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, January 18, 2011

Our Heavenly Father Loves Us

Dear Everyone,
It's been a battle to find a computer today where we could email. Currently we are experiencing freezing rain and a lot of places are closed and driving is bad. Some areas won't be able to email this week, unfortunately. (probably Saratoga one of them; so just be aware that if perhaps sometime I don't email in a week it's likely due to weather and I'll at least send a letter in the mail) Nonetheless, we made it and here I am! Unfortunately one of my gloves is gone; my snow/snowboard gloves. If it's at all possible it would be awesome to have another pair of black warm gloves like that. If not I can maybe find some here. Just please let me know. That's awesome Ste got straight A's and Rachel and Jackson are in Mesa. Hopefully you are all still having a great time together and things are well. The elder going to Ithaca, if it is E. Schrader, did come out with me; he's a cool kid. Sweet hockey game story and pictures, too. We won't drive to Utica or anything for transfers although people will be taking our van. Friday, though, we will go into Utica for Zone Leader Council with President; it should be really awesome. That happens every transfer. I didn't get your letter and the memory card yet, but we had no mail yesterday so I'm sure I'll get it today (we saw mailmen out in the storm already today so keeping our fingers crossed it comes). Congrats for Jennie and Jr. Miss, that's really cool. Other than that though, everything sounds pretty good for all of you guys!
It cracks me up how you find out about transfers and things before I even write you guys. Yes, I will be staying here with Elder Boyakin. Perhaps a bit of new news for you guys though there will actually be another missionary coming here to Albany with us as a Zone Leader. His name is Elder Potter (no, not related to Harry; already heard that from members like 6 times, haha). I've heard really good things about him; he trained when I came out and I think he's been out about 18 months. I hear he's really really hard working which will be awesome. Having three again will definitely be different just like it was before but we will be able to get so much work done it should be great. We found out this morning, though, we don't know now when E. Potter will come here because a missionary had to go to the hospital last night and E. Potter will be this missionary's companion for the next few days; so it may be Elder Boyakin and myself until Friday when we go to Utica or until next Pday. We're just on standby with that. Elder Johnson has been gone since Friday morning and E. Boyakin and I have been trying to find our stride with just us 2 and it's been going really well. We got some good work done this week, though, amidst all of the crazy weather and such. Tuesday I experienced more of the administrative aspects of being a Zone Leader putting together some numbers and things for a Stake Correlation Meeting we had on Thursday night. Wednesday we woke up to a ton of snow so we went out shoveling people's walk and helping people out; it was good. Definitely not something I am used to though. On Friday we got a call from an investigator we set with a date the previous Sunday and she had her "ah-ha" moment. It was really sweet she said she was reading a Plan of Salvation pamphlet and it just hit her how she wants to "go home" etc, it was awesome. Unfortunately she didn't make it to church as she said she'd be there but we're not too too worried. On Saturday we blitzed the elders in Gloversville - meaning E. Boyakin and I both worked there with them. It was a good experience and we worked hard. It was pretty funny, though, considering both of the missionaries I was working with have been out over a year. They still respected the 'leader role' in trying to learn as much from us as possible and everything went really well. We all learned from each other and gained greater perspective on how to carry out the work. The most notable things, though, were Sunday and Monday. Sunday Elder Boyakin and I were teaching a part-member family. The husband is an investigator. Long story short, as we were teaching it was going really well. I felt prompted, though, to promise him he would receive his witness in one week if he read from the Book of Mormon everyday, praying before and afterward, and attended church this upcoming Sunday. It was pretty forward and bold but we really feel it was inspired and will happen as he does it. We realized later, too, he's going back to school next week and will be way busy and seeing him/them will be much more difficult. We gave him specific reading assignments for each day. We've been reading them personally and it's awesome how applicable there are to him specifically. Today we read Moroni 7-10. Last night we texted him to remind him and ask how it's been going and he said he had an incredible experience with his prayer to have his heart softened and open his understanding! It was one of the coolest texts ever! We are going forth with faith - as miracles were never produced without prayer, felt need, and faith. We're excited. Yesterday, Monday, E. Boyakin and I taught Dennis an investigator (the man we taught at U of Albany when I was here on exchange!) And that was actually the last time we had met with him due to things coming up, etc. It went so well; we met at the church and read through the introduction to the Book of Mormon first thing. It naturally came up and we felt prompted to invite him to be baptized on 3-12. At first he declined, as many do, but we resolved his concerns and he committed! It was awesome! And we then watched the Restoration DVD and the Spirit was so incredibly strong it was incredible! We look forward to continuing to work with him and help him progress. He's committed to church this Sunday. Speaking of that, Sunday morning a former and current potential investigator called us asking to get a ride to church! We got it coordinated and he came! It was really cool, he's looking for something in his life now and we look forward to our appointment tomorrow morning! We have a lot of good work going on here that we are really excited about! Just typing all of this and reflecting back on the tremendous blessings we have seen it gets me even more excited to go out and help others! I hope that you all know how much I appreciate this Gospel, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There is no question that this all is true and real. How humbling and comforting it is to know that our Heavenly Father loves us as much as he does, and how he is eager to have a personal relationship with us as we do our part. I pray that we are willing and desirous to do so.
Thanks so much for all of the love and support that you offer me; it means so much. And I hope you all know how much I love, appreciate, and support you. I hope you have a wonderful week filled with the Spirit of our loving Heavenly Father!
Love always,
Elder Christensen

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