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