Tuesday, May 31, 2011

5/31/2011 Hermana Christensen

the year mark clan
hellooooo family!

my heart is just bursting to see your faces and these happy happy happy pictures from all over the WORLD!!!! this is beautiful! the gospel makes us SO HAPPY!!!!! I LOVE IT!!!

okay. so. a lot to report on. a lot of awesome stuff is going down. so we just came from the laundromat. i was sitting there studying and one of the regulars came in and started heaping all of us his dirty garby onto the table to sort through and start his loads. all fifty of them. ahah. but seriously. i just kept studying but i felt that little spirit totally rebuking me for not talkin to everyone so i made some stupid comment about men doing laundry and he laughed and shot back in a SIICK accent--totally a mississippian. so rad. we ended up talking forever and it was sooo cool. the elders who serve in that area happened ("happened" just by SHEER chance. haha yeah right) to come in around that time we were talking about how rusty (this rad guy) doesn't know any mormons... so we introduced ourselves, then the elders, and then they talked about baseball...turns out rusty's son plays with a member family... we invited him to church, the elders gave him a church card... it was just this BEAUTIFUL moment so celestially orchestrated; sister lewis and i were silently sqealing by how exciting it was and how much we just loooooove love loveooeoeoeooeoeo being missionaries. he whipped out his phone and said he was going to "drop a pin" there. i guess that's things people do with iphones. technology. he said that he's been wanting to go back to church but he's never found one he's agreed with. testified. invited him. he said it was scared and asked all about it... he said that he grew up methodist but felt like he just went through motions and he wanted substance... testified. threw down. invited him again. i just feel so blessed to be able to talk to people--i know that probably never in my life are people just giong to open up to me like this again... just tell me their needs and the questions of their souls. being a missionary makes people trust you somehow. and then you testify to their needs and invite them to do _____ aka repent and become more like jesus christ, and its the most BEAUTIFUL, SATISFYIN, FULFILLING THING EVER!!!!!!!!!!!

yesterday i had one of those so-grateful-to-be-a-missionary experiences yet again. there many on the daily. but yesterday, after the bat, we ran to a cita with the roman family (more on this in a sec). we watched finding faith in christ bc they have questions about faith. as we were sitting in their living room on their comfy couches with the lights off and the blinds billowing a little with the slight breeze, i looked over at these four investigators and realized how amazing missionary work is. and how FUN! i love doing stuff like that! but doing it with people who are searching to strengthen their faith... ah! it was like, aha! this is it! this is real joy! this is the best thing ever!!! and it is.

the romans. okay. so get this. huge milagro. papa roman contracted an infection. he's been in the hospital/nursing home since october. his leg was infected reeeeeal bad and they almost had to amputate it. (when we first met hno ivan roman and his mom, we found out he was in the hospital and sent the missionaries to bless him. the priesthood is SO AWESOME!!!) he got out of the hospital on friday! so he's there in home with them now. :) he's so nice and just way gentle and sooo sweet. they all want to come to church. we have a vision--bc it might be hard to find a member/car/way to drive him there, i think we're going to PUSH him there. can you even imagine? ah!!!! it'll be up a lot of hills, but i would do it 26 times squared to get him to church. while we were watching the movie, i looked over at him, and saw him dressed in white in an endowment session. he's going to be one of those cute old guys, like brother brown, who knows and loves the gospel and survives because of it. can't wait. :) so we'll be adding him soon. :) next part of the roman saga miracle is that ivan hno roman LOVES CHURCH. he's waking up early and is not going out to party the night before so he can come! so sick! not only that but he's reading and asking hno chavez his qs! AND he's inviting his friends to come as well!! his friend, juan, came to church with us on sunday and he LOVED IT!!!! he's waaaaaaay interested in the book of mormon and why it's important and what we believe and what makes us different. we met him once a few weeks ago and had a reeeeally good feeling about him. he's looking. he's coming to the battalion tomorrow with hno roman and hno chavez. oh, and did i mention that hno roman has a baptismal DATE for the 22ND OF JUNE!?!!!! so stoked. he and his mom are so believing. they are awesome. a little lazy but we know they're going to get in gear as we keep inviting. :) love the culture, bless their hearts.

something funny sis lewis and i concluded the other day that i want to share with you all. she was telling me about her sister who loves to cook and is way classy and elegant and just way proper and stuff. she said, "she served at the dc visitors center. you know how they are. " i was like, "umm no i don't actually. what are they like?" and she told me about this "type" of sister that goes to that visitors center. and all of the visitors centers kinda have a type of sister that serves there. so we had to ask ourselves--what type is a battalion sister? and we concluded that we freaking wear pioneer dresses, talk to imaginary people, make stupid jokes and use dumb humor multiple times a tour multiple times a day, nd we know all about war equipment in 1846--down to the calibur of lead bullets, i thank you very much. the sisters that serve at the battalion are HILARIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! even though this is something small and maybe insignificant to you, it was HUGE for me, and i received a gigantic spiritual confirmation afterwards that it was a correct deduction. aka--humor is something important to heavenly father. and i'm so grateful for that. mal and i talked a lot about humor and about entertaining people, and it's so sweet to see that my love and search for humor and happiness was really legitimate all along.

well this is bastante largo. oh, i should probably mention--haha. i got transfered. no i'm just kidding. i'm still in la mesa baby. pray that i die there. sister lewis has a feeling we'll be together for awhile..... keep your dedos crossed. i love la mesa, the people, the branch, the work. i'm so grateful to be there. so viva this transfer and viva la mesa and viva the WORK. president donaldson also assigned us as the mobat training sisters. sister leadership is weird. its sorta igual to zls. we sure feel humbled but grateful for the opportunities we now have to serve our sisters. lots of learning. the obra misional is the best in the west and universe and i'm so eternally grateful to be a part of it. my life is bliss. i feel so grateful. so so so grateful. do i say that too much? ah, its true.

keep working on this profiles and looking for those missionary opportunities. even small stuff. will you?

Hermana Lewis' dress!!!!!

hermana christensen

oh ps. best news EVER! hno chavez is getting the PRIESTHOOD ON SUNDAY!!!!!!!!! and on wednesday we came to the family history center with him and helped him get going on some research to find his antepasados... aka BAPTISMS ON THE 16TH!!! so stoked! and did i tell you he volunteered to speak at the charla on the 12th? haha. he has no idea what a fireside is, but i'm SO EXCITED for him to share his conversion story and blow people's minds. the best ever!!!!

pss. haha. guess who i took on a tour the other day? no big. just the young men GENERAL PRESIDENCY. soooooo sick! and turns out presidente ochoa is my mtc teacher's DAD! so tight! they're way legit. there was a big scouting convention here in sd so tons of the church leaders were here. so awesome.

joan joan joan. i love you dearly. it's almost june!!! how are our mountains lookin? how are you feeling? thanks so much for writing me! i love you!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

5/28/2011 Elder Christensen

THE SICKEST NEW ADDITION to my tie collection.
 Nice work mom. You never let me down. :)

Here I am! How are all of you doing? I hope that you are all doing well wherever you may be. Lots and lots is going on behind the scenes in everyones lives! Its so confusing to me how and why things happen the way they do. Just lots of changes I don´t know how to describe it. All the missionaries that have served know though! Things just happen that SHOCK you! Thats how I feel like every week while doing email.

I don´t have a ton to say.. I know I´m terrible at writing regardless of what you say! I always think of something amazing to say then... It leaves me and I´m too stubborn to write it all down ahead of time... I want to think of ONE miracle... one spiritual thing every single day. By doing that I will be able to see God´s hand in my life as well as have better emails!

It´s been weird and sad doing some things for Elder Jennings. I´m so happy to hear that Grandma and Grandpa went to the funeral. It really is something that has effected the whole mission. He really was a loved person who touched the lives of many. I know though, like many others, that he is doing a more important work and that he would tell us all to put our shoulders to the wheel.

We had some sweet appointments this week as well. The best were with a family who is amazing named the Pereira Family. The son named Franco just barely got back from his mission like a month ago and he has been helping us out with la obra misional. He invited his good buddy Carlos to come over to his house and listen to the missionary lessons. So last monday we taught Lesson one. All about the restoration, prophets, and apostasy but FOCUSED in on the Book of Mormon and Prayer. Really a great lesson. The spirit was there really strong as we testified that what the young boy Joseph Smith saw and did was true. To finish, we sang La oracion del profeta... Whats that called? Joseph Smiths first prayer I think. It hit me that he is also GOLDEN. My companion and I talked after about how we were really united. As you know we´re REALLY different but we´re coming together strong. Its amazing what happens to us here... I cant understand it nor explain it... We can just mold ourselves to changes really fast and embrace them. Anyways, we went back over to the Pereira´s house last night and watched the 20 minute Joseph Smith resoration movie. We thought it would be great to give him (Carlos) a good foundation right off the bat of prophets and of Joseph Smith particularly. He seems to really be progressing well and even agreed to come to church tomorrow. SO cool! The Lord is softening his heart right in front of us.
My companion and I in our chairs. His abnormal smiling face.

I had a few scriptures that I would like to share with you... They are in Mosiah 5:11-12. It says in 11.... translated..... "Look that ye not transgress, so that the name shall not be erased from thine hearts." When we make a covenant with our heavenly father, the name of his only begotten son Jesus Christ is engraved upon our hearts. AMAZING I think! Then it twelve it continues...."I would that ye should remember always to retain the name written always in your hearts that ye are not found on the left hand of God but that ye hear and know the voice by which ye shall be called, and also, the name by which he shall call you." MEANING that the renewing of our covenants is SO important. We will all make mistakes. We will all eventually transgress. Thats why it is important also to repent continually. In spanish it says... Tened Cuidado de no transgredir... Its like.. Be careful that ye do not transgress. I like that better. We need to be CAREFUL always and think about the outcome of the decision we are making. By doing this, we can stay closer to our Heavenly Father and know where which road to take when it comes time to choose. I really love it! That hit me so hard while reading it. Mosiah 5 is a really great chapter. Read it!

Alright. I just want to close by saying that I´m thankful for EVERYONE. Honestly. I´m thankful for what I´m doing here in South America. I´m thankful for my testimony and how it´s been able to grow over this time. I´m grateful to be part of THIS church. Everyday I see people who are members of INSANE religions based out of India or Evangelicos... I just feel bad honestly. This is the only COMPLETE and secure church... Why? Because it´s Christ´s church. He formed it. Joseph restored it. Now here we are living it. I cannot find one single imperfection in the church... Thats another reason why I´m grateful. Being a missionary is the best. Especially when I have a loving family and bunch of friends behind me. I hope you all have an excellent Memorial day week. Be happy for what you have. Count your many blessings, name them one by one. Take care and I´ll talk to you all in another week. Hope you enjoy the pics! Ciaooo! Much love,

Elder Kurtis Christensen

Secretario Del Presidente

Misión Chile Santiago Oeste


Me in front of the procedure room at the hospital where they worked on my toe. I´M NEVER GOIN BACK SO PRAY HARD!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

5/24/2011 Hermana Christensen

Hermanas Lewis & Christensen
thanks so much for your maaaaaaaaaaail you guys! bombslices here. love.

what a week of weeks.. WELL we had a HUUUUGE milagro about three days in a row when we were able to find a BUNCHHHHH of people to teach. SO cool. finding for us has been so hard! sometimes i think about what it must be like to just be able to add anyone around you as an investigator... but no. we're in a way white area looking for lamanites. AND IT'S THE BEST! so hard. but when we find them walking around, WE FIND THEM!!!! i love it.

can i just say how much i love my mission? freak. i love it so much. i get so giddy looking at all my pictures. i'm sorry if i say that overpoweringly too mucho, but seriously. i just LOVE it so much. last night we had the sweet sweet sweet opportunity to celebrate one year from when the branch was formed, and it was tender. so many people came--including people that are inactive. we got a picture of everyone together-i'll try to send it your way. i LOVE these people so much. getting to work and serve with them is amazing... there is something so special about this branch... president donaldson (and all the missionaries who have left the area) comment about how strong this tiny branch is, and how AMAZING they are in loving and serving and DOING the work. one of our investigators, hermano roman, WALKED to church beforehand to help set up for the party. we are going to invite him to be baptized tomorrow, and guess who's going to help us? HERMANO CHAVEZ!!!! and guess who's giong to receive the priesthood? HERMANO CHAVEZ! and go to the templo? HERMANO CHAVEZ! and speak in a charla on el 12 de junio? HERMANO CHAVEZ! ah. recent converts have the flame. it's amazing. i love this work.

i also just want to say how much i love the battalion. and the sisters there. family. it's so amazing. milagros are happening every day. lately i have been really focusing on how to be better with inviting people to learn more in a more inspired way.,. more personal and to their needs and by the spirit. and it's been AMAZING to see as i've tried to do that what's happened. when brother lesvardi (the brains of the mobat) came and talked to us for some training awhile back (when he told us we were suddenly allowed to testify there) he said, "goldpanning isn't just for goldpanning." that place was DESIGNED so we can get people occupied and talk to them about the GOSPEL! soooo cool. since i've developed that mindframe and tried to be more in tune while i'm there, heavenly father has blessed me mucho. there was this cuuuute asian couple the other day who i took on the tour and took them out to gold panning. i told them i could send them a bom in mandarin and they were like, "mm. not so much." my first attack is always the bom. of course. the keystone of our religion. but they didn't go for it, and i nkew i couldn't stop there. so, praying for divine guidance, we start talking aobut her belly and the adorable little guy cookin inside of her. and the question came to me, "what are the most important things you want to teach him?" and she thought for a sec, said some asian words to her hub, and he translated: "to be happy." and i said, "how?" and she looked at me and they look at each other, and it was this sweet moment when the spirit touched them and i invited them to receive a cute like 5 minute film como entcontar la felicidad and they said yes. like right away. and i know that the elders in el centro (e roney's old area) are going to find gold with those two because they are lookin. it was so neat. haevenly father blesses us IMMEDIATELY for going out of our comfort zone and pleading for help and depending on him. sooo cool. time and time again. yesterday, we had a lesson with a lady who's been taught for like 10 years. she's super open, knowledgeable and has a LOT of faith. she also has a LOT to say and i don't have a lot of understanding. haha. so there's a lot of HER takling and us listening and sweating in her little house just wondering how on earth to teach her what she needs to hear. anyway, yesterday i was really worried during the lesson about my comp who has been struggling to open her mouth... and so i was preoccupied and the lessno was just getting to long and i didn't feel like we were helping her at all and she was takling about the most random things EVER.. and AH. it was the worst feeling ever! so i was like, "alrighty sista. calm down. breathe. focus on hna iparrea..." we taught, testified, and peaced. then we had weekly planning and during comp inventory we talked about it and came to the conclusion that if sweet sweet sister lewis isn't focusing on what she's going to say or what she can't say, and i'm not worrying about her or about she's thinking or wishing i'd say... but if we both just focus on OUR INVESTIGATORS 156 billion thousand percent, the spirit is going to FILL OUR MINDS AND HEARTS WITH THE SAME THING TO SAY. how many times is that promise in the scriptures?!!! like infinity! ay. it was a neat conclusion to arrive at juntas. i know it's true. i know heavenly father is going to come through for us as we turn EVERYTHING over to Him. And that's a principle that i hope to take with me throughout the rest of my life--when i live a CONSECRATED (temple!) life, focusing and sacrificing on others (TEMPLE!), then we will be blessed with knowledge, yeah even great treasures of knowledge.. and we shall run and not be weary, walk and not faint, etc. i KNOW that promise is re-al and applies to LIFE, not just to living the palabra de sabiduria. that's why the mission is so incedibly satisfying because we wake up thinking about others, we exercise praying for clarity of mind to receive inspiratino throughout the day for them, we study for them and for their needs. then we go out and teach them and try not to worry about what we'll say or naaaaaaaadaa--just on themmmmm, and in the batallon we jsut serve them and tailor the tour to them and take their picture and deal with their screaming kids and take tours even when we're starving or tired or WHATEVER, then we PLAN for them. and then we rush to bed, praying for them and fasting for them and thinking about them and dreaming about them. and then the time flies. and we are happier than EVER. because this is the most SATISFYING work on the cosmos, but also because we are turned so outwards for others... and our heart hurts for them when they succeed even a little, or our heart breaks when they fail a little...and we feel our Father's love for them and it FILLS US RIGHT UP! in this sense we're tranied for life. we're trained to consecrate our lives in the service of others--just like our Savior. what a blessing. what a huge huge huge blessing. i LOVE THIS!

forget yourselves. get to work. we know the little selfish desires we're clinging to. they are little tiny things. lets give them up. lets turn them over to the Lord. lets hollow out our hearts to be more like His--pure, giving, loving, selfless. this is the way to be as He is. THIS is the only way to be happy. get to it.

hermana christensen

Hermana C & the Ricks
joan. i heart you. i'll be writing asap. get ready. sue, thanks for your letter, too. i love you guys, i'm prayin for you. be strong.

laurie. tears for sure. i love you SO MUCH. sinceriously. please know that you are AWESOME. seeing your pops blew my mind. and i was serious about byu. i can only IMAGINE what a party that would be!!! get looking and i MEAN it!!!!!!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

5/21/2011 Elder Christensen: A Rough One

Hey everyone. It´s been a long.... sad... and indeed interesting day. We woke up today just like a normal pday.. We got all ready, got our books, and had just started our STUDIES (¡NEVER HAPPENS!) when President King called us. I knew something was up because Elder Speakman just closed his books and started to cry while talking... So I got the hint and packed up my stuff to leave the pension. He turned to me after they had finished talking and said... "Elder Jennings died." This elder was amazing. My companion trained him actually trained him here in the mission..

So we hurried over here as quick as possible and started to get all of his stuff together. Him and his companion had gotten up on time just to go running for their exercise time. They were almost on the way back when he passed out... The paramedics went, his comp did cpr, they gave a blessing, they tried everything. But it was just his time to go. It´s been REALLY hard for my companion. The whole mission is shocked though. It´s just important that we all look forward with our celestial eyes and to the atonement of our Lord Jesus Christ to be healed from things like this. That is what it´s intended for. To help us move on and come out the other side even more faithful than before... Afterwards we held a special meeting with his zone and everyone got to share their testimonies. The spirit was strong as everyone talked about their feelings for this wonderful Elder.

Ehhh.... Lifes hard. We all know that. I just don´t see how it´s possible for someone to confront the struggles of this life without such knowledge as that which we have. Every time something big happens to anyone and I´m sitting on the sidelines.... I feel bad in a way but then my testimony is in turn strengthened. Elder Stoddard said something I LOVED. We were driving home afterwards listening to music, and I said... "Death is really weird"......... He responded... "It´s like having changes". Sometimes changes in the mission are HARD. When you´re working really hard in one place and LOVING what you are doing. You love the people, you love where you live, then suddenly... Hey its time to go. Death is like changes! Then I had the revelation that I´ve had a million times that the mission prepares us for life. Its the university of life. The experiences that we have here in the field are ultimately sculpting us to endure to the end. Sounds kinda strong but its true. I hope that everyone out there reading this has some spiritual experiences to lean on during the hard times. I heard an EXCELLENT quote recently by Thomas S. Monson aka THE PROPHET! It goes like this... "God gave us memories, that we might have June roses in the December of our lives." I LOVE this. It´s so true. We really can use the things that have happened to us to fuel our fire for the rest of our lives. There is a scripture in DyC 29:39 that says if we didn´t know the sour, we couldn´t understand the sweet. SO true.

It´s great to know that everyone is doing well there. The house looks like a mess but in due time it will be up to Dad´s Par. The baby looks happy when she´s not in her chair. All is well in happy valley! Let me share one really cool experience we had to finish off this letter. Last monday we went to a family home evening at our recent convert Ximena´s house. She had previously explained to us that her aunt was having some troubles and that she was almost starting to rebel against the church. One thing that BUGGGGGGGSSSSSSSSSSSS me is when we ask... How are you doing? then someone responds... Great Elder!! BUT THEY¨RE LYING THROUGH THEIR TEETH!!! PLEASE LADY!! We´re here to help you fix your life! If you have any problems then TELL US! That´s exactly what happened. We showed up, sat down, and asked that question. Even though it was obviously not all okay, they all said... Great! My companion and I had planned to read Lucas 14 with them. There is a really good parable about a big supper held by a man and everyone makes excuses as to why they can´t go to the dinner. We use it as like the Lord with the Sacrament.. Sometimes we as members of the church make excuses as to why we can´t go to HIS supper. We put the things we judge as important in front of what really is important. Its a STRONG parable. We usually use it as a stick.. Meaning like a strong scripture to really help someone understand right away. We both felt the impression to NOT share that.... We were kinda murmuring in english trying to figure out what else we could teach when Ximena said... "What are we doing to learn today?" ... Before we even had time to answer she said.. " Can I teach the class today?" We were blown away. Not the typical thing for your recent convert to do! We told her to go ahead and that we would add scriptural support and comments. We figured that we would end up teaching the whole thing but that was not at all the case. She shared in 1st John chapter 4 about loving. How God loves us and he wants us to love one another. Then she also combined that with DyC Chapter 129 about the spirit. How we can know if the spirit is from God or not. This lesson seemed like it was taught by someone who has been a member for 10 years. So powerful. Elder Speakman and I knew exactly where she was going the whole time. She wanted to relate it to her aunt and how she has been acting up... She didn´t have the guts. Then she looked right at me and I made this face like.. COME ON AND SPIT IT OUTTTTTTTTTTTT. Then she just said. BOOM. "I don´t feel like you have the spirit right now". Her aunt started to cry and then explained how she had been depressed because of mothers day. Her mom passed away recently. We talked then about how our trials and how they help us grow. That we shouldn´t seperate ourselves from the gospel at the time when we most need it. Anyways, I just thought that was a sweet lesson and a great experience to share with you.

Alright. Well. I hope everyones doing great out there. I really do. Life is precious and it´s meant to treasure. Don´t waste any time worrying or doubting. Just decide what you can do today and DO IT! Love you all.

There is like one Papa John´s in this
WHOLE COUNTRY and we found it!! SOOO GOOD!!
 Tasted just like AMERICA!!!

  Elder Kurtis Christensen

Secretario Del Presidente

Misión Chile Santiago Oeste

P.S. Hope you like the pics!!

My comp bought a sick pancho thing for like 50 bucks and I put it on. :) Elder Jorgensen, Speakman, and I.. Lookin fly!

Ya.... Having an infected foot for like 3 months already... Priceless.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

5/17/2011 Hermana Christensen: Summerfest Pioneer-style

hola liebers.

not a whole lot to report on this week.. just another seven days have past in the best time of my life. ha. miracles every day... preaching the restored gospel of jesus christ... inviting others to repent.. you know the drill. i love my life.

so on saturday we had a sweet opportunity to go to a fair and set up a booth. haha. no big deal. just a fair. in pioneer dresses. all day. SO WEIRD. but so fun! people fed us garbage all day and we dressed little chillins up to be soldiers, backpack, musket, canteen and all. (i never thought i'd learn how to load and fire an 1816 flintlock musket on my mission...) anyway, it was such a neat experience to me; random people walked up to our booth and we were able to just bring it back to the gospel. EVERYTHING goes back to the gospel and everything pertaining to our security and happiness and answers comes back to the gospel. i was really surprised by how the words came and i was just throwing down, boldly testifying of the book of mormon or comosea. i loved it. it was exhausting, but exhilarating.

on sunday in church (we got to stay for relief society for the first time in five weeks. haha. what kind of a missionary am i?! i don't study, don't go to church, and i'm demonstrating how to use firearms?!!!), and the rs lesson was LA OBRA MISIONAL! hna miller gave us these little papers and we had to put ourselves in the situation of that person and explain how they would feel and what we, as members, could do. mine was "doesn't know anything about the gospel." i don't even remember what i said, but it came back to something about how if you take away the gospel, you take away ME. EVERY good decision i've made, EVERY thing i've learned, EVERYthing i've seen or done has come as a result of living the gospel. so not having the gospel would be... not living. not being. nothing. and i just told them that that's why i'm here.. the things that have happened in my life left me wondering what i would do without the knowledge i have, and that's where our brothers and sisters are--without the gospel. so what a blessing, a joy, an opportunity, a PRIVILEGE it is to do His work--to the work of the Master--and help others have the gospel in their lives.

I love this work. everything about it. oh, something sweet-- i got to read my scriptures yesterday haha and i received some siiiick revelation about moses 1:39--how the work and the GLORY of the Father is our immortality and eternal life. Remember what Christ said about His atonement? He said, glory be to the FATHER. But it was only THROUGH Jesus Christ and what HE did that we can have the Father's glory.

All is well. This transfer has flown. We'll kill our last week and see what happens. long live la mesa! on monday night we're going to celebrate the YEAR anniversary of the branch! CAN'T WAIT!

stay strong. these are the days. remember i love you. read your scriptures. go to church. study up some flintlock musket exercises. and keep going on those mormon.org profiles! i'm sorry it's such a pain, but i can't wait to see them!


hna christensen
joan you dear thing, my mom sends pictures of you and i love to see your smiling face. keep smiling and know that i love you!

sister story. THE HERRERAS WERE FORMERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

5/14/2011 Elder Christensen

Me while talking to you guys on the phone!! Dad I know you love
the scarf haha. Mom I know you love the tie.
Hey everyone! Wow let me just start up by saying that it was way fun to call and talk to you guys this last week. Mom you are right, the time FLIES. All the missionaries know that though. It´s almost a joke how fast it goes while talking to your family. You have enough time to figure out how everyone is and a tiny sliver of whats going on and WHAM! Time to go. It was superrrrrrrr weird to hear my sisters baby screaming in the background though! Wow so tight! I still forget that I´m an uncle sometimes. Definitely need to meet my niece!

Its been another great week here in the office. Tons of garb to do. My week comprised of making visa packets for missionaries, going to the hospital, various meetings, and a stubbed toe! Also we had tons of sweet lessons out in the sector. Last night we got to read 3 Nefi 11 with Ximena and her aunt gladys. Towards the end Ximena was flipping through her BoM and we saw that she had a scripture in Jacob highlighted. Its one about how the Lord delights in the chastity of women. Get this! Its so cool! So... Ximena is easily one of the strongest converts Ive been able to see. She loves the gospel and always is craving more light. One problem though is her job. She works at a Discoteque which is just like a night club... They are superrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr dirty status though. So at the end of our appointment last night she said... I dont want to go to work today! And I said... ya we know... Those places are gross! She then responded by saying... Ya I know thats why I don´t want to go. Anyways, she wants to share the scripture that she marked to her BOSS and let him know more about our religion. We were blown away by that. She just wants to talk about chastity with her co-workers! Maybe kinda an awkward environment to do so but hey! She´s preaching!

Man by reading Elder Lowe´s emails I can see how much he has changed! Way to go buddy! I could not believe that they went golfing on Pday! Thats amazing! I had forgotten that golf even existed. Its so fun to see the growth of all your friends during the two year period of being a missionary. Everyone finds the gospel... Its weird.. Growing up in the middle of Orem Utah we ALL have had the gopel our whole lives.. We´ve all lived it... But out here we find it. It´s like the roots and seeds that our parents planted in us begin to sprout or something. Like I´ve explained previously I just LOVE it now. Before I would want to cut out after sacrament to watch the Broncos game but now the 3 hours end and I´m like.... Thats it? GIVE ME MOREEEEE!! Thats what Tivo is for right? ;) The trick is applying what we KNOW we must do to our every day lives. We know the prophet asks us to read the Book of mormon.. or go to institute... or whatever it may be! The problem comes when we are juggling so many things at once. Thats when we must take the council from Pres Uchtdorf and just Slowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww Dowwwwwwwwwwwwwwn. The daily spiritual things are necessary. SO necessary. Here in the office sometimes we just.... RUN RUN RUN RUN. If theres something more important to do we just lose our studies... Its like the only down side that I can see here. I definitely notice the difference in me when I haven´t read the scriptures.. I just don´t have the spirit. I had a hard day last week I don´t really even know why... I felt like we may have had contention and that killed me.. So I couldn´t sleep... What do you do when you can´t sleep as a missionary???? Just lay there?? We have to be obedient to the schedule! We MUST sleep or at least lay there until the sun comes up. But I felt that I should read a little bit from the Book of Mormon. I got up, and just read the first chapter in Mosiah... Thats when I received a PALO as well as a little bit of personal revelation just for me. ;) A palo is like... a repremanding. A lashing. Something that arrives to my heart that I have been bad at. Anyways, I read Mosiah 1:6 and 7... It talks about how we must search the scriptures diligently so that we may profit from them... Hit me SO hard. So I´m trying to read more and more even though I have less and less time! It´s just a little example that we can all receive revelation from the scriptures if we are ready for it. I know that they really are for our well being and instruction as Nefi explained. One more quick thing I liked... In Mosiah 3:13 it says that God has sent prophets to help every kindred, nation, and tongue... It´s WAY cool in spanish though because it substitutes the word kindred for family. The prophet helps THE FAMILY. His council is scripture and we must apply it in our homes.

I just wanted to stop and thank everyone for all that you´ve done for me. I know that ALL of my friends, neighbors, and family have really made me who I am. Everyone has done something.... Sent me a letter.... Taught me some lesson a long time ago that I still remember..... Says or does something nice for my parents.... I just wanted to thank EVERYONE for being so wonderful. You have no idea the difference you are making in not only my life but the lives of many others. In the Joseph Smith movie this old lady says something to the effect of... "Mr Smith I do not believe in your religion but I do appreciate your kindness" The prophet responds simply by saying... " Well ma´am you might say that that is our religion". I LOVE that. Thats what we need to do. Give service. Help those in need. I love you all a ton and I hope that you keep on doing what what the Savior would do. Find time for the small things. I wish you all a great week!

Our investigator Rodrigo and I making some Masa. ( Crust )
 For some Quishe... How do you spell quishe?

Ciao! Much love,
Elder Kurtis Christensen

Secretario Del Presidente

Misión Chile Santiago Oeste

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

5/10/2011 Hermana Christensen

Hermanas Lewis, Christensen & Mendoza
so i'm trying this new thing... emailing all of you first things first. ha. what a novel idea!

I feel so so so grateful this morning, I don't know what it is, I just feel so full and so happy and so grateful. I don't know how to put these feelings into words!

Yesterday we had zone conference. holy.cow. blew. my. MIND!!!! like always. president donaldson... what a mastermind. A few quotations (keep in mind that out of context it might not blow your mind like it did MINE.)

"member missionary work works EVERYTIME we try it."

"we can accelerate what WOULD happen in the next life with our FAITH. We can affect timing by our faith!!"

"keys are the key!"

"obedience is the first law of everything!" -e holland

We watched an mtc address from Elder Holland from january. sister mendoza told me about how amazing it was (she was in the mtc at this time) but we got to watch the full deal and WOW. honestly, i really believe him when he says that NO ONE has learned as much as he did from his mission, nor that NOTHING influenced his life more than his mission. he practically yells as he bears such strong testimony that EVERY GOOD THING--"the mission shaped every significant thing--EVERY GOOD THING THAT HAS HAPPENED TO ME IN 50 YEARS--came through the small portal of my mission." you know how he rolls, he just throws down left and right, which made it SO incredible to watch this as a missionary TO a missionary. The entiiiiiiiiire purpose of his talk was to help us understand the purpose of preach my gospel... not necessarily what we can do with it, but why we have it. He threw down testimony like he did because he was converted throughly THROUGH AND THROUGH because of his mission. He said that, years ago, the general authorites were evaluating these rms who come home and go inactive and they know something was "manifestly wrong." How could they go through two years of their lives teaching and preaching and helping others, telling them how they can be happy and what they need to do to gain access to the atonement of Jesus Christ, but then come home and leave that yourself?" So the bretheren decided that the memorized discussions, although they had been effective, were not what they needed to be doing anymore... but that they were in the dawn of a new era--the era of preach my gospel. the ENTIRE POINT that we have preach my gospel is to be converted--"the message of pmg is that missionary was now made to CONVERTY YOU and then YOU CONVERT OTHERS. this is about you. This is about you and your conversion." he said, "don't you EVER fail to measure up to what you've said for 18/24 months. How can you be called to serve...we have to get this right before we have any hope in the WORLD that the investigators will get it. This is real missionary work-=doing it how the ancients did it: with power and authority." pmg is a tool for US to strenthen our testimonies (or find them!), to treasure up in our minds the doctrine of the gospel of jesus christ, and then TEACH OTHERS just like they do in the scriptures--according to their NEEDS, not just a rote presentation. This is a new era. What a sacred privilege it is! It was such a humbling meeting and I mosdef received revelash for what i need to do better, what I need to change and how I can be a better, more converted preach my gospel missionary, not just for this small "portal" of my life as a missionary, but FOREVER.

I wanted to share an experience from the battalion this past week... okay so one of my HUUUGEST pet peeves is members. hhahah. no but seriously, they come into the tour and when we present the referral card they say, "oh, i'm from utah. EVERYone there is a member." and then they hand us the card. ummm are you serious? wow. horrible. so (i'm trying to have more charity towards them :)) sis lewis and i took a tour and the people were from slc. oh boy, here we go again. but even waaaay before the tour, they were amazing and so different, and i think it was one of the funnest tours i've ever taken. it was just FUN and rejoicing and celebrating that we share the faith as the men of the battalion and their amazing examples and AH! but then--at the end of the tour--they filled up cards. WITH REFERRAL INFO. ha, i was surprised to see it, and I congratulated them for fulfilling their COVENANTS to share the gospel. I said, "so many people tell us they can't share the gospel in utah because there are so many members.. that is soo awesome that you guys filled it out! thank you so much!" and the dad was WAY surprised. he said, "you tell them that there are more non members than members in utah at this point." hardcore rebuke. we proceded to have a conversation with them at gold panning, and she told us her conversion story, how she ASKED her member friend in paris and ASKED for the missoinaries (DUMB MEMBER NOT INVITING!!!!!) and got baptized..served a mission...met her husband... bam. here they were. doing missoinary work like CRAZY. they told us about tons of people they were working with and seriously, it definitely showed me that there are STILL members in the world who actually are looiking for those opportunites and taking them. then they freaking bought us lunch. EVERYONE at the battalion. no big deal. we were so stunned by the whole thing; it was our miracle for the day. The aubrey family is an example to us ALL about always being a missionary. thedidn't just buy us lunch to ease their conscience about not doing the most important work in the planet. no. they fed us spiritually and physically and we rejoiced together. don't worry. i will be friends with them forever. totally got their address and i'll be babysitting a whole lot for them for sure.

so the message, the whole point to this very long email is that when we are converted OURSELVES, we simply cannot nor WILL not fall away because the gospel of jesus christ is our very ESSENCE--who we are, what we think, what we do. and once we're truuuuuuly converted--we won't be able to NOT share it with everyone!!!!!!!!

the final moments of e hollands talk was recounting what happened with peter. christ asked him, "do you love me?" and he answered yes. "more than the boat and the oars or the nets or these fish? YES lord, more than anything!" then he said,


when He said that to peter he meant leave your nets, be an apostle, be a missionary and be it and do it FOREVER. WE ARE IN THIS TILL THE END.

"that's the day peter strode into eternity. the question for time and all eternity is DO YOU LOVE HIM? you cannot get there, do what you have to do, say what you have to say or be what you have to be unless you love Him."

I know this sacred work is gods. i know christ lives, loves, and is directing us to those we need. not just me, not just us full time, set apart missionaries, but YOU. you, too, there in utah. I love Him. I love this gospel. and I am so grateful to be a part of this obra maravillosa.

If we love Him, let us feed His sheep, and let's do it forever.

hermana christensen
(sister livingston says hi)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

5/7/2011 Elder Christensen

Elder Christensen's goady toe & Hermana King!
Wow I CANNOT believe it is already MOTHERS DAYYYYYYYYYY..... What in the world is happening to my life?? I was just barely sitting in the mtc looking at cards for you mom! Wow amazing... Unreal. The work of the Lord is honestly the best thing ever! It seems like everything that we do here in the mission makes us more and more converted to our gospel and helps to really understand our purpose here. It is the refiners fire as they say. I KNOW it is though. Like we have so many challenges... So many happy moments... So many different people we MUST get along with to maintain the spirit. So we quite literally are molded in the hands of someone greater than us.
Okay so I know that my toe is DIIIISSTUSSTINGGGGG right?? Imagine how I feel okay!! I am probably the only missionary in like the world who wears a Croc sandal and socks around haha. So I went to the hospital yesterday and they TOOK OUT those nasty stitches! Wow it did not feel that good either. Hoooooorrid!! But it´s getting much better. I haven´t even been able to wash it by the way haha! I have been wrapping my entire foot in saran wrap and ziploc bags and scotch tape EVERY TIME I shower. As of yesterday they gave me permission to shower and stuff! Man its weird. Super swollen still but it hurts way less. Its just all scabby and I really hope it gets better. With time no mas!

Elder Speakman, Ximena, Valentina & Elder Christensen
Okay so Ximena and Valentina our GOLDEN investigators got baptized and it was SO amazing! It was a huge miracle that Elder Speakman and I were able to perform the baptisms also! No water entered into my plastic covered food either! It was amazing. Hands down. Funny story though! So President King decided he wanted to come to our baptism and be with the people.... We were happy because we had it all organized and perfect for the 3 Baptisms that were going to happen... We show up right.... Two other Elders ( Elder Huaman and Elder Belmar ) were already waiting with the font filled for the baptisms. They were all excited to show us how the water was doing.... So they open the doors and *GASP* There is like TWO INCHES OF WATER in the font. OH NOOOO we thought.. President King is on the way, one of the baptismal candidates is already out in the foyer waiting, and the other two are on the way to the chapel... WHAT DO WE DO!?!? Quick decision!!!! We turned on the font water as fast as it would go (SLOW) and pulled the fire hose off the wall. HAHA!! This was so funny. We filled up the entire font with a fire hose!! President walked in and when he saw a fire hose on the ground said.... "Whats going on!?!?" It was a very spiritual and COLD baptism. Our investigator is honestly incredible. She has already been attending institute classes and we never even told her they existed. We just showed up and she was there. I was like... Uhhhh..... Okay then!!

Elders Christensen & Speakman

Mom I got you some wonderful gifts for Mothers day but I´m not exactly sure how to get them home.... I´m kinda scared to send them through the chilean mail system but it may come to that.... I guess we´ll talk tomorrow...

Its been a streeeeeeeessssssssful week as I´ve continued to learn and do my job here in the office. Its really a sweet place. The assistants help me out a lot too so it makes my life a little easier. Get this Elder Stoddard finished the mission this change... WHAT!? Thats not my trainer or anything... MAN!!

By the way the house looks CRAZY crazy crazy without any carpet or anything in it. I´m happy I was able to sit that one out. I bet in a series of weeks you will be living the lap of luxury and very happy with the decision you made to remodel. ALSOOOO Please CONGRATULATE kay and colb for the baby blessing and house and college graduations and ETCCC.... What amazing people!

Alright. Short letter. We are out of time. Pday was CRAZY because we went shoppin. I WILL ???TALK??? To you tomorrow! WOW! Thats so amazing! I hope you Enjoy the pictures I have attached. Hope you all know that I love you very much. Take care and hope you have a great week! Talk to you tomorrow!

Elder Kurtis Christensen
Secretario Del Presidente
Misión Chile Santiago Oeste

5/3/2011 Hermana Christensen

to my dearest familia

what an unreal week. seriously! lets just get right to it!

elder perry threw down last week. it was awesome. he came with elder clayton and their wives and they were so powerful--especially their wives. elder perry told us our average lessons per week was needs to be almost trippled and that we need to be testifying with power and authority. he basically went through and taught the restoration to us.. only it was SO powerful and just amazing. he changed the tone of his voice and just testified hardcore. it was so intense. i think that everyone walked away grateful for the clarity of the gospel and the power of the restoration and for modern day prophets. it was so amazing!

and then.. guess what happened on saturday? hno chavez se bautizo. it was... definitely one of the most.. no words. one of the most incredible things that has happened on my mission. this WHOLE journey with him has literally blown my mind. did i ever tell you about that goal that i had? well.. early on in my mission i told my padre celestial that i wanted to find teach and baptize a man... a man who would contribute to the church, receive the priesthood and be a leader. elder perry also told us that we need to not just baptize anyone, but we are here to baptize the ELECT, to baptize those are ready, who have changed and who have accepted the gospel of jesus christ. he said to baptize those who will contribute to the kingdom. how incredible is that? well, HERMANO CHAVEZ WILL CONTRIBUTE. he was there way early, got all suited up, and was like a little girl on christmas morning there just waiting for us, sweaty hands and all. the service was beautiful; basically the whole rama came out for his baptism. there is SUCH unity and SUCH support and love in this branch! (i was thinking the other day about how amazing it would be to "die" in this branch. i would not be opposed to that ONE BIT!) seeing hno chavez all dressed inwhite... walking down that font... knowing that he KNEW this was the truth, knowing that he KNEW that THIS was what he needed to do because he'd gotten that answer directly from his heavenly father was so touching to me. he was beaming. after he was dunked he started crying. then he turned and waved at all of us. :) on sunday he nearly gave me a heart attack (he loves to make me suffer. he always says that he's going to hacerme sufrir" by being late or by whatever. haha) because he was wasn't there in sacrament meeting... but as i bowed my head for the sacrament, suuuper worried about what'd happened and waht would happen, he sneaked in... black pants. white shirt.... tie.. and ALL. what alegria! aahhh. he was confirmed and literally of the melchizedek priesthood holders int he branch were part of his confirmation because EVERY SINGLE ONE of them had played a role in his journey. the conf was beautiful. the spirit was so strong. then he bore his testimony... first. :) he bore a sweet, simple prayer full of gratitude and convicton. it was easily one of the most poewrful moments on my mission. guys, that goal that i had might've been a silly goal, but i'm soooo grateful that i was able to be a tiny part in hno chavez's life. being able to see firsthand the changes this man has made has made my testimony grow and swell immmmmmmmmensely. i KNOW that our heavenly father is in charge. he leads us to those that are READY. i KNOW that He has power to change hearts, minds, and LIVES. i KNOW that He loves His children and has a plan for EACH ONE. hno chavez has 100% transformed. he will soon receive the priesthood, a calling and a temple recommend. heavenly father changed his heart.he wasn't going to be baptized for a year. h e has so much opposition and so many hard things in his life, but there is such powre in the bom and inprayer. he got his answer and that was that. he decided for himself and was baptized. when we first found him he was a slightly contentious man who couldn't read and he didn't really know god or jesus christ... but now? he can read. his prayers are STUNNING and SO heartfelt. he has a testimony of our Savior and Heavnely Father and the restored gospel. he WILL contribute to the kingdom.

sister lewis asked me how i felt as we drove home after his confirmation.. i was so choked up i couldn't even speak. i have no words people. i have no words to even begin to describe what i feel. i have no words to describe the majesty of this noble work. there is nothing else that matters! i love being a part of the only important thing in the universe all day every day! i love watching people change as they accept their Savior and His gospel into their lives. I love my Father in Heaven for this opportunity to feel a portion of love for his children as we do His work. i LOVE him for His patience with me,a nd for all the blessings and opportunities He has given me. I am so grateful to be a missionary! I am also soooo grateful for you, my sweet family and friends. what a remarkable birthday it was. i thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the goodies, the lovin and the packages, thoughts and words. i really just feel such an outpouring of love and gratitude. i feel like i am getting worse and worse with words and with describing how I feel. just know that i lov eyou. the feelings i have are indescribable. but i LOVE you!

estamos en eso. there are so many other people who are prepared. who are in the camino. we jgot a really sad call a couple days ago about one of our golden investigators whose bf did some stuff and now they might break up... and he's the one that introduced her to the gospel... it just blows my mind how satan works and tries sooo hard to thwart the kingdom. HE WILL NEVER WIN but he causes so much damage, pain, and heartache! We are going to do the best we can to clean up this mess and invite her to enter the waters of baptism and be healed. we have so many people to teach and they are all so ready. we will press forward, never doubting, never stopping until the work is done!

again, i am so grateful to be a missionary. i am so grateful to be HERE. it's unreal how hf has even changed, scuplted and molded my little heart to love this place and these people. 'm so thankful i was called to them, to serve them and to love them and to share this gran gozo que tengo. everyday i marvel at the goodness of these people and their christlike ways that are just customary to them. i read 1 nefi 15:14 and realized THIS IS IT. prophecy fulfilled!

guys. press onward. stay strong. be grateful. know i love you. i cannot WAIT to see these mormon.org pages. I'M SERIOUS! that was EASILY the best gift ever! (well.. apart from the most thoughtful book of LOVE from my sweetest mother!). to the rest of you: PLEASE! profile! you can do it! will you? i will continue to follow up... EVERY WEEK! hahah!

welp. this is bastante largo. i'll talk to you in like.. a number of hours. mindblowing.

hermana christensen

Add caption
derek and jenn... if you're reading this... MIND BLOWING!!! YOUR STAKE IS IN MY MISH NOW!!!!!!!!? okay! and second of all-- i was SO TOUCHED when i realized those little things were strawberry pies!!!! A--you are SO NICE to drive all the way down here just to deliver some bday goods! well, first, to even remember! b ut second, to do that?! b--THEY WERE DELICIOUS!!!!!!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH! and c--i don't know why 'm enumerating like this.. just know that meant a lot and that i love you. hopefully i'll get to be seeing you soon! so cool!
love you all!

4/30/2011 Elder Christensen

Yours truly and Elder Stoddard with.... AS Italianos!! ( Said like a swear word
but its not one! ) Completo but with steak! So good.
Helloooo family!! Its been another excellent week here in the office.. Needless to say it was a tyring one because of the changes that we had.. We had to train the new missionaries on visas and credit cards and all that fun stuff.... We got to go to President King´s house to do it though which was sweet! They also gave us some DANK food... So good. Chicken cordon bleu with mashed taties and green beans... cheesecake for dessert.... I was like sitting there not wanting to eat my food because it was so good I wanted to save it haha. AMERICA WE LOVE YOU!

I have like no time so this is short. The most golden investigator I have ever seen in my life (NO JOKE) and her daughter are being baptized tonight.. It will be Elder Speakman, them, and I all dressed in white going for the plunge!! This lady is like disgustingly gold.... She explained to us the difference between deacons and teachers and priests on the spot.... I couldn´t even talk afterwards...

One quick spiritual thing I wanted to share with you all... People here don´t really like to have faith... They like to see. They need signs... Read this.... DyC 46:13-14.... To SOME it is given to KNOW these things (v13).... ( The prophet, apostles ) and to others it is given to BELIEVE. (US) WE must believe in what they say so that we can achieve eternal life. AMAZING SCRIPTURE!!! I loved it and marked it right away. Let each of us be a believer... This is the right path.. We have all the tools that we need... we just need to keep on nurturing our testimonies and we will be able to endure to the end...

Sorry its so short this week. Hopy you enjoy the pictures though! Much love,

Elder Kurtis Christensen
Secretario Del Presidente
Misión Chile Santiago Oeste

My ugly disgusting bloody toe. Very gross.