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