Tuesday, January 21, 2014

January 21, 2014 - I Love the Book of Mormon

Hello my dear family!! It is so nice to be able to hear from you and talk with you today! I hope that Derrick, Jacob, and Chandler had a fabulous birthday and that you partied a lot for me:) I was a little busy here saving souls but I thought and prayed for you guys a lot this week! You are in my heart and I give my all every day for you! I know that there is great blessings that come to the families of missionaries. So I make sure that I work really hard every day so that I don't deny any blessings from coming your way:)

So this year as one of my new things that I started, is at the end of each day, I write down a miracle that I saw that day. I write it on my calendar that you sent me for Christmas (the one with the pictures of the Savior). It has been such a blessing to look back on it and see how Heavenly Father is such a huge part of this work and how much He loves His children. I would like to share a few of those experiences with you from this past week:)

So, as you know, I have been meeting with the T’s very regularly ever since I came to Lakeview. I love them! Well, because of some past mistakes, M had a court date this week and was going to be serving a jail sentence for 30 days. She is 7 months pregnant and it wouldn't have been the best situation for her. She prayed a lot before she went to court and received comfort that everything would work out the way that it needed to. She was blessed to receive house arrest for 21 days instead of the anticipated 30 days in jail. It was a miracle! Heavenly Father loves the T’s and is so concerned with those things that are going on in their lives at this time. Bishop Needles always said, "If it matters to you, it matters to Him, because you matter to Him." Sorry Bishop, I have kind of borrowed that truth and I say it to pretty much anyone that I come in contact with. It is simple but so true! Heavenly Father cares about us and is aware of us. He knows our joys, pains, weaknesses, fears, etc. And.. His love is unconditional.

We have also been working with the Mc’s, a part member family, for a long time. The husband is a non member. He was very closed and against us for months. Every time we would come over, he would run out of the room to drink and smoke as a way to rebel "show us up". We continued to go by though and offer a lot of service to their family. The Elders have as well. Through service, his heart has been softened dramatically! It has been a miracle to witness all of it! This past week he was taught the Restoration and the Plan of Salvation and he has been reading the Book of Mormon! I never thought that I would see this all happen!! It is a miracle!! The Book of Mormon can take someone from where he wanted nothing to do with us, to sincerely reading and intently learning of its truthfulness! I'm so lucky to be a part of this great work! We see miracles daily!

For my message this week, I wanted to share with you my testimony of the Book of Mormon. I want you to look up a video and watch it together as a family. If you go on LDS.org, search testimony of the book of Mormon by Jeffrey r Holland. Then on the far left side of the screen there are some options to narrow your search. Click on videos. It will be like the first option that comes up I think. It is about 4 minutes long. I hope you can find it from that info! It was taken from a conference talk in 2009. It is so powerful! I want to add my testimony to Elder Holland's. I know that the Book of Mormon is true! I have seen the impact that it has had in my life and in the lives of those I teach. I feel the spirit more and I receive peace, comfort, and answers to my prayers as I am reading it and studying it each day. There is such a power that comes into our lives as we treasure that book and its teachings. I know that it is true and that as you read and pray about it, the Holy Ghost will confirm the truthfulness of it to you as well. Take time each day to read from it, even if that means 5 minutes a day at first. You will hunger for more once you start!

I love you so much! I am so blessed to be a part of such a great family! You mean the world to me! Keep up the great work! You are in my thoughts and prayers!!


Sister Christensen:)

Monday, January 13, 2014

January 13, 2014

Hey mom, dad, and family!!

I love you guys so much!!! I hope that you are all doing well. You are in my thoughts and prayers:) 

so.. transfers were this week!! I am staying in Lakeview. My companion Sister Frisina got transferred to a place called Hastings (a small town about 2 hours west of Omaha). She is with sister Reidhead (my mtc companion!) not gunna lie.. I was a little jealous when I saw that sister Frisina would get sister reidhead, but its all good!! I love my companion! My new companion is Sister Fulbright. She is great! I think that this will be a really great transfer!! She is from Washington State and has been out on her mission for about 9 months now. She has served in Hastings her whole mission so far. So our companionships just switched with each other! It is very different for her from switching from a small town to a big city, but she loves it!  

We taught T the first half of the Restoration on Friday and she received most of it very well. She has lots of questions about everything and agreed to have us teach her the discussions!!!!!!!!!!!!! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So we have another appointment scheduled with her this Wednesday at 6:30!!! we will finish teaching her the restoration!! I am so excited!!! She is very open and prepared!! its a miracle!!

I don't have very much noteworthy things to share today. Nothing too crazy has changed in my area this past week. Just so you can plan and expect it, I won't be able to email next Monday because of Martin Luther King day, so I will be emailing at some point next Tuesday is the plan:)

Oh another change happened as well. We are now in a car share so that will be difficult.. They have an increased number of missionaries now in the mission and an increase in wrecks or car damage lately, so we are low on cars. but its ok! So that means that we will only get the car every other week. We will be walking the other weeks to get around. Hopefully we can find a few ward members that will give us some rides to some appointments to make it a little easier:) It's a big area so it takes a long time to walk around but I have faith in this decision and I know that by being outside all the time for those weeks, we will be able to find those prepared people!! So I know that this change will bring blessings to this area!! haha as long as I don't get frostbite:) It will teach me humility and being willing to ask people for help:) so it will be a good thing for me to learn.:)

My training went well this past week. Thank you for all of the input that you sent with scriptures and talks!! it helped so much!! thank you!! I know that Heavenly Father is very aware of you guys and that He is watching over you for me while I'm away. I have faith that everything will be ok and that you are in His hands. That gives me so much comfort knowing that while I'm away:) I love you all and I hope that you have a wonderful week!! Happy Birthday Chandler, Jacob, and Derrick!! I hope that you have wonderful birthdays!! Know that I am thinking about you and I'm sending birthday wishes your way!!


(Sister Christensen)

January 6, 2014 - Happy New Year

Happy New Year!

Hello my dear family:) I hope you enjoyed the pics I sent:)

I love you all so much!! can you believe that I have been out for 3 months now? Haha I definitely can but I am learning to love what I am doing more and more each day:) Transfers is this week so that has us all on the edge of our seats as we wait patiently to find out what will happen to us for the next 6 weeks of our lives:) A mission is teaching me how to accept and handle change better:) that hasn't always been one of my strong points but I am grateful that a mission is teaching me this:) I hope that you all had a Happy New Year this week:) I know that I surely did.

We didn't have any plans initially for new years eve besides a dinner apt and a list of members to go and try to see that night. Right before our dinner was supposed to start we got a call saying that they had to cancel because someone in their family came down with an illness right before. We were a little discouraged because we made a few calls and either no one answered or they weren't able to have us over. So we were stumped on what to do. We went home to make ourselves some food and just as we were getting home, the Fredericks were heading out to go to their daughters house. They invited us to come along with them so we accepted the invitation with a lot of excitement and went over there to spend new years eve with them. We had a pretty good dinner with an array of choices of appetizers and had a chocolate fondant (is that how you spell it?) party!! It was yummilicious!! haha:) we also had played apples to apples with them (don't worry we got permission:) ) and it was so much fun! It was nice to play a game like old times:) but I wouldn't trade being a missionary for having my old life back:) this is much better:) anyways, about the game, I got 2nd place! I was going to win but someone came out of the blue to beat me by one point.. Oh well.. I guess playing games with Bishop and Dad and having them "win all of the time" prepared me for that loss:) haha our curfew for the night was still between 9-9:30 and I was in bed by 10:30. It was a pretty quiet New Years Eve for me:) but still really great:)

Guess what?!?! it will be a miracle if I come home in a form other than a frozen popsicle by the end of this:) It is freezing here!! I mean freezing!! take today for example:) the high is -2 degrees and the low is like -11 degrees:) the wind chill is -40 degrees!!! that means any exposed skin outside within 5 minutes will be frostbitten.. yikes:/ !!! but all is well:) the spirit keeps me nice and toasty inside:D

So I also wanted to give you an update with what I found out at the drs this past week. Yes I do still have TMJ. He gave me a couple of exercises to try to do each day for the next couple of months to see if that will help.  Don't worry about me though. I promise I am doing just fine and Heavenly Father continues to bless and strengthen me each day:) I know that He is very aware of me and is blessing me in so many ways:)

OOh last Preparation day I bought a single serving blender to make smoothies in the morning:) I was pretty excited about that and it has been really nice to have one:) haha Merry Christmas to me:)

I had some pretty cool experiences this week with being able to feel of a small portion of the love that Heavenly Father has for His children. There were several points this week where I just felt an overwhelming feeling of love for the people that I am able to serve. It was incredible!! S is an active ward member that we are working with very extensively right now. She has been smoking for over 53 years now and is really working at trying to stop so that she can make it to the temple. She has tried and unsuccessfully stopped many times now but we have not given up on her and Heavenly Father is never giving up on her either:) I am confident that she can do it and change as she relies on the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It is such a blessing to witness the power of the Atonement in others lives each day:) I LOVE HER!!

We have also been working with Mari, a young woman that is getting ready to go on a mission in March. She was having a very difficult time because the stress, worry, doubts, and fears came crashing down on her (as they always do at some point to pre-missionaries) as reality hit her with what she was deciding to do. It was very interesting being on the other side and being the one to offer support and encouragement. It has been such a blessing!!! I could see myself in her is so many ways so I was able to connect with her very well and she is on track again and excited for a mission. Yes it is difficult. Yes it is the hardest thing I have ever done. Yes it has stretched me past my breaking point. BUT... It is the most incredible experience and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat knowing what I know now:) I have been blessed and strengthened more than I thought possible and the Savior has always stood by me:) I am truly grateful that because I chose to serve a mission, I have come to know my Savior.

Mari, her mom and her brother.

Have a great week!! keep your heads up!!
Love you!!!

Sister Christensen:)