Wednesday, March 28, 2012

March 26th, 2012

So this last week was pretty sweet! We had been struggling for a while, but we have seen a lot of people that have been prepared by the Lord recently. It is really cool! There are always blessings especially after trials and difficulties.

On a bad note, I broke my rim on my bike this week, which means I have to get a new one. Here in Clermont/Minneola, there aren't a lot of sidewalks, so if there is no bike lane, you either ride in the road, or on loose sand. And we switch the sides on which we ride depending on which lane the cars are in. We were riding on the opposite side and a car was coming and I was going really fast due to the hills here and I pulled of to the left to get out of the road, but then there was a big tree in my way so I had to go even more left and there was a little cement ditch and so I just decided to jump it instead of braking #adrenaline. And I didn't clear it all. So my back tire hit really hard and bent. My bad. So right now my bike is in the shop and I'm riding a different missionaries' bike.

This week we had a couple of really awesome lessons! There are some people who are ready to make changes in their lives and at least listen to us! We told one guy that general conference was coming up and we told him we could go watch it at the church and he said he would prefer to fly to Salt Lake to watch it there! He is super cool and a real truth seeker (that's what we call him). He really liked the idea of a prophet on the earth today.

A funny thing that happened this week was we had a lesson with this lady and I was saying the opening prayer and all of a sudden I heard a big bite. I looked up and my companion did too and she did too all at the same time. She was eating an apple before the prayer, but I guess she had gotten hungry in the middle of it and so decided to take a super loud/big bite haha. So we had to start again. It probably doesn't sound funny over email (hate it when I tell a story and it isn't as funny as it seemed it was.) but it was super funny in the moment. haha.

I also had the best dinner that I have had on my mission at a Filipino's house! Soooo goood. There was tator tot casserole, alfredo fish???, some super good pork or something, and then asparagus with something like soy sauce on it that made it super good.

We taught a lesson today right as Prep-Day started that was a super awesome lesson too!

We are seeing so many blessings right now, we are running into people on the streets that were members and weren't on our records and just other really random stuff. Super cool.

The Lord knows what is best for us and what we need! I am super excited for General Conference and for the opportunity to receive personal revelation through the Spirit. I am excited to write down some questions and to find answers to them this Saturday and Sunday! I hope we all can take advantage of this opportunity that we have to listen to a modern day prophet and apostles.

I love and miss you all, thank you so much for the prayers! We are blessed so much because of them.


Elder Christiansen

Monday, March 19, 2012

March 19th, 2012

So this week something amazing truly did happen and we saw a pretty awesome miracle from the Lord.
About a month ago we were talking to this family here who is a part member family. We thought that they had some potential in the gospel. And we asked the non-member if he had ever talked to missionaries. To our suprisement he said that they had talked to him, but never done the "lessons" with him. We asked him if he would be interested in hearing them. He said that we could set up an appointment  to teach a lesson, but it seemed though that the lesson was just for the intent of just to have a lesson for the heck of it. So we set up the appointment up, which was pretty far away because he had family visiting, events to do, etc. He also told us that basically he was willing to listen to us one time and he told us his likes and dislikes and gave a little background on himself. We had the feeling that the lesson would basically have to greatest lesson of all time in order to open up his heart to want to hear us a second time. We were also a little discouraged that the lesson we set up was like 3+ weeks away. We shouldn't have been discouraged at all and we were totally wrong on thinking that we had to give the greatest lesson ever.
This past week, we had the lesson with them. During personal study, I studied for about 35 minutes for him, thinking about him and what he needed. I created a pretty good lesson plan (so I thought) and thought that there were a lot of good ideas in it. Waiting to discuss it with my companion because we were on exchanges. So when we got back off exchanges, we talked about the lesson throughout the day. Role Playing it as if my companion was the investigator and I was the teacher. We couldn't come up with anything that just felt perfect or even really good. The lesson was in our minds all day and just nothing was coming. We finally got to the appointment and had dinner first and we talked to them. We still had no idea on what to teach. We then went to sit down with him after dinner to have the lesson. Still with no ideas. When we sat down, he started telling us about how he felt, his intentions, etc. He said that he wanted to take his family to church, that he had never really been open to our church, but is now going to open up and listen to what we have and to experiment on it. He was willing to act on answers he got. Basically in the 3 week period that there was from the time to setting up the appointment to actually teaching him, the Spirit had really worked on him. It was such a blessing and a nice little reminder from the Lord as if He was telling us, "Don't worry I got you covered." Then the investigator told us to share with him our defining message. So we taught the Restoration (Which was not really one of our 3 plans we had haha) and it was awesome! So much better than I expected. We have another appointment with him. It truly was a miracle and I know that this is the Lord's work.
I love and miss you all! Thank you for your prayers
Elder Christiansen

Monday, March 12, 2012

March 12th, 2012

So just to start out with a quote that I heard this week on exchanges, "People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care." When the Elder that I was on the exchange with said that, well first of all, it invited the Spirit, the members we were teaching loved it, and it really hit me pretty hard. It is so cool to be in a lesson with someone and to get taught even though you are the "teacher". It has happened so many times in my short time here in Florida. So this week I have really been working on having charity. SO HARD sometimes, but when you get little tastes of  it, it is an amazing feeling and everything is just a lot better. I think it is so hard to have charity because if you have it, you have pretty much every Christ like attribute (my own opinion haha).
On another note, more temporal... Last Prep-Day we went golfing with an in-active member. It was my first time golfing in tooooo long. We only had time to play 9 holes, but it was a great opportunity. The member we went with hadn't gone to church in 20 years and he has come 2 times in the past 4 or 3 weeks. Super coool!
Another side note, today we are deep cleaning (really cleaning the house, we have to do it the 5th week of every transfer). This past week we have had quite a lot of gnats or some little bug in our house, we thought it was just because of the garbage can, but as I was cleaning today, I went to the pantry (a lot of random food gathers in it from missionaries) and on the top shelf in the back, there were ancient potatoes like dripping some stuff all over and there were so many gnats! Super gross. So much for thinking we had a pretty clean apartment. So we are trying to fix that problem soon haha.
This week we had the opportunity to work with members. We taught the most member lessons this last week that I have ever taught. We learned a new cool way to work with the members and it looks like it will be helping out the work quite a bit. My companion has quite of bit of baptisms and said 0 of them are from his own finds, so we have to work with members. It is a blessing to work with them. We had a lot of cool experiences this week because we got to see the Spirit touch them and get them excited about missionary. It was super cool. It is such a blessing to see the Spirit teach and touch the members this week.
Well wish I could tell you all everything, but just not enough time.
I love and miss you all, thanks for the prayers!
Elder Christiansen   

Monday, March 5, 2012

March 5th, 2012

First of all got to give a shout out to Elder Hadley Faught on the mission call to Chile! I did not expect that at all! He will be great!
I have a lot to be grateful for in life. I have so many blessings in my life. I never really realized it until I got out here to Florida. I am grateful for everything that Heavenly Father has given me. We taught this one lady a while ago and she really wasn't too interested in our church we could say, but yesterday we decided to go see her. When it was time to head her direction, the wind was blowing against us and it was pretty uphill and we got kind of lazy in our heads thinking "Well this could be a waste of time and she is not even interested, why are we going over there?" But we decided to stick to our plans and go visit her. When we pulled up to her house, we walked up her driveway (her house is on a hill) and we found her just laying on her sidewalk looking up into the sky. I first thought she had fallen, but then we said "hi" and she looked up and she was talking on the phone to her mom. She told her she would call her back and then started talking to us. She told us that it was weird that we stopped by because she had been talking about us and thinking about us just yesterday. We asked her how she was doing (we already knew that she had insomnia and she told us she only got two hours of sleep the night before. She started crying and started telling us about her story. It was super sad, but it was nice to know that the Lord had sent us there for a reason. She recognized it too. We had a nice little lesson with her and she was really grateful that we stopped by and told us we could come by again. Both times we have been there, she has been telling us how the Lord has sent us there for a reason, but she has been telling us how we need to go to her church and how we need to open our eyes a little and not shut down other ideas. But by the end of our second lesson, she said the closing prayer and prayed that either her our us would be able to find the truth. Totally shocked us haha. Little by little great things come to pass, and I hope that we can continue to be used as instruments in the Lord's hands to help her reach her full potential. It was an awesome miracle that we experienced this week.
I know this gospel is true. I am grateful for all I have been blessed with.
Thank you for your prayers. I love and miss you all!
Elder Christiansen

Feb. 27th, 2012

So things have been going pretty good lately. We don't really have anyone who is progressing or near baptism, but we are constantly receiving blessings and seeing the Lord's hand  everyday.
We were told to really clean our apartments and to de-junk them. A lot of times missionaries will leave things behind. And you have the most random things in your house. So we De-junked the heck out of our house and cleaned it pretty good and organized it. And I didn't realize it until today when I read President Hall's email, but we have been seeing more miracles and feeling more of the Spirit. The Spirit was stronger in our house and we were receiving more revelation. One day we prayed and chose a street to knock. It wasn't like a huge spiritual expression came to us, but we just felt good about one street, so we decided to go tract it. It was the coolest/weirdest street I have ever knocked. We found a part member family who weren't in the church records, we met a nice pastor, we cheered up a man with terminal cancer, we had the two most crazy door contacts of my life (we asked them questions at the door step and they totally agreed with everything we were saying and asking, but then weren't interested in hearing us #baffled), then we taught a lady on her grass. Even though we didn't see any "huge" miracles on the street, I felt like we were suppose to go there and it was an awesome experience.
But I guess I learned a couple of things this week, and most of them I already knew, but my testimony strengthened in them this week, is that the Spirit can't dwell in unholy temples and dirty missionary apartments (as well), that this is the Lord's work and no matter how smart, worthy, and qualified we are as missionaries, we can't do it without Him and that we should put our trust in Him, the Spirit is not a shouting voice or really loud, but more just thoughts and whispers, and if we don't keep a journal we easily forget about the Lord's hand and the little inspirations that we receive every day. The other night I was thinking, "wow, I really haven't seen the Lord's hand", then I opened my journal and just started reading and noticed a lot of things that I had so easily forgotten, and if I didn't write them down, they probably would have been lost forever.
Yesterday at church, we received 4 referrals, which was crazy cool. Two medias and two from members all in about 30 minutes. That was a miracle we saw yesterday, and hopefully one of them will turn out to accept the gospel!
Well I love and miss you all! Have a great week and I am grateful for your prayers!
Elder Christiansen 143