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, February 22, 2011

It's not about me

Dear one and all,

Hey there how is it going? I hope you all had as great a week as you relayed to me, sounds pretty sweet! This week has been a good one for me too and, as always, I'll talk more about that in a bit. The Suns game sounds intense and fun, glad you had a good time there. The Arizona crew is pretty lucky for the Stake Conference they had, loved hearing about that. Little jealous, but that's okay. It's so cool to hear that Jackson walked/is walking, and on skype even! Way to be. He was quite different the last time I saw him, ha. So we went to TJM last Monday and they had some slacks the size and fit and everything that worked well so I exchanged those, and even got a nickle back for tax, yes. Thanks again. I can't believe Mom is going on a sister-in-law trip in St. George, that sounds like it will be a great time (never played Entrada GC). Here this week the schools have what is called Winter break where they have this entire week off! It's a joke! I wish I had that! They get Spring Break here in a couple weeks, too! So some families and things are going out of town but it really shouldn't affect us too bad in our work. We did get the warm spell on Thursday and Friday it was really nice reaching temperatures in the mid 50's. Yeah, you Arizona and Florida babies think that is cold but it was incredible! We didn't get snow Saturday, though, that Ithaca spoke of. Everything was starting to melt those two days which was really nice but then this morning we woke up to 3-5 inches of snow and the sound of snow plows out in the parking lot. Ha, good times. That's awesome that Ben made a profile! That's good to know so I could sent someone to it if I think they could relate, etc! Nice! I hope Papa and the golf guys have a great week this week as well; and yeah, Dad, sounds like such a bummer you have to 'fill in' on Thursday and Friday and play with them, ha. Have a great time. That's really neat Elder Zwick remembered you or talked to you at Stake Conference or the meeting before. Papa and Nana thanks so much for the card and art, it's really nice. I got the Florida card too, thanks a bunch. You both can expect a little something in the mail this week.

So, really, this week has been quite good. It was difficult, just like it is in any other transitional period, coming here again to Saratoga to immerse myself in the work initially. I definitely was doing my best and had the desire to do so but just naturally change can be difficult or require time. I really feel comfortable here and have learned a lot in my experiences already. Last Monday it proved to be really beneficial for me to write you guys and President and to really evaluate how great things are and for what I have to be grateful. I found much goodness in my life and in my current situation or position on my mission. Tuesday I went on exchange and worked with a District Leader in Greenwich who I had worked with before. This, too, was really good for me and I was able to begin to realize my purpose in being here in Saratoga and how it absolutely is not about me. In the email President sent us today he talked about a Conference he went to with Elder Scott among others of the seventy this past weekend. The main point he recalled Elder Scott talked about was the valuable lesson he learned on his mission that it is not nor will it ever be about himself, his wants, or his desires. On this exchange through Wednesday afternoon I had the greater ability to reflect and ponder about everything and I'm so grateful for it. Pulling it directly from his email he said:
Elder Cook testified of the power that came into his life as a young missionary when he finally realized that this work was not about himself and his desires. He said, “The minute you think it is about you, you are in trouble.” This was totally the central theme of my week this week, and I can honestly say that it has not only blessed me to be happier, to have a greater endowment of the Spirit, but also the people we came in contact with, taught, etc. I don't really feel that before I was totally thinking about me or things like that, but it is just simply the entire turning of our hearts to God and accepting His will above our own. That's quite hard as you all, perhaps, very well know. That's what this life is all about, finding the ability to in all cases have the mentality: Not my will but Thine be done. Coming to this greater realization and desire to put the Lord's will above my own has led me to my current thoughts about the upcoming transfer that 'whatever happens, happens.' I really have no clue what is going to happen. With all of the surrounding circumstances there isn't one likely way this will all turn out. Who knows, I could be in Albany again, I could still be here in Saratoga, I could be many miles across the state. Whatever it will be, I'm up for it. I know that the Lord always has our best interest at heart and I'm perfectly okay with that and in whatever way that translates in this upcoming transfer. I'll know Saturday mid-day what is happening; but until then E. Stratton and I have a great week of work ahead of us. The 21 year old husband of a member is all set and ready to go. He is going to have his interview this Wednesday and fly to Colorado after he graduates from the Navy and have the services there. Awesome guy. We taught Lauren and her boyfriend last night actually. It was a very powerful lesson. We picked apart Moroni's promise. They have read about half or more of the Book of Mormon and have prayed about it throughout. They have yet to come to church with his work, but he got this Sunday off to come! They are incredibly smart and understand very well; we just hope that they can receive an answer soon, and that church will be the key. We'll see them Wednesday this week again and probably read with them from the Book of Mormon. Friday morning we had a cool experience tracting. We did a whole street with zero success and started to get a little disappointed when we knocked on a door of a family who wasn't home but a woman in her 20's answered who was so nice. Her name is Lorena, from Mexico City, has member friends here, and back home. Totally prepared. We have a couple in the ward we are looking to have fellowship them: the wife is Chilean and he served his mission there. We are really excited to teach her this week. Finally, the most humbling experience this week revolves around Phil. He is the brother of Sandra who was baptized if you remember on her 25 birthday on January (the baptism I got to come back for). Phil was the initial contact we had with her, he was taught by missionaries in Oneonta and moved here. He had a long road to travel that didn't seem realistic. Anyway, he has totally changed. He hasn't smoked for 30+ days now, and is actually prepared for baptism. Because of things we are aware of we won't set him with a date until he is cleared from his interview but we are looking to have that take place this week and the baptism, assuming he passes, will follow shortly thereafter. It's not super likely, but it's a possibility that it could happen this Saturday. I wish I had more time to describe this whole process and change in him and how incredible and out of no where (especially for me leaving and coming back) it was! Very very humbling and cool to see the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the powerful example of Gospel living siblings can have on another.

Well, I really hope you all have a great week, filled with the Spirit of the Lord. I love you all so much and hope and pray you know that. Thanks for all that you do, it means so very much.

Elder Christensen

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