Sunday, January 12, 2014

Baptizing four sisters and seeing "many miracles that have been wrought in this land"

Hello All!

Well what a week it was! First of all a big Shout Out to the Hockers and (Martin) Christensen family who sent me awesome packages! Thanks for the treats and the love!

Also a shout out to the Espiritu family, my first and favorite Filipinos back home! Pag uuwi ako, maguusap tayo sa tagalog lagi! At taga saan kayo? Naiisip ko na taga visayas si Sister Espeirtu, pero hindi ko alam kay Bro Espiritu…Cge!

We didn’t have any crazy things happen on Tuesday, we just worked hard and had some cool lessons! Wednesday at district meeting I gave a workshop which went well and we all committed to do our language study every day as a part of using the Lord’s time wisely. After we had exchanges where I got to go with Elder Daplin and my companion went to his old area in this zone. It was super cool, and we found tons of less actives to visit! Thursday literally all of our plans and backup plans fell through in the afternoon, so we knocked three houses and shared with them. 

Thursday was hard for me, because I know I didn’t work as hard as I could have. We spend a good bit of time in the afternoon at a member’s house and didn’t even share a message or anything. In the evening the lessons were good, until we went to this recent convert family’s house…we just got distracted and just kind of hung around at their house, they fed us dinner, and we didn’t even share a message there. It just felt pangit, or bad. Going to bed that night was the worst knowing I hadn’t done my best, or rather that I didn’t try to do my best. That might be the worst feeling as a missionary. Anyways, we talked about it the next morning during weekly planning and we got it all settled and were determined not to waste time like that! 

Saturday was cool, as we had a service project in the morning, and then we had our baptism in the afternoon! Ellen Rose, Aileen Joy, Christine Jene, and Gessele Mae Gadaingan were all baptized! It was a bit hectic, as we only had one jumpsuit that would fit them so they had to take turns wearing it to be baptized! Their testimonies after the baptism were the sweetest things--everyone at the baptism was in tears--the spirit was so strong! I felt like I could fly after the baptism! 
Brandon, his comp and Ellen Rose,Aileen Joy, Christine Jene & Gessele May Gadaingan at their baptism!

Sunday was good, and I have a pretty crazy story there! So when I walked into the chapel for sacrament meeting, a brother came up to me and asked me to give a talk as someone had fell through. I had no topic, no time, nothing! I accepted, and immediately began praying that Heavenly Father would help fill my mouth. I prayed for faith, and not fear. When I got up as the first speaker, I was able to give a 10 minute talk on grace in Tagalog. I talked about how through grace, we are strengthened and shared about that in Alma 26:12, my favorite scripture. When I got to the part about the “many miracles that have been wrought in this land”, I realized all the miracles that I’ve seen in my time here in San Jose, many of which were sitting in front of me in the audience. It was a great moment for me. And, the talk didn’t go bad! God definitely helped me out because I know I didn’t have it in me to get up and give a full length talk in Tagalog! My faith was definitely increased through that experience. I have been wondering about my faith a lot recently, if I have the faith to perform the miracles that a representative of Jesus Christ that holds his priesthood should, if prompted to do so. I don’t think I have that kind of faith, but through experiences like this I know my faith will grow as I put my trust more and more in the Lord. The rest of Sunday was good, and we got to go to Bishop’s for his birthday dinner with pretty much all of our favorite ward members! We worked a little more and visited some of the people we teach that weren’t able to come to church…A good night! And that brings us to now.
Christine Yasay, wearing the CTR ring that Brandon gave her at her baptism

Transfers are this week, and since I’ve been here for 5 ½ months I’m pretty sure I’m gone. It’s been a remarkable chapter of my life here in San Jose, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I seriously have never been so happy in my life! It’s crazy!

Well, Love you all! Come what may and love it!
-Elder Christensen

Brandon and Elder Stenquist

Brandon with his housemates, Elders Blackham, Potestad & Soberano

Brandon, his comp & the sisters

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