Monday, December 30, 2013

Navidad back at ya!

Cool picture of all the Elders at the Christmas Eve Lunch, Elder Chriss is right in the middle!

Wow missions are great, aren't they!! 

This was a great week if I do say so myself! First off I got to Skype with my parents and family, so that is a bonus. I don´t really know what to say, it was just such a good week. 

Christmas is such a cool time in the mission. Even if I am sweating like a wet sponge! But in reality it has been so amazing to really focus on the true meaning of Christmas. It was so great to ask people how their Christmas is and start sharing the gospel with them.

My comp and I are tearing it up here in Cuidad Oculta. We are finding so many people to teach and we are trying to be consecrated in all that we do. We definitely have been seeing the fruits of our labors. I have found that my mission has really changed me. I have been on my mission for around ten months now and I guarantee that I wouldn´t have been able to do the things I am doing before.

 I love this work and I know that my Heavenly Father is guiding each missionary personally.  Now there is Jose and I love him so much. He's not baptized yet, but we are working with him and we know through feeling that we just need to be patient with him. 

Anyway, we had a lesson with him and in the middle of the lesson I had a feeling to ask how he was doing. After I asked the question he said, that he isn´t doing well, that he is very sick, and he just wants to be healthy. He later told us that he was in a very dark place before we found him and didn´t feel his life meant anything, and then we missionaries, brought him the BoM and the gospel and he says that we helped him get out of the dark place and that he needs to be baptized. I am so humbled to know that I was the tool in the Lords hands to help out such a great guy. 

This week has been a week of miracles. I know that I´m here for a reason and that I am not important right now, that others need the focus. So as long as I focus on others everything will do fine!!!

I am doing great if you have questions just Fax me... or you can email that works to. And if all else fails pigeon mail is more secure than regular mail.  HAHA love you all so much!!!

Elder Taylor Chriss

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Navidad!


Yes, today was one of the two days a year that every missionary family yearns for.  Everything takes a back seat until you either hear the phone ring or that familiar Skype tone!  

There is no better way to celebrate Christmas than to have a wonderful chat with your Elder!  

A little fuzzy at times!
Taylor was able to Skype with us!!!  He called about noon and we had a wonderful one hour conversation with him.  Unfortunately there were five other people in the room trying to Skype at the same time so the conversation was a little muddled at times.  But we will take anything we can get!  We just loved seeing those dimples!  It has been a long ten months!!!

It was fun hearing him speak to us in English and then turn around and speak to others in the room in Spanish!

They had a wonderful Christmas devotional last night with the entire mission and they all got presents. Sister Costas, my sweet Buenos Aires friend, dropped him off a present at the Mission home. 

He wanted to make sure and let everyone know how much he appreciates all of your cards and letters.  He said that a missionary loves nothing more than hearing from home!  Luckily he did get all of the packages we sent.  I know in other Argentina missions none of the missionary packages arrived before Christmas.

His favorite part is to just walk through the Villa (the area where he is currently serving)and just talk to people.  No one stays in their homes because it is so hot.  It is around 100 degrees there right now with about 80% humidity.  Just a little different than our temperature here.  He really misses the snow!
It was wonderful to have Michael and Lindsay here to visit with him.  Also, Grandma Chriss was staying with us and thought he looked so old!  He particularly loved being able to say hi to our dog, Cassi!  She wasn't quite sure what was going on.

He seems very, very happy!  That is all that a missionary family wants!  He said is definitely not the same person he was before he has left and has really changed. 

It was fun to laugh with him and hear his stories.  Mike asked if they could leave the windows open at night to get a little breeze but he said no because the neighborhood cats will come in and make themselves at home.  Like most South American countries he said there are dogs everywhere, nasty, scary dogs.  If you want to scare them away you just quickly act like you are picking up a rock and they will run.

We passed around the laptop, said our goodbyes, and he was gone!   We are so lucky to live at a time with such wonderful technology!  I think I might just be able to make it to Mother's Day!

A cute missionary mom, Kristy Witt gave this to me for Christmas!

I want to thank everyone for their support of Elder Chriss!  We couldn't make it without all of your loving prayers for him and for us!  I am especially grateful for the support of all of the other missionary moms.  No one really understands how hard it is to have a son or daughter on a mission like another missionary parent.  It is great to have a shoulder to cry on when you need one!

I know that the work Elder Chriss and the other 80,000 missionaries are doing around the world is the Lord's work.  There is nothing more important than bringing people to Christ!  I know that Jesus is the son of God and he died so I might live again!  We literally feels the blessings of having a missionary in the field every day!  We are so proud of our son and the sacrifices he is making. 


Monday, December 23, 2013

Feliz Navidad!!!

Well as the title says, Feliz Navidad everybody! 

I just want to send out this email and tell you that I love you all so very much, and that I am so grateful for you during this Christmas season. 

Let's just say that it doesn´t feel like the Christmas I used to know when it is 100
degrees outside, but that's okay. I´ll just have to focus on what Christmas is all about... PRESENTS.... darn that's not what is it... oh that's right the the day that our SAVIOR was born. haha I just kidding! In all reality it has been the greatest time to be serving as a missionary during this season. I´m so grateful for this opportunity to be serving my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, especially during Christmas. 

I miss you all so much but i know that Iam in the exact spot where I´m supposed to be. This week me and my comp have been working hard talking to every one and sharing the wonderful message of our Lord. And I hope that you can do that also. There is no better time than now to share!!! My comp is fantastic and I am so grateful to him. He is a capo!! 

I can't describe my feelings of joy in this work with a just couple of words, but I can with one simple testimony. That I know that my Savior lives and that he was born to be our Savior that he is the center of all things. God so loved the world that he gave "US" his only begotten son.

I love you all some much and hope you have a great Christmas season!

From here down south!
Elder Taylor Michael Chriss

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


Familia Fuentes y Elder Yorgesen

Well here I stay for one more transfer here in Villa Oculta!!! But my Comp Elder Yorgesen has left me... man i loved that guy, he´s a great Elder and he is going to do good things! But now I have a new comp, Elder Stout! he is a super cool guy! He is in the Army and has been studying at West Point for 2 years. His family right now is living in Wisconsin. He is very clean and organized. I will learn a lot of that aspect of him I guarantee it!

This was a great week! We had 19 member present lesson this week!  A new record!!! We are talking with a lot of  people in our area. Jose still isn´t up for being baptized, But I can feel that he is super close to the font. We are also working hard to help re activate several less active families.  The familia Sanches for example are wonderful people and I´m so excited to work with them to return back to the church.

Well I´m not sure if its the water or the food but I´m like super sick lately, and that's no good! But I know that is just a part of the fun of missions. The mosquitoes have died down, mainly because we have a fan in our pension! Yeah that right we got a fan and just in time its like one billion degrees here in BAA and the humidity is so thick that I can cut it with a knife. I´m literally dreaming of a white Christmas this year. I do miss the cold. 

I got a super cool package from the best sister in the world!!! and my great brother in law! Also i got a great letter from my Friends Katie Izzie and Emily S. and then a Dear Elder from Marian Lucy! I´m so very blessed in this Christmas season. I did get 4 awesome packets from my mom this week, which made me so happy. I´m so grateful for her. 

Speaking of my wonderful Mother, today is her Birthday. And I want to shout out to her that I love her so much and that she means every thing to me. She is the best mom in the world and I could not have any one better!  I love you mom!!! 

Also I wish every one can keep my sister in your prayers. She is pretty sick and had a nasty surgery! Keep her in you prayers please. 

I hope to hear from you soon love you tons!
Con Amor 
Elder Chriss
Cool Villa Art!


Monday, December 9, 2013

Last week of transfers!!!

Wow its weird, this transfer has flown!!! We have had a great week here in Villa Oculta! I have seen major improvement in our area and in our companionship. We worked like crazy this week. The time in the mission really does fly, definitely when you have things to do each day.

We taught 18 member present lessons this week!!! That is the highest that we have ever gotten. We are really working on finding new investigators to teach. We found several new people this week but there is always more room in the teaching pool. Elder Yorgesen and I are dedicated to working hard and being obedient. And we are definitely seeing the blessings.

Unfortunately Jose didn´t get baptized this week, we are bummed about that.  He just needs to get baptized!!! He is super legit, he is reading the BOM and D&C, and has no problems with any of the commandments. He has given up coffee, tea and beer he is praying all the time and he comes to church all the time. We are working really hard to help him get the answer for himself that baptism is the thing he needs to do right know. He is so awesome and he is so ready for baptism I know it! 

This week several of our other investigators kinda disappeared and we have no idea where they went. I went on splits with my district leader this week, His name is Elder Yañez and is from Santiago, Chile. he is a great missionary and we had a great time, He is an awesome example of teaching powerfully and simply.

This upcoming week we have interviews with President Ayre, which is super exciting. Maybe we can get a fan for our pension!!! 

Right now in BA Argentina it is a million humid degrees and the air is full of mosquitos. It isn´t that bad, just a little uncomfortable.

Now the problem is that people are putting up Christmas lights on their houses in the villa.... its not Christmas weather!!!! Have you ever listened to Silent Night or Feliz Navidad when you are sweating, it just doesn´t feel right.
Spiritual thought of the week. and we will go to the scriptures for this one, now if you will are turn to Mosiah 24: 14-15.... I'll wait... okay now in this scripture it talks about Alma and his people and how they were put into servitude and their masters where working them super hard. They all prayed to the lord for help, then the masters all said ¨no Praying¨ So they continued in the hearts. Now they wanted help and the lord gave them comfort and eased their burdens. Now the lord could of just smote all of the bad guys and the day would of been won, but some time we go through the things we go through so that we can remember that we still have a wonderful father in heaven that hears our prayers and will comfort us and ease our burdens. I love you all so much next time I email it might be in a new area or with a new comp we will have to see!!!
Love you lots!
Elder Chriss

Elder Chriss and Elder Engebretsen at the internet cafe!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

Good morning Vietnam!!! 

It's Your favorite Portaño Elder!!! This was a great week, as always we are working like mad men down here to baptize every child of God we can!!! Let's just say the blisters on the back of my feet are evidence of a lot of righteous.... well walking!! If the people of the villa say they have never seen us walking around, they are false!

Holy Cow it's December already... can you believe it! It has been nine months since I have been home and it has been one month since I was in the states. Time flies when you are having super cool spiritual experiences. In the mission right now we are planning on having a white Christmas. Even thought the forecast doesn´t say snow. We shall filling the chapels with people in white ready to be baptized. Our goal as a mission is 240 baptisms for this month, and we are dedicated to reach that goal! 

Jose is preparing to be baptized this week and we are going to be working hard to get him ready this up coming week. Yesterday we had a super cool experience. As we were looking for one of our recent converts we knocked on her door but her neighbor answered and we talked with him for a while. His name is Aldo and he is going through a tough time in his life and is really open to the Gospel. He accepted a baptism date for the 22nd of this month. We are so grateful for him. 

Speaking of gratitude, as you all know this past week was Thanksgiving, and well here in Argentina they have no idea what this holiday is. Me and some other American elders all celebrated it over a big plate of rice and chicken. 

But I just want to give my thanks first off to my wonderful Mother, an awesome father, the greatest sister, and a super cool Brother in Law.  I´m grateful for the great chance I have to be serving a mission, for the great members here in Parque Avellaneda!!! I am grateful for other missionaries who support me here in Argentina. I´m grateful for wonderful friends all over the world who are just plain Sweet!!! Finally and most importantly I´m grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who up lifts me and keeps me going. Who has given me so much that I can´t ever repay, for giving me a purpose in life. I am so grateful for my blessing this year. My life is a little bit different these days compared to last year!!! It has been a year since I got my Call and it has changed me so much!!! 

I love you all so much and I hope you all have a great week. Lindsay get well soon!!! If every one can keep my sister in their prayers I would love you so much!!! Well until next week!
Your Elder Down South
Elder Taylor Chriss

Monday, November 25, 2013

Kickin it in Villa Oculta!

Elders Chriss and Bywater playing soccer at the church.  He said every church there has a place to play soccer.

Hello everybody! How are you doing?  

This was a fantastic week, full of great experiences and butt kickin missionary work haha. To start off, wow I´m grateful for a Heavenly Father that he is mindful of us here in Buenos Aires. We have been focusing on finding great new investigators and this week was a week of blessings. But I will get to that soon. Some of the things that I have learned so far about the Argentina culture is that all you need to do is ask how people are doing and start talking to them and if they are not busy they gladly talk back and have a conversation!! This is fantastic, am I right?! I love the people and the culture here.

It is getting hotter here each day and well our fan broke... cursed fans. But in the end the heat isn´t that bad here.  The only danger of the heat is the children in the streets love playing with water, and water balloons tend to fly in the missionaries direction. But my dodging skills are improving. 

The cool thing about being in the villa is that every one knows the missionaries, people yell Elders!! all the time. There is one set of shifty characters that always greet us and yell nuestro amigos!! The other day we were talking to some of our members who live in a little store and as we were talking to them a cop came up to us and said ¨Elders, My name is Hermano ....." I can´t remember.... but he is the Elders quorum President in a stake pretty close to us. haha from the shadiest to the police.  We play around with all the kids and teens, soccer is huge. Afterwards they all know the elders, the weird guys from the USA who Jugar la pelota in a white shirt and tie.
Now here is where the blessings come in. This week we have been meeting with a man named Jose. Jose is an owner of a little store, and is very humble. We found him by looking for someone else and went to the wrong house. After talking to the people there they directed us to his shop and still not the person we were looking for! But as missionaries do we started to talk to him about our message and  he invited us in. We shared the introduction of the BOM with him and he just paused and said ¨This was lost, and now we have it¨ We testified to him of the truthfulness of the book and invited him to be baptized the 8th of December and he accepted! Now in this mission for one to be baptized they must go to church for 3 weeks and its always the hardest thing to get them to church.  I will admit I was nervous, most of all of our other investigators haven´t been coming to church and I was worried about him. But He came!! And he really enjoyed it. He is definitely being prepared. He is such a wonderful guy and I love him to death.
The work is moving in Argentina. Now to all the moms out there that have a missionary some where in the world, just know that though it may be hard at times that your missionaries are doing great, that they are having a blast walking, biking, talking, crying, testifying, enduring, loving, studying and serving. You all are great examples to us and the 2000, stripling warriors were only great for the things that their mothers had taught them!!! From this Misionaro Argentino les amo!!
Hope you all have a nice week
Con Gran Amor 
Elder Taylor Chriss

Playing soccer on PDay at the church.  I love all the black socks!

Home sweet, Argentine, home!

Gotta love bunk beds!

Elder Yorgesen and the kitchen

Monday, November 18, 2013

The life a missionary in a nutshell... for this week!

Elder Chriss with sweet Sister Costa at the Jeffrey R. Holland Devotional. She sought him out, gave him a hardy handshake from his mom, and gave him American candy! Doesn't get much better than that!

The Villas Zone!
Another week in paradise! 

Well we have been getting work done here in Villa Oculta, We have been revamping our investigators and working to find new people to teach. I love it here so much!  We walk down the alleys (there are no streets) and always some one says Elders!!! We are pretty well known in the Villa. 

One of the things that I have learned about this mission is that we NEVER knock doors. Not that we can´t it's just that it's not effective, not only in the sense that we are trying random people, but that no one is ever home. Always the people are outside in the alleys talking and enjoying life. So we just do as D&C says and we open our mouths. Atheists are very rare here so when we say we would like to talk about god they all accept. Now it's not to easy so get them as investigators but there is a lot of potential here in the villa. The people are humble and we are here with a message for them. 

Wow! Almost 900 Missionaries in one place!
This weekend we had the wonderful pleasure of having a special missionary meeting. In this meeting we had all three Buenos Aires missions and the MTC, so in total about 900 missionaries all together. Now why would we all be getting together in one place? For Elder Jeffery R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve!!! All I have to say is that I heard a talk that has thus far changed my mission. 

He started of his talk by saying ¨The whole purpose of my talk to day and the message that I would like to share is centered on one thing that may take a while to describe, and that is I LOVE YOU SO MUCH¨ Talk about a super spiritual upliftment. To be told by a Apostle of Christ with passion that he loves us! Several things I got from this talk were, I am to never forget the things that I have learned here EVER. This mission is not only for 18 to 24 months, it's for us to have for eternity. Another thing he talked about was obedience. Now he didn´t go too much on this point because he knows that if we know who we are (as a missionary/a child of god) we won´t need talks on obedience. 

As he closed I felt the spirit more strongly than I have ever in my entire life, He talked about us missionaries and the unique tie we have with the Atonement. Never has there ever been and easy mission!  But because there hasn´t been a easy mission we have great company as we go through those hard times. For us and our investigators the path to Salvation always goes through Gethsemane. In all honesty before my mission I didn´t understand the the Atonement, now i can't imagine my life with out it. The Knowledge that I have of my Savior and his sacrifice makes me want to do every thing I can to honor him and to serve him. In life there are hard times. On missions there are grand trials, but all of us must bear the small crosses in life for us to  remember the Big Cross of our Savior.

I want to bear my testimony That I know my Savior Lives! That he is our leader and our Captain. That he is mindful of us and our trials. I don´t know why things happen in life but I do know that my Savior knows me and what I need. I know that I am here on a mission to share the wonder blessings that I have found, of a Savior who loves his people, of a Church that he has restored, through the Prophet Joseph Smith.  I know that the Book of Mormon is true. It is my favorite book because it brings me closer to my Savior. I know that families can be together for ever. I know that God has blessed me in my life. And now I must help others find those blessings too. When God is weaving the tapestry of our lives all we can see is the dark threads of bottom all we need to do is wait until he shows us the other side and know what the dark threads were necessary.

I love you all so much! I´m so happy here and I know this is the work of my Heavenly Father. Keep strong and remember that Elder Chriss is praying for you!! haha until next week.
Con Amor
Elder Taylor Chriss

Elder Chriss and his companion at the Elder Holland Devotional

Not quite sure why the are on the train tracks!

Elder Chriss is in heaven! They have BK Stackers in Buenos Aires!!!

He knows I just love to see that beautiful face!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Villa Olculta!!!

Group of visa-waiters on their first day in Argentina in front of the Buenos Aires Temple with President and Sister Ayre
Elder Chriss' last day in LA with President and Sister Weidman.  Hard to say goodbye!

Last Picture taken in LA, the Los Angeles Temple!

First Picture taken in BA, the Buenos Aires Temple!

Well another week and I was able to help others to come unto Christ WOOOT! I´m loving all of the work and this mission. We are working like crazy here in our area. The people here are so ready for the Gospel its ridiculous!  All the time we are finding people to bring closer to the Gospel and to their Savior.

We have an investigator named Emilse right now and she is super cool she has come to church and is really progressing in the Gospel. The cool thing with her is that she lives in a three story villa house. This means millions of people live there so we are inviting every one who passes us to listen to our message and they normally say yes. We have found 5 new investigators just from one of our investigators haha.

I often find myself saying ¨This isn´t Kansas anymore¨ about several things claro. The culture is a new person that I need to get to know. Everything is done in a manner normal Americans would never think to do. Our Pensions are nice and cozy but you will never find carpet in a single building here save maybe the mission presidents home. I MISS CARPET!!! haha. Lots of tile to cover the floor. The language is no where near what I was learning in LA. The people here talk with an Italian accent but Spanish is coming out of there mouths. 

A lot of people say to me ¨Oh your from here right?¨ I guess it's my features that resemble an Argentine.... but when I open my mouth they say no that's a Mexican hah! Also basic words are different here that are completely normal for me are a completely different thing or doesn´t mean any thing at all. Example Piña is pineapple but here it means a punch so when in Argentina never ask for a piña haha.

Laundry is pretty easy, we hand it a lady and we pick it up the next day and its pressed and smells good all for 25 pesos! No bucket and stream for this missionary. The food his is really good. We eat a lot of  empanadas here and this meat called milenasa which is like a country fried steak. In all I love it. We only eat breakfast and lunch, never do they eat dinner. Just a big lunch this is weird. So far no strange foods to note of. We eat a lot with our members which is great!

The mode of transportation here is walking. which isn´t too bad and I don´t want a bike here... the millions of dogs here HATE bikes so I´m good on foot haha!  For our long distance travel we use Coletivo (the bus) and for transfers we use Remis, which is kind of like private taxis that the mission pays for. Unfortunately we are not able to go to the temple unless we go with a recent convert we baptized.

I love my ward its full of great people! It's called Parque Villaneda. There are about 140 active members in our ward and all the rooms are full. There are 4 companionships in our ward all of which are district leaders except us.

Elephante Blanco
My area its pretty Ghetto but there is one dominating feature to it, an old Hospital known a Elephante Blanco. This is the scariest building I have ever seen. It was a hospital in the making when all of the neighborhood homeless decided to make it there's.... yeah that's right the hobos invaded a giant old hospital. We as missionaries can´t go in there unless we have a reason and a male member to go with us haha. This city is just full of crazy places that you never know when you will find.

This is the longest email I have sent but there is a lot to talk about when I talk about Argentina. 

As for things I need here is American stuff candy, food, carpet what ever you can send. Also we only get mail once a transfer here, because its hard to get to the mission office and there are no cars.

Every thing is great down here in land down south! Hope you all are doing well. Send me pictures I love to see them all.
Con Gran Amor
Este Capo
Elder Chriss

P.s I´m sitting in the cyber cafe right know with Elder Engebretsen and Hankins haha small world!!!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Que Bueno el Aire Aca!

Elder Engebretsen, Elder Hankins, and Elder Chriss, MTC District back together again!

Well here I am sitting in an internet cafe emailing home from Buenos Aires Argentina! What a week it has been! haha.

To start off my time here I was placed in an area with two zone leaders in Linears Zone. We were serving in Parque Brown ward. Our area covers a area known as a Villa. To pronous as an Argentine, you say it like this. V-ee-sh-a. These areas are the most poor parts of the city and are sooo crazy. It's like a city or a village was built with no plans and brick and putty and when they had no space they just went up. There are thousands of people here and all ready for the Gospel. We talk with people all the time and have lessons after lessons.

One week in Argentina and he has already doubled his amount of baptisms!
So far I have doubled my baptisms in my one week here! That's right we had a baptism here in Buenos Aires. The people here are ready for the Gospel.

 It is wonderful because I have Elder Hankins in my zone, I saw Elder Engebretsen at a missionary farewell, and Elder Willams at transfers this morning. The whole gang is back together in Argentina! I actually went on Divisions with Elder Hankins yesterday and got work done.

But here comes some more news..... I´m training! That's right 7 days in Argentina and I will be training. I´m a little worried, but I know everything will be great. I´m staying in my zone but moving to another villa. My new comp has been here for a transfer so i will be finishing his training. His name is Elder Yorgesen and he is super tall so there is not a worry about danger with him a round. He is from Idaho Falls and he is a capo!! Capo means stud and they use it a lot here.

President is putting a lot on my shoulders this transfer but I know that the Lord will help where I lack even if I lack a lot.

I love this mission and I plan on working until I drop. I am going to do everything that I can to help these people. I love every one of them! I only have this chance once in my life.There is no time to slack off.

I promise you all that I am doing well and that the work is blossoming here in the first mission in South America. Ask questions I´m not the best of thinking of things to talk about!  I am still figuring out a bunch of things so be patient with me, haha

I really hope you are all doing well. This is so awesome to be on a different continent!

Viva Argentina y la obra del un Salvador Viviente!
Con Re amor
Elder Chriss

I am told the Chriss family are now BOCA fans!
Famous Buenos Aires Obilisk

This is where he serves!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Dear Brother & Sister Chriss...

Sister Ayre, Elder Chriss, President Ayre

We are thrilled to report that your son, Elder Chriss, has finally arrived safely in his mission this morning here in Buenos Aires.  He was picked up at the airport, and after a brief tour of Buenos Aires was brought to the mission home for a luncheon, followed by an interview with the President.  You should expect to hear from your missionary on his next P-day which will be next Tuesday, November 5th.  Thank you for your prayers and support.

President and Sister Ayre

Monday, October 28, 2013

He's on his way!

I just finished my second phone call from Elder Chriss today!

He first called from LAX and Mike and I got to talk to him for a wonderful hour.  This mission has already transformed our son into an even more amazing man!  He still has his wonderful wit and sense of humor!

His mission president personally dropped him off at the airport.  Taylor said that was his hardest goodbye.  President Weidman is an amazing man and has been Elder Chriss' biggest champion.  I had the opportunity to speak with him on two different occasions and he always expressed his love for Elder Chriss and how much he would love to keep him in the California Los Angeles Mission.

Taylor made some amazing friends in Los Angeles; many that he will have for the rest of his life.  He said that once he forgot about leaving and going to Argentina, it made all the difference in the world.  So much so that when President Weidman called him to tell him about his visa he was wondering, "Hmmm, I wonder why president would be calling me?!"  The Los Angeles is not an easy mission in any way!  He said there are a lot of hard hearts there and the rejection is horrible.  He loved spending his time bringing families back together and teaching English to the sweet Latinos.

We talked a lot about how different it would be in Argentina.  He feels so blessed that he was reassigned to a Spanish speaking mission.  He feels great about the language, especially after training a new missionary.  We laughed that once he is there he may not hear or speak English for quite some time, especially if he gets a non-English speaking companion. He is hoping he will pick up Castellano (the dialect spoken in Argentina) quickly.

In my second phone call from Atlanta, Elder Chriss had just had the last American food he would see for the next 16 months!  He was at the airport with over 40 visa-waiters all headed to Argentina!   Can you imagine what a fun flight that would be?  He was not exactly looking forward to the 10 hour, over-night flight to Buenos Aires.  It was going to be especially hard not being able to watch any movies!

Mike and I are so proud of our son!!!  He has taken these last 8 months and made the most out of them! He will hit the ground running in Argentina!  He is leaving Los Angeles a self-assured, confident missionary ready to serve!

I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that what Elder Chriss, along with thousands of others around the world are doing is an amazing work, bringing people to Jesus Christ and changing their lives forever!

Now I need to wipe away my tears and look forward to our next phone call on Christmas. How many shopping days left until Christmas?

Thank you so much for all your love and support of Elder Chriss!   He said that he feels everyone's prayers.  He also loves all the letters and emails and to keep them coming!  He has always had amazing friends and roll models in his life.  It is because of this great support system that Taylor is serving today!

Con Amore, Lisa!

Saying goodbye to LA and his Oly buddy, Hermana Michelle Warner!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Last week of LA livin!!!

Well in one week from today I will be heading off to Buenos Aires Argentina! I'm very excited but I still have one week left to make this place better in any way I can!! But the thing about me leaving is.... Stress haha!

On Thursday this week I got another Comp.... His name is Elder Kinder from Chicago. He served in Tampico Mexico for 8 months and returned home for medical problems. So now there are three in my apartment. He is a great Elder and I'm glad to have him.  
You can tell the new Elder.  He is the only one with a nicely made bed!

On Monday after emailing I lost my wallet... And i was super stressed because of that. But the good news part of this story is I had a feeling to try the Pio Pico Library and ask.... and they had it!!!! Talk about an answer to a prayer. 

And to add to the stress, the Zone leaders assigned me and my comps a trial run on only using buses for transportation. So we have been working on understanding the bus system, for our longer distance travel.

But the thing about trials is that they are here to strengthen us and to make us better people for the future. I can honestly say that though it was a tough week I am a little bit stronger and has had my testimony grow of Prayer and Priesthood blessings. 

This is going to be a great week, we are focusing on LA English like crazy and trying to get more people to the classes. We have several meetings to go to and on Saturday we have our Dia de Hispanidad!!! It is a great cultural event that the ward is putting on where each latin country is represented by food and a dance. We are super excited and us missionaries even get our own stand for America!!! Yay Corndogs and Koolaid!!  

I am so blessed to have served here in this mission I couldn't have asked for a better Mission President during all the crazy things I have gone through. I'm so grateful for all the love that I have received here and from all the people back home! I love this work it has changed me for the better and I'm super lucky to be doing it.

I'm not sure what time I'm leaving or where my connection is at the moment, but hopefully the next time you read my Email I will be in Buenos Aires Argentina!!

Love you all, Su Che
Elder Chriss

Monday, October 14, 2013

"Don't cry for me Argentina, I'll be there next MONTH!!!"

I think this picture speaks for itself!

Well after 7 and a half months here in the grand city of Los Angeles, I, Elder Chriss have gotten my visa!!! I will be getting on a plane for Buenos Aires the 28th of October I'm so excited and ready for the move down south. 
Now to tell you the truth I'm a little sad about leaving here, my kid, and all my friends. But I am heading to the land where I was called. 

President Weidman called this past Thursday and asked, "Elder Chriss are you ready to go to Argentina?" and as he said these words I was really confused. When I saw the contact saying President Weidman I thought "Crap what have I done wrong?" then I thought "Nothing, that I can think of" so My visa was the last thing that I thought of. But it came to pass and now I'm preparing.

Other than that announcement it was a great week, this week was Stake Conference! I loved the whole thing. An Area seventy was there and he was super focusing on missionary work. It was so cool, President Weidman also spoke on the missionaries and the work that we are doing. It was really neat to see the work continue. This is one of the oldest stakes in the church and we are going to continue to be strong in the work. We have a wonderful Stake president who really cares about this stake. He told us that he can see 5 stakes in our stake. and we as members can make that happen.

I'm loving this work I'm going to keep working my butt off until I leave. 
Now I'm thinking it has been awhile since I bore my testimony to y'all in Spanish so here I go: Yo se que este Iglesia es verdedero, y de todos los cosas en este iglesia son de Dios, Yo Se que Dios es nuestro padre y de que es eschucando a sus hijos. Amo este obra y todo los cosas yo hago cada dia. Yo testifico que JesuCristo Vive! El es me Salvador y redentor. Les amo y hasta el proximo semana.

Love you all and God speed!!!

 Elder Chriss
Elder Chriss and Elder Swalger

Elder Chriss and his new kid, Elder Knight

The Griffith Zone after Zone Conference

Happy Birthday Elder Miller!  I love the little girl's faces in the background!

These are good friends of Elder Chriss from good old Oly High!