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.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Dawn and Sophia are baptized!

Dear all,

Hello hello on this Tuesday-Pday. I hope you all are having a great week and settling down after all of the festivities last week! It was good to get a little more insight on what truly happened on your trip(s). I'm way happy that was all able to work out well and it was a success. It was also great to see some pictures! Yeah, Mom, Dad spilled the beans; but I'm grateful he did and it doesn't bother me at all! That's awesome you had the chance to visit Ithaca and all of that. Way sweet! The weather here hasn't been as dysfunctional as perhaps the other areas of New York. We haven't seen any snow stick on the ground since the one day it snowed like 3 weeks ago! We've heard it's been nuts all over and can't believe how lucky we have been. Yesterday, my goodness, was so dang cold though! We were riding our bikes totally bundled up; I was wearing my gator to block the wind and such. I can't imagine what it will be like riding in weather much colder than this. I'll be good though, just keep layering it on and all will be good. I actually haven't needed to bust out the wool socks yet but the way it's looking that time is shortly approaching. We have some hand-warmers in our apartment right now; we will try them out when it gets down to it but it's likely they will be useful here in the future. I'll keep you updated on that, thanks. The sweatpants idea was suggested by an elder. I actually almost got some last year but then it ended up warming up at that point. That's exciting about Jackson standing and everything; too bad, though, about his cough. He looks so big, that's awesome. Speaking of looking big Ste looks big too! That's awesome. And I'm not seriously upset about the chicken and fries on Thanksgiving. I actually think it is hilarious and shows how things are pretty similar to before, ha! Happy Birthday tomorrow! I can't believe you are turning 11! That's way exciting and I hope your day tomorrow and everything goes well! I appreciate what you're doing for the Badgers; there is no need for anything for anyone else though from you guys. Thanks! And thank you for the unexpected and awesome Bump Day package! It seriously is crazy that I've been out that long already. I'll find out about the Christmas phone call. So morning is preferred by you?

Anyway, this week has been an awesome week. To ease all of the anxious readers: yes, Elder Stratton and myself will be staying in Saratoga this transfer, and for Christmas! I'm so happy and excited. I really would have been utterly shocked if either of us left. Finally, yeah, I get to be with a companion for more than 6 weeks! How weird is that concept? I'm excited; especially with all of the good that is happening here. The baptisms of Dawn and Sophia went through! We had the service Saturday morning. (I can't believe that about the baptism in Ithaca with Ben's involvement and all of that - how cool!) It went so well! The husband of the member family who has been teaching with us the whole time baptized Dawn; and I got to baptize 11 year-old Sophia! It was so cool! On Sunday the confirmations were done without complication and again the member confirmed Dawn but Elder Stratton got to confirm Sophia! It all turned out so well. That's certainly the highlight of the week although the rest of the days were not uneventful either. We had a couple crazy experiences of coming into contact with 2 less-active/no names on the record people this week. How it all happened was pretty incredible and definitely took place because of a power higher than our own. It happens so regularly; being led, guided, prompted in all aspects of the work that it is so blatantly obvious the Lord is at its head. Another cool experience we had yesterday actually was we taught an investigator and planned to read from the Book of Mormon with him wherever he was in his study (he was a former investigator we picked up a couple weeks ago and has been reading for a while, etc.) It just so happened that he was at Alma 44 - the exact chapter I read that morning. It was so cool; we were able to relate the experience of Zarahemnah trying to compromise his own 'commandment' with relation to that given from Moroni to our investigator and his situation. Further explanation would allow the experience to better represent how neat it was but this will suffice. We taught Andrew and Lauren (Paige's soccer friend) on Saturday night. She wasn't entirely into it the first visit but was definitely nice. But this last visit was incredible and she is really excited and willing to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. She had been reading but didn't understand the importance of praying formally or specifically about it. We're really excited about them. Also, we saw Jesse the 9 year old we are preparing for baptism on 12/18. It's going to go through; we are really excited! We had a couple people at the baptism on Saturday but not everyone who said they could come, came. This Friday, though, there is a baptismal service of a child of record turning 8 that we are attending with these people! It's really exciting. And Saturday is the Ward Christmas party: "A Night in Bethlehem" theme. I remember doing that quite a few years ago; it should be cool, we will have a booth set up and look forward to the missionary opportunities that will be there. This week ahead is really exciting with everything that is happening. I'm sure it will fly by, too, with Pday being Tuesday and all we have planned. Oh yeah; last night we found 2 new investigators with Brother Badger a mother and daughter he knows from work and who we helped move in to our apartment complex. They're way awesome and we're seeing them again this week with him. Sorry if I'm rambling or not giving sufficient details but there is always just so much to share and never a way to get everything out.

Sorry there weren't more pictures on the memory card. It's a little tougher in a walk area and our apartment isn't too exciting but I can take some to please you. Attached: the pictures of us prior to the baptism; tracting yesterday this sign cracked me up, I think they're watching out for us. The gator was worn riding my bike but not other than that it's not that cold yet. Enjoy.

I love you all and hope you have a great week. Simply know that I am doing well, I'm happy, and wouldn't rather be doing anything else.

Love always,
Elder Christensen

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