Monday, December 31, 2012


O MY GOOOODNESS!!! Livin' la vida loca over here in Disneyworld! We had such an amazing week. As I told you last time, we have shifting the area where we were working and basically starting out from new. We were so blessed this week. We still taught a good amount of lessons, but we found so many Spanish! And they have a lot better chance at progressing. The members in the area where we work now are also helping us find. You ready for an awesome story?

So there is a apartment complex called MetroWest Summit, we knocked about 7 of the 12 buildings there in about 2 days and we found some decent people, but not anyone too solid. Then we went over to a member's house and he said he had a referral for us that he sees at school (he is like 40 yrs old) and that the referral works at the school. He said he didn't know his name, his address, or his phone number, and it is break time, so he isn't going to school right now, so he said we would have to wait. He did tell us though that he was from Peru (Peru has the best food btw hands down). He also knew that he lived in MetroWest Summit complex, but no idea where. I remembered that we knocked a Peruvian's door, but they weren't interested AT ALL. So I was hoping that it was a different Peruvian in the complex haha. So like 3 days later we went to finish the last 5 buildings in MetroWest Summit. As we were locking up our bikes, I saw a Spanish family get out of their car and start walking towards their building. We were too far away and I didn't want to hit a dead sprint to go talk to them, so I did what I do best and creeped. We watched what door they went into, then we knocked that door 30 min. later.. A girl came to the door, didn't open it, just spoke to us through it and asked for us to come back the next day. So we came back the next day. We knock the door and the dad opens the door. He told us he was eating and was acting like he was in a hurry, and he was trying to speak English, so I told him that he spoke pretty good English and asked him where he was from... Where do you think he said? Well he said he was from Colombia, haha jk, he said he was from PERU!! Then the Spirit reminded me that Hno. Leonel Dominguez's friend is from Peru and lives in the same complex. So I asked him if he knew Leonel, he looked kind of puzzled, then I said Leonel Dominguez, he looked like it sounded familiar, then I said that he is Dominican... The guy went crazy!!! haha He was like "You know Leonel!!!???" I said yes, he is our friend, we go over to his house a lot, then he said, "He's one of you??" Haha.. But he opened up so much and told us to come back because he was eating.. Miracle!

We were so blessed this week, thanks for your prayers and for putting our names in the prayer box!
Just wait for the miracle that I tell you about next week ;)

Elder Christiansen

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Hey! Hope you have an awesome Christmas! I am doing goooooood! I am going to be really short this week because I will be talking to you tomorrow night! via telephono.. I will call you all at like 9:00 pm EST... my time... Sound good? cool well guess you can't respond back, so hope it is good.

This week was a pretty good one! We saw lots of little miracles. We are teaching some cool people. We are going to be trying something out though that is new for our area. The Ward Mission leader has asked us to move out of little Mexico/Honduras/Dominican Republic and to switch our focus to a more wealthy area called Metrowest. There aren't a lot of Spanish over there, so we need a lot of prayers and maybe our names in the temple prayer box as much as possible. There are some great members over there and so we will be working a lot with them and just working our hardest. It is a big step of faith so we ask for your prayers :).. Thank you and Merry Christmas!

Elder Christiansen

Monday, December 17, 2012


Wellllll another week in the books, they are going way toooooo fast! I love writing home, but it seems like I do it a lot more than just once a week! So this week, I don't know where to start... So Last Monday, the Portuguese elders, American elders, and us decided to do a competition to see who could give the other set the most referrals... Well the English elders beat us because they gave us one referral, we only found young single adults, so those referrals went to the sisters... But with the Portuguese, we won haha... We were walking around in an apartment complex and I heard the word "dijiste" which in Spanish means "you said"... so we go over towards the voice and it is a ton of like 18-20 year olds and some little kids. So we talk to them and they turned out to be Portuguese. I can kind of understand Portuguese like the basics, but can't speak it. When I go to speak it, I just slur my Spanish and I think it gets pretty close to the word haha... We talked to one of them and he said he was LDS... He spoke quite a bit of English, but not perfect... We guessed there were about 8 Portuguese people in that area, so we took the Portuguese elders to the area, so they could knock around the area and try to find them. He didn't really give us his address because of the language barrier. It is really hard for the Portuguese elders to find people who aren't on vacation, so we try to help them out as best as we can. So they started knocking doors looking for Portuguese and we knocked doors in another area looking for Spanish. We had no success, so we started walking out towards the street of the apartment complex while the Portuguese elders were still knocking. We see 3 younger people like 20 yrs old, so we talked to them and they were Brazilians. We found out they would be staying in Orlando for 3 months on some universal job exchange thingy. Then within about 3 minutes, 20-30 more young Brazilians started walking towards us, they are really friendly and like to practice their English. They speak really good English and it is their first time in the U.S... Them Brazilians are a smart people. They learn English in Brazil. Some guy spoke like German, Italian, and something else along with English and Portuguese... Luckily the Portuguese elders came out finally and started talking to them, one is from Brazil so they all hit it off really well... So we took that referral battle home!! haha... So we then went to the ward Christmas party together (our ward is a Spanish/Portuguese ward) So the Portuguese elders give us rides a lot because we are on bike and the church is like 7 miles aways from the house uphill both ways and snowing usually... So we were bragging to them about how there was no way they were going to beat us because it was Saturday haha and we got to the church and there was a Venezuelan family there that showed up that the Portuguese elders prayed with and invited to the activity haha.. So it was a pretty sharing night. The family is wayyyyy cool though. We have an appt with them tonight. The ward party was CRAZY!!! Spanish people know how to party. Everyone is dancing and us missionaries just sit there... They always think it is weird that we don't know how to dance the salsa, bachata, mareinga... Us white folk are boring.. Every Spanish person knows how to dance...
We are teaching a guy right now who is amazing! He has seen some wonderful miracles. It is amazing to see how people trust us so much and will open up to us and spill out how they feel without even knowing us for that long. It is such a testimony of the reality of our calling as representatives of Jesus Christ. It is truly humbling. He will get baptized, but probably in a couple of months just because of circumstances.
We gave a church tour to a lady this week. It was amazing, she felt the spirit so strong. Afterwards she said "I am coming to the relief society activity, the ward party, and church this week! And you have to get my husband to go to the ward activity and church too!" Then the sad part was, she avoided us all that week! She never answered our calls, opened the door, nor came to any of the activities... It just shows me how new investigators must feel about changing. I think they get scared a lot to change their lifestyle. It takes a lot of faith, but I know the end result is always worth all the change!
Well love you, talk to you soon familia... We are allowed to skype this time... So let me know what you want to dooo.. Skype or telephone? what's your skype's address if you wanna skype??? I don't know what time we would do it, but I will let you know next week, be on your toes.
Elder Christiansen

Monday, December 10, 2012

Christmas Miracles

Well this week was a great week! We had a couple investigators at church and the 18 yr old Manuel got confirmed this week! WE saw a lot of tender mercies this weekend. We found a mother who is less active and not on the church roles, she has two daughters that are 10 and 8, they seemed really excited to come back to church, but they couldn't for some reason on Sunday. We also had an impression to knock a door this week and we found this one kid named Jesus (good bible name) that is 18. He is really interested in what we are sharing. He has gone through so much as a kid telling us some of his stories, but he is like a perfect saint. He is such an example to me and my companion. He unfortunately couldn't go to church this week because he got called into work. We had like 3 investigators who were planning on going to church this week, but got called into work.. FRUSTRATING, but count your many blessings :).. I am kind of finally learning on how to look on the bright side I think. I have been in some of the hardest areas in the mission (according to trends of the #'s) and I think the Lord is trying to teach me how to be grateful and optimistic. It is a very tough lesson for me. This week we had about 15 solid commitments for people to go to church and 3 came. But I am so very grateful for those 3 that did come! In my first five and a half months in the mission, I think I had only 2 investigators come to church all together haha. I have learned that when we are grateful, we are a lot more happy and that complaining and whining only make us less effective as servants of the Lord. We saw some miracles this week with member referrals. We had some cool referrals that we received a while back, but they just really never turned out. So during this week, we felt impressed to go visit one of those referrals that told us that "they would call us" for us to come back over, and they let us in and her daughter a blessing because she was sick. It was such a wonderful opportunity. Then yesterday we felt like we should visit a lady who was a referral and she came to church the week before, but we had lost contact with her after that. So we went to visit her and she had a friend there with her, they let us in to talk, but they wasn't a guy, so we just had to stand in the doorway and talk from there. The one friend of hers said that she took the lessons and almost was baptized. I asked her where she lived and she replied, "I'm not gonna tell you, you will come knocking on my door!" haha, she's good... And so we kept talking and then the referral started talking about how she went to church and how amazing it was and how much she liked it (I was stunned :)) and then we kept talking about everything we believed and the referral's friend said after a while, "You know what, I'm going to visit your church this Sunday." BOOOOOOOM! And then we said ooo that is awesome! Can we come by and explain more? She gave us her address and telephone number. Then we set up an appt with her tomorrow night. So we saw that miracle. And we were trying to get an appt with the referral too, but she just works a ton, but we finally were able to get a good time with her and she will be at the appt too tomorrow. We were blessed. This work is the best, hands down! And my companion got in another bike crash this week! Fifth crash in four transfers.. Pray for him please haha.
Love you and I appreciate all your prayers!
Elder Christiansen

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Dec. 3rd, 2012

Well I hope everyone got to see the Christmas devotional last night. We were asked to watch it. 8 o clock over here on the east side of things. I loved it. I loved what President Uchtdorf had to say. It is so true how well when I get I gift, I feel like I need to give someone a gift back and it needs to be more expensive haha. I have had problems with that on my mission! It really made me think about Jesus Christ and His gift to all the world. His sacrifice for us. I am so grateful for that gift and for that we don't even have to pay him back! It is the best gift we could receive. And he doesn't require a gift back. We just have to open the gift and enjoy it and use it! I testify that the way we open, enjoy, and use the gift is through faith, constant repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the holy ghost, and enduring to the end. I know that this is the best gift that we can receive. I know that it brings the most happiness and the most blessings both spiritual and temporal. It is an opportunity to be able to carry this gift with me and share it with everyone here in the Orlando area. Especially during this time of the year. It is sad to see those who don't want to hold the gift, those who will hold it for a little bit but never open it, those who open it and look at it and then decide they don't want it. I think it applies very well to the story that President Uchtodorf told of the aunt who didn't accept the gift that came from the love and care of her niece. In the end, both were sad. I know from first hand experience that we don't have to pay the Savior back for His infinite loving gift that He has given us. I learned by well being wrong haha. I'll explain. My first day in Florida, I got to President Hall's house and went upstairs for my turn to get interviewed. We sat down and started talking. I don't remember much what was said during the short interview but I remember very well part of the conversation. He asked me why if I was excited to get to work. I replied, "Yes very excited." He asked me if I was going to work hard, I replied yes again. He then asked me why. I thought... and told him, well I have received a lot of blessings from Jesus Christ and experienced a lot of miracles because of him and He has done a lot for me and I feel like I can pay him back a little bit and was going to work very hard to pay Him back as much as possible (Naive me haha)... And he looked at me in the eyes in his strict loving manner and said "Elder that is selfish, you don't have to, and can't pay Him back." I testify that that is the truth. I felt the Spirit bear witness to me of its truthfulness. I know that the greatest gift is eternal life and that it is possible through the gift of the Atonement. I know that helping people experience the Atonement is the greatest gift that we can give this holiday season.

I love and miss you all. To see our nativity activity this week in the church and see some pics go to I might be in a picture haha.

Love You,
Merry CHRISTmas

Monday, November 26, 2012


We had a baptism this week! He is from Venezuela and is 18 years old. It was awesome! The spirit was so strong in the room! I had the opportunity to be the one who baptized him. As I got in the font to baptize him, the water temperature reminded me of Lake Tahoe haha. Poor Manuel had to get dunked in it too. He came out barely breathing haha. But even after the cold water, the warmth of the Spirit took over. He was a miracle. We prayed so hard to have 1 baptism in November and the Lord definitely answered our prayers. When we set the goal of 1 baptism in November, we still hadn't found him. He got baptized in about 4 weeks!
So we had a good thanksgiving as well. We played some turkey bowl too with other missionaries and some members. The Stake President was playing. He is real good and really buff haha. He was trying to sack me because I was quarterback (not a very good one) (we were playing flags) and I was trying to dodge him and another player and my knee went out pretty bad. It has been swollen, but don't worry, I am walking. I talked to President and everything will be good, but I probably wont be playing sports on the mission for a long time because I don't want to risk it. On Friday I woke up not feeling to good and my knee couldn't bend too far (luckily we were in car), but we were blessed enough where we were still able to work all Friday and for the rest of the weekend. A lot of missionaries got sick on Friday for some reason. Florida turkeys must be evil or something. haha bad joke...

We really had an amazing week! We are seeing a lot of miracles. We have found a couple new families as well :). We taught the restoration to a 17 year old girl this week and she understood it so perfectly! The spirit was really strong. It is the most true message in all of the world.

We had an experience where we had prayer tracting planned along with a couple potentials as backups and we were going to visit the potentials instead of tract, but we felt to tract and we did and just chose a random building in the apartment complex and found one of the nicest ladies I have ever met on my mission from Peru! It was a miracle. We recently taught her with a member present and she wants to come to our English classes! We started up some English classes last week. Our first day was Saturday. 4 people came: me, my companion, and the two other elders in our ward haha. But the class will grow in the near future!

We taught a really cool guy from the Dominican Republic and he has a desire to read the Book of Mormon, he is awesome! He is just moving in like a week. But we will teach him until he leaves.

We taught a family from D.R. too. We taught a Restoration lesson in like 7 minutes. We try to teach 5 min lessons of just doctrine and it works pretty good. The family understood the Restoration in the 7 minutes and felt the power of it as well. It was amazing! We talk about things afterwards and get to know them at the start of the lesson, but the part where we teach the message, we try and keep it 5 minutes and straight doctrine to let the spirit do the teaching.

Elder Starks got in another bike crash again! #4... He passed me now on crash numbers. He went over the handlebars again haha. Good times.

Love you! Thanks for your prayers! :)
Elder Christiansen

Friday, November 23, 2012


This week we had a pretty good week once again. Things are just kind of rolling and rolling. Time is just going toooooo fast! I feel like I write you all every 3 days!
So we had been teaching this girl whose dad is a LA member and we hadn't really been able to set a baptismal date with her because there house is crazy when we teach and stuff and she really hadn't felt the spirit. But on Wednesday we went on a temple tour with her and her friend. It was gr-r-r-r-r-eat! We set a baptismal date with her and her friend also wanted to be baptized, but we first have to talk to her parents. It was a good experience for them.
We also set a baptismal date with a Part-Member guy this week. He is like 23 from Mexico. His only real problem is soccer. He works 6 days a week and on Sunday he likes to play soccer. So he doesn't go to church all the time. So we have to give him the ultimatum... Soccer or an Eternal Family... We will see what he picks. I wish people could just see the blessings that the gospel brings! But faith precedes the miracles.
We have a baptism scheduled this Sunday. He just has to get a new job. But he is a citizen, has a car, speaks English and Spanish and some Portuguese, so it should be too hard. But he is great. He is 18 and wants to serve a mission! He is a miracle.
We have been working hard and trying to find those people who are "connected" to the church. And get them baptized. We are hoping for 4 baptisms in December. That is our goal that we set. We prayed for what the Lord wanted us to achieve and 4 came to my mind, I've never baptized more than 1 in a month, but we can do it!
We also saw a miracle with a member's dad who is not a member who came to visit him for a while. We taught him a lesson and he drove us home and says he sees something different in our church. He will be here until January and we are going on a temple tour with him this Wednesday. Baptism on vacation? That would be awesome!
Well things are going great here! Loving life...
Elder Christiansen

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Nov. 11, 2012

Well we had a pretty good week. Best week in a while. We didn't teach as many lessons as we usually do, but the lessons were more quality than quantity and we are seeing some progression in the investigators. One is currently looking for a new job so he can go to church, another family is looking for a new apartment so they can live the law of chastity and also looking for a new job so they can go to church on Sunday. We are blessed.

We had a meeting with President Hall last week. A good 7 months ago we learned a door approach called "Peace and Blessings". Unfortunately for some reason or another our mission didn't catch the spirit of it and I was one of those unfortunately. So this week he told us to repent, and do it. So we basically knock the door and say something like... "Hello, we are representatives of Jesus Christ, we have been sent to leave His peace and blessings with others. Can we come in and bless your home and your family?" And we get let in about 800% times more than usual and we get to know them, their needs, listen, discern, then say a prayer and bless them by the Priesthood we have. It is going great in our area right now. It makes me strive to be more worthy so I can use the power of the priesthood. I think the best thing that it does is that people see us as representatives of Jesus Christ instead of "Mormon missionaries". So they let us in a lot more times. We pray real earnestly with them, and they feel the Spirit, it is amazing. Then we ask if we can come back to share more, and no one yet has said, "no". So we are seeing miracles from that. The priesthood is REAL. It is such a blessing to have it. Sister missionaries do it as well, just not by the priesthood, and it is powerful too because they are representatives of Jesus Christ. It is a blessing to bless others. We help them feel the peace that the world can not give, but the peace that Jesus Christ can give. Missions in the Florida area have been using this technique and baptisms have doubled. We are planning on ours tripling. It helps us work harder, be more obedient, more worthy, use the priesthood, and bless others.

We have a baptism date for the 25th of Nov. He is GOLD, just looking for a new job, but he came to Stake Conference yesterday!

Love you thank you for your prayers!

Elder Christiansen

Friday, November 9, 2012

Nov. 5th, 2012

So last week was really awesome. Last night just topped things off. We taught this one 17 year old from Honduras. He is really prepared for the gospel. He is awesome. He works at Bay Hill golf course.... That is the golf course of Mr. Tiger Woods himself... I think. But it is really nice. We are going there today for P-Day. See if they let us in haha. But his name is Moises. We taught him at a bus stop last night. Way cool kid. We also are teaching this lady Maria and last night we read the Book of Mormon with her and in the middle of the lesson, we had the impression to invite her to be baptized, so in the middle of the lesson, we just invited her and she said yes! Her date is for Dec. 23rd. She has to get married to her "husband". And we also taught another really cool family yesterday la flia gonzalez. We will see if they are married haha. It was really cool, last night we had a lot of plans, and the Spirit told us to do none of them, and kind of mixed them up a little bit. We had la flia gonzalez planned at 7 to visit, but we felt to visit him at 6, and he was there, so we taught a lesson. Then went to Omar (he was planned) we set an appt. with him to come back. Then we felt to go to Maria, who wasn't in our plans and set the baptismal date with her, then we felt to call Moises and have a lession with him and he was down, so we taught him and he wasn't in our plans either. It was really cool. The Spirit is always the way to go haha. And it is always just little impressions. It is such a blessing to have it in our lives.

We taught this PM named Manuel, his family got baptized a couple months ago by none other than my MTC companion, Elder Yentes down in South Chase, but then they moved to Venezuela and everyone thought they were lost forever. And one day we went to talk to a member and a kid stopped us and told us he was Mormon, so we found out where he lived and they weren't a family on the records. It turned out to be the family that Elder Yentes baptized and they moved back to Florida from Venezuela. And the little kid and the mom got baptized, but Manuel couldn't because he had to work every Sunday. So it was a miracle find for sure. The Lord put them in our path. But we are teaching Manuel, he is looking for another job right now so he can get baptized. He is so awesome, he said one of the best prayers I have ever heard. He is a tender mercy from the Lord, hopefully he gets a new job and doesn't have to work Sundays :).

Missionary work is the best in the world. Everyone should serve, it is such a blessing. I know this is the most true work in the world. I have felt the spirit too much on my mission to deny the message of the Restoration of the Gospel. It is the greatest, most powerful message in the world.

Emails are short, but I hope you like them haha. My life is amazing.
Love Elder Christiansen!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Imma Floridian

Soooo, it is kind of cold here! Like 65-70 degrees with a little wind.. haha. It feels kind of chilly, not going to lie. We turned the heater on in our car haha. Everyone here is so accustomed to the heat. We were driving down a road, and people got winter coats and beanies on haha. Pretty crazy sight.

This week was pretty awesome. We saw a miracle. We have an awesome investigator who he had problems with alcohol, tobacco, and coffee. So last Sunday, we taught him the Word of Wisdom and gave him a blessing and had him say a prayer for help. Well a week later and he hasn't relapsed at all and he has given up everything! He is feeling the spirit and feeling happy and he said he really has like no desire to do those things. So that was really awesome to see the Atonement working through him and see the change in his life and countenance. The Atonement is so powerful if we have faith in it. He has tried to quit a long time ago, but the help of Jesus Christ and His Atonement is always the best way to go for repentance!

This week we saw a lot of blessings and we got to teach a lot of lessons and found some new investigators through members and us. One of the member referrals, we taught her and her husband the Restoration, the wife went to church last Sunday and loved it, so we were excited to teach her, but kind of nervous to teach him because when she described us to him, it didn't sound like he would be as interested as her. But we taught them and he felt the Spirit really strong in the lesson. Almost to tears, so that was a great experience as well. The Restoration is such a powerful lesson, I have seen so many miracles by teaching it. It is definitely true haha. It is such a blessing to have it.

The work here is going great, a lot of lessons a lot of finding, just trying to get them to baptism!

The church is true. I have come to love the gospel. It makes us happy. I love sharing it with everyone and watching it help them in there lives. It is such a blessing to serve a mission. All young men and women should go on missions, it will change there lives.

Love you all and miss you!
Elder Christiansen

Monday, October 22, 2012

Soooo tired, but we keeeep going!

Well it is the end of October and last week still felt like August! C'mon Florida! But the mornings and nights are really nice.

So this week I had a pretty great experience. We have been blessed so much recently. We have been finding and teaching sooooo many people, seeing a lot of miracles in that aspect of our work. And we had some high hopes for a family (Yessika, Clara, Brittany, and Juan) then a family of 6 named the Carmona family and then Elias who all looked like they would get baptized soon. Yessika was so golden, her and Clara went to church and liked it a lot, and they had a date for the 4th of Nov, but then on Saturday, Yessika and Clara told us they would be working on Sunday, and they have to take their car, so the rest of their family can't go to church. Broke my heart. I wanted to cry. Then that same day, we were going to go on a temple tour with the Carmona family and they were going to LOVE it, but they couldn't because of work. And it just felt like they were dropping off the radar because the parents worked so much this week and that just kind of drained my attitude too. So after all of that I was riding on my bike, super down and bummin' because it felt like we had so much "baptismal success" in the next month and it was trying to slip through our fingers. And that has happened sooo many times on my mission, where we are so close to baptisms and they just all fell at once. So as I am pitying to myself on my bike, I remember a conversation we had with some members a couple days before. We talked about Jonah and how he was hot on the mountain and so the Lord caused for a goard (plant) to grow to give him shade for a day. Then the next day the Lord sent a worm to eat the plant and Jonah got really mad and upset. But then the Lord tells him something like, "Why are you mad? I caused the plant to grow in the first place?" I was called to repentance by the Spirit there on my bike. All of the blessings and the progress of our investigators was because of what he had done for us. He helped them progress, he prepared him, and then when they started to fall back a little bit, I started to ask "Why?" But I realized that I had been blessed more than I could ask for. So I soon got over my little sadness haha. And realized that God has given me all of the success that I have had and all the blessings that I have had. But that has really got me thinking about life. All the time we ask, "Why? Why me? Why this?" But everything we have is from God and was given to us. It was a great lesson to be learned. And then I read Elder Stockard's letter home that Papa Tom sent me. He has some incredible faith and was an example to me. I could feel the spirit of his letter and I realized that all will be well, these families will progress, Yessika will have Sunday's off and the Carmona family will be just fine, and allllll is well. Even though we had a frustrating 2 hours, this week was AMAZING! So many miracles, we found about 30 new potentials this week and got 6 new investigators and taught a lot of lessons. Why do I droop in the sad moments? haha. This life is amazing!

We have a member in our ward named Dennis Cabrera. She has been a member for about 1 year and 3 months. She is so amazing though. I don't think she ever stops smiling. She doesn't have a car, but will pay people to take her to church, find a member, or even invite a friend with a car to church. She is magic haha. She knows the blessings of the Gospel in her life. She is the definition of a member missionary. She has probably brought 10 different people to church, invited 200 to church and activities, and given out 20 BofM's in her 1 in the church... I just felt like talking about her because yesterday she did her magic (which is just inviting with a smile that says "this gospel makes me happy") and invited her friend Maria to church. Maria loved it! And her 4 yr old son Angel. Maria wants to bring her husband next week and tonight we have an FHE, (hosted by Dennis Cabrera) with Maria+ family, other ward members, our investigator Elias, Yessika and family, and hopefully the Carmona family. It is going to be awesome! Missionary work is the greatest blessing!

love you all!

Elder Christiansen'143

Monday, October 15, 2012

Oct 15th, 2012

So sweeeet! We had a zone conference again with Elder Zwick from the 70. It was very powerful. LOOOOVVED it. He let us in on the behind the scenes of the the changing of the missionary age, so that was very cool. I learned so much just about strengthening myself and strengthening my foundation. The mission really prepares us for the rest of our lives. When we work harder on our mission and study harder, we prepare ourselves more for the challenges and temptations that come later in life.
We saw some miracles this week! We had a 2 ladies and their families who wanted to go to church and they have a car, but the front tires were flat, so yes, we filled them up with them on Sunday haha right before church. Then she noticed that the front tires were wearing down and they had that wire stuff feel on it. I knew that wasn't good, but she looked at me and asked if God would help her get to church, I said yes, and off we went for about a 20 minute drive there. And they got there and back with no problems. So I count that as a miracle because they don't have driver's liscences and they were really scared to go, but Heavenly Father provided the way to obey His commandments :).
Also we have been teaching a guy and sometimes his kids and he LOVES the gospel, but hasn't progressed because his wife is catholic and she hasn't been participating in the lessons and he doesn't want him and his wife to go different dirrections. On Saturday, we had the opportunity to serve the wife (she is VERY nice), and on Sunday we fasted for her heart to be softened. And that night, we taught him and her! And she accepted the invitation to hear the lessons along with her husband! The spirit had touched her, that was awesome.
The ward here is getting so much stronger. It is amazing. This area is litterly the best. We had a ward party on Saturday which was awesome. (Spanish church parties are a little more crazy than the English ones) haha. They play English music, with some questionable church lyrics in it, but must people don't understand except for us and the kids haha. So that was pretty funny. But it was a great party.
Today was transfers, and I have been with my companion for 2 transfers already, so I was telling a lot of people that it was probable I was leaving... BUT I'M STAYING!!! SO EXCITED! :) The Lord is great!

Well thanks for your prayers, I see miracles because of them!

Elder Christiansen

Monday, October 8, 2012

Geek Squad!

So funny story to start it off... We sometimes get people that make fun of us from their cars calling us Geek Squad.. The Best Buy group thing or whatever that fixes computers. But one night we were riding on our bikes and this black girl walking her dog stopped and looked pretty excited to see us. She asked us if we were Geek Squad. I wasn't sure if she was joking or serious, so I said "yes we were!" Just to see if she was serious or not. She then got really excited and just went off about how she had had a computer problem. I stopped her a little ways in her chattering, laughing, and told her we weren't geek squad, but missionaries. We then shared a little bit with her and asked her if she would be interested, she wasn't interested, so as we parted ways I told her thanks for making fun of us and we both walked away laughing. :)... As missionaries we just have too much style I guess sometimes.

For everybody worrying out there if I voted or not, I just sent in my absentee ballot. Don't worry it's on its way to Fallon. I was going to joke with Grandma Jean and tell her I voted for the person she told me not to vote for, but I was scared she would fly out to Orlando and beat me up before she read the next sentence saying just kidding. Haha. I love you Grandma Jean! :).. Shout out to Tom Stockard, voted for him as well :).

My companion was biking this week and he was looking down because his pants got caught in his chain and he ran right into a telephone pole. Luckily there wasn't too much blood. He was able to walk it off in a couple of minutes. So it was funny after that. That was his second crash during the week. The first one happened as I stopped to talk to someone and he was riding up to us and there was a hole he didn't see, and he went right into it and over the handlebars. I saw it, but the person I was talking to at the bus stop didn't see it. She was telling me something and I just started busting up laughing and she didn't know why. I hope he makes it till the end of his mission without too many more accidents!

We had some pretty cool lightning shows this week. It was like fireworks. It would strike and then you would see little sparkling spots afterwards, that was cool.

We have been seeing some success with Less Actives. We helped one come to church and after church she decided to give up coffee! She has been doing a great job at it. It has really been a struggle for her. Also a different Less Active single mom started coming back to church with her kids so that is great as well.

On Saturday we had a little General Conference Super Bowl like party. We watched it at an investigator's house on a projector. There were 3 non-members, and four members there, it was pretty awesome. We also saw miracles in between the sessions that day. When you have the spirit with you, everyone is interested. It was just another testimony of how true this church is. Conference was great. The Spirit is definitely felt. They are men called of God. I think the biggest miracle we saw from conference was that in between the sessions on Sunday, we ate at the bishop's house. He was the most fired up about missionary work that I have ever seen. It was awesome, we discussed some great things for him to that can bring some great fruits to this ward in the future, if all is executed. I was thinking that if only I could teach like the prophet and apostles, then after every member lesson, they would be sooooooo fired up to do missionary work. I'm sure baptisms would skyrocket. I really like how we have the opportunity to be reminded every 6 months of all the blessings we have, all the miracles we can perform, all the changes we can make, and the power and authority we posses. It is a shame I have to be reminded, but I am always the most fired up to be a true disciple of Jesus Christ right after conference. I need to try and keep the fire with me 24/7!!!

Well it was an amazing week.
I love you guys!

P.S. Annie I saw a picture of you! Looking great! I too am trying to work on my figure. Every one keeps asking me if I am eating! They say I look skinnier. Bishop yesterday asked if I was on a diet! Two weeks ago we decided to wake up at 6:00 to work out more. People being scared that I am not eating is distracting from the Spirit haha. I have been eating a lot too, like to the point of death. Still haven't gained weight. But I like waking up at 6:00 because it helps me feel like I am excited to wake up, at 6:30 it felt more like a have to do and I wasn't excited to be up, but now I feel more like I am happier to be a missionary as I wake up at 6:00. So it has a good spiritual and physical benefit. A missionary has a quote he says every night to his companion. "Wake up like you mean it." I am working on it haha! I don't want to get buff, I just don't want to be skinny, chubby would be nice. So if any one wants to send me a snickers, that would be awesome.

Thanks for your prayers!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Oct 1, 2012

We right now are teaching 2 way cool families! They were both found by the Spirit. One guy shouted at us from his car, said he was Mormon and less active and wants his family to know about the church and wants to come back as well. We have taught them twice and they are doing great. The other family we prayed and felt to knock a complex, so we did and we felt like going to a specific building, the first door we knocked, they opened and told us to come in. We taught them and we found out the dad was a member. He said he was Mormon, and his daughters looked at him like "What!?" not like he was crazy, but just because they never knew haha. So that was pretty funny. They are doing great.
We also are teaching a guy who came on a temple tour this week. He LOVED it. He wants his family to go on one tomorrow with us haha. He is so awesome. We are teaching some cool people right now.
We had President's interviews and he asked me if I had any questions for him. I asked him how to better discern. He told me we discern the heart, not the mind. He said to look in their eyes. And some other stuff. So in companion study, we were role playing for some investigators and I told my companion to say "no" to the baptism invitation because of some doubt. And I tried to discern haha. And it worked quite well the advice from President Hall, so that was pretty cool.
We were driving this week and someone's car tire flew off and hit are car. That was cool.
We set 2 baptismal dates with different investigators. We are also teaching a really cool guy that is progressing nicely, just waiting on the road of demascus (watch the mormon message to know more). So we showed him the video and hopefully he will be more responseful to baptism.
My mission is going great. I have learned so much. It is the most fullfilling thing that I have ever done. It has taught me how to love people. It is so sad to see someone reject the gospel and it is so sad to see people have marital problems and to not have money or jobs. I am grateful for all of your love and prayers.

Elder Christiansen

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sept 24th, 2012

Nothing to crazy happening this week, but just a lot of little stuff. Some guy tried to buy my bike off me for like $10, but I didn't sell it to him. And that is about as crazy as it got. We got soaked on Friday. It rained pretty bad. But we saw lots of little miracles this week. Being in the right place at the right time, etc. My testimony is strengthened every week as we follow our plans.
Right now we are teaching a lot of people, just having problems with getting them to progress! We had 9 new investigators last week and 7 the week before, but I don't know where they all went haha. But we got some good advice to try and help them progress. Its called getting bold and dropping them if they aren't progressing.

Right now we are teaching a guy named Elias. He is really cool. He is looking for the truth and is reading quite a bit in the Book of Mormon. We have a program in our mission where we try and hook our investigators up with a companion to read the Book of Mormon with about every other day. It is hard to get started, but when it gets started, it is money. He read all of 1 Nephi in 2 days. He has gone to church a number of times and is obviously reading the BofM, but he still hasn't felt it. He feels better, but he wants a little more assurance, so hopefully he will get baptized soon.

I don't know what to say this week... sorry.

We had invited about 16 investigators to church and about 10 of them seemed somewhat likely to come. We had 2 there haha. Kind of a let down, but 2 is better than 0 :).

We saw lots of little miracles this last week of finding random people.

Well yo se que la iglesia es verdadera. he encontrado muchas bendeciones por causa de ella. estoy agradecido por una familia que me ama y por su ejemplo para mi. agradezco que tengo muchos amigos que estan serviendo misiones alrededor el mundo. la oracion es real y se que nuestro padre celestial las contesta. el libro de mormon es la palabra de dios. les quiero mucho. y estoy muy agradecido por sus oraciones.

Elder Christiansen

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Sept 17, 2012

The roller coaster ride is going back up! Haha. So on Saturday we had a Stake mission meeting. With all the missionaries of the stake and all the WML, bishops, and ward missionaries that could make it. It was pretty awesome. We even had Elder Munns from the Seventy come and speak. His brother is a lawyer here in St. Cloud, FL and is on a ton of billboards haha. The name Munns was sounded familiar when it was announced. He really gave a great talk. It was actually amazing. He talked about is a PRIVILEGE and BLESSING to share his testimony of Jesus Christ with others. He said missionary work is like a sleeping giant right now and is ready to be awakened. He talked about how with every thing that is going on, how this time is unlike non other to share our beliefs and testimonies. He talked about how the Wall Street Journal had had like 10 headlines with word Mormon in the title in the past week or something along those lines. He told of an experience he had where he was on a plane and he started talking about the church with the guy next to him on the plane. He said that is easy for him to talk about the church with anyone. The invitation is the hard part for him. He said as he was sitting there, the plane started its descent (sp?). And the scripture "I am not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ" came to his mind. He looked at the guy and said,"if you will give me your address, I will send two young men to your house to share more with you." (so of course we are all expecting to hear how this guy got baptized 3 weeks later) And he went on to tell us that the guy stared at him for about 3 seconds turned his head, looked out the airplane window and never talked to him again for the rest of the flight. He said it was awkward, it was embarrassing, but he shared also how it doesn't matter what the guy thinks about him, for he will not be ashamed of the gospel of Christ. And then the Stake President later shared a story about how he was busy running to a surgery or something for him to do in a hospital that he rarely ever visits. And a lady came behind him and got his attention and he was trying to get away to get to his next appointment. He had sincerely been praying for missionary opportunities he said. The lady then said, "Do you remember me?", she said "You gave me a Book of Mormon 5 years ago, I am now ready to learn more." Miracle. A hospital he is hardly ever at, right time, right place, the seed was planted and took 5 years to be ready. He shared with us how he has a reminder on his phone to do missionary work. I invite you all to put up a picture, something on the fridge, your phone, whatever that reminds you of this work. It is important. The more we have missionary work on our mind, the more we will have opportunities to do it.
We also taught an old couple last night. He use to be a pastor in Cuba, almost got killed for his belief in God. They originally just wanted to "make prayer" with us in their house. The impression came to us to share a little more than a prayer. We taught the Restoration to them. The wife has been battling cancer for 9 years. She said she loved the way we taught. The peace that was there. The message of the restoration is TRUE. Peace is of God. It wasn't adrenaline or excitement we felt last night, it was the peace of the eternities that filled the room last night.
Love you all and miss you. Your prayers brings us miracles.
Elder Christiansen

Monday, September 10, 2012

Gotta put a smile on :)

So I am not going to lie. This week was rough. The area was on fire and we had a couple families we were teaching and it all looked really positive. We had a baptism planned for a family this Saturday which was going to be awesome and this past week it felt like everything just slipped through our fingertips. We set some really high goals which last week seemed achievable and we didn't come close to achieving them. It was pretty discouraging. We have no idea if we will have a baptism this Saturday, but probably not. But even though we had a lot of problems and everything just seemed to come down at once, we still saw many blessings. We are teaching this one guy and he is really awesome and we have spiritual lessons with him because he is just so hungry for the gospel. He committed himself to try and get his wife and kids behind him in learning more about the gospel. We could very well see an awesome miracle this week from his desires to want more in life. Another tender mercy from the Lord this week is that we found a family of 5! But the husband isn't here in town. He is in Tampa. But the mom is from the Dominican Republic and she is really nice and he is from Espana, and they have the chattiest 3 daughters I have ever met... Two of them are twins who are turning 8 this week and the oldest is also 8. I don't know how the mom does it. But they were so nice. The little girls loved us, they grew up in Espana too. The husband comes down here every Tuesday, so we have an appt with them this Tuesday. Hopefully it goes well!

I also had bike problems this week. Flat tire!!!

Well this week was kind of depressing, but this one will be better! Even though we had a rough week, we still taught more lessons than in my first two areas haha. Well the church is true no matter how short my emails are.

Thanks for the prayers! Love ya!
Elder Christiansen

Monday, September 3, 2012

Sept. 3rd, 2012The Good Life

This week we had the opportunity to go on a temple tour with our investigators. They invited one of their friends to go as well! So that was really cool. I had to translate for them and the Lord helped me out so much with that, so that was really cool. We have a member in our ward who usually translates for our investigators, but he couldn't do it today, so I had to do it. The tour went really well and it is always a great experience no matter how many times we go. It is such an amazing blessing to have a temple so close and I love to feel the Spirit outside of it.

We had an insane day of being led and guided by the Spirit on Thursday. We were so blessed. We had an appointment fall through at 5. Our next appointment was at 6, and so we went to do our back up plans for 5 and 5:30. We had two options to try for the backup plans in different areas. So we kind of just chose the first one without too much thought. We went to visit a potential, and as we got out of the car, we met a Spanish lady and got a return appointment for her. Then we went to knock the door of our potential. There was a Spanish lady sitting on the stairs outside of the door that wasn't our potential. So we asked her if Barbara was home. She told us Barbara didn't live there (happens quite often). So we asked her if we could sit down with her outside and teach her. She said yes. So we taught her and in the middle of it, we asked her how she felt. She said that before we had come, she was angry and was upset and just not having a great day, but she said that now she felt good and calm, and just at peace. So that was awesome. Then after her, we visited a different lady and we got there and she wasn't home, but we talked to a little girl and she said she lived in the house and that her mom was on her way home and would be home in a minute. So we waited and she came home really fast, we taught her for the first time and set a baptismal date with her. It was awesome that the day just worked out perfectly and that the spirit guided us in the quietest ways.

The church is true.
Love you and thanks for the prayers!
Elder Christiansen

Monday, August 27, 2012

Aug. 27, 2012

Well things are great here and sounds like things are great back home! Shout out to my mother! Going to have my first sibling after 21 years of being the only child! As long as I am still spoiled all should be well ;). But I am very excited to have a sibling!

This week was very amazing. We have been teaching the daughter of the recent convert and the best thing is that when we teach her, all of her friends want to listen as well. And they LOVE it when we come over! I just wish adults were the same as kids. We taught them all how to pray this week. And at the end they all said a prayer. It was a great opportunity to see the smiles on their faces after the prayers.

This week we left the apartment and we talked to the first lady on the sidewalk. She was Spanish and had a couple of kids. As we taught her and asked if we could come over and share more she said she already went to a church and that all churches are good. So we shared more and tried to share something to capture her interest, but nothing was working. We asked again if we could come over and she once again said all things of God are good and that she was fine where she was at. As we left I was thinking to myself for a while "what is a great explanation for why there is only one true church?" I already knew some responses to it and I know the doctrine behind it, but I was just refreshing my memory of the doctrines and trying to come up with more things to prove that there can only be one church. Because I knew the question would come up again. Later that day we were in a lesson with an investigator that is awesome, but hasn't committed to baptism. We invited him to baptism and his response was "I was already baptized, why do I need to do it again in your church?" So it went right along the same lines as the question we had got earlier that day. It was cool to see how the Lord had prepared us earlier in the day to be able to better answer the question later in the day. So once again we shared the doctrine behind it and it seem to hit him pretty well and then like always we traced it right back to the Book of Mormon and praying to know if it is true. It was a pretty nice reminder of how sometimes the frustrating moments happen for the well being for others.

We taught this lady this week who is very awesome! She has a family as well, and we plan on teaching them. She also gave us a referral to go teach her friend. And we taught her friend as well. Her friend is seriously seeking for the truth and knows that there is only one true church. They both are very awesome. We have really been focusing in district in asking EVERYONE for referrals. I wish I had done it my whole mission. It is a hard habit to get, but we have the biggest teaching pool that I have ever had and this is the busiest time of my mission. Sometimes the Lord puts people in our paths because they know other people who are ready.

The Holy Ghost here is so important. This week by just following a couple of thoughts, we saw miracles. Not super big impressing thoughts, but the little subtle ones. It is such a great help in missionary work and a great blessing of being a member of this church. We prayed to go to a street this week and found a super awesome family! Families are the best and our message is for the families. It was a amazing. The dad seemed to really like us. He said he lets all kind of missionaries in but I hope that he can see the difference that we aren't just other missionaries. I think he might of because we didn't teach him, but we talked to him as he was cooking. And he had a pretty busy 10 year old son that was nearby. We opened up messages for him. And he loved them! The dad told us that is was a miracle he was sitting still haha.

This week I realized how important it is to feast upon the word of Christ in order to receive personal revelation. As I pray for guidance and direction, the answers that come to me usually come in the form of a scripture that I have read before. It happened again this week and it was such a blessing. I am so grateful for all the scriptures that we have in this church.

Also during my studies this week I realized that I had been neglecting an important part of the Restoration as I have been teaching. I have taught gospel dispensations before, but not terribly too thoroughly. This week I learned that I need to. As we did that as a companionship, our restoration lessons have been so much better! The investigators understand it so much better. It is so rewarding to see the light go on in their eyes that says, "wow, that makes sense." I remember when that happened to me in the MTC. We had an investigator this week who just really loved the Restoration. We usually try to keep eye contact as we teach, but investigators aren't always accustomed to a lot of eye contact, but this investigator was not blinking! That's when you know they are into the lesson. It is such a great feeling when others are interested in what you are saying. I love the question "So where is your church at?" after we teach a lesson.

And this week a family that I taught in my first area, passed us as we were riding on bikes and they were in their truck and so they pulled over and we talked and they moved into this area! So that was cool and they want to talk to us again!

Monday, August 20, 2012


Another sweet week in the best area ever. It started out pretty rough and then heated up. I met the meanest guy of my mission so far haha. We knocked his door and before I could tell him who we were, he started yelling at us. He asked us if we were Jehovah Witness's, we said no and it kind of took him back, he then asked who we were and once we said the word "church", he started yelling again haha. NO TRESPASSING!!!! But the thing was we contacted some Spanish people and they gave us his address. So I asked him if Raul was there (the person we contacted) then he yelled at us even more saying "do I look like Raul?" Then we tried to to explain to him how Raul said this was his address, so I opened my planner to try and show him, but before I got to the page, he took it out of my hand and threw it. So then I punched him reflexively in the face. Just kidding.... He would have beaten me up pretty bad haha. So we picked up my planner and just walked away. He was wearing a San Fransisco giants hat, and I was going to compliment him on it, but he was too busy yelling haha. But I forgave him because of the good looking hat that was on his head haha.
We ate at Panda Express this week :). Miss it. There aren't any Jamba Juices in Florida though :(. So we didn't get to do the Jamba/Panda swagg.
We had zone conference this week. It was super powerful. The spirit taught us so much. I got called to repentance once again! Every time I tell you! I learned that I need to work on my faith and charity, and basically all Christlike attributes haha. Why are they so hard!!!!???? So I read some talks on humility and I love the one "The laborers in the vineyard" by Elder Holland.
The baptism was so perfect yesterday! Sister Felicitas Castano. It was a long and difficult 4 months to reach the point, but it was all worth it, (I got to work with her for 3 of them). It was definitely the hardest baptism of my mission and once again when we are sitting in her baptism, the humbling whispering of the Spirit says,"Remember you did the easy part, this is His work." (Something like that ;) ))) It was so amazing to see her go in the water. She has changed so much. She has so much faith. She has been through a lot, but she is now spiritually born into the fold of The Shepherd. Makes me so happy! A member baptized her who has been a member for about 1.5 years. He is the bomb. We are seeing so many miracles and blessings :). This work is the best, pray for missionary opportunities.
The church is true, bessss believe!
Thank you for your prayers!
Love Elder Christiansen...143

Monday, August 13, 2012

Aug. 13, 2012

This week was pretty good as well. There really isn't such thing as a bad week though! We had a great time. We were on bikes. Two nights we got absolutely drenched. Kind of got caught in some rain. The rain isn't the bad thing, it is the lightning that scares me. Because you don't see it for a while and you think your good, but then all of a sudden you hear a big boom and see a flash and it shakes your eardrums. I always duck. And then on Saturday, there weren't many clouds in the sky, but we had lessons lined up at 12, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6:30. And we also had 3 other people who we told we would stop by if we had time between 12-5 and they said that would be okay. Well from 12-4, we couldn't pay anyone to open their door for us haha. All 8 people who said we could come by weren't home. So we were outside all during that time and I started to feel real hot and my face hurt, and I looked at a sign and it said 100 degrees! Me and my companion got pretty roasted. Him more than me haha. But the night ended well, so all is well. I think the reason that no one answered the door was because (well first of all the Spanish street here is called Oak Ridge) all of our appointments were on Oak Ridge, and the HUGE Spanish church on Oak Ridge decided to throw a party, and all of Mexico decided to go. I am pretty sure Elder Hubbard's, Stockard's, and Johnston's investigators were all there as well. We biked past the church like 4 times trying to go to the next appointment. There were so many families there at the activity. I wanted to contact there, but decided that wasn't the best idea. They had like 5 jumping blow up things, and 4 huge blow up water slides, and singers and music and other stuff all for free. When it comes to the truth or bouncy houses, little kids are always going to choose the bouncy houses. You lose that battle, you lose that battle 9 out of 10 times. Haha. But good times anyways.
We saw a lot of miracles this week. Thanks for your prayers, love you guys be awesome! Pray for missionary opportunities
This week I found out one of the old investigators I had in my first area just got baptized!
The church is true, don't ever forget it. I know my emails are always short, I wish I could explain everything that happens, but there are just so many little miracles that happen every day.
Hopefully we will be having 2 baptisms this next Sunday.. We will see :).
We do this thing in our mission where we leave priesthood blessings in other's homes and it is so awesome! The families just love it and the Spirit comes in and it really cheers people up. The priesthood is real! It is a blessing to have it, it helps us grow so much! This week President taught us that the men have it because they need to work on Christlike attributes. And women just naturally have them :).
Well Love and miss you!
Elder Christiansen

Monday, August 6, 2012

August 6th, 2012

So this area is so awesome. I would love to finish my mission here haha. We keep seeing so many miracles. It is unbelievable. They come from the Lord, and my companion helps bring them by his faith, patience, and good attitude. It has been awesome serving with him these past two weeks.
We have an awesome investigator who should be getting baptized this week if all goes well. Listen to her story. So the missionaries started teaching her in April, when I got here in June, she had just started progressing with reading the BofM (I love reaping the rewards of other's labors). Then she started coming to church. She came to see a baptism as well. She is really poor, and the other week she got a job that she was going to need in order to pay her rent for this month. It would mean she would have to work on Sunday. (all Spanish ladies here usually work in hotels by Disney and stuff and the biggest day of the week is Sunday, so they all have to work on Sundays) And she accepted the job. We told her to pray that night on whether to go to church or to go to work. Well she quit her job and tried to go to church. That is some faith. So currently she is broke, needs $600 to pay her rent like this week (no mom you can't send me a check to give to her). Her sister went to jail, so she has to watch her three kids and her own three kids, she barely has any food, she is reading the BofM everyday and praying and going to church when she can. She is going through a really hard time, but she says she feels peaceful. I know it is because of the Holy Ghost in her life. Living the gospel is truly the way to peace and happiness. Just because we live the gospel doesn't mean things are easy, but it does mean that we can endure things with more peace, help, and strength from our Father in Heaven. She has been an example to me in my life and I have seen the power of the Atonement working in her.
We also have a family of 3 that should be baptized pretty soon, so that will be super awesome! We are also teaching this guy named Elias that is soooo cool. We have the most awesome investigators.
Spanish is better. The Lord blessed me so much. I came back to Spanish work and at first I was a little slow on the language, but by the 3rd week, my Spanish was twice as good than when I left to English work I felt like. Maybe some exaggeration, or not, but I feel like my English is worse now haha. When I re-read my emails, they aren't very well written. O well.
I went to visit a member the other day who I didn't know and hadn't seen (so I thought). When I sat on her couch she said I had gotten fatter. It was kind of funny, guess I got to weigh myself.
Well the church is soooooo true! The priesthood is real. God's love is real. Miracles happen everyday. Hard times are blessings.
Peace, love, and missionary work.
Thank you for your prayers, pray for your own missionary work! It is the best
Here comes bike week, in the middle of August. Turn it up!!!!!
Elder Christiansen

Monday, July 30, 2012

July 30th, 2012

Milagros por las docenas!
So this last week was probably the most awesome week of my mission. We were blessed so much by the Lord. It was really crazy awesome.

Tuesday I got my new companion. He is really cool, from Gunneson, Utah.. (some tiny town by Manti kind of I guess). He is from a family of 13 including his parents. They drive a bus as their car! Like a bus for retired folks is how he described it to me, so that is pretty cool.

So I will just skip to the most awesome parts. This week we had 9 new investigators! 3 families and I'm pretty sure at least two of them are married! It was really great. We also have 2 baptisms coming up on the 12th and we had 6 investigators at church this week! And there was a baptism at the church this Sunday and 2 investigators came to that. And we had a ward activity and 3 other investigators came to that. So it was just really amazing. The best week of my mission.

We had a ward activity and we played some soccer. President Hall gave us permission to play as well, so we had a lot of fun. I got sun burnt, but definitely all worth it. Didn't score any goals though...

The member missionary work is getting ready to boom and is going up in the ward and this area is ready to EXPLODE!! It is going to be so awesome. There are us and another set of elders in the ward and we are just seeing so many miracles. One of the new families we have know a family of 18 or something that live in the other missionaries side, so we could be seeing a lot of success in the waters of baptism as a ward.

I love this area! The bishop is super awesome as well. He is like 60 years old, plays soccer, jokes around, and plays video games in his free time. I hope I can be like him someday.

Well this is a super short letter, but it is better than the one a missionary sent last week to his family. He sent a picture of him and Ken Griffey Jr. to his family and said, "This is Ken Griffey Jr. Enough said." Ken Griffey Jr. and Shaq daddy live in our ward boundaries. How would you baptize Shaq?

Love you all thanks for the prayers! I have seen miracles because of them.

Elder Christiansen

PS. for the 4th of July we got to go ON TOP of the temple to watch the fireworks from Disney, Sea World, Universal, etc.

PSS. Someone tell Elder Stockard that my mother sent me one of his letters, and that I stole his idea of carrying around the BofM questions of the soul card and it is money! Thanks Elder Stockard 143. Keep doing work. And if any other good ideas come, let me know ;)

Monday, July 23, 2012

July 23rd, 2012 livin' la vida loca

Talk about a crazy awesome week! I feel like I am constantly on a roller coaster of emotion out here. It just goes up and down up and down down and up up up and down and up and down etc haha. It is crazy. I can't take it sometimes haha. But the week started out awesome on Monday. We met this guy like 4 weeks ago and just didn't think he was too positive. But we had a lesson with him finally and it was really awesome. He told us that out of all of churches that he had been too and learned about, our doctrine was the one that fitted best with his beliefs. So that was pretty awesome. He also has a car, Sundays free, and probably actually married, so that is so awesome! Then we watched the Joseph Smith movie at a member's house with a different investigator right after wards and the investigator loved it! So that was awesome. Then we went and taught the doctrine of going to church to a recent convert and her other family members who would be baptized if they had Sunday's free. It was very powerful as well and at the end of the lesson you could tell that they got it and it really started to click for them. It was an awesome night!

We went on a temple tour with Felicitas this week which was really awesome as well. They are always really good. There is a member in our ward that does a really good job at translating at the temple tour. Translating is super hard, but he is reallllllll good at it. I remember when I had to translate for President Hall in my first area. The speaker was speaking Spanish and I had to tell President and Sister Hall what he was saying. The speaker decided to share the least famous story in the bible. I knew nothing about it. President and Sister Hall got nothing out of it probably haha.

Well we set a baptismal day with Felicitas this week and it was super positive. Then some really bad luck happened on Sunday and she didn't come to church and instead went to a Catholic one and then decided that all churches are good. So tomorrow we get to call her to repentance. Should be awesome.

This week I had a goal of dragging out contacts so to say. A lot of people say that they are busy or something like that. I have never met so many busy people or people who are in a house with some kids that call them mom or dad and tell us that they are just house sitting. So this week I decided to when I heard an excuse to just start teaching and testifying. We saw a miracle because of it and ended up giving a pretty solid referral to the sister missionaries here. It was really cool. A lot of times when we are tired, having a rough time, etc we look for reasons not to talk to everyone or not to go the extra mile. Instead of look for excuses to talk to everyone and to try our very hardest. I have seen so many tender mercies from the Lord that have come from just pushing a little farther and fighting off the excuses that Satan puts in me. I know that the Lord will restrain us sometimes from doing something, but I also know that Satan does it as well especially when we are trying to share the precious and most desirable fruit with others. It is when we fight past those feelings that try to get us down that we see the hand of the Lord. I am learning slowly but surely to try and look at problems, discouragement, disappointment, other words that I can't spell, and trials as blessings and happiness because I know that something great is about to happen.

This week we had the opportunity to give a blessing to a lady who was struck by lightning. She was like gold or some kind of metal teeth and the thunder came down over her, then I guess some lighting hit her mouth or something like that. Super crazy bad luck, but maybe she needed it to be able to be receptive to the gospel. Watch the video by Elder Jefferey R. Holland "Sanctify Yourselves"... Kind of goes along with the story and is a great powerful video.

Well I love this work and the gospel. se que esta iglesia es la iglesia verdadera. el libro de mormon es la palabra de dios. testifico que podemos recibir cada respuesta que necesitamos adentro de sus paginas. estoy agradecido estar aca en este punto de mi vida. yo amo a mi familia y la agradezco todo que ha hecho para mi.

This is the true church. Man could not have created an organization like this. It's principles and doctrines come from a God who is all knowing and loving.

Love you all. Happy late birthday to Ryan Stockard, my man. Love you bro.

Thanks for the prayers, love and miss you!

Elder Christiansen

Monday, July 16, 2012

July 16th, 2012

So this week was another week of a roller coaster of emotions! But we saw a lot of miracles which were great.

We had contacted a lady on a bench a while ago and recently taught her. During the lesson, her kids were a little disruptive and we were outside teaching in the sun. The whole time I was thinking "This is horrible!" but at the end she said she felt so much better and the day we had contacted her, she was feeling a little down and knew that God put us in her path. So that was a humbling experience. And also one that makes you feel a lot better! It also called me to repentance for being a "Debbie Downer." I am working on that!

We also taught this one lady named Simona. When we got to her home, her 15 yr old son answered the door and we taught them both. He is super positive and during the lesson was really into it! It was awesome. When we told the Joseph Smith story, he got up on his chair and was like "Well how do you know if he is a true prophet!?" That is like my favorite question because it means the spirit had been teaching them and also it is the perfect transition into the Book of Mormon and prayer haha. The mom was also saying things during the lesson about her beliefs that were so LDS beliefs! Basically the whole Christianity world believes in the trinity. She said however she believed they were 3 separate beings. She didn't really believe in hell of fire and brimstone forever, and also she didn't believe in the rapture. I couldn't stop smiling haha. But ya they are a super cool family!

We got super sunburned on Saturday. I would maybe wear sunscreen, but I'm too lazy and it would just run into my eyes from all the sweat. The worst part was we had to bike to the top of our area and on the way we passed a golf course. That is the worse thing for me! As you are sweating and dying and biking, you get to watch people relaxing and driving in golf carts haha. But missionary work is still the best!

We had a member bring a friend to church yesterday and the funny part was that Elder Spilsbury (my trainer, and missionary in the other part of our ward) taught the guy in his first area. So hopefully he will turn out to be real cool! We have a lot of appointments set up this week and so it should be great!

This work is awesome! I love it. I heard Quinn got is mission call! Tell him congrats! He is going to be great!

Thanks for the prayers and letters!

Elder Christiansen

P.S. don't forget to pray for missionary opportunities!

Monday, July 9, 2012

July 9th, 2012

So yesterday at church, we had an awesome turnout! We had two
investigators, but also 4 less actives that came to church. And a lot
of the recent converts. We have been praying like crazy for help, and
the Lord keeps providing it. It is nice to always have His help. When
I started the mission, I thought all success would be determined by
how well I taught and how hard I worked, but I have realized time
after time that the Lord is really the one that does everything. I am
always trying to improve and learn more and try to figure out new
ideas, but the best recipe that I have seen so far is working hard,
being obedient, and praying my guts out for help. The Lord truely does
answer our prayers and desires to help us.

The other day the quote (that I don't know exactly) "The greatest
feeling in the world is when we feel like the Lord has used us to
bless someone else." entered into my head. We were at a less-actives
house. The mom is under a lot of stress a lot of trials. She says she
will never leave her testimony, but she is just having the hardest
time right now. She was crying and crying and we were just listening.
It seemed like nothing good was going good in her life, it was so sad
to watch and hear her. But then she looked up at us and said, "but I
know that the Lord put you in my path at the worst time of my life."
She was one of the ladies that wasn't on the roles of the church that
we just randomly missed a turn and found her. It was true what she
said. The Lord was looking out for her, and she knew it. It also goes
back to that most of our prayers are answered through other people. A
lot of times we pray and pray and can't seem to find an answer, and we
doubt and wonder if God really does answer prayers, then He humbles us
and sends His answer in His time in His way. Whether it is at church,
the temple, in the scriptures, or a random billboard. I know that He
hears and answers every prayer. I am grateful for that. I know He
loves us more than we can imagine. I know He sees us with the
perspective of eternal beings with UNLIMITED potencial while sometimes
we see ourselves as what we are in that moment. He loves and knows us.

Thanks so much for the prayers and love,
Love and miss you all,
Elder Christiansen
P.S. shout out to Elder Faught, the Lord has great things in store for
you! Love you bro.

Monday, July 2, 2012

July 2, 2012

So we had a SUPER AWESOME week. It was the best week of my mission
numbers wise. We saw so many miracles. Our mission has goals that we try and reach as missionaries, and this week was the first time that I
had ever reached all of them. We saw the Lord's hand so much and He
put a lot of people in our paths that are ready to hear the gospel. We
have been praying for miracles and families quite a bit. And He
delivered and keeps on delivering. We almost don't have room for all
the miracles haha. We joke around saying that we didn't know we
ordered the premium package of miracles.
We went to knock an apartment complex and the 3rd door we knocked was
a less-active Spanish member that we didn't know was there. She let us
in and we talked. She said her kids are coming down from Venezuela for
2 and a half months to visit. And that they aren't members, so we are
hoping to teach them soon. That was a really cool experiance. And like
10 minutes before we knocked her door, we ran into another member who
was in active, but English.
Also we found another less-active family that we didn't know about
last week and we taught them this week and also gave the mom a
blessing. They have a pretty sad story, but the family is really cool
and the mom knows that the Lord is trying to talk to her! A couple
weeks ago we ran into one of her kids on the street, and he wasn't too
interested, but told me his families' story a little bit. He isn't
living with them at the moment though. There are 3 kids in the family.
1 lives with the mom, 1 with the dad, and 1 by himself. They all live
in the same apartment complex, just different buildings. And so back
to the son we talked to on the street, he wasn't too interested and so
we just parted ways and then last week we saw a lady walking on the
side of the street in the rain. We pulled over the van and started
talking to her, she called us elders, so we knew she was a member. We
talked a little bit and she said that she had been struggling lately
and she knew God sent us there at that moment. Which was true because
we missed a turn, and had to turn around, which took some time, and if
we didn't miss the turn, we wouldn't have talked to her. As she told
me her story, I realized she was the mom of the son who I talked to a
couple weeks before. She gave us part of her address, but we weren't
sure exactly where it was, and she didn't know what building it was.
She also didn't know her telephone number, so we gave her ours. We
left and when we were driving around the complex later, I noticed a
car with a Utah license plate (she came from Utah). So we knew where
she lived after that! (Steady Creeping) haha. And then a couple days
later, our appts. fell through and we were by her house, so we went
over and I saw a kid outside that looked like the son of the mom that
I had talked to weeks earlier. So I asked him if he was a Camacho.
(their last name) he said ya. So we went into their house and it is
just taking off from there!
In my first area we had some investigators that we had to drop because
they weren't progressing. They were a mom, daughter, and grandson.
Blanca, Margeli, Brian. Margeli's sister had sent us a
referrel from where she lived in Miami to visit them. So thats how we
found them. We always assumed that the sister in Miami was a member
along with her husband. Well before I got here, the elders were
teaching a part member family (the wife not being a member) that had
recently moved from Miami. But they kind of lost contact for a while.
This week we stopped by the apartment. And someone answered the door,
but I couldn't see in because no one opens the door all the way! So
Elder Baugh was talking to her through the slit of the door, but he
didn't know who it was because it was an old lady. Then later I kind
of peeped and there was Blanca! She saw me too and we rejoiced a
little haha.(don't know how else to word that sentence?) And
apparently the sister who referred Margeli to us moved here to Orlando
and the mom, Blanca, moves from sister to sister's house to Colombia.
So that was pretty cool.
Well I am having a blast.
Love you and thanks for your prayers and love
Elder Christiansen

Monday, June 25, 2012

June 25th, 2012

So this last week was pretty awesome! We had some amazing lessons. And
we had quite a bit of lessons as well. We also found some new
investigators and a couple of families!
This week it rained and rained. Luckily it was our car week haha. We
drive a mini-van. Shout out to Donny. It is pretty awesome. We can fit
a lot of elders in the car and there is some room in it! It is fun to
pull up to someone's house in a huge car instead of a little one. You
take up just about their whole yard.
We tried to branch out a little bit this week and go explore different
places. We didn't find to much haha. It looks like all the Spanish are
right around us, but that is a very big blessing! I also saw Shaq's
house this week driving to a member's house. Maybe one of these days
we can have Prep-Day at his house and play some basketball.

We set a baptismal date this week which was pretty awesome. And we had
a super killer lesson with another guy. His friend (member) invited
him to hear the lessons a little while ago and he has been
progressing, but we had such a cool lesson. We all have little DVD
playersin our apts. and we got permission to carry it around with us
and we bought this little DVD called Mormon Messages and we just go
around and show them to people. And we watched a video at their house
this last week. The member was crying, the investigator was holding
back his tears like a champ, and we just sat silent after the video.
We didn't say much after that, just asked a couple questions and bore
testimony. It was so awesome. It seems like the best lessons that I
sit in are one's that I don't have anything to do with haha. A really
humbling experiance!
Today for Prep-Day we played a little indoor soccer, it was awesome.
And then some dodgeball and basketball. There are so many elders so
close, so it means a lot of fun. We also did some service at the
temple. That was really good as well. I went bad to my old weed
picking days. The only difference was that it was on temple grounds,
so the spirit was stronger haha. Apparently they have to replace Angel
Moroni every so often because he gets struck by lightning and his head
turns kind of black haha.
This week we are biking. Hopefully it doesn't rain to much. We heard
today that we have another general authority coming in August or
something like that. Should be pretty awesome. I'm excited. Meetings
here are the best. It is undiscribable (sp?) haha. But you just learn
so much and the Spirit just works the whole time so when you get out,
you want to take a nap.
My Spanish is struggling. I get toungue tied here and there, but it is
getting better. I love it.

We met with the Bishop this week and he is super awesome and so is the
ward mission leader. We will be seeing miracles here in the new
I have learned something out on my mission. And it is that we should
always follow the counsel of our leaders. Whether it is the prophet,
mission president, district leader, bishop, etc. When we follow their
counsel, miracles come to pass. And if we are leaders, we shouldn't be
scared to promise results because the Lord will back it up always if
we invite by the Spirit. We have seen so many amazing things because
of listening to our leaders.
Love and miss you all thank you for the prayers.
Elder Christiansen

Monday, June 18, 2012

June 18th, 2012

 So you don't even know how awesome my area is! Well there is a street
 here that is like little Mexico/South America, so you can just bike up
 and down it and talk to tons of Spanish. It is a big street too, so
 you don't really run into the same person twice too often. The only
 problem is if they are walking, it usually means they don't have a car
 and the church is pretty far away haha, but there are some that do.
 Sometimes I wish I could just build one of our churches right in the
 heart of little Mexico/South America. The work would go crazy! Haha.
 But we meet so many Spanish people it is insane! And a lot are pretty
 positive. We had a baptism this weekend for a guy named Marzolini from
 Colombia. It was awesome. I don't know if Georgianna got baptized in
 Minneola, but I hope so! It is a ward here where I'm at, but very
 small. I guess if they updated the records, they would turn into a
 branch again, and the Spanish people really work towards being a ward,
 so they aren't updating the roster haha. There were probably 80 people
 at church. The building is right across the temple and we do temple
 service every once in a while. We are right in the city with Universal
 Studios, DisneyWorld, Sea world is right outside of our area, and I
 Drive is in it (which is like the tourist spot). The city is awesome,
 and it kind of smells bad too. But there are Spanish, Portugese, and
 Haitan missionaries here. And English. So it is a wide diversity. Our
 apartments we live in are probably the best in the mission (I've been
 spoiled on my apartments) We have a bowling alley (free), basketball
 court, 3 story workout room, Subway, etc. The Orlando Predators
 football team live here as well, so there are some pretty nice cars.

 My body is trying to adjust back to the Spanish food. We can go to an
 appt at 5 and eat and another at 6:30 and they give us more food. This
 week I had Mondongo... Or in English. Cow stomach. The sauce was
 really good and the potatoes were good as well (I think they were
 potatoes) and the cow stomach had no taste, but a really gross
 oyster/rubber texture. So it wasn't too bad. Just made sure I put a
 little rice on my fork to go with the stomach. haha.

 We saw so many miracles this week. Praying for specific things and
 getting them. Prayers are heard and answered! The members in this ward
 are really awesome as well. This place is about to EXPLODE!

 O ya and my Spanish is rough haha but coming back slowly! Sometimes I
 have to stop mid sentance for a couple of seconds to try to remember
 some words.

Thanks for the prayers and support!
 Love and miss you all
 Elder Christiansen

Monday, June 11, 2012

June 11th, 2012

Well I am back into the Spanish work! I am going to Windy Ridge East! And guess what! My dad, my trainer, Elder Spilsbury, is in Windy Ridge West. And that is my boy! So I am really excited. It is going to be fun. If you want to look it up on a map, well just google Disneyworld on google maps and thats my area! I asked President Hall via email where I pick up my season pass, I am still waiting for his reply haha. But I am super excited. I won't be able to come back to see the baptism this coming Saturday, but it is okay, the work goes on. I really loved it here in Minneola and I will miss so many of the people that I met here. There are mixed feelings leaving an area. You are excited to go somewhere new, but sad to leave people you may not ever see again.

So this last week we met a really cool guy named Gustavo from Brazil. He was really prepared to talk with us. We had a lesson on Saturday that went really well and he committed himself to come to church. Which he did come and felt the spirit. He is really cool. The only problem is he is going to Brazil on June 30th for 3 months, so I am guessing the missionaries here will just have to refer him to missionaries there in Brazil.

It has been raining a ton lately. We had an AWESOME thunderstorm last night. It looked so cool. One day it was raining really bad and we were on bikes, and I turned just a little corner, not even sharp, and I hit some pollen (I'm guessing) that was on the sidewalk mixed with some water and before I knew it, I was laying on the ground haha. I was still on my bicylce was the funny part, I did a slide into home base basically. My pants got super dirty and so did my shirt, but luckily I only had two little spots of blood and a kind of sore hip the next day. Feels good to be young still but I swear my body is aging and things like that hurt more than they use too haha. And that same day, my companion got hit by a car haha. Luckily the car was barely pulling out of a parking lot, so it just tapped him a little bit and he didn't fall off. It was a bad bike day. But good news is we later got full car that week and in Windy Ridge, we also have full car. Not to say I don't like biking, but it is too hot haha. I guess in Windy Ridge I won't have to tract as much because people will be walking on the streets. I haven't had an area like that yet where a lot of people are walking outside. And also the temple might be in my area. The church I will go to is on the opposite side of the street as the temple, so it is either in my area or Windy Ridge West's area. It is going to be AMAZING. The only problem is... no hablo espanol. haha. But I am hoping it will come back soon!

I made a lot of friends here in the Minneola Ward, it seems like when they started liking me, I leave haha. Maybe they like me because I'm leaving? haha. But there are some real cool people here that I definitely will have to go visit again someday. I will miss the cool hilly scenery here too, but not riding up them. Right now I am emailing from the library and can see the NTC track which is pretty cool. The guy in our ward from Ireland hasn't qualified yet for the olympics, but he will get it. He needs to run a 10.18 and he ran a 10.17, but the wind was at 3.0 and it has to be at 2.0 or something, so it didn't count. Super bummer probably.

Well Love you all and miss you! Thanks for the prayers! Have an amazing week.

Yours Truely ;),
Elder Christiansen

Monday, June 4, 2012

June 4th, 2012

So it was a pretty good week once again! Some spiritual things happened as well as some random things.

We went on a temple tour with two people who are whats called "On fire." One of them was less active and recently is returning to the church. He is pretty awesome. He read the whole June Ensign the first day he got it haha. It has been really cool to be able to witness his progression. The other person was our investigator. She is reading the Book of Mormon, Gospel Principles, Daughter of the Kingdom? (the relief society book), and some other church book haha. She had prayers answered this week and told us all about them. She also says that she is just feeling so much peace. Her friends offered her some alcohol and she refused it. She is REALLY AWESOME! And she loves church and is telling everyone about her baptism. It is on the 16th. Transfers however are next Tuesday, so I would love to see, but we will see what the Lord wants I guess haha. Also this week we got to give several blessings and also I did my first blessing on a home which was pretty cool. Last night we visited some older less active people and they just love talking those old people! But it made their days, so that was nice to see. I am getting better and better at listening, well at least in lessons haha. But I have realized the power in just listening to others and giving them your full attention.

Some random stuff that happened this week: We went over to a single mother's house and she is scared of frogs and she had one on her back porch. So she asked us if we would capture it for us. She asked me if I was scared of frogs, I said "yes", and she asked my companion if he was scared, he said "no". So as we were walking around to the back of her house, he told me he really was scared of frogs and he just wanted to act manly haha. So we looked for it for a couple minutes and we finally slid open their sliding glass door and it hopped out onto the glass. So I had them get me a broom and my companion had a plastic bag. We can see who the smarter one is haha jk. So I'm trying to sweep off the frog from the glass door and my companion is holding the plastic bag. The members were watching us from the other side and as I was doing it, the frog jumped off the glass onto my companion's arm. Everybody jumped, especially him haha. And he screamed too I think haha. Super funny.

And then the other day I was biking down a hill going pretty fast, and I saw something a little in front of me in my path, and when I got closer I realized it was an albino snake. Super disgusting, so I didn't want to run over it, so at the last minute I swerved and missed it. I was super scared it was going to try and bite my leg haha, so I kind of screamed as I swerved around it also. But all was well. My companion looked at it and thought it was dead, but it wasn't too thick, but it was like 6 feet long!

Well that's all I really got time for. It has been raining like crazy. You are either drenched by rain or sweat. I prefer the rain. Today President told us we aren't biking enough. Sweet....... Haha so it looks like we are in for a lot of fun this summer!

Love you all and miss you. Thank you for your prayers!

Elder Christiansen!