Thursday, March 28, 2013

Happy Easters!

Hey everybody! Wow I can't believe its been a whole month since I've started my mission. Yesterday I had the opportunity to be a host for the first time. It was funny because that was so long ago but it felt like just yesterday. The best experience was reassuring  the mothers that we would take special care of their missionaries.... spiritually and physically.  The food isn't that great but they will be well taken care of. 

My spanish is más meyor!!! My classes are getting easier and easier mainly because I can understand my teacher. Me and Elder Williams have been having some great success with our investigators also because we can understand them. Every experience I have here the happier I am getting, Thank you all so much for the loving letters. I know that with the spirit I will make you proud. 

No word on our VISA´s yet but we are keeping our fingers crossed. In the end if we go stateside for a month that is no problem. "I will go where he wants me to go."

With Easter coming up things are all based on the atonement. Its fantastic! That has been my main focus so far in my mission, to understand the Atonement a lot better. My Maesta Hna. Platt told us something that has really helped me during my time here. The Atonement doesn´t just reach to those that have sinned but to those that are down troddened, angry, abused, or just sad. The Atonement reaches to all that are in need. 
With the the MTC there isn´t a lot to be disappointed or frustrated about. Yes the language is difficult and the stress over your investigators can be tough but it is nothing to get upset about. I was reading in D&C 121 v. 1-7 Its when Joseph asks "God where art thou" he is sad and downtrodden over the mistreatment of his people and himself. later he gets the answer of comfort and of support. Later in 122 A part reads "are thou greater than he". Our Savior Died for us and took upon him the sins of the world. How can we complain and think our problems are unbearable when Christ took upon my pain and emotions than anyone could ever endure. Our lives maybe tough but through the atonement of Christ we can have that aid. 
Because he knows, a talk by Elder Holland he talked to missionaries, he said "He, knows. He knows how you feel when you are rejected, spat upon, yelled at, hated, and when you feel the sadness for those that don't understand. He, knows," I know He is there for you always standing there as your companion spreading the good news His wondrous and selfless Atoning sacrifice. This Easter remember that we are all blessed through our savior and not through chocolate eggs.

I am safe happy and above all uplifted. The spirit is so strong here and I couldn't be in a better place in my life than on my mission. 
Funny thing the other day after Gym me and Elder Williams got lunch and went back to our room to shower. After we both  finish we realize we don´t have our key so we were in our towels and had no way to get in our rooms. The only way was to wait for the other elders to get back, which wasn´t  for sure thing. They finally came but wow it was a close one. 
They say missionaries are protected, that is true but to a point..... so far i have been hit in the face by a door (my comp), shot in the face by a rubber band (my roommate), smacked in the face by a basketball (my other roommate,) and I have had the sniffles (Me). But through all those things I LOVE IT HERE. I see all of my Oly missionaries all the time, Elder (Rhees) Johnson is living 2 doors down from me. I see most people at the temple walk on Saturday and got to see a lot more before they left. I have about 1-2 weeks left here then I will be off working for the Lord. I run out of things to say mainly because all the days Blur together AHHH it's nust. I am off to write some more letters and relax. But I will leave you with my testimony.

Yo sé con todos parte de mi corazon la Iglesia de Jesucristo es la verdad. Mi Padre Celescial me ama mucho. Mi vida es mucho bendice porque tengo la opportunidad sevir un mission con meyor Elderes y Hermanas en la mundo. Yo sé Jesucristo murio por mi pecados en la crux. Estoy aqui por las personas en Argentina y por me Salvador. Yo sé José Smith fue un Profeta de Dios y él traducir el libro de mormon. la primera vision es verdedaro. Estoy muy animado por el proxímo dos años. grasias por los personas en mi vida quien ayudado mi en la pasado. Yo amo Vosotros!!!!! Adiós

Sinceriamente Su Elder Chriss
Elder Chriss & Sorella Egbert!!

Go Argentina!
Taylor's Comp is from Arizona is so excited to see the snow.  Taylor not so much!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Good-bye Elder Moyle, Hello Elder Johnson!

Yes, I love Thursdays!  I am so proud of this young man!!!!
Hey Everybody! Sorry if my English is bad, Spanish is ruining my English. I so happy here. We have been working really hard on our Spanish and all of our doctrine stuff. The weather is not too bad here. But my poor comp (who's from Arizona) is freezing. He is definitely not used to the weather up here yet. I thank all those who have sent me letters and the two packages from my mother. They have been a great boost for moral here.

It was bitter sweet last night, Elder Moyle, after a brief trip to Vegas, got his visa to Mexico. I said good bye to him last night, he said "see you in two" and we made plans with him to go to Sharon's in two. I'm so happy for him and the people who's lives he is going to bless. Speaking of Visa's ours haven't come yet. Not that I was expecting it but me and my roommates were hoping.

 All of our Italian neighbors left on Tuesday, we got pretty attached. But yesterday we got brand new Italians, one of which is Rhees Johnson!!!! So exited that we are living on the same floor. Elder Moyle leaves and Elder Johnson comes in. Life is blending together here in the CCM. All the food tastes the same and the days are crazy. After a long day you head to your room and go to write in your journal and you stare at the book cause you don't remember what happened that day its pretty sad.

Spanish is moving along, I can teach lessons, pray, bear my testimony, and give a talk in Spanish. So I have to say that I am one lucky dude to have the spirit on my team or else I wouldn't even be able to pray. The language is a very simple and easy language. The problem is that English is ridiculously difficult making going to a language that makes sense quite a challenge. For the most part the words sound just like in English Por= for stuff like that. I try and read my Spanish BOM to get the reading and the pronunciation down but it is quite difficult. I am a tutor for an Elder Farnsworth, an Elder from Skyline High school, I don't hold that against him......much. My main point when helping him is to remind him he isn't here to learn Spanish, he is here to recognize and use the spirit and learn some Spanish on the side. This concept is the most important thing I have learned here. That I could use my whole time learning Spanish and become fluent. But if I went out to the field like that, I am just a salesman. When I learn to use the spirit and love for those investigators with the language than am I truly a missionary.
I have been reading a lot in the scriptures lately (makes sense right?) and I have been seeing a lot of missionary scriptures that get me way excited for the field. I know that where ever I go it will be the right place for me to serve the people. My teacher is great at helping us realize the great and wonderful work we are doing here. I hope that my letters have been getting to you all and my emails.
I'm super proud of Scott King and I hope everything is going great with him. I have prayed more in one day here than I did in a week at home. I am keeping you all in my prayers. Sorry for the short letter we only get 30 min a week and i am not the fastest typer.

I would like to finish with my testimony...;. yes in spanish!!!
Yo sé JesuCristo es mi Salvador y mi Redentor. Yo Sé Jose Smith es un Profeta de dios. Yo sé puedo enseñar los personas De Argentina. Mi vida es bedicido por meyor porque mi cumpañero y mi Districto. yo sé con todos mi corazon Dios es mi padre celecial y él me ama mucho.

Its small but from my heart! Love you all see you in a few.
Love Elder Chriss

The Oly men!!! Scott Jeppsen (Brazil), Austin Rasmussen (Peru) , Brad Wilkinson (Russia), Andrew Price (Russia), Taylor Chriss (Argentina), Cameron Moyle (Mexico)
Taylor & Richard Lloyd (Baltic States)

Taylor & Alex Johnson (Oklahoma)

Taylor & Austin Rasmussen (Peru)

Taylor & his Companion Elder Williams

Taylor & his room mates

Laundry day!  That is a lot of washers & dryers!

Taylor & Andrew Price (Russia)

Taylor & Cameron Moyle (Mexico)

Sleepy Elder Engrbretsen

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Thursday, the best day of the week!!! Salvation Isn't Cheap!

I have been checking my email all day long!  I swear it seems like a month since the last time I heard from him!
Hey All, it's Elder Chriss!
Sorry for not being in contact much. We can only write letters on P-days and send emails on P-day. I am having a wonderful time here at the CCM (MTC in Spanish). I am learning a lot. It is ridiculous how much one can learn in 2 weeks with the help of the lord. I am so happy here learning Spanish and what it takes to be a Preach my Gospel missionary. We are uplifted every day here. 
In every email I want to send some great advise back so that I can share some of the wonderful things I have learned. I'm not going to lie this place is crazy hard, the language is difficult, the home sickness, and well the food isn't that great (its all starting to taste the same). But after our teacher shared a talk with us last night I have no reason why I can't do this. The talk was by Elder Holland. I still can't find it after looking quite a bit. But it is a talk given to several mission presidents. At the beginning of the talk  he said "Presidents you will have a missionary come up to you and say "why is this so hard...... why won't these people just realize the greatness and the wonders of this gospel why can't this be less difficult?" they will ask that question" I am asking myself that all the time with my practice investigators. He continues by saying " I feel the same way, why won't they just feel the power and know they are loved. And I think to my self SALVATION ISN'T CHEAP!!!!!, It wasn't easy for the Savior to obtain salvation for us so why should it be easy for us."

He then said something that has changed every thing for my mission. "You tell those missionaries, You weren't the first to ask that, someone far greater and better asked that a long time ago. He wanted an easier way for his people." Wow..... Finally he says to all missionaries " when you are rejected, turned away, hated, yelled at, spat at, and disregarded by those you try and help. Know HE knows, he will be standing with you shoulder to should as you endure the trial to bring salvation to those others across the world.  

That is my thought for the week "Salvation isn't Cheap". 

Life is good down here, the spirit is tangible. You can feel it from the hundreds of missionaries. The other day I was doing service in a building and as I was cleaning. I talked with different missionaries in the rooms I was cleaning. In each of the rooms they would all say a different mission. Wow its spectacular when you can talk to ten people who will all be in different countries speaking a different language, but all doing the same thing. 

I love my Comp E. Williams he is a great help to me and wonderful to be around. I have seen several OLY missionaries and i saw E. (Riley) Christensen yesterday.  I was so exited! The mornings are dreadful..... waking up at 6:10 to prepare for the day is evil. I keep falling asleep in class (yo dormo es mal). We got two new districts in our zone yesterday. I don't know them yet but I will in the next couple of weeks. My two new investigators are Maria and Ines (both of my teachers) they are difficult especially Maria. But I know if I have faith she will come around. 

I love the elders in my room we all laugh and make jokes. Its a great place to be at night. I am the king of four square. Mom i know you'll be proud of me for that. My companion Elder Williams is the best B-ball player. The work is hard but we do have a good time. 

Congrats to all the people who opened their calls. Every time I hear of one I talk to an MTC friend who shares that mission. All the elders on my floor are Italians so when Pugs and Pinocks got there call they celebrated for you. Congrats Jenessa Erickson on your call. If i missed any one i apologize. 

I do miss all of you, this is a big change in my life but I can honestly say that is the right thing to do. My heart is full right now. 

I am in need of some serious letters right now so all you who see this WRITE ME AHHHHHH. I can't wait to talk to you some more next week God be with you till we meet again.
Sincerely Elder Chriss
Elder Chriss at the Temple on P-Day.  He saw a friend Katherine Coons there.  They have known each other since elementary school!  Our first official picture.  He looks great!!!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Sister Doris Armstrong

As I mentioned in an earlier post Taylor paid a lovely tribute to a stalwart member of the Garden Heights Ward, Sister Doris Armstrong.  While I was going through some pictures I found this wonderful picture taken at Doris's 90th birthday party.  Taylor loved this feisty English woman with a rock-solid testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Doris & Taylor

During Taylor's talk he talked about the profound influence Doris's amazing testimony had on him.  Doris wrote the most beautiful letters to the Young Men in our ward every time they advanced in the Priesthood.  And when Taylor was a deacon he was assigned to put her walker away during sacrament meeting.  Every time he took her walker Sister Armstrong would tightly hug Taylor and say, "I love you, Jesus loves you, and Joseph Smith restored the Gospel!"  It was these words, heard so often, that planted the seed early for Taylor to serve a mission.  He talked about her conversion to the church and how a missionary in England many years ago that visited Doris's family influenced a young deacon in Salt Lake City many years later. Unfortunately, Doris didn't get to see all of the Young Men that she influenced all those years leave for missions.  She passed away in 2011.  She would be so proud of all of the missionaries from our ward!

After the meeting Doris's grand daughter, who recently moved into the Ward, came up to Taylor and thanked him for the beautiful tribute to her grandmother.  

Later in the week I saw a person drive in the the driveway.  I mentioned to Taylor, "Do you know who that is?"  he said, "No, I don't."  I said that is Doris's daughter.  She stopped by to thank Taylor again for his wonderful words about her mother.  She left a lovely card with some money in it.  She said that the money came directly from her mom's account and she knew that her mother would have loved to help support his mission.  Taylor was left speechless.

At the meeting where Taylor was set apart as a missionary the night before he left, President Newbold had everyone in the room say a little about Taylor or give him advice.  President Newbold was the last to make his comments.  He said that a few weeks before Taylor had given his talk in Sacrament meeting he was looking for something in his office and couldn't find it.  But he did find a letter that he thought was interesting.  He put it aside and didn't think much about it.  Again, while looking he found the same letter and once again didn't give it a second look.  This evening President Newbold pulled that very letter out of his jacket and gave it to Taylor.  He said it was a letter from Doris Armstrong written exactly 7 years ago today, February 26, 2005.  She had written it to President Newbold's son who was serving a mission.  He read a little of the letter.  It was like she was writing it to Taylor.  She talked about her love for the Gospel and her conversion.  

Wow!  Heavenly Father knows exactly what we need exactly when we need it!

Taylor now carries that letter in the pocket of his suit coat and plans to keep it with him to remind him why he is serving a mission.


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

One week down! Only 103 more to go!

Hooray!  We got our first letter from Taylor!  Absolutely made my day!!

Hey guys!  This is my first official letter.  I was going to send one earlier, but you all were in California and probably still are as I write this letter.  I enjoy all the notes you have sent me thus far.

I love the MTC.  It is such a humbling experience for me, mainly because of the language.  The food isn't that bad and a lot of it.  I have one great companion, Elder Williams.  He has red hair and is a bit taller than I.  He is very smart and spiritual.  In my District we have four Elders and Six Hermanas.  The other two Elders are also our roommates, our District Leader Elder Engebretsen and his companion Elder Hawkins.  They are some of the most spiritual people I have ever met.

We met our Zone Leaders.  Best part about them is one is Cameron (Elder) Moyle!!!  I was so happy that I have a friend in my Zone.  Also Elder Rasmussen is in my zone, both from Olympus.

Today is Sunday so we have a bunch of meetings. Luckily it is fast Sunday.  On regular Sundays we all have to prepare a talk and one or two of us get picked to speak.  This isn't too hard, but it has to be in Spanish.  I bore my testimony today. For fun I will share. Yo sé Jesu Cristo es el Salvador me Redentor Nuestro Hermano y amo él. Yo sé el Librode Mormon es inspirado doctrina y verandero.  Estoy Feliz sevir por me padre celestial y me he man Jesu Cristo.  La personas de Argentina. En el nombre des Jesu Cristo Amen.

Mom, knowing you, you are crying right now (yes, he was correct) If so, know I love you and cry it out.  I am safe and happy, but very tired.  Before when I said I was tired, I had no idea how tired I could be.  We work all day and sleep most of the night.  It's a great feeling though.

So far the only truth I know here is I can't do this alone.  I need the Lord's help in all of my doings.  It is a wonderful testimony builder to see hundreds, if not thousand of Elders and Hermanas prepare to serve the God they love.  We watched a talk  by Elder Ballard.  In it he said when you fort yourself in the work and think only on the people and truly of Christ, then will you be missionaries of God.  No longer should I think I'm the reason to serve a mission, but others.

I love and miss you all.  I'm praying for all of you so very much.  Please say hello to Cassi.

With all my love!
Elder Taylor Chriss

PS - Tell people to write me!!! I don't have any addresses