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.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas is Coming

Dear Everyone,

Greetings. Hey there, how is everyone doing? By the sounds of things, pretty well, gathered together in Arizona for some good times. It's hilarious picturing you at the house right now chillin. But then again you're probably out doing some fun activities like you mentioned! That's awesome. I'm happy all expected arrived without too much complication (except for the whole 2:30am arrival and all, ha). So, perhaps you are wondering why my email is about an hour later than usual? I'll tell you why: the Bullochs are AWESOME. It was hilarious. On maybe Friday morning we got a call from Sister Bulloch saying they were planning on doing our President interviews at 10:00am on Monday (today). We said alright that sounds fine. We resumed our personal study and we got another call from her about 5 minutes later. She said they had been talking and how they'd like to help us out shopping, to take us and stuff. That sounded great and so they planned on coming a little earlier to allow us time to do that. Then, 30 seconds later, we got a third call from Sister Bulloch saying they'd like to take us out to breakfast, too! Ha! It was sweet! So anyway, President and Sister Bulloch came this morning and picked us up at 8am and we went to Denny's with them! That may not sound like too much but it was such a treat and great experience! They don't take missionaries out to breakfast too often, as far as I'm aware and have been told, but the circumstances were right and it worked awesome! Then, they took us to Wal Mart. After, we had interviews with President. Such a great start to a day; I can't say enough how much they mean to me. So that's that, perhaps more on it later, too. That's awesome Ste got his arrow of light! Way to go. And now in 11 year-old scouts. I can remember Cheryl Chapman, my 11 year-old scout leader, like it was yesterday. Baha. I'm glad someone, I believe it was Ste, made mention of the Wee Sing movie! That better have been watched! Who is Jackson in the movie?? Thooner is still getting represented well here. As well as, "But Santa, anyone would love to help you and your elves." Love it. Hilarious about the dance party at school for Ste. Way to ball hard and represent; I hope your moves were appropriate. I got the memory card this week in the letter Mom sent (as well as last week's letter from Mom on Monday). I don't erase any of them, no worries. I have no clue when they'll get full but we'll monitor that. I'm glad you got our Christmas card. Ha, that's in our apartment and we definitely did the timer set-up and everything numerous times to get it all perfect. Thanks so much for all the packages and everything! The whole 12-days thing is sweet; I wondered if that's what it maybe was going to be seeing the open on 12/16 one. Then as they trickled in it all came together then once I opened the first one, yep. Thanks. The tree is up and looks awesome! Thanks so much, it's really nice. The one for yesterday, 12/19, never showed up though; or maybe I should say hasn't yet showed up. Hope it can be found or whatever, ha. You asked about Christmas lights: as far as houses it isn't too intense over here, some yard decorations and stuff but not too many roof-line lights, etc. But like I mentioned the city is pretty cool with wreaths on the street lights and other lights. We're not exactly downtown at night too much so I don't have any pictures but you could google "Victorian Night in Saratoga Springs" to get an idea.

So the call. We talked to the Zone Leaders and they said they are and it's fine to open presents in the morning or whatever, which is nice. So that concern is settled, I'll have done all that prior to talking to you. You said 11:30am my time/ 9:30am your time is good? That'll be fine; I may call a little before that, around 11-11:30 am my time, assuming you'll all be there and doin your thang still at that time. So plan on that window for the call 9:00am - 9:30am Arizona time / 11:00am - 11:30am New York time. As far as who talks goes and all that you can orchestrate that accordingly...whether each has some solo time, or some have solo time, some all together time, etc entirely what you guys do and want. I'm looking forward to it all. It will certainly be cool yet bizarre.

This week was a good week, though. We are just plugging along, trying to do our best. Elder Stratton is great and ready and willing to work; we've been trying to get him pulling more of the load to equal it out and we talked about it with President this morning. Should be great looking forward. I went on an exchange this past week with a missionary who just got transferred to Greenwich, Elder Smith. He came out with Elder Miller and is awesome. I learned a lot from working with him Tuesday night and Wednesday. We found a new investigator this week, a potential investigator we have been trying by recently and it finally worked out and we set up a member-present lesson the next day. We'll see where it goes from here, not entirely sure yet. Rarely am I ever entirely sure at this point, though. Anyway, overall nothing too noteworthy happened this week as far as investigators go and all of that. They're all about in the same spot as last mentioned and we're just plugging along like I said. I've personally learned quite a few important lessons this week, though. First is the power of prayer. Friday I wasn't feeling too good; I just woke up extra tired and lethargic, had a head throb it seemed, and my tummy wasn't too pleased. Anyway, we went forth about our work for the day as normal and it just wasn't pleasant out there. We came back to the apartment for lunch and I 'napped' for a bit. When I got up I didn't feel much better, somewhat though. I decided to pray, instead. There is very real power in prayer. I've heard it said and as have we all that there is power in prayer; but not until you experience it - perhaps again and again - that you really know. I'm beginning to start to know. Last week I mentioned the "Gift to the Savior" concept and all of that. I won't share too much in this email about it as for time and I don't feel I should, but I had/am having a really powerful experience with that. In synopsis, I prayed to know what I could do. It came, clear as day, and it was hard. I made up my mind, though, to trust in the Lord and His promptings. I had every intention of going forward with it. This morning in interview with President I made mention of it. We had a discussion about it. And, in short, I firmly believe it was a test of my willingness and trust to put Him first, and that was all he needed/wanted was to see where my heart is. It wouldn't be necessary to actually do it. Anyway, I'm still pondering about it because it just happened not long ago but I may talk about it, as prompted, on the phone to some. I have no set agenda, no idea. Overall the work is great and I love it. It's not always easy but it's always worth it in the end, as is life.

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas! I love you all so much and I look forward to talking with you.

Love always,
Elder Christensen

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