Tuesday, November 29, 2011

11/29/2011 Hermana Christensen "Verge of Explosion"

making a "mad" face. no more pumpkin pie! hahah elder
 woodbury, brenchley and sis kearsley
 (from being so full and being so joyful)
How am i emailing you again?!

well. it has been a WEEK! and i mean that with emphasis on the week because it's been great. it's actually been really rough. haha. but it's been great! funny how those two words always seem to coincide verdad?

how was everyone's thanksgiving? i have got something REALLY exciting to tell everyone, mostly grampa. so.. you know how i hate mixing foods? well for TWENTY TWO YEARS OF MY LIFE i have been missing out on a SCRUMPTIOUS experience! but this past thanksgiving, elder brenchley cooed me into trying gravy (sorry folks, i've never been a gravy lady. but for e brenchley i'll do anyting. especially when he fantastic chef of a wife cooks it!)... and i put it on my potatoes.. and ate that WITH GRAVY! alll in the same bite! hahah ooooooooh my goodness! what have i missed all these years!? it was wonderful. we served in the battalion that morning, and i knew it was going to be crazy. last year it was busy but then everyone magically stopped coming around lunchtime. all day long i was wondering what was going to happen when our feast started at one with tons of people here... well, of COURSE people started trickling away, but at one on the dot a cute brown family came in wanting a spanish tour. haha. so the person who'd been counting down for thanksgiving missed the feast. but it's okay becuase i am a firm believer in sacrifice bringing forth the blessings of heaven. and they were great family. and when i was done being edified by their lamanite goodness i still got some grub. sweet potatoes OH so good kaylynn! i love serving at the battalion. seriously. i am so blessed! these sisters and the senior couples... it's just this family, this bubble that we're in. i love it. there is so much love here actually that elder evans told us we can't hug so much anymore because people think we're lesbians. dot dot dot question mark. but okay. anyway. moral of the story, i love my call. second moral. thanksgiving was bomb. i've always heard stories of missionaries eating so much they felt sick and wanted to burst, but i've never experienced it. well, i did then. haha. never before have i prayed first to throw up and second to just not explode, please. haha. our branch mission leader fed us and it was tasty but i was SOOO FULL I COULDNT'! and then he was all offended and said we ate like cats.... umm well roxy eats a lot... haah but seriously. it was annoying. and i didn't get any pumpkin pie. i'm still bitter about it. but i am SO THANKFUL for all that i do have! i count my many many many blessings--namely my family and the gospel! and also that i didnt' explode on thanksgiving. it's been four long thanksgiving away from jude's so i was thinking fondly of all of you. i love you all so much!

most of us before the feast.
we had a really beautiful devotional on thanksgiving. we always have devos at the mb on thursday--have i ever mentioned that? well, this week the sisters had us make a list of all the things we were grateful for yadda yadda and then we shared two each. and then they pointed out how strong the spirit got as we all expressed gratitude. so true. express it. it's prideful to withhold gratitude! ---- and theeeeen they asked us to think back two or three years ago to what our gratitude lists were like. we all kinda chuckled and then these sisters got quiet and invited us to think about how much our lives had changed from serving missions. it was stunning. the moment was just... so tender. we are all so thankful to be missionaries. i love what the mission has done for my life and how much my Savior has helped me to change. life is so much clearer and better and i am just SO full of thanks!

we've got a drill to clean dishes after people feed us.
haha tiny kitchen lotsta brown love.

i didn't get enough food so i had to dumpster dive...
in a pioneer dress... hahah no jk. lost car keys.
 speaking of baptism.. our golden family is failing. we haven't been able to find them all at home for weeks. they haven't come to church. it's been sooooo sad. so so so sad. they lost their baptismal date. but. finally. on sunday night, we found them at home and we had a great lesson. we made no bake cookies and had each part represent a part of the gospel, like FE is that we're going to have the cookies... but you have to START! butter and sugar. but then you mess up (cocoa) so you need to REPENT. and then what? BAPTISM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (leche) and then you add the other garby like vanilla and pb and oats and then what? the cookies STILL aren't done because they've gotta harden.. they've gotta ENDURE TO THE END. it was cool to see the lights click in their brown eyes and the realization about what they need to do. they know they need to get married and get baptized. the mom doesn't want the girls to do it without them,a nd she doesn't want to get married to her h usband. we were REAL bold.. we asked 'what is your butter and sugar? where are you going to start?' and it's annoying because she just points all the blame at her husband and the marriage therapist inside of me just boiiiiiiiiiiils but i can't counsel people on their personal matters.... so we throw down doctrinally. but she's just so stubborn. please pray for the familia salvador. the girls and the dad want to get baptized but they can't. they're just stuck. but we're going to seguir and hope that the Lord blesses her with a softened heart. the cookies were fun though, even though we left a little sad. we have faith it'll all work out.

after our no bake cookie lesson. :)
so guess what? on saturday we had two baptisms in the rama! comin comin comin comin! even though it's been a hard week, there is sooooo much light and potential for this ramita! just gotta be patient and look towards the future with a bright eye of faith and hope.
purple pioneer dress in honor of kristen!

life's good. the work of a missionary is hard and slow but it's noble. i love my father in heaven for giving me this chance to understand a MORSEL of what he feels. a tidbit? i tiny sliver. i love him for that. i love him for his endless love and patience. and wow. lately i've been feeling and recognizing how short i fall. and i was just thinking about how heavenly father will somehow accept my small, humble weak offer because the atonement of our savior jesus christ makes up for all my deficiencies. somehow. wow. i love jesus christ. He is the only way. i love His gospel, more than anything. i am so thankful to be a missionary--it is unreal. i wouldn't trade this time for anything in the universe. hermanos, we are so blessed. let us always just keep in mind the blessed state we're in.

i love you. que esten bien y sepan que les amo muchismo.

hermana christensen

ps two weeks worth of pics

Monday, November 28, 2011

11/28/2011 Elder Christensen "Hot, hot heat!"

Elder Crist and I at changes... He was nervous for the
whole office thing! Check that FACE out! haha.
Hello from sunny burning hot Chile! Man I do NOT know how the people get used to this heat over here! I was just day dreaming about being in Alaska with Elder Roney in that -15 degree stuff... Man missionary work is the greatest. Remember Elder Roney, many are called but few are frozen. They should invent a saying like that for us missionaries in HOT places. Anyways, I think it`s a cool thought that we, the missionaries of the LDS church, get to go out and preach the gospel ni importa how the weather is. To think that we`re getting burned here, the Elders in Africa as well, then you have Elders in other parts who are FREEZING. But we do it for a reason... because we KNOW that what we share can change lives. I`ve definately seen the change in not only myself, but in many people who I`ve been blessed to share with for an extended period of time. The gospel blesses families. Second principle of lesson one. I can testify of that honestly. Just doing simple things like reading the scriptures, praying together, and having an edifying yet FUN family home evening can bring us together, united in Christ.
Elder Tialavea and I at Presidents house... He finishes the same
  time Tawny does... SOON! Check that sick tie out parents!

This week, we had one really interesting lesson... We had previously had a baptismal date with a kid named Eduardo. He`s great honestly and has the desire to follow the Savior. Before, for family reasons, he was unable to follow through with his goal for baptism... A couple days back we taught the whole family together in their back yard. We put a blank piece of paper down and asked them to write down some goals that they want to achieve as a family. Of course it started out with stupid stuff like money and cars and blah blah blah.... Then it got more serious.... They wrote down Eternal Life.... From there, we made a tree of goals... Eternal life> Sealing in the temple> Bishops interview> Priesthood> Receiving of Holy Ghost> Baptism > all the way down to reading the scriptures and praying.... They themselves wrote down ALL the necessary things to gain eternal life.... This example helped them see the importance of the commitments that we leave and WHY they have to commit to doing the small things... Most everybody lost attention except Eduardo... We set another baptismal date with him for January 8th. PRAYYYYY please.... We took him to church... he went ALONE... What a huge leap of faith and a miracle for us as missionaries. The work moves on.... hay que poner tu hombro a la lid... Put your shoulder to the wheel and WORK...

We didn`t have turkey for thx giving, but we DID buy
a whole Chicken, fries, and make a cheescake.... all
of which you see on the table. Happy Thanksgiving!
1 Nephi 17:13 And I will also be your alight in the wilderness; and I will prepare the way before you, if it so be that ye shall keep my commandments; wherefore, inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments ye shall be led towards the bpromised land; and ye shall cknow that it is by me that ye are led.

Push on... he will be your light in the wilderness.. Love you all a lot and I hope you have a great week in the SNOW. Much love, Elder Christensen.

About to FEAST on some pollito!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

11/22/11 Hermana Christensen "When God give you rainstorms......PUDDLE JUMP!!!!!!!!!!!!!

this is from one of my friends weddings here in sd! so cute!
well hello my dears.

we just came from a huge spiritual banquet (aka zone conference). loving my life.

this is the pic of us outside the temple after
 our awesome leccion
this week has been bomb. on saturday we had an incredible cita with one of our investigadores who was a referencia from a filipino member up north in a different stake. BUT. we decided to get this guy here to the cita we had INSIDE THE TEMPLE and it was soooo cool. first of all, our investigator is BOMB. she is SOOO solid! we showed her the pictures of the inside of the temple and explained everything to her (that was how this whole thing came about... she was talking to her member friend about the temple because she lives right by it) and it all basically just came down to the restoration of the gospel. and it was AMAZING because the members were just ON FIRE! and they threw down testimony and did EVERYTHING that an ideal member would do.. they didn't interrupt the missionaries but testified of what they said, invited the investigator to listen to us and to do what we said and they promised blessingsand shared stories from their own conversion. oooooooh so good. and she felt the spirit. and sister mccullough! she invited her FIRST EVER REAL PERSON to be baptized! and? SHE SAID YES!!!! oooooooooh the spirit was so so strong and everyone left edified. i have pictures. the best was her (our investigators) prayer at the end. she was all, " we come before thee from all different parts of the world--my friends from the philippines, me from mexico, and my sisters from the states--and we're all speaking different languages, but here, in your house, in your presence and by your spirit we are all speaking the same language..." uh! and then she prayed to be able to make her baptism... it was just.. amazing.
lioness after the rainstorm. haha so wet!
love puddlejumping!

and earlier on in the day we went to one of out less actives--well wait. we took a member out that i've been thinking for a long time would be good for one of our investigators who's 81.. but this lady wasn't home. so we had a member with us and we had good backup plans, but i asked if she knew so and so.. and she went on to tell me that they worked in the temple together. they are best friends! they talk everyday! but they live far away and they don't get to see each other very often (and the one lady is inactive because she was offended). so! we go over there and our member THREW down. we'd planned to share matthew 18 about the talents and the debt and forgiveness and that, and our member was just like, "you aren't forgiving when you have been forgiven of wayyyy more." bold. just like that. and then she started crying and said that everytime she goes to the temple she thinks of this less active lady and knows that SHE NEEDS TO COME BACK.


and i loved that. i loved that both of these lessons BEGAN WITH THE TEMPLE. that is the goal! our district leader a few weeks ago talked about how if our investigators could just see that the TEMPLE is what it's alll reeeeeeeeeeeeeally about, baptism would just be a little step to get there! it wouldn't be SUCH a holdup! and i remember president donaldson always saying that our converts should be able to see the temple spires from the baptismal font. THAT'S what this is all abuot. and just barely in zone conference we talked about alma 26 ( :) my favorite ever! small world broseph!) and how SHEEVES are our fruits, our converts. but the garner is the refinement that comes from the TEMPLE. from making covenants.

family. i love you. i am so grateful for you. this gospel is so clear and simple. heavenly father's plan is that jesus christ could come to the world to save us. to give us the example. we live in dark times, truth has been lost. but it is RESTORED. enduring to the end isn't simply enduring and performing tedious tasks like sitting through sacrament meeting. enduring to the end is really enduring to the endOWMENT. the phrase of enduring to the end LITERALLY means to make everlasting and omnipotent. as we make those covenants through the restored priesthood power, we are able to live our lives with the light, knowledge, and JOY of the gospel in our lives. it's so simple! that's what this is ALL about! remember how simple it is! and get our brothers and sisters under covenant, first, but then onto higher covenants and the consistent renewal of them!

and, well, with that, i'm off. i've been studying gratitude, like the rest of the world, and we talked the other day bout how gratitude is an expression of our faith. WOW. as we humbly express our gratitude, our faith increases. so. if we want increased faith in our Savior and His plan, let's be GRATEFUL for it and share it with the UNIVERSE! Let us live in thanksgiving DAILY! (alma 34:38)

know that i am thankful for you. i am thankful for my Savior. i am thankful for His atonement. I am thankful for my gracious father in heaven and His infinite patience with me as i struggle weakly to preach his gospel. i love. love. LOVE my mission. i am so grateful i came. i am thankful to all of you for your love, prayers, support and encouragement. my heart is SO full of thanks! i hope you have a wonderful thanksgiving. feel my sincere love and prayers for you and know that your sister in sanD has you on her mind.


hermana christensen

ps my subject line is because it poured down on sunday night. and when i couldnt' see and stepped into a puddle, it was all downhill from there. i guess uphill. because i then just started puddle jumping. haha. hey! if you're already wet, why not have FUN!? my compa thought i was crazy but i thought of staisha ann and had a BLAST. i love you sassar! never forget that day! gutter laying, red truck splashing...! gotta find joy in the journey my friends!

ah! totally forgot!

1 we had a BOMB lesson with our golden family! th ey came through the tour and thenwe watched the js movie and the mom siad she knows js was a profeta. they are movin slowly but sure. aren't they ADORABLE?!!!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

11/21/2011 Elder Christensen "Happy Thanksgiving"

Elder Van Dyke and I... After our division!
Happy Thanksgiving.... does that even work? Merry Thanksgiving? I dunno anymore. If we are lucky we might end up making some cheesecake on that special day sooo.... Keep us in mind while you`re eating all that rico (delicious) garbage in the US of A!

What did we even do this week? We shared a lot of lessons with members and did a heck of a lot of contacts. Our ward is a ward that is full of older people or families that have been here for a really long time. Other people have been here but they have come and gone with the time. The work of the Lord does not function at all with just missionaries... the members MUST get involved. Anyways, we`ve been working a lot on strengthening our recent converts and helping a lot of the families. President King described to us once a parable of a flywheel... I didn`t even know what that meant when I heard it so I hope you guys can imagine something.... Its like a big huge metal wheel and, like any wheel, its purpose is to spin. So... this work, the work of the Lord is like this flywheel.... Now.. The flywheel is at a stand still... The work isnt moving. Nobody is working. Us, being the missionaries or members, have to push with ALL of our might to even get this wheel to budge an inch or two. It takes a lot of work but it moves several feet. After a long time of constant effort it makes one entire revolution. It`s moving slow but it is still moving. Eventually, it starts to get faster and faster and faster... it becomes so fast that we don`t even need to push anymore and it spins on its own... What do I want to say with this.... Think of something in your life... some goal that you REALLLLYYYY want to achieve... Then apply the flywheel parable.... here in our sector the ward seems to be at a stand-still with the obra misional... People just aren`t understanding that this is IT. I don`t care about sports or video games or any of this garbage that they seem to be doing... lets think about the game of life here.. I don`t care if you`re tired or if your friends might not want to listen... At one point or another in life we decide that we are ourselves and the rest don`t matter.. That my friends and family is what we want to change. This needs to be a ward of miracles. A ward of people that want EVERYONE to arrive to the correct conclusion. The conclusion that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- Day saints is the only true church on the face of the earth.
The Zone

Changing temas a little bit here... A great friend of mine, Elder Poulsen, taught me a lot about charity. Yesterday in church my companion and I had the opportunity to discursar... o sea... to give talks in church. I can`t lie I`ve actually grown to really like giving talks. I still don`t like when they ASK US right in the moment.... "Elder... can you give a talk?" uhhhhh...... Diez Virgenes plz? Fill your lamps with oil already! Whats the scout motto? Haha. But, as I said, I like it. I chose to speak on... well.. you guessed it. Charity! I thought a lot about it before I got up there.... Obviously we know that Christ was our biggest example of Charity... His atonement was the SINGLE greatest act ever of Charity... I also used the example of him performing miracles.. Theres one point in matthew where he is healing a lepper... The lepper asks Christ to heal him and Christ responds by saying..... in spanish... "Si Quiero"... YES I WANT TO! Desire.... Desire is one of the greatest things that we need to have in order to be charitable! We gotta really want it. Service is a great thing.... but if we have a bad attitude the whole time we are doing service then it doesn`t mean anything... we aren`t having the desire.... I invite you ALL to read Moroni 7 45-48..... I think about these verses several times every day... Man its hard to have charity but.... read those verses and you`ll understand... Pray to the father with ALL the energy of heart.... and he will grant unto you this attribute.. the greatest of all.

Okay... well... i think that about wraps it up. Kind of a boring letter... not too many miracles or anything huge this week. We have a few investigators we might leave because they aren`t really progressing... Its an inactive couple with investigator kids... super complicated... They have been going alot to the Evangelico church... We´ll see. Pray for us. Be grateful for all your blessings this week.. Count them, name them ONE BY ONE as the song says, and be happy. Like Tawny said.. an attitude of Gratitude. I`m going to read the prophet`s talk from 2 conferences ago for my personal study that day.... DO THE SAME! SOoooooooooooooooooooooooooo baller. Love you all so very much. Have an excellent thanksgiving week. Have fun putting the Christmas tree up as well. RAWR!! Chaooo! Elder Christense

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

11/15/2011 Hermana Christensen "My Life is so Great!"

this is gorrrrrrrrgeous mt soledad!

this is us with CALVIN! huge baller!
okay so have i ever got a story for you or WHAT. last tuesday to end our preparation day we went to mt soledad--easily one of my favorite things to do here (see attached fots). well first, actually, we went to lunch at my FAVORITE restaurante (EL TORITOSSSSS SOOO GOOOD) then my favorite (free) ice cream shop (GOLDEN SPOON [sooo rico!!]) which both happen to be in an amazingly wonderfully strikingly familiar place of mine (la mesa) and we were almost about to just go home... but we thought we'd go to mt soledad even just for a sec. so we go there and start taking pics, etc, then this guy asked if we wanted one altogether. sure thang! so he took one then--you know how it is when you wear a black nametag--we just got into this beautiful gospel discussion. turns out his name's calvin from tennessee and he had a vision about coming to san diego to find TRUTH. ummmm. so he came here to meet these two guys from his vision so he could get a church started. wow. um. so basically what went down is that we taught him EVERYTHING THERE IS TO KNOW (very helpful that the temple was in plain sight!) and then he left us with every possible piece of literature a missionary could offer. family, it was... unreal. like, we were just GIDDY, GIGGLING and beaming. we were all freeeeeezing but there was NO WHERE in the world we would've rathered to have been! he had so many great questions and is just this young guy, TOTALLY prepared and looking for the truth. we were so bold with him. he was bold back. but we had ALL THE ANWERS--and when i say we i mean THE SPIRIT. seriously, it was incredible to see how everything came back to restoration and the bom being true or not. at the end he was just fumbling for questions because he did not want us to go. the gospel is full. it is complete. it is PERFECT!!! one of our members always says that it's like a circulo completo (a full circle) while the other churches are medio circles (half circles [if even that!]). It was one of the most beautiful experiences ever. And there was NO other way i would've rathered to have spent the last two hours of my preparation day! funny h ow the most memorable preparation days are the ones when i do actual missionary work... like teaching... and not being selfishly involved in sports or shopping or whattheheckever. I love being a missionary. there is nothing that fills me up quite like this does. nothing! not even ICE CREAM!

though that does a pretty good job.

our 11/11/11 11:11 DISTRICT BRUNCH!!

ps thanksgiving is in nine days. WHO'S EXCITED?!!!!

alright so guess what? well, i knew for sure we were going to have changes. hermana ortez and i were just too dang good to stay together. she is INCREDIBLE and helped me be myself and reach my full potential as a person and missionary and i will be FOREVER grateful for those gorgeous two transfers we had rockin linda vista. welp. she peaced out. WHAT! i thought IIIIIIIIIIIIIII would be the one to go! but god's better. so i'm still in my good ol area with a brand new beauty named hermana mccullough from oregon. she's bomb. i know she's going to touch lives and change eternities! we're finding out that we're really similar (apart from the fact that she doesn't like ice cream and i don't like chocolate). last night we cleaned out a cupboard that's been driving me BONKERS in our apt, and we both looked at each other tentatively at first about what we should throw away, but then we realized we're both PRO for cleanliness and de junking and we laughed and tossed a lot. it was gorgeous. i love her lots. she's got a lot to offer, and I feel like part of my role will be helping her see how AMAZING she is so she'll open up, speak up and be bigger than life. i'm muy animada.
sis mccullough and me!

so linda vista is still treating us amazingly. if only you could've seen us on sunday! i was beeeeeeeeeaming! our little reunion sacramental was PACKED!!!!!!!!!!!!! we had TEN INVESTIGATORS AT CHURCH! ARE YOU HEARING ME?! TEN!!!!!!!!! we had miracles EVERYWHERE!!!! this one SAINT of a member brought the whole salvador family, then drove all the way home to bring ANOTHER family! what?! okay. so then the second hour we've been teaching a dinky little gospel principles class. BUT. this week it was taught by actual brown people, we had more than five people (four of them being missionaries)--in fact, the room was totally FULL!!! we all sat in a huge circle around the room and talked about how God is our Heavenly Father. what? it was unreal. investigadores that normally peace after the first hour stayed for the second, less actives showed up, one paid TITHING, hermana alamillo was called as a branch missionary and hse paid tithing, too! i mean... wow. it was sooo amazing!

also, on tuesday night we had a training with our branch mish leader, branch pres and the leaders of auxiliares. whatever. haha. but seriously. okay. so um. branch council? SO INSPIRED!!!!!!!!!!!!!! it is SUCH AN INSPIRED PATTERN! order! way to do it! seriously! as we talked about how we can improve our consejo the spirit just filled the room and you could see it click in our leaders' brains and hearts and wow! it's like... if we want our little branch to grow then DANG the leaders have got to be united first! and how can we do that? branch council. i love that new manual. seriously. we are SO BLESSED. the Lord's church is perfect and so organized! i am so thankful to be part of a mission that focuses so much on something like this. we have received so much training and are so blessed! i know that this little branch will soon be standing on it's own feet and that it''ll be a self ran WARD!
sis mccullough and me again....

i feel like i'm living on borrowed time. i was just telling bro that this extension makes me realize how this time REALLY isn't mine and how this is bonus, extra time that i have. so i' have GOT to find the people the Lord needs me to and to say what he needs me to and to BE what he needs me to be! Why didn't I always look at it like that? I mean, i tried, but this really is crunch time... final countdown haha willy... but seriously. and i'm SO grateful!

one of my transfer goals (like the other 11 transfers) has been to focus on humility. and i had a HUGE epiphany the other day... nothing new or way amazing or anything but i realized that i'm being prideful as i withhold gratitude..whether to the lord, my comp, whomever. so to cmobat my pride, i'm going to be EVER GRATEFUL!!!!! there's something about november that ust really brings it out of us huh? so ... have an ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE!

funny thing. sis mccullough is always cold. so we have been keeping things a little more toasty as of late, which i LOVE doing for her. the other day as we drove the heat was on and i was just sweating and started laughing thinking of how kristen always turns the heat waaaaaaaay up and kurtis and i die in the back.. rolling down the windows and everything... and then willy just asks her to turn it down and she says, "well turn your side on cool!" hahah and he's like "it's not like the air can stay separate! your side is hot and mine can't be cold!" oh the imagery/memory was sweet and made my day. i love my family SO much!
hayden! SO ADORABLE! thanks for the libro!

this morning i studied for the salvadors about how they can be happy as a family. and i was led to mosiah 2. um. can you please go read it and look what it says we need to do to be happy as a FAMILY. i was blown away. soooo cool. read it!

i love you all. life's bliss! thanks for all your love and support--it means the WORLD!


hermana christensen

so incredibly wet. you see, parents allow us to stand in the rain and babysit as their children pan for gold while they comfortably sit on the benches under the roof. REALLY?! i wsas seriously out in the rain for a SOLID 30 MINUTES!!!!!!!!! sooo wet!

Monday, November 14, 2011

11/14/2011 Elder Christensen "The Weekly Shabang"

Joty, Gaby and I after the sealing
 Well... HELLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OUT THERE! It`s been a pretty busy, fast, and full week here in Parque Combarbal√°.. I`m not gonna lie it`s been one hot mother! We´ve walked around a whole bunch and talked to a whole lotta people. Probably the BEST part of my week was being able to go to the temple with two of our converts for their sealing. Shout out to Nate Stoddard! O sea.... mi padre de la misi√≤n! It was honestly insane and the spirit was definately present. I remember teaching these two guys and they didn`t want to do ANYTHING we said! Hahah! We would get on them about not going to church, or maybe not reading their book of mormon... It was just amazing to see the sweet spirit that they had finally found in their lives. They`ve ALL changed a whole bunch since the last time I saw them. That was the second, and third time ( Because they were two separate sealings) that I`ve seen converts of mine jump one step ahead of me in God`s eternal plan. I love it. Honesty. Its the greatest. I was smiling from ear to ear the whole time we were inside the temple.. The church is true people. Know it. Love it.
Both couples and I after the sealing
Okay... well.. I dont have a lot of time here... I was doing some personal study this week and I came across the 33rd chapter of Alma... Man I love Alma... what a great book. Anyways, I wanted to show you verses 20-23..... In these verses, it`s talking about the story where Moses puts a snake on a staff and whoever looked at it was healed instantly......It makes a comparison as well with the scriptures and how we need to believe in them.. It reads....
The two wives thanking me and saying bye! I thanked them more!

20 But few understood the meaning of those things, and this because of the hardness of their hearts. But there were many who were so hardened that they would not look, therefore they perished. Now the reason they would not look is because they did not believe that it would aheal them.

21 O my brethren, if ye could be healed by merely casting about your eyes that ye might be healed, would ye not behold quickly, or would ye rather harden your hearts in unbelief, and be slothful, that ye would not cast about your eyes, that ye might perish?

The Santiago temple... Kinda blurry..
22 If so, wo shall come upon you; but if not so, then cast about your eyes and begin to believe in the Son of God, that he will come to redeem his people, and that he shall suffer and die to atone for their sins; and that he shall rise again from the dead, which shall bring to pass the resurrection, that all men shall stand before him, to be judged at the last and judgment day, according to their works.

23 And now, my brethren, I desire that ye shall plant this word in your hearts, and as it beginneth to swell even so nourish it by your faith. And behold, it will become a tree, springing up in you unto everlasting life. And then may God grant unto you that your burdens may be light, through the joy of his Son. And even all this can ye do if ye will. Amen.

Elder Monsen, Crist and I on Cerro San Cristobal. (Name of the hill)

SOOOOOOOOOOOOO good honestly.... I absolutely loved these verses and it made my day. I TOO, like Alma, desire that YOU plant this word in your hearts..... If you could be healed INSTANTLY from whatever burden you may have... from whatever trial you may be living... or from whatever past sin or memory that haunts your daily being... WOULD YOU LOOK!???? Would you plant this seed and apply what it says?? I know and testify that the gospel of Jesus Christ is the cure for everything... Sometimes we use our agency poorly and CHOOSE to do things OUR way..... the wrong way... But if we are constant in the gospel we KNOW which is our way and which is his way... We`ll have to spirit as well to help us discern and decide what to do... The scriptures are the greatest tool we have... They are the instruction manual to life. So please, LOOK... BE HEALED.... I promise like it says in v 23, that God will take your burdens and make the light THROUGH THE JOY OF HIS SON.... Meaning... THROUGH the atonement of Jesus Christ. I`m happy here in Chile... The mission just keeps getting better and better with each passing week. I love and care about each one of you and hope that you too are doing what is right... That you too are LOOKING to the scriptures and holding fast to the rod. May God bless you in your daily lives this week.

Elder Monsen, Spencer and I again on the Cerro San Cristobal.

I love you all tons!

Chao Chao!

Elder Christensen.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

11/8/2011 Hermana Christensen

that's a dove. no big
can i just begin by saying wow. wow? wow. i am... SO GRATEFUL to be sitting here at this tiny cubicle with my throbbling leg (i just got ran over by my companion hahha) surrounded by people chatting about family history because it means that i've still got this beautiful black semi-dimmed tag on... it means i'm still a missionary. i cannot even begin to describe how surreal these past few days have been. i feel SO GRATEFUL to still be here.. to still be a missionary. It definitely wasn't time. i definitely wasn't ready. there is no way i was supposed to go home today. I recognize that everyone's plan is different and that God has it all under control--but I am SO THANKFUL that it was part of His plan to let me stay. Because it feel so right. and I am so happy. and there is SO MUCH WORK TO BE DONE!!!! gotta harvest!!!!

okay this week was BOMB! freaking holy cow! bullets immediately!
that is a huge rainbow. SO BEAUTIFUL!

• we had a beautiful lesson with our golden family. actually two this week. first--funny story. on fridya i think it was we had a HUGE rainstorm and it was the best thing ever. soooo funny. but the thing is that these san diegans are BABIES and their whole lives and world shut down if it starts sprinkling for heavens sake! and people don't let us in because "it's raining"... exactly! let us in! hahah anyway, so we get their with the elders for our cita with this awesome family (the one that we knelt on their dirt floor last week) (we did that again this week by the way. so great.) and the lights were all off... siter ortez rang their bell (its a legit bell... like a REAL BELL!).. no answer.. and then she just went CRAZY because she thought they weren't home? and she thought that would help? hahah okay well turns out that as she was banging the bell and the elders and i were trying to figure out what would be best to do, we see a light go on inside... turns out they were IN BED! hahha they were sleeping at 7 because the rain makes them tired. ?. okay so anyway, the point is that they let us in and we had this GORGEOUS lesson. first of all--they EASILY could've turned us away and been like naw we're in bed bro, but they didn't! we all sat on their floor, dripping, talking about the restoration and building a tower of cups to represent HIS CHURCH. it was beautiful. in the middle of it i turned to e debaltzo (dad hes from ohio and is going to write you about your mission i think since i told him you hate ithahahha ) and mouthed 'FECHA' becaus ethese guys are SO GOLDEN AND SO READY AND THEY NEED A BAPTISMAL DATE!!!!!! and so we then invited them, in the most beautiful way, to come together as a couple and as a family to follow the example of jesus christ and be baptized by someone with that restored priesthood authority. and they said YES!!! ahhh! the whole family! and they came to church ALLL BEAUTIFUL with new shoes and loved it. the whole family! it was unbelievable! they are our tender mercy! their biggest stumbling block is sabbath on sunday not saturday. she said that we have her up until that point. help? we're hitting her hard but if you have nay bright ideas, hit me up! they are incredible though, and so generous and humble. we love them so much! the pic you see below is of that night, we took a bday cake for the little girl. i made a deeeelicous carrot cake and was super excited to eat it. but little did i know that mexicans have a tradish... after we sang happy bday they all started chanting "que le muerda que le muerda" she got into position to bite into it, and someone pushed her face into it. INTO MY BEAUTIFUL CAKE!!!! hahhaha the elders said my face was priceless. i was NOT expecting that! i was so sad to have to throw HALF of my delicious cake away because who wants FACE on their cream cheese frosted carrot cake?! i mean come on!

this is carla on her bday... and the carrot cake...

• we met with a less active this past week who won't go to church. the details are really sticky but it involves some breakage of the law of chastity of her husband with someone in the branch and then one of her leaders taking HER temple recommend away. but so now she's decided she's offended by the whole world and won't to go to ningun lado. she'll just sit at home and hate everyone. so we sat on her couches and i just CRIED, kristen.. it was like that lesson of repentance i mentioned a few weeks ago. there is NO REASON to hold yourlself back from salvation. NO REASON to let yourself not be happy because of other's choices. it was SO POWERFUL. and we just sat there and THREW DOWN that she is the only one holding herself back and that it will be hard but it will be SO WORTH IT!!! and that the lord will help her... and she knows. she totally knows. this poor lady. it was so sad but we decided that this is a huge test.. .iterally a test for her. will she pass? will WE pass? we are in a time of testing. we KNOW what we need to do! she NEEDS to come back to church, to forgive and forget and get back onto the path of righteousness! but will she? it's HARD. but she KNOWS she needs to. it's the same with us. we KNWO we need to! so why do we not do it?! DO IT! do whatever it takes to get FULLY ONTO THE PATH!!!!
this is me and sis ortez eating jenns deeeeeeelicious
pumpkin love! THANK YOU SOOO MUCH!!!

• sunday night we had the mission president's fireside.. we almost didn't go but i'm SO GLAD WE DID! because we got to see der, jenn, aidan, and james! i sure love them! it made my night! and then hermano marquez came with ivan and his BROTHER! who, when i was there, was tooooooootally against us... it... this.. the gospel. i looked out and saw themand just BEAMED and felt SO HAPPY AND SO GRATEFUL!

• also, a neat experience. we were in a cita with a couple living together without being married. the thought crossed my mind as we were teaching that they were living in sin. after the lesson sis ortez was like HOLY BOLD SISTER! huh? she told me that i ACTUALLY SAID THAT! i literally looked at them and told them that! WHAT! hahah well, as mensajeros de dios we defender la verdad and invite others to repent. well, quite literally, He helped me know to say that. and to say it. the cool thing was that they didn't act way offended or anything.. because they KNOW! we KNOW! we know the things we are doing wrong and that they're wrong and that we need to stop! i hate sin! i hate that we would rather sin that have COMPLETE HAPPINESS from being righteous!

• ...being in a little bubble is the best thing ever. i studied some pme ch1 yesterday about our calling and setting apart... and wow. what a blessing. to REP RE SENT jesus christ... of COURSE we can't be calling you all the time or getting online or whatever. no way! i LOVE being a called, set apart, full time missionary! there is NOTHING BETTER!

my life is beautiful. transfers tomorrow will send us all for a huuuge loop. but we'll see. i know that it'll all work out and be okay.

i love you. thank you for all you do and are. thank you SO MUCH for your profiles! you guys are the BEST! gpa! what is your link?! THANK YOU SOOO MUCH!!!!!!
my four!

keep on keepin on. and have a WONDERFUL WEEK!

hermana christensen

Monday, November 7, 2011

11/7/2011 Elder Christensen "Happy November!"

Delicious Halloween cookies! Man America has never tasted so good!

 Hey there everyone. Wow I just figured I`d point out once again that time DOES NOT EXIST. Honestly...Tawny...or... Hermana Christensen would have finished her mission TOMORROW had she not extended it..... Okay... Moving on! Insane thoughts!
Elder Cummings and I with our sick ties haha.
Maybe tawny will recognize that black and gold gucci one.
This week... Let me think... we had a 70 come to our mission! His name is Steven E. Snow and he honestly did an amazing job. Kent F. Richards is a 70 as well I think.... maybe not... but he spoke as well. One REALLY cool thing... the missionaries from the Chilean MTC went as well to the devotional and I ran into an ELDER from my second sector! He had entered into the MTC 2 days before. I`ll attach a picture. I was DEFINATELY emotional about that one! Anyways, Elder Snow`s talk was so fuerte. Super strong. He talked about the Holy Ghost... seems like a basic theme right... He told a story about a friend of his who is a FANATIC of Christmas... He is to the point of like... saving his gifts and opening them in february. Now.. he compared it to having this beautifully wrapped gift... the gift ofthe holy ghost... and choosing to place it on the shelf.... Some of us, being missionaries, are just barely taking the gift off the shelf for the first time and realizing how beautiful it is.. (ME..) I didn`t want anything to do with lots of things you guys all liked to do before the mission... Obviously I read the scriptures and prayed and went to church... but it wasn`t something I LOVED like it has become for me now. I will NEVER put that gift back on the shelf. How can we obtain the spirit? What things has it taught us personally? Have any of you ever learned something from your own mouth? Super cool... When you say something and you suddenly realize how amazing it was... That is NO accident... In order to obtain that spirit, we must ACT. We have to take the gift off the shelf and decide to open it! As missionaries we`re FORCED to act... if you work, you are acting.. Things like doing contacts, knocking doors, giving classes, and teaching lessons are all different forms of acting that help us obtain the holy ghost and keep it with us... It`s a simple principle really.. ACT. Kneel down to say a prayer... or getting up earlier than usual to leave yourself time to study the scriptures... Fasting..... Going to church to take the sacrament. It`s ALL up to us! It requires this action... The ball is on our court. We`ve all had to work at some point to feel the spirit, but it sometimes gets away from us.. Some of you have had this gift... have seen how wonderful it really is... then put it back up on the shelf.... Who knows why.. for laziness, lack of worthiness, a lost testimony... Whatever it may be it is NOT correct. You have stopped acting.. That is where we as members are lost. Check Mosiah 2:9... How can we treat THIS THING lightly?? I invite you ALL, like King Benjamin did, to open up your hearts and minds to once again be able to enjoy this beautiful gift we have. (DyC 8:2-3) ACT. LOVE your LIVES! You are a blessed people and I KNOW with all my heart that if we do these things... these simple things... we can maintain this beautiful gift..

Elder Speakman and I at the devo! You can definately
tell he is going home in two weeks HAHA!
 (Don`t get mad when you read this Preston.)
Well... It`s lookin like we`re out of time once again. The mission is the greatest experience anybody can ever have. The greatest learning opportunity of a lifetime. The university and studies one needs to be able to achieve success in this life. I`m grateful for all of the blessings that I have received as well as each and every one of you who are my friends and family. Have an EXCELLENT week! Much love, Elder Christensen..
Sister King and I. For you mother.

Take Care!
A member from my second ward, (Elder Cordova) and I at
the devotional. SO cool! Greenie power!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

11/1/2011 Hermana Christensen "I'M SO HAPPY IT'S NOVEMBER!!!"

me and sis adams/lee on our 17 month mark!

How was everyone's old hallow's eve? Halllllloooowwwwwwwwwwwwen. I bet we all missed broseph and his magic with the fog and chainsaw... so fun. We had to be in at 530 and so we did some weekly planning and then had a TALENT SHOW at the battalion! it was a blaaaaaaaaast!

lets skip right to it!

this week has been fabulous. highlights:

• bullets? haha.
• there was definitely trick or treating in the outfitting room last night (where we dress people up like soldiers). classic.

• yesterday was rough finding people at home... not sure why. you'd have thougth it was christmas or something--people are crazy here about halloween. anyway, so we go to an investigators apt, not home. go to another, and there's this nurse lady who cares for both of them and she tells us she's in the hospital. oh no! she then said she was going there right now and that we could follow her. at first i was like, "naaw not so much" but then i realized that maybe there was a reason everything was falling through. so we went! and as we stood there, holding this 81 year old lady's hand, you could tell that it meant so much to her. it was one of those moments where we knew we were in the right place at the right time. and we asked if she'd read in the BOM, she said no but that she wished we'd brought one... whoops! got on RIGHT HERE IN MY BAG! haha she was all excited and said she was confined in there so she'd for sure be reading. sooo neat.
i don't know if you can tell or not... but my knees are dirty. literally. with dirt.

• on friday night we had a cita with a golden family. the dad was recently deported but tried ten times to cross and finally succeeded on the 11th time and is back. so this family of seven lives in this tiny house and doesn't go outside because they live in fear of being caught and deported. wow. so sad. anyway, they have this little tent area to the side of their house and we met them there. they'd dressed up for our visit and we talked to them about the proclamation to the family; the husband and wife have tons of marital problems... that's why they're not married. and that's also why they're listneing to us... they realize we have something that could help. OH WILL IT! anyway, it was a beautiful lesson. really truly. but i think my very favorite part was when they asked if we could kneel in prayer because that's what we've done before! We looked at the elders kinda surprised and got down onto the dirt floor to pray. it was SO special to me that this family didn't care about getting dirty so they could pray. the spirit was so strong and i felt SO HUMBLED and so grateful to not only have my little prayer rug by my bed, but to be a missionary and to be able to flood the earth with the TRUTH. and i KNOW that it is the truth and that the GOSPEL BLESSES FAMILIES!

• another cita right before that was with another family who is kinda struggling. i got all teary as i told them that FAMILIES CAN CHANGE and families can be united and together and SO HAPPY... but only if they are ROOTED together in Cristo and His evangelio. I just feel so thankful for my familia!

bought my companion elote: corn on the cob.
mayo. chile. sounds disgusting. i refuse to try
 it. but she was like a little girl on christmas.
• huge highlight: for about two months now sisters have been asking me and another sister if we were going to dance to the talent show. so here's the thing. how do you dance when a) you have NO time to even think about it b) out of shape much? c) in that room?!! where?! hahahahah so i was like uuuuh i have no idea. but i felt like i was burying my candle under a bushel (willy). so in my mind i threw something together, and the night before the talent show me and sister smith danced IN THE PARKING LOT, BAREFOOT, IN PIONEER DRESSES. in a much lesser scale than preaching the gospel and salvation and saving souls and baptizing, it was one of the funnest nights of my mish. just... what? who does that?! and actually doing it was so fun. hahah doing it once actually full out together first time--hilariously fun and felt soo good to move! don't worry, we've got videos--even of the parking lot love. so fun!

• on sunday one of our extreeeeemely less actives came. we've been promising her for MONTHS if she came to church she'd feel better... and wow. she finally came and WOW did she feel better! she said she felt like a new person. holy! and she made comment after comment and said her first prayer in church (after being a member for 30+ years!)... she felt edified afterwards. definitely!
• also. it was my recent convert weekend. i got to see hermano chavez--he frequently brings me fruit at the battalion. haha. he's doin well! karina is doing AWESOME!! she's almost had her callnig in the primaria for a YEAR and she loves it! and my chilean father and his sis/bro came into the battalion on saturday and it made my heart SO WARM to hear that not only did he receive the melchizedek priesthood last week, but he's preparing for the temple here in a few weeks. he is so wonderful. i feel SO BLESSED. i know these relationships will go on for eternity!!

and family, that's what matters. this. the gospel. the straight and narrow. we are asked to do the small, simple, little, seemingly insignificant things becasue it's THOSE THINGS--like going to church weekly to renew sacred covenants, reading daily, praying often--that keep us able to resist temptation and stay on the path of truth and righteousness!! Look at the picture in the october ensign (SO BOMB!!!) about the tree of life. we keep using it to teach lehi's vision because it's SO GOOD... SO VISUAL SO DEPECTIVE. So keep going! and remember that THAT'S why. i know sometimes it seems like a lot... but it's not. the more we understand that, the easier it is to LIVE it and then to invite others to do the same..especially if they've already made convenants. you know what needs to be done.
elder woodbury and my daughters (hna mendoza y ortez).
 easily the funniest thing ever. them singling/dancing
to "speedy gonzalez." SO CUTE!

i think of ou allllllllllllllllll the time! thank you for your love and your examples!
hermana christensen