Monday, February 24, 2014

"This Week Was Good But Way Hard"

Short note today...Doug, Andrew and I all could feel what a difficult week Ethan had experienced. Being not fun. Some disappointment and discouragement, broken appliances, and some wistful glaces at his favorite sport. It's an inspiring reminder to me about the sacrifice and dedication all missionaries give during their service. So humbling to think of more than 80,000 young people serving the Lord and their fellow human beings all over the world. Awesome.

February 24, 2014

What up fam?

This week was good but way hard. I got a letter from Brother Miller in the ward and it was super nice, tell him I said thank you. I also got two from Gar-Gar and that was nice, too. The P. family didn’t get baptized yesterday and it's complicated, but it stinks. Hopefully it will be this upcoming week though. Please continue to pray for them. Also, I was really sick on Saturday and that was no fun, too, and especially on the mission because I couldn’t go out and work ‘cause I was asleep for most of the day. But I am feeling a whole lot better now – I’m totally fine.

Haha – also we were biking the other day and a rat jumped onto Elder Roth's bike so that was pretty cool. Nothing much is happening here, like it just keeps on keepin’ on I guess. How is life at home? Oh, and our washer broke so now all our clothes are yellow. Haha, no just kidding – but the washer did break and we don’t know why, but we just did our wash at the member's house we live behind.

Hope baseball is going well! The high school here (Flour Bluff High School) had some games this week and when we bike by I’m always staring at them, haha. Also another missionary gave me the best orange tie yesterday, oh my gosh it’s not even that good of a tie but I love it, haha. Sorry this email is kind of short, but not too much happened this week.

Les quiero mucho!
Elder Christiansen

Monday, February 17, 2014

Obedience ... and Eating Pig Soup

Here's the news from the Bluff today. Ethan had an opportunity to speak Spanish again this week and loved it! And more new foods to try. Most important, he's excited about a family that is planning to be baptized and join the Church. He and his companion have been working with this family for several weeks, and they are excited to see a new happiness and purpose come into the lives of this entire family. And, he reminds us all to be obedient to God's commandments. Good encouragement from a great young man.

February 17

Querido familia,

This past week has been great! The P. family came to church yesterday and they planning on getting baptized this Sunday!!!!!!!!!!! So, I’m super happy about that. It’s also starting to get hot here again and I love it! One thing I have learned is that I love hot weather! It's all muggy and humid though, but it's all good. I can't believe its the middle of February already, ahhh!! Elder Roth is doing well – he is just like Tom from college. The area is going well, too. The wolf-pack is good as well.

A member of the Spanish Branch moved into our area so we met her and it was so fun, oh my gosh, it made me miss the Valley so much! (btw this is the 5th person I’ve spoken Spanish with that's not another missionary while I’ve been up here). So we met her and then a ton of members came over and they had all this awesome Mexican food and charo beans with chicharones (idk if that's how you spell it) but basically it's pig skin in soup and it wasn’t like super gross but I remember eating it and I was thinking, "uh, man this has a weird texture." It was so fun though ‘cause everyone was talking Spanish and it was so hot in her little apartment and you’re just eating with your hands and nobody cares, and oh man I loved it!!

We ride by a high school almost everyday and we go by the baseball field and they’re always out there practicing and it makes me miss it, too. Oh and I got Sister Overmyer's package, please tell her that I loved and thank you so much! Also Molly is engaged?!?! To who?! Tell her I said congrats! But, yea all is well down here en el sur de tejas! How is everyone at home? How's the extended family doing? Well, I love you guys and the gospel is true! However, we only receive the blessings when we are obedient to the commandments!! (Hence we prosper!) Disobedience just pulls us farther and farther away from the Lord so sean obedientes!!

Con mucho amor!!
Elder Christiansen

Monday, February 10, 2014

News from the Bluff ... Home of THE BEST Chocolate Chip Cookie!?

February 10, 2014

Hola Familia!

Sounds like everyone had a good week, minus dad being sick. That's super cool about Anne Parkes, too, tell her I say hi! This week has been good. The P. family didn’t come to church because the dad lost something, I don’t really know what, but they then came to a baptism that some other missionaries had Sunday night so that was good. Keep praying for them that they will get baptized.

Hahahaha its mucho muy (no "e") bien and you’d just say muy bien probably, haha. It’s all good though. I know I heard about Trot I’m so excited and happy for him, he is going to do so great up there!!! Wow, yea, the time does fly, but thankfully we have the gospel and we know exactly where they are right now (read Alma 40:11-12).

This week was good though, not too much happened again but it’s been good. Oh, actually I gave a 2-month-old baby a blessing so that was a cool experience (super little and chubby and round). Oh, and there is a family in the ward I’m in right now (Flour Bluff Ward) and they make THE BEST chocolate chip cookies, oh my gosh there are AMAZING!!!!! Like, oh, my gosh they are so good I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing they are!!! Also, I forgot my cord this week so no pictures :( But give Andrew an abrazo (hug) and that will make you feel better :)

We found out about transfers yesterday morning and I’m staying in Flour Bluff with Elder Roth for another 6 weeks (I’m happy about that). Life is good and the mission is beast! Oh, also I gave a 20-minute talk on the Book of Mormon in the YSA (Young Single Adult) Branch in the Stake yesterday so that was fun, too. And we have food appointments lined up for every day for the next two weeks except one day. #Yes #TheLordProvides.

I love y’all so much!
Elder Christiansen

Notes from me: So this letter made me smile so much. Ethan is so excited about friends coming home from missions and leaving on missions (Anne Parkes recently returned from Oklahoma City, OK, and Trot recently called to Vancouver, Canada). He's giving helpful tips on my Spanish :) And he also made a sweet comment about Feb. 9 being the 40th anniversary of Grandpa Page's and Uncle Danny's passing (my dad and brother), thus, sharing the scripture in Alma that says: "Now, concerning the state of the soul between death and the resurrection -- Behold, it has been made known unto me by an angel, that the spirits of all men, as soon as they are departed from this mortal body, yea the spirits of all men, whether they be good or evil, are taken home to that God who gave them life. And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of those who are righteous are received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise, a state of rest, a state of peace, where they shall rest from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow."

And, I loved the chocolate chip cookie reference! The day we got this letter, I had just wrapped up a gift for a friend -- a cute little tea towel that said "Friends are the chocolate chips in the cookie dough of life." So true! And so sweet that Ethan's letter went right along with that. I'm so glad he has friends and church members in Flour Bluff who are taking care of him, being kind to him, and baking him chocolate chip cookies! :) And glad he's staying in Flour Bluff for another six weeks! 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Riding Against the Wind in Flour Bluff

Here's Ethan's letter from today:

February 3, 2014

Mis amigos,

Man these past few weeks have been great! One thing about my area now: it is right on the Bay in Corpus Christi, so there are days when it is winding super hard, and that is a blessing when it's behind you and just pushing you on the bike. However, going against the wind is so hard it's ridiculous. We were riding against the wind one day and it took us 50 minutes to get to our appointment! The weather is really weird, like one day it’s 45 and the next it’s 70 and clear so it depends. I can’t wait for it to heat up again. I love it down here when it’s hot!

The work is going great though, I love it so much and it is just so much fun! We are teaching a family right now and yesterday was their first time coming to church and they loved it! That was by far the highlight of the week! They have two small kids who were going nuts during sacrament meeting and being super loud but, they came! That was the most important.

Being a missionary is awesome. Every day you just never really know what you're going to get, who you're going to talk to, or what crazy things will happen. It's just the best! There is also a huge military base in my area so there are always planes flying around everywhere so that's pretty cool, too. I spoke Spanish to some people this week as well! (my new area is mostly English speaking).

All in all I'm doing great. It is such a blessing to see the Lord work in my life everyday and I know that this is possible for each one of us. Love y'all! Sorry this is so short but I have to go, we don't get much computer time today. If you're having a bad week, start saying your prayers!

Cuidense y come bien andrew,
Elder Christiansen