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.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Lord is right here with us

Dear everyone,

Hey. How's it going? It's great to hear that everyone's Thanksgiving weekend was an enjoyable one as well as Mom's birthday. Way to represent at the ping pong tournament; that's crazy that there were so few people there this year. Were Kent and Linda out of town or elsewhere? Is Johnathan engaged? How is everyone else doing? It was great to hear from Justin and his family this week - hope they continue to be well. The Christmas lights are up, without a hitch? What an early Christmas miracle; just kidding, it's usually pretty smooth but I'm not too disappointed I wasn't there for that. Ha. We found two little strands of colored Christmas lights in a closet in the apartment and we went to great lengths to hang them with care, ha. You guys crack me up - I'm definitely displaced from the world as a missionary but we aren't completely out of the loop with regards to what an iPad is, etc. Ha, the first one came out before I was a missionary as well. That's pretty cool though. It's really funny, too, to see rich, old High Priests at church with their iPads using them for scriptures, manuals, (and games?) ha. I have yet to get Mom's letter in the mail, I'm sure due to the holiday, for your info. Anyway, it's great that you all are doing well.

My Thanksgiving was rather nice. We had a very good meal - there was absolutely way too much food, ha. We ate with the the Boxall's, our Ward Mission Leader, and his wife (who is from the Philippines) and another sister from the ward. She is a really good cook and loves to feed anyone, such a nice family. We had a great time, too, singing some Christmas hymns and laughing together. Definitely a day to remember - it is in such stark contrast from my Thanksgiving meal in Saratoga with the Bishop's family last year which was equally enjoyable but just so different. There it was very formal, nice dishes, classy, quiet visiting... whereas this year was a much more laid back, come as you like, type atmosphere. Again, I loved both just so different it is fun to reflect back on it. The rest of our Thanksgiving day was productive - we went around visiting people, wishing them a Happy Thanksgiving and giving them a nice little card expressing our gratitude for them. Our timing at the places we went seemed to be just spot on for people the whole day, it was pretty amazing. It was really nice when we went to our relatively new investigator-family's to give them a card. They in turn said, oh that's funny because we actually have something for you and they gave us a card as well, expressing their gratitude for us. That was nice. This week definitely wasn't without trials, though. Especially yesterday, everything just kept not going 'our way' - is was quite a bit disappointing, especially after some of the other circumstances not working out earlier in the week. I am so grateful for the tender mercies of the Lord, though, and just at the end of our day yesterday we had a great experience. We had an appointment with a couple - excommunicated member and less-active member - who are some of the coolest, and most sincere, people ever. The best part is their 18 year old daughter (nonmember) who came home from her boyfriend's in order to be present for the lesson! Her parents are experiencing a miraculous change of heart in embracing the gospel now in their lives more than ever. The daughter, Sarah, knows very little about the church but had really good questions and expressed interest much more than I would expect from a typical 18 year old. All this may sound relatively simple but to me at the time, yesterday, it was incredibly meaningful and such a testimony builder than the Lord's tender mercies are upon the faithful. I've learned in a greater degree that the Lord is right here with us, as this is His work. And although it isn't always an 'easy road', as I faithfully endure well the trials and circumstances in which I find myself, He is eager to bless me at the most opportune instant. This isn't true just for me or missionaries, it's true for all of us. We just need to do a better job trusting in the Lord's way - as it molds us into the individuals He knows we have the potential to become.

Thanks for all the things that you do for me. I'm very grateful for the love I feel from all of you.

Elder Christensen

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