Monday, July 14, 2014

There (to Tarlac) and Back Again!

Hello All! 

What A week it was! So last I left I was about to go to Costa Pacifica, an awesome beach resort/restaurant, where thanks to a little birthday cash from Grandma and Grandpa, I was able to treat the zone! It was way fun! Then Elder Paredes and I got on a bus and went to Cabanatuan, then Tarlac for Mission Leader Council! It was really fun, as I got to hang out with tons of friends around the mission (Elders Armatage, Cash, Lungay, Olila, Tsunoda, Sisters Marcucci, Tui'one, Altea, and many more!) for about two and a half days at the mission home!
With 3 out of his 6 mission comps in the field at Mission Leader Council
It was so great; the testimony meeting was the best part by a long shot! Loved it. We learned a lot about councils and culture and how to be more one with the members through branch council meetings. Way awesome!
With two of his batchmates at Mission Leader Council

That Wednesday we got a free lift back to Baler from the assistants as they came on exchanges with us! I worked with Elder Tsudona, and it was way fun and I learned a bit too. On Thursday we had zone training meeting, but as we were giving the workshop, I started to feel sick. I think it was because of lack of sleep (I had been getting up at five for four days straight at that point) and I took a little nap when we got back to the house. When I woke up, I wasn't feeling great, but we went to work anyways. While we were out a little girl came up to us and asked if we knew Elder Ramsey (a missionary assigned here WAY back in the day). She showed us where her house was, and there we met the Manaois Family. Ok get this, they were supposed to be baptized 6 years ago, but WHILE THEY WERE SITTING IN THE CHAPEL WAITING FOR THE BAPTISM TO START Sister Josie got a text saying her husband had passed away, so she left and it never went through and she fell away. She still has a testimony, and like 5 kids who are all ready and anxious to listen! Miracle!

Friday was cool I guess as we got a referral from a recent convert and taught her. I'm not sure if she totally understands lesson one, she doesn't seem to have a great knowledge of the bible or anything, but we'll work with her! Her name is Florida by the way. Saturday we put on a district missionary fireside at the Baler Chapel, which went well! Each missionary was involved in the workshops. It was all about the members’ role and responsibility in conversion. It was ok! Sunday was a good day, as we had Branch Council meeting for the first time since I've been here! We had some good work, and found out a major concern of a recent convert family that is now totally less active, so that's good I guess! We had a good lesson with the Centeno family as well, where we found out that they do want to be baptized, but they just don't think they can go to church on a consistent basis. We'll fix that!!! And yeah, that takes us to now!

I love my Savior so much and the fact that he loves me enough to take all my frustrations and weakness and fears and imperfections and wash them away in his name just never ceases to amaze me. I just love my life. I love my Jesus, who is my hope, light, and strength.

--Elder Christensen
New mission president and wife:  President and Sister Clark
***When I asked how he liked his new president, after spending time with him at the mission home, he said, " President Clark is the man! He is very straight forward, not soft, not harsh, just forward! I like it. He's a big fan of the council method, which I like. And he is definitely inspired. He's not President Martino, but he is fantastic. I wholeheartedly sustain him."

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