Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Feb. 20th, 2012

I just looked at my watch and saw today is the 20th, I swear January just ended. But this week was really good!
Well first with the bad news. So we had this sweet lady we were teaching and she came to the church this Saturday and did Genealogy work (which was fun, I looked at mine and Grandma Jean, you are crazy with that stuff, I just clicking on people's dads and got all the way back to the 1500's, I just went from Grandpa Lattin's side, so that was really really interesting, I kind of caught the Spirit of Elijah!!) Well back to the story, so this investigator read at least like the first 13 chapters of Nephi, the Introduction, Testimonies, etc. in about a week and then she came to the church to do genealogy, and then we did a church tour, and then we walked her to her car and she dropped us in the parking lot!! We were sooooooo bummed. It is crazy to see how much you love a person when you no longer have them. So that was the worst part of the week.
But some cool things that happened this week, an investigator prayed to know if the Book of Mormon was true and she opened up the bible and the first words she read were something like, "And now these are the words of Christ", so that always helps when investigators get answers like that. And we have 2 investigators who want to get baptized, but were smoking, but now they are 5 days clean!! So that is awesome! I don't think I have ever seen the Lord's hand so much in my life than I have here in Minneola. It is such a blessing.
This week we were so bummed on Sunday because we didn't think any investigators were coming to church, but then after Sacrament meeting, we saw one in the foyer who had been there all Sacrament meeting with her boy friend's mom (member), so that was a little miracle we saw this week. We had a pretty awesome Sunday. We are spoiled here in Minneola. We had a lunch and dinner with members and they were both really good. We had that one bread from like England or somewhere like that where it is thing and you put stuff on it, it is kind of like their pancakes???? I forget the name, but it was really good!
We had Zone Conference and those are always awesome because the Spirit is just really strong there and you learn so much. They make you feel like a horrible missionary though most of the time because I always walk out of them feeling like I have so much to do and work on! But I really do love them and the Spirit is the teacher there.
I wish I could tell you all everything that I see, feel, and experience, but I don't have the time!
Thank you for all your prayers! Not only me, but lives around me are being blessed because of them!
I love and miss you all!
Elder Christiansen

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Feb. 13th, 2012

First of all shout out to HDF 587 for turning in the mission papers! one love.

Well this was my first week to be here in Clermont/Minneola, Florida.
It is really beautiful here and it has A LOT of hills. The only place
in the mission with some hills. And it has been really cold lately.
But I think it will be heating up this week.

So I am now in English work. At first when I heard I wouldn't be
speaking Spanish, I was a little upset last week, but I kind of had
the re-assurance that all was well, that there was something for me
to learn, and that I was coming here for a reason.

The first sign that I am suppose to be in this area, was that during
the first lesson that we taught when I first got here, the
investigators grandma came in during the lesson. She was in my ward
back in Valencia. So that was super cool that I knew here in Valencia,
and know I am teaching her grandchildren who are like 25 and speak
perfect English haha. And then right after the lesson we went to an
in-active members house. He is the son of a family in the Valencia
ward that I was pretty close too. So that was really cool also. I am
also getting to use my Spanish quite a bit here. And I know that if I
work hard here, my Spanish won't decrease too bad because the Lord
always has a way for us to fulfill His commandments, and I am
called/commanded in a way to speak Spanish. So I know that all will be
well. And my testimony has grown in the promise that wherever we are
called, it is for the purpose of the salvation of souls. (something
like that)

I have also seen the Lord's hand in my new companion. His name is
Elder Bennett from Ranchocucamonga, CA. He is really cool and we have
a ton in common. I have been struggling out here with just wanting to
be perfect. I wanted to be the perfect teaching, contacter, etc. And I
wanted to know exactly how to do missionary work to get the best
results. And he has taught me in this short week that I am just crazy
and that I stress too much. (Got it from Grandpa Jeff, big ups to my
gpa!) And that I need to relax a little, work hard, enjoy my mission,
and have a fun time. We work really hard still, but we have a lot of
fun and I think I am getting better at not worrying as much haha.
Because I can't be perfect on my mission, I was always unsatisfied
with myself and just kind of beat myself up too much. So I am glad for
his counsel that he gave me that I can't be perfect haha and to just
RELAX a little bit (my mind).

Here our complex has a half court basketball court!!!! So much easier
to have desires to work out in the morning! And another set of Elders
live in our complex, not same apartment, and so workouts in the
morning are super fun now. We live on the second floor in a pretty
nice apartment. I like it.

And the ward here is awesome! I went from only having about 19
families in my proselyting area to work with, to about well a whole
ward of families, so that is really awesome. And the bishop here is
really awesome and the ward missionaries are really good too, so I am
super excited to work with the ward here.

I am loving life right now. I am the happiest/busiest I have ever
been. I know that the church is true and that we indeed have a
Heavenly Father who loves us more than we can imagine.

I love and miss you all, hope all is well. Thank you for the prayers!

With love and swagg ;),
 Elder Christiansen

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Feb. 6th, 2012

Well I'm getting transferred and will leave this area tomorrow! I'm
excited, but also kind of bummed. I really liked it here and will miss
it a lot. I learned a lot of things that will help me for the rest of
my life. I feel like we just finally got 3 super cool investigators
that all are progressing great and now I am leaving. But that's how it
goes haha!

This week was an awesome week to finish off. A lot of things happened.
We taught some very cool lessons and we received a lot of help from
the Lord and from the members.

On Friday a member came with us and we taught a lesson to a lady who
is reading the Book of Mormon and is searching for a religion. It was
amazing how we found her and I know that the Lord prepared her for us.
But the lesson was really cool. Because first of all the member and
investigator became really good friends right off the bat. And we
taught the Plan of Salvation to her and she was really interested. She
has a lot of questions and they all can be answered through the Plan
of Salvation. She was really excited to read the pamphlet.
Then after that we went to a Part-Member's house, who just recently
moved here and we didn't know it and they didn't know which church to
go to because they wanted to go to a Spanish one. It was another
miracle of how we began teaching them because we didn't know about
them because they never were in the ward roster. The Lord has prepared
them too. It is a blessing to see the Lord's hand in this work every
day. But we taught a family home evening about how to become closer
together as a family. We were trying to think of a game to play with
them alllllll day, and then at the last moment it finally came all
together! And they really enjoyed the game. It was a very cool lesson.
They also fixed some super good lasagna haha.

Friday was an awesome day, and it came right after a really really
rough Thursday. I feel like I am on a constant roller coaster of ups
and downs. And I have come to realize that Satan is always trying to
discourage us and get our hopes down right before blessings come. I
constantly get my hopes down and frustrated and it is something I need
to work on! But I know that I can always pray to a loving Father in
Heaven who wants to help me and hear me. I couldn't do this work
without prayer. Prayers of my own and all of your prayers. I am really
grateful for them. I love and miss you all!
Elder Christiansen