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

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