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 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 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!!!!