Saturday, July 28, 2012

July 24, 2012

Oh baby. It was a rough and wonderful week. That seems to be a pattern for missionary work---the highs are the highest and the lows are the lowest. It's....manageable?

Tuesday: We went shopping...there is too much shopping here. It's ridiculous. We decided we need to go on a shopping fast, but then we had a hard we are going shopping today. Don't judge us.

Wednesday: It was a day of a lot of walking and biking. We spent the morning bike contacting and then the afternoon walking the neighborhoods talking to people. We almost lost our lives when an 88 yr old man with Alzheimer's drove us to dinner. We said a little prayer and wa-la, we survived. We had a couple lessons, but for the most part Andrus and I spent the day keeping each other entertained and trying to stay sane.

Thursday: We had district meeting. We taught some lessons and ate dinner in a 5 million dolla home. People are really rich here. It's weird.

Friday was Sister's Conference. Sometimes I love these kind of meetings and sometimes I hate them. I hate them because I feel like I am working my butt off and doing all that I can and then at the meeting I feel like I am being told I am dirt and that I am not doing enough. It takes a toll on your emotional/mental status. I may or may not have had a stressful-emotional breakdown once it was over. Missionary work is really hard dude.

And then alll day Saturday we spent doing nothing. We knocked and talked and tried so hard to find people to teach and we got nowhere. It was beyond frustrating. Andrus and I had to have pep talks like every five minutes just to survive the day.

Sunday was a breath of fresh air. We woke up, looked at our newly made vision boards (a "craft" we did in order to visualize what we want to accomplish on our missions), and went to Church. It was a great day at Church. We were fasting for investigators, taking notes in the lessons, and really trying to fellowship the ward. We met new people and got a new ward mission leader who is super stoked on the work. He helped pump us up a bunch. Then we had dinner with a less active girl (who is obsessed with Harry Potter and I love her). She had invited her non-member friend over and they both agreed to take the lessons. We. Were. Thrilled. A new investigator and part-member less active family all in one?! Yes please.

Monday was spent back in the grind but it went well. We ate far too much Mexican food and had a lesson with Cheyanne and with a recent convert, Kyle. Both lessons were great. We still haven't made contact with Carmen, but we are keeping the faith and praying hard. We have a busy week ahead, which makes us both really happy.

Our spiritual thought for the week is found somewhere in the Old Testament. It's the story of the people of Israel traveling through the wilderness with Moses. They had no way to eat, so they had to rely on the Lord for food - manna. The Lord made it so that they couldn't collect any extra manna, except on Saturday so they could keep the Sabbath day holy on Sunday. Sometimes people would break the rules and try to get a storage of manna - or they would go out on Sunday to get some, but it never worked. The Lord was teaching them to constantly and consistently rely on Him.

Andrus and I are in that same boat. Nothing, NOTHING, is going to happen in this area if we are not diligent every single day in relying on Heavenly Father. It's crazy how hard it is to keep that in perspective and remember it all the time. But we are sure trying and plan to see miracles. Your prayers are felt. Thanks for all the support and love.

Pce and blessings.
Pce and blessings.

-Sister Christensen
At the sister's conference.

Our ex-ward mission leader and his wife. They are so fabulous to us. They are moving and we will miss them a lot a lot!

Monday, July 23, 2012

July 17, 2012

Oh baby. What a week.

Tuesday we had a great district activity and a wonderful lesson with Carmen. She said, "Girls, you might be changing my heart" and "Oh my, what if I became a Mormon?!" It was so cute. She is wonderful. Unfortunately she is a busy lady with lots going on in her life, so meeting with her is a hard deal. We continue to pray for her and hope to meet again before next week.

Wednesday was district meeting, studies, and random appointments all day. That's always nice. We had a fun FHE [Family Home Evening] with a military family and then finished the evening with a young married pregnant girl whose husband is deployed. These military wives are seriously rock stars. So many of them haven't been with their husbands more than they have since they were married. It's amazing and a little sad! It's allowing me to have a greater appreciation for the sacrifice the military makes for us to defend our freedom.

Thursday I was in a leadership training meeting alll day. I usually enjoy those a lot, but this one was painful! First, it was more directed toward district leaders and zone leaders and second, I missed my companion. We laughed about it when we got back together, but this is the first time in a companionship where I never really need space. We seriously miss each other when we aren't together. If I am brushing my teeth, she comes in - or if she is cleaning the kitchen, I am sitting at the table. We just have so much fun together! She hated the day too. Needless to say, we were happy to be back together and we enjoyed the remainder of the evening at an "around the world" potluck dinner for the Relief Society.

Friday was a greenie trainer meeting back in Vista. It hurt my heart a little, going back to my "home." I always mourn the loss of my old areas. The meeting was fine and when we got back we had dinner and did our weekly planning. Nothing exciting.

Saturday was wonderful. I got to go to Vista again, for my investigator, Emily's, baptism! It was bittersweet seeing all my old peeps. I miss them for sure! The service was wonderful and I was so happy for her. She is considering going on a mission, which is so sick. I love it! We got back from Vista for dinner and then went on base to the Barraks. My comp and I cannot get enough of the marines. They are so professional and military-esk. We enjoy our time on base haha.

Sunday was Sunday. We got to know our ward better and Cheyanne came - it was great! A family invited Cheyanne, her husband, and us over for dinner. It's so nice when members help with fellowshipping converts. It makes all the difference in the world! Be good member missionaries!!!!

Monday was wonderful. We fell in love with so many families in our ward. We basically had back-to-back appointments all day and we loved all of them. It gives us so much motivation for what we want for our futures.

We continue to love and enjoy San Clemente. We bike to the beach at least twice a week and see it every day. It's so alluring and beautiful! Even if it's just for month, one day I'll live here! The weather is the best and the people are great!

My spiritual thought for this week is this, "When Jesus Christ becomes a reality in your life, it isn't that He somehow makes you do things you wouldn't otherwise do. Rather you find yourself wanting to do what He would do and respond as He would respond in an effort to bring your life into harmony with His. If you really concentrate on trying to walk the way He walked - loving, serving, and obeying each step of the way - one day you will look up and discover His path has led you directly to the Throne of God."

Party hard, get crazy, and enjoy to the end!
-Sister Christensen

My district! So much smaller than Vista's, but we have fun!

The leadership conference. These are my old roomies!

Emily's baptism!

Monday, July 16, 2012

July 10, 2012 w/ pictures

What a week! It was long! I cannot even believe that it was the Fourth of July last week because that seems eons ago!

Tuesday - Our blessed ward mission leader's wife took us shopping. She is wonderful to us.

Wednesday was the Fourth of July. It was not the greatest day for missionary work but we did have a really great experience. We went to a BBQ at one of our member's home. It was a family BBQ so we felt kind of out of place. I wanted to leave within a half hour of arriving but my greenie companion kept putting it off. She was like, "Let me talk to the Lord about it" -- I laughed and waited until she felt ok about leaving. We had rode our bikes over, to avoid traffic, and on the way home I saw two people walking in the dark. I felt prompted to talk to them right as we were about to cross the street. I whispered to Andrus that we should contact them, so we did. It turns out that the guy, Miguel, is a less active member and his wife, Cheyanne, has been wanting to be baptized! What the?! This doesn't happen. We set up an appointment for Friday and on Friday we had a wonderful lesson with a baptismal invitation. We are shooting for the 4th of August! This ward hasn't seen a baptism in almost a year. This was such a blessing and was totally by the power of the Spirit. We are stoked. She came to Church on Sunday and we taught the restoration yesterday. She loved it all. I never hold my breath about baptisms because I know the adversary is strong, but we are really excited for her and anticipate seeing her baptized!

I skipped over Thursday on behalf of my story: Thursday we had district meeting. I did a training which went really well. We taught a handful of lessons and ate dinner at a house that sits on the beach. It was gorgeous. I can never get enough of the ocean. It provokes so much thought in me. I could stare at it for hours. I love San Clemente!

Friday was my one year and my greenie's one month. We partied. We treated ourselves to burgers and fro-yo and took some fun pictures!

Saturday was the longest day of my mission haha, that's an exaggeration, but really, it was a long, no-fun day. And Sunday was no bueno because I was really grumpy. I still have yet to master myself in controlling my emotions. Andrus handled it like a champ and by Monday we were all smiles and happy again. We rode our bikes to the ocean, did some service, and partied with old folks at their monthly empty nester party. Life is good - we are seeing miracles, big and small on a daily basis.

My little gem scripture of the week is 2 Nephi 33:6, "I glory in plainness, I glory in truth, I glory in Jesus...." Simple but true!

Love, Sister Christensen

P.S. Andrus and I are playing a joke on our district leader. Whenever they text us, their signature that appears on every text they send says, "Pray about it" so we decided to be funny, each time we text them, we put as our signature "get crazy".... so they think that when we text members and investigators, that it says that. It's hilarious because they are both soft spoken and would be horrified if we were actually writing that. They haven't confronted us yet but we are bidding our time. Haha.

Fourth of July! We got new festive dresses and I had red shoes and a red purse to get the full red, white, and blue!

One year, one month

Random picture with a monkey that we saw on top of a trash can and we knew we needed a pic!

Monday, July 9, 2012

July 3, 2012 w/ pictures

This email will be short and sweet: I am serving in San Clemente and I 100% love my greenie. She is fabulous and hilarious. Seriously, we have no investigators, no idea about our area, no solid focus 15, nada, and we have had a blast. Oh man, it's been fun. Tuesday I was shaking like a leaf waiting to find out what the deal was. When my greenie was called, Becky Andrus, she curtsied and I was thinking, "Oh heck, who is this chick?" I pretty much smiled and nodded all night. Transfers are exhausting.

Wednesday was the most stressful day of my life and on Thursday I made the conscious decision to chill out and have fun. From that point on it's been awesome. Sister Andrus' life motto is "get crazy"--do you remember mine, "party hard"?...yeah, we plan to have a lot of fun haha. We have tons of faith that we are going to blow this place out of the water. We already picked up an investigator on Sunday, Carmen (we call her Carmen San Diego from the computer game we played as children, "Where in the World is Carmen San Diego"). She has a son on a Mormon mission in Honduras, but she knows nothing about the Church. We are stoked, to say the least. We will see her later this week. Pray for her!

We did some service (I built a trellis) on Friday and Saturday. On Sunday we both bore our testimonies to the ward. We are getting them pumped on missionary work. Everyone keeps telling us how excited they are to have sister missionaries because they haven't had them in well over five years. On Monday we had back-to-back appointments with people in the ward to help us get more familiar with everyone and get involved.

Our ward mission leader is amazing. They bought us each a GPS to help us get around the area. They help us out in every way possible and it's been so helpful! We are right on the beach so in the morning we sometimes bike to an overlook and watch the waves roll in. Also we cover part of Camp Pendalton so we work a TON with military families and Marines. I am slowly learning the lingo. We mostly contact (talk to random people on the street) to shirtless surfer boys....a little awkward but we laugh so much that nothing phases us. I am stoked on life. Awesome companions make the hardest of situations seem fabulous.

Party hard and enjoy the 4th! I love America!! Holla!

Party hard,
Sister Christensen

P.S. Just so everyone who writes me is aware, now that I am not right next to the mission office, the mail system is even slower. Every letter I get is now about two weeks later than when it was written. It blows but whatev, I am in San Clemente! It's beautiful, I can't complain.

My trainer (going home!) and my greenie!

Cheesecake night!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

June 26, 2012 w/ pictures!!

Holy stressful week of my life.

I'll start at the beginning because the beginning wasn't stressful.

Tuesday we had a fabulous district activity. We played ultimate frisbee, sword fights, Knock Out, Never Have I Ever, and ate lots of treats. And took some fun photos. See below.

Wednesday we picked up a new investigator and set a new baptismal date - July 14th! We are so stoked for her. Her name is Emily and she is very much ready to be baptized! I already think she is wonderful. Later in the day we started the new member lessons with Hena - I love that girl a lot. She is so fun to chat with and teach. She loves every message we share with her, it's so sick. That night I received a phone call from President Cook. I was called to be a trainer and I will be white washing an area. For those that don't know the lingo, that means I will get a fresh missionary from the MTC [Missionary Training Center] and I will be going into an area with no former knowledge of the area---it's kind of cool because me and my greenie will be equally yoked, but also terrifying because I know nothing. Nothing. I will arrive in the area and start from square one. It will be an adventure to say the least. Stressful? Yes.

Thursday morning we get a phone call from cancel the baptism. He needed to leave for Mexico to sign a will because his grandma was about to pass away. My voice was probably similar to the description of "stone cold" when he told me the news. And then we had back-to-back appointments all day so it wasn't until we saw him at three that we could discuss our options. After much delay, we came to the conclusion that he needed to be baptized now and not wait, thus commencing planning a baptism in four hours. Stressful? Yes. Don't ever do it. It's not fun and your blood pressure will most definitely rise. We called one million people to figure everything out. We moved the baptism from Saturday at seven to Friday at six. Holy heck, I never want to do that again. We treated ourselves to Baskin Robbins at the end of the night because my brain was literally exhausted.

Friday I woke up and was again dreading all that needed to happen to get Adan into the font. We had a couple appointments and then from ten to two I was in a new trainer's meeting. Sister Allred and Sister Rokobuli- two of my former companions- will also be training! We had really yummy breakfast burritos for lunch and then Workoff and I had appointments. We finished getting ready for the baptism.... The baptism was amazing to say the least. We had such a fabulous turn-out and at least five non-members came to see it. The testimonies and talks and prayers were alll so great. There was no way in heck someone couldn't feel that spirit in that room. Adan cried. I was smiling so big, I am sure I looked dumb, but I can't help it! I was so happy to see him take such a huge leap in his life. We had a lesson with Emily afterward and she is even more stoked for her baptism. She asked Adan to speak at it :)

On my way home it finally dawned on me that I am leaving the area and I cried....or more so, bawled. My heart hurt so bad because of the love I feel for these people. I have absolutely, completely, 100% loved serving here in Vista. I took a hot bath to calm myself down and I was fine.

Saturday was fulll of goodbye lessons, and Sunday and Monday. My heart is in Vista. I love these people a lot. There were a lot of pictures taken and a lot of hugs and a couple of tears. I ended up talking to my YSA [Young Single Adult] Relief Society President/guru/therapist for two hours last night. Jenny Taylor. I will miss that girl and her advice and her outlook. She's been fabulous. And the Mieures. And Hena and Adan and Jeremy and Emily and everyone in the Vista 8th and 6th wards because I have been treated so well here.

Ok, the Church is true. Read 2 Nephi 10 - the last couple verses that say something like "cheer up your heart for you are free to choose eternal life"....People, I have chosen eternal life. Every day it's a decision I make that I want eternal life and true joy and happiness. I try and build my faith in every way that I can. And I am happy.

Pce and blessings from CA.
Wish me luck!
-Sister Christensen
District activity.

Adan doesn't like to smile.

Jenny Taylor.

My Kami.