Monday, April 23, 2012

April 17, 2012

I feel so bad - I keep leaving my camera card at home and I have a bunch of pictures I wanted to send but can't. Lo siento.

This week was a quickie so this email is going to be a shorty haha (--is it lame that I laugh at my own jokes?)

Anyway, Wednesday and Thursday I was in a two-day leadership training conference from 8 am to 4 pm. My companion went on splits while I was in the meetings. Both days were great but also spiritually draining (that means, the Spirit was so strong and forceful, I got tired!) We taught some lessons but also got dropped by an investigator and had many canceled was a weird couple of days but very educational and uplifting. Friday was rainy and gloomy. I dressed like a gypsy and enjoyed being able to stay inside for weekly planning. We taught lessons all night.

Saturday we got the honor and privilege of hearing from Elder Haniey, Elder Hallstrom, and apostle/Elder Russell M. Nelson. When they walked into the room, it was like the Spirit just swooped in and covered us all. It was pretty cool. I took a bunch of notes but left those at home as well. Let's just say it was another spiritually draining day.

Sunday was great. I love Sundays. Monday was great too. And today we got to go to the San Diego temple and do an endowment session. The temple is gorgeous and I love that we have the opportunity to attend every 12 weeks. Currently we have no progressing investigators but we have a zillion potential investigators which is sick! I love having options :) The work continues to go forth, rain or shine, in sickness and in health. Amen.

Love ya all, Sister Christensen

Sunday, April 15, 2012

April 10, 2012

Have I ever mentioned that I love my mission? I don't know if I ever have on this blog, but just so you all know, I love my mission....a lot. Nothing spectacular happened this week, in fact, I was forced into a new companionship and had the weight of the world on my shoulders to train her in the area, but I still love my mission. We have terrible, hard, annoying, frustrating days or hours or minutes, but yet I adore my mission. Maybe things will change in the future and you might have to remind me of this down the road if times get really really tough, but for now I want you all to know I don't regret giving up my life for 18 months to come out here and do this work. It has definitely been the biggest adventure of my life and I still have a long haul to go, but I love. The end.

Now on that note, Tuesday was probably one of the hardest days of my mission thus far. I lost my rock star companion and my absolute favorite elder, all in one painful swoop. I was crying so hard in that transfer meeting I had to leave because I was about to sob. I am telling you people, the unknown (especially on a mission) is a very scary thing. I knew who my possibilities were for companions and it wasn't looking too hot. But then I got called to be with the one girl who I had no preconceived notions about and could actually start from square one. She is only four months out so I am def. senior comp. and leading the area, but she is mellow and open to whatever her mission holds for her. Saying bye to Elder Free was terrible (I hate goodbyes), but once we got into the car to drive home, it was all business...back to missionary work as usual. We grabbed dinner at the one and only restaurant in our area (El Ranchero) and went to appointments. Getting used to a new teaching style can be interesting and sometimes downright awkward, but we made it work.

Wednesday: was a good and busy day. Heavenly Father totally blessed us with lots to do. As a matter of fact, I probably seemed like a chicken running around with my head cut's hard being the only one who knows the area and what's going on, etc. We picked up a former investigator, which was a miracle and awesome, and later we had a fun Relief Society dinner. And we had appointments.

Thursday: We did service in the morning. I learned how to lay contact paper! And then we had a day of cancellations. I am telling you, when it rains, it pours. We had five cancellations. Yep. Gotta love unreliable people. In our fruitless driving around to find people, we found some huge boulders with a pretty view. If you know me, you know that being in a dress does not stop me from climbing them and getting a picture. On my way down, I fell and cut my foot open and got a gnarly black and purple bruise. My comp. was a super hero and got stuff to clean it and put Bandaids on it. It freakin' hurt! And the cut is on a place on my foot where it just keeps opening up and getting gross.....Anywho, despite cancellations, we kept up the work, had a nice dinner, etc.

Friday was weekly planning day. Boring. We really didn't have much to do until dinner and then we had appointments till nine.

Saturday was legit. We weeded in the morning, and then got permission to go on our Facebook and post our testimony of Jesus Christ for an Easter thing with the Church. Did you see mine? I was a little rushed so don't judge me. We had lessons from 3-5, dinner with Dani and Mike, and then we went to a missionary's homecoming party. It was weird!!! It made me think of Elder Free and how he is doing that same thing back in Utah. And it was weird to think that one day I'll go home....just....weird....At 8, we had an Easter egg hunt with Dani and Mike and their kids (Shad, Kaden and Kami). It was a flashlight hunt--I loved it!

Sunday was Easter!!! The Spanish sisters and us made a nice big breakfast and traded Easter baskets. We got so much junk food it was insane. My companion's parents also sent us both a box full of candy and my mama sent candy.....last week I thought I lost a pound or two, this week I gained 10 annoying. But such is life. At Church we had our four baptism confirmations and we had some really nice lessons. We had a nice Mexican Easter dinner and then visited some families in our family ward. It was a successful Easter.

Monday: We did more service....some weeks we get no service opportunities and others we get a ton! My favorite part of the day was at 6. We read the Book of Mormon with an inactive lady who has warmed up soooo much in the last 12 weeks. She asks hard questions sometimes and I get nervous that I won't be able to answer. So she asks a hard question and my mind is literally blank...I got nothing. And I was sitting there, and the Spirit literally speaks to me and tells me where to look and what to share with her. And then I had a thought and the Spirit directed me so clearly and powerfully. i. love. it.  It is seriously one of the coolest feelings ever. I have had a bunch of other times like that and I don't think I have shared them with you all, so sorry--I'll try and do that more! Later that night we attended YSA FHE. There was a LA kid who tricked out his car and reminded me a TON of a kid I dated in high school. Obviously I asked for a ride in his car (with three other girls so it was missionary appropriate) and it went from 0-50 in like 10 seconds. ha. It was fun. I love serving with the YSA.

Today we got permission to play basketball with the Relief Society in the morning. It was the best workout I have gotten in a long time. Love it! Hope all is going well wherever you all are!

Love you lots
-Sister Christensen

Friday, April 6, 2012

April 3, 2012 w/ SIX pictures!

Tuesday: At district activity I found out one of the other elders used to be a cheerleader. While the elders were playing basketball, I proceeded to do about 20-30 cheer jumps with him without stretching or warming was a bad idea. I could hardly walk for the next two days. I got some sweet pictures and was able to relive my glory days, but it was for a price ha. I love my district and we hung out for too long, which consequently made us late for evening appointments, but all's well.

Wednesday was a party. Haha, there is no way that any of you will be able to understand the hilariousness of this situation, but I will try and explain. Sister Allred and I got invited to lunch at a member's home with two other sets of elders. Elder Free (my absolute favorite elder) is going home tomorrow. This member wanted to throw him a goodbye lunch and somehow Allred and I got wrapped into it. We got there and he asked all of us if we would pray for the meal....yeah....we each prayed over lunch....Elder Free just gave us a look like "just wait..." I was holding back laughter. We continued on to eat a very interesting, Thanksgiving-esque type meal but some of it, I was unsure what it was. I was nervous but I was sitting right next to them so I was forced to eat it all. At the end, the member burst into a totally fake cry while saying "bye" to Elder Free and then he broke into spontaneous prayer. I looked around the room and all the elders faces were to die for. We quickly bowed our heads and prayed with him. It was interesting to say the least. The rest of the day was so busy. We went to a million appointments and got it done.

Thursday we went to the Family History Center again to help a new convert learn about it. She loved it and got me inspired to do it more when I get home. Later that night we had dinner with a family that has 27 wild, exotic, rescue birds in their garage. It was freakin' awesome. The birds talk and sing and were so pretty! See photos.

Friday a visa waiter followed Allred and I around for the day. It was annoying. We did weekly planning and picked up an investigator which we were super stoked about. We taught some legit lessons and went to bed happy for Conference.

Saturday was General Conference. We spent from 9-5 and 7-9 at the church. Jeremy had his baptism interview and passed. Conference was legit as always....and then at 9:45 my world came crashing down. Allred is getting transfered. It was a total blindside. I bawled for a solid hour. And then throughout the rest of the weekend. I have been the happiest I have ever been while on my mission. I love Sister Allred. We work together flawlessly. We have had sooo many people tell us how smoothly we teach and we compliment each other so well. It seriously sucks so badly. And we hit our PRs this week. We got 23 lessons, 105 contacts, baptisms, new investigators---it was the best week of my mission.....If I had known the transfer was coming I would have been ok with it, but I had no idea.

Sunday was a blur. It's bad enough that I am losing Elder Free, but taking away Sister Allred was a total kick when I was already done. Seriously, I could hardly pay attention in conference. We went and said goodbyes to people for the remainder of the evening. It sucked.

Monday was awesome ONLY because of the baptism. The baptism was a total disaster, but so awesome. Four people got baptized, but one of the girls got held up at work, so Jeremy and Mateo got baptized at 8ish and then the entire group waited TWO hours for Alma and Fabi to get baptized around 1030.....we got permission from our mission president to stay out late to be there for them. Me and my new companion will be teaching Alma and Fabi, so we are stoked about that. It was a lesson about is never a bad thing to stay up late and wait around for two hours to let someone enter the waters of baptism. I was exhausted by the end, and then remembered I am losing Allred so I got depressed again. Went to bed at 11.

I love my mission. I love this work. I have never had so much fun and worked so hard at the same time. I know that whoever I get will teach me what I need to learn. It's going to be an interesting change, but I know I can do it. I hope all is well.

-Sister Christensen
Doing cheer jumps

The Spanish sisters and I decided to feel normal and instead of putting on PJs we put on jeans!

The crazy cool birds.

My favorite, Elder Free.

We took a super cheesy family photo.

The baptism!

Monday, April 2, 2012

March 27, 2012 w/ pictures

I think this is going to be short...I don't feel like I have much to say.

Tuesday was Dani's baptism. It was awesome. I felt the Spirit so strongly and I know she is going to be a rockstar Mormon. I loved it. I was just so happy and it was such a success, I loved it!

Wednesday we had these amazing brownies called "skanky brownies" - it was chocolate chip cookie dough, oreos, brownies, and ice cream all together. They were delicious and probably added two more pounds (but who's counting anymore, ya know). As for missionary work, I was most def. feeling trunky, so even though it was still a good day, I don't have much to report. Try the brownies, you won't regret it.

Thursday was fun. We did service in the morning and picked up a possible investigator. We also had a meeting with the elders. We have come to realize that the sister missionaries are at a bit of a disadvantage because we never get one-on-one training from leadership. You can practice teach all day long but until you actually put that into real life it's not super applicable. We miss out on so much great training and it makes us feel like we are stuck in this plane of mediocrity because we have no one to pull us out. Allred and I had a mini-panic attack because we realized that we are almost the oldest sisters, and we do NOT feel qualified to train other girls. Anyway, the meeting brought some good points to light and we hope that we can find a way to get all the training and application we need so we can continue to be sick missionaries. (Speaking of sick, I was congested alll week! There is a bug going around our ward and I caught it. Sucks to be me!)

Friday was weekly planning. We started off our day getting fed by this lady who loves to chat. We were there for three, yes, three hours and barely said a word. We didn't want to be rude, but we didn't know how to stop her. It was not a good start to our long day of sitting and talking. We had some legit lessons at the end of the night so that was nice.

Saturday we kept busy, which I loved. Saturdays are usually our most open day so when it's not wide open we are stoked. We had a handful of appointments and then a Young Single Adult activity. Our investigator, Jeremy, came, and oh yeah, we set a baptismal date with him........April 2nd......yep, next Monday! What the crazy haha! We weren't expecting it to be that fast at all but we are happy, and he is super happy so we are happy.

Sunday: Sister Allred and I taught Young Men's and kept busy. It was crazy raining outside, but it was Sunday and we love Sundays because we visit with active families and enjoy our Sabbath, so success.

Monday went quick. We had district meeting (which was my favorite elder's last district meeting and I was sad because he is a stellar missionary) and then we had appointments all day. Because our investigator pool is low, we teach a lot of less actives. As much as I would love to teach investigators, we feel the same level of success when we see our less actives growing testimonies and coming to Church. It's not a baptism, but we still can see the fruit of our labor and we love it.

We are soooo excited for General Conference this weekend! I have been counting down since like February! It's like the Super Bowl for missionaries. I would invite all of you to write down any questions you have this week in preparation for Conference so that God can give you answers through our prophets and apostles. It's gonna be legitttt!! And next week I'll have another baptism to report on. Party hard people! Love ya lots!

-Sister Christensen

Dani's baptism

My district