Sunday, January 26, 2014

Doing just fine here in Tarlac... and this week I learned a ton!

 Brandon's District: Elders Leduna, Olila, Christensen & Dejino, Sisters Anderson, Penales, Lazan & Marcucci
Dear All!
How is everyone? I’m doing just fine here in Tarlac! SO this week I learned a ton! Last Monday was one of the most frustrating days of my life, but it was good because I had an exchange on Tuesday so I could sort of get away from the things that were bothering me until Wednesday, which was our zone interviews with president. The workshops given were super good and inspiring, and my interview was just what I needed. He told me something that is so simple but has helped me so much. He said, “When you are frustrated, you have no control.” It’s so true, and when you’re frustrated as a missionary, you don’t have the spirit and you are not effective. I was frustrated because this area is just not progressing and I don’t really understand my companion sometimes. But now, things have already gotten better. 
Thursday I had a super cool experience. Because we literally have no new investigators, we explored a subdivision in our area where missionaries haven’t gone in the past. We got there, and my companion asked me where to go, and I felt like left was the way to go. Literally the first house on the left we met Tatay Salsedo, and he is super awesome! He let us teach, and it was one of the most spiritual lessons of my whole mission. Our flow in teaching was just spot on, and it was rocking. Tatay said the closing prayer, and he was crying. So good! Friday was another good day with lots of lessons, and then Saturday came around. We had a service project in the morning, then pretty much everything didn’t go our way the rest of the day. Our lessons just did not have the spirit, whether it was because of some noisy kids or our ward missionaries  that were working with us laugh at the wrong time in the lesson, or the people just didn’t care about the message…I was fairly frustrated again. And to top it off, I twisted my ankle on a rock in the road…again. I hobbled through the rest of the night and then had to get up at 5 the next morning to prepare my talk, as I had been asked to be the concluding speaker in Sacrament meeting.
The talk went fairly well actually, but my attitude was not so great. And we had no investigators come to church. The two of our investigators who were sort of progressing shut us down when we dropped by their house before church…I just wasn’t happy. I got thinking about it, and I realized why. I was focusing on myself again! It was like I forgot the most fundamental lesson of my training! As soon as I re-realized that no matter what happens in the world around me I can control my attitude and focus on serving others, Sunday was awesome! We contacted a way solid referral who is very excited about the lessons, and we have a return appointment there! I talked to a Jew from Florida on a jeepney, which was weird, and my English was terrible, but that was cool! I got to do another interview, which is always fun, and then the first counselor in the bishopric fed us dinner! And that brings us to now! I’m happy, having fun, and things are looking up!
“Wherefore whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world.” This world is going to get better!
--Elder Christensen

Wacky district picture!

[From Angela: Just some Angeles mission trivia--Last year his mission had 1383 convert baptisms (exceeding their goal of 1350!) and their mission goal for 2014 is 1650.  Oh, and another fun fact is that his church building is where the mission office is!  So I'm hoping he'll get his packages/letters faster there!  In these pictures he is posing at the mission office!

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