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