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.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Lois has been smiling ever since she got out of the water

Dear everyone,

Hello to all. How is everyone? From the sounds of things you are all doing quite well - that's great to hear. I can't believe Salt Lake had 5 inches of snow! We haven't had any here at all! In the mornings (at 6:30) there has been frost on the cars and grass but it melts as the sun comes out. I'd like to also say I think Arizona is wise in not having Day Light Savings; now when we wake up there is sunlight but the sun goes down by 5pm. Oh well. I'm excited to hear that Elder Stratton is going to Ithaca as well! Paige and Ben definitely need to have him over soon. I'm sure he knows me better than anyone else that you've had over. That ought to be good. It's been a very enjoyable week serving with Elder Becerrill. He is a very diligent and focused missionary and pretty inspiring to be around. And, he is an avid Ute fan (his blanket on his bed is University of Utah U's and stuff all over it) for those who may be interested in that little bit of information. But, for the upcoming transfer, he will be going back to Corning (which is currently closed because the missionary he started training at the beginning of this transfer went home) to train again. I anticipated this happening, which means that I'll be getting another new companion. This will be my 12th companion (plus Elder Shurtz in the MTC, and not to mention the fact that I served with Elder Lyman twice), I'm just a problem child apparently. Ha, just kidding I sure hope not. I do feel that I can do well with the changing and everything, though. I'll be serving with Elder Bowles, coming from Potsdam. He came out a transfer after me and I've only heard good things about him. I know him exclusively through interactions at ZLC but I look forward to the opportunity I have to serve with him here in Rome. He's super tall, 6' 8 or 9 I think, which will be fun.
So this is the difference between the mission home and mission office. The mission home is an ordinary house in a normal neighborhood where the Bulloch's live (we go there very rarely; lunch for the day of ZLC; and other just random circumstances - ie. dropping off Elder Farrens last Sunday and meeting up with Elder Becerrill. The mission office is inside the church building in Utica (Whitesboro). When I go to District Meeting here in this District the church we meet at is in Whitesboro so we get to stop in at the mission office and see the senior couple working there and sometimes President, etc. The mission office and mission home are less than a half mile away. I've never really explained that and hopefully that can eliminate some confusion when I refer to them. I don't really have any special thoughts/needs regarding my package this transfer. And likewise regarding Christmas at the moment. Thanks though and I'll definitely think about it more and let you know. As far as mailing Christmas stuff (with the transfer so close to Christmas; it will be 12/10 actually) probably just the mission office mailing address will be best (PO box 149) if it's going to be sent close around that time.

The baptism and confirmation were amazing this weekend! Lois is doing so well. She has been smiling ever since she got out of the water; and even more so since she received the Gift of the Holy Ghost. Her nephew Kevin is a really great guy. It was such a treat to have him come up and be a part of everything. He has only been a member for 14 months and recently was ordained an Elder. He had never baptized anyone nor confirmed anyone before yet he did everything perfectly and without strain. Kevin flew in with his mom, Lois' sister, too who is a nonmember and attended all of the events this weekend. Lois had a lot of local family here supporting her, too! I strongly feel that Lois will help bring the Gospel to her family. We ate over at Lois' on Friday night with her family and met Kevin and had a great time. Saturday after the baptism we went over and had left-overs and visited with her family again. And finally Sunday she invited us over to have dinner with her and her family! Ha, it was a great weekend that I and I'm sure she will remember. There is no mistaking the lasting and eternal joy that is to be had in bringing others the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I was talking with one of Lois' nieces (who lives in Rome) shortly after the baptism and she was saying how she has seen the change in Lois over this time, and how happy she is for Lois. That's so rewarding to hear and see and be a part of. Lois is getting excited to go to the temple; in Gospel Principles class at church yesterday the lesson was on Family History and Temple work. She's awesome. There has been quite a thinning out taking place in our teaching pool. I have faith that this week we are going to find prepared people who are ready to receive the Gospel. One thing I've gained in my experience with Elder Becerrill is a greater love and appreciation in God's word found in the scriptures. There is so much power in the scriptures and I'm eager to study them more diligently that I may grow in my testimony and understanding of the Gospel.

Thanks so much for everything that you do for me! The pictures you sent look great! Have a great week. Know of my deep love for you.

Elder Christensen
Michael with Lois, her nephew and Elder Becerrill

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