Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Sam sent the following email & pictures on Sunday, August 16, 2015:

From: Samuel Christensen <samuel.christensen@myldsmail.net>
Subject: How many more "accessory" tendons does Nate have left in his wrist?
Date: August 16, 2015 9:47:04 PM MDT

Hey guys,

We got our mini-transfer calls last night and the results are in: I'll be the same. But I'm officially with Elder Kim and we're still Zone Leaders for South Zone. We're treading water for a few weeks until the new group of missionaries comes in, so it's a strain on the mission right now. Myers will die next week on Monday after President Holland comes. Which will be HUGE, by the way! We're pretty amped for that and he's going to meet the missionaries too. WOWOWOWOOWOOW What?! That'll be so sick.

Wow, there's a lot going on at home. I gotta be honest. Well like all of you guys are always in my prayers in my heart all the time, but like sometimes I don't actually always pray out loud for stuff at home because it is far from my thoughts and there is a lot of stuff here that we're worrying about and hoping for and praying about. But I'll definitely find some place to fit you guys in there.. Haha jk

Our missionary work is going pretty well. Like we could always use more really good people to teach because we've got some halfers. One guy we've known for only like a month casually said that he's read the book of mormon once through already and has started reading it a second time. But like I don't know how that can be true. Like the guy's only come to half of one sacrament meeting. Hmmm, but I don't know.

I got to go on exchanges with Elder Cook, my old companion, last Friday. He's finally down here in the city and it was good to reconnect. Like he said, we were with each other for 3 months, 24 hours a day. I won't even be with my wife that much within like the first 6 months of marriage. So we know each other pretty well even though we've been away a bit.

Teaching piano class is going pretty well. It's fun because I can always see the growth and the learning in them (even if we're re-learning something I've taught like 5 times before. Still trying to get those note values down..) But it's fun and I like doing it. I haven't gotten the book [I sent Sam a package containing a piano instruction book] yet, but learned that they sell them here at the service center probably for like a nickel...[Nice.  I think I paid $23.00 for it at Deseret Bookstore :)] So that's kind of awkward..

If you guys could help me out with those questions I emailed you that would be great because we're curious and I don't have internet or lots of resources.. [The questions Sam had sent us were: When is it in the plan of salvation that we will have the chance to get married if we didn't get married in this life? After the resurrection?  Why do we use olive oil for priesthood blessings? Or oil at all?]

We got our CBRs (Convert Baptism Records)(the things they have in places where they don't have iPads) reorganized into a nice stack of 8 different binders.

I've started making up and assigning homework for english class and giving out candy to those who do it, and they're all just jumping on the wagon. Of like 37 people in our one class 13 did their homework in only like the third week of assigning it. So I correct them all and give them feedback. That means I get to read sentences like this (this assignment was to tell me about yourself so I can get to know you) : "I like baby because I have funny personality." Good.  Or this one "Give a handshake when you meet sister." Why not. Or "My favorite hobby is lonely." Tragic.

None of us has ever seen God or Jesus Christ (lots of Cambodians excluded), but we believe in them because we believe that we, ourselves, don't have the power or the ability to overcome our struggles and trials on our own. You've got to be humble and see yourself in the fallen and desolate state that we're in and realize that we all need help. We all need to depend on something that's bigger than ourselves. If you think you don't, then you're overly-prideful. I get to see a lot of people everyday who humble themselves and cry to God for help, and then they listen to their feelings and know that they're not alone. One guy this week told me that he found out the difference from Buddhism and Christianity (since he's been learning with us); that Buddhism shows you a good road, how to live a good life. Christianity, the same. But Buddhism drops you off right there. You're on your own. Christianity, you can pray and have help and guidance always there beside you. Now you tell me which one is better. He also touched on the famous Cambodian rumor of Christians that they don't cry when someone in their family dies. Which we always say is wrong because, well, it is. But he knew that, but having learned the Plan of Salvation a week back, said that while we can cry, we don't really have a huge need to cry because we know where our people have gone. Buddhism, they don't know. For us, we know God's plan for us. How great is that! Many people out here exercising their faith and seeing the fruits of it. We had a baptism yesterday for a longtime investigator, Odom. He's really good and really cool.

Miss you guys and love you! 
Sam is on the far left.  His companion, Elder Kim, is on the far right.
And his other companion, Elder Myers, is in the center with Odom.

Above:  Sam & Elder Myers
Below:  Sam, Elder Myers, & Elder Kim

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