Tuesday, January 20, 2015

January 20, 2015 - A Week of Miracles

Dear mom, dad, family, and friends,

I love you! We had a really great week! It has been pretty crazy though. With it being Sister Wrubell's last week, we had our hands full of lots of people to try and see. We saw lots of miracles. I am so thankful that I was able to serve with her this transfer and learn so much from her. I know that her family will be very happy to see her again. She has served the Lord with all her heart. I look forward to finding out who my next companion will be on Thursday and picking her up in Grand Island on Friday. I love her so much already! 

Going on a mission was the best decision that I have ever made and would easily choose to serve again in a heart beat. Sister Wrubell and I talked quite a bit this past week about that. I am so thankful that I have been able to see the effects of the Atonement of Jesus Christ firsthand on my mission. At times it is really hard to notice or realize if you have changed at all, but I know that I have. My heart and desires are completely different and all I want to do is to serve Christ and become more like Him. I know that He can help me to continue to change and become the person that I have the potential to. I still have many, many weaknesses, but through faith in Him, He can help me grow and continue to change my heart. I don't know where I would be if I hadn't chose to serve a mission. Quite frankly, I am glad that I will never find out the answer to that! I thank Heavenly Father every day that He still allows me to serve His children and help Him accomplish His purposes. We are so lucky to be a part of this work!! I can't wait until Derrick, and whoever else decides to go on a mission, go. It is the best decision you will ever make and I promise you that you will never regret your decision to serve! I can say that from person experience. There has not been one day that I have regretted my decision.

On Wednesday, we went up to Omaha with the Lindsey family and Nora (one of Fiona Lindsey's friends!!) and we saw "Meet the Mormons" at the trail center! It was fabulous and Nora said that she really enjoyed it! She was also at dinner on Sunday night at the Lindseys and we had a lesson on the Book of Mormon. Sister Lindsey was so great and offered her a Book of Mormon. It was very powerful!  

Rene Humanes was baptized last Saturday! It was seriously one of the best days of my mission. It was a miracle to witness how much he has changed. Even in just the last two weeks. The service was translated into both English and Spanish. It was really neat! He sang a couple of songs for everyone after the service while we are eating refreshments. It was so great! Hilda sang a song with him as well! I just love that family so much! They were all just beaming with happiness! That is what the Gospel of Jesus Christ does for people. It helps us to have joy in our families now and throughout the Eternities. I will definitely be coming back next year when they are able to be sealed as a family forever in the temple! He was confirmed a member of the church on Sunday during our Sacrament Meeting and right after, was ordained a Priest in the Aaronic Priesthood. It was quite easily, some of the happiest moments of my mission.

Thank you all for everything that you do. You are so great! I feel very lucky to be a part of such a great family! I love you all so much!


Sister Christensen

January 12, 2015

Dear Family and friends,

How are you all doing? I hope that you had a fantastic week! I love you all so so so much!! I hope that you can always know and feel that from me! Happy Birthday to Jacob, Chandler, and Derrick this week!!! I hope that they are the best birthdays ever! I would love to hear all about them next week and some pictures via email:)! haha:) (is that too obvious of a hint?) ;) Jk. You guys are so great! Just a reminder that next monday is a holiday, so I don't think that I will be emailing home. I should be able to on Tuesday at some point though! 

The Baptism of Rene is still set for this Saturday so pray that everything goes really well and works out for that! We are going to have the Baptismal service conducted in Spanish but then translated into English so that everyone can understand it! It should be a really great experience! It is so neat to feel the Spirit extend through language barriers. Even though we can't always understand what he is saying and he doesn't always understand us, we are all able to feel the Holy Ghost testify of truth! His wife, Hilda, started taking the chemo pills this week and she is not doing well. Please pray that she will be able to be healthy enough to attend her husband's baptism. That would mean the world to her. Thank you!! 

We had a really cool miracle this week! It was on Wednesday about 4:15. We had a dinner appointment that day at 4:30, so we were really struggling with what we should do. If we got inside with someone to teach a lesson, we would be late for dinner, but if we just headed right to dinner, we would get there a little early. We decided to try a former investigator that we hadn't seen yet, since we had come to York. Their names are Tony and Marah. When we pulled up, Sister Wrubell noticed that the van was different than their old one. We decided to try it though, not knowing what we would find:) Just so you can better appreciate our surroundings, they had some very loud "pump up and screamo" music blaring in the background:) ok.. now we can proceed:) So we knocked on the door and this young girl (probably in her 20's) came out and just started talking with us. She seemed really interested in who we were and what we teach. We gave her a Book of Mormon and she said that she would read it! They just moved into that house so everything worked out perfectly with the timing:) She said that she just found God last year while she was in jail and has a sincere desire to come closer to Him. Sister Wrubell and I are very excited to see her and continue teaching her! We are meeting with her tomorrow! It was a huge miracle though and we arrived to dinner right on time:) Her name is Danielle. You can keep her and her family in your prayers as well! 

Love you all so much!! Keep your heads up and keep moving forward! This is the Lord's work! As we trust in Him, things always work out. :)

Sister Christensen

January 5, 2015

Dear family and friends! 

Happy New Year! I hope that you had a wonderful week and that you are getting back to your full health! Sicknesses can be no fun! My companion and I are doing well and we don't have any sicknesses right now, so everything is great! We had a full week of visiting people and serving. I want to tell you about one of my favorite families in York. I know that I came on my mission to find them.

They are the Humanes family. They are mostly Spanish speaking but they do speak a little bit of broken English. Hilda, the mother, is a convert of about 6 months now. She is one of the most Christlike individuals that I have ever met. She has had cancer in the past and was in remission, but has now been diagnosed with Leukemia. Rene, the Father, is now set for baptism on January 17th!! It is coming super quick! They all come every week to church. Hilda stood up and bore her testimony in broken English yesterday at church! It was so powerful and I basically just cried the whole time through church:) I had really neat experiences as I was fasting the last 2 sundays:) Last Sunday, the whole branch fasted for Hilda. She also got a priesthood blessing before she had to leave church because she got too sick. She is so amazing. We go to their house often and she started crying to us one time while we were there. We asked her what was wrong and she said that she felt so bad. She was so sick so she was only able to read 2 pages in the Book of Mormon every day, before her strength gave out. This woman has a lot that she could cry about, but the reason for her tears was because she wasn't able to read the Book of Mormon as much as she wanted to. She is so strong! They have several kids over the age of 8 that we are working with and hoping that they will feel ready to be baptized with their dad next week. I love this family so much! Please keep them in your prayers!     

Our New Year's Eve and New Year's day were pretty packed! We had lots of lessons, service, and dinner appointments! We took all of the young women out for ice cream on new years day. We really love focusing on the youth and becoming their friends. We had 2 non member young women come to ice cream with us and the rest of the young women besides 1 were less active! So it was really cool!! 

We are volunteering at an animal shelter called "Adopt-a-Pet" and it is so fun!! They take in any animals that have been abused or that are found on the streets without an owner. We cover the dog area. That was my first time going last week, but when our schedule is open, we are able to go for a little while every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon. We get all of them food, take them on walks, play fetch or other things with them, or just pet them and give them lots of love. It is pretty fun!   

I love you all so much and I hope that you have a fantastic week! 
Love, Sister Christensen 

December 29, 2014 - Happy New Year

Dear family and friends!

Hello again! It has just been a few days since I talked with you last but I hope that you finished your week out great and that everything is going well with you! I love you all so much! Thank you for making my Christmas wonderful! I cherish that time that I was able to skype with you and receive so much strength and encouragement:) Thank you as well for all of the gifts and cards that you took the time to write. I loved each of them so much! Good news! Looks like I won't starve this transfer! haha:) Our Branch was so kind and they put together some treats for us for Christmas:) They are so sweet! I love them so much and I am so thankful that I get to spend this time learning from them:) 

We had a great week! Although most of it had to be spent inside, we still saw so many miracles! Sister Wrubell got pretty sick and so she spent a lot of the week resting and trying to recover. I have been greatly blessed and haven't gotten too sick. Hopefully that can last and I can completely get over the sickness so it doesn't interfere with the work. President said that the adversary is trying to get at us through sickness because we won't let him in anywhere else. I thought that was pretty cool:) As I may have mentioned, we had interviews this week with President Weston and they went very well! I am a little nervous taking over the area in a few weeks but I know that the Lord has a plan for this area and He knows what He is doing:) So I just have to trust in Him and keep doing His will. Then, everything will work out the way that it needs to. 

As we were driving back from interviews in Grand Island on Christmas Eve, we called Sister Weston to let her know that we needed to take Sister Wrubell into an urgent care to get her looked at. She said that she didn't know of an urgent care in York but that she would look to see if she could find a nearby one online. We ended up taking a different way home than we normally do because we had felt prompted to drive that way. We looked over to our right and saw an advertisement on a car! It said "Urgent care of York!" with a phone number by it! We went around the block so that we could come back and write the number down. Then we looked to our right, and we found the urgent care! It was right there! We went and they said that they have only been open for about 3 weeks and they haven't got their information out to the public very well yet, so we probably wouldn't have found it if we hadn't gone that way home:) It was a very cool miracle that day! 

Christmas was a good day. We had more of a humble Christmas this year which was nice. It was kind of cool taking care of all of the animals. The Byers (the members we live with) were out of town so we were in charge of taking care of all of their barn animals:) It was humbling doing that on Christmas and imagining what it must have been like to be there on the day that Christ was born in a similar setting. 

We were able to see Robin last night and there were so many miracles associated with that:) It was about 8 pm last night and that is usually a bad time to go by and see her because she is normally trying to put her kids to bed and things are crazy. We felt like we really needed to go see her though. So we went. We knocked on her door and she let us in and you could tell that she was a little stressed. She said that she had been looking for AAA batteries so that she could put them in her thermometer to check her daughter's temperature. She had been running a fever and was pretty sick. We went back out and said a prayer that we would be able to find some for her. We went to our car and I looked in my camera case and I had 4 AAA batteries in there! I normally would have taken them out but for some reason I had left them in there that time. So we rushed back in and gave her the batteries and Robin said that was an answer to her prayer! It was so cool! We then taught about obedience and asked her some blessings when we obey God's commandments. We had it open to Mosiah 2:41 and were planning on reading that with her and she said an exact phrase from that scripture before we even read it. She was like WOw! the Book of Mormon can read my mind! It was very cool! But it was cool to be able to point out the Spirit to her in that moment and to help her see that she was receiving answers to her prayers. She was very grateful that we came by.    

I love you! I hope that you have a wonderful week and a happy new year! 

Sister Christensen

December 22, 2014 - Merry Christmas

Dear Family and Friends,

I had a wonderful week! Sister Wrubell and I are seriously seeing so many miracles! We taught the most lessons in one week than I have ever taught in one week's time my whole mission. It was awesome! I will try my best to type as many of them as I can! 

One night, we decided that we needed to stop at Grand Central (a grocery store in York) to see one of the young women that worked there. After talking with her for a little bit, we felt really weird going to the store without getting anything so we decided to hurry and grab a candy bar by the registers. We talked with the lady that was working for a minute and gave her a "He is the Gift" cards and asked her if she had any plans for Christmas? We also asked if she knew of any service opportunities in the community we could help out with. She opened right up and basically told us her whole life story right there and she didn't know of any service but asked if we could call her to have her and her 2 boys help with any service we do on Christmas! So that was neat! Her name is Andrea! She is a single mom and she said she is open to learning! So we are also going over there on Wednesday to teach her and her family! 

Another miracle that we saw was when we went to go and see Peggy. She is an investigator that the other sisters taught once before we got here. So get this. She was on Pinterest one day and saw a link that had 25 scriptures for Christmas. (one of those that you can read a scripture each day leading up to Christmas) Some of the scriptures were from the Book of Mormon and so she went online and requested one! That is how the previous sister missionaries were able to find her! Technology is such a useful tool when it comes to missionary work! We taught her the Plan of Salvation last time and she loved it all! She said that she believes everything that we shared with her and had actually believed in a lot of the stuff before we taught it to her! She said that there were always some things from her church that didn't make sense to her and she feels like she has found what she has been looking for! She has two boys with muscular dystrophy and she is another single mother. She is great and we set her for Baptism on January 17th! 

We also met a lady named Robin. She is so great! Initially when we first met her this week, I wasn't sure if she was really interested or not. She has 2 little girls under the age of 2 so she feels very overwhelmed. She knows that the message that we brought to her can strengthen her family though! We committed her to be baptized on January 17th as well! Right after we extended that invitation, she responded "yes! What do I have to do to be ready for that date?" I have never had someone reply with that question before! It was perfect! She came to church yesterday as well! I was so happy to see her there! She had told us that she wouldn't be able to make it because she had prior plans made but she came anyways! Her kids were a little crazy at church because they have never been in that type of setting before, so she felt really embarrassed. Everyone reassured her though that it was just fine and kids can be that way:) They will feel more comfortable as they keep coming each week! I love her! She is so prepared! We are going to see her again tonight and help her clean up her home:) It should be fun! Please keep all of those individuals in your prayers! They could use them! 

I hope that you have a wonderful week! I look forward to talking with you soon! You are such a great family! Thank you for all that you do for me! 


Sister Christensen:)

December 15, 2014 - York, The West is the Best!

Dear family and friends,

It has been a very crazy week! It was hard to say goodbye to Sister Hirro but I know that she will do a great work in Salt Lake City. Tuesday was our last day together. She left early on Wednesday morning to catch her plane back. Sister Dumont was able to stay with us starting on Tuesday, so I was companions with her up until Friday morning. We had a great time together! It was interesting planning how to do everything, because we were covering both of our areas. We decided that we didn't want to cancel any of our appointments so we ended up going on member splits for most of the evenings. It was so weird being without a companion! Especially during the dinner appointments! During the lessons, I would look to the side expecting my companion to take it from there, but then I'd realize that she wasn't there and I had to keep talking:) haha it was odd! So I am very glad that I have a full-time companion again! 

I got the information on Thursday around 10 that I was getting transferred to York Nebraska. It's about 2 hours west of Omaha. It's very small! I live in a tiny town called McCool Junction and there are about 400 people that live here! I live on a farm! We have 2 horses, 3 dogs (Sam who is blind and deaf, peanut, and  ) 4 cats, geese, ducks, chickens, and 3 goats. I can't remember if there is any other animals. 

York is part of the Aurora Branch and it is very large geographically! It is about 2-3 hours across in all directions. It is part of the 2nd largest stake in the continental United States. The Stake covers about 2/3 of Nebraska and a good part of Kansas as well. So it is a lot different than Omaha or Utah:) But it is a good different:) The members here are very strong! There was about 40 people at church yesterday. They said that on a good week, they have about 60 members come.  

We have a ton of mice and bugs here, since we live on a farm. In the last 3 days that I have been here, we have caught 5 mice! Gross! I am able to overcome all of my fears here of those things so that is a plus! One morning we went to the mouse trap and it was gone! We found it in a vent trying to escape! Crazy stuff! haha:) 

We had our Branch Christmas party on Friday night and it was good to meet all of the members:) They are so strong! I will send pictures next week! I forgot my cord to send stuff this time.. whoops! 

I am serving with Sister Wrubell. I am "Killing her off" in mission terms:) This is her last transfer. She is a very good missionary. She is very obedient and happy all of the time. I know that I can learn so much from her. The members here are very great! I love them already. There seems to be a lot of work here to do so I am excited to be here.We are pink-washing the area. (We are both new sisters coming into the area) The 2 sisters that were here both got transferred out.It was very hard leaving Fairview. I really grew to love them so much! I didn't think that I was going to be leaving, but I do know that the Lord has a plan for me and for the people here. Change will bring continual growth and help me continue to rely on the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

I hope that you have a wonderful week! I love you so much! 

Sister Christensen