Tuesday, July 29, 2014

July 28, 2014

 Hey dear family and friends!

How has life been? :) haha I hope that it has been swell:) I love each
of you so much and appreciate your support:) Thank you for the
difference you have made and continue to make in my life for good:) I
appreciate each of you so much! I hope that you had an enjoyable time
at the cul-de-sac of fire on Monday:) That is one of my favorite
traditions for the 24th of July:) I can't wait to hear more about all
of your adventures the last couple of weeks:) From what I hear, you
have had a pretty good summer so far:) oh and I hope that you had a
good birthday Ashley!! I was thinking about you on your special day!

Monday was great as I said in my email last week:) With Ragbrai going
on, our little town was buzzing:) But, at least it was a little tender
mercy that we were able to sleep some that night despite the noise of
thousands of campers outside our home:) It was so nice having many
members of our church coming up to us and talking with us:) It was
such a tender mercy:) We got fried! Yes, I wore sunscreen and I put it
on several times throughout the day, but it didn't work as well as
hoped:) I have been drenching myself in aloe vera so that has helped
some:) but now I am in the awkward peeling phase:) haha:) oh well,
this too shall pass:)

Interviews went well:) It is great to meet with our Mission President,
even if it is only every 3 months:) He is one of the most spiritual
man that I know. When he talks, it feels like the earth is shaking:)
haha:) In Sister Peterson's interview, President gave her some hard
news. Because she has been out for 9 months with no luck getting a
visa, she had to make a decision. He gave her 2 options. 1. To have
him call church headquarters and have her reassigned to a Portuguese
speaking mission (could be stateside or foreign) (and could be in 2
weeks or after another transfer) or option 2. To stay here for 3 more
months as a visa waiter. If the visa comes, she would go to Brazil. If
not, she would permanently be reassigned as a Nebraska, Omaha
missionary. She had about 24 hours to make this decision and it was
really hard on her, as it would be for anyone. In the end, she decided
to choose option 1 and get reassigned to a different mission. It was a
difficult 24 hours for both of us. She really just wanted to do
Heavenly Father's will, whatever that might be. She was able to get a
Priesthood blessing which helped her a lot I think:) She made her
decision as we were in Le Mars:) The ice cream capitol of the world!!
President Weston had called and needed the decision so we decided to
make a stop there and talk about it some more while eating ice cream:)
cuz ice cream usually helps with anything:) So we stopped there and
after getting our ice cream, she made the call. We both cried a lot
and it was neat to have such a close experience with her. I did my
best to comfort her and we just sat there and cried for a while:) but
its ok:) she is doing much better now:) It was cool to feel how much I
have come to love her in the last 2 transfers. I didn't expect that.

Sister Peterson and I

Oh and a random other thing that President committed all of us
missionaries to do. He wants us to pray at least 30 times a day. I am
pretty sure we have come close to that but it will be cool to really
include the Lord in everything that we do:)

Exchanges was great though! right after Interviews with President, we
went on exchanges with Sister Larson and Sister May in their area in
Sioux City. It was well needed and so great to be around other
missionaries again! Its easy to get lonely when you are 2 hours away
from the closest sisters:) I can now say that I have served (in some
form) and slept in 3 different states on my mission:) Their area
covers parts of South Dakota:) and that's where they live so that was

One tender mercy happened on Sunday. Sister Holloway is awesome! She
is the Relief Society President in the Spencer Branch. We were talking
about Sister Peterson's decision at church on Sunday and she made the
comment that she didn't know why, but on Friday, she felt like she
needed to fast for someone. She didn't know who, but she knew that
Heavenly Father needed her to fast for someone. So she did! how
inspired! I love those little moments when Heavenly Father shows you
that He is aware of you and what is going on in your life. :)

I hope that you have a wonderful week and know that I love each of you
so much! Oh!! I almost forgot some really cool news!! Sister Fulbright
sent me a letter last week and told me that the Turners are getting
ready to go to the temple to be sealed as a family eternally!! I am so
excited for them!!! and another less active that I worked with in
Lakeview, Sister Peterson, is getting ready to go through the temple
for herself as well!! good things are happening there:) And.. they
have 16 solid investigators and 4 people set for baptism!!! what???
Some of them are people that we found while I was there. The thoughts of why did I have to leave right before all of that crossed my mind, but I am happy that I was able to be a part of planting seeds in Lakeview:) I actually reopened Lakeview so its cool to see that even though I may not see the success of opening or reopening an area while I serve there, that good things happen down the road!

I remembered this time to remind you that it is fast sunday this week!
Can you believe it? So take some time to prepare yourself for this
sunday and make your fasts meaningful:) We should be preparing
ourselves for Sacrament Meeting just as we would for baptism:)

With love,
Sister Christensen

P.S. a little thought from president's weekly email to us
missionaries:) "I, not events, have the power to make me happy or
unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be" (Groucho Marx). "Men
are, that they might have joy" (Nephi 2:25).

July 21, 2014 - RAGBRAI

Hey mom, dad, family, and friends!!!

Anyone ever heard of RAGBRAI?? well at this moment, I am sending you
this message while being surrounded with nearly 30,000 people!!! its
crazy!!! Ragbrai is a bike event where people from all over the world
come to ride across Iowa! There are lots of people that come out,
including Lance Armstrong! We have been volunteering here for the
event and it has been pretty sweet!! We were in charge of hospitality,
so we were welcoming in all of the riders as they got here, cheering
them on, and warning them of hazards in the road! I am really tired:)
We started at 7 am this morning and we just barely got done! And its
90 degrees plus humidity! I feel kinda bad for all of the riders:)
haha:) And the riders are still coming in! They say that they will be
coming in all day! If any more come in, I think that the city will
blow up with all of the people:) But hey! its a good service
opportunity because I am sure that they will need a lot of help with
clean up! As we walk outside, there are tents on any green area:) Our
little town of 3900 jumped to 30000 in just a couple of hours!! A lot
of the people get pretty drunk so we wont be able to go out after 6..
but it should be entertaining because we have hundreds of people right
outside our front door. I have seen a lot of interesting things
today:) haha It has been really cool having so many contacts! I don't
think that I have ever talked to so many people in my life! There were
several members from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints!
So that was fun! We even met a professor at BYU!

We had some pretty good lessons this week. We have 2 investigators
that are named D and they are both 81! odd coincidence right?
Anyways, we had a lesson with both of them this week and talked a lot
about baptism with both of them. They have various concerns about it
that we are trying to help them overcome. D K. thinks that you can
only get baptized once no matter if it was done with the right
authority or not. If it wasn't by the right authority, then you are
out of luck and lost. The other Dale, D N, had a very traumatic
experience when he was baptized the first time. He had 2 men hold him
under the water with a white sheet over him. We have explained how it
is and how its done but any thought of being baptized again terrifies
him. So we are trying to work with them on that.

We got 2 new investigators this week!! I was so happy! Their names are
K and L. K has a younger sister named N that we
will be teaching as well! We go and see them again tomorrow actually!
So I am excited for that one! At this point, they don't really believe
in a God and don't have a church that they attend, but they said they
would be open to learning more. It was neat because they said that
maybe we knocked on their door for a reason and it was meant to be. I
know that it was. They are worried that they won't be together after
they die so they want to do all that they can to be able to be
together forever. They are great and so open! We read the introduction
of the Book of Mormon with them and left them a chapter to read from
it! And they said yes!! Hallelujah!! I love it when people come out of
the woodworks! So pray for them!

We had a pretty fun Branch activity this past week:) It was at fort
defiance in Estherville. They had a potluck and played football and
ultimate frisby. It was lots of fun and good to get to know the
members better. I think that that is one of my favorite parts about
being a missionary, meeting the members and feeling of the strength of
their testimonies.

It can be pretty scary being a missionary because members think that
you know everything. haha. so whenever they have these big concerns or
questions they have us come over and ask us these things on the spot.
Sometimes I feel really inadequate but someone, the Spirit helps us
know what to say and what to do in these various moments. Man,
missionaries could not do what they do without the Holy Ghost.

We also had a couple of interesting lessons this week. It is really
hard when you meet people that just want to argue with you or catch
you in your words. One in particular, was Daryl. He is a shawman(sp?)
Someone that talks and works with Spirits. At one point, he tried
commanding evil Spirits to attack us. So.. needless to say.. that one
was an interesting one... :) But, Heavenly Father protects His
missionaries:) While we were in that lesson, He was trying to convert
us and it was really cool how my testimony was strengthened in that
lesson. The Spirit helped us to feel what was true or not and confirm
our own testimonies as he was talking with us. So, if nothing else, my
testimony was strengthened from meeting Daryl:) the opposite of what
he was intending to do:)

I hope that you had a wonderful time on TREK! I am so jealous you were
able to go! I am sure that it was a great experience! I hope that the
little kiddos had a good time at grandmas as well:) Happy Birthday
this week Ashley!!! Hope that it is as great as you are:) I hope that
you can all feel my prayers:) I can definitely feel yours:) Keep on
swimming! Talk to you next week:)

Here are some parts from one of the talks I was reading this week.
It's called "Love, the essence of the gospel" by President Monson. You
should all go back and read it:)

"We cannot truly love God if we do not love our fellow travelers on
this mortal journey. Likewise, we cannot fully love our fellowmen if
we do not love God, the Father of us all. The Apostle John tells us,
“This commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his
brother also.”3 We are all spirit children of our Heavenly Father and,
as such, are brothers and sisters. As we keep this truth in mind,
loving all of God’s children will become easier.

Brothers and sisters, some of our greatest opportunities to
demonstrate our love will be within the walls of our own homes. Love
should be the very heart of family life, and yet sometimes it is not.
There can be too much impatience, too much arguing, too many fights,
too many tears. Lamented President Gordon B. Hinckley: “Why is it that
the [ones] we love [most] become so frequently the targets of our
harsh words? Why is it that [we] sometimes speak as if with daggers
that cut to the quick?”9 The answers to these questions may be
different for each of us, and yet the bottom line is that the reasons
do not matter. If we would keep the commandment to love one another,
we must treat each other with kindness and respect.

Forgiveness should go hand in hand with love. In our families, as well
as with our friends, there can be hurt feelings and disagreements.
Again, it doesn’t really matter how small the issue was. It cannot and
should not be left to canker, to fester, and ultimately to destroy.
Blame keeps wounds open. Only forgiveness heals.

May we begin now, this very day, to express love to all of God’s
children, whether they be our family members, our friends, mere
acquaintances, or total strangers. As we arise each morning, let us
determine to respond with love and kindness to whatever might come our

With Christ, ALL things are possible:)
With love,
Sister Christensen

July 14, 2014

You know when you are in Iowa when you see Machinery Crossing signs!
Hey mom, dad, family, and friends!

I hope that you all had a wonderful week! From what I heard, it sounds like it was a great week:) I can only imagine how amazing it was to go to Heather and Korby's sealing down in Manti:) I really wish that I could have been there for that but I am so happy to hear of all of the amazing blessings and changes that have been made in their lives and their commitment to each other and the Lord. If you read this Heather and Korby, Congratulations!!! I am so happy for you!! Keep up the great work and don't let Satan tear down the progress you are making!! I seriously started crying when I initially heard you were going to
the temple because I was just so happy!!! I hope that you had a
wonderful experience!!

Have a great time on TREK this week!! I can still remember when I went on trek about 4 years ago, and the amazing experiences that come with it. I treasure those experiences and know that you will too. Miracles happen on that sacred ground. I would invite you to take some time after and write down those experiences that you have:) It will be a great blessing for you later on in your life and also for your posterity:)

Last night, I saw one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen! Iowa corn fields are just gorgeous in this time of the year! The fireflies just started coming out last night and I was entranced by them! You look out at the fields and it looks like glitter! Hundreds of fireflies shining around:) I loved it!! I just love those little tender mercies each day from Heaven:)

In Graettinger, there was a tragic thing that happened. A house caught on fire and 2 little boys died. (ages 5 and 7) As a result, many people are grieving and asking, why? It has been neat teaching many people as a result of that. A part member family, the B, in particular. I can see many positive things coming soon in this area!! We just have to be diligent :)

As I looked back at my week, there wasn't too many things that I
wanted to share. We went to Sioux city this week! (for zone training)It was really good and all about pride:) It was good to be humbled some more:) and it was good to see Sister Reidhead, Rasmussen, and Larson there! I love it when I can see other missionaries!!

But I would like to share some of my studies with you:) This week, I have found myself on my knees a lot. There are many times that I think Heavenly Father thinks I am stronger than I really am.:) Or He just does a good job of pushing me past what I think is my limit:) Anyways,so I have found myself studying the conference talk, "Spiritual Whirlwinds" by Elder Neil L. Andersen. In his talk, he is directly his thoughts to the young people, but I think it extends to all of us. He says that we all experience trials and hard times in our life. Sometimes, these may be brought on by our own actions. It could be a result of another's actions. It could be a natural disaster, or an unexpected passing of someone we love. Regardless of what the
situation may be, we all experience times when our faith is tested and we feel beaten down.

Since we all know that trials will come to all of us, the question then becomes, how do we prepare for our whirlwinds? There are numerous answers to this question ie: reading our scriptures, prayer, attending church meetings, etc. They are all important things to fill our lamps drop by drop. It is important that we are always doing those little things to build and strengthen our faith and testimony, so that when those hard times come, we will have the spiritual strength to overcome them.

A few weeks ago, as we were walking around, the tornado sirens went off. We quickly went to the nearest place of shelter which happened to be a farmer's insurance company. They were getting phone calls right and left of people wanting to buy farmers insurance. Let me remind you that there was a tornado going on during this time. You can't wait until a tornado hits to buy flood insurance. It is too late. In the same way, we can't wait until a hard time hits, before we start preparing ourselves. It will be too late. I have found that there have been many times on my mission where I have struggled in one way or another. There are several reasons why, but I think that one reason why I am better able to handle them now, is because I am doing those
things to fill my lamp drop by drop.

I have also been thinking a lot about the story of the foolish man and the wise man. In 3 Nephi 14 we learn, 24 "Therefore, whoso heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, who built his house upon a rock—
25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not, for it was founded upon a rock.

26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them not shall be likened unto a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand—
27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew,and beat upon that house; and it fell, and great was the fall of it."

I am sure that building on the sand would have seemed very appealing in perfect conditions. Who wouldn't want to live on the beach in ideal weather? But, we know that inevitably, the rain will come and everything that is built on the sand will fall. While the rock may seem less appealing in most conditions, it won't fall when rain comes. Yes, it will get wet, but it won't fall!

I love the scripture in Helaman 5:12. It says "And now, my sons,
remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall."

Despite everything else we do, coming to know the Savior on a personal level and building your foundation and testimony on him, is what will give you the strength to keep moving forward. It is through His power and mercy that we are able to be strengthened in adversity. I love the invitation and promise that Elder Andersen extends to all of us.

"My young brothers and sisters, how we love you, admire you, and pray for you. Don’t let the whirlwinds drag you down. These are your days—to stand strong as disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Build more firmly your foundation upon the rock of your Redeemer.
Treasure more completely His incomparable life and teachings.
Follow more diligently His example and His commandments.
Embrace more deeply His love, His mercy and grace, and the powerful gifts of His Atonement. As you do, I promise you that you will see the whirlwinds for what they are—tests, temptations, distractions, or challenges to help you grow. And as you live righteously year after year, I assure you that your experiences will confirm to you again and again that Jesus is the Christ. The spiritual rock under your feet will be solid and secure. You will rejoice that God has placed you here to be a part of the final preparations for Christ’s glorious return.
The Savior said, “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you." I know that that is true. I continue to be tested but I know that as I trust in and build my foundation on Christ, He will strengthen me to do hard things. (Alma 26:12) "Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever."

I love you all so much and I hope that you have a great week and enjoy TREK!!

Sister Christensen

Monday, July 7, 2014

July 7, 2014 - Half The Way Done

Dear family and friends,

Beautiful Fields in Iowa

I officially made it 9 months:) Can you believe it? It has been a
crazy whirlwind of amazing and difficult times. That's for sure. I am
doing my best to continue growing and relying on my Savior. I hope
that you had a great 4th of July his week and that everything is going
well for you. I continue to pray for you each day and I have trust in
my Father in Heaven that He will continue to watch out for you while
I'm away. I'm sorry that I forgot to remind you all about fast
sunday:) I hope that you remembered:) I remembered right as we walked
out of the library:) haha whoops:)

So in my email last week, I had talked a little bit about D. He
is the old man that had read up to Ether in the Book of Mormon last
week! Well we saw him again this past week and he has finished the
whole thing and has started through his second time!! Woot woot!! He
is praying about it all and asking if it is true but he feels like he
hasn't gotten his answer yet. So we are working with him right now on
how those answers come and recognizing when we have received an answer
to our prayers. That can be a hard thing for anyone to do though. I
can understand because I have found myself questioning if prayers have
been answered in the past, but I do know that our prayers are
answered. The trick is recognizing it:)

4th of July is pretty low key as a missionary. We aren't supposed to
go out and proselyte which makes for a long day.:) As a missionary,
keeping yourself working and busy is really important:) Sister
Darling's family was all in town so our house was full of lots of
people. She has a brother that is a member so it was cool to talk with
him and hear his conversion story:) It just shows me how one
individual's choices really do matter and the seemingly small
decisions we make each day can have eternal consequences for good or
bad. No pressure! haha:) They had some fireworks over a lake near our
house so we were able to watch those for a little while:) We had a
tree blocking our view.. but that's ok! It was still pretty fun:)

So I did a training in district meeting again this past week:) (The
second time in the past 12 weeks! Yikes!) Hopefully I'm done for the
rest of my mission:) haha:) Anyways, the topic was "why does
reading/gaining a testimony of the Book of Mormon give someone access
to the Atonement?" I had so many thoughts as I was studying this
topic. The Book of Mormon has helped me understand the Atonement of
Jesus Christ so much better because it is a book that is centered on
Christ. It is full of accounts of individuals experiences on how they
have been forgiven and had a change of heart, strengthened when they
had to do something difficult, or receiving peace and comfort to get
through challenging times. The list is endless of how individual's
have learned to utilize the Atonement more.

I hope that what I am about to say will make sense:) It does in my
head:) In the Introduction to the Book of Mormon, it says, "Concerning
this record the Prophet Joseph Smith said: “I told the brethren that
the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the
keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding
by its precepts, than by any other book.” In the Bible Dictionary
under the word "atonement" it says, "The word describes the setting
“at one” of those who have been estranged and denotes the
reconciliation of man to God." It was so interesting as I read those
two things and realized that as you get down to the basics, the Book
of Mormon and the Atonement have very similar purposes, to bring
individuals nearer to, and ultimately at one, with God. Cool right? So
as we are reading the Book of Mormon and following the doctrine found
in it, (utilizing the Atonement) it will bring us nearer to God.

I hope that you all have a wonderful week and know how special and
close to my heart that you are:) I can't wait to hear about your
experiences about girls camp maddie:) I hope that it is wonderful! I
love you all lots!!

With love,
Sister Christensen

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

June 30, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

Thank you so much for all of the birthday wishes and gifts this week!
I just love you all so much and appreciate all that you do for me:)
You all spoil me way too much! haha:)

So for my birthday this week, it was just like any other normal day in
missionary life:) Transfers were this past week and everything stayed
the same. I am with Sister Peterson in Emmetsburg for another 6 weeks.
We actually found out some bad news about her visa stuff. Everything
was going well until they realized that her FBI clearance has expired.
So we spent a lot of my birthday getting things taken care of for her
and re submitting all of that stuff. The process usually takes a
minimum of 10 weeks so it looks like she will be here for quite some
time. I hope that she can make it to Brazil at some point on her
mission :)

The Elders threw me a little birthday party on Wednesday during our
district meeting. Elder Wright made a cake for me and they brought ice
cream and birthday party hats:) It was pretty fun:) Then we went to
Jimmy Johns for lunch after:) It was a nice and simple birthday this

On Monday night, we had a young single adult activity at our Branch
President's house. We played soccer and had a BBQ! It was great! His
wife, sister Peterson made homemade raspberry ice cream and it was
delicious!! I played goalie and defense most of the time and I found
out that I am actually not too bad at soccer:) haha:) There was a
couple of nonmember friends that came and we were able to get to know
them on a more casual setting which was great! Hopefully us or the
Elders can start teaching some of them:)

So on Saturday, we went up to where the Branch President lives and did
a service project for one of their non member family friends. They own
a 3 acre lot so we spent a long time cleaning it up, moving rocks
around, picking up branches and sticks, and lighting a lot of stuff on
fire!! woo hoo! It was a huge pile of branches and stuff to burn up:)
It was as tall as me! It was awesome!! haha:) While we were there I
caught a chicken that was running around:) I'm sure that that was a
sight to see:) haha:) But we got a picture of it so I will try and
send that today:) haha

I got a priesthood blessing on Saturday night. I have
needed one for a while and so I am really happy that I was able to get
one:) It is so powerful whenever I get blessings to see how Heavenly
Father is really mindful of me. President Peterson has no idea about
the challenges I am facing or things that I am working through right
now, so I know that he was inspired as to the things that he said.
There were many things that answered questions or concerns I have been
having and a lot of peace and comfort. I am so thankful for the
Priesthood power and the opportunity that we have to ask those
Priesthood holders around us for blessings. I don't think that we ask
them enough. So don't be afraid to ask for a blessing whenever you
need one! Especially you kiddos and mom:) Take advantage of the
opportunity that you have to have a worthy Priesthood holder that
lives in your home! we have to travel between 50-80 miles round trip
to get one..:) So don't take for granted what you have so close to

So we have an investigator named D. I think that I have
told you a little about him. He is the 81 year old man. We gave him a
Book of Mormon last week and followed up a little under a week later
and he has already read through Ether chapter 9!! what??? I was so
happy when I heard this!! I almost started crying:) haha :) It was
neat because you can physically see a change in his countenance! It is
so cool and such a blessing to see how the gospel literally changes
people even in a small amount of time! I think that he has great

Oh! I remembered another thing:) We were out tracting the other night
in a different part of town and something pretty sweet happened:) This
was the first door that we knocked and we waited for a little bit and
no one came to answer the door. But we felt like we needed to wait a
minute. So we did. A minute or so later, a lady answered the door and
at first it was a pretty typical approach. Most of the time people say
they are content with where they are and they don't want to listen.
That is basically what she told us. But we kept talking to her and
sharing our testimony and she slowly started opening up! By the end of
it, she asked if we could share a message with her and so we set up a
time to continue teaching her! She has had some difficult things
happen in her past recently. She has lost her husband and her
daughter. It is cool to see how Heavenly Father prepares people in our

Good news!! I haven't died from West Nile virus! You would think from
the amount of mosquito bites I have acquired this week I would have.
haha:) It’s from all of the humidity and standing water from the
storms! It’s crazy!!

Anyways, I hope that you all have a wonderful week!! I love you all so
much!! thank you again for all of the wonderful birthday wishes!! you
guys are great!!

With love,
Sister Christensen

June 23, 2014

Howdy Family and Friends:)

I love you all so much and you are always in my prayers:) Thank
you for being a wonderful support for me while I am out here:) You are
great! So you know those times when you feel like you have had quite a
few things happen but when you get to the computer, your mind goes
blank? I am having one of those times where I can't think of much:)
haha:) There is the blonde side of my brain kickin in:) which isn't it
National blonde day sometime soon? ok back to the point:) I will do my
best to make a semi ok letter out of this:) haha:)

This week we had really crazy storms!! Not even joking. On 3 of the 7
days this past week we had to go down to the basement because of
tornados. And I thought lightning and thunder storms were scary:) man,
how our perspective changes:) haha I would gladly be in a thunderstorm
compared to these monsters:) haha:) They happened at all sorts of
random times too:) On Monday it happened at 5 pm:) and then the other
two happened at 1:30 and 2:30 am:) Not a fun wake up call! haha:) oh
well:) There are massive amounts of flooding right now and some of the
towns in our stake have been destroyed. One town (that I forgot the
name) had 90% of the town destroyed. They had to relocate about 2000
individuals. So we have had a lot of service opportunity this week,
cleaning up from the storms. All of the cornfields are now lakes and
ponds. It's crazy!!

We had exchanges on Friday and it was great! I was with Sister Larson
here in Emmetsburg:) We had a service opportunity in the community
that day which was cool:) It was the relay for life event, honoring
those who have passed, living, or overcome various types of cancers.
It was very humbling being a part of it. They had luminaries (like off
of tangled!) that we could decorate in honor of an individual, so I
made some for some of the family members that have had it. We were
able to meet many people that live around here so it was a good
experience. And, we got to say the prayers for it so that was pretty

Also while we were on exchanges, we were trying a few people and no
one was home. We walked back over to the parking lot where our car was
at and we noticed a couple of people standing around their car. So, we
went and talked with them:) They asked us why we had out of state
license plates so that was a good intro for us:) I love it when people
do the hard part and get the conversation going:) The mom actually has a father that is a member! He lives in a different part
of Iowa but we thought that was really neat:) So she knows a lot about
it and her dad has been talking with her a lot lately on how she needs
to start reading the Book of Mormon to find out for herself if she
would like to be a member:) Her work schedule is crazy right now so we
are having a hard time setting up a time to see her, but she is so
prepared! I love how Heavenly Father puts us in the paths of those
prepared individuals:) It makes all of the tough times suddenly worth

On Saturday, we were able to go to Branch Basketball. I am so sore it
is ridiculous!! I may or may not have thought that I got a mini
concussion:) haha I guess I get a little too competitive:) whoops:) im
ok though:)

On a side note, J antied us so we aren't teaching him anymore. He
was drunk at the time though so we may try and see him at some point
if we feel like we should to see how he is. Our other investigator who
was soft set for baptism got a spur of the moment good job
opportunity, so he is gone. He got a call on Tuesday with the offer
and left Wednesday night to North Dakota. We were pretty sad but hope
that missionaries will be able to continue teaching him and preparing
him up there.

I love you all so much!! I hope that you have a great week! Enjoy
celebrating my birthday for me:) haha:)

With love,
Sister Christensen

June 16, 2014 - Happy Father's Day

Howdy Ya'll!

Hey mom, dad, family, and friends! I hope that you are all doing well
and are in good spirits:) I hope that you had a great Father's day
yesterday! I was thinking about you a lot:) I hope that my letter made
it to you in enough time for you to get it before Sunday:) I love you
all so much! You are great:) I feel fortunate to be in the family that
I am. I want you to know that I can feel your prayers for me and I
really appreciate it! Thank you for all that you do for me, whether
its seen or unseen to me, to help me:) I couldn't thank you enough for
all that you do.

We had some fun and crazy times this week. I will tell you of a few
and a miracle we had yesterday:) So last Monday, we were buying
groceries after emailing and everything was going well.. until.. we
came back out after we were done and we had a huge dent on the front
of our car! Someone hit the car and ran... So that took up a lot of
our time filing that report. But, all is well! We are just really
happy that we weren't in the car when it happened:) the damage could
have been much worse:)

For some reason, I attract bird poop. I don't get it. Yes, a bird
pooped on me again this week! nasty! At least it was on my arm this
time and not on my head:) I'm counting my blessings:) haha:)

On Tuesday, we were walking around trying to find people, and we
weren't having much luck. (That seems to be more common than not) haha
so we were walking back home for our dinner break and we had just
turned the corner that our home was on, when we saw a man walking our
direction! So we were thinking, "Sweet!! Someone to talk to!" haha so
we started talking with him and like most street contacts, it can be a
little awkward at first:) This one was a little more awkward though
for a couple of reasons:) He was in his late 40's and very desperate
to find someone to marry. He told us all of these dating websites he
had been on with no luck and many other things he has tried. He told
us that he walks around and talks to women that might be interested in
him, hoping that someone will take him up on the offer. Haha. So we
had this guy that graduated almost 10 years before I was born, hitting
on us. Yikes! So what do we do? Haha we take control of the situation
and testify! So we didn't feel right about giving him our number yet,
but we gave him a Book of Mormon, and he said that he would read it!
It was an interesting first contact:)

Then, the next day, we were going to see one of our potentials, D!
He is an 82 year old! haha:) And.. he is a character:) because some
young ears read this, I am not quite sure what to say about him, but
he always wears really interesting t shirts...:) haha. He is also an
alcoholic and smokes, but he has a very kind heart! So we went to go
see him and when we got there, we were happy to find that there was
another woman in the house so we were able to go in and teach them.
Her name is S and apparently she just lives up the street in the
trailer park. She has a lot of similar challenges as D so it is
cool to watch them learn together. She asked a lot of good questions
about the Apostasy and Restoration, so it was very neat how open she
was! Then, all of the sudden, J walks in! We had a mini panic
attack because we weren't sure how this would all play out, but it was
good:) We have actually run into J everyday since we have met him
so the Lord provides a way to meet the people we need to, even if we
aren't able to give him our number yet:)

Last week we had zone training down in Sioux City which was great! We
added it up and we spent about 6 hours in the car on Thursday:) So we
were both pretty worn out that night, but it was worth it! I was able
to see Sister Rasmussen and some other sister missionaries which was
wonderful!! (Being as far out as we are, we don't see other
missionaries much. So when we see them, it is great!!) We went to a
yummy restaurant called Pita Pit. If we ever go to Sioux City, we
should try it again:) It's like subway, only with Pita bread:)

Saturday was a pretty fun day! It was Spencer's annual flag fest
celebration. Most of it got canceled to do some really bad weather,
but they still did some of it! During our dinner break, we went to
"The Grand Cruise". Haha I had no idea that "cruising main" was a real
thing:) I had always thought that mom and dad and the Needles were
crazy talking about it:) haha:) jk:) but its quite fun being in a
small town:) They all brought their old cars and parked them on the
sides of the road and cruised down Grand St. We had a lot of contacts
with people and took lots of pictures:) It was probably one of my
funnest dinner breaks:) Haha:)

We served at a baby shower which was fun as well:) I am gathering lots
of good ideas for myself after the mission:) That is something that I
love about serving and meeting with the members:) they give really
great life advice on the randomest (sp?) things:)

Yesterday, we went tracting a little bit in the town called Ruthven.
We knocked on some doors and walked around and weren't seeing much
success, but we kept going. We knocked on this lady's door named
C. It was probably the best door approach I've had so far. She
came right out and was so sweet and she opened right up to us. She
asked lots of great questions too like why bad things happen to good
people. So we read some scriptures with her and she accepted a Book of
Mormon and said that she would read it! And if we are ever in the area
we can come by! She has a lot of potential! She said that she could
feel something as we had her read the scriptures:) That is one thing
that has been so cool to see, helping people recognize the Holy Ghost
for the first time:) There are a lot of things I have always taken for

I was reading the talk from this past General Conference called, "Fear
not; I am with thee" by Sister Stevens. If you haven't read it
already, I would recommend it! It is very uplifting and she shares a
couple of very touching experiences showing God's love for us. Here
are a few things from her talk.

"As Deric expressed, not every prayer is answered so quickly. But
truly our Father knows us and hears the pleadings of our hearts. He
accomplishes His miracles one prayer at a time, one person at a time.

We can trust that He will help us, not necessarily in the way we want
but in the way that will best help us to grow. Submitting our will to
His may be difficult, but it is essential to becoming like Him and
finding the peace He offers us.

Wherever we find ourselves on the path of discipleship, whatever our
worries and challenges may be, we are not alone. You are not
forgotten. Like Deric, the Saints of Africa, and the Gatrell family,
we can choose to reach for God’s hand in our need. We can face our
challenges with prayer and trust in the Lord. And in the process we
become more like Him.

Speaking to each of us, the Lord says, “Fear … not; … I am with thee:
be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; … I will
help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my

I know that God is aware of us and He does hear and answer prayers.
Just like it says in Alma 26 at the end of the chapter, God is mindful
of all people. Isn't it comforting to know that whatever may be going
on around us, our loving Heavenly Father will always be there for us.
If it matters to you, it matters to Him!

Love you lots!!
Sister Christensen

June 9, 2014

Hey mom, dad, family, and friends!

I hope that you are all doing well!! I sent some emails with some
pictures included:) I hope that you got that:) It has been a pretty
good week. We have had some good times and seen some miracles which
has been wonderful:) I will tell you a little about them:)

So on Tuesday, we were out tracting, and weren't initially seeing any
luck. We tried a couple of people but they weren't home. One of these
people was D, but we couldn't find his house. (not sure if he gave
us the right address though) We then tried another potential named
J but she wasn't home. So we turned away from the door and started
to walk down the driveway when lo and behold, D comes down the
street riding his bike!! What? haha so we were able to talk with him
for a little while! Then he drove off and we hadn't finished talking
with him yet so we tried to follow him. (yes, we are professional
stockers:) ) But, because he was on a bike and we were on foot, we
eventually lost him. But, we kept walking in that direction because we
felt like we needed to walk in that direction. Finally, about a mile
later, we came to the end of the road with a culdesac(sp?) and we felt
like we needed to knock on the blue house in it. So we did.. and guess
who answered the door?? this little boy:) haha not what you were
expecting? just wait:) So this little boy answered the door and said
his mom wasn't home but his older sister was so he went and got her:)
and.. it was j!! She was babysitting her younger brother there!!
haha and we had no idea that it was her mom's place:) Its crazy how
everything worked out that day and we crossed paths with the people
that we had hoped to:)

We went to a birthday party last Saturday for Miguel Fox. They are an
adorable Mexican family that moved here a few months back, so they
don't know much English:) It was fun! They had a pinata, games, cake,
lunch, sack races, etc:) Party!! haha but I had a couple not so fun
things that came from it:) I got food poisoning from the meat which
hopefully passes quickly:) haha I am almost better now though:) And I
sprained my ankle:) I guess I am a little too competitive sometimes:)
We were doing the sack race (where you are in a big sack and you have
to jump to a location the quickest to win) I jumped on a branch that I
hadn't seen there before and it crunched my foot pretty good:) I
tripped and twisted it a little weird.. but its ok! No pain no gain
right? haha:) I still managed to get in 2nd place though:)

The Spencer Elders had a baptism yesterday!! It was wonderful and the
Spirit was felt by all that were there:) Her name is Paris Spencer and
she just turned 9. It was really neat because she is around Emily's
age and it was just a week after her baptism:) So it was really cool
being able to be there and see that so close to Em's:) I attached a
few pictures from it:)

We also helped 2 families move out of the Branch on Saturday. One of
the families is the Bennetts and they are moving to Price UTAH!!
Lucky:) haha I have an odd obsession with Price:) But, it was cool
because I was able to tell her all of the cool things about it and
that there are some amazing people down there to become friends with:)
That seemed to calm her down a little bit:) Which was good:) haha:) so
if we ever go down to Price, we have someone else to go see while we
are there:) haha:)

Oh, and the weather down here has been crazy!! There have been lots of
storms this past week all over Nebraska and Iowa:) We were doing that
chalk finding idea again this past Tuesday that I was telling you
about, and we found out later that there was a tornado watch going on
while we were out at the park:) haha oops...:) But we were ok:) So i
guess it wasn't a big deal:) haha

Anyways, I hope that you all had a good experience fasting last week
and that you have a good week this week:) enjoy your second week of
summer vacation!! I love you all so much!! Keep up the great work!! I
sure do love you all so much!! and daddy, I hope that you have a
wonderful father's day and know that i will be thinking about you that
day:) I hope it is a good one:) I love you all!

Sister Christensen