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