Monday, November 24, 2014

Awesome Meetings and Mission Tour

Buenas,

Man, what a great week! Ok, to start off Elder and Sister Foster were just unbelievable – it was amazing. The spirit was so strong as he spoke with us and it was a very powerful meeting. Some of the topics he talked about were: the power of prayer, the importance of our missions, working with members, knowing that we are children of God, and a few others, and it was really, really good. Then he had a small meeting with all of us leaders about how to lead and how to love the people we serve so that part was great, too. Oh that's cool you saw the picture!

This is a photo of all the missionaries currently serving in the Hidalgo Zone
of the Texas McAllen Mission (TMM). There are 10 zones in the TMM
that include about 190 missionaries (140 elders, and 50 sisters).
Elder Christiansen is standing, third from right.
Seated: President and Sister Maluenda, and Sister and Elder Foster.

What? Clay has a girlfriend, what is up with that?!?!?! :) That's good to know that everyone is doing well though. Yes!! The missionaries had a baptism in our ward, that's fantastic!!! What's the boy's name? Andrew, go to some lessons with the missionaries at his house. Man, that sounds like there are a lot of fun Thanksgiving plans. I kind of wish they had a turkey bowl game here, but I don't think it's happening. Most of the members in our area are either going back to Mexico because their kids are out of school, or they are just taking it easy because Thanksgiving isn't a Mexican holiday, so it should be pretty chill. As of right now we just have one dinner appointment set up, but we'll probably end up with three or four. That's cool about Ensworth and MBA in the finals – hope we win! Send lots of pictures next week from all of Thanksgiving. So this week is the last week of the transfer so next Monday I'll know if I am staying or if I am leaving.

Right now we are actually teaching quite a few different families so it has been going great! One of them came to church yesterday for the first time and they really liked it. Oh, ok, so they have a huge super, super chubby, fat baby and all during church it was just getting passed around by all the members so they helped us out big time on that one, haha. The other two families we’re teaching didn’t come because one of them had sick kids (the Santos family), and the other family didn't come because they slept in. But we’re still working and teaching them. We teach the Santos family with their neighbors, so there are like 10-12 people there. And they all just love my laugh, like it's unbelievable. If I start laughing at something little, then they all just start laughing and then they can't stop. It's super funny.

All is well though and I am loving my time here down in South Texas. Can't believe it's already turkey time, but it's all good. Best of luck to everyone playing in the turkey bowl and hopefully there are no serous injuries.

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


Monday, November 17, 2014

A Spiritual Feast ... and Freezing Cold!

Buenas,

I hope everyone is doing well back at home. Got the email and press release from Dad about the College Board, and congrats!! This past week was super good, man I learned so much! This past Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday we had meetings all day long with Presidente Maluenda, and they were amazing!! He talked a lot about obedience, becoming leaders the way the Lord wants us to be, faith, the power of prayer, goals and plans, doing things in the Lord's way, the desires of our hearts, and a lot of other stuff, and it was a spiritual feast for all three days! It was also a lot of fun because I got to see a lot of my buddies from around the mission – all the elders in Corpus and Laredo and Brownsville/Harlingen stayed in the McAllen area so it was a blast!

We also found a lot of people to teach this week and we found a lot of families, too! And because of that we had a lot of investigadores (“investigators”) at church yesterday so that made it more fun, too. Oh, it has also been FREEZING cold, oh my gosh, it was 55 the other day and it's 50 today and I'm wearing literally all of the winter clothes that I have, haha, I'm such a baby now when it comes to cold weather. Oh, and we got even better news too...we have mission tour this week!!!!! That's when a general authority comes in and we have meetings with him so he can teach and train us some more! The person coming in is Elder Bradley D. Foster, so I am really excited for that, too!

The mission is going really well and it is still such a blast – it never gets old, I love every minute of it and it just takes my breath away when I think about all the important things and lessons that I am learning out here. There is no other way I would have learned these things had I not decided to serve a mission. It's also incredibly scary how fast the time is going, but that's another story. There is nowhere in the whole world I would rather been than here in South Texas. Oh, ok so I’m telling you this and please, please don't get worried or anything, everything is fine and under control and I'm100% healthy – but in your prayers this week, specifically pray that my feet can get better. I got a blister or something like that for the first time in my life, and it's just taking a while to heal up. So, yea, please say special prayers for my feet, haha. I love y’all a ton!!

Con amor (“with love”),
Elder Christiansen

Monday, November 10, 2014

Having Charity for All Heavenly Father's Children

Buenas,

Man, what a week it was this past week, I don't even know where to begin. There was a family that was going to get baptized by some of the elders in my district so I went over to their house (the family's) on an exchange to do the baptismal interviews, and everything that could have gone wrong, went wrong. It was just one of those nights I guess. I'm not going to go too far into it, but it was just a mess. The boyfriend of the mom of the family they were teaching never wanted to listen to the elders, and then when I was there he ran out and just started yelling at us telling us to leave. It got pretty intense and since I was on an exchange with a younger elder, I started talking to the boyfriend and it was pretty intense, haha, like he was not happy at all. And then he called someone else and he gives me his phone and the person on the line was yelling at me saying that she's calling the cops and a bunch of other stuff and that she hates us and to never come back, it was pretty crazy. But after my right-handed haymaker nailed his left eye he stopped talking to us and went inside (haha, no, no, no, I’m totally kidding, obviously I didn't hit him, I would never do that, haha). But it was pretty chaotic though. And then I went back over to a different house looking for the family Sunday morning to see if they were coming to church, and while I was talking to the mom, one of her sisters came out and just went off and was yelling at us, too, so it was a "Yell at Elder Christiansen" type of week. It was all good though, it really helped me learn to have a good attitude and to have charity towards all of Heavenly Father's children.

Life is so, so good though and I love being a full-time missionary. I am also super excited because we're having 3-day training again (it's 3 days in a row of Presidente training and helping all of the zone and district leaders in the mission so we can in turn train the missionaries we are in charge of). It should be super fun though, because I loved the last one. I love y’all so much!

I love y’all,
Elder Christiansen



Monday, November 3, 2014

Surprise Text and Photo from South Texas!

Love technology! I got a text message on my phone last night with the photo below attached. What a fun surprise! It was sent by a member in the Hidalgo area, and Ethan and his companion were celebrating a birthday with her family. Such a sweet and thoughtful gesture! We continue to be so thankful for the kind members in South Texas who take such wonderful care of the missionaries! 

Buenas,

Yay, y’all got the photo! It was the Fuentes family's nieto (“grandson”) who was having his birthday party. He was turning 4. It was super fun and we just talked to la Hermana Arrembide the whole time. After the photo she wanted to send it to our mamas, so I was like, ok great!! Sounds like it's been a crazy week though! Good luck Andrew on college stuff! And good job Dad for being a beast at seminario! (teaching “seminary”).

Elder Christiansen is on the back row, on the right.
Looks like it was a fun Disney birthday party!


This week has been good, hard but good. We haven’t had really anyone we have been steadily teaching so it's been a bit of a struggle. It has been a good learning experience though. Life is going well, though and I am still really focused on my mission, even though I've been talking a little bit about college and my roommates and stuff like that. Haha – yep, the time sure is flying. I literally can't believe it! But that's why we have to take advantage of every moment to learn, grow, and help others to come unto to Christ because the time to go home is coming up pretty quickly. I love y’all a lot and thanks for all the support! Pray that we can find families to teach and baptize! I love y’all!!

Con amor (“with love”),
Elder Christiansen