Monday, February 16, 2015

Always remember Him

Aaaaand just like that another week has gone by!  Wow, this is fast.  Monday we had a super-efficient P-day and got a lot done, including a long-needed haircut!  We taught Maria Lourdes, Kris and Jeff about the Book of Mormon and it was a super awesome lesson.  We taught Danilo and Nellie Castaneda about prayer because they didn’t totally understand the whole answering prayers thing.  Then we finished the night teaching Jess and the Tollentino family.  On Tuesday I was just kind of feeling weird all day and we didn’t teach much.  We taught Allan, Nora’s husband, and he still for sure has a testimony.  We went less-active hunting and we found a father and his son who have been less-active for some 20 years.  This father, Eduardo, invited his non-member sister to listen so that’s how we met the Binloan family!  We also visited Tatay Lito who was in a bit of pain because of his illness, so we didn’t stay too long.  We tried to find less active members, but basically we just walked in circles for a couple of hours. 

On Wednesday I went on exchanges with Elder Ortega, who is a Filipino who moved to England when he was nine, then after three years moved to Maryland!  And most recently he studied at BYU!  It was fun to be with a fellow zoobie for a day!  And he’s a really great guy.
Exchanges with Elder Ortega
  Their baptismal candidate passed ok, but afterwards I twisted my ankle pretty bad in a dark alleyway, so that wasn’t too fun hobbling around to the rest of the appointments!  Ha ha, just a little thing though.  Thursday we had exchanges AGAIN but this time I was in my area with Elder Naylor, a fresh greenie from Idaho who has a glowing testimony!  And we had good lessons with Lito, who’s feeling better and Eduardo and Mina (his sister I mentioned),  Lourdes, who is progressing and Danilo Casteneda, who kept pointing out how Elder Naylor couldn’t speak Tagalog.  Good thing Elder Naylor has a good sense of humor!  We also taught Allan Victorio, a less-active who’s returning ok! 
Stuck in Tarlac traffic...

Friday I woke up with a migraine and a fever…yeah, that sucked!  So I was in bed all Friday and all Saturday!  Valentine’s was just me sick, BUT I did have that package from my folks!  So I chilled with that little stuffed dog they sent!  Oh, and Elder Delante is also grateful for his! 
Sick Elder Christensen with his Valentine's stuffed dog
On Sunday Allan Victorio came to church, but that was it from those we’ve been working with…we’ll get them next week!  We had a really good stake missionary coordination meeting with President Espinosa and President Clark.  We’ve got a lot to do in Tarlac Stake!  And I’m excited!  We taught some other appointments and a member of the bishopric fed us.  It was a good day.  I also saw the Mormon Message called “Blessings of the Scriptures” with Elder Christoffersen.  EVERYONE SHOULD WATCH IT! And I’ll attach an excerpt from my study journal of my spiritual reflections this week.

Love you all, but I love HIM more!
-Elder Christensen

Study Journal excerpt:
I think there’s something more to the part of the baptismal covenant where we promise to “always remember Him” (Moroni 5:2).  I feel like this might be overlooked.  Not only overlooked, but under-applied.  I don’t think this merely means putting a picture of Christ somewhere we can see it every day, though that is a good start.  I believe it includes truly pondering Him, his character and example, but more importantly his sacrifice to save us from our fallen and quite worthless state (Mosiah 2:21, Alma 38:14) and what we must do to receive Him and His sacrifice daily, namely repenting (Alma 42:22-24).  I’ve noticed that when this is not merely passing through my mind every so often, but “occupies my mind, and press(es)…upon my feelings” (D&C 128:1), it has the most wonderful effect.  I am much more able to resist temptation.  This part of the covenant helps with the next part, “to keep his commandments which he hath given them” (Moroni 4:3).  This covenant was beautifully constructed and definitely developed by God, not a man (i.e. Joseph Smith).

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