Sunday, May 27, 2012

May 22, 2012 w/ pictures

Did I mention in my last email that it's miracle transfer? And obedience transfer? Haha, my companion and I decided to make this transfer something special (all should be special, but this one in particular because it's probably my last one in Vista). We have quotes and our wall is covered in little markers to check off when we do awesome stuff and we record a miracle of the week....anyway, it seriously is miracle transfer and it was a fabulous week. Let me start from the beginning.

Wednesday we had district meeting. Our district leader had the idea for us to all take a field trip to the chapel and just sit in silence. I have never done this before and it was a really good experience. I never realized how strong the Spirit is in that room. Seriously, I felt so overwhelmed at what that room represents and how sacred it is. I don't think we give it enough respect and reverence. I have been going to the church my whole life and have been in the chapel thousands of time, but this time was different. It made me re-evaluate what I do and say within those walls. I loved the peace and comfort I felt sitting there in silence and reflecting on what life is all about. We walked back to our meeting room and there was a noticeable difference in the power of the Spirit. It was a great exercise.

Later that day, we had a chaotic lesson with two recent converts who were babysitting three children. We seriously were playing tug of war with the Spirit. It was like pulling teeth!! We wanted to bring the Spirit in and have a powerful lesson (which was much needed) but, in the end, we bore our testimonies and called it a day. Haha, can't win them alll right? We had some great lessons for the remainder of the day.

Thursday was the best day ever. Let me sum it up in a few words:
-Teaching an awesome recent convert? Check
-Setting a baptismal date with our awesome new investigator, Adan? Check
- Picking up two new investigators? Check
- Having a sweet, member-present lesson with the possibility of another new investigator? Check
- Seeing the fruits of our labor? Check.

Best. Day. Ever. My favorite part was Adan's baptismal date. We brought up baptism and he immediately said, "I don't think I will ever be baptized again." I felt very strongly that it was the day to invite him to be baptized and that he was ready for it. So we shared our lesson and bore our testimonies and then we asked him the big question, "Will you, Adan, follow the example of Jesus Christ by being baptized by someone holding the Priesthood authority of God?"....he paused and it was like the Spirit forced it out of him, he was like, "Yes. I will. I know I need to be baptized by proper authority." It was amazing. We set the date for June 23rd. We are praying hard core for him. You can pray for him too if you want...He needs the prayers. He has such an amazing spirit - he is like stake president status. It was bomb.

Friday was epic as well, haha, but for different reasons. We got up at 6:30 am, like normal, got ready and went out for a run. Some days I take a basketball with me and dribble and run, and today was one of those days. So I'm running, I'm dribbling, the ball hits a corner, I lunge for it, and smack. Face to concrete, full body sprawled out on the ground. Blood and ripped skin. And it was H.I.L.A.R.I.O.U.S. Probably deserves the fall of the year award and not a single person saw it. So. Sad. I laughed till I cried at least five times throughout the day. When someone's face hits the ground, you know it's a good fall. I wish I could reenact this for people, but instead I will just show you a picture of the damage. And for the last four days I have been asked who punched me in the face. Which has been super annoying but whatever. The remainder of the day was not nearly as exciting - we planned, we did service, and we taught lessons.

Saturday was also just another day in the neighborhood. We contacted (and got severely sunburned.....) We visited formers, we had a couple good lessons, and we just did missionary stuff.

Sunday was great because we had Elder Kearon of the Seventy come to our stake to reorganize the Stake Presidency. He is a fabulous speaker and has an English accent, which is to die for. My favorite take away message, "The race in this life is not against one another, it is a race against sin." (I love to pretend like I am a warrior, fighting the battle of good and evil and good is winning. I will expand on this at another time.)

Monday was wonderful as well. We had zone conference, which is so inspiring and makes me want to work harder and be better. During the conference I felt prompted that we needed to visit a specific referral that night. After a delicious dinner, I was tired and just wanted to go to YSA FHE [Young Single Adult Family Home Evening] and try the referral later, but God had other plans. We went to the house and knocked and the wife answered. We got to talking to her about dogs and one thing led to another and we were there for THREE hours. Her husband came home and joined our discussion. They had 101 questions about the Mormon faith. They are very open to what we have to say and we officially picked up a family of investigators. It was very cool and we were so stoked on life afterwards.

Funny story for the week: During contacting we play a game where we give each other a word and we have to use that word in a contact (when we randomly talk to people on the street). So a man is approaching and I am like, "Sister Workoff, what is my word?" and right as we are about at him, she says, "Fall" (as in the season). So I am talking to him and sweating bullets because I am competitive and really want to use this word in the contact, but have know idea how to do it so I say, "Yeah, just check out It's all about people who love Jesus Christ, no matter what season it is - winter, spring, summer, or fall!" The tone and way I said it made it way funnier. He was like, "Ehhh...yeah ok....." After that we decided to start using religious words to make it a bit more spiritual. Haha, it def. helped keep things interesting though.

My hands are tired of typing. I love missionary work.
The Church is true. Party hard.

Love, Sister Christensen

The wounds were way worse the next day. They were all red and scabs were forming.

Also at zone conference, my district leader had to do a special musical number and I had to play the piano! I was so nervous! But it went well and this is almost my whole district at zone conference.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

May 15, 2012 w/ pictures

I tried hard all week long, NOT to think about getting to call home for Mother's Day, and for the most part I did pretty well.

We had a fantastic day of shopping last Tuesday which always brightens my spirits - I found five items and every one of them was way marked down so I didn't even spend very much money. I believe I have said this before, but I'll say it again, I am addicted to shopping. Also on Tuesday we started teaching a 14 yr and 15 yr old. Teenagers are almost harder than kids because they have attitudes and get bored easily. We decided to come up with fun lessons to really keep their focus. We had the two girls dress up as Nephi and Lehi and we acted out the first 8 chapters of the Book of Mormon. It was pretty fun, and they enjoyed it, so it was a success. Next week we are building boats out of clay and talking about the iron rod. I am excited.

Wednesday we taught a lot of lessons throughout the day. We also went on splits at night which was fun. I love getting to do splits with my Relief Society President, Jennie, because she served a mission and knows exactly how I feel. She gives good advice and is also game to help in any way. I hope I am as awesome to missionaries as she is to us one day.

Thursday was another fun day of lessons. We continued to teach our new investigator, Adian - he is really cool and seems open and ready for a change in his life. We also did service and had dinner and a fun lesson with the Mieure's. Dani is pregnant and loves food so we brought brownies. We showed her the brownie and she was all excited until we sprinkled dirt on it. The point was that even the tiniest bit of dirt makes the brownie undesirable, just like standards. For instance, a movie can be awesome and wonderful, but one inappropriate scene can make it bad. It was about making our standards high and doing our best at all times. It was a fun lesson.

Friday was weekly planning! Gotta love sitting around the house all day, talking about what we are going to do for the next week. It can be overwhelming and exhausting, but once we finish we are happy. We had lessons and a lame night.

Saturday was great. We kept busy. We were disappointed in not finding new people to teach, but thankful to have the people we do have. Also we got transfer calls.....I'M STAYING!!!! I was 50/50 whether I would stay or go, but I wanted to stay and I am! We were very happy about that!

Sunday. Oh baby. Sunday was suchhh a roller coaster. So many things went south and so many things went north. I'll start with the bad....People are selfish. It's a fact. Everyone is the center of their own universe. People don't understand (especially young people) that as missionaries we are carrying the weight of the world on our shoulders. We are actually called by GOD. Not just any old guy....God. We are doing his work and are expected to bring salvation to everyone. We have the help of the Holy Ghost, but it's still my face people reject and are rude to and make angry. People are also naive. They don't understand that the decisions they are making right now have eternal consequences and significance. And in being a missionary, we get the privilege of seeing alll of it....the good, the bad, and the ugly. And it can be soooo hardddd. I just want to take people's agency away and force them to choose the right and be good and sometimes they don't want to. Even when they say they do.

Sorry this is so ambiguous, but I don't want to be specific. The basic message is that Sunday was full of disappointments and I have been waiting for Sunday since December 25th, so I was more upset than normal. Getting to talk to my family was fabulous. I love my family 1000 percent. They are awesome. We had so much fun and it just made me so happy!

Monday was thankfully really busy. We needed to be busy because otherwise we just would have been trunky for our families. We taught a lesson in the morning, and three in the afternoon. We also tracted for the first time in months. I hate tracting and it's not very effective. Out of 20 doors, maybe four opened. It's just not fun, but we are trying to expand our finding ideas. We had a fun FHE and played pig ball.

The Church is still true! Party hard
-Sister Christensen

On our appointment with Dani we all wrote down one of our weaknesses and burned them (like in the story of Ammon where the Anti-Nephi-Lehis buried their weapons of war and never turned back to wickedness....we were going to bury them, but we didn't want people to see them so we burned them instead).

Talking to my family!! So much fun! My family is pretty attractive!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

May 8, 2012 w/ pictures!

What a week. What a week. It was a long week. A bit exhausting. In fact, really exhausting that I would prefer not to revisit it, but for the sake of all my devoted and loyal readers I will try and give you a little idea of what the week was like.

Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday were good. We set a baptismal date with an eight-year-old we are teaching, Macey. She doesn't count as an investigator because she is that special age of eight, and it drives me nuts that it doesn't count, but whatever. She is a diva and says the best prayers and is working towards a baptism in June. We are stoked. Her mom was raised in the Church and left when she was 16. It's been rough goings for them, and to see and hear the change taking place in their lives only deepens my testimony that the gospel is so true and blesses everyone. We did some service and searched in vain for new investigators.

Friday was great too. A woman we are teaching, Schennelle, left the Church when she was 16 too. She married a non-member and has three kids. Back in January she was getting fed up with the Church trying to reactivate her and recently asked that she not be bothered anymore. Well, the Young Women President received revelation to extend her a calling in the Young Women's (which is unheard of if you are not even active in the Church...) So the bishopric prayed long and hard about it and just stopped at her house and asked her. She immediately broke down in tears and accepted and has been active for about two or three months now. We finally got to visit her and we asked why she said yes to the calling. She didn't really know why, but she felt overwhelmed and happy and just said it. As she shared her story the Spirit was undeniable. It was a really cool experience and we are soo happy to get to teach her (and later on, her whole familyyy!!)

We had a nice night, ate delicious carne asada, and did splits for the night.

Saturday was probably my hardest day. We have been dying for new investigators. We had a bunch of potential investigators set up and every one of them fell through. I hit rock bottom. I was so discouraged. Seriously, the Lord carried me throughout the day. On Sunday, to make matters worse, my mission president looks me straight in the eye and says, "Let's find a family to baptize into this ward"...I wanted to reply, "Let's kick Amy when she's down, huh?" I cried. Ha, lets acknowledge that i do not cry nearly as much as I used to - in fact Sunday was probably my first time since transfers happened. Anyway, President felt really bad. I pulled myself together and put on a happy face for Church. Ever heard the saying, "Fake it till you make it"? Yeh, it works. The rest of the Sabbath was good - I love my wards.

Monday Heavenly Father threw me a bone. First I got some sweet letters from loving friends and family, and then we picked up an investigator. I am not getting my hopes up about it, but it just helped remind me that at any point this area could turn around and become fruitful, I just need to have the faith. We taught a bunch of lessons and picked up some PI's [potential investigators] which furthered my hope. It's the sixth week of the transfer, aka transfer calls come on Saturday. I literally have no idea if I am staying or if I am's 50/50. My ideal would be to stay, but I know that I will get put where I need to be.

I still love my mission despite not being allowed to take away people's agency so we can teach them truth and allow them to partake of eternal life and exaltation.......if only......

Anyway, pce and blessings from cloudy, gloomy California (seriously, it's been cloudy and gloomy for days!! Where is my sun?!)

Sister Christensen

P.S. Shout out to my Mama, Happy Birthday -- I love you bunches ---- t-minus 5 days until I get to talk with you!!

District activity light saber fights

My district (minus the AP's cause they never show up)

Friday, May 11, 2012

May 1, 2012 w/ pictures

It was a great week! Oh man, so many adventures:

Tuesday was a fabulous P-day. My companion and I went on a fun little hike and got to see the beach! It's funny because we totally forget that there is even a beach here - it's literally 10 minutes away but we never see it. It was so fun and I cannot wait to come back and actually go to the beach. On our hike, I ran into a cactus. It didn't hurt very much at first and then throughout the day it got worse and worse. There were three raised bumps on my knee and the entire area was very sore and tender. I have no idea how a cactus caused that to happen, but oh my heck, it hurt! We also ate trout for the very first time. It wasn't bad--a bit like salmon.

Wednesday I got to go on exchanges with my trainer, Sister Madsen!!!! It was seriously the best ever! Oh man, I have missed that girl. We met up at Chili's for lunch and then I went into Sister Madsen's area. I loved it because I got to see how she has changed, and all the people she is working with, etc. It was a blast. Seriously. (My knee was even worse when I woke up and Madsen was making fun of me all day. I couldn't sit still because in every position it was throbbing.) We had a bunch of back-to-back appointments, and at one of them we set a baptismal date! The Spirit was seriously on fire and just directing us what to say and he said yes, after being taught for a long time. It. was. awesome. She has so many cool people in her area. I loved it.

Thursday was FULL of adventures. First we went to this crazy lady's house. She is so cute and little and seems so....cute and little and then BAM, she brings out all these nasty dead animals that she keeps in her freezer. We got to see them up close and too personal. She has a dead rat, crow, bats, bunny, possum, and a dead lizard. It stunk!!! It was hilarious. Madsen and I were throwing each other looks every time she looked away. She also feeds a coyote every morning and has bats living in her shutters. Gotta love crazy old ladies and their dead and alive animals. Later, Madsen took me to this insane house that was completely decked out with like a 20 ft Elvis statue and old phone booths and a ton of stuff. It has a huge "Heartbreak Hotel" sign in the front and Hollywood signs all over. We knocked on the door and asked for a tour and he gave us one! It was so crazy. He built the house from the ground up and it is probably worth millions of dollars. He has movie theater chairs and a ton of autographed photos and little sections dedicated to Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, and a ton of other dead famous people. It was fascinating! We took a couple pictures but it doesn't do it justice at all.

Later we had lunch at a gluten free little deli place that was super cute and family owned. My mom would love it. Then Madsen and I did service for a lady in a trailer park who literally hardly took a breath when talking to us...we maybe said 10 words each. Ha. We switched companions back at 4--it was sad but I am so happy it happened! Then Workoff and I had appointments all night with all our regulars.

Friday was weekly planning, and meetings, and then appointments. Our Relief Society President came out with us and we went into Fallbrook for a couple hours to see some less actives. At our 6pm appointment we had to kind of let go the investigator because she is a hard-core Catholic and her heart is not in it at all. It was sad because I would love to see her change for the better, but it became too much and we are done with her. It was a beautiful night though and we walked around and talked with people.

Saturday was Mormon Helping Hands, day of service. We left at seven a.m. and did service until 1 p.m. It was really fun! Our whole stake was involved with the project and all the missionaries got to go. We helped paint tables and then carried 5 gallon buckets of water all over to water the newly planted trees. My arms were hurtin by the end, and we got a little sun which I was fine with. Later we did a bunch of contacting, had dinner, and went to Peppertree for ice cream. According to everyone who lives in Vista, if you come to Vista you must go to Peppertree--it was good! And now I can say I have gone! Also the Spanish sisters and us had a dance party once we all got home! It was so fun! We danced for like 45 minutes! I missed dancing!

Sunday we were at the church from 8am to 5pm, like always. We had a great dinner appointment and then had FHE with a family who I really like.

Monday - I finally got mail from people which made me so happy - and then we went to lunch at this place called "The Yellow Deli." It's run by a religious group called the 12 Tribes of Israel and it's super cool. When my family comes to CA, I will most definitely take them there. The atmosphere is really nice and We had appointments all day and by 9pm I was exhausted!

Today we woke up and played basketball with our Relief Society which was so fun and a great workout. I love it! It should be another great week! The Church is true people! Pce and blessings from CA!

Love, Sister Christensen

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

April 24, 2012 w/ pictures!

It was such a missionary week. Like, literally, just missionary work work work alllll week long. Some of you may interpret this as being a bad thing, but it wasn't, it was great, but I just don't really feel like I have much to report on. I'll give you a brief overview.

Tuesday: We taught the Mieures - normally we stay a little over an hour, but last week we were there almost three hours talking about the Plan of Salvation. And Dani kept getting distracted and I am a talker, so we were there much longer than we needed to be, but I love the Mieures so whatever.

Wednesday we had appointments all day.

Thursday we had appointments all day.

Friday we had weekly planning and appointments all day.

Saturday we contacted for the greater part of the morning, and then we went on splits. I love my YSA Relief Society President, Jenny. She is my little therapist. I went out with her while my comp went out with another YSA girl. Jenny served a mission so she understands very well the emotional roller coaster of a mission. In one day I go from full out depression because people can be so disappointing, to the most joyful and excitement because we get a referral or a lesson goes really well. It. is. exhausting. Anyway, splits were great, and later that night we had Mormon movie night with the Mieures.

Sunday was wonderful. We had a lot of people to talk to and visit and set up a bunch of appointments and it was great. I love me my Sundays.

Monday we had appointments all day. And for FHE we played competitive musical chairs. It got down to me and this really competitive guy who loves to win. If you know me, you know that I love winning as well. I am almost positive it would have turned into a wrestling match for the chair, so I had an elder step in for me haha. He lost. Whatever.

I promise that every one of those days where we had appointments all day were fantastic. I love my area, I love serving two wards, I love keeping busy, and mostly I love seeing the changes come out in people as they embrace the gospel and let the light of Christ shine through their eyes. It's fabulous.

I finally remembered my camera cord, so here is an update of all the pictures I haven't sent. Love you all. Party hard.

The Church is still true.

-Sister Christensen

We went on a flashlight Easter egg hunt with the Mieure's.

My companion made us all Easter breakfast and we exchanged baskets!

We went to a conference and I got a picture with all my past and present companions!

Temple trip. It is beyond beautiful!