Friday, November 22, 2013

 You might appreciate these--my new shoes next to my old shoes.
I started wearing the new shoes a week ago, and it's quite different.
Hey everyone!

Thanks for the emails, everyone! :) Wow, I heard about the storm in the Philippines. I hope they get help quickly.

Mom, I lost my hat on one of my first days here, so that might be a good gift idea. I also lost my gloves. I feel bad I keep losing things! We take them off and put them back on so much in the winter. Also, my first pair of shoes are almost dead. My left shoe has a hole in the bottom and water gets in when it rains. I lost one of the two sleeping bag sheets you sent me with (I´m not really sure how) and the second one is starting to tear. Is the sleeping bag washable? I won´t have the sheet while it´s getting cleaned but I don´t want to get the sleeping bag dirty if I can´t clean it. Oh, and the chimney by my bed burned a hole in the sleeping bag just last week so some of the cotton stuff is coming out. I think I´ll fix that with tape later today.

We work a lot with less active members in Chile. President Rappleye told me that 1 in 33 Chileans are members, but very few of them are active in church. Last Sunday, we went on splits to walk with 2 less active families to church. The ones I walked with were a couple. The husband used to be bishop in the 1970´s and this was the first time they´ve attended in several months. It´s super frustrating because less active members will attend for a few weeks when we focus on them, but then they stop coming again. The less active member that my companion was with bought bread at the store while they were together, even though my companion told him he shouldn´t shop on the Sabbath.

My companion reminds me of Maia. The two of them both try to answer questions the easiest way possible and they both like to stick to what they’re comfortable with. We had an activity and the ward mission leader assigned my companion to be in charge of games. He really didn´t like that. He loves to cook and he´s comfortable cooking and he wanted to cook. Just something to give you a better idea of my companion :)

I don´t have as much time today, but may I recommend reading Mosiah 2 in the Book of Mormon? It´s an awesome chapter!
Un abrazo,
Elder Christopherson

Friday, November 15, 2013

Connor needs a maid!
This is his companion at their desk.
They wear coats indoors because there's very little heating.

Nov 4, 2013

Hola, hola, hola!

Thanks for all the emails! I get a lot more of them than my companion. His family doesn´t write him :/  They´re not members and I don´t think they really support that he´s serving a mission. I´m super grateful to read about everything. :) I know . . . I need to send more photos . . . it´s in the back of my mind.

The two packages you sent for Christmas and my birthday arrived a week ago, no joke! They´ve been sitting with my food waiting to be opened. Odd how it came so fast.

Last week, we had a zone capacitation with President Rappleye where we were all given red booklets titled "Adjusting to Missionary Life" It´s the coolest thing ever! It´s all about handling stress and has ideas for handling physical, social, intellectual, spiritual, and emotional problems that come up in the mission life. This is EXACTLY what was needed with all these new missionaries! Life as a missionary is super different, and sometimes I feel like a broken robot and it can get really rough. It´s an adjustment! I´ve been improving little by little as I´ve made little discoveries, but this capacitation that we had was the finishing boost. I feel awesome! My perspective is different. It helps as well that I can communicate in Spanish more confidently.
Several of the tips in the red book help me a ton, several of which I had to figure out on my own. For example, it took about 3 months to figure out what this book says 3 different times: not to worry about things I can´t control. It´s got a little part about talking to strangers, and another about learning from mistakes. It´s all stuff anyone can learn on their own, but it´s so awesome to have it written out! To quote another elder "This is what I needed this whole time!” To end the segment on stress, President Rappley read Section 122 with us. So powerful! Everything in this life is for your benefit. Believe it! It´s true!
President Rappleye also talked about leadership. I´m convinced that the best advice on leadership in the whole world is in D&C 121 (I think it starts at verse 42) all the way to the end of the section. The section describes two types of leaders, or rather, the qualities of two types of leaders. One type is very common in this world, and they can find lots of success that way, but the other type is the only one that can lead in the Kingdom of God. The other type is more difficult to be, but ultimately, it functions so much better! I encourage you to read those verses and discover it for yourselves :D

I want to include more of the little bits and day to day things in my emails.... but what to say......

I set a letter for Tommy on an ATM and forgot it there... oops...

There are also lots of drunk people in the streets, but it´s a lot worst in some other sectors. My MTC companion is in a town that is just packed with drunk people.
Sometimes dogs follow us (have I mentioned how many dogs there are? There are a TON!) Yesterday a dog tried crossing a busy street to follow us and got slammed pretty hard in the head by a car. I thought for sure it was going to die, but it just got up and ran back to its home. Dogs bark too much and I will never own a dog. Ever. ;)
I´ve taught some really crazy people. I love how logical the church is. A lot of people just talk about all sorts of stuff without purpose or point, trying to sound wise. Yesterday we taught someone who brought up the Holocaust, murderers in Africa, the Pope said there are extraterrestrials, all sorts of dramatic, shocking stuff that didn´t really point anywhere. It makes me a little sad because I know that´s how many false churches preach. They´re just super dramatic and get people hyped up with emotion, shouting and ranting about things that are shocking, convincing those who listen that the Holy Spirit is manifest when people are freaking out with emotion and blabbering in "tongues", but that´s not how it works! God has order and reason in his church! Everything he does is to help us become like Him.

Love you all,
the church is true,
and Chist is our savior.

-Elder Connor Christopherson

Sunday, November 3, 2013


Aw! I brought my camera today, but this computer won’t read my memory card... aw well... maybe I´ll get you some photos next week.

The mission experience is quite something. You end up meeting all sorts of people. It´s cool being in another sector in the same ward, because now I feel so much more familiar with the ward. We´ve worked a lot with less active members this week and several of them showed up at church :D
Something I learned this week is that the best and most meaningful experiences are usually preceded and contrasted by difficult times. I wasn´t feeling well when we entered into one house the other day (less active church members). We had given the mom a Book of Mormon the other day because she wanted to give it to a neighbor. We passed by this day to help teach her how to give it. For whatever reason, I felt dreary and confused inside. I had trouble focusing on what others were saying, and when I did understand the Spanish, I didn´t have a response.
We were originally going to practice with roleplaying, but it wasn´t working well. It´s not natural for a neighbor to just show up one day and say, "By the way, here´s the Book of Mormon, which might help you understand my religion. It´s a nice book." Ya... that´s a very uninviting way to do it. This is a problem that a lot of members have with doing missionary work; it feels forced, awkward, unnatural, and even rude. I was frustrated because I felt like I should have known this as a missionary, and I was blanking out with my mind going in every direction.

Just as I was on the point of giving up and just letting my companion handle everything, everything just got clear. All at once I remembered the scripture story of Ammon, who sought to serve King Lamoni and did so very sincerely, not bringing up religion until Lamoni wanted to talk about it. I thought of the video titled "I’ll Go Where You Want Me To Go" and how they helped in missionary work not by knocking on doors, but by being willing to serve people in unexpected ways. (See the short video here: 

Service is key to missionary work. When we serve others, we increase our charity and love for them. We share the gospel not because someone told us to, but because we love those we serve and know that the gospel of Jesus Christ will help them more than anything else. When we serve others out of genuine love and compassion for them, we look for ways to help them. It becomes natural and comfortable to share the gospel, especially when we have the Holy Spirit to help us.

I´m very grateful that Heavenly Father gave me this revelation just as we needed it, just as this family needed it.

I invite everyone to pray that you will recognize those opportunities that have already been placed before you and constantly seek ways to serve those you love. As Mad-Eye Moody would say "CONSTANT VIGILENCE!"

Love you all!
-Elder Connor Christopherson

BTW: To answer your question, I’ve had sinus problems for a few days at a time, every month or two. Nothing too bad.