Friday, September 30, 2011

September 27, 2011 w/ 2 more pictures!

It was an AWESOME week. I shouldn't say that because then I will be cursed with a terrible week, but oh my heck, it was a great week. I will start from last Tuesday:

We met with our investigator Ricky and her daughter Meg and we set a baptismal date for November 5th! She still has so much to learn but we feel really good about having a date set to work towards. She is from Japan and sometimes we face language barriers/cultural differences that are hard to explain to her, but we think that over the next month we can prepare her enough for baptism. Meg is only seven and is very ADD, but we love them and enjoy teaching them.

Wednesday: We had interviews with our mission president. It was short and to the point and yes, I cried the entire interview. Haha. He was very encouraging and helped me realize that I just need to focus, really focus, on the work and everything will be ok. Later that night we had a great lesson with Jess and Aaron on the Plan of Salvation.

Thursday: In the morning we went to the library and checked out It's obviously a Mormon website, but the Church is putting a lot of work and effort into it. I love! We get to get on it every two weeks and check it out so we can recommend it to people and tell them what they should check out. We watched Mormon videos about different Mormon families around the world (under "meet our members")--there are some awesome, cool Mormons out there!! One guy is a hard core Harley Davidson motorcyclist, we have an Olympic swimmer, a lady in Australia who does a TV show called "Polka Dots", etc. It's so fun! Check it out for sure if you have time.

Also we picked up a new investigator. She is 19 and has had a very hard life. She is so different from anybody that I would ever know or hang out with and I love the opportunity to show love to her despite how different our lives are. We aren't sure how sincere her desire to learn is, but we plan to meet with her again tomorrow and if she kept her commitments and is open to hearing our message, we are more than happy to teach her. We also taught some members.

Friday: We did service in the morning, then had our weekly planning session. Then we took cookies to people in our ward. We have so many people in the ward who are fighting cancer. Like at least ten! It's crazy! Cancer is becoming a common-place illness in my area. Not cool. Anyway, later that night we stopped by our ward "empty nester" party (all the old people who don't have kids at home have a party once a month) and we got a referral! I love getting referrals!

Saturday: We cleaned out a lady's garage-- I loveeeee cleaning out garages. I love organizing. I am becoming well known for my organizational skills. I love it. Anyway, we went to the referral we got Friday and she was great-- her name is Rose and she is really interested in learning the truth about the Church. We will see her again this week and see how it goes. Saturday night was the Women's Relief Society broadcast which we went to. I loveeeddd Elder Uchtdorf's talk, as I am sure many of the women did. He is such a skilled speaker. Afterward the stake put on a salad bar dinner. Sister Madsen and I were leaving and Sister Madsen was like, "My mom would kill me for not staying and helping clean up." It hadn't even occurred to me to help clean up, so we stayed and helped. Sister Madsen is teaching me a lot about service and I love it. She is very service minded, I appreciate it and hope to become more like her!

Sunday: Busy busy. We had Church and meetings until 3. Ward council takes an eternity. Afterward we went and visited some ward members until dinner at 5 and then we had lessons all the way until 9. It was a busy day. I was exhausted.

Monday: Great day! The weather was beautiful, we had district meeting, we went tracting and we had a delicious dinner with a hilarious family. Kids here do early morning seminary and since I did it, I can totally relate. Sister Madsen had release time seminary so she gets made fun of alll the time. It's pretty funny. We might be subbing for a seminary teacher in the near future so I'll let you all know how that goes. After dinner we met with Aaron and Jessica and Jessica set a baptismal date!!! She wants 11.11.11 haha. Sister Madsen and I were so excited!! We love Aaron and Jess and cannot wait to have Jess be a member so they can eventually be sealed as a family at the temple. Loveee it! At 830 we went and did a lesson with a younger couple, the Everts, who are soo funny and great people. We laugh so much with them. It was a great end to a great day.

Anyway, that was my week. I feel like this email was a little boring, but I am telling you it was a great week. We were busy all week and got referrals and new investigators and set two baptismal dates (which will double the baptisms for the year for my ward) and we are getting to know and love our ward more and more each week.

The Church is true! It changes lives, gives direction and makes bad people into good people and good people into great people. Be nice to any missionaries you see because hopefully they are working their butts off to make this world a better place and bring people back into our Heavenly Father's arms.

Love you all
-Sister Christensen

My zone after a zone meeting. I am sitting next to one of my zone leaders who gets done with his mission October 16th.

At the park where Sister Madsen and I drew the Plan of Salvation.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

September 20, 2011 w/ pictures!

This past week was long! Sister Madsen and I both felt it. I don't know why because it wasn't a bad week, it was just....long.

One thing I have been meaning to make mention of is super random but, here in California, there are huge spiders everywhere!!! Huge, no joke. And they build webs everywhere and we walk into them all the time and it's disgusting. And scary. Thankfully I have only had one inside the house which I screamed very loudly and killed very quickly. But these spiders are like multi-colored with huge butts and are really scary. It's weird.

Anyway, onto the week. Last Tuesday we had a district activity and played a whole bunch of sports. We did volleyball, basketball, pac-man, ninja, super knock out -- we were running around and active the whole time. My knees were killing me. And then the next day, Wednesday, Sister Madsen and I were like old women. Our backs and arms were sore and I was limping around. Ha, apparently having no cardio activity for a couple months turns you into a sissy. I was using ice packs for a couple of days and we had to take it easy because my knees are such a joke and can't handle stairs and hills and all the fun stuff that CA has to offer. But Wednesday was a good day. We had an awesome lesson with our recent convert and investigator, Aaron and Jessica. A guy from our ward who is a recent convert of a year, came with us to the lesson and we taught about the importance of prayer and scripture study. I think I have said this before, but I love recent convert testimonies because they are so pure and simple and powerful.

Thursday Sister Madsen and I went to a leadership conference. It was eight hours long. We learned a lot. President Cook talked about how people will lose their faith if they aren't constantly working to put their faith in action and always reading and praying and doing what our Heavenly Father asks of us. We also learned about how to have successful dinner appointments and other important things. It was a good conference.

Friday was the big ward talent show! Sister Madsen and I performed our rap and everyone LOVED it! No joke, we were one of the best performances that night. One of our members is going to post it to Facebook and tag me so everyone can see it. One lady sent the video to her son in Germany and people keep requesting personal performances. haha, it was really fun and Sister Madsen and I enjoyed doing it. Now if the members could just give us referrals so we could have a million people to teach, we would love our ward even more.

Saturday we did some tracting and ran into some former investigators. They were super nice and we hope to get to know them and possibly teach them. While tracting, Sister Madsen and I got into a little argument and I was so bugged. Normally, it would take me a couple hours to let it go and get over it, but on a mission, you learn to get over fights real fast. Haha, it was a nice lesson on how to forgive and forget quickly because otherwise the day would suck. Anyway, later we did service and then had dinner with the family that has twin, triplets, and a single and a baby on they way. They have two dinner tables haha.

Sunday was great and Monday was long, although we had a lesson with Aaron and Jessica which went really well and always makes me happy. Ricky and Meg, our other investigators, are progressing slowly. We have a lesson tonight which we are crossing our fingers goes really well. Ricky loves us a lot, we just aren't sure how much she understands about the Church.

Anyway, that's all for now. Hope all is well and everyone is happy and loving life!

Sister Christensen

The ward talent show rap. We are g's.

The Scott family who I love! And they love us!

With some members from the ward at a Labor Day BBQ.

Monday, September 19, 2011

September 13, 2011

Ok, so every week I always forget stuff that I wanted to write so today I am trying a new method. I am going to write each day and little tid bits about it.

Wednesday: It was freaking hot. The member we live with doesn't have AC so we were literally boiling. The inside of the house is hotter than the outside so during our lunch break, we were dripping sweat and at night we didn't even bother with the covers. We kept trying to remind ourselves that our missionaries are serving in places that don't even have AC anywhere and that we are blessed. ha. Also on Wednesday, we got our new district. Two sets of elders were white washed out and we got two greenies (white washed means they are both totally new to the area and a greenie is someone straight  out of the MTC and  a new missionary....I still call myself a greenie). So we got four new elders in our district. I am thrilled. My last district was......painful. Is that mean to say? They were just really awkward with any/all girl interaction and very unenthusiastic. At one meeting I was so bored I wanted to start sawing my arm off just to have something to do. Ok, that was a little mean but it's the truth! Anyway, yay for a fresh district.

Thursday: We didn't get much accomplished. We kept busy but our appointments kept falling through and we spent a lot of the day getting rejected. We did teach a lesson with our investigator Ricky and talked a lot about baptism. She is having trouble giving up tea because tea is a big thing in Japan. Hopefully we can figure out a good substitute. Also there was a huge power outage all around us but we weren't affected haha. Apparently some guy in Yuma, AZ disconnected something that shut down all power from Mexico to Coto, CA. Somehow my area wasn't affected which was great.

Friday: We had a lesson with the Scott family (we have a lesson with them every Friday night, the kids adore us) and Brother Scott, the dad, made a comment I really appreciated. He is a recent convert with a crazy past. He went from ex-convict to loving father and adoring husband. I love him and his example. He is an awesome guy. Anyway, we were talking about the passing of Sacrament during Sacrament Meeting and he mentioned how sacred that time is for him. If any of his 5 kids are irreverent during the passing of the Sacrament, they are grounded for the next day. That might seem a little extreme but he has taught his kids that the Sacrament is a time to reflect, repent and grow closer to our Heavenly Father. I love that! As a member of the Church my whole life, I have become a little jaded about the importance of Sacrament and what it should mean to me. I am def going to try harder to be more reverent.

Saturday was crazyyyy! It started to drizzle rain, then got heavier, then it started to HAIL and water was gushing down the street and the thunder and lightning scared me and then it stoppped and was sunshine and beautiful all day. So random! Anyway, I had a really great personal study. I read D&C 109:21-30 where Joseph Smith dedicated the Kirtland temple I believe: it's really powerful. It talks about the blessings that come from temple attendance and how important it is. If you have time, read it. I swear it will make you want to run to the temple and do a session. Ha.

Also, Saturday was the adult session of Stake Conference. Elder Baxtor of the Seventy was the main speaker. He made all of my district (about 16 of us) stand up in front of the entire audience (about 300 people) and sing "Called to Serve." Twice. I enjoyed it but the dumb elders were hardly singing and it sounded terrible! ha, the session was awesome though so it was all good.

Sunday: I totally had a meltdown. I got a pounding headache that wouldn't quit even with medicine. I just did not want to be a missionary for the day. I wanted Mom to comfort me and baby me. I am such a wimp! Haha, my companion is awesome though and totally helped me through it and I said a prayer and we got to work. The miracle of the day was that every person we talked to was friendly. I know that might sound dumb, but I am still super sensitive to when people are jerks to us and I think Heavenly Father knew I couldn't handle a harsh rejection. We probably talked to about 50 people and all of them were nice. That doesn't happen very often.

Monday: We had a district meeting which was good. We taught Aaron and Jessica which is still going well. Also Madsen and I started our member missionary lessons. We plan to do it with every family in the ward and want to get a referral from every single one of them. We did a little lesson and then role played to show the family how easy it is to be a missionary and invite people to learn more about the Church. We even had costumes for our role play. The loved it haha. We are such dorks.

Today Madsen and I were practicing our rap for our ward talent who. We were both trying to throw down beats to rap to. It was hilarious. We are such white girls with no rhyme. It's going to be....a very entertaining performance I think.

Anyway, just wanted to share my quick testimony that I know that the Church is true. I know the work that all the missionaries around the world are doing is the work of God. I know that the gospel blesses families and unites them not just for time, but for all eternity. I know that the small pains I face as a missionary don't even come close to the pain that Jesus Christ suffered so that we could all overcome sin and be able to return to our Heavenly Father. I know that God loves us. I know it because I look at my life and the beauty around me and I know that it all comes from Him. I love you all and miss you!

Sister Christensen

Monday, September 12, 2011

September 6, 2011

Hello Peoples,

It was transfers week but I was not transferred and I am still with Sister Madsen in Rancho Santa Margarita. Because it was transfers week, all of our mail was held until tomorrow, so any letters sent in the last week, I have not gotten yet. I will get them Wednesday and won't be able to write back until next Thursday. Lo siento! I promise, any letters I get I will try to write back so don't think I am ignoring you!

Anyway, last week we extended two baptismal invites to both our progressing investigators. We didn't set an official date for either one of them, but we are in the process of them praying about it and decided what date they feel comfortable with. We also had a 14-year-old boy walk in to Church, already having read the entire BOM [Book of Mormon] and wanted D&C [Doctrine & Covenants] and POGP [Pearl of Great Price]. He is golden, but he is a little iffy about taking official discussions. We will work on him haha.

Last week I wrote about how much I cry and I read a quote in the Ensign which I loved. It said, "He [Jesus Christ] came to wipe away our tears, not to ensure that we would never weep." So it's ok that I cry all the time!!  And I do lots of praying to help me with that. I love the Ensign. It's like my fix of People magazine or Us Weekly, just a little more spiritual. I read it cover to cover and would def. recommend doing it. It's so good!

I accomplished my goal and finished the Book of Mormon on Sunday. Now I am starting it and marking all the references to the Godhead, all Christlike attributes, gospel teaching, and God and Jesus directly speaking. It's crazy how much "Lord" or "God" is said on one page. And it's a lot of fun reading with a purpose. My BOM is going to be sick when I am done with it - it will look awesome!

I had a couple funnies this week. Many of them are things you had to be there for, but one of them was particularly funny. My comp and I were doing companion study and we were doing an activity from PMG [Preach My Gospel]. I was assigned to look up some scriptures and talk about them in context and the importance of them. So I look it up and it's the story about the woman who committed adultery and Jesus told everyone who was clean from sin that they could throw the first rock to punish her etc etc. I was excited so I said to my comp "oh I love this story!" and then read the scriptures I was assigned later in the chapter and in my head I was like "WTF...I don't understand this at all, how does this even relate to that story??" but I didn't want to look dumb so I just tried REALLY hard to understand it and talk about them. So then I started sharing my verses and Sister Madsen is like "wait...what???" and we realized I was working on the wrong scriptures!! The whole time in my head, I was like this is making NO sense but I tried so hard. And Sister Madsen thought I had just stopped to read the story about the adulterer because she knew my verses didn't have anything to do with that story, so it was just a whole bunch of embarrassing confusion. Ha. I felt like an idiot.

Something really cool that happened was I met someone who served his mission in NY in the 90's and he was like "yeah I served in the ward of the vice president of Kodak" hahah. I was like THAT WAS MY GRANDPA!!!! It was soo funny!!! I was so happy. He told me about how he asked Grandpa what he looks for when he hired employees and Grandpa's answer was "they have to have had an education" and then he told me how Grandpa was like a region rep. for the Church and he got in a fight with the bishop AND how one time Gram and Gramp were talking about the newest sports car Grandma wanted. I laughed. Gram and her sports cars....Such a small world! He said Grandpa was awesome and would feed them every single month. I wanted to keep talking with him but we had another appointment. He was Elder Toomey back in the day.

Anyway, this is a long email with not much missionary information, but that's because we have a small investigator pool at the moment so a lot of our time is spent contacting and visiting formers and getting lots of rejection. Gotta love the rejection! And we do service.

We had a fun Labor Day BBQ with some of our members, and Sister Madsen and I worked on our missionary rap. It's gonna be legit.

Love you all,

Sister Christensen