Monday, February 2, 2015

“I testify that with President Clark ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE”

Man, I don’t even know where to start this week.  Monday was swell.  We met a really nice Catholic family who let us teach them, and then we taught Darwin, then the Solis family!  I love those guys.  And Elder Westover was with us so that was a bonus.  Tuesday morning we gave a blessing to Sister Tuilaeta in my district who had been sick for quite a few days.  In the afternoon we convinced CJ to work with us (after Elder Westover collected sticks all over his yard because that was his excuse why he couldn’t work), and we visited the Jamlig sisters and Ronald Pagaduan, a really nice long-time less active we met.  We taught the Mendoza family and it was great as always to visit with them.

Wednesday morning was when everything got flipped on our heads.  During companionship study before the transfer announcement, President Clark called me and asked if I would serve again as a zone leader in… Tarlac.  Back to Tarlac!  I didn’t exactly know how to feel about that.  Ha!  Until now I still don’t know how I feel about all this!  Well, when it came to transfer announcements, our area, Palayan B, was whitewashed again.  Elder Palabrica was transferred to San Jose Zone, the San Isidro Ward.  We were all shocked and really sad, as the area was just starting to look better, and we had 2 baptisms hopefully in February.  Well, we were all pretty down about it, but we prayed and found the peace of the Lord.

We spent the day showing Elder Westover all of the people in our area so they wouldn’t get lost and so he could show the new missionaries around.  We said goodbye to everyone.  As we were walking around Elder Palabrica turned and looked at me and Elder Westover and said in his best English/Thomas S. Monson voice, “I testify that with President Clark, ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE.”  Truer words have never been spoken.  We taught Mia, then Bien and then the Llamas kids before we went home and packed.  It was hard to say goodbye…

Thursday we had the epic challenge of getting our luggage from our house, down the rough road, and up the hill to the highway.  That was a true 7-minute workout!  In Cabanatuan I said goodbye to Elder Palabrica before leading the travel group to Tarlac. 
Goodbye to his anak, Elder Palabrica
There I saw many old friends, including Elder Antoni [his 1st anak]!  He’s the new zone leader in San Jose!  Oh, that was awesome news!  I met my new companion, Elder Delante, who is the nicest guy ever.  We had some meetings and some zone business to take care of, and then we got to the apartment, which is just around the corner from where I lived a year ago!  We had companionship study and went out to work.  Apparently the area needs some work, as there is only one real progressing investigator.  The Yang family (I knew them before) fed us dinner and they may have a couple of referrals for us!  Afterwards we tried to teach another recent convert, but they were busy, but they thanked us even for our presence.  That was nice!  We then picked up our new kabahays (housemates), Tarlac 2B (2A, my old area, is now the office elders.  Well, technically my old area just got split I guess).  Elder Olohan had some complications with transfer day so they didn’t get there until around 9.  Elder Checketts is coming from the India-Bangalor mission because his visa expired.  He’s about a year out, but almost brand new here!  We got talking and he’s from North Salt Lake and he knows the Creers!  Small world! 
Transformer jeepney

Friday morning was weekly planning, and then I went on exchanges to Victoria with….Elder Choresca!  Yup, he’s in my zone!  While we were waiting for him at the stake center though, I got to see Sonny, Ryan, Bishop Reyes… it was like déjà vu!  This whole week has been!  Anyways, exchanges with Elder Choresca were good, even though their baptismal candidate had to be moved a bit.  Saturday morning we checked out an apartment that the sisters are currently looking at and it seemed good to us!  In the afternoon we taught two investigators who aren’t progressing, then we got mega punted.  Eventually we found and taught a cool 18 year old kid named Daryl who many have some potential.  We finished off the evening by teaching a recent convert, Jess. 

Sunday I got to see the ward and it was a sort of homecoming because I knew so many people.  There were lots of “Welcome backs”!  There’s also an American family, the Smiths from Toelle, Utah, in this ward!  Brother Smith served here way back in the day and he knows Rob Young from my ward back home!  Small world, again!  Déjà vu again!  We had 2 investigators at church.  Carlos is progressing but his not being married to his “wife” is the problem and the papers haven’t been all fixed yet!  Jamaica was the other and she is the niece of the 2nd counselor and she lives with their family.  We taught her right after church and she accepted a goal date for March!  We also taught Carlos to fast about his concern, and then we taught two recent converts, Teresa and Harvey.  We got super punted after, so we went home and talked about the area.  Basically, we’re going to have to open area again here.  I don’t know…  I don’t know what to do!  But it will be ok.  God has helped me so many times in my mission when I didn’t know what to do.  I know that “the Lord [will] show me from time to time after what manner I should work” here in Tarlac.  ‘Til next week, I’m back in Tarlac!

-Elder Christensen

Note: As the zone leader of the Tarlac Zone, he is over the largest zone in the mission:  5 districts, 18 companionships,and 36 missionaries.  He says it'a a bit overwhelming :)

ZL, good friend and kabahay, Elder Westover
Fun being in the same zone with Elder  Armatage for 2 transfers
His Palayan distict
Elder C with new comp, Elder Delante!

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