Tuesday, February 28, 2012

February 21, 2012 w/ 4 pictures!

The weeks are flying past. It's insane. Ok...

Tuesday: Can I just say Sister Allred and I are ballin? Like, for real. Let me explain. On Monday our district leader approached us about a game to play for district activity. In the world, this game is commonly known as "beer pong"--it's a social drinking game, but it's actually fun even without alcoholic beverages (appearance of evil much?). Those of you who know me might be accusatory and think I came up with the game to play, but it wasn't me. It was my DISTRICT LEADER. So we were like, sure let's play. For the game, I made the shots and Allred drank the chocolate milk and soda. We beat our zone leaders AND district leaders and won the entire tournament. We. Are. Ballin. We are the only girls in our zone of like 16 people, and we won. Also we made mustaches and took pictures -- although a bunch of our district was missing. It was legit. See photos. And since it was Valentine's Day, the Spanish sisters and us went out to dinner and did nail polish and facials after nightly planning. I love living with the Spanish sisters. We find every possible reason to have little parties. Love it.

Wednesday: It was rainy. It felt like a crappy day but it totally wasn't. We had six lessons and picked up a new investigator. Funny story about that one. The lady we picked up is not in our area so we really shouldn't be teaching her. We contacted into her and passed her off as a referral to some elders. We had already given these elders two other crappy referrals, so they (in a joking manner) were like, "We don't want anymore lame referrals", so we were like, "Ok...we will make sure this one is a golden"....Well turns out she is, but now she will only allow us to come back because we formed a relationship with her. haha. Sucks to be them! I hope they learned their lesson and will now accept referrals from us, because as I said before, we are ballin.

Thursday: Oh man, I was super grumpy on Thursday. I felt bad for my companion. Sometimes I just have those days where I just am grumpy and nothing can really pull me out of it....except maybe prayer, but I was too grumpy to pray. We did service in the morning, which was awesome, and then we had lessons and dinner from 4-9. Thankfully, even on my grumpy days, the work still progresses and we get it done.

Friday: We did weekly planning. And then stole another investigator from another set of elders. But this one was seriously an accident. And kind of funny. Last week we found this name that Allred had written down but we had no recollection of who it was or when we met them. It was bizarre. We were both like, "Uh....where did this name and number come from?"....So Allred decided to call in the hopes of remembering who she is. The lady remembered us but we STILL had no idea who it was. We set up an appointment and we were hoping that when we saw her we would remember. We get into her house and we are having small talk (and I am still freaking out because I don't know who she is) when Allred whispers to me, "gas station..." And then very slowly the memory came back. It was like a 30 second contact. I saw this lady at the gas station and felt the impression to talk to her, but I was lazy and made Allred do it haha. And then I forgot about it. She has a TON of Mormon family and is super nice and interested. We tried to explain that we could not be the ones to teach her because she does not live in our area, but it didn't work. She wants us. We plan to move her over to the correct elders eventually, but currently we are investigator stealers. It's not cool, but we are all on the same team, right? (that's called justification)

Saturday was so legit. I am taking forever to write this email but I still have so many stories! I am going to shorten them....First we had a women's conference with a motivational speaker. Loved it. Then we went to a quail farm! There were 12,000 baby quails running around in a room. See photo. We learned all about quail farming and it was really fun. Then we had an AWESOME lesson with a returning less active. And then we had our ward Valentine's Day party. It was hilarious. And slightly inappropriate. They played the coconut game...where you put a coconut between two stomachs and have to get it up to your lips without using your hands....Anywho, Saturday was a party. And it was transfer calls (surprise Saturday!) so obviously we celebrated with ice cream and worldly stories. All four of us are staying in our area! Wahoo!

Sunday was Sunday. And Monday was so good. We had four great lessons. We are really getting to see the blessings of the fruits of our labors. It's so great. Missionary work is the hardest and most fulfilling thing I have done in my life. Party hard people.

Sister Christensen

Thursday, February 16, 2012

February 14, 2012 w/ pictures!

It takes me a long time to read through my emails, and once I do, I forget everything I wanted to write in the first place. Oh well.

Tuesday: We had an awesome lesson with our investigator. We had a "spiritual inventory" with her to find out her concerns and see where she stands. Both Sister Allred and I feel that we took leaps and bounds in creating a better relationship and working towards baptism. We really love this family and enjoy spending time with them.

Wednesday: In the morning we went contacting. This one guy stopped and commented on how refreshing it was to see two young girls dress so appropriately. We obviously took the opportunity to share a little about the gospel with him, only to have him talk our ear off for a solid 15 minutes, with his delusional mother trying to escape his arms and run away. No joke, she was this little old woman, and she was elbowing him in the stomach and stomping on his feet and if he let go, she would take off running. I worked in a nursing home for almost a year and I love old people, so this did not alarm me...I just really wanted the guy to stop talking and take care of his mother. Anyway, we had a great lesson that morning with an 18-year-old convert of a couple months. Every time we teach her, I learn more from her than she does from me. Later in the afternoon, we had companion exchanges. Sister Savaliga came with me in my area. Sister Savaliga is a legend in our mission. She has had 29 baptisms. She has no fear when it comes to missionary work. We spent the greater part of the afternoon contacting, and then taught a couple lessons that night. I learned a lot from her in only a day and I am glad I had the opportunity to work with her. She goes home next week!

Thursday: We had a lesson with a very liberal Mormon. My definition of a liberal Mormon is someone who agrees with most of the basics, but kind of comes up with their own doctrine and doesn't really live true to what they have been taught. I kind of really don't like liberal Mormons because they try and get people to agree and I am like, "uhh.....no....God said it, so it's true." I am in NO way perfect, but things like the Word of Wisdom, baptism, and salvation are not compromisable. You either do it, or you don't. We exchanged companions back at 3. After working with Savaliga, I really feel like I have a better understanding of my purpose. And that is to baptize. When I started, I really wanted to leave an awesome impression in my areas and hope that the wards I serve remember me and love me. But that is not what missions are about. It's awesome working with members, but we are here to save souls. We are here to weed out the ones who aren't ready and find the ones that are. It's a hard job, but I am all for it! We taught four lessons that night and all of them were super legit. We see great things happening in this area!

Friday: Weekly planning. And then appointments and drop-bys. Friday night we did service at a homeless shelter. We took dinner and served it to them. It was a great opportunity to count my blessings and find joy in service.

Saturday was rainy rainy. We went to the worldwide leadership training - which was not too much about missionary work so I was a bit distracted, but overall it was good! We kind of had a lack of motivation because of the weather, but we taught three lessons. I got a sweet package from my motha for Valentine's Day. I love Valentine's Day! I immediately made the whoopie pies and we pigged out with the Spanish sisters.

Sunday was fabulous. We had a stellar lesson in Relief Society about developing a personal relationship with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I felt such a strong conviction and desire to go out and share my testimony with others. I have an even greater understanding and love for Him and I want others to have that too! With the political things going on, we need to make sure everyone understands and knows what we stand for - and that is Jesus Christ. No more polygamy and Word of Wisdom dumb questions. Testify of Jesus Christ and leave it at that. (stepping off soapbox) We didn't have too many investigators come to Church but es ok. We worked hard and enjoyed the Sabbath.

Monday was great. We had district meeting, and it was raining. We went and helped the lady from last week with more computer problems. Apparently I am a genius when it comes to computers. Later we visited a couple less actives which was great because they were all nice and all set up appointments for us to visit. It's really cool to see how past life experiences, even the weird ones, can benefit me while I am serving. For instance, I worked for a Russian lady for two years and she always called me a name in Russian that I didn't understand. One of the less actives we went and visited is from Russia, so I took the opportunity to ask her what the name means. She laughed and told me it means a baby doll face (because my face is chubby). She opened up and talked to us for a while, all because I knew a Russian word from like 5 years ago. Awesome, right?

That night we had a really fun dinner with a family that is hilarious and then we taught lessons all night long (and played glow-in-the-dark Capture the Flag for the YSA FHE...dude, if I am going to be in a YSA ward, I am going to enjoy it, right?)

The Church es true peoples! Party hard!
one love.
-Sister Christensen
Allred and I at the church.

Eating our whoopie pies.

Monday, February 13, 2012

February 7, 2012

This week went really fast - it's weird to be on P-day again.

Wednesday was a total bust (relatively speaking). We had 7 appointments lined up and we were super stoked. We had a lesson in the morning, and when we home for lunch, we had a voicemail. Our investigator, Joe, called and dropped us! It was my first time being dropped by someone. I laughed but my companion was super sad. She had tracted into him and really liked him. I wasn't too attached but I was bummed that she was bummed. Then, in the middle of lunch, our next appointment needed to reschedule. I kept a positive attitude. The weather outside was amazing and I was just in a happy mood. We drove out to Fallbrook to visit some singles ward less actives. We came to this house that was way deep into the forest, but it was gorgeous. It was like an old manor with a cast iron gate and old train tracks running through with rolling hills. I just wanted to stay there all day long. And then, our third appointment canceled. When it rains, it pours. We got a little frustrated. And hungry, which is never a good combination. We went contacting and we had one guy who got all up in my face and was so obnoxious. It was annoying. I wanted to say more that I did, but we smiled and walked away. Thankfully, from 5-9 we had back-to-back appointments, and they all went through, so we were happy by the end of the day. Four lessons isn't bad at all, but when you have seven planned - it can drag ya down.

Thursday was zone conference. It was bomb. We had trainings on how to use the Book of Mormon to answer questions, and Moroni's promise, and being obedient. It was all good. Zone conference was from 7-4 p.m. We had "brinner" (which is breakfast for dinner---a word my investigator thinks everyone should use) with Dani and her family, plus another family from the ward. We taught about fasting. And then we came home. It was a quick and easy day.

Friday I had my dreaded doctor's appointment for my knees. I had every scenario played out in my head of what he would say except for the one he gave me. He messed with my knees, asked about all my symptoms, and told me I should never run again for life because it's my anatomy and it's just the way I was built. It kind of sucked a lot. I was sad. I always thought that one day I would get my knees fixed and I would be able to run without pain, but apparently not. I don't plan to settle with that answer, but at least for the duration of my mission, I will avoid running and hope that they will be better. We had weekly planning, and then back-to-back appointments from 2-9. We were busy busy and it was fun. It let me take my mind off my own problems. Missionary work is great that way :)

Saturday my companion and I got invited to zone leader council. It's usually a meeting for just zone leaders, but this time President invited six sisters in order for us to get the training and then pass on the information in exchanges to other sisters. I loved it. I loved it more than zone conference. We had two guest speakers, one of which is a General Authority - in the Presidency of the Seventy. He was so legit. I learned so much and had so many moments of inspiration and desire to get out there and work even harder. We also had a training about the upcoming political situations that will be arising with Mitt Romney running. It kind of scared me because people can be really mean, and even more so when it comes to politics. Oh man. I am sure we will be dealing with it more and more as my mission goes on.

Sunday we had choir practice at 9:30, then family ward, then single adult ward, then dinner with an investigator, then an investigator lesson, and finally, a member visit. Sundays rock. I love having two wards.

Monday was bomb too. We had district meeting, where I made an idiot of myself (but that's another story for another day haha). We had lunch and then went to do service for a lady in our ward. She needed help with her computer. She reminded me so much of my mom, I couldn't help but laugh. I thought she would need some intense computer help, but she wanted to know how to sign into her email account, write an email, and forward emails to people. It took two hours. And we will most likely be going back. My mom is still learning how to copy and paste. Haha. At 4 we had a lesson with a new investigator, which went really well, then we rushed to a sick awesome dinner, then rushed to a lesson with another new investigator, and then YSA FHE (Young Single Adult Family Home Evening). It was so fun!! They were playing Just Dance on Xbox Connect. I forgot how much I love dancing. We didn't get to dance, but the countdown begins now for when I get back to school and go dancing! Love it! And we had two non-members there, so that was fabulous. We finished the night with our ward mission leader who is so supportive and kind. This area is doing me good :)

I think I may or may not say this every email, but the Church is true people. Party hard.

-Sister Christensen

Sunday, February 5, 2012

January 31, 2012

What a great week for missionary work! Four new investigators and a ton of lessons? Yes please.

Tuesday night we had a delicious Mexican dinner. I ate chimichangas for the first time and loved them--only to find out they are deep fried and awful for you. Just another food to add to my 13 pound weight gain. Love it! Later that night we taught our investigator Dani. We talked about gaining a testimony of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. I bore my testimony and got emotional - which has only happened a handful of times on my mission because I hate crying in front of people. So Dani should feel honored haha.

Wednesday we had four lessons, picked up an investigator and the weather was amazing. I love California. A funny story: my companion was sharing a spiritual thought with a family, but we hadn't prepared so she was just whipping one out. She was talking and looking for a specific scripture but couldn't find it. It got more and more awkward as she looked, and finally she just started reading a verse. It was Alma 14:11....about women and children being burned to death....and I was sitting there like "what is she doing and how the heck is she going to tie this into missionary work".....somehow in someway she actually made it work, but I can't even remember what she said. When we got outside she was like, "That was NOT the scripture I was looking for, but after I started reading it and realized it was wrong, I was too embarrassed to stop." haha, I laughed so hard. The Spirit really does work when we need it to.

Thursday we had EIGHT lessons. Back to back. We picked up a new investigator and overall it was an awesome day. Keeping busy keeps missionaries happy.

Friday was a weird day for us. We had a great lesson in the morning and came home, had lunch, and then I called my mission president's wife. I have been having a really hard time with my knees - the doctors think I have torn cartilage in both knees - and lately it's been particularly bad. Sister Cook talked to me for an hour, and by the time we got off the phone we had no time to start weekly planning, so we just made a bunch of other phone calls. We had a lesson with a recent convert, and then a fabulous dinner with some members. During our spiritual thought, Brother Vonswad looked at his mother-in-law and pretended to shoot her. I looked over at her and she was playing dead. They had no idea I was watching and it was just so funny and endearing. It made me miss my momma! Later that night we had sister exchanges. I went into Oceanside with Sister Gittins while Sister Allred stayed in our area with Sister Hermanson.

Saturday was interesting. It was a non-stress day for me because I don't know the area at all, so I just have to follow directions from Sister Gittins. We went to this one lady who just poured out her soul to us. Some people are so interesting. Ha. We spent the greater part of the day getting rejected and having no success. We had In-n-Out for dinner and switched companions at 7 pm. When I got home, Sister Allred had found my lost CD case. I was beyond upset when I lost it a couple weeks ago, so when she had it, it was like someone had come back to life. I wish she would have recorded my reaction. Needless to say, I was stoked.

Sunday was great. We have two wards so the greater part of our day is spent in Church. As missionaries, you have to be prepared to share a testimony or thought at a moment's notice. During third hour, our whole ward was congregated and I was called to do a reading and bear my testimony. I am definitely kept on my toes. We picked up another investigator that night, which was fabulous.

Monday we finally did weekly planning. Then we visited less active members. We found one couple who owns a quail farm! How unique! When all the little quailies hatch, they are going to take us to the farm to see them! I am excited about that. We got another new investigator who is this little old lady who dresses like she is homeless, but she is really on top of things. It's pretty funny. That night we went to the young single adult family home evening, which was way fun. I love being over a YSA ward!

Despite my knees crapping out on me, we worked hard and had fun. We have another awesome week ahead of us with zone conference and a leadership meeting and tons of people to teach. The Church is true! Party hard!

Love, Sister Christensen