Monday, December 29, 2014

New Years!‏ Mon, 29 Dec 2014 11:16

Hey family!
Oh man is was so good to talk to you guys on Christmas! I dont know if this is a good thing or not but just seeing you guys and knowing that not much has changed (in that you are all the same goofy people with random questions and personalies) makes me realize that being here in brazil isnt that far away. Though my life my dip and sway on the mission, knowing that you all are safe and sound makes me feel great. So thanks for that!

Hopefully you were able to ask everything you guys wanted and sorry if I was ever distracted or disinterested with talking about anything. Life here on the mission has reached a point where everyday is pretty much the same and its becoming harder and harder to share the stories that take to backseat to the overwhelming problem known as the language barrier. SO today I dont feel like talking about it anymore. Its not worth it. Neither is talking about the struggles of this mission in particular. So i have decided to try harder to share better stories, and if they are mediocure to begin with I will use my Christensen charm to over exagerate the stuffing out of um. 
Ha alright so I never described to you guys the story of when I played soccer with the Brazilian kids. They play soccer on a whole nother level. No joke! I cant explain it. It is so smooth and beautiful! But they do this all without shoes... right so I wanted to be cool too. I took off my shoes and started to play some ball and I could litterally feel this monster of a blister start to form on the bottom of my left foot. The next moment I got another on my right! By the time I was done playing soccer I coulnt even walk on the balls of my feet! haha I am fully recovered now (have pictures of it though) but if there is anything that you take away from this story.. let it be that if you american, dont play ball without shoes.. (but I did score a goal and nutmegged some 5 year old! haha) As far as my hair cut, everyone was super thrown off about my bald spot! haha Like no joke they dont understand that I was born with it. haha They all keep making jokes about how I sneezed while I was cutting my hair or something.. everytime...
Oh also I dont remember if I told you guys this or not but my first name is a verb! haha yeah COOPER means TO JOG and not only that, It is the pun of a joke to people from sao paulo.. an inaproriate joke apparently? haha yeah they have tried to explain it to me but i still dont see why it is funny. (I think the joke has something to do with having a good butt) haha so hopefully that will lift your day.
Other than this we have no real plans for new years.. But we will be rigning it in before anyone in the North or South americas so thats pretty tight. Our investigators are few and little progress so we keep at it. 

Family! I love you. Enjoy the winter break as long as you can. Texan travelers, be safe! West it was great talking to you and Stasia and BROK! love you guys! Stay happy! you dont know how much I need it from you guys right now! 

Te Amo! 
ELDER CHRISTENSEN

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas

We got to skype and see Elder Christensen.

He was awesome, he says that there is no portugese sound for CH, in Christensen so whatever someone calls him he just goes with it.




Monday, December 22, 2014

alright so lets get down to the real talk. Date: Mon, 22 Dec 2014 10:43

alright so lets get down to the real talk.

Today is not my P-day. Last minute change.. anyways I need your skype stuff and maybe even someone elses skype information that i can use because there is no way that I remember what mine was. So yeah Password and Username would be awesome and then I am sure also that once I login I can call you cause it should have your contact saved. 
Second, we are allowed 40 min. If it happens to run over I wont say but yeah we only get 40 so prep yourselves to only talk about what is important! haha I will call sometime in the afternoon brazilian time. Probably around 2pm here. So whatever that turns out being for you guys .. idk . right before lunch I am guessing. 
Also I will have a full email time that morning so if there is anything you want to tell me before skype I will be able to respond then. 
Glad to hear everything is going great though! SO STOKED TO TALK TO YOU ALL ON CHRISTMAS!
love 

Monday, December 15, 2014

OPA! Date: December 15, 2014 at 6:05

Yo yo! Family!

Hey! Everyone sounds so awesome! Glad to hear from all of ya! Honestly P-days are only great because of Email!
Alright so we had a pretty good week I guess. Since I last wrote on Wednesday we had a pretty normal 5 days. Walked around and Invited everyone we saw to church and then did you usual. ha We are currently strugglin to get some solid investigators. Our area is pretty rich so the people are harder to get a hold of and not as humbled and ready to hear the gospel. So yeah is a struggle. We are teaching a few sweet people but they are moving super slow. We have a church pastor who is super cool because he basically just studied the Bible for 10 years on his own and then created his own Church because he couldnt stand the corruption he kept seeing in all the other ones around him. He has tons of questions and we dont know how much listening he actually does when we teach but he is reading the Book of Mormon so hopefully the spirit will crack through then. He is super educated which means that I cant understand a word he says so I sit there and play with his dog the entire time. HA jk I pay attention.. as much as I can. We also taught our American people and as expected they kinda turned us down because the Mother is a very strong Catholic. Which is a bummer because the daughter would be elict otherwise. We still sat there and talked with them. They kept bringing up questions about the church though and temples and stuff so we were pretty much teaching them gospel truths anyways without them knowing it. haha Love it when that happens. 
Other then all this, life in Brasil is pretty sick. Still dont have the language where I want it to be but that is alright. Elder Loveland is great but he is having a hard time run the area and help me learn the language so I get kinda left in the dirt a lot. Its all good though. Part of the learning process. This place is so funny though. There is just such a weird culture to it. So one side of our area is super loaded with cash and the other is kinda fevela status so we see some of the weirdest things sometimes. Like horse drawn carridges in the middle of the appartment highrises. And yeah everyone here are beach dwellers so Shirts and irrelevant. I love it here though even if the work is hard. When you compare it to the states is probably more succesful number wise but the work is just so much more than numbers so it struggles. Hopefully we can get someone to come to church. Then we can talk about baptism. haha 
So yeah SKYPE next week on the 25th.. we will be at a members home. Not sure yet but it will be pretty sweet to see some faces! Stay posted.

Well, family you all sound awesome. Glad to hear AZ was so sweet! B! Youre a man and a half! That 6 months to sexy worked out for ya! If you remember and Elder Stanger that was Visa waiting in your mission I met him at the CTM and he said he knew you. Also I met the kid that just left from your home ward in the CTM as well. There was some serious AZ represented in the CTM. Mom&Dad travel safe. Dad- glad to see you still wear the gross old sweaters! Mom you look great! Love you both. LAMBSONS! Rollin up in the BENZ! jk Suburban is pretty sick though! Hope the travel was safe. You guys are awesome. W&S&B hope you guys are alright. What are we gonna do about skyping all the non new mexico people? Kodras! Enjoy the vactions! Glad to hear the AZ game was sick. Beardown. Hang in there guys! Enjoy christmas with the RENTS. 

ALRIGHT 
Love all of ya. Love the gospel. Read your scriptures. They are a lifesaving device!
love,
ELDER CHRISTENSEN

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

3rd Week on the Beach!‏ Date: Wed, 10 Dec 2014

Family! How are ya?

First off this week was transfer week and so for whatever reason we dont have a P day until wednesday so for now on every 6 weeks just expect and email later in the week. No changes were made for me or anyone in our house really so its all good in the hood.

Another week is in the books and cant honestly look back and say it was any better than the week before! ha But its all good. Had some cool experiences along the way that were pretty great. We knock doors pretty much all day long and on this one door in particular we knocked an started to talk. She was asking us some questions about where we were from and then we found out that they both speak english! haha so it through them off pretty hard and we started laughing about it. They let us in and yeah we have some new investigators in English and I actually get to talk to them! So i get to feel like a missionary again! Its pretty great. We saw them this monday and I dont know how far it will last but hey I enjoy it for now. Just another week of walking and trying to learn Portuguese other wise. I feel like I understand most of what people are trying to say but if it enters another topic other than the gospel I am doomed. I am beginning to understand a lot more about myself and grow stronger so thats the positive side. Still not loving it too much but hey its all part of the journey. Oh and another funny story I just remembered was that last night we had to push a members car out of the road! There was an underground water pipe that just exploaded and he was driving over the water (because it just flodded the entire streeet) and his front end fell in to this massive ditch that the broken pipe caused! haha so we got to help out with that yesterday night! ha 

Christmas is coming and yeah we will get to skype. We will work out the details on that as we get closer to it. Thanks for all the stuff in the package. Not going to lie I opened everything, but I feel like I was supposed to because I wouldnt have been able to wear my christmas socks everyday otherwise! Thanks mom your great! Other things to answer your questions. There are 3 americans in total at our place. E. Brown arrived 6 weeks before I did and was serving in Boise for 10 months before as well. There are 2 native Brasilians and one other Argentinian . So yeah we all just got transfer calls last night and nobody is changing so we will all be here for christmas. For P-day we will probably just go get some food real quick. Go back to the place. Sleep and maybe play some Phase 10. we arnt aloud to leave our area or play soccer but in all honesty is too hot outside anyways to enjoy it. So yeah P-days are not the greatest but hey you learn to enjoy them anyways. 

you guys sounds like your doing great. Mom sorry to hear christmas isnt up yet. You will get there. Jenn- so sick about the phone! lets see how long it lasts! also good luck with the car hunt. West- Brooklyn you are adorable. Keep on being texan! you guys will enjoy the DISCO! ha yeah man beach probably outdoes that grimmy rio . Nano- glad to hear you guys still do rediclous things like christmas at Disneyland! But hey I guess its kinda close by so make the most of it. Enjoy the cooler air in NM. I miss it too! haha 

Sorry the letters have been getting more and more lame but I have to write my ritzville people to see what has been going down! I love you all! I Will do better next week! No need to worry bout me! LOVE

if I have time I will try to send pics after

Monday, December 1, 2014

Segunda semana Date: Mon, 1 Dec 2014 12:01

What it do!
Man what a week. Longest week of my mission! Started off on tuesday and (also the shift key doesnt work well so i am not going to even try) i recieved your christmas package! thanks mom your the best. we tried to get some police stuff done here because the place where i would normaly have done it in sao paulo was closed so anyways we tried to do it here and because the goverment is corrupt and has a whole bucket of problems it fell through and now we are just going to try sometime this week. the rest of the week we did pretty much the same thing every day. walked, talked, slept, pretty much the same thing everyday. its weird working here because there is no break for dinner. you work for 9 hours strait and you dont start work until 2... waiting for the sun to pass by. so pretty much it feels super long.. every day. but its alright. one day , i think it was thursday, we contacted this one american in the street. haha he was from Main or something and he was just wondering the streets looking for an address! haha he was a pretty goofy guy and it was fun to be able to lead the conversation over elder loveland haha and feel like a missionary again. 
in all honesty, it has been a pretty stressfull experience trying to stay possitive through all this. language is just the half of it I think. everything about this mission is different. the way they think about the work, the way the work is organized and everything. it is kinda a bumer to walk into and see just how skewed everything here is. but no need to worry. I know things will improve and that with time and effort all things will get better. 
but to answer some more of your questions- No, president doesnt speak english. Not close to missionaries. not really sure why but yeah its a weird topic. Lunch we have provided by members. sometimes we eat with them and other times we have it brought to our appartment. My ward is pretty normal sized but our area is huge so for the amont of area our ward covers I would say there is that many active members. The ones that are though are pretty great. no bug problem either. Our chapel just got shut down actually because its pretty ghetto so now we get to meet in a newer building that is a little farther away. i drink the water and everything else. I feel like this area at least has close to no problems with any of that. So its never crossed my mind that much. no problems with food or anything as well. I honestly feel a whole lot healther than i did in the states! haha
You all sound so great. glad to hear that thanksgiving was so good for everyone! Love you all so much. Now is the time to be bumpin some christmas! Ha everyone here in brazil is rockin the lighs and are starting to get pumped for it. Its funny how man american christmas songs you hear walking down the street that are just super irronic to be playing in brazil! 
alright well my time is up..
love ya 
will do better next week. this keyboard sucks!
ELDER CHRISTENSEN

Monday, November 24, 2014

My body is here! But my mind is in america! Sent: Mon 11/24/14 7:37 AM

Im here! Joao Pessoa exists guys! Its not just some mythical town that you
only hear about in fairy tales! HAHA I love it here! Seriously one of the
most beautiful places on earth. Our area is beach side so we walk next to
the beach every other day... Super pretty! Culture is super different and
the temperature is way too hot but its so cool to be walking around these
beach side favelas and talk to all of these incredibly warm people!
Seriously I love these Brazilians already and I dont even know what they
are saying to me! haha Language is one of the most important tools that God
has given us. Of that I have no doubt. Its just one of those things that
goes unappriciated until you realize that you dont know how to speak or
understand a single thing for a full day! haha So yeah I feel like I have
finally arrived but my Language is nowhere where I want it to be. But tudo
bem. It will come with time. Thats what I keep telling myself. All I need
is a few months and I will be set. Heavenly Father knew how to humble me
pretty quick! haha But yeah I dont know what to say! We live in a pretty
ghetto appartment with holes in the wall that you use to flush the toilet.
We live with 2 other compainionships so in all there Is 6 of us living in
the same amount of space that we had in the states. We eat some
redonkulusly good grub! I love the food here in Brasil! everything is
good.. with some Guarana to top it off.. umm all day! The lunch here is the
main course so we spend 2 hours for lunch and then walk around for the rest
of the day hoping that some one might feed us some snacks at around 8. haha
My trainer here is Elder Loveland! from Georgia. He is pretty much a stud.
Love his guts. Been out for 15 months and has a lot of great advice. Never
served stateside but its no diferent now. Once your here your here and
thats all that matters.  We speak in english quite a bit but thats just
this week. Next week we are going to be cracking down and getting to work
on how I can serve these people better in Portuguese! Now that I got my
feet wet in the area I am ready to give Brasil all I got. I just need to
gain the ability first haha! We had a baptizm this Sunday so the steriotype
of Brasil is already holding pretty firm! haha She was incredibly prepared
so It was fun to be there and watch it all go down!

I dont know what else you want me to share. But if you have questions ask
me cause there is too much I could write about this place but It would take
me all day!

You guys are incredible! Thanks for all the emails! Mon&Dad!- Travel safe!
I hope you have a great holiday! I loved hearing about the Christmas tree
and all the things you guys got going for you. Hope Grandpa is alright! And
B! That poor kid. Its always hard to go home but 10 days early!! Dang..
Tell him I love him.  

Alright its time for me to chow down and get to my first P-Day in JP!
Much love - PEACE
Tchao,
ELDER CHRISTENSEN

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Where am I‏ Date: Wed, 12 Nov 2014 14:33

What is up my family! So right off the bat this computer is super ghetto so I have to wait for 1 minute every time I spell a word. It sucks... haha but todo bem! OHHHH my goodness I am in BRASIL! Sao Paulo is super sick! I pretty much love it here but I honestly dont want to be in the CTM anymore. My teachers are super great and I love every one of them. But once you have been in the field and know how great it is you cant go back. So yep these next few days will be a grind and a half. We do ge tot go out and do some street contacting which is way tight! My favorite thing ever. Our first person that we contacted was pretty much gold! Every time we get to go out we give out 8 BofMs between the 4 of us! Our district is only those of us who were visa waiting which is only us 4. Everyone else that you saw in the picture was either a band new missionary or a brazilaro! But yeah there was a good number of us. Today we went to the temple! Sao Paulo one. We watched it in English which was kinda a bummer but I went through the vail in Port. I just read it off a page. Still dope. My comp is from Portland so I am still rocking the NO Comp from Utah record... Its fun to be able to swap mission stories with everyone on the mission. I cant imagine all the stories I will have once I am done with brasil! Language is coming along. I feel better at it everyday but seriously I still just want to go to the field.  FAMILY I LOVE YOU- West&Stasia&BROOKLYN! THATS INCREDIBLE I am so excited for you guys! Oh my gosh I honestly didnt think she was going to come soo soon but oh my gosh she is perfict! ALRIGHT i love you This computer is the worst. I hate having to leave you guys with such a lame email but I really need to gobefore I puch a hole in this compture screen! I love you all ! I love brasil! I love the food! TOdos! ELDER CHRISTENSEN


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Made it Wed, 5 Nov 2014 12:12

Hey hey family!
Just made it into the Sao Paulo CTM! Loving it! I can see buildings for days and it crazy to see another part of the world! The room I am in is in the top so I can see pretty much everything from our window. Next time I will send you a gnarly pic so you can see. My companion is Elder Beavers and he was VISA waiting in Ogden UT for 14 months before he got his. The other elders that are in our room are ones that have been out forever as well. One that was out for 15 and the other was actually in the MTC in Provo at the exact same time. People here are already dope! I can just see all of um and I want to badly to just walk up and be able to dish it out in Portugesse but unfortunatly I cannot. I hope to be able to pick it up again though. The week will be moving pretty fast I think and they have a different program for all the 2 week people that is faster and more intensive though so haha it will kick me in the face thats for sure!
 
Plan ride was long... super long. They had tablets in the back of all the seats in front of you though so it was better to waste time playing solitare if nothing else. I dont really know too much else of what to say. I loved talking to you guys yesterday! Its always a good feeling to be able to call home and everyone sounds pretty much the same and no awkward feeling about it. JENNY! I am so sorry I ran out of time and never got to call you guys.. Thats what happenes when you barrow from members and they have to make their own flights to South Africa!
 
You guys are all so awesome! Keep it up and know that I am praying for you guys everyday! 
 
ALRIGHT everyone . Buckle up!, This is gonna be a fun one.
 
Amo voces muito! Tchao Tchao!
ELDER CHRISTENSEN

Monday, November 3, 2014

LAST TIME IN AMERICA!‏ Sent: Mon 11/03/14 1:00 PM

Yo Yo Family!
What a weekend! 
Ok well first off we had 2 baptisms this weekend! Anthony Elder got baptised and Jacob Carruth (less active autistic kid that decided randomly to get baptized last week) as well! It was so great to finish my stateside mission like that! But let me tell ya, It was super stressful! haha! Our week was full of ups and downs! Great lessons and let downs of not being able to get all of my people to church and not even getting to teach one of my favorite investigators!! But hey its all good. I keep getting this overwhelming feeling that all is well and that the Lord will protect my area! Transfers also came last night. Elder Lauti will be staying in the area and his new companion has been out for a long time and apparently is pretty FLY so I am pleased to be able to leave the place in good hands. This last sunday so super hard! It was testimony meeting and of course we as missionaries pretty much always go up and bear testimony but this time we were invited to go first. It was pretty much at that time that I realized I was leaving! A wave of emotion just hit me in the face! I am so bummed to  leave such an awesome ward! Elders Family was sitting front row and I just hope that they know how much they changed my life! Plus everyone in the ward kept getting up and bearing their testimony about missionary work and kept saying goodbye and stuff like that.. I'm like "freak, people how am I supposed to leave this place if you keep making me love you so much!" Dang.. Missions are hard to leave! But its all good. We are definitely going back to small little Ritzville, WA  after my mission! You need to meet these incredible people! btw Anthony's baptism was so sick! David was the one who baptized him and it was one of the best things that I have ever had the privilege to see! It was rocky at first but so good! Anthony forgot to bend his knees so he almost knocked himself out when he leaned back under the water! haha but yep yesterday was pretty crazy, running around and saying goodbye to everyone! Also this week, Halloween was pretty fun! We celebrated on Wed as a branch and did carnival games and the whole shebang!  Pretty fun giving the kids a hard time while running the "Fishing for prizes" game! haha We ran out of stuff to give out pretty quick (even though most of it was pencils and bookmarks!!?) and so we ended up giving this poor girl a rubber band! haha She wasn't having it! haha Not even a little laugh.. just stormed off in her princess costume haha! I love the kids here! Halloween was pretty fun.
Yeah sorry everything is super scattered and randomly exploding out of my head. Hope you can read this letter and have it make sense when I get done with it! Anyways!- got my packing done this morning! Not a moment too late! I think I have most everything?! haha I ended up deciding that none of my sweaters are that important to send home. So I am giving away pretty much everything I don't need. Hope that's alright. Don't know how much weight is allowed in each bag but I will figure that out while I'm staying with Elder and Sister Fisher from the mission home tonight. I still need to buy a card to call home with. So I will take care of that. And then yeah idk what ever happens happens.. It still hasn't really hit me that I will be in a different country in 2 days?! Hopefully I am prepared enough and if not I know Heavenly Father will take care of it.
Man missions teach you a lot that's for sure. The Holy Ghost is a very real presence! There are so many things that I see myself doing everyday or situations that I am reacting to that I could never have seen me do just 1 year ago. I am so great full for the growth I have already seen in myself and the people around me! How lucky am I to know that I still have 14 months of this!! What What?! That's awesome!
Stay posted everyone! I will be calling ya on the morrow so make sure you answer your unknow numbers!! K love ya!
BYeeee

ELDER CHRISTENSEN
Outside a members house..


 AND then this crater that we found just outside of Odessa. We finally decided to stop and take some pics






Monday, October 27, 2014

Last WEEK in the STATES Date: Mon, 27 Oct 2014 11:09

Yo yo,

Family. The time is at hand. This is officially my last week in the USA?! Ah well, I am feeling more and more ready to leave but I also don't think it has really even hit me at all. This week was pretty slow. One of the slowest of the transfer. We had meetings, Temple day, Meetings and wind out the wazoo so tracting or contacting anyone was hopeless. We DID however have some pretty crazy miracles though so I will get to those because those are what actually matter. Temple day was perfect. Exactly what I needed. If you ever need to just forget yourself for an hour and feel the comforting spirit. GO to the TEMPLE. Just walk around it if thats all you have time for. That place is the best. Watched the newest video again and then it hit me that this is probably the last Temple session I will ever get to do on my mission. Don't really know if they do it in Joao Pessoa or no. But yeah it was a great day. Got to say goodbye to most of the missionaries in that area that I love. Still thinking that maybe I might get to see Elder Tekanene again but I think that hope is fading. On Saturday, we have baptisms scheduled for Kenadie and Anthony Elder. Crazy story though... We are sitting in church yesterday during the Branch Council when I receive a text from Sister Elder saying that Kenadie no longer want's to get baptized this weekend!?!?.. My heart sunk. I didn't know really what to feel but in all honesty I was never really doubting that she would ever question it. So we see them in church and talk to them and really it was David that told me that she could  very well change her mind before Sat so we are hoping and praying that all will work out this weekend. Apparently the David's ex-wife is sweeping through and tearing everything apart that she can... This just is another testimony builder to me that Satan doesn't want Baptisms! It's all good though. Anthony is still down and we are going over there tomorrow night to talk and teach the rescue mission of a lifetime. At the end of church we found out that another kid in the ward, (belongs to a semi-less active family, has slight autism) has finally after 4 years decided that this next weekend would be a good time to get baptized. SO in one day we lost an Ondate and gained another!? So we could have 1 baptism this weekend, or we could have 2 or 3. Guess you will have to stay posted!! But it is a really huge blessing and I am so grateful to know that this is how my last weekend in USA will end!

We had our primary program as well this weekend so that was really funny to watch . We got some good ones out here too. Got my official VISA info. I fly out Tuesday the 4th at 7:25 in the morning. I then fly to Saint Paul, MIN - then to Atlanta, GR - then to Sao Paulo, Brasil! 25 hours in total including layovers so I am sure I will call during one of them. Probably from MIN... or Atlanta - whichever you prefer. Yeah, I need to figure the calling card stuff. I don't think I have that many min on my old card. I will take my Black suit for sure. Grey one I was thinking about taking anyways and then just give it away to some guy on the street that needs it haha.. you tell me what to do mom and I will do it though. I can pack like a pro now so don't you worry one bit. I am really pumped to go to Brazil so don't stress it mom. I know it's where the Lord wants me. Besides if I were to get transferred outta the Ritz I would have wanted to leave anyways. I got the Lemke package! Tell them thanks for me! I am trying to send some letters off soon to get rid of my US Stamps so tell them they can be expecting one of those as well. 

Family- Mom&Dad- keep being awesome. Mom I really need you to get some sleep and take care of yourself. I am totally good. Love the mission and especially all the trails that come with it!  Stay strong. Doubt not, fear not. God loves ya! Hope to hear from you guys next week!

Alright that about wraps it up.
You guys are the best family a missionary could hope for! Have a great week!
Tchao

ELDER CHRISTENSEN 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Picture overload!

oh here are some pictures flooding in from all the past events!
1. Patti's Baptism

 
 1. Patti's Baptism
 2. Birthday Package
 3. General Conference on Sat.. by ourselves..
 4. Companion Elder Lauti 
 5. Elder Christensen artistic?
 6. Waterfall they got a parking ticket at?

Sure do love seeing this kid's smiling face!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Ritzville on the RISE! Travel plans.‏ Sent: Mon 10/20/14 1:46 PM

Oi Minha Familia

I feel like every week I say pretty much the same thing.. But in all honesty this week was CRAZY! haha It's so weird to BE in the week and try and figure out how to fill every hour with something to do and all the while thinking about how long you have until the next P-Day and then finally arriving at P-day and asking yourself what happened last week cause its all a blur. Highlights for the week. Had one of the most spirit filled lessons on my mission with the Roberts family out in Odessa <less active older couple that I mentioned in some of my earlier letters when they promised me they would come to church at some point before I leave> and then right after we dropped by the Elder family for a lesson and walked away knowing that after 10 baptismal invitations we finally have a date set for Kenadie and Anthony's baptism! Seriously it was one of the most spiritually draining yet worthwhile moments on my mission! I am just so stoked for the Elders Family! They still have two more kids to work on but just knowing that K&A are stepping up as the role models for the older brothers make my heart melt every time! I freaking love that family! Then latter in the week we met a brand new investigator that is golden! She kept telling us over and over that she was looking for something more and now she feels like she has finally found it! In my head I just kept saying over and over "You're gonna get baptized..Yep you're gonna get baptized for sure"! Ritzville is pouring out blessings and potential! If I was a betting man I would put money on Ritzville becoming a Ward before I finish my mission. The lord is preparing this place like crazy! Alexis is pretty awesome too! She can't come to church for like 2 weeks because of all these weekend plans she has set up but,.. she wants to. And the lessons are super powerful every time! If she made church a priority and just comes even once, she will be baptized, no doubt in my mind.  Sooo yeah I pretty much love this place and every week is crazy packed with miracles!
Elder Lauti and I are getting along great! Everything seems to be smooth sailing for at least the next few weeks.

I say at least the next few weeks because I found out yesterday that my VISA is officially here and that I am flying out to Brazil next transfer (November 3rd or 4th) . I don't know any of the details of when exactly my flight plan is what the logistics of it will mean but I will probably be in the MTC in Sao Paulo for 2 weeks to touch up on the language and then head up north to Joao Pessoa. I honestly don't know how to feel about it. Obviously I still know that it will be a great adventure and the people there will be incredible and that everything will be worth it in the end, but for whatever reason I just don't feel 100 percent stoked about it. I have grown to love the people of Spokane. Not just my converts or members but other missionaries, investigators, and even random people around my areas! I feel like I am simultaneously ending and starting my mission at one moment in time. We have a temple session planned for this Friday so that will do me some good to do some real pondering and get my self in the right mentality for all of this. I'm not gonna lie, this may be the hardest thing I will ever have to do on my mission. But I know that Heavenly Father is watching out for me. I have had too many experiences since being on my mission to ever doubt the fact that God has a greater design for what my life should be like than I could ever create on my own. For now we will just hit these next few weeks in the states with all we got. 

Alright er-body! We gotta go hop in our RIG and drive out past the CRICK to go help some WARSHintonites learn about the Gospel.
Write you again in a couple-few days now,

Com Amor,
ELDER CHRISTENSEN  

Friday, October 17, 2014

Old addresses.

Elder Cooper Christensen
310 W 10th St.
Ritzville, WA
99169

1st area until 7/7/2014
3532 15th Street E
Lewiston ID,
83501

Spokane Mission Address
820 South Pines Road Suite 101
Spokane Valley, WA 99206

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

crazy crazy days..‏ Date: Tue, 14 Oct 2014 11:24

Oh my goodness.. Family! How are ya? 

This week was insane now that I look back on it. Patti Nofsinger got baptised this Sunday and it was too sweet! HA It was pretty funny actually. She is just a goofy person and she also brought her blind neighbor that she lives next door to and he kept shouting out stuff at the wrong times and it was just hilarious. We walked in to the room where the FONT was (because there is not enough room to hold the whole thing inside the primary room) and right as brother Nelson raised his hand to perform the ordinance Patti's blind friend shouted out, "So what are we lookin' at NOW?!"  hahaha It was pretty funny. Irreverent for sure but I can't lie. I was laughing the whole time. I am just so excited for Patti to progress in the gospel and see just how much her life will begin to change because of it. We had a pretty stress filled week leading up to it actually. We had ZL/DL exchanges, 2 Baptismal interviews for Patti, and meetings like crazy so now that I look back on it all I just wonder how we even made it through in the first place. We also found a new investigator. Her name is Alexis and she is living with some less active members and taking care of their kids while they work. This less-active family is already one of my favorites on the mission and so we are stoked to see them come back in full and introduce the gospel to Alexis! Such awesome people, and Alexis accepted a soft baptismal invite so that is now our new area of focus! Elder's kids are getting along just about the same as before. I'm not gonna lie I just want to see it happen before I leave this area. I don't know if that's selfish for me to think or not but I just want to have it happen already! haha 

Birthday was great! Thanks for all the Email love and pictures and Video messages! You guys are truly the best! I had a pretty normal day for my birthday out here! haha Just the way I would like it. IT was actually kinda weird because the people that we had dinner with were celebrating  the birthday of their granddaughter and so I counted that as good enough! <btw- this family we ate dinner with were pretty crazy.. haha we talked no joke for 40 min about water births because Sister J is a mid-wife. Elder Lauti almost lost it>  haha Soon enough though the branch found out and sang me happy birthday at the ward activity on Saturday! haha I love these people too much!  AND then as an extension of my Birthday gifts this week, yesterday we had ZONE conference and got to watch MEET THE MORMONS! I don't know if you guys have heard about it or if it even came anywhere close to where you guys are but IT IS SO SICK! GO SEE IT ASAP! It was pretty sweet. I guess the First Presidency just provided every mission president with a copy of the movie so that all the missionaries could watch it! 


ALRIGHT ENOUGH!
LOVE ya

ELDER CHRISTENSEN

ps no pictures until we decide to find somewhere other than this library to write! Hope you can last!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

What the heck?‏ Date: Mon, 6 Oct 2014 11:10

Alright alright. SO my week was pretty great! We have had a bunch of great opportunities this week to teach and contact some great people. I keep feeling bad because as a new missionary all you want to do is go out and teach or do something to help you break off the new missionary nerves of talking to new people... but in Ritzville that doesn't happen all too often!! haha Especially when you have to do 4.5 hours of study every morning! But we are easing into a regular work week without too many meetings and other things that kinda get in the way. We are getting excited about the potential going down in the area and we can visually see just how if we played our cards right.. potential baptisms could be coming in the near future! Patti is getting baptized this Sunday @ 5 o'clock! No idea who is going to baptize or anything like that. I want my SON to do it but I don't know, she kinda has a weird trust thing.. So I might be the one she asks.. and she is "deathly afraid of water" (her words...) haha IT will be great though. The Elder kids are too busy to be on track for this weekend. But we will get them to commit to a date here next week. That family is so great! We watched Sunday Morning Conference with them at their place! The poor kids were bored out of their minds! haha Funny story: Anthony is 10 yrs old and one who we are trying to get baptized here soon. He looks around in the middle of the session and sees all of us writing on our spirals and notepads (Me, Elder Lauti and Sis Elder) so he goes into his room and grabs a star wars spiral and starts taking notes!! haha I was stoked! haha He probably lasted about 5 minutes before he realized he didn't want to do that so he just drew pictures of robots for the rest of the time! haha  

Conference was so awesome though!! I loved it all. I felt like a whole bunch of the talks were about President Monson though.. I couldn't decide if that was a good sign or not. There were a few apostles who I was a little concerned about health wise but idk. Just seemed like that was the flavor I was picking up. Elder Bednar laid it down for us in the afternoon session! We were watching it with Patti and I was already pumped for him to talk cause he is my BOY! But then he stands up and is like, "Today I am directly talking to those of you who are not members of the church." I was freaking out! I started to stare Patti down for the remainder of the talk! haha I really liked Elder Christofferson's talk too which is good because I have never really been drawn to his talks before. President Uchtdorf killed it this year in both his Priesthood and General Session talks. Elder Cook destroyed the mic with his talk too in the Priesthood sesh. (aka he did really good) haha idk I can go on and on about all the talks. They were way too good. Also I liked the native language thing but I was bummed when they decided to voice over rather than subtitled it. I almost died when Elder Godoy went up and gave it in Portuguese and I couldn't hear it. I now know what talk I will look up for language study though..

Keep of the busy lifestyle  and THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE PACKAGE! I loved it mom. Your the best! Shoes were dope and I especially enjoyed all the awkward pictures you made everyone take! haha You crack me up mom, but I love you endlessly for it! 

Know that I love ya,
MISSIONS ARE THE BEST.

ELDER CHRISTENSEN

Monday, September 29, 2014

New Transfer!‏ Date: Mon, 29 Sep 2014 11:22

Yo yo! My Family!

Glad to be able to hear from all of ya! I have a new companion now! His name is Elder Lauti from Oakland, California. Tongan heritage! haha I am so pumped to have all of these brownie companions! haha It's awesome! I am in love with my first born in the wilderness! Sad to see Elder T leave but it's funny now to introduce all the members to Elder Lauti and just watch their heads flip as they expect him to speak with an accent! haha The other best part is that his nametag is in Chinese because he is also a VISA waiter! haha He is waiting to head out to Taiwan here pretty soon. They only recently changed the application process so his should only take 1 transfer to get here.. He is pumped to be here though and working together is already a blast. 
The area is awesome as ever. Our investigator Patti accepted a solid baptismal date now for the 12th of Oct!! (Elder Lauti owned the baptismal invite and it was actually set for the 10th aka MY BIRTHDAY but then we found out it would conflict with members schedules and other things that are semi important) WE ARE STOKED! She keeps looking better and better with every time we teach her. She actually reads the pamphlets and takes notes in them!? Nobody does that! haha She is incredible and it will be a joyous day when the ELDERs kids want to join in and we just have a branch dunk fest! haha It will be something that we work towards for the next few weeks. So yeah Training has been pretty tiring. DL has been pretty tiring only because of the long meeting I had to attend on friday! For our first four days together, me and elder Lauti had probably 4 hrs total to work! We got 5 lessons in and Elder Lauti commented on how slow the week was for us once or twice and I keep thinking to myself, "that's a great week for Ritzville!!" haha Guess I got to raise my game here to break Elder Lauti in!! haha 

(Cooper's Visa has finished processing!!!)
I am excited for the B-Day package! Thanks so much! I can probably already say that it will be over the top! Ha thanks MOM! Love you. About the VISA.... idk what to feel about it really. It would be rough to start all over again.. I really am torn apart by it all. I didn't say anything because I didn't want to talk about it haha! Don't get me wrong, I would be stoked to have two mission experiences and get to spend some time where I was actually called but, Washington has my heart right now! I love these people. I guess we'll just see how it all pans out in the end but for now I really don't know what to think about it. 

Know that I love you all and that next week I will probably try to send Pics! For now I am on the Clock so Tchao!
Com Amor!

ELDER CHRISTENSEN

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Transfer calls‏ Date: Mon, 22 Sep 2014 12:31

What it be FAMILY!
 
Transfers have swept through and no lie it was a little bit predicted, nonetheless exciting. So first of all Elder Tekanene is outta here... I'm pretty bummed but its always fun to have a change too. I am going to be TRAINING this next transfer. Bring in the young blood! haha I am stoked actually. It will be interesting to be the first impression of what missionary work is like for someone. Hopefully, I can set a good standard. It will be so awesome though! Also I was made DISTRICT LEADER so that adds on to the freshness. haha I guess I am excited. It really wont be that much different than before. There is only one other set of missionaries in our district so idk It's an honorable thing I think. 
We also have our investigator Patti lined up to get baptized in October!!! She is still trying to figure out a date that she is comfortable with (MY BIRTHDAY would be an obvious choice if you asked me) but it's a solid commitment we think! She is an awesome person and the gospel is already improving her life and outlook on all that she has had to go through. We had a pretty sweet lesson on Friday night with some members and it was one of those where a "I'm gonna need some more time" turned into "yes! I would love to follow Jesus Christ and be Baptized" The spirit was pretty strong the entire lesson. That's without a doubt one of the greatest feelings you can have, not only as a missionary, but as members bore there humble testimonies, we all could feel it and everyone could sense that all of this really is true. That God loves us, He wants us to be happy, to come back home. Love being a missionary. #DoubtNotFearNot #D&C6 haha 
So yep Patti will be baptized out here and then the Elder kids should follow suit once they have a enough time to themselves to think! haha Running around with kids in sports and all that jazz! I have no idea how moms / families do it all! I can't think of anything much else too say that's that compelling or interesting. Just trying to find and teach everyday. This morning we did a bunch of service for Patti (#sacraficePDAY4DunkDay) and then we are driving out to have a BBQ with all the zone. Most people are leaving and there are a lot of people there are going to be a bummer to say good bye too. 


Alright Know I love ya,

ELDER CHRISTENSEN

Monday, September 15, 2014

On the clock today!‏ Date: Mon, 15 Sep 2014 13:30

FAMILY!

I am on the clock today! The family history center is no longer available to us missionaries so we are now at a library in Cheney WA and I feel so much pressure to write! There is a ticking clock in the left hand corner and I can't stop looking at it! Dang ok better start writing something that's important to you guys! haha Alright so we had a sweet week of driving and teaching and knocking doors! We are now on our last week of the transfer! How crazy is that! Elder Tekanene thinks that he might go because nobody has survived more than 4 out here in the RITZ but I hope he stays! Such a thug. Anyways the people we are teaching are pretty much the same. Elder Family is awesome! The kids are beginning to like talking to us and so we joke around with them and they are starting to think about Baptism. So it will definitely happen before I leave! I will make sure of it. And then the other lady I was telling you about, Patti, the one who had a tree fall on her house! haha She is so ridiculously excited about the gospel too! She is gonna be baptized before I leave as well. And then on Saturday we tracked into this awesome family that lives in a town called LIND and they have the most ridiculously cute girls! We just knocked on his door looking for the dad (because we talked to him before) and the son answered and said that him and his wife were, "definitely interested in learning more!" SO I will let you know who that one goes next monday. WE plan on seeing them Wednesday. I SERIOUSLY LOVE THIS AREA! So much growth and potential in this area! I never would have thought that the church was growing so rapidly before my mission, especially when you look at small towns that look more like forgotten pit stops between cities! The lord is hastening his work! So yeah we also had interviews with president on friday. He really is an awesome guy! I told him in my interview that if he ever took me out of my area I would cry.. haha But he is beginning to talk about the chances of me getting my VISA as well so that bums be out a little bit! He is a great president though. Him and sister mullen are both awesome. This next week we have a lot of appointments and should be busy most of the week! Lets all hope a pray that most things don't drop though.. Curse of ritzville is that 90 percent of everything you plan goes down the toob! 
I am trying to think of any funny stories from the week or anything like that and I am drawing blanks! We gave talks on sunday and then taught gospel principles! I talk about you guys all the time in them so don't be surprised if you guys already have reputations  up here!

You guys.. Mom&Dad- both of you are awesome! Thanks for calling and dealing with SLC for me mom. Your a trooper. Dad keeping working hard and know that I use you as an example in all my talks! This week I was talking about titles that we all go by and said that you refer to yourself as a "stud muffin!" Apparently nobody up here really knows what that means cause I only got a few laughs out of it. but of well! haha Love you guys dunkin got dunked! haha Congrats for him! Glad you guys could make the trip up to support them! Way to go family! 

Alright well I love all of ya! Keep saying your prayers and reading the scriptures! Seriously though, scriptures are where its at! I am reading through the New Testament / Anything in the BofM and there are some precious gems in there! Just finished Acts.. let me tell ya, Paul is a stud. Read chapter 20:7-till the story ends..?? haha I know.. Love the weird stories.. But in all honesty I really am beginning to love reading the scriptures. They are the word of god for us to "search, ponder and pray" about. Helaman 3:19 I think??? Idk look it up! 
Love you all again!
Much love,

ELDER CHRISTENSEN 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Family History Center closed..‏Date: Tue, 9 Sep 2014 12:49:

Hey family! Sorry for the wait on the letter but where we normally go to do emails, (family history center in cheney stake center) was closed and so therefore we had no other way to email you. So hopefully this short letter on tuesday will get you through the next week! We have had a pretty slow but normal Ritzville type week. New investigators come and go but the problem with people here is that they are too friendly to say "No" when they really just aren't that interested. Never before I came out on my mission could I have thought that I would want someone to get all mean and closed right away in a contact instead of them letting us come by over and over while they sit inside and pretend not to be home. We picked up one new investigator however that came to church this week! Her name is Patti and a tree fell down on her house when the HABOOB swept through, giving us a reason to knock on her door and ask if she needs help with the clean up. Turns out that she has been contacted before by missionaries and that she would love to start to learn more about the church! Who would have thought that Heavenly Father would just drop a tree on someones house in order for us to find someone!

Temple was awesome. Watched the 2nd of the newest films and it was not my favorite but still legit. I love having the temple as an option in this mission. Sometimes it's what gets you through the transfer! Elder Tekanene is the man! I love this kid. We pretty much laugh all the time. The only times that we ever get frustrated with each other is when I forget that he is from an island and comes from an entirely different culture than I could imagine. We get along perfectly and yeah it will be hard to ever contact him after the mission but he has a facebook and is planning on going to BYU-Hawaii after so who knows?! 
New Bishopric! Crazy. I guess I never thought about how long they have been together before! That's exciting though. Let me know what goes down. Dad could be pulling a fast one on all of us so who knows! I can't believe the Charles is home! That's insane. And B has his release date already! Ahhh that's too fast! 
Thanks for calling SLC! It would make you happy to know that people are getting VISA's left and right around the mission. There are two that I know of right now (both from Texas actually) that are headed out at the end of the transfer. Elder Owens (if you remember him) is leaving and he is the one that came out here with me from my MTC district! So yeah who knows I could only have one more left in this mission... Looks to me like they will just keep missionaries through the transfer so If I did get mine in the next 4-6 weeks I would be here through October. So no need to hurry up on the B-day package! haha I do want some Green Chili though! New shoes would be awesome too because my poor nikes are thrashed from all the service and P-day stuff. Some casual nike braatas would be sick. haha jk you really don't have to send anything.

You all sound awesome and I am glad each of you had a chance to write me. I am seriously blessed to have such an awesome family!
I don't think we have any more time to write you specifically back but just know that I read all of them! Dad get better soon! TODAY IS YOU STINKIN BIRTHDAY! ya old man! love your guts. Your my hero!

K love ya all,
ELDER CHRISTENSEN