Tuesday, February 18, 2014


so.  I feel bad because I wasn't able to send much home last week.  

but so that you understand how I was feeling last week (*coughEveryweek*cough) and because I just wasted time doing it I wrote a dialogue of my thoughts to try to understand why I never want to write an email.


>>augh I never know what to write.  

>>it is so weird to be on a mission close to a year.  I feel like I have effectively split my life in two, and every week there's this [prompt] to reconcile the two somehow.  I CAN'T OKAY?  I DON'T KNOW HOW TO, IT HURTS EVERY WEEK. 

>>so then I stare at a screen for close to an hour until my time is up and then I put it off for another week. 

>>what I want to do is run home and jump in your arms and tell you all of the things that are exciting and uplifting and tell you all of the things that are frustrating and challenging.  it would look something like mosiah 25: 4-11,17.  (yes the same fantasy that ends with a baptism.)

>>but that isn't really an option.  so I don't know what to write. 

>>It's kind of the same problem with my journal, but there it's really just become a suck hole of procrastination.  some day I will write in that thing.

>>I just want to be there, and be here.  can I have both?  can you all just move out here now? 

>>obviously that wouldn't work either.  

>>oh well.  back to the same problem.  wanting to be there. wanting to be here.  wanting to have some influence there, and needing to focus here.  just another 9 months of this. fun times. 

>>oh look 11:30.  only half an hour now.  maybe I'll save this to review and add to each time.  it's kind of funny actually.  

>>and a lot closer to how I actually feel than how I've written in probably the last 5 weeks. 

>>ugh.  I'll just get to the point. write something funny.  write something spiritual.  leave out all of the possibly detracting thoughts or comments about leadership and ward members and investigators.  paint myself as a perfect missionary.  that'll make them happy.

{Something Funny: there was this time when it blizzarded and we decided to go knock on doors. my companion had never seen so much snow in her life so we spent at least 10 minutes frolicking and jumping in snow (about 4-6ft in plow piles. it's crazy guys.).  I fell on my butt and dropped a bunch of pass along cards everywhere, kicked giant balls of snowdrift at my companion and threatened to throw her bodily into snow, which she responded by actually throwing me into snow.   much joy was had in 20 degrees and blowing snow. 

then we got our acts together and tried to talk to people who had no interest in talking to us. 

thirty minutes later we realized that we had lost our phone. I figured that we had just left it at our last appointment, so we went back there and searched their couch, and didn't find it.  it was in the snow. of course.  so we went back and by this point my comp was freaking out that she had lost the phone, and was worried about the weirdest stuff, like that she would have to pay for it and we'll be in so much trouble, and I just had no doubt in my mind we would find it.  so we said a prayer, and went out to search the five snow piles that we had jumped in.  after about 5 minutes and some inquiries by curious plowmen it wasn't in the first one, so we agreed to move on to the next set about 20 ft down the road.  as we were walking a thought came to my mind that maybe I was seaching for it wrong, digging deeper into the holes, and that maybe I should start from the bottom to the top.  I bend over, brush some snow and within five secconds find the phone.  there was much rejoicing.  there was also a prayer of thanks offered in righteousness. The phone acted really weird on account of being drenched, but a night in rice later it's as good as new.  now our district leader refers to it as the resurrected phone.  }

{Something Spiritual: this is actually from last week, but it's still great so I'm sharing it.  perhaps another similar story to follow.  so there was this one time that the [wonderful] zone leaders thought that (underline should actually be read as a strike through)we weren't working hard enough for our areas [we could be inspired by higher goals] and they set a lot of unrealistic [inspiring] goals that were impossible to reach [made us work harder than ever before] and affected the zone in dual ways discouraging many areas and causing them to resent goals and key indicators [humbling many areas and causing areas to think of key indicators differently] that then required that they build us up.  (both viewpoints are true, this is almost a lesson in pessimism and optimism.  imagine the effects that rewriting my thoughts has every week.) anyway, so they had a conference call night with the whole zone in which we all told everyone our # of investigators and # invited to baptism.  Kind of a potentially competitive thing to do and it felt really weird but was supposed to lift us up? IDK. after which they asked us to share inspirational stories from the week.  long awkward silence.  followed by a couple of nice but uneventful winter stories about diligence and faith and the much drilled street contacting. 

I looked at my companion.  she looked at me. we weren't struggling.  at all. we hadn't been meeting the goals they had set, but we have been amazingly blessed in the past five weeks.  they announced that there was only time enough for one more thought.  so I grabbed the phone and started talking.  

back when sister rust and I were Companions, we had gone through the former investigators and picked a few that stood out to us.  among them was a couple who lived on Conant road. there isn't a Conant road on our Presque Isle Maps, so we decided to search it and found a conant road in Fort Fairfield.   when we went there, the address didn't exist so the thought was dropped as un-contactable.  

later when Sister Drew became my companion she also felt impressed about this family.  I frowned at it, but remembered that a new member in the ward had told us that they lived on a conant road in Presque Isle.  so we followed their directions to the road, and found the house.  they invited us right in, and we had to schedule a return appointment because we didn't have the time to stay.  when we went back, we had one of the most thoughtful and reverent discussions about the state of the world, and the need that people have to come closer to God in a society that seems bent on forgetting him.  

we asked who God was to them, and the mother simply replied, 'he's number one.'  the feeling in the room was one of holiness, and I have no doubt in my mind that the spirit of God, even the very Holy Ghost was there present with us to testify that He loved them.  We bore out testimonies of the very fact, and they told us that because of our examples they had hope for our generation, and their daughters generation, and hoped that one day she would be able to know just a surely as we did of the same truth. 

it was when i recounted this story that I testified that our zone will find new investigators.  I know it.  The Lord knows his sheep and he can do his work, whether or not we are here. we just need to remember that through our faith all things are possible. 

also this week we met with another lady who is near and dear to my heart, and we finally were able to invite to be baptized.  now when missionaries invite people to be baptized it's not for a goal, it isn't a statistic, but it is really the best way we can show people that what we want to share with them is important.  it is really significant.  pehaps the most emotionally real conversations I've ever had with people on my mission have to do with baptism or inviting people to be baptized.  because baptism is something that we know will bring greater hapiness, purpose and blessings into their life as they learn the Docterine of Christ, and Follow the saviors example in submitting their will to God's will.  there is nothing more important that I have ever used my time on in life.  learning about God and his eternal plan for us should be something that happens for everyone at some point in their life because it is the purpose, it is The Center to our very existence. but so often we pass people by, allowing complacency and trivial matters to cloud our minds and occupy our attention, never really addressing The Point.  lots of things in life are there to be pleasing and bring us joy, but until we come to know that God has a plan for us and a Way for us to live we will never truly be satisfied. 

that is why it is important to learn.  it is important to know that Jesus Christ came for us and was offered as a sacrifice on our behalf, because he loved us and there was no other way that we could be saved from our own stupid shortcomings. it is important to know that that fact up there that sentence is so important that God would not leave that truth to be disputed by doctrine and by practice in thousands of sects that claim to know the truth of God without providing one that has it.  he has also provided us ways to know it.  "by their fruits ye shall know them" jesus said.  The fruit of what we share, the result of the restored Church of Jesus Christ is found in the Book of Mormon, and in the hearts and testimonies of millions who have read it and done as missionaries and ancient prophets in the americas and jerusalem have admonished people to do: Read the Book of Mormon, and ask God, the very Eternal Father if it is true. until you do, you will never have the privilage of knowing by God's spirit, the Holy Ghost, that it is true.  Baptism is a result of our conversion.  that is why it is important to be Baptized.

If only I could impress the magnitude of that fact.  this is really important.  this is really significant.  this is real.  that is not the rant of a missionary, or a fanatic, I know I might sound redundant or brainwashed or religious, If so perhaps I should settle down and petition people in a more private and pleasing manner that would cause anyone who feels that way to reconsider that this is real.  I know it is real.  

now you wonder why I don't write very much.  it's because I feel so personally and deeply the truth of what I'm doing.  and I don't know how to tell those who used to know me that those 15 years I was goofing off I was sitting on something more important that I was willing to study and realize, and more important than you could ever imagine.  putting it into words without being able to get a reply and answer questions and not offend and build up and strengthen is really, really hard 2,000 miles and one-email-a-week away.  Perhaps I shouldn't write it.  it hurts me so much who knows how much it will hurt you. or perhaps just go over your heads.  

anyway really deep, but those are my spiritual thoughts. }

>>there.  now hopefully they will write something that I can talk about next week.  

>>who am I kidding, when is anyone ever going to want to have a discussion about lesson one in an email?

>>welp, until next week.

Sister Christensen

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