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 !!