Sunday, April 25, 2010

Hello to the North

Well hello my family and my friends!
I'm going to take the blame for there not being hardly mail in my inbox this week, because I told you transfers were this week, and as we all know, that means you all get an extra day before you write an email. However, I got a little surprise this week. during weekly planning on Friday, the AP's called elder Wulf and told him he was being shipped up north to Cairns, which is the furthest north you can go. then 10 minutes later they called back again, this time calling for me. they told me that I was going to a little place called Emerald. and when i say LITTLE, by golly that's what I mean. mind you, the area itself is massive, but we only do most of out work in the town, which is about as big as old town Sherwood, maybe a little bigger. so they told me that on Friday, and I had that night to pack and visit people so I could leave the next day. so I got on a train the next day, and 15.5 hours later, I arrived at 4:30 am in emerald- its a mining town- they mine coal and sapphires. its interesting. I got picked up by the branch mission leader, and taken to the missionary flat. I walked in, set my stuff down, talked to the elders there for like 5 minutes, then crashed out on their couch, and then I got up at 6:30 for a normal day. needless to say, I was exhausted. but we ended up watching conference at church... the whole northern zone gets the DVD's later than the rest of Brisbane. so we went to the first session, and then put the elder i am replacing on a bus back down, so he can be at transfer meeting tomorrow. so now my new companion is elder Mahoney, he's been out for 6 months. so this transfer should be good, and i'm pretty sure I'll be here for at least 4 months, cause that's how they generally do it when you go up north. so ya. but besides that, the rest of the week was pretty quiet. I started that study that president richards gave me about the conditionality of God's love, and learned heaps. I filled almost 2 pages of references only to mercy, and of those 2 pages, 6 references had no conditions in them. every other reference to mercy, especially in the Book of Mormon, had definite conditions attached to them. it was pretty intense. but dad, you're right, God's actual love isn't conditional at all, if you think about it in terms of does he love me, or doesn't he, but seeing Him manifest His love, is always conditional. that's just how it is. when we obey, and do what we're supposed to do, then we see the outpouring of his love. it's kinda a hard concept to wrap my head around fully, but I'm getting there. I have to think a bit differently than I have for most of my life, but it's proving to be very rewarding. well, that's the week. and I'm out of time, so I better finish up. I love you all so much!
Dad, hope your first Sunday as Bishop went well. let me know. love you.
Elder Tayler Christensen

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tayler Quin Christensen Tue, Apr 20, 2010 at 8:12 PM
To: Cindy Christensen , Quin Christensen
hellooooooooooooo family! and friends!
well, just to put your thoughts to rest, im not late emailing because of transfers. but that will happen next week. but i'm late because i went to the temple today! it was so great! today it was raining. and we have to take the train to the temple, and we still end up walking something like a mile from the train station to get to the temple. so needless to say, i got a little wet. and then got absolutely soaked afterwards. but the experience in the temple was awesome. i took my patriarchal blessing in with me, and read and prayed about it in the celestial room. talk about a feeling of comfort. there are parts of it that just leave me hanging and make me unsure about a few things that i thought i was sure about. but i got some peace today. the "everything will be ok" one. and then i had another unique experience. i've started to get past the point of not remembering parts of the endowment session, and started trying to figure out the symbolism of many things. I know that those things really only come by revelation. so i prayed for that, for understanding about things, and the funny and amazing thing was, that i fully believed that i would get an answer right then and there. and i did. its amazing how revelation comes. sometimes it comes through the scriptures, sometimes it comes from another person, sometimes random thoughts just pop into your head. in this case, 2 happened. some random thoughts came to me, then i directed myself to some scriptures. they didnt answer everything, but they helped fill in the gaps. now i'll just have to ask a temple worker or president Richards sometime. we'll see. but it was really good. :)

Happy 49 Dad! (man, in a year you'll be 50! thats OLD!!!) :P hope you had a good one dad. I love you.
ok, so now everyone else. Mum, how far away is the spring concert? what songs are the Chorale singing? How was the wedding? man, i saw that marriage coming from like a million miles away... mainly cause i had a heads up from whitney, but hey, still saw it coming. :)
Cara- that sounds great! I'll probably see elder Bartelt in about a week, so i'll let him know about Elder Wilde, and trevor! thats so great! he's finally getting into it! how awesome would that be to see their family get sealed?! that would be awesome. keep up your great work cara, you're doing great. and i KNOW the missionaries there are grateful for all that you do.
collin- i've had similar experiences with tennis... i got whooped 6-0, 6-0 by the #2 singles guy for OES. it was pretty sad i couldnt even return his serves... so ya, i know how that goes. keep it up though, you'll make varsity next year. who's all on the team?
Anna- you read the twilight saga? seriously, twilight?! :P well i'm glad you're getting into reading so much. it's good for ya. you should really pick up Louise L'Amoure though... i think that would be more universally accepted in our family... :P
whitney- back the rex are we? thats great. I hear there's still snow there. hope it's melted off for ya. oh, and you have a (small) package coming. :)
dont worry family, you've got one coming too... with every picture i've ever taken since you got the last SD card. i'm sending everything today.
anyway, i had better get going. I love you all so much! thank you for your prayers! heaven knows you're in mine. especially you, dad. :D
anyway, have a good one!
Love, Elder Tayler Christensen

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Great Conference and on

Hello family and friends!
wow, what a great week. It was still hard to get things moving this week, but we did get them moving. We taught a lesson or 2, and we have some solid potential investigators. So that should be good. Hopefully we'll be able to really get the teaching pool filled again. the highlight of the week was definitely general conference. I was able to attend every session. The priesthood session was my favorite, with elder Oak's talk and elder Rasband's talks as the favorites.They were really good. But my favorite talk out of the whole conference was president Monson's talk during the Sunday morning session. I have often heard that people can feel the spirit so strong that it brings tears to their eyes. to this point in my life, I thought I was a hopeless case of not being to ever feel the spirit that strongly. I proved myself wrong when I listened to that talk. now, I am quite aware that tears do not necessarily mean that one is feeling the spirit, but that was the spirit without a doubt. it was awesome. unfortunately, we weren't able to get anyone that we're working with to the conference, but most of them had something close a decent excuse. also, yesterday we had interviews with president Richards. they were really good. We had a good training from the zone leaders, and my interview with president was really good. I was reading my patriarchal blessing, and the paragraph that refers just to my mission said that I would learn to love the savior more than I could understand at that time. I realized that I hadn't progressed much on that. So I asked president how I could accomplish that. We've been reading the book of Mormon on assignment from him, and each time we have a different assignment. One of them was to go through and underline in red every reference to Christ. I finished that. So then he told everyone to go through and mark in a different color, all the doctrines and principles of the gospel. I'm almost done with that. So he then told me to go through and look at all the references to Christ and write down on a separate sheet of paper every one of them that has reference to the atonement. Now, there's lots of ones that are all about the same part of the atonement. So once you had all of them written down, you group all of the similar ones together. That will be the next assignment for the mission, but I'm getting it early, with a one add-on: I also have to go through and make another list of all scriptures with the love of God that have to do with Mercy, Grace, and Justice. The purpose of that is to show how God's love is NOT unconditional. In almost every case God's love is mentioned in the scriptures, it has Conditions attached to it. So I also get to go through and write down all of those. It's going to take the rest of my mission to get it all done, but it'll be an awesome study, and will hopefully increase my understanding of the atonement, and increase my love of the Savior, "far beyond what [I] can understand at this time." So I'm excited for that.
Anyway, the time runs short. I love you all so much! Let me know how things go with Rochelle's baby. I hope you're doing alright Rochelle!
Anyway, have a good week! Love you!
Elder Tayler Christensen

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


hello my family and my friends!
How are ya? sounds like this week has been a very busy one with the Annie production going on all week. that's good. i knew you would all do so well. you were in my prayers every night. I'm glad that it was such a great experience for everyone. what did Collin do? music or tech? anyway, this week has been really good for me. it was still to get everyone out the door, but i succeeded a bit more. we were able to actually get out and talk to people and i made an effort to talk to absolutely everyone. it was a good experience. nothing really came of it, but hey, gotta be consistent before God gives the blessings. I'm ok with that. we really only have one real investigator. its a less-active member's partner. she's catholic and has been asking HEAPS of questions. so we are having another lesson tonight. it should be good. we'll see how it goes. besides that, not a whole lot happened this week. although it was a very entertaining week. we asked Elder Gilbert if we could wax his legs, just because none of us had ever even seen it done before. elder Gilbert is a big Tongan guy- so there was a lot of leg to cover. we did it in 2 days because we didn't have enough time at lunch to do it all in one go. it was way funny- took pictures. we were all going to do it afterward, but due to our lack of experience, we ended up using all the wax on his legs. funny stuff. that was the funny story of the week. oh and guess what? my heart has been surprising me this week. I've found that its getting more and more easy to ride it up the hills and keep up with my companion. yesterday we were 20 minutes away from our flat with only 10 minutes to get there before curfew. we made it right on the dot. we were both nasty and gross, and my bike has no headlight on it- you can imagine how difficult that would be for me in a poorly lit area, but i just kept my eye on elder Wulf's tail light and stayed right on his 6 and it turned out to be good. he keeps forgetting that I'm night blind and so doesn't slow down, which turns out to be ok, because i don't have any trouble keeping up anymore! its great!
anyway, I'm glad yous enjoyed conference. i haven't seen it yet. we don't get it until next week. so it'll be good. and Trevor H. came for it? wow, that's pretty sweet. I love missionary work. member missionary work is the best. keep it up Cara. you're working miracles left and right. Anyway, i should wrap this up. time runs short.
I love you all so much! have a good week.
Elder Tayler Christensen