Monday, June 2, 2014

Now I see and know the Lord’s vision for the work here. It’s a beautiful thing.

Dear All,

WOW what a week it has been! It started out with me, Elder Paredes, and the district leaders, Elder Hedman and Elder Shepherd, all piling in a tiny van and making the 4+ hour trip to Cabanatuan for a Mission/District leadership council on Tuesday. The theme was all about visions, and it was awesome! I learned so much, and really gained a vision for my area and the zone. President asked us to raise our goal of 7 baptisms this transfer to 17, and by the end of that day there was no doubt in my mind that we were going to achieve the standard of excellence in the month of June. We had our zone training meeting on Wednesday, and I really feel like the zone caught the vision. As of last night during our call-ins, we have 19 possible people who can be baptized this month! It’s awesome!

Wednesday we had a pretty good day as far as work. We’re teaching Nico, and 18 year old nephew of the Branch President who wants to get his life in order and get baptized. He’s got a goal date for June; we’re just working on building his testimony. I met the Galam family, who we think has real potential for baptism, and we set a family home evening with them for Monday, so that should be fun! 

Thursday was an awesome day! We taught ten lessons, a first for me in my mission! We received and taught a referral from a recent convert, and it was just such an awesome lesson. By the end of the lesson he was asking about baptism, and when he could be baptized, and said he already knew then that our message was true and his current religion was not! Wow!! He is a 60+ man named Marcus, and he said he wants us to teach his three children and their families as well! I’ve got no problem with that!!! We had another good lesson with the Centeno family, as well as a few others. 

Friday was still good, but nowhere near the success we had on Thursday. Oh yeah, and the power seriously went out every day this week, but thankfully it came on in the evenings so we could sleep with our electric fans on! We taught Nico again, and we were also able to teach Fevelyn, the little sister of our ward missionary. We taught her lesson one earlier that week, but hadn’t yet received a witness that our message was true. We taught about The Book of Mormon and we got a shaky commitment to come to church with her older sister, Maribell, who is also an investigator but until this point hasn’t really been our focus.

So Saturday was hard, because my house mate, Elder Williams, got some sort of infection in his arm from what we believe to be a cockroach bite, and he was running a fever of about 102 and not feeling good, so my companion stayed home with him and me and his companion, Elder Choresca, went out to work both in my area and his. We were able to get two lessons in his area, and four in mine. We tried to teach the Centeno family, but they were busy with something, but we stopped by there twice to make sure they were coming to church that next day, and they told us both times they were coming. And you know what happened at church on Sunday? They did NOT come! Agh!!! I really believed they would; now we’re going to have to push back their baptism until July…dang.

BUT, out of nowhere, both Fevelyn and Maribell came to church! Nico was there, but that wasn’t too much of a surprise! And I didn’t actually get to teach Fevelyn and Maribell, because yesterday it was my turn to stay in the house all day with Elder Williams, but Elder Paredes said they’re taking the lessons more seriously, and more seriously reading The Book of Mormon now, so that’s awesome! And that takes us to now! We cleaned the apartment this morning, and that’s about it! I don’t know why this week just seemed to last forever! It was a really long, eventful week! But it was good, and now I see and know the Lord’s vision for the work here. It’s a beautiful thing. I love this life, love this work, love my companion (he’s absolutely nuts, I literally laughed through this whole week!), I love the Philippines, and I love the Lord!
Still living the dream!!
--Elder Christensen

And some answers to my questions:
1. How is it going being a zone leader?   I like it, it's stressful, but it's been a great opportunity as well! I like helping our little zone out here in Baler.
2.  Tell me about your companion  He's so funny! He is seriously the happiest companion I've ever had. A bit like Elder Lungay actually! He's super obedient, hardworking, and happy! So optimistic, too. I get stressed, and he just is always optimistic! I love that guy! He really is the man!
This map shows Maria Aurora, his new area.  Also on this map you can see his 1st area, San Jose and 2nd area, Tarlac

Panaramic shot from last P day when Brandon saw the ocean!

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