Monday, April 13, 2015

All I really want in life is to please my fathers—both earthly and heavenly—and to be more like Shiblon.

Well, here we are, aren’t we!  Fourth journal of mission!  Can’t believe we’ve made it here.  But we somehow have, not without a few heart warmers, heart breakers and a few straight up miracles.  And I’ve loved every bit of it!  I wouldn’t trade this for the world.  But anyways, we’ve had quite a week here!  On Monday we taught the whole Victorio family!  Even the Mom was there!  And now it’s THEM bringing up the temple, not us!  Afterwards we taught a couple of less active families that live kind of far away, but it was good!  One, the Anivan family, has a lot of potential with part members and the other, the Millanio family, is this older couple.  The wife is an RM and the husband is a recent convert of 2011.  They’re really struggling for money now so they haven’t been able to come to church for a while, and they have some Baptist friends who are really pushing them to be baptized in their church.  Honestly, I just felt like they needed someone to talk to.  Tuesday was… Mission Leadership Council!  It was so good!  We had chocolate chip pancakes in the morning and that just kind of set the tone for what kind of day it was. 
Elder Johnson making chocolate chip pancakes at MLC

We talked a bit about the Church’s program “Because He Lives” and how we’re going to use it.  If anyone hasn’t seen this video yet, check out  We also learned about ethnocentricity and how that causes problems, but my favorite topic was about FAITH, which is the new theme of the mission up until I go home.  I love it!  We talked about how Nephi’s first two attempts to get the plates were pretty much faithless, and only on the third attempt did the Lord’s power work according to Nephi’s great faith and millions have been blessed because of the results of his faith.  It was of course great to see all of my friends, too, and I had a great time. 
With MLC mission buddies

With Elder Westover

Wednesday we had exchanges and Elder Choresca was my companion again!  The miracle of Wednesday was when we taught Matthew the restoration in English.  It was amazing!  He is so prepared!  He’s completely golden and he accepted a baptismal goal for May 16 without hesitation.  He is the answer to our prayers!  I’ve been waiting for an investigator like this for SO LONG!  Thursday we had zone training, and I think it went well!  I pray that this zone develops the faith that we need.  Thursday the work was weird…all over the place and not a whole lot of teaching!  But we were able to teach Al about temples, a topic we’ve been wanting to share for a while.  Friday we had exchanges!  I was with Elder Cox, a trainee, and literally I interviewed people for baptism all day.  Good thing I heard the funniest song in a jeepney while travelling called “This guy’s in love with you, pare.”  I was laughing so hard. 

Saturday we had General Conference and it was SO GOOD!  I noticed that a lot of them were about marriage, families and fatherhood, so I’m not going to read those ones too closely until I’m home.  But it did for the first time hit me that I could possibly be married this year…Scary.  Some highlights:  learning not to be just a latter-day sinner, having Shiblon get an overdue shout-out, “Don’t text her!”, “Many of the things you can’t count really count”, realizing I have to really work to speak in God’s place, and hearing the Prophet come to life in relaying his priesthood experiences. Saturday night was a test of walking around for about 2 hours and having no one be home.  I felt like God was checking to see if we really would work until our 9:00 pm curfew.  Sunday morning Matthew came to church!  He was inspired by the General Conference messages and came back for the afternoon session!  We taught him the Gospel of Jesus Christ lesson afterwards and he loved it.  He even took notes!  That’s a first!  Afterwards, we taught our recent converts, Lolita and Teresa, and finished up teaching the Victorios about the word of wisdom as a part of their temple preparation. 

This morning the greatest thing happened: President Clark played basketball with us!  It was glorious. 
P Day Basketball with President Clark!
We then had a zone activity which was fun and that brings us to now! 
Zone activity

I just want to echo possibly my favorite line from conference, “All I really want in life is to please my fathers—both earthly and heavenly—and to be more like Shiblon.

-Elder Christensen

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