Monday, May 11, 2015

"Hail Mary"

Kamusta na!  This week started with a BANG!  Literally!  There was an enormous thunderstorm on Monday and the rain really came down!  Pretty much our whole neighborhood was in a 6 inch deep pond!  It was proselyting in the evening an adventure!  But sa wak as we taught Sister Ligaya about the Sabbath as well as Nanay Lolita.  We slept at the Assistants’ house because Tuesday was MLC!  And I loved it again.  There was some heart-wrenching accountability as my area hasn’t had a baptism in 2015, but it was a good call to action. It was humbling, but it was what I needed to hear, especially at this part of my mission.  There were also great topics about the Sabbath, the convincing power of the Book of Mormon, pride and culture.  I also got to bear my testimony at the end because that’s the privilege of all departing missionariesL.  It was bittersweet.  I also got to see so many of my friends, possibly for the last time.  I’ve been so blessed to associate with so many incredible missionaries.  I love them and I’ll miss them for sure.  But there’s still work to do! 

His birthday present to Dad: a "stealcht" fighter :)
On Wednesday (HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD, YA OLD GOOF!)  I went on exchanges with my bud Elder Burnett in Burgos. We were on bikes again!  I met a less active who is from the same town as/ knows Elder Lungay (my trainer!).  Then while we were biking we got caught in the heaviest rain of my mission.  Just completely soaked.  But we got to teach some really spiritual lessons to some less actives.  On the way home we were running a little late, so we biked as hard as we could to get home on time and we did!  But my nametag fell off in the dark while we were on the bikes :(. I’m only left with my pin-on one!  But I got a makeshift one that works well.  Thursday we had zone training.  It went ok-ish.  I felt like we couldn’t inspire the zone like we wanted to…it was kind of quiet.  But toward the end it was really spiritual and that was good. … I really pray that we helped our missionaries kahit papaano.  We went and taught our recent convert Harvey and our cute, tiny investigator Leah in Aguso…and it rained again!  We taught Sister Ami again for the first time in a while…We taught Sister Queendee and she’s starting to progress!  She’s got great potential.  Lastly, we visited Nanay Mocun, the member who washes for us, and it turns out that she has 3 less active kids who are grown up and have families now, and we set up a time to teach them on Sunday! 

Friday we had exchanges again, this time I was in my own area with Elder Mitchell, who is an awesome missionary, about 10 months out.  We went finding and taught some guys.  One named Lyndon has some potential, but we’ll see!  We taught Matthew… Oh, man.  So Matthew texted his grandpa and (I’ll summarize) asked him to sign a waiver (It came across like a liability waiver, not a baptism and confirmation record) coming from the foreign missionaries, AND in the same text he asked if he could have his passport!  Well, his grandpa freaked out at him because he thought that we were trying to get Matthew to leave the country to go on a mission!  Agh!  He is utterly refusing to sign… Our only hope is Matthew’s aunt (his grandpa’s niece), a member, who is coming in to town…  We are going to ask her to explain everything clearly to the grandpa (He refuses to see/talk to us), and hopefully convince him to sign the form.  It’s a long shot—a Hail Mary—but we’ll give it all we got for Matthew to get baptized.  We taught Daisy, who said she’s looking to finish the Book of Mormon next week!  I’ll be very impressed when that happens!  We ate dinner at a little restaurant and then it rained….AGAIN!  And our area flooded a bit!  Good thing the office elders, Elder Cancel and Elder Eggett, came by in the van and picked us up!  We visited a member of Elder Mitchell’s branch who is actually in the hospital here in Tarlac and we gave him a blessing.  Afterwards, we found a vending machine!  It was the first I’ve used one in over 23 months!  Not gonna lie, it kind of took us a while to figure out how it worked.  Missionary problems.  Anywho, we ended up teaching the Victorio family, and the water had gone down a bit. 

Saturday morning we taught the Vilencia family, Romi and Joven, then their 22 year old son, John.  They were really into the lesson and understood the apostasy SUPER well.  They accepted goal dates for June AND fed us toron (my favorite!).  We exchanged back then went out to work!  We taught Anthony, who finally committed to coming to church, but then didn’t show... And Al is still here!  His departure to go to Kuwait got moved.  We passed by his house, saw him and taught him!  I’m super pumped that he is still here!  We taught the Fiesta family and found out that the mom has a word of wisdom problem, so that is probably keeping her from coming to church.  We ended the night by teaching Nora about the word of wisdom….. Good day!

Sunday was good!  Church was great!  I’m trying to take the Sabbath, especially sacrament meeting more seriously.  It was a good experience partaking of the sacrament this week.  Matthew, Daisy, and Leah came to church this week, so good stuff! 
With Sister Sol, Daisy, her fellowshipper Carissa, elder Nalumen, and Brother armenio!
We went on splits and I worked with Michael Ramos, one of my good friends here in Ward 4, for the first part of the afternoon.  We went to teach Matthew and … his Aunt Roxanne was there!  Miraculous timing.  She wasn’t sure if our plan would work, but she’s willing to help!  Matthew’s so ready, but we just have got to figure out how to get him baptized!  Later May Duenas and PJ DeLeon (two 18 year olds who want to serve missions) worked with me and we taught Daisy, who is progressing nicely.  We got punted from all of our other appointments, but there was miraculous timing again when we were walking down the street and two little boys came up and told us they were members!  They moved from another stake last November, but then lost contact with the church.  And they live super close to the stake president and our recent convert!  Miracle! 

Life is good.  I love being a missionary and I don’t want this to end!  Live long and prosper!

-Elder Christensen

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