Thursday, June 5, 2014

May 19, 2014 - First Week in Emmetsburg, Iowa

Dear Family and Friends,

I am not sure if you have heard the news or not yet, but if not, I got transferred on friday to Emmetsburg Iowa. When most people think of Nebraska or Iowa, they think of miles and miles of corn fields with no people and really flat. That my friends, is exactly how Emmetsburg Iowa is! It has been a huge adjustment from being in Lakeview. I am not going to lie, it was very hard saying goodbye to my dear friends in Lakeview. Very comparable to leaving home when I came out on a mission.There was a lot of tears from everyone there. I am so thankful to my Heavenly Father that He allowed me to serve for so long in Lakeview. I met so many remarkable people that have left permanant traces on my heart and hopefully friendships that will last forever. But I look forward to seeing all of them in a year from now! :)

My new companion is Sister Peterson. She is from Texas/Colorado. (she has lived in both places) She has been out 1 transfer less than myself so we are about the same which is pretty cool. She is a "visa waiter" so pray that she can get her visa really quick so that she can go to Brazil! I know that she would love that.

We are opening the Emmetsburg area so for those of you who don't know what that means, there weren't any missionaries here before us. So in short, that means we have a lot of work to do here to find people to teach and help members gain trust in us. Emmetsburg is part of the Spencer branch here in Iowa. The Spencer branch boundaries go about 90 miles one way and 60 miles the other way. So it is a huge area geographically to cover. There are about 50-70 members in the branch here. They are all great and have such simple and pure testimonies. We are very limited on miles so we spend most of our time walking because we use all of our miles to get to church/district meetings/zone conference this week!/and driving down here from Omaha. Haha it was a long drive and I ended up driving here the whole way:) My companion got her license about 2 months before her mission and hasn't driven since so we are taking advantage of the wide open spaces and I am teaching her how to drive. haha I shouldn't say this probably but it can be pretty scary putting your life in that situation:) haha I have so much more empathy for how my own mom and dad felt when I was learning how to drive:) Jk! Cuz I was a pro from the start right? haha:) So things are very difficult right now, but I know that things will get better in time.

Listed below are some of the towns we will be covering and their poplulation.:)
Emmetsburg (the largest area)= 3904 individuals.

So they are all pretty small towns and very far apart. It will be interesting to see how everything will work out. :) We live with a wonderful member though! Her name is Cheryl Darling! and.. she is darling:) haha I know, lame joke right? :) We have dinner with her most nights which is nice:) The members are too far spread out to eat dinners with them most of the time. (the nearest member is about 20 miles away) haha so it is very different than Lakeview. I am sure that I will come to love Emmetsburg and the people here though.

So, did any of you do the challenge that I left you last week? If you haven't yet, I will extend the same one. Look on and share a picture online from one of the conference talks. When you do this, I would love to hear about which one you did! Sharing the gospel really isn't all that complicated:) There are very simple ways to share your testimony:)

I have shared this quote before but it has always brought me peace when I need it, so I will share it again. It is from Elder Holland in the talk titled "An High Priest of Good Things to Come."

“Don’t give up. Don’t you quit. You keep walking. You keep trying. There is help and happiness ahead...You keep your chin up. It will be all right in the end. Trust God and believe in good things to come...Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don’t come until heaven; but for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come."

I know that there is great power in prayer. I have been strengthened to do things that I didn't think were possible these last couple of days. I have felt the love that Heavenly Father and our Savior Jesus Christ have for me as I have tearfully prayed for strength. I know that they hear and answer prayers. They are there for us all of the time, through the good and the bad, and they will never leave us. I know that my Redeemer lives!

I hope that you all have a wonderful week! School is almost out! Can you believe that summer is already almost here? Remember that I love you all very much! You are amazing!

With love,

Sister Christensen

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