Sunday, May 18, 2014

Connor's new home in Chile -- Puerto Varas
Note from Mom: I got a little behind, so I'll combine 2 emails here -- May 5 and May 12.
May 5, 2014

You know... I was once shocked to see bloody cow skulls and rib cages in the street, but that`s become a normal sight for me now. I have no idea why they dispose of them that way.

Miriam`s baptism went well! I was pretty nervous the whole time. We started even later than Isaboth`s baptism. This time it wasn`t our fault. No one in the branch presidency showed up and we had to call them. We sang hymns as we waited. Miriam was beaming when she came out of the water. She told us that she felt lighter after, like a big burden had just been lifted. She`s awesome :D

It`s funny, I can remember the history of an obscure Bible story, answer complex doctrinal questions, and solve big calculus equations, but I can`t remember to bring dry clothes to a baptism. Typical me.

It was weird baptizing someone for the first time. It left me with that same eerie feeling I had when I first got to BYU or graduated high school or went to the temple where I think, "Wow.... that was it. I`ve known my whole life that I was going to do that and now it`s here." I don`t know why, but I really don`t like that feeling. I think marriage will feel more that way than anything else.

I`m flying to Puerto Varas this Miericoles (Wednesday) to be a district leader. I`ll be with an Elder Dennis from Manti, Utah. I`ve heard that Puerto Varas is very touristy. It`s beautiful, right at the edge of a lake. On the other side of this lake is Volcàn Osorno :D I also hear it rains a ton in Puerto Varas (basically, anywhere north of Chaitèn rains a lot). I hear Puerto Varas has a heavy German influence and that I`ll eat lots of sweet pastry type food (yum yum).

I love you all! Have a great week!

May 12, 2014
Have I mentioned that the computer puts little red lines below almost everything I type because the spellcheck is set to Spanish?
Random note, could you send me your no-bake cookie recipe? I wanted to follow the example of Elder Jacob Clarke ;)
Max, I`m going to send you an email after this one. Check your inbox.
Thanks a bunch Sister Sampson and Sister Rodriguez. Me ayudan recordar que hay tantos personas quien me miran como ejemplo. Gracias por su fe y diligencia en el barrio. Jocelyn Haddock, I remember being your home teacher. It`s hard to believe how much you´ve grown. Keep being a light to the world and love everyone. Brinley, you asked if you should serve a mission. Pray a lot and choose the right. When the time comes, you´ll know what the Lord wants you to do. And although there are some days I would love to sit on the couch and watch a movie, I don´t miss it all that much. There are so many other great things to do here. Bailey Woods, you are right. Heavenly Father has blessed me SO much (imagine me with my arms stretched out as wide as I can). Pray every day and do something EXTRA nice to someone every day. (Make sure these girls see this. Thanks.)
Well. I`ve already talked a little about this with my family on our Mother's Day Skype, but this week has been absolutely nuts. Out of the frying pan and into the fire. I`m a district leader in a district of 6 missionaries. The sisters in the other ward are doing great (pray for Veronica, Cristina, and Constanza, who each have baptismal dates in the other ward), but the work in our ward is slow. I`m seeing how the Lord qualifies those he calls and how He always provides everything we need to work. The Zone Leaders have helped a ton and have been very wise in their councils, our ward mission leader is very motivated (even when he works more than 13 hours a day, 6 days a week), the bishop is willing, and the missionaries are hard working. 
To hasten the work of salvation in the ward, we`re going to launch 2 big programs in the ward that will be AWESOME!!!

1. Missionary Agendas: The ward mission leader made booklets for several families in our ward. The booklets include inspiring scriptures and spaces to write names of people who the family can help edify and share the gospel. It`s got little check boxes next to each name for "They know you´re members of the church", "Invited to church", "Dedicated copy of the Book of Mormon given", "Lessons taught with missionaries", "Baptized", and "Temple." We give each family their own personal booklet. We will visit each family each week to follow up (Elder Ballard April 2014) and help them overcome trials.
2. Fun Friday: We want to have an activity in the chapel for the whole ward EVERY Friday night. The idea is to build animo (excitement) and unity in the ward. It`ll be a good opportunity to invite friends and it`ll become part of the ward culture. There will also be food, which is the great motivator of all church activities.
The work will be very different as we work on these programs because we`ll be visiting lots of active members and not as many less active members or investigators, but I know that these programs will result well. Why do I know this? Because the way that these programs were planned was through prayer and revelation. We have felt by the Spirit that this is what we should do. Nothing in the Lord`s work progresses if not by prayer, fasting, and revelation. We`re ready to put this yoke upon us and work.
I`m feeling more consecrated and I love it! I'm excited to work with my new companion, Elder Dennis. I testify of Christ and in His Mission.
-Elder Connor Christopherson


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