Monday, September 15, 2014

Sam sent the following email and pictures on Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014.  Our statements & questions are in italics.

From: Samuel Christensen <>
Subject: Hello, hello, Yes it is I, your favorite son
Date: September 14, 2014 11:23:16 PM MDT

Hi guys,

I hope the sports updates I give you aren't too distracting.  You never have to worry about sending too much in the "distractions" category of info, dad. That's plenty welcome. It really makes my heart hurt to see the Angels absolutely killing it and all the things that are happening in baseball. I used to know so much about everything, the whole league, individual players--everything!! Now I know nothing. But I've been thinking the past few weeks about how much I love reading and learning about sports. Man, that is really what I love to do (you know, aside from spending time with family and preaching the gospel and etc yada yada). So maybe I seriously should consider some type of career that I could be surrounded in sports. I don't know, I was just thinking about that a little bit ago.

Do you get a little saddle sore from riding your bike so much?  Yes, thank you for asking, it is tough to be in a saddle all day. I sit on that bike a lot. But it's great when I get to go in the house at night and not have to ride it for 10 hours or something like that.

Church yesterday was pretty good. Because basically none of our main investigators showed up, so we didn't have to worry about things running smoothly or having a teacher or making sure people weren't peacing out before church ended. So yes, it was easier and less stressful than most weeks, but we didn't really accomplish the desired goal of getting people to church either. So we kind of won and lost. We have a couple investigators who are really good, and a couple that we dropped last week and a couple more we will drop this week. Most of the contacting just comes in down time while we're fixing bikes or something of that nature. Sometimes you just go up to people and ask them a random question that you already know the answer to and then you say oh, ok. Well actually we're missionaries from the Christian church...

Are you still liking your new apartment?  The new place is still nice. We're trying to keep it clean, but it's still miles nicer than the first place. 

We were wondering if your rice is white rice or sticky rice or something different.  The rice is just rice. I guess it's probably sticky rice. I don't know. It's white.. 

How is the sun? I need to start putting on more sunscreen more often than I am now. I think I've gained a few more freckles.

Do you have an exercise period each day or does all your bike riding fulfill your exercise quota?  We're supposed to exercise every morning from 5:30-6 AM. But oftentimes I don't quite make it up quite at exactly 5:30, and then I just write in my journal what happened from the day before. And we definitely ride the bike plenty. If I see myself starting to get fat, I'll start exercising more. 

In the photo you sent last week, how heavy were the barbells you were lifting?  I think that bench press was only about 60-something pounds. I did 35 reps, but back in the day 60 pounds was absolutely nothing.

[We sent Sam some pictures of Skibby playing powder puff flag football last week.]  Those were some sweet action shots of Skib. She's such a baller. 

We are trying to get our ducks to fly away but they keep coming back...  I hate to be the one to say I told you so with the mallards, but.....

What kind of music do the Cambodian people like, and do they play instruments?  They like a lot of weird music here. Actually, a lot of people are into David Archuleta even if they aren't mormon or know about the church. They kind of like that romantic-type of song. Kind of like Engelbert Humperdinck meets the 90s kind of thing. And usually they're a few months or years behind what's popular in the United States. They can kind of sing, but not usually because most of them can't read music, but they do their best. No one plays instruments that I've seen. I don't really share my talents, but I did get to play the piano by myself in the sacrament room this past week and that was fun. But all I remember is like the first two lines of tons of songs. That's it.

I meant to tell you a story of what happened last week at church. So the teenage girl who usually conducts the hymns wasn't there, and there was nobody to fill in leading the congregation, and so since I was sitting on the stand because Elder Yorgason pushes buttons to make the piano play itself. So when the first song starts they're like ok go, go, go. Go conduct the hymn, so I'm like ok that's fine, no problem. The first one is their  favorite song--I need thee every hour--and they sing it at least once or twice each week without fail, and it's the one I know the best. So I led it and they sang and it was fine. Then after that we had the sacrament hymn, so I got up to conduct, got ready, and started trying to sing it the best that I could and lead also. But about halfway through the first verse when I looked up at the congregation no one---NO ONE----was singing. I was like oh crap that's embarrassing, I must have been conducting and singing through a longer introduction to the song. Then it kept going and I realized that wow, nope this is the song, just nobody knows it so nobody is singing. And usually Elder Yorgason sings loud to help people out, but this week there was only only hymn book on the stand and I was using it. It was sooooo awkward of 3 minutes of listening to the piano play, trying to lead and sing, and being the only one doing it. Ugghhh

Then on the bike front this week I told you last week how my pedal and arm came off, so I had it getting fixed by some members and they gave me a temporary bike to use. On Tuesday I was riding their dumb bike and hear a loud pop and shoot, yeah the tire's popped. Like the whole tire not just the inner tube. After a while we got it to a repair place and they put a new tire and inner tube on for 8 bucks, which is average but a little high here. I was pretty mad because that was 8 dollars for a new wheel on a bike that wasn't even mine. Then when I ended up getting my bike back a few days ago i had to pay 3 dollars for it and I'm not sure they actually fixed the problem. Then last night we were riding home to end the day and my front tire went flat. We got to a place to fix it a little later and it had 3 holes in the inner tube, so they had to replace it. The couple that runs the place charged us 3.75 for it, which is a pretty big ripoff I guess. Like twice as much as it should be. But I was in a compromising situation because they'd already fixed it, so I had to pay it. I was trying to think how Jesus would act in a situation that he gets ripped off big time and gets a weak excuse that the inner tube came from Thailand so it's better. We were talking about it last night and figured he'd probably just take getting ripped off. But then for personal study this morning Elder Yorgason was reading in Acts 5 about a couple that ripped Peter off and lied to him about how much something was, and he stretched forth his hand and struck them dead or something like that. So we figured maybe that's how Jesus would have handled that situation. So we had every right to be mad that they ripped us off. I'm kind of joking.

There's a lot of good things to share, but if I tell you all of them, no one will be excited to see me come home. So I'll hold off. 

But I will tell you about one guy who was a 1st counselor in the Bishopric about 10 years ago and is now basically inactive. He comes once every 2 or 3 months. We visit him when he can and he came to fast sunday last week. But he told us a miracle that happened with him when he came: So he came and was apparently planning to pay tithing, but the Holy Ghost whispered to him "don't pay tithing" because if he did he wouldn't have enough money to buy gas for his moto to get back home." So he heeded the advice of the Spirit and didn't pay the tithing. What do you know, that Spirit was right! He had to buy gas to go back home. What a miracle. His testimony of the power of the Holy Ghost grew. Brilliant. Also, he called on himself to share the closing prayer, and he asked to bless all of the less actives that they could come back to the fold.

Ok guys, that's probably it for me. I hope you're having a good week and surviving school, work , children's choir, missions in California, etc.

The water pictures are when it rained last Monday and we were driving home.

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