Thursday, March 31, 2011

3/29/2011 Hermana Christensen

Hello hello!

Ah, email is always the highlight of prepration day--i love my family!! Thank you thank you THANK YOU for writing!! It means the worrrrrrrrrrrld!

I should probably apologize for being so incredibly distressed last week. Ha. my apologies. But! As ALWAYS, Heavenly Father looooves to bless us, and He has continued to pouuuuur out blessings upon us! My goodness! Last night one of our less actives who is so less active she's basically an investigator called US to set up an appointment. Missionaries have been working with her for so long to try and get her back to church. She is such an incredible lady, but lazy! We've stuck with her though, and I think it was maybe the 26th or 27th time that she wasn't home for our appointments/ was just leaving when she said, "wow, you girls are really serious about this huh? thank you for being so persistant...i PROMISE i'll read." and then yesterday she called! we're going over tomorrow. milagro! THEN--listen closely and know that i do not lie--WE ADDED A NEW INVESTIGATOR LAST NIGHT!!!!!!!!!!! ha. such an accomplishment. I don't remember when it was, but we recently (after our fast) received a random ("there's that word again!")phone call from elders who just happened to find five names of people who live in our area (WE NEVER GET REFERRALS!!!)... that was a miracle in and of itself... but so we went and tried to contact one of them last night and ummm yeah. he let us in. we talked. we had a LEGIT convo and his faith wowed us. he's got a whole family who also needs salvation. um yeah. HUGE tm. we turned the corner from his door and started jumping and screaming silently. needless to say we treated ourselves to ice cream afterwards. But the biggest milagro of them all is that hermano chavez had a complete change of heart. wow. unbelievable. remember my devastation on sunday when he didn't come to church after seven consecutive sundays? and he hung up on us and wouldn't answer the phone and told everyone he was done with us? tragic. well, turns out he went to church last week to some other church and just... well, he missed our church. He knows it's true. His spirit likes the feeling of the truth--and that's only found in the true church! ha! long story short, we ended up having a lesson with him and his owner (his member friend) and hno chavez told us that people asked him questions and he answered... aka he did missionary work. straight up! he told them we don't worship joseph smith, he told them about the book of mormon.. about missionaries..... UNREAL. best of all was when he said, "maybe i won't take a year to get baptized. maybe in a month or two." bottom line: Heavenly Father answers prayers. Heavenly Father sees sacrifices--even skipping some meals to subject our flesh to the spirit to be taught from on high.

I am so grateful for the gospel.

on sunday night we had a little bit of time before we needed to head home, so we went to check out one of the other referrals we received. :) sunday was a day fullllllllll of rejection, and, as we searched for our referral, my mind sort of wandered... we were right by the freeway and there were tons of apartments and houses all lit up, and i just thought, "where are they? where are the people who are ready?" Everyone needs the gospel. Everyone needs what we have. Everyone is fighting and struggling, but they could be relieved if they just had the hope in Christ that we have. I dont' know where they are. I don't know how to find them. But i know that Heavenly Father does. He knows EXACTLY where they are and EXACTLY when they will be ready to receive us. What a comforting feeling that was for me to just feel that calm assurance from my father that He's perfectly aware of these people and that if I just do my part to be led to them... we'll get em.

I contniue to grow more and more grateful to be a missionary. everyday. everyday! I love being able to put my tag and on and be PROUD of it... sometimes I feel like a saleswoman, but I have NO shame because i'm not selling knives anymore... we're offering SALVATION!!!! It is beautiful. This is hands down the best time of my life and I am so thankful to be here.

A few more things I'm proud of.

LET THE WORLD KNOW THAT I AM PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i often feel like the minority, and let's be honest, i leave a lot of appointments feeling reeeeeeeeeeal sad because i don't understand and i don't have much to contribute to the conversations about mexico this and that. But then i step back for one second and remember all my blessings and freedoms, and how LUCKY i am to have been raised in a land of opportunity... and that I SPEAK ENGLISH! aha! i love mexico, and i think mexican blood runs through my veins, but i am so grateful to be an american.

Also, this morning I legitimately caught myself thinking that i was proud to be a california missionary. i told talley omalley before i got my call that i did NOT want to serve in california... but wow. i take that back! it's weird.... i can't really explain all the changes that i'm seeing in myself, but that's one of them... my heart has changed. I AM PROUD TO BE A CALIFORNIAN MISSIONARY!!!

and of course, i'm just plum proud to be a missionary. :)

I AM ALSO PROUD TO BE A CHRISTENSEN! i love my family! love love love! i am praying for each of you! i hope that conference is BOMB and that you aaaaaaaaaaah enjoy the goeffra for me!!!!!!!!!!

hermana christensen

joan! my sweetness i love that i've gotten so many photos of you! you look beautiful! stay strong!!! i'm praying for you!

3/26/2011 Elder Christensen

Elder Monsen and Jorgensen, Elder Stoddard and I. 
Okay... so... How did a week just go by? I don´t get it!! So weird! Actually I do get it... It happens when we put our head down and just work work work.. Then when you look up its pday again... Weird situation. I bet that life is just going to be like this from now on so I´d better just get used to it. Its still REALLY weird being the secretary! It´s very different for sure. Whats weird to me is that we have to call everyyyyyyyyyyyyyyone to do everything. This week let me try and break down a couple things we did.... We have compiled hugeeeeeeeeee visa packets which includes all the new missionaries information.. So much stuff.. We also had to reserve a whole bunch of chapels throughout the mission for meetings and interviews for the missionaries. Its weirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrd! I´m used to preaching all day and talking about Christ with everyone. Now its like... the opposite... Now we talk about visa issues, ward boundaries, airplane tickets, missionary problems, and ALL KINDS OF GARBAGE. Haha. So what I now need to do is learn a wholeeeeeeeeee other kind of vocabulary. The business vocabulary. Mom didn´t Hermana Dorius email you about some of my responsibilities or something like that? Another thing we need to do is buy plane tickets for all coming and going missionaries... Its stressssfullllllllllllllllllll!!! Dad now I know what you are talking about haha! Basically the office is sick. I´m getting more used to it but still I find myself nervous on a daily basis. The Elders here have noticed it and they think its a bad way to live. That I shouldn´t live in fear. I agree but at the same time not.... Having a fear makes me do a better job... but at the same time being nervous isn´t fun. I guess that with time I´ll learn to control it better.

We went to the COAST!! That´s right!! You
like the ocean and all that? I had forgotten
the smell of ocean... it was awesome!
I GOT YOUR PACKAGEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It´s SOOOO awesome. Full of all kinds of goodness! My favorite part are the SICK ties that are in it! Wow. Plaid goodness. EXCELLENT selection for whoever chose them!! Oh by the way... The whole office.. well.. The whole MISSION loves your chex mix mom. I can´t lie its way too good. Wow and white rabbit? I forgot that even existed. Bottom line.......... THANK YOU SO MUCH everyone!! My birthday was sweet! Its still weird.... The next time someone asks me how old I am and I say "veinte" I´m sure I´ll have some kind of panic attack. I´ve driven a couple times already and lets just say..... ITS RIDICULOUS!!! The people ALL drive like Dad.... Imagine dad in a rental car x 2038947 chileans in the street and you´ll have santiagos driving conditions.... Not to mention the van we have isn´t a ford focus... Its weird driving with such a beasty thing... I still haven´t learned to drive stick but I might die... I´ll keep you updated on that haha. A couple days ago we received an email that was a plane ticket saying an elder was going to head on out April 4th... No big deal right? HUGE DEAL!! That means that Elder Cummings will be heading out of here in ONE MORE WEEK. Meaning that I have very little time to learn a WHOLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE lot of stuff! pray pray pray for me plzzz!

That´s all the greenies luggage. A HUGE PAIN to get here. We had
 a whole separate bus for their luggage haha. So we HAD to take this
 picture.. I know you love it! 15 gringos luggage! TONS!
We´ve only gotten out in the sector a few times but we´ve had a bunch of miracles.. Elder Cummings said... "God knows we don´t get out in the sector too often so he blesses us more" ITS TRUE. We´ve had a bunch of success here so far. Theres a lady who smokes A TON. So we all talked about her quitting smoking. She says its impossible and that shes tried everything... Sounds like your tipical person who has never had the gospel in their life. Anyways, we made her a plan with a HUGE poster to put on her wall as well as a box of "Spiritual Cigarettes". If there are any missionaries reading this now with investigators who have smoking problems, TRY THIS. You make a little cigarette box with like an old cereal box. Then you cut up little papers and write scriptures on them. Scriptures that apply to the situation of quitting smoking... Theres a TON. Then, you roll em all up and put them in your little box.. Oh ya. On the outside of the box cut up a couple pass along cards and tape them on. We left her those too and told her that every time shes tempted to smoke, take out a spiritual cigarette and say a prayer. THIS IS GOING TO WORK!! I love the gospel and the power it has to change lives... Well I don´t have a ton more to say. I love you all so much. The church is true. It honestly is. There is NO better way.. No straighter path. Keep on keepin on. Have a great week! °°°Elder Christensen°°°

3/24/2011 Elder Christensen's HUMP DAY!!!

This note and pictures came from Hermana King:

Well you know now that we have called Elder C to be in our office with us. We are thrilled he will keep us all laughing I just love Elder C. He is learning fast and has lots of talent he is very organized and willing to do what ever is needed.. I was just there with him and he was sharing his birthday treats. He loves to brag about his family.  What a blessing to have a family like yours--you are a wonderful example to the whole mission.

Elder Christensen's & Elder Monsen's HUMP DAY

Well today I was with him and Elder Monsen and they told me it was their 1 year mark in the mission WOW! So I took these pictures for you. Elder Cummings is his companion he is also training Elder C to be our new mission Secretary. I tell ya they crack me up it is so good for me to get to be in there for a while and just laugh and enjoy. You know how they are. It makes me miss my Scott.

Elder C and Elder Cummiongs

Thursday, March 24, 2011

3/22/2011 Hermana Christensen

what in the world?!!!

 hno chavez hnos miller [ward mission leader/wife]
 and hna mendoza with CAKE!!!
okay okay okay. first of all. the german chocolate cake was enjoyed by all. even and ESPECIALLY those who have semi negative remarks about the plethora of packages i am sent by you sweethearts. so thank you! okay. and then the pudding? WOW. delish. thank you thank you thank you!! i absolutely love my family to the end of the universe!

i'll be completely honest with you. i don't think i've had a more trying week on my mission than this last one. it's hard to explain exactly what happened... but we literally lost all our investigators, including hno chavez--who literally just needs to say "i will follow the example of jesus christ and be baptized" or, digo, "SI" after we say, "seguira el ejemplo de jesucrist y ser bautisado por alguien que posee el sacerdocio de dios?" ha. he just needs to say yes--he's THAT close. anyway, he secretly dropped us. then didn't answer the phone, hung up on us, didn't come to churcha and broke our hearts. basically the same thing with our other couple investigadores. at one point of the week we were literally getting rocks thrown at us. i asked sister mendoza if it was really happening because it was SO RIDICULOUS. but we took SUCH courage as we tried to live the battalion line, "despite the difficult circumstances, we chose to be happy." we tried. we tried SO hard! we prayed and prayed and prayed and fasted and wow. my testimony about fasting wasn't the strongest.. but lately i've been thinking and praying to know what i can sacrifice to be more pure and to be be a better missionary and to see MIRACLES. so we fasted and... wow. we've seen miracles. heavenly father blesses us when we sacrifice these little things--like food! hno chavez had a COMPLETE change of heart; he went to another church and felt a huge difference and now knows that the church is true. so we're giong to meet with him tomorrow... then--last night--we got a phone call from a random elder who gave us FIVE REFERRALS. okay. first of all--la mesa NEVER GETS REFERRALS!!!!!!!! second of all--sister christensen never gets referrals! haha so this may just be more referrals than i've ever received in my whole mission... in just one night! i'm telling you... heavenly father!! so things are lookiing up. even now, looking back on last week, it doesnt' seem that bad. but during it, wow. we felt like we had nothing, but we tried to be happy and see the good. this is how life is: if we just look for the good despite the turbulance, we'll make it through! i KNOW that heavenly father was helping us through that every step of the way, and was just testing our faith. we are HIS! i loved that bro said he wasn't sent there to fail--i love that. we were NOT sent here to earth to fail, but to live! to make it! and to be HAPPY!!! so let us all CHOOSE TO BE HAPPY!!!

Grandpa & Grandma Hunsaker, Derek & Jen
James & Aidan with Hermana C!
First commitment: MORMON.ORG! period.

second: once you've completed your profile on MORMON.ORG, and you've told your favorite missionary daughter, watch the new profile (movie) about the girl in wien. i about started crying when i saw it. you only see my beloved wien for about .3 seconds, but still!

third: pray and ask our father in heaven what things specifically you can give up to have more of the spirit in your life. i promise he'll answer you. have the valor to give it up and just WAIT for the miracles!!

fourth: CHOOSE TO BE HAPPY!!! look for the good!!! las bendiciones sobreabundan sobre nosotros!

the church is true. love you all. DEARLY!

hna christensen
sister park and i at the temp. :) BEST DAY!!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

3/19/11 Elder Christensen

Me in the courtyard at the temple. Awesome picture. 
Hello friends and fam! So..... This week a BOMB dropped on my life! As I explained last week, I had changes. Yes. Duh. Everyone in my whole zone in talagante was bugging me like... Hey Mr District leader and all this jazz. I had previously thought that there were a bunch of DL´s going home and that it was a possibility.. But then I kicked that thought out of my brain SO FAST! I packed super quick the night before changes and went out to say bye to a few familes... It was pretty hard to leave that place and those people after having just barely gotten to know them. It made it much easier to say bye at least... I wasn´t so attached like in El Conquistador.

We got back to the pension late-ish and I started to get ready for bed. I had literally NOTHING in the pension haha. I got out of the shower and I thought... Uhh...... Deoderant? Packed..... Slippers? Packed.... Just weird. I was sitting at my desk writing in my friend Elder McDougals journal anticipating a call FOREVER. President King usually calls not too late but not too early either.... At around 11:20 I thought... I KNEW IT! HAH! I will not be a district leader like you all said! Then the phone rang... Sure enough... It was the President. We talked for a few minutes and I was DYING in suspense..... Then he said that he wanted to extend me a calling... VERY UNEXPECTEDLY I have been called as the Presidents secretary. After that I thought... Wow... My life is going to change by 180 degrees! I had no idea what the schedule is like.... How much we proscylite for, what duties we have, etc. In these first 4 days I can say that I´ve learned a LOT but.... Its like 1/18 of what I need to learn... There are a LOT of big things that I´m in charge of that aren´t too easy to learn so I´ve been pulling my hair out with so much nervousness. All the Visas and Carnettes and stuff.... Presidents calendars and schedule. All the lists of changes and ALL the missionaries information. Maybe that can help describe a little of my stress! Oh ya... The cherry on top is that I´ll be driving! Uhh...... I wish you could SEE how these people drive!! Its like if Wal Mart publicly announced that everything in the store was free for the next two hours. Everyone drives like that... Everywhere. Every time of the day... The other cherry on top is that the truck is a STICK!! Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh wow. So I´m going to learn to drive stick in the midst of thousands of horrid drivers hahaha. Double prayers for safety and help pleaseeeeeeeeeeee!!! I´m pretty sure I´ll be in here for a good 6 to 8 months. Its a tough job to learn then you don´t want to change that person once they´ve learned. So I´ll be in here awhile!!

On a lighter, happier note, THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH FOR THE BIRTHDAY WISHES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is so weird... It went by just like Christmas. Several times during the day I forgot it was my birthday. We live with the assistants and they decorated the pension a little bit to surprise me. GET THIS!!! They even found a Papa Johns that is a LONG way away and ordered us pizza. I had heard that place existed but didn{t actually believe it tons. We ate like 3 pizzas and garlic parmesan breadsticks. So awesome. Then I got your PACKAGES FULL OF GOODNESS!!! Wow. Its like.. The abundance of my blessings and the love from my family never ends. I had a wonderful birthday mainly because of all my friends and family who continually are helping and encouraging me.

Us with the couple who got sealed.
So... this is SO sick what I´m about to say... Elder Cummings and Elder Speakman are my companions right now... They had a SEALING session planned for TODAY with a family from one of Elder Cummings old wards... WE WENT TO THE TEMPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wow.... it was the coolest thing I´ve ever done..... Imagine the temple... IN SPANISH!!!!!!!! WOOOO!!! I had like 29487 spazz attacks and 234908 feelings of wanting to cry. The spirit was.... seriously unreal in this place. Its been 10 months since my last trip to the temple and I had forgotten A LOTTTTT. Let me just say its easily the best place on the earth. Watching these two adults who are very in love first receive their endowments and then get sealed for time and eternity made me think a lot about what I´m doing... I also realized that I feel weak spiritually because I was suddenly FILLED. I felt like a re-chargeable duracell battery as my spirits lifted and I felt... Full.... Weird feeling but INCREDIBLE!!!!!!!! Here in the office we are supposed to study and proscylite but.... ya... the time is really crunched sometimes and I´ve only been here 4 days haha. So less studies and less time with members and investigators makes for spiritual death.... I´m gonna have to learn how to manage time or I´m gonna be in big troubleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

Alright so lots of changes, lots of good stuff has happened, and theres a lot to do still. I really need a lot of support from you guys. We all know that I tend to doubt myself.... I´m trying not to but I still dont really have a clue of what I´m doing... Just a different perspective I now have about being a missionary. I know that I will grow so much during this time. I also know that the Lord put me here for a reason and that he didn´t put me here to fail. Its do-able. Maybe it looks impossibly hard but... WITH TIME!!!!

I just wanted to let you all know that I love love love love love love love youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu. I know that not one of your prayers goes un noticed. I receive so much help from each and every one of you and your support. So thank you!

The Santiago Temple out front!! (Moroni!!)
My challenge for the week is that everyone goes to the temple... Cancel your lunch plans at Cafe Rio, get a baby sitter, finish your homework early, whatever the problem may be that stands in your way, MOVE IT, and get to the temple. Honestly. I have been spiritually STARVED for this last ten months!!! The temple is so amazing!! You all live RIGHT THERE literally!! So go. You will realize that it is so important to us as members as well as those waiting on the other side for the ordinances. I expect reports!!!! Haha. Love you all. The church is true. La vida es algo muy dificil.... Siempre se cambia y no podemos mantenernos con el fundamento de arena... Fúndanse encima de la roca!!! El Evangelio de Jesucristo NUNCA cambia. Siempre podemos encontrar respuestas y ayuda de el y de Nuestro Padre Celestial. Se que hay un plan para nosotros que us SUMAMENTE importante. Los principios están aqui para ayudarnos.... Espero que vivan en una manara digna y que recuerden los convenios que han hecho... Les amo. Que les vaya super bien. Ciaoooooooo! Elder Christensen.
 Elders Jorgensen, Cummings, Stoddard and Speakman (back desk)

Hermana Christensen and Poulsen's interview by San Diego's news re Brandon Davies and the BYU Honor Code!

BYU fans say honor more important than winning

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

3/15/2011 Hermana Christensen

rudolph. he was homeless. literallyt he funniest tour i have ever given in my life.


sorry sorry i have t minus 6 minutes.

BUT i just wanted to say that we had the beautiful opportunity to go to the temple just barely and WOW! tms EVERYWHERE! beginning with the "wdr" ring right in front of me (ctr auf deutsch!!!), to sister park sitting RIGHT NEXT TO ME. unbelievable!!! i feel so grateful and SO blessed. as we sat in the celestial room talking about all the hebrew/greek stuff from presidents, i felt so overwhelmed with LOVE and gratitude and a certainty that this TRULY is god's church! it's all true!!!!!!

this week i had a beautiful experience at the battalion--a family sister story and i worked with in chula came in with the missionaries.... the dad (mario) was antid and so their family fell into inactivity... anyways, we tried helping them get to church and it didn't really work out. miracle after miracle we find a member who wants missionarie to live with him, elders move in, and MONTHS later they find a way into mario's heart... and now they're working towards getting SEALED IN THE TEMPLE!!!!! and the 2 boys we tried working with to get baptized are getting baptized in the upcoming months! i was BEAMING and couldn't help but think about how incandescently happy the gospel of jesus christ makes us.

i feel like i've never been more grateful to be alive or to be a missionary or to have YOU than ever before. i love you, family, hope you know that. SO SO SO much. no hay palabras!!!!

stay strong. know that i love you. there is only one way--stay on the straight and narrow and look out for our lost/fallen brothers and sisters along the way.

hermana christensen

ps. you're on the sd temple prayer roll!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY BROSEPH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ps. JOAN!!! guess what? one of my most prized friends in the branch is named silvia garcia---she's friends with martia lima!!! SMALL WORLD!!

jean. if you're reading this. i love you. stay strong.

to my 8--love you as well. prayin for you.

coolest ward member ever

Monday, March 14, 2011

3/14/2011 Elder Christensen

Los Elderes de la islita. In a park on pday!!
Hola mis queridos amigos! Well its official that the Lord throws a nasty curveball. After only one change here in Talagante we received the call that I´m being changed. I wish they would let us know something about where or who or whatever but the suspense just builds and turns into a nuke in my stomach haha. Awful.

I´m feeling like 50/50 right now. On one hand I just got used to the bike, I LOVE the people here and the other missionaries, we have tons of plans to help out the branch, and I´m pretty upset to be leaving here when I just got to know it.... On the other hand...I´m excited!! I feel like obama by saying...... " WE NEED CHANGE" hahaha. I know that changes are only for our personal growth! Whatever awaits me will be just as good and if my attitude is right it will be better! I also know that the Lord knows whats best for me as well as for every single one of us. So its like... I´m on the fence... I think I´ll remain on the fence until I jump down on the other side at like 7 tomorrow morning haha.

Swingset!! Check out how ghetto it is haha.
Its been really great here lately. We´ve found a bunch of really nice people and planted at least 203947293487239487 seeds here. I know that our work will pay off. We never know what is going on behind the scenes in the lives of these people.. I just know that our words pierce the hearts of these people when we speak by the spirit. Its vital that we maintain ourselves worthy of him and that we use his power. Hey I hope all is well with everyone too. The people here are spooked because of the HUGE earthquake and tsunami stuff thats going on. How CRAZY. It looks like a movie or something... I was like... Uhh.. Are they watching the day after tomorrow? Oh nope! Thats Japan!

I love you all so much and I pray for you constantly. Keep doing what you can where you can. Remember that the little things count. Espero que cada uno de ustedes puedan pensar en alguna manera que pueden compartir el evangelio restaurado con alguien esta semana. Les quiero muchisimo.. Elder Christensen

Message to mom and dad. Love you both. Hope you have a great week. Thanks for all the support. You´re in my prayers constantly. You ROCK!!!!!!!!!!!! Stay on the iron rod as firm as you can! Both hands!! All ten fingers!! TO THE ROD! Ciaoito: Elder Christensen

3/8/2011 Hermana Christensen

me and kim johnson at the temple
 that was SUCH  a tm to see her there!!!
I'm not entirely sure what it was about this week in particular, but I had a million and a half things that made me think of home and my family. I sure love you guys!!!!

yesterday i remembered a funny childhood memory--remember the cigarette lighter? well, this week sister mendoza and i are studying the commandments, and it was so neat to see all the parallels there. "okay, tawny, don't touch this thing because it will burn you. i'm just going to leave you for ONE second while i run up to this door..." it's like Heavenly father--He leaves us for one little baby second on earth, tells us EXACTLY what to do (and what not to do!), but gives us our agency. and what do we do with it? well, sometimes, we put the cigarette lighter to our lips, and it freakin hurts, and it's sorta a funny memory, but why? I don't know, the parallels to that story and the commandements etc were beautiful. we can still laugh about it though!
all's well.

we had a 3 1/2 hour lesson with hermano chavez last week.. he bore his testimony in church on sunday. he's not even a member yet! he's pretty legit. we have to be patient with him, but he's amazing. i'm excited for him; i know he's going to rise up and be a really inspiring priesthood leader someday.

we had a really neat experience here at the battalion the other day. a couple came in--they'd found a flyer somewhere and decided to come up. she told me she'd been diagnosed with cancer and that it was real hard for her. she and her husband said that they felt something really special and different here... i told them that it wasn't casualidad or chance that they were here, and she started crying. she went on the tour and afterwards referred herself saying that they wanted the missionaries to come over. unbelievable. heavenly father leads people here that are SO prepared and so ready. it's unreal. then as if that wasn't tm enough, sister park came in, and i got to take her and her invesitgators on a tour. what? so neat. love her!

also, i was checking the status of the referrals i've sent off and guess what? one man... got BAPTIZED. i'm telling you. it happens! this place is unreal! i really love serving here. there are five new sisters here, and i was talking to three of them the other day and i had a really... i don't know, it was a neat moment where i was able to see that i've made a little bit of progress. they were talking about how they didn't really love their call and how it was going to take some getting used to "sitting indoors in a pioneer dress all day not helping anyone," and i THREW DOWN. i didn't know i loved the battalion nor my call as much as i did until i was basically crying, testifying to them of the sacred nature of their call and the blessing, opportunity, and PRIVILEGE that is ours to serve here in this mission--and especially at the battalion. it was a tm. i really am contenta and so grateful for this singular opportunity and privilege to be here. i love it SO much! every night in my prayers i'm so thankful that i am a missionary and that i stilll have time here!

i am grateful. i love you. i thank you for your support and love and emails and PACKAGE. you are out of control! please have a great week and know that i love you. DEARLY!!!!

hermana christensen

how neat about the gilbert's! i LOVE them; they will do such a neat job over there in korea! wow. thanks for telling me!

if any of my 8 are reading this--how are you all doing? no mail from you in my pile today--what's up with that?! get on the ball! jk. but i love you dearly!!! thinking of and praying for you like you wouldn't believe!

dearest joan. thanks for the email! can't wait to read it. you're wonderful. i love you very much! keep warm sweet thing!
last night's sunset. and you can see the moon! so pretty!!!

3/7/2011 Elder Christensen

This HUGE batch of Chicken alfredo we made last week.
 SO good!!!
Hey everyone! Its been another excellent week here in La Islita! Soooo get this. Our bikes have been broken this WHOLE week. We´ve had to spend a whole bunch of money and take micros and to fix our bikes. Its been ridiculous!! Here´s something that made me think though.... Our numbers and our success were both MUCH MUCH better without bikes.... Coincidence? Or blessings? Hmm... We´ve found two families who are like... GOLDENNN! The first is La familia Guerra. They have tons of questions about us and are practically begging us to come by. Hahah. Thats like unheard of in not only my sector but like all of Chile. The only problem is they can only do it on saturdays. BLAH. So we´ll be heading over this week... The next! This lady named Sara and her husband Christian. Her dad was a member before he died.. He was endowed and all that jazz. So she has a TON of gospel knowledge already and wants to learn MORE!! The only problem again is that they´re only home on Sundays! Give me a breakkkkkkkk! WAY cool though. It was a miracle to find them. The last is a kid named Camilo. Us 4 missionaries have gone to the feria ( Like the flea market outside) a couple times to give away folletos and laminas... We also have been singing hymns there. Anyways. We found this kid Camilo in the feria and have gone to his house like 2 times and have taught him a coulple times about the restoration. He LOVES it. He´s also praying and reading what we leave him. Its like... MIRACLE after MIRACLE! Lovin it. Now. I just wanted to point out to everyone here in this joint that this WEDNESDAY is my moms Birthday! GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO and wish her a happy birthday and tell her she ROCKS!! I wrote a SICK poem for her though you all ready? Here goes..

As a Family We´ll Prevail

To me it seems so very strange, that this year has come and gone.

I´m sure the house has been quite different without me and sister Tawn.

I sure love what I´m doing here, the work is going great,

It´s such an honor and privelege I have, this chance to participate.

I feel so blessed to have my family, with all your support and love,

I know I´ve been so very blessed by my father up above.

I´m not sure what I did to receive a life like this,

a life thats full of memories and laughs with unity and bliss.

It´s difficult to live sometimes but I know one thing for sure,

this love we have, this joy we share, forever can endure.

All we must do is apply what we know,

With family prayer and scripture study we´re sure to conquer the foe.

With the principles we have and the covenants we´ve made

A stable safe foundation has already been laid.

I may not know too much, maybe nothing at all,

but I know that with Christ´s gospel in our lives it´s impossible to fall.

He lived a perfect life, so very clean and pure,

Through the grace of his Atonement, We´re sure to find the cure.

The way he sacrificed himself, he must love us oh so much,

If we follow in his footsteps, one day his hands we´ll touch.

I know these things to be true, for they´ve been made clear unto me,

It´s now my job to go out there, and help the rest to see.

My parents I thank you oh so much, for showing me the way,

Sometimes its hard to express myself, and I can´t find what to say.

I´m grateful to have you in my life, I sure love you all a lot,

the good times we´ve had and the struggles we´ve faced, this love cannot be bought.

I´ll work my hardest every day, I´ll give it all I´ve got,

Let me tell you once again, that this love cannot be bought.

I know this plan is meant for us, I know we cannot fail,

If we remember these things and endure to the end, As a family we´ll prevail.

I couldn´t help but put the Jersey on over
 my clothes haha. I know you like it!
Hope you like it. I thought of the idea to write a poem LAST NIGHT for you´re birthday. . I hope all is going well for you guys over there and that you always remember to live the higher law. RAISE THE BAR: Even as missionaries WE need to raise the bar. So as normal people I know that you ALL can raise the bar. Find a couple things to change and CHANGE them! Hope everyone has a great week. Love you alllllllllllllll very much. You´re in my prayers. CIAOOOOOOOOO! Much , Your Elder in South America. Elder Christensen!

3/1/2011 Hermana Christensen

hello my querida familia.

i feel really calm and peaceful as i'm writing you, which is abnormal. usually it's a cluster and i'm real rushed.. but today i just feel still.

i've been having trouble sleeping lately, but it's not anything i need help with. my mind is just so full and i hear my watch beep several times before i fall asleep; this past week has been hard. in a beautiful way. a beautiful kind of hard? that. my heart... ah, just feels so full. i have been absolutely blown away by the.. by the time, by the changes, and by the LOVE that i feel. I dont' know how to explain what i'm feeling. I just feel like life is moving so quickly and all these changes are coming so quickly and making me realize how overflowingly FULL my little heart is and how grateful i am for this singular opportunity to be on a mission, and be a representative of christ.

 my eight hermanas left this morning. i've been worried about it; it's difficult to describe how close i've gotten to them over this short little time, and--once again--i just don't do so great with change. but heavenly father is so gracious and has heard my pleadings and has enlightened my mind on how i can improve, how i can be happy despite all these changes, and how i can help those around me and be the example for these new sisters. it's bizzare to think that i'm now to the point in my mission where these new sisters tomorrow will see me like i saw my eight. once again, what is time? the point is that heavenly father strengthens us when we ask and when we need it. we don't realize when we have it all--we just don't recognize that stability until it's gone. we're all in different places in our lives, but we HAVE to appreciate it because it will soon be over and we won't have it again. i have mixed feelings about the line, "live the mission with no regrets," but i think that definitely applies here. no regrets my friends. cherish those who are around you!

One of my favorite parts in preach my gospel says that we receive answers to our prayers por sentimientos y pensamientos--thoughts and feelings--and that we receive personal revelation as we read the scriptures. that has been happening to me so much this past week! this morning was particularly enlightening and EXACTLy what i needed. go read almoa 34:17-19, 27, 38. i bet we'll all see it differently. i love the scriptures. my time to read and study them is like gold. those of you in the land of perpetual preparation days... oh, please be drinking deeply from your scripts!

i realized last week that i always write in my journal about how the work is going and that i don't really keep you all super tuned in. you always ask, but i just feel like/assume you know. so i realized i need to be better about that since you're so wonderful about keeping me up to date--which i am SO grateful for! hands down, i love my little branch. my? ha ha. but i love them. so much! they are so strong and such good missionaries! we have a beautiful area and just such neat people to work with. they are all so generous--yesterday i was given a coat. like a literal coat, from hermana garcia, the rs president and her family. remember how everyone told me how it was always 75 in sd? false. and i've been on the coldy side, but haven't had the desire to buy a coat. well, she gave me one! and it's BEAUTIFUL. i just can't get over how GOOD people are. sister mendoza is awesome. she's such a strong missionary and teaches me so much! she's jumped right into the work. the program is going well and we are both learning a ton as we study these new fundamental principles that will make up the new preach my gospel. it is definitely inspired. we're blessed to get an extra hour of studying--which we sometimes get because of the battalion haha--but we feel like heavenly father makes up the difference with what we don't get. our investigators are... they are AWESOME they are just using their agency to choose the right much much muuuuch more slowly than we'd like, but i'm trying to have a vision of this work for these people. i don't know if i ever shared this--but when i was in chula vista, my old district leader was hounding us to get a vision for the work, a long term view of the work. so we were praying for some answers, and i started having these almost-visions of people dressed in temple clothes. wow. goosebumps. it took me a little while, but then i realized that was my vision. a little while i heard that our investigators need to see the temple spires from the baptismal font. is this sounding familiar? anyway, the temple. i'm trying to have that vision, that goal in mind as we have these poco investigadores who aren't erally progressing. the kingdom of god or nothing! we'll get em! and the battalion... ahhh i love the battalion. it is my haven. it's like the one constancy in my mission. the other day i was pretty down, and in walks this guy with an awesome accent. (remember how i wanted to serve in austria/deutschland? well heavenly father is so gracious to send them to me in the place that's actually where i need to be. what a tm!) even just hearing their thick german accent makes my heart race, not to mention that eckhaut and his wife pedra were the NICEST germans i've ever met, but they just... how they were uplifted me. i know that they were sent to me in that moment from heavenly father so he could be like, "hey, hermana, it's okay. keep going. be happy. these two will cheer you up and remind you of my love for you. and for them. they need the gospel! get to it!" ha. so they referred and my freund schwester sister mccall in berlin may just get the referral to drop das buch mormon off at their house....!

i'm tellin you. i'm all over the place. but i have a testimony. and i am GRATEFUL. i can't believe all these emotions fit inside me, but they do. i am so thankful for this gift, this precious time to be a missionary and feel this consuming love. i can't even imagine what our heavenly father feels! i love Him. i love His plan. i love my Savior and His gospel. i am so thankful for the way. I know that there is only one way, and that my fellow sanDiegans are being prepared for us to throw down. i love being a missionary. it is SO cliche to say that it's the hardest but the best (i used to haaaaate when people said that! is there really nothing else they can say?!)--but no, there really are no other words. i didn't know how hard it would be or how it would be hard, nor did i understand how incredibly good and satisfying and wonderful it would be. i am just so thankful. thank you for supporting me to come out on a mission and for all your support thus far!

ay, this is long. i'm sorry. a few things:

*tomorrow is transfers. we're safe for another one because of the pilot. but as of april whatever anything's fair game.

*our new mission president will be balla (as broseph would say). turns out his wife is elder ballard's daughter. nbd. aka no big deal. president donaldson is such a stud though, and i will always and forevermore be grateful that he agreed to be my mission president in the preexistence because i've needed him. ah, sorry, quick story time. do you remember the semester i got back from austria--my first winter semester at byu? you probably don't. you thought i was crazy because i signed up for way early classes? well i signed up for them not only to avoid many a people driving in the snow, but i always wanted to get to campus early because i felt like--my WHOLE time in austria--that the spirit was really prompting me to study the atonement... i was filled with such desire to understand it more fully and it just.. i couldn't stop thinking about it. so i would get to campus at like 7 or whatever and just read all these books about the atonement. i learned a LOT, but i didn't learn how it applied to me. president donaldson has focused SO MUCH on the atonement, and i am only just beginnnnnnnnnnning to see it and understand it. but that's only because he's focused on it so much. i bet all mission presidents talk about the atonement (hopefully), but none do it like he does. all the hebrew and greek and... AH. get out. heavenly father has prepared the way for us. my pbless says that he has prepared the "times and the bounds of my habitation here," and i am certain that includes the timing of being here with him JUST so i can learn a little more about the atonement. and about that--go read 1ne 9:6. He's in charge. Heavenly father that is.

*connan and kris are awesome--they totally made my day in the battalion! tell them thanks!

i'm so glad that everyone is well. the pictures are all adorable. it's unreal to me that she's real. and the kitty? wow. i have no idea. see? life is just changing! for that i'm grateful to be on the mission and be immune to all of it. it just doesn't feel real to me. i'm just in this little bubble, and i am happy to be here. so happy.

i love you all deeply. be expecting some visits from sisters story and ploeger. :)

hermana christensen

joan you cute sweet thing i'm holding a letter from you. stop outdoing yourself! i know it's tiring to write letters so don't stress about it! i just saw the most adorable woman at the grocery store that looked just like you! i love you mucho gusto and am excited to read your letter! stay strong and healthy and WARM!!!

all of us at the thomas' for a bbq

2/28/2010 Elder Christensen

Elder Stoddard the AP!!!
Hey friends and fam!! Yet another ridiculously fast week has melted away. I think riding a bike has something to do with that haha. Lets get down to business. Our branch is doin okay. 35 people showed up at church this week. The lowest in my time here. We´ve had several meetings with the branch Pres and his counsellors to try and figure this stuff out. The fact is that many people just don´t want ANYTHING. Like I said last week. The people are happy with their apostasy. We´re trying to think of ways to get the branch EXCITED about this gospel. The Chileans are LAZY about sharing the gospel haha. They don´t even share with their own family that aren´t members.. Like.... what?? Lets just say for example that Tawny wasn´t a member of the church... I would try every single day to try and help her understand. To try and preach the restored gospel.. Its SO SIMPLE too. Just take a look at amos 3:7 and you´re already set. There will ALWAYS be a prophet... Do you guys have a prophet?? Looks like not. APOSTATES!! Theres a .....MOSIAH 28:3... So good. It would literally HURT me that this person would have to perish..... I desire salvation for EVERYONE!!! The people here dont do that! I don´t get it! Do you want to live with your mom forever? Then can you please get sharing and help her like.....NOW!?!?!? Goodness its frustrating!!!

I don´t have a ton of time. We have one investigator whos awesome. Julio. I told you last week. This week he told us he was gonna put his bible aside and focus on receiving his answer. We´re stoked about it. The next step is to get him to church!! Hes awesome. Such a cute old man also. Hahah. That may sound weird but its too funny.

Heres a little challenge for you all. DyC 38:40-42.... Read it... It talks about how EVERY SINGLE member of the church needs to share the gospel with the sound of a warning voice. THIS IS IT!!! We´re in the latter days here people. The work is URGENT. Read this scripture, pray to have an opportunity to share the gospel, go out and DO IT. Your mouth will be FILLED. I promis you all its like this!! Sometimes its hard to approach someone like this but it WORKS!! DyC 30:11. DO NOT BE AFRAID. He is with you...Have a great week everyone!! Hope all is well in the USA. Also please tell my cousin Megan Happy birthday. I don´t remember how old she is.... Thats what the mission does to your brain!! Have a great one everyone! I´m praying for you all! Much love, Elder Christensen

2/22/2011 Hermana Christensen


okay okay okay. lets just jump in.

so forever ago there was a girl named kristen who ran into some sisters at the park in la jolla (the nice city where the temp is). the missionaries asked for her number and she said no, maybe if i see you again. a little while later, they saw her again (which NEVER happens in la jolla) and kristen said the same thing. "naw.. just coincidence.. if i see you again yes." awhile later they saw each other AGAIN! ay! anyway, many sisters taught her and a lot of time passed blah blah blah but she got baptized and is going on a mission now. unspeakable. it is absolutely unreal. in devo last week (we have a battalion devo every thurs at 8) the sisters giving it talked about when you cut an apple up there are however many seeds--you can see them and count them. but how many apples are in a seed? THAT'S missionary week. we have NO idea how many of these people will go on to become "apples" so to speak haha. but seriously. unbelievable. even though it's not my miracle and it has ntohing to do with me, it has strengthened my testiony and filled me with hope to continue forward trying to harvest. souls. hah. you know what i mean.

awhile back i may have shared about a bomb exchange i had. actually i doubt i did. welp it was last transfer and i was with a HIGHLARIOUS sista named sister seguin, and she really showed me that missionary work is FUN. we had an amazing day with so many miracles. yesterday at the batatlion she walked in with a lady that looked sooo familiar and sista seguin said, 'remember her?!" and waited for me.... we were driving looking for somebody's hosue ( i was lost. but i've found that even when we're lost due to poor planning -[on my part] or poor navigational skills, we STILL FIND PEOPLE!! I THINK HEAVENLY FATHER LOVES US OR SOMETHING!!!!) and we found this lady in a wheelchair struggling.. we ran out of the car to help her and she talked our EARS and eyes off our bodies but it was wonderful. we were giving her our number on our card with a pic of the temple on it when this lady walks up and says, "are you mormon? i see the temple... i'm mormon too!" turns out she's less active.. soemthing about her husband not letting her go to church? whatev. she's neighbs to this lady--no coincidence!--and we were able to visit with her for a sec. her name is ana and shes from hungary. anyway, the wheelchair woman, ana, and i had a nice little chat in german, and we all walked away (or rolled) to our various destinations feeling such happiness.... POINT OF THE STORY haha is that ana is ACTIVE, sharing the gospel, and her mom is getting BAPTIZED! again, nothing to do with me, just blissful blessings that the gospel brings to us and our families!!!

all's well in zion. we are loving our lives. sister mendoza is pretty legit and i'm uber grateful to be her comp. our area is coming... tomorrow we're having a throw down lesson ON TEMPLE GROUNDS with hermano chavez so he knows he doesn't need to have the book of genesis or revelations memorized to be baptized. should be solid. life's a bowl of cherries.

there are 8 sisters leaving next week. i seriously think my heart is going to break in half. i HATE change. hate hate hate. it's incredible how close we've all become and i really am just so incredibly grateful for how smart and wise and perfect our heavenly father is to put us all together at this pivotal time of life. these 8 sisters have taught me so much, and there seriously will be an empty space in my heart. but thus is life. i love them. mostly i'm just grateful. well actually i am entirely grateful. there is no growth without trial!!

ps check out my new mission president. i guess it was in church news. then let me know. ha. i love presidente donaldson...the MAN!

joan my sweetheart, you cute thing! thank you for your letter! p lease don't overexert yourself! just tell kristen (my ma) what you wanna say and she'll type it into her space phone that can do ANYTHING. i'm serious. instead of breaking your hand to write me, please eat some chocolate. i love you! and to answer your question, no i haven't heard from jessica and jennica has written me once. if they're alive and breathing tell them hello from their old friend sister christensen who is still alive and breathing in san diego. haha. i know they're busy. marriage... JOAN I LOVE YOU! stay strong sweet thing!

welp i'm glad everyone is... safe and... um in their own houses etc and safe and yeah. youi know what i mean. haha. i'm just glad things are well. thanks for the letters, the love, the photos of beauty (especially our "great room" my goodness! I LOVE IT!!!). youre the best fam i could ask for. and sorry the box wasn't cooler. i didn't have tons of notice. i'm trying not to accumlate garby willy!


i love you all.

hermana christensen

2/21/2011 Elder Christensen

Elders Christensen & Guterrez
Hello friends and family!!! How is everyone doing?? I sure hope great. This week has been a very interesting one indeed. So... There are 4 of us that live in the sector as I previously explained. The work is going VERY slow and there a few people who actually want to listen. So now, the mission is thinking of taking TWO of the missionaries OUT for good... That would be HORRRIBLEEEE for not only us but for the ward! Satan is working so hard. How is that even possible!?!? Its so hard to even give a FREEEEEEE passalong with a DVD on it away to these people! Hello we´re servants of Christ!! NO NOT INTERESTED.. Okay can we give you a free dvd then? NO see you later. Like... really? WE HAVE YOUR SALVATION HEREEEEEEEEEE. Goodness. At least take the card and say thanks!! How hard is that? Even if you´re not going to call take the card and be nice to people! Outside of Utah ( there too! ) there are tons of just mean people! I am afraid to talk that far out of my boundaries. You need to be respectful with everyone!

So this week we´ve been working so HARDDDD all 4 of us. We held a special fast, we´ve prayed, we´ve had special meetings with the branch president, and we´re trying so hard to keep this place alive!! If they take out two missionaries, the two that stay will have a Gigantonormous area. It will be RIDICULOUS to have appointments so far away and the progress of the people will diminish. THAT CAN¨T HAPPEN. We´ve spent a ton of time knocking doors, contacting, and visiting less actives. We have one investigator named Julio who is reading the Book of Mormon and thinking alot about being baptized. Hes evangelico and its hard for him to think about being baptized again. Basicaly he doesnt understand that they are APOSTATES. ;) We´ve spent time reading with him and also explaining what the gospel of Jesus Christ is. IT CAN CHANGE LIVES! It has changed many, and it will change many more. Why? Because its trueeeeeeeeeeeeee. Hes progressing slowly but surely. He said he was going to put his bibles away and start reading the LDM from the start. Veryyy niceeee!! We found another cool guy named Marcelino who has always like the mormons for not drinking or doing drugs. That type of Jazz. ( Word of wisdom Plzzzz!!!) He actually WANTS us to come back today! We´ll be heading over there at 9:30 to teach him lesson one. Thats the just of our miracles this week. Hours on the bike, hundreds who don´t want anything, but the DESIRE TO SHARE STILL EXISTS! "Onward, ever onward, as we glory in his name!!" Sick song. I sing it alot too.Helps keep us all going. Have a great week everyone. Hope all is well. Lift where you stand. The gospel is TRUE! You don´t realize it until you NEED it. Until you NEED to repent. Until you NEED the atonement. Until you lose a member of your family. Until there is a change. A change of desires and a change of heart. Thats when someone decides to take the gospel and thats why we keep pedaling. Someone today needs the gospel in they´re lives. FIND them. Thats your assignment! Love you all. Besitos! Ciao! Elder Christensen

2/15/2011 Hermana Christensen

So... Kaylynn, what's this i hear about mice?  good thing you got pita outta there! get a cat!

helloooooooooooooooooooooo my sweetest sweet family! how are you all doing today?! How on earth was your dia de san valentin? i hope it was EXPLODING with love and candy and happiness!

I learned the neatest lesson ever this week. Okay so Heavenly Father loves us and answers our prayers. He always does. Sometimes its just more visible than others, right? Well, I've learned that the Battalion is where my prayers are often answered. If I need someone to come and offer to call my parents to wish willy a happy birthday, i can, and it'll go down. And it DID! remember? There are too many instances to count. Okay so back up. This transfer I have learned to REALLY depend on the rama, because I cannot do anything on my own. We NEED members at every lesson because we just DO! haha. so we were having a lesson with hermano chavez and he said he'd come into the battalion; my mind started racing on how we could get a member there and I decided to just pray and ask Heavenly Father to let Elder Ricks be there (i love that man) because he habla espanol. We go to the Battalion and BAM elder ricks was there. I told him about how he was an answer to my prayers and whatev-got to work at the mobat. Later on in the eve HENRY meanders in!!! okay, a--what JOY TO SEE HIM!!!! he is SO fuerte and so faithful and so legit. He's reading every day and is just so dang incredible. He was on a date, and they had nothing to do so they just hung out at the battalion. then in came hno chavez, and i went looking for e ricks, but then i had this distinct thought--"they (henry and his date) are just sitting in there playing the piano with no plans. that is no coincidence!!" and it wasn't. it really wasn't. i asked them if they'd like to spend their first date together helping in the missionary effort :) and they said yes. and the lesson was bomb. and hno chavez said he'd like to be baptized. bottom line: heavenly father answers our prayers in better ways than we can even imagine.

one of my fave lines in the tour is, "God gave us what we wanted most from where we least expected it." so true!

then, as if chula memories hadn't made my week enough with henry throwing down, karina straight up threw down her testimony in a CHARLA are you hearing me people she spoke at a FIRESIDE. she's received her pblessing and is taking her geneology to the temp this week. unreal. the joys of seeing these people progress in the gospel are indescribable. no words.

speaking of family history, i'm at a fam history center ahora which reminds me that I never told you--part of the training for this new program we're doing was to come to the afmily history center ... like the second week. it was BEAUTIFUL i tell you! i was and am filled with the spirit of elijah and cannot believe how thin the veil is! i know that this work is doable! I know willy your pbless says you've got work to do and you don't really know how with all the gaps. i don't really know what to tell you except that there IS a way! the new websites are INCREDIBLE. i'm sure you've done a whole lot of research, but maybe can i suggest asking people at a family history center or something for help? i can't believe how many resources there are to do this work! i love it!

I just want to say something really quickly. deciding to come on a mission was something hard. easy, but hard. i knew i needed to, and i wanted to, but it was hard. but i cannot even BEGIN to tell you... i have had dejavu so many times. everything was created spiritually before it was creating physically. as i physically do what i've already spiritually done, i feel it. the spirit is strong, and wherever i am with whoever i'm with is familiar, and i feel love. and peace. and i KNOW, i KNOW without a doubt that i am in the right. and then i am just grateful. i. am. SO. grateful to be here. i will always and forever remember and cherish my time here in san diego!

Well, i'm off. We're getting the haircut. stay tuned.. i may do something drastic. naaw.

the church is true. i know it. and i cannot deny it!

I love my family so much! i hope you're all staying strong and faithful and solid and HILARIOUS! i appreciate you and your ways more than my words can even explain!!!

hermana christensen

e hizo esto para poder salir el mismo entre los de su pueblo, o sea, entre el pueblo de nefi, a fin de predicarles la palabra de dios para despertar en ellos el recuerdo de sus deberes, y abatir, por medio de LA PALABRA DE DIOS, todo el orgullo y last artimanas, y todas las contenciones que habia entre su pueblo, porque no vio otra manera de rescatarlos SINO CON LA FUERZA DE UN TESTIMONIO PURO en contra de ellos.

alma 4 19

joan bourne glad you sweet thing to write me! i couldn't read the note but i feel your love so strongly! i LOVE you sweet thing! i hope you're staying warm and that you're still reading some good books!!!! :)
Happy Valentines Yesterday!!!!

2/14/2011 Elder Christensen

Hello to all the people out there who are so awesome..... It´s been another great week here in Talagante! We´ve been having a really great time here. Our house is so awesome too! Its such a refreshment to live with 4 missionaries again! Living with 2 is fun too but its just different! Its way better to share experiences and be with 2 more. This week... We taught some really powerful lessons and I felt many times the spirit testifying to ME and the people there. Although the branch here is tiny, the members are so faithful. We had 44 at church this week. I gotta snap a pic of this building haha. Its nice but we feel like we´re in the Joseph Smith house or something I dunno its weird! My comp also got sick... so we were inside the house for 3(!!!) days.. I got sooooo bored haha. I finished unpacking all my junk, cut my hair, cleaned the house like its never been cleaned before, and studied. I got a lot done. It actually RAINED here!!! It was a Christmas miracle!!! It was COLD and I didn´t even care. It was a break from the blazing sun!

I´ve been reading the Book of Mormon again and this is by far the best time I´ve had reading it yet. I´ve decided I´m going to read and re read it forever and mark it in a different color each read.... I asked a member this week where she was in her reading... She said.... "Ya lo terminé" Or... I already finished it! Thats when I was like... uhh..... no? I actually said out loud, You can never finish the Book of Mormon! The prophets have told us we should be CONSTANTLY reading el Libro de Mormónpo! Its just got powerrrrr!! it doesn´t matter if you read about the lamanites and pride and all kinds of garbo that you don´t understand.. YOU READ right? Thats whats important. The book has a power that is with us all day.. Thats what people don´t understand.. They say.... I´ve already read it.. Or.... I don´t learn anything in the war chapters... NOT IMPORTANT PLEASE SPARE ME. Nopè... Always need to be reading it. If I want the spirit with me every day I NEED TO READ. I have the habit and I will never lose it. We went on divisions with the elders from the MTC. It was way cool. They told us not to hardly talk and let the greenies do all the work.. The kids name was Elder Traverso. Chileno from Santiago. Way cool. We had a SWEET miracle too. We found a lady and a member that we were with explained that we had prayed to find those who were waiting.... she quietly said... I was waiting for you... I was like.... AOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We blessed her house and left her a LDM... Then we wrote down their address and passed it along to the Hermanas who work there. I told the family... Buenoooo no vamos a regresar a su casita pero las hermanas que van a venir tienen cualquier poder!! Or.. We´re not going to come back to your house but the hermanas who are gonna come have tons of power!! Its true.. The hermanas are better missionaries!! (Right Hermana Christensen? :D)

Needless to say again it has been a great week. I think a lot about my friends who are on missions and all the support that we have as missionaries. It truly is a blessing to be able to serve the Lord in this time. There is NO better thing that you can do as a person to grow and become closer to our savior Jesus Christ. I´ve seen examples through my own friends, investigators, members, of the changes that come from choosing to raise the bar or not. Those who WANT to serve and those who don´t. Those who apply the gospel and its principles and those who don´t. The difference is huge. It makes me sad to see people fall when the principles are SO SIMPLE. SOOOOOOOOOOO SIMPLE. The path of the iron rod is STRAIGHT AND NARROW. You know all that you have to do to be a good person... To be a good member... But do you apply it? Thats where we put ourselves in front of Christ and his gospel. That´s when the spirit leaves us and we start to lose the SIMPLICITY of the vision of the gospel. The natural man wants to do all kinds of things... but the natural man is God´s enemy. We need to live in discomfort and push ourselves to the limit of our spirituality! Just do what I always say..... Do what you can when you can. + KING SIZE. Its now a candy bar. Do what you can when you can KING SIZE. Hope you all have a great week. Know that I love and pray for you all. The church is true. Live it. Love it. SPREAD it. Ciaopo. Elder Christensen

Happy VDay!

2/8/2011 Hermana Christensen

Hermanas Mendoza and Christensen
Hola queridos!!!

There is zero percento tiempo. But I just printed off all your emails and I can't WAIT to read them all. Seriously--you guys are such incredible support to me. I can't even tell you. I hear sisters around here talking about how their families don't write them and I just feel... sad for them and SO grateful for you! And I know you'll never slow down. Your love means the world to me!

Sorry, totally lame and semi impersonal but it must be done:

• kay n colb--thank you UBER FOR WRITING!!!! i cannot waaaaaaaaaaait to read your email! seriously! thank you thank you thank you! i know you're way crazy now probably so it means a lot. I hope you're feeling healthy and that things are going well! I was thinking about you yesterday wondering if you were doing that nesting thing where you clean a lot? what do you do when pita is quiet? haha if she ever is. sleep maybe? read? stare at her? wii? i mean i honestly don't even know. colb, tell me what's going down with you guys? can you believe it's already been a week and a half? how's it been?!! ah i should probably just read your email. haha i'm dying to!

• broseph. i laughed out loud (literally) last night when i heard sisters talking about going to wally world. i LOVE YOU! i always think about that time when you said something about "weaving through the immigrants..." (DELETE THAT RACIST REMARK HAHA!!!) hahah but wow. so funny. i freaking love you. how is your new zona? DOG! i've been praying so hard my knees are bleeding for you. tell me what i can do. finding? every place is different, so maybe now you'll have lame members or something and we can brainstorm about how to get them more involved. but finding is ALWAYS something we need to focus on. we had zc this week and president told us to get our less actives/recent converts to have "block parties"; out where elder roney is there's this one street where a member family simply invited their members over for a bbq and the missionaries just SHOWED up (which then identified this fam as mormones) and then a lot of questions ensued... anyways, now like 5/8 of the familes on the street are members. SO. block party it up!!!!

• willy: i want some fots of you with pita. asap. i bet youre a freaking rad gpa. i have a quote for you: "All true work is sacred work; in all true work, were it but true handlabour, there is something of divineness. labour, wide as the earth, has its summit in heaven." -Thomas Carlyle. You are SUCH a good example of ALWAYS working--even on your day off!!!--to make our home beautiful or to go slave at the office.

• kristen: those pictures you sent were so unbelievably cute. you are SO good to go and help kay and colb, i can't even imagine what this must be like for them! one of the sisters here was just asking about the cards you made with my picture etc, and she said, "your mom is so thoughtful!" i just laughed. she doesn't know the 26th TRILLIONTH of your generosity! seriously. i want you to know that you are the most thoughtful person i know. and even though we're all imperfect, you are SUCH a good example to me and everyyyyyyyyone of pure, christlike charity. you always think of others first!!! no wonder you and willy are so happy... you're always thinking of the other! I LOVE IT!!! and i love you!

• ma and pa thanks so much for writing. yo're the bombs.

• joan! you sweet thing! look at your long hair! it is GLORIOUS!!! you look beautiful no matter what you do! how are things going? you look healthier than ever! i hope that can be attributed to the delicous breakfasts youre eating. :) i hope you have mint ice cream in your freezer and some sees chocolates in your fridge--at least one with each meal please!

• grampies: i've been thinking about you two a lot this week. i love you both. i really mean it. i'm so grateful for you! thanks for writing. :) have a beautiful week templing and being amazing as ever. :)

enough bullet points.

please read the ensign this month about the ward council and from last month. kristen, please tell me what i can do to help you. the reasons you don't want to/feel uncomforatble creating a profile are legitimate and other people have them. please tell me so i can be thinking and praying about a way so we can help you and others feel comfortable to share how you live your faith. i think an error i've made is by saying we put our "testimony" on but that's so personal to us! i think it's better said that and our profiles give us a way to simply show others how we LIVE OUR FAITH. how? in what way? haha ferris. but seriously. there is one that we watched last night about a lady who is my idol--she says she's a blossoming linguist living in france.. and it's so simple but ordinary and HER! and she's MORMON! so please. surf soak it up. and then the ensign this month with the ward council info. i thought that was so interesting. i love going to ward council to see that this really is thE RESCUE and it's alllllllllll about the ONE.

can someone please send me "I stand all amazed"? i knwo colby loves that talk. i need it!

friends. this is gods work. we've had a rough week--people are dropping us and just being stupid but i KNOW that's because we're close and we're in the verdad and satan is raging. he will NEVER stop fighting for our souls! but i know and have seen time and time again that after times of hardship come BLESSSSSSSSSSINGS. so i know they're coming. the field is white. those we know that are close to baptism will make it.

i feel such love--for my mission, for you, for those around me, for my heavenly father and for jesus christ. president donaldson has been such a blessing to me because we've focused SO MUCH on the atonement and really understanding it and really coming to feel its application in our lives...and it's been beautiful. i am so thankful for our savior who lifts, leads, and sustains me each moment! i never thought about it this way, but sister donaldson pointed out that in the moments when we feel tired or we want to just turn back or not open our mouth, but then we choose to just DO IT--that is the ennabling power of the atonement that literally enables us to step above our own abilities to do the will of the father. the atonement is everywhere. it is everything. i love my savior. i LOVE being a missionary. i hope you all know that!

i also hope you know that i love you. it's hard to be away at this time, but I LOVE my little t-ray tabby cat already---IMMENSELY!!! and i have such pleasure in seeing this adorable fots!!! i love you dearly. i am praying for you. i think of you. i love you! stay strong!
hermana christensen
ps happy vday! i hope you all eat DELICIOUS cookies and bask in the wonderful love we share! i LOVE YOU!!!!