Tuesday, August 23, 2011

8/23/2011 Hermana Christensen "In the Celestial Kingdom we won't have to worry about transfers!"

I feel like I have so much to say and so little idea how to relay it all to you.

this week has been... it's been good. it's been good. but it has easily been one of the hardest of my whole mission. I.. i've been able to reflect a lot and have had to do a bunch of introspection and really evaluate some things, and I feel.. I feel so grateful. I feel so full. I feel so at a loss of words but i remail wholly entirely completely 100% grateful to be a missionary. that remains very clear and very true. but just because i love it doesn't mean it's not hard! ha ha. ah, but seriously.

Hermanas Ortez & Christensen
I was transferred. i am training a wonderful new sister, hermana ortez, and we are white washing a new area. the branch there has been a branch for over 20 years but there haven't been sisters in the branch for 10 years. there are about 120 members and only 30 that are active. apart from a couple child of record baptisms the the last baptism was a year ago. the biggest problem in this area is people getting offended. i've asked several ward members and elders that have served there in the past what the branch needs and they all say the same: "amor. animo." the need love and excitement. and you know what? we are up to that task. for the past ten months i have been in the most loving, amazing branch in the entire planet--one where the members would give the shirt off their back and the food off their plate for one another. they taught me how to be sefless, to look beyond myself and serve freely, openly and always. they taught me how to save, how to rescue, how to cuidar de uno a otro. those people LOVE each other. they embody charity. they understand the worth of every human soul. so if there is any way that i can repay those people or my heavenly father for ten of the best months of my life it would be by going out and spreading that pure love with others. lo hare.

us after the sesh. that's hna garcia, hna collina and jeneanne lock. :)
on thursday night i got the sweet sweet blessing to be able to go on exchanges with sister lewis to the temple and attend an endowment session for one of the members who was returning to the temple for the first time in many years. it was... so beautiful to be there with her. i cried throughout the whole session because - well for a million reasons. a) holy heavenly fathers love. b) the worth of every soul! this precious daughter coming back into the fold and being reinvestido con poder de los garments! c) sitting behind hna garcia and seeing several of the ward members and just feeling SO grateful for them d) what a special sacred ordinance the endowment is and e) how CLEAR it was fifteen times "go to, PRUNE THIS GARDEN, be HAPPY." duh sister christensen. another opportunity to serve. go to! serve! work hard! have fun, be HAPPY! ah. i felt such peace. especially as we stood in the celestial room, this tiny little corner of brown people and a whitey crying her eyes out. the sweetest thing was when hermano carranza turned to me and grabbed and held on to my hand and said, "in the celestial kingdom we won't have to worry about transfers!" with his eyes brimming over. so true. and that is one thing that i've learned during all my goal setting and reevaluating and praying--these associations that i am BLESSED to have formed will only STRENGTHEN over time. these people will be a part of my life FOREVER! and in the celestial kingdom i know there will be a gigantic section for all the brown people and all their goodness and love and good food. and i hope that i can live worthily to be a part of it.

i'm a mess. haha so teary! but! i feel so happy. i really do. we have so much work to do, but i am excited. and i knew that i couldnt' stay in la mesa. i mean, i'd hoped i would, but it would've been to easy, too comfortable. so i know this is right. i know it's an opportunity to grow and learn and serve and REALLY remember why i'm here--which is to invite others to come unto christ by making and keeping covenants! it's so clear and it's so simple and the time is SO SCARCE. so i will go to. i will serve wholeheartedly. and i will do my part.

and i will rely upon my savior. my greatest, deepest, most far reaching desire for my mission is to come to know my Savior, Jesus Christ better. As I was on my knees the other night crying, I realized that THAT'S what this is all about. it was clear as day (even though it was night. ha). so as i knelt, literally wetting my pillow as nefi said, i prayed that my Savior could help me. i prayed that through his atonement i could move forward and be strong and not be selfish and not refer to la mesa as "my area" anymore and just let go and get to work. and i felt His love. I felt His peace. I felt Him. I know He's there. I know He's aware of us. I know He loves us. I love my Savior. I am so grateful for all that He's done for me, and for all that He does for me day to day. I'm so thankful for my Father in Heaven who sacrificed His Only Begotten so we could all be saved. We are hopeless without Him. And I feel as if, almost overnight, this burden of mine has been lifted. I KNOW it's true--"ask and ye shall receive, knock and it shall be opened unto you"--because I asked! i knocked! and i received! And now it's time to get to work.

I loved bro's email last week. talking about organization. sister ortez and i were so disorganized in our apartment because the two sisters had zero warning that they would both be leaving and then my stuff was scattered EVERYWHERE and there was just everyone's stuff everywhere. haha. and i/we felt that it was true what he said--we cannot receive revelation and be open to promptings if we're unorganized. we had to take some time and get situated and get all clean and ready to put our hands to the plow. so thanks for that, bro. i was thinkin of you the whole time.

the other day here at the battalion i had a really interesting conversation with a lady who's gotten into buddism. she told me she'd researched tons of different religions and even read and prayed about the bom but never got an answer. she feels that where she is now is correct. wow. what do you say to that? but as i stood there looking down into the gold panning sluice i felt prompted to ask her that question of the alma in pmg ch 8--what's the purpose of life? she laughed and said she still didn't know but that she'd get back to me. i looked at her and said, "what if i told you that i knew what it was?" and she said, "i'd think you were selfish for not sharing it with me." that hit me like a train. guys. we HAVE IT. we have ALL THE ANSWERS. we have them. ALL! we have ALL OF THEM! and how selfish we are when we don't share them! this week i want you all think about unselfishly, boldly sharing what we have. we've got it all. so let's just throw down the truth. okay?

and i wanted to follow up on the whole elder ballard commitment i extended you guys.. about praying for opportunities to share the gospel. prayerfully seeking them. how is it going? i know it's possible.. even in utah!

well, that's about all i've got for you. except a big old bearhug. i want you all to know that i've felt your prayers this week. stronger than ever. thanks for being with me.

i love you all dearly. keep me knowing how i can serve you all. praying for you on the daily!

hermana christensen

ps--oh our investigator, hna roman, in la mesa, is getting baptized on saturday. :) salvation coming right up!
this is us after a district meeting. yep. believe it. we are in the SAME ZONE AND DISTRICT!!!!!!! hahaha (oh and ps it's a trilingual district. how SICK is that?! it's english, spanish and sign. kaylynn! i've been thinkin of you so much as i've watched these guys bear their testimony and teach in sign! SO COOL!)