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!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Conferencia General!

Well, what a good week! Am I right?  I have a new comp his name is Elder Knight from Altamont UT.  He is freakin awesome and I'm so lucky to have him as my companion. He is fresh from the Mexico City MTC. His Spanish is good and has the desire to serve, which I love.
To tell you the truth I am super tired. My brain is super over loaded I have had like 5 meetings in the past 4 days... whoof.  I have had the pleasure of getting training to be a trainer, to be a better missionary, how to start the mission with E. Knight, The 12 week program the following day, a VC training with E. Knight., District meeting, and then two straight days of conference. Don't get me wrong I love every meeting that I've had.  It's just a lot to take in at once. I have plenty of material for my spiritual thought now haha. 
My district this transfer is HUGE, there are like 20 missionaries in it. That's just weird having so many!  I'm very glad to still have Elder Miller as my district leader!  He is definitely going to help me with this whole training thing.
I'm also now the intermediate teacher for LA English. I'm excited for the chance to help, and I'm going to definitely depend on my Heavenly Father for this one as well. The Classes are going well and we have several referrals from it. We are combined with the Korean Elders as well so our building is always full of people trying to learn English. It's great. We even have a person from Armenia in our advanced class. Elder Miller loves it.

If I have a best of the week it would definitely be getting my first kid, Elder Knight. I'm so grateful for the chance to help some one else adjust to the mission life. Worst of the week was on Friday getting two packages from my lovely mom in the mail.... oh wait that is not bad at all! LOVE YOU MOM!!! 
This week was conference and what a blessing that was. I love watching Conference as a missionary! It truly is revelation from a loving Heavenly Father for me and my area. For me its really hard to choose just one favorite. Utchdorf for one was a favorite. And one that really touched the soul was Elder Holland's Talk. Each talk though was a beautiful and taught me something different. The big focus in my eyes was the Family. This means a lot because out here I see a lot of broken families both in and out of the church and it makes me sad when there is nothing I can do. I work as much as I can to teach them the gospel so that they can start to mend the wounds in the family. My job isn't baptisms it's helping to forge a forever family for as many people as I can!! 
I love you all so much and I'm here to let you know that the Church is true that there is a prophet here to guide us in these latter days. I know that Joseph smith saw God the father and his son Jesus Christ. 
Love you so much and hope to hear from you soon!

Con Gran Amor
   Elder Chriss

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


   Well some big news.... I'm going to have a son!!!! Well a missionary son.... That's right Elder Chriss is going to be training a new missionary!!! Whoo I'm so excited it's ridiculous! And Today I found out that I am going to be staying in my current area!!! I'm stoked just because I've never stayed in an area before!!! Elder Palomino is going down to my old area of Cimmaron. I'm sad to be leaving my awesome comp but i know that he will do great.

  This week has been kind of a blur really ever since I learned that I will be training I've been a bit...well crazy, but that's okay  We have been really working with our members to strengthen them before we have them help us with our lessons. We have been enjoying the time with our members this week. And its great to see how much the gospel has blessed their lives. We have been enjoying all the food that have been preparing for us to. Bonus!!!

  Our English class is getting a lot bigger and our ward is getting some good investigators from the program. We had 10 people come to our intermediate class on Saturday and about 14 in the Beginner class. We are loving the classes and they are getting better and better. I think I will have to take over the Class for Elder Palomino, so we will see how things go.

  This Saturday we had a special Zone conference, where we got to have a training from Elder Richards of the Seventy. It was so cool to be getting help from a Seventy and to hear all of his advice to become better as missionaries. 
  A really cool thing that he talked about and my spiritual thought for today is the "Four Essential Truths" First is Faith in Jesus Christ. We must have this truth firm in our souls before we act on anything else in the gospel. Second The first Vision, We need to KNOW that it did happen and the significance of that! Third The Book of Mormon, This is the most true book of any other book and the keystone of our religion, read it, ponder it, Pray!! And finally The Priesthood, This is the power and authority of our loving Heavenly Father and it is back on the Earth to bless and strengthen his children. These are the things we need to build our testimony on. If you have trouble with any of these things work on them first, study them and engrave them on your heart. because they are essential to a firm foundation.

  I love you all and will keep you updated on the goings on here in LA.

  Elder Chriss