Tuesday, September 27, 2011

9/27/2011 Hermana Christensen "Atalaya"

baskin robbins one dollar tuestday night scoops.
thoughtof you parents! but i didn't get bubble gum...
Hello hello hellllllllooooooooooooo!

What! End of the transfer?! We've been hearing about everyones changes all day today... so sad! I hate change. so maybe it's a good thing that we don't find out until we're at our battalion transfer meeting verdad? ha. I am really happy. really truly. this past week i've been thinking a lot about that. heavenly father and i have been coming to our own little understanding together of what happiness really is. and happiness is a choice. I know this isn't anything new to anyone out there, but freak. sometimes it's hard to choose. this week i've discovered that i have a talent. i think it's a new one. but dealing with change on the mission has helped ME change. hermana ortez pointed out this week that i have been extra hilarious haha and that we seem to be laughing pretty much always. hm. so heavenly father has helped me learn how to deal with change by laughing and by having an eternal perspective. i'm SO grateful that he's helped me in that way. i feel blessed. and i feel GENUINELY HAPPY with all the changes going. change is hard, but we alllllllllllllll know that we always end up learning a ton and counting the many blessings we have.

i'm hopping right into it because there's zero time.

haha that is sis smith cutting my bags with scizzors..
and i'm holding a trash can.. oh an i'm in a pioneer dress..
 HAHAHAHA my life! so funny!
i went on exchanges with sister lee and we had the sweetest experience. i think that exchanges are actually just time set apart for sick milagros. so we went to teach a way funny guy the restoration (after we were fed a horrendous meal of mexican soggy pasta, watery lettuce, and PURPLE JELLO.. WITH NUTS IN IT!!!!!!!!! who does that?!!!).. .but he wasnt' home! ay. but guess who was? the inactive lady he lives with.. and her non member sobrina..? oh, her neice. ha. se me fue. but they were just chillin there talking about God and about jesus christ right when we show up. i'm sure that was jsut coincidence. haha. so we had this beautiful chat with them.. really it was so gorgeous.. and as if that wasn't enough, in the middle of it this guy comes over to sell the neice gold (yeah right). haha. so she goes in the back to get her dinero and this guy looks over at us and asked if we were mormons. we gave the affirmative and asked if he knew any mormons. he then said that he'd met with the missionaries over two years ago and TWO DAYS BEFORE HIS BAPTISM he lost everything... his car his house his phone his family.. i don't know what happneed.. but he said that he hasnt'r eally known where to go ever since then. he asked if we could send missionaries to his house. um? we were like... uhhhh YES! he gave us all his info, down to the zip. when we ran to the car we just laughed about how beautiful it is to be the Lord's instruments to bless the lives of His children. it's seriously the best thing ever.

something i've realized this transfer is how when i'm sad or feeling sick or feeling tired or ______, i know it's time to teach ten minutes ago. that's because i ALWAYS, 100% iof the time feel better after we teach. always. always always ALWAYS. and this morning as i studied i realized that the SPIRIT of light and truth quickeneth all things. WOW! so blessed to be a missionary! so when i feel devastated that so and so flaked out again--it's probably just because i'm being selfish! haha. no i really do value their soul and their salvation. but i also want to feel that drive, that high, that rush, that SPIRIT that only comes from teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ! it's the best thing EVER!

the other day as we were driving in the area i saw a utah license plate. i honked and rolled down the windy and we talked. haha the people were like, "oh you're from utah?" yeah blah blah they were going to a wedding or something and they said, where are you going? I said, "we're just off to preach the restored gospel of jesus christ!" so happily and they looked way confused... hahah it took them a second to see the tag. but they drove away and we all jsut felt so happy to be part of the Lord's one and only true church on the face of the planet. i feel like the luckiest happiest person ever! and the best part is... ANYONE CAN JOIN! in fact, ALL SHOULD JOIN! haha. that's the goal.

this stop sign is legit crochetted around
 the bottom to look like a flower. cute!

funny story? okay. freaking. our branch mission leader totally just does what he wants. he's a straight up baller, but he does what he wants. well so, the branch had a baptism. wait. THE BRANCH HAD A BAPTISM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! it was awesome. first one in a looooooooong time. the lady hasn't been to church for a few weeks and she's never stayed for all three hours (she didn't even know what relief society was... ay)..... so it's not necessarily the ideal situation, but the elders did a good job and the lady will come a long way. ANYWAY. the elders had the tv ALLLLLLL set up for the halftime presentation and all, but our mission leader stands up and announces that the sisters have a special musical number prepared and sat down. hahah i guess that spirit quickened me rightthen because i just stood up and looked to hna ortez *(who HATES SINGING! HAHA) and we walked up to the front... yeah.... so we sang sunshine in my soul... and, no offense to her, or me, or the person who volunteered to play the TOP HAND on the piano HORRIBLY, but it was downright AWFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!! hahahaha i felt so badly for everyone there. we were probably the reason why the lady didn't get confirmed... haha sad. but no seriously. shoot we'll get her confirmed. but the song was just awful. but wej ust laughed. so funny. and the elders never did end up using the tv.... (did he not realize it was just standing there?!! hello!
we taught a less active the other day and she needed a blessnig.w e called the elders over right then and they came in and gave her a blessing. the spirit totally just descended upon us and i felt SO thankful for the priesthood and for righteous priesthood holders who exercise and cherish their priesthood. i've loved reading all the priesthood talks in preparation for conference. i lvoe the priesthood and am so thankful to our Father in Heaven for giving it to worthy priesthood holders to benefit all of us.

district meeting! minus sis park you goose!

will everyone PLEASE go and read doctrina y convenions section 101? i loooooooooove the little story about the senor de la vina who tells the guys to build a torre but they don't listen... 100% applies to us today. and i love what he says to them and how he says !como! i told you guys what to do! we've been given EVERYTHING we need to prepare. especially with conf coming up... oh! they are just here to help us prepare! they are our atalayas! let us listen to them!

i love you all!

hermana christensen

Monday, September 26, 2011

9/26/2011 Elder Christensen "A Great Week Ahead of Us!"

An old picture that I don´t think you saw...
Elder Speakman, Poulsen, and I eating rice at 11pm haha.
We all look DEAD especially Elder Poulsen. Haha love it.
Hey there friends and fam! Well... this weeks like the opposite of last week! I was just BARELY sitting at this computer... It feels like it should be like Thursday or something and not Monday again already.. But.... Whatever! Thanks SO much for the package that you guys sent me. Anybody who´s served a mission knows what a blessing it is to receive some goodies from the fam. Mom... your chex mix is absolutely insane! It´s so good that if Barack tried it he would probably resign from presidency. But no really its tasty. My compliments to the chef!

Second division with Elder Nieto. He´s from El Salvador.
Great day! (That sweet brown tie I got is a trade between
Elder Crist and I. Too good.)
Okay so nothing really big happened this week.... we had 3 investigators show up to church, which was also ward conference. Pretty sweet. We got 100 people to show up which is 30 more than I´ve seen since I got here.. One of the 3 gators was a contact Elder Nieto and I did in the street on divisions. He lives far away too but he showed up! Turns out that he´s evangelic and that he´s like a spy kinda guy... He goes and gives reports on what he´s learned in other churches... He stayed ALL 3 hours and LOVED it... We taught a class on ayuno... or fasting for our gator class and he at one point even said... "In this church you guys apply everything correctly!" hahah that is right my good friend emilio. We are hoping that he comes back and ends up being converted. At the end of the block the ward gave out true to the faith books and bookmarks to everyone in attendance. I Loveeeed my sunday.. Oh ya. We sang in the choir as well haha. We´re not the greatest singers but at least we´re supporting the ward.

I was pondering last night about what I would say to you guys today... I ended up thinking about conference.... CONFERENCE CONFERENCE CONFERENCE. How is it here again? Honestly I was just barely watching it on the projector in the office.... Dunno what happened to that six months... Anyways... I thought I´d start out with this Scripture in DyC 1:38.... ALL will be brought to pass.... through HIS voice OR the voice of his servants... THESE men that we will be listening to this week are his true servants on the earth today. What they speak is real... What they speak is directly from him. It´s like the line of authority here.. The big boss tells his servant and the servant tells EVERYBODY ELSE. Thomas S. Monson is called of God and he will tell us exactly what we need to here if we GO prepared... I invite you RIGHT now to start pondering.... Thinking of questions... I´ll make the same promise they always made us in seminary... If you write these questions down and watch ALL the conference sessions, you WILL receive an answer to your questions... In DyC 78:7... it says something to this effect.... If you want that I give you a place in the celestial world, it is precise that ye prepare yourselves, doing what I have commanded of ye....... If we want to start progressing towards the celestial kingdom, this is the way. Prepare ourselves. What better way to do so than to listen to and apply the things that the living prophet and apostles of God tell us to do... Fill up your oil lamps and be ready for whatever may come your way... Last scripture... DyC 88:77-80.... Teach one another the doctrine of Christ.... Do so diligently... You will be instructed in doctine, things that apply to Gods kingdom, new things he wants you to learn, things on the earth as well as in heaven, how things have been as well as how they will be. EVERYTHING that we need to know about our lives... about this state of probation and beyond... will be talked about this weekend. This is a HUGE deal people.. I get more fired up about General Conference then I do when they shut the lights off at the Jazz game and start announcing the players.... Those are two different aspects of LIFE entirely yet one gets me just... LIT UP!!! I know for a fact that people reading this letter right now have trials in their lives... I know that we all have aspects where we need to improve and where we could be contributing more... So lets think about these things! Lets study ourselves, find our weak points, receive some direct revelation this week, and better ourselves. As I said this life is a state of probation.. We have our agency and its up to us to make the right decisions. I want General conference to big as big of a deal for you guys as it is for me or for any other missionary for that matter. It´s like Jordan Johnston said... Its wayyyyy better than sitting in a hammock in Hawaii haha. Liked that one. Look at it as ten hours of time with God... Time to learn directly from him... Not just ten hours of obligatory listening before you can go hang out with your friends... TAKE NOTES PLEASEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE: Oh my gosh I´ve never been so bugged about anything before in my LIFE!! Everyone says they fall asleep.... DUHHH.. Sitting in the dark for two hours in a hot stake center will do that to you! As well you get those people who say.... "The Liahona will come out and I can read the messages when it comes... Or even better. Online.." COME ON!!! NOWWWW is the time. Maybe you´ll receive some revelation while writing things down that you would otherwise not receive 3 months later when the liahona gets to your porch.... (Liahona is an ensign by the way.) Last conference I wrote like 20 pages of notes AND I still have the liahona... Thats 20 pages of the doctrine mixed with my thoughts and feelings as WELL as the magazine with the original articles for referral... You see the point? Just do it. Nike. Just do it. PLEASE. Make conference an enjoyable, edifying experience. It´s the greatest honestly. Well........ I think that´s about all I have for today. I´ve said it before and I´ll say it again. The mission is the single greatest thing I´ve ever done in my life. I love it. We learn tonssssss about who we are. Its like having two years of personal study and coming to know Christ.. I know that what we are doing is God´s will. I know that this is HIS church. I know that Joseph Smith suffered through all kinds of trials so that he could translate the plates and get us this MARVALOUS book. The Book of Mormon! Definitely the best book I´ve ever read. As Joseph himself said... A man can grow closer to Christ through it than through any other book..... That says enough right there. I´ve written TONS in my book... Its more like a journal now hahah. And finally I know that these men who will speak to us this weekend are true messengers of our Heavenly father. I hope you can all have a great attitude and go ready to learn this weekend. I love you all tons and I hope that you have a great week. You´re all in my prayers. Much love, your son, your friend, Elder Christensen.

Elders Crist & Christensen (second cousins!)

Did divisions twice this week... Once with YOUR FAVORITE Elder Crist... Hahah. The family oughta love that one. It was super cool to work ALL day with that Elder... I definitely thought... What a coincidence that we´re both in Chile and we´re actually on Divisions together... Hmmm... Small world.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

9/20/2011 Hermana Christensen "viva mexico! VIVA! x3 = EL GRITO!"

so we went to a lighthouse. so pretty! 

this past week we celebrated the independencia de mexico y todo latino america. it was SOOOOOOOO sweet! if you can get onto youtube you can watch "el grito" in mexico city. sooo sweet! they do this incredible fireworks show that puts the stadium of fire to SHAME, and the presidente does "el grito" in the middle of the town square... oh my goodness. we watched it in devotional the other day and it gave me the hibbee gibees. so sick. so, to celebrate, we had a fiesta! the rama had a REALLY good party--like it was organized and people came AND brought their friends! it was cool! the last party we had there was rice and fruit (that we brought).. but this one was sooo awesome. and way fun to convivir and get to know everyone better.

this is all of us huddled around the pics in the introduction room listening
i've got big big news for you. yesterday marked a day in history that will never be forgotten. WE GOT THE TOUR IN MANDARIN CHINESE!!!!!!!!! ooooooooooooh my. soo sweet. seriously! and, i'm sure it was just a coincidence, RIGHT as it finished uploading, two asians walked in. :) so they took the tour (with tons of mormon battalion sisters)--the first tour EVER in chinese--and it was SOOOO COOL! it's real quiet in the introduction room, so we were all just peeeeeled the pictures. ah. these two asians just felt so loved! the fact that the tour is now in their language helps them feel ilke we are reaching out to them and embracing their culture. at the end, they both referred, and that was great because they live here in california. so the missionaries can go to them. but for all the mainland china asians that will come through here, they will get this first exposure to the church and when the time is ready and the work opens there... aaaah harvest.

got to see the hepplers the other day! so fun! and jennica! AH!!! love!

district meeting... plus chex mix. SO GOOD!!
welp, zero percent time. the work is going my friends. it's so funny how every area really is way different. we've been able to find and add more people than in la mesa, but i feel like the commitment is wayyy lower. we just cannot get people to leave their babylonian jobs and get to church. seriously. sooo annoying. and HARD to get people to the covenant of baptism! hellooooooo! but it's made me really realize the importance of being led by the spirit to find those who are SEARCHING. and yesterday we found one. so legit. he's the bro of a referral. when he sat down we were like aaaaaw me-an he's totally going to bash us hardcore, but he was way nice and just listened and chimed in some stuff about "albedrio" (no one knows what that word agency means come on! so cool!). it was aweosme. the spirit was way strong and they openly invited us back tonigh. so ballin. and he's got an expedition. so that'll help solve one of our other problems.. not having RIDES. haha. oh boy. and now we're on to using our members and getting them excited... one thing at a time.
we had a mexican independance day CELEBRASH!!!

things are wonderful. i feel so happy and content to be part of the Lords work. i know it's his. we are planting seeds all around the world. i took a choice english couple through the tour last night. they've seen missionaries in liverpool but they wouldn't talk to them, no way no how. but they'll stop and talk to me for an hour and a half because i'm totally nonthreatening, hilarious and in a pioneer dress. mercy! so good. i love it. they totally referred. and, as they left, they said when they see the missionaries next, "we'll have plenty to talk about..." haha. i love it. and this whole tour in chinese thing... come on. the Lord is in charge here. the work is rolling forth and every kindred nation and tongue will confess that Jesus is the Christ. and THIS is His church!

all's well. love you dearly.

hermana christensen

ps. joan and sue. got your note from elder brown! yep! totally made my day! love you twooooooooooooo!


9/20/2011 Elder Christensen "Independence Day"

Me holding a plate of anticuchos! Superrrrr
dank I can´t lie! Great P day activity!
Wow it seems like its been an eternity since the last time I wrote you guys hahaha. Thats the opposite of normal. Normally I take two breaths, a nap, and I back here at the computer writing again.. Sorry our internet time was changed to tuesday this week because everything was closed up. These chileans LOVE their holidays more than anything else in the world hahaha. Super funny to be honest.. Lets see here. Let me start with a little random thing that you might find funny.. Mom I love beats now! Superrrr good. It´s kinda amazing how your tastebuds change on the mission. Every return missionary knows what I´m talking about haha! Dad will LOVE that one seeing as how he hates beats.

Okay we had zone conference this week... As a mission we are now going to be teaching our Lesson one a lot deeper than we were before especially when it comes to Joseph Smith. Usually we just go into very little detail about who he actually is and jump right into his religious story and the first vision. But now, we are going to LIGHT EVERYONE UP with his background story.. Once they get to know his story, then the whole miracle of the first vision will actually have more meaning in their hearts. I learned something new that I loved... I had NO idea that the Smith family had previously had farms and that they had failed them, causing them to change locations several times. Why in the world is that important? Because God had to put them in the right location so that they could be close to the sacred grove. BOOM! That one hit me like a ton of bricks! You can actually see the hand of God in Josephs life. Of course the other farms would fail... because they had to get to THAT one so that Joseph could have his experience. Super cool right? I know that that´s how it is in our lives as well... We try to do what we want, and our father says... NOPE! Wrongooo!! Think again! That´s when we get our curveballs. The Lord always knows though.. He always does.
Brother Candia, his sons and I making shish
kebabs...  Here they´re called... Anticuchos.

Second thing I wanted to share.... In our sector we have been knocking a ton of doors. It seems like we are finding more less active members of the church than we are new investigators hahah. We have recently met 3 families who have different stories... Two of these families are sealed in the temple for time and all eternity... So my question is... How does that happen to the faithful latter day saints in our days??? HOW!?!? How does one get to the TEMPLE and accomplish a HUGE goal in the role of progression, then fall all the way down to rock bottom... To the point of not even using garments and negating the testimony that they once had of this marvalous gospel... HOW... Heres the sadder part. It seems to be the same excuse for many people.. These people lost their testimonies and threw away all the good that they had found because of the doings of some other person in the church.. So and so did THIS to me so I NEVER want to go back to church.... Wait wait wait..... WHAT!??? You´re going to DENY all that you have learned because of some person´s poor use of agency??? NOT LOGICAL. One of the stories has to do with a bishop.... The family had asked the bishop to help them find a job so that they could support their family... Simple enough right? The bishop, being a busy man, failed to search and in the end, didn´t help them find a job. So what did they do? They went inactive and fell away from the truth... How in the world is that even possible.... This IS the church of Jesus Christ here on the earth.. It HAS been restored. Let us all remember that one okay? Don´t doubt for ONE SECOND that this church may not be true because your neighbor did something idiotic. Forget them and think about you. Remember all the blessings that you have in your life because of the gospel and it will all be clear again. That is my main focus for this letter.. I think it was President Hinckley who said we should omit the word offended from our vocabulary. I agree very much with what he said. Once we get offended and blame the church for our problems, we´re on satans doorstep. Bottom line. Your testimony is YOURS.. Nobody can take it away from you but YOU. Remember that in your daily dramatic lives as members of the church!

This cat totally climbed this tree to escape a dog haha.
 Okay well thats about all I have today. Our independence day was insane. Everything was closed, everyone is drunky and partying in babylon, and here we are. Trying to share the Plentitud of the gospel with everyone. As always I wish you all a wonderful week. Do all that you can do nourish your testimonies like the tree in Alma 32. Constant nutrition is necessary for it to be maintained. Love you all so much. Take care, Elder Christensen.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

9/13/11 Hermana Christensen "APAGON!"

all the ice cream was melting! we had to eat it!
Hello all!

Sister Ortez and i were both just leaning back in our chairs, not even knowing where to begin. Zero ideas.

so you heard about the power outage? ohhhhhhhh my. it was SO. FUN. SOOOOOOOOO FUN!!!!! haha okay so we were at the battalion that night. it was like four or so. and because school's out its been semi slow. (which is okay because there's so much to do--theres never a dull moment!) i was in the back looking at some papers when everything went black and quiet. it was scary for one second, so i ran up to the front and all of us came together from all over the battalion and we reported and quickly located each other. we didn't really know what to think. there was only one tour going, so we got them outta there. good thing sister evans is PREPARED! we knew where the flashlights were in every room because she went through and prepared us a few weeks ago. as soon as everything was good and safe we started having the time of our lives making dumb jokes and being silly... cartwheels down the hall in pioneer dresses (because the cameras weren't workin!!)... i grabbed the lantern in one of the rooms and we used that for many a photo and the bathroom... haha and then sis kearsley and i took pictures in some of the rooms--like the one where i'm holding those bags of wheat.. oh my. so funny. but the thing was that it has been SO HOT here lately. and we could feel the temperature rising! everything had to close, but we had no cars and no where to go, and the freeways were UNBELIEVABLY blocked.. so we were able to sit and study and just be with each other. then when the emergency lights went out and elder evans kicked us out of the battalion, we had no other option but to eat all of the food that was going to go rotten. so it was a strange combination of cereal and ice cream and.. yeah. good pictures. then we planned, i wrote in my journal using the light from my camera and we were able to go to bed. EARLY! you'll see the pics. i have about fifty more, too becuase i was so thrilled about it. haha. but it was so hot in our apartments i think i was just laying there awake, sweating, all night. but it was SO FUN! so memorable. we heard that it was all the way from LA to new mexico. freak! it was crazy. i talked to this hiarious lady at the battalion who said she and her son were driving here and they couldn't find a motel and didn't have any cash, so they just straight up went to a park. seriously. i hope i'm that cool next time the power goes out! it was legit though. we had nothing. seriously. it made me question my preparedness and also made me sooo grateful for simple commodities that i so often take for granted. but yeah. all is well!
isabel and axel's baptism! ...and juanito's!

so remember a few weeks ago when sister lewis and i went and taught a lessonwith hermana garcia on our preparation day? well my goodness. they got baptized on saturday! the dad has been less active his whole life and has been recently reactivating. the wife recently had a baby, so they blessed the baby and have been coming to church mas a seguido. and they noticed their lives start to change... so the dad, oscar, was recently ordained to the aaronic priesthood and he baptized his wife and her 10 year old son. it was the most BEAUTIFUL thing ever. soooo so so soooooo neat. wow. and then our other investigator, juanito, se bautizo in the same servicio. it was a POWERHOUSE! i was so grateful i was able to go. it was beautiful being there with those dear people for such a sacred service. love. love love love captial L. theres a pic of us all of us, and then another with just them, hermana garcia and me because, as i was heading out, oscar stopped me and thanked me. then isabel came over. they said that the first lesson we had with them (that preparation day RIGHT before transfers), they felt the spirit really strongly and said that i'd had a role in helping her want to get baptized. it was so.. so humbling. i was so grateful we'd sacrificed that day to go with them! and now i just have another reason to always be a part of the garcia family! :) funny how the lord works. he had me do something little and then bam. outta there. we've gotta be on our game doing what the Lord needs of us! definitely learned that that day.

exchanges are probably inspired... yeah. probably. awhile back i went to el cajon with sis smith. it was an english area. we went up and down this street contacting a ton of people and getting quite a lot of rejection. we were reeeeeal lot and kinda just done but we saw this lady in her car kinda a ways away, but decided to talk to her. she wasn't super promising but kinda listened. we told her she could find so much happiness in our message and that we'd love to bring her a bom. she said we could bring it by and just leave it in the mailbox sometime. haha. dang. okay. see ya. the next day--transfers. sis smith was taken out of that area and sis kearsley came in with sis kennington. they took this lady, diane, the bom, and the first time she wasn't interested. the second time she came to the screen door. the third time she opened the door a little bit. the fourth time she came outside and talked to them. and now? she has a baptismal date. this woman lives alone with 10 cats and two dogs. she almost committed suicide a few months ago but didn't want to leave her PETS. wow. so when we came and said she could be HAPPIER..... she caught hold onto that. and she is happier than EVER. she can't wait to get baptized! she found what she's been looking for. and she's GOLDEN the sisters say. wow. remember how we almost didn't talk to her? ohhhmy. gotta do what the lord wants us to!

full moon shot. between the palm trees. unreal.

ha. we got a referral from a lady in sis park's ward. actually she gave us like four. we went and contacted one and this lady, ramona, let us RIGHT in, sat us down, gave us water and just started chatting with us. she thought i was her nurse! hahah ummm no we are missionaries! we laughed way hard then she was like, okay. ensenen me. teach me. um? she is the most lively 81 year old i've ever met! she's so lively! she even knelt and prayed with us at the end! yeah. she believes her ancestors are mayans or something. aka shes going to LOVE testamentos! milagro!

dear cade, happy birthday on the 9th! sorry i didn't say that last week! hope it was great!
got to see hermana maltiz and ximena at the charla sun night!
love them!
a few funnies:

--at the baptism on saturday hno miller asked me to lead. cool beans. whatever. afte the ordinances and the testimonies of the peeps who were baptized, hno miller gave me a head nod. and I THOUGHT HE WANTED ME TO SHARE MY TESTIMONY! hahahah so i walked up there to the pulpit and was like uuuuh hermano miller gave me a signal.. and he said, "yeah to lead the music!" i felt SO DUMB! hahaha. but i had to freaking stay up there to lead the music! OHHHH MY! so funny. i was like, "well, the church is true!" wow.

--at church on sunday hermana alamillo leaned over to me and told me i looked like a doll. i was like, well hey thanks. and then she was all, "tu te ves como la virgen." aka.. she thinks i look like the virgen mary. awesome.

is everyone reading this month's ensign? por favor read it. wow. read e ballard's talk. SO GOOD! a few weeks ago our ward mission leader gave people an assignment to help reactivate a less active. i thought it was a little strange at first, but then BAM elder ballard says to do it. so give yourself that same assignment! i love how he talks about the atonement before that. just read it. and then do it.

love you all. (especially you, joan!)

hermana christensen

mormon 5:14

all of us when the power went out. conversing

Monday, September 12, 2011

9/12/2011 Elder Christensen

Okay... Let me break it down.. This week was all around awesome. It was a bit insane as well! I know that 9/11 is important in the states but here as well its a little different. Its like rebellious teenager day... So every year they just go crazy. Last night we were in the house at 6pm because it wasn`t safe enough for us to be out. We heard tons of gunshots, car alarms, as well as they cut our power. It was definitely interesting haha. We just hung out, read a little bit, and rested. We made french toast as well. Super good!
At our converts SEALING!
Our Zone meeting.
 Also had our Zone meeting, which was wayyyyy good. We had a total of 5 classes. Me, my comp, and the DL`s. As well we had a leadership meeting with President King and the assistants. Mom you`ll love this part. SURPRISE! My converts went to the temple to be SEALED. What happened??? That was a YEAR ago??? I really was baffled by that. So I got PERMISSION to go! On Saturday, I went with an Elder from barcelona named Elder Lacambra to the session and sealing afterward... Man.. I`ll tell you that place is amazing. AMAZING. There is nothing like seeing some people you helped learn the gospel take such great and eternal steps. I had a funny thought as well as a sweet revelation Id like to share. First the funny ish one. Its amazing how we find these people... right.. and in the moment they have NOTHING. THey dont really have any spiritual goals, nor do they have any idea about God and his mysteries. After a few short discussions they get baptized. They make covenants. Then a year later, they get SEALED. Suddenly.... WHOOPS 180 degree flip flop now they are one step ahead of me! Isnt that weird? They go from having nothing to being ahead of us! I sat there as a WITNESS to the sealing thinking.... Wow... these are wonderful people and they really are an example to me... Now I look up to them and not the other way around. Super cool I think. Now the cool thought... As one of our initiatives here in the mission we taught a principle called... "El ojo de la fe." It just means.. the Eye of faith. What the heck is that?? Think about it. What do you think it means? Now... Go and read Ether 12:19. The basic message of the scripture is that these people saw brought to pass what they had already envisioned previously with the eye of faith. Make sense? Its like seeing the end from the beginning. We can always have joy when we look through the eye of faith right? As well it helps us see the end result of a goal that we want before you have even done anything to achieve that goal.. As missionaries we should try and see people already dressed in white entering the waters of baptism. That is how we can see with the eye of faith. Now... All of you should have other goals. The goal of eternal life and exhaltation maybe? I tried to think of this life as a compass. We have our North... which is our goal. It is an EXACT degree, or, an exact goal. Think of moving a compass.. You move even JUST a little bit and whoops there went the needle a few degrees. Now remember what President Uchtdorf said about that... What happens when we are off even just by a few degrees? We end up in a completely different place then we originally wanted. There was even one plane that hit a mountain just because they were off a couple degrees! Us, as human beings, need to be right on course. If we are watching too many rated R movies that are full of vulgar materials, or listening to spirit numbing music, then we are most definitely putting ourselves off the course a couple degrees. In the end, we will not become what we had originally visioned. We will end up far below our original potential and end up in some other place. Everything that we do differently than what the scriptures and the prophets have said, puts us off course even if only by a few degrees. That is why we MUST be careful with what we do and how we use our agency. I invite you all to envision with the eye of faith your final destination. See YOU in the end.. See what it is that you want to become.. Then to think of your life as a compass and follow it PRECISELY. I know that by doing so we will see miracles in our lives. Honestly. Then once you reach the goal, like in ether, you will see what YOU had seen with the eye of faith brought to pass. I as well am trying to apply this every day. We NEED to baptize! I know that we can do it here, and that you can do it there. I love you all so much and I hope that you have another great week wherever you may be. Take care! Much


Elder Christensen.
Elder Monsen and I with pretty ties!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

9/6/2011 Hermana Christensen

well hello hello my dearest familia!

got a lot to say so i'll just hop to it.

so many milagros at the temple lately it's NOT EVEN FUNNY!

first story number 1--the other day four hungarian guys came in, mid twenties. they were super open and WAY awesome. they didn't know a ton about the church, so we showed them our little picture book and then hit em hard with the restoration. at the end they were 100% down with receiving copies of the BOM. i had this feeling that we should go to our storage place inside the temple and grab a hungarian bom--not for them to have (we want missionaries to take it to them personally!!), but just to look it over and read a portion with them. we stood near the entrance of the temple, holding this hardback book of pure truth and they read moroni 10:3-5 out loud in hungarian. when he finished reading it, we paused and the spirit testified SO STRONGLY. they are going to be GOLDEN contacts for those hungarian missionaries! it was incredible.

2--that day at the temple we got 10 referrals... all international: four from hungary (those ballers), four from VIETNAM, and two from RUSSIA. okay!

3--we served on the grounds last night event hough the temple was closed from labor day and HOLY GUAC! it was sooooweet how many people came onto the grounds! i had one of the neatest experiences of my mish. sis ortez was talking to a herd of brown people, and i was grabbing some garby for some asians. waaaaaay off in the distance, leaving the temple going up the stairs, i saw a couple people. i was like aww me-an, they are gonezo. shucks. but then i was kicked by the spirit and literally sprinted across the temple grounds to meet them. haha. the lady was way weirded out but i was totally panting as i asked if she wanted to see pictures. her name was jo jo hugs. :) i went on to show her and her two friends the pictures. they ooo'd and ahhh'd like no one has ever done before. they LOVED it. and as i showed them the pictures of those rooms and tried to discern what it was that i needed to say.. i felt like talking about how our bodies are temples and how we have the word of wisdom! WHAT?!!! but it was done. and they told me that they all knew each other because they were part of narcotics recovery.. that they'd been clean for 11 or 12 years... they said that their lives had been so different since they'd changed and they were so much happier. i told them there was EVEN MORE of that and they couldn't believe it. the spirit was so strong and there was this beautiful connection we had. the best was that after i'd gotten three pages in, another 33-day clean friend showed, and the original three were GIDDY to start over from the beginning--and they explained everything to him in DETAIL! they had really paid a lot of attention and remembered all the little details. and then that guy got way stoked, and then ANOTHER friend showed up! hahah so that guy explained it to him, and then we finished them together. :) and then we read moronis promise and they felt the spirit like a wall. they even said, "wow, that's intense. that's so deep." and when i asked them if i could send them boms, they were all SO OPEN and one even called his friend to go outside and check the housenumber to make sure it was the right address!! ahh. and then they asked me to autograph their drug recovery books. haha. so famous. naw. and then they all hugged me. yep. these two ladies and three huge past drug abusers totally loved hugging. it was one of those really special experiences where our hearts were all touched by the spirit and our souls all connected in this beautiful fusion of truth and love right at the exit of the temple. i was SO GLAD i'd ran to them!

*bottom line: people are prepared. they ARE!

4--when we were getting off our temple shift last night we needed to use the bano and wash our hands bc we were frozen cold, so the security guard, kevin, who was a baller, let us into the temple. AKA I WAS IN THE SAN DIEGO TEMPLE AT NIGHT BY MYSELF (well, with my companion), WHEN IT WAS CLOSED!! hahah i was like--"ONLY IN THE SAN DIEGO MISSION IS THIS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW!" i am so blessed! and i know it! and i LOVE MY MISSION!!!

okay. next. so our guy that we're teaching who's way golden didn't come to church. or to the appointment that we had members at for him. huge fail. BUT. we received a really interesting call during the week from his FRIEND who wants to meet with us! huh? when does that happen? someone called us? and they want us to come over? haha. so that was a miracle. for sure. such a blessing.

but it kinda turned out to be a funny/scary experience. he was supposed to come to our cita on sunday night that our investigator failed to come to. we left, a little bummed, and then he called us! he told us he was at a house nearby, so we went over there and talked with him and another friend he was with. it was dark and late and they invited us to come in. we of course said no, so we sat at a table outside and started talking. and these guys were kinda crazy. we thought it was funny at first and we joked around with them, but then i realized that the dark floor was LINED with beer bottles. i counted. at LEAST 14. these guys were totally drunk!! ay ay ay. so we tried to just teach and get outta there, not just because drunk men isn't the best situation to be in, but because we couldn't get through to them and they were guessing our ages and sorta hitting on us and it was just WEIRD. oh, and the five year old boy was running around unsupervised while his dad was totally borrachado. unbelievable. but as we taught i was thinking, this is so uselss. they aren't even with it! lets just roll... but then i felt REAL strong, the rebuking of the spirit, reminding me that THIS MAN, this totally drunk, little brown guy, who is bragging about making 100 buck in construction, is a SON OF GOD, A KING. wow. i was filled with love and compassion with him. we promised blessings and left. in the car, sis ortez explained that she'd had the same experience... feeling like it was useless but then the spirit testified to her that these men would feel something and that they would remember the visit when they weren't drunk. so we'll see.

ha. here's a good story. we go over to a cita we had w/a potential investigator, and she let us in but left us. we ended up talking to her roommate who we'd actually been looking for the first times we'd passed by--she's a less active member! we had a way powerful chat with her, and then their other roommate came out, who's a guy we added as an investigator last week. so then we had a lesson all together and talked about the restoration. a few things: when that pillar of light comes down in the restoration movie.. the spirit is UNDENIABLE!!! ah! wow!!! later in the lesson we found out that he's been meeting with missionaries off and on for TEN YEARS. i have no patience for that. so i threw down hardcore and told him to DECIDASE aka decide ya crazy! and we invited him to be baptized. and he said YES! of course he's got a ways to go, but it was so awesome, that moment. the best was about five seconds later when he asked how we live and what he'd need to change. kristen.. this guy loves The Witness and that's what brought him to listen to the missionaries the first time. ummm isn't the little boy in that movie from an Amish family? i don't remember. but this guy straight up THOUGHT WE WERE AMISH!!!!!!!!!!!! and he committed to a baptismal date KNOWING HE'D HAVE TO BECOME AMISH!!!!!!!!! hahahah now if that isn't faith--what is?!! he was SHOCKED when we laughingly told him that we drove CARS, used ELECTRICITY, wore MAKEUP... hahah. the costumes in the joseph smith movie didn't help that misunderstanding...

my quote of the week. we were talking about the plan of salvation during comp study and i heard myself say about adam and eve, "they were just walking around petting animals." hahahahah.

we contacted into a lady last week down in the waaaaay south part of town. she was golden and actuallylives right by the church, but she was way reluctant to hear from us. so whatever. the other day a member wants to take us to dinner. to my horror she asked us to meet her at KENTUCKY FRIED CHICKEN. (haha willy all i could hear was you.." kentucky fried fat.." NOT HELPFUL!) so we go there and guess who we see? THIS LADY!!! and she and the member clicked like THAT and started talking about looking for apartments together to be roommates! huH!? soooo divinely orchestrated!

welp, i think that's it. the message is... PEOPLE ARE PREPARED. THE LORD'S GOT THINGS ALL WORKED OUT. we just have to be willing to step INSIDE kfc (not necessarily eat anything from there!) to see miracles and see people who are prepared. are you getting me? there are people just WAITING for us to go out of our way a little bit so we can share what we have and follow heavenly father's plan. it might require running inside to grab that book of mormon in jibberish (hungarian), or running all the way across the temple parking lot, or stepping into a restaurant that even the NAME makes you gag... but if we DO IT... if we GO OUT OF OUR WAY A LITTLE BIT, the lord blesses us with unforgettable experiences. are you hearing me? so what is the spririt telling you to go and do? go out of your way and DO IT! i promise you won't regret it!

i love you all. sorry it's largo. i just love my life and want to share! oh and ps. come to find out... i love cantelope. huh?? after all these years! i know! it's so good!

and the church is SO TRUE!!! and i love you all! until the next time rolls around for me to tell you about our wonderful week!

hermana christensen

pics. me last night with the SUNSET and my GOOOORGEOUS scripture cases from my broseph that i love sooooooooooooo much!

my mexican blanket sweater. I LOVE IT! and ps. check out the tan line on my feet ha!
temple before we left. there is the most BEAUTIFUL painting at deseret book that i'm going to buy someday. it's the sd temple like this but it's focused more on the tree.. and the pathway to it and it looks like the TREE OF LIFE! ah. it's stunning!

pss. THANKS DER AND JENN FOR DELIVERING THE BOX OF HEAVEN! sooooooo grateful! love you guys a TON!

Monday, September 5, 2011

9/5/2011 Elder Christensen "A Busy Week"

My companion Elder Pari and I at Presidents House. SICK!
 Great meeting. Great comp
Hello to all you people out there! Its been a crazy week. Trying to get ready for changes, as well as continuing to train the secretary in the office got me stressed! But hey.... The 180 degree change has been made and here I am. I`ve been called to be a Zone Leader here in the zone La Cisterna. Its city.. Fairly humble.. It reminds me a lot of Carlos Valdovinos actually. We have a lot of good missionaries here and we`re all excited to see what we can do together. My companion`s name is Elder Pari. He is 27 years old and from Peru. Cool guy. We seem to get along well and we have good unity in our teaching methods. We`ve worked like crazy this week! We did tons of contacts, had a couple meetings with missionaries and President, and just been trying to find new people to teach. We went to Presidents house all the ZL`s and had a special little training meeting. SUPER good. The spirit that these missionaries have is honestly so powerful. I loved loved loved the meeting. We learned some new initiatives that we will be teaching in our zone meeting this Wednesday. It`s honestly going to be super sweet. Our house is pretty tiny though! Its a small kitchen, a small bathroom, and one big room upstairs. Definitely the smallest missionary house I`ve seen up til this point. I`ll try and get some pics of it next week. Our neighbors have a German Shepherd that looks a lot like steffi as well. I`ll have to get a pic of her too! Her name is Lyka. Don`t worry shes not as cute but very similiar!

Elder CRIST and I at district meeting!!! SICK!
 He`s a DL in our zone. I`m excited to work with him!
This week I`ve been thinking about love. That may sound weird but as missionaries it is SO important that we love everyone. If I love this person, I am going to do everything I can to get them to listen to this message. I am going to testify like its my job (It is!) right in their faces until they get it. Make sense? Doing our contacts, we have come across a bunch of people who want NOTHING to do with us. Typical missionary treatment haha. Anyways, it really gets me sad when they just flat out reject us. All we can do is testify, love, and share. The frustrating and sad part is that they have their free agency to reject us and keeping wasting time in unbelief. This is religious WAR. I thought that.... we were knocking a door, the testigos de jehovah were behind us doing the same, and the evangelics were yelling over their megaphone. 3 religions in the same block... the only problem is.... only ONE of them is true. EVERYONE needs to know that THIS is Christs restored church. You cant and will not enter into his kingdom without repentance and baptism by someone with the authority... Its our job to love these people. Teach them this simple doctrine... and baptize them if it be our Heavenly Fathers will.. But like I said. If they choose otherwise, so be it. Bueno. I`m about out of time so I`ll have to stop there for now. I`m going to try to get some pics up here to so hold on tight! I love you all so much and I thank you for all that you are constantly doing for me. Your prayers are felt and appreciated. I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Elders Monsen, Spencer and I....well.... You get it haha.
Much love,

Elder Christensen.
Love you guys! Have a great week! Chao!