Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January 24, 2012

It was a great week!  I'll start with last Tuesday night:

We had an awesome lesson with our investigator, Danny. She is very serious about learning and wants to know everything before she jumps in. I love it because she understands what a commitment it is to become a member of the Church and that it is a lifestyle and not just a passing fad. They have the cutest daughter ever who always keeps us entertained. I am really growing to love them.

Wednesday: We taught lessons alll dayyy long - it was fabulous. We have an AMAZING singles ward investigator - Victoria. When we taught, the Spirit was so strong. She mentioned that when she walked into Church she felt something different and she knew it wasn't because she was cold...We had a recent convert join us in the lesson and I learned so much from both of them. Breanna (the RC) has such a beautiful testimony and is so excited and vibrant about the gospel, it's infectious. Later that day we taught our investigator, Joe, who was born and raised Catholic. We asked him why he lets us come and he said, "Because I just feel good when you are around." He is very sweet and we just hope that we can get him to come to Church and realize what his life is missing. We had a fun dinner appointment and tried waffle-iron brownies. (Brownies made in a waffle iron -- the mom got it off Pinterest -- not bad!) We ended the night with Nici and baby Amina.

Thursday was another day of good appointments. We picked up an investigator, which was awesome, and we kept really busy.

Friday was great too....ok, most of the days were awesome. We had weekly planning and then back to back lessons. We taught Danny again and it went really well. Later we saw our recent converts, Nici and Greg. Nici is hilarious. She is only 19 with a two-year-old baby, but man, she keeps me laughing. I always enjoy going over there.

Saturday was a day of rain and gloom. We literally did not have one appointment but we flew by the seat of our pants and made things happen. We attended a baptism, found a couple lessons to teach, and rocked out to some sweet music (the Spanish sisters that we live with have a Celine Dion CD and it made me very happy).

Sunday was Stake Conference. I cannot even begin to tell you all the awesome things I learned at Stake Conference. It was a broadcast from Salt Lake City -- I really enjoyed it. I learned about patience, charity, and how the small things in life are what fill us up and prepare us to meet Heavenly Father again. (That is a super lame wrap-up of what I learned, but I am pressed for time). That night we just went from house to house, visiting active families in the ward. We got a couple referrals and I feel like I am starting to connect more with this ward. I love it. I am setting my roots :)

Monday was rainy rainy so we kept busy. We had district meeting and then an appointment with a less active, Sister Roth. She is a character. She kept us entertained for sure. That night we got to go to single ward FHE (Family Home Evening), which was fun. It makes me reminisce on the good old college days.

Today we went to the San Diego temple. It's gorgeous. That's all I can say. I am sooo running out of time. I hate being on timed computers. But, the Church is true. It just makes sense. This area has so much potential and it's because these people are humble. They see past money and cars and realize there is more to life. I know for a fact that I have lots to learn down here. My companion is all rainbows and sunshine and she keeps me happy. She is obedient and hard working and I am excited to continue to learn from her. Hope everyone is partying hard and being awesome. Love ya!

-Sister Christensen

Monday, January 23, 2012

January 17, 2012 w/ pictures

Warning: From now until who knows when, I will no longer be able to write as long as I want or at my leisure. In my new area, the library only allows ONE hour with NO wiggle room :( I usually take an hour and a half to write so now I am really feeling the pressure. Anyway, I still love getting emails, but now I will only really be able to write one long letter to everyone and hand write everything else.

What a crazy week. Last Tuesday did not feel like P-day, so it seems like a long time since I got to relax for a minute. As you all know, last week was transfers. I spent the greater part of the day packing. I am now down south in San Diego County, specifically the Vista Stake. I cover two wards, the Vista 8th family ward and the Young Single Adult 6th ward. (Funny story, one of the guys in the YSA ward hit on me multiple times at BYU and now he is in my ward. Awkward!)

Anyway, my Orange County tiara has been officially knocked off. There are no more BMW's and Mercedes'. Now we have trailer parks and chickens. (Seriously, there are a bunch of chickens that crow every morning right near my apartment.) The people down here are way more humble and willing to listen. I am homesick for my old ward, but at the same time I am happy to have changed and am excited to see what I can learn down here. (One thing that scares me is that there are no street lights here and the roads are super curvy and thin...and slightly ghetto....like there are dirt roads that lead to broken paved roads that lead to big main roads......I am just not in the OC anymore ha).

My companion is Sister Allred. She is one transfer younger than me. She is a very good missionary. She has that missionary voice that I kind of refuse to have, but at the same time she has shown me that it's not a BAD thing to talk like a missionary. She is very obedient and is a great example to me. My first day here we had five appointments, back to back, which was exhausting but awesome too. While teaching, I really felt the Spirit speaking through me. I was saying things that I wouldn't have thought of myself and for some reason this is the first time I have really acknowledged that happening. It happens all the time, but making note of it was something I wanted to do. I really love that I feel like a good teacher. I cannot answer every question thrown at me, but I am not scared of teaching or giving my viewpoints.

On Thursday we kept busy getting to know the area. It's stressful being new here because I don't know everyone and I cannot really help get us around or decide what to do. I have to rely on my companion a lot and she's great so it's all good. We did contacting, had a fun dinner, and taught a couple lessons that night.

Friday was a LONG day of weekly planning. Once we finally got out of the house, it was not the best day. Just kind of ehh.

Saturday we spent visiting less actives and part member families. The weather was amazing and always helps make the day a little better. Unfortunately, because both of us are relatively new to the area, we got lost for an hour. Because we cover two wards, our area is a lot bigger and harder to find our way around. It was frustrating because we were wasting gas, miles, and it wasn't missionary work.

Sunday was busy busy. We had meetings from 8-11, then Church 11-1 and we went on splits so I went to the YSA ward and Sister Allred finished with the family ward, and then we finished Church at 4 and had dinner and a teaching appointment and another meeting. It was just, busy.

Monday we had district meeting. In my last area we had a total of eight missionaries in our district. Now we have like 14. It's a lot bigger and I don't really like it. I feel lost in the crowd. I just need to get used to it, but it will take some time. We did some service (helped clean the yard of a girl's trailer) and then we had dinner with a very nice and supportive family. We are going around teaching all the families about ward mission plans and creating their own "Family Mission Plan" (if you don't know what a ward mission plan is, you need to go talk to the missionaries in your ward haha). I am excited about it and hope to gain the trust of our ward and get them involved as much as possible.

I get stressed really easily, but overall it was a great week. I see a lot of potential here and I am excited to make new memories. We currently have about four investigators and two of them are pretty solid. I am excited about that. I hope all is going well for everyone! Party hard!!!

Sister Christensen

Goodbye Sister Rokobuli

Hello Sister Allred

Monday, January 16, 2012

January 10, 2012 with pictures

Hey all-

It was an insane week. Last week feels like a lifetime away. I don't even know where to start...

Hmm...well I am getting transferred. I have been here in RSM(Rancho Santa Margarita)/Mission Viejo for six months. It's my home. I am sad to go but excited to see more of the mission and meet different people. I found out I am going down to Vista - my companion, Sister Rokobuli, and I literally changed places. She was down there for six months in that ward. I also know who my companion is going to be......I am very interested to see how this one works out. I am two for two on awesome companions, but we'll see. I am senior comp, aka this girl is younger than me, and I still feel like a young missionary so I am nervous about that. Next week will be a whole different ball game.

My birthday was fantastic. I saw all the people I love and had four mini-celebrations. I guarantee I gained like 3-5 pounds with all the cakes and cupcakes I ate. I had Cafe Rio for lunch, which is my fav, and my companion totally surprised me with a balloon, cupcakes, and a really sweet letter. And she made me breakfast. She was awesome to me! Love her!

In terms of missionary work, it was great! An investigator I've been teaching for a while basically told me she will see me "sooner than later", aka she is really considering getting baptized! I would be so thrilled for her. She is great and I have really grown to love her.

We rode bikes on Saturday, which was so fun. I finally stopped caring about what I looked like and we stopped and talked to anyone and everyone while we rode around. The weather was amazing - seriously amazing. I love it here.

I spent all day Sunday and Monday saying goodbyes. It's totally bittersweet. I'll miss this area like crazy. It's all I know. Pray for me! Thanks for all the birthday wishes and love. Hope all is going well.

-Sister Christensen

Monday, January 9, 2012

January 3, 2012 with pictures

If I never had to live this week again, I would be a happy woman. It was the week of Heaven and Hell. Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday were fulll of cancellations, appointment changes, and frustrations. I am far too anal to be a calm and patient missionary when things like that happen. Friday night I was in tears with frustration and stress. Ahh! It was so not fun! It all had to do with the New Year and family being in town and people taking vacations and illness etc. But seriously, it was a trying start to the week.

Saturday was fun. We went on a breakfast picnic with two girls in our ward who love us. We went to a swamp called Froggy Pond. It had rope swings that we played on and hung out. I am sure somewhere, in some book, rope swings are against the rules, but whatever. It was fun. We had to come in at 630 because it was New Year's Eve and people are crazy. We watched a documentary on Gordon B. Hinckley which was good and then went to sleep! I woke up at 12:09 because people were lighting fireworks. And then I slept till 730. We didn't mean to sleep in so late, but we turned the alarm off and just kept sleeping. It was great. But later in the morning we realized that the lady we live with left the fridge open all night long and it ruined our food. No apologies either. That was slightly annoying. Church now starts at 11 for us, which was weird. We had two non-members show up which was awesome and they stayed for all three hours. We hope to teach them eventually. I wrote my New Year's resolutions too. Most of them are spiritual, aka, not measurable, but I'll be a missionary the entire year....sooo...yeah.

Monday was district meeting. We each had to write a talk on a Christ-like attribute we want to work on. Based on the previous week, you might be able to guess what I chose.....patience. There is a quiz in PMG (Preach My Gospel) that tests you on each of the attributes and I failed hardcore on patience. I made a plan to work on it. I had a bunch of quotes and questions that I will carry around with me and whenever I am getting frustrated or annoyed, I will try to calm down, ask myself the questions, and read the quotes. We'll see how it goes. We had some legit teaching last night so it was def. a good start to the week.

Friday is my birthday. For those of you who know me, I started celebrating last week. Today we are having district activity which I got to plan, so therefore it is a mini birthday party for muah. We are having a cake made up of Oreos and playing games of my choosing. And I am getting my nails done later today. I already have my whole birthday planned out and it should be fabulous. Don't worry all of you white-handbooks who are reading this, I am not taking the day off, we are just teaching the NICE non-members and less actives who will be good to me on the day of my birth :)

Sorry this is short and somewhat negative, but that's the roller coaster of missionary life. I say it like it is. I could be fluffy and talk rainbows and sunshine, but then I would be a liar and I am pretty sure that's against the rules. Ha. Joke.

Ok, have a wonderful first week of the new year. Party hard cause I won't be! Love you all.

pce and blessings.
pce and blessings.

-Sister Christensen

My district.

Ellie the Elephant, Oswald the Turtle, Garret the Carrot

Rope swingin!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

December 27, 2011 w/ a picture

Wednesday: We spent the morning wrapping Christmas presents for a family in our ward who needed some extra help. It was lots of fun. That night we went to Candy Cane Lane with Jessica. It's a street where everyone has to deck out their house -- it's part of a contract when they move in. It was a fun Christmas adventure.

Thursday: We picked up a new investigator! Her name is Sherri. She is awesome and when we were talking to her, she quoted the Book of Mormon - meaning she totally read and understood what she read! We are excited. The day was super windy and cold so we mostly stayed indoors. All week we shared a Christmas message with all the families we saw.

Friday: Was long! I just wanted Christmas to be here. We did weekly planning, walked around and contacted for a couple hours, and taught Jess. Nothing special.

Saturday: Was the big mission-wide Christmas party! We drove down to Vista with Madsen and her comp. There was a devotional, lunch, a talent show, and a Sacrament meeting-esk program. I got a gross cold earlier in the week and it was the worst on Saturday. I was coughing up a storm and blowing my nose, which kind of put a damper on the party, but it's all good. We had Christmas Eve dinner with a really nice lady and then stopped by one of our favorite families to help leave out cookies for Santa.

Sunday: Christmas!!!! It was so great. We had Church from 9-10 and then presents! We got sooo many presents. The lady I live with emailed all our Relief Society to get money to buy us a ton of stuff. I got more this year than I have ever gotten in past years. It was overwhelming but so fun. We hung out with some of our favorite families and then got to make calls home at 3. I Skyped with my family! It was like I hadn't been gone. I already miss them again but it was great! We had a fabulous dinner and finished our evening helping a family pack for a trip to Utah. It was a great Christmas and I was surprisingly not homesick.

Monday: Was a pooper day. I was sick and grumpy. I had to start listing my blessings to my companion to remind myself that my life rocks and missionary work is awesome. It worked for the most part.

It was a quick week. I am def. sad that Christmas is over, but I still have New Years and my birthday to look forward to. January 7th my companion is going to need to pull me out of bed due to depression because I know I'll be bummed all the holidays are over. Such is life. But the Church is still true.

Party hard people! Love ya!
-Sister Christensen