MTC is serving in the New York Utica mission from June 2010 to June 2012. We hope to keep you updated with his latest letters, pictures and more.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Saratoga is sikk...

Greetings from Saratoga Springs,

Change, change change. It is certain that "being comfortable" is not in the job description as a missionary. It is finally setting in that I am here in Saratoga Springs. I'm just sitting here in the public library on the computer - a little different than the computers in the Family History center in the church building we used in Schoharie. I love it though. Saratoga is sikk. There is SUCH a different feel, atmosphere here. The main street, Broadway, basically feels like a small California town to me or like Park City. An outdoor type mall atmosphere with awesome stores (Banana Republic) and sweet restaurants. Walking down that street I feel like I am on a vacation at times. Bizarre. But basically, yes, the majority of our area is housing communities that are pretty sweet. The people, surprisingly, so far have actually been more nice (maybe not more receptive) than my last area, which is really refreshing! To make things more new and foreign to me this is a walk area although we cover a decent sized area geographically. Our bikes are currently out of commission with tire issues but we plan to hopefully fix that today. We ride the city bus around. It's pretty fun, and different again, to be honest. I remembered the last time I rode a bus was in Cancun with the family, good times. So it's interesting learning the whole bus schedule and how to hop on different buses at specific times and planning accordingly. We've managed thus far, though, and I'm learning it so it's alright. Members give us crap for not having a car. Elder Daniels-Brown is such a humble and easy-going guy. I'm really excited to work with him and learn from him. He's also ready and willing to work hard which I really look forward to too! Saratoga needs it. I love him to death, truly, but without elaborating, he is certainly different from my previous companions and I'm excited and willing to humble myself and learn the lesson(s) intended for me to learn from serving with him.

In short, it seems like the work here has been at a stand still. When I got here they had, I think, 5 investigators - none of which I have been able to meet yet. So, sad to say, it is almost as if we are starting from scratch teaching pool wise. Thus, we've been doing a lot of finding, and fortunately we have been abundantly blessed. Either my first or second night here we tracted into a golden family of 4. The dad works for the church doing the heating and cooling on a lot of the buildings around the area. The mom has a Catholic background but fell away and is looking to get back into stuff. There are two daughters 19ish and 15ish who are excited to learn as well and have the same Catholic/Christian background. We went by last night and they invited us in for dinner (the wife is from Germany and made saweet food)! So awesome, people are hooking us up. We'll teach them tomorrow night and plan on setting them with baptismal dates. Another finding opportunity we had was two sisters in their 20's that are actually really awesome as well. We plan on seeing them this week and setting baptismal dates as well. We found 6 new investigators and can potentially have 6 baptismal dates by next week. Simply, that'd be unreal. I'm stoked though; you just have to press on with faith. Another awesome experience we had yesterday was when we were walking to a potential investigator's place by our apartment and there was an African-American guy walking really slow with headphones, obviously moping around. We talked to him and he was convinced we were messengers from God because he didn't see where the heck we came from and how we got to him. Then, I guess, when we were talking I said exactly what he knew he needed to hear, or "nailed it right on the head." Obviously it wasn't me but the Spirit working through me because it was regarding his marital problems and stuff he was going through - stuff, clearly, I don't have first hand experience with. We plan on getting in touch with him this week and hopefully can sit down with him and pick him up as an investigator too. We gave him a Book of Mormon and he simply was going to look through it because we were messengers from God. Lastly, we helped move a younger couple, the Badgers, in this week - right in our same apartment complex, same building, one floor below us. And guess where they're from. Arizona. She Tempe. He Mesa. Mountain View, class of 2000. Such a ridiculously small world. Oh and I told them obviously where I'm from and about my family, etc and he I guess told a friend (wish I could remember his name) about Rachel. And his friend emailed him back with a link to the Jennings Happenings blog and I guess knew (perhaps just of) you or maybe Tyler. Sorry I wish I could remember better but it was just ridiculous. But the Badgers are so sweet. They bought us awesome Wings from the best place here that night. They're driving us to Wal Mart to shop later so we don't have to take the bus and taking us to Five Guys. BALLIN. It's awesome, people have means to do things here it's pretty nice. But the work itself is really accelerating and I'm really excited for the things we have going on here and the more that will come about.

The apartment is fine, smaller than last, has a weird-moldy maybe- smell. But it's all good. The last baptism was actually a month or so ago as well as another perhaps 2-3 months ago. We still work with them. Oh and the bishop I heard about isn't anymore so we'll try and get to know him. I guess he kinda fell under the radar since then haha. That'll change :) Oh and I heard there is a really well off less-active member who has a membership at the nicest place around here to golf that offered to take Elder DB and stuff before so we'll try and get that going before it gets too cold. The weather is perfect right now. The church felt more Westernized as many BYU recruits are here in the military/navy programs or something. It actually started on time! I'll send my memory card, and hopefully a letter, today. We plan on just walking around the shops and stuff today and kickin it back home.

I love you all and hope you have a great week. Thanks for all of your love and support. I know that this work is divine, true, and real. My testimony and conviction regarding it is strengthened every day by the many miracles and incredible experiences I'm able to witness as well as by simply bearing my testimony.

Love you all,

Elder Christensen

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