Monday, October 28, 2013

October 28, 2013 - Week 2 in Omaha

Hello my family!! I love you!!
How are you all doing? I miss and love each of you so much! I have made it another week! A lot has happened this week but it is hard to remember everything that I want to say to you when I get my hands on a computer:) Happy Halloween this week!! I am so excited to hear about the fun things that you guys do and what you choose to dress up like! Send me pictures! I would love to see your cute smiling faces and costumes:)
People in Omaha go a little crazy for Halloween. I don't like it! They have the creepiest decorations! There are skeletons crawling out of cemetaries, death eaters in the trees, etc. on like every yard. It is major creepy! I will be so thankful when Halloween has passed here!

Ive gained all of the weight back that I lost from my first week out here. We weren't able to go to the store my first week so I had to survive on white rice, white rice krispy cereal, and oatmeal. I'm dying from starvation!! haha So funny story, we didn't have any members feeding us our first week either because there haven't been sisters in the area lately so they hadn't passed around a food sign up thing for dinners. So I was so excited when Monday came around and I was able to eat with a member! Guess what they fed us? LAMB!!! EEWW!!

We went to this place to go out to eat and they cut up the animal and meat in front of you and you have to watch the whole process of it being cooked and it was gross! Then we had to eat it! I almost died im pretty sure!! Never having that again!
Thank you so much for the support and encouragement that you guys show me! It means so much to me! I love you guys with all of my heart! Thank you for the letters and the package that you sent this week. It was all perfect and exactly what I needed! you guys are the best!! Keep them coming!! Missionaries thrive on letters!
Mom and Dad, I love you!!! You guys are the BEST parents ever!! Im serious. I couldn't do this without the two of you!  I keep forgetting to tell you but I forgot to bring those PMG tabs that you bought for me to mark my scriptures with the lessons. Can you send me those sometime? thank you!
Ryan, how is your scripture study going? I thought of a good idea! Im going to send you one thing that I learn from my scripture study every week and I want you to do the same thing. You can do or say whatever you'd like. It can even be as simple as telling me a verse that you really liked. I think this will be a really cool way that we can remind each other and learn together! Anyone else that wants to do this in the family is welcome to as well!
Maddy, thank you for the letter!!! I loved it and I love you!!! you are fabulous! have you signed up for dance yet?
Emily, how is your scripture reading going? I was so proud of you when I found out that you had started reading it and set the goal to read it while im gone!! Keep it up!!
Ashley, are you enjoying all of your Utah clothes? Haha I miss wearing it all so keep good care of it for me! I love you my little twinner!
Derrick, come to know the Savior! That is the best advice I can give you! Seriously, missionary work is hard. So hard. But if you turn to the Savior, it is possible. Learn to do that now:)
Chan Chan! Stop growing up!!
Jacob! I heard that you went on a field trip and road a pony! So fun! I love you and our special pictures that we took before I left are hanging up on my wall. I love seeing your silly faces everyday! It makes me so happy! I am on a mission because I love you so much and I want to help other kids just like you so that they can know that they are children of Heavenly Father too!
I helped with activity days this week and that was fun:) We made pumpkins by covering up toilet paper rolls with fabric and stuff. It was cuter than It sounds. It was a lot of fun being around children again.
My testimony of the Atonement has grown very much in this week, both from personal experiences and how it has effected others as well. Long story short, I was having a really hard time. I didn't know if I could do it anymore. I realized that I was trying to handle too much on my own. I wasn't turning enough to my Savior like I needed to. Once I turned to my Savior and have continued to, things have gotten better. The challenges and situations haven't changed at all. In some ways they have actually gotten worse, but my ability to handle them and push through them has increased. I was reading in D&C 100 this week one day in my personal study and came across a couple of verses that I'd like to share with you. You will have to read it on your own time but a few thoughts that stood out to me. In verse 1: He gives comfort saying that your families are well and that they are in the Lords hands. This gave me so much comfort as I read it and I knew that Heavenly Father was watching over my loved ones back home for me while I was away. Also, verses 3-6: He has sent me here for a specific purpose. He knows my companions, my mission president, my investigators, me, etc. perfectly. He knows what challenges I will go through and need to go through to become the person I need to be. He has promised to stand by me. Verse 12 was the one that really helped me the most though. It was at a point where I wasn't sure if going forward was the right thing and if I could really do it. It says, "Therefore, continue your journey and let your hearts rejoice; for behold, and lo, I am with you even unto the end." This gave me so much comfort and helped me to know that even though being on a mission is incredibly hard, this is where I need to be and He will be with me to strengthen me every moment until the end of my mission, and even after that too:) Verse 15 is great too. I just loved this section and read it at the perfect time.
We are helping a less active family, the T's right now. They have had a very rough couple of years because of personal choices. I was able to share a message of the Atonement with them. It was a very powerful experience and the spirit was so strong. I was able to bare testimony that they have a loving Savior that gave His life for them. I shared Alma 7:11-13 with them and told them that no matter what they were experiencing, they have a loving Savior that knows exactly what they are going through and as they turn to Him, He will give them the strength to push forward and change. I love my Savior so much and am so thankful for Him in my life. I truly have come to figure out that I really do need him EVERY hour.
This week is fast sunday! Try to think of the reason that you want to fast for throughout this week so that it can be more meaningful:) Keep praying!! Stay strong! Know that I love you each so much!!
Love your favorite missionary;)
Sister Erica Lynn Christensen

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