Tuesday, July 29, 2014

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

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