Monday, January 24, 2011

Tracting...and More Tracting

hello my family and my friends!
well this week has been pretty good. to put it the Aussie way, i've been getting "stuck in to it". really, this week has been full of finding. lots of tracting. lots of GQing. and very little teaching. its been kind of frustrating, but then, Gympie is a tracting area. always has been. so at least i'm not surprised about it all. and hey, i've been getting some of the best sleep i've had in a long time. its been so long since i've come back to the flat utterly exhausted. kinda funny. but it's good. Elder Holland told me on the first day of my mission to go home on a stretcher. well... if i keep this up, i just might. :P dont worry mum, i'm fine. anyway, the sun has been out, it has been getting hot, and getting to be more like last summer. so i'll start getting a mean as missionary tan. so ya, this week we went on trade-offs with the district leader. we live like an hour away from them though, so they came up for the night. it was fun. the next day, we all worked in gympie, and both sets of us were doing heaps of tracting. i was with the district leader, elder Jensen, and we had a very interesting day. we met a a guy in this really sad complex... we think it might have been drug-recovery complex, but the guy had smoked or drunk or drugged himself out of is mind. he still had his faculties, but he must have been like 60, and was speaking and acting like a 5-year-old, and he couldnt read. my heart went out to him, and i was shocked at the poverty of the people in this place... it was so sad. i wanted to help them, but they were there for a reason- they didnt want out help. it made me appreciate all the blessings that i have. i've taken so much of the blessings in my life for granted, and its sickening to me how thoughtless i have been sometimes. really opened my eyes. then after that, we tracted into a guy who was massive, and had a few mental issues- not crazy, just a few things he has deal with. he's been taught before, and even had a book of mormon, and said that he had prayed before, and recently his prayer had been for help to cope with his relapse back to his issues. to which we responded that we were the answer to his prayer. we could help him quit smoking, and get back on track, so its good. anyway, my time is up, so i have to get going. i love yous so much! have a good week.
Elder Tayler Christensen

Monday, January 10, 2011


hello my family and my friends!
well, this has been an interesting week indeed. first of all, I'll let you all know that i am totally safe from flooding, although Gympie is getting hit pretty hard. we are affected a bit, in that there are a few bridges between south side, which is where we live, and the other side, which is where the rest of town is- all the shops and the library and stuff. and the last bridge went under water last night. so we're stuck on south side. however, we saw it coming, and we prepared, and bought extra food and supplies, and whatnot, so we're all good. plus lots of the members live on this side of the river, so we have a good support network. and yes, all the rumors you have heard about the flooding in northern QLD are true. the area that is covered by water is bigger than Germany and France combined- or more than the entire state of texas. Emerald was hit pretty hard. the missionaries there were evacuated, but the water only came like 2 or 3 inches over the floor for them, and they are living out at the Watene's place which is like a little island right now. so as far as i know, the people that i know in Emerald and Rocky are alright, but there is heaps of clean up to do. as far as i know, no one has been evacuated out of home in Gympie YET, but we'll see. right now, the river is 17.3 metres deep, as compared to it's usual 2 or 3. so its REALLY flooded. we've been taking heaps of photos and video, so it will be well documented. ANYWAY, this week has been fun. i met most of the members from the visits we did and also because there was a wedding that we were meant to help at, for a few members of the ward. so i met lots of people. then sunday they asked me to speak for 5 minutes by way of introduction, even though only like half the ward showed up because of the floods. but then the second speaker didn't show up, so they asked me to try and make it a bit longer, like 7 minutes- i tried to do it, but i just couldn't keep it that short... haha JUST kidding, i think i barely made 3 minutes, but it was all good, because the third speaker had a long talk. and it was really good. we also did a few hours tracting in the rain, because it pretty much rained non-stop all day every day. oh, and just for you geographically confused people, Gympie is only 2 hours north of brisbane, as compared to the 15 hours emerald is away from Brisbane. and we had to drive to district meeting on a thursday, which is an hour's drive on the crappiest highway i have ever driven on. and then on the way back, it was also pouring rain. so i could barely see, and i had to keep up with traffic, which was still doing like 90, and i wanted to cry. it stressed me out a bit, but we made it home safe, and i was smashed. it tired me out. so that was fun. then we also had 2 lessons this week. one was with a younger couple called Cameron and Naomi, and they were really good, and they were planning coming to church but they weren't able to because of the floods, so that was o.k., but they are also reading and praying about the book of Mormon, which is good. we also had a lesson with a lady called Celine, who was very receptive, and invited us back next week, and committed to read and pray about the book of Mormon. so things are going well on the proselyting part of things. anyway, that's pretty much the week. oh and mum, you're right, the post and trucks cant get in or out of Gympie, the main hwy is closed, so ya... it'll be a little while before any mail comes through. anyway my time runs short. but it is going well for me, so don't worry! we're safe, and we're still able to work. life is good. :D ok I love you guys so much!
Elder Tayler Christensen

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Christmas Phone Call

Tayler--Elder Christensen, called us on Christmas day in the evening, and right before church for him. We had him on speaker phone with Rochelle and BJ on one cell phone, and Marissa and Richard on another cell phone and we recorded the whole thing. He sounded so good! Here's the highlights of the phone call:
  • Christmas Day (the day before) He had breakfast at the YM pres house, lunch with some widows, dinner with the Burlowitz(?) family, and evening with the Gilgan family. He said he got his package with us on Monday, and opened the non-wrapped parts of it, and it was his mission party that day, so that was fun. Apparently customs unwrapped the Wheaties box though, so he got that before Christmas, and had much of it eaten by Christmas! He said he hadn't sent his Christmas package to us yet, but he told us the gifts he had purchased. We're looking forward to receiving it. He said he was reminded it was Christmas when he went into people's homes and saw their decorations, but since it's summer it really felt different. The weather was "dumping cats and dogs", so it felt kind of like home, but not really. He said not everyone has a Christmas tree, and most people don't put anything on top, like a star or angel. They go to the beach, swim and have BBQ's. The dinners he had had cool ham and turkey instead of warm meat.
  • Missionary Days--they study in the morning till 10 AM then go tracking or GQing (Golden Questioning on the street) for 2 hours. For GQing they go to bus stops--especially over by Robina Town Center, and parks and also talk to people they see when they are out biking. They also visit less active and part member families. They try to do service, and it's usually yard work for widows. There isn't as much to do as in Emerald. They usually have dinner with members 5 days of the week. They always leave a spiritual thought like asking everyone their favorite scripture. He shares Ether 12 and his heart surgery story, or does a object lesson with kids where they blow a crumpled paper ball around, then a rock, and he reads Helaman 5:12 about building on a rock and withstanding the devil's mighty winds. They also play Bible Dictionary Baulderdash and compare that to Joseph Smith not guessing to translate the Book of Mormon. Sounds like good family-missionary interaction to me! He said they also add to a book they are making with ward member pictures, hobbies, interests and availability for teaching in their homes. This leads them to ask members who they know that could be taught. He says they have a lot of ward activities, and they encourage members to invite their friends to them.
  • Funny Stuff--Recently they road their bikes in the rain to a members house. They were so muddy and soaked they had to change into Bro. N's clothes. Sister N. said she would get the stains out for them, so they road home with Tayler in a shirt that looked like a night shirt since it was so big on him, and his companion had Abercrombie and Fitch sweat pants on.
  • Interesting Australian slang, "giver 'er a fair suck at the siv" or "give a fair shake at the sauce bottle" both mean give a fair chance. "Chuck a turn" means "take it easy". Red heads are blueys. He think it's funny that little kids say "be your pardon". Some people have said he sounds "oddly", but he's all for dropping the "American r's". He can really notice it on the missionaries fresh from the states, and it bothers him. Ha ha. He informs us that the proper way to say Australia is Ustralia, not AHstralia He has an Australian slang dictionary.
  • He said there was a baptism in Emerald 2 weeks after he left. It was a self referral that came from Rock Hampton, and he had only met with them once. He felt that Eli would be baptized soon. (editorial note--he got transferred before that happened).
Although this past year wasn't filled with baptisms it was filled with a lot of teaching, and a lot of growing and working hard. We are so happy for the experiences Tayler has had on his mission, and for the wonderful example he has give us. It was great to hear his voice on Christmas.

He will be coming home on March 30, 2011.

Happy New Year Transfer

hello my family and my friends!
well, this has been a VERY exciting week. NOTHING like i expected. we had transfers today, which is why i didnt email yesterday. and the news is that i got transferred?! ya, i was incredulous. i was absolutely sure i was dying in mudgeeraba, but no, elder prina gets to have 9 months there- with a trainee. anyway, now, i am in a little place called Gympie. its as far north as you can go, and still be part of a stake, and not be in the northern zone. its a very interesting place. nothing like gold coast. my new address is: 2/12 loder st. Gympie, QLD 4570. so Elder Prina knows where to send it if you've already sent stuff, and for all future mail, just send it to that address. oh, and i'm back with Elder Itaea, the one rom kiribati that i was with in forest lake. :D

anyway, we had a mean as lesson with jade this week. he's progressing very well. He's making friends, and he's excited about learning. its working out very well. he will get baptized. we dont have a date for him yet, but they'll get it. that was about the only exciting thing that happened.

new years was good, we stayed up for it, and then missed it because we were talking and making a new area map- its laminated! pretty sweet. anyway, new years day was really fun- we spent the day cleaning a little bit, and then a member of the ward, brother Gilgen, took us to his studio, and elder prina has written a parody to a creed song called "6 feet from the edge" and re-named it, "six months from the end of my mission." its not a trunky song. i sent the link for the music video, which we also had a blast making. so that was our new years day.

anyway, i'm running short on time, so i'll talk to yous all later! i'm sure i'll have lots to report next week.
love you all so much!
Elder Tayler Christensen

Elder Prina's Parody Song