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