Thursday, May 15, 2014

May 15, 2014 - Emmetsburg, Iowa

We just received word from a ward member that Erica is getting transferred to a new area.  Her and her new companion (Sister Peterson) are opening a new area in Emmetsburg, Iowa.

May 12, 2014

Hey Family and Friends!

It was so good to see you all last night:) You all seemed happy and that you are doing well:) Sorry the phone call was so crazy!! But hey, who can say they had their mother's day phone call interrupted by a tornado?? haha:) It's a pretty cool story if I do say so myself:) You can thank me for that later:) haha jk:) But if any of you didn't hear, we had tornados in Nebraska last night! At one point, the tornados were over the area where I live (literally) but they didn't touch the ground around us. There is a lot of damage to trees and some buildings, but it could have been a lot worse! In some areas of the mission, they got it pretty bad and at one point, there was a 2 mile long tornado hitting. So I am very thankful that everyone around me is doing ok:) While I was on the phone, my adrenaline was going crazy still from the rush of hearing the sirens and hurrying to the basement:) All of the Frederick's grandkids were going crazy so it was a little hard to concentrate:) So if I acted weird, you can attribute it to all of that:) haha even though that is probably my normal quirky self:) haha:) I never thought that that would actually happen:) I will attach a picture of what our view from the front yard looks like:) haha

All in all, it was a good mother's day:) We played dominos during our dinner break with Sister Gudjenov:) She really appreciated that since she was home alone:) and it was a lot of fun! haha its been a while since I've played games but watch out.. im still just as skilled:) haha I won both rounds:)

So last week we were able to go to the temple again!! It was wonderful! We were able to do the work for 13 individuals from our family:) Just one female didn't get done so you will have to do that quick for her:) I am sending them home today so you can expect to get them on Wednesday or Thursday:) Anyways, I am so thankful that I have been able to serve so close to the temple since I have been here. Although a 45 minute drive may seem far away to those of you in Utah:) haha:) 

If you haven't already seen it, watch the Mormon message #itwasmom (why we need mom) it is great! and I felt like it described my mother perfectly:)

For this week I want you all to go onto and look under general conference. You will probably have already noticed this but it is such a good and simple way to share the gospel. On the side of each talk, there is a picture that you can share online:) It is awesome!! shown below is an example! You can put it in an email, facebook, pinterest, etc. I know that as you try and share the gospel and pray to know how and what to do, the Holy Ghost will guide your thoughts and actions and you will be the means of inviting others to come unto Christ.  

As you know, transfers are this week. wish me luck! haha  

Thank you for being a wonderful family! I love you all so much!

With love,

Sister Christensen

May 5, 2014

Hey family and friends:)

Happy mothers day on Sunday!!! I hope all is well with you guys now. From your email it sounds like you had an eventful week but I am happy to hear that everything is "ok" now:) Haha I will admit my heart stopped beating when I was reading your email mom and you said that there was an accident in the family last week. I'm very relieved to hear that nothing worse happened. I will be praying for Chandler to have a speedy recovery:) I am very excited to talk with you guys this week!!! I can't believe that it is already Mother's Day! I sure do love all of you!!

So my week wasn't too terribly exciting:) I am very sore but that is just fine! We did a TON of service this week:) On Wednesday we went with one of our investigator's P to serve some Karen refugees:) We scrubbed down their apartment from top to bottom..:) You have to remember that these people are used to living in bamboo huts. So they don't have very high expectations of how to keep their house clean.:) So we got it all cleaned up nicely for them:) They really appreciated the help:) Along with that we helped two families pack, move, and clean their home and we did a lot of yard work:) Haha I felt really weird being in jeans for a change..:) That will be a weird adjustment when I come home:) haha:)

You guys will be so proud of me:) haha I will have you know that in one day, I made 42 phone calls:) haha:) I wanted to hide the phone forever and never make another phone call again... but it was nice:) Because we have a very full week this week with appointments:) We are meeting with every active family in the ward so it keeps us really busy:)

We had a really good lesson with E and N G’s this week. We did it by their fire pit in the back yard and made smores around the fire:) It was fun:) It was about missionary work and E said that he knows he needs to get baptized, he just has to "swallow his pride pill". It may take some time but he is doing really well! And.. He talked to N and he wants her to teach his family more about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints!!! Woot woot!! They are awesome!

So you may have noticed a picture sent to your email last night! We were over at the Hatch's home teaching them how to do family history work and we were able to trace a line all the way back to Adam and Eve!!! It was so cool!! I was like bouncing off the walls for the rest of the night because I was so excited!! haha:)

My message this week comes from the conference talk "Grateful in Any Circumstances" by Dieter F. Uchtdorf:) Here are some of the things that he said..
"We can be grateful!
It might sound contrary to the wisdom of the world to suggest that one who is burdened with sorrow should give thanks to God. But those who set aside the bottle of bitterness and lift instead the goblet of gratitude can find a purifying drink of healing, peace, and understanding. 
Why does God command us to be grateful?
All of His commandments are given to make blessings available to us. Commandments are opportunities to exercise our agency and to receive blessings. Our loving Heavenly Father knows that choosing to develop a spirit of gratitude will bring us true joy and great happiness.
“Have we not great reason to rejoice?”   
"How blessed we are if we recognize God’s handiwork in the marvelous tapestry of life. Gratitude to our Father in Heaven broadens our perception and clears our vision. It inspires humility and fosters empathy toward our fellowmen and all of God’s creation. Gratitude is a catalyst to all Christlike attributes! A thankful heart is the parent of all virtues.   
The Lord has given us His promise that those “who [receive] all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto [them], even an hundred fold, yea, more.”   
May we “live in thanksgiving daily”—especially during the seemingly unexplainable endings that are part of mortality. May we allow our souls to expand in thankfulness toward our merciful Heavenly Father. May we ever and constantly raise our voices and show by word and deed our gratitude to our Father in Heaven and to His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ."

That was a wonderful talk that he gave and I would recommend that you take the time to read it:) No matter what we are going through, we can have an attitude of gratitude:) Looking for those tender mercies in every experience will help us to be happier:) it doesn't mean that that will be easy though:) But, it is worth it! I have found great joy in living the gospel of Jesus Christ. Joy that I couldn't have found any other way. I know that our Father in Heaven loves us, knows us, and is there for us as we turn to Him. He promises that as we keep His commandments, He will bless us:)

Sorry I don't have much to talk about this week. But.. I am thrilled to talk to you on Sunday so hopefully that makes up for my email this week:) I love you guys so much!! You are all wonderful examples to me and I appreciate everything that you do!! Thank you!!


Sister Christensen

April 28, 2014

Hello my wonderful family!!

I hope that all is going well back home:) I am so looking forward to talking with all of you soon!! I feel very blessed to have a wonderful family back home that supports me, encourages me, uplifts me, prays for me, and is simply always there for me no matter how much distance is physically between us. Thank you for everything you do for me. I appreciate it so much! My companion can attest to the fact that I light up anytime that I hear from people back home:) (emails or letters) haha:) You brighten my life!! (have I buttered you up enough yet?) haha JK!! don't worry I don't need anything from you;)

So I have come to the conclusion that a mission always has something coming your way to stretch you so that you can constantly be growing and changing to hopefully become more like the Savior. I am facing a few difficult things right now, but Heavenly Father is blessing me with the faith I need to stay hopeful and happy through it. (Although that is not always easy:))

R could use a lot of prayers right now:) If you wouldn't mind including her in your prayers. Last Monday evening we got a message from her letting us know that she is unable to meet with us for the time being. She has to take a temporary break from meeting with us because she has some severe health issues. Whenever she meets with us she gets really sick so we have to wait for her immune system to improve so that we can see her again. She is the one with lupis (sp?), allergies to smells, deo, perfume, detergent, carpets, the sun, etc. So the odds aren't in her favor but she is determined to succeed. She is still set for baptism but it looks like it will happen after transfers in about a month. She is solid though and doing amazing!

We were able to get involved with a really cool service project this last Saturday! It was a puzzle walk/5k for families affected with Autism. We got there bright and early helping get everything set up, then we stationed ourselves around the path so that we could cheer them on while they were running the 5k, ran a photo booth, blow up toys, a flash mob, helped with clean up, etc. It was very cool! There was probably around 1,000 participants so it was really cool to get out in the community and for so many people to have exposure with Missionaries:) The Guidry's (our ward mission leader) was the family that got us all involved! It was awesome! We were able to round up around 24 other missionaries to be there as well:)  

Not sure if I have mentioned the Grenados before in my emails home. They are a part member family:) E is the non member and N is the member:) They were actually the first people I met when I first got to the area:) We meet with them about once a week still:) The Elders are actually living with them too which is really neat! They are awesome! We have all become pretty tight:) Well.. guess what? E came to church for the very first time yesterday! He said that he was driving past the church and felt like he needed to be there:) So he came!! I was so happy! He is doing well:)

I am very grateful that I spent the time learning how to do family history work prior to leaving on a mission. It has been a great blessing:) Heavenly Father is using that talent and I have been able to help many people here in Omaha with missionary work on the other side of the veil. I have been able to teach about 8 families how to do it and they have all been really excited finding names and doing the work! I am also doing a combined young women and young men activity soon to teach all of the youth how to do it:) It is really exciting!!

Sorry I didn't have time to type out a spiritual thought:) I was going to pull it from the talk "Your four minutes" so if you have some time this week, I'd challenge each of you to read it! It is awesome!! A few things from it though..

"Now, consider how your pathway to eternal life is similar to these athletes’ “four-minute performance.” You are an eternal being. Before you were born, you existed as a spirit. In the presence of a loving Heavenly Father, you trained and prepared to come to earth for a brief moment and, well, perform. This life is your four minutes. While you are here, your actions will determine whether you win the prize of eternal life. The prophet Amulek described, “This life is the time … to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day … to perform [your] labors.”

"Now, you may be thinking to yourself, “I already blew it. My four minutes are already a disaster. I may as well give up.” If so, stop thinking that, and never think it again. The miracle of the Atonement can make up for imperfections in our performance. As Elder Jeffrey R. Holland has taught:
“To those of you … who may still be hanging back, … I testify of the renewing power of God’s love and the miracle of His grace. …
“… It is never too late so long as the Master … says there is time. … Don’t delay.”10
Remember, you are not alone. The Savior has promised that He will not leave you comfortless."
I love you all so much and look forward to talking with you soon!! Have a good week and know that I love you so much!!
With love,
Sister Christensen

P.S. "Faith without works is dead (James 2:17). The more works you put forth, the more faith you have to produce miracles." -President Weston-