Monday, October 6, 2014

"I feel like I'm doing missionary work right"

Dear All,
Alright, so a lot has happened!  On Monday Elder Anasario, Elder Hedman, Elder Illustrisimo and I went down to Cabanatuan for our Mission/District Leader’s Council on Tuesday. 
Bus ride to Cab
Cab is always fun!  We learned a lot at the council, especially about pushing and leading with the Book of Mormon in our mission.  Filipinos have a habit, when we talk to them in the street, of saying “Oh, so you’re just like us!” Eh, no.  We’re not.  So that’s why we’re going to push the Book of Mormon, because no one will leave their religion for the true church unless they see that it’s different and better.  I love it!  After the conference however, we could only get the last bus heading back to Aurora, so we didn’t get home until 9:45 pm.

But Wednesday was good!  We held Zone Training Meeting where we relayed the messages of the council.  In the afternoon we taught Ariel, an old contact, and he was super nice and open but wanted time to read the pamphlet and think about it before we came back, but we did set a return appointment.  He really needs this message.  We taught Nancy and we used the Book of Mormon and it played a HUGE role in explaining covenants, as she didn’t understand our explanations (see Mosiah 18:10).  We taught our three favorite boys: Razzel, JR and Jomari and they are still the coolest kids.  We taught Eden, who hasn’t come to church in three weeks.  Why?  She only is reading the scriptures 2 times a week, if that.  I’m telling you, just read the Book of Mormon every day and you’ll never fall away. We taught Elma, who is still GOLDEN, but she’s a bit nervous for the baptismal interview.  No worries, she’ll be ready! 
Also, my stomach was REALLY hurting all day, so we got a check up on Thursday morning. 
I’m hyper acidic apparently, and if I don’t get on meds and change some things, I’ll get an ulcer!  So now I’m on meds, not eating spicy or sour foods, eat on time (6:00 pm as opposed to 10:00 pm like we usually do), and no more soda and NO COFFEE!  I’ll tell ya, that last one will be hard to kick.  BUT overall it was good news as I’m not going to die from this anytime soon.  In the afternoon we visited our favorite grandmas (Adelina and Linda) and grandpa (Marcos) and they’re really good.  Oh, and I gave Nanay Adelina some pictures last time, including one of my family (I don’t know- she requested it) and they’re now hanging up!  That was funny.  We taught Lolit and brought Sister Grace along (who used to be Lolit’s Baptist preacher!) and that was an enormous help and they are coming to church this Sunday.  YES!  We went home and ate quickly, but on time, then got to teach Dexter Habala, Elma’s husband and the father of five members (Eden, Tonton, Marivel, Fevelyn and Iyan).  It was a really good lesson and the spirit was SO strong as he accepted the baptismal invitation for November 8th.  So awesome!  We taught Fevelyn about prayer and Heavenly Father afterwards, and the spirit just continued. Awesome!
On Friday morning we had effective, spiritual weekly planning.  It went really well.  Well, honestly, this whole week has gone really well, and I’ll go ahead and attribute it to a talk that Moriah Gamble sent me WAY BACK when I was in the MTC.  It’s by Elder F. Enzio Busche and I’ve re-read it a few times recently.  Among other things, he said, “Embrace each day with an enthusiastic welcome, no matter how it looks.”  Just keeping that happy, spirit-filled attitude and always smiling helps SO much!  And I just love my companion Elder Anasario.  He is SUCH a good teacher and a great guy.  He is so nice, and I’m happy to be his companion.  More importantly, I’m SO HAPPY to be my Lord’s missionary.
Well, the rest of Friday was awesome still!  We visited Nancy, then Razzel and the boys.  We watched the Restoration video with them and the spirit was SUPER strong.  We left the DVD with them for a couple of days and hopefully their parents will watch it, too.  We taught Mycah’s referrals, Mary Jane and Mark, and they’re still doing well.  We got them copies of the Book of Mormon, which I always get excited about!  We taught some of the young men about honoring their father and mother (at the request of their parents) and we taught them the magic words, “How can I help” and “I love you”.  Shout out to Glenn and Angela, the best parents EVER!
Saturday was AWESOME again.  We taught Dominga again, and she wholeheartedly accepted the Book of Mormon, so that was exciting!  There’s still potential there.  We shared with Adelina about charity (particularly because she has a grudge against a fellow member) and though she refused to pray to love everyone initially, she totally prayed for it in the closing prayer!  Yes!  The Holy Ghost softened old grandma’s heart!  Love it!  We taught Marco all about how his deceased wife, his parents and anyone can be baptized vicariously in the temple and he got excited!  We ended the night by teaching Dexter Habala again.  It was awesome.  He was all, “If Christ’s church was lost long ago, how does that work for us today?”  Great question!  He was captivated as we explained the beautiful Restoration, and he was excited when we gave him a Book of Mormon for himself.
On Sunday we had 7 investigators at church!  HAPPY MISSIONARIES!  We did a baptismal interview for the San Luis elders, then we worked!  While teaching Razzel, JR and Jamarie, both me and my companion felt that not only will these guys get baptized, but they’ll go on missions one day!  These kids are SO smart and so into the lessons, they’re going places.  Other highlights: we taught JR, the son of an investigator who was busy and he was way cool!  He’s 15 and was taught two years ago.  When we left we caught a glimpse of him reading the pamphlet (fist pump!).  Then we taught Elma and the Habala family all about eternal marriage and I shared the “No empty chairs” saying (for all you members of the Tribe of Don).  Our commitment to them was to refer their 3 remaining children who are not yet members.  Dexter was excited about it as well!  So awesome.  I LOVE THIS FAMILY!  I just want them all to get baptized and sealed SO bad!  And it will happen.  AMAZING week.  
I feel like God is helping me so much.  I feel like I’m serving a mission the right way!

Elder Christensen

And here's an excerpt from his letter to his mission president that he shared:
I've just decided to smile more this week, no matter what happens, and this has been one of the best weeks of my whole mission. Just checking if I have the right attitude is such a help for me. AND our focus on the Book of Mormon has been great, as that is now a focus whilst OYMing. And we had an appointment where we were trying to help an investigator understand covenants, and she just wasn't quite getting it. SO, we turned to the Book of Mormon, and after reading Mosiah 18:10, she understood without a problem. So awesome! And the zone is also doing so good. We had a great week of work and we have a significant amount of baptisms coming, and its so great to see their progress. In our area for example--Oh I wanted to tell you about this too! We have this one family where 5/8 kids with age ranging from 32-12 are members now, and then the mom wanted to be taught and now she is getting baptized on the 18th, and now we're teaching the dad as well and he has a date for November! Anyways, this investigator who is getting baptized on the 18th has a neighbor (1st cousin once removed or something like that) who is just SUPER less active, and sometimes we can teach her and sometimes not, and she always says she'll come to church. ANYWAYS these two sisters talked, and the less active one basically said, "Wow, she's getting baptized. I'll become active now because I have a duty to do as a member." That is a miracle! We are SO excited to see what becomes of this. You really can never underestimate the influence of an example. Usually in this work we aim to have members influence the non-members, but in this case, it was vice versa but still had an incredible outcome. Oh this week was SO amazing President! I just love it! Things are going so well! 

And an explanation of the pictures below: "We had a CSP this morning at a creepy old hospital, so we took this time to photograph a zombie, fly like Harry Potter, and bring TEBOW-ing to the Philippines!"
Harry Potter


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