Monday, September 5, 2016


Elder Christofferson and the Sister Missionaries he travelled with from the CTM to the 
Mission and President and Sister Bangerter.  

The city where he is serving is about the        The red dot is where he is serving and
size of Santa Clarita, where we live now      you can see where it is in relation to Salvador

Hello Everybody!

My mission just got real! I don't even know where to start, haha!

I am in the city of Itabuna, specifically California! How funny is that? When people ask where I am from I say the other California! So traveling here was crazy. We left the CTM at 3 in the morning and it was sad to say goodbye to all there. I was traveling with two other sisters. One Brazilian and one American. We got to Salvador and President and Sister Bangerter were so happy to see us and so welcoming and it was such a comfort. I love them already and I know they work hard every day to make this mission better! Salvador, the city is crazy but the weather kind of feels like Hawaii and it was nice to see the ocean again!

The first day was a lot of different things including getting my companion, Elder Santana, being assigned to my area and even going out in Salvador and getting contacts. That night we went to the big bus station and took an 8 hour bus ride all night to our area. That was tough so I was really tired the first day. But it all worked out! 

Right now I am emailing from a members house named Irmão (Brother) Santos. He is a super nice old guy in our ward.

This week has been a range of emotions. I have been super excited, felt the Spirit, been really homesick at times, been really really, really tired, but I love it!! It is sooo crazy to me that I am actually in the field already. Every time I am in the home of a member or investigator I always have a "what the heck? Am I actually here?!" moment. It is so awesome!

So my companion is Elder Santana. He is from the south of Brazil called Rio Grande de Sul. He has been out only 9 months but he is an awesome guy. As we have been talking we have been realizing we have a lot of things in common so it is nice to have someone here that I can connect with. I really like him and we work hard everyday and he is the trainer I was hoping for. I am so beyond blessed for this.

Our apartment is actually pretty big. We don’t have a dryer so everything is clothespins and string to dry. We hand wash all our dishes and utensils and cups. We have to get water from a specific clean company to drink. But the conditions are not that bad at all compared to people here. We have running water and plumbing that works pretty well. There are a lot of spiders in our apartment but I don’t worry or care about them at all which is nice!! 

From the description Elder C gave of where he lives  I think its down this street. If you turn to the left about 90 degrees you'll see the Church. 

This is where the ward he attends meets. His apartment is down the street to the right. (I think)

This city is crazy. There are dogs and cats just roaming, like A LOT of them, haha. There is trash and vultures everywhere too. But I still love it. We have a huge area and we walk ALL DAY; up big hills and streets and stuff so I am super tired every night. I have huge blisters on my feet and my thighs and calves are always sore. I am not complaining at all though!! I love it, Haha! I can't express that enough!

So far this is kind of what I expected a little but in a way it isn’t. I am losing weight like crazy, I think. One of my belts goes to the smallest hole now and I still could go tighter if it could. 

The ward here is awesome. All the people are nice and welcoming. Every day we get lunch from members but almost never dinner. Actually we have yet to have dinner with the members. But the food is good and I haven’t eaten anything too weird yet... YET!!

My Portuguese is okay but the people here talk different so it is sometimes hard to understand. During lessons I am totally fine because it is right with the investigators, one on one, but street contacting and knocking doors (actually clapping, haha) is tough. But it is only motivating me to work harder to learn the language. 

So about a few of our investigators… The first day we went to teach a recently baptized 12 year old boy named Andre. When we got there he went into his room and started crying because Elder Santana's other companion left and he liked him. I felt bad because he was so sad. But he came out eventually and we had a good lesson with him and I think he likes me now so he is not sad anymore. But right after that we were leaving his apartment complex and one of his friends, Natalia, called us over. She had some question about the church and that led into a whole discussion. So right there we sat down with her on the curb and taught her about the Restoration. It was very spiritual and I had the opportunity to bear testimony in my broken Portuguese and she understood. She even said we could keep teaching her and that she would prepare for baptism!!! That was very exciting and walking away I felt very very happy and full of gratitude for the Spirit. I think she is about 17 so she still lives with her parents and they are of another faith so hopefully they will approve of the teaching. 

On Saturday we walked around to the other side of our boundary to teach an investigator but she wasn't there which was frustrating because it was a long walk and it was hot out. We decided we needed to have more investigators up in that area so we didn’t waste a lot of time each day walking up there because it is about a 30 minute walk from our apartment. So we started knocking doors and found an older couple named Rita and Luciani. They were very receptive as we taught the Restoration and the wife Rita said that she has been wondering for a long time which church is true. I loved the Spirit in that lesson and it made me excited to keep teaching them. 

So at church on Sunday the bishop invited me, on the spot, to bear my testimony... so that was fun haha! I think they mostly understood what I was trying to say. And then after church I was assigned to give a talk in a few weeks. Classic first week!

So other things… I am sooo jealous that you guys went to the BYU game but it sounded so fun!! I am glad the Cougs won! Also, it’s fun to hear about football and Justin and just everything. I love getting the pics and updates so keep them coming!! 

I am so excited and happy to be here and things are SLOWLY starting to become normal.

I love this Gospel and I love my Savior Jesus Christ. I love learning and teaching about His Gospel every day and I love seeing the change in people's lives and in their eyes as we teach and testify of the truth. Every time I am feeling down or tired or homesick I think of our investigators and when we teach a lesson with the Spirit or get a new investigator  and it rejuvenates me and reminds me of why I am here: To spread His perfect Gospel!

I love you all!

Elder Christofferson

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