Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Real First Letter

So I got the letters mixed up and this is actually the first letter. Not to be confusing or anything haha.

Hey everybody at home!!
This place is totally awesome! The spirit is way strong all the time. And even stronger sometimes! Like when we're "practice teaching" or in a fireside. My companions are really great! We're a threesome, and they recently changed stuff so the districts are smaller, so we ended up being a whole district just ourselves :) And this sunday they called me to be the District Leader or "DL" There are 17 missionaries total, here, all one branch. Seven of us got here last week, I think 8 of the others are leaving in two weeks! So we'll be all by our newish lonesomes for a day... My Companion Anziano Mercado is from Michigan and he speaks pretty good french, so he's picking up Italian way fast. Anziano Wright on the other hand speaks some German and Russian, so italian is way new for him, heh. He says piccolo like it's a german word. He's from Oregan :)

I've seen Elder Steinagel a few times! He's pretty funny :) He weirded out Mercado the first time we saw him, haha. ( is short for Anziano, which is Elder in Italian) His dinner and mine overlap 15 minutes, so I usually see him just before I leave.

I've seen... two Sisters and four other Elders from our Stake here! Including Sister Story (Natalie) and Elder Martin (Dustin) I don't know most of the other's names though...

My teachers are both way totally awesome, Fratello Silva served in Roma and F.llo Tarwater in Milano, so they both have alot of different experiences and all that whatnot :)

Oh and hey there's this website called and I'm not sure how it works but somehow you write a letter or email on there and it gets printed off and comes here as a letter the same day! Pretty neat stuff this technology.

So yeah! thanks for the letters all y'all who wrote me!

Another Letter!

Hey! So I dug around in my classroom and in my "residence hall" room for all the Dear Elder's I've gotten, I'ma try to answer all the questions! On P-Days we get to go to the temple! We normally do an endowment session, but if we want we can do other stuff, initiatories, sealings, etc... And it is waaayy awesome! I love it. I learn everytime! and A. Mercasdo, my companion shared some things that he learned today as well, goood stuff :)
Like, I said last week, I have 30 minutes to use email, either reading or writing, so that's tricky. I'm not sure how much time I'll have once in italy, I heard it's the same amount of time but I guess I'll just hafta see when I get there! I've heard alot of really awesome things about President and Sister Acerson, the Roma mission president! I talked to an Elder a bit ago who was neighbors with them at home! He said they were some of his favorite people in the ward :)

So Conference was sooo Awesome!! I took notes on all but one talk, just because nothing struck me in that one, but total I took 20 pages of notes! wheew, I had cramps in my hand. And a sore bum too, they needed couches here for sure. I really liked Jeffry R. Holland's talk on sunday! I was just like yeeahh!! Way powerful and awesome!
I did notice how there were alot of talks on Love! I loved that :) love is definitely something needed today. I totally forgot about the World Report thing! That's cool that I was on it! woohoo I was on TV! I didn't think I was going to be.

So I am Not leaving early, most of the Italian missionaries left this morning to Italy :( but we're getting 6 new ones tomorrow! and two are coming early tonight. I have to find them tonight after the devotional, one's coming from Spain and the other fromGermany :) I'm excited to meet them!

They have a system here called SYL or Speak your Language, aand they pretty much just have you set your own goals for how much you'll speak the lanuage, we tried it for all of yesterday! That was way fun! we didn't talk as much as we normally would :) heh. But I answer questons all the time about italian, one Anziano who left this morning, A. West, called me Anziano Dizionario once, hehe. Guess what! you guys (family) remember Anziano Cagnacci?? His sister's here in the MTC right now! she's going to Washington DC! and there's one other missionary here from italy, going to London, named Anziano Boer, he's from Milano and he is veeerry Italian, hahah, he's awesome :) he came in to thecafeteria the other day singing a song by Queen, and then asked us if he got all the lyrics right :)

Snow!!!! aaahhh!!! I can see it up on Mt. Timpanogos! hooo, I want some down here :)

Oh, so I've learning alot lately about the importance of prayer! We neeed to pray so specifically! Heavenly Father Wants to give us EVERYTHING!!! all we have to do is ask for it. the other night I started praying and when I was done I checked my watch and it had been 35 minutes! wow, goodness.


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Letters From CJ!!

Hey everyone, this is actually Hanna and I will be posting CJ's letters for him throughtout his mission so here in his first one:

Ciao a tutti!
This MTC place is still pretty much awesome!
I've seen Jordy a bunch of times, but not for a while... Is he still here? Boh! But there are 8 people here from the O.V.! We all took a picture by the giant map.

I've been learning alot about teaching by the spirit and listening for what to say! It's really amazing! We plan out the lesson, what we're going to say, but sometimes other things just slip in your mind and you don't always know why, but you say them and it really touches the people! Even though everybody we teach is already a member, most have served missions, and they're just pretending.
One time we were in class with Fratello Silva -our teacher who just got home from his mission in Roma six months ago- and he said Ok I want you guys to teach Me, not me pretending to be an investigator, and so we prepared for 5 minutes and I found a scripture D&C 6:20 and while we were teacing him I had him read that (we hadn't been teaching him the lesson at all, we'd been talking mostly about the Plan of Salvation and we'd told him a couple stories of things from home) and when he read it he teared up, and told us about some hard things he's been trying to figure out in his life lately. That was absolutely amazing!
I definitely know now that the spirit's awesome :) and that you can't pray enough! I tried counting how many times we prayed yesterday and I lost count at 15 :) awesome!

So yeah! things are good. I did join the choir, that's fun! and I'm way excited about General Conference! I wanna see how much more I can get out of it with the awesomely powerful spirit here :D I haven't heard how long I'll be here yet, most likely the full nine weeks, which is fine, I'm learning everyday! My Companions A. Wright and A. Mercado are both really great! as DL I have to write a report letter to the mission president every week and tell him any concerns we have had that week, but I couldn't think of anything!! We're all pretty chill, friendly. I'm definitely the most talkative of we three.. A. Mercado is very good at planning and being on time though, so that's good for me :) He's a writer and he speaks French, so italian's easy for him to pick up, grammar wise. And A. Wright... He's learning really fast :) he speaks some German and some Russian, so those don't help much with Italian, haha! And he likes to lay on the floor while he studies.

Welp, hey my 30 minutes are up!
Ciao! Ci Parliamo alla prossima!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Alright! I'm doing another post! Amazing I know. Does anybody still check this thing?
So I've been prepping for the mission! Pretty fun stuff, I got the suits (Mr Mac's) and the shirts, and the shoes, and the haircut, and some sweet Burton luggage. And so yeah, it's gonna be good! I went to the Ogden temple last week, pretty amazing that! I report to the ol' MTC this Wednesday at 12:30 o'clock. In the middle of the day, not the night. mhhmm.

I think I'ma have Mamma Mia post some of the emails that I send to home on here, so y'all can be updated and I don't have to write the same letter to everybody! ;) If you do care to letter me, I'll allow that too... My mission address will be:
Elder Cory Joseph Christensen
Italy, Rome Mission
Piazza Carnaro, 20
00141 Roma, Italia

And I don't have the MTC po box # I'll be using, as of this time.


Sunday, July 5, 2009

My name is Sojato

So my Quattro de Julio was not a whole lot different than most other days! We mustered at 0730 in 2AFT, like normal, talked about what was coming up, like normal. But after Muster we didn’t have to do anything else! There’s only so much cleaning and restocking you can do in one little ward, eh? So I went and signed up for a COMREL with RP2 Fields, in the Chaplain’s office. And my good ol’ friend RP3 Strother was there! (RP2 and 3 are their rate and rank, RP stands for Religious Person and 2 is beter than 3) So I hung with him for a bit. We were joined by a Colombian friend of ours, Laura Lara, who’s on the ship with the UCSD Pre-Dental Society, but I think she’s studying political science… But yeah! We all headed up to chow, which was filled with all sorts of random Spanish phrases that Jarvis wanted to learn, such as “Tu eres un ganzo bobo” which means “You are a silly goose.” And I learned more practical words that I could actually use without people looking at me strangely. Such as how to say CJ in Spanish (non-American people never get my name) you pronounce it Sei-Hotah. So Jarvis was trying to tie that into one of his silly phrases and it came out more like Soh-Hatoh, so now my name is Sojato!

After said meal was finished I went to sit with my LDS friends Ashley, Lisa and Emma (Lisa and Emma just came on board recently) and found out that they were all about to go down to the OR and watch an operation! –we haven’t started operations yet, but Operation Smile is on board using our facilities to do a bunch of cleft-pallet repairs- So I joined their little crew and ended up being the only person seeing the operation! The Doctor was a cool Nicaraguan guy who was always laughing in Spanish (jajajaja) about something or other, the nurses all said he was crazy.
The procedure he was doing was a minor cleft pallet in the back of the little boy’s throat, you couldn’t even see it, but he said the muscle on top of the mouth wasn’t connected so the throat couldn’t close correctly to form words and stuff. So he cut open the roof of the mouth, cut the muscles and stitched them together, then stitched the skin back up! I don’t think it was more than 45 minutes, if that. I felt all official in my scrubs, disposable hat, shoe covers and face mask. Purtroppo I don’t have a camera so ya’ll’ll just hafta imagine me!

Then last night we (Me, Lisa and Manuel) were out on the Port-side Weather Deck just talking about something and we saw some fireworks that somebody was shooting up on shore! Pretty neat that they’d do that on our independence day.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Some Stuff!

So hey! Here's some stuff that has happened in the past while!

Some media people from the church came to the ship! I wasn't doing anything at the time so I helped them out. I basically was their run around boy, I'd run down to the Personal Affairs Office if they forgot a mic cord or a tripod knuckle or a reflector or something like that. then I'd help them set stuff up and show them how to get places, cause this ship's quite confusing if you haven't been here a while. And then they inteveiwed us! most of us at least, I got to be outside in the wind and stuff :) Cause they'd already done some videoing in 2Aft, where I work, and in the Hotel ward which looks alot like 2Aft. They were filming for a segment in the World Report this next conference, So be sure to watch it! I'll probably be in it!

When we were underway between Tumaco, Colomba and El Salvador we saw a bunch of Dolphins! A bunch of times! It was way awesome, they'd come right up by the bow of the ship and jump out of the water, sometimes 3 or 4 at a time! I think there were at least 15 of them, you could see them swimming underwater too. There was a mom and baby too, it was really cute they'd both jump at exactly the same time. And I saw a sea turtle the same day! It was probably about two feet across, and it came really close the the front of the ship underwater and kinda flailed around, heh. I think it was probably riding the surf off the bow.

My spanish has gotten alot better! It's still pretty pathetic, but better than before! Which was about nothing.. But now I can greet people several ways, give directions, tell people when and where to sit, ask them what they want to eat and drink, tell them what I'm doing when I take their vital signs, ask if they're in pain, and where it hurts... and any combination of the above! Apparently I have a good accent when I speak spanish cause the patients and their escorts never know I don't speak more then I do. They often ask me long questions or give me detailed descriptions of what type of pain they have and I just look at them quizzically and say " intiendo" and then they try agin but explaining diffently until I say "no no no, no intiendo espanol" That always gets a good laugh "no intiende espanol? No hable??" Or the other night I was talking to another corpsman (the navy guys that do the same thing as me) named Crain, and an escort came up to talk to him but first asked me "como se dice 'el quiere gelatino'?" which means "he wants jello", I just laughed, cause crain speaks more than I do. heh heh.

So yeah! that's somewhat of an update for ya!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Call

CJ Christensen has hereby been called to serve in the Rome, Italy mission.

Awesome!!!! Is that too easy or what? I already speak the language pretty good, and I know how the people are and the culture and stuff. So I won't have to struggle with all that! I'll be able to grow and do more of what I need to!

In case anybody doesn't know this already my some of the family (myself included) lived in the Rome, Italy mission for a year, nearly three years ago! So It's like I'm going home!