Sunday, April 27, 2014

Miriam and Eduardo's wedding

Tommy baptized someone in Spanish before me? Who would have guessed :P

Well, my first time getting wet (I mean in a baptismal font and not the rain) comes in 2 weeks. Miriam and Eduardo got married. YAY!!! (see photo) The baptism was planned for next weekend, but a district conference has been announced for next week with President Rappleye. We`ll need to wait till 3 de Mayo, which doesn`t concern us much because she´s been coming to church for a long time and that won`t change anytime soon.
There have been big fires in Valparaiso, Chile a week ago and over a thousand houses were burned down. Keep them in your prayers.

To answer grandma`s questions. ":D" is a sideways smiley face. I use it instead of ":)" because to me it looks a lot happier :D :D :D
All members in Chile go to the temple in Santiago, which is a long way from here. I think the members of Coyhaique Alto (my branch) go once a year, and it`s a big deal coordinating it all. It`ll be good when the temple in Concepción is completed. The church released a painting of what it will look like and it`s SO much more nice looking than the temple in Santiago.

I found the scarf Sister Webber gave me. It in the house of a part member family.

I love you all very much! Every day brings challenges. I see my weakness more and more every day and I try to harness that sorrow to make changes. I`m really bad at completing the goals I make, but I just have to keep making them so I start completing at least some of them and with that I can progress. Keep making good choices. Center your lives around Christ.

-Elder Connor Christopherson

PS: Another sheet for the inside of my sleeping bag would be good, but it doesn`t need to be very thick. My sleeping bag already does a great job keeping me warm.

PPS: Ah! Right! Mother`s day is coming fast and I didn`t even realize it. Brother Rives has good internet, so we`ll try to organize a time over there. It will probably be after church for you. Dad, what`s the time difference right now with the changes in daylight savings time?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

April 14, 2014
It got really cold again. There`s been snow on the mountains. In May, we`ll be able to start using our firewood. We have to wait so we don`t use it all before winter. Every house of missionaries (as far as I`m aware) has 5 square meters of firewood. We got a good deal for the best quality :D

Good news! Miriam and Eduardo have an official date for their marriage :D :D :D We have the baptismal date and she asked that I do the baptism :D I`ve never baptized anyone before (well, at least not the first part in the water).

CONGRATULATIONS -- Madison Mittleman and Megan Baker for your mission calls and a very special congratulations for Megan Mittleman, who got called to one of the ten best missions in the world (because there are 10 missions in Chile, Osorno being the best ;) You will eat and love empanadas (meat and cheese in folded dough which is deep fried) and sopaipillas (basically deep fried dough) and will gain a lot of weight :D YAY! Oh! I almost forgot cumpletos. They`re like hot dogs, but better because they put mayonnaise, tomato (not ketchup), and munched avocado on it and the bread is better. I don`t know if it`s that way up north as well, but we generally eat lots of meat and rice because there`s a lot of cattle. You will learn a dialect of Spanish called "Castillano." Actually... that`s what they call the Spanish of South America, but "Chilanismo" is its own language all together. There are many modismos (idioms) and they use different words (for example, avocado is palta, banana is plátano, beans are porotos). Chileans also say "po" at the end of sentences, which acts as a sort of period (I don`t use it because it sounds a little rude to me. It`s like telling people that everything that needs to be said has already been said and there need not be anymore said so there). I think you`ll get very familiar with public transportation (unless Santiago is different from Osorno). You have the TEMPLE you lucky dog. There will be many many many many dogs. I`ve heard Santiago is hot and smoggy. Got to love Chile :D
What else....
Um... Ya, I just lost my time to type a long email because a lady in this internet café is not very familiar with computers and needed lots of help. Goodness.... why does Yahoo make it necessary to put a phone number when creating a new account? Not everyone has a cell phone.

So, I really don`t like losing things. I don`t know how it happens. I lost my beanie, my wonderful scarf from Sis. Webber, and a bag full of Elder Holt`s white shirts. Honestly, right when winter is starting. Don`t worry about sending me anything. I`ll just buy some when they get in stock (winter clothes will be in stock in a few weeks).
Love you all very very much! I love seeing how so many people are leaving for missions now :D The work of salvation will bless you more than those you teach and invite.

-Elder Connor Christopherson

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Note from Mom: I can't resisting adding a funny excerpt from Connor's companion's blog. As many of you know, thanks to Connor's handicapped sister, Kelsi, we live on a constant stream of Pixar, Disney, Sesame Street, and Harry Potter at our house. Elder Holt wrote:
"You know you have an Awesome Companion when he can quote the ENTIRE movie music, sound effects, and all of Bugs Life, Monsters Inc, and I think we are gonna start Lion King next! ;) It makes for quite the exciting proselyting hours!" 
We all chuckled over that one. Glad Kelsi is spreading Pixar joy!
April 7, 2014

Thanks for the Easter package :D I felt sick after so much candy in conference, but I`m glad for the love :) You`ve been picking out really good ties :)

This week, we`ve discovered bushes that are loaded with little pea pods that literally POP to launch their seeds! We walk by hearing the little pops and they have been popping over the period of a few days. It`s pretty cool. They`re black pods with green seeds inside. Could anyone look up what they`re called and where they grow?

(Speaking of silly questions, I got several answers to the ç question, and not one of them was the same ;) , although Maia`s was the funniest (she sent me a Wikipedia article that was clearly written in some language professor’s basement. Didn`t have a clue what it was trying to say.))

Another fun observation of the week. Now that it`s getting dark earlier, and I`m in a city with less light pollution than Puerto Montt, I can see the stars. I noticed that Orion (or is it Orien) is completely upside-down. Weird thinking that it`s not him that`s upside-down, but me on the bottom of the world. The moon is also upside-down :D It waxes and wanes to the right, instead of to the left.

I`ve got 2 minutes now that I`ve got the silly stuff out.

Elder Ballard gave an invitation that every member should study Preach My Gospel. I would like to follow up on that. Study Preach my Gospel! It`s an inspired manual. The Lord will provide opportunities to teach as a member missionary. Don`t be caught unqualified when opportunity taps you on the shoulder. Preach my Gospel will make you more aware about what really is missionary work and how you can help. I`m not speaking to a big group of people collectively. I`m saying this nose to nose to each one of you. Get Preach My Gospel and use it.

I testify of the Savior Jesus Christ :D

Love you all :D

-Elder Connor Christopherson

March 31, 2014

Isaboth was baptized! Elder Holt did the baptism (2 times. Forgot the word "yo" the first time). I did the confirmation the next day. I`ve never confirmed anyone before. Neat :)

There were a lot of members of Isaboth`s extended family who came, which is really awesome :) I have photos for next week. I was pretty stressed out about the whole thing because of all the preparation during the day to get the font filled (it takes well over 5 hours to fill). We forgot about the papers that we needed to fill out so the Zone leaders were filling out the form with Isaboth. The branch president and I had a miscommunication and we each thought that the other was going to organize the program (no one had been assigned to speak and the hymns hadn`t be selected). Lots of people trickled in late and with all this chaos, we started the meeting about 40 minutes late.

But everything went well. Isaboth and her family were completely calm the whole time while I was a bit stressed. Isaboth was beaming the whole time :) She`s excited for the branch temple trip in June or July. We visited their house after the baptism and we got to answer some questions that family members had. They`re a really nice family. When Isaboth asked about all her female ancestors for whom she could be baptized, Sandra`s sister was really confused and I was so grateful that I knew how to answer. I`m so grateful for the scripture guides in back that told me exactly where Paul talked about baptism for the dead and I`m so grateful that the spirit reminded me the whole context of the scripture (Paul was using baptisms for the dead to teach about the resurrection. The people already accepted baptisms for the dead but didn`t believe that everyone would resurrect). I`m so excited to see more progress in the family.

I`m so ridiculously excited for General Conference!!! I think conference in itself is a miracle that people are willing to watch 10 hours of conference every 6 months. It`s so awesome!!! Miriam and Sandra both said they want to attend and Sandra invited her sister :D

We`ve met lots of interesting people this week. One I think was a mason (based on the painting of a pyramid with an eye in his house and the way he explained the symbol). He is really smart, but then he said that we needed to be our own savior and that God doesn`t have a body of flesh and bone. Sure, we can`t be saved if we don`t do our part, but it`s only by and through Christ that repentance and salvation is possible. One was a very friendly Jehovah`s Witness who spoke English, and a taxi driver who understood dispensations, the Godhead, priesthood (it was he who mentioned Melquizidec (I think I butchered the spelling on that one)), and the need of a restoration from apostasy, but he didn`t accept the Book of Mormon simply because it calls the Savior by the name Jesus Christ instead of Yhachua. (I studied that a bit more. Yhachua is the same name as Joshua, which is Jesus in Greek). He was so smart, so I was frustrated that he didn`t accept the invitation to pray about the Book of Mormon.

I`m amazed how much the Lord has prepared me with such a testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and in His true church that these smart people didn`t faze me. I understood where they each came from with their opinions, but I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is Christ`s church. I know that this was restored through Joseph Smith, a true prophet of God and I know that the book he translated, the Book of Mormon, is the most correct book on the face of the Earth. It is only through the Atonement of Christ that we can be saved.

The whole thing made me think of what Elder Ballard said, "I`m grateful that it`s a loving and merciful Heavenly Father who will decide who will or will not be admitted to His kingdom." I may have misquoted that. You can check me on that (from "Our Search for Happiness") 

Well.... that was a lot longer than I thought it would be. I guess my letter to President Rappleye will be very short to day. 

I love you all so much :D Keep being charitable to one another. :D Make sure you know that the Book of Mormon is true.

-Elder Connor Christopherson