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, March 1, 2011

Back to Albany

Dear everyone,

Hey there! How's it going? It's wonderful to hear from you all. Sounds like the St. George trip was a success and a great get away for the female crew. Thanks a lot for the letter, Mom, especially as you did it even though it may have been a little harder on a trip. Be sure to let all those who wrote those notes how much I appreciate them, they were great. That is really lame to hear about the memory card; I don't know what the deal has been with them, why they are malfunctioning and such but thank goodness you were able to get all of the pictures off and on the computer. I cannot believe that Stephanie Gifford is coming to this mission! That is totally crazy! Good for her! I'm sure we'll be seeing each other around and things, wow. It's so interesting to hear where people from back home are and what they're doing with their lives...whether they decide to serve a mission like that or whether they're married, etc. Ha, I totally forget about all of that until it's mentioned. That's so ironic Papa asked why it is that we are called Elders. Recently people (who we contact out here) have been asking that same question even more so than typical it seems. What we tell people, quite simply, is that it is a title for teacher and that seems to satisfy. A little bit deeper and personal meaning, though, I am aware of is that Elder also means 'defender of the faith.' I wish I had the time to expound on that, but I don't. It's so funny how many people try and give us grief because we aren't 'old' and our name tag says Elder.
But, to perhaps ease the troubled or curious minds, I'll be going back to Albany and serving with Elder Potter! I'm stoked, I love that guy. And check this out, Elder Stratton will be staying here and serving with Elder Shurtz, my MTC companion! How sweet is that! So it's great to know that there will be 2 solid missionaries here to continue the work that is going on, and there is so much that is going on.

This week really was wonderful. Looking back on my experiences during my reunion in Saratoga Springs, I am so grateful for it all. I know that this was needed for so many reasons. Forever will Saratoga Springs have a tender spot in my heart. I love it here. I love everything about it. Leaving so quickly the first time and so unexpected it really made it interesting; I don't want to say I was bitter but not being able to say goodbye and leave on a little more 'normal' terms almost seemed that it didn't leave a great taste in my mouth. Coming back since then has definitely changed that as I have been able to mentally and literally be more gradual in my departure. There are many many reasons why, for me, this has been what was needed. There are so many more reasons for others that this has been best, too. For certain investigators, less-active members, active members, and especially Elder Stratton I know that my short time here has been positive. In short, I've learned so much through this all and am so grateful for the experiences I've had. I'll quickly try and give a run-down of this past week. Tuesday at our service at the soup kitchen we give a man had a seizure or heart attack and it was kind of scary and I got to hold a big trash can while he was vomiting and things, that was noteworthy. After that, E. Stratton and I presented a training at District Meeting that went really well on receiving revelation through church attendance (how to teach this more effectively). After that, we had an interesting appointment. We went to Brother Swetish's who is in the Navy, all set for baptism, to go over the baptismal interview questions for the next day. Right when we got there he told us how he had been not entirely obeying the Word of Wisdom and felt awful, etc. It was a total shock but we did our best to handle it well and just show him an increase of love. It ended up really well and we taught the word of wisdom and he's committed and wants to live it and be baptized and do it all properly. Really neat experience there, which I could mention more. We saw him (and his member-wife) 2 more times after that and talked about repentance and then went over the baptismal questions. He's very humble and wants it to be done right. So cool, he's ready and will have his interview this Thursday. Wednesday was full of appointments that fell through. Thursday we tracted into a lady, it was pretty cool. Walking up to the door I said we should do a family history approach (pretty random, as we don't do that too too often). We do, and she busts out Titus 3:9 (though she didn't know the verse) and it wasn't how we expected she would react but we resolved her concern and she ended up inviting us in! Ha, and we taught about the Book of Mormon. Friday, huge snow storm. Phil Brewer had his baptismal interview and passed! Holy moly! He will be baptized this Saturday. I don't think I'll be able to attend but that's perfectly alright, really really neat experiences with him in my time back in Saratoga. Sunday I'll just mention I actually got the Book of Mormon all of our testimonies and picture is in that I had given to a member to give to a lady he worked with who came to church. It didn't really work out with her. So I have that special Book of Mormon again and look forward to being able to give it to someone special. Pretty neat. Yesterday was rainy in the morning but it didn't stop us from working. Had some appointments and said a couple goodbye's. Well, I'm really looking forward to what the future has in store in Albany! I know that this work is so divinely guided. We need to trust wholly in the Lord and that he knows what is best. I'm certainly trying to improve.

Well I hope you all have a wonderful week filled with great experiences and the Spirit. Thanks so much for all the support!

Elder Christensen


1.Bus driver patrick, love this guy (taken today)
2.The swetish's
3.Phil brewer (right), sandra larney, alden trimble

We'll see Andrew and Lauren tonight. They came to church. Cool insights Paige, thanks.
Rachel, got your email! Thanks so much!!

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