Monday, September 29, 2014

weeks that is.  IT IS SO WEIRD TO BE IN MY LAST TRANSFER!!!!!!!  I don't actually know what to do with myself. I just am a wee bit anxious. Not overly, but it's just that feeling like the test is coming and I'm going to miss it somehow by sleeping in or something.  it's a problem.


well I'll tell you about my week I guess.  Transfers were this week so It was kind of uneventful.we just kept doing what we do until we had to change companions and then I realized that I had to keep us going and then we kept doing what we do.  We finally got elders in New Glasgow, so all of the awkward single men could be taught by people who are not 17 years younger than them of the opposite sex.  fun times.  Never really had that concern on my mission before.  As far as teaching single guys goes, it's just like anything else, try to help them feel the spirit and gain answers to their prayers, and I have taught single guys before but this time it was just kind of awkward.  you never really know if they're being extra friendly just because you wear a skirt.  and knowing myself I'm really slow to catch on to things like that so if I'M getting weird vibes that way than there's probably more to it than should be.  so to the elder's teaching pool they go. 

My new companion is actually one of the sisters who was serving in the same area across the river, Sister Hoy! I was really excited when we found out because I met her back in may in the mission home during that one random time when I was just floating through the mission areas.  we got to spend an afternoon together figuring out the wall map and printing out pieces to our mission president's personal files.  she is actually one of the missionaries which were evacuated out of the Donetsk Ukraine mission, and transferred to ours, the night before our encounter.  it was quite the time.  the next day we were separated across the mission again, but I always remembered it, and now it's cool to know that during that afternoon we were both secretly wanting to serve together. AND NOW WE ARE.  it has been a beautiful friendship already.  there are bracelets.  we make funny jokes.  and then we missionary work.  it is amazing.  now I just wish she was from somewhere closer than Edmonton to hang out with after our missions.  and that her sinus infection would go away because it makes her sad. 

Other than that there isn't much new to report.  we didn't watch the women's broadcast, because it was after our curfew, (9-11p). but I did download it and listen to it in our appartment.  I loved everything in it.   there are some times when General authorities of the church speak and they just paint a picture of how I feel about a particular topic.  if anyone wants to know more about the why of LDS temples, I feel that broadcast did an amazing job of describing the feelings of love and heavenly welcome that is offered in the temples.  my favorite quote was "we need to prepare so that when we enter the House of the Lord we will feel at Home."  that is how I feel. 

I love you all!  

Have a good week.

Monday, August 25, 2014

 Hey everyone!

This week has been a good one. 

but not terribly exciting? or maybe not to me anymore.  I kind of forget what used to be exciting or different when it happens like every day. so

My companion is cool.  Her name is Sister Grace Gochnour, she's from Holiday Utah, and she is a super cute missionary.  like actually, she makes me look like a cat in a potato sack but I just blame it on being 16 months. She loves her family and Playing Soccer, and doing regular people things, and she also loves being a missionary.  It really is a magnificent calling, being able to surrender your time and talents to serving in God's kingdom, being able to help those around us as much as we possibly can, even if that influence is limited to just a smile or a welcome hello. 

New Glasgow is pretty awesome.  It's a little Nova Scotia town that has a lot of history and is a great peaceful place to live.  The people here are nice, or I'm sure they would be if they were not terrified to talk to missionaries 95 percent of the time.  It's actually kind of funny how fast people will walk to avoid us, and I have heard more unique ways to blow us off than in any other Provence. I guess that is what happens when religion is a taboo subject, and everything people read on the internet paints us to be soul sucking demons. really, when was reading un-sourced webpages ever a creditable way to learn anything about anything? let alone mormons, it doesn't work for law, it doesn't work for university, it doesn't work to learn a trade, it doesn't work for anything else, why would people assume that they could just look up some u-tube videos and know everything about it? rediculous. but I digress. 

So I learned that there was a documentary coming out about families that happen to be mormon and looked at a few comments to find that my irritation is pretty much common for the rest of the world. ignorant people saying rude and ignorant things. but if that were the only offence then it would be fine, but people seem to be amazingly stubborn to believe that if they do happen to believe in god, then he does not speak on any subject today.  that somehow when they do find information, then that closes all the arguments and all decisions are final.  have you ever asked him about it? have you ever imagined that largely what we read and see today is unconcrete and all product of human efforts, inspired or uninspired?  If there really is a story about God then why is it surprising that he might be a valid source to seek from on such a subject?  ask and it shall be given, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you.  that works, every time. whereas the internet probably works only 50% of the time in best circumstances, and when discussing mormonism, probably only 10% of the time.  there is a lot of garbage, said by a lot of people. 

but anyway. so we did find some new investigators who decided that they trusted the internet more than God. and then we didn't have any new invstigators anymore. fun times.  I'm not bitter.

sigh.  The best way to share the Gospel is by loving people.  even when they are irritating.  so you have to teach yourself to be patient and not irritated, because this is not my work, it's God's work, and though I may not see any results of my efforts while I'm here. I still have to love these people, so that they will have softened hearts for someone else who comes after us.  Without experiences with members of the church that are happy and joyful, no one will have reason to want to know more about us, no matter how good our message is. they will not feel the Spirit of the Lord testify of the truthfulness of this work, if their hearts are hardened because we don't show them that we love them, and really that that is an expression of God's love for them.  so basically I've just resolved to love the crap out of people.  and surprisingly that makes everything a lot easier. 

so I hope you all have a good week, that you are blessed with happiness and success, and that you have a minute to talk to God. 

Love you all

Sister Christensen

Monday, August 18, 2014

So he's murried.  Congratulations!  the pictures look fun and like everyone was happy, which was my greatest hope.  that is good. 

this week was pretty good.  It was kind of weird saying goodbye to Presque Isle after so long, really bittersweet.  The good thing is that we spent most of our time trying to get everything ready for the sisters to follow us. so ots of finding, checking referrals, and refining the paperwork.  there were some goodbye moments, but we made sure to share lessons or messages every stop.  We will teach you the gospel! rawr.  so that kept me focused, and really I was kind of ready to go somewhere else.  there was one moment when sister Renda and I had a conversation about how long it has been since I've been on a plane. funny times.  I will probably get on a lot of planes when I have the freedom to again. It's weird to be in someplace longer than you have ever been in a dorm away from home.  It feels like I live in presque Isle, that I'm only on vacation to New Glasgow and at some point I'll go back and go to church in caribou.  maybe someday. 

New Glasgow is really good though.  people are friendly, and there's a concentration of people from the Isles across the sea, like Scotland and Ireland, so every once in a while we get an awesome accent and that is fun.  the branch is pretty small, and I love all the quirky people, they're so welcoming.  I love being back in a place where it's small, but you can tell that there is a lot of strength in all the members, because they're all converts and there is no place for them to hide, so they all just shine bright even though they're reserved in personality and would easily seclude themselves to the back row in other situations.  It's cool to see how service of their fellowmen has made them strong and intelligent as to things pertaining to righteousness, it's awesome. 

our appartment is has some character though.  It has been housing Elders probably since this mission started, so there are alot of weird random things everywhere, and lots of broken stuff. hopefully I can get permission to replace a couple of things because woof!  MEN. that's all I'm saying. 

we also made a fruit fly trap because they are coming out of the walls it feels like, by putting a banana in a tuppleware and using plastic wrap to poke holes in the top to catch them.  they walk through the holes but can't remember when they get inside and are trapped.  WE CAUGHT A CRAP TON OF THEM IT WAS DISGUSTING!  but because I found it fascinating I was watching them go in and then one of them finally figured out how to walk out.  so after a few hours they can do it, but for the most part ingenious. 

so there you go. 

I love reading Chapter 1 of Preach my Gospel.  It's my saving grace. and it's all really simple but super inspiring to know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ really has a profound effect on who we are!  I particularly love the part on the Gospel blesses families. 

"The message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ makes it possible for families to be united now and in eternity. By living the principles of the gospel, families can experience peace, joy, and sense of belonging and identity in this life. Through the light of the gospel, families can resolve misunderstandings, contentions,and challenges. Families torn by discord can be healed through repentance, forgiveness, and faith in the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. “Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families  are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer,repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities”"

How much good could we do if we worked every day to incorperate fogiveness in our lives?  how much better would our families be if we just spent time listening to each other? How much easier would it be to love one another if we studied the scriptures and shared what we learned together each day?  I know that the spirit would be stronger in our lives, I've felt it impressed upon me each time I study this section. 

I love you all you boobs.  have a good week.

Sister Christensen

Monday, August 4, 2014

hey so

this week was pretty good.  It's always hard to sum up what has happened in a week. so...


what did I enjoy? we had an awesome dinner appointment with our bishop's family this week.  They are just amazing examples to me. Bishop freeman is a convert of probably 15 or so years, has six kids and an amazing wife.  Sister freeman and he both went on missions, and they both grew up in maryland.  they are pretty much always happy, they hardly ever raise their voices, andshe homeschools all six kids, and it gets better, without them being weird!  the best thing about our dinner appointment was that most of our time was talking to their kids, they carry on conversations without being shy or weird, and we answered riddles the whole time. they were just normal active kids! maybe shouldn't be a huge surprise to me, but let's just say, it was. I've met lots of families who are good families, but have a lot of behavior issues, and mostly i find just because the influence of our world is poisonous. It doesn't always have to do with parenting, but the things that are freely shown on our tv's as "cartoons" teach against moral values, and provide meaningless quick pleasure highs that kids and adults seem to think must be how their life should be. shows that are mildly funny, but illustrate dysfunctional communication and little diligence and patience set kids up for a life full of dissatisfaction and intolerance. no wonder our schools are unmanageable, (along with a lot of other things) their environments are increasingly chaotic and foundation-less, from what they view to what they teach each other.  anyway, rant over. 
So we had a really good dinner appointment in which we talked about entertaining and educational riddles, and then tried to rationalize why kids need to eat more sugar, which was actually very well defended, and easily led into why kids are so good at sharing the Restored Gospel.  basically I like Sister Monahan wanna be like sister freeman when I grow up. 

we are the salt of the world, if the salt looseth it's savor, wherewith shall the earth be salted? definitely extends beyond church walls. 

other things I liked...hmm can't really remember much about the week. 

we found an awesome girl named LaShonda, who we met tracting. we were out in a neighborhood I'd spent little time in, mostly because people told me not to go there, but during the day time in summer it's not so bad. lots of humble people, let's say that.  LaShonda had been living in jersey and just has had a harder time with life,  her mom got sick when she was 8, passed away at 14, and she pretty much fended for herself after that.  when we asked her on her doorstep why she was in Maine, she said, "so my son can live past 17." she moved up here three years ago, first to Houlton and then to presque Isle. no family, no support, just her and her little man. she is an inspiration of perseverance and hope, as she has carved out of the rocks of life a place for herself and her growing family. but much more impressive was the spirit that was there, and the testimony she gave of her savior. those words of love will always be remembered in my heart. "he is our savior, because he put us before himself, so that we could be individuals. so that we could live."

the last thing I wanted to write about, was that it's really awesome to be able to see the progression when people stick to the Gospel. I think that has been the greatest blessing of being able to serve in one place so long.  Remember Sie?  He's the guy who was baptized last December, who moved from Texas, and went from having less of a belief in God than he did in Santa Clause, to a powerful witness and testimony of fasting and prayer, so that he like Alma can say "Do ye not suppose that I know these things of myself? Behold, I testify unto you that I do know these things whereof I have spoken are true. And how do ye suppose I know of their surety? Behold I say unto you, they are made known unto me by the Holy Spirit of God. Behold, I have fasted and prayed many days that I might know these things of myself, and now I do know of myself that they are true; for the Lord God hath made them manifest unto me by his Holy Spirit; and this is the spirit of revelation which is in me."  (Alma 5:45-46.) Yesterday Sie was able to bless the sacrament for the first time.  there is something incredible and amazing about seeing someone have such a huge change of heart, and about seeing him in a white shirt and tie. 


'till next week. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

so this week was pretty great.  I got to pet some cats.  so that was good. hah.  we decided at some point that as a save sister christensen's sanity initiative we should volunteer at the animal shelter. basically we were stuck in a room with kittens to socialize them for an hour.  AWESOME.  the only sad part was we saw persia, one of my investigator's cats (one who was about to get baptized but aborted to go have sex with some guy. I HATE THE WORLD AND IT"S STUPID NON-MORALITY!)  now she practically lives with him in another city. and so cannot take care of the animals she once loved.  poor persia recognized me and we had a moment. If only some people could see us how we see them, especially when they fall. 

we also got a call from this guy that I taught back in december who we dropped/ he dropped us because he wouldn't keep commitments.  he called and said "I want to investigate the church!" and we were like, okay you already did once, but now that you know what you were called, lets try this again. so we brought a member and visited him and outlined the things he needed to do to progress, and gave him a reading assignment and an appointment to tour the church.  do you think he's done anything? no. even when we stopped by and asked him if he'd read and what he'd been doing otherwise? no, he was too busy outside all week making fire. UUUGGGHH. sister judd waited with us for an hour to show this guy around the chapel and he didn't show up. bluhh.

but yes we did get to see brandy take on the covenant of baptism.  I always feel like there is a pretty good climax for baptism, we get to have daily contact for real, answer the nagging questions that are not about salvation but give them peace, and see the spirit work through many to achieve this goal for one. what I thought was really cool about brandy's baptism is that she included priesthood bearers who haven't baptized or confirmed anyone before. I just could really see the companionship and unity in those that were involved. I think brother Hudson also really needed that opportunity to officiate in the ordinance of Baptism. his family has been on hard luck for a while now, he's been trying to reach the goal of being sealed in the temple, just recently received the Melchizedek priesthood when the challenges started coming up. his wife admitted she doesn't have a testimony, he lost his job, and they were evicted from their home in short succession. the faith and strength he's exhibited has been truly inspiring, and I think will help pull them through this. that is something I'll remember for a long time. 

what else happened this week? the sister training leaders came and ate all our food. haha. they also contacted anyone and everyone in their path, which I probably should do better at, but I get nervous and feel rude when I leave one person standing to run down the street to talk to someone else, or stop people as they're buckling their seat-belts and driving away.  but as a result we got to teach a Spanish family from the DR, with a member who speaks fluently.  that was an interesting lesson because I could only pick up bits and pieces, but I just felt a huge outpouring of love for this family.  we're going to try to teach them English.  we'll see how that goes. we also met and talked to this native american mom who was driving away, and didn't have time to do anything but get her phone number.  when we went to visit her we just listened mostly to her thoughts and concerns, and were able to testify that yes, her people did originate in the holy land, here's this awesome book of scripture that tells you all about it. when she read the versed we'd turned to about accountability in Helaman she just started crying because it was something that she'd always believed, but could never prove. super spiritual.

I know that this is a divine work.  I don't really understand everything, or why it has to be so hard sometimes, but God is in it. 

ooh ra. 

Sister Christensen. 

Friday, June 13, 2014


this week has been a really good and awesome week. It's funny that as a missionary one can do so much, be busy from sun up to sun down seven days a week and then sit down in front of a computer after the week is over and have nothing to say. I guess it just stops being shocking after doing the same thing for a year. I got up I worked I met some great people, I met some not so great people, I testified of truth and felt the love of God and now I don't really have any stories about it. but I will think of some. 

The past few days have gotten really hot. as a result with real running water and high temperatures that means that there are now BUGS, EVERYWHERE. the first ten bug bites were a shock to me, I've already been taking vitamine B for like a week and it was as if there was no change in my blood stream. I'd feel a mosquito prick and swat it dead, five seconds later there was another two inches away from the first. and on top of them there are black flies, little tiny carnivorous bugs that look like gnats but are evil! they are impossible to catch, and unlike mosquitoes they actually bite a little piece out of your skin, and you don't feel it until the bug is gone and you're bleeding everywhere. and there are literally millions of them. there was a day last week that we were trying to contact a referral on a country road and after stopping the car I didn't want to get out, because the sky was dark with black flies that had followed our car. they knew. I ended up with 12 bug bites that day. 

and now I get bit so much that it doesn't even phase me anymore. I've gotten bug bites on my knee and ankle callouses, up and down my legs a few on my arms, one on my cheek and forehead, and one really annoying one on my pinkey toe! the bugs really are diabolical.

we also had a lot of good experiences this week with people. I think the hardest thing with being a missionary is that most people try to write us off as just another denomination, and that we're really cute but we can't possibly know what we're talking about because we're 21. welp turns out even 21 year old ladies can get on their knees and ask God for answers in prayer. I know that this pursuit is not just another denominational game, or semantics, it's what Christ would be sharing with you if he were walking around visiting people today. it isn't hard to know, just takes patience, prayer study and experience. I could care less what you choose to call yourself in the end, but the truth is that God has restored the Kingdom of God on the earth today, and the only way to know is by seeking an honest answer. like the savior taught, there was a man who spent his life searching for the best pearls, but when he found the pearl of great price he sold all in order to acquire it. to find peace in this life we will need to sacrifice a great deal to have it. 

but every so often on my mission I've run into people who are negative and hostile. they invite you into their home, extend welcome and kindness only for the chance to turn it on our heads. it kind of stinks. I'll have to be honest, I don't really like being told I believe in a false religion and that I'm condemned to hell. no one does. I always leave those situations wondering what I should have done. I always try to follow Elder Jeffery R. Holland's command to defend our beliefs with courtesy, but following these situations I'm always drawn back to the scriptures. Christ himself proclaimed that "God sent not his son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved." how do people not see that they are contradicting the very book they claim to be absolutely divine? why should our desire to become like christ make anyone angry or malicious? we don't go around beginning our introductions with "oh by the way your sinners and you're going to hell," or with the venom that has incited religious wars the world over. how can they really believe, even if we are in fact incorrect, and they're right in that religion doesn't matter, that in the end we'll stand before God and that they'll be rewarded for malicious words? it doesn't make any sense to me. and then I wonder, in accounts where prophets in the Book of Mormon and the Bible stand up against incorrect detractors and set them strait, is that something that we are supposed to be doing? Alma and Amulek and Aaron are all powerful examples. but maybe that is just the difference between me and a prophet.

In any case, Life is Life, and you trust in God and keep going. I know that he lives, and that he loves me and that shouty man. It may take me a little longer to feel likewise, but hey, at least I'm working on it. 

something I saw on the church's website though made me happier in that respect: Perseverance Is a Hallmark in Europe

anyway. I hope that things are great for everyone this week, and remember, the easiest way to make sister christensen happy is to read the book of mormon.


Monday, June 2, 2014

This week has been an alright week. we worked hard and saw some good things come of it. what did I want to talk about? oh yeah.

This week was stake conference! It was super cool because they had a canada wide boadcast in which both elder Holland and president Eyring spoke. we watched it from the caribou chapel, normally everyone travels to Saint John to the stake center, but instead we just watched the opening exercises which were held in Fredericton on one satellite connection and then switched to the broadcast from Salt lake for the rest of it.  they were announcing it two weeks ago and then said "of course we know how it goes with technology, what could possibly go wrong?" the good thing is that nothing did go wrong. it was smooth and the speakers from both fredericton and SLC did a great job and we saw the whole thing.  our recent converts were all there, and they really enjoyed being able to see leaders speak live for the first time.  I'm not sure if they really caught the gravity of who they were, but that is okay, that comes over time with a testimony that the calling of an apostle was restored. 

Elder Holland gave a really  good talk themed around how Jesus Christ called Andrew and Phillip, that they followed him and he noticed saying two key phrases "what seekest thou?" and upon Phillip and Andrew saying, where do you live, he replied"come and see." "come follow me." This is Christ's invitation throughout time, come follow me, see how I spend my time, see what I do and the things I care about. that is how we will feel that he lived, and that his atonement is real, and that we can return to live with him. it's is cool to think that in a way when we are in the service of others or going about the work of salvation we are always learning, and are in a sense His apprentices. a wood worker would follow a carpenter in apprenticeship, and so too must we as disciples be apprentices to the Lord. that of course takes dilligence, patience perserverence, relying on the Spirit of God to guide us, and Love. I know for myself I could always be doing more, trying to serve others.  It was nice to hear it again.

President Eyring talked about the eternal nature of our families, and how we always have a responsibility to reach out to each other in love, and to invite one another to the gospel of Jesus Christ. He then related a story about how his grandfather had been a good role model to him in his youth, and on the last visit to see him he remembers being alone with him on his front porch. his grandfather told him about his son who was not valiant in the gospel, after going to college married outside of the church and distanced himself from any faith in God, in spite of continual support and love from his parents. this uncle had a son, who had not experienced the gospel, and president Eyring's grandpa leaned over and said "go get him." he then related many accounts when life placed him and his cousin near each other, and how repeatedly he invited him to come and experience the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. the interesting thing is that his cousin and his wife were eventually killed in a car accident, after loving invitations by elder Eyring had prompted them to search for the truth, but never finding it they started their own religion and began missionary work in Indonesia. now their son is living near to President Eyring's daughter in college, where she can reach out to him.  our families are eternal, and the truth is that heaven will not be heaven entirely without our family members close at hand, tied to us by the power of God through temple sealing, which can only be done by God's called representatives. that is something I feel deeply is true.

so basically stake conference was awesome. 

other interesting things, we met a guy while our knocking on doors this week that stopped us as we tried to introduce ourselves, and said "do you know anyone who can do a cleansing?" It took me a minute to figure out what he was trying to say, but he'd just gotten off the line with some TV host like ghost busters because he and his mom cannot sleep at night due to paranormal disturbances in his house. they'd lived there for 20 years, and have always heard the sounds of people no longer alive hanging around the house.  people running up the stairs, children's voices, people laughing creepily. weird stuff. so he was like "if you can help us have peace we'll listen to whatever you have to say." we just looked at each other like, are the Elder's able to do that? I don't really know. we told him that we'd get back to him on that. 

and then there was memorial day. oh man. there was a parade!  they had a hardcore parade on memorial day. that was pretty fun.  Rachel who was just baptized was in it with her daughter Katherine, who is perhaps the funniest little girl I have ever met. she gave us warheads as they walked by. 

They also came to the Ward Barbecue that day and had a pretty good time, until Eva and Katherine found a frog.  we left shortly thereafter, so this story was related to us later, but apparently this frog thing was a fiasco. after showing all the parents the frog, eva became bored with it and said that Katherine could keep it, so she then went around to show all the other kids. once they found out that she had something cool in a cup, they all started following her around trying to grab at it, and Eva jealous of the attention snatched the frog back from katherine.  Katherine has a mild sensory disorder, where too much noise or stimulation can send her over the edge, so you can imagine that this was a recipe for disaster. She tried to get the Frog back.  but all the attempts to get it back from eva made Eva squeeze the frog, and Kathering began yelling "STOP SQUEEZING IT YOU'RE GOING TO KILL IT!" while all the other kids were still trying to get close or get it for themselves. Rachel, upon noticing the distress runs over and has to force the kids apart, and somehow katherine ends up with the frog trying to keep it away from the 14 other grabby hands. over the commotion rachel kept trying to tell her to let it go back into the water and in a burst of frustration kathering yelled "FINE!" and chucks the frog in a huge arc to the middle of the lake. hitting the water with a splash it floated spred eagle along the surface, and for a few seconds everyone watched as it was still. really really still. to which Katherine turned to eva and yelled "YOU STUPID IDIOT YOU KILLED THE FROG!" at this rachel said she just had to drag her to the car, feeling mortified Katherine yelling all the way. "you killed it! murderer!"  when we were at her house later I just told her it's always lively at a ward barbecue. 

welp, that is all for now. 

Love you !

Sister christensen