Elder Coy at Five Years Old!

Elder Coy at Five Years Old!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Oh family. Family is the greatest thing ever. Elder Sutherland found a line in Preach My Gospel that says that "Heaven is only the continuation of the ideal family" or something like that. I love you guys!

This week has been full of all sorts of great and not so great things, but it has yielded much fruit! 
Here are the big updates and stories.

We celebrated Elder Jackson's birthday at Rugby this week, but it was also Elder Sutherland's yesterday! To celebrate that we went to a nice restaurant called Tom's Too and I paid for his steak. A lot of the other Elders also came, including Elder and Sister Beus, and it was awesome. 

Last Monday we went to Bro. Kong's house for family night, it was fun but tonight we are going to try harder to do something to help the younger kids stay interested (any advice would be appreciated!).

We had a very interesting lesson with Jerry's family, as Elder Beus had asked if he could make a chart to explain church organization. We thought it would be a smaller thing, but he ended up teaching the entire lesson with us translating. It basically covered everything we were apprehensive to bring up, but it was done in a way that it couldn't have been better for them. We'll have to really see how Jerry feels about it, as the main message was that God is the head of this church, not man.

We also met a new family that we are teaching, the head is sort of a matriarch named Caterina, and they live out next to Ingang. We originally met one guy there who invited us back, his name being Paul, and they're awesome. One of the young adult sons, Ari, was saying he'd always been confused about why there we so many churches and wanted to know which one was right, so he was extremely excited when we said we could tell him the answer. More on them next week!

We had a fun day on Friday with Splits with the Zone Leaders. I got to do the 40 minute bike ride out to Rantau Panjang with Elder Jackson and had a lot of fun lessons out there. As we were leaving, there were kids with these crazy firecrackers that sounded like gunshots without casings. One thing I guess I should let you know, on the news here there's apparently been some strange incidents of people being taken by chinese gangsters who gas people and take their organs. Just so you know, and we are taking precautions and being very careful when needed.

On that note, have you heard about MH17? Is that crazy or what?

We have been working pretty consistently with Lena this week, and she is getting better. It's hard for her as she is still learning to learn. Kenyang however is on date for this next Saturday, and he is very ready. We'll be having family night at Acui's house again tonight.

Saturday was a branch social, which apparently nobody planned. So we ended up doing Musical Chairs, Karaoke, and eating, but it was still fun.

During Branch Council, District President Chua said we could request for Wheel chairs for Desmond and Sebastian, Ingang's kids, which would be really cool if we could do that. 

Yesterday we were able to go with Brother Kajup to see a less active named Entalai. He is really cool, expressed a desire to return to church, owns a car and has work off on Sunday! That's really cool, and hopefully we can see him there next week.

Anyway, this week has been great over all. Elder Sutherland is an amazing guy and I absolutely love working with him. He seriously has been one of the most influential parts of my mission so far, all the way for the better.
I love you so much! 

-Elder Christensen

Sunday, July 20, 2014

This is how I'm starting the letter because I don't know how else to start it :-)

Hello family! This week has been an interesting one, filled with good and bad alike. Last Monday's Rugby was incredibly fun, I've never played rugby before but I actually really enjoyed it. We're actually playing it again today, but it's also Elder Jackson's birthday and we're throwing a party for him at K.F.C. (don't tell!).
We had a great family night that night at Acui's house, mostly based on watching Finding Faith in Christ.

Well, to be honest so much has happened after that I don't remember what days they happened, so I'll just ramble for a while. 
After last week's sickness, I'm basically fine now, though I'm being much more careful about what eat at least as far as nutrition is concerned. Elder Sutherland is part of that, as he sometimes is still feeling sick. He will take de-worming pills this next week. We are doing fine though, don't worry about us! We have had some very fun and delicious meals at home this last week accordingly, including Pasta and very American tasting lunch sandwiches!

Acui is still doing fantastic. Dundang is still awesome. Kenyang and Lena are on date to be baptized the Saturday after this next one. We had a lesson where we found out that Lena hasn't been really understanding much of what we have been teaching this whole time. At one point she actually went really quiet, as the spirit whispered that she hasn't yet put in the personal effort to really study the gospel. It's really hard for her, learning in a language that isn't her own and not being able to read. I'm not worried about her though, it's just her personal refiners fire.

Jerry is doing great, they still haven't had the opportunity to go to church, but we still had an amazing lesson with them about the role of the Holy Ghost and who he is. We're hoping to extend a better invitation for church this week, but they're very open to it right now.

We haven't been able to meet with Ingang or Nyabong due to extenuating circumstances, but they're still doing alright. We managed to learn more about the possibility of a van for Ingang, but we have no solid information right now.

We got to meet again with Sister Daung. It was kind of cool as we went after our other appointments fell through Saturday night. The next morning, she paid for a private taxi (not cheap) to take her to church. That was a real sacrifice for her, and the first time since I've been here that she's come. It was very touching to see that.

Last night, Garra, a member from branch 1, came to our house and asked us to help give a blessing to his son. He has the Melchizedek priesthood, but didn't remember how to do it himself. Elder Misa anointed, and Elder Sutherland gave the blessing. It was a sweet experience.

This last Tuesday we had a fantastic District Counsel. I'd been stressing about what I was going to do for the training, but after some fantastic discussion with Elder Sutherland, I threw all the stressful stuff out the window and went completely off the Spirit. The result was a Blues Clues analogy resulting in a creation of a new District Counsel format in which we discuss President Main's weekly message and together choose an application to try as a District. It was wonderful and Glorious, and Elders Bester and Hobbs brought Paus for everyone!

Well, Life is Good! I hope it's the same for you! 
Love you!

-Elder Christensen

Monday, July 14, 2014

Sometimes I just stare at the Book of Mormon and think about how weak and simple we really are...
(Seriously though that Book is like, the coolest).

Hello family! This week was enjoyable and trying and awesome and crazy all rolled up into one piece of American Pie or something like that.
After Emailing last week I got a flat tire, so we just walked home and slept for our PDay activity. 
UNTIL: The Amazing Family night at Ella's house!
Since it was Zone Council the next day, we had all the Elders from Sibu Jaya and Mukah staying over at our house. Ella has some sort of 6th sense or something, and ordered us to bring all Elders that were available to come over as well. She personally went over to pick up Acui and bring her back, and we had a blast. I put too much chili in my delicious noodle soup however, but it wasn't bad at all.

The next morning was Zone Council, and it was definitely the best Zone Council I have had yet. Elder Misa and Elder Jackson did a fantastic job preparing for it, and the spirit was super strong. We were all able to receive revelation from Heaven, and even spontaneously decided to do a Zone fast for families to be brought to the gospel this week. We ate at the Healthy place again, it was actually better tasting this time.

Well, nothing else specific happened for the next couple of days, but people are doing well. We were able to meet with Jerry's family with Elder and Sister Beus. That family continues to do fantastically, and we invited them to attend Dundang's baptism and his confirmation. They said they would come if nothing conflicted.
Remember that, it's an important plot point later.
We actually weren't able to meet with Ingang. Things kept happening it seemed that prevent us from going or prevented her from being available, but she seems to be doing alright over the phone.
Nyabong actually turned out to be a great lesson. We met with him one night, although almost none of his family was there with him, but it turns out that he was super prepared. It's crazy how much the prepared people seem to be following the story of Joseph Smith in their own lives, as he definitely was searching for truth, but knew not where to find it.
And on top of that Dundang passed his baptismal interview! He is so humble and simple, but his faith is strong.

Well, the rest of the story starts Thursday night when Elder Sutherland started to feel sick. It wasn't too bad, but Friday night we both suddenly crashed. The next day we suddenly were almost bedridden, nauseated stomachs and headaches only really, but on top of that our phone ran out of credit for about a day. It might have been food poisoning, but we made some healthy sandwiches which were the most delicious thing I've eaten in a long time.That basically meant Saturday was spent in bed until we got going to get the church ready for Dundang's Baptism that night. Through the grace of God we were able to have the strength to do all we hoped to do, and the Baptism went beautifully. Acui did the talk on Baptism (altough Ella apparently wrote it for her) and Jubang, Elder Bester and Elder Hobb's recent convert, did the one on the Holy Ghost. When it came time for Dundang's testimony, it was absolutely beautiful. He has the purest faith of anyone I've probably ever met, and apparently he had moved some ways away but walked an hour to get to church. 
He did so again the next morning for church, and also we were miraculously healed. He had asked Elder Sutherland to baptize him, then asked me to give him the confirmation. That blessing said that one day he would be able to read and understand the scriptures for himself, and told him how much God loved him. It was so awesome. 
(Jerry's family never showed up, but we assume it was because of other things conflicting).

Other then that, we taught Kenyang and Lena last night, their date is for about 3 weeks from this last one!

I have never been so blessed as I have in the mission field, and I know I have never been a part of anything more important.
I love you all!

-Elder Christensen

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


So much has happened, I'll probably not cover it all, but it's all okay! HERE WE GO!

Last Monday we had a very fun family night at Acui's house. Ella, Madeline, Bro. Kong, and Elder Bester and Elder Hobbs all attended, as well as Kenyang's family and Dundong! It was a great night, and we reenacted Lehi's Dream as a giant group. I also finally got a video of Hai Su Ka, it's coming home on the memory card.

Tuesday the Beus's invited us all over to their house for farewell lunch and District Meeting. The District here has seen some big changes this transfer, with our beloved Zone Leader Elder Baranov going to K.K., Elder Broadhead (Chinese Elder) going to Singapore for his last 6 weeks, and they took two Elders out of Branch 1, Elder Berger and Elder Jensen. A massive group had gone home, so they had to shut down some areas until next transfer, when we are getting 16 new missionaries!
They fed us Chili and Potatoes with REAL CHEESE afterwards!
That night we had a cool miracle. We had found out the Madeline's Husband had an off day on Tuesdays, so we were able to actually teach a lesson with him fully present! He is an awesome, clean cut Chinese man. We still don't understand how the previous Elders never taught him. He's awesome, and as Elder Sutherland was a boss with his Plan of Salvation example, Ting Su Lung was very attentive and asked many good questions. Although he works on Sunday, we feel he has a ton of potential.

Wednesday we got some new potential Investigators out in Seruan Jaya, not too far from Ingang's house. We really have only met with Nyabong, the father, and his 6 year old son Ronny. Nyabong works as a Security Guard at Lakeside Restaurant in the local city park. We had contacted them before, and that day we taught them the first half of the Restoration. They're great, and we plan to meet them again this week.

Thursday we saw off Elder Baranov, it's sad to see our half-Chinese Russian Ancestry Californian go, but the day was still fun as Elder Sutherland and I went out to Secolony's house to help his older brother-in-law build an extension on his house! It went very well, although it was basically just about 4 hours of back-breaking labor. I testify to the power of morning exercise when utilized correctly.
Elder Sutherland's tire had mysteriously gone flat while we were doing that, so we walked to some local shop-lots and ate at a Ramadan Bazaar while it was getting fixed. Best food I've had since Miri! (That last sentence might be a lie).
That night we got to do another lesson with Acui and friends, they told us about a accident that had happened that morning with two people that died in a moto-crash. The spirit's gentle voice told us to use the experience to teach about Temples, and we did so. It was a beautiful lesson, and they seemed to understand it very well.

Friday we did weekly planning and went to a Branch Missionary Council meeting, but I got a flat tire on the way there. Brother Jubang apparently opened his own Ramly Berger stand, so it was all worth it though. We had to walk home.

Saturday and Sunday were DISTRICT CONFERENCE! We had a couple sessions we were needed to attend, but it was awesome. Basically we were able to see all of the members from Sibu Jaya and Mukah come. It was the most people I've seen in a chapel since Utah, and it was awesome. President and Sister Mains also came, and it was great.
Also, Last night we had a lesson with the Mukah Elders following us, they are staying here until Zone Council this Tuesday. They taught a lesson while we verified with Dundong how ready he was to be baptized, and he should be baptized this Saturday! He is so awesome, and his conversion story has been filled with miracles and trials, but he's passed them all.

One other cool Miracle was that of Elder Kwok. He's a returned missionary that served here in 2010 that came back for the week of District Conference. It was so awesome that he was able to show us where many less actives lived, and hung out a lot. It was really fun to have him around.

-Elder Christensen