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