Monday, September 27, 2010

9/27/10 Elder Christensen

Well its that time again. Time for me to head out. We´re going out to say goodbye to all of the sector pretty much. Its gonna be a fun night. hm.. Next time you write me I´ll be with a different companion! Keep praying for me please please please! Dads right.. I´m just getting my feet set. But its gonna be another hard change! The Lord is ALWAYS so quick to humble us. I love you all so so sososososooooooooooooooo much and I¨ll talk to you next week. Gonna take a pic now and send it. HAVE FUN diving and eating and sitting around! My thoughts and prayers are with you! Just imagine me scuba diving beside you haha! SICK! Take some good pics and have fun. I love ya. Ciao until next week. I¨ll get a good pic with my new comp all ready for next monday. Ciao Ciao. Your dominant Son, Elder Kurtis William Christensen

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

9/21/10 Hermana Christensen

ha! i love that you were so concerned about whether i was transferring or not! you guys are the greatest. but basically, even if i did get transferred--which i didn't--it doesn't matter too much seen as how this is the smallest geographical mission. :) i love it here. but yesssss, i'm still in chula and i'm still with hermana story! all is well. we've sure got a loooot of promising people that we're working with. There is a lot of work to do. Everyone needs the gospel. We are trying so hard to really speak boldly and proclaim the lord's word and our purpose in being there from the get go so there is no confusion. We aren't here to just give some warm fuzzy message or to put bleach trays in people's mouth (the service we do for people... ha. last week i helped a lady put her pants on. i then gave her dog eyedrops. and then i also gave the dog some mouth drops. ha.). WE ARE HERE TO INVITE THEM TO COME TO CHRIST BY BEING BAPTIZED! it's not about the numbers. it is but it isn't. but we invite to baptism first visit so we can actually find the people who are looking for the truth. it's beautiful how it works, really. That's our goal. Audaz=bold. we're working on it.

On Sunday I had a real neat experience. We've been working with a family who is sooo great. we love love love them. The dad served his mission in brasil but has been less active half his life. his wife and kids aren't members, but they want their son to be baptized. i don't really get it. then what? but hey, good desires. anyway, we were SUUUPER bold with them, on the verge of dropping them a few weeks ago, but then bro woody committed to come to church. what? it was a HUUUGE step. so last weekend they bought 200 plus bones of clothes, but then sunday morning at 8:30 they pulled the clothes out of the bag and, because they were wrinkly, they couldn't come. so sad. but they promised they'd come this sunday. at 8:30 grampa woody told us they weren't coming and we were so dejected. we sat down and basically just cried. ha. we tried to study before sacrament, but we just felt so incredibly sad. it was the smallest little taste of what our heavenly father feels when we let him down. so so small, but it was real. so then oh my joy when hermana elbows me, pointing to the WHOLE FAMILY sitting next to grandpa woody. they CAME!!! and those boys looked so cute in their new clothes, brother woody looked like a gent in his suit and tie, and his wife lydia was loved by EVERYONE she talked to. i know they had a great experience. and i KNOW the spirit of contention that's always in their home must have been at least a little less this week because they came to church. it softens our hearts! that was a miracle. and i know that it was because we--as a district--were all praying for them to come (we have such an awesome district; every night our dl sends out the name of someone to pray for). it was a miracle. i was bubbling over ALL during church. i felt this indescribable happiness that i know is just a smallllll tiny tiny TINY portion of what our heavenly father feels when we do what's right. thise whole paragraph is so poorly written and explained, but i hope that makes sense. God's love is so vast it feels the immensity of space! I'm so thankful for that tiny little tidbit I could feel. It was unreal.
Family, all is well. I have a testimony that this truly is the Lord's work. His hand is in this EVERY MINUTE. people are led and guided to the mobat. they are led and guided to chula. they are led to santiago. they are opening doors in croatia. these people are being prepared. they need this. the hardest thing to accept is that they may not realize that RIGHT now. some do. THOSE are the dudes we need to find. patience is something i've been thinking about a lot lately; how many people took 15 years to accept the gospel? so many. but when they do? tyhey are FIRM! they are solid! and they are grateful for everyone's love and patience! it's all about planting seeds. when i remember that, i feel so much peace and happiness, knowing that if i do my part, the Lord will SURELY do His--for time is only measured unto man!

I love you all. Prayin for you.

tu hija, hermana christensen

tell mikie that i am SO sorry for that crapfest letter. it was awful. there is no time! i was so scattered! ha. i really thought about just not sending it. tell him i reeeeeeally appreciate him writing though, seriously. mikie, i do!

and tell gpa and gpa that i love them. i realized that i drive like grandpa does; he puts his hand under his chin, with just two fingers.. he always does it. this weekend i realized that and i thought fondly of them. how i love you if you're reading this! i hope all is treating you well in va! i hope you're LOVING it nicole!
dios nos ama. chao chao.


9/21/10 Elder Christensen

 Elders Christensen & Butron (the ZL) on Chile's Bicentennial Holiday!
Hello to the friends and family!! This is gonna be short because I have very little time. This week was crazy time. The 4 day holiday was insane. I had so many people yell... HELLO WHATS YOUR NAME!! Or their new favorite rhyms with HELLO MOTHER FATHER. Ya... Usually I just keep walking or I say something simple that they don´t understand... For example... Would you like to have a converstaion in english with me? Hahah usually they just put their heads down after that one! Or even a simple... Hey how are you? Fast enough sounds weird to them!! There were tons of people outside grilling, thousands of chile flags EVERYWHERE, we had a ward activity as well that was great.

We had some interesting things too! We had a baptism!!! WOOO!!! This guy has been ready forever! His name is JoseLuis!!! I´ll send you pics after this! We had the ward party right after he got dunked. It was a nice way to celebrate! Then I had some lady tell me she hated the church and she burned her book of mormon... all kinds of things you wouldn´t believe or do normally....

But through all the things I did I learned more! The church is so so so true. Although its very hard, the thought of what I am doing keeps me going. The thought of my loving family keeps me going! The thought of my friends who are doing the EXACT same thing I am right now keeps me going! I love it here. I progress more every day and do the best that I can with what I´m given. I gotta run. Much love, Elder Christensen

Baptism of JoseLuis!

Monday, September 20, 2010

9/14/10 Hermana Christensen

Karina's Baptismal Day!!
Hey, all!!

Okay so guess what? This is a true story. Karina got baptized this past week. No no i'm dead serious, she really did. That girl and the entire experience with her falling out of the sky wanting to be baptized has been SUCH a testimony to me that some of the most important people in this work are the MEMBERS! Ah! You have no idea what a huge influence for good you are! I know there aren't too many non members, there surely are plennnnnnnty of less actives, right? Go get em. Keep being there for them. Seriously. Every little gesture counts. I am such a firm believer in this! And I'm so grateful to learn this right at the beginning on my mission; Karina was READY because Scott Harris (her freakin awesome "owner"--the member who found her, taught her with us [and without us!], and took her in as his own) prepared her so that when we hit her with the law of tithing, chastity, and wow, she was like, "Oh yeah I totally get it. Scott explained it to me and I already live that way." Oh, no big deal that she gets the DOCTRINE. Most people we have to force to open the book of Mormon! (not really) but Karina just straight up understands that our bodies are temples... of course we shouldn't take in drugs! Ah. Last Tuesday she surprised us by saying she wanted to get baptized this saturday and not wait for her family. She said, "Why would I want to put off doing something I know God wants me to do?" Ha. What. Unbelievable. Okay, Karina, NO BIG DEAL. let's go fill the font already.

Her baptism was hermosa. Tonnnnns of people from the ward showed up. The speaker did a beeeeautiful job. The spirit was so strong. The baptism was a go and done in Spanish (I didn't know that was coming!). Karina shared her testimony afterward and it was just... suuuuch power. That girl! She did it. Afterward the ward had the biggest party of the year, the Luau! It was classic. Hoardes of people came out of their "shanties" if you will (ha, bro) for the fiesta. It was so great. And when Karina was confirmed on Sunday.... ah, that too was beautiful. The ward members that got to stand in on the circle were beaming and Karina was radiating... everyone has been edified by this sweet sweet girl coming into the church. that's the way the gospel should work, right? Everyone wins.

So now we're finding more people to teach. We KNOW there are people who, like Karina, are ready. They are just looking and waiting. There's a grundle of work to do! Lets find em! You do your job and I'll do mine.

You make such a big difference.

Dang I love you guys! Thanks so much for the loooove. Ha, i'm not even going to have time to read all my mail nor emails today. We serve in the battalion tonight, so pday ends an hour earlier. Transfers tomorrow! loco.Thanks for all your love.

thank you for all your encouragement. I apologize for my terribly selfish email a few weeks ago. But i sincerely appreciate all your words of wisdom and counsel. Basically, I could summarize what you all told me--get out of yourself and serve others. So true. thanks! I consider myself blessed to be humbled by the Lord through you. And Him. I've been.. not weighed down, but just really impressed by and pulled towards the topics of humility and prayer these past two weeks. I'm trying to figure out how to be the me Heavenly Father wants me to be so I can do His work the way He'd have me do it. Sometimes I get discouraged because I see all these flaws and weaknesses and priiiiiiiide. But the only way that'll go away is if I get on my knees and ask for some serious help, and then get movin. So that's it! One foot in front of the other.

I love yall. I gotta jet. The church is true. One of our investigator's fathers is visiting.. he's like 75 or so and he is ALIVE by the gospel. He just goes around yelling about how much he loves the church. His enthusiasm is so remarkable. The gospel is our light! It is our life! It is our reason for being happy! It is who we are! It is allllll we are! Let's share it!

Vayan con dios mis queridos, les amo!

hermana christensen

9/13/10 Elder Christensen

Elders Nyman, Tialeva, Christensen and ?
So. This week was a little different. It turns out that September 11th is a bad day in the whole world haha. Apparently something happened here a long time ago with some president and he died or something? I´m not exactly sure. But every September 11th all the jovenes ( like teenagers ) go out and do all kinds of bad things. People get killed on these days. Tons of vandolism, whats the word I want?? Mischief. There it is. Wow its hard to think of little words like that after 6 months!!!

So anyways. We had to be IN the apartment at 5pm. We played a ton of UNO and ate a bunch of food. It was fun and I thoroughly enjoyed a little break!!! We heard explosions or gun shots or something outside at like 12 in the morning! It was crazy! So last week I told you we had two miracles. Lets begin.

1.) We went to this lady´s house where we have NEVER entered. We shouted ALLOOO as always, and some other lady came out. She said that the other lady was tired and had no time. Of course. Then she says... But I´m leaving right now if you want to walk with me! So we walked with her to the corner and then she says.... Why don´t you come to my house and we´ll chat about god!! So at this point we´re SHOCKED... but it gets better. We go, we talked and answered her RANDOM questions. We didn´t really teach a set lesson. But we brought up baptism.. THE FIRST TIME ENTERING HER HOUSE... she says... "When I was little I was going to get baptized but I felt I wasn´t prepared... maybe its time I get thinking about it again" WHATTTT DID YOU SAY??? Then to put the cherry on top of the whole thing... She asks me to pray... AS ALWAYS. They always ask the gringo to pray... And I said... Okay ya I´ll pray but you have to practice tonight!! She changes her mind right there and says... "No I´ll pray right now. I just don´t know if you guys pray in the same form I do"... The prayers other people say are always way crazy by the way.. Nothing like ours. So we were expecting something wacky... Then she puts it in EXACTLY OUR FORM.. She said our dear heavenly father, we thank thee for this this and this and we ask for this this and this. In the name of Jesus Christ amen... I wanted to CRY. This golden lady just came out of nowhere!!
Miracle two.. Much shorter...

We are in church after sacrament meeting and there is just some RANDOM guy there who´we´ve never seen. I didn´t even notice him nor my comp. A member then says.... Thats the first time that guys been to church here. So we went and invited him to the other two hours. He investigated the church 7 years ago and hasn´t attended since. Then one sunday he just decides hes going to come!!! Hes now been two weeks in a row!! FELL OUT OF THE SKY!!!!! We´re going to try and stop by and teach him but its hard. His schedule is not set at all. We gave him a Book of Mormon and we have big things planned there!!

Bottom line. The mission rocks!!! Every single thing here happens for a reason. I love you all so so so much. Those of you who are preparing for the mission, decide to do it and don´t look back!!! Its the HARDEST, but GREATEST thing you will ever do! We are foreordained to be where we are and you cannot change that. Hard to believe 6 months ya se fue! Its hard to believe its already gone!! Wow! I gotta run. Much love, Elder Christensen

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

9/7/10 Hermana Christensen


asd;fjkasl;dkfjasdkljfakl;sdfja!!!!!!!!!!! asdfjkal;sdkfj;alsdkfj;alskdfj;alskdjf;askdjfalksjdf;l283490823-98*(IJHKLJH*O&^)(7 ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh myyy!!! Okay okay okay okay OKAY. Mi hermana esta emberazada!!!!! QUE BIEN!!!!First of all--what a gigantic tender mercy that I ran into Jenn at the temple?

Sorrry! I was so excited I somehow sent that other email!!

Okay! KAYLYNN! I am soooo sososoosososos incredibly without words! A BABE!!!!! QUE SORPRESA! What in the world! You're due in like five months! ha! Have you known for ages? Family, I am DYING to know how everyone is responding to this. You have have HAVE to tell me about what it was like you all found out. I was writing in my journal about it the other night and I was just sooo excited for Kristen and Pam, and then I got to thinking about Craig and WILL! And I just.. ah. These emotions are unreal. I am FULL of gratitude for you, my family. I am so thankful that families can be together forever because i am bursting with love for you. I won't lie, it's hard not being there for this, but I know it's all going to be okay and that you will send such great phots and stuff to keep me posted. Willy! I want to hear what your first words were! "Another creton!" ? haha. Kay and colb, are you naming her Wilma or Willamina or whatever it was? Ha, dad, thats a way to make it so you can't give her a terrible nickname--because then you'd be mocking your own name! Kaylynn and Colby are so ingenious. Guys, I am so happy for you. I really am. I am without words! Everytime I think about you guys as parents I just giggle! I'm SO excited! CONGRATS!!!!

Ahhhh. First of all, what a tender mercy that I heard this from Jenn. What in the world! I work at the temple once every 14 DAYS and she haaaaappens to come right then? Seriously, there are no chances. It was so good seeing her! She probably told you, but I was so overcome with emotion I just started crying. Seriously, I am so excited! Can you tell? But that was a tender mercy. And then the next day, to get that box from Todd? What in the world--who is just that nice? Mom, thank you for sending that with him! And it's a good thing I found out about Kaylynn from Jenn the night before because I would've had cardiac arrest if I was suddenly just looking at an ultrasound in the mobat. Ha. Dead pioneer girl on the floor. So thank you for that ultra nice package and the BEST possible news in the planet. One thing is certain, baby girl Young is going to have the BEST partents and sets of grandparents around. I wonder if another family has ever been more excited about a new baby comin ever before. Doubtful.

And kaylynn and colby, if you guys are pulling an AJ on me and this baby isn't real.. ohhhhhhhhhh watch out.
We have had an incredible week. Seriously. It has been so beautiful. Namely the fact that Camilla Zacharco was BAPTIZED on saturday! Ah! We've been working with her for awhile (and other missionaries before us, too); Camilla is 12 and didn't feel entirely ready to get baptized. I think I've told you about her before. She's sooo smart and is always throwing down these analogies that blow my mind. That girl was ready to get baptized, and she is a CONVERT baptism. Seriously. So, her dad baptized her--which was so sweet because he was baptized in the same church only four years ago. It's so neat to see the difference of the family as they have been drawing nearer to Christ together. They are alive and light and sooo in love with each other. But seriously, the feeling in their home is, ah, astronomical. This is the essence of missionary work. It is about bringing families together to partake of the joys of SALVATION! So, Paulina, the 7 year old, will get baptized in January, and they're already stoked for that. And I believe the parents, Taurus and Rosanna, are making plans to go to the temple and have those cute girls sealed to them. Again, AH! essence of missionary work. Forever families. Unreal.

yesterday we threw down the law with Zulema as we taught her some straight up commmandments she's been struggling with; we taught the palabra de sabiduria y la ley de castidad and she was suuuuper receptive to it. It was amazing. She is SO open to doing whatever the Lord requires of her--even though it will be hard. She's living with her boyfriend, so that's a struggle, but she said weeeeeeeeeeks ago that she knew she was living in sin. So as we taught her yesterday about this, she knew they either need to get married or she'll have to move out. She committed to talk to him last night and we're going over tonight at eight to see how it went. Keep her in your prayers! She WANTS THIS! She came to Camilla's baptism on Saturday, and not only did she cry her eyeballs out, but she tried to get in the font! ha! She walked down the stairs to check it out, and she literally stepped into the water! Ha ha ha, oh man. She said, "I'm basically halfway there, let's do this!" She knows what's up. I have faith she'll come around.

Seriously, things are great. We are sooo blessed to be in this area. The ward members are so ready to work and are EAGER to help their brothers and sisters come into the fold. They are so fellowshipping and warm and loving. They make all the difference to us as missinoaries trying to get new people enveloped into the ward family. chula 2nd ward is the place to be. I am SO grateful.

Transfers are next week. President was at the mobat last night, and Sister Ploeger asked about them and he said fewer people than ever are being transferred. So we'll see; I'm happy to go wherever the Lord wants me at this point. i see the great need and heck, what is there to lose? I've got so much to learn, gotta start somewhere! If i get the chance to continue working in chula, i won't complain! It is a choice ward. (ps. as mobat sisters we dont' find out until we're AT transfers if we're going or not. other missionaries find out the night before. this is because president is wiiiiiiiiiiise and he knows that we'll keep working hard and stay focused and work to the end--despite if we end up getting transferred or not.)

I'm going to send this now. I hope you can all feel my love, really, honestly, truly. I am so grateful for you. i am SO grateful for my family!!! I hope that everyone is well.

Yo se que esto es la obra del Senor! Se que hay personas alrededor que necesitan el evangelio AHORITA, y son preparados y listos para hacer convenios con El. Estoy tan agradecida por el amor de Dios, y por su mano en la obra. El ama a todos sus hijos. Estamos bendecidos ricamente tener el evengelio en nuestras vidas. Se que Jesucristo es nuestro Salvador, y que El sabe todo estamos experitando. Por El, podemos sentir enorme paz y consuelo. Jesucristo y su padre solo queremos que seamos FELICES!!!! se que familias pueden estar juntos para siiiiiiempre--y esto es mi gozo. :) En el nombre de Jesucriso, amen.
Les quiero familia!! Gracias por su apollo! Hasta proxima semana! Vayan con Dios!
Su Hermana

Ahhh it was a PERFECT baptism. Seriously, it went SO well! The spirit was incredible strong and there were FIVE investigators there! so many people came to support the Zacharkos and it seriously just went perfect.

9/6/19 Elder Christensen

He's using the Apron!
Elder C. and Elder Poulsen
Elder C. & Elder Salguero
Elder C. has had internet problems for the past 2 weeks, and we haven't received letters or email updates.  He did send pictures and said that there had been two miracles in finding people to teach.  Sam Poulsen from OHS is in his zone as is Russell Tialevea, the BYU Defensive Lineman.  He is in a new area with a companion, Elder Salguero, from El Salvador. 

The new apartment!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

8/31/10 Hermana Christensen

Todd Ulrich, Hermana Christensen & Chase Jesperson's cousin!!

Hiiiii familia! Okay okay okay I feel like an explosion is coming out of my fingertips because i have had to wait dayyyyys but CASF=SFASDJKFHALSKDJFHKLASDFHLKAJSDHFALKJSDHFLAKVNLAKSJCILAWUEHFzkDCZXDJCaCDNJ;klsDJLASKJDFHLKASJEHFKAS;ALKSJ!!!!1!!! CONGRATS KELS!!!!!!! HAHAHAH holy hannah! what in the world! I am SO incredibly excited!!! kels kels kels is coming to this same mission?! heavenly father is so hilarious! tell her i'll be writing to her PROMPTLY! and thank you so much for going to that, seriously. it honestly means a lot to know that you--an extension of me :)-- are still involved with the people i hart so much. seriously, what a blessing you are to rely my love for them. i thank you endlessly.

I never know where to begin, seriously. Well, things are going well! We have had a good week, and we've learned a lot. Zulema didnt' come to church this past week, so we'll have to push her baptism back. But, I was telling bro, it's all good! We need convert baptisms here.. it's not just about gettin her dunked. But she is SOLID and seriously so golden. We have to teach her the law of chastity and the word of wisdom, which is going to literally change her life if she commits to living those laws, but she knows and I think she'll do it. People have such hard lives. Honestly. People are struggling left and right to find happiness and to make it. They think they're too busy, they don't have enough time, or they forget to read/pray/come to church. What? You're forgetting to let God into your life? Ah. The sad thing is that that we all do that to some degree. But for these people, I hate watching them literally flounder with their drugs, their alcohol, their debt and abuse... if only they had the gospel! If only they made the changes now! They would be so happy and Heavenly Father would fight their battles for them. I'm trying to help people see that.

Last week I went on exchanges to an area called Sweet Water with Sister Sherman--she's the cute gal you saw in gpas pictures. Well, one of them, I'm not sure who the other was... I forget. But she's the taller one. Anyways, it was a great time. I won't lie, I was tiiiiired and it was a rough day--lots of rejection and dogs barking at us through screen doors. No one really wanted to hear from us. But, at the end of the day, we found a former investigator who had never been home/answered her phone earlier. We had the most incerdible lesson with her where she literally quoted scripture as she talked about the things she "just knew inside." i bore testimony of the temple. the spirit was sooo strong! at the end she asked, "do you have any literature I could read?" DO WE EVER! Ha. So we gave her a bom, and she raised her hand (like in the temple, seriously, it was so crazy) and basically vowed to read it. what? I was screaming as we got in the car because it was the most amazing lesson and just a miracle to end our day with. We were sooo grateful! I feel like stuff always happens like that in the mission. Seriously. But then you know what else happens? She doesn't answer when we come over the next day. And she still won't answer our calls. What happened? I still don't know. If you do, let me know, because it's killin me. Satan has contact with these people every day. Every moment of every day.

Ah. but all is well.

On another note, people always told me that the craziest crap would also happen to me on my mission. ha. i am MOSDEF trying to record all of these things. two examples: today we heart attacked another sister's door because it's her bday. I took my postits and a bunch of markers bc we did this before exercising. I set them down in old town as i literally ran around the track-like circle. they were stolen. seriously? someone is that desperate to steal my markers and paper when im five feet away? wow. they can have them. that's not even that great of a story actually. a better example of crazy crap was last week when a homeless man counted as i ran laps around old town circle. "you're makin me dizzy you're running so fast!" he said. next time around he said, "you've got nice calves." next time around, "and you're cute." next time, "you do this every day?" YIKES!

well i'm off to read your plentiful emails. wow do i ever lov eyou all. love love love love LOOOOOVE.

hermana c

this work is God's. seriously. I'm trying to align my will with his and be all i can be. I have so far to go, sometimes it's discouraging. but i'm grateful to be so near the spirit because i really can feel how much improvement i need to make, and i can see it. i'm so grateful for these people here, and for this mission and this time of my life. everyone always says its the hardest thing ever--and i agree--but it's also the best--and i agree again. I don't understand it, but I know that things will all work out. This is an individual work because EVERY INDIVIDUAL needs the gospel. I will go to zulemas house EVERY DAY to get that woman to see that her life will be infinity times better with the gospel engrained in her soul. I know that god works with us on an individual basis, so shouldn't we do the same?

all is well! (love that hymn!)