Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Rollin up on bike with a passlong card. L.A style!

   Hey everyone! Sorry that the email is late. Today is Transfer P-day so it's on a Tuesday. I have some news, I am getting a new area!!! I am transferring to Cimarron area with my comp Elder Winterrose. Pretty sweet I am so exited for this new experience. We have 2 baptism dates so far, both are really solid people. We went to the VC (visitor center) with Enrique, this was a fantastic experience, talk about a great spirit. Lately we are just going around and rounding up less active members. 
  So Far no news on my visa so we will see how that goes in the up coming weeks. One thing I know for sure is my legs are pure marble. There is no secret of how.... it's called biking across my area all day every day. I am truly blessed to have a bike though. Most other missions don't even have bikes. So I'd say I'm pretty lucky. 
   Elder Engebretsen is in Argentina by now, he left last Wednesday. Hope all is well for him. 
  Best part of my week was definitely the VC trip with our investigator. The spirit is so strong as you sit in front of the Christus with your investigator and listen to his voice. It was in Spanish but the spirit has no language. The worst part of the week was last Thursday when all of our appointments fell through, I'm not talking 4 or 5 I'm saying 10... this was a disaster. The gospel is so powerful and wonderful and it is sad when people don't want it in their lives.
    I want to just let you all know how much I miss and love you. I am happy, healthy, and truly blessed. I don't have much to say this week but I love all the letters and email from all of my friends I am grateful to you all and to my Family. I finally got some stamps so be waiting for a letter or two.
                    With all my love
                        Elder Chriss

Monday, May 20, 2013

LA Thug life!

CTR ring given to Elder Chriss by a departing Missionary!
     Hey every one it's your favorite Elder!
  I am doing great! Of coarse its Pday and that is always a wonderful day. We had a super week and my mind is still racing. The weather is pretty average here. Hot one day and cool the next, nothing special.
  Our day is pretty packed but we always start off with a morning run and 3 hours of studying. Followed by lunch.  After lunch we head out and do all the fun stuff missionaries do Tract, Bike, and Teach. We always end the day in a planning session for the next day and then out nap.
   Every Sunday we eat with the family Camachos. They are from Peru and LOVE THE missionaries, they are kind and they are one of the only families who don't feed us tortillas haha.
   The best part of the week is whenever we have a member present lesson, these lessons are the greatest. First it is difficult to get a lesson in LA and second trying to find a member who isn't working. As Elder Hankins once said "Everything worth doing is never easy." The worst part of the week is when people cancel the lessons. The things we teach are so important nothing worth canceling.
    So far we have two investigators, Marlow and Enrique. Both are wonderful people, Enrique had brain cancer and lost most of his memories after the surgery. It is just a miracle that he is still alive. He is super smart and for the longest time was more interested in the information of the church rather than the blessings. The other day he just felt the spirit and every thing moved into place. He will be baptized the 9th of June.
   We had a super cool experience to meet and have a devotional with Elder Cook of the 12. I got to shake the mans hand.... wooooot. He talked a lot about member help in the mission and how to stay strong in the work.
  Also, that day I heard that Elder Engebrtson got his visa to Argentina!!! So happy for him, also that means that the work is moving along.
  I loved my package that mom sent me and I adore the goodies. The thing I love the most about being a missionary is being with the people,the members, the investigators, even the people who slam the door. All of the people are different and so awesome. I am stoked for all the times and experiences I have to come. The only thing I need is I can't find my camera charger and I'm running low. The camera is a canon power shot. Other than that I miss you all so much and I will keep in contact and stay safe.

I know this church is true!
LOVE, Elder Chriss

Following are pictures of Elder Chriss' luxury accommodations and his main source of transportation!

The Los Angeles Mission had a special devotional with Elder Cook.  
It was great to shake the hand of an Apostle of God!

Monday, May 13, 2013

LA. . . One Crazy City!


   Hey all I don't have to much to say this week we had a lot of meetings and ward events. 

    This week was zone conference.  The theme was "C the Change". They wanted missionaries to think about ways they could change as well as ways the mission will and should change.  Sister Mayorga led off with a review of energy drinks (no!) and green vegetables (yes!).  Elder Kelley showed videos on bike safety and intersection safety.  President Baker introduced our topic by talking about how missionaries should show support for their new Mission President.  He also reviewed a talk by Tad Callister on Consecrated missionaries.  Elder Callister said there were 5 things they should lay on the altar of sacrifice:  disobedience, fear, romantic passions, pride, and negativism.
Sister Baker talked about the Character of Christ.  She focused how much our Savior loves us and how he wants to forgive us.  She used the parable of the Loving Father (prodigal son) as one example and the story of Abigail in 1 Samuel 25 as another.  We then had two break-out sessions:  The Assistants taught Change (Repentance) as it applies to missionaries and investigators and our new Sister Training Leaders taught Cordially Invited to teach missionaries how to help people getting baptized invite all their friends and family to their baptism. 
    All I know is that I am so happy to be serving in Los Angeles! The people are tough but that doesn't stop us. For the most part the area is safe and so is the food. One thing I have learned is that there isn't a meal here with out tortillas. Every meal with members is has tortillas. I love the members so much!  They talk a lot but I don't know what they are saying, but I'm slowly getting it. 
    All I know is that I need to follow the spirit and testify. Spanish may be hard but that is easy. I got a new ring from a departing missionary. It's a big CTR ring and its pretty sweet I've got to say. 
Yet again not much to say. Shoot me questions and I would love to answer them. 
My spiritual Dulce (candy) for the week is simple, Read the scriptures! I have gained a testimony of personal study more than anything. When you are in a lesson and your investigators are having some serious questions there is always a scripture to help. But the only way to know where to go is to read and study and be prepared. 
    I testify that i know the church is true. I have personal testimony on my mind and if the B.O.M is true then Joseph Smith was a prophet, and if he was a prophet, then the church he restored is the true church. Love you all and i will speak to y'all next week. Love
Elder Chriss

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mom's Day!

Today was the day I have been waiting for for quite a while.  We got to speak with Elder Chriss on the phone.  Unfortunately, he couldn't skype because he would have had to go a member's house and nobody in his ward really has skype.  But we didn't care!  It was just wonderful to hear his voice.  We got to talk to him for almost an hour and a half.

It was so fun to have our little family in the living room gathered around the phone laughing and joking.  It was like old times!  He sounds so great and is really, really, happy.  He still has no idea when his visa will come.  But it most likely won't come this transfer.  But he is happy where he is and loves it!

I tried to fill him in on everthing going on at home and update him on all of his missionary friends.  He love hearing where they are all are and what they are doing.

He is not fond of waking up early.  Face it, Taylor Chriss will never be a morning person.  Nor does he love the mandatory run that they have to do each morning.  He mentioned that he loved his naps.  We didn't realize he time to nap and he said that sleeping at night is more like a nap rather than a sleep. 

He is still riding a bike.  He and his companion ride everywhere.  I asked him if he was losing weight because of all of the riding and he said no because the members feed him so much food.   He loves his companion, Elder Marin.  I got in trouble for pronouncing it incorrectly!  

It made me feel good that he feels safe in his area.  There are red areas in all of the zones and luckily he is not in one of them. 

The time went far too quickly.  If I could just talk to him once a month I think I could make it through these next 21 months.  But I will get to talk to him when he leaves for Argentina and then Christmas is right around the corner, right?

Below are pictures of how my two sons are spending their Mother's Day.  The first is Elder Chriss with is zone at zone conference and second is Corporal Crane with the Marines somewhere in Afghanistan.  Just a little different wouldn't you say? I am so proud of both of them!

Happy Mother's Day to all you missionary and military moms out there!  I hope you feel as blessed as I do!

Monday, May 6, 2013

California Dreamin'

Elder Marin and Elder Chriss!
Hey everyone, It's Elder Chriss here!!!! 
    So glad to Send you an email and let you know what is happening in the great mission of Los Angeles. Me and my comp Elder Marin have 2 investigators right know Marlow and Enrique, Both are fantastic people and it is a privilege to teach them the restored gospel. Here in LA the work moves pretty slow but this is compared to S. America.... But it is sweet to teach the people. Funny thing is before I got here every one was saying man your going to be so scared, its so dangerous there, the people are mean.... Not at all I feel safe. Its not dangerous, and the people always yell "Hey MORMONS" generally with a smile. 
    Since me and Elder Marin are white washing we start with no investigators, no potentials. In other words get to work. So when our investigator Marlow first came to Church my heart lept out of my chest, and best of all he loved the whole experience. He has a Baptism date for the 23rd of June, but we are going to try and make it sooner.... He is ready I know it. 
   One thing I am getting used to is the food every day. It's spicy food and in every home Tortillas. I am lucky. And they just keep on putting it on your plate. My Spanish is improving ever so slowly but it is. 
    Cool thing we found out is they are filming the new Captain America 2 blocks away from our house next to an old hospital. When we asked the guard here said it was called "Freezer burn". But 2 other elders asked a ward member who was working on the set and he told them Cpt America 2. California is a big old mixing pot. It is hard when I am trying to learn Spanish and all of the people who do speak Spanish, speak English to me. 
  So far no news on my Visa. But that's alright because I will "Bloom where I am planted". I have a couple of pictures but there aren't really picture opportunities.

   I am so excited for all of my friends who are leaving on missions!!! It is the greatest experience. To Liz Stringham I was thinking of you this Wednesday, I just want to ease your heart and let you know I am happier than I have ever been and know Jon is as well. Stay strong :) And to Pat Egbert getting ready for Tayson, trust me he is in great hands as is Katie. I saw that pic of Scott at a baptism. That is fantastic, I am so happy for him. From what I hear there is no greater feeling than baptizing. Jill you got one good missionary.  
  Stay strong moms!!! Remember the 2000 stripling warriors were only as good as what their mothers taught them... Wow that was gold I can't believe that just came out of my mouth. Man talking about all this missionary stuff gives me the chills.

    All I have to say is that I am tired, bruised, worn, sunburned, rejected, and worked. But I would never trade this for anything in the whole world. Life as a missionary is hard, but "Nothing that was ever worth something came with out some hard times" -Elder Chriss.

   I hope every thing is going well!  I know I am!  I'm fine on things but if any of you at home have an Argentina Visa laying around I would love one. Love you All so much. God be with you till we meet again.
Elder Chriss