Sunday, October 20, 2013


First, I don´t want to forget—thanks to Bro. Scott and Aunt Annie for the emails. Also, I´ve gotten questions about communication. Every week, I have one hour to: 1st write a letter to my family; 2nd to my mission president; and lastly, to anyone else outside of the mission. Because these computers are at a public cyber, the computers are on a timer and turn off after an hour. Because of the shortness of time, it´s difficult for me to reply to individual emails, although I try to, want to, and it is not against the rules. Some of you have gotten replies and others haven’t. Sorry if I haven’t replied. This is why my mom updates the blog with my weekly email, because everyone can read it. I hope that clears anything :)

My new companion is very hard working and is a good companion. He was baptized about 6 years ago and is the only member in his family of ten (parents included). It´s bizarre working in a new sector that´s still in the same general area. I feel like I know the members in the ward a lot better, and my Spanish has improved tremendously. I´m excited to work with them :) There are some really awesome people. My old companion's sector (my old sector) is suddenly booming with new families of investigators, which is super exciting.

My new companion and I have a young woman in our sector who was almost baptized a few weeks ago. She didn´t talk with any members for 2 or 3 weeks after she cancelled the baptism because she´s really embarrassed about it. She has a testimony and is learning well, but she has no support from her family or boyfriend. We´re trying to help her understand that the members love her very much and still want her to come to church.

Besides that, we need to search diligently for new investigators. There are also a TON of less active members. President Rappleye told me that 1 in 30 Chileans are baptized members, but not nearly that many go to church. We have a program to work with the less active members, but everyone seems to have a different idea on how to go about doing it.

I feel very different this cambio (transfer) than others. I feel stronger and happier. The mission has changed me. If I were to return home this week, I´d do things differently. I´ve learned to be patient and listen before pushing. I´ve also learned how important it is to focus on what I can do and not on what I can´t do, or on what others should be doing. The words of many general authorities stick firmly in my head: "Where ere thou art, act well thy part." I feel the spirit guide me as I focus and improve, bit by bit, every day, and I don´t worry too much about making mistakes. I´m far from the missionary that I will become, but I am the missionary that I want to be for now. I´m capable of working hard and doing my part. I´m happy.

That´s really what the gospel´s all about.

I love each of you, and hope all goes well in your lives. I think about you more than you realize (unless I´ve never met you before... then you´re sort of mushed in my collective "people who read my blog that I´ve never met but still love" section of my thoughts.) I love hearing about what´s happening with your lives.

-Elder Connor Christopherson

PS: Mom... there´s a family that wants me to make pancakes for them (gringo food).  There are boxes of pancake mix in Jumbo, but that´s both far away and expensive. Are they difficult to make without mix? How do you make it?

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Hi, family!

I have a transfer coming up :O I´m going to live in the same house and the same ward, but I´m shifting to another sector to work with a new companion from Peru. He already lived in our house and served in this other sector, so I already know him a bit. He doesn´t speak much if any English, so I´m going to learn Spanish much faster these upcoming weeks. My old companion is going to train another gringo, so he´ll still be here too. I´m going to be very familiar with this ward.

Lots of people asked about the dog bite. The bite was very small, nothing compared to the pictures I saw of Abbie Harper´s bite. The treatment is easy (5 phases of shots), it´s just a pain because the clinic is way on the other side of Puerto Montt and it takes a lot of time and money. We have to take about 3 colectivos every trip. (A colectivo is kind of like a cross between a taxi and a bus. They're black cars with little sign over them telling a set route that they have to follow and they have a fixed price to board. They´re very common in Puerto Montt, and easier to find than busses or taxies—not that I´d take a taxi; they´re super expensive.)
Maia! Congrats on the license :D

General Conference was awesome :D It felt like it went by really fast. For those of you who don´t know, it´s where the prophet and the apostles speak to all the world. They guide us and help us know how to be happy. 
Elder Holland gave inspired counsel to those with depresson: (May I also recommend President Monson´s talk
President Uchtdorf gave a powerful testimony of why members choose to be members of the church. If you have doubts about your role in the church, watch
But what was most noticeable to me was the big emphasis on member missionary work. Eight of the speakers, including President Monson, made direct references to member missionary work, saying that now is the time to hasten the work. People will look back on these days the way they look at the first vision and the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. It is your chance to participate and build the Lord´s Kingdom. I especially liked Elder S. Gifford Nielsen´s talk and M. Russell Ballard´s
The work is always hard. I knew it´d be that way. I had an interview with President Rappleye (a very awesome guy) and could honestly say I was happy here. He gave great advice about the work and I felt well instructed and prepared.
Love you all!
¡Chau! (<-- the hermana sitting next to me told me that´s how it´s spelled)
-Elder Connor Christopherson

Sunday, October 6, 2013


Not much time today so I´ll be quick. Oh... and ¡Hola! :D  Where to start.... ok

Thank you, Sister Stromberg, for the card. It´s great to know how many people there are looking out for me.

I´ve gotten some questions about food:

1.  To the Ballards: No, I haven´t eaten anything crazy yet. I´m living in the city right now so there isn´t much campo food (campo means country).

2.  To anyone who has asked if I´ve eaten lots of chile in Chile: Yes, you´re all very clever, but I´ve eaten less chile here than I ever did in the United States.

Oh! I was bitten by a dog about 2 weeks ago. :) I´ve gotten so used to just hearing the sound of barking dogs that I didn´t even notice it behind me (did I mention that there are many many many many many many many many many many dogs in Puerto Montt?) It tore through my pants, but didn´t tear through my thermals. It drew blood, so I need to get a 5-phase rabies vaccination at the clinic.....which is way on the other side of Puerto Montt. It takes a lot of time, but it´s something we need to do because there's that 0.1% chance I have rabies. *twitches and foams at mouth*

We actually went out to the countryside this Sunday because it´s part of our sector and we got a referral. But they didn´t answer the phone after setting the appointment, so, since we were already far away, we visited local members who'd recently moved there from the city because it´s cheaper and it´s a bigger house.

We´ve had a very successful week in la obra missional (missionary work). We found two really nice families while knocking doors, and we got referrals from other missionaries to two other families. The real test is if they´ll actually listen to the lessons. Missionary work often feels like throwing darts. On Saturday, we had tons of appointments and only one didn´t fall through (a less active member who needed to leave shortly after we arrived). I´m excited to meet the new referrals. We have an appointment with one of them today, so let´s hope it holds through.

This week, I learned a ton about mercy and justice. Justice exists because there´s a law, a law set by God before the Earth was ever created. When we break the law (the commandments of God given to us for our benefit), we sin and are subject to justice, which separates us from God. Thankfully, because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we have mercy. Mercy is the opportunity to repent. It’s given to us through the Atonement. Repentance is the real intent to change our lives to conform to those laws of God. However, none of us are perfect and none of us will make all the changes necessary. We show our faith and our real intent by actually changing as much as we can, but we can´t be perfected without the Atonement. We can´t be perfect because the law has been broken and justice claims those who break the law. Mercy claims those who repent because of the Atonement. It’s our opportunity to change.

If I had more time, I´d make that more concise and clear, but I don´t, so I hope that made sense. :)

Love you all. :D  I especially love the emails I´ve gotten.

¡Chao!  (I spelled it "ciao" before... but I saw it spelled "chao" on the side of a truck... so I hope that´s spelled right. It´s how everyone says "bye" in Chile. Almost no one uses "audios".

-Elder Christopherson

Mom: Music probably isn´t a fantastic idea for Christmas because even if you sent 100 songs, 2 years is a really long time with the same music. I don´t want to get sick of good music. I´m seriously provided with everything I need.... I´m trying to think of what I might want..... Your letters are really what matter to me. Those are the things I look forward to.