Monday, September 29, 2014

Stoked for Conference ... and Seeing the Ripped Pants

Muy buenas,

This past week was another fantastic week! It has rained a ton here and our car is running real tight on miles so we have had to bike everyday for the past week and a half or so and everyday we just get poured on – it’s really fun, though! Man, a new bishopric, no way?!?!?!?! You know you’re on your mission a long time though when a new bishopric comes in and you don't know any of them...pretty crazy, huh? Wow, Ensworth lost to McCallie? What?! Yea, I'll probably have the Marine cut for the rest of the mission at least, but who knows what will happen after (mullet maybe?!? jk). The food is still great and I love it so much. Yea, I told all the wolf pack how I ripped my pants and they all just loved it. They are all doing well.

Alex isn’t really progressing so that is sad but it's ok because we did a good job with him but we can’t force him, just invite. Oh, and we were at the Fuentes’ house the other day and el Hermano Fuentes told us that he finished reading the whole Book of Mormon!!!!!!!!!!! And he was only baptized a little over a month ago!!!! So that was pretty exciting. They are doing great and they love the gospel.

Hey, someone send some pictures of Andrew. I love y’all so much and get STOKED for conference this weekend, let’s go!!!!!!!! This is seriously like the best time of the year as a missionary, it can't get here any faster!!!!

Amor y paz (“love and peace”),
Elder Christiansen

"This is the picture of me and my torn pants. The orange that you see is my orange
Ensworth shorts; I had to put them on underneath to take the picture."

"And another!"

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Ripped Pants ... and Love the Scriptures


This week was just another great week to be a Texas McAllen Missionary! Life is good and it’s still so humid that it's actually rare if I am not sweating between the hours of 12-9. It's a blast though!

This past weekend was stake conference here and it was a lot of fun. I learned a lot of cool things. We also had zone conference this week as well and that was a blast, too. Presidente Maluenda started this new system to help us teach more effectively and use the scriptures more often. So everyday for 2 hours, aside from our studies, we are now doing role-plays, which help us practice to teach. Por ejemlpo (“for example”), I would be the missionary and Elder Thorton would be an investigador (“investigator”) and I would practice teaching him a lesson or something. So that's exciting and I'm looking forward to it. Alex who we’re teaching, is doing well. Just keep praying for him and for that miracle.

'If only this was our car!"

"The beautiful sunset in Hidalgo!"
Oh, ok, here is a funny story that happened this past week. So I went on an exchange with another elder in his area. And during the day we helped a women move some things out of her house down the street to her hijas (“daughter’s”) house. So there are a few of us missionaries there helping, and I squat down to pick up this box. And I don't know if I went down too fast or what, but right as I land in my squatting position I hear this huge tear. And I immediately pop back up and my face turns redder than a tomato because I had just ripped my pants! The tear was from a couple inches below where the zipper ends, all the way down and around to my belt loop on the backside. Just like a wide-open gaping hole – can you believe that?! Elder Renshaw and Elder Wright then just started dying laughing, too, because it was super funny. Helping with the move was the last thing we had planned for the day, so it wasn’t a problem because we just went home – but it was really funny. And no, I don’t need more pants because I still have 5 pairs that are doing just great.

The mission is great though I love all the incredible things I am learning. I love reading the scriptures each and every day because they make me happy and I feel better as I read them cada dia (“every day”). I love y’all!!!

Con amor (“with love”),
Elder Christiansen

Monday, September 15, 2014

Jesus Christ ... Our Perfect Example

Commentary from Ethan today -- getting a new retainer (his broke); congrats to Andrew on a student government election at school; congrats to 12-year-old cousin Nick, an amazing mogul skier who was invited to compete in a cool indoor tournament in England this week; and a shout out to the 'Dores for a win! I especially like his thoughts about Jesus Christ as a perfect example -- such a beautiful commentary. And love the flag ties!


Sounds like a great week! This week has been good as well! We are working with a boy named Alex – his family was already baptized, but he wasn’t at that time and now is slowly accepting the gospel so pray for him!

I went to the dentist today to get my new retainer (the dentist is actually a bishop up in Mission, TX, so that was cool). They took some impressions and he said he would call me when they are ready. Being a DL is great, I love my district they are just the best. I do not need anything I am doing great :) Nothing really too crazy happened this past week. There were a few huge storms so that was wild and there has been tons of flooding, too. Our car was more like a boat – haha. We all wore ties with the American flag for 9/11 as a sign of respect. 
"With Elder Young, one of my roommates,
wearing our American flag ties on 9/11."

That's super cool about Andrew!! Glad I’ll be there to hear him speak at graduation!! And a Vandy win – awesome! That's really cool about Nick, too, like wow...can't wait to watch him in the Olympics. The Fuentes family is doing great as well – they love church and the gospel so that's good (and they feed us a lot – also good :) 

I know that Jesus Christ is our perfect example and if we follow Him we will always be led to more happiness and peace in life, no matter what circumstances or challenges we are facing. I got a letter from Papa Clair that I really liked. It talked a little about Uncle Jay's funeral and then about the Atonement. Oh, and you have to tell Silvia and Janet this: I LOVE moley, oh my goodness it is just the best dish! I had it like 4 or 5 times this week at different people's houses, and it was amazing every time. I can't believe it is starting to be fall now, either! All is well though, I can't complain. I love y’all so much!!

Con amor (“with love”),
Elder Christiansen

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

An Encounter with U.S. Border Patrol

Elder Christiansen's adventures of the past week. He is loving his mission! He's also serving in an area of many contrasts, challenges, and conflicts, and he is seeing and experiencing life on the U.S. Mexico Border in unique ways. Thanks for your continued prayers for Ethan, and missionaries who serve all over the world. He loves the Savior and recommends a video for everyone to watch -- see below. Also -- some photos that made him and us smile! Ethan's buddy from freshman year, Ian Nobmann, currently an LDS missionary in Argentina, exploring the area wearing an Ensworth shirt Ethan gave him.


Another fantastic week! And transfers! Elder Thorton and I are staying in Hidalgo, though, but we are getting a new missionary companionship in our district so that is cool! Also, I got pulled over for the very first time in my life last night...and it was by U.S. Border Patrol! It wasn’t a big deal though, so before y'all even start worrying you can stop. We pulled over on the side of the road next to this cotton field in our area because we needed to make some calls. And we were there for about 10-15 minutes. So we’re done and we leave to go to someone's house (it's around 8:00 last night, by the way) and the whole drive there I was thinking: “man I think this border patrol van is following us this is weird.” And so we turn into the neighborhood and he turns his lights on and I'm thinking, "oh my gosh what is it with me, Elder Thornton, and the police these days? Just give us a break!" But he comes up to the door all sketchy and is yelling at us to roll the window down. So we do and he walks up and you could just see his face change when he saw that we were both LDS missionaries. So he checked our IDs and then told us that the field where we pulled over is big pick up place for illegal border crossings, and then that was all. He was cool but it was pretty funny I was trying hard not to laugh!

We helped a member move on Saturday and I was wearing my Vandy shirt and he just goes, "Yea Vandy got worked by Temple yesterday." Oh man!

The mission is going by so fast ahhhh – I hate how fast it's going! Oh yea and I got the cookies from grandma today...SO GOOD, THANKS! They were delicious and our apartment just scarfed them down. The mission is great though I can't complain at all. Elder Latu got transferred out so that was kind of sad because we got super close, but it's all good. All is well. The Savior is the key in everything and I am so eternally grateful for His sacrifice! If y'all haven’t seen the "Because of Him” video, go watch it – right now!!!!! I love y'all!!!

Con amor y viva Mexico,
Elder Christiansen

"This is I-Dawg in Argentina wearing the Ensworth shirt I gave him!"