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 11, 2011

"Fake it till you make it"

Dear everyone,
Surprise! I am emailing (having Pday) on Monday this week (week 6 in the transfer) instead of Tuesday because Elder Potter and I are staying here in Albany and aren't affected by the transfer. We can take Pday on the Monday like the norm if it works better with your schedule and routine, so here we are. If you didn't email me because you were anticipating my email tomorrow that's quite alright, no worries. Perhaps you can just assume Pday is on every Monday and if it's a transfer week and if myself or my companion is getting transferred we'll just email the next day on Tuesday. Well I hope you all have had a great week. I can't believe Utah keeps getting snow, that is crazy! And great to hear that Drue had that experience playing violin. I meant to comment last week how special that is that Sarah had the opportunity to meet President Monson in the Temple! I can't believe that. It was awesome to hear some of the insights into Jean's talk! I had some cool experiences with Xiamin, our investigator, telling us how that is the talk that meant the most to her; as well as our gospel principles teacher at church yesterday saying how that talk was the answer to a question he had as he's raising a young family. It's really such a cool situation. And C. Scott Grow of the Seventy who also spoke this Conference is who came to our All Mission Conference in October. It was great to hear him speak. So as you may know we are moving this week to our new apartment in East Greenbush. So Mom, it'd be best to not send anything to this apartment in Menands this week, thanks. As far as things go for the next package you send, I don't have any requests or needs that I can think of now other than those mentioned in the letter I got this week. Thanks! Papa and Nana thanks for the package! It got to me safe and sound, I really appreciate it!
So this week has been a good one and there certainly hasn't been a dull moment. There definitely has been some 'downer' moments, but looking back all of the positive experiences really outweigh any of the bad. Monday night we had an interesting experience. The night before (last Sunday night) in our planning session E. Potter and I felt like trying by a less-active family that we didn't know. We ended up doing so a little after 8pm on Monday night. Long story short, the wife came out and spoke with us for an hour really openly about her situation with her family (all of this in the rain, mind you). And she told us how that night at 3am she prayed sincerely for help with this and knew that we'd come. It was incredible - especially thinking about how we received the revelation the Sunday night around 9:15pm to see her when her prayer for help wasn't until 3am some hours later. The Lord is so mindful of all of us and even knows our needs and can begin answering our prayers before we even pronounce them. Unfortunately, we won't be able to teach her and her family with the family situation she told us about, but it was a really neat experience nonetheless. Tuesday was a very interesting day, wow. The day was filled with awesome appointments and members coming out to teach with us at 3 different occasions. I was on exchange with an Elder serving in Greenville here in Albany and it turned out to be a bit of a rough day. 2 of our appointments with members fell through or bailed on us right then when the member had already made the effort to come out, which was tough. But on top of it we had an incident with the van. We had to back up about 5 feet to get around a parked car in front of us so I had this companion get out of the van to back me up (trying to be obedient). Since it was such a little bit we had to back he left the passenger door open and directed me to go. So, foolishly, I did and ended up bumping into a little garden bed type thing on the sidewalk that prohibited the door from moving with the car. We weren't going fast but when I became aware I pulled forward quickly and examined it and didn't think there was much damage. Until the next time he opened that door we found that it was a bit of a problem. In summary after talking with the mission office and getting estimates and things for the repairs it's going to be about $700 and we'll likely be 3 days without our van. I feel great. I'm not sure exactly what will happen - I think the church pays for it as they have with other car repairs in the past but I'm not sure if driving privileges for me or that companion will be affected or what. We're still waiting to hear back from the mission office. But it's all good and I've moved on (other than being ready to accept any ramifications that come). Wednesday E. Potter and I went and worked with the Elders in Hudson. We had a great time getting a lot done and I was able to work with E. Smidt who was in the MTC with me which was really awesome. He's a good guy. That night back in Albany we taught the Pagans - they loved Conference and are doing great. Thursday night proved really awesome. Our split cancelled so we stopped by a less-active and part-member family. The wife is a convert/member from back in her teen years and hasn't been since she was 17 (she's in her early 30's now). Her husband and kids are all nonmembers. Due to recent things in their lives they're looking for a church and faith to lean on. We have an appointment with them tomorrow and they're committed to come to church this Sunday! It's really exciting. Friday we spent the morning and boxing things up for the move and such. Then that night we had a really funny experience. When I was away in Downtown Albany the week before E. Potter set an appointment with a less-active family that we didn't know for this past Friday night. So we go. The house is a duplex. It turns out that they had knocked on the wrong door but the man who lives in the non-less active house is also named Chris, the name of the less-active member. Anyway, we get in a talk with Chris for about 10 minutes until we realize he isn't a member and was just nice enough to invite us in and listen to what we had to say! We proceed to teach the Restoration and totally act like we knew what was going on the whole time! Ha. Fake it 'til you make it. He's really eager to read and pray about the Book of Mormon! It was quite funny and there are great surrounding details I'll be sure to share later. Saturday we taught Xiamin. She's committed to read the Book of Mormon finally, which is great; but she is attending a Chinese nondenominational Bible class on Sundays now that keep her from church. We'll work on it. Sunday we saw a less-active family, the Santana's and taught the first half of the Restoration. It was really great and they're going to be coming back! Also, we organized a 40-day fast in our ward for missionary work starting next Sunday that we're excited about! That's been in the works for a while and it's finally happening which is awesome! A great week is ahead filled with work and a move! Should be a good one!
I send you my love and hope you have a great week!
Elder Christensen

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