Thursday, July 11, 2013

Birthday at the MTC!

Magandan Umaga Po from the Philippines!

You know, every P day I think to myself, "You know, I don't think anything crazier could happen this week than last week." And you know what happens? It just gets freaking insane!!! So I got chewed out by President Beck like as soon as I got done emailing last week about having those other Elders move in, and then the next day I sprained my ankle playing basketball! We got an x ray because they thought it was broken, but it's just a high ankle sprain. I was on crutches for a few days, but now I'm just in this little air cast thing. I was actually losing weight here because of all the ball I play but now...not so much! But I'm still happy to be here and the Lord is just trying to teach me patience, so I'm thankful for that opportunity!

Oh man, I have so much I want to say...I'll just give some highlights though! Oh! and I'll also include pictures! Oh yeah, Sunday was my birthday! My whole batch threw me a surprise party! They sang "We’ll Bring the Word His Truth" (My favorite primary song) as well as Happy Birthday and they gave me lots of Oreos, as they know Oreos are my favorite. All the sisters wrote sweet notes to me, and I almost cried because they were so nice. I cannot think of a time when anyone besides my family has done something that nice for me. These people are my family. And Elder Mo'unga is set on my coming to his wedding in New Zealand when we get home! We are so tight here...Sister McKim and Sister Rae are so amazing! They are my sisters. I love everyone here so much and I am so blessed to be with them for this short time!!

I am learning a lot! The Tagalog will start to make sense, and then they will introduce something else that just completely turns everything I've learned on its head! But it’s all good though! We can actually teach discussions that our "investigators" understand without the use of prewritten scripts or anything! We also taught some Teaching Resource Center investigators yesterday, which means they're local members. My companion was having a really rough couple of days, just not into learning or anything. It was difficult for me to remain positive. Our lessons stopped having the spirit, and our companionship study was almost nonexistent because he would just go to sleep instead. I really wanted to talk to my Dad then about what to do, but I learned to pray instead. After I got done praying, we went to teach these TRC investigators. I thought it would be a train wreck like the past couple lessons had been. However, we ended up teaching two high school seniors, who just cracked us up like no one else! They introduced themselves as Laman and Lemuel...yeah, and then they started singing Justin Beiber when I told them I was from America. I asked them to pray, and they started singing their prayers and waving arms "like we do in America". We challenged them to read the Book of Mormon somehow, and got out of there. It made our whole day! Oh my gosh...It was so funny! We met them afterwards, as well as a bunch of other members who were so excited to talk to us! It just made me want to go out to the field so much more!
And now the section of stuff I want to share, but don't really have a place for. All police officers have huge guns around their shoulders! Weird, huh? 

I have so much American pride, all of the time here, and a new batch came in with 11 Americans, so now people sing the national anthem with me! 

They don't believe in knives knives at dinner, so we spread stuff with spoons...

Until this new batch came in I was the youngest person at the MTC. I got teased a lot about it, being called Baby, Baby Face, and the sisters’ personal favorite, Elder Beiber.

 Tagalog is a lot like Spanish! For example: Familia and Pamilia, Espiritu Santo is the same, zapatos, manzana, and a bunch more are all the same! But ninyo doesn't mean child, it means “your”, which always throws me off. 

Our cat "Simba" aka "Go to church"!!!
My Kasama does the most hilarious American impression. He says "Whatever, Dude" but pronounces it like "Watt-eh-vur dee-ood". Oh and to my family, Simba in Tagalog means "to go to church" so that’s kind of funny!

Ok, an explanation of these pictures! The first one is me and my Kasama, Elder Mo'unga. 

These are all from my birthday party on Sunday, by the way. The second one is the whiteboard art from the district room. The last picture is the sign that the sisters made for my birthday (so nice!).

 The third one is the one that needs explaining. This is my family.
 The two crouching down are Elder Naulu, in the suit, and Elder Mo'unga, my companion. Starting on the left is Sister Paetou, from Jacob district (my district) and she hails from Samoa! The white girl next to her is Sister Thomas, from Lehi Utah! She is in Abinidi district, and is going to Angeles Mission with me! Next to her is Sister Ai'i, who is companions with sister Paetou, and she is also from Samoa! Next to her is Sister Rea, from Australia, and one of my best friends, also in Jacob! Next to me is Elder Armatage, from Alpine Utah, and he is the district Leader for Abinidi. He is going to Angeles and is one of the "fantastic four" elders! The other side of me crouching down is Sister McKim, also from Australia, in my district, and she cracks me up I think more than anyone else here! Next to me standing up is Sister Kinikini, from Abinidi, and from Tonga! Next to her is Sister Tuione, from Abinidi district, and from South Jordan I believe?  Also going to Angeles! Next to her is Sister Tonga'onevia, who is companions with Sister Ai'i and Sister Paetou, and is the last member of my district! Sister Foukimoana, in Abinidi, who is also going to Angeles!

Well that’s all. Serve your fellow man, love everyone, and make it your goal to become like Christ!
Paalam! Mahal Kita Lahot!

-- Elder Christensen

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