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