Tuesday, August 9, 2011

8/9/2011 Hermana Christensen

boy do i feel like i have a lot to say!

it has been an incredible week of milagrotes. unreal and becoming less real every day. what?

okay so did i write a few weeks ago about a lady that came into the battalion that lives in my area? for some reason i doubt it. okay, well july was crazy. we had like 17,000 people come through the battalion. the tours were huge and we totally had to follow the spirit to know who to talk to after the tours, etc. i took a gigantic english tour through by myself and after everyone filtered through the camera zone and out into gold panning and eventually leaving, i finally got out there and felt like i should talk to this one cute lady with a baby stroller. we chatted and come to find out (just sheer coincidence i'm sure) that she lives in la mesa. i about had a heart attack--but mostly because the baby cried right then and she calmed her in SPANISH. (la mesa nevereverever gets referrals. there just aren't many brown people there!) i eventually got her to refer, and we just barely got around to contacting her on sunday. and it. was. PERFECT.

literally perfect. Perfect. capital P. She opened the door and let us in. what? haha. both things?! it was incredible. we sat down in her kitchen with her son (WHO'S TWELVE!!!! i didn't know he existed! he needs to be baptized, too!) and her adorable eight year old daughter.

and we sat around and chatted and it was so... natural. normal. easy.

sister lewis and i were able to teach together and we followed the spirit, and it was just.. bliss. we shared a message about finding happiness in the gospel of jesus christ. and we watched one of the church movies (which is kinda cheesey but i LOVE it. and the guy has a sick spanish accent. like from spain.) and get this. they don't have a couch, so we got to sit on their floor. it was like.. perfect! down to the very last detail! anyway, i'm being so wordy. the point is that after the movie she said, "You know what.." and i was like, oh no, here comes the rejection.. they're fine, they're catolicos..

blablabla, but no. she said, " i think this is perfect timing that you're here because we aren't going anywhere right now and i think this is exactly what we need." stunned. i was speechless. i think i giggled a little bit and just told her she was EXACTLY right. and the kids? they were SO into it. AND!!! at the end i was asking for a referral -- no no no. i asked if she knew any mormons.. which i don't normally just ask that in an appointment.. at the battaloin, yes. but she said yes, and turns out its someone in our BRANCH, hermana diaz!

we'd been with her just five seconds earlier in church! we're way tight with her! vanessa had invited this lady to church months earlier but she wasn't in the right place. the sweetest thing was hearing this lady say that they were ready and willing and that it was time. and they love the changes they've seen with vanessa and her family, and the 12 year old is friends with diego diaz and he's all excited to see him at church.. and AH! sis lewis and i literally were running and skipping and singing and crying as we jetted to the battalion afterwards! BUT! yesterday we returned because she wanted us (key word! she WANTED) us to come back and meet her husband. so we did.

sitting around with that family around their little table, feeling the LOVE that they have for each other was like... wow. impresionante.

they are members. i think they just forgot to get baptized. they'll be getting sealed. you wouldn't believe it. how UNBELIEVABLY prepared they are... it's golden. like, seriously, if there ever was a golden family (GOLDEN FAMILY!!!! A FAMILY!!!)--it's them. we taught them the restoration yesterday and the dad was like--it just depends how you look at it. some may think it's unbelieveable, others may see it as totally believable." and at the end of the 20 min mov it shows joseph's dad getting baptizzled and afterwards the kids asked about that. uhhhhhhum YES you can get baptized, too!!!!! like literally..

perfect. all of it. unreal. we feel so blessed!!! before we left the kids were even showing us what they are planning on wearing to church... in seven days! :)

sunday was beautiful. hermano chavez bore his testimony. hermano roman bore his testimony. (they both love their bookmarks ps and say MUCHISIMAS GRACIAS HERMANA CHRISTENSEN! that's you ma!) hermano roman also passed the sacrament... to his parents. wow. that was the sweetest thing ever--seeing him take his investigator parents the emblems of the atonement. and then guess what we did in branch council? talked about our branch becoming a ward. :) we've got vision and we've got PLANS!!!

yesterday we taught our other golden investigator hermana tomas from the republica dominicana the plan of salvacion. we taught with hermana garcia's son, jair, and freak. it was the sickest thing ever. she is, first of all, the most open, willing, accepting person i've ever taught. but i think she REALLY gets it.. it's not like she's just faking. she told us that she's always told her kids that if they were not so good, good, or really good they would get to go in one of three doors. what? so when we taught about telestial, terreste y celestial it was like... oh hey.. you've actually been teaching this for years... hahaha. i was so touched, though, by something that jair told her as we taught our earth life. we were talking about oposicion (she's had a rough life) and about how God's plan for us is to be HAPPY, and we read about adam falling that man might have joy, and jair piped in after i'd said our purpose is to be happy and said, "pues de hecho creo que lo que significa esto sorry sorry in english--"well actually i think that this means that we are meant to be happy, yes, but this verse says gozoso...JOY. we are to be joyful.." and he went on to explain that joy is ETERNAL. it lasts.

it's duro. its eternal. and i got the chills and thought IMMEDIATELY of my family, and the JOY that we feel. yes, we feel happiness! and freak i feel WAY happy to have yet another package from you! but when someone closes their door in my face or a lady swears at me in a few hours i might forget about that. but at the end of the day I HAVE JOY because I KNOW that truth is on my side and that I have a loving Heavenly Father and a GRACIOUS, wonderful family who i have the PRIVILEGE to be with for forever. now THAT is joy. and i have so much of it.

i was talking with president morgan the other night at an activity we had, feeling a little discouraged about some investigators that are failing, and he said, "you know what though, sister christensen? i've read the end of the story. and we are going to WIN!" i don't know if i shared that or not already, but i've been thinking about that a lot lately. and yesterday sis lewis and i were talking and she said, "if you understand how important the message is and you love God, you won't be bashful." we know that these things are true. we know we're going to win and that truth will conquer. we know it. so why on earth am i not always bold about it?!

but i am trying! last week we taught one of our DEAR investigators who is a lesbian the law of chastity. and she totally accepted it and was nodding and all and we were about done when we asked what she thought about it, if she believed it. and she said, smilingly, "absolutely not." and i literally laughed, I LITERALLY LAUGHED, because i thought she was JOKING! but she wasn't. at all. she was dead serious. she said that she knows plenty of homosexuals who are happy and that God wouldn't restrict our happiness. we listened, but we threw down testiony and read scriptures and just let the spirit do its job. if she's humble and open to it, i KNOW she'll get her answer and she'll make changes. she even said she might not get baptized on her date, but maybe in the future. i have hope for these people becuase they already know the truth, it's innately inside of them. the world makes them forget but we help them remember.

have i mentioned that i love my call? beyond words.

and i love all of you. thank you for all you do! this week--will you just be bold? tell your less active friend to just COME TO CHURCH.

it's the only way to receive a remission of your sins! whatever it may be, just say it boldly. remember i told you to, but more importantly, remember that Jesus Christ told ALL of us to. truth is on our side and we WILL win!

hermana christensen

maril. got the pic. he's beeeeeeeeeautiful!!! congrats!!!

joan. i love your hair! you are looking gorgeous! keep smiling!

sassar. still prayin for you!

hermana christensen

ps. last week we drove down to the border. and it was the COOLEST thing ever. i saw that huuuuuuuuuge mexican flag and literally.. this might sound weird... but i literaly felt the spirit. i LOVE these people and their place and their culture and who and how they are. it was so cool, seriously. i really love my mission call. i'm so thankful to be here in san diego!