Ahhhhh we got back from the temple just a little while ago--what bliss! I literally felt like EXPLODING, the spirit was so strong! Honestly, you forget how incredible the temple is until you don't go for awhile. And it's only been five weeks! Poor bro, I hope you get to go every few months maybe? Word on the street is I'll be hittin up the SD temp every three months. YEAH! Anyways, I'm seriously just so grateful for the temple. It's so clear. I dont' get so muchhhhh of it, but our Heavenly Father's plan is crystal! Last july, I went to my single's ward bishop and asked him what advice he could offer me as I was preparing for my mission, and he advised me to go to the temple and study the temple. This surprised me; I thought he'd tell me to re-read Jesus the Christ or memorize PMG or something, but no. He said that, in essence, the entirrrrrrrre goal of missionary work is to get people into the temple after the waters of baptism so they can be sealed for time and all eternity to their loved ones as they preseverar h asta el fin (endure to the end). How true that is. I can't even imagine the impeccable joy it would be to see converts going through the temple!
God is good.
Whaaaaa! I leave in one week. See ya later. What? Ha. Okay so I got me some travel plans. Ya ready? I'll peace out of the MTC at 5 am on Tuesday Aug 3rd. My flight is from here to Boise, then Boise to LA... haha jk. Direct flight to SD. :) sick. SLC flight leaves at 8:44 and I'll arrive at 9:36. Cute huh? I knew you'd want details like that. And! Yes. I'll be calling... but only if you want me to because that is EARLY!!!!! I'll call only if you want me to!
So the subject line says surprise, you see? Yes, you do. That's because I really do have a surprise for you. On Friday, this friday, I have pday. again. it's because tomorrow I start visitors center training. So! This is what's up. I've decided that, since I've emailed today, lets chat Friday. 11:30? Done and done. We'll chat it up. Yeah?
Ready for the entrenables misericordias? AKA the tms? Okay. So this week we got two new sisters: hermana vela y hermana whittle. hermana vela and I immmmmmmmmediately knew we knew each other, but it took us a minute to place it. HAWAII! we lived in the SAME HOUSE. can you believe that? It was unreal. So on thursday the new districts meet the branch presidency; during the break I was with sisters whittle y vela and hma vela runs into her uncle (tm), who tells her to run into this room real quick to say hi to her aunt who comes out.... Sister Whetton. Dad! You're patient! I was honestly overtook with such emotion; Heavenly Father KNEW that I would be Hermana Vela's makeshift mother when she got here, so He stuck her with me--her old housemate. Whose aunt is then your patient, a woman who made my DAY all those months ago. I have such a testimony that Heavenly father is involved in our lives; they are all SO intertwined, interwoven and interconnected. He is involved, aware, and so gracious. Tms are everywhere. My heart is full.
Are you ready to have your brain boggled? I'm about to tell you a few things that might shock you. In the past week, I have been called both and "early bird" and a "quick-showerer." (!!!!!!!) I wanted to tell my parents ESPECIALLY because, well, my track record. I do shower fast. I destroy showering. That's not super important. I want to tell you that I have had a complete change of heart about mornings. I LOVE THE MORNINGS. I didn't feel like I had enough time to do everything a few weeks ago, so i made a goal to get up earlier for more study time, just to try it out for the week and see how i felt about it. I have gotten up at 5:55 every morning and am seeing miraculous results. I feel SO blessed, so upheld, so full of life and energy, it's unreal. its uncharacteristic of me, really. But there I am, singing on my way to class at 6:55 while everyone else is groggy and grumpy. Its a blessing.
I'm feelin real blessed. Thank you for all your love and support and concern. my prayers are full of gratitude for YOU!
Okay I have a few important things:
1: I haven't printed any pictures because I don't really want to do that. Ma n pa, I neeed to know what you're doing with Kurtis; if I send you my memory card, can you get the pictures off and save them all somewhere? You could maybe use my computer? Or your hard drive, or whatever? I just don't want to print tons of pictures because what will we do with them? I plan on making a digital scrapbook like Lisa made for Jess when I regresar, so we don't really need tons of hard copies. then, if you have the pictures at home on your comp or mine or whatev, you can do whatever you'd like with them. will you respond either trhough mail or on friday about whether something like that might work?
2: Kristen, I have a huuuge favor. I've been digging for info on leather spanish scripture cases. Is there any way you can look online and see if there's any sort of a website that makes sweet leather stuff? there's nada in sd, and i thought there would be. it's cool if not, I could ask bro or something. if there is some sort of a website, i may ask for an early christmas!
3: in my second to top drawer there is a grey shirt with red ribbing that i sewed. its cottony. will you send it? afrter all these clothing reformations, I'm wishing theyd made the changes nine weeks ago.
4: will you PLEASE make a mormon.org profile?!! i keep checking for our names! tell EVERYONE!
5: I LOVE THE CTR RING!! was that from you or jesse? I love love love love love love double love it. thank you SO much, to infinity and back whoever is that kind. love you.
6: thank you for the bookmarks!
thank you for everything. i am so grateful for you all! i hope you feel my prayers and my love for you! i'm learning soooo much about loving through prayers; I pray for you each individually and by name EVERY DAY! thank you for your love and support.
se que dios nos ama y que tenemos la plenitud de la verdad en la tierra otra vez! les amo MUCHISIMO! SIGA FIEL, SIEMPRE!
postscript, hermana, I hope you're feeling better! praying for you! hope gc is fun! colb and k, have FUN!!!!!! LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Posted by Missionary Mom at 2:37 PM
Monday, July 26, 2010
The language is getting so much better! Its just a matter of speaking only spanish. For example. I did splits with a latin for 24 hours and afterwards my spanish was on fire. So fast and it was all just flowing. I could understand EVERYTHING. Then of course Elder Stoddard and I started speaking english again. Its just so much easier to express yourself plus its just a better language. EVERYTHING about our country is wayyyyyyyyyyyy too much better! I love america! Call me patriotic but wow you gain an appreciation being NOT there.
Really all is well here. We are teaching a bunch of people right now. We have one guy with a baptismal date. The son in law of the lady we taught named edith. I hope he can make it though. He wants to wait around for an answer even though he knows its true! YOU CAN ONLY GAIN TESTIMONY AFTER the trial of your faith. Let everyone there know I love them so much! The Church is where its at! Gotta run. Much love, Elder Christensen
PS . Love you all so much. I´ll talk to you all next mon. Say hi to friends and PUPS for me. Thanks for all you do! CIAO!!!! Elder Christensen
Posted by Missionary Mom at 1:03 PM
Sunday, July 25, 2010
so an elder in my zone told a story about his sister that went like this: she was wearing a shirt that said HOLA in big letters. as she walked into work a big black dude saw her and pointed at her and said, "HOLLA!!!" she didn't know if he thought her shirt said HOLA or HOLLA.. but it was just funny. so just think that's funny. interpret it whichever way you'd like!
okay. HI! so last night, as i was sitting in a mostly-useless pre-departure meeting, the man (the equivalent to a "dry councilman") had a few take-home lines:
"rest your bowel."
"if you get bit by a rabid animal, you will die." (KALYLYNN! totallllllllllllly thought of you! remind you of anything? namely mean girls? wildly inappropriate, but i couldn't help it.)
and something about how we can be "taken out of the gutter and turned into a butterfly if we are healthy." question mark?
the elders in my distrito offically received their travel plans. they are PSYCHED! and so are we. hermana and i should receive ours this friday. cross your fingers! I got a super sweet letter from presidente donaldson which i'm going to copy and send home. basically.. this is real. i'll soon be outta here. not that i don't love the mtc! but.. you know.
the taco bell was a HIT. you definately don't need to do it again, thanks so much though! seriously. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!! and the muddy buddies? and the STRAWBERRIES? andt he NACHO stuff?!! and the twinkies? and candy? and oreos? and, my goodness! thank you SO MUCH! seriously! thank you for all your love! thank you for the christmas in july! ahhhh so nice! thank you for consistently loving me and blessing me. sorry to always have so many requests, but thank yo8u for sweetly coming through!
Only one request. will you please send my running shoes from brenda? they should be under the washing machine; they're identical to yours mom. but don't send me yours. :)
Ah! five minutes. Thank you for everything, seriously!
Things are going great. Really. All of you have commented in your letters, "i'm glad your'e so happy" and that's a little... i dunno, hard to read? no, not hard, but as you know that's just not always the case. the fact of the matter is that this is honestly one of the hardest things i've ever done (even already, in training!) but all i can see is good. all i can remember is good. every night i go to bed happy. but that doesn't mean its not hard and sad or discouraging at times, you know? i just want you to know that your love, support and prayers mean the world. I recognize that i am SO blessed. so so so blessed for YOU and for your love, concern, prayers and everything. thank you. i feel so blessed!
we have another pioneer fitting on wednesday. i'll try to sneak my camera. but maybe i'll just make you hold out even longer for the dress unveiling.. haha ha.
this past week we talked a LOT about working with the ward members, and MY GOODNESS--how key that is! we, as members, can make SUCH a difference! I couldn't help but think about my parents and about rr1st ward and how powerful you are. basically, we as memebers, misunderstand that doing missionary work isn't really doing missionary work; in our minds we think we need to go and tract or contact or find people and testify and invite them to church. but one of my teachers said we need to BEFRIEND! he went so far as forbidding (!) the members of talking about jospeh smith. now that was kind of a joke, but to get the point across, as members, we need to get people's TRUST, get them interested by who and how we are insomuch that THEY want to ask the questions and THEY want to learn--it's not just us shoving the gospel on them. Does that make sense? i felt impressed to share it because it was seriously so impacting to me. and it makes sense! and that is how people get into the church and STAY. true conversion!
well i'm down to the seconds. know that i love you all. I'm so grateful; i feel your love and prayers. thank you for being a part of my journey!
Posted by Missionary Mom at 9:12 AM
Monday, July 19, 2010
1.) ME RIGHT NOW. :) On my wonderful chilean computer system haha. From here is where you can receive weekly goodness from yours truely.
3.) Elder Monsen and I at our last greenie meeting!!!
.. I didn´t have any time to get a letter written to my family and friends can you just send one out to everyone saying I love them all?
Posted by Missionary Mom at 4:23 PM
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Well well well, here we are again. Another Tuesday. Crazy! How is everyone? How is Nicole? How was Carter's baptism? That was so nice of Trev and Rob to send me the little invite thing; what a stud Carter is! Tell them thank you for thinking of me. And also tell them thank you for the letter opener! What a treasure! Allllllllllso, a huge thanks to Mel. What thoughtfulness. Seriously. I never really know how she remembers stuff. Thank her from the bottom of your heart from me. Also tell Stacie and the Brent crew that their package is UNBELIEVABLY thoughtful. Even with all they're going though, they still make the time to reach out to serve me? What in the world. People are too dang nice. I really appreciate it. I went throught some old letters today to organize stuff and I felt overwhelllllllllllmed; so many people have written me, A, and B, so many people have written me such amazing, supporting things. I'm so grateful for your love and support! I am SO GRATEFUL. Thank you so so much!
I never what to say other than that it was a good week, because it always has been a good week. I dont' think I've mentioned this yet; well, first of all, I love my branch presidency. They are the nicest, neatest, most inspiring men ever. President Dennis remembers gpa from the byu days (he taught portuguese), actually. His first counselor is my absolute hero, Brother Hollister. He has shared some absolutely profound things with me that I sincerely believe were inspired---things I neeeeeeeeded to hear. But anyway, the point is, among all the amazing stuff he's said, he promised hermana livingston y yo, "You will never have a bad day on your mission. You will have bad moments, yes, but something good can come from any day." I can't even summarize what he said, ha, that sounded so useless. But anyyyyywyay, the point is that this week was hard, dang it was! But, at the same time, it was also alright. I see my blessings. I feel the Lord's love. I'm understanding. Im' seeing. I'm learning. I'm growing. I'm loving. I'm trying to do all I can to be all he wants me to be. So it was a good week.
I studied la esperanza this week, or hope. Listen to what GOLD this is:
"Hope is like the sun, as we journey toward it, it casts the shadow of our burden behind us. Hope sweetens the memory of experiences well loved. It tempers our troubles to our growth and our strength. It befriends us in dark hours, excites us in bright ones. It lends promise tyo the future and purpose to the past. It turns discouragement into determination." James Esdrus F quoting Samuel Smiles.
Hope is something that I can focus on. I wish I could just share all that I found on it during my studies! Ah. "Real hope does not automatically spring eternal unless it is connected with eternal things." Hope is retained through faith in Christ. Faith in Jesus Christ is where ALL things stem from. So when we go out on missions, our purpose is to bring people the restored gospel of jesus christ through faith on their part! The gospel all fits together so well.
I feel so ooososososoosos blessed to be here doing this. I love being able study the gospel all day, it is unreal! It makes sense and rings true. How on earth do people survive without it?
A few sundays ago I had a neat excperience; while we were listening to the devosh speaker, I had the most... I dunno, tangible dejavu I've ever had before. The speaker advised to us to do something, and in my mind I saw myself already doing it, but in my heart I knew it was what I was doing it. Wow that sounds awfully strange--it was a little reaffirmationt to me that I am in the right place. In my mind I saw myself doing what I'm doing--what I'm doing right now. I'm beginning to learn and feel that this, me feeling a mission, is bigger than I thought. I'm feeling the covenants I made before coming to this earth.. promises I made to come and do this. This experience was spiritually created for me long ago. Now i'm physically creating it.
Funnies for the week:
"Elderes, estan casados?"
Intentions: Elders, are you tired?
Reality: "Elders,a re you married?"
You know the Gollum voice? I can't even spell that. But! You know it? Well Elder Armstrong can do it soooo well. So the funny for the week was him saying saying the grammar principles we were working on (Past Subjunctive) in spanish. yeah... As if that wasn't enough, we then got into spanish Yoda. Ha. The way Yoda talks actually is quite like spanish.
So I don't think I'm supposed to say this, but just DONT' WORRY. okay. so on wednesday night there were tonsssss of cop cars here. I know,right? what entertainment for us! (so desperate.) We found out the next day from our teacher's neighbor who was out running that night and got stopped by the police and detoured from the mtc that there was a man in camo from head to toe in front of the mtc (and NIGHT!) with a rifle... um question mark?
Wellp i'm just abuot out of time. a few things:
okay. i'm resorting to all kinds of acts of desperation: is there any way you could maybe deliver taco bell? hma l loves it and has been craving. the food is depressing and i've resorted to eating my own limbs. dangit. i can't find the list of a few things she likes. i know she likes gorditas and the burritos... i'll send it in the letter. but maybe thursday? for dinner? let me know, but put it on a postit or something because i don't always have time to read your letters! I LVOE YOU.
also, will you please send a pink shirt in my drawer second fromt he top? its american apparrel and it's wayyy plain jane. totally simple short sleeved round neck. THANK YOU!
ma, thank you so much for taking care of jesse. i've been super worried and mindful of that boy. mono, tonsilitis, skin craziness.... that boy has got a lot on his plate. please take good care of him. i know you will, and i'm grateful. thanks for doing that. make sure he knows that i love and appreciate him so incredibly much.
family. i love you. i'm so grateful for you. your love and support means the WORLD!
P.S. TO MY PARENTS,
I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING!
Posted by Missionary Mom at 6:23 PM
Monday, July 12, 2010
Hellooooooooooo from Chile! How in the world is everyone!? I´m loving my mission so much right now! Everything is going so much better. Time in the mission is ridiculous by the way it just movessssss so fast. Tawny can testify of that when she leaves the mtc. Haha. Its a freaking time warp! We´re already a week through the second change. Unreal.
I´ve noticed how the mission is a bunch of small miracles and really no big ones..... Weird little things. People asking us what they can read... people asking us for folletos (Pamphlets), People just inviting us in and spilling their souls, its unreal. Even just someone offering a prayer is a surprise especially when they offer! The Lords work is amazing.
Its still a ridiculous amount of cold. Its very very very cold when it rains. Its amazing. You never realize how much simple rain can affect your life because we live in the USA!! Here, people literally plan their lives around the rain. LITERALLY. No its gonna rain tonight I cant do that, no its gonna rain tomorrow I have to shop today. The rain makes everything freeezeeee. Its colder inside than it is outside half of the time. People are VERY VERY humble. Its amazing. The USA really is the most amazing place in the world!! Imagine having heating inside?? Proper street drainage systems?? The streets here floooooooooooooood bad!
Everything is still great though. The language just flows sometimes its weird.. The Lord really fills my mouth and other times he doesn´t at all. VERY quick to re humble us!! At least the world cup is over so its calmed down a little bit. You should see this place during a soccer game. Its a GHOST TOWN. Empty streets. Closed stores. NOBODY outside. You can here that weird buzzing sound in the background of the game everywhere. Everyone has their tv on. Haha.
Well. Its been another week somehow. Not sure how the time flies so fast. I love you all so much. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Treasure the gospel that you have. You don´t know how fragile it is until you´ve lived elsewhere. Much love from Chile, Elder Christensen.
Yo les prometo que este evangelio is la unica manera que podemos vivir en esta vida y obtener la vida eterna!!!
I promise you all that this gospel is the only way that we can live in this life and obtain eternal life. Siga Fiel!
Posted by Missionary Mom at 9:49 AM
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
1: The time when I was teaching a lesson and I said, "El evangelium es muy sucio."
Translation: The gospel is very dirty. Intention: The gospel is very simple.
2: Or when Elder Rowan was teaching and he said, "Dios habla con los profetas vaca a vaca."
Translation: God speaks to his prophets cow to cow. Intention: God speaks to his prohphets mouth to mouth. (that still sounds weird to me, I'm not sure why he was even tyrying to say that. Maybe "cara a cara" would've been better--face to face? Ha.
3: the time when president smith was suddenly dressed like angel moroni during a devosh. I literally almost lost control.
4: sunday night devosh when pamela craig spoke. :) I was mosdef thinkin of my sweet friends, the youngs. tell them i say hi! sure love them. and go on a sick ride for me, will ya? grazi.
It's been a good week.
How are things going? How's home?! I hope that everyone is well and healthy and happy! How was the 4th of July? I'd better hear news of a siiiiiiiiick bbq or i'm just going to snap. Just kidding. Tell me about the festivities. Basically we were allowed to break nearly every mtc rule as we stayed OUTSIDE until around 11, taking pictures, singing, laughing, cheering, CLAPPING, and just... watching the fireworks. It was a good time. Usually I'm like whatever about the stadium of fire, but, well, we're starved for activities. I really appreciated them this year. :) I mosdef thought about how we used to go to that field and watch them. That was the life. I sure do love my family.
Okay, since there's no time, I need to just straight up recommend a few of the most hellllllllpful talks ever immediately:
"Consecrate thy performance" by neal a.
"God is the gardner" by hugh b.
Read them. Seriously. They helped me so much this week. Sorry I don't have time to delve into that more. Just know that every day here at the mtc (and may I venture so far as to even say every day on the whole MISSIOn will probably be this way--) is hard. I loved what my branch counselor said though. He said, "You will never have a bad day on your mission. You will have bad MOMENTS, but there is good even in the bad." And I totally agree with that. I can be having an uuuuuuuuuber triste day (love my german, english, spanish combo?), and then i'm somehow exploding in happiness. I don't know. It's like bro bott said and i mentioned last week, "the highs will be high, the lows will be low, and the time in between nearly nonexistent." I'm happy. It's hard, but I'm happy. There is no place else I'd rather be. There is nothing else I'd rather be doing. I'm here, I'm happy,and I'm grateful. thank you for all your love and support!
okay, so i wanted to share some of my findings from "The Tribute Money" this week. There were so many neat things I learned! Basically, Peter was "inconsiderately bold" in pledging that jesus did in fact pay taxes (for the temple? even though he was the son of god?). after this, our lord took him aside, privately, and spoke to him about this. I love that he didn't censure him in problic. Then, he covers Peter in paying for the both of them. James E says, "It doesn't need to be supposed that the fish got the coin by some magical way. The fact that the Lord knew that there even WAS fish swimming around with a coin in its gullet, that was the EXCACT amount for the two men, and that that fish would rise first to peter's hook is as incomprehensible to man's finite understanding as are the means by which any of christ's miracles were wrought." I LOVED this. Christ knew of this fish--however insignificant it was! Christ KNOWS us, personally, individually! He is aware of us and our needs. He is gracious; He will cover us! He already HAS paid the price for us.
Also, in the cursing of the fig tree--so many lessons can be learned, but i looooooved this. "The lord's purpose is of lasting blessing to all who will learn and profit by god's works. this object lesson has proved of greater service to all humanity than all fig orchaards of bethpage. it is an indisputable proof of his power; his jurisdiction over life and death. four days later, vindictive prieists and heartless pagans would take him; if jesus so willed, He could smite His enemies. Not until after His resurrection did even the apostles realize how truly VOLUNTARY His sacrifice had been." He lived and died for us--willingly. What incomprehensible love!
I am so sorry for this scattered email and my awful punctuation, etc. I'm fresh out of time. Just know I love you. I'm thinking of you, I'm praying for you. Thank you ENDLESSLY for your love, your support, your MAIL AND WORDS, and for everything in between. I love you! I hope you have a great day!
i realize these talks may not be new to you, but still--please read them.
Posted by Missionary Mom at 3:20 PM
Monday, July 5, 2010
To all the friends and family!! Another week in Chile gone.... I´m convinced that the mission is the biggest time warp I have ever been in. I honestly have no idea how it goes so fast... Ridiculous.
Well we played a sweet game of soccer today. Actually a whole bunch of games. We had 3 teams of 7 and played on this little turf field. It was way fun actually. I happened to look slightly special because.... well obviously I´m white haha. Soccer has never been my sport. But hey with the help of the Latin missionaries? I´ll be a boss in no time.
The work here is going great. I´m still amazed at the laziness of the people!!! Hey people we´re here to change your lives now read these ten verses!! Haha. I honestly am loving it though. I´m to the point with the spanish where I can joke and have a good time every so often and that makes life a little more easy. Pilch told me that its about having a good time while working hard.. For Pilch it was probably more like... Have a good time maybe work afterward hahahaah. Just Joshin no pun intended. That analogy is helping me though.
We have a baptismal date coming up in about 2 weeks! I´m really excited for it. We have only had one so far in which we didnt perform the actual ordinances. Here they encourage that the members do the baptisms... Kinda a bummer but its not our work its gods. Theres a scripture somewhere that says... its gods glory not mine... but I can´t remember where. I´m lovin the scriptures! I forgot to tell you guys that I finished the BoM in english like 3 weeks ago.. Its such an amazing book and we can learn so much from it. I´ve been reading the spanish BoM out loud almost since I got here. Its just sooooooooo sloooooooooow. I´m only in like 1 Nephi 14 or something. It pays off though. I can understand the scripture language MUCH MUCH MUCH easier than I can understand these chileans. Haha. They are crazy but you gotta love em.
I´m used to everything now. The sleep schedule is shweeeet.. I love traveling by metro and colectivos. I am used to the tiny shower and all haha. Pretty much you may as well just say that I´m accustomed to it. The mission. AND I¨M LOVIN IT!! Its so much easier than it was before. Knowing the language a little more helps so much. THE GIFT OF TONGUES IS REALLLLLL.
So I read Tawny´s email about how the General Authorities are speaking and stuff down in the MTC. I´m just a little bit jealous. When Elder Holland and Elder Perry spoke I was like WHOAHHHHH these guys rock. They can bring the spirit SO strong you can cut it with a knife I swear. But to have all those guys together? Thats a powerhouse honestly. Im glad to hear she is doing well.
I must say it was a little different to be celebrating the 4th of July in a whole different country. At least I have this little american flag! Love it mom! The members here gave us some really good food. I´m not sure if they knew it was the 4th or if it just happened to be a coincidence. Either way it was a great holiday nonetheless.
Well.... yet another monday gone. I´m out of time. I just want to leave by saying that I know that this whole church is true... everything that we do is for a reason here. Having to re-learn the whole gospel in another language has really strengthened my testimony... In good old Orem Utah we have no idea how destroyed the world really is.. Ya we listen to general conference and oh ya its always the same old stuff..... but... honestly the world is destroyed out here. Families are honestly ruined. Be greatful for the gospel that we have and for our way of life. Its so much happier!!! How couldn´t it be right?? I love Tawny´s thought about... how do people even live without the plan of salvation?? Not knowing where you´re going and what not?? Its so true.... The mission is so worth it. These people NEEEEEEED what we have. I love you all so so much and miss you! Hope everything is going great for all of you.
Much love, Elder Kurtis William Christensen.
Posted by Missionary Mom at 2:09 PM