Thursday, December 24, 2009

Crazy crazy crazy

family! friends! i dont have heaps of time, so i'll make this short and simple. Elder Bartelt Got transferred today, and my new companion is Elder subritzky. He's Maori, from new zealand, and he's been in my zone so i already know him. Im senior comp, and driver now, so that'll be interesting. just so yous know, i'll be calling on boxing day, so christmas day for yous, i'll be calling from the covingtons, and i dont know exactly what time it will be, but i'll call for like 30 seconds first, and tell you what time i'll call, then actually call and expect to talk. it should be in the evening though. I'll call the house phone. oh, and yes, i got your package and letters, i got cara's letter, and i got whitneys package. i sent a package home last week, so yous should get it somewhat near to christmas. And im stoked that marissa and richard get to be there! everyone! yay! i get to talk to my whole family! :):):):):)

ok, well, thats about all i can write, but i will talk to yous on christmas! love you all so much!
Elder Tayler Christensen

Sunday, December 13, 2009

woses its hot

hello family and friends!
this week was a big one, so i'll just answer all of your questions and whatnot and then tell yous all about it. :)

What else did you do on your b-day?
WELL we went christmas shopping. used about 60 dollars (hope thats ok) and im sending it all today. and went and trained muay thai with a guy in out ward, and then went to the covingtons for dinner, and i got to BBQ chicken on a super nice grill, i got some really good smelling cologne from sabrina and it was fun. We'll just say that at the end of the day i slept REALLY good.

Did you save presents?
sorta. i didnt look at the pictures on the SD card until then, and they didint work on my camera, so i had to take it to a place and just get them printed. it was really cheap though, and i got a kick out of all of them. Collin's cross country pictures were great. bro, i know how running in the rain feels. and tracting in the rain. and riding my bike in the rain. ya. its fun. eh? i actually like it. it makes me happy.

What are the logistics to talking with you on Christmas?
thats a good question. no one has said anything yet. but i assume that since yous are a day behind and 7 hours ahead, ill probably be calling you on christmas morning for me, and christmas eve in the evening for you. and yes, i will be calling you, UNLESS the phone companies dont charge if you call me. which is how it works for everyone in Australia. its kinda nice. ill let you know next week on transfer day though. oh, speaking of which, we really have no idea if one of us is going or staying. so if you send any mail after this, send it to the mission office, cause i may or may not be here in forst lake anymore.
Anyway, this Week has been a week and a half. not really, but you get what i mean. so monday was all good, yadda yada, tuesday was all sorts of fun- we tracted! and found a couple people who were interested, and a lot of people who thought they knew a lot about the church, and didnt know jack squat- we had to really control ourselves to keep from bursting out laughing- i think the whole street were members of the same AOG congregation. anyway, we had our last lesson with the Falesima kids, and come to find out, their last name is actually p.- but its all good. thursday, we had district meeting, and we went with Elam, who is waiting for his mission call, to visit Tia, and we taught the last lesson and set her baptisimal date for next saturday. then, we went to the Falesimas and went over the interview questions with them, and then our district leader showed up, and interviewed them, and they all passed with flying colours. we were happy about that. Friday was the interesting day though- unfortunately we didnt do much missionary work- we had to go to the doctor- i basically just had to go in to see if i could get recommended for physio to pull my shoulders back to where they are supposed to be, and got it, and so im starting that tomorrow. anyway, elder Bartelt had an MRI for his shoulder, and that was fun. basically we're walking medical bills, but so far the highest baptising companionship in the mission this transfer. saturday was the big day. we tracted for a really long time, found nobody, had a bible bash with a guy (we smashed him) and then went home. ugh. but then, we went to the baptism for the Falesimas. it was really good. we each baptised one of them, including Elam, who sat in for most of the lessons with them, he baptised the youngest girl. it was a great turn out, and it was really spiritual for the parents. hopefully that'll be what they need so that they will do what they need to do to get back into the church. that night, we had the ward christmas party, had lots of people there, and lots of food. I'll tell you what, their christmas party was awesome. they had a live band, who were all tongan, and they sang a lot of spanish songs- you can imagine how that sounded. :P anyway, we had fun. then sunday, we rocked up to church, having stopped by to harass everyone who was supposed to come to church, they all came, and then we confirmed the Falesimas. it was really good. and dad, this time, i dont remember hardly anything. and thanks for that advice you gave me it helped a lot. anyway, after church, i was able to Ordain Dan C. to the Aaronic priesthood. I was touched that he asked me to do it. that was a new experience for me.
so that was the week. so far, i've gotten 2 letters, i havent gotten the packages yet, but im sure they are coming. and whitney, did you get my package and letter yet? i sent them ages ago.
Rochelle, thanks for your emails, they were great! i cant wait to see Gabe!
anyway, i gotta go, i love you all so much!
Elder Tayler Christensen.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Dec. 7, for me, dec, 6 for you... i get to turn 20 twice. who wouldnt love THAT!?

Family! Friends!
thank you SO much for all of the emails this week! I have absolutely loved them all! unfortunately now I only have 23 minutes to respond to all 25 of them, but I'll see what I can do- just before I answer all the emails, I'll just fill yous in on some of the events of the past week. We spent the week with a mini missionary, named Kirk. He's 16, and Aussie. He was very knowledgeable, very willing to work, and asked HEAPS of questions. it was fun. We ate at the Covington's like 3 times this week, got into a water fight, (oops) :) then had interviews with president Richards. very educational. then, we had a day of tracting and walking around in cloud burst after cloud burst, and after ruining and partially fixing 2 silk ties from the rain, started wearing only polyester ties whenever there is even the smallest cloud visible. however, the highlight of the week, was Saturday. we went to Isiah Baptism! it was AWESOME!!! and Sabrina is doing really well too. but the coolest thing for me was Sunday. see, Elder Bartelt Baptized, so guess who got to confirm in sacrament meeting... come on... guess! its not that hard. oh. ya. ME! i was scared out of my mind! I'm still not completely comfortable with priesthood blessings, and now i had to confirm in front of the whole ward into a MICROPHONE. AHH! but, as i was excusing myself to go freak out that morning, all of a sudden i got goose bumps really bad (which i weird since the flat is usually somewhere around 80 degrees) and i just felt this overwhelming peace come over me. it was so awesome! i was so thankful it was fast Sunday too, because i felt like i needed that too. anyway, the confirmation came around, and it went just fine, i wasn't even nervous. only problem is i remember the whole thing basically- Dad this may just be me being weird, but everyone always says that if you don't remember what you said, that means the spirit was talking through you. If you remember everything but still feel good about it, does that still count? anyway, Sabrina was REALLY happy, and told me she was feeding me tonight, for my birthday and even said that i could bbq the chicken. (yeah, i asked to do it.) we also set in stone 3 more baptism dates for next week with the Falisima Kids. fruits of the labor coming through!
ok, now with 10 minutes remaining ill try and respond to all your emails. Dad- thank you for your email. it made my day. i about broke down, but decided that the library wasn't the place for that. :) so i kept control. the Christmas trees seem to be going well, and I took a look at the website, and the only correction I can think of for it, is that the mission is called the Australia Brisbane mission, not the Brisbane Australia mission. but other than that, it looks great! Thanks for everything you do Dad! I really appreciated your journal entries from your mission too!
mom- the concert sounds like it was amazing. and ya, i was a little bummed hearing about it and not being able to be a part of it, but i just played some of the eclipse CD and did my vocal percussion to it, and then it was all ok. Haha, drove Elder Bartelt nuts, but hey, you should hear him sing. :P thank you too for your journal entries- i feel special. :)
Marissa- thanks for your email! sounds like you had a blast in Oregon- you going to be there for Christmas or new years? either way, I'm sending your Christmas present to the house. :) yours too Richard. :D
Cara- you're cute. good on ya for getting the 96 on your anatomy test! That's better than I EVER did. and sounds like you had a good time with the concert too. :) When i come home, I'm being in at least one of them even if i have to be a grip.
Collin- 2 letters from you and a snail mail on the way! awesome! Great to hear from you! and sounds like the goat fence putting up was fun! :P
Anna- your cute! Can't wait to hear your voice on Christmas!
Whitney- hope you got your package, and thank you for your email. As always, they help me feel a bit better about myself.
Ok, i have 30 seconds left, sorry its being cut off short! I love you all! have a great week! talk to you soon!
Love, Elder Christensen

Sunday, November 29, 2009

ah, the ebb and flow of e-mail

gooday family and friends!
well the last couple of days have been indeed interesting. since wednesday, we have had lots of lessons. we had another lesson with Tia, and have had to push her date back to the 12th of december. it had been for the 5th. however, as of yesterday, we have talked to Isiah and his family, and now, we are baptizing him this saturday, the 5th, and are giving Dan, his dad the priesthood the next day. :) so that'll be cool. we're getting them to the temple ASAP. oh, last week we got told that we were going to have a mini missionary come. Basically, its just a priest-aged guy who comes and hangs out with us for a week. We met him at the chapel after sacrament meeting yesterday, and then took him back to the flat. His name is Kirk, and he's 16. so this next week should be fun. we have been having some really interesting comp studies as of late. we're studying the plan of salvation in depth, and in the last week, we havent gotten past the pre-earth life yet. its intense, and really really deep- we're afraid we confused our mini this morning... oops. oh well. :) I like deep doctrine stuff, so i'm enjoying the study. I almost have finished the Book of Mormon again too.
so, i got my birthday package! i opened the shirt. sorry. i know its not my birthday yet. couldnt help myself though. i also read Dad's journal entries from his birthday. i enjoyed those dad, thanks.
whitney- i decided what i want for my birthday. a box of wheaties. there is no good breakfast cereals here. :) and i'm glad you had fun at home- black friday shopping- haha something that is not present here. at all.
speaking of which, i actually had a thanksgiving dinner with a family in the ward. it was really good. it was funny too though, their idea of a BIG turkey here is like normal size for us. and there were no mashed potatoes! how the heck do you have thanksgiving without mashed potatoes? it makes for a less-full plate of food. but it was good. there was still plenty to eat. including taro and chop sui. :) that was the samoan twist to the dinner. good stuff. umm... well thats basically it. short week this week, and not much to reply to. so i'll let you know how this whole mini-missionary thing goes next week. and just so's yous remember- next p-day is my birthday!!! im turning 20! send me birthday mail! lots and lots of mail. that would just make my day. :)
ok, well, talk to yous later!
I love you!
elder Tayler Christensen

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I am SO dreaming of a white Christmas

Dear family and friends,
well, if you didn't notice, it was a long week this week. We got to go to the temple today, and consequently, today, (wednesday) became p-day. So. weekly news. Elder Bartelt and I officially decided that we have got to be here for someone. basically all our investigators are children, except one, but this week, after deciding that we just really need to step it up, we finally had lessons with people that we havent taught in ages, ran into emily and james again, started teaching yet another child, set a baptisimal date with that same child, got invited over for thanksgiving on saturday with bro. o'connor- which by the way will be very unique- he's Irish, and she's Samoan. Tarro will be served right next to the turkey cooked the italian way- whatever way that is. haha. anyway, we did heaps of tracting last week, and for the last couple of days, and have found a few really good potentials. unfortunately, most of them are YSA girls. i hope it has nothing to do with our ridiculously good looks. :P anyway. this week what else... OH! Elder Cook of the 12 came and did a special zone conference with Elder callister (area president), and elder gonzales (presidency of the 70). It was awesome! i got to shake their hands! Elder Cook is a great guy. He gave a really great talk, and i learned heaps- forgot my notes though, so i'll tell you bout the particulars next week. Elder Callister is the guy who wrote "the infinite atonement." dunno if yous have ever read it, but apparently its something akin to "the miracle of forgiveness" its the only other book that president richards allows us to read. anyway, he gave a special stake conference the next day, which was EXCCELLENT. he talked about the recent tsunami in samoa, which affected lots of people in the stake, and how he had gone to visit 8 member familes who had lost family- only 1 of the 8 families had been sealed in the temple. he then stressed that we should stop at nothing to enter the temple, specifically he mentioned giving up smoking and drinking. Alcohol by the way, almost comes out of kitchen sinks here, its the favorite pass time of the country- sad part is, im not even joking. so that is a huge problem for lots of people. but, this is the amazing part of the whole day. the conference started at 10. at 8:30 we got a call from sabrina who is the less-active mother of Isiah, who we have been trying to get baptized since day one in this area. She led a riotous life before she had children, and got married, and was sort of a hindernance to Isiah's progression. she's a great friend of ours though, she just didnt set a good example. anyway, she calls us out of the blue to ask when the conference was, we told her, and she freaked out cause she was still in bed. but, she came by herself. after Elder Callister's talk about the temple, and families being sealed, the conference ended and we went back and talked to her. She told us that right then and there, she quit smoking and drinking so that she could get her family into the temple. we were ecstatic! before that, she had told us that she had no desire to give up smoking or drinking. and now a total change of heart? she sealed the deal by going up to Elder Callister and telling him how his talk had affected her, and then within 2 seconds of finishing that conversation, she caught bishop Hannant and set up an appointment for her and her husband to come in. that happened yesterday. we also went over to her house on monday and went over exactly what she needed to do to become temple worthy. basically just taught the 4th lesson. she committed to live all of them. we were happy. amazing how the spirit works. she hadn't planned on coming to the conference, but she couldn't sleep anymore, and "something" kept telling her to get up, and get to that conference. life changer. :D Doesnt get much better than that. anyway, Anna, sounds like your room is going to look sweet as! :) keep being you, babe.
Cara- Aka, "big kahuna" :) i dunno if "big" is quite the right word, but hey, whatever gives you the title of "boss" is gonna be correct. but sounds like you're working miracles for KMM. keep up the awesome work! this world needs more people like you.
Collin- great to hear from you. :P
Mom- thanks for the hydration pack. :) its been a huge help. and your concert- sounds like it's going to be awesome! and looks like you've found a suitable replacement for me- haha, better even.
Dad- thanks for your email. made my day. your encouragement is a huge help to me, especially your reminder that that baptisms dont always mean success. or vice versa.
marissa and richard- glad you got to come up! im jealous. :) have fun!
rochelle and BJ and gabe- thanks for that email! it was cute to read the update on Gabe's walking around and talking. :) cant wait to see it!
Whitney- got your package. :) no birthday requests yet. :) i sent a letter and YOUR package back.
anyway, love you all!
Elder Tayler Christensen

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Long As week

Well hello there my family and friends!
so, with reguards to the lack of mail- it must be sunday over there or something. no worries. i guess i'll just talk about me for a long time instead.
anyway, this week, though technically a short week, if you're measuring from p-day to p-day, was especially long. Dad, i felt pretty dumb when last week i told you what kind of hydration pack i wanted, when just 10 minutes earlier we had run into the ZLs and they gave us mail- the package containing the one you sent was sitting right next to me as i wrote that- haha. thank you so much! it was a life saver this week. Anyway, since tuesday, we had a crazy week. We had a lesson with the Falisima Kids on tuesday night, and taught the 10 commandments. it was good, i am learning how to teach everyone, including children- its hard to change your teaching style a couple times in one day, but i'm getting the hang of it, no doubt a result of elder Bartelt's proficiency in teaching children, as well the mercy of the lord in assisting me in becoming the tool that he would have me become. wednesday, was probably the worst day of the week. Our investigators Emily and James dropped us. Turns out, after the conversation that we had with emily last sunday, when she tried to talk to her dad again, he wouldnt have any of it, and told her that she was going to stop investigating the church, and that she certainly wouldnt be baptized while she still lived under his roof. so we didnt have much choice in the matter. she did say though, that she would keep reading the Book of Mormon and whatnot, and that once she moved out, (which should be soon apparently) she would contact us again and resume lessons. so we werent excited about that, and with the loss of them, our teaching pool has been reduced to 4, all of which are children, and 3 of which live in the same house. the rest of the day was kind of ruined because of that. but we tried to keep ourselves happy as we still had to tract for another 2 hours. Thursday, we had district meeting, with a new district leader, Elder Ormsby. He's pretty good. i learned a few things from him. mostly about the tracting method and such. after that, we gave the car to the springfield elders, and we tracted the rest of the day. it was hot. but we have a family, the covingtons, (isiah's family) who have basically adopted us. so we had dinner with them, and taught a lesson, the last one, to Isiah. That family is one of the tender mercies in this area. while they are less-active, and getting their son baptized has been a work from the first week here, down to now, they have been great friends, and have helped in our physical relief, and always fill in our dinner appointments if they fall through. we have also been able to have some very spiritual experiences with them, which have resulted in them resolving to come back to church, and get Isiah Baptized ASAP. Friday was likely the hardest day of my mission (note- not the worst, just the hardest.) We decided the night before, that we needed to exert more faith in finding new investigators to teach. so we decided to fast. Saturday though, is much like everyone else's monday. its one of our least favorite days. mainly because we rarely have lessons, and we dont have the car, and we spend the majority of the day walking and tracting. so we fasted that day. about half way into the morning, we decided that it needed to be a food fast only, and that we shouldnt be stupid missionaries and take no water with us. so we were able keep ourselves hydrated, yet still enjoy the benefits of a fast. we found heaps of people who were willing to listen to us, had lessons on doorsteps, and made quite a few return appointments. we also walked, as best as we can estimate, a good 7 or 8 miles that day. it was something like 38 degrees C- which is 90-something degrees F. and it was some high percentage of humidity. basically, we felt disgusting all day. then we had a dinner with the alovilis- they decided that they need a lot of blessings- a fact which we agree with- there are 21 kids living under that roof- so they have us over for dinner as often as possible. they're a good family as well. so, after a long day of fasting, we were exhausted, and we were finally fed, and we walked home, planned, got to bed ASAP. i found that throughout the day, i only ever rarely, and mildly at that, felt any effects of the fast. The lord Certainly was mindful of us as we did our fast, and supported us in it. oh, and i lost something like 1.5 KGs during it too. :) but there have been no side effects of that fast. so i'm thankful for that. Yesterday, every appointment fell through, and we had dinner with the covingtons again. However, i had a great time at church, and the sacrament was especially meaningful for me, as i remembered that the savior suffered everything- not only sins, but also weakness and hardship. He knows exactly what i feel and what i'm going through. I am NOT alone. no matter how much that seems to be the case. i have been supported through everything. it is most definitely a miracle . I also had a great personal study yesterday after church, in the which i read in Jesus the Christ, all about the passion week and the trial, and the crucifixion. tears came to my eyes many times as i imagined how that must have been to witness such horrific scenes of torture, and yet divine submission. How the apostles must have been crushed, and even more, how the Father of us all must have wept for his son, who in the last stage of his life, had to be withdrawn from, so that He could succor his people who had had the spirit of God withdrawn from them. And yet, with his last utterance, "it is finished" how glorious and joyful was the end of his errand. he had fulfilled all that he came to do. and because of that sacrifice, we can join him as joint-heirs of the kingdom of God! My appreciation for the savior has been so increased during this study, and i have loved every moment of it. I would recommend that study to anyone who feels discouraged or alone.
anyway, my time runs short, and i think that this is a long one, so i wont bore yous anymore-
so, i hope you all have a fantastic week! keep me in your prayers. i'm always praying for you.
Elder Tayler Christensen

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Transfer This Month?

hey family!
thank you for filling my inbox! It makes me happy! and who's idea was it to send me the whole ping pong thing? trunky as, bro! haha. but sounds like yous all had a pretty full-on week. Cara, glad your b-day went so well, and i suppose its a good excuse for you to not write me. Dad, i dunno you've sent the package yet, but i forgot to make my request for the hydration pack in my last email- the full thing would be good, if thats ok, if not, the bladder is just fine.

anyway, transfers happened today, and drum roll please...............................
ok its not that exciting, nothing happened. Elder Bartelt and I stayed together again this transfer- we think there's someone we need to baptize- president doesnt generally keep missionaries together for longer than 3 months. but no one's complaining.

oh, and dad, maybe try looking at the forecast before you go out and spray heaps- just an idea. :D and the tree thing- good on yous! that will be way awesome if that deal goes through. i'll definitely keep that in my prayers. and, if it makes you feel any better, this weekend it rained every day, and it dumped hard, and we had a SWEET AS lightning storm. it just stayed above our flat for like an hour, and the thunder shook the flat- it was awesome!

and yes, i did tract in the rain. it was... well, fun. got soaking wet, and then, the clouds cleared up and it got hot, so we didnt change, cause the water was keeping us cool. but we got a member's couch wet- oops. :P anyway, this week was actually rather trying. we suffered for lessons to teach, and out golden investigators- emily and james- emily's parents came home, and flipped a switch when she told them that she was thinking about getting baptized. they went on the internet, and you can guess what they found. virtually everything. so we spent a long time correcting what they found, and we havent heard from them since sunday. We've had a rough time getting stuff done. people have no more common courtesy these days. people will schedule appointments, and then just be gone, or decide that they're too busy when we get there- this is especially trying when we dont have the car. but, life goes on. we will baptize this transfer. its baptize or bust. we've been in famine for 3 monts- time for a season of plenty. anyway, there were no more burnings this week, we ran out of time, and quite frankly, there isnt much around the flat to burn. so thats about all that has happened this week.

oh! just kidding, we had elder Nielson (new area president) come to a speacial zone conference, and that was really good. we had deep clean as well, and i repaired some of my pants- ya i sewed stuff. and it actually worked. :P it was pretty fun. but i suppose this week, my biggest thing has been my use of prayer. prayer is intense when you do it right. AKA-when you're awake and totally focused. but i've had so much help this week just on my own personal issues. like you said dad, im at 6 months, and i feel like i know nothing. i feel like im wasting time, yet i'm exhausting myself every day. i dont know how to better do my job, but im trying constantly to make myself better, a better teacher, better finder, a better companion, and just an overall better person. Change is hard. near impossible without God's help. but, im changing. slowly at first. but its picking up. the change is amazing. the way i think and the way do things is changing, and my attitude towards life is changing. life is GOOD. i realized the other day, that no matter how hard this mission is, i really dont want to be anywhere else than here. Home would be great, school would be great, the beach would be great- and yet, it doesnt even sound appealing anymore. Going home isnt something that i think about all time anymore. when people mention that i'm running out of time, now i tell them to shut up. I love being out here, and now i realize why everyone who goes home, never leaves with a smile on their face- the time is too short. Anyway, im out of time. ill talk to yous later! i love you! have an awesome week!
Elder Christensen

Monday, November 2, 2009

November Already!

Family! Friends!
thank you so much for all your emails this week! they have definitely made my day! :) Dad- your email cracked me up. especially the thursday garbage day thing- that was awesome. and the huge list of chores to do on the blank calendar day. good fun. I found myself wanting to help with the Goat fence- like i really want to help. haha, i realized this week, that i was shivering in bed and it was like 70 degrees still- im going to be STUFFED when i get home and its cold- im sure it will be entertaining though. :P Dad, thank you for putting my name on the prayer role- it has definitely helped. I have felt much better and more mobile as of late, so all good. oh, and i can touch my toes now! it hurts like nothing, but i can! yay!
anyway, this week has been good.
on tuesday, we went on trade-offs. i went with the greenie and we taught some lessons and did some tracting, and i had the opportunity to teach him some stuff- i didnt know i had anything to teach. so that was cool. i've been working on the new tracting method that we have really hard this week, and i'm starting to get it down now. and its working. :D wednesday, we did heaps of tracting. 5 hours. luckily it was pretty overcast and actually rained pretty hard for the first hour or so. thursday was District meeting, which went well, pretty fun. then friday was Elder Bartelt's birthday, so we celebrated by having a normal day of missionary work, and then spent 5 hours at our main investigator's house playing pool, eating pizza, having cake, and then having the last like 2.5 hours for a lesson and Q and A. it was good. Saturday was just heaps of tracting and walking and visting people. Sunday, we had Emily and James (main investigators) come to church, and they really enjoyed it, and James is really excited to get involved with the ward. We also set a baptisimal date with them for the 21st of november. so that will be good. transfers are on the 10th, so hopefully I'll be around for their baptism. we'll see though. Today we have movie day. :) we get to watch all the movies with the church stamp on them! :D anyway. this week has been really good. i've started being able to recognize the spirit prompting me to say things during lessons, and found that those things that i say as a result, end up helping the investigator a lot. I have been very happy about that.
anyway, my time runs short. i gotta go. i am praying for all of you, i love you all so much! be good!
Elder Christensen
ps. cara- happy birthday on thursday! btw, that day is also my bump mark- 6 months out!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Octtober =Really Flippin Hot

Dear Family and Friends,
This has been one of the most draining weeks of my mission. The best part of that is that its been mostly spiritual exhaustion. we started the week with heaps of tracting, and teaching a lesson to that couple that we found tracting. we covered LOTS of stuff, and over 2 lessons basically taught everything we knew about the spirit world and the significance of families and why the temple is so important. i think the most common word coming from them was "brilliant." ya they're from the UK.

besides that, we also had interviews this week, and along with interviews, about 4 hours of training on this new tracting method. it was intense. haha, i told president about my back issues, and after the rest of the interview he showed me some yoga stuff to do to help it out. :D i love that man. I asked him some deep doctrine questions and just some nitty gritty details about joseph smith. it was cool. after that, i went back to the training. it was over the training that we received at my first ever zone conference. it was by president richard's son. the jist of the training, was instead of just jumping right into the teaching, to talk for the first 30 seconds and show empathy for any concerns that they may have, testify of the truthfulness of what we share, and then ask for 3 minutes to explain why we're there. its extremely effective, and it is also difficult to do correctly. its something that i have been trying to apply since that first training, but i've struggled to do it right, and to do it every time. but i've worked really hard on it this week.

We also went on trade-offs this week with the Zone leaders. I stayed in my area, and Elder Harmon came in. he's awesome, and he's a great leader. unfortunately, we had NO appointments that day, and so we spent the day finding. lots of tracting. but we found 3 people to teach, which was good, and it helped boost my testimony of tracting. oh, we also didnt have the car, so we walked everywhere- that day i was just exhausted full stop.

then yesterday, at church, the sacrament was really spiritual for me- I read the lyrics to "A Poor Wafaring Man of Grief" and about started crying. i realized how much i had left to grow, and to learn, and to become. i also realized that i've been on my mission for almost 6 months, and i still feel like im fresh as. But, according to president, thats good, at least im not feeling like i'd rather be home, and not on a mission. i just realized how quicky the 2 years goes- i thought it was forever- but its quickly becoming evident that it's not nearly enough time. Anyway, that was a look inside my week! :)

mom, your garden experience sounds... well, not as fun as it should have been. man i miss those tomato fights. (by the way, "tomato" is pronounced "tuh-mah-toe" in Australia.) but i'm sure collin will be happy to take those hoses out of the ground for you. :) and could you send some of the rain and fog my way? please? its getting to be high summer here, although the worst wont come until december or january- but its HOT. and my flat doesnt have air conditioning- we just have like 4 fans running 24/7, and its like 80% humidity all the time. so, please, some rain and fog would be soooo nice. oh, and ya, pickled beets are pretty common in hamburgers here, although not in fast food. i've had it a couple times, but i dont think it goes extremely well with beef.

cara, your BEFY experience sounds awesome. i'm glad you were able to have such an enjoyable time. its great when the spirit actually hits a big group of people like that. and your friend Kelsey being "spiritually exhausted-" that is awesome! I didnt know what that felt like til i got out here. when you feel the spirit that strong, for that long, it actually drains you. :) when's her baptismal date again?

Whitney- glad you got that letter- and yes, i'm gaining weight- im 65.5 Kilos now. i wont tell you how many pounds that is- ill let you figure that out by yourself. :P we'll put it this way though, i have pants that have elastic built into the waist, for the purpose of allowing weight gain, and they're about 2/3 stretched right now, although i've started running again, so hopefully i'll be able to get the extra stuff off. and your BYUI days sound like you're having heaps of fun! good place eh? :)
anyway, cara you should have gotten the letter i sent last week by now... it has some pictures in it. :)
ok, my time's up. time to go. i love you all so much! keep being awesome.
your favorite missionary,
Elder Christensen

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Good week, good conference

Hey Family, and Friends!
well i appreciated the contrast of this week form last week. :) needless to say i had to hurry through the reading so i could get to the writing, and yes mom, i did print a few off that i will be replying to by snail mail. anyway. all of your activities last week and this week sound so fun! i cant believe Gabey is walking and understanding people talking!? dang, i'm going to have a lot of catch up work to do when i get home. thanks for the pictures and the videos, they made my day! that is a cute boy you got there, Rochelle and BJ! and BJ, i'm glad your feeling more like a "natural Man" now that you're 30 and you got a grill. I'll have to show you some cool things that i've learned here when i get back. Dad, you too. i think you'll appreciate them. :P Anna, your letter cracked me up. that sounds like fun. what i'd give to see dad do your hair, and cringe as you try to shave his face. and, no, my dear girl i have not hit or killed any kangaroos yet with the car, i have eaten lots of them though. Marissa- i appreciated all your "A" sillines. :D it made me happy. glad your enjoying school so much more. Rochelle, keep up to work with Gabe! he'll be saying "mama" before you know it, and then that'll be the last thing you want to hear. haha. Dad, thanks for your letter. those 4 steps that you outlined were totally true. i definitely agree. And how appropriate for you to get your inspiration while running. oh, and yes, if you could send the audio of conference that would be great. also, while you're sending stuff if it's not too much trouble, a hydration pack, (a small one) would help HEAPS. Mom! happy birthday! i made you a cake! unfortunately we ate it before i got a picture of it- but i wrote "happy birthday mommy!" on it- with the squeezable frosting pack that came with the mix. :) it was fun. oh and whitney, i got your package like 3 weeks ago- sorry forgot to mention that- and your letter that came in the huge post office envelope thing cracked me up. :)

ok, so this week was awesome! i went on trade-offs and learned a bunch about tracting effectively, and also got to do some tracting in the absolute pouring rain! how fun! :) luckily i didnt have much to do after that, and got to change out of my wet proselyting clothes. it was fun. the next day, we had a lesson with a couple not married that Elder bartelt found the day before, and taught the first 2 lessons to them and half of it to her younger sister. they're awesome! they committed themselve to read the Bood of Mormon, and brought up the law of chastity themselves, and committed to start living it! luckily the couple isnt actually living together. that'll make things heaps easier. we also taught patonu again. he likes everything but is struggling to make the commitments for baptism. he knows what he needs to do, just lacking the desire to do it. he'll come around though. keep praying for him. we also finally got to watch General Confernce! now i know what ya'll were talking about! i'd have to say that Elder Holland's talk, Elder Callister's talk and Bednar's and Ballard's talks were my favorite. talk about a strong testimony from Elder Holland! and the one about father-son relationships hit especially hard as i reflected on when i definitley did not do those things and when i finally started doing them. I'm glad i did that, Dad, i've learned heaps from you since then, and the unstrained relationship has been a huge blessing. those GAs really know what they're talking about, eh? they must be prophets. how else could they all speak things of complete truth, all agreeing with each other, and all only benefitting us? If there was any doubt about the church or the book of mormon or joseph smith, it has been swept away. I Love this Gospel. it truly is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that the Book of Mormon is true, and that we can come closer to God by abiding by it's precepts. Thomas S. Monson is in fact the prophet, seer and revelator of the lord, and is the only man on earth authorized to exercise all the keys of the kingdom. i know this. Joseph Smith really did restore the Gospel in its Fullness through the Gift and Power of God in these latter days. Jesus Christ in actuality, died for our sins and paid the price for all repentant sinners so that we could come back to live with him and Heavenly Father. I know this to be true, because the Holy spirit has witnessed it to me as i have heard it, as well as now, as i have written it.
May God bless you all!
Cara, get better, you've been sick long enough.
oh, and my back is doing better, i talked to a physio guy and turns out i just need to do some other back exercises and stuff, more in the next letter. i have 30 seconds left.
I love you all so much!
Elder Christensen

Sunday, October 4, 2009


hello family and mates! (yes i started saying that habitually)
i got lots of questions from dad, so i'll answer those first.

Have you been able to see all of the sessions yet?
no i havent, in fact, i havent seen any of them, so all of your references to the talks and stuff are great, but i have no idea what you're talking about.
Tell us how conference is handled in Auzieland.
well, it was fast sunday. that was it. people can watch general conference online, but for those who dont do that, in about 3 weeks, the church will send the DVDs of conference and we'll watch it at a chapel somewhere.
How is your comp's shoulder?
its getting better. he still is having to rest it frequently, but its less painful, and he's able to do normal work. needless to say we're not allowed to ride bikes for a while.
Did you get out and about this week?
yes we did. we only had to cut things short once, because we were tracting and elder bartelt forgot his sling, so his shoulder started hurting, but other than that, its been a normal week.
How is Patonu doing?
he's doing well. he's starting to get really into the Book of Mormon. I showed him the war chapters yesterday at church, and he thought it was really cool, and started reading them during priesthood because we were in committees and he couldnt do too much with that, so he read for an hour and loved it. we've also kept having short lessons with them, and it's great to see him go from, "ok it needs to be quick, i have to leave soon" to "ah, dont worry about it, i can leave whenever." that makes us happy to hear that from him.
also, dad asked me about the priests here. they havent been very active that i can tell, but they do have scouting here, and they are all very active in that, but we havent had a ward mission leader til just this last week, and he was released as the young men's president, so he's pretty gung-ho to involve them.
Are you well?
yup! :)
Did Swine flu hit your area?
yup! i didnt get it though. my comp had it right before we came here.
Have you seen the Biskey's?
nope. brisbane is a big place. i dunno if you can contact them, but if you can, tell them i'm in forest lake. if they look online, its one of the furthest south suburbs right next to ipswitch, but still techincally in brisbane city.
anyway, this week was good. we had 3 dust storms, so only one of them made it so that we had to stay in, but it was pretty funny to see everyone washing their cars 3 times in one week. we got a kick outta that.
so this last week, i have been trying hard to watch what i eat, (mom i know your jaw just dropped, dont worry its nothing drastic) because i actually have started gaining weight. not that that's bad, and its still not much, but i realized that not eating healthy has been a contributing factor to why it's been so hard to stay energized and whatnot. so i'm starting to watch it, and eat more fruit and stuff, and it's actually working. imagine that. :P
Also, i dunno if i already told you this, but i started translating the book of revelations, using all the cross references and JST. that book is loaded with stuff. i highly recomend it. Also, this is something that my comp does, if there is anything that one of you want me to study, and then tell you about, like deep doctrine stuff, or whatever, tell me, and i'll do the study, and then let you know what i come up with. :) Also, for those of you that send snail mail, you can send it to:

81 hampton Rd.
Durrack, QLD 4077
send stuff there until november 1st
well, my time is running short, so i'll wrap this up.
i love you all so much! i am always praying for you!
Elder Tayler Christensen

Monday, September 28, 2009

relaxed and yet crazy week-ugh :P

well this week has been... fun. and when i say fun i mean... interesting. haha. it started off alright, p-day generally comes as a godsend, but tuesday we went on trade-offs with the district leader- well elder bartelt did anyway, i went with his companion in my area- i'll just say that it was a car fast day, my companion for the day wasnt the most dedicated guy, and in the middle of it, we got a call from elder bartelt and elder clark that they needed the car. we didnt find out til about 5 that it was because elder bartelt, within 15 minutes of leaving the flat, had supermanned it over the handlebars of his bike, tried to brace himself on impact, and dislocated his right shoulder, which he didnt know until elder clark helped him up and re-located it for him- needless to say he was in some pain. so they take the car back up to brisbane, got some pain killers, got his arm wrapped, bought a sling, and was told by sister richards to stay in the flat unless he had an appointment. so guess what we did for the whole week? well we actually had lots of appointments, but the rest of it was study time! so while i didnt feel particularly accomplished in the work, we did lots of study, and we found a HUGE stack of ensigns dating back to 1985, and we got to read some talks by bruce r. mcconkie, which were awesome, and we've done lots of topical studies, which proved very helpful in out lessons with a less-active lady who is coming back to church, but has been away for a long time so she wants to re- learn everything but we get to have deep doctrine discussions with her, which is more a test of our knowledge- which is rather refreshing, but we were much more prepared from out studies for those. it was really good. oh! we finally got a ward mission leader! we went a whole transfer without one, and so now we get to have a transfer with one! weird, i know, but its been crazy hard to work with the ward without one. oh! but when it rains it pours, this week, after needing to stay in the flat, we had 3 dinner appointments cancelled on us, we had 2 big dust storms and 1 smaller one that made it so we had to stay in the flat anyway, which also got in our house and left a layer of dust everywhere, that was a result of some really big wind storms happening further inland, i ended up washing the car only to have the next dust storm hit an hour later, and to top it all off, our car got broken into, and our motorpass card got stolen, along with Elder bartelt's wallet, his $150 oakleys, all 5 books of mormon, and the ash tray! filed a police report, and stuff- luckily i hadnt left anything in the car, and my sunglasses are worth like 10 dollars so they got left. so we're in the process of recovering elder bartelt's life. good times. oh! mom, you'll probably be getting a random email with a video attatchment from sister hannant- she's the bishop's wife. anyway, last night we had dinner at their house, and they gave me this soft drink called peachy- its basically a peach soda, and its a missionary legend, so the first time a missionary has it, he takes a sip and does "the peachy dance"- basically an interpretive dance of how they feel- so i regretfully told elder bartelt that i hadnt had peachy before, and he let the whole family know, and they then pressured me into it, so elder bartelt has it on his camera, and they took video of it as well, so enjoy! oh, today is transfers, and... nothing changed, both elder bartelt and i are staying. and speaking of elder bartelt, he's asked if i'll ask cara if he can write her- so cara, its up to you, but i think you just might get a kick out of him- similar personality and all- yup. lemme know! :P
collin- got your last email- keep up the running man, running in the rain is awesome. i do it a lot. and highschool does sorta wear off fast- enjoy the freedom while you've got it though. :)
cara- keep it cool. homecoming is just homecoming. have fun with it though! lemme know how everything goes! :) oh and lets hear some KMM stories! :D
anna- keep being cute
mom- you are doing lots of canning. wow. but im glad you had fun in idaho! that sounds like tons of fun! :)
Dad- thankyou for your email. thats EXACTLY what i needed right now, and dont worry, lectures are more than welcome right now. :) keep them coming. but reminising is good too.
rochelle- glad to hear everything's going ok. send some walking pictures of gabe! :D
Whitney- ya the wind's fun isn't it? :P keep up all the hard work, i should be getting all your mail today, so you should be getting a response soon. :)

sweet, well i literally have 30 seconds before my computer logs me off, so imma go now! :P talk to you all later! i love you!
Elder Christensen

Sunday, September 20, 2009

that was a lot of emails. thanks!!!

Hello family!!! wow i love how i ask for letters, and then i get them, and i bare have enough time to read and respond to all of them! :D you get what you ask for though. :P good stuff. anyway, i got some questions this week first from BJ and then from Dad- so ill answer those-
1. Tell us about the weather. its getting increasingly warmer. everyone keeps realizing i havent had summer here yet, and they just laugh at me- im in for a treat. wa hoo. :P
2. What is your mission president like? He's awesome! he's one of those, can be really serious and then be really funny. he's fairly competitive, and is constantly urging us to increase out key indicators. he is extremely knowledgable. in my interview with him last week, he opened his scriptures, and i looked at them, and i was like, WHOA!!!! its one of those things where if i was having trouble getting into the celestial kingdom, if i had those, i'd be automatically in. It was cool. but he really loves all his missionaries, and he loves the work.
3. How big is the city that you're in? well im in the suburbs now, so they're not huge, probably a little smaller than sherwood.

Can you get accesss to a computer to view� and listen to stuff I put on your SD card?
yes, and i can likely play it on my camera too. although making a back up CD probably wouldnt hurt.

Tell us more about your companion.� Are you getting along with each other well? my companion is the man. Elder Bartelt sort of reminds me of jeff smith and jason andus mixed together. He's crazy, and has a ton of energy all the time. he has a quick wit, and gains the trust and love of members and investigators quickly. we bounce off each other really well, and balance eachother out. we're definitely personality opposites, but we're rubbing off on eachother, so its all good.

Is there anyone in particular you would like us to pray for?
well at the moment, we have a few investigators. one of them is named patonu, he's Maori (new zealand), and knows our district leader from back home, so thats how we found him. He has a lot of big things he needs to take care of, but he's willing, he just needs to actually do it. prayers on his behalf would be good.

Are you spending more time on bikes or in the car?
we have a full time car, but we have to "car fast" for 2 days during the week, so those days we either bike or take the bus everywhere, but we've been favoring the bus lately because its been really hot.

Are you running at all?
ya! we go running most mornings. im way outta shape though. its kinda sad. sitting around for the 2 months before my mission didnt help much, but what can ya do? haha.

You should put you camera on movie mode and record your self talking in Australian.
haha, now that would be funny, because i can force it, but im not really talking it yet, and i mix the aussie accent with the NZ accent- so ill get a conversation with Elder Bartelt and I.

I think collin asked me about the weird food i've eaten- well my brother, you better keep this a secret from all your friends, cause this one is good. there's a polynesian food called Tarro. its sorta like a potato. but its kinda purplish, and doesnt look very appetising, but with coconut cream, its really good. but here's the secret- its a natural steroid. you know why polynesians are all so big? its because they eat heaps of tarro. however, you have to work out after eating it, because when you eat it, you WILL gain weight- it just depends on if you make it muscle, or if it sits there and becomes fat- and trust me, its hard to turn it all into muscle- but thats all we'll say about that. :P
anyway, the week in general has been really good. we've done lots of finding, we finally got patonu to church, found some really good potentials, and taught a few good lessons. I keep realizing during personal study that i know so little. i am learning heaps of new stuff all the time. We also had a trade off with our zone leaders- well there's 3 of them so one of them just came to our area with both of us, and he's served here before so it went really well. during the review he kept saying that im a hard worker- and i KNOW that i give in to the lazy side all the time- its hard to keep your energy up all the time, but constantly keeping myself busy is a challenge. so hearing that was good, but it really just made me realize how much i have left to grow. i wanted to do all my growing in the first few weeks of my mission- it doesnt work that way though. so im steadily progressing, learning more and more- hopefully im becoming what the lord would have me become.
Anyway, my time runs short, so i gotta go, i love you all!
Elder Christensen

Sunday, September 13, 2009

the days feel like weeks, but the weeks feel like days- :P

Guess what? its already week 5 of the transfer! has it really been a month since i got to forest lake? all reconing of time says so, but my head still says, you've only been here a week, son. but its been 4. sheesh. anywho, sounds like everyone has jumped into school headfirst! Cara, that schedule sounds killer. dunno what you were thinkin- but then again i usually dont, so no surprise there. Oh! tell mr. thurman about my surgery, he'll be interested about that. Good luck with your heart of darkness visual- i'd tell you what i did for mine, but i dont remember- just do something diabolical with a barbie or something. that oughtta do it. collin, good to hear from you(Cough). :P I guess last week's report on my physical-ness scared ya or something. or maybe the shock of high school really is keeping you busy. man, i thought sure someone would have at least commented about my request for letters last week- i thought it was hilarious. maybe mission life has made my sense of humor more dry or something- dunno.
mom- soudns like you need a break. good grief. i thought you were busy with music man, and with the chorale concerts before that, but this out does both of those. thats hard out. soudns productive though. :) i hope you recover fully from your exhaustion.
well, mission life is just that. mission life. last p-day, we went tracting in the evening just as a lightning storm was starting. it was AWESOME! we started and it was just could flashes, and then we spent like 5 minutes at a door, and turned around, and it was raining, pouring, in sheets, looked like a waterfall. we got really excited. we got absolutely soaked within 10 seconds, and had some very entertaining door approaches. at one, i tried to show a picture out of a pamphlet, and realized when i looked down that the whole pamphlet was flopped over, and i had to bring it back up so they could see it- it was funny. then at another door, they opened it, and asked if we were crazy. we both answered simultaneously, "yup! we're missionaries!" it was fun. probably the most fun tracting i've had on my mission so far. we had to run from house to house, but sometimes we just stood out in the rain, cause it was fun. but we're starting to see some good things come out of our work. we got a less active family to come back to church after a year of inactivity. the bishop was impressed, as were the previous missionaries who served here. so that was good. we have found lots of people who are ready, and simply have yet to visit them again. we recently were given a challenge by president richards, (aka, a command) to read the Book of Mormon all the way through by the end of the year, and underline every reference to christ. i'm up to 1 nephi 13 and there are already over 100 references to christ. so this will be fun. anyway, this email grows long and cumbersom. I am Elder Christensen, and i close mine epistle to my family.
love you guys!
Elder Christensen

ps. my companion and I made a goal to incorporate more scriptural language into our everyday language, and so we try things out in our emails home- ya its a little weird, buy hey, we're missionaries. what do you expect? :P

First set of pictures May-July

The Mission May to July 09

Monday, September 7, 2009

hello to all of you at once- :D

wow, you should do that car-write-Elder-Christensen-a-letter thing more often! I loved that! :D collin- im up to 80 push-ups and 250 situps every morning- what sayest thou? :P cara- of course you're busy. you're always busy. :) but keep it up. the world needs more proactive people like you. Anna- Way to go baring your testimony!!! that takes a lot of guts to get up in front of a congregation of people and talk to them. good on ya! Mom- a little jealous of the family day, not gonna lie. not so jealous of the heaps of canning. :P i think i prefer 2 hours of fruitless tracting. (pun intended) haha, but i miss harvest time. you feel so accomplished when its all over, and the tomato fight- please tell me you had a tomato fight! :D haha. and i love your analogies. and that one was absolutely true. Dad- glad you enjoyed the letter. i was kinda proud of it when i sent it off. :P and president richards recently pointed that out to me, that the basics of the gospel are all found in first nephi alone. that was awesome. and guess what?! I'm reading Jesus the Christ, and I'm learning heaps! I really have to work hard to not bible bash now though... today i just found the part where it lists all the books that are mentioned in the bible, but arent actually in it- interesting stuff. and i'm starting to get a bigger vocabulary from reading it too- lotsa big words in there. anyway, this week has been really good. since wednesday, the car battery died, we had a 6 hour weekly planning session, went on trade-offs with the District leader, successfully biked 3 miles over pavement and grass whilst in total darkness with only my companion's tail light to guide me, fasted for a total of 45 hours, discovered that Tarro, something akin to a potato, which i eat regularly, is a natural steroid (oops), been cussed off a door step, been threatened by an owner of a massive german shepherd, but above all, found 2 more people to teach! :D so its been good. i decided that i sorta like biking more than using the car. i sprinted up a hill the other day and found another one right after it, and some how made it up, and waited for my companion to walk his up. so i felt good. :) but this week has been one where i learned a lot. the work is totally different when you can actually feel the spirit with you as you work, and everything you do invites it. i found that i say things that i wouldnt normally say, that i'm more bold than i would otherwise be, and at the end of the day im exhausted! i've slept the best out here than i've ever slept in my life! but besides that, i keep learning every day. it is so awesome to learn something new every day during personal study, and then again during comp study. its very intructive. anyway, i love you all, keep writing letters (please!), and have an awesome week!
Elder Christensen
ps- missionaries thrive off of snail mail letters- but some will say, a letter! a letter! we have already written a letter, and we do not need to write anymore letters. know ye not that there are more days that one? and more than one event in a day? why think ye that these need not be reported? blessed is he (or she) that saith, i will go and wirte the letter which the missionary requests, for i know that the missionary makes no letter requests, save he shall be prepared to speedily repond. And i give unto you the parable of the self-adressed stamped envelopes. a missionary gave three of his friends some self-adressed stamped envelopes-unto one he gave 5, to another he gave 2 and to another he gave one. and while he was gone in the far off land, he that was given five envelopes, wrote 5 letters, and then in his zeal wrote 5 letters more, the same with he that was given 2 envelopes, he wrote 2 letters and 2 letters more, but he that was given one envelope, became lazy and lost the envelope that which he was given. and when the missionary came home, he greeted the friend that had written 10 letters with much joy and gladness, and the same with he that had wirtten 4 letters, but unto him who lost his letter, gave nothing more than a fishy, whimp-like handshake. :D :P

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

good week, cuz.

hello family!
well this week has been a long one- temple day was today, so our pday changed to today, rather than monday, so sorry about the delay! but its been a good week, and the temple was awesome! learned a few things, and i saw Elder Tuhoro when i came out! so that was happy. got to talk to him a little bit. this week has been really good though, we have still done a lot of tracting, but im starting to get it down, and it's less of a drudgery now. I'm actually starting to enjoy it. those are words i never thought i would say, but it's true. we found about 3 families that we may be able to teach, and we got into a bible bash- oops. but it ended on friendly terms and we moved on. we also found a few less active families that weren't on the ward list, and committed them to come back to church, and they are doing that, and then, as is common of the polynesians- they loaded us up with food. we got a ton of food. which was good, because we forgot about the extended week last week, and didnt shop for it, so we ran out of food! this morning there was no cereal, and no milk, and no bread! i had yogurt. it was interesting. thats a first for me i think. anyway, we also are teaching a few people and they're awesome. we had a lesson with a guy named michael yesterday, and he's ready. he is SO ready for the gospel. im excited to teach him. we're committing him to baptism next week. we're pretty excited about that. oh, rochelle, no, i havent had to cook much yet, but i have used the cook book, it has been very helpful. I have no requests for it right now.
anyway, i hear yous got my package- just so yous know, i got yours too. loved it. :) I hope yous enjoyed those tim tams, cause i hear they sell them at walmart. you'll have to check that out. :) um... mission life... well, its starting to get hot. today was the first day of spring. or maybe it was yesterday, and it was like the first day of spring in oregon! COLD AND RAINY. i loved it! haha, but its back to normal now, so its in the upper 20's low thirties, and its supposedly climbing next week- joy. oh and guess what? there's lots of polynesians around here, and they've been taking their toll on me, so i have some lava-lavas now. they're quite comfortable. i'd highly recommend getting one. Collin, you'd look good in one. :P
oh that party sounds sweet as! Anna, thanks for letting me know about that baptismal date, thats so awesome! and you, little girl, arent so little anymore, are you? sheesh, stop growing! :P glad you're having a good time. cara- well, who'd a thunk it- you're way busy. surprise! haha, hope you enjoy that. you're crazy. by the way, Elder Bartelt wants to write you. :P i'll send a picture next week.
oh, mom, one elder hales told me that you and his mom found eachother via the blogs- how bout some details bout that?
collin- nice to hear from you bro- haha. i have some funny letter-writing scripture things for you- ill send them next week.
whitney- you're probably at college now, so hope you're having a blast! i cant think of any good advice right now, other than dont do anything i wouldnt do- er something like that. I'll let you know if i come up with anything else. :D
one last thing before i close up, i was reading my patriarchal blessing the other day, the part about my mission, and the thought struck me, hey, i'm where i'm supposed to be. and then, BOOM! spirit hit me like a brick wall, and it was awesome! so, i guess i'm where i'm supposed to be. :P who'd a guessed it.
anyway, i love you all! take care!
Elder Tayler Christenesen

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sacrifice brings forth the blessings

hey family!how ya'll going? :D well, ill start by answering questions i suppose...
Where is your new companion from?
He's from Sandy, Utah
Do you live in an apartment complex, house, ?
its a house... outside my area. :P ya i get to walk or drive into my area every day. fun fun.
Are you still driving a car?
nope, i actually was no longer driver last transfer, and this transfer, Elder Bartelt is the driver.
Does the new ward have a large geographic area, or is the church population dense?
its a pretty large geographic area. There isn't actually a building for it, it has the top floor of a shopping complex, which also has the stake offices in it. so that's interesting
Do you understand all the lingo now? ya, basically. :P
What is your favorite new expression? "sweet as" it works for almost anything, and you can add "as" to the end of anything to add emphasis.
What is the most different expression you've heard? "stuff it/that/you" :P you can guess what that replaces.
How is your health? pretty dang good! no complaints here.
Have you noticed any change in your energy etc, since before your surgery? ya, i can go harder for longer. i can play rugby for like 2.5 hours without getting way tired, just like everyone else! :D
What are some of your challenges and successes since being an co-senior companion? its hard to decide who does what, and who takes the lead on things, but its also been good in that i have a lot more responsibility, so more is expected of me, so i do more. its a lot more fulflling. but we realized the day after we go here, that not only were we white washing and area, we were re-opening it too. it had been closed for 3 months. so, there was absolutely NO investigators, and no one that we really had to visit. so... this week has been more tracting than i have ever done. its intense. and tiring. and kinda boring, but thats the work. so we do it without too much complaint. :P
ok, thats it. anyway, yesterday was church, and that was really good. there are a lot of pretty interesting people there. its a half polynesian ward, and the people in general are pretty cool. one of the high priest group assistants, brother Oconnor, does a lot of member missionary work, and we heard a lot about him before we met him. then at ward council yesterday, we met him. He's italian, and he's loaded. he had the silk suit, the tie with the matching hankerchief in the coat pocket, gold bracelets, rings, a gold watch with diamond studs, gold framed glasses that were also tinted. and he had the classic long, dark hair slicked straight back. We were pretty surprised by that. but he's actually pretty humble, doesnt talk much about himself, and set us up for like 3 dinners with potential investigators this week. so that was cool. The bishop's wife is hilarious. She's spanish (with an australian accent. go figure) and she has an endless supply of energy. she's cooked us dinner twice already. it was way good. she also started a meal roster, and told the ward about it, and so we have dinner every day this week. we're pretty excited about that. and, we made contact with some former investigators and found a few potentials, so we have some teaching appointments this week too! yay! so thats how the work is progressing. its good, hard work. :)
anyway, my time is running out, so i gotta go.
i love you all so much! keep being awesome!
Elder Christensen

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

well, it's starting to warm up

well this has been a nice change from last week! i really enjoyed every email! Cara, i loved yours, that is a great experience you had. The seminary just did a fireside called "A Walk With Christ" singing about christ's last week of life and whatnot. A girl sang his hands, and got choked up right at the end... it was what made the audience crack. not a dry eye in the chapel. it was awesome. I'm glad you're having such great experiences. Hope you get better soon!
Rochelle- i hope you're home when my package gets there. there's lots of Tim-tams and stuff. enjoy. :) and hearing about Gabe made my day! im excited to see where he'll be when i get home! :)
Anna- keep up the good work babe. you'll be out of primary before you know it. dont worry. :D
Collin- write me bro. I read a funny thing that some missionaries wrote about mail, its written like scripture, and uses some well-known scriptures and changes the words around: Then saith the missionary unto his brother, lovest thou me? and his brother saith, yea. and the missionary saith, fill my letterbox. and again, the missionary says to his brother, lovest thou me? and the brother answered, yea elder, thou knowest i Love thee. and the missionary said, fill my letterbox. and again, the missionary saith, lovest thou me? and the brother saith, yea, elder, thou knowest many things, and thou knowest that i love thee. and the missionary saith, STUFF my letter box. ya. i thought is was funny. there's more of them, but that's the best one i think. :P
anyway, there were some questions that dad asked-
I want to know more about the baptisms last week.
well, they were really good. there are pictures in the package i sent home. the member of the seventy that lives in our ward presided and baptized Pires. it was way good.
How are you getting along with your companion?
Elder Tuhoro and I got along great. we had some good success, and lots of fun.
Any new investigators?
almost, but im not around to see if they become investigatros
Can you tell us an inspirational Story? I heard a quote last night that struck me. "every baptism is a miracle." I heard it at a dinner with the stake president, who had all the missionaries in the zone at his house for dinner because every companionship baptized this transfer, which never happens. so that was really good, but as every companionship talked about their baptisms, i realized that every person that got baptized was a miracle. i came to realize that these were choice spirits of heavenly father, and not just a statistic that we reported at the end of the week. it was really good. there is nothing as good as seeing someone progress so far in the gospel.
When is next transfere day?
TODAY!!!! i got transferred to forest lakes in centenary stake. my new companion is Elder Bartelt, and he's been out for one transfer longer than me. we're co-senior companions, so that'll be interesting. we white-washed the area, and there are no investigators or potentials, so we're starting from ground zero. so im going from tracting only as a last resort, to tracting for hours every day. woo hoo!!!! i actually am pretty excited. anyway, time's running out.
i love you all so much! keep up the good work, and tell Amber congrats for me!
Michael- got your email. good thing you're good a spanish eh? haha, chile will never be the same. have a good one buddy! oh, and cherish your time at the MTC. it will NEVER come back! :P
whitney- black ink, dont care if they retract or not, and ya, pretty sure im all good with sticky notes and envelopes and such. thanks :) hope all goes well for you this next week, and im glad you enjoyed the letter!
ok, time really is up now, so, im signing off. love you all!
Elder Christensen

Monday, August 10, 2009


Dear Family. Ok, even though i have ton running through my mind right now, I'll follow my own protocol first.
1. Can you look at Picas web albums if we send the link? uh, ya. i think so.
2. How did the Baptisms go? AMAZING! they were way good, but the week leading up to it was hectic. we changed the program like a million times. the final program was made just hours before. but the confermations were awesome! The preisthood is real!
3. Tell us about your first encounter with a kangaroo, if you have had one. haha, my first and only encounter with a Kangaroo was in a lasagna. I still havent seen a real one- they're pretty hard to come by in the middle of the city, ya know? :P
ok now i get to say whats on my mind. FREAK OUT FREAK OUT FREAKOUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! DAD- you are NOT allowed to EVER pass out in front of Mom Again. full stop. next time you want to spray a hill side behind a ditch, use a back pack sprayer. they tend to be a little safer. dont care if it takes longer. oh, and dont try to be your own doctor any more, please? ok. wow. not gonna lie, dad, you gave me a massive fright. thats one thing i didnt want to hear when i was not in a position to do an emergency come home. and the only emergency come home thats allowed from a mission is one i NEVER want take. im coming home early enough as it is. by the way, no, finishing the last 6 weeks in the states isnt an option. im stuck coming home 6 weeks early. could be worse though. a guy just went home 3 months early because of a passport issue. so im counting my blessings. anyway, Dad, remember last month when i told you i was fasting for you? well, the whole day it felt REALLY important, and then this whole last month i was wondering why... well, now i know. Testimony of Fasting just skyrocketed. ok, well, i wish i could reply to everyone right now, but time is short. so ill do what i can.
whitney- im glad your YW recognition went well, keep it up. :)
cara- glad you're having fun. hope your last week of girls camp was amazing.
rochelle- hope you have a good time on your annniversary. ill definitely let you know what i think of the package and the recording.
Mom- Dad's not going anywhere any time soon. :)
Dad- stay off that ATV for a while, k? :P
love you all, glad you're all safe, and (relatively) pain free.
thank you for your prayers. they are much needed and appreciated.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Good week, yup, yup.

Family!!!! HI!!!!
well, i have a few big things i need to say, so ill say them first.
1. Im coming home early. dont freak out, its just cause my visa expires early, and so ill come home a transfer (6 weeks) early.
2. after talking to president Richards extensively, i decided that ya'll shouldnt come to pick me up from the mission. HEAR ME OUT- i cant go ANYWHERE with you if you come, no beaches, no water, nothing. I have to stay in pros. clothes, and I really just want to be a missionary til they kick me out of Australia. so, keep saving the money, and we'll ALL come back for summer vacation!!! sound good? sounds good to me. :)
3. We are baptizing Pires on saturday at 6 o'clock. :) good stuff
4. we are baptizing Leticia on saturday at 7 o'clock.
5. Um. oh, there's no number 5. :P
ok, well besides that exciting stuff, the week has been pretty interesting. we dont really have any new investigators, and mom, Jay is still here, we're working on baptizing him, but he's pretty tight financially, and is struggling to keep his wife in school. If she's not in school, they go back to nepal, so thats kinda stressing him out, but we're still working with him. Oh, we went on trade-offs with the zone leaders yesterday, and i went to their area with Elder Taufa, and we did some tracting. Actually, a LOT of tracting. we found this many people: 0.
but, its ok, because i learned a lot, and i mixed up my door approach a lot, and it made it fun, so that was good. And we were car fasting, so we took to the bus or walked everywhere. it was funny. oh, just a side-note, the adress i have posted on the blog is the mission office address, it will ALWAYS be the mailing address unless i go up into the Northern zone, in which case i'll send the address to the flat when that happens. also, for packages, and i hope im not too late on this, you need to send them to the mission office, not the PO box. yup.
On a more deep note, we've been meeting with a less-active guy named jeff for a few weeks now. he's an RM, and a convert. He's had it pretty rough. He has PTSD, which makes him freak out about everything including the sky. i'd explain more about the disease, but ill let you look it up- its the same thing that lots of WWI veterans have- post-tramatic stress disease. Anyway, he has an amazingly deep understanding of the Gospel. Now, when i say Amazingly deep, i mean this guy understands things in ways that i never thought about, and some of the things that he knows, he has been physically restrained from telling people. He went through a really rough time that i wont describe, but he never questioned the existence of God, but rather, he just Angry at God for letting things happen to him, and thats why he went innactive. however, after some long discussions with him, he committed himself to come to church this sunday, so hopefully he's on his way back to recovery.
well, thats pretty much it.
cara- tell jeff that i'm way happy for him, and tell him to send me photos!!! and congrats on your YW medallion, thats awesome!!! im preoud of you little sister!!!
collin- sounds like you're having an awesome time, keep it up.
Marissa- sounds like you're having a blast. good job for keeping things completely honest. thats the way to go. you really are sowing seeds of life that will either make or break your family later. so good on ya!
Dad- thanks for that quote. i know EXACTLY who needs to hear that. ME!!! honestly, that put a few questions to rest for me. further, i have come to realize that the deeper i understand things the more simply i can explain things to investigators. so thanks
Mom- sounds like you're having fun in the garden and with that wheat- haha i wish i was there to help, sounds like something i would enjoy. but im in the right place. so no worries. :)
Rochelle- sounds like your doing good too, the only real suggestion i have for you and your friend, is to bear testimony. Use power statements in your testimony. be bold. there is NOTHING as powerful as testimony.
Whitney- Good on ya! im happy for you and your YW medallion, sounds way good! and a new car hey? wanna know something funny? the 2 cars you have, the camry and the carolla are the 2 official mission cars. haha.

well, its time to go, i've overdone my time. but, i love you all, and i am so happy to be here! i know that the lord's work is the best work there is, so i dont feel bad when people yell "get a real job!" at me as they drive by. they dont know what they're missing =)
ok, the book of mormon is true. the church is true. We have the fullness of truth. any questions? No? Good. Have a good week! I'm way excited to get that recording! :D

Elder Tayler Christensen

Monday, July 27, 2009

Lot's of e-mails--YES!

wow talk about a contrast- last week i got like 3or 4 emails- this week, i got enough to keep me reading almost until my comp got done writing! and dont worry, i dont really feel forgotten, i figured there was just a timing issue. and mom- i thought your mouse story was hilarious- and now the follow up made me laugh some more. you'll be thrilled to hear that the pests hear arent mice. they're termites. and they can chew through anything. haha. and they aren't particularly affraid of people... yuck. luckily there arent any in my flat. its concrete and 3 stories up. so thats all good.
I am SO EXCITED for Erik! man, he will LOVE the MTC and his mission. its like the best thing since before sliced bread.
Those emails that i got from everyone were sure encouraging. Dad, yours especially put lots of things into prospective for me. its been hard trying to convince myself that i havent failed- but that helped a lot and i think ill get over it. This week has been just as hard with almost every appointment falling through. the best part was actually yesterday. We had a lesson with Pires again, and he ate it up, and we challenged him to baptism on august 8th, and he accepted. He wasnt even surprised. He just said, ya, thats what i need to do. So its set. He was also the only one that came to church. so that was kinda... depressing. we had like 6 people lined up. BUT, we had a good day. Also, saturday evening we were called by a less-active member who we had tracted into who has endured some remarkably trying psychological experiences. His understanding of the Gospel is extremely deep, so deep as to the point of he might know a little too much. It was crazy. He told us some unbelievable things that had happened to him, and asked us to bless his home, and give him a blessing as well. I had the opportunity to bless his home. It was amazing what things came out of my mouth. That home will be protected. The blessing that Elder Tuhoro Gave was even more bold. It covered so much, and promised so many things, i was a little concerned at how bold it was... but Elder Tuhoro doesn't remember any of it, so that has been a learning experience for me. This week has been a realization of many deep doctrines, as well as simple ones becoming simpler. I cant believe how much im learning.
ok before i get booted off, im going to answer some questions-
Have you seen any unusual animals, critters, insects?
if only you knew- haha wallabies are starting swooping season soon... that'll be fun
Where do you go to read e-mail? an internet cafe a few blocks away.
What do you typically do on p-day? whatever i feel like- lol usually we do email, shop, play some sport, eat, write letters, etc. just a relaxed day. pretty good.
How big is your ward-members and geographic area? about the size of sherwood, maybe a little bit into tigard. members- about 200 hundred active, about 700 innactive. (ya, i know thats a huge number)
Rochelle, thanks for your email and happy birthday! for your friend, just encourage her to read and pray about the book of mormon. once she does that, everything else will fall into place.
Anna- you're cute. I better get some pictures of your in that play
Richard- thanks for those great ideas! i cant wait to try them. =) im excited for the prizes! :D
Cara- 2 weeks in a row! have you asked the missionaries about teffaney and david yet?
Whitney- keep at it. have fun. summer before college couldnt have been shorter for me. enjoy it. and congrats on your YWhood recognition! send some pics!
oh, and family- PICTURES OF THE SHOW!!!!
ok well i love you all so much, look forward to hearing from you next week!
Elder Christensen

Sunday, July 19, 2009

One week at a time

Well, it has been a very trying week. Besides the fact that most of our appointments fell through, and we haven't found any new investigators, Gorgi chopped us yesterday morning. She wasn't happy about it, but her partner gave her an ultimatum, and she really has nowhere to go if she moves out, so she chose to stay with him for now... and then the brother and sister from columbia were supposed to come to church, and they didnt. Also, Jay, who we set a baptisimal date with for this week didnt come to church either... very frustrating. we did, however, have a myriad of blessings come from that. We were able to recognize early in the week, that this was a critical week and that we would be worked on very hard. why God has seen fit to take away some of these investigators, i have no idea, but, i do know that even when its way hard to find any kind of motivation, with faith, all things are possible. That has been the focus of my study this week, and it has been a huge help. i have found that faith in God, that he will provide for us if we are actively doing the best we can do, brings those blessings. Yesterday, we had a lesson with Pires, who is from brazil about the plan of salvation. This was done in the presense of a Retun missionary and his wife, a recent convert of 4 years, and in the home of Elder smibert who is in the Area presidency. Those things coupled with their testimonies and feedback made the lesson so awesome, and afterward Elder Smibert Told us that we had done an excellent job. Theres Nothing like being praised by an Area Authority. so that went well. Also, the ward missionary who was responsible for getting us meals with the members showed up this week, had made a calendar, and by the end of church had booked us for dinner every night for the next 2 weeks, and is working on next month's already. We started it off eating at her house last night, which proved to be very entertaining, and very refreshing from the intensity of the day. so that has been really good. so today i finally get to relax, which will be nice. Cara, thanks for you email, i really enjoyed it. and i am just not surprised that you are 3 pairs of shoes richer... haha not at all. You should come to brisbane to do some shopping, there's tons of retro shops and specialty shops everywhere, i even saw a timbuctoo down town. but i'm glad that you are getting into service- there is NOTHING that is so rewarding as service. Keep at it. =)
Whitney, thanks for your email, and have fun with that new laptop of yours. :P I really appreciated your spiritual thoughts, definitely gave me something to think about.
and from the absense of an email from mom and dad im guessing that it probably has something to do with the music man being this week or something like that. so no worries. Also, i think ill be sending home a package this week, so ya'll can get ready to some tim-tam slamming. Dont waste them. they're like Gold. Ill include a video on the card i send home demonstrating how to do it. :P But ya, enjoy that. Anyway, I Love you all, and look forward to hearing how The Music Man goes. Be sure to send some recordings if you can. would LOVE to hear some of those things. Take care, be happy, and remember, there is a 5'8 missionary in australia with brown hair that is becoming blonde, getting a sweet missionary tan, and who is gaining weight (!!!) who needs your prayers. :) I'm praying for all of you. Thank you for all the prayers that have been said on my behalf.
Elder Tayler Christensen

Monday, July 13, 2009

week 2, transfer 2, email 2, companion 2

Hey family! well i got heaps of questions from ya'll so ill start with those-
1. Have you had the chance to give anyone the copies of our testimonies in a book of mormon? Do you need more copies? Not yet, but im giving out 2 tonight. as of yet, i dont need any more copies.
2. Any new investigators? YES! we contacted a referral who asked for a missionary visit just on monday, which i think i mentioned in my last email, and its a brother and sister, and they are getting baptized on the 25th or 26th. =)
3. What is your new companion like? He's awesome. he's very different from Elder Power, so that has taken some getting used to, but he's a great missionary, and i'm learning heaps from him.
4. Have you tried vegemite yet? Yes. its not horrible. its pretty much a ton of vitamin b. its pretty salty. not something ill miss.
5. Are you allowed to look at blogs, websites, or web albums? not really, but if its a link that takes me to some pictures, thats fine.
6. Are you guys riding bikes now? yes, our car is only part time now, so we're using the bikes for the second half of the week.

ok, and now dad's questions about my new comp.
Age: 19
Family: New Zealand (native) 2 little brothers, an older sister and younger sister.
interests: He's big into Rugby, likes basketball, and apparently has changed heaps since being out on his mission, and he's very focused. His interests include finding investigators, teaching investigators, and above all, BAPTIZING investigators. :)
home town: Hamilton, NZ
physical description (for Cara): Bout 6'2" probably about 190 lbs or so, polynesian, very fit, dark hair, brown eyes.
quirky things he does and says: wears a sweat shirt to bed, loves oatmeal for any meal... still finding that out. :P
What you love about him: His undying love for the work, for the people, and for the scriptures. I'm able to learn from him, and he's not above learning from me. helps the whole unity thing.

ok. wow. that was way long. anyway, i have had a very mixed week. its has been very hard, and very rewarding. as i said before, Elder Tuhoro is very different from elder Power, in his teaching and how he approaches people and such, so that has taken some getting used to, and i found that i was praying very earnestly for charity so i could get past all the little things and focus on the work. that seemed to help. so now we're doing loads better. we taught Daniel and Liliana 2 lessons this last week, and gave liliana a blessing because she was in the hospital for a kidney infection, and i was the voice (first time EVER). So i was pretty nervous, and in my head, i said, ok, going to have her heal really fast, and... ya. so i started the blessing, and promptly forgot EVERYTHING. talk about a stupor of thought. however, the blessing that came out of my mouth was not anything i would have imagined. She would have a normal recovery, and it would be a benefit to her, but i also talked about some things that she had told me earlier in the week that i had completely forgotten about, and just covered it all. I dont remember the whole blessing, but she was very appreciative. But i was even more appreciative. The lord has made a promise that if we will open out mouths, he will fill them. And that was exactly what happened. it was amazing.
Oh! and remember Jay? long time investigator? we set a date with him for the 25th!!!! I am so excited!! it will be so good! All the other investigators are doing pretty well, Gorgi is moving faster towards moving out so she can be baptized, so thats good.
another thing that i have been doing that helps with slammed doors, is realizing that people arent rejecting me, they're rejecting the message i share. for you, they're just rejecting the service you offer. Its nothing personal. and if it is, shame on them. Anyway, i'm so glad to hear about your missionary experience, i did know cody thompson, he was a good guy. but like you said, hopefully there will be some hearts softened so that Heavenly father can bless more of his children.
haha, pilates and yoga, i know EXACTLY how you feel. :P its not easy at all is it? :p but keep up the good work! tell Gabe happy birthday for me! Elder Tuhoro and i sang happy birthday to him over dinner on his birthday, so that was fun. :)
Collin- that sounds like an awesome high adventure, it must run in the family indeed. :P keep up the good work buddy. I really enjoyed your email, it has given me a boost of confidence that i really needed. thanks
that was an awesome email. I do know jacob, i used to babysit him. I am so glad to hear that he was being taken care of! only the Gospel can help people in that way, and i love that he had instant friends that helped him do everything! those are my sherwood boys.
Cara- no email this week? gyped! haha its ok, i know you're busy with the beach and stuff... :P love to hear from you.
whitney- dont worry! im sending a package home soon with pictures and everything. landscape as well. its a lot like oregon, pretty hilly, but not horrible.
ok, well my time is gone, so imma get on outta here. time to go grocery shopping! FOOD! YAY!!! i ran out of cereal this morning... good timing.
i love you all so much! have an awesome week, and dont forget to pray for missionary experiences!
Elder Christensen

Monday, July 6, 2009

July Transfers

Dear Family, friends, and... um... everyone else! :)
Wow, what a CRAZY week! we did so much, and yet so little. I'll give you the highlights first. Yesterday, monday, we found 2 people, brother and sister who just moved to australia from columbia, who went to church for 2 months before they moved, and we were able to immediately set a baptisimal date with them in 2 weeks time. Also, Gorgi expressed that she knew what she needed to do, and just needed to do it (move out). so we're very excited about that. We taught a guy named Pires from Brazil who's fellowship is none other than Elder smibert the area 70 and his son, Bishop smibert. He's Golden. We're looking at a 3 week baptism. :) I'm very excited for that. Also, after much anticipation and expectations, Elder Power got transferred and i stayed in brisbane city. However, now he's my Zone leader, so he didnt move too far. My new companion is the new district leader, he's Kiwi (new zealander), and his name is elder Tuhoro. Really cool guy, I'm really happy to be sesrving with him. Needless to say however, that both Elder power and I were shocked when we got the transfer call and they said that HE was leaving. EVERYONE was shocked. But, i consider myself blessed to have served with him, and that i get to stay here. :)
ok, the house keeping stuff- yes, everyone's emails needs to come through mom or dad, including stuff from siblings. And thank you whitney for changing it up so quickly. that made me day. If there is one thing i have learned, its that complete obedience is the only way that success comes. so, siblings, emails go to MOM, and then to me. and ya, probably should change those details on my blog. These are mission rules, so they're not in the white bible.
ok, i just have to say that i am SO happy that i got testimonies of prayer from like everyone! this week that has beenn something that i have really worked on, and i too have gained a greater testimony of prayer. its an amazing thing. This past fast sunday was especially good. i prayed for what to fast for, and 3 things came to mind directly. i fasted for 3 miracles. 2 having to do with investigators, and one, for Dad. I dont know what that miracle is, but hopefully it happens, cause it felt like he really needed it. so if anything happens, let me know! Also, im happy to hear that the biskeys are coming in august. Tell them to come to the brisbane ward, it meets at kangaroo point at 9 am. its next to the temple, so that should be an easy landmark. Also, yes, i have a tool down by my drum set that has like everything immaginable which includes, but is not limmited to, nail clippers, screw drivers, a flashlight, and scissors. I need it. it should be in the basket with the my drum sticks. :) OH, and by the way, i have some AMAZING pictures of the city at night, and some cool videos of the sunrise and such. I'll send home the SD card with the package that will be coming sometime this transfer. Ok, so i'll answer those questions now.
Are you happy and content? oh yes. i love missionary work more every day.
Do you love your companion? Elder power is awesome. yes, i love him. and Elder tuhoro, I already love that guy. he's awesome.
Do you feel good about your personal efforts so far? GQing is still hard for me. But i get better everytime i do it, my personal efforts have been my best. I get home every night completely exhausted, so i think thats good. :P
Do you have any new insights about your experience with your heart surgery? Yes, we had a long discussion about the need for a broken heart so that the lord can dwell in it, relating back to that EFY song about broken horses. I realized that my heart got broken in 2 ways at once, and one way i will never heal from, because it was the healing. my heart, although physically fixed, is permanently broken spiritually. it has been amazing to see how much more in tune with the spirit i have become. truly amazing.
Do you think your stamina has increased? YES, we play basketball and footie (rugby) on p-days, and for some reason, they always watch me close, cause apparently now im fast or something... :P who'd a thunk? but yes, my physicall stamina has increased dramatically.
anymore questions? no? ok. :)
Cara- thank you for your letter. I absolutely love hearing about stuff like that, and elder nichol and barret are still there?! yes! ask them about David smith and teffany. keep up the good work lil sister, and remember, you NEVER know who is ready, so take a leap of faith, and invite your best friends to church. It will be a blessing to you.
Collin- you better send me that recording of your john shmidt piece ASAP! i want to hear it! and keep up the good work brother, its hard, but it pays off!
oh, tell Eric that the mission is AWESOME!!! He'll love it.
Tell uncle craig to get better soon.
OH! by the way, i got that package on thursday! loved it! thank you so much for that! it made my day and week! :D ok, i gotta go now, but i love you all so much! I know i'm where i'm supposed to be, and i know without a shadow of a doubt that the church is true, and that it is the ONLY church with the fulness of truth on the earth today. keep up the good missionary work!
Elder Christensen
ps, i heard fireworks for a total of 4 minutes on the 4th of july. and i think those people had the cops called on them... oops. :P

Monday, June 29, 2009

long week...GOOD week =)

Family! Friends! HELLOOO!!!
Well, it has been a very, very busy week. Even since wednesday. Just as a heads up, next week is transfers, they happen every 6 weeks, and that will be on tuesday, which will also be p-day. so expect an email, which will likely be brief mondayish. =) ok, answers to questions

Where do you go to read e-mail?
Theres an internet cafe about 1 K from our flat.
Do you have a time limit?
the white hand book says an hour for email.
Can you print out letters and read them later?
yes, but i rarely do.
What are you doing for service?
anything and everything. We cleaned someone's kitchen just last week.
How many wards are you working in?
just one. it used to be 2 areas, with 2 sets of sisters. We replaced both of them, so we combined 2 area books, and 2 areas, and that has made things much bigger, and much easier.
How many meals each week do you eat with members?
it depends on the week, however the bishop and WML got together this week, and are making a meal roster for us that will have us being fed by members every night for the next 6 months or so. so thats exciting. :)
Are you cooking?
yes. :)
Is there any food you can't buy, that you're used to having?
WHEATIES. PANDA. ya thats pretty much all that i'm lamenting at the moment.
Well, as long as im talking about food, ill go ahead and tell you a few things that i HAVE been eating that will NOT be in the states. first, i had a kangaroo lasagna the other night, and found out that "fish and chips" translated from australian to american means "shark and really yummy french fries." yup, i ate SHARK. and there's no such thing as fries here- they're called chips. that was really interesting. Really yummy too.
ok, enough about food, how bout the work, right? WELL. :) we had a tracting day on saturday. This was elder Power's (brilliant) idea. So, we went tracting ALL DAY. but the lord blessed us. we had a lesson with the second person we talked to, and really didnt even get close with anyone else. but that was good, becuase it motivated us to keep going and get really excited about things. and then, just the night before, we had a recntly returned missionary invite us over for dinner. He's and AMAZING cook, and make us this really good chicken, with some toppings i've never heard of, and avacado, and whole grain mustard. Is there whole grain mustard in the states? cause its WAY good. oh. here i am talking about food again. ok, well, as long as im here again, its a good thing this is the last week of the month, because i just spent my last dollar today on groceries that will HOPEFULLY get us through the week- we'll see though. :P
Ok, well, we have one new investigator who we found tracting, his name is michael, he's pretty sincere, and i think he felt the spirit when we taught him. it was really good. we're seeing him again on thursday. i'm really excited. our other investigators are all the same as last week, and honestly we're kind of frustrated with them because they all want to learn more, but we've given them all the discussions, but one thing or another is holding them back from baptism. We're trying to help them but they aren't making it very easy, however, we did weekly planning for like 6 hours on friday. (and thats NOT an exaggeration) and we did some role plays of us to the investigators, and that turned out to be very helpful to us in determining the root concern in all of them, and then coming up with ways to resolve them. so this week, we're putting them to the test, and praying that they work. Some of them are VERY straight forward. so i'll let you know how those go. :)
haha, well there were a few very interesting people that we met while tracting, a few "born again" christians who had lots of bible references to use against us that they interpreted in some really interesting ways that i didnt quite understand how they came up with them. but really, their main argument was, "a bible! a bible! we have got a bible, and there cannot be any more bible (2 nephi 29:3)" amazing how accurate the Book of Mormon is.
one guy tried to give us his number and stuff so we could call him and he could help us be saved. It was entertaining and saddening at the same time. After a while, we finally had to say, no, we know what we know, and nothing will change that. full stop. (by the way, the term "full-stop" is equivalent to our, "period").
anyway, i have found that an emergency procedure has helped me through all of this. I ask myself some basic questions. "Is the book of mormon true?" uh, yep. "any questions?" uh, nope. "good." its become somewhat of a joke, but it works, and keeps us in good moods.
Also, this week Elder Power and I have had some very lengthy discussions about what Sin actually is, and what repentance actually is. Elder Power has done lots of research and study, and is only just scratching the surface. This morning, we talked about how at the root of all sin, there is a law that is broken, and at the root of all law, there is a punishment. there cannot be any law that is not enforced without a punishment. so punishment is the basis of all this. we read in d and c 19 about kingdoms of glory and who goes where, and we also went to d and c 76 and read about "eternal damnation" and "eternal punishment" Interesting that it says "never ending punishment" and not, "punishment without end." I'd tell you everything we got out of that, but I'll let ya'll study that one out and see what you learn. we learned quite a lot and spent an hour talking about it, so. there is much to be learned from modern-day revelation. :)
ok, well, i have to go. You are all in my prayers, I love you all so much!
Elder Tayler Christensen
ps- FAMILY. I need ya'lls mailing addresses! send em send em send em! (immediate, extended, pseudo, you name it. FAMILY)