April 6, 2015
Maia, I´m proud of you for keeping your goal to go to all the devotionals. I think I missed one or two, and there were several that I saw on the interenet as I was doing laundry or finishing an art project.
Mom, you´ll be really blessed for the work your doing for the ward. I was reading in Handbook 2 about fundraisers, wow, there are a lot of rules (which makes sense). It´s nice that the ward found something that works well. The wards here don´t really have the streangth to do things like that, and a lot of money is spent to get people to the temple (it´s about 12 hours from here). I´m so grateful that I could grow up in such a strong ward with many faithful examples and leaders.
We got the transfer information and almost my whole district stays, including me. Looks like I´m going to end the mission in Rahue Alto :D I´m happy about that. I actually asked Presidente Obeso for that, because I felt that I know the area really well and feel like my companion and I can get a lot done together this transfer cycle.
The man we've been teaching has a new plan to quit smoking. It was a cool idea that I think was inspired, because it makes so much sense and I felt so good when my companion and I shared it with him. Basically, he´s going to make a daily schedule that says the exact times in each day that he´s allowed to smoke. If he feels the urge to smoke, he can look at his schedule and think "It´s 4:30 and I just got off of work, and I want to smoke now, but my schedule says I can´t untill 5:30. I can wait an hour more for that." The idea is that he sets his own schedule instead of his circumstances, and he develops self mastery. Little by little, he has to drop the number of cigarettes that he programs into each day. By making a plan every day, he´ll meet his daily goals, and by keeping his daily goals, he´ll reach his vision of never smoking ever again.
That´s one of the most fundamental lessions I´ve learned in the mission, the importance of having a vision backed by goals which are backed by plans. They each depend on each other to be successful. When we set goals and plans, we turn a dream or vision into realitiy. Vision, goal, and plan setting is a method of choosing that which is best over that which is good with anticipation, and then sticking to the decision It´s not as hard as it sounds. The Lord promises that this will never be so dificult that we can´t do it, just so long as we´re organized about it.(See Mosiah 4:27 which is basically my new favorite scripture). I´m not perfect in this, but I know that with practice, it´ll bring me to be my best self instead of somewhere in the middle.
Love y´all :D
-Elder Connor Christopherson
Connor has become a firewood expert in Chile.
March 30, 2015
Today´s one of those days when there are LOTS of things to say.
I just got awesome news! A friend from BYU who was not a member of the church got baptized and is going to serve a mission! Wow, stuff changes when one´s gone for 2 years.
Mom, thanks for registering for my classes. The schedule looks great. Dad, that was a nice photo of Justin Too. I didn´t really recognize the second place guy.
I can´t send you photos today, because the ciber where we normally go doesn´t have internet, so we´re in a sketchy ciber. I think I´ll get a cold with all the viruses in here.
Elder Garcia´s been having a tough time this week (his close cousin recently died in a car crash), but I think the Lord wanted to help my companion out and we found a new solid investigator! We were just talking to a guy in the street and asked where he lived. He said, "well, I just show you" and he led us to his house. He´s nice, is separated from his wife, and has 2 kids that live with him part time. We had a second appointment and he actually read the pamphlet :D :D :D He prayed at the end of our second lesson, never having prayed before in his life! He´s so receptive and he´s doesn´t appear to have anything to stop him from getting baptized. No substance addictions. He´s not co-living with anyone, and he´s got the weekends off work. It´s perfect!
Oscar got baptized :D He´s not my investigator, but I helped in teaching him, I did his interview, he asked me to baptize him, and I also did the confirmation. I feel awkward seeing my name so many times on his baptism record. He´s really sharp. He shows up to like EVERY meeting or activity, and he´s read the entire quad. The members are accepting him well into the ward.
So, the mission is focusing a lot of energy on #GraciasaqueÉlvive (in English #BecauseHelives). We have been showing the video to lots of people, members and nonmembers, we had a special 2 zone activity in the plaza of Osorno, where we sang in a choir, contacted people, had 3 enourmous signs that said #GraciasaqueÉlvive, and some laptops to show the video to people. Social media is the new way to do missionary work (even if the missionaries here don´t get to use it) because the MEMBERS make it all work :D We already had a great success story. One recently reactivated member shared the video on facebook, and found out that her cousin is a member of the church! Isn´t that cool?!? Everyone who reads this email should visit the website helives.mormon.org But really, do it :D And then share it with EVERYONE :D If the resurrection of Christ has any meaning to you, you´ll know the great urgency in sharing it. Because He lives, I can be truly and eternally happy and everyone else can be too as they choose to live the fulness of His Gospel. This is a big deal!
I love you ALL :D
-Elder Connor Christopherson
PS: Are you pumped for General Conference? I am :D
PPS: Ha ha, just kidding, Dad. Congrats on getting 2nd in yet another double century :D
Connor - seated front left side
March 23, 2015
A friend asked what the best moment in the mission has been. This is how I responded: The very best moments are the ones where everything works out :) God´s plan is like an enourmous juggling act where He makes it look like everything´s going to fall just to see if we´ll stay faithful. It´s so relieving when stuff works, we feel the spirit, and we are forever streangthened. There are so many moments like that in the mission :) Like talking to that person on the street who I´d never think would be receptive and it starts this whole conversation where they share about their life and want to learn more about Christ.
It´s been a very good week. I have a real companion now! I´m with Elder Garcia from Bucaramanga, Colombia. We´ve gotten along very well :D He´s a little quieter, but he´s got a solid testimony and he´s hard working. He didn´t speak much English before the mission, but he´s very dilligent in practicing with me. He says all his companionship prayers and district prayers in English. We´ve been finding lots of new/future investigators. Several of them still aren´t new investigators till we´ve actually had a lession with them, but we´ve got appointments and we´re excited!