Monday, December 31, 2012

Elder Christensen: Letter 12/31/12 Holiday Week

Not a whole lot has been going on this week cuz everyone is out of town for the holidays those weird people that have lives!! lol I'm jealous :/  we did however find one new investigator that is pretty solid other than her boyfriend who she lives with is atheist, but she knows our message is true so we are excited to start working with her! Her name is Melissa we had tons of "Joy to the World" DVDs so we had to hand them out like crazy and she was working on her home that's being remodeled and she just opened the door thinking it was family or something... We were like hellllloooo..... she was like oh sorry I wasn't expecting missionaries. I thought you were family. Come on in! Ha! Ha! Then we talked about our purpose as missionaries and she said that's exactly what I need!! 

Alos, I found out Michael Jackson from my last area who I taught all the discussions to got baptized this weekend. So that's cool. A lot of the people I've taught have been baptized, just not by me lol! They don't leave me in an area long enough for that;) Love you all and hope you had a great Christmas and a happy New Year!!

Love Elder Christensen

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Elder Christensen: Letter 12/17/12 The BEST week yet!

So this week has been my favorite one on my mission yet. I was blessed with the privilege of baptizing our investigator "Grandma" Cathryn Ann Hurley on her 93rd Birthday on 12-12-12!!  I was born in 93 so that was cool cuz grandma was born in 1919, and I baptized her at age 19 on 12-12-12. Ha! Ha! Very cool!  This Baptism was unlike any other in the fact of how I had to help grandma get into the font and how I practically had to support grandma the whole time so she wouldn't fall again. (If you look back at Jeff's letters, he mentions that grandma fell had had a large bleed in her brain several weeks ago. Jeff was able to give her a blessing and she has recovered when nobody thought she would at her age!-part of the story is below.)  President Clark wants me to take an hour or so to type the full story so he can share it with our mission then he will send a copy to Salt Lake talking about this miracle:)  I'm so happy I was able to be a part of this experience in this family's life!  I also got to confirm Grandma this Sunday and that was the 1st confirmation I've done too.

The short story of this miracle is that we had begun teaching grandma when I had first got to Springfield and she was very receptive to our message because she had be going to church with her granddaughter, sister Elliot and she teaches the 7 year old class and grandma was also very involved in these lessons.  Then 2 weeks after our first lesson, grandma had fallen and hit her head really hard had lots of internal bleeding of the brain and the doctors said at her age recovery is very unlikely and may take months... After the blessing we knew that would not be the case for Grandma. We had a date and knew she would be ready for baptism by then!  Grandma immediately began to recover. Her softball size bump on her head was going down like I've never seen before it simply was a miracle.  Then we had asked grandma to be baptized and she said yes because of the power of the priesthood she had felt during the blessing.  

Then our other investigator Amanda came to our church this week even though our sign interpreter was out of town she had a little white board to talk on. (Amanda is deaf) Her and I had a great talk about the atonement:) Then when I had confirmed grandma, Amanda said I can't hear the words you said in that blessing, but the power I felt from it was unreal !! I explained that's the Spirit and she then wrote on the white board Elder Christensen finally have made my decision, I want you to baptize and confirm me !! I really had to fight back some tears on this one! That dang Spirit being strong! Why can't he just leave me alone? Ha! Ha! jk I love it, and I told her I would love to baptize and confirm you !! So now I have to learn more sign language! Ha! Ha! Ha!  I have until January to get this prayer down but Sister Green says this prayer is easier than the Sacrament one so that will be good cuz those were hard enough to not mess up on:)

As if all that wasn't good enough, we also had a great deal of success tracting with B.Rob (a guy in their ward who supports the missionaries a lot!) He is our luck charm! We have 6 potential investigators and 2 with return appointments :)  Then later that night we went to the Valaroe's home and had our best lesson yet. We are slowing and kindly breaking down that unification church little by little :) Hope to hear from you all soon!!

Love Elder Christensen 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Elder Christensen: Letter 12/10/12 The Right to Bare Arms!

So, I get to stay in Springfield for another transfer. So I will be baptizing a part member family's son. His name is Kaleb. He is so cool. He is 8 years old and weighs probably what I did when I was 8 hahaha! So I hope I don't mess it up :) The date will be 12/12/12 lol. He should remember that one! :)  This family is so cool they are the ones who have been helping us teach grandma who has made a full recovery from her fall. It's a Christmas miracle ha ha! I hope we get to teach her more. She just had her 93rd birthday this week :)  We also had lots of service opportunities this week which I loved!! We were helping move tons of heavy furniture for sister Elliot's business she is starting up and that's when she had asked me if I would baptize her son this week :)  

We also had the coolest district meeting ever this week! Right after the opening prayer and hymn, Elder Banks called me up to the front and sat me down on one end of the table and said "alright so today everyone of us will beat Elder Christensen at arm wrestling!!" Everyone started laughing, including me, because I had no warning as to what we'd be doing today ha ha !! So I arm wrestled the ZL's (Zone Leaders) first and beat them, then Elder Banks and beat him, then the sisters and beat them, then beat the ZL's again and Elder Banks again etc.... so after going through this 3 times the ZL's beat me, then elder banks beat me, and I could still beat the sisters, so we went through it again and I was so tired!! I beat Sister Fallentine again butIi had lost to Sister ToA'la... Then I went through everyone for the 6th time and I lost to everyone. Sister Falletine and I went for like 3 minutes! I just didn't want to lose hahahaha and Elder Banks knew I'd go my hardest every time but she did beat me!! Then Elder Banks explained that I was Satan lol and that everyone of us has been beat by him and how we could keep fighting him by ourselves but we would tire out before he would, but as a zone they were able to beat Satan or me ha ha! So in our missions we have Satan trying to beat us down everyday. Sometimes he uses home or music; things we really like and enjoy, but if we stay strong as a zone and just take turns fighting Satan, eventually we will beat him!! So I loved that training because we really got to feel the struggles of others in our district and we helped each other out!

After this meeting Sister Fallentine came to me and asked me if i could give her a blessing of comfort and I of course said I'd love to!!  This was a very special blessing for me. I have no idea what I said, or how I said it, but I know it's exactly what she needed. She was crying after the blessing was done and I could just feel the weight lifted from her shoulders:) I wanted to cry but fought it as usual, and it's so hard not to give a sister a hug especially when you know that's what they need !!! This was a great week for me though and I'm so happy that I had the chance to help improve the lives of the people I serve with and the people I'm serving:)

This week was just what I needed to get me over the bump of having to wait for Amanda (one of his investigators) to fix things. I'm not very patient obviously, but I'm working on it:)  Hope to hear from you all soon!!

Love Elder Christensen

Monday, December 3, 2012

Elder Christensen: Letter 12/3/12 Boom, Boom, Pow!

So this week in Springfield was pretty sweet. My companion Elder Banks will be baptising Rebbecca, an investigator that the Sister missionaries have taught and she is super stoked:) We may also have Amanda's baptism the day after, so that would be our back to back baptisms. We don't know who she wants to baptize her, but it will be cool anyway. This will be my 1st one I've taught all the way through and I will see her get baptised :)  This week we also had a great lesson with Crystal our Chinese investigator. She told us she loves the Christian's and how loving they are to people they don't even know. She said it's never like that in China!!  I also was privileged to hand out my 1st copy of the Chinese Book Of Mormon so she can read it all the way through.  Everytime we go over and teach her she insists on make us Chinese food and I'm not going to complain! It's way good !! Best Chinese food I've every had! :)  She also said to us in China it's very rude to not finish all the food that is presented at the table. So I have to eat a lot more than normal... She also explained how Chinese food uses all the different colors in the food because they're all different for the body like yellow is good for the skin, red is for the mind and so on.... It's like my mission is in China everytime we see her! It's pretty cool other than having to wear slippers in the house. That's a little weird ha ha! I'm hoping we can get a baptism date for her very soon. This area is booming now:) I'm hoping and praying that I won't get the 6 week shaft again. This area is great I love it !! Hope everyone is enjoying life and the Holidays :)

Monday, November 26, 2012

Elder Christensen: Letter 11/26/12 A slower week

No dates on the other baptisms. They aren't as solid as I'd like them to be. A lot of them are families and one is super hard. They have been investigating the church for 15 years and they also go to the unification church and believe all people will be held accountable to the knowledge they have of God, which is true, but they know the book of Mormon is true and that Joesph Smith was a prophet. They just don't believe one church is right .... I've shown them the scripture one church, one faith, one baptism, and the father says that's a parable. I'm thinking what?..... if Christ meant it as a parable he wold have said, this is a parable. Ha! Ha! Some people just don't get it !! The wife has a calling and everything, but they aren't members ... They lived in SLC for 6 years and know a lot about our church so its hard. They just don't believe that Thomas Monson is a prophet and the people before him, so its hard!! All is well though. Love you all! Happy holidays!

Love Elder Christensen

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Elder Christensen: Letter 11-19-12 Different, but AWESOME!

So this week has been AMAZING we met with our new investigator, Amanda, and she wanted to go on a church tour so we set up like 45 chairs with pictures on them throughout the building explaining why we do things the way we do.  It was the most in depth discussion I've ever had. The most powerful part of the tour was the baptismal font.  She is deaf, but we have a member who translates for us otherwise we'd be lost.... Then at the end of the tour we had a great talk on the restoration and she said "everything just makes sense I want to become a member of your church and I want to become closer to Christ, and I know the Spirit is guiding me to you guys!" 

We also had a follow up appointment Friday night with the member who has the famous Ghost pepper chili (I called it the Holy Ghost pepper challenge:) So ya I had the hottest pepper in the world this week its called a ghost pepper. These members order it from Pakistan because that's the only place hot enough to grow them and the challenge is this chili they make with tons of them in it. If you finish it you get your name on their wall of fame. I did it and with the fastest time yet; 3 minutes 23 seconds. It was great, but by far the Hottest thing I've ever ate!! They said I've never met anyone dumb enough to eat the whole bowl of chili and in that fast of a time. Ha ha I showed them !! The next morning was not to friendly though! Needless to say I felt more than the burning of the bosom  .....  and we taught the restoration fully this time.  She loved every minute of it and was just asking for more and more information and we gave her a plan of salvation packet and she finished it that night and wrote 3 pages of how she fit into the plan and it just blew my mind. She is so dedicated !! She knew the plan better than the member did. Ha! Ha! She corrected the member like 3 times on parts of the plan of salvation Ha! Ha!  She is so ready to be baptized!!! Elder Banks and I have been learning the Sacrament prayers in sign language which is pretty cool and who ever will be baptizing her will have to learn that prayer in sign too! :)

This week we also had ZL exchanges and Elder Esplin and I tracted in a woman who came to our church one year ago and felt like she got the cold shoulder and no one would talk to her but we couldn't believe that at all. Everyone is super nice and friendly in this area and so I challenged her to give it another shot and she was like ehhhhh what the heck why not. So she came to church this Sunday and felt the Spirit and everyone's love and is taking the discussions now!!  She is super solid.  Then Sunday Night we felt we should see this family the Collins family. The missionaries taught them about 6 months ago. One of her sons got baptized and is an active 16-year old.  We felt we needed to teach the rest of the family again and get the mom on track and hope and pray her other 4 sons will follow her. Its really hard to have the Spirit at her house though because all the boys are crazy and bug her and there is no father figure present so they get away with it. I wish I could just burn the white missionary handbook and put those kids in their place. Ha! Ha! Those dang rules make my work a lot harder!!! 

I hope everyone will be enjoying the holidays especially Black Friday! Ha! Ha! My Holiday:) I Love You all and hope to hear form you soon !

Love Elder Christensen  

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Elder Christensen: Letter 11-13-12 Springfield News

So this week I was on exchanges with this greeny and we had a dinner with sister Elliot and her mom who is 93 and I taught the restoration and she was super excited about everything. She came to church this week and last week and says "there is just such a warm spirit here at your church, I want to become a member."  That's music to every missionaries ears :)  Later that night though Cathryn or grandma as we call her fell and hit her head pretty good... Her brain had some intense bleeding but they got it under control. That night I broke the curfew rule and listened to the Spirit and we drove to the hospital to give her a blessing.  So we are praying like crazy for her and her family!!!

  • In my letter from Jeff he said that it was weird because he felt so at home in the hospital setting while giving that blessing. I guess from working in that setting for a year, it brings back memories and he feels comfortable and at home. I told him that this would be a big benefit to him during his mission since he won't be nervous and feel awkward when he is at the hospital giving blessings!

Also this last week we got to listen so 2 General Authorities and it was amazing. The 1st one was at Stake conference. His name is Andrew Perkins of the quorum of the seventy.  This was a perfect meeting for us because the day before we had received a media referral and she is Chinese and doesn't understand much English, but we watched the restoration DVD in Chinese and she got very emotional during it.  I said to my comp I wish I could speak Chinese to make things clear to her!!  Then at Stake conference, Elder Perkins talked about how he lived in China for 6 years and speaks Chinese:) So after conference was over I ran up to him shook his hand and told him about our language barrier and he said give me her name and phone number and I'll give her a call. I was like Fetch yes!!!!!  So we will see how that goes when we see her Thursday?:)  Then Monday we had Mission Conference and got to listen to Elder Chei from Korea and I swear every word he said was meant just for me. Ha! Ha! He shared an experience from his mission in Korea and how he opened this new area and busted his butt for 3 months, finally got people to teach, and got them all ready for baptism and he got transferred and he was like why me!!??  And his talk was about how he had become stronger through that experience and he compared it to a fruit tree and how only the Gardner knows why he must cut these big long branches down from the tree that worked so long and hard to get this big.  The tree then was humbled because he was smaller than all the other trees. Over time the tree then will bring forth better fruit on the new branches from the wounds of the gardner:) Then he talked about marriage for 2 hours after our lunch and I don't know if I'll ever be ready for that, but only time will tell....

So we also had tracted into a woman named Annie and she is the funnest person to teach!!!!  Our 1st lesson was on the restoration and when we talked about the Spirit she just goes off yelling crazy stuff at her friend Shaneinei and shes like "why you never told me dis bout the Mormon church !!!!" Her friend is a LARC (Less Active Recent Convert).  Were going to extend a baptism date this week for Annie and Crystal and her husband:)  Love you all and hope to hear from you soon:)

Love Elder Christensen

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Proud of my son!

I got to email Jeff back and forth this last week, so it was kind of like text messaging and I got to carry on a conversation with him. He was just made the senior companion in his new area, so I asked him how long his new companion had been out and he told me that he had been out 18 months. I was surprised because I thought that the senior companion was always the one who had been out the longest and Jeff has only been out barely 5 months! Jeff said that his mission president had talked to him and told him that he was really impressed by what he has done so far. He also told him that because of the new age requirements for the missionaries (18 for boys and 19 for girls) that they are expecting 60 new missionaries in his mission in January. Because of this, the mission president is considering opening some new zones for the mission and he talked to Jeff about possibly being a zone leader for one of the new zones. Jeff joked with me that he may be the youngest zone leader ever in his mission! He definitely has a knack for getting to know people and form relationships with them, and that will serve him well on his mission!

Love you Jeff!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Elder Christensen: Letter 11/5/12 Springfield, IL

So, I Love this new area. My comps last leader was a missionary that's almost done, so he has given up on a lot of the mission rules like 6:30am workouts and waking up on time. My current comp is loving how aggressive I am to work out and stay in shape because he what to lose a lot of his mission weight. I've got 2 pounds off him already! In 6 weeks I'll have 15-20 off him! Missionary boot camp lol:)  He really loves how I keep the days fun too. Even when tracting sucks and it's cold and we're getting nothing but slammed doors in our face, I'm always making jokes out of it to keep our hopes up!:) For example one lady was a 20 year Pentecostal and I talked about the restoration of the gospel and taught it in 60 seconds and had asked her if she would pray to know the things that I said were true and she said I won't pray because I know I'll get the answer that will make me a Mormon. I said to her yep! It's funny how God wants people to know his church has been restored and it's true! She then said have a good day keep up the good work and took a Book of Mormon ha ha !!

This new area is awesom! The Zone Leader's home is a guest house to this mansion and there is a 500 foot zip line that I got to ride over this huge lake. It was so fun!! Then there is this member B.Rob. He helps the missionaries out with miles (by giving rides) and everything.

This area is just like the Simpson's cartoon. They almost got chosen to be the city for the Simpson's movie premier. This place has huge smoke stacks and a big energy/ power plant just like the Simpson's ha ha!   Springfield is my favorite area. The people here are very nice and receptive to our message and I have enjoyed getting to talk with them! I'm looking forward to getting the work rolling ni this area and my 1st area of being the Senior comp:)

Love Elder Christensen

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Stories from Jeff

We got a package from Jeff this week. He sent a few things home before his transfer and he shared some stories in the letter he sent with his package that I thought I would share here. His handwritten letters are definitely more thoughtful and have more details than the emails he sends each week. He shared a story in this letter about the family that he has been working with to get to the temple. They had a sick baby with an infection in her bloodstream who was in the hospital. Jeff was able to give the baby a blessing and she recovered and got better right after that. He also talked about how the brnch he is in has been very poorly attended with ony 25-30 people coming each week, and last week they had 78 people there, so he was really exicted about the work they had done with the less actives in the Branch there. He also really feels like he was sent to Shiloh for a reason, and he was having some good results in the short time he was there, so he is super bummed about getting transferred this soon, but I am sure there is a reason he will be in Springfield as well!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Elder Christensen: Letter 10/29/12: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Ha! Ha!

Sooooo the baptisms are great. Rob said he would be baptized after his finals are done in one month, and James asked me to baptize him on November 11th, so I had to tell him i couldn't because....... the bad news is I'm getting transferred to Springfield, Illinois. So all that work and success I wont get any of it, but that's life for ya. You work, work, work, and finally get somewhere and they take it all away!!  That's probably the worst feeling I've every had in my life when an investigator have really connected with you and wants you to baptize them and you have to tell them you cant!  I hope none of my friends ever have to experience that on their missions!!

 On a more positive note I will be the senior comp in my new area though... Our ward mission leader was really mad that they're taking me out so fast. He said there is no doubt in my mind that the reason you where here wasn't just for James and Rob.... He said Brother Ellington was another huge reason of why I was sent to this area I got him and his wife on the path to go to the temple and become sealed!! They have a lot of family issues from the family business that I was able to help them with... my last lesson with them was Sunday night and the spirit was so strong my comp didn't say more than 3 words but everything just flowed and was perfect. Just what they needed to hear in their lives at that moment. I'm glad I could help them:) They were converted about 1.5 years ago and slowly had been falling away but I got them back in gear and now the wife took the reigns and is running to the temple as fast as she can:)  They both thanked me for everything I have done for them and helped them with and he told had I not came to this area he would've left the church to stay at peace with his family.  Now he is trying to keep the peace in the family and get to the temple to help strengthen his testimony rather than just using his wife's testimony!  What I thought was super crazy was when I first got to this area his wife was the weaker of the 2 all the way through their conversion.  Then when times got hard for both of them she became the stronger one!!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Elder Christensen: Letter 10/22/12 1st Baptism???

My First Baptism Date. AHHHHHHH!!!

So it's been set and we are teaching like mad now !! 11-11-12 is the date we are shooting for. His name is James he wold go to the YSA (Young single adult) branch. He was there this Sunday and we taught him between our Shiloh ward and YSA.  He was super respective and has read the BOM before and wants to be Baptized so he can have the gift of the Holy Ghost !!  This week we also met with Rob again and taught the WOW and we set a goal for him to stop drinking and he has been sober for this week and is willing to continue as we are meeting which is super cool!!  Rob came to the ward chili cook off, loved the members and the chili, and so did Michael Jackson and we had a great time. I do miss my mom's white chicken chili though everyone else just doesn't compare!  Michael Jackson talked with us about baptism and some of the concerns he had. We helped him through alot of them and haven't set a date with him yet but this week that's our goal for him:) I'm loving this new area I'm hoping I don't get transferred next Wednesday... ha ha! One of the converts/ward missionaries emailed President Clark and told him that he can't take me or Elder Dazley out of this area because were doing way better than the ZL's (zone leaders)that used to cover this area!! Hope he enjoys that letter ha ha! We also found a mission bike for me to use and I've been loving riding it. I didn't however enjoy it when i got a flat tire 6 miles out from our apartment in Lebanon.... It kinda was my fault but I couldn't resist the jump! I needed some excitement from the ride ha ha:) ohhh, also I guess the front brake was on the whole time, but I couldn't hear it rubbing and that made pedaling alittle bit harder lol.

Love you all and hope to hear from you soon!!

Love Elder Christensen

Monday, October 15, 2012

Elder Christensen: Letter 10/15/12

So we just got a new investigator. His name is Michael Jackson and he just moved to belleville but the girl he is dating livse in Newbaden, which is in our area so we are hoping to get him rolling in this area:)  He was super involved in our 1st discussion and he really enjoyed hearing my testimony and he said I feel comfort in the things you have told me and I feel like this whenever I come into the Mormon church which is why I'm coming back!  I explained how the spirit feels and how he could continue to feel this feeling and he is excited about coming back to church next Sunday to take the next lesson.  He was fellowshiped into the ward by his girlfriend and she is a less active member but they don't live together which is awesome !!! That's a 1st for me on the mission.  He had tons of questions on what we believed and we answered every one of them and I was shocked at how much I remember and how the spirit guided this discussion. It was so smooth and peaceful I'm hoping one day I can say I baptized Micheal Jackson on my mission lol!!  We didn't get the chance to meet with Rob this week because he was out of town, but he did call and asked me question that he had about things he had researched about our church that wasn't from a church website and I set all that straight then backed it up with scripture. He was shocked as to how fast we proved everything wrong!  Getting ready for the Chili cook off having some members bring friends that might be intrested in hearing more about our beliefs should be great:) hope to hear from all you soon!!
Love Elder Christensen

Monday, October 8, 2012

Elder Christensen: Letter 10/8/12


So my crazy story for the week....  Last P-Day we saw the arch and went to the ghetto called "paint Louis." It's 6 miles of solid graffiti and gang wars in paint. Anyways we were running late to get back and catch our metro, so we ran 3 miles of the wall and my backpack had unzipped itself from all the swaying of my books and stuff back and forth.  So my wallet and my camera fell out we hadn't noticed til we had got to the metro platform. So we grabbed the next bus to take us to the end of paint Louis, and the road didn't meet with the trail so it felt a lot like "Call of Duty" when they are running through the abandoned train yard and there is shrapnel everywhere.  We hopped over 15-foot chain fences, and one was 35-feet tall with barbwire so I lifted up the bottom part for my comp to slip under. I got some minor cuts from that, but my adrenaline was so high I didn't feel anything!  We also jumped through slow moving trains and trains that weren't moving at all.  I kinda left my comp in the dust! When we got to the trail I didn't want him to hear me pray. This was one of my most powerful prayers I've ever had!!  I was so scared but when I prayed I found great comfort in the Lord and he promised me I would have my wallet and camera back.  I ran up to this black man in his late 30's and asked him, "have you seen my camera or wallet?"  He was really scared. He thought I was going to jump him ha ha !!   I described the items he said no but if I see anything I'll wait at the other end for you. I said I would give him a reward if did find the things and sure enough he found both my items only told me he found the wallet, and he found it empty of cash, of course.... I knew this man had also found my camera but wouldn't give it to me so I said I'd give him $200 if he found the camera. He said I'll look for it tomorrow. I knew he had my camera. The next day he woke up called and said I found it where you wanna meet? I had informed the police on my situation and it was just like in the movies. Tony pulled up asked for the reward and I gave the cop hiding in the building behind us the signal. He came out and ripped this guy a new one!!! I've never heard any man yell as loud as he did!! I got everything back other than the money he stole out of the wallet, but it was well worth it to have seen him get chewed out like that for stealing and with-holding my stuff from me!!! I also have a even greater testimony of prayer now because of it:) Love you all hope to hear from you soon!!

Love Elder Christensen

Monday, October 1, 2012

Elder Christensen: Letter 10/1/12

This new area is amazing! The member are helping us with referrals to their friends and we are hoping to get to work with them and get some baptisms out of it! We have been tracting tons in the meantime walked 13 miles Friday after our service at the food pantry. We have a meal calender going around and you're right the members love to feed us!!  Right now we are teaching one person whom I tracted into. His name is Rob and he is a young college student going into a physics major. We had planned to meet this Sunday and we ran into him Saturday and he said I'm so excited to see you guys but you're 1 hour late. We then told him it wasn't Sunday ha ha and he said oh great so we can meet then I cant wait!! But then he got called into work and we missed him but he left us a note so he really cares to meet with us which is good! 

Testimony meeting was really great with both the wards we cover!  I bore my testimony about the role the temple and prayer and my story of when I had to make my choice with football or pharmacy tech and how I prayed to know what to do in the South Jordan temple parking lot in my truck. lol they loved it so much like all the sisters were balling...  Then the branch leader said can I share your story to the other wards I cover and I said sure.  So I hope that this experience I've had will impact someone's life as it has done so in mine!! Hope our teaching pool gets bigger as we follow up with the members this week love you all !!

Love Elder Christensen

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Elder Christensen: Letter 9/23/12, NEW AREA-Shiloh

HEY, So new area is amazing I love it already the people here are very friendly they love talking about everyday things but not so much the gospel yet.. We met our ward mission leader brother Bennion. He is very cool !!!! Had stake conference this week so we haven't got to meet just our ward yet but we have about 35 members so its a lot smaller than Farmington but we are here to fix that !! MY new companions name is Elder Dazley he is my favorite one yet and I've only been with him for 5 days we love alot of the same things and teach the same way so things flow very nice:) I'm very excited to get the work rolling in this area its brand new so we gotta hit the ground running! There is a lot of retired military in this area as well so we get to hear tons of war stories and the Scott air force base is right by our area so we see tons of jets and cool aircraft. I'm feeling my 1st Baptism will be in this area:)

Love Elder Christensen

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Elder Christensen: Letter 9/17/12 TRANSFER!

The end of my first area:

So I’m getting transferred this Wednesday, so if you’re going to send mail just send it to the mission office address 1850 Craigshire (for full address, click the write to Jeff link at the top of the blog).  I’m being transferred to Shilo, Illinois. This area has been closed for 6 months and now I’m opening it with Elder Dazley.  This area has a full court gym with a wood floor, so I’m very happy I will be getting my exercise back. :) However, I’m truly going to miss the people of Farmington!!  The ward here is amazing they reached out with us to help reactivate the less actives and now we’ve doubled the numbers of active members in Farmington!  The bishop is only 20 members away from his vision 200 I wish I could stay just one more transfer and see him hit his goal!  My ward mission leader has given me a new outlook on missionary work. Charlie Hargis is simply the best convert I’ve ever met!!  I wish ever member of the Church had the same fire about the gospel that he has then missionary work would be so much easier and we’d have a lot less less-active members.   It was very hard to say my goodbye at church this Sunday! It kind of felt a lot like saying goodbye to everyone in my home ward but I will go where they need me to go :) 

I have a mission tradition of my own. I will give one of my mission ties to any young man that is progressing to the office of a deacon.  So the newest Deacon in Farmington is Quinton. He comes from a poor part member family his dad isn’t a member and he told me” Elder Christensen you’re the best missionary Farmington has ever had I hope one day I’ll be as good of a missionary as you are!”  I had to fight back some hard tears when he told me this because I felt I hadn't done much for this area because I haven’t baptized anyone…  I’ve learned so much from this area, I can only image how much I will learn in the time of my whole mission!!  We also had President’s interviews last Tuesday and President Clark was very pleased with the work I have done in Farmington and he is putting me in other areas that have been struggling to see if I can get them up to missionary level.  He seemed very confident that I can turn this new area around and get things rolling out there!  Don’t know if that is a good thing our not but we will see how it works out…

Elder Christensen: Letter 9/10/12

Its feels like we just can’t get a break out here. Our golden contact has decided that she wants to live in Fredericktown so we can’t teach her because that’s in the sisters area… We had her come to church the past 2 weeks she loves is and explained to us how she is feeling the spirit when she is with us and when we are in sacrament meeting!  She also said that her personal prayers are so strong that she never wants them to end so she will be getting baptized in October by someone in the Fredericktown ward… 
This Saturday was Karen’s wedding it was soooo long it was very pretty though.  They had this mansion in the forest rented out it used to be a school so it’s ridiculously huge!  We had the honor of shuttling people back to their cars that were parked up at the church for the first 2 hours and last 2 hours at least I got to drive a Volvo haha!  Then we had 16-17 year old girls following us everywhere and hitting on us it was nasty I wanted to leave after the I-do’s… They were BIG country girls with terrible Cajun accents like the people from swamp people. Hahaha I needed a translator.   It was a great chance to provide hours of service and we met lots of people that had questions about the church. None of them were from Farmington so we gave them an card so they can find missionaries in their area if they want to.  Also for the wedding everyone knows that I love white dress shoes so I found spatted DR. Martins at the goodwill brand new!! 
This week we had a very great talk with our ward mission leader Charlie on how we can get the members of the ward to reach out to their friends who might be willing to listen to our message.   We have a vision 200 active members for the Farmington ward and this program will get those last 40-50 people.  While talking with Charlie I was able to help him with his Rat-Rods. I got to bolt on some 55 Chevy fenders to his low-rider trucks.  Charlie always says we have helped this area a lot already and we just need to relax and keep trying , but I’m struggling with the relaxing part.   I’m learning a lot on how to become patient in this area… 

Keeping my head up hoping for a better week this week and hope we can find another golden contact that is willing to hear us out!  Transfers this week we will see if I stay in Farminton or not..?

Love, Elder Christensen

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Elder Christensen: Letter 9/4/12

Yesssss!!!!  We finally got some new people to teachJ  We had the sisters up for our district meeting and they were out of miles on their car so a member dropped them off in Farmington and they couldn’t get a ride back til 7 so they went tracting in our area for us.  We were helping the Eddy family move. They have so much stuff it took 4 storage units crazy!!!!  So they tracted around the church and the 1st person they find is interested and wants to take the discussions from us.  Haven’t really met face to face yet but he sounds golden right now. He goes to the open bible church and he is trying to find God not a social bible church.  We had lots of chances to give service this past week which is just what I needed because I’ve been super stressed out for the past month.  Service is the healthiest way for me to relieve my stress out here. The punching bag at the apartment is great!  But not without gloves or tape ha ha. The other New Investigator was taking the discussions for the elders in Poparbluff and they said she is really interested so I called her and really connected with her. I invited her to church for fast Sunday.  She came!!  It was awesome. The ward was super friendly and the testimonies were the best I’ve heard in this area.  Her name is Teresa and she hasn’t for sure moved into Farmington yet but she really likes the area and the people so she probably is but not 100% sure yet…   I’m praying that she will be the one to break the streak of no baptisms in Farmington J
Love ,
Elder Christensen

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Elder Christensen: Letter 8/27/12

So this week in Farmington we had a really good heart to heart with our investigator Ron.  He really opened up to us about some of his struggles and with his living situation he probably won’t be getting baptized soon or in our areaL  We had zone leader exchanges this week and that was ok… We went tracting for 5 hours before our dinner appointment had no success there!  I can’t believe how many people just don’t care about God or religion its crazy!!  My comp found 1 new potential investigator in his 5 hours of tracting we had an appointment set up for that following Saturday and she bailed…  Got some cool numbers for you though!!!!  Since I’ve been in Farmington I’ve walked 195,479 steps, this month alone we’ve walked 66,407 steps, so we are tracting about 8.76 miles a day every day!!  My highest day so far is 21,564 steps which was 16.21 miles.   We have a car area but I feel like we never use the car. Ha Ha Oh well. I like walking anyway.  I’m getting the feeling that this area has been tracted out and I’m running out of ideas on how to find new people to teach..?  It’s so crazy everyone here is kind of in their own world we ask people who have lived here for 20 years if any of their neighbors would be interested in hearing our message, and they say I don’t know any of my neighbors ….. Very different from Utah!  
On the positive side of things our ward attendance is still climbing the bishop’s goal is 200 people for one Sunday.  The bishop really loves me I can’t figure out why yet??   I don’t feel like I’ve really done anything in the Farmington area yet….  My own personal testimony and scripture knowledge have grown tons though!!  I got my very 1st Missouri Rain last night. It was so cool the streets were flooding over the curb and lightning striking every 5 seconds. It was like a dream come true!  Keeping my head up !! :)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Elder Christensen: Letter 8/20/12

So this week in Farmington out investigator Ron I told you about wants to be baptized! AHHHH I’m so excited we have a couple of things that we are working with him on but he told us for years he has been scared of being baptized and when we read 2nephi chapter 31 he said the spirit was so strong and telling him he needs to be baptized as soon as possible. He loves reading the Ensign so he reads those every day and he said he has been reading those for a couple years and he really enjoyed the stories in them. He said the spirit has never been as strong with him as he has been studying now! It’s so amazing to see the small and simple changes in someone’s life as they are progressing to make the decision to be baptized. I’ve come to realize that missionaries can only do the best they can do but the true conversion comes from the spirit! We have also been tracting tons this last week now that my foot is good to go, haven’t had any luck there L We have walked about 35 miles this week though so I’m burning off all my family meals. The people of Farmington are pretty mean they don’t wave back for a friendly hello they slam doors in your face some crazy people out in the boons even come out with guns ha ha. That’s missionary work for you though if it was easy then everyone would do it… We also have been visiting tons of less actives and have even got some of them to renew their temple recommend. I believe we have truly earned the trust of the ward back from those dumb missionaries making poor choices. The ward is feeding use very well now they want us to come over all the time to teach their kids. I’m hoping that with that trust they will invite us to teach some of their friends that aren’t members of the church! Member referrals are such a big part in baptisms out here. Also I one of our part member families her oldest son just turned 12 and has accepted the role of a deacon they don’t have a lot of money so I bought him a tie, and he loves that thing she keeps telling me that he wont take it off ha ha. So on the down side of the week on the way back home from our appointment with the Urling family for dinner we got pulled over for speeding my comp got a ticket so I might be driving from now on. The funny part is we were going so fast that we sped past 2 cops in about 4 miles they clocked us at 74 so must have been on the uphill part of the roadJ I’m so glad I wasn’t driving!! My goal is to have no tickets on my mission! So my comp was really down that night and I wanted to help in any way that I could. So I saw that our watermelon was going bad and I knew we had a baseball bat in the weight room so I let him smash the watermelon he felt much better after that! We also had the chance to watch President Monson’s Birthday celebration on BYUTV that was so cool I learned a lot about our prophet and his life he is such a good man! They also had plenty of great musical talent there people from phantom of the opera, and they sang his favorite golden days songs. I’m surprised how many of the golden day songs that I knew from the few Broadway plays that I’ve seen such as “The Music Man” brought up lots of old memories from 10th grade. Time flies by!!!!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

New Pictures

Jeff sent us a package with his SD card from his camera, so I have uploaded his pictures to the website. Just click on the tab at the top of the page to view the new pictures.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Letter to Mom: 8/13/12

I thought I would share the letter that Jeff wrote to me this morning. I try to ask him a few specific questions so that at least he will answer those. We usually also get a handwritten letter about avery 1.5 weeks and he tends to write a lot more in those than he does in the emails. We also got an email from one of the members in the area where he is. They had fed him dinner and wnated to tell us how spiritual Jeff is and what a great job we did raising him, so he also comments on that below. Here is the letter below:

Yes the lightning storms are amazing out here!!!!! They have heat lightning too where is doesn't rain and its just lighting with no thunder. Have only had one of those but it was out of this world!! It was like a giant strobe light in the sky and didn't stop!! I really wish I could been at the wedding (cousin Steven's wedding last Friday) but I was in spirit! I wrote Cortney happy birthday in my journal. I didn't forget it ha ha that was weird but I only have to miss one more of her birthdays lol they time is flying already!! Ohhhhh Kyle (Kyle Cortez, Jeff's friend just came home from a mission last week.) I bet he has changed so much since I've seen him.( So ya the Morgans or Felix that Todd worked with is such a cool family that reminded me so much of our family at the dinner table and the oldest boy was teasing his momma OH I miss those days!!  They didn't really like Farmington but they have another house in Utah in Pleasant Grove I think so maybe you will get to talk to them one day?  And tell Kyle to write me!!!!!!!  My comp is from Kaysville, Utah by Lagoon ish area but he will be home in December but he is a great guy we've finally warmed up to each other !! It's very weird though like I'm the junior companion but in every discussion I'm always leading it or talking with the people more than the veterans lol?  But in my patriarchial blessing it says you will be called to an area were your skills and talents will be used to there full potential!  Ha ha I bought the safe for a reason....... (Jeff bought a fire proof safe before his mission and we have had 3 fires this year close to the house!)

Elder Christensen: Letter 8/13/12

This week in farmington was a good one we broke the ward attendance record by 20 people yes!!!  So the ward when I first got to farmington averaged bout 80-90 people but we've been working on less actives and part member families and are now averaging 140-160 every week... so I haven't baptized anyone yet but I can see that we are making a difference and that's huge for me being a new missionary so I have some success to look back on when I have those down days! So our down time is spent with less actives and part member families.   Also we have Ron one of our potential investigators who has been looking into the church for about a year now. I challenged him to read 2nephi ch31 and 32 but he didn't do it so the next time we met with him we read ch 31 together and at the end I challenged him and asked him to be baptized and to set a date for that goal and he really was thinking hard for a date that he would be ready so know we are helping him prepare for that! Our discussions have really gotten deep with Ron and he is gaining so much knowledge from it I'm hoping and praying that he will pray to know the things that we teach are true!!!! I don't have lots of time to write this week because our library is closed for cleaning and the park hills library is a joke its so packed!!  Our other investigator is Josh and we had a great time with him and his family on Saturday for his birthday party we played football and elder Christensen and I owned it up! We built lots of trust with Josh and his mom that day and will be meeting with them this Wednesday with 3 members who know them very well and are helping us get them to church and baptism :)  hope everything works out this week is a big one for us ! I love you all and your in my prayers!!!!
Love Elder Christensen

Monday, August 6, 2012

Elder Christensen: Letter 8/6/12

Hey everyone I’m so excited to be able to walk all day again we had a lot of success this week but it was all less active member work it was amazing!  So it was fast Sunday and we had 2 less active part member families there and one of those families went to Nauvoo over the week and just bonded as a family.  They all said the spirit was so strong they said they didn’t ever want to leave.  Their testimonies were so strong and powerful I couldn’t believe it.  The father of the family is the least active and he decided that his testimony was ready so after 38 years of being a member and just going through the motions and hearing everyone else’s testimonies.  He wanted to share his for the 1st time with his family and the ward it was very spiritual!  Their daughter Colleen is 17 years old and she is the most active member of her family she has great friends in the young woman’s group and they keep each other on the right path.   Our goal for that family is to get her father the priesthood and have their family sealed in the temple for time and all eternity.  Families are so important and I want my family to know that I love them so very much!!  It reminded me so much of those days where my whole family would give their testimonies!  So we are working on some new investigators that we have found one of them his name is Ron he has been investigating the church for 1 year and is always asking really great questions.  I challenged him to read 2nephi chapters 31 32 and to pray to know that this is the true church.  I know that if he does this god will answer his prayer!!  We had a ward baptism this week as well is was very cool it reminded me a lot of when I was baptized by my father I can remember so much from that day its one I’ll never forget.   It also reminded me of my farewell talk hope it was good ha ha I don’t remember a lot of the things that I said but that’s when the spirit takes over for you.   For service this week we had the opportunity to serve food to the seniors at the senior center is park hills and all the old ladies love us and they are a blast!  Then we do the dishes there as well every Wednesday its getting fun because I’m finally getting to know all the people there.  We have lots of missionaries and sisters leaving our district this week and some will be going home this Wednesday so we had a very spiritual district meeting this week and I was the role play investigator.  It’s so hard for me to act that out because I always use my best friend Evan and I realized what I should’ve done for him while I was at home and how it was a mistake not to share the gospel with him!!!  I wish I could’ve swallowed my pride sooner for now I feel like I’m too late to help him L  This experience has taught me a very valuable lesson on humility though I’m very thankful for the opportunity I have to grow from this experience and be a better missionary!!  I had my 1st Zone leader Exchange this week as well and it seems that wherever I go that I can connect with whoever we are teaching better than the missionaries that are in that area. The people love what I have to say to them but its not me at all the spirit of the lord tells me what to say and I don’t argue with it.  One investigator shared with us his 1st 18000 foot skydiving video and explained how that feeling was indescribable.  So I related that to the spirit of the Holy Ghost and how we can tell how it feels but you have to experience the joy of the spirit on your own and now he wants to get this gift and be baptized at the end of the month!! The zone leader was very impressed and couldn’t thank me enough, but I don’t get to baptize him L   So I’m kind of bummed on that but I’m so very happy for him and his wife !!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Elder Christensen: Letter 7/30/12

Hey everyone so still not a lot going on in Farmington but having better luck than the week before… so this week we had our super activity we bought out the whole section at the cardinal game it was awesome !  It was a very high scoring game the cardinals had 2 homes runs and score 7 runners total the dodgers had 4 total with no home runs.  It was very nice to see all my buddies from the mtc again elder Sims and elder Harris are my bros! Then after the game we went to forest park I love that place there is some much to do there and the people that are there are so funny.  They all thought we were selling drugs though because we were dressed in pros clothes ha ha.  I also got to meet a lot of the other missionaries at the talent show all the poly elders love me and they treated me like their own… we played rugby and football but I couldn’t really do much with my foot so I was always the QB.  Still was tons of fun I haven’t thrown a football since last summer with my cousin Steven when we hoped the fence to the Herriman high school field and played there ha ha good times !  Then after we played our games they taught me the Hakka again it’s been forever but now I know it really good again so cool!  Elder Elkington is from New Zealand and told me lots about the island and the culture there sounds so cool but he loves the states and the people here. Elder Vaka is from California and is Samoan he is playing football for Cal State when he gets back.  Elder Tiko is also Samoan he is so funny he would run into random groups of missionaries and be like HEADS UP and everyone would duck but there was no ball so funny ha ha ha ha!!  So ya me being down because of my foot really sucks but I’m getting to know the scriptures much better and I’m getting to know my companion much better as well.  He is from Cassville Utah and is the 3rd child of 4 kids he has been on his mission 18 months and served in Farmington for 6 of them ha ha he will be a Farmington legend by the time we are done.  He is a great missionary very obedient to the rules unlike my last companion!  He and I are getting along much better now that he knows more about me and I know more about him.  Alot of the member have very god things to say about him and it always makes me feel good to because they're always saying elder Christensen is the best missionary we've had hahaha !! We are trying to get a teaching pool running but don't get any member referrals and that means lots of tracting which i cant do til hopefully this weekend ill be 100% back to normal by then so i can do more work than i have been able to do... its really depressing not being able to psychically go out and knock on doors to do the lords work. We have been visiting lots of part member families and had one family attend church this Sunday they're the Vinson's family they have a beautiful young daughter Kaleen that 17 years old and she has been the only on who come to church she has really great friends to help keep her on the path as well.  So we as missionaries are trying to get her father worthy for the priesthood and get the whole family active but its really hard to get a appointment with them they're very busy with work and kids...  I know if we can just sit down with them and talk about how the gospel blesses families and about their daughters testimony and experiences they will be so strong!:) 

Elder Christensen: Letter 7/23/12

so another week in Farmington this week was one of my favorite weeks because we did tons of tough labor i pounded down 8 poles 6 feet in the ground to hold the Pters family docks in place and i also installed a water slide for them for the pioneer day activities they will be doing i got 5 huge blisters from doing that ha ha so it was really hard to shake hands the rest of the week because they were so sensitive!! they we helped the basset family rip out all the carpet on their main floor and started restoring the old wood floor underneath it.  then the we helped brother Urling update his dental office he bought in the st Genvieve area those dental chairs are so heavy!! then he gave me some bleach for my teeth ha ha :)  Then we helped 2 new members move out from the other members home we had to lift a hot tub on to their trailer was not very easy with 2 elders and a bunch of old people lol!  so This week we tracted like mad and did get any success there but we gave out 4 book of Mormons and alot of pass along cards.... the potosi branch had a baptism this week and we filed the fount for them be we kinda forgot about it and i flooded into the hallways ha ha were making history here! So wee have tried everyday to meet up with kenrae and her father just haven't had any luck there:/ i now she is looking for a job everyday and doesn't like living with her parents so we cant really teach with the spirit there but her cousin is one of our less active members and we are trying to work through her but haven't got anything rolling yet.  So after all of our crazy service projects for the week i told my companion we deserve a lil break so we went shopping and this place, its the black market of st. Louis its in a town called paigdale so i bought  true religion  Clogne and a huge bottle or diesel and aqua di gio, and a bulls hat ha ha and some more tracting shoes just in case i burn through my old ones but they are holding up really good so we shall see ha ha then when we where is st Genvieve and the Mississippi river was right there so we had to see that its crazy how much coal and stuff goes down that river boats are like 2 miles long i took videos of it on my camera.  We have one new investigator his name is James miller he is way spiritual we are just trying to get another appointment with him but he is super busy with his job and 5 kids but we aren't giving up!  We also attend this Scripture study class every Tuesday night and we met Ron there and he is really into that class but doesn't come to Church he lives with another member but they aren't married so we are trying to see how we can get him to baptism because we feel he really wants more than what he is getting from the book of Mormon Right now.  So I'm sorry i don't have any super big spiritual experiences this week..... just lots of service...

Monday, July 9, 2012

Elder Christensen: Letter 7/9/12

So the town of Farimington is a very unique area in the fact that its the hardest area in my mission for success they haven't had any baptisms in 5 months.... but im trying my best to break that streak!! Just this week tracting we had some luck out in a town called fredricktown we did some district tracting there and we ran in to a landscape man that was from our area of farmington!! he was very open with us and wished to know more he believes alot of the same things we do. he was raised Amish bust now is menacostile? he has 5 kids and a wife so that would be alot of baptisms if we can get them ha ha We talked with him for bout and hour about how to become a member and how the Gospel has been restored in these latter days through Joseph Smith and he was very interested. Hope this one will pull through :) so Little more bout Kenrae we have been trying almost every day to try and meet up with her but her home is not a safe place to meet in so we are still trying to get a lesson in with her.... Even if we don't get the chance to baptise her at least i know that we made a difference in someones life that was deciding to end her life... You never realize how big of an influence you have on someones life til they tell you!! i had to fight back so many tears as she showed us the letter that she was gonna leave her family as she was gonna kill herself. i just hope we can get the chance to bring the gospel into her life!! my other investigators are wade, Latasha, Jenine, kenrae, josh, James, and Linda.... they all are so very different so that's why its so fun to teach them because none of them are the same !!! so more bout the area .... oh i killed my 1st snake today it was right by my protein package from my momma it was a big nasty cotton mouth snake and i was half tempted to grill it because that's good eating around here lol!! so how i killed this snake was my comp has this little machete that he uses to cut up the chicken for our dinners and stuff so i lead the snake to the concrete and just swung as hard and as fast as i could and i cut his head off ha ha !! So today for our P day we our going to hike elephant rocks its like the only thing close to a mountain here I'm gonna take lots of pictures:)

Monday, July 2, 2012

Elder Christensen: Letter 7/2/12

Here is the latest email from Jeff. He doesn't use puctuation when he types, but I guess it is better than trying to read his handwriting! Also, Jeff has a fear of spiders, so it is probably killing him that there are so many in his apartment!

Hey so my farmington address is 1005 vandiver farmington MO i don't have the zip code?? I'm so glad i bought that fire proof safe with all the fire in herriman! but anyways my 1st area is really hard there is not alot of activity out here its hard to try and stay positive when you you have no success to look back on... this area hasn't had a baptism in 5 months now ! I'm trying my best during the discussions and juts meeting the people the ward families love me and hope that i get called as the new district leader i don't know why ?? This area is very humbling our apartment is so nasty i hate it every night I'm killing like 4 spiders and everything in dirty half the carpet is missing and the walls have stains and mold everywhere! ha ha our couches are from the 70's and they defiantly smell like it but its OK because we are hardly ever using them! We are tracting like 3 hours everyday im losing so much weight its crazy!!! the past week the average temp is 108F the hottest has been 112F and we sweat like crazy tracting in that! so my 1st investigator is wade and he is baptist like the rest f his family we have been answering alot of his questions about our church but haven't got any commitments from him yet... but staying positive:) i love president Clark and sister Clark they are amazing for our yearly district activity they are taking all of us to the Cardinals and dodgers game in 2 months so you better see me on TV ha ha jk! pretty cool story though we had an appointment with a girl named Kenrae and she bailed and her dad was gonna shut the door in our face but i said may we just talk to you about your beliefs for a minutes the we talked for like a hour and the got him to come to a Tuesday night Scripture study with brother hargis he chops hot rods and stuff so cool!! then Kenrae showed up and saw us teaching her father and couldn't believe it then she said i need to be baptised so we are hoping she will follow through with us! she has lots to improve on before then but with faith i god anything is possible ! she also talked personally with me and i found out she was planning on killing herself later this week she had a goodbye letter and everything but when she saw the light in my eyes it put hope in hers is what she told me! so i hoping that i cant help her turn her life around through the Gospel and the Church! so my mission is one of the poorest US missions so we only get 160$ a month so hopefully we start getting more member meals because I'm running out of candy ha ha ... my Mexican companion is cooking all of our meals ha ha excepting i cook pizza sometimes but his food is better! hope they get all the fires under control!!! hurry and reply i have 30 minutes to write ya back!!:)

Elder Christensen

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Phone Call from Jeff

We got to talk to Jeff on the phone today. He called home from the airport before his plane left. I was at work, but I was able to talk. I also conferenced in Neil so that the 3 of us could all talk together. I made a few notes so that I could write about some of the things that he said.

Jeff loved the MTC. He had a great district and they loved to play practical jokes on each other. The night before they flew out, Jeff sprayed shaving cream on everyone's hands while they were sleeping and took pictures. Then he tickled their faces until they recahed up and smeared shavin cream all over their own faces. Jeff said that about 500 missionaried arrive to the MTC each week and he estimated that there were around 4000 there at one time. Jeff said that the teachers there are really awesome. They are using a new system of teaching where they bring in actors from BYU and have them play the role of investigator and then the Elders practice taching them. Jeff struggled with the role-playing concept in the beginning but as he learned to teach with the spirit, he became better at it. He is still looking forward to having actual people to teach though.

Jeff's district also had some hardships while they were in the MTC. One of the boys brole his ankle while playing basketball at the MTC. They took him to the hospital and when they did the scan of his ankle, they found a cancer in one of his bones. Jeff said that it was a miracle because thy found it early enough that he will just have to have some treatment and then he will be able to continue his mission in about 6 weeks. If he hadn't broken his ankle they would not have found it this soon. Then this same Elder had his uncle die while he was in the MTC. Jeff was able to give him a blessing so that he could feel at peace. Also, another Elder in his district found out that his 19 year old brother overdosed and died while he was in the MTC. Jeff was able to give this kid a blessing too and it was a spiritual experience for both of them.

There were 13 Elders in his district all going to St. Louis on the same day, so they nicknamed their flight the Apollo 13. Jeff said that he has been able to help a lot of the Elders in his district deal with some of their emotional trials such as the deaths above, but also with things like some of them had left girls behind and a lot of them were stressed out with the schedule that they have in the MTC. Jeff said his motto is to make every companion his best friend and help them as much as possible. Jeff also hasa kid in his district named Elder Romney going to St.Louis with him. I think he said that his mom is Mitt Romney's sister.

Jeff also mentioned that they have a bunch of recorded talks from the church general authorities that are special topics just for the missionaries in the MTC. He said that Jeffery R. Holland is his favorite speaker now. Jeff also got to go to the Provo temple a few times while he was in the MTC. I have never been to that temple before, but Jeff said that it is really pretty. He said that there is a very large chandelier that rotates slightly when you look at it and that it is very pretty.

Jeff had heard that St. Louis is pretty bad for crime, Pick pockets are very common so he asked us to send him a belt that we saw in the missionary stores here that has a zipper hidden on the inside of the band. That way he can keep some money in their and not get robbed as easily. Also, he said that a portion on the East side of his mission has been closed from having missionaries due to the crime and danger in the area, but they are re-opening it as soon as his dictrict arrives from the MTC. I hope all the missionaried serving there are kept safe!

Neil had to get back to work, so he got off the line so I called up to may parent's house because the rest of the kids are staying up there with them for the month of June. Jeff got to talk to all the kids and his grandparents, so that was good for him to. The kids were really excited to hear from him!

We don't know what area he will be assigned to, but I will post again when we get a letter from him and know where he is at. He will get any letters or packages sent to the mission home, so you can write him at that address. It is posted on this blog under the "write to Jeff" tab at the top of the page.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Elder Christensen: Week 2 MTC

Wow another week down... this is my last p-day at the mtc crazy! I'm so glad to be leaving to ST.louis though:) Love getting every ones mail!! thanks for all the support and mom i loved the package you sent me we ate everything within like 30 minutes ha ha everyone was wondering why the potty train joke was on the tag ha ha that's my mama!! I'm doing a short email today i will be on a 1 to check it again so if you reply before then i will get back to you. I finally got my camera up and running so i will be sending some pictures back then my mom will be uploading those to facebook. So this week was crazy hard because i was a host for the new missionaries coming in and their families were all crying and when i see them cry then i want to cry but as everyone knows i don't cry ..... the on top of that we got our dry cleaner day taken away:( so Ive been washing my clothes in the sink and shower all morning ha ha Teaching our investigators in so much fun now that i know what I'm doing I'm no longer just teaching lessons I'm teaching people and its by the spirit I'm loving it!! this place is like a spiritual prison!! Ive never been this in tune with the spirit my whole life i hope i can keep these study habits with me forever!! hope to hear from you soon!!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Elder Christensen: My 1st Week at the MTC

Wow its so crazy to think a week has already gonna by time truly flies in the mtc. I'm loving the food and there is soooo much of it to eat i havent gained any weight yet though so thats good. The spirit here is so strong i love it i envy the elders that are here for 12 weeks they are so lucky but idk if i could handle this food for that long im definitely missing the home cooked meals!!so ill tell you a crazy store that's happened here in my district. Elder dahle that is from west Jordan Utah broke his ankle playing volley ball and went to the hospital today to get it checked out and they found some cancer in his leg! The lord must really be looking out for him because they found it early enough that there wont be any major damage caused. He is very lucky!! Anyways im loving the basketball time there is another elder in my district his name is Elder Sims and he and i have been teaming up and sweeping the courts ha ha! I wish we had more gym time because 50 minutes is nowhere near enough time!! But that's no the main reason you come to the mtc i guess.. ha ha I love my teachers they are so great Brother elton is crazy and he always has s much energy he truly keeps the room alive. I'm getting use to the mtc life and schedule its hard only having 7.5 hours of sleep everyday but its soooo worth it! There are lots of cool things in the mtc like there is this one tree and the sap from the tree smells like creme soda its sooo cool i want that tree at my house hint hint mom and dad..... This MTC also has the most diversity of all the mtc's in the world the kid sitting next to me on the other computer is from Thailand and no body can understand him so he has this microphone that translates everything for him lol. We have people for alll over the world its so cool meeting them and talking about their culture and how different everything is. My testimony has gotten so much stronger the mtc is like a gym for your spritual muscles ha ha I cant wait to go to ST. Louis and meet all the people their! We also pray about 20 times a day which i wasnt use to but its nice to be in the spiritual mode all day! I miss my music for sure! at the mtc you cant even listen to the hymns but i guess you wouldn't have time for that with how busy you are. my address is on Facebook is you want to write:) i miss you all so very much and hope to hear from you soon!!!


Elder Christensen

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Dropping Jeff off at the MTC

Dropping Jeff off at the MTC

This was Jeff's last look back at his family when we dropped him off at the MTC. We had all the kids and Jeff's grandparents there as well as his uncle Casey. We parked across the street at the Provo Temple and walked with him over to the MTC. A missionary met him there to help him with his luggage. He gave all of us a hug and then he was off! It was weird driving away knowing that he was only a few blocks away from where I work, but that I wouldn't be able to see him or talk to him for the next 2 years!

We tried not to be too emotional, which would make it harder on him leaving. Tori had the hardest time and was pretty much a basket case on the walk back to the car, but she is adjusting now. They were really close before he left, so it hit her the hardest. We are not sure when we will hear from him next because their P-days are staggered while they are in the MTC.