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