Monday, July 29, 2013

hey everybody!! it's goood to write you again.

exciting things, lets see.  i gave a talk in sacrament meeting this week, that was pretty cool.  I used \elder \johnson's and elder Bednar's talks from last general conference about being desciples of christ and diserning the difference and important relationship of testimony and conversion.  because while it would be easier to talk on faith or baptism I find I always have to cut to the heart of the matter and talk about what makes the difference.  are we converted?  do we know how to endure faithfully to the end?  is that conversion manifested by our works, as alma and moroni testifies it should be? questions for your soul and all that deep 'who are you really' thoughts.  and then garbled over the microphone in a nervous jumble to a branch made up of spiritual rocks and waifs.  I hope they don't take it as offense, and I hope that they don't take it too lightly at the same time.  but do I really expect a change in missionary work from one measly talk of mine?  not really.  I'll have to keep working and keep pushing and keep on trucking out here on  the rock as they say.

there was also a funeral for the senior member of the branch this week, his name was brother hubert hobbs.  We didn't ever get a chance to know him other than on paper, or from word of mouth.  he seemed like quite the father figure for the branch,  so it's sad to know that he's moved on.  his wife is a rock though, I don't think I've ever seen anyone more put together in my life.  she's someone for whom I want to do the best work I can.

oh funny story though.  I was trying to find some less active members of our branch and we went down the list (which is extensive) to find chris fudge.  his house is in part of the older part of town, south of the university campus, so I almost expected him to have been a short term student from a few years ago.  so we go around knocking houses, and come to his on the corner, and try to decide which of the four doors on this awkwardly shaped town house is his, and after eliminating two came to the third, built out of the corner.  we knock, and nothing happens, so thinking the address might be wrong we look across the street.  the door opens behind us, and this guy is standing in a towel.  we then find out that he is chris and that he was thinking of 'coming to your church for the funeral.'  it's his chruch too, it's crazy to me that people think that just because they stop coming that the records magically dissapear.  but we talked to him behind the door in a towel and that was interesting.  he didn't come to the funeral.

that was pretty much the highlights of my week, the work is good and I'm running out of email time.

I love you all!  do what is right!

Sister Christensen

Monday, July 22, 2013

weekly email??‏

so I know these were supposed to be weekly and I am sorry. but the good news is I haven't died! 

and there is no bad news so win win.  

these past two weeks have been crazy, let me tell you.  last week when we were supposed to email the power went out and all the libraries were closed so we couldn't go someplace else, and then we didn't have a car because it was in the shop getting a new bumper because the elders before us broke it.  so it was good times.  we found out how to use the bus system which was fun, and my companion made a huger deal out of it than was really necessary but there you go.  

I don't know if I said before but we got a new senior couple in our district, and we just use them to drive all the people.  none of our investigators have cars, so they always need rides to the church which is tough because not many members drive and those who do usually have opinions on the subject of driving other people around.  so Elder and Sister Noftil are a Blessing.  

we had them drive us a couple places around town while our car was getting fixed, and we got to know them a little bit.  on their drive from the mission training center in utah they were in an accident that totaled their car, and luckily gave them no lasting injuries.  but because of that Elder Noftil is not at peak condition and I didn't think about that wen we asked them to walk across a college campus.  we had to turn around and it was awkward. good times.

but following that Noftil thought the mission president was here for our zone conference, and he had lots of good things to share with us and say.  I learned a lot, the main focus on his trainings was CHANGE (imagine an obama poster with P Leavitt on it, and you've got it.) and knowing our message (That the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored in it's fullness... I'm always like, "we have a message!! but you dont get to know what that is until you let us in"  XD FAIL)  and then he proceeded to turn the branch on it's head and re-organize the presidency with Elder Noftil.  I am actually looking forward to all of this, as we now have a much tighter connection with the leadership in the branch, and somebody who's helping us out as far as missionary work goes. 

but what that basically means is that now instead of working toward the standard mission goals he wants us instead to focus on strengthening members in Newfoundland, since there's been a lack of unity in the members for a long time, and there's no reason why there shouldn't be a ward (full congregation)  in a city of 200,000 people.  especially since in some areas of canada there's multiple steaks (organization of multiple wards)  in communities of 4,000.  

so that is fun.

as far as my own experiences go, we met a really awesome person this last week, she let us in after bringing her kids home from soccer, and we had a nice chat about God and families.  when we met her the next time we learned that she'd been planning a trip to africa to do service, and she's like the community soccer mom with dreadlocks and a flair of interior designer.  honestly she reminds me of Liz, and I think it's great that you can find people to feel at home with all over the world.

I would share a spiritual thought but I have to get going.  I could use Sister Miehe's favorite one, Proverbs 3 : 5-6 "trust in the lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding,  in all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths."  life's hard for a purpose, but if we trust in what we know to be right and true, we will feel God's love for us.  you can do eeeet!

I love you all!  

Monday, July 8, 2013

hey everyone! 
something cool happened this week. Michael was baptized.  I don't know if I've told you guys his story in full so I will start from the beginning.  sister Olson had been in this area about three months before I arrived on the scene, and spent a day at the university trying to find people to teach.  Michael came up and spoke to her in french, she spoke back and didn't really know what she said or if it was correct, handed a card with the address to the church and sent him o his way without getting any contact information or his name or anything because it was like her second day in the field.  it was then forgotten about until two months later when he showed up on his own at the last hour of church, having ridden the bus and asked people for directions for the hour and a half before he got there, alone, without being asked.  that just does not happen.  actually it does.  he came.  and then we didn't talk to him until the first time we met with him in a lesson at the university, when we answered a few questions about the law of chastity (fun times!) and gave a quick lesson on the restoration.  it was getting toward time to go, and the room we were in was booked in the next hour, so i decided what the heck, he doesn't seem that interested but I'll run baptism by him.  his answer was an emphatic yes.  surprise. the next meeting we got him on date, and then he came to every meeting and activity and Sunday service to the day he was baptized.  
his testimony is amazing, we thought his family was living in France but surprise again they live in Iran.  he gave up all possibility to going home because he knows this is true, he has had a personal connection with his father in heaven for perhaps years leading up to these past two months, and was completely willing to follow any and all things that were asked of him.  he said that once he started living the commandments, his days were better, his research went better, and in all he was happier.  that allthough there are real threatening consequences tied to his conversion and land of birth, he is okay with it, he trusts in the Lord, who is "Omnipotent and Omniscient" and will never let those who trust in him fall. 
Preparing for that day was interesting, cleaning the font and filling the water was like the celebration for me.  Newfoundland hasn't had a baptism for six months, and I think that his light and testimony inspired much of the branch, not just the missionaries.   being able to see the changes that this gosple has on people's life, is truly inspiring, that if we trust in the lord with all our heart and lean not unto our own understanding that it will work.  it just will.  that you can see that light grow in people's lives, and just knowing that I played the smallest part in helping someone experience that change is amazing.  it's awesome, and for once that word really has meaning.  and to be honest, I really did nothing.  I asked some questions, the rest was God bringing one of his sons to the truth.
I love you all and appreciate all you letters and love!
I know Jesus is the christ, my redeemer, my savior,
until next week

Monday, July 1, 2013

Canada Day

I sent out a few personal letters today, so I don't feel so bad about just saying, I don't have time to write because it's Canada day.
here's a weather update, it's 24 degrees C and 110 % humidity.  we may as well be breathing water.  I'm pretty sure it is more humid than Mississippi, it's crazy.  and the air conditioner kind of broke in our car.  good times
I love you all!  if I haven't written you back it isn't because I don't love you but I really just don't have any time.  Like ever.  but know I do read your letters and love every one of them!
have a good week!