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, July 18, 2011

"Made a believer out of me"

Dear everybody,
Hey there, how's it going? From what I've heard it sounds like things are going great. I cannot believe Mom and Ste got to go to the All Star baseball game! Ha, that is such an incredible story; the blessings of the Lord come in all shapes and sizes. That's impressive Ste made so much money with his lemonade stand(s); he is a little entrepreneur. I'm glad that Paige made it back to her (new) home safely and had a good time with all of her fun travels. Yeah, the weather here has actually been really really nice. Today we may get some rain but lately, overall. it has been great. (How hot is it again in Arizona? :) haha). E. Lyman is from Washington state. It's E. Stratton who is from southern Utah and yes he is training a new missionary this transfer! The picture that Mom mentioned in her letter of me and E. Lyman on a country road is one of President Bulloch's favorite pictures he's seen too, ha. Good times. That's exciting that the Tuhaye tournament is this week, I hope it goes well! That course is great. It blows me away how old Drue and Sarah are; hopefully things this summer continue to go well. Papa and Nana you can say hello to the Pearson's for me! That's awesome. It doesn't matter to me when my next package is sent. If there is going to be anything bigger-ish that I'll need to take with me (ie. my running shoes...still undecided on that, by the way) then it'd be better to wait until after transfers. But other than that if there wouldn't be too much additional stuff to take, anytime will be great. And I think I'll be good to hold off on contacts for a bit - they should last through August. So maybe after the transfer sometime would be good. I'll keep you posted. Thanks.

I feel like I say this every time but it's the absolute truth: it's been a great week this week. Last Monday we had a good time playing some mini-golf during the day. That night we had a good lesson with the Westphal's - they're such a great family. Tuesday was a crazy day. On our way to District Meeting we got a phone call from a recent convert I'm really close to. He called to tell me that his wife had passed away just a few hours before. She was baptized at the same time he was in September last year and had lung cancer. Although we knew her passing would likely come soon, it was still a surprise. The greatest surprise, though, was how amazingly well her husband, this recent-convert, handled it all. But more on that later. So that was an interesting way to start off the day. We trained 2 districts on using the portable DVD players we are now allowed to use; they went pretty well. After the second one I was able to do a baptismal interview for a woman being taught in the Bennington Vermont Branch. Doing these interviews is such a neat experience. It went very well. Wednesday we had one more district meeting to go to then we did an exchange for the next 24 hours. I stayed in Albany and worked with E. Matangi, a sweet Tongan elder. We had a great lesson with a less-active member we had taught once before. She's going through a tough time in her family but knows she needs to come back and is planning on coming to church this Sunday! Thursday we saw the Flanders, I love them! Sis. Flanders had read and taken notes on her study of the Plan of Salvation with a pamphlet we left after we taught it last time. They're both doing so well! Later we made preparations for a meeting with the Stake Presidency and then had that meeting that night. We were able to make contact with the girl we are teaching, Monica, who is Namukolo's friend. That is a crazy story in and of itself but we were able to set up an appointment to teach her on Sunday. Friday, the highlights include teaching the Donovan family about prayer. The 10 year old daughter is still preparing for Jul 30 to be baptized. And after that we taught a couple, Kevin and Felicia, whose progress is slow but definitely noticeable. Since they've been praying their lives have been better and in fact the day before we went over Kevin was able to get a job, something he had been praying about and he told us of one fervent prayer in particular which he feels was absolutely answered and that in his words it has "made a believer out of me." Awesome. Saturday we taught the Flanders tithing. They were all for it. That was our only possible hurdle and it's wasn't a problem at all. We're now correlating with the Bishop to get him technically reactivated and ordained a Priest so that he can baptize his wife on Aug 6! I'm really excited. Also Saturday we picked up a new investigator woman, Laurie, and 2 of her kids. She requested a Book of Mormon, we had a great lesson, she's very sincere and even came to church yesterday. Saturday was the funeral service for Sis. Constable. I was chosen to say the opening prayer. It was an incredible meeting - all of his and her family are nonmembers and the word was it was the best service many of them had been to. There are several stories that Bro Constable told me after the service that are incredible - showing him that she is still around and her Spirit lives on. Incredible. He handled it incredibly and is still so determined to go to the temple and be sealed once he's been a member a year. We had 4 investigators at church. It was great. We taught Monica, Namukolo's friend yesterday. She's doing great. And we taught another Part-member family who is doing really well, progressing slower, but it's a miracle we've been teaching them and all the progress. This morning we were asked to give a blessing to a nonmember woman who is diagnosed with terminal cancer. Her daughter is a nonmember, the daughter's husband is a member (in Canada) and their son is a missionary in Tempe. He asked if she could get a blessing. It was a good experience.

Well I am out of time but this week will be great! Amazing things are planned. We have Zone Conference tomorrow which I'm excited about! I hope you all continue to be well and have a great week. Know of my love for you all and thank you so much for all that you do for me.


Elder Christensen

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