Saturday, May 21, 2011

5/21/2011 Elder Christensen: A Rough One

Hey everyone. It´s been a long.... sad... and indeed interesting day. We woke up today just like a normal pday.. We got all ready, got our books, and had just started our STUDIES (¡NEVER HAPPENS!) when President King called us. I knew something was up because Elder Speakman just closed his books and started to cry while talking... So I got the hint and packed up my stuff to leave the pension. He turned to me after they had finished talking and said... "Elder Jennings died." This elder was amazing. My companion trained him actually trained him here in the mission..

So we hurried over here as quick as possible and started to get all of his stuff together. Him and his companion had gotten up on time just to go running for their exercise time. They were almost on the way back when he passed out... The paramedics went, his comp did cpr, they gave a blessing, they tried everything. But it was just his time to go. It´s been REALLY hard for my companion. The whole mission is shocked though. It´s just important that we all look forward with our celestial eyes and to the atonement of our Lord Jesus Christ to be healed from things like this. That is what it´s intended for. To help us move on and come out the other side even more faithful than before... Afterwards we held a special meeting with his zone and everyone got to share their testimonies. The spirit was strong as everyone talked about their feelings for this wonderful Elder.

Ehhh.... Lifes hard. We all know that. I just don´t see how it´s possible for someone to confront the struggles of this life without such knowledge as that which we have. Every time something big happens to anyone and I´m sitting on the sidelines.... I feel bad in a way but then my testimony is in turn strengthened. Elder Stoddard said something I LOVED. We were driving home afterwards listening to music, and I said... "Death is really weird"......... He responded... "It´s like having changes". Sometimes changes in the mission are HARD. When you´re working really hard in one place and LOVING what you are doing. You love the people, you love where you live, then suddenly... Hey its time to go. Death is like changes! Then I had the revelation that I´ve had a million times that the mission prepares us for life. Its the university of life. The experiences that we have here in the field are ultimately sculpting us to endure to the end. Sounds kinda strong but its true. I hope that everyone out there reading this has some spiritual experiences to lean on during the hard times. I heard an EXCELLENT quote recently by Thomas S. Monson aka THE PROPHET! It goes like this... "God gave us memories, that we might have June roses in the December of our lives." I LOVE this. It´s so true. We really can use the things that have happened to us to fuel our fire for the rest of our lives. There is a scripture in DyC 29:39 that says if we didn´t know the sour, we couldn´t understand the sweet. SO true.

It´s great to know that everyone is doing well there. The house looks like a mess but in due time it will be up to Dad´s Par. The baby looks happy when she´s not in her chair. All is well in happy valley! Let me share one really cool experience we had to finish off this letter. Last monday we went to a family home evening at our recent convert Ximena´s house. She had previously explained to us that her aunt was having some troubles and that she was almost starting to rebel against the church. One thing that BUGGGGGGGSSSSSSSSSSSS me is when we ask... How are you doing? then someone responds... Great Elder!! BUT THEY¨RE LYING THROUGH THEIR TEETH!!! PLEASE LADY!! We´re here to help you fix your life! If you have any problems then TELL US! That´s exactly what happened. We showed up, sat down, and asked that question. Even though it was obviously not all okay, they all said... Great! My companion and I had planned to read Lucas 14 with them. There is a really good parable about a big supper held by a man and everyone makes excuses as to why they can´t go to the dinner. We use it as like the Lord with the Sacrament.. Sometimes we as members of the church make excuses as to why we can´t go to HIS supper. We put the things we judge as important in front of what really is important. Its a STRONG parable. We usually use it as a stick.. Meaning like a strong scripture to really help someone understand right away. We both felt the impression to NOT share that.... We were kinda murmuring in english trying to figure out what else we could teach when Ximena said... "What are we doing to learn today?" ... Before we even had time to answer she said.. " Can I teach the class today?" We were blown away. Not the typical thing for your recent convert to do! We told her to go ahead and that we would add scriptural support and comments. We figured that we would end up teaching the whole thing but that was not at all the case. She shared in 1st John chapter 4 about loving. How God loves us and he wants us to love one another. Then she also combined that with DyC Chapter 129 about the spirit. How we can know if the spirit is from God or not. This lesson seemed like it was taught by someone who has been a member for 10 years. So powerful. Elder Speakman and I knew exactly where she was going the whole time. She wanted to relate it to her aunt and how she has been acting up... She didn´t have the guts. Then she looked right at me and I made this face like.. COME ON AND SPIT IT OUTTTTTTTTTTTT. Then she just said. BOOM. "I don´t feel like you have the spirit right now". Her aunt started to cry and then explained how she had been depressed because of mothers day. Her mom passed away recently. We talked then about how our trials and how they help us grow. That we shouldn´t seperate ourselves from the gospel at the time when we most need it. Anyways, I just thought that was a sweet lesson and a great experience to share with you.

Alright. Well. I hope everyones doing great out there. I really do. Life is precious and it´s meant to treasure. Don´t waste any time worrying or doubting. Just decide what you can do today and DO IT! Love you all.

There is like one Papa John´s in this
WHOLE COUNTRY and we found it!! SOOO GOOD!!
 Tasted just like AMERICA!!!

  Elder Kurtis Christensen

Secretario Del Presidente

Misión Chile Santiago Oeste

P.S. Hope you like the pics!!

My comp bought a sick pancho thing for like 50 bucks and I put it on. :) Elder Jorgensen, Speakman, and I.. Lookin fly!

Ya.... Having an infected foot for like 3 months already... Priceless.