tell you that. Or if you have a zit, they will point it out! It's just friendly conversation here. This one nanay is always worried about me, because I've been getting skinnier and she thinks I'm sick!"

Other pictures:

Sleepy companions on a bus

Brandon pointing out one of many spiders in his apartment

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