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