Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Wow, OK, I feel like I was born here. Born in a suit, with a nametag, and maybe I was a little slow at learning how to speak Spanish. English is baby talk, and therefore no good, so I'm trying to learn Spanish, and yeah... we all kinda feel we have been placed here, and had "withheld the recollection of our former friends and birth, yet ofttimes a secret something whispers”.... shouts... "You're a stranger here" and we feel that we've wandered from a quite different and wordly sphere..." Yup. That stroke of genius came to me around midnight last night. Had to go grab a hymn book and write it down...

WELL I'm in the final stretch. It’s crazy. I feel ready to get out, and the language and such don't agree, but it's time. I can't be perfectly prepared. I think at least this week I want to speak only espanol, sheesh. I HAVE made progress though, I did half of the weekend in pure spanish, felt good. Didn’t say much, but yeah... I have also had some success in the Referral Center - some guy called in and tried to say "Anyone there a-speak a-spanish?" and I was like, "Hold on, I'll go get... wait, yeah, I do..." and helped him find his way to a Church building in New York City. I was proud... my guy Herman that I am calling (in English) apparently didn’t read 3 Nephi 11, but read 18 CHAPTERS of 1ST Nephi! Cool guy, I'm not sure I'm getting anywhere with him, but he likes chatting, and such. Good practice... and our “fake” investigator guy, Alessandro the Italiano actually read some of the Book of Mormon we got him to take finally... it was cool, he was trying to lead us off topic, with many questions, a discussion of Alexander Hamilton, and a diagram-based lesson of Italy's geography (in SPANISH mind you). BUT we managed to talk about things that mattered ... I keep forgetting this guy is just acting in order to help us prepare for "real" people... next week though... yikes!

Well, hmm, ok. Let's see... CONFERENCE was awesome [twice a year our church has a worldwide conference where we hear church leaders speak]! I'm not sure I've ever been as involved with Conference, preparing, taking notes, listening for’s a different perspective as a missionary. One Hermana in our District had a guy - an ex-convict that shes been talking to about God and the Gosepl for a month - watch the conference - he loved it. It was cool watching conference wondering what people are getting and feeling as they watch it for the first time. It's awesome. The talks were amazing this time, well, as always. You're right mom, Elder Pearson's talk was perfect. It said a lot of things I needed and was feeling. A lot of them did, in little ways. It does seem like the world is going to get scarier and harder, but I loved how the overarching message was "Fear not, have faith" God will not forsake. Also this may be hard, but we can make it. Fear not. Fear is a tool of the adversary - as Pearson said, doubt is a form of fear. Fear is what I've dealt with the past week - fear that I haven't used my time effectively, that I won't be able to do this because I've not had perfect faith and such, fear that maybe my testimony and faith aren't strong enough to be gung-ho and strong every day, on my mission and eternity. Sometimes that's hard. But I like how the theme was "don't fear". We don't need to. Elder Holland beautifully described that the Savior did it all for us, and we never have to be alone, because He was alone for us. I also like this quote that I found on a talk by James E Faust called Do not Fear, taken from The Secret Garden: (um, can't get to it here, you should find it, its good...) But yeah, conference was really good. We need to remember Elder Uchtdorf's counsel and always say to adversity and distraction, "I'm do0ing a great work, and I cannot come down!" (Priesthood Session). All in all, I'm feeling pretty good, and even a little excited finally to go out and serve. Sometimes its still a little intimidating and I get distracted by that, but I found myself last night thinking of it as an adventure, and got excited. It is an adventure. My brothers and sisters need the Gospel! And I'm gonna ride that bus to go tell em, yup!

OH I saw the Mautzes today! They are here and getting ready! It was really cool to see familiar faces for a change, helped me remember there is a real world out there where you don't sing hymns 24/7 ... Oh, and I still don't have bus information, its lame. I'm gonna complain and find out what time I leave sooner or later... I know its wednesday. tHe elders flying out get to call home from the airport... wonder if I get to from the bus station? I'll find out.........

Well, I'm pretty sure I can write again on next Tuesday, so one more before I hit the field. Thank you for all the letters and advice and the help. This is a big deal. But I think the key as always is relax and have fun, an ADVENTURE! I hope all is well at home, with everybody! Good luck with all the craziness and Beauty and the Beast and and and... Take care everyone, I'm always thinking about EVERYONE (ok, I can't always, but you know...) Love you all, have a good week! -Elder Christopher the Ready to LEAVE
Hermana Catherine Brodegard - Minnesota Minneapolis Mission; Hermana Johnson - Washington DC South Mission; Elder Marlow (back) - Guadalajara Mexico South Mission; Elder Turner - Tampico Mexico Mission; Elder Nelson (in front) - Torreon Mexico Mission; Myself - Utah Ogden Mission; Elder Rindfleish - Houston East Mission; Elder Regher - Tiajuana Mexico Mission

The District with one of our teachers, Brother Johnson

The District with Branch President Weiderhold and Brother Sanchez (from Panama!)

My other MTC teacher, Brother Haight


  1. haha, bus station sounds so much less epic...

  2. Fear not, Elder T! As ill-prepared as you feel, you're still more prepared than most! And more prepared than you give yourself credit for! You are awesome....enjoy the adventure. And know you'll grow as you go.