Monday, September 23, 2013

So I have to hurry up and get this writing show on the road.
Hey!  Everyone! How is it going?  from what I've heard things are great, and I am glad that people are getting settled and motivated to work harder in life.
for me it is the same.  I feel like this week I have the potential to work harder than I have in all my time on a mission so far.  I just want to get out and walk and talk to people.  and hopefully that includes parking our  car, which may be hard since our area stretches far in both directions.  so wel'll see :)
My companion is great.  she is one of the ones I came out of the MTC with, and it is nice to have someone with a similar perspective and vision to work side by side with.  In lots of ways I am relieved about the transfer, I feel that things will go smoother now than they have before, now that I have someone that i can get along with and who can help keep me on track, and I can help motivate to work hard!
Sister Echols is from Pason Utah and comes from a smaller family.  she is very caring and sensitive, but at the same time is just as ready to laugh and make jokes, and sing with me for thirty minutes in a chipmunk voice :)  so it should be a good time.  but at the same time she has an amazing talent of being able to instantly connect with people that I can learn a lot from.  she is also really good at inviting the spirit into our lessons by highlighting simple truths and reminding people of their divine potential.
Our area is great, we have a family who is preparing for baptism, but the twist is that they're sepparated.  and we're teaching both of them. XD I won't go into details because I don't actually know them, but it is really interesting to see the difference that reading scriptures and prayer has, and how much they are both needed, especially since in this couple one will read and won't pray, and one will pray and won't read.  we're working on them both and hope that with time and repentance whatever they're working through will work itself out!
we also had a lesson with someone who's older and it was very sweet to see how much she loves her family and desires their happiness, and then how much more meaningful it became when she was able to apply that to her relationship with her heavenly father.
we also found a less active member who was very interesting to visit with.  she is older as well, probably in her 70's and though the lesson was on faith and how we can receive answers to prayers, somehow she related everything back to another story about how she was wronged financially throughout her life in different situations.  all I could think was how does that relate to anything we just said? and though she seems to be an altogether aware person I can't help but think something about having her boold drawn earlier that day and being on morphine had something to do with it.  that and the principle of you cannot serve god and mammon, and she is not really ready to repent yet.  we'll see if we can't spark something within her.

church was crazy!  I set a goal for myself to learn the names of 30 individuals, and man, it was hard.  I probably only know about 15, and I am still very weak at remembering names and face at the same time.  that and we were rushing about a lot, making copies and helping our investigator who came late with five kids, and teaching the youth the children's song army of Helaman, and getting appointments and so many things!  it was good.   crazy but good. 
we also had a dinner appointment about every day this week that we were actually available.  and the members feed us a LOT.  I will probably end up gaining a ton of weight.  or just learning to go without lunch, I haven't decided which.  there really aren't many options with this one.  I also ended up eating a slice of habanero this week, which was quite the experience.  it actually wasn't that bad, I could still taste stuff afterward, and there were no lasting side effects. but the funny part was that I started crying on impact.  it was a really weird reaction to just be sitting there totally fine but tears streaming down my cheeks.  and then elder Gross had a piece and didn't even blink.  made me feel like a lightweight but eh what can I say, I'm no rachael.
lets see, what else, there was sister's conference this week, and that was interesting.  President leavitt keeps waffleing about whether he'll have another one, it was kind of chaotic with just 24 sisters, I can only imagine it with 50.  it was a full 24 hours, we had lots of trainings on friday, and then ended up going to the temple.  on saturday we had a testimony meeting at 6:30 in the morning, and then breakfast before the sisters from Newfoundland had to go back.  it was fun.  weird but fun.  my old companion and I didn't talk at all.  and president leavitt broke our heads about key indicators.  and sister leavitt told us we can't wear large earrings and if we had super feministic feelings we needed to repent.  I had a hard time not laughing, and many parts were just fun and friendly jest, but then it got serious and I didn't know what to do with myself.
Ohkay spiritual thought for the week:  while I was in the temple I read some of Isaiah and found strength from 54:4, especially since I seem to have gotten into a rut of fearing to talk to people about the gospel: " Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth,and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood ever more." I just loved it because usually I have a hard time with isaiah and some other books in the bible, but this was one of those times where it felt like an answer to a prayer.  (never mind the part about widowhood XD)
Well I love you all and hope that you have the best week ever.
Love you!
Sister Christensen

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

So it's been a pretty crazy week.
because transfers landed on Newfoundland district conference, (stake conference), and for that event the mission was planning on having a musical fireside with all the musically talented missionaries, and a concert on Friday, a talent show Saturday and a fireside Sunday night along with zone training for missionaries and all the church meetings as well.  crazy.  and then I was supposed to miss it all and go on Friday, which didn't actually make sense, because my new companion was one of the violinists for the fireside, and wouldn't be in Cole harbor for three days.  So I petitioned president Leavitt and he realized the folly and booked my plane ticket for Monday with the rest, and I got to stay!  yaay. 
So I was there when on thursday the new missionary sister turner came to take my place, and we worked in a trio for the day.  We got to have jigs dinner with our investigators (a Newfoundland dish) and MOOSE which is actually pretty delicious.  I like it better than beef.  and then they gave me gifts and I felt awkward and undeserving, and we shared our testimonies during which I drew the connection between prayer and spiritual guidance and my being on a mission to meet them and be friends.  it was great.  and their cat finally came up and rubbed my leg.  yessssssss
then my companion came on friday, and we ran around in a quadpanionship for the weekend.  we had eight sisters staying in our appartment on saturday and sunday, good times.  there was lots of street contacting, lots of long car rides out to carbonear and the church, and lots of singing. 
and then we woke up this morning at four thirty on four hours of sleep and flew to cole harbour.  all I know about the place is the inside of the grocery store and the library.  which was cool because we met the bishops wife in the line at the store, and she is surprisingly young and talked about missionary work to her cashier.  the best. 
well, I can't think of anything more to say than I love you and wish you all the best.  I will try as always to write more letters,
Sister Christensen

Monday, September 9, 2013

Helllooooo everyone. 
this week has been fun.  and a little bit trying, for different reasons.  It's tough to go out and work when you just don't feel good,  I've definitely had some of those 'toughing it out' experiences this week.  but the good thing is that when we focus on doing the lord's work he helps us do the things he requires of us, and even if we don't feel great all the time we can still teach and testify.  just like nephi tells us,"for I know the lord giveth no commandments save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he has commanded them."
So sometimes your monthly makes you feel like garbage.  for some people every day is garbage, and it's my job to go try to make them feel like God loves them. 
and stuff. 
in Saint john's there has been lots of construction.  I don't know if I've mentioned it before, but I have never been anywhere with so much construction going on all the time!  and it's bizarre because they painted new lines on the road at the beginning of the summer, only to make tons of random holes in the road, pull out weird square sections, and then repave everything.  now it's getting better, but there was one point in the summer when we had to plan ten or twenty minutes ahead of everything to get there on time, because all the main throughways were being torn up and repaved, with no real or effective detours.   good times.  

that and the busses.  we got bus passes last month to save on how much we drive everywhere, and to meet more people, and I have so many cool/weird bus stories.  like seeing two people have a long sign language conversation one day.  I couldn't take my eyes off of them.  they were so good at talking with their hands!  i'm pretty sure there must be accents in sign language, if not tone and inflection.  I also met someone on the bus like three times in different places.  he's still looking for an appartment sadly.  there was another guy like that from sri lanka I think, we met him on the street and we referred the elders to him because he lived in their area, but then I met him on the bus a week or two later and he was like "where did the elders go?" and i got really sad because he was sad and he needs the Gospel.  
then there are all the weird times. like when poor unfortunate souls come up to ya for a chat and you're too guilty to tell them not to smoke next to you and they tell you about all the bad people they see after you lend them a quarter for the bus.  he also told me to keep close hold of my purse, not to go to whore houses, and a weird story about his friend he knew in the army who left his wife and kids for crazy nights and he's been to jail three times. yikes.  or the person you sit next to on the bus and try to start a conversation by asking where they're going and they reply something like "I'm going to the avalon mall to me wmeo nce smh  eron c ehof sdj eons sln" and you're just like ....what?
good times.  
also knocking on doors.  if someone knocks on your door be polite.  I have had more bad experiences with doors in the last week than I ever want to have again for my entire life. 
We're not trying to suck out your soul.
or make you do anything. 
you always have the choice to be respectful and say you're not interested.

end of story.

but other than that things are good.  my companion and I are getting along well, and things seem to be going good.  I love newfoundland, and the people here, and will always and forever hold a yes b'y in my heart.
and I'll probably end up buying a newfie dictionary and sending it home at some point.
but anyway. 
Have a good week all!  
I love you.
Sister Christensen
I am getting transferred. surprise!
it's actually really funny, because I kind of expected that it would happen soon, but I was hoping that I would have a full six months in Newfoundland.  but apparently the Lord has a different plan.  I will be going to Coal Harbor, part of the Halifax metro district.  so I can finally get my hair dye from the mission office and dye my hair!

the sad thing about it is that #1 I have to leave all these awesome people here just before things pick up.  there are four new families in the branch and all of them are stoked about missionary work.  and all of the wonderful people I won't see and friends I will miss.  I will truly miss Newfoundland.  #2 is that we just spent half a transfer planning for District conference and my plane leaves the day before.  It is ridiculous.  I am on the program for Saturday night.  I'm supposed to paint faces during our service project.  We invited all the less actives we could contact, and many many more people to the concerts that will be happening.  my new companion will be playing in the orchestra, but I won't be there!  It's like planning my own birthday party and finding out that I missed it somehow. good times.
I will write letters to those I've left behind.  and hopefully find time at the end of all this in fourteen months to return to visit. that and I promised a few key people that I would.  the good thing is that out of a weird loophole I have an extra six months on my visa, so I'll get there somehow.
Other than that this week has been the best I've ever had.  I am really sad that I am leaving but I have to go.
random thought of the week, the other day I saw this,
Inline image 1
and just had to laugh to myself.  I'd hate to have that driveway.

I love you all, and wish you all well.