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