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, August 1, 2011

These are friends for eternity

Brother and Sister Flanders with the famous Book of Mormon
Kayla's Baptism
Elder Bergman, Elder Checketts and Elder Christensen

Dear everyone,

Hey there how's it going? It's pretty crazy that it is already August - the time is definitely flying right on by. I'm glad to hear that Paige's birthday was well celebrated! I hope that everyone had a great week and by the sounds of it I think that is the case. I received the letter and the memory card that Mom sent, thank you. That's legit Ste's team had an article about their victory. Nice work. It's fun to see the beach pictures; even if I wasn't there, ha. That was really intense to hear about the experience at Girl's Camp. The Lord definitely is involved in the fine details of our lives. I'm pretty sure my golf is slipping too, Papa, it's alright. It always comes back; speaking of which we're planning on going to the driving range to hit some golf balls later today! Yeah. The Spanish speaking couple just kind of fell off, unable to get in solid contact with them and it's not per lack of effort on our part. It's alright, though, they have some things they can take from our experience with them.
So this week I feel like breaking away from the monotony of emailing in the same format (ie. just giving the run-down of my week) and just expressing myself a little more freely with what comes to mind and what was important to me this week. Hopefully that's cool. So, we had our baptism on Saturday! Kayla was baptized and then confirmed yesterday at Sacrament meeting. The service went really well with a really great turn out from the ward. That's going to absolutely be key, ward support, in strengthening the family after this and keeping them active. They're great and it was fun to do the actual baptizing as well. Yeah, that is the second one I've performed. I'll attach pictures. The baptismal interview for Sis. Flanders went perfect. She is all set and ready to be baptized this Saturday at 6pm! I am so excited for this one! We are planning on inviting everyone we're working with to get a great turn out there and of course to strengthen the people who attend. She is really excited and her husband is so happy for her. It's so great. I don't know if I shared a story about them. If I did, I apologize but I feel like sharing it. Remember the special Book of Mormon that has the family photo in it and testimonies? Guess who it was given to...Sister Flanders. Basically the story is as follows: One morning just before going out for the day I saw that copy of the Book of Mormon among other books on my desk. For some reason, at the time no idea why, I felt like putting it in my backpack and taking it along with me for the day. I put it in a different pocket from where I put other, 'normal', copies of the Book of Mormon that way I wouldn't give it to someone without knowing or meaning. First thing that morning we taught the Flanders and it was only our 2nd appointment with them (the first one was really a 'get to know you' lesson and setting up us teaching consistently). While we were chit-chatting at the first of the lesson Bro. Flanders talked about how his favorite hymn is "How Great thou Art." We decided to sing it to kick off the lesson so I opened my backpack and got out my hymn book. We sang. We prayed. We taught the Restoration. In talking about the Book of Mormon we invited Sister Flanders to read it and pray about it. She needed a copy, so I leaned over to my backpack on the ground and the pocket was left open from getting my hymn book and the special family copy was sitting right there. I supposed I should give it to her. This was way early on and I had no idea things would turn out the way that they are - her getting baptized this Saturday and her husband reactivated. It's great. We have a really good relationship and they hold that Book of Mormon dear. I'll attach a picture. I knew Bro. Plotz was going to go visit you in Arizona. I'm glad it was a positive experience. He has a heart of gold. We were teaching when he called from the house. He called us later and I thought he was with you so I didn't answer and had E. Checketts, I then talked to him for a minute about the experience. Glad it all worked out well. It's fun to have he and his wife in the ward. Elder Bergman is now in Lake Placid. The visa-waiter got his visa and yesterday we met with those Elders and President in Saratoga and made a swap. It's just E. Checketts and me here, now in Albany. It's going great. Truly, things are going so well here it is pretty miraculous. I'm so grateful to be a part of all the sweet things happening. We are teaching so much. This upcoming week is literally almost entirely filled up with appointments/meetings. I love it. I wouldn't want it any other way. We had 7 investigators at church. The service was great. Everyone seemed to love it. As well we had some less-active members we are teaching come for the first time. It's really hard to imagine things going much better. I really wish I could tell you all of the incredible experiences I'm having here. There are so many. My testimony is growing so much from all of the miracles and amazing people we are able to find (or rather, who fall into our laps). Amazing. This week I'm going to work in Schoharie on exchange. I'm really excited about that. I heard the Dutchers are vacationing, though, so I'm a little bummed about that but it will be a great time there. I'm excited for the baptism this Saturday and we have one other investigator with a date, Laurie. She was a Head-Quarter referral for a Bible and a Book of Mormon. She's loving it and doing really well. I love the people here so much. I know these are friends for eternity, both the ward members and these people we are teaching. Having relationships with them is so critical to their success and, from my feelings, to our happiness. I love serving and helping them.
I hope you all have a great week filled with the Spirit. I love you all so much and feel and appreciate your support and love so much.

Elder Christensen

PS. Congrats to Jonathan, that's awesome!!

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