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, September 26, 2011

Staying here in Rome

Dear everyone,

Hello. How's it going today? I hope you all are doing well and as always it is great to hear from all of you. As you may suppose due to receiving my email today, on Monday, Elder Farrens and I are staying here in Rome. I really wasn't thinking too much about the upcoming new transfer, or the possibility of change for it. It's hard to believe a new transfer is already here, the time is melting away. Yeah, E. Kunzler is extending a bit so we don't have to close
another area. He'll leave before this upcoming transfer is over, though, so some change will happen in the middle of it all. I'm very excited for the things ahead - with the work here in Rome and other upcoming events. This week we have ZLC and General Conference. Next week E. Farrens and I will be going around training at the District Meetings in the Zone. The following week a General Authority, Paul P Piper, is coming and we're having joint Zone Conferences; and that weekend this Stake is getting reorganized and the rumor is Elder Bednar is coming! This should be awesome. My best guess would be that there are 8-10 walk areas in the mission. We have the only 'big truck' like that in the mission and we have it because they want it close to the mission office in case they need it. We exercise everyday but Sunday, of course. We run about a mile and then other exercises for the rest - I do stuff for my hips primarily. I've stayed in 1 day due to illness back with Elder Potter, I threw up in the morning and stuff. I've never been with a companion who had to stay in because he was sick. Very, very blessed. The black family/kids in the picture are a less-active/part-member family. The dad was baptized some years ago and none of the kids are members. (there are a couple neighborhood kids over and in the picture, too. But there are 4 boys in the family). They're really funny; I didn't teach them too much but had a really good relationship with them - helped them with snow in the winter, etc.

The work in Rome has really picked up and is very exciting. We were able to find 4 new investigators this week and teach 20 lessons - that's good for anywhere around here and definitely an improvement from the past. Lois is continuing to do very well and is progressing nicely for her baptism of Nov. 5. Her nephew, the only member in her family who was baptized a year ago who lives in Mesa, subscribed her to the Ensign and she's reading that in addition to the Book of Mormon and pamphlets we give her. We taught the Word of Wisdom early last week and she's been living it 100% - very exciting and she feels very good about it. She came to church again this week and stayed for Gospel Principles, too. It's really great teaching her. I don't know what it is with elderly ladies but I've seemed to have quite the success with them, ha. (ie. Sister Flanders, Lois, and another 81 year old lady we found as a new investigator just yesterday). Lois is definitely on the forefront of my mind and I'm very excited as she continues to grow close to her Savior. Another new investigator we found this week is a guy in his 70's. We taught him at the bishop's home as they formerly were coworkers and know each other well. His name is Bill and he was taught before several years ago but we found him and will continue to teach him this week. It's certainly true that the longer I'm in an area the more comfortable/'easier' it becomes as I have relationships with the people we're working with and members of the ward. We're trying really hard to not only strengthen the ward by bringing outside people in, but by strengthening it from the inside out. Elder Farrens has 2 more transfers, this and one more. He's convinced that he will stay here the rest of his mission and feels it's very likely I'll be with him for that time. I'd be fine with that. I'm really learning what it means to put trust in God. Perhaps my favorite way to help people understand God's love for all of his children (and the way that it makes most sense to myself) is relating it to the love that a parent here on earth has for his child. I know that Heavenly Father only and always has our best interest in mind. 3 Nephi 14:7-11. Although I may not understand and see why certain things need to happen the way they do, I have trust that Heavenly Father certainly does. I know very clearly that I need to be in Rome at this time in my life - for myself and for others.

We had a good time golfing last week and are planning to go again this week - perhaps to a par 36, 9-hole course; we're trying to take advantage of this pleasant weather while we have it still. Thanks so much for all of the love and support that you have for me. It means the world and I can definitely feel it. I hope you all have a great week!

Elder Christensen

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