Monday, March 30, 2015

Chester to Newcastle to Shrewsbury to Newcastle to Stoke

This week has been crazy! We've been all over the U.K. it feels like. We really haven't, but still..
I went on exchange with the lovely Sister Harp, Sister Meszaros, and Sister Pongi. We went from Chester to Newcastle to Shrewsbury to Newcastle to Stoke. Well, Stoke is right next to Newcastle, so that's not a big deal. But it has been so fun getting to know these sisters better and being able to work with them and learn from them.

Here is a funny story: Our investigator always wears Lacoste jackets and they have a crocodile as their logo. So, he usually wears one with a small crocodile on it but one day he wore a jacket that had a bigger logo on it and Sister McDonnell commented on it and said, "Wow, your crocodile has grown!" and he said, "Cheers mate, cheers. Sorted." haha and then the next day we taught him and he was wearing the jacket with a smaller logo again and I said, "Your crocodile shrunk!" and he said, "No it didn't." and he showed a second jacket underneath that had a massive logo on it. Haha! 
Maybe it is one of those "you had to be there" things but I found it funny.
Just having a British day

Lastly, yesterday we taught a less active member. We have been working on gaining their trust and finally, they opened up to us and the Spirit testified to them that what we were sharing was true. I know that God loves them and has compassion for them. It was overpowering, the strength of the Spirit had on this person. The challenges aren't erased, the trials have not disappeared but there was a hope and a light in their face, a desire and commitment to change. 
We missed most of the women's general conference which was shown last night but we got to hear President Eyring speak. What he said about reaching out to others really inspired me. It reminded me of the scripture Doctrine and Covenants 121:10 that says, "Thou art not yet as Job; thy friends do not contend against thee, neither charge thee with transgression, as they did Job." Any trial we face is not too much for us to bear. We can always learn and grow and overcome it through the Atonement of Christ. Because of His enabling power, He helps us better help others. His love will never fail us.
I love you all!
Love, Sister Christensen

Monday, March 23, 2015

A Day in the Life of a Missionary
She went to Pemberly (aka Lyme Park)

This week has been amazing. We have two investigators that are just phenomenal. It has been a tender mercy to work with them. The first is a man that was met by the sisters street contacting. He didn't seem very coherent when they first met but from the beginning he has kept his commitments by attending every appointment we have set up. He is overcoming his addiction to quite serious and harmful drugs but he has progressed so much. He has a real, sincere desire to change. As we've been teaching him the missionary lessons he has shown a lot more involvement in the lessons. For example, yesterday we taught the second half of the Plan of Salvation and the first time we taught it he just sort of nodded and agreed with everything but yesterday he asked really good questions and he spoke up when he didn't quite understand something. As well as at church, he would throw out answers that didn't really make sense but yesterday he was reading from the manual and was really engaged in the discussion by contributing answers that were appropriate and insightful. You can just see the change in him as he tries to stop using these harmful substances that it is making him more receptive to the Spirit, which further helps him to change.
Pemberly (Lyme Park)

The next is a girl that has been taught by missionaries for a while. She is so sweet. She has always been kind of hit-and-miss with when we can see her, she wasn't really committed, but we invited her to a family home evening a couple of weeks ago to a members home and she really felt the Spirit there. Since then she has kept her appointments, has a stronger desire to commit to read the Book of Mormon and attend church. It was so cute, she bought a whole new outfit on Saturday so that she could be modest when she came to church yesterday. Also, she texted us that night and told us that she loved being at church and that everyone was so lovely to her and made her feel very welcome. She is preparing for baptism and is so willing to change because she can see how it will change her own life for the better.
Dressed up as "Ladies of Pemberly"

Last, we are working with a returning member family. I absolutely adore them. They have a couple of stresses on their family but they are so lovely and they definitely have the Spirit in their home. We have been seeing them once a week and going over Preach My Gospel with them and having them teach it back to us to help them have a better understanding of the basics of the gospel. Yesterday evening we had a prompting to call by and just see how they are doing and they let us in and we had a great conversation with them. The first thing they asked about was church. How was church? Did lots of people come? Just their attitude showed that they wish they could have been there. They missed because a couple of the family members were ill. We told them that we had missed them at church and we had noticed that they hadn't come and I think they really appreciated that because they felt missed. They felt important and they felt the Spirit as we shared a spiritual thought about how Heavenly Father guides us in our choices. But yeah, I absolutely adore them and love them so much. I learn a lot from the people we visit, from their experiences and from the Spirit I feel in their homes.

That reminds me of my study this week. Sister McDonnell gave me a talk to read called, "Be the Fourth Missionary," and what really stood out to me was at the end, the speaker talks about how being completely consecrated to the Lord is not a matter of obedience, it is a matter of intelligence. I love that because I want to have a greater commitment than just being obedient. I want to be obedient, not just to be obedient, but to show that I love God. The intelligence part reminds me of the quote in Preach My Gospel that says (roughly): "True doctrine understood changes attitudes and behaviors faster than a study of behavior changes behavior." I have seen that with our investigators this week and I hope to incorporate it myself. My attitude toward my mission is a reflection of how well I understand Jesus Christ and the role he has played in the Plan of Salvation. 

I love you all and hope you have a brilliant week! :)

Love, Sister Christensen

Just taking a turn about the Garden

Monday, March 16, 2015

Sister Lunden (from Finland)

Sister Bridge (from Australia)

This week has been great :) We had district meeting on Tuesday then went on exchange with the Congleton sisters. I got to stay in Congleton with Sister Lunden and we had a great time together. We met a lady who wasn't interested but referred her son to us and we taught him about baptism on the spot and invited him to learn more, to which he replied in the positive. The only tense thing was that he was holding his pet snake the whole time. 
Visiting with a less active and her pet owls #magical #harrypotter #hedwig
We exchanged back the next day and on Thursday commenced another exchange with the sisters in Macclesfield. I stayed in Newcastle (with the car :) ) and Sister Bridge and I got to stop and talk to a lot of interesting people. I told the joke I got from Jacob to someone on the street and they laughed! (Q: What do you get when you cross the world's best story teller with the world's biggest mammal? A: A whale of a tale!) I was challenged to tell a joke whilst finding and then tied it into how we can find happiness or joy in this life. It was well… fun ;)
It was really tiring week but seriously, so much fun! I love serving with Sister McDonnell. I get along with her  perfectly. We have a good laugh everyday and can still be serious and do missionary work. So I love it.
Sunday with Sister McDonnell
Congratulations to Cate for her mission call! and to Nathanael and Whitney for their baby! I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week :)

Love, Sister Christensen

Monday, March 9, 2015

I Love to See the Temple

Sister McDonnell, Sister Pong, Sister Christensen

Congratulations to Jacob for getting called to the Armenia Yereven Mission! That is so exciting!
Well, this week has been amazing. I am still meeting so many new people and getting to know the area. 
The Congleton District

Our District leader didn't like the name of our District so he renamed it the J. Lunnche District
by mixing up all our surnames

I got to do lots of driving this week! I drove to both Chorley and Manchester. We went to the temple on Wednesday, which was amazing! I loved it :) and we went to a meeting in Manchester on Friday, which was really fun as well. Sister McDonnell and I had to give a training on Ministering and Administering and how we need to follow the Saviors example when leading. I love how the Savior leads by giving others the opportunity to lead and learn for themselves. He serves them and encourages them and lovingly corrects them in order to help them better reach their potential.
We have an investigator that we have had trouble seeing over the last couple of weeks and we were able to see her twice in the last week! She is incredible and everything just makes sense to her. Like when we talk about repentance and baptism and asked her if that is what she wants in her life, she says, "Why wouldn't I want that? Who wouldn't want that?" She can see how clearly it can help her and her family to be happy and move on with their lives. 
The Atonement is real! It is a miracle that I am privileged to see almost daily as people make those little steps toward accepting Jesus Christ more fully in their lives. 
I love England! I love being a missionary and I love the gospel. It's true.
I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week! 

Love, Sister Christensen x0

Monday, March 2, 2015

Eh Up Duc?
Me with Sister McDonnell--she's a Treasure
I am now in Newcastle-Under-Lyme/ Stoke-on-Trent and it is lovely so far :) Sister McDonnell and I are getting along famously, I absolutely love her! She is so cute and calls everyone a treasure or poppit. We have fun together.
It has been kind of a crazy, busy week. I said goodbye to my Rhyl family at the beginning of the week. Then went to transfer meeting where we helped transport some of the departing missionaries. That was hard because a lot of people went home this transfer who Sister McDonnell and I were really close friends with, so it was hard to see them leave. 
Me, Sister Lever--trainer to Sister Larson, from Utah
We got home late and had a crazy weekend of planning, training, and teaching! I absolutely love being back in Newcastle Stake and seeing familiar faces as well as getting to meet a lot of new ones! 
Sorry it is a short email this week and I didn't share anything really specific but I'll write more next week :) I love you all lots and hope you have a brilliant week!

Love, Sister Christensen xo