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, October 11, 2010

Faith precedes miracles


Hey there how's it going? It's good to hear from you all and it sounds like things are going great in your respective situations. I can't believe that about the storms and the tree branch at the church! Thank goodness nothing too bad happened to the car, I suppose! Way to go scoring 2 goals Ste. So to answer some questions Elder Daniels-Brown is 6'7 or possibly '8 he says. And I got a pair of slacks at TJ Maxx. I snagged an old CTR clothing pair too, similar to mine from Pomeroy's, from the Schoharie apartment that I wear when it's a way rainy day, etc. When I was sprayed I was wearing a blue tie (the one in my shrine pictures; sprayed directly and salvaged), long sleeve shirt (salvaged), black suit pants (those rather than slacks because we had District Meeting earlier that day when we have to wear suits; at the dry cleaners in Albany (ZL's took them for me) because a member owns one there so it'll be way cheap; salvaged). Everything is good with that and not one thing I was wearing during or after was lost. It will be all finalized when I get those suit pants back soon. Oh yeah, I ate (literally) my words from my last email when I had sushi this week with this nasty seaweed salad thing. bleh. Anyway, thanks so much Paige and Ben for the hand-delivered goods! I appreciate that; and definitely told them all to thank you so if they didn't don't think I didn't tell them to..ha. But oh yeah I didn't mean "no treats" when I said that last week but just know I'm getting fed really well (ie. even the Badgers from Mesa right below us always make something new everyday, literally. salsa, guac, cookies, etc etc etc and we typically have some; reminds me of mom). But I love getting anything and everything from you guys!!! I appreciate it all so much, it truly means a lot.

This week certainly has been a less stressful week than last although it certainly wasn't a "typical" week either. We taught more this week. "My" bike got a punctured tube. A member family set up a sweet appointment with us and two of the Mom's friends that went really well. One called after she went home and we left that she felt all light and tingly when we were teaching, etc. but not after. Yesss; best thing to hear. All Mission Conference was sweet with Elder C. Scott Grow there (yes, his name is a sentence; ha). --- Side note: Elder DB was one of like 7 who Elder Grow interviewed afterward. I guess President and the Zone Leaders "randomly" selected some people to have that opportunity. I'm convinced it wasn't "random." But it was a really good experience for him that helped him out quite a bit I think. --- In short, from the Conference I learned I need to have more faith (sweet story about that to follow) and that every aspect of the work can and should improve. There was a lot of information and pretty overwhelming how much things could improve and how much I can personally improve. To be completely honest, I walked away from it glad we were able to do it but completely unsure as how to apply the things that were taught. So I looked back over my notes the next morning in study and pondered on how I could have or exercise more faith in the work, etc. Then, of course, inspiration came. In the past in daily (and weekly) planning sessions I would open with a prayer, then plan, then set goals, then work those plans. The inspiration came to try this: open with a prayer asking to be inspired in regards to goals for the next day, then set goals, then plan according to these goals established, then work these plans with all your heart, might, mind, and strength to accomplish them. It sounds pretty intuitive and perhaps how it should have been done all along but I'm so grateful. Yesterday, Sunday, was the first day of incorporating this entire process and I had a very powerful experience. After Stake Conference we got a ride home with the Dennis family (the prior bishop, dentist (going to hook us up), sweet guy) to their neighborhood to eat and work. In short, we worked a few hours there (according to the plans we established the day before with the goals we set) but didn't see the success or things play out as we hoped (people not being home, not willing to let us sit down and teach, etc). But we worked hard, doing all we could do. A little later we got a ride back to the apartment and I was a little disappointed things didn't go as they could have ideally gone (This was a reason why having a lot of faith in the work is hard for me right now I guess just needing to be realistic, as well as optimistic, in what can happen). Elder DB was going to the bathroom, not feeling great, and all this happened when he was in there and I was quasi alone. I knelt down and simply told Heavenly Father my thoughts and how we're trying our best in working the plans we had, in being faithful, in everything. It went well. I got up, grabbed a drink, and began to sit down and relax for a minute while E. DB was still in there when I saw the cell phone sitting across the room. I had the feeling come to mind: go grab it and bring it over here because someone is going to call with some great news. I don't know why I thought that but I simply decided to go grab the phone and set it next to me so when they call I'll be prepared (and won't have to get up from a comfy chair to get it, ha). A couple minutes went by still thinking it was going to happen (I was actually just mending a pair a pants) and what happened? The phone, in reality, rang. A member of the bishopric called and told me a young family just moved from Vegas who called him trying to get in touch with us. They were being taught over there and want to continue here. He gave us the information and hung up. ARE YOU KIDDING? I'm still blown away by it. It's hard to describe everything well enough without going in to detail but it simply was a miracle that was wrought by simple faith. Faith precedes miracles. I know that God is THERE. It's so real; so, believe it or not, tangible. Nothing like that has ever happened to me before; it still blows my mind. I know that the Lord is in the fine details of all of our lives. And through us exercising (meaning action) our faith, miracles are produced and we can see that hand of the Lord in our lives more so than ever before. Thanks Ste for praying for me to have "great experiences" because I truly am.

Nana: Baptism. There is so much on that I could go off on it, but possible suggestions include.
1) All need to be baptized. John 3:5. Baptism has been taught since the beginning of time. Adam, the first man on earth, was baptized. Christ, the perfect son of God, was baptized.
2) Our covenant of baptism. We promise: to take the Lord's name upon us,
remember Him always, and keep His commandments. And we are promised: to have our sins forgiven of us and to have the Spirit to be with us.
3) How to baptize, why it's important it's done with right authority and in the proper manner.
See 3 Nephi 11 when Christ himself instructs on these things.
4) Baptism is the gate by which we enter to allow us to get on the straight and narrow path we
must all walk to return to live with our Father in Heaven again. Our first covenant.
5) The relationship of Baptism by water and Baptism by fire. How they need the other to be
complete, etc.

I love you all so much and truly am excited to exercise more faith. Please continue to send your love and support, it means the world. Thanks so much for always being there for me.

Love always,

Elder Christensen

Michael enjoying Saratoga Springs on P day

Just doing a little tracting

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