Monday, March 26, 2012

March 20, 2012 w/ pictures

Tuesday: We lived it up at Target and treated ourselves to new outfits for Dani's baptism (which is tonight - holla!). We had a nice dinner and a lesson with Dani, which is always great.

Wednesday was such a slug day - oh my heck. We both woke up and just knew it was going to be a long and slow day. We dropped two investigators, which totally bummed us out, but we knew it needed to happen. We picked up one investigator, but that didn't even pull us out of our funk. We just wanted to be normal for the day and curl up and read a book, etc. But we survived and all is well!

Thursday I forced myself to study the topic of gratitude because Wednesday was such a bust, but still full of blessings and miracles from the Lord. I loved reading conference talks about it and have a greater desire to say thank you's and express my love for people because you never know how much it could help them. So be grateful people, you will be blessed and happier! Later in the morning we had district meeting and worked in the family history center. I like learning about my family history, but as for actually doing it, not so much. Plus on both sides of my family a ton of work has been done, so I mostly messed around with the Elders (Sister Allred was really into it haha). We had a nice visit with an old Catholic lady who chatted with us for two hours...although really she just talked and we listened so I don't know what you would call that....? I am going to come up with a word for those type of situations. Stay tuned.

We had a fun dinner and appointments all night. We dropped two more investigators officially and that was a bit of a blow, but we are turning these people over into the Lord's hands. We know if they are meant to be taught and baptized, they will come back to us! Later that night, while teaching, I felt "off". It totally freaked me out because I felt like I wasn't teaching with the Spirit. I think God was testing me. Teaching without the Spirit sucks hardcore and is so evident. I said a good long prayer that night to do better and be more grateful for the blessing I have been given.

Friday was bomb. I got to see one of my best friends from high school, Laura Duggan. We taught her the first lesson and it was so fun! I felt the Spirit and a total conviction that the gospel is true as we taught her. It was sad to say goodbye, but I'll be home in nine months - no time at all! People were worried that I would get trunky or sad, but we are far too busy with missionary work to dwell on things. Once she left we got right to work with weekly planning and appointments. We had an amazinggg lesson that night and I was so on my game and the Spirit was like whispering in my ear what I needed to say. We got to the root of issues that a less active family has who we have been teaching since I got here. Seriously, it was amazing. I was so stoked. I LOVE teaching with the Spirit. It was a lesson well learned by me because I don't think I acknowledge enough what a vital part the Spirit plays in teaching people. I went to bed very happy. 

Saturday was rainy rainy. The rain was so bad that at some points we couldn't even see as we drove. The miracle of the day was that, despite the rain and lack of appointments, we were both in great moods all day! We wore green for St. Patrick's Day, taught 3 lessons, and managed to stay relatively dry. We went out for sushi that night with a YSA girl, and overall it was a great day!

Sunday was great. We taught Gospel Principles in the family ward, which is always intimidating but went well. I love being with Sister Allred because we are so different that we make up for what we each lack. I really do love her. She is a great companion. We had an investigator at Church, taught some lessons, and ended the night visiting an inactive girl who was literally made for me. We are so similar it's crazy. She had some bad experiences with the Church and rebelled in pretty much every way that I rebelled back in the good old days. Ha. My mom is rolling her eyes. But seriously, I know I can reach her and I am stoked. I really liked her! 

The biggest miracle of the week was that despite dropping FOUR investigators (basically our entire teaching pool), we had 21 lessons. It was amazing. The Lord really does bless us and love us. We seriously don't even know how it happened, but we know that because we are obedient and doing what we should, we are seeing His hand everywhere!!!

Monday we had district meeting. My favorite elder goes home in two weeks and I am super bummed about it. He reminds me of my cousin Blaine and just makes me laugh. I will most def. miss him. But other than being depressed about that, Monday was great! We had appointments all day, the rain cleared up, and we partied hard. I went to bed last night so happy. Missions are roller coasters and currently I am having a blast. Dani's baptism is tonight. It will be awesome. I told her I might cry. Haha she will be mad if I cry because she gets emotional when other people cry! It will be legit. 

Thanks for all your love, support, and prayers!
Pce out.
-Sister Christensen


St. Patrick's Day with Dani and Baby Cami!

Monday, March 19, 2012

March 13, 2012 w/ pictures

What a week. I feel like I write that every week, but every time it comes with a different connotation.

Tuesday: We had a sick district activity and it was really fun. I also had homemade fried chicken for the first time...don't tell them but it wasn't as good as KFC. Ha.

Wednesday: We kick started the day with breakfast with Breanna. She is a recent convert and it was her last new member lesson, so we had a little party. We made waffles and it reminded me of how much I love waffles. And then later a girl made us a vegetarian was interesting, to say the least. At three, we had sister exchanges. I went into Temecula and Sister Allred stayed in our area. I am going to try and be nice when I say this....but I hated it. The sister I worked with was a.) new to the area b.) almost  done with her mission so she was trunky and c.) she was disobedient. I hated it. I seriously worried that I am disobedient because sometimes I am not exactly obedient and on and on...but this girl.....nah dude. It bugged me hardcore. It bugs me even more when sisters are disobedient because we chose this. No one made us come out here and do this. I seriously just wanted to be like, "Go home dude. Your mission is over"...and this was the nice version. Needless to say, I was thrilled to go home the next day and get back into my area. The only saving grace of the exchange was that we had a fabulous dinner with some members. They were so loving and kind and I really enjoyed being in their home.

Thursday: We exchanged back and when we got home I realized I had packed the sisters keys into my duffel. And I had left my precious journal at their house. It took almost an hour of phone calls to get it taken care of. But we got back to work by four and it was all good.

Friday: We had weekly planning and had a delicious dinner that reminded me of home (and yes, I realize this post has a lot about food in it, but I love food and I ate a lot of good food so don't judge me, k?).  We ended the night watching a video about the Atonement of Jesus Christ with some YSA LAs  (Young Single Adult less actives). I was totally feeling the spirit and feeling emotional and loving it, and then we discussed it with our less actives and it was nada for them. I was shocked! I was like, "How can you NOT feel that?!?!" Oh man...whatever.

Saturday was a crazy day. I was dreading Saturday. Last week we picked up four investigators whose brother/son died a month ago. They started to cry in the lesson, and showed us pictures and everything, and I got super depressed. I almost said nothing in the lesson because I was just too sad. So we had another lesson for this Saturday and I didn't want to do it. I didn't realize how much it affected me because when we started planning their lesson I began crying and couldn't stop. I just kept thinking of the pain they must be experiencing and then thinking about my own family and how much I love them and wouldn't know what to do if anything happened to them. The Saythong's pain literally became my pain. I know that sounds crazy, but premature death kills me no matter who it is. I knew if I went into their home again I would just start crying, so we set up exchanges with the Spanish sisters that we live with. I know, cop out, but I couldn't handle it! On a happier note, we attended two baptisms and had appointments for the greater part of the day, which is unusual for Saturdays so it was really nice.

Sunday was our ward conference. As a missionary you pretty much have to be ready for anything. We got called out by the stake president to come up to the stage and share an experience. And despite what you may think, even missionaries feel nervous and anxious when we talk in front of the entire ward, but whatevs. Dani, our investigator, had her baptismal interview and it's a go! Next week, she's getting dunked! Holla! We are stoked. The rest of Sunday was bomb. We visited active families and continued to get to know our ward. Love it.

Monday was legit too. We did service for a lady. She made us lunch and got emotional as she explained to us that we were an answer to her prayers because she was having a hard weekend and really needed the help. On Friday, we had thought to approach her and seriously felt so blessed to be led to her to help her in her time of need. We dedicated some time to contacting and then had a couple appointments throughout the day. At 7, we had YSA family home evening and it was a blast. I was one of two girls who played soccer and we rocked it. I am not usually one who liked to play sports, especially with guys who are super competitive, but it was so fun! I love serving in the YSA ward!

This week we are hoping to find four new investigators. We need a turn over and really feel like we can find new people who are ready for the gospel in their lives. We have some sweet plans for the week. It's going to be awesome. Thanks for all your support and prayers -- I know we could not accomplish this work without all of the positive thoughts and energy and prayers sent our way!!

Pce and blessing
Pce and blessing

Sister Christensen

Little chickies and my sweet new nail polish color

And a kid wrote me (a nephew of a family who loved me) who served his mission in Brazil and sent a picture, so the Spanish sisters thought it would be funny to post him on our door and call him my boyfriend. I hope President sees so I can tell him it was them! haha jk.

Monday, March 12, 2012

March 6, 2012

Tuesday: I got BORED on Pday. It was the first time I have gotten legit bored since I started my mission. I wrote letters to everyone I needed to, I took a nap, and I had FREE TIME. That doesn't happen on missions. When I told the Spanish sisters, they gasped haha. I turned to my last resort, which was organizing and cleaning the apartment. Later that night we had a great lesson with the Mieures. Dani is pretty set for the baptismal date of March 20th. My companion and I are super stoked. We are always nervous to get too excited, but we really think Dani is ready to make the commitment and she will be an awesome member of the Church. I love love love them and teaching them and hanging out with them. They are probably one of my favorite families in this area.

We also had correlation with our ward mission leader and he read us the email of another missionary. It was all about how baptisms will not happen if a ward is not ready to receive them. A missionary can work their butt off, but if a ward is slacking and is not missionary minded, nothing will happen. I love this ward down here because they really are missionary minded. They are always looking for opportunities to spread the gospel and invite nonmembers. We constantly get excited members telling us how they shared the gospel with others and I can totally see the difference. Note to my family: You better be helping the missionaries and looking for opportunities to share the gospel! It is a commandment. We are a missionary church and we need to be missionary minded. It can be so easy it's ridiculous that people have a hard time with it.

Wednesday: We had seven lessons. We should have had nine but two people canceled. It was super legit. And we also did service for a lady in our ward for a couple hours. I am getting really good at painting and laying mulch, just so you all know. I realized that the further I get into my mission, the more I feel the necessity to be bold and say it like it is. We don't want to waste our time with people who aren't ready to change. Two of our lessons on Wednesday were with people who do not keep their commitments. Normally I would hold on to them, but in these lessons we laid out our expectations, and if they haven't followed through, we will be dropping them tomorrow. My time here is too short and too valuable to waste on people who are so casual about salvation. Lo siento pero ne necesito :)

Thursday: I had a fabulous personal study. I read a talk by Elder Holland, "I Stand All Amazed", and basically he slapped me in the face. Let me explain: The talk was all about the atonement and its role in each of our lives. It intertwined forgiveness and repentance into one. Elder Holland posed the question, "Who in your life stands in need of your forgiveness?" and I immediately thought of a couple of names, but in my mind I was like, "ummm, they sooo do not deserve my forgiveness, they wronged me!!" and the next line of the talk said, "Don't you dare ask for justice and justify why you cannot forgive".....He continued on and got me really thinking about my life. For those of you who know me well, you probably know I have a problem with letting things go. I am most definitely a grudge holder. But Heavenly Father has forgiven me for SOOO much. I sometimes question his judgment for forgiving me (joke). But for real, it is because of Jesus Christ and the atonement that I don't carry that weight around with me, and yet here I stand, wanting to keep the chip on my shoulder for things I may not fully understand myself. So in humility, I know I need to forgive. I am not perfect, and I know it will not be easy, but I am really working on it. I don't want to hate people or wish bad things on them. I am a disciple of Christ and I know this is a big step towards change. I am sure I will reread this talk a million times to help me through it all, but it is possible. Amen.

During the day we had five lessons and we have another investigator who is praying about baptism. She is a young single adult and I really respect and admire her. I cannot wait for her to get baptized!

Friday: We had a ward party! The theme was Chinese New Year. It was really fun. We had at least 8 nonmembers there and we socialized with almost all of them. I love my ward!

Saturday: We picked up a family of four as investigators, but their story is really sad. Last month they lost their son to a car accident. They were crying and telling us about it, and it seriously made me depressed. I just wanted to cry with them and hug them. They have a Buddhist background, so we are literally starting from "a great spirit" because they don't know who God or Jesus Christ are. Also they are Laoation (sp?) so we have to have a translator there with us to communicate with the mom and dad. I love my family so much, my heart hurt for them! It was a harsh start to our day. But we had a great day in teaching and getting the work done.

Sunday: We taught some lessons and we were taught some lessons. We learned about coming unto Christ and being perfected in Him. Also our Relief Society President's husband told us about the new show "Walking Dead" and gave us a 20-minute synopsis about the show. It felt like we were watching t.v. haha. We were both like, "What happened next?!?!" Apparently this is a big show on television in the world?

Monday we had president interviews and district meeting. And we did service and taught some less active people and played dodge ball. Which I am terrible at. And wa-la, that was my week.

Hope all is well, cause life rocks here in sunny California.

Pce out and party hard,
Sister Christensen

Sunday, March 4, 2012

February 28, 2012 w/ a pic!

Hmm...this week....was......just...another week in the missionary field.

On Wednesday we had district meeting with our newly organized district. It's always fun getting things switched up, but then you have to get used to new leadership and personalities. It keeps things interesting. Wednesday also marks the day of my companion and I's first fight. It was a big one. We had gone a full six weeks without even arguing, but the shoe is bound to drop at some point. Anyway, it was about a bunch of small issues we have with each other that turned into one huge issue. Being a missionary is definitely teaching me how to deal with things a lot quicker even when I don't want to. So eventually we talked it out and let it go. We had a good lesson with some eternatigators (people who are investigators for years). We basically laid down our expectations, and if they don't follow through with commitments we are done with them. I am learning that there are people out there that need the gospel and I will not waste my or the Lord's time on people who aren't ready to change their life.  Done and Done. That night we went on splits and had some legit lessons. I challenged our investigator, Anai, to pray about the baptismal date of April 7th. She is awesome and is progressing so well. I love it!

Thursday we rocked out to Disney music while we did service for a ward member. We laid mulch and painted fences. It was so beautiful outside. I say that a lot, but the weather just makes me so happy! We had some awesome contacts and people kept saying "yes" and giving us their information. We were like, "what the heck...why do people keep saying yes..." haha it freaked us out. We also talked to some guy with half an eye who thinks we are controlled by aliens. Super weird.

Friday we did weekly planning all day long. We did splits again (which is when we both go with different girls so we can teach two lessons at once). We had some good lessons but nothing spectacular.

Saturday the assistants had a baptism which our investigator, Dani, came to...but she was late and missed the actual baptism. I was bummed, but at the end people bore some really powerful testimonies and it was so good. I was really glad she was there to hear it. We did some service, helping a YSA and her mom move. We had a nice dinner and taught one of my favorite returning less actives that night. That night was hump day for the Spanish sisters and almost my hump day so we had a little party. Because we love to party. We got some Ben and Jerry's and talked all night...aka till 1030 haha.

Sunday was Sunday, which means a lot of Church and meetings. We set a goal to teach 21 lessons for the week and we accomplished it! Holla! People kept canceling and changing our plans throughout the week, but we made it work. Darn straight. Also that night I got to talk to a family from my old area (long story), but they answered the phone and were like, "Who's this?" and I was like, "Only your favorite sister missionary in the entire world" and they were like, "Sister Christensen!!!!" haha It made me so happy. And made me miss my old area, but it's all good!

Monday was blah. We had district meeting in which Sister Allred and I gave a super legit training on contacting, but then the rest of the day we basically did service. I love doing service, but at the same time I like to teach and find, and I felt like we didn't accomplish much in terms of saving souls - ya know? The people we helped really needed the help, so it wasn't like we were wasting our time, but still. It felt unproductive.

Anyway, the Church is still true. Party hard.

Love, Sister Christensen

We took nine month pregnancy photos.....the other sisters needed to stuff their's to look preggo....I did not. Diet starts tomorrow haha.