Monday, January 27, 2014

Font With No Water

Hello Family! Thank you for all of your updates. I love Reading your emails.

Carlos is still a little hesitant. He is going through that transition proccess. Change is difficult. I love that mom wrote about time. Things can take time. Time can bring us clarity and can make things right.

The other sisters had a baptism on Saturday so we invited him thinking it would be good for him to see a baptism. Well, the baptism turned out to be a little chaotic and interesting.

First off, when we got there, the gates of the church were shut and we had to wait for a half hour outside so of course the service started late. The Font was filled earlier in the day but the drain doesn't work well so water had been leaking out. There was very little water in the Font. The worst part was that in order to fully be submerged in the water, the Elder had to dunk the lady really far down. She ended up hitting her head hard on the stairs. When she came up from the water she grabbed her head and it started to bleed.

Unfortunately, the head fiasco overshadowed the baptismal service. We were hoping that Carlos would see the service and the beauty of baptism. Sadly, it had a different affect. My companion said; "Well at least she won’t ever forgot her baptism." But then one of the elders said; "she might forget it with that wound on her head."  It is my goal to have a baptism in the ocean. Maybe we better fine a quiet lagoon.

We have a dog that is giving us a lot of problems. He lives in a park that we pass every day. Recently, he has been getting aggressive when we pass the park- he snarls and follows us. Luckily people help us and chase him off. I will never own a dog. Dogs are the worst.

Most people we visit don’t quite grasp the message we share about the restoration and scripture written in the Americas. There was a lesson we taught this week that I really enjoyed. The woman really understood the uniqueness of our message. She was awed by the concept of the Book of Mormon. She said she has always been intrigued that there were pyramids in Egypt and in Central America. She said she has always felt that there was contact between the nations. It can be fun to incorporate history with the Book of Mormon.

Yesterday we had a cool coordination meeting. It was with all the bishoprics and ward mission leaders in the East Mission. The zone leaders and sister leaders were also invited. One thing that I really liked is that they focused on the Atonement. They want us to talk about the Atonement as often as we can.

Thank you so much Gram for the package! That was so thoughtful. I opened it in the office so I shared some of the fudge with other missionaries. They were so curious who made the fudge because it is SO DELICIOUS. It was so fun to receive the package. Thank you!

Hope you all have a good week. Love you tons

Hermana Christensen

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

She Turns 21

Thank you for all your emails and birthday wishes. It is so fun to have a birthday and receive all this love.

I have been spoiled today. My companion surprised me with a delicious chocolate dessert for breakfast. It was a mix of cake and chocolate mousse... ricisimo. And she also gave me a shirt that says I Heart DR. We then went to a mall with a handful of other hermanas for lunch.

We had a good week. There was one morning that we tried contacting in the wealthy neighborhood. It was the longest morning of my life. We did a bazillion contacts and did not get into one house. I am sending lots of sympathy to my cousins in Europe and New England - proud of you. 

The downer of the week was that Carlos felt like he wasn't quite ready to have his interview like he was supposed to. We are going to wait a little longer. He is super solid and ready but he has made so many changes in his life so he wants to give it a little more time. Baptism is also a huge leap of faith. It can be daunting to try to start walking in a different unfamiliar road. He doesn't want to fail. 

I have been thinking a lot this past week about how times I have failed in my life. That sounds negative but it has actually been very productive for me to think about it. I have thought about all the different situations in my life that have been new and difficult and uncomfortable. In the beginning I usually struggle. On my mission, I have seen that the fear of failure can be one of the most hindering emotions. I have seen it with investigators and I have seen it in myself. If we fear failure, we are unwilling to be stretched.  One of the best things I have learned out here is to laugh at myself and not get down on myself. 

I am so grateful for the good friends and family that I have. The richness of my life comes from the relationships I have. I am so grateful for the love and support I have from all of you. Love you all so much. 

Hasta Lunes

P.S.  Thank you for all the info about our new mission president - super interesting! I told Hermana Thomas and she said she is happy to have a "brotha" enter the scene. 

This Dog Wandered in to our Apartment

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Progress in Gazcue

MTC Pals

I’m staying in Gazcue! We found out last night that Hermana Morales and I will be staying here in Gazcue together for another transfer. I am very content to hear that nothing will change. 

I can’t believe it’s been a whole six weeks since we began here. I remember those first couple of days when we contacted hundreds of people. It was absolutely exhausting. The good news is that from all those people we contacted, we found Carlos. 

Reconnecting with Sister T. at Leadership Meetings

This week we had a great appointment with Carlos. We had a member with us and he was telling the member about the changes he has seen in his life since he started receiving us. As he has been following through with the commitments we leave him and putting in his part, he has seen that he can grow and progress. It has empowered him. He now wants to improve his life in every aspect. He said he is starting to exercise, he wants to go back to school; he wants to have a family. As he shared the experience he has been having, I had to fight back tears. It makes me so happy to see him receive the enabling power. He has realized that his life is in his hands and he can become more than he thought was possible before. Carlos is super solid. He calls me Christie. He is the tall man in this picture. 


Help - one weakness I have discovered here in the mission is that I have no rhythm. Somehow, I always get called on to lead music and I am so incredibly bad at it. Tell any youth that are preparing to go on a missionary to learn how to lead music! 

We had such a fun P'day today with the zone. We played sports, it was so fun to play soccer I miss it. And then of course the elders turned it into a water fight. It was super fun but I am exhausted. Happy birthday Grandpa Reed!!!!!!

con mucho amor, 
Hermana Christensen

Our District

MTC Comp

Monday, January 6, 2014

Thomas S. Monson

Happy 2014!!! I wasn´t planning on staying up until midnight to welcome in the New Year, but my companion wanted to. Hermana Manalo, Morales and I stayed up laughing and talking until midnight then gave each other hugs and went to bed. I am still working on my goals for this year. 

Carlos came to church again yesterday! He is solid and has a baptismal date for January 25th. We had quite a few investigators come to church yesterday! We also helped a mom haul her three kids to church and entertained them during sacrament meeting. During Sunday school she put her baby in my arms and ran out of the room to help her little boy. I just sat there rocking the baby, nervous to death because president was in Sunday school and missionaries’ are not supposed to hold babies, but secretly loving it. It’s a hard rule, not holding the kids. They are just so cute.

A funny experience that we had this week was we were teaching a woman the restoration. I asked her what a prophet was. She said something and then her teenage niece that was in the room smiled and said a perfect definition and said, "An example of a prophet is Thomas S. Monson." I was confused because it was the first appointment we had with them and no one has ever responded like that. I just looked at her and said, "what did you just say?" Apparently, she lives far away and is receiving missionaries in her house. 

Thought of the week: In the scriptures it talks quite often about knowing God. I have been thinking about how one comes to know God or Christ. It is interesting because in Spanish the verb to know is divided into two verbs Saber: to know facts or how to do something or Conocer: to be familiar or acquainted with someone or something. I like this distinction because we can know of Christ without really knowing Christ. So how does one come to know or be acquainted with Christ? 

Scriptures I like about knowing God:

Mosiah 5:13 For how knoweth a man the master whom he has not served, and who is a stranger unto him, and is far from the thoughts and intents of his heart?

Alma 22:18 ...And if there is a God, and if thou art God, wilt thou make known unto me, and I will give away all my sins to know thee...

Caitlin sent me an awesome package with a Utes shirt (hence the photo). Thank you, thank you Caitlin. So happy for my girl Hillary... married! Sooo crazy. Love you so much. Have a good week.