Tuesday, December 11, 2012

December 11, 2012 - Last email from the mission

I feel a huge weight on my shoulders about what I should write about. I cannot believe I am at the end of my time here. It's such a bittersweet feeling. Sister Tua'one and I rocked our last week. We worked hard. We taught a bunch of non-members and contacted 101 people. I finished on such a high note, I am thrilled. We said many "goodbyes" throughout the week--this ward was so beyond good to us (we are both being transfered out--the ward was NOT happy)! Last night I taught my final lesson to an investigator, Nicole, and cried. I will miss this. I know as soon as I get home, my heart will ache for California and my people...I could not have had a better mission.

I love my mission....I want everyone to know that I am still very much me. I still have my character flaws and I am a little rough around the edges. I am still as impatient and demanding as I ever was. I still like to be the leader and have my opinion heard. And I still get very grumpy if I am not well fed and well slept :) .....but spiritually, I have grown immeasurably. My testimony of the gospel is 10x what is was pre-mission. I have had so many life experiences that will most definitely shape me into who I am. The Church is so true. I never want my life to be without this knowledge. And I never want to stop being a missionary. I cannot wait to take the skills I have learned and apply them into my normal life. I feel confident to answer any question that is thrown my way. This was the hardest, funnest, scariest, most happy, frustrating, building experience of my life and I wouldn't change it for the world!!!

The Church is true.
Party Hard, Get Crazy
Do (missionary) Work.
Love you all!
Sister Amy Lauren Christensen.

My last zone meeting

My final sister exchange (with Sister Barratarra from Kiribesh)

Christmas caroling with the elders

A live nativity with Nicole (our investigator)

Saying goodbye to Elder Daniel

Saying goodbye to my favorite puppy!

I'm Done!?

Sunday, December 9, 2012

December 4, 2012

Tuesday: We had zone activity. It was the most competitive zone activity I have ever had. We split into two teams, team red and team green (for the holiday season :)) and within the first 5 minutes we were all in it to win it. At one point the zone leader on my team goes, "They are being really competitive.....we need to step it up."  I laughed out loud. I thought he would say something like, "We need to relax" or "Bring it down a couple notches", but nope! And we proceeded to play hard. Right at the end, during a little two on two, my zone leader on the opposite team fully on body-slammed me in the air, as we were both jumping for the ball, and I came down sideways on my foot. Oh baby...it hurt so bad! There were many choice words that came out of my mouth. I swear it felt like it was broken. I had to be carried to the car. It was a terrible way to end zone activity, but at least it was at the end, right?

So I did the whole hurt foot routine, put some ice on it, took meds, and elevated it. I was out of commission from walking from Wednesday to Friday, which sucked hard core. There is a long dark bruise from my pinky toe to my ankle, and an EMT in my ward said she believes it's a sprained ligament based on the symptoms and her touching it. Now, a week later, I can limp around on it fine, but it definitely slowed us down all week. And it was rainy, so that made our week even less productive.

On Friday I wore a walking boot for a couple hours and got to see my favorites, Laurie and Dana Del Francia. My district leader served in San Clemente, and he worked with them as well, so all six of us went out to lunch. It was such a spirit booster. I love them.

On Saturday was our ward Christmas breakfast. We got to see Santa! I stood in one place all morning and scrambled about 100 eggs. Fun stuff. Saturday night we had dinner with the McNeil's, who are about the funniest people I have ever met. Sister Tua'one and I were laughing inappropriately long and loud. Haha. I can't help it if someone makes me laugh!

Sunday was wonderful. Vivian came to Church, which was awesome. I had forgotten how stressful it can be to have an investigator at Church (because you want them to meet people and have a nice time and learn, etc etc etc), but we were thrilled to have her attend.

And Monday was even more wonderful. Yesterday we worked really hard to talk to everyone on the streets. Then we had FHE [Family Home Evening] with a nonmember and then later we had a lesson with another nonmember we picked up as an investigator. Her name is Nicole and she is 23 and so stellar. Seriously. She is so going to be baptized. I love when young people investigate the church. It is so awesome to see them change their lives when the world is telling them not to! THEN, when we got home at 930, the Terry's and McNeil's were there to deliver a full-sized, live Christmas tree to our apartment, with lights and ornaments. It smells wonderful and seriously feels like Christmas. It was SO NICE!!!!

Ahh! So I have a fabulous last week of my mission all planned out. It's going to go quick and I still cannot believe it's almost over. It's so bittersweet! I will talk more about that next week....but really. I cannot believe it.

The church is so true.
Party Hard.
Get Crazy.
Do (missionary) work!
Sista C

Monday, December 3, 2012

November 27, 2012

I am just going to hit the highlights for this week!

Wednesday we participated in an interfaith, feed the homeless, service project. It was so fun. We got to sit in during the service and learn how a handful of faiths worship. Then we served Thanksgiving dinner to the homeless and we got to eat with them. This was Thanksgiving meal number one. It was a great way to spend the night before the holiday weekend.

Thursday was my favorite holiday! (I may or may not say that about every holiday....I just love holidays!) But really, I love my family, I love eating, and I love napping -- all of which are major parts of Thanksgiving! We had district meeting in the morning and, as I did last year, I made all the elders wear Indian headdresses with accompanying names. I was "Dancing Flamingo" and my companion was "Spotted Cheetah." We really love our elders and had fun taking pictures. We also went around the room and shared what we are thankful for. Mine was three-fold. 1. I am thankful for where I am in my life (grateful to be here in CA with my companion and my district and my ward). 2. I am grateful for my support system back at home. I could never be here, doing what I am doing, without them. And 3. I am thankful for dogs. They show unconditional love and I love them! I cannot wait to see my puppies again soon!

Anyway, at 1 we all headed off to our respective meals. We had Thanksgiving dinner number 2 with the Del Rosarios. Next year at this time two of their kids will be on missions. They are so legit. See the picture of the turkey with Melanie. Oh man. It was delish. Then, at 5 pm, we had Thanksgiving meal number 3 with the Terry/Turner clan. It reminded me of Whitmore get-togethers and felt right at home. There were tons of kids, four different tables, and lots of noise. Love it! The Terry's have a daughter on a mission in Brazil and we just love hearing about her! We love knowing about families and their missionaries!! At 7pm we went to the Johnson's for dessert, but we both could hardly eat because we were so full! But we still had a blast spending time with them.

Friday and Saturday were recovery days where we just took it easy and did smaller items on our missionary to-do list. Sunday and Monday were both awesome. We love getting to know our ward better. We had back-to-back appointments all night and we got to see Vivian, our investigator with a baptismal date! She thinks she is still good for December 8th, but we will see how it pans out this week. Also, yesterday I had my exit interview with President Cook. So surreal.

We had a district meeting on Monday and I have some sweet quotes to share...
1. "A man is who is based on what he thinks about when he has nothing to think about"
2. "God-like character is the natural result in continued effort of having God-like thoughts"
3. "When a missionary loses himself, He becomes his True self, and goes home his "new self"...and I have to ask myself, who is my "new self."
The meeting was all about self-improvement and virtue and how our thoughts become our actions, which becomes who we are.

I loved it. Hope everyone had a happy holiday and is looking forward to Christmas! Love you all.

Pce and blessings
Pce and blessings!

-Sister Christensen