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!