Tuesday, April 26, 2011

4/26/2011 Hermana Christensen (TAWNY'S 22nd Birthday!)

Hermanas Lewis, Christensen & Mendoza
to my dearest familia

i mosdef just got a call from the mission office about a cheesecake arriving in dried ice... haha you are OUT OF CONTROL! literally fuera de control! i love you guys so much!!! thank you thank you thank you!!!

okay okay okay WHERE DO I EVEN BEGIN? seriously. we have had a SUCH an amazing week. i don't think i've EVER had a happier week or one that has been THIS full of miracles. seriously! okay. SO! EASTER! what on earth? basically... wait let me back up. on saturday night we were almost out of time but decided to hurry and visit a REFERRAL we received who we'd added as an investigator a few days before (one of the many miracles. we NEVER GET REFERRALS!!!!)... and he (hno ivan roman) was leaving but his MOM was home. bingo! she was going to be home alone for easter--poor thing--so invited her to church... and she said YES! we shared a little easter message with her and told her we'd find a ride for her. the neatest thing EVER was that hna raquel roman ACTUALLY CAME!!!! i got to sit by her and she just cried throughout the whole meeting! turns out she used to be visited by missionaries in tj antes but never had time to listen to them. look at how smart heavenly father is! and her hub is in the hospital, so i found the address and the elders are going to give him a blessing! we are bursting with joy outta this. there is a WHOLE FAMILY in that house, and they are SO sincere. i loooove it. and hno roman just straight up said the prayer even though he didn't know how--ah. that is one of my favorite parts about teaching people! their sincere prayers. anyyyyway! okay so sunday--holy PACKED. the meeting was the most powerful tihng i've EVER been a part of.. there wasn't a dry eye in the room! we meet in a small room that the english wards use for their RELIEF society room okay poeple, and we fit NINETY ONE POEPLE in there!!!!! ha! it was amazing how many people came! (not to mention THREE PEOPLE who recently dropped us! EASTER MILAGROS!!!) just go ahead and read dyc section 49:24. elder evans (fromt he mobat) was speaking during the meeting and he said, "this is being fulfilled NOW." and it was SO powerful. there were so many people we had to bless the sacrament TWICE! haha! we werE BURSTING! but i haven't even gotten to the most exciting part! haha and i feel like i'm straight up yelling at you all i'm using so many exclamation marks! I AM SO HAPPY!!! okay but so remember that rad dude that we've been working with for like fifty million hundred years--hno chavez? it's been a ROLLERCOASTER with him. so lately we've kinda backed off and let our amazing members dothe hermanando. we've had lessons and stuff but ust kinda tried to be a little more patient. on saturday hno marquez (thank you for texting that address to him kristen) called and said hno chavez wanted to talk to us before church on sunday. so we get there early (after yet ANOTHER easter miracle at 8:30 when a suuuper less active family that we've been trying to get to come to church since i got here in DECEMBER opened the door to us and they were ALREADY ALL READY to go! i handed them the plate of pancakes i'd made them and we peaced, rejoicing because they were already awake!).. we get to the church and by the time hno chavez got there sacrament was starting, but he said something to the effect of, "my heart is pounding. i don't know what to tell you." i just said diga mi amigo. (here i'd been praying for a milagro that he'd say he'd FINALLY decided on a date to get baptized or something) he awkwardly put his hands on my shoulders and i awkwardly brushed them off when he said, "this is my last week in your church." i was speechless. this man has received TANTAS respuestas. he KNOWS this is true and he's known it for AWHILE. i couldn't believe it. then he said that presidente morgan had started and we'd talk later. so we parted. RIGHT when we got in there presidente morgan said, "pongase de pie por favor hno chavez" aka stand up then.... "hermano chavez will be baptized on saturday april 30th at 1:00 pm. we'd like to invite all to attend his baptism.." ........ no words. absolutely no words. speechless! hahah. family, i cannot explain. when i looked over at him and he was just smiling and laughing for having gotten me SO HARDCORE.. and everyone int he branch turned over to loook at me, "you didn't know?!" and we were all just SO HAPPY--as a BRANCH--that this precious son of god had decided to take this imoprtant step. it was beautiful. i will NEVER forget that moment!! ever!!!! (what a smart alec though, seirously. can you BELIEVE it?! he said he'd been planning it for weeks. wow.) there were so many more miracles, so many more incredible things that happened that day and this week, but you get the point.
Hermanas Lewis & Christensen

sister lewis and i are marveling at HOW GOOD heavenly father is to us. we are SO grateful. we have recieved SO MANY blessings we don't know what we did right!

i have a testimony that THIS. IS. GODS. WORK. His hand is in it. HE directs the times and bounds of our habitation. HE is aware of us, each, separately, singly, individually. He LOVES us. He LOVES His children soooo much, and He LOVES to bless us. He does WAY TOO MUCH for us!

I had very possibly one of the most memorable Easters in my entire life. My journal, my mind, and my heart are SO full of gratitude for being a missionary. i love it more than life itself. i have literallyfound myself in trying to lose myself. i know what makes me happy, and that is sharing the gospel of jesus christ and helping people receive it themselves in their lives. i know these milagros are coming because of A LOT of semblando.. a lot of planting seeds, a lot of trying to be patient and a lot of time and love. i love my branch. i love my amazing companion--what an incredible, diligent, effective, HILARIOUS missionary she is. what a blessing it is to be int he Lord's service.

so my commitment to you is to make your list: the things you LOVE. watch your cup as it runneth over with gratitude for what you have. take time to notice the small and simple tms... they are EVERYWHERE. as we take the time to notice our blessings, we cannot help but help those around us do the same... to feel the joy that comes from living a righteous life. no matter if their nonmenbers, active members, investigators, or less active members. there are people who are already all ready and WAITING for you to touch and bless their lives--in whatever way it may be. Let us look for these opportunites to notice, feel, and share our Savior's love.

God lives. He loves us. He sent His SON so we could learn and grow and be happy. I love my Savior. I love His gospel. I know it is true. WITHOUT A SHADOW OF A DOUBT!

i love you all. may we all press on in this great cause... rejoicing evermore and looking for those around us who are ALREADY ALL READY is my prayer! in the name of our gracious Savior, Jesus Christ, amen!

so much love!

hermana christensen

Saturday, April 23, 2011

4/23/2011 Elder Christensen

Subject: Milagritos!

Buenas tardes mis queridos! Okay... So I do NOT know what happened with this week..... or this change.... or this year?? There just isn´t time.... I don´t really get it... How is it already almost mothers day?? Whatever. Moving on!

Let me first start this letter off with 3 congratulations... One... Congratulations to my sister Tawny for her Birthday this Tuesday!!!! Thats so awesome! Enjoy it!! Two and Three..... Ashton Roney and Aaron Latham for getting their mission calls!! Thats SOOOO AMAZING!! Its such an awesome feeling to see someone else making the right decisions.. I don´t know how to explain it. It just excites me to know that they have so many amazing experiences in front of them! Its a wonderful Journey and I know that they will enjoy it!

So you may be asking yourself... Why on earth is this email titled Milagritos and what the freak is a milagrito?? Its a little miracle!! Its one of our mission iniciatives to find milagritos. I have a hugeeeeeeee testimony of that. Sometimes you have a huge miracle... Other times its just a couple milagritos. We had TWO sweet milagritos this week!! Wow! Milagrito 1 Lets begin at the first of the week. Elder Stoddard and I went to take out the trash one day.... Some random member pulls up in his car and ask us to open up the gate to the church. (Remember everything in Chile is gated) So we let him in and he starts talking to us... Then out of NOWHERE walks this crazy crazy crazy guy up to us... He asked us.... Are you guys Jewish?? We looked at each other... shocked by ignorance.... and then he started to read our plaques... Quietly he says... Je...su....cri....sto..... OHHH PUEDO ENTRAR!!! Then he ran into the gate.... We were laughing SO HARD. We went and started talking to him and it was so difficult.. I couldn´t even look at him without bursting into laughter again... He was so crazy. He wanted to come to our meeting... But as most of you know our meetings are only on Sundays... So we had to explain that to him.... After that we asked if he lived close by.. He started pacing around and counting his paces... Inevitably we started laughing again. Then he stops and asks us... Do you guys know the times table for 12?? Whats 12x12??? Uhh....144... Okay so I live one minute and 44 seconds that way!! We then told him to come back on Sunday and got him out of the gates... I NEVER THOUGHT I would see him again... When was the next time I saw him??? AT CHURCH!!!! I could NOT believe it... Then he left and I thought once again... Naaa I´ll never see him again.. Then we run into him at the store!! Then I said... Wow maybe God is trying to tell me something?? I then promised myself that if I saw him again I would GET HIS ADDRESS regardless of anything else.... We were here during mutual one day leaving the office..... he showed up for an activity here at the chapel WITH his mom... MIRACLE!!!!! We have a cita with them tonight!! I´m SO excited.

Milagrito 2.. Two days ago we were walking home to go to sleep and we get a call from some random guy named Hermano Garcia.. He is an inactive member who I´ve never met. He proceeded to tell us that he had someone that he wanted us to teach and that we HAD to go over there to teach him... Anyways, we went yesterday and we found out that the WHOLE family is inactive and the daughters boyfriend is the one person who wants to be taught.. I KNOW that Heavenly Father loves and watches out for us.. That he is watching out for this family and wants them to come back... That is why this kid just shows up and starts asking questions. We taught the restoration yesterday and he had all kinds of questions! He also stated that he disagrees entirely with idolatry and feels weird doing any kind of prayer to the Virgin Mary... I loved loved loved the lesson. The spirit just wrapped around us... Like honestly amazing. At the end we asked when we could come back and guess what they said??!?! "Could you come tomorrow?.... would that be okay?" YES WE CAN COME AND HELP YOU LOGRAR SALVACION every day of the week if you´d like! So we have our two MIRACLE citas tonight! Pray for us!!

I just wanted to close with an I LOVE YOU!!! Each and every one of my friends and family members has impacted me in some way and helped me realize that they molded me even if just a little bit. I am a working of what everyone else made me. Life is great. I love it. The mission is the greatest. I hope you all have an excellent week and that you think about all the blessings that we have. ¿Where would we be without the church? Absolutely nowhere. Work hard!!

Much love,

Elder Kurtis Christensen

Secretario Del Presidente

Misión Chile Santiago Oeste

Thursday, April 21, 2011

4/19/2011 Hermana Christensen


hola hola hola querida familia mia!

what a hilarious and wonderful week it has been! i have negative time so i'll just hop right onto it!

Hermanas Christensen & Lewis
hna mendoza got transferred. a new hna came in--sista lewis--and she's bomb diggedy. i'm stoked to be with her and feel the fire of the greenies. I LOVE it. we're doing the program for the church again, and we LOVE bieng able to really focus on understanding and incorporating the cirriculum the church is making. it is inspired. i know it's changed me as a missionary and, frankly, as a human, and that the successes we're seeing are direct results from that. so we're still in la mesa and we're still killing it and loving life! all is well!

on friday we had a carne asada--which is basically an excuse for everyone to congregate and bbq and eat a ton and laugh even more. i LOVE MY BRANCH. i was casi certain that i was going to get the boot, so the little reunion with the members, etc, i'm close with was sweet. i absolutley love my branch. i love it. ha. i call it mine! but seriously, this branch is incredible. a few things. bullet style:

* on sunday we were sitting in branch council, talking about specific families and how we could help them. it was AMAZING to see, time and time again, each person contribute by saying they'd called him or her, visited, texted, whatever. this is a ZION BRANCH. they take care of one another... on their own! they didn't need presidente morgan to tell them to do it.. .they noticed they weren't at church, and they called/passed by/everything! i was so impressed and so grateful and SO filled with love!

* as i've talked to hna lewis about the things i've learned so far on my mission, it really comes back to love. LOVE LOVE LOVE. we love the work. we love the people. when we love them both, we can't HELP but be about our purpose in inviting them to recieve the atonement in their lives. i love it. i love feeling a small portion of god's love for these people! being a missionary is the best thing ever!

*okay. so member work is pretty important. haha. scratch that. IT'S EVERYTHING! this week i learned again,for the 26 million hundredth time, that it's essential. okay so get this--hold your breath!!!--hno chavez told his "owner" that he WANTS TO BE BAPTIZED ON EL 30 DE ABRILLLLL!!!!!!!! do you understand WHAT THAT MEANS?!!!! ahhhhhhhhh! but he hasn't told us yet.. we have a cita tomorrow. but hno marquez told us, and (not only did i flip but) i was SO grateful that heavenly father had inspired us on WHO would be good for hno chavez so that he could rely upon this friend, this owner. it's divine! and so now, when the missioanries are gone, hno chavez can lean on the ward. oh wait! HE ALREADY IS! it's amazing. if i've done anything right on my mission, it's how we found and taught hno chavez. it wasn't perfect, of course, but we got our essential ducks in a row and i KNOW we're going to see milagros!

*so a less active mom and daughter are sharing the gospel with their friends. hno parra (pedro) is one of them. he was there and was really struggling when we went over last week. I may have mentioned this already? anyway, he cried as we taught the plan of salvation and he LOVED it. then we went to that beasutiful fireside and he loved that. then on wednesday we went to the institute with his friends where president donaldson threw down (like normal), and on friday he came to the carne asada. after the mexican eats and laughs, we watched the js movie. afterwards he straight up told me that his week has been amazing... that he normally hates work but it's been AWESOME, that he normally feels sad, but that this week he feels peace and happiness and that he's awaited all week for the "events" that were soon coming. wow. last night we met and taught the gospel of jesus christ to hna nancy (who is hoping to bautizarse el 21 de mayo!) and he told us he LOVES meeting with us and that he knows there's no coincidence. he's catholic and thinks maybe we're helping him to see the need to return to his own church (bc on sunday he was going to come with us but then he felt like he needed to go to his catholic church for the first time in years... so he's maybe a little confused in that but we'll help him out!)... anyway. he asked us how we know of god loves us. wow. there are people (so many!) who don't even know that god loves them... broken heart. then he told me kinda at the end that he cries when he thinks about the end of the world and that he's scared. but the thing is, we don't have to be scared! when we have the gospel and we're living it and obeying it--we have that confidence, that FAITH! it was beautiful. we also talked about faith. and mama nancy (there are two ma and daughter) told us she read a book about people praying to be out of a drought.. praying and fasting like mAD. then one day their pastor was like, "you guys are praying and stuff that's great, but you're not DOING anything. if you really believed it was going to rain, why don't you bring an umbrella or wear a poncho?" wow. that hit me hard. THAT is faith. anyway, so we'll see with pedro! we're excited!

*quick thing. for our carne asada... somehow no one brought tortillas. luckily last week hna mendoza and i got all our stuff at a mexican tienda and they only had huge bags of tortillas. anyways, so i told the branch we'd grab our tortillas (the carne asada was at the battalion...aka real close to our home) and we ate those until other tortillas showed up. anyway, at the end, i was given an EIGHT POUND BAG of fresh steamy tortillas that someone had bought in return. now there's consecration for you. you give what little you have and you're repayed WAY more than you even began with. and then the giving keeps on going! now i've got EIGHT POUNDS that i'm literally giving away!


Hermana Christensen and Sestra Stratton
 * sigh. got to see sestra stratton and the clan. bitter sweet reunion but what faith and hope we have in feeling answers to prayers--what peace that comes from knowing god's will. i love her and that family more than words can express. i am so grateful for celestial friends!

(speaking of that... last week in one of the trainer meetings president said that we think our best friends are at home, but they're actually here in san diego. sister park chimed up, "sometimes both! ... sister christensen!" ahah we all kinda laughed, but it was so tender. i'm lucky to be the rare exception to the rule and have celestial friends both here and at home! so blessed! love you!)

* got a phone call from a less active in an english ward saying he'd prayed and feels like sisters would be best to teach his fiance... who is from (get this) BETHLEHEM. hahah she's native sandiegan but she's palistinian. whatever on spealling that. ahahha. spelling. whatev! but seirously. so we made an apt.. for saturday at 8:30 am (who does that!) and basically got an AB WORKOUT because they were the MOST hilarious couple i've ever met! he's totally loving her into the church and she's WAY interested! so basically we get to teach this golden investigator. she's asked US what she can read in the bom, and she texted US asking if she could come to church. her name's hally. keep her and jason in your prayers so they can seguir fuerte. we are STOKED.
we're seeing miracles everywhere. we are happy. things are going well. this is the best time of my life for sure. no doubt in my mind!

oh and i get to hear from a prophet of god by the name of l tom perrry in tminus 7 days. SICK!

easter's coming. what will we do this year to remember our savior? i love the 5th paragraph in the intro to the bom. we have this book in somany different languages because we want EVERYONE to know who jesus christ is and to know aobut the covenants we can make to follow him. let us all remember the covenant we've made to lift the hands that hang down. I honestly don't know why you aren't making profiles. i don't. it worries me.i wish you all would and then tell me so i can SHARE the joy that we have. If you won't make a profile, will you at least prayerfully look through them and find one that you can invite one who may be struggling to watch it? i know mormon.org is divinely appointment and that we can use it to further the work in the lord's kingdom... EVEN IN U TAH! people there are hurting, too! So you will you PLEASE do that--use mormon.org this week? (you respond yes and i promise blessings.) I KNOW YOU WILL BE BLESSEDAND WILL BE ABLE TO TOUCH A LIFE AND FEEL THE SAVIOR'S LOVE IN MORE ABUNDANCE! i testify of it!

i know this is gods work. he's leading and guiding it. may we remember that always and depend upon him.

i am praying for you. i love you dearly. thank you for all you do to live your faith and be an example of the believers. i love you!!!!

hna christensen

sorry kay, colb, ma and pa, no personal letters. just know that i LOVE YA!!!!!!

joan b glad you look BEAUTIFUL in that picture my mom sent! i lo veyou so much!!!!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

4/16/2011 Elder Christensen

Here I am once again! Looks like I´m almost out of time for my pday.. Which is WEIRD since I´m an office elder and that NEVER happens to us haha. Normally we´re bored and looking for stuff to fill our time, What we did was WAY fun though. President invited the office staff to his house for a little pday activity! Wayyyy fun. We drove up there which took like 35 minutes ish... then we played all kinds of fun games like volleyball, basketball, bachi ball, ( Bah-chee?) etc... We were there until like 3 o clock! All day! So it was a super sweet pday that I thoroughly enjoyed! The Kings ROCK! Bottom line.

Us at our noche de hogar with Gladys,
patricia, Ximena and Valentina. Ximena is
 the blonde lady on the far right. GOLDEN
Alright... not tons of news this week but it was still a great one.. Remember Ximena? Our golden investigator? Well two sweet things happened. First.. We left her a little bit of homework.. To study up about the sacrament and then teach us a little ten minute class about it for our family home evening... Normally what happens when you do this is that they forget or they just get super lazy and don´t end up doing a thing. WOW were we surprised to walk in and see a styrafoam poster board that had all the information about the sacrament pinned on it! Then she blew us away with a SICK class that she prepared and the whole time I was freaking out literally.. Shes SO powerful! Shes just got this fire and wants to keep learning more and more and more. Then we went back to their house yesterday... We read 2 Nefi 31 about baptism... Super great... I had a little spiritual experience that was amazing... One of the members who lives in this house with Ximena asked me a question... So as we do as missionaries I tried to think of a scripture to answer it. I had the thought to read this scripture that popped in my mind... I thought and thought and thought.. WHERE COULD IT BE!?!?!? After a minute I said... Well lets just keep reading and then I´ll find it after.. Near the end of reading the chapter, it was this lady´s turn to read again (Gladys) and SHE READ THE SCRIPTURE I WAS LOOKING FOR!! I was taken back by the spirit... It was increeeeeedible.. The scripture was 2 Nefi 31:19.. Shes a bit inactive and we were trying to stress the point that NOT EVERYTHING IS DONE WITH!! She MUST keep progressing as with every single one of us.. That was awesome. A super powerful lesson. We also asked them to recite the ten commandments and the plan of salvation which we had previously taught as kinda a little quizzy. They RIPPED IT APART!!! All ten commandments with their finger signs RECITED BOOM!!! Then they explained the plan of Salvation.. We helped a little bit with my little laminated cut out picture things... We were about to finish when Ximena asked her daughter Valentina (9 yrs old) if she would like to be baptized with her.. She practically screamed yes and they had a hug and a touching moment. Sweet lesson. That was our spiritual blast for the weekend. I wish I could fill an email with story upon story but the bottom line is we dont get out to work in the sector a ton!! I´m going to start writing something little in my planner every day that I can fill you in on. That should make for more interesting cartas. Okay family.. I love you tons! HOPE YOU ENJOY THE ATTACHED PICS!!! I tried to take a couple good ones for ya. I´ll do better this week. Remember to LIFT WHERE YOU STAND this week and work work work! You never know when someone is watchin you and actually learns from your good example. You´re all in my prayers.. Much love,

Elder Kurtis Christensen

Secretario Del Presidente

Misión Chile Santiago Oeste

Elder Poulsen, and I. Way sweet picture.
You like that tie mom? I sure love it :)

Friday, April 15, 2011

4/12/2011 Hermana Christensen "Carved Out"

Oh mi querida familia

we went to coronado island last preparation day
check it out. so beauty!
once again. another week of every possible emocion. en serio.

when i got on my mission i told heavenly father that i neeeeeever wanted to get sick so i wouldn't waste a second of His time. well, i don't think that i've ever been sicker than i was last week. whatever got inside of me forced its way out, burnt my throat so badly, and left me feeling completely carved out. but, i had a beautiful experience: i was sitting in the shower shivering and shaking and crying--and then i felt your prayers. i did. not only that, but i felt the prayers of the entiiiiire ward. and then i felt better. even as i was sick, i felt okay ( i don't know how to explain it!)--and i want you to know that it is 100% because of your prayers on my behalf. I'm getting better. I may never eat rice again, but I feel better. :) i'm grateful that i got that over with--so i got sick on my mission and slept a few extra hours. hopefully it'll never happen again! (the funny thing is that i felt wayyyyy more tired after resting! haha what a WASTE!)

I've thought a lot about that this past week. After being sick all night and wanting to die, i somehow felt better. that next day, i was weak and tired, but I was more... I was more able to sense and understand the spirit and what I needed to do. I listened better. I prayed more. I loved more easily. And I felt like I was more patient. I realized that when Heavenly Father carves us out--aka gets alllllll that gunk out of us--we feel better. It's hard, and it KILLS, but it leaves us purer... literally. And then we are more able to do His will, more moldeable, pliable and bendable.

Milagro: Well, this past week we've been blessed with new investigators. doesn't happen very often. but it's happened, and it's been AMAZING.

a) pedro. he's the friend of hnas nancy and gloria. he happened to be there at the cita we had with ellas and, well needless to say, because the Plan of Salvation is amazing, he cried. In the beginning I asked him a question and he was all, "sorry i wasn't listening... i'm having a lot of personal problems right now and my mind's everywhere..." BINGO. As we taught the plan of salvation he felt calmed. He told us he wanted to learn more. BAM!

hno enrique y yo after conference (remember. he's from
 chula. but he comes to a lot of the activities in la mesa bc his
 friend has family in the branch. best days for me everytime.)
so then we went to the mission president's fireside--which was LEGIT. a) we never really get to go to these bc we're normally in the battalion or we dont have investigators to go with us. but because of PEDRO (BAM! milagro!!!) we got to go. but that's just the beginning of it. :) it was in CHULA!!!!! aka i got to go back to my motherland and i was giiiiiiiiddy as we drove back there. ah! and it was in the same building and everything.... the music was INCREDIBLE, and surprise--it was in spanish! we had no idea! but that wasn't even the best part.... sister peterson said the opening prayer. i thought i was going to burst. but then ENRIQUE stood up and walked to the pulpit. he was one of the recent converts to speak at the fireside! I had NO idea this was going to happen and I literally... ah, i gasped so loudly... ah! He bore this gorgeous, simple testimony. He talked about conversion, about studying--not reading--the scriptures, and how he was baptized on his birthday... so he was literally reborn. __ listen. there. is. NOTHING. more satisfying, more... rewarding... more FILLING than seeing someone you were able to teach and baptize invite others to follow our Savior. NOTHING!!! i was (and am!) so incredibly full of gratitude. so full. so so so full. i love my mission. i LOVE being here. i love this work! i love these people with all my heart and soul. I LOVE preaching the gospel and inviting others to repent, to get that goo out of them and to become more like our savior. These really are the best years of my life!

The sweetest part was when he said that what really changed it all for him was when he read alma 26. let me just say something: things happened with enrique so fast: finding him, adding him, teaching him and baptizing him. sister story and i--in the heat of all this-- forgot to plan a commitment for him after one of our lessons. I distinctly remember sitting on their floor after the lesson and wondering what on earth his commitment was going to be. So i just invited him to read my favorite chapter in the book of mormon. i remember explaining that it was my favorite and inviting him to read it, and him saying yes. But i had NO idea it had impacted him like it did. After the fireside we were talking about it and he explained that, because he's a chemist, when alma is talking about being weak and about depending onthe lord, this REALLY helped him understand faith. As a scientist, he wanted proof. But there's no proof for faith! it's just something you have, something you do, something you are... something you live by. but that chapter really helped him understand that. and shortly thereafter he wanted to be baptized. i'm not tooting my own horn here. lets face it, there's no horn to toot. the thing is that that heavenly father is SO aware of us. He know who needs us and when. He knows who WE need and when. He knows everything. He is the Master Gardener here. What confidence I have in knowing that. We CANNOT fail with His help!

five more sisters left today, and the Ricks. my little heart! you know i hate change! even though mi mundo is changing like crazy and who knows what in tarnation will happen tomorrow, i feel still. i feel very very peaceful. and SO happy. I am so happy and so full. I am grateful.

the end.

pleeeeeeeeease make a profile on mormon.org. i check for you on there so often. please help us in this effort to spread the gospel to the corners of the world!

(that was something really neat e ricks shared with us last night at a departure devo. he said that his pbless says he'll see to see the gospel spread the corners of the world. and he said, "I had NO idea that the corners of the world would come to ME at the battalion." I felt the spirit so strongly because i KNOW that is what's happening here. There are no coincidences. Heavenly Father leads these people here! what a GREAT CALLING IT TRULY IS TO BE A MISSIONARY!!!!!!!!)

know that i love you. dearly and deeply.

 we found this graffiti park! VIVA MEXICO
hna christensen

oh and ps i totally forgot to mention that last night a guy called us and said he's new to the area but he's prayed and feels like his fiance need to be taught by sisters... even though we're in a spanish branch we're the only sisters. aka. THAT'S US! milagros i tell you!!!! so blessed! we;ll just see what happens tomorrow....

JOAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i love you! stay strong you sweet thing! you look beautiful and i'm glad your bed has bars on it now. :) that always scared me before. now you're going to be tight light a bed bug! don't be too hard on yourself. remember to go slowly and to take your time. enjoy what you have and know that you're surrounded by people who love and will do anything for you. sue, thanks for keeping me posted!

mikie-thanks for writing. you're so legit. i met some canuks the other day. i'm glad to hear the office sitch is good! so cool to see that things are working out. i never saw the old one, but i'm sure the new one is way rad. and all fancy with sweet computers, no papeles? inteligente. you're a stud. tell me what i can do for you. i was thinking about what you could do for your branch, and you should have an activity night with mormon.org--pump them up by watching the powerful little movies and tell them they can make their own. if you've got a projector or something to play it, some popcorn, and the spirit, it'll be a real hit. :) tell the fam hi!

4/9/2010 Elder Christensen

Hey everyone! Its been another insanely awesome week here in la esquina blanca. We´ve worked really hard this week both in the office as well as in our sector. We´ve taught several really powerful lessons including one to our fecha bautismal Ximena... President Eyring once said..."You will meet people who are prepared to receive the restored gospel" SHE is a perfect example of that statement. After ONE lesson she agreed to be baptized. Then, she went to conference!! AMAZING! She said it was different.. We told her to go with a question and she did. She explained to us that it wasn´t something that just happened but that by the end of the meeting she knew the answer! This was the best part though.,.., Elder Cummings was like her favorite... so when he left she was really sad.. But then she said.. "Well, its not that big of a deal I guess. I know this is true and this is what I want in my life, even if he´s not here I can still do it." We were BLOWN AWAY!

Did you know that the new Joseph Smith movie came out on DVD!?!?!??! Its only like the greatest movie EVER. I need you go to buy it and watch it and feel the spirit testify to you because its so amazing. Do it for family home evening or something! We bought it already and are watching it as we do our internet.. I almost feel spoiled in the office haha! Its sweet though. But I´ve explained to you how it normally is! Normally you´re in a tiny little cafe with slowwwwwwwwww internet and a bunch of angry people. But here we can just be tranquilo and enjoy the movie.

The rest of our time has been spent in the office! I would feel weird doing this kind of stuff in english in my own house haha. Let alone in spanish and for like 150 missionaries. I feel really bad because there is one Elder who´s about to go home that has a huge problem. He was living illegally in Venezuela before he came on the mission.. Now that we are purchasing airline tickets and stuff, we have found that it is IMPOSSIBLE to get him back home to Venezuela.. So he´s gonna hve to go to Colombia then immigrate illegally home.. Horrible situation... Elder Cummings worked way hard on this case too. Even calling the embassy... But this is the kind of stuff that we deal with here in the office! Complicated legal stuff that we simply don´t know how to solve at first.. I kinda like it! It´s the side to missionary work that you would NEVER know unless you had experienced it.

Two things.. First.. Wow my niece might be the cutest thing alive. Period. Point made. Is it the baby or is it my ridiculously creative sister? Haha! I felt so bad when you said she cried like crazy while having her ears pierced. I pictured it and everything. But they look tight! Also mom nice job making those blankets! Tons and tons and tons of talent.... Man that blanket makes me want mine though! How awful! SO COMFY! Second... Wow Dad you look SICK in that P-51!! I´ll bet you were as giddy as a 7 year old school girl though. Would have been a great filming moment. I´ll bet it was super loud. Remember when I had aviation class at UVU and we got to fly that Katana for extra credit? It was supperrrrrr loud in that thing.. I bet that the P51 was like a million times louder though. I´m happy for you. I´ve heard about that dream for years!

Santiago Temple--MORONI!!!
Alright. I´ve gotta wrap up. Solo quiero que ustedes sepan algunas cositas. El amor que tengo para ustedes ha crecido tanto durante este tiempo. Ahora yo entiendo lo que es mi proposito en esta tierra y el papel que tiene la familia en nuestras vidas. Entiendo las cosas que yo tengo que hacer para lograr la vida eterna.. Yo se que El Evangelio de Jesucristo ha sido restaurado... Tambien que Thomas S. Monson es un profeta viviente y que el tiene las llaves necesarias para poder guiarnos.. Como yo he dicho antes, el evangelio es tan claro y sencillo. Nosotros ya tenemos los principios y las enseñanzas que necesitamos..: Ahora se depende de Nosotros perseverar. Yo les amo a ustedes y tambien a todos mis amigos. Me guiaron y me ayudaron a llegar a este punto de mi vida. Somos felices. Somos en el mundo pero no del mundo. Yo soy muy orgulloso ser mormón. Estoy tan contento con mi vida y por las cosas que han sucedido a mi y a mi familia. Sorry I got carried away.. But I love the gospel. Its seriously the best. Why would you want anything else? I will NEVER change ever. I am 200% converted to this work. Theres a saying here.... Its easy to be mormon, but it´s very difficult to be a latter-day saint. Anyone can be mormon... But not everyone works on it all the time. To work hard and consecrate ourselves is what differenciates us. YOU ALL NEED TO SET GOALS. If I had the chance right now, I would go to the temple EVERY SINGLE DAY. I would do endowments and initiatory one day. The next day I would dedicate to doing confirmations and baptisms for the dead. YOU HONESTLY DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU HAVE. Put yourself in my shoes. I´ve been to the temple ONCE in 13 months!!! AGHHHHHHHHH!!! You have a temple 15 minutes away in like 5 directions. Please take advantage of it. Its the BEST. Just put down your homework, turn off your iPod, and GOOOOOO NOWWWW!! Don´t think about it! Don´t think about the time either! The Lord will make up the time and you will have MORE! It seems backwards but God has different time tables than us right? My eyes are opened... and they will stay open forever. I want you to experience the same. Everyone go out of your way to better yourself this week. Find a way to serve. Find some bad habit you have and change it. Become more like the Savior. I love you all! You can do it! Just set your priorities straight. I promise promise promise that your understanding will be illuminated and you can grow closer to our Heavenly Father. Have a great week.

Much Love,

Elder Kurtis Christensen

Secretario Del Presidente

Misión Chile Santiago Oeste

Last thing. There is a musical on my computer that I enjoy listening to. Have you heard of it? It´s called The Garden. It´s super good. GO. LISTEN.

Friday, April 8, 2011

4/5/2011 Hermana Christensen

my goodness, what a week! 

Such an INCREDIBLE couple!

what a CONFERENCE!!! holy spiritual BANQUET!!!!!!!! never before in my life have i felt more wrapped up in what they were saying.. and it FLEW BY! sista mendoza and i were wondering where the time went... was it like that for anyone else? i failed--i have notes with your names written all overrrrrrr them and i wanted to comment on specific talks that made me think of you. just know that i was THINKING OF YOU ALL ENDLESSLY! en serio. i love conference. i am so grateul for the gospel.

remember that girl i mentioned a couple weeks ago named kristen? well last night a guy came in that i met awhile back with sister story and his name is will--what are the odds that some of the most incredible people i meet on my mission have the same name as my parents?!

anyway. sister story and i were at the temple and we met this guy from gilbert, az, aka utah relocated. tonsssssss of members. but he's not one. he is absolutely FASCINATED by mormonism. we talked to him for foreverrrrrr at the temple and i told him to come to the battalion. and yesterday he totally CAME. he went on the tour and loved it. he has so many sincere questions. its amazing to see him in search of the truth. when we were out at gold panning he was asking me questions and (because we weren't in the tour where we can't be spiritual) i let him have it. i THREW DOWN testimony so hard that i was legitimately shaking. i testified about the plan of salvation. about temple marriage. about the restored gospel. then i straight up said (actually the spirit said it), "you know this is true." and he was jsut quiet. then he changed the subject. so he doesn't want to accept it now, but he knows its true. i told him that his spirit recognizes the truth and thats why he's soooo drawn to the gospel. it's because it's the the TRUTH and it's what we want! he'll come around, i know he will. he's surrounded by members and missionaries, and eventually, he'll open his heart enough to experiment on the word and not just research it.

speaking of opening their hearts, we had the most beautiful experience ever this past week. we're totally still seeing blessings from our fast. we totally fasted again because we want more blessings, haha. (it was actually our district's idea--they are so nice to suggest to fast for us!!) hno chavez is soo close. it's ridiculous how close he is. but it's SO COMPLICATED with him because he's so elect, so chosen, so prepared, and SO READY that all we can do is invite him to be baptized! but then he feels pressured and blah blah blah.. so we've tried to be careful with what we say... but in our appointment last week he was talking about how he wants to prepare by strengthening his faith, going to church, learning more... etc and i was like, "um hello you big dummy that's called ENDURING TO THE END which is what WE ALL NEED TO DO AAAAAAAAFTER BAPTISM DUHHHHHH" and then sister mendoza just threw down and invited him to be baptized on april 9th. he said he'd need to pray about it. and then, this was the moment. i've wanted my whole mission to just throw down to the "i need to pray about it" comment with, "OKAY lets pray about it RIGHT NOW entonces." so we did. i closed the door and got on my knees and HE said the prayer. and it was beeeeeeautiful. so sincere. so guided by the spirit. so powerful. we stayed on our knees just waiting while the spirit casi made my heart and brain explode.. and then he said yes. just like that. and then he smiled reeeeeeeeeeally big. and then he stood up and started pacing and jumping a little bit... and he said he was excited. he said it, not us! but we were bursting!!!!! it was shocking, seriously, and such a powerful experience. but, because our heavenly father loves us SO much he gave us agency, hno chavez has decided to go against that spiritual witness he has received time and time again, and is saying we're pressuring him again. it's devastating. but we have faith. we know our heavenly father hears our prayers and is aware of us. and LOVES hermano chavez SOOO much that he wants him to enters the waters of baptism and THEN try to be perfected, not the other way around! ah. i know things will work out.

He loved conference. He said his heart skipped when he even heard the mention of Thomas S Monson and that he could hardly wait to hear what he had to say to the world. Hno chavez came to all four sessions of conference and if you could only see his notes! I know i'll come around. I don't know when, but I know that when he does he will be a leader and it will be a lasting conversion.

one of the new sisters and i were talking last night about the mission and what an enormous blessing it is to be a missionary and what we've learned... being here gives us just the tiniest taste of what it must be like for our father in heaven. he loves us. answers our prayers. gives us EXACTLY what we ask for and sooo much more, but then we go against that light and knowledge. sometimes we fail. we mess up all the time. we go against what we know is right. we are prideful and sinful and lazy. just like our investigators won't get their lazy bums out of bed to go to church, or read five stinkin minutes of the word of god, or--saddest yet-- decide to wait on the road to damascus and not enter the waters of baptism after the answer was CLEARLY given MULTIPLE times that that was indeed the correct action on the correct day. sigh. i feel tired. i really do, i feel exhausted over this dear man. i can't even imagine how my dear heavenly father must feel about me: my prideful, egotistical, selfish me. but we know that despite alllllllllllllllllllll of this... He is there. He is calling out, reaching out, and guiding us with unfailing energy and love. He is perfect. I am so thankful for His love and example, and for the example of our Savior that helps us know how to live and love and invite others to come unto Him and the Father. I am beyond words grateful to be a missionary, and to feel and understand the mas minimo parte de este amor de nuestro padre celestial. His love is overwhelming!

"there is no shortage of God's love in the universe, just in our doing what is necessary to feel it."

the gospel's true. our prophet and apostles bear witness of the restoration. may we open our mouths and use the many many resources we have to proclaim the Good News.

Know i love you. Please go to mormon.org and make your profile. Please please please I beg you.

Thank you for your love, your words, and your example.


Hermana Christensen

Monday, April 4, 2011

4/4/2011 Elder Christensen

To all my beloved family and friends!!

Elder Cummings and I watching priesthood. We actually
 hooked up a projector screen here in the office and streamed
 it from the internet. But seeing as how Priesthood
isn´t broadcast over the net we watched a regular tv.
Wow, This has been a really emotional weekend for me... Let me just open up this letter by stating... GENERAL CONFERENCE IS THE COOOOOOLESTTTTT thing ever. I know you all know how much I´ve "enjoyed" conference in the previous years of my life... You pretty much obligated me every six months to watch 2 SESSIONS and go to priesthood. Wow I can´t believe I HAD to sacrifice 4 hours of my time to listen to a prophet of God speak... How I fell short of understanding all those years..... Now? We turn it on EARLY to listen to the beautiful music and just embrace the spirit. Then... We watch all 5 sessions and soak up the power of these great men and their AMAZING spirit. Being my 3rd general conference in the mission (WHAT!?), I´ve really come to understand my love for it and the things we can learn. Now I also complain when it ends saying things like... NOOOOOOO I want more!!!! or... Wow I wish we could watch conference every day. Haha. Isn´t that the opposite of how it used to be?? I remember we would jump back and forth between the Broncos game and conference and I never really..... had the spirit I guess. It goes SO fast... It´s almost like I don´t want to wait six more months... I know that those of you in my family who are reading this either think this is some far-fetched disgusting joke or that I must be sick to say these things but I truly cannot express myself over email.

So lets break it downnnnn!! Specific things and talks that I liked..... Sunday morning sesh... I LOVED LOVED LOVED how L. Tom Perry stood up and TESTIFIED RIGHT AWAY about our prophet and his authority. I starting like shrieking when I heard it. It was SO SICK. I´ve never heard a talk start off with a pure testimony like that... Normally thats how you finish your talk... Or how you seal a point that you have been talking about... He was like... testifying to the spirit left from Thomas S. Monson from having opened conference if you get what I´m saying.... Like.. You guys just heard a prophet speak! Anyways... It was sweet!

Kent F. Richards talk about pain. One thing I especially loved was how he referred to the Savior as "The Great Physician". Is that not so true? Thats where we need to go for help. Also I liked the reference between patience and patients. Clever man! We must live mortally to understand what the Savior did for us spiritually. Healing powers come suited to our individual needs. OHHH this was sick.. "All that comes can be clasped in Jesus´s hands". Excellent talk.

Then of course, powerhouse President Eyring's talk about charity and service. "You cannot give a crust to the Lord without receiving a load in return." and "You cannot give yourself poor". I never really thought about how giving service like that could strengthen us so much.... I loved also how he closed by saying.. "We can be strengthened by service. Seize opportunities to lift hanging hands and strengthen feeble knees.

Sunday afternoon session had one amazing talk that stood out to me and that was from Elder M. Russell Ballard. Just I really liked the comparison between nuggets and flakes of gold and the small and simple things we´re looking for in this life. We are SO busy looking for nuggets that we just ignore the flakes. He also said that charity starts at home. All the things we expect people to do for us we should do for them. If we could just imagine always being on the receiving end of this selfless service we would have more of an incentive to do it. "Where charity exists, there is no place for gossip or unkind words ".That one hit me hard! OOooooo then he gave that huge lashing to the members!! We all kinda shouted ALLELUIA when he said it though. KNOCKING DOORS WILL NOT SUFFICE. It requires the interest and service of EVERY member.. The work here in our mission is like that... the members are NOT dedicated and do NOT follow through with their commitments either. I know that that message arrived to the hearts of many.

PRIESTHOOD SESSION. Hands down my favorite conference session. SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO good. Lets begin. Steven E. Snow talked about hope as an emotion that brings enrichment to our everyday lives. Our hopes can lead to dreams that inspire us to ACTION. We should always plow with hope and be sure that we don´t replace hope with despair. We lose hope a lot as human beings.... I do personally too... Like... Oh no I won´t be able to do that. Or... This is going to be a nightmare.. Thoughts like that kill hope.. Okay then we get to my favorite talk of ALL conference.. Those who didnt hear it?? Please go read it now-ish? Presidnt Dieter F. Uchtdorf. The man is.... SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO just... amazing. Inspirational. Honest. Outright. POWERFUL. I often think of having run into him twice(!?) and having felt of his sweet spirit. He spoke of the man who went on a cruise and stayed in his cabin the whole time. He ate his own garbage food and didn´t participate in any of the fun activities because he thought they cost money. ( The whole time I was like... wow this man had no idea what he missed out on haha. Royal Caribbean for life ) At the end of the cruise he was asked if he would attend a farewell party... Then he figured out that all the stuff he didn´t do on his cruise were included in his ticket. He had been living wayyyy below his privileges/potential. We are doing the same with our priesthood. (BAM) We aren´t taking advantage of all of our privileges to serve. All the opportunities we have to bless and help others are being warded off by other things. We can settle for the minimum or take advantage of an "abundant feast". THIS WAS SOOOOOO SICK!! "Somewhere behind the hearing, writing, and doing, our do-it switch gets turned to later".. Wow so true right? Then he said we shouldn´t let a day go by without acting on the spirit... We must keep the on switch to now. Also if we by an expensive nice computer we ought to read the instruction manual so that we can use it the best we can. If we are not seeking for opportunities, we are living below our potential. We need to find the joy in sharing the priesthood. Wow... That was 100% my favorite talk. It arrived to my heart so strongly!

Sunday Morning. Elder Bednars talk about light and revelation. Sometimes it comes slow and gradually like the sun, other times its like a light switch! Sincere desire and worthyness invite revelations. I loved how he used Nefi as an example. He didn´t know instantly how to build a ship, rather he was instructed step by step. We as people tend to only recognize the big miracles while skipping over and missing the little things... By doing this we forget how the spirit works.. Way good.

Sunday Afternoon. Lynn G. Robbins talk about DOING and BEING. Doing can be checked off of a list... Whereas being cannot. Being is an ongoing process. This talk was way too good. I am going to go back and read it again though because I know I can understand it a lot better if I take my time. Sometimes they just get going and I can´t keep up with my thoughts and pen. "Doing and being should compliment each other". It was an interesting way to put things.

Then of course I love love love love love love the prophet. The man is so inspired! I would love to just listen allllllllllllllllllllllllllllll day! "The linen which once held him... is EMPTY. Amazing.

Let it be known that General Conference is so amazing. Enjoy it more PLEASE everyone at home. We neglect it and put ourselves in front of it. I know that we can truly receive inspiration from our Heavenly Father if we go prepared with questions and listen intently for counsels. Its like Jeffrey R. Holland said near the end... " The messages are all prepared by the spirit. One of the speakers will touch our subject.. sending us a personalized epistle just for US!!" Can´t wait for 6 more months.

So we just figured out yesterday that Elder Cummings is heading out! He will be leaving in 3 hours to work in a new sector. It will now be Elder Speakman and I here in the office and in our sector. (minimally) Man I´m so nervous though!! AGHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Then I remember the "3 dark W´s" (Uchtdorf) Worry. Worrying.. And whining.. So hard not to do! Theres a lot of things I haven´t learned here in the office that are significantly important. Stuff to do with airlines, visas, being legalized as a missionary, you know... everyday things. (!) So its hard not for me to be a little stressed/nervous/freaking out.. But I know that in due time I will be able to learn these things. I´m prepared mentally just unsure of a few scary details.

HUGE TM!!!!! I´m pretty sure I told you months ago about how we found a family for the hermanas? It was in Talagante. I was only there for a day and I went on divisions alone with the branch president who I met that day.. This is called a cosechón. (Harvest) All the missionaries get together with a ton of members and go harvest a sector. Its sweet. ANYWAYS. The family we found is amazing!! This was months ago mind you! They told me yesterday that two are being baptized this week and have requested that I go. Her other son didn´t want anything to do with baptism... Then they went to conference... When it ended, the kid said he had received his testimony of the living prophet during conference and that he wanted baptism!!! The three of them will make covenants with our heavenly father this week. :) Being a missionary is the coolest thing I´ve ever done.

I hope that all my friends on missions are doing great. I also hope that all of you enjoyed conference and that you have set a few goals to better yourselves. I know I have. I know we have much to work on but that we can do it! Life is hard but its better than ever. I think about you all a lot and know you are progressing well. By the way.. Those pictures are all so amazing. Let me just say that I have the cutest little niece in the WORLD. SO CUTE. Well done Kay and Colb. You guys are tight. Dad actually looks super happy holding that little baby. Touching I must say. Weird too to see him with a baby haha. You know what I mean. Those puppies are still too pretty for their own good. Looks like Steiny hasn´t changed too much. Still hogging everything.

Us eating pizza! Today. Monday.
So good! ;)  Dominoes!
Hey another thing sorry about that April Fools joke! I didn´t mean to fool so many people ;) . We all did little jokes like that to our parents minus the assistants who weren´t here at the time. Did you fail to see the attachment before you forwarded it to everyone? Haha. Needless to say I did laugh. So sorry! Hey also can you thank Brent and Stacy for their V day package that came late and the Lathams for their easter package? I really LOVE all my friends and family. The support is unreal.

You guys are amazing. The longer I´m out here in the mission field the more my love grows for my family and for my Heavenly Father. This is a hard path, but its the only way. This life is an opportunity... A chance to learn. To grow. To progress. My perspective has changed forever. That´s one of the points of the mission right? Its the best. It really is. I love you all so much. I hope you all have a great week and that you can find ways to serve others. Much love,

Elder Kurtis Christensen
Secretario Del Presidente
Misión Chile Santiago Oeste

4/1/2011 Elder Christensen's Accident

Hey guys, I know its kinda out of order for me to get on email on friday, but we had special permission to tell you about our pday/general conference situation. Pday has been changed to Monday because of general conference.  Also this week while being forced to play freaking soccer (AGAIN) I got cheap shotted by one of the brown brothers and re-split my collarbone.... Good thing I´m in the office though right? I went to the new mission doctor named Dr. Welch and he explained me the same stuff that I had explained to me a year and a half ago.. I get to sleep sitting up again and all that fun stuff..... Why does this have to happen to me on my mission??? Blahh.. Gotta keep a good attitude though. Anyways, I´ll write more about this on monday. I attached a word document (needs to be opened in word) with a scanned copy of the factura (bill). Since I was playing SOCCER, the bills do not get paid by the mission. Sorry...... I know that SUCKS to receive a bill from your son on a mission but... Thus is life. Thanks for all your help, and don´t worry I´ll be fine.. Just more prayers on my behalf. Elder Christensen
"FRACTURA" bill!!!!!