Sunday, May 30, 2010

Tracting in the Rain

Hello Family!
Well, its been just another week here in emerald... nothing too exciting... Got some sort of food poisoning again on saturday... that wasn't fun. spent all day with a majorly cramped up stomach, ... it was yuck. but that was the worst of it. we were only able to teach one investigator this week... i'm sure you'll know what im talking about when i tell you we were SUPPOSED to have like 8 lessons this week with investigators, but as luck would have it, they all cancelled on us excpet one. but it was a good lesson. His name is Collin, he's in his early 50's and he a miner. I think he does both Coal and Sapphires. anyway, we had a lesosn with him where we watched the restoration DVD, and he really liked that. it really appealed to him. so we have another lesson set up for this coming wednesday. hopefully all our other appointments for this week actually go through. we'll see though. oh! on tuesday it rained and poured ALL day, and once we got soaked, we had a ball riding through puddles, drifting around corners, and hitting trees so that they let a lot of water fall on each other. but we got a lot of good work done that day, and tracting in the rain certainly has it's blessings. it was a good day. so that was basically the hightlight of the week. the rest of the week was basically a finding week. we didnt really do much else. but we had a bunch of less-active lessons and yesterday at church, 3 less-active members we were absolutely sure we would never see at church all showed up! it was great! and the branch just took them under their wing, and it was just great! but that was basically the week.
sounds like all yous had a fun week- rain is fun... exept for when its cold. yuck. and cara, you have fun in Disneyland. that sounds like fun, and come to think of it, i think you actually have mentioned it before. have fun. :) Anna banana, you're funny. and dont worry, its ok to miss a week of email. oh, Marissa, i got your letter last week and i just sent the reply today, so you should be getting it in like a week or so. Whitney, i still havent gotten your letter yet either, but it should be coming soon. Dad, i know EXACTLY what you mean when you say you wish you could pound the power of the atonement into some thick skulls... probably not in the same you deal with it, but still... its frustrating, ay?
anyway, its getting to be that time. time to go. sorry this email wasnt very entertaining. :P but i'll talk to yous next week!
love you all!
Elder Tayler Christensen

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Stacked the Bike

Hello Family and Friends!
well, it has indeed been a very interesting week. sounds like it was for you too. as for the rain, i've forgotten what it looks like. :( we had it sprinkle here one day, but that was basically it. it was sad. man, that father's and son's sounds like so much fun! its been ages since i was able to actually get dirty in the dirt and the mud. and cara, whats this about you going to disneyland with your friends?! i must have missed that memo, HOW did you pull THAT off? haha well i hope you have fun. dont do anything i wouldnt do. :P

anyway, yes, this week has been fun. on wednesday i stacked my bike for the first time on my mission! :P it was a lame stack though, i wasnt even going fast, and it only happened because i wasn't going fast enough to take my hands of the handle bars and i did anyway, and my front wheel did like a 160, which stopped the bike, but not me. Luckily, i came away with only a bruise on my left hand, a small road rash on my right hand, and some light scrapes on my arms. but, it wasn't nearly as scary as the last time i fell off a bike (and a cliff). Also, i got chased for the first time by a big dog. But i remembered a bit of training at Dad's office and i just swatted his head away with a Book of Mormon, which seemed to stop everything. Elder Mahoney got a kick out of the whole thing.

I also gave a 15 minute talk at church yesterday- assigned on saturday. turned out to be 18 minutes, and it wasnt anything extremely special, but it did the job. Its pretty sweet when you give a talk based on about 6 lines of notes that lasts for as long as you need it to. Apparently it was very well received. I just commented on elder Oakes' talk using my surgery story as the example. it was good. :)

anyway, we didnt get to teach much this week, but i dont remember if i talked about Tim in my last email or not, but we met him last sunday, and we had an appointment scheduled with him for thursday. so on tuesday, we were tracting around where his fellowship lives, and decided to knock on his door, and he invited us in, and told us that he had been meaning to call us all day, to reschedule the appointment for that night, because both he and Tim would be in the Solomon Islands starting Wednesday. lovely how the lord works. we werent even going to tract his street, but we decided to for some reason. anyway, we had another lesson with another investigator, then booked it back to teach this lesson, which went really well. Tim is really good, and very sincere. we'll see how it all goes. but he really liked us, and decided to take us out to dinner at Eagle Boys. (pizza shop) we also learned a lot of cool things about him, like he's ex-CIS (equivilent of our CIA) he knows Josh Groban personally, and for you siblings, you know the song "Home" by Doughtry? came out like a little over a year ago? ya, he wrote it. and there's another song that i've never heard before, called "Kiss the Rain" that apparently made it pretty big, he worte that too. so he's a talented guy, and very interesting.

So that's basically been the week. on Saturday we did basically a full day of service. we helped a lady in the branch put up a shade cloth on her back veranda, which meant that i got to climbe on the roof :D and we did that under the direction of Bother Watene, who happens to be like the coolest member here, and then since brother Watene does so much for us, and since he has had a back injury as of late, we mowed one of his lawns- he lives on a bunch of land. but i got to use a riding lawn mower, :D and the field was very dusty, so I got REALLY dirty :D. so it basically made my week to get out and do my kind of labor. amazing how much satisfaction i got out of working, especially for the benefit of others. it was just great.

I also started that study on the atonement of Jesus Christ. I'm writing down all the references to the Atonement that are in the Book of Mormon, and seperating them afterward based on if they talk about WHAT happened or WHY it happened. I havent quite finished 2 Nephi, and i already have like a page and a half of references the Atonement. its going to take a LOT of paper. :) which is kinda the point. anyway, that was the week.

anyway, thats the week, i hope you all have an amazing sunday and an amazing week!
love you!
Elder Tayler Christensen

Monday, May 17, 2010

Happy Birthday Anna

G'day my family and friends! what a crazy week this has been! I loved talking to you all, and hearing your seemingly VERY American accents. i dont know if i sounded any different, but dont worry, i was being sorta self conscious about it, and i am further along with it than i sounded on the phone. :) And Anna banana! Happy birthday babe! you're like what, 21 now? haha jk, 12! ears pierced and make-up?! oh dear, you'll have to send some photos of that, i'm just not seeing it- not my baby sister. well, i hope you have a good day today, and that your first day of young womens was a fun one. :) anyway, if there was a vote, or if my vote counts for anything, i vote we keep the tractor for mowing and rototilling, and maybe it will last for more than a year. :P just my vote though. Cara, congrats on your scholarship and making honour court. thats pretty sweet. :)
anyway, this week was interesting. we had zone conference. normally, zone conference includes a couple of zones at one place, all of which travel something like 40 minutes max to get there. zone conference up north, is very different. we got on a bus thursday afternoon, arrived in Rockhampton 3 hours later, got to go play some laser tag with the other missionaries besides myself, had dinner at the chapel with some members, then we all went to the rockhampton missionary flat. with 8 missionaries in one flat, they had a bunch of inflatable mattresses that we all slept on. now, the next morning was hectic. between 6:30 and 8, 8 missionaries had to shower, iron shirts, and eat breakfast. One shower, one iron one and a half litres of milk. we're lucky we made it. zone conference was held in a class room at the chapel, and we all fit around a couple tables. the training was done by president and sister richards, and it was REALLY good. president gave a really good training on the "Doctrine of Christ" it was way good. i really liked it, and learned a lot. And we also had interviews. My interview was really good. I ran my theory about the love of God that i told you on the phone past him, and he confirmed it. So, I did something right in that study. :) so now i have started the next study, which has to do with the atonement of christ and WHY it happened. so it should be good. um... OH! i ended up conducting sacrament meeting yesterday. it was interesting, and kinda nerve racking. our branch presidency were all gone, or sick, and we had district speakers there! (the equivalent of high council speakers). But, it went alright, and in a small branch like that, no one really minded. and i actually know everyone who was there, so it was all good. Anyway, thats basically it for now. I love you all so much! have an awesome week.
Elder Tayler Christensen

Monday, May 3, 2010

New Area--One Year this Week

Hello my family and My friends!
This week has been awesome. the area is massive, but there's long stretches of nothing between the towns that are in the emerald branch, so we just stay in emerald, and we are full-time bike. no car. but emerald is small, so it takes like 10 minutes to bike from one end to the other. no worries, plus, it's good for me, my heart is in fact doing much better now. i have a lot more endurance. and as for being out for a year already... technically thats not for another 2 days the 5th of may. i'm not terribly excited for it though, because if there's one thing i have learned while i am out here, it is that i love being a missionary, and the thought of coming home is... scary and uninviting- not anything to do with the family, i just cant picture myself as not a missionary... it weird now, wearing p-day clothes... kinda feel naked. and they told me that when you get realeased, they tell you take off your badge... might as well rip an arm off! Bleh! but ya, not that i'm not excited to see yous but, man... scared. so ya, i'm stomping on the brake at the moment, hoping that time will go a bit slower, but as we all know... the first half to the mission goes slow... not the last half... but i'll be in denial that i have to go home at all til i get there... just because, i have grown so much. i know the pictures make it look like all fun and games, but the reason why i dont have pictures of the work is because you dont feel like stopping while you work. you want to get as much done as possible, and so getting pictures of the work happens only rarely... its an amazing thing to feel the spirit testify of little things you say to people, even when it's not land mark stuff- just little things like, "i know this gospel can make you happy" and "the book of mormon can bless your life in more ways than you could count." its just amazing. the fear of people is gone, "for perfect love casteth out all fear." i wont say that my love for the people here is perfect, because its not yet, but i'm leaps and bounds ahead of where i was at the beginning of my mission. anyway, some interesting stuff that has happened this week- got accosted by a big group of aboriginal Kids asking fo rmoney... we're not allowed to give out money, so we had to say no, but they wouldnt leave us alone... finally a cop pulled over and the kids scattered... i dunno if thats a common practice of theirs, but apparently they can get in big trouble for it... got actually threatened the other day, but it was by a drunk guy who couldnt really stand up straight... but the best part was teaching a guy called Rod. he's wasy cool, pretty young, and has accepted most everything we've taught. he may have a word of wisdom issue, but seriously, who doesnt in australia? but i think we'll be able to hit it on the head here pretty quick. we're on the verge of a couple other baptisimal dates with some kids of an eternigator, but so far we have just been doing a lot of finding, and getting to know the members... there arent that many, i've already met almost all of them. it's a pretty tight-nit branch- like unto a dish- :P and the meeting house.... haha i'll send you a photo, it's tiny, but it's respectable... it's an old fish and chips shop... but ya. anyway, thats been the week... oh! and i'm almost done with the study that president gave me, and i figured out the difference between mercy and grace- yes, there IS a difference... but i'm running it by president richards before i tell everyone just so i make sure i'm right... but it was an awesome day when i figured it all out. :)
anyway, my time is running out, I love you all so much! mum, good luck with your concert this weekend, you're in my prayers! and Cara, dont worry, I got a 3 on the english AP Test- and we all know you can do at LEAST as good as me, so dont worry about it. :D
ok, love you all!
Elder Tayler Christensen