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.

Monday, April 4, 2011

I love Conference so much

Dear everyone,

I don't know what is much better than the incredible Spirit of learning, revelation, and unity that is had during General Conference. My goodness what a great opportunity that was to listen to the inspired words of our beloved prophet, other church leaders, and of course Jean! Perhaps I'll go through my week and allow Conference to serve as the finale. I hope everyone had a great week and traveled safely, those who traveled. It's great to hear from all of you! This week has been a great one for me too, I can't believe it is over! April showers seem to truly be upon us this morning; I love the rain, and especially when it's thundering (it can be a little tedious trying to keep pass-along cards dry and copies of the Book of Mormon, but it's great). Essentially all of the snow is melted which is awesome. And guess what? Hilarious, walking out to our van one morning I see a really dirty and crusty old glove by a pile of snow that had been melted (all pushed to a common place from the parking lot), and it happened to be my missing black glove that was lost! Ha, it needed to be washed and such but it was a funny little surprise to turn up once the snow had melted. I didn't plan on finishing the Book of Mormon on that special day at all; in fact, I only remembered the significance of the day that night. It was a really cool experience, though, that I'm sure I won't forget. That's awesome the Arizona family did lesson 2 in Preach My Gospel - Ste, know that even though I've heard it and taught it many, many times I still study it each week and learn new things, pretty sweet ;). That's great Ste did so awesome pitching at his baseball game, way to go. Paige, your missionary experience is so awesome! I absolutely know the incredible feeling you get when you have a successful encounter sharing the gospel with someone and testifying about how much it's blessed you. Way to go. E. Potter served in Owego and I mentioned it to him and he's really excited, ha. Tyler, I hope you have an awesome time in Georgia this weekend - I appreciate the offer but I don't think I need anything from Augusta right now. Perhaps a rain check? Ha, I'm glad the family was able to get together in Salt Lake for Conference and all of its festivities. Hope all there had a great time and enjoyed the fun and Spirit.
This week has flown. It's crazy all that has happened and great to be healthy and able to get out and do things all week. Last Monday E. Potter and I actually did something fun and to relieve ourselves and went to the church and played some ping pong and basketball and such for about an hour. It was a good day. Tuesday was incredible. We taught Bro. Pascher the Word of Wisdom and it was so, so cool. After going through it all and answering great questions about it we invited him to live it. Realizing the significance of it and the true commitment of it he paused and seriously pondered on it all. We answered again what it all entailed and what it meant and he got up and started gathering together all of his contraband. He willingly, though it was difficult, passed over his tea, coffee and tobacco and committed to live the Word of Wisdom. It was so neat, the Spirit was working so strongly on him of the truthfulness of it all. We then gave him a blessing after, which only invited the Spirit more. What a memorable lesson and experience! After for the rest of Tuesday I was on exchange with an E. McCleve here in Albany. We had some cool things happen and ran into some prepared people willing to learn more. That day we found a guy missionaries had talked to not too long ago but fell threw the cracks, he reminds me of Paris Thomas (on; mainly physical appearance and demeanor not background) a lot; we directed him to watch that video and are eager to teach him this week. Wednesday morning, still with E. McCleve, we went by a less-active who we found out had moved but an awesome 20 year old guy was there who is eager to change his life after overcoming some serious addictions - we directed him to Valentin Pavia on Awesome; coolest part is I had a feeling we needed to find someone that morning who was prepared, through prayer and planing and things, and it definitely happened. We're excited to teach him this week, too. We switched back and E. Potter and I taught a woman from Africa named Yawa. She's really humble and hasn't been here for very long but is excited to learn more how she can strengthen her faith and family she's starting. Thursday we taught the Pagan family (LA), they're doing really good and will be coming back soon. Friday we were anticipating 1-2 feet of snow from the weather man; it proved to be a great April-fool's joke (not seriously planned but it worked out that way, ha). We taught Bro. Kerius at the university again, it went well. (The unfortunate update on him now, though, having just got off the phone with him prior to getting on the computer is that he wants to take a break and study things out on his own for at least a year. It's a bummer, but we're looking forward with an eye of faith). Then, I went on exchange to Downtown Albany with a missionary who's this is his 2nd transfer. It was fun and different to be there and walking around talking to everyone, or almost everyone. His name is E. Ferguson and turns out he knocked on my door at BYU looking for my next door neighbor and I directed him there, ha. It was a puzzle to fit together but we realized it all and couldn't believe it.

General Conference was incredible! Jean did amazingly! It was such a cool experience to know that we were all listening to her and some were actually there experiencing it that way and others watching it in our respective locations all around. So so cool. Conference really does just bring us all together. It's always really hard for me to decide on a favorite talk but there were many principles that were recurring that stood out to me. I really found the comfort and answers to those things that were on my mind or that I was looking for. I know the Spirit is able to give that portion which shall be meted unto every man as we are humble and receptive to it. The principle that we will be happiest when we follow Christ was reiterated and rang very true in my head. I can testify that I know this is true, especially experiencing mission life where that is entirely my focus and the focus I have for others. On that note, serving and caring for others really is one that proved to 'correct' me well. I'm eager to help others and put their needs and concerns above my own: be it my companion, investigators, members and nonmembers alike, and the missionaries I serve. I love Conference so much and am eager to ponder on the messages and the Spirit of it all (or as E. Holland said to ponder on what Conference itself is, specially how it brings us all together). It's great and I'm excited for everything ahead!
I hope you all have a great week and take the strength from Conference into your lives forward. I know that Conference blessed/es our family and that especially as we heed the words given we will only be more blessed. I love you all so much and thank you for your examples of faith and love!
Elder Christensen

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