Monday, December 16, 2013

You Know that Christmas is Different when Santa is Handing out Popsicles Instead of Candy Canes at the Primary Christmas Party

P-Day Barbecue with the Zone
Hey Fam.,

Sorry I didn't have much time to write today so this may be a little short. It has been a crazy week. We had our Confrencia de Navidad on Wednesday. It was really great. President Martinez gave a really powerful message that had a good impact on me and really motivated me. I was really happy because I could understand almost all of it. Spanish is good some days and bad others, but overall I feel like I am improving. His message was about giving yourself to Christ, just like you have been telling me to do. Thank you so much for your letters. They are perfect for me each week. I find exactly what I need. After President's message we had a zone talent show type deal. Our zone sang 12 Days of Christmas with different lyrics that fit the missionary theme a little better. Everybody loved it.

Part of our Zone today at our Barbecue
Friday I had a great inter-cambio with Elder Y from Argentina. He has been in the mission for about 2 weeks. He is a really great guy and speaks English pretty well because he has taken it for the last 12 years or so. We were in his sector which is on the coast so it was nice because it is about 20 degrees cooler. I also got to see the ocean, which was great. It is always nice to have a real shower as well!

Saturday we had a great service project where I got to use a grub hoe. It felt so good. Today we had a barbecue with the zone that was a lot of fun. My soccer team was me, an Argentinian, a Mexican, and a Chilean. I am not very good at soccer.


Elder Christensen

P.S. I LOVE YOU ALL!!! Say "hi" to Meisha for me and tell her how much I appreciate her example. (Will's cousin Meisha is finishing her mission in the Philippines this week.)  You are amazing!

 A Street in Santa Juana

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

"The Good News"

Elder Christensen and Elder Cy Holt
Dear Family,

My heart is so full. I have had a very difficult and discouraging week. I have been frustrated because I haven’t felt like we have accomplished very much in the last 7 weeks I’ve been here. This morning we went into the office to get my long-term visa taken care of. When we got there, I found out that there were five packages waiting for me. I was really surprised and felt a little embarrassed (especially after the new office missionary made a comment about only receiving 3 packages in the year and a half he had served). I didn’t know what to think. An hour or so later we got back to the house and I opened them up. There were the 3 from you and the one from the ward and the one from Gram. I have never been so touched and blessed in my entire life.  Mom and Dad, you are truly amazing. I am so blessed to have parents like you who give so freely and bless so many. Today you have taught me a lesson that I will never forget. The kids here will love all of these toys. Thank you so much for teaching me to give. I can do so much good and you have helped me realize that. Thank you for blessing me with so much and giving so freely to me and many others. You two are incredible. I am determined to do better and be better.

I am so grateful for our incredible ward and their generosity and love. I have been so blessed to grow up with so many great people around me.  They are incredible and I love every one of them. Please express my gratitude for their remarkable love and kindness.

I guess I am so touched because you and the ward reminded me why I am out here: to love and bless the lives of others, to share “the good news”. Thank you for everything! I hope I can make you proud.

With much gratitude,

Elder Christensen

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


Things Elder N and I are grateful for.

Hey Fam!

I hope you are doing well! Thank you for your wonderful letters last week. I really believe they were inspired. Dad, thank you for the pep talk. You should publish that. It was perfect for me and hit all of the things that were on my mind last week. The work here is difficult. I will be in this area for another six weeks, but after that I am not sure. Anything could happen. It is possible that I could be here for a couple of months, but it doesn’t matter. I am confident that I will be sent where I am needed.

We had a chance to do some service, unloading some logs from a truck. It didn't do much for my missionary attire. 

Could have used some gloves, but it felt great to do physical labor again.

Yesterday, we invited the solid members to bring someone to church with them each week, either a less active member or an investigator. Help from members makes our job a million times easier. Please, please, please help out the missionaries as much as you can. You will make their missions so much better and they will be so happy and grateful.

You all inspire me. I really enjoyed Uncle Jeff’s letter last week. Tell him that I didn’t go turkey hunting, but we did buy a 5 ft. tall fake Christmas Tree. In the mornings it is cool enough that I can turn on our propane heater for a few minutes, drink a glass of warm chocolate milk, and pretend it is Christmas time. Then after our studies, we step out into the 90 degree weather. I am looking forward to focusing on Christ this year.

I have really been trying to have the Spirit with me by studying the Scriptures, praying, and being obedient.  The mission field is challenging but I am very grateful to be here. I am learning things about myself and the gospel that I need to know. I feel like my eyes have really been opened in a lot of ways. I still have a long way to go but I am excited for what is ahead because it can only get better. I can’t believe I have been here for 1 cambio already. I think I only have fifteen or so more to go. They say every cambio goes faster than the last one, so if that’s the case, time is going to fly by. I am excited to learn to love every day more. I have grown a lot the first 6 weeks and I am a lot happier. Missions are great! It is tough but so important.

I love you all tons!

Elder Christensen