Monday, March 3, 2014

9 Months In ... and a Top 11 List

This week, specifically March 5th, is Ethan's nine-month mark on his mission -- huge milestone! We feel like the time is flying by! Ethan's letter this week was a list. Fun! Except for #1 and #2...scary, but thankful it's not worse / and so glad it didn't happen. So appreciate sweet friends and #3. Definitely need to discuss #11 with Ethan -- is this really a good idea? (#NoBueno) Item #5 is an inside family joke...we have a total obsession with watching the chubby babies at church, or anywhere, really. OK, yes, perhaps a unique family hobby. But "chubby" has become family shorthand for all kinds of endearments. Item #5 really says: "Andrew, I love you!" Item #8 made me pause. Ethan has been a loyal, passionate Green Bay Packers fan forever. In fact, as I write this, I'm wearing the GBP slippers he left home. They are way too big, but a fun reminder of him. So, his purchase made me smile and shows a great love of his adopted state! Overall, and most important, powerful training and experiences in #4 and #6 -- and great joy that the sweet family he and Elder Roth have been teaching will be getting baptized on March 9th. And finally, #10 -- is it really a "flock"? I think flock of seagulls, flock of geese (or is that a gaggle?)...but not so much about the deer. I'm going to have to look that up, it's just not sounding right -- please feel free to weigh in. :)

March 3, 2014


Holy sweet Israel this was by far the craziest week of the mission yet. Here are some of the smaller things:

1. A dog bit me. It was small bite and it didn't really hurt and I was riding my bike while it happened. When dogs come up, I normally just stick my foot out and try to give them a little tap on the nose or face to get them to go away instead of starting right off the bat just whaling them. So, I did that and it somehow caught on and bit my foot. So after it bit me I slowed down just a bit so it was directly next to me, and then I had to stomp the dog off. I’m totally fine though it wasn't very bad at all it just kind of surprised me that's all. There is no bruise or anything.

2. I was almost hit by two cars this week.

3. I got everyone's packages and I loved all of them!!! Please tell the Gawrys’ and the Brewer’s I say hi and thank you!!

4. We had a representative from the Missionary Department come and do a training for the mission on Friday, and it pretty much changed every single thing we do about missionary work. We are the 71st mission to have received this training. It's hard to explain it all over an email but it was HUGE news. We're now trying to teach 7 min. restoration lessons, and pretty much the way we teach now is so, so, so simple, and a bunch of other crazy stuff, but it is sooo cool. The things we learned are more advanced than the stuff in Predicad Mi Evangelio (Preach My Gospel lesson book), I can't even begin to describe how amazing they are. This is the vision that Pres. Hinckley had when PME first came out and they threw out the missionary discussions. Read D&C 88:74 or 75, or somewhere around there. The Lord is hastening His work right now, literally as we speak His work is hastening!! Save this email (well I hope you're saving all of them), but this week pretty much just changed me more than anything. I am so grateful to be a missionary for the Lord's Church and I am especially grateful to be a Texas McAllen Missionary. There is nowhere I would rather be than right here in South Texas. I love this place. I love these people. I love how hot it is. I love all of it! The vision that the Lord has for us right now is so beyond anything we can even begin to imagine, it's insane. But He qualifies us in our weakness and is with us every single step of the way as long as we are obedient to His commandments.

5. Andrew #Chubby

6. I had the most powerful lesson of my mission hands down and the P. family is getting baptized this Sunday. We had fasted and prayed so much for them and so what we decided to do was throw in the towel on the previous lesson and teach the new 7 min. restoration lesson. All we used was the restoration pamphlet and we only talked about the pictures, no scriptures, analogies, personal experiences…not any of that. (This might not make sense to y’all but it is crazy what the people from the Missionary Department told us about shortening the lessons and helping the investigators learn by the Spirit). So, we go in there and it was the most powerful, Spirit-driven lesson ever, oh my goodness, Sis. P. was getting choked up when she read the First Vision and I thought the room was going to catch on fire because the Spirit was so strong. And when we asked them about baptism, Bro. P. just says, "Not tomorrow, but for sure next week." And they all agreed. Oh my goodness!!!!!!!! I couldn't believe, I mean I was just on the edge of my seat and felt like if I had moved my pinkie everything would have fallen apart, oh my gosh it was just amazing!!!!!!! That was like the best moment of my life!!!!!!!!!!!! And so they are down for this Sunday, March 9, 2014!! So please keep praying for them!!

7. A member takes us out eat every Monday to an all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet and if I go there one more time I will literally throw-up everywhere. All I get there is a plate full of salad and chicken nuggets. It is so funny y’all would die, like everyone is eating with chopsticks and stuff and I’m all like: “uh, can you pass the ketchup?” hahaha

8. I bought Dallas Cowboy slippers at the store last week.

9. I don't know what I was sick with last week but I am 100% better now.

10. I saw a flock of deer while we were biking home one day.

11. I honestly believe I could bike for miles without touching the handlebars, I’m like a pro at it by now #NoHands

Les quiero muchisimo y hecho les ganas!!!!!!!!!!
Elder Christiansen.

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