Thursday, December 29, 2011

Dec. 27th, 2011

It was great talking to the family! Possibly the fastest 40 minutes of my life. But it was really great and really fun.
Christmas was the best! At first, it was really dull and boring at 6:30 just opening up some presents with my one companion. But by the end of the day, it was the best Christmas ever! We set a baptismal date with someone and had some dinner with an investigating family. It was awesome! It is weird because all my other Christmas' it was allllll about me being an only child and the only grandson for 14 years, so not going to lie, I was a little spoiled, and don't get me wrong those Christmas' were great! But this Christmas when I wasn't the center of attention was the best Christmas ever! It is so weird to think when we aren't worried about ourselves is when we are the most happy.
I don't have much time, but we picked up our trainee today! His name Elder Moli from Oakland Ca./Tonga. About my height but a little more musciular than me. Just a little though ;). He will be tri-lingual by the end of the mission. He is super nice and the trio will be fun again! super packed though!
Im sorry that I forgot to share my testimony on the phone! I was so uptight on the time so I forgot, but here is a little bit!
Se que Jesucristo vive y que nos ama. Se que El expio por nuestros pecados. El es el Hijo de Dios y nuestro salvador. Jose Smith vio Jesucristo y Dios. Jose Smith fue un profeta verdadero. El tradujo El Libro de Mormon por medio el poder de Dios. El Libro de Mormon tiene un poder que puede ayudarnos y darnos la revelacion que nececitamos. Se que esta iglesia, La Iglesia de Jesucristo de Santos de Los Ultimos Dias (super long to say) es la unica verdadera iglesia en el mundo. Les quiero mucho!
Thank you for the prayers! I couldn't do it without them.
Elder Christiansen

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Dec. 12th, 2011

So I don't have much time today! P-Days are still super crazy busy days!
I just want to share an experience that I had this Saturday. We went to a nursing home because an investigator works there. She needed someone to teach for like 40 minutes to the people there because the Pastor that usually teaches has been sick. At first we didn't know if we should go because we didn't know if that activity would fit into our purpose as a missionary. So we called President Hall to ask him if we should. He said to just do it this one time and that it was a wonderful opportunity to serve. We do not regret going whatsoever!
We were going to show the Finding Faith in Christ video, but when we got there, the TV wouldn't work. So we went to our back up plan that was non-existent because we only had about 15 minutes to plan, which was while we were getting ready to leave and the car ride over. Because we didn't think we would teach the lesson until 9:30 that morning and we had to be there at 10. So we just started talking about Faith. And then that lead to repentance and that lead to baptism and we just went with it and taught the gospel of Jesus Christ with the emphasis of Faith and the Holy Ghost. It was such a scattered lesson! People weren't even really looking at us, they looked bored, some fell asleep. I felt soooooo bad! When we concluded with the lesson, we went and shook everyone's hand and said bye to them and talked to some. They were so grateful for us coming! To my suprise. And today I just realized that we didn't teach anything. The words that we said weren't anything to them. It was the Spirit that taught. It is always the teacher. They had felt the Spirit and the Spirit taught them and us. It was such a humbling experience. And even though we taught about the Spirit, I am still learning so much about it. And am loving it more and more and am so grateful for it! Thank goodness for the love of our Heavenly Father so that we can feel the Spirit and can have it with us and that it can be the teacher! Because I am a horrible teacher!
Thank you for the prayers! I am seeing the miracles from them every day!
Love Elder Christiansen

Dec. 5th, 2011

So to start off the week, when we left the house for P-Day, about a mile into our bike ride, my bike sounded like a metel thing started wrapping around my tire, so I slammed on the brakes and when I looked at my back tire, a whole key was stuck in my tire! But the night was saved thanks to a member. We went to Wal-Mart to get a tire and a tube, and I bought a tube that was pure rubber and can't go flat. It had pictures of like screws, screwdrivers, and nails in it. So I bought it. Regretted that! The next day we put on the rubber tube and it was like putting on an already blown up inflatable tire, so it took forever. On Wednesday, I was riding behind my companion and he got about 100 yards in front of me because the tire was so heavy, I couldn't keep up! Haha, so we bought just a regular tube and changed it out so we could bike a lot faster. But there was definitely some good that came out of bad luck and my lack of wisdom. We made better friends with a member, got some delicious juice, and we are prettty good at changing tires now. But the most important thing is that I have learned to appreciate having a bike. I am so grateful for a bike now! And then on Sunday, my companion got a flat tire, and it was about 8 o' clock and we were about a 3 hour walk from our house. But the Lord's hand was definitely in that one because we called a member and they said they would meet us at 7/11 to pick us up and take us home. So while we were sitting on the curb at 7/11, some Spanish family pulls up and gets out of the car to rent a Redbox. But right away the husband started talking to me, like he knew me. I then saw the wife and knew who they were, I had only talked to him once before and her like 3 times. She is in-active and he was never baptized. They are a super nice family and he told us that he hopes to see us soon! He had been working in Tampa for a while, so he was never there with her, but he said he should be back for a while, so we will see how that goes! The Lord works in mysterious ways sometimes, we just have to look for his hand. And usually when something good is about to happen or a blessing is coming, Satan tries to do something to get our hopes down. I know the Lord's hand is always there for us, we just have to look for it.
Another thing I learned this week in my studies was that we can't always rely on the Spirit for everything. I came into the mission field expecting the Spirit to tell me, "turn here", "knock this house", "do this", "do that". But I read in Preach My Gospel about how a lot of times, we won't get every question answered, every problem solved, and that we can't just expect that the Spirit is going to tell us what to do. We have to make decisions for ourslelves, make mistakes, grow, and experiance things. It is why we are here on earth today. We make some bad decisions and we make some good decisions, it's all part of the Plan of Salvation, what a wonderful and perfect plan that it is! And it is real comforting to know that we have a Father in Heaven who loves and and Jesus Christ, Our Saviour, who are always there for us!
Thank you for your prayers! They are working!
Love Elder Christiansen

Nov. 28th,2011

I am learning so much out here, it is incredible. I have learned that serving a mission is a privilege and a blessing. I really can't express everything that I have learned. I am so grateful to be out here on a mission.
This week, was amazing! Nothing much happened from Monday-Saturday that was huge. And our spirits were kind of low and it was kind of frustrating. But then on Sunday, we taught 3 lessons and got 4 new investigators! Sunday is a really short day because church doesn't get out until 4. Then we get a ride home, change, and eat. I felt like the Lord carried us throughout the week, helping us have energy and keep working. Then on Sunday he poured down the blessings on us. It was an awesome day and I am really grateful for it. I think on Sunday, we went outside with better spirits and more hope that that day would be a good day, and it was an amazing day.
This week we also went to a member's house and did some service there. It was a great time too. I haven't mowed a lawn in a while, so I hope I did a good job. Sometimes when we are at a member's house I feel like they teach us just by their example and the spirit that is inside of their home.
For Thanksgiving, we had 3 dinners. One at 2, one at 5 and one at 8. We didn't eat very much at the last dinner. But there were a lot of non-members and investigators at these dinners, so I hope that something can turn out of them. At the last dinner they had two turkeys. That were huge! And the reason they were huge was because they had stuffed them with rice! Never seen that before, but it was really good, and the Spanish people always look for reasons to put rice in things I'm pretty sure.
The Spanish is still coming along. I am getting better, but slowly. And I am understanding more and more. Spanish is so much more simple than English. I just wish Spanish had a word for got/get. I realized that in English we can replace like 100 Spanish verbs with just get/got haha.
I know that this gospel is true. I have been so blessed in my life to have been born into the gospel and here in the United States. I see so many blessings and the hand of the Lord every day. Sometimes we want to see miracles or have something crazy happen to us, but I know that by the little things that we sometimes don't even see and the whisperings of the Spirit are more powerful than a miracle. I love prayer and I am so grateful for it. I need to learn how to make prayer sincere and heart felt everytime. I am grateful for the Book of Mormon. It is truely the word of God.
Thank you for your prayers, I wouldn't be able to do this without them.
Love Elder Christiansen

November 21st, 2011

This past week, we met a lot of people! It was also the longest bike week that I have had. I am soooo tired. Some things that happened this week are:
I cut off my companion on bikes and he crashed... I might be paying a little bit for that accident.
My tie collection got cooler because Elder Spilsbury left and you always change ties with your companion. He gave me his best and I gave him my only good one that I have. He definitely got the short end of the trade.
We got chased by a dog for a little bit.
Someone told us that there was a Spanish person down this dirt road, and when we got there, there was a sign that said beware of dog and I only saw two small dogs, then this obese dog came around that corner and (if dogs had belly buttons) put its belly button to about the top of the fence.... Sooo we didn't knock the house.
It was a pretty fun/tiring week.
Thanksgiving is coming up and I am pretty excited! I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving! I would just like to make a list of everything that I am thankful for: A loving Heavenly Father and His son Jesus Christ, the opportunity to be born in this gospel into a wonderful family, the scriptures, prayer, the Atonement of Jesus Christ, the Gift of the Holy Ghost and all the gifts/things that comes with it, a bike, a car, the weather in Florida, an amazing family and friends that I know love me and pray for me, the members of the Valencia Ward, the opportunity I have to learn Spanish, a companion that I can learn so much from and is a hard worker who loves this gospel, always having what I need, missionary work, trials, a wonderful loving Mission President and his wife, all of the people that I have met and talked to here in Florida, being able to see a change in people, knowledge and experiences that keep on growing, basketball, GMC$, BYU, temples and the peace that I feel in them and the opportunity to have so many so close, the letters that I receive from my family and friends, time, hot water and electricity, ice cream, the holidays, the Plan of Salvation, a living prophet and apostles, all church leaders, the priesthood, and much more.
Sometimes I get really down because I am not seeing immediate success in this work, days aren't always easy, but the blessings and the joy that this work brings outweighs everything that is frustrating or disappointing in life. I have really learned just how powerful prayer actually is in the past couple of months and I have also learned more about how loving and merciful our Heavenly Father is. It gives me so much comfort to know no matter where I am or what I am going through, my Heavenly Father is always there for me and loves me.
I love you all and hope everything is going good! Thanks for the prayers! Pray for missionary opportunities for yourself, there is no greater joy.
Love Elder Christiansen